’14th Annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York’
Meadows Lake, Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, Queens, 718.767.1776,

AUGUST 7 & 8: In the year of the monkey, over 80 teams will go apeshit when they race to win a pot of 14 G’s. It’s not money that’s feted by these competitions, as well as performances and cuisine reflecting Queens’ ethnic mix; it’s Qu Yuan, a poet and minister from centuries ago who was dishonored and dismissed by a corrupt and disingenuous prince. After realizing his beloved kingdom had gone to the dogs, he lept into the Mi Lo river. Fishermen rushed out in boats to save him but never recovered his body. When the paddlers throw rice into the water, it’s to feed his hungry ghost. KIM

‘Gateway to Nations Pow Wow’
Floyd Bennett Field, Gateway National Park, Brooklyn, 718.686.9297,

JUNE 19 & 20: This two-day spotlight on Native American culture features drum competitions, dancing (including the “Grass Dance” and men’s and women’s “Smoke Dances”), singing, traditional arts and jewelry, and tons of food. And don’t miss the mechanical bull–riding contest! SWITZER

The Noguchi Museum
32-37 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City, Queens, 718.204.7088,

REOPENS JUNE 12: After bouncing off the walls of NYC’s great outdoors, you can decompress at this museum dedicated to the Japanese artist who worked under Brancusi in Paris. The inaugural exhibition, through October 4, displays over 100 pieces of Noguchi’s biomorphic sculpture, furniture, and miscellany, like a Bakelite intercom called Radio Nurse made for Zenith in 1937. But the celebrated outdoor sculpture garden remains the best place to pacify a yen for Zen. KIM

‘La Casita: A Home for the Heart’
Lincoln Center, North Plaza, north of Metropolitan Opera House, 212.875.5766,

AUGUST 28 & 29: Lincoln Center’s tribute to las palabras (spoken word) of NYC’s Latino and Caribbean communities honors the generations of neighborhood storytellers and musicians who’ve met in casitas (little houses) built in local gardens to tell tales and sing songs while bonding with people from home away from home. For the lineup of over 20 poets, troubadours, singers, and comedians, visit

‘National Puerto Rican Day Parade’
Fifth Avenue from 44th to 86th streets, 718.401.0404,

JUNE 13: Now that “Bennifer” is over, we can party with our friends, who make up almost a tenth of the city’s population, without any qualms. This year, salsa music’s pretty boy Victor Manuelle makes things even more caliente, if you will, for the expected 2 million–plus revelers. KIM

Socrates Sculpture Park
32-01 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City, Queens, 718.956.1819,

JUNE 12–AUGUST 29: The illegal dump–turned–sculpture park has much in store this summer. On June 12 to 13, it partakes in “Summer in Long Island City,” an event highlighting the many cultural offerings of Long Island City (which include the American Museum of the Moving Image, the Museum for African Art, MOMA Queens, the Noguchi Museum, P.S.1, and others). Socrates offers artist-led tours of its “Field” exhibition exploring technology’s interaction with nature, and an outdoor evening screening. The annual Summer Solstice Celebration on June 21 features music, theater, art workshops, and food on the longest day of the year. And on the weekends between August 7 and 29, the performance series titled “Float” waxes poetic on the waterfront. KIM

’26th Annual Museum Mile Festival’
Fifth Ave between 82nd and 105th streets, 212.606.2296,

JUNE 8: Before settling into a summer full of beer-swilling, sun-bathing, roller coaster–riding, and hot dog–chowing, sneak in a little culture; tonight, Fifth Avenue closes down between 82nd and 105th and allows strollers to pop into 10 of the city’s best museums free of charge—El Museo del Barrio, Museum of the City of New York, the Jewish Museum, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution, National Academy of Design Museum, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Neue Galerie New York, Goethe-Institut New York/German Cultural Center, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Plus, live music in front of each venue. SWITZER

‘2004 HOWL! Festival of East Village Arts’
Various venues, 212.505.2225,

AUGUST 17–24: Named after beat poet Allen Ginsberg’s epic poem, this massive happening (over 200 in all) recognizes the rich artistic and countercultural history of NYC’s East Village and Lower East Side. Among the many highlights: Wigstock; the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival; Art Around the Park; the Avenue A Processional; the Bluegrass Ball; Avant-Garde(n); Murray Hill’s Cheeseburger Rare; the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus; the HOWL! Film Festival; and much more. SWITZER

‘2004 Mermaid Parade’
Surf Avenue between West 10th and West 15th streets, Brooklyn, 718.372.5159,

JUNE 26: This annual Coney Island tradition, since 1983, attracts freaks and geeks from near and far for a celebration of all things oceanic. Scores of sea creature–costumed oddballs (including scantily clad mermaids aplenty), creative dancers (read: stoned), marching bands, floats, and drill teams fill the streets and spill onto the beach to kick off the beginning of summer. This year, song-pimpin’, spotlight-hoggin’ Moby (not that Dick) will be King Neptune. Any and all are encouraged to march in the actual parade, just register online beforehand. SWITZER