Curbed
best of new york

Best of New York 2021

Reintroducing a 36-year-old New York magazine franchise.
  1. In Conversation With Dianne Morales, the Tenants’ Candidate “I’m not promising to take New York City back to normal. I’m promising something new.”
  2. MoMA’s ‘Reconstructions’ Show Changed My Relationship to Space and Cities Should Black designers revise a history that erased them? Or should they revolt?
  3. Lincoln Center Wants You to Lie Down on Its Plaza How comfortable will that plastic grass really be?
  4. Does the Metaverse Need a Zoning Board? As new crypto investments flood online worlds, conflicts between virtual neighbors are on the rise.
  5. What It Takes to Open a Bar in a Subway Station Multiple agency approvals, and unlocking a door that’s been sealed since the 1970s.
  6. The Look Book Goes to the Rockaway YMCA Checking in with masked members at the gym.
  7. Mr. Cyclone Is Back in the Front Car At 5:30 this morning, the roller coaster’s first rider of the season arrived for his 15th opening day.
  8. A Brooklyn Building Is Screeching. We Asked an Acoustician Why. Wind is creating an effect like “when you blow over the top of an empty soda bottle.”
  9. Barbara Kavovit’s Plan for Rikers Sounds Uncomfortably Like an Internment Camp A colony for the homeless, isolated on an island in the East River.
  10. Volunteers Are Funding Open Streets Programs. Why Isn’t the City? Locals and donors are doing the day-to-day work of making it happen.
  11. The Bronx Bodega Founded by a Former Music Executive “You have to support the people who support you.”
  12. A Pop-up Bookstore Honors a Man Who Intended to Give It All Away Tom Burgess’s immense library of books gets recirculated.
  13. Geffen Hall’s Renovation Will Be Finished Two Years Early The pandemic closure allowed Lincoln Center to fast-track the rebuilding of the Philharmonic’s main auditorium.
  14. Immigrant Cleaners Are Tired of Working On Their Hands and Knees A new campaign by women day laborers is pushing for better working conditions, cleaning supplies, and PPE.
  15. MoMA’s First Show on Race in Architecture Chooses Lofty Ideas Over Pragmatism “Why settle for the probable when we could instead imagine what is possible?”
  16. Whitney Hu’s Favorite Spots in Sunset Park Yemeni breakfast, unlimited hot pot, and the perfect parking lot for events.
  17. The Chinatown Block Watch, One Year Later Including local grandmothers and men in combat gear, this 40-member patrol watches for anti-Asian attacks in the neighborhood.
  18. The Best Housepainters in New York An architect favorite who has been likened to Jackson Pollock, a downtown go-to with a knack for color combinations, and more.
  19. The Best Upholsterers in New York For restoring mid-century chairs, pattern-matching a couch, and more.
  20. The Best Therapists in New York We asked 31 notable New Yorkers about their therapists and are publishing their referrals in their own words.
  21. The Best Playgrounds in New York Giant geodesic climbing nets, ravines full of sprinklers, and a variety of slides.
  22. The Best Custom Woodworkers in New York Whether you want a Judd-like plywood bench, a full wall of bookshelves made of rift-cut oak, or just some simple, inexpensive cabinets.
  23. Smorgasburg Will Take Over the Former Hester Street Fair Space And it will now be called Hester Flea.
  24. The Best Toy Stores in New York A Harlem fixture owned by a former schoolteacher, the packed-to-the-gills shop in Cobble Hill, and more.
  25. The Best Homeware Stores in New York Affordable vintage furniture, Japanese gifts, Brimfield-quality quilts, and more.
  26. Is a Covid Vaccine Worth Schlepping to Staten Island For? (No offense to anyone who lives there.)
  27. The Best Exterminators in New York Including Chloë Sevigny’s pest guy.
  28. The Best Colorists in New York Where to go for Scarlett Johansson’s seasonal highlights, bubblegum-pink buzz cuts, “hot girl” hair, and more.
  29. The Best Caterers in New York Individual peking-duck buns from Nom Wah Tea Parlor, racks of ribs from Hometown Bar-B-Que, bissap mojitos from Teranga, and more.
  30. ‘Six Generations, and We Ended Up in the Same Place 150 Years Later’ A mother and daughter on their family’s history in Chinatown and returning to Columbus Park to protest anti-Asian racism.
  31. Did the Texas Blackouts Reveal Austin’s New Real-Estate Hot Spots? Communities that helped each other through a crisis may now be threatened by a new real-estate marketing perk: critical-load zones.
  32. The Best Psychics in New York A palm reading by a psychotherapist, chakra balancing with body treatments, access to your ancestors, and more.
  33. The Best Fitness Instructors in New York For $10 pilates, a mind-body workout, “1,000-calorie burn” sessions, and more.
  34. The Best Florists in New York Where to find bodega roses that will last two weeks, Anna Wintour-approved arrangements, inexpensive marigolds, and more.
  35. Last Night in Echo Park On the scene as the LAPD evicted an enormous community of unhoused residents from the shore of Echo Park Lake.
  36. Meet the Teen Who Hates 432 Park More Than Anyone She’s an 11th-grader in Vancouver.
  37. Intrepid Museum, Unlike You, Will Not See a Rent Increase for the Next 30 Years The museum has been paying $1 a year since 1982.
  38. Mutual Aid Groups Are Now Booking Vaccine Appointments Too Expanding from grocery drop-offs to hitting refresh on TurboVax and getting people to shot clinics.
  39. ‘You Will End Up in the Back of a Garbage Truck’: Vero Lawsuit Claims Harassment According to court filings, the tactics escalated from aggressive to scary.
  40. A New York Window Washer Who, After 28 Years, Still Thinks About Falling “We are always listening for strange sounds on the scaffold.”
  41. Evanston’s Reparations Program Is Pioneering, But Limited Significant restrictions on eligibility and a modest pool of cash.
  42. Radio City Music Hall Will Finally Get Its Roof Garden After 90 Years It goes back to the original plans for Rockefeller Center, in which nearly all the rooftops were landscaped.
  43. Here’s Everyone Running for New York City Mayor (So Far) Forty-plus and counting.
  44. The Healer That Real-Estate Agents Call to Clear Their Cursed Apartments “It looks like I’m just walking around mumbling to myself. I don’t put on a big show, like they do on TV.”
  45. Hudson Yards Has Landscaped Out the Food Vendors “I’m not selling drugs. I’m a hot-dog guy.”
  46. The Things a New York Elevator Repairman Has Seen (and Smelled) Heaps of dead mice, sludge everywhere, and sometimes “a blast of piss gas right up in your face.”
  47. HECTOR Imagines a Monumental Party Ramp for a Disability Activist Part 15 of 15 proposals to help us remember the pandemic’s toll.
  48. Michael Sorkin Taught Me How to Look at New York Remembering the critic and architect — who died a year ago this week — and revisiting his book Exquisite Corpse.
  49. Leni Schwendinger Makes a Lightscape of the Evening Streetery Scene Part 14 or 15 proposals to help us remember the pandemic’s toll.
  50. Yeju & Chat Assembles Street-Vendor Umbrellas Into Community Message Boards Part 13 of 15 proposals to help us remember the pandemic’s toll.
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