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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09/06/16 11:24am


Welcome back from the long weekend! Now let’s get right into it, Brooklyn.

If there’s one theme that has emerged in this long, strange trip of an election cycle, it’s that Americans, New Yorkers included, are ready for political change. If you are dedicated to change then you have to vote–not just every four years in November, but in election cycles big and small. It just so happens that the New York State and Local Primary is next week on Sept. 13 and you should vote in it.

Why? Here’s a quick and dirty explanation. New York City leans heavily Democratic in most races, state, local and national. If you are a new candidate challenging an incumbent of the same party, as is usually the case, that means that your state and local contest is in September. Come November, the Democrats who win next week (again, most state and local offices in NYC are held by Democrats) will be largely unchallenged on the ballot, either running unopposed or against Republicans with minimal backing, funding or actual intention of serving. When very few people vote in September, and the people who do vote are dedicated to the status quo, it makes changing up our representation in Albany very difficult–and leads to the incredibly long terms in state office that we see so often in New York City.

What does that matter? Well, did you know that New York state had one of the lowest voter turnouts in the country during the national primary? Did you read that only 9% of the entire U.S. voted for Clinton or Trump? Do you find it disappointing that pretty much every major candidate in this election cycle is close to 70 years old? There can be no new energy in politics, no new ideas, if voters don’t vote, starting with state and local elections.

Here are two Brooklyn candidates who will be on the ballot for State Senate next week, each running against other Democrats who have been in office for more than a decade. (You can view all the seats up for election here.) We’re not endorsing these candidates–we’re not here to tell you how to vote. We’re making the point that if you actually care about the system as whole, every race matters and there’s more opportunity to get involved in our political system than you might think. It’s also a chance to make sure that you are registered to vote on Nov. 8–the deadline to register for the general election in New York State is Oct. 14.  (more…)

05/31/16 11:07am
A row of hammocks at the ready at Rooftop Reds, for their "Hammock Happy Hour". Photo: Nicole Davis

A row of hammocks at the ready for happy hour at Rooftop Reds. Photo: Nicole Davis

The Brooklyn Navy Yard has been getting a lot of attention lately, with Fly by Night, the recent announcement that Brooklyn Brewery will open a new facility there in 2018 and a whole summer’s worth of events (including sunset yoga and dinners) underway at the Brooklyn Grange.

What may have flown under your radar are two new Navy Yard spots for outdoor drinking, Rooftop Reds and the new tasting room at Kings County Distillery, The Gatehouses. The latter has been open for cocktails on Friday and Saturday nights for several weeks now, and, as of yesterday, will be serving whiskey pours ($8-16), flights ($16 for three whiskeys, $30 for five), and cocktails ($8-14, and if you think that whiskey is too heavy for summer, remember the mint julep, $12) Monday to Saturday all summer long. Snacks from Vinegar Hill House and Crown Finish Caves and whiskey popsicles made in collaboration with People’s Pops round out the menu.

The real clincher on Kings County is the location. The tasting room is in the gatehouse at the Sands Street entrance to the Navy Yard (where Flushing meets Navy–glamorously close to the NYPD vehicle impound lot). Basically, it looks like a castle. This is the type of weird old building that is just such a pleasure to gawk at, amidst all the murderously boring glass and steel towers rising around the city right now. Also, you will definitely know that you are in the right place when you arrive, which is a slightly more challenging proposition when it comes to King’s County’s neighbor, Rooftop Reds. (more…)

05/19/16 1:15pm


If buying a home in Brooklyn, or anywhere in NYC seems daunting to you, you haven’t been to one of our Buying into Brooklyn sessions. Over the course of an evening, and some Brooklyn Brewery beers, you’ll get a crash course on everything you need to know before you start your apartment hunt.

On Tuesday, June 7, join us for solid advice from a team of pros—Realty Collective founder Victoria Hagman and Realty Collective agent Tina Fallon; real estate attorney Michael Moshan and Sterling National Bank mortgage bankers Mark Maimon and Gabi Feuer —in a setting that is far more relaxed than your last crowded open house.

Here’s what you’ll learn over Brooklyn beers on June. 7:
-Who protects you and helps you get the best deal
-How to position yourself as a bonafide buyer in a competitive market
-The importance of finding the right lender
-What to do when you have bad or less than stellar credit
-The steps to obtaining a pre-approval and mortgage
-The offer/acceptance process
-The difference between a condo vs. co-op (and how to pass a co-op board)

Tickets are $10 in advance, and include one beer. Doors open at 7:30pm, the evening begins shortly afterward.

Buying into Brooklyn is sponsored by:SNB Stacked Logo

04/29/16 4:13pm
Jen Dalton and Bill Powhida’s latest art project, MONTH2MONTH, brings New Yorkers together to discuss and debate the city’s housing crisis in 8 NYC apartments. Photo courtesy Jen Dalton

Jen Dalton and Bill Powhida’s latest art project, MONTH2MONTH, brings New Yorkers together to discuss and debate the city’s housing crisis in eight NYC apartments. Photo: Jemma Koo

Paycheck to paycheck, hand to mouth, month to month. All of these phrases evoke an uncertain living, but “month to month” elicits a special kind of anxiety for renters. Living month to month suggests you have no lease, no official document to protect you from the threat of eviction or a rent hike you can’t afford. Which gets at the heart of Jen Dalton and Bill Powhida’s latest project, MONTH2MONTH, a series of events that combine real estate, art and activism in eight New York City apartments.

“The name was chosen because the project events take place over the course of a month,” explained Dalton, “and also we were hoping to evoke the tenuous nature of most people’s economic situations.”

Beginning May 7 with a “housewarming party,” MONTH2MONTH will continue the ongoing dialogue of inequality and wealth disparity in New York City by inviting the public to discuss the city’s housing crisis—whether they’re affected by it or feel distanced from the issue—in luxury and affordable housing units that will be temporarily open to total strangers. The eight apartments hosting MONTH2MONTH range from a townhouse in Chelsea to an architect’s loft with an indoor pond to a tiny East Village apartment.

“It was not easy by any stretch of the imagination,” said Powhida, who has made his own affordable home one of the project sites. “It’s been a really delicate negotiation to get anyone to open up their home and share their space with the public.” (more…)

04/01/16 11:04am


Erin Taylor is $1600 in the hole. And her situation isn’t due to anything unsavory, like a gambling debt or an unpaid credit card bill, but rather unpaid invoices. The longtime hairstylist, who recently left her day job at an on-demand beauty service to become a full-time freelancer, is simply waiting, and waiting, on her clients to pay her for work she completed more than 30 days ago.

“I wanted to work on-set, in fashion and in commercials, because it’s more my cup of tea,” says Taylor. “But I haven’t been paid for a couple of jobs going back as far as December. It’s hard to budget your life when you don’t know when the next payment is going to come”

Luckily for Taylor—and possibly millions of New Yorkers—she is a member of the Freelancers Union, a 21-year-old organization based in Brooklyn and committed to advancing the rights of freelancers. Currently, the union represents more than 300,000 freelancers throughout the United States, offering many of them health and dental insurance, retirement accounts, networking opportunities, educational workshops, and other resources and benefits.

But in 2016, the Freelancers Union could turn one of its long-standing causes into law. After enlisting New York City Councilmember Brad Lander as a sponsor in December, the Union is pushing the City Council to pass the “Freelance Isn’t Free” Act, a citywide ordinance that would finally give recourse to millions of independent workers throughout the U.S. when their NYC-based employers delay or fail to make a payment. (more…)

11/17/15 11:31am
Thanksgiving ramen, coming next week to Talde. Photo: Talde

Thanksgiving ramen, coming next week to Talde. Photo: Talde

Maybe you’ve heard, Thanksgiving is next week. If you need to get a turkey you should probably figure that out right now, especially if you want something local, but there’s no need to panic–quite yet. Whether you’re hosting, attending or heading home, here’s a resource guide to where to order sides and pies, how to find something for a vegan or gluten-intolerant guest, where to make a reservation and what to watch once the eating is over. There are also plenty of pre-Thanksgiving activities to get you in the spirit of the day, and check out this guide to hosting from Gabrielle Sierra, and this notes on being a great guest from me.

Before the Food, Fun Looking for Thanksgiving Eve debauchery? Tiki Disco, Brooklyn’s most insane dance party is happening at Sugar Hill Disco and Restaurant in Bed-Stuy starting at 10pm, and tickets include fried chicken and sides. I mean, the thought of waking up with a stranger on Thanksgiving morning makes me feel so very old, but go forth and get it on, if that’s your deal. There’s a Friendsgiving pop-up happening in an as-of-yet undisclosed location in Downtown Brooklyn on Thursday, Nov. 19. Cranksgiving, a combination bike ride, scavenger hunt and benefit for the Bowery Mission is this Saturday, Nov. 21, and looks like a lot of fun. And, if you just can’t get enough turkey and stuffing in your life, Talde, in Park Slope is serving Thanksgiving ramen (turkey, stuffing, pickled cranberries, creamed spinach, wontons and gravy) at the bar only, from 9pm to close, from Monday, Nov. 23 through Friday, Dec. 4. Only 10 orders a night, $15.

Need help? First, take a deep breath. I’ve cooked a lot of Thanksgivings for a lot of people. I’m competent in the kitchen, but not like, professionally so, and I’m going to let you in on a little secret–it just isn’t that hard. At least, it’s not as hard as the yearly media frenzy surrounding it makes it out to be. No one dish in the dinner is a big deal to make, it’s really about delegation and timing, especially if you just go straightforward and don’t mess with some crazy recipe that requires a four-hour time investment to make one bowl of squash. That said, there’s also lots of help available. Stressed about the bird? (more…)

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08/11/15 11:37am


I spent a long period of time in college depending on thrift store finds at Goodwill to help define my late-90s, early 2000s style. Alongside weird junk for “decorating” my first apartment, I also prided myself on t-shirts that fell apart on my body, dresses sometimes two sizes too big (or small), and the most killer pair of low-top, yellow and orange vintage roller skates that fit me perfectly (that I wore ALL THE TIME). After I graduated, in some dumb effort to grow up, I sold the skates back to a thrift shop and tried not to look back. Worst. Mistake. Ever.

These days, I buy clothes that actually fit me, but I still thrift in search of great prices. There’s only so much online shopping you can do to find a good deal, but even more than that, every time I step into a thrift store the feeling of possibility is palpable in a way that can be addictive. Whether you’re searching for bargain on your work wardrobe, a vintage Diane Von Furstenberg dress, or the perfect pair of roller skates, half the fun of thrifting is the search.

So  I can really get behind National Thrift Store Day, which ReuseNYC is celebrating this Monday, Aug. 17, 2015. ReuseNYC member-approved shops including Beacon’s Closet, Angel Street Thrift Shop, Cure Thrift Shop, and Rags-A-GoGo, are getting in on the thrifty fun, with sales and specials. To make the most of Thrift Store Day, and to help you make shopping more of an adventure every day, I chatted with pro-thrifters, shoppers and sellers alike, about how to get the best deals, whether you’re buying, selling or browsing.  (more…)

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07/16/15 11:52am
The new Smorgasburg outpost at Coney Island means there is now food beyond Nathan's and cheese fries to choose from, plus two outdoor bars.  Photo: © 2015 Regina Mogilevskaya

The new Smorgasburg outpost at Coney Island means there is now food beyond Nathan’s and cheese fries to choose from, plus two outdoor bars. Photo: © 2015 Regina Mogilevskaya

The Mermaid Parade has come and gone, and July 4, with its flourish of fireworks and hot dog gluttony has passed. So does that mean you should cross Coney Island off your summer bucket list? Not in the least–a new Smorgasburg outpost, an exhibit of two dozen street artists and other signs of renewal are all reasons to take the train to the Stillwell Ave. stop before the warm weather disappears.

Perhaps more than any other Brooklyn neighborhood, from the time of its discovery to its current state, Coney Island has donned an almost impossible number of faces. Its time as a remote, serene island, inhabited first by the Lenape Indians and then the Dutch in the early 17th century, was short-lived, as its unique proximity to both the city and the ocean predestined the area to become the “People’s Playground.”

Its golden age, when Luna Park, Dreamland, and Steeplechase Park bestowed a futuristic, dream-like quality upon the place, like an illustrious Epcot Center of the early 1900’s, was equally brief. (For a primer on Coney Island’s wonder years, check out this detailed history.)

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06/15/15 1:01pm

Whether you’re a minimalist who has eliminated every item in your life that doesn’t bring you joy, a la The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, or you’re just looking to upgrade some of the salves and balms you use on the daily (stay tuned guys, many of these products are assuredly unisex), here are five must-have, all-time favorite health and beauty fixes for softer skin, shinier hair and a better smelling life.

Skin Stick Photo by Earth Tu Face

A Skin Salve Tube You’ll Want to Push ‘Til It Pops–Earth Tu Face Skin Stick, $34 Last winter I attempted to extract a blackhead anchored in the apple of my cheek with an all-natural recipe I found online that called for a few drops of apple cider vinegar. It burned a little when I put it on, but like every other idiot who thinks “The burn means it’s working,” I just thought that was part of the healing process. I woke up the next morning with a quarter-sized, bright red, scaly burn on the left-side of my face (at the very center of which sat my blackhead). (more…)

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