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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  • New York's best things to do 2012

    Best place to eat your feelings: Eataly

     

  • New York's best things to do 2012

    Best place to see Broadway stars up close: 54 Below

  • Photograph: United Artists/Photofest

    New York's best things to do 2012

    Best place to expand your cinematic horizons: Overdue

    Pictured: The Indian Fighter (1955)

  • Photograph: Keetja Allard

    New York's best things to do 2012

    Best small venue to hear top-notch DJs: Le Bain

  • New York's best things to do 2012

    Best beauty mecca: Underground at Le Parker Meridien

    Pictured: Drybar

  • New York's best things to do 2012

    Best place to bump into your favorite local author: Greenlight Bookstore

  • Photograph: Joan Marcus

    New York's best things to do 2012

    Best Broadway ticket for people who don’t like Broadway: Once

  • Photograph: Loren Wohl

    New York's best things to do 2012

    Best of the beast: Saint Vitus

    Pictured: The co-owners of Saint Vitus in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

  • New York's best things to do 2012

    Best documentary programming: Stranger than Fiction

     

New York's best things to do 2012

Best place to eat your feelings: Eataly

 

New York's best things to do 2012

Best place to eat your feelings: Eataly

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The name alone should convince you that this 42,500-square-foot food hall reigns as the supreme locale for stuffing your face, whatever your motivation. Carbophiles can start with pane rustico (small $3.40, large $4.50) from the bread counter, or a heaping square of gooey lasagna ($16) from La Pizza & La Pasta. Cheesehounds and meat lovers can nosh on piatto misto ($22) from La Pizza’s formaggeria and salumeria. When only a dessert binge will do, head to the dolci counter for tiramisu ($5.80, tiramisu cake $23)—or buy a gelato cone ($3.90–$5.90) or cup ($4.90–$6.90) to inhale while listening to Adele on repeat. Your call.—Sarah Bruning

  1. 200 Fifth Ave, (between 23rd and 24th Sts)
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Best place to see Broadway stars up close: 54 Below

  • Price band: 3/4

Even from good (and pricey) orchestra seats, Broadway leads can seem distant, whether they’re wrapped up in a busy production or trapped in a turkey. Get closer to performers at this latest addition to the nightclub-music world: a swank supper club located in the bowels of the legendary Studio 54 space. Managed by a team of top-drawer producers from the Great White Way, the schedule caters exclusively to Broadway and boldfaced talents who want to kick back and sing their favorite tunes.—David Cote

  1. 254 W 54th St, (between Broadway and Eighth Aves), 10019
Book online
New York's best things to do 2012. Best place to expand your cinematic horizons: Overdue. The Indian Fighter (1955)

Best place to expand your cinematic horizons: Overdue

  • Critics choice

Remember the discoveries you used to make while perusing the employee-recommendation section in video stores? Film critics Nick Pinkerton and (former TONY contributor) Nicolas Rapold translate that experience to the big screen with this ongoing series at 92YTribeca, unspooling a double feature of their favorite films—rarities, overlooked gems and once-maligned masterworks. $12. Next events: The Indian Fighter, Nov 17 at 6pm; Play Dirty, Nov 17 at 8pm.—Tim Lowery

  1. 200 Hudson St at Canal St

Best small venue to hear top-notch DJs: Le Bain

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Though an EDM-driven club scene is filling bigger and bigger venues, we prefer more intimate nights out. Head to this penthouse club and terrace atop The Standard to get up close and personal (really personal—like, hugging distance) with underground superstars that have included disco daddy Dimitri from Paris, deep-house kingpin Marques Wyatt and the aurally anarchic DJ Harvey.—Bruce Tantum

  1. 444 W 13th St, (at Washington St)
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New York's best things to do 2012: Best jukebox: Commonwealth

Best jukebox: Commonwealth

  • Critics choice

Prepare to spend at least half an hour scrolling through the selections on this low-key bar’s juke. Many of the curated tracks date back to owner Ray Gish’s days as a bartender at Park Slope’s much-missed Great Lakes; he brought the mix-CDs over when he opened Commonwealth in 2004. Expect to see plenty of indie rock (such as Guided by Voices, Pixies and Pavement), along with Britpop, classic rock and old-school punk. • 718-768-2040, commonwealthbar.com—Amy Plitt

Best beauty mecca: Underground at Le Parker Meridien

  • Critics choice

Busy urbanites with no time to trek throughout the city can get all of their preening done in one place, thanks to this subterranean haven. Popular blowout chain Drybar renders unruly manes sleek and polished with its signature service ($40), which includes a shampoo and flatironing. Meanwhile, hands and feet can get a pick-me-up with manicures ($15–$40) and pedicures ($35–$65) at nail salon Tenoverten. Those in need of some serious pampering can duck into Moonshine Spa for a facial or massage (each 60mins, $135). And guys don’t need to feel left out: Old-school barbershop Sharps offers cuts ($40), beard trims ($25) and straight-razor shaves ($40).—Carolyn Stanley

  1. 119 W 56th St, (between Sixth and Seventh Aves)
Book online

Best place to bump into your favorite local author: Greenlight Bookstore

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

This three-year-old Fort Greene bookseller isn’t just a shop; it’s a local oasis that opened after a community survey found that neighborhood residents wanted a bookstore in the area. Since then, folks have flocked to the space, and that includes some literary heavy hitters: Writers such as Jennifer Egan and Nathan Englander not only hold events at the store, but have been known to browse its shelves as well.—Amy Plitt

  1. 686 Fulton St, (at South Portland Ave)
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Best Broadway ticket for people who don’t like Broadway: Once

  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice

Sure, you have big, splashy spectacles like The Phantom of the Opera, Wicked and Newsies, but Broadway also has a place for more restrained and fashionable musicals. For the indie-rock snob, we recommend this brooding hit, which has an emo-folk score that will be familiar to anyone who saw the 2006 movie. The tale of an Irish singer-songwriter and the Czech immigrant who inspires him, Once is sort of a love story and sort of about showbiz, but it’s never what you expect.—David Cote

  1. Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre 242 W 45th St, between Broadway and Eighth Ave
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Best documentary programming: Stranger than Fiction

  • Critics choice

This expertly curated, long-running screening-and-discussion series brings docs, their filmmakers and—occasionally—their subjects to the IFC Center most Tuesday nights. Over the years, hosts Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen have wrangled some marquee names (Michael Moore, Jonathan Demme, Albert Maysles), but the duo’s ability to spotlight emerging filmmakers is equally impressive. • 212-924-7771, ifccenter.com. $16. Next events: Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills, Thu 1 at 7pm; Gore Vidal: The Man Who Said No, Tue 6 at 8pm; Walk Away Renee, Nov 20 at 8pm.—Tim Lowery

  1. 323 Sixth Ave at 3rd St

Best of the beast: Saint Vitus

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

It’s telling that until a few years ago, the premier spot in town to catch extreme-metal royalty was B.B. King Blues Club & Grill—a well-meaning but somewhat ill-suited club near Times Square. That all changed in spring 2011, when this dark, cozy spot opened on a sleepy stretch of Greenpoint’s Manhattan Avenue. It’s since hosted a staggering array of underground legends, from Yonkers faves Mortician to Virginia’s Deceased and Ireland’s Primordial, as well as the odd punk band or noise act. Headbangers’ bonus: The bar serves bite-sized sammies ($4, two for $7, three for $10) that are the perfect between-set fuel.—Hank Shteamer

  1. 1120 Manhattan Ave, (between Box and Clay Sts), 11222
More info


Users say

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bart boudrez
bart boudrez

Very well done,goos information about NY,like it