In 2004—on a mission to bolster its community’s wellspring of art, creativity, and education—the nonprofit Bergen Performing Arts Center took over the former John Harms Center, an art deco–style movie and vaudeville palace built in 1926. Today, in the same antique theater where Shakespeare screened his first car-chase movie, the Bergen Performing Arts Center hosts 150 yearly events that bring dance, music, and theatrical productions to an estimated 250,000 annual audience members. Networks like HBO, PBS, and MTV all have filmed international broadcasts on Bergen Performing Arts Center’s stage, which has seen the likes of Tony Bennett, Woody Allen, and the Dixie Chicks.
When British Colonel Roger Morris and his wife stumbled upon a piece of unclaimed Manhattan hilltop, they knew it would be the ideal spot for their summer home. Built in 1765, the 8,500-square foot Morris-Jumel Mansion—as it's known today—was the centerpiece of an estate that extends more than 130 acres from the Harlem to the Hudson River. Loyal to the British crown, Morris left America during the Revolution; in the fall of 1776, General George Washington used the home as headquarters during the Battle of Harlem Heights.
Today, the mansion offers guided tours of its historic property. After becoming president, Washington returned on July 10, 1790, to dine with cabinet members that included future presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson; you can visit the dining room where they ate together. More than 40 years later, in 1833, Aaron Burr got married to Madame Eliza Jumel—the widow of the mansion's second namesake owner, Stephen Jumel—right in the parlor of this estate.
Besides tours, the mansion now hosts rotating exhibits that display everything from period costumes to the axe Washington used to floss his wooden teeth. There are also events throughout the year, from classical and jazz concerts to wine tastings and, once, a lively debate between Burr and Alexander Hamilton scholars.
Casual American and Irish fare fills the bellies of guests visiting to catch a game or catch up with each other. The black façade's narrow windows pop with scarlet curtains that offer just a peek into the interior, where even the mantel of the functioning stone fireplace has a TV screen. Televisions also punctuate the crimson walls and cast a glow behind the bar. Wooden booths face outward while swaddling their beer-sipping cargo in red cushions.
With summer programs that focus on museum trips, mentor relationships, and reading, Growing Minds of New York Inc. aims to close the learning gap that commonly occurs over idle summer breaks. The expert camp leaders also firmly believe in kids being kids, so in addition to healthy eating and science activities, campers revel in leisurely self-guided reading time, music lessons, and sports. In addition to summer programs, Growing Minds also offers after-school clubs such as chess, creative writing, and leadership, as well as daycare for younger learners.
The ASA-certified instructors of New York Sailing School have been teaching the exhilarating art since 1968. With access to a fleet of beginner-friendly Sonar 23 skiffs, they instruct courses both on land and water, venturing out into the Long Island Sound with tender-footed aquanauts and Waterworld fanboys alike. NYSS alumni and ASA-certified sailors are also welcome to rent boats for daytime jaunts across the water.
A gallery and framing shop, Arielle's Gallery promotes art appreciation and protects clients' paintings, pictures, and posters. With more than 2,000 options, choices range from budget-friendly to high-end. In-house services include museum quality, conservation framing, archival, acid-free mats, art and museum glass. In the gallery, guests can explore exhibits that span jewelry, fine art, pottery, and glass art. The framing shop stocks exotic woods and miscellaneous mats to customize pictures.
To attract a large and diverse crowd of folks from across the five boroughs, New York bars must possess one or more of the following three things: a great location, plenty of space, and a sizable selection of premium liquors. Fortunately, Bar Pelham has all three. Nestled in a bustling area of the Bronx, this sprightly hangout serves up creative cocktails made with Patron Café Dark Cocoa, fruit juices, or house mixes within an approximately 1,200 square feet space. Under the luminescent glow of modern pillar lamps, guests can also sip on on-tap beers, slam shots of Patron Silver, or clink cosmopolitan glasses at the white quartz bar. Of course, they can just unwind with some pretzels in front of one of the televisions broadcasting a thrilling sports game or senatorial filibuster.