11th Annual Where-To Guide to NYC at Pride

Get the dish on summer happenings in NYC and make the most out of Pride season!

WHERE TO EAT: NEIGHBORHOOD NOSHES

ChikaLicious 203 E 10th St, 212-995-9511, chikalicious.com. Bring your favorite ChikaLicious chick to this all-dessert, full-dining experience restaurant in the East Village. Satisfy her sweet tooth by filling her up with “Kisses Cupcakes” and other unique treats. Curbing your sugar intake? Check out the wine list.

Cowgirl 519 Hudson St, 212-633-1133, cowgirl nyc.com. Cowgirl is a go-to favorite of the local lesbian community, so giddy up and ride on over to this Greenwich Village hangout. Sample the menu of Southwestern comfort food before slurping down their famous margaritas, which are served in jars and come in every flavor of the rainbow.

Danji 346 W 52nd St, 212-586-2880, danjinyc .com. The happening Hell’s Kitchen gayborhood tends to be a hotspot for the boys, but Danji is for everyone. Don’t miss this authentic Korean eatery where you can enjoy tasty, shareable plates of yum.

Lobster Joint 1073 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, 718-389-8990, lobsterjoint.com. Lobster Joint spans three locations across our fair city, but we’re particularly fond of the Greenpoint one, because, hey, aren’t most lesbians partial to the Brooklyn borough? Order the succulent crab and lobster rolls!

The Chocolate Room 269 Court St, Brooklyn, 718-783-2900, thechocolateroombrooklyn.com. Think you’ve had chocolate layer cake? Think again. Stop by here for the decadent, mouth-watering slice of ecstasy or the irresistable brownie sundae. You’ll discover that your dessert face and your orgasm face are exactly the same.

Thistle Hill Tavern 441 Seventh Ave, Brooklyn, 347-599-1262, thistlehillbrooklyn.com. Thistle Hill Tavern is “a casual, seasonal restaurant and bar” that serves weekend brunch and dinner seven days a week. It’s not your standard pub grub. Their chef-inspired, American tavern fare and handcrafted cocktails will not disappoint.

BEST-KEPT SECRETS

Le Philosophe 55 Bond St, 212-388-0038, le philosophe.us. Chances are, she’s gonna say, “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?” after you take her to this French restaurant in NoHo. The perfectly executed bistro food always receives rave reviews, and they have a superb wine list.

Cookshop 156 10th Ave, 212-924-4440, cook shopny.com. This Chelsea gem is the place for both people-watching and a superlative dining experience. Splurge on the unforgettable American Wagyu sirloin steak. They also serve a kickass brunch!

Paola’s 1295 Madison Ave, 212-794-1890, paolas restaurant.com. This Upper East Side pick is for those of you who are staying uptown during Pride. Check out Paola’s for quality Italian dining. For some lighter fare, try the excellent pesto pasta.

Cagen 414 E 9th St, 212-358-8800, cagen   restaurant.com. Still flying under the radar, Cagen offers some of the best Japanese cuisine in the city. Order the off-the-charts zensai, and top it off with a refreshing frozen sake.

The Red Cat 227 Tenth Ave, 212-242-1122, theredcat.com. More like a cozy red barn, nestled among art galleries, lesbians likely flock to this Chelsea gem for the name only. But you’ll be glad you did, especially if you love mouthwatering Mediterranean fare and stellar service. Order the organic roast chicken with dried cherry sauce. And then come back for more.

The Fat Radish 17 Orchard St, 212-300-4053, thefatradishnyc.com. Get your brunch on at this Chinatown hotspot; the full English breakfast will knock your socks off. And the restaurant’s namesake burger is sure to cure any Pride hangover.

HAUTE SPOTS

Sushi Nakazawa 23 Commerce St, 212-924-2212, sushinakazawa.com. This wouldn’t be a proper “Where-To” Guide to Pride without mentioning one of the hottest Japanese restaurants in town! If you can get a reservation, the omakase is a must, and don’t leave without ordering the yuzu sorbet.

Scalini Fedeli 165 Duane St, 212-528-0400, scalinifedeli.com. Take your special someone to this romantic, upscale, TriBeCa Italian favorite. Everything is top-notch here, including the personal service and dress code, so get your high-class game on.

Saraghina 435 Halsey St, Brooklyn, 718-574-0010, saraghinabrooklyn.com. With its lines of hipsters out the door, you’d better come early to get a prime outdoor table in the garden. Famous for artisanal Neopolitan pizza, Saraghina also serves appetizers and small plates. Let your taste buds do the talking when you’re there. One caveat: Bring cash—they don’t take credit cards.

St. Anselm 355 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, 718-384-5054, no website. Are you a meat and potatoes kind of girl? Then definitely check out this rustic Williamsburg eatery. Order the butcher’s steak; you won’t be disappointed.

Craft 43 E 19th St, 212-780-0880, craftrestaurant .com. One of Tom Colicchio’s (of “Top Chef” fame) most famous brands, visit this Flatiron fave for his delicious Southern comfort cuisine. Try the sirloin steak, swordfish, braised halibut or Hen of the Woods mushrooms.

The Monarch Room 408 W 15th St, 646-790-7070, nymonarch.com. No visit to New York would be complete without oysters and Champagne, now would it? You’ll most likely be in the Meatpacking District at some point over Pride, so come here for superlative seafood and American fare. (The kale salad is da bomb!)

FREE SPIRITS

Dirt Candy 430 E 9th St, 212-228-7732, dirtcandy nyc.com. Who knew that vegetables could be so decadent? Chef Amanda Cohen does divinely ‘dirty’ things with cauliflower, corn and zucchini. Start with melt-in-your-mouth jalapeño hush puppies and maple butter.

Friedman’s Lunch 75 Ninth Ave, 212-929-7100, friedmanslunch.com. Tucked away inside the prodigious Chelsea Market, Friedman’s Lunch is your gluten-free sandwich headquarters. Specializing in comfort food, Friedman’s serves a seasonal variety of natural, organic and vegetarian dishes.

Hu Kitchen 78 Fifth Ave, 212-510-8919, hu kitchen.com. The organic roasted chicken is superb, but they also offer tons of gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan menu options. Union Square’s Hu Kitchen caters to all types of nutritional lifestyles. Everyone is your Pride posse will be happy!

Sacred Chow 227 Sullivan St, 212-337-0863, sacredchow.com. The ideal place to go for post-Pride sustenance! Delectable vegan cuisine made with organic and kosher ingredients. Sacred Chow offers a tantalizing array of small plates, sandwiches and salads. Sample the house Caesar salad and the hummus du jour.

Pure Food and Wine 54 Irving Pl, 212-477-1010, purefoodandwine.com. Lesbians love their organic, raw, vegan cuisine. Pure Food and Wine offers glorious, uber-healthy food, juices and smoothies. This is the perfect stop to cleanse after Pride. Enjoy the beautiful garden area and scope out other health-conscious gals.

Bunna Café 1084 Flushing Ave, Brooklyn, 347-295-2227, bunnaethiopia.net. Dig Ethiopian food, but also dig the organic lifestyle? Then Bunna Café is the place for you! Head out to Brooklyn’s hipper-than-hip Bushwick nabe to check it out.

BRUNCH BITES

Cheryl’s Global Soul 236 Underhill Ave, Brooklyn, 347-529-2855, cherylsglobalsoul .com. This Prospect Heights gem is our go-to brunch place at GO, and it’s no wonder why! Mouthwatering salmon hash, buttermilk waffles, fresh fruity cocktails and first-rate coffee are only the beginning. After your first visit, it’ll be your favorite brunch place, too.

Amy Ruth’s Home-Style Southern Cuisine 113 W 116th St, 212-280-8779, amyruthsharlem .com. If you’re staying uptown, go to Amy Ruth’s on an empty stomach because you’ll be full to the max after eating this delicious Southern comfort food. Get the Reggie Miller or the Reverend Al Sharpton!

Milk Bar 620 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, 718-230-0844, milkbarbrooklyn.com. Head to this cute coffee place for breakfast, brunch, espresso, teas, cold drinks and sammies. The service is super-friendly and the food is dee-lish.

The Smile 26 Bond St, 646-329-5836, thesmile nyc.com. Ah, the Smile. You’ll leave smiling ear-to-ear after enjoying the American cuisine here. Try the potent brunch cocktails, kale salad and baked eggs.

Oda House 76 Ave B, 212-353-3838, odahouse.com. Authentic Georgian food in Alphabet City? You bet your khachapuri. This is New York! The khinkali (delicious dumplings) are a particular favorite of diners at this East-meets-West establishment.

Pillow Cafe-Lounge 505 Myrtle Ave, Brooklyn, 718-246-2711, pillowcafenyc.com. After the pillow talk, enjoy some amazing brunch and impeccable service at Pillow Cafe-Lounge. Get to know that special someone you met during Pride over an excellent cup of coffee. If you’re really digging the atmosphere, stay for a glass of wine.

‘ROUND-THE-CLOCK JOINTS

Bereket 187 E Houston St, 212-475-7700, no website. Bereket is a Turkish kebab house on the Lower East Side that offers affordable and authentic Middle Eastern food. Best of all, it stays open all night to satisfy your cravings!

Empanada Mama 763 Ninth Ave, 212-698-9008, empmamanyc.com. It’s a Hell’s Kitchen staple and for good reason: the empanadas are killer, but so is the rest of the menu, 24/7! We especially love the plantain chips.

Veselka 144 Second Ave, 212-228-9682 veselka .com. Although hip and updated, Veselka is still an old-school Ukrainian joint for night owls. (Especially those with a hankering for high-carb comfort food.) Order the boiled potato and cheese pierogies, and don’t forget the sour cream.

Coppelia 207 W 14th St, 212-858-5001, coppelia nyc.com. On the cusp of Chelsea and the West Village, you’ll likely find yourself in the vicinity of Coppelia during Pride. Stop in any time of the day or night for arepas, sweet potato fries and chicharron.

Daisy’s Diner 452 Fifth Ave, Brooklyn, 718-788-1438, daisysdiner.com. Daisy’s is such a classic, real-deal diner, you might think you’re in Jersey (even though you’re in the heart of lesbian mecca Park Slope!) Get the disco fries to complete the experience.

French Roast 78 W 11th St, 212-533-2233, frenchroastny.com. Ooo la la! A French bistro that never closes should be on your list of the best things in life. Relax with Pride pals during brunch, lunch or late-night cocktails. Bring a date and make out over the moules frites.

WHERE TO SHOP: DESIGNER DUDS

Macy’s 151 W 34th St, 212-695-4400, macys.com. Not just any Macy’s, ladies. This is the historic, original, flagship department store that takes up a whole city block! Go for amazing, everyday deals on top-quality designer merch.

Barney’s New York 660 Madison Ave, 212-826-8900, barneys.com. OK, so it’s ultra high-end and can do incredible damage to your wallet, but if you’ve got it to spare, go ahead and blow some cash at this elite designer emporium. If you’re broke, it costs nothing just to look around.

Bindle & Keep 964 Amsterdam Ave, Brooklyn, 917-740-5002, bindleandkeep.com. “The new bespoke you begins here.” Need a wedding suit? Schedule a fitting at Bindle & Keep in Park Slope, and they will totally hook you up to look more dapper than you ever dreamed possible.

Blue & Cream 1 E 1st St, 212-533-3088, blueandcream.com. This Bowery boutique carries hot designer labels at very reasonable prices, from suits to sneakers. And the convenient location is a super-plus, if you’re staying anywhere near the East Village or Lower East Side.

VINTAGE VARIETY

Beacon’s Closet 92 5th Ave, Brooklyn, 718-230-1630, beaconscloset.com. Try to hit this Park Slope vintage/modern thrift emporium—with surprisingly affordable prices. It’s best to show up early in the morning to avoid crowds of browsers. They’re no longer in Williamsburg, but there’s another outpost in Greenpoint and one in the West Village, too.

Edith Machinist 104 Rivington St, 212-979-9992, edithmachinist.com. A haven for the girly-girl, Edith Machinist offers a premium selection of vintage women’s shoes—flats, pumps, oxfords, platforms, boots and more. That’s the main draw of this chic Lower East Side boutique.

What Goes Around Comes Around 351 W Broadway, 212-343-1225, whatgoesaroundnyc .com. Here’s a place that carries vintage designer labels, not run-of-the-mill thrift merch. Paw through the artfully displayed and carefully curated vintage Chanel, Hermes, rock tees and more.

AuH2O 84 E 7th St, 212-466-0844, auh2oshop .com. Did you skip chemistry class in high school? If not, you’ll know the name of this charming boutique of certified pre-owned clothing, shoes and accessories. It is the epitome of green commerce. Be sure to check out the permanent $10-and-under rack for amaze-balls recycled bargains.

CURATED CURIOS

Goorin Bros. 337 Bleecker St, 212-256-1895, goorin.com. Hats, hats, hats! Beautifully crafted and curated chapeaus for lovers of fedoras, Panamas, derbys, stylin’ beanies and more.

Blue In Green 8 Greene St, 212-680-0555, blue ingreensoho.com. If you’re serious about denim, particularly Japanese denim, this is the place for you. They’ll measure you, account for shrinkage, and then hem your pair of uber-quality jeans that will last you a lifetime.

John Derian Company 6 E 2nd St, 212-677-3917, johnderian.com. Paperweights, trays, wall hangings and furniture—all gorgeous—bear Derian’s signature vintage aesthetic in his namesake emporium of home decor.

Kikkerland 493 Sixth Ave, 212-262-5000, kikker landnyc.com. If you love cool, kitschy knick-knacks with a Japanese or European design aesthetic (and who doesn’t?) check out this unique store. Lots of stuff for children if you’ve got kids in tow, or just for the kid in yourself.

PS9 169 N 9th St, Brooklyn, 718-486-6465 ps9pets.com. Traveling with your dog? Or want to bring home a souvenir for your best furry friend? This Williamsburg pet boutique carries a huge variety of organic and natural products, treats, toys and more.

BETWEEN THE PAGES

Bluestockings 172 Allen St, 212-777-6028, blue stockings.com. This Lower East Side bookstore is one of our absolute faves and has been for years. Bluestockings keeps the consciousness-raising flame alive with feminist readings, discussions, a selection of lefty tomes and delicious fair trade coffee.

Housing Works Bookstore Café 126 Crosby St, 212-334-3324, housingworks.org. Get your cheap travel or beach reading here, and it’s all for a wonderful cause. Proceeds from all book sales benefit programs for New York residents who are living with HIV/AIDS.

Strand Bookstore 828 Broadway, 212-473-1452, strandbooks.com. An NYC institution that everyone should visit at least once in their lives. The store’s tagline says it all: “18 miles of new, used and rare books” They’ve got hefty collections of LGBT, women’s studies, poetry, fiction and social science sections. The art books are serious bargains. Most paperbacks are 50 percent off the cover price.

McNally Jackson Books 52 Prince St, 212-274-1160, mcnallyjackson.com. Ellen Page was spotted here recently and that’s all you need to know! But other that that, it’s a trendy Nolita bookshop that holds readings and discussions. Coffee? Duh.

Spoonbill & Sugartown 218 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, 718-387-7322, spoonbillbooks.com. This sophisticated, edgy bookshop is a must, especially if you’re staying anywhere near Williamsburg, Greenpoint or Bushwick. New, used and rare art books abound. Whether you’re searching for an out-of-print biography or the latest issue of ARTFORUM, find it here.

SEXUAL HEALING

Babeland 43 Mercer St, 212-966-2120, babe land.com. Babeland is the ultimate toy store, and it should be a veritable ritual for every NYC visitor during Pride. Stop by Babeland and fill up your toy box with sexy silicone playthings, vibrating goodies and plenty of lascivious lube.

Kiki de Montparnasse 79 Greene St, 212-965-8070, kikidm.com. This is an upscale lingerie boutique, erotica shop and much more. Kiki’s offers barely-there brassieres and gossamer panties, as well as a butchier line of elegant underwear for the bois.

Pink Pussycat Boutique 167 W 4th St, 212-243-3380, pinkpussycatny.com. A Greenwich Village adult staple, Pink Pussycat Boutique is where you’ll find S&M gear like whips and floggers, leather masks, ticklers, fetish wear, lingerie, lube, erotic DVDs and, of course, toys.

Orchard Corset Center 157 Orchard St, 212-674-0786, no website. If you’re looking for a fancy-schmancy retail experience, this ain’t it. You won’t find any artful displays of lingerie in this old-school Lower East Side shop. But you will find perfectly-sized bras, corsets, bustiers, foundation garments and other must-have girly items. It’s well worth a visit.

Agent Provocateur 133 Mercer St, 212-965-0229, agentprovocateur.com. If Victoria’s Secret doesn’t quite cut it for you or your gf, turn to this upscale SoHo boutique made for the sexy sophisticate. Stock up on beautiful lingerie, delicate stockings and erotic-looking underthings, or just flirt with the hot sales associates.

MARKETING EXPERTS

Dover Street Market 160 Lexington Ave, no website. How does celeb-spotting on seven floors of artfully presented designer brands and merchandise sound? Pretty good, right? Recover from your epic shopping trip at Rose Bakery with a frosty iced cappuccino.

Eataly NYC 200 5th Ave, 212-229-2560, eataly.com. Who needs an expensive trip to Tuscany? Fill up your senses with imported Italian wines, cheeses, salumi, pastas, coffees, olive oils, meats, seafood and a wonderful array of prepared foods. Eataly also makes a mean daily mozzarella!

Union Square Greenmarket 1 Union Sq W, 212-788-7476, grownyc.org/greenmarket. If you’re single, scope out the babes at this bustling, outdoor farmer’s market. You might meet ‘the One’ reaching for the same bunch of rhubarb, eyeing the edible flowers or fondling the heirloom tomatoes.

BKLYN Larder 228 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, 718-783-1250, bklynlarder.com. Never mind the nondescript exterior, BKLYN Larder is bursting with foodie favorites like artisanal sandwiches, locavore meats and cheeses, organic produce, honey, pickles, beers, baked goodies and much more.

WHERE TO PLAY: LET THE SUN SHINE IN

HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival Bryant Park (near Sixth Ave), bryantpark.org. Pack a quilt, a picnic basket or cooler, and some chilled drinks for this outdoor Monday night movie series. Arrive early, because the lawn space fills up quickly! Highlights: Saturday Night Fever (Jun 16), National Lampoon’s Vacation (Jul 21) and The Shining (Aug 18).

Red Hook Food Vendors Ball Field 1 in Red Hook Recreation Area, Brooklyn. For nearly 40 years, these talented food vendors have been serving up the most authentic and traditional Latin American grub in NYC. And you can’t beat the location in one of Brooklyn’s most historic and vibrant nabes. Come hungry! Walk it off on a stroll through Red Hook’s Columbia Street Waterfront District or go shopping at nearby IKEA Brooklyn.

Seastreak Ferry seastreak.com. Need a little splashy overseas getaway? Buy a ticket on the ultra-fast Seastreak luxury ferries. Spend a day at the beach at Sandy Hook, NJ, or let Seastreak carry you all the way to Martha’s Vineyard for an unforgettable weekend in New England. Check out their special events, too.

Gray Line Double-Decker Bus Tours newyork sightseeing.com. Enjoy the view of the Big Apple from a deluxe double-decker, hop-on, hop-off bus tour that includes both the uptown and downtown highlights, Brooklyn and night loops. If you’re brand-spanking-new to the city, Gray Line also offers fully guided NYC tours. Touristy fun! And a wonderful way to see all the essential sights.

Staten Island Ferry siferry.com. The 5-mile, 25-minute ride aboard one of these iconic, bright orange vessels is a quintessential New York experience. While the boat may be crowded with tourists, it’s a) free and b) almost impossible to take a bad photo of the Statue of Liberty from anywhere on board. Bonus: You can enjoy a glorious sunset over New York Harbor in the evening, if you time it right. It’s a win-win.

Loeb Boathouse Central Park, thecentralpark boathouse.com. There is nothing more romantic than exploring Central Park’s serpentine lake by rowboat. It’s also pretty darn cheap! Boats are $15 per hour (cash only), $3.00 for each additional 15 minutes with a $20 cash deposit.

Prospect Park Brooklyn, 718-965-8951, prospectpark.org. No visit to Brooklyn (or NYC, for that matter) would be complete without spending an afternoon in this vast, 500-plus acre public park. There are tons of outdoor concerts and summertime activites, but it’s also an ideal setting for a picnic, or photo ops of landmark architecture and stunning natural beauty.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden 900 Washington Ave (at President St), Brooklyn, 718-623-7200, bbg.org. Stroll through the carefully curated gardens and wear comfortable shoes because you won’t want to miss an inch of it. The Cherry Esplanade is a beautiful, fragrant place to relax under the clouds, marvel at lovely blossoms, whisper sweet nothings to your boo or even steal a smooch.

Audubon Eco-Cruises Departs from Pier 17 at South Street Seaport, 212-742-1969, nywatertaxi.com/tours/audubon. Audubon Eco-Cruises are a best-kept secret in New York, and they’re not just for birdwatchers. Take your binoculars and sail along with the Audubon Society’s urban naturalists to see uninhabited islands and enjoy fascinating, close-up views of New York Harbor.

Coney Island Near Surf Ave, Brooklyn, coney island.com. It’s world-famous for its boardwalk, burlesque babes, Nathan’s hot dogs, fireworks and freakshows—New York’s seaside summer playground has it all. Don’t miss the festive procession of Neptune’s courtesans and sexy sea sirens at the iconic 32nd annual Mermaid Parade on Jun 21.

Shakespeare in the Park Delacorte Theater in Central Park, 212-539-8500, shakespeareinthe park.org. This is a longtime NYC summer tradition and it’s free! The Public Theater kicks off its wildly popular season in Central Park with a star-studded production of Much Ado About Nothing (Jun 3-Jul 6), followed by King Lear (Jul 22-Aug 17).

Bronx Zoo 2300 Southern Blvd, Bronx, bronx zoo.com. Lions, tigers and bears…oh, my? Yup. How about adorable free-roaming peacocks? Check. And you’ll also see big cats, giraffes, gorillas, sea lions, snakes, reptiles, zebras, elephants, rhinos and tons more. Take your digital camera or charge up your iPhone for exotic animal photo ops.

Kayaking on the Hudson River downtownboat house.org. The Downtown Boathouse will let you paddle on the Hudson—for free—at three locations along the river. Borrow a sit-on-top kayak from May to October and explore the waters. They will give you brief instruction and provide all the necessary safety equipment; they also provide changing rooms, lockers, locks, bike locks, sunscreen and basic first aid supplies. Anchors aweigh!

INSIDE ATTRACTIONS

The Center 208 W 13th St, 212-620-7310, gaycenter.org. NYC’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center, or just the Center, for short, is where you should pick up your copy of GO and peruse the packed calendar of meetings, support groups, classes and LGBT-minded cultural happenings. You’re sure to make fast friends here, no matter where you’re from.

Lesbian Herstory Archives  484 14th St, Brooklyn, 718-768-DYKE, lesbianherstory archives.org. Support the city’s only repository of lesbian herstory and culture, conveniently located in the heart of Brooklyn’s lesbian Mecca, Park Slope. The all-volunteer organization holds open hours, but they change frequently; to find out when they’re open, call or check out the online calendar. Don’t miss their annual open house and tours on Jun 28.

Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 5th Ave (at E 82nd St), 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org. The perfect destination for your NYC culture fix. Sip a refreshing drink on the Met’s roof after checking out the vast permanent collections. Be sure to catch Lost Kingdoms: Hindu-Buddhist Sculpture of Early Southeast Asia, on view through Jul 27.

Anthology Film Archives 32 2nd Ave, 212-505-5181, anthologyfilmarchives.org. Anthology’s critically acclaimed programming champions new and obscure filmmakers, out-of-print movies and avant-garde cinema, with occasional screenings of long-lost queer classics.

Chelsea Piers W 23rd St at the Hudson River, chelseapiers.com. An immense indoor-outdoor megaplex with fitness facilities for sports and all kinds of events. You can swim, take yoga or fitness classes, or get sweaty with some rock climbing and kickboxing. Cool down at Chelsea Piers’ onsite spa after an extreme workout.

Brooklyn Museum 200 Eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn, 718-638-5000, brooklynmuseum.org. The innovative exhibits at this world-class institution rival those of any Manhattan museum. Target First Saturdays events feature live music, film screenings, performances and Brooklyn’s beautiful people.

Brooklyn Academy of Music 651 Fulton St, Brooklyn, 718-636-4100, bam.org. This multi-arts complex sponsors cutting-edge programming in independent cinema, dance, opera, theater and literature. Explore their website for all the latest info on BAM’s impressive summer schedule of cultural offerings.

Museum of Modern Art 11 W 53rd St, 212-708-9400, moma.org. MoMA is a must-see for any tourist and houses NYC’s finest collection of American and European 20th century art, plus groundbreaking exhibits and a serene sculpture garden, right in the middle of bustling midtown. Don’t pass up the new Sigmar Polke exhibition, on view through Aug 3.

The Leslie–Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art 26 Wooster St, 212-431-2609, leslielohman.org. The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art is NYC’s epicenter of LGBTQ art. Check out the online calendar of events or just peruse the impressive collection of paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography and so much more.

New York Public Library: Stephen A. Schwartzman Building 5th Ave and 42nd St, nypl.org. Not just a library, NYPL is a cultural megacenter with readings, workshops, exhibitions and all kinds of stimulating activities. But, yeah, sure, it’s also a library. Request obscure lezzie lit or browse historical newspapers, update your Facebook status on the computers or just admire the beautifully restored Rose Reading Room. If it gets sweltering hot this summer, hole up in here and bring a hoodie. The A/C is crazy cold!

Whitney Museum of American Art 945 Madison Ave, 212-570-3600, whitney.org. Like its name suggests, the Whitney is the world’s leading museum of 20th-century and contemporary American art. Unlike the Met, the Whitney focuses primarily on works by living artists of the U.S. The 2014 Whitney Biennial just closed recently, but you can still explore its renowned permanent collection, which includes nearly 20,000 works by 3,000 artists, along with plenty of special exhibitions.

Museum of Sex 233 5th Ave, 212-689-6337, museumofsex.com. Where else can you peruse a collection of vintage vibrators? “Dedicated to the exploration of the history, evolution and cultural significance of human sexuality,” the Museum of Sex houses a fascinating permanent collection that comprises tens of thousands of objects. Be sure to catch the intriguing current exhibition on Linda Lovelace.