11 Ways to Have a Very New York Summer

[Summer Guide 2014]

11 Ways to Have a Very New York Summer
Laura June Kirsch
The Jazz Age Lawn Party returns to Governors Island on June 14-15. See more photos from last year's party.

Drums Along the Hudson
June 1

It's been a while since the Lenape held sway in New York. (Maybe those trinkets weren't such a great deal after all.) But Native Americans will make their presence felt at Drums Along the Hudson, a festival in Inwood Hill Park where the Thunderbird American Indian dancers will lead the powwow. From July 25 to 27, many of those same drummers will head to the Queens County Farm Museum for a midsummer dance competition among 40 Indian nations. Inwood Hill Park, 218th Street and Indian Road, drumsalongthehudson.org; Queens County Farm Museum, 73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Queens, queensfarm.org

Staten Island Yankees and Brooklyn Cyclones
June 13

You could brave the crowds to down garlic fries at Yankee Stadium or shake hands with Mr. Met. Or you could support one of New York's lesser-known clubs. Sure, the concessions are lackluster and the fielding often error-filled, but tickets start at a mere $9. On June 13, the Staten Island Yankees will kick off a mini-Subway Series as they face off against the Mets' farm team, the Brooklyn Cyclones, in the "Battle for the Bridge"; the Cyclones return the favor at their Coney Island home the following night. Richmond County Bank Ballpark, 75 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, statenisland.yankees.milb.com; MCU Park, 1904 Surf Avenue, Brooklyn, brooklyncyclones.com

Jazz Age Lawn Party
June 14–15

You could hop aboard the Hampton Jitney and hope to catch a glimpse of Gatsby's green light. But for a more surefire source of 1920s style, dust off your spats and catch a free ferry to Governors Island for this plein air costume party. Prohibition-inspired revelers can enter a Charleston dance contest, caress 1920s motor cars, or peruse vintage gramophones while sipping era-appropriate cocktails. Dance troupes, vaudevillians, follies girls, and Michael Arenella and his Dreamland Orchestra provide added entertainment. Ain't they got fun? Governors Island, jazzagelawnparty.com

The Mermaid Parade
June 21

Though Coney Island continues its inexorable march toward gentrification, there's still apparently a place for exposed breasts, seaweed wigs, and debatably lewd marine life. Yes, the Mermaid Parade will again wend its way through Brooklyn's streets as 1,500 roisterers celebrate the solstice by paying homage to Neptune and his watery realm. This year's cavalcade will include the Hungry March Band, Bensonhurst Car Clubs, and floats from the neighboring New York Aquarium. West 21st Street and Surf Avenue, Brooklyn, coneyisland.com

Adventures NYC
June 21–22

Few would dispute New York City's urban credentials—and yet more than a quarter of our city's square footage is given over to parkland, beaches, nature preserves, etc. To learn how best to take advantage of Gotham's wild side, join the New York City Parks Department for this festival offering free instruction in sports, games, and outdoor pursuits. Held in Central Park and Marine Park, activities include rock climbing, guided canoe tours, and stand-up paddle boarding. Central Park at 72nd Street; Marine Park, East 33rd Street and Avenue U, Brooklyn, nycgovparks.org

Gay Pride March
June 29

With more and more states legalizing gay marriage, the LGBT community and those who love to wave at them have a lot to celebrate this June. Some 350,000 people will march down the lavender line or wave from the sidewalk. After the march, merrymakers can sidle over to PrideFest for street food and entertainment. And once the sun sets, they can don their party gear (or, it being Pride, take it off) for a dance party on the pier. March, starts at 36th Street and Fifth Avenue; PrideFest, Hudson Street; Dance, Hudson River Park, Pier 26, nycpride.org

Independence Day
July 4

Suck it, New Jersey. Macy's has announced that it will move the July 4th fireworks extravaganza from the Hudson back to the East River. Of course, pyrotechnics are only one way to celebrate our freedom from those nasty Brits. For a uniquely American form of rejoicing (because what is more American than processed meats, spectacle, and gluttony?), you can witness Coney Island's annual hot dog eating contest in which participants struggle to down dozens of frankfurters in just 10 minutes. East River, macys.com/fireworks; Nathan's Famous, 1310 Surf Avenue, Brooklyn, nathansfamous.com Soloski

Bastille Day
July 13

America isn't the sort of country to celebrate a prison break, but that hasn't stopped French ex-pats fêting Bastille Day. Americans with a revolutionary spirit (and/or a taste for Pernod) can don a beret at parties in Manhattan or Brooklyn. The Upper East Side version includes mimes, cancan dancers, and a wine and cheese tasting, while the Brooklyn version features a pétanque tournament. 60th Street at Lexington Avenue, bastilledayny.com; Smith Street, Brooklyn, smithstreetbk.com

Brooklyn Bridge Swim
July 20

As unlikely as it seems, water samples from the East River meet the federal guidelines for safe swimming. So while a crawl from Brooklyn Bridge Park to the East River Park still has its dangers (currents, flotsam and jetsam), communicable illnesses likely aren't among them. This annual swim includes 400 riparians, among them teams from Manhattan and Brooklyn, competing in "The Battle of the Bridge." Other summer events include the Statue of Liberty Swim on June 6 and the Governors Island Swim on June 22. Brooklyn Bridge Park, nycswim.org

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The Lenape didn't sell Manhattan for trinkets. It was the Canarsee tribe. They sold the rights to use the land and not the land itself. The price? It wasn't trinkets (ho ho ho Village Voice!) as history books in the 1950's touted. No, the Canarsee bargained the land in exchange for LOTS of farming tools, cloth, iron pots and knives. 

Lots of Lenape people live in New York and Canada. 

They love reading erroneous references to their people being Manhattan trinket exchangers. 


Calm down people that cigarette is not lit nor real.   Imagination goes a long way . . . get you some!

Cass Moore
Cass Moore

Leave the cig at home luvvie, it's not a good look.

MAd KuSh
MAd KuSh

Wat a smile with smoking

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