11 Great Things to Do in New York

Things to do in NYC.
Photo: Richard Southgate/Des Foley/Abby Gillardi/Wikimedia/PEN American Center/Wikimedia

1. Hear Ed Baynard
Dizzying minimalism.
The entire city owes a continuous thanks to White Columns for never failing to astound. See the late Ed Baynard’s elegantly rhapsodic, kaleidoscopically colored paintings of simple still lifes. In a Zen-like dedication to depicting flowers in vases in open spaces, every line is just so, every millimeter of surface considered. —Jerry Saltz
White Columns, 91 Horatio Street, through September 7.

2. See Dust
Still here.
Actor-writer Milly Thomas performs the story of Alice, a woman who kills herself and yet finds herself unable to leave the living behind. Sara Joyce directs Thomas’s theatrical meditation on death, connection, and consequences in a production that comes to New York after award-winning runs in the U.K. —Sara Holdren
Next Door at New York Theatre Workshop, opens August 29.

3. See Le Rayon Vert
The green ray.
Celebrate (or mourn) the end of summer with the Metrograph’s one-week revival of Éric Rohmer’s irrationally wonderful drama, in which a newly single Parisian (Marie Rivière) heads to the coast in search of a connection — a trip driven by Jules Verne’s story of a miraculous green light in the instant before sunset. The movie isn’t a cure for loneliness, but a balm for it. —David Edelstein
Metrograph, opens August 30.

Ed Baynard, installation view. Photo: Marc Tatti/Courtesy of White Columns

4. See Téa Obreht
An epic journey.
The lyricism of Inland is familiar to anyone who read Téa Obreht’s acclaimed first novel, The Tiger’s Wife, but in other ways her follow-up is a brave and (successfully) ambitious departure. Two guilt-ridden people wander the Arizona desert in 1893, on parallel tracks that appear to meet in the distance. One is an outlaw, the other a wife and mother laden with grief. See Obreht in conversation in September. —Boris Kachka
Greenlight Bookstore, 686 Fulton Street, Fort Greene, September 3.

Classical Music
5. Hear Taka Kigawa
Late-night sonatas.
As a pianist, Taka Kigawa is a bit like a rare small-batch bourbon: tricky to find, easy to miss, and not to be taken for granted. Usually he can be heard steeplechasing his way through formidable programs by Messiaen or Berio; this time, he plows through Beethoven’s last five piano sonatas, which is a workout not just for the fingers but also for the soul. —Justin Davidson
(Le) Poisson Rouge, August 26.

Pop Music
6. See Tame Impala
In just over five years, singer-songwriter and producer Kevin Parker’s Tame Impala evolved from the lush Beatles-infused psych-rock sound of the 2010 debut Innerspeaker to the heady space rock and meaty disco of Currents.
While waiting for the upcoming new set, catch one of the best modern festival headliners live. —C.J.
Madison Square Garden, August 21 and 22.

Siah Armajani’s Bridge Over Tree. Photo: Timothy Schenk

7. See Betrayal
An affair to remember.
Tom Hiddleston makes his Broadway debut, alongside Charlie Cox and Zawe Ashton, in a starry revival of Harold Pinter’s taut 1978 drama about seven years in the life of a troubling love triangle, played out in reverse. It’s only 90 minutes long, but prepare for plenty of pregnant pauses. —S.H.
Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, in previews, opens September 5. Buy tickets here.

8. See Siah Armajani: Bridge Over Tree
Down under the Brooklyn Bridge.
It’s the dog days, when galleries go dark and museums prep for September shows. The stalwart Public Art Fund has just what the doctor ordered: Siah Armajani’s “Bridge Over Tree.” Located under the Brooklyn Bridge, with those Whitmanesque views of New York, the work is a long, narrow raised covered walkway. The middle rises into a teepee shape to arch over a lone tree. How come all bridges don’t do this? you’ll think as your heart thanks artists, nature, and another summer in the city. —J.S.
Brooklyn Bridge, Dumbo, through September 29.

9. See Hamlet
A 70-mm. film.
As part of its “See It Big!” series, the Museum of the Moving Image presents 70-mm. screenings of Kenneth Branagh’s insanely ambitious 1996 adaptation. With a cast to die for — Julie Christie, Robin Williams, Derek Jacobi, Kate Winslet, and, of course, Branagh as the Melancholy Dane — the director-star went for broke: His highly stylized camerawork, which tries to match the ornate poetry of Shakespeare’s words, deserves to be seen on the biggest screen possible.
Museum of the Moving Image, August 24 and 25.

From Olivia. Photo: Courtesy of the Studio

10. Go to The Rave Theater Festival
Emerging playwrights.
In a new-theater festival launched by Broadway producer Ken Davenport, 23 original works take the stage on the Lower East Side. Vikings, white whales, private eyes, pilgrims, presidents, pipers, Brazilian mothers, Austro-Bohemian composers, and more are on tap till the end of August. —S.H.
Teatro SEA and Teatro LaTea Theatres, 107 Suffolk Street, through August 25.

11. See Olivia
Before Carol.
It’s high time to rediscover the work of Jacqueline Audry, one of the few female directors who actively worked in the postwar French film industry, creating elegant, moody dramas of great beauty and subtlety. Start with this new restoration of her lush, controversial 1951 lesbian romance, adapted from Dorothy Bussy’s anonymously published 1949 novel. In it, a new student at a 19th-century French boarding school becomes obsessed with her teacher, played by Cat People’s Simone Simon, and a deeply twisted love quadrangle ensues.    
Quad Cinema.

*A version of this article appears in the August 19, 2019, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!

11 Things to Do in New York City Over the Next Two Weeks