Just when you thought it was physically impossible to fit anything else into a trip to New York City, the destination has gone and added a bunch of cool new experiences to its list of never-ending tourist attractions. And they’re bloody great.
From new exhibitions and broadway shows to adrenalin adventures and Instagrammable opportunities galore, New York City well and truly maximised on the last two years to offer Australians and tourists around the world even more to explore.
Keep scrolling to see everything new that the city that never sleeps has to offer.
Virgil Abloh Exhibit
Brooklyn Museum‘s latest exhibit — Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech — honours the incredible impact of the Louis Vuitton designer and Off-White founder on fashion, art, design, and music. Abloh passed away from cancer in November 2021 while working on this exhibition, aged 41.
Abloh’s design studio, ALASKA ALASKA, and Mahfuz Sultan worked with Brooklyn Museum to see that Abloh’s vision for the project was fulfilled. The exhibit opened in July this year and will be running until January 29, 2023.
Figures of Speech showcases more than 100 pieces of Abloh’s work which guests are guided through with an information booklet. Expect to see the dress he collaborated with Serena Williams on for the 2018 US Open tournament, a prototype of his “WET GRASS” IKEA rug and more.
Moxy Lower East Side
Moxy has more than 110 hotels across the world and six of those are in New York alone. Its latest addition? Moxy Lower East Side. It opened just this month and has already played host to Heidi Klum‘s Halloween party. Yes, the one where she was a horrifying worm.
If Moxy East Village is anything to go by, then Moxy Lower East Side — which boasts a Japanese restaurant, piano lounge, rooftop bar, club and more — is sure to be another hit for the chain. Even if you don’t stay at Moxy, you’ll likely find yourself at one of its bars, rooftops or restaurants along the way.
Moxy East Village is home to TAO group’s Ready Rooftop which is the place to be on a sunny afternoon, as well as Cathédrale New York which just may be the best restaurant I’ve ever been to in my life. I sat near a group dinner for Gucci’s French marketing team if that’s an indication. If you’re going to splash out at one restaurant in NYC, let it be this. And order the steak tartare. I went to heaven and back.
Edge + City Climb
Within the relatively new New York City neighbourhood Hudson Yards you’ll find Edge, the Western Hemisphere’s highest outdoor sky deck. Given the observatory platform is built to the outside of the Hudson Yards skyscraper, it gives you a floating feeling with 360-degree views of the city.
If you’re game you can also do the CityClimb, which is the highest open-air building ascent in the world. You’ll go up the elevator even higher than Edge and scale up 161 stairs on the side of the skyscraper. Once to the top, you have the option to lean backwards and forward over the guests on the observatory deck, as well as all of freaking New York City.
The reward? The views are truly wild and unlike anything else I’ve ever seen in The Big Apple. While it sounds like something only an insane person would do, the team that take you up are phenomenally supportive and the multiple safety checks absolutely make you feel safe. I did the 3:45pm session and lapped up the most incredible sunset.
New Broadway Shows
Musical theatre in New York City just hits different — seriously, every time a new actor takes the stage at Broadway, whether it’s opening night or the 255th show, the crowd goes wild — and it’s a must for visitors and local residents alike for the atmosphere and experience.
There’s a reason the name for the area of Manhattan is now synonymous with theatre. It’s iconic. Recent additions to the Broadway roster include & Juliet, SIX, Almost Famous and more, but obviously tickets to your old faithfuls like The Lion King, Hamilton and Wicked are also up for grabs. Side note: Beetlejuice closes on January 8th, but see it if you can. The way they’ve married the trauma of grief with humour and hope is outstanding.
Hit up West Village’s Marie’s Crisis singalong piano bar if you’re feeling in the spirit after the show. Once you walk down the stairs into the basement level you’re immersed into a loyal community of musical theatre fans singing along to Broadway’s biggest hits. Remember: cash only, two-drink minimum and no cameras.
Summit One Vanderbilt
When I was trying to plan out my New York City itinerary, a friend put Summit One Vanderbilt at the top of my priority list. After visiting I can see why — it’s an incredible way to see New York. Also: content.
It’s three levels of immersive experiences within New York City’s fourth-tallest skyscraper, all with glass walls so you can lap up the views while bending your mind with hundreds of mirrored versions of you.
Definitely allow about two hours for the experience. Given it only opened in October 2021, it can get quite busy and you can for sure lose track of time trying to get The Shot™ or just having general fun.
RiseNY is a difficult one to explain but I’ll try anyway — if I had just a few words I’d say it’s an interactive museum with a ride at the end. RiseNY opened in March 2022 in Times Square and takes you through the history of New York City — from television to finance, music and Broadway — in a unique way that doesn’t make you want to yawn.
You’ll find yourself in makeshift subways, eyeing off Broadway costumes, taking photos on the orange-velvet Friends couch, learning about the history of New York City’s Financial District and more. There’s something for everyone.
You finish off the experience virtually suspended 30 feet in the air and taking in New York City’s most iconic attractions. I wish I had taken a Travacalm, but it’s a super cute and impactful way to remind yourself where you are and to take it all in while you have the chance.
Little Island opened in May of 2021 and considering it’s free and just off the High Line route, it’s worth popping your head in to check out the self-proclaimed “urban oasis” that welcomed over one million people in its first year alone.
It’s basically a public park with a difference, spanning more than two acres of winding pathways (that are easy to get lost in, mind you) lush hills and nice views of the Hudson River. It’s one of New York City’s more peaceful parks and allows you to take somewhat of a breath from the hustle and bustle.
It’ll only take 15 minutes tops and is open from 6AM all year round, but closes between 10PM and midnight depending on the time of year you visit.
This writer received support from NYC & Company during their holiday.