01/26/15 10:48am

When I first saw that the old Chinese restaurant on Franklin Avenue near Carroll Street–the kind that used to have bulletproof glass, styrofoam containers, and cheap plastic booth seating–was slated to become an “apothecary kitchen,” otherwise billed on the website as a “hybrid space featuring healing food, acupuncture, naturopathy, Chinese herbs and classes,” my obvious first thought was: there goes the neighborhood. Mountain, which opened this fall, seemed like a particularly quick change of pace for Crown Heights, even on a stretch of Franklin Ave where a former Crown Fried Chicken outpost is now home to a cocktail and dessert bar. But I finally found my way into Mountain this week and I have to say this is not at all a cookie-cutter “New Brooklyn” spot, but a special place that’s not quite like anywhere else in NYC. (more…)

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01/24/15 7:00am
biggame-219x288Don’t feel like battling your internet speeds to live stream the 2015 Super Bowl? Or maybe that TV you rescued from your sidewalk was thrown out for a legit reason. Luckily, no matter why you’re big screen deprived, Nitehawk Cinema is providing an alternative plan for your Super Bowl Sunday. The Williamsburg staple is having their own Super Bowl party, complete with classic football munchables and a bevy of alcoholic options. For $25, you can watch the showdown between Tom Brady and Russell Wilson on the widest of wide screens, and enjoy Nitehawk’s House Made Hot Wings. Included in the price of the ticket are beer vouchers for an array of New England and Seattle’s best brews, and the option to watch the Puppy Bowl in the lobby.  The mayhem starts at 6pm (the game starts at 6:30) on February 1. Tickets are available online and will sell out before game day.
01/23/15 11:49am
Lenore Skenazy schools overprotective parents on how to let go in her new Discovery Life show, "World's Worst Mom." Photo: Discovery Life

Lenore Skenazy schools overprotective parents on how to let go in her new Discovery Life show, “World’s Worst Mom.” Photo: Discovery Life

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01/23/15 10:30am
Families can really bond at the Free Family Programs at the Brooklyn Historical Society. Photo: Courtesy of Together in Dance

Really bond with your kids at Brooklyn Historical Society’s free family programs every Saturday. Photo: Together in Dance

Winter afternoons mean hibernating inside, climbing the walls with your kids. Or at least that’s how it feels in my house. On a recent weekend, we decided to brave the wind chill and go to the Brooklyn Historical Society’s free family programming series. Every Saturday at 11am, the BHS in Brooklyn Heights offers up free events ranging from music sing-alongs with Lloyd H. Miller (best known as the lead singer of the Deedle Deedle Dees, an educational band that sings about history), Brooklyn Family Boogie dance parties and hands-on craft workshops. All for free! (more…)

01/23/15 9:49am

It may be cold and uninspiring outside, but think about the work inside New York’s galleries and museums like a roaring fire to warm your winter-dulled mind and spark your creative spirit. From photography to sculpture, famous names to new voices, the current art scene offers a late winter-early spring calendar jam-packed with exciting shows. Here are a few current and soon-to-open exhibits that are worth bundling up to see.

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Respond
Jan. 17- Feb. 22 at Smack Mellon
Created as a response to the grand jury decision not to indict officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Eric Garner, this exhibit in DUMBO showcases pieces from hundreds of artists, each of whom submitted work as part of an open call. Smack Mellon actually received over 600 submissions for this exhibit and had to narrow it down–proof that the chosen theme struck a chord in many people. The show features work in a variety of mediums including sculpture, paintings, textiles, photography and video, as well as a mural created with Groundswell and local teenagers. Throughout Respond’s run, community organizers, artists, and activists will be speaking, meeting, performing and collaborating in the spirit of change and action, and there will be regular events at Smack Mellon, including film screenings, workshops and poetry readings.

Modern Photographs from the Thomas Walther Collection, 1909–1949
T
hrough April 19, 2015 at MoMA
Yes, the Matisse cut-out exhibit at MoMA is about to close, but there are still several great reasons to visit the city’s temple to modern art. This collection of more than 300 photographs taken between World War I and II explores the ways in which artists were working with the still relatively new technology of photography at the time. The exhibit includes work by Karl Blossfeldt, Florence Henri, Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, and many other famed shutterbugs, and showcases work by lesser-known talents as well. The range of styles, viewpoints and ways in which photographers dared to push the young medium forward is quite remarkable. (more…)

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01/23/15 9:26am
I Spy a vacuum hose in this sculpture.

I spy a vacuum hose…
Judith Scott (American, 1943‒2005). Untitled, 2004. Fiber and found objects, 28 x 15 x 27 in. (71.1 x 38.1 x 68.6 cm).The Smith-Nederpelt Collection. © Creative Growth Art Center. (Photo: © Brooklyn Museum)

It’s a fact that kids love to play hide and seek. My 5-year-old son can spend hours either hiding or seeking with other kids, or looking for hidden toys. The “Judith Scott: Bound and Unbound” show at the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum is full of such Easter eggs. The artist has created cocoons of twisted and tied fibers in which she has buried found objects in a variety of ways. Sometimes, the wrapped entities are entirely visible, like a giant shopping cart, or partially visible like the bicycle tire, chair, wire hangers or plastic hose. Mostly, the objects titillate under so much wrapping that you can only begin to guess what lays buried underneath. Needless to say, my son very much enjoyed the guessing game.

It's a bird, it's a plane... Judith Scott (American, 1943‒2005). Untitled, 1989. Fiber and found objects, 45⅛ x 22 x 10 in. (114.6 x 55.9 x 25.4 cm). The Museum of Everything, London. © Creative Growth Art Center.  (Photo: © Sylvain Deleu)

It’s a bird, it’s a plane…
Judith Scott (American, 1943‒2005). Untitled, 1989. Fiber and found objects, 45⅛ x 22 x 10 in. (114.6 x 55.9 x 25.4 cm). The Museum of Everything, London. © Creative Growth Art Center.
(Photo: © Sylvain Deleu)

“That’s a turkey, and that one is a sword. This is a snake or some work tools. This one must be a giant hen laying an egg.” Of course, my son was able to see many different ideas for implausible things hiding underneath the textures. But, even as an adult, your mind does wander through the bundles looking for clues in the negative space and abstractions. With every artist, a viewer looks closely to see what the artist might be trying to say with their work. And with Judith Scott, it is impossible to know for certain, as she didn’t have the language to speak for herself. (more…)

01/22/15 11:15am
Facade of the Kings Theatre (photo courtesy of Kings Theatre's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KingsTheatreBklyn/photos/pb.308936483947.-2207520000.1421524233./10152763915118948/?type=3&theater)

The newly restored facade of the Kings Theatre. Photo: Kings Theatre

Yes, there’s been a sad trend lately in which beloved live venues shut down because of lease problems and rent hikes–the latest casualty being Glasslands in Williamsburg. There is however, a flip side to all that. As The New York Times recently reported, the historic Kings Theatre, a once-grand movie palace located in Flatbush that has been closed for nearly 40 years, is making a comeback. On Feb. 3, the Kings Theatre will reopen with an already sold-out inaugural concert by Diana Ross. and a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held this Friday, Jan. 23, followed by a free performance on Jan. 27 featuring the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and the Brooklyn Ballet. (Scroll down for a full list of scheduled performances.)

The Kings Theatre (Matt Lambros)

The Kings Theatre was restored with its original interior color scheme. Photo: Matt Lambros

There’s been a good deal of ink devoted to the city’s nearly $95 million restoration of the theatre–but what kind of venue will this be? With 3,000 seats it’s nearly a third bigger than BAM’s 2,090-seat Howard Gilman Opera House. (For further reference, there are about 18,000 seats at Barclays Center, though not all are in use during musical performances due to the dead zone behind the stage.) The theatre has been restored to its original color palette and the carpeting and light fixtures that once lined its aisles and walls have been recreated. The venue has also been upgraded for the 21st century with the expansion of the theatre’s footprint from 86,000 square feet to 93,000 square feet–along with improved sight lines, lighting and acoustics. While the architectural elements are all vintage or painstaking recreations, the sound and lighting systems and backstage facilities for staging productions are all state-of-the-art, and designed to attract world-class performers.

(more…)

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01/22/15 9:09am

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It’s been three weeks since you made your resolutions, and you’re probably still doing some very good things for yourself in 2015. But how about your career? The way that you work can always use some fine tuning, and General Assembly has a suite of classes that will improve your design, tech, marketing, and entrepreneurialism skills, all free for Brooklyn Based readers for three months, and all available to stream, which is great considering it’s freezing outside.

When you register here before March 31, you’ll get unlimited access to both live and on-demand streaming classes for three months. The online library of tutorials draws upon the workshops and seminars General Assembly offers at their Flatiron office and online, and allows you to pick and choose your coursework and become fluent in new concepts at your own pace. How to pivot your career, create your first content strategy, hire a developer (or become one yourself), a guide to crowdfunding, an introduction to SEO, a social marketing summit from the honchos at Thrillist and Gawker–all of these topics are waiting in the ether, ready to impart some wisdom once you hit play.

The only thing you won’t be able to do, when you say, learn how to make infographics with Larry Buchanan, journalist, designer and coder with the New Yorker, is ask him questions–though you can download the course materials, skip to and rewind the chapters that are important to you, and hear him crack some Portlandia jokes.

Sign up here to learn what you want, when you want. We’ve also teamed up with General Assembly to offer an introductory class on digital advertising Saturday, Feb. 7 from 10am to 1pm, lunch included, for content creators and anyone advertising their business. You will have to leave your couch for this one, though.

01/21/15 9:50am

idealweekjan21

The dog days of winter are upon us. We might not be in the same cycle of weekly polar vortices that we found ourselves in last year, but it’s not like it’s warm out, and we have a long time to brave the commute until the next national holiday arrives. Luckily, there is plenty to see and do this week to keep things exciting, and to keep you from getting sucked into the black hole of your couch and Seamless. BAM is screening Round-Up, Sufjan Stevens’ paean to the rodeo, every night through Sunday; St. Ann’s Warehouse’s month-long run of the stage rendition of Let the Right One In begins this week; and Chris Ofili’s solo show at the New Museum nears its end. In weird news, an urban golf course painstakingly constructed from trash by a Vinegar Hill man who goes by Tiger Hoods might not make it through the winter, so you might want to make a point of seeing it now. If not, we have lots of other suggestions to fill your Google calendar for the week. (more…)

01/20/15 9:00am
They Might Be Giants (Paul Sahre)

They Might Be Giants (Paul Sahre)

John Linnell and John Flansburgh, otherwise known as They Might Be Giants, have sustained one of the most unconventional and enduring careers in alternative rock for over 30 years now. After 16 studio albums and many, many live shows, they’ve built a brand that includes several children’s records, soundtrack and advertising work, and the theme song for The Daily Show.

Good news for ardent fans–2015 is poised to be a very special year for TMBG.  Their major label debut, Flood, best known for beloved tracks like “Istanbul,” “Particle Man,” and “Birdhouse in Your Soul,” turns 25, and they’re going to embark on a tour that will include a residency at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on the last Sunday of each month. The first show in January is already sold out, but February will be devoted to music from TMBG’s self-titled 1986 debut album, March will spotlight Flood, April will focus on music from their new album based on their Dial-a Song recordings, and May will feature music from their 2007 record The Else. (more…)