NEW YORK GROOVE

Marie Claire (South Africa) - - TRAVEL -

by Mathahle Stofile My most re­cent New York visit took place in late April – my first trip there in spring! On this oc­ca­sion, in­stead of fol­low­ing a tight sched­ule, I had a lit­tle ex­tra time, so I could sim­ply ad­mire it all at leisure and open my­self up to what­ever hap­pened.

I was ex­tremely for­tu­nate to stay at The Sur­rey Ho­tel in Man­hat­tan, where my first treat was to see a Wil­liam Ken­tridge in­stal­la­tion in the lobby (New York loves this South African artist). My next ex­cit­ing mo­ment hap­pened in the ho­tel’s fa­mous Miche­lin-starred restau­rant, Café Boulud, not only be­cause the food was as de­li­cious as I’d ex­pected but be­cause I spotted Woody Allen din­ing with Tommy Hil­figer just a few ta­bles away! Also fab­u­lous for a foodie like me was to have din­ner at Nobu, where a group of us de­voured course af­ter course of the most de­li­cious Ja­panese cui­sine imag­in­able. And then a beauty high­light: be­ing pam­pered at the fa­mous, newly re­lo­cated El­iz­a­beth Ar­den Red Door Spa, where I had a sublime fa­cial fol­lowed by a mani-pedi.

I love Har­lem, the district at the north­ern end of NYC. I al­ways go to El Paso for amaz­ing Mex­i­can food and, this time, I stopped off at the fa­mous Red Rooster (ru­moured to be one of Barack Obama’s favourite eater­ies) for a lit­tle soul food. If you get the chance, visit the Apollo The­ater for Am­a­teur Night, when wannabe stand-up co­me­di­ans do their thing.

An­other high­light was at­tend­ing the 90th an­niver­sary of the birth of late au­thor James Bald­win at the New York Live Art Fes­ti­val in Chelsea. I lis­tened to some read­ings of the leg­end’s work at the ses­sion en­ti­tled ‘James Bald­win, This Time!’ I felt like a true lo­cal. MATHAHLE’S TOP SPOTS El­iz­a­beth Ar­den Red Door Spa, Red­doorspas.com El Paso Restau­rant, El­pa­sony.com Nobu, Nobu­restau­rants.com Red Rooster, Re­droost­er­harlem.com The Sur­rey Ho­tel, Th­es­ur­rey.com

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