Here are the five coolest things to do in and around NYC this week. We publish a new list every Wednesday, covering Thursday through Wednesday. Stay tuned for insider updates on restaurant openings, festivals, exhibitions, shows, weekend escapes, and more.
New opening | Drink
When a mixologist from one of the city’s most respected bars branches out on his own, cocktail enthusiasts take note. Kenta Goto—an alum of Audrey Saunders’ groundbreaking cocktail lounge, Pegu Club—opened BAR GOTO in the Lower East Side just two weeks ago, and it’s already a tough bar stool to snag. Taking inspiration from the izakayas (casual bars with small bites) of his native Tokyo, Goto serves such cocktails as umami bloody Mary and cherry blossom martini alongside snacks like miso chicken wings and okonomiyaki (savory cabbage pancakes).
Opens 5 p.m. | 245 Eldridge St., New York | (212) 475-4411 | website
August 14–15 | Drink
Tap+Cork: Brooklyn Beer & Wine Fest
Now in its third year, the Brooklyn Beer & Wine Fest is once again bringing revelers to the neighborhood of Bed-Stuy. Featuring over 40 craft beers and artisanal wines—plus, of course, some killer food—this is a boozy good time not to be missed. The two-day event kicks off with a free bar crawl, “Tap Night Out,” on Friday. The bulk of the festivities are on Saturday, where admission gets you 10 drink tickets (for 3-ounce samples) that you can enjoy to the soundtrack of DJ sets and live musical performances.
2–8 p.m. | Restoration Plaza, 1368 Fulton St., Brooklyn | From $20 | website
August 14–30 | Performance
The 19th annual New York International Fringe Festival, taking place across 17 days and 16 venues, is a performance art dream. Shows range from serious drama to slapstick comedy to political satire to dance. Get help sifting through the 185 performances by taking the fun quiz, which is as quirky as the festival itself. Hot tickets include Hick: A Love Story, a one-woman show about Eleanor Roosevelt and her lesbian lover, and The Submarine Show, a vivid, madcap physical comedy that takes place after two men crash their submarine at the bottom of the ocean.
Locations & times vary | $18 | website
Aug 15–16 | Music/Festival
Jazz Age Lawn Party
With 20,000 people ferrying to Governor’s Island for the tenth year running, this celebration of the 1920s is the bee’s knees—and might just be the New York event of the summer. So throw on your best flapper dress or seersucker suit and prepare for a day of gaiety. Activities and amenities include dance lessons, a Charleston dance contest, vintage portraits, a pie competition, cocktails by legendary mixologist Julie Reiner, food trucks, and, of course, plenty of live jazz.
11 a.m.–5 p.m. | Governor’s Island, New York | From $35 | website
A three-hour drive north of New York City, Saratoga Springs is an unbeatable summer weekend getaway, combining small-town charm with big-city culture. Catch the Philadelphia Orchestra during their summer residency at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, experience world-class thoroughbred horse racing at the Saratoga Race Track, or brush up on your Civil War history at the site of the Battle of Saratoga. If that sounds like too much (mental) effort, try a dip in Saratoga Lake or a soak in the eponymous mineral springs. In the evening, have dinner somewhere like Hattie’s (best fried chicken north of the Mason-Dixon Line), check out an old-fashioned drive-in movie, and end with a drink at one of the bars packed onto Caroline Street. Top tip: Country Corner Cafe is a must for breakfast the next day.
A native New Yorker, Katherine is a freelance food and travel writer who has eaten her way across the globe and is always on the lookout for her next great meal. She is an avid reader, insatiable traveler, sometimes photographer, and mom to inquisitive toddler.
Planning a trip? Check out the AFAR guide to New York.