I woke up in my tiny room at the
Jane Hotel, in the west village, to perfect September weather and a clear view to Jersey.
After a quick breakfast I strolled over to the High Line in Chelsea, which really does live up to its hype. I'd been there once before, but the aerial park blew me away again, with its wooden seating, native landscape, and birdseye views from the reclaimed, elevated tracks.
Next stop: my favorite-ever store, the surreal design fantasyland that is ABC Carpet & Home. It's six stories of sensory overload, but in the best way possible.
To offer a glimpse of the aesthetic pile-up, here's the view facing one direction on a staircase.
And here's the view facing the other direction—into Moroso's M'Afrique collection, with its colorful, Dr. Seuss-ian plastic-woven chairs.
And then just beyond the African chairs, a pastel wonderland of baby's clothes. Bizarre! But somehow mesmerizing.
On the ground floor I found some ceramics to covet: the Peacock Collection, made, as a sign informed me, by women artisans in indigenous communities in Guatemala. Sadly out of my price range.
And downstairs, the only Conran shop in America, chockablock with sleek modern furniture and lighting.
The next day I happened upon the Lomography gallery and shop, which has walls plastered in quirky photos; read more about it
Then I made a beeline for the Ace Hotel, designed by the New York-based firm Roman and Williams. I love the showbiz entrance.
The staircase leads away from the lobby with a big street-art-inspired wall.
Afterwards, a quick stop at the Opening Ceremony outpost at the Ace, where I snagged a pair of Happy Socks for my fiance. Loved this diamond-shaped display case, with storage at the top. Very clever.
Later in the week I swung by the offices of Thomas Phifer and Partners, for an interview with the founder about his practice, projects, and design process.
While reporting a story about an architect's rowhouse in Brooklyn, I had a close call, narrowly avoiding getting caught in the epic tornado that blazed through the city. I passed this park on my walk back to the subway. All that greenery on the ground is downed trees-—a handful of the two thousand killed or critically damaged by the storm.