'Key to NYC' and Other NYC Tourism News

This week's game changer is the beginning of vaccine requirements for indoor life in NYC. The Mayor's new "Key to NYC" program began yesterday, although enforcement is still a month off. For vaccinated tourists it will increase a sense of safety and it won't stop families from coming—under 12s are still welcome, just required to be masked and accompanied by a vaccinated adult. For the unvaccinated, the indoor city will become less accessible, although so much is now outdoors that they should still be able to drink, dine, and otherwise get around. Openings and returns continue to roll in, including:  

  • Williamsburg live music venue Baby's All Right has reopened
  • The Staten Island Ferry has returned to 24/7 service
  • ...and there's competition: NYC Ferry adds a midtown connection to St. George starting August 23rd
  • New 63rd-floor FiDi dining destination Saga to open August 25th
  • The NYC Unicycle Festival rolls again Labor Day Weekend, September 2nd-5th
  • The New York Renaissance Faire returns in person, starting August 21st and running through October 3rd in Tuxedo in Orange County
  • A live production of “Stars in the House” brings Broadway talent to The Town Hall October 25th
  • Lineup announced for New York Comedy Festival, November 8th-14th
  • Art House, the world’s first fine art hub of its kind, opens its doors this November in the former Barneys flagship
  • Museum of Broadway sets revised opening date for next summer

Despite the challenges of the Delta variant, the state of the city is strong. New census data indicates a population jump of 8% in the last decade to bring us to an all-time high. If Brooklyn were its own city it would now be tied with Chicago for third-largest in the nation. Pandemic-era out migration has ended for cities around the country—in NYC's case, residency has been climbing since May at one of the fastest rates in the nation. People want to be here, more than any other place, and tourists will be eager to find out why.

kaws rock center

SHARE, a sculpture by KAWS, is now mounted on Center Plaza in Rockefeller Center.





data on masks nyc dining

If you're wondering how the city's new vax and mask requirements are being felt on the ground, look at the data from this Everything To Do NYC Facebook Group survey. We asked the group how they thought they'd be impacted and a very reassuring 93% said they were as likely or more so to go out to restaurants and bars. Of the 400 respondents, less than 20 individuals marked themselves as less likely. ETD provides a great forum to get a read on what locals and visitors are thinking. It's also a great place to market your venue. If you're not a member yet, join us.

About the Author

Ethan Wolff is the author of numerous guidebooks to New York, having covered the city for more than two decades. He has written for New York Magazine, BlackBook, and Details, among others. In addition to his work as the editor of City Guide, Ethan covers NYC’s talk and lecture scene for the website Thought Gallery. He lives with his wife and two daughters in the Windsor Terrace neighborhood of Brooklyn.

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