Keep Musicool in Brooklyn

There’s something about summer that makes us want to sing and dance! As summer comes to an end, Brooklyn is keeping the music alive. Listen out at these upcoming, mostly outdoor, events in the best borough!


archSwing and Sway Away
There’s something for everyone at Live at The Archway, a weekly event every Thursday night in DUMBO under the Manhattan Bridge. The 18-week series from July to September boasts the best of Brooklyn talent, with broad music and performance genres including sizzling salsa, Colombian Cumbia, swing dancing, world roots music, sultry R&B, an Italian modern dance troupe, puppetry, funk, DJs and more. The free performances start at 6pm right under the Bridge, so the events are on rain or shine. Take in the epic scenery below the Manhattan Bridge and enjoy beer, wine and bites from The Lighthouse. Visit dumbo.is to see the full schedule. All ages.
50 Adams St, DUMBO.


funkFormidable Festival
A music festival that claims to give “power to the party”, AfroPunk Brooklyn returns to Commodore Barry Park on August 27 and 28. The annual festival was created by its founders to showcase what they billed as “alternative black culture”, with acts that didn’t always fit into other major festivals. Described by The New York Times as “the most multicultural festival in the US” AfroPunk promises an impressive weekend of live music and good vibes with an eclectic line-up and diverse audience. The international event, now also held in Paris and London, is a mix of music, art and politics. Come sundown the creeps into the streets, bars, and restaurants of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill and comedy shows, dance, pop-up performances, film screenings, art installations and drink specials will feature at AfroPunk After Dark. GA and VIP tickets are available for Saturday, Sunday or both days, from $45 to $250 plus booking fee.
Commodore Barry Park, Flushing Ave, Fort Greene.

 

americanaUnited Stages of America
For the second year running, round up your favorite folks, friends and family, and mosey on down to the Brooklyn Americana Festival. On September 23, 24 and 25, fifty free shows will be held over the course of three days, on seven stages, from outdoor daytime performances to evening concerts. Festival-goers will shimmy and sway to the best original and traditional Americana musicians, playing live country, folk, roots, blues, old time and bluegrass and enjoy performances from Brooklyn’s Best plus special guests from Louisiana, Texas and Tennessee. The beloved pioneer hosting establishments in DUMBO and Red Hook include The Archway, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Gala at Jalopy, Sunny’s Bar, 68 Jay St Bar, Superfine and Bait N Tackle. All ages. Visit bkamf.com to see the full schedule.
Various locations in DUMBO and Red Hook.


Pave the Wavenext wave

Although the Brooklyn Academy of Music delivers impressive shows year-round, their Next Wave Festival is one of the largest experiments in live performance in the world. The annual multimedia, multi-genre art festival includes music, theatre, opera and dance, and runs September 7 through December 18. Opening the festival is “the loser” an opera piece by David Lang in which the title character is held in mid-air with a grand piano hovering in the distance behind him. The line-up also includes music by The Magnetic Fields, So Percussion and The Dublin Guitar Quartet. Single tickets for all shows are now on sale and range from $20-$130. Subscriptions to the festival are also available.
Various locations in Downtown Brooklyn.

In the Brooklyn Swim

We’ve just made it through the first heatwave of the year and the warm weather is set to continue! How are you going to beat the summer heat? Free outdoor pools of course!

 

red hookHook, Lane and Swimmer
80 years old and still going strong! The Red Hook Pool was a Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) project that opened in 1939, deep in the Great Depression during a summer that broke local heat records. The opening of the immense outdoor pool was attended by 40,000 people. Today, the pool is popular but thankfully a lot less people are in attendance. The pool is open daily from 11am-7pm, with weekday lap hours for keen swimmers, 18 years and over, from 7-8:30am and 7pm-dusk. For lap-swimmers, on-site aquatic specialists are available to record your lengths and those with the most laps at the end of summer win prizes. Entry is free but you’ll need to register online or poolside prior to your session.
155 Bay Street.

 

Pop by the Pop-Upcarousel-large
It’s true what they say, good things don’t last forever. Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pop-Up Pool is set to close at the end of next summer, after its fifth season and a highly successful run. The 30’ x 50’ Pop-Up Pool maxes out at an easy 3.5’ deep – making it just right for families with smaller kids. Entry is free and the pool also offers affordable swimming lessons. The area around the pool includes a 2,500-square-foot sandy beach, deck concessions, showers and restrooms. Open from June 29 til Labor Day, 10am to 6pm daily, for 45-minute sessions. The pool capacity is 60 and wristbands are required for each session, distributed first-come, first-served.
334 Furman Street.

 

mccarrenMega McCarren
Mini-pools are great for splashing around but if you’re serious about your swimming, you’ll want to go big or go home (hopefully to air conditioning). On the border of Williamsburg and Greenpoint, McCarren Park Pool is an Olympic-sized 329’ x 151’ x 4.6’ – that’s a generous 37,571 square foot swim area. Since 1939 (also a WPA project) the pool has been a cool haven and popular exercise venue for North Brooklyn dwellers, with plenty of poolside space for beach chairs and towel lounging post-swim. The pool is open daily from 11am-3pm, and 4pm-7pm, closing for an hour for pool cleaning. The pool usually draws major crowds so get in early.
776 Lorimer Street.

 

Double Fun at Double Dimage
Dip, dive and dog-paddle at the Douglass and DeGraw Pool in Gowanus, also known as the Double D. There are two separate pools here – an intermediate pool at 75’ x 60’ x 3’ and a wading pool perfect for the kiddies at 24’ x 24’ x 1’. The large concrete deck has a covered area and benches and is surprisingly uncrowded. The pool is also right next to the Thomas Greene Playground so if your little ones aren’t worn out after a splish and splash, take them to climb the monkey bars and scale mid-size towers. The pools are monitored by several lifeguards and open daily from 11am-7pm with a break for cleaning between 3-4pm, from July til Labor Day.
230 Douglass Street.

Summer Screensations

Lining up for movie tickets and popcorn then sitting in a super chilly movie theater this Summer? You’re doing it wrong! It is the season to get outside and this year’s outdoor film screenings are already in full swing. Grab a blanket and some buddies, and watch a film under the stars in Brooklyn at the following locations.

 

industry cityScreen it from the Rooftops
Bars, BBQs, restaurants, parties, tanning, watching movies… There are just some things that were made for rooftops! This outdoor summer series is now in its 10th year and has expanded to four (mostly rooftop) locations across Brooklyn on various nights throughout June, July and August. Rooftop Films brings the underground outdoors, and has grown to become known internationally as one of the most dynamic film festivals in the world. In Sunset Park, with Brooklyn’s waterfront as the backdrop, films will be screened from two of Industry City’s amazing rooftops. Enjoy breathtaking views of lower Manhattan’s skyscape, the Statue of Liberty and South Brooklyn while watching a mix of documentaries, short films and animations including Sundance Short Films and documentaries about New York, including Goodnight Brooklyn: The Story of Death by Audio. There is a live music performance at every screening and many host dance parties after the film.
Industry City, 220 36th St, Sunset Park. $15.
Bushwick Generator, 195 Moore St, Bushwick. $15.
MetroTech Commons, 5 MetroTech Center, Downtown. Free.
The Old American Can Factory, 232 Third St at 3rd Ave, Gowanus. $15.

 

Williamsburg Watchingswburg
There’s seeing it on the big screen, then seeing it on the BIG outdoor Brooklyn screen. The borough’s longest running film and music series launched in 2006 with a screening of Do The Right Thing and 11 years later, SummerScreen is still going strong. At McCarren Park in Williamsburg every Wednesday from July 6 to August 10, spectators will be treated to cult classics like 10 Things I Hate About You and The Royal Tenebaums in the open-air, and best of all, it’s free! Bring chairs, blankets and pack a picnic, or take advantage of food and drinks from local vendors. Every show features live music, which kicks off at 6pm, followed by the movie at 8:30pm. McCarren Park, North 12th St, Williamsburg. Free.


movies with viewA View from the Bridge
On a warm summer night, spread your blanket on the luscious grass of Harbor View Lawn in Brooklyn Bridge Park, take in the spectacular sight of the Manhattan skyline and enjoy the breeze off the East River. You’re at Movies With A View. Since 2000, Movies With A View has earned a large and loyal following. One of New York City’s favorite summer film series, the line-up of films promises to wow, entertain, thrill and pull at the heartstrings of movie goers. The screenings take place every Thursday evening in July and August and include classics such as Purple Rain and American Graffiti. For the final screening of the series, the public can vote between The SandlotMilk or La Bamba. The eight-week series expects to draw an average of 7,000 film fans at each screening. The lawn opens at 6pm, with the film beginning at sunset.
Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1, 334 Furman Street, Dumbo. Free.


Habana Good TimeHabana-Outpost

Mexican food and movies have to be two of our favorite things. Habana Outpost read our minds and combined the two. The Fort Greene restaurant projects movies on their outside wall every Sunday from May through to the end of October. Enjoy their award-winning Cuban sandwich, indulge in their bold-tasting Mexican-style corn, and order all the tacos and burritos your heart desires, because the movie is free! Films screen at 8pm and this year’s roster includes West Side StoryFlashdanceRocky,Saturday Night FeverGhostbusters and, for Halloween, of course, The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
757 Fulton St, Fort Greene. Free.

Other venues worth checking out include:
Movie Nights at Narrows Botanical Gardens in Bay Ridge
Midweek Movie Escapes in Downtown Brooklyn
Flicks on the Beach in Coney Island
Red Hook Flicks in Red Hook
Bric Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival at Prospect Park
NYC Parks Classic Film Series at various Brooklyn locations

Father-Friendly Festivities

This Sunday is all about dad! You don’t have to go far this Father’s Day to treat dad to a special day or night out. Dad deserves the best and you’ll find it in Brooklyn.


13391409_10153811598516925_7416719120440159209_oA Jazzy Hook
Does your dad think he’s a musical maestro? This weekend the Annual Red Hook Jazz Festival takes place for the second consecutive Sunday at Urban Meadow and will feature the rich and diverse sounds of sax, trumpet, trombone and more in a community garden setting. Now in its ninth year, the concert will feature some of the greatest jazz musicians in the world – dad is guaranteed to be impressed! The incredible lineup of cutting-edge music features Jeff Davis Authorities Trio + 1, Matt Pavolka Horns Band, Ari Hoenig Group, James Brandon Lewis Trio, Bobby Previte & the Visitors. Bring dad’s grand-kids because all kids attend for free!
19 President Street. 1-6pm. $10 per person suggested donation.

 

Markets with your Makerwallet
Haven’t got dad a gift yet? Brooklyn Makers Market has you covered. The biggest bazaar of Brooklyn-made goods, you’ll find crafts, furniture, knits and more, plus enticing eats to fuel your shopping endeavors. The showcase of creations coming straight outta Brooklyn takes place at the beautiful, historic Williamsburg Savings Bank this Saturday and Sunday. Built in 1875 this architectural landmark is the perfect setting to celebrate creativity and entrepreneurship in the borough. Once you’ve shopped the best of Brooklyn, head across the street to our next pick.
175 Broadway. From 11am. Free.

 

ph_008Steak Out
Does dad love a good steak? What about a GREAT steak? Adjacent to the Williamsburg Bridge, the famous Peter Luger steakhouse has been serving superb steak since 1887. Rated the top steakhouse in New York for 28 years and running, the restaurant has earned a Michelin Star and joined the ranks of American classics. The steakhouse serves only USDA Prime, which often represents less than 2% of graded beef cattle. To ensure the highest quality of meat and in keeping with tradition, the meat selection process is performed by members of the family-owned establishment. Dad will love the charm of the beer-hall style eatery, with well-worn wooden floors and tables and waiters in waist coats and bow ties. Call 718-387-7400 to make a reservation.
178 Broadway. From 12:45-9:45pm (Sundays). $99.95 for steak for two.

 

Bowl So Hardbowl
Is dad competitive? This one will be right up his alley! Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg is hosting Father’s Day Family Bowl on Sunday. Book a lane, buy dad a beer, and get your bowl on. Just remember to go easy on the old man – it is his day after all! Art and music activities will be presented by The Rock and Roll Playhouse. The event is all ages, all day and night, so bring the whole family. Acclaimed food will be available by NYC’s Blue Ribbon, as well as local brews and more! When you need a break from striking those pins, kick back in large leather sofas upstairs in the Bowlers Lounge. Game on!
61 Wythe Avenue. 12-3pm. $25 per lane per half hour, $4.95 shoe rental.

BicyCOOL Paths in Brooklyn

May is Bike Month in NYC so it’s fitting to feature a few of the best bike paths in the borough, and with the weather finally heating it’s time to get riding!

 

041613_oceanpCarroll to Coney
We have an endless list of cool Brooklyn facts, and we just discovered something to add! Did you know… the United States’ first ever bike path was created in Brooklyn in 1894 – Ocean Parkway! Although some of the Parkway was cleared in the 1970s to make room for the Prospect Expressway, there are still plenty of trees lining this path, which makes it a lovely, scenic ride from Prospect Park to Coney Island, and generally flat and easy-going. Starting in Carroll Gardens, be sure to do a quick tour of the charming historic brownstones, then hit the path from Ocean Parkway and East 8th Street in Kensington, all the way down to Surf Avenue in Coney Island.


River Rideimage

Views of Manhattan, tours through various neighborhoods, a leisurely ride through the park and a speedy ride through the streets – the Brooklyn Greenway is ride up our alley! Obviously we’re not a fan of a PATH unless it’s in Brooklyn, and this one happens to be one of the most impressive in the city, running along the East River from Greenpoint to Red Hook. Take in the views of the city skyline, and breathe in fresh air while cruising through Brooklyn Bridge Park (be aware that the path in the park can get crowded!). The six-mile path runs from Kent Avenue to the northern end of Van Brunt Street, with plans to extend it through Sunset Park to Bay Ridge. 

 

imageBuckle Up
You’re in for quite a ride on the Belt Parkway Bike Path! Starting from Bay Ridge this waterfront path has a spectacular view of the Staten Island, the Verrazano Bridge and the New York harbor. Pedaling along the coast and through Sheepshead Bay, with the open Atlantic Ocean beside you, you’ll eventually reach Flatbush Avenue. Here you can take a right and continue over the Marine Parkway Bridge, then turn left and head to Rockaway Beach. This is a smooth ride, several miles long with sensational views.


Bridge and Borough Biking91012pulaski

Pulaski and you shall receive! About a month ago the new, improved and much-anticipated Pulaski Bridge Bike Path officially opened, taking cyclists on a safe, scenic tour through three boroughs. Starting in Long Island City, the two-lane, protected bike lane, travels across the bridge, into North Brooklyn. Cycling through commercial Manhattan Avenue then residential Noble Street, you take Kent Avenue down to the Williamsburg Bridge, and then across into the Lower East Side. With stellar views of the Manhattan skyline and a solid workout guaranteed – it is highly bikely you’ll enjoy this one!

Choose Your Flavorhood

The young and young-at-heart alike get eggstatic over Easter chocolates, but did you know there’s a huge variety made right here in Brooklyn? In this post, we’re merging your chocolate crave with some neighborhood faves to look at the areas these local chocolatiers call home, sweet home.

Red Hooked on Bean-to-Bar chocolate

150604 - raaka

Made in Red Hook, Raaka is inspired by the flavors of unroasted cocoa beans. Raaka’s scent-imental beginnings were based on Founder, Ryan Cheney’s love for companies with a social mission and fascination for low-temperature chocolate making to create a more equitable global society.
The Raaka team also includes Nate Hodge – a musician and gastronomist who aptly personifies Red Hook’s shedding of its rough roots image to a new demographic of young artistic innovators. Under Nate’s influence, Raaka oozes a lust for exotic flavors and ground-breaking processes.
These days artistic and entrepreneurial types tend to congregate in this industrial and isolated maritime neighborhood. A noticeably absent entertainment scene and lack of direct subway line make Red Hook a quieter Brooklyn waterfront enclave that could be worthy of a long-term investment with the median sale price at $227,889.

Raw with BK Pride

150604 - fine
Bushwick is bustling with newness and the startup shine can be seen in the dive bars, bodegas and gallery spaces reinventing the area’s iconic loft buildings. But as Fine and Raw demonstrates – Bushwick can be like a vintage leather coat which despite its trendy surface, still has the murmur of a substantive and rich heartbeat. Their hot chocolate ($4 standard, $5 large) is prepared using 72% organic Madagascar chocolate and served unsweetened. If you want the full blast of fruit and berry flavors found in dark Madagascar chocolate, go for it unadulterated. It’s thick, but not sludge-like.
Their loft space includes a glass-enclosed chocolate factory in the back, so you can watch the choreography of how the chocolate is made as the aromas dance around your nose.
The median home value in Bushwick also tastes sweet at $638,800 despite a 7.1% increase in the last year. Now may be the time to invest as it’s set to rise by 7.4% in the next year. Rental median is $2,400.

A Mast-see in Williamsburg

150604 - Mast

There’s no shortage of bikes, brunch and beards in Williamsburg as the neighborhood continues to stay true to its hipster label. So it’s no surprise foodie brothers Rick and Michael Mast started Mast Brothers chocolate right in the heart of the artsy and lofty neighborhood.
Just like Williamsburg’s street murals, Mast Brothers has been eye-catching and cutting edge for years. Since its founding in 2007, the brothers have turned the simple concept of chocolate into an obsession. Their chocolate is made exclusively from cocoa pods imported from the Dominican Republic plus cane sugar. That’s it. The secret is in the technique. It’s quite impressive when you consider the long ingredients lists on other bars: lecithin, milk solids, palm oil.
Williamsburg property costs $1,161 per square foot which is higher than the New York City average of $585. The median price of homes sold is $648,750. Median rent price is $2,900 while the median across New York City is $2,425. The hipster price tag does come at a cost, but as an investment – its high returns are not going anywhere anytime soon!