06/29/16 12:44pm
Another Fourth of July, another hot dog eating battle at Coney Island. Photo: Nathan's Famous

Another Fourth of July, another hot dog eating battle at Coney Island. Photo: Nathan’s Famous

With another holiday weekend upon us, it’s a good bet that lots of you reading this are in the midst of frantically trying to get your work done, line up the dogsitter, pack and figure out the optimal time to try to leave the city to avoid traffic, all before Friday afternoon arrives and it’s time for you to hit the road whether you are 100% ready or not. For those of you sticking around, you are about to experience one of those rare long weekends in NYC where the city feels blissfully empty, and you can finally get a reservation at that Eater hotspot you’ve been trying to get into for months or go for a bike ride across the Brooklyn bridge without a single homicidal thought crossing your mind.

The main event this weekend is, of course, the big Macy’s fireworks extravaganza on Monday night, and I’m willing to wager that you’ve been invited to a rooftop bbq or two as well. To add to your dance card, we’ve scoured the borough to find a bunch of other stuff going on. Here are our best ideas on how to make the most of your Fourth of July weekend if you are planning to be in town and, whatever you do, have a happy and healthy holiday! (more…)

06/22/16 1:34pm

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Happy Pride, everybody! This year it feels especially emotional, doesn’t it? After what seemed like a sudden, triumphant tidal wave of progress in the LGBTQ rights arena, we’ve been recently reminded of the terrifying degree of violent intolerance and hate that the community still faces despite all the good that has happened. It’s a battle in which we can’t yet declare victory, and it’s now as important as it ever has been to throw your support behind it so that we can all someday live in a world where love truly does prevail over ignorance and bigotry. Plus, let’s be real. . . Pride Week also means fun parties! We’ve listed a few below but the big kahuna is of course Sunday’s parade through Chelsea and the Village, which you should enjoy if you’re planning to go but not try to drive anywhere near if you aren’t.

Otherwise, it’s another Ideal Week of beautiful summer weather–the Rockaways, Governors Island, and Prospect Park beckon; bbqs abound; and the sunny days stretch to 9pm. Get outside, grab an ice cream cone, take a bike ride, or just take some time to read a book in the park. Whatever you do, make it count! (more…)

06/20/16 11:38am
Brooklyn Ice House

From our last Immersion in Red Hook, circa 2013. We’re looking forward to revisiting this backyard.

We’ll take any opportunity to spend a summer afternoon in Red Hook, and Saturday, July 9 we’ve planned a prime one—The Total Red Hook Immersion. The neighborhood is one of our favorites for our day-long celebrations with Brooklyn Brewery, and this Red Hook Immersion will be the best one yet.

The day begins at Brooklyn Crab, where you’ll get the first of four Brooklyn brews when you check in between 1 and 2pm. We’ll also be handing out free swag, like Brooklyn Brewery beach towels and t-shirts, to random early birds. From there you get to choose your own adventure, hitting up Rocky Sullivan’s, Brooklyn Ice House and Botanica for your free beers, plus your choice of lunch at Grindhaus (whose burger tops every best-in-NYC list); Home/Made, Brooklyn Ice House and Rocky Sullivan’s.

All Immersion goers get an envelope stuffed with local deals, too, that include tours of creative spaces like Supersmith and Pioneer Works, discounted beers and tickets from Jalopy Tavern and Jalopy Theatre, and specials at Baked, Kempton & Co, Shook & Co., Foxy + Winston, Red Hook Winery, Shipwrecked Miniature Golf, Chelsea Garden Center and more. And this time, we’ve created an express ticket option — you can either get the four Brooklyn beers plus your choice of lunch for $25 or the beers alone for $15, two supremely good deals. Plus, new Lyft users who enter the code BBIMMERSION or use this link to sign up will get 5 free rides up to $10 each, so you can get to and from Red Hook on the cheap.

Get a ticket and invite your friends to join you. And be sure to RSVP on Facebook where we’ll be announcing all the Immersion deals.

06/15/16 1:59pm
Take yourself to the Coney Island Mermaid Parade this weekend if you want to see just how weird and wonderful this city it. Photo: Kate Hooker

Take yourself to the Coney Island Mermaid Parade this weekend if you want to see just how weird and wonderful this city it. Photo: Kate Hooker

Like everyone else, my heart has been with the victims of the Orlando massacre this week, and now with the countless innocent Muslim people in the world whose safety is threatened by the deplorable rhetoric being spewed by those among us who lack tolerance, nuance, critical reasoning skills, and any  deference to actual facts. What happened on Saturday night is scary and sobering, and that it has broad implications for a very hotly (not to mention crassly) contested presidential race certainly doesn’t quell any of the anxiety it has produced. The urge to just give into the fear, sadness and hopelessness is real. A tragedy like this is a reminder that life is a wonderful yet fleeting and totally unpredictable gift that needs to be capitalized upon, and one way to pay tribute to lives senselessly lost is to live our own lives with purpose, decency, openness and appreciation for the opportunities to see, hear, feel, taste and experience new things that present themselves every day, particularly here in the wonderful cacophony of New York City. Here are a few ways to do that.

Maybe you’ve never been to Coney Island before? Guess what: This weekend is a great time to check it off the list, because the Cyclones’ home opener is on Friday night (against their dreaded rival the Staten Island Yankees, no less!), the world famous Mermaid Parade is on Saturday, and the Thunderbolt and Nathan’s hot dogs are there all the time. Or you can help celebrate the hard work and vision that have made indie favorite Nitehawk Cinema a success for five years and counting with a week-long celebration involving screenings of old favorites like Drive and Dazed and Confused, $5 draft beers, and free tots (!). Or take one of our other suggestions of things going on in Brooklyn this week that will get you out of the house and remind you how much there is to celebrate and enjoy and admire, even in the face of backward thinking and acts of unquestionable evil. Whatever you do this week, take time to take care of yourself and do something that you really want to do–something that will remind you of all the good that is still out there. (more…)

06/08/16 2:06pm

columbia Pictures

It’s a pretty auspicious beginning to this particular Ideal Week. Just last night, in the very borough we call home, the first female presidential candidate who actually has a decent chance of winning announced that she had clinched the Democratic nomination. This during a time where our political machinery is actually clogged with a debate about whether women should receive equal pay for doing the same work as men, where there is somehow support for this Brock Turner guy and his dad and the judge who excused him for the rape he committed, and where, oh yeah, the other presidential candidate once said, among a bajillion other hateful, sexist musings on record, “I think that putting a wife to work is a very dangerous thing.” So Hillary’s triumph is a BFD, and let’s just hope that the positivity surrounding today provides enough fuel to get us through what is surely going to be one of the ugliest lead-ups to a presidential election in history.

In the meantime, is everyone going to see Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings kick off another amazing season of Celebrate Brooklyn tonight? I can’t wait! While you are in planning outdoor evening activities mode, you should enter to win tickets to this Summer Solstice Celebration that Edible Brooklyn is sponsoring at Storm King Art Center next Saturday–it sounds great. And be sure to take a gander at the schedule for this weekend’s Northside Festival, the musical line-up for which we previewed here, because it features over 400 acts, including Brian Wilson performing Pet Sounds, Conor Oberst, Kacey Musgraves, Wolf Parade, Grandmaster Flash, and a series of talks with innovators and media makers.

For the third year in a row, both the Williamsburg and Prospect Park locations of Smorgasburg are partnering with (RED), the nonprofit organization started by Bono, to help raise money to continue the worldwide battle against AIDS. Make a trip to Smorgasburg during the month of June, and be sure to buy one of the special (RED) menu items from over 25 participating vendors or a handy (RED) tote bag–the proceeds will help us one day achieve the goal of an AIDS-free generation.

That’s just the very tippy-top of the iceberg in terms of what’s in store this week though–please keep reading so we can share all of our tips for how to keep yourself thoroughly occupied and entertained between now and next Wednesday. Until then, we here at Brooklyn Based wish you an Ideal Week! (more…)

06/01/16 1:54pm
Mellow out in Prospect Park every Thursday this summer. Photo: Bend and Bloom

Mellow out in Prospect Park every Thursday this summer. Photo: Bend and Bloom

Rabbit, rabbit, everyone! Somehow it’s already June, and that means things are really about to ramp up around here in terms of being packed to the hilt with fun things to keep you occupied. I was one of the people who stuck around town last weekend, and after a fantastic three days of bike riding, day drinking and dining, two trips to the Rockaways that included fish tacos from this joint and the inexplicably delicious pina colada from this one, and a Mets game at home that was predictably grim but fun nonetheless, I was totally reminded of how amazing summer in the city can be, and I got really pumped thinking about what’s to come for the next few months.

One of my favorite things about the long, sunny days of summer is the opportunity they present to explore new neighborhoods on my bike or on foot or as part of our very own Brooklyn Based Immersions, which make it very easy to support local shops, bars, and restaurants while also getting great deals and having lots of fun along the way. This Saturday, we are bringing our dog and pony show to Long Island City, which means that we have scouted out some awesome spots there that will be giving discounts, free beers, and lunch to anyone with a packet of “walking around money”–tickets that you can purchase for $25 here.  Remember–the price includes four Brooklyn Brewery beers at various watering holes around LIC, lunch at either Anable Basin Sailing Bar & GrillGantry Bar & Kitchen  or L’Inizio Pizza Bar, and at least a dozen deals at nearby shops, including the LIC Flea & Food. Come join us!

Saturday is also the first day of the week-long Brooklyn Independent Film Festival, which runs from June 4 through June 12 at various venues throughout the borough and includes, among other exciting events, the Brooklyn premiere of Spike Lee’s new documentary about protests at the University of Missouri, 2 Fists Up! Check out the schedule of screenings and parties and buy tickets here to help support and promote Brooklyn-born, Brooklyn-based, and Brooklyn-centric films and filmmakers.

But, we’re just getting started here, people. There are a lot of other goings on to keep track of this week, and we invite you to get the ball rolling on planning Your Ideal Week by perusing our list of tips below. Get to it and, as always, feel free to drop us a line if you have any suggestions for events you’d like to see highlighted in future Ideal Week posts. (more…)

06/01/16 9:59am
Inside the Gagne's new apartment, which they found through the connections they made at Buying into Brooklyn. Photo: Alexis Gagne

Inside the Gagne’s new apartment, which they found through the connections they made at Buying into Brooklyn. Photo: Alexis Gagne

The gulf between wanting to buy a home in Brooklyn, and being able to afford one is wide, and Alexis Gagne wasn’t sure she would ever bridge the gap. “My husband and I had been talking about it for a while. We didn’t think it was a possibility.” But one of our “Buying into Brooklyn” home-buying workshops—which is returning next Tuesday, June 7—inspired her to at least explore their options.

“Everyone looked like they were in a similar situation. They were young and hadn’t owned before, and were asking similar questions.” Questions like, “‘How do you compete with people who are making all-cash offers or going over ask?’”

Over the course of the night, Realty Collective founder Realty Collective founder Victoria Hagman, Realty Collective agent Tina Fallon; real estate attorney Michael Moshan and Sterling National Bank mortgage brokers Mark Maimon and Gabi Feuer changed Gagne’s impression of NYC real estate, from a market that only rewards people with a fortune in the bank, to a market she could enter.

Which she did. With the help of everyone she met that evening at Brooklyn Brewery, she and her husband found a two-bedroom in Bed-Stuy that they just moved into last month.

If you’re unsure if you’ll ever find a home of your own in Brooklyn, or anywhere in NYC, our next edition of Buying into Brooklyn June 7 will give you the perspective and knowledge you need to make it happen. Over Brooklyn Brewery beers you’ll learn:

-Who protects you and helps you get the best deal

-How to position yourself as a bonafide buyer in a market filled with all-cash offers

-The importance of finding the right lender

-What to do when you have bad or less than stellar credit

-The steps to obtaining a pre-approval and mortgage

-The offer/acceptance process

-The difference between a condo vs. co-op (and how to pass a co-op board)

Tickets are $10 in advance and include one beer, which will make the evening way more enjoyable than your last open house.

Buying into Brooklyn is sponsored by: 

Sterling

 

 

05/25/16 2:35pm
There's a free concert in Green-Wood Cemetery on Monday night, featuring works by "permanent residents." Photo: Green-Wood Cemetery

There’s a free concert in Green-Wood Cemetery on Monday night, featuring works by “permanent residents.” Photo: Green-Wood Cemetery

Yippee! It is AMAZING outside today, and I have to tell you that this weather couldn’t be better timed as far as I’m concerned. I’ve spent the last 36 hours and counting in that special place in hell known as the UPS customer experience, and have needlessly missed a day of work, endured an abysmal journey to the dispatch facility in Canarsie that was clearly the inspiration for this, and spent about half my waking hours on the phone, all in my ongoing attempt to own an actual bed frame for the first time in my adult life.

Point of my boring tale being: It’s high time for this week to start feeling a little more ideal! And it already does–we’ve got certified flip-flop weather and a three-day weekend looming. Not just any long weekend, either, this one includes the opening of city beaches and Governors Island for the season, so there are lots of great ways to get outside and enjoy the outdoors even if you never got it together to plan a trip out of town. If you are looking for a good read to bring to the Rockaways, hit up Greenlight Bookstore’s sidewalk sale on Saturday at 10am before you head out to Riis Park or Coney Island. And, while we’ve got your attention, you might want to snag a ticket to Birds, Beers & Burgers, a special dinner and viewing of Creative Time’s Fly By Night that’s going down at Brooklyn Grange Farm next Saturday, before they’re gone. But we really shouldn’t be talking about next week when there is so much immediately approaching stuff to set our sights on. Read on for our best tips of how to keep yourself occupied in the Ideal Week stretched out in front of us, and have a very happy and safe Memorial Day weekend! (more…)

05/25/16 12:58pm

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This June 10-12, in New York City, Food Loves Tech is your chance to see, smell, touch and taste the technologies that are transforming our food culture—from farm drones and app-controlled ovens to cultured meat and insect proteins.

With tricked-out dinners, an interactive expo and curated bazaar, immerse yourself in the food chain of tomorrow, while tasting and sipping from Edible’s signature roster of local food and drink makers as well as food tech innovators including José Andrés, Marcus Samuelsson, Gary Vanynerchuk and more.

Learn more and snag tickets. Interactive dinner tickets are still available here. Daytime tickets start at $35, with discounts for buying a pair or a foursome. So bring a friend or a few. Be sure to enter code 843BROOKLYNBASED to get $15 off general admission.