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!

Sometimes, it is tempting to cancel your plans and plant yourself in front of the TV for the night (thank you to my friends who recommended binging The Bear, btw). But although it’s healthy to balance your week with low-key days and nights, there is something to be said for taking up an offer to try the unexpected.

Saying yes to the unexpected is what led me to join a friend at a tiny, hole-in-the-wall New York bar, where we met a cast of singularly crazy characters straight out of someone’s memoir — only to find the watering hole boarded up the next week. Did we dream it?

Saying yes to the unexpected is what led me to make a lifelong friend from a roommate, after we volunteered at a bitingly cold road race together and found ourselves cry-laughing while covered in frozen Gatorade mix. 

Saying yes to the unexpected is what led me to join a friend in the audience of a daytime talk show, where they gifted each of us a FREE mattress that I sleep on to this very day!!

So it’s true, you should sometimes say yes to your couch. But keep a night or two free for the unexpected…

Quick Question
What’s your wildest “glad I didn’t stay in tonight” story? I’ll sign an NDA if needed! 

🍿 have the time of ur life
Take a break from practicing the iconic lift sequence (it’s kind of dangerous y’all!!!) and enjoy a rooftop screening of summertime movie standard Dirty Dancing at Green Room 42 tonight. And if you can’t make it out, enjoy this mashup of Patrick Swayze dancing to the Muppets theme song. Yes, I am entirely what they call “too online.” 

🎭 theatrical speed dating 
There’s something inherently thrilling about watching a short play or film where, sometimes, the best stories can be told very quickly (see: all of those Pixar shorts that make you weep openly in the AMC). For the stage version, head over to Playwrights Horizons this weekend to check out the 47th Annual Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival, where 30 of the best new 10-minute works out there get a chance to compete through August 19, with a finalist showcase on the 20th.

🎤 west side laughs
Gotham West is not only home to some of the best pizza on 11th Avenue (Corner Slice!!) but also a monthly free comedy night hosted by Ben Fisher and Srilatha Rajamani. Catch the next one tonight! 

🌠 do look up
While light pollution prevents us from regularly enjoying the Milky Way, the folks at the High Line have found a glorious workaround. Make a date with their Tuesday night stargazing series, where members of the Amateur Astronomer Association guide you as you peer through high-powered telescopes to check out what Orion has been up to. Need a primer for what’s up there? Set your sights on the Intrepid’s virtual Astronomy Live program this Sunday as experts explain the technology behind the James Webb telescope. 

🎶 music to step into
One of the most moving parts of this summer’s Everything Everywhere All at Once was its evocative score. Hear more from Rafiq Bhatia and Ian Chang, the musicians responsible for the gorgeous soundtrack, as part of the Asian American Arts Alliance at Bryant Park this Friday. 

🍿 omigod omg u guys
Green Room 42 is on a ROLL with summer hits, y’all — stop by their Sunday screening of Legally Blonde, a movie far wittier than it gets credit for that taught me the essentials of perm maintenance.

🎭 a family friendlier ave q
Enjoy some incredibly crafted puppetry and storytelling at the Brooklyn Commons Park this weekend, where original works by playwrights Jen Silverman and Dipika Guha are showing in The Puppet Cycle: Small World Stories!

🍿 here come the
For those of us with social anxiety, the “memory erasing technology” displayed in the seminal classic Men in Black (screening at the excellent Museum of the Moving Image this Saturday) would be particularly useful. Until it comes to fruition, guess I’ll be left tossing and turning at night over something I said in 1997!!!

🎶 museum market music
The Brooklyn Museum’s Pop-Up Market is open this Sunday, featuring artisan jewelry, clothing and home goods sold on the steps of the museum plaza. And while you’re there, catch a pop-up performance from the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra in the beautiful Beaux-Arts court! 

🎶 sweet symphony
Hudson River Park continues its free Sunset series with an open-air concert from the city’s own Queer Urban Orchestra this Friday! 

👯‍♀️ let’s dance
Giving credit where credit is due, please enjoy this perfect logline for Friday’s 80s/90s/00s dance party at the Bell House: “Pounding the pavement in a New York City summer can feel like Walkin’ On The Sun. But don’t go chasing Waterfalls, because we’ve got all the Ice, Ice Baby you’ll need at the 80s, 90s & 00s Cruel Summer dance party!” 10/10, no notes!!!

🍿 madge movie night
Potentially hot take??? I think Madonna is a great actress (we’ll exclude Evita for now lol). Check out a screening of her 1985 hit Desperately Seeking Susan at the Museum of the City of New York tonight. Bonus?? There’s a Madonna-themed cocktail hour and costume contest! Get into the groove!!

🔥 Hot Tip
I have some very on-top-of-it friends who send me great tips for what the cool kids are up to these days — right now, word on the street is that rug-making is all the rage. Head to Brooklyn studio Scattered Kind for a workshop in tufting your own custom carpet. It’s more fun and cheaper than Restoration Hardware!!!

⚠️ Omg I forgot to tell you
Michael Bublé is playing Madison Square Garden tonight. I’ve been before and it is a TIME!

There’s an end-of-summer all designer sample sale in NoMad this weekend where everything is under $50. Who said I can’t budget!!

That’s it for now! Call me beep me if you want to reach me! (sarah@w42st.com)