COOL THINGS TO DO
PotterCon; The Bell House
We know, you're still desperately awaiting that acceptance letter sent to you via owl to let you know you've finally made it into Hogwarts. News flash: That's never happening. But this is the next best thing.
Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival; Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
Legend has it that on the fifth day of the fifth moon of the lunar calendar in 278 B.C., the Chinese poet Qu Yuan drowned himself in the Miluo River in Hunan province. To prevent evil water spirits from consuming their hero’s body, local fishermen set out onto the river, beating drums and splashing paddles, and you get to watch this historic ritual.
Summer Streets; Manhattan
Your last day to take advantage of nearly seven miles of NYC, vehicle-free turf from the Brooklyn Bridge all the way to the Upper East Side packed with free food and activities like the rock-climbing wall.
Jazz Age Lawn Party; Governor's Island
Brush up on your Fitzgerald and Hemingway in time for this outdoor bash, where part of Governors Island is transformed into a Prohibition-era soiree.
¡Arriba! Dance Party; Chelsea Market at the High Line
Sway those hips to the beat of timbal drums at this free Latin dance party.
AWESOME MOVIES TO SEE
What do you say to a priest you plan to shoot pointblank between the eyes? Say Your Prayers of course. Part Father Ted, part Tarantino, John Michael McDonagh follows up 2011’s The Guard with this wickedly funny black comedy.
The Trip to Italy "Second-album syndrome" is how co-star Steve Coogan, in a meta moment of self-critique, describes his impending food tour with also-slightly-fictionalized Rob Brydon in director Michael Winterbottom's sequel to 2010's The Trip.
Chris Marker Retrospective; BAM
The retrospective of French filmmaker, artist and cine-essayist also features Marker's 1997 film Level Five.
Frank Dazzlingly strange art rock pours out of Frank, both the movie, a dark comedy from Irish director Lenny Abrahamson, and the title character, a singer devoted to lyrics about random tufts of string and terrifying litanies that might have freaked out Joy Division's Ian Curtis.
Love Is Strange New York-based filmmaker Ira Sachs (Keep the Lights On) creates a special kind of urbanity: softer and more inclusive than Woody Allen's, openly gay but family-focused, alive to the city's tensions and lulls.
TASTY PLACES TO EAT
National Oyster Day Celebration; Grand Central Oyster Bar
A day of shucking demonstrations, raffles for pearl necklaces, and of course oysters to slurp. Shuck yeah!
Battle of the Burger; South Street Seaport
Taste your way through the best burgers in New York at this cook-off featuring free beer from Amstel Light.
ShakesBEER; Mercury Bar
This Sheakpearean-inspired pub crawl begins at Mercury Bar and includes stops at Boxers and Lansdowne, where actors recreate the beloved plays.
15th Annual Taste of Tennis; W Hotel
Celebrate the U.S. Open with small plates and signature cocktails from New York's top chefs, and mingle with tennis pros like Serena and Venus Williams. Combined, they are Serenus.
Blues BBQ Festival; Hudson River Park
Returning for its 15th anniversary, this barbecue smash pairs blues and roots musicians with finger-lickin' eats from restaurants like Might Quinn's Barbecue, Delaney Barbecue and Dinosaur Bar-B-Que.
ASTONISHING DANCE PERFORMANCES
Mark Morris Dance Group; David H.Koch Theater (at Lincoln Center)
Mark Morris Dance Group returns to the Mostly Mozart Festival with Acis and Galatea, a production of Mozart's arrangement of Handel's operatic work depicting a tragic love triangle among Acis, an Arcadian shepherd; Galatea, a sea nymph; and the giant Polyphemus. Costumes are by Isaac Mizrahi, and scenic design is by Adrianne Lobel. San Francisco's Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale, led by Nicholas McGegan, performs, and Morris—of course—choreographs and directs. Acis and Galatea marks his 12th opera.
Dance Theatre of Harlem 2014 Summer Street Festival; Dance Theatre of Harlem
Dance Theatre of Harlem engages the neighborhood with its annual street fair. In addition to vendors, the daylong shindig includes performances by the summer-intensive students, guests artists and the company.
Drive East 2014; La MaMa E.T.C.
Navatman hosts the second annual Drive East, a weeklong festival of classical Indian music and dance in an intimate setting. The dance offerings highlight Bharata Natyam, kathak, kuchipudi and lesser-known styles sattriya, mohiniattam and chhau.
Aug 6, 13, 20, 27
All Jazzed Up Performance Series; Children's Museum of Manhattan
In conjunction with its exhibit "Jazzed! The Changing Beat of 125th Street," the Children's Museum of Manhattan—in partnership with the National Jazz Museum in Harlem—presents a series of solo tap performances.
FANTASTIC SHOWS TO SEE
The New York International Fringe Festival; various locations
It's the annual flea market of the brilliant, the banal, the batshit insane theater performances. Nearly 200 shows in 20 downtown venues, all dying for your attention.
Previews start for This Is Our Youth; Steppenwolf Theatre
Michael Cera and Kieran Culkin star as smart but aimless late teens who gets mixed up in drugs and stolen money in early '80s NYC.
Opening of Poor Behavior
Theresa Rebeck's latest black comedy is about two couples spending a weekend in the country. We're guessing that infidelity is part of the mix.
Previews start for Bootycandy
Audacious writer-director Robert O'Hara weaves together sketches to portray the joys and terrors of growing up gay and black in America.
CONCERTS TO GO CRAZY AT
John Legend; Barclays Center
John Legend—who will forever have a place in our hearts for his performance in a bat mitzvah scene on Curb Your Enthusiasm—gives vintage soul a respectful tweak.
Modest Mouse + Brand New; Forest Hills Tennis Stadium
Hey kids! Remember the '00s? Because these two bands do. Expect lots of dudes with three-day beards and one-size-too-small t-shirts.
Arcade Fire; Barclays Center
This Montreal-based band proves that poutine and epic hangovers aren't the only good thing to come out of Quebec. There's also almost as many band members in Arcade Fire as there are seats in the Barclays Center, so there's that, too!
Afropunk Fest; Commodore Barry Park
The anger of punk rock combined with the groove of afrocentric beat. The best of both worlds.
INTERESTING AUTHOR EVENTS
11th Annual Small, Small Press Fair; Unnameable Books
A collection of teeny independent publishers celebrate their authors and publications with a day of readings and tables filled with hard-to-find books.
Books Beneath the Bridge: Kate Bernheimer and Genevieve Valentine; Brooklyn Bridge Park
These two modern fabulists read from their new stories, proving that fairy tales are more than wicked stepmothers and poisoned fruit.
Midnight Murakami; WORD
For deeply dedicated fans: Drop by the bookstore to read your favorite Murakami passage and count down the minutes until the midnight release of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage.
My Drunk Kitchen Launch Party with Hannah Hart; Housing Works Bookstore Café
If you thought you didn’t need a cookbook to drunkenly cook, you were wrong. Tonight, YouTube sensation Hannah Hart fetes her guide to the tipsy culinary world.
Justin Taylor: Flings; BookCourt
Taylor launches his superb new book, yet again demonstrating the wit and insight that make him one of the most exciting young masters of the short story.
COMEDY SHOWS TO CHECK OUT
Aug 2 (and every following Saturday)
North Coast; The PIT
Watch a fully improvised "hip hopera" take shape as the masters of rap comedy improv make a show out of nothing right before your eyes. And ears. And nose, presumably. Just the whole face, in fact.
Aug 2 -7
Ha! The Musical; Stage 72
Can't decide between stand-up or musicals? Do both! This show, directed by Lion King helmer Darren Katz, features stand-ups like Big Jay Oakerson, Kevin Farley, Bill Dawes and Christian Finnegan. All comics will do stand up as well as a song and dance number. Basically, it's the weirdest hybrid since the cronut, so pay someone to stand on line for you now.
Ladies of Laughter National Grand Finale; Gotham Comedy Club
The final round of this competition performed in front of Television Executive judges. Winner will receive up to $10,000 in prizes and bookings.
Channel 101; UCBEast
Each month, 5 minute mini TV shows are screened for a live audience that votes for which shows will come back next month with a new episode.
Mark Normand; Gotham Comedy Club
Watch the award-winning comic perform award-winning comedy, then award yourself an award for rewarding yourself with a trip to see an award-winner.
WONDERFUL LGBT EVENTS
Aug 14- 21
Adam Sank: Mama, I Want to Sing Showtunes: A One 'Mo Show; the Duplex
Gay comedian Adam Sank branches out with this cabaret show, packed with songs and delightfully self-deprecating stories.
Martha Graham Cracker; Joe's Pub at the Public Theater
Hirsute, Philadelphia-based drag queen (the creation of Pig Iron Theatre Company cofounder Dito van Reigersberg) Martha Graham Cracker and her band swing into town for more rolicking alt-cabaret shenanigans.
Our Lady J: Trouble; Joe's Pub at the Public Theater
The übertalented "post-religious gospel" songstress returns to NYC for a one-night event featuring old favorites and new work.
Courtney Act: Boys Like Me; Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank Café
Australian Idol semifinalist and RuPaul's Drag Race graduate Courtney Act is back with this solo show filled with popular tunes, song parodies and wacky tales of gender-bending international adventures.
Sat Aug 30, Sun Aug 31
Jackie Beat: The Beat Goes On; Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank Café
Fierce drag bitch and former New Yorker Jackie Beat celebrates 25 years of hostility at this show packed with brilliantly cruel comedy and addictively un-PC song parodies.
ACE PLACES TO SHOP
The Kooples; Meatpacking District
This French brand will open its first NY outpost selling women and men’s fashion—c’est magnifique!
Aurelie Bidermann; Lafayette St.
Expect a late 60's vibe and murals by REMED at this jewelry designer’s first-ever U.S. store.
LEGO Store; Staten Island
Help a real LEGO Master Builder construct an 8-foot tall model of the Hulk out of LEGO bricks during the store’s grand opening weekend.
Shwick Market of Makers; Bushwick
Lovers of normcore, fashion and kombucha rejoice! Another weekly weekend market is coming to town.