It’s the Fourth of July on Saturday, which means that lots of people are heading out of town for BBQs, camping trips, family reunions and even Dead shows in Chicago (see below). Don’t worry if you’re sticking around though, there are plenty of ways to celebrate our nation’s independence right here in Brooklyn, and all kinds of activities to keep you occupied this week.
Tonight and tomorrow night, Talib Kweli, the ultra-talented and socially-conscious rapper whose lyrics are the stuff of legend, will be performing at Brooklyn Bowl with a full live band. The shows start at 8pm and tickets are only $20, which is a great price to see this Brooklyn-born artist tear the roof off. While we’re on the topic of music, the first annual Julybalaya festival, a celebration of local indie musicians, artists, dancers, and more, is happening Friday and Saturday in Crown Heights. Day passes are just $25 and include lots of live performances by acts like Eva and Her Virgins, Pete Ayres, Frank Knight, Meridian Lights and Artanker Convoy.
At long last, free outdoor movie season is here! Check back with us tomorrow, when we will once again be posting a super-convenient calendar of all the scheduled screenings in Brooklyn for you to pick and choose from, but for now keep in mind that Nitehawk Cinema and Buzzfeed are pairing up on Tuesday for a special 20th anniversary screening of Billy Madison at 50 Kent Avenue. There will be food and drinks available for purchase, but you might have to bring your own snack packs and sloppy joes. For something a bit more intellectually rigorous, check out Tangerine, a new movie that was filmed entirely on an iPhone, about two transgender women navigating a rough stretch of Hollywood. The film, which our own Annaliese Griffin reviewed last week, will be presented on a rooftop in midtown Tuesday night, followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker. Tickets are $15.
Finally, a few quick future events that you’ll want to buy tickets to now, because they’re going to sell out: Brooklyn Grange is hosting a Veggiepalooza dinner featuring a bevy of well-known chefs putting the late-summer harvest to its best use on Sept. 3, and The Bell House has added a second show to its Tape Festival: A Celebration of Public Radio, after the first one sold out.
For now though, get out there and enjoy the short week/long weekend– you deserve it! Here are our tips for how to get the most out of the next seven days:
Thursday, July 2
With July 4th just around the corner (more on that later), it’s more important than ever to realize that America wouldn’t be the country we know and love today without diversity. In honor of that, Clinton Hill’s JACK is hosting How To Make It In Black America, Pt. I, a performance series by the Brooklyn Gypsies, an artist collective specializing in theater, dance, poetry and film. Featured poets include writer/actor Modesto “Flako” Jimenez, a Dominican-born artist who has appeared on The Daily Show and Charlie Rose, and Saroya Marsh, a critically-acclaimed spoken word performer who is currently ranked second in the U.S. at the Woman of the World Poetry Slam. Thursday is the first night of the series, so drop by to see a creative (and timely) exploration of the history and current state of U.S. race relations illustrated through poetry and audio/visual clips. Tickets are $20, which includes food, and the performance starts at 8pm. –N.R.
Friday, July 3
After a half-century of tours, jams, patchwork pants and recreational drug use, The Grateful Dead’s long, strange trip is drawing to a close this weekend with three final shows at Chicago’s Soldier Field. The four surviving original band members, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, Bob Weir and Bill Kreutzmann, will be joined by Phish’s Trey Anastasio (stepping in for Jerry Garcia), Jeff Chimenti, and Bruce Hornsby at Fare Thee Well, a three-night-long 50th anniversary celebration that will mark the last time the group ever performs together. If you didn’t score a “miracle” and a flight, you can still experience this historic event surrounded by other Deadheads at Brooklyn Bowl, which is simulcasting each of the Friday, Saturday and Sunday night shows live on the big screen. Tickets are $15 per night, and the shows start at 8pm. Let there be songs to fill the air! –K.H.
Saturday, July 4
When it comes to Fourth of July activities, Brooklyn never disappoints and this year is no exception. With the fireworks set to explode in all their glory over the East River yet again, you should get yourself to the Brooklyn waterfront (especially Brooklyn Bridge Park) for a great view of the show. But before you grab your picnic blanket (and clandestine beer) be sure to check out this roundup of patriotic events going on around the borough:
Like visiting the Empire State Building or walking the Brooklyn Bridge, the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Contest is something every New Yorker should experience at some point. This year, the festivities kick off with the women’s competition at 11am and the men’s contest at 12:40pm, and reigning champs Joey Chestnut and the “Black Widow” will be back to defend their titles. The event is free and open to the public, but if you want a decent view of the action, get to Coney Island early. Afterwards, stick around the neighborhood for either the Third Annual Fourth of July Beach Party or a super cheap ballgame between the Brooklyn Cyclones and the Williamsport Crosscutters at MCU Park ($10-$17)—you’ll get a fireworks display at the end of either event! Meanwhile, if you’re hell-bent on the big, Macy’s-sponsored fireworks extravaganza, you can gather with the masses at Brooklyn Bridge Park or consider upgrading by buying a ticket to climb aboard the Baylander IX-514, a helicopter landing trainer (read: historic Navy ship) docked at Pier 5. For a suggested contribution of $160, you get free beer and wine, a gourmet BBQ dinner, live DJ sets, and what will most definitely be the best seat in the house for the fireworks. To purchase tickets, call 240-643-9973 or shoot an email to email@example.com. If seasickness is an issue, you can throw down $125-$175 for a ticket to the party at the Brooklyn Bridge Garden Bar on Pier 1 where starting at 6pm, the craft beer shall floweth. Admission includes a buffet and three drinks and you can buy tickets here. Finally, for all you North Brooklynites who think Brooklyn Bridge Park and Coney Island are a bit out of reach, The Gorbals (located atop Urban Outfitters in Williamsburg) will host a $20 BBQ starting at noon and the rooftop dance club at Output will also be open to spectators. Whatever you decide to do, have a happy and safe Fourth of July! –N.R.
Sunday, July 5
Ah, the morning after! Instead of lying around feeling like death warmed over, get outside and take in a low-key workout at one of the free yoga classes happening every Sunday this month in Prospect Park. Bring your own mat and get ready to breathe deep, stretch and pose in a serene, beautiful setting near Bartel Pritchard Lot from 10-11am. You will feel refreshed and reenergized, and ready for a delicious brunch to cap off the long weekend (we suggest nearby Krupa Grocery). –K.H.
Monday, July 6
Although the city’s outdoor public pools officially opened last weekend, adult lap swimming, aka the only way I know of to exercise outdoors during the summer without turning into a cranky, red-faced, sweaty beast, doesn’t start until Monday. From then through Aug. 28, McCarren Park Pool, Red Hook Pool and Sunset Pool will all offer early morning sessions from 7-8:30 am and evening sessions from 7-8:30pm. You’ll need to register online in advance and invest in a combination lock, but then you’re all set and, if you’re feeling ambitious, keep in mind that if you swim 25 miles by the end of the summer you’ll get a free t-shirt. –K.H.
Tuesday, July 7
Head to the Way Station on Thursday for an altogether different kind of Ladies’ Night–this one recognizes the widespread gender discrimination that women have been and continue to be subjected to and wants to throw us a bone. For one night, which happens to be 7/7, the bar will charge women just 77% of the cost of every drink. This is a reference, of course, to the frequently cited Department of Labor stat that suggests that women are paid just 77 cents on the dollar compared to men. That such a prominent gender wage gap still exists in 2015 is, in the Way Station’s words, “some shameful shit,” and sure makes me feel like I need a cost-adjusted drink or two. The bar is also hosting an Acoustic Soul Night starting at 8pm on the same night, with live performances by local soul, R&B, and funk acts. –K.H.
Wednesday, July 8
If you’re looking for a comedy show made for comedy lovers, then check out Not Quite Midnight at Littlefield, a combination standup comedy showcase/late night talk show that actually starts at 8pm and has you in bed long before The Roots play Jimmy Fallon’s intro. Next Wednesday marks the one-year anniversary of the show, which is hosted by comedians Courtney Maginnis (Youth Group: A Comedy Show) and Chris Calogero (The Outdoor Show) and features standup sets followed by interviews with the performers about their funniest jokes. This time, the comedian guests include the very funny Gary Gulman (Tonight Show, The Late Show), Andy Sanford (Aqua Teen Hunger Force), Matteo Lane (Just For Laughs Festival), and Brett Davis (The Macaulay Culkin Show). Tickets can be purchased here for $5-$8 and doors open at 7:30pm. –N.R.