07/22/15 10:18am
Cool off this weekend at a giant water gun fight in Central Park. Photo: Max Wei

Cool off this weekend at a giant water gun fight in Central Park. Photo: Max Wei

I don’t know about you guys, but after enduring a week of downright tropical heat and humidity, I could really use a giant, old-fashioned water fight right about now. Luckily, an organization called Water Fight NYC is one step ahead of me, having planned a free, giant water gun shootout that is open to all  starting at 2pm on Saturday in Central Park’s Great Lawn. Once you dry off, Flavorpill is throwing a roller skating “Magic Hour” party at the LeFrak rink in Prospect Park on Saturday evening. For $14, you can skate for hours to tunes from DJs Metro Area and Free Magic, and you’ll have access to LeFrak’s full restaurant and bar, gelato parlor, and splash pad.

Interested in old cars? DUMBO is throwing its Second Annual Antique Car Rally on Anchorage Place between 10 and 4pm on Sunday. Twenty meticulously restored and maintained Ford Model As will be on display, along with live music from Jan Bell and the Maybelles starting at 1pm. For a totally car-free experience, the Bay Ridge Summer Stroll is back this Friday, and if you missed our Immersion last weekend it’s a chance to hit up a few of the restaurants and shops we missed.

As the Internet has been telling us for months, the new Wet Hot American Summer miniseries, which will be set as a prequel to the beloved and oft-quoted 2001 film starring pretty much everybody, debuts on Netflix on July 31. Real-life sisters Michelle Joni (whose name you might recognize from the glut of blog posts about the Brooklyn adult preschool she started) and Jessica Lapidos were both extras in the original cult comedy set at Camp Firewood, and although they were a little put out that no one asked them to bring their talents back for round two, they wasted no time in organizing their own Wet Hot Brooklyn Summer Talent Show at X Marks the Lot in Bushwick. On August 4 from 6pm to midnight, fans can get together for reenactments, stories from the set, free Wet Hot American wheat ale, a canned food drive (obviously), and a talent show featuring the weirdest and wildest talents in Brooklyn. We’re giving you a little lead time because a) costumes are mandatory, and b) if you want to enter the talent show as a contestant, you need to audition by posting a preview of your talent on Instagram by August 2 so you should get started.

If you have a soft spot for shellfish, you should treat yourself next Thursday to a serious surf and turf feast in the backyard of PDR, the private dining room of Naturally Delicious caterers. Lobster, scallops and fluke crudo are all on the five-course menu and cocktails and wines are included. Check out the full menu here.

Turning back to the present though, there are a bunch of things going on that struck our fancy for the seven days ahead. Wishing you fun, sun, and tolerable body temperatures, we give you Your Ideal Week:
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07/22/15 9:36am
Summer Stroll on 3rd from 2014 (David Chiu)

Summer Stroll on 3rd from 2014 (David Chiu)

If you weren’t able to make to it to our Total Immersion in Bay Ridge last weekend, there are still opportunities to get to know and explore the neighborhood this summer. Once again, Bay Ridge is holding its annual Summer Stroll on Third Avenue, which allows visitors to walk in traffic-free open streets along one of Bay Ridge’s commercial districts on a Friday during the evening hours. Among the highlights offered are cultural exhibitions, vendors, chess for kids, author signings, and of course food. For this year, the stroll is broken up into two routes for certain dates: from 80th to 90th streets this Friday, and 69th to 80th streets on Aug. 7 and 8. (more…)

07/15/15 10:14am
Beat the heat with a movie that doesn't require you to follow a plotline at Nitehawk's midnight Snakes on a Plane screenings this weekend. Photo: New Line Cinema

Beat the heat with a movie that doesn’t require you to follow a plotline at Nitehawk’s midnight Snakes on a Plane screenings this weekend. Photo: New Line Cinema

This summer is getting steamier, and what we all need about now is lots of ice water, some kind of air circulation system on the subway platform, and a list of fun things to do to take our minds off the oppressive heat. We’re here to help you with the last bit of that equation, with a roster of events going on this week that is guaranteed to perk up the most wilted flower.

Hopefully, you are already planning on joining us on Saturday afternoon for our sure-to-be-awesome Total Bay Ridge Immersion, a neighborhood crawl where $25 buys you four Brooklyn Brewery beers, lunch and other great deals from Bay Ridge businesses, but if you haven’t bought a ticket yet, there’s no time like the present! Brokelyn will be at Lock Yard with us, too, selling their South Brooklyn Beer Books so you can double your fun. And if you’d like to bike to the Immersion, you can get 20% off a rental at Get Up and Ride in Williamsburg with the code brooklynbased (yes, it will be an epic ride, and yes, we encourage you to pace yourself on Saturday so as not to bike home buzzed). We’ve got more sweet deals that will inspire you to try something new in our email, so if you’re not a subscriber, be sure to sign up.

This week also marks the return of the annual Prospect Heights Music and Arts Festival, a showcase of live performances by more than 75 local bands and musicians organized by The Way Station that starts today (Wednesday) and runs through the weekend. Check out the extensive lineup here and start thinking about the sets that you want to see– each is doable for the cost of a $5 suggested donation.

Maybe we should retitle this column Your Dog’s Ideal Week, because there are some pretty awesome canine-centric activities to highlight, including Saturday’s Second Annual Doggy Fashion Show at Freddy’s Bar. From 5-9pm, the stretch of 5th Ave. in front of Freddy’s will be closed to traffic and open for adorable puppies in costume parading down an actual runway. As with all things related to Freddy’s, there will be drinks, live music, and comedians, and we’re just sayin’ that it might be a cool stop on your way home from the Bay Ridge Immersion. . .  Don’t tire your furry best friend out too much, though, because he or she should be in top form for Sunday’s BarkFest 2015, a daylong party in Williamsburg featuring a dog waterpark, agility courses, a beer garden, and dog-friendly LED fireworks. Cat people need not despair because this weekend The Muse is hosting multiple performances by The Amazing Acro-cats, a show featuring over a dozen clicker-trained cats who can walk tightropes, ride skateboards, turn off the lights, and even play in a band.

Sometimes all you want on a hot day is to be transported by a good movie, and while Snakes on A Plane is certainly not that, it would be pretty fun to catch a midnight showing of the delightfully dreadful B-movie disaster on the big screen at Nitehawk this weekend. In other film news, the Alloy Orchestra is providing a live score for The Son of the Sheik, a 1926 Rudloph Valentino vehicle, this Friday night in Prospect Park, and for something even more unusual, you can catch an evening of shorts made by the talented filmmakers at FilmShop, all focused on the theme of “strange bedfellows”at Williamsburg Music Hall on Saturday night.

Summer is a fleeting thing, folks, so make sure you get out there and enjoy it–sweat stains and sunburns be damned! Here are a bunch more fun ways to bide your time while you’re thinking about where to score your next A/C fix: (more…)

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07/08/15 11:00am
Celebrate these adorable little aliens at By Brooklyn's Fourth Annual French Bulldog Party on Saturday. Photo: By Brooklyn

Celebrate these adorable little aliens at By Brooklyn’s Fourth Annual French Bulldog Party on Saturday. Photo: By Brooklyn

With the Fourth of July weekend behind us, summer is officially in full swing, and there’s so much to do around these parts that it can be hard to keep it all straight. Be sure to check out our post on awesome summer day trips, reads, concerts, movies, bars, eats and more to get a jumpstart on your plans for the next few months.

In the meantime, music buffs have a lot to choose from this week: Celebrate Brooklyn! is hosting free concerts by Punch Brothers on Thursday and The New Pornographers on Saturday. Also, the 11th annual Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival starts today (July 8) with a full schedule of events celebrating hip-hop culture and its influence upon community building and social change, including panels, films, a culinary tour of Brooklyn, and an art gallery/beat showcase/dance off at Littlefield on Friday night. The main attraction, though, is Saturday’s Big Show at 50 Kent Ave. in Williamsburg, which boasts all-around amazing person Common as the headliner, as well as performances by Mobb Deep, Lion Babe, and a host of other legendary rap and hip-hop artists. The concert starts at 1pm and tickets are $50– be sure to grab one before it sells out.

On Saturday, as a precursor to Smith Street’s big Bastille Day extravaganza (see below), By Brooklyn is honoring French Independence Day with its 4th Annual French Bulldog Party at 3pm. Bring your favorite crazy-eared Frenchie (or any dog) and admission is just $10, which includes snacks and beer. Most importantly, all proceeds go to help the deserving pups at Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue.

Wimbledon concludes on Sunday, and you can pay homage to all of that rigorous discipline and stupendous athletic prowess by stuffing your gullet at the Ice Cream Takedown from 2-5pm at The Royal Palms. Tickets are $20 and buying one means that you get to try all the competitors’ goods. Afterwards, walk it off with a trip to Red Hook, where you can check out open studios, live music, and dance performances at Second Sundays, Pioneer Works’ monthly arts showcase series, from 4-10pm.

We’ve got loads of other great stuff lined up too, so read on for tips on how to spend each day of the Ideal Week ahead of you:
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07/01/15 10:40am
Socially and politically conscious rapper Talib Kweli will be at Brooklyn Bowl for two nights starting tonight. Photo: Talib Kweli

Socially and politically conscious rapper Talib Kweli will be at Brooklyn Bowl for two nights starting tonight. Photo: Talib Kweli

It’s the Fourth of July on Saturday, which means that lots of people are heading out of town for BBQs, camping trips, family reunions and even Dead shows in Chicago (see below). Don’t worry if you’re sticking around though, there are plenty of ways to celebrate our nation’s independence right here in Brooklyn, and all kinds of activities to keep you occupied this week.

Tonight and tomorrow night, Talib Kweli, the ultra-talented and socially-conscious rapper whose lyrics are the stuff of legend, will be performing at Brooklyn Bowl with a full live band. The shows start at 8pm and tickets are only $20, which is a great price to see this Brooklyn-born artist tear the roof off. While we’re on the topic of music, the first annual Julybalaya festival, a celebration of local indie musicians, artists, dancers, and more, is happening Friday and Saturday in Crown Heights. Day passes are just $25 and include lots of live performances by acts like Eva and Her Virgins, Pete Ayres, Frank Knight, Meridian Lights and Artanker Convoy.

At long last, free outdoor movie season is here! Check back with us tomorrow, when we will once again be posting a super-convenient calendar of all the scheduled screenings in Brooklyn for you to pick and choose from, but for now keep in mind that Nitehawk Cinema and Buzzfeed are pairing up on Tuesday for a special 20th anniversary screening of Billy Madison at 50 Kent Avenue. There will be food and drinks available for purchase, but you might have to bring your own snack packs and sloppy joes. For something a bit more intellectually rigorous, check out Tangerine, a new movie that was filmed entirely on an iPhone, about two transgender women navigating a rough stretch of Hollywood. The film, which our own Annaliese Griffin reviewed last week, will be presented on a rooftop in midtown Tuesday night, followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker. Tickets are $15.

Finally, a few quick future events that you’ll want to buy tickets to now, because they’re going to sell out: Brooklyn Grange is hosting a Veggiepalooza dinner featuring a bevy of well-known chefs putting the late-summer harvest to its best use on Sept. 3, and The Bell House has added a second show to its Tape Festival: A Celebration of Public Radio, after the first one sold out.

For now though, get out there and enjoy the short week/long weekend– you deserve it! Here are our tips for how to get the most out of the next seven days:
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06/24/15 10:15am
See the world's most popular sport in a whole new way at Invisiball, a satirical dance performance in Gowanus from Wednesday through Friday nights. Photo: Juan Michael Porter II

See the world’s most popular sport in a whole new way at ‘Invisiball,’ a satirical dance performance in Gowanus Wednesday through Friday nights. Photo: Juan Michael Porter II

Soccer might not be as popular here as it is in the rest of the world, but given the current high level of interest in the women’s World Cup (not to mention the seedy FIFA scandal), it’s clear that the sport continues to make inroads stateside. Starting tonight, you can experience soccer in a completely different way at Invisiball, an inventive, satirical dance performance by Nadine Bommer in which delicate dancers transform into macho, mustachioed soccer players. The exclusive three-night engagement at 501 Union runs through Friday and in keeping with the sporting theme there will be hot dogs, beer, and other treats available. Tickets are $35 in advance.

Thursday night, we are in for a real treat as rock/blues/folk/country legend Lucinda Williams is gracing the stage of the Prospect Park bandshell for a free outdoor concert at 7:30. Williams defies characterization, but her work is deeply affecting–she is sometimes referred to as “Raymond Carver with a guitar”–and she is known to deliver knockout live shows, so don’t miss this one.

If you have an itch to get out of town on Saturday, sign up for RootedNY’s Upstate Escape to Fishkill Farms, a day trip that includes transportation, berry picking, a hayride tour of a sustainable, working farm, and a picnic lunch made with farm-fresh produce. Tickets are $75 if you ride the provided bus and $40 if you can get there on your own, but either way it’s a lovely excuse to be outdoors and take in the beauty of the Hudson Valley on a hot summer day.

On Sunday, head to Bed-Stuy to sample the neighborhood’s delicious food, see its beautiful architecture, and get a dose of culture at Arts in the Gardens: STooPS Bed-Stuy, a collaboration between local artists and homeowners that features free, public art displays and performances throughout the neighborhood from noon to 5pm.

Were you obsessed with Serial? Do you still find yourself weighing the merits of the case against Adnan and yearn for even more information about the investigation into Hae’s murder and the subsequent trial than the 12-part podcast series provided? You should probably snap up tickets now to see the series’ co-creators, Sarah Koenig and Julie Snyder, tell behind-the-scenes, personal stories about their experience working on the Peabody Award-winning show at BAM on September 25. They start at $35 and are very likely to sell out long before the summer is over.

We’ve got a hefty lineup of things that are actually going on this week, so read on, get some friends on board, and start planning–another ideal week in Brooklyn awaits!
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06/23/15 12:14pm

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 11.26.43 AM

On Saturday, July 18, we’re heading south with Brooklyn Brewery for beer-soaked, food-filled tour of Bay Ridge. If you haven’t spent much time in the neighborhood immortalized by Saturday Night Fever, The Total Bay Ridge Immersion is a perfect excuse to check out its eclectic restaurants, waterfront views, and great neighborhood bars—like the four we plan to hit up: Lock Yard, The Wicked Monk, Cebu, and The Kettle Black.

Your Immersion ticket includes a Brooklyn brew at all four spots, plus a packet of local deals and your choice of lunch, all for $25—that’s less than a boozy brunch, and way more fun. There are currently eight food options to choose from: 14-hour pulled pork or a burger on a brioche bun with truffle fries, or a mixed veggie stir-fry over rice from Tie Dye Pig; 2 hot dogs and waffle fries from Lock Yard; 6 wings (any flavor) and fries from The Kettle Black, or a burger, a Reuben or portobello mushroom burger with fries from The Wicked Monk.

Once you purchase a ticket and pick your lunch online, meet us at Lock Yard between 1 and 3pm on the day of the Immersion to collect your envelope of “Walking Around Money.” You’ll use this wad of coupons to cash in your beers, lunch, and deals including 20% off all treats at Robicelli’s. If you’ve never visited them before, now you can finally eat their famous cupcakes right from the source. You’ll also get 20% off any purchase from A.L.C. Italian Grocery, a $3 Brooklyn beer at Tie Dye Pig and at Lonestar Bar & Grill, $25 off a purchase of $50 or more at Consignment Connection, 15% off at Cue Boutique, a complimentary cut with color (good through August) at Bohemian Rose Hair Studio, 20% off your entire regularly priced book purchase at Bookmark Shoppe, 25% off a toy at Kaleidoscope Toy Store, and 20% off all used games and systems at Gotham City Games. During the Immersion you’ll also be able to purchase one of Brokelyn’s South Brooklyn Beer Books, which you can put to use that day.

We’ll be adding more deals, so RSVP on Facebook to stay tuned for updates. And get a ticket now to ensure you get the lunch you want!

06/17/15 10:02am
Juggalos, pickle-making skateboarders, and a bootleg action figure maker are some of the New Yorkers you'll meet at Rooftop Films' New York Non-Fiction documentary shorts series on Friday night. Photo: Buffalo Juggalos

Juggalos, pickle-making skateboarders, and a bootleg action figure maker are some of the New Yorkers you’ll meet at Rooftop Films’ New York Non-Fiction documentary shorts series on Friday night. Photo: Buffalo Juggalo

It’s officially summer as of this Sunday, and we can tell because it’s getting harder and harder to choose what to recommend from the long list of cool stuff going on every week. Here’s something that’s definitely worth investigating, though: NYC Parks is running a few small-group programs this summer through its Urban Parks Rangers project, including birding, paddling, and camping trips within the five boroughs. Participation is free, but you’ll have to beat out everyone else in an online lottery, which starts today, to snag one of the coveted spots.

Tonight’s lineup at “Ask Me Another,” the NPR trivia and comedy show that’s regularly recorded at The Bell House, now includes ace comedian Jim Gaffigan and his equally hilarious wife Jeannie. It’s bound to be great, and tickets to the 7:30 show are still available for $20. Tomorrow night we have a special Funny Story planned with comedian Lane Moore (who doubles as the sex and relationships editor at Cosmopolitan.com), Saghar Bhatt, and guest host Mehran Khaghani, who the Boston Phoenix considers the best in Beantown. The $10 ticket includes a beer and bottomless laughs.

Never fear, film buffs, we’re hard at work getting the annual outdoor summer movies calendar all finished up and in your inboxes, but in the meantime, BAMcinemaFest begins tonight and as of hitting “publish,” there were 16 tickets left to the opening night film, The End of the Tour, a David Foster Wallace biopic. You’ll have better luck scoring seats at the other films, and there are 35 New York premieres and many special programs, like the 20th anniversary screening of Kids, to choose from.

On Friday night, Rooftop Films’ annual New York Non-Fiction series returns to Industry City, featuring a screening of documentary shorts that highlight a handful of the weird, wild, and wonderful characters that make New York so unique. This year’s selection features shorts about a super enthusiastic jury duty clerk, a group of pickle-making skateboarders, a renowned bootleg action figure maker called The Sucklord, and Buffalo-area Juggalo culture. Tickets are $15 apiece and the screenings take place at 9pm on two rooftops at Industry City.

If you’ve got a little extra cash to spend this week, there’s a dinner cruise/fishing expedition setting sail from Sheepshead Bay on Saturday that sounds like it might be worth your time. To celebrate the launch of a new mag called True.Ink, the executive chef of Grand Central Oyster Bar will be ladling chowder, shucking oysters, and teaching guests how to make their own sushi on a fishing boat that will be trolling shipwrecks off the coast of Brooklyn. The First Annual Shipwreck Shebang runs from 4-8pm, and you can get $40 off the $135 ticket price (which includes wine) if you register here and use the code STAYTRUE.

Finally, it’s time to give a proper toast to the arrival of summer, and The 2015 Beer Cocktail Showdown happening at Brooklyn Brewery on Monday night presents the perfect opportunity to do just that. Starting at 8pm, six leading mixologists from local bars like The Jeffrey and Huckleberry Bar will each create an original cocktail incorporating Brooklyn Brewery beer, and you get to sample all six and vote for the winner. Tickets are $30 and are available here.

Happy Summer, y’all! Here are more ways to get the most out of the sunny days ahead.
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06/15/15 1:00pm
Along with stops at three taquerias during a Sunset Park taco crawl on Saturday, guide Lesley Tellez will lead the group to markets like El Nuevo Pueblo for a look at ingredients and to sip fresh drinks. Photo: El Nuevo Pueblo

Along with stops at three taquerias during a Sunset Park taco crawl on Saturday, guide and cookbook author Lesley Tellez will lead the group to markets like El Nuevo Pueblo for a look at ingredients and to sip fresh drinks. Photo: El Nuevo Pueblo

New Yorkers are constantly reminded that its Mexican food pales in comparison to California’s. But if there is one neighborhood that makes a strong case that our tacos, sopes and cemitas are just as good, it’s Sunset Park.

Unless you’ve made a few trips yourself, it’s hard to decide which taqueria to hit, which is what makes this Saturday’s taco crawl with Lesley Tellez, a tour guide of Mexican street food, so appealing. The author of the forthcoming cookbook, Eat Mexico: Recipes from Mexico City’s Streets, Markets and Fondas, will be joined by Sunset Park historian, Joe Svehlak, and together they’ll lead a group of 15 to Tacos Matamoros, Mi Pequeña Chinantla and Tacos El Mezcal (also known as Taquería el Maguey). The tour also takes in El Nuevo Pueblo for a spicy-salty fruit cocktail, La Flor Bakery, and two Mexican markets, where Tellez will talk about ingredients in typical Mexican dishes.

The tour price, $65, includes all food and a copy of the cookbook. Judging from the recipe Tellez shared on the next page, it’s a great deal.

 

06/12/15 9:00am

Ah, summer–that beautiful time of year when winter is a distant memory and we all start to wonder just why we live in a humid swamp with 100-degree heatwaves matched by 100-year-old houses where “central air” is an unknown concept. With the weather getting particularly sticky for the first time this week, we figured it was a good moment to start looking at some upcoming chances to get out of Dodge. Fortunately, there are a ton of NYC-area weekend festivals coming up this season–here are three that seem tailor-made for Brooklynites, all easily reached by MetroNorth or bus. (more…)

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