How a Rockette Spends a Day Off in New York City
From the kickline to the Highline, a Rockette dishes on some of her favorite places in New York City.
The Rockettes are as synonymous with New York City as the Empire State Building or Times Square. But what most people don't realize is that the ladies on stage are professional athletes, training like Olympians for a grueling schedule of two-a-day shows for months at a time.
These professional dancers not only train and rehearse six days a week, but many of them also have side jobs around the city.
In addition to gracing the stage, Lindsay Howe, 32, who will be performing in her 14th season at the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes when it opens November 11, also teaches classes at Body By Simone, a boutique fitness studio in Chelsea. This leaves her with just one precious day off a week.
Howe shared with Travel + Leisure her typical off-day agenda, so now you, too, can tour New York City like a pro.
Where to Eat
Howe calls Bohemian her “special place,” and for good reason: To enter the establishment, which feels like an intimate Japanese living room, you have to pass through a butcher shop.
This gives the restaurant a speakeasy vibe—you have to email for a reservation or know someone who knows someone—but once you're in, you're in for the night. Unlike other New York City restaurants, which can feel like you're being rushed out the door on the reservation assembly line, Bohemian lets you stay all night.
“The food is phenomenal,” Howe said. “The experience is super intimate. Once you're booked the table is yours for the night. You can stay for hours and not feel rushed. They're very accommodating.”
At this trendy Lower East Side eatery, which serves brunch, lunch, and dinner, Howe can't get enough of the burger and fries. So much so that she even had her wedding reception there.
“The burger melts in your mouth and comes with these chunky duck-fat fries,” Howe said. “I got married at Governor's Island, and we actually bused everyone to The Fat Radish to eat afterwards.”
Howe lives on the Upper West Side, so it's really convenient to have a Momofuku Milk Bar nearby, she says. While it's hard to pick a favorite treat—the crack pie and cereal milk are must-trys—Howe says to look out for the Thanksgiving croissant, which is only available in November.
“It's everything you want from Thanksgiving rolled up in a celery-salted croissant,” she said.
What to Do
For pet owners, you can bring your dogs to Central Park before 9 a.m. for some off-leash fun, which is something that Howe tries to do every morning. For an off-the-beaten path adventure, Howe suggests heading up to around 101 St., where there's a series of hiking trails, beautiful waterfalls, and more gems that you'd never know were there.
“It's not congested in the north part of the park,” Howe said. “If you take the train a few stops up, you'll find a lot of beautiful things that aren't on your typical Central Park checklist. I wander around and still find new things I never knew were there.”
After teaching at Body By Simone, Howe can simply walk down the Highline to the new Meatpacking District location of The Whitney Museum of Art: “The Whitney is the perfect spot for me,” said Howe. “There's just a handful of floors and it's not as high-traffic as some other museums in the city. I leave feeling more creative and invigorated.”
There are a plethora of sample sales always going on in the city, but for Howe, the best place to go is 260's large showroom on Fifth Avenue.
“Sample sales are my thing; I'm constantly on the lookout,” Howe said. “It's something you can only do in NYC, and you can find one-of-a-kind pieces that you'll never see on the rack at a department store.”
What to Try
All that makeup and sweat takes a toll on Howe's skin, but when you only have one day off a week, who wants to sit in a spa for hours getting a facial? That's why she prefers the quick service that Skin Laundry offers.
“My new current obsession is this place called Skin Laundry,” Howe said. “It offers a laser and light facial that is super fast, especially perfect for when you are on vacation or don't have a lot of time. I leave glowing and refreshed.”
Howe says that many of The Rockettes are into the nail art trend because it's the one part of their bodies that is not in costume: “I found this place called Valley Nails in Chelsea after teaching at Body By Simone one day. It's so fun to get nail art because it's the one thing we can change on our own.”
At Valley Nails, you book nail art in time frames (15, 30, 45, or 60 minutes) so you can be in control of your time and money.