Atlantic City Comes to Carroll Gardens

Brooklyn Exposed hosted a screening of the HBO series season finale "Boardwalk Empire" at the Green Building on Union Street.

Drinking cocktails and dressing up while watching the season finale of a period specific television show is all the rage. Elizabeth Kingman and Courtney Wagner are co-worker's at the American Museum of Folk Art and had the idea to throw a season finale viewing party for the HBO show Boardwalk Empire after attending a similar party for Mad Men.

"We love the show, and we thought how fun it would be to watch it with a lot of other people who are into it," said Kingman. They partnered with Brooklyn Exposed to stage the screening, which included performances from the dance troupe, Brooklyn Follies.

First, they had to find a location. With its exposed brick, chandeliers and vintage pick-up truck installed on the premises, The Green Building at 450 Union Street was perfect for a viewing of the show, which stars Steve Buscemi as the kingpin of Prohibition-era decadence in Atlantic City. 

Akiva Reich, 32, The Green Building's owner, said he'd been wanting to host more community events at the building. When Wagner said she wanted to put on an event, Reich gave her free reign to plan something. 

The well-orchestrated event featured the screening of the show as well as a costume contest. To satiate the hungry party-goers there was a bar, a hot dog stand -- selling genuine Nathan's Hot Dogs -- and a popcorn cart. During the show the event's popcorn girl took up a caddy of candy and went around the room selling it. The audience drank Red Hook Six Point Ale and the evening's signature cocktail was the Rye Brooklyn, a potent mix of rye, vermouth, and maraschino. 

About two-thirds of the attendees themselves had rigorously followed the party's protocol and were clad in full-on Roaring Twenties gear.

That level of commitment would have gone to waste without a commemorative picture, but luckily John Kingman, 31, was manning a photo booth. He was decked out in a thematically appropriate suit he said he bought "sophomore year of high school, for a dance."

The costume contest took place before the screening. Gideon Levy, 28, was the night's M.C. and asked all but one of the contestants the same question. 

"If you were an enterprising young man in the 1920s, how would go about getting into the liquor business?"  

When Laura Picarelli, 35, took the stage to pose in her full-on flapper gear, Levy instead queried, "If you were an enterprising young man in the 1920s, who would you have voted for? Just kidding, you couldn't vote!"

Despite the restrictions on women's rights back then, Picarelli thinks the show and story are a thrill.

"I love the show, it's very well researched," she said. "It's interesting to see how Atlantic City really figured into Prohibition. It's such a great era, and nobody's tapped into it."

After the screening was over, everyone filed out of Atlantic City and back onto the streets of Carroll Gardens. It was just another night in Brooklyn.


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