Photo: Cafe Grumpy in Greenpoint by Premshree Pillai cc
From “coffices” to lab-like minimalist gourmet coffee meccas to cozy neighborhood hangouts, neighborhood cafes are a fine example of the essential “third place” mentioned in discussions of community dynamics: that place, neither work nor home, where regulars gather and everyone’s welcome.
Along with yoga studios, art galleries, community gardens, vintage clothing shops, restaurants with pedigreed owners and adventurous menus and, some say, a change in the offerings on local grocery shelves, cafes are often the earliest sign of neighborhood change. The neighborhood cafe serves as a testing ground for community cohesiveness while adventurous entrepreneurs test the still-unfamiliar waters around them. Beyond the literal gesture of offering sustenance, cafes provide a place where you can actually see who your neighbors are and appreciate the fact that at least some of them are willing to make an investment locally.
Get a fleeting glimpse of old New York City cafe culture in the West Village, meet the future of coffee distribution in Red Hook.
There’s so much talk these days about the happenings up in Beacon, New York, from the Dia:Beacon, undoubtedly the area’s biggest attraction, to the locally sourced restaurants lining the Hudson. And if you’re hoping to make this upstate getaway longer than just a day trip, the Roundhouse at Beacon Falls can accommodate much more than just your overnight stay.
Aryeh Siegel, unofficial “architect of Beacon,” was enlisted by developer Robert A. McAlpine to restore and adaptively resue the buildings on this 9-acre, 19th century industrial site located on the Fishkill Creek. They were transformed into a complex including a hotel, restaurant, and event space. Historically appropriate, modern private residences were added, and the former power house is being reconstructed to provide hydro-electric power, which will account for 60% of the hotel’s energy. The Rockwell Group outfitted the hotel and restaurant interiors with a contemporary yet rustic design esthetic, incorporating pieces from local artisans.
Take a tour through this gorgeous getaway
Summer is in full swing, and while some of us get to plan far flung escapes, others must endure the heat amidst the concrete towers. Rooftop oases are a great way to beat rising temps, especially when the foliage of a hidden garden can cool us naturally.
We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite lush rooftop havens around the city, all sure to help soothe your soul when a trip away from city life just isn’t in the cards. From an ultra verdant “secret garden” to a rooftop escape with the Empire State Building in view, check out these these five urban retreats offering an elevated experience.
Five wonderful lush rooftop escapes here
Opening one restaurant is hard, but two in a month is a serious feat. But this is New York City, and restaurateurs Lisle Richards and Eric Marx were ready for a challenge. Between January and February of this year the duo opened up two of Manhattan’s hippest and most most talked about new haunts: The Monarch Room and The Wayfarer.
Our interview with the restauranteurs here
If you haven’t been downtown recently, you might want to make the trek. Hudson Eats — the just-opened food hall at 200 Vesey Street — is turning a once sleepy corner of Battery Park City into a culinary destination.
Located on the second floor of Brookfield Place (formerly World Financial Center), the gleaming, white-tiled emporium is one of many new additions helping to revitalize Lower Manhattan. Along with the trendy restaurants that now call the neighborhood home — like Danny Meyer’s North End Grill and Stephen Starr’s new El Vez — there’s also the recent debut of the 9/11 Memorial Museum and eventual moves from media powerhouses Condé Nast and Time Inc.
See more pictures of the stunning food court
It was dinner party cocktail chatter that led long-time pals chef Alexander Smalls and former Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons to launch a set of Harlem restaurants. Last fall, five years after that initial talk, the duo re-opened Minton’s, bringing the legendary jazz club back to its former glory, complete with Sunday jazz suppers.
Around the same time, they also launched a brand new restaurant down the block called the Cecil, which boasts a cross-cultural menu inspired by Africa’s wide-spreading culinary influence.
We sat down with Smalls, an opera-singer-turned chef and longtime Harlem resident, to get his thoughts on the changing neighborhood and what business owners can do to give back.
Read our interview with the culinary legend