08/26/16 1:53pm
Brooklyn Wild: Meet Isa Del Bello, whose job is to reveal the secrets of the BK waterfront

Isa Del Bello with a porgie she just hooked. Photo by Peter Park

Isa Del Bello, the director of education at Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, may have grown up in the desert, but she loves working on the water.

The Sante Fe, NM native taught elementary school in Albuquerque for three years, but she moved to New York in 2010 to pursue a graduate degree in developmental psych with the intent to do academic research, instead of teaching. While in grad school at the Teachers College of Columbia, she worked as a per diem teacher at Brooklyn Bridge Park and as an educator with Solar One’s Green Design Lab. That’s when she realized teaching city kids about nature was what she really wanted to do.

Whether lecturing about the history of East River oysters during a Wednesday night tour, wading out into the river with groups of volunteers to catch fish with a 20-foot seine net, or showing a class of elementary school kids what critters lie beneath the surface of the East River, Del Bello is passionate about educating kids and adults alike about the Brooklyn waterfront.

“A lot of city people look at the water and they don’t think there’s anything living in it, when in fact it’s a thriving ecosystem that is becoming stronger and stronger as time passes,” she says. The 33-year-old, who lives in Clinton Hill, joined Brooklyn Bridge Park full-time in 2013.

Isa Del Bello is today’s focus of Brooklyn Wild, our series where we talk to Brooklynites who have found a way to make their living by working in nature.

We spoke with Del Bello about jonesing for the ocean while living in the desert, her love of fishing and boating, and which upcoming Brooklyn Bridge Park events we should put on our calendars.  (more…)

07/25/16 11:27am
Learn this move at the next free Open Ropes, Wednesday nights at BK Bridge Park. Photo via @DoubledutchempireMelissa on Facebook

Learn this move at the next free Open Ropes, Wednesday nights at BK Bridge Park. Photo via @DoubledutchempireMelissa on Facebook

ClassPass is a rip-off, running is boring, yoga requires too much patience, PureBarre, no one can afford; double dutch, anyone? If you’re looking to sweat it out, but none of the traditional or trendy exercise options are doing it for you, the schoolyard classic could be worth revisiting.  Especially when it’s offered for free, and all you need to bring is your own two feet. Through August 31, Double Dutch Empire is hosting Open Ropes, free drop-in sessions every Wednesday from 7-9pm at Pier 2 in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

The public jumps are open to all skill levels, so whether you’ve still got those recess moves or it’s your first time and you’re a clumsy Kathy, double dutch instructors will show you the ropes—and all jump ropes are provided.  (more…)

07/14/16 8:00am

A couple rowers ready to launch out onto Prospect Park Lake. Photo via Village Community Boathouse

On Tuesday, we told you eight ways to get out on the water for under $50. Those are all great opportunities to be a passenger — on yachts, sailboats, cruisers and ferries commandeered by professional boat captains in NYC —but what if you’d like to row yourself? There are plenty of ways to be your own captain on smaller, self-propelled vessels, like kayaks, rowboats, or canoes.

Here are four free opportunities to get out and make your own waves from the Newtown Creek in Greenpoint down to the New York Harbor in Red Hook. (more…)

06/07/16 7:55am
The ultimate summer movie guide: All the free outdoor movies you can see in Brooklyn in 2016

Free outdoor movies in so many parks, bars and backyards it’ll make your head spin. Dan Nguyen / Flickr

I just watched the Game of Thrones pilot (late, I know) and Ned Stark keeps saying that “winter is coming.” I’ve inferred that since Westeros must be some kind of fortressed land off the coast of Australia, what he actually meant by this was that “summer is coming.” And boy, is it ever! Don’t let this week’s lower temperatures fool you; the countdown started long ago, and the Gowanus Yacht Club just declared outdoor drinking season officially open. It’s time to get outside and get lit, not to mention start racking up those demerit badges.

I’m not sure where I was going with the elegy to summer above, but it eventually leads us back to free outdoor movies. Because yadda yadda “nothing says summer like” yadda yadda. So here’s a massive list we made of all the free outdoor movies playing in Brooklyn this summer. We’ll keep adding to this list as more and more free outdoor movie schedules come out because trust us, there’s plenty more to come. Screening series will soon be announced at Coney Island Beach, Red Hook Park and at various other bars we love in the borough. Some series are more weather-permitting than others, and some make better dates than others. But don’t worry: as you’ll see from the list below, you’ve got more than enough chances to catch Purple Rain this summer.  (more…)

05/06/16 1:00pm
Brooklyn Bridge Park's climbing gym is right under the Manhattan Bridge. Via Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Brooklyn Bridge Park’s climbing gym is right under the Manhattan Bridge. Via Brooklyn Bridge Park.

One of the things your friends who live “elsewhere” in the world will tell you they don’t like about New York is the lack of outdoorsy activities, like we’re all relegated to playing stickball in the streets and running through fire hydrants for fresh air entertainment. They’re wrong of course — camping, beaches and lots of free hikes are just a train ride away. But here’s one outdoorsy activity that you don’t even have to leave Brooklyn for, and it’s got a view even your friends who live in the sticks would be jealous of: The new climbing wall at Brooklyn Bridge Park is now North America’s largest outdoor bouldering facility. It has a soft opening last month but its grand opening this weekend will feature free entries and rentals for all!

It’s tucked under the Manhattan bridge on the banks of the East River, with a view of the glimmering city skyline in the background — a literal million dollar view. And it’s way cheaper than the city’s existing climbing gyms too (a couple even got married there already). (more…)

08/27/15 8:41am
These nice young men want to show you a rocking good time. via Facebook

These nice young men want to show you a rocking good time. via Facebook

Thursday is here and it’s time for you to partyyyyyy. Seriously though, get out there and have a good time, because you’ve worked for most of the week and for a few of those hours, you probably even put in an effort that went beyond merely going through the motions. So! Reward yourself by having a good time at one of these fun nights out found on the Brokelyn Event Calendar. (more…)

08/26/15 8:10am
It's your chance to hook your friend up with someone else's friend by being that friend

It’s your chance to hook your friend up with someone else’s friend by being that friend

It’s nice on the one hand that you’ve made it to Wednesday and that in the summer Wednesday is closer to the end of the week than usual, but that gravy train is almost over. Soon, people will expect you to actually put in a full effort on Fridays and man what a bummer that’s gonna be. Don’t dwell on it though, instead get out there and have a good time at one of these fun nights out pulled from the Brokelyn Event Calendar, because nothing says “I value fun more than work” like a Thursday hangover. (more…)

08/13/15 7:52am
Make the night just like Heaven

Make the night just like Heaven

Thursday is here, which means you’ve got one more night this week to be irresponsible and then go into the office hungover, or at least with one of those annoying good moods owing to having had a good time the night before. There’s certainly a good chance of that happening if you go to one of these things I found for you on the Brokelyn Event Calendar. So pick one and enjoy it, either to spite your office resposibilies or your co-workers who like seeing you unhappy.
(more…)

08/10/15 10:47am
All right all right all right, free movies

All right all right all right, free movies

Welcome to the working week, I know it don’t thrill you, I hope it don’t kill you. Elvis Costello, everybody! Uh, anyway, yeah, it’s Monday and no one’s happy about that. It’s my sincere hope that Monday itself doesn’t kill you, and that nothing else does today. Also that you find some kind of thrill from one of these things to do I found on the Brokelyn Event Calendar. (more…)

08/03/15 8:05am
tk. Photo by Etienne Frossard, via Facebook

tk. Photo by Etienne Frossard, via Facebook

Another Monday. Used to be you could come out of the weekend saying “Well, at least this is one more day closer to retirement.” Now, we’re never going to retire ever, because CEOs need your pension money for gold-plated bathtubs and bribes. Sorry, we mean “lobbyists.” Anyway, think less about that and more about enjoying yourself tonight, with these fun nights out found on the Brokelyn Event Calendar. (more…)