Unlike other seasons that can drag on like a M Night Shyamalan flick, the summer often feels shorter than celebrity dresses on the red carpet. September sucks, as it brings the end of our fun season and is the bearer of bad news. The subway will be overrun by unruly school kids with mouths like merchant marines. The morning shower needs a five minute warmup. I gotta wear socks.
Summer 2015 was also a season of discontent, where shamefully, #BlackLivesMatter was still the burning domestic issue for America and one that won’t go away, until it’s honored with humanity and respect. The duality of emotions lead to moments of tears, cheers, fears and lots of dancing and drinking. These are the top four things I’ll be missing about the summer, though I know everybody has their on favorites.
Outdoor Day Parties
Brooklyn is very brolic with its Day Parties. Sometime’s it’s on the informal level, with a group of friends in a backyard, grilling and chilling and other times it’s a massive event, with multiple DJs and bars, food vendors and whatever else is possible without breaking the local laws and ordinances. I really liked the the outdoor parties called SUN DANCE, which were produced by EyeWonder, a promotion team portmanteau of the Eyespy and Wonderground crews . It was pure goodness in a super unassuming location in BedStuy. You walked into the garden level floor of a brownstown and headed to the backyard, where you found five contiguous brownstone backyards, with a bar, an amazing, wood dance floor and amazing vibes.
It was also the Makossa party, which has reached mega proportions and brings waves of dancing, lovely people to whatever venue they occupy for a weekend afternoon. I went to one at Lot 45 in Bushwick, and though I had to leave very early, and go DJ at Shwick Market, the spot was getting packed after only one hour, and Lot 45 is not a small room. I hear when Makossa teamed up with Freedom Party, for a day party at The Well, in Bushwick, that it was actually awesome x dope!
Free Outdoor Concerts
Brooklyn is lucky to have a wide array of outdoor and free concerts during the summer. It’s a chance to bring a blanket, some snacks and some friends and enjoy the type of live show that most folks in other cities have to pay for. Celebrate Brooklyn started off with Chaka Khan, at Prospect Park and didn’t look back, providing months worth of free, live performances, by a tight roster of artists. Summer Stage is the other major force in the NYC, outdoor concert space and they didn’t disappoint either, starting early with Lyricist Lounge and Duckdown Records’ concerts in June and right through to a Charlie Parker Jazz Festival in August.
Brooklyn Block parties are an institution in the borough, and a treasure for adults and kids alike. The block is cordoned off to traffic, neighbors cook up food in the house and outside on the grill, and sharing is of prime importance. Block associations show off the beauty of the brownstones, kids ride bikes and skateboards and joy is firmly in the air. You don’t even need to be a resident of that block to enjoy a Brooklyn block party, because with a good word and kind smile, someone will offer a plate of bbq, a cup of sorrel or a seat at their table to eat and listen to the DJ and talk about local things of interest, international politics or how their neighbor don’t know how to make chicken.
Getting away to the beach is a fun, NYC tradition and one that shouldn’t be taken for granted. Coney Island is still a blast, even though it’s been reduced from its former glory. The Cyclone is still there to give you a heart attack, and Smorgasburg brought in food vendors, along with Coney Art Walls, an open air gallery of murals, by renowned street artists, which was curated by Jeffrey Deitch and Joseph J. Sitt. Playing hooky and going to the beach is magic in the summer and especially if you played hooky at Riis Beach Bizarre . It’s the only beach in NYC where you can legally drink on the boardwalk, which is important when you really want a margarita at 2pm on a Wednesday and you’re already on the beach.
Riis Beach Bizarre was a one-stop for food, drinks, live bands, DJs, beach activities like volleyball and your basic ogling good looking people in swimwear. Dick & Dave hit it up and covered it for BRIC this summer, which was a lot of fun!
I know, i know, everything I’m going to miss is heavy on parties and fun, but summers are made for having a good time, so those are the things I’ll be missing the most.
The fall is here, so coats and outdoor sports will replace flip-flops and shorts, but there’s always next summer to look forward to!