Greater New York Opening
Several of these summer parties are pricey, but the suggested donation here is a comfortable $5. Greater New York, P.S.1’s marquee summer opening, is a survey of the best art produced locally in the past five years, and they’re celebrating with one of their trademark Sunday afternoon open-air parties. No garden, per se, but lots of room and good, sweaty fun. Dress code is T-shirts, not black tie. Performance artist Terence Koh takes the stage at 3; if that’s not your thing, come at 4 for the DJ set.
New York Botanical Garden
The Botanical Garden, in the Bronx adjacent to the zoo and Fordham University, is so expansive that it’s easy to forget the city altogether. You could easily mistake the surroundings for the nature park of a medium-size town somewhere far, far away. The illusion is upped at the annual Conservatory Ball, which offers after-dinner dancing in the glass-enclosed Victorian-era conservatory. Tickets start at $1,500. Disaffected garden lovers who can’t afford the ball can commune with angst-queen poet Emily Dickinson, as the garden’s lush Poetry of Flowers exhibition, based on the writer’s work, is open through June 13.
Socrates Sculpture Park
June 5 and 6, all afternoon
If you call this Long Island City park, they answer the phone, cheerily, “Socrates!” Which seems to bode well. It happens to be one of the loveliest parks in the city, a waterfront gem with skyline views and year-round art installations. Their Makers Market is an upscale, design-heavy crafts fair. Admission is free, and shuttle buses will be leaving regularly from the Asia Society on Park Avenue and 70th Street.
Besides offering some of the finest Hudson River views in the city, Wave Hill garden does parties, too. For this year’s gala, along with the traditional cocktails and dinner, they’re opening up the Dessert Room, whose name, we hope, is not a misnomer. There, about 250 guests will enjoy live samba and bossa nova, taking in after-dinner drinks to steel themselves for the long ride home on the No. 1 train, or for the limo ride. Tickets are $500. For daytime visitors, the May highlights include flowering dogwood, Chinese wisteria, bluebells and crab apples.