NYC’s 5 Best Talks And Lectures This Summer

June 11, 2012 6:00 AM

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In summertime, the warm weather encourages exploration of all that the city has to offer, from outdoor activities to art galleries and museums. These venues host some very knowledgeable lecturers speaking about a wide range of topics. And, perfect for the season, one can attend some of these events outside, including poetry readings, astronomer-led sailboat rides and Brooklyn lecture tours.
americanmuseumnaturalhistory NYCs 5 Best Talks And Lectures This Summer

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American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West at 79th St
New York, NY 10024
(212) 769-5100

The American Museum of Natural History is world-famous for its exhibits covering science and culture. Its summer events calendar topics range from tiki culture to sailing excursions to meteorite talks. Some of these lectures are free while others cost around $35; be sure to see which are open only to members. Members-only excursions, such as the Summer Star Sail where Dr. Charles Liu lectures about the sky as the sun sets and stars emerge, are more expensive than those held at the Museum, but are top-notch. Many of the events are held after closing time, so read the event calendar carefully.

brooklynhistorialsociety NYCs 5 Best Talks And Lectures This Summer

(credit: Brooklyn Historical Society)

Brooklyn Historical Society
128 Pierrepont St
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 222-4111

The Brooklyn Historical Society offers walking tours of Brooklyn that focus on all aspects of Brooklyn history, including the wonderful local architecture still to be found there. These tours include Brooklyn’s ethnic neighborhoods and historic districts, as well as such famous landmarks as the Brooklyn Bridge. There are talks about the Society itself and the building it is housed in, and talks about the brewery located on the premises. Check out its Walks and Talks program for details.

Related: New York’s 5 Best Historic Restaurants

nybotanicalgarden NYCs 5 Best Talks And Lectures This Summer

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The New York Botanical Garden
2900 Southern Blvd
Bronx, NY 10458
(718) 817-8700

Monet’s Garden at the New York Botanical Garden is a summer experience to be shared by people of all ages. There are children’s workshops where children can paint with watercolors and learn about “little landscapes” in terrariums. Each Wednesday, the MetLife Healthy Families Program offers cooking demonstrations using food sold at the Greenmarket, as well as self-guided walking tours. Come out for an educational cooking experience as well as some great ideas for home-cooked meals. The staff is friendly and can answer visitors’ questions about the exhibits, which feature plants from around the world.

poetshouse NYCs 5 Best Talks And Lectures This Summer

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Poets House
10 Rive Terrace
New York, NY 10282
(212) 431-7920

The Poets House has a rich, year-round events calendar with lectures on the craft of poetry and poetry readings. It is open Tuesday through Saturday for visitors to come get a few prose of education. The children’s room is open from Thursday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for kids to play while parents learn from intelligent and talented poets. At the Passwords program, poets read and discuss the works of other poets, while Conversations on Poetics discusses the craft of poetry itself. International poets are also featured in some of these programs. Poets House has free outdoor readings which make for a great summertime activity. See the calendar for details.

starvingartist NYCs 5 Best Talks And Lectures This Summer

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The Starving Artist Cafe & Gallery
249 City Island Ave
Bronx, NY 10464
(718) 885-3779

Elliott Glick has researched the roots of rock and roll and blues music as far back as five centuries. His lecture series, which he elaborates with musical performance, takes the listener on a journey through the ages. The monthly series in four installments provides a reason to return time and time again to beautiful City Island, home of the city’s best seafood. Elliott, proprietor of The Starving Artist, is an accomplished musician in his own right who is featured on a Bob Dylan tribute album called “Backwoods Jupiter presents Bob Dylan’s Desire.” Check the websitefor details of the lectures as they become available.

Related: The 6 Best Live Music Venues In New York City

Nick Gauthier is a freelance writer and lives in the Bronx. His work can be found at

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