Enjoy May while it lasts, start with our recommended events for the month! This is one of the most eagerly anticipated and deeply enjoyed months of the year in Manhattan. The official end of challenging weather (November to April, we’re talking to you) brings a renewed feeling of vitality to the now flower and leafy tree-lined city streets.
The Tribeca Film Festival is ongoing through May 4th, and one schedule highlight on the first of the month is STORYTELLERS with actress and filmmaker Rashida Jones (Wednesday, May 1 @6pm). Meanwhile in music, legendary rocker and author Patti Smith brings the newly reopened Webster Hall back to life with Her Band (Thursday, May 2 @8pm).
There’s a new observation deck in town, and by that we mean Hudson Yard’s “highest outdoor deck in the entire western hemisphere.” The panoramic views and sunsets viewed off this public balcony will take your breath away (Friday, May 3 @10am-9pm).
It’s been a good few months for cats, what with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s legendary Broadway musical on a new and successful North American tour. Against this backdrop and for lovers of this particular four-legged furry type, we recommend the Pop Up Cat Cafe hosted by Cat Castle NYC, an organization devoted to cat rescues and options (Saturday, May 4 @11am-6pm).
Cinco de Mayo has evolved from a celebration of the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France (at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War) to one of Mexican heritage and culture more broadly. On this day, attend the Cinco de Mayo concert at Christ & St. Stephens Church featuring baroque arias and contemporary art songs by composers from Mexico and Latin America (Sunday, May 5th @3pm).
Jump into the new week with a dose of creativity and caffeine. The PlayGround Experience at THINK Coffee is an intimate gathering of actors and writers who wish to discuss such talking points as: What is your favorite, most exciting and/or the most fun part about being an actor/playwright? How do you de-stress when you start feeling burn-out?
How do you protect yourself while being vulnerable as a writer/actor? Sign up is through the website and RSVP is required (Monday, May 6 @7pm-9pm).
With the new season comes a renewed commitment to wellness, and Introduction to Chinese Medicine at the 92nd St Y with Siu Ping Negrin will help demystify the eastern approach to health while sharing how it compliments western medicine (Tuesday, May 7 @7pm).
The name on everybody’s lips is gonna be, Christie, as Broadway’s Chicago now stars OG supermodel Christie Brinkley (Wednesday, May 8 @8pm through May 12). And from the woman who inspired “Uptown Girl” to the man who wrote that song and scores of other hits, it is Billy Joel’s 70th birthday! Celebrate this milestone year with the pop rock superstar at his birthday concert at Madison Square Garden (Thursday, May 9 @8pm).
In the world of dance, the second of five shows that comprise Eryc Taylor Dance’s EARTH Series arrives this month. ‘Man is Born,’ choreographed by Jordan Ryder with original music by Salomen Lerner, includes a post-show q/a discussion on environmental topics such as global warming (Friday, May 10 @8pm).
The weekend is one to celebrate mother figures, starting with Mother nature on Central Park Spring Bloom’s: Conservatory Garden Tour, where you’ll be guided through not only the flora in season, but a fascinating history of the Conservatory Garden itself (Saturday, May 11 @11am). Then on Mother’s Day proper, we are all about brunch at High Street on Hudson followed by a stroll along the nearby High Line and visit to the Whitney Museum (unless of course Mom wants to do something else, in which case she wins).
The new week arrives in song, with Disney Princess and Broadway legend Leah Salonga (Miss Saigon, Les Miserables, Once on this Island) in concert at SONY music hall (Monday, May 13 @8pm) and creator/star of “My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” Rachel Bloom, at Radio City Music Hall (Tuesday, 5/14 and Wednesday, 5/15 @8pm).
At Bryant Park Dance Party: Contra Dance Night, you’ll get your body moving in midtown (Wednesday, 5/15 @6pm-8:30pm) and further uptown in Harlem, enjoy the Arts, Culture & Fun: Jazz Concert with Annette St. John (Thursday, 5/16 @6:30pm). After that it is all the way downtown to Manhattan Concours at Brookfield Place, where twenty-five collector cars will be showcased along the BFPL’s waterfront (Friday, May 17 @4pm-7pm).
The 13th Annual Dance Parade is a joyful event featuring 10,000 dancers on a parade route from Broadway to Astor Place, and then east to Tompkins Square Park (Saturday, May 18 @3pm-7pm). Also on the east side, visit the Essex Street Market at its new home on 88 Essex Street, and enjoy the next incarnation of what has been an iconic culinary destination for the last 75 years (Sunday, May 19).
NYT best-selling author and presidential historian, Dan Abrams, has written a book about Teddy Roosevelt called Theodore Roosevelt for the Defense; he’ll be discussing it with Chris Cuomo at Temple Emanuel (Monday, May 20 @7pm).
May city skies are alive with the sound of outdoor concerts, including the Summer Concert Series at Pier 17 where Passion Pit’s 10th Anniversary Tour kicks things off (Sunday, May 19 and Tuesday, May 21 @7:30pm).
The days leading up to Memorial Day weekend are perfect ones to visit an exhibit or see a rare film before you leave town for the beach. At Great Art On Screen: Water Lilies of Monet: The Magic of Water and Light at The Beekman Theater, “voyage through the masterpieces and obsessions of the genius and founder of Impressionism, Claude Monet. An art-world disruptor at the turn of the 20th century whose obsession with capturing light and water broke all convention, Monet revolutionized Modern Art with his timeless masterpieces,” (Wednesday, May 22 @2pm). Then visit an exhibition that explores another genius disruptor, Leonard Cohen, at the Jewish Museum’s Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything, which pays homage to the singer/songwriter who passed in November, 2016 (Thursday, 5/23).
Jewish post-Soviet immigrant, Katya Stepanov, asks us to ponder, “What is your inheritance?” in her BluePrint Project Series immersive installation at Wildrence, New York’s premier experiential storytelling studio (Friday, 5/24 @7pm and 8:30pm).
Or, to honor a cheers-to-the-weekend #friyay before Memorial Day Weekend vibes, the LES Pub Crawl asks you to ponder which bars have the best beer (Friday, 5/24 @9pm).
If you’re staying in town for the long weekend, you will love the feeling of the city emptying out long enough for you to get a seat on the subway and your favorite restaurant. Check out Big Salsa Festival at The Hilton (Saturday, 5/25 all day and night) and on Sunday, burgers and craft beer at Benson’s followed by the 8pm show at Rockwood Music Hall and ice cream for dessert at Ice and Vice (Sunday, 5/25).
The Memorial Day Ceremony on the Intrepid, part of Fleet Week that runs 5/22-27, is a moving way to honor U.S. lives lost while serving our country.
Baseball season is in full swing with the Yankees v Padres at Yankee Stadium (Tuesday, 5/28 @6:35pm) and for those of us more interested in cupcakes than catcher’s mitts, a special BYOB: Classic Cupcakes and Wine class at Magnolia Bakery (Wednesday, 5/29 @6pm-7:30pm).
Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals bring their Cali vibe and soulful, hip hop sound to Madison Square Garden (Thursday, 5/30 @7:30pm) and to close out this magnificent month, the kickoff of Films on the Green 2019 and Central Park screening of Coco Before Chanel, a French film that stars Audrey Tatou (Friday, 5/31 @8:30pm).