Bar-setting style, visionary dining and relics that speak to a glamorous past.

The neighbourhood

Piri Piri chicken from Cervo’s, NYC

If Times Square is tourist central then Dimes Square, between Chinatown and the Lower East Side, is where the cool kids hang out. You’ll probably even see one wearing a jacket spun from an antique quilt that they picked up at Bode or sipping orange wine and devouring piri piri chicken at Cervo’s. While contemplating if you, too, can pull off a bucket hat, consider popping into Colbo for oversized button-downs and records, Kiki’s (130 Division Street; +1 646 882 7052) for shareable Mediterranean bites and Fredericks & Mae, a store that features the brand’s chef-favourite confetti cutting boards (they fit easily in a carry-on).

Colbo, NYC

The boutiques

Once a pop-up, Beverly’s NYC is now a permanent spot where fashion stylist Beverly Nguyen sells a collection of homewares, from greentinted Hudson Wilder glasses to the ultimate matcha whisk. Nearby and also in Dimes Square, Coming Soon offers objects for people who fight against quiet-luxury beige. It’s impossible to have a bad time among the colour-clashing Dusen Dusen striped towels, actor Seth Rogen’s Gloopy ceramics and Gaetano Pesce coasters, all in vivid hues.

The stay

Swan Room at the Nine Orchard hotel, NYC

Inside a century-old former bank on the Lower East Side, Nine Orchard is a 113-room hotel with ornate original mouldings, commissioned artworks and expansive windows that you won’t find in most NYC stays. Head downstairs to the grand and glamorous Swan Room, grab a drink and a little caviar and watch the stylish crowd before going next door to Corner Bar, which serves one of the best burgers in the city for only $16 (take note: it’s only available during the weekday afternoon “happy hour” and if you’re sitting at the bar).

Corner Bar at the Nine Orchard hotel, NYC

The restaurant

Does maximalism have its limits? Not at Bad Roman, where a golden lion wearing a neon collar greets you. The third-floor over-the-top space overlooks Columbus Circle and beyond to Central Park and the food, all Italian, is just as extreme – in a good way. The cappelletti bistecca should 100 per cent be part of your order and save room for the trippy lemon cheesecake, which looks exactly like the whole fruit until you cut into it and reveal that, yes, it actually is cake. For a less extreme Italian vibe (but gorgeous light fixtures nonetheless), Casino serves roasted fish and soothing bowls of pasta downtown.

The bar

Lobby Bar, Hotel Chelsea, NYC

The Lobby Bar at the recently restored Hotel Chelsea is a destination even haughty locals are happy to visit for a cocktail. Maybe it’s the plush sofas – the ideal resting spot after a day of walking – or the extra-cold Martini, which comes with a sidecar on ice. Or perhaps it’s the room’s mind-bending art, most of it provided in lieu of rent from the artists who lived there in the 1970s and ’80s, including Stan Brakhage and Maryan S. Maryan.

Lobby Bar, Hotel Chelsea, NYC

The galleries

Tiwa Select gallery, NYC

Downtown, you’ll see pieces you won’t find anywhere else. Tiwa Select, a gallery, store and studio by Alex Tieghi-Walker, features under-the-radar designers in a warm, home-like space (it’s also a go-to for design-world dinner parties). On the Lower East Side, make time for Galerie Was, the brainchild of interior designer Lauren Piscione of LP Creative and friends Andy McCune and Allie Fitzpatrick. They recently opened this tiny antique-filled haven for those who love the Athena Calderone look (Old World vases displayed on columns and handmade timber side tables). And they ship internationally.

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SEE ALSO: 26 New Ways to Experience New York

Image credit: Stephen Kent Johnson, Eric Medsker. Brian W. Ferry. Annie Schlechter

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