24 Reasons We're Looking Forward to 2017

nycgo.com staff

It’s almost time for a new year, and all the excitement and uncertainty that comes with the promise of a fresh start. But don’t worry—we promise that things are going to be great, especially in New York City. Here’s why:

1. New York is a baseball town. The Mets just re-signed the larger-than-life Yoenis Cespedes, and will try to make the playoffs three years in a row for the first time. The Yankees are in the midst of an uncharacteristic, and exciting, youth movement. And Staten Island might soon root for…the Pizza Rats?—Jonathan Zeller

Whitney Museum. Photo: Timothy Schenck

2. The downtown Whitney is hosting its first Biennial. A young, new curatorial team is putting together this survey of contemporary art, promising a fresh take and more emerging artists than ever before at Whitney’s new digs—which has more than twice the exhibition space of the old uptown location. —Brian Sloan

3. We’ve got 99 Michelin stars. Seventy-seven NYC restaurants have one-, two- or three-star ratings for 2017. Of course you should try as many as you can—but pay special attention to the rookies on the list, including Faro in Bushwick , Sushi Inoue in Harlem, and Aska in Williamsburg. Check out the full list here.—Alyson Penn

4. Georgia O’Keeffe is at the Brooklyn Museum.Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern will explore how O’Keeffe’s work helped pave the way for modern feminist artists—fitting, since the very first retrospective of her work was staged at the Brooklyn Museum in 1927. —Kate Mulcrone

Come From Away. Photo: Matthew Murphy

5. We have the most new Broadway musicals in three decades. Riding the colonial coattails of Hamilton, the current 2016–17 season is on track to debut 40-plus shows, including 12 new musicals. The spring schedule includes highly anticipated film-to-stage adaptations like Amélie, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Groundhog Day; original shows like Come From Away and the 1940s-styled Bandstand; and starry returns for Bette Midler in Hello, Dolly! and Glenn Close in Sunset Boulevard.—BS

6. National Geographic’s Encounter: Ocean Odyssey is coming. If you suspect you’ll never get to see a humpback whale up close, this Times Square exhibition (opening in the fall) is your next best bet. —Christina Parrella

7. March is madder than ever. For the first time, the ACC Tournament will be held in New York City (Barclays Center). Along with the Big East Tournament (Madison Square Garden), it will serve as a warm-up routine for the Big Dance—the third and fourth rounds of the NCAA East Regional, also at MSG. —Andrew Rosenberg


8. You can hear Harry Potter live in concert. Accio, Harry Potter! The wizard is back for a screening and musical performance at Radio City Music Hall. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (the first one) will play on a 40-foot screen as the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra performs the John Williams score. —AP

9. And Game of Thrones too. If you’re like us, the Game of Thrones opening theme is stuck in your head right now. At Madison Square Garden, GOT composer Ramin Djawadi will lead a performance of that epic number and many more from the show. Winter is here (we couldn’t resist). —AP

"Muhammad Ali working out at his training facility in Deer Lake, Pennsylvania" (1972), by George Kalinsky. Courtesy, George Kalinsky

10. The New-York Historical Society’s schedule will leave a mark. In early April the country’s first-ever permanent museum space devoted to women’s history opens on the Society’s fourth floor. Also on tap: Tattooed New York, which traces the City’s long history with the art of inking (did you know, for example, that tattoo shops were outlawed in New York City from 1961 to 1997?); and a one-two punch of Muhammad Ali thanks to LeRoy Neiman’s colorful paintings and George Kalinsky’s revealing photographs. —CP & AR

11. The East River is getting new ferry service. Starting in June, you’ll be able to take scenic journeys to and from new stops in areas like Astoria, Red Hook and the now-trendy Rockaways for the price of a subway ride. A brand-new fleet of 18 eco-friendly boats (complete with bike racks and free WiFi) will provide regular service every day from 6:30am to 10pm. —BS

12. Billy Joel is still playing MSG once a month. Joel’s lyrical atlas includes 52nd Street, Park Avenue, Mulberry Street, Bedford-Stuy and Broadway (to name a few), while the New York Times and Daily News are at the top of his reading list. So it’s our civic duty to pass on the good news that you can still catch him playing a regular gig in that big arena above Penn Station. —JZ

13. And Jerry Seinfeld is still a regular at the Beacon Theatre. The comedian will continue asking audiences what’s the deal with all sorts of things throughout 2017. If you like your humor observational and are a fan of the New Yorkiest TV show of all time, you might be interested in attending. —JZ

14. Two masters of observation grace the Morgan. Exhibitions on Emily Dickinson and Henry James—arguably the greatest American poet and prose stylist, respectively, of the 19th century—celebrate the personal relationships each writer cultivated. —AR

15. NYC will still be on TV. The coming year is slated to bring new seasons of shows like Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. And those are just a couple of our favorites out of a long list of current NYC-based series. —JZ


16. But books are the hot thing right now. Despite a successful career in literary fiction—no mean feat!—George Saunders has yet to release a novel. Well, that’s about to change. Next year the short-story magician releases Lincoln in the Bardo, a long-form narrative about the 16th president mourning the death of his son. (No doubt the book will be funnier, and far more affecting, than that description makes it sound.) On February 16, Saunders appears at 92 Y in conversation with Colson Whitehead, whose 2016 novel, The Underground Railroad, won the National Book Award. Tickets start at $33, but for lit fans of more meager means, the City offers an array of other author events—most of them free. Conversations at the Center for Fiction, McNally Jackson, Greenlight Books, Housing Works and elsewhere offer plenty of affordable encouragement to keep reading. —Jonathan Durbin

17. Tom Ze brings a tropicália vacation to Brooklyn. The Brazilian experimentalist from Bahia opens his bag of samba and bossa nova grooves at BAM. —AR

18. Muppets and mobsters cross paths in Queens. The long-awaited Museum of the Moving Image exhibition celebrating Jim Henson is set to debut in 2017—projected in March, though we’re taking a wait-and-see approach—so put on makeup and dress up right. Through April, there’s also a Martin Scorsese show with photos, projections and props from his movies—complemented by film programming. —AR

The Met Fifth Avenue. Photo: Kate Glicksberg

19. The Met Fifth Avenue’s annual Met Gala will bring back showstopping outfits. Remember Rihanna’s yellow dress that launched countless omelet memes? This year, the Costume Institute’s exhibition and gala are centered on Comme des Garçons’ Rei Kawakubo. Our bet is on RiRi to steal the show. —CP

20. 10 Corso Como will merge Italian food, art and fashion. Italy’s answer to Fifth Avenue (but with art exhibits) opens its first ever stateside location at South Street Seaport next summer. The Milanese retailer was founded by Carla Sozzani—sister of Franca, Vogue Italia’s editor in chief. —CP

21. There’s good news on the horizon. Of the “Huey Lewis and the” variety, that is. They’re playing the St. George Theatre. Neil Diamond is at Madison Square Garden. Paula Abdul, New Kids on the Block and Boyz II Men are at Barclays. You don’t get to tell us what to be excited about. There are also rumblings of Spice Girls, Kinks, Oasis and Eric B. and Rakim reunions in 2017. We’ll tell you what we want (what we really, really want): for all of them to come through NYC. —AR and JZ

22. Plus, there’s a potential grunge-rap-symphonic-pop-dance-power-ballad wingding at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. That’s if Pearl Jam (a lead-pipe cinch), Tupac, ELO, Chic and Journey make the cut. Hey, don’t stop believing. We could also envision Janet Jackson or Joan Baez or the thousand members of Yes crashing the party. Either way, good times. —AR

"Elvis Presley Memorial Party at Club 57" (1980), by Joseph Szkodzinski. Pictured: Kristine Dreuille (center), Drew Straub (right). Courtesy, Joseph Szkodzinski

23. Don’t like it here? Travel back to 1978. Through film, photography, paintings, fashion and zines, anyway. Club 57: Film, Performance and Art in the East Village, 1978–1983 is a MoMA exhibit exploring the East Village’s late, great Club 57 and its brief zenith. Located in the basement of a church on St. Mark’s Place, the celebrity hangout was a place for creative experimentation and counterculture antics. —AP


24. Or to outer space (again, in the East Village). Ethan Lipton and His Orchestra follow up pungent musical drama No Place To Go, about the demise of a workplace (full disclosure: this reporter was a fellow “information refiner” at the unnamed publication in that story), with The Outer Space—where our protagonist finds himself in the aftermath. —AR