06/20/16 11:38am
Brooklyn Ice House

From our last Immersion in Red Hook, circa 2013. We’re looking forward to revisiting this backyard.

We’ll take any opportunity to spend a summer afternoon in Red Hook, and Saturday, July 9 we’ve planned a prime one—The Total Red Hook Immersion. The neighborhood is one of our favorites for our day-long celebrations with Brooklyn Brewery, and this Red Hook Immersion will be the best one yet.

The day begins at Brooklyn Crab, where you’ll get the first of four Brooklyn brews when you check in between 1 and 2pm. We’ll also be handing out free swag, like Brooklyn Brewery beach towels and t-shirts, to random early birds. From there you get to choose your own adventure, hitting up Rocky Sullivan’s, Brooklyn Ice House and Botanica for your free beers, plus your choice of lunch at Grindhaus (whose burger tops every best-in-NYC list); Home/Made, Brooklyn Ice House and Rocky Sullivan’s.

All Immersion goers get an envelope stuffed with local deals, too, that include tours of creative spaces like Supersmith and Pioneer Works, discounted beers and tickets from Jalopy Tavern and Jalopy Theatre, and specials at Baked, Kempton & Co, Shook & Co., Foxy + Winston, Red Hook Winery, Shipwrecked Miniature Golf, Chelsea Garden Center and more. And this time, we’ve created an express ticket option — you can either get the four Brooklyn beers plus your choice of lunch for $25 or the beers alone for $15, two supremely good deals. Plus, new Lyft users who enter the code BBIMMERSION or use this link to sign up will get 5 free rides up to $10 each, so you can get to and from Red Hook on the cheap.

Get a ticket and invite your friends to join you. And be sure to RSVP on Facebook where we’ll be announcing all the Immersion deals.

07/01/16 1:23pm
The splash pad at LeFrak Center at Lakeside is a pretty sweet spot in the summer. Photo: Prospect Park Alliance

The splash pad at LeFrak Center at Lakeside is a pretty sweet spot in the summer. Photo: Prospect Park Alliance

Optimal ages: 2 and up
Good for mixed groups: Yes
Bathroom access: excellent
Food: Lots of options
Price point: basically free if you bring a picnic

My son is just 16 month old; his attention span for everything save climbing on top of our coffee table and standing on the toilet, turning the faucets on the bathroom sink on and off is fairly limited. When he was a baby he napped in the stroller through the cherry blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens and the new Whitney (he burped so loud after a feeding session on one of their Hudson River-facing couches that other museum goers gave him a round of applause). Now though, he’s a toddler with very strong opinions who attempts to launch himself out of that same stroller when he grows weary of my overly-grown-up pursuits, so after a few failed excursions that were not age-appropriate I learned my lesson–it’s just not worth it to drag a little kid an hour each way on the subway to something he’s not ready to dig. Especially when we can just walk 15 minutes to visit Franklin, the pig who lives at Crest Hardware in Williamsburg and I’m like, mom of the year.

New York is so full of cool stuff to do with kids though, that I’m always eager to join groups of mixed ages for excursions, so when my sister visited a few weekends ago with my two-year-old nephew I was excited to venture to Prospect Park to visit the splash pad at LeFrak Center. The trip from North Brooklyn wouldn’t have been worth it just for my son to splash around for 20 minutes, but with my nephew and a friend’s almost four-year-old and a picnic in the mix, it was a totally successful day trip. (more…)

06/30/16 10:49am
Photo: Adam Carter via Flickr

Photo: Adam Carter via Flickr

There will be plenty of fireworks this month, both in the sky and on our social calendars. July’s cultural events are full of glitter, surprise and overwrought emotion—all of which can be found in our first pick, a screening of Death Becomes Her in Bushwick. The other nine entries on the countdown this month, from a beach read centered around an art-world mystery to a psychedelically immersive screening, are equally as incendiary. Read on for more of our July culture essentials. (more…)

06/29/16 12:44pm
Another Fourth of July, another hot dog eating battle at Coney Island. Photo: Nathan's Famous

Another Fourth of July, another hot dog eating battle at Coney Island. Photo: Nathan’s Famous

With another holiday weekend upon us, it’s a good bet that lots of you reading this are in the midst of frantically trying to get your work done, line up the dogsitter, pack and figure out the optimal time to try to leave the city to avoid traffic, all before Friday afternoon arrives and it’s time for you to hit the road whether you are 100% ready or not. For those of you sticking around, you are about to experience one of those rare long weekends in NYC where the city feels blissfully empty, and you can finally get a reservation at that Eater hotspot you’ve been trying to get into for months or go for a bike ride across the Brooklyn bridge without a single homicidal thought crossing your mind.

The main event this weekend is, of course, the big Macy’s fireworks extravaganza on Monday night, and I’m willing to wager that you’ve been invited to a rooftop bbq or two as well. To add to your dance card, we’ve scoured the borough to find a bunch of other stuff going on. Here are our best ideas on how to make the most of your Fourth of July weekend if you are planning to be in town and, whatever you do, have a happy and healthy holiday! (more…)

06/28/16 10:42am
Photo: Meredith Craig de Pietro

There are all ways to enjoy biking in the city, but this gear will help you look cooler while doing it. Photo: Meredith Craig de Pietro

Brooklyn’s bike lanes and greenways cover over 300 miles, which is more than any other borough. There are Citi Bike stands sprinkled about conveniently, ready to take your credit card. To purchase a bike, check out our guide to the friendliest bike stores in the borough. If you really want to be a bike boss, and have the time and inclination this summer, the free class series at 718 in Gowanus will start you off learning basic maintenance and eventually how to design and build your own bike. Did I mention these are FREE? And, if you’re feeling intimidated, check out our guide to getting on a bike if you’re new to cycling in the city.

If you’re ready to put the pedal to the pavement, here’s the bike gear, gadgets and go-to’s that will keep you riding in style all summer long. (more…)

06/27/16 9:32am
I, uh, ate two of the eight-donut sampler before I could grab my phone. Photo: Kenneth Rosen

I, uh, ate two of the eight-donut sampler before I could grab my phone. Photo: Kenneth Rosen

The Lobster Shift is a monthly column by Kenneth R. Rosen that explores the city’s all-night eateries and their inhabitants.

June 3 was National Donut Day. So really, that makes June, National Donut Month in my estimation. Which is to say, don’t tell me when to eat my cream puff.

I’ve written about what I believe is the best donut in Queens, and have yet to seek out new horizons in toroidal fried glory in the Bronx or Staten Island. But if you find yourself in Manhattan or Brooklyn (maybe we can get together!), the careworn joints Holey Cream and 7th Avenue Donuts will leave the lights on for you.

Both are open late, and both dish out irreproachably delicious donuts. They’re definitely not vegan, or flavored with hibiscus, foie gras or truffle oil. But these are donuts in their natural habitat. (more…)

06/24/16 12:29pm
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Photo: Anna Dunn

The heart beats to animate the body; we call this human rhythm our pulse. It is no coincidence that I can’t stop thinking about heartbeats. How subtle a heartbeat is, how it quickens in love, and in fear. I think of how love and fear are related, especially growing up a queer person. When I was young and coming out I didn’t want to be defined by my queer identity. I might avoid a pride parade because of fear, or self loathing, or because I feared love. I think about the very first time I came close to a woman in a gay bar. Manray was a sprawling three-room gay bar in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I remember how the music was pulsing, how my pulse quickened when she reached out her hand to me, and the lights were dazzling, and the men were wild and sweating and dancing like the gorgeous creatures they were, and the fog machine had a slightly sour but dizzying smell. I think about how my pulse revealed me. Then I imagine 49 hearts that have ceased beating.

I think about how blood is everywhere. It is inside us, pumping through us. It is the river of our living, until it is leaking out of us. I’m imagining the massacre on June, 12. I’m still uneasy using the word massacre.

1. Noun – an indiscriminate and brutal slaughter of people.
2. Verb – deliberately and violently kill (a large number of people).

It was to massacre, but perhaps it wasn’t a massacre? The shooting wasn’t indiscriminate. It was at a gay bar. I’m at the restaurant where I work when I read the Facebook post from the club that night: If you are at Pulse get out and keep running. And I start crying silently in front of customers who do not notice or choose not to react. (more…)

06/23/16 12:46pm

iphone-4-broken-screen-repair-copyHow many new iPhones have you bought because your old one was too expensive to repair? How much are you paying each month in phone insurance because you’re afraid of it happening again. If the answer is “too many,” or “too much,” things may be about to change, at least in New York State.  

A surprisingly wide coalition including upstate farmers, the Natural Resources Defense Council, techies and mechanics across the state are lobbying the New York State Assembly and Senate for a floor vote for bill, S3998 in the State Senate and A6068 in the State Assembly that would require manufacturers of electronic products from cell phones and computers to refrigerators and thermostats, to release their manuals and schematics to the general public so consumers can take repair into their own hands. It sounds harmless enough–what’s subversive about a repair manual, aside from the migraine the non-handy among enough will endure trying to parse it?

Well, according to Gay Gordon-Byrne, Executive Director of Right to Repair, the answer is an all too familiar song of corporate greed. (more…)

06/22/16 1:34pm

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Happy Pride, everybody! This year it feels especially emotional, doesn’t it? After what seemed like a sudden, triumphant tidal wave of progress in the LGBTQ rights arena, we’ve been recently reminded of the terrifying degree of violent intolerance and hate that the community still faces despite all the good that has happened. It’s a battle in which we can’t yet declare victory, and it’s now as important as it ever has been to throw your support behind it so that we can all someday live in a world where love truly does prevail over ignorance and bigotry. Plus, let’s be real. . . Pride Week also means fun parties! We’ve listed a few below but the big kahuna is of course Sunday’s parade through Chelsea and the Village, which you should enjoy if you’re planning to go but not try to drive anywhere near if you aren’t.

Otherwise, it’s another Ideal Week of beautiful summer weather–the Rockaways, Governors Island, and Prospect Park beckon; bbqs abound; and the sunny days stretch to 9pm. Get outside, grab an ice cream cone, take a bike ride, or just take some time to read a book in the park. Whatever you do, make it count! (more…)

06/21/16 1:53pm
Most women's shirts have floppy collars that don't look good with a bow tie. Kirrin Finch is changing that, one collar at a time. Photo: Bethany Michaela

Most women’s shirts have floppy collars that don’t look good with a bow tie. Kirrin Finch is changing that, one collar at a time. Photo: Bethany Michaela

“It’s really deep,” says Laura Moffat. “We’ve started talking about clothing with friends we’ve known a long time, and who we never talked about clothes with before, and it goes really deep. It’s, ‘When I was five, when I was eight,’ and then someone starts crying.”

If you are a human and you put clothes on your body, then you can probably relate. Whether it was a school uniform, shorts, a dance costume, a bridesmaid dress, a sports uniform, or an outfit for an important interview, chances are that you’ve worn clothing that made you feel uncomfortable, unhappy about your body and, just as importantly, made you feel less like your authentic self.

Kirrin Finch, the company that Moffat and her wife, Kelly Sanders Moffat started together, is part of a growing number of businesses dedicated to helping non-gender-conforming customers feel good in their own skins. (more…)

06/21/16 11:58am

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Gay Pride is Saturday here in New York and while we usually write about Pride events (including Brooklyn Pride which was June 11), this week we wanted to take the opportunity to bring you a few different stories from the queer community and really mark the occasion.

Here in New York City, I sometimes let myself get lazy about just how much homophobia exists in the world. It’s like somewhere between Six Feet Under and the Supreme Court striking down DOMA, after my first gay wedding and before my first married gay friends divorced, I decided to believe that this particular kind of hate had been eradicated, like polio or smallpox, stamped out by common sense, progress and love.

Of course I knew that wasn’t entirely true, but living in Brooklyn it was easy enough to believe. Until last weekend. Until Orlando. Until 49 members of the LGBTQ community were murdered because they were loving life and living for it.

I look at my various social media feeds and thing that really fills my heart and makes a lump in my throat is the utter lack of hate coming out of the gay community. People are hurt and angry and so, so sad. They want change, they want the conversation to move past the empty posturing our elected officials pantomime their way through every single time gun violence erupts in this country on a mass scale. What I don’t see is anyone calling to prevent refugees from entering the U.S. or rounding up Muslims who are already here. I see a conversation. I see a hunger for solutions. And I’m humbled by that.

So here at Brooklyn Based, in a really fucking weird year for politics and everything else, during Pride Week in New York City, it’s really the very least we can do to run stories that remind our readers that Brooklyn is gay as the day. To say unequivocally, everyone has the right to feel the love they feel, to express their own identity in the manner of their choosing, to ask to be called by a name or a pronoun or an adjective that feels good to them, to be themselves without permission. We’re all human, we’re all amazing creatures, we’re all so different and so alike, and truly, the LGBTQ community reminds us all of that all the time.

Thank you.