(8/2-8/7) Looking for what to do in NYC this week? The city is in the midst of a major reopening; 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.
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.
WHAT TO DO IN NYC
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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.
A NEW HARBOR CRUISE
Want to catch a ride on the “Tugboat of the Year”? W.O. Decker is the last surviving New York-built wooden tugboat. The South Street Seaport Museum will be hosting cruises every Saturday through August 21st aboard the 1930-built craft. 75-minute trips will explore New York Harbor, epic views included.
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 Friday and Saturday nights from 7-10pm.
JUNGLE SUMMER POP UP
Photo: Front of House.
The rainforests of Central and South America provide the inspiration for the latest iteration of The Garret Cocteleria downtown. A lush floor-to-ceiling tropical plant installation compliments a specialty menu and turns from Latin-leaning DJs spinning Thursday-Saturday nights. Look for strong cocktails with floral garnishes served in ceramic coconuts. Bites include new additions like a dragon fruit & mango ceviche or spicy tuna tartare.
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. Friday look for Hudson Horns (above), Saturday sees the funk, fusion, jazz rock, and Brazilian mashup of Trampleman, followed by Gina D’ Soto and Culture Lab Crew. 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 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.
THE MARKET LINE REOPENS
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, Best Damn Cookies, and Moon Man (Indonesian street food desserts—the only place in the U.S. that you'll find a flavor-packed coconut pancake like this.)
NEW HIGH-END DESIGN SHOWROOM FOR BROOKLYN
MyPlanet Living Center has opened their newest high-send design showroom in Red Hook, Brooklyn. The location features a unique combination of luxury interior design, renovation, home building, and non-profit Initiatives. The showrooms will expose homeowners and trade professionals to higher-end and more sophisticated product selection in categories including kitchen, bath, flooring, windows, exteriors, green products, roofs, closets, tile, home automation, exterior wall systems, plumbing, water management systems, indoor and outdoor furniture, and alternative energy. Proceeds from the center will be donated to community groups that help the needy. myplanetlivingcenter.com
THE DOCK STREET CONCERTS
Our iffy weather of late has pushed off the launch of St. Ann’s Warehouse's return engagement of the free outdoor series Get Back! The Dock Street Concerts. Dates are back on, with more to be added to this vibrant Brooklyn music scene. Coming up: Tuesday, August 24th, Sunny Jain, Wild Wild East.
Free live entertainment is coming to 10 Open Boulevards across all five boroughs. In addition to arts and culture, the program is designed to boost neighborhood restaurants. The series and its pop-up stages continues through the fal. The free live entertainment is made possible through the vision of Rockwell Group, Tait, Moët Hennessy, and OpenCultureWORKS.
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@example.com.
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.
Photo credit: Alexei Hay, Houston and Lafayette, 2 pm April 2020.
Armed with masks, gloves, an 8X10 large format camera, and a healthy dose of fear, photographer Alexei Hay and Master Printer David Frawley drove a bucket truck to the city’s busiest intersections during the first few weeks of the city's COVID-19 lockdown. The images, of eerily still stand-ins for NYC's usual hustle and bustle, document an evolving and ongoing historic era. See the images—and discover what they evoke in you—at a gallery show up through August 31st at 436 West Broadway in SoHo. The gallery hours are Tuesdays to Fridays, 1-7pm, and Sundays noon-6pm.
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).
EVENTS AT "THE MOST INTERESTING STORE IN THE WORLD"
Showfields' four-story downtown flagship is filled with art experiences, food and drink, an event space, and the most innovative brands of today and the art of tomorrow. Working with NYC locals, Showfields newest initiative “The Most Interesting New York Forever Campaign” has launched a series of events. Every Saturday through August 28th from 3-7pm you'll find free hair stylings with the Thomas Taft Salon Dry Bar.
Downtown hotel fave Arlo SoHo is getting in the spirit of summer with some seasonal specials. How's about a popsicle happy hour? Every day from 4-5pm at Harold’s and in The Courtyard, the CITYSTICKS Popsicle Happy Hour lets you take half off pops in flavors boozy (pina colada, mango mimosa, strawberry margarita) and not (strawberry mint, pina colada, mango caipirinha). There's also a daily Sunset Hour discount at the Hotel Bar and in The Courtyard, and Sundays feature brunches with a live DJ in The Courtyard. "Summer Vibes" menus are in full effect—try to resist the crispy calamari with Old Bay and marinara pictured above.
A NEW WATERFRONT OASIS
Rendering by TMRW.
New to Battery Park, The Bungalow at Brookfield Place will transport visitors to a beachfront retreat. Launching on Friday, 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!
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.
After a COVID hiatus, the Films on the Green festival is back, showing French fare in parks across New York City. (There will be a free online version this summer as well.) This year’s festival emphasizes connection, following the theme “Music and Cinema.” Weekly on Friday nights, catch movies from Tunisia, Japan, Brazil, and Spain.
ENJOY BIRDLAND—AT 1949 PRICES
Birdland, the jazz corner of the world and a New York institution, is back open again. To mark the grand reopening, tickets will be what they were when the club opened 70 years ago. Take advantage of the pricing all July and August long, with Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble, Jim Caruso’s Cast Party, and David Ostwald's Louis Armstrong Eternity Band among the upcoming acts.
NEW! EYES ON NEW YORK
New York's favorite tour/show hybrid THE RIDE won't be starting up its buses for a few more months. In the meantime, they've worked up a new entertainment extravaganza. Eyes on New Yorkcan be found on the Staten Island waterfront at Empire Outlets. An interactive journey leads audiences through dance, circus and variety acts, and acrobatic agility as a courageous troupe dances the story of New York City’s pandemic year. The show is immersed in music, uplifted by dance, and driven by renewal. The show will run through Labor Day.
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.
MADE IN THE SHADE
The Standard, High Line debuts its new seasonal installation on the Plaza. Le Scaf is a futuristic paradise doubling as a vintage tropical backyard. Coney Island-inspired summer faves cover the bites, alongside soft serve ice cream, rosé, and refreshing cocktails like the Cold Heat with cachaça, passion fruit, and lime. Look for weekly event programming like Wednesday night drag 'Thrivia' and outdoor movie nights.
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.
SMORG WILLIAMSBURG IS BACK
Smorgasburg reopens Saturday in Williamsburg! After a long hiatus, Marsha P. Johnson State Park will once again welcome 40 vendors into a renovated space with new seating options. What to eat? Look for favorites like Thai Bird, Nansense, Yakitori Tatsu, Wowfulls, Fluffy's NYC, and Excell's Eatery. As a Smorgasburg exclusive, also look for newcomer Bark Barbecue. Open Saturdays.
YUCATAN IN THE VILLAGE
Approachable fine dining defines Village newcomer YUCO, open this week. Dish highlights include sushi-quality ceviche (above), a squash blossom special flor en nogadas, wagyu ribeye steak, and "Corn Textures" to finish, bringing together sweet corn crème patisserie, aguachilies sorbet, corn shortbread, and carbon powder for a touch of smoky, bitter contrast. Specialty cocktails and a thoughtful wine list will complete your experience.
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 MEDICI: PORTRAITS AND POLITICS, 1512-1570
Portrait of a Young Man (detail), 1530s, Bronzino (Agnolo di Cosimo di Mariano). Italian.
Some of the greatest portraits in Western art were painted in Florence during the16th century stretch when the city shifted from a republic to a duchy ruled by the Medici family. Visitors to the Met can now enjoy an outstanding group of portraits from the era. There are over 90 works in the exhibition, reflecting a range of mediums, from paintings, busts, medals, and carved gemstones to drawings, etchings, and armor.
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 are Thursday-Saturday 5-9pm and Sundays 3-8pm. Reservations are available at 212-247-3491 during operating hours or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. COVID safety protocols including an air purification system, social distancing, and partitions between tables will be in effect.
THE BEAST IS BACK!
NYC's only jet-powered thrill ride attraction is powering through the Hudson once again. After a pandemic hiatus, The Beast relaunched last week. Come aboard to feel the rush of twin jet engines generating 1,400 BHP-horsepower that'll get you up to 45mph. Twist, turn, and skim your way down to Lady Liberty—if you dare. Departs from Pier 83 every hour on the hour 10am-6pm.
CREATURES OF LIGHT
Explore nature's own light show with a new exhibition, open this week at the American Museum of Natural History. Creatures of Light: Nature’s Bioluminescence takes visitors from backyard fireflies to fish only found in the ocean's depths. You'll learn about glittering glowworms, sparkling bays, fluorescent coral, and the way fireflies (they're actually beetles) are the only insects in the world to have evolved their own language of light.
GRAND BAZAAR IS BACK!
Grand Bazaar NYC is the oldest, largest, and most diverse curated weekly shopping market in NYC. Open every Sunday, after a long pandemic hibernation it returns this weekend. 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. (It's for a good cause, too: 100% of profits are donated to four Upper West Side public schools.)
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.
Two NYC favorites, Color Factory and Eataly, have collaborated on a feast for the senses. La Pizza & La Pasta A Colori brings together food and art at Eataly NYC Downtown. For the visuals, artist HOTTEA takes inspiration from the sunrises in Torino and NYC in a ceiling installation. Color continues in an artist's palette of cheeses, a showstopping black risotto made with squid ink, and a bright green Neapolitan pizza. A wide range of cocktails, wine flights, and pastas further show off Eataly's mastery of seasonality, aging, and sourcing.
YOUR PERFECT PICNIC
Eat Offbeat had the brilliant idea of connecting refugee chefs with New Yorkers looking to broaden their culinary horizons. The results are cookbooks and meal boxes that bring home cooking from around the world into city homes. With picnic season upon us, Eat Offbeat has released a picnic box. It serves 6-8 (or less with some awesome leftovers) and includes a build-your-own shawarma kit (with vegan and chicken options), Sri Lankan and Senegalese snacks, sumac brownies, cheese 'n' crackers, a refreshing Venezuelan drink, and your own Eat Offbeat cooler bag. This box is available all summer long or until it gets cold outside again! Shipping in the NYC area only.
Via Lincoln Center's Instagram.
Lincoln Center's return to live performance is underway. Restart Stages is an outdoor performing arts center with 10 distinct spaces. Throughout the month of May, audiences are invited to enjoy performances by Lincoln Center, its resident organizations, cultural and community arts partners, and guest curators from across the five boroughs. As these are intimate shows, seating is limited—so limited that you'll have to enter a TodayTix Lottery. On the plus side, the tickets are free.
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. 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.)
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.
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.
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.
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 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 Northby 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.
Brooklyn-based artist KAWS receives his first ever career survey, looking at his overlaps of fine art, street art, commerce, and pop culture. KAWS: WHAT PARTY highlights a range of output, including drawings, paintings, bronzes, furniture, and monumental wooden sculptures of the beloved COMPANION character. Work never before publicly displayed is also on view, and throughout the exhibition visitors can directly engage with KAWS’s work through Acute Art, an augmented reality app.
AWAKEN AT THE RUBIN
Vajrabhairava; Sino-Tibetan; 15th century or later; polychromed wood; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation and Arthur and Margaret Glasgow Fund; 93.13a–oo.
The tail end of this endless pandemic winter is an excellent time to unplug and enter Awaken: A Tibetan Buddhist Journey Toward Enlightenment. This new show at the Rubin Museum of Art brings together 37 works of art spanning the 7th to the 21st centuries. Sculptures, scroll paintings, illuminated manuscripts, and ritual items encourage the recognition of the idea that everything is interconnected.
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.
Bushwick's The Tiny Cupboard is reprising its live comedy shows. Safety is job one here, so expect limited admission, loads of social distancing, and no food or drink. (All Night Skate down the block is recommended for your pre-gaming.) "Dress like you're going skiing" is the advice and note that these shows do sell out.
GOYA AT THE MET
Image: Seated Giant.
Spanish artist Francisco Goya (1746–1828) was one of the most remarkable figures of his time. You can learn more at the newly opened Met show Goya’s Graphic Imagination, which explores the artist's skills as a draftsman and printmaker. The 100 works on display further show off the way Goya thought about politics, superstition, and intellectual oppression.
JAPANESE ART AT THE MET
Zao Gongen, Heian period (794–1185). The Harry G. C. Packard Collection of Asian Art, Gift of Harry G. C. Packard, and Purchase, Fletcher, Rogers, Harris Brisbane Dick, and Louis V. Bell Funds, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, and The Annenberg Fund Inc. Gift, 1975.
Over the past decade, the Met has transformed its Japanese art collection through a series of gifts and acquisitions. The new exhibition Japan: A History of Style tells that story across centuries of creation. Explore 10 galleries, each highlighting a distinct genre, school, or style. Don't miss the woodblock prints from the Lee E. Dirks Collection and the contemporary metalwork by Living National Treasures and emerging artists.
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.
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
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
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.
We knew there would be speed bumps on the road to recovery and we're experiencing a few now. Caution over the Delta variant, rising case loads in non-vaccinated parts of the country, the CDC's new recommendations, and the continuing restrictions on international travel are all hitches on our way. But they're just hitches. The city's attractiveness to visitors remains strong. The full lineup for the August 21st Homecoming Concert has been announced and it's phenomenal. Expect to see tourists flowing into the city for that event, in addition to many more upcoming returns and openings.
Subway ridership is up and the MTA notes declining crime, back to pre-pandemic levels. (And there will be no fare hike this year.) More signs of return for NYC. The Times this week reports the city is looking to culture to lead the comeback. As the Broadway and Off-Broadway calendars fill in, and more festivals announce dates, that shift is already well underway.
The Met is back over 10,000 visitors a day. Hotels may not be at capacity yet, but they're getting close. As a commenter put it on the Everything To Do NYC Facebook Group this week, "The city has come alive again and it's amazing!" Once again, the reopenings and returns continue to roll in.
There haven't been many ticker tape parades through downtown in recent years, making today's celebration all the more inspiring. At 11am, the city will celebrate our "Hometown Heroes" with a big thank you to healthcare, transit, and all the other frontline workers who kept the city going through the pandemic. Although we are not clear of COVID yet, the success of the July 4th weekend bodes well for recovery.