03/15/17 2:13pm
We were all expecting more snow yesterday, even Hurley. Photo: Kate Hooker via @BrooklynBased on Instagram

We were all expecting more snow yesterday, even Hurley. Photo: Kate Hooker via @BrooklynBased on Instagram

Back to the grind, everybody! One of the awesome conveniences of modern life is that for the majority of us who aren’t ER doctors or something, there’s no longer any need to brave angry sheets of falling ice to physically be in the office on a day like yesterday. The bummer side of this, though, is that the notion of a true snow day has gone completely out the window.

I personally logged something like 16 hours in front of my laptop yesterday, breaking only to walk my dog and to watch one eensy episode of Love on Netflix, the second season of which I’ve been inhaling. Today I feel more burnt out than I would have if I’d just had a normal day yesterday that included a subway commute, lunch with a friend and a stop at the gym, and I’m moving at a glacial pace. Gotta find some espresso somewhere though, maybe at the Coffee and Tea Festival happening in Greenpoint this weekend, because this Ideal Week is action-packed and I don’t have time to dawdle.

First of all, I have to fill out three different brackets for various March Madness pools before noon tomorrow, and I know less about the field this season than I ever have (although I did have the amazing opportunity to watch my beloved Blue Devils win the ACC championship IN BROOKLYN (!) last weekend, complete with NC-appropriate ad signage at the Barclays). I also need to make St. Patrick’s Day plans which, depending on my end-of-the-week mental state, will either mean hightailing it out of the city, or finding a way to get into the center of the action.

And then of course we’re hosting one of our favorite events of the year, Wedding Crashers, on Sunday at The Green Building and 501 Union from 11:30 am on. This year, we’ve got more than 70 of New York’s best wedding vendors and seven bands performing, so there’s a lot to see and take in if you’re planning on stopping by.

In other news, Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co. is hosting a five-course prix fixe Italian dinner tonight for $45 if you ate every scrap of the food you had at home yesterday, and Eugene Mirman has announced a live recording of his Hold On podcast featuring guests David Cross and Jon Benjamin at The Bell House on Saturday, April 8. This will for sure sell out so you should pick up a $20 ticket for yourself pronto. Otherwise, take a gander at our suggestions to help you maximize your fun quotient in the Ideal Week ahead. (more…)

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03/01/17 2:25pm
It's a new leaf kinda week, right?

It’s a new leaf kinda week, right?

On this rainy yet bizarrely warm Wednesday, we’re coming off an entire week of unseasonably warn, yet undeniably pleasant weather, an Oscars ceremony with a surprise twist ending, and a presidential address marking an unexpected shift in terms of tone and sentence completion proficiency (if not actual content), and on top of all that, we’re now in a brand new month. I must admit that it all makes me feel like doing my part to change things up a little bit, too.

To that end, I’m committing to booking myself the real, no email access type vacation that I’ve been talking about for ages, and I’m going to make myself go to the gym today for the first time in so-long-that-I-don’t-even-really-know-when-the-last-time-was-but-definitely-not-in-2017. Maybe you have some stuff you’ve been putting off, and maybe this is a good week to just make it happen, whether it’s doing your taxes, or taking your pet to the vet, or any number of those mundane, adult-y tasks that pile up and make you feel increasingly uncertain about your general adulting skillset.

No cause for alarm, though, you know that we’d never suggest that you fill up all your time with boring admin–this is Your Ideal Week, after all. So try to carve out some time to check out one of the NYC Beer Week events, which run through the weekend: this Ruppert’s Cup Awards tasting at Barcade on Saturday afternoon sounds especially easygoing and fun. Or you could treat yourself to a delicious dinner out and help find hunger right here in Brooklyn by heading to one of the many participating restaurants taking part in the inaugural Brooklyn Feeds campaign this coming Tuesday night.

A couple of us here at BB have tested out Dale Talde’s giant new spot, Atlantic Social, and I can personally attest that the nachos are as good as you remember them being from Pork Slope and it’s an excellent place to watch the college basketball conference tournaments this weekend, if you’re interested in that kind of thing. We’re just getting started here–read on for a whole slew of other potential experiences and adventures that we rustled up for the coming week.  (more…)

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01/25/17 1:04pm

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Happy Wednesday, and congrats on making it through another week! This one felt particularly major, what with a historic transfer of power, a massive, worldwide display of resistance, a Nor’easter, and a fresh barrage of anxiety-producing tweets from The Joker, Bane, the leader of the free world.

Now that the sun is finally giving us a little love again, it’s a great day to get outside for a walk, run, or bike ride to clear your head. A few weeks ago, I spent an hour exploring Green-Wood Cemetery on a crisp afternoon and it’s something I heartily recommend to those who have never been. Pro tip: The gates to the main entrance close at 5pm sharp, and if you dawdle and assume there’s a couple of minutes of leeway, the guard will lock you in, even if he drives by on his way to lock up and fully sees you’re still there, at which point he will ignore your cries and disappear for 20 minutes while you wonder whether you can survive a subzero night in a graveyard full of fallen Revolutionary War soldiers. Never fear, though, he’ll eventually come back and release you (with a couple of stern words about following the rules) and maybe in the meantime you will have made friends with a couple visiting from Germany who were also trapped.

There are a ton of fun things to do this week in our incredible, indefatigable town, and we’ve gathered up some of our favorites for your scheduling consideration. Happy exploring! (more…)

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11/16/16 12:08pm

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Well, it’s been a week, huh? I don’t know about you guys, but I’m fried, emotionally and physically. I think I’ve put on five pounds and slept no more than five consecutive hours since last Tuesday, and my stress levels are through the roof. There’s a lot we can do to try to mitigate the effects of the president-elect’s already disastrous policy and personnel choices (look for tips on that in coming weeks), but the realization that we are stuck with him for now is setting in. So, time to think about what’s important, and what we are willing to do to ensure that our friends, neighbors, and family members are safe kept safe in this time of especially hateful invective and incredibly short fuses. Thanksgiving feels extraordinarily well-timed this year, and hopefully we’ll all get a chance to strengthen our reserves and really reflect on how to best proceed in this new world. 

It may feel bleak, but we’ve still got art, literature, music, crystal clear crisp fall days like today, people willing to be brave and stand up for strangers, and a fast-approaching Thanksgiving feast to keep us going. One thing I’ve learned over the course of the past year, which has sucked for me generally as an American but also for specific, personal reasons, is that in times of sustained, ongoing crisis you are absolutely no good to anyone if you don’t take time to take care of yourself. So please, by all means, do keep your eyes on the prize–we’ve got a long, hard fight ahead of us–but, in the meantime, give yourself the opportunity to enjoy all that is good out there. Here are some of our favorite ways to do that in Brooklyn over the next seven days. 

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11/09/16 3:12pm
Voters cast their shadows, votes, on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Photo: Spencer Starnes

Voters cast their shadows, and votes, on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Photo: Spencer Starnes

Greetings from the other side of the tipping point. I’ve been trying to avoid social media and TV today, but I must say that the little I have seen has impressed me. There are a lot of people out there writing and tweeting about how, now more than ever, we need to feel hopeful, to remain committed to fighting for our country, and to take comfort in the fact that people are basically decent and there are many Americans who are not full of hate and anger.

I am in awe of the people who have the strength and optimism to feel those things right now. I am also just not there yet myself. I wish I could relay a positive message but all I can think about is that we just handed everything over to an unrepentantly ill-informed narcissist who embodies the belief that a majority of this country’s population (myself included) is inherently “less than.” It’s grim. It’s unthinkable. It’s still very raw.

I know that in coming days and weeks we’ll all find it somewhere in us to be energized to fight the good fight again. The numbness and helplessness will give way to tenacity and we will come back stronger and more determined and most of all wiser because of this setback. Time and time again it’s been proven that humanity’s limitless resilience is among our most profound and remarkable strengths. But there’s also no shame in needing to take time to recover and recharge. 

So I’m giving myself a break today, and maybe tomorrow, and however long it takes. What I do know is that it isn’t over. We are stronger than bigotry and stupidity. Somehow, it will eventually be okay. But for now, I’m exiting the echo chamber and focusing on things that don’t make me feel alienated and apoplectic, which include getting out and about in the beautiful, diverse, and forward-thinking borough that we are lucky to call home. It might not be an Ideal Week, but the show must go on, and it might be a little easier to get through if you get yourself back in the game out to one of the many great events going on this week.  (more…)

10/26/16 1:30pm
A pug dressed as the Cowardly Lion--what could be more fitting for the season? Photo: Fort Greene PUPS

A pug dressed as the Cowardly Lion–what could be more fitting for the season? Photo: Fort Greene PUPS

Greetings and welcome to a very spooooky Ideal Week as we all scramble to stock up on fun-sized Snickers bars and think of costumes ideas that aren’t “sexy Ken Bone.” Halloween falls on a Monday this year, which means that the party is starting on Thursday and is probably going to push us all to the outer limits of our tolerance for sleep deprivation/sugar and alcohol consumption. That’s precisely why now is the perfect time to make a comparatively chill plan and get it on the books. You could take in a movie at the Brooklyn outpost of The Alamo Drafthouse, which finally opens this week (we’ve got tickets to give away), or make a date with your Netflix account and the new season of Black Mirror, or one of these million other shows everyone is talking about like Westworld or Luke Cage. A couple of friends from work and I have a night set aside for a meditation class at this place ($10 for your first class) and dinner at Veselka (my friends are both West Coast transplants who have never been–wtf?!). Or if you want to just laugh like you’ve never laughed before, I highly recommend snagging a ticket to Oh Hello!, the Nick Kroll/John Mulaney play now in a limited run on Broadway.

All the Halloween hoopla of course means that Christmas is waiting in the wings, and if your holiday routine involves watching the Bill Murray classic Scrooged more than a few times, you’ll be glad to know that Nitehawk is arranging to screen it along with one of its famous themed dinners on Tuesday, Dec. 13. Tickets to these feasts sell out fast, so pick one up now.

As for this week, read on for our roundup of excellent activities, Halloween-related and otherwise, going on around here. Just remember, you earned that candy! Your parents have no right to take it from you and ration it out day by day. I mean if they really want to keep the Almond Joys and the Raisinets, fine, but you should get to enjoy the rest of it. You’re gonna need all the chocolate-induced serotonin you can get as we head into a truly terrifying Election Week. (more…)

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10/12/16 11:21am
The fifth annual Beer for Beasts fundraiser is at The Bell House this weekend. Photo: Beer for Beasts

The fifth annual Beer for Beasts fundraiser is at The Bell House this weekend. Photo: Beer for Beasts

This is the week that introduced us to Ken Bone, the bespectacled, mustachioed hero who injected some humanity and levity into the otherwise thoroughly depressing second presidential debate. The tweets about him alone have been, for lack of a better word, art. If Bonemania has left you curious about other civilians who have tried to add some cultural context and even beauty to the nightmare that is Trump’s ultimate reality show, you might want to check out Two Face, a solo exhibition by Mark Abramson on view at DUMBO’s United Photo Industries Gallery through Oct. 29 that explores the complicated emotional landscape surrounding the 2016 presidential race. 

The 5th annual Beers for Beasts, which is a can’t lose situation involving one-of-a-kind craft beer collaborations from Sixpoint and special guests, food from Calexico, Pizza Moto, and Dub Pies, and fundraising for adorable puppies and kittens who need homes, is back at the Bell House on Saturday. Tickets are $70 but include food and drinks and excellent karma, as 100% of the proceeds will benefit the Humane Society. And our friends at LoftOpera have started selling tickets for their December run of Verdi’s MacBeth, which will be performed in the MAST Chocolate Factory at the Brooklyn Navy Yard (yes, there will be chocolate to eat), so you might as well get that on the books now in case it sells out. 

Otherwise, there is an abundance of activities to choose from during this pleasant mid-October stretch in Brooklyn, so read on and start making plans for your Ideal Week. (more…)

10/05/16 12:20pm
Photo: Green-Wood Cemetery

Photo: Green-Wood Cemetery

October is here with all of its trappings, and hopefully in between all the apple picking, leaf peeping, pie tasting, pumpkin carving, and costume making, you’ve got time for some of the fun stuff happening around town this week. ComicCon is back at the Javits Center from Thursday through Sunday, if that’s your thing, or you can watch the world’s most skilled (and daring) urban cyclers vie for the North American Cycle Courier Championship crown this week, too. Finally, DUMBO’s Archway is hosting a three-day, beer-soaked Oktoberfest extravaganza featuring brats, music, arts and crafts, costumes, and a temporary outdoor German beer hall.

But that’s just the beginning of what’s in store for this Ideal Week, folks–read on for tips on where to eat, drink, and be merry in our fabulous borough over the next seven days.
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08/24/16 2:17pm
Afropunk is this weekend. Photo: Afropunk

Afropunk is this weekend and promises to be nothing short of amazing. Photo: Afropunk

It kind of feels like we are the only ones in Brooklyn at the moment, I Am Legend-style, so if you are reading this, rest assured that you aren’t alone and there is plenty of stuff going on around here for the next seven days to round out your Ideal Week. (Also, no actual vampiric-zombie beasts. That we have first-hand knowledge of.) Who needs the Hamptons or Maine or Cape Cod?  In case you haven’t noticed the weather right here is downright amazing, and we’ve got perfect conditions for all sorts of outdoor activities, including the annual Afropunk Festival at Commodore Barry Park. The multicultural live music showcase returns for both days this weekend, and the incredible lineup includes acts like Ice Cube, TV on the Radio, Fishbone, Janelle Monae, Tyler the Creator, George Clinton, Living Color, Ceelo Green, and Shabazz Palaces. There are still some tickets left, so snap ‘em up while you still can.

If you’re more of a comedy aficionado than a music junkie, the Brooklyn Comedy Festival is also in town this week, bringing all kinds of talent to venues scattered throughout the borough. Check out the schedule here and pencil in a show or two to ensure you pack a good dose of laughter into your plans.

Swale actually does open this weekend (we jumped the gun last week). Photo: Regina Mogilevskaya

Swale actually does open on Governors Island this weekend (we jumped the gun last week). Photo: Regina Mogilevskaya

It appears that we jumped the gun last week on the opening of Swale’s floating food forest, but it is open to the public at Governors Island as of this Friday, so that’s another option for your weekend adventures. We’ve got a lot more on our hit-list too, so please read on and have a fabulous Ideal Week! We’re taking next week off to squeeze the last drops of fun and relaxation out of summer, though we’ll be keeping our Facebook and Twitter updated with options. We’ll be back in full force after Labor Day, rustling up the best tips for how to spend your free time in Brooklyn, now and forever. (more…)

08/17/16 12:17pm
See the Rooftop Films screening of "Author: The JT LeRoy Story" in the courtyard of Industry City Thursday night. Photo: Regina Mogilevskaya

See the Rooftop Films screening of Author: The JT LeRoy Story in the courtyard of Industry City Thursday night. Photo: Regina Mogilevskaya

It feels different today, right? In the early morning hours, we’re talking before 7am, there was even a hint of fall in the air for a few moments. It might be a good day to live dangerously and eat your lunch in the park or even take a stroll, for fun, come afternoon.

Speaking of which, is anyone else’s local park looking a little rough around the edges these days? On my way to work yesterday I noticed at least four absolutely overflowing trash cans around McCarren Park. Impressively, park goers were trying to keep it in check and had semi-neatly piled excess trash next to the barrels, but it was pretty clear that no one had emptied them in some time. Then this morning when I took my son to Cooper Park it seemed like the grass hadn’t been cut in weeks and the number of cigarette butts, plastic bottles and assorted trash littered all over the place had really reached peak grossness. I know that summer must be a very busy season for the Parks Department, but we’re not talking about a big storm that brought down a ton of branches and debris. We’re talking regular maintenance. How about some teen summer gardening and landscaping jobs that also involve trash pick-up? And that concludes my New York City rant for the day.

In more adorable news, today through Aug. 21 you can adopt a black cat for free (or a black kitten for $50, usually $125) at the ASPCA’s Adoption Center on East 92nd Street. You’ll even get a free cat carrier in the deal. For those of you plan-aheaders out there, check out this adults-only camp-out at the Bronx Zoo coming up in on Oct. 14-15. Tickets are pretty steep at $350, but they include unlimited beer and wine, plus dinner, s’mores, breakfast, a tent rental and a souvenir mug. I suspect this is a childhood fantasy come true for at least a few of you. Tickets are also on sale for the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival, which is coming up sooner than you think on Sept. 15-17. These shows always sell out so get your tickets now (and a few extra for your flakier friends), and then feel that smug sense of the well prepared come September. As for this week, whether you want your comedy right now, have always dreamed of entering a kimchi eating contest or just want to listen to smart people have an interesting, civil conversation, we have a whole week of fun planned out for you. Read on, friends.  (more…)