17 Reasons We’re Looking Forward to Spring 2019

nycgo.com staff

Spring is a season of hope and renewal, and the reasons one should look forward to it—especially in New York City—can seem innumerable. Having said that, in the spirit of pragmatism, we went ahead and chose 17 to get you started.

Coney Island. Photo: Brittany Petronella

1. The Wonder Wheel’s turning (99 years old). Need more motivation to visit Coney Island? The scream-a-second Cyclone will fire up for another season, and the 10-day Congress of Curious Peoples is set to celebrate the quirky denizens of Brooklyn’s seaside amusement district with festivities like the Sideshow Hall of Fame Inductions. —Andrew Rosenberg

Nigel Tufnel (left) and David St. Hubbins, "This Is Spinal Tap" film still. Courtesy, Tribeca Film Festival

2. The Tribeca Film Festivalwill go to 11 with a 35th-anniversary screening of This Is Spinal Tap and a live performance by band members Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer. Those who remember the ’90s, meanwhile, will want to check out the 25th-anniversary screening of Gen X classic Reality Bites—featuring director Ben Stiller along with cast members Ethan Hawke, Winona Ryder and Janeane Garofalo. —Brian Sloan

3. Tribeca won’t be the only celluloid game in town. The film festival calendar is stocked this season, spotlighting Latin American, African American, Italian, African, Polish, Brooklynite and resolutely independent contributions to moviemaking. Screen time awaits. —AR

4. The jokes will continue landing, fast and furious. The energetic, charming Michelle Buteau will bring her act to Union Hall (March 24). Other highlights include Dave Hill at QED (March 27), Bob Saget playing the Playstation Theater (April 13; don’t expect him to be as innocent as his Full House character) and Phoebe Robinson at the Bell House (May 6). Eddie Izzard comes to the Beacon Theatre (May 21–24), while Jerry Seinfeld continues his Beacon residency all season long. Plus, the UCB East maintains a slate of weekend shows at its new home, Subculture. —Jonathan Zeller

Broken Shaker. Photo: Adrian Gaut

5. We’ll be swapping out our SAD lamps for some genuine vitamin D. It’s 100 percent scientifically proven that cocktails taste better in the sunshine. When NYC rooftop season strikes (for us, that means the first above-60-degree day), make a beeline for sky-high bars like Broken Shaker, Birreria and the Met Roof Garden in pursuit of mood-boosting views and open-air drinks. —Gillian Osswald

The Orchid Show. Photo: Brittany Petronella

6. And flowers will bloom indoors in the Bronx. On colder spring days, seeing the Orchid Show is a way to stay warm while enjoying nature. Every year, the New York Botanical Garden’s Enid A. Haupt Conservatory fills up with gorgeous displays of orchid blooms. This year’s show honors Singapore. —Christina Parrella

7. Everyone loves a second act. We can sit and bemoan the passing of local restaurant institutions, or we can herald the (reported) return of one: Keith McNally’s stylishly casual bistro Pastis, which helped usher in a new Meatpacking District era a couple of decades ago, is due to reopen this spring within shouting distance of its original address—and with restaurateur Stephen Starr running the show. —AR


8. We’ve got a whole new world of dining options. Hudson Yards—a freshly built neighborhood—brings shops, public art and tons of dining destinations to Manhattan this spring. Among the most anticipated new eateries to hit the borough’s western frontier: José Andrés’ Mercado Little Spain. This 35,000-square-foot hall will be like a Spanish food wonderland with 15 tapas vendors, a seafood restaurant, two bars and an all-day café. (Save room for more bites at a Momofuku outpost, a Thomas Keller venture and NYC favorites like Shake Shack and Van Leeuwen also coming to the neighborhood.) —GO

Hudson Yards rendering. Courtesy, Hudson Yards IP Holding Company LLC

9. Speaking of Hudson Yards, the neighborhood will keep growing skyward. The Staircase, one of Hudson Yards’ more dramatic elements, will open to the public this March. The 150-foot-tall sculpture by Thomas Heatherwick is, unlike most art, meant to be touched and even stepped on. Some have likened the interlocking patterns of The Staircase’s 2,500 steps to a mod metallic beehive. —BS

10. Empire Outlets will transform Staten Island’s North Shore. April promises the opening of a mega retail and dining destination. Located steps from the Staten Island Ferry, it will host factory outlets for Converse, Levi’s, Nike and dozens of other brands. —CP

NYCFC. Photo: Nathan Congleton

11. We’ve got #goooals. Soccer season for local MLS clubs New York City FC and the New York Red Bulls kicks into high gear in the spring, while a few international matchups take place at Red Bull Arena—including a tune-up for the US women’s team before they travel to France to defend their World Cup title. —AR

12. The Mets and Yankees are all in. New York’s National League team (which has added slugger Robinson Cano, closer Edwin Diaz, infielder Jed Lowrie and catcher Wilson Ramos to a team featuring Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom) and its AL counterpart (who won 100 games last year, return all of their core players and traded for pitcher James Paxton) both aim for banner years. —JZ

"Coat" (1988–89), Jean-Charles de Castelbajac. Courtesy, Met Museum, Photo: Johnny Dufort, 2018

13. New York City will be looking good, thanks to eye-catching art events like the annual Frieze Festival on Randall’s Island, the Whitney Biennial and the five-borough NYCxDESIGN. Also keep your eyes peeled for the Met Costume Institute’s upcoming Camp: Notes on Fashionexhibit, which opens on the heels of one of the season’s biggest spectacles, the Met Gala. —GO

14. Garry Winogrand will show his colors. The late photographer, a Bronx native, became famous for his black-and-white street photos of midcentury NYC—capturing locals in Coney Island, on Midtown’s blocks and at city zoos. A new Brooklyn Museum exhibit examines his little known (but no less arresting) color photography from the same era. —AR

"S.T.A.R" (2012), Tuesday Smillie. Courtesy, the artist and Brooklyn Museum

15. WorldPride is getting closer. A number of noteworthy LGBTQ+ art exhibits are set to open this spring, including MoMA’s look at Lincoln Kirstein (founder of the NYC Ballet), the Art After Stonewall retrospective at Soho’s Leslie-Lohman Museum and the Brooklyn Museum’s Nobody Promised You Tomorrowwhich surveys the contemporary LGBTQ+ art scene 50 years after the Stonewall Uprising. —BS


16. Some bands you may have heard of will rock. In March, Fleetwood Mac plays two nights at Madison Square Garden (March 11 and 18). Soon after (March 29), band member Stevie Nicks gets inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The ceremony takes place at Barclays Center and also includes The Cure, Janet Jackson and Def Leppard. On June 13 and 17, the Rolling Stones bring their No Filter tour to MetLife Stadium. CP

17. And we’ll tune in for even more music, including the return of Webster Hall. Gone since 2017, the long-running East Village venue is slated to finish its renovations and reopen this spring with a May 1 Patti Smith performance. Will the floors still be sticky? Stay tuned. Tastemaking LES venue Mercury Lounge continues its 25th anniversary celebrations with appearances by old favorites like Wheatus (April 5) and Acid Mothers Temple (April 22). Other concert highlights include Jawbreaker at Brooklyn Steel (March 23–24), Jukebox the Ghost at the same venue (March 27), a farewell KISS show at Madison Square Garden (March 27), Muse at the same arena (April 8), Pup bringing high-energy punk to Brooklyn Steel (April 26), the Feelies rocking Rough Trade (May 3–5), Bandits of the Acoustic Revolution continuing their reign as the world’s leading orchestral-acoustic-ska outfit at Radio City Music Hall (May 4), and Laura Stevenson fresh off a new album release at Rough Trade (May 24). And Björk, naturally, will help open The Shed at Hudson Yards (eight shows between May 6 and June 1). —JZ