(10/18-10/24) 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.
Blue is back! Blue Man Group returns to its original home at Astor Place Theatre downtown. Blue Man Group will rock your world, blow your mind, and unleash your spirit. 35 million people of all ages, languages, and cultures know what Blue Man Group is really about. Now it's your turn! Come experience this must-see show as it returns to the stage. You'll discover music, laughter, and surprises at every turn. Book your tickets now at blueman.com.
WHAT TO DO IN NYC
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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 coming to Midtown East right next to Grand Central, with the first tickets being sold for Thursday, October 21st. Explore all three floors of the space, 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.
FREE WORLD-CLASS PASTRIES
Marvelous by Fred, the iconic Parisian bakery that just opened its new NYC flagship store in Midtown Manhattan, will be offering complimentary breakfast pastries to welcome back Midtown office workers. Guests can order online the "complimentary breakfast basket,"* filled with artisan croissants and brioches, all baked in-house. Widely known for its perfected recipe of the merveilleux, the new flagship midtown location features its famous namesake meringue alongside other french pastries and sandwiches, all prepared in-house daily. Guests can enjoy grab-and-go offerings or seated service in the 18th-century France-inspired dining room, complete with a signature 10-foot chandelier. *While supplies last. Limit one per customer.
A FANDANGO IN BROOKLYN
Fandango for Butterflies (and Coyotes), written by Andrea Thome — 2021 Winner of The New York Community Trust’s Helen Merrill Award for Playwriting — was inspired by interviews with undocumented immigrants from Latin America living in New York. The piece takes the form of a fandango, a community celebration where stories are brought to life through live performance, music, and dance. On the eve of city-wide ICE raids, a group of immigrants gather in an undisclosed community center in NYC for a fandango. As fear encroaches — fear for family left behind in their home countries, fear for loved ones in the middle of their dangerous journey to New York, fear of leaving the sanctuary of the community center simply just to get a bag of ice — a sense of camaraderie builds between the participants. Strangers become friends, friends become family, and the fandango plays on. Check it out in Brooklyn at the St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church, October 22nd-23rd.
MADISON AVENUE FALL GALLERY WALK
Join ARTnews and Madison Avenue’s galleries for the Madison Avenue Fall Gallery Walk on Saturday, October 23rd. This free event invites the public to visit participating galleries, view their fall exhibitions, and attend expert talks led by artists and curators on Madison Avenue and side streets from E. 57th to E. 86th Sts. Due to limited capacity, registration is required to reserve your space at each participating gallery. There will be an information tent on the corner of Madison Avenue and E. 75th St. Click here for a printable Madison Avenue Gallery Walk Map & Guide. As a bonus, there will be a Community Event at Frick Madison, with outdoor sketching (easels and all materials will be provided).
TRY A CUBAN ZOMBIE
You can take a Cuban vacation in the middle of Times Square with a visit to Havana Central. Before a Broadway show, or after a stop at a Times Square attraction, step into this spacious 1950s eatery for a mojito and some home-cooked Cuban food like ropa vieja. During Spooky Season, you can also enjoy the house's October drink special. The "Cuban Zombie" seasonal punch is spiked with Bacardi Superior and Bacardi Spiced Rum, joined by citrus and agav, and served up in a festive tiki cup. It's available all through October—the perfect cocktail for Halloween!
A SIGNATURE FILIPINO DISH FOR OCTOBER
In celebration of Filipino American History Month this October, Don Papa Rum, the super-premium rum from the Philippines, is partnering with American-Filipino joint Flip Sigi to offer a signature dish that supports the Advancement for Rural Kids’ (ARK). Chef Jordan Andino has created a delicious signature dish, the Ginataang Kalabasa Bowl, made with Don Papa Rum-marinated shrimp, coconut milk, and butternut squash. Proceeds from the dish will be going towards ARK’s Feed Back Program, which helps support food security, with funds going to Negros Oriental, the home of Don Papa Rum. Head to Flip Sigi in the Village to taste for yourself!
GRAND BAZAAR—ARTISANAL SWEET TREATS POP-UP
Grand Bazaar NYC is the oldest, largest, and most diverse curated weekly shopping market in NYC. Open every Sunday, you'll find all kinds of creative makers and passionate dealers, vending one-of-a-kind, rare, and unique goods. Come hungry—there are great artisanal bites as well. This Sunday features a dessert special, the Artisanal Sweet Treats Pop-Up. Celebrate National Dessert Month with 15+ of the city’s best artisanal sweet-makers, all in one place. You’ll find everything from experimental donuts, handmade macaroons, creatively flavored peanut-butter cups, small-batch fudge with unique flavors, and freshly baked cookies to the most mouthwatering truffles and chocolates you’ve ever had. (A visit to Grand Bazaar is for a good cause, too: 100% of profits are donated to four Upper West Side public schools.)
In these politically charged times, steal away to another era's intrigues with Tammany Hall. This new immersive theatre experience begins previews on Friday (the official opening night is Election Night, November 2nd ). Audience members at SoHo Playhouse will have the chance to cast a vote and explore 15 rooms in an original Jazz Age landmark. You'll rub shoulders with Jimmy Walker and Fiorella Laguardia, Legs Diamond and Betty Compton, and a host of gangsters and molls. "An intimate experience of the corruption, scandal, and romance that brought New York’s most notorious political machine crashing down."
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.
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.
BREWS IN ROCK CENTER
Founded in 2014 in Brooklyn, Other Half Brewing is dedicated to pushing the boundaries of beer. You can find them in Manhattan this fall as they pop up a biergarten on South Plaza. Open Fridays 2-8pm and Saturdays noon-8pm.
The city's scariest haunted house is back to get you in the spirit of Spooky Season. Lower Broadway does the hosting, with Blood Manor open weekends on into early November. Among this year's attractions: The Crypt, The Wake, and the Killer Clown Room.
The Rubin Museum of Art has launched a new interactive space this weekend. 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.
THROUGH THE LOOKING-GLASS
Curiouser and curiouser: head to the Upper West Side starting Thursday the 23rd for a new interactive experience. Pekarna New York, a roomy Slovenian spot, will do the hosting. Alice: An Immersive Cocktail Experience takes you down the rabbit hole for riddles and cocktails under the watchful eyes of the Mad Hatter, March Hare, and White Rabbit. You can create two Wonderland cocktails, paint the roses red, and devour "Eat Me" cake. The event takes place Wednesdays to Sundays through November 30th with family-friendly sessions to be added in the fall.
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. Look for 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 will be a premier Vodcã Bar. The Vodcã Blast offering will include 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, will now be performing at Bacall’s. Look for laughs and sing-a-longs nightly starting at 7:45pm. The restaurant holds down a roomy space at 220 W. 44th St. and is open Thursdays to Sundays 4-11pm, brunch service Saturdays and Sundays from 11:30am-3pm. For reservations call 212-944-2474.
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.
A CIRCULAR STORE
Online resale platform thredUP has partnered with premium denim brand Madewell for a new IRL retail concept. Settling down through the end of October in Brooklyn, A Circular Store features secondhand Madewell pieces sourced from thredUP and designed to educate consumers on the power of making clothes to last and why keeping them in use is important. The store is a limited edition extension of the online Madewell Forever denim resale experience that launched in July, and marks the first time customers can shop a full assortment of preloved Madewell, mend and tailor clothes, and pass them on responsibly, all in one place. The shop will be at 89 N. 6th St. in Williamsburg; more information and a programming calendar can be found here.
A NEW MEXICAN CONCEPT
Rick Bayless is a seven-time James Beard award-winning chef and a foremost expert on authentic Mexican cuisine. He's finally making his New York City debut and it's an accessible one: new fast casual Mexican spot Tortazo NoMad. The first location opened just last year in Chicago, this one features high-quality ingredients deployed in sandwiches, bowls, quesadillas, soups, and salads. Also on the menu: aguas frescas, margaritas, and beer.
OKTOBERFEST IS ON!
This Saturday, Circle Line relaunches their ever-popular Bear Mountain Cruises. These Oktoberfest-themed rides go 50 miles up the Hudson, passing skylines and scenery on the way to Bear Mountain State Park. Along the way you'll find German food specials, Oktoberfest beers, and a German Polka band. When you hit your destination, you can disembark and hike, enjoying lake, trails, and fall foliage. For city-anchored folk, OktoberFest NYC is on at Watermark Bar in the Seaport District, with traditional German beer and bites, through October 24th. The Upper East Side will hold Schaller & Weber’s Oktoberfest beer garden, a pop up behind behind Schaller’s Stube Sausage Bar that keeps the party going through the end of October. Prost!
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 as of September 14th. 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.
SLEEPY HOLLOW THE MUSICAL 2021
Things happen in the hollow at night. Things we don’t speak about and things you don’t want to know. 200 years ago, Ichabod Crane lost his way in the hollow and was never seen again. Did the headless horseman get to him? Don’t look to the kindly folk of Sleepy Hollow for answers—they don’t take to strangers. Nominated for an Innovative Theatre Award for best original music, this musical adaptation of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" features a live percussion and cello ensemble under-scoring spell-binding choreography that draws you into the hollow and takes you for a breathless ride. Find it at The Players Theatre in the Village, on a limited run from September 24th through November 7th. hollowthemusical.com
A NEW PARTICIPATORY ART INSTALLATION
Established in 1838, The Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn is one of the world’s most beautiful cemeteries. It's also a tourism destination on its own, serving as an outdoor museum, an arboretum, and a repository of history. This fall, Green-Wood will present After the End, a participatory art installation that provides visitors with an opportunity to publicly share about their personal losses. Created by artists Candy Chang and James A. Reeves, the installation will be located inside Green-Wood’s Historic Chapel. Influenced in equal parts by religious ceremonies and science fiction, Chang and Reeves have created a public ritual to contemplate loss in all forms: the loss of loved ones, relationships, health, and worlds we once knew—as well as the practices that have helped us endure. Visitors are invited to anonymously share their experience on a scroll and place it upon an illuminated altar. Each response becomes a devotional candle, and together they form an evolving field of light. Select responses will be projected throughout the chapel, and visitors can sit in the apse to contemplate the experiences of others as well as their own. Open 10am-4:30pm daily; entry is free and donations are welcome (the exhibition is now extended through December 6th).
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 into 2022, 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.
THE FUTURE OF FASHION
Luxury NYC-based womenswear brand Maison De Papillon reimagines the future of fashion with Project Gaia NYC. On the heels of a new Flatiron District flagship, you can now find a second location in the Seaport District. A carefully curated lineup connects artisans sharing the brand's ethos of sustainability and philanthropy. Look for thoughtful approaches to apparel, homeware, and everything in between.
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.
Get excited for Broadway's coming return with Showstoppers NYC, now open in Times Square. You'll find a massive space filled with demos, interactive installations, and, of course, jaw-dropping costumes. The space is configured as a maze featuring more than 100 garments. You'll get to luxuriate in up-close detail and craftsmanship that's usually only glimpsed from a distance. Costume makers and experts will also be on-site to explain and demonstrate. Proceeds will raise money for the Costume Industry Coalition Recovery Fund. Save 10% with code NEWVIC! The installation will be up through October 31st.
Photo: Kevin Lapsley.
East Williamsburg has a new artisanal cocktail lounge. Philomena boasts some excellent bloodlines among ownership (namely The Late Late, Hotel Chantelle and Den Hospitality), with a beverage director late of the Tao Group. Casual yet elevated surrounds provide the backdrop for shareable bites, beer and wine, and creative cocktails like the Felix (mezcal, expressed orange, and a cucumber-lime-tajin ice cube).
...AS DOES BAR BLONDEAU
Photo by Liz Clayman.
Unobstructed views of the Manhattan skyline await at Bar Blondeau, high up on the 6th floor of Williamsburg's Wythe Hotel. You'll find a seafood-forward menu with French, Spanish. and Portuguese influences. To complement, there's an international selection of natural wines from up-and-coming wine regions and signature cocktails, frozen drinks, and zero-proof beverages.
NEW NOMAD SPOT FOR KARAOKE
This Friday night marks the grand opening of new karaoke bar and lounge MS. KIM’S. In soft open mode now, this upscale, reinterpreted take on the karaoke bar is 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.
POP UP PUTT PUTT
Work on your short game at PIXAR PUTT, a new open-air mini-golf experience in Battery Park. A full 18 holes take inspiration from Disney and Pixar favorites including Toy Story, The Incredibles, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, Coco, A Bug's Life, and Wall-E. Starting Sunday, the course is open daily, with 18+ PIXAR PUTT AFTER DARK sessions on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights from 7-10pm. Through Halloween.
A NEW VILLAGE WINE BAR
Photo by Liz Clayman.
Temperance Wine Bar is now open in the Village, bringing a lively scene that's low on pretense. Sommelier A.J. Ojeda-Pons, previously of The Lambs Club and Mercado Little Spain, oversees a program that features 100+ rotating wines by the glass. Vintages range from affordable to higher-end, and includes classic European and New York producers, and even wines from less traditional locations like Morocco, Lebanon, and Cyprus. Snacks and small plates are available to pair.
LIVE MUSIC, FOOD, BEER!
Head to Queens for culture. Culture Lab LIC at the Plaxall Gallery is hosting free outdoor live music on Thursday through Sunday evenings. Located right on the water in Long Island City, you'll also find rotating gallery shows right inside the expansive gallery space. Come for the free music and art and while you're at it stop by the food truck and treat yourself to a burger and a beer. (The view of Manhattan as the sun sets completes the scene.)
SPEAKEASY MAGICK RETURNS
The weekly series Speakeasy Magick has returned, summoning guests to the world of up-close magic. Audiences are transported to the top floor of The McKittrick Hotel (where immersive theatre fave Sleep No More takes place) in a vintage elevator car, where The Club Car and its residents await. Private tables and a live jazz pianist set the scene for an evening of dazzling surprises. Magicians change weekly, brought in by host Todd Robbins, who brings decades of experience performing on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and around the world.
...AND WHILE YOU'RE THERE
Photo by Jamie Watts.
The McKittrick Hotel's rooftop garden hideaway Gallow Green is now open for dinner and drinks Tuesday through Sunday evenings. This secret garden escape is right now in full bloom, overflowing with flowers, herbs, and hanging vines that create a dream-like atmosphere. Hand-crafted cocktails (above) are joined by returning favorites like the lobster roll and McKittrick Burger topped with bacon marmalade. New menu items include a fattoush salad, a banh mi sandwich, and raw bar selections.
THE MARKET LINE IS BACK
After a long pandemic hibernation, subterranean marketplace and food hall The Market Line has finally reopened. For an authentic New York experience, settle in and take your pick from neighborhood classics and cutting-edge creativity. Among the highlights, there's long-running Lower East Side pickle supplier The Pickle Guys (try mango or pineapple if you're looking to expand your culinary horizons); pierogi masters at Veselka; Vietnamese, Japanese, Puerto Rican, dim sum, pizza, and on and on. There's even a beer bar and wine bars. If you love dessert you're in luck: look for Rebecca's Cake Pops, Ample Hills ice cream, Doughnut Plant, and Best Damn Cookies.
LIVE DANCE RETURNS
Live indoor dance returns to New York through the form of acclaimed dancer and choreographer Maria Angelica Caruso’s critically acclaimed high art solo performance, Metamorphosis. Since its premiere in 2018 at Israel’s Karmiel Dance Festival, Metamorphosis has been performed all over the world and has now arrived Off-Broadway. Metamorphosis highlights life’s transitions and the emotions that come with them. Although based on Caruso’s own experiences, the dramatic shifts will be familiar to all who weathered the pandemic. The production has been hailed as one of Caruso’s greatest solo performances to date. The show continues its open-ended run at Actors Temple Theatre, every Thursday and Friday at 7pm.
New York’s Moxy East Village is partnering with Physique57 for a #SweatAtMoxy exclusive series of rooftop fitness classes. Physique57 Power Sculpt classes feature high-intensity, low-impact sequences that combine strength training, cardio, and stretching for all levels. This #SweatAtMoxy series will run every Wednesday morning at The Ready East Village and every Friday morning at Magic Hour Times Square at 8am and again at 9:30am throughout July. Participants should bring their own mask. Social distancing protocols will be active. RSVP to [email protected].
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 WATERFRONT OASIS
Rendering by TMRW.
New to Battery Park, The Bungalow at Brookfield Place will transport visitors to a beachfront retreat. The oasis will feature music and other programming, bocce courts, and plenty of shaded outdoor seating. Light bites and drinks are available for grab-and-go at The Shack by Tartinery or you can outfit yourself from any Brookfield Place eatery.
LIVE THEATRE IS BACK!
Do time with South African hero Nelson Mandela. When you arrive for the new production Mandela, you'll be processed for detainment. You will be led through prison gates, handed handcuffs, and asked to put them on (or at least keep them as a souvenir). East Harlem Repertory Theatre in association with Yolanda Brooks shares the gripping untold story of Mandela, Winnie, and the African National Congress. The show depicts highly sensitive subjects, but also evokes laughter and moments of joy. The official opening was Saturday, July 17th, the eve of Nelson Mandela’s birthday. Performances are on Saturdays and Sundays at 4:30pm.
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.
SIDESHOWS ARE BACK!
Photo credit: Norman Blake.
Sideshows by the Seashore is the last permanently housed, not-for-profit venue in the country where you can still experience the thrill of a traditional ten-in-one circus sideshow. They're here, they're real, and they're alive—freaks, wonders and human curiosities! After a year's hiatus, the Coney Island Circus Sideshow has returned, Fridays through Sundays, just off the Boardwalk on Coney Island.
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 as of Thursday. 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.
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—turns 77 this year and is only getting better. After a pandemic hiatus, the restaurant is back and better than ever. Chef Sal Scognamillo, owner and operator of Patsy’s Italian restaurant, is the third generation of Scognamillos to sit at the helm. The Scognamillo recipes at Patsy’s have remained largely unchanged. Dishes like the stuffed artichoke appetizer, 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 just expanded to Tuesday through Sunday, 1-9pm. Reservations are available at 212-247-3491 during operating hours or by email at [email protected]. COVID safety protocols including an air purification system, social distancing, and partitions between tables will be in effect.
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.
LIVE THEATRE IS BACK: OFF-BROADWAY'S PERFECT CRIME
The perfect show for CSI and Law & Order fans, Perfect Crime tells the story of attractive psychiatrist and suspected cold-blooded killer Margaret Brent, her wealthy husband, a deranged patient, and the handsome detective who's falling in love with her. New York's longest-running show, it's back post-pandemic for a 35th season. Perfect Crimefeatures Catherine Russell, who has performed in the show since its first preview in 1987. She has never taken a sick day or a vacation day since then. Shows are Monday-Tuesday and Friday 8pm, Saturday 2 and 8pm, and Sunday 3 and 7:30pm. Seating is by socially distanced pods. perfect-crime.com
...AND THE OFFICE! A MUSICAL PARODY
Dunder Mifflin is reopening for funny business. The Office! A Musical Parody, the unauthorized send up of the hit TV series, is among the first Off-Broadway shows to resume in-person performances in New York City. Full COVID safety protocols are in effect for a parody musical from Bob and Tobly McSmith (FRIENDS! The Musical Parody and many more). Showtimes are Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30pm, Saturdays 2 and 8pm, Sundays at 3pm. theofficemusicalparody.com
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.
ROSE GARDEN RECEPTION
Moxy Times Square's Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge has been transformed into your next Instagram obsession. More than 10,000 silk roses provide a colorful backdrop for sipping on pink rose cocktails. The Pink Rose Garden will be serving a specialty menu in addition to full dinner and weekend brunch options. (The Pink AF Pancake Stack is now available nightly until midnight.)
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. The experience runs through the end of October. Mangia!
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.
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.) Through October 31st.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 October 31st. ARTECHOUSE NYC is open with limited capacity and protocols in place to ensure the safety and health of visitors.
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.
NYC’s hottest Mexican rooftop, Cantina Rooftop, is back open in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen. The year-round rooftop restaurant under the helm of Chef Saul Montiel has a new brunch menu with temptations that run both sweet (tres leches French toast) and savory (steamed mussels with chorizo). Bringing a crew? There's a Giant Ass Taco for that, available by special order to share with six of your closest friends.Dinner is served Tuesdays to Fridays 4-11pm and weekend brunch is 11am-3:30pm.
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
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
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.
On November 8 international travelers will be eligible to return. Already, international searches on U.S. travel are spiking. The CDC has just released its latest guidance and it clears holiday gatherings and travel for the vaccinated. U.S. travel numbers were better than expected in September, reaching pandemic-era peaks, and traveler intent remains strong. The Lincoln Square BID notes foot traffic in the neighborhood has nearly doubled as arts and culture have returned. Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, reports most of September's 77 performances were sold out or close to full. These confluences of factors bode well for an active holiday season in NYC.
The big story is the announcement that land borders between Mexico and Canada will reopen to the vaccinated November 8th (international air borders will also reopen November 8th). Canadians historically send more travelers to NYC than any other place save the U.K., and land borders will be easier to cross as no negative Covid test will be required. The Delta variant appears to be waning, with global rates of infection falling. Recovery is not overnight, but the U.S. economy is emerging with consumer sentiment, spending, and employment more resilient than it has been following previous surges. United Airlines's domestic capacity in December will be 91% of what it was in 2019. Their data suggests pent-up demand will be manifesting ahead of the holidays.
City Guide’s Tourism Happenings, an industry magazine, is hot off the ether. Find a calendar of fall city events and a guide to Broadway reopenings. See photos from the top of One World Observatory at the NYC Tourism Is Back celebration. Get informed on the latest from BIDs and other sponsors of the Tourism Is Back cocktail reception, including news from NYC's leading organizations. Reconnect with everything that's going on in the city now—check it out!
Covid has taught us to be humble about predictions, but the latest numbers are heartening: U.S. cases have fallen 35% in the last month. This follows many expert predictions about the Delta variant and comes with other good numbers: hotel demand and Times Square pedestrian traffic are hitting pandemic-era highs. Manhattan office leasing is at its highest level since 2019. The volume of Manhattan home sales is the highest it's been in 30 years. People are betting big on New York City.