Hope on the free ferry from Brooklyn or Manhattan and check out the best things to do on Governors Island this summer. Bike and Roll bicycle rentals Cycle around the island sans traffic, thanks to its no-cars policy and more than five miles of dedicated bike lanes. Bike and Roll operates weekend rentals, offering a velocipede for just about everyone: Solo, tandem and even quadricyles (which can transport six adults and two kids) are available. The group also offers gratis wheels as part of Free Bike Mondays (which happen on May 28 and September 3), during which you can take a two-wheeler for an hour-long spin at no charge. Near Colonels Row; follow the blue signs from the ferry (bikeandroll.com). Through Sept 30; $15–$45. “Mark di Suvero at Governors Island: Presented by the Storm King Art Center”You don’t have to travel upstate to see some of Storm King Art Center’s offerings; the sculpture garden brings work by one of its best-known artists, sculptor Mark di Suvero, to the island. The abstract artist set up 11 of his large-scale sculptures at various points, and true to his style, the massive pieces are made of industrial materials such as salvaged steel and I beams. This exhibit is the largest outdoor presentation of di Suvero’s work in NYC since the 1970s. Various locations (stormking.org). Through Sept 30; free. Relax (and nosh) at Picnic PointThis tranquil locale on the southwestern shore of the Island features eight acres of lawns, complete with hammocks, picnic tables, and great views of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor. It’s a perfect spot to stop, rest (after a long bike ride, perhaps) and take in the beauty of New York City from afar. This year, Caroline and Kevin Moore—the owners of Kevin’s in Red Hook—will open a beer garden, Little Eva’s (named after their daughter) at Picnic Point: Along with oysters, clams, grilled sausages and vegetarian sandwiches (with greens from nearby Added Value Farm), the outdoor spot will also serve Brooklyn Brewery and Sixpoint beers. Little Eva’s: Picnic Point (mooreparties.com). Sat, Sun 10am–6pm; through Sept 30. Visit Earth Matter and Added Value FarmTwo spots on the island promote an eco-friendly lifestyle. Learn about sustainability and composting at Earth Matter’s site at Picnic Point (earthmatter.org), where you can also visit the chickens who provide nitrogen for the garbage heap (one guess as to how that happens). Nearby is Added Value Farm (added-value.org), a three-acre offshoot of the larger Red Hook grange. The farmers grow organic fruits and vegetables, including squash and tomatoes; you can take a tour of the space, or pick up local produce, cut flowers and more at its farm stand, which opens in July. Figment’s art installations and eventEclectic art comes to the island courtesy of art group Figment, which has staged quirky projects here since 2007. This year, visitors can gawk at three cool summerlong installments: Grab a club and take a swing at the free arcade-themed minigolf course, or check out 17 different pieces in the interactive sculpture garden (we dig “Face of Liberty,” a to-scale model of the Statue of Liberty’s famous visage). Finally, there’s the City of Dreams Pavilion, an open space that will be occupied by a new, site-specific design, which will be announced in June. You’ll find even more projects during Figment’s annual art event. Various locations (newyork.figmentproject.org). Event: June 9, 10 10am–6pm; free. Long-term installations: Sat, Sun 10am–7pm; free. June 9–Sept 23. The Beach at Governors IslandBeach bums can soak up some sun at this waterfront spot, featuring 20,000 square feet of sand, as well as volleyball and basketball courts. (Just don't try to go swimming—it's prohibited on the island.) The space will also host concerts this summer, although a schedule has yet to be announced. watertaxibeach.com. Sat, Sun 10am–6pm. Get a history lesson on Colonels RowHistory buffs can take a stroll through the picturesque houses that dot Colonels' Row. Built during the late 19th century, the homes belonged to high-ranking army officers at the turn of the 20th century. Although the homes are not open to the public this year (due to construction), you can still catch a glimpse of their stately exteriors. And if you want travel even further back in time, take a tour of Castle Williams led by National Park Service rangers. The fort, which reopens this summer, was built in the early 1800s to defend New York against possible British invasion. nps.gov/gois Stuff your face at a food festivalYou'll want to come hungry (and in your stretchiest pair of pants) to a plethora of food fests. Cook Out NYC (July 7, 8; cookoutnyc.com; $40–$45) will bring grill masters to the island. In September, the space goes hog wild with Pig Island (dates TBA, visit pigisland.com for details).
The idea of another New York summer might send you fleeing to the nearest air-conditioned LIRR car, but hold up! There are so many great reasons to get outdoors this season — from new parks and waterfront bars to fairs and concerts — that you'll want to spend every weekend in town, exploring the best the city has to offer. Related Best things to do this week The Graduate We just want to say one word to you—just one word. Are you listening? Plastics. Actually, this social satire feels quite organic even amid all the ’60s filmmaking trickery and time-capsule pop-culture references, mainly thanks to Dustin Hoffman’s career-making turn in the title role. Anne Bancroft is quite good as well, though we can’t remember her character’s name for the life of us. If only Simon and Garfunkel had written a song that repeated it over and over and… “Kraftwerk—Retrospective 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8” Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider—better known as Teutonic music duo, Kraftwerk—are being given the ultimate high-cultural accolade: a MoMA retrospective in which they perform each of their eight albums in as many nights. Unfortunately, the concerts were instantly sold out. However, fans who didn’t get tickets can console themselves with an exhibition at MoMA PS1 of Kraftwerk ephemera and videos. Hannibal Buress Chicago import Hannibal Buress won us over the first time we saw him onstage years ago: He's laconic yet weirdly articulate; he's smooth yet freaky; audiences fall for him fast, yet he ventures into some disturbing territory. He's worked for 30 Rock and SNL, but make no mistake: He'll be a star on his terms. Umami Food & Art Festival Food-inspired art is the focus of this three-week festival, in which artists, filmmakers, musicians and culinary professionals will collaborate on various events. On Apr 12, visit Roulette to hear recipes written by Mario Batali, Tom Colicchio and David Chang set to music and performed by Brooklyn indie-rockers One Ring Zero (7:30–9:30pm; $20). Return to Roulette on Apr 13 for a screening of food-themed shorts (8pm; $15). And on Apr 15, chat up Israeli chefs and artists while you the sample the country's food and wine at Astor Center (4:30–6:30pm; $20). Check the website for a full schedule of events. The Underground Rebel Bingo Club The U.K.'s Rebel Bingo bash is back for another glitter-filled night of adventure, this time in a top-secret downtown Manhattan location. DJs, dancing and general drunken revelry are all on the menu—oh, and bingo, too. The exact location is revealed to ticket holders a few days before the throwdown. Shabazz Palaces Signed to Sub Pop, the Seattle indie-rock label most famous for hosting Nirvana and effectively kick-starting the grunge boom, Shabazz Palaces is the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Tendai Maraire and rapper Ishmael Butler, formerly of the ’90s jazz-rap group Digable Planets. Its debut, Black Up, was one of last year’s most engrossing albums, its sonic uniqueness rooted more prominently in the lush, spacey futurism of producers such as Flying Lotus, Bonobo and the Bug than in anything else in contemporary hip-hop. The Sinking of the Titanic On the night of April 14–15, 1912, the "unsinkable" luxury liner Titanic bit it in the North Atlantic, feeding our imaginations with romantic and morbid inspiration for the next century. In 1969—three decades before Celine Dion crushed the story's musical antecedents with the Song That Shall Not Be Named—British composer Gavin Bryars created his gorgeous, experimental tone poem, The Sinking of the Titanic. Thanks to an indeterminate structure, the ship goes down differently in each performance; strains of Episcopal hymn "Autumn"are drowned beneath haunting ambient sounds. After a stunning performance of the piece at the Guggenheim last April, the Wordless Music Orchestra teams up with Ensemble LPR for a pair of performances to mark the sinking's centennial. Brooklyn Zine Fest Whether you’re a sci-fi fanatic or a pizza connoisseur, this haven for print fans has a publication for you. Debuting this year, this extravaganza brings together more than 60 artists behind offbeat titles ($1–$10), including Pickled City, which publishes poetry based on old books; The Carbon Based Mistake, a compendium of horrific commutes illustrated in photos and stories; and Slice Harvester, dedicated to the search for the perfect piece of pepperoni. Compare your haul over $4 drafts and shots of Jameson during an after-party at South 4th Bar and Cafe. 4000 Miles Returning to see 4000 Miles at Lincoln Center Theater (having reviewed it last summer at the Duke on 42nd Street) felt like visiting a beloved older relation. There it was—granny Vera’s quaint Greenwich Village pad, same as I remember it: furniture mismatched like in a dorm room; weird seashell sculpture on a table by the couch; bookshelf filled with lefty-propaganda paperbacks from the ’60s. If these walls could talk… Luckily they don’t have to; playwright Amy Herzog has put plenty of articulate, emotionally resonant dialogue in the mouths of Vera (Wilson) and Leo (Ebert), the grandson who drops in unexpectedly late one night at the end of a cross-country bike odyssey. Herzog’s wonderful play about growing up and finding home has only ripened over time, with the actors sinking more deeply into roles they already inhabited so completely. Back in June, Daniel Aukin’s tonally perfect staging had already arrived fully formed, with crucial, outstanding lighting by Japhy Weideman and an understated but evocative sound design (and beguiling incidental music) by Ryan Rumery. The production fits the Mitzi E. Newhouse quite snugly. Wilson and Ebert’s achingly nuanced work as soul mates separated by time and temperament is the heart of the piece, but you can’t overlook beautifully realized turns by Zoë Winters and Greta Lee as Leo’s ex and a bar pickup, respectively. 4000 Miles is one of the best, bravest plays of the season. See it, no matter how far you must travel.—David Cote Follow David Cote on Twitter: @davidcote Free things to do today Power Plant: Love Me Release Party The longtime NYC dance label Plant Music takes control of the reliably fun subMercer to fete the release of its thumping new collection of fun house beats, Love Me, featuring dance-floor-filling work from Dimitri from Paris, DJ Mehdi, the Glass, Eli Escobar, DJ Wool and many more. Plant's fearless leaders, Stretch Armstrong and Dominique Keegan, hit the decks; Whatever/Whatever's Justin Strauss and Black Russian's Rok One join in on the action. Karaoke Killed the Cat Cohost Chris Goldteeth (who corrals the crowd along with Lord Easy) describes this semiregular shindig as a “karaoke dance party,” but there’s more to the show than that. Brave souls can select a song from the duo’s more than 18,000 available tracks; Goldteeth and Easy keep the crowd pumped by acting as backup dancers or instigating water-gun fights. “We do our best to rev the crowd up so everyone feels like a star,” explains Goldteeth. Duly noted. Two Boots Presents Americana Jamboree Ease into the weekend with a gratis concert and discount beverages at this shindig. Folk group the Calamity Janes and songwriter Gryphon Rue will provide twangy tunes while you grab happy-hour deals on bottles of wine ($15 each) and buckets of PBR ($12 for five cans). Related Free things to do in New York City Think nothing's free in NYC? Guess again. We've got loads of gratis events, arts and culture to keep you calendar booked all spring and beyond. Five things to do today Enjoy jazz, soul, rock and more—without paying a cover charge. American Folk Art Museum Close out your workweek at the American Folk Art Museum, where the Free Music Fridays series features performances from Americana, folk, indie-pop and other acts. Austrian Cultural Forum Hear contemporary and classical chamber music from Vienna and other Austrian musical hubs without spending a penny, as all of the recitals and concerts here are free. BAMcafé On most Fridays and Saturdays, kick back at a table with a cocktail and take in sets of envelope-pushing jazz, world music and other buzzed-about fare at BAMcafe Live. During happy hour (5:30–8pm select Fridays), save some dough with $3 beers. Brooklyn Bowl Swing by the Bowl to catch its ongoing Local X Local soiree, held eight times a year featuring performances by NYC bands like Javelin (Apr 11 at 8pm) Crystal Stilts and Bear Hands. There's a $5 cover at the door, but R.S.V.P. at lxl.brooklynbowl.com for free admission David Rubenstein Atrium (at Lincoln Center) Check out the Target Free Thursdays performance series at Lincoln Center, which often features top-tier musicians from all genres in the mix of theater, spoken word and dance programming. Mark your planner for the Unsound Music Festival takeover (Apr 19 at 8:30pm) with LXMP and Peaking Lights. Goodbye Blue Monday Other than the occasional Saturday nights after 11pm (when shows cost a measly $5), performances at this knickknack-laden Bushwick bar are always free (although musicians pass a hat around for donations). Stop by for antifolk, experimental jazz, noise punk, electronic and classical music, and the entertaining Bushwick Book Club series, where bands perform songs inspired by that month's reading assignment. Hank’s Saloon On weekends (Thursdays through Saturdays), catch country, rock and indie acts at this honky-tonk dive. Immanuel Lutheran Church Escape the city's hustle and bustle for a bit at this quiet Upper East Side church. On Wednesdays, you can enjoy 45-minute lunch-hour sets of mostly pre-19th-century classical music as part of the Midtown Concerts series (midtownconcerts.org). Lakeside Lounge Because this comfortable joint is co-owned by guitarist and producer Eric Ambel, the roadhouse and roots acts that play here tend to be fun. Local country-tinged talents often appear, and bigger names such as Amy Rigby stop by occasionally as well. The bar, the jukebox and the photo booth are all attractions in their own right—and there’s never a cover charge. Otto’s Shrunken Head The bands hosted by this tiki bar play rockabilly, surf rock and other party music on a small backroom stage. Down umbrella drinks like Pang's Punch ($10), a glow-in-the-dark rum concoction, and dance along. Pete's Candy Store Tired of standing-room-only indie-rock shows in the 'Burg? Nab a seat in this bar's cozy back room, which hosts a wide range of performers, including several folky acts. On other evenings, fun, nerdy events like Pete's Reading Series and the popular Williamsburg Spelling Bee take over the space. Rue B Jazz combos jam in Rue B's intimate lounge, where you can enjoy signature cocktails—like the fruity African-rum-based Starr F**cker ($12)—with the live tunes. Spike Hill Bands are booked for every night of the week at Spike Hill—and most of the time, entry won't cost you a penny. Sunny’s On most Wednesday nights, Western swing band Smokey's Roundup performs foot-tapping tunes in this homey bar. And on occasional Saturday nights, you can stop by to see a mix of local acts (primarily bluegrass bands), including the Red Hook Ramblers. Zebulon Far off the beaten path in Williamsburg, this charming French bistro also serves up an impressive menu of offbeat musical fare, including edgier forms of alt rock, jazz and world music, attracting a mixed Brooklyn crowd with its all-over-the-map booking. While many shows are free, check the website before setting out to make sure there's not a cover that night. Best things to do this week Your perfect weekend April 13–15 150 things to do in New York City on weekends 50 things to do in New York City on a Saturday Day trips from New York City 101 things to do this spring Your guide to New York's vernal pleasures. 1. Shop and eat outside at Hester Street FairThis pretty, tree-lined Lower East Side market packs in shoppers every weekend with a killer combination of stylish vintage wares—retro jewelry, antique decor and old-fashioned hats—and one of the best collections of food vendors in Manhattan. Delicious new stalls include Williamsburg darling Pies 'n' Thighs, artisanal ice cream parlor Ample Hills Creamery and boozy cupcakery Prohibition Bakery. Look out for surprising booths, like Compass Yoga who will assess your posture and align in you a suitable pose for $1 on opening day. Hester St at Essex St (hesterstreetfair.com). Sat 10am--6pm. Opens Apr 28. 2. Drink on rooftopsTake advantage of New York's enviable views by getting buzzed at a rooftop bar. Among Manhattan's wealth of hotel toppers, we recommend Upstairs on the 31st floor of the Kimberly. The urbane setting, with ivy-covered walls and nary a cabana in sight, is best experienced at night, when the canopy of lightbulbs strung above the terrace sets off the sight of the Chrysler Building. For more great vistas, check out our guide to rooftop bars in New York. 145 E 50th St between Lexington and Third Aves (212-888-1220, upstairsnyc.com). Mon--Wed 5pm--1am; Thu, Fri 5pm--2am; Sat 11:30am--3:30pm, 6pm--2am; Sun 11:30am--11pm. 3. Celebrate Top Gun Day with a game of volleyballOn May 13 (topgunday.com), grab your wingman, don your aviators, oil up your chest and head to the sand court in Central Park (East of Sheep Meadow, enter at Central Park West and 66th St; 212-310-6600, centralparknyc.org; daily 6am--1am; free). There's also an asphalt court, but you'll need to bring your own net, and we advise against the slow-mo dive; both courts are first-come, first-served, so arrive early. Remember to rock your best high five, low five. For more places to spike, try these NYC volleyball courts. 4. Be a kid againIt's been five years since Pillow Fight NYC went global, and we still haven't grown up. The seventh annual International Pillow Fight Day is the cornerstone of the Urban Playground Movement, not to mention the one time a year when it's okay to beat a stranger over the head. Last year's event drew 5,000 cushion-wielding New Yorkers to Union Square in a friendly free-for-all. Since it's happening the day before Easter, this year is the Bunny Edition. Wear your floppy ears and your PJs, and let off some steam slumber-party-style. But please, no feathers—they're a nightmare to clean up. Location TBA, R.S.V.P. at newmindspace.com. Apr 7 at 3pm; free. 5. See the work of a shape-shifting artistBy now, Cindy Sherman has become part of a coterie of artists whose works are instantly recognizable by nearly everyone. Starting in the mid-1970s, she hit upon a formula in which the simple child's game of dressing up became a way of interrogating everything from feminism to Hollywood and aging. The results have been some of the most important and influential works of art created in the past 40 years. Sherman is currently the subject of a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art (11 W 53rd St between Fifth and Sixth Aves; 212-708-9400, moma.org; $25, seniors $18, students $14, children under 16 free; through June 11). On view are such iconic series as Sherman's "Untitled Film Stills," as well as her self-portraits as subjects from Old Master paintings. The director-photographer-model also offers a new set of works at Metro Pictures (519 W 24th St between Tenth and Eleventh Aves; 212-206-7100, metropicturesgallery.com; Tue--Sat 10am--6pm; free; Apr 26--June 9), in which she dons garments from the Chanel archive against landscape backdrops. 6. Partake in a spring tradition during HanamiSpring may officially start on March 20, but for us, it doesn't truly feel like the season begins until Hanami—the ancient Japanese tradition of cherry-blossom viewing—at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. During April, more than 220 trees will flower in varying shades of pink and white. The highest concentration can be found along the Cherry Walk and Esplanade, near the Eastern Parkway entrance of the conservatory; you can also follow the state of the blooms by checking the garden's Cherry Watch map (bbg.org/discover/cherries). The season culminates with the Sakura Matsuri Festival, which celebrates traditional culture from Japan with food, dance performances and a cosplay fashion show. 900 Washington Ave between President and Carroll Sts, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (718-623-7200, bbg.org). Tue--Fri 8am--6pm; Sat, Sun 10am--6pm. $10, seniors and students $5, children under 12 free. Hanami: Apr 1--29. Sakura Matsuri: Apr 28, 29 10am--6pm. 7. Discover a hot spot in Downtown BrooklynDekalb Market made a welcome addition to the outdoor-shopping scene in July 2011, but operator Urban Space is not resting on its laurels. It bursts back on the scene in early April, welcoming old faces and new vendors like Etsy seller Hot Trash Vintage and Park Slope fro-yo fave Culture: An American Yogurt Company to its brightly painted, repurposed shipping containers. But the bigger draw will be the program of events, such as live music on the last Friday of every month, a Down and Derby roller-skating party on the third Friday of every month (beginning May 18) and a lobster boil by the Red Hook Lobster Pound (May 5). If that's not enough, there are also plans afoot for Sunday-afternoon dance parties and bike-in movies. The clincher: The market has secured a license to open up a permanent beer (and wine) garden in early May with picnic tables for 150 people. 138 Willoughby St at Flatbush Ave, Downtown Brooklyn (212-529-9262, dekalbmarket.com). Daily 8am--10pm. Opening early April; check the website or follow @DekalbMarket for updates. 8. Welcome an art-world staple to NYCThe newest addition to New York's slate of art fairs, Frieze New York, is a behemoth: The original Frieze (spun off from the London art magazine of the same name) is one of the biggest events on the art-world calendar, and this edition, which will feature works by 1,000 artists, is sure to add to its prestige. The activities include artist commissions and panel discussions, and will take place under a temporary structure overlooking the East River designed by New York architects SO--IL. Randalls Island Park (friezenewyork.com). May 4--7. Fri--Sat noon--7pm, Sun--Mon noon--6pm. $40; with catalog $70; students, seniors, members of groups of ten or more (after 1pm) $25; children under 16 free. Tickets include bus and ferry service. 9. Party on Saint Paddy'sThe arrival of spring heralds a new season of parades in New York City. For starters, this year marks the 251st year since Gotham's first Saint Patrick's Day Parade (nycstpatricksparade.org; Mar 17 11am--5pm; free). Starting at 44th Street, this celebration of the city's rich Irish heritage marches up Fifth Avenue past Saint Patrick's Cathedral and the Irish American Historical Society, finishing at 79th Street. Later, join burlesque impresario Doc Wasabassco for Saint Patrick's Day for Sinners (The Bell House, 149 7th St between Second and Third Aves, Gowanus, Brooklyn; 718-643-6510, thebellhouseny.com; Mar 17 8--11pm; $10, redheads free), for a redheaded revue with music, magic and his finest ecdysiasts. 10. Continue your Gaelic merrymakingThe Irish have one day, but the Scots take 12 to celebrate their heritage during Tartan Week with talks, tastings and ceilidhs (a traditional folk-dance party, like line-dancing but with more spinning). The festivities culminate in the National Tartan Day Parade (Apr 14 at 2pm; free), when bagpipers, drummers, the kilted and sundry members of the Scottish-American community promenade on Sixth Avenue. For another opportunity to see kilts flapping in the breeze, enter or watch the Scotland Run 10K in Central Park (Apr 7 at 8am; $23--$40; nyrr.org; free to watch). We're most excited by the week's opening night, the fashion show From Scotland with Love (Apr 2 at 7:30pm; $225, under 30 $99; fromscotlandwithlove.net), where the chances of seeing what's under a celebrity's kilt are fantastically high. Last year cast members from the Broadway show That Championship Season, including Kiefer Sutherland, mooned the audience from the catwalk. Locations, times and prices vary; visit tartanweek.com for more information. Apr 2--14. 11. Join an Easter processionalSunday best gets new meaning during this annual procession, wherein participants show off elaborately constructed hats—we're talking noggin-toppers shaped like the NYC skyline or the Coney Island Cyclone, not just a boring old fedora. The tradition started in the mid-1800s, when high-society ladies would promenade in their Easter finery after church, and has since evolved into a showcase for chapeau artistry. And expect several puppies in bunny ears. Fifth Ave from 49th to 57th Sts (nycgo.com). Apr 8 10am-4pm; free. 12. Visit the High LineSpring is the best time to visit the elevated park: Lush plants and flora (such as Aurora dogwood, Allegheny serviceberry and Young Lady smoke tree) come to life after winter dormancy, and you can relax sans puffy coat on the verdant lawn at 23rd Street. The park's programming also blooms, with the return of Stargazing on the High Line (various locations, call 212-206-9922 or follow @highlinenyc for updates; Tue dusk--9:30pm, weather permitting; free; begins Apr 3), held by the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York (aaa.org) and using its high-powered telescopes. Guided walking tours also return in May (meet at the 14th Street Passage, Tenth Ave at 14th St; Tue 6:30pm; free; begins May 8). We also can't wait to see the work by darkly comic Scottish artist David Shrigley that will adorn the billboard at West 18th Street (starting Apr 1). From Gansevoort St at Washington St to Tenth Ave at 30th St (thehighline.org). Daily 7am--7pm. 13. Watch a piece being painted at 5PointzSince February, small tours of the Queens graffiti epicenter have been running every two weeks. We recommend booking tickets now to be one of eight people to be shown around by curator and artist Meres One. He'll point out the best pieces among the myriad murals that adorn the walls of the disused warehouse, then lead you up to the roof for a stunning view of Manhattan, before giving a live painting demonstration. 45-46 Davis St at Jackson Ave, Long Island City, Queens (sidetour.com). Every two weeks, Sun 2--3:30pm; $35. 14. Bust a move on BroadwayThe organizers behind the Sixth Annual New York Dance Parade have, we assume, been binge-watching the History Channel: This year will showcase dance through the ages, offering a chronological, globe-trotting trip from ancient to contemporary styles. Some 10,000 participants will hot-step down Broadway among floats, bands and DJs, finishing in Tompkins Square Park for the postparade Dance Fest (3--7pm) featuring performances, workshops and a free-for-all party. Parade begins on Broadway at 21st St (danceparade.org). May 19 at 1pm; free. 15. Imbibe atop the Metropolitan Museum of ArtEnjoy a glorious view of Central Park from the top of the Met at the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden, where you can relax with a cocktail and gaze at the green expanse below. This year's installation is "Cloud City" by Argentine artist Toms Saraceno, a series of interconnected, room-size pods that visitors can explore. 1000 Fifth Ave at 82nd St (212-535-7710, metmuseum.org). Tue--Thu, Sun 9:30am--5:30pm; Fri, Sat 9:30am--9pm. Suggested donation $25, seniors $17, students $12, members and children under 12 free. May 1--Nov 4. 16. Praise the sun godEarly risers got to enjoy a Manhattanhenge sunrise—in which the sun aligns exactly with the isle's cross streets—in January, but on May 30, you'll be able to sleep in and still catch the natural phenomenon at sunset. Grab yourself a perch before 8pm anywhere above 14th Street, and ready your camera: At 8:16pm, the city will be spectacularly illuminated, and buildings on both sides of you will sparkle with the sun's rays. Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the American Museum of Natural History's Hayden Planetarium (and the guy who popularized the event), recommends setting up on 34th or 42nd Street, so the Empire State Building or Chrysler Building, respectively, enhances the scene. 17. Try chef Andy Ricker's wingsIn January, food bloggers breathlessly chronicled the New York opening of Pok Pok Wing, the Southeast Asian takeout joint from Portland's Andy Ricker. In April, the James Beard Award--winning toque will launch a full-fledged outpost of his Oregon flagship. Look for signature dishes like Da Chom's larb muang (Northern Thai minced pork salad) and khao soi (Northern Thai yellow curry soup). Check out more of spring's hot restaurant openings. 127 Columbia St between DeGraw and Kane Sts, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn (pokpokpdx.com). April. 18. See the freaks come out for Coney IslandA new season of sideshow shenanigans explodes forth at the Coney Island USA Spring Gala, held at monster venue Webster Hall (125 E 11th St between Third and Fourth Aves; 212-353-1600, websterhall.com; Mar 24 7--11pm; $60--$250). The benefit supports a season of programming, including the 30th anniversary of the clothes-shunning Mermaid Parade (registration is open now at coneyisland.com; $15). Circus performers will give the audience an eyeful of aerial performances, fire dancing, burlesque and more; your ticket also gets you access to Webster Hall's marquee Saturday-night party, Circus. More dates for your calendar: Noisefest, a raucous musical celebration of the Coney Island spirit, is on April 1; the famed Circus Sideshow performs on weekends (1--8pm) beginning April 7; the gawk-worthy Congress of Curious Peoples runs from April 13 to 22; and a new season of Burlesque on the Beach (Thu--Fri through Sept) starts on April 26. 19. Ride your steedEach year, the Parks Department, Transportation Alternatives, and several biking businesses and nonprofits collaborate to make May Bike Month, the most cycling-friendly time of year. The celebration starts with the New Amsterdam Bike Show (Apr 28, 29) and continues with pedal-powered events like the Brooklyn Bike Jumble (May 19), the TD Five Boro Bike Tour (May 6) and the Bike Brooklyn Beer Blitz (date TBA). On the latter, a history-focused tour features a stop at a Williamsburg bar mid-jaunt. Locations and times vary; visit bikemonthnyc.org for details. 20. Root for the home teamsHead to the ballpark for the season's opening games, where a cold brew and a hot dog are waiting for you. Consider calling in sick for the Yankees' home opener against the formidable Los Angeles Angels, who snagged the off-season's highest-profile free agent in Albert Pujols. Fans eager to see a game can visit Citi Field eight days earlier for the Mets' first game, against the Atlanta Braves. The Amazin's didn't make many off-season moves, but the team may benefit from one change: the new, smaller dimensions of the stadium's outfield, which will ideally send a few more home runs into the stands. Yankee Stadium, 1 E 161st St between Jerome and River Aves, Bronx (newyork.yankees.mlb.com). Opening day: Apr 13 at 1:05pm; $15--$300 * Citi Field, Roosevelt Ave at 126th St, Flushing, Queens (mets.com). Opening day: Apr 5 at 1:10pm; $30--$325. 21. See the work of an iconic New York artistKeith Haring's energetic street art was a ubiquitous fixture in late-'70s--early-'80s New York, cropping up in subway stations and on buildings in Soho and the East Village. He went on to art-world fame and fortune before his untimely death from AIDS in 1990. "Keith Haring: 1978--1982," a new exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum (200 Eastern Pkwy at Washington Ave, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn; 718-638-5000, brooklynmuseum.org; Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun 11am--6pm; Thu 11am--10pm; suggested donation $12, seniors and students $8, members and children under 12 free; Mar 16--July *), recalls the artist's early career with works on paper, rare videos and archival objects. To see even more work by Haring, head to the LGBT Center: During most of March, the space will host Keith Haring Unveiled (208 W 13th St between Greenwich and Seventh Aves; 212-620-7310; times vary; free; through Mar 31), a series of programs dedicated to the artist's life and work. Don't miss a Haring homage at the Center's Dance:208 Garage Classics party on March 10. You can also see a mural titled Once Upon a Time inside one of the Center's former restrooms, which has since been turned into a meeting space (Mar 7--31). 22. Get high and watch a filmNow in its 16th year, the Rooftop Films alfresco series will bring more than 200 films to locations throughout the city. Besides curating smart indie docs, shorts and features, Rooftop's organizers have a talent for procuring unique venues—past screenings have taken place on the roofs of Brooklyn Grange and Brooklyn Technical High School. To top it off, performances by buzzworthy music acts (Hospitality and Janka Nabay appeared in 2011) precede the feature. Locations, times and prices vary; visit rooftopfilms.com for more information. Begins May 11. 23. Drink on the waterfrontYou don't have to schlep to the shore to feel the sand beneath your toes: The Beekman Beer Garden Beach Club in South Street Seaport is slated to reopen on April 12, providing a convenient waterfront hang with 300 pounds of sand to make castles out of. Grab some friends and lounge on the white couches with an Ommegang Witte ($7), play a free game of pool, Ping-Pong or foosball (tables are first-come, first-served), or gather round the fire pit when the night turns chilly. Keep an eye on its website for announcements about weekend beach parties in spring and live music from nationally known acts on Wednesdays (beginning late May). North side of Pier 17, Beekman St at South St (212-896-4600, beekmanonthewater.com). Daily noon--3am. Opening April 12, check the website or follow @BeekmanBGBC for updates. 24. Pig out on Cinco de MayoIf Mexican troops hadn't triumphed over their French invaders, we might all be eating onion soup on what would be called Le Cinquime de Mai, which doesn't really sound as fun as tacos. Take your pick from one (or more, we won't judge) of NYC's 26 best tacos, such as the carne asada variety at Dos Toros (137 Fourth Ave between 13th and 14th Sts; 212-677-7300; $4.50, with guacamole $5). Tender cubes of rich flap steak, seasoned with a secret spice blend and grilled to a gorgeously pink medium-rare, come cradled in corn tortillas lined with Jack cheese and topped with bright guac, fresh pico and a squirt of fiery habanero sauce. 25. Rummage in the sunshine at the Brooklyn Flea The indie market leaves its winter digs at One Hanson Place on the first Saturday of April, returning to its familiar stomping grounds in Fort Greene and the Williamsburg waterfront with more than 30 new vendors in tow. Hunt out fresh faces Bender Bound for books to stash your hip flask in and Mia Kim for vintage garbs at the Williamsburg location. If you're led purely by your stomach, hit the 'Burg on Saturdays for Smorgasburg—a glutton's paradise that welcomes Takumi Taco (adding a Japanese twist to a Mexican favorite) and Baby Got Back Ribs to its ranks. 176 Lafayette Ave between Clermont and Vanderbilt Aves, Fort Green, Brooklyn (brooklynflea.com). Sat 10am--5pm. Opens Apr 7. * East River Waterfront between North 6th and 7th Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Smorgasburg: Sat 10am--5pm. Opens Apr 7. Flea: Sun 10am--5pm. Opens Apr 8. 26. Treat yo selfSay goodbye to the winter doldrums and indulge yourself to a treatment or two during Spa Week: Spring 2012, during which hundreds of spas, salons and fitness centers around the city offer signature treatments or class packages for just $50 a pop. Among this edition's deals are facial peels with cell-stimulating botanicals and five-packs of core fusion classes at four of Exhale's Manhattan locations, as well as appointments with participants such as Fresh and Lia Schorr Day Spa. Locations vary, visit spaweek.com for more info. Apr 16--22. Booking services begins Mar 12. 27. Admire the blooms in Central ParkThe skinfest in the Sheep Meadow isn't the only thing worth eyeballing in Central Park come spring. The Conservatory Garden (east side between 104th and 106th Sts; enter at Fifth Ave and 105th St; 212-310-6600, centralparknyc.org) is a flowering paradise, with some varietals like the Lenten rose blooming as early as mid-March. For a more extensive tour, download the Central Park Conservancy's Bloom Guide from its website (available in April) and rent a bike from Bike & Roll (Merchants Gate, W 59th Street at Columbus Circle * Tavern on the Green, Central Park West between 66th and 67th Sts * bikeandroll.com; times and prices vary; opens Mar 17) or the Loeb Boathouse (East 72nd St at Park Dr North; times and prices vary; opens April). 28. Dock at Fleet Week New YorkHello, sailors! Members of the Navy, Marines and Coast Guards will congregate in the city during this celebration of the sea services, giving plenty of New Yorkers the opportunity to gawk at ladies and gents in uniform. Locations vary; visit fleetweeknewyork.com for details. May 23--30. 29. Work on your witOne of the 20th century's greatest polymaths—dramatist, actor, composer, singer, with a side gig in bons mots—who found great success in New York is saluted during the Nol Coward Festival 2012. The centerpiece of the proceedings is a New York Public Library exhibition, "Star Quality: The World of Nol Coward," (New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Donald and Mary Oenslager Gallery, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza at 66th St; 212-870-1630, nypl.org; Mar 12--Aug 18; Mon, Thu noon--8pm; Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat noon--6pm; free) displaying rarely seen ephemera (including a rather natty silk dressing gown Coward wore) from public and private collections. Institutions around the city, including the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the Paley Center and the 92nd Street Y, are also honoring the English raconteur with screenings, musical revues, plays and talks (locations, times and prices vary; see noelcowardinnewyork.com for more information). 30. Have a (beer) blastHibernation season is officially over! The bear crowd has pretty much become the middle of the road for the NYC gay-male scene, so it's no surprise that Robert Valin's annual celebration of fuzzy hunks at Urban Bear NYC draws massive crowds to its many dance parties, performances, beer blasts and more. Valin has yet to announce details for the fourth annual incarnation, but don't be surprised to find plenty of cuddly events at bear caves like the Eagle (554 W 28th St between Eleventh and Twelfth Aves; 646-473-1866, eaglenyc.com) and Nowhere (322 E 14th St between First and Second Aves, 212-477-4744). Locations, times and prices vary; visit urbanbearnyc.com for details. May 3--6. 31. Go on an art-shopping spreeYou may not have the cash to spring for the works being sold at the slew of art fairs in early March, but there's a wealth of eye candy to enjoy. Among the six fairs that run between March 7 and 11, make sure to visit the event that kicked off New York's seasonal art-fair crush, the Armory Show (Mar 8--11), which features approximately 120 international exhibitors in both contemporary and modern art categories. We also recommend the edgier Fountain Art Fair (Mar 9--11), which throws in two parties on Friday (featuring Fab 5 Freddy) and Saturday for ticket holders. For a full rundown of all your options, consult our spring art-fairs guide. 32. Chow down and shop in Hell's KitchenThe Hell's Kitchen Flea Market welcomes a mini fleet of mobile eateries back for the Gourmet Food Truck Bazaar. The lineup has yet to be confirmed, but city staples like Calexico, the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck and the Treats Truck have all parked there in the past. We advise arriving early to make a first pass at the secondhand wares and avoid missing out on the limited quantities of grub. Check the website later in the spring for announcements on more special events. W 39th St between Ninth and Tenth Aves (212-243-5343, hellskitchenfleamarket.com). Sat, Sun 9am--6pm. Gourmet Food Truck Bazaar: Every second Sun Apr--Oct 11am--5pm; free. 33. Ramble around ManhattanYour shoes were made for walking, so take in the city at a leisurely pace on the Shorewalkers 27th annual Great Saunter, a rewarding, if punishing, 32-mile, 12-hour amble around Manhattan's waterline. You'll enjoy views of all four outer boroughs and out-of-the-way spots like the Little Red Lighthouse from the eponymous children's book, while chatting to fellow wayfarers. You don't have to tackle the whole course to take part (we recommend the final leg, leaving Carl Schurz Park at 4pm, so you can finish by sinking a cold one at the Heartland Brewery). Starts and ends at Heartland Brewery, 93 South St at Fulton St (shorewalkers.org). May 5 at 7:30am; $20, advance $15, members free. 34. Capture that elusive hole in oneAt the southern end of Hudson River Park, you'll find glorious views of the river, the Jersey City waterfront and an 18-hole professional-grade miniature-golf course. Decked out with a cave, two waterfalls, footbridges and a pond, it's a great place to perfect your putt while taking in the splendid vista. For more options, try these places to play minigolf in NYC. Pier 25, Hudson River at North Moore St (manhattanyouth.org). Hours vary, see website for details; $5, children under 14 $4. 35. Watch college hoops during March MadnessCatch this year's NCAA tourney—and pray that your alma mater goes all the way—at one of these prime watering holes for watching college ball. Upper East Side sports bar Manny's on Second (1770 Second Ave between 92nd and 93rd Sts; 212-410-3300, mannysonsecond.com) boasts a whopping 40 TVs, and serves $1 drafts and $4 pitchers of Bud Light, Miller Lite and Coors Light on Fridays between 7pm and 9pm. Professor Thom's (219 Second Ave between 13th and 14th Sts; 212-260-9480, professorthoms.com) in the East Village offers two floors with divergent atmospheres: upstairs is low-key with couches to lounge on, while the full bar downstairs generates a rowdier scene. If your team crashes (and you're decked out in their colors), a bartender will pour you a free shot to help you cope with the loss. But don't hang your head, with $4 pints of Professor Thom's Hardwood Ale whenever a tournament game is on, everyone's a winner. 36. Take a ride at Coney IslandLuna Park always opens on Palm Sunday, so this year we get an extra few weeks of thrills, thanks to an earlier Easter. Last year, the Scream Zone annex expanded the theme park with two modern roller coasters, the Soaring Eagle and the Steeplechase, as well as the Sling Shot, which hurls two people 150 feet high into the air, and a spinning disc called the Zenobio. But for our money, the rickety Cyclone remains the scariest, especially because it celebrates its 85th birthday this summer. 1000 Surf Ave at W 10th St, Coney Island, Brooklyn (718-373-5862, lunaparknyc.com). Times and prices vary. Opens Apr 1. 37. Soak up suds and sun at the Frying Pan and Pier 66This "lightship"—a floating lighthouse once used by the Coast Guard—sank and spent three years underwater before she was salvaged and converted into a floating bar. Now docked near Chelsea Piers, this nautical beer garden attracts formidable weeknight and weekend throngs of would-be revelers. Starting in April (on weekends and days the weather is forecast to reach 60 to 65 degrees or higher) and officially after May 1, you can drink on deck—that is, if you can find room on the beer-soaked boat, jetty or the prime real estate: the jetty roof. If you're fortunate enough to nab a seat, order a burger. Pier 66A, West Side Hwy at 26th St (212-989-6363, pier66maritime.com). Noon--midnight. Opens April; check the website or follow @Pier66Maritime for updates. 38. Laugh with NPR nerds in BrooklynAttend a live taping of new radio show Ask Me Another, hosted by comedian Ophira Eisenberg and featuring humorous troubadour Jonathan Coulton. Expect to be treated to trivia, brainteasers, music and special guests (comedian David Cross popped up at a recent show), among other geeky bits. Although it's free, advance tickets are required (register at thebellhouseny.com). Be sure you nab those quickly; every show since the first, on January 23, has sold out. The Bell House, 149 7th St between Second and Third Aves, Gowanus, Brooklyn (718-643-6510, thebellhouseny.com). Various days at 7pm, doors 6pm; free. Mar 5--Apr 29. 39. Capture the city on filmInstead of using Instagram to give your photos that cool, vintage-y look, learn to use an analog camera. To celebrate Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day (pinholeday.org) on April 29—devoted to the most basic photographic method—the Lomography store will organize a bus tour to Coney Island. Participants will meet at the brand's West Village shop (41 W 8th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves; 212-529-4353, lomography.com; Apr 29 at 1pm; $10; R.S.V.P. to firstname.lastname@example.org) and ride to the waterfront on a school bus. Once there, you'll be lent a Diana F+ camera (along with a free roll of film) and the opportunity to let your imagination run wild. The shop also hosts other workshops throughout the spring; visit the website for more details. 40. Get out of the cityDia:Beacon doesn't have a monopoly on arty day trips. In the Hudson River Valley, Storm King Art Center boasts more than 100 post-1945 sculptures—many of them monumental in stature—on 500 acres of land. Stroll at your leisure or rent a bike ($10 per hour, minimum two hours; full day $40). On May 12, the exhibit "Light and Landscape" opens; it features 20 pieces that play with the idea of natural light, ranging from videos and installations in the institution's museum to site-specific works by Peter Coffin, Katie Holten and William Lamson. Coach USA Short Line runs one service a day between Port Authority Bus Terminal (625 Eighth Ave between 40th and 42nd Sts; 212-564-8484, coachusa.com/shortline; departs NYC 10am, departs Storm King 5:02pm; $44) and Storm King on the Mountainville Line. 1 Museum Rd, New Windsor, NY (845-534-3115, stormkingartcenter.org). Apr 4--May 27: Wed--Sun 10:30am--5:30pm; May 28--Sept 1: Wed--Fri, Sun 10:30am--5:30pm, Sat 10:30am--8pm; Sept 2--Nov 18: Wed--Fri, Sun 10:30am--5:30pm, Sat 10:30am--5pm; open holiday Mondays. $12, seniors $10, students $8. 41. Roller-skate in Central ParkIn the heart of the park under a grove of blossoming cherry trees, you'll find the Central Park Dance Skater Association's skate circle. Bring your own quads and bust a move with people of all ages to disco classics, contemporary hits and throwback R&B, house and dance music spun by a rotating roster of local DJs. If you're not a skater, there's space to dance without colliding with those on wheels or just watch the old hands do their thing. Make sure to scan the crowd as well—you may spot singer-songwriter M. Ward, who told TONY that watching the skaters is one of his favorite things to do in NYC. Skate circle at midpark, enter at Central Park West and W 72nd St or Fifth Ave and E 72nd St (cpdsa.org). Sat, Sun 2:45--6:45pm; free. Beginning in early April, weather permitting. 42. Catch election fever on BroadwayGore Vidal's 1960 presidential-campaign drama, The Best Man (Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, 236 W 45th St between Broadway and Eighth Ave; 212-329-6200, thebestmanonbroadway.com; Previews begin Mar 6), makes a timely return, especially for Republicans: The last time the play was on the Great White Way, George W. Bush took office. Politics aside, we can all get behind the starry cast, which includes Candice Bergen, John Larroquette, Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones. For more seasonal recommendations, including the revival of Jesus Christ Superstar, the ascension of Bruce Norris's Clybourne Park to Broadway and the Pulitzer Prize--winning Harvey starring Jim Parsons, gaze upon 20 theater shows this spring. 43. Take your pick of gratis culture in FiDiSample a cultural smorgasbord at the World Financial Center: This season, go see Adrin Villar Rojas's site-specific outdoor sculpture Before my Birth (Mar 1--29)—his work A person loved me is also on view at the New Museum's triennial. Attend during the first week and time your visit to coincide with New York Classical Theatre's presentation of three one-act comedies by Molire (Mar 1--4, 6--11 6--11pm). Later in the month, the two-night film series "Spotlight on Independent Film" screens Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey (Mar 27 at 7:30pm) and New York gem Metropolitan (Mar 28 at 7:30pm), with appearances by special guests at both. For something more active, wait until DJ Rekha, of the long-running Southeast Asian--inflected party Basement Bhangra, rocks the Bollywood Dance Party (Apr 24 at 7:30pm), which begins with a lesson to help you learn some steps. 220 Vesey St at West St (212-417-7050, artsworldfinancialcenter.com). Times vary; free. 44. Bet on poniesCorral your crew and head to the races for a day of equine-inspired revelry at Aqueduct Racetrack (110--00 Rockaway Blvd at 110th St, South Ozone Park, Queens; 718-641-4700, nyra.com; races Wed--Sun 12:50pm; through Apr 22). This year's most important races are the Gotham Stakes on March 3 and the Wood Memorial (New York's major warmup for the Kentucky Derby) on April 7. Admission to both the grandstand and the clubhouse is free (though you may want to bring some cash to pay your bookie). Starting April 27, the action moves to Belmont Park (2150 Hempstead Tpke between 125th St and Belmont Park Rd, Elmont, NY; 516-488-6000, nyra.com; Wed--Sun 1pm; grandstand $3, clubhouse $5; Apr 27--July 15), and the price goes up a whopping three bucks. In planning your race-day wardrobe, keep in mind that there is a "tradition of elegance" at the track. You don't have to dress to the nines, but an ascot never hurt anyone. 45. Quaff a mint julepWith the approach of the Kentucky Derby (May 5), our minds instantly turn to hats, horses, and that intoxicating mix of bourbon, sugar, mint and crushed ice. New York's biggest show of pomp is at Eleven Madison Park's glitzy party with Esquire magazine (11 Madison Ave at 24th St; 212-889-0905, elevenmadisonpark.com; May 5 3--7pm; $175, tickets on sale Apr 2), featuring Kentucky-inspired cuisine, mint juleps, a cigar lounge, live bluegrass and coverage of the race. If you prefer to get down and derby, plan on attending the Bell House's free annual shindig (149 7th St between Second and Third Aves, Gowanus, Brooklyn; 718-643-6510, thebellhouseny.com; times TBA; free). 46. Ride off into the sunset on horsebackTrade in your MetroCard for a saddle and reins; two Brooklyn stables offer well-priced options for beginners and seasoned equestrians. Kensington Stables (51 Caton Pl at E 8th St, Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn; 718-972-4588, kensingtonstables.com; one-hour group ride $37, one-hour private ride $57) is great for beginners who want to walk or trot, offering trail rides through Prospect Park, where horses largely keep the same steady pace. For a chance to ride completely off-road, head to Jamaica Bay Riding Academy (7000 Shore Pkwy, Mill Basin, Brooklyn; 718-531-8949, horsebackride.com; 40-minute group ride $37, 50-minute private ride $53), located 15 minutes from Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. It offers 450 acres of wooded trails and 3.5 miles of beachfront riding—you'll soon forget you're in the city. 47. Buy some booze, then watch a filmNow in its second year, the LES Film Festival screens independent, low-budget shorts and feature films; hosts Q&As with filmmakers; and throws in a couple of parties for good measure. Most screenings are programmed thematically—comedy, gay, experimental, docs, animation, nerds(!), to name but a few—and all are BYOB, so there's no need to smuggle in your hip flask. A judging panel that includes Susan Sarandon and Justin Vivian Bond will pick the best in six categories, and the winners will be screened at Landmark's Sunshine Cinema (143 E Houston St between First and Second Aves; landmarktheatres.com). Locations and times vary; see lesfilmfestival.com for details. Mar 6--18; $10. 48. Salute Stevie NicksFor the 22nd annual Night of a Thousand Stevies, hundreds of Nicks acolytes will gather in their finest leather and lace, many making the pilgrimage from across the U.S. Hosted by cofounder Chi Chi Valenti, a stream of drag queens and downtown darlings like Darlinda Just Darlinda and Machine Dazzle will offer tribute performances throughout the night. This year's theme is Dreams Unwind, drawing inspiration from last year's In Your Dreams album and Fleetwood Mac's Dreams. Highline Ballroom, 431 W 16th St between Ninth and Tenth Aves (212-414-5994, highlineballroom.com). May 11 at 9pm; $25. 49. See a showPony up this season for a concert—in the summer you can pay with your time while waiting on line for a free outdoor gig. We recommend buying tickets now to see Andrew W.K. reprise his debut album, I Get Wet, at Webster Hall (125 E 11th St between Third and Fourth Aves; 212-353-1600, websterhall.com; Apr 2 at 7pm; advance $25, at the door $30), or Feist's gala extravaganza at Radio City Music Hall (1260 Sixth Ave at 50th St; 212-247-4777, radiocity.com; May 5 at 8pm; $40--$50). For 18 more hot tickets, check out the season's top music events.50. Marvel at "The Orchid Show: Patrick Blanc's Vertical Gardens"The New York Botanical Garden celebrates the tenth anniversary of its annual exotic-flower showcase with an installation by French artist Patrick Blanc, who (along with garden staff) will build living floral walls in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd between Bedford Park Blvd and Mosholu Pkwy, Bronx (718-817-8700, nybg.org). Mar 3--Apr 22; $8--$20. 51. Chow down at Red Hook ball fieldsBypass Ikea's meatballs and head for the locally renowned Latin-food vendors that set up shop on the Red Hook ball fields from mid-April through the fall. Among the South American delicacies on offer are Salvadoran pupusas from Solber Pupusas, winners of the 2011 Vendy Cup. Red Hook Recreational Area, Clinton St at Bay St, Red Hook, Brooklyn (redhookfoodvendors.com). Sat, Sun 10am--9pm. Opening mid-April; check the website or follow @RedHookFoodVend for updates. 52. Explore Jackson Heights with the GuggFor the latest edition of the Guggenheim's stillspotting nyc series—which invites artists to respond to the cacophony of the city with different creative projects—NYC architects Solid Objectives--Idenburg Liu have arranged self-guided tours of Jackson Heights, Queens. The jaunt begins at a kiosk near 75th Street and Broadway, where attendees will receive a map printed with several locations throughout the neighborhood. Each stop is the home or business of an area resident; once there, you'll hear stories about that person's background and transition settling into the diverse area. The two-hour treks aim to showcase the untold stories of the local immigrant communities. Locations and times vary, visit stillspotting.guggenheim.org for more information. April 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29, May 5, 6. $10, members $8. 53. Commune with hops-headsA welcome addition to the New York tasting scene, the NYC American Craft Beer Festival makes a splash, bringing 75 domestic breweries, including the Bronx Brewery and Oregon's Rogue, to the Lexington Avenue Armory. About 150 beers will be available to try at this sudsfest, with a strong emphasis on limited-release and seasonal brews. If you can't get tickets, choose from these one-off beer events or these recurring tastings and tap takeovers. 68 Lexington Ave at 26th St (nyccraftbeerfest.com). Mar 3 12:30--4pm, 6--9:30pm; $55--$125. 54. Check in with the Allman BrothersThe Southern-rock legends have been trucking through NYC for a yearly stint at the Beacon Theatre since 1989. The March tradition continues with a ten-show run, pegged to the 40th anniversary of the band's live double LP Eat a Peach, the last release to feature founding member Duane Allman before his death in 1971. Undoubtedly, the band will dig into an extended "Mountain Jam" for the late slide guitarist. 2124 Broadway at 74th St (212-465-6500, beacontheatrenyc.com). Mar 9, 10, 13, 14, 16, 17, 20, 21, 24, 25 at 8pm; $50.99--$150.99. 55. Check out the Red PlanetRejoice, all ye manned-spaceflight nerds: Artist Tom Sachs is stepping into the void left by the cancellation of NASA's shuttle program with "Space Program: Mars." Sachs and his 13 assistants will fill the 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall with a cosmic spectacle, featuring mission control, launch platforms, exploratory vehicles and a martian landscape. Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Ave between 66th and 67th Sts (212-616-3930, armoryonpark.org). Tue--Wed, Fri--Sun noon--7pm; Thu noon--9pm. $12, seniors and students $10, children under 10 free. May 18--June 17. 56. Marvel at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's new green roofThis spring, the 52-acre institution will unveil its new 20,000-square-foot visitors' center: The eco-friendly structure, designed by New York architecture firm Weiss/Manfredi, features a leaf-shaped living roof planted with roughly 100 species of flora, intended to blend in with the bucolic landscape. 900 Washington Ave between President and Carroll Sts, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (718-623-7200, bbg.org). Tue--Fri 8am--4:30pm, Sat--Sun 10am--4:30pm; $10, seniors and students $5. Opens May 16. 57. Get a sneak peek at future movie hitsIndie-film fans, rejoice! Robert De Niro's Tribeca Film Festival returns to downtown Manhattan for its tenth year, drawing cineastes to its screenings, panels, talks and other events. This year's lineup has yet to be released, but expect the quality to be high: Last year's program included some of our favorite films of 2011, such as The Trip, Higher Ground and The Guard. Before heading to this year's activities, check out our handy roundup of the best places to eat and drink nearby. Locations, times and prices vary; visit tribecafilm.com/festival for details. Apr 18--29. 58. Visit a recently revived institutionAfter being closed for nearly a year because of financial troubles, the South Street Seaport Museum reopened for business in January. Visitors can see artifacts from the museum's vast collection of maritime items, as well as a number of installations that examine the city's history. Among the new exhibits are "Occupy Wall Street: A Photographic Document," featuring images of protestors by more than a dozen photographers, and "Manahatta: Manhattan in 1609," based on Eric Sanderson's research into 17th-century New York. South Street Seaport Museum, 12 Fulton St at South St (212-748-8600, seany.org). Wed--Sun 10am--6pm; $5, children under 9 free. 59. Make a trip to Jersey to cheer on the Red BullsThe MLS season begins in March, and New York's team is hoping to redeem last season's disappointing fall to the L.A. Galaxy in the conference semifinals, starting with its first home game against the Colorado Rapids (Mar 25 at 4pm). One to watch: French striker Thierry Henry, who returned from his sojourn in the English Premier League, having proven he can still compete with the best. The impressive 25,000-seat Red Bull Arena rarely reaches capacity, so unless you prefer to put your feet up on the chair in front of you, join the boisterous flag-waving, scarf-swinging supporters clubs in the South Ward section behind the goal. Check the Empire Supporters Club (empiresupportersclub.com) website for MP3s of songs and chants to learn before you go. Red Bull Arena, 600 Cape May St, Harrison, NJ (newyorkredbulls.com). Schedule varies; see website for details. Tickets start at $20. 60. Welcome the country's top orchestras to townOne of the most exciting additions to last season's classical calendar, Spring for Music was a weeklong series featuring some of North America's most innovative regional orchestras. Top-notch performances, illuminating program choices and an affordable price tag made this a winning combination. For the second edition, orchestras from around the country shower listeners with everything from Shostakovich oddities and a Kurt Weill symphony to Terry Riley's electric violin concerto and a program pairing Messiaen and Debussy with new music for traditional Chinese instruments. Carnegie Hall, 154 W 57th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves (212-247-7800, carnegiehall.org). May 7--12 7:30pm; $25. 61. Booze at a beer gardenIt's never too early in the season to start thinking about beer gardens: Greenpoint's Berry Park and Astoria's Bohemian Hall are perennial favorites, while in Long Island City, Studio Square provides plenty of affordable options for hops-heads. But great outdoor spaces aren't limited to the outer boroughs: Manhattan's best open-air venues include Hallo Berlin in midtown, Eataly's La Birreria (which sports a retractable roof) in Flatiron and the Standard Biergarten in the Meatpacking District. Peruse all of your options with our list of the 20 best beer gardens in NYC. 62. Walk through a rain forest in Herald SquareFor more than 60 years, the Macy's Flower Show has showcased the nation's most renowned floral designers while celebrating the diversity of plant life the world over. This year the event moves to a 150-foot-long tent in Broadway Plaza at Herald Square while the interior of the 34th Street flagship store undergoes major renovation. But not to worry, flora lovers: This does not mean the expo will be any less over-the-top than in the past. This year's theme is Brasil: Gardens in Paradise, so expect rain-forest perennials, Carnival-inspired designs and a ten-foot-tall topiary toucan. Broadway Plaza at 34th St (212-494-4495, macys.com/flowershow). Mar 25-Apr 7; free. 63. Stay trendy and in the blackItalian designer Alberta Ferretti, known for her party-perfect frocks, has created an affordable collection (items are all under $119) for Impulse at Macy's enhanced by bright colors, feminine details and breezy silhouettes. White jersey tops with lace necklines ($69) and snug eyelet-lace pants ($79) are ideal springtime staples. For more hot lines, check out four new designer collaborations. 151 W 34th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves (212-695-4400, macys.com). Available Apr 17. 64. Practice yoga in a tranquil gardenSpend some time getting reacquainted with the green stuff (that's grass and trees, in case you've forgotten) at an outdoor yoga class (Sun 10--11:15am, weather permitting; $20, members $15; begins May 6) in the bucolic grounds of Wave Hill. Each session is taught by Neem Dewji, who is certified in both hatha and therapeutic yoga by the Integral Yoga Institute. Once you've made it through a few sun salutations, wander around the grounds of the 28-acre garden, which was once a private estate. Look for spring wildflowers, such as Virginia bluebells or celandine poppies, or simply take in the views of the Hudson River from the comfort of an Adirondack chair. Independence Ave at 249th St, Bronx (718-549-3200, wavehill.org). Through Mar 14 Tue--Sun 9am--4:30pm; after Mar 15 Tue--Sun 9am--5:30pm. $8, seniors and students $4. 65. Stage a pickup game in Central ParkIf you've got energy—but no money—to burn, head to the North Meadow Recreational Center with your crew to pick up a free field-day kit (requires deposit of ID). You'll find Wiffle balls and bats, jump ropes and Frisbees, so you and your brahs can play the ultimate sport. Midpark at 97th St, enter at Central Park West and W 97th St (212-348-4867, centralparknyc.org). Mar: Tue--Sun 10am--5pm, Apr--June: Tue--Fri 10am--6pm; Sat, Sun 10am--5pm. 66. Have a boozy spring breakFruity drinks! Beer pong! People making out while Top 40 tunes blast! Yes, you can relive your college days—or those of the frat boys at your school—without leaving Manhattan. Try New Orleans--themed spot Billy Hurricane's (25 Ave B between 2nd and 3rd Sts; 646-692-6216, billyhurricanes.com), where bartenders serve a flaming, five-liquor-strong concoction called the Scorpion Bowl ($16). There's also cramped subterranean West Village hang Down the Hatch (179 W 4th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves; 212-627-9747, nycbestbar.com), which offers free games of beer pong in the back when you buy a pitcher ($9--$15). Arrive early: This spot gets packed as the night wears on. For other places to find Cancun-style revelry in NYC, check out our guide to having a fake spring break. 67. Spot birds in BrooklynThe National Audubon Society classifies Prospect Park as an Important Bird Area for the many species (more than 250 of them, in fact) that migrate through. This season you may see the American goldfinch, Baltimore oriole and blue jay. Learn how to find them by taking an Intro to Bird Watching tour (Sat noon--1:30pm; free) or the Early Bird Walking Tour (first Sunday of the month 8--10am; free). Binoculars are provided at both, or bring your own. Prospect Park Audubon Center, Ocean Ave at Lincoln Rd, Prospect Park, Brooklyn (718-287-3400, prospectpark.org/audubon) 68. Go on a classical-music marathonAfter rolling out the four episodes of Der Ring des Nibelungen over two years, Fabio Luisi presides over three complete showings of the Met's high-tech production of Richard Wagner's epic Ring cycle. Classical-music daredevils and fantasy nerds can immerse themselves in the German composer's bizarre universe, which is inhabited by Rhine maidens, demigods, mortal warriors and Valkyries—all obsessed with a potent golden accessory. A sterling lineup of singers, including Deborah Voigt, Bryn Terfel and Stephanie Blythe, take on Robert Lepage's notoriously complicated set in this final showdown. Metropolitan Opera House (at Lincoln Center), Lincoln Center Plaza at 65th St (212-362-6000, metopera.org). Times vary. $380--$2,600. Apr 7--May 12. 69. Shop local at the Brooklyn Lyceum Spring Craft MarketMore than 60 artisans will showcase their wares at this grand building, a former public bathhouse. The craft convention will also feature food vendors, works from local artists, genre-defying collaborations between musicians and artists programmed by GALA NYC (galanyc.com), and readings and performances. 227 Fourth Ave between President and Union Sts, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-857-4816, brooklynlyceum.com). May 5, 6 11am--6pm; free. 70. See a band take over BAMBryce and Aaron Dessner, the twin guitarist-composers behind the indie-rock band, take control of the entire Peter Jay Sharp Building—the Howard Gilman Opera House, the cinema, the works—for Crossing Brooklyn Ferry, a celebration of New York City culture. They'll host a different roster of bands each night, plus indie-film screenings and a late-night dance party. Brooklyn Academy of Music, 30 Lafayette Ave between Ashland Pl and St. Felix St, Fort Greene, Brooklyn (718-636-4100, bam.org). Times TBA; $45, three-night pass $135. May 3--5. 71. Take in an expansive art show uptownOnce known as the exhibition everyone loved to hate, the Whitney Biennial has had to contend with competing contemporary-art showcases, such as MoMA PS1's "Greater New York" and the New Museum Triennial. This isn't necessarily a bad thing; the 2010 edition was a refreshingly focused and well-thought-out affair. In addition to the art offerings, this year features residencies by choreographers Sarah Michelson and Michael Clark, as well as a film program curated by Thomas Beard and Ed Halter of Brooklyn film collective Light Industry. Whitney Museum of American Art, 945 Madison Ave at 75th St (212-570-3600, whitney.org). Wed, Thu, Sat, Sun 11am--6pm; Fri 1pm--9pm. $18; seniors, adults 19--25 and students $12; ages 18 and under free. Mar 1--May 27. 72. Meet a new generation of filmmakersWant to see tomorrow's Spielbergs and Almodvars today? Both were once unknown filmmakers whose work appeared in the New Directors/New Films festival, a joint effort of the Museum of Modern Art and the Film Society of Lincoln Center. This 41st edition screens 41 features and shorts by emerging talents from 28 different countries, and for the first time, screens a movie by a cinematic titan: Stanley Kubrick's first full-length effort, Fear and Desire, made when he was a precocious 24-year-old. MoMA, 11 W 53rd St between Fifth and Sixth Aves * The Film Society of Lincoln Center, 165 W 65th St between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave * (newdirectors.org) Mar 21--Apr 1; tickets on sale Mar 11. 73. Learn ptanque in Bryant ParkYou may think it's a haughty version of bocce, but you'd be wrong. Get the inside track on the game with a free lesson from a member of the La Boule New Yorkaise club (labouleny.com) at the Bryant Park courts. Just stroll up and find the instructor in the club's T-shirt, and he or she will school you on the basic rules in around 15 minutes. You're free to stay and play with the clubs's equipment as long as you like (although it does get busy during lunch) and receive further insights on strategy and tactics. Gravel courts at the corner of Sixth Ave and 42nd St (212-768-4242, bryantpark.org). Mon--Fri 11am--6pm; free. Beginning Apr 2. 74. Commune with nature in Battery ParkAvoid the crowds in Central and Prospect Parks during spring's first few balmy days by taking a stroll through Manhattan's verdant southernmost tip. The green space is home to two gardens: The seven-year-old Bosque, which covers three acres and features 140 London plane trees; and the Gardens of Remembrance, where you can see more than 100 different types of perennials. Stop for a bite at one of the food kiosks dotted throughout the park: An outpost of Zak Pelaccio's Asian-inflected BBQ joint Fatty 'Cue opened there in 2011, along with Fatty Snack, which offers treats like shaved ice ($3), cookies ($3) and milkshakes ($5). Enter at State and Whitehall Sts (212 344-3491, thebattery.org). 75. Join a social sports teamYou've thought about it, now do it: Put down that PS3 controller and join an outdoor league. ZogSports co-ed sports leagues, one of NYC's biggest rec groups, hosts coed softball, soccer and touch-football leagues in the spring. Don't sweat it if you haven't swung a bat since T-ball days: When signing up, participants must assess their own skill level—from "extremely casual" newbies to jocks who've played high-school or college sports—and are then matched to a compatible division. As a bonus, teams are encouraged to retreat to a nearby bar for postgame drinks, and a portion of the bar tab is donated to charity. Locations and price vary; visit zogsports.com for more information. Season begins in early March. 76. Pitch inPerform a good deed and sign up for New York Cares Day Spring (formerly Hands on New York Day), a benefit to raise money for the year's programming. Approximately 5,000 good souls will get their hands dirty beautifying ten miles of shoreline and 80 parks in all five boroughs by gardening, painting, repairing fences, fixing nature trails and, yes, pay for the privilage. If you want a chance to choose where you work, gather some friends and sign up as a team by Mar 23, otherwise you'll be assigned to a project in the borough of your choice. Register online at newyorkcaresday.org by Apr 13. Apr 21 9:30am--3pm; $20. 77. Honor the accomplishments of women at the Brooklyn MuseumThe Kings County institution is home to the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, and to celebrate its fifth birthday—as well as Women's History Month—the museum has planned a slew of ladycentric events. Among the offerings: a screening of the 2011 documentary Miss Representation, about depictions of women in the media (Mar 15 at 7pm; free), and a live appearance from artist-activist collective the Guerrilla Girls (Mar 29 at 7pm; free), who famously protested the lack of representation of female artists in major museums with the slogan "Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum?" Plus, the institution's monthly Target First Saturdays bash (Mar 3 5--11pm; free) is devoted to "fierce, phenomenal women," with a female-friendly dance party (the Ladies of Ubiquita, an NYC DJ collective, will spin) and a book club devoted to Sara Marcus's Girls to the Front, a history of the riot-grrrl movement. For more ways to celebrate ladies in March, visit our roundup of Women's History Month events. 200 Eastern Pkwy at Washington Ave, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (718-638-5000, brooklynmuseum.org). Times and prices vary. 78. Walk with a purposeAIDS Walk New York is the largest single-day AIDS fund-raising event in the world. Beyond benefitting the Gay Men's Health Crisis and dozens of other tristate-area AIDS service organizations, its intent is to bring awareness and acceptance to the still-raging, often invisible epidemic of HIV and AIDS. Though registration is free, teams of two or more are encouraged to raise funds through pledges and sponsorship. The 10K (6.2-mile) walkathon starts and ends in Central Park. Enter at 59th St at Fifth Ave (212-807-9255, aidswalk.net/newyork). May 20 at 9am; free. 79. Find out how animals become illuminatedYou know those people who think the sun shines out of their ass? There's actually a scientific term for a living being that generates its own light. The American Museum of Natural History explores that phenomenon in its new exhibition "Creatures of Light: Nature's Bioluminescence." Examples from the animal kingdom include fireflies, jellyfish and flashlight fish (which have a glowing spot underneath their eyes). The institution has re-created different habitats where these animals can be found: simulated fireflies, for example, will be in a meadow diorama. Throughout, visitors will also be able delve deeper into each installation on iPads attached to stands, which will feature animations, photos and videos that provide context for each section. Central Park West at W 79th St (212-769-5100, amnh.org). Daily 10am--5:45pm; suggested donation $25, seniors and students $19, children 2--12 $14.50, children under 2 free. Mar 31--Jan 6. 80. Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and go to Beacon, New YorkWhen you've tired of MoMA's lines and photo-taking tourists, take an 80-minute Metro-North ride to Dia:Beacon (3 Beekman St at Red Flynn Rd; 845-440-0100, diabeacon.org; $10, students and seniors $7). Founded in 1974 and housed in a former Nabisco printing factory, the museum has a vast collection of larger-than-life modern art—including Donald Judd's steely monoliths, Richard Serra's enveloping Cor-Ten steel assemblies and Louise Bourgeois's sinister sculptures—that conventional museums often can't accommodate for lack of space. Pack a picnic to enjoy on the sprawling grounds, perched on the edge of the Hudson River. Travel: Metro-North Hudson Line to Beacon (off-peak round trip $28). 81. Power through the water on the HudsonEvery weekend starting in May, the New York Outrigger Club offers up to three free training sessions for the six-man Polynesian canoe. The lesson begins on land, where you'll familiarize yourself with the boat and its history, learning stroke work, safety protocols, and calls and commands; then you'll get 30 to 45 minutes of practice on the water with three expert shipmates who'll steer you in the right direction. Sessions are limited to six people each, so e-mail ahead to book your space. The club provides everything you need—boats, paddles and life vests—but it's up to you to bring drinking water, sunscreen and a lock for the provided locker. Grass skirts optional. Boathouse at Pier 66, W 26th St at the Hudson River (newyorkoutrigger.org). Sat 10:30, 11:15am, noon; Sun 12:30, 1:15, 2pm. Free. May--September, start date TBA. Reservations required, e-mail email@example.com. 82. Hunt for a bargain at a New York institution before it disappearsThe Antiques Garage is living on borrowed time, operating on a month-by-month lease since summer 2011 until the owner of the building finalizes development plans. Which is a shame, because the 100-odd vendors that fill the old two-story parking garage sell some of the best antique and vintage finds in the city. Go for an early-morning trip to raid the stalls before the hand-holding postbrunch hordes descend. 112 W 25th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves (212-243-5343, hellskitchenfleamarket.com). Sat, Sun 9am--5pm. 83. Nurture your green thumbRemember how much better your spaghetti Bolognese tastes when you use basil grown on your windowsill? If you've got a yard, sign up for the Chef's Garden 101 class at Brooklyn Kitchen (100 Frost St at Meeker Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-389-2982, thebrooklynkitchen.com; Apr 22 2--4pm; $55). Instructors will tailor an edible-plant selection to your available space, and school you on basics like germination and selecting soil. Territorially challenged New Yorkers can seed their supper too, find out how at the "Grow UP! Green Roof Gardening" workshop led by Eagle Street Rooftop Farm's Annie Novak (New York Botanical Garden Midtown Center, 20 W 44th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves; 718-817-8747, nybg.org; Mar 1 6:15--9:15pm; $47, members $42). Learn how to utilize the top of your building, plus which vegetables have the best per-square-foot value, among other tips. Even for the hopelessly metropolitan, there is a solution: Attend "3rd Ward's Urban Food Production for the Landless" (573 Metropolitan Ave between Lorimer St and Union Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-715-4961, 3rdward.com; Apr 3 7--10pm; $65) and equip your home with edible terrariums, coffee-grown mushrooms and other indoor-friendly items. 84. Pound the pavement to fight cancer We're New Yorkers—we know how to power-walk. Put this innate skill to good use at the 15th Annual EIF Revlon Run/Walk for Women, in which more than 20,000 participants will raise funds for women's cancer research, counseling and outreach. A confetti explosion replaces the starter's pistol in Times Square, and the three-mile route finishes in Central Park. You'll be done by noon with plenty of time left to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. (855-434-3779, revlonrunwalk.org) May 5 at 9am, registration begins at 7am; $40, advance $35. 85. Satisfy your comic cravings The MoCCA Festival, a celebration of cartoons and comic art, turns ten this year, but shows no sign of growing out of graphic art (thank goodness), filling the Lexington Avenue Armory with the latest mainstream, indie and super-rare comics. The gathering doesn't tend to stray into costume-wearing territory, instead it offers stimulating panels and the MoCCA Live Strip Show, in which actors and comedians performed live versions of comic strips (geddit?). 68 Lexington Ave between 25th and 26th Sts (212-254-3511, moccany.com) Apr 28, 29 11am--6pm; $TBD. 86. Wander among masterworks at the Frick CollectionOnce the stately residence of Gilded Age industrialist Henry Clay Frick, this Upper East Side institution is now home to its patron's world-class collection of art, particularly paintings by Old Masters (including Johannes Vermeer and Giovanni Bellini). Once you've perused the museum's galleries, head to the Portico Gallery, a small space that opened in late 2011. The narrow room houses a collection of Meissen porcelain, but you can also admire the flowers blooming in the adjacent Fifth Avenue Garden. Beginning in March, the Frick will also host classical-music concerts ($25--$30) in its circular Music Room. 1 E 70th St between Fifth and Madison Aves (212-288-0700, frick.org). Tue--Sat 10am--6pm, Sun 11am--5pm; $18, seniors $12, students $10, Sun 11am--1pm pay what you wish. 87. See comedians wing it at the NYC Improv Fest Given the Peoples Improv Theater's dramatic new Gramercy digs—including two performance spaces and a welcoming bar—it follows that the staff would want to invite improvisers from around the country to take part in a few days of performances, workshops and panels. This inaugural festival has plenty of New Yorkers on the bill, including a reunion of improv troupe Neutrino, along with appearances from Chicago star Jet Eveleth and Toronto's vaunted 2-Man No-Show. Peoples Improv Theater, 123 E 24th St between Park and Lexington Aves (212-563-7488, thepit-nyc.com). Times and prices vary. Mar 21--24. 88. Enjoy a free concert Still paying off your credit card bill from the excess of the holidays? Us too, but there's still plenty of shows the broke can see. Close out your workweek at the American Folk Art Museum, where the Free Music Fridays series features performances from Americana, folk, indie-pop and other acts (2 Lincoln Sq, Columbus Ave at 66th St; 212-265-1040, folkartmuseum.org; Fri 5:30--7:30pm; free). On most Fridays and Saturdays, BAMcaf hosts sets of envelope-pushing jazz, world music, R&B, hip-hop and rock (30 Lafayette Ave between Ashland Pl and St. Felix St, Fort Greene, Brooklyn; 718-636-4139, bam.org; times vary; free). "Dirty gospel" outfit Reverend Vince Anderson and His Love Choir takes over Williamsburg hot spot Union Pool (484 Union Ave at Meeker Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-609-0484, union-pool.com; Mon at 11pm, 1am; free) every Monday. Consult our roundup of no-cover venues for more gratis gigs. 89. Be a deviant for a nightOnce upon a time, the Saint at Large's Black Party, its biggest annual event, was merely one of the city's brazenly hedonistic celebrations of debauchery. These days, it's practically an industry, complete with a vendor-packed exposition and a international-escort awards ceremony, the Hookies. The main event, though, remains the 18-hour dance party, which always attracts top-notch DJs (this year's have yet to be announced—keep an eye on the website for details) and a variety of eye-popping performances. Roseland Ballroom, 239 W 52nd St between Broadway and Eighth Ave (212-674-8541, blackparty.com). Black Party Expo: Mar 23 8pm--1am, Mar 24 noon--7pm; the Hookies: Mar 23 at 11pm; Black Party: Mar 24 at 10pm through afternoon of Mar 25. Prices vary. 90. Buy from local artisansThe Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit is a long-standing springtime tradition in Greenwich Village, founded in part by Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning in 1931 as an opportunity for up-and-coming artists and photographers to showcase and sell their work. This 183rd edition stretches from University Place at East 13th Street all the way down to West 3rd Street and features more than 125 vendors. University Pl between W 3rd and E 13th Sts (212-982-6255, wsoae.org). May 26-28, June 2, 3 noon-6pm; free. 91. Explore the World Science FestivalThe fifth-annual festival celebrates scientific pursuits—from pandemic prevention to quantum entanglement—with brainy panels and performances over five days. Last year's participants included James Watson, half of the duo that discovered the double-helix structure of DNA; guitarist Pat Metheny; and Moth storytellers, including monologuist Mike Daisey. Locations and prices vary; see worldsciencefestival.com for more information. May 30--June 3. 92. Get a downtown culture fixDowntown stalwart Theater for the New City throws the 17th annual Lower East Side Festival for the Arts, featuring playwrights' works, plus puppeteers and other performers. Expect to see downtown art-scene staples like Penny Arcade, Reno, Bina Sharif and Steve Ben Israel in and around the neighborhood. The centerpiece is a street fair (10th St between First and Second Aves; May 26 noon--6pm) on Saturday afternoon. Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave between 9th and 10th Sts (212-254-1109, theaterforthenewcity.net). May 25 6pm--1am; May 26 noon--1am; May 27 4pm--midnight. Free. 93. Take your taste buds globe-trottingStreet-fair season is upon us, but the two-day Ninth Avenue International Food Festival, now in its 39th year, puts the tube-sock-touting minifests in the shade. Shop for crafts, clothes and jewelry at more than 200 stalls, and check out food carts from local restos like BBQ joint Southern Hospitality and biergarten Hallo Berlin Express. Once you've finished consuming, take in international music and dance performances at the 55th Street stage. Ninth Ave from 42nd to 57th Sts (ninthavenuefoodfestival.com). May 19, 20 noon--5pm; free. 94. Sweat out your winter sinsSpring is all about new beginnings, and there's no better place to achieve catharsis than in a spa. At Body by Brooklyn, you can spend a day cycling through a Swedish dry sauna, a Turkish steam room, pools galore and a lounge where you can brunch on weekends. To really pay penance, ask for the platza treatment to be brushed and gently beaten with a bundle of oak leaves ($40, with sea salt scrub $80) before being drenched in ice-cold water—invigorating doesn't come close to describing it. Explore your relaxation options with more of NYC's best spas. 275 Park Ave between Washington and Waverly Aves, Clinton Hill, Brooklyn (718-923-9400, bodybybrooklyn.com). Mon, Wed, Thu, Sun 10am--8pm; Fri, Sat 10am--9pm. All-day admission Mon--Fri $45; Sat, Sun $45, with brunch $55. 95. Roll with your homiesWhile the hardy bikers of Critical Mass ride throughout the year, Wednesday Night Skate begins its free weekly two-hour group skate on April 4. Starting and ending in Union Square, staff lead up to 80 participants embark on a different route each week, finishing with food, drinks and camaraderie at Gramercy bistro Mumbles (179 Third Ave at E 17th St; 212-477-6066, mumblesnyc.com). Meet at the south end of Union Square, E 14th St between Broadway and University Pl (weskateny.org). Wed 7:45pm; free. 96. Check in at Internet Week New YorkIt used to be that you weren't a real New Yorker until you were mugged. With the explosion of New York's tech scene, we're inching closer to the day when you don't belong here unless you've worked at a start-up. If you're a noob, step into that world at this annual festival. A pass gets you access to the hub at event space 82Mercer (82 Mercer St between Broome and Spring Sts), which offers art and tech installations to play with and a Creators' Project speakers series. Alternatively, just have fun at the Girls Who Rock concert at Gramercy Theatre (127 E 23rd St between Park Ave South and Lexington Ave; thegramercytheatre.com; date, time and price TBA). The gig benefits She's the First, a not-for-profit that sponsors girls' education, and JoJo and Nina Sky headlined last year's ladycentric lineup. Locations, times and prices vary; see internetweekny.com for details. May 14--21. 97. Hear work by idiosyncratic composersThe San Francisco Symphony's trailblazing maestro Michael Tilson Thomas brings the multicity American Mavericks festival, dedicated to the revolutionaries and oddball characters of contemporary American music, to New York City. The jamboree offers lectures, exhibits and concerts that exalt music by classic nonconformists like John Cage, John Adams and Morton Feldman, as well as a new generation of boundary pushers. Highlights include free neighborhood concerts by Alarm Will Sound, violinist Jennifer Koh and pianist Lisa Moore, as well as four nights with the San Francisco Symphony featuring Emanuel Ax, Jessye Norman and Meredith Monk. Locations, times and prices vary; visit americanmavericks.org for details. Mar 14--30. 98. Take a private tour of Central Park ZooGet a fresh (and less crowded) perspective on the majesty of wildlife at a new lecture series about urban ecology and sustainability by Fordham University and the Wildlife Conservation Society—which operates the Central Park, Prospect Park, Bronx and Queens Zoos. Hear about new research during "Penguin Discoveries" (Apr 19 6:30--7:30pm; $30, members $25, students $18) and take a private tour of the penguin exhibit, which includes four king penguins. Or discover how wildlife deals with urban living at "Urban Impacts on the Landscape" (May 17 6:30--7:30pm; $30, members $25, students $18), with a private tour of the zoo's collection of sea ducks—a remarkably resilient breed. 4D Theater, Central Park Zoo, southeast corner of Central Park, enter at Fifth Ave at 64th St (212-439-6500, centralparkzoo.com) 99. Check out work by young contemporary artistsThe second edition of the New Museum Triennial, "The Ungovernables," features a crop of emerging artists born after the mid-1970s whose work deals with globalism and the continuing cultural fallout from the '60s. The roster comprises 34 artists, groups and temporary collectives, totaling 50 participants in all. Although there's nothing unruly or envelope-pushing about any of the works here, a few standout pieces—such as a video by Egyptian artist Hassan Khan, set to the propulsive strains of traditional Cairo street music, and a stairwell installation by American artist Abigail DeVille—are worth the price of admission. 235 Bowery at Prince St (212-219-1222, newmuseum.org). Wed, Fri--Sun 11am--6pm; Thu 11am--9pm. $12, seniors $10, students with ID $8, children under 18 free. Through Apr 22. 100. Celebrate a milestone at a landmark buildingTo celebrate its 125th anniversary, the Museum at Eldridge Street has planned a diverse lineup of programs highlighting the institution's history (it was one of the first major synagogues to be built on the Lower East Side) and connection to its surrounding neighborhood. This season's offerings include "125th Anniversary in Conversation," a series of discussions with noteworthy Jewish cultural figures (including songwriter Mike Stoller and filmmaker Henry Bean); an exhibit of drawings from Liana Finck's graphic novel A Bintel Brief; and tours of the historic building. 12 Eldridge St between Canal and Division Sts (212-219-0888, eldridgestreet.org). Times and prices vary. 101. Imagine a better neighborhoodFor "Civic Action: A Vision for Long Island City," four artists, including Rirkrit Tiravanija and George Trakas, were invited to create innovative proposals for ways to keep the Queen nabe's character—a vibrant mixture of residential life, art, industry and open space—for this exhibit. A small-scale version of the show has shown at the Noguchi Museum since October, but an iteration at Socrates Sculpture Park brings larger and more complex models of the artists' designs. All creations incorporate some degree of interactivity, such as Tiravanija's proposal for a community kitchen in the park and Trakas's idea for a promenade hugging the East River. Socrates Sculpture Park, 32-01 Vernon Blvd at Broadway, Long Island City, Queens (718-956-1819, socratessculpturepark.org). Free. Opens in May. Additional reporting by Sloan Rollins See more in Things to Do