05/04/16 1:06pm
The Red Hook Prom is back this weekend. Photo: Cora Dance

The Red Hook Prom is back this weekend. Photo: Cora Dance

Hope you guys like cold, wet rain and GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, because both are settling in for a bit and almost making me want to temporarily rename this column “Your Less Than Ideal Week.” Fortunately, we found heaps of cool stuff happening around these parts to distract you from some of the grimmer aspects of life, so go on and get right into it.

I told everyone a while back to buy a ticket to see Gillian Anderson and Ben Foster in the St. Ann’s Warehouse revival of A Streetcar Named Desire, but now that it’s officially opened and the Times dropped this intriguing review, consider this a PSA to secure tickets before they’re all gone. I’m going tomorrow night and can’t wait. It’s also Cinco de Mayo on Thursday, as if you needed an excuse to eat tacos and the other riches of Mexican cuisine. La Lobo Cantina, which we featured recently, is doing  $8 margaritas, $6 micheladas, and $8 Ilegal Mezcal pours.

If you’re looking for a good place to watch the Kentucky Derby on Saturday (not to mention avail yourself of a proper mint julep), there are parties going on at The Bell House, Union Hall, Humboldt & Jackson, Berg’n, and Mabel’s Smokehouse, to name a few (seersucker and silly hats optional). Check out our other ideas to make the most of your week below, and try to hang on to those umbrellas for the next few days! See you next week. (more…)

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04/27/16 2:55pm
The festival is back at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden this weekend. Photo: BBG

The Sakura Matsuri cherry blossom festival celebrates its 35th year the Brooklyn Botanic Garden this weekend. Photo: BBG

Is it already Wednesday again? Seems to me that the past week has completely FLOWN by, maybe because Prince has been the soundtrack. Have you listened to Lemonade yet? Or watched the GoT season premiere? Do we think there is going to be an uprising against this Kasich/Cruz collusion deal to block Trump? Is de Blasio going to weather this latest storm? Lots of questions swirling around as we head into May, but one thing you don’t have to wonder is what you are going to do with your free time for the next seven days–there is so much going on in Brooklyn this week that it’s going to be hard to jam it all in.

Just this weekend alone brings the Sakura Matsuri cherry blossom festival to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden for its 35th year, which means thousands of pink and white blooms, a full schedule of events celebrating Japanese culture, and (it must be said) massive crowds. On Saturday, head to Red Hook to catch this year’s Red Hook Crit, the annual unsanctioned and after-hours bike race that draws cyclists from all over the globe. As the race has gained popularity, it has added new components like a 5K run and food and beer trucks to cater to the growing ranks of spectators. And on Sunday and Monday, the Food Book Fair, which has been dubbed “the Coachella of writing about eating” returns to the Wythe Hotel for a fifth year of panel discussions, films, dinners, and presentations from an impressive roster of food luminaries.

But that, my friends, is just scratching the surface of what is in store for you in Your Ideal Week ahead. Check out our day-by-day list of potential activities to get yourself into between now and next Wednesday below and, whatever you end up doing, enjoy it and have a great week! (more…)

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04/20/16 1:16pm
Grey Gardens is playing, tktk

Grey Gardens is playing at Film Forum on Thursday.

Another whirlwind of a week here, what with Earth Day, the beginning of Passover, and the New York State primaries (not to mention the disheartening discoveries that someone is really out to disenfranchise Brooklyn voters and an overwhelming majority of Republicans around here think the guy who once said “The beauty of me is that I’m very rich” would make a great leader of the free world). As always, we’ve combed the borough to find you the most appealing activities going on over the next seven days–read on and start scheduling Your Ideal Week ahead. (more…)

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04/19/16 12:21pm

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It can take a lot to entice New Yorkers to leave their own neighborhood on a gorgeous weekend afternoon. But our Immersion series with Brooklyn Brewery has done just that for the past six years. Every spring, summer and fall we find four neighborhoods with great bars, restaurants and shops and plan a perfect day out for you and your friends.

Here are the places we’ll be immersing ourselves in this year:

The Total Cobble Hill Immersion, Saturday, May 21
The Total Long Island City Immersion, Saturday, June 4
The Total Red Hook Immersion, Saturday, July 9
The Total Clinton Hill Immersion, Saturday, Sept. 24

Every Immersion goer gets an envelope of “walking around money”—Monopoly-like bills that you can spend that day on four Brooklyn beers and your choice of lunch, for only $25 (which, let’s face it, is less than you’d pay for a boozy brunch). You’ll find a ton of neighborhood deals in your envelope, too.

We’re kicking things off in Cobble Hill, where we’ll be looping around the longtime family-run stores and newer bars, shops and restaurants of Court Street and Smith Street. We’ve been sad to see some of Smith St.’s pioneers forced out by rising rents and to hear of closures even in the midst of planning this Immersion. So consider this a perfect excuse to fill the local businesses with us—and day drink, of course—on Saturday, May 21!

The crawl begins at 61 Local at noon, where your first Brooklyn beer will be waiting for you (and lunch, too, if you like–you pick where you want to eat when you purchase a ticket). We’ll also be awarding prizes, like brunch for two at Vekslers, to random ticketholders who arrive before 1pm to pick up their Immersion money.

From there, head to Angry Wade’s, Buschenshank and Fawkner for more beer and food, or eat lunch at Lobo or Red Star instead. Along the way, score as many deals as you can from longtime businesses like Paisanos and Court Street Pastry Shop to new favorites like Van Leeuwen and Shen. (See below for the running list.)

Get a ticket now, and go ahead and secure your spot on all of our 2016 immersions. We’ve got a limited number of “Immersion season passes” for $75—a $25 savings.


Cobble Hill Immersion deals to date:
-$3 beers at Jakewalk
-$3 beer at Vekslers
-20% off cheese at Stinky Bklyn
-20% off all purchases at Woods Grove
-a gift with any purchase at Habit
-free brow shaping or tinting at Shen
-a free small pastry when you purchase one of the same value at Court Street Pastry Shop
-free bottle of housemade BBQ at Paisanos Meat Market with purchase of $20 or more
-large ice cream for price of a small at Van Leeuwen
-20% off any purchase of $100 or more at Roux Roux Gallery

RSVP on Facebook to stay updated on deals and prizes for the Total Cobble Hill Immersion and email us if you’d like to participate.

04/18/16 3:23pm

HARK! (2)Here at Brooklyn Based, we love to throw events. They’re key to our business, and to our belief that the best way to get to know and to expand our community of readers is to spend time with you in person.

We also love food. In the past decade, we’ve reviewed hundreds of restaurants and food delivery services and parsed the latest food trends, from artisanal matzo to avocado toast. And that’s just how we’ve spent some of our time online. We’re avid home cooks, too.

Then, two of us had kids, and we realized there’s a steep learning curve involved in feeding children, at home and at restaurants (if you dare enter past 5pm). It takes time to figure out what kids will eat, and how to get them to eat as well as their parents.

So we’re introducing a new event this fall called One More Bite, a refrain so common during our collective dinners it seemed like the obvious choice for our new family food fair. On Sunday, Oct. 23, at the Green Building in Gowanus, we will be gathering vendors and startups who are helping parents and schools serve healthy foods for our kids along with delivery services, kitchenware innovators and cookbook authors who offer foolproof recipes, tools and inspiration for family dinners. And we’ll be tasting all the good food we’ve gathered together!

If you’d like to participate, please get in touch—we’re accepting vendor applications and would love to tell you more about what we have planned.

04/13/16 1:17pm

How-to-Smoke-Pot-cover-img

The other day, my coworker and I were playing that game where you list the top things that everyone else is obsessed with but you feel kinda meh about. Mine were coconut water, sweet potato fries (seriously, guys, you prefer these when regular fries are an option? ) and Wes Anderson movies.  His were “New York seasons.”

“New York seasons? What in hell do you mean?,” I asked, astounded by this blasphemous proclamation from a young, cocky transplant from California. “I mean it’s all anyone around here talks about–fall… IN NEW YORK, spring…IN NEW YORK— and it’s just like, yeah, it’s sunny out, big deal. This happens everywhere else in the world too.”

The exchange made me laugh and also gave me a lot to think about, because I’m probably the worst perpetrator of this (admittedly pretty insufferable) New Yorkism that I know. Then again, look outside right now! I challenge you to walk a few blocks to pick up your lunch (preferably through a park, if you have one handy) and not have your mood instantly improve, no matter how stressed out or down in the dumps you feel. We’ve got a gorgeous stretch of weather ahead of us as we dive into this Ideal Week, and so no matter what you do, you should really make some time to get outdoors and enjoy it. At any rate, do not start watching the addictive Netflix series, Love, at 10pm one night and then stay up until 4am like a lunatic to finish it, thereby ruining your ability to function in any meaningful way for the ensuing 72 hours. Just a tip from an old pro.

Now, how to fill the days ahead? Read on for all of our recommendations. Have a great week, everyone! (more…)

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04/06/16 2:37pm
See the Spirit Family Reunion

See the Spirit Family Reunion at the Brooklyn Folk Festival this weekend: Photo: Spirit Family Reunion

What a week! Between what was probably the most exciting NCAA championship game ever, the coldest April temps in recent memory, the news that Hillary and Bernie will be squaring off in a debate right in our own backyard, MTA fiascos, and everyone scrambling to get their taxes done, perhaps you haven’t found the time to scour the borough for fun stuff to do this week. No worries, that’s what we’re here for! We’ve done the research for you, and compiled a list of super activities to help you make the most of the Ideal Week looming on the horizon, so read on and get cracking on your plans. Trust us, you can drive yourself insane flipping through the same pile of papers over and over looking for that missing 1099 form–take a break and check out one of these ideas for a much more satisfying way to spend a few hours: (more…)

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03/30/16 2:11pm
Get your cheese on at Brooklyn Brewery this week. Photo: Murray's Cheese

Get your cheese on at Brooklyn Brewery this week. Photo: Murray’s Cheese

It is really starting to feel like spring is here, despite forecasts for a chilly weekend. That means that here at Brooklyn Based we’re getting intel on even more awesome events to cull through for Your Ideal Week than we do when it’s frigid and dark out and all anyone really wants to do is Netflix and chill, or at least Netflix anyway. On tap this week we’ve got lots of activities that will appeal to the foodies out there (and this is Brooklyn, so we know you’re out there). It feels like a good time of year to commit to trying something new, so whether it’s a restaurant you’ve been meaning to check out or an entirely new-to-you cuisine, why not give it whirl? Here’s hoping you find your new favorite dish, as well as some cool ideas for comedy shows, concerts, and other fun events to take part in during the Ideal Week that starts now–read on for our suggestions:  (more…)

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03/23/16 1:40pm
Get out and ogle the thousands of orchids at the New York Botanical Garden before their orchid show closes April. 17. Photo: New York Botanical Garden

Get out and ogle the thousands of orchids at the New York Botanical Garden before their orchid show closes April. 17. Photo: New York Botanical Garden

Hiya, everyone, and welcome to this week’s edition of Your Ideal Week, which happens to drop on a March Wednesday that is promising lovely mid-60s weather! If that’s not enough to put a smile on your face in the middle of this demanding workweek, might we suggest some fun events for you to check out when you have some downtime?

First up, keep in mind that there is still time to buy tickets to the New York Botanical Garden’s annual Orchid Show and the American Psycho musical, both of which we previewed earlier this month in our culture roundup. I’ve never been to the Orchid Show myself, but based on some brazen eavesdropping in my gym locker room last week, it sounds like a can’t-miss event and I ran home and signed up for a ticket immediately. (more…)

03/16/16 2:59pm
See Villanova and other teams from the field of 64 enter the Big Dance live and in person at the Barclays Center starting tomorrow. Photo: Villanova.com

See Villanova and other teams from the field of 64 enter the Big Dance live and in person at the Barclays Center starting tomorrow. Photo: Villanova.com

Happy Wednesday, everybody! We’ve survived the Ides of March (well, all of us besides Marco Rubio) and are once again headed into the second half of the work week–yahoo! Take a break from filling out your March Madness brackets and read our tips on how to fill up your free time between now and next Wednesday. 

First, we have a deal for you that’s guaranteed to sweeten your weeks all spring. Our friends at The Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club are offering Ideal Week readers $100 off league fees for their spring shuffleboard league. All the answers to your questions can be found on their league page; use the code bkbased100 when you sign up.

In other team sports news, if you don’t feel like braving the bar scene to watch the first two rounds of the tourney, you can do it in person this year because March Madness has officially come to the Barclays Center. Grab a ticket to see all the action live starting on Thursday–the scheduled match-ups include two-seed Villanova against UNC-Asheville and Notre Dame versus the winner of the early-round Michigan and Tulsa game. 

This weekend, head to the Brooklyn Expo Center in Greenpoint for the 11th annual Brooklyn Coffee and Tea Festival, featuring more than 70 vendors from all over the world who will be pouring samples of their various caffeinated products for you to try. Tickets for a day pass on Saturday or Sunday start at $25 and are available here.

Finally, registration is now open for this summer’s Epic Ride on July 23. I participated in the 35-40 mile bike ride from Greenpoint to the Rockaways last year, and can attest that it is a very manageable, fun day of biking along the waterfront that supports the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative, a cause that we should all get behind.

Those are just a few ideas to get the planning juices flowing–read on for more stuff going on all week that you can really sink your teeth into: (more…)

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