08/24/16 2:17pm
Afropunk is this weekend. Photo: Afropunk

Afropunk is this weekend and promises to be nothing short of amazing. Photo: Afropunk

It kind of feels like we are the only ones in Brooklyn at the moment, I Am Legend-style, so if you are reading this, rest assured that you aren’t alone and there is plenty of stuff going on around here for the next seven days to round out your Ideal Week. (Also, no actual vampiric-zombie beasts. That we have first-hand knowledge of.) Who needs the Hamptons or Maine or Cape Cod?  In case you haven’t noticed the weather right here is downright amazing, and we’ve got perfect conditions for all sorts of outdoor activities, including the annual Afropunk Festival at Commodore Barry Park. The multicultural live music showcase returns for both days this weekend, and the incredible lineup includes acts like Ice Cube, TV on the Radio, Fishbone, Janelle Monae, Tyler the Creator, George Clinton, Living Color, Ceelo Green, and Shabazz Palaces. There are still some tickets left, so snap ‘em up while you still can.

If you’re more of a comedy aficionado than a music junkie, the Brooklyn Comedy Festival is also in town this week, bringing all kinds of talent to venues scattered throughout the borough. Check out the schedule here and pencil in a show or two to ensure you pack a good dose of laughter into your plans.

Swale actually does open this weekend (we jumped the gun last week). Photo: Regina Mogilevskaya

Swale actually does open on Governors Island this weekend (we jumped the gun last week). Photo: Regina Mogilevskaya

It appears that we jumped the gun last week on the opening of Swale’s floating food forest, but it is open to the public at Governors Island as of this Friday, so that’s another option for your weekend adventures. We’ve got a lot more on our hit-list too, so please read on and have a fabulous Ideal Week! We’re taking next week off to squeeze the last drops of fun and relaxation out of summer, though we’ll be keeping our Facebook and Twitter updated with options. We’ll be back in full force after Labor Day, rustling up the best tips for how to spend your free time in Brooklyn, now and forever. (more…)

08/17/16 12:17pm
See the Rooftop Films screening of "Author: The JT LeRoy Story" in the courtyard of Industry City Thursday night. Photo: Regina Mogilevskaya

See the Rooftop Films screening of Author: The JT LeRoy Story in the courtyard of Industry City Thursday night. Photo: Regina Mogilevskaya

It feels different today, right? In the early morning hours, we’re talking before 7am, there was even a hint of fall in the air for a few moments. It might be a good day to live dangerously and eat your lunch in the park or even take a stroll, for fun, come afternoon.

Speaking of which, is anyone else’s local park looking a little rough around the edges these days? On my way to work yesterday I noticed at least four absolutely overflowing trash cans around McCarren Park. Impressively, park goers were trying to keep it in check and had semi-neatly piled excess trash next to the barrels, but it was pretty clear that no one had emptied them in some time. Then this morning when I took my son to Cooper Park it seemed like the grass hadn’t been cut in weeks and the number of cigarette butts, plastic bottles and assorted trash littered all over the place had really reached peak grossness. I know that summer must be a very busy season for the Parks Department, but we’re not talking about a big storm that brought down a ton of branches and debris. We’re talking regular maintenance. How about some teen summer gardening and landscaping jobs that also involve trash pick-up? And that concludes my New York City rant for the day.

In more adorable news, today through Aug. 21 you can adopt a black cat for free (or a black kitten for $50, usually $125) at the ASPCA’s Adoption Center on East 92nd Street. You’ll even get a free cat carrier in the deal. For those of you plan-aheaders out there, check out this adults-only camp-out at the Bronx Zoo coming up in on Oct. 14-15. Tickets are pretty steep at $350, but they include unlimited beer and wine, plus dinner, s’mores, breakfast, a tent rental and a souvenir mug. I suspect this is a childhood fantasy come true for at least a few of you. Tickets are also on sale for the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival, which is coming up sooner than you think on Sept. 15-17. These shows always sell out so get your tickets now (and a few extra for your flakier friends), and then feel that smug sense of the well prepared come September. As for this week, whether you want your comedy right now, have always dreamed of entering a kimchi eating contest or just want to listen to smart people have an interesting, civil conversation, we have a whole week of fun planned out for you. Read on, friends.  (more…)

08/10/16 1:15pm
It's not really summer until you've eaten too much seafood. Photo: Prime Meats

It’s not really summer until you’ve eaten too much seafood. Photo: Prime Meats

Well, it’s always something to wake up in the morning to find that a candidate for the highest office in the land has basically put a bounty on his opponent’s head, but that’s where we are today. If you haven’t listened to Malcolm Gladwell’s fascinating Revisionist History podcast yet, I suggest that you take an hour for the first episode, The Lady Vanishes, which explores the concept of moral licensing and why it always feels like we take two steps backwards in the immediate wake of social progress (think about all the crazy racism that surfaced after we elected our first black president, for example). There is really well-done section in there about the cruel and terrifying misogyny that the first female prime minister of Australia faced a few years back and the similarities to what the Clinton campaign is currently dealing with are striking to the point of near-implausibility.

The other thing that I am consuming ferociously at the moment is HBO’s The Night Of, which, as a taut, well-written drama involving the systemic failures of our criminal justice system, falls right into my personal zone of perfect television. But even so, I recognize that zoning out on my couch or with my headphones in does not an Ideal Week make, so I might venture over to Columbia Street on Saturday to check out the Elements Outdoor Music and Art Festival brought to you by Bang On. Headliners include Gramatik, Klingande, and special guests the Desert Hearts Crew, but there will be five stages featuring all kinds of entertainment, like interactive and large-scale art installations, aerial performance, fire breathers, extreme wakeboarding (?!), food, clothing and jewelry vendors, and more. It all starts at 1pm in an industrial, waterfront venue, and some tiers of tickets are still available.

Aside from that massive display of revelry, we’ve got a ton of other cool activities you can choose from to round out Your Ideal Week. It might be hot and humid and thunderstorm-y, but that’s part of what makes August in New York what it is. Get after it. (more…)

08/08/16 3:55pm
Dirk the Norseman is one of the 50+ vendors returning to TASTE Williamsburg/Greenpoint this Sept.

Dirk the Norseman is one of the 50+ vendors returning to TASTE Williamsburg/Greenpoint this Sept.

TASTE Williamsburg Greenpoint, one of NYC’s best neighborhood food festivals, is back for its seventh year on September 18, with over 50 of North Brooklyn’s best restaurants, bars, breweries and wineries. The outdoor block party set up on the Williamsburg waterfront at East River State Park includes live music, activities and of course, some of the best things to eat in NYC.

Pies ‘n’ Thighs, Maison Premier, Lilia, The Camlin, Odd Fellows, St. Mazie, Brooklyn Brewery, Tito’s Vodka, Moet Chandon and many more will all be offering tastes and drinks. VIP Tickets are currently discounted to $85 for 12 tastes and six drinks, Brooklyn Brewery Beer and a gift bag, plus a 30-minute, early access head start on the feasting. General admission tickets start at $35 and include four tastes and two drinks.

All the proceeds from tickets will go towards renovating and operating the Firehouse North Brooklyn Community Center, a cultural haven for community gatherings and original arts programming. Get yours now!

08/05/16 3:00pm
The Orion Nebula as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope. Viewers on Saturday will have VR headsets to travel deep into the Milky Way, accompanied by the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, a Norwegian orchestra and more during The HUBBLE CANTATA.

The Orion Nebula as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope. Viewers on Saturday will have VR headsets to travel deep into the Milky Way, accompanied by the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, a Norwegian orchestra and more during “The Hubble Cantata.”

We’re upon the last week of BRIC’s Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival—we know, it went fast for us, too! Before it closes, make the most of your summer and pencil in at least one of these last six performances.

It may sound over the top to say Saturday’s epic event will be out of this world, but it literally does take viewers on a journey to the Orion Nebula, the beautiful celestial feature way out there in the Milky Way, south of Orion’s belt. Cardboard VR headsets will be given out to experience “The Hubble Cantata,” a musical performance featuring a 20-piece ensemble, a 100-person choir, two Metropolitan Opera stars and a VR experience with stunning visuals–all free!

Next Thursday’s benefit show with Herbie Hancock is another must for your outdoor concert bucket list. The 14 Grammy-award winning pianist and composer (and man responsible for one of the greatest songs ever made, the killer video for which won five Spacemen at the first-ever MTV Awards in 1984) will be joined by Jamie Lidell, the electronic jazz quartet Robert Glasper Experiment, and more. Tickets on sale here.

There are four more free shows to catch before the festival ends—Reggae greats Morgan Heritage, Labyrinth live-scored by one of David Bowie’s backing bands, psych-pop stars Dr. Dog, and R&B songstress Andra Day.

Catch them all or at least one, so you can savor another starry night of music in Prospect Park before the series, and summer ends.

08/03/16 1:44pm
Get weird with a new interactive theater experience at Governors Island this weekend.

Get weird with a new interactive theater experience at Governors Island this weekend.

Greetings everyone and welcome to another installment of Your Ideal Week, wherein we present our best tips for exciting, engaging and above all, entertaining ways to occupy your time in and around Brooklyn over the course of the next seven days.

Did you all happen to catch this article in the NYT yesterday about the rezoning happening in Gowanus and councilman Brad Lander’s efforts to give residents a real voice in the process? Well, it just so happens that he is hosting the first in a series of community action events at The Bell House on Tuesday night from 5-8pm. Not only is it a great opportunity to get involved in an issue that will actually affect your life, but it also might be an effective balm to soothe your nerves during this time of increasingly deranged politics playing out on the national level.

Other highlights of the week include two outdoor screenings of great flicks with live musical accompaniment at Celebrate Brooklyn in Prospect Park. Thursday’s Run Lola Run with live score by The Bays, and next Wednesday’s screening of Labyrinth with music by Donny McCaslin Group both start at 7:30pm and are free to attend. And if it’s early 90s nostalgia you’re after, Fort Greene Park is hosting a special screening of The Sandlot Thursday night to benefit The Brooklyn Hospital Foundation.

Read on, pencil in your plans, and get after it. See you next week!

(more…)

07/29/16 11:24am
"The Warriors" closes the three-part film series we're presenting with the Brooklyn Historical Society. Come out and play-ee-ay with us in August!

“The Warriors” closes the three-part film series we’re presenting with the Brooklyn Historical Society. Come out and play-ee-ay with us in August!

From the Coney Island boardwalk to the brownstones of Bed-Stuy, the County of Kings has served as the set for numerous iconic films throughout the years. Together with the Brooklyn Historical Society, we’ve chosen three of these classic films starring our favorite borough for a series called Brooklyn on Screen. This free, indoor film series in August kicks off with Spike Lee’s seminal Do the Right Thing on Monday—seats are full for this one unfortunately, but that’s all the more reason to RSVP now for the remaining two films.

On August 8, we’ll be screening Moonstruck, set in BHS’s own neighborhood, Brooklyn Heights, the stage for Cher’s Academy Award-winning performance in Norman Jewison’s classic 1987 romantic comedy. Grab a Brooklyn Brewery beer, then sit back and enjoy the magic and larger-than-life romance that blossoms in the streets of Moonstruck’s Brooklyn!

Then on August 15, join us for The Warriors. The last in our series of films starring Brooklyn takes us to Coney Island, home turf of the rough and tumble gang that is the namesake of this fantasy thriller. Shot almost completely on location in the streets and subways of NYC during the summer of 1978, this cult classic will give you a glimpse into a Brooklyn of the past.

Slate’s Kristen Meinzer and Newsday’s Rafer Guzman will be introducing all the films, Shake Shack is providing complimentary frozen custard, and there will be water, wine, and Brooklyn Brewery beer available, too. Come beat the heat with us in August!

07/27/16 2:29pm
Take run through Bushwick on Sunday morning and soak up the street art. Photo:

Take run through Bushwick on Sunday morning and soak up the street art. Photo: Bushwick Street Art Run

Thursday, July 28 LONG ISLAND CITY Seinfeld celebration, 6:30pm, free↠ • BROOKLYN HEIGHTS Brooklyn Screams for Ice Cream, 7pm, tickets $12↠

Friday, July 29 DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN Grove Alley Night Market, 5:30pm to late, free RSVP↠

Saturday, July 30 WILLIAMSBURG Harry Potter and the Cursed Child release party, 10pm, tickets $30 (includes book)

Sunday, July 31 BUSHWICK Street Art Run, 10am, tickets $20

Monday, August 1 PARK SLOPE Nick Thune at Union Hall, 8pm, tickets $15

Tuesday, August 2 RED HOOK figure drawing at Sunny’s, tickets $20

 Wednesday, August 3 BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK Open Ropes double dutch workshop, 7pm, free↠  

Welcome to another edition of Your Ideal Week, Brooklyn summer style. News flash: Still hot out. There are also still tons of ways to keep yourself entertained and occupied while staying local, starting with The Great Brooklyn Lobster Boil taking place this Sunday at The Landing in Industry City. The key thing to realize here is that ticket sales for this summer feast end at 4pm today, so you’d best get a move on if you want to end the weekend with a heaping plate of steamed lobster, mussels, corn on the cob, potatoes, salad and watermelon. The festivities will also include horseshoes, cornhole, beer for sale, and live music from The Loyales.

If live music is your thing, may we also suggest the Cruel Summer 80s Dance Party going down on Friday night at the Bell House? The Engagements, a totally kickass 10-piece band that is a BB favorite, will be covering all your favorite hits from the decade of excess starting at 8pm, and tickets are just $5 with the promo code “theskint.” Of course, if you’re cool like dat, you can also throw back to the 90s hip hop era at Celebrate Brooklyn’s free Digable Planets and Camp Lo concert on Saturday night in Prospect Park.

And, finally, if you are suffering from post-convention exhaustion plus a need to stay squarely within the reach of a decent A/C, you can always visit cooler temps and seemingly less traumatic political times at BAM, which is running a special election-themed movie series called Four More Years. Now through Tuesday, you can see classic policy wonk-focused flicks like Bulworth, Wag the Dog, Primary Colors, and The War Room on the big screen–check out the schedule here. Or, celebrate New York City and go see Ghostbusters

Otherwise, we’ve got events for Seinfeld and Harry Potter fans, an art run, comedy, ice cream, and more coming at you this week–read on for more details and stay cool!  (more…)

07/20/16 1:42pm

Jeff Ramos

Thursday, July 21 GOWANUS, The Goonies drinking game, 8pm, tickets $8↠

Friday, July 22 PARK SLOPE Psycho Beach Party, 8pm, free↠

Saturday, July 23 GREENPOINT Pokemon Go Bar Crawl, 1pm, free, plus your bar tab(s)↠ • FORT GREENE PARK Jazz Festival, 3-7pm, free↠

Sunday, July 24 RED HOOK Ragas Live Festival, noon Saturday-noon Sunday, tickets $40↠

Monday, July 25 BROOKLYN HEIGHTS Fed Up, 6:30pm, free with RSVP↠

Tuesday, July 26 COBBLE HILL Backfat Variety Show, 8pm, free↠

Wednesday, July 27 BROOKLYN NAVY YARD Guernica Summer Party, 7pm, tickets $25↠

Welcome to Your Ideal Week: The Dog Days of Summer Edition. I don’t know about you, but whatever fatigue I was feeling from the relentless heat and humidity (today is actually kind of lovely, in the shade) is no match for the sheer exhaustion brought on by the relentless coverage of the RNC. How has it only been 2.5 days of this?! I’m honestly not sure I’ve ever felt more compelled to get outside and away from my TV. Or at the very least to watch something else on TV–I highly recommend Mr. Robot and UNReal, both of which are having pretty engaging sophomore seasons so far, and I’m totally engrossed in The Night Of, the new HBO crime drama series.  If you’re feeling like you need more than a date with your cool couch or the hot sand this week, we’ve got a lot going on to scratch your social butterfly itch.

In addition to the usual schedule of outdoor movies, summer concerts, and other cultural musts happening around town, check out our tips below on how to squeeze the most out of this Ideal Week in Brooklyn. Stay cool (and cool headed) and we’ll see you next week!

Thursday, July 21 What’s the best thing about revisiting one of your favorite movies from childhood 30 years later? Now you’re old enough to add a drinking game into the mix! On Thursday night, truffle shuffle your way over to Littlefield, where A Drinking Game NYC will be presenting a live staged reading of everyone’s favorite 80s pirate adventure/comedy classic, The Goonies, starting at 8pm. Here’s how it works: When someone says one of the catch phrases on the predetermined list (we’re guessing that “Hey, you guuuuuuys!” made the cut for this flick), everyone has to drink, meaning that things are bound to get increasingly silly (and fun) as the night goes on. Tickets are $8.
(more…)

07/14/16 11:10am

LobsterBoil

Steamed, grilled, dipped in butter–however you like your lobster, summer is just not summer without at least one lobster dinner. And while the ideal setting would be some seaside, New England town, The Landing at Industry City is hosting its own delicious, picturesque outdoor feast on July 31 that will be much easier to get to.

At The Great Brooklyn Lobster Boil, you’ll get lobster fresh from Martha’s Vineyard, corn on the cob, red bliss potatoes, sliced tomato salad and fresh cold watermelon. You can also go a la carte and purchase burgers, hotdogs, and brisket from the grill separately. As if the feast weren’t enough, The Loyales will be playing their rootsy, juke-joint style music, and plenty of games likes horseshoes and cornhole toss will be on hand to add to the festivities.

The lobster feast, live music and games at this outdoor Sunday soiree is just $60. (And if lobster isn’t your thing, you can purchase a general admission ticket for $10. Children under 12 enter free).

Get a ticket before they sell out ➤➤➤