What’s New: 12 Reasons to be Excited About Spring (2014 Ed.)

New restaurant at Bedford Post Inn

From a paper factory-turned-hotel in Long Island City, to New York’s very first shuffleboard club and the BRIC House for the Arts, New Yorkers have had plenty of new distractions to help them get through a relentless winter. And they will have many more to enjoy this spring.

Here are a few things we’re excited about:

1. Montreal’s new ALT Hotel, an eco-friendly hotel featuring sleek, contemporary rooms (and special rates until May 31) in the city’s Griffintown neighborhood.

2. Michael White’s Altamarea Group is taking the reigns of the kitchen at Richard Gere and Cary Lowell’s Bedford Post Inn. The Bedford, N.Y. luxury inn and yoga studio’s fine dining restaurant, The Farmhouse, will become Campagna, serving seasonal and Italian cuisine.

3. In case the views, the pizza, the carousel, and Smorgasburg weren’t enough to draw you to Brooklyn Bridge Park, the new Pier 2 should do the trick. Five fresh acres of recreation area, Pier 2 will feature basketball, handball, and bocce courts, plus a full size in-line skating rink and picnic tables.

4. This year, Key West comes to NYC at the New York Botanical Garden. The annual Orchid Show brings the Florida Keys to life through a modernist tropical garden, island architecture, and cultural events like live concerts and Orchid Evenings.

5. Opening in June, The Break will be Narragansett, R.I.’s first boutique hotel. With a poolside restaurant and bar, and an ocean-view rooftop lounge, the retro-chic hotel is an ideal spot to chill out between surfing and sunbathing.

6. Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program debuts four new tours this spring: two separate Mural Mile Walking Tours and two trolley tours. America’s First Highway Mural Tour rides along the country’s first highway, Lincoln Highway (a.k.a. Route 30). Philadelphia’s Reimagined Landscapes Mural Tour travels through the Frankford and Kensington neighborhoods, exploring the past and present of the city’s rust belt neighborhoods.

7. The New York Historical Society exhibit, Bill Cunningham: Facades. In 1968, photograph Bill Cunningham began documenting New York City’s architectural riches and fashion history. Eight years later, the result was Facades, a photo essay of silver gelatin prints, mixing historical architecture and period costumes.

8. Built around the history and culture of Providence, The Dean Hotel was a religious refuge and a strip club (not simultaneously) before it became an uber-hip hotel. Like the rest of The Dean, the hotel’s Bolt Coffee shop blends nicely in Brooklyn. The Dean’s beer hall, karaoke bar, and cocktail lounge open soon. Explore the town on one of the hotel’s five complimentary vintage bikes.

9. After over a decade of throwing underground dance parties, Verboten has set down roots in Williamsburg. The former metal shop will play host to electronic D.J.s and live shows, art shows, cabaret, and a small plates restaurant helmed by chef Jeremie Tomczak (Red Rooster, Aquavit).

10. One more reason to show Crown Heights some love: Berg’n. Opening this spring, the beer hall is the latest creation from the force behind Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg. The beer hall will feature fine eats from the likes of Asia Dog, Mighty Quiennn’s, Pizza Moto, and Ramen Burger.

11. Washington D.C. has been patiently awaiting Maketto for years. A hybrid concept that’s already come to life in pop-up, or “residency,” form, Maketto is slated to open this spring. The Asian-inspired food-meets-fashion market is a joint venture between Toki Underground chef Erik Bruner-Tang and men’s label DURKL—with Vigilante Coffee to boot.

12. April 21 marks the first Boston Marathon since the 2013 bombings, and promises to be a powerful day for runners and spectators alike. From April 7-May 11, The Boston Public Library will host Dear Boston: Messages from the Marathon Memorial. The exhibit will feature a selection of items from the makeshift memorial that took shape in the wake of the tragedy.

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