Looking to break out of the usual Smorgasburg / Mermaid Parade pattern this weekend?

Out in the Rockaways tonight (6/17), ukelele master Lorena Leigh leads a music jam at sunset around a campfire.

Bring your bathing suit for a dip at dark. Or, a guitar for the campfire songs.

Saturday (6/18), if the Mermaid Parade seem too far afield, the Oxtail Picnic in Bed-Stuy has oxtail stew, steam fish, and a backyard bash where the crowd is “not too stoosh to shake their ass on the dancefloor,” as the event’s Facebook page puts it. Esteemed DJ P.U.D.G.E. presides.

Details for both events, and how to get there, inside.


We’ll start with the easier option, distance-wise. The Oxtail Picnic is just a 20-minute bike ride down Leonard or Graham, or the B43 bus there from Manhattan Ave. in Greenpoint.

If you have not been to a street-hop Brooklyn block takeover, here’s your chance to see it without the overhype but still a great crowd. Expect bodacious soca, funk, and rap tracks, good food (event is free, but bring cash for Carib cuisine), plus at least one group dance.

One fan on the event’s Facebook page commanded her friends, “Ladies, we expect very poor behavior” then attached this video for clarity.

Center of the festivities is 305 Halsey Street. The event starts at 4 pm on Saturday and ends at 9 pm. Or thereabouts.

For the campfire event tonight, admittedly, heading to the Rockaways today is a big trip. There is no one simple transit option to get there. Your best bet is if you have a bike, or work near the A train.

Your A train option is the easiest. Just slip on the train after work, open up something entertaining on your smart phone, and in one hour you will be at the beach. The campfire session starts at 7 pm and runs until 9 pm.

House in Neponsit

From the Beach 116th Street stop, you can take the Q35 bus or a $10 taxi to Jacob Riis park, or just walk about 30 minutes through leafy Neponsit along the water.

For you bikers, it’s an especially nice day to be on the bike. If you freelance and are getting restless, just haul your bike on the L train around now, take it 25 minutes to the last stop in Canarsie, then take a short set of back streets to the lovely bike path that carries you eventually over the Marine Parkway Bridge.

For the return trip, non-bikers should take the Q35 bus over the Marine Parkway Bridge to the IRT subways at Brooklyn College. Take the IRT to Atlantic Ave., then just pick up a $15 cab home from there. You’ll zoom home on the BQE in about 10 minutes.

Bridge to Riis Park

Bikers have a great option home via Ocean Parkway, Prospect Park, and the Vanderbilt Ave. connector to Kent Ave., all by protected bike path. However it will be late, and dark, so just follow the waterfront bike path to Sheepshead Bay, enjoy a great dinner at Randazzo’s or Liman, then hop on the BMT subway line to Atlantic Ave., where you are a 15-minute bike ride away from home on relatively well-lit streets.

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