Labor Day Weekend Happenings

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There’s something for everybody in the city this upcoming holiday weekend, so read on…

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For music heads: Head out to Randall’s Island Friday, Saturday or Sunday for the fifth Electric Zoo music festival. In the biggest electronic dance music festival in the city, with both superstar DJs and underground up-and-comers entertaining you on five separate stages on the island. Day passes start at $139.

For those into good old-fashioned family fun: The Richmond County Fair in Staten Island runs on Saturday from 11 am to 6 pm. Expect music, dance workshops, pie and hot dog eating contests, magic, pony rides and arts and crafts. Kids can check out farm animals while adults may be into the classic car exhibition. Adults are $16, Seniors $11 and kids shorter than 30″ are free.

For art fans: the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit is right in our own backyard on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Fine artists and craft artisans from the New York metropolitan area, the nation and the world are showcased. (FYI, if you don’t catch it this week, it’s running the next weekend as well.)

For one-wheel enthusiasts and the people who are fascinated by them (i.e. me): The NYC Unicycle Festival takes place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. On Friday, cyclists can enjoy a 13 mile unicycle ride through Brooklyn. Saturday and Sunday are perfect for spectators, where from 12 pm cialis pharmacy to 5 pm on Governor’s Island, folks can watch competitions, exhibitions, sports (unicycle basketball and hockey…who knew?) amid other craziness. If you’re daring (and have better-than-average balance) you can even try it yourself.

For absolutely everyone who loves great music, colorful costumes and a good time: The West Indian American Day Parade on Monday from 11 to 6 at Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn. Chow down on Caribbean food and drink, shop for jewelry, arts and crafts and colorful apparel. And dance! Everyone must dance! It’s Carnival, right?

And of course, for tennis nuts, there’s always the US Open, which I told you about earlier.

Enjoy your three day weekend!

Wednesday Is A Drag

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It’s hump day, people, so we need to plan for the weekend to keep our energy and spirits high, right?

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I’m definitely going to hit the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival at one point. It takes place this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. And it’s free, free, free!

Highlights include saxophone guru Jimmy Heath and his big band performing an updated version of his earlier work “Bird Is The Word” from 7 to 9 p.m. at Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem.

Legendary sax guy Kenny Garrett tops the bill at Marcus Garvey on Saturday. On Sunday, the festival moves downtown to Tompkins Square Park where veterans Lee Konitz and Sheila Jordan will be soft viagra joined by newbies Christian Scott and Warren Wolf.

Sounds like a great time for jazz fans.

What are you dreaming about doing this weekend?

 

Summer Streets

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Nope, it’s not a new Springsteen song. Summer Streets is an annual event buy viagra 100mg in which almost seven miles of city streets are closed to cars, trucks and buses, and open to humans who want to bike, play, unicyle, gallop–or, hell, walk on their hands if they want to–up the avenue.

Billed as, “part bike tour, part biking tour and part block party,” Park Avenue and connecting streets are closed between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. on August 3rd, 10th and 17th. Six rest stops are provided along the route, where a bunch of activities and performances will take place.

You can work out with trainers at the Astor Place rest stop, scale a rock climbing wall at the Soho rest stop or, if you have a death wish, try out a zip line at the Foley Square one.

In addition, the Park Avenue tunnel will be open to pedestrians for the first time ever. (You know that little tunnel on Park between 33rd and 40th by Grand Central? The one that gives you a cheap thrill when your cab speeds seven blocks through midtown without stopping once? That one.) Inside will be Voice Tunnel, an interactive light and sound installation by Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. 360 theatrical spotlights that produce glimmering arches of light along the tunnel’s walls and ceiling. Participants will be able to influence the intensity of each light by speaking into a special intercom at the tunnel’s center which records their voice and loops it. Louder speech will increase the lights’ brightness proportionally, creating a Morse-like code of flashes throughout the tunnel.

So next month, hop, skip and jump to your heart’s content up the avenue with no chance of getting hit by a car. I know I will.

A Midsummer Night's Music Festival

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The 55th annual Washington Square Music Festival is right around the corner. Every Tuesday evening in July, a concert is performed gratis right here in the park. Great music outdoors on a balmy summer night…what’s not to like? Here’s the lineup:

July 9: Baroque in the Park: A Judgment of Paris is a baroque opera by John Eccles.

July 16: A Musical Adventure Featuring Margaret Leng Tan. Tan will play the chamber version of a toy piano concerto written for her by English composer Michael Wookey. You read that right–toy piano. Tan’s avant-garde performance sounds intriguing.

July 23: Verdi and Wagner and Spohr and Rheinberger. (Oh my!) A celebration of 19th Century music for winds and strings.a celebration of 19th Century music for winds female viagra cream and strings including Verdi String Quartet and Paul Hindemith/Wagner The Flying Dutchman Overture for String Quartet.

July 30: Music of East Africa featuring Nepo Soteri. Guitarist, singer and composer Soteri is a survivor of the Rwandan civil war. Influences of sounds from Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia are featured in his compositions. Preceding the concert in the afternoon will be a children’s interactive rhythm workshop with African musicians.

Here are the particulars: Music starts at 8 pm and seating is on a first come, first served basis. In the event of rain, the music festival moves indoors to St. Joseph’s Church, 371 Sixth Avenue (between Washington Place and Waverly Place).

 

Drive-In Movies, No Car Necessary

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What’s better than viewing a great film? Watching it outdoors on a beautiful, balmy evening, of course. Summer in the city is filled with crazy outdoor viewing opportunities. Here are a few:

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Rooftop Films: This is a non-profit whose “mission is to engage diverse communities by showing independent movies in outdoor locations, producing new films, coordinating youth media education, and renting equipment at low cost to artists.”  Admission is around $13 for most films–but some are free. Included in the lineup this year? The Central Park Five doc, and Noah Baumbach’s latest, Frances Ha. Screenings are scheduled now through August.

Bryant Park Summer Film Festival:  Totally gratis, every Monday evening from 5 to 11:30 p.m. The full schedule doesn’t come out for a few days, as the screenings begin mid-June, but usually it’s a mix of classics, cult films, musicals, with a kid-friendly movie thrown in here and there. And if you don’t have time to pick up snacks, there’s a ‘wichcraft kiosk on the premises. (Yummy sandwiches by Tom Colicchio, Top Chef guy!)

Hudson River Park’s Riverflicks for Grownups: Movies begin at dusk, around 8:30 p.m. at Pier 63 in Chelsea. Screenings are gratis and will run in July and August. They’ve got some heavy hitters planned this year: Silver Linings Playbook (7/10),  Argo (7/24) and The Avengers (8/7). And get this–free popcorn!

The Intrepid Museum has some free family-friendly screenings planned in their “Friday Nights on the Flight Deck” series. This Friday, they’ll show Top Gun, featuring a young (and presumably less creepy) Tom Cruise. Jaws will run on 6/28 and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone will be screened on 8/2.

Happy viewing!

 

 

She Blinded Me With Science

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What: The World Science Festival, in which dozens of events are scheduled throughout the city celebrating science in its many forms.

When: May 29th to June 2nd

Where: At various venues throughout the city, like the American Museum of Natural History and the New York Botanical Garden. But many of the events are taking place in NYU buildings right here in the Village.

Why: Science, people, science!  Don’t we all need to learn more about climate change, technology, astronomy and biology? Of course we do.

Who: Produced by people way smarter than we are (if only in scientific matters).

Apparently I’ve been living under a rock, since this festival has been going on for six years and I had no idea. Everyone from Brian Greene (physicist) to Wylie Dufresne mexico viagra no prescription (futuristic gastronomy dude) to Alan Alda (Hawkeye!) is participating in the 2013 event.

A few highlights:

The Dance of the Planets: An Evening Under the Stars: In which you can join professional and amateur astronomers for a free evening of urban stargazing. Saturday the 1st from 8 – 10 pm. at Pier 1 at Brooklyn Bridge Park.

The Taste of Science: This is right up my alley. It’s described as “part science lab, part cocktail dinatoire.”  I’m not exactly sure what “dinatoire” means but the “cocktail” part of the phrase sold me. Read on: “This multi-course tasting program will showcase the potential for scientific discovery via gastronomic experimentation. It will be an extraordinary exploration of biology, chemistry, neuroscience, physics and more, illuminated by experimental cocktails and cutting-edge cuisine. Expect scintillating science, stimulating company, and a few surprises.”  Sounds fun/scary. This will take place in the Astor Center on Thursday the 30th from 7 – 10 pm. Oh–but beware–it ain’t cheap. $200 a head.

The Joy of Six Legged Sex: An Evening of Insect Courtship and Cocktails. In which scientists answer that age-old question: How do both insects and humans attract their mates?  If the title alone doesn’t grab you, remember that included is a ride on the Staten Island Ferry to the Staten Island Museum. Once there you can tour the museum’s cicada collection (every 17 years!) and sip insect-inspired cocktails. Oh–and a DJ will be spinning tunes around Brandon Ballengee’s new light sculpture and insect observatory, “Love Motel For Insects.” All this for only 25 bucks. Friday the 31st from 7:25 (hey–they’re scientists) to 10 pm.

And on Saturday the 2nd from 10 am – 6 pm, our own Washington Square Park will host the Ultimate Science Street Fair!  Interactive exhibits, games, shows and performances for kids and adults. Nobel laureates will rub shoulders with sports and entertainment stars all in the name of science!

If you’re interested, now is the time to get tickets, as a few events are already sold out and everything looks like fun.

As my pal said, “It looks kinda cool and not just for propeller heads.”

A Little Night (And Day) Music

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Summer is almost here and New York music lovers just can’t wait for Central Park Summerstage concerts to begin!

Here are a few quick facts:

Concerts are generally free (except for a few benefit ones), so seating is on a first-come, first serve basis. Which we all know means: get there early!  Gates open 90 minutes before showtime on weekends and an hour on weekdays. If it’s a popular show, I’d arrive at least an hour before the gates open. Bring a picnic blanket, snacks, water, a good book–and good company. (But no glasses, cans or coolers.)  Beer, wine and food can be purchased inside.

Concerts go on rain or shine. (Unless discount viagra without prescription there’s lightening because, you know, there’s lightening and we’re not that crazy.)

Highlights this year include a benefit on June 11th for New York city parks: a Sinatra tribute with John Pizzarelli, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Joan Osborne, Andrew Bird, Marc Cohn, Bettye LaVette, Allen Toussaint, Suzanne Vega and Loudon Wainwright III. (Tickets start at $65.)

The Metropolitan Opera Summer Rehearsal Series, a weekly event in which favorite opera arias and duets are performed by rising Metropolitan Opera stars such as Erin Morley (soprano), Isabel Leonard (mezzo-soprano), and Stephen Costello (tenor), accompanied by pianist Bradley Moore.

The Martha Graham Dance Company performs on July 23rd.

Hip-hop artists Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth are featured on July 28th.

Gospel is also represented with Shirley Caesar on 8/3.

And remember Bobby McFerrin? He’ll be there on 8/20.

You get the picture…just like the city, a little something for every one. And–hey–if by chance the line’s too long and you don’t get in, hang outside on the grass–you can still hear the music.

 

 

When Just Looking Really Does Cost You Nothing

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New York has between one and two billion museums–all wonderful and interesting in their own way. They’re even that much more wonderful and to-die-for interesting when you can go for free–and many have certain days and times when it costs you nothing but a smile. Here’s a list of the whens and wheres of gratis museum hopping:

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Museum of Modern Art:  Admission is free for all visitors on Friday evenings between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Whitney Museum of American Art:  Pay what you wish on Fridays, 6-9 p.m.

The Frick Collection:  (European artists) Pay what you wish Sundays between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

The Jewish Museum:  (Jewish Art and culture) Free all day Saturday (11 a.m. – 5:45 p.m.)

Children’s Museum of Manhattan:  On the first Friday of every month admission is free from 5 – 8 p.m.

Studio Museum in Harlem:  (Artists of African descent) Free every Sunday (12-6 p.m.)

The Morgan Library Museum:  (Rare books and manuscripts, plus drawings and other uncommon pieces) Free Fridays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Museum of Jewish Heritage:  (A memorial to the Holocaust) Free admission every Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The New Museum:  (Contemporary art) Thursday evenings between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.