02/14/17 10:50am
Photo: MNDFL Williamsburg

Photo: MNDFL Williamsburg

Taking deep breaths and closing your eyes to meditate in your cluttered bedroom, under fluorescent lights at your desk, or even on a crowded train is not exactly ideal, but it’s still an effort that many of us put forth as often as we can. Studies showing that meditation helps with everything from stress to fatigue to monkey mind, plus convenient apps like Headspace and Calm have inspired a new interest in the ancient practice and devotees swear that even the F train can yield moments of inner calm. Still, imagine that there was a dedicated space–a soft, undisturbed room in the middle of the city–the only function of which was to house a group of people who wanted to escape the hubbub and work on their mindfulness. Sort of like a yoga studio for meditation.

Now there is, and you can find it in Williamsburg.

MNDFL exists to enable humans to feel good,” says Lodro Rinzler, meditation teacher, author, and co-founder of MNDFL, a meditation studio with locations in Greenwich Village, the Upper East Side, and now Williamsburg. “It was a natural partnership from the beginning,” says co-founder Ellie Burrows, who met Rinzler while volunteering for his non-profit. “I knew that I wanted to open this studio, but I couldn’t have done it on my own. I’m not a meditation expert, I’m just a lover and practitioner of meditation.” (more…)

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10/24/16 11:32am
Have a lobster roll and beer, then buy some salmon for tomorrow night at Greenpoint Fish & Lobster. Photo: Elaheh Nozari

Have a lobster roll and beer, then buy some salmon for tomorrow night at Greenpoint Fish & Lobster. Photo: Elaheh Nozari

Here’s the scenario: You’re headed home after a long day at work and thinking about dinner. There’s a spot on the way that has both a butcher counter and a bar. The idea of ordering a pork loin and having a glass of wine while the butcher trusses it up causes the corners of your mouth to rise a bit. But does this magical place exist? It does in Brooklyn.

In Clinton Hill, the spot is Mekelburg’s. In Greenpoint, if you want fish instead of meat, there’s Greenpoint Fish & Lobster. In Williamsburg, Max and Eli Sussman just turned their Middle Eastern pop-up Samesa into a full-service restaurant complete with market area, and a short walk from there Lella Alimenteri serves coffee and piadine alongside Italian grocery staples. And in Gowanus, the trend continues at A&E Supply Co., slated to open later this month first for coffee service followed by a sustainable, local butcher and cheese counter then the restaurant and bar.

While convenience is what the customer finds at these all-in-one businesses, for the owners, being something for everyone is a necessity in an increasingly expensive city.

“You need to find the most amount of viability that you can have,” said Alicia Mekelburg, co-owner of Mekelburg’s. “A marketplace brings in the foot traffic. People always need eggs or milk and here you can do that and get a sandwich or have a couple of beers.” (more…)

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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…)

07/12/16 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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06/28/16 10:42am
Photo: Meredith Craig de Pietro

There are all ways to enjoy biking in the city, but this gear will help you look cooler while doing it. Photo: Meredith Craig de Pietro

Brooklyn’s bike lanes and greenways cover over 300 miles, which is more than any other borough. There are Citi Bike stands sprinkled about conveniently, ready to take your credit card. To purchase a bike, check out our guide to the friendliest bike stores in the borough. If you really want to be a bike boss, and have the time and inclination this summer, the free class series at 718 in Gowanus will start you off learning basic maintenance and eventually how to design and build your own bike. Did I mention these are FREE? And, if you’re feeling intimidated, check out our guide to getting on a bike if you’re new to cycling in the city.

If you’re ready to put the pedal to the pavement, here’s the bike gear, gadgets and go-to’s that will keep you riding in style all summer long. (more…)

06/21/16 1:53pm
Most women's shirts have floppy collars that don't look good with a bow tie. Kirrin Finch is changing that, one collar at a time. Photo: Bethany Michaela

Most women’s shirts have floppy collars that don’t look good with a bow tie. Kirrin Finch is changing that, one collar at a time. Photo: Bethany Michaela

“It’s really deep,” says Laura Moffat. “We’ve started talking about clothing with friends we’ve known a long time, and who we never talked about clothes with before, and it goes really deep. It’s, ‘When I was five, when I was eight,’ and then someone starts crying.”

If you are a human and you put clothes on your body, then you can probably relate. Whether it was a school uniform, shorts, a dance costume, a bridesmaid dress, a sports uniform, or an outfit for an important interview, chances are that you’ve worn clothing that made you feel uncomfortable, unhappy about your body and, just as importantly, made you feel less like your authentic self.

Kirrin Finch, the company that Moffat and her wife, Kelly Sanders Moffat started together, is part of a growing number of businesses dedicated to helping non-gender-conforming customers feel good in their own skins. (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.

(more…)

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04/26/16 9:07am
The Buca Boot has got to be one of the coolest way to haul a picnic to the beach. Photo: Buca Boot

The Buca Boot has got to be one of the coolest way to haul a picnic to the beach. Photo: Buca Boot

Pedal pushers are out in force now that spring has finally taken hold. If you’re new to cycling in the city check out our guide to getting on a bike, and even if a full-on bike commuting lifestyle isn’t for you (the sweat factor in the summer is real), it can be a real pleasure to ride around New York City for fun.

We asked local bike advocates for their favorite rides, and added in some of our personal picks as well. Strap that helmet on and give these rides a try. (more…)

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