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A DAY IN NEW YORK: Culture

Sunday, May 4, 2008

WHERE TO EAT:

· CulinArt at the Rubin, the cafe at the Rubin Museum of Art (see below), has soups, rice dishes, salads and naan panini inspired by the regions and flavors of the Himalayas. On Fridays there's an Asian tapas menu with specialty cocktails from 6 to 7 p.m. Lunch for one runs about $20.

· Cascina (647 Ninth Ave., 212-245-4422) serves old-school Italian cuisine with a modern sensibility (and an extensive wine list). The orecchiette pasta with sausage and broccoli is perfect comfort food; the tiramisu is a knockout. Dinner for two, with wine, is about $100.

WHAT TO DO:

· The Rubin Museum of Art (150 W. 17th St. 212-620-5000, http://www.rmanyc.org) has paintings, sculptures and textiles from the Himalayas and surrounding regions. "From the Land of the Gods: Art of the Kathmandu Valley," a collection of Nepalese paintings and objects, runs through Nov. 10. Admission is $10 (free on Fridays from 7 to 10 p.m.).

· St. Bartholomew's Church (109 E. 50th St., 212-378-0207, http://www.stbarts.org), a glorious Romanesque-Byzantine building with a gorgeous tiled dome, is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. There's a cafe on the outdoor terrace in warm weather.

· Greenacre Park (East 51st Street between Second and Third avenues), a little slice of nature in Midtown East, is open from March through December. Attendants are on duty at all times, and there's a snack bar with coffee, yogurt, etc.

SHOWS:

· "In the Heights" (Richard Rodgers Theatre, 226 W. 46th St., 212-307-4100, http://www.intheheightsthemusical.com), a musical about three days in the life of a Latino community in Washington Heights, is irresistible. Tickets are $110.

· Maude Maggart performs at the Oak Room at the Algonquin (59 W. 44th St., 212-419-9331, http://www.algonquinhotel.com) through May 10. Shows are Tuesday through Saturday at 9 p.m., with additional late shows Friday and Saturday at 11:30. There is a cover charge of $65 per person plus a $30 food and beverage minimum, or a $70 prix-fixe dinner (dinner is required at the early weekend shows).

SHOPPING:

· The Shop at the Rubin Museum of Art (see above) has hand-embroidered pillows, hand-woven wall hangings, shawls and scarves, lacquerware trays and bowls, mini-Mongolian masks, jewelry and toys.

· Pippin Home (112 1/2 W. 17th St.), in a 19th-century house tucked down an alley between two office buildings in Chelsea, has a good selection of vintage furniture and home goods, priced to move.

· Angel Street Thrift Shop (118 W. 17th St.) sells used clothing, furniture and artwork in support of New Yorkers with HIV/AIDS. Great selection of old LPs for $1 each.

-- K.C.S.

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