We might be biased, but with behemoths from the Guggenheim to the MoMA to Broadway, we reckon New York City is the cultural capital of the US. That's why when COVID-19 rolled around last year and forced venues to close, it felt like a direct hit to the very soul of the city.
But with the news that 70 percent of New Yorkers aged 18 or older have gotten the first dose of their COVID-19 shot, COVID-19 restrictions are beginning to be lifted across the state.
As additional venues open, it's time for New York City to take the lead once more. Visiting the city soon? Here’s what to look forward to upon arrival.
We all know that one of the most popular things to do in New York City is to see a Broadway performance. This is the place to see long-running classics like Bruce Springstein's Broadway. If you've been waiting for the stage lights to turn on again, you're in luck - the first play since the pandemic already premiered on Broadway on August 5.
Broadway officials have also revealed additional safety standards that will be implemented to reopen the Great White Way in the safest manner possible. All members of the cast and crew must now be vaccinated against COVID-19.
In 2018, New York City set a new yearly tourist record of around 65.2 million visitors, thanks in large part to its cultural attractions. It's time to get your camera out because tourist favorites such as the Top of the Rock Observation Deck at the Rockefeller center have reopened and are welcoming guests once more.
Art galleries and museums
New York City is spoiled for choice for museums and art galleries, but the Metropolitan Museum of Art was one of the most eagerly anticipated reopenings post-COVID. Also known as the Met, it was founded in 1870 and is one of the most well-regarded museums in the United States. Like many other cultural institutions the Met has now opened their doors to the public again, to the delight of culture-lovers everywhere.
Bars and restaurants
In May, restaurants in New York City were finally allowed to have their dining rooms reach maximum capacity for the first time since March 2020, as long as tables were at least 6 feet apart and barriers were built between booths. That means legendary establishments like Balthazar and local favorites like Bleecker Street Pizza can once again accommodate full-capacity dining.
Live music venues
The live music scene in New York City is the envy of the entire world. Before the pandemic, live performances could be found all around the city, from venerable music halls uptown to tiny stages in the farthest reaches of the five boroughs.
Historic venues such as The Bowery Ballroom have already reopened, and larger venues such as the Metropolitan Opera House are set to open this fall. So whether you're into punk rock or chamber music, you're bound to find something to get your head nodding.
Don't forget! Proof of vaccine required for indoor events
Before you book your flight, be sure to grab your vaccination card. From August 16, proof of COVID-19 immunization will be required to enter select indoor establishments in New York City, including indoor restaurants, entertainment venues, and gyms. Also, don't forget that masking guidelines are still in effect in almost all indoor venues such as restaurants, museums, and theaters.
So whether it is through delicious street food, spine-tingling music performances, or world-famous art exhibitions, this summer New York City is showing the world that it is back. So put on your jacket, grab your tickets and get in line: you won't want to miss this show.