Best Things To Do In New York This Weekend August 11-13

By Jessica Allen

It’s been kind of a rainy summer. Gloom got you down? Here are five activities this weekend just about guaranteed to cheer you up, whether you’re into dog-focused art, campy horror or dragon boats. Best of all? Most of them are free! As in zero, zip, zilch.

dOGUMENTA
Brookfield Place
Waterfront Plaza
230 Vesey St.
New York, NY 10281
(212) 978-1698
www.artsbrookfield.com

While strolling through galleries with Rocky, her rescue dog, academic and art critic Jessica Dawson noticed something: Rocky really liked a lot of what he saw. And thus dOGUMENTA was born, the first art exhibition created especially for canines and their two-legged companions. New pieces by 10 emerging and established artists were specifically selected with an eye toward maximizing dogs’ enjoyment, through particular attention to sight, smell, and touch. Friday, August 11 through Sunday, August 13; 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 to 8 p.m.; free, but RSVP-ing is strongly encouraged.

TromaDance
Peoples Improv Theater
123 East 24th St.
New York, NY 10010
(212) 563-7488
www.tromadance.com

TromaDance is all about parity: there are no fees to submit your work for consideration, so anyone can enter. Likewise, there are no fees to attend, so anyone can come. (All screenings and after-parties are first come, first served.) What will you see once you get there? Good question: The 18th annual TromaDance Film Festival, “the first and only film festival of the people, for the people, and by the people,” showcases a range of independent cinema, both narrative-length and short, most of which show a predilection for horror, from around the world. Friday, August 11; and Saturday, August 12; see schedule for details; free.

Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival
Flushing Meadows—Corona Park
Queens, NY 11375
(718) 767-1776
www.hkdbf-ny.org

We’re pretty excited about the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival this weekend, featuring as it does dragon boat racing, concerts from CASYM Steel Orchestra, martial arts demonstrations from Shaolin monks, and the opportunity to make rice dolls, kites, ribbon flowers, and other traditional crafts. According to legend, the Duanwu Festival commemorates the local fishermen who tried to save poet Qu Yuan from drowning himself after he learned of the invasion of his homeland in 278 BCE. Don’t let their lack of success deter you from going. Saturday, August 12; and Sunday, August 13; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; free; rain or shine.    

2017 Tap+Cork: Brooklyn Beer & Wine Festival
Restoration Plaza
1368 Fulton Street
Brooklyn, NY 11216
(718) 636-6900
http://www.tapcorknyc.com

Billing itself as the “ultimate day party and tasting experience,” the fifth annual Tap+Cork: Brooklyn Beer & Wine Festival returns this Saturday. More than 60 artisanal wines and craft beers—from such purveyors as Five Boroughs Brewing Co., Harlem Brewing Company, Brooklyn Winery, and Mouton Noir—will be available for sniffing, quaffing, and imbibing, along with tons of tasty treats and live music. (Each ticket nets you your choice of 15 little servings of either or both types of drink, plus one souvenir tasting cup.) Saturday, August 12, 2 to 8 p.m.; tickets start at $30; must be 21 or older; rain or shine.  

Love Soul Cinema
Marcus Garvey Park
18 Mount Morris Park West
New York, NY 10027
(212) 340-1874
www.imagenation.us

The annual Imagenation Outdoors Festival offers “soul cinema and music under the stars” all summer long. This weekend you can enjoy the talents of DJ Stormin’ Norman, spinning songs from the era of Soul Train, including hits by Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye and Aretha Franklin. You’ll want to dance, dance, dance—and then stick around for a screening of 13th, an Academy Award-winning documentary about the criminal justice system and rise of mass incarceration in the United States. Something for your body, something for your brain. Saturday, August 12; music starts at 6 p.m.; movie starts at 8 p.m.; free.

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