Warm weather brings the season of outdoor concerts to New York, and there is no shortage of great venues. But as wonderful as all these open-air venues are, they're all big and inevitably crowded and sweaty, and just getting through the gate can feel like an exhausting production. Sometimes what you want is a more intimate experience. And for that, there's nothing better than the Gowanus Grove, a lovely plot on the banks of everyone's favorite canal. It's currently programmed by Mister Saturday Night, but this pleasant spot has been hosting concerts and parties for years now under various names and management. The draw remains the same, however: a cozy, shaded yard with one of the finest views of romantic post-industrial decay that an urban romantic could ask for. Music mingles with the placid lapping of a desperately polluted waterway, echoing off the graffitied ruins of a factory on the opposite bank. 400 Carroll Street, Brooklyn, mistersaturdaynight.com (11231)

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