Rooftop Films started showing movies at Industry City in 2015. Photo: Ethan Judelson
It all started with a few flyers, a bed sheet and a rooftop.
In the summer of 1997, Mark Elijah Rosenberg founded Rooftop Films on the top of his East Village apartment building. He and a few friends, he said, “used a 16mm projector, tied a sheet to the wall, opened the door to the roof, and we had a film festival.” The turnout to see the collection of short films that Rosenberg had selected for the evening, driven mostly by word of mouth, was much larger than expected–so many people showed up that Rosenberg’s landlord promptly evicted him.
Even without a rooftop of his own, the film-obsessed recent Vassar grad and native New Yorker realized that he was hooked on curating screenings. It was, he recalled in a phone interview, “a real pleasure to watch strangers come and appreciate the night.”
Fortunately Rosenberg had friends to turn to. Joshua Breitbart and Dan Nuxoll, current Rooftop Films program director, were working to convert an old warehouse space on McKibben Street on the border of Bushwick and East Williamsburg into lofts. They allowed Rosenberg and Breitbart to build a screen and show films on their roof.
“There were no hipster restaurants let alone Michelin restaurants,” Rosenberg said wryly. “It was derelict buildings and car fires…for better or worse we were part of the change in that neighborhood.” (more…)
We’re in it. The hottest part of the year. Rooftop weather. Right now it seems like the long, steamy days, sudden thunderstorms and sultry nights will last forever, but one of the sweetest things about summer is how fleeting it always feels. Here are three ways to take full advantage of the season and get up on a rooftop, take a deep breath, absorb the view and appreciate the moment.
Get a drink
New York being a drinker’s paradise, the most obvious rooftop activity for summer months is cooling down with a glass of something cold, refreshing and, well, dehydrating. We visited Rooftop Reds in the Brooklyn Navy Yard earlier this summer and highly recommend ordering a rosé tasting flight followed by a bottle of whichever wine you enjoyed the most. They also have hammocks for post-sipping total relaxation.
BB contributor Ellen Killoran has a new favorite rooftop drinking venue this year. She writes: The Llama Inn rooftop bar has managed to create a near-impossible oasis from the city while being so close to the BQE that you can almost touch it (strategic design keeps the roadway hidden). The compact space above Williamsburg’s new Peruvian destination restaurant feels like a tropical getaway, somehow muffling the noise right outside. The Spanish and Latin American wine list will challenge the palate. The Bodegas Los Bermejos ($13) is not your typical bone-dry rose, and the Llama Del Ray ($13), their signature frozen Pisco-red wine punch, will make your tastebuds stand at attention. (more…)
There is more than one free, outdoor screening of Labyrinth in Brooklyn this summer.
Welcome back from Fourth of July weekend. Here’s a little something to take the edge off the end of a glorious long weekend. For the next two months there is a free outdoor movie showing somewhere in Brooklyn almost every single night. With so many classic flicks and prime screening locations to choose from, it can be hard to keep track of what’s on offer week to week, so we’re back once again with our giant free outdoor movie calendar to take that annoying administrative task off your plate. You can download the whole enchilada into your Google calendar or just pick the individual movies that really call your name. Then simply add a few friends to the invite, designate who will bring the wine, beach blanket and snacks, and voila. . .you’ve got the makings of a perfect summer evening.
Catch a sneak preview of Chris McDowell’s anticipated directorial debut, The One I Love, starring Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass on Aug. 4 at Industry City, and stick around after the screening for a Q & A with the author-turned filmmaker and his cast Photo: Radius TWC
August is already upon us, but despite all those automated vacation responders in your inbox and the slightly empty feeling around the city, there are still plenty of seasonal events for those of us left here in town to enjoy. For starters, we’ll be heading to Red Hook for a happy hour and beer tasting at the new brewery Kate Hooker clued us into earlier this week before hitting up Brooklyn Bowl for some surfer rock and a midnight dance party. While the weather is still nice, you’ll also find us at Industry City to take in an outdoor flick as part of Rooftop Films, which turns 18 this summer. Add in a pretty sweet pop-up shop, a photo exhibition that promises to play tricks on our eyes and a prix fixe dinner done right, and you’ve got your ideal week.
Thursday, July 31: VICE magazine’s 13th annual Photo Issue Exhibition, which opens today at Pioneer Works, will make you do a double take, as this year’s group show is based on illusion and features works of art intended to trick the eye. The term for this type of artistic deception is trompe l’oeil, which literally translates from French as “fools the eye.” Whether you make it down today, or sometime between now and Aug. 10 when the exhibition closes, it’s worth trekking to the waterfront to check out these images given the caliber of photographers who’ve contributed work—Weegee, Cindy Sherman, and Laurie Simmons among them.
Friday, Aug. 1: The waterfront between Red Hook and Carroll Gardens seems like the place to be this week, because in addition to the art show opening at Pioneer Works, we’ve recently come across a new craft brewery worth all the buzz it’s been receiving lately. Other Half might not be in the most picturesque of places—”smack between a scrap metal yard and a tired-looking McDonald’s drive-thru”—as our contributor Kate Hooker puts it, but their brews are gaining the admiration of some of the city’s most stellar suds houses, Double Windsor, Tørst and Greenwood Park to name a few. It’s open today from 5–10pm, making it the perfect destination for a TGIF beer tasting. (more…)