A TALE OF TWO CITIES
NEW YORK & PARIS
New York and Paris are two of the most enchanting cities in the world, and I’m fortunate to call both of them home (depending on the time of year). Of course, each city has its own, unique energy, along with all the essentials that make living between the two a real joy. Here are a few of my favorite places.
BEST NEIGHBORHOOD – If I could live anywhere in New York City, I’d choose a grand apartment on Fifth Avenue in the 80s, with a terrace overlooking Central Park. However, I’d also enjoy a 10th Street townhouse in the charming West Village (and fully staffed, of course). In Paris, without question, I would only want to live in the super-chic 8th arrondissement.
BEST PLACE TO SHOP – I usually do most of my shopping in Paris, but when I’m on this side of the Atlantic, Barneys New York is my first stop for clothes because the buyers take risks (like me). In Paris, my favorite shopping destination is Colette: I love the way the store mixes and matches pieces by different designers to create interesting looks. And I always make a trip to the Azzedine Alaïa boutique on the rue de Moussy in the Marais.
BEST RESTAURANT – The Crown is the haunt of the glamorous and noteworthy on Manhattan’s Upper East Side–it’s elegant, quiet and provides great service and fabulous food. Downtown, Bar Pitti is a no-frills Italian trattoria where the food is out-of-this-world and the people-watching is even better. In Paris, Le Voltaire is still my favorite: the crowd is always chic and the food is sublime. Thierry, the maitre d’, is the best! I also love the classic Bistro Volnay, which is neither too trendy nor too stuffy. It’s a lovely spot with authentic Parisian atmosphere where you won’t find many Americans.
BEST BAR – In New York, the King Cole Bar at the St. Regis hotel is the epitome of Old World class. And in-the-know fashionistas from all over the world frequent my favorite, Le Mathis, when taking in Paris fashion weeks.
BEST PHARMACY – The Carnegie Hill Pharmacy is my neighborhood drugstore. It’s very upscale, and carries amazing products from all over the world. You can find anything from clever hair pieces to the coolest reading glasses. (I try to stock up, as I’m forever losing them.) In Paris, a favorite pastime is checking out French pharmacies. I usually find a new lotion or little-known make-up brand that can make a trip to Paris that much more fun.
BEST MUSEUM – The Frick Collection is housed in Henry Clay’s 1913 mansion located at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 70th Street. It’s now a fabulous museum, made all the more extraordinary because it gives you the feeling of walking into a private home that’s filled with amazing art (I’m looking forward to the Renoir exhibit in February). And in Paris, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs has gorgeous fashion exhibits that shouldn’t be missed!
BEST CAFÉ – Every morning, I stop at Juliano’s, on Lexington Avenue at 91st Street. It’s right around the corner from where I live, and has (I think) the best cappuccino in New York. The Café de Flore is famous, of course; but it still has that “cool” factor, and I always bump into people I know. It’s perfect for coffee or even late-night drinks, and a place to see and be seen.
BEST HOTEL – Friends from overseas often ask where they should stay in New York, and for me it’s the St. Regis, especially now that the Dior Suite is available. For a different vibe, the Crosby Street Hotel is more relaxed, and has a certain “hip” factor without being too minimal (as so many trendy new hotels can be). But it’s the Ritz Paris that really raises the bar in terms of service: I’ve never found a hotel that is comparable. And it’s so romantic to walk out the front door and find yourself on the Place Vendôme. J’adore!