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A Design-Lover's Day In New York City

Travel

It’s up to you, New York, New York! Concrete jungle where dreams are made of. No sleep till Brooklyn. You’re a native New Yorker!

Everyone has a little soft spot for New York City! Before she joined TDF, our Editorial Assistant Sally Tabart spent a year and a half in the city that never sleeps. Today, she shares her favourite spots for the design-inclined, in the Big Apple.

17th September, 2018

TDF’s editorial assistant, Sally Tabart, sitting on the stoop of her old apartment in Brooklyn. Photo – Isabelle Barbier.

Sally Tabart
Monday 17th September 2018

When I was 14-years-old my parents took my sister and I on a major family holiday to New York City. We stayed on the Upper West Side, across the road from a huge food market where you could buy everything from rice pudding in a cup, to toffee apples, to single serve packets of minced garlic. I was captivated by the grown-upness of it all.

The first day we walked outside our hotel onto the wide, leafy streets (me wearing a 50s-style purple floral dress I’d borrowed from a friend for the specific occasion of ‘My First Day In New York’), a woman with three dogs on leashes rolled by on a pair of roller-skates, turned back and yelled to me, ‘Kick ass dress dude!’. Since that very first moment, living in New York City was the only thing I could think about. I dreamed about it. I drew it. I wrote stories about it. And ten years after that trip, I finally did it.

Living in New York was simultaneously unlike anything I could have imagined, but also somehow exactly as I thought it would be. Unexpected things affected me in ways I didn’t anticipate. I hadn’t anticipated how lonely I would feel. I didn’t fully grasp the extremity between the sticky heat of summer and the bitterness of winter. I’d never even seen a rat until I had to run past them crawling outside the trash cans of my first apartment.

And yet, exactly as I’d imagined, walking down the street everyday felt like a movie – in fact – often times you DID stumble onto a movie set. The people were brash, no-bullshit, and some of the best I’ve ever met. Anyone who’s moved to New York goes there for much the same reason, and while there is a huge amount of diversity on every spectrum, those big New York City dreams are the one thing that binds everyone together.

Everyone has their ‘spots’ in New York, and there are constantly new things to discover. From a creative perspective, there is nowhere more inspiring. Here are some of my favourite design-focused spots.

A true knick-knack treasure trove on the Lower East Side. Photo – courtesy of Coming Soon NY.

Coming Soon mixes a range of designer objects with high-quality, vintage furniture.  Photo – courtesy of Coming Soon NY.

Down the stairs is a little gallery space where Dowel Jones debuted his collection for New York Design Week! Photo – Brooke Holm for The Design Files.

Coming Soon NY

I used to look after a very cute baby, Leo, who lived with his Mum around the corner from this Lower East Side home and design store, Coming Soon. Leo and I used to spend the afternoon strolling down Orchard Street, popping into all the shops selling everything from jackfruit and flowers to pickles and vintage t-shirts.

When Coming Soon opened in 2015, it quickly became a favourite on our route – for me it was the eclectic mix of vintage furniture and designer knick-knacks, for Leo it was the plethora of shiny things at stroller-height. Coming from a pedigree of high-end 20th-century design galleries, owners Helena Barquet and Fabiana Faria lend their impeccable taste to this low-key design store full of everything you’ve ever needed.

Coming Soon NY
Monday-Friday, 12pm-7.30pm

Saturday, 11am-7.30pm
Sunday, 11am-6.30pm
37 Orchard Street
New York, New York 

Dimes Market Photo – Nancy Mitchell for The Design Files.

Photo – Nancy Mitchell for The Design Files.

Photo – Nancy Mitchell for The Design Files.

Dimes Market

Okay – I know that a fruit and veg market might seem a little out of place here, but bear with me friends! This is not your regular corner store bodega.

With the health-focused restaurant (more on that in a sec) and a drop-in Deli as its siblings, Dimes Market is the third child of the Dimes family. Behind the doors of its unassuming facade, this little marketplace stocks locally-grown organic fruits, vegetables and herbs alongside a curated selection of design objects, books and cult-status wellness products.

Dimes Market 
Monday-Friday, 9am-10pm
Saturday-Sunday, 9am-9pm
143 Division Street
New York, New York

Dimes was opened by two friends, Alissa Wagner and Sabrina De Sousa, in 2015. Photo – Nancy Mitchell for The Design Files.

Dimes is known for their delish health-conscious menu and chill vibe (…and heaps of good-looking clientele!). Photo – Nancy Mitchell for The Design Files.

If the restaurant’s busy, they also have a sister cafe around the corner, Dimes Deli. Photo – Nancy Mitchell for The Design Files.

Perfect lunch or dinner spot! Photo – courtesy of Dimes NY.

A neighbourhood favourite in Chinatown. Photo – Yudi Ela.

Dimes

The intersection of Chinatown and the Lower East Side is a veritable melting pot of scents, sounds, flavours and cultures. Fragrant incense floats out of tiny shopfronts next to overflowing trash cans, the downtown fashion crowd share chaotic thoroughfares around Canal street with fishmongers, and Dimes restaurant is positioned right in the middle of it all.

Since co-owners Sabrina De Sousa and Alissa Wagner opened its doors in 2014, Dimes restaurant has become a neighbourhood staple. With a focus on good health and good design, the Dimes outposts (which encompasses the restaurant, aforementioned Market and to-go Deli) are closer to concept spaces to traditional hospitality venues. This is such a central spot for delicious brekky, lunch or dinner with an innovative menu of organic veggies and meat dishes, superfood salads and zingy juices and cocktails.

Dimes Restaurant
Monday-Friday, 8am-11pm
Saturday, 9am-11pm
Sunday, 9am-10pm
49 Canal street
New York, New York 

This cute little Bushwick gallery always has a show worth visiting. Photo – courtesy of Fisher Parrish.

‘Character of Color Phenomena’ (vessel) by Sarah Zapata and ‘Karaoke Utopia’ by Al Baio, part of ‘In My Dreams’ show curated by Aria McManus in mid-2018.  Photo – courtesy of Fisher Parrish.

‘Wide Side Table’ by Zach Martin (sculpture), ‘They’re the ones that drove me out of this town’ by Aaron Elvis Jupin, part of ‘Familiars’ show by Zach Martin and Aaron Elvis Jupin. Photo – courtesy of Fisher Parrish.

Exhibition still of ‘Hardly Together’ by ‘Field Experiments’. Photo – courtesy of Fisher Parrish.

Fisher Parrish

My best friend Isabelle grew up with Zoe Fisher, co-founder and director of Fisher Parrish Gallery, which is how I first heard of the Brooklyn-based art space. Following three years of running successful gallery-cum-store spaces 99 Cents and Handjob Gallery/Store, in early 2017 Zoe teamed up with renowned New York art and design dealer, collector and gallerist, Patrick Parrish, to open their new Bushwick art space, Fisher Parrish. Pretty major.

Combining more established artists with emerging up-and-comers, Fisher Parrish is more of a community art space than a typical, upscale New York gallery. Affordable price points and guest curations makes for a more accessible environment for young artists, collectors and curators – a core philosophy  for Fisher Parrish. Engaging and inviting Bushwick locals to be part of the fun is a huge part of the Fisher Parrish identity (they even hosted an exhibition for the local middle school!),  a fundamental responsibility for a contemporary space in rapidly gentrifying neighbourhoods.

Fisher Parrish 

Saturday-Sunday, 1pm-6pm 
238 Wilson Avenue
Brooklyn, New York

The bright and beautiful Williamsburg store! Photo – Nancy Mitchell for The Design Files.

A curated selection of handmade home goods. Photo – Nancy Mitchell for The Design Files.

The store was started by jewellery designer Caitlin Mociun Photo – Nancy Mitchell for The Design Files.

Taking mental notes for future home inspo! Photo – Nancy Mitchell for The Design Files.

Mociun Home

This is one of those stores I’ve had filed in the ‘TAKE NOTE FOR FUTURE HOME’ file of my brain since happening across it on the walk between friends’ apartments in the Brooklyn neighbourhood of Williamsburg.

Set back a few blocks from the somewhat overwhelming hustle and bustle of Bedford Avenue, Mociun Home is a bright little sanctuary on Wythe Avenue where you’ll want to pick up and turn over every single thing.

Jewellery designer Caitlin Mociun opened the store in 2012 as a place to share the ceramics and home goods she was discovering at craft fairs, markets and galleries, alongside selling her own jewellery. Objects are arranged artfully, with floor-to-ceiling shelving and central trestle tables housing any number of unique ceramics vessels and design objects. Limited suitcase space will be your budget’s only saving grace here – you’ll want EVERYTHING.

Mociun Home
Monday-Sunday, 11am-7pm
224 Wythe Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 

Midnight pasta? This is the spot! Photo – Adrian Mesko.

Primo’s only opened a few months ago in the Fredrick Hotel in TriBeca. Photo – Adrian Mesko.

Model Camille Deterre designed the popular Tribeca bar. Photo – Adrian Mesko.

Primo’s

Primo’s is what you dream Manhattan is going to look like, until you arrive and realise it’s mostly just trash and rats. Part of a new swathe of upmarket bars and restaurants to find a home in TriBeCa (one of city’s swankiest neighbourhoods), Primo’s is more than willing to entertain all of our wildly inaccurate New York fantasies!

Combining mid-century Italian Riviera resort vibes with the lively New York social clubs of yesteryear, art-deco splendour, 80s extravagance and a generous pinch of fantasy, Primo’s is basically a pretty bloody nice place to have a cocktail. Designed by native New Yorker, model and designer Camilla Deterre, Primo’s serves up some of that good old fashioned New York cosmopolitan charm. And I hear their all-night pasta is pretty good too!

Primo’s 
Monday-Wednesday, 5pm-12am
Thursday, 5pm-1am 
Friday-Saturday, 5pm-2am 
Sunday, 5pm-12am

Tictail Market sits on Orchard and Broome streets – one of my favourite corners downtown! Photo – Nancy Mitchell for The Design Files.

The fashion and homewares store is worth a trip for the interiors alone. Photo – Nancy Mitchell for The Design Files.

The Broome street facade has a rotating mural – this one’s by Photo – Nancy Mitchell for The Design Files.

Tictail Market

For the interior architecture alone, I always pay a visit to Tictail Market whenever I find myself back in the city. With its geometric-tiled entryway, impossibly high ceilings, weathered timber floorboards and huge windows wrapping the entire corner facade, this Orchard street shop is full of charm and character.

Established as a global marketplace of independent fashion, art and home decor, the Swedish organisation opened the bricks-and-mortar store on the Lower East Side in 2016. I used to spend my breaks from working at a nearby store poring over Tictail’s constantly rotating selection of pieces from around the world, and bought one of  my most beloved home pieces here – a woven blanket from California-based brand BFGF that hangs on my bedroom wall. Look out for the big exterior mural on Broome Street, which heroes the work of a different artist on a regular basis.

Tictail Market
Monday-Saturday, 12pm-9pm
Saturday, 12pm-6pm
90 Orchard Street
New York, New York

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