“New” in New York

New York. The name says it all. Here, in the city that constantly reinvents and reimagines itself, you’ll find everything that is innovative, cutting-edge and on the cusp.

Intersect by Lexus in the Meatpacking District from the luxury car brand is arguably the city’s first lifestyle restaurant. Only no cars are either on display or for sale here; instead products are subtly installed and art is exhibited to create an aspirational environment in the multifloor industrial space. To keep things interesting and to encourage customers to come back again and again, Intersect by Lexus rotates its chefs, thereby assuring a new culinary experience every few months.

Rotation, as a trend, is not unique to Intersect by Lexus. Pop-up shops—establishments that are here today and gone tomorrow—have helped redefine retail in New York. One such is Fattobene, which the MoMA Design Store is hosting in its SoHo location through Sept. 29. This is a prime example of how the world—in this case, Italy—is brought unfiltered to NYC. Fattobene (“well made” in translation), the brainchild of Anna Lagorio and Alex Carnevali, dedicates itself to promoting everyday Italian objects. Accessories for the home, as well as stationery and gifts, are all made in Italy and attest to that country’s renowned craftsmanship and timeless design.

Setting its sights on a permanent base in the metropolitan New York area is American Dream, located in East Rutherford, New Jersey, just seven miles west of Midtown Manhattan, and scheduled to open Oct. 25. Expectations are high for the shopping, dining, entertainment and fashion complex, which occupies 3 million square feet. All the buzzwords—experiential, immersive, entertaining, curated—apply. On the premises are an indoor Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park and DreamWorks Water Park, North America’s first indoor snow sports center, 18 holes of miniature golf, a Legoland Discovery Center—and that’s before you get to top-ticket outposts of Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany & Company and Dolce Gabbana. American Dream just might be the revolutionary and innovative destination that brick-and-mortar shopping has been searching for. 

Certainly consumers are receptive and willing to go the distance when something new comes their way, like Empire Outlets, NYC’s first outlet center, a scenic ferry ride away in Staten Island. 

If retail recognizes the need for a makeover to combat the internet, long-standing New York attractions are also in the market for reinvention to keep themselves fresh and relevant. In August, the Empire State Building, a dominant presence on the New York skyline since 1931, opened the second phase of its $165 million reimagined Observatory Experience. Visitors to the second-floor gallery now take a digitally enhanced journey through nine exhibits. Sure to please is the King Kong exhibit in which Kong’s fingers break through the walls of an upper-story office. Step into the giant ape’s hands as he climbs the tower, and you’ll feel his awesome strength. That’s immersive.

While the Museum of Modern Art gears up for its own reinvention and reopening in enhanced digs on Oct. 21, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum has been celebrating all year the 60th anniversary of its landmark Frank Lloyd Wright building. The Gugg has always been ahead of the curve—and interactive. Just take a walk up its spiral ramp. After 60 years, it’s still a trip. Truth is, not everything has to be brand-new to be of the moment in New York.

The Play’s the Thing

For lovers of serious drama, there is a bonanza of plays, either just opened or about to open on Broadway. And since many have limited runs, now is the time to see them. Here’s our pick of the bunch.

Sea Wall / A Life

Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge stride the stage like the acting colossi they are in this double bill of moving, deeply thoughtful monologues about what lies between birth and death. Hurry, the show closes Sept. 29.

The Rose Tattoo

Can Oscar winner Marisa Tomei erase the memory of fellow Oscar winner Anna Magnani in the role of tempestuous Serafina in this revival of Tennessee Williams’ dramedy? Our money’s on Marisa.

The Great Society

Love him or hate him, President Lyndon B. Johnson’s larger-than-life persona is Shakespearean, so it comes as no surprise that Brian Cox, who has trod the Royal Shakespeare Company’s stage, is playing him.

Betrayal

Playwright Harold Pinter can be an acquired taste, but not this revival’s star—Tom Hiddleston. 

 

Francis Lewis
About the author

Francis serves as the New York executive editor for Where. G...