Summer in the big city
- Lounge brings you five new and exciting things to do in the Big Apple this summer
- Enjoy new ferry services, check out the new Statue of Liberty museum and a host of other attractions in New York City
In February, Fred Dixon, the CEO of New York City’s tourism arm, NYC and Co., shared figures which showed that 53% of Indians travel for leisure, indulging in fine-dining and sightseeing. 2019 may be a good year, or, as NYC’s new campaign puts it, a “monumental" year, to plan your visit, for there are several new openings to catch and properties to check into. Lounge spoke to Dixon about select experiences.
Skip NYC’s subways and opt for the recently launched ferry services that operate across six routes. Dixon says NYC’s extensive waterfront, which had slipped into a slump from the late 1980s, is being revived. It stretches across 500 plus miles, with parks that can be accessed through six ferry routes: Astoria, East River, Lower East Side, Rockaway, Soundview and South Brooklyn. These offer majestic skyline views at affordable price points, the same as a one-way subway ticket ($2.75, or around ₹190).
The new Statue of Liberty Museum, adjacent to the famous monument, will debut in May. The museum has three gallery spaces, including an immersive theatre that showcases the story of the statue and the ideals she represents. In fall, the museum will house the original torch that Lady Liberty once brandished. Originally made of copper sheets, it underwent several changes and was retired in 1984.
Huddle by the Hudson
NYC’s newest neighbourhood is Hudson Yards, the largest private real estate development in the history of the US, which integrates commercial, residential, dining and retail. The upscale area has a cultural centre called The Shed, which will commission and produce performing and visual arts after it debuts in April. The Vessel, a 15-storey centrepiece with 154 interconnecting flights of stairs, opened this month, although to mixed reviews. People are expected to climb the honeycomb-like landmark designed by British architect Thomas Heatherwick. Hudson Yards will be home to new dining venues, including celebrity chef David Chang’s new Momofuku restaurant Kāwi, which has already caught art critic Jerry Saltz’s eye.
June will mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising of 1969, when demonstrations by the LGBTQ+ community followed a police raid at an inn. A significant moment in the history of gay rights, Stonewall will be commemorated by NYC though World Pride 2019, the first time that the global event will come to the US. Dixon says: “The gay rights movement has had such an impact on arts and cultural forms. So this is a chance for cultural institutions to pause and pay tribute to it."
Through June, there are several events lined up alongside World Pride. Dixon recommends a visit to the New York Public Library’s exhibition of photographs of Stonewall, Love And Resistance: Stonewall 50, running till 14 July.The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute’s Spring 2019 exhibition is Camp: Notes On Fashion, which will run from 9 May-8 September. The exhibition will explore the origins of the camp aesthetic through 175 objects, including womenswear and menswear, sculptures, paintings and drawings, right from the 17th century to the present.
You may want to check out the place where it all started, Stonewall, declared a national monument in 2016 by former president Barack Obama.
When booking your stay in NYC, consider these. The 1960s-vibe TWA Hotel is a major restoration project, repurposing the Trans World Airlines Flight Center at JFK Airport. While the original historic building is a public space, reservations for the hotel’s 512 rooms are open. Dixon recommends the hotel’s vintage-style Sunken Lounge, opening this May, which will offer views of a 1958 Lockheed Constellation aeroplane parked outside.
In the heart of Manhattan, Times Square, hotelier Ian Schrager opened his EDITION Hotel earlier this month. Times Square EDITION hopes to put the sizzle back in the commercial neighbourhood with interiors that sport the colours of a Jeff Koons work and a floating stainless sphere inspired by Anish Kapoor. Be sure to dine at the Terrace Restaurant, which has a menu from Michelin-starred chef John Fraser. Additionally, the hotel is home to Paradise Club, a modern-day cabaret, which will have a regular ongoing performance based on William Blake’s The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell.
What’s a visit to NYC without a bar with a stellar view? Dear Irving on Hudson opened earlier this year, following the success of its original outpost in the Gramercy Park neighbourhood. The two-level bar has a James Bond and art deco theme created by Delphine Mauroit, and is nothing short of a homage to NYC, with speciality cocktails such as the Panorama Daiquiri and Half Moon.