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Things to Do

The Weekend It List: Jan. 11-13

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, sign up at

bare it.

Washington Heights resident Jaime Linn says the annual
Photo Credit: David Handschuh

Washington Heights resident Jaime Linn says the annual No Pants Subway Ride by Improv Everywhere "is liberating for people" and that "it's kind of like its own holiday."

The 35-year-old is just one thousands of pants-less pranksters who shed a bottom layer -- no, not that bottom layer -- in public one day a year. One cold, winter day a year. The event has blossomed from seven to about 3,000 people, according to Improv Everywhere founder Charlie Todd, but that's just in New York. It's evolved to include cities from Boston to Berlin.

"I love it, but it is funny that you do something and you make the decision to do it twice, and you have to be prepared to do it forever."

If you plan to drop your dungarees on Sunday with the rest of brave, there are certain things you should be aware of, from meetup spots to what not to wear (looking at you, thongs). And of course you'll need a witty response to the inevitable questions about where your pants are.

support it.

There are New Yorkers going without heat this
Photo Credit: Getty Images for Hilarity For Charity/Neilson Barnard

There are New Yorkers going without heat this winter, and comedian Michael Che wants you to help.

The "Saturday Night Live" stand-up brings a "top secret" lineup of comics to Irving Plaza Friday for a benefit show for public housing residents. Though the "Night for NYCHA" roster is being kept under wraps, the New York City native confirms "Roastmaster General" Jeff Ross will host and Michelle Wolf will perform.

"There's somehow still a few tix left ... you should buy them if you haven't. It's gonna be a fun show and a GREAT cause," he urges his Instagram followers.

If you can't make it, but still want to give to the cause, Che has set up a GoFundMe with all donations benefiting NYCHA residents without heat and hot water. He's already helped raise more than $29,000.

eat it.

Eating gluten free is on-trend these days. The
Photo Credit: Jackie McEwan

Eating gluten free is on-trend these days. The Girl Scouts just released a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie; HelloFresh now has meal kits, sans gluten; and the diet has its own national holiday.

Jackie McEwan, the blogger behind the popular Instagram page @GlutenFree.FollowMe, has sifted through the growing options for those ditching the grains to compile a list of the five best spots to try in the city.

"I want people to know that being gluten free is not as hard as you think," she says, noting the diet is widely thought of as being flavorless, with limited options.

A quick glimpse on her Insta page -- with photos of pastries drizzled with chocolate and tarts topped with fruit -- and you'll know the restricted diet is anything but bland.

So mark your calendars: National Gluten-Free Day comes but once a year, this Sunday.

experience it.

You don't have to be a gangster to
Photo Credit: Pomona

You don't have to be a gangster to get exclusive access to a hot club. That's what Pomona, a restaurant near Central Park, is hoping to get across with cocktail bar the Savage Lounge.

Guests are ushered down a staircase and snaked through Pomona's kitchen, where cooks wave "hello" between chops, and into the moody cocktail lounge without having set foot in the dining room. The experience hearkens back to the restaurant tracking shot in Martin Scorsese's "Goodfellas," where the camera follows mobster Henry and his future wife Karen for three minutes as they make their way through the Copacabana. It's this iconic scene that serves as inspiration.

"It's an homage to the classic New York joint, where you feel like you're somebody -- you're invited in," chef Michael Vignola tells us.

The restaurant, which opened in November, plans to expand upon the speakeasy theme with the addition of a coffee shop in its storefront, so that people passing by would have no idea there was a club below.

TLDR: It's not necessary to be in the mob to get the "exclusive" experience Pomona is advertising. The hope, owner Michael Savage says, is to bring "expensive suits and expensive sneakers" together.

read it.

It's hard to contain the story of the
Photo Credit: Abrams ComicArts

It's hard to contain the story of the fabled Apollo Theater in just one book.

But "Showtime at the Apollo: The Epic Tale of Harlem's Legendary Theater" has tried to do just that. Author Ted Fox and artist James Otis Smith have transformed some of the biggest moments in the iconic venue's history into comic book-style illustrations.

"People know the Apollo is a legendary place," Fox says. "But do they know the story behind it? Do they know it has this mythology of its own? It's really the struggle of the African-American community in America over the last century."

The book covers important moments in the venue's story, and amateur night is, of course, a prominent fixture.

If you don't know the connection Aretha Franklin and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. have to the Apollo -- or even if you do -- consider picking up a copy of the graphic novel this weekend.


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