Joseph Abboud: My New York


Joseph Abboud (Courtesy Joseph Abboud)

From changing leaves in Central Park to outdoor fairs serving warm cider to the spirit of joy and togetherness that fall inevitably brings, nothing beats spending time in the city as the air begins to crisp and the holiday season gets into full swing. In fact, it can be hard to navigate all the happenings the city has to offer. Sometimes you want to relax, shop or stroll at places with a little character. Here are some of my favorite places, where you can take in the sights and sounds of NYC now and in the months to come.

Cire Trudon (248 Elizabeth St.. 212.203.0453) This quaint fragrance shop tucked away on a quiet street in NoLIta carries its own signature brand of scented candles, diffusers and incense. There are even candle busts of historical figures, which is only fitting since the company was the provider of beeswax candles to the royal court of Louis XIV as well as most of the great churches of France. I love taking in all the scents before settling on a candle (or three) to enjoy on chilly nights.

Lafayette (380 Lafayette St., 212.533.3000) Spending my college years in Paris, I developed an affinity for all things Parisian design, culture, and of course, culinary. So it’s no surprise I adore this NoHo favorite, which exudes old-world Parisian stylings with modern-day flair, making it a wonderful restaurant to walk for dinner into after a brisk evening stroll. Chef Andrew Carmelini’s Dry Aged Duck Amandine or Striped Bass served with cauliflower and a bracing Romesco sauce are my must-have comfort foods on fall evenings.

Restoration Hardware (9 Ninth Ave., 212.217.2210) Last year saw the unveiling of this interior design showplace’s 90,000-square-foot flagship store spread across an impressive six floors in the heart of the Meatpacking District. Architectural aficionados, those with a love of quality design, or consumers simply seeking new ideas for the home could easily spend a day here and not get tired of being awed by the store’s wide range offerings, as well as the stunning layouts in which they are presented. (Luckily, there’s even a rooftop restaurant in which you can sate your palate or quench your thirst.)

Tea & Sympathy (108 Greenwich Ave., 212.989.9735) My favorite place to unwind in the city with friends or family is at this quaint West Village café. The cuisine is classic British, ranging from a traditional English breakfast to Yorkshire pudding. If you have time, stop in for afternoon tea, with its multitiered selection of scones and other baked goods. Morning, noon or night, the selection of teas is splendid; tea is the perfect drink to stave off a bit of the autumn chill.

Bryant Park (42nd St. & Sixth Ave.) This urban oasis is a perfect place in which to sit and contemplate life, whether by the fountain, on the terrace or near the entrance to the New York Public Library. I particularly enjoy strolling among the Holiday Shops at Bryant Park once they open in late October. This European-inspired marketplace allows an eclectic mix of artisans from all over the world to display their unusual wares in a beautiful open-air environment. Those looking for a unique gift for that special someone have a great chance of finding it here.