July's best things to do

  • Photograph: Robert & Robbie Bailey

    Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest

    Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest

  • Photograph: Robert & Robbie Bailey

    Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest

    Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest

  • Photograph: Robert & Robbie Bailey

    Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest

    Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest

  • Photograph: Robert & Robbie Bailey

    Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest

    Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest

  • Photograph: Stephen Moran

    Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest

    Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest

Photograph: Robert & Robbie Bailey

Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest

Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest

July 1 Terri
Azazel Jacobs follows up his 2008 cringe-dramedy Momma's Man with an equally poetic-meets-painful story about a misfit high schooler. Viva John C. Reilly's performance as the world's most empathetic, dorkiest principal!

July 2 MoMA PS1's Warm Up parties
Attending one of MoMA PS1's legendary music-program installments is a required summer activity at this point. Though the lineup hasn't been confirmed yet, past performers like Scissor Sisters and LCD Soundsystem give us hope for another stellar season. The design of the outdoor party space, as always, will up the cool factor: Interboro Partners' "Holding Pattern" installation will incorporate benches, mirrors, Ping Pong tables and floodlights arranged under a rope canopy. In a nice recycling twist, many of the objects will be donated to community organizations at the end of the summer. MoMA PS1 (718-784-2084, momaps1.org). 2--9pm; $15, members and LIC residents free.

July 3 Dance Ritual Boat Party
NYC dance-music icon Louie Vega takes the helm at his annual boat-rocking soulful-house cruise on the Hudson. Circle Line Cruise (store.vegarecords.net). 8pm--midnight; $30--$35.

July 4 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest
One or two dogs are enough for you? That's fine. You and and estimated 40,000 others can watch the professionals gorge on dozens more. Last year's winner and the defending champ, Joey Chestnut, holds the world record with 68 dogs in ten minutes. Be glad it's not you up on the podium. Stillwell Ave at Surf Ave, Coney Island, Brooklyn (nathansfamous.com). Noon; free.

July 5, Aug TBA Aesop
Though the Australian-based company's skin, hair and body products have previously been available in NYC at high-end retailers like Barneys, Aesop has never had much of a presence in the U.S. That will all change this summer, when the 24-year-old label introduces two standalone stores and a Grand Central kiosk within in succession. We're pumped to get our hands on the brand's restorative Parsley Seed skin care. Kiosk: Graybar Passage at Grand Central, 42nd St between Vanderbilt and Lexington Aves. July 5 * 232 Elizabeth St between EHouston and Prince Sts. Early August * 60 University Pl at 10th St * aesop.com

July 5--17 A Magic Flute
Less is more when theater legend Peter Brook strips Mozart's grand comedy of its pageantry to reveal its luminous poetry. Gerald Lynch Theater (at John Jay College) (lincolncenterfestival.org). $45--$85.

July 5--31 David Michalek
As a follow-up to Slow Dancing, the photographer and visual artist returns to Lincoln Center Festival with a new large-scale outdoor performance-and-video installation: Portraits in Dramatic Time, which focuses on theater artists such as Louise Lecavalier, James Thirre and Kate Valk. Josie Robertson Plaza (lincolncenterfestival.org). 8:45--11:45pm.Free.

July 5--Sept 10 Hair
The hippies are back! After turning on audiences around the country on its road tour, The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical returns to Broadway for a hot-weather run. Are you ready to trip again? St. James Theatre (hairbroadway.com). $37--$120.

July 6--Aug 14 Royal Shakespeare Company at Lincoln Center Festival
If you're of the opinion that no one does Shakespeare better than the British, there's good news for you. England's leading company dedicated to the Bard comes to New York for an unprecedented five-week residency, during which it will present King Lear, Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, The Winter's Tale and As You Like It. The RSC's 43-actor ensemble will perform the works in repertory on a full-scale replica of its recently renovated Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. Park Avenue Armory (lincolncenterfestival.org). $55--$200.

July 8--August 26 Queens Museum of Art's Target Passport Fridays
This institution embraces the ethnic diversity within its home borough's sublimely multicultural borders with eight consecutive Fridays spotlighting worldwide culture. The first event transports you to Ecuador, with a screening of the 2010 film Prometeo Deportado and performances by dance group Ayezamana and rock band Sal y Mieto. Queens Museum of Art, Flushing Meadows--Corona Park (718-592-9700, queensmuseum.org). Fridays 6:30--10pm; free.

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