Though the murky waters of the Newtown Creek off Greenpoint are on their way to cleaner days, the Superfund site still has a sort of intoxicating (or toxic) beauty. All this month, the Newtown Creek Armada—a public art project featuring nine model boats fitted with waterproof cameras and mics—has been allowing Creek visitors to get a glimpse into the fetid waters and see what lies beneath. This Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. is the last time visitors will be able to pilot the tiny boats and see the oil slicks, sewage overflows and floating debris up close.
To close out the project, organizers have several special events happening this weekend in conjunction with the Armada. On Saturday, artist George Trakas leads a walking tour of the Newtown Creek Nature Walk and Atlas Obscura will stop by the site as part of their Greenpoint Field Trip Day. Then on Sunday, Neighbors Allied For Good Growth will lead a Gunk Under Greenpoint biking tour and you can take a free canoe tour and water advocacy session with North Brooklyn Boat Club. If you can't make it to the site in person, catch the video installation at the Dumbo Arts Festival.
Also this weekend:
Speaking of the Dumbo Arts Festival, the weekend-long outdoor art fest returns to the nabe with 500 artists of every persuasion presenting their works to an eager public. See Eve Bailey's "Entasis Dance," where dancers perform on "tall totemic sculptures" or see the NYC pigeon represented in 29 figurative paintings by George Gilliland. It's well worth wandering this veritable playground of art for an evening; the installations and exhibitions will be on view from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Calling all heat seekers to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden this Saturday for the 20th anniversary of the Chile Pepper Fiesta. Sample dozens of hot sauces, pickles, salsas and, of course, peppers, and watch fire juggling and listen to drum ensembles from Korea and Africa among other performances. A special section of the festival devoted to chocolate sees the diverse dessert paired with spices and peppers from across the globe. Buy your $15 ticket here to the fiery fiesta, which begins at 11 a.m. and goes until you reach for your first glass of milk or 6 p.m., whichever comes first.
Atlantic Avenue, one of Brooklyn's main arteries, once again hosts the largest street festival in the city on Sunday. The annual Atlantic Antic spans a mile of the thoroughfare, running through four different Brooklyn neighborhoods and serving as a "living tribute to the myriad of heritages that coexist" in the borough. It's also a rare opportunity to drink beer in the street. A variety of bands play on numerous outdoor stages, boutique vendors peddle their eccentric wares, and food stalls push everything from roasted corn to paella to fried fish. You can also climb aboard mobile time machines with the Transit Museum's retro bus display.