THE BLOCK IS HOT: RIVINGTON STREET

 

Every now and then, while cruising around the city, I stumble upon a block that is total unchartered FIRE. For whatever reason, a group of the city's coolest, under-the-radar spots tend to pop up up next to each other. So I say “Look daddy, just hook it up” because The Block Is Hot.

SUGAR SWEET SUNSHINE

126 Rivington Street, New York, NY 10002

When you walk into Sugar Sweet Sunshine's cozy, warm shop you immediately flash back to the 1960s when bakeries were less about branding and concepts and more about delicious homemade goods. And that is exactly what co-owners Peg and Deb had in mind when they opened their treats kitchen over a decade ago -- a homey environment to make and sell their sweets to the locals. In addition to pastel frosted cupcakes and their signature buttery cakes, the ladies cook up the best homemade pudding you will ever devour. Step in and try the fall special, Nog Pudding (pumpkin cake, egg nog pudding, and whipped cream), or the classic Chocolate Chip for a little dose of sunshine. www.sugarsweetsunshine.com

 

WELCOME TO THE JOHNSONS

123 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002

Miss drinking in your parent's basement? Well head on over to Welcome to the Johnsons, the lower east sides' dive bar of dive bars. Littered with 70s couches, mismatched chairs, and a crowded pool table, this spot is the perfect place to grab a cheap drink and hang out 'til way past your curfew. The best nights are those without any expectations -- and Welcome to the Johnson's has a perfectly unpretentious casualness that will leave you open for anything. Down some $2 PBRs and you'll be ready to go. 

NITECAP

120 Rivington Street, New York, NY 10002

There's no better place to uncover a sultry underground cocktail den than on a gritty block of dives and eateries. Brought to you by the cocktail connoisseurs behind Death + Co and Williamsburg's Donna, Nitecap is the perfect hideway to bring your date for that "last drink of the night". Order the Fireside Chats (Pineapple-infused Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, Clear Creek Pear Brandy, Tempus Fugit Cremé de Cacao, Honey, Lemon Juice) and you'll feel warm and fuzzy enough for the cold walk home. www.nitecapnyc.com


 

THE BLOCK IS HOT: ORCHARD STREET

 

Every now and then, while cruising around the city, I stumble upon a block that is total unchartered FIRE. For whatever reason, a group of the city's coolest, under-the-radar spots tend to pop up up next to each other. So I say “Look daddy, just hook it up” because The Block Is Hot.


 

COMING SOON NEW YORK

37 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

Looking to add some randomness in your apartment? Step into Coming Soon New York, a quirky gallery-esque boutitque serving you "stylish gifts and furniture." Founded by Helena Barquet and Fabiana Faria, both formerly of Chelsea furniture galleries, the eclectic space houses everything from cigarette lighters to chaise lounges. Have a thing for one of a kind pieces? Catch one of the store's quarterly art events for limited edition product installations by featured artists (last month's Psychotic Plants by David Haskell, a series of cacti in custom vases, sold out immediately). www.comingsoonnewyork.com


CHEEKY SANDWICH SHOP 

35 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

Unmarked and unsigned, this lowbrow sandwich spot is a true underground find, discoverable only to those elitely in-the-know. Slightly disheveled with scarce seating, Cheeky's just has the look of a good sandwich spot. It's always those no-frills joints that surprise you with their delicious combinations. Channeling New Orleans' indulgent home-style fare, menu items include chicken fried biscuits and caramelized apple-topped pork sandwiches. www.cheeky-sandwiches.com


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LA PETITE MORT 

37 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

Despite being known for epic style and fashion, shopping in NYC can be tough. If you aren't one of the limited few who can afford exciting designer duds, there are few options other than Zara and H&M. And wearing mainstream bullshit all the time gets boring AF. Thankfully the downtown shopping scene is poppin' with hip boutiques like La Petite Mort that offer inventive clothing and accessories at do-able prices. Specializing in items from emerging designers like Stickybaby, Made in Lieu, and street artist Baron Von Fancy, the shop also carries a funky vintage assortment. www.shoplapetitemort.com 

 


THE LEADBELLY 

14 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

The little brother to Fat Radish across the street, this dimly lit oyster bar is the perfect spot to sip on crafted cocktails while enjoying a mix of live blues and vintage records. Cozy up in a back table and try some of Leadbelly's savory small plates, including Organic Beef Sliders and Peeky Toe Crab Gratin (with leeks, aged cheddar, and sherry), or sit by the bar and choose from oysters from both coasts. Don't miss out on the Copper Cup cocktail, a blend of absolut elyx, market fruit & herbs served, of course, in a copper cup. www.theleadbellynyc.com