Orchard Street

Grandlife guide

ORCHARD STREET: A PHOTO STORY OF A NEIGHBORHOOD OASIS

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The eight city blocks that make up Orchard Street are moody, complicated, and historic. The notion of what an iconic New York neighborhood should look and feel like comes to life when walking south down Orchard Street. The footsteps of its inhabitants are stop-and-go; they greet one another with a warmth similar to that of a small town, charismatic and diverse. The mutual respect between the shop owners is palpable, further contributing to the ambience of the block.

Here, a guide to the block in early spring.  

Scarr’s Pizza

Walk in, choose your slice, and bring it to the back. The bar is groovy and the booths feel private. Bottles of organic orange wine are reasonably priced, and the music playing is often ’90s hip-hop. The combination is soothing. All of the ingredients at Scarr’s are fresh; not a single tomato can is ever used.

22 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002; T. (212) 334-3481

CW Pencil Shop

The letter is not lost. Beautiful stationary and pencils can be found here.

15 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002; T. (917) 734-8117

Kiki’s

At the very end of Orchard Street, you’ll find Kiki’s. I recommend the full dining experience, but popping in for drinks and hummus is also perfect. Kiki herself is a beauty.

130 Division St, New York, NY 10002; T. (646) 882-7052

Coming Soon

Helena Barquet and Fabiana Faria opened Coming Soon in 2013, and we’re all still enjoying their arrival. Tiny porcelain penguins of various colors and meanings stationed at the counter can be purchased for friends or lovers, along with art-deco furniture and other glamorous objects.

37 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002; T. (212) 226-4548

Alexander Olch

The shop itself is so attractive you nearly forget you’re looking at ties, all of which are exquisitely designed and in glorious colors, as are the various other staples available, such as classic shirting, scarves, and hats. The flowers are by New York florist Taylor Patterson of Fox Fodder Farm. Turn the corner and you find yourself at Dimes on Canal, another local spot well worth a visit.  

14 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002; T. (212) 925-2110

Cheeky’s Sandwiches

Owner Din Yates has been running this small sandwich shop for nearly 10 years. The menu is a hearty riff on New Orleans-style selections. The biscuits are the way.    

35 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002; T. (646) 504-8132

Classic Coffee Shop

Tucked away on Hester between Ludlow and Orchard Streets is the wildly special and vibrant Classic Coffee Shop. A simple egg-and-cheese accompanied by the Golden Oldies is shop owner Carmine’s signature morning experience.

56 Hester St, New York, NY 10002

Not to be forgotten, and kissing Orchard Street’s backside to the east, is Ludlow Street, a darker, unassuming block. The two streets stand together like dysfunctional longtime lovers; one cannot be without the other. Walk to 7 Ludlow and find a true cinema experience at the Metrograph. Buy tickets in advance and choose your seats. The stunning cinema offers filmgoers rare archival print screenings, a highly curated program, and a nostalgic, pretty candy section.

Enjoy Orchard Street.

Words and photography Jen Steele

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