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"My belt holds my pants up, but the belt loops hold my belt up. I don't really know what's happening down there. Who is the real hero?" Mitch Hedberg
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SHOUT OUT FOR THE HEROES
I have this friend. Let's call her Lynda (because that's her name). She's in her 50s, has raised four fabulous kids (one of whom has learning challenges), and last year, she started open water swimming. This badass babe gets up at around 5am, in temperatures in the low 20s, pulls on her wetsuit, and goes for a dip. Sometimes the waves are overpowering. Sometimes it's so cold she can only manage to stay in for a few minutes. Sometimes she describes the experience as "like being a beetroot expertly sliced by a mandolin."

She's a freaking hero in my book. Her joy at being in nature, raw and fierce and powerful, is infectious and intoxicating. 

Who's your *Hell's Hero? You've voted for your favorite bars, restaurants, coffee shops, stores, and workouts in our survey. But now I want to know about your favorite PEOPLE in the neighborhood. Who deserves a shout out? Maybe they’re your dog walker, or your bodega server; a bartender, dry cleaner, teacher, or friend. Nominate them, tell me why they’re your hero, and the best answers could win a pair of tickets to our fancy awards ceremony at the end of March, sponsored by Wells Fargo. Voting closes at midnight on Sunday March 8. Do it now! 

*Hell's Hero award sponsored by MCC Theater
BEST LIFE CALENDAR

TONIGHT
NYCB does Swan Lake
What better way to mark Valentine’s Day than with a tale of obsession, male fantasy, and a disempowered woman? Germaine Greer called ballet a “cultural cancer,” but I can’t help it. I still want to see this performance, which will be undoubtedly beautiful, tragic … and politically problematic. Find out more.

TOMORROW
Ballerina
Continuing the ballet theme, FIT’s new exhibition examines the influence of the dance form – and, specifically the tutu – on the world of fashion. The collection includes pieces worn by Anna Pavlova and Margot Fonteyn, plus Louboutin’s famous “Fetish Ballerine” shoes. And, as with all exhibitions at FIT, it’s free to see. Find out more.

Fathers – dance with your daughters
Alvin Ailey is celebrating father-daughter love with a West African dance workshop to help build strength, improve stamina, and create fun memories together on the dance floor. Find out more.

An afternoon at the opera
A free, concert version of Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito at Lincoln Center. First come first served. Find out more.

Neighborhood noodle night
Learn how to hand pull, roll out, cut, and shape home-made pasta. Then you get to eat it! Huzzah! Suggested donation $45. Find out more.

$10 OFF INTREPID KIDS WEEK
It's here! A week of amazing events at the Intrepid Museum, including live animal shows, a pop-up planetarium, puppet making, face painting, storytelling, and performances from Sesame Street, Paddington, and STOMP! And that’s just the Saturday! We get it. Entertaining the kids all week is A LOT. Which is why we’re offering $10 off your tickets. Just use the code 42ST-KID20 at the online checkout.

The fun starts here

MONDAY
Presidents’ Day

You got a day off? Short week or long weekend – whichever way you look at it, enjoy every minute!

Tales From The Clit
Meet the Clit Keeper. She’s fun. She's single. She's a rotting, maggot-filled corpse ready to mingle. And she’s at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade, with tales of horror, death, and the cost of therapy! Find out more.

Broadway Sings Queen
A giant, live orchestra and 15 stars of Broadway – including Kate Rockwell, Jarrod Spector, and Lesli Margherita – come together to sing the magnificent songs of Queen and an opportunity for me to use my favorite gif of Freddie Mercury. Find out more.

A Very Skivvies Presidents’ Day
The scantily-clad songsters bring their comedy mashups and quirky instrumentation to the Green Room 42 (with special guests, who will also be required to disrobe). It's OK – the audience can keep their clothes on. Find out more.

The Gorgeous Nothings
A one-night-only concert of songs that showcase the vibrancy of the city’s hidden LBGTQ+ community in the 1920s-1930s, this cabaret set pulls from music written over 30 years before Stonewall, reviving a long-lost songbook of LGBTQ+ voices. Find out more.

TUESDAY
ADFF at the UN

That’s a lot of letters, so let me spell it out. The Architecture and Design Film Festival is bringing a one-day program of films to the United Nations, focusing on themes of social development, inclusion, and affordable housing. It’s free (naturally)! Find out more.

WEDNESDAY
The Joy List Social 

Jillian Richardson is awesome. She launched The Joy List to help people make genuine connections in this lonely city, and, naturally, that has evolved into regular social events of her own. Bring a friend who recently moved to NYC, and be prepared to share meaningful conversations with fun people. Find out more.

Bat for Lashes
An intimate show of never-performed material and songs from the new album Lost Girls. Find out more.

NEXT WEEKEND!
Hell’s Kitchen Films

Get ready for this – an evening of short films that celebrate the Hell’s Kitchen community in all its rich diversity. This one’s going to be a hoot! Get your tickets here and get ready for a fabulous party (plus after-party).

VALENTINE'S FUN FACTS
In Finland and Estonia they have a much healthier approach to Valentine’s Day, exchanging gifts and cards with the greeting ‘Happy Friends Day’ instead. 

While In France, during the loterie d’amour (drawing for love), men and women would take up residence in houses opposite each other, then call out to the other side in an effort to pair off. Men who weren’t happy with their match could simply leave the woman for another (no change there, then), and those women who were left unmatched at the end would get together for a big old fire fest, burning the pictures of men who had wronged them and hurling insults in the general direction of the opposite sex. In the end, the French government banned the tradition – jeez, does the patriarchy have to spoil all our fun?
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