Archive for the ‘Festival’ Category

A young man named Eric (San Francisco resident and Brooklyn Skeptic friend), has set up a unique festival where all films are to be shot on “disposable film.” This means that you can use your camera phone, webcams, security cameras or disposable cameras from stores like Rite Aid or CVS. All that he asks is that your films be under ten minutes and creative. The submissions are due on December 15th of this year. For more information, go here. It’s an awesome opportunity to flex your creative muscle and compete without spending much money.

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If you haven’t been by Coney Island yet, you better get on down. Astroland is set to close in September.

Despite the recent alterations in the plans, it’s pretty much accepted that all the grimy ole amusement feel will be cleaned off and polished. Rockabilly kids probably will be replaced by people with time shares, the old facades torn down, hot dog stands replaced by restaurants, freak shows replaced by concerts…

So I say take the F train down, enjoy the atmosphere, play in the glassy sand, take the bumper cars for a drive, build sand castles, see some freaks, go to a burlesque show, and play some skee ball, ride your favorite ride till you’re dizzy…because who knows what the next Coney Island will bring.

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Happy June! Even though we aren’t in school anymore our biological clocks are still wound up so that when the summer sun hits us, we are ready to party! And hang out! Outside!

To help you out, here are some of the schedules that I will be checking on all summer:

Rooftop Films – I haven’t heard of any of the movies, so this is a guaranteed hipster hot spot. Bonus, we get to watch movies on top of the Old American Can Factory in Gowanus!

South Street Seaport – Tonight there are some Pitchfork faves I’ve never heard, but it will probably be a good time! August 17 features The National, while July 19 showcases BrooklynSkeptic fave Ruben Studdard!! 10 bonus points if we see Ryan Seacrest and Teri Hatcher there.

Union Pool Parties – Williamsburg venue. August 12 see Ted Leo & The Thermals.

Celebrate Brooklyn! – Season starts out with the Neville Brothers on June 12. On June 16 take your 7th grade girlfriend to see Joan Osborne. On June 22 Ralph Stanley will be there, who I remember because I bought his CD for my parents after “Oh Brother Where Art Thou.” July 12 see some Irish stepdancing. August 9 see the Big Sleep and the Hold Steady. Yay Brooklyn!

Hudson River Park – Rumble on the River, River Flicks, Moondance, and Blues BBQ! Hudson River Park has a bunch of stuff going on. June 21 see outdoor boxing on the waterfront (that’s the rumble part). August 1 see Stripes (that’s the flicks part). July 15 break out the saddle shoes you bought during the craze in the 90s and swing all nigth with George Gee and the Jump, Jive, and Wailers! (that’s the Moondance part) August 19 eat BBQ and listen to the blues. I don’t know which part that is.

Central Park Summerstage – Apples in Stereo on June 16, Wyclef Jean July 8, Cafe Tacuba July 14, Decemberists and Grizzly Bear July 16, Human Giant (what what homegrown!) and Demitri Martin (reckles, now’s your chance!) July 19, Neko Chase July 20, Rufus Wainright August 19 (busy summer for you, reckles)! Whew, it’s not a bad line-up.

River to River – A veritable buttload of things going on all over Manhattan including Puerto Rican Power, Nuremberg: Nazis Facing Their Crimes, New York Review of Science Fiction, Annual Vintage Police Car Show, American Ballroom Theater’s Dancing Classrooms Colors of the Rainbow Team Match Grand Finals (johnbaptisedme, we’re there), Martha Wainwright (big summer for that fam), New Pornographers July 4, Spoon July 11, Battles & Deerhunter August 31. And a whole buttload more. You can bet your patootie.

HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival – Annie Hall June 18 (reckles, obv), Psycho August 18 (my dad, obv).

Movies with a View at Brooklyn Bridge Park – Princess Bride! Muppets Take Manhattan! Hair! West Side Story! It’s literally as if ninth grade me designed their summer schedule. Another cool thing about these films is that instead of preview, they show short films from local artists before the feature. Also, June 21-23 is the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival.

Summer on the Hudson – July 7 see the 2nd Annual NYC Main Squeeze Accordian Festival! I can barely believe I missed the first annual, but you can bet I’ll be there this time. North by Northwest July 11, Caddyshack August 8 (not my fave, but I know a few people who like that sort of thing), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid August 22 (what a great one to watch outside!). Yeah! Not a bad line-up.

Socrates Sculpture Park – I’ve never been here, but their website is way artsy. Motorcycle Diaries July 19, and other things I’ve never heard of.

How’s that for extensive? You guys totally owe me.

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This Sunday, a handful of Skeptics traipsed merrily through 5th Avenue Street Fair in Park Slope, Brooklyn. And as it turns out, we were not the only ones there. Looking down the Avenue from the top of the Slope, you could see it was packed for about a mile. The whole thing made me feel a little gay for Brooklyn. Here are some of my favorite parts of the fair:

1. Open Container Laws Be Damned

The fair gave a new meaning to al fresco drinking – of which we all know I’m the biggest fan. Nearly every bar was selling some beers, of both the generic and fantastic variety, on tap out of coolers in the middle of the street. You could get a plastic cup of beer or a frozen margarita from Mezcal and stumble around drunkenly, fondling pashminas and mozzarepas, for the rest of the day.

2. Kids Are So Predictable

At exactly 4:00, all of the children at the fair (roughly 2 million from the preliminary count) began to cry as their sugar highs wore off and they started to feel the effects of missing nap time. One child noted, “oh look – balloons,” in an uncharacteristically sarcastic manner.

3. Dancing Ladies

There were quite a few bands playing along the way, but there was one that stood out above all others: The Burlesque Alliance. This is an 11-or-so-piece band that was playing some kind of music with which I am not familiar enough to know the genre’s name. They had like horns or whatever. But more importantly, they had a lady who wore a tiny USO-style getup, dancing on the side of the stage. She was just awesome.

I was first introduced to the concept of go-go dancers at street fairs last summer at the Atlantic Avenue Street Fair. I didn’t like them as much. It seemed more exploitative in some way. Pizappas found this band a tad exploitative too. And I can understand that. I guess. But I’ll still going to their show at Southpaw on May 26.

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The Brooklyn Skeptic Brooklyn Brewery Taste Test 2007

In an effort to both bond with our fine borough and get totally soused, Brooklyn Skeptic gathered on Friday evening to painstakingly taste test seven varieties of Brooklyn Brewery beer.

Undisputed winner: Monster Ale
Undisputed loser: Our livers

Brooklyn Lager: We started our evening off with the cornerstone of the BB lineup, Brooklyn Lager. The general consensus is that it’s mad bitter. I mean, it’s bitter to the point that before I moved to Brooklyn, I thought the borough would be too intense for me because of this beer. Some suggested it’s “bitter like johnbaptisedme,” while johnbaptisedme suggested it is “bitter like Wynona Ryder, but delicious like Val Kilmer. Oh! Cheers to the new couple (according to pizappas – but her celebrity gossip is debatable). Either way, Brooklyn Lager is a total power couple from 12 years ago.” Other folks suggested it tastes like “street cred” and “tobacco,” which, apparently, taste excellent with tofu pups in a blanket.

East India Pale Ale: Immediately upon popping the cap off this bad boy, we noticed the little story on the Christmas-colored label. BB suggests that the IPA is responsible for colonialism in that it is the beer that enabled the British to get to India. This ideological bitterness overcame the bitterness of the beer itself. Nice touch. Otherwise, all parties agreed that the eIPA was flavorful, dynamic, fruity, perfumey and divine. It felt like it was just bouncing on the tongue.
Johnbaptisedme added: “I feel sick” and “DRUNR!” I think this means she felt sick and drunk. That happens to the best of us.

Let's go METSPennant Ale: This is Brooklyn Skeptic’s binge drinking beer of choice. It is mild and delicious, with a burst of versatile flavor. We agreed that it is not offensive to any palate, won’t turn anyone off to Brooklyn, but still tastes like a quality beer. The best comment here is that it “can be drunk in mass quantities if necessary.”
Turtle suggests that it is Brooklyn Brewery’s safety school. Agreed. Pizappas offered that it tastes like a beautiful day at the Mets game. This concerns me because I really don’t like the idea of her licking around Shea Stadium. Shit’s nasty.

Pilsner: The Pilsner was, by far, the crap-wad of the group. It was suggested that it’s name be changed to Bud Dark – uncharismatic, deserving of a can rather than a bottle. Upon sipping this beverage, Turtle declared it a “wussy, flowery foo foo dandy beer,” and then dashed it to the floor. I cried as it began to warp my hard wood. Get your mind out of the gutter. The discussion was ended abruptly by the hostess declaring, “the sooner we finish the Pilsner, the sooner we can move on to something good.”

Frothy BrewBrown Ale: This is a really delicious beer that pizappas, johnbaptisedme (who at this point in the tasting is completely out of the game) and I had the great fortune of sampling at the actual Brooklyn Brewery last fall. It was just as delicious in the bottle as on tap.
This is a dark, rich brew with hints of chocolate, coffee and burnt sugar. Pizappas, who is a long time Brown Ale enthusiast, commented that it had a nice mouth-feel – thick on the back of your tongue. Plainclothesman countered with “makes me drunk.”

mmm...chocolate...Black Chocolate Stout: By this time, all of the Skeptics were drunk as skunks, but we still had two high-alcohol-content beers ahead. All handwriting illegible. I’ll just abandon the narrative so you can get a good picture of what’s going on:
“Smells like liquor!”
“Tastes delicious and gets me waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasted.”
“Smells like delicious tar – like once the dinosaurs has gotten totally fucked up & hallucinating on the tar that would be the end of their species.”

AHHH! Godzilla!Monster Ale:

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