Things to See and Places to Go in 2011

Unlike going to the gym or stop binge-drinking, I made a resolution that’s easy to keep this year. I plan on going out more. During the winter months it’s tempting to just give up and huddle next to your radiator, but this season I’ve decided to screw that and get up off my ass.  Before I only used to visit museums and attractions when people from out of town were visiting, but now I’ve decided to make a to-do list of things to do and see in 2011.

Pop Up Park

Hidden inside an unassuming gallery in Nolita, lies an urban Garden of Eden of sorts. You know all about pop-up stores, but what about pop-up parks? The folks at Openhouse Gallery have taken Mother Nature into their own hands and created a temporary indoor park for those green-deprived New Yorkers suffering from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).  This faux-park has overtaken 3 1/2 rooms of the gallery and creates a sense of zen with fake bird sounds, a pond, trees, park benches and even a see-saw.  Sure it’s a little Truman-Show-esque, but it’s still a welcome respite from the freezing rain and the other bullshit weather we’ve been getting.  So bring a book or bring your kids and breathe in the faux-fresh air at this indoor park.

Pop-Up Park
Openhouse Gallery
201 Mulberry st
B/t Kenmare & Spring St [Nolita]

Museum of Moving Image

Not to be a hater, but it takes a lot to get me to Queens. This usually involves specialty food, beer halls and now a recently re-opened and expanded Museum of Moving Image.  Dedicated to showcasing art, film, photography and technology, the museum’s mix of old and new ranges from the avant garde to Wallace & Grommit. Check out their full calendar for special screenings and celebrity speakers. I for one, was hooked after reading about their current exhibit “Dolls & Dictators”.

Museum of the Moving Image
35 Avenue at 37 Street [Astoria]

Siberian Tigers at the Bronx Zoo

So it’s another lazy Sunday and your friend leans over their Bloody Mary and asks you, “Hey wanna go see some baby Siberian Tigers?”, the answer should always be yes! Hightail it over to the Bronx Zoo to check out some frolicking baby tiger cubs at the aptly named “Tiger Mountain”.  The tiger exhibit will be open all year and sometimes you can catch a feeding or an impromptu play session. The Zoo is open to 10am-4:30pm daily, but if you go on Wednesday’s, it’s free aka suggested donation.

Bronx Zoo
2300 Southern Boulevard
at Grote St [Bronx]

Spa Castle

I’ve heard people talk about this place like it was some sort of mecca. The name alone sounds like something you would find in Dubai or a Care Bears movie. I’m half-expecting to arrive and see that the entire outdoor exterior is made of clouds. Despite it’s fantastical name, Spa Castle lives up to it’s reputation. This mega-complex is designed to please all the senses. If you’re object is to escape from reality as long as possible, than this is your kind of place. From saunas to indoor pools, massages to manicures, there’s a room for every type of treatment. There’s also a bar and restaurant, because no spa treatment is complete without a cocktail to go along with it. I know this is all sounding very sex and the city, but this place looks like a fun field-trip we all need to take.

Spa Castle
13110 11th Avenue at 131st St
College Point [Queens]

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About the author

Laura S - Spendthrift Scribe

Laura S, left the "sixth borough" three years ago to settle in Brooklyn. After working at some daily rags, she now does writing on the side but still eats more Ramen then necessary. When she's not moving residences every 6 months, eating her way through every neighborhood, and trying every microbrew known to man, she is unsuccessfully rediscovering home economics. With her binging days behind her, she's now exploring new projects and rediscovering the city that she loves (although is still prone to sliding on her knees during a Prince karaoke set).