07/27/16 12:17pm
Don't be an L7 weenie: Go see The Sandlot for free.

Don’t be an L7 weenie: Go see The Sandlot for free.

What I love about The Sandlot is that it’s a movie about how stories of childhood told through the eyes of an adult are filtered through the thin vaseline of nostalgic distortion, something we’re all guilty of using. This is why the story of a bunch of kids playing ball on an empty lot is suffused with hyperbolic events and characters out of proportion. The neighbor’s dog, Hercules, was never truly that big and monstrous, the fence never really that towering; Benny was a star of the friend group but rode to levels of mythic neighborhood hero on amplified waves of reverence for someone who loomed so large in their imaginations. When you’re a kid and your world is the neighborhood, even the next yard over seems like a vast unexplored chasm of unchartered territory. You look back and think, man, everything was so big then.

The Sandlot is the perfect summer movie because it lives in the sweet spot of all our collective memories of our childhood summers, those days that probably we remember with sunny glee but maybe never quite existed, running through the streets without any cares except where to find a baseball.

The good news is you’re an adult now so you can be as carefree as you choose with your time: We suggest using some of that time to go watch The Sandlot for free outdoors at Fort Greene Park on Aug. 4. Your childhood self would be proud (bring s’mores).  (more…)

07/15/16 2:17pm
Brooklyn Wild: Meet the founder of Doggie Day Trips, who gets paid to take city dogs hiking

John Bingaman, founder of Doggie Day Trips, with pups on the Appalachian Trail in Vernon, New Jersey. Photo courtesy of John Bingaman.

Living in NYC is rarely associated with having an active, outdoorsy lifestyle. High stress levels, too many hours spent hunched over a computer screen, not enough time to exercise or eat healthy — a general lack of work-life balance. And yet, we’re in relatively close proximity to nature. We’re surrounded by water on all sides! We’re less than an hour away from the nearest beach, an hour and change from the nearest hike!

There are plenty of people who live in Brooklyn, but have found ways to engage daily with, even make their livelihood from this nature that feels so elusive to most of us. For some, it’s within the bounds of the borough: they may work on the Brooklyn waterfront, or atop a rooftop farm, or in city parks. Others go a bit farther: wilderness guides taking New Yorkers on overnight trips, graphic designers building tree houses upstate every weekend, for fun. Our idea was to talk to some of these folks and ask them how they do what they do, not only to satisfy our own curiosity, but also to find inspiration to get out there more, ourselves.

Brooklyn Wild is our new series where we tap the more rugged residents of Kings County and ask them to share some of the adventure. Every Friday, we’ll post a new interview that will hopefully inspire us, at the very least, to have a more active weekend, even if it’s just cutting down on the Netflix intake and fitting in one trip to the green space closest to our apartment. Up first is John Bingaman, founder of Doggie Day Trips. (more…)

05/18/16 3:48pm
Alamo Drafthouse is bringing a free, interactive movie series to Fort Greene Park!

Alamo Drafthouse is bringing its famed screening parties, like this Texas Chainsaw Massacre screening in 2011, to Brooklyn. Photo by Mary Sledd via Facebook.

We’ve been waiting years for the fabled Alamo Drafthouse to open in Downtown Brooklyn. We finally got word earlier this month that the Austin-based chain famous for its in-theater dining and drinking would actually be opening this summer. But the Drafthouse is known for more than just getting queso fries and Lone Stars delivered to your seat: It’s also loved for its outlandish and elaborate movie parties (including, famously, Jaws screenings held on a lake). We wondered: Would Brooklyn get some of that fun too?

Well now we have the answer: The Drafthouse announced today it’s bringing a FREE three-movie screening series to Fort Greene Park this year. It starts May 27 with a Bring Your Own Dog screening of the fabulous Christopher Guest mockumentary Best in Show, followed by the Brooklyn debut of its storied Labyrinth sing-along on June 3 (rescheduled to June 4 due to weather), where you can sing and dance along to words on the screen. The final film will be a costumes-encouraged screening of Finding Nemo on June 10, a week before the sequel Finding Dory hits theaters.  (more…)

You'll have to drink a lot of wine to see any ghosts on this tour. Photos by Meghan Stephens.

You’ll have to drink a lot of wine to see any ghosts on this tour. Photos by Meghan Stephens.

You may have heard that just in time for spooky season, the borough is now home to the brand-new Brooklyn Paranormal Society — a group of ghost-hunters who advertise an enticing blend of drinking, paranormal history lessons and an investigation of the spiritual forces that may surround us. The mix of attractions for the first outing a few weeks ago was right up our alley: drinking on a weeknight, starting at a bar in Fort Greene, then moving on to boozing in the park and, most importantly, hunting for ghosts. Even if you don’t believe in ghosts, hearing haunting tales while drinking outdoors sounds like a pretty fun free way to spend a fall evening.

These ghostbusters are hardly Peter Venkmans or Egon Spenglers, though. The group is led by an amateur foursome of Brooklynites who advertise the Meetup events as BYOB boos-and-booze bonanzas. They’re holding another one tonight in Prospect Park, which has already attracted lots of media attention. The organizers are enthusiastic, but if you’re expecting any ghost-hunting expertise, set your proton packs to “low expectations.” It felt a lot like what would happen if your high school friends got their hands on some “ghost-hunting” equipment and a box of wine.

Here’s how the first-ever outing of Brooklyn’s own artisanal ghostbusters went down: (more…)

10/01/15 9:14am
Aw, pretty. How can we make it even prettier? via FGP

Aw, pretty. How can we make it even prettier? via FGP

Maybe you never pictured yourself as a budding urban designer, but Fort Greene Park’s pathways are getting a makeover, and you could be the Nick Arrojo to the Parks Department’s Stacy London. As part of the People Make Parks initiative, the Parks Department is committed to incorporating community suggestions about how parks should look, feel and move. FGP just got approved for capital funding, so there’s a meeting tonight to talk about those pathways.

Lucky for you, this meeting is about a public park, and not our ever-dwindling faith in the MTA, so it might be bearable—dare we say even productive? (more…)

09/30/15 1:58pm
Buffy will be there kicking ass. Will you?

Buffy will be there kicking ass. Will you?

The worst part about the end of summer, after taking into account the fact that you can’t live at the beach anymore and you have to put your shirt back on before going outside, is that it’s the end of outdoor movie season. Or at least it used to be, because it seem like the much feared gothamites at Gothamist managed to bully the Parks Department into making fall outdoor movies happen in Brooklyn parks just by writing about it twice. Or so they claim, and you know what? We’re not gonna fight about credit when there are free movies to be seen throughout Brooklyn in October. (more…)

ed snowden statue

A dangerous radical, finally silenced. Screen via Jeremy Calabona’s Vine

Early this morning, ANIMAL New York revealed that a group of artists had secretly installed a statue of NSA whistleblower Ed Snowden on the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument in Fort Greene Park. The artists told ANIMAL that they did it in tribute to Snowden and others who “sacrifice their safety in the fight against modern-day tyrannies.”

Unlike the living, breathing Ed Snowden however, who has thus far escaped capture by the government, this Snowden statue wasn’t a moving target, and was brought down by the Parks Department this afternoon. Without the Snowden statue silently shrieking at us about all manner of government intrusions in our private lives, will Brooklynites once again blithely send their Tinder dick pics as if no one is watching, or will we send them wearing our red hoods of protection? Probably the former, to be honest.

fun in the snow: not just for kids anymore. via Twitter user Rachel Berkowitz (@rachel)

Fun in the snow: not just for the kids anymore. via Twitter user Rachel Berkowitz (@rachel)

[UPDATE: A Parks Department spokesperson tells us they decided not to offer the sleds and hot chocolate today after all. Sorry all]

The snow may have stopped falling, but there’s still a whole white mess on the ground to play with! And if you’re not already out of the house, you must be doing Snowpocalypse 2015 wrong. We’re way past the “I haven’t had brunch yet” excuse; and hey, look at us, we’re up and blogging, aren’t we? The NYC Parks Department figured you’d be too lazy to make up your mind about how to spend the day, so they’re making it easy for you by offering free sleds and hot chocolate in Fort Greene Park all afternoon! (more…)

01/07/15 3:10pm
prospect park sledding

It’s winter, so get out to Prospect Park with a garbage can lid and have some damn fun. via Flickr user Atomische * Tom Giebel

Before we get started here, we first have to ask you a question: Why and when exactly have you become so terrified of the snow? Is the reason we all freak out at the mere mention of snow because of last year? Just because it was a bad winter last year doesn’t mean that we need to cower in fear at the very idea that Brooklyn might be covered in the wintry powder. Don’t stay inside all winter and whimper whenever it snows outside; make that stuff work for you, before it becomes horrible grey slush, anyway. It’s not only suburbanites that got to enjoy a good day of sledding while growing up; even lifelong Brooklynites like this very author hit the slopes up.

So go on, get your very own Rosebud, or just use a garbage can lid, whatever. We’ll see you at the park. We remember what it’s like to be kids, and so should you. Forget for a moment the fact that snow in Brooklyn has about a 30 minute shelf-life before it comes a slushy horrible mess that’s covered in dog piss. Embrace your inner kid (or take an actual kid with you) and actually have some damn fun at Brooklyn’s best sledding spots. (more…)

10/24/14 1:19pm
great pupkin

Dawwwwwww. via Facebook

This week, like most weeks if we’re being honest, hasn’t been very good. This one feels more end of days than most, though, so you might be looking for a really good escape from the troubles of the world. In that case, let us recommend you immerse yourself in a world of dogs wearing Halloween costumes in Fort Greene Park. It’s called The Great Pupkin and it’s happening on Saturday. (more…)