My ideal day in New York: Architectural Digest’s Amy Astley

This article is part of a guide to New York from FT Globetrotter

My work week is so tightly scheduled, packed with business trips, dinners, events and meetings with designers and the AD team. So my dream day is one where I am just on foot — no planes, subway trains, taxis or Ubers. My family and I are lucky enough to live in Tribeca, where we bought our loft more than 20 years ago. The neighbourhood is so fascinating to me, with all its old industrial buildings. I lived in the area as a kid in the late 1970s, when it was not even called Tribeca and there were still working loading docks, so I have seen it change with my own eyes. On the weekends, I love to stay put.

Core work 

I’m not a breakfast person — usually it’s just yoghurt and a cup of black tea for me. (I never drink coffee.) Then it’s off to Pilates, a recent obsession. I started practising during the pandemic and it has helped my mind and body so much, taking the place of physical therapy to keep my spine happy and strong. My neighbourhood studio is Real Pilates on Duane Street, whose founder, Alycea Ungaro, takes a super classic approach: they talk about Joe all the time — as in Joseph Pilates. Joe said this . . . Joe said that . . . Victoria is my teacher but all the instructors are excellent. I would go every day if I could.

Lunch with friends

Roast chicken on a bed of beans and pulses on a plate at New York’s Houseman restaurant
The roast chicken at Houseman . . . 

The bar at Houseman, with tables and chairs in the foreground
 . . . where Astley will sit with friends at the bar if she can’t get a reservation

My friend Ned Baldwin, whom I know from the North Fork of Long Island, is the chef and owner of Houseman, on Greenwich Street. He opened the restaurant in 2015 (he had been the chef de cuisine at Prune, a beloved NYC institution that closed in 2020) and kept it going all throughout Covid, pivoting to outdoor dining and food delivery. Houseman is a cosy, neighbourhood place with a great vibe and great food. The roast chicken is heavenly. The salads are amazing (my go-to, when it’s on the menu, is the Niçoise.) I rarely eat red meat but their burger is one of the best in the city. If you eat one burger a year, make it theirs. Ned is a creative soul — he studied sculpture at Yale — and Houseman attracts a lot of artistic people. I like to meet Tribeca friends such as interior designer Ken Fulk or Yvonne Force Villareal and her husband, Leo, both true pillars in the art world. If we can’t get a reservation, we sit at the bar.


A Sara Beltrán diamond ring set in black enamelling pictured between two clam shells 
Sara Beltrán’s creations include this diamond ring set in black enamelling  © Dezso by Sara Beltrán

Diamond and sapphire rings, earrings and a necklace positioned around sea shells and coral in a display at Dezso by Sara Beltrán
The jeweller’s work is very much influenced by the sea and nature © Dezso by Sara Beltrán (2)

Right next door is Dezso, the new jewellery shop of another longtime friend, Sara Beltrán, which opened during New York Fashion Week in September. She has a loyal cult following and I have worn her pieces since I was the editor of Teen Vogue, when we first met. I never take my Dezso rings off. Her work is very luxe bohemian incorporating beautiful materials — she’s particularly inspired by nature and the sea. She’s a total beachcomber. Now she’s also creating very special homewares using crystals and stones. Sara also sells a curated collection of wonderful vintage pieces that she discovers on her travels. It’s a richly moody environment, an ideal place to explore and dream about Sara’s creations, which I collect.

Gallery hopping

Mickey Mackintosh chair, 1981, by Wendy Maruyama and Georgie Girl chair and chest of drawers, 1968, by Pamela Weir-Quiton: two pieces from R & Company’s exhibition ‘Born Too Tall: California Women Designers, Postwar to Postmodern’
Mickey Mackintosh chair, 1981, by Wendy Maruyama and Georgie Girl chair and chest of drawers, 1968, by Pamela Weir-Quiton: two pieces from R & Company’s exhibition ‘Born Too Tall: California Women Designers, Postwar to Postmodern’ © Joe Kramm. Courtesy of R & Company

Two modernist chairs and an urn sitting on a platform beneath modernist lighting at Galerie56
Galerie56 showcases the best of 20th-century design © Olympia Shannon

I could have never imagined, as a kid in Tribeca, that the area would become the most exciting gallery scene in the city — especially for design. There are longtime fixtures like Espasso and R & Company, which now spans two incredible spaces. (I’m especially excited about its current exhibition on female California designers.) And there are so many recent arrivals — from Cristina Grajales, whose programme is as fearless and dynamic as ever, to TRNK NYC, which spotlights emerging talents. The extraordinary architect Lee Mindel, who is on the AD100 Hall of Fame, just opened Galerie56, an incredible showcase for 20th-century design in the so-called Jenga Building on Leonard Street. And there are too many fine-art galleries to name, though I’m especially thrilled to have Pace Gallery’s new project space, 125 Newberry, the brainchild of powerhouse Arne Glimcher, in the hood.

Dinner at a local haunt 

A plate of Caesar salad with salmon at Estancia 460, with a knife and fork to its left
Caesar salad with salmon at Estancia 460 . . .

The façade of Estancia 460. In the foreground is a cobbled street
 . . . a Tribeca eatery that is a firm favourite of Astley’s family 

I try to support the old-school restaurants that have been in the neighbourhood forever. Estancia 460 is a favourite of my family. The food is affordable and yummy. I always eat the Caesar salad with salmon. My two daughters have the margherita pizza. They do a great Aperol spritz. It’s perfect for dining outside, where people can bring their dogs, and watching folks walk up and down Greenwich Street. After dinner, we might grab a drink down the block at the new Hotel Barrière Fouquet’s, designed by the wildly talented Martin Brudnizki. And we always enjoy a walk along the Hudson River. Sometimes we’ll turn right at the water and venture towards Little Island, or else turn left and check out the Tide Deck at Pier 26. I love New York — and I especially love it on foot.

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