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25 totally rad things to do in NYC this weekend

Written by
David Goldberg

September 18

Museum Hack at Brooklyn Botanical Garden; 6pm; $65–$70
Get an inside look behind the scenes of the sprawling gardens. Learn about the secret history behind some of the buds on display and check out secret plants and projects that haven’t been unveiled to the public yet. 

Lola Star’s Dreamland Roller Disco Lakeside at Prospect Park; 7:30pm; $18
The Lefrak Center at Prospect Park will be the greatest ’50s roller rink this side of Rydell High this Friday night, with poodle skirts and leather jackets billowing on the floor while DJs spin songs from Grease and beyond.  

How to Dress Well + Ben Zimmerman Baby’s All Right, Brooklyn; 8pm; $20
Tom Krell courted a host of new fans with last year’s What is this Heart, and he brings his passionate ’90s-influenced R&B to a packed house at Baby’s All Right.

Justin Vivian Bond: Dixie McCall’s Patterns for Living Joe’s Pub at the Public Theatre; Sept 18, 19 at 9pm; $25 plus two-drink minimum
Cabaret enchantress Justin Vivian Bond premiered Dixie McCall’s Patterns for Living at a dingy San Francisco restaurant in 1990. 25 years later, the bold performer returns for a year-long salute to her career with the show that started it all. 

Rinsed: Secret Patterns Location TBA; 11pm; $15–$20, at the door $30
Get delirious while Frank Stella-inspired 3D projections wash over you, and DJs like Pearson Sound and Anthony Parasole deliver deep thumping beats. Rinsed crosses the threshold from party to artistic experiment.

I Love the ’90s Show with the Fresh Kids of Bel-Air Le Poisson Rouge; 11pm; $15, at the door $20
With Mulder and Scully from the X-files and Ash from Army of Darkness making comebacks in the next few months, there’s no better time than the present to celebrate the ’90s. Cover band The Fresh Kids of Bel-Air will deliver untouchable covers of all your favorites, from Weezer to Babylon Zoo. 

September 19 

Queens County Fair Queens County Farm Museum; September 19, 20 at 11am; $8, children 12 and under $5
You don’t need to leave the city for a good old-fashioned county fair. Indulge yourself with funnel cakes, carnival rides and livestock competitions over two days of outdoor fun at the Queens County Farm Museum.

Brooklyn Kite Festival Brooklyn Bridge Park; 11am; free
After a stagnant summer, the fall breeze has finally arrived. Take advantage of the great gusts by setting your colorful kite free over the Manhattan horizon. 

SHE Sexual Health Expo Millennium Broadway Hotel; Sept 19, 20 at 11am; $25
This comprehensive adult sex ed convention has lessons, products and pointers for singles and couples of all lifestyles and orientations. Classes like “Bend Over, Buddy” and “Flirt Without Fear” are certain to spark your imagination.

Brooklyn Books, Art, Photos and Design Expo and Sale Brooklyn Expo Center; Sept 19, 20 at 11am; $10
If you think the reading stack on your nightstand is intimidating, then you’ll be beside yourself at this two-day con, where over 140 vendors will weigh down their tables with endless editions and volumes of your favorite books.

Verboten Stage One 50 Kent, Brooklyn; 1­–10pm; $70
Dance to wild and rapturous House sounds on the water while it’s still warm as Verboten unleashes a star lineup of Detroit-based and local DJs for one of the last bashes of the summer. 

ShakesBEER Various locations; 3pm; $45 (includes four drinks)
Why bother waiting in line at the park when you can enjoy some of Shakespeare’s best works amid drinks and giggles? After you’ve drunk your way through four plays at four bars, you may be able to spout the Bard with the best of them.

Madonna Barclays Center, Brooklyn; 8pm; $100–$4,443
Worship the original queen of pop as she turns Barclays Center into her temple. The never-ending entertainer will perform immaculate hits and new tracks from “Rebel Heart” at this sure-to-be unforgettable diva experience.  

Discwoman 1 Year Anniversary Bossa Nova Civic Club, Brooklyn; 8pm; $10, free before midnight
After an epic year of exploding the male-dominated electronic music industry, Discwoman celebrates some of the fiercest female DJs playing, with an all-night banger on Bossa Nova’s smoky stage.

Switch N’ Play Branded Saloon, Brooklyn; 9:30pm; suggested admission $7–$15
The Branded Saloon’s rustic performance space becomes a harlequin hall of delights as drag collective Switch n’ Play takes over for a night of burlesque, drag and high-class go-go dancing.   

Celebrity Autobiography Stage 72; 9:30pm; $40–$80 plus two-drink minimum
Actors like Tate Donovan, Jackie Hoffman and Michael Urie read cringe-worthy celebrity memoirs with deliciously sharp inflection and venom. Better leave your copy of Kim Kardashian’s Selfish at home. 

Hold Onto Your Butts The Triad; Sept 19 at 11pm, Sept 20 at 8pm; $20
Jurassic Park purists who don’t approve of chase scenes involving high heels will rapture in this shot-for-shot reenactment of the original dinosaur thriller. Though the energy onstage is as frantic as the movie’s, the budget is noticeably smaller: two guys perform every role, including those of the dinosaurs. 

OSFUG: A Fast F*ckin’ Sketch Show UCBEast; 11:30pm; $5
UCB has put its performers to the task of battling the slow-churning, pretentious comedy that many NYC stand-up sets are known for. Listen close between guffaws, because these performers will deliver more jokes per minute than anywhere else. You’ll be begging for an encore, if only to catch up. 

September 20 

Feast of San Gennarro Little Italy; all day; free
It’s the final day of this annual 11-day festival, so don’t miss the chance to indulge in Italian sausage, pasta and cannoli from some of the neighborhood’s finest street vendors and restaurants

Brooklyn Book Festival Borough Hall; 10am–6pm; free
The literati of Brooklyn are packing their tote bags for this all-day blowout at Borough Hall. Pick up new and classic reads and see some of your favorite authors — including Salman Rushdie and Joyce Carol Oates — talk about their newest works and how they approach their craft.

Flatbush Frolic Brooklyn; 11am; free
Sometimes, Brooklyn closes its intersections and throws enormous fun fairs just because it can. Dance, drink, check out eats from over 150 street vendors, and keep walking for crafts and kids' activities at this all-day end-of-summer bonanza.  

92nd Street Y Festival Lexington Ave from 79th to 94th Sts; noon; free
This block party features performances by cast members of Something Rotten, Chicago and more, along with martial arts lessons, dance acts and kids activities. You’ll be able to score raffle tickets to 92nd St Y talks, concerts and events. 

Mister Sunday Industry City, Brooklyn; 3pm; $15
JD Twitch of Optimo joins Justin Carter for a sickening daytime set that’s sure to wipe you out by dinnertime. Mister Sunday has proven to be an essential summertime party; don’t miss one of its final editions.

The Empire Strikes Back Trivia Videology, Brooklyn; 7pm; free
Use the Force to win a free round of drinks and defeat some of New York’s most devoted Star Wars fans. Host Maggie Ross challenges padawans and masters to five intense rounds of trivia. Grab an early seat: This edition promises to be more packed than an after-party on Endor.   

Klüb The Raven; 10pm; $5–$10
Ravishing sphinx Markus Kelle ushers in colorful queers and veteran voguers to end the weekend with diva worship and proper dance floor debauchery. 

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