4 Local Things To Do When It’s Really, Really Hot Out

Catskills Photography's flickr

Brace yourselves: it’s going to be 96 degrees in Brooklyn tomorrow and Thursday. The city has even put a “heat advisory” into affect until 8 p.m. Thursday night. Here are some things to do in the area to stay cool, excluding the city’s “cooling centers,” whatever those are.

1. Go to the movies.

Northside Film Festival is going on right now with screenings at Nitehawk Cinema (136 Metropolitan Ave.), IndieScreen (289 Kent Ave.), and Union Docs (322 Union Ave.).  Nitehawk, which is celebrating its anniversary this weekend, is also screening Prometheus.

2. Eat something cold.

If your whole body can’t be cold, your mouth might as well be. Check out Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory (97 Commercial St.), Momofuku Milk Bar (382 Metropolitan Ave.), or ices – not soup – from Sapienza’s Fire N Ice (359 Bedford Ave.).

3. Get in the water.

While the big return of the McCarren Park Pool doesn’t happen until next week, the lesser known Metropolitan Rec Center pool is open as usual (261 Bedford Ave).

4. Get on the water.

Purchase a $4 ticket and enjoy the nice sea breeze from the deck of the East River Ferry. Make sure to check the ferry’s website though for service alerts like this one.

David Byrne and St. Vincent Are Bringing Their Act To The Waterfront Series


Williamsburg Park announced on Facebook today that David Byrne and St. Vincent will be joining the waterfront concerts lineup. The show is on September 29th and tickets go on sale on June 22nd.

As we posted earlier today, the two musicians are working on a project together and the first track is now available.

This announcement – as well as last week’s one for the Gotye show – is a welcome change from the otherwise ’90s-heavy schedule. But where are all the free shows?

For $1 Million Jay-Z, Devendra Banhardt, and Jeff Koons Will Paint NYC’s Watertowers

Courtesy Word Above the Street

You probably get Kickstarter requests on a daily basis from friends asking for support. But it’s not every day that you come across one trying to change the city’s skyline. That’s what The Water Tank Project is trying to do. For a million dollars, the Project “will transform the skyline by converting water tanks across all five boroughs into works of art on the subject of water.” There are some big names involved, including Jeff Koons, Jay Z, Devendra Banhart, and Bruce Weber. The exhibit plans to be up for twelve weeks next summer.

“We want New York City to look up again, to dream big, to feel proud, to create, to share, to believe, to take action,” the press release states. Unlike much of the city’s art, this exhibit will be free and accessible to all. Brooklyn-based artist Mary Jordan is behind the project.

Not only is the project about public art, but it also aims to promote a deeper message about the high quality of New York City’s water and how the city should play a “role as a world leader setting new standards for sustainability.”

Sounds pretty good, right? The project needs your help getting off the ground, so head on over to Kickstarter to check out the details for yourself.

Locals Lawyer Up Against Planned Homeless Shelter

chicapoquita's flickr

The fight against the homeless shelter proposed for 400 McGuinness Boulevard gained momentum this week when local residents lawyered up and formed a corporation to strengthen their efforts against the shelter. According to DNAinfo, the Greenpoint Neighborhood Coalition, Inc. officially formed last month with the help of lawyer Andrew Stern.

The group believes that the shelter “threatens to ruin our current lifestyle and the safety and quality of the neighborhood.”

As we posted in February, Greenpoint’s homeless population is in a uniquely challenging position because the city has no Polish language programs available to help them. The problem is so bad that the city offered local churches $100,000 to provide shelter on cold winter nights, but no churches were interested. At the time, five homeless people had died in fifteen months.

Boat Club To Bloomberg: Where Are The Green Spaces You Promised?

inlowell's flickr

The North Brooklyn Boat Club has been vocal about the city’s failure to follow through on its promise for more green spaces, as outlined in the 2005 re-zoning that changed Williamsburg and the surrounding neighborhoods in a big way. This Thursday the group is taking its message to City Hall to rally before a hearing on the matter.

“It’s VERY important that we show the city that we are unified and LOUD in our demand for the parkspace we deserve,” event organizers posted on Google+.

Join the Boat Club on Thursday (6/14) at noon on the City Hall steps. The hearing is at 1pm at 250 Broadway, 16th Floor.

Gotye Makes The Waterfront Concerts Lineup A Little More Contemporary

Cardinal Playlists' flickr

Gotye, the Australian singer-songwriter whose “Somebody That I Used To Know” has been inescapable since April, has joined the Williamsburg Park concert series lineup. Gotye stands out from the rest of lineup, which is heavy on bands that started out in the late ’80s and early ’90s like Counting Crows, Sublime, and Jane’s Addiction. The concert is September 27th with GIVERS and Zammuto. Tickets are now on sale.

The Peter Gabriel-sounding “Somebody That I Used To Know” has over 246 million views on YouTube.

New Photo Series Captures McCarren Park Pool From Before Its Renovation

Courtesy Gina Pollack

The McCarren Park Pool may be reopening this month with a fancy spray shower beach and tropical cerulean blue paint, but it’s evolution since closing to swimmers in 1984 has been anything but picturesque. But Brooklyn-based photographer Gina Pollack found beauty in the breakdown and in an exhibit opening this Friday, June 8th, Pollack displays images of the pool as it may soon be forgotten.

“The images capture the decaying pool after 28 years of abandonment,” Pollack told FREEWilliamsburg. “I chose to show the photos the same month that the pool is re-opening to draw attention to the structure’s interaction with the changing neighborhood.” The photos are from fall 2009 when Pollack climbed over a construction fence, eager to capture the pool at that moment in time.

The exhibit opens on Friday at The One Well (165 Greenpoint Ave.) and will run for one month. Admission is free. Friday’s opening reception is from 7-10 p.m.

[Read more…]

Rent In 1940s Williamsburg Was $30 And Greenpoint Was 99.9% White


Thanks to the wonders of the World Wide Web, we now have a better idea of what life was like in North Brooklyn seventy years ago. Hint: there were fewer hipsters. A website called 1940s New York has popped up which features scans from the recently unearthed New York City Market Analysis. And by recently unearthed we mean bought at a bookstore in 1997, or so the website states. Four major news publications – including The New York Times – commissioned the report in 1943. Almost seven decades later, someone at CUNY thought to put it online. [Read more…]