Partner Post
10/22/16 8:07am

McClure's Pickles Let's Make Something Great

Unwavering in commitment to quality and family values are brothers Bob & Joe McClure, founders and business partners of McClure’s. For the past 10 years they’ve been creating and sharing their premium snacks, foods and beverages with us.

Founded in 2006 in both Brooklyn & Detroit (think of them as sister cities when you consider their deep history in manufacturing and production), Bob & Joe used their great grandmother Lala’s pickle recipe to introduce to the world. Now found across the country and in other countries, the brothers continue to grow their business using the same values that brought them here in the first place: family and quality.

The newest incarnation is their updated website at which features many new product and merchandise options, easier checkout, and a great point to involve yourself in the McClure’s story. Be sure to say hi to them this Sunday at One More Bite (and take 10% off any item online through 10/31 with the code, OMB, one use per customer). Welcome to the family!

10/21/16 3:35pm


A few years ago Paula Mejia had to pick a topic to write for her thesis as a student at George Washington University’s English graduate program. Around that same time came the call for new proposals by Bloombury’s 33 1/3 book series, each of which spotlights a particular noteworthy album. “[Professor and author] Gayle Wald was my thesis adviser at the time,” Mejia says now, “and I went into her office and I said, ‘I have a crazy idea. Can I write a thesis that is academically-rooted and use it as a way to enter this proposal for the series?’–not expecting it to get picked up at all.”

Mejia’s eventual choice was the Jesus and Mary Chain’s 1985 debut record Psychocandy. An album that has since gone on to become a bonafide classic, Rolling Stone ranked it as one of The 500 Greatest Albums of All TimePsychocandy combined heavy feedback-drenched guitar, reverb production, moody lyrics, and catchy girl-group pop melodies into a glorious noisy rock record, courtesy of Scottish brothers Jim and William Reid. You can hear traces of the group’s influence on ’90s British shoegazing bands like My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive, as well as current acts like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. A few years ago, the Jesus and Mary Chain did a series of shows to commemorate Psychocandy‘s 30th anniversary.

“The perception that they gave that they were either totally freewheeling or didn’t give a shit. It’s so surprising to know that they stayed up in their bedroom, drinking tea, and meticulously plotting out this whole thing. It was all premeditated. For that to seem so effortless is kind of an incredible skill in itself.”

What started out as a thesis idea for Mejia–a Brooklyn-based freelance music writer whose stories have been published in Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and The New York Times —has now become the latest addition to the 33 1/3 series. Featuring interviews with the album’s main participants, including singer Jim Reid, bassist Douglas Hart, and drummer Bobbie Gillespie (later of Primal Scream), Psychocandy the book not only discusses the album but also provides the social and cultural context behind the music.

To coincide with the book’s publication, Mejia will be appearing at Greenpoint’s WORD bookstore on Oct. 25 in discussion with Rolling Stone writer Rob Sheffeild and Kristen Yoonsoo Kim. Mejia recently spoke with Brooklyn Based about the genesis of her book and love for the Mary Chain. (more…)

10/21/16 12:49pm
We want you to play with your food at One More Bite! Private Picassos is just one of the participants that will be encouraging kids to. Photo: Shellburne Farms

We want you to play with your food at One More Bite! (And Private Picassos is just one of the participants that will be encouraging kids to.) Photo: Shellburne Farms

We are beyond excited for our first family food fair, One More Bite, this Sunday at The Green Building.

As moms, we’re fully aware of the joy—and the frustration—that comes from feeding our kids. With that in mind, we’ve planned a day that (we hope) will make trying new foods fun. As your children work their way around the room, sampling local charcuterie, Vermont cheese, chana masala, pickles of every variety, brownies made from beans, and more yummy, healthy foods, they’ll collect stamps in their One More Bite passbooks, then pick a treat at the end for being so adventurous. (We don’t want to make this high-stakes, though, so parents, we’re expecting you to do a lot of tasting too!)

Farmers and food educators will also be leading hands-on activities to teach kids about pollinators, edible plants, and the sugar in processed foods, along with art projects that will encourage them to play with their fruits and veggies!

For the grownups, we’ll have talks on raising good eaters and putting the joy into mealtime from noon till 3pm, and throughout you can purchase burgers and beverages, from juice to mimosas, from Cassette restaurant.

Get a ticket in advance—you’ll save time and money at the door—and while you’re there enter our online raffle for cooking classes and more.

And come early! The first 100 families get a bag of goodies from our vendors. Then show your ticket to Ample Hills down the block afterward, you’ll get a $1 off a cone.

Here are a few of the things we’re looking forward to tasting and trying at One More Bite. (more…)

10/20/16 12:07pm

win_feminism_reductress“Should I be planning a funeral for my sense of humor?” I wondered during the second presidential debate, as Donald Trump loomed behind Hillary Clinton and then threatened to have her jailed. I should have been laughing at my friend’s Jaws jokes, but instead I climbed underneath the bar, hugging my wine and wishing for Xanax. Before I started sitting shiva for my laughter, however, I remembered that amid the steady stream of alt-right memes and clips of Trump telling Billy Bush exactly where he likes to grab women, the internet also provides escapes from the political melee swirling around us. Reductress is one of the best ports in the storm.

Billing itself as “the first and only satirical women’s website,” Reductress, which launched in 2013, applies its simultaneously absurdist and biting humor to the conflicting streams of advice thrown at women on a regular basis. It’s that balance that makes the site worth returning to. Plenty of writers are as precise and cutting, and others just as wacky and absurd, but it’s the blend that makes Reductress stand out. Their targets include not only the mainstream women’s magazines (parodies of which are low-hanging fruit at this point), but the personal essay industrial complex, make-up blogs, and corporate attempts to cash in on feminism. The articles have an Onion-like sensibility (“Danielle Doesn’t Usually Post on Facebook, But This Is Important“), but with a keen ability to mock the tone and format of so much of women’s media (“I’m Not a Basic Bitch. I’m a Boring Woman.“).  Other must-reads include make-up tips from clowns (“foundation, foundation, foundation”), and my current favorite: “100 Acts of Self Care That Still Won’t Be Enough to Get You Through The Election.

After three years of eliciting laughs, groans, and knowing sighs from their readers, founders Beth Newell and Sarah Pappalardo are gifting readers with Reductress’s first book, How To Win at Feminism: A Guide to Having it All (And Then Some), out next week on Oct. 25, with a launch party at powerHouse Arena in DUMBO that evening. Editors Beth Newell and Sarah Pappalardo told me that they’d been interested in writing a book from the beginning, but feminism’s ever-increasing mainstream acceptance (or co-option) was the inspiration for chapters like “How to do more with 33 cents less” and “The nine circles of hell for women who don’t help other women.”

I chatted with founders Beth Newell and Sarah Pappalardo over email about the book, the site, and staying both funny and sane even when current events are making it harder than ever. (more…)

10/20/16 11:00am


Sponsored By Luna Park.

Get ready for spooktacular fun with Halloween Harvest at Luna Park in Coney Island! Join us every weekend from Sept 24 - Oct 30 for a family-friendly event.

Created By BlankSlate

This Sunday, October 23, watch a team of knife-wielding artists carve up a giant pumpkin. It’s a highlight of the seasonal fun and games at Luna Park’s annual Halloween Harvest Festival, running every weekend from 12 p.m. until 6 p.m. now through the end of October. Guests that guess the correct weight of the giant pumpkin, either at the park or online, can win up to $1,000 in prizes. The winner will be announced on October 30. (more…)

10/19/16 2:54pm
The Adirondacks are so beautiful this time of year it almost seems fake. Photo: Kate Hooker

The Adirondacks are so beautiful this time of year it almost seems fake. Photo: Kate Hooker

Wowie, would you get a load of this weather?! I don’t know whether to be happy or slightly alarmed that it’s late October and I had to run my AC for the past two nights, but I gotta admit that the sun feels good on my face this afternoon so I’m going with it! It’s sort of hard to fathom that I had to buy wool gloves when I was up in the Adirondacks this past weekend for The Billycan, a fun and activity-filled retreat at the beautiful Morningside Camps (see my borderline fake-looking Instagram pic above). If you can swing it, I highly recommend a trip out of the city while we’re in this sweet spot of comfortable temperatures and explosive fall foliage because it was a much-needed reset for me. For example, this weekend is a great time to explore Storm King before it closes up for the winter, or you can head out to the North Fork for this weekend’s Communion Fall Weekender music fest by the beach.

If a lack of wheels makes an apple-picking or pumpkin patch foray more trouble than it’s worth, don’t sweat it. There’s plenty happening here over the next seven days to put together an Ideal Week with nothing more than a Metrocard. For starters, I’m going to plug our very own Brooklyn Based family food fair, One More Bite, which is going down on Sunday from 11-3pm at the Green Building. But there are loads more ideas to keep you busy between now and next week, assuming we can all get through the third and final presidential debate tonight without being driven to madness. Enjoy summer, the remix, while it lasts and best wishes for a terrific week!  (more…)

10/18/16 10:07am

This matchbox sized storefront sells "big city, small batch" products. Photo: Meredith Craig de Pietro

Julia Small O'Kelly will welcome you into smallhome with the stories behind all her treasures. Photo: Meredith Craig de Pietro

Julia Small O’Kelly will welcome you into smallhome and share the stories behind all her treasures. Photos: Meredith Craig de Pietro

Walking into smallhome, a matchbox-sized storefront on Metropolitan near the Graham Avenue stop on the L train in Williamsburg, feels like spiriting through a portal to rural America. Cluttered with handcrafted wares that range from white sage body wash to the perfect red plaid handkerchief, the store’s displays feature creative props like a rusted ladder, and assortment of wooden twigs and a vintage wicker chair. Although smallhome is, well, small, you could spend days sorting through the goods, uncovering treasures that you never even knew you wanted (like an astrologically-themed embroidery hoop).

Upon entering, you will probably be warmly welcomed by owner, Julia Small O’Kelly, who will definitely be wearing a work apron, ready to tell you the stories behind her collection. (more…)

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10/17/16 10:59am
William Vale Mr. Dips Burger

Mr. Dips, the burger spot at the William Vale Hotel, is served out of an airstream, of course. Photo: Georgia Kral

A hotel can’t open in Williamsburg these days and not feature a rooftop bar and a whole host of chef-curated food and drink options. The trend is true across the river in Manhattan, too, but Brooklyn has the current edge on the hotel dining scene, with the recently opened William Vale Hotel, run by chef Andrew Carmellini.

The William Vale is impossible to miss. Situated on the strangely hip stretch of Wythe that is also home to Brooklyn Bowl, Output and the Wythe Hotel, it is an imposing structure that looks out of place even though it’s just a few blocks away from the luxury high-rise apartment buildings on the Williamsburg waterfront.

“The look of it is not very Brooklyn, but this is a very Brooklyn project,” Carmellini said at a New York City Wine and Food Festival event at the hotel. “When we signed on we said we wanted to embrace the neighborhood,” he added, saying that he’d personally hired a staff member to do cultural programming at the hotel, from book signings to musical events and talks. Those, as well as the eats, are open to all comers, not just hotel guests.

The cocktails are delicious, but paired with the view, who even cares? Photo: Georgia Kral

The cocktails are delicious, but paired with the view, who even cares? Photo: Georgia Kral

And the food? Carmellini and his restaurant group NoHo Hospitality (Locanda Verde, The Dutch, Bar Primi) are running the whole show at the William Vale, including room service and poolside bites. Here’s what you can, and should, eat now and what’s coming soon. (more…)

10/14/16 8:42am

If dinner with kids meant pancakes and syrup, you would get no complaints. Photo: Ryan McGuire

There will be lots of great food to sample at One More Bite next weekend, from Umi’s homecooked meals to pickles from McClure’s and Rick’s Picks to delicious (really!) garbanzo-bean-based brownies from Pure Genius Provisions. But what if you have a picky eater in tow? But what if you have a picky eater in tow?

You should definitely plan on attending our conversation with two chefs who specialize in helping, ahem, discerning young diners branch out at 2pm. Andrea Kapner of Tiny Turnips Kitchen and Kate Homes of Carried Away Chefs will be chatting with us about the strategies they’ve discovered cooking for busy families and for their own kids, that help take the agony out of trying to please every eater at the table.

To tide you over until then, we’ve asked them both, as well as the two nutritionists on another panel–How Nutrition Pros Feed Their Own Kids–for their best family mealtime tips. Here’s what they had to say: (more…)

10/13/16 1:49pm


There’s a pair of swans in Prospect Park. And I love them.

Every time I walk through the park–which is fairly often, once or twice a week in the summer – I make sure to find my swans. I love watching their long, graceful necks twist and turn, how they duck underwater to catch some sort of food, and then shake off, flat-footed, along the shore.

One day a few summers back, my dog, Buckley, spotted one of these swans floating on the lake. I could see his tiny dog-brain working: “Oh. My. God,” he was thinking. “This is the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. I must catch it.”

A person’s spirit animal is an essential distillation of selfhood.

I wanted to see what would happen. I was pretty sure the dog wouldn’t actually harm the swan (nor the swan the dog)–I knew that swans were fierce, and my dog was a coward. I was confident he wouldn’t even get close. So I let go of Buckley’s leash and watched him charge at the bird.

When it saw the dog, the swan reared up, spreading its wings to their full span–at least six feet–and hissed the fiercest hiss at him. Buckley immediately retreated, racing back to me, away from the huge animal. Swans are killers. Swans are ferocious. Even my dumb dog knew better than to mess with them.

When I saw the huge, beautiful animal hissing, I immediately identified. I, too, seem unthreatening, even charming. But, like the swan, I throw down. I’m not afraid to hiss at anyone–or whatever the human equivalent of spreading my wings and hissing would be.

On our walk back home, I texted my dad.

“I realized that if I were an animal I’d be a swan,” I wrote.

“Excellent,” he responded. (more…)