The guidebooks have it wrong. We’re not 8 million people sharing a single metropolis—we’re each living in our own private Idaho. For the organicist, the city is what lies within a daily orbit of compost workshops, leatherless shoe stores, and wheatgrass-juice stands. Economizers—okay, cheapskates—subsist in a universe of $2-a-pound clothing, $2.25 dinners, and almost-free dental work. Hedonists, of course, wouldn’t dream of going to a free clinic for anything, but see the city as a constellation of pleasures: custom-made sheets from Bergdorf’s, truffle dinners at Del Posto. Obviously, we’re not all caricatures. You may not be a dog-freak design maven with a literary streak, or even a quasi “It” girl who’s a closet rebel. But no matter who you are, you’re bound to catch a glimpse of your own city somewhere in the following maps, which chart a sampling of the boutiques, eateries, clubhouses, makeout spots, and historical sites that speak to the passions of ten different New York archetypes. You might even find the inspiration to redraw your own map.
By Sarah Bernard, Sara Cardace, Julia Chaplin, Arianne Cohen, Chris Erikson, Michael Idov, Boris Kachka, James Kurisunkal, Ben Mathis-Lilley, S. Jhoanna Robledo, Jill Singer, Alexandra Zissu.
95 Spring St., second fl.
The secret’s out, but proprietor Alisa Grifo’s finds—Japanese tape dispensers, baby lederhosen—are as idiosyncratic as ever. This fall, the Cooper-Hewitt will feature her curios uptown.
2. Best Place to View Mid-century Monoliths
Park Ave. at 53rd St.
Take a seat next to the fountain pool, and you’re primed to view two of Manhattan’s greatest architectural landmarks: The Seagram Building (above)—a.k.a. Mies van der Rohe’s only New York City building— and, across the way, Lever House, now home to the Marc Newson–designed eatery.
204 Fifth Ave.
This neoclassical building overlooking Madison Square Park has been home to the Condé Nast of design firms since 1995.
4. DASH Dogs
127 Rivington St.
A forced-perspective design in concrete, bamboo, and steel makes it the world’s best-designed hot-dog stand—a National Design Award winner.
620 Eighth Ave.
You can buy it at MoMA, but design snobs describe their trips to the Japanese flagship as a mystical experience. The American flagship will open in the fall—bring the magic home.
31 W. 57th St.
Zakka has more indie cred, but nobody beats Rizzoli’s midtown flagship for everything from Taschen’s blockbuster monographs to Bruno Munari’s book of ABCs for kids.
7. Solow Building
9 W. 57th St.
In 1975, Milton Glaser was asked by the ad agency Wells Rich Greene, who had offices in this SOM-designed skyscraper (check out its famous sloped façade and bright red Ivan Chermayeff sculpture out front), to design a campaign pro bono for the city. The designer dreamed up the now famous I❤NY in a cab.
8. Phillips de Pury & Co.
450 W. 15th St.
The third-floor gallery is the best place to gawk at $100,000 limited editions of furniture from Zaha Hadid and Ross Lovegrove before collectors swoop in.
146 Greene St.
The almost-all-black boutique features a rotating selection from Italian design collective Moroso and fabrics from Maharam, the preeminent American textile company.
10. Restaurant Florent
69 Gansevoort St.
A late-night destination for International Contemporary Furniture Fair–goers, who grab fistfuls of Tibor Kalman–designed matchbooks on the way out.
11. The Conran Shop
407 E. 59th St.
The place to check out what’s new from Milan’s annual furniture fair, and a rare outlet for Globe-Trotter luggage, the luxury cases preferred by design junkies and royals.
12. The Cooper Union
No design school has churned out more big-name talents, including Stephen Doyle and Seymour Chwast, nor power couples, as in Liz Diller–Ricardo Scofidio (pictured) and J. Abbott Miller–Ellen Lupton.
105 Norfolk St.
See what the design bloggers are carping about: Bernard Tschumi’s Blue, the first residential project by Columbia’s former dean of architecture, is among the most derided new buildings in town.
14. Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
2 E. 91st St.
It’s too late to catch the triennial, but it’s always worth a visit to the garden and shop (curated by a former product manager for Moss) in Andrew Carnegie’s Victorian manse.
15. Project No. 8
138 Division St.
This ridiculously Berlinesque boutique sits on an untrafficked corner of Chinatown and carries a keen mix of limited-edition art and fashion labels (Boudicca, Bless, Margiela).
91 Franklin St.
Among the high-end denim and tailored jackets are pieces from the designer’s own line of industrial-chic furniture and a trove of rare first-edition architecture and design books.
17. 195 Chrystie Studios
195 Chrystie St.
The highest concentration of design genius in the city: nine floors of office and workshop space for firms including John Derian and the emerging stationer Superdeluxe.
1. Autumn Bowl
73 West St., Greenpoint
Regular kids skate the Brooklyn Banks (under the Manhattan entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge) while wishing they could get in here: an exclusive, members-only spot for serious vert-riders only.
2. Studio B
259 Banker St., Greenpoint
The best music club in Brooklyn: It limits capacity to ensure getting a beer at one of the two long bars isn’t an excuse-me-pardon-me fiasco.
3. Woodley and Bunny
490 Driggs Ave., Williamsburg
Cuts are not cheap ($45 to $100), but they’re guaranteed to draw admiring glances at MisShapes.
4. Domino Sugar Refinery
Grand St. at Kent Ave., Williamsburg
Leave it to the Williamsburg masses to take a highly contested development site with tiny windows and an overwhelming smell of dead rodents and turn it into a destination for packed one-off shows and parties.
5. Bushwick Country Club
618 Grand St., Williamsburg
A gritty bar with a great gimmick: a mini-golf course complete with a PBR-can windmill (seriously).
6. Death by Audio
49 S. 2nd St., Williamsburg
A Williamsburg recording studio and gear factory that hosts all manner of clamorous alternative shows and parties. If ubiquitous outer-borough promoter Todd P. is on hand, you’re in the right place.
7. Don Pedro’s
90 Manhattan Ave., Bushwick
Though ostensibly a humble, tradition-minded Ecuadoran restaurant, this East Williamsburg eatery moonlights as an under-the-radar venue for ultra-indie bands.
8. After Hours Project
1232 Broadway, Bushwick
If you’ve embraced the dubious glamour of heroin, give yourself a fighting chance at survival: Get some clean needles.
9. Rubulad Home Base
338 Flushing Ave., Navy Yard
The underground dance- party-cum-rave-cum-performance-art bonanza is still going strong—and it now has a headquarters. Get in by getting on the mailing list.
10. Madagascar Institute
217 Butler St., Gowanus
The punk pyrotechnics collective has evolved into an anti-Establishment art center offering classes in welding and other macho art-making techniques.
IN MANHATTANGarden of Eden
There may be no better spot in mainland Manhattan for Dumpster diving for your supper. The fresh buffet food and overripe produce come out about 10 p.m., but arrive early: You’ll have to battle the “freegan” hordes.
The Mustard Seed Society
122 E. 37th St.
The atmosphere at the basement AA meetings is what you’d expect—folding chairs, vending machines, spotty A/C—but your sponsor will likely be a former young rebel of some renown.
COSM (Chapel of Sacred Mirrors)
542 W. 27th St.
The city is a really bad place to drop acid—and yet, right on one of the baddest-trip blocks is COSM: the world center of the “psychedelic art” scene.
113 St. Marks Pl.
If you pass through the vintage phone booth in the rear, you’ll find PDT (“Please Don’t Tell”), a decidedly upscale speakeasy.
Blue & Gold Tavern
79 E. 7th St.
The old standby with new $5 shot-and-beer specials (The Dirty Hipster = Jägermeister and Pabst Blue Ribbon) until 1 a.m.
New York Adorned
47 Second Ave.
A discount tattoo is expensive—because eventually you’ll have to shell out for cover-up work. This was one of New York’s first full-service “body arts” parlors, and it’s also one of the best.
35 Howard St.
Downtown looks at uptown prices, but you can’t beat the selection—it stocks indie labels from all over the world, Topshop dresses, and those ubiquitous Cheap Monday rocker jeans.
231 Eldridge St.The many spokes of the fixed-gear cult converge at Trackstar. Buy one with a front brake, tough guy.
Jackson Ave. at Crane St., Long Island CityThis burnt-out building makes up for a seeming lack of street cred (you need an appointment to bomb the building) by attracting graffiti-world celebs who want the chance to showcase their style without getting arrested.
1. NYU College of Dentistry
345 E. 24th St.
“Budget root canal” isn’t a phrase that brings people running. You’re not like most people. The more work you have done, the more you save.
2. Chelsea Department of Health
303 Ninth Ave., second fl.
Pop in and partake of Mayor Bloomberg’s boon for the broke: a handful of free NYC condoms.
3. Training Institute for Mental Health
22 W. 21st St.
Sliding-scale therapy from shrinks-in-training (with master’s degrees) for as low as $35 a session. Maybe they can help you get to the root of why you’re so tightfisted.
4. Show World
669 Eighth Ave.
Indulge in old-school Times Square sleaze while scoring a bargain. The proof is written in glaring neon: PRIVATE VIEWING BOOTHS STILL ONLY 25 CENTS.
5. New York City Free Clinic
16 E. 16th St.
Even right-wing cheapskates can agree with Michael Moore on this: Free health care is a thing of beauty. You’ll find it here on Saturday mornings. By appointment only; call 917-544-0735.
6. Free-Sample Trifecta
14th St. nr. Union Square
Fill up on the daily giveaways at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and the Garden of Eden. Better yet: Make the rounds when the Greenmarket is in session and there’s a free tasting at Union Square Wines & Spirits.
7. East Village Cheese
40 Third Ave.
Brie for a buck? This is the place for impossibly cheap specials like $2.99 Cabot cheddar, or mahon from Menorca, Spain, for a Kraft-like $3.99 a pound.
8. Atlas Barber School
34 Third Ave.
If Astor Place Hairstylists is an indulgence, try the student chop jobs here for just $5. Fear not, the scissor-wielders know what they’re doing. Kind of.
9. Yoga to the People
12 St. Marks Pl.
All the classes here are donation only, which is enough to give a stingy yogi a great head start on inner peace.
10. Punjabi Deli
114 E. 1st St.
Three bucks buys a plate of rice with vegetables at this cabbie haunt, while the buttery samosa smothered in chickpeas might be the heartiest $2.25 meal in the city.
11. Bowery Restaurant Supply
Two-stop shopping. First, scour the shelves here for $2 kitchen tongs and 40-cent flatware. Then head to Williams-Sonoma, eye the prices, and gloat.
12. Yei Mai Gourmet and Golden Bowl
51 Division St.
Chinatown, you set a skinflint’s heart pounding. At these narrow storefronts, $3 buys rice, soup, and four selections from a couple of dozen piled-high trays.
Old Poland Bakery and Restaurant
190 Nassau Ave., Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Few items top $5 on a menu of ham hocks, lima-bean stew, pork cutlets, and other Warsaw winter fare. If that’s still too rich for your blood, soups start at $1.50.
85 Wythe Ave., Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Steve Keene—a gallery-exhibited, cult-followed Yale Art School grad with a populist bent—sells his colorful, broad-stroke artworks at three for $5 and up.
Green Village Used Furniture & Clothing
276 Starr St., Brooklyn
The late, lamented Domsey’s in Williamsburg is gone, but Green Village still sells clothes the way a penny-pincher demands them— at $2 a pound.
McKibbin St., Bushwick, Brooklyn
The hipsterization of West Bushwick continues apace, but there’s still cheap living if you know where to find it. Ask around at King’s County bar on nearby Siegel Street.
IN QUEENSPatel Brothers
37-27 74th St., Jackson Heights
Take a twenty-pound bag of basmati rice and two eight-pound bags of lentils and you’ve got a month of dinners for under $25. Ward off scurvy with a $7 box of mangoes.
1. Leontine Linens
754 Fifth Ave.
On Bergdorf Goodman’s seventh floor, scout out the super-silky, 600-thread-count sheets, handmade to order. Add borders, monograms, a family crest, and your grateful body.
2. Kobe Club
68 W. 58th St.
Order the $395 Emperor’s Flight, with three different cuts of all-Japanese Wagyu, and don’t think about the 2,000 samurai swords dangling from the ceiling.
3. Maybach Studios
430 Park Ave.
Commission a model 62S, the longest—and therefore roomiest—car in production, which starts at $428,750. Customize with massaging seats, sterling-silver Champagne flutes, and a built-in PlayStation2 with wireless joysticks.
4. Gordon Ramsay’s The London Bar
151 W. 54th St.
You have to know to ask for it. The $550 Bentley Sidecar is a mix of Hennessy Ellipse (a seven-cognac blend dating back to the 1800s), Grand Marnier 150, and lemon juice.
5. The Four Seasons
57 E. 57th St.
Be among the first to sleep in the I. M. Pei–designed penthouse suite that took six years to build. For $30,000, the most expensive night’s stay in the U.S., you’ll have access to “floating” glass balconies, infinity bathtubs, plus a personal butler and driver.
6. Okeanos Spa
211 E. 51st St.
Down a few shots of ice-cold vodka before a traditional Russian steam sauna (banya) and platza, a good old post-sauna thrashing with birch leaves by a pro.
7. LL Yachts at Chelsea Piers
A membership (starting at $795 a month) into this power-boat collective puts a $1.8 million fleet at your disposal. Host a Hudson trip on the Italian-built Azimut 43, the largest and newest, with a master suite, lots of flat-screen TVs, and a party-ready sundeck.
8. Del Posto
85 Tenth Ave.
A double aphrodisiac: Order the ravioli-like Agnolotti dal Plin, stuffed with white truffles from Alba’s Langhe forest, with an extra sprinkling of them on top ($100 to $300).
26 Little W. 12th St.
Party like a just-rehabbed celebrity. A $15,000-to-$20,000 reservation gets you access to the private “Purple” room, where Kanye West had his birthday party, plus your own wait staff to keep the Red Bulls flowing.
10. The Pleasure Chest
156 Seventh Ave.
Pick up the Lelo, a 24-karat-gold vibrator, for $1,500 or the brand-new OhMiBod, which vibrates to the music on your iPod ($70).
11. Orlo Salon
34 Gansevoort St.
Orlando Pita’s signature razor cut is the most expensive in the city at $800, but at least it comes with a fifteen-to-twenty-minute head massage.
24 Fifth Ave.
For oenophiles, this restaurant—and the 140,000 bottles in its wine cellar— is holy ground. Order the 1937 Romanée-Conti for $15,500.
13. Employees Only
510 Hudson St.
The thirties-themed bar serves the only legal version of absinthe allowed in the country. Drip some ice water over a sugar cube, and the “green fairy” looks suspiciously like a harmless glass of milk.
14. The E.U.
235 E. 4th St.
Feast on an entire pig at the E.U.—tongue, kidney, jowls, and all. Enough to feed six ($30 per person).
1. Hoshi Coupe
214 E. 9th St. and 2801 Broadway
Japanese salon shapes mushroom-heads into seventies-shag-style cuts ($37 and up) that invite admiration from peers but don’t annoy parents.
2. Arms and Armor Room at the Met
1000 Fifth Ave.
The closest thing to Buckingham Palace in this city, with coats of arms hanging from the ceiling, mysterious figures in full armor, and spears and halberds and glaives galore.
3. The Science Barge Riverside Park at W. 70th St.
A floating “sustainable urban farm” fueled by solar power and other alternative energies teaches kids how to go green.
4. Carlos Oliveira Soccer Academy
This sometime pro and college coach models his hard-core soccer instruction on the big time, so kids kick butt in the spring and fall leagues.
5. El Quijote Restaurant at the Hotel Chelsea
226 W. 23rd St.
Surprising kid cred. The wait staff make a big show of helping little ones don bibs so they can dig into lobster claws.
6. Parsons the New School for Design
66 Fifth Ave., second fl.
Kids in fourth grade and up can sign up for manga-drawing, fashion design, and architecture classes. Saturday-morning sessions are taught by long-term faculty.
7. OTTO Enoteca Pizzeria
1 Fifth Ave.
Loud enough for parents to bring their kids without annoying anyone else. Little diners are swiftly served crayons and a map of Italy to keep them busy until a yummy dish of olive-oil gelato arrives.
8. Miette Culinary Studio
109 Macdougal St., Ste. 2
Young foodies learn how to whip up pescada a la Veracruzana (red snapper from Veracruz) and moustatsonias (almond cookies from Corfu).
9. Cake Shop
152 Ludlow St.
Hipster-parent nirvana with some 10,000 vinyl records (look, Ma, no iPod!) and chocolate cupcakes shipped in from Umanoff & Parsons bakery in Tribeca. The Sunday-afternoon all-ages shows feature kid acts like Modrocket and the Bones Royale.
10. The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
65 Bayard St.
Show the kids there’s life beyond Maggie Moo’s with flavors like lychee, taro, and red bean. If they misbehave, show them the duck carcasses in nearby windows.
11. City Hall
131 Duane St.
Young’uns belly up to Saturday-morning cartoons at the bar and sup on entrée portions sized, and priced, according to age.
12. Federal Reserve Bank
33 Liberty St.
The homeworklike lesson on monetary flow in the U.S. pays off with a trip to the vault 80 feet below the city’s streets, where $140 billion in gold bars sit in storage.
IN BROOKLYNRocky Sullivan’s
34 Van Dyke St.
The former Liberty Heights Tap Room is CBGB for Brooklyn’s now well-established kid-rock movement, with bands like Care Bears on Fire and Magnolia playing afternoon gigs for all ages.
The Cove at Brooklyn Bridge Park
1 Main St.
Kids can go crabbing, fishing, and shrimping at this hidden-out-in-the-open spot. Eat at your own risk.
Miniature Golf at the Jewish Children’s Museum
792 Eastern Parkway
Tee off at an indoor range that mirrors the Jewish life cycle (minus the bris). Elsewhere, walk through a supersize Sabbath meal and talk back to a fridge that churns out Jewish jokes.
1. Just Food
208 E. 51st St., fourth fl.
Not everyone can—or wants to—live near the Park Slope Food Coop. This nonprofit hooks up New Yorkers in all five boroughs with CSA (community-supported agriculture) farms and community gardens.
2. Continuum Center for Health and Healing
245 Fifth Ave.
Beth Israel–affiliated complementary- and alternative-therapy center has old-school family practices (i.e., you and your kid see the same M.D.), feng shui–ed waiting rooms, and en vogue retro options like leech therapy for osteoarthritis. Really. Bonus: It takes insurance.
18 E. 23rd St.
Office types line up like slaughterhouse cows for the burgers at Shake Shack. Across the street at Bonobos, vegetarians fill up on pricey “organic as available” fruit blends (free agave nectar!) and curried almond pâté.
4. Liz Christy Bowery-Houston Community Garden
Cnr. Bowery and Houston St.
The city’s purported oldest community garden dates back to 1973. Benchwarmers (Beware! Possibly chatty!) take in the pond, flowers, grape arbor, birch trees, and veggie gardens.
5. East West Books
78 Fifth Ave.
Books on Ayurveda, meditation, and cleansing. Peaceful, nurturing singles eye each other sipping loose-leaf tea in the café.
443 E. 6th St.
Sometimes an eco-goddess doesn’t want to give up her shopping habit for the greater good. No need to, at this little-but-packed eco-chic boutique.
1 Rockefeller Park
Late this year, the eco-moneyed will move into this green-as-can-be 264-unit building, where earth-friendly amenities will include a Birdbath (City Bakery’s green offshoot) and 24-hour access to OZOcar, the hybrid-car service (at right).
8. Ronnybrook Milk Bar
75 Ninth Ave.
Feel good about the chocolate milkshakes at this all-natural Hudson Valley milk farm’s newly renovated Chelsea Market store. The glass-bottled (no plastic leaching!) unfrozen version is available at Greenmarkets around town.
9. John Masters Organics
77 Sullivan St.
There’s no truly organic hair dye, but Masters’s comes close, with fewer PPDs (the suspected carcinogenic chemicals that open the cuticle shaft to absorb color) than the usual version.
10. Priti Organic Spa
35 E. 1st St.
Priti’s nail polish is formaldehyde-, toluene-, and dibutyl-phthalate-free. Hands are $20, feet are $30. Instead of acetone fumes, clients breathe in geranium oil. Om.
11. Appellation Wine & Spirits
156 Tenth Ave.
A biodynamic wine emporium down the avenue from the local-food destination Cookshop. Not to worry, even ardent organophiles blanch when asked to define biodynamic (agriculture that links growing to cosmic rhythms).
12. Lower East Side Ecology Center
East River Park at the Grand St. Fireboat House
The truly green manage to compost—in yards, inside worm bins, or wherever they find space. This place runs workshops spreading the gospel of “black gold.”
13. Organic Avenue
101 Stanton St.
Raw-foodists stock up on flax seeds, nut butters, goji berries, and “living” granola—along with jute yoga mats, $140 hemp cigarette jeans, plus the $6 certified-organic-cotton thongs that go underneath.
152 Allen St.
Their leatherless shoes are the ultimate in vegan footwear, even if they’re not quite Manolos. Apparently, cruelty-free translates to lots of round tips and clunky heels.
IN BROOKLYNMarlow & Sons
81 Broadway, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Le tout “Williamsburgh” shops here for local must-haves like Kingston, New York–based Fleisher’s pastured and grass-finished meats, and honey from the South Bronx.
1 Ivy Hill Rd., Brooklyn
Hooks up renovators with zero-VOC paint and nontoxic versions of caulk, sealant, stains, flooring, cleaning products, and names of green contractors.
IN QUEENSSocrates Sculpture Park
3201 Vernon Blvd., Long Island City
A member of the Taoist Tai Chi Society leads classes among the outdoor sculptures. The water lapping at the shore makes for a serene vibe, if you can forget about industrial waste lurking underfoot.
44-02 23rd St., Long Island City
The green-conscious would never let a gas-guzzling Town Car idle outside Blue Hill as they devoured a perfect local meal. OZOcar’s fleet is composed entirely of hybrids like the Toyota Prius. Per hour in town: $50. To JFK: $65.
1. 550 Seventh Ave.
One-stop shopping for pre-event gown borrowing, as every floor of this fashion-district office building houses a major American designer, from Oscar to Ralph to Donna.
2. Café Sabarsky
1048 Fifth Ave.
Go for an apple strudel at the Viennese café on the parlor floor of the Neue Galerie, founded by Ron Lauder, original “It” girl Aerin Lauder’s dad.
1577 Second Ave.
They have only two flavors (plain or green tea) and a nationally publicized mice-infestation problem. But still the girls line up, even in the rain, for a fix of this suspiciously fluffy fro-yo.
1007 Lexington Ave.
The reincarnation of Mortimer’s, the original social X-ray spot where grandes dames like Nan Kempner and Pat Buckley went to not eat.
5. Amy’s Fashion
209 E. 66th St.
This couture tailor takes just two weeks to carefully alter the gown you bought—shhh!—at the Vera Wang sample sale.
6. Mrs. Astor’s Ballroom
350 Fifth Ave.
Virtually no one who visits the Empire State Building in hopes of seeing giant gorillas on its spire knows that 100 years ago, Mrs. Astor’s famous ballroom occupied the same site.
7. Ashley Javier Parlor
250 Fifth Ave., Penthouse 1212
His stark black-on-white atelier is one of the most beautiful salons in town, but the real A-list—Jemma Kidd, Zani Gugelmann, Byrdie Bell —never set foot inside: Ashley makes house calls.
241 W. 14th St.
Started by the guys behind a Citizens Arts Club in London, this private arts club in an antique townhouse is likely to become the new Soho House when it debuts next month.
9. The Garden of Ono
18 Ninth Ave.
The May-to-October garden caters to carb watchers who come to see and be seen and gorge themselves on the “riceless” roll menu.
10. Beatrice Inn
285 W. 12th St.
Owned by Paul Sevigny, brother to downtown icon Chloë. The place to end up on weeknights (especially Thursdays) after drinks at the Gramercy’s Rose Bar and cabaret at the Box.
11. Housing Works
245 W. 10th St.
The girls-in-the-know, go-to spot for vintage finds.
505 West St.
The Cuban-themed lounge—picture forties Havana with a view of the Hudson—helmed by Armin Amiri, the legendary Bungalow 8 doorman.
13. Sant Ambroeus
259 W. 4th St.
Nurse a mousse-thick cappuccino at the bar and watch Tinsley Mortimer text Fabiola Beracasa on her BlackBerry and dapper Fiat heir Lapo Elkann talk soccer with the waiters.
14. Brown Café
61 Hester St.
One-third of the Green Brown Orange café-caterer conglomerate. Very small, very lovely, very laid-back: the new Café Gitane.
15. Smith and Mills
71 N. Moore St.
Owned by some of the folks behind the Beatrice Inn and Employees Only, this closet-size restaurant has no sign and only takes cash, which weeds out the beer-swilling Wall Street crowd.
1. Weitz, Weitz & Coleman
1377 Lexington Ave.
Herb Weitz—son of Leo Weitz, the founder, who opened this place in 1909— is one of the city’s last custom bookbinders. Once you’ve seen his work, you’ll never look at a paperback without a certain sadness again.
2. Kenneth W. Rendell Galleries
989 Madison Ave.
Spectacular autographs and manuscripts. A Mark Twain manuscript of a poem, for example, is $27,500, and a signed letter from Raymond Chandler is $3,000.
3. Morgan Library & Museum
225 Madison Ave.
Pierpont Morgan’s neoclassical former digs now house the city’s best rare-book and manuscript collection this side of Columbia or the Public Library.
4. Empire State Building
350 Fifth Ave.
Featured prominently in Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. His superhero illegally lived on the 72nd floor, while fictional Empire Comics was on the 25th. (In real life, Timely Comics, which became Marvel, did occupy an office there.)
5. West 18th Street
between Fifth and Sixth Avenues
Two good bookstores (Skyline for grown-ups; Books of Wonder for kids), a fine classical-music emporium (Academy Records and CDs), and three excellent stationers (A.I. Friedman, Paper Presentation, and Paper Access) make this a destination block. Bonus: City Bakery.
6. The Strand Book Store’s Rare-Book Room
Noticeably cheaper for modern first editions than other rare-book dealers. (Aside from the first printing of Ulysses that’s $40,000 and kept in a safe.)
7. Café Loup
105 W. 13th St.
The after-party bistro of choice for writers and editors young and old (most of whom aren’t paying the tab). Most recently, Granta held its big “Best Young American Novelists” party there.
8. Three Lives & Company
154 W. 10th St.
Two blocks from the site of the Stonewall riot, this shop, fronted by displays determined by the staff, not by the publishers, caters well to its gay-lit clientele while being one of the city’s all-around best indie bookstores.
9. East Village Books
99 St. Marks Pl.
There used to be dozens of dusty neighborhood secondhand-book shops like this, with stock handpicked by (and for) smart people. Now it’s down to the Strand plus a couple of tiny holdouts, and East Village Books is as good as they get.
10. KGB Bar
85 E. 4th St.
Even when the city’s best young writers aren’t offering up new work at the podium by the bar (Darin Strauss, Arthur Phillips, and Jerry Stahl in recent weeks), the crowd of buzzed writers and editors who frequent this Soviet-kitsch institution make this one of New York’s best bars in which to drunkenly talk up a book proposal.
11. Think Coffee
248 Mercer St.
It’s an NYU hangout, but for aspiring writers, there are few better places to spend the day nursing a single cup of fair-trade coffee over a Wi-Fi-connected laptop.
12. Bowery Poetry Club
Started up by a co-founder of the Nuyorican, this is where the remnants of the slam poetry scene meet the remnants of pre-gentrified Skid Row. They even have some genuine Bowery poets on now and then.
13. New Paris Review Offices
62 White St.
Post–George Plimpton, the journal moved out of his Upper East Side townhouse and into this Tribeca loft, modernizing its space along with its mission under new editor Philip Gourevitch (while retaining a pool table, albeit coin-operated).
IN BROOKLYN826 NYC (a.k.a. the Superhero Supply Co.)
372 Fifth Ave.
The storefront that houses the East Coast branch of Dave Eggers’s do-gooder tutoring outfit still offers McSweeney’s products and twee items (capes, utility belts) that’ll leave you pleased or irritated.
The Jonathan Safran Foer–Nicole Krauss Residence
646 2nd St.
Park Slope’s most famous literary denizens (sorry, Paul Auster) snapped up this triple-lot brownstone last year for $5.75 million.
208 Smith St.
This year-old store in the heart of bookish Brooklyn seems to be the nexus of comic (er, graphic-novel) fandom, with comic artists like Peter Kuper and Jamie Tanner holding almost weekly book launches.
148 Hoyt St.
Brooklyn lit hero and anti-Ratner agitator Jonathan Lethem, who lives down the block, has been known to stop by this beautiful old tin-ceilinged bar beloved of Brooklyn literary types. It even made a (nameless) cameo in Motherless Brooklyn.
1. Sentient Creatures
104th St. and Amsterdam Ave.
Chitra Besbroda’s one-woman junkyard dog rescue operation has saved thousands. Not ready to adopt? Be a foster parent: Call 212-865-5998.
2. City Veterinary Care
220 W. 72nd St.
Vet behaviorist Geraldine Dalibard specializes in canine anxiety, depression, and phobias—and can prescribe medication to help. Don’t laugh: Canine Prozac works.
11 W. 53rd St.
Behold Dog, Alberto Giacometti’s creepy bronze sculpture of a skin-and-bones dog, the canine prize of the fourth-floor gallery. The museum is human-only, though.
4. City Pet Transportation
110 Bank St.
Itzik Ben-Moshe’s one-man operation offers the best customer service around and will fetch your pooch in an emergency. Call him at 917-532-5572.
5. New York Dog Spa & Hotel
32 W. 25th St.
No dog-run bullies at these weekly small-dog socials, run by trainer Andrea Arden.
6. Whiskers Holistic Petcare
235 E. 9th St.
Sick of the canine-industrial complex? This is the place to stock up on environmentally friendly flea treatment, natural dog shampoo, and organic pet food.
7. Saks Fifth Avenue
611 Fifth Ave.
Well-behaved dogs on a leash of any size are welcome to join you on your shopping spree.
8. The Riverbank
560 W. 43rd St.
The most dog-friendly apartment building in town: The lobby has a doggie biscuit jar, the parking lot includes a doo-doo stand, and doorpeople provide daytime walks and dogsit when owners travel.
9. Underdog Crash Site
Times Square at 43rd St.
The five-story Underdog balloon bit the dust here during the 1975 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, crashing into multiple buildings and nose-diving to the pavement.
10. Fetch Bar & Grill
1649 Third Ave.
The dog-filled outdoor seating bubbles with pooch talk, and patrons are encouraged to bring a framed pet photo for the inside wall. A portion of proceeds goes to shelters; adoption applications are behind the bar.
11. Animal Medical Center
510 E. 62nd St.
The city’s mecca of high-tech animal care has the largest staff and most specialty services in the city, with a 24-hour emergency room and intensive-care unit, an MRI machine, and, coming this fall, a linear accelerator for cancer radiation treatment.
12. J.T. Yost Illustration & Pet Portraits
153 Ave. B, No. 5
Call for a consultation (212-477-3439), drop off photos, and see your pooch anthropomorphized into, say, Foofie Playing a Banjo.
13. Animal Haven
251 Centre St.
This 7,000-foot adoption center re-homes 500 dogs a year and earns your support through fun—who can resist Canine Cocktails, the Big Breed Breakfast, and Dog Movie Nights?
14. Pet Haven Cemetery & Crematory
33 East End Ave.
The city’s only local animal-cemetery office picks up dogs immediately and arranges burial at six-acre Lacey Memorial Pet Cemetery in the Poconos.
IN UPPER MANHATTANSir William’s Dog Run
Fort Tryon Park
The city’s best dog run, bar none. Take the A train to 190th Street station and follow the signs. Coffee Barks, 9 to 11 a.m. on the first Sunday of every month, are a must.
IN BROOKLYNLong Meadow Dog Beach
Prospect Park, Brooklyn
Let Spot take a dip with his pals. Dogs only!
968 Grand St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Custom-designed subway dog carriers, $300 to $400, made for dogs up to 80 pounds.
1. Blockhouse No. 1
Central Park at 109th St.
This roofless 1812 fort hidden on the park’s rough northwestern edge sits perennially empty atop a massive cliff. Flimsy railings and a steep drop lend a sexy air of danger to the perfect first-kiss spot.
2. Bethesda Terrace
Central Park at 72nd St.
Olmsted and Vaux saw this two-level Italianate plaza as the heart of the park. The covered stairs could easily be the most swoon-worthy 100 feet in the city, a fact not lost on thousands of Hollywood location scouts.
3. VIP Spa Suite, Mandarin Oriental
80 Columbus Ave.
A thousand dollars gets the two of you three hours in a wonderland 35 floors above Manhattan, complete with a stone tub and side-by-side massage beds. For extra frisson, draw up the blinds and watch unlucky non-VIPs scurry far below.
4. Rose Bar
Gramercy Park Hotel, 50 Gramercy Park
An exquisitely dusky, vaguely Spanish-themed room centers on two flashes of red: the year-round fireplace and the scarlet pool table. Curl up on a sofa under a faux Picasso (by Julian Schnabel) or real Warhol.
5. Gramercy Park
E. 20th St.
When you’ve gotten yourself and your date drunk enough, hop the gate for a nouvelle vague–ishly romantic trespass possibly followed by an equally romantic arrest.
6. The Garden of the Church of St. Luke in the Fields
Two wildly overgrown, tourist-free acres lie beyond a modest gate, feet away from the crowds. That you can easily spend an hour here and not see another human being is, well, a miracle.
7. Doyers Street
Bet. Pell St. and Bowery There are no adorable cupcake bakeries
or antique shops, but unlike any other block in Manhattan, Doyers twists every twenty feet. It’s like being lost in a hutong somewhere in old China.
141 Duane St.
Specializes in kaiseki, a Japanese form of painstakingly sculpted cuisine. You’re guaranteed near-solitude and a procession of edible love letters from the unseen kitchen.
9. Pen-Top Bar & Terrace
The Peninsula Hotel, 700 Fifth Ave.
It’s swanky in an ostentatious, self-congratulatory way, and the martinis are $21. But it’s one of the few places to unerringly deliver that “I’m in New York, dammit!” rush, and you couldn’t get a better view down Fifth Avenue if you were a St. Pat’s pigeon.
455 Madison Ave.
You’d expect Trumpian excess from a place called Gilt, and you’d be wrong: The opulence here is tempered by taste, and the menu pairs expected luxuries such as foie gras with exotic touches like sour plum and daikon.
Pier 17, Fulton St.
The best thing to happen to the terminally cheesy South Street Seaport in years. A sexy, cabaret-punk Weimar vibe percolates beneath the vintage circus tent; the burlesque acts it reliably books don’t hurt either.
359 97th St., Bay Ridge, Brooklyn
Pick up your date in a jaw-dropping 1961 Jaguar coupe—FilmCars, which normally supplies vintage autos for location shoots, is happy to do private rentals by the hour.
376 9th St., Park Slope, Brooklyn
There’s a kind of Paris bar—compact, dark, and secretive—that Manhattan just can’t get right. Brooklyn does, in Barbès. Even with a Balkan tuba jam wailing away in the back, the wine-red front room remains quiet enough for a clink of two glasses and a whispered toast.
Prospect Park Audubon Center at the Boathouse
Prospect Park nr. Lincoln Rd.
If you’ve read the right books, the very word boathouse has a tinge of bodice-ripping naughtiness. At night, the tiny plaza on the pond becomes the park’s most picturesque makeout spot.
A train to Far Rockaway
The literal end of the line: A blighted, seemingly deserted oceanfront town a universe away from Manhattan gives way to a long beach strip once dubbed the Irish Riviera.