COFFEE @ Sullivan St Bakery – Manhattan 10011
You could walk right past the rustic Italian-inspired Sullivan Street Bakery if not for the delicious aromas of bread wafting through the air. It’s quite unassuming from the outside but when you venture in, it’s quaint and cosy and the atmosphere is comfortable and welcoming. The friendly vibe comes courtesy of a long bar where you can sit and eat your purchases, and the staff are particularly pleasant which makes all the difference in a big city such as New York.
What I loved is that you can see into the kitchen where all the scrumptious baked goods are made. You can tell the regular customers because they tend to zone in on exactly what they want and walk out with a cool cardboard carton full of goodies. Tourists (like me) and newbies who are just discovering it tend to be fascinated by the contents of the display cases and peer through to the kitchen to see what’s going on.
The interior is fashionable but not overdone. It doesn’t seem overly ‘hipster’ although you can purchase a cauliflower or potato pizza along with the signature multigrain baguette and a good “cawfee” as New Yorkers will pronounce it. A must-have is Sullivan Street Bakery’s famous ‘bombolini’, delectable doughnut-like sweets that are stuffed with custard, jam or chocolate. Divine!!
NOW & THEN around Midtown Manhattan, NYC
‘Midtown’ comprises the central lengthwise area of the island and borough of Manhattan. It separates Lower Manhattan from Upper Manhattan, is the location for the United Nations headquarters and is the largest central business district in the world. There, you’ll find the Rockefeller Centre, Times Square and Broadway as well as the Empire State, Flatiron and Chrysler buildings.
Times Square extends from West 42nd to West 47th Streets and is one of the busiest pedestrian intersections in the world with more than 460,000 pedestrians walking through on heavy foot traffic days. Understandably then, retail rents there are an incredible $2,413 per square foot and skyrocket to more than $3,600 per square foot on Fifth Avenue!
As iconic as can be, the Flatiron Building is an instantly recognisable Midtown landmark. Designed to suit the triangular block of land which was known as the ‘flat iron’, it was originally called the Fuller Building after George A. Fuller, head of the construction company that built it. The New York Times labelled it a “monstrosity” whilst it was also likened to “a stingy piece of pie” by another critic. Designed by renowned Chicago architect Daniel Burnham, it was originally intended to feature a clock face, which never eventuated. At its tip, the Flatiron Building is a mere 2 metres (6.5 feet) wide. The ‘pointy’ end is an acute angle of approximately 25 degrees. As a turn of the 20th century project, its steel skeleton construction meant it could rise to 22 stories quite easily, which would have been less feasible with other construction methods of the era.
Serviced extremely well by public transport, Manhattan welcomes 1.6 million commuters every day from the outer boroughs and suburbs. It is well serviced by bridges, tunnels and subways, ferries, buses and trains. The residential population of Manhattan is also 1.6 million and interestingly only 17 per cent of Manhattan households have children. Celebrities that have homes – or pads – in Midtown include Katie Holmes, Leonardo Di Caprio, Anderson Cooper, Jon Bon Jovi, Jay-Z and Beyonce, Justin Timberlake and Sex & The City favourite, Chris Noth, among many others.
A photographic record of my visit to Midtown Manhattan, NYC
No trip to New York City would be complete without a visit to the Midtown area. Do some shopping, see a show, do a walking tour or simply sit and marvel at the passing parade. If you don’t like crowds however, you may prefer to view it from afar from the free Staten Island Ferry. Either way, make sure you look out for the many examples of Contemperiod in the area. The following are just a few that I passed on my way through Midtown.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) of New York was created in 1965 and is the largest municipal preservation agency in the United States of America. The Commission is responsible for protecting New York City’s architecturally, historically, and culturally significant sites and buildings. They grant them landmark or historic district status and regulate them after designation. For further information and to view terrific photographic records of NYC, check out the NYC Landmark Preservation Commission website. The site includes some wonderful self guided walking tours for the architectural enthusiast.