Rays of hope: Where to forget it is winter in Brooklyn

Brooklyn Paper
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Break out the coconut oil and give winter the middle finger! Here are five ways to pretend it’s not winter in Brooklyn:

Catch a buzz

There’s only one place in Brooklyn where you can feel the sand between your toes as you sip a Rumrunner in the middle of a February Nor’Easter, and that’s Williamsburg’s Surf Bar — the seafood shack’s floor is literally covered in beach sand, and bartenders specialize in drinks of the tiki and the frozen persuasion. Plus the owners have recently re-jiggered the menu with Polynesian- and Caribbean-inspired dishes.

Surf boards and tropical photos line the walls and ceilings, and the conspicuous lack of windows makes it very easy to forget you are a stone’s throw from the frigid East River. It’s just like a June afternoon in Coney Island — but with fewer discarded fishing hooks and whitefish!

Brooklyn Surf Bar [139 N 6th St. between Bedford and Berry avenues in Williamsburg, (718) 302–4441,]

Get a new coat

The only coat you’ll need at Cobble Hill Hawaiian-themed mani-pedi salon Pau Hana is made of nail polish. Paintings of hula dancers and Hawaiian shirts worthy of Marty Markowitz himself hang on the walls, and sun-kissed ukulele music will help you forget snow plows are grinding up and down Court Street just a few feet away.

The salon regularly gets love from Yelp reviewers for its chill Aloha-State vibes, and fashion blog Man Repeller listed it among the best “ethical” nail salons in the city.

Pau Hana [235 Court St, between Warren and Baltic streets in Cobble Hill, (347) 223–4224]

Brooklyn Hot-anic Garden

Take refuge in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s temperature-controlled plant sanctuaries. Let the Aquatic House and the Tropical and Desert pavilions — where winter temperatures can hit the low 80s — be your oases amid an increasingly brown and barren Prospect Park.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden [990 Washington Ave. between Empire Boulevard and Montgomery Street in Crown Heights, (718) 623–7200,].

Spin around the world

Make good on that New Year’s Resolution to shave off you Junior’s Cheesecake-induced spare tire while you take a trip across the globe at Imax Shift, which combines spin classes with a monster movie screen that makes you feel like you are pedaling through a Caribbean island, our reporter said.

“The visuals tricked me into thinking I was somehow defying gravity and riding across a tropical oasis,” said scribe Lauren Gill, who gave the gym a spin last year.

Imax Shift [127 Plymouth St. at Adams Street in Dumbo, (718) 858–1200,] Classes start at $31.

Bonus: Swim with sharks

Go see local surf songsters Shark? reunite at Shea Stadium on Jan. 14. Sure, the venue’s plywood-icicle decor might remind you that it’s five below outside, but Shark?’s anti-Beach Boys brand of garage-surf should melt your concerns away. Joining them are Staten Island post-punks Bueno, dream-poppers Holy Tunics, and sludge crooners Haybaby.

Shark? reunion show at Shea Stadium [20 Meadow St. between Waterbury and Bogart streets in East Williamsburg,] Jan. 14 at 8 pm. $8–$10.

For more hot tips, check out part one of this series.

Reach deputy editor Max Jaeger at or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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