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Things to Do This Week & Weekend in NYC (5/23-5/30)

Pop ups, shows, markets, and more things to do in NYC today, this week, and this weekend.

(5/23-5/30) Looking for what to do in NYC this week and weekend? The city continues to bounce back, with many venues dropping their mask and vaccine requirements. Expect a revitalized city this week and this weekend, with new restaurants, festivals, pop ups, and all kind of other things to do in NYC this week.

THIS WEEK ONLY

FLEET WEEK

fleet week service members spelling out i heart ny​​Courtesy Official U.S. Navy Page/Flickr

It’s been nearly four decades since the first official Fleet Week took place in NYC, welcoming in a procession of military ships and their crews. After a two-year pandemic hiatus, the event returns in person for Fleet Week NYC 2022, from Wednesday, May 25th, until Tuesday, May 31st. Ten ships will be visiting, including feats of engineering like the destroyer USS Thomas Hudner and the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan. Ship tours take place throughout the week in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. Throughout Times Square and beyond, you can expect to see uniformed members of the sea services (Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen) as more than 2,000 of them will be out exploring the city.

The center of the action will be the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, at Pier 86 on the Hudson in midtown. Activities will kick off with a Free Fridays session from 5-9pm, when the museum stays open after hours, and the first screening of the museum’s summer movie series on the flight deck. Lawn chairs, picnic baskets, and blankets are all encouraged to accompany the 1995 thriller Crimson Tide, which will be shown on a huge inflatable screen starting at sunset.

The USCG Cutter Penobscot Bay will be docked at Pier 86 all weekend with the U.S. Coast Guard answering questions about the icebreaking tug. On Monday at 2pm, look for a Coast Guard search and rescue demonstration. The U.S. Marines Corps will also be at Pier 86, presenting gear, antique military vehicles, and demos that will show you how to train like a Marine. 

In all, eight watercraft will be docked at Piers 86, 88, and 90 in Manhattan:

  • USS Bataan, an amphibious assault ship from Norfolk, VA (at Pier 88)
  • HMS Protector from the United Kingdom (at Pier 90)
  • 4 U.S. Naval Academy YPs (yard patrol craft) from Annapolis, MD (at Pier 86)
  • 2 U.S. Naval Academy sailboats from Annapolis, MD (at Pier 86)

fleet week nyc memorial day ceremony

On Monday, May 30, for Memorial Day, the Intrepid Museum will host its annual event for veterans and their families at 10am with a wreath-laying ceremony, the unfurling of a 100-foot American flag, the playing of “Taps,” and a flyover by Navy fighter jets. 

Other Fleet Week NYC 2022 workshops and hands-on activities will take place at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space museum all weekend long.

THE 27TH ANNUAL LOWER EAST SIDE FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS

lower east side festival of the arts

Crystal Field (foreground) and performers of the Lower East Side Festival of the Arts (L-R): Stephan Morrow, Terry Lee King, Richard West, David F. Slone Esq., Lissa Moira, Tsubasa Ogawa. Photo by Joe Bly.

This Friday through Sunday, The 27th Annual Lower East Side Festival of the Arts will be bringing a bonanza of programming to downtown. The Theater for the New City hosts the weekend, with a mix of indoor and outdoor performances, under the theme “Artists Embrace Liberty And Justice For All.” The event is free and features some 200 artists and groups working in theatre, music, dance, video, cabaret, and film (including a special focus on movies by neighborhood artists). Vendors and food sellers, including booths from nearby restaurants, can be found on Saturday. Performances for and by kids take place Sunday afternoon. In and around 155 First Ave. (btw. 9th & 10th Sts.).

A GLOBAL BAZAAR

danceafrica bam

Saturday through Monday, DanceAfrica’s beloved bazaar returns, with more than 150 vendors from around the world, offering African, Caribbean, and African-American food, crafts, and fashion. Check out the streets around BAM as they transform into a global marketplace. (There are also dance performances, workshops, and master classes this weekend, as part of DanceAfrica Festival 2022.)

ANALOG CITY

analog museum city new york presses

Photo: Brad Farwell.

Yes, somehow New York City functioned without smartphones and desktops. A new exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York transports visitors to pre-digital New York through Analog City: New York B.C. (Before Computers). Check out the lost innovations and industries that once fueled NYC. (Thursday night stop by after hours to experience the city circa 1980 with a punk and new wave soundtrack at Cocktails & Culture: GoNightclubbing with DJ Bill Bahlman.)

MANHATTANHENGE

manhattanhenge

Photo: Andrew Dallos/Flickr.

Four nights a year, NYC's street grid is treated to the sunset phenomenon "Manhattanhenge," as coined by Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson. The sunset synchs with Manhattan’s east-west numbered streets, creating memorable photo ops. Prime viewing locations are wide cross streets like 14th, 34th, 42nd, 57th, and 79th. The first chance to catch Manhattanhenge this year is this Sunday at 8:13pm for a half-sun sighting; the full sun experience takes place on Monday at 8:14pm. (The second pass at it comes July 12th and 13th.)

AMATEUR NIGHT AT THE APOLLO

amateur night at the apollo

The legendary Apollo Theater is back open in Harlem, inside an ornate structure that dates to 1914. Live programming has returned, as has the famed Amateur Night at the Apollo, bringing aspiring performers to a big stage in front of a lively crowd. A resident “Executioner” stands by to sweep off talent that doesn’t measure up—after all, at the Apollo it’s “be good or be gone.” The next performance comes up on Wednesday, May 25th and it’s a Quarter Final, bringing together winners of recent Amateur Night shows competing to move on to the Semi Finals.

FREE OPERA IN BRYANT PARK

bryant park opera

New York City Opera will present The Barber of Seville on Friday, May 27th at 7pm as part of Bryant Park’s Picnic Performances presented by Bank of America. The one-night-only performance will be fully staged, costumed, and accompanied by live music. In The Barber of Seville, Gioachino Rossini’s sparkling music animates the hijinks of Figaro, opera’s most famous barber. Amy Maude Helfer, Dimitrie Lazich, and WooYoung Yoon star in this crowd-pleasing production directed by Helena Binder and featuring members of the New York City Opera Orchestra conducted by Carmine Aufiero. Entry is first-come, first-served. Performances are designed to be enjoyed casually (no tickets required) with ample seating and free picnic blankets for audience members to borrow. For more information, visit bryantpark.org/picnics.

GRAND BAZAAR NYC

silver dollar jewelry repurposed

Every Sunday on the Upper West Side you can check out Grand Bazaar NYC, the city’s largest curated market—and most distinctive. This Sunday you’ll also find the International Bazaar. Discover new styles and faraway flavors from a curated selection of international dealers and specialty food vendors. Look for handmade fashion, leather bags, pillows and rugs, tribal masks and jewelry, colorful Tibetan charms, African mud-cloths, and much more. You’ll feel like you bought a plane ticket around the world! It’s all for a good cause, too, as 100% of profits go to local public schools. 10am-5pm. 

DO YOU LIKE LIFE-SIZE PIÑA COLADAS?

baileys pina colada union square

Baileys Irish Cream and floral sculpture artist Mr. Flower Fantastic are teaming up to celebrate the return of the limited-time offering, Baileys Colada, and ring in the “unofficial start of summer’ leading up to Memorial Day Weekend. For two days only in Union Square, Tuesday and Wednesday, a floral instillation is popping up featuring a life-size piña colada that takes inspiration from the Baileys Colada signature blend of Irish Cream and the flavors of creamy coconut and sweet pineapple. The installation is made up of approximately 30,000 colorful blooms, including marigolds, hydrangeas, pansies, eucalyptus, orchids, roses, hibiscus, and carnations. Baileys Colada is available for a limited time wherever spirits-based beverages are sold ($24.99 for a 750ml bottle) as well as online via drizly.com.

ONLY THIS MONTH IN NYC

OFF-BROADWAY 20at20

the play that goes wrong

Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

Through May 29th, take advantage of 20at20, the bi-annual celebration of Off-Broadway that gets you a $20 seat 20 minutes before curtain. Participating shows include ¡Americano!, Romeo & Bernadette, STOMP, and The Play That Goes Wrong (above).

AN 86TH FLOOR COCKTAIL LOUNGE

pdt green light empire state building

Courtesy Empire State Building.

PDT (Please Don’t Tell), the famed hidden East Village cocktail bar, has a new stealth location: the Empire State Building. Nightly through May 30th, you can sip at the observatory, backed by views of the full city. Iconic cocktails will be served, along with hot dogs from PDT's alter ego Crif Dogs.

DINEAWAY SWEEPSTAKES FROM THE MTA

MTA Away has teamed up with the James Beard Foundation to inspire New Yorkers to check out some of the city’s best food neighborhoods, as well as some delectable destinations off the LIRR and Metro-North Railroad. DineAWAY encourages New Yorkers and visitors alike to use mass transit to experience the unparalleled food experiences that are just around every corner. Enter the sweepstakes for a chance to WIN delicious prizes!  At participating restaurants, as well as on digital screens in the transit system, you’ll find a QR code to scan that will take you to our sweepstakes entry. Register for a chance to win gift cards to restaurants, overnight stays at hotels, and more. Enter now.

PIZZA SPECIALS

 Ainslie in Williamsburg (76 Ainslie St.) and Carroll Place in Greenwich Village (157 Bleecker St.) are serving complimentary (yes, complimentary!) wood-fired pizzas at the bar, in a wide array of varieties ranging from Margherita to boscaiola topped with pancetta, mushrooms, and truffle oil. From Friday, May 20th until the end of June enjoy delicious ‘za on the house from Monday-Friday at Ainslie and Tuesday-Friday at Carroll Place. The offer is good 5-6pm and again for the late night folks at 11:30pm-12:30am.

IMMERSIVE THINGS TO DO IN NYC 

NEW IMMERSIVE ART

artechouse life of a neuron

Head to the historic boiler room of Chelsea Market to experience the immersive art space ARTECHOUSE. You’ve never seen art like this before, as room-sized digital projections merge with sound design to create a cinematic experience. Open now is Life of a Neuron, which draws on decades of neuroscience research to create a cellular-level journey through the human brain. Come explore the intersections of art and science and discover new layers of a universal human experience—the story of ourselves. The main installation is joined by additional immersive artworks. You can also grab a drink at the newly opened XR Bar.

THE MUSEUM OF ICE CREAM

museum of ice cream subway

The Museum of Ice Cream is the only place in the world where you can learn about everyone's favorite frozen treat by feasting on a floating dessert table, sliding down a 3-story slide to collect your ice cream, or taking a dip in a pool filled with millions of sprinkles. Be transported to a world where all your wildest ice cream dreams come true and rediscover the kid in you—don't miss the awesome photo ops in the hall of ice cream scoops.

CANDYTOPIA IS BACK

candytopia 2022

If you’ve ever wanted a tour of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, you’ll get a taste at Candytopia (without the imminent peril). Dive into a ball pit of marshmallows, view portraits made of candy, and take killer pics with candy-inspired scenes. The attraction is now open for a limited run through July 31st.

THINGS TO DO IN NYC: NEW!

macy's backstage herald square

Macy's Backstage Grand Opening At Herald Square on May 19, 2022. Photo by Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Macy's, Inc.

Off-price, on-trend, and arriving daily! Macy’s celebrates the grand opening of Macy’s Backstage at its flagship Herald Square store in New York City. Macy’s Backstage delivers a store-within-store shopping experience featuring an ever-changing assortment of on-trend finds that give shoppers another way to express their personal style at significant savings. The new location of the off-price store concept opened May 20th with 15,000 square feet of dedicated retail space on the eighth level inside the full-line Macy’s flagship store at Herald Square.

THINGS TO DO IN NYC: ART EXHIBITIONS

JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT: KING PLEASURE

jean-michel basquiat

Photo by Lee Jaffe.

Everyone's favorite Brooklyn artist gets a major exhibition, led by his family and launched in Chelsea. Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure features a priceless collection of over 200 never before and rarely seen paintings, drawings, ephemera, and artifacts. The show is sourced from the Basquiat family collection and also features recreations of his NYC artist studio on Great Jones St. and the Michael Todd VIP Room of NYC’s Palladium nightclub, where Basquiat created two paintings.

THINGS TO DO IN NYC: HAPPY HOUR SPECIALS

GIN COCKTAILS!

basquiat bramble ninas liquid lab

Nina’s x Liquid Lab in SoHo celebrates National Gin and Tonic Day with the launch of their Bombay Happy Hour, available through July. The happy hour menu will feature three gin-based drinks, one of them being Nina’s take on the classic cocktail using Bombay Sapphire. (Pictured above is the Basquiat Bramble, with gin, muddled blackberries, rosemary, and lemon.) 

A PRIME HAPPY HOUR

cocktail prime catch nyc

Prime Catch NYC serves top-rate seafood and steaks right in the heart of the Theater District. This is a great stop pre or post-Broadway or while out in Times Square, with both  indoor and outdoor seating options. They specialize in Prime USDA dry-aged Pat LaFrieda meat with house specialty Porterhouse and tomahawk cuts. Don't miss great deals at Happy Hour, which runs all day, seven days a week at the bar.

Happy Hour
1/2 Price Appetizers
$1 Oysters
$12 Martinis
$10 Cocktails
$8 Wines
$6 Beers

A HAPPY HOUR SPECIAL

havana central empanada

Havana Central has introduced 1/2 price empanadas during Happy Hour at the bar! Diners must purchase a drink, 3 empanadas max per drink purchase.  Available in the bar only, Monday-Friday from 4-7pm. Choose from a variety of homemade savory pockets including beef, chicken, cheese, shrimp, and ropa vieja! Havana Central also features Happy Hour drink specials including $7 classic mojitos, classic margaritas, and red sangria, in addition to other specials.

AN UPTOWN HAPPY HOUR

sugar bar happy hour

Presenting a fresh alternative to the mundane, Ashford & Simpson’s Sugar Bar is an intimate, full-service restaurant on the Upper West Side. Sugar Bar was established in 1996 by the late Nickolas Ashford, one half of the songwriting and performing sensation Ashford & Simpson. Co-owned with Ashford's wife Valerie Simpson, the Sugar Bar offers an elegant ambiance inside a historic brownstone. Happy Hour specials are available Tuesday through Saturday 3 to 7pm at the bar, with a menu that includes $5-$7 specials on beer, wine, and cocktails. There are also deals on chicken wings, sliders, nachos, quesadillas, and fries. Look for live music most every night as well! This week features DJ & The Yams on Friday, Irina Res & The Jazz Mix on Saturday, and the Leah Harris Release Party on Sunday.

OTHER THINGS TO DO IN NYC 

A WATERFRONT MARKET RETURNS

greenpoint terminal market

Image: Ryan Nicholas Photography.

Creatives, local shops, and food vendors come together as the Greenpoint Terminal Market returns to the waterfront. Open Saturdays and Sundays 10am–6pm, rain or shine.

MUSEUM EVENT OF THE WEEK

cantor roof garden

Image: The Met's Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden. Photo by Filip Wolak.

As of tonight, the Met's Cantor Roof Garden is open once again. Wine, cocktails, and light fare accompany stunning Central Park and skyline views. (Later in the summer rotating DJs will be added.)

FAMILY-FRIENDLY AND WELLNESS HAPPENINGS IN HELL'S KITCHEN

bella abzug park

The Hudson Yards Hell’s Kitchen Alliance (HYHK) is a neighborhood business improvement district, keeping the west side of Manhattan clean and beautified. They’re also the force behind happenings at Hudson Yards’s Bella Abzug Park. Every Tuesday at 10:30am, HYHK will be hosting a Kids’ Concert in the playground. Children of all ages are invited to sing, dance, and play instruments. Mike Messer Music leads 45 minutes of learning and playing favorite songs—from popular children's hits to family favorites (through September 27th). On Thursdays at 10:30am join Bubble Master Gabe for an interactive show featuring giant bubbles (through September 29th). On select Saturdays in May and June look for Street Lab’s PLAY and STREET MARKER programs on Hudson Boulevard East as part of the city’s Open Streets program. PLAY is a pop-up, portable, customizable obstacle course with street games and physical activities, and STREET MARKER is an installation featuring chalk and custom chalk tools to draw, mark streets, and create expansive murals. Kids of all ages are welcome! All events are free and open to the public. 

Adults can find programming, too: look for free Saturday morning yoga sessions and free Monday and Wednesday evening yoga sessions in May. hyhkalliance.org

NOW OPEN! NEW BAR WONDERLAND

wonderland nyc

Image courtesy of Wonderland.

New nightclub Wonderland has officially opened its doors on West 20th Street in Chelsea. A grand opening party hosted by Rick Ross with sword swallower Le Reine The Thrill and ax juggler Sam Urdang kicked things off, bringing on this high-energy big-room NYC nightclub experience. Look for live stage acts, celebrity guest hosts, bottle service, and a mezzanine for dining.

A VILLAGE HANG

fat cat village

The Fat Cat is now the Cellar Dog. A longtime Village legend has been spruced up and readied for a new era. Live jazz is part of the scene and if that's not entertainment enough look for games. Lots of games. The roomy space boasts pool tables, ping-pong, shuffleboard, foosball, chess (and a weekly Friday night tournament), checkers, and novelties like Pac-Man.

#STANDWITHUKRAINE

ukrainian museum east village

Ukrainian Museum Facebook.

In the East Village, long a home of Ukrainian immigrants (and their food and culture), you'll find the largest museum in the U.S. committed to the rich heritage of Ukraine. The Ukrainian Museum's state-of-the-art home holds a folk art collection (one of the most important collections outside of Ukraine), a fine arts collection (including works by the well-known primitif artist Nikifor), and an extensive archive. Among current exhibitions, Pysanka: Guardian of life includes more than 400 pysanky (Ukrainian Easter eggs), motifs ranging from animal symbols to floral designs. 

ROLLER RINK

fliipers roller boogie palace

Rendering: ImageFiction for Flipper’s and Tishman Speyer.

From ice to wheels: Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace is offering roller skating at The Rink at Rockefeller Center. It’s the first time warm weather skating has been here since 1940. A legendary ‘70s-‘80s rink run by Ian “Flipper” Ross in West Hollywood has been revived in Midtown Manhattan by his daughter Liberty Ross. The new rink is joined by a major area renovation, with tables, chairs, and green spaces now available in the plaza. Grab-and-go options include JJ Johnson’s Fieldtrip and David Chang’s Fuku.

(If you're out JFK way, the TWA Hotel's Roll-A-Rama at the Runway Rink is open for the season as well.)

FROM VEGAS TO NYC

steak kumi nyc

Kumi, which has been a mainstay at the Mandalay in Las Vegas for nearly a decade, now has a sister location in the heart of midtown, serving Japanese cuisine with a Korean American twist. Inside Le Meridien New York you'll find the city’s hottest new sushi concept, with rising star Executive Chef Anastacia Song (a New York native) helming the kitchen. Signature menu items include an A5 Wagyu striploin, green tea-smoked chicken, miso-glazed black cod, gochujang-glazed salmon, and galbi braised short rib. Specialty rolls include a Wagyu and the NYC Roll, made with smoked salmon, Philly cream cheese, and caper sauce, encrusted in everything bagel seasoningKumi is open for dinner Tuesday-Saturday, 5-10pm.

THINGS TO DO IN NYC: POP UP EXHIBITIONS

THE FANS STRIKE BACK

fans strike back star wars exhibit

Photo credit: EMS Entertainment.

New exhibition The Fans Strike Back: The Largest Star Wars Fan Exhibition reflects four decades of devoted fandom. Get immersed in the saga as never before with the largest private collection of official Star Wars items, including life-size figures, models, one-of-a-kind sculptures, figurines, photos, posters, and costumes. There are more than 600 collectable items in all. The show runs through June, 2022.

THE VISIONARY UNIVERSE OF STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDSvisionary universe Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

The Visionary Universe of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is an immersive pop up exhibition at The Paley Center for Media. The exhibition celebrates the latest incarnation of the Star Trek franchise, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds from Paramount+and other series in the Star Trek universe. Throughout the exhibit's run (it ends May 29th), look for screenings, costumes and artifacts, weekend kids and family programs, and the chance to take photos in the captain’s chair.

THE SOUL OF JAZZ: AN AMERICAN ADVENTURE

soul of jazz harlem disney

Image courtesy Disney.

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem, founded in 1996, is dedicated to the preservation and celebration of the jazz history of the famous neighborhood that houses it. Now on display through August  31st is the national touring exhibition The Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure. Learn the colorful, surprising story of a sound, fittingly in Harlem, home home to Joe Gardner—musician, mentor, and star of Disney and Pixar’s Soul. Don't miss Duke Ellington's own white grand piano!

MAKING THE NATION'S TABLE

quilt saraceno

African American contributions to U.S. culinary culture go back more than 400 years. Learn more about black foodways at the new installation African/American: Making the Nation’s Table, now open at The Africa Center at Aliko Dangote Hall uptown. Through June 19th.

NYC DOWNTOWN SIGHTSEEING CRUISE

city cruises downtown sightseeing

Take a scenic cruise with a fresh perspective on NYC aboard city fave City Cruises. Convenient downtown pick-up gives you ready access to awe-inspiring up close views of the Statue of Liberty and a sight-filled loop from downtown to midtown and back. The scenic ride provides a 90-minute comprehensive tour of NYC must-sees, including Ellis Island, Governors Island, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Seaport District, Battery Park, skyscrapers, shipping, the new Hudson Yards, and much more! Enjoy live onboard narration (in English) or follow along in one of nine languages using the Hornblower AudioTour Guide app: English, Portuguese, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Mandarin, Japanese, and Korean. Book your sightseeing cruise in NYC today!

THINGS TO DO IN NYC: LIVE PERFORMANCES

LIVE BEATS & MORE DOWNTOWN

Downtown has one destination for eclectic, compelling music. The programming at the East Village’s Drom runs from jazz, rock, electronic, soul, and funk to international music. The weeks ahead bring high-energy ensemble work from The Silver Arrow Band May 24th) and DJ TM.8’s Temptation Saturday 80’s Dance Party on May 28th and June 11th. Thursday, May 26th will give you the choice of flamenco-jazz from New Bojaira as an early show and a high-octane performance by the New York Gypsy All-Stars for the 9pm show.

Pedrito Martinez

To celebrate its 15th anniversary season, Drom is introducing a weekly residency from Grammy-nominated Cuban bandleader Pedrito Martinez. Martinez will bring his signature, high-energy Afro-Cuban sound every Thursday. For his weekly residency Pedrito will perform alongside Sebastian Natal on bass and vocals, Issac Delgado Jr on keyboard and vocals, Jose “Xito” Lovell on trombone and vocals and Manuel Marquez on percussion and vocals.

JoAnna Ross Dan Goodman photo Paul Park

JoAnna Ross and Dan Goodman, photo by Paul Park.

Drom is also your local choice for comedy and pole dancing. Schtick A Pole In It has for the past 9 years been NYC's best (and only) comedy and pole dancing show. Comics tell jokes and pole dancers pole dance. Laugh lines alternate with death-defying tricks. If you don't see shows like this, why are you even paying NYC rents? The show has just expanded to four dates a month as part of an open-ended run. Tickets and more information are here.

LIVE MUSIC RETURNS TO THE IRIDIUM

ed palermo big band

Ed Palermo Big Band.

For more than 25 years, musical landmark The Iridium has been hosting intimate experiences of the world’s best rock, jazz, blues, and beyond. Roots rock legend Steve Forbert & The New Renditions plays May 19th. On Monday, May 23rd look out for An Intimate Evening With Ed Palermo, featuring a big band putting their unique jazz accents on the music of Frank Zappa, Herbie Hancock, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, and more. On Saturday, May 28th, catch blues prodigy and singer-songwriter Quinn Sullivan.

LIVE MUSIC AND FINE WINE AT CITY WINERY

city winery

Adam Pass/City Winery.

City Winery New York City at Hudson River Park brings together great bites, wine to match, and views to remember. Enjoy brunch, lunch, or dinner in City Winery’s restaurant and wine bar, where the food is meant to be paired with a great glass of wine. They’re open daily, with two stages hosting a stellar array of music and comedy. Looking ahead there's a Bob Dylan Birthday Celebration With the Complete Unknowns on Tuesday, May 24th; and New York legend Sandra Bernhard, a pioneer of the one-woman show, also on May 24th. 

strawberry fields city winer

Enjoy a reading from the book of John (and Paul, George, and Ringo) by Strawberry Fields on Sunday mornings. This Beatles tribute brunch is a treat for the whole family, join in the fun at City Winery at noon.

COMEDY COMING UP

carolines

A comedy legend not to be missed is Carolines on Broadway. This Times Square institution has been presenting the best in live comedy entertainment since 1982, with nightly shows that run from established greats to up and comers. Don't miss comedian and digital personality Renny, who boasts an army of more than 3 million social followers, in town on Thursday, May 26th.

FREE CONCERTS IN QUEENS

culture lab lic

Image: Culture Lab LIC.

Culture Lab LIC has kicked off its free outdoor concert series. Art, comedy, and drama join the live music in the weeks ahead.

CHASING ANDY WARHOL

chasing andy warhol

Photo by Jenny Anderson.

Join the cast of a walking play as it unfolds on the streets, behind windows, and inside secret locations. Immersive theatre, dance, film, art, and puppetry come together for a peek into the life of an iconic, enigmatic artist.

TWO GREAT BLUE MAN GROUP SPECIALS!

blue man group

No plot, dialogue, or ripped from headlines drama, just a romp and a half orchestrated by three blue-hued alien dudes. This long-running Off-Broadway show and international sensation combines music, paint drums, snacks, high-tech hijinks, and unpredictable physical comedy. For a limited time you can see the Blue Man Group with special discounts. There's a New York Family 4-Pack and Way Back Wednesday that lets you see the show at 1991 prices. Take advantage!

ROMEO & BERNADETTE: A MUSICAL TALE OF VERONA AND BROOKLYN

romeo bernadette Anna Kostakis, Viet Vo, Nikita Burshteyn

Anna Kostakis, Viet Vo, and Nikita Burshteyn. Photo by Russ Rowland.

Romeo—yes, that Romeo—awakens and finds himself in 1960 Brooklyn, chasing a girl he believes is his beloved Juliet. But no, it's Bernadette, the beautiful, foul-mouthed daughter of a crime family in this spoof of Shakespeare’s timeless tale. Romeo & Bernadette: A Musical Tale of Verona and Brooklyn is in previews ahead of an official opening May 16th. Limited run thru June 26th.

HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE

how i learned to drive

Stunningly timely and moving, Paula Vogel’s powerhouse of a Pulitzer Prize-winning play centers on a woman coming to terms with the charismatic uncle who impacts her past, present, and future life. How I Learned to Drive arrives on Broadway with Mary-Louise Parker and David Morse—the show’s original stars when it debuted Off-Broadway in 1997. Closing June 12th.

Looking for all the latest notes and updates on Broadway and Off Broadway? Check out our comprehensive These Are the Broadway and Off Broadway Shows in NYC 2022: Everything You Need to Know.

EXHIBITIONS IN NYC

DOGS OF WAR & PEACE

wounded warrior dog group

The AKC Museum of the Dog celebrates the role of dogs in society through its collection in Midtown. This Wednesday, March 16th the museum will open a new exhibition, Dogs of War & Peace. The show puts together 10 life-sized, carved-wood allegorical memorials by sculptor James Mellick on display from his “Wounded Warrior Dogs” and “Over the Rainbow Bridge” collections. Celebrating the bond beyond the battlefield, the installation highlights military dogs from WWII to Afghanistan. Sensitive looks at wounded and rehabilitated dogs helps draw attention to the heroism of dogs in the military. While you're there, don't miss the museum’s permanent collection, which includes sculptures, paintings, collars, vests, and photographs, plus engaging digital experiences.

A NEARLY FLAWLESS DIAMOND

Okavango Diamond Company

Photo: Okavango Diamond Company.

Be among the first members of the public to see “Okavango Blue,” a rare and nearly flawless 20-carat blue diamond. The centerpiece of a new display of diamonds from Botswana, it's now on view in the revamped Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals at the American Museum of Natural History. You can learn more about the region and the science behind diamonds. Or you can just go be dazzled.

LIGHT PLAY

moholy nagy self portrait

Photograph (Self-Portrait with Hand), c. 1925-1929 © Estate of László Moholy-Nagy / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Hungarian artist László Moholy-Nagy (1895-1946) was best known as a painter and a Bauhaus leader. He was also a photography pioneer, as seen in the exhibition Light Play. A tightly edited show gathers work ranging from early experiments with photomontage to photograms (images made without a camera), personal travel shots, films, and late-career color photos. The curators worked closely with the artist’s estate to design staging that aligns with Moholy-Nagy’s experimental approach to lighting and form. There’s plenty more to check out inside this New York newcomer that offers a mix of world-class photography, eclectic programming, elevated dining, and surprising new points of view. You’ll find the space as compelling as the work, inside Fotografiska, a New York newcomer offering a mix of world-class photography, eclectic programming, elevated dining, and surprising new perspectives. Far from a stuffy institution, the attitude at Fotografiska is “Have fun, stay late, get deep, spill your drink.” Moholy-Nagy on display through June 5th.

TREASURES OF THE NYPL

original winnie the pooh

A lock of Edgar Allan Poe’s hair, Thomas Jefferson’s handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence, Malcolm X’s briefcase, the real-life Winnie-the-Pooh: the NYPL holds a lot more than books. For the first time ever you can explore a selection of the 56 million items in the collection with the opening of the Polonsky Exhibition of The New York Public Library’s Treasures. You'll find manuscripts, art, letters, still and moving images, and recordings that bring the voices of the past to life. The show is free and features timed entry tickets.

POMPEII IN NYC

pompeii in nyc

Normally you'd have to travel to Italy to see the frescoes now on view at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World. The free show Pompeii in Color: The Life of Roman Painting illuminates a vibrant lost world. On view through May 29th, 2022.

For more on NYC museums and exhibitions, check out our Museum Exhibits in NYC to See Right Now.

WHAT TO DO IN NYC

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OTHER THINGS TO DO IN NYC

A FLYING THEATRE

fashion riseny

Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

There's a new attraction in town. RiseNY is the first of its kind, combining a soaring ride over the city with museum exhibits that celebrate iconic New York. Take in galleries dedicated to Finance, Skyline, TV/Radio, Fashion, Music, Broadway, and Film, before going on a ride that will have your feet dangling over NYC landmarks.

A NEW OPTION FOR WELLNESS

qc ny spa governors island

NYC gets its own destination day spa. Now launched on Governors Island is QC NY, an oasis with massages, saunas, steam rooms, gardens, and water therapies. And none-too-shabby city views.

DATE NIGHT AT THE MET

date night at the met

Art, live music, drinks, and more liven up date nights on Fridays and Saturdays at the Met through the spring. You can find informal Gallery Chats, the chance to really "get to know" a work of art, and BOGO drink specials at the American Wing Café.

PINGPOD NYC

pingpod slam

Recreation is always on the scarce side in the city and winter does us few favors. One under-the-radar pick is PingPod, a new tech-forward space for ping pong. You can let yourself in 24/7 (the cameras on-site will also send you an instant replay of any slam or rally you like). There are already locations on the Lower East Side and Midtown West, with a third spot in Williamsburg.

WIZARD AFTERNOON TEA

wizard afternoon tea

Believe in magic at The Cauldron NYC downtown. Put a twist on a traditional British afternoon tea. You'll brew your own interactive teas and sample macarons, "sand-witches," and Elven Scones with jam and clotted cream. Molecular gastronomy and technology come into play and the sessions have been specially designed for social distancing—reservations are available all through the month.

BRONX CHOCOLATE (TO DIE FOR)

chocobar cortes

Century-old Caribbean chocolate legend Chocolate Cortés. has launched an NYC outpost: new South Bronx hotspot Chocobar Cortes. There's a great beer and cocktail list (Choco Martini, anyone?) plus bites, most of which feature a chocolate component.

THE MUSEUM AT ELDRIDGE STREET

eldridge street synagogue

Photo by Rick Naramore.

Shining lights, sumptuous decoration, and a time capsule of Old New York—the Museum at Eldridge Street is the perfect place to visit this winter. Step inside the landmark Eldridge Street Synagogue and step back in time, as you learn about the Jewish immigrants who found religious freedom in their new country, the opulent sacred space they built in 1887, and the 20th-century restoration that saved this decaying masterpiece. Experience the magic with a docent-led or self-guided tour. Learn more at eldridgestreet.org.

THE RETURN OF A LEGEND

Patsy's

New York restaurants come and go, but Patsy’s Italian Restaurant is forever. The famed eatery—which only has one location, right in the heart of Midtown Manhattan—has been around for nearly 80 years and is only getting better. Chef Sal Scognamillo, owner and operator, is the third generation of Scognamillos to sit at the helm. The family recipes have remained largely unchanged. Dishes like stuffed artichokes, eggplant parmigiana, and spaghetti and meatballs are as rich and flavorful as ever. Ingredients like meats and cheeses are sourced from other family businesses who have worked with Patsy’s throughout the years so every bite remains true to tradition. Patsy’s maintains a strong community of repeat customers (including many celebrities) who know they’ll get exceptional cuisine that remains note-perfect year after year. Hours have expanded to Tuesday through Sunday, 1-9pm. Reservations are available at 212-247-3491 during operating hours or by email at patsysnyc@gmail.comCOVID safety protocols include an air purification system, social distancing, and partitions between tables.

HOLLYWOOD GLAM & NYC CLASSICS IN TIMES SQUAREromanian steak bacall's

Bacall’s Craft Kitchen brings 1940s New York and Hollywood glamour to Times Square.  This beautiful soaring brasserie was inspired by Hollywood star Lauren Bacall, who used to work on 44th Street, handing out CUE magazines and visiting her agent on the block. The restaurant is dedicated to the arts and brings in the Backstage Players to entertain guests Wednesdays through Sundays. The menu features NYC specialties like pastrami egg rolls, potato latkes, classic cuts of prime meats, fresh seafood, a kids' menu, and NY cheesecake or 16-layer crepe cake for dessert. A special curated craft cocktail list and frozen bottles of vodka encased in ice blocks make for a memorable high-spirited evening. The restaurant holds down a roomy space at 220 W. 44th St. and is open Wednesdays to Sundays 4-11pm. Bottomless brunches—with a live salsa band that will teach you how to salsa—can be found on Sundays from 11am-3pm. For reservations call 212-944-2474.

This Week's Behind The Experience Video

The tallest building in the hemisphere. The largest screen. A ride that goes straight up at 23 miles per hour. Behind The Experience learns the secrets of One World Observatory, as well as tips like the best time for a visit. The video joins our recent visits to New York icons the Museum of the City of New YorkMadame Tussauds, SPYSCAPE, and Benjamin Steakhouse. CHECK THEM OUT—it’s fun!

DISCOUNT BROADWAY TICKETS

TKTS

TDF, the not-for-profit service organization dedicated to bringing the power of the performing arts to everyone, has re-opened its TKTS Discount Ticket Booth "under the red steps" in Times Square. Head to the corner of Broadway and 47th St. starting at 3pm for same-day discount tickets to matinee and evening performances. You can also get next-day tickets to matinee performances (up to half off) for both Broadway and Off Broadway productions. “We’re excited to once again serve New Yorkers and visitors on a budget who have missed the experience of live performance,” says Victoria Bailey, TDF’s Executive Director. For more information and to download the TKTS app, go to tdf.org/tkts.

HISTORIC FLATIRON WALKING TOURS

flatiron district

Photo by Victoria Pickering/Flickr.

A stingy piece of pie ...the greatest inanimate troublemaker in New York," was the New York Tribune's assessment of the Flatiron. New Yorkers views on it have shifted, of course. The Flatiron 23rd Street Partnership will tell you all about it. After a COVID layoff, their Sunday walking tours are back in-person. The free explorations include notable landmarks like the New York Life Insurance Building, the MetLife Clock Tower, the Appellate Courthouse, and, of course, the Flatiron Building itself.

BUTTERBEER IS HERE

butterbeer harry pottter new york bar

The flagship Harry Potter New York is now open in the Flatiron District and yes, they're serving Butterbeer. This fan-favorite soft drink, loved by Hogwarts students and teachers alike, is available to New Yorkers. Choose from draft Butterbeer, Butterbeer ice cream, or bottled Butterbeer. They're being served in the Butterbeer Bar, which will liven up your Insta feed with a cascade of glowing Butterbeer bottles "floating" over the bar and Butterbeer moving magically across the ceiling through copper pipes. Fans will also find a brand-new bottled Butterbeer label, exclusive to Harry Potter New York and only available in-store.

CENTRAL PARK TOURS ARE BACK

conservatory garden central park

Photo: Central Park Conservancy.

The Central Park Conservancy has at last resumed in-person tours. Enjoy a gorgeous part of the city with an expert leading the way. Tour options include Seneca Village, covering the largest community of free African-American property owners in pre–Civil War New York; Hidden Highlights of the North End, with stunning views of Manhattan; Heart of the Park; Statues and Monuments; Conservatory Garden Experience; and Discovery Walk for Families: North Woods. Space is limited to ensure proper social distancing.

CLIMB ABOARD HISTORY

wavertree seaport

Photo by Richard Bowditch.

Get into history at the South Street Seaport Museum, where the 1885 tall ship Wavertree is again open to the public. Wavertree was built in Southampton, England and was one of the last large sailing ships built of wrought iron (she was given a full restoration after an ignominious end, discovered serving as a sand barge in Argentina in 1967). The ship has been part of South Street since 1968 and serves as the flagship of the museum's fleet. Visit with a free timed ticket on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, 11am-5pm.

AN INTERACTIVE MUSEUM TOUR FOR THEATER FANS

fable & lark met tours

Fable & Lark: Storied Adventures, which specializes in interactive museum tours inspired by great stories, is releasing its first post-pandemic tour, Staged: The Museum Tour for People who Love Theater. Staged looks at the development of theater through the lens of artwork in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, from early Greek statues of actors to depictions of stories that inspired Broadway musicals. Interspersed with activities and questions about theater, the tour takes participants across the museum and across cultures to see the ways artists have worked the theme of theater into their creations for thousands of years. Participants should bring their T (theater) game, and maybe even be prepared to do a little acting, because, after all, all the world’s a stage. Sundays at 11am.

TRAVEL BACK IN TIME 

Merchant's House Museum parlor

Merchants House Parlor by Denis Vlasov. Photo courtesy Merchant's House Museum.

Built in 1832, the East Village's Merchant’s House was home to a prosperous merchant family and their Irish servants for almost a century. Miraculously, the house still retains the family's original furnishings and personal possessions. Stop by for a rare and intimate glimpse of domestic life in New York City from 1835 to 1865. During COVID times, the Merchant's House Museum is open on Saturdays and Sundays only, noon to 5pm. Admission is $15 and advanced ticket purchase is recommended.

FRICK MADISON

fragonard panels frick

Room 24: Four grand panels of Fragonard’s series The Progress of Love are shown together at Frick Madison in a gallery illuminated by one of Marcel Breuer’s trapezoidal windows. This view shows two of the 1771–72 paintings, with two later overdoors visible in the next gallery. Photo: Joe Coscia.

Like so many this pandemic year, The Frick Collection got the itch to renovate. While its historic home is getting spruced up, the art has taken up residence in the modern confines of the former Met Breuer. A two-year run here has begun, with a chronological and geographic survey representing the likes of Bellini, Gainsborough, Goya, Rembrandt, Titian, Velázquez, and Vermeer.

FREE NIGHTS AT MOMA

kravis studio moma

Installation view of the Marie Josée and Henry Kravis Studio, The Museum of Modern Art. The Museum of Modern Art Renovation and Expansion. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler. Photography by Iwan Baan, courtesy of MoMA.

Free Friday nights (with extended hours) have returned to the Museum of Modern Art. UNIQLO NYC Nights are available to NYC residents, with tickets reserved in advance. There are also screenings and the second-floor café and museum store also remain open late. The program is available on the first Friday of every month.

THE SECRET SIDE OF ELLIS ISLAND

hard hat tour ellis island

hodgepodge brigade/Flickr

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the unrestored Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital Complex. This gateway to America for millions of people is accessible again via Statue Cruises—the only ride to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. (If you opt for the Hard Hat Tour Ticket and its 90-minute guided tour of the hidden part of Ellis Island you'll get round-trip ferry service and audio Tours of Liberty and Ellis Islands.) The art exhibition "Unframed—Ellis Island," by renowned French artist JR, is on display throughout the hospital complex. Tours run on Saturdays and Sundays. 

LUNA PARK IS BACK!

luna park

Celebrate the return of warmer days. The legendary rides of Luna Park have reopened to the public, including the Coney Island Cyclone, which is celebrating 95 years.

HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT THE CITY?

end of summer nyc collage

City Guide brings you “Everything to Do NYC,” a community of people helping each other get everything we can from the city. Looking for a restaurant? Ask ETD. Want to share a great find? Let us know about it. It’s your go-to group for how to get everything you can from everything in New York. facebook.com/groups/everythingtodonyc

CURTAIN'S UP AT ELLEN’S STARDUST DINER

the stardust shop ellen's tshirt

The show goes on at Ellen's Stardust Diner. Food, drink, and live performances from the famous singing waitstaff have returned. The 1950s-themed restaurant has been around since 1987 and brings back its retro vibes (founder Ellen Hart Sturm is a native New Yorker who was crowned Miss Subways in 1959.) Catch intimate performances by staff on their way to joining a long line of Broadway actors who have made Ellen's their launching pad. If you're looking for a great souvenir of an NYC trip, check out The Stardust Shop, with merch like mugs, hats, and the t-shirt above.

stardust diner ukraine shake

Ellen’s Stardust Diner is also turning sweets into action. The popular Times Square spot is now offering a Ukraine-themed milkshake to customers. The effort is to raise money and awareness for the Ukrainian children who are suffering as the Russian invasion intensifies. The issue has touched the iconic eatery personally. Iuliia, a Starduster, is Ukrainian, with many of her family members still living there. More information on the shake of the month is here.

STATUE OF LIBERTY

A small group of Statue Cruises surrounding the Statue of Liberty.

Statue City Cruises is once again out and about in New York Harbor. Tickets can be purchased in advance (strongly encouraged) from the Statue City Cruises website or at Gangway 5 in Battery Park. statuecruises.com

TALKS, LECTURES, AND EVENTS

Thought Gallery has hundreds of livestream talks, lectures, performances, and more. Check out sessions with celebs, live concerts, and opportunities to learn the latest on everything from science to philosophy to social justice.

NEW YORK'S ACTIVITY AUTHORITY

Get editors’ curated recommendations and have more fun:

COMING ATTRACTIONS: BRONX NIGHT MARKET

bronx night market

The Bronx Night Market is back this Saturday, May 28th, bigger and better. Shop locally, catch Uptown-based art and live performances, and chow down on favorites from food and drink vendors. Family-friendly, 1-7pm. 

THE JIM IRSAY COLLECTION

jim irsay collection

See a rare collection of treasures representing rock music, American history, and pop culture in a one-day- only NYC show. Friday, June 3rd, find artifacts from The Beatles, Prince, Presidents, Jackie Robinson, an original Wanted poster for John Wilkes Booth, and much more. It's free to visit but a reservation is required.

EVERYTHING TO DO NYC

everything to do nyc

Want free advice on what to do and see in New York? Join our Facebook Group Everything to Do NYC, a place for people to ask questions and get tips on how to make the most of the city.

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About the Author

Ethan Wolff is the author of numerous guidebooks to New York, having covered the city for more than two decades. He has written for New York Magazine, BlackBook, and Details, among others. In addition to his work as the editor of City Guide, Ethan covers NYC’s talk and lecture scene for the website Thought Gallery. He lives with his wife and two daughters in the Windsor Terrace neighborhood of Brooklyn.

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