The best of what to do in and around New York this month.
Enjoy the final month of summer with exuberant outdoor events that bring you live music, movies, and dragon boats, or stay in the air-conditioning and see fashion and the latest gaming innovations.
AFAR Local is our monthly insider guide to the best of what’s happening in cities around the U.S.
August 1 - 24 | Comedy
Dave Chappelle: Live from Radio City
Just to make it crystal clear that Dave Chappelle is taking his comeback seriously, the influential comedian is in residency (for the second time) at Radio City Music Hall for the month of August. In addition to his own brazen comedy stylings, Chappelle will also feature a string of impressive guests, including The Roots, Erykah Badu, Chris Rock, and Chance the Rapper.
8:00 PM | Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Ave. of the Americas, New York | From $115 | website
August 5 | Food & drink
Hester Street Fair’s Lobster and Beer
What could be better—or more summery—than lobster and beer? And there’s no need to trek to New England for the combination. Head over to one of the city’s most popular weekly al fresco markets for Hester Street Fair’s Lobster and Beer event. Enjoy whole lobsters, lobster rolls, tacos, $3 Captain Lawrence beers, and more all afternoon.
11:00 AM - 6:00 PM | Intersection of Essex and Hester Sts., New York | Free | website
August 7 | Sports
If you’re a baseball fan, then Pitch Talks are for you. Set up like an interactive baseball conference for fans, this casual series at bars across the country brings together sports experts to have some real talk about baseball with each other and the audience. Check it out this month at the Bell House with guests like the Mets beat writer for MLB.com, folks from Deadspin and FanGraphs, and Jeff Jaffe (baseball writer for Sports Illustrated and author of the recently released book Cooperstown Casebook).
7:30 PM | The Bell House, 149 Seventh St., Brooklyn | $15 | website
August 10 | Film
“Selma” with Live Score
New York has no shortage of outdoor movie screenings in different spectacular settings around the city, but this one is a little different. Watch 2014 Oscar-winning film Selma—about Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights movement—set to the live score performed under the stars by MacArthur Genius grant recipient Jason Moran and the Wordless Music Orchestra. Whether you’ve seen the film before or not, this is sure to be an entirely unique movie-going experience.
7:30 PM | Prospect Park Bandshell, Ninth St. and Prospect Park West, Brooklyn | Free | website
August 11 | Dance
Funk n Soul Late Night Jam Featuring Fred Thomas
If you’re a fan of funk (or just free music), then head to Freddy’s Bar in Park Slope for the lively Funk n Soul Late Night Jam Featuring Fred Thomas. As James Brown’s bassist since 1971, Thomas knows a thing or two about funk music. On August 11th and 25th, he takes the limelight as the singer and bassist of a trio playing a mix of funk, soul, and blues classics including plenty of James Brown.
11:30 PM | Freddy’s Bar, 627 Fifth Ave., Brooklyn | Free | website
August 12 - 13 | Culture
Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival
For the 27th year running, the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival brings an ancient Chinese custom to New York with more than 200 teams sailing in colorful boats made by craftsmen all the way from Hong Kong. In addition to the races (which come with sweet prizes), there are two days of international food and cultural events, including music, dance, and shaolin demonstrations.
10:30 AM - 4:00 PM | Flushing Meadows Park, Queens | Free | website
August 19 - 20 | Convention
As New York City’s first dedicated games convention, PLAY NYC is catnip for creators and players alike. With some 5,000 attendees, three floors of games, over 100 developers, and 20 talks from industry bigwigs, it’s two days jam-packed with fun and edification. Check out the latest gaming releases from independent and major studios alike for console, mobile, VR, PC, and tabletop.
10:00 AM | Terminal 5, 610 W. 56th St., New York | From $20 | website
August 24 - 27 | Music
Charlie Parker Jazz Festival
Celebrate the 25th year of the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, which brings together talented musicians who reflect the style and genius of the late, great jazz legend. In celebration of the festival’s quarter century, the organizers have added an extra night of panel discussions, workshops, additional performances, and—for the first time—a full evening of dance.
Marcus Garvey Park, W. 122nd St. and Mt. Morris Park West, New York | Free | website
August 26 | Dance
McDonald’s B-Boy Royale IV
Whether you’re a break dancing aficionado or don’t know your two-step from your windmill, there’s nothing quite like watching professional break-dancers compete. Don’t miss the city’s largest annual break dance tournament, which will pit eight crews against one another for the $5k grand prize. In addition to the competition, there will also be performances, audience competitions, and live music.
7:00 PM - 10:00 PM | NYU Skirball Center, 566 LaGuardia Pl., New York | $22 | website
September 7 - 14 | Plan ahead: Fashion
New York Fashion Week is known for its exclusivity, but you don’t have to be Anna Wintour to get a taste of the action. Check out the open-to-the-public shows that allow us commoners to get a peek at the runway. From emerging designers to a charity show, it’s as good an excuse as any to dress up and rub elbows with the fashion elite.
Times, locations, and prices vary | 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.