What is it about New York? It’s lure is unquestionable, but what is it, precisely, that draws us to this restless city and it’s non-stop noise? It’s different for each of us and if you’ve been before then it will undoubtedly have taken your heart a little bit (I defy anyone to say they’ve visited and not loved it.) For me, it’s the constant inspiration and creative buzz that I can’t get enough of. It seems like everywhere you turn there’s a new feast for the senses. And then there’s the shopping - which usually sits around the number two mark in a list of things people love about the place. Having visited the city recently, we decided to stay out of Manhattan, opting for the lower key borough of Brooklyn. And what BK lacks in bustle, it certainly makes up for in innovation. We stayed at the utterly fabulous William Vale hotel, which, coupled with great design and service, also benefits from breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline. If you are visiting, it’s totally worth your while hitting it’s rooftop bar for a cocktail or three; it’s like sitting on a movie set, only twenty-two floors up. The hotel is located in the heart of Williamsburg, and was perfectly situated to allow me to explore the plethora of indie lifestyle stores I love so much. These are my favourite types of shops - little, independently-owned beauties, where keen-eyed and invariably über-stylish proprietors get to choose and curate a range of fayre you could browse on for days. I love how shops like these mix apparel from up-and-coming designers with nifty little home products, cool books, jewellery and stationery. Shops like Concrete and Water, just off the Bedford Avenue thoroughfare, are move-me-in-now type spaces; I could literally have pulled up a chair and spent a week right there, in this perfectly merchandised store. The Greenpoint district is where the real thought leaders reside and hosts the ultimate in this type of shopping too - Feng Sway, Homecoming, Aelfie and Home of the Brave offer the best in unique and unusual home goods, whilst Walk the West is to vintage clothing what it’s neighbouring Adaptations is to vintage homeware. I love ‘em all.
But don’t get me wrong, I still love me a bit of Manhattan and across the bridge, the inspiration continues. With amazing street art on every corner, a colour lover like me is in my element. Of course, the museums, the countless exhibitions occurring in the most unassuming little nooks and crannies all provide high-level inspo, but for me, it’s even simpler than that. I loved how a series of mundane cracks in an uneven pavement had been attacked with a can of neon spray paint. Accidental art. And how some roughly-hewn OSB in the form of road work signage wouldn’t have looked out of place on the wall of a penthouse apartment. Oh, and let’s not forget the street style. The care-less, carefree approach to dressing that results in a chicer ensemble than I could muster after two full days of deliberation. Sigh. Start to finish, a total Mecca of mental and visual stimulation.
And then, you come home. An ad for ‘Billions’ comes on TV. The camera pans that skyline and you think, “I was ACTUALLY there.” And immediately, you want to go back.
Vintage sequin jacket at Walk the West, Greenpoint
Glorious green at Homecoming, Greenpoint
Interior envy at Coming Soon, NYC
Sublime sunglasses at Feng Sway, Greenpoint
Rug selection at Feng Sway
Objets at Feng Sway
Earrings, as modelled by a beautiful page at The Break, Greenpoint
Just a little mid-terrace doorway, NYC-style