Tag Archives: summer nights

Ode To Joy and A Cool Breeze.

williamsburgparkA different post was all up and ready to go for today but I caught New Orders concert on the waterfront in Williamsburg Park last night and…screw it, I’m going with this trip down memory lane.

Yesterday, even the heat got tired of itself and New Yorker’s were treated to a picture perfect night. The sun was just starting to dip, I heard The Human League booming and gladly crossed the border to the land of flashbacks.  I bopped along in the line to get my neon green I.D. bracelet stamped with “Enjoy ★ Heineken Responsibly” and kept moving.  Traveling with a pack, we grabbed our Brooklyn Lager and expertly snaked our way through the masses, moving smoothly like water through a river rock run until we were close to the stage. To the north, a tumble of clouds hung in the distance like a mountain range, or maybe I was just seeing things. Strong, cool summer breezes off the East River blew in all around us, a killer sunset was coming down and then the band came on.

New Order takes the stage, July 24, 2013.

New Order takes the stage, July 24, 2013.

If you’re a fan of New Order then I’ve got no explaining to do. If you aren’t too familiar, let’s just say they were their own particular style of music in the ‘80’s and one of the best British bands to come out of post punk’s ashes. Originally members of Joy Division, they salvaged their talent after their lead singer opted for a dirt nap. New Order created its own brand of alternative, electronic music that wasn’t mainstream by a country mile. But you’ve probably heard at least one of their songs, maybe Blue Monday, one night when you were out dancing in a club or at a wedding. The rhythm and beat of that tune wormed its way into your head, making you bounce and groove in ways you never thought possible.

Last night they were loud, they were proud, and they had the crowd in the palm of their hands. It was finally dark, the air was cool but the place was pulsing, it was full transmission. I saw some old faces and some old dance moves. New Order played all their classics and in the end they stoned us with some Joy Division. Williamsburg Park is a misnomer but even the lot we stood in seemed to morph into a perfect venue listening to those retro sounds.  After 23 years, these Brits still know how to do it and have some North American shows left if you’d like to catch them.

Staycation’s wonderful but you can keep your couch, keep your air conditioning, and keep your Netflix.   I’ll take an old school park concert anytime.

Whatever kind of entertainment moves you, summer’s nights are calling you to come out and play.   Share what’s happening in your backyard.

Click here if the image above doesn’t take you to a taste of last night’s show.

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Get Your Flicks and Kicks.

And babe, don’t you know it’s a pity
That the days can’t be like the nights
In the summer, in the city
In the summer, in the city
–Lovin’ Spoonful

Manhattan Skyline Sunset

Manhattan Skyline Sunset (Photo credit: Justin in SD)

Spending the dog days of summer in New York City can be…hellish. Anyone who’s already used up vacation days, or can’t spring for one, knows that when it sizzles like this there are few options to stay cool. But nothing’s worse than holing up in your apartment with the air conditioner cranking, missing out on the spectacular neon-pink sunsets and warm breezes of these hot summer nights.DogConorFieldmanBoals

Luckily it seems like this season nights in the city—and the surrounding boroughs of Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island— hold some pretty cool offerings for outdoor music and entertainment. The best part is, plenty of it is free and depending on where you go, you can bring your own food and drink. Last week, I—and hundreds of fellow New Yorkers—danced the night away at a silent disco that was part of the outdoor Midsummer Night Swing series at Lincoln Center. Dancers and spectators wore a perpetual grin, and the place was rocking. Whatever side of the floor you were on, the night was magic.

Midsummer Night Swing's Silent Disco.

For visitors and locals, the metro area offers a spice rack of entertainment. If you’re a resident and haven’t enjoyed any of this goodness, times a wastin’.  It’s sometimes easy to keep to your own part of town, but have some fun, play tourist and visit the other boroughs.  Here’s what’s ready and waiting for you:

From opera to jazz, folk, rock, world music, or classical, you can still catch some of the best performances and musicians at the Free Summer Concert series happening all around the town from Central Park to Van Cortlandt Park. Beck will play a benefit concert in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park on August 4th. It’s sold out but don’t let that stop you. Pitch a blanket on the grass outside the bandshell and you can still enjoy the show.

Hot fun at Celebrate Brooklyn. (Photo credit:  Ryan Muir)

Hot fun at Celebrate Brooklyn. (Photo credit: Ryan Muir)

The Central Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library offers culture and arts events. Check out their unique book and writer discussions on the likes of Gabriel Garcia Marquez to Norman Mailer, or stomp the night away at their outdoor Plaza Swing Series.

Coney Island beachside flick. (Photo credit: Coney Island Fun Guide)

Coney Island beachside flick. (Photo credit: Coney Island Fun Guide)

Drive-in movies may be a thing of the past around here but luckily you can catch a flick in the park or on the beach. From Wreck-It-Ralph to Argo, Free Summer Movies is a great back-to-basics way to enjoy a hot summer night. A special shout out goes to Coney Island, The Rockaways, and Staten Island. These areas are showing true grit in rebounding back from the beating they took from Superstorm Sandy and are running movies for folks of all ages.

Last but not least, today is Nelson Mandela’s 95th birthday and the folks at Madiba, the South African restaurant, will throw their annual celebration. “This restaurant was built on Nelson Mandela’s ideals of love,” said Madiba manager Denis Du Preez. “It doesn’t matter if we light a candle, put a flower out or just put up a picture on his birthday—it’s about the people who come here and rejoice with us and celebrate our hero.” Starting at 6:30pm, they’ll be pouring free Brooklyn Lager and will release lanterns into the night sky.

The town is hot!  Throw on your shorts and flip-flops and celebrate the summer nights—and don’t forget your good will, and blanket or beach chair.  Wherever you are, stay cool and enjoy!

Peace.