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Summer Events: Shakespeare and Snow Leopards Among City Attractions

 Summer is a great time to try something new. There are hundreds of free and interesting events and activities to explore every day.
Summer Events in NYC, July 22
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Monday, July 22
NYC Restaurant Week Summer edition kicks off today for the next 25 days across Manhattan.  Try three courses — lunch for $25 or $38 for dinner — at 293 places ranging from new and traditional American fare to Vietnamese. With only one restaurant featured north of Central Park — the iconic Red Rooster Harlem — most of the action is clustered around Midtown, the Flatiron District, West Village and Tribeca. Lock in some good dates while you can and have fun expanding your palate. Tonight at Red Rooster Harlem, experience Unplugged Mondays with live music from the Rakiem Walker Project covering a mix of Coltrane, Duke Ellington, Horace Silver, Earth, Wind, and Fire, Al Green and Stevie Wonder.

Everyone loves pizza, right? Taste some of the finest slices in Greenwich Village while strolling the neighborhood with self-declared pizza expert and lover Scott Wiener. Check out his pizza blog here and take his Greenwich Village Pizza Walk at 4:45p.m. for $38.

Tuesday, July 23
New York's beloved summer tradition — free performances in Central Park's Delacorte Theater by The Public Theater — continues this evening with the premiere of their latest production, "Love's Labour's Lost, a New Musical." The play is described as "a love letter to Shakespeare in the Park from the creators of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson." From 8:30 p.m. The morning of each performance day, lines form for free tickets at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Tickets are distributed at noon, two per person, while supplies last. Free tickets are also available via the Virtual Ticketing system.

The Academy of American Poets Summer Reading Series starts this evening on the High Line at West 17th Street at 6:30 p.m. with readings from award-winning poets Yusef Komunyakaa (recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry), Matt Rasmussen (winner of the 2012 Walt Whitman Award) and Evie Shockley.

Wednesday, July 24
The influential Martha Graham Dance Company is appearing this evening on the SummerStage Mainstage at Central Park. The company brings to life a timeless and uniquely American style of dance that has influenced generations of artists and continues to captivate audiences. The Company will be performing Acts of Light, Chronicle and Lamentation Variations by Bulareyaung Pagarlava, Larry Keigwin and Richard Move. Enter at 69th Street and Fifth Avenue, from 8 p.m.

Cirque du Soleil comes to Brooklyn for the first time. Its acclaimed production Quidam will be presented at Barclays Center from tonight for only four days, for seven performances. Quidam is the story of a young girl's escape into a world of imagination. Tickets start at $48.95.

"Here Lies Love" — the hit musical written by David Byrne (Talking Heads) and with music by Byrne and English DJ Fatboy Slim — is entering its final week at the recently refurbished Public Theater on LaFayette. "Here Lies Love" tells the astonishing journey of Filipina First Lady Imelda Marcos, retracing her meteoric rise to power and subsequent descent into infamy and disgrace at the end of the People Power Revolution. Set within a dance club atmosphere, you'll stand and move with the actors. Dancing is encouraged.

England's perennial new wave dance heroes New Order hit Williamsburg Park for an early evening show with local disciples Holy Ghost! in support.

Thursday, July 25
Be transported this evening by the sweet sounds of singing legend Smokey Robinson (The Miracles) tonight at the excellent Seaside Summer Concert Series at Coney Island from 7:30 p.m. Hear "I Second That Emotion," "The Tears of a Clown" and "Being With You." At West 21st Street & Surf Avenue.

Immerse yourself in Afrika Bambaataa's record collection, on display at Gavin Brown's Enterprise 620 Greenwich St., Monday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m. until August 10. Open archiving, like an archeological dig or a group of students viewing biological research in a museum, is an important and rarely seen part of the process of documenting history. Before the Afrika Bambaataa archive moves to its permanent home at Cornell University’s Hip Hop Collection in the Fall of 2013, visitors have a unique opportunity to experience what is arguably the most important gathering of vinyl in the history of hip hop while it is sorted, organized, archived (and DJ'd) in full view of the public.

Foxygen is the Los Angeles-bred songwriting duo of Sam France and Jonathan Rado. They create an impressionistic portrait of sounds with psychedelic tinges that comes across as absolutely modern music. The second of three concerts as part of Hudson River Park’s River Rocks. The final concert on August 8 features Titus Andronicus, Ducktails & Juan Wauters. Pier 84, just south of the Intrepid. Cross at West 44th.

The 1990s-influenced Heliotropes and the punk-infused party band from Japan, The Suzan, perform in an evening that celebrates women who rock. Entry is free with Brooklyn Museum admission, which is a suggested donation.

Friday, July 26

Meet an astronaut and solve the mysteries of comets. Intrepid’s second-annual SpaceFest is a four-day celebration of space, STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) and innovation. Until Sunday, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Why is our sun so hot? How was it made?  Visit the heart of the fiery star and glimpse its eventual demise some 5 billion years in the future by viewing "Journey to the Stars" at the American Museum Of Natural History. Also check out current exhibitions on Frogs (A Chorus of Colors) and "Our Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture."

Saturday, July 27
From noon until 11 p.m. today meet the friendly folk from Bushwick at the 4th annual Bushwick Block Party. Featuring multiple stages of entertainment (headliner is cool hip hopper Action Bronson), lots of excellent local street food, (Roberta's Pizza, Arancini Bros, Red Hook Lobster, Crif Dogs, Momo Sushi Shack), skate demos by Vans, Custom Airbrush T-Shirt Booth, Bikini Keg-Stand Contest.

Get out on the water for kayaking with the Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse, located between Piers 1 and 2 (across from the Pop-Up Pool) every Saturday until Aug. 31 between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Due to water-quality concerns, public and youth kayaking events will be canceled if rainfall exceeds 1 inch in the preceding 24 hours.

Escape the downtown heat & check out New York City's newly reopened Pier 42 on the Lower East Side. We recently wrote about its new program of summer art installations called Paths To Pier 42. Pier 42 is located along the East River between the Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridges.

Sunday, July 28
Bang on a Can's unclassifiable mobile ensemble Asphalt Orchestra, born at Lincoln Center Out of Doors, takes to the Damrosch stage to unleash the world premiere of its most ambitious project to date: original, commissioned arrangements of pioneering alt-rockers the Pixies's breakthrough album, Surfer Rosa, for its 25th anniversary, with choreography by Jordana Che Toback.

Learn about some of the world's coolest animals by checking out Central Park Zoo's newest exhibit starring the Snow Leopards. See the snow leopards from two lookouts, one behind glass and another through a mesh panel.