New York: Chelsea, Flatiron, & Union Square
SEE Barbara Gladstone Gallery
515 W. 24th St., 212/206-9300, gladstonegallery.com
Chelsea is the center of contemporary art in the U.S., and this gallery is at the forefront. Expect any media, from photographs to installations, to be on view in this massive exhibition space. Other names to look out for: Greene Naftali (526 W. 26th St., Ste. 822), and Virgil de Voldère (526 W. 26th St., Ste. 416).
SEE RMA (Rubin Museum of Art)
150 W. 17th St., 212/620-5000, rmanyc.org
An impressive new 70,000-square-foot museum dedicated exclusively to Himalayan art. Born out of the private collection of Shelley and Donald Rubin, it brims with authoritative passion-key paintings, sculptures, and textiles feature mostly Tibetan Buddhist, Bon, and Hindu imagery. There's also a café and a store selling books and Himalayan crafts such as yeti dolls. $7 adults, $5 students and seniors.
EAT Craft Bar
900 Broadway, 212/461-4300
The cheaper sibling of Craft, run by an award-winning chef who's rekindled many a romance with hard-to-find seasonal ingredients such as ramps, morel mushrooms, and white peaches. You get your choice of fish, meat, or pasta from the pared-down main menu, but you can make a meal of the Mediterranean-influenced appetizers, which include a mustardy frisée salad and fried sage leaves stuffed with sausage.
EAT La Nacional
239 W. 14th St., 212/243-9308
Expats from the Iberian Peninsula have been visiting the Spanish Benevolent Society since 1868 (Federico García Lorca, Luis Buñuel, et al.), and enjoying its authentic Spanish food-the tortilla española (potato omelet), made-to-order croquetas (croquettes), grilled calamari, and white sangria are especially good. There's no sign, so enter under the stoop, walk down the hall, and go through the unmarked door. If you happen by on a Thurs., head upstairs and ogle the weekly tango party.
143 Eighth Ave., 212/691-8600
A style-conscious noodle bar that serves dishes mostly from Japan and Thailand. Designer Karim Rashid's chartreuse accents and curvy furniture give it a cheery veneer.
EAT Pop Burger
58-60 Ninth Ave., 212/414-8686
Fast-food chic reaches new heights at this hip burger 'n' fries counter. Shakes are so thick your spoon will stand upright. After dark, the back lounge buzzes with pool players.
DRINK Enoteca i Trulli
122 E. 27th St., 212/481-7372, itrulli.com
Serious oenophiles and newbie wine drinkers alike will feel right at home at this Apulian wine bar and trattoria. The waitstaff will tell you all you need to know, whether you order a glass or a flight of three two-ounce pours.
DRINK Maritime Hotel
363 W. 16th St., at Ninth Ave., 212/242-4300, themaritimehotel.com
Not your average hotel bar. Its retro nautical-themed lobby with fireplace and massive outdoor terrace are both comfortable (i.e., loads of space) and make good perches for people-watching. There are even more bar stools downstairs at Matsuri, a handsome Japanese resto-bar.
SPLURGE The Inn at Irving Place
56 Irving Pl., 212/533-4466, innatirving.com, cibarlounge.com
Traditional five-course tea service with all the trimmings: finger sandwiches, scones, jams, and clotted cream amid Victorian lucre (the Inn may be one of the most precious-and fabulous-properties in the city). By reservation only. Price $35. Downstairs is the swanky Cibar Lounge for those who want something stronger.
SHOP Greenmarket Farmers Market
A picnicker's dream. Contrary to popular belief, New Yorkers do appreciate Mother Nature, and this market is proof. The food is mostly grown within 150 miles of the city and picked the day before. You can find produce, blooms, and organic meats (smoked turkey!), plus yarn, cider donuts, and other handmade goodies. Mon., Wed., Fri., and Sat., 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
SHOP Print Icon
7 W. 18th St., 212/255-4489, printicon.com
Cut paper, letterpress stationery, holiday cards, and more. Buy a card for $3 at this well-loved, 20-year-old store, and take home a work of art. Paper has never looked so good.
PLAY Roller-skating at the Roxy
515 W. 18th St., 212/645-5157, roxynyc.com
Strap on skates, and sway to the Bee Gees at this Wed.-night blast-from-the-past event. Aside from taking you on a nostalgia trip, this long-lasting megaclub also hosts some raging dance parties on Fri. and Sat. Admission: $18.
37 W. 26th St., 212/576-1155, satalla.com
A groovy 200-seat venue catering to world-music lovers. It gets top-name talent from around the globe-Africa, Latin America, and beyond. Shows, held most nights of the week, are at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m., with extra midnight performances on weekends and family shows on Sunday afternoons. The mission of its founder was to "foster an awareness of the world's cultures" through music. Average ticket price: $18.