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Things to Do

The Weekend It List

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.

And, to have the Weekend It List delivered to your inbox, sign up at

swing it.

Tennis fans, don't fret, fan week at the
Photo Credit: Getty Images for USTA/USTA

Tennis fans, don't fret, fan week at the U.S. Open continues through Sunday, and there's still freebies to be had.

The weekend at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park promises to be fun, with the chance to see favorites like Maria Sharapova, Serena and Venus Williams, Roger Federer and others practice. Fans also can take advantage of the Heineken Happy Hour with dancing to live music by Leon Bridges.

"[In] what other sport do fans have the opportunity to see players practice right before the biggest event of the year," USTA spokesman Brendan McIntyre told us. "This would be like fans getting a chance to walk in the week before the Super Bowl and see the two teams getting ready."

Make sure to check the schedule daily so you don't miss watching the best of the best whack the ball around.

sing it.

The Afropunk festival is one of those rare
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Stephanie Keith

The Afropunk festival is one of those rare events where you'll actually want to show up early. The two-day music fest is less about headlining acts and more about showcasing rising artists who've mashed up a variety of influences to create songs that defy traditional labels.

The two-day music fest began as an event showcasing black-fronted punk- and alternative-rock acts (hence the name) in 2005, but it's evolved over the years to celebrate African American artists creating "unclassifiable" music. 

Take Death Grips for example. The Sacramento band, performing Sunday, describes its sound as a mix of punk, electronic and hip-hop. 

Tickets to the festival -- Saturday and Sunday at Commodore Barry Park -- are still available. 

beach it.

Even after the devastation of Superstorm Sandy in
Photo Credit: Dylan Johnson

Even after the devastation of superstorm Sandy in 2012, Rockaway is still one of New York City's treasures with the city's only surfing beach, fun bars and diverse restaurants.

It's a true beach town and there's still time to enjoy it in these dog days of summer.

Getting there is easier than ever -- hop on the NYC Ferry or take a round-trip ride on the beach bus or brew cruiser. Once you're there, take a surf lesson, grab homemade pastries from Rockaway Beach Bakery, check out Fort Tilden, shop Riis Park Beach Bazaar and more. 

There are so many options that we've created an agenda to help you plan the perfect day at the beach.

drink it.

Photo Credit: Blue Bottle Coffee

Tonic water isn't just a cocktail mixer anymore. Cafes and coffee brewers are increasingly turning to the fizzy party staple to create new ways for java hounds to get their caffeine fix.

Coffee and tonic drinks have been appearing on menus in the city for the past few years in an effort to "create something refreshing and coffee-forward, but less caffeinated and more effervescent," says James Freeman, founder of Blue Bottle Coffee. "There's inherently less caffeine, which is the perfect answer to folks who want to get out of the office but don't need another coffee," he said.

While the simplest concoction sees tonic water poured over ice and topped with espresso, some outlets are selling drinks that have more of a resemblance to mocktails than they have to lukewarm bodega brew. Stumptown Coffee Roasters, which can be found in three locations in the city, sells drinks such as the Sweet Cherry Cold Brew, which is actually housemade pomegranate grenadine, cold brew and carbonated water. Kobrick Coffee in Chelsea takes a similar approach, using tonic syrup instead of water in some coffee drinks, while also including ingredients like coconut oil and egg whites.

Check out coffee and tonic drinks at shops like Box Kite Coffee on the Upper West Side, Kinship Coffee in Astoria, and Partners Coffee in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan.

watch it.

Behind on
Photo Credit: HBO/Jeff Daly

Behind on "Ballers"? You may want to consider catching up. 

The NFL financial drama returns to HBO with its fifth season Sunday, and actor London Brown teases big changes are on the way -- particularly with his character, Fat Reggie. "Reggie has that [same] attitude, but it actually makes sense now because he knows the numbers. He knows more about the advice he's giving. He's matured." 

Keeping tight-lipped on the main season 5 plot line, the actor says the series will not shy away from tackling social and cultural issues in the NFL. "They really touched on stuff. We go there."

It may even leave fans with a cliffhanger: "There might be a possible death in there," he teases. 


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