Restless fingers find a place to settle down at Annie & Company Needlepoint and Knitting's homey brownstone on the Upper East Side, where resources for making functional, soft art fill the entire 3,000-square-foot studio. Yarns harvested from soft mammals and fibrous plants spill out from baskets on the first floor, overwhelming knitting needles as large as 40 inches and colorful notions from Susan Bates and Clover. Upstairs, a sunny window illuminates a wooden table suitable for stitching or sipping tea, surrounded by hand-painted needlepoint and cross-stitch canvases hung salon style.
The staff of expert craftsmen shares knowledge with groups and individuals through project-based classes, and has invited yarn designer Debbie Bliss to contribute her elaborately spun falsehoods and professional insight to the discussion.
Dell Williams, founder and groundskeeper of Eve's Garden, has stocked her discreet boutique with erotic and sensual wares since 1974. An advocate for women's sexual freedom, Dell has written pieces that have made their way into the filing cabinets at Cornell University, and her acting talents have graced stages in productions of Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues. The shop's shelves reflect her celebration of female sexuality with vibrating and inert accessories and books by Vibratex, We-Vibe, and Je Joue that enlighten ladies as to their bodies' capacities for pleasure. Located on the 12th floor of a midtown Manhattan office building, Eve's Garden proffers a private shopping experience away from the prying eyes of street-level pedestrians and judgmental pigeons.
In less than 1 square mile of Manhattan real estate, representatives from the world’s greatest fashion houses flock to the show rooms, sewing houses, and fabric stores that earned the neighborhood its alluring nickname—the Garment District. This is where shoppers will find Better Choice Fabrics, a store bustling with a menagerie of fabrics, including striking chiffons, intricate brocades, and gossamer-like lace. Amid multihued displays, customers snatch up textured cloth for their burgeoning projects, pore over sequined fabrics, or arrange bridal veils across foreheads or over life-size pictures of their soon-to-be-wed cockatiels.
Settle into one of many urbanized nooks in the expansive reaches of Karaoke Boho, where private brick-lined lounge rooms come fully furnished with top-quality speaker boxes and crisp flatscreens. This generously sectioned-off space provides you and your backup singers the freedom to let loose on the mics with the safety of a buffer between you and crooning karaoke strangers. To loosen up the vocal chords, order some courage-boosting liquid concoctions such as melon balls, martinis, Long Islands, and other fine spirits ($7–$12 each).
Although buying pottery pieces in a store is easier than making your own, it isn’t nearly as satisfying. At Supermud Pottery Studio, it’s this impending satisfaction that leads students aged 3 to adult toward creating their own mugs, vases, and bowls during interactive classes and children's summer camp. Pupils learn the basics, such as hand building or wheel throwing, from experienced teachers as they shape blocks of lifeless clay into utilitarian pieces or sculptures with actual heartbeats. Finished artwork may even reside in the studio's gallery, which displays inimitable ceramic works by both renowned artists and Supermud alumni.
Some of the best views afforded visitors by the Empire State Building can actually be found on its second floor. That's where NY Skyride's virtual skyline tours take place. Guests gather upon a large, moving platform that drifts in sync with footage projected onto an 18-foot high definition screen. The experience brings visitors up close to the highest peaks of architecture the city has to offer. The virtual tour explores three dozen famed landmarks within 30 minutes, while narration by actor Kevin Bacon points out interesting facts about each sight, such as its historical significance or how many degrees away from it he is.