On any typical weekend during summer, people are out enjoying themselves everywhere you look, from bars packed to capacity to outdoor movies and parties on rooftops.
But if anything, the imperative to have fun is ratcheted up another notch on Independence Day. We found seven events beyond the fireworks to keep you busy.
The weekend begins on Friday night and you’re in luck, because Spoiled NYC is hosting a rooftop party at Monarch (71 W. 35th St.), and it’s absolutely free to get in. All you have to do is RSVP at SpoiledNYC.com. Indoors is a dance floor and lounge; outside is a patio (with its own bar). This jam starts at 10 p.m., with guest DJ sets from Rodney Hazard and Franco Finelli, and we’re bumpin’ it until 4 a.m.
Why settle for one venue when you can party on an island? Funk-N’-Cue is taking over Governors Island on Friday night beginning at 5 p.m. Roam the beach and relax until showtime, when George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic take the stage at Governors Club (10 South St.) To tide you over, there’ll be a barbecue spread of burgers, spicy sausage, grilled Mexican corn and more. Tickets are $35, or go VIP for $125.
Because it wouldn’t be an American holiday without a little friendly competition and a lot of food, Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog-Eating Contest combines both. What began as a “beef” between friends to prove their patriotism back in 1916 is now an event that draws 35,000 spectators — so get there early. The fun begins Saturday at 10 a.m. on Coney Island at the corner of Surf and Stillwell avenues, where you will witness what is perhaps the most notorious “athletic” event in the world.
Is stuffing yourself like an out-of-season turkey with delicious food a great way to celebrate America? Well, it’s definitely American. On Saturday, get to Dassara (271 Smith St., Brooklyn), which happens to be one of the most delicious ramen restaurants in the five boroughs, for a pig roast and seafood boil from 1-6 p.m. That’s not all: There will be live music by Styles Upon Styles, and honeydew melon tea from A B Tea. A plate of pork and sides is $12, and blue crab is $15.
Hosted by the Brooklyn based DJ collective The Deep, Might Get Weird will be co-opting the backyard of soul food restaurant Sugar Hill (609 DeKalb Ave., Brooklyn) from noon to 9 p.m. on July 4 and will feature cheap drinks, blasting tunes, kiddie pools (for adults) and a barbecue for $20. Oh, and lots and lots and lots of beautiful day-drinking party people.
Somewhere in the back of our sun-dappled, beer-soaked brain, we should take a moment to remember that the whole point of this holiday is to celebrate our independence from Britain after the Revolutionary War. Luckily for you history buffs, Big Onion Walking Tours hosts an annual traditional tour of significant NYC landmarks significant to the war, like Alexander Hamilton’s grave and Fraunces Tavern, where a British cannonball shot through the roof. So, if this holiday makes you want to feel connected to our nation’s history, lace up your sneakers.
For a truly patriotic party, don your best red, white and blues and head to Hudson Terrace (621 W. 46th St.) on Saturday for the Liberty Belle Extravaganza that starts early and won’t quit until you do. More than 40 performances, from burlesque to live bands, will entertain you on the rooftop from 3 p.m. until well after the fireworks end. Tickets are $25-$35, though the cocktails and barbecue are a la carte.