Thursday, May 27, 2010

Stay in town to have a Memorial Day done right

Memorial Day means a three-day weekend for most of us — but why head to the beach when you can stay in Brooklyn? Here’s how to have fun while everyone else is taking in the sun:
Green-Wood’s 12th Annual Memorial Day Concert

Mark the day patriotically through song, with a concert by the ISO Symphonic Band at the Green-Wood Cemetery.

The inspired set will feature select compositions by Green-Wood Cemetery’s permanent residents — Fred Ebb, Leonard Bernstein, Louis Moreau Gottschalk, and Paul Jabara.
Bring your own picnic lunch and blanket and make an afternoon of it.

While you’re at the cemetery, stick around for the post-concert trolley tour, led by Green-Wood historian Jeff Richman and traveling to the cemetery’s most interesting spots, learn more about its permanent residents, and take in one of the best views of the Manhattan skyline in Brooklyn.

Memorial Day Concert at Green-Wood Cemetery [25th Street and Fifth Avenue, (718) 768-7300], May 31 at 2:30 pm. Free. Memorial Day Trolley Tour to follow at 4:30 pm. Tickets $10. Reservations recommended. For info, visit


The BKLYN Yard in Gowanus isn’t just a great space to boogie on a Sunday afternoon, thanks to its premiere DJ dance series Sunday Best; it also boasts some top-notch foodie events, starting with Parked on May 31.

Get full on great eats from the city’s best food trucks, including traveling pizza vendor Pizzamoto, selections from the Greenpoint Food Market vendors, and Rickshaw Dumplings for the main event. For dessert, there’s almost too much to choose from, from Steve’s Key Lime Pie to Robicelli Cupcakes to Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream (which has branched out into a permanent space, with a store in Greenpoint). To help wash it all down, try the freshly made drinks from the Green Pirate Juice Truck.

Parked at BKLYN Yard (388 Carroll St. between Bond and Nevins streets in Gowanus, no phone), May 31 from 2-9 pm. For info, visit


There will be dancing in the street this Memorial Day, thanks to BAM’s DanceAfrica festival.
Dance troupes from Zambia, Dallas, Philadelphia and Brooklyn’s own BAM/Restoration DanceAfrica Ensemble will entertain at the Fort Greene venue, performing traditional dance and music to hip hop.

The day will also feature film screenings, an art exhibition, and an outdoor bazaar, with nearly 300 vendors from around the world transforming the streets around BAM into a global marketplace offering African, Caribbean, and African-American food, crafts and fashion.

Truth be told, the African cultural festival doesn’t really have anything to do with Memorial Day, but it’s not a bad way to spend your day off.

DanceAfrica at BAM [30 Lafayette Ave. between Ashland Place and St. Felix Street in Fort Greene, (718) 636-4100], May 31. Times and ticket costs vary. For info, visit


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