Coming this summer, citizenM New York Bowery promises all the things you love most about our hotels – sumptuous beds, customisable rooms, vibrant living spaces – affordably, luxuriously packaged in one of Manhattan’s most happening parts of town. What’s more, our second bite of the Big Apple looks to be just as juicy as the first.
With East Village to the north, Canal Street and Chinatown in the south, the Lower East Side on the east and Nolita out west, Bowery boasts a rich cultural history and trendy today. Galleries dot the streets around our new site, as do some great clubs, pubs and grub. What’s more, the area’s eponymous metro stop is within spitting distance of our (soon-to-be) front door, giving future visitors easy access to the city and beyond.
With construction well underway, we’re feeling as excited as a kid on Christmas Eve – right after they’ve guzzled a bumper bag of sweets. Perfect time, then, to take a wander around our new ‘hood.
Bowery: past and present
Standing among the area’s high-rise buildings, galleries and upmarket stores, it’s hard to believe that the phrase “on the Bowery” once implied “down-and-out”. Yet in the early 1900s, it was a neighbourhood of vice, home to low-brow concert halls, brothels, flophouses, pawn shops and vagrants. The area was best known for Skid Row and one of America’s earliest street gangs, the Bowery Boys. In 1913, President Teddy Roosevelt penned an essay, Dante and the Bowery, comparing the bustling highway to hell.
Photo: Glass Hospital
Today, following regeneration in the 1990s, this 1.25 mile stretch – the city’s oldest thoroughfare – is home to trendy restaurants, bars and museums. Yet history still pumps through its veins, like a cup o’ Joe does through those of a native New Yorker. Bowery is a cultural cocktail of past and present. Come, take a sip.
Some of the world’s best-known creatives rank among Bowery’s former residents – Eva Hesse, Cy Twombly, Mark Rothko, Joey Ramone – so when the chance came along for us to join their ranks, we jumped at it.
Photo: New Museum
Contemporary galleries pepper the streets around our new site. Visit The Lodge Gallery, WhiteBox, Canada and Pop International Galleries among many. Within five minutes’ stroll you’ll come across The Hole – one of our faves – which often runs a couple of exhibitions each month. The nearby International Center of Photography Museum takes a look behind the lense while the New Museum is – you guessed it – a go-to for new art and new ideas. Plus, the building itself has been dubbed as one of the seven architectural wonders of the world by Condé Nast Traveler.
Yet for all the galleries which Bowery boasts, it’s impossible to miss it’s namesake mural. Found on the corner of Houston Street and The Bowery, the Bowery Mural showcases work by some of world’s leading street artists. In 1982, Keith Haring was the first to paint here and, since then, famous graffiti artists including RETNA, Kenny Scharf and Os Gemeos have taken over. Perfect for the ‘gram.
Food & Drink
Photo: Eater NY
Bowery and its surrounding areas are teeming with icons of Manhattan’s dining scene as well as underground gems. Great Jones Cafe ranks among the neighbourhood’s most loved down-to-earth eateries, having served Cajun classics like Jambalaya and Gumbo to a loyal local clientele since 1983. At the other end of the gastronomic spectrum, the two-Michelin starred Momofuku Ko offers an ever-evolving menu of David Chang’s signature Asian-meets-American fare. The restaurant is tiny, tough to reserve, not easy on the pocket and completely to die for; book well ahead. Alternatively, fill your boots at former gas station B Bar and Grill or polish your halo with veg-centric fare from The Butcher’s Daughter. For tasty cocktails surrounded by some seriously cool art, try Vandal just next door. Like Asian food? Head to the affectionately known Little Saigon between Grand Street and Hester Street which is lined with Vietnamese restaurants.
Photo: The Butcher's Daughter
When it comes to bars, The Wren is among Bowery’s best, with seasonal cocktails (try the Great Jones), vintage beers and creative bar food within staggering distance of citizenM’s front door. Brunch here is good too… two words: bourbon churros. Nearby, charmingly elegant Sel Rrose draws the creative bourgeois with floral cocktails and a raw bar. Cosy up at speakeasy-style bar One Mile House (right on our doorstep) or gin joint Mother’s Ruin.
Photo: The Roxy Hotel
Bowery is a musical mecca, having once been home to the cradle of punk rock, CBGB. Fitting, then that the legendary Bowery Ballroom is opposite our new site. Meanwhile the neon blue sign of rock venue Bowery Electric is just five minutes’ away – stroll there along Joey Ramone Place. (Fun fact: the sign of the punk rocker’s namesake street is the most stolen in New York. Not that we’re suggesting you need that as a memento. Cough, cough.)
Photo: Sister Disco
Performance space Bowery Poetry is loved among locals and visitors, while Dixon Place is a must for alternative, experimental theatre, dance, music and literature. Take a guided tour of the Tenement Museum and peer into America’s urban immigrant history. And, though you’re in a concrete jungle, don’t be fooled into thinking you’re away from greenspace. The sprawling strip, Sara D Roosevelt Park is right on our doorstep (though we recommend seeking out the quaint Liz Christy Community Garden a short walk north on Houston Street).
Photo: John Varvatos
Shops old and new rub shoulders along Bowery’s streets – that’s part of its charm. The area is best known for its cluster of family-owned lighting and restaurant supplies stores dating from the early 1900s. Pay a visit to get a feel for the old Bowery. Drop into antique store Olde Good Things, one of the largest antique dealers in the US – and expect to leave with something weird and wonderful. Designer menswear store John Varvatos is unmissable; once home of CBGB, the store today hosts live rock concerts and stocks an awesome edit of contemporary and vintage vinyls. In town for business? British suit maker Duncan Quinn caters to those with a thirst for Savile Row.