Foreign Lands: Talks & Activities for Armchair Travelers

By Troy Segal

No international vacation in your immediate future? No worries: These upcoming lectures, festivals and screenings are so evocative of exotic cultures and foreign lands, they’ll satisfy your wanderlust. We’re looking forward to stimulating takes on a rising megacity, the art of Edvard Munch and England’s Royal Household as seen from the inside.

As Jiangbei rises into a forest of high-rises, shopping malls, and elevated roads, lifelong resident Ren Yindi, 66, continues to farm. (Tim Franco)

As Jiangbei rises into a forest of high-rises, shopping malls, and elevated roads, lifelong resident Ren Yindi, 66, continues to farm. (Tim Franco)

Eastward, Ho: A park in Chinatown is the setting for the showing of mouthwatering foods from all over Asia; it’s a preview of the PBS series, Lucky Chow, which traces Korean, Chinese and Japanese cuisine’s path to ubiquity across the U.S. Columbus Park Pavilion, Friday, Jun. 19.…Watch Chongqing, the very model of a modern major city, rise in modern-day China, through this illustrated lecture by photographer Tim Franco, who’s chronicled the town’s growth for a decade. Asia Society and Museum, Wednesday, Jul. 1.

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South of the Border: Transport yourself to a bucolic Mexican villa via FRIDA KAHLO: Art, Garden, Life, an exhibit that includes a recreation of the artist’s Casa Azul home and garden. On Father’s Day, there’s a special fiesta: an al fresco Mexican folk songs concert, complete with tacos and complimentary margaritas. New York Botanical Garden, Sunday, Jun. 20.

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La Bella Italia: The Center for Italian Modern Art (CIMA) is bidding arrivederci to its Medardo Rosso and Cy Twombly installation with a two day-long festa (aka party); the prosecco and espresso will flow, amid exhibit tours, Italian music concerts and vino tastings. Friday, Jun. 26 & Saturday, Jun. 27.

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Scandinavian Sensibility: Get in a Norwegian frame of mind exploring the life and times of artist Edvard Munch (best-known for The Scream), with two films released to commemorate his 150th birthday. One of them also draws parallels between Munch and another Norway creative: Edvard Grieg, that avatar of Romantic music. Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America, Wednesday, Jul. 1.

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Tropical Isles: June is Caribbean-American Heritage Month—the 10th anniversary of this salute to the region’s immigrants their contributions to the U.S. The whole family can commemorate the different cultures of the islands—from Jamaican cooking to Dominican music—at this early-evening Caribbean celebration hosted by Museum of the City of New York. Tuesday, Jun. 30…The Caribbean has always been a prime spot for sumptuous vacation homes, retirement villas, resorts. It’s a cushy life, but someone has to do it. Architect Hermes Mallea walks you through some mighty nice mansions with this slideshow lecture. New York Public Library, Mid-Manhattan Library, Tuesday, Jul. 14.

insider talk british royals

Rule, Britannia: Forget about Downton Abbey’s fictions. Get a backstage tour of Buckingham Palace and the real-life royal household of Queen Elizabeth the II, courtesy of a former press secretary to Her Majesty. 92nd Street Y, Tuesday, Jul. 14.

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