GET HIGH ON NEW YORK
- Soar to the peak of the western hemisphere’s tallest building
- Beat the lines and shoot to the top in one minute’s time
- 360-degrees of New York, photo ops included
Forget Top of the Rock and the Empire State Building. If you’re looking to scale new heights, One World Observatory, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, is just the ticket. This one is all about planning ahead: Even though the regular tickets are timed, there’s often a long and chaotic general-admission line. We suggest you via their website and splurge on Priority Access tickets ($54) so you can skip the line. If you decide to buy the regular tickets, you can use the PATH/Brookfield Place entrance to avoid much of the queuing at street level. We really like the idea of timing your visit for just before dusk (because we’re suckers for sunset views of New York Harbor) but you may want to go earlier in the day with kids so you can give them a bird’s-eye view of some of the sights you’ll be visiting later on. The elevator ride to the 102nd floor takes a mere 60 seconds; check out the super-cool time-lapse video of the skyline as you climb. We thought the best views (and photo ops) were from the 100th floor: 360-degree vistas of Midtown Manhattan, New York Harbor (is that Lady Liberty down there?), New Jersey, and Brooklyn too.
To get to the top of the world, or rather One World Observatory, just walk north of the North Pool at World Trade Center plaza. You can enter the building at the corner of West St. and Vesey St., or cut your wait time down by using the PATH/Brookfield Place entrance.
VISIT A MYSTERY MECCA
- Browse a collection of all things mysterious at a specialty bookshop
- Dig through first editions and signed new releases
- Uncover rare collectibles among floor-to-ceiling bookshelves
Bibliophile Otto Penzler is one of those inimitable Manhattan characters that make NYC so singular. After covering sports for the Daily News in the 1960s, he opened Mysterious Bookshop in Midtown, where he amassed one of the largest first-edition mystery collections—50,000 plus—in the world. Now Penzler’s set up shop in TriBeCa, where on any given day, one of the genre’s luminaries—James Ellroy; Charles McCarry—might just be sitting in the olive-leather armchair doing a reading. Did you say you needed the perfect gift? Well, look no further. Pick up something from the estimable Sherlock Holmes collection or a more obscure espionage thriller, and look out for pink pieces of paper on the spine—it means the book has been signed by the author.
Make your way over to Tribeca, where you can find the Mysterious Bookshop on Warren Street, between West Broadway and Church. The closest subway station is Chambers, and from there you can see the grey and brick storefront.
TAKE IN THE SUNSET ON THE SCHOONER
- Sample gourmet oysters aboard a historic wooden boat
- Enjoy picturesque views over a bottle of sparkling rosé
- Taste locally sourced seafood dishes from a renowned chef
New York’s two famous riverside bacchanalias—West 79th Street’s Boat Basin and perma-docked ship bar Frying Pan off the West Side Highway—are overcrowded and overrun with besotted Sperry-clad prepsters. Instead, take a 10-minute walk from the Conrad to Grand Banks for your waterside imbibing. A stylish scene unfolds at this oyster and wine bar on the deck of a 1942 Grand Banks schooner at TriBeCa’s Pier 25 during summer. The concept is the brainchild of Mark Firth, cofounder of Brooklyn’s Marlow & Sons, and an ownership group that included two lifelong sailors and a Manhattan nightlife veteran. Locals are buzzing about the addition of Kerry Heffernan, the original chef at Eleven Madison Park, who elevated the nautical small-plates menu with dishes like sustainably sourced shellfish fricassee, made with ramp broth and smoked haddock, and seared sea scallops with English peas and pickled chiles. There’s also a killer lobster roll with house-made pickles, if that’s your speed (it is ours!). If you can swing it, arrive at sunset and soak up the pink-crimson Magic Hour with a dozen local oysters and a glass of South African sparkling rosé.
Just west of Tribeca, you’ll find Pier 25 at the end of North Moore Street. Keep an eye out for the 1942 Nova Scotia schooner. It’s hard to miss.
VISIT THE NATIONAL SEPTEMBER 11 MUSEUM
- Learn the powerful stories of Ground Zero, right on location
- Experience installations dedicated to victims in the tower galleries
- Walk through the heart-rending artifacts or take a guided tour
The 2014 opening of the 9/11 Memorial Museum signaled the start of a new era downtown, which has thankfully seen a spate of new restaurants, bars, and shops bring much-needed energy to an area that has struggled to regain its footing over the last decade plus. You could spend days exploring the Memorial plaza, marked by twin reflecting pools inscribed with the names of the victims from both the 1993 and 2001 World Trade Center attacks—not to mention the 23,000 photos, 500 hours of video, and 10,300 artifacts housed in the dramatic subterranean exhibition spaces (formerly Ground Zero). The best way to do it on a time crunch: head to the North and South Tower galleries, which showcase multimedia instillations that commemorate the victims’ lives. The recovered artifacts are powerful; check out the composite of five floors compacted by pressure and heat into four feet, and the original Vesey Street staircase that survivors used to escape. The 45-minute walking tour takes a look at the World Trade Center’s history and new design, but alternatively you can download the 911 Museum Audio Guide app with tours narrated by Robert De Niro.
You will find the September 11th Memorial Museum located in Memorial Plaza. The museum is between the North and South reflecting pools. Be sure to check out the North and South Tower galleries.
GET AN ONLY IN NEW YORK BEAUTY FIX
- Indulge in a mani-pedi experience, catered special to you
- Doze off in a custom chair inside a chic loft filled with vintage fixtures
- Choose from an array of hip lacquers and soothing massages
If a manicure doesn’t feel like an “experience,” then you haven’t been to Manhattan fashion-world favorite tenoverten. It’s hard to believe this mini-empire didn’t exist before 2010, when TriBeCa habitués Adair Ilyinsky and Nadine Ferber brainstormed the idea on a cocktail napkin. The friends single-handedly brought the mani-pedi experience into the modern age, outfitting their light-flooded, loftlike space with custom canvas armchairs in lieu of faux-leather La-Z-Boys, and installing a reclaimed barn door from upstate New York as well as dramatic arched windows that allow a vantage point over West Broadway (one of TriBeCa’s main arteries). They even went so far as to stock the place with iPads (perhaps that’s where you’re reading this and planning your next move!). Even better: their array of hip lacquers—named after NYC streets—are formaldehyde- and resin-free. Best service? We think it’s the Luxe Manicure ($40) which includes a stress-melting 10-minute hot-stone massage.
In the heart of Tribeca, on the Corner of West Broadway and Reade, you’ll find the door to Ten Over Ten. Go to the second floor and there you’ll find nirvana for your nails.
SCORE A CULT BAGEL
- Bite into New York’s signature breakfast, reinvented
- Hit a few upscale boutiques, right in the heart of downtown
- Browse the bustling districts of a nearby French market
Forget about that oversized behemoth, the New York bagel. The savory breakfast sensation du jour is a hybrid of NYC’s traditional boiled specimen and Montreal’s sweeter variety. At Black Seed Bagels, New York’s famous yeasty dough is shaped by hand into a more diminutive size, boiled in honey water, then baked in a 450-degree wood-fired oven. It’s not the first time Canadian transplant Noah Bernamoff took on a tired local staple—his Mile End shop in Brooklyn reinvented the classic deli sandwich. You could wait in a half-hour line at the original Nolita storefront (170 Elizabeth St.) but we’re here to help you maximize your free hour. So, to get bagel sandwiches with crazy-creative toppings like beet-cured lox, horseradish cream cheese, and watermelon radish, or tobiko caviar spread, smoked salmon, and butter lettuce, head across the street to Hudson Eats at Brookfield Place for Black Seed’s only satellite location. With all the time you saved, you can stroll around the new Brookfield Place and do some quick damage at stores like Diane von Furstenberg, Lululemon, Paul Smith, Vince, and Vilebrequin. Or hit Le District, a French marketplace with a boulangerie, wine bar, and 28-seat L’Appart, helmed by El Bulli alum Jordi Vallès. Craving a little retro red-sauce comfort? Parm’s got you covered with their id-ful odes to Italian-American classics. The meatball parm (on a roll or hero) is a thing of beauty.
Near the World Trade Center, you can reach the entrances to Brookfield Place from either Vesey or Liberty Streets. Head inside to Hudson Eats where you’ll find Black Seed Bagel. Be sure to stay inside Brookfield and check out Le District, a French marketplace, or perhaps stop by a few stores along the way.