07/03/15 12:00pm


Sponsored By Lakeside Brooklyn.

The LeFrak Center Lakeside offers seasonal activities including roller skating, boat and bike rentals, splash pad and winter ice skating as well as year-round dining at Bluestone Café.

Created By BlankSlate

Still haven’t figured out your July 4th weekend plans? The LeFrak Center Lakeside has plenty of staycation-friendly activities planned. The 75,000-square-foot Prospect Park recreational facility features a roller-skating rink, a water play area for kids, and pedal boat rentals. They’ll also be offering 10% off all purchases and rentals throughout the weekend.

On July 3rd, they’re kicking things off with an afternoon session by DJ Dhundee and free roller-skating admission from 4-6 p.m. Once the kids have gone home, the rink will transform into Lola Star’s Dreamland Roller Disco. Put on your glitziest 80s attire and skate the night away with the best roller disco DJs in the country.

Before you head off to see the fireworks, check out Lakeside’s July 4th party, which starts at 1 p.m. The festivities will feature giveaways, games, and tunes by DJ Mikey Palms and emcee Mr. Marc. Once the cocktail hour rolls around, grab a drink and relax by the lake with live music from The Blue Vipers of Brooklyn. Make sure to check Lakeside’s event calendar for all of the details.

07/03/15 10:00am

It was a frustratingly short jump from the thrill of hearing Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab” blaring out of bars and cars in 2007, like the Shangri-Las had discovered hip-hop and horns, to the tabloids, the onstage meltdowns, the crack pipes, and the eventual overdose. Her life was lived so publicly, her talent for both self-destruction and music battling for supremacy over her life, that I wondered about the purpose of Amy, a new documentary from director Asif Kapadia (Senna). What new information could it possibly reveal? And how many times do we have to watch talented women destroy themselves?

Viewers hoping for dramatic revelations will be disappointed, but the absence of any narrative bombshells mean the movie succeeds in its quieter, but equally important mission: adding context and nuance to her story, giving viewers a glimpse into the real person behind the tabloid drama, one with immense talent and heart. Kapadia’s narrative is beautifully constructed out of an intimate collection of footage assembled from home movies, studio sessions, and performance footage, along with commentary from friends, family, and collaborators. (more…)

07/03/15 8:18am

Despite its many charms, summer really makes you feel your lack of outdoor space if you’re not a New Yorker lucky enough to have regular access to a rooftop, backyard or deck. Our many amazing state and city parks, from Pelham Bay to the Highline to Marine Park, function as backyard, living room and release valve for the entire city, especially in summer when they offer everything from boating and archery lessons, to overnight camping and outdoor movies–or, simply a leafy green or sandy oasis from the heat of the city. A few of our favorite parks have made significant upgrades just in time for summer, or have other buzzy news to report. Here’s a rundown of what’s new in the green spaces near you.

One of the pavilions appearing this summer on Governors Island. Photo: govisland.com

One of the pavilions appearing this summer on Governors Island. Photo: govisland.com

Governors Island

Just west of Red Hook sits Governors Island, which has undergone serious revitalization over the course of the past few years, and with even more development in progress.

Summer Fun: What can’t you do on Governors Island in summer? Bike the miles of car-free paths, play mini-golf with the kids, eat burgers, steaks, ice cream and more at the Liggett Terrace Food Court in the island’s center, or learn urban farming in the Teaching Garden. That list merely skims the surface of the list of daily activities on the island this summer. (more…)

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07/02/15 10:49am
Ride the Wonder Wheel, eat a hot dog and catch a movie, all at Coney Island. Photo: NYEDC

Ride the Wonder Wheel, eat a hot dog and catch a movie, all at Coney Island. Photo: NYEDC

One of the best parts of a summer spent in Brooklyn is the opportunity to while away a hot weeknight watching a classic movie on a big screen under the stars. Whether it’s an ‘80s comedy or a French art film, projected against the backdrop of the Manhattan skyline or within the summer camp-like atmosphere at McCarren Park, there’s something about lying on a blanket in the grass and watching a movie on a balmy night that will make you completely forget where you are. It’s the ultimate escape without actually going anywhere, for the price of a crappy bottle of wine, some snacks and maybe subway fare. And, for yet another year, it’s an option that’s available to you nearly every night of the week for all of July and August.

Now, back by popular demand (seriously, people actually emailed, which was awesome), our complete calendar of free outdoor movies in Brooklyn is here. Flip through and take note of the flicks you’re dying to see, and you can import them to your own GCal one-by-one or en masse. Line up a few friends and send some invites, and you’re already well on your way to a perfect summer evening.

Here’s a quick roundup of the different places you can catch an outdoor show sometime between now and this fall. Remember that all movies start at sundown, but you should plan to arrive earlier if you want good seats.


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07/01/15 10:40am
Socially and politically conscious rapper Talib Kweli will be at Brooklyn Bowl for two nights starting tonight. Photo: Talib Kweli

Socially and politically conscious rapper Talib Kweli will be at Brooklyn Bowl for two nights starting tonight. Photo: Talib Kweli

It’s the Fourth of July on Saturday, which means that lots of people are heading out of town for BBQs, camping trips, family reunions and even Dead shows in Chicago (see below). Don’t worry if you’re sticking around though, there are plenty of ways to celebrate our nation’s independence right here in Brooklyn, and all kinds of activities to keep you occupied this week.

Tonight and tomorrow night, Talib Kweli, the ultra-talented and socially-conscious rapper whose lyrics are the stuff of legend, will be performing at Brooklyn Bowl with a full live band. The shows start at 8pm and tickets are only $20, which is a great price to see this Brooklyn-born artist tear the roof off. While we’re on the topic of music, the first annual Julybalaya festival, a celebration of local indie musicians, artists, dancers, and more, is happening Friday and Saturday in Crown Heights. Day passes are just $25 and include lots of live performances by acts like Eva and Her Virgins, Pete Ayres, Frank Knight, Meridian Lights and Artanker Convoy.

At long last, free outdoor movie season is here! Check back with us tomorrow, when we will once again be posting a super-convenient calendar of all the scheduled screenings in Brooklyn for you to pick and choose from, but for now keep in mind that Nitehawk Cinema and Buzzfeed are pairing up on Tuesday for a special 20th anniversary screening of Billy Madison at 50 Kent Avenue. There will be food and drinks available for purchase, but you might have to bring your own snack packs and sloppy joes. For something a bit more intellectually rigorous, check out Tangerine, a new movie that was filmed entirely on an iPhone, about two transgender women navigating a rough stretch of Hollywood. The film, which our own Annaliese Griffin reviewed last week, will be presented on a rooftop in midtown Tuesday night, followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker. Tickets are $15.

Finally, a few quick future events that you’ll want to buy tickets to now, because they’re going to sell out: Brooklyn Grange is hosting a Veggiepalooza dinner featuring a bevy of well-known chefs putting the late-summer harvest to its best use on Sept. 3, and The Bell House has added a second show to its Tape Festival: A Celebration of Public Radio, after the first one sold out.

For now though, get out there and enjoy the short week/long weekend– you deserve it! Here are our tips for how to get the most out of the next seven days:

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06/30/15 12:00pm


Sponsored By Navy Green.

Navy Green is a brand new development of 3-4 bedroom townhomes starting at $1.8 million, directly across from the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Created By BlankSlate

Navy Green is a new development in the historic neighborhood near the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Taking up almost the entire block where the Navy Brig once stood, bounded by Park, Clermont, Flushing and Vanderbilt Avenues, Navy Green is a village of townhomes and condos surrounding a 30,000-square-foot common green. Residents of the development will be able to enjoy this quiet neighborhood’s many charms, including the restaurants, bars and shops of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, the nearby Brooklyn Greenway, Navy Yard attractions, and even a brand-new Wegmans supermarket.

The neighborhood adjacent to the Brooklyn Navy Yard—sometimes referred to as Wallabout, sometimes as extensions of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill—was once described by the founder of Columbia University’s Historic Preservation Program as an “outdoor architectural museum.” Belgians settled in the area as early as 1624, but Wallabout (from the Dutch Waal-bogt, meaning “a bend in the harbor”) remained largely rural until the opening of the Navy Yard in 1801. Many of the houses in the neighborhood were built for the people who worked at the yard, which was shut down in 1966 and gradually converted into the center for industry and the arts it is today.

Following are some of the best attractions in the neighborhood around Navy Green.


06/30/15 10:48am

The blue light turns off–or back on again, in case of bad trips. Photo: Tom Mylan

Back in a magical time known as the 1990’s my friend Stacey and I would routinely skip school and head back to her dad’s house to smoke tiny joints of Mexican dirtweed and watch the classic 1980 movie Altered States. It stars William Hurt as a professor who explores exotic psychedelics while floating in a sensory deprivation tank and ends up tripping so hard that at points he regresses into a proto-hominid and an amoeba man. Those lost afternoons spent eating microwaved fish sticks while watching William Hurt turn to dust and blow away into the sands of time left an impression on me, which is why I nearly wet myself with excitement when offered the chance to spend an hour in one of the float tanks at Lift Next Level Floats in Carol Gardens, which opened earlier this month.


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06/29/15 12:00pm


Sponsored By Handy.

Handy allows you to quick and easily book home cleaning and handyman services from trusted and experienced service professionals.

Created By BlankSlate

Summer’s here… you should enjoy it! Go out, have fun, and leave your chores to Handy. Whether your home could use a cleaning or you need a handyman, Handy is here to help. To help you out even more, Handy has a great deal exclusively for Brooklyn Based subscribers. Through July 10, first-time customers get two hours of home cleaning for only $19 when you schedule regular cleaning services. There’s no better way to prep for the July 4th weekend (and to free up your summer)!

06/29/15 11:02am
Well show you how to make The Boxcar Beetle on the next page. Photo: Ellen Killoran

Well show you how to make The Boxer Beetle on the next page. Photo: Ellen Killoran

Ramona might look like it’s too elegant for a wild night out in Brooklyn, but co-owner Scott Schneider wants to be sure no one is intimidated by the cavernous, meticulously designed space and sophisticated cocktail program. “Even though it seems like a really classy place where you have to be on your best behavior, you totally don’t,” Schneider says. “It’s super fun.” Indeed, Ramona has quickly established itself as one of North Brooklyn’s most sought-after private party spots, and on any given weekend night you can expect to find an energetic crowd well past the witching hour.

Schneider opened Ramona in early 2014 with his brother Jay and Jay’s wife Natalka, after the team found success with Elsa in the East Village. Ramona was initially built as a sister bar to Elsa, but since Elsa closed in 2014 they’ve stayed focused on their Franklin Avenue spot.  We chatted with Schneider about the cocktail scene, Greenpoint and the secret lives of bartenders.   (more…)

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06/26/15 9:54am

Memoir is an interesting genre because memoirs reflect how the writer remembers events. Often I find that the feelings and social commentary of the author’s memories, rather than the events they recount, are most intriguing. And I particularly like memoirs that are genre-bending. By this, I mean memoirs by people who practice another form of art or whose expertise of a subject filters through to their personal writing. In this sampling of my favorite memoirs, I’ve included one each from a critic, a journalist, a poet and a photographer.

maggieThe Argonauts by Maggie Nelson

If you’ve read Bluets, Maggie Nelson’s essay collection about falling in love with the color blue and her loneliness that coincides, then you’ll see The Argonauts is a continuation, a happy ending to that exploration of loneliness. If you haven’t read Bluets, then you should read all of Maggie Nelson’s work. She has an extraordinary intellect for detailing her own feelings, for figuring out the problem. In The Argonauts she explores how we name our families and whether or not words are good enough. This is a book for all the excitement in your heart.  (more…)