Destination: New York
Holidays 2013: Upper East Side News
The residential Upper East Side is uncharacteristically buzzy this holiday season. Several beloved restaurants are reopening, an elusive painting makes an appearance at the Frick Collection and three chic boutiques will help you become the best gift-giver of the winter holidays.
Longtime favorite the Lowell Hotel, a cozy haven, makes for the most welcoming hub. Enter the Vogue Makeover Sweepstakes for a chance to win a four-night stay at the beloved hotel, makeover by Vogue, and much more!
Both out-of-towners and New York residents can hole up (and warm up) during a frosty winter weekend at the Indagare-adored Lowell Hotel. After hot cocoa and cookies always available in the lobby, guests can explore the tree-lined streets or hunker down in front of en-suite fireplaces (the Lowell is the only property in New York with wood-burning ones.) And with a new, as-yet-untitled restaurant opening in the former Post House space, guests won’t need, or want, to leave the luxurious property.
Big things are happing on the UES dining scene as three masters return: Le Bilboquet (20 E. 60th Street; www.lebilboquetny.com) reopens in a new location with more seats, but the same beloved French cuisine; La Goulue (www.lagouluerestaurant.com) is coming back after a four-year respite; and Vietnamese classic Le Colonial (149 E. 57th Street; www.lecolonialnyc.com) is even chicer than before after a recent renovation. Headed by Nicholas Wilber (the chef who delighted diners at the Fat Radish), notable newcomer the East Pole is a homey addition worth seeking out.
Trade the crowded emporiums of Fifth Avenue for chic boutiques like Fivestory, housed in a five-floor townhouse on the Upper East Side. The curated boutique sells a collection of pieces that owner Claire Distenfeld has amassed from her worldly travels, including a number of trinkets that make inspired gifts for the passionate globetrotter. Tinsel, a downtown favorite that just relocated uptown, sells coveted paper goods and seasonal gifts in an adorable spot on Lexington Ave. For luxe, lava-studded jewelry and lizard-skin bangles, Kara Ross’s eponymous store (29 E. 60th Street; www.kararossny.com) just opened in conjunction with her line’s tenth anniversary and sells her chic accessories and statement jewelry.
The holiday season brings with it a number of heavy hitters at the city’s finest museums and galleries. Incomparable Dutch Masters are on display at the Frick Collection until January 19, including Vermeer’s lauded Girl with a Pearl Earring, stateside for the first time since 1984 (tickets are timed and must be purchased far in advance.) For an in-depth survey of modern artist Balthus, head to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where his earliest paintings can be found until January 12, followed by a trip to the Gagosian Gallery (www.gagosian.com), whose new ground-floor exhibition room will be stocked with the French artist’s later polaroids until December 21. Ten of Willem de Kooning’s monumental paintings from the 1980s are also on display at Gagosian through December 21. As winter weather turns the city a dreary black-and-white, visitors to the Whitney Museum of Art get an infusion of color and whimsy at Robert Indiana’s Pop Art exhibition, which is on view until January 5.
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