For more than three decades, Brooklynites have gathered on Atlantic Avenue once a year to celebrate themselves and each other. The Atlantic Antic is Brooklyn’s biggest community event, an opportunity for the residents of several diverse neighborhoods to come out, meet and mingle.
It is a time to learn about (and join) community groups, cultural groups and polticial groups of every stripe and respresenting every cause.
It is a chance for kids to follow their passions. A parking lot is turned into a playground. Face-painters, balloon twisters and pony rides abound. Civic-minded kids set up stands to raise money for victims of Hurricane Katrina and sell lemonade to benefit childhood cancer.
It is the time to dance. Throughout the Antic, the air is filled with music as bands perform country, rock, oldies, middle eastern, hip-hop and folk from stages and in front of bars.
It is an opportunity to find bargains. Retailers bring their merchandise outside. Artisans and craftspeople show off their wares and make connections.
It is the day to eat. The doors of the Avenue’s many restaurants open their doors and food vendors from elsewhere join them. Walk a few blocks and you’ll be able to sample Barbeque, British, French, Italian, Korean, Chinese, Indian, Thai, Lebanese, Egyptian, Greek, Palestinian, Jamaican, Hatian, Soul Food, Spanish, Mexican and a host of other cuisines. Must your food be vegan, halal, kosher, fat-free, salt-free or wheat-free? Don’t worry, there’s plenty available here, no matter what you prefer, for little or no money.