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Arts & Entertainment

  • Best Trip Down Print Media Memory Lane

    The Library Walk

    Although completed in 1998, artist Gregg LeFevre's series of 96 bronze sidewalk plaques seems a visitation from a more distant and charming past. The Library Walk was cemented into place during the dark infancy of the Information Superhighway, when we still read bound books and publications that would dirty your hands (and perhaps your mind) called newspapers. LeFevre used diverse… More >>
  • Best Reassurance That Print Will Survive

    Brooklyn Zine Fest

    Though many might question why on earth Matt Carman and Kseniya Yarosh would care about zines in 2013, we're glad they do. This spring, the young bespectacled husband-and-wife team organized the hugely successful second annual Brooklyn Zine Fest at Public Assembly. More than 2,000 attendees came to check out the self-made publications (ranging from Xerox copies to fancy letterpress) of… More >>
  • Best Reason to Arrive to the Theater Early

    The Library at the Public Theater

    Raise your hand if you've ever had to rush through your dinner and plead with the waiter to get the check "right now" to make it to the theater on time. When the Public Theater finally cut the ribbon on its four-year $40 million revitalization project last fall, it introduced a wonderful solution: The Library at the Public Theater, a… More >>
  • Best Indie Cartoonist Debut

    Lisa Hanawalt

    This year, thanks to cartoonist Lisa Hanawalt, we finally learned the answer to the burning question: What do dogs really want? As illustrated in her fantastic first book, My Dirty Dumb Eyes (Drawn and Quarterly), the answer is: "a salt lick in the shape of human legs," a bride made of tennis balls, and "the dried, powdered urine of other… More >>
  • Best Lit Blog

    Paris Review Daily

    When Lorin Stein took over as editor of the Paris Review in 2010, one of his first orders of business was to give the venerable print publication's website a makeover. And so the wonderful Paris Review Daily was launched. Edited by the smart, savvy, bespectacled Sadie Stein (no relation), the blog is updated weekdays with intelligent essays on art and… More >>
  • Best Small Press

    Ugly Duckling Presse

    A publishing collective sustained mostly by the generosity of a volunteer staff, Ugly Duckling Presse puts out more than two dozen books of daring poetry, experimental prose, translations, and art per year. Keeping its eye on the best of the avant-garde, the press has recently published books by the talented Lawrence Giffin (Christian Name), Russian writer Kirill Medvedev (It's No… More >>
  • Best Cemetery

    Green-Wood Cemetery

    This vast, gorgeous, 175-year-old national treasure (literally—it's a registered historic landmark) houses some of New York's most distinguished dead people. Boss Tweed, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Leonard Bernstein all found their final rest at Green-Wood Cemetery, along with a host of artists, musicians, old-time movie stars, authors, and veterans of wars both long-ago and recent. Although trolley tours are available, we… More >>
  • Best Downtown Performance Artist

    Joseph Keckler

    This title can't begin to do all Joseph Keckler's many talents justice. At Dixon Place this spring, Keckler's delightful one-man show I am an Opera showed off his chops as a classically trained bass-baritone opera singer, rock balladeer, actor, pianist, multimedia artist, and storyteller. And he tackled a subject you won't likely find at the Met anytime soon: a 'shroom… More >>
  • Best Reading Series

    Franklin Park

    To attend a packed reading is a special thing, and it's usually the case at this bar and beer garden. Jennifer Egan, Colson Whitehead, Mary Gaitskill, Sam Lipsyte, Rick Moody, and Amy Hempel have all filled out this room. On the second Monday of each month, Franklin Park hosts this series with a mind to highlight Brooklyn's local literary scene.… More >>
  • Best Screening Room That Doubles as a Bar

    Videology

    Williamsburg's beloved if anachronistic video store has found a way to not only keep up with the times, but also get ahead of them. Rest easy, nostalgianauts; Videology still does rentals, even though the collection has been moved out of sight in lieu of a bar-and-movie-theater combo. We wholeheartedly support the renovation. The Bedford Avenue institution has created one of… More >>
  • Best Ambulatory Feast of Experimental Performance

    CATCH

    Since its 2003 debut at the original Galapagos, this peripatetic series of wild-ass, seven-minute multidisciplinary performances has popped up, more or less bimonthly, at arts spaces in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and as far afield as the Catskills, Minneapolis, and Austin. Curated by Jeff Larson, Andrew Dinwiddie, and Caleb Hammons, the next edition of the CATCH series, Catch 58, takes place… More >>
  • Best Graphic Design Fix

    Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Gallery

    Sometimes the conceptual conundrums of a David Hammons installation or the multifaceted imagery of a Neo Rauch canvas causes your brain to occlude your eyes. When you want more straightforward visual jollies, head for the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Gallery in MOMA's design wing, where rotating exhibitions focused on a particular art director or movement are thoughtfully curated on… More >>
  • Best Career Transition Since Baryshnikov

    Wendy Whelan

    She's still a star at New York City Ballet, now in her 30th season, but Kentucky-born ballerina Wendy Whelan, 46 and planning ahead, put out feelers to hot contemporary choreographers and assembled a program of duets, Restless Creature, with and by Kyle Abraham, Joshua Beamish, Brian Brooks, and Alejandro Cerrudo. She'll tour internationally with them in the spring, stopping at… More >>
  • Best Harbor for International Dance

    New York City Center

    The original home of Balanchine's New York City Ballet, New York City Center—recently emerged from a stunning renovation—hosts troupes from around the world, including British dance genius Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty (October 23–November 3), the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (December 4–January 5), a flamenco festival (March 6–9), Les Ballets de Monte Carlo's LAC, a sequel to Swan Lake (March… More >>
  • Best Jukebox

    Boat Bar

    Boat Bar is a dark, affable little hipster dive whose name you'll be hard-pressed to find anywhere on its bright-red exterior. You have to guess it once you're inside, using clues like the life preserver hanging on the wall, the drooping pirate flag, and the stuffed squid holding court behind the cash register. One place where it doesn't stay genre-pure,… More >>
  • Best Museum

    Museum of the Moving Image

    Situated on a lovely, peaceful block in Astoria, Museum of the Moving Image's vast, spotless white interior feels delicious, especially on a hot afternoon. There's something to suit everyone in your party: History buffs will love the vintage cameras, while fidgety kids will enjoy the arcade, part of an exhibit about how we interact with screens. And everybody will be… More >>
  • Best Trivia Bar

    Nerd Alert at Black Rabbit

    There aren't T-shirt giveaways or Instagram contests or free pizza at Nerd Alert trivia. The weekly Greenpoint pub quiz doesn't need them, because a good trivia night isn't measured in gimmickry. It's all about the quizmaster. A sadistic one who stacks the deck with trick questions he couldn't answer himself is bad. A weak one who patronizes with gimme questions… More >>
  • Best Small Step for Man, Giant Leap for Mankind

    Wi-Fi and cell service in subway stations

    Back in April, the MTA started installing Wi-Fi and cell service in subway stations in Manhattan. Yes, New Yorkers have survived for 109 years without it, so why do we need it now? This is not about need. It's about possibilities. Possibilities borne of ingenuity, and the constant onward march of progress. (And, speaking practically, it's now possible to dial… More >>
  • Best Subway App

    Embark NYC

    Until all 200-plus subway stations are fully equipped with Wi-Fi and cell reception, Embark NYC remains a straphanger's trustiest companion. Unlike Google Maps or HopStop, Embark won't automatically reload, losing everything in the process, if you try to access the map or plan a trip while underground. You can select a particular station to see which trains are expected when,… More >>
  • Best Self-Guided True Crime Tour of New York

    Walking & Stalking

    Think of Walking & Stalking as your raspy-voiced, shifty-eyed guide to New York City's seedy underbelly. The app will take you to the city's darkest corners: past the West Side apartment where Norman Mailer stabbed his second wife in the heart during the party announcing his intention to run for mayor, and the Harlem ballroom where Malcolm X was shot.… More >>
  • Best Dance Floor Scrum

    Tender Trap

    "Best coke in the building!" was the first thing someone said to us when we walked into Tender Trap. The man wasn't a bartender and we don't think he was talking soda. His brazenness should give you an idea—if the bikini dancers on the bar twerking for dollar bills didn't—of the frenetic level of this Williamsburg bar. The spot, opened… More >>
  • Best Metal Bar

    Duff's Brooklyn

    If you spend enough time at Duff's Brooklyn, you'll wake up the next morning seeing red. The metal bar just off the Marcy stop of the JMZ line has hundreds of red chile pepper and what we'll call "bloodcicle" string lights hanging from the ceiling, illuminating the kitsch—elegantly framed band and movie posters, all-access laminates, old porn—covering every wall. There… More >>
  • Best Respite in the Belly of the Art Beast

    The High Line

    After a typical day's communion with Chelsea's cutting-edge (or not) video projections, intriguing and/or abrasive installations, and riot of paintings, you might long for a palate-cleansing stroll through nature. Although it's practically de rigueur these days to complain that the High Line is overrated, don't believe the hype. Open four years now, this elevated greenway burrowing through Chelsea's mix of… More >>
  • Best Movie Theater

    Williamsburg Cinemas

    Ticket prices to first-run films can touch $40 after fees if you want the IMAX/RealD/3D experience, which is why Williamsburg Cinemas' Tuesday and Thursday $8 ticket prices—check the website for specifics—have made the movie house a destination since it opened last year. The seven-screen cinema is owned by Harvey Elgart, who also owns Cobble Hill Cinemas. And while an old… More >>
  • Best Regular Film Series

    Nitehawk Cinema

    The brunch screenings at Nitehawk Cinema, paired with hangover or without, is really just the umbrella name for multiple series of films curated by the theater. Seeing these old films—often marooned on cable or buried in iTunes—is a worthwhile pursuit, since the staff at Nitehawk has prepared more than just the movie: For $14, you can get a special menu… More >>
  • Best Place to Avoid Eye Contact

    Young men selling CDs in Times Square

    The young men selling CDs in Times Square may be amateur rappers, but they are professional hustlers. They stand shoulder to shoulder on both sides of the sidewalk, six, seven, nine, maybe a dozen of them, forming a gauntlet of outstretched arms waving CDs at the endless supply of tourists and college kids and everybody else packing Broadway. It's easy… More >>
  • Best Subway Train to Ride for Leisure

    A to Rockaway Park

    By the time the A to Rockaway Park passes JFK Airport, its cars are mostly empty. Folks kick their legs up, stretch their arms out, and glance out the windows at the rows of trees and suburban-style homes. Then comes the water. It trickles in at first—narrow rivers and shallow ponds. But within minutes, the land disappears from under the… More >>
  • Best Accomplishment by a Nonprofit

    Man Up! Inc.

    East New York has a rougher reputation than it deserves. It's not the bombed-out landscape of Reagan-era blight that stands as many Manhattanites' perception. There are new high-rise condos and freshly repaved thoroughfares. But while the crime rate is not what is once was, it remains one of the more dangerous neighborhoods in the city. Andre Mitchell, founder of Man… More >>
  • Best Comedy Open Mic

    Loose Tuesdays

    Alphabet City dive No Malice Palace hosts a weekly open mic that's the most entertaining joke lab in the city. Loose Tuesdays is run by Will Winner, easy to spot because he's the lovable goof lobbing Ed McMahon-ish quips between sets. Winner has built a warm, welcoming room where you'll see both new and established comics bashing their material into… More >>
  • Best Comedian

    Mark Normand

    Get on the Mark Normand train now, before people ask if you've heard of him. The Louisiana native has spent the past few years quietly becoming the best joke writer in a city full of them. Combine that with a punishing performance schedule (he'll perform north of 90 stand-up sets a month) and you get a comic in title-shot shape.… More >>
  • Best Comedian on Twitter

    Michelle Wolf

    There are two types of funny on Twitter. There is "Weird Twitter," where people write nonsense like "my tits smell like pickles" and get retweeted by 1,000 basement-dwelling dopes. Then there is "Actual Joke Twitter," where actual comedians write clever jokes that are funny to people with real senses of humor. Very rarely is a person loved by both worlds.… More >>
  • Best Rapper

    Ka

    Ka, the rapper-producer from Brownsville who is rumored to spend his days working as a firefighter, seems like the kind of man who has read the lengthy, murky section on conspiracies in Machiavelli's Discourses on Livy very closely. But his primary source of knowledge is experience: He knows there are dangers lurking around every corner, for he has spent as… More >>
  • Best Brooklyn Dive

    Capri Social Club

    We know you love, love, love the Turkey's Nest Tavern, which sells gallons of cheap suds in giant Styrofoam cups. You can have it. It's too crowded and full of youngs, and, eventually, cops are going to bust it when they catch on to all you dunces sneaking your booze across the street to McCarren Park. Nearby Capri Social Club… More >>
  • Best Artist to Remind New Yorkers There Is a World Beyond New York

    Ai Weiwei

    Can anyone imagine Jeff Koons or Richard Prince penning an editorial for a major outlet about NSA surveillance? That's just what dissident artist, architect, and all-around human rights gadfly Ai Weiwei did recently for London's Guardian newspaper, burnishing his already sterling credentials as a first-rate global intellectual. The oddsmakers' favorite for the first visual artist to win a Nobel Peace… More >>
  • Best Guitarist

    Yonatan Gat

    A few short years ago, three hairy men from Tel Aviv, Israel, routinely stalked the States with a boisterous rock show built from pure chaos, piss, and gnashed teeth. Monotonix were all punkified Black Sabbath chords and gritty distortion, lead singer and Doug Henning lookalike Ami Shalev flinging his sweaty body about sweatier crowds with no regard for his personal… More >>
  • Best Rap Album

    Run the Jewels

    Ironically, now that the bottom has fallen out of the economy, all mainstream rap is luxury rap. Rap music may have once been, to quote Public Enemy's Chuck D, "CNN for black people," a genre borne out of a desire to give voice to the voiceless, but it's hard to argue it's that now. Over the years, much of it… More >>
  • Best Karaoke

    Planet Rose

    The best karaoke is the kind you don't remember. Because you're drunk. Real drunk. Any place with a working microphone and thick songbook will do, so long as the owners aren't gouging you on drinks. The famed Sing Sing on St. Marks Place could occupy this spot. So too could Karaoke one 7, Karaoke St. Marks, or any one of… More >>
  • Best Hotel Bar

    Bemelmans Bar at the Carlyle Hotel

    It's not every day you want to drink in a place that makes you feel incredibly self-conscious, one so expensive you feel like you can't afford the free nuts on offer atop the bar. That's the kind of place Bemelmans Bar at the Carlyle Hotel on the Upper East Side is, and yet, we can't help but love it. Still,… More >>
  • Best Rock Bar

    Lucky 13 Saloon

    Smack dab in the middle of endless baby stroller traffic jams and kale emporiums of Park Slope lies a magical place, a seemingly quaint side-street bar with black curtains, where nary an appletini is served and Iron Maiden reigns supreme. Lucky 13 Saloon regulars swill cheap beer as C-rate slasher films splash copious amounts of blood across the muted TV… More >>
  • Best Comedy Club

    The Comedy Cellar

    If you have cash to spend, and don't want to gamble on some young bucks at UCB, the best guaranteed world-class night of funny in New York is still The Comedy Cellar. Known to a nation of discerning stand-up fans as the club in the opening credits of Louis C.K.'s hit FX show, Louie, the Cellar is the city's A-room… More >>
  • Best Place to Break Up

    Houston Street

    Breakups are a bitch, this we know. But if you're looking for the fastest way to rebound, the best place to end it is on Houston Street, a true gateway to every pleasure the city can offer. Think about it: The last thing you want is to end a relationship in a secluded restaurant on, say, the stuffy Upper East… More >>
  • Best Place to Escape NYC in NYC

    Sheep Meadow

    Leaving New York City can be rough, especially if all you've got in your pocket is $5 and a MetroCard. But really, that's all you need. Walk north toward Central Park West and West 66th Street and into Sheep Meadow, a bit of heaven in the Big Apple. From 1864 to 1934, the field was actually home to grazing sheep… More >>
  • Best Subway Station

    Bleecker Street Station

    Subway renovations cost millions and are usually never completed when they're supposed to be. But once in a while (like every lifetime or so), when a station is finished, it's as if you hear a hallelujah with every train that arrives at the platform. Such was the case with the Bleecker Street Station, which was finally finished last summer. The… More >>
  • Best Makeout Spot

    Williamsburg Bridge

    When you're looking to make out (and don't mind getting noticed for it), the Williamsburg Bridge, with its spectacular views of the skyline and incredible artwork throughout, is hands down the best place to get your smooch on. Just the thrill of cars zooming nearby, young creatives zipping past on their bikes, and the rumble of the subway is enough… More >>
  • Best Art World Scoundrel

    Helly Nahmad

    Here's today's Jeopardy! clue: An art dealer who has surrendered his U.S., Italian, and Brazilian passports and is restricted to travel only in the southern and eastern districts of New York. The answer: Who is Helly Nahmad? A 34-year-old crook at the center of a federal case involving racketeering, extortion, and charges of money-laundering and illegal gambling, this scion of… More >>
  • Best Weekend Retreat

    Cold Spring

    There's truly nothing better than hopping on the Metro-North and leaving the city behind, if only for the weekend, and the lovely village of Cold Spring is the perfect getaway. Just 50 miles from the city and an hour and a half on the Hudson line, it's a well preserved national historic district with quaint streets to amble along and… More >>
  • Best Theater Actress

    Condola Rashad

    Condola Rashad has eyes like twin harvest moons—that large, that bright, that haunting. They illuminate every show she appears in, providing a still, clear center, whatever the histrionics that surround her. The daughter of Phylicia and Ahmad Rashad, she is as beautiful as her actress mother, as sure-handed as her wide receiver father. She plays characters at once injured and… More >>
  • Best Theater Actor

    Taylor Mac

    To call Taylor Mac best actor seems so limiting. Why not best actress? Best sea creature? Best flower? Best beast? Mac doesn't let gender (or even species) limit his performances. In works such as Red Tide Blooming or The Lily's Revenge, Mac brings clarity, tenderness, and a gentle eccentricity to protagonists who aren't even human. His sweet, boyish features belie… More >>
  • Best Broadway Theater

    Vivian Beaumont

    There are Broadway theaters styled as Roman bathhouses, Gothic dungeons, Greek pavilions, rococo confections, Georgian manses, and Venetian bordellos. Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont isn't one of them. The only Broadway theater located outside the theater district, it lacks the playful décor of most houses. But as you walk along the reflecting pool, past the sinuous Henry Moore sculpture and the… More >>
  • Best Off-Broadway Theater

    St. Ann's Warehouse

    The Tobacco Warehouse, which hunkers just on the edge of Brooklyn Bridge Park, was built in the 1870s and very nearly torn down at the turn of the last century. Its hulking red-brick façade has stood an attractive ruin ever since, hosting the occasional wedding, fashion show, and Smorgasburg. But in a couple of years it will enjoy a renovation… More >>
  • Best Lost Space

    Collapsable Hole

    If you read through the roster that has presented work at Williamsburg's Collapsable Hole, you'll have an approximate inventory of New York's most innovative artists—from Radiohole and Collapsable Giraffe, who built out the former garage, to Elevator Repair Service, Young Jean Lee, Banana Bag and Bodice, Cynthia Hopkins, NTUSA, Big Dance Theater, and beyond. But the space shuttered in September,… More >>
  • Best Theater Company

    Nature Theater of Oklahoma

    Never has a theater troupe done more with less than the Nature Theater of Oklahoma. Headed by husband-and-wife team Kelly Copper and Pavol Liska (she of the bird's nest hairdos, he of the luxurious mustaches), the company has made its name elevating the most quotidian chitchat to the extraordinary. They have built plays based around half-remembered snippets of Shakespeare, discussions… More >>
  • Best Park to Make You Remember Why You Love New York Parks

    Fort Tryon Park

    Sure, especially if you live in Brooklyn, the trek to Fort Tryon Park requires a loooooong subway trip uptown on the A, all the way to 190th Street. But that's part of the appeal: Once you get there, you feel you've really gotten somewhere. Built in 1935 by Frederick Law Olmsted Jr.—whose father designed Central Park—Fort Tryon is a tucked-away… More >>
  • Best Place for a Quiet Beer

    Burp Castle

    Part cosplay put-on, part reverent suds temple, Burp Castle offers nothing less than the world's finest craft brews (a select dozen choices curated each month) with the world's finest shushing. The barmaid, often dressed in the robes of a monk, hushes the crowd with a sibilant Shhhhhh! whenever the drinkers get much louder than the plainchant usually playing on the… More >>
  • Best Big Reason to Catch Old Movies

    Steinberg Screen at the BAM Harvey Theater

    Every couple of months, some New York theater revives Stanley Kubrick's 2001. It's as certain as apes evolving into bone-wielding killers, or humanity developing commercial Earth-to-moon space flights by the end of the 20th century. (Or not.) This year, the inevitable revival of that trip beyond the infinite at last landed on a screen with the space to fit all… More >>
  • Best Political Satirist

    William Powhida

    The closest thing the art world has to 18th- and 19th-century social critics like William Hogarth and Honoré Daumier, William Powhida has made a right nuisance of himself in the pages of various publications, including this one (he illustrated our February 6 cover story, "Artmageddon!: How Uptown Money Kills Downtown Art"), skewering most of the art world's big players, including… More >>
  • Best Cheap-Ass First-Run Movie Deal

    Sunnyside Center Cinema

    You can't expect niceties at Sunnyside Center Cinema, where first-run movies are $5 before 5 p.m. (3D is extra—and still pointless). Movie titles are routinely misspelled on the marquee on the showtimes display: Monsters Univrty, Your Next, and the immortal Pranamoral Activities. The box office has a poster for the least-beloved film in recent memory, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom… More >>
  • Best Freaky Reappropriation-Minded Art Piece

    "Elvis" Mask

    Turn left a couple times after entering the Brooklyn Museum, and you'll see it: a weird, flesh-colored mask of Elvis Presley, the hair a wool-thick black, the eyes painted over with raccoon-like circles, and the sideburns jutting long and straight so far across the face that they almost meet the king's lips. The piece—the "Elvis" Mask, created by the Nyau… More >>
  • Best Free Lunchtime Taste of Timeless Magnificence

    Bach at Noon

    No time for midday yoga or meditation? Tuesday through Friday, you can still seize hold of some inner peace by hustling into Grace Church for Bach at Noon, 30 minutes of Bach organ pieces performed by Patrick Allen, the organist and master of choristers, or organ scholar Phillip Lamb, between 12:20 and 12:50 p.m. Sometimes joyous, sometimes weighty, and sometimes… More >>
  • Best Strip Club

    HunkOMania

    Since we can't all have Channing Tatum as our private dancer à la Magic Mike, the next best thing is heading to Hell's Kitchen, where things get real hot at HunkOMania. The muscular men at this high-end male revue and strip club not only do lap dances and wild shows with audience participation, but will also come to your home… More >>
  • Best Weird Repertory Film Programming

    Spectacle Theater

    What are big cities for if not places like Williamsburg's Spectacle Theater, the hole-in-the-wall theater that recently, for instance, mixed up its regular programming with series such as "Molodost: Films on Soviet Youth" and "Bandido's Gold: Unearthed Spaghetti Western Treasures"? Yes, those names might sound like the titles of honors theses, but the vibe here is completely unpretentious, and the… More >>
  • Best Reopened DIY Space

    Silent Barn

    Three summers ago, fans of Ridgewood's beloved Silent Barn, the DIY space founded in 2006 by members of the band Skeletons, got back-to-back nights of bad news: On Friday, cops shut down an ongoing show, and on Saturday, the venue was robbed of $15,000 worth of equipment, instruments, furniture, and art. This past winter, after a successful Kickstarter campaign led… More >>
  • Best New Dance Spot

    Output

    If you follow, attend, or even look down your nose at new dance spots in this city, our pick here shouldn't come as much of a surprise. Put another way: Output lives up to the hype. Sitting across from Brooklyn Bowl on the corner of Wythe Avenue and North 12th Street, the venue has a Funktion-One soundsystem that's as good… More >>
  • Best Headphone History Lesson

    Bowery Boys: New York City History

    Ever wonder why Stuyvesant Street is such a short, angled nub of nothing? Or how the Post reported on the failures of ghost-raising mediums? Or just how much beauty and strangeness the brownstones and churches and tenements you pass each day have witnessed? Then upgrade your walks with episodes of the Bowery Boys: New York City History podcast. The shows,… More >>
  • Best Live Music Venue

    Cake Shop

    The major league bum-out that plagues most live music experiences are the johnny-come-lately bros who only know a band's one big hit, but proceed to flail and sweat and drink to excess all night, forcing you to deal with their obnoxiousness. That and, of course, the lack of quality cupcakes. Luckily, shows at Cake Shop have a solution for both.… More >>
  • Best Free Concert Series

    Lincoln Center Out of Doors

    One year before the excellent 2012 documentary A Band Called Death brought them to a bigger audience and wider acclaim, Detroit punkers Death rocked the stage of Lincoln Center. For free. They were technically outside the venue, playing the plaza in Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center Out of Doors, an open-air festival free to the public that features a diverse… More >>
  • Best Comic Shop for Signings and Events

    Bergen Street Comics

    New York has been the center of the comics world since the medium's inception. High-profile Manhattan signings can result in down-the-block lines and only a few brief words exchanged with creators as they claw-handedly pass Sharpies over the cover of the latest superhero event. Wouldn't it be great to spend a little more quality time with a comics artist, maybe… More >>
  • Best New Art Gallery

    Bunnycutlet Gallery

    Maybe it has something to do with owner and founder Liz Artinian's long history as a career animator, but this gallery's aim to embrace animation as it intersects with more traditional artistic mediums—mostly paintings, prints, and sculptures—creates within it a nostalgic, almost Warholian sensibility. The 850-square-foot Bunnycutlet Gallery hopped into Williamsburg last November, and has since established itself as a… More >>
  • Best Movie Theater Seats

    AMC 84th Street 6

    We grieve the loss of in-flight dining, blankets, pillows, friendly airline staff, and, of course, legroom. We also grieved the loss of movie theaters, for the loss of big screens, for the loss of a reasonably priced ticket . . . and for the loss of legroom. Yes, toward the tail end of the 20th century, movie theaters became a… More >>
  • Best Cheap Manhattan Dive

    Ding Dong Lounge

    In a city whose residents are too often required to part with upwards of $16 for the privilege of drinking a goddamn gin and tonic, at least we've got places like the Ding Dong Lounge. The graffitied, brick-walled room is less gloomy than just plain dark, illuminated mainly by the glow from the tabletop PacMan machine. There is not a… More >>
  • Best Radio Interviewer

    Brian Lehrer

    Honed over a 24-year career, Brian Lehrer's warm, wry style is an antidote to the blowhard noise of talk radio. The Brian Lehrer Show, which airs weekday mornings from 10 a.m. to noon on WNYC (93.9 FM, 820 AM), more than lives up to such accolades as "New York City's most thoughtful and informative talk show" and "the sane alternative… More >>
  • Best Graphic Novel Guardian Angel of New York

    Strange Attractors

    That failing health-inspector grade at your favorite greasy spoon? It might be the easiest way to keep its crumbling building unoccupied before it collapses next week. That's exactly the sort of "lucky coincidence" that happens in Strange Attractors, a recent graphic novel by Brooklyn writer Charles Soule and Staten Island artist Greg Scott. Disgraced Columbia math prof Dr. Spencer Brownfield… More >>
  • Best Place to Expand Your Mind

    The Invisible Dog Art Center

    Visual art, literary events, film screenings, concerts, dance, theater, lectures, parties, naked hula-hooping—you name it and it's happened at The Invisible Dog Art Center in Cobble Hill. Whether it's a gallery opening downstairs or artists at work in their studios upstairs, the space is constantly buzzing with activity. The sheer size of it (three floors and 30,000 square feet of… More >>
  • Best Edible Insect

    Toloache

    Named after the moonflower plant—revered in Mexico for its use in love potions—Toloache stands out in the heart of the Theater District as a consistent gem amid midtown's hit-or-miss melee of restaurant offerings. Black truffle quesadillas are fired in a brick oven just beyond the ceviche bar, and fruit-studded guacamole showcases avocado, pomegranate seeds, Vidalia onion, mango, apple, peach, habanero,… More >>
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