East Side vs. West Side

Bisected by mighty Fifth Avenue, the two sides of downtown Manhattan both have a village, a river, and their very own Standard. Massimiliano Gioni (Director of Exhibits at The New Museum, just a few blocks down the Bowery from The Standard, East Village) and his wife Cecilia Alemani (Curator of The High Line after which The Standard, High Line is named) share their favorite – semi-secret – spots on an island divided.


East Side: Fresco
138 2nd Ave.
My favorite cappuccino in town!

West Side: Kava Café
803 Washington St.
A great secret coffee place in the Meatpacking District with a lovely and quiet garden in the back.

Historical Factoid

Image via

East Side: On July 25–26, 1964, from 8:06pm to 2:42am on the 41st floor of the Time-Life Building, in the offices of the Rockefeller Foundation, Warhol shot his iconic film, “Empire”.

West Side: Cowboys used to ride in front of the trains on Tenth Avenue to make sure nobody would get hurt. The trains were eventually raised to an elevated platform that became The High Line.

Quiet Place

East Side: Tompkins Square Park
500 E 9th St.
...bongo players allowing.

West Side: Printed Matter
195 10th Ave.
The best shop to browse fanzines and old artworks in the shape of books.

Art Place

East Side: Walter de Maria’s “The New York Art Room” (1977)
The Dia Art Foundation
141 Wooster St.

West Side: White Columns
320 West 13th St.
The best alternative space in town.

Favorite View

East Side: People watching at the corner of Saint Marks Place and Second Avenue

West Side: Watching hotel guests fornicating by the windows from my office. (Just kidding!)

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