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Photograph: Shutterstock

The best things to do in NYC this week

The best things to do in NYC this week includes the NYBG Kusama exhibit, a Free Britney drag show, a free plant giveaway and more

By Shaye Weaver
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If you're looking for the best things to do in NYC this week or even today, there are tons of fun options (so long as you can social distance and wear a mask). Grab a free plant from La La Laundry if you're vaccinated, hear from Hillary Clinton at an Assassins celebration, grab drinks at a Hamptons-inspired rooftop bar and see the city's newest art exhibits. For more ideas, scroll down to see this week's best things to do in NYC.

RECOMMENDED: Full list of the best things to do in New York

Best things to do in NYC this week

Southbank Centre London Literature Festival
Southbank Centre London Literature Festival
Photograph: Courtesy Southbank Centre London Literature Festival

1. "Tell the Story: Celebrating Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's Assassins"

Theater Online,

Hillary Rodham Clinton will deliver remarks in "Tell the Story: Celebrating Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's Assassins," about the timely and timeless American musical with cast members of the original Off-Broadway company, the Broadway revival, and this new production, which will culminate in a discussion with Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman. You can catch it for free starting at 8pm Thursday through Monday, April 19. Registration is required, and can be made at classicstage.org/tellthestory.

 

Recirculation
Recirculation
Photograph: Emmanuel Abreu

2. "Recirculation"

News City Life

Before passing away from COVID-19, 70-year-old Tom Burgess decided to sell all his tens of thousands of books, records and miscellaneous objects that he had collected over the years. Volunteers from the bookstore showed up to help move the massive amount of stuff from Burgess' apartment in Inwood to a big common area inside a co-up building at 876 Riverside Drive in Washington Heights. The collection is staggering in its breadth—it includes DVDs, comic books, old Playbills, entire poetry volumes, travel guides, old magazines, VHS tapes, academic journals, novels and much more—and functions as a snapshot and reflection of life in New York throughout the years. Indeed, a remarkable treasure trove of items bound to feature something of interest. Open to the public on Sundays between 3 and 6pm and Wednesdays between 5 and 8pm, Recirculation is currently operating on a pay-what-you-can basis (for updates, follow the initiative on Instagram at @recirculation.nyc). Although the majority of the Word Up Community Bookshop network has been working on the project since it first opened, the pop-up shop has only just recently formally become part of the original bookstore in terms of financials. Recirculation's proceeds will therefore go directly to Word Up Community Bookshop, which will take on the monetary burden of operating the store.

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NEWSLETTER_NYCK_20200922_02-NYPL-2048x1536
NEWSLETTER_NYCK_20200922_02-NYPL-2048x1536
Photograph: Shutterstock

3. World Literature Festival

Things to do Online,

New York Public Library is launching its first World Literature Festival to celebrate its World Languages collection (books and materials in over 60 languages available digitally and at branches throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island) through events with authors from around the world, book discussion groups, and bilingual storytimes for children. Don't miss "Names of New York: Joshua Jelly-Schapiro with Suketu Mehta" on April 21 at 8pm or "A Thousand Years of Persian Poetry by Women: Readings, Music & Conversation" on April 29 at 8pm. Register before the event to take part.

Rachael Tarravechia - The Red Studio (After Matisse)
Rachael Tarravechia - The Red Studio (After Matisse)
Photograph: Courtesy Tchotchke Gallery

4. "New York Isn't F*cking Dead"

News Art

On view digitally through June 1 right here, "New York Isn't F*cking Dead" features paintings by Brooklyn-based artists Rachael Tarravechia and Anthony Eslick, who drew inspiration from the city's creatives and the town's own past. This isn't the first local cultural pursuit to argue against the often-cited idea that our city has ceased to be what it once was. Back in February, female-owned and Brooklyn-based creative house The Locker Room plastered billboards all over Los Angeles and Miami (where plenty of New Yorkers fled to) interpreting the phrase "New York is dead" by including the addendum "don't come back."

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La La Laundry plant shop
La La Laundry plant shop
Photograph: Courtesy La La Laundry

5. Free plant giveaway to vaccinated New Yorkers

La La Laundry is giving away free 4-inch potted herb plants to vaccinated people on Thursday. All you need to get one is proof that you've been vaccinated. Just head over to La La Laundry (180 Avenue B) early to get yours before they run out.


The Cauldron Free Britney drag bingo
The Cauldron Free Britney drag bingo
Photograph: Courtesy The Cauldron NYC

6. #FreeBritney Drag Bingo Nights

Things to do The Cauldron NYC Magical Pub and Experience, Financial District

Continue the #FreeBritney movement with a night of Britney-themed drag Bingo at The Cauldron every Thursday! The Cauldron's reigning drag queen, Holly Box-Springs, will host the nights, which will feature Britney's biggest tunes, themed prizes including #FreeBritney masks, complimentary 'Toxic' welcome shots made with Mezcal and Strawberry Liquor (Non-Toxic options available); and specialty dishes including, Oops, I Hummus Again (w/ Classic, Beet or Carrot); I’m Not A Girl, Nachos A Woman (Plantain chips w/ choice of beef or lamb); and I’m a Slave, for Smoked Street Corn (w/ Chilli Butter or Sumac). Ten percent of drink sales will go to the TranslatinX Network. For reservations, call 917-635-1960 or e-mail leah.s@thecauldron.io. Entry is free but guests are strongly encouraged to book due to limited capacity.

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Sandbar Rooftop
Sandbar Rooftop
Photograph: Courtesy Sandbar Rooftop

7. The Hamptons-inspired Sandbar Rooftop

News Eating

The now-open Sandbar Rooftop, located on the 23rd floor of the Hilton on 26th St, is chock-full of Hamptons beach décor including lifeguard chairs, hanging lounges and swings made from reclaimed wine barrels. (Since it’s Hamptons-inspired, we’re gonna go out on a limb and say they once held rosé.) In addition to 360-degree views of Manhattan and the nearby Empire State Building, the elevated destination offers handcrafted cocktails and pinsa-style pizzas. It’s currently open from Wednesdays through Saturdays, from 3pm through 11pm by reservation-only—so if you want to check it out for yourself (and who wouldn’t in this lovely weather) then be sure to make a reservation. Though you may not have heard of the rooftop (one of the first newer ones we’ve seen so far this season), it’s not exactly brand-new. It first opened last fall before closing for the winter. With the city opening up, and the pace of vaccinations in the city picking up, however, hopefully there will be more beach (and beach-inspired) trips in your future this summer.

yayoi kusama hymn of life
yayoi kusama hymn of life
Photograph: Courtesy the City of Beverly Hills

8. “KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature”

Art Contemporary art New York Botanical Garden, The Bronx

Celebrated Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama's expansive 2021 exhibition at the New York Botanical Garden is finally set to open this April with outdoor installations across the garden's 250-acre landscape. Four of the projects will be making their NYC debut, the most exciting of which will surely be Infinity Mirrored Room—Illusion Inside the Heart, which will be housed in a cube-shaped structure located out in the open. Featuring mirrored sides, the exterior of the piece will reflect the changing skies while the interior will glow with a seemingly endless array of colored lights. To avoid long lines, timed tickets will be issued to get in. Elsewhere, there will be an interactive greenhouse installation, in which visitors will be invited apply stickers picturing coral-colored blossoms throughout the interior—thus taking part in one of Kusama’s signature "obliteration" pieces. Also on view will be two new outdoor monumental sculptures, the self-explanatory Dancing Pumpkin and a 13-foot high biomorphic form featuring a polka-dotted face called I Want to Fly to the Universe.  The NYBG itself will chime in with special flower bed plantings patterned on Kusama’s paintings and an allée of trees wrapped in polka-dotted fabric.

 

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Sweet Pickle Books
Sweet Pickle Books
Photograph: Leigh Altshuler/Sweet Pickle Books

9. Sweet Pickle Books

News Shopping & Style

If you like to delve into your Hemingway with a side of dill pickles, you're in luck: Sweet Pickle Books on Orchard Street aims to provide you with just that kind of experience. Founded by 29-year-old Leigh Altshuler this past November, smack-dab in the middle of the pandemic (the day Joe Biden won the Presidency, actually), the Lower East Side shop sells used books and jars of pickles as an homage to the neighborhood's history. The tomes range in genre and scope—browsers get to page through cooking books, works of fiction, reads for kids and more—while there are two types of pickles on offer: dill and farmhouse. Both versions are sold in two-pound jars. Altshuler used to pickle them herself in her own Lower East Side apartment, at her boyfriend's house or even in the store's basement, but she has most recently tasked the farm that she sources the produce from to do the pickling as well. 

Linjie Deng
Linjie Deng
Photograph: Courtesy of Linjie Deng

10. "Asian Art SPA"

News Art

Linjie Deng has been hard at work on a new exhibition, titled "Asian Art SPA," on view through May 24, that features Deng's three "yellow" works alongside others from his Yin-Yang series and his Teeth Falling Out one. According to the exhibit's official press release, the former collection is made up of "a selection of contemporary calligraphy works consisting of a set of mutually opposing and coexisting words: freedom and hope, you and me, me and we, proud and humble." The latter series, on the other hand, spotlights works the likes of The Tooth, Water, Sunshine, Soil and Leaves, where the artist paints each basic element of life individually, "aiming to magnify the small and potentially invisible visual characteristics of each." The proceeds from the three pieces inspired by his violent attack—8 Deadly ShotsI am White, Black and Asian; and I don't like the way he looked at me either—will benefit Think! Chinatown, a non-profit whose mission is to foster inter-generational community though neighborhood engagement, storytelling and the arts.

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St. Ann's Warehouse
St. Ann's Warehouse
Photograph: Pavel Antonov

11. "The Broken Ear Setlist: Songs from Ohio"

News City Life

Live, in-person performances are finally returning to the Brooklyn waterfront at St. Ann's Warehouse. On April 15 and 16, the venue and Piece by Piece Productions are hosting concerts by folk-rockers The Bengsons called "The Broken Ear Setlist: Songs from Ohio" that'll play to a hybrid of in-person and virtual audience members. Artists like Barrie Lobo McLain, Vuyo Sotashe and Allan K. Washington will be joining The Bengsons for both shows, which the artists hope will create the feeling of a "congregation." Abigail Bengson said the new work plays on the idea that "loss is the mechanism by which God comes close." Tickets for the in-person concerts are sold out but you can watch virtual for $10 or pay-what-you-wish. The virtual show is designed by Jeff Snugg and will be a high-quality experience. They're available now at stannswarehouse.org.

 

coney island
coney island
Photograph: Shutterstock

12. Go to Coney Island

News City Life

When the attractions reopen on Friday, it will be the first time that Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park and Luna Park have been open since 2019. Both are planning to welcome guests back at limited capacity, with advanced reservations available on the parks’ websites. One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is the park’s traditional opening ceremonies. There will still be a “Blessing of the Rides” ceremony, a decades-long tradition, on the boardwalk Friday morning. (It’s invite-only, though.) Immediately following the opening ceremony, 100 front-line workers will get free rides on the Wonder Wheel. Also taking place on opening day this Friday will be the annual Egg Cream Christening at the Coney Island Cyclone. If you’re heading down for opening day on Friday, you’ll be able to check out six new rides for children at Luna Park: Circus Candy, Fire Patrol, Rainbowheel, AeroMax, Grand Prix and Mini Mouse. Later this summer, Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amuseument Park will also be debuting a new ride: the “Phoenix,” a family-friendly, steel-suspended rollercoaster. While you’re down there, be sure to also stop by the New York Aquarium which has some exciting new offerings this summer, as well. The newly-opened “Spineless!” exhibition features interesting examples of invertebrates including an incredible giant Pacific octopus, moon jellies, cuttlefish, and the world’s largest living arthropods—the Japanese spider crab.

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Central Park
Central Park
Photograph: Shutterstock

13. Find the best blooms in Central Park

News City Life

The Central Park Conservancy body just created a map to help locals find the best blooms across all the 843 acres that make up the park. In total, there are nine areas worth exploring.

Steve Wasterval mini painting
Steve Wasterval mini painting
Photograph: Courtesy Steve Wasterval

14. Search for mini paintings in Greenpoint

News Art

If you're ever in Greenpoint, you're going to want keep your eyes peeled for mini paintings depicting recognizable neighborhood scenes hidden all over the area. What you'll actually be looking for is the work of local artist Steve Wasterval, who has been painting the 2"x1.5" artworks and hiding them in his own neighborhood for close to three years now. The one-of-a-kind, huntable works are smaller versions of Wasterval's bigger cityscapes, his bread and butter, and they're collages of a slew of photos that he takes while walking around town. Each mini takes the 40-year-old artist about an hour to paint. After creating a small cityscape, Wasterval usually hides it in the vicinity of the area that he depicted in the first place. He then kicks off the hunt on Instagram by posting a photo of the treasure near its hiding spot and by blasting off a message to the nearly one thousand people on his mailing list. The email usually includes three clues meant to guide the hunters. 

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Hurricane Maria Memorial
Hurricane Maria Memorial
Photograph: Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

15. The Hurricane Maria Memorial

News Art

On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, causing incredible damage that the island is still dealing with today.  On the first anniversary of the catastrophe, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo set up the Hurricane Maria Memorial Commission to "solicit designs for a memorial honoring the victims and to stand as an international symbol of the resilience of the Puerto Rican community." After reviewing 120 submissions, the state selected Puerto Rico-based architect Segundo Cardona and artist Antonio Martorell to design and build the memorial, which is now standing tall in Battery Park City. Located at the Chambers Street Overlook, near Chambers Street and North End Avenue, the piece is a colorful, ascending glass spiral that is evocative of both a hurricane and a shell, the latter a "symbol of protection for living organisms against a hostile environment such as extreme weather." The rotating star emblematic of the Puerto Rican flag tops the spiral while the glass panels that make up the structure are painted by Martorell himself and include the poem "Farewell from Welfare Island," written by renowned Puerto Rican poet Julia de Burgos. Visitors are invited to sit inside the memorial, where benches are built, and take a look at the inscribed dedication from the people of New York.

Talea Beer Co.
Talea Beer Co.
Photograph: Sydney Butler Photography

16. Talea Beer Co.

News Drinking

New York City's first-ever woman-owned and run brewery and taproom, Talea Beer Co. in Williamsburg, is already breaking expectations. With its fruit-forward brews, Talea specializes in beer for people who do not normally drink ale—and, unlike any other taproom, it's also opened to the community as a workspace during the day. Open as of mid-March, the 9,000-square-foot spot at 87 Richardson St. has been opening at 8am with fresh coffee or cold brew, kombucha and ample room to spread out for remote workers and others just looking for a place to chill. There are two kinds of charcuterie boards available for the peckish, too. Aside from that, its main purpose as a taproom comes alive in the evenings, when it serves up suds from some of its 30 taps, including the Sun Up Hazy IPA, Leaps and Bounds Hazy Double IPA, Raspberry Lime Crush Gose and Mixed Berry Tart Deco Sour IPA, among others. In the next couple of weeks, Talea will begin scheduling in-person brewery tours, where visitors will be given a drink when they arrive and have a dedicated server walk them through a tasting. Information for that will be posted at taleabeer.com. But for those looking for an open and airy spot to gather with friends over some brews, Talea presents its gorgeous, light and inviting taproom designed by Carpenter and Mason, the same company that designed several Van Leeuwen ice cream shops. There's also a backyard designed with a mural by DJ Schmidt and seating on the sidewalk that's dog-friendly.

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NBK Little Gallery
NBK Little Gallery
Photograph: Instagram/kturner008

17. Take and leave art at this tiny public gallery in Greenpoint

News Art

Possibly inspired by the array of community fridges that have taken over our town in the past year, a new, slightly different but certainly adjacent exchange of products has popped up in Brooklyn recently. NBK Little Gallery is a free tiny public art gallery on Metropolitan Avenue between Roebling and Driggs in Greenpoint that is completely open to the public and actually works as an art exchange. Although maintained by volunteers from North Brooklyn Mutual Aid, the gallery is basically curated by the public at large as folks of all ages are encouraged to leave their work, pick up whatever is on view that strikes their fancy and even rearrange the offerings inside the space... which was an abandoned former ATM box until now.

 

A Novel Kitchen
A Novel Kitchen
Photograph: Courtesy A Novel Kitchen

18. A Novel Kitchen

News Eating

A new local business on Atlantic Avenue is a great spot to find a meaty novel. Not to mention, a plate of actual meat. A Novel Kitchen—as the name implies—is a rather rare combination of a restaurant and a bookstore (they also sell records!) Coincidentally, the story behind the new Brooklyn Heights eatery is like something straight out of a book. The restaurant’s menu boasts plenty of fun literary twists on comfort food classics like the “Goldie Lox SANDWHICH” with Nova Lox, cream cheese, eggs and hollandaise sauce and the “Novel Chicken Club” on ciabatta with parmesan truffle fries.

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breathing pavilion Ekene Ijeoma
breathing pavilion Ekene Ijeoma
Photograph: Kris Graves / Courtesy Downtown Brooklyn Partnership

19. "Breathing Pavilion"

News Art

The first thing people tell you to do when you're stressed is to take a deep breath. Now, a futuristic new art installation in Downtown Brooklyn—at The Plaza at 300 Ashland—is reminding viewers to do just that through 20, nine-foot-tall columns that glow and change their brightness to lead them through a calming breathing technique. The installation is called "Breathing Pavilion" and its by artist Ekene Ijeoma. Visitors must step in the middle of the circle to participate in the experience. Ijeoma created the installation during the pandemic and while the U.S. struggled with systemic racial injustice this past year. You can view the installation now through May 11, 2020 and take in some live performances there on Tuesday evenings.

Sant Ambroeus
Sant Ambroeus
Photograph: Courtesy of Sant Ambroeus

20. Sant Ambroeus' new gelateria in SoHo

News Eating

International travel is still a bit limited, but sweets-loving New Yorkers can at least pretend to be in Italy while indulging in some delectable gelato at San Ambroeus' newest gelateria in SoHo. Aptly dubbed Gelateria ("gelato parlor" in Italian), the 700-square-foot space at 267 Lafayette Street officially opens today. Expect both indoor and outdoor seating plus local delivery service... because we all need our gelato fix while working endless hours from home, of course. Folks get to choose from over 16 different flavors of both gelato and sorbetto—from classics the likes of vanilla, strawberry and pistachio to the out-of-this-world panettone, croccantino, stracciatella and passion fruit. Two vegan flavors also make the menu alongside a variety of homemade toppings like shaved milk chocolate, salted caramel hazelnuts, orange sponge, lemon confit and more.

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Goodnight House
Goodnight House
Photograph: Joe Kramm / Courtesy Fort Makers

21. "Goodnight Home"

News Art

Goodnight Moon, that dreamy book that's been lulling children to sleep since 1947, has come to life in a new Manhattan exhibition. "Goodnight House" at Fort Makers, a design studio and artist collective on Orchard Street, contains reimaginings of the objects found in the book's bedroom setting. Standing in this exhibit is like stepping into the book itself. The pieces have been created with a child's perspective in mind. "Goodnight House" will be at Fort Makers (38 Orchard St.) now through May 27, from noon to 6pm on Saturdays. Appointments to see it can be made for Thursday through Sundays.

 Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History
 Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History
Photograph: © AMNH/D. Finnin

22. The Hayden Planetarium Space Theater

News City Life

After a full year, New Yorkers can scratch their itch for space-related adventures once more as the Hayden Planetarium Space Theater at the American Museum of Natural History is officially open at limited capacity. The museum itself has actually been open since September but the planetarium falls within the city's movie theater-related guidelines, which changed this month. As for what you'll actually get to see this month, the destination is planning on re-screening Worlds Beyond Earth, the Lupita Nyong'o narrated space show that premiered back in January of 2020, just a few months before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the museum to shut its doors. According to the official press release, the film "features immersive visualizations, groundbreaking space missions and breathtaking scenes depicting the evolution of our solar system, all rendered in 8K on the most advanced planetarium projection system in the world."

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A million more fotografiska
A million more fotografiska
Photograph: Courtesy Dario Lasagni/Fotografiska x Volvo

23. "A Million More"

Art Fotografiska, Gramercy

World-renowned portrait photographer Martin Schoeller has a new exhibit in partnership with Volvo that spotlights the personal stories of 15 drivers and passengers who credit the three-point safety belt with saving their life. With each portrait, Schoeller also recorded their stories to create a fully immersive, audio-visual experience. Housed in the Fotografiska V Bar, a restored nineteenth-century chapel, visitors are greeted by a glass-enclosed display of an original Volvo three-point safety belt from 1966, along with its origin story and how its development led to saving more than a million lives. Inside the portraits tell their respective stories.

Midst Bloom
Midst Bloom
Photograph: Instagram/spakx

24. "Walk Through the Midst Bloom,"

News Art

Every few months, a new, curious, extremely visual immersive exhibit sets up shop around town and, in just a matter of weeks, seemingly every single New Yorker's Instagram profile includes at least one shot from the experience. Next in line: "Walk Through the Midst Bloom," a new walk-through pop-up at event venue Absurd Conclave in Bushwick. Put together by event planning company Euphoria, the experience seeks to help attendees "feel and get a glimpse of a field of new vision full of hope, optimism and positivity," reads the happening's official description. ""[Our] goal is [for] you to leave this exhibit with a fresh outlook towards a brighter tomorrow." To put it simply, the organizers want you to forget all about the troubles that have defined the past 12 months and just spend some time relaxing, recharging and seeing things from a different perspective.

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Central Perk
Central Perk
Photograph: Marc Berry

25. The immersive Friends experience

News City Life

Oh. my. God. The Friends Experience that took NYC by storm in 2019 is back! You know, the one with all the iconic props and recreated scenes from Friends? It opened on March 17 with a whopping 18 rooms, including the orange couch in front of the fountain, Monica’s kitchen, the hilarious 'Pivot!' scene, and the Las Vegas wedding chapel where Ross & Rachel tied the knot. There is even an actual functioning Central Perk that serves coffee, pastries, and desserts, which will be open to the public daily starting at 7am so you can bring your friends and relive your favorite Central Perk scenes. New props and costumes have been added this time around, including Chandler's bunny suit and Rachel's famous cow jacket, as well as Monica and Rachel's living room and Ugly Naked Guy.

Blindness
Blindness
Photograph: Helen Maybanks

26. "Blindness"

News Theater & Performance

Could Blindness, a new Off Broadway performance set to take over the Daryl Roth Theater in Union Square starting April 2, be the future of the New York arts scene for the time being? Perhaps. The Walter Meierjohann-directed spectacle, which mounted a run in London this past August, is an adaptation of the eponymous novel by the Pulitzer Prize-winning José Saramago. Before you start picturing yourself attending a traditional theater production, we should warn you that, although playing indoors, the show does not feature any live actors. According to the show's official website, the socially-distanced sound and light experience will feature "state of the art design [that] unveils the gripping story of a world changed forever, reminding us that from the darkness, we will all emerge stronger." Given its topic and themes (including psychological trauma and assault), the 70-minute show is recommended for those who are 15 and older. 

 

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Rubin Museum
Rubin Museum
Photograph: Courtesy David de Armas

27. “Awaken: A Tibetan Buddhist Journey Toward Enlightenment"

Art The Rubin Museum of Art, Chelsea

The Rubin Museum of Art's newest exhibit invites you to unplug and free your mind through Tibetan Buddhist art, including 35 traditional objects, including 14 from the Rubin Museum’s collection, with two contemporary works by Nepal-born, Tibetan American artist Tsherin Sherpa. "Awaken" features works from the 7th and 21st centuries including stone, wood, and metal sculptures, traditional Tibetan hanging scroll paintings, illuminated manuscript pages and vibrant contemporary pieces. Through these, the exhibition introduces the central teachings of Tibetan Buddhism as visitors "progress through 10 milestones on the journey from the chaos of ordinary life to the awakened states of awareness." 

Graft Edra Soto Latchkey xx
Graft Edra Soto Latchkey xx
Photograph: Courtesy of Edra Soto and LatchKey Gallery

28. "XX" at LatchKey Gallery

Art LatchKey Gallery, Soho

"XX" is a new exhibit created in response to current social and cultural shifts, with the hope of closing historical gaps of visual representation, especially the exclusion of female Latinx artists working in abstraction. There are six featured artists spotlighted—Beverly Acha, C.J. Chueca, Edra Soto, Ivelisse Jimenez, Marisol Martinez and Victoria Martinez—forcing the viewer to recognize the space they boldly occupy. The exhibit is on from noon to 6pm on Saturdays and viewable by appointment Tuesday through Friday.

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Arrivals + Departures
Arrivals + Departures
Photograph: (c) Sam Polcer

29. "Arrivals+Departures" outside of Brooklyn Borough Hall

News Art

Right outside the main entrance of Brooklyn Borough Hall, passersby may notice traditional-looking train station arrivals and departure boards. No, the destination doesn't suddenly belong to the city's public transportation system. The boards are actually a public art installation by UK-based social practice artists YARA+DAVINA, set up by the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). On display through April 11 across the street from 209 Joralemon Street, the large-scale installation is completely free and open to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Folks are encouraged to submit names to be displayed on the boards right here. Full disclosure: although plenty of the featured personalities were born in 2020, a lot of older people are being honored as well. 

WakuWaku Industry City
WakuWaku Industry City
Photograph: Courtesy WakuWaku

30. WakuWaku's Japanese-style outdoor dining area

News Eating

Industry City is bringing Japanese flair to its courtyard with a massive traditional-style house right in the middle of one of its courtyards. WakuWaku, an Izakaya restaurant from Industry City’s Japan Village, teamed up with the Japan Food Product Overseas Promotion Center and part of the Japan External Trade Organization to bring a taste of the eastern culture to Brooklyn. The outdoor dining setup is designed after traditional wooden Japanese houses and meant to "bring warmth and comfort during cold weather, and a cool breeze throughout the structure during warm weather," reps say. WakuWaku, which is a restaurant from Industry City's massive market Japan Village, is partnering with the Japanese Food Overseas Program to offer Japanese Wagyu Ribeye on its menu. A lightly seared six-ounce cut is offered and cooked in front of patrons on a tabletop charcoal grill and served with matcha salt, yuzu soy sauce, and house-made steak sauce. It'll also offer two varieties of canned cocktails from Suntory Toki and Maker’s Mark: Hana, which is made with Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Hakutsuru Umeshu, and Green Chartreuse; and Kansha, made with Suntory Toki Whisky, housemade persimmon syrup, and black walnut bitters. You can stop by WakuWaku on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from noon to 7 and Friday and Saturday from noon to 8.

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Goya's Graphic Imagination
Goya's Graphic Imagination
Photograph: Courtesy Xue Chen / The Metropolitan Museum of Art

31. "Goya's Graphic Imagination"

Art The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park

A new exhibition at The Met Museum explores how renowned Spanish artist Francisco Goya used prints and drawings to respond to the turbulent social and political changes occurring in the world around him through more than 100 works across three galleries. The work spans six decades and shows the turmoil of the Enlightenment, the Inquisition, and Spain’s years of constitutional government. You'll see Goya’s early etchings, print series such as the Caprichos and The Disasters of War to his late lithographs, The Bulls of Bordeaux, and include albums of drawings that reveal the artist’s nightmares, dreams, and visions.

artechouse
artechouse
Photograph: Courtesy Photo Julius Horsthuis and ARTECHOUSE

32. “Geometric Properties" at ARTECHOUSE

News Art

Geometric Properties: An Immersive Audio-Visual Journey Through Fractal Dimensions,” is the first solo exhibition of Dutch artist Julius Horsthuis’ work to come to NYC. Previously, his work has been featured in Manchester by the Sea and through collaborations with musical artists like ODESZA, Meshuggah and Birds of Paradise. He uses fractals to create alternate science fiction-like realities using visual art and motion graphics, and they are a real trip, to say the least. The digital art destination on Manhattan’s west side (it’s literally located in Chelsea Market’s former boiler room) is opening the new show on March 1, and it will be on view through September 6. If you want to stop by and check out the endless geometric iterations and fractional dimensions for yourself—you frickin' fractal freak you—tickets cost $24 for adults and $17 for children. (Pro tip: New York and New Jersey residents receive a $5 discount on tickets on weekdays.)

 

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Frick Madison
Frick Madison
Photograph: Courtesy Joe Coscia/The Frick Collection

33. The Frick Madison

News Art

On March 15, The Frick Madison opened at 945 Madison Avenue—the former home of the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Met Breuer—while Henry Clay Frick's mansion undergoes a massive renovation. This new stint will last two years, and while the Brutalist building by Marcel Breuer is a huge departure from the Gilded Age mansion, the space is offering a much different and rare look at the collection, according to museum officials. Unlike at the Frick Mansion, the Breuer building is a clean slate—stark in contrast, which actually helps to attract the viewer's attention to individual works. Eyes aren't busy looking at ornate furniture here. It's all about seeing the smaller details in the artwork that you might have overlooked at the mansion. According to Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Director Ian Wardropper, "It's a different Frick than you’ve ever known."

 

Brooklyn Botanic Garden sound works
Brooklyn Botanic Garden sound works
Photograph: Courtesy Michael Stewart/BBG

34. Sound walks at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Things to do Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Prospect Park

Get your zen on at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden which has launched a new series of winter nature walks and sound works in the Garden—site-specific original compositions and audio walks for visitors to experience at their own pace. As part of the Art in the Garden series, BBG is showcasing Ben Rubin and Brian House’s "Terminal Moraine" and a reprisal of Michael Gordon’s "loved." From February 26 to April 25, Ben Rubin and Brian House's "Terminal Moraine" will be presented in the Elizabeth Scholtz Woodland Garden. The installation uses algorithmic sound to represent tree growth and glacial ice recession. Then, from March 13 to May 9, "loved" will be on in the Cherry Esplanade. Composer Michael Gordon created the installation for BBG to honor those we've lost in the pandemic. Performed by percussionist David Cossin, the meditative composition for seven vibraphones plays hourly on Cherry Esplanade and runs 5 minutes, 28 seconds. It was originally presented in August and is being reprised to mark the one-year anniversary of New York City’s pandemic shutdown.

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The prodigal son george Balanchine nyc ballet
The prodigal son george Balanchine nyc ballet
Photograph: Courtesy Paul Kolnik ©The George Balanchine Trust

35. NYC Ballet's spring season

News Theater & Performance

Ahead of its planned return to in-person performances in September, the NYC Ballet has released its digital spring season, which includes newly recorded performances at the Koch Theater. It all starts with "Theme and Variations," (March 1-2, 4) and "Stravinsky Violin Concerto," (March 8-9, 11).

On Monday, March 1, a new episode of City Ballet The Podcast will feature NYCB Music Director Andrew Litton on Theme and Variations’ Tschaikovsky score.  

On Tuesday, March 2, at 8pm, NYCB will present an “Inside NYCB” episode focusing on the first solo performed by the male principal dancer in Theme and Variations, with rehearsal footage and interviews with Principal Dancers Joseph Gordon, Andrew Veyette, and Repertory Director Kathleen Tracey.   

On Thursday, March 4, at 8pm, NYCB will release a previously recorded performance of Theme and Variations, with Principal Dancers Tiler Peck and Andrew Veyette in the leading roles. 

Other offerings during the digital season include:

  • Mondays: New episodes of the City Ballet The Podcast, featuring discussions with past and present company artists (free)
  • Mondays at 6:30pm: Ballet Essentials, live interactive movement workshops on Zoom for teen and adult dancers ($8-$15 suggested)
  • Wednesdays at 6:30pm: Signature Steps, ballet classes on Zoom for intermediate- and advanced-level dancers with at least five years of training ($30)
  • Thursdays at 6pm: Access Workshops, which offers warm-ups and choreography designed for teens and adults with disabilities (free)
  • Saturdays at 11am: Ballet Breaks, a series of half-hour workshops for children ages 3 to 8 ($5-$10 suggested)
  • Saturdays at noon: Access Workshops for Children, a program aimed at children with disabilities, ages 4 to 12 (free) 

 

Bob Hope
Bob Hope
Photograph: Courtesy of the Bob & Dolores Hope Foundation

36. So Ready for Laughter: Bob Hope and World War II

Museums New-York Historical Society | Manhattan, NY, Upper West Side

The New-York Historical Society has a new exhibit that coincides with the 80th anniversary of the United Service Organizations (USO) that shows off artifacts (a World War II-era aircraft fragment, mess kit, and other relics engraved to Hope), films, and rare photographs to illustrate how Bob Hope helped lift spirits with his USO and radio shows during a dark time in American history.

There's also a companion exhibition, "The Gift of Laughter," that delves into Hope’s varied career after World War II as a USO entertainer, television star, and Academy Award host demonstrating the many hats worn by comedians. His legacy will be brought to life with many items, including costumes from the Emmy Award-winning series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, as well as objects related to other comedians—real and imagined—influenced by Hope.

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yoga at Cathedral of St. John the Divine
yoga at Cathedral of St. John the Divine
Photograph: Courtesy Cathedral of St. John the Divine

37. Yoga at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine

Sports and fitness Online,

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine is doing virtual yoga classes and mindfulness meditation that it'll stream from inside the building's monumental architecture. Mia Michelson-Bartlett will lead the classes that aim to align, ground, and recalibrate using movement and breath to quiet the mind and connect with something beyond ourselves. All skills welcome. No equipment is necessary.

 Grief and Grievance: Art and Mourning in America
 Grief and Grievance: Art and Mourning in America
Photograph: Dario Lasagni

38. "Grief and Grievance: Art and Mourning in America"

News Art

"Grief and Grievance: Art and Mourning in America," a new exhibition that has taken over almost the entirety of the New Museum and is set to stay put until June 6, explores the history of racist violence all throughout the United States. Back in 2018, curator Okwui Enwezor began working on the project, hoping to mount it by last year's Presidential election. Unfortunately, the curator's passing in 2019 and the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic forced a shift in plans that delayed the show's opening to last week. In total, the work of 37 Black artists currently fills the museum's lobby, its three main viewing floors, the building's exterior and the South Gallery found in the building next door. Expect to browse through the amazing works of artists the likes of Kara Walker, who is the brain behind an entire wall filled with sketches and drawings; LaToya Ruby Frazier, who contributes over a dozen photographs from her "The Notion of Family" series; and Jean-Michael Basquiat, whose "Procession" can be glanced at as soon as the elevator doors open on the third floor. The show is a powerful one, with images ranging in style, theme and scope, but one that is necessary to delve into today more than ever. Given COVID-19-related guidelines, visitors have to purchase timed tickets ahead of their trip. Feel free to do so right here.

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Akhnaten
Akhnaten
Photograph: Karen Almond/Philip Glass’s Akhnaten

39. The Metropolitan Opera streams

News Theater & Performance

The Metropolitan Opera has closed its doors though at least September 2021, but the great New York opera house continues to lift the spirits of opera lovers around the world with free nightly streams of complete productions from its archives. Most of the offerings were originally recorded with multiple cameras in high definition to be shown in movie theaters as part of the company's popular Live in HD series.

Each opera goes live on the Met's website at 7:30pm EST (12:30am GMT) and remains there until 6:30pm EST the next evening. The operas can also be viewed with the Met Opera on Demand app on various devices. Click through for a full schedule for upcoming weeks of the Met's streaming series. In addition to these free nightly operas, the Met now also offers pay-per-view virtual concerts on select Saturdays at 1pm EST. The schedule for January and February currently includes performances by Piotr Beczała and Sondra Radvanovsky, Anna Netrebko and Sonya Yoncheva. The concerts cost $20 and remain viewable for two weeks after their live premieres. 

elsewhere sound space
elsewhere sound space
Photographs: Courtesy Elsewhere | Paperboy Prince, Peter Smith, Princess Nokia and Starchild & The New Romantic

40. Elsewhere Sound Space

Music Music venues Online,

Elsewhere is bringing back live performances via Twitch so everyone can tune into its new monthly series, "Elsewhere Sound Space." Hosted by trans comedian and actor Peter Smith, the episodic series will feature new musical guests and live performances from New York City’s underground music and arts scene each month, starting with Princess Nokia on January 28, Starchild & The New Romantic on February 23, Paperboy Prince on March 23, and others on April 27, May 25 and June 24. The premise of the whole series is out of this world—it's a continuing story that follows the sci-fi misadventures of a music deity marooned in space and their curious cultural dispatches back to Earth. Peter Smith will be broadcasting live from the "Astral Spa & Sound Bath" while on a "chilled-out mission to bring the joy and community of live music to Earthlings, who are in their most quarantined and isolated state." Twitch audience members can expect comedic skits, psychedelic musical performances, candid artist interviews and holistic wellness treatments.

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“If I Could” by Sarah Zapata BRIC Latinx Abstract
“If I Could” by Sarah Zapata BRIC Latinx Abstract
Photograph: “If I Could” by Sarah Zapata

41. Latinx Abstract exhibit

Art BRIC House, Fort Greene

BRIC is presenting "Latinx Abstract," a groundbreaking exhibition that asserts the enduring
legacy of abstraction among Latinx artists, from January 21 to May 2, 2021. The show features a cross-generational survey of ten artists—Candida Alvarez, Karlos Carcamo, Maria Chavez, Alejandro Guzman, Glendalys Medina, Freddy Rodriguez, Fanny Sanín, Mary Valverde, Vargas-Suarez Universal, and Sarah Zapata. The artists' work "challenges the established history of abstract art in the United States, which largely excludes the contributions of Latinx artists, individuals of Latin American descent based in the United States." The show will be on both virtually and in-person at BRIC House (647 Fulton St). In-person viewing at BRIC will be available during reduced hours, Wed-Sat 11am-6pm, and at reduced capacity. Visitors are encouraged to reserve a space 48 hours in advance by contacting BRIC. In-person viewing availability is subject to change.

AKC Museum of the dog Hollywood dogs
AKC Museum of the dog Hollywood dogs
Photograph: Courtesy AKC Museum of the Dog

42. Hollywood Dogs at the AKC Dog Museum

News Art

America's most famous dogs are getting their due at the AKC Museum of the Dog. This week, the museum launched "Hollywood Dogs" featuring drawings, portraits and posters of some of the biggest canine blockbusters like Lassie to Old Yeller and All Dogs Go to Heaven. Inside the exhibit, you'll also see animated and cartoon dogs in old celluloid, pencil sketches, comic strips, old portrait photos of Rin Tin Tin and other headlining canines. The exhibit will be on through April 11 at 101 Park Avenue, but it'll also be put online at a later date so dog lovers can view it from home.

 

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Light Up Chinatown
Light Up Chinatown
Photograph: @nyclovesnyc

43. Light Up Chinatown lanterns

News City Life

As we enter another dark pandemic winter, a small group of Chinatown residents decided what their neighborhood needed was a little bit of light. Right now, hundreds of paper lanterns are glowing above Mott Street—between Canal and Bayard streets—casting a warm and inviting glow. Installed by the Light Up Chinatown Project, the new fixtures are intended to light up the street in these dark times, and also inspire New Yorkers and tourists to stop by and visit hurting restaurants and shops. The effect is magical—the lanterns mimic a celebratory atmosphere despite the difficult times and have already gained a lot of attention and Instagram posts.

Don't Tell Mama sign
Don't Tell Mama sign
Photograph: Courtesy Don't Tell Mama

44. Live music at these NYC piano bars

News Theater & Performance

Several beloved local cabaret venues have found a way to stay within the city's health guidelines while providing New Yorkers with the in-person music they crave—with live musicians playing for audiences that are safely seated outdoors. Ticketed concerts remain prohibited, but these performances are technically incidental music: They provide background ambiance at restaurants and bars. And for as long as the weather will permit it—or even beyond that, knowing New Yorkers—it can be a special experience.

 

Looking for more things to do?

Fall in NYC
Photograph: Shutterstock

The best things to do in the fall in NYC

Things to do

Fall in NYC is everything you could hope for in a season. First, the city gets delightfully spooky for Halloween. With thrilling Halloween events and Halloween festivals happening in every borough, it’s easy to get in the spirit of things! Aside from pumpkins and funky costumes though, you can keep the autumn excitement going by leaf peeping around the city, warming up with whiskey, parades, virtual parties and so much more. Autumn in NYC is tough to match!

Central Park
Photograph: Shutterstock

NYC events in October 2020

Things to do

'Tis the season to get spooky! But beyond the best Halloween events, but there are also plenty of other awesome NYC events in October 2020. Use our events calendar to plan the quintessential month for leaf peeping and spotting fall foliage, pumpkin picking and more things to do in fall.

Kick off fall with some epic cultural events, you don't want to miss happening like Open House New York, Oktoberfest and new haunted pop-up drive throughs.

 

RECOMMENDED: Full NYC events calendar for 2020

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Green-Wood Cemetery performance
Photograph: Courtesy Green-Wood Cemetery/Maike Shulz

The best Halloween events for 2020 in NYC

Things to do

2020 has been scary enough, but we're throwing the spookiness into high gear for Halloween this month. Typically, October is filled with costumed parties, jump scares at haunted houses, corn mazes and parades, but this year will be a little different. For one, the Village Halloween Parade is canceled, and it's likely most of the city's regularly scheduled scary haunts will be as well given the current pandemic. That being said, there are still quite a few things still taking place, and with Halloween (finally) taking place on a Saturday, it'll be easier to celebrate. Don't bother breaking out your sewing kit, New York's greatest Halloween stores have plenty of options to make you look really spooky. Make sure to check out our NYC events in October too for even more activities to finish off the month in killer spirits. 

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Halloween in NYC

Fall in NYC
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Loic Lagarde

NYC events calendar for 2020

Things to do

Want to know what’s happening in New York today, this weekend or in the coming months? Use our NYC events calendar 2020 as your guide to find the best things to do in the fall, winter and spring. Major events to look forward to this time of year include The Village Halloween Parade, Oktoberfest and the best places to see fall foliage in the city. Ready to unleash your inner culture vulture? Peep our top picks for the best art shows and concerts this year. All you need to do is buy the tickets!

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