just this past year, and as i have written about before, i feel that i have found this kind of hidden manhattan, well hidden in plain site that is. this area covers a few blocks to the north and south of broome beginning at centre and lafayette streets. this area feels a little like what old new york could have been like for some reason, and with fairly limited commercial offerings it seems worlds away from broadway and prince. yet, clearly, it has become a haven to some great little shops and even a few interesting eating spots. so if i had a destination nearby, such as the sandra cameron dance center or the new maya lin-designed museum of chinese in america, there’s plenty to keep you occupied both before and after class.
oro bakery and bar, quite nice pastries, and the sandwiches don’t look that bad either. 375 broome street between mott and mulberry streets, 212.941.6368.
papabubble: it’s a chain, but a fun one filled with all sorts of hard candy including lollipops and big fat sucking rings in flavors like aniseed, eucalyptus, apple, lavender and spicy cinnamon. catching them in the act of making their goodies is especially fun. 380a broome street at mulberry street, 212.966.2599.
nyonya: i have not been to this mostly malaysian spot in a few years, but on my last visits, the food was pretty good, and definitely almost authentically malaysian (per my friend with a mom from malaysia) so i liked the change of pace, and especially looked forward to the shaved ice treats. 199 grand street between mulberry and mott streets, 212.334.3669.
michele varian: silk and velvet pillows, and home furnishings in beautiful woods, glass and ceramics at all price points make this an easy g0-to gift shop. 35 crosby street between grand and broome streets, 212.226.1076.
built by wendy: i really love their stuff. now i just need to buckle down and try some things on, and maybe even make a purchase. 7 centre market place between broome and grand streets, 212.925.6538.
posteritati: if you need a poster, any poster, this is the place to go. 239 centre street between broome and grand streets, 212.226.2207.
clic bookstore and gallery: founded by christiane celle of calypso fame (with a branch of calypso also on this block), this space has rotating photography exhibits and aims to serve as a somewhat more affordable gallery for limited edition prints. 424 broome street near lafayette street, 212.219.9308.