02/03/16 1:04pm
ilovethe90s.com

Party like it’s 199something on Saturday at Brooklyn Bowl’s I Love the 90’s live show featuring local cover band the Fresh Kids of Bel-Air. Photo: ilovethe90s.com

It’s a glum, drizzly Wednesday–the kind of day that forces even the cheeriest optimists among us to suppress the urge to snarl at subway stair dawdlers–and we still have a whole half of the workweek to get through before Saturday’s sweet, lazy freedom is upon us. It’s a day that demands something fun to look forward to, so it is with special pleasure that we present you with a week-long calendar chock full of cool ways to spend your free time when it’s actually available to you. Pencil in some plans with people you love–or at least enjoy–it will improve your mood today. And if not, well, there’s always the tried-and-true mid-afternoon chocolate/coffee/secret glass of wine run.

Nineties nostalgia rules on Saturday night at Brooklyn Bowl, where local cover band The Fresh Kids of Bel-Air is performing their popular live show starting at midnight. Tickets are $15 if you buy them online, which should leave you some extra cash to stock up on some super flattering overalls and hot neon accessories so that you fit right in.

For a low-key Sunday activity, check out Greenpointers’ Valentine Market from 1-7pm. In addition to perusing a plethora of gifts, jewelry, clothing and food items for sale from tons of local vendors, you can also take advantage of an onsite henna artist, nail art station, photo booth, tarot card reader, and live music. It’s a nice way to support small businesses in the area, and you’ve got to conserve your energy for the double whammy of Super Bowl 50 and Mardi Gras landing back-to-back this year. 

If you really want to blow it out this Fat Tuesday, head to The Hall at MP for a proper NOLA crawfish boil and brass band bacchanalia starting at 7pm and running all night. A $35 ticket gets you dinner, dancing, and drink specials on craft cocktails and beers from the Big Easy. Laissez les bon temps rouler is the traditional Mardi Gras mantra, but let’s make it happen all week, people! Read ahead for some more fun times on the horizon and enjoy yet another Ideal Week. (more…)

01/27/16 1:36pm
Check out photographer Courtney Mooney's ongoing portraiture series of her neighbors at the opening reception for Souls of Lefferts at Tugboat Tea Company on Saturday. Photo: Courtney Mooney

Check out photographer Courtney Mooney’s ongoing portraiture series of her neighbors at the opening reception for Souls of Lefferts at Tugboat Tea Company on Saturday. Photo: Courtney Mooney

Hey folks, if you were worried that the highlight of your week was going to be avoiding bottomless pools of sludge collected at crosswalks, never fear–Your Ideal Week is here to the rescue.

Connect with nature in a way that might seem elusive this time of year at the Brooklyn Grange’s Intro to Beekeeping workshop this Thursday night at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. If you’ve ever had an urge to try your hand at beekeeping, or if you’re just interested in learning more about bees and their outsized role in maintaining our ecosystem and food supply, apiculture expert Tim Cerniglia will be on hand to teach you everything you need to know. Tickets are $40 and are available here.

Friday night, shed your coats and shake it with The Loyales, a nine-piece band that will make you dance your socks (and boots) off. We’re co-hosting the party with Lucy Music and 501 Union, where the band will be playing R&B, pop, funk, and Motown classics. The night begins with a cocktail hour set at 8pm, before the full-on dance party gets underway at 9. It’s $10 at the door, but you can RSVP here to get in free.

On Saturday, head to Prospect Lefferts Gardens to see local residents on display at the opening reception for Souls of Lefferts, an ongoing portraiture project by local photographer Courtney Mooney focusing on the people she interacts with in her neighborhood. The exhibition goes live at 6pm at the Tugboat Tea Company. Afterward, head to Industry City Distillery for drinks and a dance party featuring big brass band ensembles No Small Money Brass Band, New Sound Brass, and Diggs Natasha Diggs starting at 8pm.

We’re just getting the ball rolling here though–keep reading for more ideas of what to do with yourself between now and next Wednesday.  (more…)

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01/27/16 11:48am

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Put down the iPad, pause your show, silence that phone. On Sunday, Feb. 28 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park, Brooklyn Based Kids has created a family-friendly event to help parents figure out the best approach to screen time, and introduce families to the brightest toys and games of the digital age.

At Screen Time Social–emphasis on the word social–we’ll have maker workshops for the kids hosted by the Beam Center, BK Bots, Launch, and 3D Roundhouse, plus tech toys to play with from Geek Forest. It’ll be a ton more fun than a winter weekend stuck inside, and you’ll all get hands-on time with increasingly popular STEM activities like Lego Mindstorms and Minecraft.

In between battling bots and learning how to 3D print a toy, Brooklyn Based Kids has curated expert talks that your children are welcome to attend with you. Schedule highlights include:

  • A short presentation and Q& A with Kristelle Lavallee from the Center on Media and Child Health on how screen time affects early childhood development.
  • Expert advice from Jessica Millstone, Director of Engagement for the educational technology company BrainPOP, on finding the best educational apps for your child
  • Discussion with Tali Orad, founder of Screen, about how her new tool can help families strike a healthy balance with their electronic devices
  • A panel on how teens are spending their time online, with speakers including Nancy Jo Sales, author of the forthcoming book, American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers 

Join in for a great day of talks and activities that will help your family make the most of the digital age.

Admission for adults start at $15 in advance and children 18 and under are free. Purchase your tickets here, and learn more about the schedule and the excellent prizes you could win. (Be sure to RSVP on Facebook for an extra raffle entry, and read more about the inspiration for the event on Bright.)

01/21/16 9:58am

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We are in peak engagement season, and our annual wedding fair, Wedding Crashers, is here to help.

From now till mid-March, we’ve got a handful of events that will make wedding planning a cinch, and almost as much fun as the big day itself. If you happen to be planning another major shindig, Wedding Crashers will turn you on to fantastic vendors and venues, too.

Starting next Friday, Jan. 29, we’re rolling out a series of band showcases and dance parties so you can pick the best band to soundtrack your wedding by seeing who actually gets you on the dance floor. Be sure to invite all your friends to help you decide.

The series kicks off with The Get Up & Get Down! Winter Dance Party with The Loyales at 501 Union, Jan. 29, from 8-11pm. (It’s free with RSVP, and open to everyone who wants to dance their socks off!) They’ll be playing pop, soul and R&B classics in one of Brooklyn’s most stylish venues. (more…)

01/20/16 2:01pm
Looking for yoga that's a bit more hardcore (and reminiscent of a party you went to in college)? Check out Melody Henry's Black Light Black Metal yoga class on Thursday night. Photo: Melody Henry

Looking for yoga that’s a bit more hardcore (and reminiscent of a party you went to in college)? Check out Melody Henry’s Black Light Black Metal yoga class on Thursday night. Photo: Melody Henry

Brrrrr! It is finally winter out there. AND as of today we might be getting an epic powder dump just in time for the weekend (sorry, haters, but some of us love a snowstorm)! While you’re gearing up for the latest SNOWMAGGEDON (which we all know will probably peter out at the last minute when the storm changes course), you can get cracking on filling out your weekly social calendar. As usual, there’s lots going on in Brooklyn and beyond so you have plenty to choose from.

If you resolved to make yoga a more prominent part of your life in 2016 but are having trouble making it happen, the Black Light Black Metal Yoga class that takes place at Park Slope’s Lucky 13 Saloon on Thursday nights might just be the unorthodox approach you need. The class starts at 8pm, welcomes all levels, and will done in the dark with a black light with a soundtrack of bands like Burzum, Wolves in the Throneroom, Blut Aus Nord, and Satyricon. Relaxing? Maybe not, but interesting for sure.

On Friday or Saturday, head to Brooklyn Bowl for the world’s best Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Blues cover band, Bruce in the USA, as they meticulously recreate the legendary Boss concert-going experience. Or if you want to be the one covering the classics, get some Live Band Karaoke in between rounds of trivia at the Big Quiz Thing’s musical trivia spectacular at Livestream Public next Tuesday night. Tickets are just $10 if you buy them in advance.

Finally, if you’re one of the sadistic souls who plowed through the 700+ pages of sadness that is Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life, you should pick up tickets now to the author’s conversation with Isaac Fitzgerald of Buzzfeed Books, scheduled for next Thursday, Jan. 28, at St. Joseph’s College.

And that’s just a small smattering of the dazzling array of events that are lined up for this Ideal Week–read on for more ideas to fill up the seven days ahead.

(more…)

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01/13/16 11:52am
You can make a cheery wall hanging like this at Brooklyn Grange on Thursday night and help stave off the winter blues. Photo: Brooklyn Grange

You can make a cheery wall hanging like this at Brooklyn Grange on Thursday night and help stave off the winter blues. Photo: Brooklyn Grange

Encased in my sweaty parka and stuffed into a steamy Q train car this morning, I was daydreaming about the halcyon days of summer that seem so long ago now–when plans consisted of things like beach trips and outdoor concerts and pints of sour beer at rooftop bars. It’ll be a while before those easy, breezy options are available again, but that doesn’t mean we all need to hibernate. In fact, January is a great time to explore the wealth of indoor cultural, social, and comfort food-based activities that the city has to offer. We’ve gathered up some best bets for the week, so grab your warmest boots, go forth, and get out there!

If your apartment is feeling a little austere now that winter has swept in, the Brooklyn Grange’s botanical wall hanging workshop on Thursday evening might be just the thing you need to do to spruce up the joint. Tickets are $70, but you will leave with your own colorful and amazing-smelling DIY piece incorporating seasonal greenery, flowers, eucalyptus, and branches, and pine. Thursday also marks the beginning of a new comedy show, Spark, which is part of The Bell House and Union Hall’s new residency at The Landing at Industry City. This weekend’s three-night run  includes some top-notch acts like Sue Smith and Chris Gethard.

Hip-hop fans should block off Friday night, because that’s when Brooklyn Bowl is throwing its annual bash in honor of Slick Rick’s birthday. The Ruler himself will be there performing his timeless hits like “La Di Da Di” and “Children’s Story,” with some help from Kosha Dillz. As a bonus, if you post a picture of your ticket on Rick’s FB page, you could win a chance to meet and greet the legendary MC after the show. Tickets are just $20.

Finally, if you’re also recovering from the wicked, never-ending cold that has dominated the past two weeks of my life, a stop at Sunday’s Brooklyn Soup Takedown at the Royal Palms might be just what the doctor ordered. Tickets are $20 and are available here.

Read on for more tips on how to pack your wintry Ideal Week with all kinds of activities that will keep you cozy and content. (more…)

01/06/16 1:05pm

Happy New Year, Brooklyn Based readers! We’re excited to be back to our regularly scheduled Ideal Week, now that the holidays have passed. We get it though–between Sober January, the credit card statement that just landed in your inbox, the deep chill that is visiting us from points north and the all around quietness of January, this might be one of the best weeks of the year to come straight home from work and curl up on the couch, eat soup and watch The Americans, or Transparent or Making a Murderer. That said, Brooklyn never closes, and there’s plenty to do outside of your apartment–and, if you’re feeling like keeping your wallet in your pocket, it’s actually a great time to go out. There are lots of free events on the list this week, made even cheaper if you’re not adding a couple of beers to the evening.

taketwoThursday, Jan. 7 Ever walked away from a situation and wished you could have handled it differently? If you’re human, the answer is probably yes. That collective regret is the basis for Take Two Storytelling, a new-ish monthly show where performers tell two versions of the same story, the first the way it actually happened, followed by their revised, fantasy version. Hosted by Elana Lancaster and Harvey Katz, this month’s storytellers include seven-time Moth StorySLAM winner Sandi Marx, Drawn Out creator Nisse Greenberg, local storyteller Jean Le Bec, MTV contributing writer Cassie J Sneider, and a story from Mr. Katz himself. Admission is free, doors open at 7:30pm, this month’s show is at C’mon Everybody, a sweet Bed-Stuy venue that is worth a trip in and of itself (the Diablo Guapo, made with tequila, pomegranate-beet juice, ginger beer and agave sounds like a serious remedy to winter). (more…)

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12/28/15 1:06pm
Fort Defiance is hosting an all-day brunch on January 1, 2016. Image: Fort Defiance

Fort Defiance is hosting an all-day brunch on January 1, 2016. Image: Fort Defiance

For most of us, the idea of hosting a New Year’s Eve party sounds like way too much responsibility. You’re basically on the hook for your guests’ good time on a night that has acquired so much importance, it can’t possibly live up to everyone’s expectations. But New Year’s Day, when the pressure is off and everyone is hungover? That’s easy. You basically mix some cocktails, make some food and invite friends to stop by.

You could of course go the simple route and pour mimosas, but since everyone celebrated the previous night with champagne or some version of it, you should consider switching it up. I recently had the Best Bloody Mary of My Life, and since then I’ve been impressing others with its secret: sweet pickle juice. Also, lots of vodka. Assemble accordingly and be prepared for people to really appreciate your skills at the breakfast bar. (more…)

12/28/15 11:46am
No seriously, Pictionary is a lot more fun than Meg Ryan is making it look. Photo: "When Harry Met Sally"

No seriously, Pictionary is a lot more fun than Meg Ryan is making it look. Photo: “When Harry Met Sally”

Oh man, what are you going to do on New Year’s Eve? It’s one of the toughest nights of the year to plan because there’s intense pressure to go out and blow off steam from the previous 12 months (not to mention whatever holiday situation you just endured), yet…it’s amateur hour out there. New Year’s Eve just gets so sloppy so fast. My best suggestion is to gather the people who made your year great–or made a tough year bearable–and buy the best version of what everyone likes to drink, make something extra delicious, or get some sort of take out or party platter if cooking’s not your thing, and have a cozy dinner at home. Play some cards or buy a game (if you’re looking for something easy but not completely mindless, Phase 10 is really ace). Remember all those 80s movies where adults played Pictionary? That seems like it was actually pretty fun. Or, forgo the evening festivities and host a New Year’s Day open house, with plenty of Hoppin John. This recipe from superstar Southern chef, Sean Brock, is sure to bring you plenty of 2016 luck.

Not convinced? Still want to go out and celebrate? Brooklyn has parties (some of them even fun sounding) in spades. Here are a few that get the Brooklyn Based seal of approval. (more…)

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12/16/15 12:39pm

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Are we the only ones who suddenly feel like we’re way behind on holiday preparations? Maybe it’s this warm weather, or the fact that Christmas is on a Friday and next week will be a weird work week, but it feels like time is running out to get a tree, drink some eggnog, stock up on Champagne and, well, finish our shopping. To that end, we’re headed out on Saturday to the second annual Crown Heights Holiday Stroll. Lady J Jewelry and Owl & Thistle General Store, two of the local shops featured in our Brooklyn Gift Guide, are part of the fun, plus, we fully intend to get some biscuits and a boozy milkshake at Butter & Scotch.

What else should you do with the next seven days? We’ve got lots of ideas–read on to plan your ideal week.

(more…)

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