LIVING IN Morningside Heights: More Space for the Money


The area is known for its parks and historic buildings, but it has another draw: larger homes for less than New Yorkers might pay elsewhere.

By Aileen Jacobson

  • Oct. 31, 2018

Jill Shapiro was skeptical. She was taking the subway to look at an apartment on West 110th Street in Morningside Heights, which seemed very far north, she said, compared to the West 86th Street address where she was living with her husband and two daughters.

“But when I got off the train, on that corner, I instantly knew,” said Ms. Shapiro, 51, an office administrator. “If the apartment was O.K., this would be the neighborhood. It felt right.”

Among the attractions were a 24-hour supermarket on one corner, an adequate number of small shops and restaurants, and a “little less hustle and bustle” on the streets than in her previous neighborhood, she said. And then there was the three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom apartment that she and her husband, Evan, a television producer who is also 51, bought 14 years ago, for about $1.2 million.


That amount of space for a reasonable price is a major reason many people move to Morningside Heights; so are the low-rise historic buildings and the extensive parkland. For Ms. Shapiro, another reason was the students at Columbia University and other nearby schools. “The Columbia kids bring a lot of energy to the neighborhood,” she said. 

She even likes the tourists she encounters when she walks her dogs in the gardens around the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, in an 11.3-acre complex called the Close, where peacocks roam the grounds. “The dogs like to look at them,” she said. (So do the humans.)

 Sakura Park, north of West 122nd Street, got its name from a large shipment of cherry trees delivered to New York City from Japan in 1912. (The word “sakura” means cherry blossoms in Japanese.) CreditTony Cenicola/The New York Times

Sakura Park, north of West 122nd Street, got its name from a large shipment of cherry trees delivered to New York City from Japan in 1912. (The word “sakura” means cherry blossoms in Japanese.) CreditTony Cenicola/The New York Times

Her daughters, 20 and 23, live elsewhere now, but want to return, she said: “They have forbidden us to sell the apartment.” Edward Fortier, 56, a lawyer, was also looking for more space at an affordable price earlier this year, when he and his husband bought a three-bedroom apartment near West 125th Street, at the northern end of the neighborhood, for less than $1 million — a relative bargain, although it required a complete renovation. “It was hard to find that size apartment any other place, especially to the south, except in the several-million-dollar range,” he said.

For the previous 21 years, he’d lived at 110th Street and Central Park West, but he always liked the area around Columbia. “It has a nice open feel to it,” he said. “And it has a lively vibe.” 

Some residential construction nearby has been spurred in part by Columbia’s new 17-acre Manhattanville campus, starting north of West 125th Street and already partly open. And while the additional housing is not welcomed by all residents, Mr. Fortier is optimistic, believing “it will bring more life to the neighborhood.”

What You’ll Find

Morningside Heights is both an old neighborhood — much of it was given historic landmark status by New York City last year — and a changing one, with several buildings recently completed or going up.

 Broadway is the main commercial thoroughfare.CreditTony Cenicola/The New York Times

Broadway is the main commercial thoroughfare.CreditTony Cenicola/The New York Times

It stretches from West 110th Street (called Cathedral Parkway in some parts) to West 125th Street (known in parts as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard), and from the Hudson River to Morningside Avenue. It includes the 13-block-long Morningside Park, which has playgrounds, walking paths and a duck pond; the smaller Sakura Park, dotted with Japanese cherry trees; and broad areas of Riverside Park, with tennis courts at West 119th Street. Riverside Church, around West 122nd Street, has a soaring Gothic spire that can be seen from many blocks around.

Columbia University is the behemoth in the neighborhood. The main campus has an entrance at Broadway and West 116th Street, but satellite buildings are scattered all around, including Barnard College across the street, ancillary academic centers and residential buildings. Bookstores, bars, food trucks and cafes line some sidewalks, while residential side streets tend to be peaceful.

“It’s like a little village,” said Laura Friedman, 65, a retired community organizer who has lived in the neighborhood for 42 years with her husband, Paul Shneyer, 66, an attorney, and raised two daughters there. 

But she and others believe that the area — which she said has already become too upscale for some writers and artists who once rented there — is in danger of becoming overdeveloped, mostly on land owned by institutions in need of funds. Ms. Friedman is president of the Morningside Heights Community Coalition and of the Morningside Heights Historic District Committee, both of which “speak to how deeply people care about the neighborhood they live in,” she said.

 The 40-foot-high Peace Fountain is on the grounds of the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, on Amsterdam Avenue north of West 110th, at the southern end of Morningside Heights. CreditTony Cenicola/The New York Times

The 40-foot-high Peace Fountain is on the grounds of the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, on Amsterdam Avenue north of West 110th, at the southern end of Morningside Heights. CreditTony Cenicola/The New York Times

Enclave, a 15-story, 428-unit modern rental building completed in 2016, rises next to the ornate Cathedral of Saint John the Divine on West 113th Street. Across the street, four former nurses’ residences that are part of the Mount Sinai St. Luke’s hospital complex are being converted into rental apartments, with construction scheduled to conclude in 2020. Union Theological Seminary, on Broadway near 121st Street, has sold the rights to build a condominium on its campus, as has the Jewish Theological Seminary, across the street, where a 32-story building called the Vandewater is going up.

The historic district committee is working to extend the district’s boundaries, and the coalition has promoted affordable housing, Ms. Friedman said, but “we have not yet been successful in stopping anything.”

What You’ll Pay

The average sales price for a co-op this year, through the end of September, was $895,958, while the average sales price for a condo was $772,640, according to NeighborhoodX, a real estate data and analytics company. “Prices have held pretty firm,” said Steven O. Goldschmidt, a senior vice president at Warburg Realty, and in some cases have risen in recent years. Part of the reason for the increase, which has also been seen in luxury rentals, he said, is Columbia’s new Manhattanville campus.

Renovated buildings and a few new developments have made the neighborhood more desirable, especially for people looking for larger spaces, said Adrian Noriega, a broker with CORE Real Estate. And while the neighborhood has become somewhat pricier, it still offers good value, he said: “It has changed for the better.”


In mid-October, 45 homes were listed for sale on StreetEasy. The least expensive, at $399,000, was a junior one-bedroom, one-bathroom co-op near the northern end of Broadway. The costliest, at $2.95 million, was a three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom co-op on Riverside Drive with park and river views.

Of the 66 apartments for rent in late October, prices ranged from $1,989 for a studio south of the Columbia campus to $9,500 for a four-bedroom, three-bathroom furnished condo unit with four balconies, available for only seven months.

The Vibe

Chris Shelton, pastor of the Broadway Presbyterian Church on West 114th Street, said there is a lot of “community warmth” in the neighborhood, as well as “a sense of social justice and a passion for doing good.” 

Mr. Shelton’s church operates a shelter and a soup kitchen, and he has instituted a series of chamber-music concerts that are open to the public, he said. Columbia University offers many arts programs, and the Manhattan School of Music, on Claremont Avenue and 122nd Street, presents student performances, many of them free.

“There’s a cultural vibe,” said Mr. Goldschmidt of Warburg Realty, who has lived in the neighborhood since 2004. Largely because of the students, he said, it is also a “24/7 neighborhood that is constantly vibrating.” 

 Tom’s Restaurant, on Broadway at West 112th Street, where Jerry Seinfeld and pals supposedly often ate on "Seinfeld."CreditTony Cenicola/The New York Times

Tom’s Restaurant, on Broadway at West 112th Street, where Jerry Seinfeld and pals supposedly often ate on "Seinfeld."CreditTony Cenicola/The New York Times

On Amsterdam Avenue, across from the Cathedral, one can find the venerable Hungarian Pastry Shop, filled with students and older people reading, writing or chatting, and V & T Pizzeria and Restaurant, a popular student hangout, both of which have sidewalk seating.

On the west side of Broadway, between West 112th and 113th, a string of restaurants with sidewalk seating includes Community Food & Juice and Le Monde, a more sedate French restaurant. On the opposite corner is Tom’s Restaurant, where Jerry Seinfeld and pals ate on “Seinfeld” (though only the exterior was used on the show). 


On the northern end of Broadway, in an area sometimes identified as part of Harlem, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que and Harlem’s Floridita are popular. Morningside Park hosts the Down to Earth farmers’ market on Saturdays. And on Broadway along the Columbia campus, from West 114th to West 116th Street, Columbia Greenmarket operates year-round on Thursdays (Tuesday on Thanksgiving week) and Sundays.

The Schools

Students living below West 116th Street are zoned for P.S. 165 Robert E. Simon, which has about 730 students in prekindergarten through eighth grade. According to the 2016-17 School Quality Snapshot, 35 percent of students there met state standards in English, versus 41 percent citywide; 36 percent met state standards in math, compared with 38 percent citywide.


Students north of West 116th Street are zoned for two schools. P.S. 125 Ralph Bunche has about 260 students in prekindergarten through fifth grade. On 2016-2017 state tests, 54 percent of students there met standards in English, versus 40 percent citywide; 54 percent met standards in math, compared with 42 percent citywide. At P.S. 36 Margaret Douglas, which has about 439 students in prekindergarten through fifth grade, 21 percent met standards in English on 2016-2017 state tests and 21 percent met standards in math. 

The Commute

The 1 subway train stops on Broadway at West 110th, West 116th and West 125th Streets. A commute to Midtown can take 30 to 45 minutes. Buses include the M4, M5, M11, M104 and M60-SBS to and from La Guardia Airport.

The History


A bronze relief sculpture at Columbia University, facing Broadway between West 117th and 118th Streets, commemorates “the Battle of Harlem Heights, won by Washington’s troops on this site, September 16, 1776.” George Washington later wrote of the skirmish, “This little advantage has inspired our troops prodigiously.” 

A gift of the Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York, the plaque was installed in 1897, the year the campus was inaugurated.

Rockefeller Center ice skating rink opens October 8th


While balmy October weather might help us forget the changing seasons, on the heels of fall holiday excitement comes the winter fun of ice skating outdoors. And that most iconic of ice skating venues, The Rink at Rockefeller Center, opens this Monday, October 8 in MidtownManhattan.

Steps from Times Square, The Rink is a classic New York City tradition whether you’re a novice, a pro, or just want to book some ice time with a special someone. As always, The Rink will be open for general admission skaters (no advance reservations are accepted) and taking reservations for its “wintertime experiences” like an engagement on ice and various VIP packages. Performances are on the calendar, too: On Monday, October 8, members of the Ice Theatre of New York and Figure Skating in Harlem kick off the season at 9 A.M.

The Rink will be open daily from 8:30 A.M. until Midnight through Easter Sunday. Standard tickets are $25 until November 3; weekend tickets are $28 before hitting the peak holiday price of $33 on November 21. Find out more here.

The Rink at Rockefeller Center is located at 5th Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets.

Renzo Piano unveils his third and final building at Columbia’s Manhattanville Campus


Sixteen years after Columbia University president Lee Bollinger announced the development of the school’s $6.3 billion 17-acre Manhattanville campus, he joined Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano to celebrate and unveil the third and final building of the starchitect’s ensemble in West Harlem. Previously, Piano completed the Jerome L. Greene Science Center and the adjacent Lenfest Center for the Arts, and today he marked the completion of the Forum, the ship-like structure that peaks at the triangular intersection of Broadway and West 125th Street. The 56,000-square-foot building will serve as a flexible meeting and conference hub, and like its siblings, was purposefully designed with a transparent, public ground floor surrounded by plazas.


Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW) previously described the structure as “a ship levitating above the light and transparent urban layer.” Yesterday, the architect elaborated on his inspirations, saying he drew from “the neighborhood’s industrial vocabulary, as you see for example with the exposed structural elements.” He described the buildings as “new kinds of machines for doing scientific research, for presenting the arts, and now, with The Forum, for bringing people together and communicating.”

Ironically, it is this industrial past that has garnered the Manhattanville development the most criticism, with many feeling that the school’s decision to raze the area’s former warehouses, dairy plants, tenements, and gas stations was insensitive, ultimately leading to the displacement of an estimated 5,000 people. In 2007,  the City Council passed a rezoning, the Special Manhattanville Mixed Use District, to allow for new commercial and residential development in a former manufacturing district.

However, in yesterday’s presentation, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, who has her office down the block on 125th Street and who voted in favor of the development, applauded the new campus for what she feels is an inevitable neighborhood revitalization brought on by the influx of faculty, students, and family. Likewise, President Bollinger has said that the Manhattanville campus will result in roughly $6.3 billion in local investment, stemming from the fact that the university paid $578 million to minority-, women-, and locally owned firms for construction work between 2012 and 2017. As 6sqft reported last year:

After the university faced a series of legal battles and backlash from the community, they agreed to invest $160 million into the community to set up programs that would benefit local residents. This includes allocating $76 million for housing, employment, education, transportation, arts and culture and community facilities. Plus, $20 million will be put towards an affordable housing fund and $4 million for legal assistance for housing issues. Columbia has also committed $18 million for development and maintenance of West Harlem Piers Park.


The upper-floor offices and conference rooms will initially be used be two University-wide programs. The first, Columbia World Projects, is “a new initiative that aims to bring university research systematically out into the world,” and the other is the Obama Foundation Scholars, “a year-long academic and civic leadership program designed to strengthen the expertise and knowledge of individuals with a demonstrated ability to be transformative leaders.”


Perhaps the most major component of the Forum is the 437-seat auditorium, which carries over the building’s signature orange color scheme. Since this is the largest volume of the structure and needed to be opaque, it is housed in the prefabricated concrete “bow” of the building.


In terms of Piano’s other buildings in his Manhattanville ensemble, the Lenfest Center for the Arts is a 60,000-square-foot building that provides presentation spaces for Columbia’s School of the Arts, the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, and the 10,000-square-foot Small Square for outdoor performances, rehearsals, and gatherings.


The 450,000-square-foot Jerome L. Green Science Center houses the Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, the Community Wellness Center which provides free services for neighborhood residents, and the Education Lab, where free Saturday Science classes and events are held in partnership with the mobile science lab BioBus.


Also rising on the Manhattanville campus are a pair of buildings for Columbia Business School–the Henry R. Kravis Building and the Ronald O. Perelman Center for Business Innovation. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, they are currently under construction one block north of Renzo’s trio.  DSR recently completed the 
Columbia University Medical and Graduate Education Building further north at the Medical Center. 


The Manhattanville campus is the largest capital project undertaken by Columbia since its landmark Morningside Heights campus, designed by McKim, Mead and White in 1896. In total, it occupies 17 acres, stretching from 125th to 133rd Streets and from either side of Broadway to 12th Avenue. When completed in 2030 it will house 17 new buildings.

“The Forum completes the spectacular triad of the first buildings on this new kind of urban campus, which reflects not only modern design, but modern values about how we can mutually benefit our local communities – defined by a visual openness and civic function that welcomes everyone in to participate in what only a truly great university can do,” said President Bollinger.

Lord & Taylor will end its 104-year run with a massive sale and just two holiday windows


At the beginning of next year, Lord & Taylor will close its Fifth Avenue flagship after a 104-year run. Owner Hudson’s Bay Co. sold the 676,000-square-foot Italian Renaissance building to WeWork for $850 million a year ago in an attempt to keep the department store brand afloat. With just a few months left at their storied location, Lord & Taylor will launch on Thursday a final “store closing” sale that will last through the holidays, according to the Post. And speaking of the holidays, they’ve also decided that instead of their normal six window displays between 38th and 39th Streets, they’ll only decorate two this holiday season.

The original plan was that WeWork (now Manhattan’s largest private office tenant) would relocate its global headquarters to the building but leave Lord & Taylor with 105,000 square feet. Hudson Bay’s stock price fell by more than a third between 2016 and 2017, and after the building sale, they continued to struggle to maintain profitability, leading to the decision to entirely close their flagship. “Exiting this iconic space reflects Lord & Taylor’s increasing focus on its digital opportunity and HBC’s commitment to improving profitability,” Hudson’s Bay said in a statement last year. Interestingly, the company will keep its 45 other Lord & Taylor locations open.


The decision to keep a small window display will “celebrate the Lord & Taylor brand and say ‘Thank You’ to New York for the decades of loyal business,” the company told the Post.

5 Comedy Shows to Catch in N.Y.C. This Weekend

By Kasia Pilat

LESLIE JONES at Carolines on Broadway (Sept. 7-8, 7:30 and 10 p.m.). A riotous “Saturday Night Live” regular with an equally riotous Twitter feed, Ms. Jones is an enthusiastic performer on- and offstage, whether she’s sharing her passion for the Olympics and live-tweeting reality television or airing her thoughts on dating and “Hidden Figures” on “Weekend Update.” Ms. Jones will be imparting her infectious energy to the crowd as she continues her run of solo performances at Carolines this weekend.

‘LAUGH EXCHANGE LIVE’ at Littlefield (Sept. 8, 8 p.m.). HQ Trivia, which brings together large groups of people for the chance to win very small sums of money, rose quickly in popularity and earned the label of “best worst thing on the internet,” according to the New York Times critic Amanda Hess. Laugh Exchange, which launches in October, is reminiscent of HQ, mainly in that it’s also an app and you can also win money on it: Contestants submit comedy material that the audience votes on to determine who wins. To promote Laugh Exchange, Littlefield will host 48 comics, including Ophira Eisenberg, Negin Farsad and Shalewa Sharpe, for one minute of stand-up apiece.

‘LITERARY DEATH MATCH’ at Littlefield (Sept. 12, 8 p.m.). The comedian Jordan Klepper, who served as the eponymous frontman of the late-night satire program “The Opposition With Jordan Klepper,” will return to the network at some point in early 2019 with a new show. Meanwhile, Mr. Klepper takes time to judge this competition, part of the Brooklyn Book Festival, in which four authors compete by performing a reading. Two are selected to move on to the final round, in which they compete for the “Literary Death Match” crown.

‘LITPROV’ at Symphony Space (Sept. 13, 7:30 p.m.). Brooklyn is fertile ground for fresh and innovative comedy in New York, and storied clubs can be found downtown, but this new series expands the city’s offerings to the Upper West Side. Bringing together literature and laughter, LitProv invites authors to read some of their work while comedians do improv inspired by it. This time, the authors include Joseph Fink (“Welcome to Night Vale”) and Melissa Broder (“So Sad Today”), while one of the comedians is Dulcé Sloan from “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah.”

‘WHIPLASH’ 10TH ANNIVERSARY SHOW at the Bell House (Sept. 11, 8 p.m.). This long-running stand-up showcase has been running for so long that on Tuesday it will celebrate a decade of existence. The series, which moved to Union Hall earlier this year, does not typically announce its acts beforehand, but it has for this particular show, and the lineup is reliably packed with top-notch comedy talent: Gary Gulman, Jo Firestone, Janeane Garofalo, Jon Glaser, Wyatt Cenac and Liza Treyger, among others.

 Gary Gulman is one of several comedians helping the stand-up showcase “Whiplash” celebrate its 10th anniversary on Tuesday night at the Bell House.

Gary Gulman is one of several comedians helping the stand-up showcase “Whiplash” celebrate its 10th anniversary on Tuesday night at the Bell House.

The B and C line’s 110th Street station is back in business


By Ameena Walker 

Good news: The Upper West Side’s Cathedral Parkway-110th Street subway station for the B and C lines has reopened and service at the station is back to normal.

Back in February, the MTA announced plans to shutter three Upper West Side subway stations and one Washington Heights station to conduct repairs as part of the MTA’s Enhanced Station Initiative. The agency opted to close the stations completely to allow for the repairs to be carried out quicker and safer. The 110th Street station closed on April 9 and crews repaired the station’s structural steel, repaired concrete on platforms, and performed waterproofing. A series of station enhancements, such as new railings, replaced platform edges and stair treads; new tiling, a new turnstile area, brighter lighting, a new customer dashboard, and digital signage was also added.

The revamped station made its debut on Sunday, September 2 and service in both directions returned at 5 a.m. on Tuesday, September 4.

In a press release, the agency touted that the subway station managed to reopen “on time and on budget,” both things to celebrate when it comes to the beleaguered subway system. “We’re thrilled to be returning this station to the community in better condition than it’s been in for decades, with critical structural repairs performed and brand new features that will make planning and taking trips with us easier and more convenient than ever,” said New York City Transit President Andy Byford in a statement, who was also present at the reopening of the station.

Here’s a look at the revamped 110th Street subway stop in all its glory, and to see more, head on over to the MTA’s Flickr page:


Le Dîner en Blanc – New York


On September 17th, something spectacular is going to happen in New York City. Thousands of people, strangers and friends alike, dressed head-to-toe in chic white attire, will convene at a secret public location to dance and dine the night away for the eighth annual Dîner en Blanc.

New York was the first U.S. city to host a Dîner en Blanc, a global event now celebrated in eighty cities spanning thirty countries all over the world. Four international cities that joined the party this year include Toowoomba (Australia), South Georgian Bay and Trois-Rivières (Canada), and Madrid (Spain). The first Dîner en Blanc took place in Paris in 1988 with a small group of friends hosted by François Pasquier. For the 30th anniversary in Paris in this June, a record-breaking 17,000 guests showed up for the party at Esplanade des Invalides. This year will be the largest New York event so far with an expected crowd of 6,500 guests. Previous Le Dîner en Blanc events in New York City have taken place at Hudson River ParkBattery Park City’s Nelson A. Rockefeller ParkRobert Wagner Park, and Lincoln Center. The iconic location of the event is not revealed until the last minute. 


The grandiosity of the event is further enhanced by the creative and lavish attire and table settings that guests bring. It is not uncommon to see fantastical hats, string lights, fairy wings, silk tuxedos, dapper sailor suits or powdered wigs. The elaborate white table centerpieces and place settings that accompany each guests’ own specially curated meals have featured miniature carousels, birds in white cages and paper lanterns affixed with LED lights and candelabras!


In an exciting first this year, renowned Iron Chef and Michelin Star recipient restaurateur Marc Forgione will be curating four special picnic baskets for guests in New York who order through Le Dîner en Blanc. Forgione opened Restaurant Marc Forgione in 2008 and multiple locations of his modern steakhouse, American Cut. He won season 3 of Food Network’s “The Next Iron Chef” at just 31 years old, making him the youngest winner in the show’s history and is currently one of the Iron Chefs on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America.” His father Larry Forgione is a culinary legend who revolutionized American-style cooking in the ’70s and ’80s.


The spontaneity, secrecy, and scale of this elegant dinner is what makes it exciting. Le Dîner en Blanc is by invitation only, traditionally issued by friends and friends of friends who have participated in the past. Another means of attending is via the often-extensive wait lists in each city. Guests can register for the waitlist now at Once again, Untapped Cities founder Michelle Young will serve as a group leader! 


Le Dîner en Blanc – New York gratefully acknowledges Champagne Jacquart and The Knot as the official local partners of the 8th edition of Le Dîner en Blanc in New York City as well as Luxury RetreatsSofitel and ONEHOPE as the 2018 Le Dîner en Blanc U.S. national partners. Linda Davis and Kaitlin Davi of The Davis Group return this summer as the host for Le Dîner en Blanc – New York, along with co-hosts Christine Tripoli of Looking Glass Events Group and Peter Kohlmann of PEK Productions. Davis, who serves as host in four U.S. cities, says the Big Apple holds a special place in her heart. She explains, “Le Dîner en Blanc first debuted in New York before expanding to other U.S. cities and guests here have developed an extraordinarily passionate bond with the event. They bring a glamour and elegance­­­—along with preparing amazing repasts—that make this an incomparable night in New York. I am thrilled to be a part of such a magical evening again.”


Minetta Brook Walk with Steve Duncan


Join urban explorer Steve Duncan as he shows us the Minetta's 1.5-mile buried path and explains the waterway functioning both today and in the past. He’ll point out the secret code on manhole covers, tell you what their placement means, and how different engravings indicate what lies beneath the city. On the walk, you can peer into ventilation holes and manhole covers to get a glimpse of the underground waterways. Afterward, you may never walk the city's streets again without wondering what lies beneath.


Thu, September 27, 2018

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM EDT

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First Presbyterian Church

12 West 12th Street 

New York, NY 10011 

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The complete guide to Shakespeare in the Park in NYC

All the world’s a stage this summer at the time-honored tradition of Shakespeare in the Park in Central Park


Every summer, the Public Theater produces a beloved NYC democratic tradition and one of the best free things to do in NYC: Shakespeare in the Park, presented at the open-air Delacorte Theater in Central Park. There’s nothing quite like hearing the Bard’s immortal words performed outside in New York, with a backdrop of natural splendor and the Belvedere Castle looming in the background like the world’s most impressive set decoration. But Shakespeare in the Park’s popularity means that tickets aren’t easy to come by. Only the most perseverant will be able to secure seats. Here’s our guide to navigating the system.

What is Shakespeare in the Park?

Created by the late Joseph Papp in 1962, the Public Theater's series offers free, large-scale productions of works by William Shakespeare (as well as the occasional musical or non-Shakespearean drama). The productions often feature some of the most talented actors of our day. Past casts have included including Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Al Pacino, Blythe Danner, Philip Seymour Hoffman, George C. Scott and Denzel Washington.

What is being performed this season?

Othello is playing May 29 through June 24, 2018, in a production directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Twelfth Night is playing July 17 through August 19, 2018, directed by Oskar Eustis and Kwame Kwei-Armah.

When is Shakespeare in the Park?

Shakespeare in the Park runs from May 29 through August 19, 2018. With few exceptions, performances are Tuesday through Sunday at 8pm.

How do I get there?

The easiest way to get to the Delacorte Theater in Central Park is to enter at 81st Street and Central Park West. Take the B or C train to 81st St–Museum of Natural History.

When should I go?

If possible, shoot for the first week of performances—seats are always in greater supply early in the run of a show, before reviews and word of mouth have pushed up demand for tickets. Another good way to increase your odds, paradoxically, is to attend on days when bad weather is predicted. The Public hates canceling Shakespeare in the Park, so the show will go on even if it is drizzling; often, performances will take breaks if it gets too rainy, then resume when the downpour subsides. Open umbrellas are not allowed during performances, so be sure to bring a poncho. (Tickets for rained-out shows are not exchangeable.)


How can I get tickets?

Check out our handy instructions on how to get free tickets to Shakespeare in the Park.

Are there other productions of Shakespeare in New York parks?

Indeed there are, all over the city. For details, check out our guide to free outdoor theater in the summer.

Venue name: Delacorte Theater



Address: Central Park, enter at Central Park West and 81st St
New York

Transport: Subway: B, C to 81st St–Museum of Natural History

Price: tickets are free (two per person) and may be picked up after noon on the day of performance. Some tickets are also distributed via online lottery

Event website:


The best pop-up food markets coming to New York City BY DEVIN GANNON


Although it seems like winter may never end, the opening dates have been released for many of New York City’s seasonal pop-up markets, finally signaling the start of warmer weather. This spring, try standbys like Smorgasburg, Broadway Bites, and the Hester Street Fair. Or check out under-the-radar, but just as tasty, pop-ups like the Red Hook Food Vendors and LIC Flea & Food. To make it easy to taste test the endless options offered up, we’ve put together a list of 11 pop-up food markets coming to the city this season.




 Broadway Bites
Greeley Square, Midtown

Summer market runs May 2- June 15

Urbanspace NYC operates both public year-round food halls (like Urbanspace Vanderbilt and Urbanspace 570) as well as a few pop-up food markets in Manhattan. Wedged between 32nd and 33rd Street, Broadway Bites opens daily during the summer and fall and includes some of the city’s most beloved vendors. Last season, the pop-up brought Jicama California Street Food, Red Hook Lobster Roll, Domo Taco, and more. While the market squeezes onto a small parcel of land, there is definitely no shortage of high-quality, yummy snacks. The summer market kicks off May 2 and will be open from 11 am to 9 pm.


 Mad. Sq. Eats
Worth Square, Flatiron District

Spring market runs May 5- June 1

Mad. Sq. Eats, a semi-annual culinary market, will pop up just in front of the Flatiron Building between 24th and 25th Streets starting May 5. Operated in partnership between the Madison Square Park Conservancy and Urbanspace, Mad. Sq. Eats brings classic vendors like Roberta’s and Gotham Poké to the historic neighborhood, as well as impressive newbies. Last fall, flavorful favorites like Chick’n Cone, KBBQ by Korilla, Renegade Vice Parlour and Gumbo Bros set up shop. This spring we’re expecting the same, if not even tastier, goodies. Mad. Sq. Eats operates daily from 11 am to 9 pm.


 Urbanspace Garment District
Broadway and 40th, Midtown West
Spring market runs June 4- July 13

This spring foodies in Midtown will be able to enjoy Urbanspace’s Garment District pop-up, a market serving up delectable goodies beginning June 4. Last summer, the market, located between 39th and 40th Streets, featured a beer garden as well as well-known vendors like Croton Reservoir Tavern, Coney Shack, La Sonrisa Empanada and more.


9th Avenue International Food Festival
Ninth Avenue between 42nd Street and 57th Street, Midtown West
May 19 & May 20

Stretching fifteen blocks along Manhattan’s Ninth Avenue, this international food festival calls itself the oldest and largest food market in the city. The two-day only event will feature food from around the world, more than 60 booths of artwork, children’s rides and live performances. This year, vendors will sell jerk chicken, cheese curds, fried Oreos, empanadas, pot stickers and much more. Check out the endless dining options on Saturday, May 19 and Sunday, May 20 from 10 am to 6 pm.




90 Kent Ave in Williamsburg and East Drive at Lincoln Road in Prospect Park

Opens March 31 in Williamsburg & April 1 in Prospect Park

As the largest weekly open-air food market in the U.S., Smorgasburg has evolved into a real institution in Brooklyn. With two locations, Williamsburg on Saturdays and Prospect Park on Sundays, the market offers something for all taste buds, with over 100 vendors and plenty of Instagram-worthy dishes. Last season, Smorgasburg welcomed new vendors like Baked Cheese Haus, Ube Kitchen and Destination Dumplings.


Red Hook Food Vendors
Red Hook Recreation Fields, Red Hook

Runs from the end of April to end of October

Craving authentic Latin American food? Head to the seasonal pop-up run by the Red Hook Food Vendors, a group of Vendy Award-winning food truck chefs and merchants that set up at the ball fields in the Brooklyn neighborhood. As the marketplace’s 44th year of operation, expect perfected traditional dishes like pupusas from El Olomega and horchatas and aquas frescas from Vaquero. At the end of April, the market will open every Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 8 pm until the end of October.


Queens International Night Market
New York Hall of Science, Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Saturdays, April 21st- Aug 18 and Sept. 29- Oct 27th

Since 2015, the Queens International Night Market has celebrated the borough’s diversity with over 100 independent food and art vendors. Even better, food is capped at $5 or $6. Mouth-watering offerings include pork and duck buns at C Bao, ramly burger from the Malaysian Project and Japanese rice flour crepes from Tswirl. There is also a fenced-in beer and wine garden. Held at the New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the spring market starts up Saturday, April 21st, from 6 pm to 12 am.









Manhattan’s population pulse over 24 hours

 By Dana Schulz

 All animations and screenshots courtesy of Justin Fung/ Manhattan Population Explorer

All animations and screenshots courtesy of Justin Fung/Manhattan Population Explorer

There are two million people who reside in Manhattan, but during the workday, thanks to the overwhelming number of commuters, the number of people on the island doubles to four million. This is the highest ratio of daytime-to-nighttime population anywhere in the country. To show how this population pulses over the course of a day, data visualization designer and researcher Justin Fung created the interactive Manhattan Population Explorer. First picked up by Fast Co. Design, the map highlights just how many people fill each city block for 24 hours. The height of crowdedness comes between 12 and 3pm, during which time, unsurprisingly, Midtown and Lower Manhattan show populations nearing 13,000. During the day, these ‘hoods see their populations jump by 10 and four times respectively.


Justin Fung first became interested in studying Manhattan’s population after Hurricane Sandy. At the time, he was a graduate student at Columbia studying operations research and wondered if such data could help with emergency planning. To gather the estimates for his project, Fung used 2010 Census data, the MTA’s turnstile database, and a population study from NYU Wagner.


Fung told Fast Co., “When I look the visualization, I do see an organic, breathing being that is the sum of all of us (a ‘beautiful,’ humbling thing)–but one that also brings back a sense of coffee-induced tension from having to experience that firsthand in crowded subway cars. [It’s] probably one of the reasons I moved out to the ocean in Rockaway Beach.”

Try the Manhattan Population Explorer here >>


Harlem Eat Up


Welcome to Harlem EatUp!, a festival offering an exciting sampling of Harlem's sights, flavors and sounds, from artists of the kitchen, canvas, stage and streets. Enjoy Dine In Harlem, an EatUp! signature multi-room dinner party experience, featuring Harlem's hottest restaurants and chefs hosting some of the biggest national culinary stars in their kitchens. Get your eat on as you spend the day Uptown at The Harlem Stroll, where food, art and culture will converge all in the backdrop of one of the neighborhood's most beautiful parks. Watch Harlem and national top chef cooking demos on the EatUp! Main Stage. It's a celebration of culture and good eats you won't want to miss!


Free Shakespeare In The Park

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Delacorte Theater

May 29 - June 24

Tony winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Jitney, The Piano Lesson) returns to Shakespeare in the Park to direct a sumptuous new production of OTHELLO. Set amid war and palace intrigue in the 17th-century Mediterranean, this classic drama about a noble Black Venetian general whose marriage is sabotaged by theater’s most infamous villain, Iago, remains Shakespeare’s most urgent and relevant tragedy today. A lush, romantic vision gives way to the violent tangle of love and jealousy, race and revenge in this must-see production of Shakespeare’s great tragedy, OTHELLO.

Join our e-mail list for the latest casting updates and news about Free Shakespeare in the Park.



Delacorte Theater

July 17 - August 19

In celebration of five extraordinary years of Public Works, a Public Theater initiative that invites diverse communities across New York to create ambitious works of participatory theater, Free Shakespeare in the Park presents a re-imagining of Public Works’ 2016 musical adaptation of TWELFTH NIGHT for a full five-week run in Central Park. Professional artists and two rotating ensembles of community members from all five boroughs will perform together on the Delacorte stage in this enchanting comedy about Viola (Nikki M. James), a young heroine who washes up on the shores of Illyria, disguises herself as a man, is sent to court a countess, and falls in love with a Duke. Featuring music and lyrics by critically-acclaimed songwriter Shaina Taub, this very special TWELFTH NIGHT is a unique partnership between two Public Theater programs that exemplify The Public’s commitment to radical inclusion. Oskar Eustis, The Public’s Artistic Director, and Kwame Kwei-Armah, incoming Artistic Director of London’s Young Vic, helm this unforgettable musical about love in all its many disguises.

Join our e-mail list for the latest casting updates and news about Free Shakespeare in the Park.


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On each public performance date, a limited number of tickets for that night's performance will be distributed via mobile lottery through our digital partner, TodayTix.


Step 1: Download the TodayTix app in the App Store or Google Play Store.
Please note: Lotteries can only be entered from the TodayTix app on your iPhone, iPad, or Android device.

Open the app and scroll down to find Free Shakespeare in the Park. 

Step 2: Enter the lottery for two free tickets.
On the confirmation screen, you may double or triple your odds by sharing your entry via Facebook and Twitter.

Step 3: See If You Won!
Make sure your name and e-mail address are correct and that TodayTix push notifications are turned on, so you can receive confirmation of lottery status. You will be notified if you've won between noon and
2:15pm on the day of the show.  You must confirm your winning tickets in the TodayTix app within 45 minutes of being notified. Winners may begin to pick up their tickets at 5:00 pm at the Delacorte Theater Box Office, but tickets that are not claimed by 7:30pm will be forfeited to the standby line.

You can enter the lottery between
12:00AM and 12:00PM (noon) on the day of each public performance. Each winner will get two (2) tickets to that night’s performance.


More information on other digital entry methods will be available at a later date. 

Check out this video on How To Get Free Tickets with helpful tips with Rebecca Naomi Jones. 

Secrets of Your Favorite NYC Landmarks


Sure, pretty much everyone living in New York City is familiar with Grand Central Station, Central Park and some of our other more notable landmarks, but these well-known locations still hold secrets that even born-and-bred New Yorkers may be surprised to learn. We’ve gathered together just a few to get you started, but in a city this size, with a history this long, there are many more that await your discovery. How many of these secrets were you aware of?


The New York Public Library: Oh, Give Me a Home…..

Just as the proposed $300 million renovation for the magnificent Beaux-Arts building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street has not been without its share of discord, there was also some controversy at the time of the library’s original construction. Patience and Fortitude, the famous marble African lions standing guard at the main entrance, weren’t particularly popular when they first arrived; Teddy Roosevelt wanted buffalo statues instead. But the lions prevailed – and were unveiled in 1911 at the library’s dedication ceremony.


Grand Central Station: Can You Hear Me Now?

A whisper is something you’d most likely associate with the aforementioned New York Public Library, not one of the busiest places in all of New York City. But rest assured we’ve got a doozy of a secret for you in a spot you’ve possibly passed through dozens and dozens of times. Most commonly referred to as the Whispering Gallery or Whispering Walls, an area on the way down to the lower concourse, right in front of the Oyster Bar where four Guastavino-tiled archways converge, is the home of a pretty cool sound effect.

You’ll need a friend to check this one out; you each need to stand at opposite ends of the underpass (one of the arches) and face the wall. If one of you speaks into the wall in a normal volume the other will hear what was said with surprising clarity–even though you are about 30 feet apart and in the middle of GCT’s typical hustle and bustle. No one is sure if it was designed that way intentionally, but it’s definitely something to try the next time you’re passing through the terminal.


Central Park: Is a Hidden GPS an Oxymoron?

Who wouldn’t want to get lost in Central Park, with its winding pathways, lovely bridges, stunning gardens and of course that wonderful lake? It’s no wonder it’s the most visited urban park in the United States. With all those visitors someone is bound to take a wrong turn every now and again. If that someone happens to be you, then rest assured this next secret will come in handy: The park has a built-in GPS–of sorts.

Simply make your way to one of its 1,600 lamp posts and you will find a secret code that will set you in the right direction. According to, “on each post there are four numbers, which are indicators for the street nearest the post and whether you’re on the east side or west side. The first two numbers are the street and the second set of numbers will either be even or odd (even numbers indicate east, and odd numbers indicate west).” For those of you who need a little more detail, the city has been adding metal plaques that provide the name of the cross streets as well, though we prefer the less obvious DaVinci code method.


The Empire State Building: This is For the Birds

Last month the city council weighed an energy-saving bill aimed at reducing the city’s environmental footprint by requiring commercial buildings to limit internal and external light use when empty at night. While it remains to be seen whether the measure will be put into effect, many skyscrapers like the Empire State Building have been turning off their lights for years, not to save energy but to save birds. New York City Audubon is behind the dimming, which occurs at midnight during migration season to prevent birds from crashing into the buildings. The Audubon executive director told Untapped, “The birds are drawn in by the glow of the city and are unable to see the miles of concrete and glass stretching into the sky.” Believe it or not, about 90,000 birds were killed in this manner during the course of only two migration seasons.

  The Bronx Zoo: Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder   I

The Bronx Zoo: Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder


The Bronx Zoo: Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

Italian artists and sculptors like Michelangelo, da Vinci, and Botticelli have produced some of the world’s greatest artistic treasures–but a lesser-known sculptor unintentionally wound up giving the Bronx Zoo one of its own, the Rockefeller Fountain. Each year hundreds of thousands of visitors admire the beautiful three-tiered marble fountain, decorated with sea horses, dolphins, caryatids, mermaids, mermen and a swan. And the reason they are able to do so? Italians found the fountain, which was built by Biagio Catella in 1872 and originally stood in the Piazza Cavour in Como, Italy, unappealing. Truth be told, pretty much everyone there hated it. So off it went to a salvage yard until William Rockefeller rescued it in 1902 and graciously donated it to the zoo. Declared a landmark in 1968, the fountain now presides gloriously over the center of the Bronx Zoo’s Rainey Gate Concourse.

  St Patrick’s Cathedral: What Lurks Beneath    

St Patrick’s Cathedral: What Lurks Beneath


St Patrick’s Cathedral: What Lurks Beneath

One of the most recognizable buildings in the city, its tall spires and ornate façade have recently been restored to their original magnificence. And the inside is just as breathtaking. But beneath all that splendor you will find eerily beautiful crypts–enclosed tombs made with brick and cement that bear the remains of prominent industry leaders from the 18th and 19thcenturies such as General Thomas Eckert, Pierre Toussaint and Countess Annie Leary. In addition, the Archbishops of New York are buried in a crypt under the high altar and their honorary hats, called galeros, hang from the ceiling over their tombs.

Welcome to Harlem EatUp!


Welcome to Harlem EatUp!, a festival offering an exciting sampling of Harlem's sights, flavors and sounds, from artists of the kitchen, canvas, stage and streets. Enjoy Dine In Harlem, an EatUp! signature multi-room dinner party experience, featuring Harlem's hottest restaurants and chefs hosting some of the biggest national culinary stars in their kitchens. Get your eat on as you spend the day Uptown at The Harlem Stroll, where food, art and culture will converge all in the backdrop of one of the neighborhood's most beautiful parks. Watch Harlem and national top chef cooking demos on the EatUp! Main Stage. It's a celebration of culture and good eats you won't want to miss!

May 14 -20, 2018  4TH Annual Harlem Eatup! Festival



Harlem EatUp! is back, and tickets are now on sale for the fourth annual festival! Co-founders Marcus Samuelsson and Herb Karlitz are pleased to announce a full slate of events, with tickets ranging from free and pay-as-you-go to ticketed "Dine In" dinners.
Tickets and complete information can be found on
Below is much more information about the festival from its organizers.


"Harlem EatUp! combines the spirit of a block party and a family reunion where everyone is invited," says co-founder Marcus Samuelsson." "We created Harlem EatUp! to celebrate what makes this the most vibrant neighborhood in New York City, from food and drink to music and culture," says co-founder Herb Karlitz.
This year's Dine In Harlem dinner series will again showcase local and guest chef culinary mash-ups at some of Harlem's most beloved restaurants, featuring menus paired with wines from Bordeaux. Harlem EatUp! will also include the annual Harlem EatUp! Luminary Award Dinner honoring Dapper Dan & Bevy Smith. New to the HarlemEatUp!
line-up is a free, early-morning yoga session, Mantras, Mimosas & Bellinis, presented by Caviacchioli 1928 and featuring Harlem's own Land Yoga and DJ Taela. Guests can meditate to a funky beat and enjoy delicious Prosecco cocktails.
The festival will also showcase The Harlem Stroll, a two-day outdoor event at Morningside Park, one of the neighborhood's most celebrated parks, consisting of the Ultimate Grand Tasting (ticketed), and the Harlem Marketplace (free admission). Harlem restaurants and culinary stars will welcome their peers from New York City and across the country for a delicious, dynamic and memorable week. Citi is the preferred card of Harlem EatUp!
"Harlem is one of the most vibrant, culturally diverse and delicious communities in the country," says Andrew Zimmern. "I can't wait to cook alongside some of the neighborhood's pioneers and most iconic culinary voices, including the inimitable Melba Wilson, and eat my way around the globe without leaving the island of Manhattan."
This year's Harlem EatUp! line-up includes: Yvette Leeper-Bueno (VINATERlA); Carlos Swepson (BLVD Bistro); Karl Franz Williams (Solomon & Kuff Rum Hall); Melba Wilson (Melba's); Leticia "Skai" Young & Chef Raymond Zamanta Mohan (LoLo's Seafood Shack); as well as Janine Booth & Jeff McInnis (Root & Bone); Laila Ali (cookbook author); Daniel Boulud (Restaurant Daniel); Josh Capon (Mercer Street Hospitality); Floyd Cardoz (Top Chef Masters winner, Bombay Bread Bar); Maneet Chauhan (CHOPPED judge); Dapper Dan (Dapper Dan's Boutique); Leah Cohen (Pig & Khao); Jose Garces (Ortzi); Stephanie Izard (Girl & The Goat, Chicago); Bevy Smith (SiriusXM Radio Andy); Jacques Torres (Jacques Torres Chocolates); Jernard Wells (The Chef of Love); Jarobi White (chef and founding member, A Tribe Called Quest); Andrew Zimmern (TV personality and author); and more.
Among the many restaurants to be featured this year include: BLVD Bistro, Chaiwali, Clay, Ginny's Supper Club, Harlem Shake, Harlem Tavern, Lady Lexis Sweets, LoLo's Seafood Shack, Melba's, Settepani, SpaHa Soul, Tastings Social presents Mountain Bird, The Edge Harlem, and more. Participating local vendors from the Harlem Park to Park Local Vendors Program and Harlem Business Alliance include Aromas Boutique Bakery, Clean Plate Co., Essie Spice, Limation Beverages, Mama's One Sauce, The Egg Roll Queen, The Little Hot Dog Wagon as well as Uptown Grand Central (NHEMA) and East Harlem Community Alliance members AFineLyne, Sprinkle Splash, Uptown Roasters and more.
As part of its mission and dedication to Harlem, net proceeds from the festival will be donated to Harlem Park to Park, Citymeals on Wheels and Historic Harlem Parks, and will be disbursed by the Harlem EatUp! Foundation, whose mission is to strengthen the community by supporting the people, cultures and non-profit organizations that empower Harlem. Harlem EatUp! is a celebration of Harlem's rich and rapidly expanding culinary, culture and art communities.
For a list of all free and ticketed events, please visit Additional festival programming announcements will be made throughout the spring.

Guest chefs from New York and around the world will be taking part in the "Dine in Harlem" dinner series. Each Dine In will offer a collaborative, multi-course culinary experience featuring a breadth of cuisine, from Northern Italian to Southern soul. Each course will be paired with wine from the Bordeaux Wine Council, beer
and cocktails. Dynamic performances from Harlem artists will round out the experience.
Tickets for the various events in the series are priced individually, available via
The schedule includes:

Wednesday, May 16: Chef Gustavo Lopez of Clay (553 Manhattan Avenue at 123rd Street) with guest chef Leah Cohen of Pig & Khao
New to the Harlem food scene, Clay is serving seasonal, locally sourced food in a modern and monastic space that was formerly Harlem's Perks Jazz Club. Chef and co-owner Gustavo Lopez
welcomes chef Leah Cohen of Pig & Khao and Piggyback Bar into his kitchen for a Spanish-Italian-Southeast Asian collaborative menu.

Wednesday, May 16: Chef Melba Wilson of Melba's (300 West 114th Street (114th Street and F. Douglass Blvd) with guest chef Andrew Zimmern
Melba Wilson, who was "born, bred and buttered in Harlem" hosts Andrew Zimmern of Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods to throw down in the kitchen at Melba's. This Dine In promises to offer delicious and unconventional comfort food... with a party that only Melba's throws. Bring your dancing shoes!

Wednesday, May 16: Chefs Nino Settepani & Leah Abraham of Settepani (196 Lenox Avenue, New York (at 120th Street) with guest chef Floyd Cardoz of Bombay Bread Bar
Two originals walk into a kitchen... one from the Lenox Avenue contemporary Harlem food scene, the other a legendary Indian-American chef. Settepani owners, chef Nino Settepani and Leah Abraham, welcome chef Floyd Cardoz of newly opened Bombay Bread Bar into their Northern Italian kitchen. Come taste what happens when these dynamic cultures collaborate!

Wednesday, May 16: Host Karl Franz Williams, owner & chef Christopher Faulkner of Solomon & Kuff Rum Hall (2331 12th Avenue at 133rd Street) with guest chef Maxcel Hardy of Detroit's River Bistro
The West Indies meets West Detroit at this Dine In when Solomon & Kuff Rum Hall owner Karl Franz Williams welcomes Motor City's finest, chef Max Hardy of River Bistro. Together with S&K chef Christopher Faulkner, the evening promises to deliver a pan-Caribbean soul-food-filled meal. It might be "so cold in the D," but it will be red hot in Harlem!

Wednesday, May 16: Hosts, Chef Carlos Swepson & Markisha Swepson of BLVD Bistro (239 Lenox Avenue at 122nd Street) with guest Chef Maneet Chauhan, CHOPPED Judge
If you are a fan of Food Network's Chopped and wondered what it would be like to meet a judge AND taste their food, this Dine In at Harlem's BLVD Bistro is your jam. Owners Carlos and Markisha Swepson are hosting Nashville chef Maneet Chauhan at their intimate brownstone soul food eatery. No need to yell, "get it on the plate!" These chefs promise that each dish will show up just right!

Thursday, May 17: Chef Jelena Pasic of Harlem Shake - East Harlem (2162 Second Avenue at 111th Street) with guest chef Josh Capon, Mercer Street Hospitality
Harlem EatUp! Grand Tasting favorite Harlem Shake joins the Dine In series for the first time at the East Harlem location. Owner Jelena Pasic welcomes guest chef Josh Capon of Lure Fishbar and Bowery Meat Company to create a classic all-American menu, with that Harlem twist!

Thursday, May 17: Host Leticia "Skai" Young & Chef Raymond Zamanta Mohan of LoLo's Seafood Shack (303 W. 116th Street between F. Douglass Blvd. & Manhattan Avenue) with guest chefs Janine Booth & Jeff McInnis, Root & Bone
It's couples night in the kitchen when LoLo's Seafood Shack owners Leticia "Skai" Young and chef Raymond Zamata Mohan host chefs Janine Booth and Jeff McInnis of Root & Bone. This foursome will be talking shop and creating a menu fit for everyone from the northeast to the south to the Caribbean.

Thursday, May 17: Host Yvette Leeper-Bueno of VINATERlA (2211 Frederick Douglass Blvd. at 119th Street) with guest chef Stephanie Izard, Girl & The Goat
Vinatería is the only
Dine In restaurant to have participated every year of Harlem EatUp! This year, proprietor Yvette Leeper-Bueno blends her Italian-Spanish perspective with that of Top Chef winner, chef Stephanie Izard of Girl & The Goat in Chicago. Together they will create an experience filled with bold, globally influenced food and the je ne c'est quoi of Vinatería that we can't get enough of! Salud! Saluti! Cheers!-*-

And there's more Harlem Eatup! fund to be had, including:

On Thursday, May 17, join host chef Marcus Samuelsson with guest chefs Adrienne Cheatham (Sunday Best Pop-up and season 15's
runner up on Bravo's "Top Chef") and Geoffrey Zakarian (The Lamb's Club), for the third annual Harlem EatUP! Luminary Award Dinner at Ginny's Supper Club honoring legendary fashion designer Dapper Dan of Dapper Dan's Boutique and Bevy Smith, host of SiriusXM Radio Andy. The Luminary Award was established to recognize
and thank distinguished culinary, arts or cultural leaders in the Harlem community.
Ginny's Supper Club (310 Lenox Avenue, between 125 & 126 Streets) will host this intimate and magical celebratory dinner. Tickets are $250 per person and available at

Enjoy a morning of yoga, mantras
and Prosecco, presented by Cavicchioli Prosecco 1928 and Land Yoga, at HEU's first-ever Mantras, Mimosas & Bellinis on Friday, May 18. Start the day with an energetic class in Morningside Park led by Harlem's own Lara Land of Land Yoga and accompanied by a guest DJ Taela. Mimosas and Bellinis created with Cavicchioli 1928 will be served throughout. This event is free and open to the public but pre-registration is required at Limited capacity and all guests must be 21 years or older.

THE HARLEM STROLL featuring the Marketplace & EatUp! Performance Stage + the Ultimate Grand Tasting
Experience the best of Harlem in one place at The Harlem Stroll on Saturday, May 19 and Sunday, May 20. This outdoor event brings together a wonderful sampling of the sights, flavors
and sounds of Harlem from artists of the kitchen, canvas and stage. On Saturday, May 19, The Harlem Stroll is presented by Citi.

The Harlem Stroll offers the following:
The Marketplace (Free Admission with pay-as-you-go options) features an a la carte selection of food from notable Harlem restaurants, food vendors, a wine and beer garden and the EatUp! Main Stage presented by Macy's, where you can catch local and visiting chefs cooking up live demos, as well as performances from musicians; and a Kids Zone presented by Whole Foods offering fun and games for the family.
Attendees will have the option of purchasing a Marketplace Package for $25 (a $30 value) good for food and beverages
purchases at the Marketplace. The Marketplace Package is available for purchase onsite and does not give guest entry to the Ultimate Grand Tasting. Food and beverages are subject to availability.

The EatUp! Main Stage presented by Macy's: 
Join an eclectic and acclaimed group of culinary and musical artists for interactive demos on the EatUp! Main Stage presented by Macy's, located in the Marketplace (free admission) at Morningside Park, including: Leticia "Skai" Young & chef Raymond Zamanta Mohan (Lolo's Seafood Shack) with guest chef Jose Garces (
Ortzi); chef Darryl Burnette (Belle Harlem) with guest chef Stephanie Izard (Girl & The Goat); Melba Wilson (Melba's) with guest chef Jacques Torres (Jacques Torres Chocolates) on Saturday, May 19. On Sunday, May 20, catch demos from: Jernard Wells (The Chef of Love) and Melba Wilson (Melba's); Marcus Samuelsson (Red Rooster Harlem, Ginny's Supper Club) with Jarobi White (chef and member of A Tribe Called Quest); and Adrienne Cheatham (Sunday Best Pop-up) with cookbook author Laila Ali.
And, the Ultimate Grand Tasting (Ticketed $85-$110) is a taste-around of over 20 of Harlem's favorite restaurants accompanied by an assortment of fine wines, beers
and cocktails, in an all-you-can-eat format. 21+ years required to enter.
The Harlem Stroll is located at Morningside Park (112 Street & Manhattan Avenue). General admission runs 12:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Citi offers early access at 12:00 noon each day exclusively for Citi cardmembers and one adult guest. Guests must have admission tickets to enter the Ultimate Grand Tasting at the Harlem Stroll. 21+ years required to enter The Ultimate Grand Tasting.


For a list of all free and ticketed events, please visit Additional festival programming announcements will be made throughout the spring.


A Speakeasy Hides Behind This Upper East Side Ice Cream Shop, the UES


If you took a stroll on 2nd Avenue in the Upper East Side, the bright pink storefront decorated with a neon ice cream cone would naturally catch your eye. However, the UES on 1707 2nd Avenue isn’t your typical scoop shop: this ice cream parlor doubles as a speakeasy.

Hidden behind a door covered by 180 empty ice cream cartons is “Storage,” a secret bar inspired by ones found during the Prohibition era. The atmosphere of the shop quickly changes as you leave the cheerful scoop shop and enter the dimly lit and trendy Storage Room.


“I wanted to open a Speakeasy on the Upper East Side because we don’t have anything like that up here,” said Cortney Bond, the owner of the shop. “This was exactly what the Upper East Side needed — we needed a new, hip bar and we needed good ice cream.”

Her predictions weren’t wrong: in just two days after opening this past fall, the shop sold out of ice cream completely. Even with absolutely no marketing or press in the first couple months, the UES Scoop Shop quickly became a neighborhood hot spot. With fun and delicious ice cream flavors including banana brownie, salted caramel, and peanut butter mudslide, it’s not really a surprise that the shop took off quickly.


Staying true to the roots of a traditional speakeasy, the knowledge of what was hidden behind the ice cream carton door remained largely a secret. “I was inspired by the prohibition era when creating my shop, I wanted it to gain popularity through strictly word of mouth when we first opened,” said Bond. “When people would ask if we had a speakeasy, we would deny it. The only way into the speakeasy was when customers asked if they could see the Storage Room.”

In addition to the unique flavors at the scoop shop, the bar also offers unique cocktails with names inspired by the UES, like the “2nd Avenue Subway,” “1040 Fifth Avenue (Jackie O’s famous address),” “Meet Me at the Met,” and “the Devil Wears Prada.” Each drink is designed and decorated to emulate the name. Some of its offerings even come with an additional treat to go with the drink. For example, the “El Lado Este Superior” is made with stolen spiced rum, fresh lemongrass stems, Kaffir lime leaves, housemade Galangal honey, strained through heat activated cigar leaves and poured over a coconut oil & turmeric powder washed ice cube. The drink is served in a cigar box with a chocolate cigar.


Another popular cocktail offered includes “the Lenox,” which includes beef jerky washed redemption rye, roasted cocoa black dirt Applejack, mint jelly, choya, housemade brown mustard honey served with smoked jerky.


Then there’s the “Community Board 8,” which features pig’s nose peated scotch whiskey infused with pine resin tears, braulio amaro, smoked “pine-apple” juice, housemade juniper & rosemary honey, apple jalapeno jam, lemon, Q Ginger beer served with SoCo blood orange sorbet in a bamboo cone. And for those with a sweet tooth, the UES offers “UES is Happy To Serve You,” made with four roses bourbon, chocolate lab chocolate wine, luxardo maraschino liqueur, campari, orange bitters topped with a warm coconut crema and beet root powder.


Following the trend of other speakeasies around the city, the UES has a semi-strict dress code, banning athletic wear, hats and sneakers. This doesn’t deter the wide range of visitors it gets on a regular basis.

“On any given night, we have an older business man enjoying wine or a group of young college girls enjoying a girls night out,” said Bond. “Who doesn’t love cocktails and ice cream? We offer something fun to do for all ages.”

While the neighborhood still remains largely residential and is often dubbed “the suburbs of New York City,” small businesses located on the UES are currently trying to disprove the myth that there’s nothing fun to do uptown.

“So many people forget that the Upper East Side can be just as cool as downtown, small businesses up here are helping generate more business in the neighborhood,” said Bond. “I opened the shop because I wanted the UES to flourish and change the fabric of the community. I want the UES to be something really cool that everyone can enjoy.”


The Real MTA map shows only the subway lines that are currently functioning


There’s been a lot of recent attention about the deterioration of the New York City subway, both in ridership and service. And, in the past, the subway map has done little more than inspire some cool art. Real-time information that could be very useful to riders, like a major delay or line shutdown, is only accessible “live” once you have already swiped your card and arrived on the subway platform. What good is it then? Now, thanks to web developer Eric Markfield, from Unfounded Labs, the Real MTA map, “a realistic subway map,” provides an up-to-the-minute, visual representation of any delays, service changes or planned work.



Any line that is experiencing delays disappears from the map. A clickable side panel links to an official MTA status report that details the problem.

Speaking to his inspiration, Markfield said, “As a New Yorker, I experienced the usual subway frustrations mounting in the recent years. I figured, I’m a web developer and the MTA publishes this open data and although there are good apps out there, I wanted to do something simple, playful and instantly understandable to give an idea what would the subway would look like if it would really working.”

Markfield points out that there are often many ways from point A to point B in NYC. He believes many others would follow his lead and be happier to find an alternate route if it makes for an easier commute. “I’m happy to go out of my way to have a more pleasant subway experience. I don’t mind adding 10 minutes to my ride, walking a little more, or riding a Citibike to another stop, to avoid being so crammed.”

Only live a few days, Markfield says the response has been great. “It really validates people’s frustrations. It’s part commentary and part tool.”

When asked, Markfield was open to the suggestion to expand the map encouraging rider input, a la Waze, and report other subway issues like stops with good live music or flooded stations.

Explore the map here >>

As of today, the Met will start charging non-New Yorkers $25 for admission


At the beginning of the year, the Met announced that it would begin charging non-New Yorkers (i.e. those without a state ID) $25 for admission, waiving its pay-what-you-wish policy that had been in effect since 1970. And as of today, that policy is officially being implemented through signs at all entrances, 14 new kiosks in the Great Hall, roaming museum staff with iPads, and a brochure that explains the new fee system, reports the Times.

When the Met put its pay-as-you-wish policy into effect nearly 50 years ago, it was one of the very few museums to do so. However, Daniel Weiss, president and chief executive officer of the Met, said that the new policy is necessary because “people assume that The Met is free when, in fact, it depends on the support of its visitors to open its doors every day.” To that end, over the last 13 years, despite attendance growing from 4.7 to 7 million, those who pay the “suggested” donation has dropped from 63 to just 17 percent. And the average person contributed between $9 and $16, still less than the suggestion. Admission currently makes up 14 percent, or $43 million, of the Met’s $305 million annual operating budget, but the new policy which the Met estimates will impact 31 percent of visitors, will increase that amount to roughly $49 million a year.

The new policy has faced its fair share of disapproval. In fact, shortly after the announcement, a petition went live to keep the museum free for all. It currently has 27,655 of its 30,000 signature goal. Artist Ai Weiwei likened it to “taking the jacket off a poor person.” He said, “I will never go to the Metropolitan. Am I calling for a boycott? No. But I myself will not go.” Chicago-based artist and architect Amanda Williams agreed: “What are we valuing in this difficult political and economic moment? And for young people, especially little black and brown bodies, they are receiving more and more messages that they don’t belong.”

But nonetheless, the Met remains committed to the fact that the change is necessary for its future survival. So far, more than 20,000 Met employees, from the main 5th Avenue location, the Cloisters in Washington Heights, and the Met Breuer, have been trained in “customer service techniques as well as communications and technical issues” as related to the new policy. The new ticket will be good for three days at any of the three locations. Students with a valid ID from a university in New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut will still be able to pay what they wish. Students from elsewhere will be charged $12 and seniors $17.

You can now stream more than 30,000 movies from the NYPL for free

By David Goldberg


Besides serving free literature and gorgeous architecture, the New York Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library are about to give you even more gratis culture. 

Starting today, you can use your library card to create a free login for the Kanopy film database, which features more than 30,000 films, including the bastion of critically-acclaimed films, the Criterion Collection. You'll be able to take out ten movies at a time, with three days to view each. 

Check out some of our picks for the best movies of all time, including A Woman Under the influence, La Haine and more. Finally, you can "Criterion and Chill" without going broke. 

You can get a library card here, and check out Kanopy's selection here