No matter how many times you’ve been to New York, there is always something new to do and discover. Have you walked along the new park in the sky in Manhattan or cycled on a human powered bike blender to make your own smoothie in Brooklyn? Have you sipped on organic martinis and danced the night away under 5,000 LED crystals in a green nightclub? If not, you need to experience the green side of New York as soon as possible. This is a city that will inspire, excite and delight the most eco-conscious visitor.
Crosby St Hotel
Located in SoHo, the Crosby St Hotel exudeds sophistication and charm from check-in to check-out. The 86 bedrooms and suites have been expertly decorated by award-winning interior designer, Kit Kemp and feature hand-picked antiques and original art. The hotel interior uses low-emitting carpets, paints and sealants and plans to ‘use and implement green cleaning practices’ as well as avoiding the use of harsh chemicals. The Crosby St Hotel clearly has the green factor but what about the added ‘wow’ factor? How about a leafy central courtyard, green roof and a 99 seat screening room! **
79 Crosby St, New York, NY 10012
70 Park Avenue Hotel
If you want an environmentally friendly place to stay within walking distance of the best museums, Broadway and Grand Central Station, then this boutique hotel is the one for you. The soft and sumptuously designed rooms feature complimentary wi-fi, in-room recycling bins, water efficient bathroom facilities and ‘fully stocked honor bars with gourmet and organic options.’ Carpets are cleaned with non-toxic and low VOC chemicals and all other cleaning agents are non-toxic and environmentally safe. Additionally, Kimpton’s EarthCare program ensures 70 Park Avenue is implementing the most effective environmental practices with employees acting as EarthCare champions and meeting twice a month to ensure the hotel and staff are all up to speed on the green 411.**
70 Park Avenue at 38th Street, New York, NY 10016
Housed in a classic 1927 building, carefully restored to its original grandeur, The Benjamin hotel offers a warm, intimate atmosphere and is one of five certified Five-Globe ECOTEL properties in the U.S. This luxury hotel was designed with the business traveler in mind, and provides productive amenities like wireless internet, secretarial services, and an executive board room. The Benjamin offers organic or all-natural fiber bedding and linens, Energy Star-rated appliances and water efficiency fixtures in all rooms. Guests can catch a ride to the airport in hybrid limos. At The Restaurant at The Benjamin Executive Chef Orlando Leon has created a menu that features seasonal dishes created from fresh local fare. The perfect way to unwind in eco chic style after a long day of work (or play). **
125 East 50th Street, New York, NY 10022
Sugar Hill Harlem Inn
Experience a piece of American History at this quaint Bed & Breakfast in Harlem, where Miles Davis came to meet Sonny Rollins and his Sugar Hill Harlem crowd. The Sugar Hill Harlem Inn offers organic fiber bedding and linens and only uses chemical-free, biodegradable cleaners. Solar panels on the roof have, since 2007, provided half of the energy for the inn. The food that is served at the inn is organic and ingredients used to prepare mostly vegan cuisine are sourced locally. Food waste is also composted on-site. Guests are also welcome to enjoy the garden, inspired by the nature of the Catskills in Upstate New York. This is where the inn’s composted waste ends up, in the flower beds. The landscaping also utilizes recycled wood beams and red brick from nearby construction sites and demolished buildings. **
460 West 141 Street, New York, NY 10031
Times Square InterContinental Hotel
Located on Eighth Avenue, the Times Square InterContinental Hotel is close to Restaurant Row and the Broadway theatre district. This just-opened hotel is in line to receive a LEED Silver rating, making it the largest LEED-certified hotel in the city. Green roofs covered with drought-tolerant plants help to retain heat in winter and absorb sunlight in summer. Rooms utilize energy-efficient CFL and LED lighting, and toilets are low-flow. With its central Times Square location, the hotel is steps away from lots of mass transportation.**
300 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036
Treehugger.com voted Kaight the ‘Best Brick-and-Mortar Fashion Boutique’ and it is definitely a must-visit store anytime you are in New York. Kaight was one of the first eco boutiques on the scene and their sleek selection of green fashion comes courtesy of beloved eco labels and designers such as Linda Loudermilk, Prairie Underground, Edun, Stewart + Brown, Lara Miller and Feral Childe. You can also pick up pretty products for the home such as organic pillows, soy candles and lovely recycled cards. Men need not feel jealous of us fashion-fortunate women either, as they also have a range of clothing to choose from by Loomstate and Good Society jeans. From fashion and accessories to organic home wares, Kaight never compromises on style (this is New York after all) so green girls will look just as chic as other New Yorkers without having to compromise their conscientious lifestyles. A second Kaight location just opened its doors in the Boerum Hill section of Brooklyn. **
Lower East Side location: 83 Orchard Street (between Broome & Grand), New York, NY 10002
Brooklyn location: 382 Atlantic Ave (between Hoyt & Bond), Brooklyn, NY 11217 Ph: 718.858.4737
Love the name, love the concept. Thankfully, vegetarian New Yorkers and visitors to the city have a shoe sanctuary in the form of Moo Shoes, a store filled to the brim with a fabulous array of cruelty-free, vegan footwear and accessories. Moo Shoes was founded by sisters, Erica and Sara Kubersky and their store features many desirable vegan footwear labels such as Beyond Skin, Novacas, NeuAura and OlsenHaus. Men will also be spoilt for choice with stylish vegetarian boots, sneakers and Oxfords on offer. Keep an eye out for the Colorado-made bags from English Retreads. Made from recycled tire inner tubes, these bags are certainly a conversation piece. If you can’t make it to Moo Shoes in New York anytime soon, you can visit their online shop through their website. From sweet sandals to statement stilettos, Moo Shoes will suit any shoe mood. **
78 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002
This store is indeed an organic haven for any organic maven. From clothing, homewares and food products to raw food classes and in-store events, you may be tempted to pitch a tent in Organic Avenue and call it home. Once you’ve scanned the rails of organic and animal-friendly fashion, eyed off an Ahimsa Peace silk rug and water ionizer in the homeware section, gathered together a bundle of beauty goodies from Dr Alkaitis and Perfect Organics and perused the library shelf of inspirational books and DVDs, you can then focus on the food.
Try the Fresh Menu from the Live Food station at Stanton. Healthy and delicious delights await you in the form of burritos, pesto zucchini pasta, salads and organic juices and vegan smoothies. Locals can of course do all their shopping at Organic Avenue but NYC visitors will be equally well-served as they can stock up on essential beauty supplies and gourmet goodies for back at the hotel. Hemp Nut Brownies or Goji Cherry Truffles anyone? **
Lower East Side location: 101 Stanton Street, New York, NY 10002 (live food and organic fashion boutique)
location: 43 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY 10014
You can tell the love has been baked, sautéed and flambéed into every dish of organic and seasonal vegan food served at Candle Cafe (which also aims to use local produce when possible). Their recent summer menu featured dishes, especially the desserts, that very nearly persuaded me to move to New York City. If you thought ‘vegan’ and ‘dessert’ were two words that had never been placed side by side, you are about to discover a whole new, celestially sweet vegan world. How does a Decadent Chocolate Cake with chocolate frosting and berry coulis sound to you? Now you’re thinking about moving to New York too, aren’t you? When you do, have a drink for me. Perhaps the Amazon Mania smoothie or PB & J with peanut butter, blueberries and vanilla soy ice cream.**
1307 Third Avenue (between 74th & 75th Street), New York, NY 10021
This duplex restaurant opened in 2003 and is giving organic, vegan dining a thoroughly chic and sophisticated image. The atmosphere is decidedly uptown and very romantic. With a divine selection of dishes and an organic wine and sake bar, Candle 79 attracts locals and celebrities such as Paul McCartney and Alicia Silverstone. It’s no surprise Candle 79 were ‘twice rated as Zagat’s number 1 vegetarian restaurant.’ Try stopping by on the weekend for a stunning brunch of Homestyle Pancakes served with seasonal fruit, strawberry butter and gingered maple syrup. You can also find a gluten free menu available both here and at Candle Café. **
154 E. 79th Street, (between Lexington and Third), New York, NY 10075
Pure Food and Wine
If you want your raw, vegan dinner infused with glamour and gorgeousness, then Pure Food and Wine is the only place to go. Diners can choose to eat in either the atmospheric restaurant, bar, serene garden or private dining room and will enjoy being served picturesque plates of gourmet delights. Some carnivores and vegetarians may also welcome the restaurant’s promise to serve ‘no tofu, tempeh or seitan anywhere on the menu or premises.’ Flavourful menu highlights include White Corn Tamales with Raw Cacao Mole and Thai Coconut Noodles in Galangal Red Coconut Curry made with saffron oil. Delectable desserts such as the Trio of Dark Chocolate Coated Indian Spiced Ice Cream Treats will no doubt prompt you to go and find the chefs to give them a great big hug!**
54 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003
One Lucky Duck Juice and Takeaway
As Pure Food and Wine are only open for dinner, be sure to stop by their nearby juice bar and takeaway store, One Lucky Duck. Organic, raw, vegan takeaway has never tasted as good as it does here! Sushi rolls, falafels, salads and chilli lime chips with guacamole are just a few of the tantalizing taste bud treats on offer from One Lucky Duck’s menu. The drink list is extensive and eye-catching with a Thai Green juice mixed with cilantro and pineapple and inventive shakes such as Pinacolada, Avocolada and Berry Brazil.**
125 ½ East 17th Street, New York, NY 10003
GustOrganics is the ‘first and only certified organic restaurant in New York’, serving 100% USDA-certified organic ingredients. The buzzing restaurant and bar features large glass windows to watch the world go by and the menu features a wonderful array of Latin influenced dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Enjoy meat or vegetarian meals such as empanadas, piadinas and pizza. There is even a gourmet organic babies’ menu with nutritious pureed items for babies with a discerning palate.**
519 Avenue of the Americas at 14th Street, New York, New York, 10011
The original Blue Hill restaurant (there is also Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Upstate New York), opened in 2000, is located in Greenwich Village, New York City. Hidden three steps below street level, the restaurant occupies a landmark “speakeasy” just off of Washington Square Park. Blue Hill’s menu, composed by renowned chef Dan Barber, showcases local food and a wine list with ingredients sourced from nearby farms.
Blue Hill’s respect for artisanal techniques has developed a devoted, almost cultish, following. But the reputation is well-deserved — this may just be the best upscale low-profile eatery in the city. Guests can choose from the regular menu or opt for the “Farmer’s Feast,” a five-course tasting inspired by the week’s harvest. The restaurant also participates in biodiesel recycling and composting programs.
Blue Hill also has serious celebrity cred. This is where President Obama took Michelle on a (well-publicized) date shortly after the election.**
75 Washington Place, New York, NY 10011
John Masters Organics Salon
You’ve probably fallen in love with using John Masters Organics hair products at home but if you want to be truly pampered, why not visit his salon in the Big Apple? This is New York City’s ‘only clean air salon’ and you can rest assured your lovely locks will not be bathed in any ingredients containing SLSs, parabens or artificial colors and fragrances. Because there are no chemical services on offer such as bleaching or perming and the hair dyes used are ammonia-free and herbal-based, the salon has quite a delicious fragrance. Essential oils, organic and natural goodness permeate the air.**
77 Sullivan Street (between Spring and Broome), New York, NY 10012
James Corbett Studio
Every woman in New York gets manicures, or so I was told when I first moved here. True or not, most nail salons are way too toxic and stinky for a savvy ecoista’s tastes. However, once you step inside the spa at this salon in Union Square you will feel like you arrived at a secret sanctuary far from the hustle and bustle of the New York City streets — and it smells nice too. In addition to the hair salon, helmed by renowned stylist James Corbett, the spa offers an array of holistic treatments, “fit for Buddha himself.” Try the Organic Spa Manicure ($20 for 30 minutes) or the Organic Spa Pedicure ($45 for 60 minutes), or why not simply indulge in both? After a soothing massage, your nails will be painted using Priti NYC Polishes, formulated without bad stuff like Toluene, DBP and Formaldehyde. Before leaving, make sure to pick up a few shades of Priti to bring home. **
32 Union Square East, Suite 311, New York, NY 10003
BabyCakes is a vegan bakery that will delight the sweet-toothed child within. One perusal and taste of the sublime array of baked goods and you would never guess they were free from wheat, gluten, dairy, casein, soy, eggs and white sugar. Cute vanilla, carrot, chocolate and red velvet cupcakes and cakes lay beneath creamy vanilla frosting and there is also a bountiful selection of cookies, loaves, muffins, brownies and cinnamon buns all vying for your attention on the display stands. Thank you bakery angels for giving us a slice, bite and sweet frosting topped taste of heaven right here in New York. **
248 Broome Street (between Orchard & Ludlow), New York City, NYC 10002.
Did you know there was an ice cream university? Why wasn’t I told about this at school? Malcolm Stogo is one of the ice cream deans behind the university and his name is also behind this new organic, dairy-free ice cream store in New York. Mr. Stogo helps founders Steve, Rob and Gene with ‘creating and formulating’ the heavenly range of flavours such as Peanut Butter Fudge, Oatmeal Raisin Cookie and Pomegranate Chocolate Chip. The ice cream is available in either soy, coconut or hemp based flavours, with many containing much less fat, sodium, calories and cholesterol than regular dairy ice cream.**
159 2nd Avenue, New York, NY, 10003
New York is known as the city that never sleeps and any eco conscious people not wrapped up in an organic duvet by 10pm, are probably getting down with their bad selves at Greenhouse. This impressive, LEED-registered nightclub in SoHo is a bi-level, ultra spacious nightlife destination built from recycled materials. You can shuffle across bamboo floors, look fabulous under LED lighting and order drinks from a bar made of clear recycled glass which ‘displays lush natural scenes’. Staff wear clothing by Bono and Ali Hewson’s eco-friendly label, Edun. Bathrooms feature Kohler WaterSense products, low flow sinks and toilets and even Kiehl’s ‘Aloe Vera Biodegradable Liquid Body Cleanser’ (developed in partnership with Brad Pitt).
If you happen to notice the majority of people in Greenhouse all appear to have their heads titled upwards to the ceiling, don’t think it’s the latest dance craze from Beyonce, they are probably gazing at the transparent ceiling fixture composed of over 5,000 individually hung crystals. They drip down like stalactites and suspended raindrops and are a thing of sheer beauty! Greenhouse resembles a majestic secret garden with grass, foliage-like walls and ceilings with mesmerising coloured discs of light.
Greenhouse obviously has eco-cred and buzz but what many of us secretly want to know is who goes there. Many A-listers such as Katy Perry and Rihanna are rumoured to have stopped by Greenhouse and while they may not be known as ‘green’ banner waving girls, they do know a stylish place when they see it.**
150 Varick Street, New York, NY 10013
What better way for a green girl to unwind at the end of a hard day of sightseeing and shopping, than to visit an organic wine and martini bar? There is an extensive list of earth-friendly wines, beers and cocktails and menu of morish vegetarian dishes to choose from. Counter is also open for brunch, serving vegan country breakfasts or organic eggs any style. Kids have a special vegetarian menu to pick from throughout the day, with yummy options such as silver dollar pancakes or kid burgers with potato chips. Child or not, I think I have my eye on the dessert of the organic root beer float with homemade ice cream. The next time you find yourself in Manhattan and you want to sip organic cocktails in comfort and style, you will now know whose counter to order from. **
105 First Ave, New York
Central Park Bike Tours
When you find out Central Park measures 485 acres, almost twice the size of the Principality of Monaco, you suddenly realize a leisurely stroll may not be the best way to see all the park has to offer. If you don’t want to miss John Lennon’s Imagine mosaic, the Alice in Wonderland statue and other famous Central Park sights, why not try a bike tour? Central Park Bike Tours offer 11 different tours such as the Movie Scene Tour or the two hour Central Park Tour. **
203 West 58th St, New York, NY 10019. Open Mon-Sun
For anyone not lucky enough to have a friend in New York to show you around the best spots in the city, try the next best thing: a walking tour with a real New Yorker. Your friendly, ‘filled with interesting facts’ guide will show you around the streets a big tour bus could never hope to reach. Choose the area of New York that piques your interest the most and get ready to embark upon a tour of places such as the East Village, Chinatown and SoHo and NoLiTa.**
Big Onion Walking Tours, Ph: 212.439.1090
Tenement Museum, Ph: 212.982.8420
Urban Oyster, Ph: 347.599.1842
Escape the frenetic, pedestrian-packed pavements of Manhattan’s West Side by visiting a park in the sky. The first section of this public park opened in June 2009 and once all sections are complete, the High Line will be a mile-and-a-half-long elevated park with beautiful plants, LED lighting and seating. It will run from the Meatpacking District through the West Side neighborhoods of West Chelsea and Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen up to 34th Street, offering splendid views of the Hudson River and the city skyline along the way. **
At Gansevoort Street, West 14th, 16th, 18th and 20th streets
In 2008, Virgin America was awarded ‘Best Domestic Airline’ by Travel + Leisure (World’s Best Awards) and Conde Nast Traveler (Reader’s Choice Awards). While customers are clearly responding to the airline’s premiere and pioneering cabin service, they must also be impressed with Virgin America’s environmental stance.The airline is the product of billionaire Sir Richard Bronson who is a die-hard environmentalist and committed to sustainability. While passionate about producing fuel from alternative sources such as Algae, Bronson has made a commitment to have the airline to be as efficient as currently possible. Sustainable business practices are core to their mission and they are currently up to 30% more fuel-efficient than the average domestic fleets in the U.S.**
Walking & Public Transport
There is probably no better way to see and experience New York City, than by pounding the pavement. It may help to know that New York City came second in a ranking of the ‘Most Walkable Neighborhoods’ (Walk Score), so strolling the sidewalks couldn’t be easier or more enjoyable. If your feet need a break, you could try taking the subway or bus. Your green conscience will be happy to learn that New York City Transit has the ‘largest hybrid-electric bus fleet in North America’. You can purchase either a Regular or Unlimited MetroCard (single rides cost $2.25) at subway stations and use them to travel on both the buses and subway.
A large part of the city’s taxi fleet has recently been converted to hybrid vehicles. Make a point and wave the regular old Crown Vics off in favor of a greener (hybrid) option — fares are the same. For a zero-emissions way to get to where you need to go, opt for one of the many pedicabs that can be found in Midtown Manhattan. As an added value for us ladies, most of them are pedaled by handsome young men.
If you want to see New York from the water, you can take the Staten Island Ferry, which is free and runs frequently throughout the day. This 20 minute scenic journey affords you wonderful views of lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. If smaller water vessels are more your speed, head over to New York City Downtown Boathouse. The organization makes kayaks (and basic training on how to operate them) available for free at one of their three locations: where Houston Street, 56th Street, and 72nd Street each meet the Hudson.**
If you need to be ushered around the city by car, you can be driven the eco-conscious way with OZOcar. ‘New York’s 1st eco-luxury private car service’ offers a fleet of 100 hybrid cars such as the Toyota Prius and Lexus RX400h. These types of vehicles use 70% less fuel than conventional Lincoln Towncars and yellow cabs and are ideal for traffic in Manhattan as the cars use an electric motor at low speeds with zero emissions. While there may be traffic outside, at least inside your hybrid car you can enjoy the high-speed wireless connection available and you can also pick your satellite radio station for optimal transport bliss. OZOcar reservations can be made by phone or through their website. **