Tag Archives: Brooklyn Based

The Way We Shop

All around the country people are rushing to find the perfect holiday gifts for their friends and family; they are running through the aisles of Walmarts and department stores and shopping online at Amazon. Here in The Big Apple we have a better way to buy gifts. The way we shop? Craft fairs my darlings, craft fairs. Our fine city is a treasure trove of artists and artisans who can provide you with everything from scratch ‘n sniff holiday cards to one-of-a-kind jewelry, not to mention all the best munchies imaginable!

If you missed Craftacular last week I apologize; I should have given you a heads up. Luckily most of the vendors also sell in select stores and on Etsy so you still have a chance to pick up my favorites: beautiful purses by Shara Porter, heavenly bath products by Lee-lai and stunning dresses by Les Enfants Sauvages.

Purse by Shara Porter

Purse by Shara Porter

The Brooklyn Flea’s Gifted is still running so you can experience the madness of all those wonderful vendors in one place. My picks are scratch ‘n sniff holiday cards from Mélangerie Inc., fancy cards from Moontree Letterpress and snarky t-shirts from Paste.

Scratch n' Sniff Holiday Cards from Melangerie Inc.

Scratch n' Sniff Holiday Cards from Melangerie Inc.

This weekend you can give to charity while shopping for great gifts at Brooklyn Indie Market; indie designers donate 10-15% of sales to benefit Brooklyn Community Housing. With a hat from Rocks and Salt you’ll be ready for your next night out in hipsterville.

3rd Ward’s Handmade Holiday Craft Fair this Saturday is likely to be one of the biggest hits of the season. Even if you don’t find gifts you’ll get to enjoy live music from Raya Brass Band. On top of all the vendors and the music there will be free demos and workshops including:

Handmade Skincare, Wire Wrapping: Making Old Jewelery New, DIY Printing Methods, Heat Printing on Fabrics, How to Make your own Textiles with Textile Arts Center and more!

The holiday season is also the time for pop-up shops! New York Magazine has compiled an excellent list of the temporary shops that you’ll want to check out before they disappear! I am particularly excited about anything that has anything to do with Papabubble; their candy is truly “too pretty to eat” (Carnival- I know I’m a dork).

Candy by Papabubble

Candy by Papabubble

If you need to get your unique hand-made gifts on the run there are tent cities set up at a few major crossroads. The Holiday Shops at Bryant Park contain all manner of goodies, though they tend towards the pricier end of things. The Grand Central Holiday Fair is a madhouse but holds some hidden gems. The Columbus Circle Holiday Market offers the added bonus of an information booth with a helpful concierge to guide your shopping, plus since it’s located right on Central Park you can stroll through our very own Winter Wonderland post-shopping. Finally the Union Sq. Holiday Market offers a range of goodies, from Belgian liege waffles to bath products shaped like cupcakes!

If you’re truly at a loss for what to give, this weekend at 303 Grand you can have a psychic chose a wrapped mystery gift for you. I kid you not, this is New York kids.

Finally, mark your calendars- next weekend is the Brooklyn Lyceum Craft Market. If you go be sure to check out the jewelry by Kimlast, whoever you buy it for will appreciate its extra special flare.

Golden Reef Handcarved Pendant by Kimlast

Golden Reef Handcarved Pendant by Kimlast

Happy shopping! Stay tuned for news of upcoming events and follow me on twitter for the very latest!

Comedy, Gypsy Jazz, Dorkbots and more!

I hope everyone had a marvelous Halloween! Mine was quite amazing and I will tell you much more about it shortly! If you’re extra curious you can check out the pictures I’ve already posted on Flickr!

The Dorkbots are back tonight; they will be doing all sorts of nefarious things with electricity at Location One. Check out my detailed review of one of their previous performances to get an idea of what you’re in for!

If you’ve been following me on Twitter, or checking the sidebar, you’ve already heard about the Clothing Swap today at the House of Yes and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs free concert on Friday!

This week is also the Tenth Anniversary Django Reinhardt NY Festival:

Immortalized in numerous Woody Allen soundtracks, such as Sweet and Lowdown (1999), Reinhardt was one of the first prominent European jazz musicians and revolutionized popular jazz in the ’30s, composing countless songs that became standards including “Minor Swing” and “Belleville.”

On Friday at the Morgan Library you can enjoy one of my favorite French films- Ridicule. This sumptuous costume drama is just absurd enough to be highly enjoyable and just historically accurate enough to help you understand the French Revolution.



The big festival this weekend is the New York City Comedy Festival; stars like Ricky Gervais and Tracy Morgan will be playing to enormous crowds.

If you didn’t manage to get tickets to any of those big acts you may want to consider a much tastier event taking over the city this weekend: Cook Eat Drink Live is “a three-day modern food and wine event at The Tunnel & La.Venue (608 West 28th Street), featuring a large sampling of ultra-premium gourmet foods and spirits, plus appearances from some of the city’s premier chefs.” Even the flyer is yummy:


This Saturday is the first Saturday of November and you know what that means- First Saturday at the Brooklyn Museum! Brooklyn Based says this is the month to go:

The evening centers around the museum’s new exhibition Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present. Performing at the free extravaganza, between 5pm and 8:15pm, are Grass Widow (lo-fi indie), the Beets (garage rock), and Brooklyn’s own Crystal Stilts (psychobilly surf punk). Then at 9pm, DJ Evil Dee kicks off the First Saturday dance party, spinning sounds inspired by the exhibit’s featured artists. The night also offers talks on the photography on display, including panels with the exhibit’s curator, Gail Buckland, and two of its photographers, Bob Gruen and Justin Borucki.

I’m also very excited about another concert happening in Brooklyn Saturday night; Emanuel and the Fear are playing at 3rd Ward as part of their Multiverse Playground event! I’ve written rave reviews of their performances in the past and I’m especially excited about this show since Das Racist and Comedy Central’s Kurt Metzger will also be taking the stage!

Ok, that’s all for the moment, stay tuned for more great upcoming events and be sure to follow me on Twitter for the latest updates!

Poetry, Music and Victorian Gypsies TONIGHT

I’m on the bus back from Boston after a one-night-only surprise visit; I am positively glowing and at least part of it is because of the wonderful city I’m returning to! If you’ve been following me on Twitter you’ve already heard a great deal about CMJ but let me draw your attention for a moment to a very special concert taking place tonight. Gothamist and Brooklyn Based are teaming up to bring you an action-packed night at one of my favorite venues- The Bell House!


If you want a less raucous Thursday, join me at Pacific Standard where Pulitzer Prize winning poet Philip Levine will be reading from his new collection, News of the World. I wrote a paper on Levine’s poem “The Two” when I was a romantic  English Lit major. Here’s a passage:

Get back to the two, you say.

Not who ordered poached eggs, who ordered

only toast and coffee, who shared the bacon

with the other, but what became of the two

when this poem ended, whose arms held whom,

who first said “I love you” and truly meant it,

and who misunderstood the words, so longed

for, and yet still so unexpected, and began

suddenly to scream and curse until the waitress

asked them both to leave. The Packard plant closed

years before I left Detroit, the diner was burned

to the ground in ’67, two years before my oldest son

fled to Sweden to escape the American dream.

“And the lovers?” you ask. I wrote nothing about lovers.

Take a look. Clouds, trucks, traffic lights, a diner, work,

a wooden shoe, East Moline, poached eggs, the perfume

of frying bacon, the chaos of language, the spices

of spent breath after eight hours of night work.

Can you hear all I feared and never dared to write?

Why the two are more real than either you or me,

why I never returned to keep them in my life,

how little I now mean to myself or anyone else,

what any of this could mean, where you found

the patience to endure these truths and confessions?

Also tonight, there are “Victorian Gypsies” performing in our fine city; The Citizens Band is debuting their new piece, The Debt Rattle. These very original cabaret performers will give you a new understanding of the current economic and social shakeup.

The Citizens Band

The Citizens Band

The Bolt Bus’ internet connection isn’t so hot this afternoon so that’s all for now but stay tuned for a full spread of this weekend’s events, plus my review of The Jaguar Club‘s show at Cakeshop- just in time for their next show this weekend!

Additions for this weekend and Early Announcements!

I have a couple of additions to make to my last post and I also want to give you a heads up on some events coming up NEXT weekend!

Tonight if you’re up for the Fashion’s Night Out extravaganza you may want to add your first sighting of Anna Wintour into the bargain; the empress of the fashion world will be… da da da… at a mall in Queens! That is something worth seeing darlings!

As you may have seen in the comments on my last post, as part of the Dutch festivities this weekend you can pose for a picture with a model dressed as Vermeer’s Milkmaid. You know you want to. (P.S. Costume designed by my favorite pixie seamstress AF).

Girl posing with Vermeer's Milkmaid

Girl posing with Vermeer's Milkmaid

Tomorrow night A and I are continuing our tradition of seeing deeply questionable theater by checking out a new production, which to its credit sold out its first run, titled Three Irish Widows. Why is it questionable? Mainly because it’s a one man show with 25 characters. If you’re not up for the experience you can just look forward to our review.

There’s more questionable theater on the way next week when Juliette Binoche and Akram Khan bring their unique dance piece, In-I,  to BAM (Sept. 15-26). Take a look at this clip:

I find Juliette Binoche breathtaking and I’m excited to see how she works in a new medium.

Moving back to the present… You Are Here: The Maze is taking over Death By Audio. Brooklyn Based says:

You Are Here [aka The Maze]” was conceived and created by TROUBLE, the Bushwick artist duo and married couple Sam Hillmer, 31, and Laura Paris, 41. Death by Audio, normally just two rooms with some in-between areas and a long hallway, is now a Maze complete with tall walls, confusing turns, and dead ends. The experience will be unconventional in every sense. The stage will be part of the maze, leaving it up to the performers to figure out how they can work in the space. There are many bands and artists up for the challenge, including Dan Friel (Sept. 10), A Place to Bury Strangers and Sian Alice Group (Sept. 11), Ty Segall (Sept. 18), Calvin Johnson (Sept. 14), Screaming Females(Sept. 26), The Coathangers (Sept. 29) and Zs (Oct. 2). Most of the acts performing are experimental in nature, which may or may not help them as they improvise in the altered space.

This Sunday if the Brooklyn Book Festival isn’t for you check out another sale happening in DUMBO- The Brooklyn Flea is throwing the Superstar DJ Record Fair and Vintage Fashion Bazaar!

record fair flyer 09

Next week (Sept. 17-20) Conflux, an annual New York festival for contemporary psychogeography, is taking over our fine city to help us re-explore and redefine our urban environment:

Conflux is the annual New York festival for contemporary psychogeography, the investigation of everyday urban life through emerging artistic, technological and social practice. At Conflux, visual and sound artists, writers, urban adventurers and the public gather for four days to explore their urban environment. From architects to skateboarders, Conflux participants have an enthusiasm for the city that’s contagious. Over the course of the long weekend the sidewalks are literally transformed into a mobile laboratory for creative action. With tools ranging from traditional paper maps to high-tech mobile devices, artists present walking tours, public installations and interactive performance, as well as bike and subway expeditions, workshops, a lecture series, a film program and live music performances at night.

On the opposite end of the entertainment spectrum, the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival will also be rocking the city next weekend. With Mirman in control it’s hard to know what’s in store, but it’s likely to be playful, irreverent and ever so slightly weird.


Those are my advance listings! Now keep scrolling down to hear all about what’s happening this weekend, including more New Amsterdam events, Craft Beer Week, theater both questionable and otherwise, a dance party on a boat and Jane Austen’s newest masterpiece Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters! Plus follow me on twitter to hear the latest from The Big Red Apple!

Sept. 9-12 Fashion, beer, the Dutch and more!

Once again we have a super stuffed weekend coming up, not to mention the days before and after! I’ll admit as one of the funemployed I fail to recall what day of the week it is most of the time…

Tonight, as I’ve told you already, I’ll be at Comix to see the Raspberry Bros do their thing to The Breakfast Club (plus participate in the John Hughes sing-a-long). If you’d like to join buy your tiks in advance using the code RASP and they’re just $5 ($15 at the door)!

Tomorrow is ‘Fashion’s Night Out‘- an advertising ploy by Vogue and the rest of the fashion industry to get you to shop before they all go broke (the blurb in the Sept. issue of Vogue says “don’t you miss shopping?”). There are innumerable sales and events involved; my pick is champagne fueled lingerie shopping at Kiki de Montparnasse (starts at 8pm).

Four hundred years ago a Dutch ship called the Half Moon, guided by Henry Hudson, reached the shores of Manhattan. This week the Dutch are celebrating that historic landing and all that’s followed it with a slew of exciting events! I’ll admit I’m at a loss to choose between the explorations of Dutch culture, the environmental lectures, the sports and the historical events. However, the big three are The Flying Dutchman Sailing Race, the NiEuW Amersterdam Restaurant Week and the New Amsterdam Market. The Restaurant Week runs from Sept. 5 to the 20th; participating restaurants are offering prix fixe menus for $24- the amount Hudson paid for Manhattan (now THAT’s inflation!). I recommend Bachas, Bar Tabac and Resto! The New Amsterdam Market is your standard farmers market but with the additon of various workshops and events (for example ‘drink with Henry Hudson’). Embrace your inner Dutchman!

New Amsterdam Market

New Amsterdam Market

If your favorite part about the Dutch is their beer you’ll be glad to know it’s also NY Craft Beer Week from Sept. 11 to the 20th! This year’s NY Craft Beer Week includes 83 different venues featuring 162 unique beers throughout the five boroughs. There are also all sorts of events such as beer “strolls,” “walks” and “crawls” (I find the distinction in naming quite intriguing…). Get out and take your knowledge and appreciation of this fine form of alcohol to a whole new level!

Backtracking a bit… tomorrow you can learn some secrets of Jewish cooking just in time to impress your mother-in-law (or any Jewish mothers in your acquaintance) on Rosh Hashanah! Joan Nathan will be sharing her tricks at the Tenement Museum!

If you can’t pay tribute to John Hughes tonight you have another chance Thursday night- Cattle Call Tribute to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. This event is highly participatory so you should only go if you want to be part of the show! Audience members will reenact their favorite scenes from the film with some dubious direction; do you have what it takes to be Ferris? Here’s a clip to remind you of the size of the shoes you’re trying to fill…

This weekend previews for A Steady Rain begin at The Schoenfeld Theatre. This is Daniel Craig’s Broadway debut and the general feeling seems to be that he is likely to be terrible, but hey, you never know, especially with Hugh Jackman around. Here’s a panel from an excellent cartoon in New York Magazine that perfectly sums of the problem:


Friday night Flux Factory is throwing the dance party to end all dance parties; there will be DJs, bands, installation art, weird performers and much much more, ALL ON A BOAT.


Starting this Sunday Philip Seymour Hoffman is back on stage in The Public Theater’s production of Othello. He’ll be playing alongside John Ortiz in what is certain to be one of the most memorable productions of this challenging play. Get your tickets now before the critics start raving in earnest.

From Sept. 22 to Oct. 3rd New York City Center will host some of the most creative and talented dancers from around the world. Not only that but the tickets to these marvelous performances, all part of the annual Fall For Dance Festival, are just $10 each! The catch? Well, the catch is that this Sunday you’d better get up early and join me on line to get your tickets as soon as they go on sale!

Post-ticket buying head out to The Bell House for the Brooklyn Cheese Experiment:

Competitive cookoff gurus Theo Peck and Nick Suarez, present to you the Brooklyn Cheese Experiment, a cheese cookoff and homebrew-off of epic proportion. Amateur chefs will whip up their favorite cheese-based dishes ranging from sweet to savory, while local homebrewers pit their home made brews against each other in Brooklyn’s premier culinary competition. The audience will vote for their favorites along with a judging panel of highly touted cheese and beer aficionados. Prizes and cash will ceremoniously be given away to those who strive for cookoff glory. Do you have what it takes to compete?

Sunday is also the most anticipated literary event of the year- The Brooklyn Book Festival! Last year I came unprepared and failed to make strategic choices when waiting on line for tickets to readings. This year if I’m able to make it out there post-FFD ticket line (so unfair that these are the same day!) I’ll follow Brooklyn Based Cheat Sheet!

If you miss the other “premier screenings” of No Impact Man check it out at the Anjelika Tuesday night with the added bonus that Kate1, who collaborated on the book, will be speaking about local/sustainable food before the screening!

Also on Tuesday, anyone who hates Jane Austen and/or loves Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, should be at Idlewild Books for the release of Ben Winters’ newest mockery- Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. There will be co-readings by co-author Ben Winters and The Good Thief author Hannah Tinti. Here’s a clip of a staged scene:

Now if that doesn’t make you feel gleeful I don’t know what will! Remember to RSVP for the reading!

Have an excellent weekend and stay tuned for additions! Also be sure to follow me on Twitter for the latest news!