by by Sabi Datoo-Lalji


I used to run a blog dedicated to this very topic - finding a slice of zen in a whole lotta city. But, life happened and the documentation of peaceful escapes slowed down...but never the need. So, with that said, I have rounded up my favorite spots in New York to simply get away from it all. Whether you have 10 minutes or a whole day, there are plenty of mirage-like havens in NYC which enable you to forget the outside world, just for a moment. Ahhhhh....

Image:  @lamerceriecaf e via Instagram

Image: @lamerceriecafe via Instagram

The Coffee

Towards the back of Roman and Williams Guild in Soho, is a French cafe, La Mercerie. Offering an extensive menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I like to get a table at around 11 am, order a cappuccino and some type of indulgent patisserie, and relax. While zoning out you'll be surrounded by the stunning furniture and homeware by Roman & Williams Guild and fresh flowers by Emily Thompson Flowers.

Image:  @booksaremagicbk  via Instagram

Image: @booksaremagicbk via Instagram

The Book

I have to be honest, I am not a fan of book shops in Manhattan, they're noisy and crowded and if I need a piece of peace, that's the one thing I am running away from. So, if you're willing to run away to Brooklyn, may I introduce to you Book Are Magic. As if the name didn't say enough, this little gem in the middle of Cobble Hill is home to a plethora of wonderful reads, from bestsellers to underground writers. With its pale pink walls, Insta-friendly graffiti, and weekly author speaker events, it's tough not to hide here.

Image:  @hortusnailworksnyc  via Instagram

Image: @hortusnailworksnyc via Instagram

The Manicure

Hidden away on Forsyth Street with what looks like a botanical reprieve is actually home to Hortus Nailworks, an all-natural nail and sugaring studio. Once you settle into one of their chairs it feels like New York, your day, your thoughts just melt away, drop by drop. Maybe it's the natural oils they use or maybe it's being surrounded by so much nature in a concrete jungle, that you feel lighter. (I have dozed off many times during a pedicure, and I don't feel bad about it.)

Image:  @whilewewereyoungnyc  via Instagram

Image: @whilewewereyoungnyc via Instagram

The Brunch

The West Village is home to a multitude of brunch options and while they're all wonderful and sweet, there's one that stands out from the rest for me. While We Were Young, a stunning, light-filled lavender and pale pink spot that instantly makes you feel happier. From their sorbet colored drinks to the intricately plated food, this little restaurant and bar is ideal for a luxurious brunch, long catch-up with friends, or a simple cocktail, alone while you watch downtown New York walk by.

Image:  @nakedretail  via Instagram

Image: @nakedretail via Instagram

The Shopping

I recently discovered Naked Retail along my travels in Soho. A friend of a friend was showing her collection at their concept store and let's just say my mind was blown. Set in an airy, well-lit Soho and Noho location, Naked Retail sets a stage for emerging designers allowing them to be front-facing in a prime, retail space. From CBD beauty brands to leather leggings and candles, the minimally styled store is calm, zen and full of countless discovery.

Sabi Datoo-Lalji is a Creative Consultant and Freelance Writer based in Brooklyn, NY. When she's not creating content for brands, or putting her fingers to the keyboard, Sabi can be found checking her Google alerts for a vintage Chanel bag, or at the nearest yoga studio catching some zen. Learn more about her at // @sabidatoolalji