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New York June 9–15: Hard Cider Fest, Fly by Night & AmpLit

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Fly by Night

Photo by Tod Seelie

Fly by Night

The best of what to do in and around New York this week.

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This weekend is a celebration of art and literature in New York. OK, and some hard cider. Catch the final weekend of popular (and offbeat) pigeon performance art piece Fly by Night, or snag free entry to any of the Fifth Avenue institutions that make up Museum Mile. For a literature filled day, check out the AmpLit Fest at lovely Riverside Park. And, to wash it all down, grab tickets to the hard cider festival at the Brooklyn Expo Center.

AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what's happening in cities around the U.S.

June 10–12 | Art
Fly by Night
Chances are you’ve heard about Duke Riley’s public art project, Fly by Night, even if you don’t keep up with the New York art scene. It’s the one in which trained pigeons are outfitted with LED lights and let free to circle in the sky during sunset. This is the last weekend to catch the performance at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which, fittingly, was once home to the largest naval fleet of pigeon carriers in the country. Although general admission tickets went quickly, join the waitlist for a chance to snag one of the tickets they’ll release right before the event. Alternately, Fly by Night will be visible from a number of locations, so check out nearby Rooftop Reds (a rooftop vineyard) for first come, first served viewing, find a friend with roof access,  or head across the river to the East River Park Ampitheater.
7:30 p.m. | Brooklyn Navy Yard, Brooklyn | Free | website

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June 11 | Literature festival
AmpLit Fest
Literature lovers, head to Riverside Park this weekend for a full day of readings, panels, workshops, performances, and even a community market. The free literature festival AmpLit brings together writers and readers of all styles. Highlights include a panel discussion on young adult literature, a reading from emerging writers, a writing workshop for kids, and an urban word poetry workshop. There are two stages as well as workshop tables, so whether you feel like listening all day or actively participating, there’s something for everyone.
11 a.m.–6 p.m. | Riverside Park, 70th St. Pier, New York | Free | website 

June 11 | Drinks
Pour the Core
Hard cider is having its moment. Whether you’re an apple aficionado or a cider novice, the second annual Pour the Core, a Brooklyn hard cider festival, is the place to explore this tipsy beverage in all its glory. More than 40 local and international cider producers will be on-site showcasing over 75 styles of cider for participants to sample. There will be some you’re likely familiar with, like nationally available Woodchuck Hard Cider, as well as local favorites like Big Apple Hard Cider and Original Sin. There will also be cider seminars, and food trucks to give you non-liquid fuel.
Times vary | Brooklyn Expo Center, 72 Noble St., Brooklyn | From $45 | website

Museum Mile Festival
June 11–12 | Escape the city
Rockport, Massachusetts
Just 250 miles north of Manhattan (a four to five hour drive, depending on traffic), is a sleepy, seaside New England town called Rockport. A dry town until 2005, alcohol can now be served in restaurants but liquor stores are still illegal. There are six beaches to choose between, ranging from sandy to rocky and popular to secluded. Halibut Point State Park, located in an old granite quarry, is another beautiful place to visit. To see art and real life collide, visit the old fishing shack known as Motif Number One, so named because it is said to be the most often painted building in the world. Rockport is known for its lobster, so don’t miss the opportunity to have a bite to eat at the aptly named Lobster Pool restaurant. Stay overnight at Captain’s House, a beachside B&B.

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June 14 | Art festival
Museum Mile Festival
Each year since 1978, New York’s seven museums lining Fifth Avenue have opened their doors to the public for a few hours of free admission. The participating museums, from 82nd Street to 105th Street, are the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Neue Galerie, the Guggenheim, Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, The Jewish Museum, The Museum of the City of New York, and El Museo del Barrio. In addition to free entry, there will also be live and DJ music, art projects for the whole family, and children’s entertainment lining the streets.
6–9 p.m. | Fifth Ave., 82nd to 105th St., New York | 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.

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