a Brooklyn weekend

June 25, 2012 |  Category:   life nyc

Did you know that we had a mini heat wave last week? Three days of above 90 degree temps (which was the reason why there were brownouts in our kitchen neighborhood). But by the time the weekend rolled around, the weather was pleasant after some of the craziest thunderstorms on Friday that I have seen in recent memory.


All of Saturday was spent outside. Mia and I went to the Farmer’s Market after dropping Claudine off at a birthday party and we took a trip to the library to borrow some books for the upcoming week. She was indecisive so I picked out some books that I loved reading as a kid: All-Of-A-Kind Family, A Little Princess, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. We spent the rest of the day crashing our friend’s block party a few streets down. Perched on their brownstone stoop for most of the day and evening, I watched the neighborhood kids run around in bathing suits and water guns, whiz by on scooters and skateboards, draw with chalk in the middle of the street while adults sat around drinking wine and beers, listening to live music and talking about how fast the school year passed.


At night, the fireflies came out and the girls went firefly hunting. When it got pitch dark, E.T. was projected on a huge screen and we sat on tarps in the middle of the street. The kids were tired as the movie ended past 11pm, but they sat there with eyes glued to the screen, especially during the last half hour. I saw Mia look over at us now and then with a grin on her face.
Welcome to summer. It doesn’t really get more New York than this.

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  • 3lin June 25, 2012 at 1:44 am

    How did you make the jpark flares picture? Look amazing.

  • Kris June 25, 2012 at 3:00 am

    Some recs for your little girl:

    Anne of Green Gables
    Little Women
    The Chronicles of Narnia
    A Wrinkle in Time

    I can’t wait for my kindergartener to be big enough for these books 🙂

  • Liz June 25, 2012 at 4:27 am

    Wow. I think it’s moments like this that make great memories and I’m sure your girls will say, at some point in years to come, ‘…you remember when…’.

    And as for the weather… well, I’d really like just a tiny bit of that warmth here as London is wet. Very wet.

  • Roseann June 25, 2012 at 5:00 am

    That all sounds idyllic.

  • Laura Hueto Puig June 25, 2012 at 5:24 am

    Wow… I can totally see it all pictured in my head! 🙂

  • gail June 25, 2012 at 7:06 am

    How is it arranged that the whole block gets closed to traffic and a movie screen suspended?

  • Jenna June 25, 2012 at 9:46 am

    @3lin it was taken with an iphone looking straight into the sunset. no special affects.

  • Jenna June 25, 2012 at 9:48 am

    @gail you apply for a permit with the city to block off the street with a barricade for the day for block parties. Quite common here.

  • Melissa@Julia's Bookbag June 25, 2012 at 10:59 am

    FABULOUS Jenna — the post, the pictures, the FUN. While I’m not in any hurry for my 6 yr old to grow up, my heart beats faster when I think of the wonderful books in store for her. Your pics are some big favorites of mine. I adored All-of-a-Kind Family!

    Not sure if she’s quite old enough but my biggest loves when I was 8-10 were Noel Streatfeild’s ‘Shoes’ book series. ‘Ballet Shoes’ is seriously my favorite book from my childhood. Also, I loved the entire ‘Oz’ series around that age.

  • Candace June 25, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    I remember All of a Kind Family! Wow! That takes me back…….of course the Little House series by Laura Ingalls is a must read, especially the later books, By the Shores of Silver Lake, The Long Winter and Little Town on the Prairie.

    Is she too old for Encyclopedia Brown?

  • Nina June 25, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    So lovely – all of it. The books, the block party, the chalk and the fireflies and the outdoor movie. 🙂

  • Jenna June 25, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    @Candace – yes, she has read all the Little House books.
    @Kris yes, we will probably get through those books too – she read a Wrinkle in Time this year.

  • Jen June 25, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    I just love this. I think there’s so many people who don’t realize how great the quieter aspects of NY can be. And E.T. still tugs at my heart strings after all these years.

  • Nancy June 25, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    I devoured All of A Kind Family when I was a kid and I’m always surprised, as an adult, to learn that it was not just little Jewish girls that liked the books. 🙂

  • Sora June 25, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Wow, your post pretty much sums up why you love living where you do. Sounds wonderful!

  • Rebecca June 25, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Oh it sounds like such a perfect day !
    Block parties just don’t exist in Paris… 🙁
    And I was just saying yesterday that I’d love to see E.T projected outside !!
    Enjoy these summer wonders, and by the way, the first picture is magical !

  • Ali June 25, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    I love this post. I am pregnant and moving to BK soon and am so looking forward to experiencing the neighborly-type things you often write about. Such a lovely day.

  • mickie June 25, 2012 at 6:46 pm


  • Tricia June 25, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    I also loved the All-of-A-Kind Family books. I have two boys and they won’t read them. “girl books,” they say. So I guess I will just read them again.

  • Christine Witt (Brush Dance) June 25, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    Sounds like a lovely weekend.

    It was hot like the devil here in the SF Bay area weekend before last (and most people don’t have a/c, including us), but it’s back to normal now – gorgeous and in the 70s.

  • Leslie June 25, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    Great glimpse into your day….so very lovely.

  • Dana Youlin June 25, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    so beautiful, jenna!

  • l o v e l y t h i n g s June 26, 2012 at 1:16 am

    I have to say…that sounds pretty cool. A perfect NY summer day and night.

  • Erin June 26, 2012 at 1:38 am

    I loved this post, Jenna. The books of your childhood, sitting on the stoop, the kids playing in the street, the movie on a big screen {ET is the first movie I remember seeing in the theatre, and I adored it}, all of it. Sounds like the perfect start to summer.

  • notsurebut June 26, 2012 at 4:56 am

    Pure bliss, if we tried this in London at the moment we’d all drown. Could I just recommend the Moomin Tove Jansson books for your girls I still love them she also wrote for adults too you may like?

  • Meghann @ Fuzzy.Little.Wishballs June 26, 2012 at 10:30 am

    It sounds better than the movies! haha.

  • Sharon @ Currently Coveting June 26, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Summer in Brooklyn is pretty amazing. I’m sure that the girls will remember these long summer days and neighborhood adventures with much fondness.

  • betty June 26, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Sounds like a lovely weekend. I love your description of the movie- having never been to New York, this makes me want to visit even more!

  • Heidi June 26, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    Hey Jenna, I was visiting Brooklyn this weekend and was kind of hoping I’d see you around and about. Kind of like celebrity stalking but it’s just as absurd as me running into someone I know running errands at home (Northern VA). Wonderful place, Brooklyn was – my husband and I had dinner at Scalino and really enjoyed it! Thanks for your blog!

  • kay w. July 10, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    the fireflies!!! oh man, another fond, fond memory of mine from the city growing up. i remember how bummed i was when we moved to washington when i realized there were no fireflies in that part of the country…it was always something my mom and i (or really me running around while my mom rolled her eyes) used to do at the playgrounds at night, how psyched i’d be to catch just a few of them in a jar and how bummed i was the next day when they’d all be dead. we’ve been here since october and while i know they’re mostly only present during summer months, i realized i only saw my fire firefly since being back in the city a couple months ago and strange how little memories like that flood back so suddenly.