There are things to love about wintertime–warm covers, hot coffee, watching the snow blanket the neighborhood from your window. But when the trees start budding and the tulips are in full bloom, most of us are ready to exchange the doldrums of winter for the freshness of spring. During that enchanting time after the snow melts and before the sidewalk starts sweltering, residents of the XOCO 325 condos in SoHo will find themselves in the center of a neighborhood humming with spring’s special vitality.
For starters, there’s brunch, and the best way to enjoy it – alfresco. Few cafes have outdoor spaces that can hold a candle to the courtyard of the SoHo outpost of Pera. This beloved Eastern Mediterranean eatery, self-described as the “adventurous, bubbly younger sister” to the Pera Mediterranean Brasserie in Midtown, has an expansive patio that feels more like a lush private garden than a restaurant. Leafy canopies, walls of ivy, and plenty of rustic wood provide a perfect backdrop for a late Saturday morning plate of Shakshuka eggs, which are poached in a velvety tomato sauce and garnished generously with kasseri cheese and scallions. Or, if you’ve got a sweet-but-not-too-sweet tooth, try the Raisin Brioche French Toast, served with fig chutney and fresh fruit. Under your red umbrella, with the clean sunlight glinting off your mimosa, you may feel like you’re on a Mediterranean vacation.
Until, that is, you step back out into the buzzing streets and find yourself in the midst of some of the world’s best shopping. The boutiques along Prince Street alone offer more than anyone can explore in one day, but, luckily, those who live in XOCO 325’s West Broadway condos are only steps away; you’ll never have to wander far before you land in a fun and sophisticated shopping experience. Check out Opening Ceremony, the perennially cool shop manned by Humberto Leon and Carol Lim. Recently named “New York’s resident curators of hip” by The New Yorker, these two have a notoriously cheeky take on fashion. With an evocative name that references the Olympics, Opening Ceremony has an ever-changing collection that celebrates fashion from across the world. There’s also the nearby Canon, Stacia Canon’s latest retail venture, which is devoted to one-of-a-kind treasures. As Vogue recently declared, you’ll find an array of items in this small shop from “a dozen designers you’ve never heard of.”
If a day of strolling SoHo’s sidewalks and perusing the latest in fashion leaves you needing a pick-me-up, you’re not alone. Head over to Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream to indulge in some sweet, high-end flavor. You won’t be able to pass by the irresistibly cheery blue storefront without poking your head in, and once you do that, you’re a goner. The vintage black and white interior is a throwback to simpler times, and the flavors are exquisitely precise and creative. There are five varieties of vanilla alone (Burnt Honey, Bourbon, Madagascar, French, and Rum Raisin). Flavors like Sunflower Seed and Black Coconut Ash await the more adventurous palate, and with so many interesting options to try, we won’t be surprised if you find yourself returning all spring and summer long.