02/09/16 11:51am

fine and raw

At its worst, Valentine’s Day is a sheerly commercial holiday designed to mine your insecurities so that you’ll buy overpriced prix fixe dinners and mediocre Champagne. At its best though, it’s an excuse to eat more chocolate, in bar, truffle and baked good forms, than usual. Here are three Brooklyn-made sweets that also happen to be vegan and gluten-free, though you wouldn’t guess that by tasting them. Yes, that’s a compliment. (more…)

02/09/16 11:31am

Pierhouse playroom

Sponsored By Pierhouse at Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Pierhouse offers expansive one- to five-bedroom, townhome-style condominiums in world-class Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Created By BlankSlate

If you’re looking for a kid-friendly condominium, Pierhouse is a great option. The new waterfront development holds obvious appeal for grown-ups, who appreciate the well-appointed living spaces and the best views in the city, but it’s the amenities at Pierhouse and in its surrounding neighborhoods that make it a great spot for children and their caregivers. The building features a children’s room with an outdoor play terrace and bicycle storage for all ages.

Pierhouse is right next to one of the fastest growing urban recreation areas in the country, Brooklyn Bridge Park. Brooklyn Bridge Park stretches from the area around Jane’s Carousel between the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges southward to Pier 6—and there are plans to expand even further south into Red Hook and beyond. (more…)

02/08/16 10:23am

When Carnitas El Atoradero closed its doors last spring, the news inspired laments far beyond the pint-size storefront in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx. Many a food blogger had documented their obsession with the authentic Mexican fare owner Denisse Lina Chavez had been serving, luring mole-lovers to a quarter of the Bronx that doesn’t usually get many visitors from other parts of the city.

El Atoradero started as a tiny temporary taco operation run out of the back of Chavez’ small Mexican grocery, and quickly expanded into a not-much-more expansive restaurant next door. The eatery continued to attract fans as Chavez whipped up mouthwatering Mexican dishes with imported ingredients that she sometimes risked life and limb to track down. A lease dispute led to its close last year, but Mott Haven’s loss is Prospect Heights’ gain. Brooklyn resident Noah Arenstein (a partner in Bushwick’s Arrogant Swine and a loyal fan of Chavez’ culinary creations), had the brilliant idea of reopening El Atoradero in a space he’d already been working on (formerly home to the short-lived Mason & Mug).

So just half a year later, the newest incarnation of El Atoradero is here, with Chavez trading in her hole-in-the-wall for a full-size restaurant that’s much larger than its four-table predecessor, and complete with upgrades like a custom masa machine for fresh tortillas made on-site, plus a few Brooklyn-style additions (think blood orange wheat ale and $4 Mexican coke). The new Atoradero features returning favorites like picadita rellena–a shallow boat of masa (corn dough), slightly thicker than a tortilla and filled to the brim with a meat of your choice, and quesadillas with squash blossoms or huitlacoche (a Mexican corn fungus).

Perhaps the most notable new addition is the fact that the new masa machine turns out exclusively blue-corn creations, which makes for hearty tortillas that stand up to Chavez’ very saucy meats, and sturdy blue-corn chips to dip into her delicious guacamole. The Mott Haven pricing did not come along for the ride (that would probably be too much to ask given Prospect Heights rents these days), and it’s perhaps safe to say that $15 cemita sandwiches and $20 plates of cochinita are unlikely to be luring many Bronxites down this way any time soon.

Mole enchiladas (Photo: El Atoradero, Instagram)

Mole enchiladas Photo: El Atoradero via Instagram


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02/05/16 10:50am
This weekly family dance party gives you a chance to rock out with your children.

Debbia Attias has taken her popular adult class, Dancorcism, and scaled it down for the youngest dancers. This weekly family dance party gives you a chance to rock out with your children.

Have you ever just gotten to a point where you fantasized about throwing the homework in the trash, skipping karate lessons, lighting the dinner on fire and just taking your kids out clubbing? In this fantasy, you’d dance until the break of dawn like you used to in college, screaming “THERE’S MORE TO LIFE THAN GOOD GRADES AND POPULARITY CONTESTS!!!” Your kids would finally think you were cool and you would connect on a deeper level on the dancefloor. Then Bianca Jagger would come riding in on a white horse, and after convincing your kids that it wasn’t one of those Central Park horses, they would think it was magical. You’d all be laughing and dancing, and most importantly having fun like a family should!

Chances are your kids would be too tired to enjoy the adventure. You’d be paranoid about one of the kids accidentally eating some molly, or worse still, slipping through a wormhole to Burning Man. But what if I told you there was a way to have just as much fun dancing with a rockstar, with none of the night life risk? Because Debbie Attias, founder of the (now defunct) electroclash band, Avenue D, has started a Family Dancorcism dance party on Thursday afternoons from 4-5pm in a church in Greenpoint. (more…)

02/04/16 10:54am
Photo: Mindy Tucker

Lane Moore can make anything, even Tinder, hilarious. Photo: Mindy Tucker

“Welcome to Tinder Live, where sadness comes to fuck.” That was my introduction to comedian, writer and musician Lane Moore and her blisteringly hilarious show, Tinder Live. It may also be the truest sentiment ever spoken about the addictive, slightly destructive and utterly inescapable dating app.

“Maybe this awful Tinder guy is just really bad online and we’ll have a great story about how I initially hated him but then it worked out!’”

Moore, who describes her comedy as, “Janeane Garofalo meets Mr. Show meets Mystery Science Theater meets a little kid who is really excited and also sad,” commanded the stage at The Bell House during January’s show as she ran through her pics of the week–profiles accompanied by the blurriest shots, the most tiger-filled compositions and photos featuring  groups of eight guys where it’s unclear who you’re swiping for, or whether it’s a profile at all, or maybe just an efficient invitation to an orgy. (more…)

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02/03/16 1:04pm

Party like it’s 199something on Saturday at Brooklyn Bowl’s I Love the 90’s live show featuring local cover band the Fresh Kids of Bel-Air. Photo: ilovethe90s.com

It’s a glum, drizzly Wednesday–the kind of day that forces even the cheeriest optimists among us to suppress the urge to snarl at subway stair dawdlers–and we still have a whole half of the workweek to get through before Saturday’s sweet, lazy freedom is upon us. It’s a day that demands something fun to look forward to, so it is with special pleasure that we present you with a week-long calendar chock full of cool ways to spend your free time when it’s actually available to you. Pencil in some plans with people you love–or at least enjoy–it will improve your mood today. And if not, well, there’s always the tried-and-true mid-afternoon chocolate/coffee/secret glass of wine run.

Nineties nostalgia rules on Saturday night at Brooklyn Bowl, where local cover band The Fresh Kids of Bel-Air is performing their popular live show starting at midnight. Tickets are $15 if you buy them online, which should leave you some extra cash to stock up on some super flattering overalls and hot neon accessories so that you fit right in.

For a low-key Sunday activity, check out Greenpointers’ Valentine Market from 1-7pm. In addition to perusing a plethora of gifts, jewelry, clothing and food items for sale from tons of local vendors, you can also take advantage of an onsite henna artist, nail art station, photo booth, tarot card reader, and live music. It’s a nice way to support small businesses in the area, and you’ve got to conserve your energy for the double whammy of Super Bowl 50 and Mardi Gras landing back-to-back this year. 

If you really want to blow it out this Fat Tuesday, head to The Hall at MP for a proper NOLA crawfish boil and brass band bacchanalia starting at 7pm and running all night. A $35 ticket gets you dinner, dancing, and drink specials on craft cocktails and beers from the Big Easy. Laissez les bon temps rouler is the traditional Mardi Gras mantra, but let’s make it happen all week, people! Read ahead for some more fun times on the horizon and enjoy yet another Ideal Week. (more…)

02/03/16 12:00pm


Sponsored By Coworkrs.

Coworkrs offers coworking memberships, desks, and private office suites in Gowanus, FiDi and Flatiron NYC. Be 'At Home at Work'

Created By BlankSlate

In some parts of the world, maybe, the word “work” conjures up images of business suits in a dreary commute to do 9 to 5 at cookie cutter cubicles in a drab office.

This, however, is Brooklyn, where we work at creative and innovative jobs, and demand office spaces to match.

The new Coworkrs Gowanus space is a great example. As with other successful Coworkrs spaces in Flatiron and the Financial District, the Gowanus location offers freelancers and small businesses a light-filled, airy coworking space, with open common areas, conference rooms, and kitchens that put most office break rooms to shame.

But what really makes this space special is its carefully thought-out design. We talked to some of the architects and artists that worked together to give this converted warehouse its unique look, and make Coworkrs Gowanus an ideal HQ for creatives and entrepreneurs of all stripes. (more…)

02/02/16 10:18am

February may be the shortest month, even in a leap year, but it has a tendency to feel more like the longest month. Instead of despairing that your work schedule or bank account won’t allow you to escape somewhere warm to recharge, find some inner sunshine with these three inward retreats, for less than you spend on your morning coffee.

downloadAn evening of enlightenment
The Uplift Project is one of those only-in-New-York collaborations that come across like graduate studies for beautiful people–past events have included an urban retreat at Brooklyn brownstone and a guided meditation at Soho House. Equal parts Tony Robbins-style self-actualization and powerful good vibes, all filtered through a brand-manager-finessed social media presence, Uplift Projects explore big picture questions about modern life through a spiritual lens to help cut through the noise and distraction we experience so constantly, leaving participants…uplifted. Their next project, on Feb. 18 from 7-9pm, is an evening with Jillian Turecki, a yoga teacher and coach, titled Reclaim Your Relationship. It’s intended for anyone seeking a greater sense of fulfillment in life, which pretty much means all of us, yes? Tickets are $30. (more…)

02/01/16 11:50am
Hummus Market is a restaurant where vegetarians, vegans and omnivores can dine together in peace. Photo: Hummus Market

Hummus Market is a restaurant where vegetarians, vegans and omnivores can dine together in peace. Photo: Hummus Market

There are restaurants that open with great fanfare after months on most-anticipated lists, early previews for the food media elite and with the help of an army of publicists. Then there are the unassuming local joints that pop-up a few blocks from your apartment and quickly become your favorite place for Tuesday night dinner or an excellent lunch special. While it’s nice to have fancy eats within a stone’s throw of your front door, it’s really the smaller, humbler places that you want to eat at or order from on a weekly basis (and can actually afford) that make a neighborhood feel like home.

Hummus Market, which opened on Graham Avenue in Williamsburg last summer, is decidedly in the latter camp. Yes, the name has a real mall-falafel ring to it, but ignore that. This is veggie heavy, olive oil laden, parsley, lemon juice and harissa-spiked, pan-Middle Eastern fare. If you’ve ever bought a cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi this is the food you secretly wish you were making and eating at home all the time. (more…)

01/29/16 9:23am
This mechanical mask is one of a dozen objects on a scavenger hunt for kids. Photo: Ernest Amoroso/ National Museum of the American Indian

This mechanical mask is one of a dozen objects on a scavenger hunt for kids. Photo: Ernest Amoroso/ National Museum of the American Indian

The snow that dumped down on us from Jonas made my family hyper aware that we need some go-to inside places for the next few stir-crazy months. The wonderful part of living in New York is having unlimited museums at your beck and call, and the deep freeze of winter is a perfect time to explore these indoor arenas.

Since my son is studying Native American culture in his kindergarten class, we decided to visit the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian located in lower Manhattan over the weekend. This gorgeous beaux-arts building stands on the northeast corner of Battery Park, and is just one stop from Brooklyn. With its absolutely free (every day, all day) admission, it proved to be a perfect winter destination to warm up out of the house for an hour or two. (more…)