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26 terrific things to to in New York this week

Written by
Kaitlyn Mitchell

Mon Aug 3

Laurie Simmons: How We See at The Jewish Museum, 11am-5:45pm; $15

Lena Dunham's mom was known for her art long before she gained notoriety via her precarious daughter, and for good reason: she's a respected lifelong visual artist with a large body of work. This photography collection evokes idealized "doll girls" who change themselves through make-up and plastic surgery, posed as if for a high school senior portrait under harsh bright lighting. Simmons questions our notions of beauty and how they how skewed by the ever-morphing feeds Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Books Beneath the Bridge at Brooklyn Bridge Park in Brooklyn Heights, on the waterfront between Adams Street and Atlantic Avenue, 7pm; free

This week's installment of Books Beneath the Bridge in picturesque DUMBO brings two fantasy authors - Naomi Novik, author of the Temeraire series, and Peter V. Brett, author of the Demon Cycle novels. Bring your favorite books with you, because the authors will stick around after the readings to sign and socialize. 

Coney Island Flicks on the Beach at W. 10th Street, Coney Island Beach, 8pm; free

This week's installment of flicks on the beach brings us last year's hot animated film, Big Hero 6. Grab a beach towel, a picnic, and your gang, and dig your toes in the sand while watching the flick on a giant inflatable 40-foot screen.

J. Cole + Big Sean + YG + Jeremih at PNC Bank Arts Center in New Jersey, 6:30pm; $28-$110.75

You won't regret making the trek across the mighty Hudson for this one: the headlining North Carolina native rapper has three Billboard 200 No. 1s to his name, and is accompanied by Detroit native and rising star Big Sean. 

The Broken Comedy Show at Bar Matchless in Greenpoint, 8:30pm; free 

Comics Nimesh Patel and Mike Denny play host to rising stand-ups on the New York scene. Michael Che of SNL's "Weekend Update" periodically hops in to guest host.

Tues Aug 4

“Weird Science” at Marianne Boesky Gallery, 118 E. 64 Street, 10am-5:30pm; free

The UWS townhouse space makes for an interesting setting for this quirky artwork - the beautifully detailed hallways and rooms are barren of all furniture, and instead host otherworldly artworks that contrast vividly with the space they inhabit. It feels like a gratis tour of a crazed millionaire's swanky crib. 

Movie Nights in the Rockaways: Back to the Future II at Beach 17 Street at Seagirt Blvd at the Performance Stage in O'Donahue Park, Rockaway Beach, Queens, 8pm; free

We've got your Tuesday all planned out: play hooky from work, go to the beach, and close the evening with your beach chair, complimentary refreshments, and a screening of this classic where Marty McFly and Doc get into all kinds of shenanigans. Sounds like summer. 

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes + Preservation Hall Jazz Band at Prospect Park Bandshell, 7pm; $39.50

Calling all jazz fans: this ten-person-plus collective is back with a lush folk-pop psychedelia, new album, Here. Don't miss Alexander Ebert leading his troupe of happy-clappy hippies in the fitting setting of a balmy summer evening in Prospect Park.

Stargazing on the High Line at The High Line, 7:30pm; free 

Surprisingly enough, it is possible to glimpse the stars through the relentless smog of New York City if you have a high-powered telescope at your aide. The Amateur Astronomers Association will be on hand to lead star-spotting expeditions and point out dreamy celestial bodies. 

Measure for Measure at Castle Clinton, Battery Park, Financial District, 7pm; free

The New York Classical Theater offers free Shakespeare in various New York City Parks every summer - the Battery Park location is one of the finest. You'll get to follow the actors from scene to scene (wear flat shoes) and see the sunset over the Statue of Liberty as you hear the bard's romance about a sexually repressive regent, a voyeuristic duke, and a prim nun-to-be. 

Wed Aug 5

NYC Summer 2015 Restaurant Week at various venues, $25-$38

This popular three week deal allows you to try some of New York's finest dining, with pre-fixe three course lunch and dinner menus of $25 and $38. Book now at joints like Narcissa and Gotham Bar & Grill, because you'll only see prices like this twice a year.

Lincoln Center Out of Doors at Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center, 7:30pm; free

Playing tonight at the Lincoln Center's wonderful summer gift to the city is Full Band Electric Counterpoint + Dither and friends, featuring Lee Ranaldo, Yo La Tango, and Mark Stewart Matmos with a live ensemble of 13 electric guitars and basses. Prepare yourself for minimalism, experimentalism, and a healthy dose of rock 'n roll. 

Antigona at West Park Presbyterian Church, UWS, 8:30pm; $20-$50

This fiery flamenco adaptation of Sophocles' Greek classic Antigone will make you want to reimagine all of your favorite Greek tragedies with a Latin flair. Glorious principal dancer Soledad Barrio stars as the heroine. 

One Direction at MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey, 7pm; $39.50-$139.30

Another one to journey across the river for, see your favorite Brit dreamboats of yore who have surprising staying power since their 2010 X Factor debut. Their latest LP, Four, incorporates sing-along hooks into huge stadium-worthy swells. 

Father John Misty + Angel Olsen + Summer Moon at Central Park Summer Stage, Rumsey Playfield, 6pm; $35

Former Fleet Foxes member Father John Misty has released impressive work as a solo artist. His second album I Love You, Honeybear, is  a brutal look at modern love that will provide ample fodder for his scenery-chewing live show against the backdrop of sumptuous Central Park. 

Ice Factory Theater Festival at the New Ohio Theatre, West Village, 7pm; $18

Showing tonight is the final installment of the festival, Philadelphia-based, female-directed, theater company George & Co.'s original ensemble work, Holden. The play is a tragicomic, modern-day No Exit where three obsessive super-fans of J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye take up residence in the author's private bunker and try to get him to publish just one more masterpiece. 

Roots at Cielo, Meatpacking District, 10pm; $20, free before 11pm 

DJs Louie Vega and Kevin Hedge have hosted their kickin' midweek dance party for over 10 years, making it basically a New York institution. Early birds get in free before 11pm and get to enjoy an open vodka bar from 10 to 11pm! Being late just became unfashionable. 

Thurs Aug 6

Harlem Week Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater, 7:30pm; $19

Every Wednesday night of Harlem Week is amateur night, where up-and-coming performers will compete a cash prize of $10,000. The raucous audience members get to decide who will be the next Ella Fitzgerald or Michael Jackson.

Broadway in Bryant Park 2015 at Bryant Park, Midtown West, 12:30pm-1:30pm; free

Today's lunchtime installment of gratis professional musical theater will include performances from the shows Amazing Grace, Ruthless!, Allegiance, and the Tony Award-winning shows Something Rotten!, and A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder. Aspiring Titus Andromedons, eat your hearts out. 

Alvin Ailey Power Ashtanga Yoga at Ailey Extension, Hell's Kitchen, 6pm; $19

This incredible sunset yoga class taught by professional instructors takes place on a rooftop that overlooks the Lincoln Center and Hudson River. Need we say more?  New students, be sure to take advantage of the two-for-$30 class deal. 

Macbeth in the parking lot behind the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural and Education Center, Lower East Side, 8pm; free 

Don't miss Shakespeare in the Parking Lot's final show of their summer season with the bard's classic violent tragedy about the regicidal thane and the wicked women who spur him on. Don't blame us if you feel compelled to walk around your house wringing your hands and shouting "Out damned spot, out I say!"

Celebrate Brooklyn: LeeSaar the Company at Prospect Park Bandshell, Windsor Terrace, 8pm; free

Celebrate Brooklyn has outdone itself this summer with the quality of free outdoor performances. This Gaga-inspired modern dance company uses theatrical costumes and props to perform the seven-person work Grass and Jackals, as well as a duet performed by guests from the renowned Batsheva Dance Company. Just get there early and bring a picnic or a book to pass the time, as only a certain number will make it into the park.

Caribou at East River Park, Kips Bay, 7pm; free 

Canadian Dan Snaith is fittingly known by the nom de plume Caribou. Come on down to the park this evening to enjoy some esoteric electronica with hip-hop and pop elements from his latest release, Our Love. 

MoRUS Film Festival, I Heart Anarchy at La Plaza Cultural Community Garden in the East Village, 8pm; $20 for an all-access pass

You gotta fight the powers that be at this weeklong festival presented by the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space that examines anarchy's history in the lower east side. Showing tonight is the film "Reviewing Renewal," which details the events surrounding six blocks of an African American community that were destroyed on the UWS as part of an urban renewal project in 1951 that served to make way for a middle-class housing development. 

Secret Meeting at the Pine Box Rock Shop, 8pm; free 

This little comedy show is a feather in the cap of Bushwick's niche comedy scene. The Pine Box Rock Shop is a delightful venue for a comedy show followed by karaoke. Yes, karaoke! And it's hosted by SNL's "Weekend Update" contributor Eli Yudin and Thought Catalog's Nick Mullen (AKA Nicole Mullen). If you live in Bushwick, you have no excuse. This show is too cool for school. 

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