From the outside, Brooklyn Boulders looks like the nondescript parking garage it used to be. But inside, the 18,000-square-foot space, located on the charmless industrial fringe of Boerum Hill, has been transformed into an urban climber’s wonderland—the largest rock-climbing gym in the city, with putty-colored steel-reinforced walls studded with neon “holds” jutting out in all directions. The owners, two avid climbers who met in business school, called upon local pros Vadim Vinokur and Ivan Greene to consult on the walls’ positioning and the placement of the moveable holds, hoping to approximate the unpredictability of an actual mountain. There are separate areas for different climbing levels and styles, from expert top-roping to beginner bouldering. Seasoned climbers can hit the inverse walls, the cave, or the stalactite, which requires a high jump plus an acrobatic hook-of-the-foot maneuver to reach. Intermediates can scale a replica of the Brooklyn Bridge’s famous arches. You can join on a yearly ($695) or monthly ($85) basis just like a regular gym, or pay a day fee to hang out ($20, or $16 for bouldering only or for students and seniors). Beginner “learn the ropes” lessons are $60, including gear rental, and come with two day-passes. Plans are in the works for Pilates and yoga classes to amp up core strength, a slack line (like a low-to-the-ground tightrope with a lot of give) to work on balance, as well as a “hands only” wall to strengthen forearms and shoulders. On Friday nights, a D.J. will spin from on top of a 17-foot “boulder” while climbers practice below.
575 Degraw St., at Third Ave., Boerum Hill; 347-834-9066