High Line Park
When visiting New York, Central Park is an obvious choice for taking in a scenic area of unblemished urban green space, but if you’re looking for a newly developed alternative, try High Line Park. This 1.45-mile-long park (1 mile of which is open to the public) on Manhattan’s West Side sits on a retired elevated rail structure, which means it’s above the street level hustle and noise from Gansevoort Street to 34th Street between 10th & 11th Avenues. (The public portion runs from Gansevoort to 30th.) With overflowing wildflowers, views of the urban sprawl below and scenic vistas of Hudson River sunsets, High Line Park is an excellent example of an industrial space transformed green.
IF YOU GO:
Access points every two blocks or so from Gansevoort to 30th Street.
Hours: Daily 7 a.m.-11 p.m. Last entrance to the park is 10:45 p.m.
Pictured: Aerial View, from West 21st Street, looking south along 10th Avenue toward the Hudson River. ©Iwan Baan, 2011
Big Gay Ice Cream Truck & Shop
If the name isn’t enough of a draw, then the toppings and line congregating around the truck will surely pique your taste buds. Big Gay Ice Cream Truck, owned and operated by Doug Quint and his partner Bryan Petroff, is an ode to the unusual as far as dessert fare is concerned. Using soft serve as his canvas, Quint creates unique treats, such as the Salty Pimp, which combines vanilla ice cream, Dulce de Leche, sea salt and chocolate dip. The truckers just opened a Big Gay Ice Cream Shop (pictured) on East Seventh Street between First Avenue and Avenue A, offering BGICT menu items, as well as new treats. The truck will still roam city streets April through October (weather permitting).
IF YOU GO:
Truck: For daily truck locations, follow @biggayicecream on Twitter or visit the website.
Shop: 125 E. Seventh Street
Photo by Noah Fecks
Museum of the Moving Image
Offering interactive explorations into the technology of moving images—from film and television, to digital media—this museum provides a bevy of film screenings and series from around the world, as well as evolving exhibitions and public discussions with some of the industry’s most creative minds. A highlight is the ongoing Behind the Screen exhibition, which delves into the skills, materials and artistry required for the creation of films, television shows and video games. Before mid-January, see Jim Henson's Fantastic World, a temporary exhibition devoted to the famed filmmaker, television innovator and puppeteer who created The Muppets. Fifteen of Henson’s iconic puppets, including Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog are on view, in addition to artifacts from some of Henson’s most popular projects. Moving Image is also offering screenings, hands-on workshops and special events with some of Henson’s past collaborators and family members.
IF YOU GO:
36-01 35th Ave.
Hours: Tu.-Th. 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m., F 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. (Free admission after 4 p.m.), Sa.-Su. 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m.
Admission: Adults $12, Students and Seniors $9, Youth (3-18) $6, Children (under 3) Free. Paid admission includes tickets to daily film screenings and exhibitions, except for special ticketed events. Separate screening tickets must be purchased during the free Friday hours.
Pictured: New main 267-seat theater, Museum of the Moving Image. Designed by Leeser Architecture. Photo by Peter Aaron/Esto., courtesy of Museum of the Moving Image.
Pizza a Casa Pizza School
Cooking while traveling may sound weird, but the revolving restaurant tabs and empty fast food bags can lose their novelty quickly. So what if there was a way to craft an exceptional meal while on the road and have the opportunity to take those skills back home with you? Enter Pizza a Casa, a pizza school that provides students the skills they need to master a perfectly prepared homemade, New York-style thin-crust pizza. During the four-hour class, pizza scholars go through a step-by-step process to make a tasty pie, starting with the handcrafted dough and ending with a sizzling work of edible art. Lead by chef and owner Mark Bello, classes not only provide a self-made meal, they also offer long-lasting skills you’ll tap into long after your suitcases are emptied.
IF YOU GO:
371 Grand Street
Class times: Th. 6:30-10:30 p.m., Sa.-Su. noon-4 p.m.
For availability and tickets call Zerve at 800-979-3370
Photo courtesy of Pizza a Casa Pizza School
The 1998 film, You’ve Got Mail, takes a romantically dramatic turn when Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) instant messages Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) the simple question, “Do you think we should meet?”. The scene in which Kathleen thinks she’s been stood up takes place in Cafe Lalo—self-described as New York’s most famous café. Though perhaps not as flashy or legendary as the sites of some of the city’s other silver screen shooting locales, Cafe Lalo offers a quaint atmosphere with delicious bistro-style food well-suited for day, night or date. Try the mozzarella, pesto and tomato sandwich with fresh market greens.
IF YOU GO:
201 West 83rd Street
Hours: M-Th. 8-2 a.m., F 8-4 a.m., Sa. 9-4 a.m., Su. 9-2 a.m.
Photo by Amanda Hoffstrom
As a teeming well of art, it would be difficult to schedule a NY jaunt without a stop at one of the city’s museums. MoMA PS1 in Queens offers a constantly evolving roster of exhibitions for the restless. Without a permanent collection, the museum boasts about 50 different exhibitions throughout the year, showcasing everything from site-specific installations, artists’ retrospectives and historical surveys to music and performance events. This summer, the center featured a collaborative film exposition by Gus Van Sant and James Franco, which re-imagined Van Sant’s 1991 film My Own Private River using never-before-seen raw footage. To reflect on the 10th anniversary of September 11, PS1 will feature more than 70 works created prior to the attacks that viewers may now interpret and connect with differently as a result of 9/11. If you’re looking for the newest experimental innovations in contemporary art, this is the place to discover it.
IF YOU GO:
22-25 Jackson Avenues at the intersection of 46th Avenue, Long Island City
Hours: Th.-M noon-6 p.m.
Admission: Adults $10, Students and Seniors $5
Photo courtesy of MoMA P.S.1 George Segal. Woman on a Park Bench. 1998. Bronze sculpture with white patina, metal bench. 52 x 72 1/2 x 37 1/2”. Courtesy The George and Helen Segal Foundation and Carroll Janis. © 2011 The George and Helen Segal Foundation; licensed by VAGA, NY
Trapeze School New York
Popularized by Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) in an episode of Sex and the City, the Trapeze School New York allows flying trapeze hopefuls the chance to attempt the notorious circus act in a fun, safe and encouraging environment complete with unparalleled views of lower Manhattan. With three different locations in the city, students can sign up for two-hour classes regardless of skill level. Take flight off a platform 23 feet in the air and let your inhibitions go—you’re in New York, after all.
IF YOU GO:
Three locations: Indoor: West 30th Street (between 10th & 11th Avenues); Outdoor: West side in lower Manhattan in Hudson River Park, (West Street at Houston Street on top of Pier 40) and Parade Ground on NY's historic Governors Island.
Class times vary daily, call 212-242-8769 for more information.
Flying trapeze classes $35-$65.
Photo courtesy of Trapeze School New York