new york city guide


Just over a year-old (read: it still feels clean and new), this 175-room Lower East Side establishment is set up by the same dudes behind hotels like the Mercer and Jane, which means it’s hip but not overly pretentious. Reservations are recommended for the Mario Carbone-owned bistro Dirty French on the ground floor. And the increasingly gentrified neighbourhood is still a treat for fashion fiends with its hotchpotch of independent multi-label boutiques and the fact that it’s a 10-minute stroll to Soho. The best part: For everything it offers, rates are reasonable by NYC standards and can be as low as S$350 a night. 180 Ludlow St


Just round the corner from The Ludlow, this vintage boutique offers an extensive yet remarkably sophisticated curation that spans from good-as-new cartoon logo tees from the ’80s to elegant top handle leather bags from the ’40s. Equally impressive: the clean, neatly organised space – trawling through vintage is seldom this pleasant. 104 Rivington Street


Great vintage rock tees that aren’t too shabby are one of the hardest things to find. This Brooklyn spot is full of them (note: the ones hanging from the ceiling are the best, but apparently not for sale according to the quiet Japanese sales staff). Also worth the trek for its range of retro sweatshirts and hobo dresses. 285 North 6th Street


Better than any museum, this is the home of the late minimalist sculptor Donald Judd, left exactly the way it was when he lived in it. Open to small group tours since 2013, every inch of this five-storey cast iron building is filtered through Judd’s eye – bold, organic, a little bit irreverent with a love for geometry. Displayed alongside his own works (which includes the furniture) are those of artists he admired, including John Chamberlain, Frank Stella and Dan Flavin. One of the most stimulating spaces you’ll ever visit, but book early. The wait for tickets is notoriously long. 101 Spring Street


Hipsterdom might be passe, but it’s exactly what makes this cult restaurant that plays on traditional Szechuan cuisine a must-visit – the tacky chandeliers and neon-lit wall of silver foil that serves as the main backdrop; the hip hop blasting over the sound system; and of course the food. Founder Danny Bowien (a Steve Aoki lookalike) has become something of a culinary guru with his gutsy, innovative menu. Try the Shanghai rice cakes with thrice cooked bacon (think the punchiest carrot cake you’ll ever have), the beggar’s duck, and do not miss the Chongqing chicken wings that’ll knock you off with its chilli factor, then leave you wanting more. 171 East Broadway Street


Like this? Check out boutique hotel specialist Mr and Mrs Smith’s top hotel stays in London, Paris and Milan.