The second annual Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema and the Queens Museum have teamed up for a kickoff event on July 31, prior to the festival’s opening night on August 3. “A Midsummer Night’s Feast: A Celebration of Food, Art, and Cinema” features more than twenty food booths and free admission to the museum, which currently has on display “Mel Chin: All Over the Place” in addition to the long-term Panorama of the City of New York and others. The food vendors, who will be selling dishes and cocktails from $5 to $10, consist of Mums Kitchen, Scoops N Cahoots, Cristians Rice Pudding, Memphis Seoul BBQ, Forward Roots, Mama Lam’s, Panda Eats World, Queens Bully, Bliss Street Creamery, Coffeed, Bagelites, Queens Curry Kitchen, Samosa NYC, Hold My Knots, Silk Cakes, Casa del Chef, Perci’s Jamaican Jerk, Roast N Co, Rib in a Cup, the Guac Spot, and Arepa Lady.
There will also be trailers from many of the films participating in the festival, meet-and-greets with directors, and a red-carpet photo spot. The Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema runs August 3-12 at the museum and the United Artists Midway on Queens Boulevard; among the special events are a midweek red carpet and after-party with the August 8 screening of A Violent Man and The Invaders, Midnight Madness and Grindouse Horror on August 10, a closing night red carpet and after-party with the August 11 screening of Virginia Minnesota and La Rose et la Pivoine (The Rose and the Peony), and the awards dinner and gala August 13 at Terrace on the Park.
U.S. Grant National Memorial Park
Wes 122nd St. & Riverside Dr.
Sunday, July 29, free, 12 noon - 8:30 pm
Festival continues through August 25
More than forty thousand people are expected to converge in U.S. Grant National Memorial Park on July 29 for the annual Great Day in Harlem festival, part of the summer Harlem Week celebration. This year’s theme is “Women Transforming Our World: Past, Present & Future,” with the subtheme “The Community within the Community — Saluting the LGBTQ Community.” A Great Day in Harlem will feature an International Vendors Village from 12 noon to 8:00, the Artz, Rootz, and Rhythm International Cultural Showcase at 1:00, the Gospel Caravan at 3:00 with Hezekiah Walker, the McDonald’s All-Star Gospel Choir, and other gospel greats honoring Mahalia Jackson, a Fashion Fusion Showcase at 4:30, and “A Concert under the Stars” at 6:00, with Peabo Bryson, Harlem Week music director Ray Chew, and the Harlem Music Festival All-Star Band paying tribute to Phyllis Hyman and Minnie Riperton. Harlem Week continues through August 25 with such other events as Summer in the City on August 18, Harlem Day on August 19, and Harlem Restaurant Week on August 21.
Panorama is back for its third year after proving in its first two that it knows what it’s doing, providing an excellent balance of music, art, technology, and food on Randall’s Island. Taking place July 27-29, the 2018 iteration features another diverse, high-powered lineup, including the Weeknd, Migos, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Father John Misty, the Black Madonna, and yaeji on Friday, Lil Wayne, SZA, Janet Jackson, St. Vincent, Gucci Mane, and Bicep on Saturday, and David Byrne, the xx, the Killers, Fleet Foxes, Nora en Pure, Moodymann, and Helena Hauff on Sunday. The performers play at three venues spread across the vast landscape: the Panorama Stage with its huge screen, the partially exposed Parlor, and the tented Point.
The Lab consists of a half dozen interactive, cutting-edge installations: the tranformative gathering space “As Above, So Below” by Kate Raudenbush, the multimedia adaptation “Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions,” the audio-reactive “HyperSubtle” by Superbright, the solar-powered “Infinite Wild” by Smooth Technology, the giant mood ring “Pixel Vortex” by the Windmill Factory, and the transmutation tunnel “Portal to Flatland” by Magenta Field. The lines for the Lab can get very long, so go early to check out the fun. The food roster is rather impressive as well; among the more than thirty vendors are Alamo Mexican Kitchen, Bareburger, Emmy Squared, Ice & Vice, Korilla, La Newyorkina, Lolo’s Seafood Shack, Mighty Quinn’s, Roberta’s Pizza, Schaller’s Stube, Spicy Pie, Two Guys Chicken and Fries, and Waffle de Lys. There are water stations throughout the grounds for free fill-ups. And be on the lookout for giveaways and unique experiences from such sponsors as American Express, Bug Light, JBL, Rough Trade, Sephora, bai, and more. Panorama is a must for music and technology fans or anyone who just wants to do something different on a summer weekend.
For two decades, Austrian artist Erwin Wurm has been transforming such capitalistic items of consumption as homes (and beds, toilets, pillows, and couches) and automobiles into more abstract and theoretical objects in such series as “Fat Cars,” “Melting Houses,” and “Discipline of Subjectivity.” In 2015, Wurm’s “Curry Bus,” a dramatically altered Volkswagen Microbus, sold curry sausages outside the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg. The “One Minute Sculpture” artist has now reshaped a VW Microbus into “Hot Dog Bus,” a mustard-yellow, pudgy, frankfurter-shaped vehicle that is giving out free wieners in Brooklyn Bridge Park on Saturdays on Pier 1 and Sundays on Pier 5 through the last weekend in August. According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, franks were developed more than half a millennium ago, either by a butcher in Coburg, Germany, or a community in Vienna, the Austrian name of which is Wien. In the nineteenth century, European immigrants brought the dachshund-shaped edible to the States, where a bun and sauerkraut were soon added. Thus, Wurm sees the hot dog as an all-American food that brings equality to the rich and the poor, the native born and the immigrant, the worker and the tourist; for example, stand by any frank cart in New York and marvel at the vast array of men, women, and children stopping by to pick up a quick fix. The bus itself looks somewhat obese, hinting that the frankfurter is not exactly the healthiest of lunches or dinners and is an example of Americans’ less-than-stellar diet as a nation. Just remember to wait in line at “Hot Dog Bus” and clearly state whether you want ketchup or mustard on your free weenie, then take a long walk around beautiful Brooklyn Bridge Park to burn those extra calories.
On July 14, 1789, a Parisian mob stormed the Bastille prison, a symbolic victory that kicked off the French Revolution and the establishment of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. Ever since, July 14 has been a national holiday celebrating liberté, égalité, and fraternité. In New York City, the Bastille Day festivities are set for Sunday, July 15, along Sixtieth St., where the French Institute Alliance Française hosts its annual daylong party of food, music, dance, and other special activities. The celebration begins with a live screening of the World Cup Final in Florence Gould Hall and outside, where, as luck would have it, France vies for the coveted title. There will be a Summer in the South of France Tasting in FIAF’s Tinker Auditorium from 12 noon to 4:30 ($25), with wines from Sud de France, French beers from Kronenbourg, Président cheeses, Bayonne Ham, and artisan breads from Maison Kayser, as well as the elegant Champagne & Jazz Party in Le Skyroom at 1:30 and 3:30 ($65-$75), featuring Champagnes from Pol Roger, Ayala, Champagne Delamotte, and Besserat de Bellefon, cocktails from Grand Marnier, macarons from Ladurée, chocolates from Voilà Chocolat, and hors d’oeuvres from Maman Bakery, in addition to a live performance by Chloé Perrier. The annual raffle ($20) can win you such prizes as trips to Paris and Le Martinique or dinners at French restaurants.
Food, drink, and beauty and fashion items will be available in the French-themed market and the new French Garden from Jerome Dreyfuss, 727 Sailbags, L’atelier, Moutet, French Wink, Ladurée, Brasserie Cognac, Dominique Ansel Kitchen, Le Souk, Miss Madeleine, Oliviers & Co., Mille-feuille, Sel Magique, Simply Gourmand, St. Michel, Sud de France, Macaron Parlour, Pistache, Lunii, and others. The fête also includes roaming French mime Catherina Gasta, a kids corner with a library and arts & crafts, a photobooth, “An Ode for Freedom” interactive street art with Kinmx & Iljin, Can-Can Dancing with Karen Peled (12:45 & 2:10), a Caribbean Zouk dance lesson with Franck Muhel (4:25), the Citroën Classic Car Show, live performances by MarieLine Grinda (1:00), It’s Showtime NYC! (1:30), Jacques & Marie’s Paris Swing Band (2:30), the Hungry March Band (2:55), La Jarry (3:05), and Sense (3:55), and a sneak peek screening of Yvan Attal’s Le Brio ($14, 5:30) in Florence Gould Hall.