4 Out of 5: Jamie Freed on New York
Death & Co – "If I could only go to one bar for the rest of my life, this would be it. They’ve got a cool vibe without being pretentious. The swoon-worthy bartenders are charming and polite in addition to being extremely talented. Take time to read their clever menu (note the Dorothy Parker and Ernest Hemmingway witticisms sprinkled throughout). I usually get the Dick & Jane or any other champagne cocktail. If Thomas is there, ask him for a recommendation. His impeccable taste and discerning palate will steer you in the right direction. The best part about Death & Co is that it’s never too crowded. The windowless façade makes it hard for the masses to find, and the no-standing policy keeps the bros at bay. Oh, and if you only drink vodka + soda with a splash of cran, go elsewhere. They keep one bottle of vodka here and likely use it just to clean the bar."
Tiny’s and The Bar Upstairs – "I don’t know that words can describe how much I love Tiny’s! They’ve nailed all the details here. From the shabby chic interior and pressed tin ceiling to the mismatched plates and the very entertaining Ana, they’ve created a comfortable environment that always makes me feel like I’m at home. It’s a great date spot too, with a few joints around the corner for cocktails after dinner (try Weather Up or Silver Lining if you’re into jazz). Oh yeah, and get the burrata."
John Derian – "Decoupage is not a dirty word. Step inside this cozy little boutique and you’ll see what I mean. I’m obsessed with Derian’s decoupage paperweights and trays. My favorites are the ones covered with old typewritten letters and snarky sayings. This shop is my gifting go-to, especially when you’re buying for that person who has everything. In addition to the decoupage collection, John Derian also stocks 18th-century-inspired French pottery, vintage rugs, and loads of other curiosities from his travels. I feel like I’ve magically left the East Village and have been transported to the Marais whenever I’m here. I might just move in."
Saturdays Surf – "It’s a shop. It’s a café. Cute surfer dudes hang and work here. It’s also right behind Topshop. What’s not to love? Saturdays isn’t just for my AM caffeine fix, and it’s not just for surfers. They’ve got beachy prints and books as well as grooming products, candles, and a cool clothing line. Most of the stuff sold here is meant for guys, but it’s the kind of guy stuff girls want to borrow. They stock these amazing fish hook bracelets from Miansai, and I’m addicted to their Baxter candles."
NOT SO MUCH
Sephora – "I think Sephora is great for times when you know exactly what you want and are able to just grab it and go. But when I need a new product, having too many choices isn’t a good thing. Unless someone whom I know and trust (which is never the case at Sephora) is helping me, I’m not able to figure out what I need. I just get frustrated and leave empty-handed. Shopping for beauty products should also make you feel beautiful. That’s just impossible in a chaotic, super-saturated environment like Sephora. Go to Space NK Apothecary instead. They have an expertly curated collection of the best of the best in beauty housed in a posh, minimalist boutique."