The Bartschland Follies McKittrick Hotel; 11:30pm; $25–$75
When the clock strikes midnight at the McKittrick on Fridays, the club kids take over. Enter the sublime nightlife fantasy of downtown icon Susanne Bartsch at her weekly summer residency, at which she welcomes circus performers, drag divas, burlesque stars and beyond to unleash their most avant-garde creations onstage. She's joined by a rotating cast that includes Dee Dee Luxe, Shequida, Aquaria, Joey Arias, Amanda Lepore, Sherry Vine, Fou York and Dirty Martini for this wild experiment.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to things to do in NYC this weekend
Wine & Cheese Fest Eataly; 6pm; $60
Taste over fifteen wines, sample cheeses from seven producers and nosh on eight cheesy Italian dishes all while exploring Eataly's downtown marketplace at this Friday evening tasting event. The only downside here is that your weekend may peak early.
The Roller Wave Gantry Loft; 7pm, 11pm; $10–$20
In the words of the immortal Big Tymers, everybody get your roll on. The popular roving roller-disco party presents two nights of freewheeling fun in Queens before returning to House of Yes for Memorial Day weekend. Grab your skates (or rent a pair there for $10), slip into your finest disco attire and go shimmy to the musical selections of DJ Jason Smith, Scram Jones, DJ Soul NYC and DJ Wonder. Rental skates are first-come, first-served, so don’t roll in late.
Taste of the Upper West Side Columbus Ave between 76th and 77th Sts; 7pm; various prices
The two-evening affair, held outdoors beneath a grand tent, celebrates the best grub the Manhattan ’hood has to offer. On Friday 18, dine on food from 40 eateries, like Zen Taco, Make My Cake, Fishtag and others. Ticket prices are steep but include all the treats along with unlimited wine, signature cocktails and a DJ dance party. Head back to the scene on Saturday 19 for Best of the West, presented by Park West Village. Sample cocktails crafted by mixologists from spots such as Amélie, Maison Pickle and Prohibition, then gorge on tastes from Michelin-starred chef John Fraser as well as dishes from 40 other illustrious restaurants.
Late Night Lynch Nitehawk Cinema; midnight; $12
David Lynch’s films get a series of midnight screenings at Nitehawk. On the lineup: Blue Velvet (May 4 and 5), Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (May 11 and 12), Lost Highway (May 18 and 19) and Eraserhead (May 25 and 26). Show up at 11:45pm to get situated and get your drink order in—you're going to need it.
Vulture Festival’s Who? Weekly Royal Wedding Live Watch Freehold; 7am; $20
Wake up early for a bracing morning of royal wedding bitchery with Bobby Finger and Lindsey Weber—hosts of the delectably dark podcast Who? Weekly. With coffees in hand, the two will rip into the the lower-status royal cousins, hangers-on and questionable British celebrities seated at Harry and Meghan's big nuptials.
Vulture Festival Milk Gallery; 11:30am; $25–$35, all-access pass $435
Who better to curate a blissful weekend of culture than the discerning minds at Vulture? At the fifth edition of the always-stacked festival, catch panels and screenings from series like Mindhunter, SweetBitter, Ray Donovan and Younger; catch comedy from Las Culturistas, Dr. Gameshow and acts like Matteo Lane and Emma Willmann; and join talks with Samantha Bee, Rhetta, Ryan Murphy, John Leguizamo and many more.
CoffeeCon Villain; 10am; $20–$50
Java addicts, brace yourselves for the ultimate caffeine buzz. You don’t have to be a barista or a coffee savant to go to this coffee bean affair, but one thing’s for sure: By the end of this convention, you’ll know how to make a good cup of joe. Drink as much as you can stomach on the tasting floor, and attend seminars at which experts explain the top notes and brewing techniques for various blends. You can also sign up for classes covering topics like roasting basics, proper grinding techniques and pour-over brewing.
Lillie’s Royal Wedding Celebration Lillie’s Times Square; 10am; free
This Times Square pub inspired by 19th century British socialite Lillie Langtry goes all out for the big British wedding bash. Show up in your finest royal wedding attire (bring it in the hat department) to receive a complimentary cocktail, take fake pictures with Harry and Megan in the selfie station and dig into U.K. favorites like beef wellington, Pimm's cup cocktails and lemon elderflower wedding cake. Cheers!
Essex Street Market Block Party; noon; free
The Lower East Side’s equivalent to Chelsea Market hosts its annual street party—but this round boasts a new twist. Since the eatery is expanding and moving across the street next fall, now’s your chance to get a sneak peek at two of the new vendors joining the fray: Samesa and Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. As always, expect grilling, chilling and jamming to live cumbia tunes.
Dance Parade & Festival Tompkins Square Park; 3pm; free
Ready to sashay into the weekend? The lyrics to “Dancing in the Street” never ring more true than during this boogie fest at which aerialists and dancers wow across five stages at Tompkins Square Park. Witness more than 80 styles of grooving—from ballet to break dancing—and learn how to bust a move with free lessons. Before the main event, watch 10,000 dancers stomp, twirl and gyrate from 21st St and Broadway to Avenue A. (The Parade starts at 1pm.)
AIDS Walk New York Central Park Mall; 10am; Registration required
More than 890,000 trekkers—including David Hyde Pierce, Audra McDonald and Nick Jonas—have participated in this 10K stroll through Central Park and the Upper West Side. The annual jaunt raises awareness and money for more than 40 HIV/AIDS organizations in the tristate area, including the organizer Gay Men’s Health Crisis. (You don’t have to pledge your own fundraising minimum to join, although it’s recommended.) At 10am, the walk commences at the 72nd St and Fifth Ave entrance, and by noon you’ll have gotten in a little exercise and contributed to a good cause. Don't miss the opening ceremony show at 9:15am, featuring Rosie Perez, Matt Bomer, Selinis Leyva, Michael Urie, Mercedes Ruehl and more; and a banging after party at Rumsey Playfield featuring the Pointer Sisters and some RuPaul's Drag Race divas.
Brooklyn Garlic Takedown The Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club; noon; $25
Since the days of Ancient Egypt, garlic has been used as a health supplement—and to make just about every dish taste better. Dig into pungent hot pots, doughy knots and beyond at this amateur cooking competition, brought to you by the borough's most down-to-earth foodie fanatics.
BrunchCon Brooklyn Expo Center; 9am; $45–$85
This brunch-focused food festival in Brooklyn features late-morning grub from 30 participating restaurants, past participants have included Chalk Point Kitchen, Butter & Scotch and Manousheh. Beyond bites, you can gulp down bubbly at an open mimosa or bloody Mary bar, snap pics in multiple photo booths or shop brunch-related products at a BrunchCon market.
Mister Sunday Nowadays; 3pm; $20
The unbeatable duo of Justin Carter and Eamon Harkin have grounded their world-touring record label and Mister Sunday dance party at the stunning Nowadays space in Ridgewood. Join them every Sunday for jubilant dancing, food truck bites and beyond. The Memorial Day rager promises a packed dance floor and cute looks from guests of all ages.