11/26/14 8:19am
If you're playing tour guide this week or have time for a Manhattan field trip, check out John Gerrard's Solar Reserve before the massive LED screen outside Lincoln Center disappears. Photo: Inaki Vinaixa

If you’re playing tour guide this weekend or have time for a Manhattan field trip, check out John Gerrard’s Solar Reserve before the massive LED screen outside Lincoln Center disappears. Photo: Inaki Vinaixa

Whether you’re leaving town to spend Thanksgiving with your family, or sticking around to host 25 Charlie Browns, the fact that we’re a day away from the start of holiday season means that we can all collectively start to wind down at work and kick back with friends and family. Unless, of course, you work in retail. What began as one day of shopping on Black Friday has morphed into a string of events, including Small Business Saturday, which indie booksellers have embraced by inviting local authors to work shifts throughout the day– Phil Klay, the veteran who just won the National Book Award for his short story collection, for instance, is just one of the writers who’ll be at BookCourt. Then #GivingTuesday arrives, like a charitable cleanse for all our consumer excesses. If you’re looking for good organizations to donate your time or money to, try the four we recommended last year.

As you mentally prepare for the online sales ahead (or you’re stuck at home because of a cancelled flight) you can feast on a $25 fish fry at Fort Defiance tonight, in honor of Evacuation Day, an actual holiday dating back to the Revolutionary War but much more fun when recast as the day before everyone skips town.

Here are seven more ways to make the most of your Thanksgiving week. (more…)

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11/21/14 1:53pm

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“Sometimes you mess up the pancake and you have to make a new pancake.”

Sandra Allen, deputy features editor at BuzzFeed, cracked this joke at Indie Media Camp in relation to stories that don’t become the “hits” you expect them to be, but she may as well have been speaking about the entire business of independent media. On Thursday, we heard from 25 great speakers–editors, writers, CEOs, marketing managers, social media pros–all of whom taught us a great deal about what it means to make something stick online, whether it’s a great headline that will inspire you to click through, the kind of photo that will get repinned thousands of times, or your own site, into which you’ve poured your heart, time and hard-earned money.

We want to thank everyone who came and our IMC sponsors: car2go, Squarespace, MailChimp, EventbriteGreystone Cellars from Terlato WinesBrooklyn Brewery, Gimme! Coffee and The Joe Tea & Chips Company. Without them we couldn’t have offered a reasonable ticket price. So many conferences cost hundreds, plural, of dollars to attend, making them prohibitively expensive to bootstrapped start-ups and indie media folk like ourselves. Many thanks also to 501 Union, Purslane Catering and Be Better Studios for making everything look and taste so good.

We’re also very grateful to the speakers who ducked out of work early or spent the entire day with us, took the time to prepare talks that inspired and informed us, and were candid about their experiences. Since we didn’t film the entire day, we’re going to share some highlights from IMC the old-school way. (more…)

11/19/14 8:40am
Warm up Saturday night, and every night of the week using the new dance party site, You Don't Have to Settle. Photo: Head On

Warm up Saturday night, and every night of the week using the new dance party site, You Don’t Have to Settle. Photo: Head On

By rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn standards, the fact that all-ages music venue Death by Audio survived seven years in Williamsburg is kind of a miracle. But the expansion of VICE is coming at the cost of this DIY space, which is playing its final shows every night this week through Saturday. The lineup is secret each night, but that hasn’t stopped lines forming around the block. Meanwhile TV on the Radio, which has been silent for the past three years, is back with a brand-new album and two sold-out shows at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. If you buy their album at Rough Trade today, you could earn a wristband that will gain you entry into an in-store performance tonight.

Or you could stay put–it’s cold out! Wait and go out on Thursday, when Funny Story returns to Brooklyn Brewery with Tom Shillue and special guests like Eddie Brill, a booker for Letterman for many years. You could also stay in and subscribe to our Funny Story Live podcast on iTunes, and listen with a cup of hot cider in hand. Warm up even more on Saturday night when DJs take turns playing the best songs of 2014 and 2004 in a Head On dance party. The occasion marks the launch of a brand-new site, YDH2S, that lists only NYC dance parties so you can find a place to shake it every night of the week.

And since we’re a week out from Thanksgiving (can you believe it!) it’s also time to get your charitable self into gear. Cranksgiving should do the trick–you bike around the city picking up food from stores that will help feed the hungry.

Here are seven more recipes for feeling good this week: (more…)

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11/13/14 12:06pm

Last month we introduced our first-ever podcast, a live version of Funny Story, the storytelling show we co-produce with comedian Tom Shillue and Brooklyn Brewery each month. We’re back with a new one, and while we never set a theme for Funny Story–all our guests are free to tell any story they like–sometimes one organically emerges. This time around most of our storytellers looked back a few decades and told stories starring their younger, more naive selves, with a particular focus on the horrifying experience of middle school. (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.

11/12/14 12:36pm
The media folk gathered at last year's Indie Media Camp, which returns next Wednesday. Photo: Julia Cawley

The media folk gathered at last year’s Indie Media Camp, which returns next Wednesday. Read more about the inspiration behind it. Photo: Julia Cawley

The Republicans have taken over Congress, but New York City, fortunately, feels more liberal than ever. In just one week, you can rest easy walking around with almost an ounce of weed, knowing the possible penalty you face is just a $100 ticket. What else does the de Blasio administration have in store for us? Tonight at Pratt, you can learn more about the future of New York’s open spaces from our new Parks Commissioner, Mitchell Silver, who plans to speed up the process of creating and improving parks, in part by making the database that tracks park allocations by councilmembers open for everyone to see.

This is a good thing. Here’s what else you can look forward to this week. (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.

11/05/14 10:30am
A light installation by Search, one of the participants in the first annual New York Festival of Light in DUMBO this weekend. Photo courtesy NYFOL

A light installation by Search, one of the participants in the first annual New York Festival of Light in DUMBO this weekend. Photo courtesy NYFOL

This is a week where you can gather with your tribe or explore a scene you barely know, or go ahead and do both. Fans of heavy bass and fast beats can look forward to the weekend-long Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival, while a more sedate celebration of music and image takes place at BAM, where legends like Tom Verlaine of Television will be playing at Songs of Unseen Warhol Films as accompaniment for a selection of the Pop artist’s famous screen tests. Comic book lovers are already clued in to the Comic Arts Brooklyn festival because the free talks with luminaries like Al Jaffee are already sold out, but there are still more than 100 exhibitors to see. Anyone in media will want to head to BRIC’s HQ in Fort Greene on Monday, where they’re opening up the space to indie and industry folk alike, giving tours and demos of their TV studio and services. (If this is your thing, be sure to check out IMC, too.)

And in a sure sign of colder things to come, the Brooklyn Flea opens its indoor Winter Market this weekend at a 1,000-sqaure-foot space next to Berg’n, so if you haven’t already been to their mammoth beer hall, you have even more incentive.

Here are seven more reasons to check out something new this week: (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.

10/30/14 1:40pm

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We started Indie Media Camp last year as a way to bring independent media makers together to network with and learn from one another. It was such a hit that we’ve decided to make it an annual event, and IMC 2014 returns to Gowanus on Wednesday, Nov. 19 from 10am-6pm at 501 Union. (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.

10/30/14 12:28pm

We’re on the slow train to winter, with shorter, colder days ahead and a lot of pumpkin spice in your future. The bright side? The first annual New York Festival of Light is debuting in DUMBO next week, disrupting the darkness with three nights of light installations throughout the neighborhood. Before the big feast looming at the end of the month, Pie Corps will help you perfect your pie crust, and if you don’t have a Thanksgiving dinner planned, The Water Table is actually booking seats for one aboard its floating tavern. Just remember, it’s not time to hole up yet—here are 17 things to look forward to in November. (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.

10/29/14 9:25am
Catch the last "services" of Chico MacMurtrie's Robotic Church in Red Hook this weekend. Photo: Lori Zimmer

Catch the last “services” of Chico MacMurtrie’s Robotic Church in Red Hook this weekend. Photo: Lori Zimmer

2014 has brought us a lot of frightening things, and Halloween is the perfect way to let go of the darkness. The Friday timing means you are far more likely to wind up at a party, and the weather will be balmy enough for flimsy costumes (though we’re predicting lots of hazmat suits this year, especially if you’re trick or treating at the Gutter). Don’t forget to set your clocks back on Sunday, and start dreaming now of all that work, or sleeping you’ll do in that extra hour. The only ones who will be more productive than you are the marathoners. 61 Local is treating runners to a beer and a sandwich for $9, and if you plan on cheering them on, a Mac Off at Littlefield will help you warm up afterward with 20 renditions on the world’s most comforting dish.

And, if you just want to be past all the slutty squid costumes and discarded PowerGel packets, take a deep breath and look forward a week–BAM just announced that they’ll be screening shorts from the local web series High Maintenance (we interviewed the creators awhile backon Monday, Nov. 10, good news for anyone with a sense of humor.

Here are seven other ways to stay busy this week.  (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.

10/28/14 11:00am
Internet addicts unite and take over at Hallowmeme each year, posing as everything ubiquitous and viral, whether it's BuzzFeed or the popular Vine, "Ryan Gosling Won't Eat His Cereal" (right), both from last year's party. Photo: Forced Meme Productions

Internet addicts unite and take over at Hallowmeme each year, posing as everything ubiquitous and viral, whether it’s BuzzFeed or the popular Vine, “Ryan Gosling Won’t Eat His Cereal” (right), both from last year’s party. Photo: Forced Meme Productions

Do you spend far too much time on the Internet and also have a penchant for making costumes? If so, Hallowmeme, a party and costume contest inspired by the memes, viral videos, and the GIFs everyone has been posting on your social media all year, is probably already part of your annual October tradition, and if not, you should go anyway for the people-watching alone. Now in its sixth year, this delightfully nerdy convention of professional bloggers and amateur web geeks with serious arts and crafts skills hits the Bell House this Thursday at 8:30pm, and it’s free so long as you RSVP. (more…)