This week’s list of reasons to leave the house include a whimsical animated Japanese movie, gallery openings in Chelsea, and a two-day outdoor poetry festival. If that still doesn’t fill your calendar, remember that you can always check Groupon for more great things to do in New York City.
Summer Restaurant Week
July 21–August 15
The summer edition of restaurant week brings three-course prix fixe menus to eateries such as Red Rooster Harlem, Café Boulud, Bann Restaurant, and Tertulia (pictured above). Luckily, the “week” actually runs for three-and-a-half weeks, so there’s still plenty of time to make reservations at crowded spots ahead of time. ($25 lunch, $38 dinner; see a full list of participants)
Neutral Milk Hotel at Prospect Park Bandshell
Prospect Park | Tuesday, July 22, and Wednesday, July 23, 7 p.m.
It may have been 15 years since their last tour, but Neutral Milk Hotel haven’t lost the idiosyncratic touch that made 1998’s In the Aeroplane over the Sea an indie classic. Join a packed crowd in Prospect Park to hear frontman Jeff Mangum weave together his eccentric, Anne Frank–inspired lyrics with horn-centric melodies. ($39.50 in advance, $45 day of; buy tickets here for Wednesday’s show)
A Letter to Momo
West Village | Wednesday, July 23–Tuesday, July 29
A fanciful, hand-drawn tale in a similar vein to Spirited Away, 2011’s A Letter to Momo tells the story of a Japanese teenager, Momo, whose only relic of her lost father is a letter to her he never finished. Momo comes to terms with her loss with the help of three mischievous goblins who have taken up residence in her mother’s attic. (IFC Center, 323 Avenue of the Americas; $14 adults, $10 children and seniors, $9 IFC members; buy tickets here)
Chelsea Art Walk
Chelsea | Thursday, July 24, 5 p.m.–8 p.m.
More than 100 participating galleries in Chelsea stay open late for a free public viewing of their summer exhibitions, as well as artist talks, openings, and other events. (free; see a full list of participating galleries)
New York City Poetry Festival
Governors Island | Saturday, July 26, and Sunday, July 27, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
The fourth annual event brings literati to Governors Island for a weekend of readings and performances by more than 250 poets, including Mark Doty, Joyelle McSweeney, Matthea Harvey, and Paul Muldoon. In between sets, browse indie crafts and booksellers’ wares, fuel up with snacks from food vendors including Morris Grilled Cheese and Mud Coffee, or quaff pints in a beer garden sponsored by Brooklyn Brewery. (free; register here)
Photo of Tertulia by Jen Davis