In New York City, nearly everyone is relieved to welcome spring, and considering this year’s unending cold snap, there’s all the more reason to shed your hibernation habits and gear up for a rollicking season of events. From new hotels and restaurants to an unbeatable cultural lineup, the city will be bursting with activity. So pack a weekend bag and add these highlights, below, to your agenda.
Archer New York
Lower Midtown, or what has been previously part of the Garment District, is in the middle of an ongoing renaissance. Joining the hip Ace and NoMad hotels, luxury property Archer New York is throwing open its doors. Slated for late April, the 22-story, 180-room property touches on the neighborhood’s industrial heritage (read: exposed brick, steel, and butcher-block flooring) with a David Burke restaurant and rooftop bar for a tipple and bite or two. Bonus: Rooms also boast floor-to-ceiling windows. 5 West 38th Street, New York, NY 10018.
If nostalgia is your thing, look no further than The Knickerbocker, revamped and set to open in late spring. With a view over bustling Times Square, the storied establishment with landmarked façade once played host to Rockefeller and Astor types (it has a cameo moment in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise) before shuttering in 1921 and converting to offices. Under new owners, The Knickerbocker is back, and with 330 guest rooms and a snazzy 7,500-square-foot rooftop bar just made for summer cocktails. 6 Times Square.
Perhaps the buzziest borough for dining, Brooklyn continues to charm food connoisseurs with inventive takes on ambiance and menus. Yet the team behind French Louie, a new Boerum Hill hot spot, is no novice. Doug Crowelland Ryan Angulo also run the popular Buttermilk Channel nearby, where the wait for a table often passes the hour mark. As you might suspect from its moniker, French Louie offers Gallic-inspired eats but with a New Orleans twist like Snails “Marchand de Vin” with a side of grits. 320 Atlantic Ave., 718-935-1200.
Root & Bone
Southern fare is apparently a budding spring trend. The highly anticipated Root & Bone, helmed by Yardbird chef Jeff McInnis and alumnus of Top Chef, is scheduled to open in East Village this season. Considering fried chicken of all varieties is McInnis’s specialty, expect the deep fryer to be quite the centerpiece. 200 East 3rd Street.
Russ & Daughters Café
Lower East Side favorite Russ & Daughters (the place to go to for smoked sable and lox) is opening a café a few streets down on Orchard Street. It could be your perfect pit stop before a sunset walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. 127 Orchard Street.
Tribeca Film Festival
Once the indie little sister to flashier events like Cannes or Sundance, the Tribeca Film Festival is all grown up and with plenty of action to boot. This year’s festival runs from April 16 to 27 and kicks off with the usual Vanity Fair party dotted with celebrities like TFF’s Robert De Niro. Didn’t score an invite? No need to fret as there will be plenty of star power the rest of the week including the opener, a documentary on the rapper Nas called “Time is Illmatic.”
Fort Greene Flea
Shoppers might delight in the Brooklyn flea markets in Fort Greene and Williamsburg, where a ramshackle assortment of new and vintage finds can be scored for a deal. The Fort Greene Flea location boasts 150 vendors and reopens April 5. Bring some extra dollars for the food stalls as well.
CULTURE, ARTS & MUSIC
Gaugin Meets Jasper Johns
When it comes to museums, few cities can match New York’s breadth and range. This spring, the visually inclined might stop by the Museum of Modern Art where an assortment of drawings—a medium that often offers an intimate peek into the inner workings of painters—by Gaugin and Jasper Johns will be on the walls. Gaugin: Metamorphoses from March 8 to June 8, 2014; Jasper Johns: Regrets from March 15 to Sept. 1, 2014.
Basquiat, The Drawings
Into linework? The Acquavella Galleries is exhibiting a collection of 22 drawings by Jean-Michel Basquiat from a private family collection. Aspiring collectors may go home disappointed though: None of the exhibited drawings will be up for sale. Jean-Michel Basquiat Drawing from May 2 to June 13, 2014.
Vittorio Grigolo at the Metropolitan Opera
In other highbrow options, the dazzling star tenor Vittorio Grigolo will be featured at the Met’s spring opera season in the Puccini classic La Bohème. His run as the Rodolfo will go through mid-April.
All the Way starring Bryan Cranston
Breaking Bad fans can find their mercurial Walter White now on Broadway. The enigmatic Bryan Cranston stars as Lyndon B. Johnson in the Bill Rauch play All the Way revolving around the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Opens March 6.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch starring Neil Patrick Harris
More stars on the Great White Way: Neil Patrick Harris tackles the gender-bending headlining role in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. The small cast, just 6 members, will be led by director Michael Mayer. Expect plenty of song and dance (and glitter) from the multi-talented Harris. Previews begin March 29.
Kid Cudi at Barclays Center
Music buffs will find a chockfull line-up this spring including plenty in hip-hop. For one, Kid Cudi will be taking over Barclays Center on March 22 for The Cud Life Tour. For the new and next, perhaps check out Detroit’s Danny Brown who will be playing the cozier venues Bowery Ballroom (April 6) and Music Hall of Williamsburg (April 8). The up-and-comer is currently on tour for his album Old, which notched in at number 17 on Rolling Stone’s 50 Best Albums of 2013.