12 virtual things to do this week: Met Gala, cherry blossoms, oysters, and more

May 4, 2020

When it comes to virtual events, the biggest news this week is the Met Gala. Vogue’s Anna Wintour is hosting a star-studded live event tonight where she’ll be joined by the likes of Stella McCartney and Florence + the Machine. It’s also Cinco de Mayo, so we’ve got a list of spots for taco takeout. For more foodie fun, the Billion Oyster Project is hosting a Zoom “oyster hour.” You can also check out the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Cherry Esplanade online, join a virtual animal meet and greet with the Staten Island Zoo, watch Ballet Hispánico, learn about the history of Hospital Ships, and more.

See the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s cherry blossoms in peak bloom
Ongoing; free
The weather has finally turned spring-like and that means it’s cherry blossom season. Though you can’t visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s famous Cherry Esplanade in-person, you can track the progress of the flowers on their website and join them on this virtual tour.

Virtual Met Gala: “A Moment with the Met”
Monday, May 4 at 6pm; free
Head on over to Vogue’s Youtube channel this evening and join Anna Wintour herself for the first-ever virtual Met Gala. The annual event of celebrities and high-fashion was postponed indefinitely this year, and the related exhibit–About Time: Fashion and Duration–may not open until October. But tonight, you’ll get some sneak peeks of the exhibit, as well as snippets from past years’ events. There will be new videos from Cardi B, Naomi Campbell, Liv Tyler, Stella McCartney, and Liza Koshy, and performances by Florence + the Machine and designer Virgil Abloh who will do a DJ set. Viewers are encouraged to recreate their favorite looks from galas past and post photos of themselves with #MetGalaChallenge.

Virtual Animal Meet & Greet with the Staten Island Zoo
Tuesday, May 5 at 3pm; $10
Even on the worst of days, a cute animal video can be a pick-me-up. The New York Adventure Club has teamed up with the Staten Island Zoo to bring you a digital meet and greet with six animal guests, ranging from small mammals to reptiles. There will also be an educational overview of each animal and a Q&A with the zookeepers.

Untapped Cities Virtual Talk: Secrets of the Brooklyn Bridge
Tuesday, May 5 at 12pm; free for Members
Join Untapped New York’s Chief Experience Officer Justin Rivers for a virtual talk uncovering secrets of the 130+ year-old Brooklyn Bridge, like its Cold War fall out shelter, hidden champagne vaults, an abandoned park hidden in plain sight, and the hidden statue of the family of engineers who built the bridge.

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo!
Tuesday, May 5
This year, Cinco de Mayo falls on Taco Tuesday, so you’d be remiss not to order up some guac and margs from your favorite local restaurant. To make it easier, we’ve put together a list of all the best spots for take-out and delivery on Cinco de Mayo.

Food Styling for Photography with Brooklyn Brainery
Tuesday, May 5 from 5-6:30pm; $20
Admit it–you’ve been photographing everything you cook and eat. Get better at it in this Zoom class taught by food writer and photographer Diana Kuan. You’ll learn compositional and lighting techniques (with a small-space focus!), how to choose props and backgrounds, tips for working with tricky foods, and more.

Ballet Hispánico Facebook Watch Party: Tito on Timbales
Wednesday, May 6 at 7pm; free
Every Wednesday evening, Ballet Hispánico is hosting a Facebook Watch Party during which they’ll showcase a past Company performance followed by a live Q&A session with artistic director and CEO of Ballet Hispánico Eduardo Vilaro, choreographers, and company dancers. This week’s performance is Tito on Timbales, “a tribute to the music of master percussionist Tito Puente.” The ballet features “cascading patterns, sensual partnering and the community of celebration.”

Billion Oyster Project and Moët Hennessy’s Virtual “Oyster Hour”
Thursday, May 7 from 6-7pm; $50 
The Billion Oyster Project is working to restore one billion oysters to the New York Harbor by 2035. This year, they’ve had to push back their annual Billion Oyster Party until the fall, but they’ve also introduced an awesome new virtual Oyster Hour in partnership with Moët Hennessy. Executive Director Pete Malinowski will be joined on Zoom by moderators Julie Qiu of In a Half Shell and George Motz of The Food Film Festival “for an oyster variety hour with special guests who will teach you how to order, shuck, store, prepare, and pair oysters at home!” There will also be an oyster shucking competition. Moët Hennessy’s Education Specialist Angela Sauvé will lead oyster pairings with Veuve Clicquot Champagne and Cloudy Bay wine. You can purchase both here ahead of time: Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc and Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label.

New York Sings Along: Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend”
Thursday, May 7 at 7:02pm
For this week’s city-wide sing along, open up your windows and join your neighbors in singing Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend.”

Spotlight on Plays: November
Thursday, May 7 at 8pm; free, but donations are appreciated
Broadway producer Jeffrey Richards has created Spotlight on Plays, “one night only livestream readings of Broadway’s best plays to benefit The Actor’s Fund.” The events will only be available to stream as they’re happening live. Though they’re free, viewers will be asked to donate to the Actor’s Fund if they’re able. This week’s kick-off reading is of David Mamet’s November, starring John Malkovich, Patti LuPone, Dylan Baker, Ethan Phillips, and Michael Nichols. The play is set a few days before the election and “follows the misadventures of a day in the life of U.S. president Charles Smith.”

Hospital Ships and Shipwright Tools: Exploring Collections of the South Street Seaport Museum
Friday, May 8 at 11am; free
Turnstile Tours has teamed up with the South Street Seaport Museum’s Director of Collections Martina Caruso for a talk that will showcase some of the museum’s archival materials that relate to the city’s rise as a port city. It will also pay special attention to past hospital ships that have visited New York.

“Is Now When I Should Panic?”: A Conversation with Roz Chast at MCNY
Friday, May 8 at 4pm; free
Famed cartoonist Roz Chast has been depicting “anxiety-riddled city-dwellers and their quirky and relatable tendencies” for the past 40 years. In this live-streamed event with the Museum of the City of New York, she’ll answer questions about her work, particularly some timely examples of her art.

Lead image: Photo from Ballet Hispánico’s Tito on Timbales, courtesy of Ballet Hispánico; Photo of oysters Image by rob791 from Pixabay; Photo of cherry blossoms by AJ on Unsplash; Photo of The Met by anielbaez0 from Pixabay

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