November and December are a magical time to visit New York. The store window displays are over the top, the twinkly lights sparkle and the sky high Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree sets a festive tone for the whole city.
But, even if you’re not in a holiday mood, there’s so much else going on in Manhattan to see, eat and appreciate. Here are four things to do that are worth a celebration themselves:
Applaud Danny DeVito and his daughter on Broadway
The world premiere of I Need That also marks the Broadway debut of Lucy DeVito, who shines with her famous dad in this play about a grumpy old hoarder on the verge of being evicted from his beloved house of memories. The show is funny and emotional and there’s a poignancy to the father-daughter relationship that’s only heightened by the DeVitos’ real-life connection.
The set, crowded with everything from childhood board games and a broken, rabbit-eared TV to stacks of poker chips and magazines, is a mess. The story and the performances, on the other hand, are anything but. I Need That proves memories don’t need stuff in order to have a lasting impact – and you’ll remember the show and its message long after you’ve left the theater.
Enjoy high tea on a tour bus
New Yorkers are always on the move so it should come as no surprise that you can now treat you and your besties to afternoon (or late morning or early evening) tea on a pink double decker bus. What will come as a surprise is just how much you’ll love it. Not only does Tea Around Town’s food rival that of your favorite tea house but the inviting setting is totally unique and absolutely adorable.
The space is used exceptionally well, fitted with cute pink and white striped booths for two or four guests and filled with lots of flowers and lovely design details. Along with cups of tea and three tiers of scones, sandwiches and pastries, you’ll get a tour of the city accompanied by live commentary and a musical performance. It’s such a cozy, welcoming experience, you’ll wish it lasted longer than 90 minutes.
Take in the stunning retrospective of Henry Taylor’s vibrant and timely paintings
Visiting the Whitney Museum is always thought provoking and you’ll be talking about the current exhibition, Henry Taylor: B Side, for a long time to come. More than 130 of Taylor’s pieces are on view and, together, they create an eye-opening portrait – almost literally – of Black America. Taylor captures the often recognizable faces and events that tell a rich, sobering yet also joyful story of the Black experience.
You’ll see the Obamas and Jay-Z in a whole new light but you’ll be equally struck by the portraits of everyday people trying to just live their lives. There is so much humanity and empathy in these paintings, you may find yourself unexpectedly feeling weepy. It is, simply, the perfect exhibition for our time.
Indulge in Dominique Ansel’s legendary pastries
nwhThe inventor of the Cronut has outdone himself this month with one of his most decadent flavors to date: Salted Butterscotch & Rice Pudding. It is like a bite of heaven. Do yourself a favor and get to the bakery early before they sell out – which they do daily. Once you’re back home, you can order them online to arrive at your door fresh.
You’ll also want to pick up some of Ansel’s signature DKAs (Dominique’s Kouign Amann), which rival the Cronut for best pastry ever. And, if you want to try your hand at making some of the award-winning chef’s famous Cookie Shots (a favorite at Dominique Ansel Las Vegas at Caesars Palace), you can now buy your own Flexipan Cookie Shot Silicone Molds, which are accompanied by an easy-to-follow recipe and video. Your friends and family will be so impressed — if you decide to share.