Labor Day in Brooklyn

Labor Day is fast approaching and while many people head out of town, there’s no place we’d rather be than Brooklyn. Labor Day was first observed in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, as a day to celebrate labor. It has come to be regarded as a day of rest and/or partying, and the last true day of summer.


imageJamaican Me Want To Party
Work hard, play hard, right? You will find no one partying harder in Brooklyn on Monday September 5th than the members of the West Indian Day Parade, also known as the Labor Day Carnival Parade. One of New York’s top summer attractions and biggest cultural festivals, the annual event will celebrate its 46th anniversary this year – drawing close to two million people to Crown Heights! Join the crowd waving flags from Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados, Grenada, Haiti and other Caribbean and immerse yourself in rich Caribbean culture and heritage. The march starts at 11am and is a joyful expression of cultural pride. During the seven-hour carnival, steel-pan, calypso and reggae bands wearing elaborate costumes march down Eastern Parkway. Vendors sell home-style island grub along the route, with favorites like jerk chicken, Bajan fried flying fish, rice and beans, and johnnycakes. Admission to the carnival is free.
Eastern Parkway, Crown Heights.


Hair For a Good Timebeard
Did you start Movember six years ago and forget to stop? Think facial hair holds sexy secrets and not just leftover food? Here’s one for you… Coney Island’s 9th Annual Beard and Moustache Competition at Sideshows by the Seashore on Saturday September 3rd. Over the past eight years, hundreds of bearded men (and women!) have competed to take home the much-coveted Beard & Moustache Fez trophy. You will see the strangest and most extravagant beards and moustaches outside of Williamsburg, with the New York’s hairiest contestants competing in categories such as Best in Show, Worst in Show, Best Styled Moustache and Best Chops. The event is $20 for both participants and spectators. Doors open at 6pm and the main event kicks off at 8pm.
1208 Surf Avenue, Coney Island.


12417992_1077709758927003_6880316649301149185_nPoets and They Know it
If you partied a little too hard over summer and are ready to take it down a notch, check out this Brooklyn Heights event on Saturday September 3rd – Brownstone Poets. This group has been inspiring Brooklyn since 2005, encouraging poetry, fostering creativity and celebrating great talent. Brooklyn-born poet/collagist, Steve Dalanchinksy – winner of several awards and prizes – will present his work, along with Mike Jurkovic, whose poems and music criticisms are forthcoming globally and feature in various print media. Also performing will be poet and visual artist Yuko Otomo, who pens haiku, art criticisms and essays, and contributes regularly to a collective critical writing forum. The event starts at 2:30pm at Park Plaza Restaurant. Entry is a $5 donation, plus the cost of food and drink available on the night. Don’t be shy, there’s an open mic!
220 Cadman Plaza West near Clark St and Pineapple Walk, Brooklyn Heights.


Tempting TintypeCapture
If Labor Day is the worker’s holiday, there’s no better time to recognized skilled and hard-working individuals such as Julie Orlick. Julie will present her solo exhibition, Tintype Photography & Film, on Saturday September 5th between 7pm to 10pm at The Living Gallery in Bushwick. The evening of analogue experiences will feature up to twenty one of a kind wet plate collodion tintypes and five 16mm short films by Julie Orlick, a director, analogue/alternative photographer and 16mm surrealist filmmaker currently working and living in Brooklyn. The tintype work was hand processed, developed and shot in Brooklyn, featuring visual artists and “creative weirdos” that inhabit New York city’s art scene. The exclusive work featured in this show has not been released elsewhere and the selected films explore floral landscapes, in-camera edits, double exposures, the surreal experience, lust for love, confusion and wonder. $5 suggested entry.
1094 Broadway, Bushwick.

Summer Screensations

Lining up for movie tickets and popcorn then sitting in a super chilly movie theater this Summer? You’re doing it wrong! It is the season to get outside and this year’s outdoor film screenings are already in full swing. Grab a blanket and some buddies, and watch a film under the stars in Brooklyn at the following locations.


industry cityScreen it from the Rooftops
Bars, BBQs, restaurants, parties, tanning, watching movies… There are just some things that were made for rooftops! This outdoor summer series is now in its 10th year and has expanded to four (mostly rooftop) locations across Brooklyn on various nights throughout June, July and August. Rooftop Films brings the underground outdoors, and has grown to become known internationally as one of the most dynamic film festivals in the world. In Sunset Park, with Brooklyn’s waterfront as the backdrop, films will be screened from two of Industry City’s amazing rooftops. Enjoy breathtaking views of lower Manhattan’s skyscape, the Statue of Liberty and South Brooklyn while watching a mix of documentaries, short films and animations including Sundance Short Films and documentaries about New York, including Goodnight Brooklyn: The Story of Death by Audio. There is a live music performance at every screening and many host dance parties after the film.
Industry City, 220 36th St, Sunset Park. $15.
Bushwick Generator, 195 Moore St, Bushwick. $15.
MetroTech Commons, 5 MetroTech Center, Downtown. Free.
The Old American Can Factory, 232 Third St at 3rd Ave, Gowanus. $15.


Williamsburg Watchingswburg
There’s seeing it on the big screen, then seeing it on the BIG outdoor Brooklyn screen. The borough’s longest running film and music series launched in 2006 with a screening of Do The Right Thing and 11 years later, SummerScreen is still going strong. At McCarren Park in Williamsburg every Wednesday from July 6 to August 10, spectators will be treated to cult classics like 10 Things I Hate About You and The Royal Tenebaums in the open-air, and best of all, it’s free! Bring chairs, blankets and pack a picnic, or take advantage of food and drinks from local vendors. Every show features live music, which kicks off at 6pm, followed by the movie at 8:30pm. McCarren Park, North 12th St, Williamsburg. Free.

movies with viewA View from the Bridge
On a warm summer night, spread your blanket on the luscious grass of Harbor View Lawn in Brooklyn Bridge Park, take in the spectacular sight of the Manhattan skyline and enjoy the breeze off the East River. You’re at Movies With A View. Since 2000, Movies With A View has earned a large and loyal following. One of New York City’s favorite summer film series, the line-up of films promises to wow, entertain, thrill and pull at the heartstrings of movie goers. The screenings take place every Thursday evening in July and August and include classics such as Purple Rain and American Graffiti. For the final screening of the series, the public can vote between The SandlotMilk or La Bamba. The eight-week series expects to draw an average of 7,000 film fans at each screening. The lawn opens at 6pm, with the film beginning at sunset.
Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1, 334 Furman Street, Dumbo. Free.

Habana Good TimeHabana-Outpost

Mexican food and movies have to be two of our favorite things. Habana Outpost read our minds and combined the two. The Fort Greene restaurant projects movies on their outside wall every Sunday from May through to the end of October. Enjoy their award-winning Cuban sandwich, indulge in their bold-tasting Mexican-style corn, and order all the tacos and burritos your heart desires, because the movie is free! Films screen at 8pm and this year’s roster includes West Side StoryFlashdanceRocky,Saturday Night FeverGhostbusters and, for Halloween, of course, The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
757 Fulton St, Fort Greene. Free.

Other venues worth checking out include:
Movie Nights at Narrows Botanical Gardens in Bay Ridge
Midweek Movie Escapes in Downtown Brooklyn
Flicks on the Beach in Coney Island
Red Hook Flicks in Red Hook
Bric Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival at Prospect Park
NYC Parks Classic Film Series at various Brooklyn locations

Cream of the Co-Ops

Do you want to know where your fruits and vegetables come from and how they’re grown? Be involved in a dynamic organization? Make new friends? Save some green on your greens? Then it’s time to check out food cooperatives, aka food distribution outlets operated by consumers. In Brooklyn, there are a number of co-ops that provide healthy food, promote economic and cultural diversity, and strengthen community bonds.


flFair Flatbush Fare
If only food was always this fresh, fair and fun! The Flatbush Food Co-op is committed to selling wholesome, organic goods, produced in fair and ethical working environments, with a focus on local foods, vegan and gluten-free products. Anyone can shop here, or join, with member-ownership $200 and no work requirement. Member-owners are involved in democratic participation and have access to monthly specials, discounted events, classes and more. The work environment strives to involve and empower employees and create a positive, respectful shopping environment, staffed with helpful and knowledgeable community members.
1415 Cortelyou Road. Monday to Sunday, 6am-midnight.

Sweet Slope Sustenancew
Members only! The Park Slope Food Coop may be a little more exclusive than others, but with over 16,500 members and 15,000+ carefully selected products, we think you’ll want to get involved! Membership is open to all, with a joining fee of $25, and members work once every four weeks in exchange for a 20-40% savings on groceries. The co-op was founded in 1973 by a group of committed neighbors who wanted to make healthy, affordable food available to everyone who wanted it. Working members receive good food at low prices, and have a say in the decision-making process and planning of the organization’s future.
782 Union Street. Monday to Friday, 8am-10pm. Saturday, 6am-10pm. Sunday, 6am-7:30pm.


bPick Bushwick
New kids on the block, the Bushwick Food Coop has been serving the community locally sourced and organic foods since 2012. Everyone in the community is welcome to shop at the member-owned coop grocery store, but members get the best deal – a 24% mark-up on wholesale pricing, versus 75% for non-members. Members pay a $50 membership fee and contribute four monthly hours. The co-op is democratically operated, and socially and environmentally responsible, striving to work with farms and businesses that are local, sustainable, fair-trade, organic and ethical. Grocery shopping never felt so good!
2 Porter Ave (The Loom). Monday to Sunday, 10am–8pm.

Greenest Grocerg
You will struggle to find a group of more dedicated members! The Greene Hill Co-Op in Clinton Hill is 100% member-owned-and-operated, only one of three such food co-ops in the ENTIRE country. This work model claims to keep prices low and food quality high. The co-op provides affordable, locally grown, organic food to members throughout the Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights and Prospect Heights neighborhoods. The 1,300 member-owners invest $175 and contribute at least two and a half hours of work every four weeks. Sign up tomorrow at the Co-op’s open house and save $25 when you register!
18 Putnam Avenue. Monday, Wednesday & Friday, 3pm-9pm. Saturday & Sunday, 10am-6pm.

Second-Hand, First Choice!

We’re all about reusing, reclaiming and recycling and could get lost for hours in Brooklyn’s many amazing vintage stores. Here are a few of our faves!


bk reclamationThe Reclamation Location
Fourth generation Brooklyn brothers Ed and Rob founded Brooklyn Reclamation in Williamsburg after realizing the stuff their father used to collect wasn’t just junk after all! The store is full of reclaimed, neoclassical, primitive and industrial furnishings – everything from sleek, mid-century desk chairs to vintage model sailboats and old commercial signs. Happy hunting!
676 Driggs Avenue, Williamsburg. Monday-Sunday, 11am-7pm.


A Beckoning Beaconbeacons-closet-bushwick
The high-cost of living means it makes a lot of cents to buy second-hand! A Brooklyn-based, female-founded company, Beacon’s Closet embraces sustainability and ethical business practices. They have a vast vintage offering including upscale designer pieces, as well as modern fashion at bargain prices. Stock is based on people who bring in their used clothing to sell, which may or may not look something like this.
74 Guernsey St, Greenpoint. Monday-Sunday, 11am-8pm.
92 5th Ave, Park Slope. Monday-Sunday, 11am-8pm.
23 Bogart St, Bushwick. Monday-Sunday, 11am-8pm.


antoinetteAntique Boutique
We love scavenging for special one-in-a-million pieces that no one else will have. At Antoinette, you will find an eclectic blend of worn-in vintage perfection and modern items. Operating since May 2011 in South Williamsburg, owner Lexi Oliveri named the store after her mother. She incorporated pieces from her mother’s and other family members’ closets, and aims to make pieces affordable to those who have shopped vintage long before it was trendy to do so.
119 Grand Street, Williamsburg. Tuesday-Saturday, 12pm-7pm; Sunday, 12pm–6pm.


Stellar SellerStella-Dallas-Visit-17

A finely sourced emporium of well-organized and conveniently color-coded vintage wares, 10ft Single by Stella Dallas is a true star. Located in sprawling warehouse, you’ll find one of Brooklyn’s most extensive collections of ‘70s and ‘80s fashion, including vintage rock n roll tees and red-lined Levi’s. Next door, Stella Dallas Living aka textile heaven, has a superb selection of homewares and antiques including wool blankets, fabrics and antique Indian rugs.
281 and 285 North 6th St, Williamsburg. Monday-Friday, 12:30pm-7pm; Saturday and Sunday, 12:30pm–8pm.

And the Emmy Goes to … Booklyn

It’s easy to think of Manhattan as the solo borough when it comes to Hollywood fame. Don’t let yellow cabs and skyscrapers fool you. As we head into Emmy Awards season, we take a look at the TV shows that wear the Brooklyn badge with pride.

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Mozart in Bushwick

Fittingly hipster and counter-culture, Amazon Prime’s Mozart in the Jungle has roared onto Bushwick Avenue, between Montrose Avenue and Meanwhile Street. Just don’t make any comparisons to HBO’s Bushwick baby, Girls.

Commended for its darker deeper explorations into the twentysomethings’ world with a great breadth of older characters too, The New Yorker has commented, “There’s a silly montage of various musicians and their sexual styles; hot maestros are besieged by crowds of autograph hounds. Yet the silliness can be infectious.”

The show follows Hailey (Lola Kirke) as she hones in on her soul goal: to play oboe with the New York Symphony. Her love interest, Alex, studies ballet at Julliard and is played by Peter Vack – a huge fan of Brooklyn. He tells Interview magazine, “I live in Bushwick, my parents live in Williamsburg, and my sister lives in Crown Heights.”

Bushwick may be a no-brainer choice in the minds of many as since the early 2000s, it has gained a reputation as a neighborhood of artists, galleries and studies. A thriving dining scene has also paved the way for everything from family run taco shops to new boutique cafes. Roberta’s pizza has become a destination restaurant, and other popular spots include Bunna Cafe for Ethiopian food, Tchoup Shop for Cajun and creole, Momo Sushi Shack, and Arepera Guacuco Restaurant.

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Sherlock secrets in Brooklyn Heights

Elementary is a TV hit that stars Lucy Liu and Johnny Lee Miller as a modern take on the cases of Sherlock Holmes with the detective now living in New York City. The cine-magicians have audiences believing the home of Holmes is in Brooklyn Heights, however the exteriors are shot in Harlem with the interiors filmed in a studio in Long Island City.

Creator Rob Doherty tells the New York Post, “If you’re going to transplant Sherlock Holmes to an American city it has to be New York,” Doherty says. “There’s a texture to the place that’s reminiscent of London and both have Victorian elements.”

In the 21st century Holmes (Miller) is a recovering drug addict and former consultant to Scotland Yard, as he assists the New York City Police Department in solving crimes. He is accompanied by Dr. Joan Watson (Liu), who initially acts as his sober companion. She is a former surgeon and was hired by Sherlock’s father to help him in his rehabilitation. They eventually begin to work together on his cases, and she becomes Holmes’ apprentice.

Brooklyn Heights is one of the borough’s oldest neighborhoods whose Hollywood glamor dates back to The Cosby Show and Moonstruck. A true ageless beauty, Brooklyn Heights’ blocks of rowhouses, brownstones, former carriage houses and mansions make it a photogenic hot spot. The architectural variety includes 19th century Federal style, Greek Revival and Gothic Revival, and Italianate brownstones. It’s no surprise Brooklyn Heights was the first neighborhood included in New York’s Landmark Preservation Law. The Brooklyn Heights promenade offers breathtaking views of Manhattan, the Brooklyn Bridge and the harbor.

Stay tuned for more…

Choose Your Flavorhood

The young and young-at-heart alike get eggstatic over Easter chocolates, but did you know there’s a huge variety made right here in Brooklyn? In this post, we’re merging your chocolate crave with some neighborhood faves to look at the areas these local chocolatiers call home, sweet home.

Red Hooked on Bean-to-Bar chocolate

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Made in Red Hook, Raaka is inspired by the flavors of unroasted cocoa beans. Raaka’s scent-imental beginnings were based on Founder, Ryan Cheney’s love for companies with a social mission and fascination for low-temperature chocolate making to create a more equitable global society.
The Raaka team also includes Nate Hodge – a musician and gastronomist who aptly personifies Red Hook’s shedding of its rough roots image to a new demographic of young artistic innovators. Under Nate’s influence, Raaka oozes a lust for exotic flavors and ground-breaking processes.
These days artistic and entrepreneurial types tend to congregate in this industrial and isolated maritime neighborhood. A noticeably absent entertainment scene and lack of direct subway line make Red Hook a quieter Brooklyn waterfront enclave that could be worthy of a long-term investment with the median sale price at $227,889.

Raw with BK Pride

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Bushwick is bustling with newness and the startup shine can be seen in the dive bars, bodegas and gallery spaces reinventing the area’s iconic loft buildings. But as Fine and Raw demonstrates – Bushwick can be like a vintage leather coat which despite its trendy surface, still has the murmur of a substantive and rich heartbeat. Their hot chocolate ($4 standard, $5 large) is prepared using 72% organic Madagascar chocolate and served unsweetened. If you want the full blast of fruit and berry flavors found in dark Madagascar chocolate, go for it unadulterated. It’s thick, but not sludge-like.
Their loft space includes a glass-enclosed chocolate factory in the back, so you can watch the choreography of how the chocolate is made as the aromas dance around your nose.
The median home value in Bushwick also tastes sweet at $638,800 despite a 7.1% increase in the last year. Now may be the time to invest as it’s set to rise by 7.4% in the next year. Rental median is $2,400.

A Mast-see in Williamsburg

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There’s no shortage of bikes, brunch and beards in Williamsburg as the neighborhood continues to stay true to its hipster label. So it’s no surprise foodie brothers Rick and Michael Mast started Mast Brothers chocolate right in the heart of the artsy and lofty neighborhood.
Just like Williamsburg’s street murals, Mast Brothers has been eye-catching and cutting edge for years. Since its founding in 2007, the brothers have turned the simple concept of chocolate into an obsession. Their chocolate is made exclusively from cocoa pods imported from the Dominican Republic plus cane sugar. That’s it. The secret is in the technique. It’s quite impressive when you consider the long ingredients lists on other bars: lecithin, milk solids, palm oil.
Williamsburg property costs $1,161 per square foot which is higher than the New York City average of $585. The median price of homes sold is $648,750. Median rent price is $2,900 while the median across New York City is $2,425. The hipster price tag does come at a cost, but as an investment – its high returns are not going anywhere anytime soon!