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Super Bowl Saturday

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Michael Werner  

Saturday Morning
Steam baths, Hannah Arendt tours, alt-parks.

“Cemetery tours are fascinating. First off, I get to see my friends, but also at Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery (500 25th St., at Fifth Ave., South Slope), they have Louis Comfort Tiffany buried there, along with Henry Steinway, Boss Tweed, Samuel Morse, and Horace Greeley, founder of the New York Tribune. When you go back and see who lived in our city, it’s amazing. If you don’t go see a show on Broadway, you’re a fool. On Broadway, Off Broadway, above Broadway, below Broadway, go! Don’t tell me there isn’t something wonderful playing. The Lower East Side Tenement Museum (103 Orchard St., nr. Delancey St.; 212-982-8420) will knock your socks off. Most of us have someone in our family who walked through Ellis Island. The museum shows how they lived in the tenements, and it’s a killer. And on the other end, if you like art, there is the Hispanic Society of America (613 W. 155th St., nr. Broadway; 212-926-2234) up in Harlem; they have El Grecos, they have Velázquezes, they have Goyas. It’s incredible. If you love offbeat cinema, head to the Film Society at Lincoln Center (70 Lincoln Center Plz., nr. Broadway; 212-875-5367), because sometimes, if you’re just in the mood to see a revival of Eraserhead or The Honeymoon Killers, they got it! The people who go here are nerds, and nerds are tiny, so I can see! I like walking on Park Avenue mid-afternoon because none of the rich mothers are out, so you just see the nannies—and I’m thinner than they are. I love having a late supper at Joe Allen (326 W. 46th St., nr. Eighth Ave.; 212-581-6464)—because it’s a real place. It’s where all the Broadway gypsies go. It’s just cozy comfort food—nothing’s got a French name on it. And they have the best banana-cream pie. —Joan Rivers, comedian

“One of my favorite runs is down Christopher Street and then down along the Hudson to the Staten Island Ferry and back. I really like the way Christopher Street, as much as it’s changed, is still a place where you can watch everybody let it all hang out. The cruising scene is such a trip to watch, and seeing the kids, when it gets warmer, start to come out and go dancing on the piers is great. You run from there along the river, down by Wagner Park, where you can look at the Statue of Liberty, which always just gives me a thrill. I think that’s one of the great views in the city. I like it better than the High Line because it seems slightly less fussy and slightly more democratic and a little bit ugly, in a way that I like in a city park.” —Lorin Stein, Paris Review editor

“Head out to Rockaway Beach, find a rock, and just watch the winter surfers. There are a bunch of them who come out in the winter. They look freezing! But, you know, that’s passion. And that’s why I like watching them.” —Diana Picasso, art historian

“Go to the Aire Ancient Baths (88 Franklin St., nr. Church St.; 212-274-3777) at around nine in the morning. It’s where I go in the winter to warm up. They have a salt pool, hot baths, and a steam room, and it’s all candlelit.” —Caitlin Mociun, jewelry designer

It’s the smaller, off-the-beaten-path galleries on the Upper East Side that are really cool right now, so I’d suggest doing a gallery stroll up there. You won’t just see the blue-chip masterworks, but these super, highly curated shows, like at Craig F. Starr Gallery (5 E. 73rd St., nr. Fifth Ave.; 212-570-1739), where there have been recent shows of Bruce Nauman, Robert Rauschenberg, and an early Joel Shapiro. Of course, there’s my own gallery, Gagosian (980 Madison Ave., nr. 77th St.; 212-744-2313), but there’s also Adam Lindemann’s Venus Over Manhattan (980 Madison Ave., nr. 77th St., third fl.; 212-980-0700), which has that absolutely beautiful Calder show. Michael Werner (4 E. 77th St., nr. Fifth Ave.; 212-988-1623) shows some of my all-time favorite art from Germany. And Half Gallery just moved from the Lower East Side into the same building as the Cynthia Rowley store and her crazy candy shop (43 E. 78th St., nr. Madison Ave.; 212-744-0151). You’re going to see cutting-edge young artists as well as those more traditional works from different eras up there.” —Richard ­Phillips, artist

“Walk around Grand Central station. For a public space, I find it amazingly welcoming. I also remember when it was so horrible, and when that gorgeous ceiling was all covered up. It’s still astonishing that I can use the restroom at Grand Central station and it’s clean and there’s a line of normal-looking people outside. I never would have dreamed when I was growing up that I could use the bathroom at Grand Central station.” —Roz Chast, cartoonist

“I love taking a morning walk along John Finley Walk, the promenade by the East River, and stopping into Carl Schurz Park, which is an exquisite little park next to Gracie Mansion. A lot of people don’t know about it because it’s quite out of the way. Along the promenade, there’s a cluster of these beautiful Queen Anne redbrick houses called the Henderson Houses. You won’t see anything like them anywhere else in New York; they’re quite charming.” —André Bishop, creative director of Lincoln Center Theater

“I like to take visitors to Morningside Heights. For one thing, the rest of Manhattan is pretty much flat, and Morningside Heights has almost as much topography as Montmartre. There’s this cliff, or escarpment, which extends along Morningside Drive from around 113th Street to around 121st Street; below it lie Morningside Park and Harlem. The cliff is probably at its highest at 116th Street and Morningside Drive, which is where the president of Columbia University lives. Hannah Arendt lived on Morningside Drive along the cliff. That’s where the view over Harlem is most dramatic. Look over it, you’ll hear all these sort of Harlem-y noises floating up, very soft and benign, and you can sort of see the great expanse.” —Jim Holt, author

“If it’s a cold, brisk day, grab some hot chocolate and go ice skating at the new ice-skating rink, Lakeside, Prospect Park (171 East Dr., enter nr. Parkside and Ocean Aves., Lefferts Gardens; 212-661-6640). I actually have my own skates—how corny is that?—Jennifer Esposito, actress

“I’d suggest doing Bikram yoga at Yoga to the People (12 St. Marks Pl. nr. Second Ave., 2R; 917-573-9642) in the East Village. It’s free—and everybody likes free. It’s really just people from all walks of life who want to have a little stretch.” —Taryn Manning, actress

“I like to grab a coffee after being out the night before and take a sunrise walk down to Wall Street, which is totally deserted in the morning. At that time, you can see what this city looks like with no people in it.” —Sasha Petraske, cocktail-bar owner

“For a Friday night, I’d go to dinner at Acme (9 Great Jones St., nr. Lafayette St.; 212-203-2121), and then head downstairs afterward to dance. I like the idea of eating and then adjourning to the downstairs for a continuation of the evening. It just seems like a civilized way to spend an evening—not that there’s anything civilized about what happens downstairs on a Friday night at Acme! On Saturdays, if I need some alone time, I’ll go to this little garden, St. Luke in the Fields (487 Hudson St., nr. Christopher St.; 212-924-0562), and sit on a bench. There are no phones allowed, and it doesn’t get a lot of foot traffic. Please don’t everyone go at once! Then I like to spend an afternoon book shopping. Start at Three Lives (154 W. 10th St., at Waverly Pl.; 212-741-2069), which is where I get my narrative nonfiction. And then there’s Mercer Street Books & Records (206 Mercer St., nr. Bleecker St.; 212-505-8615), which is a free-for-all. You’re going to find something unexpected. It’s vintage books, old books, loved books. Then I’d walk over to Dashwood Books (33 Bond St., nr. Lafayette St.; 212-387-8520), which has art books you’ve never heard of or seen before. And then I like to end up at the Strand (828 Broadway, at E. 12th St.; 212-473-1452). I can spend hours, the whole afternoon, going floor to floor. For a quiet dinner, I’ll go to Mary’s Fish Camp (64 Charles St., at W. 4th St.; 646-486-2185) and sit at the counter. That place can be busy, but not if you go right before closing, at like 10:30. The last time I was there, I ended up talking to the bartender about cricket—which neither of us know anything about! But it was nice. —Waris Ahluwalia, jewelry designer and actor


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