The Garment District is storied for its iconic fashion houses and has nearly two centuries of history, since its inception in the early 1800s. In the mid-1800s, the garment industry grew faster than any other industry, bolstered by the invention of the sewing machine and demand for inexpensive clothing. When mass-produced uniforms were needed during the Civil War, the government turned to manufacturers in New York City. The neighborhood is a thriving tribute to this history, and though Manhattan’s hub for the clothing manufacturing has migrated over the years, its location in Midtown Manhattan is still the most legendary. Here are the best places to check out in this cool neighborhood.
There’s a diverse culinary scene from late-night izakaya for soba salad, sushi, yakitori and other Japanese fare in a spartan-looking space at Izakaya Mew, to Black Tap’s creative gourmet burgers, modern sides, Crazyshakes and draft beers served in a small, graffiti-adorned hip space. The area also has a brand-new food hall called The Deco, which features a casual Art Deco-inspired setting, food from nine local vendors and a bar spotlighting New York brews and spirits, bringing the best of the five boroughs straight to Midtown West.
At the heart of the global fashion industry, you can shop for one-of-a-kind fabrics at Mood Designer Fabrics, the purveyor of a voluminous array of designer fabrics, and famed for appearances on Bravo TV’s “Project Runway.” Lauded as “New York’s last great independent boutique” by GQ magazine, Nepenthes menswear and shoe store is a hidden gem and must-visit in the Garment District. And comic book lovers should check out the Midtown Comics flagship store near Times Square, which sells an enormous selection of comic books, graphic novels, books, T-shirts, apparel, statues, action figures and other pop-culture collectibles.
The neighborhood boasts rooftop bars with unbelievably dramatic views. The Spyglass luxe rooftop bar atop the Archer Hotel has Empire State Building views, plus craft cocktails and shareable bites from celebrated chef Charlie Palmer. Head to the Magic Hour rooftop bar at the Moxy Times Square hotel for an amusement park theme, including an “adult-themed” mini-golf course. Also, visit Refinery Rooftop for global bites, skyline views, lively crowds and a superstar cocktail list atop the Refinery hotel.
Beyond shopping till you drop, take time to de-stress at the Shinnyo Center for meditation and well-being. The center helps individuals achieve the confidence and courage to nurture a healthy mind and cultivate authentic identity. Explore some really dope street art through the Space for Public Art program, which affords individuals and groups the opportunity to utilize a variety of nontraditional art spaces for installations. Then, pay homage to legendary American designers on the Fashion Walk of Fame on Seventh Avenue between W. 35th and W. 41st streets.