For the melophile, live music is in no short supply in this neighborhood. You’ll find your everyday spots hosting local talent on the regular and you’ll find your intimate classical concert. You’ll find your world-renowned headliner names and the more avant-garde performers. Each season fills the neighborhood with its own soundtrack.
In 1977, violinist Olga Bloom had a tugboat towing an old coffee barge park it in an abandoned spot nestled right next to the Brooklyn Bridge. That same year, she’d go on to turn it into an intimate music hall, using reclaimed wood from a decommissioned Staten Island Ferry to clad the interior so when guests would come aboard to experience classical music, they would feel they’re stepping into the belly of a violin. Aboard the barge, guests are invited to enjoy established and emerging classical musicians perform against the backdrop of the active East River and lower Manhattan. One highlight to keep an eye out for most every year is New York Times architecture critic—and evidently brilliant concert pianist‚—Michael Kimmelman’s holiday-time performance. But any night aboard during any season is assuredly a special experience.
Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM)
The robust programming of nonprofit performing and cinema arts center BAM is internationally recognized and locally loved for its first-run, independent films, avant-garde theater, and music and dance performances. More than likely, you’ll be coming here on multiple occasions in any given year, but no two experiences will ever be close to the same.
Public Records is many things, but maybe we’ll start introducing it as a listening bar. The airy main space of Public Records—one that recalls Berlin more than Brooklyn, perhaps—is a hi-fi record bar with a custom-outfitted sound system setting the scene for an all-vegan restaurant and full bar focused on encouraging an inclusive and less alcohol-obsessed nightlife scene (the drinks menu features a handful of low-ABV cocktails along with sake and vermouth on tap, in addition to the expected serving of craft cocktails and natural wine, etc.). In the front, you’ll be greeted by a small magazine and vinyl shop and coffee counter. In the back, through a separate entrance, you’ll discover the Sound Room, which hosts live acts and a DJs. Great spot for dancing. Great spot to return to again and again, day or night.
This massive multi-purpose arena is for big concerts by the some of the world’s biggest names in music. The Barclays Center is also home to the Brooklyn Nets and New York Liberty, and hosts a number of competitive sporting events throughout the year as well.
A reliable and romantic addition to your date night venue rotation, Cafe Paulette is set right along the side of Fort Greene Park and serves cocktails, natural wine, oysters, and a full restaurant menu. On Tuesday evenings, they welcome the neighborhood to free live jazz nights featuring local musicians.