Seasonal Events | Celebrating Earth Day

If there’s a will to celebrate Earth Day all month long, there’s a way! New York City and its surrounding areas are full of ways to enjoy nature in its purest form and educate yourself about sustainability and climate control. From green architecture tours and hikes in the park to live performances and orchid shows, view our guide to Earth Day 2018 and celebrate Mother Nature!

1. A Passive Open House

April 7th, 12:00-2:00pm
81 Summit Street, Philmont, New York

Image Courtesy NYPH

New York Passive House is offering the rare opportunity to examine the building science behind the construction of one of its homes. Still in the works, 81 Summit Street (a 2.5-hour drive from Manhattan) will ultimately stand as the transformation of a 1960’s-era ranch house into a no-energy cost, carbon-free, 2-story vacation retreat. The home will combine existing and new construction with passive house measures including air barrier placement, thick insulation and high-performance windows. At the Open House, attendees can meet with the architect, building science engineer and solar panel designer to discover just how this sustainable creation is possible!

2. Earth Day in Union Square

April 15th, 12:00-7:00pm
Union Square West, Manhattan

Image Courtesy Earth Day Initiative

Union Square is proud to present the most high-traffic Earth Day event across the country! The annual event includes dozens of exhibitors, from environmental non-profits and green businesses to live performers and beyond. Featuring over 70 organizations, everyone will find informative fun at this year’s event!

3. Earth Day 5K Green Tour 2018

April 20th, 10:00am-1:00pm
Various Locations

Image Courtesy Eventbrite

Join the Earth Day Initiative for its annual walking tour of New York City’s greatest green sites! Designed to celebrate all things outdoors this Earth Day, the varying routes will take participants to rooftop farms in Manhattan, natural food cooking schools and composting sites. Each venue has a mission to help the city go a little bit greener each day. Sign up to learn about some of the environmental work being done just outside your door!

4. Earth Day Hike

April 22nd, 10:00-11:30am
Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens

Image Courtesy TimeOut

Celebrate on Earth Day itself with the Urban Park Rangers! There’s no better way to immerse yourself in the wonders of nature than by taking an old-fashioned hike. Follow the hiking guides as they introduce you to the hidden gems of Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

5. The New York Botanical Garden Orchid Show

Through April 23rd
2900 Southern Boulevard, The Bronx

Image Courtesy The Orchid Show

The New York Botanical Gardens’ Orchid Show is now in its 16th year, again showcasing thousands of dramatically displayed orchids in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. This year’s show features a series of installations by Daniel Ost, designed to celebrate the complex beauty of the stunning species.

Architecture News | Chasing New York City Waterfalls

New York City may be the concrete jungle, but that doesn’t mean there are not plenty of opportunities to plan an urban escape. Below, we have compiled a list of some of Manhattan’s greatest waterfalls hidden inside pedestrian parks. Whether you’re seeking a quiet morning reflection or a backdrop for your afternoon lunch break, visit one of these hidden New York City gems.

1. The Ravine

Mid-Central Park at 103rd Street

Image Courtesy Central Park NYC

Conceived by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the Ravine is located in the 40-acre North Woods. Reigning as the only stream valley in Central Park, the area was designed to resemble the wild beauty of the Adirondacks.

 2. Greenacre Park

217 East 51st Street, between Second and Third Avenues

Image Courtesy Greenacre Park

Designed by Hideo Sasaki and open since 1971, this park is composed of three levels. The highlight by far is its 25-foot-high waterfall, featuring huge sculpted granite blocks.

3. Paley Park

3 East 53rd Street, between Madison and Fifth Avenues

Image Courtesy Flickr

Reigning as the original “vest pocket park” (a small park accessible to the general public), Paley Park was conceived as the prototype of a new kind of public space by Robert Zion. Since 1967, the  20-foot-high waterfall has undoubtedly dominated the 1/10th-acre space, which includes seating areas, honey locust trees, and vertical lawns of English Ivy.

4. Nameless Park!

East 47th Street between Second and Third Avenues

Image Courtesy Gabrien Symons / Viewing NYC

This nameless space near the United Nations offers the perfect opportunity to drown out the city noise: a circular wall of falling water.

5. The National September 11 Memorial

180 Greenwich Street

Image Courtesy Joe Woolhead

Set in the footprints of the Twin Towers, these two recessed pools offer the profound opportunity to reflect upon the tragic events of 9/11. The continuous cascade of water falls into an abyss without a visible bottom – symbolizing the absence of human life left behind in the wake of the events. Surrounding the pools on bronze parapets are the names of those nearly 3,000 lives lost in the attack on 9/11, as well as in the bombing on February 26, 1993.

Neighborhood Spotlight | A Midtown Manhattan Holiday

Often broken down into many micro-neighborhoods, Midtown Manhattan from its widest boundaries comprises the area between the Hudson and East Rivers, and from Central Park South down to 14th Street. Though constantly buzzing, this area is never more alive than it is during the holiday season. Below, we’ve mapped out just how you can maximize this neighborhood’s many offerings over the course of the next few exciting weeks.

1. Indulge in tradition

Image Courtesy Jake Rajs

There’s a reason Midtown is so heavily populated by tourists; it’s the place to be! While you won’t be able to avoid crowds at some of these seasonal standouts, they’re definitely worth the trip. Ice skate at Rockefeller Center beside the spectacular 75-foot Christmas Tree, witness the historic ball drop on New Year’s Eve at Times Square; and satisfy your showtime fix by seeing a show or two on Broadway!

2. Take a break from holiday baking

Image Courtesy La Grenouille

Ice skating, listening to show tunes and carrying shopping bags can certainly work up the appetite. Your time in Midtown need not go without a good meal! Some neighborhood favorites include Sushi Ginza Onodera where two Michelin stars meet upscale Japanese cuisine, Ellen’s Stardust Diner where the waitstaff doubles as Broadway stars, Marea where high-end seafood meets housemade pastas, Benares where vegetarian dishes and Indian favorites abound and La Grenouille where French delicacies are presented as art.

3. Send the bill to Santa

Images Courtesy of Bergdorf Goodman

Just one stroll up or down Fifth Avenue can take care of just about everyone on your holiday gift list. The strip has been known far and wide as one of the most luxurious stretches of retail in the nation for over 100 years, and continues to welcome fashionistas day in and day out. Pop into high-end household names like Bergdorf Goodman, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana; splurge on jewels at Tiffany & Co., Bulgari and Cartier; find the perfect toys at the LEGO Store and the American Girl Place; or stop in the main branch of the New York Public Library to give the gift of reading. Even if you’re not shopping, Fifth Avenue’s elaborate holiday window displays can make for a very entertaining afternoon.

Neighborhood Guide | Central Park South

Central Park South may only stretch three blocks, but the neighborhood never sees a shortage of activity. Extending from Columbus Circle to Fifth Avenue along the southern border of Central Park, the block is bordered on one side by the park’s plentiful trees and winding paths, and by the glamorous and busy buildings of the city on the other.

Aside from gorgeous views that the park offers with each changing season, the neighborhood is abuzz with renowned restaurants, architecturally ornate buildings and more. Check out some of its world-class destinations below!

Image Courtesy Museyon Guides


40 Central Park South

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For contemporary American fare and an inviting atmosphere, visit Sarabeth’s at one of its most well-known destinations. The neighborhood staple stands just across the street from Central Park; plan your morning, afternoon or evening around this bustling sidewalk café!

240 Central Park South

Image Courtesy Marea

The highly-acclaimed Marea serves Chef Michael White’s fresh interpretation of coastal seafood. The menu is modeled off of a map of the sea, offering crudo, oysters, antipasti and the chef’s award-winning hand-made pastas. The restaurant is the recipient of two Michelin stars, the 2010 James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant, three stars from The New York Times, and has been recognized by Bon Appetit, Esquire, GQ Magazines and Zagat.


Galeries Bartoux
104 Central Park South

Image Courtesy Galeries Bartoux

An established staple to the art market since 1993, Galeries Bartoux promotes international contemporary artists and represents a varied collection of their works. The gallery also has locations in France and abroad, and showcases some of the best artwork from the 20th century to today.

Central Park

No matter the season, Central Park stands as an outdoor oasis for all residents and visitors of the concrete jungle, with its blooming fields in the spring and ice skating rinks in the winter. Take a guided tour of its historic grounds, attend a Summer Stage concert or amble its winding paths at your own leisure!


The Plaza Boutique & Beauty Shoppe
Fifth Avenue at Central Park South

Image Courtesy The Plaza

Situated inside the renowned Plaza Hotel is a collection of some of the city’s finest shops, offering everything from perfume and jewelry to artwork and more. Browse for gifts, souvenirs and simple indulgences inside one of the world’s most famous hotels!

Danielli Fine Jewelry
160 Central Park South

Image Courtesy Danielli Fine Jewelry

For over 26 years, Danielli Fine Jewelry has dazzled both locals and guests from abroad with its carefully curated selection of upscale exquisite jewelry. Offering a showcase of brilliant diamonds, gold, precious stones and pearls, this magnificent shop inside the JW Marriot Essex House Hotel presents personalized service to both jewelry novices and experienced collectors alike.


exhale New York 
150 Central Park South

Image Courtesy exhale New York

Situated on Central Park South, exhale New York stands as a spa sanctuary, yoga studio and workout space all in one. The schedule of classes includes Barre, Cardio, Yoga and HIIT, and the spa wing accommodates facials, massage, waxing, acupuncture, manicures and pedicures.

New York Athletic Club
180 Central Park South

Image Courtesy The New York Athletic Club

This private social athletic club was founded in 1866, and today upholds its inherent air of exclusivity, as membership is available by invitation only. Those of you with the lucky ticket can participate in the club’s many sports, including rowing, wrestling, fencing, judo, swimming, basketball, soccer, squash and more!

Green Architecture | The Passive House in NYC

Ever so slowly but surely, the “Passive House” philosophy has worked its way into the forefront of the sustainability dialogue surrounding New York City real estate. The term stems from passivhaus, a German-born building standard designed to drastically reduce the energy usage of a given structure. Since the first successful retrofit of a Park Slope apartment to adhere to the standard in 2012, New York City has seen an increasing interest in the creation of larger, ground-up Passive House buildings. 

What it is
To achieve Passive House certification, a building must employ proper airtight insulation, eliminate thermal bridges, utilize Heat Recovery Ventilation systems, and include triple-paned windows. Experts also take into consideration the orientation of the building in order to maximize sunlight or shading potential. The ultimate result is a 90% decrease in heat energy usage and a 75% decrease in overall energy usage.

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Ideally, in a temperate climate, a Passive House would eliminate the need for any heating or cooling system whatsoever. In New York however, small radiators and air conditioning units are typically included in the design plan – still yielding an ultimate reduction of overall energy usage by 75%, and a drastic reduction of energy costs as well.

Originally designed by Dr. Feist in Austria in 1991, the Passive House has since come a long way. Developers indicate that the cost of building in adherence to the sustainable standard has largely decreased since the Passivhaus Institut’s projection a few years ago, which was an added 6% of the average building cost. And, those who live in Passive House units overwhelmingly sing its praises: drastically lower energy costs, an impressively fresh air quality, and a consistent indoor temperature despite outdoor conditions. Plus, the ventilation system has proven to reduce allergies and asthmatic symptoms among those residents usually affected. 

The Passive House in NYC
The first certified Passive House to come to New York was a retrofit in Brooklyn at 23 Park Place. Design firm Fabrica718 successfully renovated a 110-year-old brownstone to use 90% less heat energy. Dubbed “Tighthouse,” the airtight building’s drastic effect is visible through thermal photography.

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The red glow of the neighboring buildings reveal heat leaking out of the windows and facades. Perfectly airtight and expertly insulated, the all-blue building lets nothing out.  

The trend continued in the borough with many further retrofits, including 338 8th Street in Park Slope, 154 Underhill Avenue in Prospect Heights, and 228 Washington Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant. The last, designed by Loadingdock5, rents out rooms on Airbnb so those interested in the standard can experience the results first-hand.

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228 Washington Avenue, Image Courtesy

The standard also worked its way into Queens and Manhattan with retrofits at 45-12 11th Street in Long Island City by Thomas Paino and 25 West 88th Street on the Upper West Side by Baxt/Ingui Architects.

In 2014, the first multi-family Passive House opened in Bushwick, designed by Chris Benedict. Standing at 424 Melrose Street, all twenty-four affordable units were designated for senior citizens.

424 Melrose Street, Image Courtesy
424 Melrose Street, Image Courtesy

The Future
Now gaining more traction in the real estate market, the coming years will see increased Passive House ground-up development. PERCH Harlem, a 7-story, 40-unit building also designed by Chris Benedict, is nearing completion, racing (passively!) against the 6-unit 11 West 126th Street to gain the title of Manhattan’s first certified Passive House.

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PERCH Harlem’s exterior will feature a mixture of glass squares and rectangular shapes strategically chosen to maximize the building’s solar gain. Smaller operable windows will allow for fresh air and gorgeous views of the George Washington Bridge and beyond. Inside, Me and General Design will outfit the residences with sustainable materials all around, from the 31% recycled wallpaper, triple pane windows, and individually-controlled energy-recovery ventilators.

Also on deck is a ground-up Passive House in Brooklyn, set to be the first NYC building to achieve both Passive House and Net-Zero capable certifications. The building has even a name sounding like a thing of the future – R-951. It will host three 1,500-square-foot units, each with their own private outdoor space.

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On the grandest scale, another exciting development is Cornell University’s new campus tower for its applied sciences school on Roosevelt Island. In development by Hudson Companies, Cornell Tech, and Related Companies and due for completion in 2017, the 26-story, 270,000-square-foot tower will reign as the world’s tallest and largest Passive House. (The title is currently held by the 30-story Raiffeisenhaus Wien 2, a Vienna office tower completed back in 2012.) The Cornell building will house 530 students, faculty, and staff; using up to 70% less energy than typical high-rises. In line with ever-increasing technological advances, the projected extra cost of building the high-rise in adherence with Passive House standards is 2 to 3%.

Cornell Roosevelt Island building, Image Courtesy
Cornell Roosevelt Island building, Image Courtesy

Broadway News | New Plays Coming in 2017

With the debut of the New Year, Broadway is revving up for a busy season where we’ll be sure to see a lot of the Tony front runners vying for the coveted Best Play/Musical Award. This season, gear up to see powerhouse performers and classic revivals take the stage. Take a look at the top five shows we are most excited for in early 2017.

The Present
Opening January 8 | Ethel Barrymore Theatre

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Two-time Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett makes her Broadway debut in this adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s first play Platonov. The Present made its world premiere (with Blanchett at the helm) in 2016 at the Sydney Theatre Company to critical acclaim. Fun-fact: this production features actors all making their Broadway debut. The Present is set in post-Perestroika in the 1990s, where the widow, Anna Petrovna (Blanchett) is celebrating her birthday in an old country house. Platonov (AACTA Award winner Richard Ruxburgh) is in attendance with his wife, students and friends. Although everyone looks comfortable, unfinished business and regrets come boiling to the surface.

Sunset Boulevard
Opening February 9 | Palace Theatre

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The curtain is set to rise on faded silent film actress Norma Desmond once more, and better yet, heavily awarded Glenn Close (three Tony’s, six Oscar’s, and three Emmy’s) is set to reprise her role. With music by the incomparable Andrew Lloyd Webber, Sunset Boulevard is sure to be a masterpiece. Norma Desmond lives in a fantasy world with dreams of the spotlight again. When she meets struggling screenwriter Joe Gillis (Michael Xavier), she persuades him to work on her “masterpiece,” that is set to bring her back in front of the camera. Her delusions have dramatic consequences. You will not want to miss this revival!

The Glass Menagerie
Opening March 9 | Belasco Theatre

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Although this Tennessee Williams classic has been revived seven times previously (most recently in 2013), we are very excited for this new iteration. Starring the incomparable Sally Field, Broadway veteran Joe Mantello, and newcomers Madison Ferris and Finn Wittrock, this show is set to impress. The Glass Menagerie tells the story of a family crammed into a small apartment from the perspective of Tom, the older brother, as he recalls a night when a gentleman caller visited his sister and changed the Wingfield family forever.

Miss Saigon
Opening March 23 | Broadway Theatre

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One of the longest running musicals in Broadway history (ten years!) makes its epic return. With music by Les Miserables composer and lyricist (Schonberg & Boubil), the epic score will be performed by a similar cast who got remarkable reviews in London. Miss Saigon is based on the Puccini opera Madame Butterfly about a Vietnamese girl who is abandoned by an American GI during the Vietnam War and the beautifully tragic love-triangle that ensues in a war-torn country.

Opening April 4 | Walter Kerr Theatre

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Tony nominee Phillipa Soo of Hamilton fame returns to Broadway as a shy, young waitress as she ventures through her version of gay Paree. Based on the whimsical French language masterpiece of the same name, we can’t wait to see how visionary director Pam MacKinnon creates this fantastical Paris. Amelie made its world premiere at the Berkeley Repertory in the Fall of 2015 and is currently playing at the Ahmanson in Los Angeles before gracing us with all of its glory.

Food News | Five of the Healthiest Restaurants to Try in the New Year

If holiday indulgences have taken their toll and you are ready for a fresh start in 2017, look no further. Lucky for you, sticking to your New Year’s resolutions doesn’t have to be as painful as you might think. Today’s New York City has a plethora of healthy dining options that will leave you satisfied. Enjoy our five favorite health conscious dining options for 2017 here.

200 First Avenue

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Bone broth isn’t just a fad. The collagen found in this delicious broth is actually protein that will keep you full and satisfied all the while healing your gut, reducing inflammation, and promoting healthy bones and clear skin. Grab a steaming hot cup of broth from this take-out only spot and enjoy a healthy meal that will also warm your soul.
For more information click here

The Little Beet
135 West 50th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues

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With a self-proclaimed “guilt free” menu and multiple locations around the city, you can count on the Little Beet for a meal that not only tastes good but is also good for you. Using only local, seasonal and natural ingredients, the Little Beet offers a menu that is gluten free, guilt free and readily accessible wherever in NYC you might be
For more information and locations click here

72 University Place between 10th and 11th Streets

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One of the newest additions to the health conscious dining scene, Nix is also one of the most impressive: the establishment has already been awarded a Michelin star. This veggie-centric menu is so well done that you’d never even know that you were dining at an entirely vegetarian restaurant. Combine the stellar menu with Nix’s noteworthy cocktail list and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a healthy date night.
For more information click here 

Divya’s Kitchen
25 First Avenue between First and Second Streets

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Located within the Bhakti Center, Divya’s Kitchen serves a gluten-free, vegetarian menu that is based off of Aryuvedic healing principles. Opened with the intention of bringing a peaceful and wellness-oriented restaurant to the Downtown NYC dining scene, Divya’s Kitchen succeeds in doing just that. This spot is perfect for anyone looking for a healthful dining option that will nurture mind, body, and spirit.
For more information click here

Rouge Tomate
126 West 18th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues

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You can count on Rouge Tomate for an elegant meal that is delicious and satisfying without leaving you in a gluttonous food coma. This health conscious establishment recently reopened its doors in a cozier, more rustic, downtown location. With a veggie-centric menu by a Michelin-starred chef, Rouge Tomate is an excellent choice for dining with a lovely atmosphere, great wine list and food specifically crafted to leave you feeling good.
For more information click here 


Weekend News | Bed and Breakfast Getaways

With long work days and the constant buzzing that comes with living in NYC, many long for a weekend escape. These days, a luxurious bed and breakfast is just the thing. Enjoy delicious food, incredible scenery and fresh air — all without having to get on a plane to make it happen. Try one of these nearby bed and breakfast spots for the perfect weekend getaway.

1. The Bedford Post in Bedford, NY

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This luxurious country inn has only eight rooms, most with a working fireplace to maximize the cozy ambience. Located in leafy West Chester County, The Bedford Post features a yoga studio and two onsite restaurants: The Barn, a more casual spot for breakfast and lunch, and Campagna, a fine dining destination for Italian delights.

2. Glenmere Mansion in Chester, NY

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Once a Gilded Age hideaway, Glenmere Mansion has 18 contemporary rooms nestled in a historic building and exquisite gardens. Guests have access to outdoor activities in the Hudson Valley but may choose to luxuriate in the onsite spa instead. Onsite dining includes a cozy tavern, fine restaurant rooms and personal room service.

3. The Homestead Inn in Greenwich, CT

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This gracious country mansion is all white shingles and green acres. Each chamber and suite has a unique decor chosen by the owners to be timeless, not trendy. The Homestead Inn’s restaurant is chef Thomas Henkelmann’s personal masterpiece, allowing him to showcase his French culinary training.

4. The Tower Cottage in Point Pleasant, NJ

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The Tower Cottage is the epitome of a Victorian seaside retreat located in Point Pleasant’s historic district. The building is reminiscent of a lighthouse, and the inn pampers guests with complimentary robes and slippers, gas fireplaces and a full gourmet breakfast each morning.

New York, New Jersey and Connecticut offer lovely bed and breakfast spots to escape from the stresses of city life any time. Book a trip that’s just a few hours away by car to rejuvenate whenever the mood strikes.

Food News | The Top Five Restaurants to Close Out 2016

New Year’s Eve is a special night full memories of the year gone by and the promise of a fresh start on the horizon. No where in the world rings in the new year like New York, but Times Square isn’t the only place to celebrate.

For a more intimate celebration complete with an incredible meal and a great bottle of wine, book a table for one of these restaurants’ special celebrations. 
In the City That Never Sleeps, staying up until midnight to say hello to 2017 has never been easier — especially with a fine meal from one of the city’s best restaurants.

1. Aureole

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Located mere steps from the Times Square ball drop, Aureole is making the most of their location by hosting a Black and Gold New Year’s Eve Gala. Lobster with caviar, black truffle tortellini and a decadent ball-drop themed dessert are on the five-course menu. Reservations are required; book online.

2. The Garden at The Four Seasons

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Enjoy a swank Roaring 20s soiree at TY Bar with a table that includes a bottle of Cristal, caviar service and assorted canapes and petits fours. Reserve tickets by phoning (844) 760-6347 or by email.

3. James Beard House

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Chef Rob Nelson will cook up a Southern New Year’s Eve feast at the James Beard House. Highlights from the extensive menu include fig champagne cocktails, applewood-smoked GrassRoots pork belly and a midnight Champagne toast. Call (212) 627-2308 for reservations or book online.

4. Robert

A sleek location near the Museum of Art and design makes Robert a fine choice for a romantic New Year’s Eve dinner. The early seating offers a three-course prix fixe menu while the later seating provides four courses. The menu consists of seasonal specialties; the wine list includes no fewer than four types of Champagne. Reserve a table online.

5. Charlie Palmer at The Knick

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For views of Times Square on the big night, Charlie Palmer at The Knick can’t be beat. The first seating menu features an appetizer, two courses and dessert; the second seating menu features the same meal with the additional of two more decadent courses. New Year’s reservations are not accepted online; call (212) 204-4983 to book a table.

Architecture News | International High Rise Award

Every two years, the City of Frankfurt, in conjunction with the German Architecture Museum, awards the International Highrise Award. Winners are chosen based on the structure’s exemplary sustainability, external shape, and internal spatial and social qualities.

 What the Award Signifies

This prestigious award recognizes outstanding innovation in design and building technology, integration into the urban landscape, and functionality, sustainability and cost-effectiveness in the construction of tall buildings. It is unique because it acknowledges the collaboration between architects and developers that can result in outstanding modern buildings. It awards projects that are architectural achievements and also enhance the lives of the people in and around them.

2016 Award – VIA 57 West

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The International Highrise Award has been bestowed seven times since 2004, and this year, New York’s residential high-rise VIA 57 West was the honored recipient.

This unusual “courtscraper,” envisioned by the architectural firm BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) and built by The Durst Organization, faced many site challenges.

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The site, in Hell’s Kitchen, is bound on four sides by problematic constraints:

  • To the west, the site is separated from the Hudson River by a multilane highway.
  • To the north, there’s a historical electricity plant.
  • To the south, a newly built waste-sorting center creates noise and odors.
  • To the east stands a conventional 130-meter-high residential tower, and its view of the Hudson River could not be obstructed.

The architects responded with a building that rises from three low corners to one high point, transitioning between the low-rise structures in the south and the high-rises in the north. Their solution to preserving the view of the nearby tower was to incorporate a courtyard that also brings afternoon sun deep into the building and extends the greenery of the adjacent Hudson River Park.

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When presenting the award, architecture critic and curator Bart Lootsma described the foundational basis of BIG’s design this way: “The quality of the projects by Bjarke Ingels and BIG in large part does not stem from the way they look, but rather from how they are created and what they achieve.” The defining achievement of VIA 57 West is its unparalleled blending of a stunning high-density building with human elements that encourage interaction between residents and passersby.