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54 amazing things to do in NYC in July

Jennifer P

Things to Do

Eternal Con; Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum; July 1 and 2; tickets start at $81
No need to wait for New York Comic Con in October to get your fix—just snag tickets to Long Island’s fifth annual comic book and cosplay convention this July. Expect celebrity guests, costume-making contests, gaming tournaments and panels with industry insiders.

Brooklyn Zombie Crawl The Charleston; Jul 2; $20–$25
Get dolled up like the undead at the Charleston before the 6pm trek down Bedford Avenue. The group heads to McCarren Park, then retreats to Brooklyn Bazaar for a fiendishly fun after-party. 

Get Ur Freak On: A Celebration of Missy Elliot Le Poisson Rouge; Jul 2; $15–$20
Put in some hoop earrings and hit the dance floor to revel in the knowledge that no one else will ever make a billowing black trash bag look so fly besides supreme queen Missy E and Abbi Jacobson. Be ready to get low to "Lose Control," the Nelly Furtado remix of "Get Ur Freak On," and the backwards chorus of "Work It" at this party. 

Circle Line 4th of July Fireworks Cruise; departs from Pier 83; July 4; $169
Get an unobstructed view of this year’s Macy’s fireworks show from this five-hour harbor cruise. A live DJ will play party anthems and patriotic tunes as you make your way down the Hudson River and round the Statue of Liberty. Shell out an extra $50 to upgrade to a ticket that includes a buffet dinner and all the beer and wine you can drink.

Hudson RiverFlicks: Free Movies on the Hudson River; various dates in July; free
This summer catch some movies under the stars with Hudson RiverFlicks, free evening films at some of Hudson River Park’s many piers. Big Hit Wednesdays will show blockbuster films from the past year; Family Fridays returns with recent favorites as well as classic movies for the whole family; and Sing Along Specials in Clinton Cove celebrate musical movies. Check out the entire lineup and pier location here

Full Moon Festival Governors Island; Jul 8; $50–$200
Howl at the full moon during this two-day beach-side music festival on Governors Island. There will be live music from stellar acts, plus art installations and delicious culinary grub. 

Cirque du Soleil - Ovo; Barclays Center; July 5–9; tickets start at $48
Audiences will totally bug out for Cirque du Soleil’s latest insect-themed show, Ovo. Watch 50 acrobats playing beetles, bees and other creepy-crawlies buzzing with curiosity after a mysterious egg appears in their midst. 

Pitch Talks: Behind the Scenes From Sports Media with Mark Feinsand; Highline Ballroom; July 6 at 8pm; tickets start at $63
Calling all Yankees fans: You won’t want to miss this discussion with reporter Mark Feinsand. Audience members can ask all the questions they like during this face-to-face conversation—it almost feels like grabbing a beer with a buddy. If you’re lucky, Feinsand might even treat you to some tidbits from his recently released book The New York Yankees Fans’ Bucket List.

Mystery Science Theater 3000; Playstation Theater; July 8 at 6pm and 9:30pm; tickets start at $72
The ‘90s cult favorite TV show returned to Netflix earlier this year, and now MST3K is taking its geeky humor and love of B movies on the road with its Watch Out for Snakes! tour. Audience members at the 6pm show will see new host Jonah Ray riff on the so-bad-it’s-good classic Eegah!, while the 9pm show will feature a screening of a secret—but undoubtedly weird and wonderful—movie.

Str8 West Coastin’ Project Parlor; July 15; 2pm; free
Looking for a California-backyard-party vibe, complete with carne asada and élotes on the grill? Well, then head to Str8 West Coastin’, where you’ll find expert selectors Still Life, Eleven and Dopeshoes playing only West Coast tuneage from the likes of Dre, Snoop, Cube, E-40 and Too Short. Snag top-notch swag like W-shaped foam hands (for Westsiiiiide), Tupac beer coozies, temporary tattoos while munching on some finger-lickin' BBQ. The party is totally free, but make sure to R.S.V.P. in advance. 

City of Water Day at various locations; Jul 15; free
Anyone who’s spent time in landlocked parts of the country will tell you that a city without water is like, er, a city without water. The Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance celebrates NYC’s best accessory at Governors Island (and other locations, too!), offering activities that remind us just how good we have it. Get gratis access to a plethora of water-going vessels, including canoes, kayaks and rowboats; or fish, bike or kick back with food and music on dry land. Locations vary; visit for details. 

NYC Poetry Festival Governors Island; Jul 29; suggested donation $10
For the last seven years, a number of the city’s poetry-reading series and their affiliated collectives have taken over Governors Island for a day, creating a stage for the many voices of NYC, both celebrated and underground. This year, the crew of the Poetry Society of New York does it again, presenting readings from more than 200 poets and 50 organizations.


Kate Berlant: CommuniKate Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater; Jul 2; $15
The queen of cringe-worthy social satire returns to Joe's Pub for a night of surreal, upsetting and too-real observations and characters. Think before you laugh: she's probably making fun of you. 

Cartoon Monsoon Annoyance Theatre; Jul 7; $10
Joe Rumrill and Mary Houlihan host this Pee-wee's Playhouse–like variety show in which local comedians and puppeteers perform characters, show off cartoons and pull audiences into a world of crazy sketches.

Tim and Eric 10-Year Anniversary Awesome Tour The Town Hall; Jul 14; $45
As Tim and Eric: Awesome Show, Great Job! reaches double-digit age, the cult comedy icons bring their off-kilter dynamic and near-hallucinogenic video clips to the Town Hall. Expect celebrity drop-ins, long silences, melted faces, bad EDM and grotesque sexual exploits. 

Keeping My Kidneys 59E59 Theaters; Jul 19; $15
TV writer and hyper-prolific NYC comedian Mindy Raf stars in her acclaimed manic romantic comedy solo show, which explores realms like identity, coming out and polyamory, and throws her into queer three-ways, uncomfortable medical exams and beyond. 

Happy Place Comedy Q.E.D.; Jul 20; $6 
Sue Funke and Katie Compa welcome both established and up-and-coming comics to the stage at this monthly show. The July installment features the comedic stylings of Jodi Coyote, Julie Kottakis, Tom Cowell, Amy Buchwald, Lawrence DeLoach, Anita Flores and Wanjiko Eke.  


“Fire Island Pines: Polaroids 1975–1983” Throckmorton Fine Art; various dates in July; free
During the 1970s, one of New York’s many gay golden ages, photographer Tom Bianchi captured love, sex and freedom among gay men in the paradise retreat of Fire Island. This show exhibits Bianchi’s white-hot Polaroids from his new printed collection.

Be Cute Brooklyn Littlefield; Jul 1; $5, at the door after midnight $10
Dance to Britney Spears, Janet Jackson and other favorites at this always-reliable bash from some of the queens of the boundary-breaking Bushwig festival. Gag to performances from Horrorchata, Amber Valentine, Mocha Lite, West Dakota, Lady Quesa’Dilla, Charlene, Merrie Cherry and other borough drag legends.

M U T H U R Alphaville; Jul 7; $10
The fabulously satanic Chris of Hur unites with buddies Lee VaLone, Macy Rodman and the Sis Privilege Band for a rowdy night of punk and riotgrrrrl dancing and performances with a no–lip-synching policy. Prepare to watch a lot of bearded drag queens belt it out for real.

Pines Party at various locations and times; Jul 21–23; $200-$600
At this essential three-day free-for-all, let loose anytime—literally: There’s a rager that goes till 6am, then another one that picks up a half hour later. Get down to the thumps by the likes of DJs Ralphi Rosario and Tom Stephan, all while enjoying the sensation of sand between your toes. And keep in mind that this year’s theme is “labyrinth,” which promises surprise twists and intricate passageways and—we can only hope—a David Bowie–esque codpiece or two.  

Dungeons & Drag Kings Talon; Jul 27; $10–$15
Anja Keister and Lee Valone host this mad monthly night of gender-bending, kink and geek ecstasy at Talon. Witness inventive drag from Valone and JJ Sparks and gagworthy burlesque from Ms. Suki E, Trinity Starlight and Qualms Galore. As if the performances weren't enough, the wild night includes a demonstration in shibari—Japanese bondage—followed by drunk geek trivia.  

Women’s Pride Wythe Hall; Jul 29; $90
Let’s hear it for the fairer sex! This alfresco affair has an all-white dress code and boasts DJs, an open wine and vodka bar and a silent auction to benefit the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, in case your compassionate ass has some money to burn.

Food and Drink

Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest; Coney Island; July 4; free 
It's all gone to the dogs at this famous hot dog eating contest in Coney Island. Watch brave souls with big stomachs stuff down tubular meat in this ten-minute contest that has become a time-honored tradition along the shore. 

French Restaurant Week; various locations; July 3–16; $17.89–$178.90
The motto of this culinary event during Bastille Week is “Eat. Drink. Be French.” Sounds good to us. Hit up the participating French restaurants, like Perrine in the Pierre or Dominique Bistro in the West Village for meal deals marked down to historic price points of $17.89, $38 or $178.90. 

La Nuit en Rose Hamptons; 281 Country Road 39A, L.I.; July 14, 15; $75–$250 
Don't fret if you missed Manhattan’s La Nuit en Rose in May. The blushing fête is sailing into Southampton's shores, complete with a four-course dinner with rosé cuvée pairings at Oreya Restaurant & Lounge on Friday night, followed by two separate pool parties on Saturday with live entertainment and more than 50 rosés to sample.  

Jamaican Jerk Festival; Roy Wilkins Park, Queens; July 23; $35
Nearly 20,000 people pack the Queens’ Roy Wilkins Park to get a taste of the Caribbean at this annual jerk fest. Load your plate with saucy favorites from different city vendors while listening to live tunes. It's Jamaican us hungry (sorry, had to). 

NYC Restaurant Week; various locations; July 24–August 18; $29 lunch; $42 dinner
What started as a one-week lunch special 25 years ago has now stretched into a three-week, multi-course affair, with giddy Gothamites loading into restaurants they normally couldn't afford. Previous stand-out participants have included The Clocktower, High Street on Hudson and Chefs Club dishing out three-course dinners for $42, and lunches for $29. 


Soulpepper on 42nd Street: Canada Crosses the Border at the Pershing Square Signature Center; July 1–29; $25–$80
One of Canada's leading troupes invades the Signature Center to celebrate for the month of July with a sampler pack of some of its best-loved productions, presented in rep, as well as a nightly cabaret. 

The Government Inspector at New World Stages; July 5–Aug 20; $60–$100
Red Bull Theater’s hilarious adaptation of Nikolai Gogol’s 1836 satire, in which a provincial Russian burg bamboozles itself, moves to New World Stages for a summer extension.

New York Musical Festival at various locations; July 10-Aug 6; $29.75
NYMFomaniacs, rejoice! The impressive annual feast of new musical theater takes over multiple midtown venues for its 14th annual edition. Offerings include productions, readings, concerts and other events.

Encores! Off-Center: Assassins at New York City Center; July 12–15; $25–$125
The Encores! series tackles Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's darkly brilliant 1991 musical about president killers (or attempted killers) as they plead their demented causes and bemoan their exclusion for the American Dream. The cast is almost unbearably great.

The Terms of My Surrender at the Belasco Theatre; July 28–Oct 22; $29–$149
Liberal comedian, documentarian and provocateur Michael Moore (Bowling forColumbine) makes his Broadway debut with a solo show that reflects on how America got where it is today. Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening) directs. 

Momix: Opus Cactus at the Joyce Theatre; June 27–July 16; $10–$66
Moses Pendleton and his skilled troupe of dancer-illusionists return with their mesmerizing multimedia production conjuring the American Southwest, transforming into prickly pears and romping gila monsters.


Lumberyard in the CityDearest Home at the Kitchen; June 28–July 2; $25
The final offering in Lumberyard’s annual festival is MacArthur "genius" grantee Kyle Abraham's interactive dance work Dearest Home, which comprises duets and solos generated through conversations with people of a variety of ages and cultures.

Tap City at various locations; July 8-15; $15–$75
The American Tap Dance Foundation makes your heart go clickety-clack with activities around the city, including performances, master classes, film screenings and the Tap Dance Awards.

Victory Dance at the Duke on 42nd Street; July 13–Aug 3; $10
As an offshoot of its kids’ summer daytime programming, the New Victory Theater presents major dance companies in $10 Thursday smorgasbord performances. Participants include Doug Varone and Dancers and Preeti Vasudevan’s Thresh. 

Ballet Festival at the Joyce Theatre; July 18 –29; $26–$46
The Joyce Theater Foundation presents the third edition of its biennial festival, devoted to contemporary ballet dancers and choreographers who work outside of the usual large-company model. 

Jewels at the David H. Koch Theater; July 20–23; $55–$500
Paris Opera Ballet, New York City Ballet and Bolshoi Ballet share a bill at this crowning event of the Lincoln Center Festival, taking on George Balanchine's tripartite celebration of international dance styles. 


(Sandy) Alex G at Music Hall of Williamsburg; July 6; Bowery Ballroom; July 7; $16–$20
Prolific singer-songwriter (Sandy) Alex G has come far since first building a fanbase around DIY Bandcamp releases. The past year, he's riffed on Frank Ocean's Blonde and Endless, and released a full-length on Domino Records Rocket. You'll have two nights here to catch the new irreverent indie odes and demented psych musings.

My Morning Jacket at Forest Hills Stadium; Jul 15; $63.50–$73.50
Jim James & Co. roll into town to dish out a hearty helping of Southern-fried rock. The beloved Kentucky outfit never fails to hit that sweet spot where jammy looseness meets eclectic indie rock, so count on a freewheeling performance and some seriously crowd-pleasing covers.

PJ Harvey at Central Park, Rumsey Field SummerStage; Jul 19; $49.50
Alt-rock icon PJ Harvey’s airs songs from her latest release, The Hope Six Demolition Project, which balances weighty tone and musical simplicity. It's another example of Harvey's penchant for dark, compelling songwriting rooted in odd moods. Expect her SummerStage renditions of the tunes to be nothing less than arresting.

Ride at Terminal 5; Jul 20; $40
Shoegaze diehards have had a good few years. Following My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive's surprise comebacks over the past several years, seminal outfit Ride—which broke up during Britpop's ascendency—returns with a new album, Weather Diaries. The new tunes demonstrate the same traits that made the band standout in the ’90s: a sharp pop sensibility many of its peers lacked. 

Panorama Festival at Randall's Island Park; July 28–30; $125; weekend pass $345
Randall's Island plays host to a second year of the city's hottest new music festival (move aside, Governors Ball). This year's star-studded lineup features big names like numbed R&B crooner Frank Ocean and psych-rock kingpins Tame Impala playing alongside up ’n’ coming acts like country-flecked emo band Pinegrove and Chicago MC Noname.


A Ghost Story
Casey Affleck plays a ghost in this daringly experimental indie; he may even be the dude who’s brooding under the white sheet the whole time (it’s that kind of ghost). Single-handedly, a grief-stricken Rooney Mara carries the movie’s emotional weight, as a widow holding on. Unlike anything else this year, the film is strange and wonderful, with a romantic metaphysics all its own. Opens July 7

Spider-Man: Homecoming
Actor Tom Holland’s nerdy Spider-Man was a highlight of last year’s Captain America: Civil War. So we’re expecting good things from this reboot (yep, another one) starring the rising star. He plays a school-age Spidey, exploring his powers with the aid of snarky mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.). Opens July 7

War for the Planet of the Apes
“Apes do not want war!” growled ape leader Caesar (Andy Serkis) in the last movie. Well, tough luck, monkey-face. In the third film in the rebooted (and pretty fantastic) Apes series, our simian heroes stumble on an armed-to-the-teeth platoon of human soldiers led by Woody Harrelson. The result? A lovely meeting of the minds. No, not really. Opens July 14

What’s a Dunkirk? Harry Styles fans were a bit confused when they found out that their No. 1 crush had a role in Christopher Nolan’s WWII epic. With a cast of thousands—including Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance and Kenneth Branagh—this is one of the summer’s most hotly anticipated films. Few filmmakers tell grander stories than Nolan, and stories don’t come much grander than the British retreat from Dunkirk in the face of overwhelming Nazi forces. Opens July 21

Atomic Blonde
Charlize Theron is basically a superhero in real life, and after stealing Mad Max: Fury Road from its title character, we’re glad to see her getting her own action vehicle. Here she plays a British spy who heads to Berlin in 1989 to infiltrate a vicious—oh, who cares? It’s Charlize with guns and attitude. Opens July 28


Carsten Höller, “Reason” Gagosian Gallery; through Aug 1, free
Giant mushrooms, mirrored revolving doors, abstract paintings, hyperreal little fishes and giant dice are some of the fantastical elements in the latest show by Höller, whose installations specialize in creating playgrounds for adults.

“Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium” Whitney Museum of American Art; July 14–Oct 1, $22; seniors, students $18; 18 and under free
G A Brazilian artist who pioneered interactive art during the 1970s, Hélio Oiticica, spent his formative years in New York, starting out as geometric abstractionist whose paintings evolved into sensually immersive three-dimensional installations that relied on viewer participation. This is the first U.S. retrospective of his work.

“Richard Gerstl” Neue Galerie New York; through Sept 25, $20, seniors $15, students and educators with valid ID $10. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult, children under 12 not admitted. First Friday of each month 6–8pm free
A small oeuvre (only 90 pieces in all) and an early death may account for why early-20th-century Austrian Expressionist Richard Gerstl (1883-1908) is not as well known as his contemporaries Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele. This show, the artist first museum retrospective in the United States, showcases his groundbreaking style with 55 examples of his portraits and landscapes.

“Mystical Symbolism: The Salon de la Rose+Croix in Paris, 1892–1897” Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; through Oct 4, $25, seniors (65+) and students with valid ID $18, children under 12 free. Sat 5:45–7:45pm pay what you wish. $25, seniors and students with ID $18, members and children under 12 accompanied by an adult free
With its dreamlike and visionary imagery, Symbolism is often cited as being a precursor to Surrealism. But while the Surrealists trafficked in the temporal and psychological discordances of modern life, Symbolists latched onto mythological and mystical subject matter from the past. This exhibition looks back at a series of Symbolist salons that were organized between 1892 and 1897 by Joséphin Péladan, an author, critic and Rosicrucian whose own fascination with mysticism informed his shows.

 Miguel Calderón, “Caída libre (Free fall)” Luhring Augustine Bushwick; through Jul 28, free
The ancient sport of hunting with falcons becomes a metaphor for the interdependence of man and animal in this Mexican artist’s film and sculptural installation.

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