This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001



Governors Island
Saturday, September 8, and Sunday, September 9, $75 per day, $140 both, 2:00 - 10:00

Beer, music, and food are on the menu at OctFest, taking place on Governors Island on September 8 and 9. On Saturday, the music lineup boasts Vince Staples, Jeff Tweedy, NAO, Saba, Preoccupations, Vagabon, Standing on the Corner, Hatchie, Flasher, and Madison McFerrin, while taking the stage on Sunday are the Flaming Lips, Nile Rodgers & CHIC, Yo La Tengo, Girlpool, Hop Along, No Age, Kamaiyah, Shopping, Julie Byrne, and the Courtneys. Food will be available from Best Pizza, Cervo’s, Hank’s Juicy Beef, Island Oyster, KronnerBurger, Los Viajeros Food Truck, Mission Chinese Food, Oddfellows Ice Cream Co., Sweet Chick, STUF’D Truck, and Roberta’s Pizza, curated by Bon Appétit. Presented by Pitchfork and beer culture website October, the second annual festival also features suds from nearly one hundred craft breweries from some twenty countries, including Rogue Ales, Zero Gravity Craft Brewery, Bogota Beer Co., Boxing Cat Brewery, Wicked Weed Brewing, DC Brau, Wedge Brewing Co., Four Peaks Brewing Co., Wild Beer Co., Birra del Borgo, Brouwerij Bosteels, La Virgen, Cerveza Patagonia, Cucapá, Nicaragua Craft Beer Co., 4 Pines Brewing Company, Taihu Brewery, the Hand & Malt Brewery, and Karbach Brewing Co. In addition, money will be raised for the Billion Oyster Project.


lobster and beer

Hester Street Fair
Hester & Essex Sts.
Saturday, September 1, free admission, 11:00 am - 6:00 pm

The Hester Street Fair continues on September 1 at the Saturday Street Market with the fourth annual Lobster and Beer festival, pairing the elegant crustacean with frothy brews. Taking place from 11:00 to 6:00, the event features lobster rolls from DownEast Lobstah and Lobster Joint alongside four-dollar Old Blue Last pale ale. The vendor lineup also includes Aimee McLaughlin, Feels NYC, Gigi’s Mimos, Handprint NYC, Hatzumomo, Janie Bakes, Joe’s Apron’s, Katmama Accessories, Manju, MassPop, Megan Phillips Collection, NYC Botanica, Ovando Salvi, Phyla, Popped, POPTEA, Rollie, Rosey Jamaican, Stax, Tribeca Trinkets, What We Eat, WHAMMEES, and Village Psychic. Last year some seven thousand people devoured the lobster until there was none left, so get there early if you need a late-summer fix.


(photo by Tinomuvonga)

Vieux Farka Touré is headlining blues and barbecue festival in Hudson River Park on Saturday (photo by Tinomuvonga)

Hudson River Park, Pier 97
Enter at 59th St.
Saturday, August 18, free with advance registration

The nineteenth annual Hudson River Park Blues BBQ Festival is set for August 18 at Pier 97, where blues and soul food and drink come together from 2:00 to 9:00. The former includes dishes from Brother Jimmy’s, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Mighty Quinn’s, Pig Beach, Ben & Jerry’s, and Melt, with beverages from Sixpoint and Glenfiddich and live music by the Slam Allen Band (2:00), Danielle Nicole (3:15), Welch-Ledbetter Connection (4:30), Dawn Tyler Watson (6:00), and Vieux Farka Touré (7:30). Admission is free with advance registration; chairs, blankets, beach umbrellas, pets, bicycles, and other items are prohibited.


Ashleigh Smith will perform at this years annual Harlem Day festivities

Ashleigh Smith will perform at this year’s annual “Harlem Day” festivities

West 135th St. between Malcolm X Blvd. & Frederick Douglass Blvd.
Saturday, August 18, and Sunday, August 19, free, 12 noon – 10:00 pm
Festival continues through August 25

The theme of the 2018 Harlem Week festival is “Women Transforming Our World: Past, Present & Future,” along with the subtheme “The Community within the Community,” saluting LGBTQ rights. The festivities continue August 18 with “Summer in the City” and August 19 with “Harlem Day,” two afternoons of a wide range of free special events along West 135th St. Saturday’s programs include Harlem Senior Citizens Synchronized Swimming, the NYC Children’s Festival in Howard Bennett Playground (with a parade, exhibits, games, arts & crafts, live music and dance, health testing, and sports clinics), the Harlem Week Higher Education Fair (with more than fifty colleges and universities), “Dancing in the Streets” with live performances and WBLS DJs, the International Vendors Village, the Fabulous Fashion Flava Show, the “Uptown Saturday Concert” (with Sarah Vaughan National Competition winner Ashleigh Smith, Bishop Marvin Sapp, Raheem Devaughn, and the Jeff Foxx Band), and the Imagenation Outdoor Film Festival in St. Nicholas Park. Sunday’s “Harlem Day” celebration features live performances on three stages, the International Vendors Village, the Upper Manhattan Auto Show, Our Health Village, the Upper Manhattan Small Business Expo & Fair, USTA Children’s Tennis Clinics, and the second day of the NYC Children’s Festival (with a Back to School theme).


summer streets

Park Ave. & 72nd St. to Foley Square
Saturday, August 4, 11, 18, free, 7:00 am – 1:00 pm

Now in its ninth year, Summer Streets takes place the first three Saturday mornings in August, as Park Ave. will be closed to vehicular traffic from 72nd St. to Foley Square and the Brooklyn Bridge from 7:00 am to 1:00 pm, encouraging people to walk, run, jog, blade, skate, slide, and bike down the famous thoroughfare, getting exercise and enjoying the great outdoors without car exhaust, speeding taxis, and slow-moving buses. There are five rest stops along the route (Uptown at 52nd St., Midtown at 25th, Astor Pl. at Lafayette St., SoHo at Spring & Lafayette, and Foley Square at Duane & Centre), where people can relax and enjoy food and drink, live performances, fitness classes, site-specific art installations, dog walks, bicycle workshops, and other activities, all of which are free. Below are some of the highlights.

Foley Square Rest Stop
Zipline, Mobile Tea Garden, juggling and hula lessons, streets games, DOT Hand-Cycle Activation, adaptive basketball, group runs, bike programs, DEP Water on the Go, and pop-up performances by the Bryant Park Jugglers, the Hoop Movement, HONK NYC, Fogo Azul, and Batingua

SoHo Rest Stop
Paws and Play Dog Park, dog park and agility course, fitness stage, pop-up yoga, Zumba with Wilson Gutierrez (August 4), Sherrod Wiliamson (August 11) and Chris. Y (August 18), and WRKNYC FitFam BootCamp with Coach Will (Will Jackson), Coach Cook (Sarah Diiorio), and Coach Bakes (Amanda Baker), and Cardio Kick with Delida Torres on August 11, Hip Hop with Corinne Tate on August 11, and Dance HIIT with Bryan Davis on August 18

Astor Place Rest Stop
Clif Kids Park custom pump track, BBF Bouldering Wall & Obstacle Course, I LOVE NY Mobile Visitor’s Center, Gazillion Bubble Show’s Bubble Garden, DEP Water on the Go

Midtown Rest Stop
Food & Beverage Sampling Zone (with free samples from Obrigado, Hippeas, Lifeway, Nuun, Kevita, Krave Jerky, SkinnyPop, Simply Beverages, and Purity Organics), bike programming, Go! Sports Inline Skate Rentals and Clinics, the Five Borough Bicycle Club Bike Repair, DEP Water on the Go, NYC Department of Sanitation (with reusable bag giveaway), Health and Fitness Zone, cooking demonstrations, interactive “Smell Synth” exhibit with Museum of Food and Drink, NYCDOT Mobility Management Program, and live performances by Eliano Braz, Ensemble Connect: Lizzie Burns and Julia Yang, Hye-Jeung Kang, Ashley Wasser, YAZBAND, the Good Morning Nags, Inti and the Moon, and the Blue Dahlia on August 4, Gabriel Aldort, Jade Choi, TM Street Band, Sulene, Moondrunk, Baby Soda Jazz Band, Backtrack Vocals, and Drumadics Beat-N-Brass Band on August 11, and marie-claire and the boys, Ensemble Connect: Rosie Gallagher and Andre Gonzalez, Joanna Teters, Skye Steele, JHEVERE, Karikatura Street Band, Coexist Music Group, and John James Band on August 18

Uptown Rest Stop
Kid Fitness Zone, DOT Safety Zone, bike programming, DEP Water on the Go, arts & cultural workshops (Urban Studio Unbound, HYPOTHEkids, Manhattan Borough Historian, Noguchi Museum, Society of Illustrators, Museum of Chinese in America, Art Students League, Publicolor, New York Botanical Garden, CultureNow, DCLA Materials for the Arts, El Museo del Barrio, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, and Museum of Arts & Design), Taoist Tai Chi Society, Municipal Art Society historical walking tours (Jean Arrington: “City Beautiful and Benevolent,” August 4; Deborah Zelcer, Decked Out on Park Avenue: “Art Déco Buildings and New York Glamour,” August 11; Alan M. Engler, MD, Mansions, Money & Scandal: “Gilded Age Splendor on the Upper East Side,” August 18), and performances by Gibney Dance, Dana & the Petite Punks, Ben Rosenblum Trio, Dream Street Theatre Company, Music with a Message, Izaak Mills’ Contemporary Adults, and Department of Youth and Community Development on August 4, Rite of Spring Duo, Bumblebee Jamboree, NYC Kids Project, the Poor Cousins, Niall O’Leary School of Irish Dance, Dayboat Brass Quartet, and Ori Manea Tahitian Dance School on August 11, and New York Violinist, Triad Brass, Robert Anderson Band, the Afro-Latineers, Stiletta, Dance Entropy, and Dancing Classrooms on August 18


midsummer nights feast

Queens Museum
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Tuesday, July 31, $15, 6:00 - 9:00
Festival runs August 3-12

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.

kew gardens film festival 2

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.


Harlem Week kicks off July 29 with A Great Day in Harlem

Harlem Week kicks off July 29 with “A Great Day in Harlem”

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.