Whether he's expounding on intuitively functional, visually pleasing products on Cool Hunting, or creating gloves that enable the use of those products in winter, Josh Rubin knows a thing or two about design. We asked Josh to tell us about the places and things in NYC that inspire him, and from sublimely executed restaurant layouts to sublimely back-supporting chairs, this is what he came back with.
Insane in the Inseams: 3x1
Because most people know where their clothes come from like they know what’s in their hot dog, 3x1 provides a the slow-food option for denim, maintaining transparency by housing all their materials and labor in-shop, including master tailors who only make two pairs of bespoke jeans a day.
Year-round Classic: Four Seasons Restaurant
Designed by heavyweights Philip Johnson and Mies van der Rohe, the Four Seasons "remains an institution in terms of classic modernity". Opened in 1959, they were the first restaurant to introduce seasonal dishes, and the first outside of California to serve American wine, and their furniture & dishware even made it into the MoMA. Also, there's a tree in the middle of the restaurant, and trees always score design points.
Hot Seat: Knoll
In addition to a rotating roster of designers, Knoll also brings on architects to design their sophisticated furniture. A "true example of living the brand", their first brick-and-mortar shop is a great place to kick back and pretend like you own things.
If Construction Materials Could Talk: The Standard Grill
"More than a beautiful space", Roman+Williams' mission with the Standard's ground level was "to create a new history in a rapidly changing neighborhood".
Motor City Rad House: Shinola
Not everything good that comes out of Detroit is Robocop. This "new-old brand" is changing the way that Americans think about American-made products through watches, shoes, and leather goods that are making the Motor City Renaissance infinitely handsomer.
Everything's Made Of: Matter
Brooklyn born and Manhattan bred, Matter combines the best parts of art (aestheticism, vision, creativity) with the best parts of furniture (sitting) to create pieces that'd look good in your living room, or a museum, or both at once if you're a mummy.
Unlike other bars which waste time on windows or signage, Jim Meehan's PDT wholly commits its energy to crafting what Josh deems the best cocktails in town. On the doing New York checklist, slipping behind the hot dog shop has become as important as ascending the Empire State or standing next to Denis Leary in an elevator and thinking "This is totally weird, I'm standing next to Denis Leary".
A leading voice in the Detroit Renaissance, Shinola produces American made accessories that breathe new life into the century old brand.
Brooklyn-born Matter's home furnishings are MOMA-worthy pieces of art, some affordable (e.g., a grenade-shaped oil lamp for $65), some not so much (the "Chest of Drawers", which at $28,000 will pierce your buttocks with the shrapnel of poverty).
For over 75 years, Knoll has combined modern aesthetics with affordable prices. With a rotating roster of designers, they consistently produce fresh, sleek, and timely furniture you just can't say (Br)no to.
Formerly one of New York City's best-kept secrets, this hidden speakeasy has become world famous thanks to its meticulously crafted cocktails and balance between swank and back-of-a-hotdog-joint status. Enter through a phone booth in Crif Dogs and get transported to a sexy hideaway where you can post up with inventive takes on Old Fashioneds and Sazeracs alongside waffle fries nestled in foil. Although the name insists you "Please Don't Tell," the secret's clearly out so it's best to make reservations; call to snag a spot when the lines open at 3 PM daily.
Hunkered beneath the Standard Hotel's imposing Bauhausery, the Grill's actually three glorious spaces in one: an outdoor, brickwork sausage-and-beer grotto nestled between massive steel support beams under the newly-opened High Line Park; a sun-lit, B&W-tiled, French-style bistro w/ a blonde wood full bar; and a white-tablecloth dining room w/ vaulted ceilings and blood red banquettes -- in sum, everything needed to fulfill Maslow's Hierarchy of Feeds.
There're lots of restaurants, but there's only one Four Seasons. They've been changing the face of American cuisine since 1959 with innovations like seasonally changing menus (yeah, they invented that), American made wine, and furniture and silverware so nice that it's now immortalized in the MoMA.