Rizzoli bookshop

A New York institution in a scintillating new space

My New York City go-to for reading material had always been Rizzoli. Until it closed in 2014, this grand bookshop set in a  former piano showroom on West 57th Street was a peaceful escape from the bustle of midtown Manhattan, filled floor to ceiling with everything from art tomes and the latest fiction to a robust music selection, letterpress cards, gifts and wrapping paper. Indeed, its range of European magazines alone was worth the trip.

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My old favourite has now risen again, 30 blocks south, in the burgeoning NoMad neighbourhood. On my visit last month I was dazzled by the sheer enormity of the project, set behind an enormous, sleek glass façade. Ike Kligerman Barkely Architects has overseen a painstaking renovation of the late-19th-century Beaux Arts building, combining pieces from the old store – cherrywood bookcases, brass and iron light fixtures – with graphic black and white flooring, dramatic skylights and an expansive windowed salon. A custom-made mural by Fornasetti, featuring butterflies on collaged newspaper pages throughout the 5,000sq ft space, further enhances the magical environment.

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The titles themselves are still heavy on art and fashion, housed enticingly among cookbooks and biographies, rare and limited editions. I leafed leisurely through a Gagosian/Rizzoli monograph about artist Jenny Saville’s Oxyrhynchus series ($100) and High Art: Public Life on the High Line ($45), about the city’s elevated park, but settled on Mastering Golf’s Mental Game ($25) as a gift for my husband. And I’m pleased to report that the reinvented Rizzoli still has the best selection of magazines in town.

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