Friday June 26
Location: Park Slope, Brooklyn
Bands: Blonde Redhead
Show time: 7:30 PM
Venue: Prospect Park Bandshell
Food: Chiles & Chocolate Oaxacan Kitchen
Drink: The Gate
Miscellaneous: Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co.
Blonde Redhead play one of Brooklyn’s best summer festivals, Celebrate Brooklyn! This art pop trio has been consistently putting out great albums while adjusting their noise leanings to beautiful melodious songs that are rough around the edges. Best of all, this show is FREE! Ever have Oaxacan food? Chiles & Chocolate Oaxacan Kitchen serves up some fantastic, not exactly Mexican food. Try the smoky flavored Mole Negro, one of the best mole sauces I’ve had in NYC. Before leaving, you must try one of the hot chocolates like the Chiles Y Chocolate. A hint of chipotle without too much heat is a nice kick start for the night. The Gate is a great Park Slope bar with excellent beers on tap and a outdoor courtyard to chill. If time permits, you must, and I mean MUST go to the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co., a non-profit organization that helps kids with their writing, that’s fronted by a store selling super powers.
Friday June 26
Legendary director Werner Herzog discusses his new book Conquest of the Useless: Reflections from the Making of Fitzcarraldo (Ecco) which contains his journal from making this 1982 film in the Amazon Rainforest. He will also be signing copies of the book. Those looking for good and inexpensive Italian food should most definitely check out Supper. Do yourself a favor and try the “Priest Stranglers” pasta with Marinara and soft Ricotta di Pecora cheese. A good nearby bar is 2A. With two floors of windows, it’s great for watching the remaining hipsters who can still afford to live in the city pass by. If all your dinner/drink plans fail and you need an all-in-one, the Whole Foods on Bowery is your upscale go-to-grocery store for dinner and snacks.
Saturday June 27
What better way to start off the summer than at an outdoor disco? Resident DJ Zemi17 curates Silent Disco with a variety of eclectic DJs playing music live through FM radio transmissions straight into your headphones. For great Kansas City style BBQ, check out Jake’s Barbecue Restaurant where the use of dry rubs, sauce, and slow cooking make for some mouthwatering food. Try the Pulled Pork Platter ($14.50), the Half BBQ Chicken ($12.95) or any number of combinations. A former Italian Social Club, Brooklyn Social still has that old 1930s charm and a great drink menu with mixed drinks falling in the $8 range. As much of a fan I am of Dunkin Donuts coffee, I say skip it and try The Coffee Den. They have a nice selection of coffee’s from dark to light roasts and even have Gorilla Coffee, one of the best and darkest in the city.
Saturday June 27
Celebrate and/or learn about Turkish music at Istanbulive where you can see three sets of awesome music from Turkish folk-rock legends Mazhar Fuat Özkan (MFÖ), pop band Painted on Water (featuring Sertab Erener and Demir Demirkan), and Hüsnü Senlendirici & Vassilis Saleas with NY Gypsy All-Stars and Brooklyn Funk Essentials. At one of my favorite places to get duck, The Peking Duck House, the meat is succulent and the skin crunches like a potato chip. Sometimes you just want to grab a pint without paying a cover charge or playing host to a group of people after work, which is why I like Blackstones Pub & Restaurant. It looks like an old-time saloon and has two pool tables in the back and plenty of other games, while also being big enough to grab traditional American food from the menu. If you’re still hungry, check out the New York Milkshake Company for one of the best $6 shakes of your life.
Sunday June 28
Location: West Village, NYC
Event: Pride March
Show time: 5th Avenue & 52nd St. to Christopher & Greenwich St.; noon – end
Venue: Various areas
Food: Tortilla Flats
Drink: White Horse Tavern
Miscellaneous: Magnolia Bakery
Celebrate gay pride with the mother of all marches as Grand Marshalls Dustin Lance Black, Cleve Jones, Anne Kronenberg, and the Hon. New York State Governor David Paterson lead the festivities at the Pride March, one of the most fun parades in NYC. For dinner, check out Tortilla Flats. The food is Mexican and delicious, but it’s the insanity within (bingo and hula-hoop nights) that is the real calling for this place. For drinks afterwards, hit the White Horse Tavern, a great bar and the old haunting grounds for Dylan Thomas. If you somehow have time before all of this, stop by Magnolia Bakery for some of the best tasting cupcakes in the city.