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5 Things to Do in NYC on Memorial Day Weekend

November 07, 20232 min read

Of course, there's way more than five, but here are a handful of suggestions we think you'll like the most:

Check out the 24th Annual  Lower East Side Festival of the Arts on Friday though Sunday and celebrate the rich history of artists (and up-and-comers) who have lived and/or created there. Featured this year are legendary performance artist Penny Arcade, aerealists The Constellation Moving Company, beloved playwright, composer, performance artist and singer Phoebe Legere, The Squatters' Opera (their name says it all), actor/writer/politician Malachy McCourt and hometown wag Michael Musto. On Saturday afternoon, East 10 St. between 1st and 2nd Avenue will be closed for a free Culture Street Festival, where you'll be able to find crafts, good, jewelry, artwork, performances and more. Just think of it as the coolest street festival you'll ever go to.

Catch a free movie--outdoors--at one of our city parks. On Friday the 24th, The Incredibles will be screened on Randall's Island and Ralph Breaks the Internet can be viewed in Cherry Tree Park on the Upper East Side. Saturday the 25th: Christopher Robin at William F. Passannante Ballfield in the Village,Jaws atDetective Russel Timoshenko Soccer Field in Staten Island and Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse at the Frederick B. Judge Playground in Queens. (Did you know that Spiderman lived in Queens? Bet he ate well.) Mary Poppins Returns will be screened at Yellowstone Park, also in Queens, on Sunday evening.

Head to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for their latest exhibition, Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock and Roll. (FYI the exhibit title was--sort of--coined by Dylan when he instructed his band to "Play it f**king lad!" after being heckled for going electric at a gig in '66.) So what's there? Over 130 instruments used by artists we're in absolute awe of. Chuck Berry's Gibson guitar, Jerry Lee Lewis's piano, Ringo's drum set, and the first-ever Fender guitar. Plus costumes, posters and other goodies. If you don't catch it now, you have plenty of time, as the exhibition will run through October 1st.

Speaking of music, the free annual New York Philharmonic Memorial Day Concert at St. John the Divine will take place from 7 to 8:30. The church and acoustics are, well, divine--along with the music. Tickets for seating is on a first-come, first-served basis on the day of the performance, beginning at 5 p.m. But don't worry if you can't get in, as the audio of the performance will be broadcast into the adjacent Pulpit Green, weather permitting.

Finally, the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit will take place right in our backyard on Memorial Day weekend and the next. Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning were the first starving artists to hawk their wares in our park in the days of the Depression. Now it's grown to hundreds of (hopefully not as hungry) painters, sculptors, photographers and crafts people. A wonderful way to spend an afternoon, if you ask us!

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