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Here are some great New York City events to check out this week ranging from performances to discussions about the Civil War and Brooklyn’s best cocktails there are so many great destinations to visit. You can travel to Brooklyn and take part in a discussion with the President of Harvard University or you can go north to the Museum of the City of New York and meet three renowned street artists.

Monday, February 8

Check out an exciting performance at the Bell House in Brooklyn for another performance of Ask Me Anothera co-production of NPR and WNYC with guest, broadway actor Leslie Odom Jr. A rambunctious hour that blends brainteasers and local pub trivia night with comedy and music.

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Housing talk-Museum City of NY-NYCMCNY talk on Affordable Housing this Thursday. Image via Museum of the City of NY

To start off February, here are ten New York City events for people with all interests ranging from performances to forums and discussions. You’ll also be able to sleepover in the famed halls of notable explorers with Atlas Obscura or submit a creative proposal of your own to the New York Transit Museum. Other events include a comedy show, theater production, separate tributes to two notable artists, an opportunity to get free art, a photography exhibit, film screenings, and discussions about past and present social issues.

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Bailystoker Synagogue-Lower East Side-Willett Street-Interior-NYC-003The Bialystoker Synagogue, Lower East Side

On this new encompassing tour on March 27th, being offered by Untapped Cities in partnership with the Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy, guests will visit the stunning Bialystoker Synagogue, normally off-limits to the public and only accessible via our organizations. The landmarked synagogue was built in 1826, originally as the Willett Street Methodist Episcopal Church and is an example of architectural reuse in New York City from church to place of worship for the Jewish community. It is one of only four early-19th century fieldstone religious buildings surviving from the late Federal period in Lower ManhattanIn addition to its architecture, the building has its fair share of secrets, which will be shared on this tour.

On this tour, you will also walk the streets of Historic East Broadway, viewing historical sites like the Henry Street Settlement, The Forward Building, Seward Park, Straus Square and more. We will stop at the exterior of Beth Hamedrash Hagadol – once home to the first and largest Russian Jewish Orthodox congregation in the United States – and tour a shteibl, a one room house of prayer. You will see where immigrants went to shul, pray, and how a new generation is carrying on these traditions.

The tour is on March 27th, starting at 1:45pm, and will last until 4:15pm. Tickets are limited:

Next, discover more Behind the Scenes Untapped Cities tours.

Black Panthers film screening Untapped Cities Black History Month AFineLyne-.jpg.1280x720_q85Panthers on parade at Free Huey rally in Defremery Park, Oakland, July 28, 1968. image via theblackpanthers.com

The annual celebration of Black History Month is a time to recognize the achievements of African-Americans throughout the history of our country. It is also a time to remember the struggles for freedom and justice. The roots of this celebration take us back to 1915, when historian, Carter G. Woodson and minister, Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), known today as the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History (ASALH). In 1926, this organization sponsored a national Negro History Week during the second week of February, to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. President Gerald R. Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976.

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nyc-idiotarod-crazy5kruns-untappedA past Idiotarod race, which will take place next Saturday. Image via Gothamist

To end the first month of 2016, here are ten New York City events for people with all interests, ranging from literature and art to urban planning and exploration. Notably, next week, you’ll have the chance to meet the famous cat Lil Bub and compete in a satirical dogsled race. This week’s events also include book talks about the history of two different New York City neighborhoods, a trivia night, urban design panels and more!

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1-Martin-Luther-King-Jr-Coretta-Scott-King-Mayor-Wagner-NYC-Untapped-CitiesMayor Robert F. Wagner shakes hands with Loretta Scott King. Photo via Library of Congress

On January 18, we will celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Signed into law in January, 1983 by President Ronald Regan, this is a day we recognize the enormous contributions of Dr. King. It is also a day to reflect on how his contributions have helped to reshape our country, and a look back on his time in New York City.

Dr. King traveled to New York in 1958 to promote his book Stride Towards Freedom: The Montgomery Story, with a book signing at Harlem’s Blumenstein Department Store. This event was interrupted when a mentally unstable woman stabbed him. He was rushed to Harlem Hospital and underwent a successful operation. Dr. King returned to New York in 1963, by invitation of City College of New York President Buell Gallagher, who invited Dr. King to speak at the college’s commencement. At the time, Dr. King was buoyed by President Kennedy’s announcement that he would propose civil rights legislation in Congress. However the day of the commencement was met with tragedy, when Dr. King learned of the murder of Medgar Evers in Mississippi. He moved forward in what came to be a historic speech at the university on 136th Street, with a heavy heart.

In 1964, Dr. King was given the City of New York Medallion of Honor at an event at City Hall. At this event, Mayor Robert Wagner, Jr. spoke these words, “This is not your city of residence, Dr. King, but it is your city nevertheless….We claim you, henceforth, as an honorary New Yorker.”  New York will begin the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day this weekend, with activities leading up to his birthday on Monday.

Here are 10 ways you can celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this year in New York City:

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