(1/24-1/30) Looking for what to do in NYC this week and this weekend? The city continues to bounce back. Vaccinations are required for much of indoor life here (meaning you can feel safer if you head in to a restaurant, museum, or gym), but there's also tons to do out of doors. Read on for more in-person reopenings, festivals, pop ups, and other things to do in NYC this week.
MONDAY IN THE DINER WITH SONDHEIM
When Stephen Sondheim died in November he left behind an unmatched Broadway legacy, complete with eight Tony Awards. Ellen’s Stardust Diner will pay tribute to a rare talent tonight with Monday in the Diner with Sondheim, featuring live performances of Sondheim's most beloved songs by the venue's world-famous singing waitstaff. The event will be co-hosted by Ryan Patrick Smith and Patrick Pevehouse; the Artistic Director will be Scott Barbarino, Stardust’s Entertainment Director. The evening runs 7-11pm.
WINTER OUTING NYC
It may be the depths of winter, but this is one of the best times to be in New York City. You can get great deals on dining, theatre, and attractions through mid February. Select plays are offering two-for-one tickets via Broadway Week. During NYC Must-See Week you can get BOGO tickets to iconic museums, attractions, tours, and more. Winter Restaurant Weekserves up discount prix-fixe lunches and dinners at hundreds of the city’s most popular restaurants. The savings run through Sunday, February 13th.
The newly reopened David Burke Tavern is a modern American restaurant by award-winning celebrity chef David Burke. A stately townhouse setting showcases Burke’s creative, contemporary approach to classic fare—often with showstopping presentations. For Restaurant Week, you can enjoy three-course prix fixe specials. Burke's famous Clothesline Maple Candied Bacon, above, is available as a table share starter. Also available: lobster dumplings, a crab cake pretzel raft, short rib cavatelli, and desserts like chocolate chip ice cream sliders.
BUMPER CARS ON ICE
Image: Angelito Jusay for Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park.
The 20th season of the Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park is underway. In addition to the only free-admission skating rink in NYC, you'll find Rink Deck shops and food and drink. For the latter, The Lodge by Prime Video provides an outdoor après skate escape where you can cozy up with bites, festive cocktails, and prime ice skater watching. Get ready for some demolition derby action, urban style, too. The Bumper Cars on Ice at Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park have returned, available 2-8pm on weekday afternoons and 11am-5pm on the weekends. New for this year's iteration are late-night rides; dates to be announced. Slide, spin, and get out your aggressions through February 27th.
SNOWY WINTER WONDERLAND
The holidays may be in the rear view mirror but you can still embrace the season. The LES's Loreley Beer Garden has just dropped a wintry pop up. There are two heated outdoor areas, including one of the largest gardens in the city out back. Hot drinks touch on Irish coffees, toddies, mulled wine, spiked hot cider, and bourbon hot chocolates with toasted marshmallows. Winter sangrias and seasonal craft beers are available as well, along with giant pretzels and warm beer cheese dip, schnitzels, cheesy spaetzle with bacon, and grilled Sausage Party platters. Snowy Winter Wonderland runs through March 6th; happy hours are available.
Put your next date night on ice. Harriet’s Rooftop at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge has launched its first-ever Polar Lounge. Designed by Okamoto Studio, the experience features seating areas carved entirely from crystal-clear ice, cocktails served in ice glasses, and an ice 1 Hotel sculpture playing off the bar's skyline views. The lounge is open to the public through the end of February.
The Seaport has a winter oasis all its own. Waterfront bar Watermark has transformed its roomy pier into a Winter Wonderland Experience. Until March, guests can enjoy picnic tables or the comfort of heated glasshouses, equipped with personal space heaters. Menu highlights include cheese fondue and s'mores, plus weekend brunches.
WHAT TO DO IN NYC
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COLOR FACTORY BOGO
Go adventuring in the realms of color at SoHo's Color Factory. This immersive space takes you through room after room with clever takes on hue. For the month of January, Color Factory is hosting a Date Night event every Thursday from 4-8pm. Buy one ticket and get one free—just use code DATENIGHTS22.
BUILDINGS AND BLOCKS
Photo courtesy of Rockefeller Center.
Another date night with art can be found at the Top of the Rock observation deck. In addition to stunning views, take advantage of a new interactive art experience available only to ticket holders. The installation BUILDINGS AND BLOCKS is inspired by the skyline and shapes of the city as viewed from Rock Center's heights. The elements are designed for visitors to explore architecture while interacting with the shapes; it's on view until March 13th.
HALF OFF BLUE MAN GROUP!
No plot, dialogue, or ripped from headlines drama, just a romp and a half orchestrated by three blue-hued alien dudes. This long-running Off-Broadway show and international sensation combines music, paint drums, snacks, high-tech hijinks, and unpredictable physical comedy. For a limited time you can see the Blue Man Group for half off! Get your winter discount here.
POP ART FESTIVAL
Photo: Devon’s Audrey Chanel. Courtesy of Carlton Fine Arts.
Celebrate Pop Art at the Carlton Fine Arts gallery. Three floors are dedicated to a Pop Art Festival highlighted by Jeff Koons’ Monkey Train and Orange Balloon Dog; Mr. Brainwash’s Chaplin Love and Marilyn Red; Andy Warhol’s Howdy Doody; Devon’s Audrey Chanel; and Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Boxer Rebellion.
A TOP CHEF COMES TO NYC
Photo credit: Fabio Viviani Hospitality.
Top Chef fan favorite Fabio Viviani has opened his first NYC outpost in the brand-new Motto Chelsea hotel. Bringing together warm Italian hospitality and NYC's structured elegance, the new spot emphasizes seasonally inspired dishes, including elevated takes on Viviani's favorite comfort food classics. Think crispy duck salad, fried burrata, Roman pizza with smoky eggplant and pancetta, and whole fried rockfish. Bar Cicchetti by Fabio Viviani is open now.
IMMERSIVE THEATRE: ODD MAN OUT
Become a passenger on a journey home at this new immersive play. Put on headphones and a blindfold to better enter the headspace of a blind musician flying from New York to Buenos Aires after decades of self-exile. This story of love, prejudice, and fears that were left behind evolves with special effects like enriched smells, tactile objects, water, wind, and a 360º binaural audio system with sound so real you'll feel inside the work. Odd Man Out's limited run is underway through February 19th.
EXHIBITION OF THE WEEK: THE HARE WITH AMBER EYES
Various netsuke from the de Waal Family Collection.
On view now at The Jewish Museum uptown is The Hare with Amber Eyes, an exhibition that tells the story of the Ephrussi family and its marvelous collections. The exhibition explores the family’s rise in the first half of the 19th century, followed by a focus on the prolific collector Charles Ephrussi, to the inter-war years, and finally World War II, when the family lost its fortune and collection to Nazi looting. Design studio Diller Scofidio + Renfro has created an interpretive installation, working closely with the museum and the writer and ceramicist Edmund de Waal, author of a best-selling book on the Ephrussi family, from which he is descended. (De Waal contributes audio excerpts through the exhibition.) Representative pieces from the Ephrussi’s collections include art by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Gustave Moreau, and Auguste Renoir. At the exhibition’s centerpiece are 168 pieces of the extraordinary collection of Japanese netsuke, miniature carved sculptures from the Edo Period (17th-19th centuries), originally collected by Charles Ephrussi in the late 1870s.
CELEBRATE NATIONAL POPCORN DAY WITH A NEW COOKIE
Photo by Samantha Aronson.
National Popcorn Day was Wednesday, January 19th and NYC cookie fave Chip City has launched a new cookie flavor to celebrate. The Chocolate Popcorn Crunch is a collab with Orville Redenbacher’s, bringing together a vanilla sugar cookie mixed with chocolate crispy candy and topped with freshly popped Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn and a milk chocolate drizzle. (The mixture of sweet and salty is a throwback to that movie theatre favorite, popcorn with chocolate candy.) The Chocolate Popcorn Crunch will be making its debut on Wednesday, January 19th and will appear on Chip City's rotating menu until Wednesday, February 2nd. This special collaboration flavor will be available at all 10 Chip City locations across Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn, as well as at their mobile truck. It's also available to ship to 20+ states across the East Coast and Midwest, alongside other Chip City classics, in the form of frozen cookie dough.
Photo credit: Alexandre Ayer / @DiversityPics for the Garment District Alliance.
Liven up your Insta feed in midtown. The Garment District Alliance has unveiled Passage, a pedestrian tunnel with interactive light and sound features. You can find it on Broadway between 39th and 40th through February 13th. Created by Serge Maheu, with fabrication and assembly by Félix Ménard, it's a splash of color that will enliven even the grayest winter day.
Recreation is always on the scarce side in the city and winter does us few favors. One under-the-radar pick is PingPod, a new tech-forward space for ping pong. You can let yourself in 24/7 (the cameras on-site will also send you an instant replay of any slam or rally you like). There are already locations on the Lower East Side and Midtown West, with a third spot opening in Williamsburg early next month.
The Rink at Rockefeller Centeris one of the world’s most famous patches of ice and this year marks its 85th anniversary. It stays open 9am to midnight daily—skating amid the city lights is an experience you won’t soon forget. Nearby you’ll find the Top of the Rock Observation Deck and one of New York’s most breathtaking views. Three floors of indoor and outdoor decks offer sweeping open-air perspectives on the city. You can enjoy this famous view day or night, taking in a stylish Art Deco vibe as you go. Rockefeller Center also boasts world-class shopping, great bites, and famous art and architecture.
Design house Coach is partnering with Rock Center this winter by adding a new presence on the South Plaza. Après Skate chalets overlooking The Rink are open to the public all this month, offering cozy dining with hot drinks and treats from Hombre Taco. Daily 11am-8pm.
SOMEWHERE NOWHERE IGLOOS
For a cozy scene, look to the built-in personal fireplaces awaiting inside the new Teardrop Igloos Experience at Somewhere Nowhere, on the 38th and 39th floors of the Renaissance New York Chelsea Hotel. A fantasy and fairy tale-inspired cocktail menu is joined by bites from Noodlelove. Up close views of the Empire State Building and skyline make the experience even more memorable.
MIDWINTER NIGHT'S DREAM
Brighten winter blues with the new installation at Dream Midtown’s PHD Terrace. A floral tunnel and lush greenery await beneath 10,000 twinkling lights. (There are fuzzy throw blankets to add to the coziness.) Midwinter Night’s Dream features seasonal bites and new winter cocktails like the Black Walnut Old Fashioned, with Jack Daniel's, walnut bitters, and walnut liqueur.
WIZARD AFTERNOON TEA
Believe in magic at The Cauldron NYC downtown. Put a twist on a traditional British afternoon tea. You'll brew your own interactive teas and sample macarons, "sand-witches," and Elven Scones with jam and clotted cream. Molecular gastronomy and technology come into play and the sessions have been specially designed for social distancing—reservations are available all through the month.
LIVE BEATS & MORE DOWNTOWN
Downtown has one destination for eclectic, compelling music. The programming at the East Village’s Drom runs from jazz, rock, electronic, soul, and funk to international music. It's also your choice for comedy and pole dancing. Schtick A Pole In It has for the past 9 years been NYC's best (and only) comedy and pole dancing show. Comics tell jokes and pole dancers pole dance. Laugh lines alternate with death-defying tricks. If you don't see shows like this, why are you even paying NYC rents? Upcoming dates include Friday-Saturday February 11th-12th and 25th-26th; and March 11th-12th and 25th-26th. Tickets are more information are here.
On the music front, the weeks ahead bring high-energy ensemble work from The Silver Arrow Band (February 1st, 8th, and 15th); Felix Pastorious & Hipster Assassins on Saturday, January 29th; and New Orleans funk influences meeting brass fusion for Jambalayawith NOTUS on February 2nd.
TOYS & TRAINS
Glenn Castellano, New-York Historical Society.
A magical wonderland awaits visitors with the return of the New-York Historical Society’s Holiday Express: Toys and Trains from the Jerni Collection. The exhibition displays toy train engines and stations dating from the turn of the 19th century to the WWII era, showcasing the evolving designs of American and European toymakers. New for this year are toys that have not been on view for several years, including a rare Grand Station (1904–08) from German toymaker Märklin. Through February 21st.
A PRIME HAPPY HOUR
Prime Catch NYC serves top-rate seafood and steaks right in the heart of the Theater District. This is a great stop pre or post-Broadway or while out in Times Square, with both indoor and outdoor seating options. They specialize in Prime USDA dry-aged Pat LaFrieda meat with house specialty Porterhouse and tomahawk cuts. Don't miss great deals at Happy Hour, which runs all day, seven days a week at the bar.
Lively new Mexican spot Amor Loco in the Theater District is your new home for party piñatas. Bulls, unicorns, llamas, and stars are your options for shapes, the brainchild of house cocktail guru Cody Goldstein. Break open to reveal house-made margaritas, rich Mexican candies, or even Amor Loco-branded condoms. You'll also find prizes like free drinks, bottomless brunch offers, game tickets, and party-starting dares.
A WINTER SPA
Modern luxury hotel The William Vale in Williamsburg has launched its Winter Spa. Detox and reset for the new year with their private Scandinavian-inspired red cedar saunas and hot tubs. This al fresco pop-up will be open through March, for guests and locals alike. Limited walk-in access is available.
A NEW WINTER VILLAGE
Photo: The Trust for Governors Island.
For the first time ever, Governors Island is staying open to the public for winter. If you need a little extra incentive to hop the ferry, the all-new Governors Island Winter Village has launched. There's a roomy skating rink open Fridays through Sundays, plus lawn games, fire pits, sled and bike rentals, holiday lights, and seasonal food and drink.
BRONX CHOCOLATE (TO DIE FOR)
Century-old Caribbean chocolate legend Chocolate Cortés. has launched an NYC outpost: new South Bronx hotspot Chocobar Cortes. There's a great beer and cocktail list (Choco Martini, anyone?) plus bites, most of which feature a chocolate component.
Tony winner Phylicia Rashad stars in Dominique Morisseau’s drama set in 2008 Detroit against the backdrop of a failing automotive factory. Under the direction of Tony winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson, this Broadway premiere explores a tight-knit family of workers forced to deal with an intense level of uncertainty, impacting personal loyalties and the need for security—all while blurring the line between blue and white collar. The cast also stars Chanté Adams, Joshua Boone, Brandon J, Dirden, and Adesola Osakalumi. Preview performances for Skeleton Crew are underway now, with opening night set for Wednesday, January 26th.
Watch the Brooklyn Nets at home at Barclays Center during their can’t-miss season. Tickets for all home games are available through SeatGeek, the official ticket provider of the Brooklyn Nets. Visit SeatGeek.com/Nets to get your tickets now.
THE MUSEUM AT ELDRIDGE STREET
Photo by Rick Naramore.
Shining lights, sumptuous decoration, and a time capsule of Old New York—the Museum at Eldridge Street is the perfect place to visit this winter. Step inside the landmark Eldridge Street Synagogue and step back in time, as you learn about the Jewish immigrants who found religious freedom in their new country, the opulent sacred space they built in 1887, and the 20th-century restoration that saved this decaying masterpiece. Experience the magic with a docent-led or self-guided tour. Learn more at eldridgestreet.org.
THE RETURN OF A LEGEND
New York restaurants come and go, but Patsy’s Italian Restaurant is forever. The famed eatery—which only has one location, right in the heart of Midtown Manhattan—has been around for nearly 80 years and is only getting better. Chef Sal Scognamillo, owner and operator, is the third generation of Scognamillos to sit at the helm. The family recipes have remained largely unchanged. Dishes like stuffed artichokes, eggplant parmigiana, and spaghetti and meatballs are as rich and flavorful as ever. Ingredients like meats and cheeses are sourced from other family businesses who have worked with Patsy’s throughout the years so every bite remains true to tradition. Patsy’s maintains a strong community of repeat customers (including many celebrities) who know they’ll get exceptional cuisine that remains note-perfect year after year. Hours have expanded to Tuesday through Sunday, 1-9pm. Reservations are available at 212-247-3491 during operating hours or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. COVID safety protocols include an air purification system, social distancing, and partitions between tables.
COMEDY COMING UP
A comedy legend not to be missed is Carolines on Broadway. This Times Square institution has been presenting the best in live comedy entertainment since 1982, with nightly shows that run from established greats to up and comers. Looking ahead, Donnell Rawlings, known for his hilarious sketches on Chappelle’s Show, takes the stage January 27th-29th; and Brad Williams (Fun Size, Daddy Issues) gets top billing February 5th-6th.
HOLLYWOOD GLAM & NYC CLASSICS AT A NEW TIMES SQUARE STEAKHOUSE
Bacall's Family Steakhouse brings '40s glamour and big portion Jewish/Romanian fare to Times Square. Newly opened, the menu is inspired by the restaurant’s muse, starlet Lauren Bacall, and her Jewish-Romanian upbringing in New York City. You'll find favorite starters like kreplach, chopped chicken liver, latkes, and matzoh balls. Family platters include house-smoked brisket, seared salmon, a Lower East Side veal chop, duck confit, and stuffed trout. You can get a pre-theatre selection of lighter fare or go all out with “The Show Stopper” (Betty’s Roumanian Steak Platter, stuffed cabbage, and roasted vegetables) or the dry-aged tomahawk for four pictured above. The hallmark of the bar program is a premier Vodcã Bar. The Vodcã Blast offering includes bottles of top-shelf vodka served tableside encased in an ice block with a choice of mixers or shot glasses. Dani Luv, famed troubadour of the former Sammy’s Roumanian Steakhouse on the Lower East Side for over 20 years, is now performing at Bacall’s. Look for laughs and sing-a-longs nightly starting at 7pm. The restaurant holds down a roomy space at 220 W. 44th St. and is open Wednesdays to Sundays 4-11pm. Bottomless brunches—with live DJs!—can be found on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am-3pm. For reservations call 212-944-2474.
NEW BLOCK OF TICKETS RELEASED FOR BROADWAY SMASH SIX
Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived. From Tudor Queens to Pop Princesses, the SIX wives of Henry VIII take the mic to remix five hundred years of historical heartbreak into an exuberant celebration of 21st century girl power! This new original musical is the global sensation that everyone is losing their head over. The New York Times says SIX “TOTALLY RULES!” (Critic's Pick) and The Washington Post hails SIX as “Exactly the kind of energizing, inspirational illumination this town aches for! The Broadway season got supercharged!” With the release of the new block, tickets are now on sale through September 5th, 2022. The hit musical opened to rave reviews October 3rd and is playing at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.
CURTAIN'S UP AT ELLEN’S STARDUST DINER
The show will go on at Ellen's Stardust Diner. Food, drink, and live performances from the famous singing waitstaff have returned. The 1950s-themed restaurant has been around since 1987 and brings back its retro vibes (founder Ellen Hart Sturm is a native New Yorker who was crowned Miss Subways in 1959.) Catch intimate performances by staff on their way to joining a long line of Broadway actors who have made Ellen's their launching pad.
Old-school Upper East Side market and butcher shop Schaller & Weber has carved out a winter oasis in its former smoke houses. Inspired by Austrian wine bars, Hütte is chic, intimate, and serving up favorites like beef goulash, Tyrolean cheese dumplings, fondue, and plenty of expert charcuterie. Through April 30th.
RETURN OF THE GREENS
Image: @fredmarcusstudio on behalf of @howardhughesco.
The winter iteration of The Greens on The Rooftop at Pier 17 is back at the Seaport. A life-sized mountain range sculpture and sweeping waterfront and skyline views provide the backdrop for private dining cabins. The spaces are outfitted with modern winter décor, banquette seating, heating, a virtual fireplace, and an air purifier. Switching it up from previous seasons, The Greens' menu this winter celebrates global cuisines, touching on Southern, Japanese, Latin, Vegan, and more. Think buttermilk fried chicken, soy-braised short rib, crispy fish tacos, and caramelized butternut squash.
ICE THEATRE OF NEW YORK
Photo: Hideki Aono.
This troupe's mission is to advance dance on ice as a performance art. See skating in a whole new way as the ITNY continues its pop up performances. Through February 17th at 12:40pm, ITNY performers include Olympian Kaitlyn Weaver, ITNY Ensemble members Armen Agaian, Danil Berdnikov, Sarah France, Valerie Levine, Liz Schmidt, and young ice dance apprentices Oona and Gage Brown. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit icetheatre.org/pop-up-winter-performances.html.
A NEARLY FLAWLESS DIAMOND
Photo: Okavango Diamond Company.
Be among the first members of the public to see “Okavango Blue,” a rare and nearly flawless 20-carat blue diamond. The centerpiece of a new display of diamonds from Botswana, it's now on view in the revamped Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals at the American Museum of Natural History. You can learn more about the region and the science behind diamonds. Or you can just go be dazzled.
Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I by Gustav Klimt.
Uptown's exquisite Neue Galerie has opened all its rooms for the first time since the start of the pandemic. Newly on view is Modern Worlds: Austrian and German Art, 1890–1940, which shows off several favorite pieces from the museum's permanent collection. Look for major fine art works joined by standouts from the realm of design.
Art and celebrity come together at Andy Warhol: Photo Factory (through February 20th), an unprecedented survey of the legendary artist’s work behind the camera. The show pays homage to Warhol’s iconic New York City studio and doubles as an intimate visual diary of his life. All six categories of Warhol’s film-based work are represented, including Polaroid portraits of stars; lesser-seen gelatin silver prints; Polaroid collages created for publications like Vogue Paris and Mondo Uomo; 16mm “Screen Tests” from the mid-1960s; photo booth strips taken in Times Square in the 1960s; and Warhol’s most recent stitched photographs series, the final body of his work exhibited before his death in 1987. You’ll find the space as compelling as the work, inside Fotografiska, a New York newcomer offering a mix of world-class photography, eclectic programming, elevated dining, and surprising new perspectives.
CHALET POP UP
Back by popular demand, Gerber Group’s Mr. Purple’s Veuve Clicquot Winter Chalet pop-up is back on the Lower East Side. Starting this week, guests can reserve a space at a funky après-ski lodge in the sky, complete with fur-lined seating and a custom Veuve Clicquot champagne bar. The limited-time seasonal menu includes bites like short rib empanadas and savory and sweet fondues.
GRAND BAZAAR NYC
Every Sunday on the Upper West Side you can check out Grand Bazaar NYC, the city’s largest curated market—and most distinctive! This Sunday is the Jewelry Box Pop-up, with hand-crafted pearl necklaces, custom gold and silver rings, and rare vintage clip-on earrings from the ‘40s-80s. Come hungry! There are great artisanal food options as well. 10am-5pm. (A visit to Grand Bazaar is for a good cause, too: 100% of profits are donated to four Upper West Side public schools.)
Image courtesy SUMMIT One Vanderbilt.
RE-IMAGINE THRILL: Be one of the first to experience Levitation and Ascent, the most daring attractions in New York City, at SUMMIT One Vanderbilt. This all-new experience is now open in Midtown East right next to Grand Central. Explore all three floors, walk the glass ledges suspended over 1,100 feet above Madison Avenue, and take the panoramic elevator journey to the building’s highest point. Get ready to see New York from an entirely new perspective! Sales have begun, visit www.summitov.com.
A HAPPY HOUR SPECIAL
Havana Central has introduced 1/2 price empanadas during Happy Hour at the bar! Diners must purchase a drink, 3 empanadas max per drink purchase. Available in the bar only, Monday-Friday from 4-7pm. Choose from a variety of homemade savory pockets including beef, chicken, cheese, shrimp, and ropa vieja! Havana Central also features Happy Hour drink specials including $7 classic mojitos, classic margaritas, and red sangria, in addition to other specials.
SURREALISM BEYOND BORDERS
Koga Harue's Umi (The Sea) (1929). The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.
The art of Surrealism sparked in Paris around 1924, putting dreams and the unconscious ahead of the mundane. From those French beginnings, the movement has always had a Western European association, but its scope is actually global. Get the real story at the new Met exhibition Surrealism Beyond Borders. Networks that "span Eastern Europe to the Caribbean, Asia to North Africa, and Australia to Latin America" will be considered, in an assemblage of dramatic imagery. Through January 30th.
The sushi hand rolls known as temaki are the specialties at Nami Nori, which has just opened a new location in Williamsburg. Signature rolls are served alongside sashimi and crispy rice dishes. The space boasts two temaki counters, floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open to outdoor seating overlooking McCarren Park, and a sake bar that also stocks local beers and natural wine.
The Rubin Museum of Art has launched a new interactive space. The Mandala Lab is oriented around five immersive experiences, drawing on film, scent, sound, and a sculpture that invites collective breathing. The space is designed to provide new perspectives on coping with life's challenges.
TREASURES OF THE NYPL
A lock of Edgar Allan Poe’s hair, Thomas Jefferson’s handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence, Malcolm X’s briefcase, the real-life Winnie-the-Pooh: the NYPL holds a lot more than books. For the first time ever you can explore a selection of the 56 million items in the collection with the opening of the Polonsky Exhibition of The New York Public Library’s Treasures. You'll find manuscripts, art, letters, still and moving images, and recordings that bring the voices of the past to life. The show is free and features timed entry tickets.
DISCOUNT BROADWAY TICKETS
TDF, the not-for-profit service organization dedicated to bringing the power of the performing arts to everyone, has re-opened its TKTS Discount Ticket Booth "under the red steps" in Times Square. Head to the corner of Broadway and 47th St. starting at 3pm for same-day discount tickets to matinee and evening performances. You can also get next-day tickets to matinee performances (up to half off) for both Broadway and Off Broadway productions. “We’re excited to once again serve New Yorkers and visitors on a budget who have missed the experience of live performance,” says Victoria Bailey, TDF’s Executive Director. “Our re-opening will mirror Broadway’s—a few shows at first with more to follow as the fall progresses. We will reopen with new safety protocols for customers and staff alike.” For more information and to download the TKTS app, go to tdf.org/tkts.
LIVE TOURS ARE BACK!
Image: Phil Roeder/Flickr.
The Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) fights to shape the city's built environment and to keep NYC livable. After a long COVID-era hiatus, in-person outings have returned. Capacities are still limited so events are selling out.
BURYING THE HATCHET
America’s first indoor hatchet throwing bar opens a New York City spot Thursday night. Brooklyn’s Industry City will be serving up axe throwing, bar games, and food and drink at Stumpy’s Hatchet House. There are more than a dozen socially distanced throwing pits and AXE-pert Throw Coaches are on hand to instruct and ensure safety. Table 87 pizzas, craft beers, Sahadi’s, Hometown BBQ, TV sports, foosball, cornhole, shuffleboard, and giant Jenga round out the distractions.
CRAFT FRONT & CENTER
Photo by Jenna Bascom.
Craft was once at the margins of the art world. Today, it's front and center, recognized for both its expressive potential and cultural significance. Assembled from the eclectic richness of the Museum of Arts and Design’s permanent collection, Craft Front & Center brings together more than 70 iconic and lesser-known works. Challenging traditional thinking of craft as separate from fine art, the exhibition reveals the field's deep engagement in art’s major movements, such as Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, and Postmodernism, while also launching its own revolutions, particularly the elevation of women and people of color as significant artists. The show will be up until February 13th, among other attractions at the museum.
DINNER AND A SHOW!
Enjoy dinner and a show at Chelsea Table + Stage, New York's newest hotspot for intimate dining and music. Experience some of the best touring performers in the world featured alongside emerging artists. Ever-changing culinary and entertainment lineups mean you'll never have the same night twice. Chelsea Table + Stage is located at the Hilton Fashion District Hotel and brings in the the best of international music, jazz, indie artists, and singer-songwriters.
NEW RAMEN DOWNTOWN
At Marufuku Ramen locations in California, fans line the streets for specialty bowls. New Yorkers will get their chance to find out why (and hopefully without major waits, as the space is big) at a new East Village location, open now. Signature bowls like the Hakata-style Tonkotsu Ramen and Chicken Paitan are joined by veggie ramen, mini-sized rice bowls, and Izakaya-style appetizers. There's space to eat both indoors and out.
NEW NOMAD SPOT FOR KARAOKE
New karaoke bar and lounge MS. KIM’S provides an upscale, reinterpreted take on the karaoke bar, as helmed by beauty entrepreneur Ms. Anna Kim. In a building that was once an 1800s gambling den you'll now find Empire State Building views and stylish touches. A full-service bar and lounge is joined by state-of-the-art private karaoke rooms. Korean/Japanese-inspired dishes accompany signature drinks. Look for live jazz on Fridays.
A NEW ROOFTOP STANDOUT
The revamped roof at 66 park atop The Kitano Hotel New York is now open for light bites and signature drinks, with both indoor and outdoor options. The east terrace offers views of the Empire State Building and the west terrace offers views of the Chrysler Building and other New York City wonders. Sophisticated classic cocktails will keep you coming back. Open Tuesday-Saturday, 5pm-midnight. Call 212-885-7066 for information.
A stingy piece of pie ...the greatest inanimate troublemaker in New York," was the New York Tribune's assessment of the Flatiron. New Yorkers views on it have shifted, of course. The Flatiron 23rd Street Partnership will tell you all about it. After a COVID layoff, their Sunday walking tours are back in-person. The free explorations include notable landmarks like the New York Life Insurance Building, the MetLife Clock Tower, the Appellate Courthouse, and, of course, the Flatiron Building itself.
NOT TOO LATE FOR VAN GOGH
Tickets are still available for blockbuster art experience Immersive Van Gogh on the Lower East Side. Created by world-renowned master of digital art Massimiliano Siccardi, the installation draws on 60,000+ frames of video and 500,000+ cubic feet of projections. Take advantage of this rare change to "step inside" and experience the works of Van Gogh. Famed pieces sshared here include Nuit étoilée (Starry Night, 1889), Les Tournesols (Sunflowers, 1888), and La Chambre à coucher (The Bedroom, 1889).
A NEW VILLAGE HANG
The Fat Cat is now the Cellar Dog. A longtime Village legend has been spruced up and readied for a new era. Live music will be part of the scene and if that's not entertainment enough look for games. Lots of games. The roomy space will boast pool tables, ping-pong, shuffleboard, foosball, checkers, chess, and novelties like Pac-Man. It's open Wednesdays to Sundays, 2pm-4am, with hours to expand in the fall.
BUTTERBEER IS HERE
The flagship Harry Potter New York is now open in the Flatiron District and yes, they're serving Butterbeer. This fan-favorite soft drink, loved by Hogwarts students and teachers alike, is available to New Yorkers. Choose from draft Butterbeer, Butterbeer ice cream, or bottled Butterbeer. They're being served in the Butterbeer Bar, which will liven up your Insta feed with a cascade of glowing Butterbeer bottles "floating" over the bar and Butterbeer moving magically across the ceiling through copper pipes. Fans will also find a brand-new bottled Butterbeer label, exclusive to Harry Potter New York and only available in-store.
CENTRAL PARK TOURS ARE BACK
Photo: Central Park Conservancy.
The Central Park Conservancy has at last resumed in-person tours. Enjoy a gorgeous part of the city with an expert leading the way. Tour options include Seneca Village, covering the largest community of free African-American property owners in pre–Civil War New York; Hidden Highlights of the North End, with stunning views of Manhattan; Heart of the Park; Statues and Monuments; Conservatory Garden Experience; and Discovery Walk for Families: North Woods. Space is limited to ensure proper social distancing.
CLIMB ABOARD HISTORY
Photo by Richard Bowditch.
Get into history at the South Street Seaport Museum, where the 1885 tall ship Wavertree is again open to the public. Wavertree was built in Southampton, England and was one of the last large sailing ships built of wrought iron (she was given a full restoration after an ignominious end, discovered serving as a sand barge in Argentina in 1967). The ship has been part of South Street since 1968 and serves as the flagship of the museum's fleet. Visit with a free timed ticket on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, 11am-5pm.
LIVE SHOWS RETURN TO Q.E.D.
This Queens local favorite is back, with comedy returned to the docket. While the city eases back into normalcy events are only taking place Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, but sets are running steadily. (Space is limited, so advance ticket purchase is recommended). Among your options: improv Thursday night, Transplants Comedy on Friday night, and Nerd Is the New Black on Saturday.
BANDITS IN THE VILLAGE
Photo: Front of House.
Touchstones of classic comfort are a good fit for the moment. Last week, the team behind Borrachito and The Garret Bars dropped a cozy new space on the Village. Bandits is inspired by old-school diners and dives, with vintage New York accents. On the bar snack side you'll find wings, baked clams, a smash burger, and "have it your way" tots. Cocktails include the Purple Rain above, with lavender, butterfly pea flower, tequila, and soda. Both indoor and an elaborate outdoor setup are available.
Legendary trombonist Craig Harris brings his progressive jazz chops to Harlem's Greater Calvary Baptist Church for a weekly residency. This Friday night he'll play one set and the series continues every Friday with different guest artists sitting in.
THE TENEMENT MUSEUM REOPENS
The Lower East Side's Tenement Museum tells the stories of the 7,000 immigrants who lived at 97 Orchard Street. After over a year of virtual programming, the museum is back for in-person explorations of New York history and the immigrant experience. Limited-capacity tours will be offered on site Fridays and Saturdays. There are also neighborhood walking tours delving into the overlooked spots and secrets of the Lower East Side, also for now on Fridays and Saturdays.
Casa Del Toro in Hell's Kitchen is known for imaginative Mexican cooking in a vibrant setting. Every weekend going forward they'll be adding to the atmosphere with live aerialist performances. NYC-based dancer Eliana Wenick will be giving three shows Friday and Saturday nights starting at 7:45pm. Regional signatures, Oaxacan-inspired tacos, and sophisticated craft cocktails complete the experience.
Adam Pass/City Winery.
It's taken a year longer than expected, but City Winery's expansive Pier 57 location in Hudson River Park is at last open for live music. Limited to 25% capacity, intimate shows feature upcoming guests like Rufus Wainwright, Patti Smith, Steve Earle, Raul Malo, Joan Osborne, and Keb' Mo'. Full safety precautions will be in effect.
INTREPID IS BACK!
The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is welcoming visitors to this National Historic Landmark, which served tours of duty in World War II and the Vietnam War. In addition to Enterprise—the world’s first space shuttle—you can explore the entire historic aircraft collection on the flight deck and in the hangar deck. The museum also took advantage of some down time to open up new spaces and experiences, including the bomb elevator and the ship’s pilot escalator.
TRAVEL BACK IN TIME
Merchants House Parlor by Denis Vlasov. Photo courtesy Merchant's House Museum.
Built in 1832, the East Village's Merchant’s House was home to a prosperous merchant family and their Irish servants for almost a century. Miraculously, the house still retains the family's original furnishings and personal possessions. Stop by for a rare and intimate glimpse of domestic life in New York City from 1835 to 1865. During COVID times, the Merchant's House Museum is open on Saturdays and Sundays only, noon to 5pm. Admission is $15 and advanced ticket purchase is recommended.
A KILLER BRUNCH
Uptown favorite Ribbon 72 is back with indoor dining, on top of delivery and pickup options. There's a ton to choose from, including brunches on Saturday and Sunday ($49.99) that include entree options like quinoa bowls, chicken 'n' waffles, eggs Benedict, challah French toast, or chilaquiles rojo.
Room 24: Four grand panels of Fragonard’s series The Progress of Love are shown together at Frick Madison in a gallery illuminated by one of Marcel Breuer’s trapezoidal windows. This view shows two of the 1771–72 paintings, with two later overdoors visible in the next gallery. Photo: Joe Coscia.
Like so many this pandemic year, The Frick Collection got the itch to renovate. While its historic home is getting spruced up, the art has taken up residence in the modern confines of the former Met Breuer. A two-year run here has begun, with a chronological and geographic survey representing the likes of Bellini, Gainsborough, Goya, Rembrandt, Titian, Velázquez, and Vermeer.
GAME OF 1000 BOXES
Part game show, part audio-visual thrill ride, Game of 1000 Boxes is the city's brand-new social gaming experience. Gather up your best team of four and head to Midtown West to test wits, instincts, and button-finger agility. 360-degree digital projections make for a highly participatory show and no two are the same. At the end of the show, the winning team gets a mystery box and—more importantly—bragging rights.
MRS. MAISEL'S MARVELOUS TOUR OF NEW YORK CITY
On Location Tours, the city's premiere TV and movie location tour company, has added 1950s New York City to its stable. And you can enjoy it from a prime seat inside a 1957 Studebaker—the very one used in all three seasons of the show. Mrs. Maisel's Marvelous Tour of NYC is ongoing on Thursdays and Saturdays (it's not cheap, but you'll have a highly personal experience—tours are limited to 2 or 3 guests). An energetic guide shows off locations used in the series and shares secrets about how the crew disguised modern-day NYC to pass for 60 years ago.
ARTISTS & FLEAS
Shop local this weekend at Artists & Fleas in Williamsburg. This flagship Brooklyn scene connects makers and browsers, bringing in more than 45 sellers every weekend. Get a first look at the latest trends in fashion, vintage, art, and design.
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the unrestored Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital Complex. This gateway to America for millions of people is accessible again via Statue Cruises—the only ride to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. (If you opt for the Hard Hat Tour Ticket and its 90-minute guided tour of the hidden part of Ellis Island you'll get round-trip ferry service and audio Tours of Liberty and Ellis Islands.) The art exhibition "Unframed—Ellis Island," by renowned French artist JR, is on display throughout the hospital complex. Tours run on Saturdays and Sundays.
YANKEE STADIUM VIRTUAL TOURS
Yankees Stadium holds many stories inside its walls. Experience the historic team’s history from your own grandstands with Yankee Stadium Tours' new virtual visits. The Yankees are holding tours twice a week, every Tuesday at noon and every Thursday at 2pm, for about half an hour each. You can reserve a spot here, and prepare to learn more about New York. The tour features iconic sites like Monument Park, essentially the Yankees’ Hall of Fame, honoring the franchise's greatest players, managers, and coaches. You can also get a peek at the New York Yankees Museum, which features historic jerseys, baseballs, and more detailing the Yankees history. Book now, as tours are quickly reaching capacity.
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STATUE OF LIBERTY
Statue City Cruises is once again out and about in New York Harbor. In fact, they're adding 60% more service for Memorial Day Weekend and restoring capacity up to 100% over the next couple weeks as ridership trends up. The Liberty State Park departure point in Jersey City, NJ reopens this weekend. Tickets can be purchased in advance (strongly encouraged) from the Statue City Cruises website or at Gangway 5 in Battery Park. statuecruises.com
For more than 25 years, musical landmark The Iridiumhas been hosting intimate experiences of the world’s best rock, jazz, blues, and beyond. The venue aims to be back open in March as the Covid situation settles. Look for top-rank artists like Roomful of Blues founder Duke Robillard (above) on the calendar to come.
EVERYTHING TO DO NYC
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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.
The massive drop in the city's Omicron cases is as welcome as it is expected, conforming to other nations' experiences—and strongly suggesting that the worst is behind us. In just one week we've seen NYC positive tests dive from 20% down to 12.9%. After nearly a month, the MTA is resuming full subway service. Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian is banking on steep drops in Covid and anticipating a return to profits in March. Tellingly, Delta sees no adverse effects past the Presidents' Day weekend for U.S. bookings.
Data from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene suggests that Omicron has peaked in NYC. Positive tests and emergency room visits are both diving down, with the Bronx seeing a drop of 35% in cases requiring hospitalization. Governor Hochul notes the decrease and is considering letting the statewide mask mandate lapse February 2nd. Washington Post charts show Omicron's dramatically lower severity. Given the strong parallels to South Africa's experience with Omicron, we join the Governor in optimism that February will bring vastly improved conditions for city activities.
Eric Adams has been sworn in as the 110th mayor of New York City and you can already feel the shift in energy. Adams's visit to Pearl River Mart in Chinatown yesterday included the announcement of an overhaul of the city's approach to small businesses, with agencies ordered to review the violations they issue and shift from punishing to partnering. Adams also advocated for speeding up the return to offices.
As we wrap up 2021, we look back at a year full of challenges, but also a time with many green shoots of growth—the return of Broadway, the return of international travelers, the return of New York City tourism. Even in the context of the Omicron variant, there remains plenty of supporting data indicating an ongoing return for New York City. Despite the high-profile Broadway cancellations of the last few days, and the early end of the Rockettes's run, a look at the Broadway League's new resource for schedules shows the majority of shows going forward as planned. (And grosses have been up, while capacity holds steady.)