Star gazing has been the province of the smart since the beginning of recorded history. Being in New York City, you probably don’t get to see much of the stars because of the excess light pollution. That’s where Floyd Bennet Field comes in: one Friday a month, the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York hosts a star gazing extravaganza at the least light-polluted park in the city. As they say on their website:
Members bring telescopes and binoculars through which anyone can look. Instruction on how to find objects in the night sky is provided.
It runs from 8pm -10pm on Friday, May 25th and costs absolutely nothing. What’s more is that you get to visit Floyd Bennet Field which has a regular bounty of New York history. Here’re some interesting gems:
Tip: Decant some wine at home and bring it for the party. Or, Three Thieves makes great white and red wines and packs them in 250 ml Bandit Bullet “juice boxes” which are $2.50 (online). The liter boxes are about $10. We’ve found both for the same prices at local liquor stores. The four-pack would be perfect. Order a few online to have around for other activities.
Tip: Pack a small spread of food so that you can have a wine, olives and cheese spread (that’s a spread of the aforementioned items, not a “cheese spread”, although those are also delicious). I’d suggest making it small because the last thing you want is telescope wielding star-children asking you for it. Although, I suppose if you’re trolling for people to bring into your relationship who have huge telescopes, then pack away.
Tip: Bring a blanket, pillow, and/or maybe a sweatshirt. It’s still pretty cool on May nights, so plan accordingly.
Tip: Remember, this is stargazing — there are going to be other people there, so don’t be surprised when it turns out that this isn’t your own totally private airfield.
This one you’re going to want to do by car, if you can. Ultimately, you could try to do it by train, but you’d end up with a pissed-off date (and rightfully so — two transfers, a 3 mile walk to the observation site and then no ride home isn’t romantic: it’s obnoxious and stupid):
Belt Parkway to Exit 11S; take Flatbush Avenue south to the main entrance. You’re going drive from the main entrance to the model airplane field. See this map of the grounds (PDF) for details.
IRT #2 (also #5 at rush hours) to Flatbush Avenue. Take Q35 bus to park. Ask driver to let you off at the main entrance. And then you’re walking about three miles, buddy. Enjoy!
EDIT: This is not to be confused with Friday Night Fights, which are also awesome, but in a far less cosmic sort of way.