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The Weekend It List: May 18-19

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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ferry it.

If you haven't been to Liberty Island recently,
Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

If you haven't been to Liberty Island recently, here's fresh motivation. A revamped – with a $100 million pricetag – Statue of Liberty Museum opened on Thursday, with three interactive galleries. And the centerpiece, Lady Liberty's original, 1884 torch rests, glowing, on a pedestal in a 22-foot-high room. 

"Seeing it here, you can tell its scale is impressive," Edwin Schlossberg, the museum's principal designer, says.

The now 26,000-square-foot museum, with a roof covered in native meadow grasses, also sports an immersive theater, which shows a short film that sweeps visitors up through the statue's interior and tells a quick history of its beginnings and significance. 

"You'll see pictures you've never seen before … it made me a little dizzy, but they're so unique and interesting," Stephen Briganti, the president and CEO of the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, tells us.

And get a glimpse into the statue's making with reproductions of its face and feet and while learning about designer Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi's process, step-by-step. 

eat it.

After a soft launch last weekend, the rehabilitated
Photo Credit: Gilbert

After a soft launch last weekend, the rehabilitated and (slightly) rebranded Essex Market is open. Officially.

Moving across Delancey and removing the “street” once sandwiched in the name are two relatively minor details compared to what the city-run market now offers. The light-filled space is nearly three times its former size, and 37 vendors – offering prepared foods, groceries and specialty items – are now at your service. Many of the old guard remain – Arancini Bros. and Ni Japanese Deli among them –  alongside 16 newbies. 

Step back from these details, and your tastes can roam from Dominican cuisine to sub sandwiches, smoked fish to hops. 

And if you're not planning on being in the Lower East Side on those days off but still want to let your palate roam, maybe one of these international food halls make solid geographic sense.

wing it.

Move your happy feet to the New York
Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

Move your happy feet to the New York Aquarium to see the new baby penguins that have recently joined their waddle.

Four African black-footed penguins, which are nicknamed "jackass penguins" because they're known for a call that sounds like donkey's bray, hatched over the last year and a half in nest boxes kept out of the public view. The youngsters joined the existing Coney Island colony of nearly 30 fellow loudmouths. 

The flightless shorebirds are endangered because of climate change, according to Jon Forrest Dohlin, director of the New York Aquarium and vice president of the Wildlife Conservation Society. They are being forced to swim farther offshore to find fish because their habitat, on the southern shores of South Africa, is increasingly being disturbed by humans and animal predators.

"They are really cool animals,” Dohlin says. “It’s amazing that a relatively small bird can make that kind of noise.”


read it.

Comedian Pete Holmes says his new memoir "Comedy
Photo Credit: Getty Images for Vulture Festival/John Sciulli

Comedian Pete Holmes says his new memoir "Comedy Sex God" is like the fourth season of "Crashing" that fans never got to see – and he swears he's not just saying that so you read it. 

In the book, released this week, the New Yorker details major points (and failures) in his life that didn't make it into his canceled HBO comedy. There are the details fans know well (his first wife's affair, questioning of his faith) and the ones that he hadn't previously revealed, like his struggles with depression while filming the series and a mushroom trip that clarified it all. 

"My editor asked me a lot, 'are you sure you want to put this in writing?'" Holmes, 40, says. "One of the big points in the book is that all of the things that might be traditionally viewed as failures are the most important things that could have happened."

sample it.

The World's Fare food festival returns to Queens
Photo Credit: World's Fare

The World's Fare food festival returns to Queens with a mission to show how food "connects us all."

More than 100 vendors representing various cultures will be at Citi Field for the two-day extravanganza, which includes an international beer pavilion, a world market bazaar and live entertainment. 

Organizers hope this weekend's expected 10,000 visitors can discover new cuisines, as they did at the 1964 World's Fair, when attendees were introduced to then-exotic foods like falafel and Belgium waffles. After all, the event is planned as a "grand celebration" of equality and the diversity of New York City.

"This is what makes America great. This is what makes us the rich, creative country that we are, the city that we are," says Park Slope resident Hannah Goldberg, whose company, Tanabel, is offering food cooked by Middle Eastern refugees. “The way that food connects us with memories and family and tradition, it really connects us all.”


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