It’s an outdoor market with just the right mix of old-school vendors and new-school crafters, not to mention a great lineup of food artisans from Brooklyn. Start your weekend strolling here.
Brooklyn Flea, 176 Lafayette Avenue, between Clermont and Vanderbilt Avenues (brooklynflea.com).
Rock ’n’ roll — literally — at Williamsburg’s bowling alley/music venue. While chugging Brooklyn-brewed beer and noshing on Blue Ribbon bites, take note of this cool detail: The sixteen-lane behemoth is the first LEED-certified bowling alley in the world.
Brooklyn Bowl, 61 Wythe Avenue, between North 11th and 12th Streets, Williamsburg (718-963-3369 or brooklynbowl.com).
Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue, between East 88th and 89th Streets (212-423-3500 or guggenheim.org).
Interpreting Jeff Koons can strain the old noggin. Make the mental switch from fine art to fine dining at MoMA’s The Modern, with a calming view of the sculpture garden and an eight-course tasting menu.
The Modern, 9 West 53rd Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues (212-333-1220 or themodernnyc.com).
Whitney Museum of American Art, 945 Madison Avenue, at East 75th Street (212-570-3600 or whitney.org).
When Central Park loses its appeal, give your crew an outer-borough experience. Nestled between the Brooklyn Museum and Prospect Park, the botanic garden covers 52 acres with Shakespearean flowers, orchid and bonsai collections, and a Japanese pond.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 900 Washington Avenue, at Crown Street, Prospect Heights (718-623-7200 or bbg.org).
The sleek hotel is tier upon tier of playground fun. Take your pick from the Biergarten, Le Bain, and the Boom Boom Room (all the way at the top).
The Standard, 848 Washington Street, between Little West 12th and West 13th Streets (212-645-4646 or standardhotels.com).
Block off an afternoon at this public green space for modern art installations and performances, walking horticulture tours, film screenings, and gorgeous city views.
High Line, various entrances between Gansevoort and West 20th Streets (212-206-9922 or thehighline.org).
New York’s most famous Italian-American restaurateurs (Mario Batali, Joe and Lidia Bastianich) team up with Turin’s slow-food marketplace founder for a sprawling foodie complex. The result? The best Italian ingredients and local, seasonal produce in a marketplace, grocer, wineshop, coffee bar, steak house, crudo bar, gelateria, bakery, cooking school, pizzeria, and rooftop beer garden.
Eataly, 200 Fifth Avenue, between West 23rd and 24th Streets (212-229-2560 or eatalyny.com).
You tend to get what you pay for with New York City rivers (which explains why a trip to Staten Island is free). But the new East River Ferry is a nautical steal with a $12 day pass that lets you hop on and off at stops in Long Island City, Williamsburg, Brooklyn Bridge Park, and Governors Island.
East River Ferry, Midtown Terminal, East 35th Street, at FDR Drive (800-533-3779 or nywaterway.com).
Once upon a time, in a hood at the top of Manhattan, medieval cloisters were imported from France by an American sculptor then donated to the Met by one very fancy Rockefeller. Monastery gardens and a luscious Fort Tryon Park warm the hearts of romantics.
The Cloisters Museum & Gardens, 99 Margaret Corbin Drive, at Fort Tyron Park (212-923-3700 or metmuseum.org).
The Frick Collection, 1 East 70th Street, between Madison and Fifth Avenues (212-288-0700 or frick.org).
Eat your way through the deep-fried franks at Crif Dogs and snatch a (hidden) table at PDT, the speakeasy-style bar. Order from the famed cocktail menu and choose from a selection of bites from next door.
PDT, 113 Saint Marks Place, between First Avenue and Avenue A (212-614-0386 or pdtnyc.com).
From cocktails in the ballroom to the Moroccan-French fusion at Cafe Gitane’s West Side location, The Jane has something to sate your every craving.
The Jane, 113 Jane Street, between Horatio and Washington Streets (212-924-6700 or thejanenyc.com).
Learn about film, television, and computer imagery. You may begin to imagine yourself as star of the show.
Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Avenue, at 37th Street, Astoria (718-784-0077 or movingimage.us).
Someone offered you weed? Just like the good old days. Take a bench in NYU land for the kind of freak-watching that makes out-of-towners want to move here immediately. Our favorites: Lightsaber Guy, Tic & Tac street performers, and that crazy tranny who wears the plastic ball gown.
Washington Square Park, West 4th Street, between MacDougal Street and University Place.
Instead of waiting in line at Letterman, take a seat at the city’s best amateur hour. The brigade’s alumni include writers for SNL and The Daily Show, which should be proof enough that you’re in for a night of gut-busting laughter.
Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, 307 West 26th Street, between Eighth and Ninth Avenues (212-366-9176 or newyork.ucbtheatre.com).
Feel like Shanghai high society at the kitschy, antique-style Mister H nightclub in the chic Mondrian Soho hotel.
Mister H, Mondrian Soho, 9 Crosby Street, between Grand and Howard Streets (212-389-1000 or mondriansoho.com).
The UES location of Danny Meyer’s burger stand serves Shake Shack standards (Shack Burger, Bird Dog), along with a menu of the cold, creamy goodness known as concretes (example: Pineapple Upper East Side Cake, with pineapple, shortbread, and maraschino cherries).
Shake Shack, 154 East 86th Street, between Lexington and Third Avenues (646-237-5035 or shakeshack.com).
So the ’rents didn’t want to shell out the dough for a trip to Tuscany. Give them a taste of old-world Italy in the West Village at Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich’s rustic Babbo.
Babbo, 110 Waverly Place, between MacDougal Street and Sixth Avenue (212-777-0303 or babbonyc.com).
David Chang’s pork and noodle spots are always in demand — by tourists and locals alike.
Momofuku Ssäm Bar, 207 Second Avenue, at East 13th Street (212-254-3500 or momofuku.com).
If you don’t have time to visit the Hudson Valley outpost (an old Rockefeller estate with a working farm), go here for chef Dan Barber’s plentiful bounty. Fresh is the name of the game — observed and ingested with reverence.
Blue Hill, 75 Washington Place, between Sixth Avenue and MacDougal Street (212-539-1776 or bluehillnyc.com).
Stop in as early as 8 a.m. for pastries and espresso in the cafe, which spills out onto the sidewalk. Go back for dinner — lots of antipasti and Pan-Italian favorites.
Locanda Verde, 377 Greenwich Street, at North Moore Street (212-925-3797 or locandaverdenyc.com).