Guide to NYC’s Bowery neighbourhood
The constant traveller: NYC's Bowery neighbourhood
Words— Odessa Paloma Parker
Though it has a past steeped in music history (the iconic club CBGB once resided there) and is home to one of New York’s most interesting cultural spaces, the New Museum, the Bowery is often overlooked as a visitor destination. But in recent years, the stretch of street running from just above East 4th Street south to Hester has seen an influx of hip hotels, cool cafes and retailers including October’s Very Own, which sits at the corner of Bond Street and Bowery. So, skip the crowd in Soho and head a bit east for a real treat.
Start your day – or indulge in a mid-afternoon sip – at Mamacha (312 Bowery), a boite dedicated to spreading the word about CBD. It features a rotation of happy-making installations – recent collaborators include Maya Hayuk and Baron Von Fancy – and you can pick up any number of CBD-infused treats from brands like Lord Jones and Farmacy Bliss. The Mamacha menu boasts hot and cold beverages; matcha lattes are a favourite, and their fizzy drinks come in a range of tantalizing flavour combos. They also serve up drinks made with hemp extract and Chaga. Keep in mind that this spot, like many others in Manhattan now, is card-only.
After having your share of the good stuff, wander over to Burkelman (332 Bowery), a Cold Springs, N.Y. shopping staple. The brand’s collection of candles are ready to tickle your senses – Welcome To The Vortex includes notes from a cedar and juniper smudge stick, leather and armoise, while The Hudson Valley Candle has hints of fire, tobacco leaves and moss. Want to keep that cozy, woodsy feeling going? Burkelman’s selection of merino, Ethiopian cotton and alpaca blankets are just what’s needed as summer evenings start to cool off. Their array of handmade jewellery is sure to catch your eye, as will the offering of terrazzo serving boards and glass nesting bowls.
Speaking of serving boards – are you getting hungry? The newly opened Sister City hotel (225 Bowery), an offshoot of Atelier Ace, has an enclosed patio and cheery indoor dining space belonging to Floret. With Chef Joe Ogrodnek and Executive Chef Andrew Whitcomb in charge, expect fine, fresh flavours found in unfussy dishes. Whether you’re in the mood for something light for lunch, like a little gem lettuce salad served with smoked trout and horseradish, or a more substantial dinner – the night menu includes lamb ribs, roasted Maine lobster, and potato gnocchi with artichoke – a meal at Floret is an inviting moment of repose in the midst of Manhattan’s bustle.
Make sure to treat yourself to some eye candy by stopping in at a gallery. There’s the aforementioned New Museum (235 Bowery), which holds the title of being Manhattan’s only dedicated contemporary art museum; currently on show are the works of Mika Rottenberg, Lubaina Himid, and Diedrick Brackens. By Name (324 Bowery) is a multi-use space that includes a café and exhibitions, and The Hole (312 Bowery) focuses on emerging artists.
Keen on some green? PlantShed Café (1 Prince Street) is for all you bloom-heads out there. Stop in to get your fix of lush florals at this pop-up space turned permanent location for the iconic New York florist.
If vinyl is more your thing, Stranded Records (218 E 5th street) is stocked with classics. Check out recordings from Superior Viaduct – the archival label that owns the shop – artists including Alice Coltrane, The Upsetters and Cindy Lee.
Not sure what you’re looking for? New Stand (306 Bowery) makes its home in the former fashion fantasyland owned by stylist Patricia Field. An eclectic mix of stationery, snacks, toys, personal care items, electronics and more, New Stand prides itself on being the fusion of your favourite blog and bodega. On that note, don’t expect the huge selection of magazines that you would see at other convenience stores (if that’s what you’re after, it’s a short walk to Bouwerie Iconic Magazines at 215 Bowery). Instead, they update their app every day with things to read. Also on the app – links to Spotify playlists, and a membership card that allows you to collect loyalty points to be redeemed in New Stand locations.
After a day of pounding the pavement, a cocktail overlooking the city is in order. CitizenM’s Bowery Hotel (189 Bowery) has a 21st-floor rooftop bar with 360-degree views and a large outdoor patio. Unwind and reflect on your day, or get juiced up for a night on the town.