Experiencing NYC: Must-See Week and More

By Alison Durkee

New York City is one of the most multifaceted places in the world, and New Yorkers have plenty of ways to start their new year off right by discovering all the city has to offer—and learn more about the city itself. Take in the city’s top sights and get a new perspective on Gotham and its history with these upcoming New York City-themed events.

New Yorkers and tourists alike have the chance to enjoy NYC’s top attractions at a discounted rate this winter thanks to Must See Week, which will take place from January 21–February 10. The promotion features two-for-one tickets at some of the city’s top attractions, including the Bronx Zoo, MoMA, One World Observatory, Circle Line Cruises, the United Nations (above), and tours of Carnegie Hall and Yankee Stadium. In addition to these more iconic places, Must See Week will also give New Yorkers the chance to discover lesser-known museums that may be off their radar, such as the Jacques Marchais Museum Of Tibetan Art, the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden, and the Houdini Museum of New York.

While Must See Week will give New Yorkers to discover the city’s top attractions, other talks and events will help attendees learn more about NYC itself and its history. Go back in time to learn more about the city’s role in World War II at the talk NYC vs. the Axis on February 5, or get a look at Times Square’s seedier days in the 1970s and 80s—and how that time was recreated on HBO’s The Deuce—at a talk January 29. Other events will look at the city’s neighborhoods through a personal lens; artist John Miller’s Reconstructing a Public Sphere, which he’ll discuss at an event January 21, ponders the history of Battery Park through his experiences of 9/11, while Thomas Pryor’s City Boy: Yorkville, My Hometown (January 30) depicts the neighborhood’s history through the author’s family experiences. Once you’ve learned more about the city, test out your knowledge by heading to the Museum of the City of New York’s special NYC trivia night February 13.

Photo: Matthew Thompson/Flickr

Of course, sometimes the best way to discover the city is just to hit the city streets themselves, which New Yorkers can do this winter through upcoming NYC-themed walking tours. Get a sense of the city’s glitz and glamour through tours of Midtown’s Art Deco-era buildings (January 26) and the grand hotels of Manhattan’s Grand Army Plaza (February 2), including the iconic Plaza Hotel. New Yorkers can also go further back to the city’s early days, thanks to tours of George Washington and Alexander Hamilton’s old stomping grounds in the Financial District (February 14) and Seneca Village (January 21), a former African-American community that now makes up part of Central Park. Get a look at the city’s cultural history with a tour of Edgar Allen Poe’s former New York haunts in Greenwich Village (January 19), or discover the city’s more contemporary cultural offerings on gallery tours of the Lower East Side (January 19) and Noho (January 26).

Other events this winter will give New Yorkers the chance to delve into the city’s cultural history and some of the famous denizens who have called it home. Explore the city’s experiences during Prohibition at an event marking the law’s 100th anniversary at an event January 24complete with a tasting of a Prohibition-era cocktailor discover how the city’s young lovers courted each other in the 19th century on special tours at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden taking place on weekends in February. New Yorkers can also get a sense of some of the city’s most influential performing arts offerings; the Art Deco Society of New York will offer a special gallery talk and exhibition tour on entertainment impresario Florenz Ziegfeld and designer Joseph Urban February 2, while MoMA PS1 will offer a full-day symposium January 27 on Judson Dance Theatre, a 1960s dance collective that had a major impact on the future of modern dance. One of the city’s most famous artist denizens, John Lennon, will be the focus of talks on January 18 and 19, as lawyer Jay Bergen shares his experiences with Lennon, Yoko Ono, and other rock n’ roll royalty, including the time he represented Lennon against a Mafia front-man in the 1970s.

New York moves fast. Don’t miss a thing. Sign up for Thought Gallery’s weekly Curriculum, the best of smart NYC delivered right to your inbox.