What to Do, See & Eat While in NYC for Governor’s Ball

The area around The Standard is full of fun activities, great sights to see, and of course, wonderful food. Here are 25 things to do, see, and eat (all within a mile of your hotel) while you’re in the area for Governor’s Ball this summer.

210 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011, USA
For much of its history, the western edges of Manhattan neighborhoods like the West Village and Chelsea consisted of small manufacturing buildings and warehouses that served the piers on the Hudson River. Over time, those factories were replaced with residential developments, and shipping largely moved out to Brooklyn and New Jersey. What remained, however, was an abandoned light-rail line, located above street level. After 10 years of lobbying the city, state, and federal governments, the first section of the High Line park opened in 2009. It now extends for 1.45 miles, from Gansevoort Street in the south to 34th Street at its other end. An innovative design by James Corner Field Operations uses native species to preserve some of the feeling the old rail line had when it was overgrown with weeds. It has quickly become one of New York’s most popular attractions, both with residents and visitors who stroll the length of it, as well as a model for other cities attempting to find new uses for old infrastructure.
200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010, USA
There are now 35 locations of Eataly, the massive Italian food hall, around the world, with 18 of them in Italy itself. The New York City one at Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street, which opened in 2010, was the first in the United States (it’s been joined by others in Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles, as well as by a second outpost in Manhattan, near the World Trade Center site at 101 Liberty Street). For connoisseurs of all things Italian, this is a must-visit—or, more accurately, a must-shop and must-eat stop. Covering more than 50,000 square feet, Eataly NYC Flatiron includes five different restaurants (plus occasional pop-ups) offering opportunities to graze on antipasti, fish, pizza, and other dishes. A popular rooftop beer hall is open all year round (thanks to space heaters and a retractable roof). While you will want to eat your gelato on the spot, there are also a number of stores where you can buy gifts from biscotti to olive oils to take home a little bit of Italy via New York.
510 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014, USA
154 W 10th St, New York, NY 10014, USA
Three Lives bookstore in the historic West Village caters to serious book-lovers. The individually owned store and its employees are warm and full of character—it feels like you wandered into your best friend’s (large) library in which you could sit down and read in a quiet corner for hours. It’s literary and high-brow, yet humble, lived-in, and down-to-earth. In 1991, the Greenwich Village Historical Society recognized Three Lives as a “pocket of civility.” In the era of large chain stores and online sellers, Three Lives is the corner meeting place for local bookworms. The store also hosts intimate readings. The list of past speakers speaks volumes—Jonathan Franzen, Toni Morrison, Michael Cunningham, Julian Barnes, Maya Angelou, Kazuo Ishiguro, William Kennedy, and Raymond Carver to name just a few. The staff here is extremely knowledgeable. If you ask one of the sellers for a recommendation, chances are it will be original, thought-provoking and worthwhile. There is more than enough for any reader here—you’ll find the classics and the best of the latest releases.
200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010, USA
This rooftop brewery (yep, rooftop brewery!) is hidden above Eataly on 5th Ave. Find the secret elevator behind the pots and pans section and take it to the 14th floor. The bar/brewery is spacious and has a great view, plus it is the only cask ale brewery in the US (meaning beer is brewed in small batches, aka casks, and served at room temp). The beer is great and I’d highly recommend it for a night out in the city.
18 Cornelia St #1, New York, NY 10014, USA
Authentic, savory, seasonal Provencal bistro dishes. Warm and welcoming service from familiar faces. A cozy atmosphere in a jewel box of a dining room. These are the reasons why I have come back to Le Gigot again and again over the years. The restaurant is located on Cornelia Street in the West Village, close to cafes and lots of shopping (including Book Book and Murray’s Cheese on Bleeker Street). Cornelia is a quiet nook of a street in a busy neighborhood. Walk through the doors of Le Gigot, take a seat at the zinc bar or one of the velvet banquettes, and order a glass of wine. Immediate relaxation. It is a wonderful space for a quiet romantic dinner or a small family get-together, and the food is consistently excellent. Oysters, gigot d’agneau (leg of lamb), boeuf bourguignon, crab cakes, steak au poivre—it’s all good!
112 W 25th St, New York, NY 10001, USA
This may have become one of the legendary flea markets in Manhattan, as it has been around for so many years. The market is located in a car garage on 25th street (in the Chelsea area), and is active every Saturday and Sunday, from 9am-5pm. During week days, the place is back to being a garage again. Being an indoor market, it’s a great one to visit at any time of year. The nice thing about Chelsea Flea Market is the diversity of its people—both the traders and the shoppers. (NB: If you come back at 5pm, chances are that the dealer will give you a better price.)
271 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014, USA
I have eaten a lot of pizza in my time, but Kesté is different. It’s been been firing up serious, foodie-level delicious pizza on Bleecker Street since 2009. Owner Roberto Caporuscio was born and raised outside Naples, Italy, where he studied the art of pizza making with the masters. His pizzeria has won accolades from national food critics, as well as pizza lovers. The 950-degree oven turns out perfectly-cooked pizzas—with bubbling, chewy, slightly burned crusts—in less than two minutes. The wide-ranging menu covers traditional pizzas, gluten-free options, panini (lunch only), and creative pies, including: Pistacchio e Salsiccia (pistachio pesto, sausage, pecorino romano, homemade buffalo mozzarella, basil); Pizza del Papa (butternut squash cream, red and yellow peppers, zucchini, imported smoked buffalo mozzarella); and Sorrentina (imported smoked buffalo mozzarella, sliced lemons, basil). My favorite is Salciccia e Friarielli (broccoli rabe and sausage with imported smoked mozzarella). The slight bitterness of the greens, the hearty sausage, and the smoky, creamy cheese on their trademark crust smells, looks, and tastes heavenly.
185 7th Ave, New York, NY 10011, USA
We’ve been coming to Momoya for over three years and the only problem is more and more people are realizing this restaurant consistently delivers the best bang for your buck in Manhattan. Yes, I’ve decided to tell the world now that it’s been “discovered.” You won’t find cheap prices here but the quality is premium. If you had the same meal at Blue Ribbon expect to pay at least 75% more. And they have one of our favorite sakes—Wakatake—a Daiginjo. Come before 7pm and you won’t have to wait in line. (If you do get stuck having to wait, then head across the street to Bar Veloce and have them call you.)
75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011, USA
Between 15th and 16th streets on Ninth Avenue in Chelsea, the Chelsea Market is a food court with New York attitude. Its restaurants and shops sell Australian meat pies, banh mi, and lobster rolls. These are no fast-food chains—this is a place to find cheese from upstate or that spice you can’t find at your supermarket. There is now a Posman Books and an Anthropologie outpost, but most of the places here stay true to the market’s culinary roots with Sarabeth’s, Ronnybrook Dairy, and Berlin Currywurst as good places to pick up food to eat on the spot or to take home. If you are looking for a hard-to-find kitchen gadget, the Bowery Kitchens store is almost sure to have it. The market is also ideally located if you want to purchase picnic supplies before ascending to the High Line if the weather is good.
99 Gansevoort St, New York, NY 10014, USA
For most of its history, the Whitney Museum, originally founded by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in 1931, was located on New York’s Upper East Side, in the building that now houses the Met Breuer. In 2015, it reopened in a new, larger space designed by Renzo Piano in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District. The institution’s permanent collection is especially strong in works by leading artists from the first half of the 20th century, and as you might expect from its official name, American artists are particularly well represented—Louise Bourgeois, Alexander Calder, Stuart Davis, Edward Hopper, and many others. Visiting exhibitions tend to focus on living artists who are still producing new pieces; the museum’s Whitney Biennial (now taking place in odd-numbered years) is arguably the preeminent showcase in the United States for young contemporary artists. In addition to the galleries, the building has a number of outdoor terraces dotted with sculptures and offering views of Lower Manhattan and the Hudson River.
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