13 Great Things to Do in NYC This Weekend

From an NBA showdown to an electronic music pioneer

February 23, 2024 6:11 am
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Godspeed You! Black Emperor are coming to Knockdown Center this weekend.
Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images

Suddenly, things are starting to feel a little busier around the city. The weather’s a bit more amenable to walking around, outdoor events are becoming more plentiful and touring musicians are getting back onto the road in larger numbers. This weekend’s preview of upcoming events reflects that, with everything from pro sports, to tasting menus, to rock music well-represented here. Whether you’re looking to commune with the great outdoors or get lost in a song, there’s plenty to choose from this weekend.

Friday, Feb. 23

Evergreen Walk at Wave Hill

There are certain benefits to the current season, and one of them is getting to see the city’s evergreens in all of their splendor. And if the colder weather’s been keeping you indoors, an outdoor walk can be invigorating for multiple reasons as well. Why not combine the two with a guided tour of Wave Hill’s evergreens? Free with admission.

Mitski at Beacon Theater

We’ve long admired Mitski’s music, which ranges in tone from intimate to cathartic, with a singular lyrical sensibility to boot. This week brings with it a four-night run at the Beacon Theater (she’ll also be there on Saturday), a solid indication of her growing popularity. Tickets start at $107.

Curious Elixir Anniversary Party

Most pop-up bars focus on boozy offerings for reasons that should be obvious, but not all of them. We’ve had good things to say about Curious Elixirs’ offerings in the past, and the long-running maker of non-alcoholic drinks is celebrating its ninth anniversary this Friday. They’ll also be launching a line of mini-cans at the event.

Jess Williamson at Bowery Ballroom

Speaking of lauded artists stopping by the Big Apple this week, there’s also singer-songwriter Jess Williamson, who’s in the middle of a hot streak in terms of both her own work as a solo artist and as part of the duo Plains. She’ll be joined by Le Ren; tickets start at $25.

Rirkrit Tiravanija Closing Party at MoMA PS1

Weekends can’t last forever, and they sadly don’t allow for us to do everything we’d like to. But if you’ve ever wanted to celebrate art and take part in a dance party at the same time, you might want to pencil in a visit to Long Island City for Friday evening. This event, in honor of the exhibit Rirkrit Tiravanija: A LOT OF PEOPLE, features dancing, ping-pong and exclusive t-shirts. Advance tickets are $20, $18 for members. 

The Arrival of Jess Williamson
“Time Ain’t Accidental” is the fifth full-length album of Williamson’s career, but it may as well be her first

Saturday, Feb. 24

Birding Walk at Jamaica Bay

New York City is a crowded place, and opportunities to see the sky in full bloom can be rare, depending on where you live and work. Hence the appeal of a trip to Jamaica Bay, where a guided tour will help illustrate the array of birds that call the region home. It’s a way to see a very different side of NYC, and it’s free with a donation.

New York Knicks vs. Boston Celtics at MSG

Looking to watch some heated basketball this weekend? The Boston Celtics — currently at the top of the Eastern Conference — are coming to town for a game against the Knicks, who are having a pretty solid season to date as well. Tickets start at $365.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor at Knockdown Center

In recent years, Knockdown Center has established itself as a home for distinctive musical performances. This Saturday, the first 2024 installment in the venue’s Outline series brings a quartet of acclaimed artists to the space, headlined by the long-running Canadian ensemble Godspeed You! Black Emperor, whose soaring, textured music should be a perfect match for the industrial space. Tickets are $48.67.

Patton Oswalt at City Winery

Over the years, Patton Oswalt has established himself as one of comedy’s most candid storytellers; there’s an argument to be made that his specials and albums are one of the most engaging autobiographical projects currently going. He’ll be performing at City Winery this weekend; the event is sold out, but waitlist spots are available.

Sake Caliente Pop-Up at Brooklyn Kura

For much of the year, chef Kaori Yoshida is at the helm of Oasi, an Italian restaurant in Kyoto. (And if you’re looking for some enticing food photography, check out their Instagram.) On Saturday and Sunday, she’ll be at Brooklyn Kura to take part in their recurring pop-up event Sake Caliente — a tasting menu paired with different varieties of sake to showcase its range. Tickets start at $220.44.

Carl Stone at Ambient Church

The concert series Ambient Church has a simple yet effective premise: what if you placed ambient musicians in cavernous, sacred spaces and let them do their thing? Over the years, I’ve seen memorable sets from the likes of Sarah Davachi and Christina Vantzou; next up is electronic music pioneer Carl Stone, presenting a new work titled Re:gendo. Tickets are $45.

Sunday, Feb. 25

New Jersey Devils vs Tampa Bay Lightning at Prudential Center

There’s nothing quite like an afternoon sporting event to make for an interesting day — this Devils/Lightning game fits the bill nicely. And with the NHL trade deadline not far off, it’s very possible that this game could feature some new faces for both teams. Tickets start at $40.

Lunar New Year Menu at OCTO

If you’re a fan of duck, few things could be better than a meal that centers the fowl in question. The recently-opened Korean-Chinese restaurant OCTO has a special Lunar New Year menu in effect right now, combining duck with a host of other flavors, along with beverage pairings.

Looking Ahead

Dale DeGroff at Back Bar

Some people are known for their knowledge of cocktails. Dale DeGroff literally wrote the book on the subject. More recently, New York Times’ Dwight Garner said of him, “In a properly run country, DeGroff’s face would be on a postage stamp.” He’ll be at Back Bar for two seatings on February 27; tickets are $55.

Café de Nadie x elNico Pop-Up

What’s better than two bars collaborating across international borders? Two bars collaborating across international borders on the top floor of a hotel. Brooklyn’s elNico and Mexico City’s acclaimed Café de Nadie are teaming up on February 29, with Mijenta’s tequila also in the mix.

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