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Daily 5: Bill Nye, Jeff Koons, More

Don’t miss out! picks the five best things to do in New York City each and every day. Read on for July 18’s best events, from Bill Nye at Irving Plaza to the Jeff Koons Retrospective at the Whitney.


Come Out and Play Festival (Photo: Guy Chan/Courtesy of Come Out and Play)

Come Out and Play Festival (Photo: Guy Chan/Courtesy of Come Out and Play)

1. ART: Jeff Koons: A Retrospective at The Whitney Museum of American Art

Best known for his larger-than-life reproductions of giant objects, Jeff Koons has made a name for himself by transforming pure kitsch into something resembling high art. See the merciless self-merchandiser, official artist of the one percent and (quite fittingly) sometime Lady Gaga collaborator get the retrospective treatment from the Whitney Museum now through October 19. Is it art, crap or artful crap? You decide.

DETAILS: 11am-9pm; $20; 945 Madison Ave.;

2. SCIENCE: Bill Nye the Science Guy at Irving Plaza

Fans of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s hit show Cosmos will be happy to know that fellow science guy Bill Nye (Bill! Bill! Bill!) will soon be conducting a great big science class right here in NYC. For three nights in a row, the wacky ’90s edutainment icon will be lecturing about humankind, evolution, energy, the cosmos and “our place in space,” among other topics. Fun for the whole family… provided no one in your family is a creationist.

DETAILS: 7pm; from $34.50, sold out but tickets may be available on resale sites; 17 Irving Place;

3. MUSIC: 1.21 Gigawatts Festival at Radio Bushwick

1.21 Gigawatts is a neat little mag devoted to hyper-local coverage of the New York music and arts scene… and now it has its very own festival! Check out a plethora of local acts (mostly indie rock, but some other genres too) at the second-ever 1.21 Gigawatts Fest. Highlights include Frankie Cosmos, Tonstartssbandht, Fiasco, Mannequin Pussy and… many, many more. Seriously, there are like 50 bands playing this thing. Continues Saturday and Sunday.

DETAILS: various times; Brooklyn; $13 (or $22 for a weekend pass); 22 Wyckoff Ave., Brooklyn;

4. POETRY: Write Off Debt Poetry Reading at Berl’s Poetry Shop

In these economically uncertain times, being mired in debt is no longer the social stigma it once was, but it’s still quite the headache. Commiserate about your debt with others like yourself — and hear your problems expressed in some very poetic terms — at this free (duh) poetry reading/group therapy sesh/fundraiser for Strike Debt, an offshoot of Occupy Wall Street that buys up debt for pennies on the dollar, only to forgive it. Readers include Niina Pollari (organizer of Popsickle), Ashleigh Lambert and Christopher Salerno. And hey, maybe some of the debt Strike Debt buys will turn out to be yours.

DETAILS: 7pm; free; 126A Front St., Brooklyn; Write Off Debt Poetry Reading

5. FESTIVAL: Come Out and Play Festival 2014

Treat New York City like it’s one giant playground at this innovative festival celebrating street games of all kinds. For two fun-filled days, several NYC neighborhoods will be flooded with adult games like Super Skinny Soccer (which is played in an alley), Hot Mess (Twister, with a twist) and the infamous Pacmanhattan. Tonight, the action will take place in DUMBO’s Manhattan Bridge Archway Plaza, turning the whole surrounding area into an arcade of social party games, video games and street games. Tomorrow, they’re having a “field day” on Governors Island. Curmedgeons need not apply!

DETAILS: various times; free; various locations;

Want even more fun? Check out 15 Things to Do in July50 Free Things to Do This Summer and 10 NYC Summer Music Festivals You Shouldn’t Miss

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