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.

05/19/16 1:15pm

Buy

If buying a home in Brooklyn, or anywhere in NYC seems daunting to you, you haven’t been to one of our Buying into Brooklyn sessions. Over the course of an evening, and some Brooklyn Brewery beers, you’ll get a crash course on everything you need to know before you start your apartment hunt.

On Tuesday, June 7, join us for solid advice from a team of pros—Realty Collective founder Victoria Hagman and Realty Collective agent Tina Fallon; real estate attorney Michael Moshan and Sterling National Bank mortgage bankers Mark Maimon and Gabi Feuer —in a setting that is far more relaxed than your last crowded open house.

Here’s what you’ll learn over Brooklyn beers on June. 7:
-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:SNB Stacked Logo

05/18/16 2:26pm

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Long Island City, what we like to call the Alaska of Brooklyn, is the next stop in our Immersion series with Brooklyn Brewery on Saturday, June 4. If you’ve been–perhaps on one of our previous Immersions–you know the neighborhood was practically made for bar hopping.

The day begins at LIC Bar at noon, where we’ll be handing out door prizes to attendees who check in before 1pm. You won’t have to travel far for your next pint, as you head from LIC Bar to Gantry Bar & Kitchen to Woodbines to Corner Bistro for your 4 free Brooklyn beers. The restaurants we’ve lined up for your lunch are close and picturesque, too—you can eat in the backyard at L’Inizio, along the waterfront with drop-dead views at Anable Basin Sailing Bar & Grill, or at the new Gantry Bar & Kitchen.

Inside the envelope of “walking around money” we give you to spend in Long Island City, you’ll also find funny money that will get you free gifts and discounts on sliders, souffles and other baked treats, jewelry, vintage finds, snowballs (yes, snowballs), and more goods at places like Sweetleaf, Pink Canary, and the outdoor LIC Flea & Food.

The price for 4 Brooklyn beers, lunch, and the deals below is just $25. Round up your friends–it’s time to spend some quality time together. (more…)

05/18/16 1:18pm
Come join us in Cobble Hill for the first Immersion of the summer.

Come join us in Cobble Hill for the first Immersion of the summer.

We’ve crossed over into mid-May and are squarely in the middle of graduation season, and if that has you feeling nostalgic for the days when you spent the bulk of your time learning new stuff from smart, interesting people (and not, say, being mashed between a stroller and a backpack on the subway while a stranger serenades the entire car with terrible drum and bass on an iPhone speaker), take note of some events going on this week that might be of interest.First up, tonight is the swan song for the Happy Ending Music and Reading Series, the long-running and totally original literary event. To give it a proper sendoff, make your way to Symphony Space tonight to see Charles Bock, Belinda McKeon, Amber Tamblyn, and musical guest Ani DiFranco perform live. This weekend also brings NYCPodfest 2016 to town, which means that a curated group of popular podcasts will be recording live episodes at the Bell House and Cakeshop starting on Friday night. Some shows are already sold out, but you can still catch some pretty big names on the bill, like Janeane Garafolo, Caroline Rhea, Ted Allen, Morgan Spurlock, and Colin Quinn.

If you’re the type who spent more time socializing than studying in school, there is, as always, plenty happening this week to scratch that itch too. A drive through Red Hook last weekend confirmed that the ballfield food trucks are back, so maybe grab a few buddies and take a bike ride out there for a kickass pupusa this week, before weddings and beach trips and the like block out your calendar for the next few months. Or arrange a day trip to Storm King Art Center, which is newly reopened for the season, to take in both world-class sculpture and exploding springtime flora just a few miles north of the city. If you’re looking for some outdoor hang time closer to home, try Nowadays, the massive bar/restaurant/greenspace that opened last summer and Ridgewood and is back again as of a week ago.

Those are some evergreen tips to keep you busy now that sunny skies are (hopefully) here to stay for a while, but read on for ideas of fun things to do that are specific to this week in particular. Go forth and make plans and, no matter what you do between now and next Wednesday, make it an Ideal Week to remember.

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05/17/16 8:50am
Lena Dunham prank called her mother, pretending she was an old college friend who’d just experienced a “recovered memory” that involved her. Photo: Amanda Stern

At a past edition of the Happy Ending Music & Reading Series, Lena Dunham performed the requisite, on-stage risk by prank calling her mother, and pretending she was an old college friend experiencing a “recovered memory” that involved her. Photo: Jon Pack

After 13 years as one of the city’s most original literary gatherings, the Happy Ending Music & Reading Series is literally ending, at least in its current format. Its last live edition in Manhattan is May 18 at Symphony Space, and the final lineup brings together all the elements that host and creator Amanda Stern introduced to NYC audiences back in 2003, when the series debuted in a downtown massage parlor turned bar, Happy Ending. Instead of simply putting the authors Charles Bock, Belinda McKeon and actress and poet Amber Tamblyn on stage to read from their work this Wednesday night, Stern has also lined up a musical guest—Ani DiFranco—to perform sets, and has reserved a space on stage for artist Kate Neckel to “live draw” the event as the audience watches her real-time illustrations on screen.

I first saw Happy Ending at Joe’s Pub, one of the many venues the series called home over the years. As someone whose mind easily wanders while listening to a lone writer behind a mic, Stern’s series could sustain even a drifter like me. Bringing all these different artists together on stage has that effect on the brain. And with Stern, an author who can work the room like a comic as the host, she made the typically slow-paced literary event captivating.

Artist Marcellus Hall's live illustrations from the last Happy Ending.

Artist Marcellus Hall’s live illustrations from the last Happy Ending.

“My personal feeling is that when you create a cultural event, the offering should be original, emanating from a part of your personality, core beliefs, and values, and not simply act as a mirror of what already exists,” Stern, a Manhattan native turned Brooklynite, told us by email. “Happy Ending was my solution to the absence of the community I wanted, but couldn’t find, and that community had personality, was collaborative and inclusive, integrating different artistic mediums and varying ways to communicate…I grew up in the MacDougal-Sullivan gardens with two dozen kids, and together we wrote, directed, produced and acted in plays. It took a few years of hosting and producing Happy Ending for me to realize I was simply recreating my childhood, only now I was doing it in a bar.” (more…)

05/11/16 1:42pm
The New York Bike Jumble is back this weekend. Photo: Bike Jumble

The New York Bike Jumble is back this weekend. Photo: Bike Jumble

Greetings BB’ers, it’s Wednesday again and it’s gorgeous outside! One of those days that makes you stop for a minute on your walk from the subway to work, take a look around at the greenery, the sunny skies, and the hum of activity going on around you, and thank your lucky stars for putting you here, in this unparalleled city, at this wonderful time of year. And just then, some livery cab driver lays on his horn right next to you and blows your eardrums out and you realize you are late for your meeting, and you forgot to pay your ConEd bill, and you walk into a cloud of dog pee smell (or is that human pee?) and you suddenly become incensed at everyone and everything, and the crazy New York City cycle of life continues. . . One thing that we know can help ameliorate the stress of the regular day-to-day in this town is to make sure you have lots of fun activities scheduled to keep you busy, and that’s where we can be of service.

Are you into meeting new people, exploring a new neighborhood, and getting great deals on booze, bites, and other stuff? If so, definitely grab a $25 ticket to our Cobble Hill Immersion before they sell out. The first in this summer’s series of immersions will take place next Saturday, May 21, and involves specials at places like 61 Local, Angry Wade’s, Fawkner, Stinky Bklyn, Diptyque and One Girl Cookies. But getting back to this Ideal Week ahead of us, please take a pass at all the good things we found to get into between now and next Wednesday, and make sure to take some time to literally stop and smell the roses, with Claritin if necessary. (more…)

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05/10/16 1:52pm
See that bill in her hand? We've got a ton of WAM (Walking Around Money) for you to throw around Cobble Hill on May 21. Photo: Brooklyn Brewery

See that bill in her hand? We’ve got a ton of WAM (Walking Around Money) for you to throw around Cobble Hill on May 21. Photo: Brooklyn Brewery

Our Immersion series with Brooklyn Brewery, where we line up four beers, lunch and a ton of neighborhood deals for $25, returns on May 21, and we’ve got quite the day planned for you in Cobble Hill.

But first, we’d like to clarify something. Angry Wade’s, the Smith St. bar that was widely reported to be closing its doors in January, is not shuttering anytime soon. In fact, the bar is one of our Brooklyn beer stops on the Total Cobble Hill Immersion.

Also new this year—we’re giving away door prizes to random Immersion goers who check in at 61 Local between noon and 1pm on Saturday. Yes, this is a coy way of getting your tushes to the Immersion on time. But you could also win some sweet prizes, like brunch for two at Veklsers or a travel gift set from Diptyque.

As you make your way from 61 Local, Angry Wade’s, Buschenschank and Fawkner for your Brooklyn brews, be prepared for some pitstops. This is one of Brooklyn’s best corridors for retail therapy, and we lined up a lot of deals to brighten your wardrobe, stock your fridge, and eat your heart out. Check out the full list below and get a ticket before the Immersion sells out. (more…)

05/04/16 1:06pm
The Red Hook Prom is back this weekend. Photo: Cora Dance

The Red Hook Prom is back this weekend. Photo: Cora Dance

Hope you guys like cold, wet rain and GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, because both are settling in for a bit and almost making me want to temporarily rename this column “Your Less Than Ideal Week.” Fortunately, we found heaps of cool stuff happening around these parts to distract you from some of the grimmer aspects of life, so go on and get right into it.

I told everyone a while back to buy a ticket to see Gillian Anderson and Ben Foster in the St. Ann’s Warehouse revival of A Streetcar Named Desire, but now that it’s officially opened and the Times dropped this intriguing review, consider this a PSA to secure tickets before they’re all gone. I’m going tomorrow night and can’t wait. It’s also Cinco de Mayo on Thursday, as if you needed an excuse to eat tacos and the other riches of Mexican cuisine. La Lobo Cantina, which we featured recently, is doing  $8 margaritas, $6 micheladas, and $8 Ilegal Mezcal pours.

If you’re looking for a good place to watch the Kentucky Derby on Saturday (not to mention avail yourself of a proper mint julep), there are parties going on at The Bell House, Union Hall, Humboldt & Jackson, Berg’n, and Mabel’s Smokehouse, to name a few (seersucker and silly hats optional). Check out our other ideas to make the most of your week below, and try to hang on to those umbrellas for the next few days! See you next week. (more…)

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04/27/16 2:55pm
The festival is back at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden this weekend. Photo: BBG

The Sakura Matsuri cherry blossom festival celebrates its 35th year the Brooklyn Botanic Garden this weekend. Photo: BBG

Is it already Wednesday again? Seems to me that the past week has completely FLOWN by, maybe because Prince has been the soundtrack. Have you listened to Lemonade yet? Or watched the GoT season premiere? Do we think there is going to be an uprising against this Kasich/Cruz collusion deal to block Trump? Is de Blasio going to weather this latest storm? Lots of questions swirling around as we head into May, but one thing you don’t have to wonder is what you are going to do with your free time for the next seven days–there is so much going on in Brooklyn this week that it’s going to be hard to jam it all in.

Just this weekend alone brings the Sakura Matsuri cherry blossom festival to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden for its 35th year, which means thousands of pink and white blooms, a full schedule of events celebrating Japanese culture, and (it must be said) massive crowds. On Saturday, head to Red Hook to catch this year’s Red Hook Crit, the annual unsanctioned and after-hours bike race that draws cyclists from all over the globe. As the race has gained popularity, it has added new components like a 5K run and food and beer trucks to cater to the growing ranks of spectators. And on Sunday and Monday, the Food Book Fair, which has been dubbed “the Coachella of writing about eating” returns to the Wythe Hotel for a fifth year of panel discussions, films, dinners, and presentations from an impressive roster of food luminaries.

But that, my friends, is just scratching the surface of what is in store for you in Your Ideal Week ahead. Check out our day-by-day list of potential activities to get yourself into between now and next Wednesday below and, whatever you end up doing, enjoy it and have a great week! (more…)

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