Articles by

Kate Hooker

Kate is a lawyer and writer who is a relative newcomer to Brooklyn, having fled the East Village a few years back in search of outdoor space and, apparently, kale and kombucha. Kate and her cocker spaniel sidekick, Hurley, are thoroughly enjoying their new borough and all the benefits of grill ownership. When she isn’t working, Kate is often found trying out new restaurants and bars (particularly those that trade in oysters, craft beer, and pie), listening to comedy podcasts, and watching college basketball.

05/10/17 4:43pm

This photo was the main story in the official White House email today. Really.

Oh man, now what? Will we get an independent investigation? Are the impeachment gods finally smiling down upon us or are we one step closer to totalitarianism? Has anyone been seriously looking into the NYC secession option? Why are these the choices anyway? The sudden and indecorous firing of FBI Director James Comey yesterday has prompted a new cacophony of questions and speculation, and amidst it all it seems that Trump and the gang are genuinely SHOCKED that people are skeptical about the motives precipitating the move. And decided that promoting the Instagram of Marlon Bundo, the Pence family rabbit, was the most pressing piece of White House news they could share on the official White House email this morning.

The idea that Dems would cheer Comey’s ouster, regardless of the circumstances, simply because they didn’t like the way he handled the HRC email investigation, presupposes that we all have the mentality of a six-year-old, and that we can’t think beyond an all-encompassing, never-ending pursuit of praise and-or revenge. Hmm, sounds familiar, right? Let’s just hope the more rational people in power understand how deep into utter shitshow territory we have ventured and start to pull in the reins a bit.

While we’re all obsessing about politics for the next several days (what else is new?), we’ve got a pretty nice stretch of cool but dry (and sometimes sunny) weather to close out the work week. Saturday looks like the Netflix binge day of the week, with 100% precipitation expected, so I will recommend Dear White People, which I fired through last week, or of course the new season of Master of None, which drops on Friday. And after Mother’s Day festivities on Sunday, you might want to take a trip out to Ridgewood’s outdoor oasis, Nowadays, for the Mister Sunday Season Opener. While you’re making plans in advance, grab a ticket to see one of the Night Train shows at Littlefield over the next three Mondays–Giulia Rozzi and David Cross will be guest-hosting and tickets are only $5.

In the meantime, though, check out our other ideas below for how you can live your best Ideal Week, but not before you text 50409 to send your reps a note asking them to fight for an independent investigation into Trump’s Russia ties via Resistbot. It’s really easy! Have an awesome week, everyone, and we’ll see you back here next time! (more…)

05/03/17 4:14pm

The Brooklyn Derby at Greenwood Park has become the borough’s biggest Derby Day fete. Photo: Steve McFarland Photography

Happy May! The sun is out, flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, and those of us with seasonal allergies are sneezing through it, just happy to be part of this awesome season of rebirth and renewal. I am headed upstate this weekend with a group a friends for a birthday extravaganza, and I must say that although I am really excited for a spring getaway, I’m a little bummed that I won’t be around to watch the Kentucky Derby at one of several fun parties happening around Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon.

As in years past, the Brooklyn Derby, which seems the fanciest option, will draw bluegrass bands and hundreds of be-seersuckered and be-fascinatored revelers to Greenwood Park from 4pm on to cheer on the horses. The $95 ticket price covers four-hours of open bar (including mint juleps, natch), a variety of Southern snacks, live music, a hat-making station and more. Another alternative is the Derby Party at Sunny’s Bar in Red Hook, which costs $80 but includes food, drinks, a bluegrass jam, contests, and prizes, and has the added edge of being a fundraiser to help the beloved bar meet is goal of raising $65K by mid-summer in order to stay in business. Of course, if you’re not looking to break the bank on a several-minute long horse race, you can head to Northern Territory, which is hosting a free party with pay-as-you-go drinks and prizes for best Derby attire, from 3-7pm.

Not into the Derby at all? The Wythe Hotel is hosting the sixth annual Greenpoint Film Festival, which is a series of panels and screenings of carefully selected shorts and feature-length films taking place Thursday through Sunday, and there are still tickets available. Read on for more ideas about what to do with yourself for the next seven days, and enjoy the sunny Ideal Week ahead. (more…)

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04/26/17 5:01pm

Check out Onderdonk House this weekend.

It’s another wet Wednesday in early spring, but never mind the rain–we’ve got galoshes and a carefully curated list of awesome stuff happening in Brooklyn over the next Ideal Week. Before we get to all that though, I have to share some exciting news, which is that after a year of sweaty workouts at the Y on 9th Street, I finally crossed paths with the mayor and his security detail there last night! Still no insight as to why he makes the commute from the UES for the Y, which it should be said was keeping its women’s locker room at a balmy 97 degrees yesterday, but it was fun to see De Blasio navigating the same tangle of treadmills and ellipticals that us hoi polloi toil away atop on a daily basis.

In other news, did you read about the new bar in the East Village that donates all of its proceeds to causes threatened by Trump and his unscrupulous, out to lunch band of hooligans? Coup, which is brought to you by the cocktail experts behind Death & Co. and Amore y Amargo, is the city’s first not-for-profit bar, and it’s an opportunity to streamline ritual happy hour de-stressing and your need to partake in some feel-good activism.

This weekend, the perennially popular Sakura Matsuri Festival hits the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, with over 60 events and performances celebrating Japanese culture and cherry blossom season taking place over both days. As I mentioned in a previous post, the crowds at this event can get pretty intense, especially in the afternoon, so it might be worth trying another option this year: The New Amsterdam Festival in Ridgewood. (You’ll be hearing us extol Ridgewood’s virtues again soon–we’re headed there for the first Immersion of the season June 3!) The Ridgewood Historical Society and House of Yes are teaming up to celebrate Dutch history and culture in style, with food, interactive arts, lawn games, an artisan market, a bier garten, and LOTS of tulips. It’s going down from 11am-9pm on both days at the beautiful and historic Onderdonk House property which, if you haven’t seen it, is definitely one of those things that you won’t be able to believe exists in the middle of New York City.

And finally, to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, Nitehawk Cinema will be screening Three Amigos! next weekend, complete with live music from a Grammy-nominated all-female mariachi band and a special brunch menu featuring the breakfast food of the gods, chilaquiles. The show starts at 11:15am on both May 6 and May 7 and costs $16 per person, and tickets will probably sell out so we’re giving you a heads up now.

In the meantime, please take a gander at our picks of goings on about town in the week to come. Stay dry today and make this an Ideal Week to remember. (more…)

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04/19/17 5:06pm
It's the anniversary of Prince's death on Friday. Photo: @brooklynbased

It’s the anniversary of Prince’s death on Friday. Photo: @brooklynbased

Hi everyone and welcome back from Easter/Passover/a weekend in which we had a totally random 90 degree day! It’s time for another Ideal Week roundup, and this week we’ve curated a well-rounded assortment of ways that you can spend your time eating, imbibing, and celebrating spring in and around Brooklyn. If you feel an extra bounce in your step (or shooting pain in your sinuses), that’s because spring really is here, and the ramp guy is at the farmers market to prove it! Why not celebrate the wonderful time before every day is 90+ degrees by treating yourself to a pedicure, a bike tune-up, or a leisurely outdoor rosé-drinking date with a friend? Or try something new on Friday, when Pioneer Works is hosting a new, experimental Groupmuse Massivemuse that is interactive and encourages audience movement. On Saturday or Sunday, you can eat, drink, and party to your heart’s content at Beer Mansion, a weekend-long beer fest brought to you by Brooklyn Brewery Mash, Eater, and a bunch of stellar local businesses. Saturday is Earth Day, which means that 30 blocks of Manhattan are being declared blissfully car-free from 10am-4pm, and it’s also time to join the March for Science, which has been garnering a lot of press of late, if you’re into public funding for science.

For those of us that are still mourning the untimely passing of Prince, the anniversary of his death on Friday is a tough reminder of the remarkable talent and personality that we lost. But it might be therapeutic to attend one of several events going on this week that commemorate the Purple One, including Questlove’s Purple Anniversary edition of Bowl Train on Thursday night, House of YES’ Dirty Thursday Prince party on the same night, or the Skint’s Celebration of Prince at Littlefield on Saturday night.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg on this Ideal Week in April–read on for many more potential plans and have a great week! (more…)

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04/12/17 1:17pm

Weird week so far, huh? A couple of days of incredible weather felt like a fresh, hopeful beginning, but then all it takes is a glance at the internet to reveal another elementary school shooting, airlines committing assault against their customers, David Letterman’s mom dying, and the usual stream of myriad abominations from the Trump show. It would be great if we could all just have a really good stretch of positive stuff only (or at least not actively bad stuff) for a while, don’t you think? Excessive optimism can feel a little phony and is tough to muster in a constant onslaught of somber news, but the internet sometimes delivers a glittering shard of seaglass amidst the gloomy flotsam. Case in point: I ran across this poem by Maggie Smith (no, not the Dowager Countess) on Twitter the other day and it struck me as at once lovely and grim and encouraging and an utterly fitting reflection of my mood these days:

Good Bones


Life is short, although I keep this from my children.

Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine

in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,

a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways

I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least

fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative

estimate, though I keep this from my children.

For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.

For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,

sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world

is at least half terrible, and for every kind

stranger, there is one who would break you,

though I keep this from my children. I am trying

to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,

walking you through a real shithole, chirps on

about good bones: This place could be beautiful,

right? You could make this place beautiful.

This week is an ideal one to add something good of your own into the mishmashed kaleidoscope of heartbreaking, happy, gorgeous hideousness that is life on this planet at the present moment and push for a collective net positive. I’m gonna give it a shot, anyway. But that certainly doesn’t mean I can’t get good and mad and head on over to the Tax March at Bryant Park at 1pm on Saturday–hope to see some of you there! In the meantime, keep your head up everyone, and check out our other ideas ideas of ways to fill up your time between now and next Wednesday. (more…)

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04/05/17 1:00pm
Canuck Yankee Lumberjack at Old Orchard Beach, Maine, by Marsden Hartley

Canuck Yankee Lumberjack at Old Orchard Beach, Maine, by Marsden Hartley

Hey everybody, we’re back! It’s another Wednesday in this marvelous County of Kings and we’ve got yet another Ideal Week of fun, friends, food, tunes, booze, activism, and activities for you to peruse, so see if you can tear yourself away from S-Town for a minute or two to make some plans. We’ve just gotten word that the inimitable tag team of Frank Facinelli and Frank Castronovo have a pretty awesome-sounding Backyard Chef Series in the works for this spring. Once a month starting in May, the duo will host famous chef pals from all over the world (think Philly’s Marc Vetri, LA’s Jon Shook and Vinny Doloto, Montreal’s David MacMillan and Fred Morin, and NYC’s own Daniela Soto Innes) to collaborate on one-of-a-kind dishes at Frankies 457 Spuntino’s bucolic outdoor space. The full lineup is listed here and we suggest booking now because I’m sure these seats will fill up fast–tickets are $100 per person, which includes drinks and a multi-course meal.

In other news, Coney Island officially reopens for the season on Sunday, and it’s as good a time as any for a spin around the Cyclone, which celebrates its 90th birthday this year. Also on Sunday, Alec Baldwin will be appearing in conversation with Anna Sale to discuss his new memoir, Nevertheless, at BAM at 6pm. Tickets start at $35 ($55 if you’d like a copy of the book too) and are available here. If you’re looking for a fine art experience, I’ve personally been itching to get to the Met Breuer to see both Marisa Merz’s The Sky is A Great Space exhibit as well as the Marsden’s Hartley’s paintings of Maine. And, I’m not sure how, but after living in this town for almost my entire lifetime I only recently discovered two major Walter De Maria installations that are located in unmarked, unassuming buildings a few blocks away from one another right smack in the middle of Soho. The New York Earth Room and The Broken Kilometer are both free to experience during visiting hours from noon-6pm on Wednesday through Sunday, so it’s kind of like a mini-trip to Dia:Beacon with none of the expense or hassle.

But those are just a few of our thoughts on how you can fill up your calendar–read on for more tips to squeeze the most out of Your Ideal Week below. (more…)

03/29/17 7:28pm
Last year we couldn't get enough of Wowfulls at Smorgasburg. What new treat will wow us this time around? Photos: Spencer Starnes

Last year we couldn’t get enough of Wowfulls at Smorgasburg. What new treat will wow us this time around? Photos: Spencer Starnes

Greetings, all, and welcome to another installment of Your Ideal Week, our roundup of suggestions for the best ways to kill time in and around our fair borough over the next seven days. I’ve been hitting the Park Slope Y with some regularity for the past few weeks (no sign of Blas yet but, then again, since my co-worker told me you can now download Netflix shows onto your phone it would take Obama himself to turn my attention away from whatever obscure BBC crime procedural I’m watching during my workout), so I thought I’d try to squeeze into a pair of old, tight jeans today to see if I’ve made any progress. So far, not so good, as I’m basically gasping for air and unable to sit for extended periods, so I probably shouldn’t be so pumped about the news that Smorgasburg is back for the season this weekend, in the Williamsburg and Prospect Park locations on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Ditto the outdoor version of the Brooklyn Flea, which brings dozens of vendors of vintage wares to Williamsburg on Saturday and the Dumbo archway on Sunday.

While we’re on the subject of being outdoors, did you get a chance to go outside today? It was perfect! Celebrate this weekend at Rooftop Reds, which is reopening its roof space on Friday to accommodate visitors who want to guzzle vino while staring out at the lower Manhattan skyline. It’s hard to feel too glum when the sun is out, birds are chirping, the farmers’ market is full of beautiful blooms and vegetables, and it looks like the wheels might finally be coming off the bus of the national nightmare we’ve been embroiled in for what feels like a lifetime.

Take the good vibes and spread them around this week, grab a few friends and check out some of our tips on what to do with yourself below. Happy almost-April and we’ll see you back here next week. (more…)

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03/22/17 5:07pm
Photo: Dessert Goals

Photo: Dessert Goals

It’s officially spring, can’t you tell? Nothing like putting the old parka away for the season, busting out the sunnies, and feeling the sun on your bare arms, am I right? Ugh, seriously, why is this weather so confusing? I’ve been upstate near New Paltz for a work conference this week and was snowshoeing and ice skating yesterday, which was awesome, but which is not part of my normal late-March routine. Incidentally, if any of you can get away for a random weekday night, I highly recommend taking advantage of the mid-week, off-season price specials at Mohonk Mountain Lodge, which is the all-inclusive, Kellerman’s-type establishment where we stayed. The food was incredible (Bourdain even visited on an episode of No Reservations), and we each had a working fireplace in our rooms, which sealed the deal for me, personally.

Anyway, if you don’t have plans tonight and have a C-note burning a hole in your pocket, Norah Jones is performing a benefit concert at 8pm at The Bell House for the Child Life Program in The Brooklyn Hospital Center’s Pediatrics Department that will likely be a really special evening. Alternatively, I’ve been meaning to check out the sound and light installations at the Mela Foundation’s Dream House in Tribeca for months now, and tonight seems like a great night for “a weird and immersive art experience,” as per Yelp, but I’ve got much less meditative plans in store because it’s a friend’s birthday and so we are meeting at The Strip House’s Speakeasy to see if we can get our hands on one of 10 special $26 burgers released every day in March. I’ll let you know if it’s worth the price tag.

If that isn’t enough decadence for one week, Dessert Goals, a dessert fest featuring treats from vendors like Coolhaus, Mochidoki, baonanas, and more, is at Dobbin Street on both Saturday and Sunday. GA tickets are unfortunately already sold out, but if you are interested in attending one of several workshops on topics like how to start a food business or how to grow your Instagram following, you can sign up for $50 and get admission to the main event too.

Otherwise, check out our list of other options to add to your social calendar for the Ideal Week ahead, and try to take advantage of the long hours of daylight that are finally here (even if your winter wardrobe is sticking around a little longer). (more…)

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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03/07/17 1:36pm

Gemini and Scorpio

So we’re changing things up a bit this week and dispatching our Wednesday Ideal Week post on Tuesday, because we won’t be publishing anything tomorrow in honor of the A Day Without A Woman strike. Onward in solidarity, sisters–only by sticking together will we vanquish the small-minded demagoguery that seeks to inflame our prejudices and create dissension within our ranks. If you’re not able to actually skip work tomorrow, there are other ways to raise your voice in support of the cause, including wearing red, attending a rally like this one at noon in Central Park, and making a commitment to not spend any money.

After a day of empowering yourself through political action, you might want to hurry over to Crown Heights on Wednesday evening to see the series premiere of Locality, a new hyperlocal web series created in and about the neighborhood by a group of filmmakers called The New Regulars. The screening starts at 8pm and will be followed by a reception with wine and local eats–you can register here to attend. In other news, Groupmuse just today announced its next Massivemuse, which will happen on Friday, March 17, in The Bogart House. Tickets are $20, which includes the concert, Bronx Brewery beers on the house, and afterparty involving multiple DJs and a roof deck.

Turning back to the week ahead, there are plenty of ways you can fill the next several days with food, fun, film, feminism, and more stuff that begins with letters other than F. Happy Ideal Week, and we’ll see you next week on the regularly appointed day. (more…)

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