From kimchi-covered hot dogs to frothy Oktoberfest brews, this week’s list of things to do is brimming with deliciousness. But that’s only a taste of things to come—read on for more events and happenings, including a musical revival and an opportunity to hear Silent Bob break his silence. And, as always, check Groupon for more great things to do in New York City. Munich on the East River Gramercy Park | Saturday, October 11, and Sunday, October 12 This Oktoberfest bacchanal hosted by East Village brewhaus Zum Schneider brings oompah bands, burly strongmen, and vast quantities of cold, frothy German beer to a quaint blue-and-white tent by the river. Guests quaff huge Masskrüge—liter steins—of brews like Paulaner Oktoberfest Märzen and HB Traunstein Festbier and, after 5 p.m., tuck into dinners of soft pretzels, weisswurst, and other traditional German fare. (E. 23rd St. at the river; Noon to 10 p.m.; $25 general admission, $100 VIP; buy tickets here) Fat Man on Manhattan: An Evening with Kevin Smith with Special Guest Jason Mewes Midtown | Saturday, October 11 20 years after the slacker comedy Clerks launched him to indie-comedy stardom, writer and director Kevin Smith will “get up close and personal” with fans at this event, which closes out New York Super Week’s epic pop-culture nerdfest. Appearing alongside Smith at the Hammerstein Ballroom is his frequent co-star Jason Mewes, who’ll likely overturn audience expectations by letting Silent Bob do most of the talking. (311 W. 34th St.; $20–$40) NYC Makers: The MAD Biennial Columbus Circle | Through Sunday, October 12 The Museum of Arts and Design’s first-ever biennial shines a spotlight on artisans, artists, and designers who create exquisitely beautiful things—only some of which you would normally find in a museum. Visitors gaze upon a creepily globular pink face mask by artist Zach Blas, but also a pair of beach-tennis paddles from design team Fredericks & Mae. (2 Columbus Circle; $12–$16) Hot Dog Happy Hour with Mo Rocca West Village | Friday, October 17 Cooking-show host and CBS correspondent Mo Rocca celebrates one of America’s most iconic snacks at this Groupon-exclusive hot dog tasting, part of the Food Network Wine and Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE. In the airy outdoor space of The Standard, High Line’s beer garden, guests feast on bun-swaddled treats from Walter’s Hot Dogs’ classic franks to Asiadog’s kimchi- and curry-smothered fusion creations. (848 Washington St.; 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.; $75; buy tickets here) On the Town Times Square | Through November 23 Three sailors on scant 24-hour shore leave scour the Big Apple for their dream dates—or any date—in this madcap Leonard Bernstein–scored musical. The original, which first appeared on Broadway in 1949, gave us such hits as “New York, New York,” as well as a movie version starring Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly; the New York Times called Tony Award–winner John Rando’s 2014 production at the Lyric Theatre “one of those rare revivals that remind us what a hit show from long ago was really about.” (213 W. 42nd St.; $35–$79 through GrouponLive; get tickets here) Munich on the East River photo by Jonathan McPhail Photography. Photo of MAD Biennial opening night by Gulshan Kirat.Read More
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Biking is a great and safe way to see New York City—no, seriously! In the past decade, the city has seen a surge in the number of cyclists rolling through its streets. Dedicated bike lanes now connect many parts of the city, making it possible to ride without having to do battle with Manhattan traffic. The leisure ride described below—or any part of it, depending on what you’re up for—takes riders along both sides of the East River, and can easily be done in one weekend afternoon: the whole route takes about 50 minutes. It’s all on bike paths or lanes, and best of all, it takes you right to some of Long Island City’s cultural gems, all without having to wait on a single subterranean subway platform while the sun shines without you. Hug the shoreline on your way to Wards Island This ride starts from the quiet and scenic neighborhood of Yorkville—that northeast slice of the Upper East Side that prides itself on not being the Upper East Side. You’ll be zipping along the riverside promenade for pedestrians and cyclists that extends all along the east side of Manhattan. Starting on the stretch of promenade that goes through Carl Schurz Park, ride north past Gracie Mansion until you get to the Wards Island Bridge at 103rd Street. Twice along this route, you’ll have to lug your sweet ride up or down a flight of stairs—but luckily, they’ve installed these neat bicycle rails so you can just push your bicycle up without having to carry it. Once you cross over to Wards Island, you’ll ride pretty on wide asphalt paths surrounded by lots of gardens and greenery. Savor the scenery as you proceed on your way to the next and last bridge. Wards Island Bridge as seen from Wards Island. Huff and puff your way up the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge The Robert F. Kennedy Bridge is admittedly unscenic when compared to the now-defunct Hell Gate Bridge right beside it. It is also the most challenging part of the trip. The ramp up to the bridge is a good five-minute uphill ride (enough to induce red-faced panting from me), and it’s a bit noisy, though the path is safe and separated from all car traffic. Technically, you are required to walk your bike on all parts of the bridge, though this seems to be a widely disregarded rule. But your struggle will be rewarded—after the uphill climb, it’s a leisurely stroll or roll down on the other side. Hell Gate Bridge. Absorb some art at Socrates Sculpture Park Your first stop in Long Island City, Queens, is Socrates Sculpture Park, open every day from 10 a.m. to sunset. The sculptural works on view change regularly, there’s free yoga and tai chi every weekend, and it offers a beautiful view of Manhattan. If you want a break from the sun, skip this park and head to the Noguchi Museum just across the road (admission is $10). You’ll find a sculpture collection inside, as well as a sculpture garden in the courtyard and a cute café. A sculpture at the Noguchi museum. Treat yourself to street food at the LIC Flea You’ve probably worked up an appetite by now with all this physical activity and appreciation of culture, so cruise down the Vernon Boulevard bike path to the food tents at the Long Island City Flea. Vendors there offer the cross-cultural foods that are the hallmark of so many Brooklyn outdoor events, such as burgers, dumplings, empanadas, salads, and lemonades. If you’re in the mood to shop, there’s also antiques, artwork, clothing, and knickknacks aplenty on sale, with what seems to me like better prices than flea markets you’ll find in the “hipper” borough to the south. Eclectic food options at the Long Island City Flea. Photo courtesy of the Long Island City Flea. Relax with scenic views in Hunter’s Point South Park After the LIC Flea, head south along the water or bike paths to one of the city’s newest parks, an industrial site turned landscaping beauty called Hunter’s Point South Park. Built last year, the park is one of the upshots of the gentrification of Long Island City, with sleek landscaping, weirdly fancy public bathrooms, and a beautiful view of the city (as the stunning photos on the architects’ website show). A wide, smooth path leads across the park’s sprawling lawns toward piers packed with park benches from the future, perfectly designed for an intrepid cyclist to take a well-deserved break. A view of Long Island City from Hunter's Point South Park. Choose your own bike adventure From here, you have a few options to finish out your day: If you haven’t had enough culture, head to MoMA PS1, a few minutes’ ride northeast. It’s a must-see, $5-admission museum housing MoMA’s contemporary collection. (Note, though, that on Saturdays until September 6, the museum closes its galleries and instead hosts concerts in its courtyard that cost $20.) Ride over the Pulaski Bridge to Williamsburg’s many restaurants and bars (don’t drink and ride—remember bikes are allowed on the MTA). Head home, knowing you’ve made the most of one of our last summer days this year. Check Groupon for more great things to do in New York City. Photos by Kasia Mychajlowycz unless otherwise noted.Read More
This week’s list of things to do includes an ‘80s classic coming-of-age film, an IRL appearance by Daily Show writers, and a 70-minute spectacle that has dancers flying in the air. Enjoy yourself, and as always, check Groupon for other great things to do in New York City. Hudson River Park Blues BBQ Midtown | Saturday, August 23 Tender, saucy barbecue from Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Delaney Barbecue, and Mighty Quinn's Barbecue flavors this family-friendly festival, which has brought blues and roots musicians to Pier 84 for 15 years. It’s okay to eat your weight in brisket—just give yourself time to digest before the high-energy funk of headliners Big Sam’s Funky Nation calls up your best dance moves. The BBQ also kicks off the Hudson River Park 550 (#HRP550) fundraising initiative: visit the campaign page for more info. (Off W. 44th St.; 2 p.m.; free) Left Bank Picture Show: Stand by Me West Village | Sunday, August 24 Rob Reiner’s classic 1986 coming-of-age tale is the second-to-last to be screened in West Village tavern Left Bank’s summer film series. Guests nibble on themed sips and bites as a very young Wil Wheaton, Cory Feldman, and River Phoenix bond over their quest to locate a missing child in the woods near their small town. A baby-faced Kiefer Sutherland co-stars. (117 N. Perry St.; 8:15 p.m.; free) Widowspeak Midtown | Thursday, August 28 Moody, Western-tinged rock will fill MoMA’s Sculpture Garden as Brooklyn duo Widowspeak takes the stage for the last MoMA Nights event of the summer. Lead singer Molly Hamilton weaves her haunting, Mazzy Star–esque vocals in with Robert Earl Thomas’s ‘70s-psych influenced guitar. (11 W. 53rd St.; 6:30 p.m.; free with museum admission) Improv by Daily Show Writers Chelsea | Thursday, August 28 The men and women responsible for crafting Jon Stewart’s nightly quips venture out from their writers’ room for one precious night onstage at Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. When they’re done blinking, naked-mole-rat-like, at the unfamiliar light of the sun, the jokesters perform an improv show based on audience suggestions. (307 W. 26th St.; 9:30 p.m.; $5; make reservations here) Fuerza Bruta: Wayra Union Square | Through January 4, 2015 Forget straining your eyes to see dancers onstage. In fact, forget stages at all. Fuerza Bruta: Wayra’s immersive 70-minute spectacle explodes the fourth wall, raising performers above audiences’ heads as they tumble through the air, climb suspended walls of fabric, or slip around a transparent water-filled pool. (101 E. 15th St.; $49–$59 with Groupon; buy tickets through GrouponLive here)Read More