58 First Dates: Here's Your 2015 NYC Summer Events Guide

Watch Top Gun aboard the U.S.S. Intrepid on May 22.
Watch Top Gun aboard the U.S.S. Intrepid on May 22.
Paramount Pictures

Why meet at a familiar bar and slip into old habits on a date? Instead, hit up one of these nearly 60 events happening in New York this summer, and nudge yourself out of your comfort zone a little. Whether your first date or your hundredth — and whether of the platonic or romantic variety — hell, whether it's a three-person date, a double date, or a date with your damn self — there are movies, concerts, and food festivals, events rich with history and culture, and rallies that encourage you to chart your own path. There's nothing sweeter than French cinema in the park (Films on the Green) or Shakespeare under the stars (The Public Theater)...or all-you-can-eat ice cream, to get literal (the Brooklyn Ice Cream Takedown). Any date would be impressed by the Lobster Rumble or Royal Ballet, but maybe save Green-Wood Cemetery's spooky midnight re-creation of Alice in Wonderland for a more adventurous paramour. Nathan's Famous hot dog eating competition is a Coney Island institution, but it probably sends the wrong message for a first date. Our list runs in chronological order, with summer-long series appearing under the date of their premiere. Seek out the best things to do every day with our New York Events calendar.

Intrepid Summer Movie Series May 22–August 6

The Intrepid Museum's seventh annual edition of this outdoor program — which screens science-themed movies, free of charge, on the exhibit's stunning Flight Deck — comes equipped with a special guest speaker to accompany each showing. The elected personalities include Scott D. Altman, a former NASA astronaut and Navy pilot, who introduces Top Gun on May 22; Dr. Charles Marmar, chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the NYU Langone Medical Center, who contextualizes the Sam Rockwell–led Moon on July 16; and Jeffrey Kluger, who presents Ron Howard's Apollo 13 (an adaptation of Kluger and Jim Lovell's book) on July 30. Intrepid Museum, Pier 86, West 46th Street and Twelfth Avenue, intrepidmuseum.org — Danny King

Shakespeare in the Park May 27–July 5, July 23–August 23

If you're not looking forward to this summer tradition, it must be because you've never been before. The legacy of the Public Theater's free Shakespeare in the Park is well deserved: Broadway-grade productions, star casts, and a B.Y.O. food and drink policy, all enjoyed under the stars in one of the more gorgeous sections of Central Park. This year Tony nominee Mark Greif directs The Tempest, starring Academy Award nominee Sam Waterston and Modern Family's Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Return in July for Cymbeline, directed by Tony winner Daniel Sullivan with veterans Lily Rabe and Hamish Linklater. The Delacorte Theater, 81 Central Park West, publictheater.org — Heather Baysa

Films on the Green May 29–July 31

This festival uses an assortment of scenic locations — Central Park's Cedar Hill, Washington Square Park, Tompkins Square Park, Riverside Park Pier, and Brooklyn's Transmitter Park — to deliver a sampling of both classic and contemporary French cinema. The series begins in Central Park with Roger Vadim's And God Created Woman, a star-making success for Brigitte Bardot. Caroline Bottaro's Queen to Play (July 17, Riverside Park Pier I), featuring a curious duo in Kevin Kline and Sandrine Bonnaire, and Éric Rohmer's La Collectionneuse (July 31, Transmitter Park) are among the additional titles on the docket. Various locations, frenchculture.org — King

Rooftop Films May 29–August 22

The nineteenth annual Rooftop Films Summer Series spreads across nineteen locations, each of them offering packed-house presentations of live music, independent movies, and the occasional post-screening after-party. Industry City, the venue that opens the series, contains numerous highlights throughout the summer, from Zachary Treitz's Civil War–set Men Go to Battle (screening here on July 3), which earned strong reviews at the Tribeca Film Festival, to Joe Swanberg's Digging for Fire, presented on August 18 with the director there in person. Industry City, 220 36th Street, Brooklyn, rooftopfilms.com — King

Taste of Times Square June 1

Taste of Times Square proves that the tourist-heavy neighborhood isn't entirely Disney World North. Sample dishes like tacos al pastor from chef Julian Medina's celebrated Toloache, bacon-smoked Oreos from Urbo, the fine-dining megaplex, or eggplant parm from Carmine's, the old-school Italian that even natives deign to visit. For the first time, there will also be a beer garden at the festival, featuring ales and lagers from Heartland Brewery. Broadway between 45th and 47th streets, timessquarenyc.org — Alanna Schubach

The crowd for St. Vincent's Celebrate Brooklyn show on August 9, 2014
The crowd for St. Vincent's Celebrate Brooklyn show on August 9, 2014
Photo by Jena Ardell for the Village Voice

Celebrate Brooklyn! June 3–August 12

The annual summer-long festival of music, dance, literature, and film at the Prospect Park Bandshell has become way too huge to even get into here. That said, consider this random selection of highlights: Free performances by Lucius, Lucinda Williams, Dance Brazil, Taylor Mac, tUnE-yArDs, and a wide variety of others. Benefit shows from Interpol, Modest Mouse, and Edward Sharpe. An outdoor screening of Paris Is Burning. Get the picture? Yeah, you do. Now go! Prospect Park Bandshell, Prospect Park, Brooklyn, bricartsmedia.org — Baysa

Dark Wonderland: A Nighttime Festival of Visionary Performance June 4–31, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays

2015 marks the 150th anniversary of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and all month, Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery will stage "Dark Wonderland," an interactive tribute. The National Historic Landmark, with its winding paths, marble sculptures, and unearthly mood, is an apt setting for revisiting Lewis Carroll's fantastic world. Visitors take a candlelit stroll through the cemetery, which concludes with Alice-inspired performances from musicians, dancers, and actors. Each weekend features a new lineup, and tickets are $25. Green-Wood Cemetery, 500 25th Street, Brooklyn, green-wood.com — Schubach

Lobster Rumble June 4

Tasting Table hosts this decadent competition, in which 25 contenders come together to see whose lobster roll reigns supreme. Serving up their swankiest sandwiches at Lobster Rumble are purveyors like David Burke Fishtail, the John Dory Oyster Bar, Red Hook Lobster Pound, and more. Wash down all that fresh crustacean with beer, cocktails, and wine, and round out the meal with sweets from spots like Sullivan Street Bakery. Tickets are steep, at $165, but proceeds benefit Share Our Strength. Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street, tastingtable.com — Schubach

The New York Heritage Salon and Bounty June 5

Toasting the Town, a publication that encourages New Yorkers to explore their city's past, hosts the New York Heritage Salon and Bounty tonight. This swank celebration takes visitors on a journey through history via food and drink recipes from NYC's many eras. The evening includes unlimited tastings, live music and dancing, and a silent auction to benefit Green Bronx Machine, all in the classic, Neo-Renaissance setting of the Prince George Ballroom. 15 East 27th Street, toastingthetown.com — Schubach

DigiFest June 6

Citi Field becomes teenybopper heaven today as it hosts DigiFest, a touring event that began as a platform for social-media stars but now welcomes celebs from more traditional venues as well. The all-day extravaganza includes food, games, and four stages. Demi Lovato headlines, but also performing are Jack & Jack, teenagers from Omaha who rocketed to fame via Vine; Selfie C, whose popularity stems from her YouTube videos on the GLAMMS channel; and more. Citi Field, 123-01 Roosevelt Avenue, Queens, thedigitour.com — Schubach

Sleigh Bells open for Run the Jewels on June 14 as part of Northside Festival. Vince Staples also performs.
Sleigh Bells open for Run the Jewels on June 14 as part of Northside Festival. Vince Staples also performs.
Publicity Photo

Northside Festival June 8–14 If you really commit yourself to the Northside Festival, you can experience something close to a year's worth of Williamsburg entertainment in one compact week. More than 400 bands flood the neighborhood's many concert venues — McCarren Park included — with Best Coast, Zola Jesus, Neko Case, and Sleigh Bells fronting 2015's lineup. Equally exciting is the bevy of independent films by local filmmakers screening at Nitehawk Cinema, as well as Brooklyn Brewery's series of talks and workshops by the borough's entrepreneurial tech innovators. And don't miss Williamsburg Walks, Northside's visually striking centerpiece during which Bedford Avenue is closed off to traffic and transformed into a public park, grass and all. Artists are invited to decorate the main thoroughfare, street performers roam, and picnicking is rampant. Grab an ice cream and you won't find a better block party than this. Through June 14, various locations in Williamsburg and Greenpoint, Brooklyn, northsidefestival.com, free–$315 — Baysa

Museum Mile Festival June 9

This evening, those stately institutions along Fifth Avenue throw open their doors and welcome visitors to explore their galleries for free. Naturally, the Met and the Guggenheim are major draws in the Museum Mile Festival, but El Museo del Barrio, the Africa Center, and the Museum of the City of New York are just as brimming with artistic and cultural riches. Festivities kick off at the Cooper Hewitt, and in between museum visits there are interactive activities for children. Fifth Avenue from 82nd to 105th street, museummilefestival.org — Schubach

Bryant Park Word for Word Series June 10–September 22

Bryant Park's Reading Room, a free, open-air library, hosts the Word for Word Reading Series, featuring an eclectic lineup of writers, publishers, and book groups. Today, see Peaches, the irreverent performer whose lyrics prove there are still envelopes left to push, in conversation with Lorraine Ali, senior writer for the Los Angeles Times. And throughout the summer, drop in for events as disparate as a Ulysses discussion and a lecture on the films of Paul Thomas Anderson. Bryant Park Reading Room, Bryant Park, bryantpark.org — Schubach

Shamanic Power Animal Workshop June 10

If you ever went to art school, or lived in Brooklyn for any substantial amount of time, you probably know someone who describes him- or herself as a "shaman." Not to knock your Bushwick neighbor's legitimacy, but Larish Koronowski is the real deal, coming from a long ancestral line of Tuvan hereditary shamans. In tonight's lecture and workshop, she breaks down the shamanic practice to cultivate a deeper understanding of what the mystical healers actually do. Participants will be guided in determining their own spirit animal and asked to participate in traditional dance and offerings. Seated observers are invited to watch from the sidelines. Rubin Museum of Art, 150 West 17th Street, rubinmuseum.org — Baysa

WOW: Women of the World Festival June 11–14

A celebration with a message, the WOW: Women of the World Festival brings musicians, speakers, artists, and activists to the Apollo. Performers range from singer-songwriter Toshi Reagon, known for her progressive, genre-blending music as well as the operas she wrote with her mother, Bernice Johnson Reagon, to Naomi Wolf, author of the groundbreaking The Beauty Myth and, most recently, Vagina: A New Biography. Participants are united by the goals of celebrating women and making the world more hospitable to people from all walks of life. Apollo Theater, 253 West 125th Street, apollotheater.org — Schubach

The Jazz Age Lawn Party returns for two weekends this summer.
The Jazz Age Lawn Party returns for two weekends this summer.
Photo by Laura June Kirsch for the Village Voice

Jazz Age Lawn Party June 13–14, August 15–16

Even without a 1.21 gigawatt power source, the ferry to Governors Island will take visitors back in time for the Jazz Age Lawn Party. (See our story on the music of the Jazz Age Lawn Party) Picnickers can check out vintage motorcars, cut a rug in the Charleston contest, and sip Prohibition-era cocktails (shh!). Or they can relax and take in such acts as quarreling love, songbirds Gelber & Manning, and the hot jazz of Michael Arenella and his Dreamland Orchestra. Governors Island, jazzagelawnparty.com — Rob Staeger

Insiders expect another tight race between brisket and ribs this summer. (See more photos from the Big Apple Barbecue.)
Insiders expect another tight race between brisket and ribs this summer. (See more photos from the Big Apple Barbecue.)
Photo by Adam Robb for the Village Voice

Big Apple Barbecue Block Party June 13–14

There'll be no better time this summer to queue up for the 'cue. This annual block party prides itself on transplanting all the sensuous experiences of a real Southern pit BBQ: It's a heady combo of taste, aroma, and country music. Pit masters hail from across the country, with the meaty goodness of Hill Country, Dinosaur, Blue Smoke, and other BBQ favorites all in one place. Go V.I.P. with a Big Piggin' Pass that ensures "all the 'cue is brought to you." Madison Square Park, bigapplebbq.org — Baysa

The Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival runs from June 13–August 29.
The Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival runs from June 13–August 29.
Nika Kramer

Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival June 13–August 29

Pack a picnic, head for the hills, and celebrate artists from across America and abroad, starting with Ira Glass and Monica Bill Barnes in Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host and continuing with 350 diverse shows in two theaters and on a free outdoor stage. On deck are the Martha Graham Dance Company, Ballet British Columbia, the L.A. Dance Project, Nederlands Dans Theater 2, Dorrance Dance, Liz Gerring Dance, and dozens more. Jacob's Pillow, 358 George Carter Road, Becket, MA, jacobspillow.org — Elizabeth Zimmer

Grown Ass Carnival June 14

Lady Parts Justice, a national movement that advocates for reproductive rights through the unifying power of comedy, hosts a Grown Ass Carnival today at the woman-owned the Creek and the Cave. Try your hand at adult versions of games like bingo and darts, gawk at the sideshow acts, and stick around for an evening of sexual storytelling from comics like Sara Benincasa and Corinne Fisher. The Creek's kitchen fuels your afternoon with Cal-Mex grub and margaritas. The Creek and the Cave, 10-93 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, facebook.com/ladypartsjustice — Schubach

Kulturfest June 14–21

This week Kulturfest, the first international celebration of the impact of Jewish culture, brings live music, theater, dance, and more to NYC. Shake up your usual Sunday-morning routine by joining a klezmer brunch at City Winery, see The Mar Vista, a play that transports audiences from ancient Egypt to 1950s Cincinnati, or watch To Life, a German drama about a former singer of Yiddish songs who embarks on an unusual friendship with a man 30 years her junior. Various locations, kulturfestnyc.org — Schubach

Anywhere in Time: A Conlon Nancarrow Festival June 17–28

Anywhere in Time explores the career of Conlon Nancarrow, a U.S.-Mexican composer among the first to write for player piano. This was necessitated by his politics: After fighting against Franco in the Spanish Civil War, Nancarrow was refused entry to the U.S. and relocated to Mexico, losing former collaborators in the process. Ultimately, his work found support from John Cage and Merce Cunningham; see his compositions interpreted by musicians and artists at this exhibit. Whitney Museum of American Art, 99 Gansevoort Street, whitney.org — Schubach

BAMcinemaFest June 17–28

In the words of the Voice's Calum Marsh, who covered the festival for the paper last year, BAMcinemaFest "[boasts] some of the most exciting independent features to premiere in New York all year" — and 2015's seventh annual edition will be no exception. The flagship selections alone speak for themselves: James Ponsoldt's opening-night The End of the Tour, starring Jason Segel as David Foster Wallace; Sean Baker's closing-night Tangerine, shot on an iPhone 5S; and the centerpiece title, Queen of Earth, which reunites Elisabeth Moss with her Listen Up Philip director, Alex Ross Perry. BAM Rose Cinemas, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, bam.org — King

NYC Dance Week June 18–27

You can learn nothing more standing still! Take advantage of this fourth annual opportunity to join free dance and fitness classes all over the city, as studios invite you to try out new and familiar forms. Various locations, nycdanceweek.org — Zimmer

Sin Cities: Shanghai June 19

In the 1930s, before the Flamingo was a twinkle in Bugsy Siegel's eye, three towns vied for the title of Sin City: Paris, Berlin, and Shanghai, known as "the wickedest city in the world." The sultry aesthetes of Dances of Vice will ensure the Chinese port lives down to its rep in the first of three vintage nightlife experiences reveling in the glories of sins past. The DTA, 60 Pine Street, dancesofvice.com — Staeger

Nolafunk Crawfish and Music Festival June 20

Pinch the tails, suck the heads: Eating crawfish takes a minute to learn, and a (well-spent) lifetime to master. What better setting to down a platter of mudbugs than Governors Island, as the James Brown Dance Party fills the air with funky notes? New Orleans stalwarts Flow Tribe, New Breed Brass Band, and Papa Mali will also be on hand, bringing the 504 to the 212. Governors Club, Governors Island, nolafunk.com — Staeger

Hawaiian Islands Liberty Challenge June 20

Outrigger paddling is little known to New Yorkers: The ancient sport has its origins in Polynesia, and was instrumental in the migration of people across the South Pacific. At today's Hawaiian Islands Liberty Challenge, teams from throughout the globe will race on the Hudson in some of the fastest human-powered watercrafts. Along with the competition, expect live Polynesian music and dance, food, and activities for children. Hudson River Park, Pier 26, libertyoutrigger.org — Schubach

Mermaids will again leave their ocean homes on June 20 for their annual summit with the people of New York.
Mermaids will again leave their ocean homes on June 20 for their annual summit with the people of New York.
Photo by C.S. Muncy for the Village Voice

Mermaid Parade June 20

You might think parades wouldn't come naturally to mythological creatures with no feet. You'd be wrong. Mermaids have been parading through Coney Island for 33 years, mixing high and low culture as naturally as fusing skin and scales. Participants in handmade costumes on elaborate floats turn Surf Avenue into an undersea thoroughfare, celebrating summer in inimitable Coney Island style. Surf Avenue between West 21st and West 10th, Coney Island, coneyisland.com — Staeger

Taste of Jewish Culture Street Fair June 21

So much of New York City culture and cuisine stems from Jewish culture. This annual foodie festival by Workmen's Circle illustrates that in the most delicious way. Stroll Sixth Avenue and enjoy NYC's favorite breakfast item — the bagel and schmear — from standards like Baz Bagel & Restaurant or Black Seed Bagel. Sample Mile End's modern, and kind of Canadian, incarnation of the classic Jewish deli, or discover the innovative flavor creations (like an out-of-this-world olive oil) by OddFellows Ice Cream Co. Sixth Avenue and 46th Street, circle.org — Baysa

Bryant Park Summer Film Festival June 22–August 24

Running each Monday evening for two months, this outdoor series offers considerable lounge time: The lawn opens at 5 p.m. (blankets and picnic materials are encouraged), but the movies don't start until a few hours later, at sundown. The Bryant Park website has yet to document the lineup of selections, but many of the featured titles of recent years — Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy, Don Siegel's Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Stanley Kubrick's The Shining — inspire high expectations. Bryant Park, 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue, bryantpark.org — King

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and family in the 2014 Pride March
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and family in the 2014 Pride March
Photo by C.S. Muncy for the Village Voice

Pride Week June 23–28

Pride Week boasts the full spectrum of events and celebrations, from the family-friendly to the irreverent. Bring the kids to a Finding Nemo screening on Pier 63 on Tuesday, but drop them with the babysitter so you can party with thousands when the Hammerstein Ballroom is made into a mega-club on Saturday. And walk in the march down Fifth Avenue, led by this year's grand marshals, Sirs Derek Jacobi and Ian McKellen. Various locations, nycpride.org — Schubach

Royal Ballet June 23–28

England's venerable troupe returns, for the first time in more than a decade, under the direction of Kevin O'Hare and with a clutch of works by Britain's best choreographers, including Frederick Ashton (his delightful interpretation of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream), Kenneth MacMillan, Wayne McGregor, Liam Scarlett, and Christopher Wheeldon. Opening night's a gala honoring Wheeldon. David H. Koch Theater, 20 Lincoln Center Plaza, davidhkochtheater.com — Zimmer

Häxan screening w/ live score June 25–26

Banned in the U.S. for depravity, the 1922 silent film Witchcraft Through the Ages (Häxan) wants to have its devil's-food cake and eat it, too — it celebrates the superstition it condemns, particularly a lurid depiction of a Black Mass. The Morbid Anatomy Museum is screening this twisted gem accompanied by vintage 78s — including some polka music discovered alongside this 16mm print. Diabolical! Morbid Anatomy Museum, 424-A Third Avenue, Brooklyn, morbidanatomymuseum.org — Staeger

Steffani Jemison: Promise Machine June 25–27

In tandem with its Migration Series exhibit, MoMA presents "Steffani Jemison: Promise Machine," a multimedia work from the Brooklyn-based artist that contextualizes Jacob Lawrence's depiction of African Americans' northward journey. Lawrence's masterpieces were supported by a women's association called the Utopia Neighborhood Club, whose dream of a better world shaped Jemison's own creations. The artist performs a libretto that pays tribute to particular Lawrence paintings on display, which is followed by lectures and discussions. Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street, moma.org — Schubach

FarmBorough Country Music Festival June 26–28

FarmBorough isn't an offhand way to insult Staten Island, if that's what you were thinking. It's New York's brand-new country music festival, and it's kicking up its boots on Randalls Island, starting today. Grab your headwear most closely shaped like a Stetson and get on over to see Dierks Bentley, Brad Paisley, Luke Bryan, and many more. Don't miss Maddie & Tae, whose single "Girl in a Country Song" is brilliant, genre-subversive fun. Randalls Island Park, farmboroughfestival.com — Baysa

Christopher Williams June 26–28

Combining an extravagant imagination with exotic music and exquisite costumes, Williams brings four short dances inspired by baroque opera and heroes of ancient myths and legend, and featuring special guest Douglas Dunn & Dancers. 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Avenue, 92Y.org — Zimmer

Contemporary Color June 27–28

Apparently we weren't the only color guard groupies in high school. David Byrne is also a fan of the flag-spinning, competitive-dancing "sport of the arts." He's organized this exciting showcase during which the country's elite color guard teams will converge in Brooklyn to perform alongside live music. The big names include St. Vincent, Lucius, Devonté Hynes, Zola Jesus, Nelly Furtado, and of course Byrne himself. We can, with some confidence, say that you've never seen a concert like this before. Barclays Center, 620 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, bam.org — Baysa

Louis Armstrong International Music Festival June 29

Louis Armstrong had close ties to Queens: In 1943, he was already famous worldwide, but he and his wife chose to move into a small house in Corona, where they lived for the rest of their lives. The Louis Armstrong International Music Festival celebrates the jazz legend's contributions to the borough, and marks the 50th anniversary of his concert at the 1964 World's Fair. Come to the Unisphere today for live music, dancing, and food. Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, kupferbergcenter.org — Schubach

Independence Day Weekend at Nitehawk July 3–5

Nitehawk celebrates this year's Fourth of July weekend with three days of U.S.A.-themed brunch and midnight screenings. The featured movies range from the canonical (Steven Spielberg's Jaws) to the unexpected (Annelise Meineche's softcore Without a Stitch, which was initially hobbled by censorship issues in America). As with the rest of the program — which includes Paul Verhoeven's Starship Troopers and Hal Needham's Smokey and the Bandit — these movies are paired with Independence Day–flavored food-and-drink options. Nitehawk Cinema, 136 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn, nitehawkcinema.com — King

Liberty Belle Extravaganza July 4

When the Declaration of Independence was written, you can bet some of the signatories wished there were burlesque dancers around. (Lookin' at you, Ben Franklin.) The Liberty Belle Extravaganza realizes Franklin's dream by celebrating Independence Day in vintage, bawdy style atop the Empire Hotel. Swing bands, go-go, magicians...firecrackers everywhere you look. All under a retractable roof so the party happens rain or shine. Empire Hotel, Level R, 44 West 63rd Street, libertybelleextravaganza.com — Staeger

As American as overeating, the Nathan's Famous hot dog eating contest returns July 4.
As American as overeating, the Nathan's Famous hot dog eating contest returns July 4.
Photo by Nathan "Igor" Smith for the Village Voice

Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest July 4

We've said it before and we'll say it again — there's nothing more American than an eating contest, and there's nothing more Coney Island than Nathan's Famous. That's why this nationally televised gorge-fest has all the makings of one great Fourth of July activity for its beachgoing spectators. Joey Chestnut of San Jose holds the record with 69 hot dogs in ten minutes, and he's looking to make this year his ninth straight win. Come out and cheer for him, or just unabashed excess in general. Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs, 1310 Surf Avenue, Brooklyn, nathansfamous.com — Baysa

Endless Summer – Mods vs. Rockers July 4

In A Hard Day's Night, Ringo is asked if he's a mod or a rocker. "I'm a mocker," he replies. The lines between the two get blurry sometimes. Endless Summer celebrates early-Sixties styles of every sort with a beach party on the roof of the Gansevoort Park hotel, with cocktails, barbecue, go-go, and live bands laying down surf rock, rockabilly, and more. Groovy. Gansevoort Park Hotel, 420 Park Avenue South, dancesofvice.com — Staeger

Celebrate the Fourth of July with cred at the Indie-pendence Day Festival.
Celebrate the Fourth of July with cred at the Indie-pendence Day Festival.
Sarah Baker

Indie-pendence Day Festival July 4

This Fourth of July independent comedy marathon is back for a second year. Gather at the PIT for twelve consecutive shows from noon until midnight by 36 teams performing short-form, long-form, and musical-form improv. Hang out and laugh all day with bands, ping-pong, and a B.Y.O.-meat BBQ spread. Beer sponsors will pour out the drink specials and the NYC fireworks will be telecast for all those patriotic but not patriotic enough to brave the crowds. The Peoples Improv Theater, 123 East 24th Street, thepit-nyc.com — Baysa

SyFy's Movies With a View July 5–August 27

The nearest drive-in is an hour away, but the outdoor movie experience is still in reach. Movies with a View screens an eclectic mix of films in Brooklyn Bridge Park every Thursday, with classics like High Noon or Dr. Strangelove rubbing elbows with more modern fare like Attack the Block. And if you can't sink your teeth into Sharknado 2, well...there's always that spectacular skyline. Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn, brooklynbridgepark.org — Staeger

Lincoln Center Festival July 6–August 2

Each summer, a dazzling range of performing- arts acts from around the globe come to NYC for the Lincoln Center Festival. This year's crown jewel is a live performance of music from the films of Tim Burton, featuring a full orchestra, choir, and the composer himself, Danny Elfman. Expand your horizons further and see the ballet The Peony Pavilion, a ghostly love story from China; Ninagawa Company's theatrical version of the Haruki Murakami novel Kafka on the Shore, and more. Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, 70 Lincoln Center Plaza, lincolncenterfestival.org — Schubach

National Ballet of China July 8–12

The Lincoln Center Festival brings us that perennial ode to doomed romance, The Peony Pavilion, choreographed by Fei Bo to an original score by Guo Wenjing. The run concludes with one of the oddest, most militaristic ballets you'll ever see, The Red Detachment of Women, in which pointe shoes meet bayonets. Staged for President Nixon during his 1972 visit to China and made into a popular film, it was choreographed by Li Chenxiang, Jiang Zuhui, and Wang Xixian and influenced by the Soviet style. David H. Koch Theater, 20 Lincoln Center Plaza, davidhkochtheater.com — Zimmer

McCarren Park SummerScreen July 8–August 12

Launched in 2006 with an exhibition of Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing at the McCarren Park Pool, this weekly, Wednesday-evening series supplements its outdoor screenings with food vendors and live music. The program for this summer's edition — presented by Northside Media Group (the publisher of The L Magazine and Brooklyn Magazine) — opens with Amy Heckerling's Clueless on July 8 and concludes with an "Audience Pick" on August 12. The time in between, meanwhile, is filled in with the likes of David Wain's Wet Hot American Summer (July 15) and Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused (July 29). McCarren Park, Bedford Avenue and North 12th Street, Brooklyn, summerscreen.org — King

Japan Cuts July 9–19

The website for Japan Cuts, that reliable annual provider of contemporary Japanese cinema, promises an "exciting and expanded ninth edition," and we'll have to take their word for it — the full lineup isn't set to be listed until June. But the selections that have been revealed so far are indeed cloaked with intrigue: the photographer and director Shingo Wakagi's Asleep, adapted from a 1989 novel by Banana Yoshimoto, and Masaharu Take's 100 Yen Love, which the Variety critic Peter Debruge enticingly describes as "a Japanese indie with the soul of a 1970s American film — a project that might've caught Hal Ashby's eye." Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street, japansociety.org — King

Taylor Swift July 10–11

What's summer without an appearance by our first and best Global Welcome Ambassador? Even though the show technically takes place in New Jersey, we like to think Taylor is still repping NYC with this one, so shake it off, cover up your belly button, grab your vintage Polaroid, and get on over the river. The Swift One has proved herself a pop-music powerhouse with this new album, but more than that, a pop-branding powerhouse. Let yourself get caught up in the fantasy of the 1989 World Tour. MetLife Stadium, One MetLife Stadium Drive, East Rutherford, New Jersey, ticketmaster.com — Baysa

The Rise of Sneaker Culture July 10–October 4

If you've ever seen a line wrapping around the block as people await the release of new Air Jordans, you know that sneakers are more than just footwear. Starting today, the Brooklyn Museum explores how they evolved into works of art in "The Rise of Sneaker Culture." See 150 pairs of shoes from a range of brands, some made in collaboration with esteemed contemporary artists. Also on display are photos, film clips, and drawings tracking the history of the sneaker. Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, brooklynmuseum.org — Schubach

The 4Knots Music Festival moves to Hudson River Park this year.
The 4Knots Music Festival moves to Hudson River Park this year.
Photo by Nate "Igor" Smith for the Village Voice

4Knots Music Festival July 11

The Voice's annual 4Knots Music Festival is celebrating the first year in its new location on Pier 84 in Hudson River Park. Different river, same deal: all-day indie music, dancing, and drinking with coastal views. This year's headliners are Super Furry Animals, Mikal Cronin, and the boys of Twin Peaks, preceded by Happyness, Heaters, and Meatbodies, with more bands to come. Spring for the V.I.P. ticket to access the private viewing area with complimentary drinks and snacks. Pier 84, Hudson River Park, villagevoice.com — Baysa

Brooklyn Ice Cream Takedown July 12

What is best in life? To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and...all-you-can-eat ice cream? Brooklyn's Ice Cream Takedown offers the opportunity for both, as the stone-cold masters of frozen desserts face off in a no- ingredient-barred ice cream slobberknocker. Meanwhile, attendees get to enjoy the spoils of war with unlimited tasting privileges. Victory — another dish best served cold. Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club, 514 Union Street, Brooklyn, thetakedowns.com — Staeger

Fire Island Dance Festival July 17–19

Gather with the glitterati at a stunning site on the Great South Bay, lift a glass, and watch wonderful dancers perform favorite works at one of several performances, all to raise funds for Dancers Responding to AIDS. The program for this 21st season includes works by Stephen Petronio, Pontus Lidberg, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Joshua Beamish, Al Blackstone, Charlie Williams, Manuel Vignoulle, and Dwight Rhoden, performed by dancers from Ailey II, Miami City Ballet, Boston Ballet, Ballet Hispanico, 10 Hairy Legs, and other troupes. Fire Island Pines, NY, dradance.org

— Zimmer

Animation Block Party July 30–August 2

Dr. Frankenstein should have been an animator — imbuing a drawing with life would have been right up his alley. The Animation Block Party at Rooftop Films and BAMcinématek is something of a mad scientists' convention, as animators from around the world share their eye-popping creations. All genres are represented here, shorts and features alike, for four days of screenings and events. Rooftop Films and BAMcinématek, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, animationblock.com — Staeger

Full Moon Festival August 1

Inspired by the beach parties on the Thai island of Ko Pha Ngan, the Full Moon Festival is a bit under the radar compared to larger — and more overwhelming — EDM blowouts like Electric Zoo. Drawing a smaller crowd to the beach on Governors Island, the event features acts like Life on Planets, a Baltimore duo that blends chilled-out indie rock and electronic music. Plus, there's food from classy vendors — last year brought in Mile End, among others — to fuel the all-night dancing. Governors Island, fullmoonfest.com — Schubach

BalletX August 11–12

Philadelphia's premier contemporary ballet troupe comes to town with its unique, full-length Sunset, o639 Hours, a glorious 2014 collaboration between founding choreographer Matthew Neenan and New Zealand–born composer Rosie Langabeer. Set in and around the Pacific Ocean in 1938, it features ten dancers who, among other things, transform themselves into an aeroplane. The score is played live, and the four versatile musicians share the stage with the dancers. Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue, joyce.org — Zimmer

New York Fringe Festival August 14–30

The Fringe Festival, the largest event of its kind in the country, returns for the nineteenth year this August, bringing the offbeat, the irreverent, and the bizarre to theaters across NYC. Some Fringe veterans, like Avenue Q, have gone on to Broadway glory. Sniff out 2015's crossover hit: Will it be the musical about a dressmaker who pursues a chupacabra? The solo show centering on a man's anxiety about his small package? Or something else entirely? Various locations, fringenyc.org — Schubach

U.S. Open August 31–September 13

If you know anything about tennis, the U.S. Open is like a dream — the two-week tournament pits the world's biggest names against one another in some truly suspenseful matches. But even if you don't, it's still an interesting anthropological outing — possibly the country's biggest festival dedicated to yuppie culture and the only reason most people outside of Queens have heard of Flushing Meadows–Corona Park. A day strolling the fair-like grounds or popping in on amateur matches is entertaining in itself, and let's not even get started on the wide variety of (almost absurdly) fine dining available. Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, Queens, usopen.org — Baysa

Free Kayaking Weekends June–August

You may not think of New York's many waterways as idyllic natural wonders, but they're considerably more majestic when you're actually on them. There are a number of locations for free kayaking on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the summer. Try the Downtown Boathouse at Pier 26 for a day on the Hudson, or Kayak Staten Island for a less congested paddle. The Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse is one of our favorites, offering panoramic views of downtown Manhattan and the iconic bridge. Brooklyn Bridge Park, Piers 1 and 2, bbpboathouse.org — Baysa

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