May 8 should be about helping the woman who raised you unwind, whether it's by looking at art, getting a massage, shopping, exploring a new neighborhood or eating (preferably something chocolate-y). Here are a few ways to induce relaxation:
Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: The envy you felt for your mom's stylish wardrobe growing up will be nothing compared to what you'll experience (utter amazement, some sadness) at this exhibit honoring the late Alexander McQueen. Organized by The Costume Institute, it artfully displays approximately 100 ensembles and 70 accessories from the prolific designer's 19-year career. Open from May 4 to July 31.
1000 5th Ave.; 212-535-7710
Brooklyn Flea: This 125-vendor flea market in Williamsburg is one massive treasure hunt, albeit one that offers gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, meat-filled pupusas and fresh-fruit popsicles to keep you and mom going strong. Even if you don't find a keeper among the colossal collection of antique baubles, vintage clothing and funky furniture for sale, the stunning skyline and river view alone make it a worthy pursuit. (Note: Saturday's flea market takes place at Fort Greene Park.)
27 N. 6th St., Brooklyn
Lady Mendl's Tea Salon: It's about time someone cut the crusts off for mom -- and on something other than a PB&J. During the six-course afternoon service at this Victorian-style tea salon inside the Inn at Irving Place, you can daintily devour cucumber with mint crème fraiche on brioche, scones with Devonshire clotted cream and chocolate-covered strawberries (among other yummy treats) while sipping tea and champagne. Seatings are at noon and 3pm; $60 plus tax and tip.
56 Irving Place; 212-533-4600
The Peninsula Spa by ESPA: Mom probably can't remember the last time she got a massage, let alone a massage, facial and poolside lunch (plus access to a steam room and sauna) all in one day. Only at the spa at The Peninsula Hotel can you actually overindulge in relaxation during the "Mother-Daughter Private Spa Retreat." (Note: This is not recommended for mothers and daughters who tend to bicker when in closed quarters for too long.)
700 5th Ave.; 212-956-2888
Gallery Hop in Chelsea: There's no right way to tackle this quintessential gallery-filled neighborhood. Whether you aimlessly wander, walk in figure eights or strategically hit each street in order, you will discover wonderful (sometimes wacky) works, from an immense installation of all-white paper guns at the aptly named P•P•O•W gallery to towering elliptical forms at Danese. Before or after, take a stroll on the High Line for views of the area and the Hudson.
Between 10th Ave. and 11th Ave., 20th St. and 27th St.
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