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Get Out and Do This: Encounters With a Comet, Thanksgiving and a Famous Dog

By Daniel Jumpertz | November 25, 2013 7:50am
 The week's most exciting events are here in one handy guide.
Get Out and Do This —Events Nov. 25 to Dec. 1
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Monday, Nov. 25
David Byrne and the original cast of the flamboyant musical "Here Lies Love" will perform a one-time-only special benefit concert in support of the people of the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan at Midtown's Terminal 5. All proceeds will go to support the relief efforts of Doctors Without Borders.

The first comprehensive retrospective of the diverse body of work of influential and eclectic German artist Isa Genzken's opens this week at the Museum of Modern Art, in Midtown. "Isa Genzken: Retrospective" encompasses Genzken’s work in all mediums during the past 40 years, including three-dimensional work, paintings, photographs, collages, drawings, books, films and public sculptures.

The Origami Holiday Tree opens Monday at the American Museum Of Natural History on the Upper West Side. Decorated with more than 500 hand-folded paper models, the tree has marked the start of the holiday season at the museum for 40 years.

Tuesday, Nov. 26
Bruce Weber, curator of "See It Loud" at the National Academy says “American painters who came of age in the 1940s and 1950s were expected to choose an allegiance to abstraction or representation.” This exhibition shines a spotlight on some of those American painters — including Leland Bell, Paul Georges, Peter Heinemann, Neil Welliver — whose art grew out of abstract currents and later shifted toward representation. On Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., painter Stephen Westfall will discuss the work of Welliver, followed by a film screening of Rudolph Burckhardt's "Neil Welliver Painting in Maine." 1083 Fifth Ave., Upper East Side. $10/$15.

Learn about how Comet ISON will come within just 750,000 miles of the sun's surface on Thursday. Broadcast meteorologist Joe Rao will explain in his talk "Rendezvous with ISON" at the Upper West Side's Hayden Planetarium how this close shave may cause the comet to break into pieces. If it stays intact, Comet ISON should be bright enough to be seen from Earth during the daytime. Tickets $15/$12 at Central Park West at 79th Street. From 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 27
Catch a sneak peek of the Thanksgiving Day Parade by checking out the Macy's balloon inflation area Wednesday between 3 and 10 p.m. at 77th Street and 81st Street, between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue on the Upper West Side.

Experience some of the the most magnificent acres in New York City. Founded in 1838 as one of America’s first rural cemeteries, the historic 478-acre Green-Wood Cemetery near Windsor Terrace quickly became a popular place to be buried in the city. Join a guide to hear stories of Green-Wood’s permanent residents, see breathtaking views of Manhattan and tread where George Washington and his troops fought the Battle of Brooklyn. From 1 p.m., book here.

Through 500 works of art, The Ampersand Project will explore the ways something as direct as a written symbol can be interpreted. Make a simple image that interprets the ampersand and the folks at Williamsburg's The Sketchbook Project will send you the work of another participant in exchange. $50 entry fee, sign-up deadline Dec. 15.

Thursday, Nov. 28
For 87 years, Manhattan's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade has been the official kickoff to the holiday season. After its start at West 77th Street and Central Park West., the procession will travel down to Columbus Circle, turn onto Central Park South and march down Sixth Avenue to 34th Street. At 34th Street, the parade will make its final turn west and end at Seventh Avenue in front of Macy’s Herald Square. There are 2.5 miles of public viewing areas. This year the lineup features 15 giant character balloons; 37 large scale, novelty/ornament balloons, 30 floats; 1,600 cheerleaders and dancers; 900 clowns; 11 marching bands and a host of celebrity performers.  

If you're running out of time and options for Thanksgiving Day food options, try these last-minute Thanksgiving dinners across the city.

Friday, Nov. 29
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the premiere of "The Jimmy Dean Show," which catapulted Rowlf the Dog to superstardom. In honor of that milestone, The Museum of the Moving Image celebrates Rowlf’s greatest moments (and Jim Henson’s greatest performances) from commercials, films, variety shows and, of course, "The Muppet Show." At 1 p.m., free with museum admission on a first-come, first-served basis. 36-01 35 Ave., Astoria, Queens.

Check out the Annual Holiday Tree Lighting at Downtown's South Street Seaport Friday evening from 6 p.m. Their brand new open-air ice rink will also open Friday, at the corner of Fulton and Front Streets. Skate rentals will be available.

Saturday, Nov. 30
Thanks to poet, writer, and filmmaker Sherman Alexie’s call to action (read it here), authors all over the country are stopping by their local bookstores on Small Business Saturday to help sell their favorite titles. At Word in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, you can meet and chat with authors, find out what they’re recommending this holiday season, and get signed books.

Sunday, Dec. 1
The Studio Museum in Harlem is free every Sunday thanks to Target Free Sundays. On Sunday you can catch a gallery tour at 1 p.m. of the exhibition "Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art," and from 2 p.m. take part in a workshop inspired by visual artist Derrick Adams' series "I Just Crush A Lot" (2011),  where you'll experiment with “crushing” art materials to create unique compositions.

Between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday you can catch historic trains on the M line running between lower Manhattan and Long Island City. On Sundays in December, weather permitting, vintage buses from 1950s through 1980s will also run on Manhattan's M42, the 42nd Street crosstown corridor. For more information, visit the MTA website.