There is a lot to celebrate this week as Pride Month kicks off and we mark the bicentennial of Walt Whitman’s birthday. All over New York City there are exciting events and activities to mark these two occasions and the start of summer. Here are our Untapped Picks for things to do this week:
Friday, May 31st
It’s Walt Whitman’s bicentennial and all of New York City is celebrating. Join in on the festivities in honor of the Bard of Brooklyn at the Brooklyn Public Library’s Walt Whitman at 200: A Reading of Crossing Brooklyn Ferry and Concert. Presented in partnership with the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and the Academy of American Poets, this celebration will feature performances by The Phil Woodmore singers and poets Dorianne Laux (Only As The Day Is Long; The Book of Men), Joseph Millar (Kingdom; Blue Rust) and other invited guests reading “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry.” This event inAlbee Square which takes place at 3:30pm will occur simultaneously with readings of the poem at each of Brooklyn Public Library’s 59 branches.
Saturday, June 1st
Traverse over 100 year of history while weaving through current and abandoned subway stations on Untapped Cities’ Secrets from Below: Underground Tour of the NYC Subway! Starting at City Hall Park, the birthplace of the subway system, you will learn about the evolution of the system from the single line it started with to the sprawling network it is today. Learn about the comically short route of the mythical Pneumatic Transit System, discover the remnants of Union Station as you learn about a hidden art installation thousands of riders walk by everyday and more!
Help collect and count the various species of fish that inhabit New York City’s waterways as part of the World Science Festival’s The Great Fish Count. Taking place in various parks, labs, beaches and shores throughout all five boroughs, anyone can volunteer to cast a net. Find a participating location near you and RSVP.
Tour of the Secrets of Grand Central Terminal with an expert Untapped Cities guide. On this tour that will impress even the most seasoned New Yorker who travels through the terminal on a daily basis, see inside hidden tennis courts, learn about a major design flaw, find out where millions of dollars are hidden in plain sight, and uncover more treasures of this iconic building.
Sunday, June 2nd
Uncover the little known stories of the world’s most famous park on Untapped Cities’ Secrets of Central Park Walking Tour. On this tour, discover tales of forbidden love and boozy Prohibition-era parties, learn about the scandalous start to the Central Park Zoo and hear how a rocky and swampy swathe of land in the middle of Manhattan was turned into the park we know today.
Enjoy the sounds of The Scandia String Quartet and flutist Lisa Hansen as they perform in Fort Tyron Park for the 15th Scandianavian Music Festival. This free outdoor music program takes place against amazing views Hudson River. The musicians will perform Quintet in A Major by Friedrich Kuhlau and work from other composers like Lard-Erik Larsson, Jean Sibelius, Edward Grieg, and Frank Foerster.
Celebrate Walt Whitman’s 200th birthday with Parachute Literary Arts at one of the poet’s favorite places, the Coney Island boardwalk. This outdoor event will feature multilingual poetry readings, live music, free workshops, snacks and a special performance inspired by Whitman’s Leaves of Grass.
Tuesday, June 4th
Get up close to the aquatic life of the Hudson River at The River Project’s first Meet the Fishes Day of the 2019 season. From 4:00PM until 7:00pm, make your way down to Pier 40 at Hudson River Park to meet fishes, crabs, snails, seahorses and more. At this free family friendly event guests will also get to observe plankton at a microscope station, view a living, growing oyster reef and playing with tiny invertebrates in the touch tank.
Join a lunchtime book club in Bryant Park and get free copies of classic works of literature and graphic novels. Now in its 12th year, the Bryant Park Book Club will meet every Tuesday at 12:30pm until August 13th. Contemporary authors will lead discussions of classic titles like Little Women, The Gallic War and On Murder, as well as graphic novels like
Archie at Riverdale High, Volume 2 and Dear Justice League. Select books are available for pick up now at the Bryant Park Reading Room.
Thursday, June 6th
Join experts from the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project for a Tour and Toast in Celebration of Stonewall 50. This special walking tour of Greenwich Village is one of three unique opportunities offered this June, Pride Month, to walk the streets where the LGBT movement began while learning the history of the people, places and events that have shaped LGBT history. Contributions from ticket sales will directly benefit the ongoing work of the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project to research and document more historic spaces in New York City. Tour tickets include one complimentary drink at Julius’ Bar.
Practice yoga in Prospect Park with local instructors on the park’s beautiful Long Meadow. The free outdoor classes will be conducted at 7:00PM every Thursday from now until August 29th. You can RSVP and sign the required waiver online prior to the start of class.
Explore the lives of two New York City LGBTQ activists, Stormé DeLarverie and Marsha P. Johnson at the Museum of the City of New York’s Portraits of Pride event which will include two short film screenings and a panel discussion. The films that will be shown are Stormé: The Lady of the Jewel Box (21 min, 1987), which traces the life of Stormé DeLarverie, a lesbian activist rumored to have thrown the first punch against the police at Stonewall, and Happy Birthday, Marsha! (14 min, 2018), which explores the hours before iconic transgender activist and performer Marsha P. Johnson found herself on the doorstep of history in Greenwich Village the night of June 28th, 1969. The panel will include Stormé director Michelle Parkerson, Harlem historian, John T. Reddick, performance artist and longtime friend of Stormé, Rose Wood, and artistic director of the Houston Cinema Arts Society, Jessica Green.