Who better to custom-craft a Best Of tour, using New York Magazine’s estimable 2011 list, than NY’s First Family of Tour Guides!? Taking into account the plentitudes of activities that New York Magazine has to offer in-the-know New Yorkers, we decided to put together two different Best of NY Mag 2011 Tours that could apply to both residents and visitors alike!
For our Manhattan exploration we went upscale, knowing how citizens from across zip codes as well as oceans descend upon our Empire City for the best in shopping and eating. So we combined these two for the perfect high-low, morning-into-afternoon that keeps the costs down on the grub, so that the finer things in life (with attendant price tags) can be in the upper echelons.
Since no shopping extravaganza can start on an empty stomach, we’ll begin our day with NY Mag’s heralded Best Breakfast Taco at Fonda NoLiTa (267 Elizabeth Street). The housemade chorizo is exceptional, and the taco isn’t stuffed to the point of stuffing us. Once sated, we’ll stroll the streets of NoLiTa and SoHo and discuss the legendary cast-iron architecture of the neighborhood – the largest district of its kind in the world.
We cant talk too much, since our first stop is on the block, 8 storefronts away. Thomas Sires boutique (243 Elizabeth) won the mag’s acclaim for Best Gifts for Women – a fun, funky mixup of French and Japanese knick-knacks and paddy-wacks. Jewelry, home- and office-wares, with prices ranging from single-to-triple digits. Plus, the mag made special mention of the boutique’s lovely gift wrap job.
We can’t leave the men behind, so our next stop is a half-dozen blocks west, for NY Mag’s Best Men’s Accessories, at Palmer Trading Company (137 Sullivan St.) a one-stop shop for the necessities in life that dont wax and wane with the fashion cycles. We’re talking wallets, belts, leather boots, and for poker nights, some peek-a-boo reveal-all beer glasses from the 70s. We’ll also be discussing the history of SoHo’s many life cycles, which seems to change with the self-same fashion cycles.
Its back to NoLiTa for an afternoon slice at Rubirosa (235 Mulberry street), NY Mag’s Choice for Best Slice. A spinoff of the venerable Joe & Pat’s Pizzeria, Rubirosa is a joint in NoLiTa that feels like Little Italy never became Littler Italy. The platonic ideal of a nice pizza slice, Rubirosa has got it down, alongside a cold beer to refresh your shopping sensibilities.
Back into the fray – we find Creatures of Comfort (205 Mulberry Street) NY Mag’s Best Downtown Boutique, offering super exclusive name brand designers for upper-level projects like Christian Wijnants and Zero + Maria Cornejo, for a wild mash-up of high fashion and street design stuffed into one store. Our penultimate stop helps replace the shoes we’ve been stomping around downtown in. Marvelous Italian Boots are on sale at Florentini + Baker (54 Mercer St.) for basic, stylish boots that will take us home. But our final stop is for NY Mag’s Best Antipasti (and the dinner that accompanies it,) Torrisi Italian Specialties (250 Mulberry st) for their $50 prix fixe meal of modern/old-school Italian. Have a glass of wine to accompany your meal. You’ve earned it!