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Weekend in the City: Skating, Shopping and Star Gazing

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Even though Thanksgiving is still two weeks away, it seems the winter season has unofficially begun.All of the city’s ice skating rinks are open; there is nothing better than an evening of skating, especially when it’s not freezing outside.The Holiday Shops in Bryant Park are open and aglow with holiday trinkets (photo above). But don’t worry, there are still many things happening in the city this weekend for those of us not ready to leave autumn behind.Highlights are a concert and movie at The High Line, Astronomy in the Park, an old-fashioned Quilt Show and even an historical reenactment of the Battle of Fort Washington.Take a peek and have fun!

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 13


The Holiday Shops at Bryant Park

All weekend; 11:00 a.m.8:00 p.m.

With over 100 boutiques, artisans, designers, and food merchants from around the world, The Holiday Shops and The Pond make Bryant Park the perfect destination for the winter season.  Holiday Shops at Bryant Park are located at 42nd Street and 6th Avenue. Call 212-661-6640 for more information.


City Symphonies Out of Doors: Text of Light

7:00 p.m.8:30 p.m.

textoflightmediumAcclaimed avant-garde ensemble Text of Light—composer and saxophonist Ulrich Krieger, guitarist and composer Alan Licht, turntablist and visual artist Christian Marclay, and Sonic Youth co-founder Lee Ranaldo—presents a live musical score to Berlin: Symphony of a Great City (Walter Ruttman, 1927), a feature-length “city symphony” film that captures urban life through a vibrant mix of documentary footage, abstract visual compositions, and impressionistic montage techniques.

Text of Light’s loosely structured improvisational score will feature the remarkable intonarumori (Futurist noise machines), among many other instruments. The live performance to Berlin will be preceded by a screening of the short film Manhatta (Charles Sheeler and Paul Strand, 1921), another city symphony that depicts a day in New York City.

Co-presented by Performa and Friends of the High Line with Rooftop Films. Curated by Lana Wilson and Esa Nickle. Sponsored by Viper Studios.

The High Line is located at the Hudson River at the 14th Street passage, Manhattan. $15 for non-members, $12 for members of Performa or Friends of the High Line. Visit www.thehighline.org for more information.


Moonlight Bike Ride – Central Park

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On the first Friday of every month, Time’s Up! hosts a magical, two-hour night ride through Central Park. Glide on two wheels past the park’s most lovely landmarks—Belvedere Castle, the Pond and more—as the moonlight lights your path, unobstructed by cars and crowds. This popular ride typically draws upwards of 50 cyclists of all skill levels, ages and styles, so feel free to bring friends or kids. It’s completely safe.

The ride moves at a very leisurely pace with a few stops to enjoy the scenery. The ride usually finishes before midnight, back at Columbus Circle. Total mileage is under 10 miles. We do not require lights (although if you have them you should bring them), and any kind of bike will work. Visit www.times-up.org for more information.


Legacy: The Preservation of Wilderness in New York City Parks

Museum of the City of New York;  1220 Fifth Ave. (bet. 103rd and 104th Sts.)

Famed photographer Joel Meyerowitz, known for his loving images of New York City in all its glory, has spent three years taking pictures of the flora and fauna found in our urban parklands. This exhibition is part of a larger, ongoing program to visually record the diverse beauty in the parks throughout the five boroughs.


Sendak in SoHo

Animazing Gallery,  461 Broome St between Greene and Mercer Sts

sendak-main-icon-1Animazing Gallery proudly presents the world’s largest exhibition & sale of original illustrations from the collection of legendary artist and author Maurice Sendak. Sendak in SoHo coincides with critically acclaimed Sendak retrospectives at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York City and the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. More than 200 pieces by Mr. Sendak comprise the exhibition, along with the first-ever limited edition bronze sculpture based on Where the Wild Things Are, and etchings, limited editions and a commemorative poster. Most of the exhibition pieces were either published or created during the conceptual process as Mr. Sendak rendered the finished work. Proceeds benefit the Rosenbach Museum & Library  and the Jane Goodall Institute.


William Blake’s World: A New Heaven is Begun

The Morgan Library & Museum;  225 Madison Avenue (Madison/36)


blake_200177_2Visionary and nonconformist William Blake (1757–1827) is a singular figure in the history of Western art and literature: a poet, painter, and printmaker. Ambitiously creative, Blake had an abiding interest in theology and philosophy, which, during the age of revolution, inspired thoroughly original and personal investigations into the state of man and his soul. In his lifetime Blake was best known as an engraver; he was later recognized for his innovations across many other disciplines.

The show includes more than 100 works and among the many highlights are two major series of watercolors, rarely displayed in their entirety. The twenty-one watercolors for Blake’s seminal illustrations for the Book of Job—considered one of his greatest works and revealing his personal engagement with biblical texts—were created about 1805–10. Also on view are twelve drawings illustrating John Milton’s poems L’Allegro and Il Penseroso, executed about 1816–20. Both series were undertaken for Blake’s principal patron, Thomas Butts.  Photo: Behemoth and Leviathan, ca. 1805–10 [Book of Job, no. 15]


SATURDAY NOVEMBER 14


The 33rd Annual Margaret Mead Film & Video Festival

American Museum of Natural History;   Central Park West (at W. 79th St.)

war-and-love-in-kabul_1The Margaret Mead Film & Video Festival is the longest-running, premiere showcase for international documentaries in the United States, encompassing a broad spectrum of work, from indigenous community media to experimental nonfiction. The Festival is distinguished by its outstanding selection of titles, which tackle diverse and challenging subjects, representing a range of issues and perspectives, and by the forums for discussion with filmmakers and speakers. The 2009 festival includes films with ties to the museum’s exhibition Traveling the Silk Road.Visit www.amnh.org/programs/mead for more information.  Photo: War + Love in Kabul which shows on Saturday at 2 pm.


American Beauty: Aesthetics and Innovation in Fashion

Museum at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology); Seventh Avenue (at 27th St.)

americanbeautyweb4Fashion designed and made in the United States over the past one-hundred years has attained worldwide influence due in large part to the creation and popularization of sportswear, denim, and mass marketing. Yet, contrary to popular belief, America has also produced artistic and innovative clothing that utilized the craft of dressmaking.

American Beauty: Aesthetics and Innovation in Fashion is the first exhibition to examine the relationship between the “philosophy of beauty” and the technical craft of dressmaking in the United States. Curated by deputy director Patricia Mears, the exhibition features approximately 80 garments by a highly selective group of American fashion designers.

The garments on view are the work of only about 25 designers, many of whom are all but unknown, such as Jessie Franklin Turner, Elizabeth Hawes, Bonnie Cashin, and Charles Kleibacker. Their work is exhibited alongside that of more celebrated creators—Halston, Claire McCardell, and Charles James, for example. In addition, work by designers of the past are juxtaposed with present-day designers, such as Isabel Toledo, Ralph Rucci, Jean Yu, Yeohlee, Maria Cornejo, and the Mulleavy sisters, who work under the Rodarte label. For more information call 212-217-4558 or visit www.fitnyc.edu. Photo: Halston, American Beauty Rose gown in red silk organza, 1980. Photograph: William Palmer.


18th Annual Quilt Show: Sewing the Threads of New York;   12:00 p.m.4:00 p.m.

Sewing the Threads of New York: The 400 Year Anniversary of Henry Hudson’s Voyage draws inspiration from Hudson’s journey across the sea, the river valley landscape, and from the people the voyagers encountered along the river.The Quilt Show is in Prospect Park at Lefferts Historic House (Flatbush Avenue at Empire Boulevard) in Brooklyn. Call 718- 789-2822 for more information.


Adult Art Workshop: Autumn Landscapes

1:00 p.m.3:00 p.m.

Using the inspiration of the Greenbelt, participants will learn how to draw features of natural settings, with special attention given to fall foliage and the structure and anatomy of trees. All materials included. Pre-payment and registration required. Workshop is held at Blood Root Valley (Greenbelt).700 Rockland Avenue (corner of Brielle Avenue)

Staten Island,$70 Greenbelt Conservancy members/$80 non-members. For more information call(718) 351-3450.


SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 15


Commemoration of the 233rd Anniversary of the Battle of Fort Washington

12:00 p.m.3:00 p.m.

Join fellow history buffs for the Commemoration of the 233rd anniversary of the Battle of Fort Washington in historic Fort Tryon Park.  Col. Pawling’s Levies of the Brigade of the American Revolution will recreate a Continental Army campsite and conduct a live musket demonstration.  Actress Erin McGuirk will play Margaret Corbin, the heroine of the battle.  Blacksmith Bill Fitzgerald will demonstrate how the colonists made implements.  Historian Barnet Schecter, author of The Battle for New York, will explain how losing the Battle of Fort Washington helped us win the Revolutionary War.  Children will learn how to make the colonial tri-cornered hats.  Bagpiper Jerry Dixon will perform.  District 12 Historian James Renner will display historical photos and maps.

Commemoration events take place at Fort Washington Avenue, north of West 190th Street Cafe Lawn in Fort Tryon Park. Enter the park at Margaret Corbin Circle and take the path on your right to the first lawn.


Ice Skating at Rockefeller Center

Fifth Avenue between 49th and 50th Street

It wouldn’t be winter without a spin around the New York City’s most celebrated attractions. The world-famous Ice Rink at Rockefeller Center has become a quintessential New York City winter experience for generations. Here you’ll find New Yorkers and visitors alike, skating amid the watchful eye of the gilded Prometheus statue and the unique urban backdrop of Rockefeller Center’s sparkling lights. Watch the skaters glide by afterwards while enjoying a delicious meal, steps away, at Rock Center Café, The Sea Grill or Cucina & Co.


Ice Skating at Wollman Rink in Central Park

East Side of Central Park between 62nd and 63rd Streets

108951Wollman Rink hosts skaters day and night. But nighttime is a New York City moment. Music plays across the ice as skaters find their own rhythm circling the rink. A moon is a plus, but not required since the ice itself gives off a silver sheen. As the variety of accents testifies, New Yorkers and tourists alike mingle on the ice. The holiday season is undoubtedly the most popular and the most picturesque. Children steal the scene with their colorful padded snowsuits, knit hats and mittens. Skaters and spectators can warm up at an informal snack bar that serves assorted fast food, and hot and cold drinks. Visit www.wollmanskatingrink.com for more information.


Home Gardening Demonstrations: New York Botanical Garden;   1:30 p.m.


Enjoy home gardening demonstrations Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30 p.m. in the Home Gardening Center or the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden.

New York Botanical Garden is located at Bronx River Parkway (Exit 7W)

Call (718) 817-8700 or visit nybg.org for more information.


Astronomy with the Urban Rangers

Pelham Bay Park 6:00 p.m.

110949main_galaxy_globular_largePartner up with the Urban Park Rangers and gaze at the heavens through our high-powered telescope.  Learn how to identify constellations, stars, and the phases of our satellite, the moon.  Weather permitting.  Please call (718) 885-3467 on the day of the program.Stargazing takes place at Pelham Bay Park, Bronx.Call 718-885-3467 for more information.

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