Johannes Huebl's Guide to New York
How does a super-city of more than eight million people manage to feel like a collection of intimate moments to which one gives one’s heart? Johannes Huebl, part of Mr Porter's Style Council, reveals all.
I love New York for many reasons. Of course, for her endless activity in every cultural form, and for her around-the-clock accessibility and unmatched diversity. But mostly it is the people’s energy that makes the city unique. There is an atmosphere and intensity around the gathering of people in New York that is probably unprecedented throughout the world. I love the vibrancy of the different boroughs and its fantastic neighbourhoods, where local shops or cafés remember your name or your favourite order. You can feel at home in New York quickly, and New Yorkers give you compliments when least expected. There is constant development and change affecting the architecture of the city; it’s fascinating, when I come back from my travels, to discover new sights. New York is a safe, easy-to-navigate city in which everyone somehow fits in and can express their personality without shame or judgment; anything goes here. Some of my favourite places are: Brooklyn Dumbo: A beautiful neighbourhood nestled on the water around Manhattan Bridge, with views of Downtown Manhattan. There are three parks by the water, and one of the most beautiful spots is the restaurant Cecconi’s, which is perfect for drinks or dinner with water views as well as weekend brunches. Above Cecconi’s is Soho House’s Dumbo House, with the most scenic rooftop swimming pool in New York and a large terrace overlooking Brooklyn Bridge. Lower East Side: This is my preferred nightlife neighbourhood. You can find great bars on Orchard Street that have D.J.s performing throughout the week. Head to Casa Mezcal, a 100-person-capacity dance bar that serves tequila mezcal and boasts one of the best sound systems. As well, The Blond bar at the hotel 11 Howard, between Soho and Little Italy, is a fun place that has a downstairs dance area. Sant Ambroeus Soho is my regular restaurant. Great Italian food in an unfussy environment with the best audience in New York. My friend Alireza created a home for his friends and like-minded people who come together under one roof of Italian deliciousness. Bar Pitti, a no-reservation, all-cash Italian restaurant in the West Village, is another great spot. Simple, tasty food in a very lively but casual atmosphere, and the owner, Giovanni, greets his regulars like it’s a family lunch or dinner. Public Hotel, the new Ian Schrager venture in the Lower East Side, is home to Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Public Kitchen, a modern restaurant with a new American menu. Crosby Hotel: the U.S. outpost of Firmdale Hotels in Soho. Its location and service are second to none, and it has large rooms with comfortable beds and furnishings, helping you to feel at home immediately. Shopping: I pop by P Johnson in Soho to order a new made-to-measure suit or pick something easy off the rack. Barney’s Chelsea is a well-curated department store that offers young new brands a platform. My hidden architectural gem is the late Zaha Hadid’s 520 West 28th Street building, a swirl of glass with a vortex of intersecting dark steel bands. It is her only residential building in New York, and is one of the city’s finest.