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Why You Should Go to New York City This Summer

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Even classic New York landmarks like the Met and the Statue of Liberty have exciting reasons to revisit this summer.

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Even classic New York landmarks like the Met and the Statue of Liberty have exciting reasons to revisit this summer.

Everything old is new again in New York.

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After a cold and rainy spring, summer weather has arrived in New York and with it a host of exciting events and openings over the next few months. In addition to recently opening a brand new Statue of Liberty museum, the city is also honoring its history by hosting WorldPride—the world’s largest LGBTQ pride celebration—during the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising this June. And while many of the hotel and restaurant openings worth visiting this summer are brand-new concepts, there are several completely reimagined bars and venues opening this season that are worth returning to on your next trip to New York.

What the rooms at the Moxy Chelsea lack in size, they make up for in epic views.
Take your pick from New York’s hotel opening boom

After the buzzy openings of Ace Hotel’s Sister City and the TWA Hotel at JFK in spring 2019, New York’s mini hotel boom shows no sign of slowing down this year.

Following the 2018 openings of the Moxy Times Square and NYC Downtown, Marriott’s affordable, millennial-focused brand recently debuted its latest property, Moxy Chelsea, which draws decor inspiration from its location in the Flower District. While the rooms are tiny (around 190 square feet each), the common spaces are designed so that guests spend most of their time using them as their living space during their stay. The highlight is the rooftop Fleur Room, a bar full of over-the-top details like a vintage disco ball from Los Angeles nightclub Vertigo, custom cocktail tables made with bouquets embedded in acrylic, and one of the city’s best views of the Empire State Building.

Farther uptown, The Times Square EDITION is giving discerning travelers a reason to actually go to Times Square instead of avoiding it. In addition to 452 bright and airy guest rooms, the new Ian Schrager property features 701 West, a fine-dining restaurant by John Fraser of Michelin-starred Nix, and Paradise Club, a “inventive, chaotic” dinner theater based on William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.

An official opening date has yet to be announced, but the first-ever Equinox Hotel is set to open in July over in Hudson Yards, complete with a new flagship fitness club for the quickly expanding wellness brand.

Wythe Hotel completely redesigned its rooftop bar this summer.
Revisit the reincarnated rooftop bar at the Wythe Hotel

On May 22, 2019, the rooftop bar at The Wythe Hotel was reopened as Lemon’s, a summery space inspired by coastal Italy. The expansive views of Manhattan are the same, but the moody decor of the previous bar, The Ides, is gone—along with its slightly clubby, pretentious vibe. In its place, you’ll find a much more relaxed space decorated with warm yellow wallpaper, lots of tropical greenery, and rattan furniture.

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The new cocktail menu focuses on low ABV spritz-style drinks that practically beg you to camp out for the day with a group of friends while you snack on shareable plates created by chefs Aidan O’Neal and Jake Leiber from Greenpoint’s Chez Ma Tante. Don’t miss the stracciatella on toast with preserved lemon or the meat and cheese board loaded with mortadella and Italian ham.

The World’s Biggest LGBTQ Pride Celebrations

Celebrate WorldPride in New York

New York will celebrate its turn as the first U.S. city to host WorldPride with a series of events and activities throughout the entire month of June. On the evening of June 28, a special rally will mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising that sparked the modern LGBTQ movement, while the NYC Pride March begins at noon on June 30 at Fifth Avenue and 26th Street and continues down through Greenwich Village in what is anticipated to be one of the biggest gay pride marches in history. Find the full route here.

The cultural hub on Hudson Yards is The Shed performing arts center.
Take in a show at The Shed

Even if you have no desire to step foot inside the gargantuan mall that makes up the main part of the west side’s Hudson Yards project, it’s worth checking out the lineup this summer at The Shed, the neighborhood’s performing arts center. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro with the Rockwell Group, the structure can transform by sliding its movable outer shell over the nearby plaza to create an extra 17,000 square feet of performance space. While Björk’s Cornucopia, a concert series of eight performances that runs through June 1 is already sold out, tickets to Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise, a kung fu musical directed by Chen Shi-Zheng and written by Kung Fu Panda’s Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, are still on sale.

For a quick bite before the show, explore Jose Andres’s new Little Spain market in the basement level of the Hudson Yards mall. For those with a little more time, it’s worth entering the behemoth for a meal at Thomas Keller’s TAK Room.

Dine at Le Jardinier: a reason to finally visit Midtown East

Dominated by office buildings and chain restaurants, Midtown East hasn’t given travelers much reason to add the neighborhood to their New York itineraries in recent years. But now that Le Jardinier, a vegetable-focused restaurant in the new Norman Foster–designed tower on Lexington Avenue and 53rd Street is open, it’s time to reconsider those plans.

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Decorated with an abundance of plants and green marble, the restaurant was initially supposed to be run by Joël Robuchon. But after the French chef’s unexpected death last year, his former employee Alain Verzeroli took over the project. Highlights from the seasonal menu include white asparagus with pickled white strawberries and a tender bavette au jus served with broccolini, horseradish, and turnip puree. Be sure to save room for dessert—the lemon meringue tart with citrus marmalade is a must-try.

The Dining Room at the Met introduced three new cocktails, including one with a raspberry salt rim inspired by the pink dress Lady Gaga wore to the Camp-themed Met Gala this year.
Visit the Met’s Camp: Notes on Fashion exhibit and stay for dinner and drinks

Sure, you’ve been to the Metropolitan Museum of Art before. But did you know it has a full dining room on the top floor with a tasting menu conceived by a Michelin-starred chef? John Fraser launched his new spring pea menu in early May at the previously members-only restaurant that will run through July, with items like a snap pea salad and housemade pea agnolotti.

To pair with the museum’s blockbuster summer exhibit, Camp: Notes on Fashion, the Met’s Dining Room also introduced three new cocktails for the season, including the Pink Dress, a tequila-based drink inspired by Lady Gaga’s Met Gala dress that is topped off with bubbles, habanero shrub, and finished with raspberry salt. End the evening on the museum’s fifth floor Cantor Rooftop Garden Bar, which stays open until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturdays and now serves boozy poptails in glasses of prosecco.

When it opens, the Time Out Market New York will take over 21,000 square feet on the Brooklyn waterfront.
Eat your way through the Time Out Market New York

Over on the Brooklyn waterfront in Dumbo, the massive 21,000-square-foot Time Out Market New York will open on a yet-to-be announced date early this summer. Following the success of the Time Out Market Lisbon—which opened in 2014 and is now one of the city’s most popular attractions—the New York version will feature 21 local food venues curated by Time Out editors, as well as three bars and a rooftop with views of the Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, and the lower Manhattan skyline. The full lineup of restaurants isn’t finalized yet, but Juliana’s pizza, Clinton Street Baking Company, and Jacob’s Pickles will all be in the new market.

Explore everything new at Pier 17

After Hurricane Sandy devastated the South Street Seaport area of lower Manhattan in late 2012, the neighborhood has slowly been reinvigorated over the years with new reasons to visit, including the revamped Pier 17 space right on the water near the Brooklyn Bridge. Previously a mall, Pier 17 will see a host of exciting restaurant openings this summer. Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s seafood restaurant The Fulton is already open and will soon be followed by new projects from David Chang and Andrew Carmellini, as well as an outpost of California’s popular Malibu Farm restaurant. The rooftop—also known as R17—will serve oysters and a full cocktail menu; it is also home to a summer concert series.

>> Next: Plan Your Trip With AFAR’s Guide to New York

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