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. First of all, some very important information:
“There are multiple websites, disappearing slots and even attempts to game the system. Here’s our guide to what you have to do to get a dose in your arm.”
For February we are going to try a different format – “Top 10 Corona Culture” – updated info and video especially suited to these difficult times OR NYC related visual info (Instagram and YouTube) OR all the NYC news you need to start your day.
We hope you will come back often to see what’s cooking here.
Today it’s NYC Weekend Corona Culture (Sun). NEW STUFF!
Thrillist, a site with tons of food, drink, travel & entertainment info, introduces folks to the coolest things to do in NYC (and other places when you are traveling). I like to check them out regularly. You should, too.
“February’s unpredictable weather has nothing on the resiliency of New Yorkers, because no climate stands a chance when it comes to us doing fun and cool stuff. So, throw on that puffy coat, grab your hand warmers (and hand sanitizers), and get ready to explore the city this weekend.
Whether you’re in the mood for checking out a new (or reopened!) restaurant, channeling summer with outdoor beers, or partaking in immersive art experiences, we found something for everyone. Here are the 10 best things to eat, drink, and do this weekend in NYC (and be sure to check out our Weekend Guide podcast streaming below!). As always, don’t forget your mask, practice social distancing, and stay home if you’re feeling sick.”
Tribeca’s Kitchen, a longtime staple in the neighborhood, suffered a serious blow last March when its owner Andreas Koutsoudakis passed away from COVID. Now, nearly a year after his death, the restaurant is back with a redesigned tri-level space and new menus from executive chef Jack Logue (formerly of Clocktower and Betony). Standout dishes include a mac and cheese topped with braised ox cheek, and the date night-perfect “Chicken Meant for Two” which serves the poultry in five different ways, including liver mousse and fancy nuggets. Look out for a brunch menu to launch at the end of the month.
Cost: Entrees from $24
Upper West Side
Named for the traditional headband that sushi chefs wear, Hachi Maki is a new Japanese spot that aims to capture the energy of a Tokyo street market. Helmed by sushi chef Max Zumwalt (formerly of Satsuki and Usumoya), the menu boasts an enormous array of maki, which can be ordered individually or in curated sets of five. And, perfect for the winter, there are also four different types of ramen available, including a broth-less mazemen served with pork chashu (belly). Leave room to sample the intriguing uni ice cream, which is served with caramel-soy brittle.
Cost: Maki sets from $23
When Maison Yaki opened in May of 2019, it was an instant hit: chef-owner Greg Baxtrom’s innovative menu mixed French and Japanese influences to stunning effect. But, like so many others, it shuttered less than a year later due to the pandemic. After closing, Baxtrom utilized the space for a series of pop-ups from local Black chefs and bakers called the Black Entrepreneur Series. But now, the spot is finally reopening with a menu of yakitori favorites like the duck meatballs a l’orange, as well as new dishes including a crunchy fried chicken sandwich with Japanese BBQ sauce, and a Wagyu burger with squid ink and ginger hollandaise.
Cost: Entrees from $12
The Standard Biergarten is back for the first time since last summer and truly better than ever: in addition to limited indoor dining, there are now heated outdoor tables as well. And while you may be there for the German beer selection (which is excellent), don’t miss the revamped food menu. New, rib-sticking additions include a massive platter of sausages, pretzel bites, and cheese fondue, as well as stout-lemon-pepper wings served with white Alabama sauce.
Cost: Entrees from $12; beers from $10
The New York Botanical Garden may have had to cancel their annual orchid show this year due to COVID, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still view some of their amazing collection. Starting this Saturday and running through early April, NYBG will have unusual orchids on display, as well as innovative floral creations by the Garden’s horticulturists, inside the Haupt Conservatory. Afterward, swing by the NYBG shop where you can pick up your own plant to tend for at home. Don’t worry: they stock easy-to-grow varieties for those of us without green thumbs.
Cost: $28 per ticket
Saturday, February 20, 3 pm – 5 pm
Long Island City
We’ve all had a lot of time to work on our caffeine game this year, but how much do you really know about different varieties of coffee? In this workshop at Coffee Project, you’ll learn the basics of cupping: how those in the coffee industry evaluate the flavors and smells of different types of beans. The two-hour class will go over how to set up a cupping table, and then students will get to taste coffees from different regions and learn how to identify flavor notes.
Cost: $150 per person
Saturday, February 20 and Sunday, February 21
It would be lovely to be on the beach in Jamaica right now, but until we can get there in real life, we can enjoy chef Anya Peters’s ode to the Caribbean nation. For her meal this weekend in collaboration with Adá Supper Club, Peters is cooking a multicourse feast that was inspired by her grandmother’s hometown of Ewarton. Dishes include fricassee chicken with confit plantains; a “Sunday soup” made with gungo peas, chayote, and pumpkin; and for dessert, a chilled corn custard with cocoa tea-passion brittle.
Cost: $65 per person
Artist and historian Kamau Ware is the founder of Black Gotham Experience, a visual storytelling project that celebrates the African diaspora in NYC. For his latest commission for The Shed, Ware created digital audio and video tours entitled Fighting Dark, with a focus Manhattan and Brooklyn’s 19th-century history of racism. The audio tour allows listeners to take a self-guided and engaging walk through important city landmarks, as well as letting them reflect on how Black people have overcome racial violence over hundreds of years. The companion video tour allows viewers from anywhere in the world to experience the same walk.
Why yes, you can have a boozy brunch on a rooftop in February. Head to Moxy Times Square this weekend, where their open-air bar and restaurant Magic Hour has been transformed into The Pink Winter Lodge for the season. Outdoor heaters ensure everyone stays toasty, but you can stay extra warm by ordering their signature pink hot chocolate, which comes spiked with vodka and Bailey’s Red Velvet. We also recommend ordering a plate of the massive “Pink AF Pancake Stack,” which is extra in the best way possible. It comes topped with hot pink cotton candy, bananas foster, blueberries, and apple compote.
Cost: Small plates from $12
Wait until the sun sets this weekend and then travel to the Seaport District, where three new outdoor installations come alive after dark. Electric Dandelions, a group of 10 steel and acrylic spheres, may resemble flowers during daylight, but after nightfall, glow in tribute to the bright glow of fireworks. Nearby at 193 Front Street is Kareem Fletcher’s The Hands of Inspiration, a brightly colored mural painted on storefront windows. And lastly, Daisies is a group show of multidisciplinary work focused on the theme of the resilience of youth, all arranged in an outdoor, walkable gallery exhibition. Warm up after with a meal at nearby Malibu Farm or The Fulton, both of which offer stellar water views.
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“Check out our suggestions for the best art exhibitions you don’t want to miss, including recently opened shows and more
With New York’s art scene being so prominent yet ever-changing, you’ll want to be sure to catch significant exhibitions. Time Out New York rounds up the best art shows and exhibits in NYC, from offerings at the best photography and art galleries in NYC to shows at renowned institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim.”
“We might be in the midst of a huge snowstorm, but February is always a great month for new public art. Once you can dig yourself out, check out everything from the annual Times Square Heart unveiling to more timely works that are a commentary on COVID-19 and social justice, plus art exhibitions in surprising locations. Outdoor art installations are even more critical in the pandemic, with some shuttered businesses taking advantage of their exterior facades to communicate artistically with the public. Here are the new public art installations to see this month in New York City!” (untappedcities.com)
Dumplings, tacos, ramen—the best Chinatown restaurants in New York City serve all that and much more
“February 2021: Now more than ever, it’s essential to support the best Chinatown restaurants in NYC, which have faced a unique set of challenges over the last year. Still, the neighborhood has risen to the occasion in brilliant and creative ways. From the illuminated lanterns now strung across Mott Street to creative outdoor dining set-ups, if you haven’t been to Chinatown lately, it’s worth taking some time to explore its many treasures—including its absolutely fantastic restaurants. These are our favorites that are currently open.
New York’s best Chinatown restaurants are more than dim sum and Peking duck—although, the downtown neighborhood is rife with fantastic options for both. No, the food possibilities expand well beyond some of the city’s best Chinese restaurants to include creative Mexican restaurants and Cali-coolcafes. Whether you’re looking for traditional soup dumplings or French-Malaysian fare, these Chinatown restaurants have something for you.” (TONY)
“Nicolas Cage hosts the history of swearing. Lorde writes a book and Julie Mehretu takes over the Whitney. This new year has to be better, right?”
“Sanford Biggers, Félix Fénéon and the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s history of itself are some of the exhibitions that remain open to the public.”
WFUV-FM 90.7is 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 (February 18 – February 24)
2/18 Trampled by Turtles from Minneapolis’s First Avenue
2/18 Lord Huron, streaming series
2/19 Light of Day Canada with Steve Earle, Jesse Malin, Tom Morello, more
2/19 Patti Smith and Lenny Kaye, “50 Years of Words and Music”
2/20-21 Cabin Fever Fest with Valerie June, Keb’ Mo’, Béla Fleck and Abigail Washborn, Larkin Poe and more.
2/20 Tank and the Bangas livestream
2/21 Steve Wynn and Linda Pitman, “The Impossible Tour”
2/21 Nickel Creek, “Nickel Stream: A Livecreek Experience”
2/23 Shakey Graves, album release stream
“For some visitors, the stop was merely intended to gaze at the enormous hall complete with an enormous skylight roof and Art Deco clock. Many were spotted craning their necks to take in the open skylight, pivoting their hips taking scenic, panoramic photos. Others searched for fresco portraits created by Kehinde Wiley, which are prominently displayed at the 33rd Street entrance, or the spacious and modern Amtrak lounge on the upper floor.”
Stay home for a bit longer. Mask up, stay smart and stay safe.