We have come out of the dark cloud that is winter. Rejoice! Summer is here and it’s time to pick a side. Many of you have already made the decision: a summer house is waiting for you in either New Jersey or Fire Island. If you’re like me though, you’re staying put. This is your home now; why not take advantage of it? Summer in Brooklyn is something to be experienced, especially if you like to drink and listen to live music.
Ah the Hipster good life. Cheap beer, tight jeans, and bad attitudes. You just have to love it. This infamous neighborhood boasts some of the best summer time adult activities in the Brooklyn borough. Most of this is due to a heavy youth culture. Every block has a different type of bar or concert venue. But nothing beats “The Pool Parties”.
In 2007, I was spending a lot of time at the McKibben lofts in Bushwick. A friend of mine informed me about a free concert series at the now defunct McCarren Park Pool. Every Sunday hundreds of people would gather in this football field-sized empty pool to play dodgeball, drink cold Brooklyn Brewery beers, and watch now popular bands like “Of Montreal.” Unfortunately, King Bloomberg and the city shut the pool space down.
But, fear not, the Pool Parties live on. They are now located close by on Kent Street at the “East River State Park,” which has a seriously sick panoramic view of downtown Manhattan. Be on the lookout for a concert schedule for this season. Hey, you might even see Jay-Z and Chuck Schumer rocking out to Grizzly Bear because it happened last summer.
The free Pool Parties will be taking place on Sundays throughout the summer. And yes, there is still dodgeball and yes, there still are tight jeans. This location will also play host to the only east coast dates for 90’s funk/metal rockers, Faith No More’s reunion tour. And that’s nothing to sneeze it.
Beer Gardens excite me! In my opinion there is no better place to take in a summer day in our fair city. That is why you need to head to Carroll Gardens and hit up the “Gowanus Yacht Club.” Okay this needs to be said right off the bat: this place is neither a boating club, nor is it on the Gowanus Canal, and that’s a good thing.
There are many huge Beer Gardens that you can drink at during the summer months, but the smaller ones still can make for a large amount of fun. That is why I, Alan Smithee Esq, declare The Gowanus Yacht Club, the greatest Beer Garden in Brooklyn. The Yacht Club is situated between a subway station and a bagel shop (the owner of the Bagel Shop owns the bar) and the area is set up with many found objects, all representing a nautical theme.
The Yacht club boasts a diverse and fun drink selection. You can get a regional microbrew, for right around six dollars. Or you can be like me and play the cheapskate and get two PBRs for five dollars. Food goes perfect with beer, and Gowanus Yacht Club has the perfect pairing- burgers, hotdogs, pierogies, and amazing pickles. My first time there, I sat with my girlfriend for about three hours and polished off a fiver of perfect backyard BBQ style burgers. Yes, I am a shameless pig.
Summer may feel long. But trust me, it will go by in a flash. Try to take advantage of your weekends. And if you’re lucky you might actually remember them.
- Alan Smithee