Coming to New York for the holiday season? We’ve previously shared how to do the holiday in New York like a luxury insider. And the top things to do if you’re visiting with kids. But what if you’re most interested in seeing what’s really new? New York City is always changing. That’s part of the fun! But it can be overwhelming – especially at the holidays – to see all of the brilliant new stores, important new museum exhibits and fantastic new eateries and bars. To help you navigate, here’s our list of over 15 of the best new things to see (and do, and buy) in New York this Christmas for sophisticated travelers.
If you haven’t been in New York since the holiday season last year (or maybe you live here, and you’ve just been working too hard), you’ve got a lot of catching up to do!
These are our top picks of the 15 best new things to see in New York this Christmas, based on new openings in the past 12 months. These are definitely worth the trip.
where to shop
1. fao schwarz is back
FAO Schwarz has returned to New York City just in time for the holidays, and for old time’s sake, you should check it out. The new store at Rockefeller Center features the same beloved plush stuffed animals and walk-on piano keyboard that its original Fifth Avenue flagship had. It also offers electronics from The Sharper Image, toys from Melissa & Doug, a Build-A-Bear Workshop, a racetrack for kids, a space where a magician will teach tricks, and a candy shop.
2. the new flagship chanel store is open
Chanel’s New York flagship store on 57th Street had been closed for renovations for almost 2 years. It has now re-opened to huge buzz and excitement. Redesigned by Peter Marino, it covers 14,000 square feet over 6 floors. That makes it the largest Chanel boutique in the U.S. The design show-stopper is a 60-foot pearl necklace in gilded glass beads by French sculptor Jean-Michel Othoniel.
On an ongoing basis, the Chanel boutique will offer limited edition pieces, including a 2.55 handbag and wallet with iconic New York-inspired charms; two one-of-a-kind 11.12 handbags in red or black alligator with diamond-encrusted hardware; a steel Code Coco watch with diamond-set bezel and mirror dial; and a new scent, Les Exclusifs de Chanel 1957, created by Chanel’s in-house perfumer Olivier Polge.
3. an elegant gentlemen’s clothier has arrived in the west village
The new menswear boutique Téchin at 123 Greenwich Street offers apparel and outerwear inspired by the casual elegance of the West Village. Designed for men looking for relaxed, refined and confident style, the vest-pocket space is notable both for its product – gorgeous knits, leather jackets, and tailored clothing – and for its personal service. Most of the items are hand-crafted in New York using fabrics from Italy. Think luxury menswear in an elegant gallery-like environment. Plus excellent dining options just steps away.
4. 10 corso como has landed at the south street seaport
10 Corso Como, the Milan-based concept store, has opened a new 28,000-square foot space with a dedicated sneaker section, a bar, a book shop and a 220-seat restaurant at the South Street Seaport. It’s the brand’s only US location.
5. Delvaux has opened its doors in midtown
The Brussels-based luxury handbag creator Delvaux has opened a new store on Fifth Avenue in New York, just across the street from Bergdorf’s and the Apple flagship store. The maison was founded in 1829 and has always been known for its exquisite leather goods. In more recent years, the brand has also demonstrated whimsy and humor in its new introductions. This is a welcome new neighbor in the luxury shopping district in midtown.
6. there’s a bach pop-up shop near carnegie hall
The New York Times reports that a Julliard-trained pianist, Even Sinners, has opened a temporary storefront in a former bank branch on 56th Street and Broadway. He’s playing 5 hours of Bach every day for 30 straight days. He’s also presenting evening concerts. He calls it the Bach Store. It’s open from 12 noon to 5:30P, with evening concerts at 6:15P. There’s merchandise for sale, including T-shirts, Bach cigarette lighters and stress balls. The project is supported by a grant from the Music Academy of the West, and suggested admission is $10.
7. gucci debuts a new bookstore
The Gucci store on Wooster in SoHo has opened a bookshop, just in time for the holidays. Dashwood Books founder David Strettell curated the initial 2,000 books on offer. They include contemporary, used and rare books on fashion and lifestyle, youth culture, art, interiors and architecture, illustration, design, and photography. The shelves also feature works by artists who have collaborated with Gucci, including Petra Collins, Ari Marcopoulos, Ryan McGinley, Martin Parr and Florence Welch.
what to see
8. warhol – part 1: the whitney museum of american art
The blockbuster art exhibit in the city right now is Andy Warhol – From A to B and Back Again at the Whitney. It’s the first Warhol retrospective organized by a U.S. institution since 1989. The exhibit will run through March 31, 2019.
9. warhol – part 2: dia
Dia: is exhibiting Andy Warhol’s 102-piece series “Shadows” as a companion to the exhibit at the Whitney. This is the first time that this work has been seen in its entirety in 40 years. A single painting in multiple parts, “Shadows” is one of Warhol’s most abstract works; it synthesizes key elements of his practice, including film, painting, photography, and screen printing. It’ll be on display at the offices of Calvin Klein at 205 West 39th Street through December 15, 2018.
10. a retrospective of the black model in western art
The Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University and the Musée d’Orsay are partnering to present Posing Modernity: The Black Model from Manet and Matisse to Today. This exhibit explores the changing modes of representation of the black figure as central to the development of modern art in the West. The works will be on display in New York until February 19, 2019, after which they’ll move to the Musée d’Orsay.
11. dutch masters at the met
In Praise of Painting just opened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The exhibit brings together sixty-seven works from the museum’s permanent collection, organized thematically. The aim is to highlight key issues in seventeenth-century Dutch culture—from debates about religion and conspicuous consumption, to painters’ fascination with the domestic lives of women. It will run until October 4, 2020.
12. pontormo at the morgan library and museum
Called by several art critics “the most beautiful painting in New York,“ you should make time to see the painting Visitation at the Morgan before it returns home to Europe. Part of Pontormo: Miraculous Encounters, the work is one of the best and most moving examples of Mannerist art. The exhibit will run until January 6, 2019.
13. a poignant play about christmas 1914
Theater Latte Da is hosting a month-long production of the World War One documentary musical All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914. In that year, the war was just 5 months old. On Christmas Day, enlisted men from both sides emerged from their trenches to exchange small gifts. They sang carols and popular songs of the day. The New York Times critic wrote: “More extraordinary is the beauty of the songs. The [singers] are in excellent voice, and when they come together, the sensation is tremendous and the musical chill effect engulfing.” Through December 30, 2018 at the Sheen Center, Manhattan.
where to eat and drink
14. up on the roof at rh
RH Rooftop Restaurant in the Meatpacking District sits above the new RH (formerly Restoration Hardware) flagship store. To get to the restaurant, you walk through the shop and take an all-glass elevator up to the fifth floor. It’s a dazzling space, with chandeliers over almost every table – there’s also a spectacular outdoor terrace. The menu features standard American dishes, including burgers and roasted chicken.
15. inside roman and williams ny guild
La Mercerie Cafe at the Roman and Williams NY Guild store in SoHo is a charming French oasis with wonderful food from Chef Marie-Aude Rose. The setting is lovely, and perhaps the best part is that everything on the table is for sale. And the amazing floral arrangements can also be purchased at the in-store Emily Thompson Flowers shop. Lovely!
16. at misi in williamsburg
Misi is the the new launch from Missy Robbins, chef and owner of the wildly popular Italian restaurant Lilia. We had dinner there the first week it opened, and we’re still talking about it. The menu is all about pasta, and it’s vegetable-forward. The only desserts on offer are gelato. And you’ll be really, really happy with that (get the chocolate!) Grab a seat there if you can.
17. up in the air at manhatta in the financial district
If you’re coming to New York, you might as well do it right. And have dinner in the sky, with the city sparkling below you. Manhatta is the new restaurant from Danny Meyer, of Union Square Cafe and Gramercy Tavern fame. It’s 60 stories up, and the entire space has floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views. Oh, and the food is really good, too.
18. legacy records at hudson yards
Legacy Records, a red-hot new restaurant in the Hudson Yards neighborhood. The menu includes Mediterranean crudos, pastas and roasted dishes. According to the restaurant reviewers, the breakout star is the roasted duck breast, rubbed with pepper, chiles, honey and fennel.
19. miracle on ninth street, the best pop-up christmas bar
Last but certainly not least is Miracle on Ninth Street at Mace. It’s the original and still the coolest pop-up Christmas bar in New York. The cocktails are refined and delicious. The vibe is groovy and the crowd is holiday chic (be sure to wear your favorite Ugly Christmas Sweater.) It’s open through New Year’s Eve.
So much to do and see, so little time! If you don’t get to all on this visit, you’ll just have to come back. Have fun! And happy holidays.
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