9 Awesome Things to Do in NYC Now

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

On the docket for NYC this summer: a museum exhibit inspired by the Broadway hit Hamilton, the so-called "East Coach Coachella," a new landmark hotel downtown, and more. Mark your calendars, people! By Siobhan Reid

Photo courtesy of Alex Fradkin


Think you have to go all the way to Hollywood to get a taste of the Silver Screen? Think again. This summer, an eerie, large-scale replica of the home featured in Alfred Hitchcock's 1960s horror film Psycho stands on the roof of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Designed by British artist Cornelia Parker, "Transitional Psycho Barn" is made out of reclaimed wood from a real barn and comprises the fourth annual installation of site-specific works commissioned for the Met's rooftop garden.



We can think of a myriad reasons why Panorama (the so-called "New York Coachella") will be better than the California original - among them, no dust storms, cooler temperatures and fewer traffic jams. Differences aside, if the Randall Island festival is anything at all like its West Coast sister (i.e., a big freaking deal), you'll want to want to start glue-gunning the petals onto your flower crown now. The three-day festival in July has headliners including Arcade Fire, Kendrick Lamar, LCD Soundsystem, plus other musical acts by Sia, Alabama Shakes and A$AP Rocky.


The Beekman

Of all the Manhattan hotel openings in 2016 (and there are many), The Beekman is the most hotly anticipated. The 19th-century terra-cotta and brick building was considered one of Manhattan's first skyscrapers and has a storied history: it started as a business and publishing hub, eventually became a theater where Shakespeare's Hamlet debuted, then suffered from a fire, a suicide and years of neglect. The revamp has preserved much of the original detailing (the grand nine-story atrium; pyramidal skylight), and will include 287 plush rooms - each featuring bespoke and vintage furnishings, Carrara marble bathrooms and unparalleled views of One World Trade Center. If all this isn't enough to convince you, James Beard award winners Tom Colicchio and Keith McNally will run the two new restaurants, Fowler & Wells and Augustine, respectively.


The Vandal

The food at Vandal is definitely good. But it's not the lamb and slaw-stuffed baguettes that have caused the cool kids to descend on this new Bowery hotspot. After hours, the restaurant/nightclub becomes the site of the hottest throwdown in all of Manhattan - its private rooms and subterranean dance floor filled with celebs like Alison Williams, Hannah Bronfman and Barron Hilton. Kick back with a Las Palmitas (a thai-spiced mezcal cocktail with grapefruit bitters and basil leaves) on the twinkle-lit "secret garden" and get ready for some serious people-watching.

Photo courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Manus x Machina

Did your invite to this year's Met Gala get lost in the mail? Yeah... ours too. No need to interrogate your mailman. From now until August 14th, you can get a glimpse into the Gala's glitz and glamour at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's new costume Institute exhibition, "Manus x Machina." Curated by Andrew Bolton, the exhibit explores the relationship between the handmade (couture) and machine-made (prêt-à-porter) fashions. The highlights: a 1880s Charles Frederick Worth gown and a shimmering Karl Lagerfeld-designed rhinestone and pearl-encrusted wedding ensemble from the fall 2014 Chanel couture collection.

Photo by Filip Wolak

The Lucky Bee

There's no shortage of great restaurants in New York's booming Lower East Side. But The Lucky Bee, a new fusion spot from the restaurateur Rupert Noffs and the former Fat Radish sous chef Matty Bennett, is especially buzz worthy. The locavore-centric menu takes inspiration from Thai street food, offering inventive bites like smashed cucumbers with fried peanuts and coconut milk and steamed pork and sesame dumplings. We love the zany, tiki bar-like interiors, which are outfitted with hanging succulents and zebra-striped walls with hot pink pop art.

Photos by Jon Wallen and Glenn Castellano

Summer of Hamilton

So you can't afford to drop hundreds of dollars to see the hit Broadway musical Hamilton. Welcome to the club. But good news: this summer, you don't have to be a high roller to get a look at the Lin-Manuel Miranda musical. Starting the weekend of July 4th, the New-York Historical Society will kick off a museum-wide "Summer of Hamilton" exhibition celebrating the life of the American Founding Father. There will be Hamilton-related memorabilia (think: historical pamphlets and love letters) and life-sized bronze statues of Hamilton and Burr at the moment of their famous duel. What we're most excited for? Clips from the Broadway musical along with screenings of select films that are credited with inspiring the show. If only all history lessons were this fun.

Photo by Tammy Shell

The Public Theater's Free Shakespeare in the Park

This continues to top our must-do list every summer. As early as 6 a.m., you'll find theater buffs queuing up for free tickets to The Public Theater's performances of some of Shakespeare's greatest works (with esteemed actors like Meryl Streep, Patrick Stewart and Natalie Portman) - The Tempest, Much Ado About Nothing, King Lear - which run five weeks a year at Central Park's Delacorte Theater. On the docket this year: an all female take on The Taming of the Shrew, plus performances of the Troilus and Cressida and a musical adaption of Twelfth Night.

Photos by Vance Christiaanse

Café Henrie

With its Prouvé benches, cerulean and candy floss-pink decor and pegboard walls, Café Henrie is Insta bait if we've ever seen it. But unlike other buzzy brunch spots, this sunny new cafe in LES doesn't fall prey to style over substance. Its well-rounded menu serves a delicious mix of summer bod-friendly staples (think: avocado toast, green juice and coffee by Counter Culture) plus diet-busting indulgences such as burnt cinnamon French toast and the coconut grain rice bowls with turmeric-poached eggs. Given we're all about the one-piece swimsuit this year, we'll take the latter.