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If March came in like a lion, it’s going out with a pizza controversy, a sculpture-naming contest and a brand-new IKEA. Here’s what currently has the city abuzz. 

RELATED: 27 Festivals, Foods and Cultural Happenings to Check Out This Spring

grimaldis pizza
Courtesy of Grimaldi's

A Classic…Arizona Pie?

What happens when a New York pizza icon gets bought by an Arizona chain? That’s the question everyone’s asking about Grimaldi’s, the beloved but beleaguered institution. (Its woes include but aren’t limited to a bitter pizza rivalry, which, side note, is a documentary we’d watch.) The original Dumbo location closed mysteriously in January, and now it’s slated to reopen on March 29 under the ownership of Arizona-based Grimaldi’s Pizzeria…a spin-off launched by none other than the owner’s son. Confused yet? Us too. Here’s hoping those thin-crust pies manage to hold on to their Brooklyn DNA.

vessel hudson yards
Courtesy of Michael Moran for Related-Oxford

A Vessel by Any Other Name

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that $25 billion development Hudson Yards officially opened this month, and one of its signature attractions (along with a killer food lineup) is a colossal, climbable, basket-like structure dubbed “Vessel.” Except that’s not the official name—it actually doesn’t have one yet. And you could be the one to name it: Just plug in your email here to submit your best moniker. (Our money’s on “Big Shiny.”)

ikea manhattan store opening
JANNHUIZENGA/GETTY IMAGES

Ikea, Nice to See Ya

Remember when we told you IKEA was opening a store in Manhattan? Well, we now have a date for its arrival: April 15. Yep, if you’re lucky enough to get a tax refund, you can spend it on Ektorps and Poängs. Unlike the full-size outposts in Red Hook, Brooklyn and Elizabeth, New Jersey, the newest space is a smaller “IKEA Planning Studio,” sort of like a beefed-up showroom where you can scope out furniture and then order it for home delivery. (Because sometimes you just need to size up that Kallax shelving unit in person.)

brooklyn navy yard from above
JupiterImages/Getty Images

Robot Car Invasion

Word has it that self-driving cars are coming to NYC. Well, sort of: More specifically, a startup called Optimus Ride is bringing driverless shuttles to the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Slated to roll out sometime in the next month or so, the fleet will operate only within the walls of the Navy Yard as a free service for the many people who work there and, eventually, passengers from the East River Ferry (which will add a new stop there in May). Time will tell whether this was only the first chapter in a citywide robot takeover…

great blue heron
Todd Ryburn Photography/Getty Images

Thank U, Next (Bird)

The “hot duck” is old news: New York’s latest “it” bird is a striking great blue heron that has—wait for it—apparently been here all along. Regardless, if we were all about the mandarin duck’s jewel tones in the fall, this heron is bringing major spring vibes with its pastel blue feathers. Plan your Instagram excursions accordingly.

serra fiorita eataly
Courtesy of Eataly USA

Flower Power + Happy Hour

It may not be patio weather quite yet, but we’re certainly ready for it. Tide yourself over at one of the city’s new floral-themed bars: Eataly’s reliably lovely rooftop bar, Birreria, is now Serra Fiorita, a blossom-adorned sanctuary that serves drinks and dishes made with herbs grown on-site. Meanwhile, the Arlo Nomad and Arlo Soho hotels will transform their outdoor spaces into pop-up botanical gardens created by floral designer Dawn Melanie. The Soho courtyard will also feature adorable greenhouses by plant shop Tiny Jungles, as well as SpringFest (April 20 and 21), an Earth Day–focused weekend of sound baths, yoga, plant-potting stations and floral-inspired cocktails.

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