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The Weekend It List: April 26-28

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

screen it.

Forget "Avengers: Endgame" -- yep, we said it
Photo Credit: HBO Films

Forget "Avengers: Endgame" — yep, we said it — the real superheroes of cinema can be found at the Tribeca Film Festival.

This 18th edition brings 103 features, documentaries, shorts and world premieres to local cinemas through May 5. Some — like Zac Efron’s “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil” — are trendy flicks we’ve been anticipating, while others — like “The Apollo” and a “This Used to be New York” series — take a critical look back at historic New York. 

Aside from varying genres, the festival brings together a diverse group of directors, which Tribeca’s festival director says adds to its “inclusivity.” In total, 40% of features on the lineup are directed by women, while 29% are by people of color and 13% by LGBTQIA individuals. 

"From the beginning, the festival has really been about community and about bringing people, particularly New Yorkers, together around film and the arts," says Cara Cusumano, the director of programming. 

Though it’s mostly about the movies, the festival has other events (a Lady Bunny drag show) and celebrity panel chats (Queen Latifah, Rashida Jones) to keep you entertained. 

eat it.

You're probably familiar with spanakopita, having tried the
Photo Credit: Claire Leaden

You're probably familiar with spanakopita, having tried the delicious spinach pie at one of the city's many Greek restaurants. But have you tried burek?

If not, it's time to sample cuisine from the Balkans. Burek, a flaky, phyllo dough pie that can be filled with cheese, beef, spinach, potato or apple, is a staple food of the Eastern European region, comprising people from nations including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia.

The Mediterranean-inspired food is rooted in family tradition with recipes for "simple food" handed down for generations. “In the Balkans, we’re poorer people so the food needs to fill you up. It’s just in the culture that it’s heavier food … it needs to last," said Vladimir Ocokoljic, the owner of Kafana NYC in the East Village.

Although the "Balkans" refers to many peoples and cultures, the cuisine largely centers around grilled meat dishes and includes staples like cevapi (beef kebabs), kobasice (sausage), sarma (stuffed cabbage) and the delicious burek.

If you're new to the food, you may want to try a combo plate containing lamb, veal, chicken and shish qebap from Çka Ka Qëllu in the Bronx, or cevapi and sarma at Cevabdzinica Sarajevo in Astoria. And the burek is a must at Djerdan Burek, with locations in Astoria and Brooklyn. 

book it.

Greenwich Village's 35-year-old bookbook shuts its doors for
Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

Greenwich Village's 35-year-old bookbook shuts its doors for good in three weeks, and is just the latest independent bookstore to leave the city.

Bookbook was beloved by community members and patrons for its wall-to-wall shelves of works, from children's novels to mysteries, and its smaller display of other books under its outdoor awning. But its owners decided to end their brick-and-mortar run after landlords raised the rent on their store at 266 Bleecker St.

Bookbook is not unlike many of the city's indie bookstores, which often serve as a gathering point for locals and a place to glean knowledge for authors and readers alike.

To celebrate indie bookstores, local shops are throwing parties and offering discounts on Saturday for Independent Bookstore Day, including stores like Bluestockings, Books Are Magic, Word Brooklyn, Book Culture, Greenlight Bookstore, Astoria Bookshop and many more.

To find out where your nearest shop is, we've gathered a healthy listing of bookstores for your perusal and even a map to help you locate them.

Read up, worms!

stroll it.

Thespians will bring new meaning to Shakespeare in
Photo Credit: Jody Christopherson

Thespians will bring new meaning to Shakespeare in the Park this weekend.

On Sunday, actors from Brave New World Repertory Theatre will take to the porches of 18 Victorian homes in Ditmas Park and perform Shakespeare's sonnets for the community for free.

The hope is to bring different cross-sections of the community together to Stratford Road (the Bard was born in Stratford-upon-Avon) for the celebration of love and spring, according to Ditmas Park resident Claire Beckman, who is the theater's producing artistic director.

"We have two very distinct communities — the Victorian Flatbush community that has become a real hipster community and old families — and on the other side of Flatbush it's a very large Haitian population," she said. "I feel like there isn't much cross-pollination going on, and I would like to invite them to come over here."

After the sonnets, the festival will break into dance and song that the whole street can take part in.

drink it.

Spring is the perfect time to check out
Photo Credit: JIMMY at the James

Spring is the perfect time to check out the views and drinks at the city's best rooftop bars, which have designed their seasonal cocktail menus to impress.

If you're looking for a refreshing sip on a hot day, try the Cucumber Switchel—a mix of Ketel Cucumber Vodka, Calamansi Vinegar Elderflower, and John Henry Bitter Lemon—at JIMMY at the James in SoHo, or the Summer Berry Sangría, which adds cherry brandy, triple sec, citrus and berries to the classic, at R17 in the Seaport District.

If classics are more your style, try the Aegean Paloma, a blend of Ouzo #12, Ketel One Grapefruit-Rose Vodka, pink peppercorn, grapefruit sod and rose water, topped with fresh grapefruit, at Ophelia in midtown. Or head to the Arlo Hotel's trendy 11th floor, A.R.T., for an Arlo Collins, which adds cucumber and thyme to the bar mainstay, or an Arlo Margarita, which has a dash of habanero pepper alongside grapefruit and rosemary.

 

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