You may think NYC is loud and crowded right now (and it is), but wait until you hear what it was like 400 years ago. Unsung.NYC has created a video that imagines what NYC would look and sound like if it had stayed a green park instead of evolving into the metropolis it is today. When Henry Hudson landed in our fair city in 1609, the land was more ecologically diverse than Yellowstone. There were hills, streams, trails and a wide variety of fauna. The American Museum of Natural History used to have actual nature, with marshes and meadows with wolves and bears roaming around, instead of just whatever fits in one measly museum. If early settlers hadn’t colonized NYC, it could’ve been one of the best national parks in the U.S. In the video, you find out the High Line would’ve been covered in water if not for landfill. You hear the green frogs and red-tailed hawks that would still be here if it weren’t for those pesky humans taking over. You can find out what the best NYC parks looked like before they were flattened and drained. If you want to get a tiny taste of what NYC was before it was a city, the video recommends heading way up north to Inwood Hill Park, the closest thing to a forest we have left in NYC.
A famous gossip columnist once told me he knew he’d made it in New York the day he bought an apartment with a washer and dryer. If you’re one of those insufferable New Yorkers who has a washing machine in your apartment—stop reading now. We hate those people, right? That’s because everybody knows doing laundry in the city is a hellish experience, every time. Our collective avoidance of laundry day is why so many of us go to work in clothes that are “clean” (we already wore this shirt one-and-a-half times, hope no one notices!) or pair an evening gown with a hoodie and call it an outfit (it’s all we have left in the closet). I’d kill for the luxury of having in-building laundry amenities, which usually means scrounging for loose quarters before schlepping your giant bag down to a dank basement that the super might lock while your wet clothes are still in the wash, giving them that mildew-fresh scent hours later. For those of us without even that, it’s all about finding your spot. Every laundromat has its quirks. Maybe yours is conveniently located next to a bar. Or maybe it has one broken TV that only plays staticky foreign music videos. Fortunately my laundromat is right across the street from my place, which would be great if last wash weren’t 10 minutes before I get home from work. But what makes my place special is the fact that it has twice the number of washers as dryers, turning Sunday afternoon laundry runs into a hand-to-hand contact sport on my block. Still, New Y
Running smack through the middle of Chelsea’s gallery district, the High Line exhibits its fair share of art installations, but its latest is somewhat depressing, unless you’re into the whole patriarchy thing. To promote its TV series based on Margaret Atwood’s classic dystopian novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, Hulu has enlisted the services of artists Paula Scher and Abbott Miller to design a sort of interactive mural slash book kiosk that's distributing 4,000 paperback editions of Atwood's disturbing vision of a future theocracy in which women's rights have been severely restricted. Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Hulu Scher and Miller's creation consists of a pleated or accordion-shaped structure imprinted with multiple images of one the handmaids envisioned by Hulu’s show, which stars Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss. As passersby take down copies of the book, they reveal messages like “Nolite te Bastardes Carborundorum” (translation: Don’t Let the Bastards Grind You Down), which figures as a slogan of resistance in Atwood's story. The whole affair is lit by fixtures in the shape of the distinctive bonnet worn by Moss’s character, Offred. Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Hulu Think it can't happen here? Maybe not. But if you’re interested in familiarizing yourself with Atwood's chilling vision before streaming the show, you can stop by between now and Sunday to check out the installation at the High Line's 16th Street entrance. Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Hul
Strolling the corridors of the Met, the MoMA or really any NYC museum on a Saturday is an exercise in frustration. First, the person in front of you moves way too slowly—then, someone rounds a corner unexpectedly and cuts you off, nearly causing you to trip and fall into a priceless sculpture. Fighting through the crowds does not make for an enjoyable experience. To really soak up the splendor of the city’s best museums, try booking one of these four priority access tours. The opportunity to ponder works by Francisco Goya, Paul Gauguin, Jackson Pollock, Frida Kahlo and other artists without any disruptions is so worth the price of a ticket. EmptyMet Tour It's tough to appreciate the sheer magnitude of Emanuel Leutze’s “Washington Crossing the Delaware” when you can only catch a glimpse of the painting over someone’s left shoulder. No matter when you visit, the Metropolitan Museum of Art almost always seems crowded; in fact, the museum drew a record-setting 6.7 million visitors in 2016. The only way to find some serenity in the crowded galleries is to book a private, guided tour of the museum before it opens for the day. You’ll see that there’s nothing quite like standing in front of the Temple of Dendur in utter silence. Mornings at MoMA With prominent works like Salvador Dalí’s “The Persistence of Memory” and Vincent van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” in its collection, it’s no wonder that the Museum of Modern Art draws in the crowds. Like the Met, MoMA also offers a guided
The rent freeze that's been in effect for New York's rent-stabilized apartments over the past two years is likely coming to an end. The NYC Rent Guidelines Board, the local body that establishes rent adjustments for the roughly 1 million units in the city that are covered under the 1974 Rent Stabilization Law, cast a preliminary vote on Tuesday to allow for slight increases in rent come October. The board recommended increasing the rent for one-year leases signed between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018 by 1 to 4 percent, and a raise on two-year leases by a factor of 2 to 4 percent. The decision isn't final yet. The board will be hosting a series of five public hearings from June 5 through 19 before voting to approve the rent hikes in a June 27 meeting. The proposed hikes are smaller than what landlord groups have been pushing for, but take into account the rising cost of operating a rent-stabilized building in New York. A study from the Rent Guidelines Board found that the operating cost for such buildings rose by 6.2 percent over the last year, which includes a whopping 25 percent increase in fuel costs. Even with the modest hikes, landlords of many of rent-stabilized apartments have other ways to jack up rents on tenants. The folks over at ProPublica have documented the way in which renters in nearly 30 percent of the city's rent-stabilized units are subject to a loophole that allows for landlords to jack up their rent without much notice. If you worried ab
Dynamite things to do WOW Festival; Apollo Theater; May 4–7; Tickets start at $41 Calling all fierce females: It’s time to celebrate the power of ladies at the Women of the World festival. This year’s lineup includes a tribute concert honoring jazz vocalist Abbey Lincoln, a teen summit hosted by Harlem native Gabourey Sidibe and a night of storytelling with The Moth. Night of 1000 Stevies; Irving Plaza; May 5 at 9pm; Tickets start at $52 Hordes of Stevie Nicks devotees descend on Union Square every year for this enormous fan event. Costumes are encouraged, so bust out the curly blond wigs, sequined dresses and fringed leather jackets and prepare to spend all night singing along to covers of “Landslide” and “Stop Draggin' My Heart Around.” Astor Blaster Silent Disco; Astor Place Cube; May 5; free Don't forget the Alamo—the official name of the Astor Place "Cube"—as it turns 50. Celebrate with a free silent dance party. You'll don wireless headphones (provided on a first come, first serve basis) to get down to three live DJs—or pop on your own headset and dance to the beat of your own drummer before the party continues with specials at local bars. HUMP! Film Festival; Cinema Village; May 5–May 11; $25 Dan Savage’s artist-driven indie-porn fest hits NYC with a new batch of wild, five-minute-or-less picks made by filmmakers with no porn experience. Films like “It's Fucking Complicated” and “I'm Not Poly But My Boyfriends Are” push you outside of your comfort zone, but it’s
As if you needed yet another reason to visit the New York Botanical Garden this spring, here’s one more. By now, you’ve probably traveled to the Bronx attraction to see the stunning glass sculptures created by world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly. But did you know you could admire the legendary creator’s work at after hours? RECOMMENDED: New York Botanical Garden guide Starting this Saturday from 6:30pm to 10:30pm, the New York Botanical Garden welcomes visitors to experience “CHIHULY Nights,” which allows viewers to take in those magnificent structures illuminated amid the garden’s lush greenery. The ongoing evening affair includes extra perks and entertainment such as a rotating lineup of musicians and performers, plus food and adult beverages for purchase. We also highly recommend experiencing these magical works beneath the stars come June 16 during the garden's Jazz & CHIHULY concert series in collaboration with the Catskill Jazz Factory and Absolutely Live Entertainment. Stay tuned for more news! “CHIHULY Nights” starts this Saturday, April 29 and lasts through Saturday, June 24. Get your tickets here.
When you live in NYC, it can be hard to stick to a budget. Luckily, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re looking for a concert, art exhibit, comedy show or even a date idea, there are plenty of places to good time without paying a dime. Here are the best free parties, cultural events and things to do between now and next Wednesday. RECOMMENDED: Free things to do in NYC guide Clockwork Orange screeningRound up your droogs for this showing of Stanley Kubrick’s color-saturated take on the 1962 Anthony Burgess novel. You won’t be able to order Moloko Plus, the drug-laced tipple favored by protagonist Alex (Malcolm McDowell), but you can have your pick from Brooklyn Bazaar’s full bar and restaurant menus: Think buckets of fried chicken and frozen margs served with an onscreen side of dystopian ultraviolence. 150 Greenpoint Ave (bkbazaar.com). Wed 26 at 8pm. BRIC OPEN Festival David Byrne opens the media incubator’s spring celebration with “Reasons to Be Cheerful,” a musing on current affairs. We can already think of one: This entire four-day fest—featuring dance performances, classes, live theater, art and more—won’t cost you a penny (so long as you R.S.V.P.)! BRIC House, 647 Fulton St, Brooklyn (718-683-5600, bricartsmedia.org). Thu 27 7:30–11pm, Fri 28 7–10pm, Sat 29 11am–9pm, Sun 30 1–7:30pm. Sex Myth Busters Happy HourHave sex ed classes left your carnal knowledge lacking? Whether you have pressing issues between the sheets or just want to step up your game, the friendly
Every year the Hot 97 SummerJam invites dozens of hip-hop's biggest names for a blowout concert at New Jersey's MetLife Stadium. 2017 is no exception with artists from Lil Yachty to Fat Joe heading to East Rutherford on Sunday, June 11. There's no Kendrick Lamar or Nicki Minaj topping the bill this year (that honor goes to ...Chris Brown), there's still plenty of good young talent, including D.R.A.M., Migos and NYC based acts like A Boogie, Dave East and Jidenna. In recent years, SummerJam has overlapped with fellow NYC fest Governors Ball, but this time around that's not the case. (It will, however, clash with the last day of Northside Festival across town in Williamsburg.) Tickets go on sale Friday, April 28 at noon. Check out the full lineup below, and keep in mind, SummerJam is a sure bet for plenty of special guests. Hot 97 Summer Jam Stadium StageChris BrownFat Joe & Remy MaMigosDesiignerDJ Khaled & FriendsTrey SongzFrench Montana & FriendsTory LanezJoey Bada$$Funk Flex & FriendsKonshensCharly BlackJidennaFaith Evans Presents 20 Years Of B.I.G. Hot 97 Summer Jam Festival StageYoung M.AA BoogieDon QDave EastLil YachtyD.R.A.M.Pnb RockCasanovaPhresher
The Manhattan Waterfront Greenway circles the borough like a verdant crown. For 32 miles, there’s an almost seamless stretch of bike lanes, greenery and killer views between city and the water that surrounds it. The biggest asterisk in that “almost,” however, has long been the East Side and its space-hogging FDR highway. Now, that asterisk is about to get a bit smaller. Mayor de Blasio announced plans today to significantly narrow the glaring gap in East Side waterfront park space between 41st and 62st Streets. The city will spend $100 million to construct an esplanade stretching from 53rd to 61st Streets. Construction will begin in 2019 and the project is expected to take three years to complete. The pathway, which includes bike lanes, will be built over water and supported by pilings. Check out renderings of the new waterfront green space, opening in approximately 2022, below. Rendering: Courtesy NYC Mayor's Office Rendering: Courtesy NYC Mayor's Office Rendering: Courtesy NYC Mayor's Office