Worth getting out of bed for
The NoMad doesn’t have just any lobby shop: its boutique is the only Stateside outpost of Paris’s ultrahip Maison Kitsuné. Stock up on cigarette pants, sneakers and even fresh flowers (there’s a stall in the middle of the shop). Clad in the French-inspired attire, head out to see New York’s unparalleled collection of art. Visit the Museum of Modern Art (+1 212 708 9400) to see Van Gogh’s Starry Night and Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. If you’re hungry, pause at the museum’s exceptional downstairs restaurant, the Modern (+1 212 333 1220). If the Nomad’s in-house book assortment inspires, drop by the Morgan Library & Museum (+1 212 685 0008) by Bryant Park to marvel at Pierpont Morgan’s lifetime collection of illuminated manuscripts, drawings and rare books (think Dickens, Poe and Byron). The Morgan holds not one, but three Gutenberg bibles, along with the manuscript and illustrations for the childhood classic Babar. Pick up a title or two from the shop to read during a lazy afternoon in Bryant Park. On summer Mondays, the park hosts Screen on the Green, a series of free outdoor classic films. Arrive early to snag a spot for a dinner picnic; the films begin at sundown.
Wander two blocks south to the stylized Korean gastrobub, Hanjan (+1 212 206 7226), for shared plates spanning the traditional (kimchi and beef brisket fried rice) to the modern (Atlantic salmon sashimi salad) in this much-buzzed-about spot. Jockey for a stool in the new-but-nostalgic John Dory Oster Bar in the Ace Hotel one block up (+1 212 792 9000). Beyond the impeccable shellfish platters, the kitchen, which pays tribute to old-fashioned shucking shacks, produces chorizo-stuffed squid, fresh crudo and kedgeree. The Lone Star state dominates the vibe on West 26th Street’s Hill Country Barbecue, where pitmasters carve hulking portions of tender pork and brisket to pair with Southern sides and cold beer (+1 212 255 4544). On a pretty day, stroll through Madison Square Park, just a few blocks south of the hotel, where crowds queue for a half hour to score Shake Shack’s diner-style burgers and thick concretes, a type of shake (+1 212 889 6600).
Tucked behind the perpetually popular Momofuku Ssam Bar, David Chang’s Booker + Dax in the East Village has become a destination all its own for futuristic cocktails, a few superlative renditions of the classics, and bar snacks including Momofuku’s steamed pork buns. After an afternoon shopping the Chelsea Market, pop down to its basement for revamped classics at The Tippler (+1 212 206 0000), where a frozen negroni (called the Snowgroni) or smoky mescal cocktails are an ideal pre-dinner primer. Across the East River on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, Maison Premiere (+1 347 335 0446) recreates old New Orleans with a raucous oyster bar and classic cocktails refashioned to incorporate a heady dose of anise-scented absinthe.
Pop by Sweetgreen (+1 646 449 8884) adjacent to the hotel, and power up with healthy and tasty organic cold-pressed juices, bright, made-to-order green salads and rice bowls to pack up for a picnic in nearby Madison Square Park. One block up, No 7 Sub (+1 212 532 1680) fashions creatively delicious sandwich combinations featuring breaded zucchini parmesan with crushed barbecue potato chips, or Mongolian tofu with wax beans, which are similar to green beans.