Pitched tents and gussied-up glitterati can only mean one thing: Fashion Week is coming! Musement takes a look at five things to do in New York if you need a break from the catwalks.
The start of a new year means one thing for the well-heeled: Fashion Week is coming. Editors, buyers, socialites, celebrities and fabulous cognoscenti dress to the nines and take their exclusive seats to admire the designers’ autumn collections in New York, London, Paris and Milan, while us mere mortals are left to our own digital devices to marvel at the looks via the social networks and Style.com slideshows.
However, New York isn’t just about couture. Whether you need a break from the tents or getting inside them is just not in your tea leaves, here are five non-fashion things to do in New York during Fashion Week.
1. Step back in time at MoMA
Just a few decades before New York was the playground for the privileged that it is today, it was way edgier than polished. However, none of the grit stopped creative types from flocking here in droves during one of the city’s most iconic eras: the 1970s and 1980s. Club 57 on St Mark’s Place was known for a cast of iconic patrons that included Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, film director Scott Whitman, Polish artist Jacek Tylick, The Fleshtones and more as patrons. Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village, 1978–1983 at MoMA is the first exhibition to ever explore this innovative performance and art venue, showcasing many works that haven’t been displayed since the 1980s. Travel back in time to admire works that span various platforms: film, video, performance, and theater to photography, painting, drawing, printmaking, collage, zines, fashion design, and curating. Through 1 April.
2. Engage in some paranormal activity
Ghosts aren’t usually the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of New York City as lore and legends of the paranormal are usually associated with old-world literary cities like London and Edinburgh, or even New Orleans, the American voodoo capital. But New York has some visitors from the other side, too, crossing paths with the celebrities and other notables who reside in this coveted postcode. Take a two-hour walking tour of Greenwich Village by night to learn the tales about the not-quite-departed who lurk both in the shadows and out in the open within of this upscale neighborhood, including writer Samuel Clemens (known to most of us as Mark Twain).
3. Eat Korean
Having just opened in June, Cote Korean Steakhouse quickly became all the rage. Proprietor Simon Kim and chef David Shim take Korean barbecue to the next level. Go here for the Butcher’s Feast, a $45 per-person prix-fixe of four beef cuts, all of which vary except for galbi (short ribs) which always make an appearance. Banchan (Korean side dishes), salads, egg souffle and two stews (one of which of course is Kimchee) accompany the dinner which is then followed by some vanilla soft serve ice cream to finish. Smokeless Shinpo grills from Japan top each table, so the dinner aromas won’t cling to you when you leave. The thoughtfully curated wine list is also worth writing home about. Website
4. Sample traditional NYC nosh
New York is known for diversity on so many levels…gastronomy in particular. One of the world’s top food cities (and arguably the best!), you can pretty much find both top-notch and unfussy versions of any kind of cuisine in the Big Apple. However, in addition to restaurants, required eating also comes in the form of street food and small bites that gastronomically travelers must fit into their dining itineraries in between restaurants. This three-hour food walking tour ensures just that and also includes a surprise.
5. Shop at Calzedonia (We couldn’t resist one fashion item!)
Up until this year, Milan, London, and Paris all had one thing in common that they didn’t share with their Fashion Week sister city: Calzedonia. These leg- and beachwear shopes are much loved in Europe for its quality garments, reasonable prices and fun designs. In addition to basic solid opaque tights in pretty much every color under the sun, there are lots of pattern and fishnet options that can take anyone’s outfit up a notch. Join the fashion savvy locals and visitors by heading to the new location so that you can add that Italian-style je ne sais quoi to your look. Location: 601 Fifth Avenue at 49th Street, website