Affectionately dubbed the “City that never sleeps”, New York’s entertainment options boast some of the most frequented music venues, theme bars and basement jazz/ blues clubs in America – many of which rival the much-hyped Las Vegas when it comes to first class headlining acts. Whether you seek the passionate, emotionally-stirring scenes of the world’s greatest opera shows, or you prefer the underground music scene of alternative indie; New York serves up a star-studded entertainment scene with generous helpings of dramatic theater, dance, cinema and music shows that will tempt any palate.
This section will outline the multifarious options for entertainment within the heart of New York City, along with key places for specialist entertainment (e.g music) within downtown and suburban areas of Manhattan, Harlem and Brooklyn. With reference to music-oriented venues, the overview will outline the breakdown of these sub-categories into: Music Venues (such as Radio City Music Hall), Music Clubs (such as Acme Underground), Nightclubs etc. By diversifying music clubs and venues, the guide will provide a far more in-depth range of venues to suit a variety of tastes.
It is the main aim of this part of the guide to essentially cover every aspect, and type of entertainment on offer in New York, therefore certain sub-categories will be split into separate groupings for the likes of independent establishments (e.g art-house cinemas). The categories will be divided as follows:
Live Music Clubs: This section will focus upon New York’s most popular music clubs, notably those where some of the biggest names of past and present have played. There will also feature a few “alternative” clubs said to be the best places for a glimpse into New York’s own thriving music scene. While the intention is to promote popular clubs, the objective is to also compile as many genre-specific venues within this category, such as The Blue Note at West 3rd Street, allegedly one of the most famous jazz and folk clubs in New York.
Live Music Venues: Music venues occupies a separate sub-category to “music clubs”, chiefly due to the vast number of independent venues within New York that cater to a specific genre or crowd. Larger venues such as Radio City Music Hall and The Lincoln Center attract a melting pot of audiences, as these arenas headline popular chart artists and established bands/ singers.
Nightclubs: With a nightlife as divergent as the flourishing music scene, this sub-category is dedicated to featuring the largest, most-frequented and niche nightclubs to be found in New York. Inclusions will range from tourist magnet Pacha, to older haunts like Webster Hall in the East Village.
Historic Bars: With a wealth of architecture and hidden interiors that hark back to the art-deco decadence of the 1920’s; New York City is a treasure-trove of some of the oldest city bars and smoking lounges in the world. As the location of the most famous alcohol prohibitions in history, there is nowhere better than New York for bar-hopping through the decades. The journey starts with a visit to McSorley’s Old Ale House in the East Village, reputed to be the oldest of it’s kind in New York.
Cocktail Bars and Lounges: The melting pot of cultures within New York City have had a significant influence upon the diverse range of entertainment and dining establishments that have sprung up in recent years, however some of New York’s most fashionable bars and lounges precede the newer on-trend openings by several decades. Birthplace of the ever vogue Manhattan Cocktail; Manhattan itself offers a wealth of sophisticated options that range from the Flat Iron Lounge at West 19th Street, to the understated elegance of Essex House on Central Park South. Contemporary inclusions will range from Ward III near West Broadway, which offers a D.I.Y mixology menu, and fashionable Moroccan lounge-bar ‘Disiac at West 54th Street.
Show Theaters: With a prestige that rivals even London’s great “West End”, New York’s neon-flooded Broadway showcases the very best of stage theatrics, drama and musical entertainment – along with debut shows premiering regularly on the glitz-strip. This section aims to provide an overview of some of the longest running shows, and best playhouses for both new and established screenplays. Rather than including a further sub-section, independent theaters will also be featured within this category, accompanied by details of specific performance groups who are showcased. Inclusions will range from the large capacity headlining venues such as the Gershwin Theater on Broadway, to smaller venues hosting independent productions, such as the Helen Hayes Theater on West 44th Street.
Dance and Performing Arts: From the New York City Ballet, to Alvin Ailey’s “American Dance Theater” – New York’s performing arts scene features some of the most prolific names in modern and contemporary performing arts. While many are of the impression that “real” opera can only be found within Italy; New York City proffers a delectable array of native productions and artistes. This section aims to divulge the best venues for opera, dance and performing arts.
Spectator Sports: New York is famed for a bevy of league sports, notably basketball and soccer, however tennis greats such as Roger Federer have also added to the city’s multi-faceted sporting reputation, thanks to winning the U.S Open no less than five times. American sports are super-sized, from the stadiums and arenas, to the audiences who pile in to watch the notorious Mets and Giants. This section aims to provide an overview of the chief sporting arenas and venues, including relevant information regarding types of fixtures, and teams connected with such venues. Listings will also extend to coverage of lesser known sports within New York such as bull-fighting, ice-hockey and wrestling.