Drive-In Movies, No Car Necessary


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!



You're kidding? Little-Known Facts About Washington Square


Not sure if all this is absolutely true–read it on the Internets, after all–but here we go:

Those chess players that inhabit the southwest corner of Washington Square have been there a very long time. Apparently, enthusiasts of the game have been capturing rooks and pawns in city parks since the 1940s. World-champion Bobby Fischer played here in WS in the 70s, as did Heath Ledger and Stanley Kubrick (though presumably not against each other.)

Speaking of famous folks, it’s said that in1887, while Robert Louis Stevenson was visiting the U.S. for medical treatment for tuberculosis, he met Mark Twain in the park for a visit. The two had a online viagra uk nice, five-hour sit-down before Stevenson headed upstate to a sanitorium. (Oh, to be a fly on the bench…)

Beware of zombies!  In 1797, Washington Square was converted from farmland to a Potter’s Field–a place to bury the homeless, convicts and unclaimed John Does. An early 19th century epidemic of yellow fever increased the number of non-living inhabitants drastically; patients who succumbed to the deadly disease were buried downtown as a hygienic measure to keep them segregated as much as possible from the general population. (In fact, during the recent park renovations, archaeologists discovered the skeletal remains of four people.) If it ever feels a little crowded around here, remember that an estimated 20,000 people are buried beneath the stones and fountains of Washington Square.

Have a great weekend, everyone. And remember–watch out for the zombies and hold onto that Queen!








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.”

A Little Night (And Day) Music


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.



Free Advice Girl Is Back!


Frisbee-tossing students, performance artists and cherry blossoms aren’t the only things that herald spring in Washington Square Park. Add to that list the return of the Free Advice Girl.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with her, Lisa Podell settles herself on a bench next to her “Free Advice” sign for a few hours every other day and lends an ear–and non-judgmental wisdom when requested. And from the looks of her Facebook page, this Dear Abby in a tank top and flip flops seems to help an awful lot of people. (Sometimes just having an impartial ear listen helps a ton, doesn’t it?)

On Lisa’s website, she describes her services as such:

What if there were an opportunity to offer and/or receive free advice viagra jelly uk in public spaces throughout New York City, or even better, in a neighborhood near you? Imagine the possibilities when people break down their barriers to hold authentic, positive conversations with other people they would have otherwise passed by.

The second component is to help people see an additional point of view. Many of us fixate on a personal issue and continue to look at it from the same vantage point. Then we wonder why we’re not seeing improvement or change. This can lead to frustration and stress, which can then affect the way we connect or disconnect with others in our daily lives. To verbally explore a topic with someone whom you have no history and may never see again is quite liberating. There is no past between Free Advice Girl and the participant so it allows for a clear conversation. This is why a typical conversation often lasts just 5-10 minutes. It’s easy to see a new point of view when you’re ready to receive it and there’s no history or baggage standing in the way.”

Leave it to the good citizens of NYC to offer free therapy at no cost. Welcome back, Lisa!

Don't Worry…It's Coming


Spring, that is. Although it certainly doesn’t feel like it (fortheloveofgod it’s only 30 degrees outside right now), the first day cheap viagra in usa of Spring is right around the corner–next Wednesday, the 20th, in fact. Here are a few pics of warmer weather and outside fun to whet your appetite:

Dogwoods? Cherry blossoms? Who cares…they’re beautiful.

Must have been rough getting this on the subway.


Free music!

Sidewalk cafes!

Kardashian sightings!

Spring is coming folks–it really is. Have a great weekend!

Moonlight Ride


Here’s a cool event that’s been happening here in the city for almost 20 years and to my dismay, I’ve only just recently found out about it. On the first Friday of the month–that would be tonight–bike riders from all over the city meet at Columbus Circle at 10 p.m. for a moonlight ride around Central Park. The park is truly beautiful in the daytime viagra canada and at night…well, forget it…truly romantic.

The ride is organized by Time’s Up, a not-for-profit direct-action environmental group that, “uses events and educational programs to promote a more sustainable, less toxic city”. Sustainable/less toxic = good. Bicycling = fun!

Any kind of two-wheeler is welcome, as well as rollerbladers, as this is not a race. The turn around the loop lasts about two hours and totals less than ten miles.

And It’s totally safe. There are plenty of police in the park at night and hey, who’s going to mess with a bunch of people on wheels?

Visitors might like to know that starting in May, there will be a bike-sharing system called Citi Bike. (Finally.) 600 stations and 10,000 bikes throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens will be available for a small fee–a 24-hour pass to use the bikes will be only 10 bucks. (For residents, a year-long pass is $95.)

Have a great weekend, everyone. Happy biking!