So What If It Rains?


The forecast for the Fourth of July, this Friday is…sketchy. If the city does experience the rainy fallout from Tropical Storm Arthur, what do we do if the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest is a washout, fireworks are dampened and our barbecues doused?

Here are a few weather-proof suggestions:

The New York Philharmonic teams up with The Commander’s Own U.S. Marine, Drum and Bugle Corps for a Star-Spangled Celebration, featuring song selections fitting for America’s birthday.

A Fourth of July Endless Barbecue will take place at Yotel in Midtown, rain or shine. There will be two seatings: one afternoon and one evening. $50 will get you unlimited food; $65 unlimited food and beverage. The grub will be holiday-appropriate and includes fried chicken, mac and cheese, corn on the cob and peach cobbler. Get your tickets here.

The New York Historical Society will feature family fare all day long, such as a scavenger hunt, revolutionary hat decorating and stories and musical performances on the American Revolution by the Hudson River Ramblers

And remember that many of our museums will be open on the holiday, including MOMA, the Metropolitan, Museum of Natural History and the Brooklyn Museum.

Whatever you do, have a great holiday!

Image via Holidayextras/Flickr



Museum Mile For Free!


How often do you get to amble up Fifth Avenue when it’s completely cleared of traffic and pop into nine of its incredible museums without paying a dime? Well, you can for three hours on June 10th.

The Guggenheim, El Museo Del Barrio, The Africa Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of the City of New York, The Jewish Museum, Cooper-Hewitt, Neue Galerie and National Academy Museum and School will all open their doors on that day between 6 and 9 pm for the Museum Mile Festival.

Cars will be banned along the avenue from 82nd to 105th Streets for the duration of the festival, making it feel like a big block party.

Aside from the free museum passes, there will be kids’ entertainment like Silly Billy the Very Funny Clown and face painting. Art-in-the-street demonstrations will be held, like chalk drawing and creating art using letter stamps and color sticks. And there will be several musical performances by string quartets and jazz ensembles along the avenue to boot.

The party will go on, rain or shine!

Image via Facebook

9/11 Memorial Museum: What You Need To Know


Opening day: May 21st.

Cost: $24 for adults, $18 for seniors, veterans and college students, $15 for kids 7 through 17. Small children and victim’s families pay nothing. Free admission for all on Tuesday evenings between 5 and 8 pm. FYI, the tickets will also give you access to the Memorial.

What You’ll See: Artifacts associated with the events of 9/11, plus individual stories of loss and recovery; personal effects, recorded remembrances, photographs. All in all, a collective telling of the 9/11 story by all those who remember it.

Remember that everyone experienced this tragedy in their own way. Whether you were physically there or not, you can add your own story here.

Tickets are on sale now.





A Step Back In Time


Every visitor to New York automatically has the Metropolitan Museum, MOMA and the Guggenheim on their to-do list. But there are plenty of interesting smaller museums that they should look into as well.

Merchant’s House Museum allows its guests to take a giant step back in time for a peek at life in 19th-century New York City.

In 1835, Seabury Tredwell, his wife Eliza and their six children moved into the mansion on East 4th Street. The family remained there for almost a century until the youngest of the children, Gertrude, died at age ninety-three in1933. The perfectly-preserved original furnishings and personal possessions of the Tredwell family paint a vibrant picture of life at that time for the wealthy merchant class.

One thing to remember for those who are easily spooked: the house is reportedly haunted. It earned the title of the Most Haunted House in Manhattan. (Dunno from whom, but obviously somebody was freaked out enough to crown it.) So if you do go, and come across the most frequent spirit–a woman in a brown dress–do as I would: bid them hello and get the hell out of there as fast as your feet will take you.

Cost is $10, $5 for Students and Seniors; free for kids under 12. Guided tours are available as well.


She Blinded Me With Science


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.”

When Just Looking Really Does Cost You Nothing


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.


So What Do You Wanna Do This Weekend?

It’s a nice long holiday weekend here in

New York. Here are a few random things that might be fun to do if you’re here with us in town…

The Whitney Museum is featuring a collection of works by 18 early-to-mid-20th-century American artists, installed as a series of mini retrospectives. The lineup includes such names as Georgia O’Keefe, Paul Cadmus, Joseph Cornell. Alexander Calder and Edward Hopper.

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Sandra Bernhard is in the house!  The hilarious comedian and singer is performing with her band, the Rebellious Jezebels at Joe’s Pub.

Check out the Upright Citizen’s Brigade, the improv and sketch comedy theater in Chelsea. It’s incredibly cheap–especially for the caliber of talent they have to offer. Amy Poehler is actively involved with the place and yes, I’ve seen her perform there. What more do you need to know?

Drop in on the Fashion Institute of Technology Museum’s “Ivy Style” exhibit, which celebrates the evolution of preppie-style clothing. (Apparently the Ivy league look was once cutting edge. Really?!?!?) Khakis, penny loafers, Ralph Lauren and Arrow shirts will surely be represented.

If you haven’t already, it’s time to check out the butterfly conservatory at the American Museum of Natural History. It’s beautiful and loads of fun. Butterflies, butterflies everywhere! (Okay, I may be a dweeb, but I love it.)

And finally have a cocktail at the King Cole Bar at the St. Regis. The old-time warmth of the place just screams Old New York, fancy beer nuts and all.