03/29/17 7:28pm
Last year we couldn't get enough of Wowfulls at Smorgasburg. What new treat will wow us this time around? Photos: Spencer Starnes

Last year we couldn’t get enough of Wowfulls at Smorgasburg. What new treat will wow us this time around? Photos: Spencer Starnes

Greetings, all, and welcome to another installment of Your Ideal Week, our roundup of suggestions for the best ways to kill time in and around our fair borough over the next seven days. I’ve been hitting the Park Slope Y with some regularity for the past few weeks (no sign of Blas yet but, then again, since my co-worker told me you can now download Netflix shows onto your phone it would take Obama himself to turn my attention away from whatever obscure BBC crime procedural I’m watching during my workout), so I thought I’d try to squeeze into a pair of old, tight jeans today to see if I’ve made any progress. So far, not so good, as I’m basically gasping for air and unable to sit for extended periods, so I probably shouldn’t be so pumped about the news that Smorgasburg is back for the season this weekend, in the Williamsburg and Prospect Park locations on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Ditto the outdoor version of the Brooklyn Flea, which brings dozens of vendors of vintage wares to Williamsburg on Saturday and the Dumbo archway on Sunday.

While we’re on the subject of being outdoors, did you get a chance to go outside today? It was perfect! Celebrate this weekend at Rooftop Reds, which is reopening its roof space on Friday to accommodate visitors who want to guzzle vino while staring out at the lower Manhattan skyline. It’s hard to feel too glum when the sun is out, birds are chirping, the farmers’ market is full of beautiful blooms and vegetables, and it looks like the wheels might finally be coming off the bus of the national nightmare we’ve been embroiled in for what feels like a lifetime.

Take the good vibes and spread them around this week, grab a few friends and check out some of our tips on what to do with yourself below. Happy almost-April and we’ll see you back here next week. (more…)

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03/22/17 5:07pm
Photo: Dessert Goals

Photo: Dessert Goals

It’s officially spring, can’t you tell? Nothing like putting the old parka away for the season, busting out the sunnies, and feeling the sun on your bare arms, am I right? Ugh, seriously, why is this weather so confusing? I’ve been upstate near New Paltz for a work conference this week and was snowshoeing and ice skating yesterday, which was awesome, but which is not part of my normal late-March routine. Incidentally, if any of you can get away for a random weekday night, I highly recommend taking advantage of the mid-week, off-season price specials at Mohonk Mountain Lodge, which is the all-inclusive, Kellerman’s-type establishment where we stayed. The food was incredible (Bourdain even visited on an episode of No Reservations), and we each had a working fireplace in our rooms, which sealed the deal for me, personally.

Anyway, if you don’t have plans tonight and have a C-note burning a hole in your pocket, Norah Jones is performing a benefit concert at 8pm at The Bell House for the Child Life Program in The Brooklyn Hospital Center’s Pediatrics Department that will likely be a really special evening. Alternatively, I’ve been meaning to check out the sound and light installations at the Mela Foundation’s Dream House in Tribeca for months now, and tonight seems like a great night for “a weird and immersive art experience,” as per Yelp, but I’ve got much less meditative plans in store because it’s a friend’s birthday and so we are meeting at The Strip House’s Speakeasy to see if we can get our hands on one of 10 special $26 burgers released every day in March. I’ll let you know if it’s worth the price tag.

If that isn’t enough decadence for one week, Dessert Goals, a dessert fest featuring treats from vendors like Coolhaus, Mochidoki, baonanas, and more, is at Dobbin Street on both Saturday and Sunday. GA tickets are unfortunately already sold out, but if you are interested in attending one of several workshops on topics like how to start a food business or how to grow your Instagram following, you can sign up for $50 and get admission to the main event too.

Otherwise, check out our list of other options to add to your social calendar for the Ideal Week ahead, and try to take advantage of the long hours of daylight that are finally here (even if your winter wardrobe is sticking around a little longer). (more…)

03/15/17 2:13pm
We were all expecting more snow yesterday, even Hurley. Photo: Kate Hooker via @BrooklynBased on Instagram

We were all expecting more snow yesterday, even Hurley. Photo: Kate Hooker via @BrooklynBased on Instagram

Back to the grind, everybody! One of the awesome conveniences of modern life is that for the majority of us who aren’t ER doctors or something, there’s no longer any need to brave angry sheets of falling ice to physically be in the office on a day like yesterday. The bummer side of this, though, is that the notion of a true snow day has gone completely out the window.

I personally logged something like 16 hours in front of my laptop yesterday, breaking only to walk my dog and to watch one eensy episode of Love on Netflix, the second season of which I’ve been inhaling. Today I feel more burnt out than I would have if I’d just had a normal day yesterday that included a subway commute, lunch with a friend and a stop at the gym, and I’m moving at a glacial pace. Gotta find some espresso somewhere though, maybe at the Coffee and Tea Festival happening in Greenpoint this weekend, because this Ideal Week is action-packed and I don’t have time to dawdle.

First of all, I have to fill out three different brackets for various March Madness pools before noon tomorrow, and I know less about the field this season than I ever have (although I did have the amazing opportunity to watch my beloved Blue Devils win the ACC championship IN BROOKLYN (!) last weekend, complete with NC-appropriate ad signage at the Barclays). I also need to make St. Patrick’s Day plans which, depending on my end-of-the-week mental state, will either mean hightailing it out of the city, or finding a way to get into the center of the action.

And then of course we’re hosting one of our favorite events of the year, Wedding Crashers, on Sunday at The Green Building and 501 Union from 11:30 am on. This year, we’ve got more than 70 of New York’s best wedding vendors and seven bands performing, so there’s a lot to see and take in if you’re planning on stopping by.

In other news, Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co. is hosting a five-course prix fixe Italian dinner tonight for $45 if you ate every scrap of the food you had at home yesterday, and Eugene Mirman has announced a live recording of his Hold On podcast featuring guests David Cross and Jon Benjamin at The Bell House on Saturday, April 8. This will for sure sell out so you should pick up a $20 ticket for yourself pronto. Otherwise, take a gander at our suggestions to help you maximize your fun quotient in the Ideal Week ahead. (more…)

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03/15/17 8:12am

Kids having fun

Join the A Child Grows in Brooklyn community for the 2nd Annual Brooklyn Camp Expo, March 26, 2017, from 12pm to 3pm at Williamsburg Northside Lower School (299 N. 7th Street),  presented by A Child Grows in Brooklyn.

This is a FREE family-friendly event for parents looking for summer camps, holiday camps and after-school programs for their children. Over 30 camp and after school program directors will be onsite to talk to parents about all the wonderful things their programs have to offer local families.

Capacity is limited, so please be sure to register!

NOTE: Face painting and kids crafts will keep kids busy while parents speak with camps, AND Brooklyn Robot Foundry will provide FREE 45-minute Robot Building Workshops for kids ages 5+ at 12:15, 1:00 & 1:45. To sign up your child for one of these workshops, please click here.

03/07/17 1:36pm

Gemini and Scorpio

So we’re changing things up a bit this week and dispatching our Wednesday Ideal Week post on Tuesday, because we won’t be publishing anything tomorrow in honor of the A Day Without A Woman strike. Onward in solidarity, sisters–only by sticking together will we vanquish the small-minded demagoguery that seeks to inflame our prejudices and create dissension within our ranks. If you’re not able to actually skip work tomorrow, there are other ways to raise your voice in support of the cause, including wearing red, attending a rally like this one at noon in Central Park, and making a commitment to not spend any money.

After a day of empowering yourself through political action, you might want to hurry over to Crown Heights on Wednesday evening to see the series premiere of Locality, a new hyperlocal web series created in and about the neighborhood by a group of filmmakers called The New Regulars. The screening starts at 8pm and will be followed by a reception with wine and local eats–you can register here to attend. In other news, Groupmuse just today announced its next Massivemuse, which will happen on Friday, March 17, in The Bogart House. Tickets are $20, which includes the concert, Bronx Brewery beers on the house, and afterparty involving multiple DJs and a roof deck.

Turning back to the week ahead, there are plenty of ways you can fill the next several days with food, fun, film, feminism, and more stuff that begins with letters other than F. Happy Ideal Week, and we’ll see you next week on the regularly appointed day. (more…)

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03/01/17 2:25pm
It's a new leaf kinda week, right?

It’s a new leaf kinda week, right?

On this rainy yet bizarrely warm Wednesday, we’re coming off an entire week of unseasonably warn, yet undeniably pleasant weather, an Oscars ceremony with a surprise twist ending, and a presidential address marking an unexpected shift in terms of tone and sentence completion proficiency (if not actual content), and on top of all that, we’re now in a brand new month. I must admit that it all makes me feel like doing my part to change things up a little bit, too.

To that end, I’m committing to booking myself the real, no email access type vacation that I’ve been talking about for ages, and I’m going to make myself go to the gym today for the first time in so-long-that-I-don’t-even-really-know-when-the-last-time-was-but-definitely-not-in-2017. Maybe you have some stuff you’ve been putting off, and maybe this is a good week to just make it happen, whether it’s doing your taxes, or taking your pet to the vet, or any number of those mundane, adult-y tasks that pile up and make you feel increasingly uncertain about your general adulting skillset.

No cause for alarm, though, you know that we’d never suggest that you fill up all your time with boring admin–this is Your Ideal Week, after all. So try to carve out some time to check out one of the NYC Beer Week events, which run through the weekend: this Ruppert’s Cup Awards tasting at Barcade on Saturday afternoon sounds especially easygoing and fun. Or you could treat yourself to a delicious dinner out and help find hunger right here in Brooklyn by heading to one of the many participating restaurants taking part in the inaugural Brooklyn Feeds campaign this coming Tuesday night.

A couple of us here at BB have tested out Dale Talde’s giant new spot, Atlantic Social, and I can personally attest that the nachos are as good as you remember them being from Pork Slope and it’s an excellent place to watch the college basketball conference tournaments this weekend, if you’re interested in that kind of thing. We’re just getting started here–read on for a whole slew of other potential experiences and adventures that we rustled up for the coming week.  (more…)

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03/01/17 11:57am
Drink a beer at Three's Brewing on March 7, or any one of roughly 20 restaurants and bars participating in Brooklyn Feeds, a borough-wide event on March 7 to help combat food insecurity. Photo: Three's Brewing

Drink a beer at Three’s Brewing on March 7, or any one of the 20 restaurants and bars participating in Brooklyn Feeds, and help combat food insecurity. Photo: Three’s Brewing

This coming Tuesday, March 7, roughly 20 restaurants around Brooklyn will be offering a deal for diners: eat or drink at their restaurant, and they will help feed people who cannot afford basic meals.

The event, called Brooklyn Feeds, is the brainchild of Jennifer Friedlin, a former journalist and founder of the marketing firm Hungry Marketing, whose clients include both non-profits and restaurants. For a while, she’d been cognizant of the disconnect between those well-off enough to dine out in Brooklyn, “where everyone comes to eat, while there are many people in the borough who are going to bed hungry.” Then a story last fall spurred her to action. As The New York Times reported in September, we have the highest rate of food insecurity in New York City, meaning 20% of households here have “limited or uncertain access to adequate food.”

“When I saw that, it backed up what I’d been feeling and thinking,” said Friedlin. So she decided to do something about it, and created an event that would benefit restaurants at a time when business is generally slow, while also serving non-profits that help the hungry.

The restaurants, bars and cafes who are a part of the inaugural Brooklyn Feeds are all donating a portion of their proceeds on March 7 to CHiPS, a soup kitchen and homeless shelter for young women and their babies in Gowanus, and Neighbors Together, an organization in Bedford-Stuyvesant that provides food to over 10,000 New Yorkers a year. Neighborhood staples like Three’s Brewing, Therapy Wine Bar and Franny’s are all taking part, and Applebee’s has agreed to donate 10% of revenues from all seven of its Brooklyn locations.

Friedlin expects to raise several thousand for the two charities. Help Brooklyn Feeds meet its goal and pave the way for future editions by eating or drinking here on March 7:

02/22/17 2:58pm

It’s Wednesday again, which means it’s time for a new installment of Your Ideal Week, which now and for the foreseeable future will necessarily involve a smattering of #resist and #persist activities.

Speaking of which, I owe a debt of gratitude to whoever put the “refugees welcome” sign on the Statue of Liberty yesterday–that small, peaceful yet powerful act injected some hope into my day and that’s something to give thanks for. The fight for inclusion, diversity, and basic fairness marches on, but the news this week is that we are heading towards 70 degrees for the next several days…in February! Sure, it’s another sign that we are deep in the throes of a self-inflicted climate crisis that will only be hastened along by the cabal of short-sighted, incompetent goons who hold our fate in their hands, but it doesn’t mean you can’t take the opportunity to get outside and feel the warm sun on your face. Maybe it’s time to treat your vile winter hooves to a pedicure (or the revolting/fascinating experiment that is Baby Foot), or take the bike in for a tune-up, or head upstate for a hike.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with staying in either–there are still probably a few movies you need to cram in before the Oscars on Sunday, and tomorrow is National Chili Day so it’s great time to cook up a pot of warm, stick-to-your-ribs goodness (or pick some up at The Brooklyn Star or whatever joint you prefer in your nabe). If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary to do tonight, the Greenpoint YMCA is hosting rope jumping phenom and double-world-record-holder Adrienn Banhegyi, who has performed with Cirque du Soleil and at the Rio Olympics, tonight at 7:30pm. And planning ahead for Ideal Weeks in the near future, you can count down to March Madness in person when the ACC Tournament hits the Barclays Center from March 7-11, or score a ticket to LoftOpera’s upcoming performance of Rossini’s Otello at LightSpace Studios in Bushwick on March 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, and 27. 

But until then, take a peek at our list of happenings in and around town between now and next Wednesday, and have yourself an Ideal Week, friends!

(more…)

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02/15/17 12:38pm

Insa is throwing a dance party Sunday night to raise money for refugees affected by Trump’s hideous travel ban. Video: Insa

Buenos miercoles, todos, and welcome to another edition of Your Ideal Week, our weekly roundup of eats, activities, readings, cultural events, and other gatherings happening in and around the best borough. Hope everyone survived the snowstorm OK, and maybe had a fun day off/wfh in PJs day in the process? And then of course we had Valentine’s Day, which in my case involved a sugar binge and resultant crash yesterday that was the stuff of legend. I blame it on the colleague who brought in V Day-themed pixie sticks, which I’ve always maintained is the laziest candy. Think about it: At some point someone literally sat in a Big Candy boardroom and gave this approximate pitch: “We take actual, plain sugar out of the Domino box, see, and then we dye it and put it in a rolled up piece of paper and sell it. Mic drop.” Needless to say I’m still feeling the effects. . . And now these latest revelations that Trump et al. had improper and possibly treasonous dealings with Russia, which everyone is acting surprised about for some reason even though we’ve all known this was the case the whole time. Hillary Clinton was screaming it from the rooftops during the campaign and Trump himself was joking (?) about it in tweets but now we all have to feign shock like we do when a friend’s boyfriend pops the question after they spend months picking out a ring together. Whatever, don’t hate the player, hate the game, I guess? Unless by “the player” you are referring to an elected official who deliberately compromises the safety and sovereignty of our nation, in which case, hate away. Hopefully, this will continue to erode the legitimacy of this administration and hasten the end of this nightmare without causing too much irreversible damage to US interests here and abroad, but we live in The Upside Down now, so who can say for sure?

Moving right along, this week brings (not my) President’s Day, which is a double-edged sword in 2017 as it means a reminder of the utter disaster that is currently playing out in the White House but also a long weekend. We’ll give you some great ideas of how to spend your free time between now and next Wednesday but before we get to that I wanted to let you know about Nitehawk Cinema’s upcoming Film Feast revolving around John Carpenter’s 1986 cult classic, Big Trouble in Little China. Nom Wah Tea Parlor and Lagunitas are collaborating on a five-course menu inspired by specific moments in the film, with dishes like “Chinatown Dumplings,” “Pork Chop Lost in an Alley” and “Green Eyes” (interpreted as Matcha lotus sesame balls). It will be delicious and it will definitely sell out (I’m still mad I missed the window for the Coming to America Film Feast earlier this month) so be sure to pick up a ticket now, even though the event won’t happen until April 18. Once that’s taken care of, take a gander at our picks of things to do over the course of the next seven days and, until next time, have yourself an Ideal Week! (more…)

02/08/17 12:06pm
It's Valentine's Day next week--may as well have a little fun with it. Valentines: Brandon Bird

It’s Valentine’s Day next week–may as well have a little fun with it. Valentines: Brandon Bird

The image of our current President screaming at CNN alone in the dark or wandering around the White House in a bathrobe at all hours that emerged in media accounts last week managed to drum up the closest thing to sympathy that I can possibly muster for that individual (don’t worry, it’s not that close).  I read that his usual dinner is a Big Mac served on a silver platter, which I promptly recognized as precisely what I fantasized being rich and powerful meant when I was seven. I tried to imagine how much time he spends doing the most vapid and boring task I can think of–poring over ratings of various network and cable television shows–to gather fodder for his inarticulate Twitter tantrums. I thought about the fact that his idea of a vacation is to fly to a hideous golf resort in Florida that he owns to eat grey, well-done steaks in an ostentatious country club while surrounded by the spineless lackeys who fawn over him. Or that this is what passes for a decent joke in the dismal, humorless world of his Congressional allies.

No, of course this thought spiral didn’t make me actually feel sorry for a man whose laziness, narcissism, casual cruelty, and incompetence will destroy lives in the weeks, months, and years to come. But they did make me feel luckier than usual that I get to live in a place where thousands of people spontaneously torpedo their day off to trek to JFK with homemade protest signs to stand up for people who are in danger, not because they are paid to but because they actually care about people who might not be exactly like them, which is a concept that many on the right can’t seem to grasp. And that it’s a city that constantly presents new opportunities to make, do, read, see, talk about, eat, and experience a diverse array of creative, funny, delicious, and thought-provoking things. Below, I’ve highlighted some of the best examples happening over the next seven days.

First though, there are two new plays from across the pond being staged In Brooklyn this week: The excellent all-female adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest at St. Ann’s Warehouse (which I saw and recommend), and Escaped Alone, which opens with some pretty stellar advance reviews at BAM on Wednesday. Make it a real night out by grabbing dinner at Fort Greene’s Roman’s before or after the show–they’re running a special on penne all’arrabiata all month and will donate proceeds to Planned Parenthood. As for me, I think I will try to track down a copy of Art of the Pie, the first book selected for Food52’s new Community Cookbook Club, and hunker down with my rolling pin in the snowstorm expected tomorrow. Or, get out the glitter and glue that’s buried under your bed and make valentines for your friends like you did when you were seven, or send them the awesome SVUtines above. Spread the love. Whatever you all get up to this Ideal Week, I hope that  it keeps you sustained and inspired as the outside world roils on. (more…)

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