(6/14-6/21) Looking for what to do in NYC this week? The city is in the midst of a major reopening; most capacity restrictions for retail, food, gyms, offices, barber shops have lifted. Oh, and if you're fully vaccinated you can skip the mask, indoors and out (exceptions like schools, public transportation, and hospitals still apply; many stores and cultural spots are also requesting them). Subway service has returned to 24/7. Read on for more in-person reopenings and other things to do in NYC this week.
This Week's Behind The Experience Video
The tallest building in the hemisphere. The largest screen. A ride that goes straight up at 23 miles per hour. Behind The Experience learns the secrets of One World Observatory, as well as tips like the best time for a visit. The video joins our recent visits to New York icons the Museum of the City of New York, Madame Tussauds, SPYSCAPE, and Benjamin Steakhouse. CHECK THEM OUT—it’s fun!
WHAT TO DO IN NYC
Every passing day there's more to do—safely—in the city. Stay in the loop with:
LIVE SHOWS RETURN TO Q.E.D.
BANDITS IN THE VILLAGE
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.
THE "PIAZZA DI BELMONT" IS BACK
The popular al fresco dining experience “Piazza di Belmont” has returned to the Bronx. A famous stretch of Arthur Avenue closes to cars from 6-10pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and 1-9pm on Sundays. Bronx Little Italy favorites will serve up authentic Italian favorites, with a restaurant list that includes Zero Otto Nove, Mario’s Restaurant, Enzo’s of Arthur Avenue, Estrellita Poblana III, Ann & Tony’s, and Pasquale’s Rigoletto Restaurant. Mangia!
GET READY FOR "THE READY"
The Tao Group has launched its latest, a year-round rooftop affair atop the Moxy East Village. The Ready takes inspiration from the casual backyard gardens of the neighborhood. A beer pong setup doubles as a communal table. Cans and coolers highlight the drink offerings, drawing on local favorites like Bronx Brewery and City Light Lager. A taco stand with made-to-order tacos is joined by a selection of classic bar snacks.
ART AND LIVE MUSIC
Live outdoor events return to Culture Lab, with its Long Island City parking lot opened to music from 4-8pm on Saturday and Sunday. A local food truck will have bites and there will be beer from Rockaway Brewery. Entry is free. While you're there, check out the art at the Artists in Residency Exhibition 2021.
CÉZANNE ON PAPER
Paul Cézanne, Foliage (Étude de feuillage) (1900–04), watercolor and pencil on wove paper. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Lillie P. Bliss Collection. Photo © MoMA, NY.
The MoMA has a new show that shows a different side of one of the 19th century's most beloved artists. Best known as a painter, Paul Cézanne (1839–1906) actually produced some of his most original works without canvas. Cézanne Drawing brings together more than 250 rarely shown creations in pencil and watercolor, along with key paintings that contextualize the development of a very modern vision.
CABARET AT THE GREEN ROOM 42
"Broadway's Off-Night Hotspot" The Green Room 42 has brought live performance back to the Theater District. Food and drink are available at the outdoor terrace and indoor dining space while shows go on nightly. The likes of Eden Espinosa (Wicked, Rent, Falsettos) can be found in weekly residence.
KUSAMA: COSMIC NATURE
One of the most popular artists in the world is now on view in the Bronx. Japanese pioneer Yayoi Kusama shares her lifelong fascination with nature at the New York Botanical Garden. Monumental floral sculptures and immersive works inspired by plants and flowers are waiting. (Plus there are worse times of year to find yourself in a botanical garden.)
COMEDY & KARAOKE
Catch some laughs and sing, too. Every Thursday night Comedy Nite Live is doing stand-up at midtown's RPM Underground. You've seen the performers on Late Night TV, Comedy Central, Netflix, Amazon, and more comedy clubs than you can shake a laugh track at. Your ticket comes with the chance to show off your pipes in a private karaoke room after the show. City Guide readers can get in at a discount—use the promo CITYGUIDE and take $5 off.
CONCERTS AT DROM
This week, gypsy-themed downtown music venue DROM is back open for indoor shows. Taking all COVID precautions, the club's lineup of global performers is starting to fill out. Look for ticket options that include dinner and drinks.
El Museo del Barrio is getting you ready for the weekend. In collaboration with The Bronx Brewery and The Salsa Project, find a Jueves Social salsa night en el patio of the brewery. DJ Jayboogie will be spinning the classics through the night. Per COVID, attendance will be limited, but you can always tune in on El Museo's Instagram and check out the party remotely.
THE BRONX NIGHT MARKET IS BACK
Fordham Plaza hosts the popular Bronx Night Market series, which features artisan vendors, family activities, and free admission. There's great food, too, with 20+ spots to buy everything from lobster rolls to yakitori to tostones—with cocktails to accompany. Celebrate culture and cuisine every Saturday from now through November. Hours are noon to 7pm.
William Parker, photo by Jimmy Katz.
A new season of the Walk With The Wind jazz concert series is starting up. There's a new location, Summit Rock in Central Park's Seneca Village, and a new inspiration: the legacy of late congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis. Socially distant audiences will gather for the likes of the William Parker Trio (William Parker pictured above).
LIVE PERFORMANCE RETURNS...
Photo by Robert Altman.
The Guggenheim's performing arts series Works & Process is bringing back live shows and you can't ask for a more epic setting—right inside the spiral of the Guggenheim's rotunda. Choose from 12 one-night-only Works & Process commissions developed in bubble residencies.
...INCLUDING LIVE THEATRE
The Daryl Roth Theatre has returned to live performance. The first production up is the socially distanced experience Blindness, based on the novel by Nobel Laureate José Saramago. Immersive sound design, lighting, and atmosphere bring viewers into the surreal story, which tells of a world changed in the blink of an eye by a global pandemic. The show runs through September 5th.
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.
Bushwick's take on a dearly departed Wisconsin supper club, The Turk’s Inn is gradually reopening. First steps include a series of outdoor concerts on the Kismet Garden rooftop. The Sultan Room Under The Stars open-air shows kick off next Wednesday with local rockers Native Sun. Additional entertainment can be found indoors and along the new street café.
SPRING UP IN BRYANT PARK
Bryant Park gains an immersive dining and shopping experience as Spring Up brings in art, antiques, jewelry, and artisanal bites from 40 local small businesses. From 11am-8pm daily, you can check out New York favorites that range from Hell's Kitchen Hot Sauce to The Truffleist to Bun Ramen to Ample Hills ice cream.
OUTDOOR WORKOUTS ARE BACK!
Start working on that pandemic body now. For a limited time, guests can experience a signature 45-minute Fhitting Room workout combining HIIT, cardio, and strength training on the stunning Showfields rooftop in NoHo. Workouts are taught by FHITpros and Fhitting Room is bringing the kettlebells (please bring your own mat and water). Also bring Bluetooth headphones and you can move along to a silent disco playlist. All safety protocols will be followed and class sizes will be strictly limited. Available Tuesdays, Wednesday, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Reserve your spot here.
THE RETURN OF LIVE COMEDY
I guess we're all overdue for a few laughs? Midtown West comedy favorite Broadway Comedy Club is back with live entertainment and shows are selling out already. (Capacity is limited, as they work to keep events safe.) Red Room and Main Room events are already filling out the calendar, mixing in headliners and up and comers.
INTREPID IS BACK!
The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is again welcoming visitors. This National Historic Landmark, which served tours of duty in World War II and the Vietnam War, will be following full COVID safety requirements as it reopens. 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.
NEW ART AT THE WHITNEY
Julie Mehretu, Stadia II, 2004. Ink and acrylic on canvas. Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; gift of Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn and Nicolas Rohatyn and A.W. Mellon Acquisition Endowment Fund 2004.50. Photograph courtesy the Carnegie Museum. © Julie Mehretu.
A vibrant new show of paintings and works on paper is now open at the Whitney Museum of American Art. This mid-career survey of artist Julie Mehretu is her most comprehensive overview to date, covering explorations of abstraction, architecture, landscape, and figuration.
NEW AUTHENTIC MEXICAN
Kuxe is the word for corn in the indigenous language Totonac, spoken by a native group that can be found in Puebla, Mexico. Celebrating that local cuisine, this Village newcomer from chef Julian Medina and restaurateur Louis Skibar serves “cocina de pueblo”—hometown cooking—with Mexican spirits to match. Traditional and modern techniques come together in an array of standout tacos.
Uptown favorite Ribbon 72 is back with indoor dining, on top of delivery and pickup options. There's a ton to choose from, including 90-minute bottomless 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.
A CHICKEN SANDWICH TO DIE FOR
At the newly opened SoHo ghost kitchen Butterfunk Biscuit, Top Chef's Chris Scott is serving sandwiches using a biscuit recipe that has been in his family for at least four generations. A standout on the menu is the Crispy Fried Chicken Biscuit ($12) above, made with Chef Scott’s famous lemonade buttermilk chicken. It's topped with whipped pimento cheese, hot honey, and bread 'n' butter pickles, making for some ultimate comfort food to go.
FRICK MADISON LAUNCHES
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.
A NEW TAPROOM
Photo by Sydney Butler.
Craft beer for someone besides beer bros is the concept behind TALEA. Two female brewers came together to produce these fruit-forward, low-bitterness beers. Their new taproom is now open in Williamsburg. (It's the opposite of the dank, dark space you might find the beer bros congregating in.) There's coffee and tea in the morning, followed by beer, wine, cocktails, and snacks. Look for beer flights, beer cocktails, guided tastings, and light bites like cheese and charcuterie plates. Seating is both indoor and out and draft and canned beer are available to go. (BTW, the pronunciation is "tuh-lay-uh.")
CALDER AT THE MOMA
Installation view of Alexander Calder: Modern from the Start, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, March 14, 2021–August 7, 2021 © 2021 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Robert Gerhardt.
Alexander Calder was one of the most beloved sculptors of the 20th century. His ever-changing works reward reflection and a new exhibition at the MoMA provides the space and setting for it. Early wire and wood figures, works on paper, jewelry, mobiles in motion, and monumental abstract sculptures are all on display, showing off the artist's range. Rarely seen works are also installed, including the large-scale Man-Eater with Pennants, on view in the Sculpture Garden for the first time in more than half a century.
A NEW IMMERSIVE ART EXPERIENCE
Head to the historic boiler room of Chelsea Market to experience the immersive art space ARTECHOUSE. The 2021 exhibition season kicked off on March 1st with Geometric Properties. Patterns get a cinematic touch as math artist Julius Horsthuis presents a new reality. Commissioned for ARTECHOUSE NYC, Geometric Properties is the first solo exhibition of Horsthuis's work in New York City. His previous work has been featured in the Academy Award winning Manchester by the Sea (2016) and VFX-breakthrough film Koning van Katoren (2012). The installation is open to all ages and will be on view until September 6th. ARTECHOUSE NYC is open with limited capacity and protocols in place to ensure the safety and health of visitors.
THE QUEENS DRIVE-IN
After a sold-out run in the fall, the New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows Corona Park will once again be hosting movies on the very big screen. Tickets remain for coming attractions like The Shining, The Road Warrior, Dune, The Big Lebowski, and double features like Escape from New York + RoboCop and North by Northwest + From Russia with Love. Concessions from Queens Night Market vendors are happening as well. Gas up for some vintage entertainment!
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.
Your own private pool room is a perfect solution to pandemic constraints. In addition to three locations in Brooklyn, the pool lounge company Sharks has dropped a new space in Rockefeller Center. "The Rock Room" is on the concourse level, just down from the Top of the Rock ticketing center. The room is completely private, accommodating up to four guests at a time (more if you arrange things ahead of time). They'll hook you up with cues, chalk, balls, and a Bose Bluetooth speaker. The space is also outfitted with an 8-foot pool table, a lounge area, a flat screen, a mini fridge for BYOB stocking, and a sanitization station. One hour is $50; you can also opt for private lessons.
Niki de Saint Phalle. Last Night I Had a Dream. 1968–88. Painted polyester. Overall dimensions variable. Photo: Laurent Condominas. 2021 Niki Charitable Art Foundation.
MoMA PS1 presents Niki de Saint Phalle: Structures for Life, the first New York museum show of the work of visionary feminist artist Niki de Saint Phalle (American and French, 1930-2002). Sculpture, prints, drawings, jewelry, film, and archival materials will also be on display in a play, exuberant show that also connects to Saint Phalle's engagement with social and political issues.
ESTAMOS BIEN–LA TRIENAL 20/21
Joey Terrill, Black Jack 8, 2008, mixed media on canvas. Courtesy the artist.
El Museo del Barrio, the first museum in the country dedicated to Latino art and culture, launches a brand-new exhibition on Saturday. Estamos Bien–La Trienal 20/21 is the museum's first national survey of Latinx art. The selections highlight 42 artists and collectives from across the US and Puerto Rico.
KAWS: WHAT PARTY
JAPAN SOCIETY REOPENS
For the first time since COVID, the elegant galleries of Japan Society have reopened to the public. The first exhibition up is a celebration of the resilient spirit of Japanese craftsmanship through woodworking tools, architectural patterns, and models. When Practice Becomes Form: Carpentry Tools from Japan will be on display through July 11th; admission is free for the balance of March.
GOYA AT THE MET
If you're looking for a getaway without running up the mileage, head out to Brooklyn's Industry City for a range of possibilities. On top of drinks, bites, shopping, and ice skating, you can also groove to live music. Look for live Latin music from Cuarteto Guataca (above) at Sahadi’s outdoor seating in Courtyard 3/4, in addition to sets of live bossa nova and jazz.
MRS. MAISEL'S MARVELOUS TOUR OF NEW YORK CITY
Beat The Bomb, an immersive video game experience based in Dumbo, Brooklyn is opening up with new experiences and safety measures. The ultimate social distancing activity, Beat The Bomb is perfect for families, small groups, learning pods and quaranteams who are looking for a new kind of challenge—kind of like an escape room. The hour-long experience features a series of four games broken out into different rooms, allowing for a unique flow that separates groups for better distancing. The goal: earn time on the bomb clock by beating levels. Then disarm the paint bomb before time runs out…or GET BLASTED! (PPE has always been a part of the experience, but it's really coming in handy now.) beatthebomb.com
Ahead of an in-person reopening, UN Visitors Services is presenting virtual tours and briefings, hosted by the UN's legendary multilingual tour guides. Online visitors can learn about the organization's roles and can get insider angles on famous spaces like the General Assembly Hall and Security Council. Tours are available for groups or "UN Kids." visit.un.org
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
IT'S ALL HAPPENING AT THE ZOOS
Photo: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS
COVID couldn't stop New York's zoos—the Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, and the most famous of all, the Bronx Zoo. (Famous for a good reason—there are 8,000 animals there, spread across a habitat that includes 265 acres of hardwood forest). Guest health and safety are the top priority, with social distancing, limited capacity, one-way paths through the park, and touchless interactions. Open exhibits at the Bronx Zoo include the African Plains, African Wild Dogs, American Bison, Baboon Reserve, Big Bears, Birds of Prey, Children's Zoo, Himalayan Highlands, Sea Lion Pool, Tiger Mountain, and the Wild Asia Monorail. Visit the Bronx Zoo's Know Before You Go section to learn more. You'll need to get your ticket in advance (no tickets will be sold at the gates). A touchless entry will let you in, but you must have a face covering, and follow spacing markers to ensure social distancing. bronxzoo.com
TALKS, LECTURES, AND EVENTS
Thought Gallery has hundreds of livestream talks, lectures, performances, and more. Check out sessions with celebs, live concerts, and opportunities to learn the latest on everything from science to philosophy to social justice.
VIRTUAL ESCAPE ROOM
Missing escape room adventures? NYC fave The Escape Game has some great play-at-home editions including Unlocked: The Heist—Vol. 1: Chasing Hahn, which includes all the pieces of the original mission kit, ready for play in quarantine. They've also just launched a new series, The Escape Game Remote Adventures. These are escape games you play with your friends, family, and co-workers on Zoom from anywhere in the world. Players progress through the room using an online clue bank, a live Game Guide, and a 360-degree view of the room. theescapegame.com/remote-adventures
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