By: Angelika Taschen
Review Date: July 2009
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: July 29, 2010
If you love New York City, have experienced the excitement of Times Square, made your way up the elevator to the top of the Empire State Building, or have even had the opportunity to fly above the streets of Manhattan in a helicopter, perhaps you’d like to fly a bit higher. You need only take a look at the glamor of the hotels, restaurants, and shops through the eyes of Angelika Taschen to soar through luxury you may not have even known existed. Her élan for the city is evident in her selections, especially the “classic addresses and places that have the potential to become tomorrow’s classics.”
In her many visits she has explored the best of Soho, Chelsea, Tribeca, the East Village, Gramercy, Midtown, Columbus Circle, the Upper East Side, the West Village, Chelsea, Nolita, the Lower East Side, the Flatiron, Hell’s Kitchen, and Spanish Harlem. The unsuspecting armchair traveler will view the breathtakingly beautiful hotels behind ofttimes bland facades with jaw dropping amazement. The once blasé Tribeca area has been revitalized by the mere presence and ingenious revitalizing efforts of Robert De Niro. Take for example the Greenwich Hotel. One can “feel the De Niro signature everywhere in the masculine, Italian atmosphere, lightened throughout by beautiful flower arrangements.” The hotel simply exudes elegance.
Each hotel is prefaced by a brief, but fascinating history, a web site address, telephone numbers, how to reach it by subway, the number of rooms, restaurant(s), and of course the $$$$. No doubt we are talking some well spent luxury dollars! If you are planning the trip of a lifetime do you want to spend your time in anything less than the best? Food, on the other hand, need not break the bank, but must taste wonderful. Perhaps you’d like a burger or a hot dog at the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. For a reasonable price you’ll find that “the ingredients are tops, and so is the taste—try one of the all-beef hot dogs, served on a poppy-seed bun. Wash it down with homemade lemonade, or a gourmet root beer from Louisiana.” (pg. 264). And, dear reader, can you believe you can eat well for under ten dollars in the Big Apple? On the other hand, dinner at Kai would be simply scrumptious!
Shopping...ooh, la, la! You can’t go to New York City and simply pick up five tee shirts for ten bucks, you simply must shop (at least look). Tiffany & Company at 727 5th Avenue may break the bank, but is at least worth a looksee. Angelika asks, “Whose heart doesn’t begin to beat a little faster when handed the famous blue Tiffany box?” (pg. 382) For this reviewer, who has been to the magnificent Strand Book Store at 828 Broadway, there is something to be said for the saying, “shop ‘til you drop.” Rows upon rows, and rows of books to suit all needs and price ranges await the eager bibliophile. Whatever your passion in the shopping department, this book will give you some lovely ideas to ponder. Simply remember to bring an extra suitcase along, empty preferred.
This book was a sheer delight from cover to cover. Frommer’s and Fodor’s travel guides pale in comparison to the luxurious pages I found in this book. There are maps interspersed between sections and there is a laminated pull out map tucked in the back of the book that covers Manhattan from Spanish Harlem down to Battery Park. On the reverse side there is a blowup map of the Soho area. This is a wonderful book to browse and perhaps one the reader might consider to find those marvelous places only an experienced traveler like Angelika Taschen can point out. The art photography was simply gorgeous and brought out the finer points of each destination or eatery. This is one book that is simply an “experience” in luxury you might not want to pass up!
Quill says: If you are planning to visit the Big Apple and want to maximize your vacation, you simply need to think “Taschen” if you want to see the best the city can offer!