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The Best Things To Do In NYC This Week, From Camp Catcha-Train To Taiwanese Waves

Take a journey inside your mind at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Tuesday
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Take a journey inside your mind at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Tuesday photo courtesy of Murray Hidary

MindTravel: Silent Walk and Listening Experience @ Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Take a "silent" stroll through nature at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's MindTravel. Attendees will receive headphones and then wander through the twilight listening to the music playing through them. At the Japanese Garden, multidisciplinary pianist Murray Hidary, who conceived the event, will play an original composition as the sun sets. Pick up headsets on Cherry Esplanade 30 minutes before the walk begins.

Tuesday, July 30th, 6 and 7:15 p.m. // Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 455 Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn // Free with garden admission

Democratic Primary Debate Watch Parties @ Q.E.D.

There are around 460 days left until next year's presidential election, and so far the Democratic primary field remains massive. Catch the candidates in the two-night second-round debates this week, and if you want to laugh while doing so, head to Q.E.D. for "Mystery Science Theater 3000"–style viewings, with pre-show comedy and real-time commentary throughout. The show is hosted by Christian Finnegan, and the lineup includes Liz Miele, Charles McBee, John Fugelsang, Myka Fox, and Robby Slowik.

Tuesday, July 30th, and Wednesday, July 31st, 7:30 p.m. // Q.E.D., 27-16 23rd Ave., Queens // Tickets: $10

The Big Crossover @ Maysles Cinema

Get a glimpse of some unique new film works at The Big Crossover, Maysles' collaboration with Peephole Cinema and internet art collective Felt Zine. Peephole, which has tiny storefront cinemas in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Brooklyn, will open a new one in Harlem for the month of August, where experimental film and video works by the Felt artists will be shown on a continuous loop. Felt Creative Director Devon Moore and filmmaker Amar Ibrahim will be at the opening party to celebrate the new collab.

Opens Thursday, August 1., 7:30 p.m. // Maysles Cinema, 343 Malcolm X Blvd., Harlem // Free

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Get scared on the subway for something *other* than the wait time (photo courtesy of New York Transit Museum)

Camp Catcha-Train @ New York Transit Museum

Have a nostalgic evening with an adults-only summer camp experience at the Transit Museum. Camp Catcha-Train features a slew of games, crafts, activities, and storytelling. Play Train Line Twister and Blue Bird Cornhole, make lanyards and friendship bracelets, compose live poetry, work on a collaborative cartography project, sketch around a "campfire," and more. And because this is camp for grownups, tickets come with one beer from Coney Island Brewery.

Thursday, August 1st, 6 p.m. // New York Transit Museum, Boerum Pl. and Schermerhorn St., Brooklyn // Tickets: $15

Hindu Lamp Ceremony @ Brooklyn Bridge Park

Show your love of nature at the Hindu Lamp Ceremony, an afternoon dedicated to peace, harmony, and gratitude for our city's waterways. The traditional Aarti ceremony was brought here in 2013 by the Brooklyn Arts Council and Indian dance arts educator Aeilushi Mistry, who recalls being deeply affected by such ceremonies on the Ganges River in her childhood. Join her to make decorative lamps out of palm leaves and set them sailing down the East River.

Saturday, August 3rd, 4 p.m. // Pebble Beach, Brooklyn Bridge Park // Free

The Gauntlet @ Rockefeller Center

Make your way through "musical corridors of sonic architecture" at The Gauntlet, a massive performance created by composer Sxip Shirey and choreographer Coco Karol and produced by National Sawdust Projects. The site-specific piece features hundreds of singers and choirs from across all five boroughs scattered throughout Rockefeller Center's plazas, producing waves of harmony, poetry, and gesture. The text is taken from interviews with changemakers, cultural figures, and artists, and the piece was inspired by the theme of transformation.

Saturday, August 3rd, 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. // Rockefeller Center, 45 Rockefeller Plaza, Manhattan // Free

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Travel to Taiwan with Wan Fang and more at Summerstage (photo courtesy of the artist)

Taiwanese Waves @ SummerStage in Central Park

Hear from some of Taiwan's musical tastemakers at the fourth-annual Taiwanese Waves. The acts are selected each year by promoter Mia Min Yen, who aims to demonstrate that music is perfect for crossing cultural boundaries. This year's performers include an all-female lineup of Mandarin artists: singer, DJ, and actress Wan Fang (萬芳), the guitar-less piano-rockers Tizzy Bac, Paiwan singer A Bao (阿爆), and the Taipei-raised, New York-based emerging artist 9m88.

Saturday, August 3rd, 6 p.m. // Rumsey Playfield, SummerStage in Central Park // Free

Jazz Jam All-Stars @ Flushing Town Hall

Flushing Town Hall has been a home for jazz since way back in the early 1990s, and they still host a monthly Louis Armstrong Jazz Jam in the gallery, led by the Queens-born Astoria Big Band. Hear from many of the greats that grace their stage at Jazz Jam All-Stars, which doubles as a fundraiser to keep the series going. The concert, led by Carol Sudhalter, will feature many Armstrong songs and will end with a group jam. All local musicians are welcome to join.

Sunday, August 4th, 6 p.m. // Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd., Queens // Tickets: $20

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