11/01/16 12:31pm
You can drink this mead on its own, or it makes an amazing cocktail base. Photo: Enlightenment Wines

You can drink this mead on its own, or it makes an amazing cocktail base. Photo: Enlightenment Wines

Just when you thought Bushwick had everything, a new meadery opens its doors. Now all the neighborhood needs is a blacksmith and good roast mutton joint.

Englightment Wines owners Raphel Lyon and Arley Marks teamed up to open Honey’s, a meadery, tasting room and event space dedicated to the ancient libation. Mead has traditionally been known as a sweet, even cloying honey wine, but Lyon has created a menu of bone-dry wines using raw honey, as well as locally-sourced black currants, cherries and maple. They’re delicious on their own and even better when used as a base for Marks’ cocktails.

Arley Marks and Raphael Lyon make mead and mead cocktails in Bushwick. Photo: Enlightenment Wines

Arley Marks and Raphael Lyon make mead and mead cocktails in Bushwick. Photo: Enlightenment Wines

Honey’s is located in an industrial area of Bushwick–not far from where the new Glasslands venue called Elsewhere will soon arrive. They have a license to serve drinks and to sell bottles of mead, designed by Lyon, with the help of friends, to the converted, which range from $25 to $30. (more…)

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09/26/16 12:50pm
Photo: Seth Piracci

Photo: Seth Piracci

Typically when you read about a new bar, the review lingers over the carefully crafted cocktail list, the house-made bitters, the collection of rare mezcals the owner traveled to Oaxaca to get. There’s no shortage of exotic concoctions lit by Edison bulbs in Brooklyn. But the neighborhood bar, the place you go to run into people you know, with solid drinks, a good happy hour, and a comfortable vibe, those we could use a few more of around these parts. Welcome to The Starliner.

Opened in January of 2016 in a former tae kwon do studio a short walk from the Myrtle-Wykoff train station in Bushwick, the well-appointed space is roomy enough to comfortably accommodate big crowds on weekends, but warm enough that you’ll feel just as comfortable settling in for a quiet early evening cocktail. The Starliner’s interior design could be described as fifties diner-meets-Brooklyn-hipster, with oversized red leather booths–including one built into the bar–against tiled walls and clean hardwood floors and matching ceilings. The spacious backyard area has ample seating in the open area as well as a converted garage boasting a giant American flag wall mural which signals Starliner’s work-hard, play-hard ethos. (more…)

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09/06/16 11:24am

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Welcome back from the long weekend! Now let’s get right into it, Brooklyn.

If there’s one theme that has emerged in this long, strange trip of an election cycle, it’s that Americans, New Yorkers included, are ready for political change. If you are dedicated to change then you have to vote–not just every four years in November, but in election cycles big and small. It just so happens that the New York State and Local Primary is next week on Sept. 13 and you should vote in it.

Why? Here’s a quick and dirty explanation. New York City leans heavily Democratic in most races, state, local and national. If you are a new candidate challenging an incumbent of the same party, as is usually the case, that means that your state and local contest is in September. Come November, the Democrats who win next week (again, most state and local offices in NYC are held by Democrats) will be largely unchallenged on the ballot, either running unopposed or against Republicans with minimal backing, funding or actual intention of serving. When very few people vote in September, and the people who do vote are dedicated to the status quo, it makes changing up our representation in Albany very difficult–and leads to the incredibly long terms in state office that we see so often in New York City.

What does that matter? Well, did you know that New York state had one of the lowest voter turnouts in the country during the national primary? Did you read that only 9% of the entire U.S. voted for Clinton or Trump? Do you find it disappointing that pretty much every major candidate in this election cycle is close to 70 years old? There can be no new energy in politics, no new ideas, if voters don’t vote, starting with state and local elections.

Here are two Brooklyn candidates who will be on the ballot for State Senate next week, each running against other Democrats who have been in office for more than a decade. (You can view all the seats up for election here.) We’re not endorsing these candidates–we’re not here to tell you how to vote. We’re making the point that if you actually care about the system as whole, every race matters and there’s more opportunity to get involved in our political system than you might think. It’s also a chance to make sure that you are registered to vote on Nov. 8–the deadline to register for the general election in New York State is Oct. 14.  (more…)

06/20/16 11:47am
Nowadays is more like a park where booze is allowed than your typical bar. Photo: Nicholas Rinaldi

Nowadays is more like a park where booze is allowed than your typical bar. Photo: Nicholas Rinaldi

Not quite a beer garden, Nowadays is probably best described as a park where drinking is encouraged. Any discussion of Nowadays should also mention upfront that this place is pretty out of the way, but it’s more than manageable from the L train–the hard-to-spot entrance is about a five minute walk from the Halsey stop, in a neighborhood you probably wouldn’t have visited five years ago. (And for anyone wondering, the area feels as safe as Morgantown.)

On an average evening at Nowadays groups of friends cluster at picnic or cafe tables, beers and hot dogs in hand. On busier nights, you may have to wait in line for a bit at the bar, which is separate from the food truck selling a surprisingly sophisticated menu of upscale street food. The beer menu is a rotating offering of regional brews, like Narraganset and Lagunitas, that run $6 or $7 a pop. Wine, red and (sometimes) white sangria, and prosecco on tap are available for $8, with bottles also available (but strangely, pitchers of beer are not). This is the kind of place you might worry would be cash only, but cards are accepted–which is a good idea, as the nearest ATM machine is blocks away. It’s a solid, reasonably priced selection, but we wish they had a full liquor license for cocktails. (more…)

05/16/16 10:30am
You wouldn't know by tasting them, but Dun-Well doughnuts are vegan. Photo: Kathleen Wong

You wouldn’t know by tasting them, but Dun-Well doughnuts are vegan. Photo: Kathleen Wong

How do you really get to know a place? By tasting it.

At least that’s how I got better acquainted with Bushwick on a recent Saturday. I was part of a group of seven people who congregated by the Jefferson stop on the L train, to embark on Brooklyn Nosh’s inaugural Bushwick tour. Colin Levin, founder, led us to the neighborhood’s best treats, and more than a few murals and other works of art, on a three-hour, three-mile tour.

“I love the idea of walking and really getting to know a small area and getting to see all the art, and it’s really important that we get involved with the community,” Levin told me. An opera singer as well as a Brooklyn tour guide, Levin started the company in 2015, and will be offering tours in Greenpoint, Williamsburg and Bushwick this summer, with plans to add Red Hook as well. Come fall, he’ll add Sunset Park, Bed-Stuy and Atlantic Avenue to the mix, as well as crafting vegetarian, vegan and kosher versions of each tour. (more…)

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03/29/16 11:14am
Climbers prepare to scale a surface at Brooklyn Boulders in Gowanus. Photo: Kathleen Wong

Climbers prepare to scale a surface at Brooklyn Boulders in Gowanus. Photo: Kathleen Wong

Heading to the gym and hopping on a treadmill or the elliptical machine for your workout is so early aughts. These days a fitness routine also doubles as a hobby, a community and, in some cases, a belief system. Rock climbing gyms are joining yoga studios and Crossfit boxes in the destination fitness niche in Brooklyn, and whether it’s because of the ready availability of large spaces and former warehouses, or the built-in clientele, like craft cocktails and high-end pet supplies, they’re popping up in some of New York’s most rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods.

Later this spring MetroRock, a rock climbing gym with three locations in New England, will unveil a hand- and foothold studded climbing wall on Starr Street in Bushwick. The facility will feature 50-foot walls, bouldering, lots of natural light and “an airy, open feel,” said Pat Enright, MetroRock owner, over email. There’ll be a fitness and yoga studio and retail store, too. “We think our location is in an area that has a huge potential,” Enright says. (more…)

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03/17/16 12:13pm
How about a refreshing Lawnmower Man cocktail to go with a double feature? Photo: Kenneth Vanhooser

How about a refreshing Lawnmower Man cocktail to go with a double feature? Photo: Kenneth Vanhooser

Now that Bushwick has Syndicated, its very own restaurant-slash-movie-theater, there’s no reason to ever leave Bogart Street.

Right across from Roberta’s Pizza and steps from the Morgan stop on the L train, Syndicated has taken its cue from Williamsburg’s beloved Nitehawk theater (which was inspired, no doubt, by the Alamo Drafthouse theater, which is due to arrive in Brooklyn later this spring), and gone a bit flashier in attempts to keep you there for dinner AND a movie AND cocktails. First conceived of by former location scout Tim Chung, Syndicated resides in a massive converted warehouse space that boasts a dining room and bar area with 20-foot ceilings, recently packed wall-to-wall on Oscar night for a viewing party that was Bushwick’s answer to the Vanity Fair afterparty (ok, maybe not *quite*).

Chef Bret Marcis of Campanile and Rose Water has created a menu of upscale American comfort food, from greasy favorites like beer-battered mushrooms ($8) and loaded tater tots ($11) to proper meals like braised short ribs with horseradish creme ($26). Cinema-inspired cocktails like the Red Rum, with aperol and Peychaud’s bitters and The Lawnmower Man, vodka, green juice, carrot juice and chili syrup, are $13 apiece. (more…)

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03/07/16 12:49pm
There is an actual shipwreck in the Shipwreck Lounge. Photo: Shipwreck Lounge

There is an actual shipwreck in the Shipwreck Lounge. Photo: Shipwreck Lounge/Bryan Sargent

The Shipwreck Lounge is not the only tiki bar in Brooklyn. Nor is it the only late night speakeasy. But it just might be the only watering hole that plunges you so deeply into its carefully constructed world that your reality shifts before you even take a sip of drink.

Tucked behind an unremarkable set of tagged-up gray steel doors on an industrial section of Troutman Street in Bushwick, the Shipwreck Lounge doubles as part of the set for The Grand Paradise, the new immersive theater and dance experience by Third Rail Projects, the masterminds behind Then She Fell. Neil Patrick Harris and Jon Hamm have both been out to Bushwick to experience it, and the show has garnered attention from NPR and The New York Times. (more…)

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03/01/16 12:11pm
Civic engagement, it turns out, is best fueled by brunch. Or pizza. Photo: Erin Neff

Civic engagement, it turns out, is best fueled by brunch. Or pizza. Photo: Erin Neff

Like many millennials across the city, the volunteers who gathered in a McKibben Street loft on Sunday enjoyed brunch together, a potluck spread that included eggs, bacon and mimosas.

“I think that he is mobilizing a generation that people tend to think is apathetic.”   –Lauren Irwin, 25

Unlike most brunches though, this was a prelude to a day of cold-calling voters in other states to plug Bernie Sanders before today’s Super Tuesday primary contests.

These were the Bushwick Berners, a grassroots group of Sanders’ supporters that has been holding phone banking events nearly every day for the past week, despite Sanders’ defeats in Nevada and South Carolina. While this was the first one that started with brunch, pizza and beer have also figured prominently as the fuel for their civic engagement. (more…)

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10/26/15 9:46am
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Octopus corn dog, anyone? Photo: Molly Crossin

Four years ago on Valentine’s Day, my best friend and I decided to treat one other to a fancy meal out and made the trek to midtown to much-lauded Yakitori Totto. Roughly translated to, “skewered grilled chicken,” yakitori has become shorthand for just about anything, with an emphasis on meaty bits, on a stick, grilled over charcoal. There might be a little soy or salt brushed on prior to grilling, but really, it’s all about meat and fire. I fell for the simplicity of the preparation–what a welcome contrast to a food scene where almost everything comes wrapped in bacon, topped with foam or sauced to death. Plus, there was something awfully fitting about eating skewered chicken hearts on the holiday of love.

So, when I heard that the owners of Bushwick standby Momo Sushi Shack had opened a yakitori bar called Moku Moku, I was beyond excited. I called the same friend and prepared for a serious case of the meat sweats. (more…)

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