Overwhelmed by the plethora of things to do in NYC each week? We get it. New York City is full of things to do, see, hear, and watch. To help you narrow down the pickings, we’ve rounded up the top ten things to experience this weekend and over the week ahead.
Edition 5 / April 1st
1. Brooklyn reopens its rooftop vineyard
- In the spring of 2015, Rooftop Reds introduced the world’s first commercially viable urban rooftop vineyard in New York City.
- The vineyard is set up on a 14,000-square-foot roof at the Navy Yards.
- The venue reopened yesterday and will begin hosting an array of activities.
- These include rooftop vineyard happy hours, pop-up dining experiences, wine, cheese and chocolate tastings, pizza-wine-movie nights, summer BBQ’s, and educational viticulture tours among many others.
2. Hollywood’s controversial sci-fi thriller, ‘Ghost in the Shell’, hits theatres
- ‘Ghost in the Shell,’ is now playing at a theater near you.
- The sci-fi odyssey tells the story of cyborg Major Motoko Kusanagi. Set in 21st century Japan, Major, played by Scarlett Johansson, lives in a universe where it’s possible to import your consciousness — or “ghost” — into different robotic bodies.
- So what’s the controversy about? It all comes down to whitewashing. ‘Ghost in the Shell’ is a Japanese franchise and Major is often interpreted as a Japanese woman. Scarlett Johansson, on the other hand, is not.
- Back in 2015, when Johansson’s casting was announced, fans launched a petition against the film. Since then, every released image, trailer, and announcement surrounding the movie have been criticized.
- Get the full breakdown of the controversy here.
3. Playwright Lynn Nottage goes deep into the heart of working-class America in Sweat
- Sweat, which opened on Broadway last Sunday, is the first work from a major American playwright to “summon, with empathy and without judgment, the nationwide anxiety that helped put Donald J. Trump in the White House.”
- The play takes place in an old neighborhood bar in Reading, Pennsylvania. It’s set both on the eve and in the twilight of George W. Bush’s presidency.
- Nottage wrote Sweat after extensive interviews with people in Reading, which accounts for the solid character work and stretches of realistic dialogue.
- The play opened for the first time last fall at the Public Theater, shortly before the election. Five months later, the show’s themes remain just as relevant and touching.
4. MoMA hosts powerful, limited-time only dance exhibit
- Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker: Work/Travail/Arbeid, one of MoMA’s most challenging exhibits of the year, opened on Wednesday and will run through Sunday.
- De Keersmaeker, a renowned Belgian choreographer, and her longtime dance troupe and musical partners are presenting dance as a museum show in MoMA’s atrium.
- Set on the open museum floor, the dancers have to adjust their steps around the public, on the spot.
- “The immense achievement of “Work/Travail/Arbeid” is enacted through that collision, where the precise structure of the dance enmeshes with the life of the museum.”
- “Work/Travail/Arbeid” first appeared in 2015 at WIELS, an art space in De Keersmaeker’s hometown, Brussels, where it ran for nine weeks. Read more about this beautifully unique exhibit here.
5. Deadmau5 is taking over New York City this weekend
- Canadian record producer and DJ deadmau5 will perform four straight shows at Hammerstein Ballroom to kick off his ‘Lots of Shows in a Row‘ tour.
- He’s also announced that he plans on opening a pop-up shop running Friday, March 31 to Saturday, April 1 from noon to 7 p.m. at 157 W. 24th Street.
- The pop-up is a collaboration with Fancy.com, artist Ron English and NYC charity Women In Need (WIN).
- This will be deadmau5’s first tour in five years.
- The shows are all completely sold out, but we’ve saved you some tickets here!
6. Seinfeld set to produce new stage show
- Jerry Seinfeld announces that he has agreed to produce “Letters From a Nut by Ted L. Nancy,” a new stage show based on the series of books by Ted L. Nancy, a.k.a. – comedian Barry Marder.
- The show chronicles Nancy, an off-kilter character who sends patently ridiculous letters and queries to corporate honchos, entertainment conglomerates, national publications, politicians, celebrities and heads of state.
- The production will premiere this summer as part of the Spotlight Entertainment Series of independently produced works at L.A.’s Geffen Playhouse. Previews begin June 23rd.
- In the meantime, Seinfeld fans can catch him live at Beacon Theatre Thursday, April 13th. After several months of performing in NYC, this will be his last show of the tour.
7. Rangers come down hard on themselves after game performances don’t meet expectations
- While the Rangers are certainly happy to be in the playoffs, disappointment lingers among the players after a not-so-good last stretch.
- Out of 10 games, the team has only had 3 wins.
- “I’m just extremely disappointed right now. That’s what I have to say right now,” goalie Henrik Lundqvist said. “I’m glad we’re in, but I want to get the job done. I want to get a win.”
- The Rangers will play the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday, April 2nd. (Score discount tickets to the big game here.)
8. Get tropical at the Botanical Gardens
- The Orchid Show, now in its 15th year at The New York Botanical Garden, will only be on display for 9 more days. This year’s theme: Thailand!
- Thailand is home to more than 1,200 native orchid species and over the last century it has become the leading exporter of cultivated tropical orchids in the world.
- Thai dance performances, film screenings, tours, orchid care demonstrations, expert Q&As, and more fill the daylight hours. And after the sun sets, Orchid Evenings have returned, offering live music, dancing, and cocktails.
- The exhibit ends April 9th.
9. Broadway and Off-Broadway shows closing soon
- The Gravedigger’s Lullaby Theatre Row, The Bucket Theatre – Closing April 1st
Jeff Talbott’s new play looks into the life of Baylen — an honest, hardworking gravedigger who sweats and bleeds to support his small family.
“GRIPPING… BORDERS ON CLASSIC TRAGEDY. Vibrates with an up-to-the-minute resonance. Director Jenn Thompson has staged Talbott’s work with both theatrical savvy and an open heart, guiding her four actors into beautifully drawn portrayals.” TheaterScene.com
- The Light Years Main Stage Theatre – Closing April 2nd
A haunting, 40-year love story about the intimate lives of two families struggling to meet their future.
“A theatrical cabinet of wonders! A wistful, cockeyed play that celebrates American dreamers.” David Cote Time Out New York
- Something The New Victory Theatre – Closing April 16th
A troupe of seven skilled acrobats fuses circus, dance, and physical theaterinto a singular, captivating performance that appears comically effortless.
“Fun, imaginative, colourful… Liberi Di are having so much fun on stage it’s easy and satisfying to get tangled up in their enthusiasm.” Edinburgh Festivals Magazine
10. Celebrate the beloved hair of the dog at Brooklyn’s Bloody Mary Festival
- Enjoy 3 hours of sampling Brooklyn’s craftiest and most delicious Bloody Marys created by the finest restaurants and bars in Kings County.
- From Bushwick to Prospect Heights to Gowanus, you’ll be served up innovative versions of the tomato-juice cocktail from popular bars including Iron Station, Catfish, Skylark Bar, Insa, Congress Bar, and more.
- There will also be a bagel bar, cheese tables, champagne bar, tastes of local artisanal food and drinks, live music, and more.
- Make sure to cast your vote – the public as well as a panel of industry judges will be picking their favorite Brooklyn-based Bloody.
Edition 4 / March 24th
1. Billionaire philanthropist David Rockefeller has passed away at the age of 101
- Rockefeller, head of Chase Manhattan bank for more than a decade, is said to have died peacefully in his sleep last Monday.
- The banker, who Forbes estimated to have a fortune of $3.3billion, was an influential voice on the world stage and advised many US presidents in his time.
- David Rockefeller was the last surviving child of John D. Rockefeller Jr. and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller.
FOOD & DRINK
2. Grab a (bottomless) mimosa – BrunchCon is here!
- The much-awaited event will take place this Sunday, at Brooklyn’s Grand Prospect Park from 11am-3pm.
- Indulge in the best late-morning grub from 50 of NYC’s premiere brunching spots.
- There’ll also be an open mimosa bar, a low-light hangover lounge and the BrunchCon market where you can get your hands on all kinds of brunch-related goodies.
- Single? Head to the #NoLongerAlone corner and meet with a Three Day Rule Matchmaker for free dating and relationship advice!
SEX IN THE CITY
3. Outsider Art at the Museum of Sex continues to lure visitors
- Known/Unknown: Private Obsession and Hidden Desire in Outsider Art showcases over 100 rarely seen works by self-taught artistic masters – aka ‘outsider artists’ – who have worked outside the confines of societal norms.
- “What is compelling about the pieces in Known/Unknown is that at first sight the work appears to be relatively straightforward,” says MoSex director of exhibitions Mark Snyder. “However, on a closer look, the images in the show are often complicated by an artist’s traumatic or psychologically-driven event that shifts them away from reality, and makes the viewer’s encounter with the pieces all the more intimate and challenging.”
- Visitors are left to determine for themselves whether they are actually encroaching on the remnants of these unconventional artists’ most private thoughts.
4. A Tale As Old As Time Is Given New Life on the Big Screen
- “Beauty and the Beast” is breaking pretty much every March record imaginable.
- Like most fairy tales, the story has evolved considerable as it’s made its way from oral tradition, to the page, and now, to the screen.
- People are pretty happy about the feminist twist on Belle, played by Emma Watson, which is actually a closer reflection of the original tale.
- Original tale? Yes – it all started with Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve’s 1740 story that features monkeys that speak via parrot interpreters (they serve Beauty and keep her company in the palace), five jealous sisters and six brothers, and an exhaustingly elaborate backstory involving ugly evil fairies attempting to force handsome princes into marriage, baby princesses being snatched from the cradle, and both fairy and human political struggles for power. (Intrigued? Read this.)
NEW ON BROADWAY
5. Miss Saigon: The revival of one of theatre’s biggest controversies
- Miss Saigon, a musical about an ill-fated romance between a Vietnamese bargirl and an American GI, returned to Broadway yesterday.
- The original West End performance was criticized for casting a white male as the Eurasian lead, and the story itself is said to perpetuate an unwelcome and negative view of Asians.
- On the other hand – supporters claim the show’s controversy helped create a shift in casting, increasing opportunity for Asian American actors.
- “This was a very dangerous, but exciting, subject,” said producer Cameron Mackintosh. “I remember saying, this subject matter is like dancing on a razor blade: a brilliant feat if you can pull it off.”
- Learn more about how Miss Saigon has touched the lives of people in this NYT article that features excerpts from producers, protesters, artists and activists.
6. LOVE IN THE TIME OF TRUMP
- East Harlem students teamed up with legendary street artist, Manny Vega, to create a 60-foot mural celebrating diversity and protesting President Trump’s immigration policies.
- Hundreds of students participated in the project, which was named “Build Love”.
- “We can’t support our students if we don’t support who they are and where they’re from,” said Program Executive Director JIm Ginsburg in an interview with New York Daily News. “We’re celebrating that New York City is an immigrant city.”
- In light of current events, many stories are coming to life in an effort to embrace and celebrate diversity.
7. Knicks’ forward Carmelo Anthony reflects on his future
- The Knicks are close to being eliminated from playoff contention for the fourth consecutive year.
- This appears to have their superstar, Carmelo Anthony, considering a change of scenery and perhaps, uniform.
- On Monday, Anthony hinted that he might be willing to waive his no-trade clause to get into a winning situation.
- “Nothing lasts forever,” says Anthony. “I try not to think about that, especially now when I’m still playing with the New York Knicks.”
- The next big game will be on April 4th, when the Knicks play the Chicago Bulls.
8. Dance to the beat of your own drum
- Silent discos have become a staple in the dance music circuit. (There are even silent disco parties for kids, these days!)
- With the option to toggle between channels, this interesting blend of technology and clubbing creates a bit of a conundrum: does dancing to a different beat than your peers take away for the opportunity to bond? Or does it amplify the connection you feel to those whom are enjoying the same channel as you?
- Several articles have been written on the topic. But we suggest you try one out this weekend and decide for yourself!
9. Broadway and Off-Broadway shows closing soon
- The Penitent Linda Gross Theatre – Closing March 26th
A thrilling world premiere from the great American dramatist and Atlantic co-founder David Mamet about a renowned psychiatrist thrown into an ethical dilemma when he’s asked to testify on behalf of his patient.
- Georgie The Loft at the Davenport Theatre – Closing March 26th
Written and performed by Ed Dixon, the play recounts Dixon’s own tale of how he came to know and admire two-time Tony® Award-winning actor George Rose over a twenty-year friendship until the unimaginable changed everything.
- Spill Ensemble Studio Theatre – Closing April 2nd
Based on real-life events from one of the greatest environmental disasters to date, this narrative pieces together over 200 hours of interviews gathered from people affected by 2012’s Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill in the gulf of Mexico.
- Cirque du Soleil Paramour Lyric Theatre – Closing April 16th
Set in the glamorous era of Hollywood at its peak, Cirque du Soleil and Broadway intertwine in the touching story of a young poet who is forced to choose between love and art.
10. Coming Soon to NYC
- On Sunday, April 2nd, the New York Rangers take on the Philadelphia Flyers in the much anticipated hockey game.
- On April 4th, previews open for Indecent – a play within play inspired by the real-life controversy surrounding the 1923 Broadway production of Sholem Asch’s God of Vengeance, the love story of two women.
- Musician John Mayer is making a comeback. His new album, “The Search for Everything,” comes out in April and you can catch him live at Madison Square Garden on April 5th.
Edition 3 / Feb. 23rd
New In Art
1. Trade Center Gets New Graffiti Gallery
- The 69th floor at 4 World Trade Center now pops with color, abstract shapes, and kaleidoscopic Statues of Liberty. There’s even a giant mural of a $10 bill with hand painted text from the musical ‘Hamilton’.
- The idea of doing street art in a skyscraper was initiated by Dara McQuillan, chief marketing officer for Silverstein Properties, the developer of WTC.
- The art has been described as a “contradiction on all levels” — a “blend of both inner-city street art tension and fine-art meditation in a corporate setting”.
Food For Thought
2. Another Reason to Visit a Museum: Food!
- In the last couple years, top museums have been stepping up their food game, turning boring cafeterias into destination restaurants. (Think, less hotdogs and Snapple; more artisan sandwiches and vintage wine.)
- “This might be the only museum in the world where you can uncork a 1992 Peter Lauer sparkling Riesling to go with your shiso-flecked lobster crudo.” says Thomas Carter, the restauranteur behind the Met Breuer’s Flora Bar.
- Another NYC foodie gem can be found tucked below the lobby of the Jewish Museum. Lush smoked sable, decadent blintzes and buckwheat varnishkes, anyone?
Taste of NY
3. This New Website Will Lead You to the Best NY Distilleries
- The New York State Distillers Guild has launched a new website, meant to serve as your ‘one-stop source of information about craft spirits and their production in New York State’.
- One of it’s best features, “distillery trails,” provides detailed maps of tasting tours that make a great day or weekend trip. There are two trails so far, one for the Hudson Valley, featuring 14 distilleries, and one for NYC alone, which has 15 distilleries.
- Our favorite tasting spot: Tuthilltown Spirits Farm Distillery. New York’s first whiskey distillery since the prohibition, Tuthilltown has produced some of America’s most awarded spirits in the Hudson Valley.
4. DJ Tiësto Live at Brooklyn Hangar
- EDM veteran, DJ Tiësto, has sold out two shows at the Brooklyn Hangar. Lucky for you, we’ve saved some last-minute tickets for Saturday’s show!
- Over the last decade and a half, Tiësto has garnered five successful albums In My Memory (2001), Just Be (2004), Elements Of Life (2007), Kaleidoscope (2009), and A Town Called Paradise (2014); along with a plethora of remix, compilation, and video albums.
- Some of his hit tracks include: “Lethal Industry,” “Traffic,” “Love Comes Again,” “Adagio For Strings,” “Dance4Life,” “Maximal Crazy,” “Red Lights,” and “Secrets” with KSHMR feat. Vassy.
5. Westeros Comes to NYC: “Game of Thrones” Live Concert Experience
- Composer Ramin Djawadi is bringing the music and atmosphere of HBO’s Emmy-winning dark fantasy series “Game of Thrones” to New York City’s Madison Square Garden on March 7th.
- Djawadi will be leading an 80 piece orchestra and choir on a 360-degree stage showcasing 3D designs and LED telescoping.
- The 28-city tour across the US promises an immersive experience, with cutting-edge technology that brings to life the Seven Kingdoms.
- For those of you eagerly counting down the days to GOT’s season seven premiere, this oughta hold you over in the meantime.
6. What’s Hot on Broadway: The Glass Menagerie
- In this revival of the classic 1947 “memory play”, The Glass Menagerie tells the story of a restless young man and his relationship with his fading Southern belle mother and his painfully shy sister, for whom he is asked to bring home a “gentleman caller”.
- Director Sam Gold’s version of this tale “seemingly attempts to blend modernism, minimalism, and traditionalism into a poignant commentary on changing times, dreams, memories, familial obligation, and an inability to let go of the past.”
- This production’s star cast includes Sally Field and Joe Mantello.
- The play is currently in previews and will officially open March 9th.
At the Opera
7. Werther Wraps Up First Week With Rave Reviews
- People are flocking to the Met to catch one of Opera’s favorite, impossible love stories, Werther.
- A sensation when it appeared in 1774 (and partly inspired by the author’s own experiences), it tells the story of a melancholy poet, Werther, whose love for a married woman and general disaffection with the world lead to his suicide.
- The opera features an outstanding performance by Vittorio Grigolo. “He understands that opera is a careful calibration of explosion and control, and he manipulates that balance to leave you — as you’re left when watching all the best operatic performances — in a state of both satisfied delight and sustained, agonizing tension,” says NYT theatre critic Zachary Woolfe.
- Grigolo will sing Werther three more times between now and March 4th.
8. The Latest Fitness Craze to Hit Manhattan Can Be Found at the MET
- The Museum Workout is an aerobic exercise that takes participants through the hallowed halls of the museum, before it opens to the public.
- For this multi-disciplinary workout, a small group of audience-participants embark on a physical and interactive journey through The Met.
- “Connecting with the art and the overwhelming power of the galleries by activating one’s own body and mind makes this new work so radical,” says writer/illustrator, Maira Kalman.
9. Exhibitionism: The Rolling Stones Enters Its Final Weeks
- The hit Rolling Stones tribute will be on show for just two more weeks.
- The exhibit occupies two floors of Industria, a raw art space in the West Village, and provides an intimate look at the history and life of the band.
- Memorabilia ranges from original artwork and interactive sound mixing desks to rare lyric books and never-before-seen backstage footage.
- Visitors can also walk through a reconstruction of the infamous Chelsea flat where Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Brian Jones once lived.
10. Coming Soon to NYC
- Pianoman Billy Joel will perform at Madison Square Garden on Friday, March 3rd.
- Best known for his hit “Let Her Go”, Passenger will light up the stage at Beacon Theatre, March 11th.
- On Sunday, March 12th, the New York Knicks take on the Brooklyn Nets in a much anticipated game of the season at Barclays Center.
- Comedian, actor, director, writer, and producer – catch one of America’s favorite comedians, Jerry Seinfeld, who will be performing twice next month, on March 9th and 16th.