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We’re halfway through the summer and while some of NYC’s best cultural events are just getting underway, others will be gone faster than ice cream on a hot day. Our conscious to-do’s for July and August ensure staying culturally stimulated despite the numbness you may be feeling in this concrete heat.

1|  “New Music in Bryant Park” Classical and Contemporary Jazz

  • Bryant Park Upper Terrace & Lawn Gravel
  • July 12 – August 30 Friday’s 6:00pm – 7:30pm
  • Eight concerts by extraordinary artists representing a diverse musical spectrum – contemporary classical music, world music, and jazz –  performing exciting new work commissioned by Chamber Music America, the premier ensemble music association in the world

2|   MoMA Rain Room, Expo 1

  • Through July 28, during regular MoMA museum hours
  • A field of falling water that pauses wherever a human body is detected, Rain Room offers visitors the experience of controlling the rain.
  • Conscious tip: this exhibit is extremely popular and lines can be hours long! We recommend you do this exhibit first, as soon as the museum opens at 10:30am

3|  NYC Restaurant Week: July 22- August 16th

  • 3 Pre-Fixe Courses: $25 Lunch, $38 Dinner from almost 300 restaurants throughout the city
  • We recommend: JoJo, Morimoto, Park Avenue Summer, Ktchn and Hill Country BBQ

4|  Monkey: Journey to the West

  • Lincoln Center through July 28th
  • Be transported into the enchanting, fantastical world of Monkey: Journey to the West in a vibrant musical retelling of the Chinese classic by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett, creators of the wildly popular supergroup Gorillaz. Equal parts epic music theater and stunning animation, this hugely successful production includes a remarkable cast of Chinese acrobats, singers, mind-bending contortionists, martial artists, and transfixing animated displays, all under the inspired direction of Chen Shi-Zheng
  • Conscious tip: be prepared for subtitles

5|  Franklin Park Reading Series

  • Franklin Park Bar and Beer Garden in Crown Heights, Brooklyn
  • A monthly series featuring emerging and established fiction writers, memoirists, poets, and storytellers who shoqwcase a wide range of voices, reflecting our community’s cultural diversity
  • Next Reading: August 12 8-10pm featuring Amy Hempel (The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel), Matthew Savoca (I Don’t Know I Said), Corey Zeller (Man Vs. Sky), Nicole Audrey Spector (Fifty Shades of Dorian Gray), and Rebecca Schiff (Fence, n+1)

6|  Bryant Park Yoga and Thai Chi

  • Thai chi: Tuesday and Thursday mornings, 7:30-8:30am through September 26th
  • Yoga Tuesday mornings 10-11am and Thursday evenings 6-7pm through September 19th
  •  Conscious tip: Bring a friend and workout outside your comfort zone in one of our favorite NYC parks!

7|  PUNK: Chaos to Couture Exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum

  • Showing through August 14, ticket included in museum admission
  • The Met’s spring 2013 Costume Institute exhibition, PUNK: Chaos to Couture, will examine punk’s impact on high fashion from the movement’s birth in the early 1970s through its continuing influence today. Featuring approximately one hundred designs for men and women, the exhibition will include original punk garments and recent, directional fashion to illustrate how haute couture and ready-to-wear borrow punk’s visual symbols
  • Conscious tip: Don’t miss the MET rooftop terrace with 360 views of Central Park plus the Martini bar which is currently serving a vodka snow cone that should not be missed. Extended hours till 8:00pm Friday & Saturday nights

8|  8th Annual Jazz Age Lawn Party

  • Governor’s Island, Aug 17 & 18, 11-5pm, $30 GA
  • Michael Arenella and His Dreamland Orchestra invite you to the beloved Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governors Island. Now in its eighth year, the event has become the quintessential outdoor celebration of the Jazz Age and its living legacy
  • Under a canopy of century-old trees, caressed by fresh sea air, a sprawling green surrounded by historic architecture is the setting for this trip through time – a dream of the 1920s nestled right in the heart of New York Harbor

9|  Monkey Town 3

  • Eyebeam in Chelsea, through August 11
  • Two seatings each night — 7pm and 9:15pm, with imagery and dinner
  • The legendary Williamsburg video cinema and dining room with four screens returns for a pop up, limited engagement. The event reconstructs the original and still unprecedented cinema-in-the-round, this time as a seamless floating cube of 4 massive projection screens, with 8.1 surround sound. This 10th anniversary edition will feature a single curated film and video program that replays every night for 60 days, featuring almost all multi-channel works by 21 extraordinary artists and filmmakers — co-curated by Montgomery Knott and Maggie Lee

10|  Enjoy the amazing rooftop views this city has to offer and cool off with a cocktail with some friends!

  • Some of our favorite rooftop spots: Hudson Common Terrace, Hotel Chantell, La Birreria, 230 Fifth
  • Conscious tip: pick a documentary, interesting article, or current event and make a point to discuss it while you sip on drinks

Planning ahead to stay culturally conscious in the fall:  Buy tickets to Global Citizen Festival, Sat Sept 28th in Central Park featuring Stevie Wonder, Kings of Leon, Alicia Keys, and John Mayer. Attend not just for great performances, but also for the opportunity to use your voice to urge the UN General Assembly to end extreme poverty by 2030!