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Why hello there sunshine! I believe you and I are beginning a beautiful friendship! Let’s celebrate with a week of outdoor activities!

This week the New York Philharmonic Orchestra will be performing outdoors in Central Park (tonight and Friday night), Prospect Park (Wednesday) and Van Cortland Park (Thursday). I’m planning to attend Friday’s performance. If you go be aware that the people close to the stage will expect you to be quiet and listen to the music, while those further from the stage will use the orchestra for mood music to go along with their picnicking. Last year we set up camp quite a ways from the stage and chit chatted between surreptitious sips of wine; it was splendid.

Philharmonic on the Great Lawn, Central Park, 2008

Philharmonic on the Great Lawn, Central Park, 2008

Wednesday night Central Park has another excellent event to offer- The New York Grand Opera will be performing Il Trovatore at the Naumburg Bandshell (@72nd St). I saw them perform a semi-staged version of Aida last summer and it was excellent. I think this is a great introduction to opera- casual but with the excitement of costumes and such to give the story a visual element. You should read the story beforehand and, as with all outdoor events, bring a picnic!

If you’re not in the mood for opera you should consider heading down to Pier 54 on the Hudson to watch Vicky Christina Barcelona under the stars. I don’t know what got into got into Woody Allen when he was abroad but this is a very hot film- bring someone you want to take home.

There’s only one event on Wednesday worth staying inside for- The Mixer Reading and Music Series at Cakeshop. You may recall I’ve written about this event before and tomorrow’s lineup is perhaps even better than usual; readings by Walter Aikens, Fiona Maazel, Monica Youn, and musical guest, Rebecca Schiffman. Monica Youn is both an attorney and a published poet, which I find intriguing and Rebecca Schiffman is downright adorable (and a talented musician).

Rebecca Schiffman

Rebecca Schiffman

Thursday night at the Prospect Park Bandshell you can see one of B’s favorite acts- the Kronos Quartet! They’re playing alongside the Luminescent Orchestrii.

If you’re looking for something a little more old school to round off your week I highly recommend watching The Maltese Falcon under the Brooklyn Bridge. Here’s the trailer for this stunning 1941 picture with Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor:

Enjoy your week and stay tuned for additions!

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To view this post at its new location click HERE!

I just got home from the Mermaid Parade, which was great despite the rain and dreariness (can we get a little sun here please?!). I’ll post some pictures for you later but first I want to pass on a few events I didn’t include in my last post.

Tonight is the Summer Solstice Party at the Chelsea Art Museum:

flier

Tomorrow is Make Music NY:

From 11 in the morning until 10 at night, musicians of all ages, creeds and musical persuasions- from hip hop to opera, Latin jazz to punk rock- perform on streets, sidewalks, stoops, plazas, cemeteries, parks and gardens.

Time Out New York has complete coverage with maps and recommendations; check it out here.

Also tomorrow if it’s still raining you can make the most of it by participating in a giant slip-n-slide in Prospect Park! This MAP has the details on where and when, plus a phone number you can text to receive updates.

If you want to stay inside until the great floods are dry you should check out the Dysfunctional Theater Company’s production of Arsenic and Old Lace, playing through June 27th.

The Dysfunctional Theater Company's Production of Arsenic and Old Lace

The Dysfunctional Theater Company's Production of Arsenic and Old Lace

I have adored that play since first seeing it on a school trip in 4th grade (so inappropriate for that age group!). The movie version, with Cary Grant, is also fantastic. If you don’t know the story this clip from the movie should give you a good concept:

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and stay tuned for news of this week’s events!

NOTE: The Big Red Apple is now TheBigRedApple.net

To view this post at its new location click HERE!

First of all can we just stop and freak out for a minute that it’s going to be in the EIGHTIES this weekend?! My uncle called me and reminded me to clean my air conditioner’s filter before turning it on (you should too)! In other words, you should get outside as much as possible this weekend!

I told you all about my wonderful picnic in Prospect Park last weekend and the subsequent rambling through the Cherry Orchard in the Botanic Garden; those would both be excellent activities for this weekend as well.

If you’re a fan of beautiful old villas and landscaped gardens overlooking the Palisades and you’ve never been up to Wave Hill this is certainly the perfect weekend to check it out. There are various events for Arbor Day happening, including tours of the gardens where wild flowers, magnolias and lilacs are in bloom. The views are dramatic and there’s a lovely Sunday brunch buffet (make your reservation by 4pm today).

Wave Hill

Wave Hill

Another great outdoor activity- join New York Like a Native on a walking tour of a part of Brooklyn you don’t know well or that you think you know well. You’ll learn something new about the history of your area and most of the tours include a treat (like a beer or an ice cream cone).

For a somewhat more active learning experience you can participate in a crazy scavenger hunt on the LES with the Anthropologists on Sunday. When did you last go searching for clues downtown?

If you want your sunshine with art on the side the TOAST is for you:

The TriBeCa Open Artist Studio Tour is a free, self-guided tour of approximately 100 artists’ studios throughout TriBeCa. Bringing artists and the public together, it provides an opportunity for visitors to interact with the artists and see their artwork at the source, the artist’s own studio. An artist-run organization, TOAST has led a true metropolitan “grass roots” path.  It began as an ad-hoc group of artists who wanted to revive a neighborhood art walk.  Now a not-for-profit organization, it is still a grass roots effort, run by the participating artists. Neighborhood businesses and supporters supplement most of the needed funds not covered by the artists’ entry fees.

When you’re ready to step indoors there are several fantastic exhibits worth checking out. First, the exhbit of Picasso’s later works at the Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea has gotten fantastic reviews.

Picasso at the Gagosian Gallery

Picasso at the Gagosian Gallery

A new exhibit at the Met, “The Pictures Generation, 1974-1984,” has also received some good buzz. Thirty artists from the Boomer Generation are represented by 160 works in all media.

They were all making art that combined elements of Pop and Conceptualism with social concerns about consumerism, political power and gender. Their work kept ideas to the fore but rematerialized them as images. Many of those images were photographic, extracted from everyday life, a life that was increasingly a creation of media culture, as Andy Warhol well knew.

This piece, by David Salle, sparked my interest and I’m hoping to check it out in person sometime soon.

David Salle- 'The Coffee Drinkers'

David Salle- 'The Coffee Drinkers'

Tonight is the opening of a much more contemporary artist’s exhibit at 3rd Ward; check out the work of Poster Boy, which is now being endorsed by the advertisers!

A piece by Poster Boy

A piece by Poster Boy

Also tonight, you can party for a cause at Montien’s, where there will be great drink specials to raise money to shoot the pilot episode of “Foreign Bound” : A travel-reality show that focuses on inspiring and educating the younger demographic and aims to promote cross-cultural understanding and effective communication between borders.

There’s a great line-up tonight at Crash Mansion, including new releases from Musiciens Sans Frontieres and Josephine. RSVP to NewYorkUnderbelly for reduced admission.

Saturday night get a double dose of soul with  Dig Deeper and yummy soul food at Five Spot Soul Food; get your tickets here.

Dig Deeper

Friday and Saturday at BAM you can see St. Matthews Passion– an incredible operatic piece by Bach. There are only stage seats remaining so get yours right away!

Also at BAM Saturday is the 10th Annual Central Brooklyn Jazz Festival: The New Cookers:

A swinging hard bop jazz quintet—born out of the tradition of the late, great jazz genius Freddie Hubbard—The New Cookers are known for their driving rhythms and engaging performances, celebrating the original Brooklyn jazz music makers and adding their own sound to that rich legacy.

On Sunday you can get a hefty dose of Shakespeare for free at Symphony Space, where the Classic Stage Company will be presenting Shakespeare Birthday Marathon 2009.

shakespeare

And don’t forget about the improv comedy festival at the Creek LIC that I mentioned earlier, not to mention the first roller derby game of the season and the Wit’s End Jazz Party, both of which I also detailed previously.

Have an amazing weekend and stay tuned for additions!

Past Shenanigans

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