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Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Jared Narber

15 marvelous things to do in NYC this weekend

Written by
Jennifer Picht

Fri 11

Dogumenta Arts Brookfield; 8am; free
Get your pup cultured at this pop-up museum for dogs. Curated by Mica Scalin, Jessica Dawson and her pooch, Rocky, the unique weekend exhibit features art works that play to canine perception through the use of sound, smell, touch and color. Contributing artists include Tibi Tibi Neuspiel, Dana Sherwood and more.

Whitney + Moses Sumney + Weyes Blood Prospect Park Bandshell; 7pm; free
Headed by guitarist Max Kakacek and singer-drummer Julien Ehrlich—of Smith Westerns and Unknown Mortal Orchestra, respectively—this Chicago indie-rock outfit has been filling bigger and bigger spaces with each NYC visit. No wonder: Its 2016 debut, Light Upon the Lake, is a deeply satisfying album steeped in ’70s country and soft rock and bouyed by Ehrlich's honeyed falsetto vocals.

Cruel Summer ’80s and ’90s Dance Party The Bell House; 8pm; $10
If you’ve been working for the weekend like you’re in Loverboy, then start your party with this throwback bash. The ’80s cover band the Engagements and Party Like It’s 1999’s DJ Steve Reynolds make you sweat and scream the lyrics of your favorite jams, and Secret Formula and Music Video Time Machine play some of your favorite videos from the era. 

Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema at various locations; free–$16
Take in more than 150 films from 24 countries at this new Queens-based fest. 

Catacombs by Candlelight Tour St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral; 11am; $35
This exclusive tour beneath St. Patrick's Basilica takes you through the storied underground resting places of legendary New Yorkers, including bishops, Civil War generals and more. 

Bleachers Central Park, Rumsey Playfield; 6am; free
Jack Antonoff has been busy in the years since fun. decided to take a hiatus. When not writing songs for the likes of Taylor Swift, Lorde and Sia, the singer has been pouring his energy into Gone Now, the sophomore album for his indie power pop side project Bleachers. The ambitious record, which dropped in June, is full of soaring vocals, and infectious hooks that convey Antonoff's utmost sincerity. Here the bank wakes up the city with an early morning free concert with Good Morning America

Sat 12  

Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival Flushing Meadows-Corona Park; 10am; free
Travel to beautiful Hong Kong without ever leaving the city thanks to this annual event at Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, now in it’s 26th year. Around 180 teams gather at the lake to race on long boats while paddling to the beat of their boat’s drummer at this culture fest inspired by Chinese tradition. On land, you can join in on the fun with music and dance performances, martial arts demonstrations and food-court vendors selling Asian cuisine like steamed dumplings, pork-belly buns and frozen delights such as Sno Biz shaved ice.

Pill + Running + Gold Dime Union Pool; 2pm; free
Brooklyn quartet Pill serves up its scathing no-wave at a free daytime set in Brooklyn. It's hard to say which will be more electrifying, Veronica Torres' unbridled wail or Ben Jaffe's skronking sax. Show up and find out (and in the meantime, brush up on the band's superb 2016 debut, Convenience).

Elements Festival at 1108 Oak Point Ave, Bronx; 1–11pm; $85–$145
Among abandoned factories and silos, with a view of the city as a backdrop, partygoers wander through giant art installations, cars that have been transformed into psychedelic pads and a pirate ship, all packed with aerialists, fire performers, naughty circus acts and more. As for the music, this year’s lineup includes Zeds Dead, GRiZ, the Knocks, Kerri Chandler, Flying Lotus, Fleetmac Wood, Barclay Crenshaw, Damian Lazarus and many more. Between sets, you can get your body painted, peruse jewelry and clothes from funky vendors and indulge in food-truck bites from eateries such as Bareburger, Meatoss street grill and others.

Madonnathon Brooklyn Bowl; 8pm; $15–$18
Make sure you stretch at home before this 14th annual celebration of the Material Girl, and dress yourself up in your favorite Madge-inspired look (lace is always in season!) to win high-camp prizes and attract your lucky star on the dance floor. Performers include Amber Martin, Brian Charles Rooney, Lane Moore, Shannon Conley, Anna Copa Cabanna, Queen V, Daryl Glenn, Michael T and Sophia Ramos; Cathy Cervenka are Rupert Noffs are the hosts. 

International Food and Beer Weekend at LIC Flea and Food; 11am; free–$3
Bottoms up! Raise a pint to over 30 global food options and frosty lagers from all over at this food and drink fest. Enter online for a chance to win $100 Flea Bucks or reserve tickets for $3 beers, so you can drink your way from Brazil's brews to Australia's ales without splashing the cash.

The House of Yes Playa Costume Bazaar House of Yes; 1pm; free
Stock up for Burning Man, New York City Comic Con and even Halloween at this market hosted by the wildest performance venue in town. Peruse independent vendors selling fringe, faux fur, spandex, sexy panties and magical jewelry. DJ Dropkat spins jams to get you in the buying mood and drink specials keep you going all day.

Rite of Summer Music Festival Governors Island, Nolan Park; 1pm; free
Governors Island gets experimental as hell once a month this summer, bringing fringes of the contemporary classical avant-garde together for three highly anticipated open-air engagements: the ambitious multimedia artist Pamela Z, neoprog band Contemporaneous and a performance of John Cage’s “Sonatas & Interludes.”

Sun 13 

Live Brazilian Music Samba Samba Kitchen & Bar; noon; free
Take a trip to Brazil via Hell's Kitchen every Wednesday night for dinner and Sunday afternoons for brunch at Samba Kitchen & Bar's live samba music with no cover charge. Enjoy a selection of handcrafted drinks and bites as you move to the rhythms of Brazilian music. With Jackie Ribas on vocals, Negah Santos on percussion and Wesley Amorim on guitar, you'll be transported to Rio in no time.

Bourbon Day Camp Kings County Distillery; noon; $40
Prefer sipping drinks to stitching lanyards? This one-day, immersive summer course teaches you the careful art of barrel aging, blending and distilling whiskey. Campers learn to craft their own flights—with ample tasting opportunities. The evening ends with a cocktail-mixing class to toast to a day well spent. 

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