The Best Things To Do In NYC This Week: From The Afro-Latino Fest To Gotham Girls Roller Derby

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Saunter through a cemetery with the circus during “A Night at Niblo’s Garden,” Friday (photo by Maike Schultz)

Books Beneath the Bridge @ Brooklyn Bridge Park

Have a lovely literary summer eve at Books Beneath the Bridge, which has been going strong since 2012. Every Monday night for the next six weeks, one of Brooklyn’s fabulous bookstores will curate a night of words by the water. The series kicks off this year with Columbia Street Waterfront’s Freebird Books presenting Hugh Ryan, who curated the Brooklyn Historical Society exhibit On the (Queer) Waterfront. Ryan will read from his new book When Brooklyn Was Queer, followed by an audience Q&A and signing.

Monday, July 8th, 7 p.m. // Brooklyn Bridge Park, Granite Prospect // Free

Mostly Mozart Festival @ Lincoln Center

It’s time again for the annual Mostly Mozart Festival, Lincoln Center’s monthlong celebration featuring music, dance, and theater from all over the world. The fest kicks off with a program from Mark Morris Dance Group that includes the world premiere of Sport and two repertory works, Empire Garden and V. Other highlights: Komische Oper Berlin’s production of The Magic Flute, East London company Boy Blue’s dance-theater piece Blak Whyte Gray, China’s Yang Liping Contemporary Dance’s Under Siege, and Davóne Tines starring in his musical adaptation of The Black Clown. Performances continue through August 10th.

Opens Wednesday, July 10th // Lincoln Center, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, Manhattan // Various

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See a sensationally strange staging of “The Magic Flute” (photo by Iko Freese)

A Night at Niblo’s Garden @ Green-Wood Cemetery

Take a trip back in time for A Night at Niblo’s Garden, where the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus turns Green-Wood Cemetery into a Victorian vaudevillian extravaganza. The annual gala honors one of the cemetery’s “permanent residents”: William Niblo, proprietor of one of New York’s largest and most fashionable mid-19th-century theaters. There will be fire eaters, musicians, contortionists, performers on floats, and more; guests are encouraged to bring blankets and treats to picnic in the grass surrounding the glacial pond Crescent Water, near Niblo’s newly restored mausoleum.

Friday, July 12th, and Saturday, July 13th, 7 p.m. // Green-Wood Cemetery, 500 25th St., Brooklyn // Tickets: $40

Afro-Latino Festival @ Albee Square

Heat up the night at the seventh-annual Afro-Latino Festival, celebrating the African roots of people from Latin America and the Caribbean through cultural exchange, artistic showcases, culinary presentations, and education. The fest includes music from eight countries on three stages, kicking off with the Diaspora Day Party featuring Haitian-American DJ Stakz and other Haitian, Dominican, African, and diaspora DJs. There will be performances by Latin Grammy winner Jose Alberto “El Canario,” the “Showman of Salsa,” Panama’s top calypso band Los Beachers, poet-activist Felipe Luciano, mariachi band Flor de Toloache, and many more. The fest also hosts the launch of the AfrolatinTalks podcast series, plus more than 40 Afrolatino food vendors in DeKalb Market Hall.

Friday, July 12th, and Saturday, July 13th // City Point, Albee Square, Brooklyn // Tickets: $10–$90

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Dance your face off at another summer of Warm Up (photo by Ryan Muir)

Warm Up @ MoMA PS1

Since 1998, one of the city’s best summer series is PS1’s all day party Warm Up, running every Saturday in July and August. This weekend’s banger is headlined by German techno pioneer Mark Ernestus, who was last in town with Ndagga Rhythm Force, his collaborative project with a revolving cast of Senegalese sabar musicians. Seven other DJs and musicians will also be performing, including Spanish singer and trap artist Bad Gyal, Madrid-based reggaeton feminist Ms. Nina, Jamaican music collective Equiknoxx, and more.

Saturday, July 13th, 12 p.m. // MoMA PS1, 22-25 Jackson Ave., Queens // Tickets: $18

Chickensh*t Bingo @ Bushwick City Farm

Spend the day in a verdant oasis just steps from Brooklyn’s busy Broadway junction while supporting a volunteer-run community space. Bushwick City Farm’s annual Chickensh*t Bingo fundraiser promises live music, food and drinks, activities, and of course, Chickensh*t Bingo. To play, guests buy squares on a big board, onto which well-fed chickens are released—and if a bird deigns to poop on your square, you win. Musicians include Abby Rock, Pinkie Promise, Thems Good Eatin’, and local DJs; there will also be face-painting and cargo-bike hayrides for the kiddos.

Saturday, July 13th, 2 p.m. // Bushwick City Farm, 354 Stockton St., Brooklyn // Tickets: by donation

Pete’s Mini-Zine Fest @ Pete’s Candy Store

Show your love for indie lit at Pete’s Mini-Zine Fest, the longest-running zine celebration in NYC. The low-key fest is great for newcomers and veteran zine-makers alike. There will be two dozen artists tabling, including Bill Roundy, who has brought his zine Bar Scrawl to every PMZF since its inception, and Mary Marge Locker, who was inspired by past fests to start making her own zines, which now include Habits, How to Not Give Up, and My Body This City. The fest was started in 2010 by two Arab American women, Andria Alefhi and Marguerite Dabaie, who will each be hawking their own zines, We’ll Never Have Paris and The Hookah Girl, respectively.

Saturday, July 13th, 2 p.m. // Pete’s Candy Store, 709 Lorimer St., Brooklyn // Free

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Watch four boroughs’ worth of roller derby ladies duke it out in a double-header (photo by Sean Hale)

Gotham Girls Roller Derby Double-Header @ Abe Stark Rink

Cheer on a bunch of bad-ass babes at the annual Gotham Girls Roller Derby Double-Header. All four teams in the league will play: first Queens of Pain will take on Brooklyn Bombshells, and then, in a highly anticipated bout, Manhattan Mayhem square off against Bronx Gridlock—both of whom are undefeated so far this season, so this game will have major implications for the championships in August. Gotham Girls Roller Derby is the only skater-operated derby league, and the organization is a founding member of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association.

Saturday, July 13th, 4 p.m. // Abe Stark Skating Rink, 1902 Surf Ave., Brooklyn // Tickets: $29.95

Bastille Day @ French Institute Alliance Français

Show off all your joie de vivre at NYC’s largest celebration of France’s national holiday. FIAF’s Bastille Day fête fills three blocks of the Upper East Side with French food, wine, fashion, music, dance, workshops, and more. Live music includes renowned French singer Gérard Chambre, Chloé Perrier & French Heart Jazz Band, Paris-based chanteuse Dahlia Dumont, and French Riviera band Les P’tites Ouvreuses. There will also be Joanna Wronska doing the can-can and feather dance, participatory art with French-Iranian performance artist Cocovan, miming by Cat Gasta, kids’ book workshops with Fly Away Books, champagne, wine, and chocolate tastings, the French Garden marketplace, and on and on.

Sunday, July 14th, 12 p.m. // 60th St. from Fifth Ave. to Lexington Ave., Manhattan // Free

Collectors Night 2019 @ Bell House

See the sweet obsessions of an array of accumulators and archivists at the 14th-annual Collectors Night, presented by City Reliquary and Atlas Obscura. There will be more than 30 folks displaying their hyper-specific and wonderfully strange accumulations and doing rapid-fire show-and tells; past collections have included squished pennies, antique sea glass, NYC street furniture, pensive clown portraits, and books with “potato” in the title. This year’s keynote speaker, Laetitia Barbier, partner at Morbid Anatomy, will give a presentation on her collection of guillotines in honor of Bastille Day.

Sunday, July 14th, 6 p.m. // Bell House, 149 7th St., Brooklyn // Tickets: $30

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