Ian Schrager's guide to New York City

The Brooklyn-born Schrager co-founded Studio 54 before going on to launch Edition Hotels. The man credited with transforming the hospitality industry offers some tips for visiting the city he calls home

Empire State building seen from Little Italy, New York city, USA. Getty Images
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Where in New York should everybody go?

Manhattan. I feel there is a bustling energy and intensity that you don't feel in many, if any, other places around the world. The pace is so fast and so furious that it's incredibly special. It's very difficult, if you live in New York – and I was raised here – to live in any other place, because everywhere else feels like it is in slow motion in comparison.

Where do you go in the city to switch off?

Central Park, which is a masterpiece – it was created by somebody who had never done landscaping before. I also like the path by the Hudson River, which goes up the full length of Manhattan. You can get very close to the water and very close to nature, while you are right in the heart of the city. It's a very special place.

"New York City, USA - August 18, 2012: A bicyclist  and runners are seen passing by a woman sitting along the Battery Park City Promenade during a summer sunset over the Hudson River, Lower Manhattan." Getty Images
The Battery Park City Promenade besides the Hudson River in Lower Manhattan. Getty

Where are your favourite places to eat?

It depends on the food. If it’s steak, I think Peter Luger’s in Brooklyn; for Italian, I think it would be Patsy’s in Manhattan; and for Asian food, it would be Nobu. I go to those three restaurants quite a lot.

Nobu Fifty Seven - Sushi Bar. Courtesy Nobu
Nobu Fifty Seven. Henry Hargreaves

Where do you shop?

I like the boutiques that are downtown, on Elizabeth Street and Howard Street. They are one of a kind; they are the anti-brand. They are the kind of shops that you might find in Saint Tropez – curated, special. I enjoy that more than the branded things that you find in every city in the world today.

Where’s your favourite place to grab a coffee?

At home.

What three words would you use to describe the city?

How about four words? Centre of the world.

Is there anything people should avoid?

I think, because of globalisation and because cities are becoming more and more alike, everything that’s unique and distinctive about New York is worthy of a visit.

What’s the one thing everybody should do?

Well, they have to make a reservation at The Edition or the Public Hotel.

And after that?

I think the nightlife here is still very exciting.

Ian Schrager. Courtesy Ian Schrager
Hotelier Ian Schrager

Are there any downsides to the city?

Sometimes the intensity of the pace can be a little overwhelming. I guess when you live here you get used to it. But sometimes, visitors might think the pace is a little bit too fast.