The celestial mural on the second floor of Albertine Books. Image Courtesy of Pentagram.
Located in the French Embassy on the Upper East Side, Albertine Books is a New York City treasure. Besides being the only bookstore in Manhattan that stocks titles in both French and English, this elegant shop holds weekly events such as noteworthy lectures, readings, and signings that are often free and attract a crowd of sophisticated Francophiles. With interiors by the famed French designer Jacques Garcia, you’ll want to tuck yourself into a corner with a good book for hours on end. Climb the narrow staircase to gaze at the hand-painted mural that adorns the ceiling on the second floor; you don’t have to be a design aficionado to appreciate the grandeur of the constellations, stars, and planets as well as the rich, inky blue of the heavens. Be prepared to lose track of time here. In fact, you may never want to leave.