It can be bleak. It can be dark. It can seem like everyone is working around the clock with derivations of the flu and sleep deprivation. The mood? Tired with a side of cranky(ish). And yet, February in New York City offers its own magic and love. Here is how to make the most of the next 28 days.
February is Black History Month, which means inspired exhibits, talks, and performances throughout the five boroughs. The New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture launches its monthly series with Black Resistance to Trump Tyranny on 2/1 at 6:30pm. A little later in the week, a must-see performance by Vivian Reed, who sings the songs of Lena Horne at Feinstein’s 54 Below and throughout the entire month, Black History Month Tour at the United Nations takes visitors to the UN’s permanent memorial to the victims of slavery, the Ark of the Return.
The first weekend in February is a big one for sports fans, starting with an East Coast v West Coast basketball battle at Barclays as the LA Lakers take on the Brooklyn Nets, Friday 2/2. On Saturday 2/3, NYC Parks hosts She’s On Point: A Celebration of Girls in Sports at the Hansborough Recreation Center in Harlem, an afternoon of free soccer, indoor kayaking, and pickleball for girls of all ages. And on Sunday 2/4, the most-watched sporting event of the year is here and 2018’s Super Bowl LII between the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots is going to be a big one. I say this not only because Justin Timberlake is performing at halftime and Philly-native P!NK is singing the National Anthem. You may want to hit the bars to watch (check out amNY’s list of watch party spots) but if you’re off to a potluck Super Bowl party or watching at home, win the night by baking these Reese’s Footballs.
The new week begins on Monday, 2/5 with The Kosher Food and Wine Experience on Pier 60 at Chelsea Piers and The Moth StorySLAM at The Bellhouse in Brooklyn Heights, the latter an open mic night where participants tell a 5-minute story based on a theme, which in this case is SECRETS.
Fashionistas and the people who love them have a lot to look forward to this month as Monday 2/5 kicks off New York Fashion Week. For the first time ever, New York Men’s Fashion Week (2/5-2/7) will be followed directly by New York Women’s Fashion Week (2/8-2/14) for a one-two punch of the best designer offerings for Spring 2018. With nearly two weeks of back-to-back shows, round-the-clock loft parties, and models in shades for days, NYC will prove its reputation as the city that never sleeps while still managing to look cool AF. Teaser: Instagram and Snapchat story trends will include lavender, asymmetrical necklines and fanny packs (you heard it here) and most events are by invite only for industry insiders, but a few found here are open to the public.
If you prefer your shows to be of the canine variety, the Westminster Dog Show returns to Madison Square Garden on Monday 2/12 and Tuesday 2/13, now in its 142nd year! It is the second oldest sporting event in the history of the United States – 2017 saw a radiant German Shepherd named Rumor take home Best In Show – and this year also looks to be memorable.
Tuesday 2/13 may be Mardis Gras, but you don’t have to be in New Orleans to have a good time. Check out Dizzy’s Gotham Kings Celebration for a night of Creole jazz lead by rising star trumpeter, Alphonso Horne, or catch “Funky Fat Tuesday” with George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic at B.B. King’s.
And then, it’s Valentine’s Day? Wait what, how did we make it this far so soon? If you’re in a relationship, Wednesday 2/14 marks an opportunity to deepen connection and prove romance is not a lost art…and if not, well, it’s the official end to that stressful time for singles that started back around Christmas (it’s the holidays, period) and therefore, a reason for all to celebrate.
First, I offer three ideas for couples:
- A stroll along the waterfront in DUMBO with a visit to Jane’s Carousel and dinner at The Osprey inside 1 Brooklyn Bridge Park Hotel. You will feel like you’re the stars of your own rom-com.
- Dinner at Asiate, a stunning restaurant inside The Mandarin Oriental at Columbus Circle that offers Modern American fare, breathtaking views of Central Park and the perfect ambiance for romance.
- A chocolate crawl based on Trip Savvy’s suggestions for where to buy the best chocolate in New York City (be sure to add Dean & Deluca, which somehow didn’t make the list) followed by a make-your-own sushi and sake night at home.
And for singles, I’ve got you covered:
- Get a group of friends together and see Oscar nominated films The Shape of Water or Call Me By Your Name. Or the (not so Oscar nominated) 50 Shades of Freed. Follow that with a Secret Cupid gift exchange.
- Work it all out in a heart-pumping fitness class. February is also American Heart Month, so exercise your choice to be healthy!
- Read 10 First Date Stories that Will Restore Your Faith in Love with the option to simultaneously eat chocolate (see #3 above) and/or drink wine to the tunes on this Spotify playlist, because let’s be real, v-day without a bae can be a little stressful.
If all this talk of romance leaves you feeling hungry for fantasy and food, secure your ticket for this Harry Potter themed brunch on Saturday, 2/17 in midtown east or take it uptown to Harlem Repertory Theatre for performances of “Raisin in the Sun” and “The Wizard of Oz” followed by drinks and small plates at D’Amore Winebar and Ristorante, located just a few blocks from the theater.
Saturday 2/17 is also the start of the three-day weekend culminating in Presidents Day on Monday 2/19. A fantastic time to head out of the country, but if you’re rocking the staycation here are some fun ideas on how to get the most out of NYC in 72 hours. You may also want to dance the night away on Sunday at Taj and sleep until noon on Monday. Speaking of dance, besides recently lifting the charter that prohibited it at city bars (yes, this is a real thing) 2/22-25 means the New York Dance Festival, which showcases the best in ballroom and partner dance. Or, head back to Barclays in Brooklyn for superheroes and villains at Marvel Universe LIVE!.
The final few days of February mean a lot of things – for starters, Spring is less than a month away! Before the city is back in bloom, it comes alive in other ways to close out the month. While 2/16 is the official Chinese New Year, it is not until Sunday 2/25 that Chinatown hosts its official 19TH CHINATOWN LUNAR NEW YEAR PARADE & FESTIVAL to welcome 2018, the Year of the Dog. On Tuesday 2/27, families will want to take advantage of Kids’ Night on Broadway, when children under 18 years of age can see a Broadway show for free. Then on Wednesday 2/28, two ways to deepen your senses downtown and close out the month: a sound therapy Woom yoga experience on the Lower East Side followed by Dinner in the Dark at CAMAJE in the West Village.