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So long, Lincoln Center. September 10th marks the official start of the rebranded, less commercialized, and newly sponsored New York Fashion Week, and that comes with two new homes — Skylight at Moynihan Station, the old post office near Penn Station, and Skylight Clarkson Square in Soho.
Even if you're not privy to the front row (or any row, for that matter), showing up around the new venues to people-watch is still a fun New York-exclusive activity to partake in. To get the lay of the land, check out our guide for where to shop, eat, drink, and be seen near midtown's Skylight at Moynihan Station.
The trick of dealing with the midtown crowds and general unpleasantness? Go south. Chelsea has less of both, with plenty of options for eating outdoors, Hudson River views, art galleries, and designer shopping. Below, the best of the bunch.
Where to Eat
If you can stomach the ten-plus block walk, Empire Diner (210 Tenth Avenue) has elevated comfort food like steak frites and pork schnitzel at reasonable prices — you might even catch a glimpse of its celebrity chef, Amanda Freitag, in the kitchen. Speaking of comfort food, there just so happens to be a Doughnut Plant on 23rd Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues.
For a few notches up on the fanciness spectrum, head to the Michelin-starred Ai Fiori (400 Fifth Avenue), home to one of the city's best dry-aged burgers, according to our sister site Eater NY.
Where to Shop
All of the massive Herald Square flagship stores — there's fast fashion like Urban Outfitters, H&M, Forever 21, and Zara, not to mention the largest store in the entire city, Macy's — are certainly worth a visit if you know what you're looking for. But there's also a few boutiques in this commercialized area, if you know where to look.
First up, no shopping trip in midtown is complete without a stop at NYC's cutest store, Tony Moly (35 West 32nd Street), where you'll find lip gloss shaped like bunnies, panda BB cream, and more imports from the Korean beauty brand. And for an outfit that'll impress discerning Fashion Week attendees, your best bet is to head south to Anthom (197 Tenth Avenue), the indie boutique housed in a former auto shop, but feels like an art gallery. Here, you'll find under-the-radar designers, mostly from either NYC or Europe.
Where to Caffeinate
Lucky for devoted Brooklynites, there's a Café Grumpy (200 West 39th Street) a few blocks north of Moynihan Station. If you've already ventured to Chelsea, however, Pushcart Coffee (401 West 25th Street) is a solid option.
Where to Inebriate
It's maybe a little bro-y than fashion people prefer, but there's precious few weeks of warm weather left, and if you haven't already done the Frying Pan this summer, now's your chance. Located on a moored boat off Pier 66 (530 West 26th Street), it's got rosé, sangria, and serious vacation vibes.
What's the next best location for a bar besides a boat? A roof, of course. Nestled on top of the McKittrick Hotel (530 West 27th Street), Gallow Green serves fruity punches and fresh cocktails inside a dreamy garden.
Where to Be Seen
Who won't you see on a typical stroll through the High Line, the 1.5-mile stretch atop a former train line that spans from Chelsea to the West Village? Tourists, locals in need of some fresh air, napping sunbathers, and during Fashion Week, likely your fair share of industry people all visit the must-see park. Along the way, there are plenty of spots for photo ops, whether it's overlooking the Meatpacking District or lounging on any of the available seating.
Any art crawl among the contemporary Chelsea galleries will provide you with a fair share of photo ops (Dan Flavin's light installations at David Zwirner, for instance) but to be where the people are, head to the Affordable Art Fair at Metropolitan Pavilion (125 West 18th Street), which just so happens to coincide with Fashion Week. Tickets, available through Sunday, can be found here.
Where to Get Pretty
Beauty stores in the area include a rather massive section of the Urban Outfitters in Herald Square (1333 Broadway) devoted to cosmetics, Sephora (130 West 34th Street), as well as a Lush (44 West 34th Street), which includes skin consultations and facial services.
As for blowouts, your best bet is the Blo at 800 Sixth Avenue, while if you're looking for an ethical manicure, you'll have to venture to Valley Nails in Chelsea, located at 237 West 15th Street.
Where to Take a Load Off
We can pretty much guarantee there'll be no sign of fash-un people at UCB Theatre (307 West 26th Street), the Amy Poehler-cofounded space for cheap (but almost always great) stand-up, improv, and sketch shows — check the schedule here.
For substantially more fash-un people — or at least college students in training to become fash-un people — hit up the Museum at FIT (227 West 27th Street), whose current exhibits include a deep dive into existing and emerging fashion capitals around the world.
When to Go
Here's a rundown of the biggest shows here that are likely to draw stylish crowds:
- Yigal Azrouel — Friday, September 11th at 11am
- Public School — Sunday, September 13th at 11am
- Prabal Guring — Sunday, September 13th at 7pm
- Jeremy Scott — Monday, September 14th at 2pm
- Naeem Khan — Wednesday, September 16th at 12pm
- Anna Sui — Wednesday, September 16th at 6pm