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Things to Do

The Weekend It List Oct. 19-21

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.

And, to get the Weekend It List delivered to your inbox Thursdays, sign up at amny.com/weekend.

Watch it.

If you don't know what a
Photo Credit: Greg Endries/Bravo

If you don't know what a "man grotto" is or the proper way to pronounce "boujet," consider getting a room with design expert Thom Filicia and his self-appointed apprentice Carson Kressley.

The "Queer Eye For the Straight Guy" alums reunite -- or "rekindle their bromance" -- in their new Bravo design series "Get A Room," which comes about a year after Netflix replaced them in the pioneering makeover show's reboot.

The premise: Hour-long episodes take them into the backyards, bedrooms and living rooms of New York/New Jersey homeowners in need. The dynamic duo has a mere five days to shop, design, execute and play therapist, before moving onto the next. (Sound familiar?)

Clearly, it's the personalities at hand that set the series, airing Fridays, apart from its HGTV predecessors. "Get A Room" is more about the journey than the fabulous room reveals (*insert jaw drop here*).

"We take design very seriously, but we don't take ourselves very seriously," Kressley says.

Shop it.

And now for some positive news about a
Photo Credit: Linda Rosier

And now for some positive news about a longtime local business: NY Cake is back, supersized 🎂🎂🎂.

While it never truly went away thanks to its online business, the Flatiron storefront shuttered in June while the owners -- Joan Mansour and her daughters Lisa Mansour and Jenny Kashanian -- worked to reopen a much bigger space across Sixth Avenue. The result: expanded classes (ovens = baking!), plus more room for customers to peruse the extensive collection of cake stands, sparkly sugars and unicorn cookie cutters. And brand new to NY Cake is a cafe, with housemade treats supplemented with wares from Du's Donuts.

"We're trying to find the best from whatever we don't make," Lisa says.

NY Cake's history extends back well before the 25 years spent in its current neighborhood. Joan's love of cake decorating dates to the 1970s, and she eventually moved her business, The Chocolate Gallery, to midtown in 1980. So, this is essentially Phase 4, launched during a time when many of us find the myriad baking shows and Cake Bosses inspiring enough to try the science of baking ourselves.

"I don't think there's a place in the whole world that has this selection," Lisa says. "If you can't find it here it doesn't exist."

See it.

An excuse to exist solely on popcorn: The
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Naghmeh Shirkhan

An excuse to exist solely on popcorn: The sixth annual Chelsea Film Festival means four days of premiere screenings at midtown's AMC Loews. This year's theme: global issues.

Allow us to help you sift through the nearly two-dozen offerings.

"Maki," screening Friday, checks off all the boxes: It's set in New York City; it celebrates female empowerment; and it just so happens to be the only feature-length project on the lineup directed by a woman.

"I wanted to tell a story about lack of power and somebody who's coming of age in a new world," filmmaker Naghmeh Shirkhan says. Her 90-minute flick gives us a glimpse into the life of a Japanese immigrant who finds unsettling work in Manhattan's nightclub scene.

Tour it.

Snap selfies courtside at MSG? Check. Take a
Photo Credit: Linda Rosier

Snap selfies courtside at MSG? Check.

Take a (virtual) step onstage with Billy Joel? Check.

A new All-Access Tour at Madison Square Garden lets you live it up like a VIP, without shelling out the $$$. The experience, which launched Monday, takes you through five floors, from court-level to Chase Sky Bridge seats.

We know what you're thinking: City venue tours are loaded with tourists. But this updated version looks to appeal to New Yorkers by providing the chance to experience something new at the venue, even if you've been there dozens of times.

Exhibit A: Sitting in a "celebrity row" seat that's previously been occupied by the likes of Spike Lee, Kevin Hart, Leslie Jones, Dave Chappelle and other A-list Knicks fans.

(Re)live it.

Maybe you've been told you have to check
Photo Credit: Cornell University - Division of Rare Manuscript Collections

Maybe you've been told you have to check out the Velvet Underground. Maybe you've had "White Light/White Heat" on repeat since 1968. Whatever your knowledge of the seminal counterculture band/experiment/Andy Warhol flirtation, it may be time to up your VU "Experience."

"They were around for only three years, a very short time, but it was very intense," the exhibit's co-curator, Carole Mirabello, notes.

Allen Ginsberg (or, his voice, reading his "America" poem) leads the way into the two-level multimedia display, which includes films, hundreds of photos, a timeline and, of course, music, in addition to dives into members (e.g., shorts on John Cale and Lou Reed's childhoods and Nico's contributions). The band's impact on pop culture in general spans a full wall; a film, projected on the ceiling, covers the banana album cover. In a word, it's a collage of an exhibit meant, designer Matali Crasset says, to evoke the "spirit" of the band.

"We wanted to give the experience of it, not only showing it but feeling it."

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