This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001


Giant slide is a highlight of Summer Streets program on Saturday mornings in August (photo by twi-ny/ees)

Giant slide is a highlight of Summer Streets program on first three Saturday mornings in August (photo by twi-ny/ees)

Park Ave. & 72nd St. to Foley Square
Saturday, August 6, 13, 20, free, 7:00 am – 1:00 pm

Now in its seventh year, Summer Streets takes place the next three Saturday mornings, as Park Ave. will be closed to vehicular traffic from 72nd St. to Foley Square and the Brooklyn Bridge from 7:00 am to 1:00 pm, encouraging people to walk, run, jog, blade, skate, slide, and bike down the famous thoroughfare, getting exercise and enjoying the great outdoors without car exhaust, speeding taxis, and slow-moving buses. There are five rest stops along the route (Uptown at 52nd St., Midtown at 25th, Astor Pl. at Lafayette St., SoHo at Spring & Lafayette, and Foley Square at Duane & Centre), where people can stop for some food and drink, live performances, fitness classes, site-specific art installations, dog walks, bicycle workshops, and other activities, all of which are free. Below are some of the highlights.

Foley Square Rest Stop
Beachside Slide (advance preregistration required,) Adaptive Obstacle Challenge, “On Display / CitiSummerStreets” living sculpture by Heidi Latsky, “M2B, Beijing-New York” mobile bike sculpture by Niko de la Fey, historical reenactors, Department of Design and Construction: The Art and Construction of NYC’s Water Supply, Bronx Museum of the Arts workshop (August 20)

SoHo Rest Stop
Fitness classes, free bike repair and rentals, parkour fitness demonstrations, Museum of Chinese in America “Dragon Boat Crown Making” (August 6 & 20), Storefront for Art and Architecture “Manhattanisms” (August 13)

Astor Place Rest Stop
“Make It Here” interactive programs (athletics, social media vending machines, fashion showcases, Paws and Play Dog Park, “Los Trompos (Spinning Tops)” by Hector Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena

Midtown Rest Stop
A Taste of Summer Sampling Zone, Kid Bike Park, pop-up yoga, hand-cycle demonstration, helmet fittings, free bike rentals and repair, “GrowNYC Zero Waste Programs,” live dance, theater, and musical performances

August 6
Connor Larkin, Kelly Wright, the Other Brothers, Moondrunk

August 13
JHEVERE, Phone Home, Music with a Message, Evolfo

August 20
Orin Kurtz, Backtrack Vocals, Darrah Carr Dance, Drew and Joanne

Uptown Rest Stop
DOT Safety Zone, Zipline, “Unlimited NYC” athletics, Hallmark “Sounds of Shore” installation, “Make It Here” interactive programs (live performances, food tastings, sharing love stories), bike art party, Municipal Art Society tours, tai chi, Museum of the City of New York’s “Pushing Buttons: NYC Activism”

August 6
American Folk Art Museum’s “Families & Folk Art,” Publicolor’s “Color and Creativity, Sirens of Gotham, Receta Secreta, the Afro-Latineers, Robert Anderson Band, Stiletta, Washington Square Winds, Society of Illustrators’ “Draw and Groove Party,” Materials for the Arts’ “Found Object Flowers”

August 13
Risa Puno’s interactive “Win or Lose” game, ArchForKids’ “The Big Build,” Design Trust for Public Space’s “Under the Elevated,” National Museum of the American Indian’s “Inspired by Native/Indigenous Design,” Taliah Lempert’s “Street Smart Bike Art,” BumbleBee Jamboree, DreamStreet Theatre Company, Niall O’Leary School of Irish Dance, City Stompers, dancing classrooms

August 20
National Museum of the American Indian’s “Inspired by Native/Indigenous Design,” Taliah Lempert’s “Street Smart Bike Art,” “Poets House Imagination Station,” Art Gowanus workshop, Groundswell’s “Visualize Your Artist Skills,” New York Violinist Susan Keser, Opera Collective, Art of Stepping, Exit 12 Dance Group


Brooklyn Museum’s First Saturday program includes screening of Todd Kessler’s new film, BAZODEE, followed by a Q&A

Brooklyn Museum’s First Saturday program includes screening of Todd Kessler’s new film, BAZODEE, followed by a Q&A

Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway at Washington St.
Saturday, August 6, free, 5:00 - 11:00

The Brooklyn Museum is getting ready for Labor Day weekend’s West Indian American Day Carnival with an August First Saturday presentation filled with Caribbean energy and culture. The free events, some of which require advance tickets that night, will feature the live performance “Ganggang: Creative Misunderstanding Series” by disguise artist Alejandro Guzman, with Abigail Deville, Christopher Manzione, Clifford Owens, Elan Jurado, Geraldo Mercado, Jessica Gallucci, Marcus Willis, Sam Vernon, Tré Chandler, and William Villalongo; children’s storytelling with Linda Humes; a performance and reading by ethnomusicologist Danielle Brown from her memoir, East of Flatbush, North of Love: An Ethnography of Home; screenings of Bazodee (Todd Kessler, 2016), followed by a Q&A with actor and soca star Machel Montano, writer Claire Ince, and producers Susanne Bohnet and Ancil McKain, as well as the classic reggae flick Rockers (Theodoros Bafaloukos, 1978); Rusty Zimmerman discussing his “Free Portrait Project: Crown Heights”; a hands-on workshop in which participants can make their own Caribbean-inspired instruments; pop-up gallery talks in the excellent “Disguise: Masks and Global African Art” exhibition; a Backyard Bashment dancehall workshop and party with choreographer Blacka Di Danca, actor-comedian Majah Hype, and DJ MeLo-X; and the interactive mobile art center caribBEING House, featuring Ruddy Rove’s “Fine Art of Daggering” photos, a participatory wall map, and the opportunity to share your own Caribbean tale. In addition, you can check out such exhibitions as “Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843 to the Present,” “Tom Sachs: Boombox Retrospective, 1999–2016,” “Stephen Powers: Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (to a Seagull),” and “Agitprop!”


The life and legacy of Lou Reed will be celebrated on July 30 with free all-day festival at Lincoln Center

The life and legacy of Lou Reed will be celebrated on July 30 with free all-day festival at Lincoln Center

Damrosch Park Bandshell, Josie Robertson Plaza, Hearst Plaza,
Alice Tully Hall lobby, Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center Amphitheater
Saturday, July 30, free, 10:15 am - 12 midnight

I think I took Lou Reed for granted. I’d see him regularly, either performing onstage, wandering through downtown art galleries, seeing shows at BAM, or grabbing a cab with his wife, Laurie Anderson. He was just one of those icons you thought would always be around, but it was not to be. On October 27, 2013, he succumbed to liver disease at the age of seventy-one. Less than three weeks later, on November 14, Lincoln Center hosted a low-key tribute to the Godfather of Punk at the Paul Milstein Pool & Terrace, three hours of his recorded music, with no speeches and no live performances. On July 30, Lincoln Center Out of Doors will be putting on a much bigger and broader festival in honor of Reed’s influential life and career with “The Bells: A Daylong Celebration of Lou Reed,” curated by Anderson and Hal Willner. The party gets under way at 10:15 on Josie Robertson Plaza with a tai chi lesson with Master Ren GuangYi; Reed recorded six original songs with Sarth Calhoun for the master’s Power and Serenity instructional DVD. From 11:00 to 4:00, the immersive sound installation “Lou Reed DRONES,” consisting of six guitars and amps emitting feedback, will continue in the Alice Tully Hall lobby. At 11:30 in the Damrosch Park Bandshell, the house band of Don Fleming, Sal Maida, Kenny Margolis, Lee Ranaldo, Steve Shelley, and Matt Sweeney will be joined by vocalists Joan as Police Woman, David Johansen, Lenny Kaye, Jesse Malin, Kembra Pfahler, Felice Rosser, Harper Simon, Jon Spencer, Bush Tetras, JG Thirlwell, and the Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls for some rock & roll. From 12 noon to 7:00, the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center Amphitheater will present Reed’s 2010 documentary, Red Shirley (12 noon & 3:00), about his one-hundred-year-old cousin; A Night with Lou Reed (1:30 & 5:30), a video document of his 1983 Bottom Line stand; and the American Masters program Lou Reed: Rock and Roll Heart (4:00). At 2:00 in Hearst Plaza, Master Ren GuangYi will give a tai chi chuan and weapons demonstration, along with an eagle claw weapons demonstration by Masters Emmanuel Sam and Paul Lee. At 3:00, “Pass Thru Fire: Lyrics of Lou Reed” features Elizabeth Ashley, Steve Buscemi, Anne Carson, Kim Cattrall, Willem Dafoe, A. M. Homes, Natasha Lyonne, Julian Schnabel, Fisher Stevens, and Anne Waldman reading Reed’s words. At 7:00, Anderson, Anohni, Emily Haines, Garland Jeffreys, David Johansen, Mark Kozelek, Bill Laswell, John Cameron Mitchell, Maxim Moston, Jenni Muldaur, Jane Scarpantoni, Victoria Williams, Jim White, John Zorn, and others will gather at the bandshell for live performances of “Lou Reed’s Love Songs,” showing off his gentler side. The celebration, named after his 1979 album The Bells, concludes with a 10:30 screening (with headphones) of Julian Schnabel’s film Lou Reed’s Berlin, a concert film of Reed’s performance of the 1973 album at St. Ann’s Warehouse in 2006. It should be quite a day and night; try not to take it for granted.

LOU REED’S BERLIN (Julian Schnabel, 2007)
Damrosch Park Bandshell
Saturday, July 30, free, 10:30

In December 2006, Lou Reed resurrected his 1973 masterwork, Berlin, a deeply dark and personal song cycle that was a critical and commercial flop upon its initial release but has grown in stature over the years. (As Reed sings on the album’s closer, “Sad Song”: “Just goes to show how wrong you can be.”) The superbly staged adaptation, directed by Academy Award nominee Julian Schnabel (Basquiat, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly), took place at Brooklyn’s intimate St. Ann’s Warehouse, featuring Rob Wasserman and longtime Reed sideman Fernando Saunders on bass, Tony “Thunder” Smith on drums, Rupert Christie on keyboards, and guitarist extraordinaire Steve Hunter, reunited with Lou for the first time in three decades. The band is joined onstage by backup singers Sharon Jones and Antony, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, and a seven-piece orchestra (including cello, viola, flute, trumpet, clarinet, and flugel). Amid dreamlike video montages shot by Schnabel’s daughter, Lola, depicting Emmanuelle Seigner as the main character in Berlin, as well as experimental imagery by Alejandro Garmendia, Reed tells the impossibly bleak story of Caroline, a young mother whose life crashes and burns in a dangerously divided and debauched Germany. “It was very nice / It was paradise,” Reed sings on the opening title track, but it’s all downhill from there. “It was very nice / It was paradise” might also now serve as a kind of epitaph for one of the most important poets of the last fifty years. Berlin is being shown at Damrosch Park Bandshell at 10:30 on July 30, with headphones available.


bastille day

60th St. between Fifth & Lexington Aves.
Sunday, July 10, free, 12 noon – 5:00 pm

On July 14, 1789, a Parisian mob stormed the Bastille prison, a symbolic victory that kicked off the French Revolution and the establishment of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. Ever since, July 14 has been a national holiday celebrating liberté, égalité, and fraternité. In New York City, the Bastille Day festivities are set for Sunday, July 10, along Sixtieth St., where the French Institute Alliance Française hosts its annual daylong party of food, music, dance, and other special activities. There will be a Wine, Beer, Cocktail, and Cheese Tasting in FIAF’s Tinker Auditorium at 12 noon, 1:30, and 3:00 ($25), as well as luxurious ninety-minute Champagne & Chocolate Tastings in Le Skyroom at 12:30 and 3:00 ($75) featuring delights from G. H. Mumm, Piper-Heidsieck, Drappier, Brimoncourt, Billecart-Salmon, La Caravelle, Neuhaus, La Maison du Chocolat, Valrhona, MarieBelle, and Maman Bakery. The annual raffle ($5 per ticket) can win you such prizes as trips to Paris and New Orleans, concert tickets, beauty treatments and gift baskets, lunches and dinners, and more. Food and drink will be available from Babeth’s Feast, Barraca, Booqoo Beignets, Dominique Ansel Bakery, Éclair Bakery, Epicerie Boulud, Financier, Bec Fin, Le Souk, St. Michel, Tipsy Scoop, François Payard Bakery, Mille-feuille, Oliviers & Co., Ponty Bistro, and others. Taking the stage will be cast members from An American in Paris (12:30), CanCan dancers led by Sarah O’Dwyer (1:15 & 2:15), a French puppet show by Samantha Grassian (1:30), the Hungry March Band (2:30), the Sheridan Fencing Academy (3:15), and Myriam Phiro’s Accordion Trio (4:00). The festivities also include a roaming French Mime for Hire (Catherina Gasta), a photobooth, a book signing with Marc Levy (A Spin on the Horizon, 1:00), the annual Citroën Car Show (1:00 – 5:00), a live screening of the UEFA Euro final between France and Portugal (3:00), and more. Vive la France!


One-man show honors the legacy of Walt Whitman

One-man show honors the legacy of Walt Whitman

Who: Matthew Aughenbaugh, Michael Ruby, Graham Fawcett
What: Immersive theater piece
Where: The Old Stone House, Washington Park & JJ Byrne Playground, between Fourth & Fifth Aves. and Third & Fourth Sts., Park Slope, 718-768-3195
When: Friday, June 24, $15-$20, 8:00
Why: On June 24, Matthew Aughenbaugh will perform his one-man show, Song of Myself: The Words of Walt Whitman, at the Old Stone House in Park Slope, in the borough where the mighty poet was raised. “Crowds of men and women attired in the usual costumes, how curious you are to me! / On the ferry-boats the hundreds and hundreds that cross, returning home, are more curious to me than you suppose, / And you that shall cross from shore to shore years hence are more to me, and more in my meditations, than you might suppose,” Whitman wrote in 1856’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry.” Aughenbaugh, a Shakespearean actor who has also done musical theater, noted in a statement, “I was inspired to create a theater piece using only original text as a way to share my passion for our greatest American poet.” The immersive show, presented by London’s Upper Wimpole Street Literary Salon, will be followed by a Q&A with Aughenbaugh and Brooklyn poet Michael Ruby, moderated by British broadcaster, teacher, and translator Graham Fawcett. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door and come with wine and refreshments.


anna raff

Who: Anna Raff
What: Storytelling
Where: The Astoria Bookshop, 31-29 31st St., 718-278-2665
When: Saturday, June 11, free, 11:30 am
Why: “When you wake up on the wrong side of the bed . . . you’re in for a BAD day.” So begins the new picture book The Wrong Side of the Bed (G. P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, March 2016, $16.99), in which writer Lisa M. Bakos and illustrator Anna Raff show just how lousy things can get until . . . On June 11 at 11:30, Raff, who has also illustrated such books as A Big Surprise for Little Card by Charise Mericle Harper, You Are Not a Cat by Sharon G. Flake, and World Rat Day by J. Patrick Lewis, will be at the Astoria Bookshop for a special storytime session that should be a fun way to start a day on a good note.


L. J. Roberts, “Sisters Are Doing It for Themselves,” Jacquard-woven cotton and Lurex, hand-dyed fabric, crank-knit yarn, thread, 2011 (photo by Mario Gallucci)

LJ Roberts, “Sisters Are Doing It for Themselves,” Jacquard-woven cotton and Lurex, hand-dyed fabric, crank-knit yarn, thread, 2011 (photo by Mario Gallucci)

Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway at Washington St.
Saturday, June 4, free, 5:00 - 11:00

Pride Month is the centerpiece of the Brooklyn Museum’s June edition of its vastly popular free First Saturday program. The evening will feature live performances by New York City Gay Men’s Chorus and DJ Mursi Layne; storytelling by Queer Memoir; screenings of Jake Witzenfeld’s Oriented, followed by a talkback with Tarab NYC, and Asurf Oluseyi’s Hell or High Water, followed by a talkback with activists Kehinde Bademosi, Noni Salma Lawal, Ekene Okuwegbunam, and Adejoke Tugbiyele; a movement workshop inspired by domestic workers, by Studio REV-; pop-up gallery talks on “Disguise: Masks and Global African Art”; a hands-on workshop in which participants can make their own Pride-based iron-on patch; a curator talk by Catherine J. Morris and Stephanie Weissberg on “Agitprop!”; the talk “Women, Art, AIDS, and Activism,” with Joy Episalla, Kia Labeija, Jessica Whitbread, Egyptt Labeija, Sue Schaffner, and Carrie Moyer, hosted by Visual AIDS and moderated by LJ Roberts; a printmaking workshop about immigration and undocumented youth; and outdoor projections by the Illuminator. In addition, you can check out such other exhibitions as “This Place,” “Tom Sachs: Boombox Retrospective, 1999–2016,” and “Stephen Powers: Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (to a Seagull).”