Culture / Travel

Jet-Set Dispatch


BY // 09.25.14
The fizz and fries combo at The Roof, NYC

How much can one person eat, drink and shop in two days? The answer surprised me on a recent cool-hunting expedition to NYC. For the stylish set in Texas, the Big Apple is our home away from home —our once-upon-a-time-ago permanent residence. The stores (Barneys) and restaurants (Balthazar, Cipriani) that can’t and won’t ever fall off our bucket lists are still there (we do have our favorites, after all). But with an impromptu invite to InStyle magazine’s 20th anniversary party and an eye on fashion week, this time I set out to see what was new and exciting —and what haunts we’d have on speed dial if we did still actually live there.

Newsflash: The cool kids these days are [wait for it] migrating back uptown. (Gasp!) With the over-touristification of areas such as SoHo and MEPA (that’s Meat Packing District, for those who missed its moment), stores like Alexander McQueen have opted out and re-situated themselves back on Madison Avenue. Goyard is next, and then Givenchy. Their second store in the U.S. will take a cue from McQueen and cozy up right next door, come January. Charlotte Dellal of Charlotte Olympia and Claire Distenfeld of Fivestory knew it first; two years in, both of these newcomers have stores on 65th and 69th, respectively, and have become mainstays and must-see destinations for shopaholics seeking the ultimate shoe party and/or what’s new and insanely expensive.

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A fun find at Upper East Side emporium, Fivestory

However, not all the fun is happening uptown. A suggestion from one of my most sage style-seekers sent me on a wild goose chase down to 30th and Lex, where I discovered something extraordinary —at least in the retail sense. Not quite a store and not quite a museum, Dover Street Market showcases the most current designers in an unimaginably fresh way. With other locations in Japan and London, this venue has an extreme global sensibility. Try to envision Nike sitting comfortably next to an insane mix of current-season Louis Vuitton and Comme des Garçons. And, if that’s not enough, there’s a farmers-market-type deli on the first (of seven) floors, serving up organic eats and juices.

If you get lost on the way, nothing will raise your spirits faster than a Sonora Old Fashioned (Cielo Rojo Bacanora, Olmeca Altos Reposado, Jamaican chili, cane sugar and grapefruit bitters) and some guac from nuevo Mexican hot spot Salvation Taco in Murray Hill. The ping-pong table in the back is reserved for regulars, and they don’t take reservations.

The game lounge at Salvation Taco
The game lounge at Salvation Taco

Happy hour is happening, too —for those in the know —on the annexed rooftop patio. And once you’ve shopped till you’re about to drop, head back uptown to The Roof at the Viceroy on 57th Street, where you can mingle with the fashion crowd, and get woozy on whatever impresses you most: the cocktails or the view from the 29th floor.

As for the questions still swirling in your brain … Alas, when one is chasing fashion, there is no time for art. Or much else, really. And, yes, Soho House is still cool.


Francine’s faves from Five Story:

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