adding to the list of "why we love new york":

in order to avoid the tourist masses on fifth avenue the other day, my husband and i wandered over to and around madison avenue on our way back from takashimaya and found the coolest bookstore we didn't know existed. urban center books is a teeny little shop inside the old villard houses, where the new york palace hotel and gilt are. (recognize the exteriors from gossip girl?)

a municipal art society of new york project, urban center books specializes in architecture and design with an amazing collection of new york-specific works. it's in this charming little parlor room that overlooks the palace's courtyard -- finding it was one of those magic new york moments. a great way to lose an hour of your afternoon.

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