Though sometimes pure drudgery, commuting into Manhattan affords us the opportunity to explore neighborhoods outside of the ones we live in. Tucked away in a Cooper Union administration building, my company's old office space on The Bowery felt right in the thick of the excitement of downtown. With NYU a few blocks to the west and St. Mark's Place a few blocks to the east, the area has a buzzy youthfulness and eternal grittiness that I love.
The Bowery is a far cry from the lawless bohemia it was throughout the 60s, 70s, and 80s (RIP). However, structures like 190 Bowery, a curious building that many assumed was abandoned for years, preserves a bit of the area's gritty past. Former home of photographer Jay Meisel, the structure was once a canvas for iconic artists like Basquiat and Haring. An often overlooked landmark covered by decades worth of street art, make sure you check it out stat: 190 Bowery recently sold in September and is sure to face some drastic changes and development.
And while you're there, consider visiting these other nearby places:
- The New Museum: showcasing work by performance and modern artists.
- The Hole: a smaller gallery great for an after work activity, with frequently updated contemporary exhibitions.
- Bowery Ballroom: peep the schedule, go to almost any concert. Lots of our fav artists frequent the venue, and it's relatively small, which rocks.
There's an eclectic mix of places to eat on The Bowery. Here are some favorites:
- Bianca: a lovely little (and affordable) Italian spot...heads up that it's cash only!
- Hecho En Dumbo: for Mexican and Margs.
- Cata: for post-work cocktails and tapas.
Some of my most beloved Manhattan bars are on The Bowery. Intimate, rustic, and non-gimicky, many a wintry evening's culminated with a night cap at one of these chill spots:
- Saxon & Parole: great for a date or drinks with your girls.
- The Wren: for a no-fuss gastropub that's chockfull of Irishmen.
- Von: if you're looking to take things up a notch and get a little "dancey," as we like to say.
Have a reliable recommendation or sweet spot to share? Go crazy in the comments section.