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Summer Is (Officially) Here and It’s Time to Party

This Thursday marks the the summer solstice (aka the longest day of the year), and we are so ready to celebrate. Kick off summer in the city with these eight festive events.

Joe’s Pub Block Party – Voices of Immigrant America – Thursday, June 21, 1:00-7:00 p.m.

(Photo: Joe’s Pub)

Joe’s Pub Block Party returns to Astor Place this Thursday afternoon. It touts a pretty incredible lineup of immigrants and performers of color, featuring the mambo and North African beats of the Yemen Blues Duo and the classically-trained voice of Treya Lam, among others.  This event is part of Make Music New York, which “energizes the shared social spaces that make NYC a cultural capital” through city-wide music festivals on the summer solstice, per their website. More details on this year’s block party here.

Location: Astor Place
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Photos + Video: The Coney Island Mermaid Parade Was the Place to Sea and Be Seen

Throngs of New Yorkers festooned in sparkly neon fishnets, purple glitter and dolphin-shaped crowns descended on Coney Island this past Saturday for the 36th Annual Coney Island Mermaid Parade. Beachgoers were treated to frolicking sharks atop floats and merrymakers in various stages of undress (and suitably fishy gowns), along with notable figures like Mermaid Queen Amanda Palmer and King Neptune Neil Gaiman. Love, sweat, sea spray and mermaid pride mingled in the air above the jubilant crowd.

Watch our video, above, to see all the action and hear from the parade’s organizers. Then click through our slideshow, below, for more.

Video by Erica Carnevalli

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Coney Island Announces Lineup for Summer ‘Flicks on the Beach’

From last year’s Flicks on the Beach. Credit: Alliance for Coney Island.

With the memory of the recent Mermaid Parade still warm in our hearts, we’re pleased to note that the Coney Island Flicks on the Beach festival has announced this year’s lineup.

The film selection is an eclectic mix of the heavily family-friendly — Beauty and The Beast, Finding DoryThe Lego Batman Movie — and a few edgier selections like Get Out. The series is sponsored by Amazon Studios, who will also be doing previews of two Amazon Studios originals — Landline, the new dysfunctional family dramedy from the Obvious Child team, and Crown Heights, a Sundance drama (adapted from a This American Life episode) about a wrongfully imprisoned man.

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Funky Ceramics, Mermaids at Sunny’s, and More Art Openings

Jess Sheridan. Trump This, 2017. Screenprint. 22 x 15 in. Printed and published by the artist. Edition: 45. (c) 2017 Jess Sheridan.

Just Under 100
Opening Thursday, June 22 at International Print Center, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through September 16. 

This show marks the 56th edition of the International Print Center’s New Prints Program, the result of an open call for fine art prints created in the last 12 months. Curator Katherine Bradford has selected 98 of them from artists all over the world, and they will all be on view in the self-proclaimed “small” gallery space of the IPC on West 26th Street.

While there isn’t necessarily a unifying theme for all the prints, several seem to have a political bent. On the gallery’s website, I observed at least one pussy hat reference and one print involving a woman in an American flag hijab and ripped jeans skateboarding on top of the head of a man with very orange skin. Which isn’t surprising, as nowadays it almost seems like more effort to avoid referencing the current political climate than not. More →

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Wettest, Wildest Looks From the Coney Island Mermaid Parade

It was mermaid time in Coney Island on Saturday, as New Yorkers once again paraded past the Cyclone and Nathan’s in everything from elaborate sea-creature costumes to, well, basically nothing. Despite a rainy start, the 35th annual Mermaid Parade was as merry as ever, with many a parader having cleverly turned their transparent umbrella into a floating jellyfish. Click through our slideshow to see the pageantry that, as the parade’s website puts it, “celebrates ancient mythology and honky-tonk rituals of the seaside.”

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Prince and the Bard Are Taking Over City Parks

Shakespeare in the Parking Lot 2016: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (© Lee Wexler)

Cinephiles have plenty of excuses to spend the summer in city parks, starting with Films On The Green and Movies Under The Stars. But if you’ve sworn off going to the movies in favor of #Netflixandchill, there are plenty of other excuses to enjoy our public greenery, starting with the following free events dedicated to The Artist and The Bard.

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Coney Island’s New Vintage Pinball Arcade Is Ready to Roll

The Mystic Machine

Photo credit: Norman Blake

Last week we shared the news that the Coney Island Museum is expanding with a new (playable) pinball exhibition. We’ve obtained more details about the pinball gallery, which had its soft opening yesterday.

“We had machines in the bar being played nonstop,” said Dick Zigun, founder of Coney Island USA and “unofficial mayor” of Coney Island.

Not all the machines are installed yet; by this coming weekend everything should officially be in place.

There are going to be 10 pinball machines – six in the Coney Island Museum storefront and another three or four in the Freak Bar in the lobby of the nearby Arts Center.

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The Mermaid Parade Has Been Saved, and Coney Island Museum Is Adding a Pinball Wing

Mermaids at last year's parade.

At last year’s Coney Island Mermaid Parade.

The Mermaid Parade, Coney Island’s annual crowd-pleaser and glitter-industry Black Friday, is back on solid financial footing — and not a moment too soon — thanks to an unexpected deus ex machina: the intervention of two generous private donations supplementing an ongoing crowdfunding campaign.

Despite the recent news that Debbie Harry and Chris Stein of Blondie fame will raise their scepters as this year’s Queen Mermaid and King Neptune, the Parade had been struggling. A “Feed the Mermaids” crowdfunding campaign to save the parade has so far raised $9,000, far short of its $50,000 goal.

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Gratis Grub Alert: Free Dogs at Feltman’s, 99-Cent Burgers at Duncan’s

A happy Feltman’s customer. (Photo courtesy of Michael Quinn.)

If you were planning to mooch off of your friends this weekend by not bringing any beer to their Memorial Day barbecues, here’s a far more respectable way to freeload.

Feltman’s, the 100-year-old hot dog brand that preceded Nathan’s and this summer returned to Coney Island six decades after it closed there, is celebrating its return with a giveaway. On Monday, starting at 11:30am, the first 150 people to line up for the boardwalk shack’s grand opening and ribbon cutting will score free all-natural beef dogs, served on a toasted potato bun. Remember: This dog won the approval of competitive-eating champ Takeru Kobayashi himself, who knows a thing or two about scoring free dogs. Then again, that’s probably not saying much, since he’s presumably pretty burned out on Nathan’s after eating fistfuls of them at a time.

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