Park Slope has so much to offer during the summer. Here’s a look at the things we find new and exciting this season. If you have something you would like to share, send it along to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC
Celebrate Brooklyn! – Concerts in Prospect Park
The beautiful thing about living close to Prospect Park is that you have all the benefits of a back yard without having to do the mowing. During the summer, the park burst with activity. Day and night you will find ways to occupy your time. My absolute favorite way to spend a summer evening is by taking in a free concert at the band shell. The space is large enough to accommodate a crowd, without feeling cramped. There are options to sit in chairs, close to the stage or to bring a blanket and enjoy a picnic on the hill, as you take in the surroundings as a whole. There isn’t a bad seat in the place. Performers cross all music styles to suit any mood. Dance your heart out to Latin beats, sing-along with Dan Zane, relax with the Philharmonic, or just try something new. This eclectic series runs throughout the summer. For a full listing, visit www.bricartsmedia.org.
SOMETHING FOR YOUR SUMMER READING LIST
Dewey Decimal System by Nathan Larson [Akashik Books]
Akashik, a Park Slope-based publisher brings you post-apocalyptic noir set in New York City. The city is ravished and desolate after a series of attacks followed by a flu pandemic. Dewey Decimal, dealing with the day-to-day perils of life, finds solace in the public library taking stock of its collection. His memory spotty, the war-vet makes his way working as an enforcer for the questionable District Attorney. As what appears to be a simple assignment becomes more complicated, Dewey finds himself questioning what is the truth and who he can trust. Snarky, cynical and written with a vernacular all it’s own, Dewey Decimal System is the perfect page-turner for summer.
A SIMPLE SLICE OF HEAVEN
South Brooklyn Pizza
447 First Street at Seventh Avenue (718) 832-1022
63 Fourth Avenue at Bergen Street (718) 399-7770
There is definitely something to be said for simplicity, especially when it comes to food. I admire the confidence to do one thing and do it well – and South Brooklyn Pizza Does pizza well. The original Carroll Gardens pizzeria has opened two spots in Park Slope, covering both north and south. Perhaps you have noticed the newly painted façade across the street from P.S. 321. It’s tiny, offering a few well-positioned tables inside and on the sidewalk. The menu is incredibly simple – pizza, Margherita or Sicilian (Grandma Pie), by the slice or entire pie. There are no other options and once you taste their delicious pizza, you will realize that it’s perfect as is. If you’re looking to finish with something sweet, they even offer chocolate chip cookies.
COOK LIKE A MASTER
Truly Mexican by Roberto Santibanez [Wiley, Johnson & Sons, Inc.]
If you haven’t yet had a meal at Fonda (434 Seventh Avenue) you are missing out on a truly great experience. Chef Roberto Santibanez clearly loves food, loves cooking and, fortunately, is happy to share. Flip through his cookbook. At first glance, the recipes in his book Truly Mexican seem complicated. But they are not. Chef Santibanez takes great care to explain the ingredients, their textures, nuances and flavors. What he offers is more than recipes, but instead a new approach to cooking. Instructions explain the desired outcome rather than just descriptions of what to do. He takes into account variations in sizes and temperatures. Read carefully and you will learn technique. Truly Mexican is about the building blocks of Mexican cuisine, focusing on the sauces – salsas, moles and adobos. Once you learn the basics there are a number of variations. The differences in the ingredients may be slight, the outcome not so. Master the basics and you will find a whole new realm of cooking.
THE URBAN DRIVE-IN
What’s better than relaxing in the night-time air and watching a movie? The only thing that makes this experience better is having the city skyline as your backdrop. Like an urban version of the drive-in, the non-profit organization Rooftop Cinemas brings cinema to the open air. Because the screenings are above the city streets, the urban landscape and its noises fall away. Your focus is on the cinema experience. The Rooftop Cinemas Summer series brings a variety of films to rooftops throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. Recognized as one of the “most dynamic film festivals in the world,” the summer schedule includes films from a wide range of genres– shorts, documentaries, family films, and the truly independent are all represented. You can see the Summer Series schedule and purchase tickets on their website www.rooftopfilms.com.
PROJECTS FOR A RAINY DAY
ScrapKins Build-It Book Volume 1: 12 Things You Can Make From Junk! by Brian Yanish [Crackle Press]
Welcome to Scrap City where you will meet The ScrapKins: Wrecks, Swooper, Itcher, Chomper, Digger and Stacker. With them, you will learn how to create fun projects out of the items that end up in our garbage bins. The ScrapKins come from a New York and Brooklyn-based creative organization that aims to “encourage creativity and resourcefulness through stories and recycled art projects.” The book offers a variety of opportunities for kids to express themselves. The templates include simple illustrated instructions that allow kids to take the creative reigns. More complex projects and require the assistance of an adult, which provides the perfect opportunity for adults to get involved and creative. ScrapKins Build-It Book is recommended for kids 6-9 years old. Visit www.scrapkins.com to learn more about The ScrapKins and find free projects.
SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL TEAM
I can’t think of a better way to spend a summer day than going to Coney Island for a Cyclones game. I’ll be honest I’m not much of a sports fan, but I do catch the fever when I’m out seeing this minor league team. The stadium, MCU Park, is smaller than the major league ones, which brings you up close to the action. The Cyclones (a farm team for the Mets) play solid baseball against other division teams – their biggest rival is the Staten Island Yankees. During the sweltering heat, the sea air is refreshing. It’s a day at the beach, with baseball. And it’s a full day. Get in before the game for a ride on the Cyclone roller coaster and a walk along the boardwalk. During the game pick up a Nathan’s hot dog (the original location is just down the block). Fireworks follow Friday and Saturday games throughout the summer, rounding out the perfect experience. Regular season play lasts through September 4th. To see the full schedule and purchase tickets visit the Brooklyn Cyclone’s website, www.brooklyncyclones.com.