New York's best things to do and places to go 2012

Our critics and readers have chosen the best things to do in NYC, including parties, shops, parks, live-music venues, shows and more. What are you waiting for?

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  • Photograph: Francine Daveta

    New York's best things to do 2012

    Classiest burlesque joint: Duane Park

     

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    New York's best things to do 2012

    Best summer fling: Dekalb Market

  • Photograph: Edward Yourdon

    New York's best things to do 2012

    Best park in Manhattan: Central Park

  • Photograph: Philip Greenberg

    New York's best things to do 2012

    Best park in Brooklyn: Brooklyn Bridge Park

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    New York's best things to do 2012

    Best food market: Smorgasburg

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    New York's best things to do 2012

    Best addition to the museum scene: Space Shuttle Enterprise on the Intrepid

  • Photograph: Anna Simonak

    New York's best things to do 2012

    Best new designer discount store: New York City Consignment Inc.

    Pictured: Prada polka-dot peep-toe pumps, $250, at NYC Consignment

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    New York's best things to do 2012

    Best escape from the Hell’s Kitchen masses: Fairytail Lounge

  • Photograph: Courtesy of Housing Works Bookstore

    New York's best things to do 2012

    Best venue for quirky book events: Housing Works Bookstore Cafe

  • Photograph: Mindy Tucker

    New York's best things to do 2012

    Best free comedy night: Comedy at KFBK

    Pictured: Host Hannibal Buress

Photograph: Francine Daveta

New York's best things to do 2012

Classiest burlesque joint: Duane Park

 

New York's best things to do 2012

Classiest burlesque joint: Duane Park

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

There’s no shortage of quality free burly-Q shows, but throwing down serious coin has its perks at Duane Park. On Friday and Saturday evenings, the Tribeca hot spot hosts clothes-shedding performances and a live jazz combo while you dine on a three-course meal. The ornate space—outfitted with a glimmering chandelier and white columns—bursts with 1920s-style romanticism. Visit now, before it relocates to the former Bowery Poetry Club in February. • Fri 10pm, Sat 8pm; $75. Sat 10:30pm; $90.—Tim Lowery

  1. 157 Duane St, (between Hudson St and West Broadway)
More info

Best summer fling: Dekalb Market

  • Critics choice

Having debuted in summer 2011, this Downtown Brooklyn complex—with vendors housed in shipping containers—became one of this year’s essential sunny hangs, drawing crowds to its food vendors, picnic tables and brunch happy hour (the cuddly alpaca on opening weekend didn’t hurt either). But the fair stole our heart with inspired programming, spanning top-shelf parties (including fetes from Turntables on the Hudson, the Rub and Dance.Here.Now.), a Rockabilly Night Market hosted by Dances of Vice, bike-in movies, and roller-skating jams with soulful-house legend Danny Krivit and, later, Down & Derby. The location closed for good in October, but thankfully there will be a reunion—Dekalb Market is due to return next year in a new space. • dekalbmarket.com—Jonathan Shannon

Best park in Manhattan: Central Park

  • Critics choice
  • Free

For the first time in recent memory, this heavenly green space has some serious competition. The High Line—designed to embrace the city rather than be a refuge from it—added more sit-down dining options, continued its excellent program of public art and began free screenings of ’80s flicks. But we still can’t bring ourselves to depose Central Park. Where else can you experience such a range of free concerts, take part in countless sports and amble through an incredible variety of landscapes? That said, we advise Olmsted and Vaux to keep a watchful eye on their thrones.—Jonathan Shannon

  1. 59th St to 110th St, (between Fifth and Eighth Aves)
Book online

Best park in Brooklyn: Brooklyn Bridge Park

  • Critics choice
  • Free

We’ll always have a place for you in our hearts, Prospect Park, but our heads have been turned by this developing waterfront playground (as, apparently, has Celebrate Brooklyn!, which now hosts concerts in May at Pier 1, in addition to those at the Prospect Park Bandshell). BBP boasts a carousel, volleyball courts, an improved dock for summer-boating programs and a Bark Hot Dogs concession stand, and will soon add a promenade with grills and sports fields. Of course, the million-dollar views of lower Manhattan are just gravy. Still, we’ll see whether our dalliance with Dumbo will survive the opening of Prospect Park’s Lakeside complex in 2013.—Jonathan Shannon

  1. East River from Jay St at John St to Atlantic Ave at Furman St, Dumbo, Brooklyn
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New York's best things to do 2012: Best food market: Smorgasburg

Best food market: Smorgasburg

  • Critics choice
  • Free

It’s no secret that the Kings County artisanal-edibles scene has blossomed in recent years. That progress is, in large part, thanks to bazaars like this Brooklyn Flea offshoot, which has cultivated an outstanding roster of local purveyors who hawk everything from homemade jams (Anarchy in a Jar) to charcuterie (Charlito’s Cocina). In addition to picking up single ingredients, you can make a meal with dishes from vendors such as Lumpia Shack (Filipino spring rolls are $5–$8) and Schnitz (Bamberg schnitzel sandwiches are $10). Take your cue from Clueless’s Cher Horowitz and do a lap before you commit—but remember that you can always go back for more, so pace yourself accordingly. • Williamsburg Waterfront, 27 North 6th St between the East River and Kent Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Sat 11am–6pm; through Nov 17. • The Tobacco Warehouse, 26 New Dock St at Water St, Dumbo, Brooklyn. Sun 11am–6pm; through Nov 18. • smorgasburg.com—Sarah Bruning

  1. Various venues
  2. Sat, Sun through Nov 18

Best addition to the museum scene: Space Shuttle Enterprise on the Intrepid

  • Critics choice

There are only four once-active space shuttles left, and New York has one of them (suck it, Houston). Having turned heads with a grand entrance worthy of Elton John—a flight over the city and a stately barge ride up the Hudson—the Enterprise is now on view in a pavilion on the former aircraft carrier’s deck. While the surrounding exhibition is a little light (but due to be expanded), just walking around and underneath the prototype is a breathtaking experience, and the raised platform at the nose offers the perfect setting for your next Facebook profile picture.—Jonathan Shannon

  1. Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Pier 86, Twelfth Ave, at 46th St
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Best new designer discount store: New York City Consignment Inc.

  • Price band: 3/4

There are vintage finds and haute bargains galore at this quirky West Village gem. We recently found a yellow chiffon Blumarine tank with Swarovski-crystal detailing for $260 (originally $995), a brand-new black-and-gold Marni clutch for $450 (retail $900) and a tan suede men’s jacket by Gucci for $1,300 (originally $4,000). Unlike at some high-end resellers that can be a tad snooty, shoppers are welcomed over the threshold with colorful gift items, such as Hello Kitty iPhone cases ($10), JellyBath foot soaks ($15) and Trapp scented candles ($25).—Sarah Theeboom

  1. 22 Jones St, (between Bleecker and W 4th Sts)
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Best escape from the Hell’s Kitchen masses: Fairytail Lounge

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Sexy HK boites such as Industry and Therapy sometimes make us feel a little inferior for lacking a sculpted torso and delicately maintained facial hair. Thankfully, local bars Flaming Saddles and Posh are usually filled with guys who are willing to drink American beer in public. But the best respite is the weird outlier Fairytail Lounge. An easy-to-miss entrance belies the psychedelic, pseudo-Victorian enchanted forest waiting inside. Whether you find a mellow happy-hour crowd or a hyper dance party, the vibe is more East Village than midtown, making it the perfect oasis for downtown (and outer-borough) boys slumming above 14th Street.—Ethan LaCroix

  1. 500 W 48th St, (between Tenth and Eleventh Aves)
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Best venue for quirky book events: Housing Works Bookstore Cafe

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice
  • Free

We’ve got nothing against book readings—it’s nice to hear authors discuss their work in a traditional setting—but the offbeat literary events at this Soho bookseller often have a convivial atmosphere that’s as fun for audience members as it is for the presenters. Check out the upcoming Moby-Dick Marathon NYC (various venues and times, visit mobydickmarathonnyc.org for more information; Nov 16–18; free), which treats Housing Works as a port, bringing readers (including TONY Books editor Matthew Love) to the store to share Melville’s classic.—Amy Plitt

  1. 126 Crosby St, (between E Houston and Prince Sts)
More info

Best free comedy night: Comedy at KFBK

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Each Sunday at Williamsburg music venue the Knitting Factory, local stand-up Hannibal Buress closes out the weekend with his pals. It’s a great chance to catch the delightful Buress—who’s headlined much bigger NYC clubs like Carolines on Broadway and the Gramercy Theatre—in a compact, casual environment alongside a mix of both established (Wyatt Cenac, Eric Andre) and rising comedians. Even Robin Williams dropped by to ham it up in October, another testament to the agreeable atmosphere Buress creates.—Tim Lowery

  1. Knitting Factory 361 Metropolitan Ave, at Havemeyer St
  2. Sun Dec 21
More info


Users say

1 comments
bart boudrez
bart boudrez

Very well done,goos information about NY,like it