The best of what to do in and around New York this week
This week in New York, you’ll laugh, stuff yourself, and dance to the sounds of your youth. Head to Coney Island for a Culture Club concert complete with Boy George for some great music and to scratch the nostalgia itch. Foodies will want to catch the Federal Donuts pop-up while it’s in town from Philadelphia, or learn to make dumplings like a pro. Finally, laughter is the best medicine at the inaugural Cinder Block Comedy Festival.
AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what’s happening in cities around the U.S.
September 8 | Concert
No, you are not in a time warp; you read that right. Our favorite band from the ’80s, Culture Club—led by none other than Boy George—is performing at the Amphitheater at Coney Island this week. This is their first tour in over a decade, and since they don’t have a new album out, fans can expect plenty of old favorites like “Karma Chameleon” and “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?”. If you don’t feel like shelling out even the $20 for nosebleed seats, bring a blanket and pack a picnic; the sounds of the concert will waft onto the nearby beach—for free.
7 p.m. | Amphitheater at Coney Island | From $20 | website
September 10 | Food
Federal Donuts: Back Door Bakery
New Yorkers are fiercely proud of their city, but they’re also hip enough to acknowledge when another place does something well. Which is why people are getting so excited for the Chefs Club x Federal Donuts pop-up coming to Chefs Club. Philadelphia-based, James Beard award–winning Chef Michael Solomonov is best known for his takes on modern Israeli cuisine, so everyone was surprised—but excited—when he decided to open up a doughnut and Korean fried chicken joint in Philly in 2011. The lines remain unrelenting at that location, but for one day only you can get them locally on Mulberry Street. He’ll be serving fresh doughnuts from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and fried chicken sandwiches from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
7 a.m.–2 p.m. | Chefs Club, 275 Mulberry St., New York | Prices vary | website
September 10–11 | Escape the city
Easily accessible by MetroNorth train from the City, Dutchess County makes for an ideal weekend escape, regardless of where you choose to stay. This weekend, don’t miss the annual Hoptember Harvestfest in Lagrangeville, a daylong celebration of local brewers accompanied by barbecue, hop-infused food, and live music. There are countless farms in the area, and it’s the start of apple picking season, so head to a nearby one like Barton Farms in Poughquag—aside from fruit picking, you can also partake in the annual Harvest Festival. Restaurant options abound; for a lot of variety, head to the college town of Poughkeepsie and eat at a local favorite such as Brasserie 292.
Wontons and Dumplings Cooking Class
If you love to eat dumplings at your favorite Chinese restaurant but have been too intimidated to try making them at home, check out this class taught by Diana Kuan, author of The Chinese Takeout Cookbook. She provides the fillings (with meat and vegetarian options) so the class focuses entirely on the more challenging aspects of dumpling making: assembly and cooking. Under Kuan’s able tutelage, you’ll be a dumpling master in no time and can impress friends and family with your new skills. Of course, you’ll also be able to sample the fruits of your labor in class so you won’t leave hungry.
8–10 p.m. | Brooklyn Brainery, 190 Underhill Ave., Brooklyn | $55 | website
September 14–18 | Comedy festival
Cinder Block Comedy Festival
There are plenty of comedy festivals these days, but the inaugural Cinder Block Comedy Festival has already differentiated itself by specifically seeking to diversify the lineup beyond the white men who tend to dominate the comedy scene. The festival will take place during four days with over 150 performers in 11 different Williamsburg venues, and it will showcase a range of comedy performances, from sketch to improv to musical comedy. Headliners include Baron Vaughn (a regular on Netflix’s Grace and Frankie), Laurie Kilmartin (a writer for Conan), Jon Laster (winner of Stand Up NBC!), and Marga Gomez (a veteran of TV, off-Broadway, and the comedy festival circuit).
Times and locations vary | From $15 | 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.