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Weekend Hot List: ‘Pump Boys and Dinettes,’ Phillip Roth in the Park, More

Don’t miss out! Every weekend, picks the best things to do in New York City. Read on for July 19-20’s best events, from Seeger Fest to Phillip Roth in the Park in Prospect Park.


Pump Boys and Dinettes (Photo: Mark Frohna)

Pump Boys and Dinettes (Photo: Mark Frohna)

1. BEER: Botanical Brew Fest at Queens Botanical Garden on July 19

Does drinking beer surrounded by cool-looking plants make said beer taste better? Find out at the Queens Botanical Garden’s inaugural Brew Fest. In celebration of the 50th and 75th anniversaries of the New York World’s Fair, the garden (which began as part of the fair) has invited companies like Sixpoint, Abita, Smuttynose, and even some ciders (Crispin, Docs) to pass out their wares and help everyone get into the World’s Fair spirit. Related: Did you even know Queens had a botanical garden?

DETAILS: 12pm-3pm and 4pm-7pm; $45-$50; 43-50 Main St., Queens;

2. PARTY: New Museum Block Party at Sara D. Roosevelt Park on July 19

Do you enjoy regular block parties but wish they involved more high-concept art? You’re in luck, because the New Museum is throwing just such a thing this weekend! In addition to the usual block party activities (drinking, hanging), this bash will have lots of interactive workshops based on what’s currently on view at the museum, like a memory game using the museum’s digital archive and a mapping project invoking the spirit of the exhibit “Here and Elsewhere.” There will also be performances from interesting folks like M. Lamar (Negro spirituals meet black metal) and Lumberob (a beatboxer).

DETAILS: 12pm-5pm; free (admission to the museum is also free for block party attendees); Sara D. Roosevelt Park (Chrystie St. between Delancey and Broome Sts.);

3. THEATER: Pump Boys and Dinettes at New York City Center on July 19

Harken back to simpler times at this rock and roll-infused musical about four gas station-attending guys and two table-waiting gals in a small town in North Carolina. Written by a performance group of the same name, the show features plenty of rock, pop and Americana music about the life and times of characters L.M., Jim and Rhetta and Prudie Cupp (of the Double Cupp Diner). Songs include “Drinkin’ Shoes,” “Farmer Tan” and “The Night Dolly Parton Was Almost Mine!” Warning: contains fiddle.

DETAILS: 2pm and 8pm; $25-$90; 131 W 55th St.;

4. FOOD: Ice Cream Social at Hester Street Fair on July 19-20

Of all the things Ronald Reagan did during his time as president, his creation of National Ice Cream Day was probably the least controversial. Celebrate Reagan’s legacy (or not) at the Hester Street Fair’s ice cream social, which features frozen treats from such fine purveyors as Melt Bakery (ice cream sandwiches), La Newyorkina (Mexican paletas), and DF Mavens (for all you vegans and lactards out there). In addition to all those delights, there will be games. For instance: Can you taste the difference between regular ice cream and artisanal? Reagan would be proud.

DETAILS: 11am-6pm; free; Hester St. and Essex St.;

5. MUSIC: Seeger Fest on July 19-20

When Pete Seeger passed away this past January, he left a hole in the American folk scene that can never be filled. With beloved hits like “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” “If I Had a Hammer” and “Turn! Turn! Turn!” he provided much of the soundtrack to the progressive movement of the 1960s and beyond. This weekend, join various friends and associates of his in honoring his legacy with a variety of Seeger-y events both in NYC and his beloved Hudson Valley. Performers include Judy Collins, Peter Yarrow and Dar Williams; filmmaker Michael Moore is slated to speak on Sunday.

DETAILS: various prices & locations;

6. TV: Spoons, Toons and Booze After Dark at Nitehawk Cinema on July 19-20

Remember all those blissful hours you once spent watching Saturday morning cartoons and eating disgusting, candy-like cereal? Just because you’re an adult now doesn’t mean you can’t still do that… and now you can have booze, too. Building on the continuing popularity of various children’s activities among grownups, Nitehawk Cinema is screening a range of innocent cartoons (as well as naughtier ones) from the 1970s through today at their tube-tastic new brunch party. Better still: You get to pick what you watch.

DETAILS: 11:30am; $16; 136 Metropolitan Ave., Brooklyn;

7. SPORTS: Citi Field Sleepover on July 19-20

A baseball stadium is always a good place for an adult sleepover if you get drunk enough, but now there’s an officially sanctioned way to do it. Because kids do not, in fact, get to have all the fun, Citi Field is giving Mets fans a chance to get cozy in their team’s home field. There will be a live streamed away game and a tasty dinner, followed by some semi-restful camping out on the field(!) and a breakfast buffet. Just remember: You can’t live there forever.

DETAILS: 5pm; $200; 123-01 Roosevelt Ave., Queens;

8. ART: This Event May Be Occurring in Another Context at Fabrica Gallery on July 19-20

Get specific — site specific! — at this exhibition put on by ACME Brooklyn and La Fabrica Gallery. For a limited time only, you can see a group of pieces created just for this particular warehouse space by an assortment of young (and hip) Mexican artists. The ACME salon’s stated goal is cross-cultural dialogue, so if you go, you’ll basically be a diplomat.

DETAILS: 1pm-8pm;free; 198 N. 4th St., Brooklyn;

9. LITERATURE: Phillip Roth in the Park in Prospect Park – Boy Scout’s Tablet on July 20

If you, like us, very much enjoyed reading Phillip Roth’s short story Goodbye, Columbus in college English class, you’ll appreciate this creative literary event. Each month, the Bushwick Book Club collaborates on songs themed around a different work of literature, and this time it’s Roth’s classic tale of adolescence, class and Jewish assimilation. Performers include Pierre de Gaillande, Jessie Kilguss and Susan Hwang. If it turns out to be boring, you can always just zone out and stare up at the trees.

DETAILS: 3pm; free; by the Teddy Roosevelt Boy Scout Tablet;

10. COMEDY: What Are You Afraid Of? at Union Hall on July 20

Unless your name is Chuck Norris, chances are that you’re afraid of something… maybe even multiple things. That’s just human nature! And now you can hear a nice little assortment of comedians, writers and storytellers discuss their respective fears at this themed reading/storytelling show. The best known reader/fearer is definitely Mara Wilson, the child actor turned writer you may recognize from Mrs. Doubtfire and Matilda. What’s she afraid of? Turning into Gary Coleman, maybe… though she seems to have escaped that fate pretty well thus far.

DETAILS: 8pm; $7-$10; 702 Union St., Brooklyn;

Want even more fun? Check out 15 Things to Do in July50 Free Things to Do This Summer and 10 NYC Summer Music Festivals You Shouldn’t Miss.


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