here’s no city quite like New York City.
I’ll admit I’m biased, having lived there for several glorious years, attending university and then embarking on my adult working life. In fact, that’s where I first got a start at Condé Nast Traveler (with one L, as they do in America), back when the offices were still at 4 Times Square, right at the beating heart of it all. I’d jump on the subway from my place, then walk a few blocks crosstown, pausing right as I neared the building to swap out my ballet flats for heels – when you’re 20-something-years-old and have been looked up and down by the Vogue girls in the cafeteria, you learn to keep stilettos in your oversized handbag – before whooshing up in the elevator to our floor and my desk, where I spent many happy hours learning everything I could from the senior editors and, consequently, falling more in love with both travel and Traveler. So you can understand my fondness. If there had been no New York, I probably wouldn’t be sitting here, years later, writing this letter to you.
To say that New York impacted my life profoundly is to understate things. It was, of course, the best possible training ground for a job in media and luxury. Yet it was so much more. It was the first place I lived as an adult without safety nets – no parents, no college campus – this was the real world. And, boy, was it real. New York is the most effective sink-or-swim city for general adult-ing; if you’re irresponsible or lazy, it can eat you alive, but if you’ve got your wits about you and you’re curious and driven, it’s pretty much the best city in the world. I grew up well travelled and culturally exposed, yet New York took my knowledge, contacts and experiences and expanded them three-fold.
I fell in love – multiple times – in New York and I fell in love with New York. So I can well understand our cover star, and all-round superstar, Helena Christensen’s feelings about this city, which she expands on in this month’s cover story along with her list of can’t-miss spots ( p 90). You want to experience this city like the stars? Here’s your chance.
On the subject of travel romance, it doesn’t get much more fairy-tale-like than renting a château in the heart of the French countryside. Writer Steve King has the low-down on just such a place in the Loire Valley, with priceless art on the walls and bubbly sundowners in the garden, which can be rented as it is for a limited time before it’s turned into a (no doubt still charming) boutique hotel next year ( p 102).
And for all the millennials out there, we see you: check out our list of 23 Instagram-worthy romantic breaks you’ll want to take with your significant other
( p 34). Or without them – after all, romance means different things to different people. Romance in travel can be about a couple’s retreat, or about rekindling your love affair with a destination on a solo trip, or about bringing the family you love together for a new experience. Any way you slice it, we’ve got plenty of ideas within these pages.
Feel the love.
Clockwise from far left: The theatre district was near CondéNast’s old offices in Times Square; Manhattan street scene; hanging out in SoHo; dish at Temple Court by TomColicchio, one of the city’s top chefs