Category Archives: PARKS

Prime Rib: Laura Bohn’s Neighborhood

I live on the eastern edge of the Meatpacking District, on the southwest corner of Eighth Avenue and 14th Street, in what was the New York County Bank Building. It’s a neo-classical temple with Corinthian columns and Beaux-Arts touches, designed in 1907 by  DeLemos & Cordes, the architects of Macy’s on 34th Street. My building stands directly across the street from the former New York Savings Bank on the northwest corner. Built in 1897, it’s a Roman temple of white Vermont marble capped by an impressive copper dome. (It once housed Balducci’s but is now a CVS.) The A.I.A. Guide to New York City notes that the two bank buildings are “a rare occurrence for this city: a pair of classically inspired sentinels guarding the western corridor of 14th Street” leading to the Meatpacking District or, as it’s officially known, the Gansevoort Market Historic District.

N.Y. County National Bank Building - 14th Street and 8th Avenue

Laura Bohn lives in the former New York County National Bank Building at 14th Street and 8th Avenue, the beginning of the Meatpacking District.

The 1897 New York Savings Bank 81 8th Avenue

The former New York Savings Bank stands across the street from Laura’s building, creating “a pair of classically inspired sentinels guarding the western corridor of 14th Street” and the Meatpacking District beyond.

The Meatpacking District is definitely a hotbed of trendy fashion and design stores. Some of my favorites include Jeffrey New York, Alexander McQueen, Diane von Furstenberg, and Vitra.

Jeffrey New York in the Meatpacking District

Jeffrey New York (twin to an Atlanta location) at 449 West 14th Street is a swank mini-department store that features runway-hot men’s and women’s wear in a cool warehouse space.

Alexander McQueen store, Meatpacking District, New York, Robert Wright for The New York Times

The Alexander McQueen store at 417 West 14th Street continues to be a high fashion Mecca despite the death of the extraordinarily talented designer in 2010. Photograph by Robert Wright/New York Times

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Dutch Treat: Laura Bohn in Amsterdam

Tulip fields, Holland

An aerial view of the spring tulip fields in Holland

The famous tulip festival draws many tourists to Amsterdam’s Keukenhof park each spring, but my husband and I spent last New Year’s in the Dutch city and found that, like Venice, it’s the perfect place for a winter vacation. We stayed at the Hotel Pulitzer, an extraordinary collection of 25 restored 17th and 18th century canal houses that have been converted into a single luxury hotel. It’s well located—we wanted to be on a canal—and is next door to the Anne Frank House, which we visited and found a very emotional experience.

Amsterdam is a great city to get lost in (which is easy to do—even the locals occasionally lose their way) and, essential map in hand, we walked endlessly, seeing the sights, browsing markets and shops, and stopping at charming cafes and restaurants. Major destinations included the Rijksmuseum, with its incomparable collection of Rembrandts, Vermeers, and Hals, among other Flemish masterpieces; the Van Gogh Museum, the main part of which was designed by Gerrit Rietveld; the floating flower market; and the notorious Red Light District.

Amsterdam has wonderful night life. We rang in the New Year at Boom Chicago, a terrific sketch and improvisational comedy troupe in the historic Leidseplein Theater. Founded almost 20 years ago by Americans (hence the name), it’s full of hip, young, talented performers (Seth Meyers and Jason Sudeikis are both alums). We stayed for an enjoyable dinner and dancing after the show. And we had a memorable meal at Le Pêcheur, a serene fish restaurant that several people had recommended.

Hotel Pulitzer, Amsterdam

In Amsterdam, Laura and her husband stayed at the Hotel Pulitzer, which consists of 25 interconnected 17th and 18th century canal houses. 

Hotel Pulitzer, Amsterdam

The Pulitzer’s guest rooms, many overlooking the canal, are full of character.

Inside the Anne Frank House

A visit to the Anne Frank House, which is next door to the Hotel Pulitzer, was a moving emotional experience.

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An American in Paris: Ron Bricke’s Winter Travels

I spend part of each winter in Paris, where I have an apartment in the Marais, just around the corner from the glorious Place des Voges. It’s a marvelous season to be in the City of Light. I eat mostly at wonderful, small restaurants and bistros owned by younger chefs. And I walk and walk and then walk some more through this superb city. Favorite routes include strolling down the center of the Ile Saint Louis to the Ile de la Cité, where I’ll take in the view of Notre Dame before heading to the Palais de Justice to hear a concert in Sainte-Chapelle.  After, I’ll head over to the 2nd arrondissement to visit my favorite building in Paris, the old Bibliotheque Nationale on rue de Richelieu. Other walks include Saint Germaine, the rue de Seine, and the rue de Bac, searching for great antiques and contemporary items.   Favorite shops include L’Arc en Seine (31, rue de Seine), Galerie Jacques Lacoste (12, rue de Seine), and Galerie Vallois (41, rue de Seine). I’ll continue shopping  along rue Bonaparte and rue Jacob, with a stop at Le Comptoire (9, carrefour de l’Odeon) for lunch. Nearer my apartment, Galerie Patrick Seguin (5, rue des Taillandiers) is unsurpassed for Prouvé, Corbusier, Royère, Perriand, and Jeanneret.

The living room in Ron Bricke's Paris apartment

The living room in Ron Bricke’s Paris pied-à-terre in the Marais.

The kitchen in Ron Bricke's Paris apartment

The view from the breakfast table in Ron’s kitchen.

Snow in the Place des Vosges, Paris, photographed by Carla Coulson

Ron’s apartment is near the sublime Place des Vosges, seen here shrouded in snow. Photograph by Carla Coulson

Le Gainge, Paris

 Le Gaigne (12, rue Pecquay), a small, fabulous restaurant, is a favorite of Ron’s and only an eight minute walk from his apartment.  

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