Arts & Entertainment - Not For Tourists Guide to New York City - Not For Tourists

Not For Tourists Guide to New York City - Not For Tourists (2016)

Arts & Entertainment

Arts & Entertainment ✵ Restaurants

Sure, eating out in New York can be a competitive sport, sometimes a contact sport. However, once you’re equipped with enough information about New York’s 25,000 restaurant choices, the rewards are limitless, and we can confirm that this is one of the best damn towns on Earth to eat in. Certainly you could take advantage of the city’s gourmet grocery stores and make fabulous meals at home, but compare your Citarella grocery bill to the check at Westville and you’ll be eating out more often. But not to worry, we can always help you find the perfect place. Whether you’re looking for a restaurant with a rare 28 from Zagat, or you refuse to let that D health rating get between you and good food (re: Kosher delis and Chinatown basements), you’ll never have to settle.

Eating Old

Since New York City is a perpetual culinary hotspot featuring tons of celebrity chefs (and Top Chef contestants who packed their knives and went), it’s easy to get wrapped up in trendy food that looks more like a Rorschach test than dinner. Some experimental restaurants are remarkably on the cutting edge, but when you’re not in the mood for aerated olive-chocolate foie gras (Wylie Dufresne, we’re looking at you), you can rely on the Big Apple’s longstanding heavyweights. They’ve relaxed the tie and jacket rule, but you can still rub elbows with the who’s who at the posh 21 Club (circa 1929, Map 12); dine on New American cuisine at the 200-plus-year-old Bridge Café, the oldest business in the city, older than Chase Manhattan (circa 1794, Map 1); slurp fresh-shucked oysters and enjoy amazing desserts under the vaulted, tiled ceiling at Grand Central Station’s Oyster Bar (circa 1913, Map 13); sample more oysters and one of the best burgers in existence at the venerable Midtown watering hole P.J. Clarke’s (circa 1884, Map 13); order the sturgeon scrambled with eggs, onions, and a bialy on the side at Barney Greengrass (circa 1908, Map 16); feast like old-world royalty at The Russian Tea Room (circa 1927, Map 12); or expand your culinary horizons with calf’s spleen and cheese on a roll at Ferdinando’s Focacceria (circa 1904, Map 32).

Eating Cheap

New York has always had options for us broke folks, and the economic collapse (still hanging on, isn’t it?) didn’t hurt those options either. At Shake Shack (Map 9, 11, 14, 17, 30, 33, Battery Park City), you can still grab a Shack Burger for under $5 or a Shack Stack (twice the goods) for under $10. Ethnic food has always been a great friend to eaters on a budget. For the city’s most succulent soup dumplings, head to Shanghai Café (Map 3). For brilliant Middle Eastern go to Hummus Place (Map 7), Gazala Place (Map 11), or Taïm (Map 5) for some of the best falafel on the planet. For Mexican check out the taquería at The Corner a.k.a. La Esquina (Map 6) or head out to Bushwick’s factory-restaurant Tortillería Los Hermanos. The Indian lunch buffet at Tiffin Wallah (Map 10) is less than ten bucks and veggie friendly to boot. Papaya King (Map 17) has kept hot dog lovers grinning since 1932. For a gigantic plate of Puerto Rican food under ten dollars, sit at the counter of La Taza De Oro (Map 8). For a cheap breakfast that even celebs appreciate, La Bonbonniere (Map 5) can’t be beat. And many of us can’t survive a day without the staples of NYC Jewish eats: bagels and knishes. For bagels, go with perennial winner Ess-a-Bagel (Map 10, 13) or try our favorites: Kossar’s Bialys (Map 4), Absolute Bagels (Map 16), or the original Tal Bagels (Map 13, 16, 17). For knishes, nothing beats the Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery (Map 6). Since the NFT office began in Chinatown and we’re always broke (free advice: don’t go into publishing), we are certified experts on eating cheap in this part of town. At Nice Green Bo (Map 3) get the scallion pancakes, at Food Shing/Food Sing 88 (Map 3) get the beef noodle soup, at Fuleen (Map 3) get the shrimp with chili sauce, and for Malaysian order the stingray (!) at Sanur (Map 3).

Eating Hip

Eating hip usually involves the food of the moment (kale chips and artisanal popsicles), beautiful people (who couldn’t possibly eat another bite of that amuse-bouche), and some kind of exclusivity (unpublished phone numbers and hidden entrances). Although, with this little hiccup in our economic stability, even the hippest places have had to let the dirty, burger-eating plebeians through their doors. That being said, the ultimate in cool dining is, of course, Rao’s (Map 20)—or so we hear. But unless you’re the Mayor, the Governor, or Woody Allen, you probably won’t be getting a reservation anytime soon. If you can find the unmarked basement door of Bobo (Map 5), you’ll really impress your date. Head east to try the always crowded, no-reservations eatery Freemans (Map 6), which hides itself at the end of an alleyway; do not miss the pork chops. For fans of Japanese izakayas, nothing is quite as fun as an evening at En Brasserie (Map 5). Its gourmet menu brilliantly fuses homemade miso with duck, cod, tofu, and anything else you can think of. And the low lighting will make anyone look good. Zenkichi (Map 29) also has killer Japanese, and yes, it’s behind a camouflaged front door, but both the food an ambiance are stellar, and it’s a great date spot. David Chang’s restaurant mini-empire is still on people’s radars, so try Momofuku Ko (Map 6). If the lines are too long at the Momofukus or you don’t have friends that can afford to score a table at The Spotted Pig (Map 5), try Kuma Inn (Map 4) on the Lower East Side. The small plates like Chinese sausage with Thai chili-lime sauce and pork wasabi dumplings are brilliant, it’s BYO sake, and there’s no secret phone number. If you don’t mind waiting and your date isn’t a vegetarian, grab a cocktail in the lobby of the slick Ace Hotel and get ready for a dinner you won’t soon forget at The Breslin (Map 9).

Eating Late

Some say New York never sleeps, and some (ahem, Madrid) insist that it does, but like any big city it depends on the neighborhood, so let us help you locate some options. Kang Suh’s (Map 9) Korean barbecue runs all night, as well as a host of classic diners like Odessa (Map 7) and Waverly Restaurant (Map 5). Veselka (Map 6) is the place for late-night Ukrainian soul food. You’ll find cabbies chowing down past 3 am at Lahore Deli (Map 6), Big Arc Chicken (Map 7), or 99 Cents Fresh Pizza (Map 11, 13). French Roast (Map 5, 14) serves good croque-monsieurs 24 hours, and that dessert you declined earlier in the evening. If you’re near Chinatown at 3 a.m, let the wonton soup and barbecue duck at Great NY Noodletown (Map 3) soak up all that beer. And, of course, Blue Ribbon (Map 6) is still one of the best places to eat after midnight.

Eating Pizza

We don’t care what Chicago says; we do pizza best! The coal oven spots top most lists: Grimaldi’s (Map 30), Lombardi’s (Map 6), Luzzo’s (Map 7), John’s Pizzeria (Map 5), and the original Patsy’s (Map 20) in East Harlem. The coal oven enjoys extra cachet because it’s illegal now, except in the aforementioned eateries where they were already in operation. However, the regular brick oven joints, such as Franny’s (Map 33), Keste (Map 5), Co (Map 8) and Lucali (Map 32) are no slouches. For an upscale pie, try the exquisite creations at Mario Batali’s Otto (Map 6). Trying to find something edible near Wall Street? Check out Adrienne’s (Map 1) delicious rectangle pies on Stone Street, or walk up to TriBeCa for a luscious Brussels-sprout-bacon-caramelized-onion pie at Saluggi’s (Map 2). For a classic Village scene complete with live jazz, check out Arturo’s (Map 6) on Houston Street. The outer boroughs seriously represent here: Louie & Ernie’s in The Bronx, Tufino in Queens (Map 26), Denino’s on Staten Island, and, of course, Roberta’s and Di Fara in Brooklyn. Pizza by the slice practically deserves its own category, but the highlights include Patsy’s (Map 20, definitely the best slice in the city), Artichoke Basille’s Pizza (Map 6, get the grandma slice), Farinella (Map 15, very unique), and Joe’s (Map 5, classic NY Style).

Eating Ethnic

Spin a globe, blindly stick your finger onto a spot, and chances are you can find that cuisine on offer in New York. And an outstanding offering it will be. To wit:

Argentine: Buenos Aires (Map 7)

Austrian: Edi & The Wolf (Map 7)

Australian: Tuck Shop (Map 6) and The Thirsty Koala (Map 26)

Chinese: Joe’s Shanghai (Map 3), Old Sichuan (Map 3) and Szechuan Gourmet (Map 9)

Cuban: Café Habana (Map 6)

Dominican: El Malecon (Map 16) and El Castillo de Jagua (Map 4)

Egyptian: Kabab Café (Map 26)

Ethiopian: Ghenet (Map 33) and Zoma (Map 19)

German: Heidelberg (Map 15), Zum Schneider (Map 7) and Hallo Berlin (Map 11)

Greek: Kefi (Map 14), Periyali (Map 9) and Pylos (Map 7)

Indian: Dawat (Map 13), Banjara (Map 7) and Indian Tandoor Oven (Map 15)

Italian: Babbo (Map 6), Felidia (Map 13), Il Giglio (Map 2), Sfoglia (Map 17), Al Di La (Map 33), I Trulli (Map 10) and countless others

Japanese: Nobu (Map 2), Takahachi (Map 7), Ki Sushi (Map 32) and about 40 others

Jewish: Sammy’s Roumanian (Map 6) and B &H Dairy (Map 6)

Korean: Kang Suh (Map 9) and Seoul Garden (Map 9)

Malaysian: New Malaysia (Map 3)

Mexican: Alma (Map 32) and Mexico 2000 (Map 29)

New Zealand: Nelson Blue (Map 1)

Pakistani: Pakistan Tea House (Map 2) and Haandi (Map 10)

Polish: Christina’s (Map 28) and Lomzynianka (Map 28)

Russian: The Russian Vodka Room (Map 12) and Russian Samovar (Map 12)

Scandinavian: Aquavit (Map 13) and Smörgås Chef (Map 1)

South African: Madiba (Map 31)

Southern American: Sylvia’s (Map 19) and Cheryl’s Global Soul (Map 33)

Spanish: Socarrat (Map 9) and Tia Pol (Map 8)

Sri Lankan: Sigiri (Map 7)

Thai: Pongsri Thai (Map 3) and Sripraphai (Queens)

Turkish: Turkish Kitchen (Map 10)

Eating Meat

New York is home to arguably the world’s best steakhouse, Peter Luger (Map 29), but it’s competitive at the top, and clawing at Luger’s heels are: Mark Joseph Steakhouse (Map 1) and classics like Sparks (Map 13), Palm (Map 13), Smith & Wollensky (Map 13) and the Strip House (Map 6). For the Brazilian-style “all you can eat meat fest,” Churrascaria Plataforma (Map 11) does the trick. As for hamburgers, the rankings provide material for eternal debate: Corner Bistro (Map 5, 26), Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien (Map 12), J.G. Melon (Map 15) and Bonnie’s Grill (Map 33), to name a few. Elsewhere, Royale (Map 7) compliments the perfect patty with stellar fixins for a song. Texans and Missourians alike can agree that New York has some damn good BBQ, even if we sometimes recruit our BBQ talent from down South: Daisy May’s (Map 11), Hill Country (Map 9), Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (Map 18) and Blue Smoke (Map 10, Battery Park City) in Manhattan, and Fette Sau (Map 29) and The Smoke Joint (Map 31) in Brooklyn.

Eating Veggie

You could live your whole life here, never eat a shred of meat, and feast like a king every day (and probably live longer). Try the quality Indian fare at Pongal (Map 10), and, for high-end eats, Franchia (Map 10), Candle 79 (Map 15), and Dirt Candy (Map 7). For those on a budget, try Atlas Café (Map 7) for a quick bite and Angelica Kitchen (Map 6) for something a step up. For a delicious macrobiotic meal including dessert, Souen (Map 5, 6) has yet to disappoint. For adventurous veggie heads, nothing beats HanGawi (Map 9), consistently voted one of the best vegetarian and Korean restaurants in the city.

Eating Your Wallet

While we technically use the same currency as the rest of the country, it’s actually worth about half as much here as elsewhere. Even the most frugal among us have spent 100 New York dollars on a night out and thought we got off easy—the damage can easily exceed $200 per person at a Michelin-starred restaurant. No doubt you’re dying to try Eric Ripert’s this and Daniel Boulud’s that, but treat this like open bar at your holiday office party: Know your limit (financially, emotionally, morally), and try not to do anything you’ll regret in the morning. If you can keep your food down after witnessing triple digits on your share of the tab, start on the slippery slope to gastronomically induced bankruptcy at the following restaurants, which rarely disappoint: Babbo (Map 6), Per Se (Map 11), Gramercy Tavern (Map 9), Le Bernardin (Map 12), Bouley (Map 2), Union Square Cafe (Map 9), Craft (Map 9), Aquavit (Map 13) and Spice Market (Map 5). And remember to manage your expectations: unless you fall in love with your server, the experience will probably not change your life. Although Per Se (Map 11) comes pretty damn close.

Our Favorite Restaurants

Consensus on this subject is always difficult, but with a group of New Yorkers opinionated enough to produce the NFT, we have to at least try and duke it out. We’ve historically granted the accolade to Blue Ribbon (Map 6): it’s open ‘til 4 a.m., it’s where the chefs of other restaurants go, it’s got fondue, beef marrow, fried chicken, great liquor, a great vibe and great service. And it will always have that special place in our hearts and stomachs, but we also have to give a shout out to a few others: Alma (Map 32), an out-of-the-way rooftop Mexican restaurant with stunning views and equally good tamales, mole, margaritas, and ambiance, Sigiri (Map 7), a spicy Sri Lankan gem that’s BYOB to boot; Babbo (Map 6), because it’s Babbo (call at least one month ahead); Arturo’s (Map 6), a classic, old-school pizza joint with live jazz, Greenwich Village locals and amazing coal-fired pizza and Kuma Inn (Map 4), a hard-to-find Asian tapas restaurant that’s cool and hip but also affordable, laid-back and mind-blowingly delicious.

Arts & Entertainment ✵ Nightlife

If you ever get bored in New York City, you have only yourself to blame. When it comes to nightlife in particular, the only difficulty you’ll have is in choosing amongst the seemingly infinite options for entertainment. You can just head out with your NFT and see where you end up, because many bars and venues open early and close late (can you say 4am?!). If you need a little more guidance, New York’s top weeklies—The Village Voice and Time Out New York—offer tons of listings and round-ups of goings on about town, as do websites such as Flavorpill (, Brooklyn Vegan (, and Oh My Rockness ( A favorite for usually cheap and off-beat picks is The Skint ( For those of you who require more than your typical night out, NonsenseNYC ( is an e-mail newsletter with a ton of dance parties, interactive art shows, guerrilla theater and other unusual events. Just a quick word of caution: don’t forget to pace yourselves.

Dive Bars

There is no shortage of dumps in this city, so we’ve done our best to single out the darkest and the dirtiest. The oldest on our list is, of course, McSorely’s Old Ale House (Map 6), which has been in operation 1854, and looks it’s straight out of Gangs of New York. Best experienced during the day and avoided like the plague on evenings and weekends, it’s worth checking out the place where Abe Lincoln drank and soaking in all that old-school barroom atmosphere. A popular choice among our staff is the oh-so-derelict Milano’s (Map 6). Tucked away on swiftly gentrifying Houston Street, it’s been a boozy refuge since 1880. In the East Village Lucy has been a fixture behind the bar at Lucy’s (Map 7) for over three decades. Other downtown favorites include Nancy Whiskey (Map 2), Puffy’s Tavern (Map 2), Blue & Gold (Map 6) and Mona’s (Map 7). In Midtown, Jimmy’s Corner (Map 12) is the ultimate escape from Times Square tourist swarms, and the classic Subway Inn (Map 15) over on the east side. Near Port Authority keep New York City real by giving Holland Bar (Map 11) a few bucks in exchange for a beer. Uptown, we like Reif’s Tavern (Map 17), Dublin House (Map 14), and 1020 Bar (Map 18). On the other side of the East River, check out Turkey’s Nest (Map 29) and Greenpoint Tavern (Map 29) in Williamsburg and the Red Hook classic Sunny’s (Map 32). Finally, we offer drunken shout outs to true dives that are gone but never forgotten: Mars Bar, Max Fish, Holiday Cocktail Lounge, Milady’s and so many more. If you’re new to the city, Google them and see all the grime and grit you missed out on…

Great Beer Selections

It’s a marvelous time to be a beer geek in New York City. The number of watering holes with mind-boggling craft beer lists grows every year, so we’ll do your liver a favor and suggest a few of the best. If you’re braving a bar crawl in Greenwich Village, heavily trodden Peculier Pub (Map 6) and Blind Tiger Ale House (Map 5) offer large and diverse selections, and Vol de Nuit (Map 5) has a huge list of Belgian beers. Going several steps further with the Trappist schtick, the East Village’s Burp Castle (Map 6) has a fine array of Belgians, but use your inside voice or you’ll be soundly shushed. Nearby Jimmy’s 43 (Map 6) and d.b.a. (Map 7) are our neighborhood favorites where beer is concerned, and over in Alphabet City, Zum Schneider (Map 7) offers a slew of unique choice to wash down its German fare. In the Lower East Side, Spitzer’s Corner (Map 4) is worth checking out early on a week night (good luck on a weekend). Beer shop Good Beer (Map 7) is a great place to order a flight of four beers or a growler to go, Top Hops (Map 4) offers a great selection of bottles and drafts, as well as a standing bar area, and Randolph Beer (Map 3) shines with—surprise, surprise—a great brew list. In Midtown your best bets are Rattle n’ Hum (Map 9) or Ginger Man (Map 9), which has an absolutely amazing selection with over 100 bottles and 60 taps. Chelsea has Pony Bar (Map 11) and Valhalla (Map 11) to get your hops fix. Our Uptown favorite is Earl’s Beer & Cheese (Map 17), which has a small space but excellent beer list.

If you’re seeking good beer in Brooklyn, make Wiliamsburg your first stop. In fact, just head to cozy, Belgian-focused Spuyten Duyvil (Map 29), which has over 100 bottles and a rotating cask ale. From there, Barcade (Map 29) achieves an awesome synergy between its classic ‘80s arcade games and stellar beer list—our only complaint is that we can’t drink and play Dig Dug at the same time. If you’re a real beer nerd, you must go sipping at Torst (Map 28), a sleek Danish-inspired taproom with incredible beers on draft. In Carroll Gardens, Bar Great Harry (Map 32) is not only a great hangout, but it also has tons of find beers to sample.

Outdoor Spaces

Outdoor space is a precious commodity in NYC, so couple it with booze and you’ve got the perfect destination for cooped-up city dwellers when the weather turns warm. Actually, you can find New Yorkers stubbornly holding court at outdoor venues in all sorts of weather short of electrical storms and sub-freezing temperatures, and they’ll only retreat from those conditions when chased indoors by the staff. Although entry to many of the finest outdoor drinking dens requires supermodel looks or celebrity status, or at the very least a staggering tolerance for douchebags, there are plenty of options for the mere mortals among us. For example, the Vu Bar (Map 9) at the top of La Quinta Inn in Koreatown is a low-key establishment that’ll let you in no matter what you wear or who you hang out with. For a little fancier but still accessible night out in the open air, try Bookmarks (Map 12), the rooftop bar in the Library Hotel. For drinks with a view, check out Berry Park (Map 29) in Williamsburg, which looks out across the river toward Manhattan, or if you’re hip enough to get in, glide up to The Ides at Wythe Hotel (Map 29) for a perfect Instagram skyline moment.

Our favorite places to enjoy a drink outside are in the many back patios that turn the darkest, funkiest watering holes into bona fide oases, no matter how small and concrete-laden they may be. Beer lovers congregate in the backyards at d.b.a. (Map 7) in the East Village and Spuyten Duyvil (Map 29) in Williamsburg, and the aptly named Gowanus Yacht Club (Map 32) remains our Carroll Gardens favorite. More outdoor drinking can be had at Sweet & Vicious (Map 6) for frozen margaritas in the Lower East Side, The Park (Map 8) in Chelsea, The Heights Bar & Grill (Map 18) in Morningside Heights, The Gate (Map 33) in Park Slope, and Union Pool (Map 29) in Williamsburg. In Long Island City, there’s an excellent beer garden called Studio Square (Map 27). Speaking of beer gardens, there’s a seeming resurgence of these all-but-disappeared drinking venues, once popular with the central European immigrant set. Predictably packed results can be found at La Birreria (Map 9) or Spritzenhaus (Map 29). But if you can only visit one, make it the 100-year-old Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden (Map 26) in Astoria. Snag a picnic table in the massive outdoor area with a gang of friends, and knock back frosty pitchers of pilsner just like they did in the old days (polka dancing optional).

Best Jukebox

Personal taste factors heavily in this category of course, but here is a condensed list of NFT picks. For Manhattan: Ace Bar (Map 7) (indie rock/punk), Hi-Fi (Map 7) (a huge and diverse selection), 7B (Horseshoe Bar) (Map 7) (rock all the way), WCOU Radio (Tile Bar) (Map 7) (eclectic), The Magician (Map 4) (eclectic), Rudy’s Bar & Grill (Map 11) (blues), Welcome to the Johnsons (Map 4) (indie rock/punk). For Brooklyn: Boat Bar (Map 32) (Carroll Gardens—indie rock), the Brooklyn Social Club (Map 32) (Carroll Gardens—country/soul) and The Levee (Map 29) (Williamsburg—good all around).

DJs and Dancing

New York’s old cabaret laws make it tough to find free dance spots, but they do exist (albeit often with the velvet rope scenario that may deter the impatient). On the weekends, entry into the swankier clubs doesn’t come without paying your dues in long lines and pricey cover charges. That’s not our style. You’ll find us dancing and hanging out at Santos Party House (Map 3) as well as Le Poisson Rouge (Map 6). In and around Williamsburg, we suggest checking out the lively dance scene at Bembe (Map 29) or combine shaking your best move with a few frames at Brooklyn Bowl (Map 29), which has frequent late-night DJ sets by the likes of Questlove.

Fancy Cocktails

In recent years mixology has practically become a religion in New York, and its temples of worship are conveniently clustered in the East Village. For starters, head to Death & Company (Map 7), tell the knowledgeable servers what you like in a drink, and prepare to be converted. If wait lists aren’t your thing (and there often is one) The Summit Bar (Map 7), Pouring Ribbons (Map 7), and bitters-focused Amor y Amargo (Map 7) are all solid options nearby. Mayahuel (Map 6), located among 6th Street’s Indian restaurants is practically a crash course in all things tequila and mezcal. If hardly-secret speakeasies are your thing, PDT (Map 7) is accessible through a telephone booth in deep-fried-dog haven Crif Dogs (reservations recommended). In the West Village, Employees Only (Map 5) is located behind psychic’s shop. And speaking of the West Village, be sure to check out Little Branch (Map 5) for live jazz and some of the strongest mixed drinks we’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. The Dead Rabbit (Map 1) has brought a mixologist den to Wall Street in a historic building from the 1800’s. Farther uptown, Rye House (Map 9) is our preferred after-work headquarters. In Midtown, the classy The Campbell Apartment (Map 13), tucked inside Grand Central Terminal, is a must — especially if someone else is paying. The Penrose (Map 15) adds a touch of cocktail class to the Upper East Side. And for the blazer/cocktail dress set, there are your opulent hotel bars, such as Rose Bar (Map 10) inside the Gramercy Park Hotel, King Cole Bar (Map 12) inside the St. Regis Hotel, or Bemelmans Bar (Map 15) inside the Caryle Hotel. We’re banking on our beverages to ease the pain of that tab.

Considering all the options in Manhattan, it’s probably no surprise that Brooklyn has many bars offering just-as-high caliber cocktails, minus some of the crowds. Don’t believe us? Head to Dram (Map 29), Hotel Delmano (Map 29), Maison Premiere (Map 29) or Huckleberry Bar (Map 29) in Williamsburg, or venture a little further east to Ba’sik (Map 29) or The Richardson (Map 29). Clover Club (Map 32) is our favorite for mixed drinks in Cobble Hill, while Hanson Dry (Map 31) keeps Fort Greene residents buzzing with stellar drinks.

If you find yourself in Long Island City, Queens be sure to check out Dutch Kills (Map 27) and marvel at that custom-crafted ice that won’t water down your drink no matter how slowly you savor it.

Wine Bars

Terroir (Map 2) has some funky wines and a friendly atmosphere despite the self-described “elitist wine bar” label. If it’s date night, cozy up in the West Village at Vin Sur Vingt (Map 5) for a glass of Bordeaux. Go rustic-chic in at Black Mountain Wine House (Map 32) with a working fireplace and country lodge experience. In Brooklyn of course.


New York caters to a wide array of tastes in everything, and music is no exception. From the indie rock venues of Brooklyn to the history-steeped jazz clubs in Greenwich Village to amateur night at the Apollo, your musical thirst can be quenched in every possible way.

Jazz, Folk, and Country

There are plenty of places to see jazz in the city, starting off with classic joints such as the Village Vanguard (Map 5) and Birdland (Map 11). There’s also the “Jazz at Lincoln Center” complex in the Time Warner Center on Columbus Circle which has three rooms: the 1,000-plus-seat, designed-for-jazz Rose Theater, the Allen Room, an amphitheater with a great view of the park, and the nightclub-esque Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola. For a smaller (and cheaper) jazz experience, try Jazz Gallery (Map 9) or Arthur’s Tavern (Map 5) which always has a no cover charge policy. The Nuyorican Poets Café (Map 7) has frequent jazz performances. In Brooklyn, one of your best bets is the small back room at Park Slope’s Barbes (Map 33). Easily one of the best weekly jazz experiences is the Mingus Big Band’s residency at The Jazz Standard (Map 10). If you’ve never done it, do it—it’s a truly great and unpredictable band that even surly Mr. Mingus (might) have been proud of. For folk & country, try Hank’s Saloon (Map 33), Parkside Lounge (Map 7) or Jalopy (Map 32).

Rock and Pop

In case you’ve just moved back to NYC from, say, ten years in Mumbai, the rock scene is now firmly entrenched in Brooklyn. However, Manhattan’s Bowery Ballroom (Map 6) remains the top live venue, with excellent sound and a good layout. Other notable spots this side of the East River include Santos Party House (Map 3), Webster Hall (Map 6), and the Highline Ballroom (Map 8). Irving Plaza (Map 10), Terminal 5 (Map 11), and Hammerstein Ballroom (Map 8) aren’t our favorites, but are worthwhile for the occasional top-notch acts. The best remaining small club in Manhattan is Mercury Lounge (Map 7), which gets great bands right before they’re ready to move up to Bowery Ballroom. As far as the rest of the Lower East Side, it helps if you like your clubs to be punky basements (Cake Shop, Map 4) or former bodegas (Arlene Grocery, Map 4). Fat Baby (Map 4), and Fontana’s (Map 3) all offer plenty of goings-on south of Houston Street as well.

When it comes to new talent, it’s really the clubs in Brooklyn that shine. If you know your way around Bowery Ballroom, you’ll feel right at home at Brooklyn’s premiere venue, Music Hall of Williamsburg (Map 29). Then there’s Trash Bar (Map 29), Cameo Gallery (Map 29), Pete’s Candy Store (Map 29), Brooklyn Bowl (Map 29)…basically, the rocking never stops in Map 29. Maybe we’ll even forgive The Knitting Factory (Map 29) for leaving Manhattan to move here. In Greenpoint, check out the Warsaw (Map 28) in the Polish National Home. We also love the The Bell House (Map 33) in Gowanus, Brooklyn Masonic Temple (Map 31) in Fort Greene and Union Hall (Map 33) in Park Slope.


A number of venues in New York provide a place for experimental music to get exposure. Experimental Intermedia (Map 3) is fully dedicated to showcasing the avant-garde. John Zorn’s performance space, The Stone (Map 7), takes an experimental approach in the venue’s concept as well as its music, with a different artist acting as curator for an entire month and artists taking in 100% of the proceeds. The Kitchen (Map 8) features experimental music in addition to film, dance, and other art forms. Le Poisson Rouge (Map 6) has brought an exciting mix of different sounds back to the heart of Greenwich Village, and is one of our favorite spots. In Brooklyn, the experimental scene is cranking away, especially at Issue Project Room’s (Map 30) space in Downtown Brooklyn and Jalopy (Map 32) in Carroll Gardens.

Everything Else

A few places run the gamut of musical genres; folksy artists one night, hot Latin tango the next, and a slew of comedy, spoken word, and other acts. Joe’s Pub (Map 6) presents an excellent variety of popular styles and often hosts celebrated international musicians. Keep an eye on BAMcafé (Map 31) for a variety of great performers. For cabaret or piano bar, try Don’t Tell Mama (Map 11), Duplex (Map 5), or Brandy’s (Map 15). For a more plush experience, try the Café Carlyle (Map 15). But for top cabaret talent at affordable prices, go directly to The Metropolitan Room (Map 9). If you’re seeking some R &B or soul, check out the Apollo Theater (Map 19), though they mostly get “oldies” acts. The Apollo’s Amateur Night on Wednesday is your chance to see some up-and-comers. The Pyramid Club (Map 7) has open mic MC’ing nights. Barbes (Map 33) in Park Slope hosts a wide palette of “world music” (for lack of a better term), including Latin American, European, and traditional US styles, plus more experimental fare. For more sounds of the south, SOB’s (Map 5) has live South American music and dancing and should definitely be experienced at least once. Nublu (Map 7) is always reliable for a fun and sweaty night, especially on Wednesdays when they feature Brazilian bands and DJs. For African music, check out Barbes (Map 33) on Wednesday nights with the Mandingo Ambassadors. And oh yeah—then there’s all that classical music stuff, at places like Carnegie Hall (Map 12) and Lincoln Center (Map 14)—maybe you’ve heard of them?

Arts & Entertainment ✵ Shopping

For a price, you can buy anything here: a live octopus, a bag of Icelandic moss, a vintage accordion, a rolling ladder, a slap bracelet, a 3D printer, a Ferrari, a dozen cronut holes, that thing you jam into an orange to suck the juice out, anything you want. Even print books! While we occasionally lament the presence of chain stores, we’ll challenge anyone to find a better city for shopping.

Clothing & Accessories

The Upper East Side is a classic destination for high fashion. Madison Avenue is the main artery in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, rounded out by Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. In this neighborhood you’ll find Chanel (Map 12), Burberry (Map 12), Tiffany & Co (Map 12), and other names of that ilk. For department stores, start with the original Bloomingdale’s (Map 15), which is close to these titans: Saks Fifth Avenue (Map 12), Henri Bendel (Map 12), Barneys (Map 15), and Bergdorf Goodman (Map 12) if money’s no object. We assume it is an object, so check out their intricate window displays for free; they’re especially good around the holidays.

That being said, there are some bargains on the Upper East Side, too. Bis Designer Resale (Map 15) sells gently worn items from the likes of Hermes and Gucci at a fraction of the original price. Housing Works Thrift Shop (Map 15) typically has a great selection, and proceeds serve those affected by AIDS and homelessness. If you can deal with the crush of midtown tourists, look for sales at Macy’s (Map 9), or tryCentury 21 (Map 1, 14).

These days, “vintage clothing” can mean “cute throwback” or “real period costume.” The cute throwback t-shirts are at Yellow Rat Bastard (Map 6), but serious applicants should investigate What Goes Around Comes Around (Map 2). Our favorites overall: Tokio 7 (Map 6) in the East Village, INA (Map 6) in NoHo, Edith Machinist (Map 4) on the Lower East Side, Monk Vintage (Map 29) in Williamsburg, and for the especially fashion-forward, Eva Gentry Consignment (Map 32) in Boerum Hill. Devotees should attend the next Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show, where over 90 dealers sell their finery from the last century.

SoHo looks more and more like an outdoor mall, but it’s still a great place to shop because of the variety and uber-high concentration. Beyond Uniqlo (Map 6) and H &M (Map 6), there are countless huge names like Marc Jacobs (Map 6), Balenciaga (Map 6), and Anna Sui (Map 6).

The West Village (and the Meatpacking District therein) is the spot for small, high-end boutiques. Some are a little more accessible like Castor & Pollux (Map 5), and then others have $2,000 jeans. You can check out chic designs at Stella McCartney (Map 5), Alexander McQueen (Map 5), and department store Jeffrey (Map 5), lampooned for its snobbery on Saturday Night Live (back when SNL kicked ass).

Flea Markets & Bazaars

For a classic, grungy, sprawling flea market, try The Annex Markets (Map 11) on 39th Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenues or GreenFlea Market (Map 14) on Columbus between 76th and 77th Streets. The more fashionable Brooklyn Flea (Map 31) dominates Fort Greene, Williamsburg, and Park Slope on the weekends with hundreds of hip vendors offering all things handcrafted: wood furniture, picture frames, sock monkeys, gold leaf necklaces, those rings made out of typewriter keys, you get the idea. Artists & Fleas (Map 8, 29) has a similar artsy feel in Williamsburg and inside Chelsea Market. The Brooklyn Night Bazaar (Map 28) in Greenpoint takes that model and adds food carts, booze, and live music, open Friday and Saturday nights until 1 a.m. The Market NYC (Map 6) on Bleecker Street between Thompson and Sullivan in Nolita features a refreshing group of young, local designers and their clothes, jewelry, collectibles, and other artwork.

Sports & Outdoors

Paragon Sporting Goods (Map 9) by Union Square isn’t cheap, but it’s a landmark and it’s been there since 1908. City Sports (Map 1, 12) and Modell’s (Map 1, 3, 6, 9) offer a broad range of affordable sports clothing, shoes, and athletic equipment. For cold weather and mountain gear, head to Tent & Trails (Map 2), where you can also rent sleeping bags, tents, and packs.


Done with IKEA and curb shopping on trash night? Get your credit card(s) ready for the stuff you can’t afford at West Elm (Map 30), Room & Board (Map 6), and BoConcept (Map 6). Have even more money to spend? Check out Ligne Roset (Map 10) and the Meatpacking District’s brilliant Vitra (Map 5). If vintage is your thing, head straight to Williamsburg’s Two Jakes (Map 29) or check out a smaller shop like Fort Greene’s Yu Interiors (Map 31). Regular folks seeking solid pieces should look no further than the quality wood furniture at Gothic Cabinet Craft (Map 28) or Scott Jordan Furniture (Map 5).

Housewares & Home Design

You’ll lose hours of your life eyeing the exotic furnishings in ABC Carpet & Home (Map 9) just off Union Square. For those with shallower pockets, there’s Gracious Home (Map 8, 14, 15) and any of Muji’s four Manhattan locations (Map 3, 8, 9, 12). For paint, window dressings, and other home improvement supplies, try Janovic (Map 11, 16) or Crest Hardware in Williamsburg. Prepare for sensory overload if you take on the 35 showrooms at the A &D Building (Map 13). Showrooms are open to the public, unlike at some smaller designshops nearby, which require business cards upon entry.

The adorable dinnerware at Fishs Eddy (Map 9) is a great alternative to mega-chains like Pottery Barn. Zabar’s (Map 14) often-ignored second floor is a longtime favorite among the city’s cooks. In Brooklyn, we love browsing for new toys and tools at The Brooklyn Kitchen (Map 29) and A Cook’s Companion (Map 32). Downtown, small but sublime Global Table (Map 6) has excellent, reasonably priced housewares, and Lancelotti (Map 7) is stuffed with colorful accessories.


Three revered emporiums make the Upper West Side a culinary heaven: Fairway (Map 14, 15, 18, 32), Citarella (Map 5, 14, 15), and Zabar’s (Map 14)—and then the Zabar’s offshoot Eli’s Vinegar Factory (Map 17) graces the Upper East Side. The much more affordable Trader Joe’s (Map 6, 9, 32) is steadily multiplying, but the lines, the lines. Essex Street Market (Map 4) on the Lower East Side is a beloved institution filled with amazing meat, fish, produce, and cheese. Grand Central Market (Map 13) is equally good, located right in the eponymous station. Chelsea Market (Map 8), housed in a National Biscuit Company factory complex, has excellent restaurants, bakeries, and food vendors (spoiler: it’s not really a market).

For farm-to-table, the biggest player is the Union Square Greenmarket (Map 9), which operates year-round on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, packed with talented chefs. The Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket (Map 33) in Brooklyn is also excellent and less claustrophobic than Union Square.

And now, imported foods. When it comes to Italian, Arthur Avenue in the Bronx is famed for its bakeries, butchers, and grocers, and don’t forget Graham Avenue in East Williamsburg. The more centrally located Di Palo Fine Foods (Map 3) has regional Italian goodies and acclaimed fresh ricotta. Friendly Despana (Map 3) will satisfy all your Spanish desires, including $100-a-pound jamon iberico. Sahadi’s (Map 32) has an impressive range of Middle Eastern specialties, and make time to visit their neighbors on Atlantic Avenue. For Indian and pan-Asian spices, teas, and groceries, try Kalustyan’s (Map 10). New York Mart (Map 3) is a solid one-stop for Chinese goods, and not just dehydrated scallops! There’s even a destination for anglophiles, Myers of Keswick (Map 5), and Aussies, Tuck Shop (Map 6).

Cheese mongers? Among the best areMurray’s (Map 5) in the West Village, Lamarca Cheese Shop (Map 10) in Gramercy, small but powerful Stinky (Map 32) in Carroll Gardens, and Bedford Cheese Shop (Map 29) in Williamsburg. If you’re low on cash, East Village Cheese (Map 6) is your go-to. They don’t give out free samples and the line is always long, but it’s one of the cheapest options in Manhattan by far. Then you’ll need bread to go with your cheese, of course. Our favorites are Sullivan Street Bakery (Map 11), Grandaisy Bakery (Map 2, 14), and Amy’s Bread (Map 8, 11). For prosciutto to accompany the bread and cheese, hitFaicco’s Pork Store (Map 5), Emily’s Pork Store (Map 29), G Esposito & Sons (Map 32), or Choice Greene (Map 31).

Coffee is absolutely everywhere, so maybe there’s no point in trying to pick a favorite, but we do enjoy the beans at Porto Rico (Map 4, 5, 6), or Colombe (Map 2, 6) for an excellent step up. Tea drinkers (yes, there are many in this coffee-fueled town!) should consult the knowledgeable staff at McNulty (Map 5), or connoisseurs can head to the exquisite Bellocq (Map 28). For something harder, Astor Wines & Spirits (Map 6) is always reliable and affordable, but BQE Wine & Liquors can be even cheaper (Map 29).

Art Supplies

You can’t put a bird on it ‘til you stock up on paint! Check out Blick Art Materials (Map 6), convenient to both NYU and Cooper Union. You can find the best selection of paper at New York Central Art Supply (Map 6) on Third Avenue. SoHo Art Materials (Map 2) on Wooster Street is a small, traditional shop that sells super premium paints and brushes for fine artists. Don’t forget to check out both Sam Flax (Map 13) and A.I. Friedman (Map 9) for graphic design supplies and portfolios. Lee’s Art Shop (Map 12) is a fabulous resource; how it has survived midtown rents is anyone’s guess. As for Williamsburg, Artist & Craftsman (Map 29) is a good bet for supplies. In Fort Greene, the Pratt Store (Map 31) is a combined art supply store and college bookstore.


These beloved shops and their adorable cats are disappearing faster than anything else in the city, but thank goodness The Strand (Map 6) is still here with 18 miles of new and used books, and those tantalizing $2 carts outside. Right down the street is the smaller Alabaster Bookshop (Map 6), then Spoonbill & Sugartown (Map 29) in Williamsburg is full of art and design books, and Unnameable Books (Map 33) in Prospect Heights is fun for browsing. Idlewild (Map 9, 29, 32) is mecca for travel guides and travel literature. The gift shop at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum (Map 4) is a great place to start digging into NYC history, as is Freebird Books (Map 32) above Red Hook.

Music Equipment & Instruments

Unfortunately, 48th Street is no longer Music Row, but Roberto’s Winds (Map 12) still chugs along over on 46th. Our favorites for gigging rock bands include Matt Umanov Guitars (Map 5) for guitars and amps, Rogue Music (Map 9) for keyboards, and Ludlow Guitars (Map 4) for guitars and basses. Go see the jumble of world instruments hanging from the ceiling at Music Inn (Map 6), which is among the last of a dying breed. Classical violinists and other civilized types should visit Strings and Other Things (Map 14).

Music for Listening

CDs and cassettes are scarce these days, but vinyl is still supremely cool. We always love hip Other Music (Map 6) and avant-garde Downtown Music (Map 3). If you’re into trolling through used bins, head to Bleecker Street’s Rebel Rebel (Map 5) and Bleecker Street Records (Map 5). Or head to one of North Brooklyn’s many options, like Earwax (Map 29), Academy Annex (Map 29), or Permanent Records (Map 28).


If you can’t remember what a regular 2D printer is (and why should you?), go straight to the 3D photo booth at the MakerBot Store (Map 7). B&H (Map 8) is the top destination for professionals and amateurs when it comes to photography, audio, and video, plus they have a decent selection of computers. Note that the hectic megastore is run by Orthodox Jews who strictly observe the Sabbath and holidays, so always check the hours online before heading over. For photographic equipment especially, remember the holy trinity of B&H, Adorama (Map 9), and K&M Camera (Map 3). B &H is the mothership, Adorama’s great if you’re nearby, and K&M is the only one open on Saturdays. Remember to flash that student ID if you’ve got it, as some art stores offer a discount. Audiophiles are wonderfully served by Stereo Exchange (Map 6) and the jaw-dropping Sound by Singer (Map 9). For all things Mac, try Tekserve (Map 9), the (other) Apple specialists.

Weird & Bizarre

First on the list is Brooklyn Superhero Supply (Map 33), where your anti-gravity elixir and gold lame sidekick cape are waiting. Evolution (Map 6) is mandatory for those with a dark side; think macabre biological jewelry, preserved scorpions, and bat skeletons. Equally bewitching is Enchantments (Map 7), your incense-filled emporium for motherwort, frankincense tears, and all things wicca. Scribes and pen nerds, report to City Hall’s Fountain Pen Hospital (Map 3). And then you’ll need the ultimate accessory for your library, so call the Putnam Rolling Ladder Company (Map 6). Antique button collectors, check out the Upper East Side’s Tender Buttons (Map 15). Western Spirit (Map 2) is the city’s only wild west themed store, selling not just Texan kitsch, but Lucchese boots and turquoise bolo ties. If you need authentic NYC memorabilia, whether it’s a lucky NYPD horseshoe or a real taxi cab medallion, go directly to the New York City Store (Map 3). Full disclosure, that medallion isn’t actually usable—those can sell for over a million bucks.

Shopping Districts

In the age of internet shopping, these districts are fading out, so see them while you can. The Garment District (25th to 40th Streets, Fifth to Ninth Avenues) has fabrics, buttons, zippers, ribbons, sequins, and doo-dads of all sorts. The Diamond District (47th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues) is the world’s largest market for the precious stone. The Flower District (28th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues) is right above the Perfume District (Broadway in the 20s and 30s). Bowery below Houston is chock full of restaurant supply stores, and Bowery below Delancey is the Lighting District.

Arts & Entertainment ✵ Art Galleries


If you want to see cutting-edge art, go to New York City’s galleries. There are more than 500 galleries in the city, with artwork created in every conceivable medium (and of varying quality) on display. SoHo, Chelsea, DUMBO, and Williamsburg are the hot spots for gallery goers, but there are also many famous (and often more traditional) galleries and auction houses uptown, including Christie’s (Map 12) and Sotheby’s (Map 15). With so much to choose from, there’s almost always something that’s at least provocative, if not actually good.

The scene at the upscale galleries is sometimes intimidating, especially if you look like you are on a budget. If you aren’t interested in buying, they aren’t interested in you being there. Some bigger galleries require appointments. Cut your teeth at smaller galleries; they aren’t as scary. Also, put your name on the mailing lists. You’ll get invites to openings so crowded that no one will try to pressure you into buying (and there’s free wine). The Armory Show (, an annual show of new art, is also a great way to see what the galleries have to offer without intimidation.

SoHo Area

It wasn’t so long ago that there were hundreds of art galleries in SoHo. Now it has practically become an outdoor mall. However, there are still some permanent artworks in gallery spaces, such as Walter De Maria’s excellent The Broken Kilometer (Map 6) (a Dia-sponsored space at 393 West Broadway), and his sublime New York Earth Room (Map 6). A short jaunt down to TriBeCa will land you in LaMonte Young’s awesome aural experience Dream House at the MELA Foundation (Map 2). Artists Space (Map 2), one of the first alternative art galleries in New York, is also in TriBeCa. The HERE Arts Center (Map 5) showcases a wide range of work and usually offers an exhibit or performance that warrants a visit. On the Lower East Side check out Canada (Map 3) for fun openings and Envoy Gallery (Map 6) for cutting edge photography and celebrity sightings.


The commercialization of SoHo has helped make Chelsea the center of the city’s gallery scene. Our recommendation is to hit at least two streets—W 24th Street between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues, and W 22nd Street between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues. W 24th Street is anchored by the almost-always-brilliant Gagosian Gallery (Map 8) and also includes the Luhring Augustine (Map 8), Mary Boone (Map 12), Barbara Gladstone (Map 8), Marianne Boesky (Map 8), and Matthew Marks (Map 8) galleries. W 22nd favorites include and Julie Saul (Map 8), Leslie Tonkonow (Map 8), and Yancey Richardson (Map 8) galleries. Also, check out the famous “artist’s” bookstore Printed Matter (Map 8).

Other recommendations are the Starrett-Lehigh Building (Map 8), not only for the art but also for the great pillars, windows, and converted freight elevators, Pace Wildenstein (Map 8), and the Jonathan LeVine Gallery (Map 8), which consistently features exciting artists.


While the concentration of galleries in Brooklyn is nowhere near the same as in Chelsea, added together, there are well over a hundred in the borough now, with the three biggest areas being in DUMBO, Williamsburg, and Bushwick. Look for great events like Bushwick Open Studios and the DUMBO Arts Festival to get yourself oriented to Brooklyn’s ever-growing art scene.

Arts & Entertainment ✵ Bookstores

The New York City book scene has taken a sharp decline in terms of diversity in recent years, with many excellent bookshops—including Coliseum Books, A Different Light, Academy, A Photographer’s Place, Rizzoli SoHo, Tower Books, Brentano’s, Spring Street Books, and Shortwave—all going the way of the dodo. The remaining independent stores are now the last outposts before everything interesting or alternative disappears altogether. And some of NYC’s richest cultural neighborhoods—such as the East Village and the Lower East Side—don’t have enough bookstores to even come close to properly serving their populations. So we thought we’d take this opportunity to list some of our favorite remaining shops…

General New/Used

The Strand (Map 6) on Broadway, the largest and arguably most popular independent bookstore in town, boasts staggering range and depth in its offerings (and often the best prices around to boot). Whether you’re interested in art tomes, rare first editions, foreign language texts, non-fiction works, or the latest bestseller, it’s impossible to be disappointed. In SoHo, McNally Jackson (Map 6) might just be our favorite bookstore after The Strand. St. Mark’s Bookshop (Map 6) anchors the border between the NYU crowd and the East Village hipster contingent and features an excellent selection of literary journals. Argosy Book Store (Map 13) on 59th Street is still a top destination for antiquarian books. Uptown, Book Culture (Map 18) serves the Columbia area well. With four locations around the city, the punchy Shakespeare & Company (Maps 6, 10, 15) is a local chain that somehow manages to maintain an aura of independence. In the West Village, Three Lives and Co. (Map 5) should be your destination. The Barnes & Noble (Map 9) in Union Square is their signature store and has a great feel. The Housing Works Used Book Café (Map 6) has a vintage coffeehouse feel and is one of our favorite bookstores—all of the profits go to help homeless New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS.

Several neighborhoods in Brooklyn have great bookstores with lots of local (and well-known!) author readings, such as Spoonbill & Sugartown (Map 29) in Williamsburg, Word (Map 28) in Greenpoint, Greenlight Bookstore (Map 31) in Fort Greene, and BookCourt (Map 32) in Cobble Hill. DUMBO’s powerHouse Arena (Map 30) is a great destination for art books. In Queens, Astoria Bookshop (Map 26) is a welcoming, uncluttered space with good children’s and NYC sections.


Fortunately there are still a lot of used bookstores tucked away all over the city. Mercer Street Books (Map 6) serves NYU and East Village Books (Map 7) takes care of the East Village, while on the Upper East Side both Corner Bookstore (Map 17) and Crawford Doyle (Map 15) keep it old-school. In Brooklyn, check out Unnameable Books (Map 33) for hyper-local poetry.


The city has some excellent travel book outlets, including the elegant Complete Traveller Antiquarian Bookstore (Map 9) and the wonderful Idlewild Books (Map 9, 29, 32), which curates its collection by country where guidebooks, fiction, and travel writing all happily commingle for a unique way of browsing. So if you can’t afford to travel, a trip here is the next best thing.


Printed Matter (Map 8) houses one of the best collections of artists’ books in the world and is highly recommended. The New Museum Store (Map 6) also offers a brilliant selection of both artists’ and art books. If you aren’t on a budget and have a new coffee table to fill, try Ursus (Map 15). For handsome photography collections, check out Dashwood Books (Map 6) on super sleek Bond Street.


The City Store (Map 3) in the Municipal Building is small but carries a solid selection (and is still the only store we’ve seen that sells old taxicab medallions). The Civil Service Bookstore (Map 3) has all the study guides you’ll need when you want to change careers and start driving a bus. The United Nations Bookshop (Map 13) has a great range of international and governmental titles. The New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex & Store (Map 13) at Grand Central also has an excellent range of books on NYC.


Books of Wonder (Map 9) in Chelsea has long been a downtown haven for children’s books. For mysteries, The Mysterious Bookshop (Map 2) slakes the need for the whodunit. The Drama Book Shop (Map 12) is a great source for books on acting and the theater. Bluestockings (Map 4) is the epicenter for radical and feminist literature. Professional and amateur chefs turn to Bonnie Slotnick (Map 5) and Kitchen Arts and Letters (Map 17). La Casa Azul Bookstore (Map 17) adds much needed lit cred to East Harlem, offering adult and kids books in Spanish and English, an art gallery, and a lovely backyard.


Anyone can read great authors, but New Yorkers have ample opportunities to meet them as well. The four-story Barnes & Noble (Map 9) in Union Square regularly hosts major writers. Housing Works Used Book Café (Map 6) also draws some big names. And McNally Jackson (Map 6) in Nolita is another spot known for hosting great author events. Nearly all bookstores present readings, even if irregularly; check a store’s Web page for listings. Even bars have taken a literary turn for the better: KGB Bar (Map 6) features fiction, poetry, and nonfiction readings each week. In Brooklyn, Pete’s Candy Store (Map 29) and its weekly reading series are a good bet for your weekly dose of literature.

Arts & Entertainment ✵ Movie Theaters

Multiplexes abound in NYC, though of course you should brace yourself for far steeper ticket and concession prices than in the rest of the country (with the possible exception of LA). Dinner and a movie turns out to be a rather exorbitant affair, but hey, we don’t live in the Big Apple because it’s cheap. And whether you’re looking for the latest box office hit, or a classic from the French New Wave, there’s a theater to meet your needs.

If you’re after a first-run Hollywood blockbuster, we highly recommend the AMC Loews Kips Bay (Map 10) in Murray Hill. It has spacious theaters with large screens, big sound, comfortable seats, plenty of aisle room, and most importantly, fewer people! The AMC Loews Village (Map 6) is gargantuan, too, but movies there sell out hours or days in advance on the weekends. An IMAX theater and a cheesy ‘30s movie palace decorating theme make AMC Loews Lincoln Square (Map 14) a great place to catch a huge film, and its ideal location offers loads of after-movie options. Another great choice is the Regal Battery Park 16 (Battery Park City), but it’s starting to get just as crowded as the Union Square location.

For independent or foreign films, the Landmark Sunshine (Map 6) has surpassed the Angelika (Map 6) as the superior downtown movie house. Don’t get us wrong—the Angelika still presents great movies, but the tiny screens and constant subway rumble can sometimes make you wish you’d waited for the DVD. The IFC Center (Map 5) always shows great indie flicks. If you’re looking for revivals, check the listings at the Film Forum (Map 5), BAM Rose Cinemas (Map 31), and the MoMA (Map 12). Regular attendance at those three venues can provide an excellent education in cinema history. For the truly adventurous, there’s Anthology Film Archives (Map 6), which plays a repertory of forgotten classics, obscure international hits, and experimental American shorts. Finally, up in Harlem the tiny but terrific Maysles Cinema (Map 19) shows truly brilliant indie movies focusing on New York City. This may be the most unique movie going experience in Manhattan.

The most decadent and enjoyable movie experiences can be found at the theaters that feel the most “New York.” Sadly, the Beekman Theatre immortalized in Woody Allen’s Annie Hall was demolished in 2005 to make room for a new ward for Sloan-Kettering (it’s hard to argue with a cancer hospital, but film buffs can’t help but wish they’d found another space for their expansion). The Ziegfeld (Map 12) on 54th Street, a vestige from a time long past when movie theaters were real works of art, is so posh with its gilding and red velvet you’ll feel like you’re crossing the Atlantic on an expensive ocean liner; it also became relegated to the status of “event space” in 2016. That said, the Paris Theatre (Map 12) on 58th Street remains one of our favorites in the city, with the best balcony, hands down!

Seeing a movie in Brooklyn a significantly better experience these days. Our favorite is the jewel-box twin Heights Cinema (Map 30). Also check out indie/blockbuster mashup Cobble Hill Cinemas (Map 32), BAM Rose Cinemas (Map 31), and food/drink Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg (Map 29). In Astoria, talk back to the screen at the UA Kaufman Astoria (Map 26), and talk back to an actual director at a screening at the Museum of the Moving Image (Map 26).

Oh, and don’t forget to purchase tickets in advance for crowded showtimes (opening weekends, holidays, or pretty much any night when you’re trying to see a popular film). Both Moviefone ( and Fandango ( work.



Arts & Entertainment ✵ Museums

Make a resolution: Go to at least one museum in New York City every month. There are over 100 museums in the five boroughs, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Map 15) to the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum (Map 25), an 18th-century relic in upper Manhattan. Many of these museums have special programs and lectures that are open to the public, as well as children’s events and summer festivals. When you’ve found your favorite museums, look into membership. Benefits include free admission, guest passes, party invites, and a discount at the gift shop.

The famous Museum Mile comprises nine world-class museums along Fifth Avenue between 82nd Street and 105th Street, including the Met (Map 15), and Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural masterpiece, the Guggenheim (Map 17). El Museo del Barrio (Map 17), devoted to early Latin American art, The Museum of the City of New York (Map 17), the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum (Map 17) (housed in the Andrew Carnegie’s Mansion), and the Jewish Museum (Map 17) are also along the mile.

See medieval European art at The Cloisters (Map 25) (also a famous picnic spot), exhibitions of up and coming African-American artists at the Studio Museum in Harlem (Map 19), and PS1 (Map 27) for contemporary art. Take the kids to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum or the Children’s Museum of Manhattan (Map 14). The Lower East Side Tenement Museum (Map 4) and the Ellis Island Immigration Museum (Map 1) will take you back to your roots, and the treasures of the Orient are on display at the Asia Society (Map 15). Couch potatoes can meet their maker at the The Paley Center for Media (Map 12), which features a massive collection of tens of thousands of television and radio programs and advertisements for your viewing pleasure. The Brooklyn Museum (Map 33) supplements its wide-ranging permanent collection with edgy exhibitions, performances, and other special events.

Just about every museum in the city is worth a visit. Other favorites include the New Museum of Contemporary Art (Map 6) (in its spiffy building on The Bowery), the New-York Historical Society (Map 14) (which focuses its exhibits on the birth of the city), the New York Transit Museum (Map 30), the Morgan Library (Map 9) (with copies of Gutenberg’s Bible on display), the Museum of the Moving Image (Map 26), The Museum of Sex (Map 9), and the Queens Museum of Art (check out the panorama of New York City). The National September 11 Memorial Museum (Map 1) aims to tell the definitive story of that day, relating the huge implications thereof, at the very spot it happened. The Whitney Museum of American Art (Map 5) showcases contemporary American artists and features the celebrated Biennial in even-numbered years. Finally, the Museum of Arts and Design (Map 12), on the southern edge of Columbus Circle, is a bold redesign of Edward Durrell Stone’s quirky masterpiece for Huntington Hartford; the excellent permanent collection and diverting exhibitions, plus working artists-in-residence and a small lovely museum store, make the Museum a must-see.





Arts & Entertainment ✵ Metropolitan Museum of Art


General Information

NFT Map:



1000 Fifth Ave at 82nd St





Sun-Thurs: 10 am-5:30 pm;
Fri & Sat: 10 am-9 pm;
closed Thanksgiving Day,
December 25, January 1,
and first Monday in May.


A suggested $25 donation for adults, $12 for students, and $17 for senior citizens.


The Metropolitan Museum of Art is touted as the largest and most comprehensive museum in the Western hemisphere. Established by a group of American businessmen, artists, and thinkers back in 1870, the museum was created to preserve and stimulate appreciation for some of the greatest works of art in history.

In the first few years of its existence, the museum moved from its original location at 681 Fifth Avenue to the Douglas Mansion at 128 W 14th Street, and then finally to its current Central Park location in 1880.

Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mould designed the museum’s Gothic Revival red-brick facade, which was later remodeled in 1926 into the grand, white-columned front entrance that you see today. Part of the original facade was left intact and can still be seen from the Robert Lehman Wing looking toward the European Sculpture and Decorative Arts galleries.

The Met’s annual attendance reaches over 4 million visitors who flock to see the more than 2 million works of art housed in the museum’s permanent collection. You could visit the museum many times and not see more than a small portion of the permanent collection. The vast paintings anthology had a modest beginning in 1870 with a small donation of 174 European paintings and has now swelled to include works spanning 5,000 years of world culture, from the prehistoric to the present and from every corner of the globe.

The Met is broken down into a series of smaller museums within each building. For instance, the American Wing contains the most complete accumulation of American paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts, including period rooms offering a look at domestic life throughout the nation’s history. The Egyptian collection is the finest in the world outside of Cairo, and the Islamic art exhibition remains unparalleled, as does the mass of 2,500 European paintings and Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works. The permanent gallery of Islamic art underwent renovations in 2008, following the 10-15 year renovation of the Greek & Roman collection. The redesigned galleries display works that have been in storage for decades, assuring even the most frequent visitor something fresh to check out including the museum’s newly restored, world-famous, non-gas-guzzling Etruscan chariot.

Other major collections include the arms and armor, Asian art, costumes, European sculpture and decorative arts, medieval and Renaissance art, musical instruments, drawings, prints, ancient antiquities from around the world, photography, and modern art. Add to this the many special exhibits and performances the Met offers throughout the year, and you have a world-class museum with Central Park as its backyard.

This is a massive museum and seating can be difficult to find during busy weekends. When you need a break from all of the culture, sit down for a snack in the American Wing Café or lunch in the cafeteria. Do a triple-dollar-sign splurge and eat in the Members Dining Room overlooking the park. In the summer climb up to the Roof Garden Café for a glass of wine and the most beautiful view of Central Park that your lack of money can buy.

The Greatest Hits

You can, of course, spend countless hours at the Met. Pick any style of art and chances are you will find a piece here. But if you’re rushed for time, check out the sublime space that houses the Temple of Dendur in the Sackler Wing, the elegant Frank Lloyd Wright Room in the American Wing, the fabulous Tiffany Glass and Tiffany Mosaics, also in the American Wing, the choir screen in the Medieval Sculpture Hall, the Caravaggios and Goyas in the Renaissance Rooms, the Picassos and Pollocks in Modern Art, and that huge canoe in Arts of Africa and Oceania. For a moment of tranquility, visit the beautiful Chinese Garden Court in the Asian galleries. When it’s open, we highly recommend the Roof Garden, which has killer views of Central Park as a side dish to cocktails and conversation. When it’s not, check out seasonal specials like the Christmas “Angel” Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche, an annual favorite set up in front of the medieval choir screen.

How to Get There—Mass Transit


Take the 4, 5, 6 to the 86th Street stop and walk three blocks west to Fifth Avenue and four blocks south to 82nd Street.


Take the bus along Fifth Avenue (from uptown locations) to 82nd Street or along Madison Avenue (from downtown locations) to 83rd Street.

Arts & Entertainment ✵ Museum of Natural History


General Information

NFT Map:



Central Park West at 79th Street





Daily, 10:00 am-5:45 pm;
closed Thanksgiving Day
& December 25.


Suggested general admission is $22 for adults, $12.50 for children (2-12), and $17 for senior citizens and students. Special exhibitions, IMAX movies, and the space show are extra; packages are available. Free to members.


Admit it. You secretly TiVo the Discovery Channel and the History Channel. You’ve even watched one—if not several—episodes of Star Trek. Something about African beetles, famous dead guys, and the unknown universe strokes your inner Einstein. Focus your microscope on this one, smarty-pants: the American Museum of Natural History, a paradise for geeks and aspiring geeks alike, not to mention good old nature lovers. And don’t worry, your TV-watching secrets are safe with us.

Decades before anyone knew what an atom was, and when relativity was just a twinkle in Einstein’s eye, Albert Smith Bickmore established the AMNH. Completed in 1869, the museum held its first exhibition in the Central Park Arsenal a few years later, garnering enough respect to acquire space along classy Central Park West. Architects Calvert Vaux and J. Wrey Mould designed the new, posh building on limited Benjamins and opened it to the public in 1877. Key additions followed: The Hayden Planetarium in 1935, the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall and Rotunda in 1936, and the Rose Center for Earth and Space in 2000.

As Saturday morning museum-going ritual dictates, it’s going to be painfully crowded. On those days, you dodge out-of-towners, eyes wide, mouths gaping. It’s much the same on weekdays with rowdy school kids on field trips. How to avoid the Excedrin-necessitating atmosphere? Two words: permanent collection. The amazing series of wildlife dioramas even inspired an entire Hollywood movie (albeit not a great one, by adult standards). Don’t expect to see any PETA supporters in these halls though.

When you can go at off hours, or if you feel you can brave the crowds, make a point of checking out the fascinating and often provocative special exhibits.

The Greatest Hits

Five floors of star-lovin’, mammal-gazin’, bird-watchin’, fossil-fuelin’ science await. Rain forest fever? Check out the Hall of Biodiversity. Didn’t understand why that movie was called The Squid and The Whale? See the giant squid get his dimly lit comeuppance in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life. Celebrity astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is the voice behind the Dark Universe space show. For more instant thrills, check out the gigantic meteorites at the Arthur Ross Hall of Meteorites, or the five-story-tall dinosaur display in the Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda; it’s the largest freestanding beast in the world. The AMNH also produces spectacular IMAX features, a great alternative to the museum’s amazing but creepy taxidermy. The Hall of Gems houses the Star of India, the largest star sapphire in the world. Finally, for recreation of The Birds variety with less evil, visit The Butterfly Conservatory. Tropical butterflies flit all around you from, you guessed it, all over the world. It’s enough to put TiVo on pause.

How to Get There—Mass Transit


Take the B or C to the 81st Street stop. Or take the 1 to 79th Street and walk two blocks east.


The M7, M10 and M11 all stop within a block of the museum. Take the M79 across Central Park if you are coming from the East Side.

Arts & Entertainment ✵ Museum of Modern Art

General Information

NFT Map:



11 W 53rd St





10:30 am-5:30 pm (Fri until 8 pm);
closed Thanksgiving and December 25


$25 for adults, $18 for seniors, $14 for students; free to members and children under 16 accompanied by an adult


The Museum of Modern Art opened in 1929, back when impressionism and surrealism were truly modern art. Originally in the Heckscher Building at 730 Fifth Avenue, MoMA moved to its current address on West 53rd Street in 1932. What started out as a townhouse eventually expanded into an enormous space, with new buildings and additions in 1939 (by Phillip L. Goodwin and Edward Durell Stone), 1953 (including a sculpture garden by Phillip Johnson), 1964 (another Johnson garden), and 1984 (by Cesar Pelli). During the summer of 2002, the museum closed its Manhattan location and moved temporarily to Sunnyside, Queens (MoMA’s affiliate, MoMAPS1 remains a proud Queens institution). After a major expansion and renovation by Yoshio Taniguchi, MoMA reopened in September 2004.

After being re-Manhattanized, MoMA made waves when it became the first museum to break the $20 barrier—which sadly became all too common in the years since. If crowds on a typical Saturday afternoon are any indication, hefty entry fees are not keeping patrons away. Frequent flyers take note: If you plan to visit more than three times in a year, the yearly membership is the way to go. Plus, members get a 10% discount at MoMA stores, free tickets to all film screenings, and besides which, you’re free to pop in whenever you want to see your favorite Picasso (or just use the restroom). For the best deal, visit the museum from 4-8 pm on Fridays when there is free admission—the crowds aren’t as bad as you might think.

What to See

The fourth and fifth floors are where the big names reside—Johns, Pollock, Warhol (fourth floor), Braque, Cezanne, Dali, Duchamp, Ernst, Hopper, Kandinsky, Klee, Matisse, Miro, Monet, Picasso, Rosseau, Seurat, Van Gogh, and Wyeth (fifth floor). More recent works can be found in the contemporary gallery on the second floor. Special exhibitions are featured on the third and sixth floors. The surrealist collection is outstanding, but we’ve always suspected that MoMA has only a tiny fraction of its pop art on display. Well, you can’t have everything…

Moving downstairs to the third floor, it’s clear that the photography collection is, as always, one of the centerpieces of the museum and is highly recommended (although the Gursky pieces are actually dotted throughout the building). The architecture and design gallery showcases a range of cool consumer items, from chairs to cars to the first Mac computers, and is one of the most popular destinations in the museum.

Breakdown of the Space

Floor One: Lobby, Sculpture Garden, Museum Store, Restaurant

Floor Two: Contemporary Galleries, Media Gallery, Prints and Illustrated Books, Café

Floor Three: Architecture and Design, Drawing, Photography, Special Exhibitions

Floor Four: Painting and Sculpture II

Floor Five: Painting and Sculpture I, Café

Floor Six: Special Exhibitions

There are two theater levels below the first floor.


Backpacks and large purses are not allowed in gallery spaces, and the free coat check can become messy when the check-in and check-out lines become intertwined. Leave large items (including laptops) at home. Bathrooms and water fountains are on all floors. We don’t think that there are enough of them, and the bathrooms themselves are way too small to handle the crowds.

There are three places to get food in the museum, which has been elevated from the usual captive-audience fare by Danny Meyer’s excellent Union Square Hospitality Group. Café 2, located on the second floor, offers a wide selection of small plates, sandwiches and panini, as well as above-average coffee drinks, beer and wine. Terrace 5 is a full-service establishment overlooking the beautiful sculpture garden serving a la carte entrees and desserts, along with wine, cocktails, coffee, and tea. Both cafés open half an hour after the museum opens its doors and close half an hour before the museum closes.

The ultimate museum dining experience, The Modern ( boasts three New York Times stars and one Michelin star. It has two main rooms—the Dining Room overlooking the sculpture garden, and a more casual Bar Room. An outdoor terrace is also made available when the weather permits. The Modern serves French and New American food and hubba-hubba tasting menus. The Modern is open beyond museum hours, with the Dining Room serving dinner until 10:30 pm Monday-Saturday. The Bar Room is open continuously 11:30 am-10:30 pm daily (9:30 pm Sundays). There’s a separate street entrance to allow diners access to The Modern after the museum closes.

Arts & Entertainment ✵ Theaters / Performing Arts

So long as there are adventurous artists putting on plays in abandoned storefronts and opportunistic real estate developers knocking down beautiful old theaters to put up hotels, the New York theater scene will always be adding a few venues here and deleting a few venues there. What remains constant is that on any given night there are at least dozens, and more often hundreds, of live theater performances to be seen. And the best ones are not always the most expensive.

Broadway (i.e., theaters in the Times Square vicinity that hold at least 500 people) still has the reputation of being the place to see American theater at its finest, but the peculiar fact of the matter is that there is more much money to be gained by appealing to the infrequent theater goer than there is by trying to please the connoisseur. As a result, shows that are looked down on, if not despised, by many lovers of the theater wind up selling out for years (Mamma Mia, anyone?), while more ambitious, artistically admired plays and musicals struggle to find an audience. Check out theater chat boards like and to see what the people who see everything have to say.

Nobody gets famous doing live theater anymore, so if you’ve never heard of the actor whose name is twinkling in lights chances are that person has the stage experience and acting chops to keep you enthralled for two and a half hours, unlike the big name celebrities who make their stage acting debuts in starring roles they’re only sometimes somewhat prepared for. Of course, there are also the big-time actors with extensive stage credits who come back to Broadway regularly after becoming famous; you’ve got to admire anyone who willingly dives back into the grind of eight performances a week.

Many great performers work Off-Broadway (Manhattan theaters seating 100-499 people) where the writing and directing are actually more important than spectacle and scores made up of classic pop songs. Off-Off Broadway (fewer than 100 seats) is a terrific grab bag of both beginners and seasoned pros doing material that is often unlikely to draw in masses. And tickets are pretty cheap, too. keeps an extensive list of just about every show in New York, with direct links to the websites that sell tickets. Many shows offer a limited number of inexpensive standing room and/or same-day rush tickets. A detailed directory of such offers can be found at

Thousands of same-day tickets for Broadway and Off-Broadway shows are sold for 20%-50% off at the TKTS booths in Times Square (long lines), at the South Street Seaport (shorter lines), and Downtown Brooklyn (which sells tickets to matinee performances a day in advance). They take cash, traveler’s checks, and credit cards. Check for hours and to see what’s been recently available at Don’t expect to get a bargain for the top-selling hits, but most shows use this booth at some time or another. You can also download discount coupons at that you can use to get seats in advance.

The dirty little secret of New York theatre is that free tickets for high-quality shows are abundantly available through organizations that specialize in “dressing the house” for productions that depend more on word of mouth than expensive advertising costs. By giving a yearly membership fee to or, you can check your computer 24-hours a day to find free tickets (there’s a small per-ticket service charge) for a dozen or so Off-, Off-Off-, and sometimes Broadway shows available at the last minute. That dinky little play in some church basement that you went to on a whim might wind up being the next great American classic.

Keep an eye out for shows by these lesser-known companies:

The award-winning Classical Theatre of Harlem ( has earned a reputation for mounting exciting, edgy revivals of classics from Shakespeare and Brecht, as well as solid productions from more recent greats such as August Wilson and Melvin Van Peebles. A multicultural company that frequently casts against racial type, they draw a youthful audience with imaginative interpretations.

The Mint Theatre Company (Map 11) ( specializes in reviving Broadway plays from the past they call “worthy, but neglected.” In their tiny space you’ll see interesting comedies and dramas from the likes of A. A. Milne, Edith Wharton, and Thomas Wolfe played traditionally with sets and costumes that really make you feel like you’re watching a production from over 50 years ago.

Musicals Tonight! does the same kind of thing with forgotten musicals, only presenting them in low budgeted, but highly energized, staged readings. Nowadays most musicals revived on Broadway are revised and updated to the point where they lose their authenticity. But if you’re in the mood to see what an Irving Berlin ragtime show from 1915 was really like, or if you want to see a Cole Porter tuner from the ‘30s with all of the dated topical references that confused audiences even back then, Musicals Tonight! serves up the past as it really was written. And check for their special concerts where Broadway understudies sing songs from the roles they are currently covering. Shows take place at the Lion Theatre (Map 11).

Broadway insiders know that Monday nights, when most shows are dark, is often the hottest night of the week for entertainment. That’s when performers use their night off to partake in benefits and special events. Consistently among the best are shows from Scott Siegel’s Broadway By The Year series at Town Hall (Map 12) ( Each one-night concert is packed with theater and cabaret stars singing hits and obscurities introduced on Broadway in one selected year. Siegel also produces Broadway Unplugged at Town Hall, a concert of theater performers singing showtunes without amplification. The atmosphere is like a sports event, with the audience wildly cheering each naturally voiced solo.

Elsewhere, Pearl Theatre Company ( (Map 11) has been mounting kick-ass productions of classics by Shakespeare, Moliere, Sheridan, Williams and the like since 1984. Horse Trade ( produces a crazy assortment of readings, workshops, burlesque performances, and full-out productions in the East Village at venues like The Kraine Theater (Map 6). The multi-arts center HERE (Map 5) ( not only houses two small theaters, but it also has an amazing gallery space and a cozy cafe/bar—perfect for pre - or post-show drinks. Located in a former school on First Avenue and 9th Street in the East Village, P.S. 122 (Map 7) ( is a not-for-profit arts center serving New York City’s dance and performance community. Shows rotate through on a regular basis, so check the website for the latest schedule. The outdoor Delacorte Theater (Map 15) in Central Park hosts performances only during the summer months. Tickets to the ridiculously popular and free Shakespeare in the Park performances are given away at 1 pm at the Delacorte and also at the Public Theater (Map 6) on the day of each performance. Hopefully, you enjoy camping because people line up for days in their tents and sleeping bags just to secure a ticket!

Just on the other side of the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn is the world famous Brooklyn Academy of Music (Map 31). A thriving urban arts center, BAM brings domestic and international performing arts and film to Brooklyn. The center is home to multiple venues of various sizes, including the Harvey Lichtenstein Theater (Map 31), Howard Gilman Opera House (Map 31), the Bam Rose Cinemas (Map 31), and the BAMcafe (Map 31), a restaurant and live music venue. Our favorite season is the Next Wave, an annual three-month celebration of cutting-edge dance, theater, music, and opera. As an alternative to BAM, St. Ann’s Warehouse (Map 30) in DUMBO also produces exciting cutting-edge work.