The 2016 Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival. Image via Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival
The second week of August is usually when New Yorkers solemnly realize that summer is coming to an end. School is starting soon and the time left for vacation is narrowing everyday. While this is true, there are still plenty of fun things to do in New York City to live the rest of your summer to the fullest! And if you’re not sure how, we’ve got you covered for the week of August 11th-17th, 2017, which has some truly exciting events for people from all walks of life. From the much-anticipated Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival to New York City’s first dog art show and our own underground tours of the subway, there are a host of events that will keep you on your toes for last few weeks of summer.
Friday, August 11th
It’s a historic day for New York City, as its first dog art show takes off today! The show, called dOGUMENTA, will feature art created by ten established visual artists for your furry, four-legged friend. Better yet, it’s free and at the Brookfield Place Waterfront Plaza! It runs from 8:00 a.m – 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m, in order to “”paws’ at midday to avoid the heat.” The show will only be there from August 11-13, so take the day (or weekend) off to bond and treat your dog to some art. Or, if you don’t have a dog, there will be adoptable dogs there on Saturday afternoon, allowing you to “meet a new gallery buddy and give a pup a forever home.” In the meantime, view their gallery here!
Saturday, August 12th
Join our underground tour of the New York City subway; we still have slots open at 11AM and 2PM! Starting at City Hall Park, we’ll take a ride through the living history of the world’s largest rapid transit system (in area) by weaving in and out of the past and present transit hubs of lower Manhattan. This unique tour is designed to give a comprehensive history of the NYC Subway system, from its groundbreaking in 1901 up through the creation of the three different proprietary lines which were unified into the system we know today. We’ll uncover information and learn about spaces even the most seasoned commuter might not know about, and see three abandoned ghost stations that 4, 5, and 6 riders unknowingly pass through everyday.
It’s also the second day of Summer Streets! From 7AM-1PM, head over to this annual tradition, which started in 2008, for both invigorating and relaxing fun. The New York City Department of Transportation will open nearly seven miles of routes, from East 72nd St. to the Brooklyn Bridge along Park Avenue, that are typically meant for vehicles, pedestrians, and bikers. The activities at each rest stop include zip lining, yoga, dance lessons, mini golf, fitness classes, and a 270-foot-tall water slide! Summer Streets’ route starts at Lafayette and Chamber Streets by the Brooklyn Bridge, travels up Lafayette Street and Park Avenue to 72nd Street and ends at East 72nd Street and Central Park. If you can’t make it to this exciting summer tradition, you have one last chance on August 19th!
Sunday, August 13th
If you’ve never been to the annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival, one of the biggest dragon boat festivals in the United States, now is your chance. It’s the 27th anniversary of this free event, and as usual, it will be held to much fanfare on Meadow Lake at Flushing Meadows–Corona Park. In addition to traditional Chinese foods and performances, the festival will host more than 120 dragon boat teams from across North America competing for prizes. The Festival began in 1990 thanks to the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York City, and since then, has become a robust nonprofit, with the Festival’s fleet of dragon boats growing from 4 wooden dragon boats to over 30! The festival is a two-day event, so you can head over on Saturday, August 12th as well.
On the second Sunday of every month, the Merchant’s House offers a Walking Tour of Historic 19th Century Noho. It takes place promptly at 12:30PM, and is $15 for non-members and free for members. Travel back in time to the elite ‘Bond Street area,’ home to Astors, Vanderbilts, Delanos, as well as the Tredwells, who lived in the Merchant’s House. You’ll see how the neighborhood surrounding the house evolved from peaceful residential enclave to a bustling commercial hub, while stopping by 19th century landmark buildings of today.
Monday, August 14th
History and photography buffs rejoice, because a new exhibit, Capturing The Lower East Side’s Storefronts Oral History and Photo Exhibition, opens today at Theater of the New City. This exhibit allows you to experience activism and community through the lens of photographers. The work on display will be from two workshops hosted by acclaimed photographers and authors Karla and James Murray. At the workshops, the pair taught participants how to how to use photography and oral history to inspire advocacy. The result is a powerful collection of neighborhood storefront photos and personal interviews curated for this exhibit. If you can’t pay a visit today, no worries— the exhibit will be on view until September 18th, 2017.
Head over to the Coney Island Beach for a free outdoor movie screening of The LEGO Batman Movie, as part of Coney Island Flicks on the Beach. This series is happening throughout August on Mondays at 8:00 PM, centering around a giant 40-foot inflatable screen that turns the beach at West 10th Street into an outdoor movie theater. So come on down and see great flicks, representing a mix of modern, classic, and indie movies! Monday’s film is the lighthearted, animated, superhero comedy The LEGO Batman Movie. For directions, maps, and the full schedule, head to coneyflicks.com.
Tuesday, August 15th
New York’s favorite traveling jazz venue, Jazzmobile, is returning to Brooklyn Bridge Park with The Eric Person Band, Jazz Master Houston Person, and special guests Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium. Head over to this free event at 7PM at Pier 1’s Harbor View Lawn, bring a blanket, and get ready to hear some of the best tunes around! Jazzmobile, founded in 1964 and based in New York, is an outreach organization that aims to spread jazz to the largest possible audiences by creating special events like this one. If you’re a jazz fan and have never attended one of their events, now’s the time to see what they’re all about!
Wednesday, August 16th
The Merchant’s House Museum is hosting a fascinating, free illustrated talk called co-sponsored by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. Called The Merchant’s Misfortune: Merchant’s House Museum – A Tale of Survival, this discussion will be led by Michael Devonshire, the Director of Conservation at the firm Jan Hird Pokorny Associates, which has overseen all restoration work on the Merchant’s House building since 1990. Devonshire, also a commissioner at the Landmarks Preservation Commission, will present a detailed restoration history of this historic house. The Merchant’s House was built in 1832 and is New York City’s only family home that remained intact from the 1800s. It was once home to a wealthy merchant family and their Irish servants for almost 100 years. Today, it is considered one of the finest surviving examples of domestic architecture from the era. Attend this presentation at the Salmagundi Club on 5th Avenue to learn more, and RSVP at email@example.com.
Thursday, August 17th
Since August 18th is the last day of the 36th annual Battery Dance Festival (BDF), now is a good time to check it out! The festival is happening from August 13-18th in Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park from 7:00 – 9:00pm. It is New York City’s longest-running free public dance festival, drawing over 12,000 people annually. BDF is unique from other dance programs in that it prioritizes the inclusion of diverse dance styles and invites performers from around the world. Today’s performance features the Mophato Dance Theatre from Botswana. Check out their full schedule of performers throughout the week here.