City by Subway: Springtime in Manhattan

Help welcome spring in Manhattan by filling your weekend schedule with parties, art and shopping all over the borough.

Saturdays normally end with a party, but brunch at Merkato 55 has grown into a daytime party. It began with brothers Derek and Daniel Koch, who are introducing a bit of the late night Meatpacking vibe to the middle of the day. Brunch is served while djs work the house - and the party keeps going until the sun goes down.

If you can rip yourself away from the champagne - hop the C or the E at 14th and head one stop to 23rd Street and walk to Ninth Avenue for Art Gallery Walks - a tour of Chelsea’s famed art galleries. This walk includes insider tips and art discussion led by Helene Forbes - who is a 20-year-veteran of the art world.

Make your way back to 14th Street to Union Square , and then ride the 4-5-6 to Brooklyn Bridge / City Hall. Walk east on Madison to Monroe for the newly relocated Downtown Music Gallery. The music megastore will be declared extinct once both the Times Square and Union Square locations of Virgin records shutter - so indie marts like downtown will keep you in touch with the sale of physical music media. DMG has its hidden treasures - and owners Bruce and Manny have recently announced a number of in-store performances by music greats. This new location is a bit more off the beaten path than the past Bowery locale - but the collections you’ll find here make the trek worth it.

Back on the 6 train - next stop Spring Street to another freshly opened shop - Inventory on Lafayette. We all know New Yorkers love to sniff out sample sales - how about a sample sale that never moves - but always changes? Inventory is the answer - owner Whitney Singer kicked off the new store with a denim collection by Cheap Monday - and is now showcasing some uber-affordable pieces from designers like commune, 3-3-3 Shoes, and so much more.

Now it’s time to hop the subway to a mystery location somewhere in downtown Manhattan for Accomplice - the show. Part game, part theatre, part tour - Accomplice sends you and a group of friends onto a journey through the streets of the city to solve a crime. You are aided by clues and met by some mysterious cast members on street corners, in bars, and out-of-the-way shops throughout the city. Accomplice is an absolute blast - it was created by brother and sister team, Tom Salamon and Betsy Suffott and has been a success for five seasons.

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