Good afternoon, this is W42ST Lifestyle Editor Sarah Beling with “Make Way For The Weekend” — your curated guide to the best of New York events in one convenient newsletter!
It may come as a bit of a surprise to hear that I’m definitively not one of those people who think You Can Only Live in New York — after all, one of the best parts about this city is its many (many!) cultural influences from somewhere else!! That said, I am a big believer that if a friend is moving away, you and everyone else staying owe it to them to organize a Great New York Goodbye. Whether it be a teary trip to Absolute Bagels, one last round of show tune singalongs at Marie’s Crisis followed by late-night Bleecker Street Pizza, or, as in a recent case — delicious dim sum followed by karaoke in Koreatown — why not give the person leaving a great reminder of why they’ll want to come back and visit?! We’ll miss you!!! And if you need to find us, there’s a good chance we’ll be waiting for you at our favorite bodega, chopped cheese in hand.
…when you can only think as far ahead as Monday!
🎶 song’s up, dude
Given the area’s many recent shark sightings 👀, it seems wise to stay firmly onshore at the Rockaway Surf Beach Music Festival August 25-27. The good news is while swimming in the deep may not be a great idea, there are plenty of free tunes to enjoy from surf-themed indie bands with — I must say — incredible names. Let’s go Bali Lamas!!!
👯 bollywood and the beat
Learn one of the world’s most joyful dance forms with fellow New Yorkers at Hudson River Park’s free Bollywood and Bhangra lessons August 26 at Pier 63!
🐉 weekend of the dragon
Check out China’s best culinary and cultural offerings at this weekend’s Dragon Fest, a free outdoor celebration August 26 and 27 just below Union Square, where you can sample treats from New York favorites Nom Wah, Mochi Doki, Jixiang BBQ, Peking House and more!
🎭 one extraordinary journey
Based on the true tale of one woman’s harrowing survival during the Holocaust, The Chain Theatre presents Helena Weinrauch’s A Will to Live now through September 16, in a piece described as “an emotional rollercoaster” that balances “the constant threat of death to the small acts of kindness that reignited humanity’s flickering flame.”
🎶 star power
I’ve been a fan of Ben Crawford since his appearance in 2012’s ahead-of-its-time ode to understudies, standbys and swings The Standbys, so I was excited to see that the leading actor, who has since gone on to headline his own Broadway shows, is appearing in his own cabaret Ben Crawford: Songs I Like to Sing That I Hope You’ll Like to Hear at 54 Below August 24-26! Standbys, stand up!!!
Dracula, A Comedy of Terrors is a high-octane, low-down, hilarious reimagining of the gothic classic. With fangs of fury and abs of steel, the stakes are high for Count D as he flees lady vampire hunter Jean Van Helsing and her motley entourage. If you’re a sucker for a bash brimming with bits, bites and bats, you can B Positive that this 90-minute, gender-bending, quick-change Stoker-joker is just your type. This Dracula has got the chops to make it on stage and leave audiences dying for more. He may not be the next Phantom, but he’s in the same vein. You can Count on it. draculacomedy.com
🎾 game, set, paint
Just in time for the US Open, you can rub elbows with some of the contenders at the The Art of Tennis August 25-26, where original portraits by sports artist Ted Dimond will be on display. Not pictured: a classical portrait of me and my best friend chaotically attempting a doubles match in 9th grade gym class.
🎶 hitting the high note
Taking world-class musicianship to New York’s parks and public spaces, Opera on Tap presents an immersive performance at OperaCades August 27 at Pier I (W70th Street). The best part? The entire set is a tribute to the Zoltar machine from the seminal Tom Hanks movie Big!! Giant FAO Schwarz piano not included.
🇯🇵 summer of sushi
Take in everything from traditional taiko drumming to tasty tempura at the Japanese Summer Family Festival at Industry City’s Japan Village August 26. Don’t forget to stick around for the Sansa Odori folk dance performance, Wanko Soba Noodle eating contest and the chance to win a free flight to Japan!!! As someone who once paid for a flight to Japan, it’s a worthwhile prize!!!
Dance on over to Groove for a live show celebrating the 25th anniversary of one of hip hop — and music’s — most influential albums of all time,The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill August 25. Daria Jones and her all-star band take you through Hill’s most beloved discography in a tribute to “a debut record that claimed space in hip-hop culture for Black feminism” and earned Hill five Grammy Awards.
🎭 storm’s a brewin’
The Tempest — opening August 27 for a one-week run at the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park — is perhaps my favorite of the Bard’s works. As Stefon would say, this play has everything: banishments, desert islands, hurricane season, magic, intense drunken revelry — you get the idea. Go see Tony winner Renee Elise Goldsberry lead the cast as Prospero and be prepared to be swept away.
🎞️ we’re still in the danger zone
My husband and I recently spent a not-insignificant amount of time discussing the missed opportunity that was not making Tom Cruise show up as one of the fighter pilots in Air Force One. Riveting, I know!!! If you’re also itching for more Movie Cruise Charisma, the Intrepid is screening Top Gun: Maverick August 25 and it is campy, sort of insane and the perfect summer movie night.
🎶strike up the sax
You can still catch the last few days of the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival tonight through August 25, where jam sessions and concerts from notables like Michael Mwenso, Sylvia, Cuenca and Bruce Williams are popping up everywhere from Lincoln Center to the Harlem Rose Garden!
…what’s happening before and just after I hit your inbox next!
🖊️ how many guesses
I’m honestly kind of horrible at Wordle and instead of using the app as intended and practicing, I avoid it altogether lol. That said, I know a lot of you are Wordle devotees and would appreciate a live session at the New York Times Grand Central pop-up August 30. Avenge me!
🎾 serve’s up, dude
One of my favorite memories of The US Open was the year that a drunken man yelled “Embrace the Villain!” in reference to underhanded plays by D***** M******* lol. You too can untangle this code and perhaps catch a few characters at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center beginning August 28.
…for when you need to secure those hot tickets before they sell out!!!
🎶 he’s your idol
Appropriately described as “the ever-moving myth, the intellectual/feral internet-age bookworm/caveman of our dreams,” Billy Idol plays the Kings Theatre September 12, where the rock legend promises a show where he “fire breathes dreams and nightmares, delivers clubland croon and Bolan-based cool” — a tagline almost as cool as his “Billy Never Idles” campaign!!!
🎤 will they give away tote bags
I know it’s a bit further off, but word on the street is that tickets are selling very quickly to The New Yorker Festival October 6-8 where you can catch the likes of notables like Ziwe, Aparna Nancherla, Paramore, Jhumpa Lahiri, Michelle Zauner and more!
🔥 Hot tip
There are some New York restaurants that are so hard to get into and so tasty that they’re worth accepting a midnight reservation — and Misi is one of them. And yes, I’ve done it 😅. So I was THRILLED to hear that Chef Missy Robbins and Co have just opened a Misi Pasta store where you can both enjoy in-house treats at their cafe and grab pasta and other Italian specialties to-go if you don’t have time to wait for a table. Carbs for all, baby!!!
⚠️ Omg I forgot to tell you
The Bronx Night Market is back August 26
Summer Streets are open in Brooklyn August 26
There’s a Met Opera outdoor screening festival this weekend!
Bag a bargain at the Rag and Bone sample sale starting August 29
That’s it for now! Call me beep me if you want to reach me! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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