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(Photo cred: barnimages.com)
New York fabric lovers, let's do this! This city is literally packed with amazing attractions, one-of-a-kind restaurant experiences, and yeah, super cool fabric shops.
If you’re spending just one weekend in New York, there’s no way you’re going to be able to do it all. So instead of experiencing agonizing FOMO, and staying in your hotel room because you’re paralyzed by ALL OF THE THINGS… just read this weekend guide to New York's quilty and culinary greatness, and commit to a seriously great time.
I may not be a New York native, but I do my research (I care about you guys way too much to lead you astray!). And delicious restaurant research is some of my favorite research. After a few hours of drooling, I narrowed down New York’s food scene to a few of my favs.
Since transportation in the big city isn’t always the easiest or most relaxing, I’ve paired each rockin’ eatery to a rockin’ fabric shop, so you can consolidate those taxi rides. It’s like a wine pairing, expect you get tipsy on gorgeous fabric instead (and if wine is on the restaurant menu, you can get the best of both worlds!)
Where to Eat in New York
(Photo cred: timeout.com)
No list of New York restaurants would be complete without the best everyday restaurant New York City has to offer… Balthazar. Commonly known as the Balth (I’m still working on my native New Yorker act…), this spot is the perfect place to go for breakfast before you hit the big city, or brunch until 4PM… because New York understands that brunch should be an all-day affair.
Try the Balthazar Green Juice (kale, collard greens, apple, lemon, papaya, cucumber, parsley, basil, celery and orange) to feel super energized and ridiculously healthy, then indulge in the sour cream-hazelnut waffles because you’re worth it.
(Also, if you google image "Balthazar Restaurant" there are multiple pics of celebs coming and going. So who knows, you may end up sitting next to David Beckham. Meee-ow!)
Location: 80 Spring St. New York, NY 10012
Hours: Breakfast: Mon - Fri 7:30am - 11:30am, Brunch: Sat - Sun 8:00am - 4:30pm
Shop Pairing: Purl Soho
If you’re ready to get fancied up and go to what people call, literally, “The Best Steakhouse in New York,” then Porter House Bar and Grill is exactly what you’re looking for. This place has style. The view of the city from the restaurant windows is amazing, and the bright and comfortable atmosphere pair perfectly with all of the luxe threads you purchased earlier in the day.
Location: 10 Columbus Cir. New York, NY 10019
Hours: Lunch: daily 11:30am - 2:45pm, Dinner: Sun - Wed 3:00pm - 10pm, Thu - Sat 3:00pm - 11:00pm
Shop Pairing: Gotham Quilts
(Photo cred: newyork.seriouseats.com)
If the “Appointment Only” hours didn’t tip you off, let me tell you: this is not your average sushi bar: it’s sushi holy ground. You know those people who call sushi “an art and a science” and not just “a meal?” They’re the people who go to Tanoshi.
Chef Toshio (AKA Sushi God) has spent decades perfecting the art of sushi, going so far as to create his own soy sauce! People say that eating the omakase will be an experience you will never forget.
Location: 1372 York Ave. New York, NY 10021
Hours: Appointment only, Closed Sun (Make a reservation here.)
Shop Pairing: Pins and Needles
These are some of New York’s finest food options, but there are definitely many more amazing local favorites to choose from.
Here’s the second half of that perfect pairing… I always like to top off a good meal with some fabric eye candy.
The Best New York Fabric Shops
(A five minute walk around the block from Balthazar)
Is there a more famous fabric store (okay, other than the ones in Paris?)?? You can’t go to New York without bowing on the sidewalk in front of Purl Soho. (Watch out for pedestrians. New Yorkers walk fast.) When you’re done paying homage, step into fabric store glory, and get ready for some high-quality, gorgeous stuff.
There are many reasons why Purl Soho is amazing, but here are just a few: They have a wide selection of Liberty fabrics in addition to other fancy substrates such as linen, wool and LUXE poplin (it really is called luxe poplin – so fancy!). The staff is the bestest (and will even help you fix messed up projects.) And, if you’re a yarn person, this is basically the Yarn Mecca of the US.
Make sure you set aside a generous chunk of time to do your visit justice. Like… the entire day. Or however long your travel companions let you.
Location: 459 Broome Street, New York, NY 10013
Hours: Mon - Fri noon - 7:00pm, Sat - Sun noon - 6:00pm
(A two-mile jaunt through New York’s Times Square from Porter House Bar and Grill)
It's hard to believe that one city can have multiple FAB-U-LOUS fabric shops, but, it's NY, baby! Of course there's more than one must-see quilt shop! Gotham Quilts has a great selection of prints and prices specifically for quilters. It may be a smaller space that your local quilt shop, but is packed full of beautiful modern fabric, and unique treasures that are worth hunting for.
Gotham Quilts was born out of the friendship of two fabric nerds from Manhattan who met in a quilting class, and fell in love with quilting, and each other (instant BFFs!)
They decided to build the store NYC quilters were waiting for, and thus, Gotham Quilts emerged. If you’re looking for mod quilting fabric designers like Tula Pink, Alison Glass, and Carolyn Friedlander, or just the basics (because basics are cooler when they’re from New York!), Gotham has you covered.
Location: 40 W 37th St #603, New York, NY 10018
Hours: Tue - Fri 1:00pm - 6:00pm, Sat - Sun 11:00am - 4:00pm
(Half a mile down 75th St from Tanoshi Sushi)
Get ready to be hit in the face with cuteness. Pins & Needles will fill your soul with beauty and color and happiness. This shop features a wide variety of printed cotton fabrics, an adorable studio space, and the nicest owner (Rachel) who totally redeems New York’s rude reputation.
Pins & Needles is a great place to get some souvenirs, like a bag of scraps, or a slew of ¼ yard fabric slices. They also have sweet gifts for sewists of all ages, including the younger, shorter quilters in your life.
Also: Pins & Needles hosts birthday parties, which totally makes me wish I was 10 again… or that any of my friends would attend a sewing birthday party (any takers??)
Location: 1045 Lexington Avenue (2nd Floor) New York, NY 10021
Hours: Mon - Fri noon - 6:00pm, Sat 10:30am - 5:00pm
Amazing Places in New York that Aren’t Fabric Shops
(Photo cred: timessquarenyc.org)
Is it too obvious to mention? No. It’s not. Because Broadway in New York is like no other entertainment attraction anywhere. Check out Broadway’s website to check out the latest shows, like the classics: Cats and The Phantom of the Opera… Movies made into musicals: Groundhog Day and Amelie… or the newest shows on the block.
I just found out that Sara Bareilles wrote the music and is starring in a new production named Waitress so… whose suitcase can I hide in?
Get tickets ahead of time, or try your luck with the hawkers on Times Square!
(Photo cred: commons.wikimedia.org)
Central Park is another staple attraction in New York, but it’s popular for a reason. It’s a concrete jungle out there, folks, but Central Park dishes out the fresh air and green space you need to break up your trip to the city. The entire park is gorgeous, but the Gapstow Bridge is a historic and iconic highlight, and offers amazing selfie-ops against a backdrop of skyscrapers rising above Central Park’s Trees.
If you’ve been doing a lot of walking, consider renting a bike! You can rent bikes by the hour or day, and even take a guided bike tour if that’s what you’re into.
Bike Rentals Available at: 208 W. 80th St. New York, NY 10024
(Photo cred: atlasobscura.com)
Everyone knows all about New York’s amazing museum scene, but this unofficial collection of natural history objects may be a great alternative if you have younger kids, or perfect if you’ve already hit the hot spots.
Located in Manhattan’s SoHo art district, this shop has unique collectibles from America’s history tucked into every nook and cranny. With framed butterflies, fossils and seashells, tribal art and even medical models, you’ll never run out of things to look at. Scavenger hunt, anyone?
The staff at Evolution are very smart and excited about natural history, and are willing to answer any questions you have about their high-quality collection of marvels. Evolution gets their specimens from the same experts who supply museums, so rather than amusing junk, the store is actually filled with high-quality, historical items.
There’s no such thing as a boring visit to New York City. I hope you have the best time… and I can’t wait to hear about it!