There's nothing better than getting personal recommendations for a city you're visiting. Tips outside of the usual list of 'things to do': local food and drink haunts, the best things to order, places to sit and breathe in the city.
Phillip Lim has lived in New York for ten years – he lives in Green Street in Soho while his studio is on Hudson Street. Next Wednesday, his brand will open a new flagship boutique. To coincide with the beginning of New York Fashion Week, Lim shares his top ten favourite tips for the city – from fast food favourites to the places where he spends his private moments...
Modernlink, 35 Bond St, New York, NY 10012
Modernlink owner and designer William Lee is known for his impeccable eye for sleek, modernist inspired interior design. His store sells a curated collection of the very best in contemporary Scandinavian furniture as well as pieces that they have designed themselves, under the moniker Onelink. "William has the best eye and the best pieces – he is the one guilty of getting me addicted to buying furniture," says Lim. "I bought my first big piece from him by Ib Kofod-Larsen – it was really rare to find and I still love it today. I consider furniture the same way I consider clothes – you live with it and grow an intimacy that is unparalleled. It's like when you put on a dress or sit in a chair that feels just right – you know the person who made it understood you."
Bohemian, 57 Great Jones St, New York, NY 10012
This curious little restaurant is tucked away behind a Japanese butcher’s on Great Jones Street. But for those New Yorkers street smart enough to locate this inconspicuous establishment, it’s like stumbling upon an Aladdin’s cave of contemporary Japanese cuisine. "It is very small and discreet but it has some of the best food I have ever tasted," says Lim. "I love the martinis there because they produce their own gin."
"I consider furniture the same way I consider clothes – you live with it and grow an intimacy that is unparalleled" — Philip Lim
Phillip Lim’s Garden
Phillip Lim loves going to his rooftop garden at 3pm when the western sun is at its strongest. He says, it’s like a ‘Charlie Brown garden in the sky – but it's mine and I love being quiet up there."
Dashwood Books, 33 Bond St, New York, NY 10012
Dashwood proudly hold the title of New York’s only independent bookstore dedicated entirely to photography. "I always go in there not knowing what I’m looking for and leave with an arm full of treasures," says Lim.
Il Buco, 47 Bond St, New York, NY 10012
What particularly recommends Il Buco is its wine cellar. Not only do they stock some of the finest wines available to humanity, they even offer the bibulous restaurant goer the opportunity to sit amongst them in the cellar itself while they enjoy their food and drink.
West Side Elevated Highway
The West Side Highway is a mostly surface section of New York State Route 9A that runs from West 72nd Street along the Hudson River to the southern tip of Manhattan. "Riding [his] bike along the highway and taking a stop to sit on a random bench," is one of Lim's favourite things to do. "This particular bike path is so enlightening because you ride along water all the way up to the George Washington Bridge. You forget that you are in this busy city."
Mile End Deli, 53 Bond Street, NY 10012
Mile End is a traditional Jewish deli with a reputation for doing one of the most satisfying hot dogs in New York. L’chaim! "They are very satisyfing!" states Lim.
Paula Rubenstein, 21 Bond St, NY 10012
Paula Rubenstein is a unique antique store, which is curated by its eponymous owner in an idiosyncratically eclectic style. "I have been going there for years. I love the way she curates her selection – it is random and eclectic but considered," the designer says. "She has the most amazing collection of textiles that you only get to see if you ask."
Washington Square Park
This is one of the best-known of New York City's 1,900 public parks. The Park is an open space, dominated by Washington Arch with a tradition of celebrating nonconformity and the fountain area has long been one of the city's popular spots for residents and tourists. Most of the buildings surrounding the park now belong to New York University, but many have at one time served as homes and studios for artists. "I like being anonymous in a crowd, this is the perfect spot for this," says Lim. "All walks of life gather here and it is a great place to people watch."
The new 3.1 Phillip Lim flagship store opens on Wednesday September 10 at 48 Great Jones Street, between Bowery and Lafayette.
Text by Laura Bradley