If you're in the mood for a little night music later on, the New York Philharmonic will be giving its 23rd annual FREE Memorial Day Concert, a tradition that began in 1992 "as a gift to the people of New York City." And the venue is sublime: the soaring Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, which is currently adorned with these spectacular phoenix sculptures created by Chinese artist Xu Bing.

Music Director Alan Gilbert will lead the Philharmonic in Tchaikovsky’s powerful Symphony No. 5 and Nielsen’s Helios Overture. Here's a taste of the former, which is quite famous, despite Tchaikovsky himself considering it "a failure.":

The performance begins at 8 p.m., and tickets are distributed on a first come, first serve basis. A Philharmonic rep tells us that you should probably get on line by 5 p.m. to have a shot at a seat. Alternatively—and this is actually a sweet alternative—the performance will be broadcast live outside the church, on the "Pulpit Green." Bring a picnic and a blanket and stretch out like you're on the lawn at Tanglewood.

1047 Amsterdam Avenue and 112th Street.