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…)

05/10/16 11:43am
Seeing Brooklyn by boat offers a whole new perspective on the borough Photo: Circle Line

Seeing Brooklyn by boat offers a whole new perspective on the borough Photo: Circle Line

You probably think of the Circle Line, the floating equivalent of double-decker tour buses, as the sole domain of tourists or newbies. Not anymore. The sightseeing cruise line recently launched a Hello Brooklyn cruise, which is a surprisingly relaxing and information-packed river ride that shows you a side of our borough you likely haven’t seen before.

The two-hour cruise boards every afternoon at 2pm from Pier 83, on the West Side, motoring down the Hudson to the East River and returning at 4:30pm. While Brooklyn is the intended highlight, there’s plenty to see on the other side of Manhattan, including Lady Liberty, where the cruise pauses long enough to get a good photo. The two-decker boat then bends on its way to the East River, hugging the waterfront along South Brooklyn neighborhoods you usually only view from land: Gowanus, Red Hook, Sunset Park and Bay Ridge.

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12/18/15 11:25am
Inside The Landing at Industry City. Photo courtesy Clay Farm

Inside The Landing at Industry City. Photo courtesy Clay Farm

Right after we published “Industry City: A day trip that doesn’t take all day–unless you want it to” on Tuesday, we learned of yet another reason to take the not-too-long ride on the D/N/R train to check out its mix of high-end designers, flea and food vendors, and the commercial kitchens of homegrown empires like Blue Marble. It’s called The Landing, and the folks behind The Bell House, Union Hall, Fawkner and Floyd are at the helm of its bar and food program, and curating events for the lofty space. On Saturday, Feb. 13, you can check it out in person during our Bootlegger’s Tea Party from 1 to 3pm with Baby Soda Jazz Band and Tribute String Quartet.

The Landing
220 36th St, Brooklyn, NY 11232
Up the stairs and to the right. Or, if you’re coming from Smorgasburg and Brooklyn Flea, it’s right across the courtyard

12/15/15 10:00am
Welcome to Industry City. Photo: Regina Mogilevskaya

Welcome to Industry City. Photo: Regina Mogilevskaya

If you’ve ever browsed the Rooftop Films schedule during the summer months and avoided screenings at Industry City you’re not alone. It probably wasn’t just that you were unfamiliar with Sunset Park, but also that you were unfamiliar with the D train. Plus, you were definitely unsure whether or not you’d even make it to the screening on time, trekking from work. How long does it take to get down there, anyway? And how long is the walk once you get off the train?

The answers are: not as long as you think, and about 10 minutes. Basically, if you would meet a friend at Greenwood Park for a drink, it’s hardly any longer a journey to Industry City–under an hour from Williamsburg, under 30 minutes from Atlantic Terminal. And, with all the action brewing at Industry City these days, you might as well go ahead and get familiar with the 36th Street stop on the N. It’s also an ideal spot to explore, grab a snack and finish up any shopping you might have this weekend. (And check out its newest space, The Landing.)

Read on for a bit of Industry City history, as well as what to expect over the next decade or so, as it undergoes a billion dollar transformation. First though, Industry City beckoned us last Saturday afternoon, and here are the 14 coolest things we saw, in no particular order. (more…)

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11/02/15 10:03am
patacones

The fearsome patacon sandwich. Photo: Venezuela’s Finest Eatery

UPDATE: Venezuela’s Finest Eatery has closed.

The world of sandwiches is so overstuffed these days that it takes a LOT to turn my head. Every corner sandwich shop and bodega has some kind of bacon-topped, Sriracha-glazed, bahn mi-inspired, pork-bomb extravagance. I honestly can’t even get excited about them anymore. But then there are the exceptions, and a big one can be found in Sunset Park.

The patacon sandwich is Venezuela’s answer to the KFC Double Down–a fully genius concoction that bypasses bread altogether, and instead layers its meat and sauces inside two crispy, extra-thin but super-durable slices of double-fried green plantains. Folks, we’re done. (more…)

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12/12/14 9:30am
Eighth Avenue on a Saturday afternoon.

Shoppers line Eighth Avenue on a Saturday afternoon. Photo: David Chiu

Call me naive, but growing up Chinese-American, I always assumed Sunset Park was just the predominantly Chinese section of Brooklyn. As a kid, it was the only area in Brooklyn outside of my home neighborhood of Bay Ridge that I visited frequently with my parents. On the weekends, I took the B9 bus with the folks from Bay Ridge to Eighth Avenue and 60th Street on the weekends for either groceries or a hair cut. Over the years, I realized that Sunset Park was more than just the Asian enclave–that there was also another Latino part of the neighborhood, especially along Fifth Avenue between the 30s and 50s, which I didn’t really know much about.

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Though culturally apart, the Latinos and Chinese in Sunset Park share many things: they’re mostly working-class immigrant families and many own businesses that cater to their respective  communities. Especially on the weekends, the streets are always teeming with families taking a stroll or dining out, while vendors hawk their wares. By my own personal observation, Sunset Park appears much less affected by major gentrification than other Brooklyn neighborhoods. (more…)

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