In celebration of Women’s History Month kicks off March 1, 2021, and International Women’s Day on March 8, 2021, NYC & Company.
The official destination marketing organization and convention and visitors bureau for the five boroughs of New York City is encouraging New Yorkers and visitors to support women-owned and women-operated businesses including hotels, restaurants, and shops and to explore countless cultural offerings and sites of historical significance all year-round, with an “NYC-cation” in the five boroughs.
“As Women’s History Month kicks off, NYC & Company proudly celebrates all the women who have made and continue to make an indelible mark on New York City. Female-owned and -operated businesses are so vital to our City and our industry, and we invite New Yorkers and visitors to support these enterprises now and into the future. It’s my honor and privilege to celebrate these women today and every day alongside my wonderful and talented female colleagues at NYC & Company,” said Nancy Mammana, NYC & Company’s chief marketing officer.
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Those exploring the City are asked to wear masks, practice social distancing, and frequently wash and sanitize hands, as indicated in NYC & Company’s Stay Well Pledge, and check with individual businesses for current operating status and hours, as well as health and safety protocols, prior to visiting.
Below is a brief selection of staycation ideas and women-led businesses to support during Women’s History Month and beyond:
Stay at Hotels Owned and Operated by Women
- The Boro Hotel in Long Island City, Queens is both owned and operated by women: Owners and sisters Liz and Antonia Batalias and General Manager Mary O’Sullivan oversee the property, which is known for its industrial décor and breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline.
- Conrad New York DowntownMarlene Poynder has served as the hotel’s General Manager since
- Just 20 minutes from Lower Manhattan, Owner Lois Nicotra and General Manager Kimberly Pintus’ Hilton Garden Inn New York/Staten Islandfeatures more than 400 acres of beautiful grounds, indoor and outdoor art, a Butterfly Meadow, and more.
- InterContinental New York Times Square offers chic rooms and a tranquil guest experience in the Crossroads of the World. General Manager Gul Turkmenoglu oversees the iconic 36-story property.
- The Lotte New York Palace, led by General Manager Rebecca Hubbard, is just steps from St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Rockefeller Center. With 909 guest rooms and suites and five-star service, the hotel is a true New York City landmark.
- General Manager Nur Ercan-Magden leads the team at The Marmara Park Avenue, a sleek boutique property where guests can experience luxury amenities such as a subterranean Lap Pool & An Authentic Turkish Bath.
- The New Yorker, a Wyndham Hotel is known for its iconic Art Deco architecture and proximity to Herald Square, the Javits Center, and Hudson Yards. Ann Peterson was named President & General Manager in 2012.
- Near Central Park, The Whitby Hotel is led by General Manager Kathrin Apitz. Part of Firmdale Hotels, the unique property’s 86 rooms and suites are all individually designed by Kit Kemp.
- The Williamsburg Hotel is known for its boutique-style and loft-style rooms, also owned and operated by women. Owner Toby Moskovits and General Manager Julita Kropiwnicki oversee the property.
Explore Arts and Culture Spotlighting the Lives and Work of Women
- The Alice Austen House Museum honors the life and work of celebrated photographer Alice Austen, who lived in the historic Staten Island home during the early 20th century. Also a national site of LGBTQ+ history, the museum is presenting Powerful and Dangerous: The Words and Images of Audre Lorde and will offer private afternoon tours, Tuesday through Friday.
- From March 20-21, Harlem’s iconic Apollo Theater will offer it’s fifth bi-annual WOW – Women of the World Festival. This year’s virtual event is themed Black Women Transcending! and will include music, film, workshops, panels, performances, and more.
- On March 5, the Brooklyn Museum will unveil Lorraine O’Grady: Both/And, the first retrospective of the contemporary feminist artist, on view through July 18. The museum is also the permanent home of The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago, an iconic piece of 1970s feminist art.
- The Met Fifth Avenue will present Alice Neel: People Come First from March 22 through August 1, showcasing approximately 100 pieces by the radical feminist painter and champion of social justice who called East Harlem home.
- From March 11 through September 6, MoMA PS1 in Queens will spotlight over 100 artworks by French American feminist and activist artist Niki de Saint Phalle in Niki de Saint Phalle: Structures for Life.
- Morris-Jumel Mansion is Manhattan’s oldest surviving residence, built-in 1765 for British Colonel Roger Morris and his wife, Mary Philipse. The Washington Heights museum, which is currently open to the public, also offers a glimpse into the home’s first female owner with a Virtual Parlor Chat: Who was the Real Mary Philipse Morris?
- On March 18, the National Museum of the American Indian will present Native Women Making Change as part of its Youth in Action: Conversations about Our Future series. In this free virtual program, Aidan Graybill (Wyandot Nation of Kansas) and Representative Christina Haswood (Diné [Navajo]) will discuss the roles Indigenous women uphold within their communities and society at large.
- While temporarily closed to the public, New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem is presenting Femmetography: The Gaze Shifted
- Celebrating the centennial of the 19th Amendment, which gave American women the right to vote, the Staten Island Museum is exploring the borough’s role in the suffrage movement in Women of the Nation Arise!.
Enjoy Female Chefs’ and Restaurateurs’ Culinary Offerings:
- Owned by Regina Migliucci-Delfino, Mario’s Restaurant is a staple on Arthur Avenue, offering classic Neapolitan fare in the Bronx’s “real Little Italy” for more than 100 years.
- Astoria, Queens is home to Comfortland, a comfort food spot with vegan options that are co-owned by baker Montana D’Alessio Barbier; and beloved creole restaurant Sugar Freak by owner Michele Addeo.
- Top Chef finalist Lisa Fernandes opened the modern Asian restaurant Sweet Chili in Bushwick, Brooklyn in 2019, serving up unique twists on Southeast Asian comfort foods. A short walk away is Francesca Chaney’s Sol Sips vegan café, which the young entrepreneur opened in 2018 with the goal of making plant-based food accessible to all.
- Brooklyn’s Gowanus neighborhood is home to Insa, offering karaoke and Korean BBQ dishes by Seoul native, James Beard-nominated Chef Sohui Kim.
- Harlem is known for several acclaimed women-led restaurants, including Northern Italian restaurant Lido by James Beard Award-winner Serena Bass and owner Susannah Kotten; Melba Wilson’s eponymous comfort food spot Melba’s and brand-new Melba’s Musselsrestaurant debuting in March with a women-led team; and Sylvia’s Restaurant, founded by the “Queen of Soul Food” Sylvia Woods and now led by Sylvia’s family members including granddaughter, Tren’ness Woods-Black.
- On the Lower East Side, diners can try vegetable-focused eatery Dirt Candy by James Beard Award-nominated chef and owner Amanda Cohen; and Pig & Khao, serving Southeast Asian cuisine inspired by owner and Top Chef contestant Leah Cohen’s Filipino upbringing.
- Greer Fredericks opened Peaches Low Country Kitchen in Lower Manhattan in November 2020, serving fast-casual southern fare including fried chicken and gumbo, as well as vegetarian and gluten-free options.
- At Lakruwana Restaurant in Tompkinsville, Staten Island, chef, and owner Jayantha Wijesinghe serves gourmet Sri Lankan cuisine in an ornately-decorated dining room.
- In the West Village, 232 Bleecker offers vegetable-forward dishes by Executive Chef Suzanne Cupps; while chefs and partners Jody Williams and Rita Sodi serve up Italian fare at the critically acclaimed Via Carota, I Sodi and Bar Pisellino, and French cuisine at Buvette.
- One of Williamsburg’s most celebrated eateries, Lilia is known for its handmade Italian pasta and wood-fired dishes by chef and owner Missy Robbins. Following Lilia’s success, Robbins opened nearby Misi, focusing on pasta dishes and vegetable antipasti.
- With eight locations across Manhattan and Brooklyn, Chef Christina Tosi has created a dessert empire with Milk Bar, a bakery with cereal-inspired cakes, ice cream, cookies, and more.
Shop Female-Owned Retailers
- In Crown Heights, intersectional feminist bookstore and coffee shop Cafe con Libros offers book clubs, monthly subscriptions, merchandise, and more. Owner Kalima DeSuze opened the business in 2017.
- Catbird is a Brooklyn-based fine jewelry company started by Rony Vardi, featuring all recycled gold and conflict-free, responsibly sourced stones.
- Fishs Eddy, co-founded by Julie Gaines, is an NYC staple in Manhattan’s Flatiron District, known for its unique and quirky dishware and other home goods.
- Bronx native Noëlle Santos opened the borough’s first and only independent bookstore, The Lit. Bar, in Mott Haven in April 2019. Book-lovers can also take advantage of The Lit. Bar’s wine bar, online shipping offerings, virtual programs, and more.
- Mackenzi Farquer’s Lockwood Shopa go-to boutique for homewares, paper goods, clothing and more, has locations in Astoria and Jackson Heights, Queens, and Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
- Owned by Sarah McNally, McNally Jackson is one of New York City’s most-recognized independent bookstores, with locations in Nolita, the Seaport District, Williamsburg, and Downtown Brooklyn.
- María Herron opened Mil Mundos Books in Bushwick in 2018, with the goal of ensuring community access and empowerment. Nearly half of the bookstore’s titles are available in Spanish.
- Started by Eliza Blank, The Sill plant shop has locations on Manhattan’s Lower East Side and Upper West Side, and in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. The company also offers a plant delivery service, online workshops, gift cards, and more.
Visit Parks and Outdoor Sites Honoring Women:
- On Manhattan’s Far West Side near Hudson Yards, Bella Abzug Park is named in honor of feminist, civil rights activist, lawyer, and U.S. Representative Bella Abzug.
- In March 2017, the Fearless Girl statue symbolizing female empowerment was unveiled in front of Lower Manhattan’s Charging Bull statue. Now located opposite the New York Stock Exchange, the four-foot bronze statue was created by artist Kristen Visbal.
- Brooklyn’s East River State Park has officially been renamed Marsha P. Johnson State Park, in memory of the influential LGBTQ+ civil rights activist. The park, which is undergoing renovations to be completed by June, is New York’s first state park honoring an LGBTQ+ person and transgender woman of color.
- Honoring the first African American Congresswoman and the first woman and African American to run for President, Shirley Chisholm State Park
- At Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, honor women who helped shape the nation and New York City today, including women’s suffrage supporters Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Carrie Chapman Catt, Mary Garrett Hay, and Alva Vanderbilt Belmont.
- A new Women’s Rights Pioneers Monument was unveiled last year on Central Park’s Literary Walk, the park’s first statue depicting nonfiction female figures: women’s rights activists Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and Sojourner Truth.
To learn more about prominent female figures in New York City’s history, check out NYC & Company’s guide to The Women Who Made NYC History.
NYC & Company is the official destination marketing organization and convention and visitors bureau for the City of New York, dedicated to maximizing travel and tourism opportunities throughout the five boroughs, building economic prosperity, and spreading the positive image of New York City worldwide.
For all there is to do and see in New York City, visit nycgo.com.
Photo credit: 1) Silvias in Harlem. 2) Morris-Jumel Mansion.