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New York Feb 18–24: Rain Pryor Tells All & A New Kind of Music Festival

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Photo by Virginia Rollison courtesy DBGB


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Beat the winter chill by heading to any one of this week’s decidedly indoor NYC activities. Settle in with some popcorn for the Film Comments Selects Festival, or check out the edgy experimental music scene at the Avant Music Festival. Brew lovers should head to any of the hundreds of events associated with New York City Beer Week. All should attend Fried Chicken and Latkes, but don't expect to eat either—it’s not a menu, but a hilarious and poignant one-woman play. For a nearby getaway, visit a historical village and stellar locavore restaurant in Farmingdale, New Jersey.

AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what's happening in cities around the U.S.

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Now through February 24 | Film festival  
Film Comment Selects Festival
For the 16th year running, Film Comment magazine is hosting their annual weeklong film festival at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. This year 18 movies from around the world, including Serbia, Iran, Japan, Poland, and the United States, will be shown. The spotlight is on legendary Polish director Andrzej Żuławski and his new film, Cosmos, which will be screened along with digital restorations of some of his classic movies dating back to 1972. New movies to look out for include Sunset Song, about a young Scottish woman who inherits her family’s farm on the eve of World War I, and Under Electric Clouds, set in Russia in the not-too-distant future. Buy individual tickets, or get an all-access pass for $99 if you plan on seriously geeking out.
Times vary | Walter Reade Theatre, 165 W. 65th St., New York | From $11 | website

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February 1928 | Beer week
New York City Beer Week
Forget Restaurant Week, the eighth annual New York City Beer Week is where it’s at. Ten days of 400 beer-related events and menus at bars and restaurants around the city, Beer Week is your chance to discover some new brews—and rediscover some old favorites, too. Hosted by the NYC Brewers Guild and NY State Brewers Association, Beer Week kicks off on Saturday with a Hudson River booze cruise featuring 30 local breweries. Other highlights include a Homebrew Jamboree at Jimmy’s No. 43, the Barrel Aged Festival at Bronx Alehouse, and Beer Cocktails with Girls Pint Out at the Alewife. Daniel Boulud’s beer-centric restaurant DBGB will also be hosting a number of affiliated events, like “meet the brewers” nights and a kick-off panel with Brooklyn Brewery’s Garrett Oliver and other brewers.
Times, locations & prices vary | website

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February 2021 | Escape the city
Farmingdale, New Jersey
For a quick jaunt out of the city, head to charming Farmingdale, New Jersey for the weekend (or the day—it’s just over an hour's drive). Located in Allaire State Park, the Historic Village at Allaire—a preserved 19th-century iron-producing community—is one of the area’s main attractions. Check out the special celebration of George Washington’s Birthday, which includes hearth cooking demos and an 1800's reenactment. Also in the state park are hiking and biking trails, as well as antique steam trains from the Pine Creek Railroad. A stop at Main Street is a must for cute shops and restaurants. Local, seasonal restaurant Harvest is particularly worth a visit for its tasty, varied dishes like lamb crostini and monkfish piccata. Most hotel accommodations can be found in the nearby beach towns that are predictably sleepier this time of year, meaning there are bargains to be found! The White Lilac Inn is particularly lovely.

Randy Gibson performing “Apparitions Of The Four Pillars In The Midwinter Starfield Under The Astral 789 Duet” at the Fourth Avant Music Festival

February 20March 5 | Music festival
Avant Music Festival
This week marks the seventh annual Avant Music Festival, which highlights contemporary avant-garde composers working in new media. These aren’t just music performances, but all-encompassing installations that engage all the senses. The festival kicks off with Day Trip, a 10-hour (yes, 10 hours!) performance-slash-installation by Swedish composer Adrian Knight and percussion group TIGUE. Other shows include back-to-back performances of 20-minute “micro-operas,” and the premiere of a new video piece from minimalist composer Randy Gibson. These performances are sure to challenge what you thought you knew about music.
Times vary | Wild Project, 195 E. 3rd St., New York | From $10 | website

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February 24 | One-woman show
Fried Chicken and Latkes
Be sure to catch this hilarious, culturally astute one-woman show from Rain Pryor, daughter of comedy legend Richard Pryor. Based on her experience being raised in Beverly Hills by her African-American father and Jewish (former) go-go dancer mother, the cabaret-style show includes serious vignettes, hilarious anecdotes, and more than one spot-on impersonation of her dad. It touches on what it means to be biracial in America, the impact of having a famous father, and how his substance abuse affected her and her family. But she does it all with wit, charm, and a bit of song and dance.
7 p.m. | Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, New York | $35 | website

A native New Yorker, Katherine is a freelance food and travel writer who has eaten her way across the globe and is always on the lookout for her next great meal. She is an avid reader, insatiable traveler, sometimes photographer, and mom to an inquisitive toddler.

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