93 Days of Summer Part II: What’s up in August

afropunk festival
If it’s August, then it’s time for the Afropunk Festival. It’s also time for a bunch of other things, but mostly Afropunk. via Flickr user Marques Stewart

Wow, it’s August already? It seems like just yesterday we were bundled up like an Eskimo making that dreaded trek to the subway only to get on the train and start undressing by layers in a pool of our own sweat, then starting the process all over five stops later when it was time to get off and face the elements again. And although there has been more than enough excitement to be had, so many of those beach days are now somehow in the rear view.  Before we start focusing on what was and could have been, though, let’s focus on all the good times to come, all the sweat and hot garbage and barbecues and rooftops you’ve yet to indulge. It’s summer in the city and we’ve got more than enough time to sizzle and swelter in style.

A little over a month ago, we gave you the first third of our 93 Days of Summer guide, which suggested the best ways to spend June and July. So, here we are with you in need of an affordable agenda for an accelerated August and us having just that. Funny how things work out that way. So without further ado, get out there and get your shine on!

Friday, August 1

Check out the brand new Roller Rink at Brooklyn Bridge Park! Free skate Fridays are from 3pm-6pm, so you can go round and round without paying admission. And here are some reasons why it’s better than ice skating at the Rockefeller Center during Christmas time.

Saturday, August 2

BrooklynONE productions presents: Shakespeare in South Brooklyn! Owl’s Head Park hosts a free stage production of Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare edition, not Baz Luhrman edition)! The festival is from noon to 8pm with three separate showtimes, noon, 2pm, and 6pm.

Sunday, August 3

I don’t care who you are or what you do on a daily basis, you’re still not going to the beach enough…get out there! The NYC Beach Bus has roundtrip tickets to Rockaway Beach or Jacob Riis Beach for only $12 and enjoy a free beer on the way over!  Once you’re out there, of course we all love drinking on the beach, but be smart, and sensible about it (pour it in a cup). Remember though, we have certain rights when the cops come asking you what’s in your cooler.

Monday, August 4

Shake it up Mondays! Find a rooftop a few friends, and do your best mixologist routine, featuring a drink recipe from “Shake” a locally produced cocktail recipe book. Save some dough and try this Monday’s delicious summer drink:

“The Indian Summer”

i. Add 8 Fresh Concord Grapes to shaker.

ii. Muddle the Grapes at the bottom of the shaker until thoroughly crushed.

iii. Add 3 shots Gin, 1 shot St. Germain, 1 shot fresh lemon juice, and ice to above the level of the liquid and shake vigorously for 15 seconds.

iv. Strain the mixture into chilled coupes and garnish with grapes.

Tuesday, August 5

Ok, I don’t want to open a can of worms but I will just say this, but I do believe in god, and my god is a taco, delicious, omnipotent, spicy. You can worship him along with me, simply by visiting a few of his many places of worship, on the holy sabbath; Taco Tuesday! Take a taco tour of Bushwick!

Wednesday, August 6

Brooklyn is full of alternative art, but nothing is quite like the Sketchbook Project at the Brooklyn Art Library (North 3rd Street and Berry Street, Williamsburg). The Art Library is home to over 30,000 sketchbooks filled out by random participants from all over the world. Go check out a book on any random subject you can think of and a friendly librarian will pick a topic for you! Browsing is free, or for $25 you can get a blank sketchbook and submit your work to be permanently displayed at the Art Library, which will also go on tour around the country with all the other new Sketchbooks from this year!

Thursday, August 7

The House of Vans (25 Franklin Street, Greenpoint) has been putting on arguably the best shows of the summer for FREE for a few years now. There is only two shows left but the lineups look amazing. August 7 features Omar Suleyman, Mas Ysa, and Future Islands! Yes for free! RSVPs mean nothing to House of Vans, so if you want to get in you’re gonna have to line up early. Did I mention it was free?

Friday, August 8

You take the subway every damn day, but how much do you actually know about it, besides of course how terrible the G train is? Inundate yourself with knowledge, history, and fun facts about the intricate and extensive NYC subway system at the Transit Museum (Boerum Place and Schermerhorn Street)! Fittingly, 9 different trains will get you within just a few blocks of the entrance, which looks like stairs down to another station. $7, weekday hours are from 11am-4pm. It’s better than actually riding the subway, I promise!

Saturday, August 9

Celebrate Brooklyn! The summer will be over before you know it, and this, the very last of the summer concert series at Prospect Park should be fair warning. Hurry up though this last show of the year is gonna be PACKED. Not only does it star St. Vincent and San Fermin, but it’s also free.

Sunday, August 10

Get down to the Brooklyn Museum in Prospect Heights (200 Eastern Pkwy), for the last day of “Ai Weiwei: According to What?” The celebrated Chinese artist’s exhibit shows his career through different works and photos of his career, notably in his challenging of the Chinese government. Very provocative and powerful stuff. Suggested donation of $12, Sunday hours are 11am-6pm.

Monday, August 11

Books Beneath the Bridge, Bookcourt. Where are all the literary events you ask? Well here is one, on the East River, in Brooklyn Bridge Park, at sunset, I don’t think there is a better, more appropriate venue on the planet. On August 11 Bookcourt welcomes works from the the Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop, starting at 7pm. The reading will feature stories from Marie-Helene Bertino, Scott Chechire, Robin Black, Courtney Elizabeth Mauk, and Julia Fierro. In the beautiful Brooklyn Bridge Park, at Granite Prospect.

Tuesday, August 12

Sit back, relax, and see NYC from a different perspective, take the East River Ferry to its multiple different destinations, DUMBO, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Manhattan, Queens, and Governor’s Island. $4 Single ride ticket. Full price breakdown here.

Wednesday, August 13

McCarren Park SummerScreen! Beats the hell out of paying $14 to be crammed in a theatre on a beautiful summer night. Tonight’s movie is an audience choice, which you can vote for here (every vote counts, especially in this very tight race). This is the last SummerScreen of the season, a daunting reminder that summer is somehow almost already over, but if anything that should just be a reminder to get out there and soak it up before it’s too late!

Thursday, August 14

Head over to Crest Hardware in Williamsburg (558 Metropolitan Avenue) pick up some mulch, get a key made, and check out some locally produced short films! Yep, a film fest at a hardware store, but don’t be fooled, Crest is no stranger to art, hosting shows since the early 90’s, and has established itself as a legitimate curator of the local underground art scene. The film festival will showcase short shorts, films that are between 1 to 7 minutes in length all based around the theme of “community.” The show starts at 7:30pm and it’s free!

Friday, August 15

Feeling crafty? Need a DIY project? Forget the always disappointing craigslist free section and head to Bed-Stuy on Fridays from noon to 5pm (Weather Permitting) and go shopping at the Brooklyn Free Store at Herbert von King Park. Bring something to donate and take what you want!

Saturday, August 16

Don’t miss out on the 15th Annual Universal Hip Hop Parade in Bed Stuy. The parade celebrates hip hop history and culture, and promotes social justice. Marching every year on or near Marcus Garvey’s birthday, August 17, the parade starts at the corner of Marcus Garvey Blvd and DeKalb Ave, at 3pm this year on Saturday, August 16. Follow the official Twitter page for more info.

Sunday, August 17

Remember Saturday mornings when it was acceptable to shovel sugar loaded cereal down your throat and watch cartoons all morning? Well Nitehawk Cinema (136 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg) has brought back the early 90’s, only this time with booze, at Spoons, Toons and Booze! Join them at 11:45am on Sunday August 17 for two hours of classic Saturday morning cartoons, all you can eat cereal, and yes, booze! Brunch menu too!

Monday, August 18

Shake it up Mondays! Find a rooftop a few friends, and do your best mixologist routine, featuring a drink recipe from “Shake” a locally produced cocktail recipe book. Save some dough and try this Monday’s delicious summer drink:

“The Spicy Mezcalita”

i. Combine 2 shots Tequila, 1 shot Mezcal, 1.5 shots Cointreau, 1.5 shots fresh lime juice, and 2 slices fresh jalapeño in shaker.

ii. Add ice to above level of the liquid and shake vigorously for 15 seconds.

iii. Strain the mixture into chilled rocks glasses containing large cubes of ice and garnish with lime and jalapeño slices.

Tuesday, August 19

Take a stroll through one of the greenest parts of the entire NYC metropolitan area at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden (990 Washington Avenue, Crown Heights). Open 8am-6pm Tuesday – Friday, admission is free on Tuesdays!

Wednesday, August 20

Laugh it up you punks! No seriously, laugh it up, the Brooklyn Comedy Festival when it makes a stop at Glasslands (289 Kent Ave, Williamsburg). Come on, if you don’t like to laugh well, you have no soul. Tonight’s laughs are hosted by Boris Khaykin, with performances by Ian Fidance, SNL’s Sasheer Zamata, the U.S. National Improv Team, Sean Patton, Stone Cold Fox, and then you even get an afterparty with Hello Phones.

Thursday, August 21

Remember how awesome Skee Ball was when you were a kid? Yep, it is that much better with a few beers and legit competition. Roll on down to Full Circle Bar in Williamsburg (318 Grand St) for free Skee Ball and Free Hot Dogs every Tuesday and Thursday! Get your game tight and you can join the skee-ball league, but you better bring your A-game, because this is no joke. I’ll skee you there!

Friday, August 22

Let’s get weird! Black Weirdo: The Party is going down in Gowanus Friday night. All night dance party at Littlefield (622 Degraw Street). Featuring music from Iman Omari, Suzi Analogue, Rucyl, DJ Rimarkable, DJ Mursi Layne, and a DJ Set from THEESatisfaction. Tickets only $12, get them here! Hell yea!

Saturday, August 23

Afro Punk! Quite possibly the raddest event of the summer, come out to Commodore Barry Park and wile out with their perennially bad ass lineup and a crowd guaranteed to keep the energy levels high. This year the headliners are D’Angelo, Lianne La Havas, Body Count, Trash Talk, SZA, Fishbone, and many, many others. The free tickets are already sold out, but it is well worth the $40 donation for a weekend pass. Full lineup here.

Sunday, August 24

Free Museum Sunday! The Lefferts Historic House (452 Flatbush Avenue, Prospect Park), a restored 18th century Dutch farmhouse equipped with period correct tools, toys, and other memorabilia. Take a trip down memory lane at The Coney Island Museum (1208 Surf Avenue), featuring an exhibit from the artist Africasso, dedicated to a look at life in the West End. Both museums are free admission, always!

Monday, August 25

Happy Hour at Smith & Vine (268 Smith Street, Carroll Gardens)! Free wine tasting and 10% off everything in the Winery’s gift shop from 6pm to 8pm. Case of the mondays? Not anymore.

Tuesday, August 26

Summon the dead at Green-Wood Cemetery. Summer hours are 7am-7pm, and you can give yourself a free guided tour with their app. Main entrance is on Fifth Avenue and 25 St, Brooklyn.

Wednesday, August 27

Feeling too young? Scooch on over to the Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club (541 Union Street, Gowanus) for bingo night every Wednesday night at 7pm. This taste of West Palm Beach also has Mah Jong nights, but let’s take this one step at a time. Let’s just start with some bingo and shuffleboard. Damn kids!

Thursday, August 28

Want to hit the beach without getting out of town? Cool down at the Pop Up Pool at Brooklyn Bridge Park, take a dip, then relax on the sandy, yes you heard right, sandy beach at the edge of the pool. The pool is 30 x 50 feet, open to the public, and free. Open everyday from 10am-11pm, and after 6pm have a refreshing glass of Sangria, or beer and wine on tap. Feeling nervous about swimming in 3.5 feet of water? Swim lessons are offered as well, phew.

Friday, August 29

Check out some aquatic action at the New York Aquarium (602 Surf Avenue, Coney Island), and pay homage to the oldest continually operating aquarium in the country. Free entry with suggested donation of $5 on Fridays from 4pm to 6pm in summer. Just be aware the aquarium closes at 6pm.

Saturday, August 30

Punk rock and craft beer? Hell Yes! Head over to The Gutter  (200 N 14 St between Nassau and Wythe, Williamsburg) for the East Coast vs. West Coast Punk Rock Brew Tour. Bands TBD, but it has already been determined that the winner of the evening will be you if you go.

Sunday, August 31

Get a po’ boy in Bushwick, courtesy of Orleans (Myrtle Avenue and Hart Street). The New Orleanian sandwich staple is one of the very few American foods you have a hard time finding in New York. You can find just about anything around here, but strangely enough it’s been impossible to find a legit po’ boy. Well finally, the wait might be over over. The Orleans is being built by Oliver Vonderahe, a veteran of Roberta’s, and New Orleans enthusiast who has spent the last few years trailing in kitchens down south in New Orleans trying to perfect his po’ boy recipe. Beyond food, the truck will serve beer and wine as well because hey, without booze, it’s just not New Orleans.

Make Nick your summer spirit guide by following him at @norklife

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