curated by Sara Maher

Your Letter is Here

From fantastic beasts to cursed children, this year will be a wild one for Potterheads everywhere. Keep your House spirit high at PotterCon NYC, “the official annual NYC day-drinking and mingling destination for witches, wizards, squibs and magical creatures alike.” Yes, wannabe witches and wizards, this event is for mature Muggles and No-Majs only, so expect the Butterbeer to flow freely between the Sorting Ceremony, costume and trivia contests, and the House Cup. If you have no idea what most of these words mean, just skip your wee Squib eyes down to the next event while we discreetly perform a Memory Charm.

F downtown to 14th St and walk northeast to Irving Plaza (17 Irving Pl.) Sat Aug 6-Sun Aug 7, 2-8pm. $10 advance/$15 at the door. For ages 21+. Info and tickets:

Go Against Traffic

Wish you could whiz down Fifth Ave, or rollerblade past Rockefeller Center? On the first three Saturdays in August, City Streets will allow you to do just that. Nearly seven miles of NYC streets will be closed to vehicular traffic, so you can walk, run, bike, or blade to your heart’s content. Along the way you can enjoy live performances, food samples, art installations, tours, and giveaways. If you’d rather ride, a zipline will zoom you down 53rd St from Park to Lexington.

F downtown to Lexington Av-63rd St, 47-50 Sts-Rockefeller Center, 42nd St-Bryant Park, 34th St-Herald Sq, 23rd St, 14th St, or Broadway-Lafayette St and join on Park Av (between 72nd-14th Sts) or Lafayette St (between 14th St and Brooklyn Bridge.) Sat Aug 6, 13, 20; 7am-1pm. Free. Info and route:

Pictures in the Park

If all of the summer movies on Firefighters Field aren’t enough for your cinematic summer, the Bryant Park Film Festival is still going strong. The selection is varied, and each showing is preceded by a classic Warner Brothers cartoon. Before the film, enjoy a picnic in the park, or check out one of the exhibits at the Stephen A. Schwarzman building (like the last listing below).

F downtown to 42nd St-Bryant Park and find a spot in the park. Mon Aug 8: High Plains Drifter; Mon Aug 15: The Big Chill; Mon Aug 22: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Lawn opens at 5pm; movies start at sunset (between 8-9pm.) Free. Info:

Catch a Wave Pop Fly

Summer is baseball season, but why take the F to the B to the D when you can cruise all the way to ­Coney Island? The Coney Island Cyclones kicked off their season June 17, but there’s still plenty of time to see your local minor league team in action. Many games end with a free fireworks show, and there’s a packed giveaway calendar, too – from bobbleheads to aviator sunglasses to jerseys, there’s a Cyclone-themed tchotchke that can’t wait to meet you.

F downtown to Coney Island-Stillwell Av and walk west on Surf Ave to MCU Park (1904 Surf Av.) Next home game Tue Aug 9 with home games thru Sep 4; start time varies. Tickets $10-17. Home game and giveaway schedule:

On The Fringe

1,100 performances. 200 shows. 16 days. A whole lotta indie art. Now in its 20th year, the New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC) is “the largest multi-arts festival in North America.” Some of this year’s intriguing options include ­Cabtivist, “a comedic glimpse into 35 years behind the wheel of a NYC yellow taxi”; a look inside NYC apartments with The Cleaning Guy; Catalyst, one take on the end of the world; an Asian actor trying out the part of Mr. Yunioshi; finding out why a suicidal god knows You Don’t Matter; or experiencing Richard III (A One Woman Show). Honestly, I’d go to any of ‘em.

F-accessible venues: The Huron Club (F downtown to W 4th and walk south to 15 Vandam; 64E4 Underground or Main Stage (downtown to 2nd Av and walk northwest to 64 E 4th St; Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company (downtown to 2nd Av and walk northwest to 70 E 4th St.) Aug 12-16; various times. $18 general/$13 under 12 or over 65; passes start at $85. Info, tickets, showtimes:

Come Sail Away

Whether you see yourself taming dragons, starring in a History original series, or playing for a debatably unskilled football team, there’s a little Viking in all of us. Learn about the real, actual people who inspired all of these things at The Vikings. Claiming to be “the largest collection of Viking artifacts ever displayed in North America,” the exhibit includes 500 “treasures,” including full-scale ships, tools, weapons, and other artifacts, including the earliest known crucifix from Scandinavia. Aye? Ahoy? Yar..?

F downtown to 42nd St-Bryant Park and walk northwest to Discovery Times Square (226 W 44th St.) Exhibit thru Sep 5; hours Sun-Thu 9am-8pm, Fri-Sat 9am-9pm. Tickets $27.50 general/$24 over 65/$20 ages 4-12. Info and tickets:

Restoring Storage

Opinion: between the services it provides, the books it stores and maintains, the artifacts it displays, and, often, the beauty of the structure itself, libraries are straight-up masterpieces. But like any work of art, they occasionally need a little TLC. Preserving a Masterpiece: From Soaring Ceilings to Subterranean Storage shows how, exactly, one goes about restoring a space that is already storing so many other things. Over 75 photos demonstrate the continuous work required to preserve the iconic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building and keep it accessible to New Yorkers, including the ongoing expansion of the underground book storage vaults and the current restoration of the Rose Main Reading Room.

F downtown to 42nd St-Bryant Park and enter the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on 5th Av and 41st St. Thru Sep 18; Mon, Thu-Sat 10am-6pm, Tue-Wed 10am-8pm, closed Sun. Free. Info:

Tags: Adventures Off-Island entertainment Sara Maher

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