Spike Lee and Chuck D with a group of people
Spike Lee and Chuck D at a party, NYC Events
Photo Credit: Johnny Nunez/WireImage

What To Do In NYC This Weekend

A rundown of NYC events happening this weekend, featuring premium food, concerts, exhibitions, and shows.

Memorial Day Weekend is the official summer kickoff. The cookout, a staple of outside gathering, goes into full effect. The gardens, street fairs, and music festivals shake each street to the rhythm of that group’s drums. Yet again, we try to get free by keeping our event guide as light on your pockets as we can. Parades, the return of the navy soldiers, and an affordable dinner cruise will make a priceless skyline your forever mate in this New York love affair.

Special Events and Tributes

Okayplayer presents Big Boi with Kari Faux


Tues May 30

Brooklyn Bowl, Williamsburg

Big Boi is at Brooklyn Bowl with Kari Faux to earmark his innovation as a producer and wordsmith. The iconoclast gets most credit as one part of Outkast, but a holistic commitment to funk principles and strip club sinew float him to musical Mount Olympus. Kari Faux brings complementary attitude and cheeky hooks for the peach tree set that Brooklyn will gladly transplant.
Cost: $45

Memorial Day Parade

Mon May 29

Various locations in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and The Bronx

Inwood, Flushing, Sunset Park, and Washington Heights each host a version of the Memorial Day grandeur. Pick your culture because each highlights an aspect of New York’s fine veteran community and their descendants’ stomping grounds.

Cost: Free

Fleet Week

Wed May 24 to Tues May 30

Hudson Yards, Midtown

Fleet Week is a reminder of how men and women in service have long enlivened our city with their bright presence upon returning to safe shores. The classic photographs from this enormous homecoming shape our history, but so do the love affairs. By that we mean, Fleet Week is best because it’s “fleet” for love affairs, for personal tours of the bar scene in Hell’s Kitchen, and for making friends you won’t remember beyond their uniforms but whose encounters you won’t forget either.

Cost: Free

Rooftop Reds


Wed May 24 to Sun May 28

299 Sands Street, Brooklyn Navy Yard

Billed as “Brooklyn’s only vineyard” experience, Rooftop Reds won’t match Sonoma or Napa. Granted. But the red umbrellas, seaview overlooks, and yes, vino, could make up for the lack of rolling valleys and Northern Cali aromatics.

Cost: $12.41

Rooftop Films Returns Opening Night


Thurs May 25

Greenwood Cemetery, Sunset Park

This New York tradition took a pandemic hit and returned in full force. They need our help though. They need to add about 150 new members to keep the screenings low-cost and to pay for venues. The membership drive is well worth it. Their opening night will feature seven prime short films and lots of lively discussion with appetizers and refreshments. What better way to meet people than to get your New York film snob on weekly?


Date Nights

Akara House


642 Nostrand Avenue, Crown Heights

An “Akara” is a bean fritter that varies in spice level and is native to West Africa. The banana-leaf wrapped akara from the takeout spot of its namesake is the highlight and worth the separate order. Although this version of Naija specials departs wholly from the mondo portions I’m used to, the flavors meet the mark and it’s a short walk from my house and any Bed Stuy neighbors you want to refer to it. For carryout, it’s top-notch and one of several new Nigerian hot spots.

Cost: $6 - $16

Lagos TSQ


727 7th Avenue, Times Square

“Lagos TSQ masters the ability to unite the energy of a Saturday night in Lagos with traditionally West African foods that your matriarchs would sign off on,” says OkayAfrica writer Zee Ngema. This kind of atmospheric burst in Times Square is a modern answer to the other major cities represented in slices of New York’s tourist center. And a well overdue addition.

Cost: Entrees $20 - $35

Skyline Dinner Cruise


East River Pier

The idea of a cruise makes my skin crawl, I cannot lie. But this isn’t about being crammed port-side in artificial light with cover bands and house MCs. The Skyline Cruise seems like the best way to enjoy the city’s best attribute — its unreal skyline — without languishing in the thick of a trample-sized crowd. And you’d pay a lot more for a restaurant of similar quality on land.

Cost: $129.39

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