Rockets Red Glare
It wouldn’t be Independence Day in New York City without the spectacular annual Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks (7/4). Exploding around the perimeter of Manhattan from barges in the rivers, these dazzling explosions of color and light give new meaning to “rockets red glare” and can be seen from just about anywhere with a view of the water. The real pro move, of course, is to head to the top of the Empire State Building, One World Trade, or Top of the Rock, where you can watch the booming blasts beneath you with all of the city spread out at your feet. Land of the free, indeed.
A Bug’s Life
The famed performers of Cirque du Soleil have made insects their muse in OVO, which will make its New York debut at the Barclays Center from 7/5 to 7/9. Named for the Portuguese word for “egg,” the show focuses on an insect community that is upended by the appearance of a mysterious egg – and transformed by the egg’s contents. 50 performing artists from 12 countries comprise the company, including the acrobats of the Flying Act, featuring a group of scarabs soaring high above the stage. And the colorful costumes put butterflies to shame. (Barclays Center, 620 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn)
Eat with the Fishes
This month, Italian food bonanza Eataly is paying tribute to the coastal abundance of the boot, and the best way to taste the Adriatic, Ionian, and Mediterranean coasts is during their Four-Course Summer Seafood Feast (7/8). The lavish meal, beginning at 6 p.m., will include four courses of seafood and shell fish, served at a comfortable communal table in the style of the big Italian family you always wished you had. Each dish will be paired with a seafood-friendly wine, to make the meal a complete – and completely immersive – experience.
(Eataly, 200 Fifth Ave. at W. 23rd St.)
Ride the Waves
New York’s beaches are famous the world over, not for their picturesque natural beauty, but for their one-of-a-kind blend of urban and ocean. Nowhere is that mix more beautifully glimpsed than from the water, and with Jetty Jumpers’ Jet Ski Tour of Coney Island, you’ll get a first-hand look at the Big Apple’s most famous stretch of shoreline. Gawk at the Wonder Wheel and Parachute Drop as you make wake, whizzing wetly past the home ballpark of the Coney Island Cyclones and the clattering Cyclone roller coaster. Sun too hot? Splash off in the Atlantic, then hop back on your ‘ski. (Venice Marina, 3939 Emmons Ave., Brooklyn)
The Facts of Life
Gather a group of no more than four for Tuesday Night Trivia (7/11, 7/18, and 7/25), held weekly on Bryant Park’s picturesque Southwest Porch. Hosted by the whiz kids of TriviaNYC, this fun al fresco battle of wits offers prizes to the first, second, and third place teams. Grab a cocktail from the bar or show up with a pizza to share, then put your smartphone away and test your memory against teams of other players from all walks of life, all eager to take home first prize. (Bryant Park, 42nd St. at Fifth Ave.)
Eat Messy; Drink Neat
Fresh off the success of their acclaimed Bacon and Beer Classic, Cannonball Productions presents the annual Whiskey Fried Classic (7/15). Sample dozens of whiskies and cocktails alongside fried, barbecued, and Southern- inspired fare from dozens of NYC restaurants. A live soundtrack will accompany the feast, along with horseshoes, a mustache bar – yes, really – a photo booth, and other playful diversions. Be sure to show up hungry (and thirsty!) to get the most out of this country-fried extravaganza of brown liquor and barbecue.
(Brooklyn Expo Center, 72 Noble St., Brooklyn)
I Wanna Go Fast
Never in the modern history of Formula E racing has an ePrix been held in New York’s five boroughs. That all changes this summer with the Formula E New York City ePrix (7/15-7/16), an electric street-racing series to be held at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. The two-day affair includes meet-and- greet opportunities with the drivers, interactive exhibits, and of course, zippy auto races. The 1.21-mile track overlooks Lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty – just in case you forgot that this Euro racing tradition has staked its flag in the U.S.
(Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, 72 Bowne St., Brooklyn)
The Bar is Open
On the banks of the Hudson River, on the decks of the aircraft carrier Intrepid, watch Tom Cruise shake (and stir!) in Cocktail (7/25). Part of the museum’s ongoing Outdoor Movie Series, this classic presents our hero as an untested bartender learning from one of the best. It’s BYO snacks and non-alcoholic drinks, so pack a picnic and brush up on your classic drinks knowledge. After all, if the waitress orders a Cuba Libre on your first night behind the stick, you’ll want to know what she’s saying. (W. 46th St. at the Hudson River)
Play It Again
From the playful strains of Pirates of the Caribbean to the booming horns of The Dark Knight to the brilliant orchestrations of The Lion King, the music of Hans Zimmer has colored all our worlds. On 7/25 and 7/26, see it live at famed Radio City Music Hall. The composer himself will be on hand to conduct this tour of his greatest hits, which we can only imagine will include A League of Their Own and Inception – not a likely cinematic combo, perhaps, but certainly a compelling musical program. (Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Sixth Ave.)
Please Don’t Stop the Music
A 30’ ultra-HD screen wrapped around the main stage. An interactive design and art installation within a 360-degree VR theater. An open-air club featuring New York’s most legendary DJ tracks. Oh, yeah: and a lineup headlined by Frank Ocean, Solange, Tame Impala, Alt-J, Nine Inch Nails, and A Tribe Called Quest. The Panorama Music Festival (7/28 through 7/30) is no joke. Come for the music and stay for the dancing during this three- day extravaganza in the middle of the East River. Bring your hula hoop; leave your selfie stick at home. (Randall’s Island Park, the East River)