Tuesday, June 2, 2009

NYC - first impressions

Didn't actually go inside (yet) but MAN I am so excited to visit the New Museum of Contemporary Art, designed by Japanese architects SANAA. It's on Bowery, right near where we're staying. AAgghhh. It is so beautiful. My photos and the dodgy photo-stitch effort just don't do it justice. Better shots here.

dodgy photo-stitch. Sorry.

Just walking around in the sun. The bottom shot is right near where we're staying in the East Village. What is it that makes those NY fire escapes so beautiful to look at? They shouldn't be beautiful but they are.

Oh it appears I have already fallen behind here! Whoops. How neglectful. New York City is a busy and distracting place! However I am making the most of my jetlag... been wide awake since 3.00am, so figured I might as well be blogging :)

We spent day 1 wandering around the East Village and Soho, walking around in a total daze... There is so much of everything. Seriously - you go to buy a bagel and an orange juice and there's, like, 48 different bagel flavours and 18 different orange juices! Not kidding! Decision-making is quite an effort in New York City! Anyway there is too much to filter... but will try to summarise my first impressions -

Jonathan Adler store in Soho - Super-cute, super colourful and super kitsch homewares and furniture. Bit twee and over-decorative for me, but that's their schtick I guess. Still, gorgeous little space with lots of eye candy and pieces ot make you smile! The sales girls were also the friendliest in the whole of Soho!

Droog NYC
- High-concept just hit a new level. Amazing space - see shots below. I don't know what was actually for sale, it was more like a museum of kooky pieces... no price tags in sight. Super snobbish staff, so taking photos was pretty terrifying... hence most of the shots here are from the Droog website.

Loved Droog's flat-pack furniture... cute also how they're displayed the pieces alongside the flat-pack sheets.

Crate and Barrel and CB2 (Crate and Barrel's more contemporary offshoot?) - not so inspiring. Kind of Freedom-furniture meets Ikea? I was a bit disappointed. :(

Bloomingdales - Awesomeness. Bought some sunnies. Marc by Marc Jacobs for US$98. !! that seems cheap to me..? Good things on sale - up to 40% off! Great for menswear actually. Makes you realise how lacking good menswear is in Melbourne! Gord had his eye on the Helmut Lang and APC jeans...

Design Within Reach - Eames and lots more licensed twentieth century stuff. Gorgeous showroom, nice staff (there was lots of snobbishness in Soho so anyone who smiled at me gets a mention!). I don't quite get the 'within reach' thing though. Is that supposed to mean it's affordable? It seemed pretty swish to me. Confused.

Taschen bookshop Soho - brillant. SO cheap, so good. How do they do it? Gorgeous design books starting at US$15.00. And that's not even a sale price! I fell in love with New New York Interiors. Why are books so big and heavy?

APC - everyone said to go here, and Gord swear by APC jeans so we had to visit. But... must say... I don't quite get it! Don't get me wrong - it's a gorgeous loft-like space, characterised by wide rustic floorboards... (so rustic and uneven, in fact, that they were quite a tripping hazard!). Amidst all the other Soho retail offerings, APC definitely stood out for its stylish yet restrained feel and classic, super-simple fit-out. But... the clothes.... so young and girly and floral...! I don't know.. they didn't grab me.

APC shop. Love those rustic floorboards! Shots from here.

Does this look like a film-set of what? The sun hitting the cobble stones... the huge floor to ceiling windows in this shopfront. I love New York windows! That truck on the left with the steam coming out it's exhaust looks totally staged. Then on the right some dude is sitting on a chair on the 'sidewalk' just working on his laptop...?

I think this is the sales office for the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) / Rem Koolhaas' ambitious development at 23 East 22nd st. I just liked the Neon signs, really. Also the proposed tower they're designing is pretty cool too... see below. (Shots from ArchDaily, more info there.)


  1. I love seeing this! Thank you so much for sharing!

    I'm going to New York all the way from Sweden i August. Plz, let me know what I have to see and do there.


  2. Aaaaaahhhhh love it! And I'm going to be there in two weeks! Thanks heaps Lucy, I'll be taking lots of pointers from your visit. :) xo

  3. Wow, what a terrific cross-section of NYC design you've give us. Looks fantastic!

  4. Love your pics of NYC Lucy! You are So lucky to swan around my fav city on earth (other than lovely Melbourne:o) If you get the chance you must check out ABC here's the address:

    ABC Carpet & Home
    Manhattan since 1897
    888 & 881 Broadway New York, NY 10003
    212 473 3000
    M-W: 10-7, Thur: 10-8, Fri: 10-7, Sat: 11-7, Sun: 12-6
    Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day: 10-6

    You'll go banana's there!!!
    Here's the link to check out:

    Oh my god ENJOY!
    x x x


  5. ooh this is incredibly helpful as going to New York next month! Did you end up buying much? The idea of dragging stuff around is a little bit of a deterrent for me :)

  6. The Last two were the coolest pic. nice twos.... :-)

  7. Wow. Wow. And wow! I haven't been to NYC for 13 years and reading your posts and seeing the photos makes me really yearn to go back. I just wanted to tell you that the US postal service has (or used to have) a special 'book rate'. I sent lots of books back home that way. Check it out.

  8. I forgot to say I love New York architecture - the old and the new! The SANNA building looks like an amazing new addition. And that proposed tower? Beautiful.

  9. ooooh Lucy! that last building is amazing! I've just booked tix to NYC for September so i need a full run down when you get back, The blog is looking fantastic xx

  10. Wow Lucy do you get time to sleep? I just wrote you snails saying I'd be checking TDF when you got home but hey its realtime cyberspace - how silly of me!