Customer service is front and center at this family owned Morningside Heights hardware store. Customers can’t get two feet inside the store before a staff member asks if they need any assistance. Perhaps is the hardware outfit’s diminutive size that brings people closer together, but locals would say that it’s simply the way University Hardware is run. Either way, the cheery vibe permeates every department, from basic plumbing and electrical hardware needs to cleaning supplies and boxes for storage or moving. The shelves are stacked mostly to the ceiling, so feel free to ask if you can’t find that special gizmo you need so badly. The store runs from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the week, with protracted hours on Saturday and Sunday and a locksmith operation that’s perfect for the next time you lose your keys.
Designated a city landmark in 2008, Webster Hall was named Nightclub of the Year in 2011 by Nightclub & Bar magazine and called the “jewel of the Village” by Nobel laureate Eugene O’Neill. First opened in 1886, its iconic framework has hosted such major acts as Prince and Mick Jagger, and served as a speakeasy, a lecture hall, and a mentor to troubled teenage buildings. Today, live shows performed by stars such as Kanye West and Alicia Keys take place in the Grand Ballroom, which is equipped with state-of-the-art acoustics and cutting-edge audio-visual equipment. In addition, the venue hosts weekly dance-club nights, the official NYC Halloween Parade Afterparty, and an annual New Year’s Eve Ball.
In 1997, magician Michael Chaut realized that New York—long the haunt of some of the world's most talented magicians—no longer had a live magic venue. Wasting no time, Chaut assembled a super squad of fellow tricksters and illusionists, together creating the weekly showcase Monday Night Magic. Now firmly installed at the intimate Players Theatre, the shows strip away such over-the-top distractions as pyrotechnics and live animals, who generally give away the tricks post-performance anyway. Their shows instead beguile audiences with up-close sleight-of-hand and mental tricks, and also enter the realm of variety-show-style entertainment with jugglers and sword swallowers. During intermissions, the performing magicians take a chance to stroll through the room, hunkering down at lucky audience members' tables to dazzle them with up-close trickery.
Reared by a loving family of owner-operators since 1937, Berger Hardware rolls out labyrinthine aisles of home and garden products. Under the umbrella of the nationwide True Value franchise, the shop stocks and replenishes a vast array of standard inventory, seasonal items, and literal nuts and bolts. Knowledgeable staffers draw on their personal tool-wrangling experience to dispense expert advice and connect customers with their ideal equipment.
Cindy Barshop may have a familiar face. She gained reality-TV fame as a cast member of The Real Housewives of New York City, but she found success much earlier when the Madison Avenue spa she founded more than 10 years ago grew into a hair-removal brand known throughout the country. Completely Bare’s waxing specialists dab bikini lines with the shop’s proprietary blend of ouch-less wax, which adheres to hair instead of skin to avoid the painful pull that often accompanies a waxing session. The blend is hypoallergenic and does not cause acne, which makes it ideal for depilating sensitive skin and touchy bodily zones. Routine waxing sessions add extra sparkle with the salon’s vajazzling service, which bedecks newly hair-free spots with up to 70 Swarovski crystals arranged into such shapes as hearts, stars, peace signs, and MPAA ratings. The spa specialists also migrate beyond the below-the-belt area to polish the rest of the body with facials, laser hair removal, spray tanning, and teeth whitening.
Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the Korean spa's massive 40,000-square-foot facility houses multiple floors, which each feature saunas aimed at providing visitors with relaxation and health benefits. Heated to a pore-opening 200 degrees Celsius from burning oak-tree wood, the dome-shaped hot-steam room—bulhanjeungmok in Korean—features floors made of yellow soil and salt that replicate a 500-year-old therapy designed to treat illness and pain. On the complete opposite side of the temperature spectrum, the ice sauna uses freezer-like frosted walls to cool the air around patrons sitting on log stools or standing on their hands. In between hopping from sauna to sauna, visitors may hang out in one of the lounges, get a haircut, or even grab a warm Korean meal or refreshing dessert.