With warm weather easing into the city and the promise of a "heatwave" to chase away the chills, April offers an excellent time to visit New York City (NYC). So arm yourself with an umbrella and wellies to plow through puddles, and check out the best things to do from festivals, music, the arts, free events and nature before the summer crowds arrive.
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) plays host to the centuries-old Japanese springtime custom of viewing Cherry blossoms or "Hanami" as scores of flowering varieties bloom to the delight of the public. The Hanami culminates in a festival of Japanese performances and cultural happenings on April 27 and 28 as part of its Sakura Matsuri celebration.
So grab your date, family and friends and enjoy this merry springtime occasion. Come together and celebrate the beauty of life with canopies of luminous pink petals on hundreds of cherry trees heralding the birth of spring. For more information, visit the BBG website.
Supported by the Ford Foundation, the Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) make its highly anticipated return to NYC from 10 to 14 April with 6 performances of which 5 are New York premieres. Held in the Jazz at Lincoln Center Rose Theater, the shows are available through 2 programs and a family matinee.
Fans of this American cultural treasure founded in 1969 can look forward to Alvin Ailey's "The Lark Ascending", George Balanchine's "Agon" and "Glinka Pas de Trois", "Gloria" with music by Francis Poulenc and choreographed by Robert Garland. "Far But Close" with choreography by John Alleyne, text by Daniel Beaty and music by Daniel Bernard Roumain and DTH favorites such as "Garland's Return" and Donald Byrd's "Contested Space". To get your tickets, visit the DTH website.
In cooperation with the Havana's International Festival of New Latin American Cinema, the 14th Havana Film Festival New York (HFFNY) showcases the latest award-winning films and classics from and about Latin America, the Caribbean and the U.S. Latino community as a way of introducing prominent and emerging filmmakers to the audience.
19 films will also be competing for the Havana Star Prize for Best Film, Best Director and Best Screenplay, as well as the Havana Star Prize for Best Documentary, which will be awarded on 19 April at the Closing Night ceremony. HFFNY also offers discussion panels and receptions to provide a greater understanding and appreciation of the burgeoning Latino filmmaking industry. For more information and tickets, visit the HFFNY website.
As part of their tour of North America and Europe, and in support of their just-released sixth album, The 2nd Law, Madison Square Garden (MSG) will be home to Muse on April 15 and 16. This British rock band from Teignmouth consisting of school friends are known for mainstream hits like "Uprising" and "Resistance". To catch this Grammy Award–winning band in their larger-than-life stage show in NYC, check out the MSG website.
Founded in 2002 by Jane Rosenthal, Robert De Niro and Craig Hatkoff, the Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) was launched after 9/11 to celebrate NYC as a major film-making centre, promote the cultural and economic revival of Lower Manhattan, and provide a platform for innovative filmmakers to showcase their latest work.
The 2013 edition supported by founding sponsor American Express, will feature more than 70 films including blockbusters-to-be, documentaries, foreign films, shorts and free outdoor screenings as well as panel discussions and lectures. 42 jurors including policy makers, entertainment business leaders and members of the filmmaking community such as Whoopi Goldberg, Bryce Dallas Howard, Eva Longoria and Paul Haggis will be helping to judge and award cash and prizes during TFF. For more information, check out the TFF website.
Earth Day New York has been organising annual public events to draw attention to Earth Day and environmental issues including hundreds of local and national green businesses and environmental organizations, green vehicle exhibition and a concert.
This 2013 edition in the Vanderbilt Hall of the Grand Central Terminal features 3 days of free live performances, kids' activities, sustainability talks and interactive displays. Union Square will host a free outdoor Earth Day event on 21 April complete with live performances, green-vehicle runway and exhibition, and exhibits and displays by local and national environmental organizations. For more information, check out the Earth Day New York website.
The Rubin Museum of Art will be home to an art exhibition of the Naga. Entitled "Fiercely Modern", the exhibition showcases the Naga people, a relatively isolated group of culturally linked tribes and fearsome headhunters who that live on the border between India and Burma.
The exhibition also includes displays of the Naga's ornaments, wood carvings, textiles, ceremonial costumes, weapons and photographs of the people.
Opened in 2004, this 6-story museum (once home to Barneys New York) is an American museum dedicated to the collection, display, and preservation of the art of the Himalayas and surrounding regions, especially Tibetan art. For more information on the exhibition, visit the Rubin Museum of Art website.