Good afternoon, this is W42ST Lifestyle Editor Sarah Beling with “Make Way For The Weekend” — your curated guide to the best of New York events in one convenient newsletter!

Last week I found myself in a familiar, yearly rite of passage for New Yorkers — the first time that you sweat out the entirety of your body weight on the subway platform. Yes, I suppose I could live somewhere where the weather is always temperate — but what fun would that be? Maybe it’s a fondness for the changing of one season to the next, maybe it’s a fondness for the changing of one wardrobe to the next, or maybe, just maybe, it’s a fondness for a little bit of dRaMa, but there’s something I do really enjoy about the first signs of summer in the city. 

There’s a different energy to New York in the summer. It’s celebratory, it’s casual, it’s semi-chaotic, the air filled with the sounds of The Entertainer from the Mister Softee truck and live music playing at the chock-full sidewalk cafes. Every day feels like a Friday. Whether you consider the start of summer to be its official date (June 21), Memorial Day Weekend (upcoming!), or as soon as the subway steams up (already done), why not kick off the season with a few activities to get you into a warm weather mindset? 

Don’t get me wrong — I will be vociferously complaining about the heat by August and please feel free to remind me that I waxed poetic about sweating not three months ago. But until then — catch you at Rockaway Beach or Hudson River Park!! 

🛶 I’m on a boat
If you forgot to rent a yacht for this weekend, I have good news — the Manhattan Community Boathouse kicks off its completely free summer kayaking program this weekend at Pier 96 on the Hudson. If you like to plan ahead, reservations can be made here, but the boathouse also accepts walk-ins for the spontaneous kayaker. Wear sunscreen!!!

👯‍♀️ Mambo — Mambo — GO! 
Hell’s Kitchen-based legendary Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater brings their educational extension to Times Square, where they are holding free evening classes for those brave enough to boogie at the crossroads of the world. Ailey instructor Katherine Jimenez teaches Mambo tomorrow (Friday) at 5pm, followed by Zumba with Jose Ozuna

🍷 A pop-up to remember 
Meet your true love at the Empire State Building’s 86th floor observatory for cocktails at the Please Don’t Tell pop-up, running now through Monday. The much-beloved East Village speakeasy brings their strong, smoky cocktails along with New York’s favorite artisanal franks, Crif Dogs to the 360-degree observatory deck with the, as always, unparalleled views of the city skyline. Perfect for those who prefer their Memorial Day BBQs indoors and sans cleanup! 

…and if you’re there tonight (Thursday), looks like there will be an immersive, top-secret Stranger Things experience coming your way!!

Stranger Things Empire State Building

🎭 A political farce with almost zero (!!!) Trump references 
While I am legally obliged to clarify that this is NOT A REVIEW AND THAT ALL THEATER ENJOYMENT IS SUBJECTIVE, I did, actually, truly, laugh out loud at POTUS or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive now playing at the Shubert Theatre. There’s prolific profanity, there’s a megamix, there’s a truly enjoyable and only slightly unsettling satire of the patriarchal system known as the United States. Run, don’t walk!!!!

🎭 Say you were there when 
Yes, yes, this may seem like a recommendation tagging along behind this month’s Tony nominations, but go see A Strange Loop running now on Broadway before it potentially sweeps the award show. Already a Pulitzer Prize Winner, the “emotionally autobiographical, Big Black Queer-Ass American musical” is like nothing else on Broadway and is undoubtedly set to be long remembered as a barrier-breaking work of art. Just remember to keep track of what you’re booking… ⬇️

MJ Strange Loop Tweet
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🎤 Comedy in the key of Lilith Fair
Brooklyn-based comedian and musician Tessa Skara (High Maintenance) brings her 90s-folk-singer meets-“Lesbian Dennis the Menace” energy to provide gallows humor for our current moment at her show Gay Songs for The End of Times at Union Hall this Saturday. Expect existential questions explored, like what the celebrities did when their assistants couldn’t work in March 2020 and why people still insist on taking photos with dolphins (the dolphin isn’t smiling, its face is just like that). 

Tessa Skara

📚🎬 A trip to the library 
Celebrating Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the New York Public Library is hosting a series of free events to commemorate its last weekend, including an all-ages AAPI-centered Film Festival tomorrow (Friday) at the Throgs Neck location!

🦀 Be crabby
Damn! Another summer and I’ve failed to secure myself a Newport mansion beach house. Until then, guess I’ll settle for a staycation at Brooklyn Crab, where I plan to play cornhole, drink citrusy beers, and eat crab cakes and Old Bay fries all summer in their open air triple decker which feels distinctly like a trip to a Rhode Island beach town’s seafood shack. I even have their souvenir T-shirt (am a sucker 4 merch!). See you there!! 

♍️ For all of my task-oriented Virgos out there
If you’re one of those people who finds unscheduled vacation time distressing, grab your most ambitious, history-loving friend and head to the South Street Seaport Scavenger and History Hunt this Sunday. Register as a team (you can bring up to five people!) or on your own (you will be placed) for a 75-minute (much more reasonable than those endless Escape Rooms💀, IMHO) scavenger hunt around the downtown historic district. 

♎️ For all of my party-oriented Libras out there
If you also like the idea of hanging out on the pier this weekend but would rather do so with a cocktail in hand, check out the Memorial Day “Rosé All Day” Fest at Watermark Beach/Pier 15 this Monday. There will be frozen pink drinks, a DJ, and cabanas for rent on the East River. Who needs South Beach, bitches!!!!

🎶 For those Who Won’t Get Fooled Again
The Who return to Madison Square Garden tonight and, as of this printing (lol), there are still tickets for under 70 bucks!! If you also used to watch hours upon hours of CSI: Miami or have attempted to run on the treadmill to Pinball Wizard, it’s time to visit Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey!! 

Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend The Who

❓ Quick Question
What is the New York bar that you feel like you personally discovered and no one knows about? If you’re willing to share, drop a line!

Thank you to reader Lauren who recommended Norma on 9th Avenue as the place to show off for out-of-towners!! They also won the best newcomer in W42ST’s Best of Awards 2021 — you can check out the other winners and neighborhood favorites on the W42ST Local App too.

🤦🏼‍♀️ Corrections Corner
In my excitement to recommend checking out The Orchard at Baryshnikov Arts Center last week, I…spelled Chekhov without an “h”. While the ghost of Stella Adler will never, ever forgive me, my sincerest apologies and thank you to eagle-eyed reader Nikolay for keeping me honest!!!

🔥 Hot Tip
If you, like me, have been trying to see every show under the sun so you can stand behind your opinions on the Broadway World message board feuds (jk, I would never…or would I?!), make sure to check out this handy-dandy guide I’ve cooked up for you with all the ways to get cheap tickets!! Unless of course, you have a sugar daddy — in which case, mazel tov!!! 

⚠️ Omg I forgot to tell you
You can literally take the tulips off of Park Avenue for your own garden until Monday

The Hudson Yards weekly summer concert series starts next Wednesday 

There’s an outdoor art fair this weekend in Washington Square (the square, not the park, though you should visit the park too!!)

🌇 Manhattanhenge is this weekend! Check out this incredible photo from photographer Gary Hershorn — with bonus points for the North River Lobster Company being in the same shot!

📝 That’s it for now! Call me beep me if you want to reach me! (

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