This week you can certainly get your fill of (mostly free!) culture in New York. First, check out a performance by the cast of Kinky Boots or experience a Chinese cultural tradition at the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival, both in Flushing Meadows. Fashion lovers should catch the Isaac Mizrahi exhibit at the Jewish Museum before it closes, and oenophiles should head to the rosé tasting at Eataly. For the ultimate summer getaway, head to the Maine Lobster Festival and eat your fill of sensational shellfish by the shore.
AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what’s happening in cities around the U.S.
August 5 | Musical
Broadway in the Boros: Kinky Boots
Although a Broadway show is one of the first stops for throngs of tourists, for many New Yorkers tickets can be difficult to come by or prohibitively expensive—or, like so many other things, something it’s easy to never get around to. Broadway in the Boros, organized by The NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) in partnership with iHeartMedia’s 106.7 LITE FM, strives to bring a little taste of theater to all corners of the city. This week, catch a free all-star performance from the musicians and cast members of hit musical Kinky Boots right in Flushing Meadows.
12–1 p.m. | Flushing Meadows, Corona Park, New York | Free | website
August 6–7 | Chinese culture
Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival
Honoring a legend that dates back to the third century B.C.E., the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival has been an annual celebration in Queens for 26 years and counting. Watch more than 200 teams set sail in colorful teak boats specially made by craftsmen in Hong Kong. Each boat weighs one ton, features a dragon head and tail, and is piloted by up to 20 crewmen. Winning even comes with hefty prizes, such as round-trip flights to Hong Kong. There will also be a parade, photo contest, martial arts demonstrations, a traditional dragon dance, and an international food court.
10:15 a.m.–4:30 p.m. | Flushing Meadows, Corona Park, New York | Free | website
August 6–7 | Escape the city
Maine Lobster Festival
Discover the ultimate summer celebration in the city of Rockland, ME, where you’ll find the annual Maine Lobster Festival. There’s a carnival, a contest to see who is the fastest knitter, an art show, Coast Guard base tours, pancake breakfasts, and beer and wine tastings. Expect to hear musical performances from all kinds of artists, including acoustic trios and Zimbabwean ensembles. And, of course, there’s lobster. Every day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., you can visit the food tent for treats like lobster rolls, lobster Caesar salad, crab cakes, fried shrimp and calamari, and lobster dinners with rolls and fresh local corn. The Maine Lobster Festival Seafood Cooking Contest welcomes amateur chefs to cook their most delectable, creative dishes using seafood found in Maine waters. Try to book your stay at the Old Granite Inn, which has rooms overlooking the Rockland Harbor.
Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History
Don’t miss your last chance to catch the exhibit on groundbreaking fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi before it closes. The first museum exhibit to focus on Mizrahi, Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History explores his expansive career, from his first collection in 1988 to the present day. It also touches on his multifaceted talents, which go beyond fashion design into acting, directing, set and costume design, and even cabaret performance. The multimedia show includes a sampling of his fashion collections, as well as original drawings, TV clips, performance stills, and behind-the-scenes photographs. Entry is free to the museum on Thursday evenings from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., and there will be extended hours for the last two nights of the show.
Hours vary | Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave., New York | From $15 | website
August 10 | Drinks
Walk-Around Rosé Tasting
Rosé is the official unofficial wine of summer. Italian megastore Eataly knows a thing or two about wine, and it’s hosting a walk-around tasting where guests can sample more than 20 wines from a number of intriguing producers. Chat with representatives from the wineries to learn more about the products, sample prosciutto and focaccia along the way, and try to pace yourself. Those wearing pink can save 10 percent on any of the evening’s featured wines at Eataly’s wine shop. And, for another perk, tickets allow you to make a reservation at Eataly’s Verdure, Pesce, or Pizza & Pasta restaurants for that night, which are usually first come, first served.
5–7 p.m. | Eataly, 200 Fifth Ave., New York | $45 | 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.