As the first weekend of 2019 approaches, we’ve rounded up the most exciting ways to kick off the new year in New York City. From music festivals and history lectures to urban exploration adventures and podcast festivals, here are 10 things to do this week in New York City:
Friday, January 4th
The 2019 Winter Jazzfest kicks off today with performances and free jazz talks at different locations throughout New York City. Tickets are on sale now for this 15th year of the festival which will feature performers like artist-in-residence, singer-songwriter, bassist, and producer Meshell Ndegeocello.
Saturday, January 5th
Explore the abandoned Ellis Island Hospital on Untapped Cities’ exclusive behind-the-scenes hard hat tour. This experience will take you into parts of the 22-building complex that have been closed off to the public for over sixty years including the contagious disease wards, the morgue and laundry facilities. Throughout the tour you will see pieces of the site specific art installation Unframed by world renowned artist JR. Unframed features life size historical images pasted on the walls, floors, doors, windows and furniture of the abandoned site.
Uncover the secrets of Grand Central Terminal, one of New York City’s most iconic sites. Even if you pass through it everyday, this historic station has many hidden treasures to discover such as private tennis courts. Discover theses and more surprises on this expert led tour.
Sunday, January 6th
Experience diverse performances from all over the world at the 16th annual globalFEST in Times Square. The festival will feature artist from Cuba to Ukraine and Palestine to Colombia, as well as various states across the U.S. The festival takes place over three stages under one roof at The Copacabana, the Latin music hub with decades of culture-shaping history to its credit.
Discover what is left of New York City’s colonial past on Untapped Cities’ Remnants of Dutch New Amsterdam tour. At first glance, it might seem like there’s not much left of Dutch New Amsterdam, but there’s much more than meets the eye. This includes the massive one hidden in plain sight: the original street grid embedded in lower Manhattan grid today. Discover the many hidden Dutch relics south of Wall Street, such as the city’s original coastline, Manhattan’s first City Hall and the site of an original Dutch fort, as you trace the streets of Manhattan in 1667.
See some of the many art installation scattered throughout the New York City subway system on our newly updated underground art tour. Join Untapped Cities tour guide Justin Rivers as he takes you on an in-depth tour of the subway art tapestry, put together to illuminate the often unseen art, history, and secrets that make the subway system the most playful gallery in the world. Learn the secrets behind the much-loved brass figures at 14th Street and 8th Avenue, see how an artist framed the 14th Street Union Square station to preserve its history, engage with a very playful art installation at 23rd Street and more!
Monday, January 7th
Witness the first publicly staged performance of composer Caroline Shaw’s seminal work, Partita for 8 Voices, at a Prototype:the Out of Bounds 2019 performance in Times Square. Drawing inspiration from the work of artist Sol LeWitt, square dance calls, Inuit-inspired hocketing, and the American folk hymn “Shining Shore”, this Pulitzer Prize-winning piece will be performed in its entirety by Grammy-winning ensemble Roomful of Teeth.
Wednesday, January 9th
The Jewish Museum and the Film Society of Lincoln Center present the 28th annual New York Jewish Film Festival (NYJFF) which starts today and runs through January 22nd. The festival will highlight new work by emerging artists in international cinema as well as restored classics with a lineup of 32 wide-ranging features and shorts, many of which will be screening in their world, U.S., and New York premieres. Screenings are held at the Walter Reade Theater, 165 West 65th Street, NYC. You can get tickets online here.
Thursday, January 10th
Attend a live show featuring your favorite podcasters at the Brooklyn Podcast Festival.Hosts of podcast like The Bowery Boys, NPR’s Ask Me Another, and Jezebel’s Dirtcast will be performing at locations like Brooklyn’s Bell House, Union Hall, Camp David and BRIC. There will also be a day long series “highlighting urban innovation and the growing Smart Cities movement…with some of the country’s foremost experts and top podcasters exploring these groundbreaking topics.”
Celebrate the 20th anniversary of the debut of HBO’s hit series The Sopranos by visiting some of the series’ filming locations on a bus tour with On Location Tours. Stop at some of the most iconic sites like the Bada Bing, Pizzaland and Barone Sanitation and sit on the spot where pivotal scenes took place like the steps where Chris was shot and the restaurant booth featured in the final scene of the series.
Join writer Dianne Durante as she analyzes the social, political, and historical context of Alexander Hamilton’s affair with Maria Reynolds, and the motivations behind Hamilton’s publishing of the affair in The Reynolds Pamphlet at a lecture inside Fraunces Tavern. Tickets for Alexander Hamilton and the Reynolds Affair: a Three Part Moral and Political Account are going fast, so grab yours now!