There’s only one thing more divine than “Paris in the Springtime” -- “Autumn in New York.” No, I’m not talking about the movie or the Frank Sinatra song by the same name, although I do believe the crooner got it right when he called New York exciting and inviting.

The fall is full of promise. It’s a time for transformation, whether it be back to school shopping or “turning over a new leaf.”

In fact, change is a constant in our great city and as the leaves begin to turn, shoppers don their cashmere and step happily to the beat of a new season; new boutiques to explore, new spas to indulge and delightful dining. Fall is upon us!

Here’s a glimpse at some of the wonderful shopping ahead:

On magnificent Madison Avenue, Ralph Lauren Eyewear will expand the kingdom with its first freestanding optical boutique at 811 Madison Avenue. Claudia Ciuti, purveyor of fine Italian footwear, opened its first store at 955 Madison Avenue and Porsche Design flagship is making its way into the GM Building, at 59th and Madison. Kuhlman Company’s European menswear is adding two locations, one on the Golden Mile, at 444 Madison Avenue, and another at 96 Grand Street in Soho. Europeans continue to flock to New York, with Victor Hugo, Brazilian accessories, debuting his first U.S. boutique at 520 Madison Avenue. Landau, known for its fine costume jewelry, is replacing Ruco Line at 794 Madison Avenue and Madura Paris, contemporary home décor, is expanding here, heading from Boston to Carnegie Hill with its new Madison Avenue location, at 86th Street.

The shopping scene on Fifth Avenue is just as fabulous, thanks to some enticing new additions. Footwear retailer Journeys and milliner Lids will open adjacent storefronts at 590 Fifth Avenue, near Rockefeller Center.

Soho is certainly seeing its share of new retailers as well. Ben Sherman, an upscale British lifestyle brand, plans to make his way to the neighborhood with a 5,000-square-foot location in “the heart of Soho” – exact address to be determined – next March. Ted Baker London opened a women’s wear store at 107 Grand Street and Helen Wang, home furnishings, jewelry, women's and men’s eveningwear, has made 69 Mercer Street her new home. Montreal based Parasuco Jeans, renowned for fashion forward style, will open a new flagship on the corner of Spring and Lafayette. It’s fun and games for Poker Room at its newly opened boutique, retailing all things games, at 108 Wooster Street. Cappellini, the Italian powerhouse furniture design company, enters the U.S. with its first American store at 152 Wooster Street. NYC Velo pleases avid cyclists by taking biking to the next level with its shop, which recently opened its doors for business, at 64 Second Avenue at 4th Street. For those in the family way, San Francisco-based “new parent emporium” Giggle will delight this fall at 120 Wooster Street. Another autumn arrival is Spanish accessories retailer Tous, which debuts at 109 Greene Street. Swede import Dunderdon, known for its functional, yet fashionable denim designs, opens a U.S. flagship in the heart of the “Denim Corridor” at 270 Lafayette. Min-K will offer its feminine vintageinspired frocks at 219 Mott Street. Oakley also opened a new flagship at 113 Prince Street, offering its signature eyewear, apparel and footwear. Satellite, a Parisian jewelry designer, will bring breathtaking jewels to 412 West Broadway. Celo, women’s apparel from Milan, is joining Laundry and Patagonia one door away from Chanel at 100 Wooster Street. Taschen, the world’s leading illustrated book publisher, will make Soho smarter with its first New York store at 107 Greene St. Equinox Fitness Clubs will open a three-level “mega gym” at 568 Broadway. For those who enjoy the good life, The Classic Car Club Manhattan, a members-only group for men and women who love to drive phenomenal cars, recently opened its doors at 250 Hudson, featuring a clubroom and spacious garage.

Over in the West Village, Selima Salaun, celebrity eyewear, opens its ninth store at 357 Bleecker Street. Bellydance Maternity will also debut its first New York boutique, offering stylish fashions for the mother-to-be, at 548 Hudson Street.

The East Village is equally active when it comes to retail. Giant Robot New York, a shop and art gallery, opened at 437 East 9th Street, offering a cool selection of toys books and clothes. John Derian Dry Goods introduced another shop steps away from the original, selling fine bedding, linens and clothes at 10 East Second Street. Underdog East, a loungey men’s shop housing classic threads with a modern twist, surprises at 117 East 7th Street.

In fashionable Flatiron, Journeys, contemporary footwear and accessories, will also open in Union Square at 28 East 14th Street, joining Whole Foods, Forever 21, American Eagle, Trader Joe’s, DSW Shoes, Filene’s Basement and Sephora. H & M will take over the former Daffy’s space at 111 Fifth Avenue, making this its eighth store in New York City. BCBG Max Azria has found a new home for its third Manhattan store and will open in Chelsea has charmed American Apparel, which will open another t-shirt mecca at 181 Eighth Avenue.

Over in the Meatpacking District, ladies will love Rebecca and Drew's for its flattering women's shirts, at 342 W. 13th Street.

In Nolita, Homer, a high-end furniture and accessories shop on Madison Avenue, has opened an outlet where everything is discounted. Shoppers can enjoy the savings when they visit the 250 Elizabeth Street location. Ralph Lauren will also open a Double RL store at 31 Prince Street.

Over on the Lower East Side, Superdeluxe will bring its quirky pop designs to 187 Chrystie Street.

In marvelous Midtown, dynamic new names delight. Fine Jewelry by Jerry Cohen, formerly known as Cipriani Jewelry and located within The Savoy, will open in Trump Plaza, at Third Avenue between 61st and 62nd Streets. Amore De Hair salon will open at 1050 Third Avenue, replacing Bati next to Spring Flowers on Third Avenue. Bridge Kitchenware, a gourmet chef's paradise, relocated to 711 Third Avenue. Charles Tyrwhitt, England’s shirtmaker, will have its second New York City shop at Rockefeller Center West. Bloomberg Tower will be home to a moderately priced sportswear emporium -- New York & Company -- and jewelry chain Zales on the western corner of 715 Lexington Avenue. Laila Rowe accessories opened its 21st location at 1375 Sixth Avenue, between 55th and 56th Streets. Parisian Brella Bar opened at 1041 Third Avenue, showcasing only the most elegant umbrellas, parasols, walking sticks and accessories just steps from Bloomies.

Over on the Upper West Side, Plaza Too will carry shoes, handbags and jewelry in its new 2231 Broadway store, while Big Mix Outlet will sell trendy overstock at discounted prices at 2186 Broadway. Buttercup Bake Shop will satisfy with its delightful confections at 141 West 72nd Street.

Expanding in the ever-bustling Financial District is fashionable discounter Century 21, which is making its already gigantic store even bigger and better. The National Sports Museum plans to open in 2006 at 25 Broadway, a few blocks from the Statue of Liberty ferry and the World Trade Center memorial site. The New York Sports Clubs is getting into the act, installing a 22,206-foot fitness center at 225 Varick Street, in Hudson Square.

And, although an exact address has yet to be determined, Christian Lacroix is fast zeroing in on a New York space for his U.S. flagship. Fashionistas rejoice!

If trendy clothing and accessories leave you longing to see and be seen, the place to head is to one of the hip new restaurants opening here in the city. This fall, restaurateurs are opening fine eateries at a dizzying pace. This season the concepts run the gamut and one thing is for sure -- they are all newsworthy. Here's an “A to Z” of where to make reservations and which are worth the wait.

A former honcho of the Luca Luca fashion house opens his own Italian-Mediterranean restaurant, Ribot, at 780 Third Avenue at 48th Street. Its executive chef, Patrick Woodside, was the original chef at ultra hip CameJe on MacDougal Street.

Upper West Side sushi restaurant Haku, located at 2425 Broadway, is a wonderful addition to the neighborhood, offering a creative and fresh dining experience at a lower cost.

Young Choi brings her nouveau Korean cuisine to Hell’s Kitchen with Bann, do-it-yourself Korean barbecue, at 350 West 50th Street.

Cambalache, 406 East 64th Street, brings Argentinean food into an intimate space divided into a lounge, a dining room and a back patio.

In the vast Times Square space that was once Charley O’s is now Bolzano’s Bar Cucina at Shubert Alley and 45th Street, serving Italian classics. Ben & Jack’s is a new steakhouse at 219 East 44th Street, owned by former Peter Luger employees.

Chef Keith Harry of Chanterelle offers Mexican fare at Diablo Royale, 189 West 10th Street between Bleecker and West 4th.

Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s new Perry St., at 176 Perry Street, is a 60-seat restaurant in one of Richard Meier’s glass towers.

Fresh seafood dishes are served at Tides -- 102 Norfolk Street -- at Delancy Street.

Hand selected fish, fresh daily, is served at Turquoise, where the entire décor is blue, at 240 East 81st Street.

Hand in hand with our favorite pastime, 202, at 75 Ninth Avenue, is a café nestled in Nicole Farhi’s new store at the Chelsea Market. Also in Chelsea Market, Stephen Starr plans to open a branch of his Philadelphia restaurant Buddakan in the fall with Michael Schulson as chef.

Sascha Lyon, formerly of Daniel, Balthazar and Pastis, will open Sascha at 55-61 Gansevoort Street this fall with a café, bakery and dining room.

Amy Sacco, queen of the New York City nightlife, has opened her European grill, Bette, at 461 West 23rd Street.

For those whose idea of relaxing involves more than just a good meal, Manhattan’s new spas will surely do the trick. The influx of new spas debuting in our hectic city proves we are in need of tranquility. Rest assured, no other city can combine the need for stress relief and superluxury like New York! Spa-going is the fourthlargest leisure activity and was an $11.2 billion industry in 2004, with the loyal spa-goer visiting the spa an average of 140 times per year.

The new concept is the “urban spa,” which by definition is the ultra high-end luxurious day spa, with elegant interior design infused with “city chic” and elaborate treatments befitting a queen.

The Cornelia Day Resort fills the niche for pampering the elite. This posh piece of heaven is 22,000 square feet at 663 Fifth Avenue in Midtown, and offers spectacular treatments to please even the most seasoned spagoer. A café, hair and beauty salon, boutique, and a watsu pool are guaranteed to leave one feeling tranquil and pampered beyond their wildest dreams.

Shizuka New York relocated to 7 West 51st Street near Fifth Avenue, offering Japanese skin care services beyond what is offered in a traditional medical setting.

At long last, the seven-floors-of-luxury at Core Club will debut at 66 East 55th Street. This not only offers a spa but much more….The concept is an elite, members only club, offering the highest level of customer service and featuring a bar, indoor and outdoor dining areas with a menu by Craft chef Tom Colicchio, a movie theater, a library, a gym and sauna and six hotel-like relaxation suites.

In the Flatiron District, 260 Fifth Avenue between 28th and 29th Streets, is the recently opened Ohm Spa. This is a massage haven designed to focus more on health than beauty by achieving the balance between comfort and healing, which is prevalently found in Europe.

Le Petit Spa has opened its second location at 900 Second Avenue, one block from the United Nations and has partnered with men’s grooming brand E. Shave, in order to appeal to and pamper male clientele.

New hotels are also in high demand. It is reported that tourists are flying into New York and staying in its hotels in record numbers as the hotel-occupancy rate, normally hovering around 80 percent in New York City, has reached 90.4 percent – was the highest ever for the summer!

Let’s play “musical hotel rooms!” The debate is on and seems to be heating up by the minute! Here’s an overview of our current hotel climate:

In July, the Sutton Hotel closed its doors, and 84 rooms, after it was sold to Alchemy Partners.

Also in July, the Melrose Hotel New York at 140 E. 63rd Street closed its doors and 306 rooms.

Even the Essex House Hotel felt the heat. It was sold to the Dubai Investment Group recently, closing 605 rooms.

The Stanhope Hotel, 995 Fifth Avenue, was sold to Extell Development closing 185 rooms.

The nostalgic closing of the Plaza Hotel also left a hole in the heart of New York’s residents and visitors, many of whom have one less fabulous place to sleep in the City that never does.

All of these are charming hotels are to be converted to luxury condominiums. How delightful for developers but where are the tourists to lay their weary heads?

In come revolutionary ideas for maximizing space. Take for example the Pickwick Arms Hotel on East 51st Street between Second and Third Avenues. This hotel is being completely renovated but leaving the rooms small, designing some with bunk beds and some with bathrooms down the hall. This may not seem inviting; however the spaces are being equipped with technology, flat screen televisions, iPod docks and minibars, thus keeping the number of rooms intact but yet supremely modern. Are these rooms the spaceships of the future?

Another approach is locational alterations; budget hotels are popping up on the West Side in the re-zoned Hudson Yards neighborhood. An 80- room Comfort Inn at 305 W. 39th Street, a 92-room Wingate Inn at 235 W. 35th Street and a 40-room Howard Johnson at 449 W. 36th Street lead the trend. Here, the concept is boutique hotels sprouting up in unexpected areas. The traditional hotel geography has shifted. The Midtown area between Third and Sixth Avenues has been overbuilt, allowing for the recent buzz of activity in less developed areas such as the Lower East Side, Chinatown, Harlem and the far West Side. The Chinese fast food company Wok and Roll Restaurant Group is building a 120-room hotel at 231 Grand Street and 54 Canal Street will be the site of a 158-room hotel.

Additional new hotel information includes the successful 2 Gold Street apartment tower, soon to have two new neighboring projects: a second apartment building on the southeast corner and a 416-room hotel on the northeast corner. This will all be on a block between Maiden Lane, Pearl, Platt and Gold Streets -- practically on Wall Street.

As hotel business is absolutely booming, rooms are fast and furiously morphing into condos. Hotel investors are hot on the trail looking for properties to buy and developers are seeking sites to build and convert new hotels and existing buildings. The number is in and sources say that more than 2,000 hotel rooms have been lost to conversion over the last few years. Richard Born, who is building with Robert DeNiro at Greenwich and North Moore Street, will create 93 rooms with very large upscale suites. Another construction project is taking place at Bowery and Third Street, adding 140 rooms into the mix. McSam Hotels expects that tourists would like moderately priced hotels in downtown locations. Their recently acquired property at 76 East 13th Street near Union Square, for example, will have a hotel built over an existing two-story structure. However, the question still remains -- Will a big convention hotel be built on the Far West Side in association with an expansion of the Javits Center, quite possibly adding around 1,500 rooms?

To satisfy the savvy customer, owners of properties in less glamorous locations like Eighth Avenue in Midtown are upgrading. Howard Johnson is going to be a Hampton Inn and Days Inn will become a Hilton Garden. The gentrification of the East Village continues with a luxury property from hotelier Greg Peck of the Crescent Beverly Hills in Los Angeles. His Cooper Square will be located where Third and Fourth Avenues merge, blocks away from the ultra-chic Mercer Hotel, in what was once a residential building for a 2007 completion. It is cited to be the “downtown Four Seasons.”

With such conversion rampant, some speculations have been incorrect, and some rumored soon-to-be condos never do come to fruition. As an example, The Park Avenue Regency Hotel is remaining just that, despite several reports to the contrary.

Autumn in New York… Why does it seem so exciting, so inviting? Magnificent new stores, restaurants, spas and hotels could very well be the answer. So take advantage of all the city has to offer and shop ‘til you drop this fall!

Faith Hope Consolo
Chairman, Retail Leasing & Sales Division
Prudential Douglas Elliman

Tel: 212-418-2020 / Fax: 212-418-2005