The Last Hurrah: Labor Day Weekend in NYC

The Last Hurrah: Labor Day Weekend in NYC

August 29, 2012 at 4:00 am

It’s almost the end of summer — almost time to put away your swimsuit, your beach towel and your flip-flops. But first, the last hurrah: Labor Day weekend.

While some New Yorkers will be magically whisked away to vacation homes upstate, friends’ places in the Hamptons or to rentals down the shore, the rest of us will be here, soaking up what is certainly not the final hot weekend of the year.

Luckily for us, New York City is always a happening place. Celebrate the long weekend with MetroFocus, local style. Here are our picks for how to spend your last summer weekend.

Expect to see colorful costumes at the West Indian American Day Carnival. Flickr/ PaulSteinJC

West Indian American Day Carnival

Residents of Brooklyn (and the city) look forward to the carnival, held every Labor Day, all year round. This parade attracts more people than any other in the city, with nearly a million revelers lining Eastern Parkway each Labor Day decked out in the flags and colors of their homeland. Come for the floats, the intricate costumes and the music and dancing. Food vendors are also prevalent, selling the cuisine of the West Indies and Brooklyn: from jerk chicken to roti to red velvet cake.This year also marks 50 years of independence for the nations of Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.

Last year, gun violence erupted and resulted in a bystander’s unfortunate death.

The days leading up to the parade on Monday include band competitions, events for youth and parties.

NYC Pools

Have you hit up a city pool this summer? Were you too scared considering all of the unfortunate events (from violence to vileness) at the newly opened McCarren Park Pool in Williamsburg, Brooklyn? Either way, this weekend’s your last chance for a dip. Take advantage of the heat, for once, and go for a swim!

U.S. Open

Like tennis? Some tickets still remain for the weekend’s matches, including on Friday, Sunday and Monday evenings. Head to Flushing Meadows Park in Queens to watch the best of the best face off in one of the most highly watched tennis tournaments in the world.

Four days of music are planned for the famed barge at Fulton Ferry Landing in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Flickr/ yonijrj

Barge Music: Here and Now Labor Day Festival

This four-day festival, Aug. 29 – Sept. 2,  is packed with contemporary classical performances and world premieres. Highlights include The Knights’ program of original compositions by Colin and Eric Jacobsen; the world premiere of Ken Thomson’s “Burst,” performed by The Declassified; soprano Lauren Goldsmith singing pieces by Larsen, Bolcom and Rorem; and the premiere of Rob Schwimmer’s new works for piano, continuum and theremin.

NYC Go Prix Fixe

Restaurant Week may have ended but there are many spots to dine that are still offering great 3-course prix-fixe meals. It’s a great deal if you love to eat delicious meals, but don’t want to spend a ton of money on them. Participating restaurants include Daniel Boulud’s Bar Boulud, Butter Restaurant and Le Cirque. Make your reservations now!

Pig Island

Pork tacos and beer on Governor's Island sounds pretty tasty to us. Photo courtesy of Pig Island.

If you’re a foodie and enjoy well-prepared and locally sourced ingredients, head to Governor’s Island this Labor Day weekend for Pig Island. Dine on pork dishes created by some of the finest chefs in NYC, watch butchering demos and drink locally sourced Sixpoint brews, all while feeling pretty good about your smaller carbon footprint. Get your tickets here.

Old to the New: The T-Shirt Project

Kids learn printmaking techniques and transform old T-shirts into wearable art at this fun family-friendly event at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City. Using a variety of materials, they’ll create their own insignias, glyphs and phrases to print. Bring your own t-shirt!

Rock the Bells Festival

If hip-hop’s your thing, on Saturday and Sunday, head out to New Jersey for the annual Rock the Bells festival. From Method Man and Redman to Naughty by Nature, from Tyga to Nas and even Salt N Pepa, the event is sure to please music fans of any age/inclination. Tickets are still available.

Otherworldly: Optical Illusions and Small Realities

This interesting exhibit at the Museum of Art and Design, which explores the meaning of materials in a work of art, closes at the end of the month, so Labor Day weekend’s as good a time as any to check it out. Otherworldly illuminates worlds of “magic realism” through dioramas, models, snow globes, and site specific installations, photographs and video.