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Thompson Hotels NYC Influencers X Josh Rubin


Though he spends most of his time scouring the globe investigating the latest in creativity and innovation for Cool Hunting, the lifestyle and design site he founded in 2003, Josh Rubin satisfies plenty of his design-geek tendencies in his NYC home base. Fittingly, he and his team hone their sharp eyes to cull a massive and novel gift guide each holiday season, so just as we were ready to snap up everything on the list in one fell swoop, it felt like the perfect time to do some reconnaissance on where Josh’s eye wanders when he’s in NYC.

Best brick-and-mortar shops to buy design gifts (ie where they source Cool Hunting Gift Guide picks):

Matter seems to have the best collection of incredibly talented young designers these days. I’m really excited about the new lighting from Bec Brittain.Most spectacular spot to ring in the New Year:
The Top of The Standard, AKA the Boom Boom Room, is still my favorite spot in the city. Simultaneously warm and chic, the Roman + Williams-designed space is a perfect place to ring in the new year, and if you’re lucky and it’s snowing you’ll feel like you’re in a snow globe.Best restaurant design:
This is a tough one. I haven’t been blown away by a restaurant’s design in ages and rarely do the prettiest restaurants have the best food. And I favor food first.

Best store design:
I’m a big fan of the Rockwell-designed Shinola store in Tribeca. You enter through The Smile cafe and newsstand then continue to a perfectly merchandised space with impossibly tall ceilings and a vibe that’s perfectly paired to the brand’s bikes, watches and leather goods.

Best designed space, period:
It’s not going to open for another year or so, but the Whitney Museum‘s forthcoming downtown location, designed by Renzo Piano, promises to be a masterpiece. I had a hard hat tour over the summer and the spaces are vast and clever. The views—a feature most museums rarely even consider—are artworks unto themselves.

Finish this sentence: You know you’re in NYC when…
…The crisp smell of winter cuts the night air only to be punctuated by smoky roasting chestnuts and the occasional horn blitz of a taxi swerving to avoid a tourist on a Citibike.