things to do in new york city

The Metropolitan Opera House is now home to Sunday matinees. (Bettmann/Getty Images)

The future has arrived — and, as usual, New York City is feeling it in a big way. It seems like every day spawns the groundbreaking of the newest and biggest supertall building, the opening of an Instagrammable pop-up art exhibition, or a breathtaking gourmet food hall — some snazzy new thing to bring in the tourists or draw the jaded locals out of their 1-bedroom caves. But how do you know what’s worth your precious time? How do you know that review of the new pizza joint at the Dumbo waterfront isn’t just Papa John’s paid content? Don’t worry, here’s a list of the top new things to do in New York City, compiled and vetted by locals. This ain’t no double-decker bus tour of Times Square.

New York City Gets Its Own Bean

Anish Kapoor, the British Indian sculptor responsible for Cloud Gate, Chicago’s famous public art installation fondly referred to as “the Bean,” has brought his legume-loving style to the base of 56 Leonard Street, the Jenga-like skyscraper in Tribeca. Kapoor’s new piece will be a must-see for those seeking concave selfies taken in the polished mirror surface of New York’s very own bean.

Sunday Matinees at The Metropolitan Opera

For the first time in its 136-year-history, the Metropolitan Opera has begun staging Sunday-afternoon performances. This history-making development is the result of a three-year labor contract that gives the Met the right to preset up to 27 matinees during the 2020-2021 season. The Met has cited the massive success of Broadway’s Sunday matinees as inspiration. And why not? Sunday is for Puccini.

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The Garment District Gets Its Own Food Hall

The Garment District is now home to New York City’s newest food hall, the retro-elegant Deco, featuring Afghani, Mexican, Hawaiian, and French fare, among other sumptuous international flavors. Located at 231 West 39th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, Deco is the brainchild of first-time restauranteur Doris Huang, who couldn’t find a decent bite to eat in her neighborhood and decided to do something about it.

Roosevelt Island’s Memorial to Nellie Bly

Roosevelt Island will be home to a new memorial honoring the influential investigative journalist Nellie Bly, slated to be installed later this year. Bly, who is known for going undercover at the Blackwell’s Island Insane Asylum in the late 19th century and exposing the institution’s abuses and ethical failures, has been overdue for a memorial. The artwork, by sculptor Amanda Matthews, will feature sculptures that, according to the artist, are “rendered in partial sections that appear like puzzle pieces.” Hence its title: “The Girl Puzzle.”

Edge at Hudson Yards Opens

As of March 11, New York City will be the new home to the Western Hemisphere’s highest observation deck. Edge at Hudson Yards cantilevers 80 feet into the sky from the 100th floor of 30 Hudson Yards, at a terrifying total of 1,131 feet above the ground. The deck has a glass floor and nine-foot glass walls that angle outward, so you can more accurately fantasize about falling to your death. Tickets will be $36 online, $38 on-site.

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Welcome Back, MoMA

The Museum of Modern Art is back following a lengthy and substantial renovation. The question at the heart of MoMA’s architectural undertaking was simple: how to better process the museum’s 2.8 million yearly visitors. The facelift was worth it — choke points and snaking lines have diminished. Plus, the incorporation of the former Folk Art Museum next door adds much-needed space for temporary exhibitions and performances. The result is a fresh take on a beloved city classic.

Times Square Gets a Pop-Up Broadway Museum

Times Square will soon be home to a new pop-up museum dedicated to Broadway history. Opening later this year, the Museum of Broadway will focus on the evolution of the Theatre District and the nuts and bolts of how a Broadway show gets made. It will also highlight some of Broadway’s “game-changers” — landmark musicals that defined and redefined the idea of Broadway.

New York City’s First Makeup Museum

Beginning in May, New York City’s first — and only — Makeup Museum will open its doors at 94 Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District. The museum, which is run by beauty-industry veterans, will launch with the show Pink Jungle: 1950s Makeup in America. Their mission is to empower “all people to learn about and have fun with beauty.” You can expect large-scale exhibits, events, and interactive and shoppable programming.

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