03/25/15 11:17am
Noah Baumbach's new film, 'While We're Young,' opens this weekend, providing ample opportunity to ogle Adam Driver. Image: A24 Films

Noah Baumbach’s new film, ‘While We’re Young,’ opens this weekend, providing ample opportunity to ogle Adam Driver. Image: A24 Films

As one of our Ideal Week writers, Alexander Jordan, put it, Neil “fucking” Diamond is playing Barclay’s tomorrow, and tickets are still available to see the man who can make an entire bar sing “Sweet Caroline” (DAH DAH DAHHHH). A far cheaper night of music you know and love will be at The Bell House tonight for our wedding band showcase, words that may trigger your cheesiness meter, except that this is NYC, and the bands we’re featuring are filled with awesome musicians like Joe McGinty, former keyboardist for the Psychedelic Furs and now the piano-playing leader of the city’s most popular tribute band, Loser’s Lounge. The tickets, which include snacks from Red Table Catering, are $12 at the door but you can get em for $5 until 6pm, here.

In strange animal news, that rabbit-hoarding woman in Gowanus is suing to get her 237 syphilitic bunnies back from the ASPCA and Animal Care & Control of NYC. The plight of her animals pales in comparison to the roughly 2.4 million humans who serve time in prison, and there is an event this Saturday that deals seriously with incarceration and its effect upon the psyche, when Orange is the New Black author Piper Kerman speaks with Joe Loya, author of The Man Who Outgrew His Prison Cell, at the Brooklyn Museum.

Further out into the calendar, RadioLoveFest is returning to BAM in May, and there are already shows with single-digit tickets left, like Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me. So get on it quick if you a public radio lover, then check out all the good times to be had this week that are not in danger of selling out.

Thursday, March 26: Why is Noah Baumbach’s new movie not opening in Brooklyn? It seems a crime not to give his prime audience first dibs on While We’re Young, a movie featuring “Brooklyn hipsters” Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried. The two inject a little verve back into the lives of a middle-aged couple played by Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts, until they realize Driver is using them to bolster his career. Everyone 40 and above will be a little reluctant to watch this, but wisdom and experience seem to win out in the end. As The New Yorker‘s Anthony Lane put it, “one of the rare benefits of age” is that “you can start, at last, to tell the difference between a life style and a life.” The film opens Thursday at Regal Cinemas Union Square, then adds screenings at Lincoln Square over the weekend, until it arrives in Brooklyn on April 2 at BAM.—N.D.

Friday, March 27: No great revolution started without a lot of talking about how great the revolution was going to be. Such is the case with this weekend’s Bad Assery: A Women & Comedy Conference, which will not only include lots of discussion about the state of women in comedy, but a lot of laughter as well. Co-hosted by The Bell House, Littlefield, and ?What If!, comedy enthusiasts are invited to come together for three days of events, including panels—like “Breaking Out” with Brooke Van Poppelen—sketch shows and standup from big names like Aparna Nancherla and Michelle Wolf, music, and much more with some of the funniest ladies in the city. For those simply hoping to stop by for a show or two, tickets are $15 for shows and $20 for panels at the door, or if you’re in it for the long haul, purchase $40 1-day passes and $75 three-day passes here. Head to the Bad Assery website for the full schedule.–N.R. (more…)

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03/19/15 1:13pm
Photo: Charlie Juliet

Photo: Charlie Juliet

1. Rock the Wedding Bells, Wednesday, March 25: Your wedding will be most meaningful event you throw together, so your soundtrack better be stellar. As Love Inc. put it, “Some of your most memorable photos of the night will stem from songs, whether it’s walking down the aisle to a dramatic ballad or grandma getting her groove on on the dance floor.” You want to hear songs that will move you, too, so to guarantee that you find the most kick-ass band for your big day, we’ve lined up eight of the city’s best wedding bands to play live at The Bell House next Wednesday, while Red Table Catering serves small bites. None of these bands are cheesy, Wedding Singer material–they’re great bands, period, filled with gigging musicians who’ve performed with Stevie Wonder, Jay-Z, David Byrne, Norah Jones and more. Check out the lineup and see videos of the bands here to time your night right (if you know you want a string ensemble, arrive early, if it’s a dance band you’re after, show up a little later) and then get a ticket! It’s $10 in advance but use this discount link to get them half off. 

2. Open Venues BK, Sunday, March 22 – Sunday, March 29: If you are searching for the perfect place to get married, Open Venues BK can help. Over the course of the week you can take an in-person look at roughly 50 Brooklyn venues that can host your wedding (or conference or Bar Mitzvah or holiday party—any gathering really) by visiting the site and RSVPing for a free tour.

Photo: Charlie Juliet

Photo: Charlie Juliet

3. Wedding Crashers, Sunday, March 22: If you are engaged, you have a lot of decisions to make, and we can help you make them all this Sunday at our annual wedding fair, Wedding Crashers, held at both 501 Union and across the street at The Green Building this year. We’ve never had as much room for as many caterers, photographers, bridal gown and bridesmaid dress designers, and all the creative wedding pros you need for your big day. In both venues, you’ll find 60 of the city’s best vendors who will help you bring your vision to life, while also catering to the particular people on your guest list. Just be sure to get tickets in advance—general admission is more at the door and a VIP ticket ensures early entrance at 11:30, a goody bag, and an invite to our happy hour from 3-4pm with vendors.

03/18/15 9:54am
A recent “Massive Muse” at Pioneer Works. The next one is happening this Friday, where there will be nearly 300 in attendance. Photo: Amanda Kelly

A recent “Massive Muse” at Pioneer Works. The next one is happening this Friday, where there will be nearly 300 in attendance. Photo: Amanda Kelly

 

Now that Bushwick is the setting for a Hollywood disaster flick called Bushwick, Roberta’s owners are quarreling over slicing up a $5.4 million pie, and the neighborhood is the seventh coolest in the world according to Vogue, it’s safe to say that Bushwick has reached peak gentrification. To address all this change is a sold-out TEDxBushwick conference on Saturday. The lineup, admittedly, is a little strange—everyone from NYC’s Chief Technology Officer to a polyamorous activist will be speaking—but that makes it all the more interesting to watch it livestreamed here, and also at viewing parties across the street at Sugarlift and at Arrogant Swine. While you’re in the neighborhood, it seems only appropriate to observe its transformation at one of its two new restaurants—Pizza Party, an ’80s themed pizza and cocktail spot complete with a Super Mario mural and a Beetlejuice emergency chalk door, and a new noodle joint, Lucy’s Vietnamese Kitchen.

We’ve got more suggestions for neighborhood excursions this weekend, when spring finally arrives.

Thursday, March 19: Remember that “How My Mom Got Hacked” story in the New York Times, about the ransomware cybercriminals who get paid in Bitcoin and provide good customer service, or the woman who runs a mom and pop BDSM dungeon in Park Slope? These crazy-but-true tales happen to come from two of the storytellers–Alina Simone and Heather Dockray, respectively–we’ve got lined up for Thursday’s edition of Funny Story with Tom Shillue. The other great raconteurs include sex educator and burlesque star Iris Explosion, comedian Joey Callahan and Moth storyteller Robert Penty, who’ll all give us plenty to laugh about at Brooklyn Brewery, where the $10 ticket includes your first beer. If you’ve yet to join us for this monthly series, this is a good night to check it out.–N.D. (more…)

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03/13/15 11:30am

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 5.42.07 AM

Our March edition of Funny Story returns to Brooklyn Brewery next Thursday, March 19 at 8pm and we’ve got an awesome lineup for you.

Alina Simone, author of Note to Self and contributor to publications like The New York Times, where she recently wrote about the hackers who took her mom’s PC hostage and how she had to pay to unlock her mom’s files by using a bitcoin ATM in Greenpoint—remember that story?—is going to be sharing another true tale on Thursday.

Writer, storyteller and comedian Heather Dockray—who recently wrote about the “mom and pop” BDSM dungeon in Park Slope—remember that story?! It was one of our most-read stories on the site ever—will be telling a story from her own life. I suspect it will be just as amazing.

Iris Explosion, sex educator, burlesque performer and woman with such a great name you should see her simply because of it, is also one of our storytellers, along with comedian Joey Callahan and Moth storyteller Robert Penty.

These talented performers will be sharing the stage at Brooklyn Brewery with Tom Shillue, the MC and mastermind of this storytelling series—one of the five best in New York City according to a reputable news source. We help curate the raconteurs for each edition, and if you haven’t been to Funny Story yet, Thursday’s the night to join us. Tickets are $10 and include a beer, just to get the fun started. The storytellers will take care of the rest.

03/11/15 12:04pm
Ladies and gentlemen, start your tangs! The Royal Palms Shuffleboard League starts its spring season on Monday and we've got a special incentive to register a team. Photo: Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club

Ladies and gentlemen, start your tangs! The Royal Palms Shuffleboard League starts its spring season on Monday and we’ve got a special incentive to register a team. Photo: Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club

A sure sign that warm weather has finally arrived is having too many good things to do on any given day. Tomorrow night, the quarterly event series Artifacts returns for an evening of experiments with food and wine in Gowanus. Further south in the Slope, you can opt for a different edible experiment at Thistle Hill, when the chef of Guinness Storehouse, home of the famous stout, will prepare a three-course, St. Patrick’s-themed dinner that goes beyond the typical corned beef and cabbage. And on St. Paddy’s Day itself, instead of downing pints, you can spend the night pondering the perils of social media at the book launch of Terms of Service, one of the events on our cultural radar this month.

We’ve got seven more ways for you to celebrate the snowmelt this week, from a day of gardening workshops at Brooklyn Botanic Garden to an up-close look at Don Draper’s office.  (more…)

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03/11/15 11:45am
Photo: Artifacts

Photo: Artifacts

I’ve always left Artifacts events thoroughly entertained, inspired, and delighted, and the quarterly event series–which explores ideas with a range of experts–returns tomorrow night from 7 to 10:30 at 501 Union with their first food-themed production. The night is part educational and part experiential, opening with an hour of quick visual presentations from food and drinks professionals and closing with an hour of demonstrations. Chef Eric Bolyard will prepare four root vegetables one of four ways on demand, and Brian Quinn will be leading a Wine Sensory Experience as a means to discover personal taste through olfactory experiments, such as smelling herbs and other fragrant ingredients to help you talk about wine. The lineup also includes Kitchensurfing CEO Jon Tien, Michael Cirino of A Razor, A Shiny Knife, author of the upcoming cookbook The Food of Taiwan, Cathy Erway, and Pratt’s Food Design Studio founder Emilie Baltz.  Tickets include one hour of beer and wine, plus food by Rucola.

03/04/15 8:15am
"Flight," a precarious shot by Raheim Simon, aka @black_soap, who is part of Sugarlift's group show of street photographers opening Friday night.

“Flight,” a precarious shot by Raheim Simon, aka @black_soap, who is part of Sugarlift’s group show of street photographers opening Friday night.

The grandaddy of art fairs, the Armory Show, is in town, and dozens of other art parties, fairs and exhibitions are coinciding with it. Some events, like DUMBO’s First Thursday gallery walk, where artist Alan Winslow will be creating portraits of 24 strangers in 24 hours at Rabbithole, fit right in with this art-themed week.

Pioneer Works is also hosting its regular Second Sunday series this weekend, with artist talks and live music that you can stream starting at 7:30 if you can’t make it to Red Hook. Just remember that the 8th is Daylight Savings, when we lose an hour to gain more sunlight, and create the impression that winter is finally over. At this point, we’ll do anything to lose the snow too—but it seems like it will disappear by next week. Hallelujah!

Here’s what to do this weekend, and how to spend all those extra hours of daylight. (more…)

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03/02/15 2:20pm

BenLillie

The impact of science in our daily lives seems obvious at first–we all walk around with a palm-sized computer in our pocket more advanced than the delivery truck-sized computers used to put Neil Armstrong on the moon just 45 years ago. But science covers a lot more ground than gadgets from Apple; it affects everyone in a very personal way, and Story Collider: Stories About Science is a New York-based storytelling series and podcast that investigates the ways it impacts our lives. On the podcast and at their live shows, which they’ve performed in San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, and London, you’ll hear from those who work in a specific scientific field as well as everyday people who suddenly find they are faced with a problem that they need science to overcome. The podcast is hosted by Ben Lillie, a particle physicist (above, right), and Erin Barker, a two-time winner of the Moth’s GrandSLAM Storytelling competition (on the left), who will be performing at The Bell House tomorrow, Tuesday, March 2 at 8pm. The best part? You can RSVP to gain free entry at thebellhouseny.com/calendar.

02/25/15 10:37am
Joyce Kozloff's nine-foot diameter, walk-in globe painted with aerial maps of sites involved in U.S. military warfare, on view at BRIC as part of the "Mapping Brooklyn" exhibit. Photo: Joyce Kozloff

Joyce Kozloff’s nine-foot diameter, walk-in globe painted with aerial maps of sites involved in U.S. military warfare, on view at BRIC as part of the “Mapping Brooklyn” exhibit. Photo: Joyce Kozloff

Sunday gave us a glimpse into the future—a decent day, where you could go out and not freeze your face off. So while it may still feel like the only thing worth exposing yourself to is a cozy couch and a good book–like the seven we reviewed last week–it’s about to get warm enough to venture out again. A perfect segue from curling up with a page-turner is eating out with your favorite authors and cooks. This is the first time in recent memory that the entire Eat, Drink and Be Literary season has not yet sold out—so it’s best to snatch up tickets now to the upcoming readings and dinners at BAM with Tiphanie Yanique, Michael Cunningham, Chris Ware, and Lydia Davis. Greenlight has also announced its own slate of author dinners—they’ve got a new series called Book Cooks at Berg’n featuring readings and appetizers with the Sussman Brothers (whose collective resumes includes stints at Mile End, Roberta’s and The Cleaveland) along with April Bloomfield, plus two new Book/Plate multi-course dinners at Peck’s, where owner Theo Peck is now serving Hamantashen, those traditional Jewish, fruit-filled cookies in anticipation of Purim. He’s calling it Hamantashen Time. We’re calling it a sign that spring is so close you can touch it.

Here are some other treats for you this week, from an LIC bar crawl to an exhibit that explores the borough’s nooks and crannies, whose opening reception is tonight. (more…)

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02/21/15 8:55am
We are placing our bets on Birdman winning best picture.

We are placing our bets on Birdman winning best picture. 

As Billy Crystal would croon if he were hosting yet again this year, “It’s a wonderful night for Oscar! Oscar, Oscar, who will win?”  No one wants to miss out on any of the glitz, glamour, triumphant wins, painful snubs, and emotional thanking of God, families, and agents, so if you’re one of those pragmatic “screw you, Time Warner” people who decided that a Netflix instant account and Mom’s HBO GO password was all you needed, you can relax– Brooklyn’s got you covered. Building on Bond, a low-key Boerum Hill hangout with a cozy industrial-chic design, will be screening the festivities and, as always, will have tasty snacks on hand and a full bar with some quality beers on tap. Meanwhile Videology, Williamsburg’s video rental store/bar mash-up, will be showing the 87th Academy Awards in their intimate screening room, so show up early to get a seat! While you’re there, you can peruse their comprehensive list of DVD titles available to take home with you. Finally, if the SNL 40th anniversary special renewed your excitement for the longest running comedy show in television history, then check out SNL Writers Unscripted: The Oscar Show at Union Hall. There will be trivia, prizes, and five current Saturday Night Live writers performing improvised comedy during the Oscars broadcast, which is sure to be funnier than your roommate’s Doogie Howser cracks and Joan Rivers-style fashion put-downs. Tickets are $8 if you buy them online.