Camping in Brooklyn? Oh, you bet. And no, I don’t mean pitching a tent in a BedStuy backyard or pitching a tent on a Greenpoint rooftop (although would I do that? Not no).
I mean renting an actual campsite at Floyd Bennett Field, the southeasternmost point of BK in Jamaican Bay. Floyd was NYC’s first ever airstrip, so that’s cool, and is especially famous for its role in WWII, testing and flying US Air Force planes to the sites of combat.
Most of the people I know who live in New York City can’t see themselves living anywhere else, but at the same time get serious nature cravings. Floyd B was a thirty-minute drive from Crown Heights, vs. the hour + it takes to camp upstate. That was definitely cool.
I ventured to the original FBF with the band Deep Sea Brain and our friend V to film a music video. Suzi, the bandleader, booked the space but the rest of our minds were pretty blown by its existence. The campsite itself looks like the middle of Nebraska, with nary a subway rat or bodega to hint that you’re still in fact in an NYC borough.
We rented a cluster of three little campsites in a secluded part of the field which was perfect for filming. The sites came with huge fire pits which made for a delicious dinner and s’mores fest.
There IS a bus that goes to Floyd Bennett, but if you’re able to rent a car it’s worth it. Luckily for us, the band had a Honda van that we could load our stuff into. It even came with a variety box of Lays’ chips.
We were visited by a local raccoon at 4:30am, which unfortunately I do not have a photo of. He was very dexterous and was really interested in our water bottles. Who says NYC doesn’t have wildlife??
The next morning, once art was made, we broke down the tents and drove a quick ten minutes to Jacob Riis beach. Yet another perk of the location!
I’d never been to Jacob Riis before, and it was super fun. Not as pristine as Robert Moses or the Hamptons, but much cleaner than Coney Island. The boardwalk had a bunch of mobile vintage stores, live music, and all manner of food and drink.
Summer is heading to a close, but there are definitely a few warm weekends left. If you’re in NYC, I would highly recommend a Floyd B/ Jake R adventure. You’ll feel like you’re in a different state while still being only a short drive away from the nearest coffee and bagel place.