Look Who’s Turning 90!

When you hear the name Brooklyn many things come to mind; whether its things like real estate, food, festivals, or landmarks, the borough has an abundance to offer that will not disappoint.

Nathan's Hotdog

At the top of that list is the Cyclone at Luna Park (formerly the grounds of Astroland) in Coney Island, an iconic attraction that cannot be missed. Whether you’re a resident or a tourist visiting New York, the cyclone is a part of Brooklyn’s history and an attraction not to be missed.

“As a New Yorker, the cyclone is one of the top things you have to do,” says Angie Morris, Luna Park’s brand manager. “It’s amazing to hear guests from all over the world add the Cyclone to their “must do” list.”

Cyclone

In just a few short weeks, the historic wooden roller coaster will turn 90 years old! Since it’s opening on June 26th, 1927, it has been giving thrill seekers a ride to remember. It’s not been without its hiccups; in the 1970’s due to economic turmoil the coaster was almost torn down but then mayor, Ed Koch, fought to save it, saying he wasn’t sure Coney Island could survive without it. “Brooklyn is the Cyclone,” says Morris. “It is a generational ride that is shared with all Brooklynites.”

In 1988, it was declared a landmark and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.

It also holds a bit of history; famous celebrities have ridden it and aviator Charles Lindbergh, the first person to fly solo over the Atlantic Ocean, reportedly said a ride on this roller coaster was greater than flying a plane at top speed.

It’s also been featured in such action thriller movies such as, “The Warriors,” and “Shakedown” with actor Sam Elliot while stars like Diana Ross and Michael Jackson danced under it in the hit film “The Wiz.”

The Warriors

Soaring above Coney Island’s boardwalk at the corner of Surf Avenue and West 10th Street, the impressive coaster reaches an 85 foot peak before a roaring 60 mph plunge brings only the bravest to the bottom.  Overall, there are 12 drops throughout the 2,640 feet of swirling track and 27 elevation changes. For a minute and 50 seconds, passengers aboard the cyclone experience a thrill on the all wooden piece of machinery that’s like no other. It’s definitely not a ride for the faint of heart!

Rollercoaster Picture

To commemorate this milestone birthday, Luna Park will be celebrating the cyclone’s 90th on Saturday, June 25th with the biggest block party in Brooklyn. Rain or shine the party starts at 2pm and is free for all ages. The fun-filled day will include such activities as face painting, a photo booth, and appearances by the Harlem Globetrotters and a musical performance from Brooklyn’s own Fabolous.

Globetotters

Along with the rest of the rides, games and food, the famous Feltman’s of Coney Island which closed its doors in 1954 is returning this summer to the original spot where it first began.

“We celebrate milestones for the Cyclone because it is a NYC landmark,” says Morris. “As we’ve done in the past with the 75th, 85th, and now 90th; it’s our way of honoring an icon and as we gear up for the 100th!”

But don’t be deceived; while this coaster might be turning 90 there is nothing old about her. Fully refurbished last year, it has been repaired and restored throughout the years and is inspected daily for the safety of its riders.

Luna Park first opened in 2010 on the former grounds of Astroland and this summer they’ve removed their 4 hour wristband to introduce the All Day wristband which gives guests the opportunity to ride all of the rides unlimited times all day long. So if you’re brave enough you can conquer the Cyclone more than once in a day!

Luna Park

PumpKings County

It’s the time of the year when pumpkin is king, and you will find loads of pumpkin foods, drinks, products and events sprouting all over Brooklyn. Here are some of the ripest pumpkin picks in the borough!

 

luna-park-halloween-festival-coney-island-amusement

Coney Crop
You can get your pick of the patch for the next few weekends at Luna Park’s Halloween Harvest. From 12pm-6pm this family-friendly event offers activities and entertainment, like spooky crafts, dance contests, a dog costume parade plus all of Luna Park’s rides and games. Entry to The Pumpkin Patch is $5, which pays for you to pick the perfect pumpkin and then paint it! Visit Jack, the festival’s resident giant pumpkin and guess his weight, for a chance to win prizes worth over $1,000. The Harvest comes to an end on October 30.
Luna Park, 1000 Surf Avenue, Coney Island

 

Pumpkin Pintbrooklynbrewery_jackrose_9
You’ll find plenty of festive cheer in this beer! Post Road Pumpkin Ale made by our fave local brewery, The Brooklyn Brewery, is described as “colonial style”. Early American colonists, seeking natural ingredients for brewing ales, turned to pumpkins, which were plentiful, flavorful and nutritious. Blended with barley malt, this versatile vegetable became a commonly used beer ingredient. The tasty tradition lives on, with hundreds of pounds of pumpkins blended into the mash of each batch, creating a beer with an orange amber color, warm pumpkin aroma, biscuity malt center, and crisp finish. Perfectly paired with Holiday dishes such as roasted ham and turkey, root vegetables, macaroni and cheese, mascarpone and Thanksgiving dinner. Available from August to November. The Brewery is open daily.
The Brooklyn Brewery, 79 North 11th Street, Williamsburg

 

mg_7116Fall Fires
It’s the sweet smell of Fall and Thanksgiving, brought to you by Brooklyn Candle Studio. The Pumpkin Harvest candle is full of pumpkin, spice and everything nice, and infused with natural cinnamon, clove and ginger essential oils. Choose from an Amber Glass or Mason Jar candle and carve out a spot for your wonderful wax pumpkin pot on your mantle. Hand-poured and made in Brooklyn, these 100% soy candles are derived from American-grown soybeans for an eco-friendly, clean burn. The cotton wick is lead-free and primed with vegetable-based wax and premium grade fragrance oil. No added dyes or chemicals. From $14 to $34.
Brooklyn Candle Studio, 67 35th St, Greenwood

 

PIEce de Resistancebrown_butter_pumpkin
Oh my gourd, get ready for some game-changing pie. Four & Twenty Blackbirds in Gowanus have cooked up a pumpkin pie to squash all others. Sisters Melissa and Emily Elsen founded the bakery in 2009. They learned to appreciate the art of pie-making from their Grandma Liz and created a local Brooklyn enterprising boasting scrumptious, old-fashioned, butter-crust pies. Their Fall pie menu includes the Brown Butter Pumpkin pie, approximately 10 inches in size, serving 8-10 people and available for $40. The sisters have kindly shared the pie recipe here, for expierienced chefs! The pie shop is open Monday to Friday 8am-8pm, Saturday 9am-8pm and Sunday 10am-7pm.
Four & Twenty Blackbirds, 439 3rd Avenue, Gowanus

 

Labor Day in Brooklyn

Labor Day is fast approaching and while many people head out of town, there’s no place we’d rather be than Brooklyn. Labor Day was first observed in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, as a day to celebrate labor. It has come to be regarded as a day of rest and/or partying, and the last true day of summer.

 

imageJamaican Me Want To Party
Work hard, play hard, right? You will find no one partying harder in Brooklyn on Monday September 5th than the members of the West Indian Day Parade, also known as the Labor Day Carnival Parade. One of New York’s top summer attractions and biggest cultural festivals, the annual event will celebrate its 46th anniversary this year – drawing close to two million people to Crown Heights! Join the crowd waving flags from Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados, Grenada, Haiti and other Caribbean and immerse yourself in rich Caribbean culture and heritage. The march starts at 11am and is a joyful expression of cultural pride. During the seven-hour carnival, steel-pan, calypso and reggae bands wearing elaborate costumes march down Eastern Parkway. Vendors sell home-style island grub along the route, with favorites like jerk chicken, Bajan fried flying fish, rice and beans, and johnnycakes. Admission to the carnival is free.
Eastern Parkway, Crown Heights.

 

Hair For a Good Timebeard
Did you start Movember six years ago and forget to stop? Think facial hair holds sexy secrets and not just leftover food? Here’s one for you… Coney Island’s 9th Annual Beard and Moustache Competition at Sideshows by the Seashore on Saturday September 3rd. Over the past eight years, hundreds of bearded men (and women!) have competed to take home the much-coveted Beard & Moustache Fez trophy. You will see the strangest and most extravagant beards and moustaches outside of Williamsburg, with the New York’s hairiest contestants competing in categories such as Best in Show, Worst in Show, Best Styled Moustache and Best Chops. The event is $20 for both participants and spectators. Doors open at 6pm and the main event kicks off at 8pm.
1208 Surf Avenue, Coney Island.

 

12417992_1077709758927003_6880316649301149185_nPoets and They Know it
If you partied a little too hard over summer and are ready to take it down a notch, check out this Brooklyn Heights event on Saturday September 3rd – Brownstone Poets. This group has been inspiring Brooklyn since 2005, encouraging poetry, fostering creativity and celebrating great talent. Brooklyn-born poet/collagist, Steve Dalanchinksy – winner of several awards and prizes – will present his work, along with Mike Jurkovic, whose poems and music criticisms are forthcoming globally and feature in various print media. Also performing will be poet and visual artist Yuko Otomo, who pens haiku, art criticisms and essays, and contributes regularly to a collective critical writing forum. The event starts at 2:30pm at Park Plaza Restaurant. Entry is a $5 donation, plus the cost of food and drink available on the night. Don’t be shy, there’s an open mic!
220 Cadman Plaza West near Clark St and Pineapple Walk, Brooklyn Heights.

 

Tempting TintypeCapture
If Labor Day is the worker’s holiday, there’s no better time to recognized skilled and hard-working individuals such as Julie Orlick. Julie will present her solo exhibition, Tintype Photography & Film, on Saturday September 5th between 7pm to 10pm at The Living Gallery in Bushwick. The evening of analogue experiences will feature up to twenty one of a kind wet plate collodion tintypes and five 16mm short films by Julie Orlick, a director, analogue/alternative photographer and 16mm surrealist filmmaker currently working and living in Brooklyn. The tintype work was hand processed, developed and shot in Brooklyn, featuring visual artists and “creative weirdos” that inhabit New York city’s art scene. The exclusive work featured in this show has not been released elsewhere and the selected films explore floral landscapes, in-camera edits, double exposures, the surreal experience, lust for love, confusion and wonder. $5 suggested entry.
1094 Broadway, Bushwick.

Kidding Around Brooklyn

We’re about a month into summer break so odds are the kids are starting to get restless! Here are some free Brooklyn-based activities to look forward to, that will keep the little ones active and entertained.


573c8b564a761A Good Sport

As tempting as it is to set the kids up with video games, smartphones and television, they will benefit far more from fresh air and exercise. From the beginning of July until mid-September, Sunset Park Recreation Center hosts the Summer Sports Experience. Every weekday from 9:15am-4:45pm, the skilled Parks staff teach kids how to play basketball, soccer, football, rugby, volleyball, goal ball, softball and various group games. This is a friendly, small group introduction to the sports, on a drop-in basis and it’s a great way for kids to socialize and learn teamwork skills. There are separate programs for 8 month-3 year olds, 2-5 year olds and 6-14 year olds and all programs are free!
43rd Street at 7th Avenue, Sunset Park


Soaking Gunimage

Get ready to get super soaked at this water workout! The annual Squirt Gun Fight takes place Saturday August 13 at the Coney Island Boardwalk. Every year thousands of New Yorkers turn up armed and ready for the massive drench-fest. Bathing suits, towels and maybe even goggles recommended; water-spraying devices essential! This sopping-wet day of free fun starts at 1pm and is suitable for ages 6 and up.
37 Boardwalk West, Coney Island


image (1)Take the Field

Team up with the family for the ultimate day of outdoor excitement! Brooklyn Bridge Park have been running Family Field Days once a month since June, with the grand final taking place Saturday August 20 from 10am. The free Family Field Days are full of good old-fashioned recreational fun for all ages. There’s guaranteed to be something for every member of your team, including Hula-Hoop races, volleyball clinics, soccer drills and bocce. All necessary equipment is provided – just wear sneakers and be prepared to get physical!
334 Furman St (between Adams St and Atlantic Ave), Brooklyn Heights


Kites and Tykesimage (2)
Seize the breeze and take to the skies with Brooklyn Bridge Park’s annual Kite Festival. Bring your kite along or purchase one there and teach your tot how to fly it! The event takes place Saturday September 10, after the kids go back to school, so you and the kids have plenty of time to practice kite flying skills and techniques. With the picturesque Manhattan skyline as a backdrop, the colorful flutter-fest is free and suitable for all ages.
334 Furman St, Brooklyn Heights

 

56b39ce479a04Afternoon Adventures
The kids might not be looking forward to going back to school, but they’ll like this type of learning! The Environmental Education Center in Brooklyn Bridge Park is open for free, four afternoons a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year from February until November. From 3-5pm kids will learn about Brooklyn Bridge Park, with a 250-gallon aquarium filled with critters from the East River, a 10’-scale model of Brooklyn Bridge Park, arts and crafts, a reading corner and more.
99 Plymouth, DUMBO

Events for Independence Play

The Fourth of July is fast upon us. On Monday we will celebrate the birth of US independence – you could say it was our very own Brookxit! If you’re celebrating in our brilliant borough, here are our recommendations.


brooklyn-bridge-park-fireworks-nycFire Up

For the 40th year, Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks will light up the sky over the East River. Bigger and better than ever, the annual sky spectacular will wow spectators across downtown Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn. From around 9:20pm over 56,000 fireworks will burst forth at a rate of 2,200 per minute. For a good viewing spot you will have to get there early – so pack a picnic and make a day of it. Be prepared to stand or sit on the ground – no chairs or large items are allowed into viewing areas. Brooklyn Bridge Park will be the prime spot, followed by Brooklyn Heights Promenade, or you could head further north to Grand Ferry Park or East River State Park in Williamsburg, or Greenpoint’s WNYC Transmitter Park. Of course if you have any friends with rooftops in the area, now is the time to give them a call! As the highest point in Brooklyn, Sunset Park is also a great option.


Cone ZoneCapture

If battling the crowds to see the fireworks isn’t how you’d like to celebrate freedom then there will be plenty of festive-fun on the boardwalk down south at Coney Island. Ride the roller-coaster, play carnival games, enjoy some fried-fare, go swimming or relax on the beach. The now in its 100th year, the famous Nathan’s Annual Hot Dog Eating Competition will chomp-off at 10am. Will anyone beat Joey Chestnut’s world record of 69 franks and buns in 10 minutes? The Coney Island Fireworks kick-off at 9:30pm and while the pyrotechnics are much more low-key than Macy’s, the beach view more than makes up for it!


parkPark It

Can’t decide who gets your vote for best Independence Day activity? Well our presumptive nominee is Prospect Park! The Prospect Park Alliance has organized a day of free or inexpensive family-friendly activities. Celebrate the holiday with a ride on the Park’s beloved 1912 carousel, from 12-6pm ($2 per ride, $9 for a book of 5 tickets, free with Alliance Family Plus membership). From 1-4pm Lefferts Historic House will celebrate America’s birthday with reproductions of one of the greatest documents ever written, the Declaration of Independence. Make yourself a plumed hat to wear while signing your own “John Hancock” ($3 suggested donation). The Audubon Center will host a free day of nature exploration from 12-4pm with Discovery Packs, bird games and a Citizen Science project.


Cultural CelebrationCapture 2
It is important to remember that when the Declaration of Independence was signed, African-Americans were still slaves. The 45th Annual International African Arts Festival (IAFF) is a great opportunity to celebrate traditional and contemporary expression of various African cultural art forms. The four-day grassroots cultural festival is a fave of local African-American and Caribbean American Brooklynites. From 10am-9pm, Friday to Monday, Commodore Barry Park in Fort Greene will be transformed into an outdoor African cultural oasis with a Food Court, music and dance performances, a kids play zone, poetry show and more. What started in 1971 as a small vendor market has grown into an African Marketplace with over a hundred vendors offering one-of-a-kind, handcrafted original designs of merchandise ranging from jewelry, fashion, body products imported African fabric, artifacts, furniture, paintings and more. Entry is by suggested donation ($5).

BicyCOOL Paths in Brooklyn

May is Bike Month in NYC so it’s fitting to feature a few of the best bike paths in the borough, and with the weather finally heating it’s time to get riding!

 

041613_oceanpCarroll to Coney
We have an endless list of cool Brooklyn facts, and we just discovered something to add! Did you know… the United States’ first ever bike path was created in Brooklyn in 1894 – Ocean Parkway! Although some of the Parkway was cleared in the 1970s to make room for the Prospect Expressway, there are still plenty of trees lining this path, which makes it a lovely, scenic ride from Prospect Park to Coney Island, and generally flat and easy-going. Starting in Carroll Gardens, be sure to do a quick tour of the charming historic brownstones, then hit the path from Ocean Parkway and East 8th Street in Kensington, all the way down to Surf Avenue in Coney Island.


River Rideimage

Views of Manhattan, tours through various neighborhoods, a leisurely ride through the park and a speedy ride through the streets – the Brooklyn Greenway is ride up our alley! Obviously we’re not a fan of a PATH unless it’s in Brooklyn, and this one happens to be one of the most impressive in the city, running along the East River from Greenpoint to Red Hook. Take in the views of the city skyline, and breathe in fresh air while cruising through Brooklyn Bridge Park (be aware that the path in the park can get crowded!). The six-mile path runs from Kent Avenue to the northern end of Van Brunt Street, with plans to extend it through Sunset Park to Bay Ridge. 

 

imageBuckle Up
You’re in for quite a ride on the Belt Parkway Bike Path! Starting from Bay Ridge this waterfront path has a spectacular view of the Staten Island, the Verrazano Bridge and the New York harbor. Pedaling along the coast and through Sheepshead Bay, with the open Atlantic Ocean beside you, you’ll eventually reach Flatbush Avenue. Here you can take a right and continue over the Marine Parkway Bridge, then turn left and head to Rockaway Beach. This is a smooth ride, several miles long with sensational views.


Bridge and Borough Biking91012pulaski

Pulaski and you shall receive! About a month ago the new, improved and much-anticipated Pulaski Bridge Bike Path officially opened, taking cyclists on a safe, scenic tour through three boroughs. Starting in Long Island City, the two-lane, protected bike lane, travels across the bridge, into North Brooklyn. Cycling through commercial Manhattan Avenue then residential Noble Street, you take Kent Avenue down to the Williamsburg Bridge, and then across into the Lower East Side. With stellar views of the Manhattan skyline and a solid workout guaranteed – it is highly bikely you’ll enjoy this one!

Scary Sessions in Brooklyn this Halloween

Here are our freaky treats that’ll bring the fun, fear and feasts this Halloween.

Frightening Family Festival

151012 - Bk bridgeBrooklyn Bridge Park – Pier 6
10/24/15 – 10:30 am to 1:00 pm – free

Pier in and take a look at what the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy has to offer for a terrifying time (kid-friendly of course!). The Harvest Festival perched on Pier 6 will offer arts, crafts, storytelling, volleyball and musical performances.
Other Fearbies include a pumpkin patch, photo-booth, and obstacle course.

Haunted BK walking tour

Brooklyn Bridge Park – Pier 1
10/21/15 – 6:30pm – $10

The Walking Dead and American Horror story are reminders that there are scary stories to be told around every corner. Boroughs of the Dead owner and founder Andrea Janes will be your ghastly guide through Brooklyn’s web of historic haunts.
Masked by development, cafes and parks, will you be able to keep up with the secret stories of wealth, gore and mysterious deaths?

Fort Greene Halloween Festival

151012 - Fort GreeneFort Greene Park
10/31/15 – 12:00pm to 3:00pm – free

A pumpkin-flavored Fort Greene brings around one of the neighborhood’s biggest events year on year. Attractions include a horse-drawn hay ride, pumpkin patch, costume parade and the super cute Fort Greene PUPs Costume Contest, The Great PUPkin. Dressing up your pup is no walk on the bark!

Deadly Crawl to Monster Ball

Milk River 960 Atlantic Ave (between St James Pl & Classon Ave)
10/31/15 – doors open 8:00pm – free

Milk River will host a “Vampires in Brooklyn” party, marking the return of the Block Association to Brooklyn. With beastly beats by Block Boys Dj’s Frei Speech and DJ Trauma, plus NO COVER, there are many reasons not to ghost out on this night of devilish dancing.
It’s as clear as blood why the largest ‘no cover’ Halloween party in Brooklyn should be the only one in your planner. RSVPs are mandatory so get in quick. Guests must be in Halloween costume or fashionably black.