How to Spend a Perfect Weekend in New York City

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How to Spend a Perfect Weekend in New York CityAlexander Spatari - Getty Images

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The legendary lyrics behind the classic cult song, New York, New York, forever cemented The Big Apple as the city that doesn’t sleep. Now, over forty years after the song was recorded, and following a grueling global pandemic, the city feels alive as ever. On a recent trip, we found scores of newly opened businesses across town, from hotels and restaurants to boutiques and galleries. Read along to discover a few of these places along with a handful of old favorites that deserve a spot on your next New York getaway.

Friday Afternoon

fifth avenue hotel nyc
William Abranowicz

On arrival, drop your bags at The Fifth Avenue Hotel, a new, 153-key maximalist jewel box located on the northwest corner of Fifth Avenue and 28th Street, in the heart of the city’s NoMad neighborhood. The property—known as “The Fifth”—is composed of a historic landmark called The Mansion, designed by McKim, Mead & White, and a modern 24-story glass addition called The Tower, overseen by Perkins Eastman and PBDW Architects.

Alex Ohebshalom, founder of Flâneur Hospitality, collaborated with Martin Brudnizki Design Studio to achieve the feel of an opulent yet bohemian residence that pays homage to the Gilded Age. Bold patterns complement a wide-ranging collection of art and vibrant details, from saffron-colored drapes to walls of blush silk pleated by Parisian craftsmen. The suites here are especially worldly and collected, with antique inlaid side tables, Murano glass chandeliers, lacquered Chinese cabinets, and twinkling star-shaped ceiling lights that transport the senses.

After settling in, walk fifteen minutes south to Union Square and marvel the farmers and purveyors at the city’s renowned Greenmarket. Lunch at Union Square Café is always a classic choice, or venture back to the Flatiron district for shopping at ABC Carpet & Home. This iconic shop is a mecca for home design enthusiasts and filled with one-of-a-kind pieces from across the globe. The compound also has three popular restaurants, including abcV—a favorite of interior designer, Cece Barfield Thompson—and abc Cocina, which is beloved by local artists such as Allison Janae Hamilton.

Friday Evening

Back at the hotel, freshen up before grabbing drinks at The Portrait Bar. The hotel’s wood-paneled watering hole serves inventive craft cocktails named after destinations such as Marrakech, Oaxaca, and Cebu Island in the Philippines. Stay for dinner at the in-house restaurant, Café Carmellini—guided by James Beard Award-winning Chef Andrew Carmellini—or choose from the number of notable restaurants surrounding the hotel, like The Flatiron Room NoMad, or Koloman, which opened in 2022.

The latter venue is a collaboration between EHV International and chef-partner Markus Glocker and makes elegant French food with a Viennese twist in a setting designed by Russell Sage Studio. Meanwhile, for the past ten years, the celebrity chef Enrique Olvera (of Mexico City’s Pujol acclaim) has continued to dish out some of New York’s best Mexican food at Cosme. Here, you can feast on uni tostadas, homemade mole, and duck carnitas washed down with beautifully prepared mezcal and tequila cocktails.

Saturday Morning

street in manhattan downtown with crysler building, new york city, usa
© Marco Bottigelli - Getty Images

The next morning, head Uptown for breakfast at Cafe Sabarsky in the Neue Galerie and enjoy the selection of Viennese pastries and savory dishes before a morning of gallery hopping. The renowned contemporary art gallery, White Cube, celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2023 and recently opened its first American location next to The Mark Hotel.

The 1930s building is home to public gallery spaces and private viewing rooms that stretch across three floors. The Frick’s historic Fifth Avenue mansion and library is currently under renovations, though its collection is temporarily on view in the former Met Breuer on Madison, giving visitors a unique opportunity to see the old masters’ works in a contemporary setting. Between stops, weave in some shopping.

At Fivestory, apparel, accessories, and décor from both emerging and established designers are displayed in a luxurious townhouse. KRB, located nearby, is a much-loved institution offering a curated selection of antiques, exclusive home accessories, and vintage furniture. The brand, which was founded by Kate Rheinstein Brodsky, celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2024. Three blocks from KRB sits Creel and Gow. The shop is a veritable cabinet of curiosities, selling a collection of rare minerals, silver shells, coral, and decorative objects you won’t find anywhere else.

Saturday Afternoon

After a full morning, enjoy an elegant lunch at Majorelle in The Lowell. The restaurant serves sophisticated French fare with a Moroccan twist in a sunny skylit garden. Not far from here, the esteemed British-born tailor, Leonard Logsdail, cuts smart suits for Hollywood’s elite. Schedule a visit to his atelier on E. 53rd Street and join the roster of notable names—such as Denzel Washington, Michael Douglas, and Daniel Craig—who’ve worn Logsdail’s bespoke creations.

Later, venture down to Chelsea and immerse yourself in the city’s historic arts district. Galleries such as Lehmann Maupin, DIA Chelsea, Lisson, David Zwirner, and Yossi Milo are all standouts, as is Hauser & Wirth, which just opened a new, two-story building on 18th Street. In the last year, French interior designer Pierre Yovanovitch also debuted his first American gallery on the penthouse floor of a pre-war building in Chelsea, featuring over eighty pieces from his own furniture brand.

Saturday Evening

sunset over manhattan
Inigo Cia - Getty Images

As the sun sets over Manhattan, head back to the hotel to freshen up for dinner. If you’re staying in one of The Fifth’s spacious suites, your dedicated butler will happily shake up a martini in the room, or for a big lookout over the city, head to Nubeluz just down the street. The swanky bar, located on the rooftop of the new Ritz Carlton NoMad, boasts jaw-dropping views of the Empire State Building located nearby.

If you’re lucky enough to snag a dinner reservation at Verōnika, don’t skip out. The restaurant, helmed by Le CouCou restaurateur Stephen Starr, is located within Fotografiska, a global photography museum that started in Stockholm, within a ten-minute’s walk from the hotel. The Roman & Williams designed space is rosy and romantic, with a menu inspired by grand European cafes. A few favorites including the tuna and uni tartare, along with the chicken schnitzel and lobster omelet, the latter of which is dolloped with smoked Arctic char caviar. Finish the night with one of the espresso martini flights, before walking through Madison Square Park, and onwards toward the hotel.

Sunday Morning

New York City is undoubtedly one of the best shopping destinations in the world, and every trip reveals new treasures. After breakfast at the hotel, spend the late morning unearthing some of the standout stores downtown. Jewelry lovers will delight in the thoughtful curation of designers on view at Broken English’s new showroom on Crosby Street, like Sylvie Corbelin, Colette, and Foundrae. Furthermore, the Mexican designer, Aurora Lopez Mejia, makes gilded talismans in the form of earrings, pendants, rings, and bracelets hand-stamped with personal mantras (her studio in Soho is by appointment only.)

For something cozy and customized, the Lingua Franca townhouse on the corner of Jane and Washington Street is always a jovial pitstop. The brand’s bestselling line of ultra-soft cashmere sweaters are hand-stitched with slogans, monograms, and mantras that are meant to uplift and empower.

Meanwhile, The Roman & Williams Guild offers a covetable collection of artisan homewares and décor. The venue just opened a new, five-seat ‘Guild Bar’ between its La Mercerie restaurant and shop where you can sample imaginative cocktails out of gleaming crystal, all of which is available to take home.

Sunday Afternoon

sixth avenue going through west village in new york city, usa
Alexander Spatari - Getty Images

In New York, Sunday lunch is a citywide affair, and there is no shortage of options to choose from. I Sodi in the West Village dishes out mouthwatering Tuscan cuisine, while Raoul’s in Soho has one of the best burgers around. RAF’s is another charming choice, with its daily rotation of French- and Italian-inspired baked goods, along with oysters, tartare, pastas, and meat dishes.

As the weekend comes to an end, squeeze in one last shop visit at Salter House’s new Manhattan showroom on 2nd Street. The 1930s space oozes cottagecore vibes, with its hex tiles, bow motifs, and white brick balls, plus its delightful collection of natural clothes and housewares.

If you have time before your flight, walk to The Metrograph for an early evening movie followed by dinner. This tasteful, old-school theater shows a well-curated roster of independent films and has two chic bars plus a brasserie-style restaurant where you can toast to a fun-filled weekend in the Big Apple.

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