Hooky for a Day

For hanging out at installations in the open air, visit Anissa Mack's cottage on the steps of the Brooklyn Public Library, where the artist is busy baking apple pies and tempting passersby to steal them. "Pies for a Passerby"(through June 23, Brooklyn Public Library, Grand Army Plaza, 718-230-2767), sponsored by the Public Art Fund, was inspired by Betty Crocker's remark that if she were to design a coat of arms for our country, a pie would be its heraldic emblem. Staten Island's north shore, from the ferry terminal to Fort Wadsworth and Faber Park, will be dotted with new projects and performances by 30 international artists participating in Snug Harbor's "Artfront/Waterfront," who will also show inside the Newhouse Gallery, on billboards, and on the radio (opens June 30, through January 30, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, 718-448-2500). And if you really want an agrarian buzz, head for the Bronx, where J. Morgan Puett's "The Grafter's Shack," an apiary installation about bees and beekeepers,is in the woods near Wave Hill's own hives (opens July 14, through October 29, Wave Hill, 675 West 252th Street, Bronx, 718-549-3200). (Levin)

Throw me a line: go fish at Prospect Park lake.
Photographs by Kate Lacey
Throw me a line: go fish at Prospect Park lake.

So ogling poor killer whales Shamu and Namu at SeaWorld Orlando is more reminiscent of chintzy family vacations, hot car puke, and stupid-jerk hair pulling than pleasurable squeals at soothing sea creatures. No matter. Coney Island's New York Aquarium is Jaws 3D not. They've got cool and tasteful attractions like those sea horses with little human faces you begged your mom to mail order (oh, those were Sea Monkeys—duh!), not to mention classy beluga whales that don't lay caviar, but calves! Their "Dining and Dancing With Dolphins" does sound pretty cheesy, though. Surf Avenue and West 8th Street, Brooklyn, 718-265-FISH, wcs.org/home/zoos/nyaquarium. (Spartos)

New York's frenetic art world tends to go dormant in the summer. But on June 29 it undergoes a seismic shift: MOMA, moving across the river for three years, reopens as MOMA QNS in Long Island City's old Swingline stapler factory with three inaugural exhibitions. "Tempo" focuses on the cultural, perceptual, existential, historical, and biological aspects of time, featuring work by contemporary artists from five continents including Kara Walker, Matthew McCaslin, Adriana Varejao, Erwin Wurm, and Sooja Kim, none of whom were exactly regulars in the old MOMA. "AUTObodies: speed, sport, transport" takes advantage of the large factory space to show off the design department's collection of cars for the first time. And "Collection Highlights" makes sure we don't forget the museum's iconic 20th-century works. While it's not exactly outdoors, MOMA QNS signals a welcome breath of fresh energy. 33rd Street at Queens Boulevard, Queens, www.moma.org. (Levin)

If you feel like a ship in a bottle, go to the South Street Seaport, where there is so much to do—the elegant Bowne & Co. Stationers (211 Water Street), part of the South Street Seaport Museum, where you can watch them print by hand on old iron letterpresses, which is how they used to make broadsides and clipper cards like "Dear Sirs, it has come to my attention that the calico will be arriving late." Or sit on a worn wooden pile near the water, look out at the tumble of masts and the 1911 Peking, and dream of the days of clipper ships and cargo and silk and gold, or just pretend you're a tourist and eat a pretzel and dream—tourists dream the most. There are so many people to look at, like the two little girls the other day discussing their jars of Glitter Putty. The one with the ponytail said, "Why pink?" The smaller one said, "There was no blue." The ponytail, "Is pink your second-favorite color?" It went on for a while, and then they were met up by some adults holding water bottles. 89 South Street, Pier 17, 732-7678. (Schlesinger)

You may never have set foot in it, and if it's your last address, never will. In a neat congruence of the living and the dead, Calvary Cemetery is the perfect necropolis (pop.: 3 million, founded in 1848) from which to view a great metropolis (pop.: over 2 million). Across the asphalt river of the BQE, Manhattan aspires to heights; here in Calvary it's depth that matters. Among its inhabitants are Civil War soldiers, Irish patriots, silent screen star Nita Valdi, and Alfred E. Smith, former New York guv. Spread over 365 acres, from Woodside to Long Island City, Calvary has been favored by filmmakers and photographers who want Gotham's spires in the background but don't want to worry about crowd control. It's an oasis, dare I say it, for peace and quiet, and unhurried strolls with a cuppa java and a sweet, or sweetheart, in tow. Laurel Hill Boulevard, Queens, 718-786-8000. (Francia)

When I was little my sister would sit me on our porch, grease in hand, and tug my tender-headed coif into sleek—pre-Alicia Keys—rows. Nowadays, every other celeb has the look, which is also a practical way to keep tresses of sweat-soaked hair off the neck while frolicking in the sun. But the price of looking like the stars (for those without hair-braiding kin) is wallet damaging—until you get to 125th Street, where women bombard you with business cards in the subway station. At Tops African Hair Braiding Center, a small shop lined with tattered chairs and strewn with wisps of synthetic hair. I look around at dusty mirrors, a knotted selection of fake hair exhibiting braid sizes, and a binder of Polaroid styles slumped in my lap. An hour later, I have wake-up-and-go rows that last weeks. The challenge is haggling (prices can range from $25 to $35 if you're good) and kicking myself for not combing out my hair beforehand. 328 West 125th Street, 665-0996. (Franklin)

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