Bastille Day on 60th Street (2015). Image via fluentcity.com
Even after all of the Fourth of July activities, New York City shows no sign of slowing down. Music festivals, special holiday celebrations, summer food, free films and a seemingly endless list of tours are among some of the festivities to take part in this week.
Friday, July 7
Join Manhattan By Sail for a Daytime Statue Sail aboard the historic Shearwater, departing from North Cove Yacht Harbor. It’s the perfect opportunity to sit back and relax while you take in close-up views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the Manhattan skyline. The sail lasts 90 minutes and includes a beverage. Friday’s departure options are at 12:30 PM and 2:45 PM.
Saturday, July 8
Behind-the-Scenes Hard Hat Tour of the Abandoned Ellis Island Hospital: The abandoned Ellis Island Hospital complex—once the standard for United States medical care (and later transformed to the FBI headquarters when the island served as a detention center)—has been left to decay for nearly 60 years. Now, Untapped Cities is bringing you behind-the-scenes for an unique exploration of the abandoned facility; on this experience, you’ll visit the contagious disease wards, the autopsy rooms and have exclusive access to places usually closed to the public. Join us for our upcoming hard hat tour, guided by a Save Ellis Island docent, where we’ll uncover its many, buried secrets.
You can also hang out at the New York Transit Museum for its Vintage Bus Bash, held in partnership with the Department of Buses. From 11 AM to 4 PM, the museum will bring four vintage buses to Governors Island for a summer getaway. Come see iconic “fishbowl” windows, the city’s first air-conditioned transit bus, and more. No Metrocard needed — you can see and step aboard these historic transit vehicles of the past for free. Buses will be parked on Colonels Row and are open for exploration.
Another option to is to attend Inspired Madness: Nikola Tesla in New York from 11 AM – 1 PM. Join tour guide Deborah Zelcer on a prowl, where you’ll track down local haunts of the mad genius, Nikola Tesla, whose musings, inventions, and rantings predicted and gave form to our modern technological era. Follow the footsteps of this eccentric and colorful resident who left a “charged” impression on our city. Cost: $30 / $20 Members.
Sunday, July 9
Secrets of Central Park Walking Tour: Did you know that Central Park was once the site of a former African-American village? Or that it was previously home to an infamous casino, where alcohol flowed throughout the Prohibition? For almost 160 years, Central Park has been the green heart of the city, serving as a pastoral haven for New Yorkers and visitors alike. Even so, it still holds many secrets that have yet to be discovered. On this walking tour, kicking off on May 14th, we’ll explore the history behind some of its best-loved and hidden sites. Learn about the genesis, design, and evolution of the immense green space, while uncovering its many outrageous happenings, scandals and more.
Also on the 9th, join the Atlas Obscura Society New York for an evening of bawdy discovery as they delve into the history of burlesque, an enchanting form of performance that has shimmied and shifted with the times over a transformative century in America. The sensational Doctor Lucky, the World’s Premiere Ph(Double)D, will be your guide, sharing titillating tales from the past. As the evening unfolds, a dazzling array of in-the-flesh performances will demonstrate a range of burlesque styles from the past and present on the new, state-of-the-art Littlefield stage.
You can also head to 60th Street to celebrate Bastille Day and all things French during a fun and festive afternoon of food, wine, culture, and entertainment. For over 20 years, Bastille Day on 60th Street, presented by the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), has been New York’s largest public celebration of France’s Independence Day (July 14, 1789) and France’s historic friendship with the United States. Abounding with French cuisine, music, dance, and myriad attractions for the whole family, this three-block fête populaire invites New Yorkers to revel in the flavors, sounds, and joie de vivre of France.
Monday, July 10
Starting July 10 and lasting until July 15, head over to Brooklyn for the 13th Annual Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival. Established in 2005, The Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival is New York City’s largest Hip-Hop cultural event, scattered in venues throughout Brooklyn. The festival offers a variety of culture-based educational and entertainment events, in addition to its performances. Activities include panel lectures, exhibitions, movie screenings and even a family-friendly block party for all. The festival’s initiative is to celebrate and preserve Hip-Hop’s legacy by promoting artistic progression, community building and social change. Tickets for various events and performances range from $0 – $180.
Tuesday, July 11
Take a tour of Manhattan Districts 1/2/5 Garage and Salt Shed. Dattner Architects, WXY, and the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) are taking part in Open House New York’s (OHNY) Getting to Zero series, a year-long event featuring tours and talks that explores New York City’s waste system. Manhattan Districts 1/2/5 Garage is DSNY’s first LEED Gold-certified facility, which includes a 1.5-acre green roof that increases storm water retention, enhances thermal performance, and promotes biodiversity. Rising nearly 70 feet, the adjacent Salt Shed houses 5,000 tons of salt, and is modeled after a salt crystal’s structure. The OHNY tour will take place at 7 PM and preregistration is required.
Also make your way to Central Park for the first showing of Shakespeare in the Park’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The Delacorte Theater will transform into the most enchanted forest for Shakespeare’s beloved comedy. In this hilarious, fairytale fantasia, the merry sprite Puck meddles with a magical love potion, causing young lovers lost in the woods to mysteriously find themselves infatuated with the wrong person. Lear deBessonet, Founder of The Public Theater’s groundbreaking Public Works program and Resident Director, brings her electric theatrical vision to the classic romance about the supernatural nature of love.
Wednesday, July 12
Insider Tour of the American Irish Historical Society: Usually off-limits to the public, the American Irish Historical Society is opening its doors to Untapped Cities. The center of Irish culture and knowledge, located on Manhattan’s Museum Mile, was built in 1901. The five story Beaux-Arts townhouse was a private home before it was purchased by the Society in 1939, and it currently stands as one of the last standing mansions on Fifth Avenue. Today, the Society hosts a variety of public events such as concerts, lectures and poetry readings. With a library that holds over 10,000 volumes, it is home to one of the largest private collections of Irish and American Irish history and literature in the United States.
You can also join Queens Borough Historian, Dr. Jack Eichenbaum in Crossing Newtown Creek: Long Island City to Greenpoint. From 6 to 8 PM, walk through a nexus of contemporary artists’ activity in converted industrial buildings; follow newly gentrified Jackson Ave. and cross the Pulaski Bridge connecting Long Island City to Brooklyn; and see remnants of the intense and largely unregulated industrial development that thrived along Newtown Creek during the late nineteenth century before the consolidation of Greater New York City and infrastructure improvements rendered it obsolete.
Another option is to hang out with Open House New York for Projects in Planning: Brooklyn Army Terminal Activation Plan. From 7 – 8:30 PM, check out a presentation about Brooklyn Army Terminal, the 97-acre complex designed by legendary architect Cass Gilbert, which supports many different activities, and includes more than four million square feet of space and multiple buildings. With the recent arrival of the new NYC Ferry service and a half-million square feet of renovated space available for new tenants, the City, with the help of WXY architecture + urban design, is working to make the complex more accessible and improving connections to the waterfront for the surrounding community.
Thursday, July 13
Enjoy the film Pariah (2011, R) at Brooklyn Bridge Park during the Movies With A View series. The Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy is also excited to announce a new partnership with DeKalb Market Hall – the newly opened, 60,000-square-foot food hall in Downtown Brooklyn. While taking in spectacular views and enjoying the film, attendees can now snack on all kinds of food from the Hall’s diverse food vendors. Some highlights include Kotti Berliner Döner Kebab, Foragers Rotisserie, The Pop Cake Shop, and Cuzin’s Duzin. Furthermore, for the first time in the series’ history, visitors will be able to enjoy cool beers and tasty wines from Warsteiner and Oak Beverages – all from the comfort of their picnic blankets.
Also gather with city enthusiasts for the Public Space Potluck at Freeman Plaza East. From 6 – 7:30 PM, join the Design Trust for a communal meal at Freeman Plaza East in addition to a conversation about the transformation of the tunnel entry area. Hudson Square Connection President Ellen Baer and Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects Principal Signe Nielsen, RLA, FASLA, will discuss how the transformation took place and the design strategies that were used to create the oasis. All you need to bring is a dish to share. They’ll provide drinks, plates, napkins, and all other picnic needs. The event is free and open to the public.