Out Late: 9 ways to have the perfect Brat Summer in NYC

Everyone is trying to have a Brat Summer. What does that really mean?

Ian Kumamoto
Written by
Ian Kumamoto
Staff Writer
nyc skyline with green background
Illustration: By Onik Hossain for Time Out

"Out Late" is Time Out's nightlife and party column by DJ, Whorechata founder, and Staff Writer Ian Kumamoto, which publishes every other Tuesday. The previous edition highlighted Empanada Mama, the surprise hit for hottest gay bar in the city.

Charli XCX's "Brat" album is dominating the cultural zeitgeist, and if you're a nightlife-loving hot girl or twink who happens to live in Brooklyn, the puke-green spectre of "Brat" has likely engulfed your entire existence.

The obsession with Charli's groundbreaking new album has created plenty of discourse online about what it means to be a Brat and, more urgently, what it takes to have the perfect Brat Summer. Some creators on TikTok have taken it upon themselves to create Brat-proof lists. Things that are decidedly Brat-coded? Dirty martinis, skinny cigarettes, sunblock, Red Bulls, white tank tops and salads. Non-Brat things (read: uncool) include espresso martinis, vaping and poppers. Charli herself has said that a Brat summer can be anything you want it to be: You can make it luxurious, but it can also be trashy—ultimately, it's about having unabashed fun.

Things that are decidedly Brat-coded? Dirty martinis, skinny cigarettes, sunblock, Red Bulls, white tank tops and salads.

My own interpretation of "Brat" is that it's an album that celebrates people in their late twenties and early- to mid-thirties who have chosen clubbing not as a phase, but as a lifestyle—one that involves camaraderie, friendship, exuberant highs and the accompanying existential lows.

To have a Brat Summer, the first thing you need to do is to be a Brat. If we're going by the album's lyrics, that means someone who is unapologetically themselves, egotistical (with the caveat of that ego being a protective mechanism for being secretly insecure), and reckless. A Brat is someone who is imperfect, irate, but ultimately just wants to try and enjoy life at a time that can feel devoid of all meaning. Oh, and you also need to believe that you're hot.

New York is the quintessential Brat city, and we're not just saying that: Charli herself adopted New York and its "It girls" (Julia Fox, Richie Shazam, etc.) as the world on which her album is built. Her love of our city and Bushwick specifically became clear when she chose a warehouse in East Williamsburg to make her sold-out Boiler Room debut earlier this year. We decided to take some of the references from the album, Charli's recent appearances in the city, and our own loose interpretation of what a Brat Summer entails to compile a list of how to have the perfect Brat Summer in the city.

Here's our guide to have a Brat Summer in NYC

illustration of green brat billboard in city
Illustration: By Onik Hossain for Time Out

1. Drink a bottle of rose at Lot Radio and gawk at the Brat Wall. 

Across the street from Lot Radio in Greenpoint is the location Charli XCX chose as the "Brat wall," a neon green space that has advertised the album and each subsequent update (i.e. the extended album and the Lorde collab). The Brat wall has since garnered cult-like adoration and chances are there's someone on TikTok filming a livestream of it right now. Charli performed in front of the Brat wall and played a set at Lot Radio before dropping the album, which makes this the quintessential pilgrimage site for Brat fanatics. 

Lot Radio is the 24/7 online radio station, and its outdoor bar is open from 10am till midnight every day.

illustration of green iced matcha latte with brat sticker on it
Illustration: By Onik Hossain for Time Out

2. Get an iced matcha latte at Setsugekka in the East Village. 

True Brats need to stay caffeinated. How else are they gonna have the energy to send head-numbing emails after a long night of partying? In a city teeming with iced matcha lattes that are just okay, Setsugekka stands out as having some of the best quality versions of the drink in the entire city. They're pretty pricey, though. One will cost you $7 or more, depending on what you add to it, but there's something extremely Bratty about frivolous spending. 

3. Buy a joint at The Travel Agency (or a cigarette somewhere else)

Stop at The Travel Agency, one of our favorite weed shops in the city, for its focus on peace and relaxation. Even better: This is a woman and BIPOC-founded company that celebrates and supports BIPOC-owned, women-owned LGBTQIA+-owned brands and products.

4. Catch some sun at Union Square's neon green tables

The neon green Brat-coded public tables were basically made for Brats. Hang out here (with sunblock on, obviously) for some prime people watching. If you happen to be there when the Union Square farmer's market is happening (Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday), buy some fresh green apples to offset the cigarette you just smoked.

5. Party at one of the many Brat-themed events and Charli XCX-coded clubs.

Brat pays homage to club culture, so there's definitely no better way to celebrate than to go to a Brat-themed party. Notably, Market Hotel on Myrtle-Broadway is hosting "Brat hotel," a Brat-themed party this upcoming Sunday. There are plenty of Bushwick clubs that are Brat-coded year-round. Notably, there's H0l0 in Ridgewood, which recently got a Boiler Room-inspired renovation where the DJ booth is in the middle of the dance floor; Basement, which stays open 'til the wee hours of the morning; and Nowadays, which has a huge backyard conducive to crazy summer nights. For a day party, the DJ lineups at this year's MoMA PS1 Warm-Up series will also be worth the visit

illustration of green arm grabbing tainted green glasses
Illustration: By Onik Hossain for Time Out

6. Buy a pair of clubbing shades at Other People's Clothes.

If you're not clubbing with hot girl sunglasses on, then you're not fully embracing the ethos of Charli. Other People's Clothes in Bushwick (333 Troutman St.) has a good selection of cheap raver-style sunglasses.  

facade of carbone substuted with a brat sign
Illustration: By Onik Hossain for Time Out

7. Be "So Julia" and have dinner at Carbone. 

Julia Fox is one of the many muses Charli uses in the album, and she's the star of the single "360," where Charli proclaims she's "so everywhere [she's] so Julia." Fox has said on multiple occasions that she loves dining at Carbone, the Italian restaurant in Greenwich Village where you're likely to spot a local socialite on any given night—if you can get a reservation, that is.

8. Eat at Flame Diner, one of Lorde's favorite hang out spots, after a long night out.

One of the biggest gags from BRAT was Charli's remix of "Girl, so confusing," featuring Lorde, where the two artists worked out long-standing beef. The song was an inflection point in the album that address misogyny, miscommunication, and how assuming people's intentions can end friendships. An accurate Brat tour needs to pay homage to the iconic Kiwi artist, and there's nowhere better to do that than to eat at Flame Diner near Columbus Circle, which is open 24 hours, after a long night out. This Diner served as one of the primary hangout spots where the artist wrote her "Melodrama" album during her stint in New York.  

statue of liberty with a green tint
Illustration: By Onik Hossain for Time Out

9. Party on the Staten Island Ferry and wave at the original 365 party girl from the boat.

There's no one more Brat-coded in the city than Miss Liberty herself, who has been slowly turning neon green for decades and is a beacon of female empowerment in a city teaming with statues of men. Get on the ferry, which sells beer once again, and wave at Lady Liberty from the boat. If the U.S.'s intent to give equality to all has failed miserably in practice, what Lady Liberty was meant to symbolize is still honorable—freedom and the right of all people to pursue bliss. There's nothing more Brat-coded than that. 

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