12/22/14 9:00am
Beet ketchup -- available to stay or go. (Photo: Brooklyn Beet Company / Facebook)

Beet ketchup–available to stay or go. Photo: Brooklyn Beet Company / Facebook)

There’s no doubt in my mind that Bay Ridge has Brooklyn’s most underrated restaurant scene. Ever since cupcake queen Allison Robicelli gave me an intro tour of the nabe’s best holes-in-the-wall this fall, I’ve had a long list of eateries I need to return and sample. Bay Ridge isn’t just about taquerias and falafel spots though. One of the best meals I’ve had anywhere lately was at Brooklyn Beet Company, a restaurant whose New Brooklyn-y name belies an Old World outlook. Owners Maria and Otto Zizak previously opened Korzo in South Park Slope and the now-shuttered Korzo Haus in Manhattan. Ironically, their furthest-out spot is much more intimate than their outposts in more expensive neighborhoods; this one is a very narrow space with a long row of communal tables that seat 24. (more…)

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12/18/14 7:43pm

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This is the second installation in our new essay series. Last time we heard from writer Judy McGuire about being forced out of a rent-stabilized apartment in Williamsburg by developers. This time Eliza Hecht, whose byline you may have seen on the Modern Love column in The New York Times recently, reflects on crying in public. To submit essay pitches, email us.

I live in Crown Heights, which I chose partly because of the convenient trains–I can catch both the 2/3, to go up the west side of Manhattan, or the 4/5, to go up the east, at Franklin Ave.

Not that long ago, I was taking the train home from school in the West Village. I was sitting, but strangers were standing crowded around me, commuting back to their lives at home. As the train rocked its way back to Brooklyn, I was listening to This American Life. It was an episode I had heard before, one that concluded with several girls in juvenile hall singing to their mothers.

“Mama. I’m sorry,” the girls sang. “I’m sorry. Mama, I’m sorry.”

This particular episode is one of those stories that doesn’t even pretend not to be emotionally manipulative. These girls, in a home for committing crimes, were apologizing to their mothers for what they did. In song.

I have always cried easily. (more…)

12/18/14 1:46pm

Last week we wrote about a few Christmas tree delivery services around New York, and asked you to share where you got your tree, how much it cost and any other notable tips about your local tree-sellers. We’ve compiled the results into a Google map, which you can continue to add to, for your tree-buying ease.

One reader also let us know that Christmas Tree Brooklyn is yet another great source, if you want to order your tree online and have it delivered (they also have three stands, on the map, where you can pick a tree and have it delivered or haul it home). There’s quite a range of prices here. No matter what size tree you get, and what you choose to decorate it with, we highly suggest making some hot toddys or mulled cider, popping a batch of cookies in the oven, and making an afternoon out of it.

And again, you can add to this map, so please do if your favorite tree-monger is not on there.

 

12/18/14 1:00pm

brooklyn-made-chamber-of-commerce-holiday-pop-up-market-tumbador-chocolateBrooklyn-Made Tumbador Chocolate

Sponsored By Brooklyn-Made.

Brooklyn-Made is the only certification program for goods manufactured in Brooklyn, New York.

Created By BlankSlate

Calling all last minute shoppers: This Saturday and Sunday, from noon to 8pm, visit the Brooklyn-Made Holiday Pop-Up Market at Times Plaza (the triangle at the intersection of Flatbush, Atlantic, and Fourth Avenue). The market will feature all Brooklyn-Made vendors, so this is your chance to buy last minute gifts that are made exclusively in Brooklyn. There will be food vendors as well as jewelry, accessories, home décor, housewares, and more.

12/18/14 12:00pm

Image-1It’s not just the holiday season in New York, with all those lights, elaborate window displays and ill-advised third (or fourth or fifth) servings of mulled wine, it’s also something of a peak to the cultural season. Lots of plays and art exhibits open in early fall, with runs that last through early January, while Hollywood hoards all non-summer blockbuster films until November and December, so a slew of movies for Oscar consideration come out this time of year. The end result being that there’s suddenly a glut of great stuff watch, see and do, with the added pressure that many of these shows will soon close. Here’s how to treat yourself to a cultural holiday in New York City over the next few weeks, with a few especially-for-the-season picks thrown in. And, for an extensive selection of live concerts, check out our year-end live music round-up. (more…)

12/18/14 11:00am

With the holiday season already in full bloom, here are some upcoming musical offerings to bring some much-needed cheer and relaxation from the stress of big box shopping, over-the-top decorations, drunken company parties and gawking tourists in midtown. Rather than just the usual traditional Christmas music fare, these shows (nearly all of them taking place in the borough) offer an array of sounds from the genres of classical, indie rock, world music and even Jewish comedy.

Dec. 20
JEWMONGOUS: Unkosher Comedy Songs
@Brooklyn Academy of Music
Peter Jay Sharp Building/BAMcafé
30 Lafayette Ave., Brooklyn
9pm, free
How can you resist going to a satirical musical program hosted by former Rockapella singer Sean Atlman, with songs such as “Just Too Jew for You,” “Be My Little Shabbos Goy,” and “They Tried to Kill Us (We Survived, Let’s Eat)”? And heck, it’s free.

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Nick Lowe (Dan Burn-Forti)

Dec. 20
Nick Lowe’s Quality Holiday Revue
w/Los Straitjackets
@Music Hall of Williamsburg
66 N. 6th St., Brooklyn
8:30pm, $35
A true legend from the British pub rock/power pop genre of the ’70s (“Cruel to Be Kind,” being his signature song)–not to mention his importance in Elvis Costello’s early career–the Jesus of Cool returns to the live stage in support of his recent holiday album Quality Street, and joining him as part of the festivities is the instrumental group Los Straitjackets. When it comes to Lowe, expect an entertaining show.

(more…)

12/18/14 9:00am
Celebrate the holidays with Matisse! Installation view of Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs at The Museum of Modern Art, New York (October 12, 2014-February 8, 2015). Photo by Jonathan Muzikar. © 2014 The Museum of Modern Art

Celebrate the holidays with Matisse! Installation view of Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs at The Museum of Modern Art, New York (October 12, 2014-February 8, 2015). Photo by Jonathan Muzikar. © 2014 The Museum of Modern Art

Henri Matisse is generally considered one of the finest artists of the 20th century. The current show at the Museum of Modern Art, called “Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs” traveled here from London’s Tate Modern where it was mobbed by over a million people. In order to accommodate all of the visitors, the museum stayed open all night during the last weekend of its run. So, I had no doubt the MoMA would draw a crowd, and of course during the holiday rush of tourists, I (along with my family) was prepared for a mob scene. (more…)

12/17/14 2:22pm

Here’s your best holiday gift so far–Funny Story is Thursday night at Brooklyn Brewery. This month we have a writer for Letterman, a badly behaved girl and an editor of Out Magazine telling hilarious true stories, and as always, our beloved host, Tom Shillue. We never set a theme, but a holiday menagerie of stories may well occur this time around. If you want more Shillue steeze, check him out in Jimmy Fallon’s barbershop quartet in the video above (Tom’s the one to the left of Steve Carell, no, not Jimmy Fallon, your other left). While we can’t promise he’ll break into song on Thursday, he did perform a barbershop snippet back in October, which you can listen to on Funny Story Live, episode two. Tickets are $10, and that includes a beer. Good times guaranteed.

12/17/14 7:43am
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Hawaii, at the Greenwood Heights home that's putting on its tenth Holiday Light Spectacular this year. Photo: Themetricals

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Hawaii, at the Greenwood Heights home that’s putting on its tenth Holiday Light Spectacular this year. Photo: Themetricals

We’re in the home stretch of holiday season, awash in Hanukkah gelt, and just a week away from having to procure every present in time for Christmas. But this week, between the latkes, work parties, and last-minute card mailings, you should carve out some time for spontaneous fun, because there are so many good prospects ahead. Now that the New York premiere of The Interview has been canceled, it frees you up for tomorrow night’s edition of Funny Story, where a writer for Letterman, a reality show regular and an editor from Out Magazine will share true stories over beer (one of them free). On Sunday you can celebrate the Winter Solstice the way the goddess intended, with a drum circle at the fountain of Grand Army Plaza at 5:30pm, led by an urban shaman, or with a tap dance down Flatbush.

There are a lot more traditions to honor this week, some of them secret, some of them twinkling in plain sight. (more…)

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