Tag: Brooklyn

Shipwrecked NYC is an Amazing Mini Golf Interactive Pirate Adventure

Shipwrecked NYC is an Amazing Mini Golf Interactive Pirate Adventure

Shipwrecked NYC is an indoor miniature golf course located in Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY. Featuring a storyline, prop design, and a hill course, this mini golf experience is perfect for kids and adults.

Shipwrecked Miniature Golf (Interactive Pirate Adventure) in Red Hook Brooklyn NY
Shipwrecked Miniature Golf (Interactive Pirate Adventure) in Red Hook Brooklyn NY

Theater majors should always make miniature golf courses if this will be the end result.

I was at first skeptical of an indoor mini golf course. Mini golf is about waterfalls and being outside in the sweltering heat with zero shade and being able to laugh at all the other golfers and kids crying and mosquitoes that you can swat at with the club. Wouldn’t indoor mini golf lose all that? Well, yes. And in exchange we get an interactive adventure with a story and a plot and scenes! What a way to golf!

Think of this as a very small-scale children’s version of something like Sleep No More. As you golf, you are immersed into a story of a fellow pirate who sunk his ship while looking for treasure. On your golf-pirate-adventure journey, you travel underwater, then trek through a jungle, get lost in some caves, and finally find treasure. It is designed for both kids and adults because there are a lot of puns and dad jokes. We went as two adults and had a blast.

This is a traditional hills miniature golf course. The owners of Shipwrecked NYC bought a mini golf course in Maryland that was being torn down. They purchased everything then relocated all the holes to Brooklyn. The course is easy but still fun. You are definitely not losing anything with the added indoor experience.

I can’t find it now, but while reading up about the course and it’s owners, I found a fascinating interview with them. In it, they said that they just want to make people “smile, laugh, and have fun”. Shipwrecked NYC definitely accomplishes all of that!

Indoor Mini Golf Brooklyn Style

The four areas I describe above are designed as scenes. Each scene (underwater, jungle, caves, treasure) is in a separate room with four miniature golf holes set up.

First Scene: Jungle
First Scene: Jungle
Second Scene: Jungle
Second Scene: Jungle
Fourth Scene: Treasure
Fourth Scene: Treasure (Third scene was Caves but it was hard to take a photo)

The golfing part is traditional and fun. Everything is about a par 2-3. The rooms themselves are extremely immersive since they are all separate. Because the experience includes a story, the golf course is closed off from the main lobby. Where in traditional outdoors mini golf, you can see everyone on the course, here you can’t. We always had every room to ourselves. Not because it wasn’t busy, but because that boosted the experience. At 1pm on a Saturday we waited about 15-minutes to start. Not being able to see the course before starting also really adds to the excitement.

The story portion of Shipwrecked NYC is entirely optional and is at an extra charge. To hear the story features along the course, it is an extra $5 per game. This comes in the form of tokens ($1/token). You enter a token into certain set pieces along the course and get to hear more of the story. You have to do this! (figuratively, not literally). I cannot imagine going through this the first time without the story!

Getting to Red Hook

One of my favorite neighborhoods in Brooklyn is Red Hook and I have explored it several times already. Although Shipwrecked NYC is located closer to Gowanus than the main parts of Red Hook.

Shipwrecked NYC Hours & Location

You can take the F/G train and walk, or the B61 and walk, or take a car service (a cheap ride from most surrounding neighborhoods), or bike (a short ride from most areas in BK). It is located on Court St next to a lot of warehouses, apartment buildings, and an auto shop. Don’t worry, you’re in the right place. There is a sign out front though it might be hard to miss if you’re in a car or on a bike.

You will walk into what looks like a normal apartment building (and it is) where you have to take the elevator up to the second floor. There are signs all along the way pointing you in the direction of Pirate Adventure! There is an entrance area with lockers and I saw some scooters & strollers parked there. You might be able to leave your bike there, I’m not sure (there are not bike racks out front of the building).

While you’re in Red Hook, don’t forget to get a key lime pie and check out the pier!

Just a note, they sell some snacks and sodas but currently not alcohol.

shipwrecked_elevator

Shipwrecked NYC Details
Address: 621 Court St. , 2nd Fl. Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY
Hours: Mon-Thurs Noon-9pm; Fri noon-11pm; Sat 11am-11pm; Sun 11am-9pm
Price: Adults $14; Kids $10

Brooklyn Half Marathon 2015

Brooklyn Half Marathon 2015

This was my third Brooklyn Half and sixth half marathon in total. Last year, I began training too early and had lost a lot of my momentum by the month of the race. That was the first year I attempted actually training. I had a goal time and everything. I didn’t meet it. And I didn’t have a good race. I ran almost-PR’s for all my splits then completely gave up at Mile 10. I had nothing left. And walked most of the last three miles. I was miserable. It wasn’t even my worst time. But it was my worst experience.

For this year, I decided to go back to my training plan of Fuck It. This entails no consistent running schedule whatsoever. Some haphazard “long runs.” Zero pressure. It’s worked in the past so I actually had high hopes. Well, I was three-minutes slower this year than last year. But my overall experience was far better.

Last year, I did not run to the best of my ability. I gave in to my mental weaknesses. This year, I know I could not have ran that race any better. Unless I actually trained, of course. Going in with what I had, I never stopped when I didn’t need to. I never let myself get discouraged. And I really dug deep while struggling and continued when I didn’t want to. That felt good.

So my preparation for the 2015 BK Half included 17 total runs between January & May, the longest being 5-miles. I am not encouraging this. Especially if you are new new to running.


Training for the Mental Race

This year wasn’t about physical training. I already know how to deal with cramps, blisters, pacing, hydration, and dry-wicking material. Last year I let negative thoughts get the best of me and I did not want that to happen this year.

This year, I trained my brain to not sabotage me during the run. I actually wish I had done this in previous races because it helped more than anything else I’ve ever tried. It took a strategy. I came up with a plan of attack for when my doubts and worries come up in the late part of the race. I chose three ideas that could occupy my time and took some thinking.

The first idea I prepared was a current artsy project I’ve started working on for fun. It consists of multiple pages. So I broke down each page in my head. I thought about font, colors, layout, spacing, etc. The minute details were time-consuming to think about and a great distraction. The second idea was working through one of my NaNoWriMo stories. I thought about character development, plot points, sense, and the fictional world. This was another successful distraction because I really could get lost in the story world.

When I began to think Why am I doing this? I don’t even like running, I quickly told my brain “Stop!” Then paused for a second to bring back up what I was last thinking about in the project or story. “Okay, but what about the main character’s sister? Where does she fall in place.” By asking myself questions, it kept up a good distraction from negative thoughts. Or just thoughts about the physical pain I was in.


BK Half Recap

It was a cloudy Saturday. There were fears it was going to rain. It did, later on. Before the race even started, I had to stand in a 25-minute security line. Not a baggage check security line. Just a metal detector security line. … Even at this part I practiced my distraction exercises. I get so upset at ostentatious security. I often exert a lot of energy getting mad at people before a race starts. I didn’t want to make myself so upset this time. So while standing in this mandatory line for the most absurd reasons, I thought about my story to keep myself calm.

The rain held off until the race started (Wave 2). Within the first mile we could start to feel rain drops. Then it really started down pouring. We weren’t even in the park yet and it was raining hard. I’ve ran in the rain before but never during a half. I was prepared with a hat and dry-wicking everything. But it was pretty miserable. My hair was sticking to me. My clothes felt gross. My socks were now wet. There was mud and road gunk everywhere. Just kind of gross.

On the plus-side, the clouds remained the whole time. The run down Ocean Parkway is so boring. It’s flat. There aren’t too many spectators. There’s not much scenery. Since you’re on a highway, there is no shade, so this part is the worst when the sun is out. I was very grateful that it remained cloudy for the entire race.

I stretched a few times, for the first time during a half. I planned it out at certain mile markers and I really think it helped. Although my pace is slow, I only stopped to drink water and stretch. I was running the rest of the time. After the race, I felt fairly good and just had a normal Saturday.


To be honest here, the Great Saunter felt like more of a challenge and struggle than any Half Marthon I’ve ran. Two and a half hours is a joke compared to a 12-hour activity that actually takes up your entire day.

Jury Duty: What You Need To Know

Jury Duty: What You Need To Know

Brooklyn Supreme Court
Brooklyn Supreme Court

Recently, I was selected to be a juror on a civil trial. I had always wanted to be a juror and was looking forward to the experience. The common description of Jury Duty is “boring”, “inefficient”, and “a lot of waiting around.” I really thought those would be exaggerations but they weren’t.


Kings County Jury Summons for Civil Court
Kings County Jury Summons for Civil Court

Jury Summons

The process starts when you receive a jury summons in the mail. It can be for the State or Federal court. It can be for a Civil or Criminal trial. You don’t get to choose. The address for the specific courthouse will be on the summons. Along with a phone number for you to call the night before to see if they need you to come in.

In other states, I never had to actually go in when I received my summons. For this one, I did. I received a pink jury summons card for the Brooklyn Civil Courts. From what I can tell, everyone’s experience is different as it depends on the state, the way the courthouse is run, and even the particular judge of the case. So I’ll detail my personal experience but just keep in mind that your situation may vary.

The jury summons card instructed us to arrive at the courthouse at 8:30a. As a juror, every time you enter the Brooklyn Supreme Court, you have to go through a security check. Every time. In the morning. After lunch. Each day you attend court. It’s a pretty easy process, you can keep your coat on. Just remove your watch and belt. However, this of course can be a time consuming process so leave some time for this.

Once inside, you’ll proceed to the room number on your summons. In my case, it was one of the first rooms we saw, labeled Main Jury (room 260). In New York State, you are paid $40/day for jury duty if you are currently employed but your employer will not pay you while on jury duty. If you are a student, you will not get paid as you wouldn’t normally. Basically, if you’re missing work and losing money, you’ll get $40 for each day. Most full-time employment will pay at least 3 days for their employees. I am grateful that my employer covered my full time at jury duty.

What To Bring

You’ll spend the first hour and a half answering questions, filling out a survey, writing on your summons, then submitting your summons cards to the pool of juror names. Bring a pen. They kind of provide pencils but, really, it’s easier if you bring your own.

The court house hours are 9a-5p. If you do not get selected as a juror, it’s likely you will have to stay the entire time. Bring a plastic water bottle. You can bring in a full water bottle or any other drink (coffee) as long as it’s not a glass container.

You need to stay in the Main Jury room or the Juror’s Lounge in order to hear your name. Bring snacks/lunch or change for vending machines. You are given a lunch break from 1p-2:15p but you can’t leave the area otherwise. There are some vending machines so bring change or dollar bills. Also, if you go out for lunch, you will need to go through the security line again. You can’t reheat food or anything but you can easily bring snacks & a sandwich.

Starting at 10:30a, they begin calling names to go into the jury selection process for the different cases. Your name may be called right away, not until the afternoon, or not at all. This part is boring. You will have to simply wait around. Bring entertainment including books/smart device/laptop/etc. There is free wifi in the Main Jury room and throughout the court house.


waiting around in the jury selection room

The Selection Process

Throughout the day, you may hear your name called. You can hear names being called over the PA in the Main Jury, Juror’s Lounge, and bathroom inside the lounge. So you are confined to those three areas. Except during lunch. When you hear your name called, proceed to the room as directed in the announcement.

For each jury selection, they put 20 people in a room, randomly select 10 of them to question as potential jurors, then select 6 to be jurors on the case and 2 as alternates.

If you get selected as a juror, you will be officially assigned to the case, sworn in to the court, then dismissed for the day. The clerk will tell you when your trial starts and what time to return to the court. It could be the next day or it could be two weeks from now.

If you were not selected as a juror, you are dismissed to go back into the Main Jury room. You are not discharged from jury duty. Your name goes back into the pool of available jurors and you may get called again for a different case.

Again, your experience may be different depending on the type of court you are in and the type of case. This pertains to my experience at a civil court.

Being a Juror on a Trial

I was selected as a juror on a civil trial, breach of contract case. We were told the trial would take 3-4 days. It ended up taking 6 days – non-consecutively. The break in my usual routine was more annoying than anything else. Some days we had to be to the court house at 9a, some days 11:30a, and some days not at all. So you really have to pay attention to the judge for your next directions.

The trial itself is far more boring than what you see on TV. The main reason is that most of the lawyer’s bickering cannot take place in front of a jury. The jury can only base their decision based on questions that have been asked and answered and documents in evidence. So if anything else is discussed, it is not for the jury’s ears. So a lot of times, we sat in the court room for merely minutes before being asked to leave again so the lawyers can argue. Also, on TV it shows the lawyers going up to the judge to bicker but for us that happened out in a hallway so we didn’t hear it.

When not in the court room, we have to wait in the deliberation room. This was a very small room without decoration, one table and eight chairs, some windows, and a bathroom. We cannot leave that room except for lunch or other special permission. The officer of the court was like our chaperon the entire time. She would bring us into the deliberation room, follow us out, lead us into the court room, etc.


jury booth in a court room

The Verdict

The deliberations process was far more serious than I had expected. To request any sort of evidence, we needed to write it on official paper as a standardized request. Then we wrote our verdict on a worksheet of sorts that was specially created for the case. Also unlike the movies, the jury foreman did not read off the verdict; the judge did. Apparently this depends on the judge.

For my case specifically, we found the defendant guilty of breach of contract. Not only did we have to decide guilty versus not guilty, but we also had to write down the amount of money the defendant owed the plaintiff. This meant reading pieces of evidence like contracts, deeds, addendums, receipts, etc. Fun times.

With all that said, I am very grateful to live in a country where we have this type of justice system in place. Sure, it’s broken most the time. But in this case, two men were bickering over money and a jury of their peers was brought in to solve the problem. I actually am glad to have performed my civic duty. And also glad that I don’t have to do it for another seven years.