20 Reasons We’re Looking Forward to Summer 2018

nycgo.com staff

Summer is right around the corner. It’s gonna be the best, man. Allow us to make our case:

Courtesy, Eataly

1. The Italian countryside is a subway ride away. Every summer, Eataly’s rooftop restaurant switches it up with a new menu. This season, SERRA by Birreria (Italian for greenhouse) emphasizes the Italian countryside with regional dishes from Tuscany, Liguria and Puglia. Among the highlights: coniglio fritto (fried rabbit) and gnocchi alla Genovese. Drinks include the largest selection of biodynamic Italian wines in NYC; fresh limonata; and cocktails like the Sgroppino—a slushie made with lemon, prosecco and vodka. —Christina Parrella

Hot Dog Bus. Courtesy, NY Public Art Fund

2. The Hot Dog Bus is rolling up in DUMBO—and, frankly, we’re pumped about it. Artist Erwin Wurm will present his sculpture, a VW microbus turned bulbous, bright yellow food truck, in Brooklyn Bridge Park; someone will be dispensing free hot dogs from it all summer long. Impromptu waterfront picnics, here we come. —Gillian Osswald

3. People will tell jokes into microphones on stages. This summer will be an especially exciting time for comedy in New York City. Long-running stand-up showcase Whiplash has moved from the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre (which, don’t worry, still has a great Monday night stand-up show of its own) to Union Hall in Brooklyn. EastVille Comedy Club, with regulars like Judah Friedlander and Janeane Garofalo, is on its way to the borough of Kings as well. It’s somehow the 20th anniversary of the Del Marathon (June 29–July 1) at the UCB’s rooms and elsewhere, bringing you some very weird improv scenes at all hours of the night. Other seasonal highlights include sets from Ken Jeong (June 28–July 1) at Carolines and Deon Cole at Gotham (also June 28–July 1).­ —Jonathan Zeller

4. This one’s a shellfish reason. You don’t need to be in New England or the Chesapeake to enjoy fresh seafood near the waterfront. Randazzo’s Clam Bar, down in Brooklyn’s Sheepshead Bay, and Johnny’s Reef, up in the Bronx’s City Island, are just two of the NYC places that make excellent warm-weather destinations for clams on the half shell, fried scallops and a sea-breeze spirit. —Andrew Rosenberg

Courtesy WCS Zoos

5. Sharks are coming to Coney Island. After years of construction, the Ocean Wonders: Sharks! pavilion at the New York Aquarium is about to open. It’ll feature walk-though underwater glass tunnels where visitors can see the fearsome (but nevertheless majestic) fish, plus thousands of more benign sea creatures. —Brian Sloan

SummerStage. Photo: David Atlas

6. SummerStage is back. This annual concert series features free events and a few paid benefit shows in Central Park and other green spaces all around the City. The Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital Series, Talib Kweli, Big Daddy Kane and Liam Gallagher and Richard Ashcroft round out the list of must-see acts. For the entire schedule, visit cityparksfoundation.org.—CP

7. So is funk, fashion and food in Brooklyn. August’s Afropunk Fest has become a late-summer essential, with R&B stars Janelle Monae and Miguel topping this year’s bill. The Spinthrift Market and Bites & Beats Food Festival are both under the big event’s umbrella, and the fest tends to attract an inclusive, activist-oriented crowd. —AR


Radiohead. Courtesy, Murray Chalmers PR

8. A Radiohead run is just around the bends. For four nights in July (10, 11, 13 and 14) these British art rockers will bring their best to Madison Square Garden. —CP

9. And you should give Erasure a little respect. British pop stalwarts Andy Bell and Vince Clark have been creating their brand of distinctive dance music for over 30 years. This summer, they’ll be at the Upper West Side’s Beacon Theatre for a weekend run of their typically extravagant shows where they’ll break those chains of love once again—and showcase some new songs from their 2018 album, World Be Gone. —BS

10. And, generally, there’s a lot of throwback rock to be enjoyed. Sure, current acts will play New York City this summer. But the roster of 1970s, ’80s, ’90s and early-aughts favorites coming to town is a long one: Stephen Malkmus, Julian Casablancas, the Posies, Matthew Sweet, Spoon, U2, Barenaked Ladies, Better Than Ezra, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Cake, Ben Folds and ELO…plus a stacked “Lost ’80s” lineup out at Coney Island that includes the The Romantics, A Flock of Seagulls, When In Rome and Nu Shooz. It’ll be like watching one of those compilation-CD commercials in person. —JZ

Photo: Julienne Schaer

11. It’s time to hit the beach. A quick bus, ferry or train ride will take you to one of NYC’s many beaches, which open on Memorial Day Weekend. The City boasts 14 miles of public sand, all of which are free. Visit Coney Island for nostalgia and hot dogs; Rockaway Beach for tacos and surfing; and Staten Island’s South Beach for views of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. —CP

Mermaid Parade. Photo: Walter Wlodarczyk

12. Brooklyn is getting its glitter on. On June 16, the borough’s annual Mermaid Parade struts its stuff along Surf Avenue and the Coney Island boardwalk. Feast your eyes on schools of sequined costumes, sparkling floats and quirky performances by the sea, for free. —GO

13. It’s prime time for drinking in the sunshine. Up your SPF and your ABV at NYC’s sunny patios, rooftop lounges and other great spots for outdoor drinking—including the Broken Shaker, coming soon to the roof of the Freehand Hotel. Tropical vibes and summery sips await at this outpost of a beloved Miami cocktail bar. —GO

Yoenis Cespedes. Courtesy, New York Mets

14. Our baseball teams seem to be good. You can’t predict baseball, anything can happen and so on. But, as of this writing, the Mets are off to a scalding start and the Yankees have a lineup that’s looks ready to bust out in a big way. The Brooklyn Cyclones and Staten Island Yankees begin their minor league seasons in June—so you’ll have a game to check out within the city limits almost every day all summer long. Also, the Mets celebrate Fanny Pack Day at Citi Field on June 3. —JZ

15. Liverpool. Manchester City. Enough said. But we’ll say more. These two top-of-table EPL and Champions League rivals will meet at MetLife Stadium on July 25. Perhaps not all first-teamers will be on hand—some may have just finished up representing their countries in the World Cup—but the skill will still thrill any local footie fan. (Serie A power Roma and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid match up on August 7 at the same venue.) —AR


16. There’s plenty more sports action where that came from. The Big 3 basketball league—so named because it involves NBA vets competing in half-court 3-on-3 games—had a turbulent off-season, but it’s back. In August, the championship round will take place at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. Kenyon Martin, Amar’e Stoudemire and Chauncey Billups are among the players expected to compete this season. The US Open will bring the best players in tennis back to Flushing starting in late August, too.—JZ

Courtesy, Film Forum

17. More screen time can be a positive thing. Downtown’s Film Forum, which dates back to 1970, is like your super-knowledgeable film-buff friend: always introducing you to cool indie flicks, foreign-language cinema and forgotten classics. This summer, that friend adds a new screen and buffs up its old ones, giving you extra incentive to brush up on movie history and a comfortable venue to beat the heat. —AR

18. ’Tis the season for alfresco cinema. Free movies are a crowd-pleasing pastime and a summer-in-the-City tradition. You bring the blanket (and some snacks), and NYC will bring free film screenings in picturesque venues like Bryant Park, Randall’s Island and the Hudson River piers. —GO

19. Vienna lingers. One hundred years ago, two leaders of the Vienna Secession movement in Austrian art died; the Neue Galerie, which specializes in works of that time, puts on Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele: 1918 Centenaryin their honor. You can find more by those artists, as well as an obscure Spanish bon vivant by the name of Picasso, at the Met Breuer’s summer feature, Obsession. —AR

20. You can Go-Go out to the theater. The jukebox musical has become a Broadway staple; this summer, the genre gets turned upside down with Head Over Heels. This new musical has all your favorite songs from ’80s new wavers the Go-Go’s but is set to a screwball story by 16th-century scribe Sir Philip Sidney. Previews begin June 23.­ —BS