New art exhibits, Black History Month treats, and one more Lunar New Year celebration.
“Three-day weekends are always a blessing, but when they happen in February they’re especially well-timed. So, if you’re one of the lucky ones who scored this Monday off, we have plenty to keep you busy for the next few days. And if you’re working, don’t worry: we found some fun stuff you can cram in between Zoom sessions.
This weekend, there are multiple new art shows from some of the country’s most dynamic artists, a new brunch menu worth traveling for, and a bar that will transport you straight to 1982 (in a good way). Read on for everything fun you can eat, drink, and do this weekend in NYC.”
Taste Japan’s unofficial national fish at some of the city’s best spots
Sushi lovers will be intimately familiar with hamachi (which also pops up on menus as Japanese amberjack, yellowtail, or buri). The pinkish-white fish is especially delicious in wintertime, when the meat has a higher fat content. So, whether you’re a professed fan or interested in learning more about one of Japan’s favorite fishes, this weekend is a great one to taste it. JFOODO, a group which promotes Japanese food internationally, is running a month-long promotion for the fish at famed restaurants like Aquavit, Contra, Llama San, and Veranda. Each chef created a special hamachi dish—from crudo to oil-poached—that exemplifies how the fish can be used in cuisines from around the globe.
Shuna Lydon’s Seabird Bakery has quickly become one of NYC’s most beloved under-the-radar businesses. While snagging her famed English muffins has generally meant waiting for one of her weekly deliveries, it’ll be much easier over the next few weeks. Seabird is popping up at Manhattanville Market through the end of the month and serving not only the cult-favorite Sourdough English Muffins, but also Russian Honey Cake, Salted Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats, and tiny pots of her marmalades and jams in flavors like Spiced-Pineapple Clementine and Sour Cherry.
Cost: Pastries from $5
Lower East Side
It’s stating the obvious that we’re sick of winter. But if a trip to Florida just isn’t in the cards for you this holiday weekend, we found the next best thing. Sally Can Wait in the Lower East Side is a new bar with a cheeky Miami Vice vibe (and obvious Oasis reference in the name), plus plenty of frozen drinks and the (self-professed) best cubano sandwich in NYC. We recommend trying, of course, the Miami Vice cocktail, a mash-up that is half pina colada, half strawberry daiquiri.
Cost: Drinks from $15
Lower East Side
Faith Ringgold is a true multi-hyphenate. The Harlem-born artist is also a published author, educator, and community organizer, with a career that spans six decades. This week, The New Museum opens the most comprehensive show ever of Ringgold’s work in a breathtaking exhibit that spans three floors of the building. We were especially taken with her fabric works, like the soft sculptures and story quilts; they are equal parts heart-wrenching, uplifting, and awe-inspiring.
Cost: Tickets from $18
Over the last few months, we’ve excitedly welcomed back nearly all of NYC’s most beloved theatrical shows. But Sleep No More, an immersive show based on Macbeth that’s performed inside a massive warehouse, was unable to reopen until this month. Now that it’s finally back, we recommend you scoop up tickets pronto: there is no other show remotely like it in NYC. If you’ve never been, we won’t spoil the surprises, but do know you’ll be wearing a kinda-spooky mask (plus, of course, your face mask) during the whole performance. Be sure to get there early to grab a drink at the venue’s rooftop oasis, Gallow Green.
Cost: Tickets from $99
Upper East Side
The Park Avenue Armory’s Wade Thompson Drill Hall is one of NYC’s most breathtaking venues to see art or performances. The soaring space alone is jaw dropping, but when an artist like Rashaad Newsome mounts one of his interdisciplinary shows, it almost feels as if you’re on another planet. Newsome’s latest installation, Assembly, is one of his most ambitious, combining a daytime exhibit featuring projection-mapped walls, holograms, and sculpture, with evening performances from an international cast of dancers, singers, and MCs, all inspired by vogue culture.
Cost: Exhibition tickets from $18; performance tickets from $40
Sunday, February 20, 12 pm-2 pm
The Musket Room’s executive pastry chef, Camari Mick, is one of the city’s most innovative bakers. And this weekend, you can not only sample some of her beautiful confections, but those of her favorite chef friends as well. Mick has curated a Black History Month-themed box of treats that includes everything from her own black cake whoopie pies to sunflower-praline macarons to Ghanainan bread. Even better: all proceeds from the box go straight to the makers.
Cost: $80 per box
Sunday, February 20, 1 pm
One of the spectacular weekends to visit Chinatown all year is during the Lunar New Year parade, which hasn’t been staged in full-force since before COVID. The parade route starts on the corner of Mott and Canal Streets and the lively procession will wend its way through the neighborhood before ending near Sara D. Roosevelt Park. You can expect lively lion dances, classic cars, and plenty of food vendors along the route before grabbing a meal at one of Chinatown’s best restaurants.
Cost: Free to attend
Sunday, February 20
One of our favorite new date-night spots, Jack & Charlie’s no. 118, is now one of our go-to Sunday brunch spots as well. The photogenic West Village restaurant just launched the menu a few weeks ago with dishes like the Chocolate Babka French Toast served with whipped cheesecake (!) and orange blossom maple syrup. And, if you’re looking for some hair of the dog, don’t miss the epic brunch cocktails, like the It’s All Greek to Me, made with gin, Greek yogurt, honey, lemon, and blackberry.
Cost: Dishes from $18
So many great things to see and do, places to eat and drink in NYC.
How to find them? Here are 6 more of my fave NYC suggestions: