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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.

Brandy Library

RECOMMENDED: The most up-to-date 150 weekend activities in NYC

Browse art or watch movies for free at MoMA

Critics' pick

Leave Andrew Jackson at home and visit MoMA for free between 4 and 8pm every Friday night. You’ll still need to get in line for entry and film tickets, but get there as the clock strikes four and you’ll be fine.

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Midtown West

Bowl till 2am at Harlem Lanes

The 24 alleys and nice I'm-drunk-and-need-snacks-now menu options make Harlem Lanes the perfect destination for uptowners who don't feel like trekking out of the neighborhood for tenpin goodness.

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Midtown West

Experience Girls & Boys at Webster Hall

One of the most popular regular parties in the city also offers one of the biggest discounts. Girls & Boys at Webster Hall, which draws high-profile international acts like Simian Mobile Disco, The Crystal Method and Liquid Stranger, allows you to sign up via the Webster Hall website to gain entry for $5 before 11pm, and $10 before 12am.

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Downtown

Sing along to show tunes at Marie’s Crisis Café

Critics' pick

If you like how people in musicals can go without warning from normal conversation to singing their hearts out, this is the West Village bar for you. One minute, the barmaid is pouring you a drink, the next she’s belting out “Me and Bobby McGee.” The main attraction of this basement joint is the piano, around which show-tune lovers gather nightly, starting at 5:30pm.

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Get spooked at Sleep No More

Critics' pick

A multitude of searing sights crowd the spectator's gaze at this bedazzling and uncanny theater installation; your sense of space and depth — already compromised by the half mask that audience members must don —is further blurred as you wend through more than 90 discrete spaces, ranging from a cloistral chapel to a vast ballroom floor.

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McKittrick Hotel, Chelsea Until Thursday December 31 2015

Slurp oysters for cheap at Fish

An anomaly on a tourist-trap street, this small, nautically decorated restaurant delivers what it promises: $2 oysters (especially the Japanese varieties) that are reliably good. $8 gets you six oysters and a glass of wine or beer.

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West Village

Listen to jazz at Bemelmans Bar at the Carlyle Hotel

Choice acts keep New York’s most dapper nightspot on the map, while the steep cover charge and white-jacketed service make sure riffraff doesn’t scuff up the bar’s most valued draw: original Ludwig Bemelmans murals. Mixologist Brian Van Flandern’s spiffy (and pricey) potions preserve the bar’s classic character.

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Lenox Hill

Bounce

Critics' pick

Mike Stefan, DJ Syne and Salted's Joe Pompeo are the resident spinners at Le Poisson Rouge's Gallery Bar, where they'll be rockin' house-music beats from quitting time till bedtime. E-mail bouncenyclist@gmail.com to get on the reduced-admission list.

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The Wild Ones

Critics' pick

Samuel Valentine and Michael T are the DJs behind this messy rock & roll shindig (with an emphasis on ’80s-era hair metal) featuring trashy go-go action and lots of heavy drinking.

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Ride your steed at Critical Mass

Join other pedal pushers for a public bike ride, to assert your rights as a cyclist and your right to have an enjoyable cycle with a friendly crew. The Manhattan event happens the last Friday of every month at 7pm, and the more open, less traffic-clogged Brooklyn ride is on the second Friday of every month.

Enjoy apertivo at Dell'anima

Splurge on, say, a $12 tipple of Aperol or Six Points Sweet Action and you could make an early dinner out of the complimentary Italian snacks—like frittata triangles, citrus-and-fennel salad, and mixed olives.

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West Village

Go for some deep relaxation at the Integral Yoga Institute

Wind down every Friday with a peaceful, gratis 45-minute deep relaxation class. The session begins with gentle stretching, then moves on to a long period of yoga nidra (deep relaxation) and concludes with breathing practices and a brief meditation. Arrive early—the class fills up fast.

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West Village

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.

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Catch cabaret at Feinstein's at Loews Regency Ballroom

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.

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Lenox Hill

Have a drink at Brandy Library

Critics' pick

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).

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Tribeca

Bowl till 4am at Brooklyn Bowl

Critics' pick

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.

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Williamsburg

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.

Eat a weekday-only lunch at the John Dory

Critics' pick

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.

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Midtown

Drink on rooftops

Take advantage of New York's enviable views by getting buzzed at a rooftop bar. Among Manhattan's wealth of hotel toppers, we recommend Upstairs on the 31st floor of the Kimberly. The urbane setting, with ivy-covered walls and nary a cabana in sight, is best experienced at night, when the canopy of lightbulbs strung above the terrace sets off the sight of the Chrysler Building. For more great vistas, check out our guide to rooftop bars in New York.

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Midtown East

Wander among masterworks at The Frick Collection

Critics' pick

Once the stately residence of Gilded Age industrialist Henry Clay Frick, this Upper East Side institution is now home to its patron's world-class collection of art, particularly paintings by Old Masters (including Johannes Vermeer and Giovanni Bellini). Once you've perused the museum's galleries, head to the Portico Gallery, a small space that opened in late 2011. The narrow room houses a collection of Meissen porcelain, but you can also admire the flowers blooming in the adjacent Fifth Avenue Garden.

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Lenox Hill

Sweat it out at Body by Brooklyn

Weekends are all about new beginnings, and there's no better place to achieve catharsis than in a spa. At Body by Brooklyn, you can spend Friday nights until 9pm cycling through a Swedish dry sauna, a Turkish steam room, pools galore and a lounge. To really pay penance, ask for the platza treatment to be brushed and gently beaten with a bundle of oak leaves ($40, with sea salt scrub $80) before being drenched in ice-cold water—invigorating doesn't come close to describing it.

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Midtown East

Drink on the waterfront

Sun-deprived city slickers can pretend they're boozing oceanside at Beekman Beer Garden Beach Club. The former Water Taxi Beach location has kept the 300 pounds of sand left by its former occupant, but the rejiggered drinkery now features a menu from Buddakan alum Jason Mayer. Settle into a communal wood table with a wurst, burger or lobster roll, or hit up one of the game tables for a round of Ping-Pong, pool or foosball. Beer lovers can grab one of six drafts—such as Sixpoint Crisp Lager, Ommegang Witte Beer and Magic Hat #9—at two long driftwood bars.

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Financial District

Comments

1 comments
Liz
Liz

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