H E M l S P H E R E S M A G A Z l N E .

C O M
By Rose Levy Beranbaum / Photography by Joshua Paul / New York is a beacon
for the sophisticated traveler and a symbol of the U.S. “melting pot” heritage that has
made the city such a cultural mélange. In fact, many New Yorkers think that term was
invented just for them. Wasn’t it? ¶ For this reason, I haven’t always been excited
about being identified as a native, and I’ve tried to keep it a secret most of the time—
especially when I wasn’t ready to deal with “You don’t sound like a New Yorker!”
But after more than a half-century of semidenial, I’m finally ready for full   

New York City
December ’07
52 |
ThreePerfectDays
New York
H E M l S P H E R E S M A G A Z l N E . C O M 54
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New York
NY
During construction, the Chrysler Building’s height was kept
secret until its crown was hoisted into place. It was the world’s
tallest building until the Empire State Building surpassed it.
(previous page) Radio City Music
Hall; (this page, top) the Chrysler
Building; (above) room service at
the Four Seasons Hotel; (right) the
lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel
disclosure: I’m a fourth-generation New Yorker. My
grandmother told me that when she was a teenager
growing up in New York, there were mainly fields and
woods above 14th Street. The city still has woods to
grow up in, and so much more. Imagine hanging out
on Sundays at the Metropolitan Museum of Art or
the Museum of Natural History, getting to know the
animals at the Central Park Zoo on a first-name basis,
and exploring the many natural wonders of the park
itself, home to every tree indigenous to this climate.
Being a grownup in New York is the most rewarding
experience of all, and you’re invited. In the three days to
follow, you’ll savor the ever-growing and eclectic food
scene—arguably the most diverse in the world. The
subway system is excellent, but I recommend walking
New York’s neighborhoods. Sample their diversity, and
you’ll see why this city holds a spot in residents’ and
visitors’ hearts as the place of infinite possibilities.
DaY ONe / Wake up at the ➊ Four Seasons Hotel on
East 57th Street, showcasing a contemporary I.M. Pei
design with all the luxuries of a grand hotel, including
an ideal Midtown location. Walk or taxi the few long
blocks crosstown to breakfast at ➋ Bouchon Bakery in
the Time Warner building. Fortify yourself with some
of the best pastries in the city before taxiing to the 42nd
Street West Side Pier for a three-hour ➌ Circle Line boat
ride around Manhattan. Yes, Manhattan is an island—
something New Yorkers tend to lose sight of unless
required to cross the water to surrounding boroughs or
New Jersey. Natives delight in this excuse to show off
the city to visitors, as the boat ride offers the ideal way
to take in the sheer breadth and grandeur of New York.
Enjoy the spectacular vistas of the New Jersey Palisades,
the best views of the Statue of Liberty, the sand-castlelike
skyscrapers of Wall Street, the underpinnings of the
majestic Brooklyn Bridge, and the ever-changing beauty
of the skyline.
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Blue Ribbon Bakery is one of
many savory stops during three
delicious days in New York
(left); Picholine and BLT Steak
are two more (above).
Hungry for lunch? You’ll be glad that it’s only a
crosstown bus or cab ride away at ➍ L’Impero, a
secluded, romantic, southern Italian gem in Tudor City,
with a lovely little park across the way. Re-energize with
the deeply flavorful cuisine of famed chef Michael
White. Order the oxtail ravioli, the crispy pork-belly
appetizer, the braised Vermont goat, or the ragu of pork
shoulder with a fabulous creamy emulsion of caccio-
cavalo, a cow’s milk cheese from Campania. Indulge
in a glass or two of 2001 Calabria Rosso IGT Ceraudo
Petraro, Val di Neto, a felicitous blending of Gaglioppo
and Cabernet grapes. After lunch, take in dramatic views
of the UN on the way to the nearby, graceful ➎ Chrysler
Building, the favorite building of most New Yorkers.
Make a quick stop in the lobby to admire the exquisite
art deco décor. It’s only a short walk over to your next
stop, the symbol of New York, the ➏ empire State
Building. Take in the fantastic view from the top where
you can survey the many intriguing places you’ll visit
during your next two days in the city.
Back at the hotel, change for the evening’s entertain-
ment, which begins with dinner at ➐ Picholine. In this
fast-paced city, Picholine provides a welcome oasis of
calm elegance. Chef/owner Terrance Brenan and chef de
cuisine Craig Hopson are true culinary artists. Game
birds and truffles will be on the menu this time of year,
and be sure to order the most ethereal gnocchi this side
of heaven. The wine list is breathtakingly extensive, with
excellent selections by the glass. Brenan is known for
having introduced the great cheese course to New York
dining, but come back for it after the upcoming perfor-
mance or you risk falling asleep during. Now rush across
the street to ➑ Lincoln Center so you
don’t miss curtain call at the opera,
ballet, or Philharmonic.
DaY TwO / Wake up early and head
to the many charms of downtown
New York in those walking shoes
you brought. A subway ride down
to Spring Street is the fastest way
to get to breakfast at ➊ Balthazar,
in the heart of SoHo. You can drink
excellent café au lait or even cappuccino out of a bowl
the way the French do, enjoy fine fresh-baked croissants
or quiche, and pretend you’re in Paris—but only until
you walk through SoHo to see the 50 famous cast-
iron buildings dating from 1869 to 1895. Greene
Street is the heart of this district, and building Nos. 8
through 34 make up the longest row of cast-iron
buildings in the world. Don’t forget to look down—
the streets are the original cobblestone. Of great
historical interest is the Haughwout Building, at 488
to 492 Broadway. It boasts the first Otis elevator (which
made skyscrapers possible).
NOHO
GREENWICH VILLAGE
WEST
VILLAGE
SOHO
THE
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BROOKLYN
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LENOX HILL
UPPER EAST SIDE
UPPER WEST SIDE
MIDTOWN
CLINTON TURTLE BAY
FASHION
CENTER
MURRAY HILL
DIAMOND
DISTRICT
BOUCHON BAKERY
CIRCLE LINE
L’IMPERO CHRYSLER BUILDING
EMPIRE STATE BUILDING
PICHOLINE LINCOLN CENTER
THE FOUR SEASONS
RESTAURANT
BLT STEAK
PAYARD
METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART
CENTRAL PARK
BOATHOUSE
THE PLAZA
HOTEL
SAKS FIFTH AVENUE
THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART
RAINBOW ROOM
HAYDEN PLANETARIUM
AMERICAN MUSEUM
OF NATURAL
HISTORY
THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM
WOLLMAN MEMORIAL RINK
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NEW YORK
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PENNSYLVANIA NJ
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3PD New YORK / DaY ONe / ➊ Four Seasons Hotel 57 East 57th Street; Tel: 212-893-6811
➋ Bouchon Bakery Time Warner building; 10 Columbus Circle; Tel: 212-832-9366
➌ Circle Line 42nd Street West Side Pier ➍ L’Impero 45 Tudor City Place; Tel: 212-599-5045
➎ Chrysler Building 405 Lexington Avenue ➏ empire State Building 350 Fifth Avenue
➐ Picholine 36 West 64th Street; Tel: 212-724-8585 ➑ Lincoln Center 132 West 65th Street
DaY TwO / ➊ Balthazar 80 Spring Street; Tel: 212-965-1785
➋ Blue Ribbon Bakery 33 Bedford Street; Tel: 212-431-6061
➌ Torres Chocolate 350 Hudson Street; Tel: 212-414-2462
➍ The Four Seasons Restaurant 99 East 52nd Street; Tel: 212-754-9494
➎ BLT Steak 106 East 57th Street; Tel: 212-752-7470
DaY THRee / ➊ Payard 1032 Lexington Avenue; Tel: 212-717-5252
➋ Metropolitan Museum of art 1000 Fifth Avenue; Tel: 212-535-7710
➌ Central Park Boathouse East 72nd Street in Central Park; Tel: 212-517-2233
➍ The Plaza Hotel 768 Fifth Avenue ➎ Saks Fifth avenue 611 Fifth Avenue (eighth floor); Tel: 877-551-9400
➏ The Museum of Modern art 11 West 53rd Street; Tel: 212-708-9400
➐ Rainbow Room 30 Rockefeller Plaza; Tel: 212-632-5100
54
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NOV
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aUG
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JUN
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MaY
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aPR
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50
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JaN
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17
YeaR
47
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JUL
68
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New York weather
A December spree to the Big
Apple may not be as bitter as
you imagine. Highs top out in
the 40s. Morning lows settle
into the upper 20s or 30s.
The urban heat island keeps
the city 5 to 10 degrees
warmer than outlying areas
on colder nights. The bulk of
the city’s snow typically waits
for the new year and leaves
by late March or early April.
May, September, and October
are pleasant. Summer
features spells of oppressive
heat relieved by Canadian
cold fronts.
The weather Channel
Weather information
is provided by The
Weather Channel.
For more New York
climatological details, visit
weather.com.
Getting around
Walking is the ideal way to
experience the city, but the
subway and bus systems and
taxis are excellent options,
except during rush hour. For
long travels nothing beats the
speed of the subway. The
Metro pass can be used for
both the subway and the bus.
Pick up a “one day fun pass”
for $7 at a store or buy single
rides for $2 at the station. It’s
best to allow, on average, 40
minutes to and from airports
as traffic is as unpredictable
as the weather.
New York for Kids
A Hayden Planetarium
(haydenplanetarium.org)
Laser light shows
B American Museum of
Natural History (amnh.org/
museum) Vast collections of
flora and fauna
C The Children’s Museum
(cmom.org) High-tech, hands-
on equipment
D Wollman Memorial Rink
(wollmanskatingrink.com)
Located in Central Park
E FAO Schwarz (fao.com)
The ultimate toy store
D e c e m b e r 2 0 0 7
(below) MarieBelle elevates the
enjoyment of chocolate to a
culinary and visual art form;
(bottom) Visit internationally
known Moss gallery in SoHo.
New York
NY
SoHo’s Moss gallery offers one of the world’s most sophisticated
selections of porcelain tableware, crystal, and cutlery, with
furniture from some of the 20th century’s greatest designers.
***
BOARDING PASS / Big Service to the Big Apple / Feeling inspired to begin your own three perfect days in one of the world’s most
vibrant cities? United can get you there in a NewYork minute. United and United Express arrive in NewYork City 70 times per day through
four airports—John F. Kennedy International (JFK), LaGuardia (LGA), Newark (EWR), and White Plains (HPN).
SoHo is also home to myriads of trendy food,
clothing, and design boutiques, most of which open by
10 a.m. or 11 a.m. Be sure to explore the flagship Dean
& DeLucca, at Prince and West Broadway; the exquisite
little boutique Kee’s Chocolates, at 80 Thompson, for
sensational chocolate truffles; and the charming tea
room MarieBelle, at 484 Broome Street, to enjoy a
bittersweet demitasse cup of hot chocolate, rich with
Colombian single-vintage chocolate. Complete your
visit to SoHo by checking out the trendiest designs at
Armani Casa, at 97 Green Street, and Moss gallery, at
146 Greene Street, just off Houston.
If you haven’t sampled too much chocolate, you’ll
be ready for lunch at the ➋ Blue Ribbon Bakery, in the
West Village. Ask to see the ancient wood-burning bread
oven they excavated and reconditioned, and you’ll have a
clue why they produce some of the best bread anywhere.
The menu is French-inspired, with escargot, French
onion soup, and charcuterie that rival any in France,
but the spot also has the crispest, juiciest Southern fried
chicken. Save some appetite for ➌ Torres Chocolate, just
a short walk into the West Village. Master chocolatier
Jacques Torres’ confections will rejuvenate your appetite.
Nibble on a dark-chocolate mudslide cookie, with a
deliciously gooey center, or a creamy, tangy-with-lime,
wee, white, love-bug truffle.
Now that you’re comfortably sated, you’ll really
appreciate the walk through the West Village past
charming buildings where the Dutch first settled. The
Isaacs-Hendricks House at 77 Bedford Street is the
oldest home in the Village, and 75½ Bedford Street
is the narrowest. Be sure to walk by Twin Peaks at
102 Bedford Street, The Cherry Lane Theatre at 38
Commerce, and the 15 row houses built in the 1850s
at St. Luke’s Place. Don’t miss the most extraordinary
little house of all, mostly hidden behind a high, walled-
in garden and leaning up against a taller building on
the corner of Charles Street and Greenwich.
cybersidebar cyber
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ablePDFofthisstory
andabonusslideshow,
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Slow down with drinks at the
exquisite Four Seasons Restaurant
(left); colorful buttons allow
admission to the Metropolitan
Museum of Art (above).
You are now about to leave one New York world for
another, and the transition will be best accomplished by
taxi. Time for cosmopolitans at the most beautiful bar in
New York: ➍ The Four Seasons Restaurant at 99 East
52nd Street. The Grill Room opposite the bar is the “in”
place for power-publishing lunches, but I’ve had my best
times at the bar chatting with the perennially fascinating
coowner and host Alex von Bidder. Gazing up at the
famous Richard Lippold sculpture of long, metallic
raindrops above the bar will transport you to a beatific
state of mind. And if you catch it right, the setting sun
will be captured in the seductively swaying bronze-chain
curtains, casting golden, roseate hues.
Drink in the calm; then you’re off to a hot spot for
the full New York steak experience: dinner at ➎ BLT
Steak. Sail past the lively bar scene into the slightly less
noisy main dining room for culinary adventure. Laurent
Tourondel started out as an inspired seafood chef, so
lobster and three main selections of fish are always
available. Be sure to try the tuna tartar appetizer, a
cylinder of little jewellike cubes of the finest sushi-grade
tuna atop pale-green cubes of perfectly ripe avocado,
surrounded by a synergistic soy vinaigrette. For the meat
lover, there is a great New York strip, the prized center
eye of the rib roast from Wagyu beef. There are also veal
chops, and excellent rib lamb chops cleverly encrusted
with pesto. As soon as you order, gigantic, 5-inch-tall
Gruyère popovers arrive along with a tasty charcuterie
sampling including velvety and delicate duck liver pâté
topped with port wine gelée. For dessert, don’t miss the
light and luscious crêpe soufflé with passion fruit sauce.
Ask the sommelier’s advice; the soufflé deserves
to be paired with his best dessert wine of the
evening. Don’t deprive yourself—you’re
only a block from bed.
DaY THRee / After last night’s
indulgences, you’ll surely
welcome the mile walk to
breakfast at ➊ Payard for
excellent coffee and pastries. If you get
there early enough, the very popular almond croissants
may still be available. The spectacular Belle Époque
architecture and décor is the perfect prelude for your
visit to the ➋ Metropolitan Museum of art, which
includes more than 2 million works of art from all over
the world, ancient through modern times. On depar-
ture, the windows of the haute couture boutiques of
Madison Avenue provide a delightful diversion for
your walk down to lunch at the ➌ Central Park
Boathouse. This little-known wonder offers one of
the loveliest settings in New York any time of year,
and the food’s good, too.
The famed shops of Fifth Avenue begin just where
the park ends. Make quick stops at ➍ The Plaza Hotel
H E M l S P H E R E S M A G A Z l N E . C O M 62
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(top) the Museum of Modern Art
Design Store; (above) Saks Fifth
Avenue spruces up for the
holidays; (right) Bundle up and
join the skaters in Central Park.
New York
NY
The Museum of Modern Art’s collection has grown from an
initial gift of eight prints and one drawing to include thousands
of paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photos, and films.
(its ballroom just reopened after restoration), Tiffany,
and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Along the way, revel in the
spectacular holiday windows that bring so many people
to New York after Thanksgiving. Then warm yourself
with a bittersweet but mellow cup of hot chocolate at
Charbonnel et Walker Café on the eighth floor of
➎ Saks Fifth avenue, while gazing at the hypnotically
flowing chocolate fountain and conveyer belt of desserts.
Enjoy the smell of roasting chestnuts as you walk past
the street vendors to ➏ The Museum of Modern art,
which has just completed the largest building project in
its history, nearly doubling the space for exhibitions and
programs. Be sure to visit the museum shop for a fine
selection of tasteful gifts.
On your way to the ➐ Rainbow Room, walk through
Rockefeller Center to see the skaters whirling by the
splendid golden statue of Prometheus descending with
the flame of fire for mankind, beneath the towering
trimmed Christmas tree. Take the elevator up to the
Rainbow Room, sip its famous Bellinis, and enjoy the
best view of the Chrysler Building from the observation
bar. For the most spectacular panorama go up to the
newly opened observation deck on the 70th floor—the
Top of the Rock.
It’s only a short walk back to your hotel, which is also
home to Atelier de Robuchon, deservedly one of only
two Michelin three-star restaurants in New York, and
your grand-finale dinner. Sit at the counter to enjoy the
plating of each exquisite dish as you savor the vibrant
flavors and sip wine from the first-class wine list. Enjoy
a glorious tasting menu of many little plates tailored to
your taste, culminating with memorable desserts created
to order by pastry chef A.J. Bella Rosa—a perfect ending
to a perfect dinner and three perfect days in New York.
u Rose Levy Beranbaum is the author of many classic
cookbooks, including The Cake Bible, The Bread Bible,
Rose’s Celebrations, The Pie and Pastry Bible, and Rose’s
Christmas Cookies.
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