Sure, you could always book yourself a ticket on a train if you feel like a little lounge time in the dinner car — but what if you don't feel like going anywhere? In that case, try making a visit to The Passenger. This Malasaña hangout was designed by Parolio and is meant to resemble the inside of a train car — a very swanky train, mind you. A coffee shop by day and rock n' roll bar by night, inside you'll find plenty of dark wood, brown leather, brass finished, fantastic cocktails craft beers, and small plate foodstuffs. But the real kicker is the "windows", which are actually three screens playing synchronized videos to make you feel as if you're on the move — that is, of course, if the booze isn't doing that already.
We're huge fans of Warby Parker's glasses — we use them at the computer, out on the town, and basically everywhere but the shower. But up until now, most folks had to order them online, and do a bit of trial-and-error to find the frames for them. That's all about to change with the new Warby Parker Flagship Store. This expansive SoHo space boasts 15-foot ceilings, a 20-foot-wide skylight, terrazzo floors, rolling library ladders, a photo booth, plenty of reading materials — the place is modeled after a library, after all — and tons of glasses, ready to be picked up, tried on, and gazed upon in one of the myriad mirrors. Of course, an optometrist will be on hand for those who need new prescriptions, while sunglass buyers can walk directly out the door wearing their new shades.
We'll admit: libraries aren't normally the first place on our agenda when travelling internationally, but Book Mountain — also known by its native name Boekenberg Bibliotheek Spijkenisse — isn't a normal library. Designed by Rotterdam-based MVRDV, this stunning structure has already received multiple architectural awards, as the glass pyramid houses a huge structure of books spanning multiple floors, with an outer path to the top measuring 480 meters long and a café with fantastic views perched at the top. Feel free to stop by any time, but if you want a more complete visit, the library hosts a free guided tour every Thursday at 2:30 p.m.
Longtime readers of Uncrate will likely recognize the name from the company's axes, belts, and other implements. The Best Made Shop gives you a chance to visit the spot where the magic happens. This Tribeca space serves as a store, headquarters, and workshop space, hosting courses on Axe Restoration, Field Medicine, and Foraged Cocktail Making. The store itself offers a wide range of products — including the company's signature axes — in an inviting, open space. The grand opening is this coming Friday, with normal store hours running Noon to 7pm, Wednesday through Sunday.
No, it's not closed down — even if it might look that way. A dive bar to its core, Dan's Cafe isn't the place to head for a quiet drink — but if you're looking for somewhere to get well lubricated before heading elsewhere, you've come to the right place. This non-air-conditioned, cash-only joint sells beer, but is far better known for its squeeze bottles full of liquor. Yes, you read that correctly — for a nominal fee, the barkeep will fill a ketchup-style squirt bottle full of liquor and the mixer of your choice, hand you however many shot glasses you need, and set you loose to drink or dish it however you see fit. There's also a pool table and a jukebox, one or both of which may not be working when you arrive — but by the time you leave, odds are you won't really care.
The handcrafted cocktails aren't the only reason to visit Craft & Commerce — but they might be the main reason. Developed with help from the guys at Mayahuel, the drink menu includes shaken cocktails like the Mexican Fire Drill with jalepeño-infused tequila, more direct stirred cocktails like the Carribbean Gentleman with aged rum and Fernet Branca, beer cocktails, sharing-sized punch bowls, and a few choice craft beers. A brief — but satisfying — food menu is also offered for brunch, lunch, and dinner.
When you see a place with a hog in the logo, it's easy to be concerned that you're walking into yet another average BBQ joint — but that's far from what you'll find at Old Major. While it's logo does sport a pig — "Seafood, swine, and wine" goes the motto — the food is anything but average, with small plates of the aforementioned food stuffs as well as beef and delicacies like foie gras. The cocktails are nothing to scoff at either, made using artisan ingredients and techniques — but thankfully the reclaimed barn feel of the interior keeps things from feeling too stuffy. Reservations recommended. [Scouted by Ben]
Ready for a break from the insanity of the Strip? The National Atomic Testing Museum should be just the thing. This unique Smithsonian-affiliated museum offers a collection of over 12,000 artifacts related to the development, testing, and deployment of the atom bomb. Located on the campus of the Desert Research Institute — roughly 65 miles southeast from the government's Nevada Test Site — it also explores the effects of the bomb on pop culture and society in general. It's not too heavy-handed, however — one of its current exhibits explores the truth behind the legendary Area 51 base, with help from the very people that worked there. And after a few nights of fantasy-fueled debauchery, a dose of truth may be just what the doctor ordered. That, and a good Bloody Mary. [via]
Of all the things to be jealous of throughout the James Bond films, the ridiculously picturesque drives he takes are certainly some of the more attainable — especially if you sign up for the 007 Aston Martin Driving Holiday. This three-day driving tour consists of four separate "missions" that will see you piloting a V8 Vantage S to five memorable 007 shooting locations, including the Furka Pass, Villa del Balbianello on Lake Como, and the ski resort of St Moritz. All told, you'll travel over 500 miles on your journeys, and with any luck enjoy a few martinis, as well.
Despite the name, there's nothing bitter about a trip to the Bitter End Yacht Club — except perhaps the feeling you get when it's time to go home. Perched on the North Sound, this luxury resort offers a number of one- and two-bedroom suites and cottages, as well as an Estate House with room for up to six people. Also on the grounds you'll find tons of outdoor activities — including wind sports, water sports, fishing, scuba diving, and even sailing lessons — a number of restaurants and bars, a pool, and a spa. All of which is good, because you're unlikely to be wandering once you arrive — the resort's only accessible by boat.
It's not quite a speakeasy, at least by original standards, but that doesn't mean the ambiance inside Employees Only is any less impressive. This bar/restaurant/club has long been an after-work hang out for service industry types, and for good reason. The drinks are strong yet crazy delicious — the Ginger Smash is a particular favorite — and the food doesn't disappoint, either. Oh, and be sure to keep an eye out for an impromptu burlesque show, which seem to happen from time to time.
There are literally hundreds of places to stay in NYC, but if you're looking for an experience that's a little less traditional, Bivouac might be just the thing. This art project/campsite will be open in New Yorkin May & June, then head to London in August and Boston in September. In every case, the camp will feature seven custom-made tents that can hold up to two people (three if you want to get extra cozy), and a canteen that offers a kitchen, oversized communal table, library, and morning coffee. Oh, and did we mention it's on a rooftop? Yeah, so you get some nice views as well. Just don't go in expecting too much luxury, as Internet, electricity, and showers aren't part of the deal.