TT Vol. 34
We took some time to relax over Christmas/New Years, and, inspired by this Un-Monuments of New York article, wanted to share some favorite un-monuments of ours.
The Grill has been our place to celebrate family milestones: our engagement, new jobs, birthdays. Back when it was the Four Seasons, and I worked in Midtown, I used to go there for work drinks and enjoy the landmarked Philip Johnson interiors. A few years ago, we discovered an elevator that would take you from the ground floor, where the coat room is located, up to the dining area. It’s a bit of a labyrinthine path to get upstairs, as it takes you into the bowels of the Seagram Building, and deposits you into the middle of the kitchen. But this long tracking shot makes you feel like a security detail is following you as you burst into the dining room from the back of house.
Hidden from plain view in lower Manhattan, Isamu Noguchi tucked his Sunken Garden into the plaza in front of the Chase Manhattan Bank Building on Pine Street. In the summer it’s a fountain, and in the winter it’s fallow. If I’m ever in the Financial District, I’ll always go out of my way to say hi, and watch the shadows for a few minutes.
There’s something appealing about a to-go window at a coffee shop. We’ve always been fans of ordering at a window, the urban equivalent of a McDonald’s drive through. Surprisingly, there aren’t very many of these in NYC that I’m aware of, though many restaurants are now setting up temporary COVID versions in their doorways. Oliver Coffee and Five Leaves are the two we are most familiar with.
NYC is incredibly LOUD, and we’re constantly cataloguing places where we can take a break from all the noise. There are lots of tiny gardens, empty streets and other oases of quiet if you know where to look. One that I’ve turned to in the past is the Greenwich Hotel’s courtyard and drawing room. They are usually empty, and we’ve found the staff will let you sit and read if you need to catch your breath. The courtyard is beautifully landscaped, and the drawing room has a proper fireplace and plush furniture. You unfortunately can’t order drinks or food unless you are a hotel guest, though I’m sure this helps cut down on crowds.
We’ve been stalwart customers of Peter Pan for a long time. I went there the day after Hurricane Sandy slammed into NYC, when the power was out and every other restaurant was closed. We go there before driving to the beach, and for birthday treats. The order is always the same: up to a dozen old fashioned’s, unglazed, and they arrive wrapped in box tied with red and white string, and presented in the chicest plastic bag in New York.
Chris & Raquel
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