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The best things to do in NYC this week

The best things to do in NYC this week include shopping at a French holiday market at Battery Park, drinks at a queer variety show and a free swing dancing night to make your weekdays feel like weekends.

By Collier Sutter and Shaye Weaver |
Zach Teague and Drew Lausch
Photograph: Courtesy Carly Hoogendyk Zach Teague and Drew Lausch

We could have made this edition of the best things to do in NYC this week at least 50 items long, but we were able to restrain ourselves to help you narrow down your plans. First, head to the Alsace Christmas Market to start your holiday shopping. Then, for a good time, catch a queer variety show at Chelsea Music HallYou can also try out swing dancing to live music at Dekalb Market Hall. 

RECOMMENDED: Full list of the best things to do in New York

Best things to do in NYC this week

Alsace Holiday Market
Courtesy Nis&For
Shopping, Markets and fairs

Alsace Christmas Market

Bowling Green Park, Financial District

The cozy and festive atmosphere of an authentic French Christmas market from Strasbourg, the Marché de Noël de Strasbourg-Alsace, has taken on New York City. The newly arrived market is good for handcrafted ornaments from Strasbourg, pottery from Soufflenheim and Betchdorf, fine table linens from Colmar, and candies, jams, baked goods and more. While there, grab a cup of hot mulled glühwein, Alsatian craft beer or Hugel Family wine and snack on steaming hot chestnuts, hearty sausages and potatoes, choucroute and tarte flambée and more. Each vendor is housed in a wooden chalet shipped from overseas, too.

Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol, p.3,  MA 97
Courtesy The Morgan Library & Museum
Things to do

Charles Dickens's Christmas Carol manuscript

The Morgan Library & Museum, Murray Hill

One of the most pleasurable aspects of viewing the original manuscript of this remarkable classic is being able to see where Dickens edited his own writing; look for crossed-out sections and revisions that reveal this master's thought process. A few years ago the museum began to advance the displayed passage by one page each year, starting with page one. This year, the manuscript will be open to page three, which includes the first instance of 'Bah! Humbug' in the novella. "For many New Yorkers, viewing the original manuscript of A Christmas Carol at the Morgan is a time-honored holiday tradition," said Philip Palmer, the Morgan's Robert H. Taylor Curator and Department Head of Literary and Historical Manuscripts. "Beholding such an important artifact of literary history in J. Pierpont Morgan's Library is indeed a magical experience for our visitors. This book is not only the iconic Christmas tale but also one of the collection's greatest treasures, on par with the Gutenberg Bible and Lindau Gospels (both also currently on display)."

Zach Teague and Drew Lausch
Photograph: Courtesy Carly Hoogendyk

Häus Party: A Comedy Show at Chelsea Music Hall

Chelsea Music Hall, Chelsea

Zach Teague and Drew Lausch welcome you to their new variety show, a queer spectacle that's certain to give you life on a Monday night. Joining the two stunt queens for lewks, drag and stand-up are Larry Owens, Rachel Sennott, Julia Shiplett, Carol & Mart, Ruby McCollister, Elektralite, with beats by DJ Jenny Lion.

Things to do

Women in Wine pizza night

High Street on Hudson, West Village

Join in on pizza night with female winemakers and leading sommeliers, like Melissa Weller of High Street on Hudson and Ellen Yin of High St. Hospitality, who will pair their natural wines with clam pizza, red sauce pies and others. Proceeds benefit Women in Hospitality United.

Photograph: Courtesy Dumbgood
News, City Life

Relive the 90s at this Blockbuster pop-up coming to Soho

The good old days of hitting up the nearest Blockbuster may be long gone, but for 10 days, those nostalgic for the video rental store can relive simpler times at a pop-up in Soho. From Dec. 6 to 15, 1990s fans can shop for official merchandise by Dumbgood, a lifestyle and streetwear brand, and Blockbuster, including graphic fleece sets, long-sleeved rugby polos, logo embroidered T-shirts, a two-tone mini-sling backpack, a reusable Blockbuster VHS tote, “Be Kind, Rewind” tube socks, VHS iPhone cases, coffee mugs and Nalgene water bottles—which range in price from $12 to $368. There will also be an assortment of merchandise featuring popular titles like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Cruel Intentions, Goosebumps, Titanic and Seinfeld. The pop-up is made to mimic the set-up of a classic Blockbuster franchise store, of which there is only one left in the world (it’s in Oregon), but instead of waiting in line next to candy, you'll find gold-plated VHS chain necklaces and logo-branded sweatpants. “Our mission is to help people transcend brand and trend, using cultural affinity to express their individuality,” co-founders Amelia Muqbel and Justin Deanda said in a statement. “We produce officially licensed collaboration with the brands that shaped our youth.” Dumbgood, which specializes in streetwear featuring characters and brands from the 80s and 90s, is carried in Urban Outfitters, Jimmy Jazz and other major retailers. The brand did a collaboration with Blockbuster earlier this ye

Brooklyn Cider House
Courtesy Young Kim
Nightlife, Nightlife

Brooklyn Cider House Birthday Bash

Brooklyn Cider House, Bushwick

The Brooklyn Cider House is throwing a fun b-day bash for its second anniversary with free cider tastings from 8 to 9pm, free snacks from 8 to 10pm, and the chance to dance all night to DJ sets. Just for the occasion, its bar hours will be extended to midnight.


The Dharma of Star Wars

The Rubin Museum of Art, Chelsea

Ahead of the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, The Rubin Museum is kicking off a new exhibit about the thematic connections between the Star Wars universe and our own through Himalayan art.

Photograph: Courtesy Turnstyle
News, City Life

Turnstyle Underground Holiday Market

While you may normally associate a subway trip with stressful commutes and navigating crowded cars, you’re in for a change of pace this holiday season in NYC that might change your mindset about heading underground. (It also might make your life a little easier during the craze of gifting season.) Starting Monday, November 19, the Turnstyle Underground Holiday Market is back for its third year connected to the 59th St-Columbus Circle station. For the uninitiated, 18 seasonal vendors are about to join the 39 permanent underground eateries, shops and kiosks inside the bustling corridor.  The pop-up market should be perfect for those times you’re racing home from work, and on your way to a holiday party empty-handed, probably thinking something like, Damn it's cold out. I wish I didn't have to leave the subway to find a decent gift. Luckily, now you won't have to. (And you won't have to show up to a party empty-handed, looking like a real grinch.) Among the participants this year are Harkiss Designs, Felix Z Designs, Me Oui, Tibet Handicrafts, Toffee Sticks, Inaya, All of the Things NYC, New York Makers and a few full-on holiday ornament kiosks—forever a great gift for mom or those new apartment owners. You can also count on existing kiosk vendors like Salted Baked Goods, Baked in Color, Hell’s Kitchen Hot Sauce, Sleet and Sole, Modern Opus, Sweetwater labs and Volang in the festive subterranean space. You don't even need to swipe a MetroCard to get inside the market!

Dandy Wellington
Courtesy Dekalb Market Hall

Dandy Wellington & His Swingin’ Band

Dekalb Stage, Downtown Brooklyn

Learn how to move your body to the jazzy beats of Dandy Wellington & His Swingin' Band, who will play each Wednesday night through January. You'll start off with a free lesson and lindy hop 'till 10 p.m.

Photo: Niko Tavernise/Netflix
Movies, Drama

The Irishman

4 out of 5 stars

Martin Scorsese pulls off a killer self-own at the top of his overstuffed, frequently electrifying The Irishman. As the Five Satins’ gorgeous “In the Still of the Night” casts its timeless doo-wop spell, the camera creeps forward—not into the bowels of the Copacabana or anywhere near as glamorous, but down the boring carpeted hallway of a nursing home. Grab your tickets for a movie night as chilly NYC weather creeps in!

Things to do

SUPER FUNLAND: Journey into the Erotic Carnival

The Museum of Sex always has something exciting going on behind closed doors, but their new exhibition, Super Funland: Journey into the Erotic Carnival, is now open and it's an interactive indoor adventure perfect for the chilly months. There you'll find a 4-D immersive “Tunnel of Love” ride, an erotic fortune-telling machine (modeled as RuPaul), a kissing booth, and a lit-up climbing structure. Then when it's time to take the edge off, visitors can slide down a spiral slide into the Museum’s psychedelic carnival bar, Lollipop Lounge, for cocktails. 

Max Burkhalter
News, Eating

Reserve a glass cabin to dine in at the Hoxton

This year, the stylish Hoxton hotel in Williamsburg has launched a Winter Hideaway experience where you and your friends can dine in your very own gorgeous glass house in a courtyard. Oh, you fancy, huh. Inside the festive houses, you’ll find cozy blankets, holiday-themed treats, and a long dreamy table for you and your crew to pal around at while enjoying the family-style sharing menu. You can expect to find delicious bites to choose from like orecchiette with squash, walnuts, sage, truffle, brown butter and a wood-roasted beet salad with marinated figs, feta, pistachios, hibiscus vinaigrette—created just for the pop-up. To make it the ultimate treat-yourself-evening, there are also options to add-on a cheese fondue set-up for six, a warm cookie spread for the table or—most enticing of all—a rotating selection of homemade pies like apple, s'mores, pecan and pumpkin. Hoping to warm up with a little booze? Opt for cocktail pairings, or flights, with the seasonal feast. You can grab a table now through March for one of two seatings each night from 5pm-9pm, seven days a week. (Weekend brunch is set to become available in late November.)

Photograph: Ali Garber
Time Out Market

Chef Ivy Stark's Holiday Tamale Making Workshop

Time Out Market New York, DUMBO

This December, why not treat yourself to some Mexican-style holiday cheer? Chef Ivy Stark will teach you how to make delicious holiday tamales at this festive two-hour workshop. The evening includes dinner, cocktails, and creative recipes that you'll want to make part of your holiday tradition. Not a meat-eater? Not a problem. These recipes cover both traditional (beef short rib) as well as vegan (pumpkin and black bean) tamales, and even one for dessert. Best of all, you'll walk away with the know-how to really wow your friends at your next holiday potluck. And did we mention there will be some delicious warm spiced Mexican cider on hand as well? That should help with all the folding.

Theater, Comedy

Anna Karenina: a riff

The Flea Theater, Tribeca

This take on the Russian classic by Leo Tolstoy is a new adaptation that uses melodicas in its folk-punk score while it examines the effects of a female rebellion. The show is set in 1880s Russia and "drips" with Eastern European ennui, according to creator Gwen Kingston and director Ashley Teague.

New York City Gay Men's Chorus
Photograph: Courtesy Matthew Raney

NYC Gay Men's Chorus Holiday Extravaganza Spectacular

NYU School of Law, Greenwich Village

Listen to the voices of almost 300 singers at the festive NYC Gay Men’s Chorus’ Holiday Extravaganza that will feature both classics and modern hits from Barbara Streisand and Sara Bareilles.

Photograph: Courtesy The Standard East Village
News, Drinking

Have a fondue feast in a cozy winter yurt at the Standard East Village

The boutique hotel, The Standard East Village—home to its restaurant Narcissa, queer space No Bar and our favorite public restrooms in the city (located in the basement, each with its own groovy vintage wallpaper)—is bringing back its beloved Winter Garden. (Since 2015, The Standard has been installing cozy yurts outside.) Huddle amongst old—and new friends—in these warm cabins-on-the-go, where you can imbibe on cocktails, dip in into some gooey aged cheddar and gruyere fondue or snack on the country ham and charcuterie board.  This year, the Standard East Village rolls out a totally new cocktail menu that includes drinks such as the “Pear Patch” (gin, pear, chai and lime), “Fall Back” (rum, cinnamon, falernum and lime) and the “Basic Brew” (espresso infused mezcal, amaro, ancho chile and mole bitters), as well as warm spiked cocoa or cider, mulled wine and a selection of beer. All cocktails are $14 each and some of the drinks can be served large format-style for ultimate snuggly sips.  Photograph: Courtesy The Standard East Village Don’t want to be seen in your puffy Patagonia? You can borrow one of their fuzzy faux fur coats or drape yourself in a warm flannel blanket. Be warned though, you’ll need to plan in advance to get hygge and there's a $100 min spend per person (eek!). Email to book your reservation. We may not be anywhere near the Alps, but this is as close to a bougie ski resort as you can get in Manhattan.  The Winter Ga

Then She Fell
Theater, Interactive

Then She Fell

Kingsland Ward, Williamsburg
Open run
4 out of 5 stars

At first blush, Then She Fell seems to be a small-scale cribbing of Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More. Yes, you wander solo through intricately dressed rooms in a creepy building; yes, that man in a cravat is crawling up the wall in front of you. But you begin to realize that Third Rail Projects’ interactive riff on Lewis Carroll’s Alice books is using a similar language to give you a different experience: When you peer into the looking glass, it stares right back at you. Performed in the former Greenpoint Hospital, the show only permits 15 audience members a pop—making for a distinctly intimate experience. You’re given a shot of mulled wine and a set of keys before nurses, Carroll characters and even the psychotropic author himself usher you through a combination Wonderland–psych ward. As in Sleep No More, no two individuals will have the same evening. You may find yourself taking dictation for the Hatter (the mesmerizing Elizabeth Carena), painting cream-colored roses red with the White Rabbit (Tom Pearson) or sitting down to the infamous tea party with the whole gang. The experiences that director-designer-mastermind Zach Morris and his company offer are stunningly personal. You don’t have a mask to hide behind here—when you peep in on the Red Queen (Rebekah Morin) having a private breakdown, she catches you watching through the two-way mirror. And then—well, I don’t want to give away the game. And it is a game; as you’re pulled from place to place, you begin to realize that M

Andrew Fu
Things to do

Gertie's 'Luncheonette Roulette' dinner series

Gertie, Williamsburg

While it’d be dreamy to cruise cross-country in search of the hippest diners in America, Williamsburg’s very own trendy luncheonette, Gertie, is bringing it all to New York instead. The spot that usually serves up old-school counter offerings in their cheerful space is launching a 'Luncheonette Roulette' series, where their favorite, iconic luncheonettes and diners in other cities will come host a night at Gertie. On the lineup is Lil’ Deb’s Oasis from Hudson, Freedman’s from L.A., Palace Diner from Maine, larrys from Montreal, Dove’s Luncheonette from Chicago and Turkey and The Wolf/ Molly’s Rise and Shine from New Orleans.

Things to do, Walks and tours

High Line and Chelsea Walking Tour

Chelsea Market | New York, NY, Chelsea

The High Line, an elevated freight rail line converted into a park, has become a classic New York City attraction. Couple it with Chelsea, the neighborhood it goes through, and you’ve got the making of an action-packed afternoon. This informative two-hour guided tour will give you the lowdown on the nabe.

Courtesy: Butterboy Comedy
Things to do

Butterboy Comedy

Littlefield, Gowanus

Butterboy Comedy has become one of the hottest regular comedy shows in NYC. Comedians Jo Firestone, Aparna Nancherla and Maeve Higgins get together to host a killer lineup of stand-up talent every Monday night at Littlefield NYC. Alongside all of the laughs, is a soundtrack curated by Donwill. Check out Butterboy, the funniest thing to ever happen in Gowanus.   

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