08/22/16 2:32pm
We'll take a triple. Photo: Spencer Starnes

We’ll take a triple. Photo: Spencer Starnes

Ice cream for lunch. That’s the late summer mantra that has gotten us through these last few, painfully muggy weeks. Brooklyn is awash in ice cream, whether you’re talking a straightforward strawberry cone from the Uncle Louie G.’s on your corner, or the flavor explosion that is the salted crack caramel ice cream at Ample Hills. Dairy sensitivities aside (in which case, head to Van Leeuwen for a vegan scoop instead), you’d be a fool not to dive in and sample a few while the weather is still warm.

In celebration of frozen confections we talked the nice folks at OddFellows Ice Cream on Kent Avenue in Williamsburg to let photographer Spencer Starnes hang around for a few hours while they made a few batches of ice cream, and some boozy popsicles to boot. OddFellows pasteurizes all their dairy in-house for an exceptionally creamy and delicious base. From there, the flavor combinations really know no bounds, and the shop has served more than 200 different scoops since they opened in 2013. We dare you not to run out and get a cone after taking a peek at these pictures.  (more…)

08/03/16 1:44pm
Get weird with a new interactive theater experience at Governors Island this weekend.

Get weird with a new interactive theater experience at Governors Island this weekend.

Greetings everyone and welcome to another installment of Your Ideal Week, wherein we present our best tips for exciting, engaging and above all, entertaining ways to occupy your time in and around Brooklyn over the course of the next seven days.

Did you all happen to catch this article in the NYT yesterday about the rezoning happening in Gowanus and councilman Brad Lander’s efforts to give residents a real voice in the process? Well, it just so happens that he is hosting the first in a series of community action events at The Bell House on Tuesday night from 5-8pm. Not only is it a great opportunity to get involved in an issue that will actually affect your life, but it also might be an effective balm to soothe your nerves during this time of increasingly deranged politics playing out on the national level.

Other highlights of the week include two outdoor screenings of great flicks with live musical accompaniment at Celebrate Brooklyn in Prospect Park. Thursday’s Run Lola Run with live score by The Bays, and next Wednesday’s screening of Labyrinth with music by Donny McCaslin Group both start at 7:30pm and are free to attend. And if it’s early 90s nostalgia you’re after, Fort Greene Park is hosting a special screening of The Sandlot Thursday night to benefit The Brooklyn Hospital Foundation.

Read on, pencil in your plans, and get after it. See you next week!

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08/02/16 9:00am
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Brighton Beach is waiting for you, at the end of the Q. Photo: Regina Mogilevskaya

I will choose Brighton Beach over the Rockaways any day, and it’s not just on account of my last name. This laid back beach boasts irrefutable seductions: It’s easily accessible via the Brighton Beach stop on the B or the Q train, from which the sand is less than a five-minute walk. It’s spacious and rarely overcrowded. And the best part? It doesn’t feel like a damn American Apparel ad.

Though on the outskirts of what is essentially Little Russia/Odessa, the crowd that’s scattered across the beach is always diverse, and families are very much welcome. The bathrooms leave much to be desired (wear your shoes and hold your nose), but the water is consistently warm and tranquil and the sand is clean, you know, for New York. Unlike the Rockaways, the Brighton Beach boardwalk is relatively bare when it comes to food and drink (apart from Tatiana and Café Volna, two pricey Russian restaurants whose pleasures we’ll leave for another time). So while you won’t find tacos or happen across a hip flea market here, there’s a very undeniable allure to this boardwalk, beautiful and aging in the harsh sunlight. Whether it’s the gusto of foreign languages swirling around you, or the unparalleled people watching, there’s something about Brighton Beach that will make you feel much further from your apartment than you are, maybe even like you’re on an overseas adventure.

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Poppy seed-filled pastries at La Brioche Café on Brighton Beach Avenue. Photo: Regina Mogilevskaya

Before you set foot on the sand, hit up some of the small shops and bakeries that line the streets for snacks, salads and sandwich makings. You won’t regret it. One challenge is that in many stores the signs are exclusively in Russian, so if you have a friend with some Slavic language skills, hit them up for their assistance. Or get ready to point and nod and smile a lot. And keep in mind that the Q train will get you here in under 30 minutes from Atlantic Terminal, so it’s a solid shorefront destination even in the winter, when many of the hot dishes will be even more appealing. Here are three of the best spots to stop and stock up. (more…)

08/01/16 12:04pm
You really cannot beat the view at Brooklyn Barge in Greenpoint. Photo: Ellen Killoran

You really cannot beat the view at Brooklyn Barge in Greenpoint. Photo: Ellen Killoran

If you’re not among that privileged group of New Yorkers who head out of town for the month of August, not to worry: The Brooklyn Barge in Greenpoint is here to serve all your staycation needs. You may have heard that this bar-on-a-boat is prohibitively packed during the evening hours, and indeed, earlier in the summer the crowds were overwhelming. But on two recent visits in late July, the barge was perfectly pleasant, a relaxing riverside spot for slightly overpriced cocktails and a truly spectacular view of the Manhattan skyline. (more…)

07/27/16 2:29pm
Take run through Bushwick on Sunday morning and soak up the street art. Photo:

Take run through Bushwick on Sunday morning and soak up the street art. Photo: Bushwick Street Art Run

Thursday, July 28 LONG ISLAND CITY Seinfeld celebration, 6:30pm, free↠ • BROOKLYN HEIGHTS Brooklyn Screams for Ice Cream, 7pm, tickets $12↠

Friday, July 29 DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN Grove Alley Night Market, 5:30pm to late, free RSVP↠

Saturday, July 30 WILLIAMSBURG Harry Potter and the Cursed Child release party, 10pm, tickets $30 (includes book)

Sunday, July 31 BUSHWICK Street Art Run, 10am, tickets $20

Monday, August 1 PARK SLOPE Nick Thune at Union Hall, 8pm, tickets $15

Tuesday, August 2 RED HOOK figure drawing at Sunny’s, tickets $20

 Wednesday, August 3 BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK Open Ropes double dutch workshop, 7pm, free↠  

Welcome to another edition of Your Ideal Week, Brooklyn summer style. News flash: Still hot out. There are also still tons of ways to keep yourself entertained and occupied while staying local, starting with The Great Brooklyn Lobster Boil taking place this Sunday at The Landing in Industry City. The key thing to realize here is that ticket sales for this summer feast end at 4pm today, so you’d best get a move on if you want to end the weekend with a heaping plate of steamed lobster, mussels, corn on the cob, potatoes, salad and watermelon. The festivities will also include horseshoes, cornhole, beer for sale, and live music from The Loyales.

If live music is your thing, may we also suggest the Cruel Summer 80s Dance Party going down on Friday night at the Bell House? The Engagements, a totally kickass 10-piece band that is a BB favorite, will be covering all your favorite hits from the decade of excess starting at 8pm, and tickets are just $5 with the promo code “theskint.” Of course, if you’re cool like dat, you can also throw back to the 90s hip hop era at Celebrate Brooklyn’s free Digable Planets and Camp Lo concert on Saturday night in Prospect Park.

And, finally, if you are suffering from post-convention exhaustion plus a need to stay squarely within the reach of a decent A/C, you can always visit cooler temps and seemingly less traumatic political times at BAM, which is running a special election-themed movie series called Four More Years. Now through Tuesday, you can see classic policy wonk-focused flicks like Bulworth, Wag the Dog, Primary Colors, and The War Room on the big screen–check out the schedule here. Or, celebrate New York City and go see Ghostbusters

Otherwise, we’ve got events for Seinfeld and Harry Potter fans, an art run, comedy, ice cream, and more coming at you this week–read on for more details and stay cool!  (more…)

07/26/16 10:57am

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We’re in it. The hottest part of the year. Rooftop weather. Right now it seems like the long, steamy days, sudden thunderstorms and sultry nights will last forever, but one of the sweetest things about summer is how fleeting it always feels. Here are three ways to take full advantage of the season and get up on a rooftop, take a deep breath, absorb the view and appreciate the moment.

Get a drink

New York being a drinker’s paradise, the most obvious rooftop activity for summer months is cooling down with a glass of something cold, refreshing and, well, dehydrating. We visited Rooftop Reds in the Brooklyn Navy Yard earlier this summer and highly recommend ordering a rosé tasting flight followed by a bottle of whichever wine you enjoyed the most. They also have hammocks for post-sipping total relaxation.

BB contributor Ellen Killoran has a new favorite rooftop drinking venue this year. She writes: The Llama Inn rooftop bar has managed to create a near-impossible oasis from the city while being so close to the BQE that you can almost touch it (strategic design keeps the roadway hidden). The compact space above Williamsburg’s new Peruvian destination restaurant feels like a tropical getaway, somehow muffling the noise right outside. The Spanish and Latin American wine list will challenge the palate. The Bodegas Los Bermejos ($13) is not your typical bone-dry rose, and the Llama Del Ray ($13), their signature frozen Pisco-red wine punch, will make your tastebuds stand at attention. (more…)

07/20/16 1:42pm

Jeff Ramos

Thursday, July 21 GOWANUS, The Goonies drinking game, 8pm, tickets $8↠

Friday, July 22 PARK SLOPE Psycho Beach Party, 8pm, free↠

Saturday, July 23 GREENPOINT Pokemon Go Bar Crawl, 1pm, free, plus your bar tab(s)↠ • FORT GREENE PARK Jazz Festival, 3-7pm, free↠

Sunday, July 24 RED HOOK Ragas Live Festival, noon Saturday-noon Sunday, tickets $40↠

Monday, July 25 BROOKLYN HEIGHTS Fed Up, 6:30pm, free with RSVP↠

Tuesday, July 26 COBBLE HILL Backfat Variety Show, 8pm, free↠

Wednesday, July 27 BROOKLYN NAVY YARD Guernica Summer Party, 7pm, tickets $25↠

Welcome to Your Ideal Week: The Dog Days of Summer Edition. I don’t know about you, but whatever fatigue I was feeling from the relentless heat and humidity (today is actually kind of lovely, in the shade) is no match for the sheer exhaustion brought on by the relentless coverage of the RNC. How has it only been 2.5 days of this?! I’m honestly not sure I’ve ever felt more compelled to get outside and away from my TV. Or at the very least to watch something else on TV–I highly recommend Mr. Robot and UNReal, both of which are having pretty engaging sophomore seasons so far, and I’m totally engrossed in The Night Of, the new HBO crime drama series.  If you’re feeling like you need more than a date with your cool couch or the hot sand this week, we’ve got a lot going on to scratch your social butterfly itch.

In addition to the usual schedule of outdoor movies, summer concerts, and other cultural musts happening around town, check out our tips below on how to squeeze the most out of this Ideal Week in Brooklyn. Stay cool (and cool headed) and we’ll see you next week!

Thursday, July 21 What’s the best thing about revisiting one of your favorite movies from childhood 30 years later? Now you’re old enough to add a drinking game into the mix! On Thursday night, truffle shuffle your way over to Littlefield, where A Drinking Game NYC will be presenting a live staged reading of everyone’s favorite 80s pirate adventure/comedy classic, The Goonies, starting at 8pm. Here’s how it works: When someone says one of the catch phrases on the predetermined list (we’re guessing that “Hey, you guuuuuuys!” made the cut for this flick), everyone has to drink, meaning that things are bound to get increasingly silly (and fun) as the night goes on. Tickets are $8.
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07/19/16 8:56am
Find sunglasses that fit the shape of the beach you lay on. Photo: Meredith Craig de Pietro

Find sunglasses that fit the shape of the beach where you bask. Photo: Meredith Craig de Pietro

Everyone knows you need sunglasses at the beach. Which pair is best for you though, depends on which beach you love the most–each summer destination has a different vibe. Put down the Pokemon Go, and take this single-question, multiple-choice quiz to find out which sunglasses are right for you. It’s easy, and we won’t even force you to figure out what shape face you have.

Finish this sentence. I summer in… (more…)

07/13/16 1:38pm
Get your old-timey fix at Green-Wood Cemetery on Saturday.

Ride your penny farthing to Green-Wood Cemetery on Saturday. Photo: Green-Wood Cemetery

Last week was a sobering one. For those of us who weren’t directly affected by the tragic events in Louisiana, Minnesota, and Texas, it’s hard to know what to do, and often the feeling of powerlessness and the apathy it spawns seem insurmountable. But, of course, the only way that it can ever be vanquished is through the sheer force of human compassion, empathy, collaboration, and action.

If you feel like you can’t make a difference, I urge you to challenge that assumption this week. It’s repeated so often that it’s almost an empty platitude, but write a thoughtful letter to a politician and let them know what kind of action you need to see. If you don’t know where to start, this site is a great resource and might be a good place to start. Take a break from reading about the ceaseless, puerile echo chamber that is the 2016 presidential race and figure out how to get involved locally, in your own neighborhood, where your voice will actually be heard. Read an article or blog post written by someone who has a different background or perspective than you do, volunteer in your community or in another community that needs you, write a letter to the New York Times or a column for our site (drop us a line–we’re all ears), make a piece of art that packs a powerful message, talk to your friends about ways you can take action together. As Margaret Mead once famously said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

There is, however, also time to relax, recharge, meet new people, and get outside and enjoy the city around you. For starters, the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival is back for its 12th year starting tonight, and this year’s headliner is none other than Nas (!), who will top off a lineup that involves Talib Kweli, Fabolous, Rapsody, and more. Also, if you really want to get out of dodge and get weird, the Gratitude Migration is a two-day-long music/art/dance/environmental/mindfulness retreat/workshop/art display/camping trip going on at a beach in New Jersey. It sounds like a combo between Woodstock, Burning Man, TED Talks, SXSW, and Kripalu all rolled up into one wild weekend, and it might be just what you need to shake things up mid-summer. If you’re sticking around town, though, we’ve got loads of events happening right here

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07/12/16 12:24pm

If we could, we’d wave a magic wand and make every summer weekend four days long. Sadly, we’re not that powerful. We can though, do our best to make your summer the best ever, with our outdoor movie calendar, round-up of free spots to do yoga, concert guide, beach reads and, with these seven summer pro-tips, including your new favorite app, the best cocktails for steamy nights and what to binge watch for when only AC and the couch will do.

c0da4874fbf1c61b3deeea5e147fd4d37b6a5aeaWhat to wear: $20 sunnies at In God We Trust For a long time I’ve had a personal policy that forbids me from spending more than $15 on a pair of sunglasses. I have a terrible habit of throwing them in my bag, dropping them, or misplacing them all together. The result is a cluttered tangle of Target specials, crappy aviators I’ve bought at gas stations and plastic freebies, none of which I really enjoy wearing. In God We Trust has changed all that. The boutique stocks $20 pairs of sunglasses in of-the-moment and classic styles. They’re all better than average quality for a $20-pair of sunglasses–just nice enough so that I finally bought a case for mine, and actually use it, but I’m also not afraid to wear them in the water when I go to the beach. Perfection.



screen322x572 (1)What to bring on vacation: Sky Guide ($2.99 on iTunes) Mars and Jupiter have both been highly visible in the night sky in New York recently, which I know thanks to Sky Guide. Launch Sky Guide and hold your phone up to the sky and the screen displays a labeled map of planets and constellations that syncs up with what you are seeing overheard. You can click on individual celestial bodies to learn more about them, and track the rise and set times for the sun, stars and planets. It’s all exceptionally intuitive and well designed, and one of the only apps I’ve wholeheartedly felt good about paying for. It’s fun, if a little depressing to see all the stars that aren’t visible in New York, shining behind the light pollution, and truly awe inspiring to launch Sky Guide around a campfire out in the middle of nowhere (no wi-fi or GPS signal needed for it to work). Just be prepared to pass your phone around while everyone takes a look, because it’s really that cool.


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