The city that never sleeps ex­plored in an af­ter­noon

Lower Man­hat­tan may not be packed with iconic sights, but SoHo and Green­wich Vil­lage are un­ri­valled for food, drink and shop­ping

Business Traveller - - CONTENTS -

1 The Evo­lu­tion Store

SoHo, an ab­bre­vi­a­tion of south of Hous­ton (Street), is a flâneurs’ play­ground. There’s still a slightly bo­hemian feel, but rather than artists’ studios, the cob­bled streets are now home to shops of ev­ery stripe, from the high-end fash­ion of Prada to the clas­sic de­signs of J Crew. Shop­ping is fo­cused be­tween Broad­way west to Sixth Av­enue and Hous­ton Street south to Canal Street, but for some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent, head fur­ther north into Green­wich Vil­lage. Goods for the Study on 8th Street sells covetable sta­tionery, while The Evo­lu­tion Store on Broad­way is filled with col­lectibles on a sci­en­tific/ nat­u­ral his­tory theme. Look upon a visit as be­ing in a mu­seum, with the ben­e­fit that all the ex­hibits, which in­clude an­i­mal skulls and me­te­orites, are up for sale. theevo­lu­tion­store.com

2 Parm

Few cities do sand­wiches as well as the Big Ap­ple. Whether it’s a salt beef Reuben on rye with sauer­kraut and Swiss cheese, a bagel piled high with cream cheese and salmon, or a meat­ball sub, this is a glut­ton’s par­adise. Court Street Gro­cers in LaGuardia Place, Green­wich Vil­lage is a con­tender for the crown of New York’s best Reuben. Bagel afi­ciona­dos should hot­foot it to Black Seed on El­iz­a­beth Street in Nolita (north of Lit­tle Italy), which some claim makes the best in the world. If you have a soft spot for Ital­ian-Amer­i­can spe­cial­i­ties, head to Mul­berry Street in Lit­tle Italy and or­der the Chicken Parm (parmi­giana) at the aptly named, retro-styled Parm – crisp breaded chicken, rich tomato sauce and oo­dles of moz­zarella in a soft roll (pre­pare to make a mess). parm­nyc.com

3 Wash­ing­ton Square Park

In the warmer months, get your food “to go” and stroll to Wash­ing­ton Square Park in Green­wich Vil­lage. This is a great place to get a sense of the city and its di­verse in­hab­i­tants. Its lo­ca­tion by New York Univer­sity’s cam­pus means there are plenty of stu­dents study­ing and re­lax­ing, along­side of­fice work­ers catch­ing an hour of sun, and street artists and mu­si­cians – it’s prime real es­tate for peo­ple-watch­ing. The Wash­ing­ton Arch (built in 1892) is a mini replica of the Arc de Tri­om­phe, while those hop­ing to cool off when the city gets too hot can be found splash­ing in the foun­tain. The park’s his­tory is equally var­ied and in­ter­est­ing – it started life as a ceme­tery, be­fore be­com­ing a pa­rade ground, then a favoured haunt of the well-to-do, fol­lowed by a hot­bed of po­lit­i­cal fer­ment. nycgovparks.org

4 Ho­tel Hugo

The bar scene in SoHo is some­thing spe­cial. In win­ter, head for one of the un­der­ground speakeasies. You could cer­tainly do worse than The Ship on Lafayette Street, with its stylish, con­tem­po­rary nau­ti­cal theme. Make a bee­line for one of the com­fort­able white leather booths or perch at the bar and en­joy po­tent con­coc­tions, in sub­tler com­bi­na­tions than some of the blousy mixes favoured by many a cock­tail bar nowa­days. Come sum­mer, drinks are best en­joyed while ogling a city sky­line, and New York boasts many pleas­ing an­gles to choose from. One of the best can be ad­mired from Ho­tel Hugo on Green­wich Street. Take the lift up to the top floor and watch the sun sink be­hind Hobo­ken across the Hud­son River in New Jersey, drink in hand. hotel­hugony.com

5 Grand Banks

While it’s still just light, walk off the po­tency of your cock­tail with a river­side am­ble. Around 15 min­utes away by foot is Grand Banks – a great din­ing op­tion, even if you’re not quite rav­en­ous af­ter your ear­lier sand­wich. Open be­tween April and Septem­ber, this float­ing restau­rant on a boat moored off Pier 25 at Hud­son River Park spe­cialises in seafood, with oys­ters a par­tic­u­lar fo­cus. Get your tim­ing right and you can en­joy na­tive oys­ters grown in the wa­ters around New York State it­self. Of course, the slip­pery shell­fish are not for ev­ery­one, but those with an aver­sion will find plenty of other dishes to tempt, from lob­ster rolls to soft-shell crab or caviar. Book­ings are not taken, but visit af­ter 8pm and things should have qui­etened down. grand­banks.nyc

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