GOMAG.COM
GO's 9th Annual "Where-To" Guide to NYC
by Kat Long
June 15, 2012

WHERE TO EAT

Neighborhood Nosh

Beast 638 Bergen St (at Vanderbilt Ave), Brooklyn, 718-399-6855, brooklynbeast.com. Tuesday night’s half-off wine bottles deal is still the best bargain in Brooklyn. Set the alarm an hour late for Wednesday morning.

Celestino 562 Halsey St (nr Stuyvesant Ave), Brooklyn, no phone. Massimiliano Nanni, formerly of beloved rustic pizza palace Saraghina one block away, is the chef at Bed-Stuy’s newest Italian outpost. The menu veers toward sizable portions of lovingly prepared seafood and pasta, like spinach tagliolini with shrimp and lemon.

Superfine 126 Front St (at Jay St), Brooklyn, 718-243-9005. This lesbian-owned hotspot serves upscale pub grub in a spacious but intimate setting. After-dinner action is at the pool table.

Pastis 9 9th Ave (at Little W 12th St), 212-929-4844, pastisny.com. A traditional French bistro in the heart of the Meatpacking District, Pastis serves late-night moules frites, omelets and steak entrees to party hounds.

Rocking Horse Café 182 Eighth Ave (at W 19th St), 212-463-9511, rockinghorsecafe.com. A Chelsea mainstay, the “modern Mexican” menu features inventive dishes using free range chicken, organic pork and other high quality ingredients.


New York Standards

Butter Lane 123 East 7th St, (btw 1st Ave and Ave A), 212-677-2880, butterlane.com. Mix n’ match cupcake and icing flavors for a high quality treat that reflects your impeccable palate. May we suggest a chocolate cupcake with coconut buttercream icing?

Kutsher’s Tribeca 186 Franklin St (nr Greenwich St), 212-431-0606, kutsherstribeca.com. Carnegie Deli it is not: no rude, bitter waitstaff, no throngs of wide-eyed tourists. Kutsher’s serves refined versions of Jewish faves like gefilte fish (made with wild halibut) and potato latkes served with apple compote or caviar.

Gray’s Papaya 402 Sixth Ave (at 8th St), 212-260-3532. Look, it ain’t fancy. But when you need a quick n’ dirty pick-me-up after a spending Pride Sunday in the hot sun, grab a refreshing papaya juice for a shot of electrolytes.

RedFarm 529 Hudson St (nr Charles St), 212-792-9700, redfarmnyc.com. Chinese food, the mainstay of cheap NYC eats, gets a greenmarket upgrade at this new West Village spot. Think of the fresh, crispy, sweet, spicy morsels as dim sum 3.0.

Motorino 349 E 12th St, 212-777-2644, motorinopizza.com. Huge, hot and sloppy, Motorino’s luscious Neapolitan style pizza is crispy-crusty on the perimeter, saucy in the center, and redolent of San Marzano tomatoes, olive oil and sweet fior de latte (cow’s milk mozzarella) cheese. Heaven.


Free Madness

V-Note 1522 First Ave (nr E 80th St), 212-249-5009, v-notenyc.com. As befits its Upper East Side location, V-Note’s upscale vegan menu—created by Ronen Seri of Blossom fame—includes entrees and wines that are organic, kosher and animal-free. Try the barbecue tempeh served over horseradish cream fraiche and potato with roasted summer corn salad, perfect for summer.

GustOrganics 519 6th Ave (at 14th St), 212-242-5800, gustorganics.com. Divided into three sections, the menu features organic meat entrees, vegetarian dishes and vegan options, all made with planet-friendly ingredients. We recommend the vegetarian, gluten-free hempenada.

Viva Herbal Pizza 179 2nd Ave (btw E 11th and 12th Sts), 212-420-8801/8802. Vegan pizza: no longer an oxymoron. Viva’s whole wheat, spelt and cornmeal crusts are topped with a variety of animal-free goodies like grilled veggies, seitan and faux fromage.

Candle 79 154 E 79th St (btw Lexington and 3rd Aves), 212-537-7179, candle79.com. Sophisticated and scrumptious, Candle 79 is world-famous for its fine vegan and organic seasonal cuisine like morel and ramp ravioli and Moroccan spice chickpea cake.

Dao Palate 329 Flatbush Ave (btw Park Pl and Prospect Pl), Brooklyn, 718-638-1995, daopalatevegan.com. Yummy, artfully presented pan-Asian fare in Prospect Heights, and everything on the menu is vegan. All hail seitan!


Hangover Helpers

The Brindle Room 277 E 10th St (btw Ave A and 1st Ave), 212-529-9702, brindleroom.com. Three words: Potato Chip Frittata. If that delicious mass of egg and salty snacks doesn’t cure your hangover, nothing will.

Yo In Yo Out 1569 Lexington Ave (btw 100th and 101st Sts), 212-987-5350, yoinyoout.net. Chef Yoanne Magris’ feathery crepes stuffed with ham, Gruyere and other delectable win raves. Pair them with one of the Mediterranean-French salads for a knockout brunch.

Philip Marie 569 Hudson St (at 11th St), 212-242-6200, philipmarie.com. Philip Marie’s extensive brunch menu (with unlimited bloody Marys or mimosas) attracts Village locals for New American comfort favorites.

Red Rooster 310 Lenox Ave (btw 125th and 126th Sts), 212-792-9001, redroosterharlem.com. Aquavit alum Marcus Samuelsson’s uptown brunch haven marries soul food with continental cuisine. Where else would Fried Yard Bird cohabit the menu with Helga’s Meatballs with lingonberries?

Sticky’s Finger Joint 31 W 8th St (btw 5th and 6th Ave), 212-777-7131, stickysfingerjoint.com. This is the hot place for chicks—chicken fingers, that is. The free-range concoctions include Salted Caramel Pretzel, Wasabi, General Tso Sticky and more on the frequently changing menu.


Haute Spots

Tertulia 359 6th Ave, 646-559-9909, tertulianyc.com. Chef Seamus Mullen’s intimate, critically acclaimed Spanish tapas restaurant was nominated for a James Beard award this year, so call for reservations now. You may be waiting a while for your Arroz a la Plancha (a dish of Calasparra rice, snails, wild mushrooms, celery, fennel and Ibérico ham).

Maialino 2 Lexington Ave, 212-777-2410, maialinonyc.com. The latest property in Danny Meyer’s restaurant empire (along with Shake Shack, Gramercy Tavern, et al), Maialino excels in rustic, rib-sticking Roman cuisine like fettuccine with roast suckling pig ragu and Parmigiano, or Spigola Rigata (striped bass, charred ramps and coco bean salad).

Aureole One Bryant Park (135 W 42nd St), 212-319-1660, charliepalmer.com. The location may be shiny and new—in the Bank of America Tower across from Bryant Park—but the dedication to classic American haute cuisine remains solid.

Annisa 13 Barrow St, 212-741-6699, annisarestaurant.com. Owner and celesbian chef Anita Lo designed her restaurant as a celebration of women (its name means “women” in Arabic). Lo’s inventive nouveau American cuisine, accented with Asian ingredients, pairs magnificently with a wine list highlighting female vintners.

The Dutch 131 Sullivan St (nr Prince St), 212-677-6200, thedutchnyc.com. Comfort food is a trend that has had its day, but it’s worth revisiting at The Dutch. The mouthwatering pies at this scene-y bistro—with crusts that aren’t too dry, aren’t too greasy—are baked daily. Try the banana cream or cherry made with real fruit (i.e., not from a can).

 

Only in New York (6) classics

Fraunces Tavern 54 Pearl St, 212-968-1776, frauncestavern.com. New York’s oldest tavern (est. 1762) was totally renovated last year with a craft beer focus and a gastropub menu that hearkens to the building’s colonial roots. Sample the whiskey-cured salmon on toasted stout bread.

Katz’s Delicatessen 205 East Houston St (at Ludlow St), 800-4-HOTDOG, katzsdelicatessen.com. The grubby, beloved LES institution has served Jewish classics since 1888. Skip the matzo ball soup and pastrami on rye at your peril.

Cowgirl 519 Hudson St (at W 10th St), 212-633-1133, cowgirlnyc.com. Round up your dogies and head to Cowgirl for post-parade nosh. Fill ‘er up on house-made jalapeno poppers and supersized margaritas.

Sardi’s 234 W 45th St, 212-221-8440, sardis.com. The pre-theater menu in this midtown landmark is a walk through culinary history—sample the steak tartar prepared tableside for a taste of the old school.

The Russian Tea Room 150 W 57th St, 212-581-7100, russiantearoomnyc.com. More than 40 kinds of vodka are on hand at this dramatic Carnegie Hill classic. Soak up the booze with a famous Tea Room blini topped with caviar.


WHERE TO SHOP

 

Global Style

Joe Fresh 510 5th Ave (at 42nd St), 212-764-1730, joefresh.com. The Canadian company’s newest NYC location peddles trendy resort wear in blindingly-bright patterns, resembling the summer collections of some high-end couturiers—but this one’s far more wallet-friendly.

Carhartt Work in Progress 119 Crosby St, 212-219-2934, carhartt-wip.com. We know lezzies love workwear from Carhartt. The Work In Progress line—born in Michigan, refined in Germany—brings heavy-duty duds into the sartorial spotlight.

Uniqlo 666 5th Ave (at 53rd St), 877-486-4756, uniqlo.com. A rainbow of fruity jeans, tees, jackets and casual wear greets the eye at this Japanese chain’s flagship U.S. store. Pop in for the weekly specials and save a bundle on already cheap choices.

Desigual 594 Broadway (nr Prince St), 212-343-8206, desigual.com. This Barcelona-based retailer is your one-stop shop for every spring/summer youth trend. Popped-out color, neon, crazy prints and floral patterns abound in a store designed to overstimulate your senses.

A.P.C. 131 Mercer St, 212-966-9685, usonline.apc.fr. Haute utilitarian vetements de France (with prices to match). We love the nautical/military casual jackets and simple A-line skirts in Liberty cotton prints.


Vintage Variety

Hester Street Fair Hester and Essex Sts, hesterstreetfair.com. Like an Etsy explosion every Saturday, this street fair pulls together artisan comestibles, vintage clothes and accessories, and handmade/recycled objets d’art, with a slightly different vendor roster each week.

Community 54 54 Clinton St (nr Rivington St), 212-673-7060, community 54.com. A functional arcade, an art gallery, and a knowledgeable stock of retro hip-hop gear like vintage satin Starter jackets and ‘90s-era snapback hats—all in one place.

1 of a Find NYC 633 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, 718-789-2008, 1ofafindnyc.com. Owner Honey Moon’s discerning eye for vintage labels is evident in her Prospect Heights shop’s inventory. Think ‘80s frocks from Givenchy and Oscar de la Renta, accessories from Halston and elegant clutch purses.

Grand Street Bakery 602 Grand St (nr. Leonard St), Brooklyn, 718-387-2390. A rustic selection of vintage classics (fisherman’s sweaters, Converse kicks, military surplus) and the sui generis (Eastern European miners jugs) consistently praised by fashionistas.

City Opera Thrift Shop 222 E 23rd St (nr Third Ave), 212-684-5344, nycopera.com. There’s major drama at this flamboyant emporium, where used designer duds—leaning toward the fancy and formal—go for a steal.


Curated Curios

Homebody Boutique 449 Seventh Ave, Brooklyn, 718-369-8980, homebodyboutique.com. This Park Slope emporium boasts a handpicked selection of crafty home goods like light fixtures, candles and pillows from local artists.

Marimekko 1262 Third Ave (btw 72nd and 73rd Sts), 800-527-0624, kiitosmarimekko.com. Swoon-worthy wares for home and garden in signature splashy prints. Check out the midcentury-inspired glassware in sparkling jewel tones.

Jonathan Adler 1097 Madison Ave (at 83rd St), 212-772-2410; 47 Greene St, 212-941-8950; jonathanadler.com. Kitschy hues, Greek motifs and Hollywood Regency styling blend for a totally updated, retro look in furniture, home décor and elegant gifts.

Haus Interior 250 Elizabeth St, 212-741-0455, hausinterior.com. Searching in vain for a porcelain deer skull or goat-hair duster for your precious bric-a-brac? Haus Interior supplies both, plus an intriguing inventory of Victorian-inspired objets d’art.

Babel Fair 260 Elizabeth St, 646-360-3685, babelfair.com. A constantly changing array of goodies from all over the globe—think Peruvian amulets, Japanese jeans and African baskets.

Spoiled Brats 340 W 49th St (btw 8th and 9th Aves), 212-459-1615. The tiny Hell’s Kitchen shop houses an abundance of bourgie pet toys and outfits, plus a complete array of premium foods and treats. There’s even a cat rescue in the back of the store.


Read Between the Lines

Forbidden Planet 840 Broadway (at 13th St), 212-473-1576, fpnyc.com. One of the largest comics stores in the world, Forbidden Planet stocks books, DVDs, manga, action figures and all the gaming gear a fangirl could want.

Bluestockings 172 Allen St (nr Stanton St), 212-777-6028, bluestockings.com. A stellar selection of feminist, queer and lefty lit occupies the shelves at this venerable Lower East Side shop. The fair trade coffee and vegan snacks aren’t bad either.

Housing Works Bookstore Café 126 Crosby St (nr Houston St), 212-334-3324, housingworksbookstore.org. Stop by the SoHo store for an uncommonly thorough inventory of used art books and a daily schedule of readings by award-winning authors. Best of all, proceeds fund Housing Works’ programs for New Yorkers affected by HIV/AIDS.

Unoppressive Non-Imperialist Bargain Books 34 Carmine St (nr Bleecker St), 212-229-0079, unoppressivebooks.blogspot.com. One can’t imagine a more descriptive name for this eclectic store’s offerings, which range from tarot cards and occultism to biographies of Bob Dylan.

Greenlight Bookstore 686 Fulton St (at S Portland St), 718-246-0200, greenlightbookstore.com. Who says print is dead? Greenlight opened in 2009 has found success with a focus on Brooklyn authors, community events and a story hour for local tots.


Sexual Healing

Babeland 43 Mercer St, 212-966-2120; 94 Rivington St, 212-375-1701; 462 Bergen St, Brooklyn, 718-638-3820; babeland.com. The woman-friendly sex shop chainlet stocks the silly—dirty dice, bachelorette party favors—and the seriously sexy, like Jimmyjane silicone vibrators with interactive technology.

Pleasure Chest 156 7th Ave South, 212-242-2158, thepleasurechest.com. We love the Pleasure Chest’s fun and provocative kits, with all the lube, vibes and other goodies you need for a sensuous night in.

Honey 110 N 6th St, 718-302-1760, honeygifts.com. The only U.S. location of this Canadian shop just happens to be in Williamsburg. Find a huge range of intimate items, from demure bridal lingerie and massage candles to sex furniture.

Bra Smyth 905 Madison Ave (btw 72nd and 73rd Sts), 212-772-9400, brasmyth.com. Expert fitters are on hand to help you find the perfect bra—you’ll never tug on your straps or suffer from spillover again after a visit to Bra Smyth. The flagship store carries an impressive range of bra brands, as well as lingerie and accessories.


To Market

Brooklyn Flea 176 Lafayette Ave (btw Clermont and Vanderbilt Aves), Fort Greene; East River Waterfront (btw North 6th and North 7th Sts), Williamsburg; brooklynflea.com. The granddaddy of 21st-century outdoor markets, the Fort Greene market features more than 150 varied vendors on Saturdays. The Williamsburg location, on Sundays, is almost as large and includes the Smorgasburg all-food market.

Murray’s Cheese 254 Bleecker St (btw 6th and 7th Aves), 212-243-3289, murrayscheese.com. Don’t know your Gouda from your Gorgonzola? Murray’s Cheese experts will lead you to perfect pairings of cheese and wine or design a trio of complementary cheeses for your next cocktail party.

Dekalb Market 138 Willoughby St (at Flatbush Ave), Brooklyn, dekalbmarket.com. The shops in this unique outdoor market, open seven days a week, are housed in repurposed metal shipping containers. In addition to vintage clothes, artisan foods and other crafts, the market hosts a community garden and outdoor event space.

Smorgasburg East River Waterfront Esplanade, Brooklyn, 212-619-5000, smorgasburg.com. The city’s buzziest artisan food vendors gather in one place (as part of the Brooklyn Flea) to tickle your taste buds every Sunday. Our faves: BiteMe mini cheesecakes, scrumptious seafood from Red Hook Lobster Pound and homemade jams from Anarchy in a Jar.


WHERE TO PLAY

 

Let the Sun Shine In

New Amsterdam Market South St (btw Beekman St and Peck Slip), 212-766-8688, newamsterdammarket.org. Foodie heaven: this market serves up the tri-state’s best locavore/organic produce, homemade breads, handmade cheeses and meats, wines and more under one roof (literally—it’s under the FDR overpass). Open Sundays from 11am to 4pm.

Audubon Eco-Cruises Departs Pier 17 at South Street Seaport, 212-742-1969, nywatertaxi.com/tours/Audubon. Experience the wild side of the city by New York Water Taxi, along with the Audubon Society’s urban naturalists. The twilight heron cruise plies the East River and New York Harbor for singular views of nesting waterbirds and uninhabited islands.

Summerstage Various locations, 212-360-CPSS, summerstage.org. City Parks Foundation’s annual extravaganza features more than 100 free and benefit concerts, dance performances, theater and interactive community activities in city parks this summer. We’re looking forward to Joey Arias’ show on June 15 in Central Park.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden 900 Washington Ave (at President St), Brooklyn, 718-623-7200, bbg.org. With a renewed focus on urban habitats, the BBG recently unveiled its new visitors center with a sustainable rooftop garden. Bring a picnic and dine al fresco under the Cherry Esplanade.

Celebrate Brooklyn! Prospect Park bandshell, Prospect Park West at 9th St, Brooklyn, bricartsmedia.org. Central Park too crowded? The Celebrate Brooklyn! outdoor concert series in Prospect Park features top-notch talent (usually for free!) all summer, plus Dyke Slope eye candy.

Rooftop Films Various locations, rooftopfilms.com. Indie films, shorts and experimental projects screen in pop-up cinemas in outdoor spaces. They’re movies with a view.

Citi Bike Various locations, citibikenyc.com. The city’s new bike-share program launches in July with 10,000 bikes at 600 stations across the city. Download the Citi Bike app for real-time availability.

MoMA Nights Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd St (btw 5th and 6th Aves), 212-708-9400, moma.org. MoMA’s summer concert series in the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden returns on Thursdays in July and August. Performances include Brazilian, Colombian, African and experimental music, free with museum admission.

Warm Up PS1, 22-25 Jackson Ave (at 46th Ave), Long Island City, Queens, 718-784-2084, momaps1.org. A showcase for the hottest electronic music acts and breeding ground for the next generation of contemporary acts, Warm Up takes over MoMA PS1’s courtyard on Saturdays from July-September 8 this year. Revelers will frolic around the angular outdoor installation by HWKN, winners of MoMA PS1’s Young Architects Program.

Lawn games in Bryant Park bryantpark.org You don’t need to belong to a country club—or own a lawn—to enjoy outdoor games in the city. Head to Bryant Park for a summer-long slate of free outdoor yoga, ping-pong, petanque, tai chi, fencing and even fly-fishing classes.

Governors Ball Randalls Island, governorsballmusicfestival.com. One of NYC’s largest music festivals, the indie-oriented Gov Ball welcomes an incredible roster of talent—Beck, Passion Pit, Fiona Apple, Santigold, Modest Mouse and many, many more—to the two-day fest on Randall’s Island, June 23-24.

Kayak the Hudson River downtownboathouse.org Learn how to paddle on the Hudson—for free—at three locations along the river. If you’re already a seasoned mariner, borrow a kayak and safely explore the protected embankment near the boathouse.

River to River Festival rivertorivernyc.com. The annual festival of concerts, dance, outdoor art installations, movies under the stars and much more returns to sites scattered throughout lower Manhattan. We’re stoked for lesbian poet Eileen Myles’ reading at Poets House on June 30.

Shakespeare in the Park Delacorte Theater in Central Park, 212-539-8500, shakespeareinthepark.org. The Public Theater celebrates the 50th anniversary of its wildly popular summer season in Central Park with two new star-studded productions: Shakespeare’s comedy As You Like It (June 5-30) and Stephen Sondheim’s musical Into the Woods (July 23-August 25).

Coney Island Atlantic Ocean (between West 37th & Brighton 15th Sts), Brooklyn, coneyisland.com. Burlesque beauties, weekly fireworks and freakshows, nail-biting thrills on the historic Cyclone roller coaster—New York’s seaside summer playground has it all. Don’t miss the wacky procession of Neptune’s courtiers and sexy sea sirens at the iconic Mermaid Parade’s 30th anniversary on June 23.

 

Inside Attractions

Museum of the City of New York 1220 Fifth Ave (at 103rd St), 212-534-1672, mcny.org. If you find it easy to navigate through the city’s numbered streets, thank the urban planners in MCNY’s current exhibit, The Greatest Grid: The Master Plan of Manhattan, 1811-2011.

Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 5th Ave (at E 82nd St), 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org. Sip a refreshing drink on the Met’s roof as you explore Tomás Saraceno’s reflective sculpture Cloud City. Inside, check out the Costume Institute’s blockbuster show Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations.

Brooklyn Museum 200 Eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn, 718-638-5000, brooklynmuseum.org. Brooklyn’s premier arts destination frequently produces exhibits with gay themes. Now on view: Keith Haring: 1978-1982 and Newspaper Fiction: The New York Journalism of Djuna Barnes, 1913–1919.

Gracie Mansion Tour East End Ave at 88th St, call 311, gracietours@cityhall.nyc.gov. See where NYC’s bigwigs get ‘er done at the city’s official mayor’s residence. General tours on Wednesdays; Tea Tours on Tuesdays and Thursdays include a formal tea with dainty cakes.

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center 208 West 13th St (btw 7th and 8th Aves), 212-620-7310, gaycenter.org. Pick up your copy of GO and peruse the packed calendar of support groups, classes, social networks and cultural happenings at the LGBT Center. You’re sure to find a group of like-minded friends, no matter how idiosyncratic your interests.

Lesbian Herstory Archives 484 14th St, Brooklyn, 718-768-DYKE, lesbianherstoryarchives.org. Support the city’s only repository of lesbian history and culture, conveniently located in the heart of Dyke Slope. The all-volunteer organization holds open hours at least once per week, so call before stopping by.

New-York Historical Society 170 Central Park West (at 77th St), 212-873-3400, nyhistory.org. New York’s oldest museum is looking good after its multimillion-dollar facelift, completed last year. Summer visitors shouldn’t miss its new special exhibit, Beer Here: Brewing New York’s History (through September 2).

Queer/Art/Film IFC Center, 323 6th Ave (at W 3rd St), 212-924-7771, ifccenter.com. Local gay film celebs introduce each of the decidedly queer features in this monthly film series. Don’t miss I Could Go on Singing (July 23), introduced by Welcome to the Dollhouse star Heather Matarazzo; and the campy Hitchcock thriller Rope (August 20) with remarks from artist Anthony Goicolea.

Asia Society 725 Park Ave (at 70th St), 212-288-6400, asiasociety.org. Network with artsy, intellectually curious ‘mos at the Asia Society’s Leo Bar on the third Friday of every month. It’s your chance to view the contemporary Asian art collections and special exhibits for free (with drink in hand).


Sidebar: Useful websites

GO Magazine, gomag.com

Heritage of Pride (NYC Pride organizers), nycpride.org

Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender Community Center, gaycenter.org

New York City Anti-Violence Project, avp.org

NYC: The Official Guide, nycgo.com

Public Transit: mta.info, njtransit.com


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