Did you know that I moved to New York as a totally clueless 18-year-old with a college acceptance letter, side bangs and stretchy purple Urban Outfitters jeans? Entire inner worlds are destroyed and rebuilt between the ages of 18 and 28 anyway, but imagine living that out in New York City. But I didn’t die and here I am, bedecked in cool-girl garments, mostly emotionally sound and holding an iced almond latte ready to show you around. (The purple pants are long gone, I promise). The first thing you learn in this here town is that lifespans are short. Favorite bars, vintage stores, restaurants, fast first year friends? All gone. The key is to visit favorites often, experiment with new places and avoid serious attachment. A bit like dating, for some.
Anyway, here are my favorite places that are still around. Though they did just open a Starbucks on the corner of St. Marks Place and Avenue A, so this is probably the end of NYC as we (I) know it. Swing by any of my below go-to spots during Fashion Week and you might catch me hiding out.
6th & B Garden: Okay, this place will be here for awhile because it’s a city sanctioned non-profit. Also, it looks like all of your secret garden dreams come true. There’s a treehouse! Drink your morning coffee in here and make a calm memory you can return to when you’re sprinting between shows.
Still House: I swing by Still House before any birthday/baby shower/wedding to pick up something small, beautiful and reasonably priced. Their ceramics and minimal jewelry are great. It’s a tiny shop so browsing is quick – i.e. it’s a great place to kill the tiny amount of time you have before your next appointment.
Mogador: A classic since 1983. You’ve probably been here but I’m putting it on the list in case you haven’t. Delicious Moroccan food, reasonable prices and it’s on my block so you’ll likely run into me and we can talk about how great it is! Go on off hours like 3:30pm to avoid a long wait.
Oliver St Coffee: From the team that made Mr Fongs (more on that later), Oliver Coffee is a kind reprieve from the usual laptop-crowded cafe and also the mayhem that is fashion week. The magazine selection is great, they have obscure Asian snacks and the coffee/tea/milk options are plentiful.
Coming Soon: Fabiana and Helena are women with taste as excellent as their dispositions. They carry Chen & Kai, Concrete Cat, Fredericks and Mae, to name drop a few. They have lots of small cute gifts, so even if you’re in for the long haul of fashion month you can snag a souvenir. I go in for gifts but want everything for myself.
Mr Fongs: Too many of my favorite bars have closed in New York but it’s okay because now we have Fongs. It’s cute, they have snacks and banquettes and the bartenders are nice. I highly suggest going when it’s still sunny out, it looks prettier.
Starstruck Vintage: Great vintage that requires a little digging but not too much. Sunglasses, dresses from all eras, and the bag selection is solid. Their vintage tees are outrageously expensive though! It’s on the west side, so you can stop by when you’re heading east after leaving the piers.
Kes NYC dress
Text by Anna Gray
Photography by Chloe Horseman