If you didn’t already know, The Core is maintained by the Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, which aims to promote local businesses in lower Manhattan. Here at the GVCCC (yes so many Cs, we know) we represent roughly seven different districts in the vicinity. Within all of them are great gems varying from restaurants, stores, parks and many many more treasures. This week Tom, our executive director, myself and photographer Leigh Beckett headed out on an adventure to visit these different areas and highlight some of the great spots they have to offer. It was a great, albeit hot day, but we managed to meet a lot of interesting people who were able to give us a little personal insight into their businesses and what truly makes them special. We hope you enjoy reading this as much as we enjoyed putting it together!
1. CHELSEA – HIGH LINE
Spanning 1 mile, the High Line is considered one of the greatest and most ingenious transformations New York city has had in the last century. The destitute and dormant railway line, sequestered in the lower west side of Manhattan was viewed as a lost cause. However, through the perseverance of individuals and Friends of the High Line, along with mass fundraising, it was transformed into the wonder attraction it is today for not only the wandering tourist but also for locals alike. Not only is it an ecological masterpiece, it boast several food options including a new highlight, Delaney Barbecue’s Smokeline. With picturesque views of the city, the High Line is suitable for all – the office worker needing a place to each lunch, the writer looking for inspiration and even the child wanting to run around and explore freely.
Details: Multiple access points between 14th St. & 30th St. on the west side, for more information | Opening Hours – 7:00AM – 11:00PM
2. FLATIRON – SOCIETY BILLIARDS
Society Billiards is their name and pool is their game. Boasting 19 top quality diamond pool tables, their own merchandise store and a series of pool leagues, they are one of the most exclusive and speciality pool venues in the city. As well as this, they are known to have a pretty outstanding bar, highlights being their cocktails which are conducive to a happy playing experience. Therefore if you’re a fan of pool, drinks and having fun with friends then Society Billiards is the place for you, so check it out!
Details: 10 E 21st St. (Between Broadway & 5th ave.) | Opening Hours – Mon-Thurs 11AM-3AM, Fri & Sat 11AM-4AM, Sun 11Am-2AM. For information on rates.
3. NOHO – BROW.NY INTL.
This duo of stores epitomises the current variety in style happening not only in New York but throughout some of the major fashion capitals of the world. One element to Brow.NY Intil is the ultra vintage couture pieces collected from all walks of life by Brow’s owner Julie Erinc. Some items are sold ‘as is’ and others are upscaled into vintage renewals. Around the corner on Bleecker is their second store that boasts more contemporary wares, all sourced from local designers in the boroughs. One of the highlights from our visit was meeting designer Joe with his collection, entitled Jfaulkhats, of high quality, multi-wear hats.
Details: 345 Lafayette St. (between Bleecker & Bond) | Opening Hours 11AM-10PM
4. SOHO – EVOLUTION
Described by some as the “Natural History Museum, but that you can take home”, Evolution, located in the heart of fashionable Soho, is definitely an oddity in the area… but in a good way. Celebrating it’s 20th year in business, Evolution has been a must-visit for Natural History buffs, fans of anatomy and even regular Joes off the street wanting their jaw to drop in awe. The stores’ array of fascinatingly intricate objects, like the variety of skeletons, to cooky objects, our favourite the Jackalope, makes it a gem and a must-venture-to in the area. The stores’ history is simple, it’s owner was an avid collector of all things natural history, when his collection became too big to house himself, he opened a store and allowed the public to enjoy the oddities as well. One of the highest ticket items in the store is the jaguar rug priced at a whopping $50,000, fun fact, it is also the only legally owned jaguar rug in the world.
Details: 120 Spring St. (Between Mercer and Greene) | Opening Hours – 11Am-7PM
5. EAST VILLAGE – ST. MARK’S BOOKSHOP
A staple in the east village for over 30 years, St. Mark’s Bookshop caters for all whether you are a student looking for a cultural criticism book, or the professor who’s assigned it. With regular literary events, you are guaranteed to be able to select from an array of interesting authors to hear them do a read. If you are a book lover and haven’t ventured to St. Mark’s or are just wandering in the area, you are guaranteed to find something of interest here, so pop by.
Details: 31 3rd ave. | Opening Hours – Mon-Sat 10AM-12AM, Sun 11AM-12Am
6. UNION SQUARE – FleursBella
FleursBella creates cutting edge, artistic floristry displayed in multiple settings throughout New York city. Owner Bella Meyer along with most of her designers have an expansive background in art and design, as shown in the floral pieces they create. One of the highlights for us when visiting the store was the towering, 8ft sculpture of a woman made entirely made out of living moss. FleursBella has an active role in the community and aiding arts non-profits, in particular their affiliation with the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The overriding benefit of FleursBella is their creativity and artistic background, that enables them to create any floral masterpiece your mind can imagine.
Details: 55 E 11th St.(between University pl. & Broadway)
7. GREENWICH VILLAGE – MCNULTY’S TEA & COFFEE CO.
Being English, the stereotype is accurate, I do love tea, and this was my haven. An array of teas from all over the world, main destinations being India, Sri Lanka and China, Mcnulty’s has been around since 1895 making it one of the oldest landmarks in the area. When you walk into the store the first thing you notice is the amalgamation of aromas teasing your senses. The original awnings from 1925 are still intact and in use today, which definitely ages the place and authenticates it. Being a self professed tea aficionado myself, I was pleased to learn a surprising new tea fact, that the majority of flavoured teas aren’t produced in the east of the world, they are actually made mostly in Germany, interesting eh? With a lovely knowledgeable staff, more teas and coffees imaginable and a history the precedes any of us, this spot is a must visit whether you the market for purchasing or browsing.
Details: 109 Christopher St. | Opening Hours – Mon-Sat 10AM-9PM, Sun 1Pm-7PM (closed Tues)
We hope you enjoy some of our suggestions and if you have any of your own feel free to comment. Many thanks to photographer Leigh Beckett who took all of these great photos, check out his portfolio and website.