A Perfect New York City Getaway with The Renwick Hotel New York City, Curio Collection by Hilton

New York’s layers of history and reputation for reinvention encourage urban explorers to delve deeper into the multicultural metropolis. After all, there’s always something new to discover no matter how many times you’ve visited. Take The Renwick, a brick building in Midtown that once housed the studios and residences of the likes of John Steinbeck and has been transformed into a hotel inspired by its artistic legacy. Using it as a base, we’ve assembled a guide to more NYC hidden gems.

The Renwick Hotel New York City, Curio Collection by Hilton

In a city that constantly looks forward to the next new thing, The Renwick recalls the past as much as it telegraphs the future. Occupying a 1928 Midtown building designed by architect James Renwick, Jr., the man behind St. Patrick’s Cathedral, each of the 173 loft-style guest rooms honors its history as an artists’ lodging and workspace with nods to the luminaries who once called The Renwick home. There’s a typewriter and a display of cocktail stirrers on the wall in the Fitzgerald room and references to The Magic Mountain in the Mann room. But the property also heralds work by up-and-coming artists of the next generation, including a depiction of the Manhattan skyline by Ben Cowan, onetime assistant to Jeff Koons, and graffiti-like murals by Gregory Siff in the lobby. For those less artistically inspired, there’s also an on-site yoga studio and fitness center as well as the Argentinean-inspired restaurant Bedford & Co.

The Underground Food Scene

Hidden beneath a generic office building in Midtown, Sakagura remains one of the city’s best Japanese restaurants and is ideal for an expense account–worthy meal (there are more than 200 kinds of sake on the menu) without all the yuppie hoopla. On the other end of the spectrum is Dhaulagiri Kitchen, an affordable Nepalese jewel box that stands out among the Indian stalwarts in Curry Hill. The eclectic specialties (khao salad with hanger steak and cod Provençal with chickpea puree) at new fast-casual eatery Made Nice—from Eleven Madison Park owners Daniel Humm and Will Guidara—are equally wallet friendly. But for the most literal interpretation of underground eating head to TurnStyle within the Columbus Circle subway stop. The subterranean food hall features more than 30 local vendors proffering everything from Doughnuttery’s matcha-flavored confections to the meatball grilled cheeses at MeltKraft.

The Art Galleries

New York continues to be a leader of the art world, and its museums and galleries showcase works by some of the industry’s most inventive talents. If your tastes run toward the avant-garde, skip the lines at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and opt instead for its celebrated annex, fresh off a much-publicized refurbishment last year. In lieu of a permanent collection, the Brutalist Met Breuer presents a roster of rotating modern exhibitions by artists such as Ettore Sottsass and Kerry James Marshall. Downtown, the New Museum reflects the grit and creativity of its Lower East Side neighborhood with a focus on lesser-known artists such as Chris Burden and William Kentridge. But if you’re looking for a sampling of contemporary styles and periods, with a focus on blue-chip works (think pieces by Jeff Koons and Cy Twombly), head to Chelsea to browse the exhibitions on view at prestigious galleries like GagosianDavid Zwirner, and Matthew Marks.

The Nightlife Mix

There’s a bar on every corner in this city that never sleeps, but intrepid cocktail connoisseurs should belly up to The Campbell, tucked away in Grand Central Station, just a few blocks from The Renwick Hotel. The former office of a railway tycoon and a Vanderbilt, the bar’s prohibition-era swank is matched only by the eye-popping prices of its classic quaffs. Slightly less prohibitive is Flatiron’s Raines Law Room, a local favorite speakeasy-style drinking den that feels like a plush Victorian parlor, with old-fashioned call buttons to catch the waiter’s attention at each seat. If the weather’s fine, grab a table nearby at Gallow Green, an ivy-trimmed Chelsea rooftop bar that also features live music. Prefer beverages of the malty, hoppy variety? Zum Schneider is a rowdy East Village beer hall where Oktoberfest is alive in spirit year-round.

The Up-and-Coming Live Music and Shows

Beyond Broadway, there are hundreds of smaller though no less inspiring performance venues sprinkled throughout the city. Case in point: The nonprofit theater Playwrights Horizons promotes unsung and up-and-coming creatives. You’ll find its downtown equivalent at Joe’s Pub, in Nolita, which sponsors Central Park’s beloved Shakespeare In the Park series and where you’re equally likely to catch shows focusing on the classics or experimental theater, as well as under-the-radar musical acts. Follow the tunes back uptown to Tomi Jazz, a tiny club with an extensive menu of Japanese izakaya food and spirits. If your tastes run the gamut—from a fashion talk with dapper NBA star Russell Westbrook to a reading by Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist Jeffrey Eugenides—consult the impressive calendar of events at the Upper East Side’s 92nd Street Y.

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