What to do in Dry January

By Go City Expert

If you’re abstaining from alcohol in January (or even February or March), you still need fun stuff to do. And yes, plenty of fun, alcohol-less stuff does exist. You just need to think outside of the box/liquor bottle. Or box of liquor bottles. Our first tip? Don’t think of it as Dry January. Think of of it as Fun January, just without the liquor. Here's what to do in Dry January.

Reunion in Brooklyn

First up, breakfast! Head to Reunion in Brooklyn; it’s on UNION Avenue in Williamsburg, so that’s cute. It’s an Israeli Café with a cozy vibe, and sidewalk seating when the weather is, you know, not the next four months. Order the Yemenite Pancake, which is fried dough with tahini and a soft-boiled egg. Or maybe the schnitzel on challah, partly because it’s just really fun to say. Get yourself a pomegranate juice and a latte, and you won’t even miss the Mimosa.

Robotic Church

Ok, you need a distraction. Something different, something new. You need to visit the Robotic Church in Brooklyn. Yes, that's a real thing. Formerly the Norwegian Seaman’s Church, the space is now host to a series of kinetic robots arrayed throughout the entire building. And we do mean entire--they’re on the walls, on the floor, peering over a catwalk. They range from one foot to more than 15, and each one has a task that produces a particular noise, sometimes all at once. Visiting will provide not just an experience, but a story that will see you through Dry January and many days to come.


Looking for a bar experience without the bar tab and the bar drinks? Check out abcv, Jean George’s plant-based, largely organic bar and restaurant. Never fear—mocktails and juice-based concoctions abound. Try a cold-pressed organic juice, like the turmeric elixir, with turmeric, local honey, lime, and Himalayan sea salt. Or maybe a shake with pears, coconut, and bee pollen. They also offer homemade sodas and organic iced teas. You can also get actual food, like mushroom walnut bolognese, or sauteed leafy greens. Our favorite category? “Brunch’s dessert.” Try the chocolate mousse parfait.

Outsider Art Fair

Not drinking? Look at some art! The Outsider Art Fair takes place in January at the Metropolitan Pavilion (other versions take place in other locales around the world), and it’s the time to attend a variety of exhibits from artists who are outside of the mainstream, Exhibits include “Relishing the Raw,” in which contemporary artists display works from their own collections, and “Bogus Cinderellas,” a show about postage stamps that display often fictitious places. You’ll also find talks and special projects, so call up that ”Art History 101” knowledge and check it out this dry January.

Wave-Field, Variation O

From now through March 31, you can get different kind of buzz—head to Wave-Field, Variation O, a series of glowing, interactive see-saws at Pier 17 next to Seaport Square. Yes, you read that correctly. The exhibit features eight different-sized see-saws, each one with its own musical “vocabulary,” demonstrated when they’re in motion. Play, glide, call on your inner child and your sense of rhythm. Looking for more winter fun to distract yourself? Why not try The New York Pass?

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Beat The Heat in NYC This Summer

Summer is well and truly upon us, at once awesome and yet unbearable in its glory. There’s still a few months of sun left (fingers crossed) to explore all the wondrous delights that New York has on offer. But it’s also hot. Very, very hot. All those tall, glass, sky-scraping behemoths and streets paved with tarmac mean that NYC scorches like no other. Still, you’ll want to make the most of the sunshine before it skedaddles for another half year, so here are some of the best ways beat the heat in NYC this summer. Water is your friend, human Water is brilliant, isn’t it? Not only does it make up 70-odd percent of your flesh body, it’s also pretty neat to drink too. You should be drinking 2-3 liters a day, and that’s never truer than when the sun’s beating down. Your best bet is to carry a reusable bottle around with you. Not only can you fill it up at one of the many water fountains around, but you’ll also be super environmentally friendly. If only people had been as conscientious as you over the past century. Maybe things wouldn’t be so hot. Of course, if you’re already out with no water bottle of your own, you can pick one up from any number of shops and stands around town. Remember to stay hydrated on the subway too. Not all of them are air-conditioned, and the ones that aren’t can become a humid kind of hell. Dress to impress (your body's temperature) Dare to get those pasty legs out in a sundress or a pair of shorts. Freedom is key – anything tight or heavy is only going to make you sweat buckets. That’s not pleasant for you. Or for anyone else who might be within smell-shot. Are you brave enough to don a pair of sandals or flip flops too? O’ courageous one, we salute you. Or just run away from the sun Of course, if it all gets a bit much and you want to seek the safety of a beautifully air-conditioned building, there’s plenty of inside hilarity to be had too. Fancy a little culture to go with the cold air? There are museums aplenty. Looking for a little summer spending spree? Try the innumerable shops. Or if you’re starving, stop by a local restaurant and pray they have air-con. Ice cream, you scream, everybody screams As if you needed an excuse. What better way to beat the heat in NYC this summer than with the ice-cold, sugary delights of ice cream? You’re sure to find ice cream vans on most street corners, so go exploring. Vegans can even have their chilly tastebuds sated at one of the renowned Van Leeuwen shops around town. Just cruisin' Miss all of the hustle, bustle and blazing microclimate of the city by backflipping on to a boat. Sweet moves. If you’ve never seen the city by sea, then you haven’t even lived. There are plenty of options too. Take a Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise, and catch a glimpse of NYC’s iconic skyline with the glorious breeze running over you. Close your eyes and imagine it. Excellent. Or go say hi to Lady Liberty on the retro Shearwater Classic Schooner. Either way, you’re bound to beat the heat in style. Them’s just some of the ways to beat the heat in NYC this summer. If you're ready to take o New York armed with all of our tips, here are some of the best things to do this summer.
Dom Bewley
New York Skyline

Things to do in New York on Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day, the first Monday of September, the end of summer, and a national holiday celebrating America’s workers. With the festivities spread across the entire weekend, how will you celebrate yours? Luckily, there’s no shortage of things to do in The Big Apple on Labor Day weekend. Whether you’re a history buff looking for culture, a wild child looking to party the nights away, or just want a weekend getaway for a special family event, NYC is the place to be. Join the Parade If you’re playing Word Association, the next word that comes after Labor Day is... Parade! Cheer on the workers and union members as they parade down Fifth Avenue, or add a dash of spice as you soak in the party atmosphere watching the West Indian Day Parade in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Catch some live sports There are plenty of sporting events happening over the Labor Day weekend, with 2 of the biggest on your very doorstep. The US Open is a highlight of the Tennis calendar, where superstars from around the world compete in the world-class Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. New York and baseball are the perfect Labor Day combo. See what all the hype’s about by catching a Yankees or Mets home game. A baseball game can last anywhere from 1 to 8 hours, with an average of around 3, so block out at least half a day when making plans. If you’re there outside of game time, consider getting a behind-the-scenes look with a Yankee Stadium Guided Tour. If you can’t get to a live game, NYC is jam-packed with sports bars where you can watch many sports with a lively NY atmosphere. Check out Timeout’s list of the 16 best sports bars in NYC. Tick off an iconic museum or two There are so many incredible museums in New York City (approximately 100) that it can be a little overwhelming to choose where to go. Fear not, as we’ve listed some of the very best below. The American Museum of Natural History Made up of 26 interconnected buildings, and housing an expansive collection of over 34 million specimens of plants, fossils, and meteorites, this is the closest you’ll ever come to a time machine. Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) Named one of the most influential modern art museums in the world, lay eyes on some of the most iconic pieces by artists such as Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Salvador Dali, and Monet. The 9/11 Memorial and Museum Detailing the tragic events of September 11, 2001, this moving tribute ensures we never forget the lives lost, nor the resilience and indelible spirit of New York to endure, rebuild and flourish once again. Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum With 30 restored aircraft, a submarine, and a British Airways Concorde Jet alongside the USS Intrepid, history truly comes to life. From high-tech simulators to the torpedo rooms, a trip to the USS Intrepid will ensure it’s a Labor Day you’ll never forget. Enjoy NYC’s natural beauty If you don’t want to be stuck indoors this Labor Day, how about stretching your legs and exploring the more beautiful corners of the city? NYC has 14 miles of beaches, but some are prettier than others. Coney Island The most iconic would probably be Coney Island in Brooklyn, with the amusement park providing the perfect backdrop. Enjoy the adrenaline rush of the rides or just chill on the white sands. Both are great options. Manhattan Beach Also in Brooklyn, Manhattan Beach is perfect if you get bored just lying around. With basketball, tennis, volleyball, and handball courts, it’s fun for all the family. Main Beach Head to East Hampton for a little slice of heaven. Enjoy the last days of summer in style, lazing on the white sands in perfect harmony. There are no fairgrounds or sports nuts here... just beautiful tranquility. Other outdoor attractions If you’re no fan of sand, there are plenty of other options to get your nature fix. Central Park A trip to NYC wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the iconic Central Park. Only the fifth-largest park in the city, yet the most visited urban park in the whole United States. Take a two-hour guided bike tour before finding the perfect picnic spot to relax away your Labor Day. Governor’s Island Formerly a top-secret US Army base, Governor’s Island is now the perfect day-trip destination. Catching the ferry before noon ensures a free ride, and then spend the day cycling around, exploring the special events, and taking incredible shots of the iconic New York skyline. Kayak on the Hudson River Cycling too pedestrian for you? How about spending your Labor Day on the water, kayaking up the Hudson River? If you want an adventure holiday weekend, add some standup paddle boarding or sailing to complete the perfect trip. Finish your day with fireworks The fireworks show is a superb end to the Labor Day weekend, but New York can get crowded. You need to know the best spots to get a magnificent view of the light show. A rooftop bar near the Hudson River or Brooklyn Bridge would be our first choice. Elevated for a panoramic view, a great party atmosphere, and you continue your celebrations without changing seats. Before you travel, do a quick search for ‘labor day rooftop party’ to find the hottest locations. Coney Island gets another mention on this list, but this time as a prime location for viewing the show. On a clear night, you’ll get breathtaking views of the fireworks over the NY skyline. However you choose to spend your Labor Day weekend, New York is the dream location.
Adam Fraiel

Video Games Set In New York

NYC’s a pretty famous place, so it’s not hugely surprising that many a video game has taken place there. And what better way to experience all the fineries the city has to offer than from the comfort of your own room, in the dark, alone. Just how nature intended. So don’t get dressed. Don’t shower. Don’t even brush your teeth. Use your eyes and join us on a reading journey through some of the many video games set in New York. Die Hard Trilogy Yippee ki yay. If it isn’t New York’s favourite fictional cop John McClane with his own trilogy of ‘maximum adventures’ (according to the box art). Die Hard Trilogy was a classic for the PS1 back in the late Nineties. Three films (we don’t talk about the other two) translated into three very different gaming experiences. The first had you playing McClane in third person, as you ran around Nakatomi Plaza, disarming threats. Die Hard 2 was an on-rails shooter akin to Time Crisis or House of the Dead (and special editions even featured a bulky plastic light gun). And finally, Die Hard With a Vengeance saw you drive around NYC in a taxi, stopping criminals. Those who played it will no doubt remember the windscreen wipers. Brutal. Max Payne Hardboiled cop Max Payne had it pretty rough. He lost his wife and daughter and was framed for his partner’s death. So what did Max Payne do? He donned his best leather jacket, that’s what. Oh, he also enacted justice on the perpetrators while wielding the uncanny ability to slow down time. The Max Payne series is often credited as the game that popularised ‘bullet time’ in the game industry, with its inspirations firmly based in Hong Kong action cinema. It’s a technique still used nearly 20 years later in all sorts of different game genres. Followed by two sequels that delved further into Max’s psyche and his decent into alcoholism, this brutal noir trilogy still holds up today as one of the best action spectacles around. They’re only surpassed by the cinematic tour-de-force that is the Max Payne movie. Lol. 50 Cent: Bulletproof The Noughties were kind to 50 Cent. ‘Get Rich Or Die Trying’ the movie, anyone? But did you also know that he starred in not one, but two video games? Thank you, whoever greenlit these. Thank you so much. In 50 Cent: Bulletproof, you play Fiddy. You run, you fight, and you throw out uninspired one-liners and edgy curse words. Inspiring stuff. When aliens eventually find the remnants of our species in a few million years, we hope that they find the very pinnacle of human achievement - this game. Marvel's Spiderman Just when you thought Marvel were content with cornering the cinematic and comic book markets, here comes the first game in another potential ‘universe’. When will they end? Thankfully, this new universe starts with a bang (pun intended, as all puns are). This fantastic game sees you take up the well-worn mantle of Peter Parker. However, unlike the high school antics of the Tom Holland-fronted movies, this is an older take on The Webslinger. You’ll swing through the city, stopping street crimes while facing off against some of Spiderman’s greatest adversary – full time employment. You can even take selfies, like an insufferable millennial. This video game set in New York is actually well worth a play. Grand Theft Auto IV No list of video games set in New York would be complete without a mention of Rockstar’s behemoth, Grand Theft Auto. Three games in the series have taken place in Liberty City, Rockstar’s fictional recreation of the Big Apple, but perhaps its most well-known is GTA IV. Players control Niko Bellic, an Eastern European immigrant who arrives on Liberty City’s shores to meet his “COUSIN!” Roman, in pursuit of the American Dream. Niko starts off small-time, helping out his idiot cousin in many of his schemes, but soon finds himself doing jobs for the criminal elite, and even working for a shady undercover government organisation disguised as a paper company. You’ll drive, and fight maniacally through 40+ hours of open-world goodness, and eagle-eyed players can even find a beating heart in the Statue of Liberty. Sadly, she doesn’t have one in real life. Don’t believe us? See for yourself. Def Jam Vendetta What do you get if you bring some of rap’s biggest names together for a video game? Pro-wrestling, obviously. With NYC as the backdrop, you can pick from a huge roster of established rap stars like DMX, Method Man, and Ludacris and...sigh...wrestle other rappers. Or you can take on the game’s story mode, which sounds hilarious. Grapple for street cred, pin your expectations on the mat, and choke-slam your disbelief as you vendetta your way to saving your girlfriend from a wrestling promoter or something. How do games like this exist? The Noughties. That’s how. Them’s just some of the many video games set in New York City. If you didn’t like this list then you are wrong, but please feel free to tell us which games you would have picked instead in the comments below! Fancy exploring New York IRL? We've got plenty of inspiration for you.
Dom Bewley

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