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Here's What's Happening in El Barrio This Weekend

By Gustavo Solis | October 17, 2014 2:57pm
  Bid for a trip to Italy, hangout at a pig roast under the Metro North train tracks and celebrate Mexico’s Dia De Los Muertos. Check out this week's weekend events roundup. 
El Barrio This Weekend
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EAST HARLEM ­— Put your name in for a chance to win a trip to Italy, hang out at a pig roast under the Metro-North train tracks and celebrate Mexico’s Dia De Los Muertos this weekend in East Harlem this weekend.

Here is a roundup of things to check out uptown:

► Beer Garden and Pig Roast at the Urban Garden Center — Saturday from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The Urban Garden Center is hosting a country-style pig roast every Saturday until the end of October.

“It looks like it’s a cantina or what you might find on the side of the road in San Juan, you feel like you are not in the city,” said Dimitri Gatanas, who runs the Urban Garden Center. “It's something you won’t experience anywhere else.”

They start serving beer at noon and the pig is usually ready by 2:30 p.m. Ten bucks gets you a plate of roasted pork, smoked chorizo, Asian slaw, Kimchi pickles and a tortilla. They'll also serve Sugar Hill Golden Ale from the Harlem Brewing Company.

► Dia de los Muertos at El Museo Del Barrio — Saturday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The 3,000-year-old Dia de los Muertos tradition is often thought of as Mexican Halloween, but it's much more. Dia de los Muertos honors friends and relatives who have passed away, and families often build private altars and serve skulls made of sugar or the favorite snack of the departed.

The celebration, which is free, will kick off with a musical procession from Central Park to the museum led by dancers, musicians and giant skeleton puppets. There will be family-friendly events such as art workshops and face painting as well as special exhibits.

The celebration will conclude with a concert by the accordion-driven band, Pistolera.

► Manhattan Country School Farm Festival — Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This East Harlem Elementary School is turning 96th Street between Fifth and Madison avenues into a family-friendly carnival, with music, rides and games. There will also be a haunted house in the basement of a 100-year-old mansion.

“It brings a little something from the country to the city. Our school is unique in that we have a 180 acre working farm in the Catskills,” said Angela Johnson Meadows, the school's spokeswoman. “It is a great event for the school and the community as well.”

Parents and alumni donated more than 100 items for auction including Starbucks gift cards, Knicks tickets, a week at a lakefront home in the Adironacks and a trip to Italy. Jazz pianist Jason Moran, whose child goes to the school, will perform during the festival.

► An Afternoon with Richard Blanco at La Casa Azul Bookstore — Saturday 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Richard Blanco is the first Latino, immigrant and openly gay writer to read a poem for a presidential inauguration. He was 44 when he read "One Today" during President Barack Obama’s second inauguration, which also made him the youngest inaugural poet.

He will be at La Casa Azul, near the corner of East 103rd Street and Lexington Avenue, to read from his new book, "The Prince of los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood." The book is about growing up as an immigrant in 1970’s Miami.

There will also be a Q&A and a book signing afterwards. Tickets to the reading cost $15, and the book signing is free.