It’s the city that never sleeps, so get ready to adjust your body clock to nocturnal mode. A night out in New York can be one filled with high culture, low-brow humour, 5-star dining or Happy Hour cocktails. From Broadway to the Bronx, these top 10 ideas for a night out in New York will surely keep those night owls aflutter.
1. See the skyline sparkle from the river
When darkness sweeps across the city, New York turns on the charm in a big way. The glittering Manhattan skyline is eye-candy at its best, and one of the most captivating ways to take it all in is from the vantage point of a cruise boat. There are a number of different twilight harbour cruises along the East and Hudson waterways, whether you’re seeking romance beneath the moonlight or revelry on the river.
2. Give your regards to Broadway
It’s big, it’s bold, it’s Broadway – New York’s Theatre District and 40-venue-strong entertainment enclave. Close to 12 million theatre-goers graced Broadway in 2013 to catch big-name productions like Wicked, Mama Mia, The Lion King and Chicago. You can score Broadway tickets on the cheap for an evening of Tony Award-winning entertainment from the TKTS booths at Times Square, Downtown Brooklyn or South Street Seaport.
3. Watch the Knicks slam-dunk
Dollar Bill Bradley, Patrick ‘The Big Fella’ Ewing, Tricky Dick McGuire – these basketball legends had one thing in common: they were all Knickerbockers. The New York Knicks, as they’re more commonly known, have been dribbling, shooting and dunking since 1946. Calling Madison Square Garden home, the Knicks put on a show from September through April, especially when playing geographical rivals the Brooklyn Nets.
4. Speak easy at a prohibition bar
Prohibition may have ended nearly a century ago, but many NYC bars are still keeping things hush-hush. Sneak down a secluded corridor, find the unmarked entrance and whisper the password to gain entry to a Gatsby-inspired watering hole, many of which were actual speakeasies in times past. Chinatown’s Apotheke, Bathtub Gin in Chelsea and Williamsburg’s Hotel Delmano are among the city’s best places for a sly tipple.
5. Dine at a Michelin star restaurant
The Michelin star, the mark of all that is good in the world of fine dining, can be found gracing many a Manhattan eatery. The most prestigious of New York Michelin star restaurants include French establishment Per Se and Madison Avenue’s Daniel. For discerning diners with a shyer budget, there are dozens of one- and two-star joints including The Spotted Pig (a Jay-Z favourite) and Momofuku Ko.
6. Step right up and greet the Mets
When the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers were no more, the New York Mets picked up the pieces. The Miracle Mets have racked up two World Series and have seen baseball legends such as Keith Hernandez, Yogi Berra and Willie Mays don the blue and orange. See the Mets play ball at Citi Field in Queens for a night of all-American entertainment during the warmer months
7. Get behind and cheer the Yankees
Bringing us greats like Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Babe Ruth, taking out 27 World Series championships and delivering 44 Hall-of-Famers, the New York Yankees are one of the most successful baseball teams in the USA. If you’re yet to be swayed by the Mets or the Yankees, you can see them face off at Citi Field or Yankee Stadium in the South Bronx of a summer night.
8. Late-night art attacks around town
Many cultural institutions in New York cater to the after-hours culture crowd. The Met (Metropolitan Museum of Art) keeps its doors open until 9:00PM on Friday and Saturday, giving you plenty of opportunity for an art fix. MoMA (the Museum of Modern Art) welcomes you for free between 4:00PM and 8:00PM on Friday, while several galleries around town choose to stay up past curfew on Thursdays.
9. Sweet sounds until the early hours
If you’re a lover of live music, whatever the genre, New York will have you bopping, moshing or jiving until your ears are ringing and feet are aching. From seriously sizeable venues (Hammerstein Ballroom, Radio City Music Hall) to classic music halls (Apollo Theatre, Carnegie Hall), superstars, punk rock gods, indie breakouts and underground artists alike fill New York with tunes every night of the week.
10. Put on your dancing shoes
Why is New York the city that never sleeps? Because it has so many pumping bars and clubs, nobody wants to call it a day! DJs spin, drinks flow and dance floors shake all across Manhattan, and among the top spots for late night shenanigans are Marquee, Lavo and 1 Oak. Want to party with the glitterati? Best shimmy down to the Meatpacking District’s VIP Room.
Words by Ashton Rigg