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New York City sites

When a man is tired of New York he is tired of work. And thought. And cheesecake.
- David Frost

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The Met steps. Photo by Becky Cheang.

Aire Ancient Baths

  • TriBeCa, Spa, $$$$ $$
  • 88 Franklin St.
  • New York, NY, 10013
  • +1-212-274-3777
  • Website | Email

A stunning subterranean spa with candle-lit pools and a steam room. Go for a hot Caldarium, cold plunge, or the salt water bath.

Bowery Presents

  • Lower East Side, Hell's Kitchen, Music Venue, $$$$ $$
  • Website

We love the mid-size venues run by this music venue empire, which include standing room only spots Bowery Ballroom, Mercury Lounge, and Music Hall of Williamsburg. The divey spots host up-and-coming indie bands who are about to become household names. 

Brooklyn Bridge

  • Financial District, Dumbo, Landmarks and Monuments
  • Brooklyn Bridge, at Center St.
  • New York, NY, 10038
  • About

Iconic suspension bridge has an upper level promenade for pedestrians and cyclists. The views are second-to-none, and are best observed early morning or after midnight, when you can have a little peace and quiet. The bridge empties out in Dumbo. Stroll down to Empire Fulton-Ferry State Park, a wide and grassy knoll level with the East River. 

Chelsea Galleries

  • Chelsea, Gallery
  • West 20th-29th, bt Tenth & Twelfth Aves.
  • New York, NY, 10011

The gallery district generally stretches from West 20th to West 28th Street, between Tenth and Twelfth Avenues, making it very easy to hop from one reclaimed industrial building to another. Galleries coordinate exhibition openings Thursday evenings; Barbara Gladstone, Andrea Rosen, David Zwirner, Marian Goodman, Paula Cooper, Pace, and Danziger Projects are the biggies not-to-miss.

Comedy Cellar

  • Greenwich Village, Show, $$$$ $$
  • 117 Macdougal St.
  • New York, NY, 10012
  • +1-212-254-3480
  • Website

A New York stand-up institution since 1982 that continues to produce some of the city's best comedians. It's real fun and real cozy (read: cramped). Head around the corner to their second location at the Village Underground for the same laughs and more space.

Governors Island

  • Lower Manhattan, Parks and Gardens
  • Website

Walk down the picturesque Colonels Row in the Historic District, peek into former officers' houses for rotating art shows, cycle the 2.2-mile promenade and wave to Lady Liberty, get refreshments from Liggett Terrace, and try not to fall asleep in Hammock Grove with the stunning Lower Manhattan skyline behind you. The 172-acre island is open to the public from Memorial Day weekend till the last week of September, and the ridiculously fun bi-annual Jazz Age Lawn Party sells out fast.

Harlem + Morningside Heights

  • Harlem, Neighborhood to Explore , $$$$ $
  • 1047 Amsterdam Ave.
  • NYC, 10025

The historic neighborhood north of Central Park has rows of brownstone buildings, jazz landmarks, destination restaurants, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Apollo Theater. Morningside Heights is home to Columbia University and its campus charms. St. John the Divine Cathedral has beautiful grounds and hosts interesting performances (along with regular service). Weekends are for strolling, shopping African markets, and people-watching churchgoers in their Sunday Best.

The Highline

  • Meatpacking District, Parks and Gardens
  • Gansevoort-West 32nd Sts., from Tenth-Twelfth Aves.
  • New York, NY, 10014
  • +1-212-500-6035
  • Website

It's an impressive repurposing of space: The long defunct elevated railway on lower Manhattan's west side is now a beautiful bustling promenade and garden soaring high above the streets of NY. From April through November, stargazing enthusiasts set up telescopes every Tuesday night.

IFC Center

  • West Village, Cinema, $$$$ $
  • 323 Sixth Ave.
  • New York, NY, 10014
  • +1-212-924-7771
  • Website

One of the best independent cinemas left in the city. New features mix with Weekend Classics, cult movies at midnight, and organic popcorn.

Joyce Theater

  • Chelsea, Theater, $$$$ $$
  • 175 Eighth Ave.
  • New York, NY, 10011
  • +1-212-691-9740
  • Website

This downtown performing arts venue has been hosting international ballet troupes, modern dancers, and leaders in experimental movement for over 30 years. A Chelsea staple.

Metrograph

  • Lower East Side, Theater, $$$$ $$
  • 7 Ludlow St.
  • New York, NY, 10002
  • +1-212-660-0312
  • Website

A 1920s-inspired movie theater screening non-contemporary classics on 35mm film. Have a pre-show dinner at the Commissary, after-movie drinks at the bar, or just drop by to shop the bookstore and candy shop.

Mmuseumm

  • Tribeca, Museum, $$$$ $
  • 4 Cortlandt Alley
  • NYC, 10013
  • Website

On a quiet cobblestone street wedged between Chinatown and Tribeca, a small elevator shaft has been transformed into a "modern natural history museum" dedicated to one topic at a time, and able to fit about one or two visitors at a time. Past exhibitions have included toothpaste tubes from around the world, things found in copying machines, and objects made by prisoners for prisoners. A teenie, tiny "gift shop" serves espressos and sells small branded items (pens, pins). 

MoMA

  • Midtown West, Museum
  • 11 W. 53rd St.
  • New York, NY, 10019
  • +1-212-708-9400
  • Website | About

Wildly influential house of modern and contemporary art. Go on Friday evening, when admission is free (4-8 p.m.). Follow up with cocktails and dinner at the design-minded (award-winning) restaurant, The Modern.

Museum Mile

  • Upper East Side, Museum, $$$$ $$
  • 82nd to 110th St. along Fifth Ave.

Start at The Met and work your way uptown. Obviously, there are the big name spots: Guggenheim and Cooper-Hewitt, but don't miss the smaller, more specialized museums like Neue Galerie — dedicated to 20th-century German and Austrian aart/design. On the ground floor is Cafe Sabarsky, a picturesque Viennese-inspired eatery. The Frick Collection in an opulent former residential mansion, where you will marvel at the impressive collection of old master paintings (Goya, El Greco, Rembrandt), fine furniture, before joining in for the 70-year-old weekly chamber music concert (Sundays, 5 p.m.).

New York Public Library

  • Midtown East, Library
  • Fifth Ave.
  • New York, NY, 10018
  • +1-212-930-0830
  • Website | About

Between the lions exists a Beaux-Arts oasis of quiet calm where you can catch up on e-mails, marvel at the original Guttenberg Bible, and peruse literary exhibitions. Take a breather or a quick cat nap in the Rose Reading Room. A free one-hour tour happens Thursdays at 2 p.m. (meet at reception).

The Paris Theatre

  • Midtown West, Cinema, $$$$ $
  • 4 W. 58th St.
  • New York, NY, 10019
  • +1-212-688-3800
  • Website

One of the city's only original-language theaters. It's charming and intimate (one or two flicks at a time) and specializes in foreign art house films (especially French ones).

Park Avenue Armory

  • Upper East Side, Theater, $$$$ $$
  • 643 Park Ave.
  • NYC, 10065
  • +1-212-616-3930
  • Website

The soaring Seventh Regiment Armory, with all its Gothic architecture and period details, operates as a not-for-profit enabling artists to post unconventional artwork and performances that are not suited to traditional museums and theaters. Highlights have included a residency with The Royal Shakespeare Company, Robert Wilson's powerful staging with Marina Abramovic, and Ann Hamilton's enormous, dream-like swing set.

Riverside Park

  • Upper West Side, Harlem, Parks and Gardens
  • 72nd-155th Sts., bt Hudson River & Riverside Dr.
  • NYC, 10015
  • About

A quiet, bucolic stretch of green (canopy of trees, tidy gardens, mint-condition asphalt) sandwiched between the Hudson River and Riverside Drive. Waterfront views, and urban New England feel.

Tenement Museum

  • Lower East Side, Museum, $$$$ $
  • 103 Orchard St.
  • New York, NY, 10002
  • +1-212-982-8420
  • Website

Walk in the shoes of the neighborhood's early residents and merchants on a guided tour in a restored tenement building from the 19th century. Come early to purchase your tour ticket and stay after the tour to shop the excellent gift shop filled with books on New York's immigrant history.

Union Square Greenmarket

  • Union Square, Market
  • 16th St., at Broadway
  • New York, NY, 10003
  • +1-212-788-7476
  • Website | About

A bounty of food, flower, and provision stalls from local purveyors. Chef sightings are highly probable. Happens Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

Washington Square Park

  • Greenwich Village, Parks and Gardens
  • Fifth Ave., at Waverly Pl.
  • New York, NY, 10003
  • Website | About

A longtime gathering spot for all things counter-cultural, today's park benches and giant fountain are filled with NYU students, chess players, street performers, folk singers, skateboarders, and downtown locals looking to hang out, make friends, and people watch.

The Whitney Museum of American Art

  • Meatpacking District, Museum, $$$$ $
  • 99 Gansevoort St.
  • New York, NY, 10014
  • +1-212-570-3600
  • Website

The Whitney's much-anticipated move downtown means more light, more space for more art, and awesome views of the Hudson River. Eight floors of the Renzo Piano building are filled with an expanded permanent collection and a dynamic program of visiting shows. Lunch at Danny Meyer's excellend Untitled, and spend the rest of the afternoon walking it off on The High Line.

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