The Hudson Square neighborhood of New York City is rarely mentioned in everyday conversation, but it’s an area that’s more often visited than you might think. Commonly known as West Soho, this neighborhood actually has some great and interesting places to visit and plenty to do if you’re looking to get off of the beaten track of bars and retailers.
Located on Spring Street, the Fridman Gallery is not only for art exhibits of work by new and established artists; it’s also a venue that hosts performances and lectures. Showing through mid-December is Anton Ginsburg’s Hybrid Gaze, a two-video installation that explores the extension of human eyesight by technology and the result and effect on the body. It also features an experience of nature through the eyes of a mechanical ‘other.’ There will also be sound performances throughout December.
Interested in theater, but missing the funds to make it to the hottest Broadway plays” Sometimes you can find great things off the beaten path. Soho Playhouse, serving the theater community since 1920, is a historical venue where you can enjoy intimate performances. Currently the theater is showing performances of seven plays, one offered in both English and Spanish. One highlight is The Imbibe, A Spirited History of Drinking, a musical comedy in which world renowned mixologist Anthony Caporale takes you on a joyous journey through the history of spirits and cocktails. Even better: three craft cocktails are on the house during the show.
The Hudson Square location for this award-winning chocolatier is the epicenter of the entire Jacque Torres experience and a can’t-miss venue for visitors of NYCwho love chocolate. Started in 2000 by Master Pastry Chef Jacques Torres, also known as Mr. Chocolate, this is the home of the most decadent and authentic chocolate treats, such as rich chocolate chip cookies, all natural ice cream, and pretzel mint and spicy pecan bark, to name a few. There’s so many different options, it definitely requires more than one trip.
It seems like New York is the home of museums of every kind. Well, we can add the New York City Fire Museum to our list of great ones to visit, and if you have a soft spot for these heroes, you’ll enjoy the experience. There’s two floors of artifacts and paintings dating all the way back to the 18th century: paintings of piano box engines, a horse-drawn ladder wagon, and displays of early rescue gear. The museum also offers a fire safety education program which consists of classroom training and a simulated fire event in a mock home.
You don’t need to be a big wine fan in order to enjoy your time at City Winery, but if you are, this Hudson Square favorite has a list of over 400 producers in addition to the 20 in-house selections. You can pair the wine with delicious food, whether it’s for a private dining event, a wine tasting (featuring 11 wines on tap), or for concert dining. That’s right, City Winery has performances by talented musicians, so you can combine a great dining experience with live music. There are occasional comedy performances, too.
Sway is a Moroccan-themed lounge that’s great if you’re looking to go out and dance a little (or a lot, for that matter). This Soho hot spot is perfect for a night out with friends. Open from Thursday to Sunday from 10-4am, Sway is a great party option, because of the music selection: hip-hop, dance, top 40, and reggae, to name a few. If you don’t want to hang out late, there’s an after-work on the second Thursday of each month, from 6pm to midnight.
Located on the ground floor of the New York Public Radio headquarters, The Greene Space is a multimedia venue centered around cultivating discussions on all types of subjects from politics, the arts, and any other life events/issues imaginable. New Yorkers are welcome to join live broadcasts and tapings or attend concerts and festivals at the 125-seat venue. December is jam-packed with events and shows, including a preview screening of a film-in-progress by Ira Glass. You can also buy tickets to one of the upcoming Christmas shows, such as A Christmas Carol: A Radio Drama, starring Kathleen Turner.
Escape from mainstream commercial cinema and visit The Film Forum, NYC’s hub for independent films. Not only does the theater show American and foreign indies, it also provides screenings of movie classics, festivals, and director retrospectives. The Film Forum is a cultural institution that presents a wide array of films covering topics with historic, social, and political significance.