04/22/15 9:00am
The Sakura Matsuri festival, a rite of spring in Brooklyn, returns on Saturday and Sunday. Photo: Liz Ligon via Brooklyn Botanic Garden

The Sakura Matsuri festival, a rite of spring in Brooklyn, returns on Saturday and Sunday. Photo: Liz Ligon via Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Are you still basking in the glorious glow of last weekend’s weather? Guess what, guys--it’s only the beginning! Months of sun and fun times outside stretch before us, and you can almost feel a collective sigh as everyone shrugs the weight of winter off their shoulders. This weekend, you can take in a giant dose of Mother Nature at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens’ famed Sakura Matsuri festival, which celebrates Japanese culture and our borough’s incredible wealth of cherry blossoms; tonight, you can get a jump on your gardening with a free workshop on Bokashi Composting at the Windsor Terrace Library; and you can start planning ahead by donating to Three’s Brewery’s kickstarter campaign to transform a neglected lot into a 3,000 square foot green space that is being called Gowan-oasis.

Speaking of planning ahead, you should hurry up and buy tickets to the second Radio Love Fest, a multi-day festival of live events featuring your favorite WNYC shows on stage at BAM. Some have already sold out, but if you get a jump on it, you can still snag a seat to things like the May 6 Terry Gross interview with Marc Maron or the May 10 tribute to Morrissey by a an all-star lineup of Mexican bands.

Do you really miss perms, glam rock, and pastel taffeta? Hit up the If You Leave: Pretty In Pink 80’s Prom at Littlefield on Saturday night and dance the night away in the style of the most decadent decade--who cares about that jerkface Blaine anyway!

And for a 90's throwback with an important social objective, head to Washington Square at 7pm tonight to see Kevin Powell, the Real World star turned influential political activist, speak at "Where Do We Go From Here," BK Nation’s public forum on how to organize communities in the aftermath of Ferguson, and the deaths of Walter Scott and Eric Garner.

We've got lots more great ideas of things to do to round out your Ideal Week in Brooklyn, from comedy to hip hop to beekeeping-- read on and start making plans:

(more…)

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04/20/15 11:18am
It's been a rough winter, and a late spring. You deserve some day drinking. Photo: Alison Brockhouse

It's been a rough winter, and a late spring. You deserve some day drinking. Photo: Alison Brockhouse

On Saturday, May 16, Brooklyn Based and Brooklyn Brewery are headed to Crown Heights for the first Immersion of the year. If you’ve never been on one of our daylong food, drinking, and shopping crawls, here’s how they work—for a mere $25 you get a wad of “walking around money” that entitles you to four of Brooklyn's best beers at four different bars, your choice of two lunches, and sweet deals around the neighborhood.

This year, the fun begins at Berg’n, where you'll get a Green Market Wheat beer and, if you like, slow smoked, pulled pork with pommes frites from Mighty Quinn’s Barbecue. From there, you can choose your own adventure, hitting up Covenhoven for your choice of BLAST!, a double IPA, or Sorachi Ace, a saison-style ale; Butter & Scotch for a Chocolate Stout (with the option of upgrading to a beer float for a few bucks!) and Catfish for Summer Ale. If BBQ is not your thing, you can opt instead for lunch at Ital Kitchen, one of our favorite Caribbean food joints in Crown Heights, where you can order your choice of veggie jerk chicken, Brooklyn chow mein, any stew or veggie jerk wrap.

Some of the deals we’ve wrangled so far include 20% off any purchase of $20 or more Owl & Thistle General Store, a free coffee or tea when you purchase any baked goodie from Cafe Forte; 20% off jewelry at Calabar Imports, 20% off any purchase at Reclaimed Home and 20% off any non-sale items at Lady J Jewelry; 30% off a Five Element acupuncture session at Mountain (which you'll probably want to save for later, and you can, till August of this year) plus 25% off a selection of drinks the day of the Immersion.

We’ll be playing some trivia games throughout the day for fun and prizes, too.

This is an awesome way to bring on spring, so tell your friends to clear their calendars for an excellent day of drinking in Crown Heights and snag a ticket now. And if you want to help us spread the word about the Immersion in exchange for free tickets, or if you're a neighborhood business that like to get involved, just let us know.

04/15/15 9:43am
Novelist Junot Diaz is doing a free reading and Q&A at St. Francis College this Thursday night at 7pm. Photo: St. Francis College

Novelist Junot Diaz is doing a free reading and Q&A at St. Francis College this Thursday night at 7pm. Photo: St. Francis College

Been a while since you heard a really great story? This week, there are so many cool literary/storytelling events going on in Brooklyn that we can’t possibly choose between them, but here’s a quick rundown so you can decide for yourself.

First up, we have to deal with the sad news that Big Terrific, the beloved weekly comedy show at Cameo run by Jenny Slate, Gabe Liebman, and Max Silvestri, then by just Gabe Liebman and Max Silvestri, and then, for the past few years, by Max Silvestri alone, is coming to an end after seven hilarious years. Final shows are tonight and next Wednesday at 8pm and, as always, are free.

Thursday night, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao author Junot Diaz will be reading and doing a Q&A at St. Francis College as part of the Walt Whitman Writers Series. Admission is free and first come first served, so you should probably get there long before the 7pm start time.

If you are looking to laugh on Thursday, we are once again teaming up with comedian Tom Shillue and Brooklyn Brewery to bring you Funny Story, the hilarious monthly showcase of excellent raconteurs that CBS named one of the 5 best storytelling shows in New York City. As always, your $10 ticket includes a beer, and this time we are running a special 2-for-1 deal for advance ticket purchases in honor of NYC Comedy Week.

Nostalgia for your adolescence? You won’t want to miss Goosebumps creator R.L. Stine when he reads from the latest installment in his creepy Fear Street series, Don’t Stay Up Late, at Bookcourt on Saturday night at 7pm. Just don’t walk home alone in the dark!

Of course, there are lots of other kinds of things going on this week in Brooklyn, from Industry City's Open Studios to the seventh annual Brooklyn Folk Festival. Read on for more ideas on cool ways to spend the next seven days. (more…)

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04/10/15 10:00am
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Hot Rabbit is a longstanding party that frequents Monster every Friday, Lovegun on Tuesdays, and monthly at Lot 45. Photo: Maro Hagopian

 

In "New York’s Lesbian Bars Are Disappearing," Heather Dockray did the math on the number of lesbian bars left in New York and came up with a grand total of four. But while bars are on the decline, the number of parties for queer women remains steady--if you know where to go. This list is a useful start. For information on other events, make sure to check out Project Q: Events for Queer Women on Facebook. (more…)

04/08/15 2:51pm
On May 12 we're headed to Crown Heights for a day of drinking Brooklyn beers and stuffing our faces at spots like Berg'n. Photo: Alison Brockhouse

On May 12 we're headed to Crown Heights for a day of drinking Brooklyn beers and stuffing our faces at spots like Berg'n. Photo: Alison Brockhouse

You know it's almost summer when we announce our annual Immersion season with Brooklyn Brewery, and this year we're excited to unveil all the neighborhoods we plan to explore at once. We're still confirming the exact stops, but on each of our Saturday Immersions from 1 to 7pm you'll get four Brooklyn brews, lunch (your choice of grub like a burger and fries and a vegetarian option), and an envelope stuffed with local deals--what we like to call "walking around money."

Here are the dates and places we plan to hit with you. Tickets are just $25 a pop--less than you would actually spend on this much fun--and are on sale now!

  • On Saturday, May 16, we're kicking off our day-long celebrations in Crown Heights
  • Saturday June 6, we're hitting up Gowanus
  • Saturday, July 18, we're headed on south to Bay Ridge
  • And on Saturday, September 12, we'll be clinking our cups one last time in East Williamsburg, the last stop on our 2015 Immersion tour

See you on one of our neighborhood crawls soon. Also, if you own a business and want to be involved in our Immersions, or would like to help spread the word about them in exchange for tickets, let us know.

04/08/15 11:00am
Storm King is open again for the season as of April 1, so don't let another year go by where you never actually make it up there. Photo: Storm King Art Center

Storm King is open again for the season as of April 1, so don't let another year go by where you never actually make it up there. Photo: Storm King Art Center

The arrival of spring is an exciting time for people who love good food: pea shoots, ramps, and asparagus abound; eggs and dairy products just taste fresher; and the good weather gets everyone’s creative juices going. The change in seasons helps inspire things like the new time-traveling dinner party series from Brooklyn Brewery and Humboldt & Jackson, BLAST! from the Past, which debuts on April 16. Immerse yourself in the 1650s and eat things like venison tartare and “hotchpots” just like the Dutch Colonists did at the first installment, Nieuw Amsterdam. Tickets are $65 each, include four courses with beer pairings, and will probably sell out, so we wanted to give you a heads up now. Another way to ring in spring with delicious food is the American Raw Milk Cheese Tasting happening on April 18 at 61 Local. For the price of a $39 ticket, you’ll learn about the raw milk cheese-making process and sample four cheese courses paired with seasonal produce, SCRATCH bread, and carefully selected wines.

Of course, you still need to fit into the spring clothes you’re currently pulling out of storage, so if you partake in either of these feasts or any of the food-centric events we’re recommending below for this week, you might want to make sure your trusty bike is tuned up and ready for some calorie-burning action. Williamsburg’s Time’s Up runs free Fix Your Own Bike Workshops every Wednesday and Sunday from 5:30-8:30pm, so be sure to drop by and make sure everything is in working order. And if you’d rather get your exercise with a healthy dose of cultural exposure, make a plan to take a long stroll around Storm King Art Center, which is now reopened for the season.

You don’t need to travel far to find fun ways to pass the time this week, though. Check out our picks below for all kinds of cool stuff to do just a hop, skip, and a subway ride away: (more…)

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04/07/15 9:57am

BB_Realty_poster_may

Last year we learned that Brooklyn was the least affordable place to buy a home--in America! That makes it incredibly tough for the average person who would like to purchase a place of their own here, but that doesn't mean it's impossible, and on Wednesday, April 22 at Brooklyn Brewery we'll give you a crash course on everything you need to know about buying a home in this incredibly competitve market.

You’ll hear from four experts in the field–Realty Collective founder Victoria Hagman and Realty Collective agent Tina Fallon; real estate attorney Michael Moshan and private mortgage bankers Mark Maimon and Gabi Feuer of Sterling National Bankwho will explain what it takes to find the right home, make the right offer, get into contract, secure the right financing, and close, all without having a nervous breakdown.

Here’s what you’ll learn over Brooklyn beers on April 22:

-Who protects you and helps you get the best deal
-How to position yourself as a bonafide buyer in a competitive market
-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. Doors open at 7:30pm, the evening begins shortly afterward.

Buying into Brooklyn is sponsored by Sterling National Bank. 

04/01/15 9:00am
Plant a fruit tree this weekend--New York Restoration Project is holding giveaways throughout Brooklyn. Photo: New York Restoration Project

Plant a fruit tree this weekend--New York Restoration Project is holding giveaways throughout Brooklyn. Photo: New York Restoration Project

Dare we say it? It FINALLY feels like spring around here, and this week brings a new month, some major holidays to celebrate, the promise of new beginnings and the return of much-needed greenery to our midst. If you want to accelerate your exposure to that last bit, register to pick up a free fruit tree at one of the many giveaways sponsored by the New York Restoration Project in Brooklyn this month. The rule is that you have to plant your tree in the ground somewhere within the five boroughs and agree to maintain it, but if you’re up for that, you’re in! It’s also a good time to take a stroll through the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and observe the seasonal transformation underway before the place gets mobbed by the Sakura Matsuri festival crowds at the end of the month.

This week also brings the beginning of the end of AMC’s beloved Mad Men, and you might need some moral support as you contemplate the loss of Don, Joan, Peggy, Sally, Roger, and the rest of the gang (except perhaps Pete, although California has done wonders for him). When the season premiere airs at 10pm on Sunday night, you’ll have a plethora of screening options to choose from where you can commiserate with other superfans of the show, including Halyards, Monro Pub, Videology, Soda Bar, and the Graham. As the SC&P crew all knows, there’s nothing that a stiff cocktail can’t fix.

If you aren’t traveling out of town for Passover or Easter, we’ve got lots of different ways for you to fill up your time. Take a gander at our picks of the best things going on around Brooklyn this week and start making plans: (more…)

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03/28/15 4:54pm

The seventh edition of our spring wedding fair, Wedding Crashers, was our biggest yet. This was the first year we held the fair at both The Green Building and 501 Union, and both spaces looked incredible. And thanks to a Honeybook-sponsored happy hour afterward, our vendors left as happy as the guests.

Check out our slideshow for inspiring shots from the fair, all taken by Alison Brockhouse, and these photos by Kristy May Photography. See you next spring (and let us know if you'd like to join us)!

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03/25/15 11:17am
Noah Baumbach's new film, 'While We're Young,' opens this weekend, providing ample opportunity to ogle Adam Driver. Image: A24 Films

Noah Baumbach's new film, 'While We're Young,' opens this weekend, providing ample opportunity to ogle Adam Driver. Image: A24 Films

As one of our Ideal Week writers, Alexander Jordan, put it, Neil “fucking” Diamond is playing Barclay’s tomorrow, and tickets are still available to see the man who can make an entire bar sing "Sweet Caroline" (DAH DAH DAHHHH). A far cheaper night of music you know and love will be at The Bell House tonight for our wedding band showcase, words that may trigger your cheesiness meter, except that this is NYC, and the bands we're featuring are filled with awesome musicians like Joe McGinty, former keyboardist for the Psychedelic Furs and now the piano-playing leader of the city’s most popular tribute band, Loser’s Lounge. The tickets, which include snacks from Red Table Catering, are $12 at the door but you can get em for $5 until 6pm, here.

In strange animal news, that rabbit-hoarding woman in Gowanus is suing to get her 237 syphilitic bunnies back from the ASPCA and Animal Care & Control of NYC. The plight of her animals pales in comparison to the roughly 2.4 million humans who serve time in prison, and there is an event this Saturday that deals seriously with incarceration and its effect upon the psyche, when Orange is the New Black author Piper Kerman speaks with Joe Loya, author of The Man Who Outgrew His Prison Cell, at the Brooklyn Museum.

Further out into the calendar, RadioLoveFest is returning to BAM in May, and there are already shows with single-digit tickets left, like Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me. So get on it quick if you a public radio lover, then check out all the good times to be had this week that are not in danger of selling out.

Thursday, March 26: Why is Noah Baumbach’s new movie not opening in Brooklyn? It seems a crime not to give his prime audience first dibs on While We’re Young, a movie featuring “Brooklyn hipsters” Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried. The two inject a little verve back into the lives of a middle-aged couple played by Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts, until they realize Driver is using them to bolster his career. Everyone 40 and above will be a little reluctant to watch this, but wisdom and experience seem to win out in the end. As The New Yorker's Anthony Lane put it, “one of the rare benefits of age” is that “you can start, at last, to tell the difference between a life style and a life.” The film opens Thursday at Regal Cinemas Union Square, then adds screenings at Lincoln Square over the weekend, until it arrives in Brooklyn on April 2 at BAM.—N.D.

Friday, March 27: No great revolution started without a lot of talking about how great the revolution was going to be. Such is the case with this weekend's Bad Assery: A Women & Comedy Conference, which will not only include lots of discussion about the state of women in comedy, but a lot of laughter as well. Co-hosted by The Bell House, Littlefield, and ?What If!, comedy enthusiasts are invited to come together for three days of events, including panels—like "Breaking Out" with Brooke Van Poppelen—sketch shows and standup from big names like Aparna Nancherla and Michelle Wolf, music, and much more with some of the funniest ladies in the city. For those simply hoping to stop by for a show or two, tickets are $15 for shows and $20 for panels at the door, or if you're in it for the long haul, purchase $40 1-day passes and $75 three-day passes here. Head to the Bad Assery website for the full schedule.--N.R. (more…)

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