Stuff to Do

9 Top New York City Tours

What Good is Staying All Alone in Your Room? It’s Time to Get Out and See New York City

Spring gives added impetus for getting outside. These tours of New York City are guaranteed to show you aspects of the city that you may have forgotten, so lace up your walking shoes, put on your sunglasses – it’s time to explore!

Broadway Up Close

Tim Dolan of Broadway Up Close Courtesy Broadway Up Close

We’re still so many steps away from having Broadway back and running. In the interim, Tim Dolan has put together a series of tours designed to make you ask for an encore. A true Broadway savant, Dolan knows a thing or two about the Great White Way and has made it his life’s passion to uncover the Theater District’s dirty little secrets, or even those that aren’t so dirty. Broadway Up Close is led by the Green Team, all working actors quite intimate with the “secrets” and stories of Broadway.

Sardi's Courtesy Broadway Up Close

A range of tours will show you the interiors and hidden gems of great theaters of the past like the splendid theater that is now the Times Square Church. You’ll learn fun facts like how the Tony’s got their start thanks to some very determined women and about the architect of many of the theaters, a gentleman named Herbert J. Krapp. At every stop, there’s more to absorb and you’ll also find out why some theaters are better suited to certain types of shows.

Dolan has researched so much about Broadway that he seems to channel the ghosts of the Gershwins, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and the Schuberts as he describes their role in Broadway history. He also has a vast assemblage of rare photos that are truly amazing. Broadway Bar Crawl, Hudson Theater, and Broadway Ruins are three of the tours currently offered, accompanied by Dolan’s mascot Belasco, named after one of the theaters. Virtual tours are also offered.

On Location Tours

F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Clapboard Courtesy On Location Tours

On Location Tours has pivoted during the pandemic and is now offering private tour versions of all of their TV and movie-themed bus and walking tours. Some of the popular tours include the Sex and the City Hotspots Tour, NYC TV & Movie Tour, Gossip Girl Sites Tour, and Central Park TV & Movie Sites Walking Tour. In addition to offering private tours to small groups, On Location Tours has also launched their first virtual tour: The F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Virtual Tour Package, which includes a 40-minute virtual tour featuring 18 locations from the series, along with free admission to a virtual trivia night held once a month.

Mrs. Maisel's Marvelous Tour of NYC Courtesy On Location Tours

Of their many tours, the newest has been reconfigured to give you a private experience in a 1957 Studebaker, the car seen in all three seasons of the popular Marvelous Mrs. Maisel TV show. Mrs. Maisel’s Marvelous Tour of NYC is led by a “marvelous” tour guide, who looks like one of the characters from the show, wearing the colorful coats that Midge Maisel famously wears. If you’re a fan of the show, the sites visited will be very familiar to you. Sort of. You’ll hear how these locations were disguised to make modern-day New York City appear as the 1950s. Among the landmarks visited are Washington Square Park where Midge joined in a protest, Old Town Bar where Joel and Archie knocked down a few, Café Reggio where Tony Shaloub meets with his lawyer and the music store (still unchanged) where Midge picks up “dirty” comedy albums to help with her routines. You’ll also pass landmarks that have taken on new lives today like the former B. Altman’s where Midge worked in Season One and the comedy club where Midge did her first stand-up.

As Mrs. Maisel enters its fourth season,  it’s a wonderful time to re-acquaint yourself with the landmarks that were important to Mrs. Maisel’s development as a stand-up comedian and to important moments in her marriage. Fittingly, you end at the La Bonbonniere which was transformed into The City Spoon, the scene of many important Midge-Joel moments.

Washington Square Park - Courtesy US Ghost Adventures

NYC Ghosts

You can bet that New York City is filled spirits just waiting to meet you at every corner. With a history so colorful, the city’s departed residents are equally colorful. And many are lingering in some of the most historical landmarks in the city. NY Ghosts will lead you on a one-mile sojourn to some of these locations that are truly strange and twisted. You don’t need to be a fan of Hamilton to know about the duels that took place in the city, but there will be other surprises that emerge as you travel from neighborhood to neighborhood.

Courtesy Tours by Frieda

Tours by Frieda

Tours by Frieda is the only tour in NYC that gives you an in-depth look at the city’s orthodox Jewish culture with a visit to Hasidic Williamsburg. Resuming this spring, this is a walking tour into an area of Brooklyn that  is like a visit to the Old Country. It’s a must for anyone wanting to get an insider’s look at one of the city’s most distinctive neighborhoods. Virtual tours are also offered.

Context Tours

Courtesy Context Tours

Known for taking a more docent-like approach to their tours, delving deep in history, architecture and more with a more scholarly focus than you might see in other tours, Context Tours NYC experiences are now both virtual and IRL.

Wings Air Helicopter Tours

Courtesy Wings Air helicopters

A helicopter tour of NYC is a great way to a lot of New York in a short amount of time. Comfortable and designed for your private group, Wings Air helicopters take you up and up to see the drama of the city from the sky. The helicopters are sanitized before and after your trip as are headsets which are optional, if you prefer. Your pilot and narrator will be the only other person on your flight and masks are required.  45-minute and 30-minute version are offered. Depending on which length you choose you’ll see views of Central Park, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, Madison Square Garden, Harlem, the George Washington Bridge and Yankee Stadium. The longer tour adds Downtown with the Freedom Tower, Financial District, Battery Park, Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty.

ToursByLocals

Courtesy Apollo Theater

ToursByLocals has continued operating through the pandemic with excursions including in-person walking, driving, or caravan tours with masks and social distancing as well as new virtual experiences.  In-person and virtual tours are available to cover pretty much any area of interest and geographical area that might intrigue you. You could plan an entire visit just booking one tour after another, and you’ll get insights that truly come from those who live here.

A popular tour is to Upper Harlem which shows you the most important landmarks in New York’s vibrant Black history. You’ll visit music landmarks like the Apollo Theater. Virtual tours are also offered.

Sherpa Tours

Chinatown Courtesy Sherpa Tours

Sherpa Tours has put a novel spin on the in-person walking tour, creating a GPS-directed-tour with an AR component. You’ll walk by a series of landmarks and point your camera to activate the AR avatar guide, who shares the tour information. All tours are created by longtime guides and experts. Among the tours offered are LGBTQ+ West Village which visits The Stonewall Inn, a site of major importance in gay rights; The Upper West Side where John Lennon was shot; Little Italy and Chinatown and New York’s 42nd Street

New York Adventure Club

Grand Central Terminal © Meryl Pearlstein

The New York Adventure Club creates experiences geared for locals and curious visitors, built around the interesting people and places in the NYC area. With their mind-boggling array of in-person tours starting this spring, you’ll have a tough time deciding which to book. The people leading these tours are some of the most knowledgeable that I’ve seen anywhere. Consider, for example, the “Steinway Piano Factory” tour, an exceptional exploration of the world’s most famous piano, which has its historic factory in Astoria, Queens. Or the “History of NYC Jazz” series, a combination of blues and jazz history which definitively points to New York’s importance in the development and popularity of this music form.  If you’ve ever wondered about “Grand Central Terminal” and its many secrets, the tour of Manhattan’s busy train and subway hub is for you.

Break out Your Easter Bonnets for a Festive Easter Celebration in New York City

We might be together as a family this year, but maybe not. Still, there’s every reason to celebrate Easter and the arrival of spring. Here are some ways to make sure you have a sweet holiday with zoom classes, Easter brunches and sweets for every taste.

Enjoy an Easter Brunch with Your Family

NYC restaurants are back in business and are celebrating this year with wonderful Easter brunches. The range of international dining options and the choice to dine indoors or outdoors add a new dimension to this holiday tradition.

Bar Room at the Beekman Courtesy Crafted Hospitality

The Bar Room at the Beekman

From the team behind Tom Colicchio’s Temple Court comes a classically influenced multi-course Easter brunch that’s purely American.  The Bar Room at the Beekman’s first brunch since the return of indoor dining highlights a spring menu from Matthew Dahlkemper and Abby Swain with savory cheddar biscuits, caviar deviled eggs, braised Colorado lamb shank, smoked salmon benedicts & more.

Courtesy The Osprey

The Osprey

At the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge, in an airy garden setting, The Osprey has cooked up farm-to-table Easter specials with choices reflecting the global nature of New York City. It’s a tour around the world with the likes of the Osprey’s Nest (poached pasture -raised egg, kadaifi, smoked sablefish, lemon crème fraiche and caviar), chitarra carbonara or rhubarb Pavlova with mascarpone sabayon. The menu comes with a bonus — you can walk over the Brooklyn Bridge when you’re done, so the calories come free of charge.

Courtesy Amali

Amali

Your celebration at Amali is a double Easter fête as it includes a treat for Greek Easter as well.  The Mediterranean-inspired Upper East Sider is all about spring with specials like asparagus salad with a soft boiled red egg, leg of lamb, and ricotta pie with candied lemon and lavender. The bonus is koulourakia, a traditional Greek Easter cookie.

Courtesy La Goulue

La Goulue

A few blocks away, La Goulue adds a French flourish to brunch, as conceived by award-winning Executive Chef Antoine Camin. The special prix fixe menu begins with a patisserie selection of croissants, chocolatines, lemon cake and raisin Danish. The menu itself is a mélange of French and traditional with Easter specials including smoked salmon “Maison,” French toast on brioche, and Croque Monsieur.

Courtesy Via Vai

Via Vai

Astoria’s Via Vai invites you to enjoy an Italian Easter with a four-course prix fixe menu by chef-owner Antonio Morichini. Start with baked eggs with porcini mushroom and fontina cheese, for example, followed by a traditional secondo of pasta. Since lamb is traditional for Easter, order the pappardelle with lamb ragù and, for your main, the scottaditto alla Romana. For dessert, Morichini’s bombolone — sweet Italian donuts filled with vanilla pastry cream — will have you saying grazie mille.

Courtesy Ocean Prime

Ocean Prime

Ocean Prime has an at-home kit should you choose to stay home, but the special Easter brunch at the midtown location might be more of a temptation. Putting a spin on classic American brunch favorites, the in-restaurant menu includes lobster toast, blackened salmon salad, crab and eggs hollandaise, or French toast for something sweet. Known for its innovative cocktails, Ocean Prime serves an Easter-perfect blood orange mimosa to accompany your meal.

Stay Home with the Family

Courtesy Zoom & Bloom

Zoom & Bloom

There may not be an extravagant Easter bonnet parade to watch but Zoom & Bloom has a different idea for a hands-on family activity. You’ll receive a beautiful box of assorted flowers in preparation for a zoom workshop led by NYC floral designer Rebecca Merritt. Everyone can arrange a bloom to make a gorgeous Easter centerpiece.

Courtesy Institute of Culinary Education

ICE

The Institute of Culinary Education will help you ramp up your cooking skills with a Spring Easter Dinner virtual cooking class. Family members, whether in the same room or not, can all participate as Chef Sue Gonsalves demonstrates how to make roast rack of lamb, potato gratin and asparagus with lemon vinaigrette. Attendees will receive recipes and ingredient and equipment lists in advance.

Courtesy Bubby’s

Bubby’s

You could go to Bubby’s in Tribeca to enjoy Chef Ron Silver’s homestyle brunch with sourdough pancakes, Easter ham and his famous pies, but why not turn the pie experience into an at-home activity for all? Bubby’s DIY pie kits come with frozen pie dough, apple or sour cherry filling, a disposable pie tin and a fluted pastry wheel, everything you need to make your own Easter sweet.

Chocolate Eggs, Sprinkles and Sweets

Courtesy Venchi

Venchi

International chocolate sensation Venchi Fine Italian Chocolates has a gift for you for Easter: if you stop by their boutique in Union Square or Columbus Circle, you’ll get a tasting of three of their mini Easter eggs on Easter weekend. True chocoholics will love this place and you’d be remiss if you didn’t take some of their gorgeous (and huge) chocolate eggs home with you. Did I mention that there’s a chocolate waterfall in the downtown shop?

Courtesy Magnolia Bakery

Magnolia Bakery

Everyone goes crazy for Magnolia Bakery‘s cupcakes, but their Easter ones might just be the cutest you’ve ever seen. The special holiday “cupcake dozen” are classic vanilla and chocolate cupcakes done up with pastel buttercream frosting with festive Easter decorations.

Courtesy DO Cookie Dough

DO Cookie Dough

Another contender for most creative Easter sweet treat, DO Cookie Dough’s “Easter taster” is a beautifully packaged two- pack of their classic, safe-to-eat flavors. Divide the packs and share all the great flavors — each one comes with three jars of edible cookie dough with irresistible recipes like cake batter, sugar cookie and gimme s’more.

Courtesy Chip City

Chip City

Gourmet cookie company, Chip City is offering a colorful Easter special that’s sure to sell out early. All ages will love the “Bunny Funfetti,” vanilla sugar cookies mixed with rainbow sprinkles and topped with bunny sprinkles – they’re an Instagram natural.

Courtesy Citarella

Citarella

If all the chocolate, cookie and pie conversation has made you yearn for something that’s not overly sweet, food market Citarella has an option for you too. Their Easter-style buttery Challah bread has just a hint of sugar – it’s decorated with dyed eggs and topped with colorful sprinkles.

For Something Completely Different

Courtesy of The Standard, High Line

The Standard

Play bingo for at The Standard in the Meatpacking District. At 8pm on Easter Sunday, The Standard Biergarten will host a special “Naughty Bunny Bingo” at Not Your Standard Bingo, with games, bunny-themed costumes and an array of colorful shots for guests to win with their bingo successes. The menu is equally fun with a variety of specialty cocktails, punch bowls and “bingo bites” like Korean fried chicken, shrimp spring rolls and fish tacos. Reserve in advance so you won’t be disappointed.

Show Your Support for NYC Women During Women’s History Month

March is just a starting point to honor the women who contribute so much to New York City. Here are some places to visit and entrepreneurs to support in recognition of these ladies’ achievements.

Where to Visit

Two New York City parks invite you to enjoy their glorious outdoor spaces while you show your appreciation for the contributions of women.

Bella Abzug Park - Courtesy NYC Department of Parks & Recreation

On Manhattan’s Far West Side near Hudson Yards, Bella Abzug Park honors feminist, civil rights activist, lawyer and U.S. Representative Bella Abzug.

Shirley Chisholm State Park

Shirley Chisholm State Park - Courtesy NY State Parks


Brooklyn’s Shirley Chisholm State Park was named for the first African American congresswoman and the first woman and African American to run for President, Shirley Chisholm

Where to Shop

Courtesy The Lit. Bar

Book lovers can thank Bronx native Noëlle Santos who opened the borough’s first and only indie bookstore, The Lit. Bar, in the borough. The Afro-Latina-owned shop has garnered much attention, bucking the Amazon trend especially when Barnes & Nobles closed its Bronx doors, and offering an inviting wine bar where patrons came to sip and read. When the pandemic hit, Santos jumped into gear, bringing virtual programs to our homes to keep us connected and enlightened.

Courtesy The Sill

Plants have enlivened many a quarantine apartment over the past year and Eliza Blank has made our spaces just a bit more pleasant.  Her plant shop, The Sill plant shop, has storefronts on Manhattan’s Lower East Side and Upper West Side, and in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, but importantly, she also offers a plant delivery service. For those craving some gardening advice, she has created online workshops to teach us plant parenting.

Where to Eat

Female chefs and restaurateurs are true survivors who know their way around NYC kitchens, enriching us with their passion and compassion.

Courtesy LoLo's Seafood Shack

Lolo’s Seafood Shack

Leticia Skai Young-Mohan created a Harlem favorite, LoLo’s Seafood Shack, which fuses Cape Cod and the Caribbean in a delightful mashup. Leticia took advantage of her kitschy urban backyard during the pandemic and didn’t miss a beat. She has so much faith in New York City, in fact, that she recently signed a lease for a new restaurant-concept called LoLo’s Taco Shack, inspired by her family roots in the Yucatan. We love the name: LoLo’s stands for Locally Owned Locally Operated.

Courtesy Pizza Loves Emily

Pizza Loves Emily

Emily Hyland is the co-founder and partner of the hugely successful Pizza Loves Emily restaurants, Emmy Squared and Emily. Introducing Emily’s Detroit-style pizza to NYC was a brave step given the competitiveness among pizzamakers here. Distinct from usual Italian varieties, Emily’s pies have a pan-fried crust and a crispy cheese rim. Her oversized Emmy burger is another must-try. As a result of COVID, Emily launched and led virtual cooking classes, teaching hungry New Yorkers how to make pizzas and burgers.

Courtesy Kaia Wine Bar

Kaia Wine Bar

Suzaan Hauptfleish brought the taste of her native South Africa to the Upper East Side ten years ago. Home grown with a staff that includes her mother, Suzaan’s Kaia Wine Bar is a popular after-work stop for its South African wine list, small plates and mains. During the pandemic, Suzaan pivoted and provided options for the community – from a weekend farmer’s market to meal kits and takeout cocktails. When outdoor spaces were allowed, Suzaan was ready to build a structure but there was no wood to buy. Undaunted, she bought wooden doors and created a cafe.

Courtesy La Palapa Cocina Mexicana

La Palapa Cocina Mexicana

La Palapa has been a neighborhood favorite for more than 20 years. A star when it comes to helping out those in need, chef/owner Barbara Sibley mustered her staff at La Palapa Cocina Mexicana in the East Village and her two La Palapa Taco Bar to create and orchestrate delivery of more than 17,000 meals to frontline and hospital workers through partnership with Jose Andres’ World Central Kitchen and Hospitality Workers United and to The Brooklyn Hospital Center with the Gotham Organization.

Courtesy Mario’s Restaurant

Mario’s

Mario’s Restaurant has offered classic Neapolitan fare in the Bronx’s “real Little Italy” for more than 100 years. Facing community upheaval when the pandemic hit, owner Regina Migliucci-Delfino assumed her role as queen (“regina”) of Belmont, continuing the tradition of Italian hospitality and family by donating everything she could from the kitchen to her staff and community.

Courtesy Bean & Bean

Bean & Bean

Bean & Bean set out to be a different kind of coffee bar. Rachel and Jiyoon Han, the BIPOC mother-and-daughter duo who run the show, are committed to lessening the gender gap in coffee. Currently, more than half of their coffee is female-powered, and their goal is to reach 100% within the year. Embraced by locals, Bean & Bean has grown from its first location in FiDi adding three more in Manhattan and Queens.

Courtesy Make My Cake

Make My Cake

Aliyyah Baylor is a baking sensation serving up signature creations like German chocolate cake, Red Velvet cake and sweet potato cheesecake from her two Make My Cake locations in Central Harlem and the Upper West Side. The pandemic hasn’t slowed her down one bit. Baylor is planning a third location and the I Like it Black Coffee Shop. If anyone has ever been called a “mensch,” that’s Baylor. She gives back to the community through organizations that improve the lives of New York City’s seniors and children including City Meals-on-Wheels and Black Women for Black Girls Giving Circle.

Where to Stay

Women have contributed much to the design element and management of New York City’s hotels.

Courtesy Boro Hotel

The Boro Hotel in Long Island City is both owned and operated by women. Owners and sisters Liz and Antonia Batalias and General Manager Mary O’Sullivan oversee the property. Their indy touch is felt in the hotel’s industrial décor and breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline.

Courtesy Lotte New York Palace

The Lotte New York Palace, led by General Manager Rebecca Hubbard, is a hotel-palace in view of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Rockefeller Center. The landmark property has a hidden bar, a grand staircase and a Bridgerton-like presence, creating a feeling of royalty throughout.

Courtesy The Whitby Hotel

Steps from Fifth Avenue, The Whitby Hotel is led by General Manager Kathrin Apitz with design by hotel founder Kit Kemp whose affinity for color and drama is seen in each individually decorated room and suite.

Courtesy Williamsburg Hotel

The splashy Williamsburg Hotel is owned and operated by Toby Moskovits and General Manager Julita Kropiwnicki.

An Art Road Trip: Artists’ Homes and Studios to Visit in New York, Massachusetts and Maine

The Hudson River Valley and New England are especially rich in artists’ studios and homes, offering a behind-the-scenes opportunity to glimpse the motivations and settings that impacted creativity.

New York and Hudson River Valley

Edward Hopper House Courtesy Edward Hopper Historic House & Study Center

Edward Hopper’s haunting cityscapes are familiar to visitors to the Whitney Museum of American Art, but it’s his early home in Rockland County that provided much inspiration and context. The Nyack countryside gave him ample exposure to light and landscape, which he incorporated into his many depictions of city and country life in the 20th century. The Edward Hopper House Museum & Study Center currently serves as an exhibition space for exhibitions relating to Hopper and works of various artists.

Where to Stay:

Courtesy Hotel Nyack

Hotel Nyack – Designed by the David Rockwell Group, Hotel Nyack is the first boutique, lifestyle hotel in Rockland County and part of the Joie de Vivre/Hyatt collection. The stylish rooms and spaces add a fitting design element to your art getaway.

Courtesy The Castle Hotel and Spa

The Castle Hotel and Spa – A short drive from Nyack,  The Castle Hotel and Spa in Tarrytown will inspire your creative muse with its original architectural elements. In an envious location overlooking the lower Hudson River Valley, the distinctive castle dates from 1897 and was designed in the style of a Norman fortification in Wales, Ireland and Scotland.

Thomas Cole’s Old Studio © John Thorn

Thomas Cole is synonymous with the Hudson River School. It was Cole who gave birth to America’s first significant art movement and his landscapes occupy an important place in museums like the National Gallery, New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. After a visit to Cole’s beautiful Catskill home with its sweeping views of the Catskill Mountains you might just be tempted to pause a while with your own sketchbook. The Thomas Cole National Historic Site features changing exhibits of landscape paintings.

Olana © Stan Ries

In nearby Hudson, Frederic Edwin Church, the second important painter of the Hudson River School, established his family home, studio and estate. Unlike his teacher Thomas Cole, Church is best known for paintings of exotic locales instead of the local scenery that Cole favored. Resembling a Hudson River School painting, the Olana State Historic Site covers 250 acres and includes Church’s Persian-inspired house with commanding views of the Hudson River Valley. On display are paintings by Church as well as other collected art.

The dining room at Manitoga © Vivian Linares

Manitoga/The Russel Wright Design Center in Garrison invites visitors to spend time contemplating Wright’s seamless merging of indoor and outdoor design. This famous house, created by industrial designer Russel Wright, seems to flow effortlessly into beautiful gardens with waterfalls, an example of the modernist design he introduced to the world. The setting was transformed from a ravaged industrial site into a spot for artistic creativity with miles of paths and views of the Hudson River.

Where to Stay:

Courtesy The Maker Hotel

The Maker Hotel – Newly opened in the artsy-Boho town of Hudson, The Maker Hotel is filled with vintage and current arts, crafts and works from local artisans and makers. A perfect complement to the artists’ homes in the Hudson River Valley, the hotel also has a notable dining room and fitness options.

New England

Chesterwood © Don Freeman

Another favorite area of artists, the Berkshires in western Massachusetts is the location of Chesterwood, the summer home, studio and gardens of lauded American sculptor Daniel Chester French. One of America’s foremost public sculptors, French created more than 100 monuments including the acclaimed Minute Man in Concord, Massachusetts and Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial. Many of the original plaster models and sculptures in bronze and marble can be viewed in his Stockbridge home. Visitors are welcome to wander the European-inspired gardens, particularly beautiful in the spring and autumn.

Frelinghuysen Morris House © Paul Rocheleau

The next town over, Lenox, is the site of Bauhaus-inspired Frelinghuysen Morris House & Studio, the two-story white stucco and glass, modernist home of Suzy Frelinghuysen and George L.K. Morris, painters, collectors and founders of American Abstract Art. The house is notable for its contrast to the “cottage”-type architecture found in the area. The house museum displays an extensive collection of mid-century art including the couple’s own cubist works.

Where to Stay:

Courtesy The Inn at Kenmore Hall

The Inn at Kenmore Hall — The first summer arts colony in the Berkshires in the 1880s, Kenmore Hall in Richmond counted Daniel Chester French among its students. Today, the history-filled B&B has been lovingly restored with appropriate design and appointments for an intimate stay in a gorgeous setting near the attractions of the Berkshires.

Winslow Homer Studio © Trent Bell Photography

Winslow Homer was inspired by the rough coastlines of Maine, particularly those in the southern part of the state. His studio, located on Prouts Neck in Scarborough, is overseen by the Portland Museum of Art. If you walk along the peninsula and the beach, you’ll understand the chilly, rocky images that Homer painted. You might even recognize some the views from paintings at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Museum or Chicago Art Institute. Homer spent 17 years at this location, living in the simple understated structure and painting from a balcony overlooking the ocean. To visit the studio, you must first stop at the Portland Museum of Art – a chance to see some of the artist’s paintings – and then board a shuttle to Prouts Neck.

Kent—Fitzgerald Historic Home Courtesy Fitzgerald Legacy Archives, © John Lawrence

As early as 1850, Monhegan Island in Maine had become a magnet for artists. The headlands of the remote island and its wild, car-free setting were a draw for creative souls, appealing with their natural beauty and simplicity. Up steep Light House Hill, artist Rockwell Kent built a home and studio that was later used by artist James Fitzgerald and portraitist Alice Stoddard. Kent painted much of what he saw daily en plein air focusing on regional realism while Fitzgerald’s watercolor interpretations of the area were created from memory and sketched indoors. Kent’s famous Winter, Monhegan Island is a stylized depiction, on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Artworks created by Fitzgerald and Stoddard are shown in the nearby Monhegan Museum of Art & History.

Where to Stay:

Courtesy The Black Point Inn

The Black Point Inn – On a sweep of beach on Prouts Neck in Scarborough, the classic Maine resort is a look into the relaxed history of the area.  With its waterfront location, traditional Maine dining, and classic architecture, the inn will help you understand why Winslow Homer chose this location for his studio.

Pierce Cottage at The Island Inn © Meryl Pearlstein

The Island Inn You’ll understand why Monhegan Island appeals to artists when you stay at the inn. Overlooking the harbor with scenery that becomes the main event of the day, the Island Inn and its adjacent Pierce Cottage embodies simplicity, allowing the environs to remain the star of the show. Simple rooms and a popular porch with rocking chairs along with Adirondack chairs on the lawn invite you to relax after a day of exploring the island and the art.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation and writer Valerie A. Balint have created a guide that covers these areas and more, including detail and photos for 44 artists’ homes and working studios in 21 states.

Let’s Toast to the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day

These bakeries, pubs and restaurants will have you celebrating on St. Patty’s Day, March 17.

Make It a Sweet Holiday with These Delicious Treats

Courtesy Clarkson Avenue Crumb Cake Company

Clarkson Avenue Crumb Cake Company

Say “cheers” to St. Patrick’s Day with a stout-flavored crumb cake from Clarkson Avenue Crumb Cake Company. One of the most delicious cakes I’ve had in recent times, the “Brooklyn Danny Boy” crumb cake is a holiday version of their Brooklyn recipe, available only in March. The base is a chocolate stout cake, piled high with Irish cream crumb topping, and demands to be eaten along with an Irish coffee (or a Guinness, if you prefer). Cakes are shipped free from their New York location.

Courtesy Chip City

Chip City

NYC’s Chip City has baked up a festive Irish cookie to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Stop by their locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens for a pack of colorful Lucky Charm cookies to please every leprechaun in the house. The Insta-perfect cereal cookies are filled with marshmallow fluff and topped with Lucky Charms. Order in advance online or pick them up in-person from March 15 – 20.

Leonelli Bakery (c) Emily Chan

Leonelli Bakery

Spanning two important heritages in New York City, Michelin-starred chef Jonathan Benno’s Leonelli Bakery is offering gorgeous Irish-flag inspired Italian Rainbow Cookies in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. The cookies are made with house-made raspberry jam wedged between layers of white, green and orange almond cake. You can order in advance online in larger quantities, or purchase the colorful confections in-shop.

Raise a Toast to the Irish

McSorley’s Old Ale House (c) Meryl Pearlstein

McSorley’s Old Ale House

There’s little discussion when it comes to choosing the most classic (and intriguing) Irish bar in Manhattan. McSorley’s Old Ale House in the East Village has a storied history dating from 1854, surviving all kinds of controversy from not allowing entry to women (with no women’s restrooms for many, many years) to continuously operating during Prohibition and avoiding closure by offering a snack of saltines with mustard, onions and cheese. The original precursor to today’s “Cuomo chips,” the offbeat snack is still on the menu as are the pub’s two original libations. Order a lager or an ale, and there you have it — that’s McSorley’s in a nutshell. You had to wait to get in even before the pandemic – plan to wait a long time to celebrate now.

Courtesy The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog

The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog

Founded by two talented Irish bartenders looking for a place to show off their cocktail wizardry, The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog in the Seaport District is more than a bar. It’s a place to dive into everything Irish with merchandise, beers, cocktails and great Irish food. The 19th-century setting is set up with dividers between tables to allow for safe, St. Patrick’s Day enjoyment. The décor will set the mood immediately – it’s classic Irish with green walls and wood ceilings and floors. Expect the usuals when it comes to lrish dishes from bangers and mash to fish and chips and Irish lamb stew.

The Galway Hooker

Be careful when you say you’re meeting up at the Hooker. Known to many as just that, The Galway Hooker is named for an Irish sailboat of the type typically found off the coast of Ireland in Galway Bay. A great spot to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, the West Village watering hole also offers the usual Irish pub grub like chicken sandwiches and burgers, but with a side of kicky Jameson fries.

Courtesy The Late Late

The Late Late

If you’ve ever watched Irish TV, the name of The Late Late will be immediately familiar. Recognizing Ireland’s “Late Late Show,” the world’s oldest late-night talk show, The Late Late is a Lower East Side staple for drinks and food. Modeled after an Irish residence rather than a typical Irish pub and offering a menu of more than 100 Irish whiskeys, The Late Late brings Irish-ness into dishes like bangers and mash. Order a burger topped with a choice of Jameson habanero, malt mayo or Guinness barbecue sauce to help you soak up all that liquid goodness.

Courtesy The Perfect Pub

The Perfect Pub

Times Square has had its share of Irish pubs over the years, but The Perfect Pub stands out for its conviviality, outdoor balcony and its exceptionally wide range of beer and whiskeys. The food menu goes beyond standard Irish pub grub like bangers and mash, beef stew, Shepherd’s Pie and burgers adding a range of global choices. If it’s available, try the Irish Cream cheesecake. While it would be remiss of you not to order a perfectly poured Guinness here, the pub (and its sister namesake in Midtown) has a range of 30 international brews on tap. Show your love to Times Square and this special Irish day as you share a pint with someone who might have roots in the Emerald Isle and possibly someone you’ve met late-night at a pub in Dingle.

Courtesy Donovan’s Pub

Donovan’s Pub

Welcoming Irish (and non-Irish) revelers to Woodside, Queens since 1966, Donovan’s Pub established a reputation early on for its notable burgers that were the perfect accompaniment to a pint of Guinness. Not a burger eater? No worries – there are plenty of sandwiches, steaks, and a very Irish Shepherd’s Pie to chow down on with your favorite brew.

The Greens (c) Meryl Pearlstein

The Greens on the Rooftop at Pier 17

Combine a view of the Manhattan skyline and Lady Liberty herself, the original green New York City monument, with a visit to the Seaport. At the aptly named Greens on the Rooftop at Pier 17, “go green” in a personal cabin where drinks and food will be served along with modern Irish music playing through the speakers inside. The cabin’s private TV screens will show scenic footage of the rolling hills of Ireland to transport you across the Pond. The menu serves up Ireland, too, with Shepherd’s Pie and Irish whiskey as well as Irish-spirited cocktails from Dante’s.

NYC Restaurant Week® To Go Is Extended through the End of February

Let’s call it what it is: the city’s popular prix fixe dining event, NYC Restaurant Week, should really be called NYC Restaurant Month. This year, in deference to the evolving outdoor dining, indoor dining and takeout/delivery situation, the newly renamed NYC Restaurant Week® To Go has been extended through February 28. You still have plenty of time to try out some of the fascinating cuisines featured in neighborhoods all over the city without ever leaving your home, all for the low price of $20.21 per meal.

No Passport Needed: Around the World

Marta (c) Peter Garritano

If you’ve been lamenting not dining at Union Square Hospitality Group’s popular restaurants, you’ll be happy that Union Square Café, Blue Smoke, Marta and Gramercy Tavern have all ponied up for Restaurant Week® To Go. Happily, now-closed Blue Smoke has two of their signature BBQ items available:  pulled pork and Texas beef brisket. Grab them while you can.

Courtesy Concord Hill

Simple but decidedly Brooklyn in inspo, Concord Hill brings you Chef Guy Kairi’s locally sourced, wild caught fish with a side of truffled fingerling potatoes. Ask for one of the New American restaurant’s signature cocktail infusions to go.

Courtesy UN Plaza Grill

Midtown East’s glamorous and kosher UN Plaza Grill is a popular stop for UN delegates as well as neighborhood residents. Diners can choose either the Plaza Burger with homemade BBQ sauce or chicken paillard with a Mediterranean couscous chopped salad. Please note, the restaurant is closed on Friday and Saturday until dinner.

Courtesy Lekka Burger

Chef Amanda Cohen’s plant-powered burger restaurant, Lekka Burger, has just what you need for settling in with your boo on a snowy evening. Curated from the TriBeCa restaurant’s menu favorites, you’ll get a signature Lekka burger, broccolini Caesar salad, French fries and a milkshake in your choice of flavor.

Courtesy CS DAK by Cuisine Solutions

CS DAK by Cuisine Solutions, New York’s first Dark Assembly Kitchen showcasing sous vide cuisine, is partnering with City Harvest for Restaurant Week® to Go. Under the direction of Chef Sean Wheaton, the team will donate a meal to City Harvest for every meal sold, helping to support the organization’s work rescuing food for New Yorkers in need. CS DAK is very generous to you as well, offering a culinary trip around the world with five chef-curated choices including roasted cod, petit beef tender, chicken breast, Mexican-style tamarind glazed pork ribs and Berkshire pork belly, all with a range of creative sides.

I’m in the Mood for Italian

Courtesy Mario’s Restaurant

Mario’s Restaurant on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx is as Italian as you can get. The 102-year-old Belmont fave serves up chicken cutlet parmigiana, chicken Francese, veal cutlet parmigiana, veal marsala, linguini with white or red clam sauce, ravioli, or fillet of sole Napoletana or oreganata, all with appropriate sides or salad. Ask for a bottle of Chianti to accompany.

Leonelli Restaurant (c) Emily chan

Leonelli Restaurant & Bar will keep you cozy with cuisine from Michelin-starred chef Jonathan Benno’s (Lincoln Ristorante) trattoria in the Evelyn Hotel. A polenta baguette, eggplant parmesan or lasagna verde Bolognese, and almond biscotti make a great spread while you tune into another season of The Crown. Or with this, you might want to consider re-watching The Sopranos.

Courtesy Gran Morsi

Tribeca’s Gran Morsi is offering one of the most extensive Italian selections for Restaurant Week with pizza, nine pastas and many contorni. Try the unusual busiate cacio e pepe or the spaghetti limone for something you might not find elsewhere. For your side, polpette or truffle arancini are a must.

So Many Asian Cuisines

Courtesy Kimika

Chef Christine Lau’s new Japanese-Italian fusion restaurant, Kimika, offers a Menchi Katsu version of a burger combining 30-day dry aged beef, fried mozzarella, shaved cabbage and pickled onion, served with a side of duck fat-fried potatoes. Pretend you’re sipping at the NoLita bar with innovative alcoholic and zero-proof cocktails like “Not a Rum and Coke” with rum, amaro, sherry and Prosecco; or the zero-proof “Basil Cobbler,” a combo of Seedlip Spice, basil, cranberry and other flavors.

Courtesy Tiger Lily Kitchen

Tiger Lily Kitchen highlights Michelle Morgan’s health-conscious, gluten-free Asian dishes.  The soon-to-be-permanent restaurant features appetizers including vegetable summer rolls, Japanese kabocha squash soup, or tofu bites with chili-spiced garlic chips. Mains offer a choice of lemongrass roast chicken, grilled Koji marinated salmon or vegetarian coconut curry with tofu.

Courtesy Torien

As close as you can be to Japan now, Tokyo export Torien in NoHo is offering a range of yakitori bento boxes including Yakitori- Soboro Bento with sauteed minced chicken, nori seaweed and egg; an all-veggie Yaki-Yasai Bento with Torien’s custom spice blend; or a Grilled Vegan Vegetables Box. Sides are a choice of toridashi chicken soup or vegetable broth. The yakitori counter’s skewers are prepared over a custom grill uskng charcoal imported from Japan.

Courtesy Little Chef Little Café

From Long Island City, Little Chef Little Café’s three-course meal includes a starter beverage choice of housemade iced ginger tea, basil lemonade or rosemary limeade. Highlights on Chef Diana Manalang’s Filipino menu are the adventurous Sinigang, a Filipino tamarind-based soup with tomatoes, potatoes, tofu, green beans and bok choy; or a rice bowl with garlic fried rice and topped with chicken adobo, pork adobo or vegan Ginataang (vegetables sauteed in coconut milk and topped with spicy pickled pineapple). Dessert is a traditional Filipino comfort treat, Biko, a coconut rice cake.

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