Summertime. And as the saying goes, the living is easy. But is it really? There’s so much to worry about. Is your recently-come-out-of-hibernation body ready to fit into a bathing suit? Are you prepared for the humiliation of spending your last dollar trying to shoot a wooden duck with an air rifle to impress your girlfriend? And what of the recent evidence that BBQ’ed meat contains enough carcinogens to keep the entire cancer ward at Sloane Kettering occupied for months? But hey, we don’t want to be a downer. It is kind of nice to pick up the morning newspaper in baggy shorts, flip-flops and a greasy T-shirt. And is there any better way to spend a hot lazy summer night than with a cold beer in your hand and a baseball game on the airwaves? Nope, there isn’t.
Water Taxi Beach Opening Day
May 26, 4pm
New York Magazine calls Water Taxi Beach the “Best Place to Pretend You’re in Miami.” Frankly, it’s probably closer to Miami, Ohio, but what do you care? You’re drinking on a beach.
Borden and 2nd Street, Long Island City
River to River Boat, Bike, and Buoy Parade
June 1, 12pm-2pm
The fifth season of the largest free arts festival in New York kicks off with a parade. Expect characters on stilts and an orchestra of bicycle instruments. No word yet on the army of animatronic buoys.
Castle Clinton to South Street Seaport
June 4, 12pm- 4:30pm
Israelis Parading and anti-Zionist Movements no doubt protesting. Oh, and really good food, for everybody.
Fifth Ave, between 57th and 79th Sts.
Brooklyn Pride Parade & Festival
June 10, 11am-6pm
If wearing a hoodie that reads “Brooklyn” isn’t enough of a show of pride, wear it to this festival to further represent the “borough that’s thorough.” Oh shit. Gay Pride in Brooklyn? Ok, we get it. robably less hoodie, more halter top.
Prospect Park West, between 9th 15th Sts
Big Apple BBQ
June 10 and 11, 11am
“Smile for me daddy, I wanna see ya grill!” BBQ experts from across the country converge in New York for a big old cookout — and to get sauce on their ties. Live blues and jazz, a BBQ seminar, and a movie about grilling.
Madison Square Park
Puerto Rican Day parade
June 11, 11am
Now a national event, the Puerto Rican Day Parade began right here in New York. Almost two million people throng the streets every year, making it one of the country’s largest, and craziest, outdoor events. And it’s televised, so you can wear a “Hi Mom” shirt and hope for the best.
Fifth Ave from 44th to 86th Sts.
Museum Mile Festival
June 13, 6pm-9pm
Museums along Fifth Ave offer free outdoor arts and crafts events. And if you switch shoes with your friend at the start and switch back at the end, you’ll know what it’s like to walk a mile in his shoes. So, there’s that.
Fifth Ave, between 82nd and 105th Sts.
Brownstone Republican Club Street Fair
June 17, 11am-6pm
A street fair hosted by the Brownstone Republican Club. Um, fun?
Court Street, between Atlantic Avenue and Joralemon Street
Swedish Midsummer Festival
June 23, 5pm-8 pm
The summer is half over and the days will be getting shorter! Let’s celebrate with Swedish Fish!
Robert F. Wagner Park (west of battery park)
East Side Summer Festival
June 23, 11am-6pm
Has beef with the West Side Summer Festival.
Lexington Ave, between 42nd and 57th Streets
June 24, 2pm
After this parade of sea dwellers everyone heads to the shore to toss fruit into the Atlantic to appease the Sea Gods. If the Sea Gods remain unappeased they throw it back.
The boardwalk and Surf Ave in Coney Island
Gay Pride March
June 25, 12pm
The Pride Parade has a rich history from its beginnings as a “march on Stonewall” to its current status as a party in the streets. And if pride isn’t your favorite deadly sin, we’re sure there will be enough gluttony, lust and envy to go around.
Fifth Ave and 52nd to Christopher and Greenwich Sts.
Check out the Pridefest Street Festival after the march.
Greenwich and Washington Sts. Between Christopher and Spring Sts.
Hot Dog Eating Contest
July 4, 11am
Closely followed by hot dog puking contest.
Coney Island boardwalk
NYC Main Squeeze Accordion Festival
July 8, 2-9 pm
The first-ever accordion festival in New York, maybe the last.
Riverside Park, pier 1 at 70th St.
Lexington Avenue Summerfest
July 9, 11am to 6pm
Celebrate Summer Lexington Ave style.
Lexington Ave, between 34th and 42nd Streets
Bastille Day Street Festival
July 16, 9:30am-6pm
Not your typical street fair fare.Crepes, baguettes and Freedom Fries.
60th St, between Lexington and Fifth Aves
“Power to the People” Fair
July 16, 12pm-8pm
Celebrate Bastille Day with music, belly dancers, sound/projection installation, the big chair, chalk drawing and some more stuff.
NYC Unfolds Street Fair
July 22, 11am to 11pm
Come for the unfolding of the AIDS memorial quilt, stay for the refolding.
Broadway, between Houston and Grand Sts
Lincoln Center Out Of Doors
Lincoln Center has run out of doors. Show your support. Art, dance, and performance events all month.
Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival
August 12 and 13, 9am-6pm
Over 100 teams of Dragon Boat racers try not to be a rotten egg.
Flushing Meadows Park
Village Visiting Neighbors Street Fair
August 12, 11am-6pm
After the street fair we’ll all go to Chelsea and ask to borrow a cup of sugar.
University Place between Waverly Place and14th Street
National Coalition of Ethnic Orgs Festival
August 13, 11am-6pm
A festivus for the rest of us.
Madison Ave, between 42nd and 57th Streets
Harlem Week Uptown Saturday Night
August 19, 11am-8pm
A jammin’ outdoor party to celebrate Harlem Week.
West 135 St, from Malcolm X Blvd. to St. Nicholas Ave
Williamsburg Summer Arts Festival
An outdoor/indoor party on North 6th Street with music, dance, and theater performances, including Prince Paul, Dub Trio, Dr. Israel, Jeannie Hopper, Swingsett, Magabana, a B-Boy Breakdance Competition, and a capoeira showcase. North 6th Street, Brooklyn. willib.org
Festival of East Village Arts
I saw the best minds of my generation… at this weeklong street festival last summer (ok, they might not have been “the best,” but they were a lot of fun). Consider all of the aforementioned street fairs as practice for this mother of them all. Named for the iconic Allen Ginsberg poem, The Howl Festival heads into its fourth year but will take place in early September this time around, instead of late August.
The Lower East Side and the East Village will again play host to the festival’s many performing and visual arts events, and while no formal schedule has yet been posted, you can rest assured that the festival will feature an eclectic mix of innovative and edgy dance, poetry, music and theatrical performances. This is your annual reminder that the East Village isn’t totally condo-fied — yet. Check the website for updates to the schedule.
Tompkins Square Park