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


There’s plenty of smokin’ good ’cue at annual BBQ Block Party in Madison Square Park (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

There’s plenty of smokin’ good ’cue at annual BBQ block party in Madison Square Park (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Madison Square Park
23rd to 26th Sts. between Fifth & Madison Aves.
Saturday, June 9, and Sunday, June 10, pay per plate, 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
Fast Pass: $125; Big Rig VIP Pass: $275

The immensely popular and ridiculously crowded Big Apple Barbecue Block Party is upon us, as pitmasters from around the country gather in Madison Square Park and serve up some damn fine BBQ. The sixteenth annual event, being held June 9-10, features some old favorites as well as some up-and-comers: Ash Fulk of Hill Country of Pleasant Hill, California (Brisket Sandwich with House Pickle & Coleslaw), Bill Durney of Hometown Bar-b-que in Brooklyn (Chopped Brisket & Jalapeño Cheddar Link Sandwich with Queso and Tater Tots), Chris Lilly of Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Que in Decatur, Alabama (World Championship Pulled Pork Sandwich with Spicy Mustard Coleslaw), Ed Mitchell & Ryan Mitchell of Ed Mitchell’s Que in Wilson, North Carolina (Eastern NC Whole Hog Sandwich with Slaw), New York City’s Erika Nakamura & Jocelyn Guest (Hot Dog with Kimchi & Mayo; Kielbasa with Mustard; Bratwurst with Kraut & Mustard), Garry Roark & Leslie Roark Scott of Ubon’s Barbeque in Yazoo City, Mississippi (Mississippi Chicken Wings with Bloody Mary Cucumber Salad), Jean-Paul Bourgeois of Blue Smoke in Manhattan (Fried Smoked Chicken with Tabasco Honey; Broccoli & Black-Eyed Pea Salad), Joe Duncan of Baker’s Ribs in Dallas (St. Louis Ribs with Jalapeño Cole Slaw), John Stage of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Manhattan (St. Louis Ribs with BBQ Beans), John Wheeler of Memphis Barbecue Co in South Haven, Mississippi (Baby Back Ribs with Mamma June’s Baked Beans), Jonathan Fox & Justin Fox of Fox Brothers Bar-B-Q in Atlanta (Brisket & Jalapeño Cheddar Sausage with Jalapeno Slaw & Pickles), Mike Mills & Amy Mills of 17th St. BBQ in Murphysboro, Illinois (Apple City Barbecue Baby Back Ribs with Tangy Pit Beans), Pat Martin of Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint in Nashville (West Tennessee Whole Hog Sandwich with Coleslaw), Rodney Scott of Rodney Scott’s Bar-B-Que in Charleston (St. Louis Ribs with Coleslaw), Sam Jones of Skylight Inn/Sam Jones BBQ in Ayden, North Carolina (Eastern NC Whole Hog Sandwich with Sweet Slaw), and Scott Roberts of Salt Lick BBQ in Driftwood, Texas (Brisket & Sausage with Sesame Coleslaw).

Huge hunks of meat and more will be available at sixteenth annual  bbq festival in Madison Square Park

Huge hunks of meat and more will be available at sixteenth annual bbq festival in Madison Square Park

There will also be sweets and sides for $4 to $8 from Pies ‘N’ Thighs (Mac ‘N’ Cheese, Spicy Watermelon Salad, Biscuit & Gravy Sausage, Cornbread), Ample Hills Creamery (“Corn to Run” creamy corn ice cream with cornmeal crumble and blueberry swirls), Doughnut Plant, the Original Fried Pie Shop (Apple, Apricot, Blackberry, Cherry, Peach), and Sugaree’s. The lines can get extremely long, so the best way to enjoy the event is to go with a bunch of friends, get on different lines, and then gather somewhere in the park to devour your meal. The $125 FastPass gains access for you and one guest to the express lanes and $100 worth of food, drink, and merchandise; the $275 Big Rig VIP Package grants you that in addition to access to the VIP tent and private VIP area with open bar and snacks. The music lineup on Saturday features Ben Sparaco and the New Effect at 12 noon, Mo Lowda & the Humble at 1:30, Erin Harpe & the Delta Swingers at 3:00, and the Felice Brothers at 4:30, while Sunday’s roster consists of Cypher Music at noon, the High Divers at 1:30, the Vegabonds at 3:00, and Max Creek at 4:30.


Serena Korda Missing Time

Serena Korda will present the immersive sound performance Missing Time on the High Line this week (photo by Chris Egon Searle)

Who: Serena Korda
What: Missing Time
Where: The High Line between Twenty-Fifth & Twenty-Seventh Sts.
When: June 5-7, free, 4:00 - 7:00
Why: London-born multidisciplinary artist Serena Korda makes her American debut this week with Missing Time, an immersive sound performance taking place at the Falcone Flyover on the High Line from 4:00 to 7:00 on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. “I was interested in considering how to make invisible forces palpable and create an environment of care in a world that is turning on itself,” Korda explains on her website. “Inspired by different ways of listening, the potential healing power of sound, and their use as a way of communicating, I created a series of large ceramic dish-shaped portals that act as resonators and an accompanying sound work that explore communication with the infinite cosmos.” The site-specific commission explores the history of the High Line itself, which was formerly used as a commercial shipping railway. Missing Time features Mouthful, an a cappella group consisting of Dave Camlin, Sharon Durant, Bex Mather, and Katherine Zeserson, singing the “Music of the Spheres,” inspired by the planets, while carrying low-frequency receivers picking up radio waves that visitors can hear on headphones. “The trains, the industry, and the wilderness that once overran the space are all ghosts, and it is this paranormal activity of the High Line that I wish to explore,” Korda said in a statement. Admission is free, and no RSVP is required.



Common opens the Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival on June 5 at the Prospect Park Bandshell

Who: Common
What: BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Opening Night Concert
Where: Prospect Park Bandshell, Prospect Park West & Tenth St.
When: Tuesday, June 5, free, gates at 6:30, concert at 8:00
Why: Socially conscious rapper, actor, activist, and poet Common will open the annual BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! festival on June 5 with a free concert at the Prospect Park Bandshell. The Chicago-born Common, formerly known as Lonnie Corant Jaman Shuka Rashid Lynn Jr., has released such albums as One Day It’ll All Make Sense, Finding Forever, The Dreamer/The Believer, and Black America Again and has appeared in such movies and television series as Selma, The Tale, Hell on Wheels, The Chi, and The Hate U Give. The Oscar-winning songwriter (“Glory”) also raises money and awareness through his Common Ground Foundation, which he started “to empower high school students from underserved communities to become future leaders, [focusing] on character development, social impact, healthy living, technology, financial literacy, creative arts, and global leadership.” The concert will be preceded and followed by a sold-out gala, including an after-party with DJ Spinna. In addition, the evening will include the unveiling of the BRIC-commissioned “Hedera” light-sculpture installation by Grimanesa Amorós.


celebrate israel

57th to 74th St. up Fifth Ave.
Sunday, June 4, free, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

On May 14, 1948, “The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel” proclaimed, “The State of Israel will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles; it will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice, and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race, or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education, and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.” Israel’s existence has been fraught with controversy since the very beginning, and there have been recent issues involving President Trump and the move of the embassy to Jerusalem, but the nation perseveres, and on June 3 its seventieth birthday will be honored with the annual Celebrate Israel Parade. This year’s theme is “70 and Sababa!” As the official parade website explains, “When Israelis say something is Sababa, they mean it’s awesome, fantastic, super! In just seventy years, this tiny, arid country with few natural resources has grown, developed, and prospered beyond belief and expectation. With incredible landscapes and seascapes, gigantic skyscrapers and beautiful cities, amazing technological, medical, and agricultural advancements, Israelis have been at the forefront of it all, and the whole world has benefited. Israel: You are Sababa!”

On Sunday, tens of thousands of marchers are expected to make their way from Fifty-Seventh to Seventy-Fourth St. up Fifth Ave. Among the performers will be Ninet Tayeb, Omri Anghel, Paparim Ensemble Dancers from the Israeli Dance Institute, Kosha Dillz, Mitzvah Clowns, Milk & Honeys, Yarden Klayman, Six13, Lipa Schmeltzer, SOULFARM, Yakov Yavno, and the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene playing excerpts from its upcoming production of Fiddler on the Roof. The grand marshals are Dina and Jonathan Leader, with honorary grand marshals Jonathan Lipnicki, Siggy Flicker, Eyal Shani, Lipa Schmeltzer, and Liel Leibovitz. Special guests include members of the Israeli Knesset and numerous American public officials. In addition, the unaffiliated Israel Day Concert in Central Park is celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary with a free show in Rumsey Playfield (2:30–7:00) that this year pays tribute to the seventieth birthday of the State of Israel. There will be live performances and speeches by Izzy Kiefe, Marcos Molinaro. Rita Cosby, Jules Wainstein, Chele Farley, Siggy Flicker, Chaim Kiss, Mordechai Shapiro, Ken Abramowitz, Helen Freedman, Aaron Klein, David Weprin, Rory Lancman, Stacy Kessler, Morton Davis, Martin Oliner, Mort Klein, Pete Hegseth, Danny Danon, Dani Dayan, Yehuda Glick, Tal Vaknin, Shuali Muallem, Oded Forer, Yoel Hasson, Avraham Fried, Shlomie Dachs, and more.


Outdoor screening of The Wedding Singer is part of Hudson River Parks

Outdoor screening of The Wedding Singer is part of Hudson River Park’s twentieth anniversary of free summer programming

Hudson River Park, Pier 45
Cross at Christopher St.
Saturday, June 2, free, 9:00 am - 10:00 pm

Hudson River Park is celebrating its twentieth anniversary of hosting free summer events with an all-day festival on June 2 with a diverse slate of activities, beginning in the morning with Healthy on the Hudson workouts at 9:00 and 10:45 and an eco walk at 10:00. Other highlights include a science show, magic with Kid Ace, live Sunset on the Hudson music, Sunset Salsa dancing led by Talia Castro-Pozo with Mitch Frohman and the Bronx Horns, and a twentieth-anniversary screening of Frank Coraci’s The Wedding Singer, starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. Among this season’s free programs are Hudson RiverFlicks — Big Hit Wednesdays, Hudson RiverFlicks — Family Fridays, Jazz at Pier 84, Sunset on the Hudson, the annual Blues BBQ, the Hudson River Dance Festival, Sunset Salsa, Big City Fishing, Healthy on the Hudson, Hudson RiverKids, Hudson River Nature Walk, and more.


t’ai freedom ford

First Saturday program at Brooklyn Museum includes screening of The Revival: Women and the Word and live performance by cast member t’ai freedom ford

Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway at Washington St.
Saturday, June 2, free (“David Bowie is” requires advance tickets, $25), 5:00 - 11:00

Gay pride and diversity are the themes of the Brooklyn Museum’s free First Saturday program on June 2. There will be a live performance by the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus; a community talk on zines with Shawn(ta) Smith-Cruz and Elvis Bakaitis, moderated by Maya Harder-Montoya; a hands-on art workshop in which participants can make a pride notebook inspired by David Bowie and “Radical Women”’s Virginia Errázuriz; a drink-and-draw event with live models styled by the Phluid Project and Jag & Co. and tunes spun by DJ Illexxandra; a screening of The Revival: Women and the Word (Sekiya Dorsett, 2016), with performances by t’ai freedom ford and Be Steadwell and an introduction by director Dorsett, hosted by SafeWordSociety; a screening of the latest episode of Viceland’s My House, followed by a talkback with cast members Tati 007, Jelani Mizrahi, and Alex Mugler, executive producer Elegance Bratton, showrunner Sean David Johnson, and producers Giselle Bailey and Nneka Onuoraha; Joy, a celebration of queer and trans people of color with music, games, dance-offs, and guest DJs Nappy Nina and Rimarkable, hosted by bklyn boihood; pop-up poetry with Wo Chan and Charles Theonia; pop-up gallery talks on “Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960–1985” by teen apprentices; and the community talk “NYC Trans Oral History Project” with Jeanne Vaccaro, activist Bianey Garcia-D la O, poet El Roy Red, and podcast producer Cassie Wagler. In addition, the galleries will be open late so you can check out “William Trost Richards: Experiments in Watercolor,” “David Levine: Some of the People, All of the Time,” “Infinite Blue,” “Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960–1985,” “Cecilia Vicuña: Disappeared Quipu,” “Ahmed Mater: Mecca Journeys,” “A Woman’s Afterlife: Gender Transformation in Ancient Egypt,” and more. However, please note that advance tickets are required to see “David Bowie is,” at the regular admission price.


secret society of the sisterhood

Green-Wood Cemetery Chapel Steps
Fifth Ave. & Twenty-Fifth St.
Tuesday, May 29, $25-$30, 7:00 - 11:00 pm

The Secret Society of the Sisterhood is making its New York City debut on the night of the full moon, May 29, at historic Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. Dubbed “An Evening of Storytelling for Women and Fierce Allies of Women,” the show is hosted by BanterGirl founder Trish Nelson, a self-identified producer, performer, writer, and waitress who hopes “that other women across the land will be able to see that no matter where you come from, or where you currently are in life, you do not have to wait around for someone else to give you permission to execute your dreams.” The theme of the May 29 event is “Soooo... THAT happened!,” with actress and poet Amber Tamblyn, writer and activist Lorri Davis, bestselling author Dhonielle Clayton, and comedian Ayanna Dookie sharing true tales. There will also be live music by Kaki King and a song by Treya Lam, visual art by Aditi Damle, Rebekah Harris, and Marguerite Dabaie, and a dance party led by DJ Tikka Masala. Proceeds from the festivities will go to Girls Write Now, which provides mentoring programs, college prep courses, reading series, digital exhibitions, workshops, and more to empower young women. So you’re not going to want to miss this opportunity not only to hear and see cool things — it all takes place under candlelight — but also to get to hang out at an amazing cemetery during a full moon. We already can’t wait to tell people, “Soooo... THAT happened!”