This week is packed with ways to get outside and celebrate nature with Earth Day activities and events in honor of National Parks Week. Learn about Theodore Roosevelt’s conservation legacy inside his childhood home, party with a purpose in Brooklyn, and find out how you can get involved with green initiatives all over New York City with our Untapped picks of things to do this week:
Friday, April 19th
Hunt for ghosts at the Merchant’s House Museum on a Late-Night Candlelight Ghost Tour with paranormal investigator Dan Sturges. Sturges will lead guests through “Manhattan’s Most Haunted House” while discussing some of the most mysterious hauntings captured, his theories and methodologies, and his most chilling experiences and eeriest findings. Tickets are required.
Go out for a movie night at the Museum of the Moving Image’s summer film series, See it Big! Action. The series kicks off this Friday with Steven Speilberg’s actionpacked classic Raiders of the Lost Ark. The series will run through July 7th, showing action films from around the world with”cinematic swashbucklers…white-knuckle chase sequences and thrilling stuntwork.” It highlights work from some of the form’s greatest practitioners, including John Woo, Michael Mann, Akira Kurosawa, Jackie Chan, and more, with many of the thirty-two films being shown in 35mm prints.
Join a free guided walk on the Tyranny Trail with Storefront for Art and Architecture. In conjunction with the new exhibit State of Tyranny by Theo Deutinger, which will be on view through May 4th, Storefront will be hosting four walks led by photographers, architects and educators that wind through the streets of Lower Manhattan on a course developed by Deutinger which highlights methods of control such as roadblocks, wedge barriers, and other anti-terror measures. The walks explore how “hostile and defensive design have gradually and quietly transformed our buildings, parks, and homes into sites of surveillance and societal control.”
Saturday, April 20th
Celebrate the season of spring at the 15th Annual Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.
This event features live drum performances (Taiko), a traditional Japanese chorus, a Japanese folk dance, and a tea ceremony. It is free and open to the public at the Pavilion and Astral Fountain in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park from 11:00AM until 1:00PM.
Uncover the Secrets of The Brooklyn Bridge while walking across its iconic span. On this walking tour led by an expert Untapped Cities guide, guests will hear about the bridge’s epic origin story and its allegedly cursed family of designers, the hidden champagne vaults and cold war shelter, more!
Explore the abandoned halls of Ellis Island’s over 100-year old hospital complex on a Behind-the-Scenes Hard Hat Tour. Once the standard for United States medical care (and later transformed to the FBI headquarters when the island served as a detention center), the compound has been left to decay for nearly 60 years. On this experience, you’ll visit the contagious disease wards, the autopsy rooms and have exclusive access to places usually closed to the public.
Sunday, April 21st
Discover all 26 site-specific collages pasted up by the world-renowned artist JR inside the abandoned hospitals on Ellis Island from the exhibition Unframed – Ellis Island on a special hard hat tour of the hospital complex. All artworks are life-sized archival photographs of immigrants taken on Ellis Island that reactivate this long forgotten complex. There is even one you will see that was pasted by actor Robert de Niro. Access 10 locations in the abandoned hospital complex that are completely closed off to the public and open exclusively to attendees of this tour, including the second floor of the general hospital and the visually stunning “Blue Room.”
Photograph by Jochen Enderlin
Appreciate the magnificent craftsmanship inside the lobby of the landmarked Woolworth Building on a VIP tour with architect Cass Gilbert’s great-granddaughter. The cathedral-like interior of this building is normally off-limits to the public. Join Untapped Cities’ VIP tour to learn about the history of the building, explore the cellar level where you will see an abandoned bank vault and former direct access to the New York City subway, and get an up-close look at the mosaic ceiling at the mezzanine level.
Show some love for the planet at the Earth Day 2019 Ecofest presented by the New York Historical Society. Meet some of the organizations that are on the front lines of environmental crises and the battle against climate change such as Riverkeeper, The River Project, Palisades Park Conservancy, and NY Botanical Garden. Learn about their work and how you can get involved. Then, check out the new exhibition Hudson Rising to learn about two centuries of activism and environmentalism along New York’s waterway. Free docent-led tours of Hudson Rising will take place at 12:30 pm and 2 pm.
Party with a purpose of the House of Yes’s Earth Love Fest. The free daytime party located in an outdoor/indoor venue is for all ages. Guest will have the opportunity to explore art installations, educational panels, uplifting soundscapes, dance party empowerment, eco-friendly shopping, and environmental initiatives designed to inspire you to change the world. Featured panelists include Daniel Pinchback & Mary Annaïs Hegler (National Defense Resources), Gavin Schmidt (NASA), Emellie O’Brian (Earth Angel), Cassia Patel (Oceanic Global), Tom Chi (Google X), Carrie Roble (Hudson River Park), Alden Wicker (Ecocult), and many more!
Monday, April 22nd
Get outside this Earth Day with the Earth Day 5k Green Tour, a walk which includes stops at a river education lab right on the Hudson River, a zero-waste office, a state-of-the-art NYC Department of Sanitation facility, and a rooftop farm. Participants will travel from site to site and learn about what each group is doing on the ground to help green the city. Tickets are required.
Tuesday, April 23rd
See a design presentation on the progress of Pier 55 with Open House New York’s Projects in Planning series. Paul Westwood, Project Lead, Heatherwick Studio; Signe Nielsen, Principal, Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects; and Celine Armstrong, Executive Project Manager, Pier55 will be in attendance to discuss the project which is projected to be complete in 2021. Pier 55 fuses 280 concrete piles in a tessellating pattern to form the park’s distinctive topography. Once completed, the hilly landscape will host more than a hundred native tree and plant species in more than three acres of parkland.
Thursday, April 25th
Commemorate Arbor Day by attending a Funeral for a Tree at the Judson Memorial Church, to honor the millions of trees that are decimated every year to create disposable paper products. The ceremony will be led by actorMatthew Morrison with appearances by Xiuhtezcatl Martinez (Youth Director, Earth Guardians) and Miki Agrawal (Founder, TUSHY, THINX; Author, Disrupt-Her) and more as well as surprise live music performances throughout. Light fare and beverages will be provided. 100% of ticket price goes to Trees.org.
Celebrate National Parks Week with a visit to the birthplace of President Theodore Roosevelt to learn about his work in conservation. At a free guided talk inside Roosevelt’s childhood home, hear from a Park Ranger about how Roosevelt’s interest in the outdoors has left a lasting legacy of conservation. The talk begins at 12:30PM.