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Things to Do This Week in NYC (9/20-9/26)

(9/20-9/26) Looking for what to do in NYC this week and this weekend? The city continues to bounce back. Vaccinations are required for much of indoor life here (meaning you can feel safer if you head in to a restaurant, museum, or gym), but there's also tons to do out of doors. Read on for more in-person reopenings, festivals, pop ups, and other things to do in NYC this week.

This Week's Behind The Experience Video

The tallest building in the hemisphere. The largest screen. A ride that goes straight up at 23 miles per hour. Behind The Experience learns the secrets of One World Observatory, as well as tips like the best time for a visit. The video joins our recent visits to New York icons the Museum of the City of New YorkMadame Tussauds, SPYSCAPE, and Benjamin Steakhouse. CHECK THEM OUT—it’s fun!

SHOW OF THE WEEK: BLUE MAN GROUP

blue man group

Blue is back! Blue Man Group returns to its original home at Astor Place Theatre downtown. Blue Man Group will rock your world, blow your mind, and unleash your spirit. 35 million people of all ages, languages, and cultures know what Blue Man Group is really about. Now it's your turn! Come experience this must-see show as it returns to the stage. You'll discover music, laughter, and surprises at every turn. Book your tickets now at blueman.com.

WHAT TO DO IN NYC

Every passing day there's more to do—safely—in the city. Stay in the loop with:

  • The week’s best activities delivered to your email box with our free newsletter
  • Everything to Do NYC Facebook Group, which has real-time tips and advice from New York City experts
  • The city's latest openings and happenings on City Guide's Instagram
  • Activities geared to parents and families on our sister site nymetroparents.com

THE FEAST OF ALL FEASTS

san gennaro little italy

Photo: Tom Thai/Flickr.

For nearly a century, New Yorkers have been making their way to the historic streets of Little Italy to celebrating the Feast of San Gennaro, NYC’s largest and longest-running Italian festival. Now marking its 95th anniversary, parades, live music, religious processions, and authentic Italian eats highlight the festivities. The 2021 feast started Thursday the 16th and runs through Sunday, September 26th. Among the attractions: the 25th Annual Enrico Caruso Opera, the 2nd Annual Zeppole Eating Competition, and the 23rd Annual Cannoli Eating Contest. The Grand Marshall is NYC Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro, fitting as this year's event honors NYC's first responders.

THROUGH THE LOOKING-GLASS

alice pekarna

Curiouser and curiouser: head to the Upper West Side starting Thursday the 23rd for a new interactive experience. Pekarna New York, a roomy Slovenian spot, will do the hosting. Alice: An Immersive Cocktail Experience takes you down the rabbit hole for riddles and cocktails under the watchful eyes of the Mad Hatter, March Hare, and White Rabbit. You can create two Wonderland cocktails, paint the roses red, and devour "Eat Me" cake. The event takes place Wednesdays to Sundays through November 30th with family-friendly sessions to be added in the fall.

THE VILLAGE TRIP

bobby sanabria

Greenwich Village celebrates its artistic and historic heritage with The Village Trip, a multi-day festival that wraps up this weekend. Walks, talks, and concerts continue tonight through Sunday evening. On Saturday from 4 to 7pm, don't miss a free concert headlined by Latin jazz great Bobby Sanabria and his Multiverse Big Band. He's bringing along friends and special guests, including Janis Siegel of The Manhattan Transfer.

FREE BROADWAY

Join 106.7 LITE FM for the annual Broadway In Bryant Park, a free lunchtime concert on Thursday, September 23rd at noon. Come discover new Broadway shows, reconnect with returning classics, and see the morning show team, Cubby & Christine. One day only!

BROOKLYN IN MANHATTAN

brooklyn pop up museum

Find some Brooklyn style at Rock Center. Inspired by the new KAWS sculpture, the Brooklyn Pop-Up market is bringing fashion, home goods, beauty, jewelry, plants, and artisanal distillers to Center Plaza. The market takes place Saturday and Sunday from 10:30am to 5:30pm. There will also be a live DJ, origami, balloon artists, and food vendors. For another taste of Brooklyn nearby, check out newcomer Dough, which started as a neighborhood spot in Bed-Stuy. They'll be debuting the "Chocofeller" donut and the first 500 customers to purchase six donuts Thursday through Sunday will receive a free Dough t-shirt.

BIG APPLE COMIC CON

comix

On Saturday and Sunday you can find artists, panels, exhibits, an auction, cosplay contests, and special events at the New Yorker Hotel for The Big Apple Comic Con Silver Anniversary. Another highlight of this year's gathering is the "Gallery of Great Collectible Comics," which brings together 100 of the most important (and valuable) comic books ever. The Mile High Superman #1Bob Kane's Detective #27 (first Batman), and Hulk #1 are among the highlights.

INSECTAGEDDON

Photo by Rari en New York, 2014 (video still). Courtesy of the artist.

Photo by Rari en New York, 2014 (video still). Courtesy of the artist.

As part of the High Line’s annual Horticulture Celebration, spend Saturday afternoon celebrating the smallest life forms that gather here. Insectageddon is designed to raise awareness of the interconnectedness of life, stewarded by artist and poet Cecilia Vicuña. There will be screenings, speakers, performances, workshops, and insect-inspired culinary delights. The event is free, but a timed entry ticket is required for the High Line on weekends.

TREASURES OF THE NYPL

original winnie the pooh

A lock of Edgar Allan Poe’s hair, Thomas Jefferson’s handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence, Malcolm X’s briefcase, the real-life Winnie-the-Pooh: the NYPL holds a lot more than books. For the first time ever you can explore a selection of the 56 million items in the collection with the opening Friday of the Polonsky Exhibition of The New York Public Library’s Treasures. You'll find manuscripts, art, letters, still and moving images, and recordings that bring the voices of the past to life. The show is free and features timed entry tickets.

A CIRCULAR STORE

madewell thredup circular store

Online resale platform thredUP has partnered with premium denim brand Madewell for a new IRL retail concept. Settling down from Thursday, September 23rd through the end of October in Brooklyn, A Circular Store features secondhand Madewell pieces sourced from thredUP and designed to educate consumers on the power of making clothes to last and why keeping them in use is important. The store is a limited edition extension of the online Madewell Forever denim resale experience that launched in July, and marks the first time customers can shop a full assortment of preloved Madewell, mend and tailor clothes, and pass them on responsibly, all in one place. The shop will be at 89 N. 6th St. in Williamsburg; more information and a programming calendar can be found here.

A NEW MEXICAN CONCEPT

tortazo nomad

Rick Bayless is a seven-time James Beard award-winning chef and a foremost expert on authentic Mexican cuisine. He's finally making his New York City debut and it's an accessible one: new fast casual Mexican spot Tortazo NoMad. The first location opened just last year in Chicago, this one features high-quality ingredients deployed in sandwiches, bowls, quesadillas, soups, and salads. Also on the menu: aguas frescas, margaritas, and beer.

SHOP WITH YOUR DOG ON SATURDAY

The welcome mat is out on the 29 blocks of Madison Avenue between 57th and 86th Streets. It’s time to celebrate in style, and the public is invited to spend a special Saturday on Madison Avenue with the Madison Avenue B.I.D. and its second annual Welcome Back Saturdays, with the second one taking place this Saturday, September 25th. Dogs are being welcomed back, too. Madison Avenue invites the public to “shop with your dog” on September 25 to benefit The Humane Society of New York, who will provide free pet-related programming throughout the day, including talks & tips by veterinarians, meeting pets available for adoption, pet portraiture and other activities. Participating stores will have their specially designed water bowls out to welcome the dogs as well. 

OKTOBERFEST IS ON!

bear mountain oktoberfest circle line

This Saturday, Circle Line relaunches their ever-popular Bear Mountain Cruises. These Oktoberfest-themed rides go 50 miles up the Hudson, passing skylines and scenery on the way to Bear Mountain State Park. Along the way you'll find German food specials, Oktoberfest beers, and a German Polka band. When you hit your destination, you can disembark and hike, enjoying lake, trails, and fall foliage. For city-anchored folk, OktoberFest NYC is on at Watermark Bar in the Seaport District, with traditional German beer and bites, through October 24th. The Upper East Side will hold Schaller & Weber’s Oktoberfest beer garden, a pop up behind behind Schaller’s Stube Sausage Bar that keeps the party going through the end of October. Prost!

DISCOUNT BROADWAY TICKETS

TKTS

TDF, the not-for-profit service organization dedicated to bringing the power of the performing arts to everyone, has re-opened its TKTS Discount Ticket Booth "under the red steps" in Times Square as of September 14th. Head to the corner of Broadway and 47th St. starting at 3pm for same-day discount tickets to matinee and evening performances. You can also get next-day tickets to matinee performances (up to half off) for both Broadway and Off Broadway productions. “We’re excited to once again serve New Yorkers and visitors on a budget who have missed the experience of live performance,” says Victoria Bailey, TDF’s Executive Director. “Our re-opening will mirror Broadway’s—a few shows at first with more to follow as the fall progresses. We will reopen with new safety protocols for customers and staff alike.” For more information and to download the TKTS app, go to tdf.org/tkts.

SLEEPY HOLLOW THE MUSICAL 2021

SLEEPY HOLLOW THE MUSICAL 2021

Things happen in the hollow at night. Things we don’t speak about and things you don’t want to know. 200 years ago, Ichabod Crane lost his way in the hollow and was never seen again. Did the headless horseman get to him? Don’t look to the kindly folk of Sleepy Hollow for answers—they don’t take to strangers. Nominated for an Innovative Theatre Award for best original music, this musical adaptation of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" features a live percussion and cello ensemble under-scoring spell-binding choreography that draws you into the hollow and takes you for a breathless ride. Find it at The Players Theatre in the Village, on a limited run from September 24th through November 7th. hollowthemusical.com

A NEW PARTICIPATORY ART INSTALLATION

after the end green-wood installation

Established in 1838, The Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn is one of the world’s most beautiful cemeteries. It's also a tourism destination on its own, serving as an outdoor museum, an arboretum, and a repository of history. This fall, Green-Wood will present After the End, a participatory art installation that provides visitors with an opportunity to publicly share about their personal losses. Created by artists Candy Chang and James A. Reeves, the installation will be located inside Green-Wood’s Historic Chapel. Influenced in equal parts by religious ceremonies and science fiction, Chang and Reeves have created a public ritual to contemplate loss in all forms: the loss of loved ones, relationships, health, and worlds we once knew—as well as the practices that have helped us endure. Visitors are invited to anonymously share their experience on a scroll and place it upon an illuminated altar. Each response becomes a devotional candle, and together they form an evolving field of light. Select responses will be projected throughout the chapel, and visitors can sit in the apse to contemplate the experiences of others as well as their own. Open 10am-4:30pm daily; entry is free and donations are welcome.

LIVE TOURS ARE BACK!

dumbo manhattan bridge

Image: Phil Roeder/Flickr.

The Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) fights to shape the city's built environment and to keep NYC livable. After a long COVID-era hiatus, in-person outings have returned. Capacities are still limited so events are selling out.

BURYING THE HATCHET

stumpy's industry city

America’s first indoor hatchet throwing bar opens a New York City spot Thursday night. Brooklyn’s Industry City will be serving up axe throwing, bar games, and food and drink at Stumpy’s Hatchet House. There are more than a dozen socially distanced throwing pits and AXE-pert Throw Coaches are on hand to instruct and ensure safety. Table 87 pizzas, craft beers, Sahadi’s, Hometown BBQ, TV sports, foosball, cornhole, shuffleboard, and giant Jenga round out the distractions.

CRAFT FRONT & CENTER

museum of arts and design mad

Photo by Jenna Bascom.

Craft was once at the margins of the art world. Today, it's front and center, recognized for both its expressive potential and cultural significance. Assembled from the eclectic richness of the Museum of Arts and Design’s permanent collection, Craft Front & Center brings together more than 70 iconic and lesser-known works. Challenging traditional thinking of craft as separate from fine art, the exhibition reveals the field's deep engagement in art’s major movements, such as Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, and Postmodernism, while also launching its own revolutions, particularly the elevation of women and people of color as significant artists. The show will be up into 2022, among other attractions at the museum.

BRYANT PARK MOVIE NIGHTS ARE BACK

bryant park movie nights

Photo: Angelito Jusey.

Long-running NYC tradition Bryant Park Movie Nights has returned. Ten films will be screened on Monday and Tuesday evenings through the end of September. Bring a blanket and carve out some space on the lawn to enjoy food, friends, and a feature. Lawn and food and wine concessions open 5pm; films begin at sunset. The series continues with new Broadway to Film programming that will screen Moulin Rouge!The Phantom of the Opera, and Mrs. Doubtfire. (These events include special surprise guest appearances.)

DINNER AND A SHOW!

chelsea table + stage

Enjoy dinner and a show at Chelsea Table + Stage, New York's newest hotspot for intimate dining and music. Experience some of the best touring performers in the world featured alongside emerging artists. Ever-changing culinary and entertainment lineups mean you'll never have the same night twice. Chelsea Table + Stage is located at the Hilton Fashion District Hotel and brings in the the best of international music, jazz, indie artists, and singer-songwriters.

THE FUTURE OF FASHION

project gaia nyc seaport

Luxury NYC-based womenswear brand Maison De Papillon reimagines the future of fashion with Project Gaia NYC. On the heels of a new Flatiron District flagship, you can now find a second location in the Seaport District. A carefully curated lineup connects artisans sharing the brand's ethos of sustainability and philanthropy. Look for thoughtful approaches to apparel, homeware, and everything in between.

TIME TRAVEL

renaissance faire

Go on an adventure back in time as the New York Renaissance Faire returns to its 16th-century English village and surrounding shire at Sterling Forest in Tuxedo, NY. This long weekend and on through October 3rd, you can mingle with knights and fairies, and check out jousting, acrobatics, swordplay, and music. There's plenty to eat and shopping as well, including demos of old-time craftsmanship. Discount combo tickets good for bus and entry are available.

NEW RAMEN DOWNTOWN

ramen marufuku

At Marufuku Ramen locations in California, fans line the streets for specialty bowls. New Yorkers will get their chance to find out why (and hopefully without major waits, as the space is big) at a new East Village location, open now. Signature bowls like the Hakata-style Tonkotsu Ramen and Chicken Paitan are joined by veggie ramen, mini-sized rice bowls, and Izakaya-style appetizers. There's space to eat both indoors and out.

SHOWSTOPPERS

showstoppers costume times square

Get excited for Broadway's coming return with Showstoppers NYC, now open in Times Square. You'll find a massive space filled with demos, interactive installations, and, of course, jaw-dropping costumes. The space is configured as a maze featuring more than 100 garments. You'll get to luxuriate in up-close detail and craftsmanship that's usually only glimpsed from a distance. Costume makers and experts will also be on-site to explain and demonstrate. Proceeds will raise money for the Costume Industry Coalition Recovery Fund. Save 10% with code NEWVIC!

PHILOMENA OPENS...

philomena opens

Photo: Kevin Lapsley.

East Williamsburg has a new artisanal cocktail lounge. Philomena boasts some excellent bloodlines among ownership (namely The Late Late, Hotel Chantelle and Den Hospitality), with a beverage director late of the Tao Group. Casual yet elevated surrounds provide the backdrop for shareable bites, beer and wine, and creative cocktails like the Felix (mezcal, expressed orange, and a cucumber-lime-tajin ice cube).

...AS DOES BAR BLONDEAU

bar blondeau williamsburg

Photo by Liz Clayman.

Unobstructed views of the Manhattan skyline await at Bar Blondeau, high up on the 6th floor of Williamsburg's Wythe Hotel. You'll find a seafood-forward menu with French, Spanish. and Portuguese influences. To complement, there's an international selection of natural wines from up-and-coming wine regions and signature cocktails, frozen drinks, and zero-proof beverages.

NEW NOMAD SPOT FOR KARAOKE

ms kim's karaoke nyc

This Friday night marks the grand opening of new karaoke bar and lounge MS. KIM’S. In soft open mode now, this upscale, reinterpreted take on the karaoke bar is helmed by beauty entrepreneur Ms. Anna Kim. In a building that was once an 1800s gambling den you'll now find Empire State Building views and stylish touches. A full-service bar and lounge is joined by state-of-the-art private karaoke rooms. Korean/Japanese-inspired dishes accompany signature drinks. Look for live jazz on Fridays.

A NEW ROOFTOP STANDOUT

roof at 66 park cocktailsThe revamped roof at 66 park atop The Kitano Hotel New York is now open for light bites and signature drinks, with both indoor and outdoor options. The east terrace offers views of the Empire State Building and the west terrace offers views of the Chrysler Building and other New York City wonders. Sophisticated classic cocktails will keep you coming back. Open Tuesday-Saturday, 5pm-midnight. Call 212-885-7066 for information. 

POP UP PUTT PUTT

pixar putt pop up

Work on your short game at PIXAR PUTT, a new open-air mini-golf experience in Battery Park. A full 18 holes take inspiration from Disney and Pixar favorites including Toy Story, The Incredibles, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, Coco, A Bug's Life, and Wall-E. Starting Sunday, the course is open daily, with 18+ PIXAR PUTT AFTER DARK sessions on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights from 7-10pm.

A NEW VILLAGE WINE BAR

tataki temperance wine bar

Photo by Liz Clayman.

Temperance Wine Bar is now open in the Village, bringing a lively scene that's low on pretense. Sommelier A.J. Ojeda-Pons, previously of The Lambs Club and Mercado Little Spain, oversees a program that features 100+ rotating wines by the glass. Vintages range from affordable to higher-end, and includes classic European and New York producers, and even wines from less traditional locations like Morocco, Lebanon, and Cyprus. Snacks and small plates are available to pair.

LIVE MUSIC, FOOD, BEER! 

Head to Queens for culture. Culture Lab LIC at the Plaxall Gallery is hosting free outdoor live music on Thursday through Sunday evenings. Located right on the water in Long Island City, you'll also find rotating gallery shows right inside the expansive gallery space. Come for the free music and art and while you're at it stop by the food truck and treat yourself to a burger and a beer. (The view of Manhattan as the sun sets completes the scene.) 

SPEAKEASY MAGICK RETURNS

speakeasy magic mckittrick

The weekly series Speakeasy Magick has returned, summoning guests to the world of up-close magic. Audiences are transported to the top floor of The McKittrick Hotel (where immersive theatre fave Sleep No More takes place) in a vintage elevator car, where The Club Car and its residents await. Private tables and a live jazz pianist set the scene for an evening of dazzling surprises. Magicians change weekly, brought in by host Todd Robbins, who brings decades of experience performing on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and around the world.

...AND WHILE YOU'RE THERE

gallow green mckittrick

Photo by Jamie Watts.

The McKittrick Hotel's rooftop garden hideaway Gallow Green is now open for dinner and drinks Tuesday through Sunday evenings. This secret garden escape is right now in full bloom, overflowing with flowers, herbs, and hanging vines that create a dream-like atmosphere. Hand-crafted cocktails (above) are joined by returning favorites like the lobster roll and McKittrick Burger topped with bacon marmalade. New menu items include a fattoush salad, a banh mi sandwich, and raw bar selections.

THE MARKET LINE REOPENS

After a long pandemic hibernation, subterranean marketplace and food hall The Market Line has finally reopened. For an authentic New York experience, settle in and take your pick from neighborhood classics and cutting-edge creativity. Among the highlights, there's long-running Lower East Side pickle supplier The Pickle Guys (try mango or pineapple if you're looking to expand your culinary horizons); pierogi masters at Veselka; Vietnamese, Japanese, Puerto Rican, dim sum, pizza, and on and on. There's even a beer bar and wine bars. If you love dessert you're in luck: look for Rebecca's Cake Pops, Ample Hills ice cream, Doughnut Plant, Best Damn Cookies, and Moon Man (Indonesian street food desserts—the only place in the U.S. that you'll find a flavor-packed coconut pancake like this.)

LIVE DANCE RETURNS

metamorphosis solo dance nyc

Live indoor dance returns to New York through the form of acclaimed dancer and choreographer Maria Angelica Caruso’s critically acclaimed high art solo performance, Metamorphosis. Since its premiere in 2018 at Israel’s Karmiel Dance Festival, Metamorphosis has been performed all over the world and has now arrived Off-Broadway. Metamorphosis highlights life’s transitions and the emotions that come with them. Although based on Caruso’s own experiences, the dramatic shifts will be familiar to all who weathered the pandemic. The production has been hailed as one of Caruso’s greatest solo performances to date. The show continues its open-ended run at Actors Temple Theatre, every Thursday and Friday at 7pm.

#SWEATATMOXY

New York’s Moxy East Village is partnering with Physique57 for a #SweatAtMoxy exclusive series of rooftop fitness classes. Physique57 Power Sculpt classes feature high-intensity, low-impact sequences that combine strength training, cardio, and stretching for all levels. This #SweatAtMoxy series will run every Wednesday morning at The Ready East Village and every Friday morning at Magic Hour Times Square at 8am and again at 9:30am throughout July. Participants should bring their own mask. Social distancing protocols will be active. RSVP to [email protected].

Also at the Moxy, you can join an instructor from MNDFL, NYC's premier meditation brand for a 30-minute guided meditation session to leave you feeling grounded and more present for your day ahead. Tickets here: eventbrite.com/e/mndfl-mediation-fleur-room-tickets-165488064255. Sessions take place on Mondays at 8am.

HISTORIC FLATIRON WALKING TOURS

flatiron district

Photo by Victoria Pickering/Flickr.

A stingy piece of pie ...the greatest inanimate troublemaker in New York," was the New York Tribune's assessment of the Flatiron. New Yorkers views on it have shifted, of course. The Flatiron 23rd Street Partnership will tell you all about it. After a COVID layoff, their Sunday walking tours are back in-person. The free explorations include notable landmarks like the New York Life Insurance Building, the MetLife Clock Tower, the Appellate Courthouse, and, of course, the Flatiron Building itself.

NOT TOO LATE FOR VAN GOGH

immersive van gogh date night

Tickets are still available for blockbuster art experience Immersive Van Gogh on the Lower East Side. Created by world-renowned master of digital art Massimiliano Siccardi, the installation draws on 60,000+ frames of video and 500,000+ cubic feet of projections. Take advantage of this rare change to "step inside" and experience the  works of Van Gogh. Famed pieces sshared here include Nuit étoilée (Starry Night, 1889), Les Tournesols (Sunflowers, 1888), and La Chambre à coucher (The Bedroom, 1889).

EVENTS AT "THE MOST INTERESTING STORE IN THE WORLD"

Showfields' four-story downtown flagship is filled with art experiences, food and drink, an event space, and the most innovative brands of today and the art of tomorrow. Working with NYC locals, Showfields newest initiative “The Most Interesting New York Forever Campaign” has launched a series of events. Every Saturday through August 28th from 3-7pm you'll find free hair stylings with the Thomas Taft Salon Dry Bar​​​​​​.

A NEW WATERFRONT OASIS

bungalow brookfield place

Rendering by TMRW.

New to Battery Park, The Bungalow at Brookfield Place will transport visitors to a beachfront retreat. The oasis will feature music and other programming, bocce courts, and plenty of shaded outdoor seating. Light bites and drinks are available for grab-and-go at The Shack by Tartinery or you can outfit yourself from any Brookfield Place eatery.

LIVE THEATRE IS BACK!

mandela play

Do time with South African hero Nelson Mandela. When you arrive for the new production Mandela, you'll be processed for detainment. You will be led through prison gates, handed handcuffs, and asked to put them on (or at least keep them as a souvenir). East Harlem Repertory Theatre in association with Yolanda Brooks shares the gripping untold story of Mandela, Winnie, and the African National Congress. The show depicts highly sensitive subjects, but also evokes laughter and moments of joy. The official opening was Saturday, July 17th, the eve of Nelson Mandela’s birthday. Performances are on Saturdays and Sundays at 4:30pm.

A NEW VILLAGE HANG

cellar door

The Fat Cat is now the Cellar Dog. A longtime Village legend has been spruced up and readied for a new era. Live music will be part of the scene and if that's not entertainment enough look for games. Lots of games. The roomy space will boast pool tables, ping-pong, shuffleboard, foosball, checkers, chess, and novelties like Pac-Man. It's open Wednesdays to Sundays, 2pm-4am, with hours to expand in the fall. 

SIDESHOWS ARE BACK!

 

sideshow coney island fire eater

Photo credit: Norman Blake.

Sideshows by the Seashore is the last permanently housed, not-for-profit venue in the country where you can still experience the thrill of a traditional ten-in-one circus sideshow. They're here, they're real, and they're alive—freaks, wonders and human curiosities! After a year's hiatus, the Coney Island Circus Sideshow has returned, Fridays through Sundays, just off the Boardwalk on Coney Island.

BUTTERBEER IS HERE

butterbeer harry pottter new york bar

The flagship Harry Potter New York is now open in the Flatiron District and yes, they're serving Butterbeer. This fan-favorite soft drink, loved by Hogwarts students and teachers alike, is available to New Yorkers as of Thursday. Choose from draft Butterbeer, Butterbeer ice cream, or bottled Butterbeer. They're being served in the Butterbeer Bar, which will liven up your Insta feed with a cascade of glowing Butterbeer bottles "floating" over the bar and Butterbeer moving magically across the ceiling through copper pipes. Fans will also find a brand-new bottled Butterbeer label, exclusive to Harry Potter New York and only available in-store.

THE RETURN OF A LEGEND

Patsy's

New York restaurants come and go, but Patsy’s Italian Restaurant is forever. The famed eatery—which only has one location, right in the heart of Midtown Manhattan—turns 77 this year and is only getting better. After a pandemic hiatus, the restaurant is back and better than ever. Chef Sal Scognamillo, owner and operator of Patsy’s Italian restaurant, is the third generation of Scognamillos to sit at the helm. The Scognamillo recipes at Patsy’s have remained largely unchanged. Dishes like the stuffed artichoke appetizer, eggplant parmigiana, and spaghetti and meatballs are as rich and flavorful as ever. Ingredients like meats and cheeses are sourced from other family businesses who have worked with Patsy’s throughout the years so every bite remains true to tradition. Patsy’s maintains a strong community of repeat customers (including many celebrities) who know they’ll get exceptional cuisine that remains note-perfect year after year. Hours have just expanded to Tuesday through Sunday, 1-9pm. Reservations are available at 212-247-3491 during operating hours or by email at [email protected]COVID safety protocols including an air purification system, social distancing, and partitions between tables will be in effect.

THE BEAST IS BACK!

the beast nyc

NYC's only jet-powered thrill ride attraction is powering through the Hudson once again. After a pandemic hiatus, The Beast relaunched last week. Come aboard to feel the rush of twin jet engines generating 1,400 BHP-horsepower that'll get you up to 45mph. Twist, turn, and skim your way down to Lady Liberty—if you dare. Departs from Pier 83 every hour on the hour 10am-6pm.

GRAND BAZAAR IS BACK!

grand bazaar nyc uws

Grand Bazaar NYC is the oldest, largest, and most diverse curated weekly shopping market in NYC. Open every Sunday, after a long pandemic hibernation it returns this weekend. You'll find all kinds of creative makers and passionate dealers, vending one-of-a-kind, rare, and unique goods. Come hungry—there are great artisanal bites as well. (It's for a good cause, too: 100% of profits are donated to four Upper West Side public schools.)

CENTRAL PARK TOURS ARE BACK

conservatory garden central park

Photo: Central Park Conservancy.

The Central Park Conservancy has at last resumed in-person tours. Enjoy a gorgeous part of the city with an expert leading the way. Tour options include Seneca Village, covering the largest community of free African-American property owners in pre–Civil War New York; Hidden Highlights of the North End, with stunning views of Manhattan; Heart of the Park; Statues and Monuments; Conservatory Garden Experience; and Discovery Walk for Families: North Woods. Space is limited to ensure proper social distancing.

LIVE THEATRE IS BACK: OFF-BROADWAY'S PERFECT CRIME

The perfect show for CSI and Law & Order fans, Perfect Crime tells the story of attractive psychiatrist and suspected cold-blooded killer Margaret Brent, her wealthy husband, a deranged patient, and the handsome detective who's falling in love with her. New York's longest-running show, it's back post-pandemic for a 35th season. Perfect Crime features Catherine Russell, who has performed in the show since its first preview in 1987. She has never taken a sick day or a vacation day since then. Shows are Monday-Tuesday and Friday 8pm, Saturday 2 and 8pm, and Sunday 3 and 7:30pm. Seating is by socially distanced pods. perfect-crime.com

...AND THE OFFICE! A MUSICAL PARODY 

Dunder Mifflin is reopening for funny business. The Office! A Musical Parody, the unauthorized send up of the hit TV series, is among the first Off-Broadway shows to resume in-person performances in New York City. Full COVID safety protocols are in effect for a parody musical from Bob and Tobly McSmith (FRIENDS! The Musical Parody and many more). Showtimes are Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30pm, Saturdays 2 and 8pm, Sundays at 3pm. theofficemusicalparody.com

CLIMB ABOARD HISTORY

wavertree south street seaport

Photo by Richard Bowditch.

Get into history at the South Street Seaport Museum, where the 1885 tall ship Wavertree is again open to the public. Wavertree was built in Southampton, England and was one of the last large sailing ships built of wrought iron (she was given a full restoration after an ignominious end, discovered serving as a sand barge in Argentina in 1967). The ship has been part of South Street since 1968 and serves as the flagship of the museum's fleet. Visit with a free timed ticket on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, 11am-5pm.

LIVE SHOWS RETURN TO Q.E.D.

qed queens

This Queens local favorite is back, with comedy returned to the docket. While the city eases back into normalcy events are only taking place Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, but sets are running steadily. (Space is limited, so advance ticket purchase is recommended). Among your options: improv Thursday night, Transplants Comedy on Friday night, and Nerd Is the New Black on Saturday.

BANDITS IN THE VILLAGE

bandits village

Photo: Front of House.

Touchstones of classic comfort are a good fit for the moment. Last week, the team behind Borrachito and The Garret Bars dropped a cozy new space on the Village. Bandits is inspired by old-school diners and dives, with vintage New York accents. On the bar snack side you'll find wings, baked clams, a smash burger, and "have it your way" tots. Cocktails include the Purple Rain above, with lavender, butterfly pea flower, tequila, and soda. Both indoor and an elaborate outdoor setup are available.

ROSE GARDEN RECEPTION

moxy rose

Moxy Times Square's Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge has been transformed into your next Instagram obsession. More than 10,000 silk roses provide a colorful backdrop for sipping on pink rose cocktails. The Pink Rose Garden will be serving a specialty menu in addition to full dinner and weekend brunch options. (The Pink AF Pancake Stack is now available nightly until midnight.)

HARLEM JAZZ

craig harris trombone
Legendary trombonist Craig Harris brings his progressive jazz chops to Harlem's Greater Calvary Baptist Church for a weekly residency. This Friday night he'll play one set and the  series continues every Friday with different guest artists sitting in.

THE TENEMENT MUSEUM REOPENS

tenement museum

The Lower East Side's Tenement Museum tells the stories of the 7,000 immigrants who lived at 97 Orchard Street. After over a year of virtual programming, the museum is back for in-person explorations of New York history and the immigrant experience. Limited-capacity tours will be offered on site Fridays and Saturdays. There are also neighborhood walking tours delving into the overlooked spots and secrets of the Lower East Side, also for now on Fridays and Saturdays.

THE "PIAZZA DI BELMONT" IS BACK

piazza di belmont

The popular al fresco dining experience “Piazza di Belmont” has returned to the Bronx. A famous stretch of Arthur Avenue closes to cars from 6-10pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and 1-9pm on Sundays. Bronx Little Italy favorites will serve up authentic Italian favorites, with a restaurant list that includes Zero Otto Nove, Mario’s Restaurant, Enzo’s of Arthur Avenue, Estrellita Poblana III, Ann & Tony’s, and Pasquale’s Rigoletto Restaurant. The experience runs through the end of October. Mangia!

CÉZANNE ON PAPER

cezenne on paper

Paul Cézanne, Foliage (Étude de feuillage) (1900–04), watercolor and pencil on wove paper. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Lillie P. Bliss Collection. Photo © MoMA, NY.

The MoMA has a new show that shows a different side of one of the 19th century's most beloved artists. Best known as a painter, Paul Cézanne (1839–1906) actually produced some of his most original works without canvas. Cézanne Drawing brings together more than 250 rarely shown creations in pencil and watercolor, along with key paintings that contextualize the development of a very modern vision.

KUSAMA: COSMIC NATURE

kusama cosmic nature bronx

One of the most popular artists in the world is now on view in the Bronx. Japanese pioneer Yayoi Kusama shares her lifelong fascination with nature at the New York Botanical Garden. Monumental floral sculptures and immersive works inspired by plants and flowers are waiting. (Plus there are worse times of year to find yourself in a botanical garden.) Through October 31st.

AERIALIST ENTERTAINMENT

aerialist casa del toro

Casa Del Toro in Hell's Kitchen is known for imaginative Mexican cooking in a vibrant setting. Every weekend going forward they'll be adding to the atmosphere with live aerialist performances. NYC-based dancer Eliana Wenick will be giving three shows Friday and Saturday nights starting at 7:45pm. Regional signatures, Oaxacan-inspired tacos, and sophisticated craft cocktails complete the experience.

LIVE MUSIC

city winery

Adam Pass/City Winery.

It's taken a year longer than expected, but City Winery's expansive Pier 57 location in Hudson River Park is at last open for live music. Limited to 25% capacity, intimate shows feature upcoming guests like Rufus Wainwright, Patti Smith, Steve Earle, Raul Malo, Joan Osborne, and Keb' Mo'. Full safety precautions will be in effect.

ROOFTOP SHOWS

bushwick dj sultan

Bushwick's take on a dearly departed Wisconsin supper club, The Turk’s Inn is gradually reopening. First steps include a series of outdoor concerts on the Kismet Garden rooftop. The Sultan Room Under The Stars open-air shows kick off next Wednesday with local rockers Native Sun. Additional entertainment can be found indoors and along the new street café.

OUTDOOR WORKOUTS ARE BACK!

rooftop fitness showfields

Start working on that pandemic body now. For a limited time, guests can experience a signature 45-minute Fhitting Room workout combining HIIT, cardio, and strength training on the stunning Showfields rooftop in NoHo. Workouts are taught by FHITpros and Fhitting Room is bringing the kettlebells (please bring your own mat and water). Also bring Bluetooth headphones and you can move along to a silent disco playlist. All safety protocols will be followed and class sizes will be strictly limited. Available Tuesdays, Wednesday, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Reserve your spot here.

INTREPID IS BACK!

intrepid hangar deck historic plane

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is again welcoming visitors. This National Historic Landmark, which served tours of duty in World War II and the Vietnam War, will be following full COVID safety requirements as it reopens. In addition to Enterprise—the world’s first space shuttle—you can explore the entire historic aircraft collection on the flight deck and in the hangar deck. The museum also took advantage of some down time to open up new spaces and experiences, including the bomb elevator and the ship’s pilot escalator.

TRAVEL BACK IN TIME 

Merchant's House Museum parlor

Merchants House Parlor by Denis Vlasov. Photo courtesy Merchant's House Museum.

Built in 1832, the East Village's Merchant’s House was home to a prosperous merchant family and their Irish servants for almost a century. Miraculously, the house still retains the family's original furnishings and personal possessions. Stop by for a rare and intimate glimpse of domestic life in New York City from 1835 to 1865. During COVID times, the Merchant's House Museum is open on Saturdays and Sundays only, noon to 5pm. Admission is $15 and advanced ticket purchase is recommended.

BOTTOMLESS BRUNCH

bbq chicken flatbread the ribbon 72

Uptown favorite Ribbon 72 is back with indoor dining, on top of delivery and pickup options. There's a ton to choose from, including 90-minute bottomless brunches on Saturday and Sunday ($49.99) that include entree options like quinoa bowls, chicken 'n' waffles, eggs Benedict, challah French toast, or chilaquiles rojo

FRICK MADISON

fragonard panels frick

Room 24: Four grand panels of Fragonard’s series The Progress of Love are shown together at Frick Madison in a gallery illuminated by one of Marcel Breuer’s trapezoidal windows. This view shows two of the 1771–72 paintings, with two later overdoors visible in the next gallery. Photo: Joe Coscia.

Like so many this pandemic year, The Frick Collection got the itch to renovate. While its historic home is getting spruced up, the art has taken up residence in the modern confines of the former Met Breuer. A two-year run here has begun, with a chronological and geographic survey representing the likes of Bellini, Gainsborough, Goya, Rembrandt, Titian, Velázquez, and Vermeer.

CALDER AT THE MOMA

calder moma

Installation view of Alexander Calder: Modern from the Start, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, March 14, 2021–August 7, 2021 © 2021 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Robert Gerhardt.

Alexander Calder was one of the most beloved sculptors of the 20th century. His ever-changing works reward reflection and a new exhibition at the MoMA provides the space and setting for it. Early wire and wood figures, works on paper, jewelry, mobiles in motion, and monumental abstract sculptures are all on display, showing off the artist's range. Rarely seen works are also installed, including the large-scale Man-Eater with Pennants, on view in the Sculpture Garden for the first time in more than half a century.

A NEW IMMERSIVE ART EXPERIENCE

artechouse Horsthuis geometric

Head to the historic boiler room of Chelsea Market to experience the immersive art space ARTECHOUSE. The 2021 exhibition season kicked off with Geometric Properties. Patterns get a cinematic touch as math artist Julius Horsthuis presents a new reality. Commissioned for ARTECHOUSE NYC, Geometric Properties is the first solo exhibition of Horsthuis's work in New York City. His previous work has been featured in the Academy Award winning Manchester by the Sea (2016) and VFX-breakthrough film Koning van Katoren (2012). The installation is open to all ages and will be on view until October 31st. ARTECHOUSE NYC is open with limited capacity and protocols in place to ensure the safety and health of visitors.

GAME OF 1000 BOXES

game of 1000 boxes

Part game show, part audio-visual thrill ride, Game of 1000 Boxes is the city's brand-new social gaming experience. Gather up your best team of four and head to Midtown West to test wits, instincts, and button-finger agility. 360-degree digital projections make for a highly participatory show and no two are the same. At the end of the show, the winning team gets a mystery box and—more importantly—bragging rights.

ROOFTOP TACOS!

cantina rooftop hell's kitchen

NYC’s hottest Mexican rooftop, Cantina Rooftop, is back open in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen. The year-round rooftop restaurant under the helm of Chef Saul Montiel has a new brunch menu with temptations that run both sweet (tres leches French toast) and savory (steamed mussels with chorizo). Bringing a crew? There's a Giant Ass Taco for that, available by special order to share with six of your closest friends. Dinner is served Tuesdays to Fridays 4-11pm and weekend brunch is 11am-3:30pm.

ROOFTOP COMEDY

tiny cupboard rooftop comedy shows

Bushwick's The Tiny Cupboard is reprising its live comedy shows. Safety is job one here, so expect limited admission, loads of social distancing, and no food or drink. (All Night Skate down the block is recommended for your pre-gaming.) "Dress like you're going skiing" is the advice and note that these shows do sell out.

LIVE BEATS

cuarteto guataca

If you're looking for a getaway without running up the mileage, head out to Brooklyn's Industry City for a range of possibilities. On top of drinks, bites, shopping, and ice skating, you can also groove to live music. Look for live Latin music from Cuarteto Guataca (above) at Sahadi’s outdoor seating in Courtyard 3/4, in addition to sets of live bossa nova and jazz.

MRS. MAISEL'S MARVELOUS TOUR OF NEW YORK CITY

On Location Tours, the city's premiere TV and movie location tour company, has added 1950s New York City to its stable. And you can enjoy it from a prime seat inside a 1957 Studebaker—the very one used in all three seasons of the show. Mrs. Maisel's Marvelous Tour of NYC is ongoing on Thursdays and Saturdays (it's not cheap, but you'll have a highly personal experience—tours are limited to 2 or 3 guests). An energetic guide shows off locations used in the series and shares secrets about how the crew disguised modern-day NYC to pass for 60 years ago.

ARTISTS & FLEAS 

Shop local this weekend at Artists & Fleas in Williamsburg. This flagship Brooklyn scene connects makers and browsers, bringing in more than 45 sellers every weekend. Get a first look at the latest trends in fashion, vintage, art, and design.

THE SECRET SIDE OF ELLIS ISLAND

ellis island hard hat JR art

hodgepodge brigade/Flickr

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the unrestored Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital Complex. This gateway to America for millions of people is accessible again via Statue Cruises—the only ride to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. (If you opt for the Hard Hat Tour Ticket and its 90-minute guided tour of the hidden part of Ellis Island you'll get round-trip ferry service and audio Tours of Liberty and Ellis Islands.) The art exhibition "Unframed—Ellis Island," by renowned French artist JR, is on display throughout the hospital complex. Tours run on Saturdays and Sundays. 

YANKEE STADIUM VIRTUAL TOURS

babe ruth lou gehrig yankee museum

Yankees Stadium holds many stories inside its walls. Experience the historic team’s history from your own grandstands with Yankee Stadium Tours' new virtual visits. The Yankees are holding tours twice a week, every Tuesday at noon and every Thursday at 2pm, for about half an hour each. You can reserve a spot here, and prepare to learn more about New York. The tour features iconic sites like Monument Park, essentially the Yankees’ Hall of Fame, honoring the franchise's greatest  players, managers, and coaches. You can also get a peek at the New York Yankees Museum, which features historic jerseys, baseballs, and more detailing the Yankees history. Book now, as tours are quickly reaching capacity.

HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT THE CITY?

end of summer nyc collage

City Guide brings you “Everything to Do NYC,” a community of people helping each other get everything we can from the city. Looking for a restaurant? Ask ETD. Want to share a great find? Let us know about it. It’s your go-to group for how to get everything you can from everything in New York. facebook.com/groups/everythingtodonyc

STATUE OF LIBERTY

A small group of Statue Cruises surrounding the Statue of Liberty.

Statue City Cruises is once again out and about in New York Harbor. In fact, they're adding 60% more service for Memorial Day Weekend and restoring capacity up to 100% over the next couple weeks as ridership trends up. The Liberty State Park departure point in Jersey City, NJ reopens this weekend. Tickets can be purchased in advance (strongly encouraged) from the Statue City Cruises website or at Gangway 5 in Battery Park. statuecruises.com

TALKS, LECTURES, AND EVENTS

Thought Gallery has hundreds of livestream talks, lectures, performances, and more. Check out sessions with celebs, live concerts, and opportunities to learn the latest on everything from science to philosophy to social justice.

NEW YORK'S ACTIVITY AUTHORITY

Get editors’ curated recommendations and have more fun:

COMING ATTRACTIONS!

levitation one summit

RE-IMAGINE THRILL: Be one of the first to experience Levitation and Ascent, the most daring attractions in New York City, at SUMMIT One Vanderbilt. This all-new experience is coming to Midtown East right next to Grand Central, with the first tickets being sold for October 21st. Explore all three floors of the space, walk the glass ledges suspended over 1,100 feet above Madison Avenue, and take the panoramic elevator journey to the building’s highest point. Get ready to see New York from an entirely new perspective! Sales have begun, visit www.summitov.com.

EVERYTHING TO DO NYC

everything to do nyc

Want free advice on what to do and see in New York? Join our Facebook Group Everything to Do NYC, a place for people to ask questions and get tips on how to make the most of the city.

About the Author

Ethan Wolff is the author of numerous guidebooks to New York, having covered the city for more than two decades. He has written for New York Magazine, BlackBook, and Details, among others. In addition to his work as the editor of City Guide, Ethan covers NYC’s talk and lecture scene for the website Thought Gallery. He lives with his wife and two daughters in the Windsor Terrace neighborhood of Brooklyn.

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