lounging at the plaza

For centuries the center of Madrid life, the stately Plaza Mayor combines elegant architecture with a history dominated by peculiarly Spanish dramas.  First laid out in 1618 it hosted the beatification of the city’s patron saint, San Isidro Labrador.  It also played host to the macabre rituals of the Spanish Inquisition – burnings on the north side of the square, hangings on the south – until unironically consumed by fire in the 18th century.  Later rebuilt, as many as 50,000 people would cram into the square for spectacles of another sort: bullfights.  Before you attempt to ponder these vagaries, pull up a chair at one of the outdoor cafes around the perimeter and enjoy the theater of Spanish street life coursing through the plaza, which must surely rank as one of the country’s most beautiful.


just published: the apple of your eye

Spas in the Big Apple have become as ubiquitous as tourists: one on every corner, standing side-by-side, and often found in groups. Every run of the mill nail salon now has spa somewhere in its name. Storefronts cater to time-crunched pedestrians by offering facials, shiatsu and shoulder massage – nirvana promised in less than 15 minutes. Even department stores have gotten into the act, comforting weary shoppers with hot rock calf massages before sending them back to the racks. To wit: every major hotel has either opened a spacious stand-alone spa or has one in the works. It’s only a matter of time before full-service healing is as close as a call down to room service.

Yet some of the best places to find serenity in the city that never sleeps are often hidden in the most unlikely nooks and crannies, too: unmarked buildings with no signage, on the second and third floors of buildings without elevators, uptown, downtown, and even underground. For the uninitiated, the path to inner peace is about more than just knowing where to look – it’s about knowing who to know.

Luckily, you know us. So whether you seek the newest treatments, the hottest trends, or the most traditional therapies, New York, New York will melt away those little town blues and have you at the top of the heap.

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