We are in the throes of a cruel summer, with a mixture of record-breaking temperatures and unbreathable air currently awaiting us outside of our air-conditioned work bubbles. It was probably a lot cooler in the 1980s, before we broke the planet, and when Bananarama shot this video for "Cruel Summer" in Brooklyn.
Shot in the summer of 1983, the video takes place around DUMBO, specifically the area over by Grimaldi's. You'll see the auto body shop (still there, under a different name), the steep hill leading up to Brooklyn Heights, the ice cream light house (then abandoned), and the area that has now been transformed into Pier 1 of Brooklyn Bridge Park.
In Rob Tannenbaum's I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution, band member Siobhan Fahey recalled, "It was just an excuse to get us to the fabled city of New York for the first time. It was August, over one hundred degrees. Our HQ was a tavern under the Brooklyn Bridge, which had a ladies' room with a chipped mirror where we had to do our makeup."
While there they met some local dockworkers, who shared their cocaine with the trio, who claim they had never tried it before that moment—"We were exhausted and they gave us very generous bumps. That was our lunch. When you watch that video, we look really tired and miserable in the scenes we shot before lunch, and then the after-lunch shots are all euphoric and manic." We're trying to track down what tavern this was, and will update when we find out more. Until then, enjoy this look at summer in DUMBO, before it was commonly called that: