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24 super cool things to do in New York this weekend

Written by
Kaitlyn Mitchell

Fri 24 

"Tom of Finland: The Pleasure of Play" Artists Space; noon; free 
Touko Laaksonen, a.k.a. Tom of Finland, was a contemporary of Andy Warhol, but his unapologetically attention-grabbing images of gay men engaged in sex acts in a post-WWII landscape give us a glimpse into a hauntingly recent time where being gay was fiercely taboo. As a historical relic, these images are fascinating (and hey, it's free). 

Kafka on the Shore David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center; 7:30pm; $35-$100
Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami has received a lot of attention in the past year (we bet you've spied his book jackets on the L train). Now you can view his work adapted for the stage in two stories, one about Franz Kafka and the other about a retired cat-finder on a road trip, which intertwine in a strikingly strange new work.

Ice Factory Festival 2015 New Ohio Theatre; 7pm; $18
A different experimental-theater troupe takes the New Ohio every week in one of New York's best-curated festivals. Offerings include a piece about a coven of Lena Dunhams who just can't, like, deal with being themselves, plus a version of The Bacchae set on karaoke night at a sports bar. 

Lincoln Center Out of Doors: Dorrance Dance Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center; 7:30pm; free
The innovative musician Toshi Reagon and BIGLovely will collaborate with the unique tap group Dorrance Dance as both pay unique tribute to the blues with upbeat, catchy song and dance. Keep an ear open for her infectious song "Scorpio." 

Cymbeline Delacorte Theater; 8pm; free 
This is the opening weekend for the second installment of the Public Theater's free outdoor Shakespeare summer series, so tickets will be hard to come by. If you are committed to waiting in line, get there by 6am at the latest. Seriously. Not a morning person? Enter the online free ticket lottery before noon on the day of the performance. 

Whitney Cummings Stand-Up Gotham Comedy Club; 8pm; $40 plus two-drink minimum 
Her stand-up routine is razor sharp, even if her sitcom work—Whitney and 2 Broke Girls—may not be too memorable. Prepare to feel the burn…

Paper Towns Opens July 24
Catch "It" model Cara Delevingne's acting debut in this teen rom-com-slash-thriller flick based on the novel by John Green, author of the other teen page-turner turned blockbuster, The Fault in Our Stars. 

Southpaw Opens July 24
In the latest of America's yearly dose of inspirational boxer movies, a buffed-up Jake Gyllenhaal takes his turn as the lead meathead whose wife dies, then loses custody of his child. You guessed it—only then can he become a champion boxer. Even if that's not your cup of tea, it's worth it to ogle shirtless beefcake Gyllenhaal. 

Sat 25

Nicki Minaj Central Park, Rumsey Playfield; 7am; free 
See Nicki killing it onstage this weekend, post-widely publicized T-Swift Twitter feud! "Pound the Alarm” before sunrise, because the the night—er, morning—is still young when the “Anaconda” rapper plays this early “Good Morning America” Concert.

NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2015 Various venues; noon; $25 lunch, $38 dinner
A whopping 360 eateries across New York are participating in this warm-weather edition of the three-week-long discount dining festival. Make your reservation now! 

Waterfight NYC Central Park's Great Lawn; 2pm; free
Stock your backpack with bottles full of additional H2O ammo and bring a replica of your favorite Super Soaker from your '90s-kid days. Water balloons are banned, making it that much easier for you to leave Central Park the way you found it (pristine, we hope). 

MOMIX: Alchemia Joyce Theater; 2, 8pm; $10-$59
Moses Pendleton's ensemble are the superstars of the dance-pop constellation, so if you've got a friend who "isn't into dance," this athletic, stunt-prone group will be able to sway even that cynical soul. This performance will embody the four elements and their many metamorphoses. 

Gap X Big Gay Ice Cream Fishs Eddy; 3pm; free
At this Big Gay Book Signing (and ice cream social!), Big Gay Ice Cream founders Bryan Petroff and Douglas Quint will be signing books, answering questions, and of course—there will be plenty of ice cream!

HOT! Festival 2015 Dixon Place; various times; free–$20
Dixon Place hosts dance, theater, comedy and more at this annual festival of LGBT performance. Don't miss Marga Gomez in the lesbian tour-de-force one-woman show "Pound" at 7:30pm. 

Hold Onto Your Butts Peoples Improv Theater; 9:30pm; $20
With summer blockbuster Jurassic World still tearing up theaters, experience the original in a unique way with this painfully funny comedy show that reenacts classic Jurassic Park scene-by-scene, with just two people.

Video Massacre Annoyance Theater; 10:30pm; $5
Directed by stand-up comedian Anthony Oberbeck, this sketch show slash murder-mystery video screening will creep you out and crack you up. Not a shabby deal for five big ones. 

Sun 26

Bushwick Flea 52 Wyckoff Ave, Brooklyn; 10am; various prices
This is a gem of a flea market if you're keen on avoiding the tourists on a Sunday afternoon. Boozy bonus: stop by Intoxicated Zodiac and nab a custom-made cocktail based on your sign (Mercury is not in retrograde until September 17, for the record). 

The Rise of Sneaker Culture Brooklyn Museum; 11am-6pm; $16
Sneakerheads will flock to this museum exhibit like an overnight line for the latest rendition of Yeezy Boosts. The Brooklyn Museum retraces the history of kicks, from their early 20th-century roots in basketball and track-and-field to the present.

Fivestory Sample Sale 260 Sample Sale, 151 Wooster St; 11am; various prices
This semiannual sale boasts merchandise at up to 80 percent off—keep an eye out for Alexander Wang bucket bags, Carven dresses, and Alexandre Birman wave-side pumps. Shoes. Let's get 'em. 

"Fashioning the Body: An Intimate History of the Silhouette"  Bard Graduate Center; 11am; $7
Kim K and Snooki's recent obsession with "waist-training" is one of the oldest tricks in the book when it comes to giving the illusion of a feminine hourglass figure. This fascinating exhibit showcases the complex systems of attire women and men have used in past and present to painstakingly shape their silhouettes, from corsets and girdles to hoop skirts.  

A Great Day in Harlem General Grant National Memorial, Riverside Park; 1pm; free
This daylong family-oriented event is a part of the monthlong celebration of Harlem's diverse heritage, and has an expected attendance of more than 40,000 people; it includes an outdoor festival, fashion show, picnic and concerts, in addition to arts, crafts, food, vendors and exhibitions. Harlem is the place to see and be seen this Sunday. 

James Patterson: Zoo Barnes and Noble Union Square; 2–3pm; free
Well-known author James Patterson will discuss his new graphic novel thriller that details a series of escalating attacks by animals against humankind. Werewolf bar mitzvah, spooky scary!

Rock Steady 38th Anniversary Concert: Whodini + Big Daddy Kane Central Park SummerStage Main Stage; 3pm; free
There's so-called old-school hip-hop, and then there's a gig like this, pairing a nearly 40-year-old B-boy breakdance crew with Brooklyn rap royalty Whodini and Big Daddy Kane. A must-see for Brooklyn natives, millenials and gen-Xers alike. Get there early though—Celebrate Brooklyn! always reaches capacity. 

U2 Madison Square Garden; 7pm; $35–$280
Last year was a rocky one for U2, what with the band's free-album iTunes flap and Bono's scary bike crash in Central Park. If a run of eight MSG gigs is any indication, though, those setbacks didn't impact the Irish rockers' draw in the slightest. U2 even has the spare time to perform gratis shows on New York's subway platforms. And they still haven't found what they're lookin' for... 

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