NEW YORK GROOVE
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