An All-American Weekender
Happy birthday, USA! Whether you’re lucky enough to be in the Big Apple for the big day or not, there’s no bad time to celebrate everything that’s fabulous in this great city, from its jazzy abstract expressionism and game-changing vertiginous architecture to its shamelessly calorific (yet undeniably delicious) comfort food. Here’s our guide on where to explore, eat and drink for an all-American weekender...
Art. It doesn’t get more American than the Whitney Museum of American Art, a riverside bunker of C.20th domestic works, host of loved/hated Biennial and home pieces by heavy-hitters like O'Keeffe, Warhol and Pollock. Over 18,000 pieces are housed here, so there's bound to be something to please even the most discerning eye. Graze at onsite Untitled (from the Gramercy Tavern team) plating seasonal spoils as masterful and thought-provoking as the art.
Architecture. New York City is synonymous with the skyscraper, having amassed one of the largest and most varied collections in the world, the earliest example of which is the Woolworth Building (233 Broadway), and who could fail to mention official American cultural icon the Empire State? However, we prefer Rockefeller Center’s Top of the Rock, the city’s true panorama queen with staggered visiting times, which means less waiting in line and more space on the glass-walled observation deck – why not nab a VIP ticket and skip queuing altogether. Not only does the Rock offer sublime aspects across Midtown and Central Park, but also a knee-weakening view of the Empire State herself!
Clinton St Baking Co. Brunch is a must in New York and this LES nabe fave does the best version in town – go early and order the impossibly fluffy blueberry pancakes. And though breakfast/brunch steals the show, there's a delectable buttermilk fried chicken that wins hearts at lunch and dinner too. On weekends, the wait can be up to two hours, so show up at 8.30am to put your name on the list.
Black Seed. This haute, next-gen bagel joint is giving the cheap n' cheery breakfast carts a run for their money with its artisanal honey-boiled, wood-fired wonders. Large-holed, browned to perfection and slightly flattened rings are stuffed with cream cheese n' lox or horseradish n’ caviar plus other seasonal goodies. There are three branches across town, the original being on Nolita’s Elizabeth St, but we love its spacious digs in the East Village, which still sport the original penny-tile floor and tin ceiling of its predecessor.
Dead Rabbit. C.19th ‘old New York’ inspires this boisterous, sawdust-sprinkled taproom and upstairs parlour, serving hearty pints of stout, fresh oysters, whiskey and an impressive selection of 72 historical tipples, dating back to the 1600s. Anglo-Irish staples like steak and scout pie, scotch eggs or potted shrimp round-out the vintage vibe – book the private saloon on the top floor for intimacy or special occasions. Run rabbit, run!
Whitney Museum of American Art / 99 Gansevoort St / +1 212 570 3600 / 10.30am-6pm Sun-Mon & Wed-Thu, 10.30am-10pm Fri-Sat / Untitled: lunch & dinner daily /
Top of the Rock / 30 Rockefeller Plaza / +1 877 692 7625 / 8am-midnight daily / topoftherocknyc.com
Clinton St Baking Co / 4 Clinton St / +1 646 602 6263 / 8am-11pm Mon-Fri, 9am-4pm Sat, 9am-5pm Sun / clintonstreetbaking.com
Black Seed / 176 1st Ave / +1 646 484 5718 / 7am-4pm Mon-Tue, 7am-6pm Wed-Sun / blackseedbagels.com
Dead Rabbit / 30 Water St / +1 646 422 7906 / 11am-4am daily / deadrabbitnyc.com