There’s never a shortage of things to do all summer long. You don’t have to wait until the weekend to dance against the backdrop of a vibrant sunset, or stop celebrating once the fireworks end on the fourth. This month you can hit up block parties, take part in a massive meditation under a blue whale, and check out a rare book room, all between poetry readings, improv performances, and art shows. I love a good party — but throw in a rooftop, interactive art installation, food, and good people, and you’ll find me throwing out high fives on the dance floor!
Here’s a quick rundown of some upcoming events that will guarantee good vibes
and a memorable time with your friends, old and new.
Wednesday, July 4th
THE LOT RADIO 4TH OF JULY BLOCK PARTY— The Lot Radio is one of those magical places in NYC that has everything — puppies, a fire pit, a giant bus, brilliant music, and cool people! On the 4th of July, stop by The Lot Radio’s annual block party and stick around to dance during the fireworks. TheLot Radio will be DJ’ing from noon-11pm via the sound system by Dub-Stuy Records!
AMURIKANA — Con Artist Collective is putting on another awesome art show for America’s birthday! The timely theme of this show is “Simply America. Whatever it means to our Artists. So we’ll be bringing out inner Norman Rockwells or Winslow Homers, Classic Americana, political statements, cheesecake, and whatever makes you think ‘murica.” If you want to stay out of the heat, check it out and ponder this: Who is American? What is America? How do YOU spell it? The artists try to answer these questions in their work.
Tuesday, July 10th
MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO, STUDIO GHIBLI FESTIVAL— I spent countless sleepovers at friends’ houses watching Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli films growing up. There was magic in each moment, from the art to the music, the otherworldly plot lines to the depth of characters. My Neighbor Totoro is a deceptively simple tale of two girls who move to a new house in the countryside. They soon discover that the surrounding forests are home to a family of Totoros, gentle but powerful creatures who live in a huge and ancient camphor tree and are seen only by children. Village Cinema East is having a Studio Ghibli Film Festival throughout the summer so keep an eye out for other upcoming Studio Ghibli film screenings!
Thursday, July 12th
THE GET DOWN — Get up on the stage, bar, or balcony and let loose at The Get Down where it’s all about music, movement, and love. You can literally shake off the workday with 300 new best friends, discovering dance moves and rhythms you didn’t know you had in you. This dance party is perfect to stop by on your way home at the end of the day— and you’ll still get to bed at a decent hour so you can wake up on Friday ready to conquer the world.
Saturday, July 14th
SUMMER ROOFTOP SERIES I: POP ART PARTY— Lightning Society is kicking off their Summer Rooftop Series with a pop art party! Pick out an outfit that’s “colorful, artsy, loud, flamboyant, and wild…something Warhol’s and Basquiat’s love child would wear.” You can expect a Pop Art Photobooth, balloon art by Atrina Loveskin, lots of great performers, a cash bar, Interactive Pop Art installations, colorful artwork by Alison Eden, and other surprises!
Tuesday, July 17th
THE FIFTH PARAGRAPH: A THEATRICAL READING OF IMMIGRATION STORIES — “The Fifth Paragraph” is a loose translation of the line in Soviet passports that identified Jews for the purposes of discrimination. Join Olia Toporovsky, 2018 COJECO BluePrint Fellow, as she presents this two-part performance. It will combine a reading of short stories written by Soviet immigrants or children of immigrants after they participated in experimental writing workshops, followed by a multimedia performance by Toporovsky herself, with live musical accompaniment by Abraham Gomez Delgado.
Wednesday, July 18th
A MASS MEDITATION UNDER A GIANT BLUE WHALE — If you struggle with meditation like I do, The Big Quiet is coming to the American Museum of Natural History for a 700 person mass meditation and sound experience under the blue whale in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life. They’ll be bringing the sounds of the deep sea into the meditation, and there will be musical performances featuring a baby grand piano, acoustic violins, a gospel choir, and more! You’ll also get after-hours access to the Unseen Oceans exhibit, and enjoy food courtesy of Inday, drinks from Kombrewcha, and offerings from The Assemblage.
BALANCED FASHION x FAUBOURG: SUSTAINABILITY AND REPRESENTATION — I always try to educate myself about where items I buy are made, and I’m designing a sustainable clothing line with some friends. Balanced Fashion is working to reshape the industry around ethics, transparency, and responsibility; however, they acknowledge “the perception that sustainability is a privileged white person’s thing.” Is sustainable fashion suffering from a race problem? Can real change happen if we’re failing to make sustainability accessible to all? Are brands missing out on an opportunity to reach a wider audience? This next event, Balanced Fashion and Priscilla Debar, founder of e-commerce site FAUBOURG, will moderate a panel conversation with industry insiders about “the opportunity for ethical brands to disrupt the status quo and how sustainable fashion can be progressive and culturally relevant to effect durable change on a larger scale.”
Friday, July 20th
ASIAN AF NEW YORK VARIETY SHOW—Want to laugh your face off? The Asian AF NY crew is joining forces with the cast of Asian AF LA crew for a one time only improv show at the Del Close Marathon! Asian AF is the hit Asian-American variety show held at the UCB Theatre in Los Angeles & New York. The show has been featured on NBC, ABC, LA Times, Splitsider, and more. Asian AF is produced by Will Choi & Keiko Agena (LA) and Dan Lee & Alex Song (NY).
Sunday, July 22nd
TIKI DISCO — If there’s ever a way to end my weekend dancing, I will put on my comfy shoes and run out the door. Every other Sunday, head to Tiki Disco and dance to the music of resident DJ’s Eli Escobar, Andy Pry, Lloydski! Look out for a big disco ball, a big tent, big sound. Come as you are, but be sure to bring a friend or two!
Monday, July 23rd
NYAM’s RARE BOOK ROOM: MEDIEVAL SEX AND DEATH — Sex, death, and rare books intrigue you? Join Atlas Obscura Society New York as they gather at the New York Academy of Medicine Library’s and get a look at the NYAM’s rich collections on medieval medicine. How did medieval men and women avoid the plague? Was it possible to influence the gender of a baby during conception? You’ll get to visit the rare book room, explore the woodcuts of Sebastian Brant’s Ship of Fools, learn the tradition of the Danse Macabre in anatomy, and see early medieval attempts to draw and understand reproduction.
Saturday, July 28th — Sunday, July 29th
THE 8TH ANNUAL NEW YORK CITY POETRY FESTIVAL— Every summer, I make sure I make sure to hop on the ferry and head to the NYC Poetry Festival. The festival unites the vast and diverse NYC poetry community on Governors Island. Poetry organizations and collectives of all shapes and sizes bring their unique formats, aesthetics, and personalities to the festival grounds, which are surrounded by beautiful Victorian houses and tucked beneath the wide, green canopies of dozens of century old trees. See some of New York’s best poets share their work away from the dark corners of bars, bookstores, and universities, and wax poetic in the daylight! You’ll be able to meet, read, learn, listen, perform, and collaborate in the festival’s very own poetry village.
Sunday, July 29th
EXPLORING SECRET FAMILY-OWNED EATS IN GREENWICH — There are a handful of family-owned restaurants in Greenwich Village that are whipping up some of the neighborhood’s most authentic and diverse bites, if you know where to look. Join New York Adventure Club to venture through Greenwich Village to eat at some of the neighborhood’s remaining family-owned eateries hiding in plain sight. You’ll get to hear the origin stories behind six eateries — from a century-old Italian butcher to a Tibetan start-up. You’ll get to sample food and drinks including kati rolls inspired by street vendors in Calcutta, Kenyan coffee that tastes like grapes, cookies made in a vanilla base dough, and more. Come hungry!
Monday, July 30th
ASIAN AMERICAN POETRY: AN EVENING WITH KUNDIMAN POETS — Check out an evening of poetry and performance with poets at the end of the month! Kundiman is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing generations of writers and readers of Asian American literature and creates a space where Asian Americans can explore the unique challenges that face the new and ever-changing diaspora through art. Poets will read from their new work at tonight’s event, co-hosted by the New York Writers Coalition. A signing and wine reception follows the reading.
Tuesday, July 31st
ECSTATIC DANCE: JUDSON CHURCH HOMECOMING —Another incredible dance event you should get on your calendar is Ecstatic Dance at Judson Memorial Church, right near Washington Square Park! You’ll get a warm up class, followed by 3 hours dancing with amazing DJs and live drummers, and then end with a closing sound healing and closing circle. You’ll also be able to lounge and enjoy Ambrosia Elixirs serving refreshing beverages and nibbles all night, with ambient music and a warm vibes throughout the night.