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15 cool things to do in NYC this weekend

Written by
Jennifer Picht

Fri 6

Frieze Art Fair Randalls Island Park; 11am; various prices
Art lovers flock to Randalls Island Park for this dreamy display of works from 130 international galleries—and the view of Manhattan ain’t bad either. Take the ferry or the bus over to the island (buy advance tickets online if you can), and plan to spend some serious time immersing yourself in the imaginative projects found both indoors and out. Hear discussions from artists and curators such as Andrea Crespo and the Museum of Modern Art’s Paola Antonelli; explore soundscapes, including Liz Magic Laser’s ventriloquist staging of a conversation between Donald Trump and a reporter; and take in fantastical projects like Alex Da Corte’s inflatable balloon installation imitating the island, which you’ll have to look to the sky to see. 

Stargazing at Lincoln Center The Fountain (at Lincoln Center); 7pm; free
If you think you can’t spot stars in the city, prepare to get schooled. The Amateur Astronomers Association sets up its high-powered telescopes by the fountain at Lincoln Center every Friday and Saturday through the end of July, so come take a look at the planets and the moon and other celestial wonders. Gazing begins at sunset and continues until 11pm. 

Candi Pop: Spice Girls Edition Brooklyn Bowl; 11:30pm; $12
Dust off your leopard boots, sew a flag into a dress and do whatever it takes to look like you're the toast of 1995 for this one-night only ’90s spectacular. Pay tribute to the greatest glamazons of all, the Spice Girls, and dance to tracks by Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Whitney Houston, Katy Perry and other staples of the sweet pop milieu. This warrants a preparatory viewing of Spice World. Or three. 

Vinny Deponto: Mind Reader Union Hall; 7:30pm; $10
This mental magician performs psychic experiments that will definitely leave you wondering, How the f**k did he do that?!?

Sat 7

Free Comic Book Day at various location; $10am; free
Pick up free one-off comics—including Archie, Bob’s Burgers, Suicide Squad and a Civil War II preview —at just about any shop in town, including Midtown Comics, Forbidden Planet, Desert Island and JHU. If you’ve ever wanted to explore NYC’s fan community or find a way to get into the medium, today’s a great day to jump into the world of caped comics and indies. 

America’s Cup Brookfield Place Plaza; 2pm; free
Legendary international sailing competition—America’s Cup—sails into the New York Harbor for the first time in nearly 100 years. Check out The Event Village at Brookfield place, where you can not only watch the race in real time, but partake in various forms of entertainment, food vendors and sponsored activities. 

Gotham Girls Roller Derby: Brooklyn vs. Bronx John Jay College of Criminal Justice; 6pm; $25, VIP $50
The season may have just started rolling, but the competition is already ferocious. Watch the Bronx’s most brutal dames hit the wheels and take on the powerhouses of Brooklyn in this early-summer face-off. Grab popcorn and watch in awe; just don’t get in their way. 

Mercury Rising The Standard; 11am; $35, Day Pass $89
FYI: Mercury is in retrograde (again). This means you may be experiencing some weird and unexplainable shit right now. Luckily, Standard Talks and The Numinous have teamed up for a day filled of fascinating seminars that will teach you how to find cosmic empowerment during this celestial funk. Join astrologers Tali and Ophita Edut for "F*ck You Mercury Retrograde," and learn how the planet's current phase can work in your favor. There will be a "Lead Your Own Moon Ceremony," which teaches you how to live in alignment with the lunar cycles through diet, lifestyle and wellness practices. The spiritual affair ends with drinks and soul Tarot card readings on The High Line terrace. 

A Prince Video Dance Party Tribute Rough Trade NYC; 9pm; $5
Honor the Purple One by reveling in his music videos and dancing it out all night long—just like he’d want you to.

Party Like It’s 1999: I Saw the Sign and Prince Tribute Edition The Bell House; 10pm; free
It’s been 22 years since Ace of Base dropped the game-changing track “The Sign,” which means that the Bell House is required to throw down some of the best songs by the Swedish pop group, along with jams from other sterling voices of the ’90s—first and foremost the legendary Prince. DJ Steve also hooks up other dance tunes from the R&B, pop and rock genres.

Brooklyn Derby Greenwood Park; 4pm; $75
Waltz into Greenwood Park like you’re Southern royalty at this celebration of the Kentucky Derby. Toast to your favorite pony with a mint julep in hand, stitch together an epic headwear creation at the DIY hat station, and show off your best two-step while you rock to live music. Remember: When it comes to hats, there’s no such thing as too much.

Sun 8

Japan Day Central Park; 9:30am; free
Make the most of a sunny afternoon in Central Park at the 10th annual Japan Day, an all-day celebration of Japanese culture that unfolds under trees in full bloom. Explore the activity tents and learn calligraphy and origami, get your face painted Kabuki-style, and take a photograph with Hello Kitty herself. On the live stage, catch Japanese taiko drumming, karate and musical performances, and pick up some mouthwatering ramen, okonomiyaki and other traditional Japanese bites at the food tents. Gotta try ’em all!  

Mother’s Day Brunch at Queens Botanical Garden; 10am and 1pm; $22­–$28
Spend the day with Mom while soaking up some rays and admiring fresh blooms at Queens Botanical Garden. The landmark is hosting a classy picnic-style brunch to celebrate the holiday, featuring a wide assortment of goodies like omelets, bacon, bagels and muffins. After the feast you can tour the living museum and its display of lush greenery and gorgeous plants. 

The Amazing Mother’s Day Scavenger Hunt Slattery’s Midtown Pub; 2pm; $25
Grab mom and the rest of the family to follow the clues and tackle an obstacle course on this dynamic scavenger hunt. Meet at Slattery’s Pub with a smart phone and a MetroCard and get ready to take on the city! 

The Poetry Brothel House of Yes; 8pm; $32, VIP $80
This interactive performance series constitutes a literary cathouse, where male and female burlesque performers and big band musicians accompany poetry readings behind closed curtains. VIPs enjoy priority seating and private listening sessions as well as swag bags. The May Seance edition at House of Yes promises to be a ghostly good time. 

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