(11/16-11/22) There's more to do in NYC now than there's been since the mid-March lockdown, including the reopening of many of the city's cultural destinations. This detailed map of restaurants shows over 10,000 venues now serving; included in that number are more than 5,000 places where you can eat outside. More than 340 streets have been closed to traffic and opened to expanded outdoor dining plans, many with plenty of warmth to get you through cooler nights. This Thanksgiving week we've got some great options for dinner here, available for indoor, outdoor, or to-go dining. Read on for more reopenings and other things to do in NYC this week!
THE 94TH ANNUAL MACY'S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE
The parade is taking place this year, but unfortunately the public will only be able to enjoy it on television (the broadcast will be a mix of live and prerecorded fare). There will be balloons, of course, and you can see the full list here. The performers will include the cast of Hamilton, the New York City Ballet, the Rockettes, Pentatonix, Dolly Parton, Jordan Sparks, and Patti LaBelle. Watch it on NBC, 9am to noon.
NEW YORK'S ACTIVITY AUTHORITY
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Alfie’s Bar & Kitchen, the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood favorite with a refreshed New American Gastropub menu, is the perfect place to celebrate DrinksGiving (Wednesday, November 25th) with friends. As a craft beer bar, Alfie’s features around 24 rotating beers on tap that change weekly, as well as eight Old Fashioneds and a selection of hot cocktails to beat the winter chill. Some specialty cocktails from Alfie’s Bar & Kitchen include:
- Autumn Shandy with ginger liqueur, apricot liqueur, lemon, Angostura Bitters, and Smashing Pumpkin Beer.
- Purple Rain with vodka, Blueberry-Thyme Shrub, pineapple juice, and ginger beer.
- Muy Caliente with blanco tequila, spicy tincture, Suze, grapefruit cordial, and mole bitters.
A daily happy hour is also available on weekdays from 5-7pm and weekends from 3-7pm. Alfie’s Bar & Kitchen has indoor and heated outdoor seating.
A PARISIAN SQUARE COMES TO MIDTOWN
Debuting on Monday is the latest addition to the Boucherie family: La Grande Boucherie. The restaurant will stretch the entire length of the 6 1/2 Ave. block between 53rd and 54th, offering one of the most authentically French experiences in the city. A covered, open-air pedestrian walkway seats 174, in addition to indoor dining. The menu is highlighted by a signature prime rib au jus and an in-house charcuterie program, plus regional favorites like salade Lyonnaise, moules marinières, and red wine beef stew daube de bœuf á la Provençale.
NEW HOLIDAY MARKET LAUNCHES ON BLACK FRIDAY
City Point, Brooklyn’s largest shopping and dining destination, has partnered with The Makers Show, which will debut in Downtown Brooklyn with a new Holiday Market. The Makers Show is a curated marketplace of local craftsman, artisans, and entrepreneurs. It launches Friday, November 27th, and lasts through Sunday, December 20th, open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. For this inaugural marketplace, The Makers Show will be co-curated by NYC Pride Marketfest and Da Spot, to authentically amplify the voices of BIPOC and LGBTQIA entrepreneurs. DeKalb Market Hall will add to the mix with global food from local vendors including sweet treats from The Flo Kiss, grilled cheese and tomato soup from Creamline, spicy Chinese savories from Mr. Lin, and classic Polish dumplings from the Pierogi Boys. To ensure the safety and comfort of shoppers, COVID-19 regulations will be strictly enforced. Guests will be able to reserve a free 30-minute shopping window in advance through themakersshow.com, temperatures will be taken at the door, masks will be mandatory, and traffic flow will be monitored.
HISTORY FOR THE HOLIDAY
Fraunces Tavern Museum and Restaurant are both open Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 26. George Washington not only slept here, he also partied at this ancient tavern. This was the site of many of his presidential banquets, as well as Washington’s farewell address to his officers on December 4th, 1783. After the Revolutionary War, the tavern housed government agencies. Today, the building consists of a colonial-style restaurant on the first floor and a museum upstairs that exhibits Revolutionary Era armaments, flags and other art and objects. Enjoy free admission to Fraunces Tavern Museum from noon to 5pm; there's also a special prix-fixe Thanksgiving dinner from the restaurant. View the full menu here.
A NEW DINING AND RECREATION CORRIDOR NOW OPEN IN HARLEM
The Renaissance Pavilion at Strivers’ Row Powered by Uber Eats is a pandemic-friendly way to take in Harlem food and culture. Stretching along the blocks of 137th to 139th streets on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd., this is a high-design connection to bites from the likes of Ruby’s Vintage/Sexy Taco (above), The Row, Alibi, Make My Cake, and Harlem Chocolate Factory. Winterized outdoor seating is part of the plan.
Your Instagrammable Moment this week: the Pumpkin Arch has returned to the Heineken Riverdeck at Pier 17 in the Seaport District downtown. It's up now, through Thanksgiving. Make it a day trip and grab a bite to eat at Malibu Farm, The Fulton, or Cobble & Co! All restaurants are offering indoor and outdoor dining, with a selection of seasonal dishes.
ONGOING: THE QUEENS NIGHT MARKET AT ROCKEFELLER CENTER
Not in Queens and not at night, but the Queens Night Market is now holding down a prime slot on the south plaza of Rockefeller Center. From Monday through Saturday, 11am-5pm throughout the fall, head to this open-air scene to treat yourself to a big bite of New York City's global culture. Vendors include Treat Yourself Jerk Chicken (above) as well as Joey Bats Café for Portuguese egg tarts, Mamika’s Homemade Balinese cuisine, Ecuadorian empanadas from La Braza, and many more.
NEW! SOUR MOUSE
SKY HIGH YOGA
Edge, the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere, is back open for 360-degree views with jaw-dropping glimpses of the Empire State Building, One World Trade Center, the Hudson River, and much more. Starting this Friday, September 18th, you can also enjoy a socially distant fitness experience. Edge has partnered with Equinox Hudson Yards to offer an all-new ‘sky high’ yoga experience that merges fitness with an inspiring atmosphere. Join the launch at a morning yoga class on Edge’s 100th floor outdoor sky deck. Please let me know if you would like any additional information! Tickets will be released on a week-by-week basis and are $50 (ticket price includes Edge’s reduced general admission adult ticket price of $36). Class equipment, including yoga mats, will be provided by Equinox Hudson Yards. edgenyc.com
The Museum of the Dog was founded by the American Kennel Club in 1982. After a stint in St. Louis, the museum is back in NYC and better than ever, with new exhibits and interactive displays and a deep catalogue of dog-related art. New to the museum is the exhibition "Presidential Dogs," which opened Tuesday, September 8th, and continues through January 3, 2021. The exhibit will look back at the breeds that have lived at the White House and their influence on the American public. Specific presidential dogs will be highlighted, from George Washington’s Foxhounds all the way to Bo and Sunny the Portuguese Water Dogs. 101 Park Ave., 212-696-8360, museumofthedog.org
BEAT THE BOMB IMMERSIVE VIDEO GAME EXPERIENCE
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
BEERS IN BROOKLYN
New York City beer favorite Sixpoint is back. Their "Small Batch" program is making a triumphant return with more hours in their brewery courtyard, more ways to get beer fast, and at-home delivery throughout the state. Enjoy a socially distant brew in the beer garden starting this weekend and continuing on Saturdays and Sundays at 40 Van Dyke St. in Red Hook. Hours are noon to 7pm on Saturdays and noon to 5pm on Sundays. Masks will be required when standing and they ask that people only drink while seated at a table. Complimentary snacks are provided for all patrons. sixpoint.com
VIRTUAL TOURS OF THE UNITED NATIONS
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
OUTDOOR ART AT THE UN
A new outdoor exhibit, #TheWorldWeWant, is now available to view outside United Nations Headquarters. The exhibit is a special collection of photos curated from more than 50,000 images from over 130 countries, as a way to hear directly from the peoples of the world about their priorities for the future. The photos featured are from #TheWorldWeWant, a global photo contest hosted and organized by the mobile app Agora in support of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. This outdoor exhibit, found along First Avenue between 46th St and 47th St, is free and open to all and will be on display through the end of the year. un.org/en/exhibits/page/un75
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.
HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT THE CITY?
City Guide brings you “Everything to Do NYC,” a community of people helping each other get everything we can from the city. Looking for a restaurant? Ask ETD. Want to share a great find? Let us know about it. It’s your go-to group for how to get everything you can from everything in New York. facebook.com/groups/everythingtodonyc
Founded in 1982, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum takes visitors on an interactive journey through history to learn about American innovation and bravery. Among the treasures here you'll find the Space Shuttle Pavilion, home to Enterprise, the world’s first space shuttle, which paved the way for America’s successful space shuttle program. Also on display are 27 authentically restored aircraft, including the Lockheed A-12 Blackbird, the world’s fastest military jet and spy plane, and the British Airways Concorde, the fastest commercial aircraft to ever cross the Atlantic Ocean. For the safety of both staff and visitors, many new safety procedures have been put in place—you can read about them here. Pier 86, W. 46th St. and 12th Ave., 212-245-0072, intrepidmuseum.org
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Times Square invites guests of all ages to experience the unbelievable mysteries of our world. Home to rare artifacts and thrilling interactive exhibits, this one-of-a-kind attraction is perfect for those who want to immerse themselves in the unusual, the unexpected, and the unbelievable. Hours have just been updated to 7 days a week, 11am-6pm (the last ticket is sold one hour prior to closing). For a safe experience, new initiatives include enhanced cleaning and disinfecting schedules; hand sanitizer stations throughout the attraction; limited capacity; face coverings required for all guests and staff; new signage; and temperature checks for staff. In addition, interactive exhibits will remain closed until it's safe for them to open. ripleysnewyork.com
Even omakase is back. This chef-driven sushi tradition is returning with an outdoor dining version, available at Omakase Room by Tatsu in the West Village. Four tables outside the 14 Christopher St. location let Chef Tatsu provide a full omakase dining experience. From Tuesday through Saturday, Chef Tatsu and his team offer two seatings, at 6 and 8pm. There are eight seats available at each seating. The edomae-style omakase meal ($130) consists of 14 pieces of freshly prepared sushi plus dessert. Chef Tatsu will work at his counter inside the restaurant, bringing pieces of sushi to the guests seated outside with assistance from his server team. Sake is available by the glass and bottle, in addition to beer, wine, and special Japanese teas and soft drinks. (Food and beverage menu here.) The outdoor space evokes a Japanese rock garden. Reservations for parties of two can be made via Resy. Accommodations for solo diners or parties of 3+ may be arranged by calling the restaurant directly at 212-367-2067. Delivery options are available as well. omakaseroom.nyc
Top of the Rock, a stunning perch atop Rockefeller Center, offers wholly unobstructed views of the city’s most iconic landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, the rivers, and all of Central Park (its size can only truly be appreciated when seen from above). The Grand Viewing Deck on the 69th floor offers unparalleled views of the city and the 70th Floor is an open-air perch with completely unobstructed views—no glass or anything. Top of the Rock reopened to the pubic on Thursday, August 6th. Social distancing is easier here: Top of the Rock has more open-air viewing space than any other observation deck in New York City. New hours for the Observation Deck are daily 1-9pm; guests will enter from West 50th Street, between Fifth and Sixth Aves., and proceed with timed tickets to the glass stairs upon entry. Visitors without a pre-purchased ticket will be directed to the box office. Capacity will be limited, masks are required, and hand sanitizer is available throughout the attraction. Note that kids 12 and under will get in free with the purchase of an adult ticket through Labor Day. topoftherocknyc.com
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—turns 76 this year and is only getting better. After being on pause for several months, takeout and outdoor dining have returned. Expect classic favorites of home-style Sicilian cuisine like rigatoni Sorrentino, linguine with clam sauce, veal rollatine Marsala, and chicken Contadina. Hours will be 4-9pm Wednesday-Sundays; customers can make reservations by calling 212-247-3491 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. patsys.com
The west side's beloved elevated park, The High Line, will reopen on Thursday, July 16th. To accommodate our new normal, capacity at the park will be greatly reduced. Free timed-entry tickets are opened every two weeks on Mondays. A limited number of walk-up passes will also be available at the entrance, but advance planning is recommended. Traffic will only flow in one direction, starting at Gansevoort Street. All visitors must enter at the southern end of the High Line, at Gansevoort Street and Washington Street, and move northwards. In this first reopening phase, the High Line will be open only to 23rd Street. Citywide safety protocols will also apply here, including the requirement of wearing a mask or face covering and maintaining 6-foot social distancing. thehighline.org
Hershey's Chocolate World is the place to go in NYC when your sweet tooth starts kicking in. Located in the heart of Times Square, the newly reopened store features chocolate experiences for everyone to enjoy. At Hershey's Kitchens Bakery indulge in a chocolate-filled brownie or peanut butter blossom cookie. Relax with a refreshing Hershey's chocolate spritzer or warm up with a Hershey's melted hot chocolate. If you can't make it to the Hershey chocolate factory tour in Hershey, Pennsylvania, Hershey's Chocolate World in Times Square is the next best stop. Hours are now 11am-7pm. hersheys.com
Benjamin Prime combines modern elegance with traditional steakhouse classics, while also showcasing signature standouts from highly regarded sister property Benjamin Steakhouse. After perfecting both steakhouse and seafood concepts in their arsenal, Benjamin Restaurant Group is highlighting the grill at Prime, serving up USDA prime dry aged steaks and succulent seafood in unique ways. As of Wednesday, July 8th they are open again for outdoor dining! Hours are 11:30am-10pm on the weeknights and 4-10pm on Saturdays. Don't miss the return of the Power Lunch Menu, weekdays from 11:30am-4pm; Just $39 covers an appetizer like crab cake or lobster bisque, followed by entrees like a USDA Prime junior New York sirloin, and desserts like a classic New York cheesecake.
After rave reviews for his namesake Tribeca restaurant, Chef Marc Forgione has made a name in the world of steakhouses as well. At American Cut, old New York elegance is matched with the chef’s 21st century sensibilities. New this week, American Cut's Midtown East location is once again available for delivery and pick-up. Many signature dishes can be found, in addition to bottled cocktails (3 for $21) and bottles of wines at up to half off retail prices. The tantalizing menu items include the house tomahawk Creekstone Farms dry-aged steak (above), an OG Caesar salad, striped bass, the house burger, and a chili lobster starter. bbot.menu/americancutdeliveryorpickup
Havana Central’s all-day menu boasts the best in Cuban cooking. Dig into classic dishes like Cuban sandwiches, empanadas, jerk-seasoned chicken wings, "ropa vieja" beef stew, mango salmon, and vegetarian paella. You can once again enjoy it in person, as outdoor dining comes to Times Square, daily noon to 9pm (tables available on a first-come, first-served basis). You can also dive into this great cuisine with pick up and contactless delivery. Cuban family meals, grocery boxes (fruit, chicken, and vegetables, order by 5pm Wednesday for pickup after 1pm on Friday), and Caribbean cocktails to go are all also available—12oz and 32oz mojitos are highlights (tropical flavors optional). Note that Havana Central has expanded its delivery zone: covering 16th to 79th Sts., both east side and west. havanacentral.alohaorderonline.com
Although the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island remain temporarily closed, Statue Cruises is once again out and about in New York Harbor. Sixty-minute tours, complete with history and stunning views, can now be booked. Lady Liberty and the museum are closed, but the Park Service has now granted entry to Liberty Island and Statue Cruises is the only way to access it. Tours run four times daily out of the Battery Park departure point in Lower Manhattan at 10am, 11:30am, 1pm, and 2:30pm. These tours will continue until Liberty Island and Ellis Island reopen (Statue Cruises is the exclusive provider of ferry service for the National Park Service to the two landmarks). Tickets are $26/adult, $19/seniors, $14/child and free for children three years and under. Tickets may be purchased in advance (strongly encouraged) from the Statue Cruises website or at Gangway 5 in Battery Park. statuecruises.com
Photo: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS
Friday, July 24th welcomed the return of 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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