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The best things to do at home in NYC this weekend

The best things to do in NYC this weekend includes virtual dance parties, performances from Joe's Pub and more.

The Drunk Texts
Photograph: Courtesy The Drunk Texts

Many performances, museums and venues have been closed and canceled so we've come up with a list of fun things to do while you're self-quarantining. 

Check out more ideas below on our list of the best things to do at home in NYC this weekend, including performances at Joe's Pub, a Drunk Texts take on The Importance of Being Earnest and a tour through MoMA with Abbi Jacobsen.

RECOMMENDED: Full list of the best things to do in NYC

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Things to do in NYC this weekend

Treya Lam
Photograph: Courtesy Anna Azarov

Joe's Pub Live

Various locations, Hell's Kitchen

Joe's Pub is offering free access to past performances and live-streamed events this month. Below is the schedule of events, each starting at 8pm:

Friday, April 3: Trevor Bachman’s FARMED 

Saturday, April 4: Becca Blackwell’s Schmermie’s Choice

Thursday, April 9: AJOYO's sophomore album EP release party 

Friday, April 10: This Alien Nation Saturday, April 11: Ghanaian-American singer, songwriter, and producer Jeremiah Abiah’s ABIAH Sings Madonna

Each artist is taking donations on their Venmo accounts.

Empty Rockefeller Center
Photograph: Courtesy Instagram/@viennyc

Happy Hour Art Party

Various locations, Hell's Kitchen

Rockefeller Center is hosting a weekly virtual Happy Hour Art Party featuring NYC artists each Friday through April 17 on its Instagram account.  Viewers can join in on the fun by submitting photos of themselves, their pets, or their favorite personal fashion moment to @rockefellercenter via Instagram direct message by 11 p.m on Thursday, April 2. This time around, artist Angelica Hicks, who has previously participated in the Art in Focus program and created Rockefeller Center’s 2019 holiday map as well as a public art installation presented in partnership with Art Production Fund, will do a live illustration at 5pm. After the party, Rockefeller Center will send viewers a digital copy of their new illustration to print at home and share with friends using #RCArtParty.

NY Phil
Photograph: Courtesy Chris Lee/New York Philharmonic
News, Theater & Performance

The New York Philharmonic is streaming free performances online

Aching to turn off the TV and turn up the beautiful, swelling music of one of the world's best orchestras? The New York Philharmonic is making 150 hours of performances free for you to take in at home. Earlier this month, the NY Phil decided to cancel performances through June 13 to help stop the spread of coronavirus, despite the fact that "music is a powerful source of comfort and healing," its president and CEO Deborah Borda said in a statement. RECOMMENDED: The best live theater to watch from home "We know that this closing is a profound loss to our audience as it is to our musicians and, indeed, the institution," she added. Making lemonade out of lemons, NY Phil's "NY Phil Plays On" has released over 150 hours of performances, interviews with its musicians, its award-winning radio programs and videos of its Young People’s Concerts, complemented by lessons and games. And check out its Facebook page on Thursday nights at 7:30pm for the closest experience to a live performance that NY Phill can offer right now—broadcasts of past performances. For example, you can check out Jaap van Zweden conducting Mahler’s Symphony No. 5.  Happy listening!

Photograph: Shutterstock
News, City Life

Create the quintessential NYC balcony garden

You don't need to put off making your own mini-garden anymore—with more time at home, you can grow your own veggies within arm's reach. Being able to produce your own food without having to go to the grocery store is an attractive idea right now and harkens back to the old "victory gardens" of World War I and II, when people at home grew their own food to supplement their rations and boost morale. While fire escape gardens are technically illegal to have—firefighters need a clear egress there–you can use an outdoor patio, balcony or window boxes to curate your little patch. But how do you even start, especially given we're not supposed to go out for tools? We spoke with gardening experts from the New York Botanical Garden, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and NYC Parks' GreenThumb program for tips to help you produce your first potted farm. 1. Sow seeds that do well Firstly, you'll want to plant the right veggies to increase your chance of running a successful garden. Usually, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, herbs, pole beans, eggplants, chard, radishes, lemons do well, but you'll want to read up on where to plant them, because some pairings can actually be harmful to their growth. 2. Use seeds and stalks from leftover veggies Getting out to the store to pick up seeds isn't really an option right now, but luckily experts say that planting the seeds and stalks from leftovers can work! This includes seeds from tomatoes, legumes, pulses (beans) grains (quinoa and amaranth), squash, pep

The Metropolitan Opera Tannhäuser
Photograph: Courtesy Marty Sohl / The Metropolitan Opera
News, Theater & Performance

Free Metropolitan Opera performances

The Metropolitan Opera is giving at-home audiences an encore with another week of streamed performances of Live in HD. This week, it's all about Wagner. By tuning in to at 7:30pm each night, you'll be able to catch seven of the composer's operas, including the full Ring cycle.

Each production stays viewable until 6:30pm the next day. You can find the full schedule below.

You can also access the streams through the Met Opera on Demand apps for Apple, Amazon, and Roku devices and Samsung Smart TV. The announcement is the latest since The Met said that it was canceling the remainder of its 2019-2020 season, which was set to conclude on May 9.

Friday, March 27: Götterdämmerung
Saturday, March 28: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
Sunday, March 29: Tannhäuser

Lane Moore
Photograph: Courtesy Lane Moore

How to Be Alone comedy variety show

New York City Center, Midtown West

Lane Moore, the comedian behind Tinder Live, will be streaming an interactive variety show live each night with games the audience can participate in. The show will also offer wellness check-ins, where she reminds viewers to drink water and take care of themselves, and be gentle through whatever they're facing right now. Moore, frontperson in the band It Was Romance, will also sing songs on the show, sometimes chosen by the audience. Moore describes the show as "'Pee-Wee's Playhouse' for lonely adults."

escape room
Photograph: Courtesy Anthony Smith
News, City Life

Try this at-home escape room made with Google Docs

What most of us want right now is an escape—so Williamsburg resident Anthony Smith created one. It's not your run-of-the-mill escape room with social distancing underway. It's online, using Google Docs in a completely different manner. Once you're past the title page, you're taken to the prologue, which is a cryptic, stream-of-consciousness passage that leads you into the game. You wake up in a cozy cabin but something's wrong. You're given a series of actions–checking under the pillows, opening the window, turning the door knob–but only one action gets you out. It's up to you to find out which one. Being stuck indoors while the coronavirus pandemic plays out has us a bit stir crazy, which is why the escape room serves as a welcome distraction.

Whitney Museum, art, artists, studio visits, virtual tours
Photograph: Shutterstock
News, Art

Take a virtual studio tour with these Whitney Museum artists

There's no shortage of things to do online right now to help distract you from being shut in—from getting books out of the New York Public Library and attending a digital drag show to enjoying a night at the opera or a Broadway musical. But art lovers and the merely art-curious have a particularly full menu of web-only features to choose from, thanks to NYC's many museums, such as The Metropolitan Museum Of Art, the Guggenheim and the Museum of Modern Art. Among the options are tours of collections and buildings (including a trippy, head-spinning, 360 degree excursion through The Metropolitan Museum's most popular galleries) and others you have may have missed, like the Whitney Museum's virtual studio visits with contemporary artists. Studio visits are how curators and dealers hunt for new art, and indeed, that's how all the artists appearing here got their start. They've all since gone on to participate in various Whitney exhibitions (like its signature showcase, the Biennial) over the past few years, while their creations have been acquired for the museum's collection. They work in all manner of mediums and styles and are seen on video among their works-in-progress as they discuss their methodologies and ideas.

MoMA, contemporary art, modern art, podcast, Abbi Jacobson
Photograph: Shutterstock
News, Art

Take a podcast tour through MoMA’s highlights with Abbi Jacobson

Since the city went into lockdown because of the pandemic, Gotham's major museums have moved online to share their exhibitions and holdings with New Yorkers sheltering in place. These web experiences offer much-needed diversions in troubled times, and that's doubly true of "A Piece of Work," a podcast tour of collection highlights at the Museum of Modern Art hosted by comedian and actor Abbi Jacobson. Promising "everything you wanted to know about modern and contemporary art but were afraid to ask," "A Piece of Work" is co-produced by WNYC and features the Broad City and Disenchantment star as she ponders the meaning of contemporary art, often in the company of famous friends. In one segment, Jacobson discusses the in-and-outs of performance art with RuPaul, who allows that she likes anything with naked people and fat butts in it. This leads to a discussion of Sir Mix-A-Lot before segueing into a conversation about Carolee Schneemann's classic art performance, Meat Joy. In another episode, Jacobson's Broad City co-star Hannibal Buress joins her for an encounter with Marcel Duchamp's iconic, ur-conceptual artwork, Bicycle Wheel, which consists of the eponymous object mounted onto a wooden stool. Buress’s reaction is to label the piece “so Williamsburg,” while also pleading to spin it. You may wonder what qualifies Jacobson as an art connoisseur, but in fact she went to art school and makes art. And while her guest sometimes sound like they're poking fun of what they see, Jaco

Photograph: Shutterstock
News, Eating

The best tips for baking sourdough bread at home (now that everyone's doing it)

As people across America have been spending more time indoors, many are trying new DIY projects to help pass the time. But one craft project in particular—baking bread—has not only has become a sign of the times, but a way to broadcast on social media that your at-home cooking is the best it’s ever been. To that end, there seems to be some conspiracy pushing sourdough as the end-all-be-all of good, homemade bread. There are other breads out there, but sourdough has for whatever reason become almost a badge of honor for millennial productivity—especially New Yorkers living in cramped quarters. There are many reasons why baking your own sourdough loaf is the perfect 2020 project: Sourdough starters are living organisms and can function almost like a pet for us lonely folks out here—they need attention, care, and touch, which can be an exciting prospect during a time of social distancing. For those who may have recently lost jobs, it's also another way to nourish ourselves and families on the cheap. Perhaps the most enticing reason, however, is that bread making can be very therapeutic—essential in stressful times like now when our mental health is more important than ever and likely at its most fragile. And, duh, the scored crusts and bubbling holes photograph beautifully for the 'Gram. So if you’re looking to feed your feed, we thought we’d share some of our favorite videos that we’ve found helpful for learning the basics.  How to prepare your sourdough starter: 

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Museum Of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Photograph: David Heald
News, City Life

Take a trip to your favorite NYC museums with these virtual tours

Coronavirus has NYC practically on lock down with closures of Broadway theaters, bars, restaurants and museums. While you can still get take out and even cocktails to go (hooray!), no one has quite figured out how to eat or drink digitally at your favorite restaurants. That’s not a problem for several of NYC’s major museums, however, that are all offering virtual tours through their collections and exhibitions—all for free and all from the comfort of your couch. Available in partnership with Google Arts & Culture, the tours feature images from various collections and, in some cases, walkabouts through parts of the museum via street view. So if you’re getting tired of Netflix, and want to try something more culturally enriching, here are some of the online experiences you should definitely check out. The Metropolitan Museum Of Art Some 200,770 objects covering 5,000 years of art history await you at The Met online, which lets you browse the entire collection, and visit online exhibits like, “The Art of Music through Time,” which includes audio of the curators weighing in on the historical instruments on display. There are also street view tours of various galleries at the Met and the Met Breuer. Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Vincent van Gogh's The Starry Night, Paul Cézanne's Still Life with Apples and Henri Rousseau's The Sleeping Gypsy are just some of the 129 modern masterpieces from the Museum of Modern Art that you'll find on Google Arts & Culture, along with online exhibit

Photograph: Courtesy Jonathan Blanc/NYPL
News, City Life

Check out these best New York Public Library for free

With more than 30,000 titles available to download from the New York Public Library's e-reader SimplyE, it can be hard to know which books are worth your while. We're here to help! Using the NYPL librarian's recommendations from their "125 Books We Love" list (which celebrates the library's 125th year), their winter recommendations, and a list of titles they say will help you get back into reading, we've come up with eight books you'll want to add to your reading round-up and download to your kindle or phone. The only requirement is that you need to be a New York City resident with a library card, which you can apply for on SimplyE. 

Photography: Courtesy of MasterClass
News, Drinking

Learn how to up your home bar game from the country's best bartenders

Say goodbye to your sad Quarantini. The home bar has taken center stage as New York City’s best bars are off limits these days—except for establishments selling alcohol to-go. But what do you put in the shaker when you have some vodka, a sad lemon and half empty bottles of liqueur guests brought to a dinner party last year? Bartenders in New York and across the country have turned to social media—check Instagram, Twitter and Facebook—for sharing recipes, providing tips on making better cocktails and even taking requests in live time so we can all drink better while social distancing. As you’re “qaurantending” from your apartment, here are some thirst-quenching resources, whether you set up that virtual happy hour or simply want to pour yourself one. Lynnette Marrero and Ryan Chetiyawardana, MasterClass Lynnette Marrero of Llama-San in the West Village joins Ryan Chetiyawardana, winner of the World Best Bartender award in 2018, lead a recently-launched series called Mixology for MasterClass. They share tips and techniques that the best bartenders across the world use every day to keep us hydrated. Derek Brown, owner of the Columbia Room in Washington D.C. Twitter may be the last place you want to troll these days, but for cocktail advice, respected bartender Derek Brown has been sharing recipes and fielding questions. So ahead and tweet before you tipple. Liquor Lab Photography: Courtesy of Liquor Lab Buy your ingredients ahead of time before streaming this hour

305 Fitness
News, City Life

Work out to these fitness classes you can stream from home

All gyms in the Tri-State area will be closed indefinitely as of 8pm tonight, as part of a joint regional plan to reduce the spread of coronavirus. That means gym rats, yoga enthusiasts and other fitness fans, like YMCA diehard Mayor Bill de Blasio, will have to move their workouts elsewhere if they want to keep in shape. (Side note: ClassPass is offering the option to pause this month for free, and they will keep all your credits until June. They'll also waive cancelation fees through the end of March.) Luckily, a number of gyms and instructors are offering their workouts via livestream. Most of them are offering limited free trials with a subscription that you can cancel later if you're not feeling it. Keep an eye out on your fitness instructors' and gyms' social media pages because many are announcing live workouts and deals through the next few weeks. Here are a few offerings you can jump on now: OBE Fitness (cardio, strength & flexibility): Use the code ‘SWEATSANDCITY’ for your first month of guided at-home workouts free and get a live sculpt workout on March 17 at 10:30am. P.volve (low-impact strengthening): An extended 30 day free trial of streamed classes with no credit card needed using the code "OnePvolve". Physique57(Barre): Seven-day free trial of recorded classes. Melissa Wood Health: Seven-day free trial and free live-streamed classes on Instagram. Tone It Up (low-impact): One free month for new users. Daily Burn (cardio kickboxing, HIIT, Barre, yoga, more): A

coronavirus, New York City, street art, murals, Banksy, Keith Haring
Photograph: Ali Garber
News, Art

You can now take a virtual tour of NYC's best street art

Though shuttered by the coronavirus pandemic, many of New York's museums and galleries are allowing viewers to commune with art through virtual tours and web-only viewing rooms. But what if street art is more your thing? As it happens, you're covered there, too, thanks to Google Arts & Culture, which offers an online experience called 9 Amazing Street Art Murals in New York, featuring work by the genre's heaviest hitters. The tour utilizes Google street view to take you to see NYC's most vivid murals with a full 360-degree line of sight. Prolific Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra, for instance, is represented by three murals: A double portrait of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera in Crown Heights; another in Bushwick pairing Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat wearing boxing gloves; and a rendering of David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust, which climbs up the side of a condo tower in Jersey City. Photograph: Ali Garber A street art tour wouldn't be complete without Banksy, and his Hammer Boy on the Upper West Side (a spray-painted silhouette of a kid wielding a sledgehammer against an actual FDNY standpipe) is here, as is Keith Haring's famous Crack Is Wack mural at Harlem River Drive and 128th Street. Other notable street art destinations include the Big Pun Memorial Mural by Tats Cru in the Bronx, the Bowery Graffiti Wall on Houston Street, Freeman's Alley on the Lower East Side and the Graffiti Hall of Fame in Harlem. So if you're jonesing for street art murals, look no further.

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