New York has always inspired artists and creatives. Just walking the streets is enough to feel energised and get the creative juices going. Bird and Knoll joined author of the My Mummy Loves series and fashion illustrator extraordinaire, Clare Grove to talk through her “inspired travels” in New York including a Sex and the City favourite and a Diane Von Furstenberg recommendation.
New York has always inspired artists and creatives. Just walking the streets is enough to feel energised and get the creative juices going.
BK: It is possible to spend weeks in New York and still not see all of the attractions. Tell us what was on your list of top ten “must-sees” during your visit. What inspires you there?
CG: I just need to walk the streets of New York to be inspired by the expected and unexpected. As an illustrator, I will often draw on those experiences and remember how they looked and felt. Literally hailing a yellow taxi cab or feeling the steam coming out of the subway grates – Those are such typical New York moments. Take note of the architectural details in the different neighbourhoods, the difference in atmosphere between Uptown and Downtown, the street characters….It is all so interesting!
We only had five days so we focussed on a blend of seeing the cultural landmarks and exploring iconic neighbourhoods.
- – I am always blown away by the creative interpretations of the featured artists here.
- – The atmosphere here is thick with grandeur, history and knowledge. The architecture is just amazing and there are often very interesting exhibitions.
- – Words cannot describe.
- – Such a peaceful sanctuary in the very heart of the city.
- – I am still amazed at how this grungy run-down neighbourhood that used to be filled with carcasses is now one of the trendiest fashion enclaves in the city. The DVF flagship store is here – such an incredible building!
- – Just keep on strolling down from the Meatpacking and start exploring the little streets of Greenwich Village. I love how this really is a little quiet “village” in the heart of one of the world’s busiest cities. Great little cafes and speciality shops tucked away.
- – Greenwich Village’s neighbour and one of my favourite shopping destinations. A fantastic blend of designer flagships, beautifully curated boutiques and galleries.
- – I know that some people can find it quite overwhelming, but there is something to be said for standing in the middle of Times Square. There’s no better place to experience the hustle and bustle of New York.
- – Such a peaceful space in amongst the chaos of the city. It looked stunning covered in a blanket of snow.
Times Square – There’s no better place to experience the hustle and bustle of New York
BK: There are so many incredible places to shop in New York. Tell us where you got your retail therapy fix. Any splurges or bargain finds?
CG: I love the department stores in New York – Bergdorfs, Saks Fifth Ave, Bloomingdales, Barney’s – we went to them all! My main splurge though was at Dior on Madison Ave. I bought my dream bag – the Diorama. It was designed by Raf Simons and has a beautiful architectural feel to it. The gold chain is perfect as you can use the bag across the body during the day or as a clutch at night. I am also in love with my Dannijo (Riles) earrings that I bought at Bergdorfs.My bargain find was at Bauble Bar, an inexpensive costume jewellery shop. My sisters and I all bought the same long gold tassel necklace to remind us of our amazing trip together.
BK: The food in New York is almost as important as the shopping. Any standout restaurants?
CG: A great place in Soho with a fabulous atmosphere is Balthazar’s (made famous by Sex and the City) – we had one of our best lunches here. I was also recommended The Fig and Olive by Diane Von Furstenberg’s PA. It didn’t disappoint! The food was an interesting mix of French, Spanish and Italian. My sisters and I then went on to party all night at a great bar in the Meatpacking – The Brass Monkey – unpretentious but fun.
BK: What’s on your capsule packing list for New York?
CG: My Bird and Knoll Boston scarf didn’t leave my side. It was my blanket on the plane, a shawl over my coat during the day and a warm scarf at night. Cashmere jumpers, a classic black pea coat, my faithful black fedora and easy jersey dresses for the evening plus lots of gold vintage jewellery and of course a couple of pairs of heels. I wished that I had packed knee high leather boots – It got warmer on our last couple of days there and I was tired of clomping around in my fur-lined heavy ankle boots.
Visit the My Mummy Loves site for Clare Grove’s exquisitely illustrated books ‘My Mummy Loves Shoes’ and ‘My Mummy Loves Bags’. We guarantee a smile to your face and a discounted offer on all books and stationery exclusive to our readers. Simply use birdandknoll10 at checkout for 10% off your purchases.