Temperatures are rising and, come Wednesday morning, the Big Apple's crisp style is baked into a mushy cobbler making air conditioning this city's hottest summer accessory. And no place is more cozy and cool than New York's book shops. [rssbreak]
The talk of the town's book lovers is the new Assouline boutique at the Plaza Hotel-just-turned-apartments which sells the publisher's oversized picture books and limited edition lit paraphernalia like Chanel catalogues stuffed into quilted sleeves. In Soho, the Taschen store embraces the neighbhourhood's gallery aesthetic luring in shoppers looking for a hefty tome to top the Ortofrutta box coffee table they just imaginarily bought at Moss across the street.
Hardcore lit types and the tourist hoards who've wandered off of Union Square still swear by the Strand with its "18 miles of new, used, rare and out of print books."
But the best book stop by this reader's standards is McNally Robinson (which will be renamed McNally Jackson as of August 7) on Prince in Nolita. It's not just that the indie shop has its roots in Winnipeg where it legendarily fought off the Chapters/Indigo boom or that it's laid out on a browsing-friendly, Euro-style radial floor plan. The well-edited shelves are one draw but its adjoining café is the real treat serving up an iced mocha as sweet as a chocolate chip cookie shake.
On a hot day, excelling at cold coffee beverage creation goes as far as having a full David Sedaris library and we hope the recipe makes its way north of the border when McNally opens a Don Mills location in 2009.