Pre Covid-19 we searched the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening, primarily on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you didn’t have to.
We made it as easy as 1-2-3.
Covid-19 has required some changes for the time being.
For the month of July we are going to try a different format – on some days we will go visual and offer a selection of the very best NYCity Instagram photos or YouTube videos. Some days you will find “the Nifty Nine”, all the NYC news you need to start your day, or the Top Online Travel Forums with NYC info. On other days we will offer “Corona Culture,” updated info and video especially suited to these difficult times.
We hope you will come back often to see what’s cooking here.
Today it’s Corona Culture (a).
‘Surreal’: What It’s Like to Ride a Motorcycle Through New York Right Now (NYT) The video of the scooter riding down an empty 7th Ave. is especially interesting.
Rockefeller Center’s Art Deco Marvel: A Virtual Tour (NYT)
an informative discussion between NYT architecture critic Michael Kimmelman and historian Daniel Okrent. Don’t miss the great photos of Rocky Center.
These Stunning George Steinmetz Aerial Images Show Empty NYC Under Coronavirus Lockdown | Viewing NYC / shown on “CBS This Morning.”
a 6 minute video of a virtual ghost town.
Now Virtual and in Video, Museum Websites Shake Off the Dust. (NYT)
Critic’s guide to the best online presentations from the world’s leading art palaces and picture galleries.
Brooklyn, Before It Was a Global Brand: Walk Its History (NYT)
A few hundred years in the borough, from the brownstones to the shipyards. The NYT critic chats with fourth generation Brooklynite and historian Thomas J. Campanella.
Wonderful photos all over the borough, especially Brooklyn Heights.
Cannes 2020 is canceled: here are 28 of the festival’s best films you can stream right now./LAT
Films that have played the festival since 2006, now available for viewing at home.
We hope you enjoy this change of pace, then please return here August 1, and every day for our daily, hot off the presses event guide with “Only the Best” NYCity event info.
Lower Manhattan – Did you know?
New York City, a city of neighborhoods, is filled with sights that every tourist should see. No neighborhood has more spectacular sights than Lower Manhattan. Today’s feature:
Address 1 Bowling Green
Where it gets its name From its time serving as the processing office for imported goods
What it was before The site was once home to Government House, a 1790 mansion that served as a tavern and customs house but lasted a mere 25 years.
Why it’s notable The Beaux-Arts building comes equipped with 44 columns and a rotunda. Adding to its classical exterior are the Daniel Chester French sculptures (representing the continents of America, Asia, Europe and Africa) and Cass Gilbert design; much of the ornamentation is done with a seafaring theme in mind. Bucking tradition, however, the custom house was built to face Bowling Green and other businesses, rather than ships coming in and out of the harbor.
What it is now It serves as the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, home to nearly a million artifacts covering thousands of years of Native American history.
Fast fact Reginald Marsh’s exuberant murals that adorn the rotunda interior were commissioned as a TRAP–WPA project in 1937.” (nycgo.com)
WFUV-FM 90.7 is my fave local radio station. Noncommercial, member-supported with a format of adult album alternative music, WFUV is doing it’s best to keep us connected to our music with a comprehensive, updated list of live music online.
WFUV Live Online (July 16 -July 22)
7/16 – Lucius livestreams Thursdays in July $ supporting local businesses, this week: covers
7/16 – Indigo Girls All-Dedication Concert, 7pm, in the spirit of an old school radio night
7/16 – The Jewbadours: The Last Schmaltz – Joe’s Pub Live! From the Archives
7/18 – Michael Franti “Stay At Home Concert World Tour” Livestream from Soulshine Bali ($) from 9-11:30pm7/18 – James Maddock Live Stream Concert at 7pm
7/18 – Prison Music Project Town Hall at 8pm, a livestream panel with creators Ani DiFranco, Zoe Boekbinder and Leyla McCalla
7/19 – Mary Gauthier – Sundays w/Mary and special guest Carlene Carter
7/19 – Shelby Lynne, The Chronicles Volume II – 2pm $ Music and fellowship
In the age of Covid-19 this info from City Guide is one of the best sources of info on What’s Happening, even if some are only available in your home, and not in your favorite venue.
Things to Do This Weekend in NYC (7/17-7/19)
(7/17-7/19) New York City has entered Phase 3 of its cautious reopening and there’s more to do in NYC than there’s been since the mid-March lockdown. This detailed map of open restaurants shows over 8,200 venues now serving; included in that number are 4,400 places where you can eat outside. Fifty-seven streets have been closed to traffic and opened to expanded outdoor dining plans, including Arthur Avenue in the Bronx; Doyers Street in Chinatown, East 101st Street in Harlem, 46th Street along Midtown East and West, stretches of the Meatpacking District, Broadway in the Flatiron, Orchard and Broome Sts., on the Lower East Side, and Mulberry Street and Hester Street in Little Italy; Brooklyn will be welcoming along Fifth Avenue in Park Slope, in addition to stretches of Red Hook and Dumbo; Bell Boulevard and 41st Avenue in Bayside will represent Queens and New Dorp Lane for Staten Island. Read on for more reopenings and other things to do in NYC this weekend!
ROOFTOP POP-UP ABOARD SPIRIT CRUISES
Credit: Hornblower Cruises and Events.
You can enjoy the city skyline from entry points in both New York City and New Jersey with Spirit Cruises. A regular program of outdoor dining experiences cane be found aboard the Spirit of New Jersey, which has a fabulous rooftop experience, sailing from its home port of Lincoln Harbor Marina in Weehawken. Delicious cuisine and a full array of drinks are equalled only by unbeatable views of the Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, and Statue of Liberty. Prices start at $69 for lunch and $120 for dinner and and include a multi-course menu of freshly prepared entrees, salads, and desserts. Across the Hudson in Manhattan, come out this Friday, July 17th for an outdoor pop-up experience onboard at the South Street Seaport; a similar scene can be found at Chelsea Piers on Saturday, July 18th. There will be table-side bar service and light bites available for purchase, with free entry (first-come first-served in accordance with current capacity limits). Vessels offer expansive decks, providing plentiful space and fresh air, ensuring more than enough room on board for everyone to stay safely apart. For more on SafeCruise by Hornblower’s industry-defining standards for health, safety, and security, see above or check in at hornblower.com/safecruise. Spirit of New York: Chelsea Piers (Pier 61) and the South Street Seaport (Pier 15), 212-727-2789; Spirit of New Jersey: Lincoln Harbor, 201-333-8600; spiritcruises.com
NEW: STREET FEAST
The Village Alliance is partnering with the New York City Department of Transportation to bring Street Feast: 8th Street and Street Feast: St. Marks Place starting this Friday. Dozens of small-scale downtown venues will be serving open air bites and more on West 8th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues and St. Marks Place between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. These stretches will be closed to traffic Fridays at 5p-11pm and Saturdays noon-11pm. Street Feast will run through Saturday, September 5th.
Governors Island, a short ferry ride from Brooklyn or downtown Manhattan, is New York’s summer playground. A former strategic battle site in the Revolutionary War, the island now hosts visitors during the warm months for outdoor activities. After several weeks of coronavirus shut down, the island is back open for visitors as of Wednesday, July 15th. Hours will be 10am-6pm on the weekdays, extended to 7pm on the weekends. Manhattan ferries run daily from the Battery Maritime Building at 10 South St. There will be Brooklyn access as well, leaving from Atlantic Basin in Red Hook, although they’ll be available on the weekends only. (A third way of travel will be a dedicated weekend shuttle from Wall Street/Pier 11 that will run roughly every 30 minutes beginning July 18, ferry.nyc.) Social distancing should be observed on all ferries and the island, with face coverings required for travel. govisland.org
The west side’s beloved elevated park, The High Line, will reopen on Thursday, July 16th. To accommodate our new normal, capacity at the park will be greatly reduced. Free timed-entry tickets are opened every two weeks on Mondays. A limited number of walk-up passes will also be available at the entrance, but advance planning is recommended. Traffic will only flow in one direction, starting at Gansevoort Street. All visitors must enter at the southern end of the High Line, at Gansevoort Street and Washington Street, and move northwards. In this first reopening phase, the High Line will be open only to 23rd Street. Citywide safety protocols will also apply here, including the requirement of wearing a mask or face covering and maintaining 6-foot social distancing. thehighline.org
As of Thursday, July 16th, lobster boat rides are back! The North River Lobster Company is NYC’s only floating lobster shack and this week it returns to summer cruising form. You’ll find all kinds of rolls (see above), from the classic signature to specialty rolls like the Lower East Side everything bagel option. There’s also clam chowder, a full raw bar, and sangria, frozé, buckets of cold beer, and fishbowl cocktails to match. For safety, the boat will be thoroughly cleaned multiple times a day, all staff and guests will wear face coverings, and admission will be at half capacity to ensure social distancing. Departures from Pier 81 will run 1pm, 3pm, 5pm, 7pm, and 9pm, every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. northriverlobsterco.com
Rockefeller Center is back this week as well, with a return of retail shopping and great open-air dining courtesy of Summer at The Rink. The world-famous skate spot has shifted to warm weather duty, with oversized tables making social distancing easy. Enjoy decadent summer bites and specialty drinks to-go from favorites like Rainbow Room, Alidoro, City Winery, and Ethiopian standout Makina. rockefellercenter.com
Monday-Friday, 11:30am-3pm (The Rink) | See the menu
Monday-Friday, 11am-3pm (The Rink) | See the menu
Monday-Friday, 1pm-9pm (North Plaza)
Monday-Sunday, 11am-7pm (North Plaza) | See the menu
Although the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island remain temporarily closed, Statue Cruises is once again out and about in New York Harbor. Sixty-minute tours, complete with history and stunning views, can now be booked, with a focus on safety. Tours run four times daily out of the Battery Park departure point in Lower Manhattan at 10am, 11:30am, 1pm, and 2:30pm. These tours will continue until Liberty Island and Ellis Island reopen (Statue Cruises is the exclusive provider of ferry service for the National Park Service to the two landmarks). Tickets are $26/adult, $19/seniors, $14/child and free for children three years and under. Tickets may be purchased in advance (strongly encouraged) from the Statue Cruises website or at Gangway 5 in Battery Park. statuecruises.com
Outdoor live shows and open mics are back on at favorite Astoria performance venue Q.E.D. Enjoy it all safely and socially distant in the back yard, complete with frozen margaritas and frosé to stay or to go. Hours Friday 5-10pm, Saturday noon-10pm, and Sunday noon-5pm. qedastoria.com
PIANO IN BRYANT PARK
One of Bryant Park’s most popular programs, “Piano in Bryant Park,” is back again. Audiences are encouraged to wear masks and practice social distancing while seated in the park’s iconic moveable bistro chairs. Piano in Bryant Park, which showcases the finest ragtime, stride, and jazz pianists, takes place Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 12:30 to 2:30pm through August. bryantpark.org/programs/piano
The Metropolitan Opera is streaming operas FREE nightly.
The New York Public Library provides access to more than 300,000 FREE e-books and e-audio books.
The New York City Ballet presents a spring digital season.
Virtual programming will keep you connected to the York Theatre Company.
One World Observatory has made One World Explorer, the attraction’s Digital Skyline Guide, available for remote watching. Virtual helicopter tours of the city’s most iconic sites are available now.
The Top of the Rock launches a brief virtual tour on YouTube.
Discover the best of New York, from hidden gems to iconic landmarks, through The New York Landmarks Conservancy’s “Tourist in your own Town” Video Series.
You can take a virtual tour of the Tibetan Buddhist Shrine Room at the Rubin Museum of Art. (You can find two hours of meditative chanting as well, if you’re searching out some respite.) The Rubin has also, for the first time, launched a digital assemblage of more than 300 items from the museum’s collection.
VIRTUAL TALKS, LECTURES, AND EVENTS
Thought Gallery has hundreds of livestream talks, lectures, performances, and more. Check out sessions with celebs, live concerts, and opportunities to learn the latest on everything from science to philosophy to social justice.
“WHY I LOVE NYC” PROFILES
Conrad New York Downtown has launched a series of profiles of New Yorkers, including Bedside Reading New York authors. The new digital series is called “Why I Love NYC” and includes nearly 20 real testimonials from New Yorkers on why the city is the greatest place to live or visit. Interspersed between the interviews, the hotel features videos of iconic landmarks, neighborhoods, and hidden gems from around the city. The highlight videos appear on the hotel’s Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, while the interviews are featured on LinkedIn in addition to the other three platforms. Interviews feature select Bedside Reading Authors, including Susan Silver, Lee Mathew Goldberg, Seymour Ubell, Kim Akhtar, and Sweta Vikram. instagram.com/p/CCUivePFjWl/
STAY HOME FOR A BIT LONGER – MASK UP AND STAY SAFE.