Sponsored by Chelsea Hotels
Throughout the summer, Brooklyn Magazine is teaming up with the McCarren Hotel & Pool to give local creatives a two-night staycation and show us around some of their favorite spots in the neighborhood. The McCarren Hotel provides an exciting urban retreat with an ideal location overlooking in one of Brooklyn’s most exciting neighborhoods. Featuring a rooftop bar, one of New York City’s largest outdoor swimming pools, pitchers of signature cocktails, and sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline, McCarren Hotel & Pool has something for every traveler, every season.
You’ll notice that even on the brightest, sunniest days, Chris DeMairo doesn’t wear sunglasses. Preferring a Yankees ballcap to shades, DeMairo puts it simply: “Working in a dark room all day, I never want to see sunglasses,” he says. “I want to see things, be in the sunshine any chance I get!”
That’s why the 21-year old photographer and retoucher for Major League Baseball (hence the hat) spends as much time exploring his borough. No stranger to Brooklyn, his family grew up in Bergen Beach, Brooklyn; he stayed in the city to attend the School of Visual Arts before striking out on his own. When he’s not photographing celebrities or setting up shoots, he’s exploring his borough and home base of Bushwick with his live-in boyfriend and 12-year old pug, George.
Like most New Yorkers, DeMairo leads a pretty nonstop schedule: running a photography business while working for the MLB leaves very little time for travel and vacations. A quick staycation at the McCarren Hotel was just what this on-the-fly photographer needed.
But first, coffee: we head just a few blocks towards the river to grab a cold brew from Kinfolk 90, necessary on a steamy Saturday morning. DeMairois instantly taken with the bright color scheme on the wall behind him, and the outdoor window to the sidewalk, perfect for snapping photos while sipping on a coffee.
Next, brunch. Jeana DeMairo suggests Aurora for an outdoor brunch, and the giant, leafy enclosure certainly holds up to that end of the bargain. It’s all mimosas, crusty bread dipped in olive oil, and Eggs Norwegian for the table.
It’s a quick two blocks to Grand Ferry Park on the waterfront, where DeMairo went to take in the view. “I love to be on the water,” DeMairo says. “It’s nice that this is so easily accessible, too.”
Walking back to the McCarren Hotel, we pop into a new design store we’ve never seen, BEAM. After lusting over just about every home item imaginable, DeMairo picks out a black glossy coffee mug with some bold life advice. Imprinted on the mug: “Love your fucking job. … Carve your own fucking path. … Fail, fail, and fucking fail again.”
A quick stop at 50 Kent on the waterfront, as no staycation in Brooklyn is complete without a little spontaneous music festival–and a ferris wheel ride. “It’s cool that there’s so much live music [in the neighborhood],” says DeMairo. “It’s cool being around people who are just happy to be out.”
Back in the cool air-conditioning of the McCarren Hotel, DeMairo grabs his camera and heads instantly to the roof for a quick respite from the heat. Snapping photos of the pool party happening below, it’s peacefully quiet and serene for a yuzu margarita and a few glasses of wine.
Of course, DeMairo knows that his staycation may have to include a few more hours of retouching work. But at least, he says with a laugh, “I can do it from that big, cozy bed.”