05/30/14 9:00am

FunmapemailJUNE

With he return of outdoor events like Celebrate Brooklyn! and the Northside Festival it’s clear that once again it’s summertime in New York City–not sure the living is easier, but it’ll definitely be more active. Prepare to clear your calendar for plenty of cool ways to stay outside and entertained over the next four weeks.

June starts off with a free performance from Janelle Monáe at the Prospect Park Bandshell (check out our calendar of free summer music); Red Hook Fest promises to have people dancing in the streets; and the FIFA World Cup gives football fans something to rally around. (We’ll be sure to catch a game in between new episodes of Orange is the New Black, which is back for a second season on June 6–how fearless was Laverne Cox on that TIME cover?)

Some of the best independent filmmakers in America are expected to turn up in Fort Greene this month as part of the sixth annual BAMcinemaFest; the founders of the Brooklyn Flea are opening a new beer hall; and Dante and Chiara de Blasio will lead a procession of costumed sea creatures along Coney Island’s boardwalk as king and queen of the Mermaid Parade. If June is any indicator of what’s in store this summer, be prepared for one big party from start to finish. Here’s your complete June Fun Map.

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05/27/14 12:37pm
Fri May 30, 2014 - Sun June 1, 2014
Bushwick Collective got out their spray cans for Bushwick Open Studios 2013. Photo: Michael Tapp

Bushwick Collective got out their spray cans for Bushwick Open Studios 2013. Photo: Michael Tapp

Celebrating its eighth year, Bushwick Open Studios kicks off this Friday with well over 500 participating artists, shows and events. Hit up Radio Bushwick for the launch party at 8pm to see some local artwork while catching bands like Culture VultureStar Rover and Life Size Maps ($10 admission); or start early by checking out Express Yourself Barista Bar at 6pm for the Arts in Bushwick High School Fellows opening show, featuring work from 15 Bushwick high school students. You can pick up a printed map with a directory of participating artists, events and shows happening through June 1 at places like Norte MaarEnglish Kills, or Silent Barn or peep the directory right here. Other events include an electronic music showcase and CinemaSunday both happening at Bizarre, as well as many, many studios opening their doors to the public.

05/23/14 11:15am

Image Map

We know it’s not officially summer until June 21, but it is officially outdoor drinking season. We’ve put together 9 different guides to steer you to a bar with al fresco sips, no matter what mood you’re in or who you’re with.

Whether you’re looking for great food along with your drinks, a good wine list, a beer nerd’s paradise, a rooftop aerie, killer cocktails, sidewalk seating where you can watch the world go by, a total dive, a spot with room for your 10 closest friends or a place to bring the kids without dirty looks from the bartender or other customers, we’ve got you covered. We’ve also mapped them all out below, so you can plan some new happy hours.  (more…)

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05/20/14 5:00pm
Mon May 26, 2014
The Brooklyn Memorial Day Parade is one of the oldest in the country. Photo: Brooklyn Memorial Day Parad

The Brooklyn Memorial Day Parade is one of the oldest in the country. Photo: Brooklyn Memorial Day Parad

It’s Memorial Day on May 26, and while most of your time will be spent either barbecuing or at the beach (or barbecuing at the beach), consider taking some time out to celebrate our veterans at the 147th annual Brooklyn Memorial Day Parade. The parade starts at 11am on the corner of 87th Street and Third Avenue in Bay Ridge and winds its way around to John Paul Jones Park for a memorial service that includes a wreath laying, flag raising, playing of taps and a 21-gun-salute by soldiers from the U.S. Army Fort Hamilton Garrison. Started in 1867, the Brooklyn Memorial Day Parade is one of the oldest in the country. All veterans are invited to march and more information can be found here.

05/20/14 3:01pm
Sun May 25, 2014

Photo via Sound Liberation Front

Rub-A-Grub returns this Sunday at Do or Dine. Photo: Sound Liberation Front


One of the best days I had last summer was at the Rub-A Grub party I went to in the backyard of Do or Dine. A balmy afternoon/evening spent relaxing outdoors with good friends, fried deviled eggs and amazing mid-’90s hip hop is pretty much my idea of heaven anyway, and there was a fun, electric quality to the crowd that simmered all day as everyone milled around until the sun went down, when the dance floor exploded in rhythm with the beat. This year, the Rub-A-Grub series is back for its third season, and will start things off this Sunday with sets from top-flight I Love Vinyl DJs like Amir Abdullah, Scribe, Ge-ology and John Oliver and three rounds of food and drinks from the talented and irreverent Do or Dine chefs. The fun starts at 2pm and will run until late night, so plan accordingly and pick up a ticket here–entry is $15 but a $30 VIP ticket also includes two food items and two drinks. Trust me, you want the food at Do or Dine. If you can’t make it this weekend, Rub-A-Grub will be back for Fourth of July and Labor Day. –KH

05/20/14 11:00am
Sat May 24, 2014
Expect sand, surf and celebration at New York Night Train's beach party May 24. Photo: James Jones/ NYNT

Expect sand, surf and celebration at New York Night Train’s beach party May 24. Photo: James Jones/ NYNT

Head to Rockaway Beach on Saturday if you want to stretch the definition of beach party. RSVP here for free admission and spend the day dancing, doing the limbo and chuggin’ booze at the New York Night Train and Panache Rockaway Beach Party at the Rockaway Beach Surf Club. DJ Jonathan Toubin has got a stack of wax chock-full o’ soul and garage rock sure to get you moving and MC Andy Animal (frontman of Brooklyn bands Stalkers and Andy Animal’s Cannibal Tribecandle enthusiast) will helm the mic. Bands include The Mystery Lights and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard.

05/20/14 9:17am
Bike, hike or just sunbathe; there's plenty to do for an afternoon at Governors Island. Photo: The Trust for Governors Island

Bike, hike or just sunbathe; there’s plenty to do for an afternoon at Governors Island. Photo: The Trust for Governors Island

When plans to improve Governors Island’s parks and public spaces started being hashed out in 2010, the trust responsible for overseeing the expansion decided to open up a forum for public input. They quickly found their comment box full of 10,000 suggestions for how to go about upgrading the island. I personally like the illustrated “Don’t mess this place up or you will sleep with the fishes,” entreaty (threat?) on the Post-it Note below. More than anything, the exercise proved that New Yorkers have a serious soft spot for the former Army base that sits a mere 400 yards from Brooklyn Bridge Park (which is getting its own upgrades this week as well).

Governors Island reopens this Saturday, May 24, and for the first time, this season the island will stay open seven days a week instead of just Saturdays and Sundays. This means more time to picnic on its pastoral lawns and enjoy the amazing views of lower Manhattan’s skyline. But the additional access does come at a cost: Ferries to and from the island, which start this Saturday, are no longer free, aside from weekend mornings at 10 and 11am. After those free rides, it will now cost you $2 roundtrip from Pier 6 at Brooklyn Bridge Park (which still runs weekends only), or from the Battery Maritime Building in Lower Manhattan, the only ferry servicing the island seven days a week. Downtown ferries on the East River Ferry will stop at the island on weekends only, and cost $6 a ride.

Paying to island hop is a bummer to be sure, but the silver lining here is that there will be a lot more going on once you arrive. Here’s what you need to know about the newly improved Governors Island. (more…)

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05/19/14 2:00pm
Thu May 22, 2014
A new beach, as envisioned in this rendering, and five more acres of recreation space are scheduled to open at Brooklyn Bridge Park this Thursday. Rendering: MVVA/NYC Parks

A new beach, as envisioned in this rendering, and five more acres of recreation space are scheduled to open at Brooklyn Bridge Park this Thursday. Rendering: MVVA/NYC Parks

The piers at Brooklyn Bridge Park have been popular attractions along the East River since being revitalized back in 2010, and this Thursday, two additional piers will open to the public. Pier 2 will provide park goers with five more acres of recreational space, including courts for basketball, handball, shuffleboard and bocce, as well as a full size roller skating rink (opening in late June), swings, picnic tables, restrooms and fitness equipment, while Pier 4 will offer up shoreline access for non-motorized boats to launch. (It will also presumably become an extremely popular spot to sunbathe as it is the only beach in Brooklyn that doesn’t require a 45-minute train ride.) Stay till nightfall on Thursday and you’ll also catch the last Celebrate Brooklyn! dance party of the season at Pier 1, with Afropop greats Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, and DJ collective Okayafrica Electrafrique.

05/12/14 4:00pm
Sat May 17, 2014
Bill Murray makes gloomy look good. Photo: Focus Features

Bill Murray makes gloomy look good. Photo: Focus Features

From Groundhog Day to Lost in Translation, Bill Murray has had his gloom meter on high playing characters that may depress the hell out of you but also make you laugh uncontrollably. The Gloom Brothers have decided to incorporate Bill Murray into their latest party, this Saturday at Grand Victory, for a little shindig they’re calling Bill Murray is Feeling Awfully Gloomy. DJs Gordon and Nathaniel Gloom will be spinning tracks from their favorite Bill Murray movies and hosting a sing-along to Murray’s Lost in Translation karaoke song, Roxy Music’s More Than This. Dress to impress in your best Bill Murray costume to win a prize, dance the night away, pose for photos with a fake Bill Murray, watch movies projected on the walls and don’t forget: “For relaxing times, make it Suntory time,” all of the time. Admission is $6.

05/12/14 2:05pm
Wed May 14, 2014 - Fri May 16, 2014
At three days, the New Balance Brooklyn Half Pre-Party in Brooklyn Bridge Park is longer than the race itself. Photo: New York Road Runners

At three days, the New Balance Brooklyn Half Pre-Party is longer than the race itself. Photo: New York Road Runners

If you plan on running a 13.1 mile race on a Saturday (or are just in the mood for a marathon of food, booze or outdoor activity), why not spend the three days leading up to the annual Brooklyn Half Marathon partying? From this Wednesday to Friday head on over to Brooklyn Bridge Park for New Balance’s Brooklyn Half Pre-Party. Play some basketball and shuffleboard or do some rounds in the roller-skating rink, enjoy Fried Mac Bites from Mac Truck or Japanese-inspired Mexican street food from Takumi Taco, listen to the sounds of Radical DadsHere We Go MagicDJ Justine D and more. Drink beers, go for group runs, shop for gear–this pre-party really has something for everybody.