Partners in business and life, Nancy Hou and Josh de Sousa are Cornell- and Harvard- educated Parsons School of Design professors and the principal architects of their firm, New York City’s Hou de Sousa. If there’s something they do, they do it as a pair.
The duo collaborated on Sticks, the award-winning structure they built in Long Island City’s Socrates Sculpture Park, and on Raise/Raze, an interactive exhibit of 650,000 plastic balls they constructed inside a Washington, D.C., subway station. So what better way to get to know their home city than by a joint tour of the area they frequent most?
“The majority of our time is spent within an absurdly small pocket of space in lower Manhattan primarily consisting of the route we walk to and from work each day,” de Sousa says. “There is plenty to see, do and eat within this tiny stretch of space, and we’re excited to share some of our favorites.”
9 a.m. Oddly enough, a wonderful way to start the day in New York City is at a Montreal-style bagel shop in NoLita called Black Seed. You can’t go wrong–anything here is fantastic– but the everything bagel is perfect.
10 a.m. With your Black Seed coffee in hand, head to the New Museum to take in established contemporary work. Then go to the Storefront for Art and Architecture for a dose of the avant-garde.
12 p.m. Take a short walk to Matter. This small furniture shop features a mixed bag of both radical and practical pieces by up-and-coming designers.
1 p.m. If you’ve worked up an appetite, reward yourself with lunch at NoHo’s little-known but excellent Fish Cheeks, an authentic Thai seafood spot with beach-inspired decor. The coconut crab curry and vegetable side dishes are a must. Trust us.
2 p.m. Check out what’s new at the Alessi and Flos showrooms on Greene Street. These two brands are consistently doing innovative things we like to keep an eye on.
4 p.m. Take in the rare, one-of-a-kind pieces by midcentury Danish masters Hans Wegner and Arne Jacobsen on display at Modernlink. Then pop in next door to view the excellent collection of pieces showcased at Vitsoe.
5 p.m. Make a quick stop at ABC Carpet & Home, and then do some gallery hopping in Chelsea. There are dozens of places to explore here; we recommend Gladstone Gallery and Luhring Augustine.
7 p.m. Let your taste buds be your dinner guide: Either hop across town to Raku, a small but incredible Udon restaurant in the East Village, or head to the equally amazing Atla, on Lafayette Street, for extraordinary takes on Mexican snacks and drinks.