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20 excellent things to do in NYC this week

Jennifer P

Mon 21

Secret Science Club The Bell House; 8pm; free
Apparently, mad scientists like to get down just as much as the rest of us, so join in on this brainiac throwdown at the Bell House, during which you can hear physicists, chemists, professors and more share lectures. Past talks have included examinations of the unknown creatures roaming NYC and other esoteric subjects. Between talks, watch live fusions of science experiments and performance art, try out custom themed cocktails and dance to futuristic beats.

Runnin’ On Full: A Runnin’ On Empty Anniversary Le Poisson Rouge; 8:30pm; free
Don't miss the anniversary edition of this monthly show hosted by Yotam Tubul and Lisa Franklin, which mixes up rising star stand-ups with new acts ready to attack the scene. This week, Joel Kim Booster hits the stage alongside Chris Duffy, Anna Drezen, Cole Escola, Ana Fabrega, Rachel Kaly and Nadia Pinder. Some have written for Saturday Night Live and been featured on Comedy Central, while others are just sinking their teeth into the live game. You won’t know the difference. 

This Will Destroy Bowery Ballroom; 8pm; $20
Texan post-rockers This Will Destroy You create swirling, cinematic soundscapes that tend to erupt into noisy squalls. Expect some starry-eyed slow builds, as the band plays in support of the re-issue of its palatial debut, Young Mountain. 

Tue 22

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Trivia Joshua Tree; 8pm; free
Sunnydale survivors unite! Test your knowledge of the Watchers’ Council, demonology and bunnies at this trivia battle covering all 144 episodes of one of TV’s most legendary series. Register a team of up to four Scoobies online, slip into your leather pants, and pack your holy water: you’re going to have some fierce competition.

Dan + Joe + Charles Show The Shanty; 8:30pm; free
Dan Licata, Joe Pera and Charles Gould host this charming comedy show in the NY Distilling Company’s well-stocked bar. Past guests have included Janeane Garofalo, Roy Wood Jr., Chris Gethard and Eugene Mirman. 

Ice Cream Social at Ample Hills; 7pm; $35
Brooklyn Brainery welcomes you to discover how ice cream is made at one of the best creameries in the city: Ample Hills. Churn special flavors on the pedal-operated ice cream bike, decorate and craft cones and dishes, and participate in ice cream trivia, all before gorging yourself at the waffle bar. Admission includes pizza, as if you need more lactose on a night like this. 

Movie Night: Inglorious Basterds Brooklyn Bazaar; 8pm; free
Bonjourno! Head to the Brooklyn Bazaar ballroom for this screening of the bonkers 2009 Quentin Tarantino action flick. Revisit the Nazi-clobbering satire that catapulted the careers of Christoph Waltz, Michael Fassbender and Mélanie Laurent, replete with witty banter, outrageous violence and an epic montage to David Bowie’s “Cat People (Putting Out Fire).” Be sure to pick up some all-American goodies like a chili Frito pie or corn dog from the bazaar’s restaurant.

Hip-Hop in the Time of #BlackLivesMatter Pioneer Works; 7pm; $15
Musician Cedric Wilson leads a video and sound-based lecture on the political implications of hip-hop and how the genre has been co-opted by the mainstream.

Wed 23

Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade Balloon Inflation American Museum of Natural History area; 3pm; free
This pre–Turkey Day ritual, held near the American Museum of Natural History, has become almost as crowded as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but we prefer it to the main event. Why? We prefer to weave through the crowds, walking past the inflation stations to see SongeBob SquarePants at our own pace. Inflation takes place from 3 to 10pm. Arrive later in the evening, when the gigantic characters have taken shape; the crowds are at their peak, so you can also show off the famed New York sidewalk shuffle. Enter at W 79th St at Columbus Ave.

DJ Bengey: Thanksgiving Eve Jamz Union Hall; 9:30pm; free
After a long campaigning year followed by a shocking election, it might not be easy to relax in time for Thanksgiving Day. Luckily, Union Hall has the night before handled with high energy by the always-upbeat DJ Bengey (who is known to jump on the floor and get down himself). While hip-hop and dance tracks can be expected, we hope some of our favorite Thanksgiving songs, like Sly & the Family Stone’s classic “Thank You,” make the list.  

So What Happened Was Freddy’s Bar; 7pm; free
Take a respite from your own wacky adventures and have a laugh at this monthly storytelling event. This edition features the yarn-spinning talent of Sean O'Brien, Drew Prochaska, Nate Coco-Bates, Becca Beberaggi and Melissa Shaw.

Native New Yorker: The Party Black Flamingo; 10pm; with R.S.V.P. free
Iconic Studio 54 DJ Nicky Siano welcomes you to this blowout inspired by the vibe of his beloved ’70s club, the Gallery. Dance to deep house and disco on two floors late into the morning of November 24. You may be delirious at the family dinner, but at least you can placate your hangover with stuffing. 

Comedians You Should Know The Gutter; 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. Catch acts like Sean Donnelley, Jo Firestone, Doug Smith, Freddy Sheffield and Mike Liebovitz in an intimate venue, while you still can.

Let’s See, What Else? Poco Bar; 8pm; free
Missy Baker and Tom Delgado host comedians from Comedy Central, Adult Swim and more at this weekly laugh fest.

The REAL History of Thanksgiving Threes Brewing; 6pm; $12
You've heard the story of the Pilgrims celebrating Thanksgiving since you were a child - now's your chance to hear what actually went down. This lecture-tasting will let you sample foods from the initial festivity, and a number of the delicious variations to date.

Tainted Love 80’s Dance Party The Bell House; 9pm; free
You don't have to be an 80's baby to revel in the synthy glory of Soft Cell's classic, 'Tainted Love,' the theme of this dance party covering classics from the 70's to the 90's. Join in for the nostalgia, or just if you've got to- get away. 

Night Glow Stage 48; 10:30pm; $40–$100
Blow off steam this Thanksgiving Eve in advance of your family gathering. The Night Glow Tour is stopping in NYC with live dance music by Bailo and special guest Fabolous.

Thu 24

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade; 9am; free
For the 90th year, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will usher in the holiday season with familiar sights like giant balloons, high-kicking Rockettes and Santa’s sleigh, plus celebrity appearances. Begins at W 77th St and Central Park West; for the complete parade route, visit

Prospect Park Track Club Turkey Trot Prospect Park; 9am; Registration fee
Preemptively burn off a few pounds (just as you're about bound to gain some extra weight) by running through the verdant foliage of Prospect Park. If you can race to be the top of the pack at this 5K, you win a pie. What more incentive does a runner need on Thanksgiving Day?

NYC Pilgrim Pedal at various locations; 8am; $27–$35

This family-friendly 10-mile ride has all your Thanksgiving fixings covered. Midway through a brisk cycle of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, you'll stop with your new riding buddies for a pancake diner breakfast, then hit the road again. If you're looking to show off your athletic figure beneath your turkey costume, now's your chance. Starting point: 23rd Street and the East River, Manhattan.


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