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Notes from New York

We were in New York for Capsule trade fair earlier this month. Alongside grafting at the show, we also got the chance to explore (Mrs Atkinson and three friends aiding matters). Here are some of our findings; from theatre to food:

The English theatre company Punchdrunk had just extended the dates of their production Sleep No More, Mrs A snapped up tickets. This site specific theatre is set over 5 floors of a huge warehouse in Chelsea. The audience wear masks to preserve anonymity and are invited to explore numerous rooms on every floor at their leisure, stumbling across performances along the way. There’s no set plan or route and so every audience member sees a different show. The décor, music, lighting and dance performance are all extraordinary.

Freemans restaurant has been open since 2004 but already seems to be a New York institution. Mrs A asked around for recommendations before our trip and this end-of-an-alley, taxidermy filled, many roomed restaurant appeared on every list. No surprise, it is great. The artichoke dip was endorsed to us and that recommendation is passed on here.

The Greatest Grid exhibition at Museum of The City of New York celebrates the bicentenary of the 1811 plan to establish New York’s layout. Before the bold plan was carried out, Manhattan was a rural island of marshes and rocky outcrops, with New York just a small cluster of buildings and narrow streets at its southernmost tip. A wealth of original plans, photographs and other information accompany the exhibition. Fascinating. It runs until 15th April 2012.

During our last day in New York Mrs Atkinson and I walked around Soho, Nolita and the Bowery and visited a few stores:

Freemans Sporting Club (at the end of the same alley as the above restaurant) make all their clothes in New York. Their casual and formal suiting, shirts and trousers are a very fine quality and use great fabrics. They have a barber’s shop through the back of the clothes store. The manager is Brian Zbichorski, the friendliest man we met that day who was very complimentary about Cherchbi and recommended many interesting stores. One of the best was Extra on Extra Place.  Only open a few months, this store sells clothing by Post Overalls and Engineered Garments, as well as a nicely curated selection of antiques and oddities. Only small, but possible to spend a lot of time (and money) here.

In C’H’C’M’ we met the owner Sweetu, a softly spoken Englishman who moved to the US 10 years ago whilst working with Italian furniture brands. He originally set up C’H’C’M’  online and opened the shop in a Bond Street basement a year ago. In his own words, he doesn’t worry too much about the merchandise mix, focusing more on key pieces, an approach which seems to work very well. This was the final store we visited and was probably the best.