Ah, spring. The season of rebirth, renewal and these 17 great reasons to visit New York City. Check ’em out:
1. Brooklyn’s looking East.
Industry City just welcomed NYC’s first sake brewery, Brooklyn Kura, a thirst-quenching spot bringing a local sensibility to the Japanese rice wine. Test it out now, but be sure to return in June for the debut of Japan Village. The Eataly-style Japanese food fun house will pack 20,000 square feet with ramen, sushi, soba, mochi and everything else you’d ever want to eat from the Land of the Rising Sun. —Gillian Osswald
2. Tribeca’s getting a great new brasserie.
Ever since chefs Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson left the Keith McNally empire in 2013, we’ve been anticipating their next move. Their bistro fare at Balthazar, Pastis (RIP) and Minetta Tavern was hearty and consistent. Frenchette, their new collaboration, is set to debut this spring in Tribeca, at 241 West Broadway. A peek inside the still-concealed space reveals a wood-grained, art deco brasserie—and, though we haven’t seen a menu, we have a feeling it will have been worth the wait. —Julie Besonen
3. Flowers are in bloom all over the City.
Spring’s return brings back three of NYC’s biggest floral events. In the Bronx, the New York Botanical Garden holds its Orchid Show, which features installations by Belgian floral artist Daniel Ost. Admire more blooms at Macy’s Herald Square’s annual Flower Show (the theme this year is Once Upon a Springtime). In April, Hanami, or cherry blossom viewing, takes over Brooklyn Botanic Garden—culminating in Sakura Matsuri, a weekend of blossom-related events on April 28 and 29. —Christina Parrella
4. We can begin to fill the Nordstrom-shaped hole in our shopaholic hearts.
At long last, the Nordstrom men’s store is set to debut in NYC this April. It will be a beacon of hope in our formerly Nordstrom-less wasteland (no shade to Nordstrom Rack, or the hundreds of other retail flagships in NYC), supplying luxurious duds for the guys and chic borrowed-from-the-boys pieces for the girls—while also serving as a welcome harbinger of the brand’s women’s store, coming in 2019.—GO
5. Baseball is back.
The Yankees made a big splash in the off-season, adding slugger Giancarlo Stanton to a lineup that already featured AL Rookie of the Year (and baseball-smashing giant) Aaron Judge. Playing in the batter-friendly confines of Yankee Stadium, those two alone are going to hit about 1,000 home runs. The Mets, meanwhile, acquired certain reinforcements—a Todd Frazier for third base here, an Anthony Swarzak for the bullpen there—and could make a deep postseason run if their key players stay healthy. In any event, there’s going to be baseball in New York City almost every day from March 29 until the end of September. It’s glorious. —Jonathan Zeller
6. Footie fever is kicking in.
7. Lauren Ambrose is Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady.
If you’ve been wondering what Six Feet Under star Lauren Ambrose has been up to lately, apparently she’s brushing up on her Cockney. She makes her much-anticipated Broadway musical debut in March, playing this classic role under the direction of Bartlett Sher—who did wonders with recent revivals of Fiddler on the Roof and The King and I. —Brian Sloan
8. You can take a walk in some very old shoes.
If you’ve ever wondered what kicks looked like in the 19th century, then this exhibit is for you. The New-York Historical Society’s Walk This Way: Footwear from the Stuart Weitzman Collection of Historic Shoes features more than 100 pairs of shoes highlighting fashion trends over the years. —CP
9. New York City is still a comedy town.
Highlights of the local spring comedy slate include Gilbert Gottfried, fresh off his recent documentary, at Carolines (March 29); SNL alum Sasheer Zamata continuing her regular show at the Bell House; and The State’s own Michael Ian Black at that same Bell House on April 13. Creative concept shows at Union Hall include Dark Spots (loosely themed around jokes about dark topics from comics like Janelle James and Martin Urbano) on April 14 and the straightforwardly titled Dad Jokes Only (with Tonight Show regular and Punderdome magnate Jo Firestone, among others) on April 22. There’s also a little show featuring Martin Short and Steve Martin at the Beacon Theatre, May 4–5. For much more, check out our Comedy Calendar. —JZ
10. The Cyclone will make your head spin.
And opening day for riding Luna Park’s thrill-a-second coaster is March 24. Did we mention Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs is right there? And the Wonder Wheel? If you like your NYC institutions in one seaside package, make your way down to Coney Island. —AR
11. We’re making a concerted effort. To rock.
The spring concert season starts with Justin Timberlake at Madison Square Garden (March 21–22) and continues with the likes of Weird Al (March 22–23); a live-band set from Talib Kweli (April 3–4); the ever-exclamatory Pink (otherwise known as P!nk; April 4–5); pride of Hoboken Yo La Tengo (April 6); Superchunk (April 7), promoting a new album; current king of punk rock Jeff Rosenstock (April 19–20), Kim Deal’s The Breeders (April 30–May 1); Australian rocker Courtney Barnett (May 19); and Queen-inspired piano-pop trio Jukebox the Ghost (May 21). For more music, mosey on over to our Concert Calendar. —JZ
12. It’s time to walk the Walk.
A stretch of the Bronx’s grand, art-deco-lined main boulevard—Grand Concourse— is dedicated to honoring great Bronxites, including basketball players like Tiny Archibald, musicians like Ace Frehley and KRS-One, and sex therapists like Dr. Ruth. Needless to say, we’re on tenterhooks to find out this year’s Walk of Fame inductees. It’s all part of Bronx Week. —AR
13. Brooklyn is ready for the Night of 1,000 Bowies.
Let’s dance! The Brooklyn Museum will rock for this tribute to the legendary David Bowie. It’s one of many sidebar events for their blockbuster David Bowie Is. This dance and dress-up party will be a living display of the rock icon’s many legendary looks over his decades-long career. (Note: it’s sold out; if you don’t make it in, there’s always the Instagram photos to admire, as well as the exhibit itself.) —BS
14. We’ll see how internet video killed every other kind of video star.
Did you come of age in the digital age? Or still have problems making heads or tails of it? Haul your millennial (or out-of-touch) self to the Museum of the Moving Image, which has put together a retrospective look at various forms of internet video expression. —AR
15. The Boys in the Band makes it to Broadway.
It’s been 50 years since Mart Crowley’s groundbreaking play shocked NYC audiences with its frank portrayal of “homosexual life.” TV producer Ryan Murphy finally brings the show to Broadway for this historic production, which features famous out actors (like Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto and Matt Bomer) in all the major roles. —BS
16. There’s a world of movie magic in the boroughs.
Most cinema buffs are familiar with the Tribeca Film Festival and Lincoln Center’s New Directors/New Films, but spring’s festival circuit casts a much wider net: New Voices in Black Cinema, the Harlem International Film Festival, the Havana Film Festival and the Indian Film Festival provide fresh perspectives. Go see something new. —AR
17. The City gets a Stanley Kubrick photo odyssey.
Many know Kubrick for classic films like Dr. Strangelove, 2001 and The Shining. But before the famed Bronx-born auteur was a filmmaker, he was a photographer. This exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York features some of his earliest professional work for Look magazine, where he started working when he was just 17 years old. —BS