Open Phones: Weekend Activity Recommendations

Monday, July 16, 2012

beach reading (flickr/aafromaa/)

Another summer weekend has come and gone. What movie, concert, restaurant, hike or bike trip or whatever did you see/do this weekend? Would you recommend it to other listeners?

→ Check out some of the Brian Lehrer Show's recommendations below!

+ Brian Lehrer

I saw the movie Two Days in New York with Chris Rock and Julie Delpy. Off-beat romantic comedy (sequel to Delpy's Two Days in Paris) in which Rock is the only normal person in the room while single mom Delpy's insane and infuriating relatives and an ex-boyfriend come to visit from France. It even makes good comic use of subtitles during stretches of French dialogue. Highly recommend. By the way, Rock's character is a public radio talk show host, which plays absolutely no role in the plot, but obviously makes him a top notch human being :)

+ Producer Lisa Allison

I really enjoyed the movie Farewell, My Queen set at Versailles in the days leading up to the French Revolution, but the most notable thing about it was I was running late and got to the box office at the Angelika just before showtime – and still got tickets and a good seat! July and August weekends in the city are great for going out, no lines anywhere (except maybe Pinkberry).

+ Producer Jody Avirgan

My main summer weekend revelation is that no one is at the gym on a hot Saturday afternoon. So you can have the run of the place, which is great. Also, Saturday was Woody Guthrie's 100th birthday. We tend to associate Guthrie with the Western dust bowl migration, but he spent his last years here in New York, living with his wife and kids on Coney Island. Rooftop Films screened the 1976 Guthrie bio Bound for Glory on the beach Saturday night, preceded by music and stories from Steve Earle and Billy Bragg. This was a one-time screening, but it was a reminder of how good that movie is; that seeing movies outdoors is the best; and how much fun Coney Island is. See it, do it, go there.

+ Producer Alana Casanova-Burgess

I saw Calle 13, a Puerto Rican group, and Ana Tijoux, a Chilean rapper, perform at the Latin Alternative Music Conference concert at Celebrate Brooklyn! on Friday night. I’m convinced that you don’t need to understand Spanish to get down at a Calle 13 show -- but you’d be seriously missing out on their stellar lyrics. I’ve seen Residente, Visitante and PG-13 live before, but there’s nothing like being at an outdoors show in Prospect Park with a cramped, sweaty, dancing crowd of a few thousand other like-minded fans.

+ WNYC Host Richard Hake

I also saw a movie -- Moonrise Kingdom with Bill Murray, Bruce Willis and Frances McDormand. It was quirky, odd and shot beautifully. It makes you want to go camping. I usually like anything with Francis McDormand. I also ate at Rosa Mexicano which is pricey, but delicious.

+ BLShow Intern Asthaa Chaturvedi

This weekend I watched three classics: Casablanca, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and one of my favorite Bollywood films Lagaan. I enjoyed Casablanca and finally learned where “Here’s looking at you kid” comes from, but Breakfast at Tiffany’s wasn’t one I’ll see again. I also hiked though a trail at the Ramapo Reserve Mountain with a couple of friends. The sun was beating down on us on Saturday evening but the view of the lake was worth it!

+ WNYC Host Amy Eddings

I took a tennis lesson in the swampy heat of 5 in the afternoon yesterday at the Prospect Park Tennis Center. Then, an hour later, I played a USTA women's league match in the cooler confines of the racquet club at Mill Basin. In between, I gulped down two bubble teas from Hanco's in Park Slope. I suggest the almond. It's really tasty. I can ALWAYS recommend playing tennis, especially when it's humid. Nothing like having the sweat dripping off the bill of your cap. Makes you feel like Andy Roddick.

+ It's A Free Country Editor Caitlin Thompson

I just finished reading Chad Harbach's The Art of Fielding, which is ostensibly about baseball, but really about life and fleeting youth and friendship. It takes place on the campus of a small-town liberal arts college in Wisconsin and follows the team - the Westish Harpooners - toward the culmination of an extraordinary season. Nothing says summer like baseball and beach reading.

Comments [36]


Oyster Bay, Sagamore Hill...Theodore Roosevelt's former residence...the home is closed for renovations, but there's a museum on the property, a beautiful hike to a private beach and he is buried near by. It's a National Park so getting in is free. Had oysters with truffle oil in town at a place called Wild Honey. Reading his bios by Edmund Moriss inspired me to go.

Jul. 16 2012 02:43 PM
CH from Westchester

What a nice topic for the show to take on. It's been great hearing the multitude of options we have locally.

I took Amtrak out of state to a fun family event hosted by young people which was satisfying and uplifting. There is no substitute for meeting family and friends under relaxed conditions.

Jul. 16 2012 12:05 PM
Yvette from Westchester

I also saw Paris Opera Ballet this weekend - my favorite ballet company - in Giselle (I think the best production I have ever seen) and the mixed rep. program (interesting mix of choreography we don't normally see in the US). Thanks to Bill McLoughlin of WQXR for reminding me that they were in town. It was such a wonderful treat. I wish I could see the other program - Orpheus and Eurydice - but sadly may not get the chance.

Jul. 16 2012 12:04 PM
Beth from LES

Went to the Cirque du Soliel "Zarkana" show at Radio City. Spectacular! Exhilarating! Highly recommend it.

Jul. 16 2012 12:02 PM
Beatrice from Ft. Greene

I went to the Noguchi Museum in Queens with my husband and 9 year-old son. It was a wonderful museum with a peaceful Japanese garden and galleries full of Noguchi's art. My son proclaimed it "Awesome!". High;y recommend a trek out there.

Jul. 16 2012 12:00 PM
Michelle from NYC

On Saturday night I saw a fantastic burlesque show--Rhinestone Gorilla Burlesque is a troupe of young women who do literate, funny, sex-positive, empowering burlesque. They perform regularly at the Triad on the Upper West Side and they're delightful.

Jul. 16 2012 11:58 AM
Dennis Antrobus

Saturday i went to the closing night of Midsummer Night Swing at Lincoln Center and danced to the great music of the Harlem Renaissance Band.
Sunday night was spent at a Kirtan (call and response chanting) held by a group called The Hanumen (a play on the name of the hindu deity Hanuman). who are currently conducting an east coast store. Both events demonstrated the power of music to move and inspire.

Jul. 16 2012 11:58 AM

I did Tai Chi. It's great for any age and ability level. fits right in with your segment on aging and even why the Universe exist.

Jul. 16 2012 11:57 AM
judy from manhattan

I had an old friend in visiting from Idaho! (Where I used to live many years ago!) We walked on the high line and watched the sunset and then had dinner in the meat packing district (good food- horrible service!) - the Bastille Day french restaurant week special ($17.89)

Yesterday, we joined many other New Yorkers in celebrating Woody Guthrie's 100th birthday anniversary at Summer stage!Arlo and family!)

Jul. 16 2012 11:57 AM
DB from NJ

I went to the free 4 Knots Music Festival at South Street Seaport. It was a good lineup of mostly younger artists-- Hospitality, Crocodiles, The Drums, Team Spirit, etc.-- but headlined by the reunited 1990s alt-rock band Archers of Loaf. It was a great show (except for the delay caused by the fire at the Seaport), and the heat/humidity wasn't too oppressive.

Although this is a once-a-year festival, there's plenty of free music in NYC in the summer, including the downtown River to River Festival, Summerstage, Madison Square Music, Seaport Music, and more. Just last week I got to see Neko Case and George Clinton & Parliament/Funkadelic on the same night.

Jul. 16 2012 11:55 AM
Deborah Friedman from Brooklyn

we had brunch at Parish Hall on N. 3rd Street in Williamsburg and had red flannel hash made with corned lamb ... a delicious take on corned beef hash. Great cocktails too! This is the sister restaurant of Egg.

Jul. 16 2012 11:55 AM
Margaret H Baker from Hell's Kitchen

Watched a beautiful documentary on the magnificent Bill Cunningham (NY Times Style Photographer) who at 83 still travels the beloved Gotham streets on his Schwinn... created by long time colleagues at The New York Times...

Jul. 16 2012 11:55 AM
Patrice from Queens, NY

This weekend I caught a great theater show in Brooklyn. You Blew It! is part of the Game Play Festival at The Brick Theater in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It's worth braving the L train for - You Blew It! takes place in a fictional 70s game show, includes fun (and totally voluntary) audience participation and warps into a plot wherein the main characters have to save the world from a robot gone wrong. Tons of laughs in an air-conditioned theater! The Game Play Festival is a theater festival devoted to game play and game theory performance art. You Blew It! runs through the majority of the festival which also includes a video-game-music dance party and video and lobby media installation pieces.

Jul. 16 2012 11:55 AM
Juliet from Bronx, NY

Also saw Calle 13 show-in Brooklyn at the Prospect Park bandshell, always a great venue, and concert series-I am not new to Calle 13, Ana Tijoux, Rebel Diaz or the other performers, and the show more than fulfilled expectations....I am bilingual in English and Spanish which makes the show much more enjoyable, know the music, and so on, but agree with the comment that even if you are not a Spanish speaker, and do not know the groups, go anyway! You'll dig it, guaranteed.

Jul. 16 2012 11:55 AM
Steven from NYC

For the first time in 30 or 40 years: Coney Island! The aquarium! A Nathan's hot dog! The Cyclone!


Jul. 16 2012 11:55 AM
Bob from NJ from nj

I saw the Lincoln Center DruidMurphy festival of plays by Irish playwright Tom Murphy, and it blew me away. All nine hours.

Jul. 16 2012 11:52 AM
Alex from Jersey City

Went to TedX East Hamptom on Saturday - some great talks, some less so, but all very interesting. Happens every hear in July...would love to see more attendance next year.

Jul. 16 2012 11:52 AM
Sherril from NJ

I went to the movie "Beasts of the Southern Wild" Go out of your way to see this movie. Just seeing the non-actor actors made it worthwhile. The movie was the best I've seen in a long time. Benh Zeitlin, the director/co-writer will go on to win many prizes. Truly a masterpiece.

Jul. 16 2012 11:52 AM
Paula from Manhattan

I saw the play Once. It was great! I highly recommend the show...such a wonderful cast, especially the male and female leads.

Jul. 16 2012 11:51 AM
Sandra from New York

I saw the new Woody Allen film "To Rome with Love". Classic Woody humor, great characters, beautifully filmed! Then went to Midsummer Night Swing at Lincoln Center, and danced into the night. A wonderful Saturday in the city.

Jul. 16 2012 11:50 AM
Libby K from UWS

I went with a friend to see Woody Allen's film "To Rome with Love." Perfectly funny, entertaining summer film where he takes down everything and everyone with pitch-perfect satire. Then we went for Italian food for dinner--perfect!

Jul. 16 2012 11:50 AM
Paul from White Plains

We were at Tanglewood Saturday night for a fabulous 75th Anniversary concert, starring Anna Sophie Mutter, Emanuel Ax, Peter Serkin, YoYo Ma, and James Taylor. No repeat to attend - but look for it on PBS August 10th.

Jul. 16 2012 11:49 AM
Lisa from Forest Hills, NY

Went upstate. Highly recommend visiting Ausable Gorge, Saranac Area, Lake Placid and Forge. NY is bigger than Manhattan. Check it out.

Jul. 16 2012 11:47 AM
Peter from Williamsburg from Williamsburg

Weekend at Bascom Lodge atop Mount Greylock in the Berkshires.
Spectacular sunsets & hiking trails.
Great food and lodging in this historic Arts & Crafts lodge built by the C.C.C.

Jul. 16 2012 11:47 AM
Tom from upper west side

My partner and I drove a 12-hour round trip to a small town in Western Pennsylvania to pick up our 14 year-old grand nephew. Our birthday present to him is a week in NYC (his first!)- Museums, ballet, concert, bookshops, restaurants, hot dogs in Central Park, walking the High Line, a visit to Grown Zero, etc. etc.

Jul. 16 2012 11:47 AM
Daniel Arbelaez

I swam across the East River from Brooklyn to Manhattan underneath the Brooklyn Bridge as part of NYCSwim's annual event. Approximately 400 people took part. Definitely recommend it.

Jul. 16 2012 11:47 AM
Allison from Brooklyn

The whole family (myself, my husband and my 16 year old step-daughter) went to see Potted Potter at the Little Shubert Theater yesterday. It was GREAT. I totally whole heartedly recommend it. It was hilarious. Great for kids and adults.

Jul. 16 2012 11:45 AM
Jens Rasmussen from 11222

I paddled to Governors Island from Newtown Creek with the North Brooklyn Boat Club, on Saturday Morning. We camped on the Island overnight and paddled back yesterday. Absolutely amazing weekend. Paddle making, games, sunset paddles, camp cooking - right in the middle of NY harbor.

There's some pics on the clubs facebook page here:

Jul. 16 2012 11:39 AM
C. Tennyson

I also saw The Clock this weekend and made a point of bringing a couple of out of towners to totally blow their minds. It's interesting and beautiful in itself and a great way to show visitors something they probably can't find anywhere else.

If you have a bike, riding to Jacob Riis or Fort Tilden Parks in the Rockaways is an excellent way to spend a summer afternoon. And even if you don't, I can't recommend enough taking the A train across Jamaica Bay, south of JFK. You'll never believe you're in New York City!

Jul. 16 2012 11:35 AM
Susan from Manhattan

Saw this video installation at Lincoln Center's Rubenstein atrium. Very unusual, entertaining and a cool -- literally and figuratively -- place to be during the hot sticky weather.

The Clock is a spectacular and hypnotic 24-hour work of video art by renowned artist Christian Marclay. Marclay has brought together thousands of clips from the entire history of cinema, from silent films to the present, each featuring an exact time on a clock, on a watch, or in dialogue. The resulting collage tells the accurate time at any given moment, making it both a work of art and literally a working timepiece: a cinematic memento mori.
Marclay also composed the soundscape, driven by a racing and swelling symphony of ringing, ticking, footsteps, laughter, tears, and music. The Clock comes to Lincoln Center after recently being featured at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and the Hayward Gallery at London’s Southbank Centre.
Admission is free. Visitors are admitted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Jul. 16 2012 11:22 AM
mimdash from

We saw The Liar, an adaptation by David Ives of a 17th-century comedy by Pierre Corneille, at the Shakespeare Theatre in Madison, NJ (Drew University). It's terrific! David Ives is a genius with words, and Corneille a very clever playwright. The review in the Metro section of the Sunday NYTimes 7-15-2012 is on the mark.

We regularly drive an hour to see the Shakespeare Theatre's offerings -- never disappointed! (You can get to Madison from NYC by NJ Transit.)

Jul. 16 2012 11:16 AM
Karen from NYC

I volunteered for the Obama campaign on Saturday, canvassing in a poor, white/African-American/Hispanic neighborhood in Easton, PA. Most areas canvassed by NYers are a mere two-hour trip from NYC, and you can sign up for a trip by checking the campaign web site for activities in your area.

What I saw convinced me, had I had any doubts, that Mitt Romney is clueless about America. People are poor, sick, sad and unemployed. For less educated Americans, those who used to fill industrial, local government and construction jobs, there is now no income, no health care, no future, and no hope. The Republicans' notion that these are "independent contractors" or "choice-making consumers" is absurd; people are not even able to put food on the table or repair their homes; they and their kids are either too thin or obese, for lack of good nutrition. Some clearly had turned to alcohol or drugs for relief.

Those of us who think that we understand poverty, and know what the issues are in this election, need to take a trip to our neighboring state -- or any depressed area -- as a canvasser. We have no idea what it means to be poor in 2012. One point that my fellow canvasser and I agreed upon: as two obviously middle-class women, we were well-received in the Easton neighborhood that we canvassed only because of our Obama buttons and badges. No one, white or black, blamed the President for their predicament. Not only would Mitt Romney not go there; he would not be welcome, and with good reason.

Jul. 16 2012 11:15 AM
Patricia from NYC

I saw the Paris Opera Ballet perform Giselle at Lincoln Center. It was so beautiful I was almost moved to tears.

Jul. 16 2012 11:14 AM
Muriel from Berkshires to CT

Sat.night - joyfully listened to broadcast of Tanglewood 75th anniv concert. Sunday PM - more of the same.

Jul. 16 2012 11:07 AM
Christina from the UWS from Upper West Side

Surfing! Until a few weeks ago, I didn't know that there was surfing in the New York area. I took the train from Penn Station to Long Beach, Long Island and spend the day taking surf lessons. It's been so hot that the north Atlantic water feels fantastic and it beats pounding the pavement only to duck into air conditioned stores.

Jul. 16 2012 11:03 AM

Four years ago I went on a date to a Vossa Nova concert in Central Park, presented by SummerStage, today my now husband and I volunteer at events for SummerStage in Central Park and we love it!!! These are free and thanks to the donations of people who come in every year, they will continue to be free :) This past Saturday Kinky was playing and next Saturday will be the Brazilian concert version my husband and I went to 4 years ago. Check it out!

Jul. 16 2012 11:01 AM

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