Your time off is precious.
We happen to spend our on-the-clock hours combing through the many options NYC has to offer, so let us help you maximize those days off. Every week, we distill the very best the weekend has to offer.
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Welcome to Dragtember.
With both RuPaul's DragCon and Bushwig this month, your options are supersized. And while Bushwig arrives Saturday and Sunday with several Ru-approved queens -- including "Drag Race" winners Sasha Velour and Alaska -- it also offers the opportunity to discover dozens of up-and-comers.
"Drag Race," of course, isn't the only yardstick to measure the scene by. The decidedly not-for-network television Boulet Brothers (the L.A.-based duo behind "Dragula") are on the lineup -- padded nice and thick with 160 total performers -- as is NYC icon Lady Bunny.
"The lineup is really out of control," Babes Trust, who co-founded the now-touring Bushwig in 2011, tells us. "Everything has kind of gone off the charts and really blown up for us. We're thinking about being the Coachella of drag." Babes is also performing, with electro-punk band Bottoms.
The many bands on the roster add to the club-like feel of the festival -- a stark contrast to the convention center backdrop of "DragCon" -- as do the seven bars planned for the 50,000-square-foot warehouse space in Maspeth. (Yaas, queens, the celebration is in Queens.)
And feel free to don whatever your particular brand of realness is. Babes promises an inclusive party, with an LGBTQ security team keeping things safe.
"Now it's grown, but people feel really connected to us," Babes says. "When people come to Bushwig, it feels like home and feels like a family."
It's a beer fest. It's a music fest. It's a ... boozic fest?
For all those times you've thought "wow the beverage options at this music festival are as limited as weekend train service" or "man the entertainment at this beer fest suuuuuuucks ," there's a solution. It's called OctFest. And it's in September (because why not).
With 90 breweries from near and far and 20 bands handpicked by Pitchfork, OctFest enters its second year with growth on its mind. Upgrading from a Sunset Park warehouse to Governors Island, the offerings -- oral and aural -- have doubled.
Five beer tents assist in geo-locating your palate's travels; and while you drink brews from Europe, Latin America, the east and west coasts of North America, and international posts (Asia, Africa and Oceana), some 20 food vendors (Chinese to ice cream) are interspersed to provide those other food groups. As for the music, that sampler platter, served up on two stages across Saturday and Sunday, includes rock (The Flaming Lips), rap (Vince Staples), disco (Nile Rodgers with Chic) and pop (Hatchie).
"It's a mix of genres, and I think that reflects how people listen to music today," OctFest director Adam Krefman notes. "There's the added benefit of, when you book a diverse lineup you get a diverse crowd. There's more of a community feel going on."
Don't pay for it.
Maybe you don't want to spend your dollars on entertainment. Well, there are always plenty of options in our city for that, especially during the warmer months.
Case in point: a free 2Chainz concert. Six other performers -- local Princess Nokia among them -- and DJ sets are slated to keep you on the move at the Gowanus party. (Food and drink are on the menu too, for purchase.)
You can also put your hip-hop and R&B education (or lack thereof) to the test via a music trivia contest.
"Deuce" fans, you've waited a year for the show's return. Your time is now (specifically, Sunday), with the season 2 premiere of the HBO series centered around the legitimization of the porn industry in 1970s NYC.
In the 12 months since you switched your streaming time to other titles, "The Deuce" skips ahead five years, to 1977, finding some characters struggling to adapt to a changing city. And, with occasional nods to 2018, two of the women -- Lori (Emily Meade) and Candy (Maggie Gyllenhaal) -- are newly empowered.
"(W)hat does happen in season 2 is that women as a collective and as a group, their voices are being heard way more," actor Gary Carr, who plays C.C. the pimp, tells us. "They're speaking out a lot and having the power and the confidence to do so, rightly so."
Those who know their local history also find entry points, as the fiscally battered New York City goes through its own changes. Carr notes that "early signs of gentrification" begin to creep into the sets, "which is great in terms of developing the story for the majority of the characters we see in the first season."
For "The Deuce" uninitiated, the clock is ticking: You have until 9 p.m. Sunday to watch the series' first eight episodes and get ready to time jump (again) with the rest of us.
The High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are approaching, and Jewish delis across the city are ready: Russ & Daughters, Mile End and others are hardly new to the annual onslaught of customers.
"After Labor Day, it's like a light switch," says 2nd Avenue Deli owner Jeremy Lebewohl, the nephew of Abe Lebewohl, who founded the deli in 1954.
Whether you observe or not, it's the perfect excuse (and reminder) to familiarize yourself with the diverse offerings at these specialty markets -- and see why they've been favorites of New Yorkers for years. (Or, centuries: Russ & Daughters goes back 104 years.)
They're pros in catering events, but casual customers can also delve into prepared items including brisket, chicken stock and honey bread. From smoked fish to bagels, dried fruits and nuts to schmears, these are spots to add to your shop rotation year-round. And if you do head to one or more this weekend, just bring along that little bit of extra patience for the lines that will surely be firmly in place.