Decor aficionados salivate at the thought of a shopping spree at ABC Carpet (preferably if someone else is picking up the tab). This boho-luxury furniture and home wares emporium is a New York institution known to induce fevers in those vulnerable to sticker shock, but it is unparalleled in its ability to inspire interior designer wannabes. Walk the creaky floors in this high-ceilinged Beaux-Arts building, and explore six levels of furniture, linen, house wares, and electronics. The furniture is both new and antique, ranging from industrial, Danish modern, 18th-century French, and Asian to modern retailers like Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams or Ralph Lauren. There are real finds here from around the world, such as Venetian chandeliers from Murano glass factories, Indonesian wedding beds, organic towels and linens, and, of course, piles and piles of carpets of all sizes, colors, and origins at the satellite store across the street at 881 Broadway – ABC Carpet is above all, the largest carpet and rug retailer in the world.
When you’ve reached design saturation, head to City Bakery for the best salad bar in the city, or for one of their signature pick-me-ups, such as the pretzel croissant or their rich, thick hot chocolate with a homemade giant marshmallow. The salad bar serves Asian-inspired dishes (Thai saffron rice with Lotus seeds; pesto soba noodle salad; grilled pineapple with ancho chili) or yummy comfort food like mac & cheese, or red bean and tomato stew with chipotle and lime. Take a seat on the main floor, or look down at the bustling crowd from upstairs in this large airy space with an industrial feel.