Day Four: Chelsea and the Meatpacking District
Push the envelope by scoping out the avant-garde fashions of these two adjoining neighborhoods.
10:30 a.m.: Jump-start your morning. Take the C or E train to 23rd Street for a caffeinated jolt at Café Grumpy. (They brew their coffee with an $11,000 Clover machine.) Nosh on a pumpkin-apple-walnut muffin; you’ll be walking it off soon enough.
11 a.m.: Admire the architecture of apparel. Stroll down to 22nd Street then pass through the huge pivoting door and jagged aluminum tunnel into the cavernous home of Comme Des Garçons. You’ll probably be one of the few shoppers, since Rei Kawakubo’s abstract designs aren’t that well known, but the artsy shop clerks and risk-taking garments provide plenty of entertainment.
Noon: Browse high-end office wear. Wander a bit south to Yigal Azrouel's bare-brick boutique. The floating racks are stocked with paneled gowns, delicate knits, jersey dresses, and silk blouses, featuring the designer's signature draping and tendency to play with texture.
1 p.m.: Grab a burger. Head around the corner for lunch at Bill’s Bar and Burger, a low-key alternative to the meatpacking's high-end bistros, like nearby Pastis. The juicy burgers are made from a custom Pat LaFrieda blend and the casual dining room will let you recharge for the rest of your shopping day.
3 p.m.: Fancify your footwear. No New York shopping trip is complete without a stop at Jeffrey New York, just a few blocks up 14th Street. It's one of just two Jeffreys in the country, and the massive shoe collection is expertly edited, but keep your eyes peeled for the latest from Miu Miu and Chanel.
5 p.m.: Reacquaint yourself with classic DVF. At the intersection of 14th and Washington streets, you’ll find fashion legend Diane Von Furstenberg’s airy shop. The décor, like much of the clothes, is inspired by seventies glam. Take a load off on a bright-pink couch then watch as a friend tries on a signature wrap dress.
8 p.m.: Show off your swag at a blowout dinner. La Bottega, the balconied restaurant in the Maritime Hotel, is as super-stylish as your purchases. Dine on wood-fired pizzas and antipasti, and get some people watching in to boot.