XOCO 325:

SoHo has risen to represent one of the more intriguing cocktail scenes in the entire city. The chic, art-centric neighborhood has a multitude of bars, cocktail lounges, clubs and pubs to satiate nearly every taste. A short stroll from a new SoHo condo in the stunning XOCO 325 building can leave one utterly immersed in a diverse world of distilled spirit venues. Due to the abundance of options, it can be difficult to discern which drink slingers are the crème de la crème if you will—so we did it for you. What follows are our picks for the best bars in SoHo:

Pegu Club

The Pegu club is one of the premiere speakeasy-esque, high-end cocktail lounges in the city. Opened by famed mixologist Audrey Saunders, the Pegu Club played a pivotal role in ushering in the reassurance of cocktail culture in the Big Apple. When Pegu opened—over a decade ago—the entire city took notice. At Pegu each cocktail is made with an immense amount of care and a meticulous level of detail. The bartenders here are artists who use their expertise to craft wonderfully robust and flavorful cocktails that that are impossibly well-balanced. The atmosphere is relaxed with a modern and warm aesthetic that serves as an ideal frame for the drinks they serve. Pegu’s near instant acclaim ushered in a cadre of other bespoke cocktail bars, but most -if not all- have failed to match its stature and acclaim.

Ear Inn

If you’re in the mood for something a decidedly less high-end, and over a century older—the Ear Inn is a classic in the truest sense. A historical landmark in NYC, the Ear Inn was said to have first opened all the way back in 1830, which makes it one of the oldest bars in the state. It wasn’t called the Ear Inn until 1977, but the bar that exists now has many elements that date back over 100 years. It has the traditional wood bar and overall rich-grained finish. It is one of those bars that, for certain unquantifiable reasons just feels right. It’s one of the best places in all of Manhattan to stop in for a pint. Come for the history, stay for the drinks.

City Winery

City Winery is housed in a beautiful sprawling space on Varick St. in SoHo. It was opened by Michael Dorf—of the Knitting Factory—and is an actual, functioning winery in the middle of SoHo. There’s a large space in the basement where the barrels are prepared, kept and aged. The space itself is absolutely beautiful, featuring a rustic yet modern aesthetic that exudes elegance without pretension. The space does not feel stuffy, it’s massive size ensures that there is always room to taste, relax and enjoy your wine. Their selection is vast and varied, the service is exceptional and—as previously mentioned—the atmosphere is top-notch.

Toad Hall

Sometimes, you just want a dive bar—and for those times, Toad Hall should absolutely be your destination. It is not a fancy cocktail bar like Pegu, nor a massive wine-centric space like City Winery, and it’s not a century old, but it is a near perfect example of the quintessential bare-bones pub. The space is not huge, it’s cozy—and it feels familiar. Toad Hall has that certain something—much like Ear Inn—that just makes the whole space feel inviting. It’s dark, there’s exposed brick and dark wood throughout and the aesthetic is relatively basic—it is no-frills in the best way possible.

The Bryant: Midtown Condominiums

David Chipperfield Architect’s premiere New York City project is already the talk of Midtown Manhattan. The Bryant, which will be located at 16 West 40th Street across from the beloved Bryant Park, is the unique brainchild of British architect David Chipperfield. The stunning new tower will boast a traditional facade, combining materials like terracotta panels, marble mosaic and sandstone chips that culminate in a look that’s both understated and elegant. Upon completion, the luxury hotel and condominium combo project will stand at 33-stories tall, with ultra-luxe residences beginning on the 16th Floor, ranging in size from one-bedrooms to lavish triplex penthouses. The Bryant is rapidly becoming one of Midtown’s most attractive new options for those seeking an upscale metropolitan lifestyle.

The location of these Midtown condominiums is prime, not only because of its close proximity to one of the city’s most celebrated green spaces, but also because the overall conveniences and excitement it affords its residents. The Bryant Park train stop offers easy access to Grand Central Terminal, and provides a quick ride to adjacent neighborhoods like Manhattan’s Upper West Side where residents will find world-class cultural landmarks like Central Park and the American Museum of Natural History. While easy access to the train is an asset, there are countless adventures to be had in a neighborhood as vibrant as Midtown. Times Square and the Theatre District are mere footsteps away, offering an impressive lineup of celebrity-chef driven restaurants and performances taking place nightly. Pop in for a pre-show meal at French visionary Daniel Boulud’s celebrated DB Bistro Moderne, before experiencing the spectacle of a Broadway musical at one of the area’s countless Broadway houses.

Of course, that’s just one recommendation for foodies. The area surrounding Bryant Park is a hotbed for culinary innovation. It’s here where one can dine at eateries like Brasserie Les Halles, a spot renowned for its critically acclaimed French dishes and stellar cast of current and former executive chefs including TV-star and best-selling author, Anthony Bourdain. Ayza wine and chocolate bar is a haven for indulgence. This roomy bar and restaurant features more than 100 wines and champagnes plus a stunning menu of rare chocolates and imported cheeses to tantalize the tastebuds. For meat lovers, there’s no better option than Keens Steakhouse, featuring a unique maze-like interior design and some of the city’s best beef and mutton cuts.
The Bryant also happens to be near Manhattan’s destination for designer shopping: Fifth Avenue. Fashionistas rejoice on this impressive stretch of street where names like Tiffany & Co., Gucci, Harry Winston, and Valentino offer the latest fashions to fans of the finer things in life.

550 Vanderbilt: Park Slope Apartments for Sale

Prospect Heights, Brooklyn has rapidly grown into one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the borough. And with the revelatory Pacific Park development underway, and one of its prime residential attractions, 550 Vanderbilt, rising higher each day, it seems as though the area has to to reach its peak. In terms of commercial appeal in Prospect Heights, it’s the smaller, independent stores that line the blocks in the region and receive much of the acclaim and attention from residents. Within that realm, the small, quaint and simplistically charming, Unnamable Books is one of the best, local bookstores in the city.
As soon as you enter Unnamable, that inimitable, perfectly-worn, book shop aesthetic hits you, and everything just feels right—logical and cohesive, much like the layouts of the condos at 550 Vanderbilt. The store is small, with stacks of books in various areas and each shelf lining the walls and the rows packed full of obscure and popular selections. And unlike other, smaller bookstores, the vibe is not pretentious, it’s warm. Unnamable exists as a cozy little exclave hopelessly devoted to the merits and the magic of the written word. Even though the shop is small, their selection is remarkably wide, and anything out of stock can be ordered and received within a few days. At a time when book stores seem to be going the way of the Dodo, a gem like Unnamable Books continues to survive based upon its simplicity and charm. It doesn’t wow you in its vastness or its quirk, it’s impressive simply in its authenticity and feel.

Stella Tower: Hell’s Kitchen Condominiums

Nightlife in Manhattan is about as dynamic and diverse as any other metropolis on the planet. There are the small, bespoke cocktail lounges, sports bars, traditional Irish pubs, chic, modern wine bars, more traditional wine bars, small clubs, massive dance spots and any and everything that lies between. And while there are an array of options in most of these genres, none are quite as much fun as Hell’s Kitchen’s Bar9. A short stroll from the new, Stella Tower, these Hell’s Kitchen condominiums can land one in a wonderland of arcade games, craft beer and swirling music courtesy of their dueling pianos.

A bar with a solid beer and cocktail selection, a charming atmosphere and quality service may be enough to stand out in many areas, but in Manhattan it takes a bit more, and Bar9 has quite a bit more than a bit more. First there are the arcade games which include Skee Ball, Pac-Man, and an array of others. Then, moving away from the digital realm sits a well-maintained pool table. So game-wise, Bar9 has a series of solid options, but the games are only the beginning of what the space has to offer.

 

The main attraction at Bar9 is, without a doubt, the dueling pianos. There are plenty of bars that feature music in NYC, but very few that feature dueling pianos. Dueling pianos are a highly specialized brand of performance with a truly idiosyncratic appeal. There is a certain vibrancy to two pianists playing head-to-head and back-to-back that is sure to perk up even the most melodically averse among us. Requests are taken, songs are sung, and the entire evening is highly interactive. This is not one of those shows where you’re supposed to just sit in your seat and listen – it’s an incredibly lively and symbiotic event. The energy of the crowd feeds the players and the energy of the players feeds the crowd. What results is a highly enthusiastic and engaged audience and thoroughly devoted performers. Sing, dance and drink the night away at Bar9 – it’s bound to be a unique experience you won’t soon forget.

100 East 53rd Street: Billionaires Row

The iconic Seagram building is sure to find a companion in 100 E. 53rd Street, a glamorous new luxury residential tower from Norman Foster and Foster + Partners. The skyscraper brings fresh beauty to the growing Midtown skyline. From a sturdy nine-story base bursts a transparent stalk of tower residences, offering spectacular views of Manhattan’s east and west sides.

While the stunning geometrical exterior was carefully designed to complement the nearby Seagram building, the interiors are surprisingly original. Foster + Partners combines elegant materials, original hardware and open space to present 94 spectacular residences. Spacious, open floor plans promote freedom for residents to create their own unique sanctuaries. Sun-filled living spaces with wide open walls provide a minimal backdrop, perfect for displaying artwork and intriguing home furnishings. Select loft and tower residences feature double-entry oak doors, spa-like bathrooms with steam shower systems, heated floors and spacious kitchens perfect for entertaining at home. The imported Italian Carrara Marble countertop and backsplash add new dimensions of beauty, while a suite of top-of-the-line Gaggeneau and Miele appliances bring convenience and impeccable style to every home.

Expansive bay windows provide picturesque views of the surrounding skyscrapers. Homes sitting near the summit of the 711 foot tower peer above and beyond with views expanding to the edge of the island. Without a doubt, these Norman Foster condos are bringing luxury to new heights.

181 Fremont: Luxury San Francisco Condos

Now the second tallest building in San Francisco, exceeding 800 feet in height, 181 Fremont is a haven for the city’s flourishing business types, as well as residents who seek the ultimate in luxury living. The combination building offers more than 435,000-square feet of remarkable Class-A office space plus 67 luxury residential condos, which reside near the structure’s geometrically alluring summit.

181 Fremont Street offers unmatched convenience to residents and businesses of SoMa. It will eventually be linked via Skybridge to the future Transbay Transit Center, a city transportation hub that will offer access to more than 11 transportation lines, and a stunning 5.4 acre elevated park. The open floor plates, expansive floor-to-ceiling windows and other technologically advanced features make 181 Fremont a joyful place to work. The thoughtful window design allows maximum natural light filtration for enhanced work productivity, and supports sustainable energy efforts. The 78-stall bike barn is another distinctive addition that supports employees who uphold a green-friendly lifestyle. 181 Fremont’s innovative design features such as their curtain wall design, green roof and integration of recycled materials in construction make it a fine candidate for Platinum LEED Certification.

The top 17 stories contain permanent residences with interiors designed by ODADA’s own Orlando Diaz-Ascay, with custom cabinetry by Valcucine. These remarkable homes range in size from 1,400 square feet to more than 9,000-square feet – the most massive being the prized, full-floor Penthouse. Residents can take advantage of the 52nd floor’s 6,500 square-foot amenity space, which features a fitness center with a yoga room, a resident’s lounge, a curated library, a barbeque grill, fire pit, catering kitchen and furnished dining room, making it a stunning location to hold a lively gathering or enjoy an intimate dinner among friends. After a fabulous meal, take your friends outside on the impressive open-air terrace, which offers spectacular views of the Bay area and the city’s most beloved architectural landmarks.

Occupancy is expected to take place in the second half of 2016, however, interested parties can send their inquiries at 181fremont.com today.

 

450 Hayes: Hayes Valley Real Estate

San Francisco is one of the most diverse and culturally rich cities in the country—and within the Bay Area, Hayes Valley has risen to rapidly become of the most exciting neighborhoods in the region. Hayes Valley Condos like the building rising at 450 Hayes, as well as the myriad of different restaurants, boutiques, galleries and shops have transformed the area into a swirling caldron, all but overflowing with culture. There are so many intriguing options within Hayes Valley, but we are going to focus on a rather specific one in this article: Isotope Comic Book Lounge.

As comic books and more specifically comic culture in general has risen into the mainstream in recent years, comic book shops are once again on the rise. And within the Bay Area, Isotope Comic Book Lounge is one of the most interesting and exciting options. What truly sets Isotope apart is the lounge portion of the space. The store in general has a massive stock of great graphic novels and weekly comics, and the staff is incredibly knowledgable and helpful, but these attributes are not a huge rarities in well-run comic shops. What makes Isotope a truly special place are the events they host and the classes they offer in the stop itself.

Not only is their lounge a great place to relax and leaf through a few comics when an event isn’t in progress, it’s a phenomenal space to host artists and writers, and run classes on the art of comics. On a weekly basis Isotope hosts book signings, Q&A’s and classes that teach students how to draw and write for comics.  The classes focus on how to draw and map out the action on each page as well as how to write a story in comic format.  The classes are all taught by experts who work in the field, so they’re very popular within the comic community and beyond.  Isotope is consistently named one of the best comic book havens in the area, and for good reason -it offers all one could want in a great comic shop and so much more.

 

The Bristol: Exceptional, Luxury Palm Beach Homes

Palm Beach Homes are more than just an escape from the urban hustle; they offer a gateway to paradise. The vibrant community of Palm Beach has been a popular destination for tourists and locals for years thanks to its easy access to international airports and marinas, not to mention its impressive list of cultural offerings, fine dining establishments, boutique shopping, and cultural landmarks. While world-class resorts and yacht clubs have most commonly occupied the pristine beaches, one particular luxury residential property will combine the best of both worlds, combining a stunning design with a prime location. The Bristol will be an iconic waterfront condominium tower offering dramatic views of the Intracoastal, Atlantic Ocean and Palm Beach Island, resort-style amenities, and a contemporary design that make it one of the most attractive new living options in the area

The Bristol is also located just minutes from Worth Avenue’s popular stretch of boutique shops and high-end restaurants. This area provides a one-stop shop for local residents of discerning taste who like to experience some of the area’s most charming outdoor eateries and award-winning menus. Café Boulud Palm Beach, a culinary offering from world renowned French visionary Daniel Boulud, helps make nearby CityPlace on Rosemary Ave. a popular destination for foodies in addition to fashion enthusiasts. Home to more than 20 storefronts from designers like Anthropologie, BCBGMAXAZRIA, and Lucky Brand as well as bank branches, supermarkets, and spas, CityPlace has just about anything a local resident could might need, demonstrating just how convenient life in Palm Beach can be. This area also boasts a lengthy list of specialty food stores and dining establishments ranging from casual grab-and-go counters to upscale dining.

It should come as no surprise that Palm Beach is a favorite among beach and boating enthusiasts. The community is home to numerous marinas, where yacht and boat owners can go to play and relax. The Palm Beach Yacht Club, which has been in operation for more than 100 years, is just one high-end hangout for those with a nautical flair. This club also offers a members-only lounge, a world-class dining room, and a schedule of weekly events. Golfers can play a full 18 holes or work on their short game at The Breakers Ocean Golf Course, beloved by professionals and amateurs alike for its impressive design, beautiful surroundings, and meticulous landscaping. Artsy types will undoubtedly make return visits to The Norton Museum of Art, which offers pieces from varying influential art periods. Their weekly Art After Dark Series is particularly popular among social butterflies and young professionals who prefer to experience works of art along with live music and captivating lectures. The Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, located inside an iconic 1904 estate, is a must-visit for architecture and history enthusiasts.

Regardless of one’s lifestyle, Palm Beach is sure to please with its wide array of recreational offerings and world-class attractions.

12 Warren: TriBeca Condos

City dwellers with a passion for nature have met their match in 12 Warren, a breathtaking new luxury residential building boasting an earthy, one-of-a-kind façade, conveniently located in the heart of TriBeCa. The designers, developers, builders, and architects at DDG Partners are responsible for the incredible structure, which incorporates authentic materials from the Catskills region’s own Tompkins Bluestone Quarry. The layered, geometrical design may bring a piece of nature into one of the city’s trendiest neighborhoods, but the interiors are all modern. 12 Warren is home to 13 unique half-floor and full floor residents. The seven-foot tall windows allow ample sunlight indoors, but residents who want full exposure can enjoy their morning coffee from their private outdoor terraces or from atop the picturesque rooftop terrace. Most residences feature private elevators offering direct entry, another distinct perk of calling these TriBeca condos home. The 24-hour doorman and full concierge services are additional conveniences that round out the building’s unmatched safety and comfort standards.

12 Warren is perfectly positioned in TriBeCa, a neighborhood celebrated for its artistic sensibilities and countless luxurious hot spots. Food lovers have found their personal slice of heaven in TriBeCa, thanks to its diverse offerings and wide range of critically acclaimed restaurants. TriBeCa is just footsteps away from New York’s beloved Chinatown, an area known for its collection of Asian cuisines. Traditional dim sum, pho and congee eateries line the streets for diners with adventurous tastes. Celebrity chef-owned and operated restaurants like Nobu and Marc Forgione offer New French menus, while TriBeCa staples like Walker’s continue to serve upscale pub grub in friendly, neighborhood atmospheres. TriBeCa is also popular for its designer and boutique stores. Brookfield Place is a new high-end shopping mall melding top-name brands like and upscale eats like Bottega Veneta and Umami Burger under the same roof.

Locals and tourists flock to the area’s many museums, among which are The Jewish Heritage Museum, The 9/11 Museum and Memorial and The Skyscraper Museum. Public parks are also in abundance with Battery Park, City Hall Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park offering some of the greenest runs and most picturesque views in Manhattan.

Mayacama: Sonoma California Real Estate

There’s a special place in Northern California, nestled in the hills away from the bustle of big cities. It’s a quiet and majestic village where people let their spirits guide them, and for a time they indulge in the activities and surrounding scenery that evoke great joy. The sanctuary in reference is Mayacama, Sonoma County’s newest destination for luxury living, exploration and recreation. The Wine Country homes may be home to a Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course, of Golf Digest’s “100 Top Golf Courses” fame, but it’s not just a club – it’s a way of life. For many, Mayacama is that much needed escape from the mundane, and a reminder that heaven is indeed a place on earth for golf enthusiasts, wine connoisseurs and hikers alike.

Mayacama’s shared ownership opportunities provide people from all walks of life with access to an additional living space, free of the hassles that commonly accompany owning a second home. Thoughtfully designed to reflect the architecture seen in the lush hillsides of Tuscany, Mayacama’s attractive collection of one-bedroom casitas and three-bedroom villas, paired with the unmatched on-site conveniences, make for a perfect destination getaway for romantic couples, families and groups of friends. The one-bedroom homes max out at 840 square feet, including a king-sized master suite, one-and-a-half baths for added privacy, a charming kitchenette, indoor and outdoor wood-burning fireplaces and a private outdoor patio opening to sweeping views of the surrounding hillside and vineyards. The three-bedroom homes offer even more room, thanks to an added communal space, two master suites with outdoor verandas and three-and-a-half-bathrooms. Other features, like the washer and dryer come in handy for those who take advantage of the club’s swimming facilities. Our member residences come with their own dedicated golf-cart so a trip to the putting green and course are never far away. And, for those looking to put their own personalized spin on the Mayacama experience, there are homesites available for purchase.

Wine enthusiasts will be over the moon when they realize the exclusive benefits that come along with membership at Mayacama. This immersive experience will quickly reveal why Mayacama has access to many of the country’s and even the world’s best vintages. The member’s wine cellar features 500 temperature controlled lockers to ensure the finest bottles are kept in the perfect environment. Nearby, there is also a lounge with private tasting stations and an elegant dining room providing the perfect ambiance for hosting an intimate gourmet dinner. This wine experience also includes membership in the Vintner Program, which is shared with some of the world’s top names. This exclusive membership often includes invitations to special events, rare tastings and sneak peaks into private selections and stocks that may never see the public eye.

Of course, with all of these perks and amenities at arm’s length, such as the full-service spa, fully-equipped fitness center, Junior’s Club and more, it’s no surprise that many want to spend even more time at Mayacama. Thankfully, plans for new real estate are currently underway within the picturesque front gates of this one-of-a-kind community. Interested parties can inquire by visiting www.mayacama.com.