It’s pretty incredible, actually. One of New York City’s richest cultural neighborhoods is hosting its 40th annual celebration beginning this Sunday July 27. Sure, Harlem has had its ups and downs as a neighborhood over the past 100 years, but now, in 2014, it is flourishing as well as it ever has before which makes this year’s Harlem Week festivities even more special.
This Sunday kicks the “week” off in extravagant fashion with “A Great Day in Harlem,” a full-day family-oriented event expected to draw crowds upwards of 40,000 people. The bulk of the party will be held at Grant’s Tomb on 122nd and Riverside and is entirely free. There will be arts, crafts, food, gospel, fashion, and it will all be capped with “A Concert Under The Stars” to end the night. Of all the Harlem Week events, opening day is definitely one you don’t want to miss. (Side note: We can all agree that the US Grant National Memorial is one of the most underrated monuments in NYC, right? Even if you can’t make it Sunday, you should definitely check it out sometime while you’re in town.)
Harlem week will continue throughout August with events being held mostly on weekends. Everything from Senior Citizens Day to the Tri-State Jr. Tennis Classic to the always famous “Summer in the City” party will be celebrated with festivals, food, music, and games in honor of bringing the incredible culture of this great neighborhood to the forefront of our city’s attention.
Harlem Week comes to a close on Saturday August 23 with a pair of events that should not be missed. First, during the day Rucker Park will be hosting the Golden Hoops showcase featuring some of the best young basketball talent in the region. Then at 7 p.m. on the Great Lawn in St. Nicholas Park, ImagineNation is bringing the Outdoor Film Festival to Harlem Week.
NYC Restaurant Week, Juicy J and poetry highlight this week in NYC:
Take advantage of deals on some of the best cuisine in NYC during Restaurant Week Begins Monday, July 21.
Catch Juicy J on his ‘Never Sober’ tour at Terminal 5 Tuesday, July 22
Rock out with Teenage Fanclub, Honeyblood and Saint Rich at Hudson River Park Thursday, July 24
Enjoy dance and the Native American culture during the 36th Annual Thunderbird American Indian Mid-Summer Pow Wow at Queens Farm on Friday, July 25
New York City Poetry Festival on Governors Island July 26-27
Bruno Mars, Mobb Deep, and Looney Tunes highlight the best evens in NYC this week:
Mobb Deep has a free show at Queensbridge Park Thursday, July 17
The opening reception for the LOVE PROJECT Exhibition at Powerhouse Arena in Brooklyn is Thursday, July 17
Catch a screening, live event and exhibition preview at the Museum of the Moving Image for What’s Up, Doc? The Animation Art of Chuck Jones Friday, July 18
If you’ve walked through Times Square this week, you may have noticed an installation of orange framed cutouts in seemingly inexplicable places around 43rd street. The cutouts appear to be in the shape of human beings taking different poses, making it perfect for the thousands of passersby to hop right in the middle of it all for an unusual photo of which they will fondly look back upon while reminiscing about that trip to Manhattan. All in all, it’s pretty cool.
But what’s the deal? What are these odd orange things and why are they smack-dab in the middle of Times Square? What does it all mean?
As it turns out, these orange fence things are an exhibition called Nearness by Arles del Rio, hosted by Times Square Arts. Per the Times Square official website:
These panels invite participants to get close and even step through, representing metaphorically the social, political, cultural and personal barriers, among others, that may keep us away from one another.
And so there you have it. Next time you’re at a party and someone remarks “Hey, how about those weird orange fence things in Times Square,” you’ll be quick to respond “Yeah, they’re a metaphor about the social and political barriers that exist in the world today. Nuts, right?” Get ready to impress all of your friends.
Nearness exhibition location and times:
July 8-19, 2014
Broadway plaza between 43rd & 44th Streets
July 20 – August 1, 2014
Broadway plaza between 42nd & 43rd Streets
August 2 – 9, 2014
Broadway plaza between 43rd & 44th Streets
August 10 – 18, 2014
Duffy Square at Broadway & 46th Street