All articles by Lidia Ryan

October 30, 2023

At 50, the Village Halloween Parade has become New York City’s ‘healing ritual’

Fifty years ago, Ralph Lee took a walk around Greenwich Village with his puppets on Halloween night. It resonated with people. A couple of years later, as part of the City in the Streets program, Theater for the New City stepped in and produced the event on a larger scale, hitting more Village streets and attracting more participants. After Lee stopped his involvement with the parade, Jeanne Fleming stepped in. Today, over four decades under Fleming’s careful eye as artistic and producing director, the Village Halloween Parade is a part of New York City’s cultural identity — an event that through hardship and triumph over the past 50 years, has remained a ritual.
more on on the iconic event here
September 20, 2023

How to start an art collection in NYC

In a city where you’re surrounded by art — from the classics at the Met to Chelsea’s contemporary art gallery scene to performers on the subway — day-to-day life is an immersive art experience. "The art community is extremely dynamic and diversified (in New York City),” said Ashkan Baghestani, Head of Contemporary Day Sale at Sotheby's. "People are interested in art and … sophisticated New Yorkers are people who spend time appreciating art. That does not mean they always buy it." So when it comes to bringing that art into your home, where do you start? And is it even possible on a budget?
tips and tricks this way
August 21, 2023

Inside the trendy Rockaway Hotel, a laid-back beach getaway in NYC

The lobby of The Rockaway Hotel and Spa has a distinct scent – fresh and perfumy. It’s reminiscent of walking into a posh hotel on Miami Beach. But Rockaway Beach is not Miami. It’s a true Queens neighborhood with bungalows lining the streets leading over to the boardwalk and expansive Atlantic Ocean-facing beach. Locals lugging sandy beach chairs or grocery bags to and from their houses greet each other by name. Directly across the street from The Rockaway is Happy Jack’s Burger Bar, serving pub food and named for a former NYPD police officer and Korean War veteran. Attached to the hotel is the Greenhouse Cafe selling matcha lattes and “rocket fuel” coffee. The hotel, by architect Morris Adjmi, is tall and modern but fits into the neighborhood well from the outside. The interior is much trendier than anything else on its block — or any of the nearby blocks for that matter.
see inside
August 16, 2023

4 NYC seafood spots that will make you feel like you’re on vacation

Nothing says summer in the Northeast like sitting by the water with fresh seafood and a cold drink. Lobster rolls, oysters, and steamers on the coast probably conjure up images of weekends in the Hamptons, Cape Cod, or Maine, but there are some hidden gems right here in New York City that will make you feel like you’re on a summer getaway — and you don’t even have to battle that weekend traffic. Here are four spots to check out while summer is still in full swing.
see the spots
July 3, 2023

Where to find free outdoor fitness classes in NYC

"New York City has different changes and energies throughout the seasons," says Robert Atterbury, executive vice president of relationships and programs for the Hudson River Park Trust. And the summer season is the time when parks and outdoor public spaces come alive. New Yorkers come out from apartments, offices, and coffee shops to run, stroll, picnic, hang out — and work out for free — in the city's beautiful outdoor spaces. "It's part of what makes New York New York — the outdoor gathering. It is important, and I think it shows off the diversity that NYC offers," Atterbury said.
Where to get fit for free
May 31, 2023

Where to go horseback riding in NYC

Do you ever dream about galloping on horseback down the busy streets of Midtown? Okay, well you can’t do that. But there actually are a number of places in New York City where you can go horseback riding, including at historic stables in Prospect Park and along the Jamaica Bay beachfront.
Saddle up!
May 16, 2023

Fresh produce and family farms: Find New York City’s best farmers markets

Nine times a week, a driver arrives at Phillips Farm in Milford, New Jersey, at 2 a.m. to load up fresh fruits and vegetables onto a truck. The goods then make the approximately 70-mile trek to New York City and arrive around sunrise to be sold at one of the city’s various farmers markets. At around 5 p.m. or 6 p.m., the booth is packed up and the driver heads back, arriving home at around 7 p.m. or 8 p.m. The farm has been selling in NYC since 1990.
Find a farmers market near you
May 11, 2023

Where to work remotely outside in New York City

As the weather warms up, WFH can become WFO — work from outside! Bad puns aside, the internet has become ubiquitous, with public internet hotspots popping up everywhere in recent years. Today, many public areas and parks — including National Parks — around the world offer free Wi-Fi. And in New York City, access is expanding.
See the spots
April 12, 2023

See inside NYC’s first Virgin Hotel, now open in Nomad

Nomad is becoming a hot spot for boutique hotels, from the newly reopened Ned Nomad to the new Ritz-Carlton New York, Nomad and the Ace Hotel. And this tiny neighborhood north of Madison Square Park is where Sir Richard Branson has opened his first New York City hotel. It joins Virgin’s U.S. hotels in major cities like Chicago, Dallas, and Las Vegas. The Virgin Hotels New York City property occupies the entire block between 29th and 30th streets and Broadway.
See more here
April 5, 2023

10 underrated NYC parks to visit this spring

Everyone knows how gorgeous Central Park and Prospect Park are but the concrete jungle is actually much greener than just those big, famous parks. Throughout New York City, peaceful parks and gardens, both big and small, beautify neighborhoods and provide a taste of nature in the big city. Ahead, find 10 of them to check out on one of those perfect New York spring afternoons.
Discover your new favorite park
April 3, 2023

5 restaurants with stunning views of NYC bridges

How ironic is it that one of the most-connected cities in the world is made up of islands? New York City is a land of bridges connecting the four outer boroughs to Manhattan. And the bridges themselves are marvels of engineering from the world-famous Brooklyn Bridge, erected in 1883, to the Manhattan and Queensboro bridges constructed in the early 1900s. These iconic landmarks are an integral part of the NYC skyline, and while there are plenty of restaurants with a view of the city, few offer truly spectacular views of the bridges. Here are five to check out.
Dinner with a bridge view
March 8, 2023

These unique outer borough Airbnbs feel like getaways without leaving NYC

Kathleen Ruoti is a 73-year-old widow living on Staten Island. She started her Sweet Pea Cottage Airbnb six years ago to serve as supplemental income. "It’s a 100-year-old-old 'Hansel and Gretel' type thing — cute with a garden. I used to use it as an art studio," she said. The cottage is just one of a few short-term rental properties in New York City’s outer boroughs that not only make guests feel miles and miles away from the city but have charming stories and histories of their own. Ahead, take a look inside three unique short-term spots and hear from the owners.
See them here
February 27, 2023

How to organize your small NYC apartment, according to the experts

Living in the Big Apple often means living in a small apartment. Even the grandest townhomes and penthouses tend to be storage-challenged, and this inevitably leads to clutter, disorganization, and even some outside-the-box "hacks." From turning a stack of suitcases into a nightstand to storing clothes in an oven, New Yorkers have to be creative when it comes to staying organized. We asked professional organizers about the best ways to tackle small spaces, the importance of decluttering, and practical renter-friendly tips.
Tips and tricks this way
January 31, 2023

NYC’s urban wineries connect the vineyard to the city for date night

When asked why a couple should spend Valentine’s Day at City Winery, CEO and founder, Michael Dorf responded, "Wine not?" Puns aside, he believes "there's this romantic vibe to wooden barrels — something sexy about a winery." It’s what he attributes to City Winery hosting so many weddings. Plus, he joked, if you get engaged at his winery, you’re guaranteed to stay married. Time might tell whether or not that’s true, but when it comes to planning a date night, urban wineries are like a more romantic version of the ever-popular urban brewery.
Where to wine and dine
January 18, 2023

Lunar New Year brings celebrations and joy to NYC’s Chinatown

In early 2020, Vic Lee, who grew up in Manhattan's Chinatown, noticed that there was less foot traffic in her neighborhood. "It was obvious something was going on that Lunar New Year,” Lee said. “We talked to business owners, and it was because of xenophobia and racist rhetoric." During the height of the coronavirus pandemic in March of that year, she co-founded Welcome to Chinatown as a way to amplify small businesses and entrepreneurs in Chinatown via their Longevity Fund. The organization also has a meal donation program for underserved residents and does research and data collection. And this month, for the third year, Welcome to Chinatown will be hosting Lunar New Year celebrations to usher in the Year of the Rabbit, which begins January 22. We spoke to Lee about what to expect and what Lunar New Year means to her, as well as the Chinatown community.
Read more here
January 13, 2023

5 NYC spots to keep you on track this dry January

The holidays are over and we’ve settled into the long month of January. With the sun setting early and the days cold and blustery, it can be hard to keep up with your healthy resolutions of exercising and eating healthy — sitting on a cozy couch and a glass of red wine is so tempting. But, if you’ve decided to partake in dry January (a month free of alcohol), there are a number of spots around New York City that can make it fun. With mocktails and non-alcoholic spirits becoming more and more popular, you don’t have to stay in on Friday and Saturday nights drinking green juice and water! Here are five bars and "liquor" stores serving up alcohol-free libations to keep your January fun and healthy.
Sober spots here
December 20, 2022

How to decorate your small NYC apartment for the holidays

Decorating your home is one of the joys of the holidays. But in New York City, most people don’t have room for a 10-foot Christmas tree or an elaborate display of lights. But that shouldn’t stop even studio dwellers from getting into the spirit! We spoke to interior designers to get some expert tips on how to decorate small spaces for the holidays.
Tips this way
December 14, 2022

10 made-in-NYC gifts that support local businesses

Give your loved one a little piece of NYC this holiday season. Yes, the Big Apple is a shopping mecca with big, luxury brands boasting beautiful flagship stores, but the local creators are with whom you’ll find more meaningful gifts. "The small businesses and local artists are the backbone of community and culture in any given city," Flannery Cronin, founder of Friend Of All, a Brooklyn-based shop selling handmade lamps, told 6sqft. "They are creating beautiful treasures that are made to last, and likely paying a living wage to those involved with its creation. If you choose to shop small this holiday season you will be doing your part to support your neighbors." Plus, there’s usually a great story behind local brands and creators that make the product all the more interesting. From accessories to food and drink, here are 10 made-in-NYC gifts to add to your shopping list.
Shop local, this way
December 6, 2022

Inside the NYBG’s Holiday Train Show, a whimsical tribute to NYC

Since 1992, the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx has held its Holiday Train Show. The magical exhibit recreates 190 of New York City’s landmark buildings in miniature using plant materials like bark, leaves, and seeds. Twenty-five model trains zoom in and out of the cityscape over bridges and under tunnels, just like in the real-life city. The pieces of art are created by the team from Applied Imagination, which was founded by Paul Busse in 1991. The following year, he brought his creations to the NYBG. To learn more about this iconic holiday event, we spoke to Joanna Groarke, vice president for exhibitions and programming at NYBG.
Everything you need to know
November 29, 2022

Macy’s Santaland: A 161-year-old tradition that brings holiday magic to NYC’s Herald Square

"He’s so kind and nice and jolly. He’s not like anyone else. He must be Santa." That’s what little Natalie Wood says about the Herald Square Macy’s Santa Claus in the 1947 classic "Miracle on 34th Street." And to this day, the jolly man in red remains at the helm of the iconic department store’s annual Santaland. Since 1861, Macy’s has been inviting children and adults to experience the wonder of Santa Claus (though the Herald Square building was not erected until 1901), but what people may not know is that, much like the spirit of Christmas, Santaland exists all year long behind locked doors. On the day after Thanksgiving, the doors are opened, letting holiday magic spill out once again.
Get the Santaland low-down
November 22, 2022

10 offbeat holiday events and exhibits to check out in NYC

The thing about tradition is, it never gets old. And in New York City during the holidays, there are some annual traditions that just make the city magical — the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, lights on 5th Avenue, the Bryant Park holiday market, and Santa at Macy’s to name a few. And while these tried and true mainstays will never go out of style, it is nice to switch it up once in a while. We’ve rounded up some lesser-known holiday events and activities to mix things up this holiday season in NYC.
Check them out
February 3, 2022

10 cozy NYC bars to stay warm at all winter

Winter in New York City can be tough — bitter winds, slushy sidewalks, walking to the subway in a massive winter parka. But these frigid temps and grey days (will February ever end?!) are the perfect excuses to escape to a cozy bar and warm up with a cocktail. To get you through the rest of winter, we've rounded up some of the coziest bars in the city for the coldest nights.
Check them all out
April 22, 2021

13 simple ways to green your apartment

As climate change and environmental issues continue to be hot topics on a global scale, more and more people are trying to do their small part at home. To get some easy lifestyle tips on how to “green” your apartment right here in New York City, we spoke to an NYC-based zero-waste expert and an eco-conscious interior designer who filled us in on things like eliminating single-use items, saving energy, and composting.
13 easy ways to go green