The best of NYC 2011, selected pics from Time Out New York!
My selected favorites ones:
Informal classroom: Brooklyn Brainery
The sessions at this laid-back Kings County school are cheaper and cooler than your typical continuing-education class, which is precisely why we love them. Taught by a team of enthusiasts in various fields—including teachers, chefs, makeup artists and graphic designers—courses run the gamut from practical (how to cut hair, crochet basics) to just plain silly. In October, the Brainery hosted “Disaster Strikes New York,” a lecture on the destruction of New York City as depicted in film. We’re guessing that’s not something you’d learn at NYU. 515 Court St at 9th St, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn (brooklynbrainery.com)
Place to see museum-quality gallery shows: Gagosian Gallery
The Pace Gallery may have invented this high-end form, but lately, Gagosian Gallery seems to have perfected it. Shows such as “Picasso and Marie-Thérèse: L’Amour Fou,” which brought together key works inspired by Picasso’s favorite muse and much younger lover, Marie-Thérèse Walter, packed in huge crowds last season. “Malevich and the American Legacy,” meanwhile, put the early-20th-century Russian avant-gardist in the company of the big-name American artists—Richard Serra among them—whom he influenced. Both shows proved that you don’t have to be MoMA to stage a blockbuster. 980 Madison Ave between 76th and 77th Sts (212-744-2313, gagosian.com).Tue–Sat 10am–6pm.
Off-Off Broadway festival: Under the Radar at the Public Theater
This venue is already an adored staple of Off Broadway (and rightly so!), but the Public’s annual Under the Radar festival this Jan 4 through 15 lends it serious credentials in this category. Last year, the daring international program of experimental theater included offerings from playwrights Suzan-Lori Parks and Richard Maxwell, as well as David Greenspan and funnyman Reggie Watts. The productions for 2012 have yet to be announced, but you’re well advised to jump on tickets—you’ll be rolling loaded dice. 425 Lafayette St between Astor Pl and E 4th St (212-967-7555; publictheater.org, undertheradarfestival.com)
Store to blow your paycheck in: Opening Ceremony
Covetable finds from around the world make Carol Lim and Humberto Leon’s Soho boutique a primo place to plunk down a wad of cash: If you’re looking for one big-ticket splurge, stick to the racks of luxury threads, such as guys’ Patrick Ervell patterned sweaters ($325), and exclusive Rodarte ruffled chiffon dresses ($740). Or scoop up more-affordable goods like indie magazines ($3–$36), toys ($18–$80), CDs ($12–$20) and hip accessories, including Jeremy Scott x Swatch lightning-bolt watches ($70). 35 Howard St between Broadway and Lafayette St (212-219-2688, openingceremony.us)
Spa for pampering on the fly: Benefit
The retro, pink-and-white decor of this two-floor flagship beckons beauty buffs inside, where aestheticians stand ready to primp and polish at a moment’s notice. At the store’s On the Spot! Beauty Bar, you can get your brows and lip waxed ($23 and $12, respectively); there’s also a private room for bikini hair removal ($34) and spray tanning ($48). Best-selling products like rose-tinted lip and cheek stains ($29) and cream concealers ($26) are also on hand, and a purchase of three will get you a complimentary makeup application. 454 West Broadway between W Houston and Prince Sts (212-769-1111, benefitcosmetics.com)
Bar to sing your heart out in front of strangers (solo): The Duplex
The city is rife with karaoke bars, but why settle for a prerecorded track when you can be accompanied by live pianists? Aspiring performers mix with regulars, tourists and occasional celebrity drop-ins on the first floor of this beloved watering hole, a West Village institution for more than half a century. The repertoire runs from classic rock and Broadway to modern pop; the chummy singing bar staff make everyone feel welcome at the mike. Just scrawl your name and request on a napkin, leave it atop the baby grand and wait for your shot at cabaret glory. 61 Christopher St at Seventh Ave South (212-255-5438, theduplex.com). Daily 9pm–4am.
Theater to see a movie that will change your life: Film Society of Lincoln Center
Considering that this classy theater hosts new art-house titles (at its Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center), rep series and beaucoup festival offerings, you are guaranteed to see something old, something new, something borrowed or maybe even a revival of Blue Velvet that will alter the way you watch movies forever. 165 W 65th St between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave (212-875-5600, filmlinc.com)
Hotel for a staycation: Gansevoort Park Avenue
There may be newer boutique hotels featuring terrace pools and conveniently placed cocktail bars, but the trailblazing Gansevoort (which opened its original location in the Meatpacking District in 2004) has truly perfected the urban-resort concept. The tri-level rooftop pleasure complex at the plush Park Avenue location is a year-round oasis: Relax in a glassed-in area by the pool, kept at a balmy 85 degrees, then swim through the warm water to take in an open view of the Empire State Building before a night of loungehopping in the deejayed five-bar space. Counteract the damage the next morning with a yoga class ($23) and massage (starts at $95 for 30 minutes) at the on-site Exhale spa. 420 Park Ave South at 29th St, enter on 29th St (212-317-2900, gansevoortpark.com). Rates start at $285.
Place to remember why you love Queens: Flushing Meadows–Corona Park
There’s plenty to keep you occupied at this 1,255-acre destination, even when the Mets aren’t in town. Among the diverse offerings are the New York Hall of Science, the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center (home to the US Open) and the iconic Unisphere. See the city rendered in miniature at the Queens Museum of Art, home to the Panorama of the City of New York installation, which was created for the 1964 World’s Fair. 111th St to College Point Blvd between Whitestone Expwy and Grand Central Pkwy, Queens (718-760-6565, nycgovparks.org/parks/fmcp). Daily 6am–1am.