11 fun things to do this weekend in Harlem and beyond


An outdoor film screening at the Maysles Documentary Center. Photo: Maysles Documentary Center

A sidewalk film screening exploring inspirational African style, tours to the top of the Harlem Fire Watchtower, speakeasy-style cocktails and jazz in a converted cafe, and more fun things to do this weekend.


Sidewalk Cinema "Bangaologia: The Science of Style"

Friday, May 14 8pm-9:45pm; FREE

Central Harlem In front of the Maysles Documentary Center, 343 Malcolm X Blvd between 127th and 128th Sts

Screened on the sidewalk outside of the film center, "Bangaologia: The Science of Style"—part of the African Film Festival—explores an inspirational fashion style out of Angola.

Harlem Fire Watchtower tours

Saturday, May 15 1pm-3pm; FREE

Central Harlem The Acropolis Park in Marcus Garvey Park, Fifth Ave between 120th and 124th Sts

The Urban Park Rangers are giving tours of the Harlem Fire Watchtower, including climbs up to the observation deck.


"Rise" Exhibit

Through May 29; Thu & Fri 1pm-6:30pm, Sat noon-7pm

Central Harlem Heath Gallery, 24 W 120th St between Fifth and Lenox Aves

The work of 12 Black women artists presented in a gallery in a Harlem brownstone.



Sugar Hill After Hours

Fridays & Saturdays, 7pm-midnight

Sugar Hill Cafe, 410 W 145th St between Convent and St. Nicholas Aves

This cafe in Hamilton Heights is now a speakeasy-style hangout on weekend evenings, complete with cocktails, small plates, and live jazz on Saturdays.



In case you missed it:


"Reclining Liberty"

Through April 2022

Central Harlem Morningside Park, Morningside Ave and 120th St

Take a selfie with artist Zaq Landsberg's new 25-foot-long sculpture, "Reclining Liberty," right above the entrance to the park at 120th Street.


"Reclining Liberty" at Morningside Park.

"Scaffold: Equity of Treatment Project" by Elan Cadiz

Through May 30; Wed-Fri 2pm-8pm, Sat & Sun noon-8pm

Central Harlem Kente Royal Gallery, 2373 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd between W 138th and W 139th Sts

New York-based artist Elan Cadiz spent the lockdown uplifting others by painting their portraits. These 167 canvases (!) are the result.


Harlem Grown: Saturdays on the Farm

Saturdays through October

Harlem Grown Farms, various locations

Workshops on farming (for children) and volunteering (for adults) on Harlem Grown's urban farms return this month. Registration is mandatory.


Gio Swaby: Both Sides of the Sun

Through June 5; Tue-Sat 11am-6pm

Central Harlem Claire Oliver Gallery, 2288 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd between W 134th and W 135th Sts

Bahamian artist Gio Swaby's tribute to Black women features a series of large-scale portraits intricately crafted using thread and colorful textiles.


Alice Neel, Dominican Boys on 108th Street, © The Estate of Alice Neel

"Alice Neel: People Come First"

Through August 1

Upper East Side The Met, 100 Fifth Ave at E 82nd St

This career retrospective of Alice Neel includes a treasure trove of portraits and streetscapes from the 24-year period the painter lived in East Harlem.


Live jazz at the Grange

Sundays 6pm-9pm

Hamilton Heights The Grange Bar & Eatery, 1635 Amsterdam Ave at W 141st St

After a brief hiatus, the Grange has reopened and is back to hosting the Sam Taylor jazz trio on Sunday nights.



Estamos Bien - La Trienal 20/21

Through September 26; Sat & Sun 11am-5pm

East Harlem El Museo del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Ave between E 104th and E 105th Sts

The culmination of two years of research and studio visits, this national survey takes a closer look at the work of 42 Latinx artists and collectives from the United States and Puerto Rico, exploring themes such as identity, structural racism, migration and more.


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