Get ready to laugh and cry and drink this week in New York City. Film buffs should catch the second half of the 25th annual Jewish Film Festival, while art lovers can discover new artists at the Outsider Art Festival. If you like pinot noir (or just drinking wine), head to Pinot Days and then spend the next day recovering at the comedic MURDER! Marathon (sitting in a dark room and not having to think is perfect for a hangover). If you’re looking to escape the city, zip over to Boston for a bit of shopping, culture, and sports.
AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what's happening in cities around the U.S.
Through January 26 | Film
Jewish Film Festival
The Jewish Museum and Film Society of Lincoln Center are partnering once again to present the 25th annual New York Jewish Film Festival, which showcases dozens of features, documentaries, and shorts from Jewish filmmakers around the world. There will be both U.S. and New York premieres of films, as well as highlights from the past two and a half decades, a poster exhibition, Q&A sessions, and more. Don’t miss A Tale of Love and Darkness, starring Natalie Portman (who also wrote and directed the film), about a mother and son in Jerusalem during the formation of the State of Israel.
Times & locations vary | From $9 | website
January 21–24 | Art by non-artists
Outsider Art Fair
The Outsider Art Fair, now in its 23rd year, celebrates art made by those outside the established art world, including artists with disabilities and those with no formal training. Whatever the definition, it’s a great way to discover new, under-the-radar artists who work in a variety of media. All pieces are for sale, with prices ranging from affordable to aspirational, so it’s also an opportunity to add to your collection. The artists are primarily from around the United States, with a few coming from as far as Japan and France.
Hours vary | Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W. 18th St., New York | (212) 337-3338 | From $20 (one-day pass) | website
January 23 | Wine festival
If you’re not just a wine lover but a true pinot devotee, then don’t miss the annual ode to this esoteric red wine varietal. Featuring dozens of pinot noirs from California, Oregon, and New Zealand, this is a prime opportunity to sample many versions of the same type of wine in one place. The winemakers will be present to answer any questions or just talk shop, and chances are that between the wine flowing freely and the 1,000 participants you’ll not only find some new wines to love but you’ll also make a friend or two.
1–4 p.m. | City Winery, 155 Varick St., New York | From $75 | website
January 23–24 | Escape the city
Boston (meet the Red Sox)
Although it’s a major cosmopolitan hub and home to some of the best universities in the world, Boston feels like a quaint and manageable getaway for New Yorkers. Easily accessible from the city, it’s a highly walkable destination with lots to see. Hit up Newberry Street for a shopping spree, or head to Charles Street for picturesque brownstones and gallery hopping. Explore at least part of the 2.5-mile
Freedom Trail, with historical highlights such as Paul Revere’s home and the church where he famously hung the lanterns. Art lovers should check out the spiffy Institute of Contemporary Art in South Boston, and be sure to grab a bite at Barbara Lynch’s nearby restaurant Sportello. Baseball fans are in luck since it’s the Winter Weekend at Fenway Park, where fans can meet the 2016 Red Sox. Check the AFAR guide to the best hotels in Boston for ideas on where to stay.
January 24 | Comedy
Comedy duo Marina and Nicco (Marina Tempelsman and Niccolo Aeed) are kicking off their six-month residency at the People’s Improv Theater (appropriately called the PIT, for short) with a marathon performance of their eight-episode, original series MURDER! Set at a party, the comedic murder mystery is akin to board game/cult movie favorite Clue but performed in the style of an old-timey radio serial. If you miss it this week, the play will be repeated on January 31, and Marina and Nicco will premier a new comedy at the PIT each month of their residency.
2 p.m. | The Striker, 123 E. 24th St., New York | (212) 563-7488 | $20 | 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.