LATE SUMMER DELIGHTS AKA: FREE BROOKLYN (RE)TREATS
Aside from the obvious (money), what New Yorkers really lack is… TIME. In between our five respective jobs, two cats (not anymore; we were just temporarily cat-sitting, and I am exaggerating), revolving roommates and creative careers to nourish, it took my boyfriend and me almost the entire spring and summer to plan a few fun outings. Some of the suggestions may seem obvious to you, and for some – you better hurry – but hopefully, they will serve as rejuvenating ideas for the last weekends of this summer.
Bike Ride in Prospect Park
I was thrilled to go on a bike ride in Prospect Park, because of my man who praised it ecstatically, “This bike ride has the most beautiful view I have ever seen in my entire life.” Admittedly, he rode his bike at night. Our trip took place at dusk, but it was, nonetheless, refreshingly enjoyable. There is nothing better than occasionally escaping New York, finding yourself in the midst of trees and mosquitoes, feeling that you’re almost in the country, only to be greeted by the fluorescent city lights, contrasting with the nature in an avant-garde sort of way.
With Brooklyn gentrifying at a high velocity, there are many cafes and shops, unexpectedly popping up on a familiar block. Sometimes, that may include a bookstore as well. It is particularly enjoyable when a said bookstore offers a selection of new as well as used books. If you’re like me and enjoy browsing through books you’ve already read, or books you’ll actually never read, but love admiring different editions, and obscure publications, this activity would be perfect for you. Regardless of where you live in Brooklyn (and regardless of the season), be sure to check out: Greenlight Bookstore, Hullabaloo Books, and some good old ones: Spoonbill & Sugartown or Book Court.
Back to Prospect Park… For almost 40 years now (since 1979!), BRIC, has been organizing BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn Festival with its free, outdoor art performances and concerts, securing some of the leading musicians and performers from all over the world. Starting in June and all through August, this year’s season welcomed more than 75 artists for 25 performances at the Prospect Park Bandshell.
Summertime screenings are another cool thing to do for free. Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 1 with its super panoramic view offers more than just a great outdoor movie experience. Movies with a View is a must-see this summer, this eight-week series takes places every Thursday evening in July and August. Naturally, the ultimate North Williamsburg spot, SummerScreen, which has been around for 12 years now, where every Wednesday in July and August, you can enjoy a lineup of cult classic movies in charming McCarren Park. Other spots worth exploring for films are Narrows Botanical Garden with shows on Fridays at sundown and NYC Parks’ Classic Film Series.
There are some museums and exhibitions that you should check out in Brooklyn, accessible for no charge (or you can “pay what you wish”). The trick is to pick a special day or time when a museum opens its doors to the public freely. Here are some suggestions: Coney Island Museum (always free!), The Kurdish Library (always free!), Brooklyn Children’s Museum (monthly free hours on second weekend, before 11 am), Brooklyn Museum (pay what you wish, or monthly free hours on first Saturday, 5-11 pm), Brooklyn Academy of Music’s BAMcafé live events (pay what you want), New York Aquarium (3 pm-closing pay what you wish).
Walk in Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Hanging out at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in the spring and summertime is where it’s at. You can get a Member For A Day Pass or get in for free with your NYC ID. Who wouldn’t be up for a romantic walk, during which you can admire beautiful flowers and exotic plants? And don’t forget about the most fun spring activity that is 100% FREE: love. 🙂