Wednesday, July 3, 2013

NYC Social - July

July begins with plenty of Independence day celebrations. With summer in full swing, outdoor fetes dominate the rest of the month. Which is perfect, since all I want to do is bask in the sunshine. While I will add the following to my list of things to do, my social calendar is already packed from May and June events that continue to run through the rest of the month. Here's what's taking place in July:

1. Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks: July 4

To celebrate the nation's independence, Macy's will put on a fireworks display that it boasts as being the largest in the country. At 9pm along the Hudson River, over 40,000 fireworks will light up the sky for about half an hour. Since all Hudson River Piers (apart from Pier 84) will be closed off, prime viewing spots are on 12th avenue between 23rd and 42nd streets and aim to be there many many hours before. Or better yet, get thee to an apartment rooftop with a view of the Hudson.  Whatever way you choose to watch the fireworks, make sure you pay attention to the Empire State Building during the last few minutes for a specially choreographed ESB light show.

2 . New York Musical Theatre Festival: July 8 - 28

Considered " the Sundance for Musical Theatre", the New York Musical Theatre Festival will showcase over 30 new musicals and concerts over the course of 3 weeks. Over the course of decade the festival has been in existence, it has become the launching pad of various shows that have gone on to Broadway and Off-Broadway success. This year, there will be more traditional musical comedies, hip hop concerts and dance dramas. Tickets are $20 and you can see the lineup here.

3. Broadway in Bryant Park: July 11 - August 15

If you are lucky to be in the vicinity of Bryant Park over lunch, have your meal outdoors while being serenaded by the best on Broadway. Each concert lasts from 12.30 - 1.30pm and will include performances of award-winning productions like Pippin, Wicked, Phantom of the Opera and Avenue Q. See the entire programme here and plan your picnic!  

4. Bastille Day: July 14

Bring out your inner Francophile and celebrate the beginning of the French Revolution at this street fair on the Upper East Side. There will live performances and plenty of French music to entertain you while you wander through the street market on East 60th Street, between 5th and Lexington. There will be plenty of food and drink as well as arts and craft offerings. If you need to brush up on your French, FIAF will also offer free french workshops on the day. Visit here for more information. 

5. Philharmonic in the Park: July 11 - 16


The New York Philharmonic will perform for free again this summer in parks around the city. Pack a picnic and join thousands of New Yorkers at this quintessential New York experience - the ones in Prospect Park and Central Park are the most popular. Make sure to stay to the end for the fireworks finale. Details of concerts can be found here

6. Manhattanhenge: July 13 - 14


Based on a similar occurence at Stonehenge where on the summer solstice the sun rises in perfect alignment with the stones,  Manhattanhenge is a twice-a-year occurence, where the setting sun aligns perfectly with the east-west streets of the main street grid (14th street and above) in Manhattan. This happens again for the second time this year on July 13 and 14, around 8.23pm. On those days, the sun illuminates every cross street on the grid with the sun's center setting precisely on the street's center line. Best streets to view this phenomenon are 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd and 57th street, and as far east as possible with the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building accentuating the views on 34th and 42nd respectively. Don't forget your camera!

7. Jazz in July: July 19 - 25

The 29th annual Jazz in July takes place again this summer at the 92nd Street Y. Over three dozen jazz musicians will perform over six shows. Highlights of the festival include music celebrating Jimmy Van Heusen, Henry Mancini, Johnny Mandel and wraps up with the sounds of Benny Goodman. Visit the website to see the full lineup and to purchase tickets.

8. Metropolitan Opera Summer House: July 16 - August 1

It's one outdoor performance after another this month and the Met is also in on the action. No borough is left behind when the Met puts on six recitals during the second half of July. Opera on the opening night begins at 8pm while all others start at 7pm. Alas no fireworks at the end of these performances though! Details of each concert can be found here

9. Justin Timberlake and Jay Z: July 19 - 20

A fan since his N'Sync days, its been many years since I saw JT in concert (Sydney 2007 baby). No words can describe how excited I am to see him and Jay perform this month at Yankee Stadium this month. Until then, I will have The 20/20 Experience on repeat. Get your tickets at Ticketmaster or Stubhub

10. Imran Qureshi at the Met Roof Garden: through Nov 3


The Met roof garden's 2013 exhibit features Pakistani artist, Imran Qureshi, who has created a piece of work painted directly on the 8,000-square-foot surface of the rooftop garden - the first person to do so. Qureshi splattered red acrylic paint onto the ground to create his painting, to represent both his emotional response to violence occurring around the world, as well as to pay homage to the luxurious gardens in the Mughal era and the foliage of Central Park surrounding the Roof Garden. The Martini Bar also now open at the rooftop on Friday and Saturday evenings - so sip on a drink and walk on the art - you are more than encouraged to! 

And there you have it - a month full of outdoor fun to make the most of the warm weather. Have a great July!


  1. Oh-so-jealous that you're going to watch JT in person! Ah, the good 'ol N'Sync days... I'm making a trip to NY this month, but only for the day to get passport renewed though.

  2. I had never heard of Manhattanhenge before! So cool!