Flavorpill Guide to This Week’s Top 10 New York Events

For our (unconscionably high) rent money, the best thing about living in NYC is its endless supply of fun, odd, and inspired cultural events — especially during the summer months. But with so many options, it can be hard to know where to even begin. To help you make sense of it all, Flavorpill Deputy Editor Mindy Bond shares the very best of what’s on offer this week. It’s just a taste of what you can find on the new Flavorpill, so if you like what you see, be sure to sign up

Tuesday, June 18
Jim-James-A-New-Life-Live-715x402

MUSIC: CELEBRATE BROOKLYN!: Jim James and The Roots
Ushering in its 35th anniversary, Celebrate Brooklyn! has wrangled another outstanding and eclectic lineup of musicians to light up the Prospect Park Bandshell. In total, 29 shows are planned before closing night on August 10. Patty Griffin headlined the first free show on June 5, and tonight’s special collaborative performance marks the festival’s first of five benefit concerts this summer. Jim James of My Morning Jacket takes to the stage with Grammy-winning hip-hop crew The Roots to recapture and expand on the magic that occurred when James was a guest on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon promoting his solo record, Regions of Light and Sound of God. It might not be a benefit on the scale of Concert for Bangladesh, but with James’ charisma and incredible voice paired with The Roots’ swagger, it promises to be a unique and gratifying musical mash-up. — Mindy Bond

BOOKS: Unbound: Neil Gaiman

Wednesday, June 19
bamcinemafest

FILM: BAMcinemaFest
Showcasing the best, brightest, and most controversial films making the festival rounds today, BAMcinemaFest continues its reign as our favorite festival to hail from Brooklyn. Spanning ten days, the slate includes a mix of comedies, dramas, and documentaries, both feature-length and short. Highlights include opener Ain’t Them Bodies Saints starring Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck, Michael M. Bilandic’s Hellaware, Ben Nabor’s award-winning doc William and the Windmill, Jason Giampetro’s short “The Sun Thief,” and festival closer Short Term 12, which features an outstanding performance by Brie Larson as a counselor in a halfway house. Also on tap is a special screening of Peaches’ anti-jukebox musical, Peaches Does Herself, followed by a performance, and spotlight film James Ponsoldt’s The Spectacular Now. We recommend toughing it through the credits, as a number of films are followed by Q&As. — Mindy Bond

toy theatre

THEATRE: 10th International Toy Theater Festival
As this ten-day festival can attest, some of the most extraordinary things come in small packages. Featuring a mind-blowing assortment of tiny art, the Great Small Works’ Tenth International Toy Theater Festival transforms St. Ann’s Warehouse into a wonderland made up of miniature-sized performances arenas and a free exhibit displaying both classic and contemporary examples of the art form. Nearly 50 events produced by artists from as near as Brooklyn and as far as Berlin are planned, with the highlight of the festival being the premiere of Janie Geiser’s The Reptile Under the Flowers, an intricate peepshow/diorama performance for adults. Festival passes are available, or, for those who prefer smaller bites, single tickets can also be purchased. — Mindy Bond

Thursday, June 20
sam green

FILM: River to River Festival & Rooftop Films 2013: Sam Green with the Quavers and YMusic
If you caught Sam Green’s The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller at The Kitchen, then you are already aware of the magic the man creates through “live documentary.” For that performance, the Academy Award-nominated filmmaker was in-person to cue images onto a screen and provide commentary while Yo La Tengo performed a live soundtrack. Tonight’s program, which is part of Laurie Anderson’s curated track and is done in partnership with Rooftop Films, sees Green teaming with local bands the Quavers and yMusic to bring two shorter works to life, “Love Letter to the Fog,” and “The Biggest-Smallest.” We expect it to be a pretty extraordinary event. — Mindy Bond

Friday, June 21
make music ny

FESTIVAL: Make Music New York
We love Make Music New York. On the longest day of the year, there’s almost nothing we’d rather do than explore our city musically, checking out (or participating in) one of hundreds of free concerts and spectacles. Highlights for us this year include the Mungo Thompson Cricket Orchestra that brings the sounds of crickets to the High Line using violins, flutes and percussion; a Beck Song Reader Stage at Joe’s Pub where you can sing the songs from Beck’s sheet music album backed by house bands Balthrop, Alabama and Mother Falcon; the Silent Barn and Warper Block Party in Bushwick; mass concerts starring everything from transformers at the ConEd power station to ukuleles and circuit benders; and a bluegrass extravaganza presented by the City Reliquary in Williamsburg. BYO instrument, and get involved! — Leah Taylor

ART: James Turrell

Saturday, June 22
Mermaid_Parade_2009_._Coney_Island_234

CITY GEM: Coney Island Mermaid Parade
It was almost the Coney Island Mermaid Parade that didn’t happen, but thanks to the thousands of fans of the yearly summer celebration, the mermaids and other creatures of the sea will once again walk down the streets of Coney Island that were ravaged by Hurricane Sandy less than a year ago. After a Kickstarter that raised well over the $100,000 mark, the largest art parade in the nation returns with all the colorful characters walking through the iconic Brooklyn neighborhood, and King Neptune Judah Friedlander and Queen Mermaid Carole Radziwill overseeing all the festivities. — Jason Diamond

FESTIVAL: Tropfest New York 2013
When you’re the world’s largest short film festival, setting up a huge screen in the middle of Prospect Park, getting a Golden Globe-nominated actor like Liev Schreiber to host, and securing a musical lineup that includes a DJ set by Neon Indian and live performances by Chairlift, Bear in Heaven, and Ghost Beach seems like a snap (not). Welcome to Tropfest, a cinematic celebration that originated in Sydney, Australia in 1993. After a successful launch in New York last year, the festival returns, but this time graces Brooklyn with its greatness. Sixteen films screen, all vying for a $20,000 bounty and mega networking opportunities. A team of celebrity judges including Fisher Stevens, Malcolm Gladwell, Lake Bell, and Leonard Lopate help determine the winner. If you want to get in on the fun, just head over to the Tropfest website and RSVP for updates. — Mindy Bond

Sunday, June 23
Motor-City_0000_Exterior

PARTY: Motor City Bar Closing Party
Another great Lower East Side bar bites the dust with the closing of the best shot and a beer with a side of pinball joint in all of lower Manhattan. Motor City Bar closes out 17 years of getting people drunk with The Swingin’ Neckbreakers, Baby Shakes, and a whole bunch of DJs that will be spinning the kind of dirty rock and roll the bar has been churning out for almost two decades. — Jason Diamond