And they're off!

Well, almost anyway. The 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby is actually on Saturday evening and there can't be too many better ways – apart from being at Churchill Downs -- to enjoy the most exciting two minutes in sports than with fellow race fans from the New York Social Network (NYSN).

You can get an early start on your Saturday night with a viewing party at The Playwright Irish Pub on 35th street in Manhattan.

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It all starts at 5 p.m. – post time for the race is 6:34 p.m. – and features Derby-themed food, drinks and prizes.

Ah, Central Park.

Nearly 850 acres of wooded bliss in the heart of New York City.

It's the most visited park in North America but how many people get a chance to experience this urban oasis through a scavenger hunt?

The NYSN will set up teams of five on Sunday for 90 minutes of fun and history, urging members to try and find as many clues as they can among historical markers, wildlife, street performers, fountains and bridges.

It all starts at the Firehouse Tavern (522 Columbus Ave.) at 11:30 a.m., finishing with the award of prizes at 2 p.m. Cost is $10.

“Eating and sleeping are the only activities that should be allowed to interrupt a man's enjoyment of his cigar.”

So said Mark Twain, who would have loved to be around next Tuesday when the NYSN hosts its Cigar Night, an evening of education and, yes, enjoyment at The Carnegie Club.

The Carnegie Club, one of the few clubs in which you can legally smoke tobacco, will have a special section reserved for the NYSN, not to mention a host who will explain differences in cigars as well as how to spot the best ones from the fakes.

The $20 fee includes reservation charge, host fee and a Dominican Romeo Y and Julieta Exhibition No. 3 as your gift.

The Carnegie Club, at 156 West 56th St., will provide the mood, with its 25-foot ceilings, stone fireplace and gothic backdrop, including hand-carved 18th century bookcases.

And, yes, cigarettes are allowed too.