New York attractions: New places to go in NYC in 2012
Find out what’s happening with New York attractions that are debuting this fall, including the Slipper Room and the Public Theater.
Tue Oct 16 2012
Photograph: Aislinn Weidele
RECOMMENDED: View all the New Places to Go and New York Attractions in 2012
Public Theater renovation
What it is: For the past four years, the Public Theater and Ennead Architects have been refurbishing and reconfiguring the company’s Astor Place digs inside and out. The result: a transformed entrance and lobby, and a fancy new cocktail hot spot.
Why you should care: The venerable downtown institution never closed during renovations, allowing programming to remain continuous even as the 158-year-old building was gradually transforming. Unveiled earlier this month, the rejiggered Public’s new outdoor stairway leads into a bright lobby with a centralized box office. At the heart is artist Ben Rubin’s Shakespeare Machine, a “chandelier” composed of 37 LED screens displaying fragments of text from the Bard’s plays. The open floor plan allows easy access to the Public’s main theater, as well as cabaret hub Joe’s Pub. The other big addition is the Library at the Public, a high-class mezzanine-level restaurant and lounge whose name is a nod to the building’s original function as the Astor Library. Lauded chef Andrew Carmellini (the Dutch) spearheaded the pre/postshow spot, which features Lower East Side–inspired cuisine, vintage cocktails and an old–New York vibe. 425 Lafayette St between Astor Pl and E 4th St (212-967-7555, publictheater.org). Open now.—Jenna Scherer