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Leave the Conference—Please!

posted by Christopher Howard — Dec 20, 2016

Have some free time? Looking for a good place to brainstorm 2018 session ideas over a drink? Want food recommendations other than Yelp? We love our attendees at the conference, but we also want you to leave. To help, CAA has compiled a list of staff members’ favorite places offsite. Here are a few highlights.

For drinks in midtown, CAA recommends the Library Bar, a cozy spot in the Hudson Hotel with a fireplace, books, and a pool table, and Tanner Smith’s, which boasts a great happy hour and superb cocktails. For those heading downtown, Henrietta Hudson in the West Village is a friendly bar for lesbians. In nearby Greenwich Village is Julius’, the site of a 1966 “sip in” that protested a state regulation prohibiting bars and restaurants from serving homosexuals. If watching NBA basketball or NHL hockey is your thing, the place to go is Boxers, New York’s preeminent gay sports bar, located in Hell’s Kitchen.

Everyone must eat! Within a few blocks of the conference CAA staff can recommended these three restaurants, among several others: China Grill serves upmarket Asian fusion; Fig & Olive offers upscale season Mediterranean fare and a great happy hour; and Nougatine at Jean-Georges is the home of a tasty and reasonably priced prix-fixe lunch.

A short cab or train ride away from the conference hotels are: Elephant & Castle, a charming café in the West Village; Vanessa’s Dumpling House, which dishes up inexpensive dumplings and amazing sesame pancakes, in Union Square; and Yuka, a sushi restaurant on the Upper East Side famous for its all-you-can-eat option. In the same neighborhood as Yuka is Candle 79, serving eclectic, health-conscious organic vegan dishes in swanky surroundings.

Although the Museum of Modern Art is only a half-block away from the Hilton, CAA staff recommends trekking uptown to the Met Cloisters, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s outpost for medieval European art, as well as to various locations in Harlem for Art in FLUX. An organization whose politics lean left is Interference Archive, a library, gallery, and archive of activist and social-justice movement materials in Brooklyn.

A popular but lesser-known historical site is the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, which tells the story of urban immigration in the United States. A favorite place of contemplation for one CAA staff member is the Irish Hunger Memorial, a site in lower Manhattan that marks the struggle against hunger amid a sublime view of the New York Harbor.

Filed under: Annual Conference, Uncategorized