Seven Picks a Week is our guide to what’s worth catching in arts, culture and activities during the week ahead, with contributions from reporters throughout the WNYC/Gothamist newsroom, and colleagues from WQXR and "All of It."
Are you already over the holidays? Good news! Many of the events around town this weekend and beyond have nothing to do with them. Are you into the holidays? More good news: there are plenty of holiday-themed events happening, too. (In fact, we've got a whole list of them.)
Celebrate Brooklyn Public Library’s most borrowed book, catch a family-friendly show about immigrants and the Lower East Side, or check out the Bronx Children's Museum in its new permanent location. If you venture outside Saturday, bring your umbrella or rain gear, as the forecast is wet.
Here are some ideas to help you plan your weekend and beyond.
Celebrate the Most Borrowed Book at the Brooklyn Public Library
To celebrate its 125th anniversary, the Brooklyn Public Library had a countdown of its most borrowed books of all time. Topping the list: “Where the Wild Things Are,” the 1963 classic by Maurice Sendak. On Saturday, Dec. 3, the library is hosting a special story time to honor the beloved book. The event will feature a live reading of “Where the Wild Things Are” from Recess Therapy’s Julian Shapiro-Barnum, who will also lead the crowd in a Wild Rumpus dance. Kids will have the chance to decorate their own crowns, and local bakery Good Batch is supplying confetti cookies and cupcakes. The free event is recommended for children ages 3 to 8. Doors open at 12:45 p.m. and the session runs from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
– Kerry Shaw
See a timely exhibition of Puerto Rican art inspired by Hurricane Maria
When Hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico in September, it was a stark reminder of the damage done five years ago when Irma and Maria made landfall just two weeks apart. The lasting impact of Maria in particular, along with the austerity measures, political turmoil, earthquakes, and pandemic complications that followed, are the subject of a powerful new show at the Whitney Museum of American Art: “no existe un mundo poshuracán,” which translates as “There is no post-hurricane world.” The show includes works by 20 artists, organized into thematic groups concerning infrastructure, tourism, grieving, ecology and protest. Much of the art is understandably dark, evoking anger and grief, but also determination and resilience – a perfect illustration of how art reflects and amplifies the basic concerns of life. The show runs through April, and the museum is hosting related tours and talks.
– Steve Smith
See a family-friendly show about the Lower East Side
“Dick Rivington & the Cat” tells the story of a young immigrant and his cat trying to make their dreams come true on the Lower East Side. It’s a musical featuring local New Yorkers and an ’80s dance-off. The show runs about 2 hours and 15 minutes (with intermission), and it’s on through Dec. 18 at the Abrons Arts Center on the Lower East Side. Tickets start at $26 and masks are required.
– Kerry Shaw
Hear beautiful songs about travel and migration
Nicholas Phan is one of the most probing and lyrically gifted singers I know, and his free program with the excellent musicians of Music From Copland House promises not just a musical experience but a journey of the mind, an examination of the "arduous voyage of migration." I know it sounds heavy, but with Phan's sensitive hands and voice, revelation and beauty will be present. The concert is happening on Monday, Dec. 5, at Elebash Recital Hall in the CUNY Graduate Center, and the eclectic playlist features New York-based composers Lembit Beecher and Missy Mazzoli, plus works from Jake Heggie, Florence Price, Ruth Crawford Seeger, Ka-Chia Chen and Pierre Jalbert.
– Ed Yim, WQXR
Check out the Bronx Children’s Museum in its new, permanent location
After 12 years as a museum "without walls," the Bronx Children's Museum opens to the public Saturday, Dec. 3, in its new permanent home near Yankee Stadium. It will feature art installations and exhibits where families can "play, learn, and connect to the Bronx." The new space will also include a 30-foot-long water table designed to match the look and feel of the Bronx waterways. You can reserve timed tickets online. Admission is free for the next few weeks, in celebration of the opening, and will eventually be $8. In December, the museum is open on Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and then again from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
– Kerry Shaw
Listen to amazing stories at The Moth's Mainstage event
Comedian Ophira Eisenberg hosts the final mainstage show of the Moth's 25th anniversary at St. Ann and the Holy Trinity Church in Brooklyn Heights on Thursday, Dec. 8. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and stories begin at 7:30 p.m, with a focus on “shifts in perspective, glimpses of the truth, and the big reveal.” Tickets start at around $50. The show will feature five storytellers, plus live music from recording violinist Juliette Jones.
– Kerry Shaw
Watch a psychological thriller full of nightmares, heartbreak and love
The top honor at this year's Sundance Film Festival, the U.S. Grand Jury Prize, was awarded to a film called "Nanny," which tells the story of a Senegalese woman who comes to New York City to try and earn enough money to bring her son to the U.S. Aisha gets a job as a caretaker for a well-off white Manhattan couple with a young daughter named Rose. The kid is great; as for the parents... well, there are microaggressions, pay issues and unwanted advances. But Aisha holds her ground and maintains her dignity — until some very strange things start to happen. "Nanny" is in select theaters now, and will be streaming on Prime Video starting Dec. 16. We spoke this week with the film's writer and director, Nikyatu Jusu.
– Alison Stewart & Simon Close, "All of It"