Your Guide To NYC This Christmas By Saira Malhotra

Headed to the insomniac side of the pond? Sure, this city offers bright lights and vibrant noises – lots of them! But that’s New York for the outsiders. Be in the ‘‘inner circle’’ this Christmas. How? We’ve got you covered….

Where To Stay

The Gramercy Park Hotel
2 Lexington Ave, New York, NY ‎
(212) 920-3300
www.gramercyparkhotel.com

Yes, this hotel pulls in a local crowd with its sexy bar and noteworthy Italian restaurant, Il Maialino. Danny Myers’ spot-on representation of a hearty Roman spot offers nothing less than sheer convivio. Hang by the beckoning fireplace with a good holiday read or sip at the Rose Bar. Only one word of advice; be on good behavior or you may be turned away like Tinsel Town’s double trouble, Paris and Lindsay.

Image courtesy of Design Hotels

Image courtesy of Design Hotels

Hotel Tips:
The Gramercy Park Hotel has the KEY. Yes, that very exclusive key that gives access to the Gramercy Park Square, residents-only Park. Don’t expect access to this park to be plastered all over the hotel, but do ask for it (a doorman will discretely take you in).

The rooftop houses several pieces of original Warhols, Hirsts, Basquiats and Harings. Check out art in style and save yourself a trip to Museum Mile.

Where To Eat

Frankly, you could spend your whole time nesting at the GPH. But, for those of you with cabin fever, here’s what to do outside:

Image courtesy of Uncle Boons

Image courtesy of Uncle Boons

Dine at:
Uncle Boons
7 Spring St, New York, NY 10012
646 370-6650
www.uncleboons.com

The concierge will help you get a spot by reserving online – or you may have to wait in line! Not fancy and no drama. Just a veritable North Easter Thai culinary experience with dishes that barely get to see light of day outside of Thailand. Anything from the BBQ is a complete must and the mee Krob is a colorful explosion of flavors in the mouth – so crunch and munch away!

For a caffeine boost:
The Laughing Man
184 Duane St, New York, NY ‎
(212) 680-1111

Grab a coffee in Tribeca’s The Laughing Man – who better to bring that morning smile to your face than our dear friend, Mr. Hugh Jackman. Yes, Hugh has a side that makes him even more lovable through his cause to support farmers in Africa and donating proceeds to charity, and he does it by way of his coffee and tea shop, The Laughing Man, where he serves up coffees with his Aussie flair. Be sure to check out the Flat White – it’s really something.

Image courtesy of The Laughing Man

Image courtesy of The Laughing Man

Where To Shop

For Him:
Manuel Racim Custom Shirts
44 Hudson St, New York, NY 10013
212 233 0417
www.manuelracim.com

Gentlemen, this place is a high tech store, with fabric-filled binders and no appointment necessary. Manuel, whose reputation precedes him from Paris, and NYC-based Racim, collaborate to bring a fresh look on gentlemen’s shirts. The best of Egyptian cotton with no trims spared, this old school way will get the ladies looking!

For Her:
Nili Lotan
188 DUANE STREET
NEW YORK, NY 10013

212 219 8794
www.nililotan.com

Nili Lotan is an exciting find. Somehow, designer Lotan manages to make military-inspired women’s apparel look both understated and chic. With all the favorite colors of a New York City closet, be sure to find many staples in black, white and earth tones.

Image courtesy of De Rose Method

Image courtesy of De Rose Method

Moment Of Oasis:
De Rose Method
55 Murray Street
New York, NY 10007
646 535 5057
www.derosetribeca.org

Being in NYC is exciting and at times, a sensory overload. Many New Yorkers find a moment of retreat at the De Rose Method in Tribeca where they get to meditate, restore and rejuvenate, recharging you to withstand a little more New York.

Image courtesy of De Rose Method

Image courtesy of De Rose Method

Saira Malhotra is a chef, food writer and cooking instructor based in New York City. To see more of her work, visit www.passportpantry.com.