CITYSIGHTS NY BLOG
Rainy days have a bad reputation. They’re notorious for ruining plans and even changing people’s moods. What happens when you have made dinner plans with your partner or planned a nice picnic in Central Park? Even worse—what if Valentine’s Day gets rained out? Here are a few rainy date ideas to save the day! (And remember, our canopied hop-on buses make for great shelter on the way!)
Bowling almost always guarantees a fun-filled date! Not only do you get to show off your awesome skills, but you get to trash talk and brag. Try your luck at these bowling alleys.
• The Gutter – This is the perfect “grown up” bowling alley; exposed brick and authentic wooden lanes line the interiors. Have a blast and be sure to grab a drink from the Gutter Bar (P.S. They also have happy hour where you can get 2 games or hours for the price of one.) 200 N. 14th St (Brooklyn)
• Bowlmor Chelsea Piers – This alley has a few locations in New York, but this one offers more space and big everything! After bowling a turkey, head into the arcade and have a dance off. 11th Ave. (at 23rd St.)
Rock Wall Climbing
Rock wall climbing is a great way to stay inside and stay dry. Make a bet on who can climb to the top in the fastest time to create some friendly competition! Try Aviator Sports and Events Center in Brooklyn. Passes go for $18 for an all-day pass or $10 for two runs. 3159 Flatbush Ave.
Museums are a good way to learn about each other’s interests. Pick an exhibition to view and walk around with your date. If you’re a bit awkward, this is a good option to sort of break up the silence. Plus they’ll be tons of things around to strike a conversation about! Try these:
• Sony Wonder Technology Lab, 56th St. & Madison Ave. : A free technology and entertainment museum that allows visitors to explore technology and creativity in one setting.
• Museum of Modern Art, 11 W. 53rd St.: One of the most influential museums in the world, MoMA offers modern and contemporary design, architecture, painting and more.
• The Cloisters Museum, 1000 Fifth Ave.: Dive into Medieval European history at this museum that offers medieval works of art.
If you enjoy talking and creating a more intimate environment with your date, try a craft class. Thankfully, New York offers a wide range of choices.
• Any sort of crafts – If you’re in the mood for perfume blending, floral design, or sewing, try 92Y. The cultural institution and community center has been serving the community for over 100 years. Find it at Kaufman Concert Hall or 1395 Lexington Ave.
• Take a pottery class at Painted Pot in Brooklyn. With three locations, you can create your own funky pottery shapes, and then paint them! Bay Ridge, Carroll Garden and Park Slope
• Culinary classes are a fun and easy way to connect with people! Who doesn’t enjoy food? Try Appetite for Seduction (4 East 1st Street) or Natural Gourmet Institute (48 West 21st Street).
Try mixing and matching some of these rainy date ideas to make a gloomy weekend into one you’ll never forget! What venues would you brave any weather for?
New York City is a playground for lovers. Whether you’re on a first date, honeymoon or just a private getaway, the city is not only alive with places to dine, dance, and drink, but also with some surprises you won’t find anywhere else!
Here are just a few of the delights awaiting lovers in New York City on Valentine’s Day. Use these Valentine’s Day ideas to craft the perfect day of romance for your special someone!
Celebrate Valentine’s Day in Times Square
Whether you’re ready to pop the question or just want to share a kiss over a cup of delicious hot chocolate, there's no better place to say "I love you" than Times Square. This Valentine’s Day in NYC, thousands of locals and visitors will declare their love at “the Crossroads of the World.” On the most romantic day of the year, propose to your sweetie on the big screen, marry your love in the heart of the city, or tenderly renew your vows.
The Amazing New York Scavenger Hunt – Valentine’s Edition
Looking for a fun event with your love? Try a scavenger hunt that takes you all over the city! Follow clues to uncover all of the most romantic spots in New York City. Sign up as a team or as an individual (you’ll be paired with other singles or another team). Each member of the winning team receives a special New York City gift package. The hunt takes three hours, so you’ll definitely want to wear comfortable footwear. You’ll also need your smartphone to download the ScanQuest app.
Enjoy an Eco-Friendly Dinner Cruise aboard the Hornblower Hybrid Yacht
Dine, drink, and dance as you cruise the New York Harbor aboard the Hornblower Hybrid, a deluxe environmentally friendly craft that runs on renewable power generated by hydrogen fuel cells, solar panels, and wind turbines. The three-hour cruise includes a four-course seated dinner and a splendid view of the Manhattan skyline.
Get Married Over Manhattan
We’re really living in the future! Couples who want a Valentine’s wedding day to remember can say their vows high above the Manhattan skyline in a personalized ceremony, complete with vows and incredible views of the Statue of Liberty. Remember to bring proper I.D.! Or if you’re not ready to say “I do” but want a high-flying adventure with your sweetie, check out the romantic VIP package and take in stunning aerial views of Manhattan landmarks from the Empire State Building to the Brooklyn Bridge. All departures are from the Manhattan Downtown Heliport.
One of the most hauntingly beautiful and distinctive voices in jazz, or indeed in music generally, is that of Billie Holiday. In many ways the embodiment of the Jazz Age in which she grew up, Holiday’s life was not an easy one—characterized by a childhood disconnected from her parents, poverty, and later alcoholism and heroin addiction. Despite these impediments she was able to create a body of music that gave voice to the 20th century and in many ways embodied the struggles of African American women during that time. This month, you can hear Billie Holiday music like never before at the “Who is Billie Holiday?” concert in the heart of New York City.
During her career, Holiday recorded some of the most widely recognized and celebrated songs in the jazz canon—including “God Bless the Child,” “Lover Man,” “I Can’t Get Started,” and the ever-haunting “Strange Fruit.” During the 1930s, she toured with bandleaders Artie Shaw and Count Basie. In the 1940s she was recording heavily with Decca Records and appeared in the film New Orleans with jazz great Louis Armstrong. In 1948, she played to a sold-out crowd in New York City’s Carnegie Hall. By the 1950s, Holiday moved to Verve Records, and her drug and alcohol use began to take its toll on her voice and career. In 1956, Holiday published her autobiography, Lady Sings the Blues, along with an accompanying album by the same name—both applauded by critics. Though she continued to tour and returned again to Carnegie Hall for a series of stunning performances, her health began to fail during the late 1950s, when she developed cirrhosis of the liver. Dogged by narcotics arrests and suffering ill health, Holiday checked into a hospital in May of 1959. She passed away in July of that year due to complications of cirrhosis.
Now you can celebrate the legacy of Billie Holiday’s music during a one-time matinee performance at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater. Whether you’re already a lover of Holiday’s music or discovering it for the first time, this jazz concert provides listeners with a unique retrospective on Billie Holiday music. Acclaimed pianist Alan Diehl does the honors as musical director, and vocalist Charenee Wade sings a selection of Holiday’s most historically significant and celebrated tunes. Wade, a singer since age 12, has received a number of prestigious scholarships and awards. She has performed widely, including as an opening performer for jazz great Herbie Hancock at the 2003 Clifford Brown Jazz Festival. Her debut CD, Love Walked In, was released in 2010. Wade is joined on stage by premiere musicians Alphonso Horne (trumpet), Dan Block (saxophone), Patrick Bartley (saxophone), Adam Moezinia (guitar), Paul Sikivie (bass), and Lawrence Leathers (drums).
If you go:
February 7, 2015 at 1:00pm
Lincoln Center - Rose Theater
Broadway at 60th Street
Tickets: $10 – $25
The weather may be cold and blustery but there’s still plenty to keep you entertained while you’re in New York City. This month features several exciting New York film festivals to inspire, challenge, and delight movie buffs of all ages! Here’s your quick guide to the New York film festivals coming up all over the city.
New York International Children’s Film Festival
February 5—March 22
For the past 18 years, the New York International Children's Film Festival has showcased
the world’s best in films for young audiences. Highlighting the most engaging and interesting films in the genre, the Festival celebrates the full range of children’s cinema—from obscure short films to Hollywood global releases, from comedy to drama, from live action to animation. The ideal family event, the Festival offers you and your kids the chance to discover together the magic of movies together. This year’s festival features the latest films from Studio Ghibli, Nick Park, and many more of the industry’s finest all-ages storytellers. A complete list of films and venues, as well as ticket sales, can be found at gkids.com.
Film Comment Selects: Unusual Film Festival
February 20 – March 5, 2015
Elinor Bunin Monroe Film Center
144 W. 65th Street, Manhattan
Explore more than 20 rare and underrated films as chosen by the Film Society. Each year this New York film festival offers up an intriguing and often mind-blowing array of films that range from the exotic to the utterly unclassifiable. This year’s line-up is sure to impress, and kicks off with Mark Hartley’s Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films—a dizzying tell-all that reveals the exploits of 1980s producers Menahem Golam and Yoram Globus. Three Golan & Globus films follow, including 10 to Midnight, The Last American Virgin, and Ninja III: The Dominion. The Festival also features six films by Danish director Nils Malmros, known for his intensely personal and often heart-wrenching autobiographical films. Other highlights include Belluscone: A Sicilian Story (Franco Maresco, Italy), Bypass (Duane Hopkins, UK), The Golden Era (Ann Hui, Hong Kong), High Society (Julie Lopes Curval, France), Tales (Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, Iran), as well as two Japanese films, The World of Kanako and Fires on the Plain. Plus, this NYC film festival also includes an extended screening of Gremlins!
NYU Fusion Film Festival
February 26–28, 2015
Tisch School of the Arts
Presented annually by the prestigious Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, the NYU Fusion Film Festival celebrates women in film, TV, and new media. Each year’s competition among young women filmmakers highlights the finest in the audio-visual arts. Each film in the Festival is directed or shot by a woman and provides a chance for these emerging artists to show off their works ad build their careers. The Festival also reflects the changing character of the film industry—a field once almost exclusively the realm of male directors, screenwriters, cinematographers, and photo- and videographers. The Festival’s 13 categories include “Docs-in-the-Works,” in which filmmakers share documentaries in progress and receive advice and critiques from leaders in the field. This unique approach allows young filmmakers to be mentored by established artists and to craft their work based on the tips and advice they receive. Prizes include scriptwriting software, photographic equipment, video- and photo-editing software, and more! Along with the screenings, the Festival includes panel discussions, master classes, retrospectives, and student showcases.
When will you be experiencing New York theatre? Book your NYC getaway now to fit these great events into your schedule!
Once a year, the Theater for the New City hosts an event like no other, resplendent with dance, songs, and stories that celebrate Native American culture. The Thunderbird Dancers’ Pow Wow, well known to New Yorkers as well as to members of the indigenous community, is a joyful reunion of Native peoples from across the nation—from the Iroquois of the Northeast to the Yacqui of the Southwest—and a chance for visitors to see firsthand some of the dance, musical, and storytelling traditions that have survived for centuries. As part of the Thunderbird Pow Wow, you’ll experience incredible dance competitions, view thought-provoking exhibitions, and sample delicious traditional foods.
Thunderbird American Indian Pow Wow Highlights
• Matoka Eagle (Santo Domingo, Tewa) will share traditional stories.
• Marie Ponce (Cherokee) will demonstrate the Hoop Dance
• Raymond Two Feathers (Cherokee) will perform the Eagle Dance (Hopi)… and more!
Even the audience will join in at the end of the show, with a Friendship Dance at the conclusion of the evening performances and a Contest Dance at matinee performances!
The Thunderbird American Indian Dancers’ Pow Wow promises to be both entertaining and educational for attendees of all ages. The cultural and symbolic significance of the dancers’ many elaborate costumes and movements will be explained in detail by host and educator Louis Mofsie (a founding member of the dance troupe). You’ll come to understand the history and importance of each of the dances, representative of more than ten distinct tribes.
After the performance, check out the theater lobby for hand-made Native American crafts and jewelry, and a sampling of traditional foods!
About the Thunderbird American Indian Dance Company
The Thunderbird American Indian Dancers can trace their history to 1963, making them the most enduring Native American dance troupe in the New York area. Back then, the group consisted of only ten dancers, representing the Mohawk, Winnebago, Hopi, and San Blas tribes. Many had grown up on reservations and wanted a way to preserve the music and dance traditions passed down from previous generations. The company is a labor of love, as all members are volunteers, taking time out from careers as tree surgeons, teachers, engineers, & other professions to help maintain and celebrate their cultural traditions. Money raised by the group’s performances goes to scholarship funds to provide quality education for Native American students.
The troupe’s partnership with the Theater for the New City began in 1975 as a way to celebrate the winter solstice. It has proved to be an enduring union, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year!
If you go:
40th Annual Thunderbird American Dancers
Dance Concert and Pow Wow
Theater for the New City
155 First Avenue (near 10th Street), Manhattan
Dates: February 1, 6, 7, and 8, 2015.
Admission: $10 for adults. Matinee Days (Feb 1 and 7) are Kids Days (kids under 12 accompanied by a ticketed adult get in for $1).
New York City classical music is performed in some of the world’s premiere concert venues—from chamber music and symphonic performances to opera! This February is a feast for the classical music lover in New York, with a stunning array of performers appearing at the Met, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center. There are so many NYC classical music events to attend, you’ll be hard pressed to pick which ones to fit into your schedule!
The Metropolitan Opera
opens February 4, 2015
Mozart’s timeless audience-pleaser returns to the Met for a month-long engagement, in a unique production by the renowned English director/producer Michael Grandage. Grandage has earned awards for his directorial work in Red, Caligula, and King Lear. The Swedish baritone Peter Mattei performs the title role, with Alan Gilbert at the conductor’s podium.
La Donna Del Lago
opens February 16, 2015
The Met premiere of Rossini’s romantic tragedy La Donna Del Lago features Joyce DiDonato in the title role as “the Lady of the Lake,” and Juan Diego Florez as King James V. The opera is based on the poem by Sir Walter Scott and takes place in the Scottish highlands. Michele Mariotti conducts.
New York Philharmonic
February 5¬–7, 2015
Join premiere violinist Lisa Batiashvili for a performance of Rachmaninoff’s Symphony #2, along with works by Barber and Rouse. David Zinman conducts.
Pianist Carlo Grante plays Masters of High Romanticism
February 10, 2015
The final segment in a three-part series—each dedicated to a Romantic Era composer—focuses on the work of Johannes Brahms. Carlo Grante shares his astonishing talent as a master pianist in interpreting Brahms’ work.
The MET Orchestra
February 8, 2015
James Levine conducts a program of Beethoven’s 2nd Symphony and Schumann’s Symphony No. 2.
The Danish National Symphony Orchestra
February 11, 2015
Delight in a program of Sibelius and Nielsen with violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter.
Mahler Chamber Orchestra
February 23, 2015
Join commanding pianist Leif Ove Andsnes for an evening of the classics!
The Vienna Philharmonic
February 28, 2015
Enjoy an evening of Brahms with the Vienna Philharmonic, conducted by Daniele Gatti.
Each NYC classical music event is a delight for the ears and the soul. Don’t miss these amazing performers and performances!
Since 1976, the nation has celebrated February as Black History Month, honoring the contributions of African Americans in all areas of society—from science, politics, military service, and industry to music and the arts. Each year, New York City highlights this month of reflection with many informative and fun events celebrating African American history and culture. If you’re planning to be in New York during Black History Month, be sure to check out these limited-time events!
200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn
Target First Saturday
February 7, 5–11pm
On the first Saturday of each month, the Brooklyn Museum offers a broad array of events—including music, film, performance, and discussion. To honor Black History Month, the featured events will celebrate African American culture and issues. New Orleans musicians Water Seed will offer their blend of jazz and funk to kick-off the festivities. Featured films include Soul Food Junkies (an exploration of family, food, and identity), Black Enuf (an animated documentary on black identity), and The Peculiar Kind (a look at the lives of gay women of color). Poetry and discussion are also part of the evening with a reading sponsored by Black Poets Speak Out centering on the #BlackLivesMatter movement. There will also be Pop-Up Gallery Talks about specific works and artistic contributions by African Americans and a Hands-On Art event where visitors can help create a quilt celebrating black history. The evening rounds out with music by R&B performer Bilal. All events are free!
BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center
199 Chambers Street, Manhattan
Black Women in Comedy
Enjoy an evening of laughter with women comics Calise Hawkins, Leighann Lord, Nicky Sunshine, and Pat Brown! Hawkins is a seasoned comedian who has appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Lewis Black’s Root of All Evil. Lord’s work includes appearances on VH1 and MSNBC, Sunshine co-starred in the hit play Platanos and Collard Greens, and Brown was honored as Best Female Comedian at the 2013 Las Vegas Comedy Festival. So come out and get your funny on! Tickets are on sale now, so reserve yours soon.
7th Annual Black History Month Celebration
Harlem Arts Alliance
126th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam, the Bronx
Join Metropolitan Opera Orchestra soprano Janinah Burnett and violinist Patmore Lewis to celebrate the work of African-Americn composers, including Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and George Walker. The performance will also feature the work of James Lee III, who will be in attendance for a meet and greet!
Here We Stand: Honor Black History
American Museum of Natural History, LeFrank Theater
77th Street between Central Park West and 7th Avenue, Manhattan
February 28, 3–5pm
Join National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Delfeayo Marsalis, director Jamal Joseph, choreographer Obediah Wright, and performers from the IMPACT Repertory Theater and the New Orleans Uptown Theater for the premiere performance of “From the African Village to the Urban Village.” Marsalis is a renowned jazz trombonist and highly respected producer of acoustic jazz. Joseph is best known for directing the films Knights of the South Bronx and August Rush. Obediah Wright is founder and director of Balance Dance Theater, which fuses classical and jazz movement styles.
Black History Month gives us all a time to look back on our nation’s history and remember how much we owe to our African-American ancestors. Celebrate that legacy all month at these unforgettable shows and events!
In 1850, New York City’s Chinatown started as a tiny enclave in downtown Manhattan. Once Chinese immigration quotas were raised, however, the neighborhood grew to bursting and now houses over 100,000 people and is one of the oldest ethnic Chinese communities outside of Asia.
While Chinatown is filled with everything from shops to grocery stores to bars, it’s the restaurants that draw in the most visitors. If you’re visiting New York City, you definitely want to visit these fabulous Chinatown eateries.
1. Wo Hop, 17 Mott St
In order to make Chinese food more palatable to Americans, dishes such as Chop Suey and Sweet and Sour Pork were invented. Wo Hop opened in 1938 and still offers these traditional dishes in its basement location. Open late every day – until 7 AM – this popular spot is one of Chinatown’s few late night spots to grab a bite after spending the night enjoying the nearby nightclubs.
2. Peking Duck House, 28 Mott St
If you want the signature dish at the Peking Duck House – and trust us, you do – you’ll need to order the “three way” which will culminate in your server bringing the duck to your table moments before a chef whips up some knife magic and cuts into the deliciousness. Served with lovely thin pancakes and plum sauce and scallions, peking duck is a delicious treat. Whatever you order at the Duck House, it’s certainly one of the best restaurants in Chinatown.
3. Tasty Dumpling, 54 Mulberry St
If you want a treat that won’t break the bank, you do not want to miss the fried dumplings at Tasty Dumpling. This tiny store front counter – no servers here – creates both the filling and the dumpling dough on site. For a mere $1.25 you’ll get five dumplings! Perfect for an appetizer before sitting down in another Chinatown restaurant.
4. New York Noodle Town, 28 Bowery St
If you like noodles – and, honestly, who doesn’t – you must visit this iconic Chinatown eatery. Whether you like them pan fried or served in a broth, you’ll find many delicious varieties here. A particular favorite is the flowering chives sauteed with duck, pork, or seafood (but if you want the suckling pig, know it tends to run out by 8 PM most nights).
5. Nom Wah Tea Parlor, 13 Doyers St
This gem was Chinatown’s first dim sum parlor, opening in 1920. After many ups and downs, the restaurant was revamped in 2010 into the delight it is today. Unlike most dim sum restaurants, each plate is made to order, so everything tastes far fresher than other dim sum joints. Be sure to try the shrimp rice noodle rolls.
While these are definitely our favorites, the best restaurants in Chinatown are constantly up for debate. Visit the neighborhood and decide for yourself!
Winter makes for a wine-lover’s delight in New York City! For the sixth consecutive year, the Best Buy Theater in Times Square will host New York’s Winter Wine Festival, presenting the finest in grape-based alcohol alongside exquisite hors d’oeuvres and live jazz. Each year the Festival transforms the theater into a vineyard featuring wines from all corners of the globe, talented musicians, and some of the best party food you’ll ever eat.
The New York Winter Wine Festival will take place on February 7th in two sessions, starting at 3pm and 8pm. You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy a brunch cruise aboard the yacht Manhattan before entering the theater for your day of wine!
Visitors to the Festival will sample over 250 fine wines, expertly curated by Vintry Fine Wines. Featured wines include Chateau Montalena, Caymus, Chateau Pichon Lalande, Antinori Tignanello, Clos Des Papes Chateauneuf Du Pape, Louis Latour, Alta Vista, Lail Georgia, Dom Perignon, Veuve Cliquot, Louis Roederer Cristal, Taittinger Comtes de Champagne, Pichon-Longueville-Lalande, Louis Jadot, and Stags Leap Wine Cellars.
To delight the palate, a selection of gourmet hors d’oeuvres, antipasto, pasta, cheese, and breads are available to patrons of the VIP Suite and will include buckwheat belini served with American caviar, crème fraiche and chives, fois gras with cranberry compote on ficelle, tuna tartar with pickled cucumber and wasabi caviar, filet mignon with Yukon Gold potato and béarnaise sauce, and steamed vegetable dumplings with curry sauce.
Your $79 ticketed admission to the Festival includes all these delightful benefits:
• Wine: 3 hours of tasting over 250 wines at our sampling tables
• Food: Selection of hors d’oeuvres, antipasto, pasta, cheese, and breads.
• Live Music: Contemporary jazz performance by Grammy nominated Special EFX.
• Program Guide: A comprehensive listing of wines on every table.
• Wine Glass: Sip from a lovely wine glass, designed to enhance your tasting experience — yours to keep after the event!
If you’ve got a cultured palate and are planning a winter New York City vacation, the Winter Wine Festival is one event you can’t miss! Get your tickets now!
New York Theatre Ballet was founded in 1978 by its artistic director, Diana Byer. The most widely seen chamber ballet company in the United States, this company truly exemplifies the refinement of New York ballet and performance art. Each year brings a new crop of talented artists into Manhattan’s Florence Gould Hall, where they delight hundreds of ever-growing audiences.
This year’s winter season is sure to dazzle all theatergoers! So come and enjoy a season of dance, featuring premiere performances, family-friendly matinee events, and more at the New York Theatre Ballet! And complement your New York City arts experience with our Lincoln Center tours, just minutes away from the NYTB theater. Here’s our New York City ballet schedule for the company’s best upcoming performances.
February 7 and 8 at 11am, 1pm and 3:30pm
Admission: Varies depends on seating
We all remember the enchanting tale of the unlikely princess and the glass slipper. Now you can see Cinderella come to life through the artistry of the New York Theatre Ballet.
A perennial audience-pleaser, Cinderella is a family-friendly 60-minute production that’s suitable for the little ones. The production is choreographed by Donald Mahler, and features costumes by Sylvia Taalson Nolan and sets by Gillian Bradshaw-Smith.
NYTB at the New York Live Arts
February 18–21 at 7:30pm
Admission: $30 adults, $15 students and seniors
NYTB meets NYLA for this very special series of premiere New York ballet performances. Merce Cunningham’s Cross Currents, Nicolo Fonte’s There, and Back Again, and Pam Tanowitz’s One Plus One are certain to delight and entertain New York City ballet aficionados. Along with their evening of premieres, NYTB also presents a revival of Keith Michael's The Alice-in-Wonderland Follies.
Dance on a Shoestring
February 27 and 28 at 7pm
Presented in the intimate setting of The Dance Gallery, Dance on a Shoestring is a community series that highlights local New York City ballet performances from NYTB's current season, coupled with works in progress by today’s established and rising choreographers, along with performances by the young dancers of Ballet School NY.
March 7 and 8 at 11am, 1pm and 3:30pm
Admission: Varies depends on seating
See your favorite characters from the classic children’s tale of Mother Goose come to life in this witty and whimsical production! The perfect shoe for the young and the young-at-heart, GOOSE! is a fun and imaginative production with convenient matinee showtimes for the whole family. GOOSE! features original choreography by Keith Michael and an original score by Marina Porchkhidze & Vladimir Shinov.