Gothamist Summer Guide: 20 Fun Things To Do In July

<br/><br/>Summer's sweltering months are finally upon us, so when you're not <a href="">taking a dip in a city pool</a> or <a href="">diving into the ocean</a>, here are some other fun things to do this July.

<br/><br/>These days, a trip to Yankee Stadium can cost you well over $60, what with tickets, transportation, food, and beer. But why subject yourself to those expenses when you have <strong>the Brooklyn Cyclones</strong> just a bit further south? The cheapest tickets cost a mere $9, (and don't go higher than $16) and they have weekly promotions, like Jersday Thursdays, where the first 3,000 fans receive replica jerseys, or Fireworks Fridays, which gives parkgoers a view of the Coney Island fireworks show. July has even more to offer, like $1 hot dogs and even a free garden gnome; they even play the Staten Island Yankees at the end of the month. You may not get to watch the <em>real</em> Yankees play, but at least you get an affordable night out and maybe a ride on the Wonder Wheel. <em>(Sophie Kleeman)</em><br/><br/><em>Throughout July through the beginning of September // <a href="">MCU Park</a> // <a href="">Tickets</a></em>


<br/><br/>Speaking of Coney Island, the 98th annual <a href=""><strong>Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating Contest</strong></a> comes to Coney Island on July 4, where international hot dog-eating superstar <a href="">Joey Chestnut</a> will appear among countless other food eating champions. The preshow, featuring the <a href="">Skyriders Trampoline Act</a> and a musical performance by Eric Badlands Booker begins at 10:30 a.m., followed by the Lady's Hot Dog Eating Contest at 11:30 a.m., then the main event at 12:30. If you can't make it all the way out to Brooklyn, no worries! ESPN 2 will broadcast this portion of the contest, then ESPN (plain, not 2) will air the big show at 1 p.m. <em>(Alexander Seedman)</em><br/><br/><em>Thursday, July 4th, preshow begins at 10:30 a.m., ladies at 11:30 a.m., guys at 12:30 p.m. // Nathan's Famous at 1310 Surf Avenue, Coney Island // Free</em>

(Michael Trapp/Flickr)

<br/><br/>Anthology Film Archives will screen three surfer-themed features over the Fourth of July weekend, as part of its series <a href="http://"><strong>Surfin’ AFA</strong></a>. The three-day wave-riding extravaganza kicks off with Albie Thoms’s <em>Palm Beach</em>, an avant-garde picture that plays with sound and narrative to dismantle idealized Australian surf culture. Other titles include John Milius’s <em>Big Wednesday</em>, and Kathryn Bigelow’s action feature <em>Point Break</em>, starring Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves. Take this as an opportunity to visit the beach without actually <a href="http://">visiting the beach</a>! <em>(Alice Severs)</em><br/><br/><em>July 5th through July 7th // <a href='"'>Anthology Film Archives</a> // Tickets $10</em>

<br/><br/>Governor's Island continues its <a href="">atavistic ways</a> with the arrival of <strong><a href="">Fete Paradiso</a></strong>, a traveling festival of vintage carnival rides and carousels that's been making the rounds in Europe. Carousels, flying swings, a pipe organ and other attractions from the late 19th and early 20th centuries will be on display and open for riders starting the first week of July and running through the end of September. <br/><br/>Take a seat on a rare bicycle carousel from Paris; try your hand at the Music-Hall Ball Guzzler game, which features life-sized caricatures of Josephine Baker and Charlie Chaplin; or toss back a few <em>bière</em> inside the converted bumper car pavilion from 1900. Games and rides set you back the century-friendly price of $3, but entrance into another time is absolutely free.<br/><br/><em>Weekends starting July 6th through September 29th, 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. // <a href="">Governor's Island</a> // Free</em>

<br/><br/>If the egregious heat hasn't killed us all yet, cool off with an epic ice cream battle between some creative home…cooks? The <strong><a href="">Brooklyn Ice Cream Takedown</a></strong> pits 25-30 frosty artisans against one another for frozen milk supremacy. There are no rules in this "highly experimental" ice cream takedown, with previous years yielding flavors like Molasses Toffee and other unusual creations. Phin &amp; Phebes and il laboratorio del gelato provide professional insight and judgement, while attendees pick a people's choice winner. Each competitor brings at least two gallons of the frozen treats to the Bell House, so get ready for some sweet, sweet brain freeze.<br/><br/><em>Sunday, July 7th, 2 p.m. // <a href="">The Bell House</a> // <a href=";eventId=3645514&amp;pl=bellpl">Tickets $15</a></em>

<br/><br/>The Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy once again offers its <strong><a href="">Books Beneath the Bridge</a></strong> series in which literary favorites like Colson Whitehead, Sharon Olds, and Kevin Baker will present some of their own NYC-inspired works. Each week's event will be curated by a local, independent bookstore, featuring a reading, a Q&amp;A session with the authors and poets, and a book signing. <br/><br/>There's even going to be a 100th anniversary celebration of Marcel Proust's <em>Swann's Way</em> on July 29, so if you're looking for a little light summer reading, well, maybe skip the Proust and check out James Gulliver Hancock's <a href=""><em>All the Buildings in New York: That I've Drawn So Far</em></a> featured by Freebird Bookstore on July 9. And please, for the love of lit, don't miss powerHouse Arena's presentation of Colum McCann's <em>TransAtlantic</em>, the follow-up to his 2009 National Book Award-winning <u>Let the Great World Spin</u>. <em>(Alexander Seedman)</em><br/><br/><em>Mondays July 8th through August 12th, 7 p.m. // <a href="">Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park</a> // Free</em>


<br/><br/>Showcasing hiphop legends along with the new generation, the <strong><a href="">Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival</a></strong> returns for its 9th year as the largest hip hop cultural event in the city. Headliners for this year's event are Pusha T, one half of the '90s group The Clipse, and Newark's Redman, who's well known for his collaborations with Method Man. Performers have been known to bring along some surprise guests, so be on the lookout for some other big names to drop in. DJ Enuff will be spinning an MCA tribute, plus additional performances by EPMD, Dizzy Wright and other names to be announced closer to the date.<br/><br/><em>Wednesday, July 10th through Saturday, July 13th // Multiple Locations // <a href="">Tickets $20 to $75</a></em>


<br/><br/>The 123rd Annual Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Saint Paulinus of Nola is something everyone should experience at least once. The combination Italian street fair (akin to the San Gennaro festival) and traditional religious observance<a href=""> takes over a small pocket of Williamsburg</a> by The Shrine Church Of Our Lady of Mount Carmel for 12 days every July. The highlight of the festivities is the Giglio lift, during which 130 men carry an 80-foot tall, <em>3 ton </em>Giglio statue through the streets. To make sure the lift isn't too easy for these guys, they throw a marching band up there too. Here's video:<br/><br/><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" mozallowfullscreen="" src=";byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;color=FF0000" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="640"></iframe> <p><a href="">Giglio Lift</a> from <a href="">Gothamist</a> on <a href="">Vimeo</a>.</p><br/><br/>The massive Giglio is lifted and danced through the streets three times during the festival; the first lift is on Sunday, July 14th at 1 p.m. <a href=";task=icalrepeat.detail&amp;evid=64&amp;Itemid=1&amp;year=2013&amp;month=07&amp;day=14&amp;title=giglio-sunday-2013&amp;uid=8766a0822d86615787846c011c522496&amp;catids=34|35">Check out the full schedule here</a>.<br/><br/><em>July 10th through July 21st // North Eighth Street and Havemeyer in Williamsburg // Free</em>

<br/><br/>Continuing a tradition started in 1965, the New York Philharmonic presents their annual <strong><a href="">Concerts in the Parks</a></strong> series this month. Music Director Alan Gilbert will conduct the orchestra in a concert in each borough, beginning in Prospect Park on July 10th. They perform two works at each concert, Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5 and Dvořák's Cello Concerto, with a special performance by Principale Cello Carter Brey at the latter. Each work lasts around 40 minutes, giving you plenty of time to have a nosh, sip some carefully concealed Cabernet and float away with the music. Stick around after the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Bronx concerts for a fireworks display immediately following the performances.<br/><br/><em>Wednesday, July 10th through Tuesday, July 16th, 8 p.m. // <a href="">Multiple Locations</a> // Free</em>


<br/><br/>Battery Park stands in for Prospero's island in the New York Classical Theatre's production of <strong><a href=""><em>The Tempest</em></a></strong>. The company stages Shakespeare's enchanted play in their signature "Panoramic Theatre," which uses Castle Clinton and the greater New York Harbor as a backdrop, with the company shifting locations for different scenes. “Half surrounded by water and steeped in history, Battery Park is the perfect setting for Shakespeare’s most magical, otherworldly play,” explains New York Classical Theatre founder and artistic director Stephen Burdman. You can find yourself shipwrecked on the island with the colorful cast of characters without rowing a single oar or spending a single penny.<br/><br/><em>Tuesday through Sunday, July 11th – August 4th, 7 p.m. // Battery Park (meet in front of Castle Clinton) // Free</em>

<span class="photo_caption">A scene from last year's festivities

Dan Nguyen @ New York City/Flickr

<br/><br/>Celebrate Brooklyn! will present <strong><a href="">Dracula with the Philip Glass Ensemble</a></strong>, an outdoor screening of Bella Lugosi's 1931 classic iteration of your friendly neighborhood vampire (which scored a <a href="">whopping 91% on Rotten Tomatoes</a>!) along with a live accompaniment of the Philip Glass score, praised by Roger Ebert as "a blood thirst that is 500 years old." If that age-old blood thirst isn't enough to get you pumped, the bright and brilliant <a href="">Kishi Bashi</a> will open the night and undoubtedly have you clapping and gyrating to his one-man orchestra of electro-strings and haunting looped vocals. <em>(Alexander Seedman)</em><br/><br/><em>Saturday, July 13th, 7:30 p.m. // <a href="">Prospect Park Bandshell</a> // Free</em>

<br/><br/>If you've so far missed the <a href="">multiple</a> <a href="">opportunities</a> to check out Long Island City, will some free beer do the trick? Brooklyn Based and The Brooklyn Brewery are hoping so with their <strong><a href="">Total Long Island City Immersion</a></strong>, where you can grab complimentary brews at four local bars and over brunch at two local restaurants on July 13th. The <a href="">LIC Flea</a> operates on the date as well, and your free Immersion card gives you $1 off Oaxaca Tacos and $2 off a lobster roll from Luke's Lobster. <br/><br/>Besides the free brewskis and discounted grub, explore neighborhood treasures like the Socrates Sculpture Garden and the soon-to-be-demolished 5Pointz. There's also a special scavenger hunt with challenges that yield prizes. The Immersion concludes with a free comedy show at The Creek and The Cave. Though the whole shebang is free, attendees are encouraged to <a href="">RSVP on Facebook</a>; Immersion cards can be procured on the day starting at noon at <a href="">Alewife</a> or <a href="">LIC Bar</a>. <br/><br/><em>Saturday, July 13th, noon to 6 p.m. // Long Island City // Free</em>

LIC Bar (Katie Sokoler/Gothamist)

<br/><br/>Even if you can't celebrate Bastille Day in France—stumbling down a darkened street, waving a French flag, and carrying a bottle of fine French wine—you can still honor the country's beloved holiday, which commemorates the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, right here in New York City. Don't miss the The French Institute Alliance Francaise's <strong><a href="">Bastille Day on 60th Street</a></strong>, an enormous fête that stretches from 5th Avenue to Lexington Avenue. Food, drink, and performances abound, including an appearance by Dominique Ansel, the bakery behind the <a href="">cronut craze</a> currently sweeping the universe. <em>(Sophie Kleeman)</em><br/><br/><em>Sunday, July 14th // 60th Street Between Fifth and Lexington // Free</em>

(agent j loves nyc/Flickr)

<br/><br/>Looking to fulfill that childhood fantasy of getting day-drunk at Webster Hall while listening to your favorite local Jazz musicians? The <a href=""><strong>NYC Craft Beer Festival</strong></a> returns this July 20 with Blue Note Jazz Musicians and tastings of over 150 craft beers from all over the country. The festival offers 2 ounce tastings of each beer with the purchase of a General Admission ticket for $55, and those lucky few who fork over another $20 for the VIP ticket (or $60 more for the extra-very-important-person "Connoisseur Package" ticket) will receive an extra early-bird hour of tasting, access to various seminars, and a special souvenier glass. Connoisseurs get access to a lounge which will serve rare beer and hors d'ouevres, the rich-person version of the word "orderbs." <em>(Alexander Seedman)</em><br/><br/><em>Saturday, July 20th; Session One 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Session Two 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. // <a href="">Webster Hall</a> // <a href="">GA tickets $55, VIP tickets $75</a></em>

<br/><br/>Nature lovers, architecture aficionados, and history buffs can all find plenty to appreciate inside the Brooklyn Navy Yard, established by John Adams in 1801 and reopened as an industrial park in 1969. Though usually closed to the public, BLDG 92 is offering <strong><a href="">seasonal photography tours</a></strong> where participants will be shuttled by bus through a series of locations and may photograph at their leisure. And because New Yorkers have retained their <a href="http://">competitive spirit</a> since the days of yore, a professional photographer will choose the top three photos posted to Instagram, with winners receiving a pair of free tickets for any Brooklyn Navy Yard tour. <em>(Alice Severs)</em><br/><br/><em>Saturday, July 20th,11 a.m. to 1 p.m. // <a href="">Brooklyn Navy Yard</a> // <a href="">Tickets $30</a></em>

<br/><br/><a href="">Secret Formula</a> has been drawing sold-out crowds for their Saturday/Sunday morning animated series Spoons, Toons &amp; Booze, with screenings of all your favorite childhood cartoons like Rescue Rangers and Rugrats. This month they're taking things to the adult side, with <a href="">Spoon Toons &amp; Booze After Dark</a>, a midnight series of their popular show where they'll show "adult and teen" cartoons like the chronicles of a <a href="">certain Morgendorffer</a>, a <a href="">fowl lawyer</a> and maybe something from a <a href="">family in Springfield</a>. As always, the free, all-you-can-eat cereal bar will be on hand, plus special cocktails, contents, and the STB After Dark Band performing cartoon theme covers. <br/><br/><em>Friday and Saturday, July 26th and 27th, 12:10 a.m. // <a href=";/a&gt;Nitehawk Cinema&lt;/a&gt; // &lt;a href=" http:="">Tickets $15</a></em>

<br/><br/>Bushwick is chock-full of live music spaces, talented artists, and happening bars (and, of course, Roberta's, its sprawling famed pizza-and-more joint), so why not bring them all together for one jam-packed rager. The <strong><a href="">Bushwick Block Party</a></strong>, held this year on July 27th, brings booze, bands, and freshly baked pizza to the street near Roberta's. This year's music line-up includes Action Bronson, Full Service, and Tiki Disco, and besides Roberta's, revelers can nosh on Crif Dogs and zeppoles. You can also look forward to a photo booth, as well as free giveaways from Vans. <em>(Sophie Kleeman)</em><br/><br/><em>Saturday, July 27th, noon to 11 p.m. // Moore Street between Bogart and White, Bushwick // Free</em>


<br/><br/>If you've got the wheels—and the stamina!—how about a 40-mile bike ride along Brooklyn's waterfront? The 5th annual <strong><a href="">Brooklyn Waterfront Epic Ride</a></strong> takes riders along the (mostly) lovely coastal shore of the borough, passing the expanse of the New York Harbor, underneath the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and ending up on Rockaway Beach. The tour highlights the planned <a href="">Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway</a>, which spans from Greenpoint to Sunset Park, and the completed Jamaica Bay Greenway. An after party greets cyclists on completion of the daunting ride, with live music and eats from the Rockaway food vendors to replenish whatever you cycled out. If you're not up for 40 miles, alternate starts at Owls Head Park (26 miles) and Floyd Bennett Field (14 miles) have been arranged. <br/><br/><em>Saturday, July 27th, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. // <a href="">Begins at 27 North 6th Street</a> // <a href="">Registration $35 solo, $30 w/team</a></em>

<br/><br/>If you haven't yet experienced MoMA's sensational <strong><a href="">Rain Room</a></strong> installation, the time is <em>now</em>, as the man-made precipitation will fade away at the end of the month. A heavy rain falls in a darkened room where visitors walk through without getting wet thanks to special, ultra-sensitive motion sensors that control the downpour. A bright, white light illuminates each raindrop as you stroll through the space, creating a disorienting wonderland of white droplets always just out of reach.<br/><br/><em>Through July 28th // <a href="">Museum of Modern Art</a> // Museum Admission $25</em>