NYC Restaurant Week

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January 21- February 8, 2019*

$26 Lunch / Brunch & $42 Dinner

Enjoy special two-course & three-course, prix-fixe meals at participating restaurants. 

*Saturdays excluded, Sundays optional. Beverage, gratuities and taxes not included. Not all restaurants are participating in Lunch and Dinner. Please see details below for participation by restaurant.



The New York Pass


Free entry to 100+ top New York attractions, including Empire State Building. Huge savings vs. gate prices

The New York Pass® explained

Simply buy your chosen pass and download instantly using our App (or get it delivered / collect in city). Then scan your pass to enter any of the 100+ attractions.

How to get your New York Pass®

Pick your pass duration (1, 2, 3, 5, 7 or 10 day) and download your mobile pass instantly using our App. If you prefer a physical pass simply opt for delivery (we deliver worldwide) or collect on arrival in New York. You’re all set to Access Amazing™.

How to use your New York Pass®

You now have free access to any of the 100+ top attractions included for the duration of your pass. Your pass is only activated when you visit your first attraction and is valid for consecutive days (not 24-hour periods).

How to get fast track entry

The New York Pass® offers fantastic time saving benefits. You can skip the ticket line (does not apply to security lines) at top attractions including Top of the Rock, MoMA, The MET, Circle Line Cruises & more. Just look for the signs, show the attendant your pass and skip the ticket line.

Most popular questions

  1. How many attractions can I visit in one day?

  2. Can I visit the same attraction more than once?

  3. Can I share my New York Pass?

New York Pass® AttractionsGate price without pass Empire State BuildingFAST

Top of the Rock ObservatoryFAST

Big Bus New York Hop on Hop off Bus Tour $60

Madame TussaudsFAST

Statue of Liberty Ferry & Ellis Island $19

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)FAST

9/11 Memorial & Museum $26

Circle Line Sightseeing CruisesFAST

American Museum of Natural History $23

Central Park Sightseeing Bike Tours & Rentals $45

Metropolitan Museum of Art (The MET)FAST

The RIDE $69

Food On Foot Tours $49

Radio City Music Hall: Stage Door Tour $30

Madison Square Garden All Access Tour® $33

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space MuseumFAST

Solomon R. Guggenheim MuseumFAST

Rockefeller Center Tour $27

Hop-On Hop-Off Water Taxi: All Day Access Pass $37

Holiday Markets & Lights Tour $45

The TOUR $35

Spirits on Foot: Beer, Spirits & Wine Crawls $29

9/11 Memorial Audio Tour & 9/11 Tribute Museum $20

Whitney Museum of American Art $25

National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey $43

Inside Broadway Walking Tour $35

Fashion Windows Walking Tour $35

Museum of Sex $21

The Downtown Experience: Virtual Reality Bus Tour $54

Brooklyn Bridge Sightseeing Bike Tours and Rentals $45

Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park- Ice Skate Rental $20

9/11 Ground Zero Museum Workshop $25

Luna Park at Coney Island $39

Deno's Wonder Wheel $9Hamilton Happy Hour Tour $30

Harlem Gospel Tour (Sunday Service) $45

Yankee Stadium: Classic Stadium Tours $25

Downtown Liberty Express Cruise by Circle Line Downtown $31

Clipper City Tall Ship Cruises $45

Shearwater Classic Schooner Cruise $50

Blazing Saddles Bike Rentals & Tours $44

Central Park Sightseeing Walking Tour $24

Central Park TV & Movie Sites Walking Tour $27

When Harry Met Seinfeld Bus Tour $42

Grand Central Terminal Audio Tour $9

Greenwich Village Walking Tour $35

High Line-Chelsea-Meatpacking Tour $35

SoHo - Little Italy -­ Chinatown Walking Tour $35

The MET: Cloisters $25Museum of the City of New York $18

New York Historical Society Museum $21

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine $14

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum $16

Museum of Arts and Design $16

International Center of Photography Museum $14

New Museum $18

Fraunces Tavern $7

South Street Seaport Museum $12

The Brooklyn Bridge and DUMBO Neighborhood Tour $35

Brooklyn Bridge Walking Tour $40

Catacombs by Candlelight Tour $35

NYC Slavery and Underground Railroad Walking Tour $35

Brooklyn Museum of Art $16

Graffiti & Street Art Walking Tour of Brooklyn $32

Best of Brooklyn Walking Tour in Williamsburg $32

MoMA PS1 $10

Wall Street Walking Tour $35

Brooklyn Botanic Garden $16

Harlem Gospel Tour: Wednesday Service $25

New York Transit Museum $10

Carnegie Hall Tour $17

Gospel Walking Tour of Brooklyn $45

Staten Island Yankees Game $18

Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust $12

Museum at Eldridge St. $14

Bronx’s Little Italy and Arthur Avenue Walking Tour $35

New York Botanical Garden $25

New York Hall of Science $16

Lincoln Center Tour $25

Harlem Bike Tours $45

Harlem Bike Rentals $40

Hudson River Sightseeing Bike Rentals $40

Secrets of Downtown: Lower Manhattan Walking Tour $35

Highlights of Midtown Architectural Tour $35

Alternative Street Art Tour of the Lower East Side $35

The Skyscraper Museum $5

Staten Island Zoo $10Harlem Cultural Walking Tours $25

HighFlyer Zipline at Foxwoods Resort Casino $69

Staten Island Museum $8

Staten Island Children's Museum $8

Snug Harbor Botanical Garden in Staten Island $5

The Paley Center for Media $10

Surrey Bike Rental on Governor's Island $45

LEGOLAND® Discovery Center, Westchester $30

B&H Photo-Video-Pro Audio


  Buca di Beppo

  Dave & Buster's

Times Square

  Dylan’s Candy Bar

  Hard Rock Café

- Yankee Stadium 

 Heartland Brewery

  John’s Pizzeria

  Liberty Helicopters

  Macy’s Herald Square Visitors Center 

 On Location Tours Special Offer  Planet Hollywood  

Spirit Cruises 

 Store at The Museum Of Sex  

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NYC Broadway Week: Frequently Asked Questions


What does the 2-for-1 Ticket Offer entail?

With the NYC Broadway Week 2-for-1 Ticket Offer, you get 50% off each ticket with a minimum of two tickets purchased. There is a two-ticket minimum per purchase. Rather than one free ticket for every full-price ticket, all tickets will be issued at 50% off their original price (plus applicable taxes and fees). Your shopping cart will show the exact number of tickets you will receive.

Why can't I find seats?

If no seats are available, it's possible that the show has sold out at the offer rate. Please choose another date or check back at a later time to see if the show has released more discounted seats. Also check each show's terms and conditions to make sure you're not selecting a performance on a blacked-out date.

What is the Upgrade Option?

This 2-for-1 offer includes the option of upgraded seats. Upgraded seat options include those closer to the stage and/or with a better view than regularly priced seats. Upgraded tickets will be issued at 50% off their original price plus a flat $20 per ticket. Please note that upgraded seats usually have a higher starting price than regular seats.

What are the general ticket sales codes?

2-for-1 tickets: BWAYWK
2-for-1 tickets with Upgrade Option: BWAYUP

Where do I enter my code for general ticket sales?

Telecharge: Once you select the 2-for-1 Ticket Offer or the Upgrade Offer, you will be taken to the show’s offer page where your code will already be applied. Enter your preferences and click NEXT to choose your seats. NYC Broadway Week seats are displayed on the seating chart in orange and regular price seats in blue. You may also visit and enter a code.

Ticketmaster: On the ticket purchase page, enter the code in the offer code box above the interactive seat map. Once the code is entered, the map will show you the seats that are available for the 2-for-1 offer in dark blue. The offer details and cost per ticket are displayed on the right.

Hudson Theatre: The code will be automatically entered when you click the link; if not, enter it in the Promotional Code box. Choose a performance date and time, then a section. When you click on the light green seats allocated for NYC Broadway Week, you will have the option of purchasing tickets at the offer price.

Roundabout: The code will be automatically entered when you click the link; if not, enter it in the Promotional Code box. A thank you message should appear, confirming that the offer is valid for that performance. You will then be able to select seats for the NYC Broadway Week promotion.

Contacting NYC Broadway Week Ticketing Services

If you are having problems purchasing your tickets online, please call the appropriate number below:

  Telecharge Customer Service: (800) 447-7400
  Ticketmaster Customer Service: (877) 250-2929
  Disney Customer Service: (866) 870-2717
  Hudson Theatre Customer Service: (855) 801-5876
  Roundabout Customer Service: (212) 719-1300


NYC Broadway Week


NYC Broadway Week Basics

NYC Broadway Week is a twice-yearly celebration of live theater at its pinnacle: the Broadway stage. Since 2011, the program has invited show goers to explore a multitude of Broadway’s electric productions with 2-for-1 tickets—one of the only offers of its kind.

NYC Broadway Week Winter 2019 runs from January 21 through February 10; tickest go on sale starting January 9. To buy tickets, visit the official NYC Broadway Week page. Browse the entire lineup of participating productions or filter by genre, family-friendly shows and even recent Tony Award winners.

Tips for NYC Broadway Week

Here’s how to make the most of this sensational program.

1. Book Early

Ticket quantities are limited and top shows sell out quickly. Sometimes additional seats are released throughout the program, but it’s best to book ahead.

2. Opt for an Upgrade

Upgraded seats are available for the same 2-for-1 offer, plus an additional $20 per ticket. Keep in mind that upgraded tickets often have a higher starting value than regular tickets.

3. Go with a Group

The 2-for-1 offer translates to 50% off each individual ticket, with a two-ticket minimum—so you can get multiple friends in on this great deal.

4. Do Dinner (or Lunch) and a Show

Look for special pre-theater menus at nearby restaurants.

5. It’s Never Just a Week

NYC Broadway Week can seem fleeting, but it’s always longer than seven days—plenty of time to catch a show or three.

Why NYC Broadway Week?

Beloved by both visitors and locals, Broadway is a major contributor to the local economy and supports approximately 90,000 jobs in New York City.


20 Ways to Enjoy Winter in Central Park


ice skating. Take in the surrounding views while you skate in one of the Park’s ice rinks: Wollman Rink or Lasker Rink. Both offer skate and locker rentals. When conditions permit and the ice is consistently at least six inches thick, Conservatory Water also opens for free ice skating — just bring your own skates!

  1. Visit the Central Park Zoo. Managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Zoo is open year-round. Its residents include sea lions, penguins, seals, and snow leopards. Families with children can continue north to the Tisch Children’s Zoo, home to potbellied pigs, sheep, and the only cow in Manhattan.

  2. Take a tour. From corner to corner, Central Park is filled with fascinating destinations and secrets. The best way to learn about the Park’s rich history is to take a tour. Browse our various offerings to find the ones that interest you most.

  3. Ride the Carousel. Central Park’s famed Carousel features calliope music and 57 horses. NYC Parks discovered the current vintage carousel abandoned in an old trolley terminal on Coney Island before bringing it to its current location. It is the fourth carousel to stand in the Park since it opened in 1871 and remains one of the largest carousels in the U.S.

  4. Go sledding. Grab your sled and enjoy fresh snow on the slopes of Central Park! Pilgrim Hill and Cedar Hill, two popular sledding destinations in the Park, are open for sledding when there is at least six inches of snow cover on the ground and conditions permit.

  5. Cedar Hill (East Side from 76th to 79th Streets) is one of the Park’s most popular sledding destinations

    1. Take a self-guided walk. There are countless scenic routes to take through the Park. From north to south, the Park’s landscapes invite you to wander. Why not do it at your own pace? If you’re curious where to start (or where to end), our self-guided walks are a great resource.

    2. Build a snowman. This classic snow day activity is easy with so much space in New York City’s backyard! Looking to build on Sheep Meadow or another large lawn? Though many lawns are closed in the winter to let them rest, we open them when there is more than six inches of snow on the ground (and conditions permit) because that’s enough snow to protect the lawns and still let them rest.

    3. Go shopping. Stop by the Dairy Visitor Center & Gift Shop to browse our wide selection of apparel, books, and accessories — including sweatshirts and blankets for extra warmth! The Columbus Circle Holiday Market, at the Park’s busiest entrance, is also open through December 24.

    4. Help keep the Park clean. Volunteering to Pitch In, Pick Up is a great way to help keep Central Park clean and beautiful. Visit one of our participating visitor centers to get started.

    5. Relax in a boat landing on the Lake. In the 1860s, six boat landings were constructed along the shoreline of the Lake. Designed to complement the surrounding scenery, the small structures served as scenic lookouts and docks for recreational boaters. The landings were periodically reconstructed in the 19th century and removed throughout the 20th century due to deterioration. In 2016, we rebuilt the five boat landings standing today. They are recreations of the original 19th-century designs.

    Wagner Cove Landing (Mid-Park at 72nd Street) is one of Central Park’s hidden oases of calm

    1. Borrow a Discovery Kit. Stop by a visitor center and borrow a Discovery Kit for an in-Park adventure! Discovery Kit backpacks are filled with kid-friendly binoculars, field guides, a hand lens, colored pencils, and sketch paper.

    2. Explore a playground. With 21 playgrounds that are each unique in design and character, Central Park offers play options for children of all ages and interests. Find the perfect playground for your children’s personalities or passions this season.

    3. See a show at the Swedish Cottage. Under the direction of the City Parks Foundation, the Swedish Cottage is home to one of the last public marionette companies in the country. See their original production, Yeti, Set, Snow!, now through February.

    4. Admire the Bethesda Terrace Arcade. Watch the falling snow from this magnificent space between the Mall and Bethesda Fountain. Did you know that this is the only place in the world to find a Minton tile ceiling?

    Find shelter from the snow and wind in the stunning Bethesda Terrace Arcade (Mid-Park at 72nd Street)

    1. Listen to tunes at the Delacorte Clock. This popular clock near the Zoo rings seasonal chimes and nursery rhymes every half hour. The clock sits atop a three-tiered tower and features a band of animals including monkeys, a penguin, a hippo, and a kangaroo. The animals circle the tower to 44 tunes that change seasonally.

    2. Visit our Landforms exhibit. Step out of the cold and into the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center to browse our exhibit on the history of the Park’s Fort Landscape.

    3. Play board games. Chess & Checkers House, one of the Park’s five visitor centers, features outdoor chess and checkers tables. Visitors are welcome to borrow chess and checkers pieces from Conservancy staff, or bring their own. A variety of other games, including Scrabble and Jenga, are also available to play inside.

    4. Complete a Discovery Journal. Enhance your adventures in Central Park with a Discovery Journal, which includes activities that allow kids to investigate the connections between the design, plants, wildlife, and people in the Park.


What Is “Outsider” in Unthinkable Times?


Art’s uplifting power is unmistakably real; today, the works of the most original autodidacts feel more compelling than ever.


It’s that time of year again, when the annual Outsider Art Fair pitches its big tent in downtown Manhattan, and its exhibitors roll out multicolored welcome mats, throwing open treasure chests filled with their latest discoveries from around the world: paintings, drawings, carvings, sculptures, and peculiar whatchamacallits in an array of forms and media.

Each arrival of this fair inevitably stokes the fires of now-familiar — and sometimes tired-sounding — debates surrounding which hard-to-classify concoctions from self-taught art-makers, situated by choice or circumstances on the margins of mainstream society and culture, can rightly be labeled “outsider art.” Get ready, too, for the usual gabfests around such perennial bugaboos as the notion that the “outsider” label is inherently derogatory, or that even the most reputable dealers are unethical exploiters of naïf art-makers whose works they bring to market.


But forget the squabbling about who or what might rightly be considered “outside.” Outside what? Much more interesting now, in a world in which fascism is on the rise, including in the United States, where a would-be president-king exemplifies the textbook definition of corrupt, autocratic, lawless rule, is the question of just where the “mainstream” is to be found. For, more and more, what was once edgy, out there, or unthinkable, from S&M to routine mass shootings, has become the stuff of sitcoms and ho-hum headlines.

Against this backdrop, the best outsider artworks offer not just an escape from the darkness of a soul-crushing moment, but also the solace (or deliverance) that emerges from this kind of art’s inherent truths. To discover — and seize upon — them is to find anchors in a storm.


Hassan, “Untitled” (ca. 2010–11), mixed media on wood, 8.5 x 12 inches (photo courtesy Ricco/Maresca Gallery)

Such compelling emotional power is particularly evident in the fair’s array of drawings — a mainstay of the art brut and outsider art genres. New York dealer Julie Saul will feature some in ballpoint-pen and marker inks by the Mexico City resident Mario Mendoza Alpizar, who, from the 1930s through the 1980s, made caricatures of celebrities and urban characters, as well as images of animals. Mendoza’s work was discovered by the American art historian James Oles, a specialist in Mexican modern art who teaches at Wellesley College. In a gallery handout, Oles has written a summary of what is known of Mendoza’s life, noting that the artist once “self-deprecatingly identifie[d] himself as a ‘bungling amateur draughtsman with pretensions of being an artist.’”

Dealer Scott Ogden of the Lower East Side’s Shrine recently found a cache of never-before-seen drawings and paintings by patients at northern London’s now-defunct Friern Hospital (formerly known as the Colney Hatch Lunatic Asylum, its buildings have been transformed into housing). Produced between 1930 and 1960, these works caught the attention of the hospital’s head psychiatrist, Alec C. Dalzell, who had been influenced by the German psychiatrist Hans Prinzhorn’s 1922 book, Artistry of the Mentally Ill. Shrine’s offerings include pictures in various media, including Lily Gibeon’s almost psychedelic cats in gouache on paper.


Issei Nishimura, “Copy” (2013), acrylic, colored gesso, and linen on plywood, 28.74 x 20.87 inches (photo courtesy Cavin-Morris Gallery)

Northern California’s Creative Growth Art Center, which introduced such crossover outsider-to-contemporary-art-market stars as Dan Miller and the late Judith Scott, will show drawings and totem-shaped ceramics by Dinah Shapiro, works whose compositions seem to emerge organically and construct themselves. From Paris, dealer Hervé Perdriolle will showcase boldly colored, oil-on-wood nature scenes by the Moroccan Ali Maimoune, which bring to mind the earth-honoring spiritualism of the paintings of the late Jamaican Intuitive Everald Brown (1917-2003). Perdriolle will also feature meditative, pencil-on-paper drawings by the singer Paban Das Baul, a mystic minstrel from the Indian state of West Bengal.

Bold, too, are the pictures of flat-topped, neatly rectangular houses or studiously perspectival pieces of modernist furniture created by Ousseynou Gassama, an itinerant Senegalese artist known as “Hassan,” who was last spotted around the port of Barcelona; his exact whereabouts are still unknown. New York’s Ricco/Maresca Gallery will present his mixed-media-on-wood paintings, which share some affinities with the ink-on-paper architectural drawings of the contemporary British self-taught artist Albert, who uses only one name, and whose works are represented by Henry Boxer, a London-based dealer and longtime OAF exhibitor.


Angelika, “Toy for Big and Small Children” (ca. 1940s), pencil on found paper, 4.50 x 4.25 inches (photo courtesy Henry Boxer Gallery)

Like many of his colleagues in the field, Boxer delights in — and counts on being able to deliver — surprises, and this year he will show, among other offerings, detailed drawings in pencil on found scraps of paper by a mediumistic artist known as “Angelika,” who resided at a psychiatric hospital in Potsdam in the 1940s. Her undated “Double Self-driving Lamp with Clock” and “Toy for Big and Small Children” depict just two of the contraptions she conjured up while the spirit moved her.

Over in the extra-bold category, look for the psychologically charged, drippy-trippy, semi-abstract tableaux in various media of the Japanese artist Issei Nishimura, a reclusive painter and prolific maker of drawings who lives in Nagoya, the center of Japan’s automotive industry. Sometimes inspired by American blues music, each of Nishimura’s images (a ribbon-like tongue dangling from a face or what appears to be the back of a head covered with eyeballs) is more unusual than the next. Cavin-Morris Gallery will be showing them at the fair for the first time, along with tempera-on-paper paintings by Tarcisio Merati (1934–1995), a technical draftsman and schizophrenic from the Bergamo area of northern Italy, whose mysterious, mechanical-architectural forms seem to hover in pictorial space like big balloons above unknown landscapes. Another Italian, Elisabetta Zangrandi (James Barron Art) from Verona, comes from a background as an embroiderer and nature lover — she sometimes paints rocks that she finds while hiking — to make big-eyed, acrylic-on-wood fantasy portraits set against multicolored backgrounds.


Elisabetta Zangrandi, “Regine dell’oceano” (undated), acrylic on wood, 15 x 29 inches (photo courtesy James Barron Art)

Sharing the spirit of these artists’ electric palettes are the exuberant abstractions in ink, gouache, and acrylic on paper of Queen Nancy Bell, a Philadelphia-based artist whose business card reads, “Done by the fingertips of Jesus, the fingertips of Jehovah, and the gospel of the Holy Spirit, amen. Master artist ordained by the churches.” Philadelphia’s Fleisher/Ollman will bring them to the fair, while Galerie Gugging, part of the Art Brut Center Gugging, near Vienna, will highlight the work of the Austrian Heinrich Reisenbauer, whose Pop-flavored drawings in pencil and colored pencil on paper, or in Sharpie pen and acrylic on canvas, depict neat, repeated rows of drums, pears, apples, and other everyday subjects.

Among sculptural works, the independent dealer Chris Byrne will show those of Kambel Smith, who uses found cardboard, Foamcore, and other materials to make small-scale replicas of Philadelphia’s historical buildings. Byrne says that he “literally stumbled upon” Smith’s creations in the yard of the young artist’s home in Germantown, a neighborhood of Philadelphia.

Veteran New York dealer Aarne Anton’s American Primitive Gallery will show mixed-media objects by Zebedee B. Armstrong (1911-1993), an artist who lived in Georgia and became known for making various forms of doomsday calendars. Norman Brosterman, a dealer from Long Island, will present recently discovered assemblages made with assorted found materials, including action figures and other toys, by the Staten Island resident John Foxell (1944-2016), who suffered from PTSD after witnessing up close the September 2001 destruction of the World Trade Center.

With a large exhibition now on view at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC, and a new monograph from 5 Continents, a Milan-based art-books publisher, the definitive American outsider artist Bill Traylor (circa 1853-1949) is enjoying a critical lovefest; the California gallery Just Folk, fresh from its acquisition of a private collection of Traylor drawings, will be featuring them at the fair. Look for Traylor’s pig on brown cardboard, whose tar-black, squarish form could hold its own next to a modernist, abstract drawing by, say, Richard Serra or Al Held. For admirers of other American classics, Chicago’s Carl Hammer will bring a selection of Joseph Yoakum’s landscape drawings, in which the earth undulates and swirls.

Last year, the Tokyo dealer Yukiko Koide introduced the drawings of Yuichiro Ukai, whose compositions are densely packed with historical figures, insects, and strange animals. This time she will bring his newest pictures, along with, for reference, a rare Yoshitora Utagawa ukiyo-e woodblock print, whose centuries-old monsters serve as inspiration for Ukai’s spooky-weird confections.

Late last September, Phyllis Kind, a doyenne of the outsider art field in the United States, died at the age of 85. Kind, who operated galleries in Chicago and New York, was the first dealer to show self-taught artists’ works alongside those of their cutting-edge, school-trained contemporary peers.

For this year’s fair, as a specialist in the field who knew Kind and was familiar with her archive, I was asked to organize a small exhibition looking back on her long, influential career. It will feature works by some of the artists she represented or collected, in particular those

that informed her understanding of art brut and outsider art. Out of the vaults will come rarely seen works by Howard Finster, Ray Yoshida, and Roger Brown. (The latter two Chicago artists were major collectors of self-taught artists’ works, folk art, objects from indigenous cultures, and offbeat, pop-cultural stuff.)

Kind, who closed her New York gallery in 2009 (she had shuttered her Chicago venue earlier), perhaps unwittingly helped pave the way for what is recognized today as the more intentional “crossover” between the marketing of outsider or self-taught artists’ works and those of modern and contemporary artists. While she celebrated wide-ranging, catholic tastes, she also routinely warned against losing what makes art brut and outsider art special as a result of well-meaning boundary-blurring. “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water,” she often said.

Offering his take on the pulse of outsider art’s specialized market — its trends and concerns — the longtime New York dealer Randall Morris, a co-director of Cavin-Morris Gallery who is now considered a doyen of the field, observed, “I feel that the time has come to stop buying artists by name and instead to look at the work and buy the best examples from each artist. The field seems to have grown on generalities of definition, but looking closely and carefully at galleries tells you which dealers are just generic merchandisers, and which ones have an agenda of connoisseurship.”

In addition, co-director Shari Cavin pointed out that “shoving art brut/self-taught art/outsider art into the contemporary-art department shuts the door on the identities of these artists and ultimately on our understanding of their creations. Their art is just as good as contemporary art, but its wellspring is different.”

Apparently, as the OAF’s growing popularity demonstrates, so is its impact. Now, at a time when so much seems to be fleeting or already lost, or at best feels uncertain and vulnerable, outsider art’s vivid evocation of humanity’s abiding creative impulse may largely help explain its enduring — and increasing — allure.


The Outsider Art Fair takes place at Metropolitan Pavilion (125 West 18th Street, Manhattan) from January 17-20. 

15 Under $15: Great Bites in NYC That Won't Break the Bank


We here at Serious Eats are always hungry. We’re also always on the lookout for great food that won’t break the bank. So we thought it would be a perfectly reasonable task to come up with a short roundup of our favorite cheap eats in New York City. Well, readers, we were wrong.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, our initial stab at a list was so expansive that it would’ve taken us years to write up and photograph—that’s what happens when you send a half dozen serious eaters out to eat wherever they happen to be over the course of a couple of months. To whittle it down, we decided to introduce some rules: First, we limited ourselves to dishes that cost between $10 and $15 (stay tuned for an under-$10 and an under-$5 list as well). Second, we excluded baked goods, desserts, and other sweets. And finally, we stipulated that each of the dishes had to be substantial enough to qualify as a meal. 

After revisiting old haunts and checking out more recent additions to the restaurant scene over the last couple of months, we came up with 15 exceptional picks—delicious, affordable, destination-worthy meals from Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens.* And, though our finalists don’t encompass every cuisine available in New York City, you’ll find a huge range—good old American sliders, a richly savory Chinese noodle soup, a revelatory Mexican torta, and so much more.

Of course, this list is by no means definitive. New York City is vast, and we’re well aware that there are phenomenal dishes we haven’t even tried that fall within this price range. We’re also confident, however, that whether you’re a tourist or a native, if you make it a goal to check off each item on this list, you’ll end up a very happy and satisfied eater with some new go-to restaurants under your belt (which may need a few new notches when all’s said and done). Here they are, in no particular order.

Mixian Soup at Little Tong Noodle Shop


You could argue that this list was drawn up with Little Tong in mind. In this pristine, minimalist space in the East Village, Chef Simone Tong offers six bowls of noodles, all priced at $15. For an even better deal, head there for a weekday lunch, when you’ll also have a choice of five small plates to kick things off—think ghost chicken, made with pickled red onions and fresh herbs, or Chinese broccoli salad with citrus soy and smoked egg yolk.

All of the bowls feature mixian—the slippery, tubular fermented rice flour noodles from Yunnan province—submerged in a variety of broths that are as stunning in their complexity as they are delicious. But my favorite is the Grandma Chicken Mixian: Tender and moist pieces of chicken confit, a tea-soaked egg, house-made pickles, and edible flowers lie atop the mixian, all of it submerged in a dark chicken broth flavored with black sesame chili oil. Every spoonful of soup is a thunderbolt of flavor—salty, sour, and just a little spicy. It may be the best bowl of chicken soup I've ever had in my life, and it's certainly the most interesting. Sorry, Grandma Ida: Simone Tong has you beat.

Little Tong Noodle Shop


177 First Avenue New York, NY 10003929-367-8664

Breakfast Frankie at Pondicheri


For a contemporary-Indian restaurant, Pondicheri is unusual. First of all, it's open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Second, it doubles as a bakery, serving up treats infused with Indian spices, like masala cookies, turmeric shortbread spiced with cumin, and cardamom sponge cake shot through with heavy cream. If you can’t resist any of these, we understand. But we’re here to talk about the Breakfast Frankie, Houston-based chef-owner Anita Jaisinghani’s take on the popular Indian street food commonly filled with potatoes, meat, or vegetables. 

Though nominally a breakfast wrap, this frankie comes with none of the tough exterior, rubbery egg, or indeterminate nuggets of protein endemic to wraps served in fast-casual concepts around the country. At the bright and airy NoMad restaurant, Ajna Jai (Jaisinghani’s daughter) scrambles two eggs and mixes in the house-made masala, a slow-cooked blend of diced fresh peppers, mustard seed, and celery seed. Jai adds cilantro chutney before finishing the eggs in the pan with spinach and gently placing them into a flaky sweet potato roti. A standard-order Breakfast Frankie will satisfy in the extreme, but meat lovers can also opt for the addition of the ground lamb keema, which is very savory and only mildly lamb-y in flavor.



15 West 27th Street New York, NY 10001646-878-4375

Whole Pie at the Original Patsy’s


Not all Patsy's pizzerias are created equal. But the original Patsy's, which opened in 1933, remains one of the best places in the city for a classic New York pie. There, you’ll find a sit-down restaurant/pizzeria, where you can order both standard Italian-American fare and the city’s best pizza bargain. For $12, you’ll get a perfect, smallish eight-slice plain pizza—thin-crusted, crispy yet pliant, with blackened edges, adorned with fresh mozzarella and simple crushed tomatoes in perfect proportions—made in an oven that looks like it hasn't been replaced since the restaurant first opened. If you’re in a hurry, you can get the same pizza cut into six slices at the takeout window (more like a cubbyhole or a closet, really) next door, and you’ll save a quarter. You can use it to pay the meter. This is minimalist, old-school coal-fired-oven New York pizza, and you can't find it anywhere else in the city at this price. 

Patsy’s Pizzeria


2287 First Avenue New York, NY 10035 212-534-9783

Dirty Shoyu Ramen at Ramen Shack


Shoyu ramen might just be the most classic form of the Japanese noodle dish, featuring a clear broth made from chicken (and sometimes pork) and dashi, flavored with soy sauce. While you can get a very good version of shoyu ramen at Keizo Shimamoto's Ramen Shack in Long Island City, Queens, it’s his Dirty Shoyu Ramen that’s worth going out of your way to try. The clear chicken-and-dashi broth is spiked with a dark, inky tare, or flavor base, made from fried dried sardine heads and fried green onions, all blitzed up with soy sauce.

The result is totally unique, and the strong but by no means off-putting fish flavor is something of an anomaly in the current NYC ramen scene. Into the broth go Shimamoto's noodles, made in house; they get topped off with tender rounds of braised and torched pork belly, blanched spinach, a sheet of nori, thinly sliced green onions, marinated bamboo, and a slice of the fish cake known as naruto. The city is blessed with all kinds of good ramen these days—Ivan Ramen's two locations in Manhattan, Mu Ramen (also in Long Island City), and, of course, the legendary Jack Nakamura's shop on the Lower East Side—but the Dirty Shoyu is one of the very best, and it’s also one of the cheapest. Even if you add one of their excellent marinated eggs, you're still out only $15.

Ramen Shack


13-13 40th Avenue Queens, NY 11101929-522-0285

Meatball Sub at Frankies 457 Spuntino


Sometimes old standbys with long histories of serving quality food get lost in the never-ending New York City dining shuffle. And that means that a sandwich as good as the $12 Meatball Parmigiana from cozy Carroll Gardens restaurant Frankies 457 rarely gets its proper due. We're changing that right now. Picture tender, lightly packed meatballs mixed with Pecorino Romano and studded with pine nuts and raisins; a generous ladle of tangy tomato sauce; and a blanket of melted cheese (you can get the recipe right here). The whole thing’s tucked into a split piece of Sullivan Street Bakery pizza bianca, a Roman-style flatbread topped with sea salt, olive oil, and fresh rosemary. When we ate here last, we left convinced that many sandwiches in this town would benefit from the pizza bianca treatment—it’s flavorful, delicious, and creates an ideal fillings-to-bread ratio.

Frankies 457 Spuntino


457 Court Street Brooklyn, NY 11231718-403-0033

Roast Pork Egg Foo Yong at La Dinastia


Roast pork egg foo yong is an old-school Cantonese-American gustatory pleasure from my childhood, when my parents would take us to the local Chinese restaurant every Sunday night. These disk-shaped omelettes, piled three to an order and filled with fried onions and roast pork, remain a fail-safe option at the old-school Cantonese-American restaurants left scattered throughout the city. They’re also a trademark of the few Cuban-Chinese restaurants left on the Upper West Side, which were opened by post-Castro Cuban-Chinese emigrés to the States. 

Most orders of egg foo yong fill you up with a heavy dose of protein, saddling you with a bloated feeling and an increased cholesterol count as you leave the restaurant. But La Dinastia's roast pork egg foo yong is light and remarkably fluffy, elevated by the omelette’s crispy burnished crust and the slices of fresh scallion that adorn it. When I asked how they accomplish this, my waiter said the chef makes it in a wok and knows what he’s doing. We recommend ordering it without the brown sauce, which is viscous and cloying—this egg foo yong is perfect on its own. The $14.75 price tag might seem like a lot, but the five eggs in every portion will feed two hungry people very well, and in terms of bites-per-dollar satisfaction, it's undoubtedly a great deal.

La Dinastia


145 West 72nd Street New York, NY 10023212-362-3801

Hummus Bowl at Dizengoff


For a long time, New York was adrift in a sea of decent but by no means transporting hummus. Then Philly uber-chef Michael Solomonov brought Dizengoff to Chelsea Market. There, he serves bowls of creamy, satiny, deeply flavored hummus, which come with pita, chopped salad, and pickles. The $10 classic bowl is excellent—much like in our hummus recipe, Solomonov soaks and cooks the chickpeas in water doctored with baking soda, which raises their pH level and promotes softening, and then whips them into a mousse-like consistency. But for a real meal, I recommend upgrading with one of the topping sets, like beets, apricots, and hazelnuts ($12); ground chicken, onion, and peas ($13); or a sabich-style bowl with hard-boiled egg, eggplant, and amba ($12). 

I haven't had a bad bowl yet, so you can go vegetarian or meaty, depending on how you roll. Just swirl your hummus together, mixing it with the good olive oil drizzled on top of it and whichever toppings you've chosen, and sop it all up with still-warm pita baked right on the premises. The crunchy Israeli pickles provide a little textural contrast and heat, and the small Israeli salad completes the virtuous meal. Or, if you're more of a sandwich kind of person, order all of the above-mentioned ingredients and stuff them into a pita instead.



75 Ninth Avenue New York, NY 10011646-833-7097

Pho Bac at Hanoi House


Great pho starts with the care and love that go into making the broth. At Hanoi House, in the East Village, John Nguyen starts his savory, more-northern-than-southern-Vietnamese-style broth (according to Nguyen, northern-style broth is more subtly spiced and may seem saltier) by simmering shin, neck, and oxtail bones for 12 hours. They’re then joined by ginger and charred onion, along with fish sauce, rock sugar, and a toasted spice blend—coriander, fennel, star anise, clove, and cinnamon—and simmered for another four hours. For those of you following the bouncing broth at home, that’s 16 hours of cooking time. Right before serving the $15 bowl of pho, Nguyen adds blanched rice noodles, thin slices of long-braised brisket, raw filet mignon, and a garnish of fresh cilantro, scallion, and slivered onion. The result is a heady brew so full of flavor, it really doesn't even need the pickled garlic and house-made hot sauce condiments (though they’re so damn delicious, you’d be remiss in skipping them altogether). 

Hanoi House


119 St. Mark's Place New York, NY 10009212-995-5010

A Vegan Feast at Bunna Cafe


Bunna Cafe doesn’t just serve some of the best Ethiopian food in New York City; it does so at unbeatable prices. Unless you’re truly craving a particular dish, look past the wat (stew) à la carte and place an order for one of Bunna’s Feasts. At lunchtime, $13 will get you seven wat served over a sheet of injera, the tangy, spongy Ethiopian flatbread made from teff. (You’ll also get additional rolls of injera to scoop it all up.) For another two dollars, get a Feast for 2: eight wat, served in slightly larger portions. Come dinnertime, you can swing a Meal (five wat) for just $12, or upgrade to the Feast for $16; larger groups can enjoy Feasts for two or three, at similarly reasonable prices.

All the dishes at Bunna are vegan, but omnivores shouldn’t shy away: Servings are extremely generous, and there’s a hearty richness to be found in dishes like misir wot(tender red lentils in berbere sauce); enguday tibs (sautéed mushrooms with onion, ginger, and rosemary); and kedija selata (a cooling mix of kale and avocado, tossed with tomato and lime). If you’re lucky, you’ll also catch one of Bunna’s regular traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremonies, after which you can try a complimentary cup of the intensely dark, spiced brew.

Bunna Cafe


1084 Flushing Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11237347-295-2227

Sliders at Shopsins


We’ve long appreciated the sliders at Shopsins (now located in the Essex Street Market on the Lower East Side), which Kenny Shopsin and his son Zach were making long before the slider boom hit New York. They come three to an order on mini Martin’s potato buns, each one a mound of perfectly cooked ground chuck, well seared on a flattop grill, with enough fat in the mixture to keep it moist. They're topped with properly melted cheese and onions sautéed to a golden brown. What more could you want from an order of sliders? Better yet, at $12, they're perhaps the best bargain on the Shopsins menu, which can get surprisingly pricey given the kind of gonzo comfort food the restaurant specializes in. 



120 Essex Street New York, NY 10002917-907-4506

Yum Pak Boong Grob at Look by Plant Love House


There are many things to love at Look by Plant Love House and its sister restaurant, Mondayoff, whether you opt for the fiery Thai boat noodle soup enriched with pig's blood, the crispy chive cakes, or the poached pork strips dressed with chili, garlic, and lime and made to pair with a beer. But the real standout on either menu is yum pak boong grob: Small bundles of watercress, coated in a light, tempura-like batter, are buried under a cascade of fried and fresh sliced shallots, ground pork, crushed peanuts, and cilantro, with several plump shrimp thrown in for good measure. The whole thing gets dressed with fish sauce, lime, and chili. (Your server will ask you how hot you like it—fair warning, they mean business when they say "spicy.") It's one of those dishes in which every bite is different, but all of them are delicious.

Look by Plant Love House


622 Washington Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11238718-622-0026

Manakeesh Jebne at Balade


Manakeesh is a flatbread commonly found in the Levant, topped with anything from a simple sprinkling of za’atar to seasoned ground meat. At Balade in the East Village, the manakeesh jebne is the standout. The feta-topped dough is made in house and baked fresh to order, just like the city's best pizzas. It’s an excellent starter to share with the table, but the dimly lit dining room, with its exposed brick and rustic beamed ceiling, will make you want to curl up on one of Balade’s cozy banquettes and keep this manakeesh all to yourself.



208 First Avenue New York, NY 10009212-529-6868

Crispy Fried Fish at Fu Run


No trip to Flushing, Queens, is complete without a visit to Fu Run, a laid-back restaurant that specializes in the spice-heavy dishes of China’s northeastern region of Dongbei. If you’re heading there with a crowd, you can’t go wrong with an order of fatty, funky deep-fried Muslim Lamb Chops, which come smothered in a layer of cumin seeds, chili powder, and black sesame, or the whole flounder in faintly sweet, not-too-hot bean paste. But I can’t get enough of the Crispy Sliced Fish With Chili Pepper and Cumin ($14.95). The seasoning adds warming undercurrents of spice without overwhelming the expertly cooked flounder, which comes tender and just-done, encased in a crispy batter. These are the grown-up fish sticks I wish I’d grown up with.

Fu Run


40-09 Prince Street Queens, NY 11354718-321-1363

La Nueva Yucateca at La Loncheria


Chef Danny Mena may be best known for his restaurant Hecho en Dumbo, but La Loncheria, his newest contribution to Brooklyn’s dining scene, deserves just as much acclaim. The brightly lit, modern space boasts an extensive tequila and mezcal selection to accompany the menu of elevated Mexican classics, like guacamole with chapulines (spiced grasshoppers), and tacos de cabeza, which pair thin-sliced beef tongue with meltingly tender braised cheeks, salt-rubbed cactus, and spring onions. 

But the best bang for your buck is undoubtedly one of the tortas, all of which cost $13 and can easily feed two. (You can also opt for a half order for just $7.) Lamb lovers will gravitate toward La Niña Popov, filled with absurdly rich lamb belly barbacoa and pickled tomatillo, but our favorite of the bunch is La Nueva Yucateca. The sandwich is inspired by a Yucatán specialty, chilmole: a large pork meatball formed around a hard-boiled egg that’s served in a brothy sauce. For his deconstructed take, Mena marinates porchetta in a chilmole marinade of blackened red chilies, clove, and other spices. It’s served, tender and crisp-edged, between two halves of a pliant roll, nestled between spicy pickled onions, sliced avocado, turtle beans, and vibrantly pink slices of lightly pickled hard-boiled egg. The resulting sandwich, particularly with a drizzle of the house salsa verde, is spicy, fatty, meaty, and tangy.

La Loncheria


41 Wilson Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11237212-729-4235

Chicken Pot Pie at Margot Patisserie


Chicken pot pie is like pizza—even when it's bad, it's pretty good. You may have to forgive the gloppy sauce, mushy filling, and greasy pastry, but in the end it’s still soul-satisfying. Truly delicious chicken pot pie, like the one sold at Margot Patisserie ($10.95, with a small, unremarkable salad), the tiny Upper West Side bakery/café tucked into the ground floor of an apartment building, is a cause for celebration. The golden-brown-topped crust is made with Margot's light, crisp puff pastry (that’s why it’s called Chicken Puff Pie on the menu), kissed with sugar. The sugar took a little getting used to, but in the end I wholeheartedly embraced the notion. A properly proportioned filling features a delicate Mornay sauce, moist pieces of white-meat chicken, and chunks of potatoes, carrots, peas, and cauliflower. If you don’t have the time to make your own from scratch using Stella’s recipe, it’s comforting to know that you won’t ever have to settle for "pretty good" again.

Margot Patisserie


2109 Broadway New York, NY 10023212-721-0076

Reasons to Love New York

Because we live in a bubble, but what a bubble. Because we know where Trump lives, and how best to get under his skin, too. Because Chumley’s is back and the Park Slope Food Co-op will never change. Because we’re not disrupting death, we’re turning it into art. Because La Guardia is actually going to get a lot better. Because even our hospitals are into trendy dining. Because the coolest rapper in America is a queer woman from Brooklyn and the No. 2 college-football recruit is from there, too. Because you can now drink before noon on a Sunday. Because Ken Thompson and Bill Cunningham worked until the very end. Because weirdos and artists and, most of all, immigrants will never stop wanting to call this city home.

N0. 1  | Because The City Is Still Ours.


The city was always an asylum. On television on Election Night, the word they used was bubble. But what a bubble.

New Yorkers woke up on November 8 in what seems now like a fairy-tale fog, convinced, as ever, that the future belonged to us. By midnight, the world looked very different, the country very far away (and the future, too). Eighty percent of us had voted against the man who won, and 80 percent, it seemed, were already hatching plans to leave — for Canada or Berlin or anywhere else we imagined we could live safely among the like-minded. That was when the text messages began coming in from old friends in Wisconsin and Texas and North Carolina and Missouri. They were watching the same returns we were, in the same apocalyptic panic, and all making desperate plans to come to New York. For them, the city was still the same fairy tale. 

No. 2 | Because Even Our Protesters Are Precocious.


Teens on Fifth Avenue, November 15. Photo: Andres Kudacki

It’s a Sunday afternoon, and outside the Greenwich Village Stumptown, the dissidents have assembled. They have rosy cheeks and glossy hair, and four of the five are tenth-graders at Little Red School House, a progressive private school where, in the throes of citizen despair during a first-period class on 3-D art (“It’s like sculpture therapy”), Claire Greenburger, Leilani Sardinha, and Loulou Viemeister had decided that something had to be done. It was the Thursday after Trump had been elected. “I saw all of my teachers cry,” says Claire. The three girls reached out to friends Jane Brooks and Bennett Wood (who goes to Calhoun but had met Loulou at a “social-justice camp” in Vermont), and by Friday they had created a Facebook page titled “NYC School Walkout Love Trumps Hate,” calling for kids to walk out of class and storm Trump Tower at 10:30 a.m. the following Tuesday. “We thought there would be a couple hundred kids,” says Jane. Then Occupy Wall Street linked to the page. Suddenly, thousands of people were “interested.” “We were like, Oh my God, what is happening?” says Claire. “By Monday, everyone was talking about it.”

That included the school administration, which insisted the protesters get their parents’ permission. “My dad told the vice-principal, ‘She doesn’t need my permission. This is civil disobedience!’ ” says Loulou. “He was like, ‘I’ll pick you up from jail tomorrow.’ ”

“My dad handed me a lawyer’s phone number,” adds Jane.

Despite the fact that it was raining and frigid, the protest pen near Trump Tower was filling up by the time the organizers arrived. “Bennett and I ran into the street and were like, ‘Okay, everyone, into Fifth Avenue,’ ” Loulou explains. “The police didn’t really know what to do,” Claire says, grinning. Leilani agrees. “It was completely illegal.” The NYPD started guiding traffic away as the throng marched all the way to Washington Square Park. Says Claire, “It went better than we could have ever imagined.”

Not that the protest was perfect. “In the events that we’re planning in the future, more diversity would be cool,” says Jane, aware of the irony of the walkout’s being planned mostly by a crew of privileged kids. Nor do they harbor illusions of what a protest can accomplish. “We’re not going to change the fact that Trump is president.” But they take heart in the fact that among millennials, Hillary Clinton won by a landslide. “Watch yourself, Trump,” Jane says. “Because we’re voting next.” —Alex Morris

No. 3 | Because Our Streets Defy Dictators.

From the imperial fora of ancient Rome to Buenos Aires’s Plaza de Mayo, authoritarian regimes have always found big, ceremonial spaces both dangerous (because they concentrate so many people in one place) and ideally suited to surveillance and propaganda (for precisely the same reason). New York has no obvious place of assembly, so the streets serve as a movable piazza. Protests have begun on the Columbia campus, in Washington Square, in Central Park, and at the United Nations; they’ve taken over a tiny office park most New Yorkers had never heard of and branched out over the Brooklyn Bridge. This lack of a focus embodies the essential New York values that the new administration appears so eager to crush: the city dwellers’ refusal to be corralled or homogenized. —Justin Davidson

No. 4 | Because We Know Where Trump Lives.

It is a lesson learned from my father, a lifelong New Yorker (1920–1995), a bit of big-city wisdom imparted as we drove through our home borough of Queens sometime in the early ’60s. We crossed the then–newly completed Long Island Expressway and entered the glittery environs of Jamaica Estates, where the trees were more stately and the houses more grand than our modest GI Bill dwelling. As we passed one nicely appointed home, my father slowed the family Fairlane.

“There’s where Trump lives,” Pop said, with a shake of his head. A proud member of the New York United Federation of Teachers, my father always disliked the Trumps, especially Fred C. Trump, the family patriarch and enabler, whom Pop believed to be an arch–union buster. It wasn’t that my father was planning to picket the place. He just wanted Trump “to know that I know where he lives.”

It is no big deal to know where a Trump lives these days. Like at Trump Tower, home to the presidential penthouse, the guy writes his name in giant gold letters over the door the way dogs piss on trees. If you miss it, just look for the new normal of screaming protesters, edgy cops outfitted with automatic weapons, and the unsettling feeling that sooner or later something’s gonna give.

But I never took my father’s lesson to be restricted to a physical address. It is a statement of a deep sense of knowing gained through proximity and long experience. That is why the citizens of our metropolis have a special responsibility as The Donald’s double-chinned shadow falls increasingly upon the land. No matter how ardently his anti-cosmopolitan, anti-Enlightenment supporters attempt to ignore the fact, Trump remains a New Yorker, for better or worse, one of us.

This brings up a corollary thought train. As anyone can tell, Trump’s bullheaded insistence on running his transition out of midtown has only further galvanized local resentment against him. After all, the demonization of immigrant grandmas and the enabling of neo-Nazis is one thing. But closing down crosstown streets during the Christmas rush, costing city taxpayers more than a million dollars a day to protect a pol who got less than 10 percent of the vote in Manhattan and the Bronx — this is another level of insult. Then again, Trump could be doing this on purpose. Punishing the hometown for not loving him enough. That would be a prick thing to do, a decidedly New York prick thing. A Trump thing. That’s what my father meant: When you know where someone lives, don’t ever take your eyes off him. —Mark Jacobson

No. 5 | And Because One Upper West Side Apartment Complex Evicted His Logo.


No. 6 | Because the Mayor Finally Found a Worthy Adversary.

A week after the election, Mayor Bill de Blasio, who had attacked Donald Trump’s deportation proposals as “dangerous” and “un-American” and said his support from the KKK was “disgusting,” ambled into a golden elevator at Trump Tower for an audience with the president-elect. The mayor wasn’t there to eat crow. “I don’t forgive him some of the things he said on the campaign trail at all. I think they were destructive,” de Blasio said recently. He reminded Trump of “the human consequences of these words and deeds.” They discussed the NYPD, which will now be devoting its energies to protecting Trump Tower; de Blasio pointedly mentioned that some 900 members of the force are Muslim-Americans. Afterward, he vowed publicly to “stand up for anyone who because of any policy is excluded or affronted.” De Blasio’s warnings about income inequality and his calls for a coalition of progressive mayors have sometimes been ignored or even mocked by fellow Democrats. Now, though, his voice may prove essential. “I think there is going to be a lot of common action to protect immigrants in our cities,” he said. Along with other mayors, de Blasio has promised to obstruct any push for mass deportations by refusing to turn over personal data and expanding legal services for immigrants. City Hall is preparing in case Trump tries to impose pressure through massive cuts in city funding. “Whatever happens in Washington, we ain’t changing,” de Blasio said. “I think we have a chance to be a living example of a pluralistic society.” —Andrew Rice

No. 7 | Because Three James Madison High School Alums Will Get America Through This.


Had they overlapped, these nerds would definitely have sat at the same table in the cafeteria. Ruth Bader Ginsburg (class of ’50), Bernie Sanders (’59), and Chuck Schumer (’67) all wrote for the newspaper at James Madison High School, and all three were involved in sports (Ginsburg chipped a tooth baton-twirling). And, no surprise, they were demonstrated leaders: Sanders was class president, Schumer was valedictorian, and Ginsburg was … treasurer of the Go-Getters Club. In the postelection hangover, the Jewish Brooklynites have emerged as never-more-necessary stalwarts of progressive politics. —Kaitlin Menza

Illustration: Zohar Lazar 


No. 8 | Because only a thrice-married, sex-crazed, germophobic, tabloid-bred, ex-casino-owning, condo-peddling, bankruptcy-surviving, playacting Darwinian capitalist New York real-estate billionaire reality-TV host, who demands to be adored, cannot be criticized, takes no responsibility for anything, never apologizes, and managed to convince half of America, mostly through Twitter, that he’s a straight-talking, swamp-draining friend of the common man, with various foolproof yet-to-be-disclosed solutions for how he can make everything great again, at least for people like them, could shock even the most over-it New Yorkers out of their complacency.

No. 9 | Because Kate McKinnon Didn’t Make a Joke.

Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton on SNL on November 12. Photo: Will Heath/NBC

When Kate McKinnon took the HRC reins from 2008’s Amy Poehler on Saturday Night Live, she applied a sharper edge to her mark: There was not a speck of Clinton’s Methodist good girl in McKinnon’s version, only the bloodless ambition and raw drive and robotic mania. It was, frankly, a little mean. Mean but glorious and gleeful. McKinnon amped it up, rolled around in it: Her cackling Hillary slept in her pantsuits, popped Champagne and victory-danced after the pussy tape was released, and pretended tears of vulnerability before reminding us — about any of Clinton’s setbacks, really — “Get real, I’m made of steel, this is nothing.” McKinnon made hay of the glowering specter of female threat. She was unapologetic and tough and hilarious and so uncool she was almost cool and she was, it felt in those last few weeks of sketches, probably going to be the president. And then Hillary lost.

And so McKinnon got onstage the Saturday after the election, sat at a piano in her defiant white pantsuit, and performed Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” eulogizing the singer who had died that week alongside the dream of a Hillary presidency. As she sang the final verse, her voice shaking, her eyes shining — “And even though it all went wrong / I stand before the Lord of Song / With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah” — Kate McKinnon gave a lot of us permission to have a good, long cry. —Rebecca Traister

No. 10 | Because Alec Baldwin Is Just Trump Enough to Rile Trump.


her mark: There was not a speck of Clinton’s Methodist good girl in McKinnon’s version, only the bloodless ambition and raw drive and robotic mania. It was, frankly, a little mean. Mean but glorious and gleeful. McKinnon amped it up, rolled around in it: Her cackling Hillary slept in her pantsuits, popped Champagne and victory-danced after the pussy tape was released, and pretended tears of vulnerability before reminding us — about any of Clinton’s setbacks, really — “Get real, I’m made of steel, this is nothing.” McKinnon made hay of the glowering specter of female threat. She was unapologetic and tough and hilarious and so uncool she was almost cool and she was, it felt in those last few weeks of sketches, probably going to be the president. And then Hillary lost.

No. 11 | Because Citi Bike HQ Has a Wall of Fame, With Many Leos.


Citi Bike’s private shrine to celebrities started in July 2013 — three months after the fledgling company set up shop in a warehouse in Sunset Park. The then–office manager saw a tabloid photograph of Johnny Galecki on a Citi Bike outside the Ed Sullivan Theater and printed it — he put the image in a frame from a dollar store and hung it on a bare wall across from the marketing department. From there, things expanded quickly. “We used to buy frames one at a time,” says Citi Bike director of communications Dani Simons. “But now we have to order them in bulk.” Some 60 images now hang on the wall. “People who ride consistently are up there multiple times,” says Simon. “There are three of Leonardo DiCaprio; Naomi Watts rides a lot. Karlie Kloss.” But mostly it’s one-offs: Bill Nye, the science guy; Lindsay Lohan; Woody Harrelson; Joe Jonas. “Quvenzhané Wallis is my favorite,” says Simons. “They used the bikes when they were filming the remake of Annie.” —Katy Schneider

No. 12 | Because the World’s Biggest Dinosaur Skeleton Is Now at the Museum of Natural History.

Illustration: Zohar Lazar


Last January, a yet-to-be-named herbivorous Titanosaur was added to the American Museum of Natural History’s permanent collection, replacing a (comparably diminutive) Barosaurus that had been on display since 1996. The dinosaur — whose 70-ton skeleton consists of casts of 223 fossil bones excavated in Patagonia — is so large that its head couldn’t fit inside the orientation center’s gallery. “We were constrained by the size of the room,” says the museum’s chair of paleontology, Mark Norell. “We decided in the end to stick it out into the elevator banks — so when visitors walk into the hall from the stairs, it greets them.” After workers moved in the dinosaur, in pieces small enough to fit on the elevators and up the stairs, only one modification was left. “We had to make sure the head was high enough up that people wouldn’t try to jump up and hit it,” says Norell. —Katy Schneider

No. 13 | Because Saddam Hussein’s UES Torture Chamber Is Now a Kitchenette.

In October, the New York Post reported that the basement of 14 East 79th Street, a 1910 mansion that has served for 58 years as the Mission of Iraq, was used as a torture chamber under Saddam Hussein’s regime. The house was recently renovated, and the room converted into a functioning kitchenette. —Katy Schneider

No. 14 | Because the Prevailing Response to a Suitcase Bomb in Manhattan Was to Argue on Twitter About Just How Trendy, Exactly, Chelsea Is.

No. 15 | Because Of Course Our Free Public Wi-Fi Kiosks Were Immediately Used to Watch Porn.

It’s unclear how much porn was being watched on LinkNYC’s internet kiosks, the 500 or so converted pay phones that began turning up around the city last January, but it was enough to lead Councilman Corey Johnson to write a letter to the company to complain. LinkNYC responded by removing unfettered web-browser functionality. But that the kiosks led brief lives as public porn machines is touching, in a certain way — evidence that even an ever-richer, ever-cleaner New York is still resistant to the sanitized utopia of the tech industry. —Brian Feldman

No. 16 | Because the New York Liberty’s Dancers, the Timeless Torches, Are All 40-Plus.

Anybody is free to audition for the New York Liberty’s dance team. There’s just one catch: You must be at least 40. The current Timeless Torches lineup is made up of 13 members ranging in age from 40 to 76 and includes a legal assistant, an accountant, a Vietnam veteran, and an IT guy (yes, they take dancers of all genders). Margaret Hamilton, a 47-year-old legal secretary from the Bronx, joined at the urging of her daughter. “ ‘Mom! You are always dancing around,’ ” she remembers her daughter saying. “I said, ‘Well, I guess it’s like a free aerobics class.’ ” After her inaugural performance, “someone came up and said, ‘Can I have your autograph?’ I was so shocked that I forgot my name and signed ‘From Mommy.’ ” —Alexa Tsoulis-Reay

5 Apps to Download for Your Move to NYC


Ready to start an exciting new life in New York City? Moving to the Big Apple can be an overwhelming process if you don't have the right help. Fortunately, there are tons of New York City moving apps out there to help you with everything from keeping track of your stuff to finding parking in the city. What a time to be alive! Here are the best moving apps for 2018.

1. Moving Day App

Moving Day is a free moving inventory app available to iOS users. Use the app to catalogue your belongings and keep track of all your things as you move from Point A to NYC. You can take photos and use the app to create and print barcode labels for your boxes. It's even AirPrint compatible, making it a breeze to print labels. It beats scribbling on your boxes with a marker, right? Plus, this app can be especially useful if you have to file any insurance claims for broken or missing items.

2. Moving Planner App

Moving Planner is one of the best movers' apps for Android users. It has a pre-generated list of more than 200 common household items, and you can add custom items, too. Use your list to keep track of which items are going in which boxes. The interface is easy to use and you can easily share lists with your family and friends, cutting back on moving miscommunications. Cloud storage is available, too, so you can switch between devices and be sure that your information is safe if something happens to your phone. Auto-sort, email printing, color coding, and other clever features are also available. You'll have to pay $0.99 to download this app, but it's worth the price.

3. Exit Strategy

NYC moving apps aren't all you need for success in the Big Apple. You also need relocation apps to help you navigate your new home and get the most out of what NYC has to offer. Many New Yorkers spend months or years mastering the subway system, but you can do it instantly with Exit Strategy, available for both Android and iOS. It will be your best friend when you're exploring the city—especially if you're a newbie at riding the subway.

This app has subway and bus maps for all five boroughs, but it does even more. When you're riding the subway, it gives you advice on where you should stand on the platform so you'll have the least amount of walking to do once your train arrives at your destination. Exit Strategy will set you back $3.99, but it has tons of cool features.

4. ParkMe

If you're one of the brave souls who chooses to drive in NYC, you have to download ParkMe. The app uses data from nearby parking lots and tells you how many spots are available. It's useful even if you don't have a car—you'll need to find parking on moving day, and you'll want to know where to tell your friends to park when they drive in to visit you.

The app lets you pay in advance using your credit card, so you know no one will snag your spot before you get there. ParkMe is available for both Android and iOS, and it doesn't cost a thing.

5. Flavour

Hungry? Download Flavour, a free iOS app that will guide you to the best eats in your new neighborhood—and is especially useful when you want to grab something quick on moving day. The app uses info from chefs, local experts, and other sources so you know what to expect at each place. The interface is easy to use, and the photos will have you drooling. You can even search for specific foods, types of dishes, and other criteria that will help you find exactly what you're craving. If you don't have an iOS device, try OpenTable or Yelp to discover great places to reward your moving helpers with a feast.

Life in the Big Apple is exciting, but don't leap into it without downloading some apps. After all, we live in an amazing time where all the world's information is right at our fingertips. With these awesome apps for moving—and living—on your side, you'll be an experienced and confident New Yorker in no time!

Use This Guide to Help You Survive NYC Winters


While we look forward to new beginnings, the start of a new year also means that winter is upon us. In New York, cold weather is unlike cold in most other places. I tell everyone who's yet to experience a winter in New York City that they are in for a brutal cold they've never felt before. You might think I'm exaggerating, but I assure you, I'm not.

Of course, other regions may have lower temperatures and greater snow fall, but in NYC, you're forced to face freezing temps head on. And since owning a vehicle is considered a luxury, you'll probably have to rely on your legs to take you where you need to go.

Whether you're trudging through ice and snow to reach the subway (be careful of slippery stairs leading to the platform), hoping to luck out and grab a taxi (if they're even operating) or waiting for the bus in blizzards, navigating NYC's frozen streets and intersections sometimes piled eight feet high with snow is a feat unto itself. And when that wind rips, the real feel can be 15 or 20 degrees lower than the actual temperature (and even subzero).

Now that you know what makes us New Yorkers tough, you'll have to toughen up yourself. Are you ready for a New York winter? Here's my guide to surviving NYC winter.

How to dress for winter in NYC

A down coat will save you in January and February when the city is at its coldest and windiest. Invest in a quality coat that will last for years. You'll need waterproof boots to travel through the ice and snow, so be prepared to carry stylish shoes in your city bag or keep a few pairs at the office. I know a lot of New Yorkers have a shoe drawer at work, so you wouldn't be the first. A pair of rubber boots will also come in handy, especially when the snow melts and six-inch puddles persist until that snow water drains.

Accessories are a must too. Choose scarves that are long enough to knot and wrap around your neck several times to create a barrier between your skin and the wind. A lined wool hat that covers your ears, earmuffs, and mittens are extras that you'll need to include in your winter wardrobe for NYC. Tech-friendly gloves will be your best friend while you spend time on the streets of New York. You won't have to remove the gloves to text friends or return those pertinent work emails.

Other obvious items would be a wool dress coat for special occasions, warm sweaters, thick socks, and sunglasses because the freezing weather can dry eyes or make them tear. And if you're going to spend a lot of time standing outside, you might want to invest in thermal underwear and foot and hand warmers. These are all New York winter essentials that will provide you some sort of relief in the blistering cold.

What you should know about snow removal in NYC

Unless you own a home in New York City, you shouldn't be responsible for shoveling or maintaining sidewalks. Your super and building staff will oversee clearing your walkway so that it’s clean and safe to walk on. If you do own a home in NYC, get ready to shovel snow and scrape ice, unless you hire someone to do it for you.

When New York gets a lot of snow (a foot or more) or several snowstorms within a short period, snow tends to pile up quickly. There's nowhere to put the snow until it melts, so visibility at intersections and the simple act of walking gets challenging. All you can do is walk around the behemoth snow mounds, but you will need to allow additional time for your commute.

Avoid standing too close at interactions


Stand back from corners, particularly when snow and ice begin to melt. Whizzing traffic will splash the melted snow, which mixes with the dirt from the street and quickly becomes gray slush. That filthy water could land on your new dress, suit, or anything else within reach.

Where to park your car in NYC during the winter


When snow comes in NYC, alternate side parking is usually suspended for the time being, so if you do own a car, you might not be required to move it for several days. Still, you'll have to shovel out, and your car could be plowed in and covered with six feet of snow (or more) if you can even recognize your vehicle.

While owning a car in the city has its merits, it's also a bigger hassle in wintertime. You might consider parking in a lot (if you don't already) or opting for vehicle storage from December through March to avoid digging out and moving your car when alternate side parking is in effect, not to mention finding a place to park when half of a block is occupied by snow banks. Then, there are all the other New Yorkers vying for spaces too. And in NYC, there are more cars than spaces.

Tip for NYC dog owners in the winter

Maintenance staff of apartment buildings sprinkles ice melt on sidewalks, and that salt can harm a dog's paws. When walking dogs in the cold, avoid any treated areas or be sure that your pup wears booties. Beyond the necessary precautions for your dog's feet, pooches love to romp and play in the snow, so that's yet another reason to dress warmly for the great outdoors. If your dog doesn't have thick fur, purchase a winter jacket to keep your best friend warm too.

Be ready for the snow and ice to melt

If the temperatures hover around freezing, (that can happen through March), but then spike to the higher 40s or 50s, snow will melt quickly, and cause flooding. The city will appear as if we had a massive rainstorm, except that the huge snow piles will remind you that we are still recovering from winter. Remnants of snow and ice can still linger into April.

9 Reasons to Love Living in New York City


I love New York – let me count the ways. I've loved the city since I was a youngster, and now that I've called it home for eight years, I can honestly say that I still love living here. You might ask, "What do you love about it?"  Honestly, there are probably at least 100 reasons to love living in New York City, and for me to conjure up the complete list, I'd need a few days. So, let's take a look at the qualities this town has that no one can overlook.

1. Diversity

One of the city's greatest attributes is its diversity, and NYC is often thought of as America's melting pot. About 36 percent of New York's denizens hail from other countries, and you can hear as many as 800 languages spoken. I love how each person has his or her own New York Story, whether they're a native, an immigrant or a transplant.

2. Energy

There's no other city on the planet with an energy that can compete with New York. The fast pace, the buzzing traffic, the hustle and bustle of the people, the 24-hour life, and the creative spirit make NYC one of the most vibrant places in the world.

3. Inspiration

New York has a way of giving me a feeling that I can accomplish anything I set out to do. On an ordinary day when I step outside my apartment building, I might find inspiration in any place – on the street, in the subway, at a Broadway show or in a sidewalk café. A plethora of inspiring, smart, creative people dwell in the nooks and crannies of this city.

4. Convenience

A steak dinner at midnight? An early morning manicure? I can get anything I want at almost any time in NYC. Within a five-block radius of my apartment, I can hit the grocery store, drug store, pet store, and wine shop in a single sweep. This convenient lifestyle is addictive. We New Yorkers get spoiled, and when we leave the city, we forget that the rest of the world lives differently and on a more normal schedule.

5. Neighborhoods

New York is a big city, but feels more like a cluster of small towns once you live here. Each New York City neighborhood has a distinct personality and flavor. From Harlem to the Lower East Side, Astoria to Flushing, Brooklyn Heights to Coney Island, and the Bronx's Little Italy to Staten Island's St. George, the best neighborhoods in NYC are brimming with character and culture, and something for everyone.

6. Excitement

No one can deny the excitement of life in New York City, or the fact that anything can happen at any time. I've been out walking my dog, and without warning, had a celebrity sighting. I've rubbed elbows with film stars, attended the Tony Awards, and scored free tickets to some of Manhattan's hottest events. An ordinary day can turn into an extraordinary experience in a New York minute.

7. Landmarks

The Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Grand Central Station, and the list goes on –– you'll discover magnificent architectural treasures and more New York City attractions than you can count.

Even though I don't spend my free time every weekend touring, I take advantage of the many legendary spots in this town whenever possible, including New York's museums. I can't help but feel proud of living in New York City each time I walk into the Guggenheim, look at the skyline, or stroll through Central Park.

8. Opportunity

It's true that there's more competition in New York than in most other cities, but there's also a host of opportunity. Gotham is a city in which you can make that opportunity. You can come here with a dream and work hard to achieve it. I can vouch that dreams do indeed come true here every single day.

9. Variety

If I get bored with my section of town, I can hop on the subway for 30 to 40 minutes and escape to what feels like another state or country. If I get tired of my local pizzeria, I can choose from hundreds of other pizza parlors throughout the city. If I don't want to ride the subway, I can take a bus, walk, ride CityBike, or even take an Uber.

New York City offers so much variety that you could live here your entire life and not eat in every restaurant, see every Broadway show, hit every jazz club, or live in every neighborhood. You never run out of new things to do, dishes to eat, places to visit, or people to meet. NYC is an ever-evolving city, and that's the beauty of living here.

A seat at the table

A seat at the table

Cara Eisenpress


On Edgecombe Avenue and West 139th Street, The Edge Harlem café presents a mash-up menu of British, American and Jamaican fare, including jerk chicken Caesar salad. Twenty blocks down, on Frederick Douglass Boulevard and West 119th Street, Vinateria specializes in Italian and Spanish wine and cuisine. Nearby, there’s LoLo’s Seafood Shack for Caribbean-inspired food, Lido for Italian and Corner Social for pub fare. The Cecil just reopened as a steakhouse. And then there’s Sylvia’s, famous for its Southern comfort food.

A collection of so many thriving restaurants in a single neighborhood is hardly unusual here, especially in a community with 330,000 residents—more than Pittsburgh. But these spots—like a third of Harlem’s top eateries—are owned by women, mainly women of color from the neighborhood, who found a hospitable business environment and community of like-minded entrepreneurs. Elsewhere in the city, women own just 1 in 10 top restaurants, and male chefs continue to dominate the culinary landscape.

“They took the risk,” said Kaaryn Simmons, director of the Columbia-Harlem Small Business Development Center. “These women have gone out of their way to seek assistance to grow. They’re deliberate, focused on creating great businesses and committed to the community.”

Restaurants have been booming in Harlem for the past decade or so, thanks to a wealthier population moving in, a rich cultural history that attracts hungry tourists, a community that supports local businesses and boosterism by Top Chef winner Marcus Samuelsson, owner of Red Rooster.

By leading the boom, Harlem’s female restaurateurs are a preview of what the industry looks like with women at the helm. And their stories provide a glimpse of the barriers they must overcome not only to open but also to grow a business. That future is here: Nationally the number of women-owned restaurants outpaced overall restaurant growth from 2007 to 2012, jumping by 40% while the total number of restaurants increased by just 12%. In New York the amount of women-owned accommodation and food-services businesses soared by 45% between 2011 and 2016, according to the Center for an Urban Future, which sees the expansion of women-owned eateries as a way to bolster the city’s small-business ecosystem.

But the economic conditions that once greeted the Harlem crowd have tightened, suggesting that opportunities for female entrepreneurs are closing.

Well-trod path

In 1901 Lillian Harris Dean, known as Pig Foot Mary, became Harlem’s first female culinary entrepreneur when she sold boiled pigs’ feet to fellow displaced black Southerners out of a baby carriage on 135th Street. Enough Mississippians were hungering for the snack that she was able to buy an apartment building in 1917. 

Fifty years later, Sylvia Woods, who had worked as a waitress in the neighborhood, opened Sylvia’s. Her ribs and greens first drew locals but soon attracted downtowners and tourists who wanted to soak up some of Harlem’s renowned artistic energy. “As a market, Harlem has been driven by food,” said Nikoa Evans-Hendrick, executive director of Harlem Park to Park, a business membership organization to which many of the restaurants belong.

By 2005, after decades of crime and poverty had besieged Harlem, the neighborhood was again hungering for some good eats. With $300,000 she had been saving in her mattress, lifelong Harlem resident Melba Wilson opened Melba’s on West 114th Street, which she said was a notorious block for drugs.

“They call me the godmama,” she said. “It takes someone to start.”


From the beginning, Wilson’s surprised accountant would call each quarter and say, “You’re looking really good.” The popularity transformed Melba’s into a profitable business by year two, and this year she was able to expand in order to seat more than 100 diners. Rent was originally $2,500 a month but has gone up considerably, Wilson said.

Melba’s sells fried chicken and waffles at affordable prices. And Wilson taps in to the demand of a neighborhood underserved by eateries. “There are just not as many restaurants per square foot in Harlem as in other parts of the city,” said Herb Karlitz, an event marketer who organizes the annual Harlem EatUp festival. For first-time restaurateurs, uptown was a place where “they think, Maybe I stand a fighting chance.”

Sisters Juliet and Justine Masters, a chef and a real estate broker, respectively, had a similar thought in 2014. If they could build a place where they wanted to eat themselves, others would come too. Three years ago they decided to open The Edge Harlem. It sits on a residential block far north of the strips on Lenox Avenue and Frederick Douglass Boulevard, where several restaurants had followed Melba’s path to success.

“The building we’re located in has 90 apartments,” said Juliet Masters. “Even if we just feed the people in this building, we’ll do OK,” she recalled their thinking at the time. “It was this intuitive thing: If we put something here that is good quality, we’ll get the residents.”

Many more than 90 households now go to The Edge. Lines at brunch can wind around the block. Diners come from all over the city and beyond.

Community support

To build the 1,300-square-foot reclaimed wood–lined restaurant, the Masters sisters first raised $100,000 before realizing they’d need at least double that, still less than the $500,000 most experts say it takes to start a café downtown. A $25,000 loan from Chase bought half the equipment; money from their savings, their parents and two private investors completed the financing. It took a year from lease signing to opening day, but the landlord allowed them to defer the first year’s rent payments. 

At first The Edge sold only coffee and pastries; brunch and dinner came later—once the gas was installed. Even with the slow rollout, they made money from the get-go. “The landscape is ripe for new businesses to come in and do well,” said Justine Masters. “It’s different from trying to do this downtown, where the overhead is so high. This neighborhood needs amenities.”

Bringing those amenities was an intentional process. By the end of the 2000s, business and community leaders had come together to ensure that residents would benefit from redevelopment. The Columbia Community Business Program, Harlem Park to Park and the Frederick Douglass Boulevard Alliance had formed to provide education and expertise to new businesses, some in an academic setting. With their assistance, entrepreneurs without previous hospitality experience were able to think through their plans thoroughly. Still, loans and investment weren’t available to most—a problem common to new business owners. Women have a particularly hard time accessing cash. In New York in 2014, female entrepreneurs received just 12% of the total dollars lent. 

Wilson and others relied on their savings or equity from their homes to open their restaurants. It wasn’t until about a decade after Wilson opened Melba’s that she received a loan to expand the restaurant. The task was surprisingly difficult. “The bank I was dealing with at the time wanted me to put in my lease as collateral,” she said. “I was bringing in $1 million on a yearly basis. That was insane.” She borrowed money from the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone and Carver Federal Savings Bank, a community bank, instead.

Leticia Skai Young, who grew up in Harlem, moved back to the neighborhood after selling her home in Williamsburg. She had worked her way up in hospitality management to opening restaurants for a big organization. And she had married an executive chef with experience at Union Square’s The Coffee Shop. So when she followed her gut and decided to undertake a passion project, which became LoLo’s Seafood Shack, she and her husband, Raymond Mohan, were ready.

They took inspiration for the food and the decor from both New England and the Caribbean and named the spot in tribute to the locally owned, locally operated seaside shacks in St. Martin. They opened in winter 2014. “I really find that it’s a way to express ourselves creatively,” Young said of running her 1,000-square-foot eatery, which includes a backyard beach shack. Sales grew 50% the second year and about 35% in the third.

Just as the inspiration came from within, so did the funding. Young and her husband were able to buy a brownstone and sign a lease for the restaurant on the proceeds of their Brooklyn home sale. But a network in the community was crucial for providing the mentorship and academic support that have turned LoLo’s into a mainstay. 

Young is in her second year at the Columbia Community Business Program, which has helped her focus on building a lean but stable enterprise and maximizing growth, she said.

Other forms of mentorship are less formal. “I don’t feel the sort of one-upmanship competition that you feel in other neighborhoods,” said Yvette Leeper-Bueno, owner of Vinateria and vice president of the Frederick Douglass Boulevard Alliance. “I know the names and have the numbers of so many businesses in the neighborhood. I can call people on the phone and ask them ‘So who do you use for linen?’ and so on.” 

Adding to that sense of community is that many of the women are from the neighborhood. “Since I lived here, I felt like I was opening in a neighborhood that wanted us to succeed,” said Leeper-Bueno. She signed “one of the longer leases” for Vinateria’s 1,300-square-foot corner space, she said—which has given her the ability to pace her growth.

Wilson said she has always had two goals at Melba’s: to cook great food and to serve the people living around her.

“Part of it was to show people—kids from my neighborhood—that you can come from Harlem, from the inner city, and own your own business and employ kids from your community,” she said. “We have always kept prices affordable for the neighborhood.” Dozens of locals work at the restaurants.

But the economic accessibility for new businesses may not last. “The rents are crazy,” said Columbia-Harlem’s Simmons. “We don’t have as many clients saying, ‘I want to open a restaurant in Harlem.’ They were priced out two to three years ago.” It’s one thing to take a risk on a new business; it’s another thing to jump in for $10,000 in monthly rent when you simply can’t sell that many waffles.

The average asking rent in the busy 125th Street corridor rose to $140 per square foot in 2015 before sinking to $123 last fall, according to the Real Estate Board of New York. That would amount to 20% of sales for a 1,600-square-foot restaurant doing $1 million a year. On less-trafficked streets, rents are lower; a 1,000-square-foot corner spot on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and West 118th Street is listed for $57 per square foot by John McGuinness, an agent at Compass. 

“Rents have doubled,” he said, “but they’re still half of anything below 96th Street.” 

Today’s rents might deter newcomers, but the first wave of Harlem’s female restaurateurs sometimes found enough early success to consider branching out. Anahi Angelone opened the bar Corner Social in 2012 after managing Irish bars downtown for a decade. Two years later Corner Social was so successful that she opened a restaurant, Angel of Harlem. Both are profitable. In the summer she and her partners, including former Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons, took over The Cecil Steakhouse as well as Minton’s Playhouse, the adjoining restaurant and venue that had closed in 2016. Angelone ascribes her drive to the neighborhood itself. 

“The reason I do what I do is Harlem,” she said. 
“I love this community.”

The Poetry of the Edge Harlem

It feels like a place the young Langston Hughes—whose image hangs on the wall—would like, full of verse and the murmur of hours well spent.

The Edge Harlem | 101 Edgecombe Ave., New York, N.Y. | 212-939-9688

By Nicolas Niarchos


Langston Hughes, wistful, black tie around his neck, stares from a portrait behind the bar at this uptown watering hole and eatery. “I guess I like him like that,” one of the courteous servers mused. “You never get to see him in that way: young.” Crowded with twentysomething Harlemites on the quietest of evenings, the Edge serves wine and sweet punch to a reggae and jazz soundtrack. A hibiscus mimosa is a Hudson River sunset in a glass. On any given night, everyone is invariably deep in conversation, perhaps because there’s no WiFi: a sign tells guests to “connect with each other.” The other night, a young Brit wearing a T-shirt that read “FCUK MOI?” complained to his date about the weather (“It’s like Florida here!”), while, nearby, a professorial type held forth on an issue of Byzantine complexity, the topic unclear. There’s also fine Caribbean cooking—a board lists “Rice an pese. Steem fish. Fish tea,” but the kitchen serves much more, plus coffee and pastries in the morning. Wednesdays are devoted to live music: blues and rock and world rhythms. “Real eclectic,” as the server put it. The Edge feels like a place the young Langston would like, full of verse and the murmur of hours well spent. The English writer Christopher Logue’s poem exhorting readers to “Come to the Edge” is chalked on a wall at the back of the room. The indecision that afflicts one of the poem’s interlocutors (“We might fall,” “It’s too high!”) shouldn’t bother potential patrons, but guests might feel as transcendent as Logue’s characters, who eventually decide to make a trip to the edge. “And they came,” he writes. “And they flew.” ♦

The new Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation


The new Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation will invite visitors to experience the Museum not only as a place of public exhibitions but as an active scientific and educational institution. 

The Gilder Center will include new exhibition and learning spaces with state-of-the-art technology and access to the Museum’s world-class collections. It will also expand access to a broader range of the Museum’s resources for students, teachers, and families, offering new learning opportunities and inviting all visitors to share in the excitement of discovery. 

The Need

Science is at the core of the most pressing issues of the day—human health, climate change, and biodiversity conservation, among others—and there is an urgent need to enhance the public understanding of science and to provide effective educational experiences that support informed, thoughtful engagement with these topics. 

There is an equally critical need to address key challenges in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education. The Gilder Center will expand the reach and deepen the impact of the Museum’s work in science education, building on a strong foundation of successful programs such as Urban Advantage, the Master of Arts in Teaching Program, and the Science Research Mentoring Program that already serve teachers, students, and youth throughout New York City, New York State, and beyond. 

Over the last several decades, the Museum’s annual attendance has grown from approximately three million to approximately five million. The Gilder Center will enhance the visitor experience by improving circulation and by making physical and programmatic connections among galleries, classrooms, collections, and library resources.


The Gilder Center is designed by Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects. Ralph Appelbaum of Ralph Appelbaum Associates is designing the exhibition experiences, and the landscape architecture firm is Reed Hilderbrand.

Approximately 80 percent of the 230,000-gross-square-foot project will be located within the area currently occupied by the Museum. Three existing Museum buildings will be removed to minimize the Gilder Center footprint in Theodore Roosevelt Park to about 11,600 square feet (approximately a quarter acre). 

The Gilder Center will be a five-story, approximately 190,000-gross-square-foot addition to the Museum. The proposed project would also include approximately 40,000 gross square feet of renovations to existing space and alterations to an approximately 75,000-square-foot adjacent area of Theodore Roosevelt Park. 

The Gilder Center will be a five-story, approximately 190,000-gross-square-foot addition to the Museum. The proposed project would also include approximately 40,000 gross square feet of renovations to existing space and alterations to an approximately 75,000-square-foot adjacent area of Theodore Roosevelt Park. 

The new Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation will invite visitors to experience the Museum not only as a place of public exhibitions but as an active scientific and educational institution. 

The Gilder Center will include new exhibition and learning spaces with state-of-the-art technology and access to the Museum’s world-class collections. It will also expand access to a broader range of the Museum’s resources for students, teachers, and families, offering new learning opportunities and inviting all visitors to share in the excitement of discovery. 

The Need

Science is at the core of the most pressing issues of the day—human health, climate change, and biodiversity conservation, among others—and there is an urgent need to enhance the public understanding of science and to provide effective educational experiences that support informed, thoughtful engagement with these topics. 

There is an equally critical need to address key challenges in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education. The Gilder Center will expand the reach and deepen the impact of the Museum’s work in science education, building on a strong foundation of successful programs such as Urban Advantage, the Master of Arts in Teaching Program, and the Science Research Mentoring Program that already serve teachers, students, and youth throughout New York City, New York State, and beyond. 

Over the last several decades, the Museum’s annual attendance has grown from approximately three million to approximately five million. The Gilder Center will enhance the visitor experience by improving circulation and by making physical and programmatic connections among galleries, classrooms, collections, and library resources.


The Gilder Center is designed by Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects. Ralph Appelbaum of Ralph Appelbaum Associates is designing the exhibition experiences, and the landscape architecture firm is Reed Hilderbrand.

Approximately 80 percent of the 230,000-gross-square-foot project will be located within the area currently occupied by the Museum. Three existing Museum buildings will be removed to minimize the Gilder Center footprint in Theodore Roosevelt Park to about 11,600 square feet (approximately a quarter acre). 

The Gilder Center will be a five-story, approximately 190,000-gross-square-foot addition to the Museum. The proposed project would also include approximately 40,000 gross square feet of renovations to existing space and alterations to an approximately 75,000-square-foot adjacent area of Theodore Roosevelt Park. 


The Museum is working with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation (NYC Parks) to minimize the impact on the park. The Museum has studied more than 60 trees on the west side of Theodore Roosevelt Park. The initial design could have resulted in the loss of up to nine trees. In June 2016, the Museum revised the original concept design proposal, to be submitted to NYC Parks, for the area of the park in front of the Gilder Center, the below-grade service area, and the service driveway with the goal of preserving two notable trees, a Pin oak and an English elm. The revised proposal, developed with the Park Working Group formed to advise on the park's design, reduces the number of trees removed from the Park to seven and expands areas for play and respite to maintain the park's essential character and existing uses. Any trees that are removed and not transplanted would be replaced, consistent with NYC Parks rules and regulations. 

The Museum anticipates planting six new canopy trees and 13 new understory trees in the Park near the Gilder Center. In addition, the Museum proposes to install 15 new benches. These improvements will help to preserve the existing character of the park. 


Process and Timeline

December 2014:  the Museum’s Board of Trustees authorized the creation of a conceptual design. 

November 4, 2015: the Board endorsed a conceptual design and authorized proceeding to schematic design, and the Museum held a public informational meeting. An environmental impact statement (EIS) is being prepared. 

April 6, 2016: the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, as lead agency, conducted a City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR) public scoping meeting at the Museum. 

July and September, 2016: the Museum held public informational meetings about the project, the latter about the application to the  Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC).  

AMNH_Landmarks Preservation_Commission_Application_09082016

October 5, 2016: Manhattan's Community Board 7 (CB7) approved the architectural design for the Gilder Center and landscape design for the adjacent part of Theodore Roosevelt Park. 

October 11, 2016: LPC evaluated the appropriateness of the project's architecture and design, and changes to the adjacent park and unanimously approved the application. 

May 18, 2017: NYC Parks issued a draft EIS. A copy of the draft EIS can be found online at

June 15, 2017: NYC Parks held a public hearing on the draft EIS at the American Museum of Natural History. Written comments were accepted through June 26. 

November 15, 2017: NYC Parks issued the final EIS. A copy of the final EIS can be obtained online at

December 4, 2017:  NYC Parks approved the Museum’s plans for the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation, following completion of the environmental review process and issuance of its Statement of Findings. The Statement of Findings and the approval letter are available online at

April 25, 2018: NYC Parks approved Design Development updates, following receipt of LPC amendment and CEQR technical memorandum. 


Project Budget

The projected budget for the Gilder Center project is $383 million. The new building is named for Museum Trustee Richard Gilder in recognition of his lifetime giving to the Museum, which includes a new lead gift for the building. 


Project Information

Join the Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation mailing list to receive email updates about the project.  Sign up here. 

This International Online Grocer has 2,200-plus Hard-to-Find Products

With suppliers like Kalustyan’s, Snuk Foods is simplifying specialty ingredient shopping.

With suppliers like Kalustyan’s, Snuk Foods is simplifying specialty ingredient shopping.

Recently, I was scribbling down a list of ingredients before heading to my neighborhood market on a cold winter day with the goal of a warm bowl of Khao Soi on a cold winter night.

About three-quarters of the way through the list I ran into “shrimp paste” and my scribbling was immediately halted.

“Crap, the market isn’t going to have that,” I thought. And so I moved on from the Northern Thai dish I set out to make to an Italian-style gravy. You can always count on the grocery store for canned tomatoes.

A new online marketplace aims to put a stop to these dinner plan woes by making generally difficult-to-find, international specialty ingredients more accessible. Snuk Foods was founded by entrepreneurs and world travelers Betsy Fox and Scott Cantini and launched in the last month.


“We started Snuk because we saw a gap in the market, personally,” says co-founder Betsy Fox.

She often returned home from trips to Asia or the Middle East with a desire to re-create authentic dishes but was met with challenges.

“If you want to cook a Persian meal, you have to go to four different stores to put that meal together,” says Fox.

When you live in New York City, one of those four stores to visit is Kalustyan’s, which is why it was one of the first suppliers Fox approached.

“I went [to Kalustyan’s] and said, ‘If you were to build meals from these regions, what ingredients would you need? What do you have? Which of those are the hardest to find?’”

From there, the Snuk Foods team added sourcing partners and skilled producers from around the world. The online marketplace launched with a carefully curated catalog of 2,200 products, but more items, and suppliers, are being added constantly.


Currently the top sellers after the first few weeks in business include Conservas La Brújala, specialty basmati rice provided by Kalustyan’s, Koska’s rose-flavored Turkish delight, O-MEDyuzu oil and vinegar and snacks like fruit leathers.

Some of the most popular choices remain a mystery, even to the founders. “There is a mulberry syrup form a Lebanese producer [Mymouné], I’m not exactly sure what you do with it, but it is just flying off the shelves.”

In the future, the top-selling ingredients will likely change as Snuk publishes information, recipes and stories about these specialty foods. (Editorial operations including a digital magazine, Caravanare helmed by award-winning journalist Max Falkowitz, a former editor of Saveur and Serious Eats.)

Fox says there is nothing worse than buying a spice, using it just a few times and throwing it out. She doesn’t want that scenario for Snuk customers.

“After you order your ingredient you’ll get an email with a recipe or a little bit about how to use it,” she says. “We want this site to be more than just products, we want to teach you.”

Of course, the exact shrimp paste I needed is available from Snuk for just $4.99 but with shipping to New York City starting at $11.99 I needed to find a few more hard-to-find ingredients to make the investment worth it and round out my pantry.

100 things to do in NYC that are completely free


Despite being one of the most expensive cities to live in, New York City offers many free activities, events and attractions all year round, letting you pinch pennies when the rent check is due. From free lectures at the Met to free group meditation classes, there are tons of activities that don’t cost a dime. To help New York visitors and natives alike, we’ve put together a guide of the 100 best wallet-friendly things to do in the Big Apple.

Photo of the Brooklyn Museum via NYC & Company

Museums & Monuments

Whether it’s your first time in New York, or you have lived here all of your life, exploring one of the many museums is a must. However, it’s not cheap to visit these incredible institutions, with admission costing upwards of $25 at many of them. Thankfully, a lot of museums offer discounted or completely free days once per week or month. And, even better, some offer free admission every day.

1.  African Burial Ground National Monument
290 Broadway between Duane and Elk Street, Lower Manhattan
The monument, which is the first of its kind dedicated to Africans of early New York, contains the remains of more than 419 Africans buried during the late 17th and 18th centuries in NYC. The indoor center and outdoor memorial are always free Tuesday-Saturday.

2. General Ulysses S Grant National Memorial
Riverside Drive at 122nd Street, Morningside Heights, Manhattan
Known as Grant’s Tomb, the memorial is the final resting place of the 18th President of the U.S. and his wife Julia Dent Grant. The visitor center and memorial are free every day it’s open–Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

3. Green-Wood Cemetery
500 25th Street, Sunset Park, Brooklyn
The 478-acre park is a Revolutionary War historic site and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2006. Admission to the cemetery, which operates seasonally seven days a week, is free at all times.

4. The New Museum
235 Bowery, Lower East Side, Manhattan
A home for contemporary art and ideas, the New Museum offers pay-what-you-wish admission on Thursday nights between 7-9pm.

5. National Museum of the American Indian
One Bowling Green, Bowling Green, Manhattan
A part of the Smithsonian Institution, the museum aims to advance the knowledge and understanding of Native cultures of the Western Hemisphere. Admission is always free, open 10 am to 5 pm daily and Thursdays to 8 pm. 

6. Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
The Brooklyn Museum is the city’s third-largest at 560,000 square feet and contains over 1.5 million pieces of art. Free on the first Saturday of the month only from 5-11pm with a 5-7pm happy hour. 

7. Bronx Museum of the Arts
1040 Grand Concourse, Bronx
The Bronx Museum of the Arts is an internationally recognized contemporary art museum that connects diverse audiences to the urban experience. It is always free, with operating hours 11 am- 6 pm, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and to 8 pm on Thursday. 

8. Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53rd Street, Midtown West, Manhattan
At one of the world’s preeminent modern art museums, admission is free every Friday from 4-8pm. 

9. Museum of the Moving Image
36-01 35 Avenue, Astoria, Queens
This Queens museum remains the only in the U.S. dedicated to the art, history, and technology of the moving image. Admission is free from 4-8pm every Friday. 

10. Queens County Farm Museum
73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Floral Park, Queens
Dating back to 1697, the farm museum occupies New York City’s largest remaining piece of undisturbed farmland. The farm grounds are open daily, year-round from 10 am- 5 pm and are always free, except during public events. 

11. Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art
26 Wooster Street, Soho, Manhattan
The museum is the first dedicated LGBTQ art museum in the world. It’s open 12-6pm Wednesday- Sunday and 12-8pm on Thursday. Admission is free, but there’s a suggested donation of $9 per person. 

12. BRIC House
647 Fulton Street, Fort Greene, Brooklyn
Daily admission BRIC House, Brooklyn’s leading presenter of free cultural programming, is free. 

13. Museum of Jewish Heritage
Edmond J. Safra Plaza, 36 Battery Place, Battery Park City, Manhattan
In memorial of those who died in the Holocaust, the museum features more than 25,000 items related to Jewish history. Admission to the museum is free on Wednesday and Thursday from 4-8pm.

14. Federal Hall National Memorial
26 Wall Street, Financial District, Manhattan
At this spot on Wall Street, George Washington took the oath of office and was the site of the first Congress, Supreme Court, and Executive Branch offices. The memorial is open all year from Monday-Friday, 9 am-5 pm and admission is free. 

15. Onassis Cultural Center
Olympic Tower, 645 Fifth Avenue, Midtown, Manhattan
The cultural center promotes Greek culture through art exhibitions and events. Its operating hours vary for events, but the Olympic Tower Atrium remains open daily and admission is free. 

16. Tibet House US Cultural Center
22 West 15th Street, Union Square, Manhattan
Created at the request of the Dalai Lama, the cultural center aims to preserve the unique culture of Tibet. Admission to the cultural center is free, with a suggested donation of $5, and open Monday-Friday 10am-6pm.

17. New York Aquarium
Surf Avenue & West 8th Street, Coney Island, Brooklyn
What better location for an aquarium than beachfront in Brooklyn? The Coney Island icon, the oldest continually operating aquarium in the U.S., offers pay-what-you-wish on Wednesdays from 3 pm to closing.

18. Castle Clinton
26 Wall Street, Financial District, Manhattan
As the country’s first immigration station before Ellis Island, Castle Clinton welcomed more than 8 million people between 1855 and 1890. It also was formerly a beer garden, a theater and home to the New York Aquarium. The national monument is free and open every day, from 7:45 am to 5 pm.

The exhibition Nari Ward: G.O.A.T., again ran until Sep. 4, photo via Socrates Sculpture Park 

Art Installation & Galleries

Catching up with the city’s ever-changing art scene is made easy thanks to the abundance of free artwork on display throughout NYC. While digging into the many classic art galleries of Chelsea is always recommended, the outer boroughs also offer their fair share of inspiring installations. Head to the Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens or Brooklyn’s Williamsburg Art & Historical Center for free art every day.

19. David Zwirner Gallery
519, 525 and 533 West 19th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan
At this acclaimed Chelsea gallery, which opened in 2002, visitors can explore the works of many European and American contemporary artists. The exhibition space is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and is free to explore.

20. The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology
Seventh Avenue and 27th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan
The museum’s permanent collection includes about 50,000 garments and accessories ranging from the 18th century to present-day. Admission is free to the public Tuesday through Friday from noon to 8 pm and Saturdays from 10 am to 5 pm.

21. Japan Society Gallery
333 East 47th Street, Midtown, Manhattan
Since 1971, the Japan Society Gallery has been a premier institution for Japanese art, ranging from classical Buddhist sculpture to paintings from the 21st century. It’s free Friday, 6 pm-9 pm.

22. New York Earth Room
141 Wooster Street, Soho, Manhattan
The spacious Soho gallery features a 22-inch deep pile of soil, weighing 280,000 pounds. See the “interior earth sculpture installation” for free Wednesday through Sunday, 12 pm–6 pm.

23. Socrates Sculpture Park
32-01 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City, Queens
Once an abandoned landfill and dumpsite, the waterfront sculpture park supports local artists and is an internationally acclaimed outdoor museum. The park is open and free every day, from 9 am to sunset.

24. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
515 Malcolm X Boulevard, Harlem, Manhattan
Current exhibits at the center, one of the world’s leading institutions dedicated to the black experience, include Black Power! and Power in Print, both exploring the art of the Black Power movement. It’s open 10 am-6 pm Monday, Thursday-Saturday, 10 am- 8 pm on Tuesday and Wednesday and closed on Sunday.

25. Brooklyn Central Library galleries
10 Grand Army Plaza, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
Sitting right next to Prospect Park, the sprawling library presents local and international artists and their work, usually with exhibitions relating to cultural themes and books. The library is open Monday through Thursday from 9 am to 9 pm, Friday and Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm and Sunday from 1 pm to 5 pm.

26. AIA New York Chapter Center for Architecture
536 LaGuardia Place, Greenwich Village, Manhattan
As the oldest and largest chapter of the American Insitute of Architects, the center hosts hundreds of free, public programs that focus on architecture, planning and design. Gallery hours are Monday- Friday, 9 am to 8 pm and Saturday 11 am to 5 pm.

27. Pierogi 2000
155 Suffolk Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan
Known for its eclectic and thought-provoking pieces, Pierogi 2000 features the work of both new and mid-career artists. Check out the gallery Tuesday through Saturday from 11 am to 6 pm.

28. Williamsburg Art & Historical Center
135 Broadway, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
This multifaceted art center aims to create a bridge between artists on a local and international scale. The gallery in the WAH Center (“WAH” in Japanese means “peace” or harmony”) is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12 pm to 6 pm.

A Hell’s Kitchen staple, Rudy’s offers free hot dogs with drink purchase, photo via Rudy’s 

Food & Drink Deals

As most New Yorkers know, the best things in life are free…food. If you’re scrimping on cents until payday, try heading to one of the bars below. From complimentary-with-a-beverage pizza and Murry’s Cheese to bagels and cream cheese spread, you’ll end the month with both wallet and stomach happily full.

29. Ryan Maguire’s Restaurant & Bar
28 Cliff Street, Financial District, Manhattan
This classic Irish pub offers a free buffet from Monday-Friday, 5-7 pm. 

30. Croxley’s Ale House
63 Grand Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Calling itself Brooklyn’s “original craft beer, sport’s bar and restaurant,” Croxley’s offers up classic (and cheap) pub food and lots of beers on tap. It’s known for its complimentary boneless wing buffet on Fridays, between 4 pm and 7 pm.

31. Alligator Lounge
600 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
At this Brooklyn bar, a free personal pizza comes with every drink purchase every day until 3:30 am. 

32. Brazen Head
228 Atlantic Avenue, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn
Complimentary food ranges from free wings on Monday to free plates of cheese and wine discounts on Wednesday. Deals happen almost every night but vary.

33. Blind Tiger Ale House
281 Bleecker Street, West Village, Manhattan
With nearly 28 beers on tap and free cheese, you can’t go wrong at this alehouse. Complimentary cheese from Murray’s Cheese, Wednesday at 6 pm. 

34. The Levee
212 Berry Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
This old-fashioned bar provides life’s simple pleasures like beer, booze, and billiards. Oh, and free cheese puffs daily.

35. Matt Torrey’s
46 Bushwick Avenue, East Williamsburg, Brooklyn
In addition to that $5 Bloody Mary, enjoy a free spread of bagels and all the fixings at Matt Torrey’s during brunch on Saturday and Sunday starting at noon. 

36. Rudy’s
627 9th Avenue, Midtown West, Manhattan
At one of the oldest dive bars in New York City, free hot dogs accompany every beverage. As Anthony Bourdain once put it, “When you sit down, I don’t know about a free hot dog. But after a few beers, it seems like a good idea.”

37. Astor Wine & Spirits
399 Lafayette Street, Greenwich Village, Manhattan 
The spacious wine hub in the landmarked De Vinne Press Building provides weekly free wine tastings. Check the schedule for specific wines and other events.

38. Crocodile Lounge
325 East 14th Street, East Village, Manhattan
Like its gator sister in Williamsburg, the Crocodile Lounge offers a free mini pizza with every drink purchase. Every day. Every hour. The East Village haunt also has skee ball, trivia nights and a daily happy hour.

Explore one of the oldest city halls in the country with a free tour, photo via NYC & Company

Walking Tours

For lovers of beer, architecture, history and everything in between, a walking tour exists. New York City, one of the easiest cities to navigate by foot, is chock full of historic and unique spots. Although some can be expensive, a lot of organizations provide free tours, requiring only a reservation. Just be sure to wear comfortable shoes and get a camera ready.

39. Brooklyn Brewery
79 North 11th St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
A former matzo factory turned brewery, the famed Brooklyn Brewery offers free tours every Saturday 12:30 pm and Sunday at 1 pm.

40. City Hall
City Hall Park, Financial District, Manhattan 
Visit one of the oldest continuously used City Halls in the nation that still houses its original governmental function with a public tour run by the city’s Design Commission. No reservation is required for tours on Wednesday.

41. Federal Reserve Bank of New York
44 Maiden Lane, Wall Street, Manhattan
At the Federal Reserve, tours teach visitors about the role of the New York Fed and the Federal Reserve System in setting monetary policy and let New Yorkers explore the gold vault, 80 feet below street level. Tours require a reservation of at least 30 days in advance.

42. Grand Central Partnership
120 Park Avenue (across Grand Central), Midtown, Manhattan
Urban historians Peter Laskowich and Madeleine Levi walk visitors through the terminal’s whispering gallery, the “original” Lincoln Memorial and more. Free tours consist of 90-minute walking tours at 12:30 pm every Friday.

43. NYPL’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building 
476 Fifth Avenue, Midtown, Manhattan
As the flagship building of the New York Public Library, the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building boasts Beaux-Arts architecture and world-renowned collections. The library offers free tours 11 am and 2 pm Monday- Saturday, 2 pm Sunday.

44. Saint Patrick’s Cathedral
5th Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets, Midtown, Manhattan
Learn more about the famed cathedral’s deep-rooted history in the city and explore its architectural wonders with free tours Monday through Friday beginning at 10 am. There is a suggested $5 donation for admission.

45. Chelsea Craft Brewing
463 East 173rd Street, Claremont Village, The Bronx
Chelsea Craft Brewing, which opened in 1995, can be credited for jumpstarting the city’s brewery craze. Free tours are available Saturday, 2-6 pm, and include a free beer sample.

46. Big Apple Greeter
1 Centre Street, Financial District, Manhattan
Big Apple Greeter’s more than 300 volunteers bring roughly 7,000 visitors a year to over 100 neighborhoods throughout NYC. Reserve tours three to four weeks in advance.

47. Village Alliance 
131 East 10th Street, East Village, Manhattan
The walking tour stretches from St. Marks Place to Sixth Avenue, taking in sites like the residences of Lou Reed and Andy Warhol and the studios where Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan performed. Head to St. Mark’s Church at 11:30 every Saturday until October for the free walking tour.

48. Hamilton Grange
414 West 141st Street, Harlem, Manhattan
Free and open year-round, the Hamilton Grange National Memorial is the preserved relocated Federalist style home of Alexander Hamilton. The home was moved twice, in 1889 and 2008. Get a ranger-led tour Wednesdays through Sundays, at 10 am, 11 am, 2 pm and 4 pm.

49. Gracie Mansion 
East End Avenue and 88th Street, Yorkville, Manhattan
On Mondays only, visitors can explore the “people’s house,” the official house of the mayor of New York. Free tours are offered at 10 am, 11 am and 5 pm but require a reservation.

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden offers free admission on Tuesday and for two hours on Saturday, photo via NYC Parks 

Outdoor Activities

As new construction and development projects continue to rise above us every day, it seems as if there’s nothing outside of this chaotic, concrete jungle. In reality, nature-filled, outdoor activities do exist in New York City that doesn’t include walking to your neighborhood’s deli. Plus, most of them are free, like the city’s public pools and parks.

50. The Downtown Boathouse
Hudson River Park, Tribeca, Manhattan
The all-volunteer organization is the largest free kayaking organization in the world. Find free kayaking at Pier 26 and Governors Island. At Pier 26, kayaking is offered on the weekend starting May 19 until October 8, from 9 am to 4:30 pm. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, from June 19 to September 13, free kayaking is open from 5:30 to 7 pm.

51. Staten Island Ferry
4 South Street, South Ferry, Manhattan & 1 Bay Street, Staten Island
Without costing a penny, ride the ferry for 25 minutes from Lower Manhattan to Staten Island for incredible views of the Statue of Liberty and the NYC skyline. The fare-free ferry runs every day, making a total of 118 trips per weekday. 

52. Brooklyn Botanic Garden
150 Eastern Parkway, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn 
First founded and designed by the Olmsted Brothers firm in 1910, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is now considered a premier garden in the heart of the borough. It is free Friday between 8 am and noon and weekdays in winter.

53. Bronx Zoo
2300 Southern Boulevard, The Bronx
The impressive Zoo spans 265-acres free and includes more than 6,000 animals. Every Wednesday, admission is pay-what-you-wish. Open daily from April 1 to November 5 from 10 am to 5 pm. During the winter months, the zoo closes at 4:30 pm.

54. New York Botanical Garden
2900 Southern Boulevard, The Bronx
Visit one of the greatest botanical gardens in the world, as well as the largest in any city, for free all day Wednesday and from 9-10 am on Saturday.

55. The High Line
From Gansevoort Street to West 34th Street, between 10th and 12th Avenues, Manhattan
Explore the High Line, an elevated freight rail line transformed into a public park, for free every day. Open Dec. 1- Mar. 31, from 7 am-7 pm; April 1 to May 31, from 7 am-10 pm; June 1 to Sept. 30, from 7 am-11 pm; Oct. 1 to Nov. 30 from 7 am to 10 pm.

56. Moonlight Ride through Central Park 
Columbus Circle (SW corner of Central Park), Manhattan 
At 10 pm on the first Friday of every month, take a fun, but relaxing, bike ride through Central Park at night. While the guided bike (or rollerblade) ride is free, participants should bring their own bike, a helmet and light. Moonlight Ride offers tours all year round, but riders must reserve a spot.

57. City Island’s Land Ferry
6 Park Place, Pelham, New York (No. 6 train station at Pelham Bay Park)
City Island is a small, nautical island in the northeastern part of the Bronx. For those who want to learn more about the island can take a free”land ferry” or decorated minibus on the first Friday of the month from the train station to City Island.  The land ferry picks up passengers from the No. 6 train on the first Friday of the month from 5:30 to 9:30 pm every half-hour and provides free tours.

58. NYC pools
Various locations in all boroughs
To benefit from the city’s free public pools, all you need is a swimsuit. Free swim programs for youth, seniors and people with disabilities are available. Pool hours are from 11 am- 7 pm during the summer only.

59. Free fishing
Various locations in all boroughs
The city boasts over 500 miles of shoreline, as well as lakes and rivers, so there’s plenty of opportunities to fish. While it’s free to fish in every borough, city regulations must be followed.

60. Long Island City Community Boathouse
46-01 5th Street, Long Island City, Queens
On selected weekend afternoons, the boathouse, in partnership with the Socrates Sculpture Park, provides free walk-up paddling at Hallets Cove and at Anable Basin for people of all skill levels. While the free kayaking programs are seasonal, the boathouse also has programs that promote awareness about the environment and the New York harbor. 

61. The Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club
2nd Avenue near Bond Street, Gowanus, Brooklyn
The canoe club, a totally volunteer-run organization, offers free canoe tours of the Gowanus Canal while providing a history lesson with it.  In addition to canoe tours, visitors can partake in kayaking and boating in Red Hook, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Long Island City and Staten Island. The free self-guided canoe trips are first-come, first-served, but be sure to check the club’s schedule ahead of time.

62. The Elevated Acre
55 Water Street, Financial District, Manhattan
Discreetly tucked between two office buildings, there is a secret, totally free, elevated plaza. The hidden meadow features gardens, plants, and peace from the chaotic streets below. While eating lunch is free every day, sometimes free programs, like yoga classes, also are available.

63. Brooklyn Heights Promenade
Between Joralemon Street and Grace Court, Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn
Just one-third of a mile long, this promenade has been called one of the most romantic spots in Brooklyn. With sweeping views of the Statue of Liberty, Manhattan skyline and iconic Brooklyn Bridge, the spot is priceless. And right next door, the Brooklyn Bridge offers a ton of free events daily.

64. Fort Wadsworth
210 New York Avenue, Staten Island
The 226-acre public park, one of the oldest military sites in the country, guarded New York City for over 200 years. The fort is open and free every day from dawn to dusk. 

65. NYC Parks Urban Park Rangers programs
Various locations in all boroughs
Since 1979, the Urban Park Rangers program has helped New Yorkers connect with nature through public education, lectures and outdoor adventures. Rangers run various free events all year, like canoeing, family camping, hiking and fishing.

66. Ping Pong in Bryant Park
Sixth Ave and West 42nd Street, Midtown, Manhattan
Bryant Park features two state-of-the-art ping pong tables with paddles and balls, for free daily in the summer. Get your pong from 11 am to 7 pm through September 30.

Catch a free show every Monday night at Union Pool in Williamsburg, photo via NYC & Company

Live Entertainment

In the ‘city that never sleeps,’ live entertainment is never hard to find. And surprisingly, finding free events is easier than you think. There are hundreds of venues across all boroughs that offer discounted or free tickets. Watch talented performers every night of the week for free, whether it’s an improv show, an open-mic night or even a taping of Stephen Colbert’s show.

67. ASSSSCAT 3000 at UCBT in Hell’s Kitchen
555 West 42nd Street, Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan
The iconic Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Chelsea closed after 14 years. But no need to worry. Free performances are still happening at UCB’s new Hell’s Kitchen location. Every Sunday, the 9:30 pm performance of ASSSSCAT 3000, a show of long-form improve, is free. Reservations are not accepted.

68. The Creek and the Cave
10-93 Jackson Ave, Long Island City, Queens
For good food and free comedy, go to LIC’s the Creek and the Cave. The venue’s schedule is jam-packed with great shows, stand up and screenings, so there’s always something. Every day, the restaurant and bar are open late.

69. The Sherry Vine Show at Industry
355 West 52nd Street, Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan
Experience one of the longest-running drag shows in New York, with a full hour of parodies and Broadway tunes. The door opens every Wednesday at 11 pm at Industry.

70. Lucky Jack’s
129 Orchard Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan

Every Wednesday, Lucky Jack’s offers free comedy shows at 9 pm, with no drink minimum required.

71. Otto’s Shrunken Head
538 East 14th St, East Village, Manhattan
With its tropical drinks and tiki bar vibe, the nearly daily free music and comedy at Otto’s Shrunken Head is just an added bonus. Otto’s remains a favorite for punk rock fans and musicians alike.

72. Brooklyn Night Bazaar
150 Greenpoint Avenue, Greenpoint, Brooklyn
The massive club, with four bars, features three levels of live music, stand-up comedy, vendors, arcade games, and private karaoke lounges. Check out the Brooklyn Bazaar’s schedule for free or super cheap nightly events.

73. Knitting Factory
361 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Despite being known more for its eclectic live music, the Knitting Factory also has free comedy every Sunday at 9 pm. Doors open at 6 pm and the show is first come, first served.

74. Daytime or Late-Night talk show tickets
Various studio locations 
For free, you can be a part of the studio audience for shows like the Daily Show, Good Morning America, Last Week Tonight with Jon Oliver and more. It does take some planning, so be sure to reserve them online with plenty of time before the show.

75. Friends & Lovers
641 Classon Ave, Crown Heights, Brooklyn

In increasingly-hipster Crown Heights, Friends & Lovers has indie and island funk music, political meet-ups and old-school dance parties, most of them free. Every Monday, there’s a free comedy show at 8 pm.

76. Union Pool
484 Union Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Once a pool-supply outlet, Union Pool has multiple bars, outdoor space, a taco truck and free shows every Monday, 10 pm.

77. Ear Inn
326 Spring Street, Soho, Manhattan

At Ear Inn, one of the oldest bars in the city, you can attend poetry readings and screenings and listen to free jazz every Sunday, 8 pm-11 pm.

78. Pete’s Candy Store
709 Lorimer St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Pete’s Candy Store, which has always been a free venue, has booked many unknown and unsigned bands who later become famous (ie: Norah Jones). In addition to live music, enjoy weekly open-mic nights, trivia and poetry readings.

79. Gorilla Rep
Various outdoor locations
As an environmental theater, the Gorilla Repertory Theater Company brings free plays to parks all over New York City. Most of the plays produced by Gorilla Rep consist of Shakespeare works, with their most famous being their long-running production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The Sweat Sessions offer free yoga, boot-camps and other classes throughout the summer, photo courtesy of Ethan Covey via the Meatpacking District’s website


New York City is a great place to get fit for free. In addition to the city’s own ‘Shape Up’ initiative, which provides free drop-in classes every week, a lot of places offer once a week or once a month classes for nothing but a suggested donation. Whether you’re into running, dancing or de-stressing through group meditation, there’s a free class for you.

80. Shape Up NYC
Various locations in every borough

Shape Up NYC is a free, city-run drop-in fitness program that takes across all five boroughs. No registration is required, just show up. Free classes range from Afro-Carribean Cardio to Sit and Be Fit, for all levels of fitness.

81. Three Jewels Community Center
61 4th Avenue, East Village, Manhattan

Founded by the first American-born Buddhist monk to be awarded the “Geshe” title in a Tibetan Buddhist monastery, this community center provides free meditation classes offered every day, at morning and at night.

82. Dharma Yoga Brooklyn
82 Sixth Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn 
At the Brooklyn Yoga School, classical yoga classes are offered for free, but do have a suggested donation of $10-20 per class.

83. Shambhala 
118 West 22nd Street, Flatiron, Manhattan
If in need of a relaxing retreat, head to Shambhala for silent, public meditation sessions. Public sittings classes are available for drop-ins every Thursday 6 pm – 7 pm, Friday 6 pm-7 pm and Sunday 9 am- 11:45 am.

84. Lululemon
129 North 6th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

To set off the cost of items at the high-end athletic clothing chain, Lululemon’s new Williamsburg store offers various free events, like yoga, meditation, and cycling. RSVP for the store’s events like Workout Wednesdays and cycling tours through Brooklyn, Two Ambassadors, One Community.

85. Bootcamp at Bryant Park
Bryant Park’s Fountain Terrace on Sixth Avenue,
 Midtown, Manhattan
Rain or shine, every Wednesday from 6:30 am to 7 am, join The Rise NYC, a community-driven pop-up fitness group, for thirty-minute rotations of crunches, planks, burpees and mountain climbers.

86. Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center 
243 West 24th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan
This Chelsea yoga center provides free group meditation and devotional chanting, known as Satsang, twice a week. The 90-minute free class is on Wednesday from 7:45 to 9:15 pm and Sunday at 6:15-7:45 pm.

87. NYC Fun Run Club
Meets at a different Manhattan bar weekly
For runners looking for a less solitary experience, the NYC Fun Run club meets at a different bar in Manhattan every Wednesday at 7 pm, heads out for a run, and then meets back at the bar for a few beers. All paces welcomed, you just want to be able to make it back to the bar.

88. Meatpacking Sweat Sessions
Hudson River Park between 14th and 15th Streets, Manhattan
Get ready to sweat it out at Hudson River Park’s 14th Street Park in free 45-minute classes every Tuesday night during the summer. Classes include dance cardio, boxing, pilates and more. Sign up online to reserve a spot.

89. New York Road Runners
320 West 57th Street, Midtown, Manhattan
The Road Runners group, the city’s premier racing club and organizer of the NYC Marathon, offers various free events. Be sure to check out their Eventbrite first to see which running-focused classes are available and open to the public.

The MetSpeaks series features lectures, discussions, films and more,  photo courtesy of the Met 

Lectures and Seminars

If looking to learn something new or even sharpen a forgotten skill, you’ve come to the right place. Without spending a dime, you can listen to and engage with the brightest and most creative professionals in any field. While New York offers hundreds of readings, lectures and educational events daily, we’ve compiled some of the best that offer free or nearly free tickets frequently.

90. MetSpeaks
1000 Fifth Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan
The largest art museum in the United States provides free lectures through the MET Speaks program. Free lectures, which focus on current exhibitions, conservation projects and the museum’s collection, come with museum admission.

91. Brooklyn Brainery
190 Underhill Avenue, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
Brooklyn Brainery offers cheap, crowdsourced educational classes on almost everything, from chemistry to embroidery. While most classes cost a few bucks, each month free events are offered, including free food history and science lectures.

92. The Cooper Union
30 Cooper Square, Noho, Manhattan
A historic NYC institution, Cooper Union, established in 1859, offers free lectures and book readings from well-known intellectuals and writers. Registration is usually required, so sign up early for every event.

93. Gotham Writer’s Workshop
555 Eighth Avenue, Garment District, Manhattan
The Gotham Writer’s Workshop is the largest adult-education writing club in the United States. The group provides a host of free classes and workshops for those interested in memoir writing, fiction, screening and everything in between, with no registration needed.

94. Teachers and Writers Collaborative
540 President Street, Gowanus, Brooklyn
The nonprofit offers programs for those looking to sharpen their writing skills, as well as become better at teaching writing as a subject. Educators, writers and students can freely use its resource library and meeting space.

95. Secret Science Club
149 7th Street, Gowanus, Brooklyn

This not-so-secret science club gathers monthly at the Bell House for free lectures and experiments by professional scientists. Since the club meets at a bar, the events are 21 and over.

96. Three Lives & Company
154 West 10th Street, West Village, Manhattan
Considered one of the best bookstores in all of NYC, Three Lives, in addition to its rare collection, offers free public readings, which are always on a first-come, first served basis.

97. Unnameable Books
600 Vanderbilt Avenue, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
This mom-and-pop bookstore has free poetry readings, lectures and other literary events perfect for every Brooklyn bibliophile. It’s open daily and operates later than most bookstores: 11 am to 11 pm.

98. New York & Brooklyn Public Libraries
All NYPL and BPL locations 
The next time you’re checking out a book at your local library, check out the free events offered at every branch. From children’s programs to arts and crafts for adults to language classes, the city’s libraries may have everything you’re looking for.

99. New York Society for Ethical Culture
2 West 64th Street, Upper West Side, Manhattan
The society focuses on ethics, not theology, to encourage respect for humanity and nature. Free lectures, social gatherings, and meet-up discussions are available at their 100-year old building frequently, with some costing as little as $10.

100. Park Slope Co-op
782 Union Street, Park Slope, Brooklyn
Founded in 1973, the co-op provides healthy, affordable produce for members. For non-members who hope to learn more about food and the community the co-op serves, free workshops, classes and events are available.

NYC’s 10 best offbeat and hidden museums


New York is home to world-class institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, the Guggenheim, and MoMA. But this city’s museum scene has more to offer than just the Temple of Dendur—in fact, it’s full of smaller, way funkier spots serving up found art, oddities, and history, including the history of this ever-odd city itself. Here are 10 of our favorites.


1. The New York City Fire Museum
278 Spring Street between Hudson and Varick Street, Soho, Manhattan

The NYC Fire Museum has been telling the story of the FDNY since 1934, having had a number of homes before taking up its current residence—at a former firehouse that served as Engine Company No. 30’s headquarters—in 1987. Now, the museum contains a vast collection of historic firefighting memorabilia dating all the way back to the 1600s, with highlights including vintage FDNY uniforms, ornate hand pumpers, a horse-drawn ladder wagon, and a 1921 American La France engine. The museum is also home to the city’s first permanent memorial to the 343 FDNY members who died in the attacks on September 11, 2001, featuring photographs of the fallen firefighters, tributes, tools used, and items recovered in Ground Zero. Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for students, seniors, and children over two.


The Museum of the American Gangster
80 St. Marks Place between 1st and 2nd Avenues, East Village, Manhattan

For folks interested in learning more about the United States’ storied history of organized crime, the Museum of the American Gangster digs into the American mob’s roots, offering up a wide collection of memorabilia. Visitors to the museum get a $20 guided tour, with highlights including bullets from the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre, John Dillinger’s death masks, vintage automatic shotguns, and vivid, detailed stories about famed mobsters like John Gotti and Al Capone. As a bonus, the museum itself is housed in an old speakeasy that was once frequented by the likes of Gotti, Capone, and Lucky Luciano, and you can still buy moonshine and other temperance-era drinks at the bar.


3. The National Museum of Mathematics
11 East 26th Street between Broadway and 5th Avenue, Flatiron, Manhattan

Budding mathematicians love the National Museum of Mathematics, or MoMath, a seven-year-old ode to math located right by Madison Square Park. MoMath was specifically launched to “enhance public understanding and perception of mathematics,” and provides visitors with hands-on exhibitions focusings on concepts like pi, kinetics, shapes, hyperboloids, fractals, and parabolas. Popular offerings include a square-wheeled trike, which allows visitors to smoothly navigate round tubes atop square wheels; Hoop Curves!, in which visitors can use throw statistics to help a robotic basketball shooter get a ball throw a hoop; and the Twisted Thruway, where you can take a virtual ride on a Möbius strip. Admission is $17 for adults, $14 for seniors, students, and children over two.


4. Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space
155 Avenue C, at East 10th Street, East Village, Manhattan

Shortened to MoRUS, the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space explores the history of grassroots urban space activism, namely that of the East Village. Located in a former squat in Alphabet City, the museum “celebrates the local activists who transformed abandoned spaces and vacant lots into vibrant community spaces and gardens,” and how that has affected change throughout the years in NYC. In addition to permanent exhibits about the history of squats, MoRUS has special offerings, such as the current “Politics of Punk: Radical Action in Radical Times” exhibit, as well as guided tours of the East Village and Lower East Side and workshops and workdays in the neighborhood’s 39 community gardens. There’s a $5 suggested donation.


5. Coney Island Museum
1208 Surf Avenue between 12th Street and Henderson Walk, Coney Island, Brooklyn

Coney Island itself feels like an archived testament to old New York, but the Coney Island Museum takes vintage a step further, highlighting the famed amusement park’s quirky history for only $5. The museum’s small space holds a wealth of treasures, including antique Fun House mirrors, vintage Side Show posters, and old-school paraphernalia, plus you can watch lots of videos of old Coney Island, which is always fun. Other highlights include the museum’s weekly magic shows on Sundays at noon, and the Freak Bar, which sells drinks and fun gifts downstairs.


6. The City Reliquary
370 Metropolitan Avenue at Havemeyer Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

The City Reliquary is one of the city’s finest offbeat treasures, boasting an incredible collection of local memorabilia and oddities, and though it’s quirky and cluttered, that’s part of its charm. The not-for-profit community museum has everything from founder Dave Herman’s collection of Statue of Liberty figures to the bones of a subway rat to Anthora coffee cups, making it a fun spot to visit for locals and tourists alike. They’ve also got tons of found objects, like old nails and seltzer bottles, as well as true pieces of New York history, like the original 2nd Avenue Deli sign and Brooklyn Dodgers merchandise. There’s also a lovely backyard, where the museum hosts events in good weather. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors, students, and educators. Children are free.


7. The New York Transit Museum
Boerum Place and Schermerhorn Street, Downtown Brooklyn, Brooklyn

If you enjoy riding the Holiday Nostalgia Train every year around Christmas, you’ll love the NY Transit Museum’s collection of vintage subway cars, which sit inside a real (though decommissioned) subway station in Downtown Brooklyn. You can walk through cars built in 1903, peruse vintage ads on cars from the 1940s, and sit in leather seats from 1917—the collection is so impressive and so well-preserved, they’re often used for films and television programs (see if you can spot one on “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”). The museum also boasts an impressive collection of vintage train tokens; photos of historic trains, trolleys, and buses; and interactive “street furniture,” including a 12-seat bus cab and walk/don’t walk signs you can play with. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and children ages two to 12.


8. Mmuseumm
4 Cortlandt Alley, Chinatown, Manhattan

If we’re awarding medals for most offbeat, the Mmuseumm takes gold. Literally located inside a Chinatown elevator shaft, the 60-square-foot “museum” features a rotating selection of “contemporary artifacts” that adhere to some sort of theme. Past exhibitions have run the gamut from “Modern Religion”—with artifacts like a gluten-free Holy Communion wafers—to Bread Clip Taxonomy, which one can only assume consisted primarily of bread clips. The Mmuseumm is currently closed but will reopen for its seventh (!!) season in the spring.


62 Bayard Street between Lorimer and Leonard Streets, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

MOFAD, short for the Museum of Food and Drink, is still in the process of creating “the world’s first large-scale food museum.” To get a taste of future MOFAD for now, though, you can visit the museum’s Food Lab in Williamsburg. It’s currently hosting the exhibition Chow, which digs into the history of Chinese American restaurants. Visitors can learn about how Chinese restaurants began and evolved in the United States in the midst of a period of intense anti-Chinese immigrant sentiment, as well as peruse Chinese restaurant menus from all over the country, and enjoy a demonstration and tasting at the exhibition’s conclusion. Tickets are $14 for adults, $10 for students and seniors, and $7 for children.


62 Bayard Street between Lorimer and Leonard Streets, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

MOFAD, short for the Museum of Food and Drink, is still in the process of creating “the world’s first large-scale food museum.” To get a taste of future MOFAD for now, though, you can visit the museum’s Food Lab in Williamsburg. It’s currently hosting the exhibition Chow, which digs into the history of Chinese American restaurants. Visitors can learn about how Chinese restaurants began and evolved in the United States in the midst of a period of intense anti-Chinese immigrant sentiment, as well as peruse Chinese restaurant menus from all over the country, and enjoy a demonstration and tasting at the exhibition’s conclusion. Tickets are $14 for adults, $10 for students and seniors, and $7 for children.


10. The Waterfront Museum
290 Conover Street, Red Hook, Brooklyn

Sitting in the water off a pier in Red Hook is the only wooden railroad barge of its kind still floating. The 1914 Lehigh Valley Barge #79 has been transformed into the Waterfront Barge Museum, founded in 1986 to educate about maritime history as well as advocate for expanded waterfront access. The vessel previously operated in Liberty State Park, Piermont, NY, and the South Street Seaport, but since moving to Brooklyn in 1994, it offers free tours that include the Captain’s original living quarters, tools of longshoremen and stevedores, and gongs and bells from the tug and barge system. They also host a series of “Showboat Performances,” featuring everything from pirate shows to opera to contra dance.

Say goodbye to your Christmas Tree: NYC’s Mulchfest


If you’re the sort of person who feels down after the holidays come to an end on New Year’s Eve, don’t despair—the fun isn’t over quite yet. From January 4 to 13, NYC will be celebrating its annual Mulchfest, and this year, the city plans to make it better than ever before. On December 17, NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver gathered with a group of city officials in Washington Square Park to officially declare Mulchfest a part of the New York City Holiday tradition. In a nutshell, the City of New York wants New Yorkers to stop “pine-ing” for their discarded trees and mulch them instead.

The city is not only embracing clever wordplay to encourage New Yorkers to bid their trees “fir-well” but also launching a new advertising campaign to raise awareness about their mulching program. As explained in a press release, “The new Mulchfest look celebrates New Yorkers’ post-holiday tradition of dragging their trees to a local park for mulching. An illustrated cast of diverse characters use bikes, strollers, teamwork, and other creative methods to get their trees to the chippers, so that their ever-greens can be turned into mulch that will help to reduce waste, protect and nourish other trees and plants throughout the city.”


The Evolution of Mulchfest

Long ago, most trees ended up on the curb and often wrapped in plastic, which is how they are generally taken out of buildings to avoid needle droppage. These bagged trees eventually made their way to landfill sites. In the early 1990s, the Sanitation Department started to run special pickups to bring the city’s thousands of discarded pines to one of four designated chipping sites where the trees were turned into mulch. If you’ve ever gardened, you’ll know that mulch—generally comprised of decaying leaves, bark, or compost—is spread around plants to enrich and insulate the soil.

In the early years, the city’s tree recycling program wasn’t particularly popular. As city residents became increasingly environmentally conscious, however, the program started to take off. By 2007, the city’s tree mulching locations had expanded from a mere four to over 60. But in true New York style, it wasn’t enough to simply have a day or two when one could bring their tree to a mulching site. Instead, the City decided to turn their annual mulching ritual into a festival known as Mulchfest.

In 2018, over 25,000 pines were turned into mulch during NYC Mulchfest. This year, the city hopes to recycle even more trees and create a lot more mulch.


How to Participate in Mulchfest?

All you’ll need to do to participate is get your tree to a Mulchfest site. To entice you to drag your tree to a drop-off or mulching site, there are close to 70 sites spread across the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island (to find your nearest location, visit the 
NYC Mulchfest site).

There are two types of sites: drop-off points and chipping sites. Drop-off points are simply locations where you can leave your tree for pickup. Chipping sites are sites where the city will be actively mulching trees. If you drop off your tree at a chipping site, you could walk away with your very own “tree-mento.” As explained on the Mulchfest site, if you drop off your tree on “Chipping Weekend—January 12-13—We’ll chip your tree and give you your very own bag of mulch to use in your backyard or to make a winter bed for a street tree.” If you don’t know much about caring for trees, don’t worry—the city also has a site offering instructions on how to care for all those street trees we all too often take for granted.

Volunteer to Spread the Mulch

If you want to get more involved, you can even volunteer to help spread the mulch around with other New Yorkers. As a volunteer, you’ll be spreading mulch around the city’s young trees since mulch is a great way to insulate tree roots during the cold winter weather. All you need to volunteer are some warm clothes that you don’t mind getting a dirty and closed-toed shoes. If you’re an environmentally friendly teen, however, bear in mind that you’ll only be able to spread the mulch if you’re accompanied by a chaperone over the age of 18.

Big Apple Circus




Big Apple Circus returns to our home at Lincoln Center!

The Big Apple Circus brings together the most acclaimed circus acts from all over the world. See horizontal juggling for the first time in America, our award-winning aerial duo Desire of Flight, the astonishing quadruple somersault on the flying trapeze, horses and dogs, clowns, acrobats, and so many more wonders — all in our magical and intimate one-ring big top tent!



At Big Apple Circus, no seat is more than 50 feet away from the ring. A single ticket includes entry to the show. All children ages 2 or older require a ticket.


Be a part of the show with VIP seats in the first two rows of our center ringside seats. Plus, indulge in craft circus cocktails, bespoke concessions and special photo opportunities at our VIP Lounge. This experience also includes entry through our VIP entrance with a private coat and bag check, access to private restrooms and a special welcome gift.


The Ringmaster Suites allow for a more private circus outing, including all the benefits of the VIP ticket experience. See the show in one of only two Ringmaster Box Suites with seating for up to six guests and your own personal waitstaff service.


Lee Lee's Bakery -The best rugelach


Lee Lee's Bakery, 283 West 118th Street, and FDB/8th Avenue.  Lee Lee's Baked Goods at has notably some of the best rugelach to be found in the city and now ships anywhere within the states.  Harlem's King of Rugelach offers up his specialty pastries in chocolate, raspberry and apricot variations. Folks who want to share one of Uptown's best-kept secrets can simply go online and make an order accordingly.