Photograph Courtesy of Jim McDonnell
Browse through books with your dog, dance the night away in Battery Park, or go inside an interior landmark that is usually off-limits to the public with our Untapped picks of things to do this week in New York City. From walking tours and outdoor performances to a preservation themed trivia night, check what’s going on:
Friday, August 16th
Photograph by Stephanie Powell, Courtesy of the Poster House
Stay out late for the Poster House After Hours. On the third Friday of every month Poster House keeps its doors open late for viewing the exhibitions at a more relaxed pace and with a drink in hand. The café, galleries, and gift shop will all be open and there will be a cash bar. Stop by from 6:00pm to 9:00pm, no pre-registration is necessary.
Catch some of the final performances of the 38th Annual Battery Dance Festival. This event is New York City’s longest-running free public dance festival which draws thousands of people out each year. The week-long festival features free outdoor performances at Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park in Battery Park City every evening from 7:00pm to 9:00pm.
Saturday, August 17th
Photograph by Jochen Enderlin
Be part of an exclusive, VIP tour of the normally off-limits Woolworth Building led by building architect Cass Gilbert’s great granddaughter, Helen Post Curry. Curry is excited to share the behind-the-scenes secrets with visitors. On this tour, you will get up-close to the shimmering mosaic ceiling of the lobby at the mezzanine level, learn about the empire Frank Woolworth built, step down into the basement to see an abandoned bank vault and subway entrance and so much more!
Visit the Riverhead “pup-up” Reading Room at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Bring your own furry friend and browse a curated collection of Riverhead books by Julie Klam, Sigrid Nunez, Emma Straub, and others that explore the powerful bond between human and canine. There will be hourly giveaways of Riverhead tote bags filled with signed books, gift cards from Boris and Horton, and a custom Riverhead dog bandana. You can even have your photo taken at the photo-booth corner for a chance to be featured on @dogbookclub.
Settle the dispute over the border of Brooklyn and Queens at a festival at the historic Onderdonk House. Centered around Arbitration Rock, a marker of the Kings/Queens County border, this day of festivities will feature learning about the history of the “Boundary”, food and music, visual, performing and literary interpretation of the relationship between Brooklyn and Queens by local artists and self-guided tours of the home and exhibits.
Photograph Courtesy of Jim McDonnell
See amazing works of art made out of sand at the 29th Annual Coney Island Sand Sculpting Competition. From 12pm until 4pm, bring your shovels and buckets down to the beach to create your own masterpiece and maybe even win a prize! This family friendly event is free and open to the public.
Photograph Courtesy of NPS Photos
Visit the oldest and largest known excavated burial ground in North America for both free and enslaved Africans at the African Burial Ground National Memorial in Lower Manhattan. The historic burial ground was discovered in 1989 when an archaeological research excavation was conducted. Thirty feet below the street level, archeologists unearthed the “Negroes Buriel Ground,” a 6-acre site that contained around 15,000 intact skeletal remains of enslaved and free Africans who lived and worked in colonial New York. This visit will include a film screening, self-guided tour of the indoor exhibits, and memorial talk at the outside monument. If you are an Untapped Cities Insider, you can join this tour for free!Already a member? Book here!
Sunday, August 18th
Uncover the secrets of Prospect Park, a pastoral oasis in the heart of Brooklyn which has been dubbed a “masterpiece” of renowned landscape architects Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux (the designers of Central Park). As you stroll through it’s meadows, woods, and around its bodies of water, Untapped Cities’ expert guide will share stories about the park’s design, intriguing happenings and hidden histories. Uncover the secrets and symbols of Grand Army Plaza, hear about the secret tunnels beneath the park’s surface, discover the innovative initiatives to combat storm damage and erosion and much more!
Join NYC-based Scottish writer and tour guide Marie Carter for a lecture at QED Astoria on the fascinating history of pet cemeteries.This heartbreaking and heartwarming lecture will take you on a “tour” of some of the oldest pet cemeteries in the United States and abroad as you learn about their history and meet some of the pets buried within including pets of celebrities and celebrity pets, exotic and weird pets, and naval and war heroes.
Monday, August 19th
Radio Free Brooklyn is hosting a free, one-week intensive training program in radio broadcasting for teens. In this course students will learn the basics of radio broadcasting including: studio building, audio equipment, radio interviewing and field recording, music DJing, audio editing, show preparation, and performing live broadcasts. On the last day of the session students will host or co-host a live radio show that they’ve prepared throughout the week. Upon completion of the camp, students will have the opportunity to host their own weekly live programs on Radio Free Brooklyn’s “Teen Squad Live” streaming network.
Get an inside look at the Walt Whitman exhibit, Bard of Democracy, at the Morgan Library and Museum. Led by exhibit curator Sal Robinson, you will see first editions of Leaves of Grass, Whitman’s personal letters, photographs and notebooks, and see how his work continues to influence artists of the modern day. If you are an Untapped Cities Insider, you can join this tour for free!
Wednesday, August 21st
Photograph Courtesy of Boroughs of the Dead
Discover ghost stories, secret histories, and urban lore on Boroughs of the Dead’s Ghost of the West Village walking tour. On this haunting, mysterious, and wonderfully weird stroll through one of the most charming neighborhoods in the city, uncover the mystical symbolism hidden in everyday architecture and the subterranean histories lurking below. Hear tales of phantoms, occultists, restless spirits, body snatchers, horror writers including Edgar Allan Poe, and spectral founding fathers Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. If you are an Untapped Cities Insider, you can join this tour for free!
Enjoy the Moonlight and a Movie at the Museum of the City of New York. This summer movie series will feature Charlie Chaplin’s 1936 masterpiece Modern Times. From factory floor to hospital to prison, Chaplin delivers a sly and unforgettable commentary on the brutality of work and class struggle. This outdoor screening will be introduced by historian and author Dr. Joshua Freeman. Before the film, there will be a happy hour outside on the Museum’s Terrace with live music from singer/songwriter Zoe Allyn. Each movie ticket includes a drink voucher. Additional drinks and snacks available for purchase.
Join Village Preservation for a night of Preservation Trivia at the Neighborhood Preservation Center. Guest are invited to form their own teams of 2-4 or meet fellow history buffs and create a new team when you arrive. There will be prizes for all at this event hosted by the Historic Districts Council, and co-sponsored by Village Preservation, 6Sqft, Friends of the Upper East Side Historic District, The New York Preservation Archive Project, MAS NYC, and Landmark West!