david-zwirner-gallery

The Whitney Museum

The treasure trove of 20th and 21st century art reopened this spring in a younger, more happening location; restaurants like Santina, Bubby’s and Barbuto are all within a stone’s throw – as is the High Line, everyone’s favourite abandoned railway/elevated public park. As for the art itself, the new Whitney’s inaugural exhibition, America is Hard to See, gave us a good idea of the great things to come. A punchy, multimedia mix of artists such as Jasper Johns, Willem DeKooning and Edward Hopper, the Whitney’s offering is both playful and edifying. We like to think of it as a smaller, more curated version of the MoMA. Come in the morning for a couple hours before exploring the vibrant Meatpacking neighborhood.

One World Observatory

We can’t tell you how long we’ve been waiting for this moment to come, but finally the Observatory at the top of the new World Trade Center is open for business. The tagline, ‘see forever’, aptly reflects the grandeur of the 360-degree view you’ll experience at the top of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. Forget the Empire State, this is truly 21st-century stuff, with interactive time-lapse experiences in the ‘sky pod elevators’ recreating the development of New York City’s skyline from 1500 to the present. Alternatively, if 102 floors is a little much for you, you can visit the emotionally impactful 9/11 memorial and museum next door.

The Cloisters

While first-time visitors to New York are encouraged to visit the city’s flagship museums – The Met, MoMA, The Guggenheim, etc. – we think the real fun to be had is in the city’s lesser-known homes of art and artefacts. With slightly fewer tourists and more niche collections, places like The Neue Galerie, The Frick or The Cooper Hewitt are our personal go-to’s when it comes to New York museum-hopping. Falling under the same ownership as The Met, The Cloisters may be bit of a hike to get to (you’ll have to take the subway to the northernmost part of the city, past Harlem) but the expedition is worth it. In a quiet, suburban neighbourhood that feels borderline rural compared to the claustrophobia of midtown, The Cloisters is a castle-like structure devoted to the art and architecture of Medieval Europe. Comprised of five cloisters imported from France, the museum offers an immersive experience back in time, with monastery-style gardens, a room that recreates a 12th-century chapel and awe-inspiring collection of Medieval tapestries, objects and works of art. We recommend making the most of your journey uptown by wandering through Harlem [link] on your way to or back from The Cloisters. We’re dying to try Marcus Samuellson’s new rotisserie joint Streetbird on 116th Street.

  • +1 212 923 3700
  • Go to Website
  • 99 Margaret Corbin Drive
    New York
    10040

Gansevoort Market

There’s certainly no shortage of food courts, food halls, food markets and food fairs in New York. Indeed, there’s no shortage of food at all in the city. That said, New Yorkers are suckers for convenience and choice, thus the popularity of high-end food markets. Located in the Meatpacking District, Gansevoort Market is the newest addition to this trend – although ironically, the Gansevoort Farmers Market has a long history that dates back to 1884. Now, however, it’s the lunch-spot of choice for fashionistas and artists working in the area, not to mention all the cool kids staying at The Jane, The Standard and Soho House. Inside the industrial chic food court, you’ll find an eclectic mix of indulgent foods (Ed’s Lobster, Crêpe Sucre, Pig Guy NYC) and clean dishes (yoghurt bowls from Yiaourti, hearty salads from Feel Food and sushi assortments from Sushi Dojo). Good to note — the market is planning to move to a nearby location on 14th street in the next year, but not to worry, a majority of the vendors plan to move with it.

Duane Park

There are few things more “New York” than dinner-and-a-show. In recent years, the classic combo has been revamped with immersive experiences like Queen of the Night and Sleep No More, offering New Yorkers a sexy evening of food and theatrics. Duane Park, however, was here long before the fad. The OG of evening shows offers a three-course meal, live jazz and burlesque performances to a limited audience in a small space on Bowery – made to replicate a glamorous prohibition-era haunt. The food and service are flawless, but the main attraction is on stage, where a roster of performers pay homage to the old-school art of cabaret. Our recent visit included a soulful live rendition of The Weeknd’s Earned It, alongside a burlesque performance that would make Dita blush. The seductive atmosphere makes this an obvious choice for dinner a deux, but we also spotted groups of five and six celebrating birthdays, bachelorettes and, well, Friday night. Shows run Tuesday to Saturday. Weekend prix-fixe dinners start at $95 per person.

The Magician

We’ve spoken before about the glorious NoMad Hotel, home to the most perfect bar we’ve laid eyes upon, truly beautiful bedrooms and a world-class restaurant. Only recently, however, did we discover the NoMad’s best kept secret: The Magician. Every weekend in a secluded space tucked away on the second floor of the hotel, Dan White indulges a small audience in an evening of illusion. As part of the fun, ticket holders must find a woman in white, seated in the lobby with a deck of cards, to show them the way. Card tricks, levitation and mind-reading are involved, but this is a far cry from your 10th birthday party – and not only because the drinks are spiked and the popcorn is artisanal. It’s no surprise that the magician, who trained under David Copperfield and served as creative consultant to Kanye West, is receiving an increasing amount of attention for his skills of deception. We won’t give any surprises away, but rest assured your mind will be blown. Shows run Thursday to Saturday, at 7PM and 9PM. Tickets start at $85.

David Zwirner Gallery

The David Zwirner Gallery broke the internet late last year with its Yayoi Kusama exhibition. Instagram feeds became saturated with posts of the artist’s iconic creations, resulting in long lines outside the gallery for months. If larger museums are not your thing, and you prefer galleries that are curated as conscientiously as your Instagram feed, then we recommend paying a visit to one of the several Zwirner galleries scattered across Chelsea. While the Kusama exhibit has now completed its run (meaning fewer crowds and lines), the gallery is launching a special exhibit in honour of its 25th anniversary and will feature Kusama, as well as Jeff Koons, Richard Serra, and Dan Flavin.

  • +1 212 727 2070
  • Go to Website
  • 525 West 19th Street
    New York
    NY 10011

Comedy Cellar

It’s easy to dismiss the Comedy Cellar as a tourist trap. Located in the heart of Greenwich Village, the area outside the famous venue is teeming with NYU students, club promoters, and foreigners on Sex and The City tours. But give it a chance and you’ll realize this is a quintessential New York institution – a cosy, intimate space for people from all walks of life to get tipsy and listen to the city’s up-and-coming talent tell their best jokes. Even better, veteran comedians (think Dave Chappelle, Judd Apatow and Kevin Hart) frequently show up unannounced to take the stage for a set. For just $24 a ticket, we think that’s a pretty good bargain – even if you have to elbow your way through crowds to get inside.

  • +1 212 254 3480
  • Go to Website
  • 117 Macdougal Street
    New York
    NY 10012

One World Observatory

The Cloisters

Gansevoort Market

Duane Park

The Magician

David Zwirner Gallery

Comedy Cellar

The Whitney Museum

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