17 Reasons New York City is Looking Forward to 2019

Hey! 2019 is on its way, and we’re looking forward to it. Why, you ask? Because of all the exciting stuff coming to New York City. The New Year promises a slew of museum exhibitions, breweries, concerts and comedy shows, plus World Pride and even a museum for dogs. For details on these and more reasons we can scarcely contain ourselves, read on.

  1. World Pride is coming, along with a big anniversary. Pride month in NYC is always big—but this year, in honor of the Stonewall Uprising’s 50th anniversary, it’s going to be epic. Expect June to be packed with special events and exhibits commemorating the dawn of the modern LGBTQ rights movement, as well as some massive celebrations to mark the progress that’s been made. World Pride is coming to the City for the first time as well, with millions expected for an extra-special Pride March on the last Sunday in June. —Brian Sloan
  2. We’ll turn on those sad songs (and some happy ones too). Still standing after all these years, Elton John is getting ready to hang up his electric boots and mohair suit. Mad at the man across the water? Don’t shoot the piano player. Instead, score a ticket to Madison Square Garden (March 5 & 6) or Barclays Center (March 8 & 9) for one last walk down the yellow brick road. Though Elton’s hit-filled setlist has been pretty consistent, we refuse to believe he won’t play his and Bernie Taupin’s off-kilter ode to NYC, “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters,” at this final city run in March. —Andrew Rosenberg
  3. In fact, we’re gonna rock and roll all night. And, with the help of KISS (“farewell tour” shows March 27 and August 20 at MSG and Barclays Center, respectively), party every day. Other big concerts include Talib Kweli (BRIC House, February 14), Kool and the Gang (St. George Theatre, February 15), Weezer and the Pixies (MSG, March 12), Fleetwood Mac (MSG, March 11 & 18), Spinal Tap!!!! (Tribeca Film Festival, April 24), Cher (Barclays Center, 5/2) and the accordion-toting king of pop parodies himself, Weird Al (Forest Hills Stadium, July 20). Nineties nostalgists may want to check out Hootie and the Blowfish (MSG, August 10), while punk fans can see Jeff Rosenstock record his live album during a four-night run at Bowery Ballroom (February 6–9). —Jonathan Zeller
  4. Cultured canines can finally enjoy a day at the museum. The AKC Museum of the Dog knows that dogs are not only worthy subjects of art but also worthy (and adorable) museum goers. The institution—which has just moved to New York City from St. Louis—will invite both humans and their canine companions to view its collection of dog-centric artworks. The grand opening is in January but stay tuned for details about when dogs will get the official go-ahead to enter. —Gillian Osswald
  5. Moulin Rouge is on its way to Broadway. Stage adaptations of movies are all the rage on the Great White Way, and some films lend themselves to the theater more than others. Moulin Rouge is definitely a natural fit. Baz Luhrmann’s over-the-top musical about a Parisian courtesan and a penniless writer promises all the flash and glitz that can fit on one stage. Yes, there will be a spinning red windmill, plus Satine swinging high above. There will also be cabaret-style seating. Previews begin June 28. —Danielle Contrary
  6. As is Tootsie. Taking the 1980s classic comedy as inspiration, this new show follows a struggling actor who transforms himself into a stalwart actress. He becomes a star not in a soap, but…wait for it…a big Broadway musical. This meta-take, which lands March 29, got raves in its Chicago tryout, especially for the performance of leading “lady” Santino Fontana (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Frozen). —BS
  7. Baseball’s back. All right! The hot stove has us excited for the spring start of the 2019 baseball season, when the Mets (who’ve added slugger Robinson Cano, closer Edwin Diaz and catcher Wilson Ramos to a team that already includes reigning National League Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom) and the Yankees (who won 100 games last year, return all of their core players, traded for pitcher James Paxton and have plans to add more—maybe even the likes of Manny Machado) both go all in on plans to win now. —JZ
  8. You can look but you better not touch (don’t even point). The implements that the greatest musicians of the past century used to kick out the jams will be on display at the Met Fifth Avenue. Expect Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock and Roll to have a strong rhythm section but be especially heavy on guitars, with examples from luminaries such as Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix, St. Vincent and Steve Miller—who not long ago donated an D’Aquisto archtop to the institution (the click is worth it to read his anecdote of becoming a board member at Jazz at Lincoln Center). —AR
  9. Mapplethorpe is at the Guggenheim. Robert Mapplethorpe was the quintessential New York artist; born in Queens, he studied at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, lived in the Chelsea Hotel and made his most stunning, shocking work in a Noho studio back in downtown’s 1970s and ’80s art heyday. This year, he gets a major retrospective of his photography in the city he called home. The two-part exhibit launches at the Guggenheim in January (and continues into 2020). —BS
  10. FIT’s museum is turning 50. The Fashion Institute of Technology has many notable graduates (Michael Kors, Carolina Herrera and Calvin Klein among them), and its free on-site museum mounts displays of student work and historically significant pieces. The museum is celebrating its 50th year by revisiting notable exhibitions from its past—including one focusing on surrealism (which includes a lobster dress designed by Elsa Schiaparelli and Salvador Dali) and others highlighting the contributions of black and LGBTQ designers. —DC
  11. We’re Shedding. For five or so years, Manhattan’s newest neighborhood—Hudson Yards—has been buzzing with activity and construction. This spring, some of that work quiets down as The Shed, the cultural centerpiece of this new city within the City, opens its doors. The adaptive, rolling space, which has drawn accolades for its architecturally daring design, will host a broad slate of arts programming. —BS
  12. And the High Line is getting artsier. Stay tuned for the 2019 opening of the High Line Plinth, which will add dedicated park space for contemporary public art exhibitions year-round. Of course, the new pavilion also means more seating and more city views along the ever-popular westside walkway. –GO
  13. Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge are coming to the Public. Sea Wall/A Life is a two-part presentation that will run for just two months at The Public Theater. Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge are each set to tackle a different monologue created by writers they’ve collaborated with in previous plays. Sturridge tackles Simon Stephens’ Sea Wall, while Gyllenhaal performs Nick Payne’s A Life. —DC
  14. 2019 looks like another good year for comedy. Three decades after his sitcom first hit the airwaves, Jerry Seinfeld is set to do a monthly residency (for at least the first half of the year) at the Beacon Theatre. Chris Gethard, an nycgo.com favorite, will put on shows at Union Hall on January 24 and 31, while the Lucas Brothers hit the Bell House on January 25. Patton Oswalt plays the Beacon Theatre on March 3; the Garden of Dreams benefit brings the likes of Tiffany Haddish, John Mulaney, Jon Stewart and Michael Che to Theater at MSG on April 2; and David Sedaris tells stories at the Town Hall on May 10. Plus, all year long, we’ve got great recurring shows like Butterboy, at Littlefield, hosted by Jo Firestone, Aparna Nancherla and Maeve Higgins. —nycgo.com staff
  15. Because you may have forgotten that it’s pronounced “Fronk-en-steen.” What decade comes first to mind—or at least should—when you think of comic moviemaking? The folks at Film Forum make the case for the 1970s, showcasing influential (and relentlessly quotable) classics like Animal House, Young Frankenstein, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Female Trouble and Real Life. Those trailblazers head a deep roster for Far-Out in the 70s: A New Wave of Comedy, 1969–79, taking place January and February. —AR
  16. We’ll toast two new breweries in NYC. The craft beer scene is still brewing strong in the City. In 2019, look for a much-anticipated and expansive Ridgewood taproom from Evil Twin, plus Manhattan contender Torch & Crown launching an ambitious brewery, taproom and kitchen in Soho. —GO
  17. And we’ll dine with the kings of Spain. It seems like everyone has picked up on the Eataly model these days, varying it accordingly by nationality. But when the people behind the concept are small-plates big cheese José Andrés and El Bulli’s Ferrian Adrià (along with Adria’s brother, Albert)—some of the top talent in the chef world—you tend to take notice. Their indoor-outdoor Spanish food hall, Mercado Little Spain, is due in Hudson Yards in spring 2019. —AR

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