02/25/15 10:37am
Joyce Kozloff's nine-foot diameter, walk-in globe painted with aerial maps of sites involved in U.S. military warfare, on view at BRIC as part of the "Mapping Brooklyn" exhibit. Photo: Joyce Kozloff

Joyce Kozloff’s nine-foot diameter, walk-in globe painted with aerial maps of sites involved in U.S. military warfare, on view at BRIC as part of the “Mapping Brooklyn” exhibit. Photo: Joyce Kozloff

Sunday gave us a glimpse into the future—a decent day, where you could go out and not freeze your face off. So while it may still feel like the only thing worth exposing yourself to is a cozy couch and a good book–like the seven we reviewed last week–it’s about to get warm enough to venture out again. A perfect segue from curling up with a page-turner is eating out with your favorite authors and cooks. This is the first time in recent memory that the entire Eat, Drink and Be Literary season has not yet sold out—so it’s best to snatch up tickets now to the upcoming readings and dinners at BAM with Tiphanie Yanique, Michael Cunningham, Chris Ware, and Lydia Davis. Greenlight has also announced its own slate of author dinners—they’ve got a new series called Book Cooks at Berg’n featuring readings and appetizers with the Sussman Brothers (whose collective resumes includes stints at Mile End, Roberta’s and The Cleaveland) along with April Bloomfield, plus two new Book/Plate multi-course dinners at Peck’s, where owner Theo Peck is now serving Hamantashen, those traditional Jewish, fruit-filled cookies in anticipation of Purim. He’s calling it Hamantashen Time. We’re calling it a sign that spring is so close you can touch it.

Here are some other treats for you this week, from an LIC bar crawl to an exhibit that explores the borough’s nooks and crannies, whose opening reception is tonight. (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.

02/21/15 8:55am
We are placing our bets on Birdman winning best picture.

We are placing our bets on Birdman winning best picture. 

As Billy Crystal would croon if he were hosting yet again this year, “It’s a wonderful night for Oscar! Oscar, Oscar, who will win?”  No one wants to miss out on any of the glitz, glamour, triumphant wins, painful snubs, and emotional thanking of God, families, and agents, so if you’re one of those pragmatic “screw you, Time Warner” people who decided that a Netflix instant account and Mom’s HBO GO password was all you needed, you can relax– Brooklyn’s got you covered. Building on Bond, a low-key Boerum Hill hangout with a cozy industrial-chic design, will be screening the festivities and, as always, will have tasty snacks on hand and a full bar with some quality beers on tap. Meanwhile Videology, Williamsburg’s video rental store/bar mash-up, will be showing the 87th Academy Awards in their intimate screening room, so show up early to get a seat! While you’re there, you can peruse their comprehensive list of DVD titles available to take home with you. Finally, if the SNL 40th anniversary special renewed your excitement for the longest running comedy show in television history, then check out SNL Writers Unscripted: The Oscar Show at Union Hall. There will be trivia, prizes, and five current Saturday Night Live writers performing improvised comedy during the Oscars broadcast, which is sure to be funnier than your roommate’s Doogie Howser cracks and Joan Rivers-style fashion put-downs. Tickets are $8 if you buy them online.

02/20/15 2:33pm

For a lot of our readers, the events we throw are as much a part of Brooklyn Based as our daily emails, and this year we’d like to give you a preview of what’s to come, so you can weigh in on our plans, or join them.

One of our previous wedding fairs at 501 Union, where the spring wedding fair will be held this year, along with The Green Building. Photo: JBM Wedding Photography

One of our previous wedding fairs at 501 Union, where the spring wedding fair will be held, along with The Green Building. Photo: JBM Wedding Photography

Next month our annual wedding fair, Wedding Crashers, returns on March 22 to the Green Building and 501 Union, where we’ve got 40 vendors to date and so much food and drink you should come prepared to feast. If you’re looking to participate we’ve got a few spots left, and if you want a ticket, here’s the link. March 22 is also the kick-off to Open Venues BK, a weeklong event we’re presenting in collaboration with the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and Explore BK. Whatever affair you’re planning on hosting or celebrating in Brooklyn this year–be it a conference, your wedding, your child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah, Quinceñera or Sweet 16, this is a chance to check out the best venues in Brooklyn so you can find the perfect spot for your event. If you’re a venue owner and would like to be a part of Open Venues, get in touch with us or register here. And finally, to make your wedding planning complete, on March 25 at The Bell House we’re presenting our annual live wedding band showcase, Rock the Wedding Bells, so you can book the most fabulous band for your big day. (more…)

02/19/15 9:55am

FunnyStoryLive

Welcome back to Funny Story Live, our sort-of-monthly podcast produced from our monthly storytelling series at Brooklyn Brewery with Tom Shillue. The stories on this podcast were all taken from the first performance of 2015, back in January, and I have tell you, it was such a good show that there are a couple we couldn’t fit into this episode. They’ll pop up on another episode sometime. This one features a story by Tom about the great Blizzard of ’78, which seemed too appropriate for our current weather situation to not include (you can also read a version of it here, on HuffPo). Cartoonist and performer Charlie Hankin gives us a cheat sheet for what it’s like to be on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? And writer Peter Pavia spells out all the ways in which used car salesmen make terrible role models.

Funny Story is on for tonight, Brooklyn Brewery, 8:30pm, and it’s well worth braving the chill. Eliza Hecht, whose Modern Love column you may have seen in The New York Times recently;  Stewie Stone, Catskills comedy legend; and Mark Giordano of The PIT Theater and solo show Mad Man will all be sharing tales. Tickets are $10, including a beer. 

02/18/15 8:52am

It’s Academy Awards time again, and it’s still ridiculously cold out, so it’s only fitting that there are lots of film-centric activities going on around town this week. Tonight, New York Magazine film critic, editor in chief of RogerEbert.com, and Wes Anderson expert Matt Zoller Seitz is at BookCourt discussing his one-volume supplement to 2013′s Wes Anderson Collection, which focuses exclusively on the Best Picture-nominated Grand Budapest HotelIf you’re up to hopping the East River, head to Brookfield Place this Thursday at 8pm for Silent Films/Live Music: New Sounds Live, a special event featuring a slate of silent films created by artist Man Ray and scored with original music by SQÜRL, the psychedelic music project that has morphed legendary director Jim Jarmusch into a rock star. BAM’s month-long John Carpenter retrospective continues, meaning you can catch a very young Kurt Russell on the big screen in both Escape from New York and Escape from L.A. on Saturday. Finally, if you need to unwind after Sunday’s main event, everyone’s favorite morning news anchor, Pat Kiernan, is hosting his second annual Red Carpet Trivia Night at The Bell House on Tuesday night.

We realize that there is more to life than movies, so we’ve rounded up activities for the week that run the entire gamut–check ‘em out below: (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.

02/11/15 10:36am
At Brooklyn Night Bazaar on Friday, Titus Adronicus plays a free show during a Valentine's market filled with food and local vendors. Photo: Brooklyn Night Bazaar

At Brooklyn Night Bazaar on Friday, Titus Adronicus plays a free show during a Valentine’s market filled with food and local vendors. Photo: Brooklyn Night Bazaar

It’s hard to steer clear of the V-word this week, so we’re going to embrace the fact that it’s happening, and that it inspires a slate of fun events regardless of your relationship status. We rounded up 10 heart-y outings, like a deluxe girls’ day out and tonight’s speed dating to the songs of the Smiths, because making a love connection while listening to “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now” is priceless.

This week also provides a built-in excuse to treat yourself to as much chocolate as you want. Three years ago we sampled our way through all of Brooklyn’s chocolatiers if you need some sweet ideas.

And if you just want to avoid all the sweetheart stuff, you could skip town and take advantage of all the snow that’s made this a great ski season. Snowboard depot Homage Brooklyn arranges day trips to nearby mountains for beginners and pros, and has space available on a few this weekend.

Just think, a week from now, the city will be crooning over craft beers during NYC beer week and placing bets on Oscar winners. Here are seven things to pencil in till then, from a $30 bottomless brunch to a new show to binge-watch for free.  (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.

02/09/15 9:00am

Valentines

Remember when Valentine’s Day just meant a dozen roses and a Whitman’s sampler? Maybe you don’t–it’s been so long since the Hallmark holiday morphed from a day for lovers to a good excuse for girls’ night out and lonelyhearts-themed parties. Now that there are so many ways to celebrate or protest Valentine’s Day, we’ve narrowed the field down to 10 wildly different players, so you can take a chance on one.

1. Looking to Get Girly?

Try Girl Crush by Nice Package
The Love Shack, 161 Stockholm St
2/14, 1pm, $75

Grab your closest lady friends and treat yourself to brunch and bottomless cocktails from Chef Zoe Maya, yoga with Pop-Up Yoga NYC, custom poems by Haiku Guys, and wild manicures by Vanity Projects. It all goes down in the quirkily adorable Love Shack, made even cuter with additional décor (including gilded piñatas) by Svbscription x Confetti System.

2. Looking to Get Steamy? 

Try Valentine’s Night at the Russian Baths
Brooklyn Banya, 602 Coney Island Ave
2/14, 7pm, $35 to $85

Underground nightlife impresarios Gemini & Scorpio are bringing back the legendary Valentine’s banya party. The fête will include Russian, Turkish, and Swedish steam rooms, a jacuzzi and cold plunge, Russian eats and a hookah lounge, not to mention a poolside dance floor, where you can get down to live Balkan brass bands and ethno-mesh DJs all night. Plus an open vodka bar from 9 to 10pm, and pierogies for all at 2am.

3. Looking to Get the Sparks Flying?

Try a Couples Welding Workshop
Brooklyn Navy Yard Building 92, corner of Flushing Ave & Corona Ave
2/14, 3pm, $60

If you want to surprise your paramour with a really unusual V-Day couples class, try getting hot and sweaty together with an acetylene torch. Artist and welder Susan Woods will oversee some serious crafting, teaching basic welding skills and metal fabrication techniques. Couples will build custom metal hearts to take home. (more…)

02/04/15 8:38am
"Brooklyn Boheme," about the cultural heyday of Fort Greene, pre-gentrification, screens at Brooklyn Historical Society every Sunday this month. Photo: Brooklyn Boheme/ Diane Paragas and Nelson George

Brooklyn Boheme, about the cultural heyday of Fort Greene, pre-gentrification, screens at the Brooklyn Historical Society every Sunday this month. Photo: Brooklyn Boheme/ Diane Paragas and Nelson George

As snowflakes continue to surface on weather apps, and turn to slush puddles at crosswalks, it’s a good time to remind yourself that as a New Yorker, you can handle this. It might not seem like it now, but you’ve made it to spring before. Perhaps the best way to speed things up is to fill your calendar with things to look forward to, like comedian Kurt Braunohler’s return to Brooklyn for a show in late February to support his new Comedy Central web series. Chris Rock and Spike Lee pop up in Brooklyn Boheme, a documentary about the good old days of Fort Greene that the Brooklyn Historical Society is screening every Sunday this month. Even further down the pike, David Byrne is arranging a gorgeous spectacle at Barclays, where the nation’s elite color guard teams will spin their flags in step with the beats of Kelis, St. Vincent, Byrne and more musicians, and soon after that, Harper Lee will publish her second book.

That’s not till summer, but we’ll get there eventually. Here are seven more ways to make the time fly this week.

(more…)

02/03/15 9:58am
10900174_725480684239204_8622454271361679522_o

The Annoyance Theatre teaches classes and hosts weekend shows. Photo: The Annoyance Theatre

When you think about improv classes the first thing that comes to mind might be nothing at all because the prospect of taking one fills you with such deep and abiding terror that your brain goes completely blank. Or, you might dismiss them out of hand as professional development for your pals who fancy themselves the next Tina and Amy or Abbi and Ilana, but off limits for the rest of us.

Not so.

“Improv is a tool,” says Philip Markle, New York executive director of The Annoyance Theatre in Williamsburg. “It’s not an end game. It’s not a wrong or a right. Our goal at The Annoyance is to make you the most powerful fearless version of yourself onstage.”  That power doesn’t exist for just comedians or actors. It’s for everyone in every business, in every industry, with every type of personality. Whether it’s a way to beat shyness, an alternative to another night at the bar, or even as a form of therapy, these classes evoke more than just laughs.

(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.

01/28/15 1:34pm
Indeedy Musical Bingo, in which players blurt out song titles instead of numbers to unlock B-I-N-G-O, is coming to the Bell House on Tuesday. Photo: Indeedy Inc.

Indeedy Musical Bingo, in which players blurt out song titles instead of numbers to unlock B-I-N-G-O, is coming to the Bell House on Tuesday. Photo: Indeedy Inc.

Feeling let down ever since that “furious hoarfrost” didn’t turn out to be as apocalyptic as de Blasio and every weatherman promised? At least you have a full bar now, and have perfected your nachos and chili recipes for the Super Bowl on Sunday. If you haven’t, we’ve got bets on a few places that will satisfy your bar food cravings, including Three’s Brewing, where an all-day bash will include gourmet snacks like poutine potato skins, and Nitehawk, where you can enjoy New England and Seattle’s best brews plus house-made hot wings. We’ve got another solid game day option below, plus other great incentives to go out this week that are a lot healthier for you. (more…)