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This Week in NYC (2/13-2/20)

February 13, 2019 - by City Guide News Desk
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(2/13-2/20) Looking for what to do in New York? We've got the latest on all the goings-on in NYC this week, from concerts to museum exhibitions to comedy to the best in city sightseeing. Read on for our picks for the best of this week in New York City.

THE BIG EVENT

This Thursday is Valentine's Day! Treat your special someone to a lovely evening out on the town. Check our recommendations for Best Restaurants For Valentine's Day in NYC.

For additional options, check out our NYC Valentine's Day Date Ideas.

love affair zavo

(2/14) Mediterranean-accented New American restaurant, bar, and lounge Zavo brings sumptuous seafood together with high-end cocktails. This Valentine's they'll be hosting "Love Affair," with romantic aerial acts, live Italian music, burlesque, and more.

PLUS

Museum at Eldridge Street

(2/17) Celebrate the Chinese Year of the Pig as the city’s biggest Lunar New Year Parade winds its way through Manhattan’s Chinatown and Little Italy neighborhoods, beginning at 1pm on Sunday. You’ll get to watch beautiful floats, big dragon puppets, and confetti everywhere at this enormous annual celebration. (Afterwards, families can head to the nearby Museum at Eldridge Street for lunar new year crafts.) Check here for recommendations for How to Celebrate the Year of the Golden Pig and the Best Chinese New Year Restaurants for New Year.

(2/18) Monday is Presidents' Day, a federal holiday. For a historical take on the holiday, head to Fraunces Tavern, where George Washington bid farewell to his officers at the end of the Revolutionary War. The tavern will be hosting a Washington's Birthday Open House, with $1 admission from Saturday through Monday and free tours at select times on Saturday and Sunday.

With over 500 exhibitions, many of them world-famous relics, there’s something to hold anyone’s attention at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Times Square. (Robert Ripley himself tracked down many of the items in the collection—he was a long-time presence in New York.) Get your Washingtons and Lincolns out because Ripley’s NY is bringing back Pay with Presidents week! From Presidents' Day, February 18th, through February 22nd, pay in cash and mention “Pay with Presidents” to save $5 off adult tickets and $4 off child tickets. Or save 30% when you buy online and use Promo Code PRESIDENTS19 at checkout.  Ripley’s NY is home to some unique presidential oddities and artifacts. From one of the largest locks of President George Washington’s hair, to a portrait of President Abraham Lincoln made entirely out of pennies, stop by and learn the story behind these amazing artifacts. Buy tickets here234 W. 42nd St., 212-398-3133, ripleysnewyork.com

EXHIBITION OF THE WEEK

Frida Kahlo

Nickolas Muray (American, born Hungary, 1892–1965). Frida in New York, 1946? printed 2006. Carbon pigment print, image: 14 x 11 in. (35.6 x 27.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Emily Winthrop Miles Fund, 2010.80. Photo by Nickolas Muray, © Nickolas Muray Photo Archive. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)

(New) Mexican painter Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) lived and worked in a manner which challenged the political, social, and sexual norms of her era. Kahlo held her national identity dear and used traditional Mexican dress as a fixture of her public persona. Her large body of self-portraits created a mythos of self (some say she invented the selfie). New at the Brooklyn Museum is Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving, a lush exhibition that shows off Kahlo’s art, in addition to personal artifacts like her cosmetics, letters, jewelry, and clothing. Additional context is provided by items from the museum’s Arts of the Americas collection, including Aztec sculptures, ceramics made in Guadalajara in the early 20th century, and an ancient Colima dog sculpture of a Xoloitzcuintli, a Mexican hairless dog that Kahlo had an affinity for. Open Monday.

PLUS

(Now-3/3) Extended! Even over a century after his birth, Dutch artist M.C. Escher (1898-1972) continues to astound. Catch more than 200 of Escher’s mind-bending works at Escher: The Exhibition & Experience, installed at Brooklyn's Industry City. Exploring the intersection of art, mathematics, science, and poetry, the exhibition will feature interactive immersive experiences that bring the artist’s optical illusions to life.

Klint Group IV The Ten Largest, No. 3 Youth

Group IV, the Ten Largest, No. 3, Youth, 1907, from Untitled Series. Photo: Albin Dahlström, Moderna Museet, Stockholm

(Now-4/23) Before abstract art was a speck in Kandinsky’s eye, the painter Hilma af Klint (1862-1944) was pioneering non-representational painting in Sweden. A spiritualist who claimed to communicate with the dead, af Klint worked in near-obscurity, forbidding her paintings to receive public exposure until 20 years after her passing. Discover Hilma af Klint, a woman before her time, at the new Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum exhibition  Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future. Over 170 of af Klint’s non-figurative paintings are on display, richly colored and often staggering in scale. Many pieces play with geometry and floral shapes that seem to swim across the canvas. As af Klint worked on her series The Paintings for the Temple, she envisioned a spiral temple as their eventual home. She got her wish over a century later with this eye-opening exhibition at the Guggenheim. Open Monday.

(Now-7/10) Photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, who died 30 years ago of complications from AIDS, is the subject of Implicit Tensions: Mapplethorpe Now, now displaying the first installment of a two-part retrospective at The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.  Mapplethorpe is known not just for his images, but for the controversies they incited. In 1989, after his death, his work became the centerpiece of a national debate about artistic censorship and what kinds of works public funds should cover (ironically, it was the debate that led to his widespread fame). Many of the images are graphic and retain the ability to cause discomfort, but time has lessened the shock; it has also brought to the forefront Mapplethorpe’s technical proficiency and his ability to capture deeply insightful looks at his subjects.

(Ongoing) Faith and Empire at the Rubin Museum. Religion has influenced and empowered countless political leaders throughout history, and Tibetan Buddhism is no exception. “Faith and Empire: Art and Politics in Tibetan Buddhism” is the first exhibition of its kind to explore Tibetan Buddhism’s dynamic political role in the empires of Asia from the 7th to the early 20th century. Artwork highlights include a set of 8th-century gilt-silver drinking vessels from the Tibetan Empire; an early 13th-century wrathful icon made of silk and ornamented with tiny seed pearls; a 4 ½-foot-tall 680-pound gilt-bronze bodhisattva from the early 15th-century Ming court; and a 19th-century 8-feet-wide Mongolian depiction of the final battle against the heretics and nonbelievers. The exhibition is arranged chronologically, beginning with the Tibetan Empire in the 7th century, and includes sections on the Tangut kingdom of Xixia, the Mongol Empire, the Chinese Ming dynasty, the rule of the Dalai Lamas, and the Manchu Qing dynasty. Open Monday.

JRR Tolkien The Hobbit

J. R. R. Tolkien (1892–1973), Dust jacket design for The Hobbit [April 1937], pencil, black ink, watercolor, goache. Bodleian Libraries, MS. Tolkien Drawings 32. © The Tolkien Estate Limited 1937.

(Now-5/12) “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” With these words Oxford professor J.R.R. Tolkien ignited a spark that's burned for generations of readers. From the children’s classic The Hobbit to the epic The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien’s tales of hobbits and elves, dwarves and wizards have introduced millions to Middle-earth, a world that Tolkien populated with creatures, languages, and histories. Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth at the Morgan Library & Museum is the most extensive public display of original Tolkien material in decades, stocked with family photographs and memorabilia, maps, draft manuscripts, and Tolkien’s original illustrations. 

Corduroy Don Freeman Museum of the City of New York

(Now-6/23) A City for Corduroy: Don Freeman's New York, now open at the Museum of the City of New York, presents the gamut of Freeman’s New York work, from his lively and humane depictions of ordinary New Yorkers and the city in the 1930s, to his illustrated scenes of the Broadway backstage, to his children’s books inspired by the city. For the latter, you'll see not just the beloved children's Corduroy books, but also lesser known examples like Pet of the Met and Hattie the Backstage Bat. The exhibition features drawings, paintings, publications, and prints, as well as the artist’s original studies and sketches of Corduroy and other characters. Open Monday.

comeback season mike piazza uniform

Photo: Jin Lee

(Ongoing) Sports in America provided a unique form of solace after the seismic losses of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001. Comeback Season: Sports After 9/11, a special exhibition at the National September 11  Memorial & Museum, delves into uplifting moments at games in the aftermath of the attacks. Explore the stories of Mike Piazza’s home run during a New York Mets home game, President George W. Bush’s first pitch at a World Series game at Yankee Stadium, and the New York City Marathon on November 4th, 2001. Video, artifacts, and moving images help provide context for a nation coming back together. Open Monday.

(Permanent) The Jim Henson Exhibition at the Museum of the Moving Image  celebrates the life and legacy of the famed Muppet creator, exploring both his prolific career and the enduring effect his work has on pop culture to this day. Visitors can expect to learn more about the creation of such beloved works as The Muppet ShowSesame StreetFraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal, and Labryinth, as well as to discover the cutting-edge experimental works Henson made throughout his career. Open Monday.

COMEDY

(2/14) Gotham All-Stars Valentine's Day Edition at Gotham Comedy Club, with Veronica Mosey, Marion Grodin, James Goff, Jon Fisch, and Jared Freid.

PLUS

(2/14) Modi Valentine's Special at Fat Black Pussycat Lounge.

(2/15-2/16) NY Kings of Comedy, with Capone, Talent Harris, Rob Stapleton, and Mark Viera at Carolines.

Click here for more comedy this weekend.

(Ongoing) Check out great comedic talent every night at Broadway Comedy Club! Use our coupon and pay only $5 for admission!

KIDS

kids week intrepid

(2/17-2/23) The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum hosts its annual Kids Week, this year exploring the theme “Full STEAM Ahead,” which will let kids develop their skills in the full STEAM curriculum of Science, Tech, Engineering, Art, and Math. Kids can interact with animals as zoologists bring in kangaroos, chinchillas, parrots, geckos, and even cockroaches. Kids can also explore their creativity with crafts. They’ll make paper birds with New York City Audubon, learn the art of origami, and dip their brushes into watercolor paints with the New York Aquarium. Kids can dance to their own beat as they play instruments from Brooklyn Music School, as well as make their own instrument courtesy of El Museo del Barrio. All Kids Week activities are free with museum admission. 

PLUS

Sesame Street

(2/15-2/24) Sesame Street Live: Make Your Magic at Hulu Theater at MSG.

Madame Tussauds New York laser gun Zombies Attack 7D

(Ongoing) A 7D experience at Madame Tussauds New YorkMission: Undead, tasks you with killing more zombies than your friends! Prevent the zombie apocalypse and survive your first night of work on the force at this state-of-the-art Times Square attraction (13+). 

(Ongoing) Exhilarating Family Fun at Stomp NYC. Special discount packages available!

Click here for more kids activities this weekend. For even more kids activities, check out our sister site nymetroparents.com!

SIGHTSEEING

THE RIDE

(Ongoing) THE DOWNTOWN EXPERIENCE Powered by THE RIDE lets visitors re-live iconic moments in NYC history through the magic of virtual reality. In addition to video clips, you’ll get a personable tour guide and a state-of-the-art rolling theatre cruise through the city’s past—and present. Surprise street performances complete an unforgettable journey. Use our coupon and save $10 off!

PLUS

Color Factory, a massive interactive art space, began in August 2017 in San Francisco. Wildly popular, the project has set up shop in SoHo and is sure to inspire lines as long as the cronut did at nearby Dominique Ansel Bakery. Designed by a wide spectrum of artists, Color Factory walks visitors through 16 rooms devoted to the wonder of color. You’re invited to compliment someone using color words, discover your signature color, and read wishes for the world written by NYC school children on varicolored balloons. Each room is equipped with a camera that can take a picture of you and send it to your phone: the better to post with! On view now through August, 2019. 251 Spring St., support@colorfactory.cocolorfactory.co@colorfactoryco

Read about more Instagrammable pop-up exhibits in NYC here

Nat Geo Encounter Ocean Odyssey

Immerse yourself in the deep, dark depths of the ocean, where Humboldt squid fight to the death, 50 foot whales ride overhead, play with sea lions, navigate a sea kelp maze and more at National Geographic Encounter: Ocean OdysseyHere's a $10 off coupon

Bring a loved one to take in the breathtaking view at Top of the Rock

(Ongoing) The Rink at Rockefeller Center, the most famous patch of ice in the world, welcomes skaters for a very glamorous experience.

(Ongoing) Get all of the best of NYC with the SightSeeing Pass NYC, from CitySightseeing. You can mix and match your way to a complete New York experience, with more than 100 attractions and special discounts to choose from. This is the only pass that includes options for five double-decker loops, Woodbury Common shopping, a horse and carriage ride, or entry to One World Observatory. You can even save on lunch: the pass includes prix fixe meals and other discounts. For amazing water vantages, CitySightseeing offers a Hop-On, Hop-Off ferry tour. Passes are available in digital or physical format and available for one to seven days; check the website for complete details. sightseeingpass.com

MUSIC & NIGHTLIFE

Valentine's Weekend Spirit of New York

(2/14-2/16) One of New York’s most spectacular experiences is getting out on the water with Spirit Cruises and Bateaux New York. Spirit Cruises will celebrate Valentine’s Day with three buffet dinner cruises in a row, Thursday the 14th through Saturday the 16th. In addition to three hours of spectacular skylines, you can also enjoy onboard entertainment, including a DJ. Hop aboard the all-glass Bateaux for a Hudson River spin, with plated Valentine’s dinner cruises running Thursday the 14th through Saturday the 16th (on Saturday there’s also a Valentine’s lunch cruise). Bateaux’s dinner cruises feature a live band and dance floor, on top of those unforgettable skyline views. 

(2/14) A special Valentine's Day Sip n' Sea event at National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey: enjoy a complimentary glass of wine and watch underwater documentaries in the lounge after 4pm. Save $10 off admission with our coupon!

(2/14) Harbor Lights with Your Honey Cruise aboard Circle Line. Two hours with open bar. 21+

(2/14) Valentine's Day at The Sound Bite! Featuring live jazz with the Danny Walsh Band, 5-10pm.

(2/14) Salsa Party at the Brooklyn Museum! Treat your Valentine to a night of salsa dancing, live music, and performances by Balmir Latin Dance Studio. Free with admission. 6-9:30pm. 

(2/14) Filthy Gorgeous Burlesque Valentines Spectacular at Highline Ballroom.

(2/15) Boyz 2 Men: 25th Anniversary of The Album II at Radio City Music Hall.

(2/15-2/16) ABIAH sings Nina Simone/ABIAH sings Madonna (respectively) at Joe's Pub.

Joe Jackson

(2/15-2/16) Joe Jackson at Town Hall

(2/15) A Night at the Museum, Sleepover for Grown Ups, at the American Museum of Natural History. The overnight adventure will begin with a champagne reception and music provided by the 12th Night Jazz Trio in the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall.  Explorers can expect to roam through the nearly empty halls of the Museum, where they might run into a herd of elephants in the Akeley Hall of African Mammals or come face to face with looming dinosaur fossils, including a 65-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex. 21+. $350 pp.

(2/16) The Ray Blue Quartet at The Sound Bite, 7-10pm.

(2/16) Interpol at Madison Square Garden

(Ongoing) Learn about the history of cocktails, and have a few yourself, at The Imbible: A  Spirited History of Drinking. Here's a $15-off coupon!

Click here for more nightlife this weekend.

For information on LGBTQ nightlife, visit our brother site metrosource.com! Planning on being in New York in June for WorldPride? We've got all the WorldPride 2019 info you need right here.

SNEAK PEEK, NEXT WEEK

The Orchid Show New York Botanical Garden

(2/23-4/28) The Orchid Show at The New York Botanical Garden is back for its 17th year. This year, the Orchid Show is a dazzling tribute to Singapore—one of the world’s greatest orchid cultures—where these storied flowers are an integral part of the life of this vibrant “City in a Garden.” Developed in partnership with the Singapore Botanic Gardens and Gardens by the Bay, this horticultural tribute set in the landmark Enid A. Haupt Conservatory will feature thousands of orchids dramatically paying homage to Singapore’s rich legacy of innovative garden design, spectacular floral displays, and achievements in orchid cultivation. nybg.org 

PLUS

Michael Buble

(2/20) Michael Buble at Madison Square Garden.

(2/20) Jim Gaffigan at The Bell House (NPR's Ask Me Another) 21+ .

James Blake

(2/24-2/25) James Blake performs material from his new release Assume Form at Terminal 5


Like what you see here? Share it with your friends on Facebook! Find out more about what to do in February. We've got March covered, too!

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This Week in New York City

(2/13-2/20) Looking for what to do in New York? We've got the latest on all the goings-on in NYC this week, from concerts to museum exhibitions to comedy to the best in city sightseeing. Read on for our picks for the best of this week in New York City. click here

This Week in New York City