We love February. Despite its short length and erratic weather happenings, February is for bundling up, braving the elements, and finding things to do from the obvious to the offbeat that could only happen in New York. There is a reason you’ve chosen to live in or close to the greatest city in the world (and it’s not to stay at home on the couch eating those pastel-colored Valentine’s Day heart candies #HEARTYOU).
Start the month with Arts Brookfield and a screening of the 1927 crime heist thriller Underworld, part of the Silent Film/Live Music series at Brookfield Place (Friday, February 1st). Throughout the weekend you’ll also want to dine at a NYC Restaurant Week participating establishment, such as Merakia or The Writing Room, which have cozy interiors that will make you forget the outdoor chill (now through February 8th).
Then it’s Super Bowl Sunday when all eyes are on the New England Patriots, LA Rams, plus a performance lineup that includes Gladys Knight, Chloe x Halle, and Maroon 5 featuring Travis Scott and Big Boi (Sunday, February 3rd)! Where to watch? Check out TONY’s list of sports bars and restaurants for the game, good eats and craft beer.
As the temperature drops lower the culture brow goes higher, including the Merce Cunningham centennial celebration at Anthology Film Archives. Program 5 presents the documentary CRWDSPACR about the legendary choreographer’s dance exploring our relationship to technology with special guest, dancer Patricia Lent (Monday, February 4th).
After 12 years in Chelsea, the music venue Highline Ballroom will be closing its doors. Taking them out on a high note are The Roots (Tuesday, February 5th).
While we tend to crave more sleep in the winter, waking up early has its privileges. Quiet Mornings at The Museum of Modern Art invites you to start your day at 7:30 a.m. and take in MoMa’s collection and select new exhibitions, then join a guided meditation that will make sure you leave feeling not only inspired but centered (Wednesday, February 6th).
If you’re more of a night owl than an early bird, the next few days have plenty in store! For starters, NY Fashion Week Women’s serves up not only the best in new designer wear for the runway and fashion insiders, but events open to the public (Thursday, February 7th – February 16th). Meanwhile the NY Indie Theatre Film Festival now in its third year, presents work from New York City theatre artists also working in film. Playwright/Director/Showrunner Theresa Rebeck headlines the festival with her feature film, Poor Behavior, an adaptation of her play of the same name (Friday, February, 8th – 10th).
Radio City wants you to throw it back at Freestyle and Old School with performances by Chubb Rock, Lisa Lisa and Vanilla Ice, among others (Saturday, February 9th) and a little later in the month with Anita Baker (Wednesday, February 13th and Thursday, February 14th) and Boys II Men (Friday, February 15th).
When it comes to throwbacks, it doesn’t get more traditional than the Chinese Opera and Lion Dancing party at Pearl River Mart’s flagship store in Tribeca (Sunday, February 10th). This celebration of the Lunar New Year includes a Chinese Opera makeup demo and performance by the renowned Wan Chi Ming lion dance troupe.
Lest you think we’ve forgotten the impending celebration of St. Valentine! Of course not, dear romantic ones, but if you ask us we think love is always in the air.
At Love All Ways, a screening and panel event spotlighting long-term love in the LGBTQ community at the Center for Remembering & Sharing, love is love (is love is love on Monday, February 11th), while new play The Neurology of the Soul explores neuroscience, art, love, and marketing (Tuesday, February 12th). You can find the best chocolates for your bae (or yourself!) at L.A. Burdick Chocolates in Soho and when it comes to flowers, consider getting crafty with a DIY bouquet thanks to the Putnam & Putnam Flower Color Guide.
On V day itself, which also happens to coincide with World Sound Healing Day and a universal chant for peace on earth at noon ET, the options are as plentiful as petals on a rose. From the culinary Be My Valentine cooking class to the racy Le Scandal d’ Valentine’s Day burlesque show, there is no shortage of alternatives to watching Love, Actually (or Netflix’s YOU, which while great, may not be the best choice for this holiday). When it comes to holiday disruptors, Take Back Your VDay brands itself as “a night of games for badass singles and chill couples.” We like the sound of that, too.
The Talks + Reading series at 92nd Y continues to be one of the hottest tickets in town. Case in point: Amy Sedaris and Paul Dinello in Conversation with Daniel Levy of Schitt’s Creek (Friday, February 15th). Meanwhile on Broadway, buzz continues to build around Be More Chill, a cool new musical now in previews at the Lyceum Theatre (Saturday, February 16th).
For college basketball fans, next month can’t come soon enough! Enjoy an NCAA Men’s Basketball March Madness teaser when hometown favorites St. John’s take on the Villanova Wildcats at MSG (Sunday, February 17th).
For two nights only, Broadway and TV/film actors will join forces at The Tank for a theatrical performance inspired by Film Lab’s national “Immigrants: We Are Them. They Are Us” (IWATTAU) Project (Monday, February 18th and Tuesday, February 19th). Written by Emmy-nominee Cheryl Davis and directed by Melissa Skirball, each performance will be followed by a talkback with New York City immigration officials and the cast and crew, moderated by CBS-Interactive’s Livia Areas.
When it comes to ways to love yourself, this month has no shortage of events for self care and development. At Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, attend a
Lunch & Learn: Free Seminar for Treating Sleep Disorders moderated by herbalist John Heuertz (Tuesday, February 19th) and at Judson Memorial Church’s Love, Redefined: Resilience celebrate “radical love of self and others with a night of poetic and theatrical remixes, reimaginings and riffs” (Wednesday, February 20th).
So you think you can be an influencer? So do the organizers at Brand Ambassador Con, a one-day event that brings together promotional agencies, brand ambassadors and influencers for networking, panels and real-time feedback (Thursday, February 21st). When it come to the OG of influencers, the late and legendary Aretha Franklin should rank high on anyone’s list. The Losers Lounge pay tribute to the Queen of Soul at Joe’s Pub (Friday, February 22nd for three nights 2/21-23).
It can be tough to stay active and fit in the winter, which is why a day trip might be in order. Catch the bus from the Adventure Cafe on Manhattan’s LES to Hunter Mountain for a full day of skiing or sipping hot chocolate in the ski lodge (Saturday, February 23rd). For something closer to home, the Mile High Run Club IronStrength for a Cause class raises funds for The Mercy Center of the South Bronx (Sunday, February 24th). You can also warm up with that hot chocolate locally in Union Square at the newly opened Nutella Cafe (Monday, February 25th) and go back indoors for a one-night only must see presentation by the Nylon Fusion Theatre Company – The Chaplin Plays: A Double Feature by Don Nigro at Birdland (Tuesday, February 26th).
To close, we have saved the best for last. February is Black History Month and NYC offers inspiring, fun, educational and empowering ways to celebrate African American history + culture. On Wednesday nights, Village East Cinemas presents its “Black is the New Black” series lineup that includes Coming to America, Do the Right Thing, Poetic Justice and its final film, The Color Purple (Wednesday, February 27th). Also on a Wednesday, MACY’s Herald Square honors 100 years of the Harlem Renaissance with music, style and food of Harlem’s past, present, and future and special guest, fashion mogul Dapper Dan (Wednesday, February 20th).
The 2019 Harlem Fine Arts Show, now in its tenth year, is the largest traveling African Diasporic art show in the United States. Inspired by the Harlem Renaissance, “HFAS provides a platform for African Diasparic visionaries, as well as American visual artists, to exhibit and sell their artwork.”
At the NYPL’s Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture, special events include Langston Hughes’s Birthday Celebration, Rethinking Black Women Freedom Fighters: Gloria Richardson and Louise Thompson, and Between the Lines: A Bold World by Jodie Patterson, in which Patterson discusses her memoir about her transgender child, Penelope. Also at the Schomberg Center, The Harlem Chamber Players’ Black History Month Celebration. This one performance of Adolphus Hailstork Piano Quintet “Detroit” for Piano and Strings, Adolphus Hailstork “Nobody Know” for Baritone and Strings and Antonín Dvořák “String Quartet, Op. 96” for String Quartet, ensures we end February on the most classical, beautiful note (Thursday, February 28th).