NYC weekend picks: Our best bets

Our picks for what to see and do in the city.

WOOLWORTH BUILDING LOBBY TOURS

(233 Broadway): When it was completed it 1913,
(Credit: Thomas McGovern)

(233 Broadway): When it was completed it 1913, lower Manhattan's Woolworth building -- at 792 feet high -- was the tallest in the world. Today, this historic landmark is dwarfed by skyscrapers near and far, but its stunning lobby, which features stained glass, Byzantine mosaics and other architectural flourishes, is still top of the class. Tours are now being offered in five languages. Custom tours available for groups of 10-35. Info: Sept. 26 at 1 p.m., Sept. 27 at 1 and 3 p.m., and Tuesdays through Sundays at various times; $15-$45, depending on length of tour (offered for 30, 60 or 90 minutes), 203-966-9663, woolworthtours.com -- ANNE MACHALINSKI

"TAIL! SPIN!"

(Lynn Redgrave Theater, 45 Bleecker St.): Rachel Dratch
(Credit: Carol Rosegg)

(Lynn Redgrave Theater, 45 Bleecker St.): Rachel Dratch (pictured, with Sean Dugan), best known from "Saturday Night Live," explores the raunchy secret lives of scandalized politicians in Mario Correa's satire based exclusively on their own words in interviews, e-mails, texts and tweets. Info: In previews for an Oct. 1 opening; $25-$75, 866-811-4111, tailspinshow.com - - LINDA WINER

"THE WARRIORS"

(BAM Rose Cinemas, 30 Lafayette Ave., Brooklyn): Walter
(Credit: Paramount/Photofest / BAMcinematek)

(BAM Rose Cinemas, 30 Lafayette Ave., Brooklyn): Walter Hill's graffiti-splattered classic from 1979, about a Brooklyn street gang framed for murder, kicks off "Retro Metro," a 16-film journey through the history of the New York City subway. Info: Screening Sept. 26 at 3, 5, 7:30 and 9:45 p.m.; "Retro Metro" runs through Oct. 5; $14, 718-636-4100, bam.org -- RAFER GUZMAN

"DISGRACED"

(Lyceum Theatre, 149 W. 45th St.): Playwright Ayad
(Credit: Andrew Eccles)

(Lyceum Theatre, 149 W. 45th St.): Playwright Ayad Akhtar earned a 2013 Pulitzer Prize for this dazzling play about a hotshot Muslim-American lawyer and a dinner party that rips open his ambivalence about his life and career. Gretchen Mol ("Boardwalk Empire") and Josh Radnor ("How I Met Your Mother") are in the five-person ensemble. Info: Previews begin Sept. 27 for an Oct. 23 opening; $37.50-$138, 212-239-6200, disgraceonbroadway.com -- LINDA WINER

"SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE"

(New York Theatre Workshop, 79 E. Fourth St.):
(Credit: Jan Versweyveld)

(New York Theatre Workshop, 79 E. Fourth St.): Belgian avant-garde director Ivo van Hove - sometimes dazzling, sometimes just outrageous - takes on Ingmar Bergman's 1974 film, an intense close-up of a married couple (Tina Benko and Arliss Howard, pictured). Info: In previews before the Sept. 22 opening; $55; 212-279-4200; nytw.org -- LINDA WINER

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"THE VALLEY OF ASTONISHMENT"

(Theatre for a New Audience, Polonsky Shakespeare Center,
(Credit: ArtComArt / Pascal Victor)

(Theatre for a New Audience, Polonsky Shakespeare Center, 262 Ashland Pl., Brooklyn): Theater legend and visionary Peter Brook brings what is described as a piece about "real people who see the world in a radically different light," a collaboration with Marie-Helene Estienne, partially based on neurological research. (Jared McNeill and Kathryn Hunter are pictured.) WHEN|WHERE through Oct. 5; INFO $60-$85; 866-811-4111; tfana.org -- LINDA WINER

MAC CONNER: A NEW YORK LIFE

(Museum of the City of New York, 1220
(Credit: Mac Conner)

(Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Ave. at 103rd St.): The work of one of New York City's original "Mad Men" — or ad men — is the focus of this new exhibition, which features 70 of Conner's original hand-painted illustrations from the 1940s through '60s. (Pictured is a Conner illustration from about 1950 that appeared in Good Housekeeping magazine.) Info: Daily 10 a.m.-6 p.m. through Jan. 19; $10, 212-534-1672, mcny.org — ANNE MACHALINSKI

"THE COUNTRY HOUSE"

(Friedman Theatre, 261 W. 47th St.): Blythe Danner
(Credit: Michael Lamont)

(Friedman Theatre, 261 W. 47th St.): Blythe Danner plays the matriarch in Donald Margulies' new Chekhovian comedy-drama about a family of artists in a weekend in the Berkshires. (Danner is pictured with Sarah Steele and Eric Lange.) Info: In previews before an Oct. 2 opening; $67-$125; 212-239-6200; manhattantheatreclub.org -- LINDA WINER

NAM JUNE PAIK: BECOMING ROBOT

(Asia Society and Museum, 725 Park Ave.): The
(Credit: John Bigelow Taylor Photography)

(Asia Society and Museum, 725 Park Ave.): The Korean-American video artist, who died in 2006, is the focus of this retrospective, which looks at his process, his philosophy of technology and the intersection of technology and culture as experienced through his work. Info: Through Jan. 4, 2015; $12, free Fridays 6-9 p.m., 212-288-6400, asiasociety.org -- ANNE MACHALINSKI

"THIS IS OUR YOUTH"

(Cort Theatre, 138 W. 48th St.): The Broadway
(Credit: Brigitte Lacombe)

(Cort Theatre, 138 W. 48th St.): The Broadway season begins in earnest with Kieran Culkin, Michael Cera and Tavi Gevinson in the Steppenwolf Theatre revival of Kenneth Lonergan's 1996 coming-of-age comedy/drama about three New York roommates in 1990. Info: In previews for a Sept. 11 opening.

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THE GORBALS

(98 N. Sixth St., Williamsburg): ?Top Chef? Season
(Credit: Driely S.)

(98 N. Sixth St., Williamsburg): “Top Chef” Season 2 winner, Ilan Hall, who hails from Long Island, is not afraid of serving eclectic cuisine. Need proof? Look no further than the menu at his hip, new Brooklyn outpost of the Los Angeles original, which includes bacon-wrapped matzo balls, a whole roasted pig’s head and a dish called the “Jewish lunchbox.” Info: Open daily from 5:30 p.m.-midnight; the bar and roof have separate, extended hours; 718-387-0195, thegorbalsbk.com -- ANNE MACHALINSKI

EL GRECO

(Frick Collection, 1 E. 70th St., near Fifth
(Credit: Frick Collection)

(Frick Collection, 1 E. 70th St., near Fifth Avenue): This Old Master, a 16th-century Spanish painter of Greek descent, is known for his startling and expressive portraiture. To mark the 400th anniversary of his death, The Frick spotlights his celebrated portrait, "Vincenzo Anastagi," above, presented face-to-face with "Jacopo Boncompagni," a work by El Greco's Roman contemporary Scipione Pulzone. Info: Aug. 8-Oct. 26; $20, pay what you wish Sundays from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; 212-288-0700, frick.org -- ANNE MACHALINSKI

LE BINGO

(Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St.): Linda Simpson,
(Credit: Feral Cat Photography)

(Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St.): Linda Simpson, who's been called "the thinking woman's drag queen," is your host for a fun-filled night of Bingo, burlesque, laughs, food and drink. If your number comes up, you could win exciting prizes, from discount-store delights to a bucket of cash. Info: Saturdays at 7; free admission, $2 for each bingo card; 212-505-3474, lepoissonrouge.com -- DANIEL BUBBEO

AMPLE HILLS CREAMERY

(305 Nevins St., Brooklyn): This new Gowanus spot,
(Credit: Evan Barbour)

(305 Nevins St., Brooklyn): This new Gowanus spot, a spinoff of the original Prospect Heights location, offers a rotating roster of 24 ice cream and sorbet flavors like Sharktato (potato chip infused ice cream with mix-ins like pretzels and baby M&Ms), Mexican hot chocolate and the much-loved Salted Cracked Caramel. Info: Friday and Saturday, noon to midnight; Sunday-Thursday, noon to 11 p.m.; $4.35 for a scoop, 347-725-4061, amplehills.com -- ANNE MACHALINSKI

ROLLER SKATING

(LeFrak Center: Prospect Park near Lincoln Road entrance
(Credit: Julienne Schaer / Julienne Schaer)

(LeFrak Center: Prospect Park near Lincoln Road entrance and Brooklyn Bridge Park at Pier 2, Brooklyn): It's time to pull out your old roller skates, as two flashy new outdoor rinks recently opened in Brooklyn. LeFrak Center in Prospect Park has regular open skates, plus roller derby lessons and Friday night parties (think disco tunes and circus performers). The rink at Brooklyn Bridge Park (pictured, above) has views of lower Manhattan and free public skating twice on weekends (Fridays 3-6 p.m. and Sundays 10 a.m.-noon). Info: LeFrak Center: $8 weekends, $6 weekdays, $6 skate rentals, 718-965-8951, lakesidebrooklyn.com; Brooklyn Bridge Park: $8 weekends, $5 weekdays, $6 skate rentals, 718-300-2401, brooklynbridgepark.org/activities/roller-skating -- ANNE MACHALINSKI

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'THE PARIS OF TOULOUSE-LAUTREC'

(The Museum of Modern Art, 11 W. 53rd
(Credit: MoMA)

(The Museum of Modern Art, 11 W. 53rd St.): Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, who created artworks based on Parisian cabarets, cafes, performers and prostitutes in the late-19th century, is the focus of this exhibit, which features more than 100 prints, posters and pieces of ephemera, including "The Clowness at the Moulin Rouge" (1897), above. Info: Opens July 26 and runs through March 22, 2015; $25, $18 seniors, $14 students, free for children 16 and under, 212-708-9400, moma.org -- ANNE MACHALINSKI

"WHAT'S UP, DOC? THE ANIMATION ART OF CHUCK JONES"

(Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Ave.,
(Credit: Looney Tunes Characters (c) )

(Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Ave., Astoria): The director of "Looney Tunes," who helped bring to life Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, while also creating Wile E. Coyote and other memorable cartoon characters, is the focus of this traveling Smithsonian exhibition (above, a scene from "Duck Amuck," 1953). Info: July 19-Jan. 19, 2015; $12, $9 students/seniors, $6 children 3-12, 718-777-6888, movingimage.us -- ANNE MACHALINSKI

MORBID ANATOMY MUSEUM

(424A 3rd Ave., Brooklyn): Death masks, hair art
(Credit: Joanna Ebenstein)

(424A 3rd Ave., Brooklyn): Death masks, hair art jewelry and spirit photography are some of the macabre items featured in the "The Art Of Mourning," the first exhibition at the just-opened Gowanus museum, which showcases items that meet at the intersection of beauty and death. Info: Daily (except Tuesday) from noon-6 p.m., through Dec. 4; $10, $8 seniors, free children under 12, 347-799-1017, morbidanatomymuseum.org -- ANNE MACHALINSKI

JAMAICA BAY

(Jacob Riis Park, 157 Rockaway Beach Blvd., Queens):
(Credit: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge)

(Jacob Riis Park, 157 Rockaway Beach Blvd., Queens): Explore the parks, beaches and trails of this waterfront community with stops at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge for birding (above), the Fresh Creek Nature Preserve for kayaking and Jacob Riis Park for beaching. After all that outdoor fun, a look into the area's history awaits at Floyd Bennett Field and Fort Tilden, and enticing eats are just 10 minutes away at the Rockaway Beach boardwalk. Info: Find more on Jamaica Bay (and other NYC daytrips) at nycgo.com -- ANNE MACHALINSKI

MADELINE IN NEW YORK: THE ART OF LUDWIG BEMELMANS'

(New York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West
(Credit: Estate of Ludwig Bemelmans)

(New York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West at 77th Street): Celebrate the 75th anniversary of the beloved children's classic, "Madeline," which chronicles the adventures of a Parisian schoolgirl, by viewing the manuscript, original drawings and more. Kids get in free on opening day. Info: July 4- Oct. 19, $18, $6 kids 5-13, 212-873-3400, nyhistory.org -- ANNE MACHALINSKI

SPIDERS ALIVE!

(American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West
(Credit: AMNH/R. Mickens / Roderick Mickens)

(American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street): What animal can survive (and thrive) in deserts, rain forests and crowded cities? Spiders, of course. These eight-legged predators are the focus of a new exhibit, which includes fossils, models and 20 species of live arachnids, including the Mexican red knee tarantula, above. Info: July 4-Nov. 2, General Admission Plus One, which includes admission to the museum and one special exhibition, is $27, $16 children 2-12, 212-769-5100, amnh.org -- ANNE MACHALINSKI

GOTHAM WEST MARKET

Six restaurants, one coffee spot, a grocery store
(Credit: Melissa Hom)

Six restaurants, one coffee spot, a grocery store and a bike shop make up this newish destination on the far West side of Manhattan. Work up an appetite on one of NYC Velo's Saturday morning rides or at one of Brooklyn Kitchen's cooking classes; then refuel with some Blue Bottle coffee, Ivan Ramen or tapas from El Comado, among other options. INFO: Open daily at 600 11th Ave. Prices vary, 212-582-7940, gothamwestmarket.com -- ANNE MACHALINSKI

"JEFF KOONS: A RETROSPECTIVE"

From a floating basketball ("One Ball Total Equilibrium,"
(Credit: Whitney Museum of American Art)

From a floating basketball ("One Ball Total Equilibrium," 1985) to a polychromed wood "Poodle" (1991, pictured) to a stainless steel "Elephant" (2003), this exhibition shows the full scope of the groundbreaking artist's career. INFO: June 27-Oct. 19 at the Whitney Museum of American Art, 945 Madison Ave. Tickets: $20, pay what you wish on Fridays from 6-9 p.m., 212-570-3600, target"_blank">whitney.org -- ANNE MACHALINSKI

'WHEN WE WERE YOUNG AND UNAFRAID'

(Manhattan Theatre Club Stage 1, W. 55th St.):
(Credit: Joan Marcus)

(Manhattan Theatre Club Stage 1, W. 55th St.): Luminous stage star Cherry Jones (pictured) plays a woman in the '70s who turns her B&B into a home for needy women in Sara Treem's new play. INFO: Through August 10; $89; 212-581-1212; nycitycenter.org -- LINDA WINER

RUSS and DAUGHTERS CAFE

(127 Orchard St.): Give dad what he really
(Credit: Kelli Anderson/Jen Snow)

(127 Orchard St.): Give dad what he really wants for Father's Day - all the chopped liver, smoked fish and caviar that he can eat from the famed Lower East Side joint's just-opened cafe. INFO: Open 10 a.m.-10 p.m. for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner daily (except Tuesdays). No reservations. 212-475-4881, russanddaughterscafe.com -- ANNE MACHALINSKI