What the hell is Bloomsday, you ask? It's an international celebration of Irish penman James Joyce and his lecture-hall classic Ulysses, the modernist novel that chronicled a day in the life (June 16th, 1904, to be exact) of Joyce's Dubliner protagonist, Leopold Bloom. From free readings to art-installation reimaginings, here's where Joyce devotees can commemorate the day in NYC:
Symphony Space: Lisa Flanagan and Malachy McCourt lead the troupes in tonight's 34th annual Bloomsday on Broadway performances, which include a recreation of a BBC radio play interviewing Joyce's family and friends, and also a section dedicated to W.B. Yeats on the 150th anniversary of his birth. $26. Thirty and under (with valid ID) $15.
The Bryant Park Reading Room: Join writer and Black 47 frontman Larry Kirwan for a book-club discussion on Ulysses in a scenic park setting. Free.
Knockdown Center: Each of the 18 chapters of Joyce's novel will be transformed into art installations, structures, performances and videos at this Maspeth, Queens event. Free.
Ulysses Folk House: If the name wasn't enough of a tip-off, this FiDi restaurant is big on Joyce and will host its annual Bloomsday event, featuring a burgundy-paired carvery lunch, extracts with Colum McCann and complimentary cocktails. Free.
McNally Jackson Books: Raise an Irish-whiskey toast to Sunny Jim with noted Joycean Robert Seidman (Ulysses Annotated) at this Bloomsday event. Along with a discussion of the book, Joyce artifacts will be on view. Free.
The New York Irish Center: The Long Island City cultural center is hosting its third annual Bloomsday Trail, where members of drama group Golden Footprints will perform excerpts of Joyce's novel while kitted out 1900s Dublin attire. Free.