Living in Manhattan you get to see a lot of luxury sights. Luxury apartments and stores seem to flood the streets. Walking around there are times you wish you could afford that apartment, that dress or that pair of shoes, but it’s not in reach. Window shopping will just have to do, and that’s exactly what I did.
I started my journey looking at five-star restaurants. Daniel, which is on the Upper East Side, was raved about online as being a five-star restaurant and a place that would be sure to please. As you can see, even the entry way seems elegant. The inside had decor that was very sophisticated and everyone wore fancy clothes. And of course this wouldn’t be a five-star restaurant without the price! A three course prix fixe is about $116. A bit pricey for me, but I would love to try out this restaurant due to their separate vegetarian menu! While that is quite appealing to me, their dessert menu has also caught my attention. Peanut Butter Feuilletine, that just sounds fancy and scrumptious.
The next five-star restaurant I found was Jean-Georges located on the Upper West Side in the Trump International Hotel. The fact that it was in the Trump International Hotel gave me no doubt that it was considered a fine dining restaurant. The entrance resembles that of gold and chandeliers hang from the ceilings. That’s even before you get to the actual restaurant. Jean-Georges is very modern, chic, and luxurious. There are many prix fixe menus to choose from and gentlemen are required to wear a jacket, however, a tie is not required. For us college students, we would have to take out some of our savings to be able to afford eating here, but if we were to ever get the chance, I’m sure it would be a night to remember with food that is sure to impress.
My five-star restaurant search ended with Per Se, Dr. Gratson’s personal favorite. Located in the Time Warner Center on the 4th floor, this restaurant is tucked neatly in the corner with a fantastic view that overlooks the south side of central park and the skyline of the East Side. If you get the chance, I would suggest going to the 4th floor just for the spectacular view. Besides the view, you are greeted with a nice seating area and plants that top off the decor. The rich blue doors are an invitation to enter and enjoy a nice meal. The lunch prix fixe starts at $195 for a five course meal. This restaurant sure looks the part and if I had to opportunity to try the food, I’m sure it would taste the part too! Next time you’re there (Dr. Gratson), save something for me.
Going back a little bit, in order for me to reach Per Se and the Time Warner Center, I had to walk across the south side of Central Park. I absolutely love Central Park and having to look at the views in the park was definitely one of my favorite parts to this stream. One thing I noticed was that the south side seemed to be the most touristy. The guys with the bicycle carts try to persuade you to take a ride through Central Park with them as your tour guide. I got stopped by one guy and I got a five minute talk about all of the sights I would be seeing. I felt bad saying no after he did his little speech, but he didn’t give me room to say no beforehand. There are also a line of horses and carriages for a ride through Central Park. These tours may be pricey, but it seems to be a popular tourist attraction. As for the views, I found them to be beautiful. Half of the view seems to be the water surrounded by the lush, green trees. If you look very closely in my picture, there is an artist painting the scene. It’s a little dark, but you can slightly see him. There were also views of open fields and people basking in the sun. It’s like an improvised beach or the perfect place to have a picnic and play frisbee. I am lucky to say that I live close to Central Park, so I can have the luxury of soaking in all the sights there are to see.
Close to the south side of Central Park sits the Plaza Hotel. It is one of the prime locations for celebrities to stay when they are traveling. In fact, just the other day, a classmate saw Ben Affleck and actually asked him a question without even realizing that was him at first! If you hang around, you might be lucky enough to spot someone famous! Right now, the Plaza Hotel is under some construction, but it is still beautiful nonetheless. You are greeted by large pillars and a grand entryway that screams luxury! Right across the street, there is a gorgeous fountain with plenty of seating to sit back and relax. There are also flags that are just outside of the hotel, but due to the construction, they had to be taken down. The lamps that line the front are particularly stunning. These lamps are not a common sight which makes the viewers appreciate the decor even more. Mockery windows are placed over the real windows of the hotel. I am uncertain if that is because of construction, or if that is how it usually is. With rooms overlooking Central Park and so close to 5th avenue shopping, this hotel makes for a great vacation.
Just one block down is Bergdorf Goodman. It’s every designer’s dream to have their clothing sold there. It’s said that if you’re not at Bergdorf, you are no where in life. Seems a bit harsh, but Bergdorf has the best of the best. On 5th avenue, Bergdorf has two stores parallel to each other. One is specifically called the Men’s Store. I find that stores have floors and floors of women’s clothing, but when it comes to men, they don’t have many options. Bergdorf’s on the other hand has an entire store dedicated to men’s fashion. Now if you’re looking for a good deal, you probably won’t find it here. You will pay top dollar for the best clothes, but hey, if you live in Manhattan, you must be rich… right? Unless you’re like me who lives in a closet… well, not really, but you get the point. It is fun to window shop though. You see clothes or shoes that you would love to have, but the price is just too much. It’s also said to have the best holiday window displays, but I was there before any Fourth of July decorations could be displayed. If you get the chance, go during the holidays and see the spectacular views that everyone raves about.
Now, luxury isn’t just for shopping, it’s also for living. The apartments on the Upper West Side in particular are stunning on the outside. A famous apartment complex is the Dakota on 72nd and Central Park West. This is where John Lennon was shot. It draws tourists to the gates where he was shot to pay respect. John Lennon’s wife still lives in the Dakota. The archway of the Dakota is absolutely stunning. The big iron gates are also a sight to see. The detail at the bottom is impeccable. Surrounding the perimeter of the Dakota is a low iron fence that details a face with a beard and two dragon type reptiles on either side. This is repeated all the way around. There are so many details that one couldn’t possibly see them all in their ten minute visit.
Another luxury apartment complex is the Apthorp. Located on 72nd-80th street on Broadway, this stunning complex also has a grand iron gate to welcome its visitors. The detail at the top of the gate is particularly intriguing along with the archway that gives visitors access to the courtyard area. The courtyard is a beautiful place to see. Trees line certain parts along with shrubs and bushes. Anyone living here is lucky to be able to come out and read a book or just relax.
These apartment complex’s are not the only ones that make you stop and look in awe. Walk down any street on the Upper West Side or Upper East Side and you’ll be sure to find an apartment that looks stunning. I found a couple on the Upper West Side, Upper East Side and Midtown East. It always makes me wonder how much these apartments go for and if someone famous is living in them. Below I have included three pictures of the three apartments I found to resemble luxury. The left most picture shows a rounded part of the house sticking out. To me that symbolizes something luxurious because not most houses or apartments have that and I find them particularly appealing. There is also a balcony at the top that allows the occupants to sit outside and people watch, read a book or maybe even bask in the sun. The middle apartment has a window jutting out screaming, “look at me!” The architecture that went in to designing that window was well planned. A little box garden sits below it and a balcony rests at the top. The last photograph on the right resembles a very luxurious place. Do you see that staircase leading up to the main door? And that door, oh it’s beautiful. And the windows! They have a circular design throughout which makes this place look luxuriously modern.