03/03/14 4:00pm
Thu March 6, 2014
Stop by Mable's for some BBQ on March 6 and make a difference–the smokehouse is donating it's day's earnings to breast cancer research. Photo: Mable's Smokehouse

Stop by Mable’s for some BBQ on March 6 and make a difference–the smokehouse is donating the day’s earnings to breast cancer research. Photo: Mable’s Smokehouse

Grab some friends and feast on some delicious BBQ goodness at Mable’s Smokehouse for the first annual BBQ for Betty Breast Cancer Benefit. Join owner Jeff Lutonsky in celebrating the memory of his mother Betty Ann Benefiel, who passed away in 2007 after a 20-year battle with breast cancer. All proceeds from that day (11am to 11pm) will be donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. At long last, a fantastic reason to order a second or third beef brisket sandwich for yourself.

03/03/14 11:00am
Wed March 5, 2014
Ensemble for the Romantic Century is staging a tale about Tchaikovsky and his sugar mama, Madame von Meck, beginning March 5 at BAM Fisher. Photo: BAM

Ensemble for the Romantic Century is staging a tale about Tchaikovsky and his sugar mama, Madame von Meck, beginning March 5 at BAM Fisher. Photo: BAM

If you’re hungry for more Russian fanfare following the closing ceremony in Sochi, the Ensemble for the Romantic Century has your craving covered. From Wednesday to Sunday, the ERC will perform Tchaikovsky: None But the Lonely Heart at the Fishman Space inside BAM Fisher. The production, brought to you by writer Eve Wolf and director Donald T. Sanders, tells the story of the beloved Russian composer and his unconventional, 16-year, letter-filled relationship with Madame von Meck performed by Simon Fortin and Ariel Bock of Shakespeare & Company. The show will feature live chamber and vocal music from violinist Rachel Lee Priday, cellist Adrian Daurov, tenor Blake Friedman and Wolf on the piano. Tickets start at $70.

02/25/14 3:00pm
Sat March 1, 2014
vintage-shaun

Get your vintage fashion fix in Greenpoint this week at the Vintage Shaun and Dee Lioness pop-up shop at Human NYC Gallery. Photo: Vintage Shaun

Finally, a place for shopaholics and social media addicts to be as one. Get ready to shop-till-you-drop (but live to tweet, like and Instagram it) on Saturday, as Vintage Shaun and Dee Lioness kick off a weeklong interactive shopping experience with a pop-up shop at the Human NYC Gallery. The collection promises vintage fashion goodness curated by celebrity stylist and blogger Shaunya Hartley and jewelry designed by Leona Hartley. After you recover from delicious Pretzel Crisps and a custom made cocktail called “Shaungria” from Saturday’s launch party, get even more shopping on every day from 12–7pm through March 7.

02/25/14 2:00pm
Wed February 26, 2014

There really is nothing cozier than hanging out with a group of talented performers at a bar in Brooklyn—all in the name of words. The Buzzard’s Banquet, the wonderful literary series that’s been making plenty of noise since last May, will make Soda Bar the setting of its next edition. The evening will feature the likes of self-proclaimed YouTube sensation Rosie Rebel, authors Chris Campanioni and Royal Young (who we caught up with a couple weeks ago), writer and poet Dolan Morgan and others, along with music from Dead Horse Bay. Catch the line-up in the backroom at 8pm for free.

02/21/14 10:06am

Mercer Interior designed this Brooklyn storage solution. Photo: Emily Gilbert

Mercer Interior designed this Brooklyn storage solution. Photo: Emily Gilbert

Take heart, the first day of spring is less than one month away. Time to make a spring cleaning strategy, starting with your closet.

If yours is cluttered with jumbled stacks of sweaters, more hangers than can actually fit and that one box full of sentimental items you never use but can’t bear to part with, you’re not alone. We’ve consulted experts from the interior design and organization world to help us work through our closets issues.

Since New York closets are in a class of their own, (read: smaller and dearer than average) we’ve divided this guide up by specific closet challenge. Whatever your closet size, the main rules are the same: categorize, part with your junk and work with the space you have.

Teeny Tiny Closet
Tiny or small closets can be both a curse and a blessing. If you try to pack too much in there, you’ll never find what you need. On the flip side, it forces you to only store what you can. “There will be hard choices, but it’s about asking yourself what kind of end result you want,” according to Elizabeth Aurandt of Mercer Interior.

Aurandt, who is a member of the Designer Society of America and graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, is all about being realistic and facing the “tear down” process. “With every closet I’ve done, we’ve always had to tear down and reduce things,” she says. “The more you can refine, the better the end result will be.”

Aurandt’s Tips:

  • Organize and group the items by what will be folded, half-hung or fully hung—this determines what kind of storage (mostly hangers versus mostly shelves versus a mix) you will need
  • Bins and boxes are your friends, and can vary in price points but bring the same, organized, end result
  • For seasonal things, if you can’t store them in boxes or a storage bed, don’t be afraid to have them out with your current items
  • Use all the vertical space you possibly can. If you’re sharing a tiny closet with someone who doesn’t own dresses or suits that require hanging, consider using that empty space for a shoe rack, bins or boxes

Bonus: Save space by folding items and storing them on their sides–think of it like a filing cabinet full of sweaters. This way, you’re not rummaging through things and ruining the space to get to your item. This technique can be used for baskets or drawers, and eliminates messy piles.

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02/17/14 4:00pm
Mon February 24, 2014
Huckleberry Bar saved the best for last: It wraps up its February is for Lovers film series this Monday with a screening of Sleepless in Seattle. Photo: TriStar Pictures

Huckleberry Bar saved the best for last: The final film in its February is for Lovers series is  Sleepless in Seattle, being shown at the bar on Feb. 24. Photo: TriStar Pictures

Relive the warm and fuzzy moments from Sleepless in Seattle while sipping on a beverage or two at Huckleberry Bar on Feb. 24. The Nora Ephron classic wraps another month of Monday Night Movies at the Grand Street hang, rounding out four weeks of rom-com classics. Previous engagements have included Pretty Woman, When Harry Met Sally and The Notebook. Enjoy two-for-one drinks and fresh popcorn when you sign up for Movie Membership. Arrive early, as always, for the best seats in the house bar. Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks are up at 9pm.

02/17/14 11:00am
Sat February 22, 2014
"The Legend of Yauna," which follows the mystical journey of a young Zimbabwean woman trying to reconnect with her family, makes its world premiere at BAM this week. Photo: BAM

“The Legend of Yauna,” which follows the mystical journey of a young Zimbabwean woman trying to reconnect with her family, makes its world premiere at BAM this week. Photo: BAM

Bask in the glory that is song and dance as The Legend of Yauna premieres at BAM Fisher this weekend. The production, which celebrates a 12,000-year-old story of Yauna and the indigenous Bana Kuma ceremonies of Zimbabwe, is brought to you by the talented trio of Grammy award-winning composer Chris Berry, choreographer Maija Garcia (FELA!) and Afro-European vocalist Marie Daulne (lead singer of Zap Mama). The two-hour production promises mind-bending fantasy and mystic exploration–not to mention amazing  music, as it features seven musicians on non-traditional instruments (such as the Shona mbira), as well as a nine-member theatrical ensemble. Get your ticket ($35) here.

02/07/14 9:07am

Dorchester Road is packed withbeautiful home. Photo: Peggy Truong

Dorchester Road is lined with beautiful homes. Photo: Peggy Truong

When you arrive in Ditmas Park, it’s pretty easy to forget all of your worries–and the fact that you’re in Brooklyn and can get to midtown Manhattan on a train in 30 minutes or less. Driveways, front yards and porches suddenly feel wonderful and out of place at the same time.

Since moving to the neighborhood about four weeks ago, I’ve basked in the glory of streets lined with Victorian houses, the sweet smells of baked goods and the hustle, bustle and charm of residents, old and new.

Built in the early 20th century, Ditmas Park’s gigantic Victorian homes are real estate porn for lovers of Colonial Revivals, Queen Annes, Tudors and Japanese designs, to name a few. Spend a few minutes on Albemarle Road and feel transported to another city, another time period. Served by the very reliable B and Q trains, Ditmas Park runs approximately (depending on who you ask) from Church Avenue to Avenue H, and Coney Island Avenue to Bedford Avenue, surrounded by Prospect Park South, Flatbush, Midwood and Kensington.

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Since I’m a comparative newbie, I spoke to Ditmas Park Corner’s Nora Whelan and Max Habib, owner of Qathra and Milk & Honey, for guidance about the neighborhood, and their favorite hangs and hidden gems. It’s tempting to tag the neighborhood as a suburb, thanks to the bevy of freestanding homes and tree-lined streets. Even the air feels a bit cleaner. “I don’t consider ‘suburb’ a dirty word,” says Whelan, who’s lived in the area for four years. “Ditmas Park is like everything you ever wanted in a perfect suburbia in terms of green space, breathtaking Victorian houses, and neighbors who will lend you a cup of sugar, but with the wealth of creative talent, amazing food and amenities, and easy transportation that the rest of crazy, urban NYC is proud to share.”
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01/27/14 2:00pm
Tue February 4, 2014
Join John Carlson and his merry Balkan band, Slavic Soul Party!, at Barbès on Tuesday night. Photo: Slavic Soul Party!

Join John Carlson and his merry Balkan brass band, Slavic Soul Party!, at Barbès on Tuesday night. Photo: Slavic Soul Party!

For those still holding onto the good vibes from this month’s Golden Festival, head to Barbès on Tuesday to nourish your ears with some good ol’ brass tunes. The talented nine from Slavic Soul Party! are due for their weekly stint at the neighborhood hang’s cozy performance room. If you don’t know the first thing about Balkan brass, funk or Gypsy accordion goodness, here’s your opportunity to get schooled by John Carlson and company. A donation of $10 is strongly suggested.

01/27/14 11:00am
Fri January 31, 2014
Photo: Moustacho Mezcal Party/T-Rex Photo

Movember might be over, but for 5 bucks this Friday night, you can get a fake stache, access to an open bar and a free shot of mezcal in Williamsburg at Cantina Royal. Photo: Moustacho Mezcal Party/T-Rex Photo

It’s time to face your fears and defy the bitter cold. Head to La Sala at Cantina Royal this Friday for the first Moustacho Mezcal Party of the year. The bash will feature visual creations by Iena Cruz–whose superhero mural outside Williamsburg Cinema we featured this summer–and beats by DJ Beto, who will be spinning Global bass, Moombathon, Cumbia Electro and Reggae dance hall, among other sounds. $5 will get you in the door, your own moustacho, all the joys of an open bar from 10–11pm and a complementary shot of Ilegal Mezcal after 1am.