As a kid growing up in New Jersey, New York City was my shopping mecca. Luckily my mother indulged me and we clocked countless hours traipsing all over Manhattan in search of the unique. Back then the city was full of charming little independent boutiques. Sadly now big box stores have usurped many indies and I constantly lament the mallification of New York. Fortunately there are still neighborhoods in the city that harbor one off boutiques. My brother blogger Eric Gaskins and I decided it’s a worthwhile mission to periodically roam the streets in search of these hidden treasures and report to you our findings under the heading Neighborhood Watch.
On a lovely, not too hot, day last week we headed to Tribeca sans itinerary or google search, we simply hit the streets walking and here’s what we found….
Feeling a little peckish and in need of my afternoon café au lait Eric and I ducked into Duane Park Patisserie a charming little neighborhood bakery that’s also a major player in the baking wars of NYC.
Unbeknownst to us we were in the presence of the owner chef Madeline Lanciani, a first class pastry chef who built an impressive resume before opening Duane Park in 1992. She noticed my difficulty in choosing a scone and recommended the carmelized bacon scone promising my money back if I didn’t love it, I did and I don’t even eat bacon.
The vintage atmosphere and glorious offerings make this jewel of a bakery a delightful stop when in Tribeca.
Next up directly across the street is Stella, a beautifully curated bed linens and bath store.
Stella offers luxury hand crafted bed linens and home textiles from around the globe. An old world European feeling pervades the store.
They carry an extensive array of home fragrances, soaps and toilletries of hard to find coveted brands.
In addition to the more common dark brown, they had a huge selection of baskets in natural that had a white washed effect. Perfect for a beach house.
We then headed south east to Korin, A Japanese kitchen supply store famous for their extensive selection of top quality knives. From a 9500 dollar tuna knife to your basic 8 inch kitchen knife and everything in between. This is where serious chefs go for their tools. In fact the store was only to the trade up until 2003.
But knives are only half the story. The table wear is just as impressive. Plates, platters, bowls and anything you can imagine for the presentation of food is here in beautifully glazed pottery. The look and feel is expensive and artisanal but the price is in line with Crate and Barrel.
I love a little independent bookstore and the Mysterious Bookshop is not only independent but also specialized. This is a mystery loving bibliophile’s dream come true.
Our last retail stop was Patron of the New, a pricey designer boutique with a very particular point of view. Leaning heavily towards Balmain, Moshino and Gareth Pugh, I gravitated more to their accessories. Jewelry from Miansai, a company I reported on earlier this month In Masculine Arm Candy, had a strong presence and as well as a line of wonderful highly varnished wooden bags from Rocio.
We ended our day with a glass of rosé at the Odeon, a neighborhood institution. Decades ago when I lived downtown The Odeon was my hang out and I’m happy to report it has not changed a bit.
Tribeca did not disappoint in our quest for a unique slice of New York and we only covered a few blocks. We may have to do a Tribeca part two in the future.