11/21/14 10:00am
An embarrassment of kale salads. Photo: Annaliese Griffin

An embarrassment of kale salads. Photo: Annaliese Griffin

I’ve hosted Thanksgiving nine times over the past 10 years, and it’s something I love to do. Gathering around a table with a mix of old friends and new faces and then watching the whole thing (d)evolve into a drunken dance party is my favorite thing. It’s always been a team effort, with lots of help from my husband, sister, brother-in-law and friends, and it’s always a labor of love, but over the years I’ve noticed that some people make great guests, others…not so much. Here’s how to up your guest game, from the perspective of a long-time host. Oh, and those of you out there who still send hand-written thank you notes? You are modern day heroes.

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06/16/14 4:00pm
Sat June 21, 2014
Make your way to Gowanus after the Mermaid Parade on Saturday for a festooned loft party.

Make your way to Gowanus after the Mermaid Parade on Saturday for a festooned loft party. Photo: Liza Eckert

This Saturday, after the parade craziness at Coney Island and musical madness at Grand Army Plaza, get ready for even more partying at Gemini & Scorpio’s Sea Creature Stomp, a post-Mermaid Parade, post-Make Music New York party featuring live music, DJs, cheap booze, rooftop lounging and ice cream. At the G&S loft in Gowanus you’ll be treated to the live sounds of Underground Horns, M.A.K.U. SoundSystem, Batala NYC and dancing all night long. All of the bands are brass and percussion ensembles who will have performed earlier during the day as part of the all-boroughs, free music festival. Come as you are–even in costume if you’re making your way from the Mermaid Parade. Admission is a $10-$20 suggested donation (all going to the bands) and you must RSVP to get the address.

06/10/14 5:00pm
Sat June 14, 2014
Welcome summer a few days early this weekend at Rockaway Beach Surf Club's kickoff party on June 14. Photo: RBSC

Welcome summer a few days early at Rockaway Beach Surf Club’s kickoff party on June 14. Photo: RBSC

We’re looking at nothing but rain from now through Friday, but when the sky finally clears up come Saturday, plan to pack a beach bag and head for the A train because Rockaway Beach Surf Club is hosting a hello summer party to kick off another season’s worth of surf and sandy days spent sunbathing by the ocean. It’s hard to imagine anyone throwing a better beach party than a bunch of surfers, so it goes without saying that Saturday’s shindig is going to be a good time. The club promises food, booze, raffles and tunes, so slap on some sunscreen and be on the boardwalk by 7pm.

06/10/14 4:00pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Photo: David Lundy

Pick up a pocket dictionary and head to Brooklyn Strategist for a round-robin Scrabble tournament on Tuesday nights. Photo: David Lundy


Start cataloguing words with the letter X in them nerds, because board gamers from all over the borough gather every week at the Brooklyn Strategist for Brooklyn Scrabble Tuesday (BeST) Night and it’s high time you joined the fun. For four hours starting at 7pm, the Court Street game shop/cafe/social club hosts a loosely organized round-robin tournament for players of all levels, so don’t worry if you’re a little rusty or even a total newbie. If you need some pointers, the master of ceremonies, David Bukszpan, earned some pretty unassailable Scrabble cred when he wrote an entire book on the subject called Is That A Word? From AA to ZZZ: The Weird and Wonderful Language of Scrabble. Head on over this week, line up your tiles and get ready for some good, old-fashioned wordplay. Entry is $10 per night or $25 for a month’s worth of Scrabble.

06/09/14 5:00pm
Fri June 13, 2014
DenArt studio: body paint nite May31 &emdash; IMG_2118

DenArt Studio is hosting a body paint party this Friday night in Williamsburg. Photo: DenArt

John Mayer already informed us that our bodies are wonderlands (grossing most of us out in the process), but on Friday night they can also be works of art. DenArt studio in Williamsburg is hosting a Body Paint Nite on June 13, giving party goers a chance to creatively use each other’s anatomies as canvases. Paint supplies will be provided and early arrivers can enjoy free champagne and hors d’oeuvre. Full nudity is not allowed, but do expect a fair amount of toplessness from both the men and women at this one. You are also more than welcome to keep your clothes on and relegate artwork to your arms and legs. Tickets are $25 and available here.

06/09/14 2:54pm
We've got a free pass to giveaway for Brooklyn Craft Company's Summer Craft Camp on June 21. Photo: BCC

We’ve got a free pass to giveaway for Brooklyn Craft Company’s adults-only Summer Craft Camp on June 21. Photo: BCC

Because we’re all way too old to be going away to summer camp, the peeps at Brooklyn Craft Company are doing us a favor. They’ve created a day–for adults only–where you will participate in eight summer camp-inspired DIY projects while listening to tunes, eating snacks and throwing back a few drinks. On June 21, at Brooklyn Craft Company’s space in the Old Pencil Factory, spend the day at Summer Craft Camp. The day will be split into 90-minute workshop sessions, with 15-minute breaks in between, with time to spend at several DIY crafts bars. Make a hand-stitched leather sunglass case, tangle together your very own flower-child floral head wreath, and learn a few new styles of braids to keep you cool this summer. Your Instagram is gonna look awesome. You can buy tickets here, and we’ve got one free camp pass to give away to a BB reader. Enter for a chance to win here between now and June 16, and we’ll inform the winner on June 17.

06/09/14 12:42pm
Wed June 11, 2014
Help raise a glass, and funds, for the continued preservation of Prospect Park this Wednesday at the Party for the Park fundraiser. Photo: Prospect Park Alliance

Help raise a glass, and funds, for the continued preservation of Prospect Park this Wednesday at the Party for the Park fundraiser. Photo: Prospect Park Alliance

This Wednesday, the Prospect Park Alliance has organized an excellent reason to reach into your wallet and raise a glass or two for a good cause at its Party for the Park benefit. Acres of open space are priceless to any city dweller come summertime, so consider Wednesday night’s soiree a rarified opportunity for reciprocity that requires you to do nothing more than revel in some really excellent food and drinks. Starting at 6:30pm, partygoers will get a chance to listen to live music from the Smoke Rings while grabbing cocktails prepared by Dutch Kills and Clover Club  and sampling local eats from Calexico, Fleisher’s, and Whole Foods Third and 3rd at the Lullwater Lounge. Brooklyn Brewery will also be providing craft brews for the benefit, which includes a main party in the park’s boathouse at 8pm with music and dancing from sartorial soul mates AndrewAndrew, sweets by Brooklyn bakers including Butter Lane, Tip of the Tongue and Blue Sky Bakery, as well as a silent auction (prizes for which anyone can bid on here, even if you don’t attend). Tickets are $125, with proceeds going to park maintenence. 

06/02/14 4:00pm
Fri June 6, 2014
Expect Broken Land's back garden to be packed with more than praying mantises this Friday at its one-year anniversary party. Photo: Broken Land

Expect Broken Land’s back garden to be packed with more than praying mantises this Friday at its one-year anniversary party. Photo: Broken Land

It’s been one year since Broken Land opened its doors for business, and in that time, they’ve not only earned their place as a staple watering hole in Greenpoint, but they’ve also landed on our list of best outdoor bars for Killer Cocktails. You think finding a spot at the bar is tough on any given Friday at this joint, just wait until this Friday during their one-year anniversary party. Not only will you enjoy the usual fun of hanging out with praying mantises in the backyard–yes, there are praying mantises in the backyard–sipping on “Ryan’s Mom’s Margaritas” and piña coladas, you’ll also be treated to free cans of Modelo and whiskey shots until the bar runs out. (Ouch! Saturday morning’s gonna hurt.) DJ Dan Irons spins punk and rock ‘n’ roll while you get stupid drunk and overtip your amazing bartenders. RSVP here, or just show up.