City Guides

Fewer & Better (Mini) Guides: Sutton Place and Beekman Place

Sutton Place and Beekman Place are two of my very favorite neighborhoods in the city. To me, it feels a bit like stepping back in time, though without the tourists you find in other exceptionally beautiful areas, like Gramercy, due to its mostly residential nature. There are many hidden gems here you might not discover on your own, so I wanted to share a few of my favorites with you!

Dining

Neary’s, 358 E 57th Street

Neary’s is one of those neighborhood places that, despite press coverage, remain something for the locals. The late proprietor, Jimmy Neary, was an absolutely charming man who would often favor tables with his presence and some conversation during dinner. Neary’s is a taste of the quiet neighborhood restaurant that used to be a staple in Manhattan, though are fast disappearing.

Fewer & Better tip: Take a seat at the bar for great conversation, or a table to enjoy your companion’s company. This is the perfect place for dinner on a gloomy day.

Take note: Neary’s has a dress code.


Bistro Vendôme, 405 E 58th Street

Bistro Vendôme is located in a townhouse with all the charm of its location–a terrace, airy dining rooms, and an intimate setting. During the pandemic, the seating is even more intimate, as the restaurant has reduced its number of tables (something I particularly appreciate!) The food is absolutely exquisite, and while this feels like an adults-only restaurant, families are welcome!

Fewer & Better tip: Ask for a table on the terrace!

Take note: During the pandemic, reservations made by phone are required.


“Only in New York”

The United Nations

Truly an “only in New York” place (though technically not New York at all!) If you are interested in the history of the United Nations, its outdoor space, or its vast art collection, you can do no better than booking a guided tour (proof of vaccination and a mask are required!). There is so much to do and see at the United Nations–I could truly write an entire post about the UN!–so I’ll leave it as a must-visit.

Take note: As mentioned above, proof of vaccination and a mask are required for in-person guided tours. Children under the age of 5 are not permitted.


Sutton Place Park, East River between E 56th and E 57th Streets

While most of Sutton Place Park is the front yard for the private street, Riverview Terrace, abutting it, there is a portion that is a public park with one of the loveliest views of Manhattan. This park is lower than street level, but there is a ramp which makes it accessible. However, you might never know it was there if you didn’t know!


Shopping

D&D Building, 979 3rd Avenue

If you are remotely interested in interiors, the D&D Building is sheer heaven. With eighteen floors of showrooms, you can easily spend a day (or a week!) getting lost here among all the beautiful things.

Fewer & Better tip: Map out your plan of attack so you can see everything on your must-see list.

Take note: There are many “to the trade”-only places in the D&D Building, so be careful you don’t set your heart on something you’ll need a designer to order for you!


Argosy Bookstore, 116 E 59th Street

A little outside the Sutton/Beekman neighborhood, Argosy is well worth a visit. A family bookstore in its third generation of ownership, its stunning collection of rare and out-of-print books fills six floors. It is New York’s oldest independent bookstore and it is wonderful.

Fewer & Better tip: Books are not all Argosy offers–maps, prints, and autographs are also for sale.


Stay

The Beekman Tower, 3 Mitchell Place

The Beekman Tower offers both short-term and extended stays, and all their rooms come with kitchens and sitting areas, which is a great option if you are visiting Manhattan. Their beautiful rooftop restaurant, Ophelia, has stunning 360 views of the city (and Frank Sinatra used to be a regular!)

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