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Things to Do

The Weekend It List: Oct. 5-7

Your time off is precious.

We happen to spend our on-the-clock hours combing through the many options NYC has to offer, so let us help you maximize those days off. Every week, we distill the very best the weekend has to offer.

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Cosplay it.

If you're crammed into a subway car with
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Mike Coppola

If you're crammed into a subway car with a Batman (or seven) this weekend and don't see a bat signal in sight, don't be alarmed: Villains aren't menacing Gotham. The superheroes are just casually making their way to Javits.

The annual four-day pop-culture extravaganza known as Comic Con is the once-a-year chance for cosplayers to channel their inner comic character and take their fandom to new heights. Thousands of fans are expected to trek to the convention center in costume (200,000 attended the 2017 gathering) to shop sci-fi booths and witness panel chats with their favorite actors.

This year's con will bring out the casts of "The Walking Dead," "Riverdale," "Outlander," "Gotham" and "The Gifted," for new-season discussions with fans. The first-ever female "Doctor Who" (Jodie Whittaker) is also on the talent lineup.

"It's a great place for fans and creators to share their passions on so many different storytelling genres," says DC Comics writer Peter J. Tomasi.

While past years centralized the con inside its Javits hub, this year's events and panels are expanding to the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, the Hammerstein Ballroom and other venues.

Cast a spell on it.

Muggles who've been waiting decades for their Hogwarts
Photo Credit: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Muggles who've been waiting decades for their Hogwarts acceptance letters to arrive can finally step foot inside the wizarding world by way of this highly anticipated New-York Historical Society exhibition.

"Harry Potter: A History of Magic" is a treasure trove of artifacts, from flying broomsticks to crystal balls, cursed wands, snitches and more. On display are J.K. Rowling's original manuscripts -- we're talking handwritten drafts as rare as finding (and destroying) seven Horcruxes -- a 16th century Ripley Scroll that claims to hold the secrets behind re-creating the philosopher's stone, and set props and costumes featured in the "Cursed Child" Broadway play.

With wands at the ready, you'll make your way through the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry's classes just like Harry, Ron and Hermione. Displays are grouped by subject: Potions and Alchemy, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Herbology, Charms, etc. You just might leave ready to take on the Dark Lord.

This is "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" to submerse yourself in the "traditions, folklore and magic that inspires" Rowling, says Cristian Petru Panaite, associate curator of exhibitions at the museum.

Sing it.

Six years of planning. Three months of rehearsals.
Photo Credit: Marisol Diaz-Gordon

Six years of planning. Three months of rehearsals. One thousand singers. Staging "The Mile-Long Opera: a biography of 7 o'clock" along the High Line sure hasn't been easy, but the public can see this week if the extensive preparations have paid off.

Several thousand visitors a night are expected to interact with singers selected from 40 choirs and beyond who will stand motionless and explore the meaning of 7 o'clock for three hours, while stationed along the High Line's 1 1⁄2 -mile stretch.

"Everyone is unique and everyone is a nut, but they have a story to tell and it's up to you to determine how close you want to get," said composer David Lang.

Eat it.

If you haven't tried Guyanese food before, but
Photo Credit: Corey Sipkin

If you haven't tried Guyanese food before, but enjoy the panoply of ethnic food that is New York City, chances are you'll like it.

The South American country's strong cultural ties with the Caribbean, India, Africa and China, along with the six different ethnic groups that make up its population, contribute to a diverse cuisine that's as familiar as it is unique. The Guyanese put their own twist on lo mein, make good use of cassava and plantains, and offer a wide range of curries, for example.

But you don't need to travel very far to experience Guyanese markets and home-cooked meals. Sybil's in Richmond Hill has been cooking up pepper pot, chow mein, and baked treats and beverages since 1976 -- remember to take a ticket if you want to be served. Or try Island Express in Flatbush, where you can sample this classic: a mix of braised beef, oxtail and cowfoot prepared in a sweet and slightly bitter sauce made of cassareep, ladled on top of a heaping portion of rice and peas.

But what makes Guyanese food so good? Perhaps the authenticity. "It's really home cooking. Everything is cooked from home and fresh. That's what I think makes the difference," said Gina McCarthy, Island Express owner.

Watch it.

The newest remake of
Photo Credit: Warner Bros. / Neal Preston

The newest remake of "A Star is Born" already has two big things going for it: Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga.

In this fourth cinematic telling of this story, a present-day star (Gaga) is born, but she's giving off a retro '70s vibe. In front of the camera, Cooper and Gaga create characters that are worthy of the investment expected of them: fully-realized individuals who are transformed by their romance but never defined by it.

"Cooper and Gaga are so charismatic, so steadfast in their stripped-down presentation of complicated individuals who experience the same joys and heartbreaks as the rest of us, even under the bright glaring lights of extreme fame with all of its familiar burdens, that the movie cuts through the formula to achieve something close to authenticity," critic Rob Levin writes.


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