New York City is home to the rich and famous and many of them acquired their fame through the entertainment industry. Celebrities who have decided New York’s exuberant life style and non-stop action was just right for them include Indiana Jones adventure hero, Harrison Ford, zany Big Bang Theory genius, Jim Parsons, naughty Madonna, classy Meryl Streep, America’s favourite funny man, Steve Martin and the unforgettable Christopher Walken. Bumping into a celebrity while enjoying Manhattan’s night life isn’t unusual, although native New Yorkers state they’re “too cool” to ask for an autograph or permission to snap a photo. The television and movie magnets prowl through the scenes as languidly as an alley cat out to settle a score. It’s their time to watch new and promising entertainment, not to entertain others.
New Yorkers are very fond of their rooftops. They are a retreat from the rush and noise of the city and provide spectacular views of the skyline and the Hudson River. Roof top entertainment ranges from Reggae weekends at the healthy Roof at Whole Foods to the art-for-arts sake post If/Then set at Bar 54, Hyatt Town Square. Let your fantasies run wild on the Roof at the Viceroy. This unique, indoor-outdoor roof was designed by Romans and Williams to produce the sensation of a luxury yacht suspended in the sky.
If that’s not enough swank, then buff your shoes, put on the glitz and enter the doors of the Gansevoort Hotel for night life on the roof top. Don’t let the words, “Meat-Packing District” fool you. The Gansevoort is a statement of elegance. The Plunge Bar + Lounge has a full-sized swimming pool, although it’s only available to hotel guests. The party, however, is open to the public. Unwind with a cocktail, listen to the music and sit back in the lap of luxury. The roof boasts a 360-degree view of the New York City Skyline and the Hudson River.
Music is always in the air when you visit New York City. Its dimly lit bars and hole-in-the-wall cafes bred American folk singers, such as Bob Dylan and Peter, Paul and Mary. From the smoky dens rolled the early sounds of jazz. Jazz continues to be a major influence on the American music scene, with young hopefuls gravitating toward New York City jazz hot spots with the hopes of being the next big number to break into the that moody world of seductive rhythm, wailing notes and melancholy beat.
The most popular jazz club in the city that wraps around jazz, is the Bar 55 or Christopher Street. Weeknight shows begin at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., with early shows on Friday and Saturday that begin at 6 p.m. There is a cover charge for viewing live shows and a two-drink minimum at the bar.
If your jazz tastes are leaning toward American grass roots, you’ll definitely want to visit Arthur’s Tavern on 57 Grove Street. Bringing you jazz since 1937, the club sponsors Dixieland jazz, rhythm and blues, and exciting jazz performers such as the Creole Cooking Jazz Band, the Grove Street Stompers and Sweet Georgia Brown.
No music scene is complete without expert DJs to keep the music rocking and the feet pounding. New York City DJs are among the best, knowing just what tunes will set the mood and which ones will bring the crowd out onto the dance floor. The Cielo, located in the Meat-Packing District, not only is selective about the DJ’s it uses, featuring famous old-school masters, such as Tedd Paterson and Louie Vega, it’s also sensitive about its surround-system. Strategically wired to give the best in sound acoustics, the club has already won a number of Best Club awards and has been in existence for only five years.
To get a true taste of the music scene, visit Le Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village. This basement club is located in the same legendary performance space that once hosted such music greats as Miles Davis and Jimi Hendrix. The old Village Gate is gone now, but the music scene remains lively, with a mixture of the most popular sounds on the air. Anything goes, from contemporary to rock and roll, jazz to disco, in the club that receives everybody’s attention, including the celebrities who want to dance.
New York City is famous for its stand-up comedy clubs, with more than a few of America’s famous comedians starting their careers in the New York City hub. Jerry Seinfeld, Billy Crystal and Rosie O’Donnell all hit the big time after moving their audiences to uproarious laughter at Caroline’s on Broadway.
Sometimes scandalizing their listeners, sometimes sending them rolling in the aisles, are the stand-up comedians who perform at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade. The 150-seat theatre was started by Saturday Night Live alumni, Amy Poehler, in 1999, and sets the stage for some of the most hilarious entertainment to be found in Chelsea. Past performers include Robin Williams, Tina Fey and Jay Pharoah. Tickets are cheap, but make your reservations early and arrive at least twenty minutes before opening time.
Finding a party in New York City isn’t difficult. The big decision is finding the party that’s right for you. Your idea of nightlife might be to dress up and attend a Broadway musical, or go down and out gritty with a burlesque show. Festivals begin to heat up during America’s holiday season, from November through the first of January. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade begins the mood and the Holiday Under the Stars enhances it with the Time Warner state of the arts light display, flashing more than sixteen million colour mixes to classical yuletide tunes.
Christmas in New York is filled with amazing light displays, holiday markets, ice-skating and a series of events that include the tree-lighting ceremony. The best of comedy is featured during the Christmas season and Radio City puts on a spectacular party with music and dancing. New York’s biggest festival however, is New Year’s Eve. As the countdown begins for the ball to drop in Times Square, the streets are crowded with festive partygoers attending live concerts, open bars and toasting friends and strangers alike with champagne. The last second clicks away, and the New Year begins with skyrocketing fireworks and cheers bursting in the air.
Additional resources we recommend