09/23/16 9:09am
This Do or Dive bar hound may or may not be at the Immersion tomorrow, but one can hope. Photo: Do or Dive

This Do or Dive bar hound may or may not be at the Immersion tomorrow, but one can hope. Photo: Do or Dive


This Saturday is our last Immersion of the season with Brooklyn Brewery, and our neighborhood bar and food crawl will be taking us to a lot of great, new(ish) bars in Bed-Stuy. For $15, you can get a Brooklyn beer each at the new Do or Dive, in the old Do or Dive space; Beast of Bourbon, whose BBQ is to die for; Black Swan, one of our favorite Brooklyn pubs; and Chilo’s, another great local bar that serves stellar tacos from its food truck parked out back. You can also add lunch to the deal for a total of $25, and whichever package you choose—the express or lunch option—you’ll get a wad of walking around money to cash in on neighborhood deals like a $4 Brooklyn lager tallboy from Swell Dive, another great new bar along Bedford with surfer vibes and Filipino / Tex-Mex fare. Saturday is going to be a blissful 74 degrees—perfect Brooklyn Oktoberfest drinking weather—so get a ticket here and join us!

09/21/16 11:38am
Join us on Saturday for the last Immersion of the season, in Bed-Stuy.

Join us on Saturday for the last Immersion of the season, in Bed-Stuy.

Friday, September 23
WILLIAMSBURG LoftOpera presents Cosi fan Tutte 7pm, tickets $30↠

Saturday, September 24 BED-STUY The Total Bed-Stuy Immersion, noon, tickets $15-$25↠ • WILLIAMSBURG The Grat Big Bacon Picnic, events all day, tickets start at $79↠

Sunday, September 25 WILLIAMSBURG The Great Big Bacon Picnic, events all day, tickets start at $79↠

Monday, September 26 GOWANUS debate party at The Bell House, 8pm, free ↠ • BUSHWICK debate party at Pine Box Rock Shop, 8pm, free ↠

Tuesday, September 27 COBBLE HILL The BackFatlorette, 8pm, free↠

Wednesday, September 28 PROSPECT HEIGHTS From Field to Table: A celebration of local grains, 7pm, tickets $125↠

The end of summer always feels a little bit like an alarm clock rudely interrupting a listless, kinda sweaty dream. HEY, YOU, time to go back to school, time to buckle down for the end of Q3, time to find your missing socks and buy some absurdly priced “it” boots because those flip-flop days are waning, time to remember deadlines because your editor/boss/client is back from the Hamptons for real now, time to do that cleanse you’ve been saying you’ll start, time to weigh in on the fall TV lineup! Do you think that Halloween costume is going to make itself? Oh and, by the way, what are your plans for Thanksgiving?

Ahhhhh! What happened? It feels like five minutes ago you were barefoot in the park with nothing going on all weekend and a crappy beach read in hand and now there’s so much to plan and organize and obsess about that your subway commute feels like a fugue state. Add to this the anxiety produced after an act of terror earlier this week, the increasingly disturbing level of violence in routine traffic stops, and the fear that we might NOT be able to escape disaster come November, and it’s enough stress to make you want to cash in your chips and check out.

Here’s where it’s important to keep in mind all the fun that fall in NYC promises. Take this weekend alone: We’ve got the Brooklyn Flea Record Fair, the Great Big Bacon Picnic, the Brooklyn Americana Music Festival, the Red Hook Regatta, the Brooklyn Pour Craft Beer Festival, the 42nd annual Atlantic Antic, and our very own Brooklyn Based Bed-Stuy Immersion going on, and that’s just an overview of Saturday and Sunday’s events. Read on for other ways to fill up your Ideal Week planner, because we all need a break from the grind right now. (more…)

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09/14/16 12:32pm
Monday is not such a drag when there's Buttermilk Channel fried chicken at the end of the day. Photo: Buttermilk Channel

Monday is not such a drag when there’s Buttermilk Channel fried chicken at the end of the day. Photo: Buttermilk Channel

This week’s weather is just killing it, right? Blue skies, no clouds, and for the first time in a long while I don’t feel like I’m trapped inside the mascot suit at a pre-season football game in Alabama, so it’s already an Ideal Week in my book. But now what to DO with yourselves in these glorious conditions? Never fear–we got you.

Assuming next weekend is as pleasant as this one is meant to be, you’ll want to sign up now for our last Immersion of the season, which is happening on Saturday the 24th. This time we’re bringing our traveling pub crawl to Bed-Stuy, and your $25 ticket includes four beers plus lunch at hotspots like Do or Dive, Chilo’s, and Beast of Bourbon (or $15 for the beers only).

Other things to keep on your radar this week: the always great Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival returns to the Bell House and Union Hall with a few shows featuring top alt-comic talents that still aren’t sold out; the Brooklyn Book Festival is back; and Ample Hills Creamery and the Brooklyn Public Library have teamed up with other businesses around the country to celebrate Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday with special treats, super stories, and phizz-whizzing parties as part of Wondercrump Weekend.

There’s tons more to keep you busy too, and we’ve rounded up our best bets for each of the next seven days that comprise the Ideal Week ahead. (more…)

Brooklyn Based delivers free daily emails about the borough's best food, events, attractions and innovators. Get Brooklyn Based in your inbox--sign up here.

09/09/16 1:25pm

bb_immersion-poster-bed-stuy-2016-01 (1)On Saturday, Sept. 24 we’ll be heading to Bed-Stuy (and a bit of Clinton Hill) for our last Immersion of the season with Brooklyn Brewery. If you haven’t yet been on one of our neighborhood beer and food crawls this is going to be a super fun one. And if you’ve joined us before, we’ve lined up some fab new bars for you.

The day starts at noon, and there are two ticket options. You can choose to go “express” and get one free Brooklyn beer at each of these four bars:

  • The brand-new Do or Dive in the old Do or Dine space, run by the proprietors of Williamsburg fave, Luckydog
  • Beast of Bourbon, a massive craft beer and bourbon palace that serves seriously good BBQ
  • Chilo’s, a sweet spot with an excellent taco truck permanently parked out back
  • Black Swan, one of our longtime favorite pubs in the neighborhood

If you want to go all in, you can also add food to four beers with one of these lunches: (more…)

09/07/16 1:18pm


Labor Day has come and gone, and that means a month or two of awesome weather ahead, the return of that old, familiar back-to-school feeling (which seems to persist no matter how far out of school you get), and, this week in particular in this place in particular, a reminder of a nightmarish day 15 years ago that changed everything forever.

Every New Yorker has his or her own story of where they were on 9/11, and the disparity among these seems increasingly sharp to me in recent years, as I’ve realized that the majority of my coworkers were about eight years old in 2001. The disastrous events of that day affected us in varying degrees, and we have each developed our own method of marking the grim anniversary, but I have to imagine that we all feel it in some way. So, take some time this week to spend quality time with people you love, to laugh, to get outside in the sun, to reflect on the things that ignite passion and beauty and human connection, and to marvel at this f’ing amazing, crazy, inexhaustible city we have the privilege of living in.

As usual, there are heaps of awesome parties, shows, dinners, readings, concerts and more going on around town this week. Read on for our favorite picks, and make the most of Your Ideal Week.

08/24/16 2:17pm
Afropunk is this weekend. Photo: Afropunk

Afropunk is this weekend and promises to be nothing short of amazing. Photo: Afropunk

It kind of feels like we are the only ones in Brooklyn at the moment, I Am Legend-style, so if you are reading this, rest assured that you aren’t alone and there is plenty of stuff going on around here for the next seven days to round out your Ideal Week. (Also, no actual vampiric-zombie beasts. That we have first-hand knowledge of.) Who needs the Hamptons or Maine or Cape Cod?  In case you haven’t noticed the weather right here is downright amazing, and we’ve got perfect conditions for all sorts of outdoor activities, including the annual Afropunk Festival at Commodore Barry Park. The multicultural live music showcase returns for both days this weekend, and the incredible lineup includes acts like Ice Cube, TV on the Radio, Fishbone, Janelle Monae, Tyler the Creator, George Clinton, Living Color, Ceelo Green, and Shabazz Palaces. There are still some tickets left, so snap ‘em up while you still can.

If you’re more of a comedy aficionado than a music junkie, the Brooklyn Comedy Festival is also in town this week, bringing all kinds of talent to venues scattered throughout the borough. Check out the schedule here and pencil in a show or two to ensure you pack a good dose of laughter into your plans.

Swale actually does open this weekend (we jumped the gun last week). Photo: Regina Mogilevskaya

Swale actually does open on Governors Island this weekend (we jumped the gun last week). Photo: Regina Mogilevskaya

It appears that we jumped the gun last week on the opening of Swale’s floating food forest, but it is open to the public at Governors Island as of this Friday, so that’s another option for your weekend adventures. We’ve got a lot more on our hit-list too, so please read on and have a fabulous Ideal Week! We’re taking next week off to squeeze the last drops of fun and relaxation out of summer, though we’ll be keeping our Facebook and Twitter updated with options. We’ll be back in full force after Labor Day, rustling up the best tips for how to spend your free time in Brooklyn, now and forever. (more…)

08/17/16 12:17pm
See the Rooftop Films screening of "Author: The JT LeRoy Story" in the courtyard of Industry City Thursday night. Photo: Regina Mogilevskaya

See the Rooftop Films screening of Author: The JT LeRoy Story in the courtyard of Industry City Thursday night. Photo: Regina Mogilevskaya

It feels different today, right? In the early morning hours, we’re talking before 7am, there was even a hint of fall in the air for a few moments. It might be a good day to live dangerously and eat your lunch in the park or even take a stroll, for fun, come afternoon.

Speaking of which, is anyone else’s local park looking a little rough around the edges these days? On my way to work yesterday I noticed at least four absolutely overflowing trash cans around McCarren Park. Impressively, park goers were trying to keep it in check and had semi-neatly piled excess trash next to the barrels, but it was pretty clear that no one had emptied them in some time. Then this morning when I took my son to Cooper Park it seemed like the grass hadn’t been cut in weeks and the number of cigarette butts, plastic bottles and assorted trash littered all over the place had really reached peak grossness. I know that summer must be a very busy season for the Parks Department, but we’re not talking about a big storm that brought down a ton of branches and debris. We’re talking regular maintenance. How about some teen summer gardening and landscaping jobs that also involve trash pick-up? And that concludes my New York City rant for the day.

In more adorable news, today through Aug. 21 you can adopt a black cat for free (or a black kitten for $50, usually $125) at the ASPCA’s Adoption Center on East 92nd Street. You’ll even get a free cat carrier in the deal. For those of you plan-aheaders out there, check out this adults-only camp-out at the Bronx Zoo coming up in on Oct. 14-15. Tickets are pretty steep at $350, but they include unlimited beer and wine, plus dinner, s’mores, breakfast, a tent rental and a souvenir mug. I suspect this is a childhood fantasy come true for at least a few of you. Tickets are also on sale for the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival, which is coming up sooner than you think on Sept. 15-17. These shows always sell out so get your tickets now (and a few extra for your flakier friends), and then feel that smug sense of the well prepared come September. As for this week, whether you want your comedy right now, have always dreamed of entering a kimchi eating contest or just want to listen to smart people have an interesting, civil conversation, we have a whole week of fun planned out for you. Read on, friends.  (more…)

08/10/16 1:15pm
It's not really summer until you've eaten too much seafood. Photo: Prime Meats

It’s not really summer until you’ve eaten too much seafood. Photo: Prime Meats

Well, it’s always something to wake up in the morning to find that a candidate for the highest office in the land has basically put a bounty on his opponent’s head, but that’s where we are today. If you haven’t listened to Malcolm Gladwell’s fascinating Revisionist History podcast yet, I suggest that you take an hour for the first episode, The Lady Vanishes, which explores the concept of moral licensing and why it always feels like we take two steps backwards in the immediate wake of social progress (think about all the crazy racism that surfaced after we elected our first black president, for example). There is really well-done section in there about the cruel and terrifying misogyny that the first female prime minister of Australia faced a few years back and the similarities to what the Clinton campaign is currently dealing with are striking to the point of near-implausibility.

The other thing that I am consuming ferociously at the moment is HBO’s The Night Of, which, as a taut, well-written drama involving the systemic failures of our criminal justice system, falls right into my personal zone of perfect television. But even so, I recognize that zoning out on my couch or with my headphones in does not an Ideal Week make, so I might venture over to Columbia Street on Saturday to check out the Elements Outdoor Music and Art Festival brought to you by Bang On. Headliners include Gramatik, Klingande, and special guests the Desert Hearts Crew, but there will be five stages featuring all kinds of entertainment, like interactive and large-scale art installations, aerial performance, fire breathers, extreme wakeboarding (?!), food, clothing and jewelry vendors, and more. It all starts at 1pm in an industrial, waterfront venue, and some tiers of tickets are still available.

Aside from that massive display of revelry, we’ve got a ton of other cool activities you can choose from to round out Your Ideal Week. It might be hot and humid and thunderstorm-y, but that’s part of what makes August in New York what it is. Get after it. (more…)

08/08/16 3:55pm
Dirk the Norseman is one of the 50+ vendors returning to TASTE Williamsburg/Greenpoint this Sept.

Dirk the Norseman is one of the 50+ vendors returning to TASTE Williamsburg/Greenpoint this Sept.

TASTE Williamsburg Greenpoint, one of NYC’s best neighborhood food festivals, is back for its seventh year on September 18, with over 50 of North Brooklyn’s best restaurants, bars, breweries and wineries. The outdoor block party set up on the Williamsburg waterfront at East River State Park includes live music, activities and of course, some of the best things to eat in NYC.

Pies ‘n’ Thighs, Maison Premier, Lilia, The Camlin, Odd Fellows, St. Mazie, Brooklyn Brewery, Tito’s Vodka, Moet Chandon and many more will all be offering tastes and drinks. VIP Tickets are currently discounted to $85 for 12 tastes and six drinks, Brooklyn Brewery Beer and a gift bag, plus a 30-minute, early access head start on the feasting. General admission tickets start at $35 and include four tastes and two drinks.

All the proceeds from tickets will go towards renovating and operating the Firehouse North Brooklyn Community Center, a cultural haven for community gatherings and original arts programming. Get yours now!

08/05/16 3:00pm
The Orion Nebula as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope. Viewers on Saturday will have VR headsets to travel deep into the Milky Way, accompanied by the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, a Norwegian orchestra and more during The HUBBLE CANTATA.

The Orion Nebula as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope. Viewers on Saturday will have VR headsets to travel deep into the Milky Way, accompanied by the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, a Norwegian orchestra and more during “The Hubble Cantata.”

We’re upon the last week of BRIC’s Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival—we know, it went fast for us, too! Before it closes, make the most of your summer and pencil in at least one of these last six performances.

It may sound over the top to say Saturday’s epic event will be out of this world, but it literally does take viewers on a journey to the Orion Nebula, the beautiful celestial feature way out there in the Milky Way, south of Orion’s belt. Cardboard VR headsets will be given out to experience “The Hubble Cantata,” a musical performance featuring a 20-piece ensemble, a 100-person choir, two Metropolitan Opera stars and a VR experience with stunning visuals–all free!

Next Thursday’s benefit show with Herbie Hancock is another must for your outdoor concert bucket list. The 14 Grammy-award winning pianist and composer (and man responsible for one of the greatest songs ever made, the killer video for which won five Spacemen at the first-ever MTV Awards in 1984) will be joined by Jamie Lidell, the electronic jazz quartet Robert Glasper Experiment, and more. Tickets on sale here.

There are four more free shows to catch before the festival ends—Reggae greats Morgan Heritage, Labyrinth live-scored by one of David Bowie’s backing bands, psych-pop stars Dr. Dog, and R&B songstress Andra Day.

Catch them all or at least one, so you can savor another starry night of music in Prospect Park before the series, and summer ends.