Regina Mogilevskaya

Articles by

Regina Mogilevskaya

Regina is a writer and photographer currently living in Greenpoint. When she's not fulfilling copywriting duties for a rad social marketing company, she's reading, people watching in Washington Square Park, and seeking out new things to love about New York, even when she hates it. A stranger on a bus once compared her to Louis C.K. Check her out on Instagram and Twitter at @regbum.

05/11/17 11:16am

All photos by Regina Mogilevskaya

Getting a word in with Emma Straub, author and one part of the duo behind Books Are Magic, is nearly impossible while there are customers streaming through the door. And although the Cobble Hill bookstore just opened its doors a few weeks ago, throngs of overjoyed well-wishers are already filling the store in a steady flow. “We’re definitely busy from the moment we open our doors in the morning to the moment we close them at night,” she says.

When BookCourt, the neighborhood’s beloved indie bookstore, announced they were closing, Straub and her husband Michael Fusco-Straub jumped to action immediately. They acquired the Books Are Magic space in October, but Straub says it was the election that really cemented their efforts. “We realized it was so much bigger than just a bookstore,” Straub says. “We needed an open space where people could gather, where families can feel welcome, can get informed.” Thanks to Straub’s established connections with local bookstores (she worked at both BookCourt and at Word in Greenpoint), publishers, and sales reps, the couple pulled off an impressive feat in record time.

The Fusco-Straubs obviously love books and design, and their lovely welcoming space is our new favorite word lair. From the books on the shelves to the sunlit kids room in the back, every swift detail of Books Are Magic takes inspiration from the community in which it blooms. Tulips from neighborhood florists decorate the store’s nooks, while the works of local authors are displayed proudly on recycled BookCourt shelves.

“I’m starting to explore collaborations with other places in the neighborhood, too,” Straub says. “Warby Parker reached out and we’re planning a reading series in their backyard.” In addition to being full of local goodness, the shop is wonderfully spacious, with exposed beams and brick and plenty of sunlight. It’s the kind of place that makes you feel good the second you step through the arched doorway.

Books Are Magic joins an impressive collection of indie bookstores around Brooklyn. Here are a few of our favorites for reading, listening, lounging and browsing. (more…)

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04/20/17 10:54am

We interviewed former New Yorkers about their lives upstate, and we also asked them to share their favorite spots, so you can enjoy them next time you visit–or when you relocate, too.

Glasses at the Suarez Family Brewery. Photo; Suarez Family Brewery via Instagram

Glasses at the Suarez Family Brewery. Photo; Suarez Family Brewery via Instagram

Sarah Suarez

1. Suarez Family Brewery in Livingston: Nick’s brother Dan and his wife Taylor opened their brewery in the summer of 2016. They have a tasting room where we love to hang out on our days off—Dan even decided to open the tasting room on Wednesdays for Nick.

2. Montgomery Place Orchards: This is my favorite farm stand and one of our purveyors for the restaurant. They are a family run farm with the most perfect selection. They grow a huge variety of heirloom apples, as well as oodles of other fruit and vegetables. When I stop by for my weekly visits from June-November I always end up eating something on the way home, whether it’s a whole pint of black caps or a couple warm apple cider donuts.

3. Saugerties Lighthouse: I love coming here with my dog Scout. There is a nice walk from the parking lot that takes you through a beautiful marshy area and then out to the lighthouse on the Hudson. You can bring a picnic or wade in the water. We actually did a special event with some friends at the lighthouse last fall and took a sailboat ride there, then had dinner at dusk. It was pretty magical. (more…)

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04/20/17 10:50am
Photo: Casey Scieszka

The view from the Spruceton Inn. Photo: Casey Scieszka

It all started just a handful of years ago, a slow and steady migration of Brooklyn residents packing up their belongings and heading north–to the mountains, to cabins, to a respite of crisp greenery and stillness.

Or did it?

In reality, city folk have been settling in various counties of upstate New York for generations. The only reason it’s lately been deemed a phenomenon is because social media is now here to chronicle every minute detail of said migration, from photos of people packing up their Cobble Hill apartments to Boomerangs of bonfires crackling in their new yards.

Over the last couple of years, everyone from The New York Times to Vogue has covered the influx of New Yorkers foregoing the mind-numbing squeals of the subway and crowded city parks for long drives in the mountains and afternoons spent hiking, foraging, and buying fresh produce right from the farm. Plus, a hammock or two. We sought out these souls and met Megan Brenn-White (a international marketing business owner, real estate agent, and former resident of Clinton Hill), Sarah Jane Suarez (a former Dumbo resident and co-owner of Gaskins), Casey Scieszka and her husband Steven Weinberg (the people behind Spruceton Inn and former residents of Park Slope) and Alecia and Tom Eberhardt-Smith (co-owners of Eberhardt Smith and former residents of Lefferts Gardens and Sunset Park).

They settled all across upstate New York, from West Kill to Germantown, for all sorts for reasons. Some had family nearby, some had aspirations of opening up their own businesses, and some accidentally turned a vacation into real life. Pretty fabulous “oops” if you ask us. Here’s what these ex-Brooklynites had to say about their moves to the mountains.

(Note: yes, we are aware that there is some debate about the exact definition of “upstate New York.”  For the purpose of this article we have defined it as Hudson Valley towns at least 100 miles north of New York City.”)

BB: Why did you move upstate?
(more…)

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04/03/17 10:31am

For those of us who admit to being more than a little food-focused (or slightly gluttonous, whichever), this was a much-anticipated weekend, and we’re very lucky that Smorgasburg isn’t picky about the weather. The lauded food market returned to East River State Park and took up residence in Prospect Park this weekend, despite a somewhat chilly and grey start on Saturday. This year, the market opens with a decent shaking up to its usual program–from mom-and-pop shops cooking up traditional Haitian food to Chinese dumplings with eclectic fillings inspired by the diversity of Queens. Below we’ve highlighted a couple of vendors to look out for, so ready your utensils! (And yes, there’s a spaghetti donut. We tried it. It’s fine.)

Photo: Regina Mogilevskaya

Photo: Regina Mogilevskaya

John’s Juices

Ok, so you’re totally over walking around Smorgasburg sipping coconut water from a coconut–but how about slurping fresh juice straight from a dragon fruit? Or a pineapple? John DeWindt and his partner August Major take fresh fruit juice to a whole new level using a nifty machine they spotted and picked up in Japan. It grinds the juice inside the fruit, so all you have to do is mix in a little agave, ginger, or seltzer, stick in a straw, and you’re done! It’s a pretty flawless summer treat. (more…)

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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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02/09/17 1:06pm
Is it real, or is life in LA all just a dream?

Is it real, or is life in L.A. all just a dream? Photo: Regina Mogilevskaya

Brooklyn versus L.A. It’s a battle as old as…well, it’s old. For years, it seems that there has been a steady influx of people fleeing New York and setting up camp in Los Angeles. Perhaps you’ve lost a neighbor, a book club member, a friend, or even a significant other to the epidemic. Perhaps you’ve chuckled over a particularly excellent New Yorker piece on the matter, or accidentally lost half an hour of your life scrolling through an acquaintance’s Instagram full of tacos, sunshine, and otherworldly hikes. Maybe you’ve even daydreamed about the move yourself, perhaps while being herded like cattle through the Union Square subway station at rush hour on a Tuesday morning.

It’s undeniable that a certain culture of escape has always underscored life in New York, increasingly as of late. Sure, we’ve got it pretty damn good here, but what if we lived in a place without slush puddles the sizes of lakes? What if we were able to afford an apartment with normal-sized bedrooms? What if we could be happier? What if?

Brooklyn Based chatted with four former New Yorkers who migrated west to Los Angeles: Erica Reitman (an interior designer and writer, and previously the blogger behind Fucked in Park Slope), Eli Edelson (a television coordinator and writer), Heather D. Orozco (now a Realtor, formerly a talent buyer at The Bell House and Union Hall), and Adam Rotstein (a copywriter and comedy writer). They came from Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy and Park Slope—some had lived in Brooklyn for as little as two years, others were closing in on a decade when they left. Today, they’re scattered across the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Glassell Park, Boyle Heights, Mt. Washington, and North Hollywood, respectively. While their personal experiences have varied, they can all agree two things when it comes to the Los Angeles versus Brooklyn debate: The Mexican food is incomparable, and none of them currently harbor any dreams of ever moving back to our borough. (more…)

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01/19/17 10:52am

eternal_sunshine_of_the_spotless_mind_-_kate_winslet_-_jim_carey_-_h_-_2016

So, it doesn’t exactly feel like winter this week. It’s downright temperate, in fact. Rest assured though, there will be a frigid weekend sometime this winter, even if 2017 proves to be as warm, or warmer than, 2016. Or maybe you just need to warm your soul. We’ve got three wintery movies and a recipe to pair with each. Gather your supplies, settle in on the couch and escape for an hour or two.

Film: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, directed by Michael Gondry, written by Charlie Kauffman, starring Kate Winslet, Jim Carrey, Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Wilkinson, and Elijah Wood
Where to find it: On Amazon or iTunes, starting at $2.99 to stream
Recipe: Tomato Basil Chicken Stew from Gimme Some Oven

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is celebrating its 13th anniversary this year. Isn’t that wild? It’s probably safe to say that the Oscar-winning film still has a strong hold on film fanatics–even if you can’t quite recall the last time you viewed it, you certainly remember how it made you feel. The film is a dizzying cornfield of memory–the way your brain tries to fight your heart, what it is to love and to lose, to neglect and to remember. (more…)

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12/20/16 8:40am
The Vine by Harrier Whitney Frishmuth is one of the works Museum Hack explored on a recent tour of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Photo: Regina Mogilevskaya

“The Vine” by Harrier Whitney Frishmuth is one of the works Museum Hack explored on a recent tour of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Photo: Regina Mogilevskaya

Museum fatigue is most definitely a thing, according to Museum Hack founder Nick Gray. “If you’ve ever been to a museum, you’ve probably experienced walking through a gallery feeling tired and lethargic,” he says. An enormous institution like The Metropolitan Museum of Art contains hundreds of thousands of works, and no clear way to order your visit, so it’s no surprise that everyone, even the most dedicated art lover, encounters this type of exhaustion.

Museum Hack takes the overwhelming aspect out of the equation by providing focused museum experiences, which is how I found myself speedwalking down marble-tiled corridors on a chilly Saturday afternoon, on a Badass Bitches tour of The Met.

Remember those super enthusiastic, super energetic tour guides when you visited colleges? Well, they’ve grown up to be Museum Hack guides. They’re eloquent, they’re excited, and they will eagerly tell you the weirdest art-related stories you’ve ever heard. My guides were two young women named Lindsay and Lily, and for two hours they led a group of about 15 of us from the Greeks and the Romans all the way to the American Wing, conducting a tour that was part storytelling, part ice breaker, part therapy session, and hey, we even got to draw a bit. (more…)

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12/13/16 8:00am

lala-land

La La Land, the modern day musical film from director Damien Chazelle that stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, does this rather incredulous thing–it actually lives up to its trailer. For all its hype, leading the Critics Choice Awards, winning TIFF’s People’s Choice Award, rave reviews, you still don’t expect to float out of the theatre on a cloud after seeing the film, and yet you do.

La La Land is set in modern day Los Angeles and tells the story of Mia (Stone), a struggling actress who works in a coffee shop on the Warner Brothers lot, and Sebastian (Gosling), a pianist determined to keep jazz out of the clutches of commercialism, who dreams of opening up his own club one day to keep the music alive. Sparks don’t exactly fly the first few times Mia and Sebastian meet, but as fate would have it, they tend to run in the same circles and hesitant sparks begin to crackle between the two. The romance that develops is a whirlwind of jazz and gauzy dresses and moonlit strolls, but beneath all that lays a very true, almost unbearably lovely connection between two dreamers who see one another quite clearly. (more…)

11/30/16 2:28pm

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In no particular order, here are all the things that Mike Mills’ third directorial feature, 20th Century Women, will make you do: nonchalantly dab your eyes with a tissue, develop a deep affinity for life in Santa Barbara in 1979, and fall in love with every inch of Annette Bening’s glorious face. Yes, Mills’ follow-up to 2011’s Beginners is that good.

Led by a brilliant cast of Bening, Elle Fanning, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup, and newcomer Lucas Jade Zumann, 20th Century Women tells the story of 50-something-year-old Dorothea (Bening) trying to decipher how to best help her teenage son (Zumann) grow into a good, just, young man in a time when everything is somewhat in flux: there’s an energy crisis, Jimmy Carter is desperately trying to unite a society that’s fumbling in the space between one era and the next, and local teenagers entertain themselves by playing choking games. Terrified that she alone cannot give her son everything he needs–and feeling more distant from him with every new record he spins in his room, and every minute in which he becomes a slightly older version of himself–Dorothea enlists the help of a few lost souls that rent rooms in her enormous, constantly in-repair home in sunny Santa Barbara. (more…)