A Gum Tree Guide to NYC…

Hi Everyone,
Recently Megan and I hit the Big Apple for the NY Now Gift show.  Many of you told me that you loved my Paris Guide, so I thought I’d give you my notes on New York City!

Here it is…The Gum Tree Guide to NYC.

Stay…
We stayed at my favorite hotel this time, the Dream Downtown.  It’s just on the outskirts of the Meatpacking District, across the street from the amazing Chelsea Market and a close walk to the West Village and Chelsea neighborhoods.


The lobby is fabulous… This hotel is amazing in the summertime too, as it has a pool!  Will and the kids and I stayed here last summer, the rooms are super stylish, not big, but this is NYC, and you cannot beat the location.

For reference I’ve also stayed at the Gem Hotels in both Chelsea and Soho, as well as theWyndham Chelsea Garden.  These are all cheaper, less frills, less style, but work well for a business trip, with great locations.

Disclaimer…I am a downtown girl and very rarely venture above 23rd street on my trips.  But if you have questions about the park, or midtown, or what to do with kids, email me and I’ll give you suggestions.  Keep in mind this is what we did in 4 1/2 days, with 3 full days of walking the gift show from 9am-6pm, and in freezing cold temps with snow…but we pack it in as best we can!

Eat and Drink…
I start planning each meal in NYC at least a month before I head out, there are so many options, it would be tragic to waste any time on a bad meal!

We landed late and headed out into the cold for some fantastic Malaysian at the Fatty Crab.  We are still dreaming of the Pork Buns.  This is a tiny spot, no reservations, so you just have to go early or late, or suck it up and wait.  We sat at the tiny bar with a full view of the tiny kitchen, and the cocktails are as good as the food.

A big reason I love to stay at the dream is that Chelsea Market is across the street…this means that every morning we can grab a quick and delicious breakfast and coffee.  It’s especially wonderful in Winter as it’s all indoors.  It takes up a whole city block, you can stay warm and cozy and wander in here all day.  There are tons of options for food and drink in here, it’s even better for lunch and dinner than breakfast, and there’s shopping too, but we’ll get to that later…


The crepes from Bar Suzette are crazy good, right next door to some incredible tiny little doughnuts and a meat pie stand.  And it’s not a NY trip without a bagel, there’s a great traditional deli in here, and the coffee at 9th Street Espresso is ridiculous.

We only had one free day to shop and do lunch…so we hit one of my favorites, ABC Kitchen.  It’s on the first floor of my favorite store in the world, ABC Carpet and Home…but more on that later.

ABC Kitchen is a Jean-Georges restaurant, the food is delicious, the atmosphere is breathtaking, you definitely need a reservation.  I think the dinner menu is a little more interesting, but our lunch was fab too.

Dinner that night was at a new spot, Bar Primi on the Bowery.  The chef is one of my favorites, Andrew Carmellini and this was some of the most delicious pasta I have ever tasted.  Two of his other restaurants are on my favorites list…The Dutch in Soho and Locanda Verde in Tribeca.

We didn’t get any pics of the place or food, because we were lucky enough to have the best dinner dates, our friends Bryce and Andrew, of Curious… the inimitable gift shop just down the street from us on Pier Ave.  There was too much talking and eating and drinking and suddenly we were in a taxi to my favorite late night bar ever, Marie’s Crisis Cafe in the West Village.  It’s a basement gay piano bar with musical sing-a-longs.  Please trust me, just go. And then when you stumble out of here very late, head down the block to Papaya Dog.  There are many versions of the original Gray’s Papaya Dog around the city, and they are all good, especially after 1am:)


Needless to say that next show day was a little rough, but we braved it and even made it to another amazing dinner at Giovanni Rana Pastificio & Cucina.  This place is known for their fresh made pastas, which I have tried on previous occasions, and it is delicious.  This time I had the classic roast chicken and mashed potatoes, which I’m sure helped my exhausted hungover state.

And our last dinner of the trip was at another new spot Bar Bolonat in the Village.  I love chef Einat Admony’s first restaurant Balaboosta in Nolita, so we had to try this new one.  It was just as delicious.  These are more casual spots with the most amazing modern Israeli cuisine.  If you love the Plenty cookbook that we carry, then you will love the food at these two gems.

Some other favorites…
Balthazar for champagne and oysters and everything French in Soho.
Mole for delicious Mexican.
Katz’s Deli, best Jewish Deli in town.
The Strip House for the steakhouse experience, get the creamed spinach.
Tartine for great steak frites in a tiny charming west village corner spot.
L’Artusi small plates Italian in a beautiful space.
Cafe Habana to eat Mexican corn and watch the cool people.
Prune for anytime, so good.
Nyona is my husband’s happy place, authentic Malaysian, be prepared to wait in line.

Shop…

I always take one shopping day in the city before I start the show to get inspired.

ABC Carpet and Home
The biggest and best home and gift store in the world, in my opinion.  It’s 8 floors of amazing.  I could stay in here a whole day, but if your time is limited hit the main floor, basement, 3rd floor kids area and 7th floor just to see the rugs.  My dream rug under my boots in the photo below was only $25,000.  Sigh.


If you’re in this neighborhood, known as the Flatiron, then pop across the street to Fish’s Eddyfor dishes and housewares, then up the street to Eataly for an incredible Italian food emporium experience, into Madison Square park for a Shake Shack burger, and back down to 5th Ave between 16th and 23rd for all the major chains like Madewell, Anthropologie, Intermix, Zara, JCrew, Kate Spade, etc.  If you time it right you can walk down to the Union Square Green Market too.

It’s increasingly hard to find small business in the city, but I always do my best to try.
The Nolita neighborhood is filled with little shops, some chains, but many independents too. 

Love Adorned on Elizabeth Street is a beautiful jewelry shop, very directional, with other well curated bits and pieces and gorgeous displays. On this block you’ll also find Rag and Bone,Clare VSteven AlanTen Thousand Things and Figue.  Turn right at the corner of Prince Street and pop into Ina for a great curated designer consignment shop.  Cross the street for the shoes and boots at Sigerson Morrison, you will not be disappointed.


Head to Lafayette and turn left and you’ll find Matta.  I have loved this line and their pom pom scarves for as long as I can remember, and now we’re carrying them at Gum Tree!  Follow Lafayette down to Broome street and turn right.  Here you’ll find Calypso Home, Calypso Womens and a little further down, the Calypso Outlet!

Keep walking west and you’ll hit Broadway and the heart of Soho.  There’s a Madewell on this corner, because let’s face it, I look and dream in all the above mentioned shops and then purchase things for my real life here.  On this trip I found my new favorite $19 T-shirt.  On Broadway you’ll find all the big chains again, including a Bloomingdale’s, but there are some treasures on this street too.  Uniqlo is the Japanese Gap with the very best inexpensive packable puffer coats for the whole family.  Aritzia is a Canadian chain where Megan and I both scored the same amazing faux fur coat, see photo below.  We just couldn’t resist!  At Muji you’ll find more subdued Japanese fashion and housewares, and Pearl River Mart is an incredible Chinese emporium, you’ll find everything from chopsticks to rugs to slippers and lighting in here, it’s 3 floors, the kids love it too for the tiny tchotchkes and Hello Kitty everything.

Of course you could keep walking west and wander up and down all the streets of Soho, but we were out of time.


Silly selfie in the fabulous new faux fur coat, heading into the very cold night.

Chelsea Market
Remember I mentioned there is shopping in here too?  It’s fun and eclectic, my favorite place to grab things for the family to bring home.  At the West End sits Artists and Fleas which is filled with stalls run by small independent designers.  Posman Books is a great traditional bookstore,Chelsea Market Baskets has everything from candy to stuffed animals and everything in between.  Bowery Kitchen Supply is a great place for kitchen gadgets, Spices and Tease is where we picked up the Za’atar blend that works in all those Israeli recipes, and Eleni’s is the spot for decorated sugar cookies in the shapes of Taxi’s to bring home for the kids.  They’re noSugar Dayne, but let’s face it, no one does it like Katie:)

One more stretch of independent shops sits on 9th Avenue between 16th and 22nd.  My favorite indie kids shop in the city is here, My Little Sunshine.  And across the street you’ll find Maison 140 and Nest Interiors, two beautiful little home decor shops with strong points of view.

It turns out we needed a slice of real NY Pizza before we grabbed our Uber to the airport, and we found ours in between these cute shops on 9th Ave at Stella’s.

NY Now
The show is huge, I think it’s bigger than the Maison Objet show I walked in Paris, but less intimidating for me now, as I do it twice a year, so I know where I’m going.

We found so many beautiful things, look for a lot of color for Spring at Gum Tree and Gum Tree Kids, and a lot of black and white too.  We’re bringing in a couple more solid gold delicate jewelry lines to wear every day, and to layer with longer fun tassels, and some beautiful decor for the Kids shop.  We found darling kids stuff to fill those Easter baskets, beautiful options for Mother’s Day gifts, and amazing teacher and graduation gifts too.  And we’re expanding our outdoor section with more Indoor Outdoor rugs and poofs, little BBQ’s for your glamping trips, and some fabulous tunics, hats and beach bags for our South Bay beach lifestyle.

I hope you enjoyed our little Gum Tree Guide to NYC.  It will live on our blog for eternity here.

We’ll see you soon,

Think Globally, Shop and Eat Locally!
Lori Ford