As the city comes to life after a chilly April, we offer this list of things to do for every single day of May. When it was impossible to stick to only one event or idea, we made it a double.
To kick off the month with, well, a kick, head to one of eight NYC La Colombe locations (we like Noho’s spacious, well-lit spot with benches outside) for either a signature draft latte (cold-pressed espresso and frothed milk, served cold) or an iced red-eye, which combines espresso and iced coffee for enough caffeine to get you over the bad April weather.
On May 2nd at 7:30pm, catch Selected Shorts: A Night with the Paris Review at Symphony Space for an evening of classic and contemporary fiction from the archives of the literary magazine. Performers include Blythe Danner, Michael Emerson and Jin Ha, who appeared in the televised live performance Jesus Christ Superstar (a must-see!).
Also on May 2nd, a chance to work on your summer body at Fit by HIIT Heads Outdoors lead by lawyer turned fitness coach, Andrea Levine.
On 1 Condition: Blindfold at Dixon Place brings together New York’s hottest choreographers to create new short works united by one requirement. For the Thursday May 3rd edition, all choreographers will be incorporating blindfolds into their dances.
The Superfine Art Fair in the Meatpacking district, featuring approximately 80 galleries, projects and collectives, runs from May 3rd through May 6th. We’re excited about the art, but also the ice cream. Check out “Young” Collectors: Ice Cream & Cocktail Social, part of the fair on Friday May 4th at 8pm, for Snowdays “snow cream” performances, cocktails and more.
Another option for the evening is the sister-trio pop band Haim at Radio City Music Hall, fresh off their Paul Thomas Anderson directed set at Coachella.
Is it really Cinco de Mayo already? (Upon writing this post, it is feeling more March chill than Margaritaville, but we’re trying hard to visualize.) 230 Fifth hosts a penthouse party with salsa & merengue lessons, get your pre-game sweat on at a special Cinco de May-ROW class at CityRow, or do a guacamole crawl at these best spots for guac, according to Zagat.
You may have heard about David Bowie: Is, the exhibit at Brooklyn Museum, or wandered into the the Spotify-sponsored David Bowie installation at the Broadway-Lafayette Station (it is LIFE and a smart way to ease MTA-commuter tension). Well, a third way to remember the late legend is to take a walking tour “David Bowie’s New York” on Sunday May 6th at 11am, part of the three-day event Jane’s Walk NYC.
Also on Sunday, Parade for Love: NYC brings movement, meditation, speakers and “actions of love” to Foley Square in the financial district.
The Bitter End is an iconic music industry relic known for breaking new talent, and towards that end it hosts the Songwriter’s Circle Showcase on Monday May 7th. Also in the village but farther east, The Alchemist’s Kitchen is calling all bee geeks for its special event Bee Well: On Proppolis, the Tree Medicine Made by Bees.
The Tennessee Williams: No Refuge But Writing exhibit at The Morgan Library & Museum is a deep dive into the writer’s creative process, work habits, inspiration and influences. See it on Tuesday May 8th or before it closes on the 13th.
Fresh off their recent (and well-deserved!) induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Bon Jovi takes the stage at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday May 9th and #ThrowbackThursday May 10th. Also on the 10th, A Flawless Night: Long Live The Queen at Town Hall, which pays homage to NYC icon Flawless Mother Sabrina and the drag pageant documented in the 50-year old film The Queen.
If you’re feeling more Teva sandals than tiaras and heels, check out the free Summer Kick-Off Party at The North Face on the Upper West Side for beer, snacks and friends of the outdoors talking shop.
Take a walk on the paranormal side at a Mind Reading with The Mentalist on Friday May 11th, at The Merchant’s House Museum in the East Village and on Saturday May 12th, check out the Avengers Infinity Cosplay Party at 5th&Mad. Brought to you by Awesome Events (and we agree, it sounds awesome).
Sunday May 13th, is Mother’s Day and that means a shout-out to all the mother identifying people reading our blog! To celebrate, we say visit Grand Bazaar NYC the largest curated weekly market in NYC, located on the Upper West Side, then take it up to West Harlem for a Video Music Brunch: Old School v. New School Mother’s Day Edition at Mist.
On Monday May 14th, the Bandshell and Rumsey Playfield in Central Park are the site of Japan Day activities, which include live performances (Japanese Taiko Drumming and Yosacoy Naruko Dance, to name a few), a simulated bullet train, and Hello Kitty photo booth.
Set your alarm clock to get up and flow at 7:30am on Tuesday May 15, in a Tai Chi class in Bryant Park at the Fountain Terrace. Then on Wednesday, May 16, Radiotheatre NYC Presents: The Edgar Allan Poe Festival. An evening of Poe-inspired theater may seem like an odd choice for late Spring, but we think this festival (which runs for a week at the 190 year-old village church St. John’s Sanctuary) is worth a slight chill up the spine while surrounding buds are in bloom.
Sight Unseen OFFSITE is an annual showcase presenting the latest in contemporary design. This year’s show opens on May 17 and runs through the 20th, with a hub space at 201 Mulberry and partnering venues around Manhattan.
On Friday, May 18, take your tastebuds to the Ninth Avenue International Food Festival, which celebrates cultural diversity and vendors in the Hell’s Kitchen area between 43rd and 57th St.
There’s something about May 19th…perhaps because it is the Saturday before the Saturday of Memorial Weekend. Bottom line: there are way too many good things happening to pick only one! Behold:
- Intrepid Museum Sleepover for Kids & Teens
- NYC Vegetarian Food Festival
- Yanni 25: The Acropolis Anniversary Tour at Radio City
- Dance Parade and Festival from 21st & Broadway down to Tompkins Square Park
Next on Sunday, May 20th, summer comes early at the premiere of FLY Sundays at Monarch and day two of the New York Baby Show at Pier 94, unrelated events bonded by geography (both are in midtown west).
On Monday May 21st, The Obie Awards honor the best in off-Broadway theater. This year (and for the first time) it will take place at Terminal 5 with host actor/comedian John Leguizamo, and tickets are available to the public.
The Whitney Studio Party at the Whitney Museum of Art is the Whitney’s Gala after party welcoming “young patrons, emerging artists, collectors, and guests from the worlds of art, fashion, business and entertainment for an evening of cocktails, music and exhibition viewing.” Stop by on Tuesday, May 22nd.
Something about late May in New York makes us wax a little nostalgic, so we recommend Billy Joel at MSG on Wednesday May 23. You’ll get some ‘Downeaster Alexa’ feels just in time for Fleet Week, which starts that same day. On Thursday May 24, general public ship tours will be offered at various Piers throughout the city and Fleet Week runs until the 29th.
Next leave the kids at home to attend Make Your Own Booze Ice Cream class at Tipsy Scoop on Friday May 25, for buzz-worthy liquor infused ice creams and sorbets.
Saturday May 26 marks the return of Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit Spring 2018 on University Place. This sidewalk show (not a street fair) has been in existence for 85 years! Walk and talk amongst the artists who are happy to chat about their work, and visit one of the myriad iced coffee pitstop options including NewsBar, Oren’s Daily Roast or The Grey Dog.
Staying in town for Memorial Weekend? Besides being able to find an open seat at the trendy bar, empty table at the restaurant you’ve been eyeing all month, or a free patch of grass at any city park, check out Sunday’s Passport to Taiwan in Union Square Festival, now in its 17th year, to celebrate Asian American Heritage Month. Or, find the perfect little tchotchke no one else in the world has at the One of A Kind Bazaar on the Upper West Side.
On Memorial Day Monday, May 28, in reverence of our fallen military women and men, team up with The Memorial Day Foundation, which assembles a team of volunteers in Brooklyn who travel by bus to New York City and place wreaths at each of the listed War Memorials. You may also want to attend one of the many parades happening across the five boroughs.
Tuesday May 29 is our third concert highlight at MSG, this one featuring Pulitzer-prize winning rapper Kendrick Lamar and New Jersey rising star SZA. And on Wednesday May 30, get up bright and early to see Fifth Harmony, part of the TODAY free outdoor concert series at Rockefeller Center.
How to end the ahh-may-zing month of May? Definitely outside. Definitely with a cocktail. And definitely on a rooftop. Check out Mr. Purple on the Lower East Side for a sunset and good vibes. We’ll see you in June!