Things to do in New York today

The day's best things to do in New York—including free and cheap activities, concerts, screenings, shows, parties and more. It's your social emergency savior.

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Free things to do today

Daphne Merkin: The Fame Lunches

  • Critics choice
  • Free

For the essay lovers out there, Merkin's new book promises to be the season's highlight. The Fame Lunches collects the New Yorker columnist and critic's pieces on faded icons and famous writers, and the author sits down with editor Sasha Weiss to chat about our fascination with celebrity.

  1. McNally Jackson Books 52 Prince St, between Lafayette and Mulberry Sts
  2. Wed Sep 17
More info

Nurse Bettie Burlesque

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Shelly "The Singing Siren" Watson hosts this night of burly-Q action at the intimate Nurse Bettie, which features both nightlife newbies and stars of the Gotham scene.

  1. Nurse Bettie 106 Norfolk St, between Delancey and Rivington Sts, 10002
  2. Wed Sep 17
More info
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Today's best food and drink events

Feast of San Gennaro

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Celebrate the martyred 3rd-century bishop and patron saint of Naples at this 11-day festival that fills the streets of Little Italy every year. Watch the professionals in action at the cannoli-eating competition, and you won't feel so bad about indulging in calorific treats from the food vendors; return daily for live musical performances. Mulberry St between Canal and Houston Sts; Grand St between Baxter and Mott Sts; Hester St between Baxter and Mott Sts.

  1. Little Italy Mulberry St, between Broome and Canal Sts
  2. Thu Sep 11 - Sun Sep 21
More info

Let Us Eat Local

  • Price band: 3/4

The locavore tasting returns with restaurants like Momofuku Ssäm Bar, Nightingale 9 and Jimmy's No. 43 dishing out eats like roasted beets with hoisin raisins and Berkshire pork shoulder atop rice noodles; local breweries such as Ommegang, Brooklyn, Sixpoint and Harlem pouring suds; and top-notch wineries (Fox Run Vineyards, Brooklyn Winery) popping corks on vino courtesy of Pascaline Lepeltier (Rouge Tomate).

  1. Altman Building 135 W 18th St, between Sixth and Seventh Aves
  2. Wed Sep 17
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Today's free and cheap concerts

Jonathan Kreisberg Trio

  • Price band: 1/4

Guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg, an ace straight-ahead player who also wades into swirly psychedelic territory in his sideman appearances with soul-jazz great Dr. Lonnie Smith, continues his long-running Bar Next Door residency.

  1. The Bar Next Door (downstairs at La Lanterna di Vittorio) 129 MacDougal St, between 3rd and 4th Sts
  2. Wed Sep 17 - Wed Sep 24
More info

Lia Ices + My Body

  • Price band: 1/4

The ever-graceful singer and pianist Lia Ices headlines in advance of her forthcoming album, titled simply Ices. Trendsetting hip-hop beatmaker Clams Casino coproduced some of the new one, which was partially recorded in the penthouse of the Wythe Hotel. Fancy!

  1. Mercury Lounge 217 E Houston St, between Essex and Ludlow Sts, 10002
  2. Wed Sep 17
More info

The Mandingo Ambassadors

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Guitarist Mamady Kouyaté formed the Mandingo Ambassadors in Guinea in the late ’60s. Now living in New York, Kouyaté leads a new version of the outfit through funky, festive West African tunes every Wednesday night at Barbès.

  1. Barbès 376 9th St, at Sixth Ave, 11215
  2. Wed Sep 17
More info
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Today's best arts and culture

"NYC Makers: The MAD Biennial"

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Finally, an ultimate tribute to not just the artistic minds that make New York a creative hub, but also the behind-the-scenes guys we never hear about. NYC will pay homage to 100 awesome artists and their production teams who have shown outstanding levels of talent in their fields, from stonemasons and set designers to instrument makers and media-art collectives. The exhibit dedicated reveals how connected these seemingly very different art forms are. And maybe after this, you’ll spot how all of these creative styles exist in our everyday New York City lives.

  1. Museum of Arts & Design 2 Columbus Circle, at Broadway, 10019
  2. Wed Sep 17 - Sun Oct 12
More info

"Exposed: A History of Lingerie"

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Whatever your interest in ladies’ undergarments, you’ll see more than 70 iterations from throughout history at the Museum at FIT’s new exhibit. From a circa-1770 whalebone corset to Rudi Gernreich’s wireless “no-bra bra” of the ’60s, the exhibit looks at how form and function have shifted over time, as well as how nightgowns and other silhouette-framing pieces (like the Juel Park couture favored by Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor) have inspired formal wear and everyday clothes alike.

  1. The Museum at FIT Seventh Ave, at 27th St
  2. Tue Sep 16 - Sat Nov 15
More info

"That Obscure Object of Desire"

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice
  • Free

Titled after Luis Buñuel’s 1977 film about sexual obsession, this group show includes pieces from the 1940s to the present, and teases out formal and thematic connections among a nicely considered selection of Surrealist, Pop and contemporary artworks. The leitmotif here is the body reduced to parts: Tummies, breasts, lips, knees, buttocks and vulvas are reassembled into new and unsettling combinations or isolated as fetishized objects. Dorothea Tanning’s 1970 stuffed pink-fabrics stomach, complete with navel, is joined by Alina Szapocznikow’s 1966 resin lamp made from a cast of her own lips, and Anthea Hamilton’s 2010 clear Plexiglas chair in the form of a woman’s spread legs. Elsewhere, foam cubes covered in’60s-inspired fabrics overprinted with images of nude models—a

  1. Luxembourg & Dayan 64 E 77th St, between Madison and Park Aves, 10075
  2. Wed Sep 17 - Sat Oct 4
More info
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Tonight's best comedy show

Bridget Everett: Rock Bottom

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The astonishing, totally fearless Amazon of alt cabaret and raunchy comedy (Inside Amy Schumer) returns to Joe's with a new show commissioned for the venue. Cocreated with Broadway's Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Hairspray) and Beastie Boy Adam Horovitz, this is full-contact New York magic, and not to be missed.

  1. 425 Lafayette St, between Astor Pl and E 4th St
  2. $33
  3. Wed Sep 17 - Sat Oct 11
More info
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Tonight's best nightlife

Crimson Kitty's Meow Mixx

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Draglesque diva Crimson Kitty pays tribute to the dearly departed Lower East Side queer hangout Meow Mixx with an evening of bumping, grinding and other sexy movements. Performers include Jan Tina, Drae Campbell and Big Hair Girls. DJs Zena and Warrior provide a retro-tastic soundtrack.

  1. Bizarre 12 Jefferson St, between Broadway and Bushwick Ave, 11206
  2. Wed Sep 17
More info

Nurse Bettie Burlesque

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Shelly "The Singing Siren" Watson hosts this night of burly-Q action at the intimate Nurse Bettie, which features both nightlife newbies and stars of the Gotham scene.

  1. Nurse Bettie 106 Norfolk St, between Delancey and Rivington Sts, 10002
  2. Wed Sep 17
More info

Roots

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

House heroes Louie Vega (of Masters at Work) and Kevin Hedge (of Blaze) have kept New York dance music alive and kicking for more than ten years with their long-running midweek dance party.

  1. Cielo 18 Little W 12th St, between Ninth Ave and Washington St
  2. Wed Sep 17
More info
See more of tonight's best nightlife



Users say

3 comments
Kerry A
Kerry A

I have a complaint: I'm an avid reader of the "Undateable" section in Time Out, where Time Out sets up two strangers on a date. Well, last week's article featured a boy who wrote extremely cruel things about his date. I understand you want people to be honest, but I can hardly support someone ripping their date to shreds publicly.

Melodie D
Melodie D

Calle 13 is doing a signing today at 6pm at El Barrio Music Center in Harlem!

Arlene
Arlene

So many different kinds of events. Not your usual touristy stuff , and free. Love this site.

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Gotham Bar and Grill

  • Critics choice
  1. 12 E 12th St, between Fifth Ave and University Pl, 10003
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Wolfgang’s Steakhouse

  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice
  1. 409 Greenwich St, between Beach and Hubert Sts
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Café Boulud

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice
  1. 20 E 76th St, between Fifth and Madison Aves, 10021
Make reservation

Peasant

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice
  1. 194 Elizabeth St, between Prince and Spring Sts, 10012
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