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


dine around downtown

28 Liberty Plaza
Between Liberty & Pine and Nassau & William Sts.
Tuesday, May 22, 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Admission: free, all dishes $7 and less

Sponsored by the Downtown Alliance, the seventeenth annual Dine Around Downtown will feature signature dishes from more than three dozen Lower Manhattan restaurants, from pizza places and burger joints to steak and seafood houses. Among the participating eateries are ATRIO Wine Bar, Battery Gardens, Bavaria Bier Haus, Blue Ribbon Bakery, the Capital Grille, Cowgirl SeaHorse, Delmonico’s, Eataly, Financier Patisserie, Harry’s Italian, Inatteso, Le District, Mad Dog & Beans Mexican Cantina, OBAO Water Street, Parm Battery Park, Route 66 Smokehouse, Stone Street Tavern, SUteiShi, the Tuck Room, and Ulysses’ Folk House. There will also be live music by the National Jazz Museum in Harlem-All Stars and a raffle. Each plate goes for no more than $7, with proceeds benefiting the Downtown Alliance, which “is striving to make Lower Manhattan a wonderful place to live, work, and play by creating a vibrant multi-use neighborhood.”


fun in the sun

Essex Street Market
120 Essex St. between Rivington & Delancey Sts.
Saturday, May 19, free (advance registration suggested), 12 noon - 5:00

In the fall, the Essex Street Market, a fixture on the Lower East Side for nearly eighty years, will be moving across the street. So its annual spring block party will be featuring current businesses as well as new ones coming in later this year. Taking place May 19 from noon to five o’clock, the party will include such vendors as Saxelby Cheesemongers, Arancini Bros, Puebla Mexican, Samesa, Josephine’s Feast!, and Harlem Shambles, with most food items five dollars or less. There will also be live music by Yotoco, Cumbiagra, and DJ tres dos.


(photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images for Harlem EatUp!)

Chef Marcus Samuelsson is one of the hosts of the fourth annual Harlem EatUp! Festival (photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images for Harlem EatUp!)

Multiple locations in Harlem
May 15-21, free - $1,500

The fourth annual Harlem EatUp! Festival takes place May 15-21, with dozens of chefs, restaurants, culinary organizations, mixmasters, and artists participating in tastings, dinners, concerts, and more celebrating Harlem culture. Below are only some of the special events happening uptown.

Wednesday, May 16
Dine in Harlem: Clay, with host chef Gustavo Lopez and guest chef Leah Cohen of Pig & Khao, $135, 7:00

Dine in Harlem: Melba’s Restaurant, with owner Melba Wilson and guest chef Andrew Zimmern, $110, 7:00

Thursday, May 17
The Harlem EatUp! Annual Luminary Award Dinner, honoring Dapper Dan and Bevy Smith, hosted by chefs Marcus Samuelsson, Adrienne Cheatham, and Geoffrey Zakarian, Red Rooster Harlem, $250, 6:30

Dine in Harlem: Harlem Shake, with proprietor Jelena Pasic and guest chef Josh Capon of Mercer Street Hospitality and live music by Angel Rose, $85, 7:00

Saturday, May 19
The EatUp! Main Stage at the Harlem Stroll, with culinary demonstrations by Leticia “Skai” Young, Raymond Zamanta Mohan, Jose Garces, Marcus Samuelsson, Stephanie Izard, Melba Wilson, and Jacques Torres and live performances by the Peoples Band, Lorenzo Laroc, and the Rakiem Walker Project, Morningside Park, free, 12:30 – 5:30

Ultimate Grand Tasting at the Harlem Stroll, featuring dishes from Bo’s Bagels, Charles Country Pan Fried Chicken, Drunken Fruit, Ginny’s Supper Club, Harlem Haberdashery, Harlem Chocolate Factory, Harlem Shake, Harlem Tavern, Land Yoga, Lee Lee’s Bakery, LoLo’s Seafood Shake, Make My Cake, Melba’s Restaurant, Miss Mamie’s Spoonbread, Oso Harlem, Piatto D’Oro, Ponty Bistro, Row House, Settepani, Sisters Caribbean Cuisine, SpaHa Soul, Sugar Hill Creamery, Sugardale Inc., Tastings Social presents Gaudir, the Edge Harlem, and the Grange Bar & Eatery, adults only, Morningside Park, $85-$110, 12:30 – 5:30

Saturday, May 19
Sunday, May 20

The Marketplace at the Harlem Stroll, with more than two dozen food vendors, a kids’ zone, demonstrations, live performances, and more, Morningside Park, free, 12:30 – 5:30

Sunday, May 20
The EatUp! Main Stage at the Harlem Stroll, with culinary demonstrations by Melba Wilson, Lorenzo Boni, Jernard Wells, Marcus Samuelsson, Jarobi White, Adrienne Cheatham, and Laila Ali and live performances by Siya featuring Yacouba Sissoko, Vy Higginson’s Sing Harlem Choir, and Johnny Mambo & Friends, Morningside Park, free, 12:30 – 5:30

Ultimate Grand Tasting at the Harlem Stroll, featuring dishes from Bier International, Bierstrasse, BLVD Bistro, Cove Lounge, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Drunken Fruit, Ginny’s Supper Club, Harlem Chocolate Factory, Harlem Haberdashery, Harlem Tavern, Kingston Restaurant & Bar, Land Yoga, Lady Lexis Sweets, Lloyd’s Carrot Cake, Moffle Bar, Piatto D’Oro, Row House, Settepani, Shake Shack, Sisters Caribbean Cuisine, Spaha Soul, Sugardale Inc., Tastings Social presents Mountain Bird, the Kosher Kitchen, the Sylvia Center, and Uptown Veg & Juice Bar, adults only, Morningside Park, $85-$110, 12:30 – 5:30


(photo courtesy NYBG)

Earth Ball is part of Earth Day festivities at last weekend of the Orchid Show at New York Botanical Garden (photo courtesy NYBG)

The New York Botanical Garden
Enid A. Haupt Conservatory
2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx
April 20-22, $12 children two to twelve, $28 adults ($38 for Orchid Evenings, adults only, 6:30 - 9:30)

The New York Botanical Garden’s 2018 orchid show, featuring installations by Belgian floral artist Daniel Ost, closes this weekend, but not before a flurry of special events in conjunction with Earth Day. On Friday at 11:00 am, Charles Peters will discuss his new book, Managing the Wild: Stories of People and Plants and Tropical Forests, in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library, and the Discovery Center at the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden will host activities for children from 1:30 to 5:30. Orchid Evenings take place Friday and Saturday night, with specialty cocktails, music by DJ X-RAY, Alice Farley’s Orchid Dancers, and a nighttime viewing of the show. On Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon to 4:00, there will be a Herbarium Open House in the Steere Herbarium and “The Scientist Is In” booth on Conservatory Plaza. In addition, the fifteen-minute animated film Tree of Life will screen continuously in Ross Hall from 11:00 to 5:00, there will be tours of the conservatory and laboratory and demonstrations of the Hitachi TM4000 PLUS Tabletop Scanning Electron Microscope, and the Earth Ball will be on display on the Conservatory Lawn.


Emily Johnson is hosting free interdisciplinary fireside gathering on monthly Fridays outdoors at Abrons Arts Center

Emily Johnson is hosting free interdisciplinary fireside gathering on monthly Fridays outdoors at Abrons Arts Center

Abrons Arts Center
466 Grand St. at Pitt St.
April 13, May 25, June 8, and July 24, free, no RSVP necessary

Nobody builds an artistic community quite the way Emily Johnson does in her interdisciplinary, immersive works. With her Catalyst company, Johnson, a native Alaskan of Yup’ik descent who is based in Minneapolis and New York, creates unique, multisensory experiences that bond the performers with the audience. For Shore, she led ticket holders on a walk from a public school playground to New York Live Arts, following the path of the old Minetta Creek. For Then a Cunning Voice and a Night We Spend Gazing at Stars, dozens of people came together on Randall’s Island from dusk to dawn, with art, dance, storytelling, cooking, eating, napping, and more. Her latest participatory presentation is Kinstillatory Mappings in Light and Dark Matter, taking place April 13, May 25, June 8, and July 24 from 7:00 to 10:00 in the outdoor amphitheater at Abrons Arts Center. On April 13, the celebratory fireside gathering will feature story and song offerings from Rick Chavolla, Tatyana Tenenbaum, and Georgia Lucas, a look at the stars, and dancing. Admission is free, and no RSVP is necessary. You can bring food, but sharing is up to you. The event will not be held in case of inclement weather. Prepare to be charmed by the effervescent Johnson, whose other works include Niicugni, The Thank-You Bar, Pamela, and Give Me a Story, Tell Me You Love Me.


china institute new year family festival

Sara D. Roosevelt Park and other locations
East Houston St. between Forsythe & Chrystie Sts.
February 16-25

Gōng xǐ fā cái! New York City is ready to celebrate the Year of the Dog, or, more specifically, the Earth Dog, this month with special events all over town. People born in the Year of the Dog are honest, loyal, reliable, and responsible. Below are some of the highlights happening here in the five boroughs during the next several weeks of Chinese New Year.

Friday, February 16
Lunar New Year for Kids, with storytelling, crafts, snacks, games, and a Chinese acrobat, China Institute, 40 Rector St., 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

New Year’s Day Firecracker Ceremony & Cultural Festival, Sara D. Roosevelt Park, Grand Street at Chrystie St., free, 11:00 am – 3:30 pm

Saturday, February 17
Lunar New Year Family Festival, with “The Mane Event: A Lion Dance Performance” by the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, “Sounds of the New Year” featuring the pipa and the gong, “Whirling, Twirling Ribbons: A Ribbon Dance Workshop” with Mei-Yin Ng, folk arts, food sampling, storytelling, a gallery hunt, lion mask and paper dog workshops, and more, Museum of Chinese in America, 215 Centre St., $12, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Lunar New Year Celebration, with family-friendly arts and crafts, a lion dance, a paper-cutting workshop, zodiac face painting (for an additional fee), a taekwondo demonstration, a plant sale, and live performances, Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main St., free, 12 noon - 4:00

Lunar New Year, with a lion dance, Shaolin Kung Fu demonstrations, Chinese drumming, Chinese acrobatics, traditional Chinese music and dance, and master of ceremonies Cary Chow, New York Chinese Cultural Center at Arts Brookfield, 230 Vesey St., free, 2:00 – 3:15

Tuesday, February 20
Lunar New Year Concert, with the New York Philharmonic performing works by Li Huanzhi, Andy Akiho, Beethoven, and more, with Ping-Pong players Ariel Hsing and Michael Landers, Elizabeth Zeltser on violin, David Cossin on percussion, Serena Wang on piano, Alex Rosen on bass, sopranos Heather Phillips and Vanessa Vasquez, mezzo-soprano Sarah Mesko, tenors Marco Cammarota and Chad Johnson, and the Farmers’ Chorus of the Yunnan Province, conducted by Long Yu, David Geffen Hall, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, $35-$110, 7:30

Saturday, February 24
Lunar New Year Celebration 4716: Year of the Dog, with costume contest, riddles, martial arts, live music and dance, arts and crafts, games, and more, P.S.310, 942 62nd St., free, 11:00 am - 2:30

Lunar New Year Festival: Year of the Dog, featuring a Japanese shakuhachi soloist, Balinese music by Gamelan Dharma Swara, the Met Quartet in Residence: Aizuri Quartet playing “Japan Across the World,” fan painting, “Put Your Stamp on It” with Kam Mak, “Double Dog Dare You!,” a fire-breathing dragon mask, good luck puzzles, Wayang: Indonesian shadow puppet making, zodiac puppets, a hand drum and fan dance workshop, Wu-Wo tea ceremony and bubble tea gatherings, a hand-pulled noodle demonstration, a “What Your Nose Knows” scent tour, “My Chinatown” with Kam Mak, and more, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave. at 82nd St., free with suggested museum admission, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

Sunday, February 25
Chinese New Year Family Festival, with workshops, dumpling making, storytelling, lion dance, live music, a puppet show, and more, workshops $5-$20, party and performance $10-$20, China Institute, 40 Rector St., 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Nineteenth annual New York City Lunar New Year Parade & Festival, with cultural booths in the park and a parade with floats, antique cars, live performances, and much more from China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, and other nations, Chinatown, Sara D. Roosevelt Park, and Columbus Park, free, 1:00

Lunar New Year Celebration, with live performance and paper-cutting workshop sponsored by the New York Chinese Cultural Center, Staten Island Children’s Museum, 1000 Richmond Terr., $8, 2:00 – 4:00