Don’t miss out! NewYork.com picks the five best things to do in New York City each and every day. Read on for the weekend’s best events (May 23-26), from Top Gun at the Intrepid Air, Sea and Space Museum to Guided By Voices at Bowery Ballroom.
1. LGBT: Counterculture at Harlem Stage Gatehouse on May 23
Street, club and LGBT culture collide at this night of joy curated by dancer and choreographer (and MacArthur Genius Award recipient) Kyle Abraham. There will be performances from queer rappers Le1f and William Sheridan, Vogue dance artist Javier Ninja, dancer/multimedia artist Wendell Cooper, and DJ Edgar Um. At 9:30pm, the guests become the performers when it turns into one big dance party. Experience Harlem’s past, present and future as a hub for creative LGBT people of color!
DETAILS: 7pm; $20; 150 Convent Ave.; harlemstage.org
2. MUSIC: Guided By Voices at Bowery Ballroom on May 23
Anyone who enjoys modern day lo-fi fetishists like Crocodiles and Ariel Pink should know about Guided By Voices, whose insistence on burying their Britpop-inspired tunes under layers of hiss limited their commercial viability but ensured cult favorite status from the 1980s onwards. After going on hiatus for much of the aughts, the band of Ohioans reunited in 2010 and have already released six new albums together. The prolific indie rockers come to NYC tonight with support from Doug Gillard and Atomic Forces. Get into it.
DETAILS: 8pm; from $40, sold out but tickets may be available on resale sites; 6 Delancey St.; boweryballroom.com
3. FILM: Intrepid Summer Movie Series: Top Gun at the Intrepid Air, Sea and Space Museum on May 23
What’s better than a free outdoor movie? A free outdoor movie on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier, of course. Bring some snacks and a lawn chair to the U.S.S. Intrepid‘s annual showing of Tom Cruise classic Top Gun, part of a jam-packed weekend of Fleet Week events, which will culminate in a majestic Memorial Day ceremony on Monday. Admission to the movie is free (and we suggest getting there a little before doors open), but if you’ve got some time to kill, you can take a guided tour of submarine Growler, the Concorde, or the Space Shuttle Pavilion (featuring the Enterprise) starting at 6 and 6:15pm ($20 adults, $15 seniors, children, youth).
DETAILS: 7:30pm; free; Pier 86, W 46th St and 12th Ave.; intrepidmuseum.org
4. TALK: Shantell Martin Artist Talk at MoCADA Museum on May 24
“Follow the pen” is the motto of artist Shantell Martin, whose whimsical, stream-of-consciousness style drawings have taken her from the nightclubs of Tokyo to the museums of New York (with a stop along the way to cameo on Gossip Girl). Hear the accomplished multimedia artist and speaker discuss her life, her philosophy, and (most likely) her latest site-specific installation piece at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, “ARE YOU YOU,” when she makes a special appearance at the downtown Brooklyn artspace.
DETAILS: 3-4pm; $10; 80 Hanson Pl., Brooklyn; mocada.org
5. PARTY: New York Night Train & Panache Rockaway Beach Party at Rockaway Surf Club on May 24
Do the limbo, the twist, and the mashed potato at this bodacious beach party presented by New York Night Train and Panache Booking. There’ll be hot garage rock from the likes of Mystery Lights and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, icy cold drinks, creative MCing from local character Andy Animal, and the smokin’ rock and soul 45s of DJ Jonathan Toubin. If you get too sweaty, don’t worry: the ocean will be mere steps away. Swim responsibly.
DETAILS: 1-8pm; free with RSVP; 302 Beach 87th St., Queens; facebook.com
6. FREAK SHOW: Coney Island Circus Sideshow at Sideshows by the Seashore on May 23-26
If you enjoy the timelessly seedy vibe of Coney Island, why not celebrate the first weekend of summer with an amazing performance from some of the nation’s foremost circus sideshow professionals? As you will see with your own eyes, this vaudevillian crew has an endless number of tricks up their sleeves and includes such colorful characters as Lil’ Miss Firefly, “The Midget Of Mischief” (who’s performed onstage with Ozzy!), contortionist The Human Gumby, and sword-swallower Betty Bloomerz. Fun fact: it’s the last continuously running 10-in-one sideshow of its kind.
DETAILS: 1-8pm (last ticket sold at 7pm); $10 adults, $5 children; 3006 W. 12th St., Brooklyn; coneyisland.com
7. BAR CRAWL: 8th Annual Brooklyn Zombie Crawl on May 25
If you don’t want to wait until October to dress up like a zombie and stumble drunkenly from bar to bar, you’ll be pleased to know of this summery zombie crawl. You’ll start by meeting up at Trash Bar for some PBR drink specials and zombie makeovers as needed, then you will proceed to “invade” Williamsburg’s various other watering holes and parks while the nabe’s less theatrical residents shoot you withering glares to rival the scariest of monsters. It finishes with an after party at Bar Matchless featuring Metallica-themed Billy Joel tribute act For Whom the Bell Joels, GWAR themed burlesque, and more.
DETAILS: 4pm; free (afterparty $12 for zombies, $14 for humans); meet-up at Trash Bar, 256 Grand St., Brooklyn; nyczombiecrawl.com
8. THEATER: BenDeLaCreme: Terminally Delightful! at Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank Café on May 23-25
Get ready for some serious fabulousness at this new musical cabaret show from BenDeLaCreme, whom you may recognize from the sixth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. With her sparkling personality, relentless optimism and dazzling array of costumes, DeLa will walk you through her life and times as an entertainer. Watch with delight as she “peels away the outer layers of artifice to reveal the artifice within.” Riot grrls will be happy to know Ben came up through various radical queer punk scenes and fancies the show to be subtly subversive.
DETAILS: 11:59pm (with an additional 7:30pm show on Friday); $22 plus $15 minimum; 407 W. 42nd St., downstairs; spincyclenyc.com
9. MUSIC: Classical Concert in Green-Wood Cemetery on May 26
If you’ve always wanted to have a picnic in the cemetery, but weren’t sure how it would look, now’s your chance! Bring a blanket and a wide-brimmed hat to historic Green-Wood Cemetery’s annual free Memorial Day concert. This year features the ISO symphonic band, which is made up of talented local students, performing the work of cemetery residents Fred Ebb, Louis Moreau Gottschalk, Leonard Bernstein, and more. How appropriate.
DETAILS: 2:30-5pm; free; 500 25th St., Brooklyn; green-wood.com
10. PARADE: The Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade on May 26
Show your love for America’s veterans and fallen heroes (and marching bands and classic cars) at this, the largest Memorial Day parade in the nation. Held annually since 1927, the festivities proceed for a whole mile down Queens’ Northern Boulevard from Jayson Avenue to 245th Street. When the procession is finished, there’ll be a closing ceremony featuring a 21-gun salute, a talk from wounded U.S. Army veteran Captain James Văn Thạch and a performance from former Dean Martin’s Golddigger Michelle DellaFave. Patriotism!
DETAILS: 2pm; free; Northern Blvd. b/w Jayson Ave. and 145th St., Queens; lndmemorialday.org