Photograph Courtesy of EL, via Cultural Services of the French Embassy

February brings with it many things to celebrate, from the start of Black History Month to Super Bowl Sunday and Chinese New Year. Here are 14 things to do in New York City this month to kick off the second month of 2019:

Friday, February 1st

Celebrate the 118th birthday of poet laureate Langston Hughes at the Schomburg Center’s Langston Hughes Birthday Bash! The celebrations include a special preview of the Center’s new exhibit of items related to Langston Hughes and his contemporaries, Harlem in Bloom, as well as a VIP reception with specially curated Harlem Renaissance-inspired drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and music. The reception will be followed by a performance of Live On, Langston, a live show with musical performances and poetry readings. End the night dancing away at a Harlem speakeasy themed after-party. Tickets vary in price from $10 -$150.

Take advantage of restaurant week deals in New York City until February 8th. Diners can enjoy a three-course meal for $42 at participating restaurants.

Saturday, February 2nd

Do some deep thinking at the third New York Edition of the Night of Philosophy and Ideas presented by the Brooklyn Public Library and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy at the Central Library at Grand Army Plaza. This is an overnight event that is free and open to the public with 12-hours of music, film screenings, virtual reality demonstrations, discussions, and more. The evening will feature 60 different speakers and performers with a keynote address given by Dr. Kwame Anthony Appiah, New York University professor of philosophy and law and the author of “The Ethicist” column in the New York Times. If you can’t attend in person, you can live stream the event on the library’s website.

Mix arts and crafts with  science at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum’s Electrifying Mapmaking Workshop. Participants will embroider a map of New York with 19th century sewing techniques then sew circuits onto the map to light it up. All materials will be provided and no experience is necessary. The workshop is presented alongside the museum’s new exhibit, Schooldays.

Explore New York City’s history of immigration from a new perspective on a Behind-the-Scenes Hard Hat Tour of the Abandoned Ellis Island Hospital.  On this tour, guests will gain exclusive access to areas of the abandoned complex that have been closed off to the public for over sixty years. See inside the contagious disease wards, the autopsy room and laundry facilities in addition to other off-limits spaces as you learn what it was like to be at the hospital in the early 20th century.
Behind-the-Scenes Hard Hat Tour of the Abandoned Ellis Island Hospital

Follow the over 100-year old history of the New York City subway from the birthplace of the system underneath City Hall Park, through stations that have been abandoned over the decades, up to the present on Untapped Cities’ Underground Tour of the NYC Subway. Guests will use the subway as a personal time machine to uncover secrets of the largest rapid transit system in the world.

Underground Tour of the NYC Subway

Sunday, February 3rd

Tour the Remnants of Dutch New Amsterdam on en expert led walking tour with Untapped Cities as you trace the city’s original coastline and colonial street grid. Discover historic remnants hidden in plain sight such as what remains of Manhattan’s first City Hall, the oldest fence in the city plus an 18th century stone wall inside a subway station that you can walk right up to and touch!

Tour of The Remnants of Dutch New Amsterdam

It’s Super Bowl Sunday and if you are looking for a place to go out and watch the game there is no shortage of options for bars and restaurants hosting viewing parties throughout the city. While any bar will have the game playing on a bunch of TV screens, Slate NY will be broadcasting the big game on a really big 20-foot screen! There will be drink deals and games throughout the evening and a variety of ticket options are available starting at $5.

Monday, February 4th

Learn how everyday New Yorkers are helping to create new city parks at the Brooklyn Historical Society’s Grassy Grassroots: Citizens Creating Parks.This discussion of grassroots park creation will feature The Trust for Public Land Senior Vice President and Director of City Park Development Adrian Benepe, The Tanks at Bushwick Inlet Park Co-Founder and Executive Director Stacey Anderson, NYCH2O Founder and Executive Director and Ridgewood Reservoir project leader Matthew Malina, and Bronx River Alliance Outreach Manager Joseph Sanchez in a conversation moderated by urban planner and MacArthur Fellow Damon Rich. Welcoming remarks from Prospect Park Alliance President Sue Donoghue. If you are a Untapped Cities Insider, you can attend this event for free! 

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Tuesday, February 5th

Grab tickets to a new film screening at the Big Apple Film Festival and Screenplay Competition at the SVA Theatre. The festival highlights independent New York City films as well as select films from around the country and around the world.

Celebrate Lunar New Year at the 20th Annual Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival inside Sara D. Roosevelt Park. There will be live performances of singing and dancing and and variety of vendors. The festivities will run from 11:00am until 3:30pm.

Wednesday, February 6th

Hear about the hoaxes and tall tales that tricked 19th century New Yorkers from social historian and Daytonian in Manhattan blogger Tom Miller at Landmark West’s, PANIC!! Crises, Hoaxes and Fake News that Rocked 19th c. New York. Miller will regale guests with stories of giant man-bats, sapphire temples and city streets overrun with wild animals!

Join artist and activist Avram Finkelstein and essayist Garnette Cadogan for a conversation on infectious disease and how we remember the victims of widespread disease at the New York Academy of Medicine. Remembering the Dead, presented in conjunction with the Museum of the City of New York’s Germ City exhibit, will explore “the role of stigma in social and institutional responses to illness, and who is remembered, forgotten, and commemorated.”

 Thursday, February 7th

Join author Geoffrey C. Ward as he reveals his family’s dark history at a Brooklyn Historical Society book talk on A Disposition to be Rich.  At The Swindler of Brooklyn Heights: The Family History of the Greatest Con Man of the Gilded Age, Ward tells the story of his great-grandfather Ferdinand Ward, a man who was once considered “the Young Napoleon of Wall Street,” but became “the most hated man in America.” If you are an Untapped Cities Insider, you can attend this event for free! Not an Insider yet? Become a member today to gain access to free behind-the-scenes tours and special New York City events all year long!

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Celebrate the artistic culture of Queens at the Queens Council on the Arts’ 2019 Gala: Bollywood Carnival.There will be Bollywood dancing, henna painting, food by Manducatis Rustica, drinks, raffle prizes and 60-second portrait sketches by the High School to Art School program’s alumni artists. Proceeds from the fundraiser will support the organization’s work on behalf of emerging artists and cultural leaders of Queens.