50 things to do in New York City on a Friday 2012

Every weekend should be a long one with these fab ways to spend a Friday.



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See a film and get popcorn at IFC Center

The organic kernels at this West Village theater are popped in canola oil, lightly salted and bathed in real melted butter. Not in the mood for a movie? Top a pot off with a shake of Old Bay seasoning and be on your way — you don't have to be a ticket holder to score this $5 snack.

  1. 323 6th Ave at W 3rd St
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Catch cabaret at Feinstein's at Loews Regency Ballroom

  • Price band: 4/4

Cabaret's crown prince Michael Feinstein draws A-list talent to this swank room in the Regency. It's pricey, but you usually get what you pay for. The list of past guests include David Hyde Pierce, Chita Rivera, Diahann Caroll and Ben Vereen. On Fridays, enjoy the 8pm show or the late show at 10:30pm.

  1. 540 Park Ave at 61st St
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Have a drink at Brandy Library

  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice

Downtown booze connoisseurs frequent this so-called library, the only one we can think of where liquor lines the walls. A novella-size drinks menu lists a glossary of spirits and 100 cocktail options, among them the Corpse Reviver (gin, lemon juice, Lillet Blonde, Cointreau and Pernod) and the Jarnac Ginger (cognac, bitters and ginger beer). Getting a table earns you a basket of gratis gougères (warm cheese puffs).

  1. 25 North Moore St at Varick St
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Bowl till 4am at Brooklyn Bowl

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

This bowling alley and live music venue fully embraces the new mania for local nostalgia. The space takes its design cues from Coney Island with old freak-show posters and carnival-game relics, and all of the beer sold inside—by Sixpoint, Kelso and the Brooklyn Brewery—is made in the borough. This is a great place to kill a few hours with a big rowdy group: You can tackle a pitcher and the stoner-food menu from the Blue Ribbon team (delicious fatty brisket, Old Bay–fried chicken) laneside between frames. The plush tufted couches are the most luxurious alley seating we’ve ever seen.

  1. 61 Wythe Ave at North 11th St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
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Double up at Tacos Matamoros

Have $5 and an unlimited MetroCard, will travel for tacos: If this describes you (and if it doesn’t, you should take a long, hard look at yourself), head to Sunset Park and the vast Tacos Matamoros. Grab two Vegetarianos ($1.25) and take the tacos—stuffed with rice, beans, cilantro and onions, dusted with two cheeses (one creamy, one crumbly) and laced with a bracing tomatillo salsa—to Sunset Park to watch the sun go down. Mull over which is better, the tacos or a view of the sky changing colors behind a sublime panoramic view of lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty.

  1. 4503 Fifth Ave between 45th and 46th Sts, Sunset Park, Brooklyn (718-871-7627)

Play Ping-Pong at SPiN New York

  • Price band: 2/4

With its 15 Olympic-grade Ping-Pong tables, this sprawling club is one helluva place to grip a paddle.

  1. 48 E 23rd St between Madison and Park Aves
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Eat a weekday-only lunch at the John Dory

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

It might not seem wise to order the roasted-pork sandwich ($16) at a seafood joint, but if it's made by chef April Bloomfield, it's a sure thing. From noon to 4pm, thick slices of succulent loin are piled with macerated red onions and tiny mixed greens on a sturdy round roll, each side slathered with "tuna mayo." Like a tartar sauce times ten, the umami-rich smear is laced with anchovies and flaky wedges of tuna. For more great lunch-only dishes, click here.

  1. 1196 Broadway at 29th St
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Users say


might be helpful to arrange by time of day (afternoon, evening, late night) events where applicable