Along the line of Tate's most recent post:
1. NATHAN'S HOT DOG EATING CONTEST
For anyone who doesn't know, 4th of July in New York City isn't just a celebration of our glorious country's Independence, it's also the day hundreds of people gather at (the now partially defunct) Coney Island Boardwalk and watch trained professionals (maybe?) gorge themselves on Nathan's Hotdogs - the best around. According to "archives," the Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest was first held in 1916, when Nathan's opened on Surf Avenue. The contest has been held each year since then, except in 1941, when it was canceled as a protest to the war in Europe, and in 1971, when it was canceled as a protest to civil unrest and the reign of free love.
2. THE CONEY ISLAND FILM INSTITUTE'S SUMMER FILM SERIES
That's right folks: every summer the Coney Island Museum hosts a film series showcasing some of the most excellent B and C movies ever made for the jaw-droppingly cheap price of FIVE DOLLARS (with popcorn included!) Past showings have included such fantastic films as: Faster Pussycat, Kill Kill!; Taxi Driver; and Pink Flamingos.
You can find this year's schedule HERE, but I'll mention a few of the films I personally plan to attend:
The Horror of Party Beach - June 13th
The Lost Boys - June 27th
They Live - August 1st
Dracula - August 22th
The Nightmare Before Christmas - August 29th
3. THE CONEY ISLAND MERMAID PARADE
Okay so last year's parade was kind of bullshit because the cops got really uppity and set up barricades, but that doesn't change the fact that me Mermaid Parade is generally INCREDIBLE. If you're in the mood to see a ton of excellently-costumed people tromp down the streets of Brooklyn in the broiling heat, this is DEFINITELY a cultural experience you cannot miss! This year's parade is SATURDAY, JUNE 20th.
4. ROOTS AND RUCKUS
Roots and Ruckus is a ONE-HUNDRED PERCENT FREE weekly folk/bluegrass/ragtime music show in Brooklyn at the Jalopy Theatre on Wednesdays. It's organized by my friend Feral Foster and features such wonderful acts as Jessy Carolina, Hubby Jenkins, and Frank Hoier. There are new/fresh acts every week along with old favorites, cheap beer, good people, and a bar next door with a pool table and Big Buck Big Game Hunter (not kidding). Seriously, one of the best free things in New York City.
5. MOVIES WITH A VIEW
In case you want even MORE summer movies, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy offers FREE movies on a big screen in Brooklyn Bridge Park EVERY THURSDAY from July 9th to August 27th. Last time I went I did a ton of mushrooms and watched PeeWee's Big Adventure before invading Aviva's house (against her will) and harassing her for the next three hours. IT WAS AWESOME. But that's besides the point. What matters is that these movies are, like Roots and Ruckus, 100% free. There's also a $1 raffle that benefits the conservancy that I won a set of Martini Glasses in, once. Just sayin.
6. NEW YORK CITY GAY PRIDE PARADE
I love the NYC Pride Parade. I went to DC's last year, because I was living in DC, and it really just proved to me how fucking AMAZING new York's parade actually is. Going from 5th Ave. and 52nd Street to Christopher and Greenwich in the West Village, the pride parade is not only one of the most fun summer events in New York City, it's also an excellent opportunity to - once again - see really excellent costumes while dancing to ridiculously loud music being blasted from floats. Especially this year, when things like Proposition 8 have created major setbacks in the movement for marriage equality, the Pride Parade should be super awesome.
This year's parade is on Sunday June 28th from noon to... whenever it ends. It's seriously worth it, especially if you pick a spot in the Village from which to enjoy the festivities.
For any of you in New York City, can you think of anything I missed that's just AWESOME for summertime fun? And for those of you NOT in New York City, what do YOU do to keep yourself (cheaply or otherwise) occupied during the summer months?