It’s tradition for New Yorkers to go to the beach or out of town (or out-of-town beaches) for Memorial Day Weekend, apparently seen as the most fitting way to honor our war dead. But for New Yorkers who cannot bear to be away from the asphalt, there is SO much to do.

Fleet Week offers not just the expected, a flotilla of warships, and the odd, muscled men in white playing tug of war, but also some surprising events, such as a performance by the cast of the hit Broadway show“Wicked” right on pier 86.

The Lower East Side Festival of the Arts

Poetry, puppetry, plays, concerts, comedy take place over three days in and around (and outside) the Theater for the New City for three days, all of it free.

The 79th annual Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit begins this weekend, continuing a tradition of some eight decades, with more than 200 artists from throughout the world showing their works on the streets throughout Greenwich Village, and hundreds of artists from the neighborhood grumbling about it.

The Bang on a Can Marathon on Saturday offers 12 hours of free music at the Winter Garden, a block from Ground Zero.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is open on Memorial Day itself (it’s usually closed to the public on Mondays). It’s a good time to see the just-reopened and generally well-reviewed American Wing.

This is an almost-random (and admittedly Manhattan-centric) selection.
NYC.go is a cool site to find out more about what’s happening day by day. It’s run by NYC & Company, the city’s tourist bureau, but maybe on Memorial Day Weekend New York is better to take if you pretend you’re a tourist.


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