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56 amazing things to do in NYC in June

By
Jennifer P
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Things to do

Bushwick Collective Block Party; June 2; free
A chunk of Brooklyn’s top-notch outdoor artists stage a Bushwick street takeover, fully armed with food trucks, live jammin’ and Instagram-worthy graffiti to celebrate the nabe’s trendy art scene. Watch spray-can masters create new masterpieces in real time, while music makers like Ja Rule and DJ Evil Dee provide the backdrop tunes.

Aloha Nights New York Botanical Garden; select days in June; $38
Head to the New York Botanical Garden for an evening of tropical delights. Take an after-hours look at the garden's new exhibit, Georgia O’Keeffe: Visions of Hawai‘i, learn how to hula, watch lei-making demos, explore installations by Hawaiian-Chinese sculptor Mark Chai, listen to live music and fuel it all with a poke bowl and a cup (or two) of Passiflora Punch. 

Sex and the City 20th Anniversary Screening Nitehawk Cinema; June 6; $16
Drink Cosmos and toast 20 years of the fab four with this special screening of the movie, followed by a panel featuring Sex and the City and Us author Jennifer Keishin Armstrong, Kate Ward, Hunter Harris, Naveen Kumar and Leigh Altshuler.

Pet Day at Deno’s Wonder Wheel; Jun 9; free
Take your four-legged companion for a spin on the Wonder Wheel at this annual event where animals ride free with their owners. Nattily dressed pets can enter the costume contest at 2pm for a chance to win a $150 Petco gift voucher. Only 25 pets can enter, so pre-register online or sign up on the boardwalk first thing. Either way, bring along two cans of dog or cat food to seal the deal. The cans are donated to the Sean Casey Animal Rescue, which has adoptable pets around for you to play with (and maybe take home) at the event.

Barbercon Knockdown Center; June 10; one-day pass $35, two-day pass $60, VIP $80
Makeup and skin-care junkies have Beautycon. Bearded folks or those with magnificent manes have Barbercon. Check out live hair tutorials, product demos, classes and workshops at the annual two-day convention. You don't have to be a professional trimmer to get in on the fun: the event also has food trucks, tunes and games, as well as drinks to keep you feeling buzzed.

Seth Meyers in Conversation 92nd Street Y; June 11; tickets start at $110
The Late Night With Seth Meyers host drops by the Upper East Side venue to reveal how he comes up with the sharp-tongued monologues and ripped-from-the-headlines bits he’s known for. Plus, you might even hear a few behind-the-scenes tidbits about his Saturday Night Live days.   

Rosé Wine and Cheese Class Murray’s Cheese; June 12, 22; $90
As temperatures climb, you’ll want to swap those bold reds for light, refreshing whites and rosés. Find out how to pair the the juice of summer with fromage from around the world in this class.

Museum Mile Festival at various locations; June 12; free
This festival is back for its 40th year, which turns Fifth Avenue into the city’s largest block party. Live music and entertainment flood the streets while museums open their doors to the public at no charge. Past participants include Museum of the City of New York, the Jewish Museum, Cooper Hewitt, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and more. Fifth Ave between 82nd and 105th Sts.

Father’s Day: Belgian Pretzels and Beer Class Le Pain Quotidien's Bleecker St Bakery; June 13, June 17; $90
Step away from the ties and golf balls and get Dad a Father’s Day gift he’ll actually enjoy—like tickets to this pretzel-making class at Le Pain Quotidien. He’ll learn how to roll, shape and bake pretzels with a snappy crust and doughy interior, then sample his creations over a glass of Belgian beer.

Out to Climb at various venues; June 14, June 21; $25
Between June 1–25, Brooklyn Boulders invites guests to climb its rainbow route, with a donation to the Ali Forney Center for every selfie posted at the summit. Head to both the Brooklyn and Queens locations for totally wild Pride celebrations, boasting drag queen acro yoga, sunset sun salutations, flower crown making, pop-up shops and refreshments from Honeygrow, Sparkling Ice and Deep Eddy Vodka.  

Tinder Live! Gramercy Theatre; June 16; tickets start at $15
Swipe left, swipe left, Super Like: Watch host Lane Moore navigate the online dating scene of Tinder in front of a live audience at this month’s edition of her popular show. Comedians Julie Klausner and Alan Aisenberg will help Moore in her quest for love and laughs.

Netflix’s Queer Eye 92nd Street Y; June 19; tickets start at $167
The Fab Five will chat about everything from interior design to Antoni’s infamous guacamole to pride in this talk with them and Teen Vogue’s Phillip Picardi. You might even get a sneak peak at the second season. Can you believe?!

Punk Island Randalls Island Park; June 23; free
The summer months are never short on music festivals, but sometimes bank accounts are short on cash, so thankfully there's this free annual event on Randalls Island, which invites more than 70 punk bands to rage. With subgenres including pop-punk, grindcore and Gypsy punk, you’re sure to find an act that plays your preferred brand of rebellion.

Comedy

Fill in the Hole: A New Comedy Trivia Show The Duplex; various dates in June; free
Endlessly creative comedic madman Zach Zimmerman welcomes you to his weekly playhouse, at which you'll catch excellent sets from his favorite comics, then compete in related trivia battles. There's no crazier happy hour in town.

Reveries Littlefield; June 6; $8, at  the door $10
Pull up into a warped Bret Easton Ellis fantasy at this fascinating comedy experiment from Matt Barats and Anthony Oberbeck. Through absurd, self-serious monologues, stories, video projections and beyond, they'll uncover the secrets of two trippy dudes on the road. They're joined by gonzo comedy mavericks Ana Fabrega, Ruby McCollister, Carmen Christopher, Wes Haney, Bardia Salimi and Peter Smith.

Riverdale Live Union Hall; June 6; $6, at the door $8
The endlessly cheerful duo of Sophie Santos and John Trowbridge make a loving tribute to the high camp, hot bodies and hard aesthetic of the CW's dark Archie Comics adaptation. To prove their knowledge of the lovers of Kevin Keller, South Side Serpents and other Riverdale characters, Santos and Trowbridge will take on nearly every role from the series' cast. They're joined by Tim Platt and Sydnee Washington for some horny fan fiction. Hide your secret love-children and six-pack abs now—none will be spared from this satire.

Showgasm Ars Nova; June 7; $5–$20
Careening at high speeds between giddy self-awareness and glorious rage, Mitra Jouhari surges with an endless fire that has made her a joy to behold in her comedy covens Three Busy Debras and It's a Guy Thing. The Miracle Workers and President Show writer takes the reins of the always-wild Showgasm variety show for a wild night of stand-up, dancing and merry insanity. On June 7, she welcomes Alex English, Patti Harrison, Sandy Honig and Natalie Walker to lose their minds. Show up an hour early for a pregame of cheap drinks and good tunes (appropriately dubbed Foreplay). An intellect like Jouhari is bound for greatness; catch her while you can.

Casual Town Sing Sing Ave A; various dates in June; $5
This stellar weekly stand-up show, hosted by Albert Kirchner, Evan Morrison and Jane Harrison and produced by Jamie Rabinovitch, costs a five spot and goes down in a private room in an East Village karaoke bar. Catch an all-star lineup on May 31, including Matt Goldich, Dan Perlman, Kelsey Caine and Marie Faustin. The June 7 edition boasts more favorites, including Mary Beth Barone, Alex English, Stavros Halkias and Carmen Lagala.

LGBT

Peter Smith’s Diana Ars Nova; Jun 7; $15
The most luminous performer in NYC’s comedy scene takes one of pop iconography's most tragic figures, Diana of Wales, in this unprecedented reimagining of her infamous 1995 BBC interview. Call it a lip sync, call it performance art, call everyone you know to make them jealous: You're about to witness the master in a one-night-only, history-defying feat.

The Brooklyn Ball Littlefield; June 9; $25–$1,000
Bushwig doyenne and avant-garde diva The Untitled Queen throws this opulent fund-raiser for the Callen Lorde Health Center's upcoming Brooklyn location. For this year's Too Wong Foo theme, the city's fiercest POC performers will strut down the floor in their finest strawberry fruit attire. Witness!

LPR X: Justin Vivian Bond and Friends Celebrate Pride 2018; June 22; $35
Sit back for a night of witchy splendor as supreme downtown cabaret icon Justin Vivian Bond regales you with lovely songbook renditions and loopy stories. They're joined for duets and more with some of their favorite collaborators.

Everybooty BAM Fisher; June 23; $25, at the door $30
Those looking for an alternative to the Manhattan Pride scene can hit up this eclectic rager at BAM. This once-a-year blowout will take over four floors of the arts institution—from the basement all the way up to the rooftop—with flashy, glittery members of the queer art, comedy and nightlife worlds. The seven-hour art party bursts at every corner with DJs, karaoke, live drawing models, art installations, live readings and tons of performances from the likes of Becca Blackwell, Crimson Kitty, Daphne Always, DJ Deputy, DJ Tikka Masala, Jes Tom, Julio Torres, Monster Labeija, Sam Jay, Theda Hammel, Zoe Ziegfield and many others.

Kunst Pride Elsewhere; June 24; $20–$30
A lineup of queer nightlife greatest hits take over the Elsewhere roof for a nasty night of dancing. Pace yourself for a late night with DJs Eli Escobar, Tom Peters, Horrorchata, William Francis, Mazurbate, Amber Valentine and Andy Bradin; performances by Kevin Aviance, Sateen, Gio Black Peter, Horrorchata, Charlene, Harajuku, West Dakota, Panthera and Pan Dulce and many more.

Food and drink

Scooper Bowl New York Bryant Park; June 1-3; $20 advanced, $25 day of
How many licks does it take to get to the bottom of an ice cream cone? You’re about to find out at this bottomless ice cream festival in Bryant Park graced by hot shots like Big Gay Ice Cream and Ben & Jerry’s.

Big Apple Barbecue Block Party Madison Square Park; June 9, June 10; $125-$275
Pitmasters from all over the country fire up their grills and serve the best they got at this beloved barbecue festival that attracts city-dwellers who want to put a little south in their mouth.

Egg Rolls, Egg Creams & Empanadas Festival Museum at Eldridge Street; Jun 17; Free
Three cultures celebrate as one during this spirited food festival in Chinatown. The Jewish, Chinese and Puerto Rican communities of New York honor their heritages with live music, language lessons and of course, lots and lots of food.

Taste of Jewish Culture Street Festival Sixth Ave between 48th and 49th Sts; June 17; Free
Tell dad to leave the kvetching at home. Go out and celebrate all the Jewish food that the city has to offer this Father’s Day with treats like babka ice cream sandwiches from La Newyorkina, reuben quesadillas from What’s the Dillaz’s and sweet potato and beet latkes from Krafted by Karli’s. Plus, all dads get a free egg cream.

Taste of the Terminal Grand Central Terminal; June 26-28; Free
Head to Vanderbilt Hall for a not-stressful reason: to eat lots of free food. Although the vendors haven't been announced yet, this annual event will offer guest free noshes with live music and an art installation commemorating the 40th anniversary to save Grand Central.

Music

Governors Ball Randalls Island; June 1–June 3; $115–$305
Now on its eighth year, New York's signature big-tent music festival brings another killer lineup of international and local acts, including headliners Eminem, Jack White and Travis Scott, as well as Khalid, Halsey, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Post Malone, Diplo, Mark Ronson and many more.

Hot Snakes Bowery Ballroom; June 4; Elsewhere; June 5. $26–$35.
This West Coast posthardcore quintet—fronted by Rick Froberg, formerly of Drive Like Jehu and currently of Obits—may have hit its heyday in the early aughts, but its first new album in fourteen years, Jericho Sirens, peddles its loud, wiry anthems with all the same irreverence and drive.

Common Celebrate Brooklyn!; June 5; free
Chicago's rap vet—who recently joined Robert Glasper and Karriem Riggins under the moniker August Greene for a joint LP—hits King's County to kick off the 2018 season of NYC summer concert series staple BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Expect him to wind between kinetic classic hits like “Go!” and sensuous newer singles like “Love Star."

The Voidz Elsewhere; June 6, 13, 20, 27; $25
Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas plays with his other band, the Voidz, a group's that released two albums of unabashedly weird indie-rock. The crew settles in for a monthlong weekly residency at Elsewhere, with opening sets by rising indie bands including Surfbort, Dilly Dally and Priests.

Horse Feathers Bowery Ballroom; June 7; $25
Portland, OR, indie-folk outfit Horse Feathers celebrates its new album, Appreciation, its sixth, on Pacific Northwest institution Kill Rock Stars with a show a The Bowery Ballroom.

Belle and Sebastian + Perfume Genius + Frankie Cosmos Forest Hills Stadium; June 8; $46–$86 
Awash in boy-girl harmonies and wry, sentimental lyricism, Scottish act Belle and Sebastian has been the reigning champion of twee-pop ever since the release of its sophomore album, If You're Feeling Sinister. Recently, frontman Stuart Murdoch changed the formula with 2015's Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance, a buoyant comeback record with synth-driven beats and dance floor aspirations. Expect both modes here as the band headlines one of the summer's most promising gigs, with emotive, dazzling balladeer Perfume Genius and local indie-pop heroes Frankie Cosmos opening.

Boss Hog Elsewhere; June 10; $15, day of show $18
Jon Spencer and Cristina Martinez—husband and wife duo behind New York blues-punk band Boss Hog—headline a show at Bushwick performance space Elsewhere.

Of Montreal Le Poisson Rouge; June 12; $25, day of $30
Perhaps the foremost proponent of modern-day glam rock, this outfit from Athens, Georgia does predecessors such as Bowie and T. Rex proud, routinely serving heaping portions of sassy, eccentric art rock. Here, the nearly two-decade-old band—led by the always-flashy, always-amusing Kevin Barnes—hits town in support of its 2018 album White is Relic/Irrealis Mood.

LPR X: Venetian Snares x Daniel Lanois Le Poisson Rouge; June 14; $25–$40
As part of Le Poisson Rouge's tenth birthday celebration, Canadian breakcore genius Venetian Snares and record producer Daniel Lanois—whose credits include U2's Achtung Baby and Bob Dylan's Time Out of Mind—perform a collaborative set behind of their new album, Venetian Snares x Daniel Lanois.

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks + Holy Sons Music Hall of Williamsburg; June 14, June 15; $30
As leader of the era-defining Pavement, Stephen Malkmus revolutionized ’90s rock with stoner-pop anthemry, decade-defining lazy-assedness and quirk-filled inside-jokery. With the Jicks he's continued to serve up addictive melodies and schizophrenic verbiage, most recently on 2014's Wig Out at Jagbags. The band released a sunny new single recently, which could mean a new album is coming down the pike. If so, count on hearing from it at this two-show outing.

Alt-J + Kamasi Washington Forest Hills Stadium; June 15; $56.50–$69
For this special stadium gig, England-based outfit Alt-J plans to situate speakers around the audience to create a surround-sound effect. Even without the technical extravagance, the alt-pop band already traffics in a distinctly lush sound, combining clever songwriting and colorful, jazzy instrumentation with world beats and skittering drops, so prepare to be immersed.

Theater

ANT Fest 2018 at Ars Nova; June 4–26; $15–$20
Ars Nova presents its beloved annual performance anthill, teeming with music, comedy and theater works by early-career artists. Participants include Ikechukwu Ufomadu, Raja Feather Kelly, Kate Bergstrom and Ryan J. Haddad.

This Was the End at Mabou Mines Theater; June 7–16; $25
Memory and image, literary ghosts and an actual possession all phase together in Mallory Catlett's sublime postmodern séance for, among other things, downtown New York. Four years after its debut, the piece returns for an encore run.

Carmen Jones at Classic Stage Company; June 8–July 29; $56–$126
The fabulous Anika Noni Rose (Dreamgirls) plays the title seductress in Oscar Hammerstein II's 1943 version of the opera Carmen, reimagined as an African-American love triangle during World War II.

Girls & Boys at the Minetta Lane Theatre; June 12–July 15; $57–$87
A woman goes from romantic comedy to tragedy in Dennis Kelly's solo play, which premiered earlier this year at London's Royal Court Theatre. The superb British actor Carey Mulligan reprises the performance that earned her raves.

Mary Page Marlowe at Second Stage Theatre; June 19–Aug 12; $30–$89
In the NYC premiere of this play by Tracy Letts (August: Osage County), multiple actors—including Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) and Blair Brown—portray the same Ohio women at different stages in her life. Lila Neugebauer (The Wolves) directs.

Head Over Heels at the Hudson Theatre; starts June 23; $79–$290
Broadway's latest jukebox musical funnels pops songs by the Go-Go's into an Elizabethan-style comic romp about a royal family trying to avert catastrophe. Michael Mayer directs a cast that includes RuPaul's Drag Race alumna Peppermint.

Dance

Lydia Johnson Dance at the Ailey Citigroup Theater; June 6–8; $15–$38
Johnson and her contemporary-ballet company perform a new and repertory works, including the premiere of Undercurrent. Joining the troupe as a guest artist this season is former New York City Ballet principal Stephen Hanna.

Performance Mix Festival 2018 at the University Settlement; June 7–10; $15–$20
New Dance Alliance's festival, now in its 32nd season, showcases work by experimental artists. This year's lineup, curated by Karen Bernard, includes Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company, João Costa Espinho, Antonio Ramos, Larissa Velez-Jackson and more.

10 Hairy Legs at Baryshnikov Arts Center; June 7–10; $25
Randy James's all-male repertory group flashes its hirsute limbs in new works by Nicholas Sciscione and Yin Yue, as well as a reprises of Al Blackstone's Brian, Raja Feather Kelly's Andy Warhol's Bleu Movie And Christopher Williams's The Portuguese Suite.

Philadanco at the Joyce Theater; June 12–17; $26–$46
The Philadelphia company, which celebrates African-American dance traditions, presents a four-part program that includes Dawn Marie Bazemore's A Movement for Five, inspired by the news frenzy surrounding the Central Park Five rape case in 1989.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at the David H. Koch Theater; June 13–17; $25–$159
Artistic director Robert Battle continues to present classics while introducing new choreography to the company repertory. Each of the engagement's three programs concludes with Alvin Ailey's 1960 signature classic, Revelations.

Broadway Bares: Game Night at the Hammerstein Ballroom; June 17; $35–$3,000
Broadway gets extra playful at the hugely popular annual burlesque extravaganza, where Great White Way's hottest chorus guys and gals bump and grind to raise money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Art

“Giacometti” Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; June 8–Sept 16, $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. Sat 5:45–7:45pm pay what you wish
Some 175 sculptures, paintings and drawings make up this comprehensive survey of Alberto Giacometti (1901–1966), the preeminent modernist best known for his distinctive figurative sculptures that emerged after the trauma and anguish of World War II—among them, a series of elongated standing women, striding men and expressive busts. The show, the first of its kind in 15 years, delves into Giacometti’s career (which spanned Cubism and Surrealism as well as his postwar Expressionistic work) and influences (which include African, Oceanic and Cycladic art).

“History Refused to Die: Highlights from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation Gift” Metropolitan Museum of Art; through Sept 23, suggested donation $25, seniors $17, students $12, members and children under 12 free
On view are paintings, sculptures, drawings and quilts by such stars of self-taught contemporary African American art as Thornton Dial, the quilters from Gee's Bend, Alabama and Nellie Mae Rowe among others.

“Chaim Soutine: Flesh” The Jewish Museum; through Sept 16, $15, seniors $12, students $7.50, visitors 18 and under free. Sat free. Thu 5–8pm pay what you wish
We tend to think of a still life as a serene pictures of fruit and flowers, but Chaim Soutine (1893–1943) went in for a more brutal take on the genre with his depictions of animal carcasses rendered in thick, expressive brush strokes. Imbuing raw meat with a sense of suffering, Soutine, a Lithuanian Jew who emigrated to Paris, may have been reflecting on the anti-Semitic pogroms that raged during his childhood.

“Mel Chin: All Over The Place” Queens Museum; Apr 8–Aug 12, suggested donation $8, seniors and students $4, children under 12 free
This survey of the veteran conceptualist, whose multimedia work delves into political and environmental themes such as the clean-water crisis in Flint, Michigan, includes off-site locations like Times Square.

“RAMMΣLLZΣΣ: Racing for Thunder” Red Bull Arts New York; through Aug 26, free
An inspiration for artists ranging from Basquiat to the Beastie Boys, Rammellzee (1960–2010) was a pioneer of hip-hop, graffiti art and Afro-futurism. His unique career is recalled in this survey.

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