10 Things to Do in NYC this Winter
Globetrotting fashion blogger, Catherine Dionne, currently lives in London, but was born and raised in New York City. A recent return home for the winter holiday reminded her why Manhattan is one of the most cultural and stylish cities to spend winter:
Mandoo Dumplings (photo by Young Sok Yun 윤영석)
1. Dine in Koreatown
Around the corner from the Empire State Building is Koreatown. It is only couple blocks long, but real New Yorkers knows its one of the city’s best culinary secrets. My top pick is Mandoo bar, where you can watch fresh dumplings of every kind being prepared in the front window– I can never decide on a favorite and always end up ordering a dozen. Mandoo Bar; 2 West 32nd Street, New York, NY; (212) 279-3075; mandoobarnyc.com
2. Experience Art at the New Museum
If you are looking to avoid crowds, pop into the cutting-edge New Museum in the Bowery. Fun, interactive contemporary art events include Open Pole sessions on Thursdays as part of Gerard & Kelly’s project, which invites spectators to pole dance in a gallery setting. Make sure to visit British art star Chris Ofili’s first major show in the U.S., with meticulously executed artworks that meld figuration, abstraction, and decoration. New Museum; 235 Bowery, New York; (212) 219-1222;www.newmuseum.org
3. Soak in a Broadway Show
Cultural offerings in NY are always abundant, but my top Broadway picks are Kinky Boots and Pippin. Kinky Boots is a brilliant story about a British boot manufacturer who starts producing erotic footwear set to music by Cyndi Lauper. Diane Paulus’ 2013 Tony Award winning musical, Pippin, can best be described as Cirque Du Soleil meets Broadway. The revised production, score, and dialogue have updated this classic to an exciting new level.
4. Sip a Manhattan on the Rocks
Since the 1930s, a trip to the Rainbow Room was de rigeur for posh tourists. But after losing its 1980s power-lunch luster, it closed its doors in 2009. To the joy of Manhattan socialites, the roof-top restaurant and its upscale lounge was refurbished and re-opened at the end of 2014. With windows soaring 10-feet high that overlook Rockefeller Center and the sprawling city beyond, SixtyFive Bar delivers the iconic NYC experience. Be the first of your friends to see it. Rainbow Room – SixtyFive Bar, 65th floor, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York; (212) 632-5000; www.rainbowroom.com/sixtyfive
5. Power Shop Along Fifth and Madison Avenues
The most famous NY boutiques begin with a “B:” Bergdorf, Barneys, and Bendel. Visit the 5F Contemporary boutique at Bergdorf Goodman on 754 5th Avenue for the latest in socialite chic. I also recommend perusing the home collection. Barneys is the key destination for the modern, urban woman, its men’s collection is wonderful too. Head to Bendel’s for fabulous accessories and beauty offerings.
6. Warm up at High Tea
New York is known to have cold winters, and walking around outside can be chilly and tiring. Partake in an elegant tea break at these two special locations:
The Pierre’s Two E Bar. One of the oldest, and chicest of the NY hotels is situated across from Barney’s and Central Park. The high tea here is as exquisite as the decor is elegant and refined. 2 East 61st Street, New York; (212) 838-8000; twoeny.com
Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon. Hidden inside a 1834 brownstone, this is one of the best places for brunch—or as the name implies, afternoon tea. What better way to while away wintery afternoons than nestled in comfort, and surrounded by scones. The Inn at Irving Place, 56 Irving Place, New York, NY; (212) 533-4600; www.innatirving.com
Wollman Rink (photo by gigi_nyc)
7. Skate in Central Park
The Wollman Rink has been featured in dozens of romantic films, from Love Story to When Harry Met Sally. Set in the heart of New York’s Central Park, children and adults alike bask in a scenic atmosphere surrounded by trees and light – with the Manhattan skyline as backdrop. Especially wonderful is night skating under the stars and city lights. 830 5th Avenue, New York; (212) 744-0882; www.wollmanskatingrink.com
8. See and Be Seen in Gramercy Park
Get your flirt-on at these two chic Gramercy Park designer hotel bars:
The Rose Bar. Artist Julian Schnabel turned his expert eye to the restore this classic townhouse with its custom-designed, handcrafted furnishings and a rotating collection of 20th century artwork that includes masterpieces by Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat. The Gramercy Park Hotel; 2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY; (212) 920-3300; www.gramercyparkhotel.com/nightlife
The NoMad Bar. This classic space is hosted in a covered courtyard that is reminiscent of the iconic Costes Hotel in Paris. Intimate, it allows for discrete people-watching as clients float across the room to the bar in the back. NoMad, 1170 Broadway, New York; (347) 472-5660; www.thenomadhotel.com
Forget the theme tours—Harlem is a vibrant neighborhood with lots to experience. Forego the The Baptist Church choir and food tours and opt instead for a free walking tour. Harlem is safe, multicultural, and importantly, very friendly. Of particular interest is the Apollo Theatre and outstanding Studio Museum of Harlem – both on 125th street. Free tours: firstname.lastname@example.org; (646)-450-6831; http://www.freetoursbyfoot.com/new-york-tours/walking-tours/harlem/
10. Sightsee from Above
Nothing is more exciting and unique than flying over NYC like a VIP and seeing the city from a new perspective. Soar over Central Park or the Statue of Liberty. New York Helicopters offers a variety of aerial tours around the city or coastline—the perfect gift for anyone passionate about photography. New York Helicopter; (212) 361-6060; email@example.com; www.newyorkhelicopter.com
What do you love to do in NYC during the winter? Share it in the reply section below.
About the Author
Catherine Dionne is globetrotting blogger who worships fashion. Raised in New York City and fluent in four languages, she has lived throughout Europe and now resides in London. Her work in international finance, fashion, and acting has taken her around the world—from Asia to Scandinavia and Latin America. A previous position as an assistant stylist and editor-in-chief for Luxos Magazine granted her front row access to her favorite pastimes: runway shows and art exhibitions. Discover more of Catherine Dionne’s discriminating taste and stylish adventures at www.afrolista.com.