05/24/17 7:49pm

A carpet of bluebells is blooming at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Photo: BBG

Memorial Day weekend is nigh, and if you are jetting off the Hamptons, the Catskills, the Shore, or somewhere even more exotic, well, good for you, lucky duck! The rest of us will be here holding down the fort, but don’t feel too bad for us because there is–as always–a lot to do around these parts over the course of the next week. On Friday night, lace up your skates and get ready to do the hustle at Lola Star’s Dreamland Roller Disco, which is doing Saturday Night Fever-themed version of its popular skate night at the LeFrak Center in Prospect Park from 7:30-10pm. After selling out a Friday night show at King’s Theater, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds have added a second night on Saturday and there are still tickets available. If you happened to catch them when they performed at Celebrate Brooklyn! a few years back, you know that it’s worth the effort.

Although we’re officially in Fleet Week and there are bound to be lots of NYC noobs out and about, in general it is always nice to capitalize upon a holiday weekend when lots of peeps are out of town to check out the touristy areas you usually avoid like the plague. Wanna finally make the trip up to the Cloisters? Or to see the Whitney Biennial or the carpet of bluebells on display as far as the eye can see in the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens? Now is definitely the time to do it. And you can use the time to plan ahead for future fun like the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative’s June 24 Epic Ride or July 22 Brooklyn Bike Rave. And if you do bump into a sailor, there’s no better time than Memorial Day to express your gratitude for his or her service. 

Check out our other ideas for your entertainment and enjoyment in this final Ideal Week of May, and no matter where you are this weekend, be safe and take care of yourself. Until next week! (more…)

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05/17/17 3:03pm

At Sycamore’s 8th Annual Crawfish Boil on Saturday, you can dig into the traditional Louisiana fixins and benefit the Billion Oyster Project at the same time. Photo: Sycamore

In no way do I want to discourage you from any of the fantastic events we’ve selected for this Ideal Week. And certainly, the most astounding drama of our time is unfolding in front of our eyes in the White House in ways pretty much no one could have ever imagined. However, I do feel like I need to point out just how much excellent television is on offer right now. Like, really an insane amount of good stuff. Are you watching The Americans? How great is this new season of Master of None and how mesmerizing/terrifying is The Handmaid’s Tale?  I haven’t even had the time to watch I Love Dick or the new season Bosch on Amazon. And man, after the burn of Arrested Development 2.0 I’m trying not to get my heart set on the new Twin Peaks being the show I’ve dreamed of watching since I binged the original one August weekend in 1998, but boy am I looking forward to it.

In news that is happening here in the physical world and not on a screen or in the Black Lodge,  Littlefield is in the last day of its Kickstarter to raise money for its new space, which includes brand-new bar and restaurant, Parklife, that will be a part of our Total Gowanus Immersion this summer. They’re so close to their goal, help them reach it before midnight on Thursday. One of our favorite local institutions, the Brooklyn Historical Society, opens a new space in DUMBO this week. The first show is called Shifting Perspectives, and it’s a group show of photography depicting the Brooklyn waterfront, opening May 19 (though there is a private event at the gallery on Friday evening). Admission is free all weekend long. 

Go forth, or hang on the couch with some popcorn and cherry pie, either way, have an ideal week! (more…)

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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…)

05/04/17 12:42pm
Total Gowanus Immersion

Our last Gowanus Immersion circa 2015. Photo: Alison Brockhouse

On Saturday, August 12, join us for canalside Brooklyn brews, BBQ and more neighborhood treats during our Total Gowanus Immersion with Brooklyn Brewery. This is one of our favorite areas for a daylong crawl, and yours, too, judging from how quickly our Gowanus Immersions typically sell out!

Tickets, $25, on sale now, are exchanged the day of the event for a pack of WAM (walking around money), that you’ll be able to spend on a Brooklyn Brewery beer at four different bars, lunch, plus deals at local shops. You can also opt for a $15 express ticket for just the beers and the deals.

It’s the least amount of money you’ll ever spend for the most food, beer, and Saturday summer fun in NYC.

We’ll be announcing the participants soon. Get in touch if you’d like to join us, and be sure to join us on our other 2017 Immersions!

05/04/17 11:50am
Total Beacon Immersion

Photo by @amandaromayne via Instagram.

On July 22, we’re taking a field trip to the Hudson Valley for The Total Beacon Immersion, our first Immersion with Brooklyn Brewery outside of NYC! Join us for an epic day spent exploring downtown Beacon’s pubs, boutiques and galleries, all accessible by Metro-North.

For the past seven summers Brooklyn Based and Brooklyn Brewery have lured New Yorkers away from their well-worn paths to explore new neighborhoods through its Immersion series. Each daylong event brings together a couple hundred people to experience a neighborhood’s best bars, shops, cafes, landmarks and creative spaces. Often we revisit our favorite neighborhoods. This year our series ventures to a few places we’ve never Immersed before, like Beacon, NY.

Confirmed participants to date include Draught Industries, where Immersion goers will get a free Brooklyn beer, Stock Up where you can dig into a “Big Bird” lunch special and beer, the new Beacon Hotel for Brooklyn beer special, Kaight, for 20% off all non-sale merchandise, and Utensil. More to be announced soon–and get in touch if you’d like to join us!

Tickets, $25, on sale here, are exchanged the day of the event for a pack of WAM (walking around money) redeemable for a Brooklyn Brewery beer at four different bars, lunch plus deals at local shops. You can also opt for a $15 express ticket for just the beers and the deals.

See you in Beacon this summer–and be sure to join us on our other 2017 Immersions!

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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05/03/17 12:57pm

Onderdonk & Sons is one of the stops on our Total Ridgewood Immersion with Brooklyn Brewery. You can add on a burger and fries to your visit, or just partake in the Brooklyn beer.

Join us Saturday, June 3 for The Total Ridgewood Immersion, our first Immersion of the season with Brooklyn Brewery. If you’ve never been on one of these daylong adventures with us, it’s one of the best ways to experience a new neighborhood or explore your favorite haunts with your beer-loving friends. You purchase an exceptionally cheap ticket and in exchange get a pack of WAM–walking around money–to spend throughout the neighborhood on your own, self-guided tour.

Over the past seven years, we’ve curated 25 of these epic afternoons, typically in our favorite Brooklyn neighborhoods. This year, we’re venturing to places we’ve never Immersed before–like Ridgewood, Queens, Beacon, NY, and West Harlem. (Tickets to our entire season, including a season pass, are on sale here.)

In Ridgewood, you’ll spend the day exploring quaint, leafy streets, generations-old bakeries, and laid-back bars. (For an idea of Ridgewood’s charms, we wrote this guide a few years back.)

Here’s what we’ve lined up so far, just over the Bushwick border: (more…)

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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04/19/17 3:23pm

Prince-600

It’s been a whole year since Prince joined the dearly departed and left us alone in a world that’s so cold. When he did, event and dance party meister the skint sent him off with one of their best parties yet. This year, they’re channeling Prince back down to Littlefield on Saturday night, April 22, to celebrate him and his music in style.

Get down to all things Prince spun by DJ Steve Reynolds (of Party Like It’s 1999 and Housequake). Expect a deep, deep trove of goodness: Hits. B-sides. Ladies he produced. Dudes he mentored. Stuff he wrote for other people. And video! Watch a visual smorgasbord of live clips, music videos, rare performances and movie moments from Music Video Time Machine all night long — the nastiest moves, the tightest pants… a thousand vignettes that defined his inimitable, legendary self.

Tickets are just $7 in advance ($10 at the door) to bathe in sensory purple overload and emerge fully purified. You know you need it.

(P.S.: Wear paisley, or purple, or just look damn good. It’s Prince, after all.)