Our job, here, is to make your work week be less stressful and more enjoyable. A great way to start is by taking in some shows during this year’s NYC Improv Festival, which features both local and international comedy groups. Also, House of Vans is hosting an open house that includes free indoor skating, pizza, and Pabst. This plus much more. See this week isn’t so bad.
[Talk] Born This Way? The Radical Legacy of Magnus Hirschfeld and the Fight for LGBT Equality is a panel that includes Ralf Dose, the author of a newly translated biography about Hirschfeld, a German sexologist who founded the first homosexual rights organization almost 100 years ago. Former Voice writer Steven Thrasher will also be speaking on Hirschfeld’s legacy that continued in the American LGBT rights movements, from the Mattachine Society to the Stonewall Riots. At 6:30 p.m., Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, New York Office, Suite 2114, Midtown, free.
[Lit] Sharon Helgason Gallagher of ARTBOOK | D.A.P. looks at the parallels between the joy of books and bikes from a functional design perspective and challenges digital forms of content publishing and information design to take the human body — and its sense of pleasure — into account. At 6:30 p.m., School of Visual Arts, Chelsea, free.
[Recreation] Reincarnation: The Soul’s Eternal Voyage is part of the Festival of Meditation and Spirituality. In this free class you’ll be asked to ponder questions such as: Is death the end?; What happens to us when we die?; and How does reincarnation work? While also learning how to meditate. At 7:30 p.m., PS 20 Anna Silver Auditorium, Lower East Side, free.
Tuesday is on the next page.
[Comedy] For the next four days the NYC Improv Festival 2014 will be presenting the very best comedians from around the world. Catch improv groups from Chicago, Sweden, Australia, Philly, and many more. We wonder how they’ll compare to our very own NYC improv groups. Challenge on! At 5 p.m., The Peoples Improv Theater, Grammercy, $10.
[Art] Coding the Body, organized by Leah Buechley, interrogates the relationships between humans and code. It explores how code is being used to understand, control, decorate, and replicate us. The exhibition celebrates the beauty of code and its manifestations while casting a wary eye on its ever expanding power. Opening reception tonight at 6 p.m., Apexart, TriBeCa, free.
[Recreation] It might be too cold to skate outdoors but it’s never too cold to skate at House of Vans. All winter-long House of Vans, an indoor skate park, has become a winter refuge for skaters. Take advantage of the open space, pizza, Pabst, and open mic, too! At 7 p.m., House of Vans, Brooklyn, free.
[Comedy] Matt Catanzano and Richie Moriarty, the comedy duo from YouTube’s Simply Unemployable, host an improv and sketch comedy show featuring some of the funniest comedians in New York. Tonight Richie and Matt will be joined by improvisers Natasha Rothwell, Joe Schiappa, and Trevor Livingston, and stand-up comedian Jermaine Fowler. Jermaine can be seen all over the country performing stand-up and on MTV2’sGuy Code and Guy Court. At 7:30 p.m., Union Hall, Brooklyn, $5.
Thursday is on the next page.
[Art] Parsons Fine Arts is pleased to announce the 2014 Graduate Open Studios featuring a group of 42 international graduate students. Open Studios provides a rare opportunity for visitors to view works in progress and meet the artists in an informal setting. Visitors will gain an insight into the diverse practices happening within our studio art program that embraces interdisciplinary experimentation, intellectual rigor and innovation. At 6 p.m., Parsons Fine Arts, Union Square free.
[Lit] Tonight’s Vica Miller Short Fiction Salon series of fine short storytelling includes Debotri Dhar, reading “Highland Park,” Jessi Stevens, reading “Nonfiction Composition,” Kashana Cauley, reading “Detroit: The Electric City,” and Vica Miller, reading “Charlie’s Angel.” Also enjoy paintings by Deirdre O’Connell. At 6:30 p.m., Susan Eley Fine Art, Upper West Side, free.
[Lit] Duran Duran or N’Sync? Family Ties or Full House? Kissing Potion or Lip Smackers? The exact distinction between Generation X and Generation Y may be blurry, but Eve and Leonora Epstein try to hash it out in X vs. Y: A Culture War, a Love Story (Abrams Image). Sisters separated by 14 years and a whole lot of pop icons, they each make a case for their respective side of the generational gap in this illustrated and super nostalgic collection of essays. More often than not, they arrive at a crossroads, and we don’t mean the movie starring Britney Spears. Everyone claims Judy Blume as their own, and there’s a gray area between 1979 and 1984 that really just depends on whether the person watched My So-Called Life. The authors will read, discuss, and debate some more at tonight’s book-launch party. Throw on your favorite flannel shirt (or glittery baby-doll tee) and Doc Martens (or chunky foam sandals) and come revisit your teen years, whenever they were. -Heather Baysa At 7 p.m., PowerHouse Arena, DUMBO, free.