Museums, concert venues, and restaurants are shut down, but that doesn’t mean New York City is closed. Here are the best ways to hit the town, virtually.
In a place defined by hustle, bustle and being out about town, the present reality doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to take in our city’s dynamic cultural canvas in safe social distance.
From live-streamed concerts to rare restaurant deliveries to virtual visits to world-class museums, here are just some of the ways to take in the sights, sounds, and flavors from across the city safely from your shelter-in-place:
- More than a dozen institutions citywide have shared their collections on Google Arts & Culture, making it possible to experience much of Museum Mile right on your screen.
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art has made it easy to experience its world-class art remotely through 360-degree video, audio tours and other resources.
- Spend an afternoon at the American Museum of Natural History, which at 2 p.m. ET daily shares pre-recorded guided tours on Facebook.
- The Metropolitan Opera is streaming a different opera every day, each available for 20 hours beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET — view via app on Apple, Amazon, and Roku app, or on their website directly. The neighboring Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center has committed to releasing archival content footage at 12:30 p.m. daily for the next eight weeks.
- The 92nd Street Y has also taken its classes online, with countless offerings from new parent get-togethers to a crash course in guitar to “How To Be Photogenic.” They’re also streaming talks and performances; past events are also available for viewing.
- Keeping with 86-year tradition, Harlem’s Apollo Theater is live-streaming its weekly amateur nights and accepting digital auditions for the famed shows.
- At a time we all need a laugh, the Upper East Side’s Stand Up NY has kicked off a streaming series scheduled to feature 50 comedians.
- As the theater lights stay dim, streaming service BroadwayHD is offering a free 7-day trial to experience its library of 100+ stage classics. (Before you ask, there’s no Hamilton).
- Le Bernardin is temporarily shuttered, but those ready to take their Fresh Direct order to the next level, chef Eric Ripert has been posting daily recipes on his personal Instagram account.
- EarthCam, the net’s leading webcam network, gives live looks at landmarks across the city, from Times Square to the Empire State Building to multiple points on Lady Liberty and her torch. Pro tip: When you’re tired of your view, change it up Yule Log style.
- After a VR stroll down the High Line, step into the virtual viewing rooms of Chelsea’s neighboring David Zwirner Gallery, which has also committed to sharing digital dialogues from art world luminaries like Alex Da Corte and Doug Wheeler.
- Greenwich Village staple Marie’s Crisis Cafe is live-streaming singalongs on Facebook, with two nightly sets between 4-7 p.m. and 7-9:30 p.m. ET. Just join the Facebook group — it’s already gained more than 10,000 new members this month. Requests (and tips for the pianists) are welcome and encouraged.
- New Museum’s digital art portal, First Look: New Art Online, has been bringing original pieces online, and it’s all the more relevant until we can experience contemporary art on the Bowery “IRL” again.
- The now-postponed Tribeca Film Festival is streaming select shorts and premieres from its alumni filmmakers.
- While you now can’t dine there even with a coveted referral, Bohemian, the Great Jones Japanese haute spot known for its word-of-mouth exclusivity, is now on Caviar for contact-free delivery (the first time its menu has seemingly been published online).
- The Tenement Museum has made a cache of digital exhibits, podcasts and more available to transport viewers from their homes to the Lower East Side of centuries past, sharing stories of American resilience at a time when they couldn’t be more inspiring. With field trips off the horizon, the museum is also doing its part to support remote learning experiences for educators.
BROOKLYN + QUEENS
- In lieu of “IRL” classes at their Williamsburg space, Milk Bar maven Christina Tosi is hosting an Instagram baking club at 2 p.m. ET daily (with occasional cameos by her pastry-loving pooch Butters), rolling out tips and tricks to sweeten your quarantine cuisine.
- Down for indie flicks and chill? BAM is bringing arthouse content to your own house with ticketed at-home screenings through Kino Marquee, a platform hatched to help small theaters through these tough times. They’re also resurfacing past performances and events from its archives, and offering additional (and free) experiences via its social media channels.
- Though a digital double can hardly replicate stepping into its McKim, Mead & White-designed Beaux-Arts palace on Eastern Parkway, one can for now pay a virtual visit to the Brooklyn Museum’s four main exhibits and dozens of its collections via Google Arts & Culture.
- Red Hook’s Pioneer Works offers virtual walkthroughs of all past exhibitions on its website and is streaming additional socially-distanced programming live on Instagram, such as a guided meditation and sound bath with March music resident Lavender Suarez.
- At 11 a.m. ET daily, and also at 4pm on weekends, Turnstile Tours can guide you on a live digital journey through the city’s past for a nominal fee, crediting all amounts towards future in-person tours at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Prospect Park and more.
- Greenpoint’s Museum of Food and Drink is digitally unveiling its latest exhibit — a 14-by-30-foot quilt of 406 blocks, each spotlighting African American contributions to our country’s cuisine. MOFAD is sharing the patchwork narrative on Instagram one story at a time; the public is invited to submit their own black culinary heroes for the project.
- Butterboy, the Monday night stand-up staple at Gowanus warehouse club Littlefield, is keeping to its regular schedule and streaming for just a $5 ticket.
- In Queens, Astoria’s Museum of the Moving Image is offering select programs and screenings online.
- Ridgewood venue Nowadays, best known for Mister Sunday, is live-streaming guests DJs from their home studios 8pm-midnight daily, splicing in footage from the space to keep the vibe.
- And at the farthest edge of city limits, surf’s still up at the Rockaways, and Surfline’s live cams remind us that every crashing wave rolls back out.