Nikita Richardson

Articles by

Nikita Richardson

Nikita Richardson is an editorial assistant at Fast Company magazine and freelance writer living in Bushwick, Brooklyn by-way-of Marietta, GA. She was also forced to take keyboarding all four quarters of 8th grade and now makes extra money freelance transcribing. Her interests include beer and whiskey gingers, hosting trivia on a monthly basis at East Williamsburg's Pine Box Rock Shop, and looking for her next favorite song. Follow her on Tumblr or on Twitter @nikitarbk

05/27/16 11:24am
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As if you needed another reason to visit Industry City. How about a dance party? Photo: Industry City

This weekend marks the unofficial start to summer, which means trips upstate, free movie screenings, and a lot of al fresco dining, drinking, and dancing. Here are just a few of the newest spaces for all your outdoor frolicking needs.

Courtyard at The Landing It seems like every week, Industry City finds a new reason to get us down to Sunset Park. The latest addition to the multi-faceted site is Courtyard at The Landing, a new outdoor space co-founded by the people behind Gowanus’ Bell House that’s fit for all your summer-y needs. Throughout the season, locals are invited to grab food prepared by executive chef Adam Shepard (Tavern On The Green, Union Pacific) and enjoy a full bar plus a slew of special events, including a brand new Saturday night dance party hosted by Freedom Party. The inaugural 80s versus 90s fête kicks off on June 4. (more…)

05/20/16 1:40pm
The new beer garden brewing in the Navy Yard--Brooklyn Brewery's rooftop restaurant and pub, coming in 2018. Rendering: Davis Brody Bond

The new beer garden brewing in the Navy Yard–Brooklyn Brewery’s rooftop restaurant and pub, coming in 2018. Rendering: Davis Brody Bond

These days, it’s hard to navigate a New York City beer blog and not hear frequent mention of the many great craft breweries taking over the city. There’s Other Half, Grimm, Finback, Singlecut, Transmitter—the list, like the road, goes ever on and on. But before this city gave us $8 craft beers, there was a small brewery based out of Williamsburg, struggling to revitalize the city’s rich and storied history of beer brewing.

On Sunday, news broke that this “small” brewery would be expanding to the Navy Yard, and made plain just how successful Brooklyn Brewery has been at reviving the local craft beer scene, here and abroad. Since they opened their doors nearly 30 years ago, the brewery has not just expanded its reach locally—it’s gone well beyond Brooklyn. Roughly half of its beers, most of which are brewed upstate in Utica, are sold outside the city of New York. It’s what’s made Brooklyn Brewery the 12th largest craft beer brand in the country and number one exporter of craft beer in the U.S.

But over the next decade, Brooklyn Brewery hopes to cement its legacy and presence in the city of New York. The crown jewel of this plan is this week’s announcement that the 28-year-old company will open a new 75,000-square-foot brewery, complete with a rooftop brewpub and restaurant—in the 215-year-old Brooklyn Navy Yard’s Building 77. Once the operation is up and running in 2018, Brooklyn Brewery will produce about 130,000 barrels of its beer within city limits (the Williamsburg location currently brews 80,000 barrels a year). (more…)

05/06/16 12:25pm

Governors Island doesn’t open until May 28, but in the midst of a monsoon-like spring, we need something to look forward to. This 172-acre pocket of parkland will be unveiling some impressive new features this summer, along with its usual lineup of great events. If you always read about the fun things happening on Governors Island, but never actually end up making it there (or haven’t since Governors Ball was actually on Governors Island all those years ago), this is the year to remedy the situation. As usual, there will be ferries from Brooklyn Bridge Park and along the Brooklyn waterfront via the East River Ferry. And if you fund this Kickstarter, you could actually walk there one day–it’s only 1400 feet away.

Here’s what you can expect on NYC’s fun island this summer:

#1 Governors Island is getting enviable vistas

The view from Outlook Hill as of April 2016. Photo: The Trust For Governors Island

The view from Outlook Hill as of April 2016. Photo: The Trust For Governors Island

Unlike San Francisco, New York City is delightfully flat, which is why you’re able to see for miles on a clear day. But one of the great and let’s be honest, extremely Instagrammable features coming to Governors Island this summer will be the Hills, a series of man-made ridges and slopes that have been under construction since 2013. Each of the new, little mounds are designed around a theme and include Slide Hill, where kids and adults alike are invited to ride from top to bottom on a three story tall, 48.5 feet long slide–NYC’s longest; Outlook Hill, which at 70 feet will boast a gorgeous view of the city and the Statue of Liberty; Grassy Hill, a picnic perfect spot overlooking a baseball diamond; and Discovery Hill, a wooded hill that will feature Cabin, a sculpture by famed English artist Rachel Whiteread at the top. While there’s no opening date as of yet, locals are invited to explore the new area during free hardhat tours until the Hills officially open later this summer. (Curbed got a sneak peek.) (more…)

04/29/16 4:13pm
Jen Dalton and Bill Powhida’s latest art project, MONTH2MONTH, brings New Yorkers together to discuss and debate the city’s housing crisis in 8 NYC apartments. Photo courtesy Jen Dalton

Jen Dalton and Bill Powhida’s latest art project, MONTH2MONTH, brings New Yorkers together to discuss and debate the city’s housing crisis in eight NYC apartments. Photo: Jemma Koo

Paycheck to paycheck, hand to mouth, month to month. All of these phrases evoke an uncertain living, but “month to month” elicits a special kind of anxiety for renters. Living month to month suggests you have no lease, no official document to protect you from the threat of eviction or a rent hike you can’t afford. Which gets at the heart of Jen Dalton and Bill Powhida’s latest project, MONTH2MONTH, a series of events that combine real estate, art and activism in eight New York City apartments.

“The name was chosen because the project events take place over the course of a month,” explained Dalton, “and also we were hoping to evoke the tenuous nature of most people’s economic situations.”

Beginning May 7 with a “housewarming party,” MONTH2MONTH will continue the ongoing dialogue of inequality and wealth disparity in New York City by inviting the public to discuss the city’s housing crisis—whether they’re affected by it or feel distanced from the issue—in luxury and affordable housing units that will be temporarily open to total strangers. The eight apartments hosting MONTH2MONTH range from a townhouse in Chelsea to an architect’s loft with an indoor pond to a tiny East Village apartment.

“It was not easy by any stretch of the imagination,” said Powhida, who has made his own affordable home one of the project sites. “It’s been a really delicate negotiation to get anyone to open up their home and share their space with the public.” (more…)

04/22/16 9:00am

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I have to get something off my chest: It is hard as hell to attempt to live alone in New York City.

At least a few times a year, when real estate sites like Street Easy crunch the median rents in NYC, and publications like Gothamist and DNAinfo broadcast the bleak figures, it becomes explicitly clear that even if you have relatively low standards for living and are making decent money (say, $45,000/year), you have only a slim chance of ever living on your own while you’re still in your 20s.

I understand this is hardly news and anyone who complains about this even in passing will often get a “Hey! Roommates are a part of the deal here,” or “You have to earn that privilege,” or, even worse, “Move away if you hate it so much.” But as we become ever more individualistic—and watch friends back home start making down payments and lifelong investments—it becomes harder to accept the status quo.

Let’s focus on the current state of living alone in New York City at a basic, financial level. In January, DNAinfo built a handy module that allows you to simply enter your yearly salary to find out where you can afford to live based on the median rent of each neighborhood. If it’s in your price range—meaning you earn 40x the monthly rent and aren’t “overburdened”—the neighborhoods in your range light up. At $40,000, you’re a perfect candidate for the Bronx neighborhood of Morrisania and that’s it. At $60K, your selection of neighborhoods increases twelvefold, but your options are still restricted to the Bronx. Skipping ahead, things improve drastically at $100,000 when the reach of your paycheck spreads to Harlem, to Sunnyside, Queens through Jamaica Estates, and into South Brooklyn, starting with Sunset Park and stretching down to Brighton Beach and oceanward to East New York. North Brooklyn is more or less reserved for those making $130,000 and up. (more…)

04/08/16 10:22am
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A rendering of the floating food forest. Image: Swale

Brooklyn being Brooklyn, the borough is no stranger to gardens in unusual places. There are the storied plots behind Roberta’s in Bushwick and the rooftop gardens at the Whole Foods Gowanus and the Brooklyn Navy Yard or you can always head high above Downtown Brooklyn to see the green roof atop the Barclays Center designed to keep the roar of local concerts and sports events to a low hum. In other words, Brooklyn is a pretty green place if you know where to look.

And this summer, when you look toward the waterfront, you’ll see a moveable garden. It’s called Swale and it’s a floating forest on a barge that will be docked at Brooklyn Bridge Park before gradually working its way over to Governor’s Island and North to the Bronx. Along the way, visitors are invited to cross a ferry gangway to board the barge and its pick fruit and edible plants—at no cost. (more…)

04/01/16 11:04am

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Erin Taylor is $1600 in the hole. And her situation isn’t due to anything unsavory, like a gambling debt or an unpaid credit card bill, but rather unpaid invoices. The longtime hairstylist, who recently left her day job at an on-demand beauty service to become a full-time freelancer, is simply waiting, and waiting, on her clients to pay her for work she completed more than 30 days ago.

“I wanted to work on-set, in fashion and in commercials, because it’s more my cup of tea,” says Taylor. “But I haven’t been paid for a couple of jobs going back as far as December. It’s hard to budget your life when you don’t know when the next payment is going to come”

Luckily for Taylor—and possibly millions of New Yorkers—she is a member of the Freelancers Union, a 21-year-old organization based in Brooklyn and committed to advancing the rights of freelancers. Currently, the union represents more than 300,000 freelancers throughout the United States, offering many of them health and dental insurance, retirement accounts, networking opportunities, educational workshops, and other resources and benefits.

But in 2016, the Freelancers Union could turn one of its long-standing causes into law. After enlisting New York City Councilmember Brad Lander as a sponsor in December, the Union is pushing the City Council to pass the “Freelance Isn’t Free” Act, a citywide ordinance that would finally give recourse to millions of independent workers throughout the U.S. when their NYC-based employers delay or fail to make a payment. (more…)

03/02/16 1:25pm
See 65 exceptionally strong sisters compete in the Iron Maidens Raw Open, a women-only weightlifting competition taking place on Saturday in Gowanus. Photo: CrossFit South Brooklyn

See 65 exceptionally strong sisters compete in the Iron Maidens Raw Open, a women-only weightlifting competition taking place on Saturday in Gowanus. Photo: CrossFit South Brooklyn

We’re coming off a big Oscars and Super Tuesday week, and if those contests left you less than thrilled with their results, at least you can throw your full support behind another set of competitors vying for first place in Brooklyn this week. That’s right, the Iron Maidens Raw Open, an all-female weightlifting competition celebrating women in barbell sports, is happening this Saturday at CrossFit South Brooklyn. The event is attracting contestants of all ages and skill levels from across the tri-state area and if watching superstrong ladies deadlift nearly 400 pounds isn’t cool enough for you, the money raised will support a college fund for low-income women.

If, on the other hand, you’re looking to get out of Dodge, sign up for RootedNY’s winter trip upstate on Saturday and learn all you ever wanted to about maple syrup and spirits production. Tickets are pricey at $125, but keep in mind that covers round-trip transportation to and from the city, tours of Crown Maple and Denning’s Point Distillery, a full sit-down lunch and cocktails. Staying local? The beloved Ridgewood Night Market returns to Gottscheer Hall from 5pm-11pm, so head over to peruse over 40 vendor tables and enjoy local food and entertainment.

And if it’s starting to feel like spring is in the air, well, why not start making some plans to get the most out of it? For example, you can register now for the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative’s nighttime Brooklyn Bike Rave scheduled for May 14. Hundreds of cyclists dressed in the glow-in-the-dark and bedazzled garb will ride the 7.5 miles from Greenpoint to Red Hook en masse, which sounds like an awesome way to welcome the good weather that is shortly on its way.

We’ve got more stuff for you to check out during this Ideal Week though, so keep reading and get psyched for the good times that lie immediately ahead. (more…)

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02/24/16 1:01pm
It's been 30 years since Andie asked, "What about prom, Blane?" and Rough Trade is celebrating with a Pretty In Pink Dance Party on Friday night. Photo: Paramount Pictures

It’s been 30 years since Andie asked, “What about prom, Blane?” and Rough Trade is celebrating with a Pretty In Pink Dance Party on Friday night. Photo: Paramount Pictures

Greetings on this damp, fairly disgusting Wednesday, BB’ers! We are officially halfway through the week, so it’s high time you start daydreaming about fun stuff to do when you aren’t jammed into subway cars at rush hour or feigning interest in work meetings. Here’s a few ideas to get the wheels in motion for some well-spent free time in the Ideal Week that lies ahead.

I’ve been hearing about Jill Lindsey, the beautifully appointed Fort Greene clothing, jewelry, accessories and home goods shop with a built-in coffee and tea bar in the back, since it opened last year, but I finally had a chance to check it out myself this past weekend and was thrilled to discover that they also host a robust schedule of cool classes and events covering all sorts of topics. This week alone, the event space is hosting a pop-up dinner and wine tasting on Friday night with chef Elisa Da Prato, a DIY wood mounted plant workshop and a secret basement show featuring the musician Mississippi Cotten on Saturday, and a perfume class on Sunday. If those don’t float your boat, check out the calendar yourself because there really is something for everyone on there.

If you are old enough that John Hughes movies (and we are talking the Brat Pack ones, not Home Alone) factored prominently in your teenage years, you probably shouldn’t miss Rough Trade’s Pretty In Pink 30th Anniversary Dance Party on Friday night. Yep, you read that right, THIRTIETH anniversary. . . you should probably just order that AARP card now and get it over with. The venue is transforming itself into the movie’s record store, TRAX, just for the occasion, and they’ll be playing videos for music from the 80s-tastic soundtrack (think OMD, Echo and the Bunnymen, New Order) all night, culminating with a Duckie dance-off, naturally. Friday and Saturday nights, the Hall at MP is hosting the Johnny Cash 84th Birthday Bash, which means two full evenings of live performances of the Man in Black’s beloved hits by Alex Battles, the Whisky Rebellion, and special guest Miss Linda Hill. 

Finally, there are still tickets left to see bestselling author and journalist John Krakauer discuss his latest book, Missoula, at the Brooklyn Public Library’s main branch on Tuesday night at 7:30pm. After exposing the nuances of the Mount Everest climber subculture and the Mormon church, among other topics, Krakauer is now tackling sexual assault on college campuses, and the result of his characteristically meticulous research is sure to be a thought-provoking and insightful take on a complex and vexing issue that we are unfortunately a long way from solving. 

For more tips on how to spend Your Ideal Week in Brooklyn: The Almost March Edition, read on:

(more…)

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02/17/16 1:18pm
Queens-based Finback Brewery will provide beer pairings at a special 5-course Beer Dinner at The Roof at Whole Foods on Thursday night. Photo: Finback Brewery

Queens-based Finback Brewery will provide beer pairings at a special five-course Beer Dinner at The Roof at Whole Foods on Thursday night. Photo: Finback Brewery

What a week! Valentine’s Day, Presidents’ Day, wild and seemingly unprecedented temperature fluctuations, random snowstorms, the death of (and immediate rampant politicalization of the death of) a Supreme Court Justice, German Short-haired Pointer victory, and now Johnnie Cochran has joined the Dream Team on The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story! It’s a lot to take in, so if you want to relax, decompress, and maybe enjoy a laugh or a drink or two, we’ve got heaps of ideas for you for the week ahead.

First up, NYC Beer Week and its extensive schedule of brew-centric events kicks off on Friday, but if you want to get a head start you can sign up for Thursday night’s Finback Brewery Beer Dinner at The Roof at Whole Foods. For $60 per person, you get a delicious five-course tasting menu with beer pairings from the acclaimed Queens brewery.

You can also let off some steam on Saturday night at Brooklyn Bowl’s Drake v. Kanye Tribute Party starting at 11:30pm. Advanced tickets are sold out, but there will be tickets available at the door, first come, first served. Seinfeld fans won’t want to miss a special variety night dedicated to the enduringly-popular and highly quotable TV show about nothing at Cobra Club on Wednesday night.

If you’re wedding planning, or even if you’re not, we’ve got an awesome showcase on Monday at the Bell House featuring bands that have played with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Willie Nelson, David Byrne, Lauryn Hill and more, plus a gramophone DJ, a GIF photobooth, live poets, and other performers who will make your event super fun. Tickets are $10 in advance.

We’re just getting started, though–an entirely new Ideal Week in Brooklyn awaits, so keep reading for a plethora of potential plans to choose from:
(more…)