5 Things to Do This Weekend

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Maya Lin’s “Ghost Forest” will be at Madison Square Park until Nov. 14.
Maya Lin’s “Ghost Forest” will be at Madison Square Park until Nov. 14.Credit...Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Mary Mattingly grew up in a rural community in New York that had no access to clean drinking water. With that in mind, the artist recently organized a yearlong virtual exhibition chronicling the creation of New York’s water supply system. In collaboration with More Art, she created a capstone project for this campaign, “Public Water,” a geodesic dome filled with water-filtering plants that operates like that system. Now at the Grand Army Plaza entrance of Prospect Park in Brooklyn through Sept. 7, the piece reveals what’s involved in providing millions of people with this natural resource, despite the environmental challenges that threaten it.

The artist Maya Lin shows what other hazards climate change can produce: a “Ghost Forest,” her installation at Madison Square Park in Manhattan, on view through Nov. 14. The work features 49 dead cedar trees Lin planted in a rebuke of deforestation. Keen to also offer solutions, she has planned a series of public programs (listed on the park conservancy’s website) that focus on how we can help.


Celebrating the Return of Togetherness

There’s history around them in that neighborhood. Half a century ago, not long after a group of Abstract Expressionist painters there established the New York School, jazz improvisers living and playing nearby, like Ornette Coleman and Cecil Taylor, showed how expressionism could be a collective act, and how it might sound.

Free jazz, as a Lower Manhattan tradition, has never fully gone away, and after a year and a half of dormancy, AFA returns to live presenting this weekend with free concerts at 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, at the First Street Green art space between First and Second Avenues. William Parker will perform each day alongside some of New York’s best creative improvisers, including the saxophonist Darius Jones, the trombonist Steve Swell and the multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee.


Next Stop, Fun and Sun

Regardless of how you feel about public transportation these days, one railway adventure remains completely safe: the journey the New York Transit Museum will offer on Saturday.

While the institution has not yet reopened its headquarters, a decommissioned subway station in Brooklyn, it is still holding its annual family benefit, Party on Wheels, via a familiar high-speed mode of travel — the internet.

This free virtual excursion (a $25 donation per family is suggested) will unfold on Zoom from noon to 1 p.m. Eastern time. After a short tour of vintage vehicles, including the oldest in the museum’s collection — a 1904 Brooklyn Union Elevated car — the married duo Dan + Claudia Zanes will present a New York- and transit-themed concert and participate in a brief Q. and A.

One of the folk melodies they will perform, the bluesy “Coney Island Avenue,” inspires the concluding activity. While listening to the song, children will draw pictures capturing their own colorful visions of a trip to the beach.

Back Where They Belong

In September and October, the New York Film Festival took place on the web and at drive-ins. Now, from Friday through Aug. 26, around 30 features will get a chance to play indoors. Big Screen Summer: NYFF58 Redux will kick off at Film at Lincoln Center with Steve McQueen’s “Small Axe” anthology: “Lovers Rock” (which opened the festival) will play throughout the month, and the other “Small Axe” films (including “Mangrove” and “Red, White and Blue”) will screen multiple times in the coming week.

Later in June and in July, expect revivals like “Hopper/Welles” (an extended dialogue between Dennis Hopper and Orson Welles, with Welles sometimes playing a character) and Hou Hsiao-hsien’s “Flowers of Shanghai.” The program will also have some selections that weren’t shown at all. The eight-hour “The Works and Days (of Tayoko Shiojiri in the Shiotani Basin)” will run from July 16 to 22, and the 1973 Polish film “The Hourglass Sanatorium” will play in August.