There’s no excuse to not have your calendar packed this week in New York. Check out some great live music at Brooklyn Bowl, watch an irreverent comedy show at the legendary UCB Theatre, explore African food at a new food festival, or get your fill of free dance performances at the city’s longest-running dance festival. If the need to leave the city becomes too great, catch a flight down to Hilton Head Island for some deep R&R.
AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what’s happening in cities around the U.S.
August 11 | Concert
Brother Joscephus and Ernest Ernie
Start off the weekend right with some killer live music at Brooklyn Bowl. Both bands, though utterly modern, tap into classic rock, soul, gospel, and blues for an old-school experience. See for yourself why the energetic, 12-piece band Brother Joscephus and the Love Revolution won the Independent Music Awards’ “Best Live Performance” category in 2011. Then get down to the musical stylings of Ernest Ernie and the Sincerities as you are transported back in time. Stay after the show for the Bowl Train Party featuring DJ Questlove.
8 p.m. | Brooklyn Bowl, 61 Wythe Ave., Brooklyn | $12 | website
Aug 12 | Comedy
Infertile: A Sketch Comedy Show
Veteran Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) performers John Murray and Silvija Ozols have taken a painfully common—but little talked about—occurrence and turned it into a sketch comedy show based on their own personal struggles with infertility. From dealing with “smug” pregnant friends to the never-ending barrage of visits to the doctor, they’ve turned lemons into lemonade with this relatable and funny show. Whether you are going through something similar or just want a good laugh based on real-world experiences, this show is worth catching. And if you miss it tonight, they will also be performing on the 18th.
7:30 p.m. | Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre Chelsea, 307 W. 26th St., New York | $10 | website
Aug 13–14 | Food festival
NYC African Food Festival
This year, an exciting new food festival is coming to New York. The two-day NYC African Food Festival will highlight African and African-influenced food and drink prepared by all-star chefs from across the continent. There will be live entertainment, cooking demos, a shisha lounge, and a daylong Sunday brunch party. Don’t miss the Habesha coffee ceremony and the Jollof-Off, in which chefs from different parts of Africa will compete to see who makes the best jollof (a one-pot rice dish common in West Africa).
12–8 p.m. | Brooklyn Navy Yard, 63 Flushing Ave., Brooklyn | From $20 | website
August 13–14 | Escape the city
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
With flights from JFK to SAV clocking in at just over two hours and with fares as low as $60 each way, Hilton Head Island is a fine weekend getaway. Of course, there are the postcard-perfect beaches to visit. But there’s also a great walking trail and historic lighthouse, the Coastal Discovery Museum, and horseback riding. Locavore restaurants like NEO will keep you well fed, and a stay at the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort and Spa will feel like a vacation in and of itself.
August 14–19 | Dance
Battery Dance Festival
This week, head downtown for the longest-running free public dance festival in the city, which has been drawing some 10,000 people a year since 1982. Each night of the festival there will be performances by several established and emerging choreographers and dancers from all over the world in a diverse range of dance styles. There are also free morning dance workshops, offered by dance troupes from Istanbul, Bucharest, Salzburg, and New York, that are open to all skill levels.
Times and locations vary | Free | website
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 an inquisitive toddler.