an urban lifestyle + travel blog by liz norment.

The Weekend Guide | 21-24 September 2017

in CULTURE, weekend guide

all of the best things to do in the borough, curated and delivered weekly. a list of adventures for the brave at heart. get in here, i’ve made plans for you.



mynabirds at sunnyvale
Mynabirds and Luke Rathborne at Sunnyvale in Williamsburg.
wtf, brooklyn. i leave for one goddamn weekend and here you have one of the bands that have been happily occupying my ears recently play for $12 right here in the bk??? well if i can’t enjoy the mynabirds at sunnyvale, then of course, i want all of you to. do yourself a favor and go, see them take the stage with luke rathborne in the wonderfully intimate environment of sunnyvale. tickets and info here,1031 grand st. because hey brooklyn, what’s yours is mynabirds.
safeword burlesque
Safeword Burlesque at C’mon Everybody in Bushwick.
what’s your safeword? no man i’m serious, i want to know. just in case… you know. push comes to shove… as they say in the BDSM biz. watch this amazing snl skit and then come up with your own before attending safeword, a night of erotica, bdsm, sex demonstrations, kinky as fuck gogo dancers, and a fuck ton more. tickets, $15-25, available here. 9-1025pm, 325 franklin ave at c’mon everybody, because if you’re going to come, you might as well… ok, don’t make me finish that.


daya yoga studio 108 sun salutations
108 Sun Salutations for the Fall Equinox at Daya Yoga Studio in Bushwick.
i’m always so torn about events like this. yes of course we should be celebrating and welcoming the season change. of course. i just find it terribly hard to appreciate when you know that the monster of winter is riding oh-so-hot on her heels. so yes, let’s welcome the fall equinox in the tradition of 108 sun salutations. yep. yeah, that’s right. 108 of those puppies. without which it will not come, which of course means that winter will not come… so what i’m saying is, don’t go. don’t go to this. $17, 7-815pm 360 jefferson st.
index bk pop up at the diamond greenpoint
International Pop-Up Dinner with Index Brooklyn at the Diamond, Greenpoint. 
there are very few things better than eating nachos and drinking beers. but what if those nachos were reimagined with an indian flair, smothered and covered wtih all of the magical flavours of mumbai and they were paired with unique microbrews and you were enjoying them in the backyard of greenpoint’s favorite little beer bar? well, you’ve got yourself a thursday night event that’s pure magic. the diamond welcomes Index Brooklyn and their indian nachos and dumplings to international pop-up dinner night tonight. it’s all happening be grilling out from 6pm- they run out. feast your eyes first here and swallow all of your excuses and come early and hungry and then #meetmeinthegondola where we will share dumplings and secrets. 43 franklin st. #dumplingsandsecrets


horror trivia night
so this could easily be a meetup for the paranormal society, or bar night for egg enthusiasts, or happy and bald in brooklyn beer drinkers society, or those who appreciate the challenge of misshaped pool balls, or… well, why don’t you come up with some?
Horror Trivia Night with the Brooklyn Paranormal Society at Teddy’s in Williamsburg.
come get your spook on baby, get your freak on, and also your nerd on at horror trivia night with the brooklyn paranormal society tonight, at teddy’s! surprised that there’s a brooklyn paranormal society? come on man, no you’re not. come impress everyone with your spooky knowledge, get some pyschic and tarot readings done here at the change of the seasons, enjoy some special spooky cocktails and get creeped out. all info here, 7-9pm, 96 berry st. the good news is if you get too scared, just grab your teddy’s. (meh ok not one of my best…)



bushwick open studios

Bushwick Open Studios, allover Bushwick.
this is the shit we live for and love for here in brooklyn. so many artist making and creating in this town, and this weekend, they open the doors to their studios and creative spaces to let you come in and be inspired and reminded of just how lucky we are to live in this town. happening all weekend. hundreds of studios so get started tonight on opening night. info, maps, and artist profiles all right here. get at it.
Union-Pool_manhattan inn reunion
Manhattan Inn Reunion Spectacular at Union Pool in Williamsburg.
remember when we used to have 4 dope small-scale music venues here in north brooklyn and then vice came along and ate up a few of them and the others are sitting, empty and waiting for developmentent group to clean them up and dress them up and reopen the door as something depressing, like a baby gap. while we wait for what we’ll hate, let’s celebrate our memory of beloved greenpoint bar and venue Manhattan Inn at the Manhattan Inn reunion Spectacular, at Union Pool. featuring pavo pavo, katie von schleicher, star rover, adam schatz (hehehehe), so many other manhattan inn mainstays annnnnd a special guest that i will not be giving you about (because i don’t know) but i bet it’s someone pretty damn special. tickets, $12 available here. 7pm. 484 union ave.



almodovar dystopia

Almodovar Dystopia at Dixon Place, in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
i’m kind of always wishing to slip right into a scene from pedro almodovar’s head, where absurdity replaces normality and sex is acceptedly promiscuous and penelope cruz is likely there in a state of impassioned anger. renowned downtown dance artist Antonio Ramos and his outrageous company The Gangbangers is making it happen for 6 performances only, starting this friday. they’ll interpret almodovar’s flamboyant film style in a performance tribute that combines dance, art, film, movement, and a gourmet surprise, all with a message that is part a humorous celebration of the LGBT culture, and part a bold political statement against the body-negative and repressed nature of the world we live in. #revelwithacause and combat the absurdity of so much negativity this community has been experiencing in the most absurd way possible. this is clearly your best #reasontocrosstheriverthisweekend. tickets and info here. 730-830pm, 161A Chrystie St. at dixon place… where no one will be asking where richard is.™



new women space anniversary party

New Women Space One Year Anniversary, Bushwick.
remember how good it felt to march together on washington? rememer how empowered we felt to hold hands and cry out and how we vowed to never let that feeling go and to get involved and ban together and make a change? well, let’s. the new women space has been doing just that, providing the fuel and the fire and the space for women and femme, queer, trans and gender nonconforming people living in New York City. Show your support by coming by for performances, food and drink, interactive workshops and retrospective celebration. $10-15, noon-11pm. all info here,188 woodpoint rd.


greenpoint beer and ale oktoberfestOktoberfest Kickoff at Greenpoint Beer in Greenpoint.

we are so lucky to have so many amazing breweries and beer bars in this town, and hence, plenty of opportunities to celebrate oktoberfest without crossing the pond. come to the kickoff this saturday at greenpoint ale for a mug-holding competition, complimentary beer if you come in costume, plenty of german delicacies to make sure you don’t get too tipsy while drinking down specialty kegs and imports from deutschland. 7 north 15th st. 

cancer can't kill love benefit concert

Cancer Can’t Kill Love Benefit Concert at Leif Bar in Bay Ridge.

come #revelwithacause at this all-day benefit concert, all proceeds going to cancer research. this 5th annual show is thrown by a group of 20-somethings who have all been affected by the disease, as i would argue, we all have. come. spend your money and your time on something that matters, plus enjoy some amazing bands and drink specials. tickets and info here6725 fifth ave.



taco takeover at the well

Taco Takeover at The Well in Bushwick.

tacos. tequila. margaritas. cerveza mexicana. nacho eating contest. live music. and maybe a chance to bob for churros? yeah. it’s all of the magic you’ve always wanted happening this saturday at the well. go fold yourself in the warm and corny embrace of a tortilla while you dance to a live mariachi band with all of your best friends. tickets and info here. it’s happening at the well, 272 meserole. be like timmy, fall in the well™



5 boro pizza challenge

5 Boro Pizza Challenge, in all five boroughs.

ok, ok. i admittedly get super annoyed with the desire of this city to fuse together so many events into one to make them more appealing or instagram-worthy or whatever. stefon knows what i’m talking about. but, this sounds kinda fun. it’s a multi-borough relay race for pizza. be the first to eat a slice in all 5 boroughs without using a car and you win… i don’t know what you win, but it will sure as fuck be my respect. and a full belly. and i’ll tell you what, i’ll buy you a beer. this is a fundraiser for Transportation Alternatives, so all us bikers (and pedestrians, and straphangers) can feel good about indulging. info here. go get ’em.


sex expo brooklyn

Sex Expo at the Expo Center in Greenpoint.

go expose yourself at the expocenter in greenpoint. or, at least your sex life. the sexpo descends upon that rather unfortunate eye sore of a building to seduce, intrigue, and enhance your sex life. demonstrations, discussions, and advice from some of the leading thinkers, inventors, and fuckers in the biz. yeah. in other words if you wake up saturday morning depressed to know that he wasn’t as good as you’d hoped, grab a quick brunch at le gamin and then “accidentally” stumble upon the sexpo then go home and make things better. all info here72 noble st.



roof to plate pizza archestratus

Roof to Table Pizza at with Eagle Street Farm at Archestratus in Greenpoint. 

farm to table feels often like something that is forced down your throat. this is farm to table, they say and slap on an extra $15 charge to it all. what farm? and where? and i guaran-damn-tee that it touched something else in between that farm and this table… well sunday you willfully shove it all down your throat at roof to plate pizza at archestratus, featuring ingredients from eagle st rooftop. build your own pizza. they are all personal and made to order $15. beer and wine for purchase. pick up a copy of Annie Novak’s (from eagle st rooftop farm) book while you’re there and learn to start your own. pizza from 4-6pm. all info here160 huron st. 

el born greenpoint

El Born in Greenpoint.

head to el born in greenpoint tonight for live flamenco guitar and some of the best, authentic, catalan-style tapas and paella this side of the atlantic. why? becaue you miss me and you want to kind of pretend you’re in spain with me right now. it’s ok. just go, disfruta. 651 manhattan ave.


i’ll be back soon, brooklyn. stay tuned.


travel talisman

Why Is That Elephant Always There? | The Tale of the Talisman

traveling solo has endless benefits, but when it comes to packing, it becomes way more intense when you can’t rely on borrowing your friend’s toothpaste/toothbrush/undies/entire wardrobe. while i rely on extensive packing lists and reliable essentials, i never leave without my talisman. you know, my talisman. oh you know, those charming little soul keepers that keep you safe and seeking. you do know, don’t you? ah well, keep reading friend. and never, ever leave home without it again.
inevitably, the reason why we travel is to collect experiences, ephemera, … and to leave pieces o our souls upon cobblestone sidewalks and in the warm air surrounding a sunset and in the smeared imperceptibly into the rims of wine glasses. and while a talisman helps to bridge that gap between what is kept and what is left. the keeper of secrets and pieces of our souls, an object that witholds the subtle power of where we’ve been and where we’re going, and with this power, relentlessly fights against evil spirits that may cross our paths, no matter where those paths lead us.
they are objects, yes, and more often than not some non-kitschy souvenir or significant piece of ephemera collected from our travels. a talisman’s power is said to increase with intention. they are often not chosen by us but chosen for us, given to us, or sometimes they choose us. that undeniably spiritual connection is felt as soon as such a tiny little soul keeper is spotted, in a hidden shop in morocco or at a festive holiday stand in venice or sitting beside your sunday sangria in a plaza in madrid. the ones that i’ve held close inevitably have a story behind them, and stories ahead of them. and a raconteur i will always be, i’ve jotted these tales below for you to discover and uncover and reveal, at just the right time, what your talisman will be.
travel talisman
the first was an old coin from morocco, that i kept around my neck as a reminder of the palpable magic and mystery of the country and the week i spent in it. an old coin that i strung around my neck just outside of a tricky little oddities shop in a coastal town along the west coast of the country. it kept me safe, arguably, from a blinding sandstorm while surfing in the eastern side of the atlantic, from the aggressively audible whispers heard among a passerby in the souk, telling me “i could kidnap you right now and one one would know”, from a winding and endless cab ride in what turned out to be an illegal taxi that got pulled over and offered its american passengers to the cops as payment without hesitation, and from a drug deal in the streets of taghazout that went very very very badly. when i left africa, unharmed and enlightened, the coin stayed on me, continuing to ward off evil spirits and keep me safe and searching. when i returned back from the US, it helped keep my wandering spirit alive and alit when it felt dulled, lost, and stagnant. my first talisman.

the next, this charming little italian man that i picked up in the christmas markets in venice. traveling during the holidays always pangs me with a bit of homesickness, and something about this cheery, charming little yarn man reminded me both of the tiny little bear stuffed animals i preferred as a child, and brought me back to receiving gifts on christmas, and also added a little bit of playfulness to my photography. he was my muse.

travel talisman

he came with me on another solo trip through the south of spain, and somehow snuck away from me at a 100-bed 8-floor hostel in sevilla. ok, so maybe i had something to do with it in my rather drunken state… however, i realized he was missing as i hastily packed, threatening to miss my train to granada. pepito!!! i exclaimed. i blurrily remembered having him last in the common area. i ran in and rummaged through the couches, looked under every table when someone asked me what i was looking for. “um, it’s a little italian yarn man. you know… a gondola man? who works on a gondola? …presuming his is also made of yarn??” i didn’t know what i was saying and time was running out. “oh yeah! yeah! he has a hat?” the guy asked me. this, to me, was a dumb question. “he was on the table last night and a girl was playing with him. a girl with brown hair.”  he informed me.
“ah! does she still have him? where is she?”
“yeah she does. um, i think she’s staying on the 4th floor. or maybe the 6th? it’s one of those her name might be elena but i’m not sure.”
holy shit. it was 8am on a sunday at a youth hostel and i had 7 minutes to leave and this is what i had to work with. i sprinted up the stairs. i knocked on every door on the 4th and 6th floors. if someone answered, i gave them my disjointed story. “hi. i’m looking for a girl with brown hair named elena maybe, and she might have this little yarn man that means a lot to me? a little gondola man? answers to “pepito”? currently boatless and probably a little frightened?”
nope. other than a bunch of groggy and crazy looks, i got nothing.
finally as i closed the last door on the 6th floor and began descending down, it opened again. “hi, is this what you’re looking for?” a sleepy-eyed brunette in her hostel-version of pajamas held pepito in her hands. “YES! yes! thank you thank you! you found him!” i ran back up the stairs. “i wanted to keep him…” she said. i had no time for this. “he means a lot to me. you can get one, in venice.” with that i snatched him and ran to grab my pack, a cab, and ultimately a train to granada with my talisman and travel buddy kept close this time.

what is a talisman

while pepito occupies a very important spot on my shelf and in my heart, my talisman since 2010 has been a tiny little elephant figurine procured from a street seller in madrid. it was a hungover sunday and i was sharing sangria and stories from the night before with my best friends. a peddler approached us and began his spiel and before we could all answer in a prepared and collective “no, gracias” he had placed an adorable little elephant in front of each of us. “we will each have one,” i said, and no one fought back. 4 euros later, we each had a bit of that city, that experience, and the souls we connected with during that year that would transcend boundaries of time and distance.
what is a talisman
hence, “phanty” is perhaps one of the most well-traveled elephants to ever exist. with thousands of kilometers, all under his thick patterned skin, he now will set off with me to the motherland, our home country together, on another trip. where the solo portion will be highlighted by this little reminder of so many wonderful people, places, and experiences, continuing to ward off evil spirits and to keep mine strong and searching.
tell me about your talisman. share with me a story about the keeper of your wandering soul.
i’m listening.
brooklyn i'm trying weekend guide

The Weekend Guide | 14-17 September 2017

in CULTURE, weekend guide

ah, brooklyn. looks what’s coming your way. it’s the weekend guide, curated events for the brave at heart. this weekend promises to celebrate these last few summer-feeling days in style… featuring a backyard indonesian barbecue, a man who wants to iron all your clothes while you drink beers, a multi-borough and multi-slice pizza race on foot, a trip inside the most naked and vulnerable parts of pedro almodovar’s mind, a workshop for microgreens that will get you quite high without smoking a bit, and so many food festivals, i hope you stopped eating last tuesday. how is this possible? because we live in the best fucking city in the world and time is relative and we’ll all be young and wild and free forever. just trust me, ok?

and read on.



endless sunrice pop up dinner at the diamond greenpoint

International Pop-Up Dinner with Endless Sunrice at the Diamond, Greenpoint. 
hold on to summer thursday night in the backyard at the diamond in greenpoint where endless sunrise will bring all of the magic, warmth, and tropical flavors of indonesia through your mouth and into your soul. these fresh flavors will pair perfectly with that fresh mouth of yours and all of the fresh menu of rare beers that are constantly rotating in and out of this wondrous little beer bar.  endless sunrice will be grilling out from 6pm- they run out. feast your eyes first here and swallow all of your excuses and come early and hungry and then #meetmeinthegondola where we will share rices and secrets. 43 franklin st. #ricesandsecrets


Blanc Noir- city reliquaryBlanc et Noir, a Flavorful Evening of French Film, Wine, and Pizza at City Reliquary, Williamsburg.

what would we do without the influence of the french in our lives? we’d be kissing without tongues, eating baked potatoes with our burgers, pouring maple syrup on regular dry toast, not uttering “oooh, la la!” whenever possible, and waking up with a constant sadness in our hearts that we are somehow lacking fois gras, baguettes with brie, … and serge gainsbourg in our lives. and while they have given us so many ways to enjoy life, let’s all just agree that no one touches new york pizza. no crepe comes close. come to this celebration of french culture and new york pizza on at city reliquary where $20 gets you two back-to-back black-and-white french films plus two slices of two boots pizza with distinctly french-inspired toppings and paired with french wines. bichon frises will be there to sit in your lap for a small fee. tickets and info here. 7-10pm 370 metropolitan ave.



jeremy hook iron man brooklyn

Pop-Up Ironing at Brooklyn Safe House in Greenpoint. 

summertime have you romping around in the sand, grass, gravel, and in the back of that gondola at the diamond with a slew of lovers? get the wrinkles out and start this season with a fresh slate and starched (duds) by heading to brooklyn safe house on thursday where resident wrinkle defeater and ironing enthusiast jeremy cook will be ironing your clothes without judgement. come, have beers. play pool. work them creases out. no link/info available, ya just gotta trust me, 120 franklin st.




almodovar dystopiaAlmodovar Dystopia at Dixon Place, in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

i’m kind of always wishing to slip right into a scene from pedro almodovar’s head, where absurdity replaces normality and sex is acceptedly promiscuous and penelope cruz is likely there in a state of impassioned anger. renowned downtown dance artist Antonio Ramos and his outrageous company The Gangbangers is making it happen for 6 performances only, starting this friday. they’ll interpret almodovar’s flamboyant film style in a performance tribute that combines dance, art, film, movement, and a gourmet surprise, all with a message that is part a humorous celebration of the LGBT culture, and part a bold political statement against the body-negative and repressed nature of the world we live in. #revelwithacause and combat the absurdity of so much negativity this community has been experiencing in the most absurd way possible. this is clearly your best #reasontocrosstheriverthisweekend. tickets and info here. 730-830pm, 161A Chrystie St. at dixon place… where no one will be asking where richard is.™


Kweendom LGBTQ Comedy Show and Sausagefest at Pete’s Candy Store in Williamsburg.
it’s a back-to-school comedic special featuring 6 queer comedians at pete’s, with cocktail specials and a little backyard cookout with sausages from Brooklyn Bangers after. come and support this community and bring light to some of the more heavy criticisms our LGBT youth experience by bringing a little extra cash to donate to help make schools safer for these students. and have some laughs and sausages and cocktails while you do it. #revelwithacause baby. all info here, 6-10pm. 709 lorimer st.
Oktoberfest Kick-Off at Threes Brewing in Gowanus. 
we can all agree that those lederhosen you wore on halloween that year were a bad idea. they were, they were fucking awful man. let them be a bad idea again this saturday at threes brewing for the kick off of oktoberfest celebration. because bad ideas go down easiest with a stein of brooklyn’s best beer and sausage from the meat hook, singing loudly along with whatever german tourists find their way there to show you how it’s done and all of your best friends there to make fun of you. because you deserve it. (and you should burn dem ‘hosen after saturday, fyi) all info here. 5pm-midnight, 333 douglass st at threes brewing, i’ll try anything thrice™
prose bowl raise a glass
Raise A Glass: A Toast to Everything, at the Richardson in Williamsburg. 
what is it about toasts that feel so profound, so important? these little dedications that we all honorably wait for to partake in our libations are a longstanding tradition. my favorite? (please, put your drink down, have some respect…) “may we arrive in heaven 10 minutes before the devil knows we’re there” ahhh, wasn’t that nice? come hear lots more at Raise A Glass: A Toast to Everything, part of the Prose Bowl. guests are invited to make a short toast to something they want to leave behind in 2017, of which there are quite a few things… read yours aloud or have it enacted by their team of improv stylists. come, raise a glass. info here, 8pm, 451 graham ave.



Microgreens Urban Farming Workshop at Tiny Field Farm in Bed-Stuy.
there aren’t many things in new york that are small. big buildings, big egos, the big apple. let’s break it down a little with tiny field farm on saturday. this charming little rooftop farm will be hosting a microgreens workshop. yep. spruce up your salads, sandwiches, or make any dish look delicate and fancy with these freaky little leaves. learn how to grow within your own space and go home with your own microgreens. all info here630 flushing ave.


habitat closing greenpoint
The Habitat Closing Party, in Greenpoint.
it is so so sad to see wonderful neighborhood establishments close. and unfortunately, i don’t think that habitat is going to pull of that clever little 2-week disappearing act that riverstyx/21 greenpoint pulled 2 years ago. they’re closing their doors forever, and saturday night we need to help, by draining their bottles of booze. so that we can then catch our tears in them and then sell them as the tears of brooklynites resulting from gentrification on amazon. because you know that developers feed off of that shit. those sick fucks. anyway, i’m fine. let’s go commiserate together. all info here. from 2pm until the booze runs out. 988 manhattan ave. the habitat – don’t dwell on it.™


So. Many. Food. Festivals. 
the weather is cooling and that means… well, it means a lot of things. we’ll have to tighten up those strings on our loose summer flings and transition our rompers into jumpsuits and attempt to remove our tacky window ac units without harming anyone below. and in the midst of all of this, we must attend every outdoor food festival before the evil winter takes blows us all indoors. here are your top three options this saturday. (keep reading…)
queens bbq smokedown
Queens BBQ Smokedown in Long Island City, Queens.
come to the queens bbq smokedown this saturday. taste all the best bbq in the city, plus unlimited craft beer tastings. $36 gets you in and well fed and well drank baby. noon-530pm, tickets and info here.
rockaway oyster fest
Rockaway Oyster and Music Festival, at Belle Harbor Yacht Club, Rockaway Beach. 
nothing beast shellfish, music, and beers on the beach. the craic festival returns to the rockaway yacht club with this exclusive event that curiously, you have to be at least 23 to attend. haha. yeah fuck you 21-22 year olds, yall are kind of annoying. $45 gets you three hours of food, drinks, and music, and then we will all strip down and jump in the ocean together and be one with the shellfish. tickets and info here533 Beach 126th st.
The 13th Annual Vendy Awards on Governor’s Island. 
wait wait wait, all of your favorite food trucks in one place without having to track them down on twitter or go to that secret little lot in dumbo? dope. head to governor’s island saturday, rent bikes, drink beer, and hit up every food truck until your heart is content. list of vendors and all other magic here. $60-$1600, somehow. maybe for $1600 you actually can buy your favorite food truck? anyway. noon-530pm.


taste williamsburg greenpoint
Taste Williamsburg + Greenpoint Food Festival, at East River State Park in Williamsburg. 
yeah so these “taste” events can be a bit cheesy but north brooklyn has some of the best restaurants in the city, and all i know is that last year i was ripping mad tequila shots with homer murray and having so many tastes my whole body was dancing with happiness and… well, with happiness and tequila. so go and check it out, explore some of the best new spots our hoods have to offer, as well as old standby’s. list of participants here, 40% off tickets available here exclusively for BiT readers. 1-5pm, 90 kent ave.
get summered party at littlefieldGet Summered: Tropic LIke it’s Hot Dance Party at Parklife in Gowanus. 
didn’t get enough summer? skin still not tan enough? pina colada quota on the low-side of brain freeze? does your body shudder even with the slightest breeze outside?  i feel you man. i’m not ready to let go, and saturday, we don’t have to. it’s the get summered party at parklife in gowanus. get summered djs will be dropping all the dopest tropical/funk/disco beats while we all dance and love and feel alive. it’s totally free, info here. 5-10 pm 636 degraw st.



human ease 7th anniversary party
7th Anniversary Part at Human Ease with DJ Bengey, in Greenpoint.
my mission for sundays is to find the most creative and enjoyable way to chase my hangover into monday… because fuck you monday. my favorite option happening this sunday is the 7th anniversary party of human ease on nassau ave. free caribbean food from @mzyumyumkitchen, free dope beats by BiT darling djbengey, free booze from… well, from places… and, it’s oh-so-conveniently located right next to spritzenhaus. and you fucking know what that means. #martyrobbins all info here. 4-9pm, 31 nassau ave. 
2017 NYC pizza run
New York City Pizza Run, all boroughs.
ok, ok. i admittedly get super annoyed with the desire of this city to fuse together so many events into one to make them more appealing or instagram-worthy or whatever. stefon knows what i’m talking about. but, this sounds kinda fun. it’s a multi-borough relay race for pizza. be the first to eat a slice in all 5 boroughs without using a car and you win… i don’t know what you win, but it will sure as fuck be my respect. and a full belly. and i’ll tell you what, i’ll buy you a beer. info here. go get ’em.



Freshen Up Your Walls for Fall | Brooklyn, I’m Trying.

As the temperature cools, we will inevitably be spending more time indoors. And in New York that often means more time in the tiny little expensive shoe boxes we call home. When you’re paying, on average, $72 per square foot in North Brooklyn, every inch counts.
Enter this new season with a fresh perspective. Your space often reflects and reinvigorates your mental, spiritual, and emotional energy so there’s no time or space to waste.
Let’s take a cue from Congress and start looking at what divides us rather than unites us; interiorly speaking, start with your walls.
Remove the photographs, artwork, and ephemera that was watching over you this summer… mostly because it knows too much and if your walls could talk, you definitely don’t want your new fall fling hearing murmurs of your summer lovers.
My key pieces this season include this bold and eye-catching map art from Modern Map Art. I love the use of positive and negative space, reminding me that so much good energy exists between these lines. The contrasting black and white composition plays well with softer pieces and lends itself to framed mantras and text, plus, inevitably, it kind of helps me with my shamefully non-existent sense of direction. Get one of your own city, or the city that occupies a big piece of your heart, and build upon it using my foolproof steps below.
Step 1: Set an intention for your decor. 
Just as in yoga, the best way to get what you want out of your practice is to be intentional. What are you looking forward to this fall? What are your hopes, goals, desires? No matter how concrete or realistic, have your walls reflect that intention. A gallery wall should be fluid, ever-changing and thought of as more of a vision board. Hoping to spend more time traveling? Gather postcards, maps, and hangable souvenirs from previous trips. Want to focus on your career this season? Frame empowering mantras, focus on solid, bold colors, and reflective surfaces that help place pieces of yourself among them. Mix pieces with different intentions to build the life and space you want this season. Mine features en evil eye from Istanbul to clear out bad spirits; an antler that my cousin collected from the woods in Virginia, where I’m from; a framed postcard from Sitges; a warrior arrow from Dobbin St. Co-Op for strength, a framed mantra from Sapho that reads May I write words more naked than flesh, stronger than bone, more resilient than sinew, sensitive than nerve; and a mirror, to see myself among these aspirational pieces and obviously to watch my back from fucking copycats.
Step 2: Create boundaries.
with a measuring tape, mark lines from the furthest corners and note the distance. this area should fill the space above your work surface comfortably, however “comfortably” feels to you. with these measurements, map it out on your floor. this is your space. sit in it for a minute, if you want to. no one can touch you in here.


Step 3: Arrange objects.
lay out your meticulously chosen items within the space. balance heavy and light, dark colors and whites, flats and frames, but only so no one side weighs too heavy as to clog your very volatile creative process. don’t be overly concerned with spacing, however don’t trap big pockets of blank space inside… or you and your thoughts might get sucked in, forever. (really, i’ve seen it happen)
Step 4: Trace yo space.
when you feel you are marginally satisfied with your arrangement (you will never be completely happy with it, but of course, nothing is permanent), take an overhead photo of it. then, trace each element one by one onto newspaper, marking where the nail will go (this part will save your life, trust me) cut out each shape and tape it onto the wall.
Step back, observe. 


step 5: nail it.
with your hammer, put a nail in each designated mark. hang object in its new and carefully curated home. tear off back paper and step back. and admire.
now sit down and create because you can no longer procrastinate. you have no more excuses. you have work to do.

The Weekend Guide | 7-10 September 2017

in CULTURE, weekend guide

i suppose there is something charming about new york in the fall… it just feels so hard to enjoy when every degree that the temperature drops brings us closer and closer to that monster they call wintertime. we’ve already broken out our leather jackets and traded in our cold brews for cappuccinos and i just want you to know, i’ll miss seeing your knees, baby.

as summertime leaves us, our need to find, seek, and embrace this place becomes even more vital. and you know, that’s why i’m here. because when the skies aren’t this blue and our skin isn’t this tan and our hearts start to harden, we’ll need a reason to get out there and get at it. i’ll be your reason, brooklyn. my love for you is seasonless.

so let’s do this together. starting, now. because your weekend looks oh so good.



TUULIKKI Garden PartySurfs Up, Drinks Up, Tuulikki Garden Party at Midnights in Williamsburg. 
Oh midnights in Brooklyn, I’m so very familiar with you. the temptation you provide to seize the night, the mischief you stir inside my hungry little heart, the way everything before you felt petty and tame but now, well now… things are getting interesting. midnights in brooklyn is just that magic hour and also just the venue we needed to pop up in Williamsburg. huge outdoor space, fantastic food, and dope events, like tonight’s surfs up, drinks up garden party with sustainable surfwear brand Tuulikki. cocktails made by simple vodka with a portion of the proceeds donated to city harvest, plus an outdoor oyster bar, clam bake, live music, and magic. go #revelwithacause to support tuulikki’s mission and feed the hungry here in our city. 7-9pm, info here, 149 north 6th st. TUULIKKI, yo lickey, everybody lickey lickey.™


Live at the Archway presents Espíritu Gitano Ensemble and Live Flamenco, in Dumbo.
there is simply more riveting than watching live flamenco. sure salsa is sexy and mambo is magic and bachata is bold but flamenco is a force of strength, power, emotion, desire, and despair. see it live with the espiritu gitano ensemble (yep, that means gypsy spirit… and you know you love shit like that you little travel bug you.) in the most epic of venues, under the archway of the manhattan bridge in DUMBO. which would make it… DUMBA? right? anyway, it’s free. 6-9pm. info here. just head towards the manhattan bridge. 


full moon party at la luna plaza
Full Moon Celebration at La Plaza Community Garden in Alphabet City.
we all realllllly got on board for that lunar eclipse didn’t we? Posting silly photos in silly glasses, howling at the moon in the middle of the day which we all know travis tritt is the only one allowed to do, and blinding ourselves again and again and again as a meager rebellion against absolutely everyone who told us not to look… well, you know who was not impressed by our antics? the fucking moon. who does cool shit all the time and is really fucking sick of being overshadowed by the earth and the sun and us in our silly glasses. celebrate the moon to the fullest Thursday night at the full moon celebration at la plaza in alphabet city. that’s right, it’s your #reasontocrosstheriverthisweekend because the moon is worth it and so are you. all info here, 9th st and ave c.
dan croll brooklyn bazaar
Dan Croll and The Dig at Brooklyn Bazaar in Greenpoint. 
if you can’t get down to this jam or this jam or this one then you suck. if you can, then you don’t suck and you should meet me and dan croll at his show tonight at brooklyn bazaar. that’s right, your girl has pressed passes (#imPRESSive) (…ok it’s through greenpointers) so come find me and let’s do interviews and pretend like we are part of the best film ever. tickets, $20.
Metropolis Burlesque Show at Anyone Comics in Williamsburg.
have you ever been reading a comic book and thought, man, the only way this could be cooler if the characters jumped off the pages, leaving their cool costumes behind and dancing around all nudey-like for me? ah well nerds, it’s happening tonight at anyone comics it’s metrópolis burlesque, where all your little superhero wet dreams will come true. just please know that if this is the first set of real tits you’ve seen, they are not very accurately represented on those greasy glossy pages. like, at all. anywayall info here1216 union at anyone comics. …anyone?
Brooklyn Cyclones Fan Appreciation Night, with Fireworks! in Coney Island.
hold on to summertime and head out to the Brooklyn cyclones game this Friday. stroll the iconic coney island boardwalk, get hassled by its inhabitants, eat a hot dog and vomit on the roller coaster. then get yourself a big old beer and a nice cold seat and cheer on the home team, heckle the visitors, drink more beer, watch the fireworks. go home and make fireworks. tickets and info here. Brooklyn cyclones, get twisted!™


The Wild Honey Pie Welcome Campers Music Festival, in Massachusetts! so like, leave now. 
never went to band camp? then you’re probably cool. follow the wild honey pie? hm. then you’re probably double cool. think the idea of an adult camp in massachusetts with music curated by the wild honey pie and mischief curated by you and all of the wild wonder of summer camp at your disposal? you’re the coolest. head up to the wild honey pie’s band camp. see all the amazing bands listed above, dance all night, celebrate the last warm weekends being wild and free. transportation provided from Brooklyn. all info here.
bloghaus dance party at schimanski
Blog Haus Dance Party at Schimanski in Williamsburg. 
watch this video and tell me you don’t want to go to schimanskifriday night.
come onnnn, i don’t know why you insist on still lying to me… you know that was dope as fuck. just like their sound. mixing lcdsoundsystem, daft punk, mgmt, ratatat, chromeo, fools gold, and basically everyone you’re always up to get down to. rsvp here for guaranteed $5 admission all night, just tell them you’re on the GBH list or the brooklyn, i’m trying list. then text me and let me know if that last one worked. 54 north 11th st.
The Amazing Acrocats Perform at the Brooklyn Music School in Boerum Hill. 
yep. acrocats. acrobatic cats. i’m not even sure what else to say or how this works because if i know anything about cats, it’s that they’d rather die 9 times than perform for humans. but hey, they are charging $25 for admission to see this event, $40 for VICP (very important cat person) (nope, not kidding) so, something is going to happen. apparently also these cats have been touring the country with this show. it’s like milo and otis except no milo and i guess, musical instruments? oy. if you go to this, report back? also, I know what you’re thinking and yes, of course bear was invited to perform but he’s busy. it’s fucking friday. tickets and very little info here. 126 felix st. (<— that street name feels a little too convenient, doesn’t it? these cats are fucking with us.)
 brooklyn clay tourBrooklyn Clay Tour, all over the borough.
you know what they say… live in California but leave before you get too soft, live in New York but leave before you get too hard. well, you clever fucks, what if you are… clay? well then you just choose the best of the two cities and then you choose a great set of hands and you get a bit loose during your formative years and harden into a work of art. see how such forms have turned out on the Brooklyn clay tour this weekend. visit clay arts and pottery studios and admire the diverse ceramic arts scene growing in our community. learn to wheel throw and get all demi and swayze up in that biz. all info here. The Brooklyn clay tour- stay hard, this is New York.™
havana affair at bushwick community darkroom “Havana Affair” Opening Reception at the Bushwick Community Darkroom. in Bushwick. 
don’t leave behind your lustful summertime desires. have an affair at “havana affair”, an alluring photography show exhibiting the work of photographers keith marlowe and harriet roberts, who spent several weeks shooting in Havana to bring you the realest and rawest scenes of the city. mojito bar starts at 6 and goes until they run out, so be there before that happens. all info here110 troutman st. 



Pig Island Pork Festival, Erie Basin Park, Red Hook.
is this a lord of the flies reference? i’m going to go with yes. and let’s just hope the reference ends there. it’s a festival celebrating pork, and just $85 gets you unlimited pork delicacies from 20+ chefs, plus libations from red hook winery, sixpoint, virtue cidery, both high west and catskill provisions whiskeys, and some specialty mezcals at a special mezcal tent because nothing goes with smokey better than smokey. tickets, here. they also have a VIP option, $1000 for 6 people, which will just make everyone there think you have a small penis. but you will be feasting like fucking kings. ball’s in your court, compadre. saturday 1130-4pm, 1 Beard St.
Antiquarian Book Fair at the Brooklyn Expo Center, Greenpoint.
this isn’t just old books, guys. it’s old books and also ephemera, kept. and art. and peruvian pastries, and cerveza de la tierra and so many other things to be discovered. come. find rare books, gingerly touch their spines, smell their creases… i don’t know what you’re in to, man. but no judgement here. friday, sat, and sun, all info here76 franklin st.
Get Yourself a Tree fo‘ Free at the Brooklyn Public Library in Greenpoint!
the only way a tree can grow in Brooklyn is if it’s planted and pruned and given lots of love. if you’ve read the book, you know it’s a sad and painful story so let’s make a better one. get a free tree today at the brooklyn public library on leonardst, plant it love it grow it. post pictures of it on the front porch in its first-day-of-kindergarten outfit and show your friends with kids who’s responsible NOW?! HUHHH?!! info here.sign up first then get yours at 81 devoe st.
This Never Happened Summer Gathering at The Well in Bushwick.
let’s all just pretend that this never happened. ok? wait what do you mean what? what never happened? anything? nothing. exactly. well it’s about to never happen again at the well with lane 8. this is a no-phones party. no documenting. no vídeo. no stories if not told audibly or made actively. none of that bullshit. let’s be wild and free and together and present. the third in lane 8’s epic summer daytime parties, you’ll want to be there. if not, it will never happen. 272 meserole st at the well – be like timmy, fall into the well.™
Shop, Rock, and Roll at Industry City in Sunset Park. 
have you ever been shopping and thought, man. I’m not such a rock star. maybe I should tone down this getup and get down with some real threads. yeah. me too man. well, come on over to the shop rock and roll at industry city. come dressed as your favorite rock star. have drinks, have fun, sing karaoke with a live band, mixed tape/cd swap, costume contests… peruse and then buy yourself a better outfit and leave in it. or fuck it man, but yourself an even more rock starry outfit and leave in it. 5pm-midnight, all info here.



Pop-Up Dinner on Governors Island.
what is it with americans stealing french ideas then making them not as chic and never ever admitting they were stolen from the french? like, crepes to pancakes. berets to newsboy caps. cafe au lait to that american drip. bichon frises to shag rugs. we’re exceptionally good at besmirching french things and pretending they are better and cooler and ours. we’re assholes man. just one week after the chic and exclusive diner en blanccomes this. a not as chic “pop-up” dinner where you must wear all white but everything else is provided for you because, of course, this is the american version. regardless, i’m kind of into this. because unlike the diner en blanc, you don’t have to be invited. you can just buy a $40 ticket right here then show up. god bless america.
habitat greenpointGo to Habitat in Greenpoint. 
habitat is closing on sept 16th. fave place to day drink on a sunday. it’s cozy and a little funky and the menu is oh so perfect to kick your hangover at least into Monday. which hey, fuck Monday, right? go. have beers. and let’s all just close our eyes and pretend habitat isn’t closing and the neighborhood isn’t changing and we can all feel this good forever. 988 manhattan ave.


the lights, from my fire escape.
Candelight Vigil for 9/11. Bill Brown Park, Sheepshead Bay, and anywhere in the city where you can see these lights.
if you weren’t here on 9/11 (as i wasn’t) it’s so hard to imagine our city, a beacon of power relentless spirit shattered, crumbling, scared. but we must be reminded of the strength that was born from this, the sense of community, and the … heroes who lost their lives. take time this weekend to be reminded every time you look up into the sky and see those two beams of light shining, and come to this candlelight vigil at bill brown park, 6-9pm. because as we move forward we are still hurting,
take a moment to look through david monderer’s photos from the morning of 9/11.
or even ryanadams’sNew York, New York video shot just days before the attack.
to remember how fleeting life is, how precious our community here is, and how important it is to forget about all of the noise happening in our country right now and be united, together. and to have hope. because we’re stronger than this.
goodnight, brooklyn.


Up in the Air | Words Written on Airplanes.



what is it about being on an airplane that makes you want to write? i think it’s the charged and temporary captivity. you’re moving yet nearly immobile, you’re up there, you’re somewhere, you’re a little scared and maybe these will be your last words. maybe they won’t be. maybe they’ll just be words written on airplanes. i’ve compiled some such tales below, snippets from trips, simple plane text. come along with me.


Plane Meals.

I always eat everything on the little airplane meal. every fucking bit of it. I use all of the butter on my bread. I pick up and scarf down every single grape. I scrape around the perimeter of the little cup of salad dressing with my finger and make sure u get it all. I eat the dessert right away, I save nothing. This is mine. and then i package it all back up into the little boxes and secure the little flaps and am painfully content with my compact little meal.

Plane Time.

Why do they create a new time zone on the plane? It was 10am in New York and 4am in Hawaii and in 2 hours they served us dinner. The lights were out and they ordered all the shades such tight. We were to be quiet. We were to sleep. Breakfast was served at 2pm Hawaii time, 7pm New York time. Breakfast. Do they know some sort of jet lag equation I don’t know about? Because this feels like forced adult nap time and I do NOT like that.


Plane Sky.

the sky here is vast, eternal. its liberation hangs heavy, smothering the landscape. breathing life into rolling hills,flat plains, shallow rivers before settling slowly and heavy between buildings, over rooftops, streets, park benches. it colors I. The gray, the sidewalks and stone with tones of orange and red, altering their natural state to be part of this sunset, this experience. An opening and a closing. A slow drift toward the night. It gently touched my skin, kissed my cheek, penetrated my soul as I stepped off a plane 7 months ago. weary and excited, displaced, it embraced me. It grazed my summer-tanned skin. It lay before my uncertain feet. it filled my heart with light and lightness, a tangible warmth, an intentional deterrent from any former plans. and it will stay with me, additional baggage as I handover my boarding pass and step onto a plane. it will fill in the gap as my soul splits again, leaving behind the jagged ephemera of my being, to hold and be held, to be guarded and used. it will occupy this space.

Just plane sleepy.

The guy behind me is yawning audibly in such a melodic way I don’t even want to listen to music. my headphones are in but the sound is off. he sounds like an adorable little bunny desperate to notify anyone with earshot that he cute but he sleepy.


Plane Short Story I haven’t finished.

“I’ll get us fired up,” he said with easy confidence as he rolled away his black suitcase swiftly. Dunkin donuts was supposed to open at 5am, everyday. all they had to do was put the donuts into the case, donuts that had been pre-made in an industrial kitchen in queens, and fill the coffee filters with grinds and turn on the machines. that’s it. those simple activities, by 5am, every morning. Here it was 5:18 and he was waiting in an ever-increasing line with his co-pilot. Not his life partner or partner in crime, his actual co-pilot. The man with whom he’d flown over 700 times, each trusting the other at the helm as himself, knowing the others’ actions and reactions, anxieties and (excitements) before they even occurred. So, he’d get the plane fired up while Jim got the coffees. Fuel for the pilots so they could fly the plane that would take us all out of snowy New York City right to south beach. It see me like a glamorous job, jet setting around the world, seeing the sun rise and set over the horizon in any number of countries each year, appearing and disappearing out of sight through the lens of the windshield as if you were the last person on earth. And that was definitely the draw at first- that freedom, that independence. But now, what kept him in the air, flying from destination to destination, arriving, departing, was the sense of complete control. Of importance, of discipline. The constant routine and processes that were now second nature- they were his refuge, his sanctuary. The buzzing machines and beeping gauges sung like soft, calming hymns as he meticulously prepared for takeoff. Jim would come back with the coffees and maybe some sort of sweet confection that he always hid between them until they were about to taxi down the runway. “Hey-” he’d say, his eyes sparkling mischievously. “There’s a little something else here for ya, maverick.” and playfully punched him in the shoulder. Jim was only 5 years his senior but this was their dynamic- the playful, caring older brother type. And so he played along. It have them a sense of family which was often missing up in the air. Which he felt more than ever now.


Plane Sadness.
I love you.
Te quiero.
in each of our languages, a confession, a promise. in three words or two, a feeling shared, a joining of our hearts that won’t be broken by time or distance. a beauty in the blending of his culture and mine. a steady embrace. an imploring stare. an impenetrable sadness. a goodbye.

at the terminal gate I look in his eyes, my hand cupped softly around the curve of his jaw. Feeling he warmth of his skin, so familiar. and with hot tears swelling in my eyes, I finally squeeze his arm and walk towards security, knowing that with each step, we will grow farther apart. he watched me from the other side. he gave me our secret wave and an assuring smile. I blew him a kiss and my heart ached. It begged me not to go. when I finally looked back and saw that he was gone my heart waited, waited, inhaled and finally receded back back far beneath to the place it was before. waiting finally for him, until he appears again, until I can run to him, can hold him, can grab his hand and kiss his cheek and show him that despite the time and distance, that I’m his. and he’s mine. that from the other side it will still be I love you, te quiero.


Plane Tale from 2009.

9am wednesday. RIC airport. gate 9.
justin is a physical therapist in seattle. and i’ll never forget him.
you know, i don’t think he’ll forget me either. not anytime soon.

his kids are jake, and finley, 5 and 8. his girlfriend, maxi, is in germany. just before we parted ways i gave him a richmond postcard i’d been saving for just such an opportunity, in exchange for a promise to buy an international stamp and send it to her. they met when she tore her ACL. “she had her eye on me for a while… i had no idea.” part of me believed him. he was reading ‘Chicken Soup for the Lover’s Soul’. i was the only one who would verbally make fun of him that day. his simple justification: ‘well, i’m in love.’ they took the most beautiful photo at dawn on charles bridge in Prague. he said i looked czech with my high cheekbones and bright eyes.

it’s funny, now that i think of it. overhearing my response as to why i was going to colorado. ‘i have no idea,’ he laughed and forged a uniquely cliche introduction– ‘what’s your story?’

and here i am, writing his.


Plane Pretzels, 2016.

I challenged myself to eat the entire snack mix packette before he returned with my wine. I can do this, I thought, I can eat this entire fucking thing. come on, I encouraged myself as I uncomfortably stuffed dry pretzel rounds into my adult mouth. COME. ON. I demanded, my mouth dry, eyes panicky as i watched his slow and graceful return. NOOOOO. I fumbled with the remains of the snack packette. I tried to act cool with the thick pouches of wet pretzel tucked between my gums and my cheeks. Nooooo. I handed him my debit card. Defeated. He asked me if I wanted a receipt. Do I loom like I’m traveling for business? I’m so full of pretzel I can hardly enter my pin.  No, I smile. Your wine glass is just below your water cup. He smiled flawlessly. I shift my gaze toward the double stacked plastic vessels sitting deep and cozy against the shallow rim of the tray table indentation. Oh! I exclaim. Lovely, I tell him. And as he turns I empty the snack pack into my mouth victoriously. thinking of how much I don’t even want it. Just the sweet and salty victory. The dry mouth of a champion. “Victoryyyyyy” my crumb filled tight lipped solemn and pronounced war cry.



Profile of a Hustler | Vicken Donikian of Good Fishing

Vicken Donikian is someone who was born a hustler. In the 10 years that I’ve known him, I’ve seen him dedicate himself wholly and completely to amazing endeavors with a creative ferocity that you can’t help but get caught in his wake. Rather than casting his net wide, he dives deep and intentionally into projects; from years working with the Hill-side and Hickoree’s in Brooklyn to Towns & Cities, a hip-hop language learning app he created, launched, and co-writing and producing all the music for with colleague and friend Peter Muller, to stepping into his home and seeing his own larger-than-life paintings. He’s an artist and a creator who seems to never wait for permission to embrace new endeavors. He arrived in Brooklyn with this spirit and embraced it wholly during the 5 years that he lived here. I hadn’t seen Vicken since Barcelona, where we studied abroad together in 2008, and then I found myself one Sunday sitting two barstools down from him at El Born in Greenpoint. As it turned out, we’d been neighbors for two years and then there we were, sitting and sipping sangria together again, this time stateside. It was one of those weird moments of Brooklyn magic that bring people together despite its size and relative unlikeliness. It’s led us from Las Ramblas to Manhattan Avenue and finally to a bicoastal phone call where I would be introducing Good Fishing, Vicken and his best friend co-collaborator Samuel Bostick’s clothing brand.
After talking to him for over an hour, I found myself heedlessly lost in the tides of understanding what it means to start a new business, in the beauty of becoming completely and wholly enveloped in your passion project, and in trying to navigate the nuances of west coast slang (even with context clues I wasn’t hip enough to tell if ‘crackin’ was a good thing…) but despite my confusion, I gleaned the invaluable lesson from Vicken’s experience that when approaching something you don’t know, it’s best to start with what you do. With a 5 year background in merchandising and small business management at Hickoree’s in Brooklyn, Vicken has been able to plan, launch, and drive Good Fishing from ideation to creation. Despite its relatively new presence on the web, he and Sam understand what it takes to maintain and grow the brand for the past 5 years, starting with a steadfast knowledge of what they like out of clothing; it should be straightforward, simple, stylish; pieces that are useful and live longer than a season. Attractively simple is one of the brand slogans, and calls to mind the modern, unpretentious man. He’s the one you lock eyes with on the L train midday on a Wednesday because he’s beyond the 9 to 5. He’s the guy ordering another whiskey while on what you would imagine is either a business call or his mother on the other end of the line without batting an eye. He’s wearing contrasting solid colors and bold socks in such an aggressively casual way that you wonder why no one has ever done it like that before. He’s available yet unattainable but that doesn’t prevent you from getting willfully lost in a lustful daydream for the rest of your commute. Attractively simple; subtlety and tastefully dressed; unassuming yet deceptively seductive; and, perhaps, wearing Good Fishing.
Dive in below to my interview with Vicken Donikian of Good Fishing. Get inspired by this former Brooklynite’s vision of the hustle and trust me when I say there will be a little something waiting at the other end of your line. (ok, so it’s an exclusive promo code, just for you. but don’t just scroll, read.)
 vicken donikian of good fishing
Brooklyn, I’m Trying When was good fishing established?
Vicken Donikian We officially launched online at the end of June, but the concept for brand started 5 years ago in 2012. Sam and I started planning it and talking about ideas for products and projects. We picked the brand name in 2012 slowly working towards what it’s become today.


BiT What is the story behind its inception?
VD The brand name is a reference to the mentality and approach to fishing. You set up and cast a line, and see what you get. We also like to use the word “fishing” metaphorically; a concept that could apply to various situations in life. That opens up opportunities for each person to also make their own meaning out of it.
BiT Describe the brand.
VD The brand itself has a simple but fun character to it along with a youthful energy. The clothing is simple and wearable, not flashy but is meant to be worn and used and enjoyed. Inspiration for our products comes from things me and same like to wear or use. We try not to take it too seriously and to keep fun references or images in our work.


BiT What’s in your current collection?
VD Currently we make tshirts, soccer jerseys, caps, tote bags, small accessories, toys, art work, and collectibles. This is the first collection but we have planned to introduce one or two new categories of products every two months until we can build up to a full line of clothing. We’ve structured the brand with a collection of basics called Good Fishing Standards that are generally mainstays for the brand that we’ll make year round. On top of that standard collection, we will release themed capsule collections based on specific concept we come up with at the time which will be limited production.


BiT Tell me a little about this first capsule collection you have launched, Marquette Records.
VD The first capsule collection we’ve done is a tribute to this obscure funk soul record label that existed in bay area lat 1960s. We stumbled across the label while i was flipping through an old magazine and saw an ad for the label. the logo popped out at me and I began to research everything I could about it. We found out that they released a few singles and then we’re not sure what happened after that. We tried to imagine what a modern merchandise collection would look like for Marquette. We made mugs, pens, stickers, hats, tshirts, and have one of their old records for sale on the site we found at a record store. We made our first capsule for our company a humble tribute to an old company from the bay area.


BiT How did your experience in Brooklyn help you with this new venture?
VD I worked at Hickoree’s and The Hill-Side for 5 years, that’s really where I picked up all of my knowledge in terms of operations that we are doing with Good Fishing. I was working and maintaining the shop and packaging orders, and from there went on to managing and buying for the store and I was on that retail side for three years. At that point I transitioned more into the wholesale side of the business, showing The Hill-Side to buyers from other stores, maintaining accounts, establishing new accounts, going trade shows, working on marketing efforts, creating lookbooks and social media content and everything involved in that too. The Hill-Side being a small company helped me gain experience in all areas of the business, which has helped a lot in thinking about how to set up Good Fishing. That’s not meant to say that we know everything because we definitely don’t, but we’re grateful to be able to reference and lean on past experiences and relationships as we set up our own business.


BiT What challenges have you faced along the way with launching Good Fishing?
VD It’s so new that everything is one big challenge, from balancing how to set everything up financially and figuring out how to run the company with what we really want to make for the brand. For now, we concentrated on presenting as broad of a collection as we can while planning for future products.


BiT Was there ever a moment when you were like, holy shit this is happening?
VD Launching our online store was a big step. While we’ve been doing events and talking about the brand over the past few months and years, having the online shop is something that you can show people what it is that we’re making and they can look at it and keep up with the brand as we continue to build it up. 


BiT How are you getting the word out about Good Fishing? Where are you casting your proverbial line?
VD Because we’re not planning to have a store, we’re focusing on getting the word out through pop-up events. Since our website launched, we’ve done a handful of events: a booth at the 4th of July festival in Atwater, CA; a booth at Haus Party in Oakland, CA – which is a super fun monthly party run by some friends of ours; and a couple of our own Lemonade Sundays events. Lemonade Sundays is basically our “grown-up” version of a childhood summer lemonade stand, where we have free lemonade for everybody, specialty cocktails and exclusive products for sale, and an overall awesome party vibe with loud tunes and Unstoppable Positivity.
(Wish you could get in on lemonade sundays? Have a little taste here, with Sam and Vicken’s dope lemonade sundays playlist.)


BiT Collaboration is obviously a huge focus for Good Fishing since the brand is the brainchild of both you and Sam. How would you describe each of your strengths in creating the brand and running the business?
VD Collectively, our biggest strength is that we’ve been best friends since college. We’re so close that we end up being on the same page about almost everything we want to do. Especially when it comes to talking about creative ideas and bringing them to life, working with someone you’re so in tune with makes that process fun and it comes together easily. That’s been good for both of us. In terms of outside collaborations, we’ve worked with NYC’s Don Da Menace and (ft$) to shoot our first lookbook “Parks and Recreation” and San Diego artist Keenan Hartsten to curate one of our products, the tackle box planter


BiT The site and products look great. Finally, I have to ask this… what do you miss about living in Brooklyn?
VD Brooklyn has a different energy and pace that you can’t replicate or find anywhere else, and that’s just something you’ll always miss, but we’re both super happy to be back in our hometowns in California and to grow Good Fishing here.


Good Fishing as a brand somehow combines an influence of Sam and Vicken’s time on both coasts while transcending geographical boundaries into a collection and mood that is wearable, attractive, and contagious. Their approach to this venture has not been unlike a good day of fishing; take inventory of your supplies, your knowledge, your desire. Choose your spot wisely, a place you know and a market you are confident will be responsive. Cast your line in the best way you know how and with a little bit of luck, patience, and determination, see what you reel in.
It was no surprise to me to learn that while sam and vicken are kicking ass at launching their website and brand, they are already looking forward to their next mission. while i’m not at liberty to divulge the details, let’s just say it’s a distinctly liquid investment that will be smokey and risky and would go best with in a glass with one big rock and a fishing pole in the other.
Check out Good Fishing’s full collection here. use promo code “GOODFISHINGINBK” for an exclusive 20% off deal for Brooklyn, I’m Trying users, good from 8/30 to 9/6. Post pics in your Good Fishing gear using the hashtag #GoodFishinginBK and keep following @goodfishing_ to see how this ambitious brand continues to grow.



labor day weekend guide brooklyn i'm trying

The (Labor Day!) Weekend Guide | 31-3 September 2017

in CULTURE, weekend guide

you’ve come a long way, baby. been laborin’ hard all summer, workin’ on that tan, practicing those moves, moving those hips, loosening those lips, sinking those ships and dancing til dawn and making love and drinking rose all the hours in between. and now you can finally collect the fruits of your labor on this magical 4-day weekend filled with music and magic, backyard barbecues and rooftop ragers, long beach days with obnoxiously large inflatables, and nudity.

yep. gonna be that kind of weekend. so strip down, turn on, tune in, drop out and explode.

(further instructions below…)




north brooklyn farmsSunset Beer Garden at North Brooklyn Farm in Williamsburg.

ugh, well, thanks north brooklyn farm for depressing me with that reminder that thursday will mark the last day and consequent sunset of august. makes me want to drown my sorrows with kcbc beers and seasonal wines and the most famous skyline in the world, backlight and illuminated while me and all of my friends and lovers hold hands and dance well into the moonrise. ah, you know, maybe life ain’t so bad after all. come commiserate with me at the sunset beer garden pop-up at north brooklyn farms. it’s all happening from 5-10pm. free entry, picnics welcome. all info here. 320 kent ave at north bk farms, where it’s goin’ down (the sun, that is) at the pop-up.


broken spoon pop up at the diamond

Broken Spoon Pop-Up Dinner at the Diamond in Greenpoint. 
sometimes i feel like my entire life is just one big search for pork buns. and then, sometimes i don’t. regardless i get really fucking happy when i find them, and especially when they roll their little pillowy buns of joy right into the backyard of my favorite spot in brooklyn, and inevitably pair themselves up with a perfect beer and each finds its way into my hands and then straight down the hatch. (this is getting weird.) (i’m drinking rose). YEP, the diamond’s weekly pop-up dinner welcomes good friend roos from broken spoon and all of the pork buns your greasy little hands can grab and all the beers your saturated little liver can handle. eat em up, drink em up, beat em up (at shuffleboard) then meet me in the gondola where we will share pork buns and secrets. #porkbunsandsecrets  43 franklin st. 


pizza wine movie night at rooftop reds
Rooftop Movie Night: Back to the Future at Rooftop Reds in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. 
be present thursday night atop new york’s only rooftop winery with a glass in hand, slice in the other, and christopher lloyd screaming alongside you. rooftop reds is back at it with wine-pizza-movie night, this month featuring back to the future. come and relax in the hammocks, or barefoot in the astroturf, or just play cornhole or dirty balls or grab ass during the film to piss people off. it’s labor day weekend baby. you earned this, so take it however you want to take it. tickets $30 and include 2 slices of pizza and a glass of wine, plus the film. available here299 sands st.
fish brew and bbq in prospect park
Fish, Brew and BBQ in Prospect Park
there’s nothing better than some good fishing, be it a clothing line or a casted line, sitting on the dock and drinking beers with your mates and talking about the one that got away. (what was her name again?) it’s the perfect way to slowly welcome you to your long weekend. go to the prospect park fish, brew, bbq in prospect park. fishing lessons available for all you city slickers, plus poles and bait. live music, drinks, food. life is motherfucking good. all info here.
 underground soundsystem under the archway
Live at the Archway: Underground Soundsystem, in DUMBO. 
the very word underground makes folks in brooklyn come a-runnin’. underground dance party? bury me baby. underground sex club? my pants are already down. underground dinner society? tease me, please me, feed me. this thursday underground soundsystem plays under the archway of the manhattan bridge. their sound is engaging, aggressive, and guaranteed to make you move. it’s free, 6-9pm. more info here, under the archway of the manhattan bridge in DUMBO. live at the archway – the only way to get over it is to get under it.™
ice cream party at mofad
Ice Cream Party at the Museum of Food and Drink, Williamsburg. 
i don’t really believe that ice cream has a season or particularly needs a reason. so let’s not pretend like ice cream will lose its sweetness once the temperature drops, or that we’ll miss that obnoxious mister softee music (heLLOO?!) let’s just realize that we’re all screaming for it, all the time, and there’s no place better to do it than at the MoFaD ice cream party this thursday night. author stella parks will be talking about her new book and the evolution of ice cream in america. go, get some free treats, beers from bk brewery and scream your motherfucking head off. do it. we’ll all do it. because it’s ice cream. all info here62 bayard st. 


Taco or Beer Challenge at the Well in Bushwick.

people like to judge those who over indulge in tacotuesday, and tacwednesday, and thacothursday and… ok well you know. and they also love to hate on those of us who like to enjoy a beer, or 5, most days. but unfortunately the sickening stigma surrounding abortions runs much much deeper. in our current political environment, we are quickly losing access to this vital right and thus the voice and movement from those opposed is getting stronger. come and #revelwithacause by over indulging in tacos and beer and support access to abortions at the taco and beer challenge at the well this friday. proceeds go to the New York Abortion Access Fund. all info here, 7-10pm, 272 meserole at the well. be like timmy, fall into the well.™


le fanfare, greenpoint

Live Music, Dinner, and Seductive Cocktails at Le Fanfare in NoGreePo. 

come get yourself a fancy little cocktail made from my fancy little hands at the fanciest spot in NoGreePo, le fanfare. live music 830-1030 and burrata so fresh you’ll want to smack it. but you won’t, of course. read my ridiculously enthusiastic review here (disclaimer: this was written before i started working there. now it’s even better than it was then.) then come. 1103 manhattan ave.


Motion Studies, Tmboy and Olmsburgh at C’mon Everybody in Williamsburg.

weird disco. even in a city as wildly dynamic as new york, how often is our nightlife routine completely shaken up, if not in a cocktail shaker? ok well maybe every time you go to house of yes but with that one exception, it’s not often. make that change this friday night with … he performs at … and his sound has been described as one that “matches tribal-flavored fills and a yearning, wordless vocal melody with a synthetic four-on-the-floor pulse that pumps liquid-mercury synths” thank you, idolator. trust me, go to this show. lose your mind. it’s the weekend. tickets $8/10 available here325 franklin ave at c’mon everybody, where it’s better than comin’ on nobody. (that was gross) (don’t care)



every body party at north brooklyn farmsEvery Body Party at North Brooklyn Farms, Williamsburg.

food, drinks, music, dancing, sunsets along the east river and boozy fucking popsicles. i really don’t need to say anything else. be there, at north brooklyn farms, for their fifth and final every body party. get your body there. then fill it with frozen booze and dance all night. tickets, $10 available here.  320 kent ave.

Makossa Cookout at Our Wicked Lady in Bushwick. 

summer is ending. and that fucking sucks. but what doesn’t suck is that we can still pack in as much rooftop parties and cookouts we can until the air turns crisp. head to our wicked lady saturday evening for their end of summer makossa cookout. food, drinks, those really amazing frozen cocktails they make, dancing, and love. free before 4pm, $5 after. other info here. 4pm-late. 153 morgan ave. 


the diamond greenpoint
COME TO DIAMOND, I’m working!
yep. taking back my saturday post, at least this week. come by the best little bar in brooklyn. have an expertly poured beer from my hands, or wine or cider. play shuffleboard, chill in the backyard, make out in the shift starts at 8 and goes ’til late. 43 franklin st. 



union hall reopening celebration

Union Hall Reopening Celebration with DJ Bengey, Park Slope. 
for as many nights as we burned the house down on the dance floor at union hall, it suffered a real fire 4 months ago and finally reopened two weeks ago. dj bengey holds down his residence saturday nights on the 1’s and 2’s and also is reportedly the on-call fireman, just in case. let’s all rally around this beloved park slope institution and help them make up for that lost time by dancing our asses off and spending our monies at the bar. bengey starts at 11.30 and won’t stop until you stop. more info here702 union st. 



Taxidermy and Etymology Class with Brooklyn Taxidermy in Greenpoint. 
i have an agreement with my cat. just before he breathes his last breath, he promised to whisper in my ear “it’s time” and i wil go get the hemlock and then we will both go together. morbid? whatever. anyway, what i’m saying is, taxidermy isn’t for me because the only creature i want perched forever by my side in a glassy state of permanent pouncing is my little bearcat. and i will not live to see that happen. but if YOU would like to have some permanently mid-pouncing glassy-eyed animal hanging out with you for all eternity, learn how here at Brooklyn Taxidermy. 2-6pm, more info here681 morgan ave. 

the heartland passage tour
The Heartland Passage Tour : Documentary Screening and Barge Party in Red Hook. 
let’s face it – most of the barges in this town are overrun with douchies with croakies drinking tecates and bitching about absolutely everything. what is it with bros and floating bars? i just don’t get it. however, this party will be definitively void of that crowd, but very present with inspiration, libations, and good vibrations. come to new york’s only screening of Boom and Bust : America’s Journey on the Erie Canal, a documentary about the erie canal, on a barge in a waterway that is just as influential to us. listen to some live folk music. celebrate summertime. $15 tickets and info here. 8-11pm, 290 conover st.



Virginia Tech vs WVU. 

virginia tech plays west virginia university at 730pm. this legendary rivalry competes on the eipic stage of fedex field and your girl will be watching at barley on manhattan ave in greenpoint and she’d love for you to be there, wearing orange and marroon and shaking your keys and cheering on the country’s best football team. that is including all nfl teams, fyi. because fuck the nfl.



Labor Day Extravaganza at House of Yes, Bushwick. 

no one does and end-of-summer party like house of yes. actually no one does any kind of party during any season or consequent ending of wuch like house of yes. because it’s the best venue in brooklyn and it’s where you want to be this monday. wear your americana gear and be ready to dance for 12 hours straight. 2pm-2am. tickets and info here. 2 wyckoff ave at house of yes, where they put the sensual in consensual.™



your only #reasontocrosstheriverthisweekend is this dope waterfront beach cookout party at la marina in manhattan.  tickets somehow range from $15-400, so choose your own adventure, booze your own adventure, reap the fruits of all of your labor and make love to a stranger. because as the temperature cools, so will our summertime flings. go out with a bang. tickets and info here, see you there 😉  348 dyckman st.


the weekend guide brooklyn i'm trying

The Weekend Guide | 24-27 August 2017

in CULTURE, weekend guide
I see you, brooklyn… with your tanned skin and summertime grin and that cool confidence, spreading yourself so thin to just enough people not to get caught. daaaaamn, you bad.
I know what you’ve been doing this summer. well yeah because I’m your unofficial social coordinator but also because I’ve been doing that too. we all have. it’s summertime in brooklyn and no one can get enough.
this sweet summertime and all of its irrepressible mischief is slipping away. which blows. but you know what’s good? we’ve still got a few weekends left, and we have each other. and even as seasons change, we won’t. not us. not ever.
stay with me, because I’ve made plans. your weekend guide awaits and will fill in all of these lines with colors and life and music and magic and soul, baby. and trust me when I say it will look so so good on you.
face it, there’s not much time left. so let’s go.


barba italian pop up at the diamond greenpoint
Barba Italian Pop-Up Dinner at the Diamond in Greenpoint.
please repeat after me, out loud: mama mia! that’s a one a spicy meat-a-ball-a!  i’m serious man, do it. trust me it feels so good rolling off your lips… just like what will be rolling back into them tonight, at the diamond. it’s their weekly international-pop up dinner, and this week they welcome BarBa, bringing their down-home italian cooking right into your favorite neighborhood bar. you know what pairs best with meatballs? diamond dave’s perfectly-curated menu of draft beers. dinner starts at 7pm, info here, now get there, have a ball, then #meetmeinthegondola.
where to watch the solar eclipse in brooklyn
Solar Eclipse and New Moon Workshop at Daya Yoga Studio in Bushwick. 
So the eclipse is over and we are all left with goofy glasses that we had to kill a few people for and are also said to expire in three years (wtf) and won’t be needed again for 28 years, and the stories of all of our experiences viewing the eclipse on monday are all “no, I mean, yeah, it was cool! It was. It was…cool.” So now what do we do? Well, all of that crazy cosmic energy hasn’t left us, so follow my guide here of ways to ride the cosmic wave, and then head to this workshop at Daya Yoga Studio on how to harness the energy from the solar eclipse and new moon. all info here, 8-10pm. 360 jefferson st. 


Ritual Talk, the Roofers’ Union and the RFA at Friends + Lovers in Bushwick. 
Looking to adopt a different strategy, a fresh approach, a new ritual for your Thursday night? the best way to do it is through live music and a fantastic venue with all of your best friends and newfound lovers. psychedelic indie rock band ritual talk plays tonight.spark your curiosity here by reading our good friend Ollie Willem’s exclusive interview with the band herethen see them live joined by their friends the roofers’ union and the rfa. the show starts at 8pm. all info here641 classon ave.



dreamy dance party by BoC at cape house bushwickDreamy Dance Party by BoC at Cape House in Bushwick. 
ah, you know what sounds like a sweet summertime dream? a dope dance party with all of your favorite people at a charming clam shack on a little party peninsula in bushwick with a huge terrace, an unpretentious downstairs dance hall, and exceptional tequila shots. yeah, that sounds like a fucking dream. and it’s one that you can make a reality this friday night at cape house. come to their dreamy dance party by Black on Canvas and featuring Yusuf Siddiquee, Mayve, Looms, and Bottler. it all starts at 8pm, but between you and me, the tequila starts flowing when they open at noon and often (too often) doesn’t stop until you do. all info here, 2 knickerbocker ave at cape house. where you don’t need a cape to be fly


late night breakfast at videology with my cousin vinnyLate Night Breakfast at Viedology with My Cousin Vinny, Williamsburg.
“Sure, Sure, I’ve heard of grits. I’ve just never actually…seen a grit before.” Vinny Gambini
admittedly, i love juxtaposing new yorkers with southerners and giving each a heavy helping of exaggeration when doing so. that is why my cousin vinny is one of the funniest films ever mad if you’re a southerner living in new york. come to videology friday night and watch the film with a bowl of slow-cooked grits and “realize that grits exist and should be a breakfast staple for every New Yorker. And as any good southerner knows, they’re best enjoyed with lots of butter and late at night after you’ve had a few drinks.” words put oh-so-perfectly on videology’s event announcement. show starts at 9.15pm. tickets and info here, $16. 308 bedford ave. 


dance yourself clean at music hall of williamsburg
Dance Yrself Clean at Music Hall of Williamsburg.
dance yourself clean, or dirty, or into a new state of confusion where hygiene is relative and being north american scum is something we revel in and daft punk is fucking playing at my house, my house. yeah, it’s a dance party where all the tunes are of the same funky fresh feeling of lcd soundsystem – think chvrches, miike snow, empire of the sun, RAC, blood orange, etc etc etc. (let’s all go to this event. and dance. to music inspired by the greatest band of all time.) 10pm, tickets $12, available here66 n 6th st. don’t let that address scare you. (but also don’t let it not scare you.)



MoMA PS1 summer warm up

PS1 Summer Warm-Up, Long Island City.
This LIC summertime party institution also has a permanent residency on my weekend guide, from now through labor day. so i recommend checking the schedule and either choosing based on the tunes or your own availability (this is not a “oh i have a few hours, i’ll check it out” kind of affair. it will take all of your saturday and at least 3/4 of the mental space of your sunday. and it will all be worth it.) tickets here. i’m already heatin’ up.
oh and don’t forget to check out the tent of secrets, located in the back of the arboretum in the sculpture garden.
this is the tent of secrets.

afropunk fest brooklyn

Afropunk Fest at Commodore Barry Park on Flushing Ave in Brooklyn.


jazz age lawn party nyc

The Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governor’s Island. 

Ah isn’t every weekend in Brooklyn kind of a choose-your-own-adventure experience? we’ll never it been more apparent than this Saturday and Sunday, where you can choose your own adventure, destination, experience and surroundings. both aftopunk fest and the jazz age lawn party at commodore barry park and governors island, respectably. get down with dope beats and a funky fresh Brooklyn music fest that has been called he most multicultural festival in the world, or a 1920s-inspired, costumes (basically) required, flashy and flappery lawn party complete with finger sandwiches and muted trumpets and trumpled mutants (that part was a joke. but paints a funny picture, doesn’t it?) and class class class. choose your own adventure here for afropunk fest and here for jazzy agey and lawny things. both are happening Saturday and Sunday. see you, you funky fancy son of a bitch. at one place or the other.


 rinsed coke yacht
RINSED’s Annual Coke Yacht Boat Party, The Hudson River.
listen, don’t shoot the messenger. or, you know, pass judgement on the messenger’s extracurricular activities because of an event she’s reporting about. yes, i know what this event is called but that by no way means that there will be any illicit activities happening on said boat nor will i be aware of have anything to say on the subject otherwise. but what i (and you now) know is that rinsed throws the dopest underground parties in the city, and nothing is more underground than those that are floating on water. in a boat. with your friends and rad djs and an afterparty at a shitty club on the west side that we will all commandeer and sail that ship way way way way way into the sunrise. tickets, here, but they are going insanely fast i hear. so get yours and let’s set sail, baby.




Photo + Zine Swap at Bushwick Community Darkroom, which is in Bushwick. 

the BCD is one of those gems that reminds me why we live in brooklyn. created by artists for artists, it gives us a place to develop, create, and display photos as well as builds a community for everyone behind the lens and those who appreciate this wonderful art form. Saturday they’re having a photo + zine swap, so bring your craft and be ready to swap and support and swig sixpoint brews while doing it. 4-8pm, all info here110 troutman st. 



metropolis with live score at film noir greenpoint

Metropolis with Live Score at Film Noir in Greenpoint.

ah the darkness. something that we desire of an evening, of entertainment of an experience out of something let’s go there. to the dark side. in the form of a charming little 35-seat theater in the heart of greenpoint. if you haven’t been yet, saturday night is the night when reel orchestrette will bring a live score to the infamous film metrololis read more here and get your tickets and find me there, in the shadows baby. 9.30-11.30pm, 122 meserole st.


grand street restaurant weekGrand Street Restaurant Week, Williamsburg.

it is the LAST day of grand street restaurant week and that means that you have 14 grand ways to get rid of that hangover. make a reservation (quick!) and then settle in to a nice long sunday meal on one of brooklyn’s most charming streets and feel like all of your sins have been forgiven. all info here.



westlight at the william vale

Where to Eat | Westlight, at the William Vale

North Williamsburg has become a place for tourists. It’s the meat packing of Brooklyn, I cringed overhearing someone say, but then have found myself saying too many times. so where do we find ourselves among the noise? We don’t hide from it, we need to find a way to embrace it. to get above it. to be part of it because if not, well… I guess we all move to Maspeth.
And the best way to get above it? From 22 stories up, where you’ll see all the chaos below in its best light. at Westlight, Chef Andrew Carmellini’s loungey love child atop the William Vale hotel.
let’s face it, we’re all seeking a heightened dining experience, whether it’s so local it’s from the farm you’re seated within, a secret supper club that encourages guests to strip down to fully appreciate the raw and vulnerable dishes being served, or a multi-sensory adventure that allows you to touch, smell, hear, and taste while completely blindfolded… Westlight brings you an equally heightened experience while avoiding gimmicks and staying grounded and true to what’s best about food in New York, even while being way way above it. The cuisine is inspired by street food, which makes me wonder what streets Andrew Carmellini has been eatin’ on, because these tapas-like plates have been reinvented with a fresh, edgy flavor combinations with a relentlessly seasonal appeal. it’s made for sharing, so go with friends, stay through sunset, pair with cocktails and experience the best thing to come up in North Williamsburg.
When the elevator door opens on the 22nd floor, it feels nearly like being transported in time. the interior of Westlight brings a nostalgic feeling of old New York cocktail bars. With a distinct art deco inspiration, you feel like you should be smoking and listening to some jazz-age seductress on a fuzzy microphone and making lustful promises and dangerous business deals in equal proportions. Outside, the stunning skyline views and uncompromised look into the heart and soul of Brooklyn create the ambience from the glass-walled terrace. Free binoculars allow you to finally see into the clear glass apartments of all the fancies who have moved into your ‘hood. oh and of course, Westlight offers absolutely impeccable views of the sunset, nightly.


what not to miss.

the dolores royale, which is how my night started and i think perhaps led to a bit of the demise. it was dangerous and smokey but felt like a conversation with a good friend. bright, familiar, and you wanted it to never end.
admittedly and unabashedly i had a few glasses of rose and a few (or mose) glasses of the cave. both were refreshing, crisp, and paired perfectly with sunset and absolutely everything we had. because should sharing foods be paired with bubbly, happy wines? yes, of course they should. and you can’t go wrong here.


tequila-cured salmon
this was my favorite dish out of the 4, and not just because i recognized immediately that tequila is of course the cure for everything so i was sure it does salmon oh-so-right. every single bite of this dish was perfectly balanced, avocado and caviar and raw salmon. it made me not want to share although, i’m never one to forget my manners. i painfully took my turns while yearning for more.
shrimp cocktail dumplings
Now I’m not a fan of shrimp cocktail. I find it tacky and painfully uninventive and I hate how people in the south react to it. “Oh, and they had shrimp cocktail!” as if to offer some vindication for mary-jo’s shameless stock-the-bar the backyard cookout. These rubbery little crustaceans all sit there, socializing smugly around a proverbial pool of glorified ketchup. ugh. However, the shrimp cocktail dumplings put skrimps in their proper place; folded into delicate bite sized dumplings and spiced to perfection and dipped into a fine little soy ginger sauce. They were a delight.


westlight at the william vale

seasonal ceviche
a new addition to the menu, this dish was light and fresh and perfectly mixed with locally seasonal vegetables. and it reminded me inevitably how great it is to be surrounded by water and by so so many coastal areas with absolutely impeccable seafood.
 westlight at the william vale

how not to miss it

Westlight is located at 111 N. 12th st. 22nd floor.
Sun-Wed 4pm-midnight
Thurs-Sat 4pm-2am
Happy Hours – all of them.


the last bite 

the westlight paints northern williamsburg in its best light, showing that the best way to combat gentrification is to be above it. elevate your dining experience and realize that change should be embraced and with food and views this sweet, it’s oh-so-easy to embrace it.


westlight at the william vale