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T+L File: New York

Downtown Goes Uptown

For restaurateur David Emil's first project since Windows on the World, he has gathered more than 60 members of the Windows team, including chef Michael Lomonaco, who developed the South and Central American-themed menu at Noche (1604 Broadway; 212/541-7070; dinner for two $80), an 18,000-square-foot Latin-infused supper club (part Ricky Ricardo, part Carmen Miranda) designed by David Rockwell in the heart of Times Square. Standouts: tuna ceviche with spicy avocado sauce, lobster curry with papaya vinaigrette, and crisp roast suckling pig. After dinner, order a frozen mojito from Andrea Immer's cocktail menu, and watch Latin bands from around the world on the mammoth retractable stage.

Where to Stay

Even before September 11, lower Manhattan was attracting the attention of developers. Now their plans for "downtown revitalization" have taken on a whole new meaning. The Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park (2 West St.; 800/241-3333 or 212/344-0800; www.ritzcarlton.com; doubles from $229) broke ground in 1999 and, against all odds, held its course for a January 2002 opening. Occupancy at the 298-room hotel has exceeded expectations, no doubt because of the inspiring location overlooking New York Harbor and Ellis Island. Meanwhile, beside the Battery Park Esplanade, the two-year-old Embassy Suites (102 North End Ave.; 800/362-2779 or 212/945-0100, www.embassynewyork.com; doubles from $199) reopened in May, along with its new restaurant, Unity. The all-suite atrium hotel--one block west of Ground Zero--was used as a relief center after 9/11. A few blocks north, the Tribeca Grand Hotel (2 Ave. of the Americas; 877/519-6600 or 212/519-6600; www.tribecagrand.com; doubles from $319), a movie-industry favorite, will undergo a face-lift of its lobby and public areas courtesy of designer William Sofield, who created Gucci's sleek flagship store on Fifth Avenue. Perhaps most surprising, the once-dingy Lower East Side--now a mecca for designers and fashionistas--is ready for Middle America with the arrival of a 46-room Howard Johnson Express Inn (135 E. Houston St.; 800/446-4656 or 212/358-8844; www.hojo.com; doubles from $129), next door to the beautifully restored Sunshine Cinema (see Culture).

Shopping Block

Call it Little Fifth Avenue. Bleecker Street in the West Village has become a mini-shopping hub. Here, eight recent additions:

1. Marc Jacobs (403 Bleecker St.; 212/924-0026). Stocking pastel vests and tomboy trousers from the downtown designer's secondary line for men and women.
2. Lulu Guinness (394 Bleecker St.; 212/367-2120). Cult handbags from the London-based designer.
3. Fresh (388 Bleecker St.; 917/408-1850). Bath and body products--some all-natural, all ultra-luxurious.
4. Marc Jacobs Accessories (385 Bleecker St.; 212/924-6126). Signature handbags and an ever-changing array of shoes.
5. Lucy Barnes (117 Perry St.; 212/647-0149). Offbeat clothes made with vintage fabrics, buttons, and beads.
6. Basiques (380 Bleecker St.; 212/414-1783). Clothes made in France; home accessories--toile bed linens and pillows, cotton bathrobes and towels--from Italy.
7. Antiques Provençal (49 Grove St.; 212/727-8030). High-end 18th- and 19th-century-French Provençal pieces collected by an 18-year veteran antiques restorer.
8. L'Occitane (247 Bleecker St.; 212/367-8428). French-imported bath and beauty products inspired by ingredients (lavender, shea butter, and verbena) from Provence.

Buying Frenzy

A dozen new shops are giving lower Manhattan fresh energy, attitude, and style.

Nolita
Helen Marion (250 Mott St.; 212/680-1911). Handmade handbags and jewelry with sixties and seventies soul.
Geraldine (246 Mott St.; 212/219-1620). Uptown shoe designers plus some avant-garde lesser-knowns.
Milena (252 Mott St.; 212/226-4711). Like a shoe boutique straight from a cobblestoned street in Milan.
C. Ronson (269 Elizabeth St.; 212/625-9074). Where models like Carmen Kass go for laid-back clothes.

Soho
Prada (575 Broadway; 212/334-8888). A high-tech, Rem Koolhaas-designed retail laboratory.
Barneys Co-op SoHo (116 Wooster St.; 212/965-9964). This airy downtown annex's hot stock: Habitual jeans and Eley Kishimoto printed sneakers.

Lower East Side
Red Threads (81 Orchard St.; 212/925-6519). Handmade linens in bold patterns reminiscent of Piet Mondrian.
Nort 235 (235 Eldridge St.; 212/777-6102). Rare and exclusive sneakers fill a former graffiti artist's store.

Tribeca
Steven Alan (103 Franklin St.; 212/343-0352). An emporium of emerging offbeat designers.
Tribeca Issey Miyake (119 Hudson St.; 212/226-0100). Frank Gehry designed this titanium-tinged clothing extravaganza. meatpacking district
Dernier Cri (869 Washington St.; 212/242-6061). Rock-and-roll wear from Preen saddlebags to Luella Bartley denim.
Alexander McQueen (419 W. 14th St.; 212/365-9530). The bad-boy Brit's women's collection and accessories, and a new line of bespoke men's wear.
Stella McCartney (429 W. 14th St.; no phone yet; opening mid-September). Ready-to-wear and accessories collections from the former Chloë designer.

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