Cut loose at these venerable institutions after-hours.
Tue Feb 22 2011
Photograph: Adam Husted
Brooklyn Museum's Target First Saturdays
Target First Saturdays at The Brooklyn Museum
Sample a smorgasbord of culture at the Brooklyn Museum's monthly bash, which includes lectures, live music, dance performances and DJs. Each party takes inspiration from the exhibits on view or, on occasion, neighborhood events—expect one prompted by Crown Heights' annual West Indian--American Day Carnival in August. This month, the institution pays tribute to both the Fourth of July (the Freedom Party DJs spin an American-themed set) and its current show "Vishnu: Hinduism's Blue-Skinned Savior" (Indian diva Falu will perform). Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Pkwy between Flatbush and Washington Aves, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (718-638-5000, brooklynmuseum.org). Next event: Sat 2 5--11pm; free.
Eat here: Tom's Restaurant
This diner has low prices—few items top $10—to match its old-timey feel and menu, which includes comfort-food classics (meat loaf, chicken parm) and soda-jerk specialties like cherry-lime rickeys. 782 Washington Ave at Sterling Pl, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (718-636-9738)
PopRally at MoMA and MoMA PS1
MoMA's five-year-old soiree is often pegged to something on display, and has welcomed such trendsetters as Patti Smith (to celebrate Georges Seurat's birthday) and Spike Jonze (who presented a selection of skate videos). Be on the lookout for an evening of video games, to complement the upcoming exhibit "Talk to Me" (opens July 24), which examines the communication between people and objects. Museum of Modern Art, 11 W 53rd St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (212-708-9400) * MoMA PS1, 22-25 Jackson Ave at 46th Ave (718-784-2084) * moma.org/poprally * Next event July 27; visit website for details. $12--$20.
Eat here: Beacon
If the throwdown is in midtown, head to Beacon where virtually every item on the menu, from pizzas ($15--$19) to steaks ($29--$39), takes a pass through this eatery's huge wood-burning
oven at some point. Sample the fare by opting for the three-course prix-fixe menu ($38).
25 W 56th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (212-332-0500, beaconnyc.com)
One Step Beyond at the American Museum of Natural History
Big-ticket artists (Kanye and Animal Collective are among the past performers) are the main draw for this otherworldly wingding, but the setting doesn't hurt—how cool is it to dance in a planetarium? Don't miss the museum's multimedia installations, such as the Big Bang Theater, a four-minute moviemaking journey to the edge of the visible universe, narrated by Liam Neeson. American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th St (212-769-5200, amnh.org/osb). Next event: Oct 14 at 9pm; $25.
Eat here: Recipe
Sample locally sourced, rustic dishes, such as the Hudson Valley foie gras terrine with black mission figs, apricots, cornichon and toast points ($12), at this New American joint. 452 Amsterdam Ave between 81st and 82nd Sts (212-501-7755, recipenyc.com)
First Fridays at the Bronx Museum of the Arts
The Bronx Museum's free program is perfect for culture hounds looking for an intimate gathering with top-notch performers—recent guests have included the Charlie Porter Jazz Quartet, pianist Valerie Capers and hip-hop pioneer DJ Ralph McDaniels. Up next, editor Marysol Nieves will chat with guest curators Wayne Northcross and Jose Ruiz about "Bronx Calling: The First AIM Biennial," a new exhibit that celebrates the work of more than 70 artists from BMA's Artist in the Marketplace program. Bronx Museum of the Arts, 1040 Grand Concourse at 165th St, Bronx (718-681-6000, bronxmuseum.org). Next event: July 8 6--8pm; free.
Eat here: Feeding Tree
Locals love this no-frills Jamaican spot for everything curried, jerked and juiced. The resto's cheap and filling menu includes entres like jerk chicken with bread for $6. 892 Gerard Ave between 161st and 162nd Sts, Bronx (718-293-5025)
Warm Up at MoMA PS1
One of longest-running (and most popular) museum-curated music series manages to remain fresh every year, due in no small part to its eclectic lineups; this year's series kicks off with a mishmash of genres, including DC disco purveyors Beautiful Swimmers and lo-fi rockers Delicate Steve. While you're there, gawk at the installation that will take over the space as part of the museum's Young Architects Program: Holding Pattern, which places objects like chessboards under a gigantic rope canopy covering the institution's courtyard. MoMA PS1, 22-25 Jackson Ave at 46th Ave, Long Island City, Queens (718-784-2084, momaps1.org). Next event: Sat 2 2--9pm; $15, free for MoMA members and LIC residents.
Eat here: Manducatis
Sample homemade pastas, including fresh cannelloni and ricotta gnocchi, at this laid-back Italian spot, whose owners were once featured in a photography exhibit at MoMA PS1. 13-27 Jackson Ave at 47th Ave, Long Island City, Queens (718-729-4602)