07/30/15 1:20pm
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The Down Hill Struggles | Photo: Down Hill Strugglers via Facebook

A few weeks ago we took a look at current exhibits in museums and other cultural institutions in and around New York, and suggested that whiling the day away gazing at art while soaking up free air conditioning just might be one the best ways to tough out a heat wave. Well, the heat wave is here, and we want to amend that list and add one more exhibit that we left off the first time around, now, with musical guest.

Folk City: New York and the Folk Music Revival at the Museum of the City of New York traces the deeply personal experiences of the musicians who were writing music and performing during the 1950s-1960s folk revival in New York. A large part of the exhibit pays homage to New York itself and how the city nourished the musical and political movement. (more…)

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07/30/15 12:00pm

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Sponsored By BRIC.

BRIC is a nonprofit arts and media cultural organization that presents free and low-cost programming to the community.

Created By BlankSlate

Movies make for great entertainment, but can they change the world? Find out on Tuesday, Aug. 4, at 7pm at a free film screening at BRIC in Fort Greene. Interactive Media for Social Good, part of BRIC FLIX, is an ongoing film screening and conversation series showcasing Brooklyn’s creativity and diversity.

This installment is being held in partnership with Made in NY Media Center by IFP and will be moderated by Elissa Birke, the producer of the Independent Filmmaker Project program Envision: Addressing Global Issues Through Documentaries. The evening will feature interactive media works dealing with a diverse range of place-based and social issues.

Brazilian-American filmmaker Luisa Dantas will present Land of Opportunity, a transmedia documentary chronicling the rebuilding of post-Katrina New Orleans. The project takes a thought-provoking look at housing displacement in the wake of natural disaster.

If you’re interested in the history of Brooklyn, you won’t want to miss Southside Stories. Created by Brooklyn-based artist Shannon Caroll, the innovative audio-walk project explores Williamsburg through the eyes of longtime residents. (more…)

07/30/15 9:34am
Amanda Petrusich (Bret Stetka)

Amanda Petrusich (Bret Stetka)

The vinyl record has gone through a remarkable resurgence in popularity over the past several years—quite a turnaround from the 1990s when it seemed like vinyl was headed for obsolescence. In April, Billboard reported that vinyl record sales went up 53 percent for this year’s first quarter; overall  sales have risen 260 percent since 2009.

9781451667066Before 33 1/3 rpm records became the standard after their introduction in 1948, the 78rpm disc was the norm; 78s held considerably less music and were made of shellac, ensuring their fragility. As such, vintage 78 rpm records are extremely rare (I’ve never held or even heard one played), making them catnip for collectors. Music writer Amanda Petrusich outlines the story of 78s and the collectors who seek them out in her critically-acclaimed book Do Not Sell At Any Price: The Wild, Obsessive Hunt for the World’s Rarest 78rpm Records. First published last year via Scribner, the book was recently been released in paperback. (more…)

07/29/15 9:56am
Get in some quality time at a quality Brooklyn bar while you can this weekend. Photo: Montero's Bar

Get in some quality time at a quality Brooklyn bar while you can this weekend. Photo: Montero’s Bar

The New York Times reported some sad news this week: it looks like Brooklyn Heights institution Montero’s Bar is not long for the world, now that the owners have agreed to put the building up for sale along with six others on the same stretch of Atlantic Avenue. It’s not clear when that sale will happen, but it’s hard to imagine a scenario where luxury condos aren’t going up by the end of the year, so start celebrating Montero’s swan song by heading over on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday for one of its famous karaoke nights.

On Friday night, you can brush up on your selfie skills with a free iphone photography class at BKC in DUMBO. From 5:30pm-7, learn about lighting and composition tricks that will breathe new life into your Instagram feed, which apps are the most useful, how to use your phone’s built-in lens, and even what HDR is. Admission is totally free with RSVP. If you’d rather see someone else’s artwork on Friday, Sugarlift is throwing an opening party on its rooftop for its newest exhibit of six young, up-and-coming digital artists. Tickets are only $10 if you buy them in advance, and that includes all the local craft beer you can drink, which is pretty much the best deal in town.

Looking to stay up all night on Saturday at a dance party with awesome music and food from the likes of Mile End and Battery Harris? The annual Full Moon Fest starts at 3pm at the Brooklyn Mirage and goes until sunrise, and there are still some tickets available. Or perhaps you’d like to get out of town, in which case you should head to the Wassaic Project’s annual summer festival that brings together bands, films, art, food and camping on their 200-acre property.

Finally, if you still haven’t had your fill of blue crabs this summer, we’ve got some great news: South Slope gastropub J’eatJet is throwing a crab boil on Wednesday night from 5-10pm. For $40, you get unlimited crabs and sides, plus dessert, which is as good a way as any to get through Hump Day.

Read ahead for lots of other ways to entertain yourself this week–it’s gonna be a hot one!

(more…)

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Partner Post
07/28/15 1:00pm

If you work from home, or out of your coffee shop, consider giving yourself a working vacation at the North Brooklyn outpost of The Yard this summer. You’ve got one month left to beat the heat in an air-conditioned, art-filled space that’s across the street from McCarren Park—perfect for some much-needed reflection, as one Yard member describes above—and right next to Spritzenhaus, which is a wonderful place to spend your happy hour.

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To make the decision even easier for you, The Yard is currently offering a Brooklyn summer special—new members joining now through September 1st can receive 30% off their first month at any level: open coworking, dedicated desk space, and private office suites of any size, pending availability, when you mention Brooklyn Based (get in touch here). We work out of The Yard, too, so maybe we’ll see you at the water cooler.

07/28/15 11:28am
The Cherry and Balsamic Shrub at James in Prospect Heights can be served with or without alcohol. Photo: James

The Cherry and Balsamic Shrub at James in Prospect Heights can be prepared with or without alcohol. Photo: James

A few years ago a friend and I were at a fancy bar where they encouraged you to give the bartender a vague description of what you wanted to drink, and presto-magic!–she would create a brand new cocktail on the spot. “I want something icy, fruity and fantastic,” said my date, and some minutes later he was sipping a drink that combined fresh blackberries, gin and a blackberry shrub over pebble ice. It was indeed icy, fruity and fantastic. Ever since I’ve ordered any drink on a cocktail menu listing a shrub as an ingredient.

Shrubs combine vinegar, fruit and sugar, as well as herbs, spices, vegetables and other enhancements to make a sweet-tart syrup. Combined with soda water or mixed into a cocktail they’re a refreshing punch of flavor that makes the most of seasonal produce. Don’t let the vinegar deter you, or the hisptery mixologist vibes for that matter, shrubs are easy to make and delicious to drink. (more…)

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07/27/15 9:00am
Poutine gone veggie (Photo: Brendan Spiegel(

Poutine gone Park Slope. Photos: Brendan Spiegel

Poutine, the glorious French-Canadian comfort-food concoction of french fries, gravy and cheese curds, has been having an extended moment in New York these past few years, turning up everywhere from laid-back bar food menus like Sheep Station‘s to acclaimed restaurants such as Mile End. You’ve got to have full confidence in New Yorkers’ potential poutine consumption though, to open an eatery focused on this gut-busting meal–designed specifically to warm up those famously frigid Montreal winters–and debut it here in the middle of summer. That’s exactly what The Perfect Potato did though, opening in Park Slope late last month, just in time to turn your beach body into a potato-leaden potbelly. Hooray! (more…)

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07/24/15 9:00am
Spending the day trying out instruments with The Cleveland Orchestra at Lincoln Center is pretty much a perfect NYC experience.

Spending the day trying out instruments with The Cleveland Orchestra at Lincoln Center is pretty much a perfect NYC experience. Photo: Meredith Craig de Pietro

Last weekend, I took my son for his first performance at Lincoln Center. We had been there last year for an informative Sesame Street exhibit. But, I saw that Lincoln Center has other family-friendly programming, including shortened concerts and kid-oriented music events. So for $15/ ticket, I bought entree for our family into a morning event called Fantastic French Horns with The Cleveland Orchestra, a special edition of the Orchestra’s adult performance at LC.

We arrived early to the Stanley K. Kaplan Penthouse, a gorgeous room with wrap-around glass windows, to get good seats. A crew of cheerful volunteers met us at the door and provided my son with his own Lincoln Center passport that he can get stamped at all future events. Inside the room, tables were cluttered with beautiful musical instruments, and although the event was well attended (with about 50 people) we were able to find great seats.

Over the next hour, kids enjoyed an interactive lesson about the french horn by the Cleveland Orchestra’s own Hans Clebsch. We learned about the horn’s prehistoric origins and heard examples of horns ranging from a conch shell to an antelope horn. The director was engaging and kept the event moving with lots of call and response from the audience. We heard beautiful snippets of Strauss, Mozart, and “Pop Goes the Weasel.” My son’s favorite part was when they provided musical accompaniment for the myths “The Wind and the Sun” and “The Tortoise and the Hare.” Second favorite? The beautiful performance of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” which my son quietly sang along with.

The penthouse is an intimate performance space, that feels welcoming and exclusive at the same time.

The penthouse is an intimate performance space that feels welcoming and exclusive at the same time. Photo: Meredith Craig de Pietro

Lincoln Center recommended this event for kids ages 6 and up, and I realized quickly that I should take their suggested age at face value for future events. Although most children were very engaged, we did notice a few younger folk who were having trouble concentrating on the performance. One girl was lying in the aisle, a boy was whining to his mother, and another kid was steadily focused on picking his nose and eating it.

At the end of the hour, the kids were invited to the front to touch and try a wide variety of musical instruments. If you imagine this as bedlam, you would be right. But there were so many volunteers helping and wiping down mouthpieces, and so many musical instruments on display, that the kids were able to move thoroughly around getting chances to try everything from the french horn (ofcourse), to the triangle, to the violin. After the 10th time of my son banging a gong, he took a bow and we walked across Lincoln Center, our ears still ringing, to the David Rubenstein Atrium where they have a beautiful vertical garden, and a ‘wichcraft to boot.

Upcoming Lincoln Center Family Events:

Saturday July 25th: Family Day at Lincoln Center Out of Doors, 10am- 5pm, FREE, All Ages. This yearly all day concert event starts with a Baby Loves Disco dance party and continues with performances by Lil Buck, Joyous Quartet, Heidi Latsky Dance’s wheelchair whizzes, as well as multimedia dance extravaganzas. Takes place at Josie Robertson Plaza and Jaffe Drive

August 1st: Puppet Building Workshop, 11am-12:30pm, $25/ ticket, Ages 8+. A hands-on puppet workshop led by puppeteer Leo Gabriadze showing some of the creations from Ramona (which is currently in production at Lincoln Center.) Families will design and build their own puppets. Takes place at The Samuels Studio 165 West 65th Street, 7th Floor.

‘Wichcraft– David Rubentein Atrium- 61 West 62nd Street @ Broadway. Hours: Mon- Wed: 8am-9pm, Thurs: 8am-9:30pm, Fri: 8am- 9pm, Sat: 9am- 9pm, Sun: 10am-6pm

07/23/15 10:34am

Ah, summer in Brooklyn. A marvelous unfolding of rooftop drinking, movies under the stars, music in the parks, and out-of-town guests–like your parents.

Alarmingly, many parents still harbor the belief that a visit to New York City means a crowded, over-long day at the Met followed by mediocre Midtown dining and an astronomically expensive Broadway show. Need help figuring out how best to show off your borough to the folks who helped you get here? We’ve got you covered. Here are more than 50 ways to show them Brooklyn—your Brooklyn—plus a little smidge of Queens.

A group on the Brooklyn Classic tour with Get Up and Ride. Photo: Get Up and Ride

A group on the Brooklyn Classic tour with Get Up and Ride. Photo: Get Up and Ride

For Your Folks Who Are Still in Great Shape 

1. Bike the waterfront—or anywhere else. Get Up and Ride offers group tours on comfortable bikes (which they also rent), or can organize a private tour. Citibikes are also a fantastic option, with 24-hour passes costing only $9.95.

2. Shoot some arrows at Gotham Archery. Intro classes are $30, and are offered most days except for Mondays & Tuesdays.

3. Knock down some pins at one of Bk’s many bowling alleys, from the scruffy Gutter to the swanky Brooklyn Bowl to the old-school Melody Lanes.

4. See some art while smashing some balls at PIPS Table Tennis and Art Space.

5. Learn what to do with biscuits and tangs at the Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club, with courts rented for $40/hr.

6. Climb the walls at Brooklyn Boulders—no experience or reservations necessary.

7. Get your surf on at the Rockaway Beach Surf School, with lessons every day of the week.

10. For a serious taste of today’s Brooklyn befitting the most adventurous parents, take a circus class—intro classes are offered at the Muse, Brooklyn Air Space, and LAVA Brooklyn. (more…)

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