The recording industry may be trying to destroy itself by combating music piracy by releasing as much terrible music as it can, but in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens you will find packed live music venues, from hole-in-the-wall dives to resplendent Midtown theaters. Plan accordingly and you can catch more than one world-class show on any given night. Music is back in town, in fact you could say Big Apple music is a-alive again.
Music Hall of Williamsburg
Run by local promoter Bowery Presents, this Williamsburg outpost is basically a mirror image of similarly sized Bowery Ballroom, one upping its Manahttan counterpart with improved sightlights—including elevated areas on either side of the room—and a bit more breathing room. With booking that ranges from indie-rock bands to hip-hop acts, it’s one of the best rooms in New York to see a show.
This spacious former vaudeville theater, resplendent after a recent renovation, hosts a variety of popular acts, from Steely Dan to Ryan Adams. While the vastness can seem daunting for performers and audience members alike, the gaudy interior and uptown location make you feel as though you’re having a real night out on the town.
The Blue Note prides itself on being “the jazz capital of the world.” Bona fide musical titans (Chick Corea, Ron Carter) rub against hot young talents, while the close-set tables in the club get patrons rubbing up against each other. Arrive early to secure a good spot—and we recommend shelling out for a table seat.
Radio City Music Hall
One heralded as the Showplace of the World, this famed Rockefeller Center venue has razzle-dazzled patrons since the 1930s with its elaborate Art Deco details, massive stage and theatrics. Though best known as the home of the Christmas Spectacular, which stars the high-kicking Rockettes and a full cast of nativity animals, many musicians consider the 6,000-seat theater a dream stage to perform on, including a recent extended stay from Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett.
Built in 1886, Webster Hall has been through several iterations (and names) before settling into its tenure as a high-caliber concert venue. In the 1950s, performers like Tito Puente and Woody Guthrie graced the stage, and when it was known as The Ritz in the ’80s, the same venue hosted rock legends like U2, Eric Clapton and Guns N’ Roses. These days, you can expect to find indie acts, metal bands and hip-hop artists. Just be sure to show up early if you want a decent view.
A genuine DIY haven, Silent Barn—relocated to Bushwick from previous digs now occupied by Trans-Pecos—is one of those underground art strongholds that usually gets bought out by an enterprising sort. But happily, the Barn persists in its raw form, hosting noise purveyors, avant-rockers and all sorts of other peculiar visionaries, some of whom live on site.
This Greenpoint club—moodily decorated with all-black walls and dead roses hanging above the bar—is one of the best places in the city to see metal, rock and more experimental heavy music, with reliably loud bands typically booked seven nights a week.
BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! (at the Prospect Park Bandshell)
BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn!—SummerStage’s cool, quirky Kings County cousin—is a major force in its own right. Unlike SummerStage, which spreads out across the five boroughs, all BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! shows take place at the beautiful bandshell in Prospect Park, a scenic amphitheater surrounded by trees. Catching one of these gigs is guaranteed to be a highlight of your summer showgoing season, whether you’re seeing a buzzy indie-rock band, a classic soul or funk group, or one of the best hip-hop artists around.
Forest Hills Stadium
After extensive renovation, this storied tennis stadium—home to memorable matches and concerts from the ’20s through the ’80s (including the Beatles, Stones and others)—reopened its doors in 2013 with a rowdy Mumford & Sons gig. These days, the venue regularly hosts a wide variety of artists ranging from Chainsmokers to Tom Petty.
After more than 80 years, this basement club’s stage still hosts the crème de la crème of mainstream jazz talent. Plenty of history has been made here—John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Bill Evans have grooved in this hallowed hall—and the 16-piece Vanguard Jazz Orchestra has been the Monday-night regular since 1966. Thanks to the venue’s strict no cell phone policy, seeing a show here feels like stepping back and time. It’s just you and the music.
If you want to see stand-up comedy, there’s no better place to come to than New York City. Here are our favorite spots to see both famous comedians and up-and-coming stars, from the popular venues to the little known haunts. Think you’ve got what it takes to make people laugh? Try out one of the many comedy classes available at some of the most popular venues in the city.
(credit: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)
New York, NY 10019
You know you’ve made it as a comedian when you get the chance to perform at Caroline’s in Times Square. This comedy club opened in 1982 in Chelsea before moving to the heart of Times Square in 1992. Legendary performers like Jerry Seinfeld, Billy Crystal, and Rosie O’Donnell have graced the stage and have helped make it into what it is today. The 300-seat venue also received the American Institute of Architecture Award for Best interior Club Design. Caroline’s produces the highly successful New York Comedy Festival which brings in some of the biggest names in the business.
Upright Citizens Brigade
Amy Poehler, the founder of The Upright Citizens Brigade. (credit: Amy Sussman/Getty Images)
307 W. 26th St.
New York, NY 10001
When you want get down to the nitty gritty of comedy, Upright Citizens Brigade (or UCB, as New Yorkers like to call it) is the place to go. The theatre was started by SNL alum Amy Poehler with the help of her hilarious pals, Matt Beer, Ian Roberts, and Matt Walsh back in 1999. The small 150-seat theater, located in Chelsea, is the perfect place to see comedians perform up close and personal. UCB is known to have some of the best New York and LA based comedians just randomly stop by to either perform or take in a show themselves. You could sit next to a celebrity and not even realize it. John Mulaney (writer for Saturday Night Live) has been known to make audiences cry from laughing so hard when he takes the mic at 11 pm. Past performers include Robin Williams, Tina Fey, and Jay Pharoah. Tickets are cheap and reservations can be made online. Just make sure to get there early before the line goes around the block.
Gotham Comedy Club
Lewis Black at the Gotham Comedy Club (credit: gothamcomedyclub.com)
208 W. 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011
Gotham Comedy Club may be newer to New York City (it opened in 1996) but in the fifteen years it’s been open, it’s sure made a name for itself in the comedy world. The club has brought in comics such as Dave Chapelle, Colin Quinn, and Lewis Black. It’s even become the backdrop for many TV shows including Curb Your Enthusiasm and Last Comic Standing. With a variety of shows ranging from talent showcases to specials, there’s always something to check out. See website for full schedule and ticket prices.
(credit: Comedy Cellar)
116 Macdougal St.
New York, NY
The Comedy Cellar, located in the heart of Greenwich Village, is the place where comedians like Chris Rock, Jim Gaffigan, and Wanda Sykes have been known to try out their material. The club is open until 2:30 a.m. every night – so if you want to catch a late night show in the middle of the week, it’s your place. For those with edgier tastes, check out their late-night “Midnight Nasty” show.
Rodney Dangerfield’s daughter Melanie Roy-Friedman at Dangerfield’s. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)
1st Ave. and 61st St.
New York, NY
Dangerfield’s features the best of the best in comedy. Jay Leno, Tim Allen, and Jim Carey have been known to stop by this Upper East Side institution that’s made its mark over the last 40 years. This place means business. With no amateur or gimmick night on their weekly schedule, you know only serious comedians dare take the stage. Plus, surprise guest stars often appear in addition to the scheduled line up. Dangerfield’s also offers discounted admissions 7 nights a week, including a monthly special. Check website for more details.
The High Line is an elevated freight rail line transformed into a public park on Manhattan’s Lower West Side. It is owned by the City of New York, and maintained and operated by Friends of the High Line. Founded in 1999 by community residents, Friends of the High Line fought for the High Line’s preservation and transformation at a time when the historic structure was under the threat of demolition. It is now the non-profit conservancy working with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation to make sure the High Line is maintained as an extraordinary public space for all visitors to enjoy. In addition to overseeing maintenance, operations, and public programming for the park, Friends of the High Line raises the funding to maintain and operate the High Line and its programs from both private and public sources. As of 2015, the High Line sees 4 million visitors annually.
Know Before You Go
Park rules prohibit:
Walking on rail tracks, gravel, or plants
Picking flowers or plants
Sitting or climbing on railings
Use of skateboards, skates, or recreational scooters
Amplified sound, except by permit
Commercial activity, except by permit or otherwise authorized
Obstructing entrances or paths
Drinking alcohol, except in authorized areas
Filming or photography requiring equipment or exclusive use of an area, except by permit
Events or gatherings greater than 20 persons, except by permit
Dogs, except for service dogs
Access to the High Line is possible via any of the access points listed below:
Gansevoort Street and Washington Street (elevator access)
New York City has big league clubs in every major sport, but you don’t need to make it out to a stadium to experience the thrill of rooting for its home teams (or, if you insist, someone else’s). No matter your game-day priorities—whether you mainly show up for the food or the drinks, whether you barely know who’s playing or know the team’s stats by heart—the five boroughs have a fan-approved watering hole for you. For a home base that fits your sports-watching style, check out our list below. One of these sports bars could be your game changer.
For the Hops Head
Finding a sports bar with a lineup of brews that’s as finely tuned as your fantasy team can be tricky, but you have options in NYC. Check out Bronx Alehouse for a thoughtfully curated, constantly rotating tap list, often featuring a few NYC-based brewers. For maximum options, Croxley’s Abbey offers 40-plus beers on tap and even more bottled choices. East Village pub Finnerty’s, meanwhile, specializes in heavy hitters; they’ve got keg service for groups. Note that the crowd there is frequently full of Bay Area partisans.
For the Foodie
When the rest of the crew is raising their arms to celebrate a touchdown, are you reaching for the appetizers instead? If so, you need a bar that doesn’t fumble when it comes to food. Aim for places like Boulton and Watt or Smithfield Hall—two bar-restaurant hybrids that offer plenty of sports and small-plate options, like Smithfield’s barbecue-glazed bacon. Blondies on the Upper West Side is a go-to for wing-enthusiasts—and anyone who’s a fan of college’s Big Ten conference.
For the Fancy Fan
Sticky bars and bottom-shelf drinks have their place, but fans seeking an upgrade should look no further than Jay-Z’s swanky 40/40 Club in the Flatiron District. The rapper, once a part owner of the Brooklyn Nets, knows how to watch the game in style: the space has stadium seating facing four mammoth video walls—and bottle service is always on the menu. For an uptown upscale option, snag a seat at Atlantic Grill’s bar and enjoy a refined blend of sports, oysters and wines by the glass; they’ve got locations on both the east and west sides.
For the Fan of Elbow Room
We love to banter, high-five and backslap as much as the next fan, but not everyone wants to be packed in like Bleacher Creatures during a sold-out game. The solution: bars that give you room to breathe. At divey Manny’s on Second, you’ll have plenty of space to spread out at the extra-long bar—and in front of some 40 televisions. Bi-level beer hall Berry Park and Citi Field’s own McFadden’s are also good, spacious options for when you’re watching with a big group or just need a personal cheering section.
For the Chatterbox
Some sports bars welcome the not-exactly-hardcore fans who are—at least in part—out for the social scene. At Boxers, a popular gay sports bar in Hell’s Kitchen, feel free to watch the game out of the corner of your eye while you chat at the bar, listen to a DJ set or hang out on the roof deck. Both Warren 77 and The Jeffrey will reliably have a game on, but you won’t feel out of place if you’re talking through it.
For the Restless Fan
After a bungled play or the end of an exciting first half—or out of respect for that venerable seventh-inning stretch—plenty of fans feel the need to take a break from the action. These bars are here to distract you. Break Bar and Billiards specializes in (you guessed it) pool, but it’s also home to table tennis and foosball tables. The West Village dive (and Cheesehead favorite) Kettle of Fish will happily entertain you with Ms. Pac-Man, pinball, board games and darts.
For the Fresh-Air Fan
Pretend you can feel the stadium air on your face at these bars’ outdoor spaces. Our first-round picks for alfresco sports viewing include Greenpoint’s Keg and Lantern and the Flatiron District’s tri-level Tavern 29, crowned with a TV-equipped rooftop beer garden. Harlem Tavern is half indoor bar, half outdoor (but covered) beer garden—and has a drink list large enough to match its 400-seat size.
For the Diehard
If you’re all about your home team, check out these places jammed with team banners, photos and memorabilia. Yankee Tavern, just a line drive away from Yankee Stadium’s gates, has been a home-team haunt since the days of former patrons Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. You’ll find a similar scene at Standings. If the wall-to-wall display of jerseys, pennants, souvenir cups and two Shea Stadium seats—which, if you’re a Mets fan, you can sit in—don’t clue you in to the bar’s MVP status (most valuable pub?), look to its all-caps guarantee: ALWAYS GAME SOUND. Rest assured, the game is king here.
One of the most luxurious stretches of retail in the country, Fifth Avenue is the main artery of New York City’s shopping scene, having welcomed a steady stream of fashion mavens for over 100 years. From catwalk copycats to bargain hunters, buyers flock to this section of Midtown (between 49th and 60th streets) to shop for it all. And with mass brands like Victoria’s Secret and Abercrombie & Fitch, upscale department stores such as Bergdorf Goodman and multinational retailers like H&M, Zara and Uniqlo, the thoroughfare quite literally offers something for everyone. The shops there sell more than just apparel: Fifth Avenue is also home to the 24-hour flagship Apple Store and the City’s first jeweler, Tiffany & Co.
Most of these high-end designer outposts feature ornamental window displays—tableaux that in their own right have become draws for visitors. And on any given day, the City’s most fashionable street resembles a couture runway; it takes a certain bravura to walk from store to store, and you’ll be hard-pressed to avoid strutting in a similar fashion. For more information about some of our favorite Fifth Avenue shopping spots, read on.
Bergdorf Goodman 754 Fifth Ave., 212-753-7300
This venerable department store has been a Fifth Avenue institution for more than 100 years, providing New York City society with all the necessary finery. Started by a successful courtier named Edwin Goodman, who worked for and later bought out tailor Herman Bergdorf, Bergdorf Goodman moved to its current site (a former Vanderbilt family mansion) in 1928, drawing shoppers uptown for its sophisticated collections. The museum-quality window displays, which flaunt fur, diamonds and elaborately dressed mannequins, are practically responsible for inventing the term window shopper. Today eight floors of retail house in-store boutiques from elegant brands like Balenciaga, Marc Jacobs and Burberry, and dressing rooms on floors two through four come with views of Central Park. Topping things off, a salon and day spa occupy the penthouse level; a separate men’s store is located on the east side of the street.
Louis Vuitton 1 E. 57th St. (at Fifth Ave.), 212-758-8877
Even if it didn’t bear one of most recognizable logos in the world, you couldn’t miss the Louis Vuitton flagship on Fifth Avenue—the store’s facade is a sight to behold. Founded in 1854, the global fashion house got its start selling stackable travel trunks, and over the past two decades has transformed into purveyor of some of the most-wanted handbags on the market. The French label’s Fifth Avenue store provides an appropriate setting to showcase its lauded collections of handbags, eyewear, shoes, jewelry and ready-to-wear apparel for men and women. Featuring a ceramic-coated glass exterior and frosted-glass walls, the four-story edifice is nothing if not au courant. The store’s window installations, which have featured polka-dot, checkered and cherry-blossom designs, showcase the brand’s cutting-edge special collections inside.
Gucci 725 Fifth Ave., 212-826-2600
With its grand gold-and-glass edifice, the Gucci flagship looks intimidating. (In truth, it sort of is.) The three-story, 46,000-square-foot store is the label’s largest and possibly most elegant. Designed by architect James Carpenter and Gucci’s creative director, Frida Giannini, the space is laid out in a neutral palette with architectural vitrines that hold the Florentine fashion house’s opulent products. Along with Gucci’s signature horsebit handbags, accessories and leather loafers, shoppers will find shrugs, sunglasses, women’s wear, formal wear and even home furnishings. The brand’s fine jewelry collection, which includes diamond necklaces, cocktail rings and pieces priced in the six-figure range, is also for sale here.
Dolce & Gabbana 717 Fifth Ave., 212-897-9653
When Dolce & Gabbana announced plans for a Fifth Avenue flagship, shoppers expected a bold statement. The Italian luxury label more than delivered. Known for its overstated clothing, Dolce & Gabbana spared no expense when it came to this three-story emporium. Inspired by the energy and tradition of Italian life, the store’s interior features Venetian glass chandeliers, white marble, gilded full-length mirrors and vintage baroque sofas. The 42-foot-tall glass facade shows off the grandiose window displays, filled with the brand’s staples. The store features floors dedicated to men’s and women’s apparel, as well as to shoes and accessories. It also carries lace frocks, mini leopard dresses, sheer blouses and a vast range of clothing from the label’s ready-to-wear collections.
Henri Bendel 712 Fifth Ave., 212-247-1100
One of the first upscale retailers to set up shop on (or, as the case was, just off of) Fifth Avenue, Henri Bendel is credited with introducing in-store makeovers, semiannual sales and fashion shows to the retail market. The shop, founded in 1895, was also the first to bring Coco Chanel and Lanvin designs to the US. Along with a full range of its signature brown-and-white-striped products in the “Heritage Shop,” the eclectic store stocks cosmetics, handbags, home products, sparkling baubles and various luxury goods. The building—which incorporates the facades of three former townhouses, two of which were granted landmark status in 1985—also has an outpost for hair king Frédéric Fekkai and the budget-friendly Rent the Runway.
Armani 717 5th Ave., 212-339-5950
Known for its impeccable tailoring, Armani has a 43,000-square-foot New York City flagship that features the brand’s eminently covetable suits and plenty of other items. The stock is spread out on four floors and includes all sublines for men and women (from Emporio to Collezioni) in one location. There’s Armani/Casa, Armani/Ristorante and Armani/Dolci. The sleek space, designed by Massimiliano & Doriana Fuksas Architects, is appointed with polished black floors, VIP fitting rooms and a grand white staircase that winds throughout the store.
Valentino 693 Fifth Ave., 212-772-6969
Set in an airy, palazzo-style atmosphere, the Valentino flagship exudes every bit of Italian elegance the brand is known for. The 20,000-square-foot space boasts Venetian terrazzo marble; mosaic floors done in a gray palette; brass, leather and wood fixtures; and a 27-foot-high atrium and sculptural staircase that scales the store’s three floors. As far as stock goes, the first two floors carry women’s clothing and accessories, which of course means plenty of rockstud gear, while the third floor showcases men’s clothing, couture outerwear and accessories. The outpost is not only the sole Valentino store on the East Coast to carry men’s stock; it’s also the label’s largest flagship in the world. Not to be outdone by its uptown location, the Fifth Avenue spot offers made-to-measure denim and select outerwear for men, which are drafted, fitted and customized by Valentino’s couture atelier.
Salvatore Ferragamo 655 Fifth Ave., 212-759-3822
Unmatched when it comes to shoemaking, Salvatore Ferragamo has long crafted footwear for the stars. Ferragamo himself is responsible for some of the most famous shoes in the world—among them Judy Garland’s famous ruby slippers in The Wizard of Oz, and Marilyn Monroe’s open-toed slingbacks from The Seven Year Itch. While you can’t buy either of those shoes at Ferragamo’s two-story flagship, you will find the brand’s loafers, heels, booties and wedges. The store also carries leather totes, clutches and briefcases, a full line of ready-to-wear apparel and, of course, suits. The label’s resplendent ties are displayed on shelves throughout the lofty space.
Versace 647 Fifth Ave., 212-317-0224
If understated is your thing, then Versace probably isn’t the line for you. The flashy flagship carries a curated selection of signature Versace duds (think gold, chinchilla, leather and diamond-encrusted everything) as well as the items decorated with the brand’s Medusa-head logo. The label’s extravagance is pervasive throughout its Fifth Avenue home, which resembles an 18th-century palazzo, complete with elaborate mosaics, chandeliers and marble floors. Housed inside a former Vanderbilt townhouse, the shop carries accessories, men’s and women’s garb, formal wear, shoes, fragrances and, naturally, kitchenware.
Saks Fifth Avenue 611 Fifth Ave., 212-753-4000
Lord & Taylor 424 Fifth Ave., 212-391-3344
Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue have everything a shopaholic could possibly want. At Lord & Taylor’s classic flagship, you will find brands such as Polo Ralph Lauren, BCBG and Adriano Goldschmied, as well as a selection of evening dresses, high-quality coats and shoes. Eleven blocks up is the mammoth nine-floor Saks Fifth Avenue flagship, which occupies an entire city block. This shopper’s paradise stocks practically every label around, from high-end entries like Chanel and Alexander McQueen to mid-level brands like Stella McCartney and Marc Jacobs. The first floor is crowded with cosmetic and perfume stands, while the others offer apparel, handbags and accessories—not to mention the floor devoted to shoes, so large it has its own zip code: 10022-SHOE. Another plus for the shoe floor, Christian Louboutin has its largest in-store shop in the U.S. here.
Brunch Spots Are All Over NYC – And We Have Them Covered
Brunch may be a New York institution, but too often the perfect brunch experience gets messed up by long lines, watered-down mimosas and substandard eggs. Ugh. But don’t despair, dear bruncher: With our guide to the best restaurants in NYC for brunch, you can discover under-the-radar and overlooked joints by browsing the full list of spots for the best brunch. NYC also has plenty of options to narrow it down by borough (looking for the best bagels in your neighborhood?). Plus, whether you’re looking for top-notch mimosas, Bloody Marys or unique cocktails, we have your day-drinking bases covered with our list of boozy and bottomless brunch spots. In short: Read on, and own brunch.
Enrique Olvera’s Mexican blockbuster has been a tough reservation to snag since its opening in late 2014—a #squadgoals dinner starring Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone and Adele this past November likely hasn’t helped matters—but it’s less of a chore to enjoy the smash hit during brunch service. Pull up a stool at the sleek, blond-wood front bar for a serrano-fuesed Bloody María and inventive Mex plates like seafood-stuffed avocado (take that, avocado toast) and duck enmoladas dolloped with crème fraiche.
The glowing Noho café from Andrew Carmellini—the man behind perpetually crowded downtown spots the Dutch and Locanda Verde—is like the 2016 answer to that bustling Sex and the City–era favorite, Balthazar, with booths as buttery as béarnaise and an A-list clientele that includes Anna Wintour and Gwyneth Paltrow. Lush bistro eats are the go-to—think beef tartare with Tabasco aioli and soft-scrambled eggs with chèvre and truffle vinaigrette—punctuated by pâtissier Jennifer Yee’s acclaimed breads and viennoiseries.
Eateries under the Major Food Group umbrella, the one that brought us Sadelle’s and Dirty French, are equal parts sustenance and scene. This Meatpacking number, a people-watching glass box tucked beneath the High Line, is no exception: It’s a glossy Italian-coast concept set with coconut iced coffees and rock-shrimp frittatas. Brunch is a mash-up of the restaurant’s heavyweight breakfast and lunch menus, including the kitchen’s excellent, upmarket take on a bacon egg and cheese, festooned with tomato sofrito, gooey fontina and green chilies.
Let’s put it this way: Where does the President of the United States go for an idyllic brunch burger when he’s in town? Justin Smillie’s splashy, Italian-tinged Gramercy brasserie, that’s where. And when it’s not busy sating POTUS’s Peppadew-topped cheeseburger cravings, the copper-and-jade dining room beckons power brunchers and preternaturally leggy models, like Gigi Hadid and Iman, with smoked-salmon pizza, porchetta-and-egg sandwiches and farm omelettes shot with Bulgarian feta.
Feeling generous—or simply hungry enough to eat for two? A section of the Sunday brunch menu at Kevin and Debbie Adey’s hyperseasonal Bushwick, Brooklyn, restaurant is dedicated to large-format plates, ranging from a dry-aged duck hash with emmer and pumpkin to pollo alla cacciatora with mushrooms and bacon to meatballs with polenta, fonduta and bread to sop up every bite. Cocktails are also tailored to groups: They are available by the pitcher, including a tequila-grapefruit Kings County Sunrise and a Bloody updated with ember-roasted tomatoes and fish-sauce-spiked Thai caramel.
Bloody Marys are to brunch what pinstripes are to the Bronx Bombers. At this dark-wood, naval-inspired Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, tavern, you can get master barman Damon Boelte’s civilized take on that time-honored hair of the dog à la carte, or bring a buddy to split the bar’s brunch-on-steroids Bloody Mary Platter ($70). The head-turning spread comprises two house Bloodys (your choice of vodka, tequila or gin), two sidekicks of pilsner and a two-tier tower set with local bivalves, fresh vegetables, shrimp cocktail, deviled eggs and a colossal king crab leg that can be tricked out with accompanying medicine droppers of mignonette. It’s a cure that almost makes your hangover from last night worth it—almost.
Russ & Daughters Café
If you’ve spent more than one Saturday afternoon waiting in line for a few gorgeous slices of nova, this is the brunch for you. Gather your fellow lox lovers and slip into a time-warp vinyl booth to split a smoked-fish platter for four people at the coffeeshop sibling of the Lower East Side’s revered appetizing store. The beefed-up boards are each named after one of founder Joel Russ’s daughters and padded with a laundry list of accoutrements (rye bread, cream cheese): The Ida is an ode to all things salmon; the Hattie is a mix of cold-smoked and hot-smoked fish; and the high-rolling Anne shows off primo varieties like private-stock sturgeon.
Why settle for one brunch restaurant when you can have 20, all under one roof? This 12,000-square-foot midtown food hall from the Mad. Sq. Eats crew—rigged with stools at each counter and a communal area of picnic tables—rolled out weekend brunch this past fall with a belt-testing array of vendor options. And yes, by belt-testing, we mean glazed pulled-pork doughnuts with maple sriracha, a collaboration between Dough and Mayhem & Stout; playful speck-and-egg–capped pizzas from Roberta’s, sans those Bushwick lines; and omelettes studded with crème fraîche, Gruyère and, naturally, lobster from Red Hook Lobster Pound.
Ignacio Mattos doesn’t do predictable. (The chef notoriously let his culinary freak flag fly with his space-age cooking at Isa.) And even the more toned-down, approachable work at his intimate brick-walled Soho restaurant with co-owner Thomas Carter (Blue Hill at Stone Barns) is still plenty bold. His grab-bag brunch? More of the striking same: lamb ribs glazed in North African chermoula and honey and the kitchen’s superb burrata with herbaceous salsa verde and hunks of charred bread.
Launched in April 2015, the brunch program at George Mendes’s Portuguese tapas temple reprises the flavors of his home in toasts both sweet (a port-wine rendition with Vermont maple syrup and thick-cut country bacon) and savory (a wood-charred version slathered in avocado, black-eyed peas and sun gold tomatoes). Dinnertime salt-cod fritters are swapped for a bacalhau à brás—scrambled eggs flecked with flakes of cod and tossed with crispy potatoes, black olives and parsley—while the titular Lupulo Breakfast gives the classic full English an Iberian spin with piri-piri chicken sausage, two fried eggs and hash browns kicked with Portuguese spices.
Great news, drinkers: New York’s craft-beer revolution shows no sign of slowing down. A bunch of boundary-pushing craft breweries just opened in NYC, and upstate and Long Island are brewing up some killer facilities as well. Here are the very best beer makers in the state. Hit them up for tours, tastings and more. And if you’re craving more suds in the city, check out the best beer bars in town and these awesome beer stores.
The Ommegang Hennepin Farmhouse Saison is a prime example of how American craft breweries continue to produce their own unique takes on classic beer styles without destroying the heritage on which they were built. This beer is full-bodied yet crisp, spicy yet refreshing. Other standouts from Ommegang’s regular stable include the Gnomegang (yes, with gnomes on the bottle) Blonde Ale, the Rare Vos Amber Ale, the Witte Wheat Ale, Three Philosophers Quadrupel Ale and the Hope House Belgian-style Pale Ale. Annually, expect a few limited edition brews from this picturesque New York state brewery.
Williamsburg’s craft-beer facility offers reservation-only small batch brewery tours (Mon–Thu 5–7pm; $15) and free general tours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (see website for details). You can also sample beer in the tasting room.
Coney Island Brewery
In between catching rays on the beach, head to this boardwalk brewery for a pint, a flight or to-go growlers of one of eight house-brewed draft beers, with options like the Mermaid Pilsner, the Overpass IPA or limited-edition stuff like a Kettle Corn Cream Ale and a watermelon-wheat Tunnel of Love.
Circa Brewing Co.
Pairing beer and pizza tends to recall lazy nights on the couch, but the concept behind Circa, Downtown Brooklyn’s new brewpub, goes well beyond tall boys and dollar slices. “We’re celebrating these two seemingly simple products that have withstood the test of time, but we’re also elevating them,” says head brewer Danny Bruckert (Sixpoint Brewery). On the za front, Bruckert’s twin brother, Luke (Little Oven Pizza in Portland, Oregon), helms the wood-fired oven in the completely open kitchen, where he’s taken the much-maligned Hawaiian pie and turned it gourmet, charring and grilling fresh pineapples to accompany bourbon-glazed ham, sweet onion and creamy provolone. As for the beer, the small-batch suds run the gamut from German pilsners and amber lagers to adventurous pints like a tangy kettle-soured peach berliner weisse and a saison spiced with black peppercorn. All brews are crafted in the open-air exposed-concrete taproom-brewery hybrid, where you can watch the entire operation at work: brewers monitoring six stainless-steel tanks, barkeeps drawing from 10 taps behind a white-oak butcher-block counter, chefs tossing dough and pulling crackly crusts of salumi or clam pizzas from the oven. “I wanted to create a full-sensory experience where people can pull back the curtain and expose everything,” says owner Gerry Rooney (Putnam’s Pub & Cooker). “It’s like a show. Everything is on display. You can trace your beer all the way from the brewhouse to the fermenter to the glass sitting in front of you.”
Fifth Hammer Brewing Co.
In Long Island City, Queens, already home to heavy hitters like Big aLICe Brewing and Transmitter Brewing, things are about to get funky. “I’m a promiscuous drinker, therefore I’m a promiscuous brewer,” says head brewer Chris Cuzme (508 Gastrobrewery, KelSo Beer Co.). When his brewery opens later this month, you can expect a mind-boggling range of beers to flow from the taps, including kettle sours laced with passion fruit, mango and cherry; a roasted dry stout; toasty farmhouse golden ales; and pale ales aged in rye barrels handed down from NY Distilling Co. And Fifth Hammer’s occasionally quirky side is evident in the decor, too: At the heart of the lounge is a 25-foot bluestone bar that was once the sidewalk at a Mount Vernon school, and—as a nod to its namesake—there’s a collection of more than 300 vintage hammers that have been turned into tap handles and also outfit window sills.
Five Boroughs Brewing
“It doesn’t matter what neighborhood you’re from: This is your beer,” says Blake Tomnitz, who opened Five Boroughs’ Technicolor taproom with his fellow cofounder, Kevin O’Donnell, in early August. During their short run, they’ve already lived up to their company’s name, having hosted 17 launch parties at watering holes in—you guessed it—every borough. Inside Five Boroughs’ sprawling 15,000-square-foot space in Sunset Park, Brooklyn—formerly a steel-fabrication plant—16 taps pour a mango- and pineapple-tinged gose, a double dry-hopped session IPA, an upcoming milk stout made with local chocolate, a sour aged in French oak barrels and more creative concoctions by lead brewer Nick Griffin (formerly of Southern Tier Brewing Co. and the Bronx Brewery). But the duo hopes to extend its brews far beyond its industrial HQ—which has a stage for future concerts and other shindigs—and, to quote O’Donnell, “resonate with all different types of establishments throughout New York.” So far they’re making headway, with suds served in joints as disparate as a one-tap watering hole in Williamsburg and a 36-handle sports hub in midtown.
Greenport Harbor Brewing Company
While this North Fork brewery has opened a larger facility in Peconic, its original far-flung outpost in Greenport remains cozily housed within the fishing town’s former firehouse—with serious small-batch ales on tap. The second-floor tasting room rotates a tidy selection, like the Bed & Breakfast, a cream ale and fittingly malty brew that’s inspired by French toast.
Gun Hill Brewing Co.
Since Rheingold closed shop in the late ’60s, beer has been produced outside of the borough—City Island brews upstate and Bronx Brewery trucks in kegs from Connecticut. At this 5,000-square-foot draft operation, Chris Sheehan (Chelsea Brewing Company) makes all beer on-site, turning out a 30-barrel lineup of German-style ales, hearty stouts and a Frosted Hops ale, made with frozen upstate wet hops. The dark-wood taproom functions as a 25-seat bar and retail shop—a perk of a farm brewery license, which also requires Sheehan use local ingredients—selling pints, flights and to-go growlers.
Hudson Valley Brewery
After snapping and hashtagging your heart out at Dia:Beacon, drop by Hudson Valley Brewery’s new 2,000-square-foot tasting room, where a seven-figure renovation has turned an 1880s factory into a temple for sour beer. Pro tip: Sample the Ultrasphere—a limited-release sour IPA brewed with a vibrant mix of hops and conditioned on raspberries and vanilla beans—before it runs out.
Kings County Brewers Collective
In the late 1800s, Bushwick was known as Brewer’s Row, thanks to its 14 local breweries and thriving beer scene. Kings County Brewers Collective hopes to bring that back. The first to set up shop in the neighborhood since Schaefer closed in 1976, this brewery, warehouse and taproom brews all its suds on the premises. The selection of beers changes seasonally, but on a recent visit, bartenders were pouring the Beggar’s Gold Belgian Ale, Formula Check American Pale Ale, Full Contact: Raspberry Sour Ale, IPA, Marble of Doom Sour Ale, Monsieur Maniac, What We Don’t See Imperial Stout and Rainmaker Stout, plus Descendent Succession Cider. Want to drink it later? You can buy one of the collective’s 32-ounce crowlers—a cross between a growler and an aluminum can—to take most of the brews on tap to go.
Other Half Brewing
After years spent manning the tanks at Greenpoint Beerworks, head brewer Sam Richardson struck out on his own with this IPA-driven brewery. The 4,000-square-foot operation—not to be confused with Chicago’s Better Half Brewing—turns out five hops-forward beers, including a West Coast–style IPA, a cask-conditioned Motueka pale ale and a black ale brewed with winter barley. Heavier selections include an imperial stout and sour beers. The factory is open for hops-head visits on weekends, while a next-door tap room—rigged with a cherrywood bar and exposed lightbulbs—pours out pints and offers mix-and-match six-packs to go.
It’s all about brews with a view at Peekskill. Inside the four-story establishment, beer in production bubbles on the ground floor, and an upstairs gastropub overlooks the Hudson River. Expect more than 10 beers, most with curious names; a past hit was Amazeballs, an American pale ale. Try the Wakeup Call, a pale ale brewed with coffee beans that’ll give you a jolt.
Queens—a brewery hotbed for German immigrants before Prohibition—rejuvenates its sudsy past with this 5,000-square-foot microbrewery and tasting room. Owner Rich Buceta, who cut his teeth at Greenpoint Beer Works, produces souped-up versions of classic styles, such as a Double Umlaut Lagrrr!, a German bock aged in old Jamaican rum barrels. Other offerings include a boozy Imperial Full Stack IPA and 19-33 Lagrrr!, an aggressively hopped pilsner. Sip a stein in the 25-seat tasting room, handsomely appointed with mahogany walls, red oak communal tables and hanging metallic lamps. Once you’ve had your fill, take your favorite brew to go in a growler. A stage for live performances adjoining the tasting room will feature live acts soon, reflecting Buceta’s passion for music (the brewery’s name references a part of a guitar’s neck).
Up on East 136th Street in the Bronx, the ales steal the show. Start with the Pale Ale, then the Belgian, the Rye and the Session, ending up on one of the city’s drops of the year, the Summer Pale Ale. Score a table in the Bronx Brewery’s back courtyard, where the hoppy guava-driven Session IPA is the average call. Look out for the barrel-aged brews—should they be stocked, order the tequila barrel–aged Bronx pale ale.
The Mill House Brewing Company
Jamie Bishop and Larry Stock went from childhood BFFs to brewmasters-in-arms after opening the Mill House Brewing Company in 2013. Their original brewpub is a smorgasbord of house-made beer and sausages that are a damn good accompaniment to Mill House’s Oktoberfest beer. And the classic Cucumber Blessings is a cream ale that’s crisp no matter the season.
It’s not shocking that three hops-head buddies would transform a 5,000-square-foot warehouse into a brewery. It’s more unusual, however, when that concept evolves into a bi-level beast with a bar, an event space and, of all things, a coffeeshop. The unlikely combination aligns under the direction of Sycamore cofounder Justin Israelson, entrepreneur Joshua Stylman and lawyer Andrew Unterberg. Their multipurpose space sprawls over concrete floors with all the whitewashed brick and reclaimed wood you’d expect from a Brooklyn bar, along with draft beers and cocktails that you wouldn’t.
With so many iconic attractions ranking among the best things to do in NYC, it can feel like a daunting task to get through the entire list. While everyone should see the Empire State Building at least once, skipping a few mainstream stops and going off the beaten path can be exciting and rewarding. Whether you’re looking for museums in NYC with quirky exhibits or NYC parks ideal for relaxing, here are the best lesser known attractions to visit in New York.
Housed in what was once a military residence at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, this small museum pays homage the historical significance of the former shipbuilding center—which, at its peak during World War II, employed close to 70,000 people. History buffs can geek out over permanent exhibits like the Civil War ironclad USS Monitor and the Pearl Harbor casualty USS Arizona, which were both built at the Navy Yard, and explore the previously unheard stories of women and people of color who toiled on repairs of battleships and carriers.
Panorama of the City of New York
It could take a lifetime to explore all that NYC has to offer, but this institution makes Gotham easier to tackle by sticking all the boroughs in a single room. The Panorama of the City of New York, a 9,335-square-foot model of the city, lets visitors examine every inch (each of which represents 100 real feet) without venturing outside. Peer down from above and pinpoint the miniature version of your corner deli. You can even “adopt” your favorite scaled-down apartment for as little as $50 (the cheapest real estate you’ll find around here!).
The Met Breuer
Opened in March of 2016, this new branch of the Metropolitan Museum is not yet as established as longtime standbys like the MoMA or the Whitney Museum, which formerly occupied the space. The location—named after the Hungarian architect Marcel Breuer, who designed it—is meant to make the Met a key player in the world of 20th- and 21st-century art. Recent exhibits have included “Ettore Sottsass: Design Radical,” which evaluates the seminal Italian architect’s career in a wide range of media, to a provocative video exhibition called “The Body Politic.”
Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum
The history of this beautiful estate dates back to the 17th Century, when Thomas Pell signed a treaty with the Siwanoy Indians to purchase what is now the Bronx borough. Located within today’s Pelham Bay Park, the current house was built between 1836 and 1842, and was sold to the City of New York in 1888. Re-opened as a museum in 1946, it now offers tours of its furnishings, carriage house and formal gardens.
Snug Harbor Cultural Center
Sitting just a ferry ride away from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, this Staten Island gem, a former home for retired sailers, is still somewhat of a secret. Spread across 83 acres, the area boasts an enormous botanical garden and cultural center surrounded by cobblestone streets and tiny paths of Victorian and Tudor homes. One of the most popular attractions here is the Chinese Scholar’s Garden, fitted with magnificent rocks meant to resemble mountains inspired by the poetry and paintings of Confucian, Buddhist and Taoist monks, as well as a bamboo forest path and Koi-filled pond.
City Reliquary Museum
This quirky institution houses all sorts of New York City ephemera, from old postcards featuring the Statue of Liberty to a vintage subway turnstile, as well as permanent exhibits on the history of burlesque in NYC and the 1939 World’s Fair. The museum is also an active presence in the community, organizing special events and fundraisers.
A century ago, this site vied with Niagara Falls as New York State’s greatest tourist attraction. Filled with Victorian mausoleums, cherubs and gargoyles, Green-Wood is the resting place of some half-million New Yorkers, among them Jean-Michel Basquiat, Leonard Bernstein and Boss Tweed. But there’s more to do here than grave-spot: Check out the massive Gothic arch at the main entrance or climb to the top of Battle Hill, one of the highest points in Kings County and a pivotal spot during the Battle of Brooklyn in 1776.
This century-old building is one of New York City’s 20 tallest, and at the time of its completion in 1913, it was the tallest in the world. Its lights were turned on in a fancy opening ceremony by President Woodrow Wilson, who pushed the on switch from Washington, D.C. Since the demise of the Woolworth Company in the ’90s, the building has passed hands to property developers who plan to convert the top 30 floors into luxury condos. You can still tour the lobby, however, with its stunning glass and marble interiors.
New-York Historical Society
The hyphen in the name of the New-York Historical Society isn’t a mistake, but a reference to the way the city spelled its name when the museum was founded in 1804. The collection of more than 1.6 million artifacts focuses on city lore and includes exhibits on everything from women’s history to original Tiffany lamps. The museum also often mounts literary exhibits, like the current “Eloise at the Museum” offering and the highly anticipated “Harry Potter: A History of Magic” exhibit that will open in October 2018.
Socrates Sculpture Park
In 1986, artists and activists created this 4.5-acre city park over an abandoned landfill. Now, it hosts large-scale sculpture exhibits year-round, and is one of the few locations in the city specifically designated for artists to create outdoor works. The splendid Queens space looks out over the Manhattan skyline and is open 365 days a year, with a Greenmarket, free yoga and tai chi classes, outdoor movie screenings and more.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Though it isn’t as well known as its cousin in the Bronx, Brooklyn Botanic Garden is still worth a visit. Founded in 1910, the 52-acre green space encompasses everything from wildflowers in the Native Flora Garden to sacred lotuses in the Lily Pools. Come in the spring for the perennially popular Sakura Matsuri Festival celebrating cherry blossoms and all things Japanese, or just take in the serene Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden—the first public garden inspired by that island nation to be built in the United States.
Museum of the Moving Image
It’s only natural that a city so well represented in film and TV would have its own museum dedicated to the industry. Cinephiles will love spending an afternoon at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, where you can watch classic films in a state-of-the-art cinema, play 14 retro arcade games and examine props and artifacts from real-life film sets. The latest addition, “The Jim Henson Exhibit,” includes more than 47 characters from The Muppet Show and tons of archival footage.
You’ll feel like a giant as you gaze down on tiny replicas of Jerusalem, Buenos Aires and the Arc de Triomphe at Gulliver’s Gate. This Times Square attraction comprises a whole world of 1:87-scale models, complete with running trains and miniature people. It would be easy to spend an entire afternoon peering at the itty-bitty worlds on display. Visitors can even have their entire body scanned and become a Model Citizen (see what they did there?) of a future Gulliver’s Gate model.
NYC is home to some of the most iconic attractions in the United States. We have ranked the best five attractions that every tourist has to see.
Number 1 Attraction
Empire State Building
Try imagining NYC’s skyline without the towering spire of the Empire State Building. Impossible, right? Taking a mere 11 months to construct, the 1,454-foot-tall emblem became the city’s highest building upon completion in 1931. During your visit, pay special attention to the lobby, restored in 2009 to its original Art Deco design. You can also impress your pals with these tidbits while queuing for the observation decks: In 1945, 14 tenants were killed when a plane crashed into the 79th floor during heavy fog; a terrace on the 103rd level was once intended for use as a docking station for airships; and the topper’s three tiers of lights can illuminate up to nine colors at a time
Number 2 Attraction
No mere river crossing, this span is an elegant reminder of New York’s history of architectural innovation. When it opened in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge was a feat of engineering: It was the first structure to cross the East River and, at the time, the longest suspension bridge in the world. (It also made use of steel-wire cables, invented by the bridge’s original designer, John A. Roebling.) Now it attracts thousands of tourists and locals, who enjoy spectacular views of lower Manhattan and other city landmarks (such as the Statue of Liberty and Governors Island) as they stroll its more-than-mile-long expanse. Heads up, though: You may run into the occasional cyclist trying to navigate through the crowds on the pedestrian walkway.
Number 3 Attraction
Gotham’s love affair with its most famous green space is well documented in song, literature and film, but there’s still plenty to adore about the country’s first landscaped public park. Urban visionaries Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux sought a harmonious balance of scenic elements: pastoral (the open lawn of the Sheep Meadow), formal (the linear, tree-lined Mall) and picturesque (the densely wooded paths of the Ramble). Today, the 843-acre plot draws millions of visitors to its skyscraper-bordered vistas in all seasons: sunbathers and picnickers in summer, ice-skaters in winter, and bird-watchers in spring and fall. It’s also an idyllic venue for beloved cultural events like Shakespeare in the Park and the New York Philharmonic’s annual open-air performance.
Number 4 Attraction
The Statue of Liberty
Perhaps no other New York attraction is as iconic—or as avoided by tourist-averse New Yorkers—as Lady Liberty. Our tip: Dodge the foam-crown-sporting masses and skip the line for the ferry by prebooking a combo cruise-and-tour ticket (visit statuecruises.com for more information). A climb to the crown affords a panoramic view of New York Harbor and the chance to see the literal nuts and bolts of Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi’s creation. We also recommend stopping in the museum on Liberty Island, if only to marvel at the initial ambivalence of 19th-century New Yorkers when they were asked to fund the construction of the pedestal.
Number 5 Attraction
One World Observatory
Despite occupying floors 100 through 102 of the tallest building of the Western Hemisphere, this observation deck can be reached in just 60 seconds via a set of visually immersive ‘Sky Pod’ elevators. During the interactive tour experience ($32, seniors $30 and children $26), guests walk through some of the bedrock on which the building is built before entering the elevators, which are fitted with with floor-to-ceiling LED screens showing a video of the the city and buiding’s history. Once at the top, the video concludes as the screen lifts up to reveal stunning 360-degree views of the Manhattan skyline. After soaking up the sights, head to One Café for casual fare, One Mix for small plates and cocktails or, the gem, One Dine for a full dining experience with large windows looking onto the horizon (reservations required).
Throughout history, many women in New York City have risen to national and international renown. Their significant achievements in the arts, politics and urban planning can be celebrated every day throughout the five boroughs. Read up on some of the the City’s most prominent women and where to pay tribute to them.
Caroline Schermerhorn Astor
How she made her mark: Wife of William Backhouse Astor Jr. and mother to John Jacob Astor IV, “the Mrs. Astor” created the famous List of 400, which included high-society families that represented the crème de la crème of New York money. (Absent was the Vanderbilt family, who the Astors considered “crass.”) She held society parties at her Fifth Avenue townhouse, now the location of the Empire State Building. Where to pay tribute today: Uptown Manhattan’s Trinity Church Cemetery and Mausoleum, where the Astor family is interred in a vault. In Lower Manhattan, a 39-foot tall cenotaph honoring Mrs. Astor is set in the yard of Trinity Church.
How she made her mark: A pioneering journalistic photographer who produced nearly 8,000 images over her lifetime, Austen was one of the first women on Staten Island to own a car. Her work documented life in the borough. During the Victorian Era, Austen chose to live with her girlfriend, with whom she remained partnered for 50 years. Austen was in attendance at the first Alice Austen Day, attended by approximately 300 people, on October 9, 1951. She died soon after. Where to pay tribute today: Her former home, where she developed her images, is open to the public as the Alice Austen House Museum.
How she made her mark: Credited with launching the career of Jackson Pollock, Peggy Guggenheim (niece of Solomon) is part of the famed Guggenheim art family. She supported many upstart artists and collected their works, which can be seen in Venice’s Peggy Guggenheim Collection. This put her smack dab in the middle of the modern art movement in the 20th century, as did her gallery’s 1943 show Exhibition by 31 Women, the first-ever dedicated to female artists in America. Where to pay tribute today: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
How she made her mark: In the late 1920s, at the height of the Harlem Renaissance movement, Holiday began singing at jazz nightclubs in the neighborhood; she eventually scored a record deal in 1935. Her biggest hit? The song “Strange Fruit” (though it was considered too controversial for airplay). Throughout her career she performed all over New York City—around 30 times at the Apollo alone—and pioneered a jazz vocal style defined by her melodic phrasing and interplay with instrumentation. In short, she was one of the most influential singers of her time. Where to pay tribute today: Apollo Theater.
How she made her mark: The author and urban activist frequently went head to head with city planner Robert Moses and his ideas for developing New York City. Jacobs and others successfully prevented Moses from building a highway that would have destroyed Washington Square Park (can you imagine?). Where to pay tribute today: On Jane’s Walks, which occur on the first weekend in May; Hudson Street, between West 11th and Perry Streets, which has been renamed Jane Jacobs Way; and Washington Square Park.
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
How she made her mark: Jackie O. began her historic preservation work during her first husband’s presidency, endeavoring to restore Washington DC’s Lafayette Square. She’s credited with helping save Grand Central Terminal and raising public awareness about New York City landmarks. The Municipal Arts Society renamed its annual award after her in 1994 to recognize her work in safeguarding Grand Central, Lever House and St. Bartholomew’s Church. Where to pay tribute today: The main entrance to Grand Central Terminal is dedicated to Onassis. There’s also a permanent exhibit inside the station that’s focused on the preservation of Grand Central and her work. Central Park’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir was renamed in tribute to her after her death in 1994.
How she made her mark: Parker’s witty works were initially dismissed as being unserious. Eventually, however, she contributed fiction, poetry and reviews to publications like Vogue, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, where she served on the editorial board. She was also the lone female member of the original Algonquin Round Table, an unofficial gathering of acclaimed writers who ate lunch together at the Algonquin Hotel (at least five other women became regular or semi-regular attendees). When she passed away in 1967 she bestowed her literary estate to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was assassinated months later. Where to pay tribute today: Algonquin Hotel Times Square.
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller
How she made her mark: Rockefeller (married to oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller Jr.) began collecting the works of influential artists—including Vincent van Gogh, Edgar Degas, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso—in the mid-1920s. By 1928 her collection had grown into what was known as the Topside Gallery, on the seventh floor of their massive home at 10 West 54th Street. Her philanthropic work and interest in art was a force behind the creation of the Museum of Modern Art in 1929. She served on the museum’s board from 1929 to 1945. Where to pay tribute today: MoMA’s Sculpture Garden, designed in 1953 by Philip Johnson and landscape architect James Fanning, is named for her. The garden is temporarily closed for renovations.
How she made her mark: A human rights advocate and born-and-bred New Yorker, Roosevelt is perhaps best known for her support of racial equality and in helping expand roles for women in the workforce. She was outspoken on many issues; publicly opposed some policies of her husband, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt; and held her own press conferences to which only female reporters were invited. She continued fighting for equal rights after her husband died in office—chairing the UN Human Rights Commission, serving on the board of the NAACP and promoting women’s issues. Where to pay tribute today: The Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, set in the former New York City home of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt; the Eleanor Roosevelt Monument in Riverside Park.
How she made her mark: A nurse turned activist whose work on women’s health issues gave way to the formation of Planned Parenthood, Sanger opened the first birth control clinic in Brownsville, Brooklyn, in 1916. She was arrested for distribution of pamphlets that promoted contraception as well as for the opening of the clinic, which violated state law. NYU continues to gather her papers some 50 years after her death. Where to pay tribute today: Margaret Sanger Square is at the intersection of Mott and Bleecker Streets, where Planned Parenthood’s Margaret Sanger Center is located. Sanger’s original Manhattan clinic is landmarked, but it is now a private home (located at 17 West 16th Street) and closed to the public.
How she made her mark: Born into a world of privilege that she later went on to critique in her writing, Edith Wharton became the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction; she took the award in 1921 for her novel The Age of Innocence. The book portrays her hometown, New York City and the dalliances of upper crust society. Her celebrated novels The House of Mirth and The Custom of the Country similarly comment on New York City social life. Her work is said to have influenced the style of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Sinclair Lewis. Where to pay tribute today: Much of Wharton’s NYC world is lost to history, though a plaque commemorates her childhood home at 14 West 23rd Street. Grand Central Terminal, Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue were prominent locations in her work.
Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney
How she made her mark: A sculptor, prominent society figure and patron of the arts, Whitney supported women in the art and was vital in the creation of the 1913 Armory Show. She established the Whitney Studio Gallery in 1908 and the Whitney Studio Club in 1918, which evolved into the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1931. (This was only after the Met declined to accept her 25-year collection of more than 500 works of art.) The museum’s original location is now home to the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture. Four generations of Whitney women have served on the Whitney Museum’s board.