Friday, August 01, 2014

Friday Night, #NYC: August Begins

Malaise Over Manhattan?

Last week’s news that New York is the most unhappy city in America, statistically at least, according to a trio of researchers, including two from Harvard who, I suspect, know something about unhappiness, sounded impossibly bleak.

Coming as it did on the cusp of the dog days of August, when the heat and humidity are generally at their most oppressive — and everyone's therapist is away for the month — the stat put me in mind of Lily Bart's observation in the first pages of House of Mirth: "[W]hat a hideous place New York is! Other cities put on their best clothes in summer, but New York seems to sit in its shirtsleeves."

We didn't need any Beantown bean counters to tell us how miserable we are. Our unique brand of miserable has been well documented, by Edith Wharton et al.

But New Yorkers... We rally. We're rallyers. We find our happiness in the small victories that minimize our unhappiness: Knowing which train car lets you out by the exit at your destination. On every line. Getting a legal spot in front of your building. On the first try. Watching the Yankees sweep the Red Sox. At Fenway.

Although it seems as if summer has barely arrived — since June 1 we've had only 11 days with temps over 85 (per a look back via, and the last week of July has felt more like the first week of October — August and its annual exaggeration of our testy temperaments is upon us. Time to rally. Like The Mayor (Robert Klein) says in Sharknado 2: The Second One: "This is the Big Apple. When something bites us, we bite back!"

Take a bite out of August’s dog daze, starting tonight. Carpe diem: Grab your only chance to experience these stellar examples of the city’s richly diverse — and diversely rich — plethora of opportunities to make your own happiness.

Broadway Bites, the culinary pop-up market in Greeley Square Park (33rd & Broadway) ends today at 9 p.m. Take a fistful of dollars and stuff your face on clever street food until you’re so full you wish you could just strip down to your underwear. But don’t do that; instead, go to Central Park and watch “500 strangers running around in their underwear” (emphasis mine). The annual Underwear Run that kicks off Triathlon Weekend in the city starts at 7:30 p.m., just north of the Sheep Meadow (west side of the park, 66th-69th Sts.; see the route map at the website).

If you find naked people running through Central Park passé (or terrifying), head to Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park Bandshell (62nd & Amsterdam) for something significantly more highbrow. The annual Lincoln Center Out of Doors festival presents the world premiere of a live collaboration between the Paul Taylor Dance Company and Argentine pianist Pablo Ziegler’s New Tango Ensemble, plus two other works from the Taylor repertoire. 7:30 p.m.; free.

For more options, see Time Out New York’s handy listing of five “Super-Cool Things to Do” tonight (plus seven others on Saturday and Sunday; it's a wide-ranging-yet-select, multi-boro list).

But if you’re just looking to stay in tonight, catch the Yankees against the Red Sox (7:10 p.m. on YES); they’re playing at Fenway...

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Manhattan Mix Tape, 3-13-14

Seven people are confirmed dead as a result of yesterday's East Harlem explosion, according to reports by various news agencies. Cold news on an unseasonably (and unreasonably) cold day.

New York Today: Extreme Drop (NYT)

The mayor will provide an update on yesterday's East Harlem explosion at 11:45 a.m., after meeting with first responders earlier this morning. Tonight, attend the National Book Critics Circle Awards Ceremony at the New School at 6 p.m. (free; see the finalists here); then, stick around for the after-party ($75). Or, learn how to cook eggs in zero gravity with Astronaut Charlie Camarda and space nutritionist Sara Zwart at the National Academy of Sciences at 6:30 p.m. ($25).

Best of New York (NY Mag)

The 2014 edition is online, bringing you the editors' picks for beauty, eating & drinking, fun & nightlife, home & help, and shopping. Peruse by category, by neighborhood or by alphabetical listing of the winners.

Artsy Places to Stay Warm Today

Fountains of the Deep: Visions of Noah and the Flood: Film director Darren Aranofsky's pop-up exhibit featuring works inspired by the biblical story (and his upcoming film). Through March 29. 462 West Broadway.

The Last Brucennial: If it's truly the last, that's just sad. This always eccentric, eclectic show first launched just six years ago to coincide with the Whitney Biennial, New York's favorite art show we love to hate. Through April 4. 837 Washington St.

Staying In: Read, in honor of Lotte Fields, who so loved reading side-by-side with her husband that she bequeathed $6 million to the New York Public Library, the NYPL announced yesterday.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Manhattan Mix Tape, 3-12-14

Try to get outdoors this morning. It's almost 50 degrees again as I write. But following yesterday's sun comes today's rain, expected to start between noon and 1 p.m. And following yesterday's balmy mid-60s temperatures, comes tonight's plunging mercury. Time to make hay while the sun shines.

Alternate-Side Parking regulations are in effect.

Breaking Story: Explosion and building collapse at 116th and Park Ave. Continuing coverage here.

New York Today: Let it Rain (NYT)

After 11 a.m., look for the Coalition for the Homeless' annual "State of the Homeless" report, while CDP and other housing advocacy groups release "Weathering the Storm," a report on mold in public housing post-Superstorm Sandy.

And, something to do before (or during) the rain: Everything's going to the dogs at "Canine Kingdom," photographs of dogs at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show and other international pooch competitions by Landon Nordeman, a contributing photographer to The New Yorker. The exhibit, at The Half King Photography Series, launched yesterday; the opening reception is tonight at 7:30 p.m. (505 West 23rd St., at foot of the High Line steps at Tenth Ave.).

Things to Do in New York Today (TONY)

My picks from TONY's Picks: Two chances to see free burlesque tonight.

  • Nuit Blanche: Blue Angel Burlesque, 9:30 p.m., at Beaumarchais (409 West 13th St.).
  • Tres Leches, 9 p.m., at Duane Park (308 Bowery).

Longing for Summer: Yes, we may all be feeling a little melancholy when we wake up to tomorrow's freezing temps. Delude yourself into a summer state of mind with the Village Voice's ranking of the 10 Best Frozen Drinks in NYC. Make it through all 10 frozen concoctions today, and you may not even notice you're frozen in the morning.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Manhattan Mix Tape, 3-11-14

Alternate-Side Parking regulations are in effect.

New York Today: When the Bronx Invaded Manhattan (NYT)

In 1939 Bronx borough pres James F. Lyons tried to take Marble Hill from Manhattan.

Things to Do in NY Today (TONY)

Some highlights from TONY: If the new Cosmos TV series has you wanting more of astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, head for the Hayden Planetarium, where he narrates the Dark Universe space show every half hour from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. ($27); for tonight's fun and games, check out Linda Loves Bingo, free, at Cibar Lounge on Irving Place, with drag hostess Linda Simpson.

It's the first 60plus-degree day since Dec. 23, 2013. Spend 30 minutes in Central Park. Use this interactive map from the Central Park Conservancy to find a spot you've never visited.

Random: Slow down on Park Ave. in midtown (52nd-57th Sts.) to take in artist Alice Aycock's newly installed "Paper Chase" sculptures; photographs here by Untapped Cities.

Staying In: The Real Housewives of New York season six premieres tonight on Bravo at 9 p.m. (ET).