New York Thought: Smart Things to Do in NYC This Weekend

Appearances by Kara Cooney, Rebecca Solnit, and Isabella Rossellini highlight our picks for the best smart things to do in NYC this weekend.

Friday, March 24

If the story of a time when an autocrat takes control and meritocracy and noble ideas are left behind has any resonance for you, head for The Strand. Philosophy and religion professor Vishwa Adluri will look at the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata (c. 600 B.C.) and what it has to say about how to flourish in troubling times.

Learn about the struggle of LGBT refugees at this discussion featuring their personal stories. Queensborough Community College.

Saturday, March 25

From ancient Egypt to music as a mirror of its times to WWII and the psychology of terrorism, there’s plenty of ground to cover in One Day University’s 5,000 Years of History all-day session at Symphony Space.

Boston Public Library — Flickr

Take a divine look at New York City through this after-hours tour of the world’s largest cathedral, St. John the Divine, complete with a stop at its roof overlooking Manhattan. Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

Sunday, March 26

Unbound: A Book Launch Series welcomes Rebecca Solnit to discuss The Mother of All Questions with Teju Cole at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM).

Statuette of a Woman, circa 1390–1353 B.C.E. Wood, 101/8 x 23/4 x 17/8 in. (25.6 x 7 x 4.8 cm). Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 54.29. (Photo: Jonathan Dorado, Brooklyn Museum)

Everyone’s favorite Egyptologist, Kara Cooney, comes to the Brooklyn Museum to talk about feminism and the afterlife in the context of the exhibition A Woman’s Afterlife: Gender Transformation in Ancient Egypt.

Catch a series of films by Jean Painlevé, Isabella Rossellini, and Roberto Rossellini, followed by a presentation from marine chemical biologist Dr. Mandë Holford. (Isabella Rossellini herself will also be appearing.) Museum of the Moving Image.

Image: Thomas Hawk/Flickr

Take a tour that runs through Five Points, the Lower Manhattan Civic Center, and across the East River to Brooklyn Heights, dispensing the amazing stories behind the Brooklyn Bridge all the way. Prospect Heights Brainery.

Beyond things to do in NYC this weekend, keep up with all kinds of talks, lectures and activities in the big city. Sign up for Thought Gallery’s weekly Curriculum, the best of smart New York delivered right to your inbox.