by Brian Lipton

While not every New Yorker – or visitor – relishes the idea of being in the Big Apple during the steamy month of July, there are tons of new restaurants, bars, exhibitions, shows and attractions to make you glad you’re here. Here’s a sampling of what’s available.


Staying at the airport is usually a last resort, but the recently opened TWA Hotel at JFK Airport is more like an actual resort. Built on the site of Eero Saarinen’s landmark 1962 terminal, this luxurious 500+room property includes eateries and lounges run by such industry giants as Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Scott Gerber, a gorgeous rooftop pool/bar, a public observation deck, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a variety of great shops, and much more. You might even delay your flight home! (JFK Airport. 212-806-9000)


Chef Hiroki Odo has created an unforgettable dining experience with this unusual two-in-one space. In the AM, it serves light breakfast fare and coffee and then churns out superb burgers and sandwiches for lunch (on weekdays) before transforming itself at night into an intimate craft cocktail bar with a specially curated menu of plates focusing on Washugyu beef. For those looking for an even more special dinner, guests can locate the hidden door in Hall which leads the speakeasy, Odo, where if you can snag a reserved seat at the 14-seat chef’s counter, you’ll be treated to a nine-course epicurean journey that simply has to be tasted to be believed! (17 West 20th Street. No phone)


Once considered a rather cheesy touristy destination, the revamped South Street Seaport is a now a must-go place for all, whether for seeing big-name acts atop Pier 17 – July’s artists include Sarah Silverman, the Steve Miller Band, and Sheryl Crow – taking in an exhibition like “The Printed Port” at the informative South Street Seaport Museum, or visiting the cargo hold of the historic ship The Wavertree. New this summer (but only on weekends), you can take a 45-minute ride on New York’s last working New-York-built wooden tugboat, the W.O. Decker, which will cruise the tip of lower Manhattan, giving its riders extraordinary views of the skyline, Battery Park, Castle Clinton National Monument and river views of One World Trade Center. (12 Fulton Street)


This much-awaited addition to Williamsburg’s POD hotel is NYC’s only solar-powered rooftop beer garden, which might be reason enough to visit. Better still, in addition to enjoying stunning outdoor views, guests can enjoy a wide selection of beer, wines and specialty cocktails like a Spicy Summer Margarita, the BK Mezcal Swizzle and the Clinton Cooler (made with Tito’s) along with an extensive menu featuring two types of hot dogs and three kinds of lobster rolls. All hail the hall! (247 Metropolitan Avenue. 929-419-6988)


This new boutique hotel in Chelsea’s flower district, designed by the legendary David Rockwell, has a variety of great spaces to check out. There are ground-floor eateries Feroce Caffe, known for its authentic cappuccinos and espressos, and the beautifully designed Feroce Ristorante, where the menu features imported ingredients from historic brands and small producers from across Italy; the gorgeous second-floor Bar Feroce, a modern oasis where one can enjoy oven-fired pizzas and classic cocktails, the tranquil Bar Feroce’s Backyard, an all-season garden terrace; and the fabulous Fleur, the glamorous penthouse bar on the hotel’s 35th floor, which offers breathtaking views of New York City to enjoy while sipping luscious libations. (105 West 28th Street. 212-514-6699)


Perhaps the only thing better than enjoying a great steak is eating it in a swanky restaurant. At the recently opened BLT Prime, sink into a curvy cognac leather banquette or sit around a beautifully appointed table and indulge in some of the finest cuts of meats to be found anywhere in Manhattan. And non-carnivores have no need to fear, as the extensive menu also includes such delicacies as tuna tartare, baked King Ora salmon, sautéed dover sole and a lobster cobb salad. It’s prime dining to be sure! (1032 Lexington Avenue. 212-995-8500)


One of China and Hong Kong’s most popular hangouts – with over 160 locations overseas – Helen’s finally makes its way across the ocean this summer. Nestled in a cozy downstairs space in the midst of the Meatpacking District, Helen’s offers such exotic cocktails as the Lychee Martini, Pearl of the Orient, China Doll and Bangkok Heat (yep, it’s got chili) along with a small selection of dim-sum like dishes such as beef potstickers and pork chashu buns. (26 Ninth Avenue.


Every town needs a special sports bar where they can cheer on their hometown favorites. And you can definitely yell for (or at) the Yankees at Gold Bear, a bright, cleverly decorated bi-level space with more than 15 TVs (including a couple in private booths). Or you can just partake in its superb selection of draft beers, curated whiskey and craft cocktails, as well as nibble on everything from poutine with duck confit (an intriguing take on a Canadian favorite), short rib tacos, homemade tater tots or the house’s delicious Gold Bear burger. (377 Park Avenue South. 646-850-1400)


If you can’t make it out to the Hamptons or the Hudson Valley, you can still sample some of these regions’ local delicacies at North Fork, which is dedicated to a true farm-to-table experience. The extensive menu ranges from escargots and duck (both from Long Island) to Atlantic bass, Colorado lamb, grilled asparagus and roasted cauliflower (both from Coxsackie, New York) and so much more. It’s all-American comfort food at its finest. (122 Christopher Street. 347-403-1627)


One can always count on the Museum at FIT to enlighten and educate us, even about our own industry. Their latest exhibition, “Minimalism/Maximalism,” features more than 90 garments, accessories, and textiles from the permanent collection that explore the various ways that minimalist and maximalist aesthetics have manifested themselves in fashion over the past three centuries. Come see distinctive designs from Rei Kawakubo, Coco Chanel, Balenciaga, Hardy Amies, Andre Courreges, Raf Simons and many other visionaries. (227 West 27th Street. 212-217-4558)


While much of the hoopla over the recently opened Hudson Yards has rightly focused on its multi-story shopping mall (home of NYC’s first Neiman-Marcus) and “The Vessel,” a remarkable outdoor sculpture that serves as the complex’s centerpiece, one shouldn’t overlook The Shed. This state-of-the-art performance space includes a spacious lounge, art gallery, and theater that make it a very welcome addition to NYC’s cultural scene. Luckily, July is the perfect time to check out the McCourt theater, which is hosting “Dragon Phoenix Spring Rise,” a musical collaboration from (among others) the creators of the popular movie “Kung Fu Panda,” internationally renowned songstress Sia, the Venezuelan artist Arca and the amazing choreographer Akram Kahn. Everybody rise, indeed! (545 West 30th Street.


The glamour of Toulouse Lautrec’s Paris takes on a whole new look – and feel – in “Moulin Rouge,” the new Broadway extravaganza adapted from Baz Luhrmann’s ultra-popular 2001 film. Blending romance, melodrama, unbelievable visuals and a slew of pop songs from Lady Gaga, LaBelle, Beyoncé, and countless others – sung by such esteemed theatrical talents as Karen Olivo, Aaron Tveit, Sahr Nguajah and Danny Burstein – this spectacle-driven offering is bound to be boffo at the box office! (Al Hirschfeld Theatre. 302 West 45th Street.