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…)

Brooklyn Based delivers free daily emails about the borough's best food, events, attractions and innovators. Get Brooklyn Based in your inbox--sign up here.

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…)

Brooklyn Based delivers free daily emails about the borough's best food, events, attractions and innovators. Get Brooklyn Based in your inbox--sign up here.

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…)

Brooklyn Based delivers free daily emails about the borough's best food, events, attractions and innovators. Get Brooklyn Based in your inbox--sign up here.

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…)

Brooklyn Based delivers free daily emails about the borough's best food, events, attractions and innovators. Get Brooklyn Based in your inbox--sign up here.

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…)

Brooklyn Based delivers free daily emails about the borough's best food, events, attractions and innovators. Get Brooklyn Based in your inbox--sign up here.

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…)

Brooklyn Based delivers free daily emails about the borough's best food, events, attractions and innovators. Get Brooklyn Based in your inbox--sign up here.

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…)

Brooklyn Based delivers free daily emails about the borough's best food, events, attractions and innovators. Get Brooklyn Based in your inbox--sign up here.

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…)