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Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Arturo Donate

20 amazing things to do in NYC this week

Written by
Jennifer Picht

Mon 13

Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Piers 92/94 and Madison Square Garden; various times; $15–$100
As fun as they are, puppy cams and viral videos can’t compare with real-life specimens as a cuteness delivery system. Coo over more than 3,000 dogs representing hundreds of breeds and varieties at the 141th annual caninefest, where dogs are judged across seven divisions (hound, toy, nonsporting, herding, sporting, working and terrier). If you can’t score a ticket, you can still get your fix via online streaming during the day and TV coverage of the evening competitions.

Triumph Hotels Fashion Sketch Event various locations and times; free
If you always put in the extra effort to look chic as hell, now’s your time to shine! Instagram sketcher extraordinaire Holly Nichols teams with Triumph Hotels to offer gratis fashion illustrations (by appointment only) at four locations (the Library Room at Hotel Chandler, Hotel Belleclaire, Hotel Edison Lobby and the Iroquois Library). Nichols uses inspiration from your ensemble and aesthetic to draw your own effortlessly cool portrait, and trust us, it will definitely become your new profile picture. 

NPR’s Ask Me Another The Bell House; 7:30pm; $20, at the door $25
Host Ophira Eisenberg and house musician Jonathan Coulton challenge puzzle masters, audience members and special guests with brainbusters in this popular NPR show. 

NO PLAN B Leica Gallery New York; 10am; free
Peanut Press Books presents photographer David J. Carol's first solo show in over a decade. The photos, taken around the world between 1993 and 2016, document the subtle absurdity of everyday life (for example: an inflatable gorilla sitting on a suburban street). Head to the opening reception (Feb 16, 6–8pm) to pick up a copy of his new book of the same name and get it signed by Carol himself.

Tue 14 

Love in Times Square on Valentine’s Day Times Square; 9am; free
Watch couples showcase their love at Duffy Square on the great red steps with live surprise proposals, wedding ceremonies and vow renewals. And keep a lookout for the Heart of Hearts kaleidoscopic kissing booths!

Never Sleep Alone Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater; 9:30pm; $45, participants $35, plus $12 minimum
Outrageous character actor and cabaret comic Roslyn Hart inhabits her alter ego, "sexual psychologist" Dr. Alex Schiller in this interactive bash. The doctor’s goal: getting the audience in the mood with a few choice tunes and making sure all of the single people in the audience hook up. Make sure you've made your bed before heading to Joe's Pub, as you're likely to bring a new friend from this show home with you. 

So Far Gone: Drake Night Valentine’s Day Edition Baby’s All Right; 11pm; $10
Cry the tears of Drizzy while dancing away the pain of being alone on V-day with three DJ sets dedicated to Drake’s past, present and future exes. Just hold on, we’re goin’ home—after the 1am champagne toast. 

Tearin’ Up My Heart: A 90s Valentine’s Day Dance Party Rough Trade NYC; 9pm; $5
“Baby, I don’t understand just why we can’t be lovers?” *NSYNC knew what was up. Revel in the horrible nature of unrequited love during this dance party at Rough Trade, where Music Video Time Machine will play all your favorite heartbreak songs from the 1990s.   

Illusion: Nothing Is as It Seems Liberty Science Center; 9am; free with museum admission
Learn about perception in this trippy exhibit featuring dozens of optical and audio illusions exploring magic, art, neuroscience, physics, biology, psychology and technology. You'll never see the world around you the same way again.

Unlovable: A Smiths and Morrissey Valentine’s Day The Bell House; 8pm; $15 early bird, $18 in advance, $20 at the door
To quote noted vegetarian poet Steven Patrick Morrissey, “And if a double-decker bus/Crashes in to us/To die by your side/Is such a heavenly way to die.” The man clearly knows a thing or two about the nature of true love (also, vehicular manslaughter). Tribute band the Sons & Heirs—along with host Rob Sheffield—rings in V-Day with the mopey crooner’s greatest—and by that we mean most depressing hits.

The Self Love Ball Good Room; 6pm; $10, $15 at the door
This isn't your average Valentine's Day throwdown. Following last year's Femmequerade Ball and The Witch Ball, this eclectic party grounds itself in political resistance, bringing together a host of queer, PoC and women artists in opposition to toxic masculinity and the heteropatriarchal romance narratives that underlie the holiday. The bill includes Brooklyn emo outfit MALLRAT, bass-rattling DJ FXWRK and multimedia artist Bunny Michael. Check out the surplus of non-musical offerings as well: a sex toy pop-up shop, reiki healing, skin care vendors, sketch artists, oracle card readings and more.

Marry Lattimore + Rosali + Energy Star + DJ Nina Trans-Pecos; 8pm; $10
Harpist Mary Lattimore recorded much of her latest album, At the Dam, on a cross-country roadtrip. Now, she's bringing her experimental sound to the Trans-Pecos for a V-Day show with Rosali, Energy Star and DJ Nina. Bonus: You can also score free hand massages and raw chocolates while enjoying the tunes.

Wed 15

Dirty Dancing for Planned Parenthood The Bell House; 7:30pm; $10
As part of its action week during Valentine's season, Lady Parts Justice League is hosting this viewing party of the legendary ’80s romance, starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. Along with the screening, this party features a panel on abortion and intersectionality with Lizz Winstead, Syreeta McFadden and Nicole Moore. You can also enjoy day-old candy and call your local representatives. 

Get in the Way: The Journey of John Lewis Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; 6:30pm; free
The Schomburg Center hosts a screening of this documentary, which has been 20 years in the making and follows the life of civil rights leader and politician Congressman John Lewis. Following the film, president and CEO of the Ne

Comedians You Should Know The Gutter Bowling Alley; 9pm; $5
This weekly showcase began in downtown Chicago in 2008 and has since branched out to West Hollywood and NYC. The theme: local names who are about to make it big. Past guests have included The Daily Show correspondent Roy Wood Jr. and Comedy Central regular Liza Treyger. This week's lineup includes host Saurin Choksi, Reformed Whores, Mike Recine, Damien Lemon, Tommy McNamara, David Drake and more. 

Justin Vivian Bond: Late for Love Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater; 9:30pm; $35, plus $12 minimum
Caustic wit, witchy charisma and subversive queer wisdom have made Bond one of New York’s essential performers. Now the alt-cabaret superstar and transgender icon mops up your Valentine's Day tears.

Thu 16 

Harlem Fine Arts Show The Riverside Church; 6pm; $25–$50
The annual Harlem Fine Arts Show, which includes a fine-arts exhibition and sale, celebrates African-American art in all its forms. The opening reception hosted by Delta Sigma Theta (BAC) and Riverside Church Foundations salutes African-Americans in medicine with a champagne toast and live jazz, Friday focuses on youth empowerment, and the weekend’s events include a lecture and artist talk as well as a gospel brunch and a salute to African-American nurses.  

Rubix Cube: The 80s Strike Back Irving Plaza; 7pm; $17
Scrunch up those socks and tease out those locks, it's time for a raucous musical trip back in time with Constantine Maroulis, the Tony-nominated lead from Rock Of Ages. Expect much wailing and shredding—and more neon attire than you can shake a slap bracelet at.

Happy Place Comedy Q.E.D.; 9pm; $6
Sue Funke and Katie Compa welcome both established and up-and-coming comics to the stage at this monthly show. February's installment features the comedic stylings of Marc Gerber, Sharron Paul, Alexis Guerreros, Robin Gelfenbien, Nicole Conlan and Jen Mutascio. 

TALE: NYC’s Finest Storytelling KGB Bar; 9pm; $5
Show up for first-class yarn spinning at Harmon Leon's storytelling night that regularly features folks from SNL, NPR, Comedy Central and VICE. This edition's lineup: John Fugelsang, Michele Carlo, Eric Vetter, Martha Williams and Will Lee.  

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