07/08/16 6:53am

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If you live in Brooklyn, then you already know Brooklyn Brewery through their beers on tap around the city, the events they host at their tasting room, and (of course) the neighborhood Immersions they help us produce. But for all the cities where they’re not the hometown brewery, they’ve created the MASH, an immersive event that brings good beer, food and music to cities around the U.S. and Europe every summer. The next stop is in Philly, and we’re sending one lucky winner and a guest to get in on the fun.

The grand prize includes an all-access MASH pass–which means starting Thursday, August 25, you’ll have four days to explore Philly and enjoy a beer-paired dinner, a night of live music, a tricked out venue that hosts a beer festival called Beer Mansion, and an Immersion-like tour. We’ve also lined up hotel accommodations at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Philadelphia, tickets there and back on Amtrak, plus a dinner for two courtesy of Spotluck.

The all-access passes aren’t for sale to the public–you can only get one if you win. Enter now and we’ll notify the winner by July 28, plenty of time to add an awesome weekend in Philly to your summer calendar.

07/21/16 11:18am

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We’ll need to get a few things out of the way before I tell you why Ghostbusters, both the original and the reboot, is a great movie, why it’s not *just* a fluffy comedy, and why you, as a card carrying New Yorker, should go see it immediately, as a point of pride and honor.

Ghostbusters is about GHOSTS and what are ghosts but our own projected fears? What could be more revealing about us as a culture?

Ghostbusters, the 1984 version, is probably the movie I have seen the most in my life.

•I did not view the much hated, and admittedly terrible trailer for the new movie until after I actually watched the movie itself.

•Like many critics of the new movie, I would much prefer a sequel or new chapter in the series to a reboot. And yet, it really is fun to watch and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

•Most importantly, they both highlight the impersonally communal experience of living in New York City.

In the endless, unsolvable internet battle* over whether or not the movie is funny, whether people who don’t like it are misogynists, and whether the critics who did like it and took the time to write about it are simply politically motivated feminists, the two sides keep pointing out that both versions are fluffy comedies that should never be expected to shoulder any sort of cultural burden at all.

That is just not true. (more…)

07/20/16 4:19pm

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When I sat down for a screening of Don’t Think Twice, the new comedy from Mike Birbiglia, I was in a mood. It had been a long day at work, I had just booked it across midtown in a most unfavorable pair of heels, and, frankly, I wasn’t all that excited about the film I was about to see. Many indie films are a slow burn, sure, but a feature length film about improv comedy subculture? I didn’t have the highest expectations. An hour-and-a-half later, discreetly trying to wipe my tears with my sleeve, I had zero desire to leave the theatre.

Don’t Think Twice, actor, writer, and comedian Mike Birbiglia’s sophomore feature film, is the story of an improv group known as The Commune working in a dingy New York theatre. The six of them work for small crowds and for even smaller sums, are often on the prowl for a modicum of something that can be deemed as success. They also seem totally blissed out in one other’s company, a series of friendships that have clearly withstood the test of time and some awful jokes. They’re led by Miles (Birbiglia), a 30-something improv teacher with an affinity for sleeping with his younger students and claiming he’s always inches, just inches away from making it big. Then there’s spunky but spoiled Lindsay (Tami Sagher), whimsical Allison (Kate Micucci), and slightly pathetic Bill (Chris Gerhard). Gillian Jacobs and Keegan-Michael Key round out The Commune as Jack and Samantha, the romantic couple of the group. Although most of them live together in a crappy loft and pretty much all of the group suffers through a series of mundane day jobs, they’re happiest when doing what they’re best at: getting on a stage a few nights a week and fearlessly shooting the shit. (more…)

07/20/16 1:42pm

Jeff Ramos

Thursday, July 21 GOWANUS, The Goonies drinking game, 8pm, tickets $8↠

Friday, July 22 PARK SLOPE Psycho Beach Party, 8pm, free↠

Saturday, July 23 GREENPOINT Pokemon Go Bar Crawl, 1pm, free, plus your bar tab(s)↠ • FORT GREENE PARK Jazz Festival, 3-7pm, free↠

Sunday, July 24 RED HOOK Ragas Live Festival, noon Saturday-noon Sunday, tickets $40↠

Monday, July 25 BROOKLYN HEIGHTS Fed Up, 6:30pm, free with RSVP↠

Tuesday, July 26 COBBLE HILL Backfat Variety Show, 8pm, free↠

Wednesday, July 27 BROOKLYN NAVY YARD Guernica Summer Party, 7pm, tickets $25↠

Welcome to Your Ideal Week: The Dog Days of Summer Edition. I don’t know about you, but whatever fatigue I was feeling from the relentless heat and humidity (today is actually kind of lovely, in the shade) is no match for the sheer exhaustion brought on by the relentless coverage of the RNC. How has it only been 2.5 days of this?! I’m honestly not sure I’ve ever felt more compelled to get outside and away from my TV. Or at the very least to watch something else on TV–I highly recommend Mr. Robot and UNReal, both of which are having pretty engaging sophomore seasons so far, and I’m totally engrossed in The Night Of, the new HBO crime drama series.  If you’re feeling like you need more than a date with your cool couch or the hot sand this week, we’ve got a lot going on to scratch your social butterfly itch.

In addition to the usual schedule of outdoor movies, summer concerts, and other cultural musts happening around town, check out our tips below on how to squeeze the most out of this Ideal Week in Brooklyn. Stay cool (and cool headed) and we’ll see you next week!

Thursday, July 21 What’s the best thing about revisiting one of your favorite movies from childhood 30 years later? Now you’re old enough to add a drinking game into the mix! On Thursday night, truffle shuffle your way over to Littlefield, where A Drinking Game NYC will be presenting a live staged reading of everyone’s favorite 80s pirate adventure/comedy classic, The Goonies, starting at 8pm. Here’s how it works: When someone says one of the catch phrases on the predetermined list (we’re guessing that “Hey, you guuuuuuys!” made the cut for this flick), everyone has to drink, meaning that things are bound to get increasingly silly (and fun) as the night goes on. Tickets are $8.
(more…)

07/19/16 8:56am
Find sunglasses that fit the shape of the beach you lay on. Photo: Meredith Craig de Pietro

Find sunglasses that fit the shape of the beach where you bask. Photo: Meredith Craig de Pietro

Everyone knows you need sunglasses at the beach. Which pair is best for you though, depends on which beach you love the most–each summer destination has a different vibe. Put down the Pokemon Go, and take this single-question, multiple-choice quiz to find out which sunglasses are right for you. It’s easy, and we won’t even force you to figure out what shape face you have.

Finish this sentence. I summer in… (more…)

07/18/16 10:24am
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Head to Bobek Deli early for the best choice of hot dishes. Photo: Brendan Spiegel

When I was checking out the array of trendy new restaurants popping up in and around Kensington earlier this year, I came across one unsuspecting little spot that is far from trendy but definitely shouldn’t be passed over by serious eaters.

Bobek Deli is the kind of place you would probably walk right on by if the assortment of Polish canned food in the front window didn’t grab your attention. But inside the narrow, angular space, behind rows of Polish tabloid magazines and Slavic-brand potato chips, there are some fantastic culinary creations worth exploring. First, There’s a  butcher’s cold-case filled with about a dozen un-pronounceable offerings like zwyczajna (a smoked and cured pork kielbasa made with black pepper and garlic). Another case is stocked with fresh-baked pastries and fruit-filled bowls of Jell-o. But the real prize is the unsuspecting hot-food bar in the back, where a daily array of freshly-made to-go items offer rib-sticking Eastern European comfort food to dedicated regulars. (more…)

07/15/16 11:10am
Head to Long Beach on the LIRR. Photo: Annaliese Griffin

Head to Long Beach on the LIRR. Photo: Annaliese Griffin

Summer is here and that means it’s time to go to the beach! It’s a little counterintuitive, but it’s actually easier to take my five-year-old to beautiful Long Beach on the LIRR than taking public transportation to most of the beaches in New York City. Plus, there’s a sweet beach and train combo deal–when buying your ticket, choose the Deals and Getaways option which includes train fare plus a day pass to the beach all for $24. Consider that if you drove and paid for parking and for a beach pass (yes, you have to pay to get on to Long Beach). All you have to do is exchange your train ticket for a day pass to the beach at one of the kiosks along the boardwalk. Children under five ride for free and ages five to 11 ride for $1. 

Off we went on the sunny Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, starting at Atlantic Terminal, making an easy transfer at Jamaica, and ending up at Long Beach Station. The entire trip takes about an hour, but for my boy and his friend the train ride was almost as much fun as playing in the sand. The front of the train will be crowded as that’s where the exit is at Long Beach Station. If you want a seat, head toward the back. (more…)

07/15/16 7:14am
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The world’s first-ever Häagen-Dazs shop, at 120 Montague St. in Brooklyn Heights.

It’s National Ice Cream Day on Sunday, and July as a whole is National Ice Cream Month, which means that if you have not been using this time wisely, and indulging in delicious ice cream treats throughout the month—Saturday is a perfect opportunity.

The Montague St. Häagen-Dazs store is holding its grand reopening, starting with a ribbon cutting at 10:45am tomorrow, July 16, with Borough President Eric L. Adams, and followed by four hours of giveaways and prizes from 11am to 3pm. Everyone who stops by will get a free scoop of ice cream, a $1 off coupon for a return visit, and a chance to win gift cards for more free scoops—including an ice cream for a year card* that will keep one lucky winner in the mint chocolate chip long after summer leaves.

If you’re wondering why the Brooklyn Heights store, out of all of the Häagen-Dazs shops around the country, is so special, it’s because it was the world’s first-ever Häagen-Dazs shop to open in 1976. New franchisee Michael Shuster just oversaw a renovation of the space and is ready to show off the new ice cream cafe. Come celebrate the return of the original ice cream shop this Saturday and enjoy your free scoop!

*No purchase necessary, $480 value. See shop for rules

Sponsored by The Häagen-Dazs Shoppe Company

07/14/16 12:40pm

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Upon reading anything West writes, however, it is immediately obvious that she is not only not humorless but affirmatively funny as hell, that she has a smart, confident, original voice that rises above the garbage pile of what passes for discourse about feminism on the internet, and that she is refreshingly unafraid and unapologetic.

The first time I ever heard of Lindy West was when she caused an Internet firestorm in 2012 by writing a post for Jezebel entitled “How to Make a Rape Joke.” The essay was both a response to an unsettling confrontation that had recently occurred between comedian Daniel Tosh and a female audience member who objected to a rape joke in his standup set and also a venting of West’s growing frustration with some irritatingly persistent assumptions in the comedy world: that rape jokes are inevitably funny, and that women who object to them only do so because “we are uptight and humorless, we don’t understand the mechanics of comedy, and we can’t handle being the butt of a joke.” (more…)

07/14/16 11:10am

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Steamed, grilled, dipped in butter–however you like your lobster, summer is just not summer without at least one lobster dinner. And while the ideal setting would be some seaside, New England town, The Landing at Industry City is hosting its own delicious, picturesque outdoor feast on July 31 that will be much easier to get to.

At The Great Brooklyn Lobster Boil, you’ll get lobster fresh from Martha’s Vineyard, corn on the cob, red bliss potatoes, sliced tomato salad and fresh cold watermelon. You can also go a la carte and purchase burgers, hotdogs, and brisket from the grill separately. As if the feast weren’t enough, The Loyales will be playing their rootsy, juke-joint style music, and plenty of games likes horseshoes and cornhole toss will be on hand to add to the festivities.

The lobster feast, live music and games at this outdoor Sunday soiree is just $60. (And if lobster isn’t your thing, you can purchase a general admission ticket for $10. Children under 12 enter free).

Get a ticket before they sell out ➤➤➤

07/14/16 11:02am

9781101982679Leigh Stein met Jason in an audition for a Greek tragedy when she was 22. He was so handsome and charming that she, a non-smoker, bummed a cigarette from him just to keep talking to him after their scene together. Soon they’re dating, but it takes her some time to realize that he was only 18. It took her even longer to come to grips with the fact that he was also unstable, abusive and very, very broken. By then they had moved to New Mexico from Chicago to chase their dreams–hers of writing, his of acting–and she was in way over her head.

Land of Enchantment is not a straightforward survivor’s memoir of abuse, escape and triumph. The bookend to their start with Medea is that four-and-a-half years later Jason dies in a motorcycle accident. He and Leigh are no longer dating, she has moved to Brooklyn and is beginning to find her way, but the loss is stunning and overwhelming.

The narrative cuts in between their terrible time in New Mexico, scenes from the aftermath of his death, including his funeral near Little Rock, Arkansas, and her own analysis of her interior life. Land of Enchantment grapples with what draws us to difficult people, what keeps us in the thrall of relationships that make us miserable. She writes, “For a long time I saw only two possible endings to our story: either Jason had to die or we had to get married. In my imagination, both ending seemed equally as likely, equally as horrifying…If he died I was sure I would lose the most exciting part of my life.” (more…)