New York City. The name alone brings a spark to any conversation.
From active Wall Street to the neon lights of Times Square to Central Park beautiful paths, the energy in NYC can’t be replicated. One of the (many) advantages in living in Toronto includes being just a 45 minute flight away from this vital bubble. After all, for some that’s shorter than a commute to work. In a city where history meets hip with an abundance of entertainment, fashion, media, and finance, you are guaranteed to always encounter a new place, a new experience or a new friend. Join us for the Affluence Avenue guide to this wonder city with all the hippest spots. This isn’t your first time visitor guide.
24 hours in New York City
You’ve heard us before – there’s no place like W. While in NYC, pick W Union Square for its intersection of uptown and downtown to really get the best of both worlds. Modern luxury at its finest, the location will energize you with culture, art, music and fine dining. You also can’t beat the convenience of this dynamic and vibrant spot – whatever it is that’s on your mind, you’re only a short uber ride away from all the action that matters. However, one of the biggest perks of staying at W has to be having access to “W Insiders”. It’s a chosen group of what is ultimately your personal concierges as an Insiders job is to be in the know and provide you with access to all the latest and the greatest in shopping, culture, restaurants and nightlife. Tanya Decosta is the W Union Square Insider who helped us customize a not to be missed itinerary. Every time, we just keep on falling in love more and more with W properties all over the world.
Beauty & Essex.
We’re not kidding when we say you’ve probably never been to a place like this. The set-up includes you walking through a pawn shop and opening the back door to enter a luxurious restaurant. Intrigued? A place with a concept like that typically would not even need to have a quality menu to attract a crowd so it comes as a fantastic surprise that the food is exquisite. The food is tapas style allowing for variety and also making it hard to stop ordering items (an extra lobster taco always seems like a good idea). Our waiter bluntly states, “you can’t come here and not get the dumplings, it would be a waste.” He’s not kidding – the dumplings steal the show by far. Also make sure to try: red velvet waffles and bagel & lox board. We can see why this place is frequented by A-list celebrities on a regular basis. This gem deserves 5 stars – spectacular décor and ambiance, excellent service and amazing cuisine.
New York’s art scene is prominent yet ever changing. Just like anywhere in the world many exhibitions are good, some are great and others are indescribable. Although there’s something for everyone on the NYC art scene; if you’re looking for the latter, The Museum of Modern Art is a must visit. Among many fascinating displays such as Eastern European and Latin American art of 1960s, there’s also staggering “Picasso Sculptures” on display. Picasso isn’t well known for his sculpture era and yet these large, ambitious and unavoidably, dizzyingly pieces make up a true display of Picasso in 3 dimensions. A rare event for an art enthusiast.
Take a stroll.
Central Park in the fall (or any time of year) is absolutely beautiful. It’s truly a place where city dwellers can go to forget the city. While the tall New York sky-scrappers are visible within the park’s background, the park is a true urbanized Eden that gives residents and visitors alike a feeling of relaxation that provides a contrast of calmness and sanity to otherwise hectic surroundings. Pedestrian entrances are right off 5th Avenue where you can enjoy some of the best and most notable shopping. If there’s a brand worth knowing, it will have presence on 5th Avenue.
Afternoon pick-me up.
Walking along 5th Avenue and Central Park might tire out even the most active. In close proximity to W Union Square, stands ABC Kitchen – the Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s popular restaurant, inside posh housewares emporium ABC Carpet and Home. The notion of the place is haute organic and Hamptons sustainable and with that description, it is exactly how you would imagine it. Open, airy and relaxed.
If you’re in the Meatpacking District and have access (or a friend with access), stop by Soho House – private member’s club aimed at a younger and arguably hipper demographic. A well known New York spot that remains consistent with its cocktails and menu items that truly makes you feel like home regardless of your location. Fun trivia: Soho House New York was featured in Season 6 of the TV Series Sex and the City in an episode titled Boy Interrupted. In this episode, Samantha Jones pretends to be a member by using a stolen membership card and ends up getting ejected from the House.
If you’re staying at W Union Square, you don’t need to venture far. In Sex and the City era, specifically 2001, the W Union restaurant space was occupied by Todd English’s Olives NY and it was the place to go for cosmopolitans and gossip. In 2014, the restaurant was replaced by Irvington, with a menu that can be described as New American with Mediterranean influences. Some of the food on the menu is even sourced from the nearby Greenmarket across the street for that very local feel. The space is large with lots of wood and glass, as well as an open kitchen and dim lights to set the mood for date night, girls night or a birthday dinner (all three events were observed and noted that evening). Recommended: tuna tartare and shaved brussel sprouts to start and seared tuna and grilled wild coho salmon as mains. Trust cocktail recommendations of the friendly staff as they are absolutely on point with customizing to your preferences. If you’re not staying at the W Union Square, it is a place worth venturing out for.
It’s impossible to go to New York and not indulge in dinner theatre or a show. The city is bustling with performances from every angle. Broadway plays and New York theatre can easily occupy your weekend alone so make sure to plan ahead. See list of What’s On in New York Theatre Guide.
New York nightlife needs no explanation. Meatpacking District is a favourite with locals and tourists alike. The hottest spots at the moment include 1Oak NYC and Up&Down. 1Oak is described as warmly outfitted lounge whose discerning door policy reflects its celebrity-heavy clientele. If you look at the Yelp reviews, you may be surprised to see a lower rating. This is due to a strict guest list policy that has known to turn many away in order to save room for A-listers who frequent the club (think Rihanna and Leo DiCaprio). Similarly, Up&Down is a two floor dance club with host of respected DJs in a buzzing space. Both places fill up around 1:30am but make sure you get there early to avoid disappointment. If you’re looking for a more casual cocktail, try GoldBar – a cocktail bar with a velvet rope and gold themed space.