Best of NY 2011

Remind yourself why this is the greatest city in the world by experiencing the best of it. We've rounded up 50 of our favorite venues and events, ranging from arts and culture to booze and sex. Grab your friends; you'll want to visit---or revisit---everything here.

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  • Best warehouse party: Blkmarket Membership

    Best warehouse party: Blkmarket Membership

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Best party night to kiss a stranger: Lip Service

    Best party night to kiss a stranger: Lip Service

  • Best concert auditorium: Carnegie Hall

    Best concert auditorium: Carnegie Hall

  • Best place to remember why you love Manhattan: The High Line

    Best place to remember why you love Manhattan: The High Line

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Best place to forget that you're in New York City: Fort Tryon Park. Pictured:...

    Best place to forget that you're in New York City: Fort Tryon Park. Pictured: The Cloisters in Fort Tyron Park

  • Best informal classroom: Brooklyn Brainery

    Best informal classroom: Brooklyn Brainery

  • Best touristy venue: Empire State Building

    Best touristy venue: Empire State Building

  • Photograph: Michael Kirby

    Best view of New York City: Brooklyn Bridge

    Best view of New York City: Brooklyn Bridge

  • Photograph: Prospect Park Alliance

    Best collective backyard: Prospect Park

    Best collective backyard: Prospect Park

  • Photograph: Courtesy the New York Transit Museum

    Best New York--focused museum: New York Transit Museum

    Best New York--focused museum: New York Transit Museum

Best warehouse party: Blkmarket Membership

Best warehouse party: Blkmarket Membership


 

Warehouse party: Blkmarket Membership
This nomadic soiree brings top-notch, genre-defying artists, primarily from Europe, to NYC. This Dec 2, look for Germany's groovy, left-field whiz DJ Koze, who returns after making his U.S. debut at a Blkmarket New Year's Eve shindig. The promoters deserve kudos for maximizing their excellent bookings with a booming, crystal-clear sound system, professional lighting rig and extended set times, allowing the DJs the space to treat the crowd to a wild musical journey. Next event: Fri 4 with Marco Carola. Location TBA, R.S.V.P. to blknov4th@gmail.com (blkmarketmembership.com). 10pm; advance $16.90--$22.50, at the door TBA.

Party night to kiss a stranger: Lip Service
House of Scorpio, the kinky offshoot of the Gemini & Scorpio parties, hosts this naughty and nice make-out mixer at the seductively lit Madame X. A happy hour with beer ($4) and suggestively named cocktails like Pussy Galore ($5) will calm your nerves, and games of spin the bottle will break any ice that's left. Attendees must come in pairs or trios to attend. Dress creatively to make it past the door—you'll be mingling with a high-end, artsy clientele looking to lock lips with more of the same. 94 W Houston St between La Guardia Pl and Thompson St (houseofscorpio.com). 10pm; $12, with R.S.V.P. via House of Scorpio's website $8.

Concert auditorium: Carnegie Hall
Hard to believe that in 1960, Carnegie Hall was at risk for demolition to make way for one more soulless skyscraper. Thanks to the legendary violinist Isaac Stern, whose name now graces the venue's 2,804-seat main auditorium, the concert hall that once hosted Tchaikovsky (during its opening-night concert in May 1891), Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington and the Beatles survived. The world's greatest orchestras, instrumentalists and singers continue to honor its three stages (including the gemlike Weill Recital Hall and the chic subterranean Zankel Hall); lately, a growing number of prominent world-music acts and even rock bands have been added to the mix. 154 W 57th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves (212-247-7800, carnegiehall.org)

Place to remember why you love Manhattan: The High Line
There's something uniquely New York about this elevated park, the second section of which was completed earlier this year. Built atop an abandoned railway track, the space is ingenious for its use of reclaimed industrial detritus, a necessity in space-starved Manhattan. But what we like best is how the park takes you above the city while still keeping you rooted in urban life: Where else can you walk through a field of wildflowers or sprawl on a lush lawn as cabs zoom along the street beneath you? From Washington St at Gansevoort St to Tenth Ave at 30th St (thehighline.org). Through Nov 30: Daily 7am--10pm. Beginning Dec 1: Daily 7am--7pm.

Place to forget that you're in New York City: Fort Tryon Park
This 67-acre expanse was built on land acquired and developed by John D. Rockefeller Jr., who also purchased the New Jersey acreage facing the park to ensure that its vistas would remain beautiful. It's crammed with gardens, forests and other quiet nooks that are perfect for chilling out, and no visit here is complete without a stop by the magical Cloisters, an outpost of the Metropolitan Museum of Art that focuses on medieval works. Margaret Corbin Circle, Fort Washington Ave at Cabrini Blvd (forttryonparktrust.org)

Informal classroom: Brooklyn Brainery
The sessions at this laid-back Kings County school are cheaper and cooler than your typical continuing-education class, which is precisely why we love them. Taught by a team of enthusiasts in various fields—including teachers, chefs, makeup artists and graphic designers—courses run the gamut from practical (how to cut hair, crochet basics) to just plain silly. In October, the Brainery hosted "Disaster Strikes New York," a lecture on the destruction of New York City as depicted in film. We're guessing that's not something you'd learn at NYU. 515 Court St at 9th St, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn (brooklynbrainery.com)

Touristy venue: Empire State Building
No mere sightseeing spot, this 80-year-old landmark is simply one of the most stunning buildings in New York City. Even though more modern skyscrapers have sprung up around it, the building's Art Deco flourishes—check out the lobby, restored to its original gilded splendor in 2009—and sheer size cause us to crane our necks and stare upward every time we pass by. The views from the building's observatory decks (on the 86th and 102nd floors) have always been among the city's best. 350 Fifth Ave between 33rd and 34th Sts (212-736-3100, esbnyc.com)

View of New York City: Brooklyn Bridge
There are higher vantage points in the city, but for a true panorama, take a stroll across this national landmark. From the midpoint of the massive suspension bridge, you'll have spectacular sight lines of most of the city's east side, including Brooklyn Heights, Dumbo and lower Manhattan. Keep an eye out for other noteworthy sites, such as Governors Island, the Statue of Liberty and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. Enter at Park Row and Centre St (nyc.gov)

Collective backyard: Prospect Park
Urban visionaries Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux designed numerous NYC green spaces—most famously Central Park—but we're partial to bucolic Prospect Park. Amenities like the Long Meadow and Nethermead offer plenty of space to pull up on a patch of grass and indulge in some people-watching, and the woodland expanse of the Ravine is a towering forest within bustling Brooklyn. But we also have to give props to Robert Moses: The controversial city planner was behind some of the park's kid-friendly offerings, including the zoo and Wollman Rink (which is scheduled to reopen in late 2012 or early 2013 after an extensive renovation). Eastern Pkway to Caton Ave, Prospect Park West to Flatbush Ave, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-965-8951, prospectpark.org)

New York--focused museum: New York Transit Museum
This institution is a reminder of the sheer amount of work required to keep the subway moving—something that's easy to forget in an era of fare increases and service decreases. Exhibits trace the history of public transit in the greater metropolitan region, while the location—a subway station that was decommissioned in the 1940s—allows the museum to showcase its excellent collection of vintage subway cars. Boerum Pl at Schermerhorn St, Downtown Brooklyn (718-694-1600, mta.info/museum)

Users say

2 comments
maria
maria

I have a Great experience meeting different people!