Sep 18, 2007 4:15 PM
A few generations ago, there were dozens of German and Czech beer gardens in New York City. Bohemian Hall is the only one left, and it's a treasure. The inside is quaint, but it's the back yard--occupied by picnic tables, big old trees, a small bandshell and an outdoor grill--that's the heart of this place. On a warm fall evening, you'll find upwards of a thousand people there, chugging brews, chowing down on schnitzel and bratwurst, and generally enjoying themselves. There are few better places to while away the hours.
29-19 24th Ave., Astoria, Queens, 718/274-4925; take the N train to Astoria Boulevard.
—Mac Randall, www.guitaronemag.com
CLOSE TO JAVITS: Sean Kelly
Music and performance art cult fave Laurie Anderson has a stimulating new installation at this Chelsea art stronghold. Feast your eyes on “The Waters Reglitterized,” which is made up of drawings, prints and video works based on the dreams that Anderson has envisioned while traveling. Headless singing squirrels, a corpse-sniffing fox and her brother will all be represented from September 17 to October 22.
528 W. 29th Street (between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues), 212/239-1181, www.skny.com.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
How obvious is this? Well, we are unashamed to recommend that you do whatever you can to visit this huge, amazing warehouse d’arte. Special exhibits running during AES include “Prague, the Crown of Bohemia 1347-1437,” which should be fascinating. If you don’t care about that, just go see all the incredible art, experience the Egyptian temples, go to the roof garden overlooking Central Park, and pinch yourself that you’re so cool to be at this world institution.
1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street, 212/535-7710, www.metmuseum.org
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Tres obvious II. So what? We say, you haven’t truly lived until you’ve ascended/descended Frank Llyod Wright’s magnificent spiral on the Upper East Side. Just being in the bottom of this awesome structure and looking up is worth the visit, and you won’t have to pay a dime for that privilege. If, however, you want to pay admission and check out the galleries, you won’t be sorry. The exhibits are usually thought-provoking, the permanent collections are beautiful, and somehow the people usually all are, too.
1071 Fifth Avenue at 89th Street, 212/423-3500, www.guggenheim.org
Columbia University Open Court
One of my favorite spaces in New York City is the large open court in the middle of Columbia University. Great place to just sit and read, think, etc., in the midst of a park-like setting surrounded by some of the most beautiful and architecturally significant buildings in the city. The stately old limestone church never fails to make me appreciate our predecessors' genius.
Broadway at 116th Street
—John M. Storyk, www.wsdg.com
The Frick Collection
Okay, you’ve been there and done that with the Met and the Goog, but have you been to the Frick yet? If you dig on visual art and you haven’t been to the Frick, don’t delay. The former mansion of industrialist Henry Clay Frick has a relatively small but extremely high-impact collection of paintings, sculptures and decorative objects that are pretty much unparalleled in terms of thrills per square foot. Three Vermeers in one floor says it all. Be sure to pay $1.00 for the guide that advises you of the order to go through the rooms, which really does maximize the experience.
1 E. 70th at Fifth Avenue, 212/288-0700, www.metmuseum.org
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
There are more than 52 acres of plants, trees, landscaping and natural loveliness at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The Japanese Pond alone is worth the visit. If you want to hear the sound of nature, instead of omnidirectional tube mics, this is the place to escape to. It’s a bit of a ride on the 2/3 train, but once you get there, it’s more than worth the time. Visit the neighboring Brooklyn Museum if you have an ounce of energy left, which you probably won’t.
900 Washington Ave at Eastern Pkwy, 718/623-7200, www.bbg.org
Once home to starving artists and drug addicts, the Lower East Side of Manhattan has undergone an epic revival of sorts in just the past few years. If you feel the need to escape the buttoned-up trade show floor and hotel lounges for a night, hop a cab south of Houston (pronounced "house-ton") to Pianos at the corner of Ludlow and Stanton. This bar/live music venue is full of good-looking people downstairs and houses an equally hip dancefloor upstairs. Or walk straight to the back and throw down a few bucks to hear some grungy, up-and-coming music acts play into the wee hours of the morning. (Last call is at 4 a.m.) If it's too crowded for your liking, you’re in luck: There’s another seven or eight bars to choose from on Ludlow Stree alone—including the infamous Max Fish—all of which offer their own unique take on New York nightlife. Just leave the polo shirt/suit and tie back at the room or you might be stuck waiting at the bar for a while.
158 Ludlow between Stanton and Rivington, 212/505-3733
—Karl Pawlewicz, firstname.lastname@example.org
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