July's best things to do

  • Photograph: Pat Saunders

    City of Water Day Festival

    City of Water Day Festival

  • Photograph: Pat Saunders

    City of Water Day Festival

    City of Water Day Festival

  • Photograph: Pat Saunders

    City of Water Day Festival

    City of Water Day Festival

  • Photograph: Pat Saunders

    City of Water Day Festival

    City of Water Day Festival

  • Photograph: Pat Saunders

    City of Water Day Festival

    City of Water Day Festival

  • Photograph: Pat Saunders

    City of Water Day Festival

    City of Water Day Festival

  • Photograph: Pat Saunders

    City of Water Day Festival

    City of Water Day Festival

  • Photograph: Pat Saunders

    City of Water Day Festival

    City of Water Day Festival

Photograph: Pat Saunders

City of Water Day Festival

City of Water Day Festival

July 10 Bad Boys on the Hudson
Will Clark's eighth annual fund-raiser features a variety of porn stars, go-go boys and DJ Jonny Mack mixing it up on a paddleboat. Queen of Hearts (willclarkworld.com). 6pm; advance $25, at the door $TBA.

July 10 Cook Out NYC
The summer's biggest cook-out runs all afternoon on Governor's Island, with top-notch pitmasters manning the grills and suds made specially for the event by Sixpoint Craft Ales, Kelso of Brooklyn and Barrier Brewery. Don't miss the burger competition and a kimchi-eating contest. Colonel's Row at Governors Island (cookoutnyc.com). Noon--5pm; $25--$45.

July 11--16 The Maryiinsky (Kirov) Ballet
It's been too long, but the Maryiinsky (formerly Kirov) Ballet is back with Balanchine's Symphony in C, Alberto Alonzo's Carmen Suite, and—hooray!—Alexei Ratmansky's Anna Karenina and The Little Humpbacked Horse. Metropolitan Opera House (at Lincoln Center) (lincolncenter.org). $20--$225.

July 11--16 Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival
Kings County is the birthplace of gamechangers like Jay-Z, Mos Def, Biggie Smalls and many, many others, so it's fitting that the borough hosts this ever-expanding fest. Come by for concerts, panel discussions and a block party. The main performance will take place under the Brooklyn Bridge on July 16; this year's headliner is A Tribe Called Quest rapper Q-Tip. Locations, times and prices vary; visit bkhiphopfestival.com for more info.

July 13 Ben Mezrich, Sex on the Moon
A Harvard grad who has made his name profiling smart kids who make obscene amounts of money (Bringing Down the House and The Accidental Billionaires, which became the basis for The Social Network), Mezrich will read in Bryant Park's popular outdoor series. His latest is Sex on the Moon, the Hollywood-baiting story of a NASA fellow who decides to steal seriously well-guarded moon rocks for his girlfriend. Bryant Park Reading Room (bryantpark.org). 12:30pm, free.

July 13--17 Cleveland Orchestra: Bruckner (R)evolution
LeBron and Harvey Pekar may be gone, but Cleveland can still boast about its stellar orchestra, which injects new life into Bruckner's symphonies by pairing them with works by John Adams during four Lincoln Center Festival concerts. Avery Fisher Hall (at Lincoln Center) (lincolncenterfestival.org). $35--$90.

July 14 Susie Essman
Susie Essman is not her Curb Your Enthusiasm alter ego, Susie Greene, but she's very comfortable in her shoes: Expect Essman to mouth off with cathartic candor. But instead of castrating your faults, she'll just tell you about her life—aging, raising stepkids—and improvise a lot. Carolines on Broadway (212-757-4100, carolines.com). 7:30pm; $38.25 plus two-drink minimum.

July 15 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 opens
Let's all give a hearty farewell to Hogwarts, as Harry, Ron and Hermione battle evil Lord Voldemort (and their own rampaging hormones) one last time.

July 16 City of Water Day Festival
Founded to celebrate the water that surrounds New York and New Jersey, this festival is returning to the New York Harbor, with free ferry transportation between Governors Island and Liberty State Park throughout the day. Programs include narrated tours of the Harbor and touch tanks, where you can scope out some of the creatures that live in the city's waterways. Locations vary; call 212-935-9831 or visit cityofwaterday.org for more info. 10am--4pm.

July 16--Jan 16 "Jim Henson's Fantastic World"
Get up close and personal with Kermit the Frog and his ladylove at this retrospective of the legendary puppet-maker's career, which included such childhood touchstones as The Muppet Show, Sesame Street and the criminally underrated Fraggle Rock. More than 120 artifacts, including drawings, set pieces and—yes—Muppets, will be on view. Museum of the Moving Image (718-777-6888, movingimage.us)

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