Schaller’s Stube Sausage Bar Keeps That Old Yorkville Spirit Alive

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The Upper East Side community of Yorkville was for decades one of New York City's largest and most vibrant German enclaves, with beer gardens and wurst- and schnitzel-shops the norm between 96th and 79th Streets, from Third Avenue to the East River. Today, of course, much has changed in this neck of the woods, but there is a notable pair of old-school eateries carrying the Germantown torch: Heidelberg Restaurant (which has been around for more than 100 years) and, right next door, the legendary sausage shop and charcuterie Schaller and Weber. Both of these vital neighborhood institutions have recently been hit with Second Avenue Subway construction fallout and deserve your support no matter what, but Schaller and Weber is also being aggressive in its efforts to remain relevant in its long-time home, with the recent opening of the fun and even a bit funky quick-bites offshoot, Schaller's Stube Sausage Bar.

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The Magical SeaGlass Carousel, Now Open At The Battery

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When's the last time you took stroll around The Battery? Unless you work right near there or have been forced to escort out-of-town visitors on a climb to the top of the Statue of Liberty (still the least rewarding, most time-consuming tourist attraction in town, in my opinion) it's probably been a while. But maybe that should change! On a recent trip to check out the after-work-drinks scene of Pier A Harbor House, I was pretty stunned by how great the whole 25-acre park looked, the many gardens lush and lovely, Castle Clinton all majestic, the impressively large Battery Urban Farm overflowing with produce, the new(ish) benches perfect for chilling and gazing out on onto the vast harbor. And now the big news: after more than 10 years and $16 million, The Battery's lovely, one-of-a-kind SeaGlass Carousel is finally open, it's really cool, and it offers a great excuse to pack up the kids this fall and go on an adventure to the southernmost tip of Manhattan.  

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The Best NYC Events and Festivals In September

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Is September the best month to be in New York City? Could be! It's plenty warm enough to spend long-periods of jacket-less time outside, but you get that increasingly-cool breeze as well, and the evenings, especially, can be heavenly. And then there's all that back-to-school energy to go with the lingering summer vibe, as the busiest cultural and "openings" season of the year starts to rev itself up. It's a little bit of the best of both worlds, then… and here are four suggestions for ways that you can get out there and enjoy it.

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Hip-Hop Revolution | Museum of the City of New York

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The Museum of the City of New York is one those great institutions that never quite gets the attention–and, so, the crowds–it deserves. Which, if you're a regular NYC museum-goer (overly) familiar with the mob scenes at MoMA, the Met, and the new Whitney, isn't a bad thing at all. Located in that majestic Georgian Colonial-Revival building up on 103rd (and right across the street from the also pleasantly uncrowded Conservatory Gardens in Central Park), MCNY offers generous, fascinating takes on all aspects of NYC living, past, present, and future. The fantastic Designs by Paul Rand show is still on view, but equally good is the Hip-Hop Revolution exhibition, which features photographs by three of the scene's most famous early chroniclers, Janette Beckman, Joe Conzo, and the legendary Martha Cooper.

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Roberta’s Pizza Without The Wait? Find Out How To Do It

 

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No question, Roberta's in Bushwick, which began life as an obscure pizza place in 2008 and has since evolved and grown and expanded into so much more, is one of New York City's best, most beloved, even iconic restaurants. Rave reviews, including two stars in the New York Times; a fine-dining sister spot Blanca (three stars in the Times), which offers one of the most ambitious and expensive tasting menus in town; pop-up pizza booths at venues like Mad Sq Eats that always attract the longest lines; and a major presence at the forthcoming Vanderbilt Market, which is set to open this fall in Grand Central… yup, pretty much an empire at this point. And all of that is great! Except if you're trying to eat at Roberta's proper anywhere close to prime time, and you're told the wait for a table will be about 90 minutes. Then? Not so great! But now there's a solution: Roberta's Takeaway and Bakery, located right next door. Here's what you need to know… 

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Mr. Brainwash: Life Is Beautiful Pop-Up Opens Under Highline

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The artist known as Mr. Brainwash became instantly famous in 2010 when the already-hugely-famous artist Banksy released his Academy Award-nominated documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop. This is a fantastic, often very funny film–if you've never seen it, give yourself a Netflix treat soon–that tells the supposedly true story of Thierry Guetta, a French immigrant in Los Angeles who turns his obsession with graffiti and street art into… well I won't reveal the ending, except to say that in real life Guetta becomes the smashingly successful Mr. Brainwash, who is right now hosting yet another big pop-up exhibition here in New York City in the Meatpacking District. Adding to the excitement, as always: the persistent (though false) rumors that Mr. Brainwash is, in fact, Banksy himself! And with Banksy's amazing-looking "theme park" Dismaland opening in the coastal town of Weston-super-Mare, UK, and generating an enormous amount of hype, it seems likely that the Mr. Brainwash show will only get more popular.  

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The Best New Pizza in NYC Is the East Village’s Bruno Pizza

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It hardly seems like news when a new pizza restaurant opens in New York City, already home to dozens of the best pizza places in the country. But then along comes a spot like Bruno, which just started serving in early August on 13th Street in the East Village, and it's time for everyone–or, at least, everyone who loves pizza, which should be everyone–to get excited again. Bruno Pizza is an ambitious venture from three total pros, Demian Repucci, and Justin Slojkowski and Dave Gulino, who have cooked to much acclaim at places like Roberta's, Acme, and, most recently, Box Kite, where they created an insanely good tasting menu "pop-up restaurant" in a minuscule coffee shop on St. Marks. Of course, none of that would matter if the pizza (and everything else) at Bruno wasn't any good, or interesting, but I'm here to tell you that the opposite is true. Bruno Pizza is a terrific, even thrilling restaurant that's already packed nightly and will become an even tougher table once fall begins and everyone gets back from the beach/mountains/lake. Basically, the time to go here is now.    

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JumpIn: The Enormous Ball Pit For Adults That’s Coming To Soho!

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How are you going to celebrate the end of the silly season–aka summer–this year? Like, before fall's full slate of serious culture offerings really kicks in sometime towards the end of September? Eating enormous amounts of the city's best ice cream is always an excellent activity, and screaming on a few rides (and checking out the Art Walls and snacks at Smorgasburg) at Coney Island is also a summertime must if you haven't already gone. But here's another idea, and it could be the most ridiculous one of all: there's a giant ball pit, designed with adults in mind, coming to Soho on August 21, and it's open to the public, one month only, by reservation only, through September 21. The best part: there are still a few slots left on multiple days, so be sure to click through immediately if it sounds at all appealing to play in a pit with EIGHTY ONE THOUSAND white plastic balls.

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A Small Place For Big Ideas: Find Out About Tribeca’s Mmuseumm

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Proof that there is something potentially wonderful and amazing around every corner in this town, even if that corner leads you down an actual back alley, I give you Mmuseumm, the "modern natural history museum" featuring the city's strangest collections of objects, all lovingly displayed within an abandoned freight elevator. I mean, it's not a scary alley, nor is it any more or less grimy than the rest of our streets, but it is within one of those Tribeca zones that feels especially desolate on summer weekends when the locals are all in the Hamptons. Which, of course, just makes the whole thing even more cool, especially if you're dragging along a friend (or a date!) for the surprise.    

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The Big Scoop: The Best NYC Ice Cream [Summer 2015]

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I had the great pleasure of wandering around the Brooklyn Flea's Ice Cream Bonanza on National Ice Cream Day, where some 14 frozen treat purveyors were serving smallish, sample-size cones and cups of their signature flavors. It was a exceptionally pleasant way to spend a couple of hours on a hot afternoon, and it reminded me how many amazing ice cream parlors there are in neighborhoods all over the city, a few of which are mentioned below in my annual, high-summer "Best Ice Cream in NYC" roundup. And because I eat a bowl of the stuff every single night before I go to bed (highly recommended!), I also threw in a couple of my favorite store-bought pints. It's just the tip of the (delicious and creamy) iceberg, I know, but everything here is pretty much a must for true ice cream believers.

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