ELLE Escapes: New York City
They say New York is the city that never sleeps, and even though it took a solid snooze over the pandemic, the unbridled energy has returned with a vengeance. Of course, this month brings us the Met Ball, aka fashion’s biggest night out—one of many reasons why, to quote Bill Burr’s SNL monologue, “New York is back, baby!” With that in mind, we compiled a guide for the absolute best ways to pass the time in what is universally considered to be the greatest city in the world, especially in the spring.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art: In America: A Lexicon of Fashion
All your favorite celebs will scope out the Costume Institute’s much-talked-about exhibition in their Gilded Glamour finest, and you can too (hopefully sans crowds). In America: A Lexicon of Fashion is a two-part sartorial study of trends across the country, and showcases more than 100 men’s and women’s designs dating back to the 1940s.
Classic Harbor Line’s Sunset Cruise
What could be more romantic, nay picturesque, than a sunset cruise aboard a yacht? Classic Harbor Line offers a host of non-touristy options, including rides with live jazz and wine and cheese pairings. (Yes, you’ll still get to see the Statue of Liberty.)
Forest Hills Stadium
Originally home to the U.S. Open, this storied venue now hosts concerts with top billings like Phoebe Bridgers and Jamie XX set against the backdrop of tennis courts. Come for the tunes, stay for the plethora of food vendors. And if you’re feeling extra luxurious, spring for one of the stadium’s Speakeasy Suites, complete with a private viewing porch, bar, and concierge service team dressed in tennis whites.
From the ‘80s New Wave soundtrack to the vintage-meets-modern décor and just-launched brunch menu, coastal Italian-inspired bistro Saint Theo’s is a place to see and be seen in every sense of the phrase. Menu highlights include Aperol spritzes and cicchetti (translation: Venetian small bites). Do this one for the ‘gram.
Frequenters of Miami may already familiar with KYU (pronounced “cue”), and thankfully, the NYC outpost of the predominantly Asian restaurant delivers. Located on Lafayette Street a stone’s throw away from Temple Bar, the 5,700-square-foot space is ideal for a date night of primo hamachi and Wagyu brisket. (You’ll want to save room for the coconut cake, too.) We recommend the chef tasting menu for $190, because why not?
SONA marks Priyanka Chopra Jonas’s first endeavor in the restaurant world, and it delivers. The Flatiron spot specializes in modern Indian fare in a minimalist and stylish setting (it even partnered with art advisory Sunderlande to showcase works exclusively from India), and counts Phillip Lim, Prabal Gurung, and, of course, Nick Jonas among its fans.
Hospitality veterans Matt Kleigman and Carlos Quirarte (Ray’s and The Georgia Room) are ushering in midtown’s triumphant return with the opening of Pebble Bar. Formerly the historic pub Hurley’s, the brick townhouse on the corner of 49th Street and Sixth Avenue is right next door to 30 Rock, making it a convenient watering hole for investor Pete Davidson.
Dante West Village
Dante, the West Village offshoot of the historic Italian bar—once a favorite haunt of Ernest Hemingway and Bob Dylan—is our go-to for a cocktail with a side of people-watching. We recommend the selection of negronis in particular.
In case you missed it, City Winery, Manhattan’s resident winery, debuted a sleek space at Pier 57 on the Hudson River. You’ll get live music, award-winning vino, and an unobstructed view of Little Island, which impressively lights up at night.
The Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC
Say hello to the new and improved Gansevoort. The iconic hotel underwent a multimillion dollar renovation in lockdown, and now boasts two new restaurants—a European-inspired café and a pop-up sushi bar, Saishin—Banksys in the lobby, and a refurbished rooftop pool.
The Bowery Hotel
There’s a reason why The Bowery remains one of the city’s most desirable hotels, if only for the celeb sightings in the lobby. After you cozy up with a martini by the fireplace, opt for a stay in one of its opulent rooms (outdoor shower on the terrace, anyone?).
Surely you’ve seen the red and white corridors on Instagram, but how about the (surprisingly quiet) suites? Don’t let TWA Hotel’s location at JFK fool you: the cozy bed, martini bar, and floor-to-ceiling windows will make you feel like you’ve transported to the 1960s in the best way possible.