Everything you need to know about visiting the High Line (New York, NY). In a city famously known as a concrete jungle with crowded streets, astronomical property rates and few green spaces, the High Line is a key example of New York’s willingness to transform, adapt and innovate. Why is it called the High Line?The 1.45 mile-long park, which first opened in 2009, was originally created entirely on an abandoned elevated train track, snaking above the otherwise industrial West Side neighborhoods (Meatpacking, Chelsea, Hudson Yards). Today millions clamour for the dazzling views of the Hudson River, downtown New York’s skyline and, for some voyeurs, the guest rooms at the Standard Hotel. Artists, who were already flocking to Chelsea’s gallery scene, have found an appreciative audience with massive murals, abstract sculptures and a few performance pieces cropping up around and within view of the park. Recently one of the city’s most distinguished cultural institutions The Whitney Museum of American Art recently moved within view of The High Line. When should I go?The spot is most popular during the warm months. While the flowers and plants–a selection that is mostly indigenous to the region–are in bloom, the wood lounge chairs are coveted. Sunset is also a very popular time, so, if you can, try for a morning or afternoon walk. Can I eat and drink there?Yes! Something about the smell of fresh greenery makes treats from artisanal vendors selling ice cream and original sodas tas
Everything you need to know about visiting Central Park (59th St to 110th St, NY 10023). Central Park has it all: 843 acres. Nearly 40 million annual visitors. Twenty-nine sculptures. More than 25,000 trees. The massive National Historic Landmark is located smack-dab in the middle of Manhattan, and it is home to everything from an ice-skating rink to a swimming pool and hosts events like the New York City Marathon and outdoor SummerStage concerts. You could spend days in the park without seeing everything, and it’s open year-round with activities for every season. We could go on—we haven’t even mentioned Belvedere Castle or the Metropolitan Museum of Art yet—but you should really just go see it for yourself. Spend the day on the waterLocated on the shore of The Lake at 72nd Street, the picturesque Loeb Boathouse near the equally iconic Bethesda Fountain has been the setting of plenty of NYC movies, and for good reason. But it’s not just a pretty place: There are water sports right there in the middle of Manhattan. Head there to rent a rowboat or take a gondola tour, or just sit at the outdoor bar and sip a cocktail while watching everyone else struggle with their oars. See a show at sunsetYes, Shakespeare in the Park is found in this park. The essential free outdoor show is having a prolific 2017, with the much-discussed Julius Caesar and A Midsummer Night’s Dream in July. Yes, you have to line up at the crack of dawn to get tickets to the Public Theater’s productions at
Everything you need to know about visiting the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (990 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225). Those searching for a little peace and quiet would do well to spend a few hours at this verdant oasis. The garden—which abuts two other neighborhood gems: the Brooklyn Museum and Prospect Park—was founded in 1910 and features thousands of types of flora, laid out over 52 acres. RECOMMENDED: 50 best New York attractions What are the most popular things to see here?Each spring, crowds descend on the space for the Sakura Matsuri Festival, during which more than 70 trees bloom along the Cherry Esplanade. But equally impressive are serene spots like the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, the first Japanese-inspired garden built in the U.S., and the Shakespeare Garden, brimming with plants (such as primrose and crocuses) mentioned in the Bard’s works. Start your journey at the Visitor’s Center, an eco-friendly portal (it has a green roof filled with 45,000 plants) that opened in May 2012. What else should I do?Eat at the recently opened, veggie-focused Yellow Magnolia Café (or the more casual canteen). Shop for trees, shrubs, flowers and more at the Garden Shop next to the visitors center, and ask for help with your green thumb. There's also daily guided tours of seasonal flora, and the garden is a perfect place for families (but no picnics allowed, sadly). What to do nearby:You can walk to all of these spots in thirty minutes or less!-Stroll through nearby Prospec
New York's first dim sum house opened in 1920 on a rough crook of gang-riddled Doyers Street. But the bakery and tea shop, at least, had a sweet reputation: Its almond cookies and moon cakes were legendary. Over its near century in business, ownership of the parlor has remained among the restaurant family to preserve its traditions. Back in 2010, the stalwart was refreshed with a new interior (vintage lamps, framed archival photographs) and remodeled menu showcasing made-to-order plates rather than dim sum en masse. Nom Wah is completely unlike the chaotic banquet halls that dominate Chinatown's dim sum scene. Instead, the dining room is much more charming and welcoming, from the checkered tablecloths over Art Deco tables to the couples huddled beneath old posters of a glam Chinese movie star. The food, too, stands apart; the dim sum here tastes fresher and is more affordable than the competition. Try the ultra-fluffy oversize roasted-pork bun, the flaky fried crepe egg roll and the tender stuffed eggplant filled with a spiced shrimp-and-squid mixture. Plus, it keeps the small plates coming long after other dim sum joints have closed their doors.
This cabaret-style venue commits itself curtain and soul to the nouveau burlesque scene, so if you stumble across a pile of pasties and glitter on the Lower East Side, you're probably somewhere nearby.
This one’s for the little guys: Many of CMOM’s exhibits are geared to tots ages six and under, including a Dora the Explorer play area. But with five floors of exhibits, there’s fun for big kids, too. The museum also hosts traveling exhibits.
NYC's unbeatable comedy bastion moved its Chelsea HQ to Hell's Kitchen in late 2017. Expect the same steady lineup of bonkers improv, sketch and solo shows every night from young and veteran performers.
Considering the MoMA’s reputation for having one of the world’s finest collections of art from the 18th century through today, it’s no surprise that around nearly every corner of the venerated museum is a seminal piece by an artist trumpeted in art history or coveted by contemporary collectors. During the height of tourist season, around Christmas and again in late spring and summer, expect a shoving-match just to catch a momentary glance at Van Gogh’s Starry Night or Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. Special exhibitions, including retrospectives of masters like surrealist René Magritte and large installations like the blockbuster Rain Room, have enough draw that some people will wait for hours just for the one exhibit. Meanwhile, no matter the time of year or temporary display, cash-strapped New Yorkers come in droves at the end of the work-week for free friday nights (4pm-8pm). If you really want to experience the museum and all it has to offer go on a weekday and buy your all-inclusive ticket online ($25). You’ll skip the line and find yourself unencumbered as you stop to contemplate the meaning of time in front of Salvador Dali’s melted-clock painting The Persistance of Memory or checking out the movie times in the attached theater.
Everything you need to know about visiting Chelsea Market (75 Ninth Ave, New York, NY 10011). The former home of the National Biscuit Company is a hot spot for foodies and shopping addicts. Primarily known for its wide-range of eateries, Chelsea Market is hands-down one of New York’s most notable food halls boasting more than 35 vendors. Whether you’ve got a hankering for a steaming-hot cup of lobster bisque, perfectly aged cheese or a strong and smooth shot of espresso, Chelsea Market has you covered. Aside from finger-lickin’ fare and sweet merchandise, the attraction offers historical charms such as the market’s iconic fountain, which was crafted using discarded drill bits and exposed pipe from the former Nabisco factory. The grub: Mexican food lovers, rejoice! Chelsea Market is home to one of the best taco joints in the city: Los Tacos No.1. Next time you’re craving crepes, hit Bar Suzette for its French onion soup-inspired creation or opt for a sweet, Nutella and fruit-filled pancake. Seafood worshippers will go nuts inside The Lobster Place—a wholesale and retail fish market, which serves fresh and prepared meals like lobster roll and sushi. When you need to oblige your sweet tooth, hit the pint-sized Doughnuttery stand for mouth-watering bite-sized desserts. (You can watch the doughnuts come fresh off the conveyor belt and choose your own toppings.) The market also reps great restaurants like a rustic, classy spot called The Tippler. The shops: Chelsea Market i
Everything you need to know about visiting the New York Hall of Science (47-01 111th St, Queens, New York, 11368). Dating back to the 1964 Worlds Fair, this 100,000-square-foot all-ages science museum truly has something for every type of science nerd. Browse more than 450 exhibits to learn about technology, sports, marine biology and climate change, and don’t miss the surprisingly engaging award-winning display on math. Rotating pop culture exhibits on topics ranging from Angry Birds to female robots in media make every visit unique. A 3-D theater showing an ever-changing roster of documentaries on science-related topics (think: extreme weather, engineering, robotics) offers a well-deserved break during a day of exploring this enormous museum. Adult tickets are $16 with children under 17; students and seniors are $13. Visit on Fridays from 2 to 5pm or Sundays 10 to 11am for free entry. Throw back to biology class While the museum’s vast range of exhibits are packed with more than enough artifacts and interactive items to keep you engaged during a day’s visit, if you prefer the theater to a museum, consider scheduling your visit around NYSCI’s live demonstrations. Observe the dissection of a cow’s eye, learn what actually makes airplanes fly, watch a dull household item get repurposed into something you probably never imagined and more at these hourly demos. Leave feeling a little more educated and inspired. Additional weekly events like Make It Fridays allow for hands-on l
The CMA's 10,000-square-foot home has more than enough room to house its 2,000-piece collection of international children's art, including a huge center gallery to display it in. Artists lead workshops in classrooms, studios or media lab—that has a sound station, clay bar and video-making equipment. Kids can work their bodies as well as their minds on the museum's second floor, where they'll find interactive art displays and a ball pit.
RECOMMENDED: 50 best New York attractions This legendary house of worship counts Presidents, movie stars and business moguls among past and present attendees. While its intricate marble towers are a marvel of Gothic Revival architecture, St. Pat’s interior—including the Louis Tiffany–designed altar and spectacular rose window—is tremendous as both a feat of master craftsmanship and a source of spiritual inspiration.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building The century-old main branch of the NYPL is about as regal a setting for reading—either on your laptop or those old dusty things called books—as you’ll find in the city. Two massive Tennessee-marble lions, dubbed Patience and Fortitude, flank the main portal and have become the institution’s mascots. Once inside, check out the cavernous Rose Main Reading Room, spanning almost 300 feet and outfitted with chandeliers and stunning ceiling murals. Though it’s a classy setting in most instances, it’s also where Bill Murray uttered, “Are you, Alice, menstruating right now?” and “Back off, man, I’m a scientist” in Ghostbusters. Free guided tours (at 11am and 2pm) stop at Rose Main Reading Room and the Bill Blass Public Catalog Room, which offers free internet access. Lectures, author readings and special exhibitions are definitely worth checking out.
This Australian-leaning watering hole sits on the border between Greenpoint and Williamsburg. Known for its massive outdoor rooftop bar overlooking the Manhattan skyline, the bar offers an extensive cocktail menu, including frozen drinks during the summer, local brews on tap, and Aussie-inspired fare such as 'meat pies', 'lamb lollies' and 'chips.'
This unassuming wharfside tavern has been passed down in the Balzano family since 1890. On weekends, the bar buzzes with middle-aged and new-generation bohemians (the latter distinguished by their PBR cans), and the odd salty dog (canines, not sailors). Despite the nautical feel, you’re more likely to hear bossa nova or bluegrass than sea chanties warbling from the speakers.
The Chelsea Waterside Park Play Area reopened in August 2018 after nearly a year of renovations, and the neighborhood’s littlest residents are certainly taken advantage of the $3.4 million upgrades, including spray areas, climbing features and a funky multi-colored pipefish, who we can find in the Hudson River Park Estuary. All ages.
A seven-minute ride on a free ferry takes you to this seasonal island sanctuary, a scant 800 yards from lower Manhattan. Thanks to its strategic position in the middle of New York Harbor, Governors Island was a military outpost and off-limits to the public for 200 years. It finally opened to summer visitors in 2006. The verdant, 172-acre isle still retains a significant chunk of its military-era architecture, including Fort Jay, started in 1776, and Castle Williams, which was completed in 1812 and used as a prison. The 22-acre area containing the forts and historical officers’ residences is now a national landmark. Today, the island is jointly run by the city, the state and the National Park Service, and it provides a peaceful setting for cycling (bring a bike on the ferry, or rent from Bike and Roll once there). The island hosts a program of events, such as concert series and art exhibitions (see website for schedule), and where else can you have a picnic directly across from the Statue of Liberty?
The American Museum of Natural History's Rose Center was founded in 2000. It is home to the Hayden Planetarium, daily Space Shows and an IMAX auditorium.
When it was founded in 1899, the BCM was the country’s first museum specifically made for children. Today it’s one of the most comprehensive, with a permanent collection of 30,000 objects, including musical instruments, masks, dolls and fossils. Kids have fun while learning (sneaky!) at interactive exhibits like “World Brooklyn,” a pint-size cityscape lined by faux stores where young’uns can weigh ingredients and knead pretend dough at the Mexican Bakery, or shop for cans of Indian ghee and Turkish candy at the International Grocery.
Thanks to BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn!, the Prospect Park Bandshell is to Brooklynites what Central Park SummerStage is to Manhattan residents: the place to hear great music in the great outdoors. Huge names routinely perform all summer long—often for free—from indie-rock royalty to hip-hop and soul veterans.
Situated behind the New York Public Library is Bryant Park, a well-cultivated retreat that hosts a dizzying schedule of free entertainment during the summer, including the popular Monday night outdoor movies. In the winter, look for an ice skating rink and pop-up shops for the holidays. The park also boasts free wireless access.
Sitting just a ferry ride away from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, this Staten Island gem, a former home for retired sailers, is still somewhat of a secret. Spread across 83 acres, the area boasts an enormous botanical garden and cultural center surrounded by cobblestone streets and tiny paths of Victorian and Tudor homes. One of the most popular attractions here is the Chinese Scholar’s Garden, fitted with magnificent rocks meant to resemble mountains inspired by the poetry and paintings of Confucian, Buddhist and Taoist monks, as well as a bamboo forest path and Koi-filled pond.
This strip of waterfront park stretches from Battery Park to 59th Street, allowing you to walk, bike or skate while looking at the Hudson River and New Jersey. There are flowers, benches, piers and lots of programs—including youth sports and kayak rides in the river.
Everything you need to know about visiting Prospect Park (Brooklyn, NY). Urban visionaries Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, who most famously designed Central Park, also put their stamp on bucolic, 526-acre Prospect Park. Amenities like the Long Meadow and Nethermead offer plenty of space to pull up on a patch of grass and indulge in some people-watching, and the woodland expanse of the Ravine is a towering forest within bustling Brooklyn. But we also have to give props to Robert Moses: The controversial city planner was behind some of the park’s kid-friendly offerings, including the zoo and LeFrak Center at Lakeside, where roller skating and ice skating goes down. What to do nearby:You can walk to all of these spots in about a half hour, no matter where you are in the park.-Take a pedal boat ride at Lakeside Brooklyn.-Stroll over to the Prospect Park Zoo.-Go roller skating (or ice skating) at Lakeside at Prospect Park. -Peep the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Arch at Grand Army Memorial Plaza. -Breathe in all that fresh hair at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. -During warmer months, see a show at Prospect Park Bandshell.-Ride on the Prospect Park Carousel Where to eat:Try one of the best restaurants near Prospect Park Where to drink:Try one of the best bars near Prospect ParkWant some more Prospect Park history?About 2,000 people are buried in Prospect Park. Since the 1840s (and possibly before) Quakers have been burying their dead in an NYC cemetery owned and
If you're searching for proof that New Yorkers have been yearning for simpler times, look no further than this old-timey soda fountain. At the antique-filled apothecary—rehabbed by siblings Peter "Petey" Freeman and Gia Giasullo, with the help of reality TV show Construction Intervention—nostalgists can transport themselves to a Rockwellian universe, where sweethearts dip straws into a single egg cream and scrappy dogs lap up their master's milk shake drippings. Plus, there's an emphasis on seasonal, local ingredients—just like in the old days.