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15 sensational things to do in NYC this weekend

15 sensational things to do in NYC this weekend
Photograph: Courtesy Bill Kelly

Fri 13

NYC Bike Expo, 69th Regiment Armory; 11am; free
Whether you’re a seasoned rider or a rookie, the nation’s largest consumer cycling expo will get your wheels turning with a range of workshops covering everything from fixing a flat tire to road racing. More than 100 companies show off their wares, including NYC brands such as the stylish reflective-clothing label Vespertine and bike rental company Spinlister. 

Fencing lessons in Bryant Park; 1:30pm; free
If you loved sword fighting with tiny plastic spears as a little kid, you’ll get a kick out of the grown-up equivalent: fencing!  Take an open-air lunch break and meet the instructors—all coaches fence at an Olympic or national level—who teach you the basics, such as how to attack, disengage and parry (block) before you dive into a blood-pumping duel with a partner. Don’t worry, the classes are noncompetitive, but you can still say “En garde!”

Saved by the 90s: A Party with the Bayside Tigers, Webster Hall; 11pm; $20
Clinton-era nostalgia looks like it's here to stay, and the Saved by the ’90s: A Party with the Bayside Tigers is a great bash to revel in it. Check out the Bayside Tigers—a four-piece cover band that specializes in songs of all genres (well, as long as they're from the ’90s)—as the group makes Webster Hall's dance floor feel like a genuine house party. Dressing up is encouraged: snap bracelets, Converse, big hair and overly baggy JNCO jeans—you name it, somebody will probably be wearing it. 

Party Like It’s 1986, The Bell House; 10pm; free
Folks who grew up in the decade and fans of giant hair, prepare to get lit! The Bell House, which is known for its dance fest Party Like It’s 1999, is going back 13 more years to pay tribute to the booty-shaking tracks spawned in 1986. From Madonna’s “Papa Don’t Preach” to Prince’s “Kiss,” DJ Steve will play all the right tunes. Feel free to break out that purple jumpsuit.

Sat 14

Sessions 002: Under the Sea in 3D, House of Yes; 10pm; $35
Head into an underwater rager more sensational than anything this side of Atlantis at this insane BangOn! event. Upon entry, you'll receive 3D glasses and have the chance to dance and drink in a projected underwater atmosphere. If the holographic proceedings leave you dizzy, then check out live aerialists, fire-breathers, burlesque dancers and more at this totally immersive night under the ocean.  

Understanding at Brooklyn Bridge Park, East River; various times; free
Spring showers bring new public artworks to the city, and this one is sky-high. Check out Martin Creed’s 50-foot-tall, ruby-red work on Pier 6, with giant letters that rotate at varying speeds, spelling out the word understanding. An ode to human communication, it’s only one of the many exciting (and free) things to check out in the park’s sprawling space, including Movies with a View, the Books Beneath the Bridge reading series and outdoor fitness classes. 

Texas Chili Cook-off, Hudson River Park, Pier 84; noon; $65
Over 20 amateur teams will put their chili-making skills to the test at this annual culinary showdown, setting out to impress a panel of judges including Delaney BBQ owner Dan Delaney and Homesick Texan author Lisa Fain. Get in full-blown Lone Star spirit with cold Shiner beer, and try your luck at the raffle for a grand prize. All proceeds benefit the Texas Exes—New York Chapter Scholarship Fund.

Brooklyn Bike Rave, Greenpoint waterfront; 7pm; $48.47
It’s biking season, so get those jorts on and make your way to the Greenpoint waterfront to join a fun community ride. Adorn your bike and yourself with glow sticks and a speaker to jam to tunes from Newtown Radio as you and hundreds of others cruise along the bike path on a seven-and-a-half-mile ride to Dumbo to help raise funds for the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway. 

Electric Daisy Carnival, Citi Field; 1pm; $229–$459
This neon-soaked, bass-thumping, laser-filled weekend is New York’s version of Coachella—without all the wannabe fashionistas. Instead, EDM diehards hit Citi Field for insomniac DJs, full-scale carnival rides and interactive art installations. Get ready for a sweat-inducing, two-day rager and a lot of untz-untz beats.

Crafts on Columbus, 10am; free
This is the last weekend to shop 100 different artist and designer wares. Check out ceramics, jewelry, photography, sculptures and more. 

Sun 15

AIDS Walk New York, Central Park; 8:30am; Registration required
More than 890,000 trekkers—including David Hyde Pierce, Audra McDonald and Nick Jonas—have participated in this 10K stroll through Central Park and the Upper West Side. The annual jaunt raises awareness and money for more than 40 HIV/AIDS organizations in the tristate area, including the organizer Gay Men’s Health Crisis. (You don’t have to pledge your own fund-raising minimum to join, although it’s recommended.) At 10am, the walk commences, and by noon you’ll have gotten in a little exercise and contributed to a good cause.

6th Annual Mermaid Lagoon Ocean Benefit: Royal Oceanic Review, House of Yes; 8pm; $10, at the door $15
This sea-themed dance party—with women dressed as ridiculously real-looking mermaids—probably sounds like your wildest fever dream come to life. But, as a very wise crab once said, it’s better to get down where it’s wetter! Get ready for an enchanting evening filled with live performances, games and sea-life revelry while you support and raise money for Billion Oyster Project’s plan to restore one billion live oysters to New York Harbor and the Orca Network’s quest to retire Lolita, the 20-foot-long orca who has lived at the Miami Seaquarium since 1970. Make sure to wear your best Little Mermaid-or King Triton–inspired outfit.

Mercury Retrospective, The Alchemist’s Kitchen; 1pm; $5, at the door $10
Mercury is in retrograde, but don’t panic! Instead, use this confusing time to reflect with the Haiku Guys & Gals and Bowery Poetry; listen to live performances, poetry readings and comedy from your peers—or share, if you dare. There will be free Mercury in Retrograde grounding tonic shots to chase the pain. 

Infamous Crime Scenes, Q.E.D.; 3pm; $10
Any fan of Law & Order: Special Victim’s Unit (but seriously, who isn’t?) will be fascinated by this storytelling seminar hosted by private investigator Ike Ilkiw. He’ll share tales of 12 of the most infamous NYC crime scenes, including a rock-star murder story that will keep you on the edge of your seat. 

World BBoy Battle 2, BMCC Tribeca PAC; 3pm; $40–$95
Sixteen B-boys, chosen in a qualifying round the day before, compete for cash and glory in the second annual edition of this sports event for "extreme break dancing." The competition is part performance and part wrestling match, with a host, judges, a referee, sportscasters and a halftime show.

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