Brooklyn Public Library


Free Up Your Summer

Jun 30, 2008 2:09 PM | 0 comments

Some of the best events happen during the summer in Brooklyn—and much of it is free! I found a plethora of programs, all for no cost. 

Celebrate Brooklyn offers outdoor concerts through mid-August at the Prospect Park Bandshell. Movies with a View at Empire Fulton Ferry Park happens every Thursday, beginning July 10 with Stand by Me. Prepare to gorge on nostalgia and hotdogs at McCarren Park Pool’s Summer Screen series on Tuesday evenings. Live bands perform Sunday afternoons.

City parks are a hotbed of free events for every age, and their CityParks Concerts series includes a performance by Brand Nubian in Brower Park. The International African Arts Festival over July Fourth weekend at Commodore Barry Park offers three days of music, an African marketplace and more. From cooking demonstrations to yoga, you can find a detailed list of park happenings on their Upcoming Events page.

The live music continues at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Concert Series, where you can shake it like you mean it to the likes of Erykah Badu and The O’Jays, and enjoy crooners and classic rockers such as Brian Wilson at the Seaside Summer Concert Series.

And of course, Brooklyn Public Library is always free and offers plenty of programs to choose from. Go to our Summer Reading page for events and to download reading lists. 

Enjoy yourself at these and other events all summer long!

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No Sweat

Jun 26, 2008 5:15 PM | 0 comments

There’s no better place to stay cool than Brooklyn. 

  • As of June 27, New York City public pools are open again. Visit the Department of Parks & Recreation website to find the one nearest you.  
  • Check out McCarren Park in Williamsburg to enjoy film screenings, concerts and a Slip ‘n Slide.  
  • Brooklyn beaches are worth the trip for the sights, sounds and cool breeze off of the water. Find directions to all beaches here.  
  • Italian ice—or water ice to some—is a great summer treat. For some of the best, give Ralph’s a shot. Check out one of their local locations in Bensonhurst or Williamsburg.  
  • Take a break that’s both cool and enlightening. Stop by an air conditioned branch of your library.
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Tights, Capes, Heroes & Villains

Jun 25, 2008 11:52 AM | 0 comments

Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, the Dark Knight, Hellboy. It seems like they were born for the silver screen, but these mighty superheroes started humbly, when an artist picked up a pencil and sketched out an idea.


Do you have an idea for the next colossal caped crusader? Then grab your pencil and head over to Saratoga Library for a “Draw your own Superhero” workshop on Friday, June 27. Professional comic book artist and Bed-Stuy resident N. Steven Harris will show you how it’s done. He’ll use his 17 years of experience drawing Batman, X-Men and his current series, The Fringe, to show you how to design characters, set up panels, break into the industry and more.


The kids’ program runs from 3 to 4 PM, followed by the young adult program from 4 to 5:30 PM. Just bring your imagination. And your pencil!

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Red Hooked

Jun 20, 2008 2:25 PM | 0 comments

With the big Ikea opening, it seems that people just can’t get enough of Red Hook. Everyone is talking about the once little-known neighborhood, from Brooklynites to Brooklyn newbies. Amid the buzz, one might wonder what Red Hook was once like.


Settled by the Dutch in 1636, it was named for its red clay soil and its shape. This waterfront neighborhood was a heavily industrial area for years, home to a grain terminal, a sugar refinery and shipyards. Blue collar workers were typical neighborhood dwellers long before today’s artists and hipsters started to arrive. Many of these waterfront sites are no longer active; others have been demolished, such as the Todd Shipyard, now home to Ikea.


Take a look at “old world” Red Hook at Central Library. Photos taken by Nathan Kensinger—whose work is commonly published in Gothamist, Curbed and Brownstonerwill be on display through August 30. In some photos, Kensinger provides an uncommon view into many of the old shipyards and factories that once made Red Hook. With several of these buildings restricted to the public, the exhibition is truly a glance into a secret world. So, get to know Red Hook, both versions of it.
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A New Chapter Begins at Macon

Jun 19, 2008 9:14 AM | 0 comments

Macon Library, located in the heart of Bedford-Stuyvesant, reopens after extensive renovation on June 19. Aside from taking advantage of all of Brooklyn Public Library’s usual resources at this beautifully-restored library, you can now do even more at the new Macon:

  • Use a public computer to access, the number one online source for family history information.
  • Explore the new African American Heritage Center’s collection of historic photographs, maps and books.
  • Learn more about Bed-Stuy—a neighborhood that has influenced the likes of Jackie Robinson, Spike Lee and Jay-Z—through a special collection and an audio walking tour. 


Come to our grand opening festivities on June 19 at 2 PM; visit our website for more information. 

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