Best of 2013: Best places to go and things to do in New York City

Your essential guide to NYC is here: Time Out’s best of 2013 picks include New York’s best music venues, shops, museums and more.

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Best things to do this year

  • Photograph: Noffar Gat

    Best of 2013: Time Out New York critics' picks

    Best nontroversy: Citi Bike

  • Photograph: Peter Aaron

    Best of 2013: Time Out New York critics' picks

    Best one-spot-satisfies-all museum: Museum of the Moving Image

  • Best of 2013: Time Out New York critics' picks

    Best DIY learning hub: Brooklyn Brainery

  • Photograph: Courtesy Fashion Institute of Technology

    Best of 2013: Time Out New York critics' picks

    Best free museum: The Museum at FIT

  • Photograph: Kaitlyn Wylde

    Best of 2013: Time Out New York critics' picks

    Best spot for a nostalgia trip: Videology

Photograph: Noffar Gat

Best of 2013: Time Out New York critics' picks

Best nontroversy: Citi Bike

Citi Bike

Best nontroversy: Citi Bike

The haters really came out of the woodwork in the lead-up to the bike-share program’s late-May rollout, ranting loudly and loonily into the Internet echo chamber. Some of the most vitriolic barbs included accusations of civic-government totalitarianism from Wall Street Journal editorial board member Dorothy Rabinowitz, and a suggested rebranding of the DOT as the “Department of Taliban” by SoHo Alliance member Sean Sweeney. But many New Yorkers have quietly approved of their new public transport option in the way that matters most: by using it. Six months after its launch, more than 90,000 people have signed up for an annual membership, and on average, more than 35,000 trips are made each day on the blue two-wheelers. Since Citi Bike is clearly here to stay, we have some advice for the staunchly opposed: Take the subway instead. citibikenyc.com

Best one-spot-satisfies-all museum: Museum of the Moving Image

Cinephiles, couch potatoes and pop-culture aficionados can all find something to love at this Queens attraction, which blends high and low art like no other NYC institution. The permanent collection spans the history of moviemaking, with early technology given equal representation alongside pop-culture artifacts like figurines and lunchboxes. Plus, there are enough interactive stops (make-your-own stop-motion film, playable classic video games, an homage to a 1920s movie palace) to distract the most fidgety gallerygoer. In the next few months, Moving Image is hosting exhibits on the storied Kaufman Astoria Studios (open now) and the year’s best independently produced computer games (opens Dec 14). 718-777-6888, movingimage.us

  1. 36-01 35th Ave, (at 37th St), 11106
More info

Best DIY learning hub: Brooklyn Brainery

Low-cost educational offerings have flourished in New York, but the Brainery—which has been doing the cheap-classes thing since 2010—remains our favorite place for learning something new. Having consolidated its two Brooklyn locations into one Prospect Heights center earlier this year, the Brainery continues to offer lessons on topics as varied as Asian cooking, serial killers and the Gowanus Canal, with the average session costing around $25. Founders Jonathan Soma and Jen Messier are also committed to the broader indie-education community: After 3rd Ward abruptly shuttered in early October, they helped pair displaced teachers with other local resources. brooklynbrainery.com

  1. 190 Underhill Ave, (between St Johns and Sterling Pls), 11238
More info

Best free museum: The Museum at FIT

The exhibition space at the Fashion Institute of Technology punched above its weight with this spring’s “Shoe Obsession” show, which generated the kind of buzz associated with the Met Costume Institute’s annual spring exhibit. The gallery’s greatest strength is its ability to find accessible entry points into the exclusive and often esoteric world of haute couture; its current display, “A Queer History of Fashion” (through Jan 4), and the upcoming “Trend-ology” (opens Dec 3), which examines why certain things become popular, are as much about stimulating your brain as they are about making you appreciate beautiful clothes. 212-217-4558, fitnyc.edu/museum

  1. Seventh Ave, (at 27th St)
More info

Best spot for a nostalgia trip: Videology

Video stores have mostly gone the way of the Automat and the pay phone (which is to say, bye-bye), but Williamsburg’s Videology is still in the game, partially due to a radical overhaul in 2012 that added a bar and a screening room to the rental shop. It’s the perfect place to revisit beloved TV shows such as Twin Peaks and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. For the former, the space hosts a weekly bingo night (Wed 8:30pm, free) rife with doughnuts and damn fine beverages. Agent Cooper would probably order a coffee, but you should get a beer. videology.info

  1. 308 Bedford Ave, (between South 1st and 2nd Sts), 11211
More info


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