If you missed the boat on Amy Poehler’s sold-out rooftop film festival at the McKittrick Hotel, buck up: we just got word that Greta Gerwig is bringing outdoor movies to Rockaway. The folks behind The Palms tell us that the mumblecore muse is curating films for the palm-tree-dotted sandbox they plan to open in the next couple of weeks.
The Palms was originally slated to open last month, but the sand-packed plot on Beach 96th Street was still coming together yesterday when we stopped by to check it out. At the moment, the swimwear and surf gear store that fashion DJ May Kwok will operate out of a shipping container is squatting in a house across the street.
Still, The Palms plans to pack a lot into the dog days of summer, starting with a July 25 art-show opening in the back house that’s home to Topless gallery. And then there’s this: Frank Traynor, who operated a hidden art shop, The Perfect Nothing, in Greenpoint and Bushwick, is repurposing his wooden shack so that up to four people at a time can take mud baths in it (rates should be somewhere around $7 for 15 minutes). And if that isn’t restorative enough, Rockaway locals Yoga on the Rocks may be offering massages as well as classes.
Of course, there’ll be food as well. Fernando Aciar of O Cafe, who has been serving milanesa sandwiches across the street at The Summer Shift, will have a “coco shack” offering coconut juice, smoothies and Latin American snacks. And there’ll be pop-up dinners: The MP Shift, which is handling the programming, has been talking to “pizza Nazi” Whitney Aycock of Whit’s End and Camille Becerra, who on Thursday starts her four-week stint across the street at The Summer Shift.
The team is also in talks with Noho’s own Dashwood Books and MoMA PS1 about selling product, and with Downtown Records and Williamsburg’s Kinfolk about putting on events with DJs and live performers. Confirmed vendors include Feather, selling crafty clothing and home goods curated by stylists Seble Maaza and Maria Ines Prieto.
Anna Polonsky, co-founder of The MP Shift, stressed that The Palms’ founder, David Selig of Rockaway Taco and Edgemere Farm, “wants to keep it intimate, low-key,” since this year is really just a test run. The space fits 200 (there’ll be seating on top of the shipping containers), but the pop-up dinners will likely gather just a few dozen people around the parrilla.
That said, it’s safe to assume there’ll be a rush on the outdoor films picked by Gerwig, best known for her turns in the films of Joe Swanberg and boyfriend Noah Baumbach. The lineup of films “about cities in flux and generational breaks” still hasn’t been finalized, but we hear a Woody Allen flick is in the mix.