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Manhattanhenge, July 11th, 2014
Photograph: Sam Yee/Strykapose/Flickr

45 incredible things to do in NYC in July

Written by
Jennifer Picht

Things to do

Circle Line Fourth of July Evening Cruise; July 4 at 6pm; Pier 83; $179 for general admission tickets, $259 for VIP tickets
Celebrate all things red, white and blue aboard a fireworks cruise on the Hudson River. Nosh on all-American grub from the on-board buffet, sip beer and wine from the open bar and dance to tunes from a live DJ as the Macy’s Fireworks Show lights up the sky.

Book Beneath the Bridge: Powerhouse Arena Brooklyn Bridge Park Beach; July 9 at 7pm; free
In this seasonal series, Brooklyn Bridge Park invites six top-notch local independent bookshops to program readings, Q&A's and book signings, all set against the stunning city view from the park's Granite Prospect steps. DUMBO's own powerHouse Arena, a showroom and retail space that hosts installations, performances and readings inspired by photography and pop culture, curates this edition.

Manhattanhenge at various locations in the city; July 12 at 8:20pm; free
One of the best things to do in summer in New York is see one of the most breathtaking sunsets called Manhattanhenge 2018. NYC offers plenty of viewing spots, including rooftop bars as well as elevated NYC Parks like The High Line for capturing the perfectly pink-and-orange colored sky. However, there are specific streets (at very specific times) you should hit if you want the ultimate Manhattanhenge Instagram picture. Here’s everything you need to know about the annual spectacle.

Conversation: The Soulfulness of David Bowie; July 15 at 2pm; Brooklyn Museum; $16
On the final day of the David Bowie Is exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, join guitarist, composer and Bowie’s music director Carlos Alomar for a talk on the influence of soul and R&B on the legendary musician’s career.

The Adventure Zone Graphic Novel Live!; July 17 at 7pm; Town Hall Theatre; $96–$250
Clint, Justin, Travis and Griffin McElroy recently turned their hilarious Dungeons and Dragons–inspired podcast The Adventure Zone into a graphic novel with the help of cartoonist Carey Pietsch. The live show is sure to feature plenty of the goofy jokes and off-the-wall antics.

A Georgian Night; July 18 at 2pm; Carnegie Hall; $144–$236
Georgian-born musicians and performers will ring in the country’s 100th anniversary of independence with this Carnegie Hall concert. Performances include baritone George Gagnidze, soprano Nino Machaidze, tenor Shalva Mukeria, pianists Elisso Bolkvadze and Bradley Moore and others.

Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum Overnight Experience; July 18, 26 at 6:15pm; Pier 86; $125
Sleeping among the planes on the USS Intrepid’s hangar deck sure beats the standard slumber party. During this unique overnight, you can take unlimited rides in the flight simulator, peep pop-up planetarium shows and even join a scavenger hunt. All aboard!

NYC Poetry Festival Governors Island Row; July 28, July 29 at 11am; suggested donation $10
For the last eight 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.

Never Sleep Alone Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater; July 28 at 9:30pm; $45, participants $35, plus $12 minimum
Grand mistress of getting you laid Dr. Alex Schiller (conceived and played by Roslyn Hart) calls you onstage to complete matchmaking challenges, kiss strangers and drop your inhibitions at this live musical comedy seminar. Bring your A-game for the after-party.


Speak American Friends and Lovers; July 6 at 7:30pm; free
Israeli stand-up Noa Osheroff welcomes comedians who come from a vast range of backgrounds to share their experiences making it in America (and in the NYC comedy scene) at this darling monthly show. For July, Osheroff is joined by guest co-host Sherm Jacobs, along with Jordan Temple, Crystian Ramirez, Fareeha Khan and Pedro Gonzales.

Old Ass Broadway: Live! Union Hall; July 6; $5, at the door $10
Character pros Sam Reece and Becky Chicoine continue to dazzle us in their escalating episodes of gleeful, wig-throwing stage nonsense. This time, they return to two of their most demented alter-egos: Broadway stage legends Betty Blanche and Crystal Rogers Sr. Join them as they sing hits from gibberish musicals like "White Thanksgiving" with the help of Arti Gollapudi, Matteo Lane, Alexandra Nader, Eric Gersen, Ikechukwu Ufomadu and Amanda Shechtman.

Yourself, Your Body Union Hall; July 17 at 8pm; $8–$10
Poet and comedic maverick Arti Gollapudi takes aim at societal norms and body standards at her riotous monthly show. This time, the Handmaid's Tale: The Musical star is joined by Larry Owens, Karen Chee, Alise Morales, Morgan Miller and Aminah Imani for hilarious and creative sets and stories on self-image.

The Exhibition at Public Arts; July 28 at 8pm; $15–$40
Though it's only a few months old, Mary Beth Barone and Michael Kayne's well-curated comedy showcase at Public Arts has become an always-lit, high-class affair every month. July's edition boasts Nimesh Patel and Sudi Green. Dress sharp for a dope after party with some of the hotel's guests.

Catherine Cohen: The Twist? She’s Gorgeous Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater; July 31 at 9:30pm; $12
After regularly stealing the show at Club Cumming, Union Hall and beyond, supreme multihyphenate Catherine Cohen takes over Joe's Pub for a night of wickedly subversive musical comedy, fabulous looks and self-directed diva worship. She's joined by regular collaborator Henry Koperski at the keys. Not to be missed.


Club Cumming at the Beach Fire Island; July 6–9; various prices
Fire Island doyenne Daniel Nardicio brings the greatest hits of the East Village nightlife hub Club Cumming to the Cherry Grove Community Center for an epic week of all-star performances. Hit the Romy & Michele's Saturday Afternoon Tea Dance on July 7 from 3–8pm; catch Jill Sobule in concert on July 8 at 5pm; and join Catherine Cohen and Henry Koperski for a beachside edition of their joyous variety show Cabernet Cabaret on Monday, July 9 at 9pm. Full list of events, times and prices at

Blood In the Water: Queens Drag Sharks to Chum Caveat; July 24 at 7pm; $15–$20
For far too long, straight people have laid claim to the oceans, most notably with the annual tradition of Shark Week. Finally, a fierce trio of NYC drag queens are taking on the easiest targets of marine life, with Blake Deadly, Tina Burner and Kiko Soiree reading hammerheads and great whites to filth. Dress like a Vaporeon and stay out of the line of fire!

Be Cute Brooklyn Littlefield; July 14 at 11pm; $5–$10
You probably know Horrorchata as one of the founders of the boundary-breaking Bushwig festival, but the hard-working queen is also behind this always-reliable bash. Show up for performances from Brooklyn’s top queens and DJs doling out booty-shaking jams to a rhapsodic dance floor.

House of Vogue House of Ye; July 18 at 10pm; $10
Join DJs MikeQ, Mean Red and Qween Beet for their spectacular vogue ball. The once-underground queer nightclub dance technique has become a canonized genre. Catch the fierce competition, as dancers show off their cat walks, duck walks, dips and hands to win cash prizes.

Fire Island Dance Festival Fire Island Pines; July 21–Sun 22; $175
Choreographers and performers from around the world hit the Pines for this annual weekend showcase. This year's installment boasts Dancing with the Stars' Carrie Ann Inaba, choreographers Camille A. Brown, Paul Taylor, Christopher Wheeldon and more. Look out for innovative performances by the sand from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet and Robert Fairchild. Proceeds benefit Dancers Responding to AIDS.

Food and Drink

Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest Coney Island; July 4; Free
You’ve heard about this contest as long as you’ve lived here, and now, the 4th of July is on a Wednesday. Yes, it kind of puts a damper on those out-of-town weekend plans, but now you have the excuse to go to Coney Island and watch hungry champs chow down on tubular meat.

Restaurant Week Various locations; July 23-August 17; Two-course lunch $26, three-course dinner $42
It’s the summer iteration of the one of the best eating deals in the city. While the list of restaurants hasn’t been announced yet, past participants have included Acme, Lafayette, Hearth and Zuma for two-course lunches and three-course dinners.

Lobster Fest Bar 13 rooftop; July 8; $40-$50
Chow down on unlimited lobster and seafood dishes like lobster mac n cheese, snow crab legs, garlic butter lobster tails, shrimp cocktails and steam clams. Wash it all down with Patron tequila cocktails and mimosas while listening to live DJs spinning tunes. Hookah will be on hand.

Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival Roy Wilkins Park; July 22; $36 in advance, $46 at the door
Transport to the Caribbean with this massive outdoor festival that revolves around the tangy jerk seasoning thanks to lots of samples and a cook-off from local chefs. In addition to all the eats, there will be live music from six different performers throughout the day.

Pig Roast at Brooklyn Cider House; July 4; Free to attend
Get the whole hog at this porcine celebration in Bushwick. From 2 to 5pm, a suckling pig will be slow-cooked in a Caja China-style roasting box right on the cidery’s outdoor deck. Meanwhile, the bar will be open from noon to midnight with more food, music and games.


Ólafur Arnalds Murmrr Theatre; July 1; $40–$45
The Icelandic composer's All Strings Attached tour hits Brooklyn, bringing his gorgeous, gossamer arrangements of melancholy piano balladry and skittering electronica to the stage, backed by percussionist Manu Delango and a string quartet.

Radiohead Madison Square Garden; July 10, 11, 13 14; $60–$100
Thom Yorke and co. play a career-spanning set at this arena gig, peppered of course with tunes from the band's acclaimed 2016 album, A Moon Shaped Pool. Superfans, cross your fingers: At a recent festival gig in Rio De Janeiro, Yorke performed the original acoustic version of "True Love Waits" for the first time in fifteen years.

Jandek Trans-Pecos; July 22; $20
This reclusive avant-blues legend emerged from decades of shrouded mystique when he performed his first live show in 2004. Since then, he's become a globetrotting free-improviser. Expect fearless abstraction as he pops up in Brooklyn for his first NYC show in six years.

Courtney Barnett Celebrate Brooklyn!; July 25 $39.50
This jam-packed bill features Melbourne singer-songwriter Barnett teaming with two other indie stars: Laetitia Tamko of Vagabon and melancholic songsmith Baker. A streak of quiet, lyrical resilience runs through the work of all three, though each artist refracts that quality through her own unique prism. Count on tight performances that showcase the talents of these breakthrough artists.

Panorama Randalls Island Park; July 27–29; $99–$490
Coachella organizers Goldenvoice have brought West Coast music festival energy to NYC with this East Coast counterpart. The three-day event's 2018 lineup is as star-studded as ever, featuring The Weeknd, Janet Jackson, The Killers, Father John Misty, The War on Drugs, Migos, The xx, Cardi B and many more.


Ice Factory 2018 at New Ohio Theatre; June 28–Aug 18; $20
In the helter-skelter of summer theater festivals, the cool curatorial heads of Ice Factory always provide a welcome breeze. For the fest's 25th anniversary, distinguished alums to serve as guest curators for the eight featured shows, each of which runs for one week.

Straight White Men at the Hayes Theater; June 29–Sept 9; $22–$149
Experimental playwright Young Jean Lee shifts gears with this relatively straightforward American father-sons drama on themes of identity and privilege. Is naturalism the new subversion? The cast includes Armie Hammer and Josh Charles.

This Ain't No Disco at Atlantic Theater Company; June 29–Aug 12; $81.50–$101.50
Two of 1979 New York's definitive scenes, the glittery Studio 54 and the countercultural Mudd Club, are the poles of this world-premiere musical by Stephen Trask, Rick Elice and original Wallflowers drummer Peter Yanowitz.

Gone Missing at New York City Center; July 11, 12; $25–$125
Encores! Off-Center presents a concert staging of the Civilians' brilliant 2003 docutheater vaudeville about loss, featuring songs by the late Michael Friedman. The cast includes John Behlmann, Susan Blackwell, Aysan Celik, Deborah S. Craig and Taylor Mac.

The Damned at Park Avenue Armory; July 17–28; $35–$175
The celebrated expressionist-minimalist director Ivo van Hove joins forces with the mighty Comédie-Française for this pitch-black immorality tale, adapted from Luchino Visconti's 1969 film about a wealthy German family that tears itself apart at the dawn of the Nazi era.

Twelfth Night at the Delacorte Theatre; July 17–Aug 19; free
Shakespeare in the Park goes wide with this musical adaptation of Shakespeare's ever-popular comedy about love and mistaken identity. Professional actors perform alongside dozens and dozens of amateurs drawn from New York communities in all five boroughs.


Batsheva: The Young Ensemble at the Joyce Theater; July 10–22; $56–$81
The apprentice wing of Israel's now legendary Batsheva Dance Company performs Ohad Naharin's Naharin's Virus, inspired Peter Handke's play Offending the Audience. The dance is set to a mix of classical and Arabic music and original compositions by Karni Postel.

Tap City at multiple venues; July 10–13; free–$50
The American Tap Dance Foundation makes your heart go clickety-clack with activities around the city, including performances, master classes and film screenings. Events include the Tap Dance Awards, Rhythm in Motion and the free outdoor event Tap It Out.

Lucinda Childs Dance Company: Available Light at the Rose Theater; July 12, 13; $35–$115
In this Mostly Mozart Festival offering, eminent minimalist Childs revisits her 1983 collaboration with composer John Adams and architect Frank Gehry for what is being billed as the piece's final staging.

Chris Schlichting: Period at the Chocolate Factory; July 19–21; $20
The award-winning Minnesota dance maker presents the NYC premiere of an abstract piece in which dancers perform "intricate, churning movement in their slide toward extinction."

Momix at the Joyce Theater; July 24–Aug 12; $26–$66
Moses Pendleton and his troupe of dancer-illusionists return with another mesmerizing multimedia production. The mixed bill includes favorite works from the company's long history and the New York premieres of Daddy Long Leg, Light Reins and Paper Trails.


“Obsession: Nudes by Klimt, Schiele, and Picasso from the Scofield Thayer Collection” The Met Breuer; July 3–Oct 7, The Met (all of its locations) is pay-as-you-wish for NY State residents and tristate area students; non-NY residents $25, seniors $17, students $12, members and children under 12 free 
Nudes with attitude are the subjects of this exhibit drawn from The Met’s Scofield Thayer Collection. On tap are erotic drawings and prints by Gustave Klimt, Egon Schiele and Pablo Picasso. This is the first time these holdings have been shown together.

“Thomas Bayrle: Playtime” New Museum of Contemporary Art; through Sept 2; $16, seniors $14, students $10, children under 18 free. Thu 7–9pm pay as you wish with a suggested minimum of $2
Born 1937, Bayrle, is a fascinating figure in Postwar German art. During the late 1960s, he worked in advertising while also participating in the radical, anti-capitalist politics of the period. It was around this time that he began to create paintings and prints by hand, using Xerox machines and other analog tools of mid-century graphic design to cobble together intricate images out of tiny pictorial elements repeated in gridlike patterns. Resembling pixels avant la letter, these bits often directly echoed the subject matter—as in one silkscreen in which a mosaic of tiny demitasse cups coalesce into a woman drinking coffee. Bayrle has only been recently recognized in this country, mostly as a prophet of digital imagery. But as his first career survey in New York reveals, his work crackles with visual electricity.

“David Wojnarowicz: History Keeps Me Awake at Night” Whitney Museum of American Art; July 13–Sept 30, $22; seniors, students $18, 18 and under free
Abandoned as a child before turning tricks as a teenage hustler, David Wojnarowicz (1954–1992) had plenty of personal anguish to draw upon when he emerged during the East Village art scene of the 1980s. A charismatic and controversial figure, he was known for work that railed against society’s indifference to AIDS, a disease which eventually claimed his life.

“Rockaway! 2018: Narcissus Garden by Yayoi Kusama” Gateway National Recreation Area at Fort Tilden; July 1–Sept 2, free
Hints of Kusama’s famed “Infinity Rooms” can be found in her centerpiece installation for the third edition of MoMA PS1’s arts festival in the Rockaways. Consisting of 1,500 mirrored stainless steel spheres laid on the ground like a clutch of eggs, Narcissus Garden was originally shown as an unofficial entry in the 1966 Venice Biennale (installed, without permission, on the lawn of the Italian Pavilion); in it, Kusama tossed the spheres in the air and sold them to passersby for $2 a pop. The piece marked a phase of Kusama’s career during the late ’60 in which she mounted a series of often-controversial public interventions that were part guerrilla action and part self-promotional stunt. Since then, Narcissus Garden has been mounted a number of times, with this version housed in a former train garage on the grounds of the decommissioned military base at Fort Tilden.

“READYMADES BELONG TO EVERYONE” Swiss Institute; through Aug 19, free
The Swiss Institute opens it new East Village home on St. Marks Place with a round-up of 50 artists from 16 countries who each in their own way expand upon Marcel Duchamp’s seminal “Readymade” strategy of incorporating found objects into artworks.

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