After a monastic January (giving up all your vices and spending nothing since the holidays cleared you out), it’s time to cut loose and take advantage of all the NYC events in February. Use our events calendar to guide you to the best things to do in the winter this month: Get a delicious meal during NYC Restaurant Week, re-tox yourself at during New York City Beer Week with some of the best beer crawls and check out romantic things to do during Valentine’s Day.
RECOMMENDED: Full NYC events calendar
Featured events in February 2017
Every year, New York’s usual anxiety and chaotic charm turns laissez-faire via The Crescent City for Fat Tuesday. Mardi Gras in NYC is a typically rambunctious affair, featuring jazz music performances, funky shows, rich cajun cuisine, king cake and some of the best parties in New York. So, for your celebratory pleasure, here's our roundup of the city’s best Big Easy events.
This month, Chinatown gets stormed by dragons, dancers and some of the best Chinese food the city has to offer in celebration of the Lunar New Year. But before you get lost in the bang of firecrackers, check out some of the best things to do in Chinatown, NYC. Brace yourself for what’s sure to be a wild celebration with the Chinese New Year Parade!
The twice-annual discount dining event NYC Restaurant Week offers cheap dining deals at more than 300 restaurants in New York. From trendy newcomers to fine-dining standbys, the event draws bargain-hunting New Yorkers to try out new restaurants and revisit old favorites serving cheap eats.
Throw on your shoulder pads, perform your weird football ritual and get into the game with our guide to the best bars in NYC to watch the Super Bowl, plus how to chow down like a champion. And if you couldn’t give a hoot about the game, fear not! We’ve put together a list of the best football movies (and overall sports movies) to watch instead. Plus we’ll take you on a trip down memory lane with the greatest Super Bowl commercials of all-time.
No ticket to the shows? Don’t worry—feel like a fashion insider with our ultimate guide to NYFW. Tickets to the runway shows aren’t available to the general public, but newsflash: you don’t have to be part of the elite fashion world to feel like an insider. Maybe you don’t have a front-row seat to the shows or a spot reserved next to Anna Wintour, but don’t fret—we’ve got you covered. From free New York Fashion Week events you can actually attend to tips on how to get noticed by street style photographers, we’ll make sure to keep you in the loop.
Free NYC events in February 2017
The Creek and the Cave gives you eight minutes to rid yourself of some of your most ghastly memories at this cathartic storytelling event. With no prompts or judges, you can finally share your secret tales of summer camp heartbreak and music festival STDs among tipsy friends and fellow shameless storytellers.
No St. Patrick's Day in NYC would be complete without staking out a spot at this parade, which makes another glorious march up Fifth Avenue. (The event is even older than the United States; it was started by a group of homesick Irish conscripts from the British army in 1762.) More than 2 million onlookers are expected to show up for the annual spectacle. Fifth Ave from 44th St to 79th St.
For its first birthday party, this always-chill queer throwback party is hosting a Three Kings (and Kweens) Day Celebration. While you jam to Britney Spears and Tiffany, you can revisit classic N64 games, snag cheap drink specials and even play some sloppy beer pong, with prizes from Smirnoff Sourced.
Music events in February 2017
Cloud Nothings play the sort of scruffy fuzz-pop you've heard a million times, but thanks to the vocal pathos and songwriting smarts of frontman Dylan Baldi and the wiry muscle of bassist TJ Duke and drummer Jayson Gerycz, this Cleveland crew achieves a rare resonance. The band follows up its debut and a Wavves collaboration album with a wearier, more introspective collection of tunes, Life Without Sound.
Rashad, part of the same Top Dawg Entertainment crew that includes Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q, makes nuanced R&B-soaked hip-hop on his debut LP, The Sun's Tirade. Like his excellent 2014 mixtape Cilvia Demo, its a heady, hazy collection of emotionally all-in verses.
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/CZR-E for The Come Up Show
“If they try to slow me down, I’ll tell them all to go to hell,” Brian King screams on “The House That Heaven Built,” the most blaring single from Japandroids' 2012 album, Celebration Rock. The band's been silent these past few years but no longer. The duo returns with a new album in tow, the spectacularly titled Near To The Wild Heart Of Life, that promises all the same cathartic audience sing-alongs of yore.
With Dangerous Woman, her third album, Grande proved herself adept at making a range of pop styles her own, from the reggae-pop of "Side to Side" to hazy trap-influenced "Everyday." Whether she's able to anchor a stadium-sized blow out hinges on your fondness for EDM-soaked singles such as “Break Free” and “Love Me Harder.” One thing's for sure: She has the voice for it.
Leithauser, who's spent his post-graduation years since the Walkmen's 2013 "extreme haitus" releasing solo material, airs a collaborative project with another prestigious indie alumnus: Rostam Batmanglij, who recently departed sparkling indie-pop outfit Vampire Weekend. Their album, I Had A Dream That You Were Mine, is an impassioned collection of rock tunes that mix Leithauser’s patented charismatic crooning with Rostam's ear for polished melody.
Run the Jewels—the team-up of Definitive Jux hero El-P and quick-witted Atlanta MC Killer Mike—is a little slice of North-South hip-hop heaven, if you ask us. The group plays in support its sure-to-be stellar third record alongside the swirling pscychedelia of L.A. beatmaker the Gaslamp Killer.
Arts events in February 2017
Francis Picabia was born in Paris to a French mother and an aristocratic Cuban father whose fortune afforded the artist a life of fast cars, fabulous parties and frequent amorous conquests. According to the catalog for MoMA’s fantastic retrospective, Picabia (1879–1953) was “singularly wealthy” among his avant-garde cohort, but more pertinent, perhaps, was the sense of entitlement that allowed him to upend convention—apparently, for the hell of it. A self-styled “funny guy,” Picabia was the great-granddaddy of bad-boy art, a restive genius and check-writing machine for later artists who cashed in on his accomplishments—though his work, like that of frequent co-conspirator Marcel Duchamp, wasn’t fully appreciated until the 1960s. Unlike Duchamp, Picabia remained a painter and, as such, was both gadfly and butterfly, confounding critics by mixing high and low culture while flitting between abstraction and representation. He embraced Impressionism, Cubism, Dadaism and photo-based realism and also oscillated between revolutionary and reactionary impulses in ways that complicate our understanding of his political inclinations. Though disgusted by the carnage of World War I, for example, he remained in Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II, living in Vichy France. MoMA wrangles Picabia’s fractious career with a chronological approach that brings order out of stylistic chaos. The show begins in the early 1900s with Picabia the late-blooming Impressionist, who, rather antithetic
One of the more telling works in Mark Leckey’s MoMA PS1 survey isn’t even by the 2008 Turner Prize winner: It’s a painting by German Minimalist/Primitivist Michael Krebber (one of several guest artists appearing at Leckey’s invitation), featuring a crude, handwritten replica of a bad review of Leckey’s 2011 exhibition at London’s Serpentine Gallery. The headline reads, mark leckey’s art creates noise without meaning, and while that’s meant as an insult, it (and the rest of the article) supremely misses the point: Leckey’s art is supposed to be about noise without meaning—or at least effecting that stance to get at larger truths about contemporary culture. Leckey’s multimedia installations dive into the ways in which technology transmits the shared fashions, ideas, ideologies, values and appetites that bind us as a society. The upshot, of course, is that the more this information is accelerated by ever-rapid means, the more it devolves into babble—a point reflected by an often-raucous show in which screens and speakers blare a cacophony of sights and sounds. Leckey’s message may not be new, but he delivers it with panache. The artist’s earliest—and still best-known—piece is an edited compilation of VHS club-scene tapes depicting ravers dancing, spinning and otherwise having out-of-body experiences on ecstasy. Sourced from veteran DJs, the material in “Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore” (1999) spans the late ’70s to the early ’90s in a delirious montage of found footage set to hypnot
Minter had already been working in New York for 30 years before her career breakout in the 2006 Whitney Biennial, and in the ensuing decade, she’s dialed up her exploration of how women are objectified by fashion and the media to a Nigel Tufnel–worthy 11. Focusing on various details of the female anatomy, her photos and hyper-realist paintings demolish cultural conventions of beauty and femininity with increasingly garish élan. As the title of Minter’s first-ever career retrospective suggests, her work draws a connection between "sexy" and "filthy."
The Whitney combs through its collection for this look at one of art history’s oldest genres with a selection of works spanning the first half of the 20th-century to today.
A painter, sculptor and installation artist, Marisa Merz was the sole female member of that otherwise all-boy’s club known as Italian Arte Povera. The late-’60s movement took a somewhat nihilistic approach to form and material, with works that often looked like they’d been made out of refuse. Merz followed suit but added some definite feminist flavor to the recipe. This show covering her 50-year career represents her first major retrospective in the United States.
Even after more than a century, the work of Russian Avant-Garde looks shockingly new. This survey, drawn from MoMA’s superb collection, covers the movement from its rise during World War I to its suppression under Stalin in the 1930s. On view are paintings, drawings, photographs, posters and ceramics, each a testament to an audacious futuristic aesthetic that emerged in a society that was still mired in feudalism.
Talk about a tree grows in Brooklyn: A miniature redwood forest has sprouted at Brooklyn’s Metrotech Commons courtesy artist Spencer Finch. Partnering with the Save the Redwoods League, Finch has created a 1:100 scale version of a section of the Redwood National Park in California, complete with surrounding topography.
If you went to Rockaway Beach this past summer, you probably caught the German artist’s public art project in which she transformed Fort Tilden’s abandoned aquatics building into a kind of 3-D gestural painting. She’s also no slouch when it comes to big, bold braushmarks on regular canvas, as seen in her new paintings here.
Simone Leigh, A particularly elaborate imba yokubikira, or kitchen house, stands locked up while its owners live in diaspora
A little corner of Zimbabwe has landed in Marcus Garvey Park in the form of three imbas, or kitchen huts native to the region. As welcoming as they appear, these huts, created in collaboration with architect Maxwell Mutanda, are actually closed forms that can’t be entered. According to the artist, they’re meant to celebrate the “expansiveness of the African diaspora,” while also evoking the “experience of living outside the place considered home.”
Known for his penetrating Expressionistic self-portraits and enigmatic allegories, Max Beckmann (1884–1950) was one of the most prominent modernist painters of Weimar-era Germany. Yet he spent the last year of his life in New York City, the final stop along a long road of exile that began when he fled Hitler in 1937. On view are 14 paintings he made while living here, as well as other work dating from 1920 to 1948, the year he first came to America to teach at Washington University in St. Louis. The Met is an appropriate venue for this show: Beckmann died from a fatal heart attack on the corner of 69th Street and Central Park West just as he was making his way to the museum to see his freshly-installed canvas, Self-Portrait in Blue Jacket. It turned out to be one of the last things he made.