I Heart NYC
I know you do too! Here's a secret: now is the best time to enjoy it. Yes it is winter and it's so cosy to stay home. But most days we're getting up into the 50s in February. Take advantage. There are discounts to be had everywhere because it's low tourist season. Go enjoy a play, a dinner, a museum, even a tourist attraction, while you aren't fighting the crowds. Let the suckers go out in May. You should paint the town red NOW. Here are some of my favorite NYC date ideas, with significant others, friends, or on your own. Have a date with NYC! Though, if you are a true New Yorker you already know to skip Valentines Day when the prefix menus are oddly expensive, not really what you want, and not worth it. I don't have to tell you that, right? Be romantic, but don't be dumb. Cook something fun on V day and plan a day out using this list--
A couple budget picks to start us off. Happy Hour menus which could easily be a full dinner. My absolute favorite is Clay in Harlem . The entire menu is divine (I'm fantasizing about the crab calamarata right now), but the happy hour is really lovey. Smart cocktails and small bites in an intimate setting. The host is usually the owner. Very community oriented; everything down to the plates you eat off of is locally sourced. Happy Hour is 5-6:30 Sun-Thurs and is a great deal.
Our next up has $1 oysters and a sazerac on the Happy Hour menu. I feel like that's all I really need to say about Valery. But I'll also add that it's in midtown so a great preshow spot. It's a long happy hour, 4-7. And It's a beautiful space.
Speaking of shows, the best I've seen lately is Kimberly Akimbo. I don't want to tell you anything about it. It's better if you know nothing going in. Just know it's everything. It's funny and warm but also has some really dark humor. It's smart without being high brow. It doesn't try too hard, but somehow ropes its audience in instantly. It's somehow familiar and comforting, AND unlike anything else I've seen. And the performers are insanely good. You'd get big points with a partner for these tickets. There are discounts on TodayTix and TKTS. GO!
Statue of Liberty
Here's my family-friendly pick! When was the last time you went to the Statue of Liberty? Have you ever been? So many New Yorkers somehow think this is just for tourists. I'm telling you, it's super easy to do (as long as you aren't fighting springtime crowds) and so worth it. And did you know THE CROWN is back open?!!! Yes, there is a ferry. Yes you are a New Yorker who normally needs quicker transportation. Relax. It's part of the fun. Right now the Jersey ferry is closed till March, which means half the people. It will be windy on the water. Pick a sunny day, wear a jacket, you'll be fine. Bring a picnic lunch and grab a pretzel in the shape of a torch for some good photo ops.
If you are a New Yorker, I know you've been to Moma, The Gugenheim, The Natural History Museum, and The Frick (If no to any of these, go immediately or do not call yourself a New Yorker). But have you been to the photography museum, Fotografiska? Five floors of some of the best photography in the world. And it is curated so well. The current rotating exhibition is Hip-Hop: Conscious, Unconscious. The museum is a full experience, though very manageable in an afternoon. They have a nice bar there as well. And discounted tix on Monday and Tuesday mornings.
A Pasta Bar
And for the splurge date night I recommend A Pasta Bar. I mean, personally, I think it should be called THE Pasta bar, and all others should just stop trying to compete, but no-one asked me. Have you done a sushi omakase before? It's one of the sexiest date nights you can do. (If you haven't, or just prefer sushi to pasta, click here for the best omakases in the city) This is like that, but with pasta. This carb-loving gal's mind was blown. It's next level flavors in a beautiful space. The staff is outstanding. Start with a proper cocktail. Order the tasting menu with the right wine. And do not even consider skipping dessert because you're "full". Plus, if you're sharing, it's hard to avoid the Lady-and-the-Tramp moment. Just saying.
And there you have it. Many ways to love on New York this winter and no expensive sad prefix menus. Hope you're able to put together a fun outing in the city. Till next time, NYC!