Gowanus Dredgers Battle Paddle @ Gowanus Dredgers Boathouse
Take a canoe trip through one of America's most toxic waterways while hearing stories about Gowanus going back to the 1600s, at this week's Gowanus Dredgers Battle Paddle. The Gowanus Dredgers will also share their ideas for improving shoreline access for all. Presented in partnership with the Old Stone House as part of their week-long celebration of the 243rd anniversary of the Battle of Brooklyn.
Wednesday, August 21st, 6 p.m. // Gowanus Dredgers Boathouse, 165 2nd St., Brooklyn // Free
Lip sync for your life with Murray Hill (photo by Jenny Anderson)
Mic Drop @ The McKittrick Hotel's Manderley Bar
Sing your heart out (silently) at late-night lip-sync competition Mic Drop. The contest convenes in the Jazz Age–inspired Manderley Bar and will be hosted by drag king extraordinaire Murray Hill. There will be several battles throughout the night, and several chances to be crowned Lip-Sync Champ, with DJ A-Ball spinning dance hits between rounds.
Thursday, August 22nd, 10 p.m. // The McKittrick Hotel's Manderley Bar, 530 W 27th St., Manhattan // Tickets: $10
Why Your Train Is Fucked: Hot Train Summer @ Caveat
Transit nerds to the front for the monthly subway lecture series, Why Your Train Is Fucked. The August edition, appropriately called Hot Train Summer, dives deep into the ways the heat makes everything in our embattled system worse, plus some historical anecdotes, construction conversations, and more. The show is hosted by Meg Pierson, Justin Williams, and a "mysterious anonymous ghostwriter."
Thursday, August 22nd, 6:30 p.m. // Caveat, 21A Clinton St., Manhattan // Tickets: $15
Help break a Soul Train world record, Thursday (photo courtesy of ImageNation)
Soul Train Tribute @ Marcus Garvey Park
Did you know that the Guinness World Record for the longest soul train is held by 426 people from Arizona? Help change that at the Soul Train Tribute, where ImageNation is trying to register 500 folks to dance together. The attempt will be soundtracked by DJ King James spinning a variety of independent artists' interpretations of Aretha Franklin songs, and the night closes with a screening of Amazing Grace, the Queen of Soul's 1972 gospel performance at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church.
Thursday, August 22nd, 6 p.m. // Marcus Garvey Park, 18 Mount Morris Park West, Harlem // Free
Close out another season of Rooftop Films (photo by Maike Schulz)
Rooftop Films Season Closer @ Green-Wood Cemetery
Get to Green-Wood for the final show of another excellent summer of indie flicks at the Rooftop Films Season Closer. They're finishing things out with an evening of short films about unstable weirdos, dog dreams, storm chasers, and pet chickens. Cinematographers include Rishi Chandna, Tomek Popakul, Nara Normande, and more. As ever, there will be live music before the show and a party after.
Friday, August 23rd, 7:45 p.m. // Green-Wood Cemetery, 500 25th St., Brooklyn // Tickets: $16
MOFAD at Night: J'ouvert @ Museum of Food and Drink
Have a preview of next weekend's festivities with a celebration of Afro-Caribbean food and culture. MOFAD at Night: J'ouvert presents a panel discussion about tourism, gender, queerness, agriculture, and cuisine in the Caribbean, moderated by food writer Korsha Wilson and featuring Yardy NYC founder DeVonn Francis, RAGGA NYC founder Christopher Udemezue, and CONNEK co-founder Chantel Chaday Emmanuel, in town from Kingston, Jamaica. There will also be food and drinks by Yardy NYC and music curated by the RAGGA NYC.
Friday, August 23rd, 7 p.m. // Museum of Food and Drink, 62 Bayard St., Brooklyn // Tickets: $30
Afropunk is this weekend (Elias Williams / Gothamist)
AfroPunk Festival @ Commodore Barry Park
It's time again for AfroPunk, one of the biggest music, film, fashion, art, and cultural celebrations produced by black artists. This year's lineup is as massive as ever, featuring Jill Scott, FKA Twigs, Leon Bridges, Kamasi Washington, Gary Clark Jr., Toro Y Moi, Burnt Sugar Arkestra, Tank and the Bangas, and about 40 more musical acts. There will also be some 20 DJs doing sets for AfroPunk After Dark, including Rich Medina, Rudeboyz, Papi Juice, and Underground System, plus Solutions Sessions panels with bestselling author (and former Teen Vogue EIC) Elaine Welteroth, human rights activist Bridget Todd, former leader of the Black Panther Party Elaine Brown, and many more.
Saturday, August 24th, and Sunday, August 25th // Commodore Barry Park, Flushing Ave., Brooklyn // Tickets: $70 and up
Sleepy Droner Club @ SI ArtSpace
Drift away at Sleepy Droner Club, a monthly showcase of ambient and electronic music accompanied by projected visuals. This edition, hosted by AJ Pantaleo and Rory Merola, features Watch & Ward's experimental sonic communication and multi-instrumentalist Skye Domino's live samples and beats. The program is part of the Staten Island Arts Community Producer Program.
Friday, August 23rd, 7:30 p.m. // SI ArtSpace, 23 Navy Pier Ct., Staten Island // Tickets: $8
Sail away at the Red Hook Regatta (photo by Walter Wlodarczyk)
Red Hook Regatta @ Valentino Pier
See a slew of student-made watercraft at the fifth-annual Red Hook Regatta. Produced by Pioneer Works and Red Hook Community Justice Center, the regatta sees homemade boats set sail and navigate the high seas off Valentino Pier. Eugene Harris will MC, halftime entertainment features music by Bene Coopersmith and a performance by Cora Dance, and there will be activations throughout the day by Pioneer Works artists and staff.
Saturday, August 24th, 1 p.m. // Valentino Pier, Coffey St. and Ferris St., Brooklyn // Free
Hudson River's BBQ Blues Festival @ Hudson River Park
Groove out the end of the weekend at Hudson River's BBQ Blues Festival, the longest-running free blues fest in NYC. This year's musicians, meant to represent a wide interpretation of blues styles, will be Kevin Burt, The World Famous Harlem Gospel Choir, AJ Ghent, Ruthie Foster, and Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe. There will, of course, also be plenty to eat, with Blue Smoke, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Butcher Bar, and Mighty Quinn's slinging all kinds of grilled meats all day long.
Sunday, August 24th, 2 p.m. // Hudson River Park, 353 West St., Manhattan // Free