Maybe we should stop rationalizing our lack of holiday weekend travel plans to our friends with untrue statements like “Labor Day is so early this year.” The truth is that we know Labor Day weekend always falls on the same date, and we enjoy sticking around the city on a holiday. Labor Day weekend in NYC usually means fewer crowds, 8pm reservations galore, and a group united by one common element: they didn’t make any plans to leave. If you relate, here are seven things happening around the city to check out.
This small Greenpoint taqueria has been in soft-open mode since the beginning of August, serving what we think are the best new tacos in the city. Their food, like some impossibly soft tripa or a mixture of suadero and longaniza, reminds us of the stuff we’ve eaten in Mexico City (where one of the owners grew up). Stop by their counter on the corner of Franklin and Oak Streets on Sunday from 5-10pm to try their tacos de pastor and tacos de nopales before they fully open in a few weeks.
There’s still time for anyone who promised themselves they’d yell “starboard” on a ship this summer to follow through. North River Lobster Co, a three-level boat docked at Pier 81 near West 41st Street that takes a short sail around the Hudson every hour, is running Thursday through Sunday. The whole thing feels like an amusement park ride with shellfish and alcohol. Ten dollars gets you a day pass that allows for unlimited rides, and, for roughly $23, you can get a decent lobster roll. Buy a pass here.
We’re guessing a large swath of children and their adult creators will be heading to the Rockaways or Coney Island this weekend. So if you’ve never been to Brighton Beach, this is an excellent time to check out the area just a little further east of Coney Island. We have a ton of ideas about where you should be eating there, including this market full of Central Asian specialties. You’ll end up circling the hot bar and gyro station like a hawk who has spotted a ground squirrel. Embrace the hawk lifestyle, and pounce on piles of plov, baklava, and cold-smoked fish.
We recently wrote about restaurants in each borough that’ll impress a native New Yorker. Even if you’re not from NYC, these spots (like an old-school bakery in Bed-Stuy serving navy bean pies, or cracker-thin pizza on Staten Island, or a Korean restaurant in Murray Hill, Queens where you can get a table full of excellent sushi and sashimi) would still make for the perfect plan on a plan-less weekend.
Here’s another, possibly more ridiculous boat plan: bring your friends to The Honorable William Wall on Friday or Saturday. Getting to this houseboat anchored off Ellis Island takes some effort (you need to first get to the Manhattan Yacht Club in Jersey City - but the trip only takes about 30 minutes once you’re there). Upon arrival, this place feels like your own private, floating clubhouse decorated like a Holiday Inn lobby circa 1992. In addition to amazing views of Manhattan and the New York Harbor, there’s an outdoor deck with tables, astroturf, and a little bar. You can still book plenty of tickets for September 3rd and 4th. The best part? It’s BYO food. That means you can bring an entire rack of ribs. Or shrimp fried rice. Or both, in addition to 40 packs of Haribo Twin Snakes. All drinks must be purchased from the onboard bar though.
Every Friday night, the Whitney Museum in the Meatpacking district has late-night pay-what-you-wish admission from 7-10pm. You still have to book timed tickets in advance (which you can do here). And if you’re looking to check out somewhere new to eat nearby, before or after, try Nat’s On Bank, Tacos Güey, or Shukette (all of which are on our Hit List).