Posts Tagged ‘Brooklyn’

Fall Art Installations in New York City

After a long, hot summer, it’s refreshing to stroll around the city, particularly when the streets are dotted with exciting artwork, some permanent and some temporary. While museums are slowly opening, these exhibits will help you get your art fix.

Harlem presents a new monument celebrating multiple African kings. Titled The Boulevard of African Monarchs, the piece was designed by New York artist Kenseth Armstead and is located at 116th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard. A three-dimensional piece standing 10’ x 10’ x 10’, it was unveiled in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Boulevard of African Monarchs

Celebrating women for the first time in Central Park, the new Women’s Rights Pioneers Monument honors three New York women: Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony on Literary Walk at the Southern end of the Mall. The monument was unveiled in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote. The three women are shown seated around a table with Susan B. Anthony holding a “Votes for Women” pamphlet, Stanton holding a pen and Truth in the midst of speaking.

Women’s Rights Pioneers Monument

Also honoring women, a preview of the IF/THEN She Can exhibit is located at the Central Park Zoo. Starting with six, the exhibit will ultimately have 122 3D printed statues of notable women scientists. The pop-up preview includes Kristine Inman (wildlife biologist), Rae Wynn-Grant (ecologist), Dorothy Tovar (microbiologist), Jess Champ (shark researcher), Earyn McGee (herpetologist), Kristen Lear (bat conservationist). The project is a collaboration between the Central Park Zoo and the IF/THEN organization.

IF/THEN She Can

In Between is a new concept of video art exhibition where continuous artwork is displayed for 15 seconds every two minutes on a large digital billboard in the heart of Times Square. Starting with artist Ben Hagari, the first video is part of his pandemic-inspired “About Face” video series. Filmed in his home in NYC, the image shows a character, constrained by limited expression and space, trying to navigate daily routines. As conceived by Hagari, the faceless protagonist reflects the concealed images of people today wearing masks as they go about their business.

Ben Hagari “About Face” video series

King Kong has met a worthy rival with the new reclining gorilla sculpture by Gillie and Marc Schattner. In partnership with the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, the artists hope to bring awareness about the diminishing population of gorillas in the world with their sculpture in Hudson Yards. King Nyani is based on the head of a silverback gorilla family and is the largest bronze gorilla statue in the world. Visitors are invited to sit in his hand, socially distanced of course. The sculpture sits in Bella Abzug Park.

King Nyani Photograph: Courtesy Gillie and Marc Schattner

NYC’s community gardens are fast becoming locations for some of the city’s most innovative and colorful art. As part of GreenThumb’s Art in the Gardens – Shed Murals project offering artists a means to display their art, the Flora_Interpretations mural by Rose and Mike DeSiano reflects the beauty of Manhattan’s Clinton Community Garden by two native New Yorkers with input from local residents.

Flora_Interpretations mural by Rose and Mike DeSiano

Also part of the GreenThumb’s Art in the Gardens – Shed Murals project, The Bronx shows off Vincent Parisot’s red, green and yellow wall painting of an agave americana plant, known as Athanatos in Greece, the home of the artist.  The name means without end, an allusion to longevity and to the love shared by the couples whose names and hearts are often inscribed on the leaves of the plant. Together, Athanatos for ever is in Jardin De Las Rosas.

A second mural in the Bronx, at the Jackson Forests Community Garden, Lady K Fever, Celebrations shows a group of people rejoicing over the creation of the garden with other images indicating planned garden features such as a pumpkin patch, a flowerbed and foliage displays.

Brooklyn has its fair share of murals in community gardens as well. Open to the public, Eden’s Community Garden is designed to educate neighborhood children about the benefits of growing your own food through gardening. The ArtisticAfro imagery on the shed shows a person holding a potted plant with a seedling inside supporting the garden’s theme of “Together, we will grow.”

Along the waterfront at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Reverberation is a new large-scale installation by Davina Semo made up of interactive bells. Visitors are encouraged to ring the bells, calling up the city’s maritime history when bells were a key form of communication among ships and sailors.

Reverberation by Davina Semo

Queens has one of the city’s most intriguing art pieces, located at Beach 98 St. at Rockaway Boardwalk. A fascinating Corten steel sculpture standing 35 feet tall, Mother Earth by Kris Perry reflects architectural elements from temples, mosques, churches and Classical Greek buildings. Visitors can stand in the central space of the sculpture and look upward and outward in a moment of contemplation.

Mother Earth by Kris Perry Photo: Angus Mordant

Designed to reflect our changing times, the animated, augmented reality drawing Liberty Bell is being presented in six cities simultaneously, New York, Boston, Charleston, Philadelphia, Selma and Washington DC.  New York’s setting is Beach 108 St. at Rockaway Boardwalk and the Rockaway Ferry Landing. “Liberty Bell” was inspired by Philadelphia’s actual, cracked Liberty Bell and is a soundscape in 360 degrees that sways to the sounds of bells tolling in changing tones and rhythms. The full experience uses Baker Cahill’s free 4th Wall app with the viewer’s smartphone or tablet.

Liberty Bell

Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City is a favorite for cutting-edge outdoor art. Another timely tribute to today’s world, the art park’s MONUMENTS NOW exhibition seeks to address the role of monuments in society and commemorates underrepresented populations, cultures and histories. The exhibit evolves in three phases. Opening with commissions for new monuments by Jeffrey Gibson, Paul Ramírez Jonas, and Xaviera Simmons, the next two parts continue into the fall and winter with sculptures by additional artists as well as high school students.

MONUMENTS NOW

A timely visual nod to the country’s immigrant communities, The Immigrant Journey Past Meets Present in Staten Island also pays homage to New York Harbor. The mural and fence installation are located in Arrochar Playground. Artist Lina Montoya worked together with Sundog Theatre at the adjacent public school focusing on Ellis Island history and cultural immigration to create the yellow and blue design which features waves, mountains and stars.

Lina Montoya The Immigrant Journey Past Meets Present

Countdown to the End of Summer – New York City Beaches Are Still Open

With the 2020 beach season almost over, time is running out to show off your post-quarantine bathing suit and to come together (apart) for some beach social distancing. NYC beaches are still officially open with lifeguards on duty from 10am-6pm. Concessions stands may be closed so you might have to bring your own picnics this time around. Please click on the website for each beach to determine rules, openings and closings. Note, however, that beaches can be visited any time of the year but swimming is prohibited when lifeguards are not present due to the possibility of riptides and strong waves. Subway and bus transportation makes having a car unnecessary, although parking lots are provided. Check the relevant subway and bus lines listed beneath each beach to determine current schedules and any relevant changes.

Coney Island Beach

Coney Island Beach, Brooklyn

For a distinctive beach experience, Coney Island is still New York City’s beach of choice. The beach is three miles long with courts for basketball, handball and beach volleyball as well as multiple playgrounds. There’s also plenty of non-beach fun for those who get antsy sitting on the sand. You’ll likely have to wait until next year to get your thrills on the Cyclone rollercoaster and amusements at Luna Park or watch the quirky Mermaid Parade, but the fishing pier is open along with the Boardwalk. The Coney Island Boardwalk has a variety of food options for a perfect takeout picnic, but beach-goers swear by Nathan’s Famous hot dogs for a delicious, cheap lunch. Stay tuned for the beach’s acclaimed puppet shows coming up in September and October. Puppets Come Home! is a series designed to celebrate Coney Island’s 150-year legacy of puppetry and provide a platform for contemporary cutting-edge puppeteers.

You can keep current with the upcoming Coney Island events at http://www.coneyisland.com/. Free on-street parking is available.  For more beach info, and updates to bus and subway service, visit http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/coneyisland.

BUS: B36, B64, B68, B74, B82, X28, X29, X38.

SUBWAY: D, F, N, Q to Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue; F, Q to West 8th Street-NY Aquarium; Q to Ocean Parkway.

Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn

Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn

For a relaxing afternoon of sun, surf and beach volleyball, go to Manhattan Beach on the southern tip of Brooklyn. It’s a smaller version of Brighton Beach and less crowded than Coney Island with fewer visitors. Nearby Manhattan Beach Park also has two baseball diamonds as well as handball, basketball, tennis and volleyball areas. Concession stands offer reasonable meal choices, and parking is available at Exit 8 off of Belt Parkway. For more information, visit http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/manhattanbeachpark.

BUS: B1 from Brighton Beach

SUBWAY: Take Q Train to Sheepshead Bay Road. B49 to Cheapside to Oriental and Hastings Street.

Rockaway Beach, Queens

Rockaway Beach, Queens

Rockaway Beach is an ideal outdoorsy retreat for both families and individuals. Its 10-mile long boardwalk is perfect for an afternoon stroll, and kids will enjoy the area’s seven playgrounds. Teens and adults can skate or play volleyball. The beach is the only one near NYC to allow surfing: go to the designated zones between 67-69 streets and between 87-92 Streets (visit http://www.nycgovparks.org/facilities/beaches for more information about surf beaches). Rockaway Beach has also become a testament to New York’s resilience and a model for sustainable rebuilding following the extreme damage inflicted by Hurricane Sandy. The beach offers free street parking, as well as free parking lots at B. 11th-B. 15th St. and B. 95th St. For further information, visit http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/rockawaybeach.

BUS: Q22 from bus terminal on Archer Avenue.

SUBWAY: A to Broad Channel then shuttle train.

Orchard Beach, the Bronx

Orchard Beach, the Bronx

Located at the end of a long, winding path in an area with lush vegetation, Orchard Beach is harder to get to, meaning that it tends to be less crowded than other New York choices although it is very popular among local residents. The Bronx’s sole public beach, Orchard Beach was proclaimed “The Riviera of New York” when it was created in the 1930s. The 115-acre, 1.1-mile-long beach has a hexagonal-block promenade, a central pavilion, snack bars, food and souvenir carts, two playgrounds, two picnic areas, a large parking lot, and 26 courts for basketball, volleyball, and handball. This summer’s Tribeca Drive-in Film Festival at Orchard Beach was a huge hit – we hope it will continue next year as well.

Parking is available. Visit http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_your_park/vt_pelham_bay_park/vt_pelham_08.html for more information.

BUS: Bx12, Bx29, Bx5, Bx52, and Westchester Line number 45 serve the park. During the summer, take Bx5 and Bx12 to Orchard Beach. During the winter, take the Bx29 to the City Island Circle and walk to the beach.

SUBWAY: Take the 6 to Pelham Bay Park. Connect to bus (see above).

Wolfe’s Pond Beach, Staten Island

Wolfe’s Pond Beach, Staten Island

Wolfe’s Pond Beach is an oasis far enough away from the hustle and bustle of the city that the only trace of Manhattan is a distant view. Adjacent to Wolfe’s Pond Park, the manicured beach offers several fun attractions for the whole family. Two tennis courts, a roller hockey rink, basketball courts and a playground will keep the kids busy all day long. Wolfe’s Pond Beach also has dog-friendly amenities, including an enclosed dog-only area. If you’ve had enough beach time, Wolfe’s Pond Park is also a plant and wildlife preserve with several trails running through the beach and park. There are BBQ areas as well as a free parking lot on-site. Visit https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/wolfes-pond-park for additional information.

BUS: #78 to Tottenville. Get off at Cornelia and Highland Blvd, walk up Cornelia. SUBWAY: Take Staten Island Transit to Huguenot Avenue, then walk toward Highland Boulevard.

Thinking about Bringing the Kids to New York City for the Holidays: Here’s What You Should Know

With Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s looming, there are more than enough great reasons to bring the family to New York City. Beyond seeing the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall, shopping for dolls at American Girl Place, or donning ice skates to twirl around the rink at Rockefeller Center, there are many things to do that will let you explore beyond crowded Midtown.

The Rockettes

New York City is a real toy box of activities for families. It’s a showplace of the world’s best: a fabulous introduction to great eats, culture and diversity and, without a doubt, fun! So get out, explore, and experience the magic of the Big Apple.

Where to Stay with Kids

Many NYC hotels are family-friendly, offering free cribs on request, high chairs, strollers and other baby-related gear. Younger ones are often free so be sure to inquire. Teens and tweens get perks, too. Specials vary by season and by week. Check out the hotel’s website for the best prices.

Gansevoort Hotel

The Gansevoort Hotel (18 Ninth Ave; 212-206-6700) in the trendy Meatpacking District will hold special appeal for older kids. The area is super-cool with interesting boutiques and the newly reopened Pastis, a perfect place to sit and watch the city’s beautiful people. The hotel itself offers all the requisite baby supplies (including cribs, diapers and bath supplies) and older kids get Sony PSPs and Nintendo Wiis to use during their stay.

The Mandarin Oriental Lobby

With a bird’s-eye view of Central Park and Columbus Circle, The Mandarin Oriental (80 Columbus Circle; 212-805-8800), welcomes kids with an age-appropriate gift and keeps them busy with children’s DVDs, crayons and coloring books. It’s also well situated at the Time Warner Center with its many shops, restaurants, and wonderful holiday decorations. And you’re close to Central Park for an easy stroll to the Christmas Market or even a carriage ride inside the park.

Eventi Hotel Livingroom

Eventi, a Kimpton Hotel (851 Sixth Ave; 212-64-4567) caters to the junior set with the Tween Trap, complimentary rentals of a range of gadgets including Instagram printers, iPad Minis, PlayStation Vita, Beats Pill Portable Bluetooth speakers, Beat by Dre headphones and night-vision goggles. It’s also a dream location if you’re heading to an event at Madison Square Garden.

The Giraffe Hotel Lobby

In the quieter Flatiron neighborhood, the boutique Giraffe Hotel (365 Park Avenue South; 212-685-7700) entertains kids with its selfie-inspiring giraffe sculpture on the roof, kids’ menus and large rooms. To make sure you soak up some of the city’s outdoor pleasures, Madison Square Park is a few minutes’ walk away with an expansive playground, dog run, and the original Shake Shack.

Where to Eat with Kids

Food is a key part of any trip to the Big Apple. Where else can you try dishes from so many countries?  Skip the fast-food or fast-casual chains that you can find anywhere and visit the one-offs that make NYC so special.

Totonno’s

Coal-oven pizza was invented here, and Brooklyn offers some of the best. Try Totonno’s (1524 Neptune Ave, Brooklyn; 718-372-0606) in Coney Island after a walk along the boardwalk. Totonno’s knows just a little bit about pizza – it was founded in 1924. Or if you’re spending the day shopping or touring Little Italy, opt for a tomato pie or a clam pie at Manhattan’s oldest pizzeria, Lombardi’s (32 Spring Street, Manhattan; 212-941-7994) dating from 1905.

Jin Fong

Chinese dim sum is also a kid-pleaser. Did you know that NYC has three Chinatowns? In Flushing, Queens, join the crowd at Joe’s Shanghai (136-21 37th Ave, Flushing; 718-539-3838) for their rich soup dumplings, or in Manhattan go piece-by-piece at Jin Fong (20 Elizabeth St, 212-964-5256), where servers wheel a parade of dumpling carts to your table (hint: get there early to avoid the long lines). For the more adventurous, head to Brooklyn for a veritable Chinese feast of small plates at East Harbor Seafood Palace (714 65th St., Brooklyn, 718-765-0098).

Blue Smoke Photo: Melissa Hom

BBQ lets the kids eat with their fingers. Blue Smoke (116 East 27th St; 212-447-7733) is a great introduction with specially designed children’s portions and meals. If you’re in the middle of Times Square, Virgil’s is your go-to for kid-friendly BBQ with special menus and BBQ tastes from all around the country.  (152 West 44th Street, Manhattan, 212-921-9494). And while you’re in the area, be sure to visit the TKTS booth at West 47th Street for the chance to score discount tickets to family-friendly shows like Frozen, Aladdin, Harry Potter and Wicked

Serendipity 3

For dessert, a touristy “must” is Serendipity 3 (225 East 60th St, 212-838-3531), famous for its frozen hot chocolate, made with more than 30 kinds of cocoa. The concept makes no intuitive sense but it works, and it’s delicious. 16 Handles, a self-service frozen yogurt emporium, is a favorite among families, too, with creative toppings like mochi, Fruity Pebbles cereal, and fresh fruit.  There are numerous locations around the city.

What to Do with Kids

Staten Island Ferry

It’s a good idea to get an overview of the city to get your bearings, and you can do it for “free” by water. Splurge on a taxi downtown to the famous Staten Island Ferry. It costs nothing to grab a seat and see the skyline of New York and the Statue of Liberty, all from the warm, comfortable interior of this legendary vessel. Once you reach Staten Island, just grab the next ferry back to Manhattan.

Central Park Sculpture - Alice in Wonderland

You can create a full-day educational and fun scavenger hunt for the family at the city’s central gathering place, Central Park. Even if it’s cold outside, you’ll see throngs of local kids climbing over the park’s beloved sculptures of Alice in Wonderland, the Three Bears, and Balto, so join them! Then wander through the various playgrounds to the Central Park Zoo and Children’s Zoo (fee required), buy a ticket for a performance at the adorable Marionette Theater at the Swedish Cottage, or take the kids to watch the sailboat races at the pond.

American Museum of Natural History Origami Tree

From the park’s Western edge, it’s a short walk to the American Museum of Natural History (Central Park West at 79th St; 212-769-5100). What child doesn’t like dinosaurs? But there’s much more to keep the little and big ones engaged. The wildlife dioramas are classic, a fascinating mix of educational and creepy, and the Hall of Gems is always a thrill. If it’s butterfly season, wear a brightly colored t-shirt to attract them to your shoulders. Be sure to venture downstairs to see the intricate holiday tree made of origami.

New York Hall of Science Art of the Brick; Dino. By: Nathan Sawaya

Head to the boroughs outside Manhattan for some more child-friendly attractions: the New York Hall of Science (47-01 111th Street, Corona; 718-699-0005) in Queens and the Bronx Zoo (2300 Southern Blvd., Bronx, 718-367-1010) are musts for curious kids.

New York Transit Museum Photo: Marc A Hermann

At the New York Transit Museum (Boerum Place and Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn Heights; 718-694-1600), set in an historic 1936 Brooklyn subway station, kids can explore all manner of urban transportation from buses to subways and trolleys.

For some park time while in Brooklyn, the ever-expanding Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO is a mecca for families and has terrific views of Manhattan plus a historic merry-go-round. On the other side of the river, at the tip of Manhattan, the futuristic Seaglass Carousel in Battery Park is a crowd-pleaser for all ages.

How to Get around with Children

The city is designed for walking. Most of the streets in Manhattan are laid out in a grid, so you can find your way around pretty easily. Wear comfortable shoes and bring a warm coat, gloves and a hat – you’ll be all set.

The outer boroughs are connected by far-reaching subway lines that run all day long. If you get lost, that’s half the fun. Don’t be shy about asking a New Yorker for help; rumors to the contrary, people in New York City are super helpful and love showing off their city.

If the kids are getting tired, there are lots of taxis and ride services (Uber, Lyft, Via) to bring you back to your hotel. Download the Arro, Uber, Lyft and Via apps to your phone for easy summoning.

If you’re traveling with kids, suitcases and, perhaps, a guidebook in hand, get in the queue at the airport for a yellow taxi. From JFK, there’s a flat fee of $52 to New York City plus tolls. Surcharges apply depending on the time of day. A taxi from LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) will cost upwards from $35 or $55, respectively, plus tolls and surcharges depending on your final destination. A new Lyft partnership from LaGuardia has reduced the fee somewhat.  Ubers and other ride shares also service the airports.

Something Special

High Line

It helps to see the city from higher up, especially if you’re a little one. The wondrous High Line, a walking park built in an abandoned elevated train track, traces a route along the city’s Hudson River, with plantings, food carts and art. If you’re cold, you can stop off by the new Hudson River Yards and refresh at the kiosks and counters at Mercado Little Spain or duck into the shopping mall.  For another vista, walk across the Brooklyn Bridge for an astonishing view of downtown Manhattan. And then walk back – you’ll get an entirely different impression of the city.

Cool Mess

Are your children budding chefs? At Cool Mess (137 East 62nd St; 212-355-9834) on the Upper East Side, you can don aprons and make your own ice cream.

Take Walks Backstage Tour

There’s nowhere better than Manhattan to give your kids an introduction to theater, TV and the movies. Are they wannabe actors? Take the kids backstage with Take Walks at the New Amsterdam Theater, home to Disney productions such as The Lion King, The Little Mermaid and Mary Poppins. Here they can try on costumes and play with the actual props from some of these shows.

Older kids will love the Central Park TV and Movies Sites walking tour. They’ll recognize the Literary Walk from Glee, The Smurfs and Trainwreck; the Boathouse from Home Alone 2; the Plaza Hotel from Home Alone and the Bethesda Fountain from Stuart Little. And there are lots of photo ops to make their friends jealous.

Enjoy the Last Weeks of Patio Dining and Drinks in Brooklyn and Manhattan

Now that Hurricane Florence has finally passed and glorious weather is upon us, it’s time to dine outdoors again while the temperatures are still lovely. Here are some wonderful restaurants and bars with patios perfect for people-watching and soaking up the rays in these last few months before fall hits.

Brooklyn

Pig Beach, 480 Union St. Gowanus; www.pigbeachnyc.com

Pig Beach is the critically acclaimed outdoor barbecue restaurant located in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn from Chef Matt Abdoo (Del Posto) and award-winning barbecue teams, Salty Rinse and Ribdiculous Bar-B-Krewe. The all-star team here brings an eclectic barbecue-focused menu to the Gowanus waterfront showcasing barbecue varieties from around the United States. If you’re chilly, there’s also a large indoor space, now open year-round. Come here, first, for a canoe trip on the Gowanus – it’s an experience you’re unlikely to forget.

Gran Electrica, 5 Front St. DUMBO; http://granelectrica.com

Another Brooklyn favorite, Gran Electrica is the Bib Gourmand Mexican restaurant located underneath the Brooklyn Bridge in DUMBO. Gran Electric offers an authentic and market-driven Mexican menu inspired by traditional Mexican street fare. From hand-pressed heirloom corn tortillas made daily stuffed with lengua, cilantro, onion and radish, to day boat scallops marinated in aguachile, the cooking shows diversity of the many regions of Mexico. The beverage program incorporates Mexican flavors with seasonal ingredients and also features an expansive agave list with more than 50 types of tequila, mezcal, racilla and sotol. The large outdoor area has a breathtaking view of the Brooklyn Bridge. To get here, rent a Citi Bike from Chinatown and bike over the Manhattan Bridge.

Sauvage, 905 Lorimer St, Greenpoint; www.sauvageny.com

Sauvage, meaning wild in French, is a neighborhood restaurant in Greenpoint, founded by the team behind James Beard Award-winning oyster bar and cocktail den Maison Premiere. The decor, cocktails, and wine all add to the restaurant’s distinct dining experience, creating an outdoor “natural” environment with a lush profusion of planted herbs and botanicals filling the restaurant. Facing nearby McCarren Park, the sun-filled restaurant has a lovely outdoor seating

Manhattan

The Smith Restaurant & Bar, Lincoln Square, Upper West Side; https://thesmithrestaurant.com

The Smith offers a wonderful choice for patio dining after an evening at any of the ballet, music and theater venues at Lincoln Center or Jazz at Lincoln Center on Columbus Circle. Under the direction of Executive Chef Brian Ellis, The Smith’s menu features bistro classics and seasonal fare from local farmers and purveyors. The restaurant has a popular craft cocktail program with house-made ingredients featured and an extensive wine selection which includes more than 20 wines by the glass or carafe.

Bowery Road & Library of Distilled Spirits, Union Square;

www.boweryroad.comwww.libraryofdistilledspirits.com

Taking its inspiration as well as ingredients from the nearby Union Square Greenmarket, Bowery Road is an all-day restaurant serving market-driven fare from Chef Ron Rosselli.  Some of the seasonal appetizers include pinto bean hummus with mole spice, seeds and flatbread; roasted carrots with pine nut cream and garlic-honey vinaigrette; marinated beet salad with avocado cream, pomelo, hearts of palm, and almond dukkah. Main courses mix vegetarian with meat-centric choices such as the Union Square Market grain bowl with farro, quinoa, lentils, avocado, broccoli, mushrooms, and sunflower; or Niman pork adobo with mango, radish, onion and corn crepes.

Together with adjacent craft-cocktail destination Library of Distilled Spirits, where more than 1200 different spirits are offered, Bowery Road gives a Manhattan sidewalk-patio dining experience that’s unusual in its spaciousness. Happy hour is popular here as a stop en route to the nearby subway hub, serving up a menu of well-priced cocktails, wines , beer and a shareable bucket and beer filled with fried chicken, two draught beers and snacks.

Vinatería, 2211 Frederick Douglass Blvd., Harlem; www.vinaterianyc.com

At this beloved Harlem neighborhood restaurant, market-driven and vibrant dishes celebrate the rich culinary traditions of Italy and Spain. Cult favorites like spicy veal meatballs with creamy parmigiano polenta, or fresh rosemary pappardelle with lamb ragu attract a clientele of both locals and visitors. Vinateria’s expansive wine list is chosen from small producers and is full of surprising yet accessible finds, while the artisan cocktail program uses house-made tinctures, seasonal produce and fresh-grown herbs from the restaurant’s own garden. A large outside patio wraps around the restaurant (a corner building), seating 40.

Tavern on the Green, Outdoor Courtyard, Upper West Side; www.tavernonthegreen.com

Tavern on the Green’s outdoor courtyard is the perfect Central Park location for brunch, lunch, and dinner under the soft glow of string lights. Seasonal dishes from Chef Bill Peet include seared yellowfin tuna nicoise salad, miso marinated glazed marrow bone, wild mushroom toast on brioche, and smoked salmon tartine, with trout caviar. The bar at the top of the courtyard offers a separate setting for beer, wine, and cocktails such as white peach sangria, and the refreshing Hot as a Cucumber craft cocktail made with vodka, jalapeño, fennel, and cucumber. Enjoy a wonderful walk in the park to get here – the restaurant is located off Central Park West at West 67th Street or via the interior roadway encircling the park.

Two Ways to Explore Brooklyn: By Foot and By Bus

Are you mystified about Brooklyn? Brooklyn is the second largest borough in New York City and holds a myriad of cultural and culinary attractions.  Here are two ways to explore it, one by foot and one by bus.

Local Expeditions

Local Expeditions are walks and bike tours curated and led by local residents passionate about a topic.

This walk through Brooklyn is perfect for theater lovers, music fans, and anyone curioous about Brooklyn’s past. The tour meets in front of BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) Howard Gilman Opera House, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, and ends at the Theatre for a New Audience’s Polonsky’s Shakespeare Center 262 Ashland Place (at Fulton Street), Brooklyn. http://local-expeditions.com/expeditions/the-downtown-brooklyn-cultural-district/

Brooklyn Academy of Music

Once described as a “regional attraction to rival Times Square,” downtown Brooklyn was a popular destination of shops, restaurants and theaters. It is now enjoying a revival with the Brooklyn Cultural District, Polonsky’s Shakespeare Center, and the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema (where you can drink and dine while you watch).

The tour is led by theater historian Cezar Del Valle and will explore downtown Brooklyn’s theatrical past, present and future. Sites visited  include those of the legendary Paramount and Fox theaters, the 14th and 15th largest movie houses built in America.

The walk ends at the Theatre for a New Audience’s Polonsky’s Shakespeare Center. Opened in 2013, this was the first major house for classical drama to be built in New York City since Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater in 1965.

Tickets are $30 per person.

Polonsky’s Shakespeare Center

Foods of NY

If you’re a foodie, you will love Foods of NY’s culinary tours.

It takes a while to explore (and eat your way through) Brooklyn, so a bus tour is actually a good idea if you want to cover a lot of distance in a short period of time. If Brooklyn were not part of New York City, it would still rank as the fourth largest city in the US, with 43 distinct neighborhoods with people from almost every country. With that comes an amazing array of traditions, history, and, of course, lots of fabulous ethnic foods. https://www.foodsofny.com/foods-ny-tours-2/the-best-of-brooklyn/#book-now

Table 87 Italian Cuisine

The half-day food, history, and cultural journey traverses four Brooklyn neighborhoods where you’ll learn about Brooklyn’s immigrant past and present. Areas visited include Williambsurg’s Hasidic area, Greenpoint’s Polish neighborhood where you’ll sample kielbasa and pierogies, North Williamsburg’s hipster areas with lots of street food and pizza choices, and more. All told, you’ll have six tastings of some of Brooklyn’s most representative cuisines from Middle Eastern to Italian, from hipster to traditional. Plan to come very hungry!

KROWLEWSKIE JADLO Polish Cuisine

Pick up and drop off are in Greenwich Village in Manhattan. After getting a taste of Brooklyn, you might just want to stay there a bit longer and make your way back to Manhattan by walking across the Brooklyn Bridge for its glorious views of both Brooklyn (look behind you) and Manhattan (in front of you).

Tickets are priced at $125 per person.

Dining out Ideas for Mother’s Day in Brooklyn and Manhattan – Seven Last-Minute Ideas

Still haven’t booked a reservation? You’ll thank me for these ideas.

Switch things up this Mother’s Day and celebrate with an Israeli feast at Miss Ada in Fort Greene. A twist on the traditional brunch, Miss Ada will be offering an a la carte menu with items that are a riff off of traditional Israeli dishes and savory pastries. Notable highlights include Yemeni pastries such as the Jachnun, a flaky dough coated with a date honey that has been slow-cooked in an oven overnight and topped with brown egg, tomato and schug; Malawach, a layered pan-fried bread paired with a hard-boiled egg, tomato and schug; and Ziva, a flaky pastry with layers of the malawach filled with sweet potato, fontina cheese, asiago and mushrooms. You have a choice of dining indoors or outdoors on the patio surrounded by fresh herbs and vegetables. The beverage menu features five different variations on the classic Bloody Mary and homemade kombucha. 917-909-1023. 185 DeKalb Avenue Brooklyn. www.missadanyc.com.

Celebrate Mother’s Day with the whole family at SUGARCANE, the raw bar and grill situated along Dumbo’s historic waterfront. Live jazz entertainment will be provided by NYC brass band, the Hudson Horns while you indulge on a range of seasonal brunch specials created for the occasion by Chef Partner Timon Balloo. Highlights include an acai bowl with house-made yogurt, quinoa and granola, strawberries, and avocado sorbet; and pork belly mojado with pickled onion, queso fresco, fried egg, and spiced shiso jus. Pair with wine, beer, and specialty cocktails such as the Frogroni (frozen negroni). A new kids menu is also available, in addition to mocktails such as the virgin spicy mule made with jalapeño, shishito syrup, ginger beer and yuzu. 718.473.9555 55 Water Street, Brooklyn www.sugarcanerawbargrill.com/brooklyn

Along the East River next to the historic South Street Seaport, Industry Kitchen is your choice for waterside dining with a view. Mother’s Day brunch will be served a la carte from Executive Chef Braulio Bunay, the creator of the 24kt gold pizza. His creations for mom include braised short rib pizza with fontina, shaved asparagus, BBQ sauce, cheese stuffed crust; and the Golden Rose with sweet ricotta cake, chocolate dome, warm raspberry rose coulis, and his signature 24kt gold leaf. Pair with wine, beer, cocktails, and a view of Brooklyn. 212-487-9600  70 South Street www.industry-kitchen.com

For moms seeking something sweet, Dante, the Australian-American cafe in the West Village, will be offering three special pastries in honor of Mother’s Day, supplementing their weekend brunch menu, frangipane tarte with fresh berries and mascarpone, lemon and coconut drizzle cake with vanilla gelato, or macadamia and white chocolate blondies with caramel apple buttermilk gelato. For lighter options, Dante’s brunch also features a number of veggie-centric dishes such as the Green Breakfast Bowl with quinoa, peas, green beans, avocado, arugula and soft poached egg, and the Salmon Bowl with cucumber pickles, avocado, baby kale salad, dill and soft poached egg. Celebrate with a cocktail creation like the Salty Dog with Absolut, fluffy pink grapefruit juice and black lava salt.  212-982-5257. 79-81 Macdougal Street www.dante-nyc.com.

New American restaurant with South American influences, Fifty has a special Mother’s Day brunch. Executive Chef and Ecuadorian native Luis Jaramillo will utilize fresh, seasonal ingredients to prepare dishes that include from those found in Ecuador. Menu highlights include house-baked Nutella babka French toast with berries in syrup, whipped cream, and salted pistachio; and seafood bloody Mary ceviche with shrimp, octopus, fried calamari and celery. I recommend the Spritz Me Up cocktail with pama pomegranate, amaro montenegro, and prosecco to complete the celebration. 212-524-4104. 50 Commerce St. www.fiftyrestaurantnyc.com.

For a Mother’s Day dinner, book a reservation at The Milling Room, a seasonally inspired American restaurant just off of Central Park. After a beautiful spring day in the park with mom, stop in for a la carte options prepared by Executive Chef Phillip Kirschen-Clark. Highlights include salmon belly crudo with blood orange, radishes, scallion; and spicy vongole bucatini with Manilla clams, garlic, white wine, Thai chili, miso and breadcrumbs. Kick off spring with a specially priced rosé, a perfect finish to the meal, such as Ployez-Jacquemart Extra Brut Rosé 212.595.0380. 446 Columbus Ave. www.themillingroom.com

At celebrity hot spot Philippe by Philippe Chow, you can treat Mom like a star this Mother’s Day Executive Chef Philippe Chow has been serving traditional Chinese cuisine for the past 12 years, catering to the many well-known influencers and celebrities including Cardi B, Rihanna and Anna Wintour. For Mother’s Day an a la carte menu will be presented family-style with dishes such as chicken satay, Peking duck and green prawns. For dessert, a slice of lemon cake with summer berries topped with black sesame ice cream is a special creation for Mother’s Day Pastry Chef Terri Dreisbach. 33 E 60th Street 212-644-8885 www.philippechow.com/nyc

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