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!

This is NOT another missive on the controversial nature of Valentine’s Day!!!! After all, in New York, true love means having someone to share the rent with LOL. INSTEAD I will address the vastly overdone topic of being in love with New York!! Ha ha ha I cannot help but function as your nightmare Carrie Bradshaw!!! 

Listen, maybe you live here and maybe you don’t. Maybe you have plans to become a granny-cart-wielding-faux-fur-coat-wearing-lifer (🙋🏼‍♀️), or maybe you have sworn enmity to New York but read this newsletter anyway (hi to my brother!!). Either way, just like Valentine’s Day, New York elicits strong feelings in almost everyone. And while there are certainly times that I’ve felt on the outs with the city over the course of 15-some-odd years, there are far more instances where I’ve nearly shouted “I LOVE NEW YORK” like a cringy commercial psycho because I experienced something that could only, only, ONLY happen here. And just like any good relationship, spontaneity is the key to long-lasting love.

Happy weekend, my New York Valentines!

❓Quick Question
What made you fall in love with New York?

❤️ west side love story 
If true love means never having to get on the subway, pick a date from our 2023 Hell’s Kitchen Valentine’s Day Guide. We’ve got chic, hidden gem wine and cocktail bars! We’ve got prixe fixe deals for your favorite HK cuisine! We’ve got baked goods! We’ve got sardonic Valentine’s Day cabarets! We’ve got elopements!! Celebrate in style with your Valentine or palentines and support some favorite Hell’s Kitchen businesses in the process!

❤️ the love booth
I had the pleasure of chatting with Hell’s Kitchen entrepreneur Nalyse Seymore, founder of ETU Oils, which specializes in natural wellness products formulated with Seymore’s family recipes from Jamaica and ancient African techniques. Check out her pop-up shop at Café 424 now through February 14 as well as Café 424’s Chef Nicola Campbell’s Valentine’s Day Aphrodisiac Chat N’ Cook tasting menu mixer on Saturday February 1!

👯‍♀️ celebrating katherine dunham
A legendary dancer in her own right, Katherine Dunham was also a major artistic inspiration and mentor to Alvin Ailey. Honor Black History Month by attending Katherine Dunham’s Legacy with Marcea Daiter on Saturday February 11 at Ailey Extension. Daiter, a Dunham technique expert, will teach students the “polyrhythmic blend of traditional modern dance, ballet, African, and Afro-Caribbean styles” as well as exploring Dunham’s legacy as a pioneer of Afro-Caribbean dance. 

🏙 black history month in hk!
For more West Side events, exhibitions and celebrations, save our 2023 Black History Month guide with recommendations for February and beyond!

🎶 you’ll have the time of your life
If classic 1980s films are your true love, stop by on Tuesday February 14 to see Broadway’s Colin Cunliffe’s Dirty Dancing, Too, a loving musical tribute to Kellerman’s Lodge that promises an evening “your hungry eyes won’t forget.” As always, practice the lift!!!!!

🎭 between 7th and 8th avenue 
There are so many reasons to go see Between Riverside and Crazy! It’s from Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis! It’s Common’s well-received Broadway debut! It’s also starring the incomparable Stephen McKinley Henderson and Liza Colón-Zayas (who are reprising their roles from the original production)! It’s directed by the always-working 90-year old Austin Pendleton! It’s playing now through February 19! 

🚀 full STEAM ahead
Just in time for winter vacation, take your young explorers to Kids’ Week at the Intrepid from February 18 through 25. Featuring everything from interactive exhibits with NASA astronauts to performances from Blue Man Group and the Gazillion Bubble Show, it’s the perfect way to spend a day outside of your apartment!! 

🎨 Mann of the hour
The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Gallery honors work from the late Katinka Mann at Perception of Space opening today, February 9 (opening reception 6-8pm) and showing through March 24. The exhibit, featuring flattened sculptural paintings “stripped of artifice but full of life” is the perfect place to class up your Valentine’s Day weekend. 

🎭 a 44th street tale
The elusive Actors Studio opens its doors once more for a new staged reading of Lyle Kessler’s If You Love Me starring Chazz Palmienteri Friday February 17 and Saturday February 18, where fans of A Bronx Tale can check out the legendary actor in a “dark comedy that pushes the boundary of human behavior.” 

🎶 soul jam saturday
If you, like me, used to enjoy the 40-disc Time Life superset Sounds of the Seventies on repeat, A) we should be friends and B) you may enjoy The 70s Soul Jam Valentine’s Day Concert at the Beacon Theatre Saturday February 11!!

❤️ the love boat
While the Circle Line Valentine’s Day cruise is sold out, you can still enjoy a waterfront date with the Classic Harbor Line Champagne Tasting Cruise February 14 sailing out of Pier 62 in Chelsea. Every ticket comes with a four glass tasting, curated appetizers and desserts and skyline views of Lower Manhattan. 

Far Header

🎶 some enchanted 
Kelli O’Hara is one of those Broadway stars that I have a fully parasocial relationship with — but whatever, she seems cool!! Stop by An Evening with Kelli O’Hara at the 92nd Street Y on Thursday February 16 to hear the talented, Tony Award-winning soprano sing some tunes. And Kelli, if you’re reading this, let’s have lunch!!

📔 black history month manga club
Head uptown to the Washington Heights New York Public Library for the Anime & Manga Club: Black History Month events Tuesday February 14, 21 and 28 to engage in a discussion of BIPOC representation in anime and manga with other fans!

🎶 harlem in brooklyn 
Enjoy the sounds of the Harlem Chamber Players at their Black History Month Concert at the Brooklyn Library Saturday February 12 for performances of Valerie Coleman’s Umoja, Tania León’s Esencia, Frederick Tillis’ Spiritual Fantasy No. 12 and George Walker’s String Quartet No. 1

❤️ love is a bottomless brunch lol
Beer nuts take Valentine’s Day at TALEA Brewery’s Brooklyn Bottomless Brunch on Saturday February 12. Stop by one of their two Brooklyn outposts to enjoy a two-hour beer, cider or “beermosa” brunch for $35, and join in on special shopping, crafting, beauty and cookie-decorating pop-ups at each location. 

❤️ spill the coffee
Grab your guitar and your best romantic (or breakup???!) story and head to the Word Up x Buunni Coffee “Love Stories” Open Mic Night, where you can join in or just listen while you enjoy food, drink, stories and song!

🎭 welcome to the
I missed The Jungle at St Anne’s Warehouse the first time around, but lucky for me it’s coming back Saturday February 18 through Sunday March 19 and apparently is a must-see — the story of an “improvised refugee camp in Calais, France, thousands of refugees fled drought, war, and violence seeking their ‘good chance’ — to reach the UK, The Jungle asks why those crossing borders in search of safety and home must face grave harm and danger.” 

❤️ sugar rush
I LOVE all the candy that everyone else hates — candy hearts, candy corn, Good N’ Plenty — or really, anything that’s mostly made of wax and sugar, I’m sure it’s really great for my health!!!!! Anyway, make your own treats at Cricket’s Candy Creations where through the month of February the family-friendly pop-up offers Valentine’s-themed confectionery candy craft workshops with considerably less wax.  

🎶 singing the blues
Head over to the legendary Apollo Theatre for an evening-long concert and exploration of Amiri Baraka’s groundbreaking work, Blues People: Negro Music in White America at the venue’s Blues and Its People on Saturday February 18! 

🎭 we LOVE a short play
My well-documented love for short, one-acts continues as I recommend checking out the LUV series from the Short Play Festival Thursday February 9 through 26 at the Players Theatre. It’s the perfect place to take an early-in-the-run date — you know you’ll enjoy the show and if the date’s bad, you’re not committed to a three-hour extravaganza!!!!!

🔥 Hot tip 
Are you ready to COMMIT?! NO PRESSURE!!! If you are trying to lock things down, why not head over to I Love You Rings in Midtown West, where you can create your own wedding bands/commitment rings/significant meaning rings together. And if you have to negotiate with each other at length over the design, well, that’s marriage baby!!!!!!!!!

⚠️ Omg I forgot to tell you

Tickets for Miscast at MCC Theater are on sale now!

There’s a Beatles jam-band Valentine’s Day weekend show Saturday February 11 at Brooklyn Made 

Performer and Essayist Isaac Oliver is Your Valentine at Joe’s Pub Monday February 13

Classical Theatre of Harlem’s joyous Twelfth Night returns to NY and plays NYU Skirball Saturday February 11

You can attend a NYFW event this weekend for free

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

If you were forwarded this email, why not get the exclusive? Sign up here!