Table of Contents Hide
- Lower Manhattan
- Dutch influences
- Meatpacking District
- Flatiron District
- Noho / Soho
- Financial District
Part of most of my “Travel posts” will be about interior shopping because it is one of my favorite activities in cities I visit. When I am in New York I like to do that too. This time my attention is focusing on Lower Manhattan, also known as Downtown New York. In this blog I would like to tell you more about the Manhattan neighborhoods and interior shopping on walking distance in this area.
This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of my links, I may make a small profit at no expense to you. I was not paid to write this post.
Manhattan is one of the five boroughs of New York. Densely populated and the place to be for tourists. Lower Manhattan is delineated on the north by 14th street, on the west by the Hudson River, on the east by the East River and on the south by New York Harbor. I often get the neighborhoods mixed up and then get comments from my children. “No Leny she didn’t live in Soho but in Greenwich village” I know but I liked to shop in Soho, and it is so close to Greenwich Village, so that is why I am wrong.
The neighborhoods in Lower Manhattan are the Financial District (Wall Street), The Battery, Chinatown, Soho, Meatpacking District, West Village, East Village, Greenwich Village
Every neighborhood has its own characteristics. But in lower Manhattan, you will find memories of the start of New York with its Dutch influences. As early as 1611 we (the Dutch) started trading along the Hudson River and in 1625 Fort Amsterdam (later New Amsterdam) was established on Manhattan Island. A tolerant area compared to other colonial regions because religion was less important to the Dutch. If you wanted to make money you were welcome. It lasted till 1664.
Nowadays there are still reminders of the Dutch influence.
- In architecture, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyckman_House) Houses, such as Dyckman house, are a rarity though the “Dutch colonial style” is popular.
- Street plan, with streets like Pearl Street (Paerlstraat, names after pearls in the oysters in the Hudson), Beaver Street (de Bever, the animal pelts were important), Bleecker Street (named after a Dutch Banker) and of course Wall street (Waalstraat) and a wall was built in Wall Street to keep the English out (failed). Stone Street is the first cobbled street in New Amsterdam (1658), if you are walking in Stone Street is feels a bit like Amsterdam.
- Names/words, Other well-known names remind us of these times like Brooklyn (Breukelen), Harlem (Haarlem), Greenwich Village (Groen Wijck) and words like bowery (boerderij), stoop (stoep), Buckwheat (boekweit) and so on.
On to the interior shops. For us (Europeans) there are shops that we do not see in Europe, we only know the names from series like Friends (The One with the Apothecary Table from Pottery Barn is hilarious and iconic). A lot of these chains ship products to your home country, so even if you cannot visit NY, use the second-best option and order online. But for now, take a walk and visit these Manhattan shops.
Let’s start at the border of Lower Manhattan
1. The Whitney Museum shop, 99 Gansevoort Street
I visit the museum almost every time I am in NY, the shop is part of that of course. The Shop supports the Whitney’s mission of presenting American Art, with an emphasis on living artists, through exhibitions, educational programming, research, and conservation efforts. So buying something there contributes to the preservation of this interesting museum.
2. RH New York, 9 9th Ave,
Former name Restoration Hardware features six levels of luxury home furnishings in a gallery setting and an RH Interior Design Atelier with private client presentation rooms. And for a lovely meal a beautiful rooftop restaurant decorated in the RH style take in iconic views of downtown Manhattan.
3. Anthropologie, 75 9th Ave
Chelsea Market is a great indoor food and retail marketplace. It is located in the heart of New York City’s Meatpacking District. Many retail businesses are being developed in this area, so there is really more to see, especially in the field of fashion and beauty. But because we are focussed now on interior design, I want to mention Anthropologie. Located in Chelsea Market (corner 9th Av and 15th Street) with a nice collection of rugs, blankets, mirrors and everything else you need for your home.
4. Starbucks Reserved Roastery, 61 9th Ave
5. Barnes and Noble, 33 E 17th St
Do you like nothing more than strolling through a bookstore? Then add Barnes & Nobles to your walk. It is about a 20 minutes’ walk from Starbucks. It is a bit out of the way but if you are a booklover, it will not be a problem. Otherwise go from Starbucks to CB2 in Soho. About a 30 minutes’ walk from Starbucks to the next concentration of nice interior shops. Read more about some favorite design books over here
Noho / Soho
6. Crate & Barrel, 611 Broadway
Crate & Barrel (part of the same business Group as CB2) is one of my favorite interior shops. I like their contemporary and modern furniture, housewares and decor in a basic but at the same time elevated style. Pay some special attention to the collaborations of Crate & Barrel with decorators like Athena Calderone and Leanne Ford.
7. Nespresso Boutique Soho, 92 Prince St
Do you need some nice espresso cups or mugs, Nespresso is an address to taste the coffee and buy the belonging accessories.
8. Moma Design Store, 81 Spring St A
Here you can find a design gift for the home, holiday, for your grandkids or for yourself. Not only products in MoMA’s Collection, like the Aalto vase and Eames chair but also a collection MoMa Exclusives.
9. Kartell, 39 Greene St
Kartell is moving to the Nomad District and the shop at Greene str will be closed for some time. So check the site if you want to visit Kartell. You can always shop online. Iconic products like
10. CB2, 451 Broadway
Furniture and decor for the modern home. Family of Crate and Barrel and you can always find something nice for your interior. My daughter and son in law used their interior design service when they moved into their new home and are really pleased with the results.
11. Muji Soho, 455 Broadway
I like their storage solutions. More about Muji in their own words:
MUJI, originally founded in Japan in 1980, offers a wide variety of good quality products
including household goods, apparel, and food.
Mujirushi Ryohin, MUJI in Japanese, translates as “no-brand quality goods.” MUJI is based on three core principles, which remain unchanged to this day:
1. Selection of materials
2. Streamlining of processes
3. Simplification of packaging
High-end, really high-end timeless design, with the use of natural materials and quality craftsmanship. As explained by the founders “A modern-day guild of the senses.”
Restaurant La Mercerie, by Chef Marie-Aude Rose, is located inside Roman and Williams, for the delights of everyday French cooking.
And just around the corner (1 minute walk) is the Roman and Williams Guild gallery.
13. Eataly NYC Downtown, 101 Liberty St 3rd Floor
Again, a walk a little bit further because I love the feeling in Eataly as if you are walking on an Italian market. Lots of fresh products but you can also find some of the best Italian houseware brands like Alessi and Guccini. So, shop for your kitchen and/or table. (You can read more about how to set the table here). Another possibility is to have lunch or dinner (what about the Salad with shrimps!!)
Enjoy the Manhattan neighborhoods and interior shopping on walking distance!