Everything You Can Do in NYC This Weekend

Nathan’s hot dog eating contest, a Brooklyn block party, lawful fireworks, and more.

Indoor dining in Phase 3 of reopening isn’t starting anytime soon, but Phase 2 is in full swing! Outdoor dining is open for business, NYC beaches are now officially open and ready for swimming, and the city is starting to feel almost normal. While we’re still dutifully wearing our masks, maintaining social distancing, and washing our hands approximately 3,000 times a day, every week brings more and more ways to venture back outside and experience a real summer in the city. 

This weekend, you can head to a Brooklyn block party at a pizzeria, soak in some rays (and soak up a couple of beers) on the sand at the Riis Park Beach Bazaar, and watch the Macy’s 4th of July fireworks show from the comfort of your home -- we’ve rounded up everything to eat, drink, watch, and do in NYC. 

Take a hike across the Manhattan bridge

Friday, July 3
Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge
Take The Bridge -- a bridges-only DIY running group -- is taking their race virtual to allow for social distancing. Choose the Brooklyn or Manhattan bridge, run your race along whatever course you’d like, and take in the views of the city from way up high. Register to get all the details and enter to win -- the prize will be in the form of gift cards to Black-owned businesses in NYC. Even if you’re not going to win a foot race anytime soon, a summer jog across one of the city’s bridges is an amazing way to start your weekend. 
Cost: $20 donation encouraged

Celebrate Phase 2 with an outdoor meal

Now that we’re in Phase 2 of reopening, NYC’s best restaurants are taking it to the streets with outdoor dining -- and you can score a reservation for a celebratory meal at one of the city’s newly approved patios and sidewalk tables. Restaurants have implemented hand hygiene stations and six feet of social distancing between tables, so all you have to bring is your mask and the desire to eat at a restaurant for the first time since March. 
Cost: Varies

Learn how to grill the perfect steak

Friday, July 3
This hands-on cooking class will teach you how to cook a steak for two. When you register for the class, they’ll deliver the ingredients, the recipe, and a list of the tools you’ll need for the class. Log into the Zoom link and follow along to learn how to cook bistecca alla fiorentina, a staple of Tuscan cooking. While the meat’s traditionally cooked over an open fire, the electric stove in your apartment should do just fine. Open a bottle of vino, sear your steak to perfection, and congratulate yourself on learning another valuable new skill in quarantine. 
Cost: $95

Watch a newly released Korean dark comedy

Hong Sang-soo’s 2016 Yourself and Yours is finally available to see in the states. Part mystery, part romance, and part comedy, it’s a twisty tale of mistaken identity and drinking to excess. It’s available to stream through BAM’s home streaming service, so you can watch anytime you like. Half of the cost of your ticket goes to support BAM until movie theaters reopen -- for now, pop your own popcorn, sit back on your couch, and take in the show. 
Cost: $12

Celebrate summer with a block party

Saturday, July 4, 12pm
Public Display of Affection, a pizzeria from a Roberta’s and Speedy Romeo alum, is hosting a (socially distanced) block party on their patio with other neighborhood restaurants. Alongside wood-fired pizzas from PDA, there’ll be Korean chicken from Wangs, tacos from Palo Santo, and meat from Fleishers. Wash it all down with beers from Wild East Brewing and Finback Brooklyn and sip on cocktails made with AVEC -- a portion of the proceeds will go to the NAACP, so drink up!
Cost: Pies start at $18

Get excited that sports are (kinda) back

Saturday, July 4, 12pm
For the 17th consecutive year, ESPN is streaming Nathan’s Famous Coney Island Hot Dog-Eating Contest -- but this year, it’s being held in an undisclosed location instead of its iconic home on the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues. Joey Chestnut will be competing for his 13th title and Miki Sudo will be fighting for her 7th as they chow down on franks to a full-blown play-by-play. Sure, it’s not a Yankees-Red Sox game, but at least it’s sports! 
Cost: Free on ESPN2 and ESPNNews

Drink a cocktail at the beach

Jacob Riis Beach
Now that the city’s beaches are open for swimming, the Riis Park Beach Bazaar is hosting a summertime party. Two beer gardens will be open for a refreshing drink after a long day of sunbathing, and The Dropout and the Red Hook Lobster Pound’s Rockaway Clam Bar will be serving up spicy fried chicken sandwiches and lobster rolls. Bring a date, a bathing suit, and a mask for the perfect socially-distant summer day. 
Cost: Free

Watch the Macy's 4th of July fireworks

Saturday, July 4, 8pm
Your house
To cut down on overcrowding, New York City has reimagined the traditional Macy’s fireworks show. (And no, we don’t mean by handing out fireworks for kids to set off while you’re sleeping.) Instead of a one-night-only blowout, Macy’s hosted five-minute-long “surprise” shows in each borough earlier this week and is capping off celebrations with a grand finale fireworks show on the 4th from the top of the Empire State Building. If you can’t see the show from your house, please don’t crowd onto the street -- just tune in online or on TV to watch the celebration safely. 
Cost: Free

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Rachel Pelz lives and writes in Brooklyn.