1. Get cooking with comedy.
You know how sometimes you’re laughing and having a great time and then suddenly realize you’re starving? Tonight the stand-up show Live! From Snackland has the solution. Food and comedy is combined in a lineup that includes Saturday Night Live’s Sam Jay and Ana Fabrega, formerly of The Chris Gethard Show, where alongside cracking jokes, they’ll also be making vegan pizza. You should eat before heading to the Bell House on Sunday, however, for 50 Lady Bits, a benefit for Planned Parenthood with 50 female-identified comics, including Jo Firestone and one-to-watch Ayo Edebiri.
2. Get served some tennis.
The U.S. Open officially doesn’t start until next Monday, but they’ve already kicked off the festivities with Fan Week, including free open practices at the stadium with your faves through Sunday. Tonight is the Citi Taste of Tennis with chefs like Baar Baar’s Sujan Sarkar and DaDong’s Andy Xu and talent like Venus Williams and Sloane Stephen on hand, with a portion of the proceeds donated to Wellness in the Schools, while over at Brookfield Place through this evening is the free U.S. Open Experience, with signings, a performance by St. Lucia and more. On Saturday come back for the kickoff of the Brookfield Place Tennis Open with a public match between John Isner and Lucas Pouille, participatory demonstrations, games, and prizes. And Saturday is also the annual (and awesome) Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day, a day of tennis appreciation for kids of all ages with free activities, including autographs and face-painting on the grounds; a ticketed stadium show, with showcases this year by tennis superstars, including Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal; plus musical performances by CNCO, Echosmith, In Real Life, Kim Petras, AJ Mitchell, and more.
3. Say hello and good-bye to old friends.
Tomorrow the new Interpol album Marauder comes out, and while you may have not gotten tickets to the free release party at the House of Vans (the very last show for the venue), you can still say hi to the NYC stalwarts on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Rough Trade, when they’ll have a conversation with Lizzy Goodman (author of Meet Me in the Bathroom) and signing to celebrate the release of the album. And if you want to go fully immersive, learn about the world in the late ’90s and early aughts that created bands like Interpol, with the new Walk on the Wild Side Indie Rock tour. Because that’s all history now.
4. Bask on the Isle of Coney.
If you’ve not made it down to Coney Island this summer, Friday is a pretty good time. Over at the Ford Amphitheater get soulful with Gladys Knight and the O’Jays, while over at MCU Park the Brooklyn Cyclones take on the Connecticut Tigers. Drag fans should head to Coney Island USA for the male burlesque and drag extravaganza starring the Schlep Sisters and everybody should convene on the boardwalk at around 9:30 p.m. for the weekly fireworks spectacular (weather permitting). Those go through August 31.
5. Jazz up your festivals
Hey, jazz fans, put up those jazz hands (sorry), it’s the weekend for you. Through the 26th is the excellent Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, with a performance by soul-jazz saxophonist George Braith this evening at the 6BC Botanical Garden, trumpeter Charles Tolliver performing his debut Paper Man on its 50th anniversary on Friday night at Marcus Garvey Park, and the Bad Plus and the Gary Bartz quartet playing Sunday afternoon at Tompkins Square Park. And bust out your T-straps and Charleston for the Prohibition-inspired Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governors Island this Saturday and Sunday, with music by Michael Arenella & His Dreamland Orchestra.
6. Warm yourself up.
There are just a few Warm-Up dance parties left to catch at MoMA PS1. And, boy, is this weekend a good one, with a lineup that includes Bronx-born Jamaican dancehall singer HoodCelebrityy, Brit DJ Skinny Macho, and Queens-bred Bengali immigrant rapper Anik Khan, whose album Kites this year melds Bollywood samples with intoxicating soundscapes and club-ready bangers.
7. Go Afropunk.
If you scored tickets to this weekend’s Afropunk Fest extravaganza with an enviable lineup that includes Janelle Monáe, Twin Shadow, and Erykah Badu, good for you. For all others, there’s still a few ways to experience the magic. At BAM on Saturday there’s Afropunk Solution Sessions, a two-part discussion tackling real-world questions of diversity with filmmaker Ava DuVernay, activist Alicia Garza, director Terence Nance, and more. And tickets are still available for the After Dark shows at various Brooklyn venues, including a late-night Sisters of Comedy show Saturday at the Knitting Factory, featuring Chanel Ali, Sasheer Zamata, Janelle James, Wyatt Cenac, and more. Worth it to stay up for that one.
8. Be filled with the gospel.
The Gospel According to Kennedy Davenport, that is. Let the spirit take over when the season-seven Drag Race contestant gets to the soul of it tonight and tomorrow at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, in an autobiographical storytelling show laced with musical-theater standards, gospel, and R&B songs. A-men.
9. See some real life (re-en)action.
In 1776, the Battle of Brooklyn, the first battle after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, was waged on land that is now part of Green-Wood Cemetery. This Sunday, they’re commemorating the occasion and those who fought for the republic with a free celebration that will include parades, horses, cannon fire, and reenactments with the gorgeous Gothic spires of the cemetery’s main gates as the backdrop. Things will go boom: You might want to bring earplugs.
10. Get out of town.
There’s a magical festival in the Hudson Valley where you can learn how to milk cows and experience a day in the life of a cheese-maker alongside music by folks like Bettye Lavette, Robyn Hitchcock, and Alex Bleeker and the Freaks, plus food and wine from local purveyors. It’s the Huichica Music Festival in Pine Plains, New York, where a three-day pass is just $90, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting New York Cares. And no worries if you’re carless: Shuttles will be running from the Hudson and Wassaic stations.