By Jessica Allen
What’s your pleasure? Old school hip hop? Shakespeare? NSFW LGBTQ one acts? Whatever you’re into, the city’s got an event for you. Here’s our picks for the best in eating, drinking and merrymaking this weekend.
Shakespeare in the Park
Enter at 81st Street and Central Park West, or 79th Street and Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10023
We’re not going to lie to you: getting tickets to see Shakespeare in the Park requires commitment, stamina, water, snacks and a comfy chair. In return, though, you’ll be able to enjoy stars under the stars (each person gets two tickets, subject to availability). For the next month, you can witness Phylicia Rashad, Annaleigh Ashford, and Robert Joy performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream, perhaps the bard’s trippiest, hippiest play. Don’t feel like waiting in line? Try your luck with the daily digital draw. Now through Sunday, August 13; see schedule for details; free.
Fresh Fruit Festival
The Wild Project
195 East Third St.
New York, NY 10009
Celebrating its 15th anniversary this summer, the Fresh Fruit Festival is an extravaganza of LGBTQ arts, from movies to monologues, art installations to arias, punk rock to plays. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll nod your head in understanding, you’ll applaud people’s courage and marvel at their talents. The festival seeks to combat homophobia and prejudice through the arts, a mission that’s taken on increased urgency in recent months. If you’re looking for edge, look no further than the After Hours series of NSFW one-acts. Now through Sunday, July 23; see schedule for details; tickets required.
Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival
Returning to the “planet of Brooklyn” for the 13th time, the annual Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival honors both the musical genre and the borough. Scheduled performers during the multi-day event include Oshun, Oswin Benjamin, DMX, Rakim, and Stretch and Bobbito. But you can also catch talks, lectures, a block party, movie screenings, workshops, and talent shows, every one of which shares the festival’s goals of “promoting artistic progression, community building, and social change by bringing together all lovers of this great culture.” Now through Saturday, July 15; see schedule for details; tickets required.
City of Water Day
New York, NY
Standing in midtown, say, or wandering around brownstone Brooklyn or along the Bronx’s boulevards, it’s easy to forget that New York City is surrounded by water. Enter City of Water Day, an annual celebration of the wet stuff, sponsored by the Waterfront Alliance (a nonprofit that seeks to promote and protect the city’s waterfront). On tap (get it?) for this free family festival are a multitude of activities on Governors Island and in Brooklyn, including kayaking, boathouse tours, face-painting, oodles of bubbles, and science experiments. Saturday, July 15; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; free.
Rubin Museum Annual Block Party
150 West 17th Str.
New York, NY 10011
The theme of this year’s block party at the Rubin Museum is Sounds of the Street, a reflection of the museum’s ongoing exhibition dedicated to sound around the world. In addition to touring the exhibition and the Rubin’s other galleries devoted to the arts and cultures of Asia, you can nosh on Nepalese snacks, work on your yoga, listen to poetry, watch members of the New York Suwa Taiko Association undertake the fine art of Japanese percussion, meditate, and take some time to find your own rhythm and hear your own mind. Sunday, July 16; 1 to 4 p.m.; free.