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Summer guide 2011

Mermaid Parade

Mermaid Parade

All we can say is: finally! After a particularly brutal winter, we're thrilled that summer is on the horizon - and not just for the weather. With concerts, festivals, theater and films, we're banking on this being a busy - and awesome - summer. Here are our top picks on how to fill the dog days.

June

JUNE 1 Thalia Book Club: Anne Roiphe: Novelist and essayist Anne Roiphe discusses her personal new memoir about life in the New York literary circles of the '50s and '60s. She'll be joined by her daughter, the cultural critic Katie Roiphe.Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, 7:30 p.m., $15, symphonyspace.org

JUNE 3 Brooklyn Film Festival: The competitive festival will take place until June 12 at
indieScreen and Brooklyn Heights Cinema. Check out more than 100 film premieres.
brooklynfilmfestival.org

JUNE 5 Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic: This year, the majority of the playing field will be designated for members of the public, so there will be plenty of room for picnicking and sipping Champagne. Bleachers will be provided for watching the match, and grub will be on hand courtesy of Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group. Governors Island, 11 a.m., vcseason.com

JUNE 6 Shakespeare in the Park: The Public Theater presents "Measure for Measure" and "All's Well That Ends Well" performed in repertory. Through July 31. Delacorte Theater, FREE, publictheater.org

JUNE 11 Big Apple Block Party: Everyone's favorite annual eat-a-thon returns with barbecue grub fixed by some of the world's top pitmasters. Stop by for seminars, book signings and booze tastings. Madison Square Park, bigapplebbq.org

JUNE 12 Tony Awards: Neil Patrick Harris returns to host Broadway's biggest night. Not into hanging around the stage door at the Beacon Theatre? Watch it on CBS tonight at 8 p.m.

JUNE 14 The Decemberists Benefit Concert at Celebrate Brooklyn!: The Bowery Presents the Decemberists with special guest Best Coast. Prospect Park Bandshell, gates open at 6 p.m., $35, Ticketmaster.com

JUNE 15 Sondheim's "Company" hits movie theaters: The New York Philharmonic's star-studded production of Sondheim's "Company" was a sold-out hit this spring - and today, it's coming to a movie theater near you. Starring Stephen Colbert, Jon Cryer, Neil Patrick Harris, Christina Hendricks and Patti LuPone, among others. Visit nyphil.org for details.

JUNE 17 Katy Perry: The platinum-selling camp-pop sensation hits the Nassau Coliseum tonight. (Not thrilled? Beyond-awesome Scandinavian dance-pop queen Robyn opens). $45-$55, Ticketmaster.com

JUNE 18 Coney Island Mermaid Parade: This annual over-the-top ocean-themed extravaganza returns with what's sure to be a cavalcade of sparkly, skimpy and seriously spectacular costumes. W. 21st Street and Surf Avenue, Coney Island, 2 p.m., FREE, coneyisland.com

JUNE 28 Rufus Wainwright Goes to the Opera!: Part of the outdoor River to River fest, Rufus Wainwright and NYC Opera solists will perform  excerpts from Wainwright's upcoming opera "Prima Donna" and a selection of arias. Winter Garden at the World Financial Center, 7 p.m., FREE, rivertoriver.com

JUNE 29 "Annie Hall": Part of the Museum of Jewish Heritage's Woody Allen film series, this iconic film chronicles the relationship between a neurotic New Yorker and a Midwesterner in '70s Manhattan. 36 Battery Pl., 6:30 p.m., FREE, mjhnyc.org

July

JULY 2 MoMA PS1's Warm Up Parties: MoMA's revered dance-music-art bashes return to Long Island City today and continue every Saturday throughout the summer. Lineup TBA. $15, members and LIC residents, FREE, ps1.org

JULY 4 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest: Watch the pros wolf down hot dogs at this all-American competition. Stillwell Ave. at Surf Ave., Coney Island, 12 p.m., FREE, nathansfamous.com

JULY 5 "Hair" comes back to B'way: The hippie-dippy tribal musical returns to the St. James Theater for the summer after being on the road. Through Sept. 10. hairbroadway.com

JULY 7 "Master Class" Opening Night: Tyne Daly and Sierra Boggess star in Terrence McNally's award-winning play about Maria Callas. Samuel J. Friedman Theater, Broadway.com

JULY 11 Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival: Q-Tip headlines this yearly tribute to all things hip-hop in the borough that helped define it. Expect concerts, panels and block parties. Through July 16. Prices and locations vary, visit bkhiphopfestival.com

JULY 13 Ratatat at Central Park SummerStage: Brooklyn's own electro power duo take over the main stage as part of Central Park's SummerStage series. 6:30 p.m., $30 in advance, $40 day of show, summerstage.org

JULY 16 Lil Wayne: Weezy's "I Am Still Music" tour hits our area today, featuring Rick Ross, Far East Movement, Keri Hilson and Lloyd. PNC Bank Arts Center, time TBA, ticketsnow.com

JULY 18 HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival presents "In the Heat of the Night": Sidney Poitier stars in this 1965 Oscar winner. The Lawn at Bryant Park, lawn opens 5 p.m., film starts at sundown, FREE, bryantpark.org

JULY 27 MLS All-Star Game: Watch our own Red Bulls go head-to-head with England's Manchester United. Red Bull Arena, 8:30 p.m., $75-$400, newyorkredbulls.com

JULY 28 Atlantic City Wine & Food Festival: The festival, which will take place across all four Caesars casinos and resorts, will feature some of the culinary world's biggest names, including Guy Fieri and the Neelys. Through July 31, acfoodandwine.com

JULY 31 Last chance! "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" closes today: The stunning retrospective of the late designer's work shutters. Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Exhibition Hall, Metropolitan Museum of Art, metmuseum.org

August

AUGUST 1 Lykki Li: See the Swedish pop star in action at Central Park Summerstage.  $30-$35, summerstage.org

AUGUST 5 Maroon 5: Adam Levine and the boys will perform their pop-rock hits as part of the "Today" show Summer Concert Series. Rockefeller Center Plaza, today.com

AUGUST 12 New York International Fringe Festival: For two weeks, nearly 200 shows will be part of this gigantic theater festival. While a handful of Fringe shows have gone on to commercial success, it's mainly an outlet for low-budget theater that can't get produced elsewhere. Various venues, $15 per show, fringenyc.com. Until Aug. 28

AUGUST 17 Conservatory Garden Lunch-Hour Tour: Sneak away from the office to take a tour of Central Park's only formal garden and learn about its history and design. Meet at Vanderbilt Gate (105th Street and Fifth Avenue), noon-1 p.m., FREE

AUGUST 20 Jazz Age Lawn Party: Channel your inner Jay Gatsby and head to Governors Island for this popular summer fete, where cocktails, dancing and sweet treats abound. Costumes, of course, are strongly suggested. Through Aug. 21. $7 in advance, $10 at door, dreamlandorchestra.com

AUGUST 29 U.S. Open: The eyes of the tennis world will be on NYC for two weeks, as superstars of the sport compete in the Grand Slam finale in Queens. Added bonus: Plenty of big-name celebs try to go incognito in the stands. USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, usopen.org

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