let me frame this up for you… it’s the last weekend of july, which means that our sweet summer is slipping away. goddamn that was depressing, but i can’t sugarcoat this for you anymore. before we know it we’ll be walking around in oversize sleeping bags and cursing at the wind and also absolutely everything else in our paths. so let’s revel in every minute that we have. forget your responsibilities. throw caution into the warm breeze. play hooky. cause mischief. streak the sidewalks. drink rose. shed your clothing along with your inhibitions and let’s get into trouble, together. because the season’s right.
i’ll be your guide, brooklyn. i’ll be your excuse. i’ll be there to bail you out of jail and if not, i’ll be right there beside you. keep reading, because this is what summer is made for – a weekend that is framing up to be oh-so-nice.
Food Karma Feasts Sunset Dinner, North Brooklyn Farms, Williamsburg.
if you haven’t checked out north brooklyn farms, go, immediately. and then stay for tonight’s farm dinner. there is something so magical about this space, wide open farmland right at the foot of the williamsburg bridge, overlooking the east river and the entire city skyline. their dinner party tonight features the musings of chef alex sorenson of blank slate kitchen, so expect a down-home pig roast right on the water with plenty of locally sourced sides with a balinese inspiration. it all happens at sunset, 7-10pm. tickets, $75 are available here. 320 kent ave.
International Pop-Up Dinner with Endless Sunrice at the Diamond, Greenpoint.
ah, the constantly evolving, multi-faceted brilliance of the diamond. thursday it enters into the realm of exotic small plate supper club because why the fuck not. seriously. why not. it’s a balinese backyard barbecue and its guaranteed to go oh-so-well with that rotating tap of beers you’ve never heard of… (and you feel like you drink a lot of microbrews.) our friends at 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
Live at the Archway presents Jah Pan and some interactive art! in Dumbo.
we love our bridges in this town. they’re iconic and bikeable Venus amazing views of the skyline at sunrise and sunset. But as great as it feels to be on top, it’s good to get on the bottom every so often too. Life at the archway, a music and art production that takes place under the archway of the manhattan bridge in dumbo, shows us why. Thursday they host Jah Pan, a steel drum band from Trinidad and Tobago, where steel drum music was born. the music takes center stage and will be accompanied by a live art space station pop-up gallery… which i don’t know what that is but i bet i will be pleasantly and cosmically surprised. info here, 6-9pm, down under the manhattan bridge overpass. #DUMBO
Rinsed X Rent Party at a Secret Location (that you’ll want to be at).
if you are reading this blog then that means you read this blog and then yiu know how I feel about rinsed. These guys throw the best parties in the borough and have been for as long as i’ve been here and been partying. they’re about to head west to (for some reason) give the west coast some of their underground Brooklyn flavor, so let’s all get dirty and then get rinsed together before their departure. Friday night they host a nostalgic, exclusive party circa the early rinsed days, so that means start preparing yourself right now and plan not to sleep. at all. ever again. tickets available here, and some ish about RP cardholders which wtf rinsed where the hell is mine. (not rhetorical). 11pm-meltdown time. rsvp for address. #rinseyrselfclean
Andrew Bird and Esperanza Spalding Play Prospect Park, Park Slope.
Andrew bird is good for your soul. Fill it Friday night in a midsummer nights dream when he joins Esperanza Spalding at the band shell and fills our ears, hearts, and sweet summertime air with beauty. It’s free. Get there early for a chance to get in or bring a blanket and a bota full of Rioja and a few friends and lovers and just chill outside. info here. doors (or, gates?) are at 6.30.
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 here. 66 n 6th st. don’t let that address scare you. (but also don’t let it not scare you.)
Sweatshop Dance Party at Baby’s All Right, Williamsburg.
I can honestly say that there are three places in Brooklyn where i have gotten the most sweaty. one is the cycling studio at nysc greenpoint. the other I will keep to myself, and the third place is that magical back room at baby’s all right. nothing makes my skin glisten or the drops run down my chest, back, neck, face, and knees, than all those funky lights and complete lack of ventilation in that funky chamber of magic. finally they own up to it Saturday night with sweat shop, a dance party featuring Krs, grumby, max august, live percussion and all the heart pumping, sweat-inducing afro beats, raggaeton, moombahton (whatever that is, i’m into it.), samba and everything else your little heart and dancy hips desire. tickets, $10 available here. 146 broadway.
SoFar Sounds Secret Rooftop Show in Greenpoint.
sofar sounds, a music movement dedicated to bringing the sound back to shows and throwing pop-up concerts in unorthodox settings all over the world, will be bringing the magic to a rooftop in greenpoint saturday night. sign up for tickets here. shows feature 3-4 dynamic artists and they are all byob, so bring a beverage along with the funk. (which of course, you don’t leave home without, right?) 8-11pm, location will be off the greenpoint ave stop. #sofarsogood
Young Adult Friction Dance Party at Brooklyn Bazaar, Greenpoint.
there’s no doubt in my mind that heavy-hitting underground house music will keep you going all night and into the next afternoon at a good brooklyn dance party, but some nights we want a change. we want to dance up on each other, create a little friction, and dance yrself clean. or dirty. get nasty at the brooklyn bazaar friday night. entry is oh so free. all info here. 10pm to 4am, 150 greenpoint ave.
i first heard about the russian bath houses during my first year in new york. i was on a train coming back to the city from virginia. the entire northeast was in the middle of a relentless snow storm, and thus my usual 6 hour trip was on hour 10 and counting. we’d been stuck in philly for over an hour and i met a guy at the bar in the train station who was also heading to new york, and also intentionally getting drunk to pass the time. we boarded together and made plans to meet in the dining car. i had a bota full of wine, he had a bottle of dewar’s – our christmas spoils. as we sat and drank, he was a plethora of knowledge about the city. he drew me a map of manhattan and all the things i needed to know; which parks were prettiest in autumn and which ones you could consistently score drugs in, neighborhoods with the most authentic cuisine from a range of cultures and why you should use the staten island ferry (just as a free boat ride and then to turn right back around and come back, he advised). i still have this map, and the spot on it where he showed me his favorite russian bath house was. he looked at me very seriously as he described the nearly religious process of going room to room, the russian men that would beat you if you asked for it and sometimes even if you didn’t, the absolute euphoric feeling in your body after you left. he marked it on the map, and told me i have to go. then he pulled a lighter from his pocket and started burning the edges of the map and we were both laughing wildly, drunk and restless from the ride. they kicked us out of the dining car. we ran into the area between the cars to hide, laughing loudly and then he pressed his body against mine and we made out aggressively and madly all the way through new jersey.
seven years and, well, quite a few makeout sessions with strangers on trains later, i finally made it to the russian & turkish bath house. thankfully i went with someone who knew the routine, and now i will pass that knowledge off to you. the whole experience was insane and hilarious and hard and uncomfortable and then completely, corporally euphoric.
first, bring a bathing suit. honestly, i’d say a one-piece is best, but a two-piece works too. they have little cotton shorts that you can (and should) keep over your suit, and if you happen to spend the night away from home, then your uniform can simply be a borrowed sleeveless tee and just the shorts. which i kind of thought was hip. regardless of what getup you choose, go in the locker room, change, and loop the key around your wrist or ankle as if your life depended on it. trust me, you don’t want to know what they do if people lose them.
choose a pair of rubber slippers, a towel, and then go downstairs and enter into a tiled basement of different rooms and the knowledge that your dignity is far, far behind you. i arrived with my hair tossed up in a top bun, smiley and bright-eyed and mistakenly wearing mascara. within minutes i became a desperate, drowned rat.
the whole scene transports you back into history, imagining this activity in countries all over the world, a social scene. built in 1892, this is clearly the oldest activity in New York, other than drinking and lying. it all kind of felt like being at the gym, just without the working out. everyone is suffering, out of breath, wanting the activity they are doing to stop but also trying to push through it. some people talk, which usually consists of “god it’s just so hot in here.” some people just moan every so often. most just exchange eye contact that says, “are you ok? because i don’t know if i’m ok. and if i pass out, will you drag my body out of here? because i’ll drag yours.”
there are 7 rooms, i think. honestly i lost track and along with my sense of direction because when you enter one room, you take a deep breath knowing it will be the last time you can actually fill you lungs for the duration of your stay, and when you exit, all you can think about is submerging your body in the ice pool. which, as soon as you do, all you can think of is getting out of the ice pool. the room that i suppose i decided was my favorite, which i don’t know if that means it was the most tolerable or most challenging, was a stone cave that looked like part of a putt-putt course. it has tiers of wooden benches that you can’t sit on straight away because you’ll burn your buns off. literally. i saw it happen. you sit on your wet towel and every 30 seconds you force your body to walk over to a well of cold water and dump an entire bucket over your head. i was hesitant to do this at first because it looks ridiculous, just shaming yourself with a bucket of water in front of a group of strangers. it felt as dumb as the ice bucket challenge but the only charity it’s supporting is you and your own momentary survival. my hesitance quickly evaporated along with every ounce of moisture on my skin, lips, and hair. that bucket saved my life, again and again and again and again.
the steamy rooms felt like you were in confession with a large group of strangers. you felt, saw, and heard all of their sins exiting their bodies. then all of our sins hung there in a heavy cloud together as we all sat paying our public penance. everyone sits leaning over, their shoulders heavy, their breath short. just sitting and trying to continue sitting, somehow.
every so often a large man with a gold chain wanders through the rooms saying “who wants a platza!!” to which, without inquiring, i would recommend going with, “no sir, i would not like a platza today.” i saw one man being platza’d, which took place in the hot stone room, in front of everyone. he was instructed to lay down, turn over, sit up, stand up, all while being beaten with a wet rag and having water and some other liquid poured over him. it was like a public shaming, and i felt the desire to help him but of course, all i could do was muster the energy to drag my body over to the well and baptize myself every 30 seconds. he chose the platza. now he must suffer.
at some point, you carry your tired body up the steep stairs to the roof for some sun. this, again, is not a glamorous experience; you lay your body upon some old rubber mats and close your eyes and feel your heart nearly beating out of your chest from the intense environments you’ve been experiencing. men are walking around with some sort of thick white mud face masks caked on their faces, looking like mimes. mimes are walking around without any face masks, looking like men. you realize you may never leave the rubber mat. you are trapped in a glass case of corporal instability. you and the mimes.
you descend back into the basement and wander again from room to room. into the pool and immediately back out. breathing in steam and heat and sins and nothing at all. you sit in the social room between the other wet humans. everyone seems to be marginally surviving and you think, maybe, you will too.
i remember being concerned that my boobs were showing through my wet clingy man tank top or that my baggie shorts were exposing everything beneath and then immediately thinking that i should concentrate on breathing. inhale, exhale. nothing is private here, we are all exposed.
and that’s when anthony weiner walked by in a tiny speedo and started doing slow, languid ballet moves with his tiny tight leg upon the bar in front of me.
when you finally leave, putting back on your clothes and saying goodbye to the sassy little shorts and shoes, you emerge out onto 10th street and new york is still happening all around you. i kept wanting to ask people as they passed on the sidewalk – do you have any idea what is going on in there? my body felt completely cleansed and euphoric. my skin felt new. i felt grounded and displaced in the city i knew so well.
the russian & turkish baths are not only the best hangover cure i have ever experienced, they are a glimpse into an ancient history and a strange social experience you can’t find anywhere else, unless i suppose you actually do slip into the confession booth in your skivs with a bunch of strangers and steam.
also, it’s the best way to see Anthony Weiner’s wiener without giving him your phone number. because he is always, always there.
the russian and turkish baths are located at 268 east 10th st.
check the site for the schedule, because there are men-only and women-only hours in addition to the co-ed and anthony weiner hours.
this catalan outpost on manhattan ave is a destination for authentic tapas, old world wines and new age cocktails, and is quite simply my favorite restaurant in brooklyn the entire city. the name el born references the edgy and colorful neighborhood in the south of Barcelona that relentlessly attracts artists, musicians, and dreamers to its narrow streets, quaint bars, and unsuspecting restaurants… not unlike our own burgeoning northern point of Brooklyn. is it a coincidence that the coordinates on my wrist point exactly to a park in the very barrio of el born in barcelona, and that this restaurant opened on my block the week I moved back from Spain? nope. I was (el) born to exist in this restaurant at least weekly while my heart resides daily across the pond.
the charming dueña elena, a barcelona transplant, has built an exemplary staff led by head chef alberto “talento” and a handful of dashing camareros with heavy hands, kind smiles and who are particularly easy on the eyes. her husband playing flamenco guitar makes the whole operation feel like a quaint family affair.
this restaurant embodies everything about food and culture of Barcelona that I can’t get enough of, plus has madrid‘s beer on tap, all day and all night. add to that a killer brunch deal on the weekends, live flamenco guitar on sundays and wednesdays, paella specials on mondays, two-for-one gin and tonics on thursdays, and every single day a friendly staff, perfect ambience, and patatas bravas that kick sergi arola’s out of the water, and i can personally attest to that.
it’s hot as hell out there, and let’s just say that in brooklyn, it ain’t a dry heat. let me show you how to get fresh and do it right this season. let’s shed our traditional beauty products along with our inhibitions because that’s what warmweather is made for. strip down your skin routine to a swipe of concealer, a dusting of blush, a few coats of heavy-hitting mascara and a sneaky bronzing mousse. i’ll show you how here, with my tried-and-true, trusty dusty, hopeful and heartful partners-in-crime. proceed with caution… i’d hate to see you cheat on those beauty products you’ve pledged lifelongallegiance to… (but i promise not to tell)
rosé won’t just be in your glass this season… these rose-based beauty finds will bring a fresh, floral, and romantic way to get your skin glowing in-between moments of love and lust.
Rose Hibiscus Coconut Water Hydrating Face Mist, by Herbivore
the perfect warm-weather alternative to heavy moisturizers, this coconut water, hibiscus flower, and rose water magic spray will have you feeling so fresh, you’ll have to watch your mouth, and actively try not to wink at every young hottie in your path. (or you know, don’t hold back.) i get mine from the new stand in union square, $16 (must be purchased in-store, but subscribe to their daily musings, audibly-inspiring playlists, and eye-opening news stories, daily.)
Rose Face Mask by Fresh.
when i can’t get a facial (which is pretty much always), an at-home mask is an indulgent answer when paired with a nice rose and some natalia laforcade on the record player. this one is infused with real rose petals, so it smells like a dream and leaves you with a healthy glow and the distinct understanding that a rose by any other name, if an infused-facial-mask-form, would likely smell as sweet (but you’d never admit it). this one is from sephora – get yours now, full-size $62, travel size free if you smile real sweet (and have that VIB account… which i’m equally not proud of and also oh-so-proud of.)
Corrective Concealer by Hourglass.
you know that feeling when you find a beauty product that you know you’ll stand by for the rest of your life? this one-step concealer swept me beneath the eyes and then directly off my feet the other day when my normal bobbi brown concealer was rather fortunately out of stock. within an instant i swapped my primer + concealer + setting powder system for this sleek and powerful little warrior of a concealer. he’ll hide everything you’ve got and do it with a wink and a smile. the secret is a slightly-irridescent rose undertones that reflect light and hide darkness. which means you don’t ask questions, just comfortably trust that all your secrets are hidden. for $37 it can be yours at sephora.
NARS Blush in Orgasm.
the only time you should ever fake an orgasm is with the natural glow and facial high stimulated by this longstanding instutituion of blushes. perfect for every skin tone, light and irridescent, this is a lifelong commitment made to see you through those moments when your mouth writes checks that your body can’t cash and you kind of don’t give a shit. you deserve at least the glow that you might not (but should) be receiving daily. buy this one now from nordstrom. $30
Better than Sex Mascara, by Too Faced.
ok so it’s not better than sex… but it is the closest thing that you can purchase legally that i’ve found. this mascara is a godsend – volumizing, lengthening, thickening, dramatic. with little to no stimulation other than a reliable thrust into the ink pot. add a little primer foreplay for best results. i get mine from sephora, $23.
Pret-a-Powder, by Bumble and Bumble.
the holy grail of hair savers – it’s dry shampoo, style extendor, and volumizer all in one, and of course, bumble and bumble does it best. i keep a travel size in my bag at all times to fight flatness and grease like the plague, and for an instant confidence booster that says “yeah you know, maybe i did just have sex in the bathroom.” residue-free and relentless, it’s the other white powder you’re hiding in your bag that will keep you smiling and feeling good all night long. best purchased from the source right here. travel size $13, full size (and last you long time!) $27.
Sea Salt Soap by Swedish Dream.
this is the greatest soap i’ve ever used, no exaggeration. it has tiny, invigorating grains of salt in the soap for a sensual exfoliation with a light and clean scent that is fresh and energizing. and i can’t deny the perfection of their packaging. i get mine from The New Stand in Union Square Metro Station, $9.
Bronzing Mousse by St. Tropez
listen, let’s all just get over the stigma surrounding self-tanners. yes, there have been some massive mistakes on the market, but they are here to help us achieve that healthy, sunkissed glow that we know now is something that unfortuantely we need to avoid receiving in the natural way. the good news? they’ve evolved to create naturally beautiful products that won’t leave you looking like an oompa loompa. so free your skin from another layer of powder and toss that bronzer to the side. this mousse gives your skin a natural-looking tint. it goes on evenly and looks oh-so-natural. plus a little goes a long way, so it lasts forever. best from ulta, $18 for the traveler, which has last me an entire year (and counting!)
the sun may never set on a badass, but it will set on all of us, brooklyn. every single night. so what will we do with it? how will we fill our days and nights and moments and hearts until it threatens us by peeking over the horizon again? ah, well, it seems i have a few ideas. come with me, eh? let’s ride into this sunset together and never look back, because there’s nothing back there for us anyway. not anymore. this weekend promises to take you on an international tour of flavors and funk, to celebrations of music and dancing and rooftops and rosé in dangerously unbalanced proportions. it will have us howling at the sun and praying to the moon and screaming with liberation and love.
and of course, i’ll be your guide. get in here, brooklyn. i’ve been waiting for you.
(in a creepy way.)
Kreung Cambodian Dinner at The Diamond, Greenpoint.
ah, the constantly evolving, multi-faceted brilliance of the diamond. thursday it enters into the realm of exotic small plate supper club because why the fuck not. seriously. why not. it’s cambodian, it’s khmer, it’s kreung, and its guaranteed to go oh-so-well with that rotating tap of beers you’ve never heard of… and you feel like you drink a lot of microbrews. i love the diamond. and it loves you, and if you’re reading this then you at least tolerate me so we’re just a big love ring. Our friends at kreung wil 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 pork belly and secrets. 43 franklin st. time to get kreunnnng baby.
American Food and Immigration Policy, Discussion and Tastes at MoFaD, Williamsburg.
immigration policy debates are practically being jammed down our throats via the media these days, so let’s make it a bit easier to swallow. in new york we are lucky enough to be surrounded by so many diverse cultures and people and to be able to taste the flavors of their country is one way that we can each share something that we inevitably have in common. come to the museum of food and drink tonight for a discussion on how immigration policy has shaped food in our country and hear from sonio perez, a street vendor and immigrant, then sample her fare paired with some brooklyn brews. 630-8pm, $20 available here.
Kamayan Dinner by Manila Social Club in Williamsburg.
do you see a theme here? yeah, it seems to be international cuisine thursday here so get into it, baby. next stop on the list is the kamayna dinner from manila social club. this meal is intended to be eaten completely with your hands, so bring a friend and feed each other, in a creepy way. the meal includes traditional filipino fare of seafood, meat, and veggies and each ticket includes a filipino cocktail. and then we will dance, and then we will sing and spill into the streets with full bellies and warm hearts and saucy hands. all info here, 7-10pm, 53 broadway.
The Wild Honey Pie presents Swimm at Threes Brewing, Gowanus.
what do you get when your favorite music blog plans an event at your favorite brewery? well, for one you fucking go to it. and you dive in, deep. the wild honey pie hosts swimm at threes brewing friday night for an evening of surf rock tunes and summer time suds and that lidda-bit-sweet, lidda-bit-cray magic you’ve come to expect from the wild honey pie. $8 tickets available here. doors at 8pm. 333 douglass st at threes brewing, i’ll try anything thrice.™
Sundance Short Films at MetroTech Commons, Brooklyn Heights.
ok listen… i keep having this debate about the whole binge-watching television business. i get it, i do. i understand long-form entertainment. i was a harry potter fan, for god sakes! however i cannot intentionally saddle up and commite to 9021843213 hours of watching something. i can’t. i might die before it ends, or kill myself. (#dark) i also haven’t watched television since binge watching or netflix were things. so. ANYWAY, what i do love are movie trailers. short and sweet and just a little taste. what’s better than movie trailers? short films. of the critically-acclaimed variety, so you know you aren’t wasting that little bit of time. because we’re new yorkers, we don’t have time for that shit. besides, short films mean you have just enough popcorn and sneaky wine to get you through. metrotech commons hosts the sundance shorts friday night and they want you to come. and dance. in your sunny shorts. info here, event is free and also liberating. doors at 8, live music at 830, films at 9. 5 metrotech center.
yeah, i know… she sure is long-winded for a short-form entertainment enthusiast.
The Le Sigh Vendors Market at Brooklyn Bazaar, Greenpoint.
there has been a lot of beauty to be born out of the pain we have all been experiencing from close-minded individuals putting labels and stereotypes on gender roles… one of these beautiful things is the le sigh, a Brooklyn-based website that highlights female-indentifying and non-binary artists. they are having a vendors market at brooklyn bazaar friday night, so come, have a drink, browse their selection of zines, embroidery, weaving, books, perfume, tarot, holistic remedies, clothing, and all kinds of other stuffs… all from local female & non-binary vendors. djs too. 630-1030pm, all info here. 150 greenpoint ave.
This is Yoga, a non-yoga Trance Party from Rinsed, location TBA.
still coming off the afterglow of last week’s love hotel, my favorite party group in the ‘hood is pulling together the warehouse party of warehouse parties… in their words, “a disorienting and euphoric mindfu¢k for you to both get lost and stuck into at the same time. this is the warehouse event of the summer, do not sleep.” heed there advice and don’t miss this. tickets, $25 are going fast. available here. 11pm-late.
House of Yes + DISTRIKT Burner Fundraiser and Party at the Onderdonk House, Bushwick(ish)
so not all of us will be lucky enough to go to burning man this year, but our favorite party collective will be bringing the playa experience to us. house of yes is teaming up with DISTRIKT to help raise funds to build their most ambitious art project yet this year, and to do it they’re bringing all of the magic and wonder of burning man to the onderdonk house and play space. expect tons of sunshine and dancing, aerial performances, interactive art, body painting and glitter stations, frozé, plus an after party at house of yes. dress in true burning man spirit and bring yourself, your friends, and the funk. tickets, $20 available here. 2-9pm, with after party to follow and last all night, baby. 1820 flushing ave.
Williamsburg Shopping Weekend, happening in Williamsburg.
“inspired by fashion’s night out” the only thing that should be inspired by fashions night out is a reevaluation of your own self worth and a realization that you should be attributing your finances to things that help you on the inside instead of the outside. like, i don’t know. traveling. that being said, saturday and sunday is williamsburg shopping day. particiants meet at the vale where they will receive a tote bad to fill and a cocktail to help smooth out all of those momentary hesitations they might have when considering a purchase.
things i don’t like about this: everything.
things i do like about this: we should be supporting local businesses. although, um… most of the participants are not local.
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 will finally reopen this weekend. who better to christen the evening than dj bengey on the 1’s and 2’s. let’s all rally around this beloved park slope institution by dancing our asses off. the celebration starts at 1pm, bengey starts at 11.30 and won’t stop until you stop. more info here. 702 union st.
Brooklyn Bike Rave, along the Waterfront in Brooklyn.
have you ever been to a rave and thought, dammmmmn this would be so much cooler if my bike was here? me too man. me too. come out to the brooklyn bike rave decked out in all of your raviest gear, and make sure your bike dresses the part. glow sticks, flashing lights, those annoying beady things in your spokes, who cares. maybe put your front light on the back, it’s 2017 baby, anything goes. this event supports the brooklyn greenway initiative and also freedom and cycling, which are basically the same thing. it ends at the manhattan bridge archway with an on-foot dance party. $25, 7-10pm.
Ribs and Rose at Rooftop Reds, in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
hot meet, cold rose, and one of the best rooftops in the ‘hood are all joining forces sunday. all that’s missing is that sweet summertime bod of yours. fletcher’s barbecue will be bringing their ribs, chicken, corn on le cob (that’s french for corn on the cob), salad, beans, and plenty of other sides and fixin’s to the city’s only urban winery. $50 ticket gets you all-you-can-eat food and 2 glasses of perfectly-paired refreshing rose, OR, $65 gets you all of that food plus 3 glasses of rose AND 2 beers. yep. there isn’t even a question here folks. go, eat, nap in the hammocks. live for summer. tickets and info here, 4-8pm, 299 sands st.
North Brooklyn Farms Sunday Dinner, Williamsburg.
if you haven’t checked out north brooklyn farms, go, immediately. and then also return for sunday night’s farm dinner. there is something so magical about this space, wide open farmland right at the foot of the williamsburg bridge, overlooking the east river and the entire city skyline. their dinner party this sunday will be sourced completely from the farm that you’ll be eating within, everything within 20 feet of your seat. it all happens at sunset, 7-10pm. tickets, $100 are available here. 320 kent ave.
peach cobbler should only be trusted from the hands of someone from the south. somene who has spent time in georgia, someone who has shamelessly stopped so many times on family road trips at the big peach in south carolina, someone who isn’t afraid of butter or telling you exactly why her peach cobbler is the best.
and mine, of course. is the best.
i have always approached peaches with such revelry. these volatile little fruits are rarely perfect but when you bite into one and know, yes, this will be the best peach of the season, there’s no better gift.
i came across this little piece written years ago, by peach-loving, high-school liz, about my love for the finnicky, fuzzy little fruits:
people think of me when they think about peaches.
they give me peaches, my whole life they have.
they tell me about peaches they’ve recently eaten.
and I love peaches, I do.
but I don’t think I ever blatantly say that I love peaches.
maybe it’s in the way I speak of them how I experience them, the closed-eyed deep inhale I give each one before I pierce the soft skin and sink my teeth into the juicy flesh.
so odd, that I am compared with such a small, sweet, seasonal little fruit.
4 cups peaches, peeled and sliced.
1 1/2 – 2 cups sugar, depending on the sweetness of the fruits you have chosen.
1/2 cups of water
8 tablespoons of butter, salted
1 1/2 cups of flour
1 1/2 cups milk
cinnamon (preferably form burlap and barrel in brooklyn)
what to do with the ingredients
preheat oven to 350 degrees (it’s going to get damn hot, if you live in brooklyn and only have a/c in select rooms. think of this as a great opportunity to sweat out your hangover. you know you have one.)
combine peaches, 1 cup of the sugar, and water into a saucepan. bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes. remove from heat.
melt butter. (gotta be honest, i really enjoy doing obnoxious paula deen impressions while i’m melting butter. inspiration here.)
mix together the remaining sugar, flour, and milk.
pour melted butter into a 3-quart baking dish and pour or spoon the flour mixture over the butter. do not stir.
spoon fruit on top.
sprinkle with cinnamon.
bake for 30-45 minutes, until batter is cooked and everything ie smelling really fucking heavenly in that hot little apartment kitchen.
it’s midsummer baby and that makes us abuzz and alight with ideas and intentions, distractions and interactions, seductions and temptations and confirmations that all add up to a sign, that this is our time to feel alive and shameless. ignore your schedule. let your responsibilities be damned, because trust me when I say they’ll be waiting for you, armed and ready, come autumn. but for now, be distracted by all of the lovely things this city has to offer. don’t worry, I’ll be your guide and also your alibi… because that’s what I’m here for. so go forth, young brooklynites, and weekend.
Square Dance with Old Lazarus’s Harp at Threes Brewing on Franklin St in Greenpoint.
of you haven’t been to threes brewing greenpoint outpost, i don’t know what the hell you’re doing with your summer, or life. they opened up right on franklin and greenpoint and they host music, sling beers, and spread joy 7 days a week. thursday night they host old lazarus’s harp and a good old fashioned square dance and you’ll want to be there… or be, you know… square. 9-11pm. all info here. 113 franklin ave.
El Jefe’s Nachoria Pop-Up at the Diamond, Greenpoint.
it’s thursday and that means everyone’s favorite bar in greenpoint (so not biased) will be hosting another international pop-up dinner. this week they welcome back the boss, el jefe’s nachoria who will be making those naughty little flame-torched nachos right before your eyes. an expanded selection means even more chances to find a perfect pairing with diamond dave’s carefully curated drafts. my current fave is the ICONYC hallapeno saison. crisp and spicy, just like summertime. (and you). info here, dinner starts at 7pm, beers flow until 2. 43 franklin st.
LPR Presents at Nowadays: Spain-Brooklyn Music Series.
Spain Fresh, a group that connects spanish events and artists all over the world, brings their talents to brooklyn (or, ok, maspeth) at the wonderous outpost that is nowadays thursday night. come here up-and-coming and established artists from right hear and across the pond, featuring El Guincho, Extraperlo, NOIA & DJ Turnball Green. read more here and get tickets. 6-10pm, at nowadays, 56-06 cooper ave. if you want more cultural connections between spain and brooklyn, eat it up here or here or here, drink it up here, take it in here, lose yourself here or here and then find yourself here or here.
Sofar Sounds Back Yard Show in Crown Heights
sofar sounds, a music movement dedicated to bringing the sound back to shows and throwing pop-up concerts in unorthodox settings all over the world, will be bringing the magic to a backyard in crown heights thursday night. sign up for tickets here. shows feature 3-4 dynamic artists and they are all byob, so bring a beverage along with the funk. (which of course, you don’t leave home without, right?) 8-11pm, location will be off the franklin ave stop. #sofarsogood
Friday Night Flight at Brooklyn Bazaar in Greenpoint.
our friends at waxx.fm partner with party authority splash that to bring us a new kind of dance party at the brooklyn bazaar. 4 dynamic acts mean that electronic, hip hop, r&b and disco beats will be making you move and groove all night. rsvp here, 10-2am at the bk bazaar, 150 greenpoint ave.
You Fancy Huh: Wine and Cheese Tasting and Customer Appreciaton Night at Babeland in Boerum Hill.
what is wine and cheese tasting but an pretense to a slow seduction that will progress with one another into the bedroom? or hell, onto the kitchen floor, upon a bear rug in front of the fire, or as the waves are breaking at fort tilden? these traditional aphrodesiacs enter the dangerously erotic atmosphere at babeland on smith st to entice you and your lover (or simply yourself, of course) to indulge and imbibe and then take home some tempting treasures at a 20% discount. plus, there will be a $300 giveaway basket featuring their top of the line toys. all info here, 7pm. 462 bergen st. at babeland – home of the free, land of the babes.™
Out in the Streets Music and Arts Festival, at The Well and the streets outside of it, Bushwick.
this is what summer in brooklyn is all about. a 2-day, 20+ band arts and music fest starting at the well in bushwick and then spilling out onto the streets because this talent can’t possibly be contained. featuring caveman, a place to bury strangers, cuddle magic, surf rock is dead, monogold… so many local favorites and others to discover, plus art, food, drinks, all at one of the best party spaces in the borough. full line up here. buy your tickets NOW. 2-10pm sat and sun, at the well, 272 meserole st.
Feeling Gloomy presents Fuck the Hamptons, a dance party at Cape House in Bushwick.
there is a certain audacity and hoodrat-esque rebellion to brooklyn cynicism, especially that contrary to what it seems we are told we should enjoy and indulge in. some people are able to take off to the hamptons in the summertime, but even if we can’t, maybe we don’t want to. maybe we aren’t in to being stuck in the jitney on the highway for hours or paying $20 to get into a bar where a recent Wharton grad will spill a Corona all over our chucks. and why bother anyway, when we can get to fort tilden on our bikes and we have the best non-beach beach bar ever right here in bushwick? cape house hosts its monthly indie/brit-pop party feeling gloomy, a “melancholy rager” of sad songs you want to dance to. think – the cure, the smiths, joy division, and all your other favourites (<—— british spelling there) that bring a spring to your step and a tear to your eye. $6 gets you in, 11pm-4am. all info here, 2 knickerbocker ave.
Rinsed Love Hotel, somewhere in Brooklyn.
in the city that never sleeps, underground sex clubs are nearly ubiquitous with corner bodegas, park hot dog stands, and all-night-into-the-next-day warehouse dance parties. so what if then brooklyn’s best party group created a love affair event somewhere between sex club and warehouse party in a multi-level choose-your-own-adventure one-night-only event? in their own words, “What if there was a party with public and private spaces, quiet and loud spaces, places for dancing, places for sitting, or laying down? What if there were different kinds of music, for different kinds of people? Or offered a complete reprieve for when you get hot and bothered?” this is it. from my favorite party group who understands that you can’t dance yrself clean until you get dirty. tickets, $25 available here. #getrinsed
Free Ice Cream (Saturday and Sunday) at MoFaD, Williamsburg.
folks, it’s officially “national ice cream month” which once again reminds us that we do not need a designated national official time to enjoy or appreciate certain anything. it’s hot, we want ice cream, all month. however, if that means that certain companies want to give us free ice cream in honor of this ingeniously dedicated month, then cool. i’m sure we will all instagram the shit out of it. happening saturday and sunday at the MOFAD, noon-5pm. free personal haagen daz with museum visit, no purchase necessary. 62 bayard st.
Brooklyn Dirty Book Fair at Point Green, NoGreePo.
the imagination is so much more vibrant and down-and-dirty than our eyes allow, and so manifests our desire and curiousity for the erotic novel, which should be embraced and dived into, nose first. if you haven’t yet explored this indulgent art form, you’re overdue for an a-fair. conveniently one is happening this weekend. the brooklyn dirty book fair, in their own words, will “feature two small-scale exhibitions, a selection of publications and prints for sale, a program of performances and readings, live nude classical and jazz musicians, smutty film screenings, and an orgy afterparty.” no idea if that last bit is true but, prepare accordingly. all info here, it’s happening saturday and sunday at point green, 260 java st.
Chicken Shit Bingo, a Fundraiser and Party for Bushwick City Farm.
i’m from virgnia and have spent plenty of time on farms and have still never found a way to turn fowl feces into finances. but here in a city of hustlers, why does it not surprise me that someone has? our friends at bushwick city farm are holding their third annual chicken shit bingo fundraiser, which is pretty much just as it sounds. party-goers buy a square on a large game board for $5 and the bushwick city farm resident chickens, full of a shit-worthy meal, will prance and dance around until they let it loose. and when do-do, you win a prize. in addition to poo, the event will also have a hand-made pinata, cargo-bike hay rides (not sure how this works, but it’s oh-so-brooklyn), live music, food and dranks, and non-gamboard bathrooms for humans to use, in case you were wondering. all info here, 3-8pm, 354 stockton st.
15th Annual Bastille Day Celebration with Bar Tabac, Fort Greene.
just because US and Canadian independence days are over does not mean that we need to stop celebrating freedom. Bastille day is this week, and we have the freedom in this country to be shameless Francophiles. celebrate at charming bar tabac in boerum hill and the surrounding city blocks for an all-day festival featuring multiple petanque ball courts (which is basically a funky version of bocce ball) (which, let’s be honest, is a funky version of bowling), plus tons of french delicacies, and all the chilled rose and champagne you could ever wish for. and also accordions. and berets. and bichon frises. and frisee salads. and antoinne griezman. this is one of the biggest bastille celebrations in north america so until we can all head east, meet me there. all info here. noon-6pm, 128 smith st. bastille day last year was one of the best parties i’ve ever been to in brooklyn (and i do not say that lightly), so sunday is not the day to be le tired.
Good Roof at Dobbin Street, a dance party. in Greenpoint.
you know what they say… summer sundays were made for dancing on rooftops. (they do, i’ve heard them say it) and this is just the event for that. it’s the good roof at dobbin st and it’s everything your body wants and needs, to dance yrself clean in the summer sun with all your friends and lovers. Project Pablo, Paul Raffaele, and Barbie Bertisch will be spinning from 3pm-9pm. tickets, $20 available here. 64 dobbin st. hop on the good roof, do some bad things.™
Turkey is a country that constantly juxtaposes the reverent mysticism and progressive modernity. The call to prayer interrupts a wave of commuters during rush hour, women in hijabs walk between tourists holding selfie sticks. The solemn and unwavering countenance of Ataturk presides over a nation still plagued by hypocrisy, chaos, and confusion. because of its turbulent history, volatile location, and relentless drive to hold on to tradition while remaining competitive in a perpetually modernized world, Turkey has been plagued by conflict for much of its history. conflict that has so unfortunately escalated recently. Let that not keep us from going, because conflict and terrorism wins when we close the curtains and hide in our seemingly safeguarded homes. The best defense we have is to break down barriers, to open our minds, to eliminate stereotypes, keep moving.
so when you decide to go to Turkey, spend some time in Anatolia in the city of Cappadocia. be charmed by the people, captivated by the landscape, and completely lost in a land that is so magical it doesn’t seem real. take the balloon photo and then do everything else there is to do there.
and start here my friends: your 3-day guide to Cappadocia.
There’s more to this land than instagram-worthy hot air balloons. Cappadocia is an otherworldly region in central turkey consisting of multiple small villages situated in a fairy tale-like setting. This, “the land of beautiful horses” got its tranquil, surreal landscape thanks to two volcanoes erupting and covering the rocky terrain with hot magma 60 million years ago. 60 million. Now the volcanoes have hushed and what is left is an arid snowscape of flowing stone, hidden caves, and jarring mountains dotted with charming villages, breathtaking views, and the relentlessly hospitable Anatolian people.
where to stay
Goreme Mansion, in Goreme, Capadoccia.
Almost all options here for accommodations are “cave hotels” which are exactly what they sound like- minus the stalactites and bats. While I can only share my experience at one of these enchanting chateaus, I feel that you really need to look no further. Goreme Mansion is located at the top of the hill in central Goreme. This charming 7-room hotel consists of three floors of open terraces and a rooftop with more than a view.
the hotel is located close to the village’s minaret (as, consequently, everything else in town) gives you a very Arabian wake up call at 542am but rather than abruptly waking you, it paints your dreams in a mystical light. Sleep with the windows open, because I almost guarantee you’ll miss this experience once you’re gone. The hotel provides a complimentary Turkish Breakfast from 730 to 9 every morning, and is all homemade by the “staff” here… which, by the way, isn’t a staff at all. Ali, the owner, grew up in this house and has been continuously updating and adding to the mansion to give guests the perfect taste of his hometown. His face is worn with then inimitable marks of years of laughter, kindness, and humility. Busra, who introduces herself immediately not by her position at the mansion, but insisting- “I am your sister. What’s mine is yours,” is the most hospitable person I’ve ever run into. She takes the time to explain and plan your stay for you, adding in anecdotes and histories of the land and people, making calls on the phone and to friends in the street to arrange activities, rides, and exclusive discounts. She is truly the magic of this place and defined the Anatolian experience here for me- kindness, humility, generosity, towards all who pass; an infectious generosity that you carry with you long after leaving.
The rooms are spacious, bathrooms are nearly spa-like, and overall feeling of the place is just as they intended- like home. (If home is in,a cave in a magical fairy tale and you are the queen and dine on coffees and olives all day. of course.) oh yeah, and this will put you back only $26 a night.
this is their address, believe it or not
Gaferli Mah., Şükrü efendi Sokak No:1, Nevşehir, Turkey
Sure, this is a bit of a novelty- but something yiu must try. Handmade pottery is abundant here due to the readily available clay from the red river, able hands, and arid climate. Meat and spices are placed in ceramics pots and cooked with fire underground, brought to your table, and then broken with a samurai-esque sword to release the most tender and flavorful kebab adventure you’ll experience in turkey. Served with fresh bread, tomato, onion, yogurt,cucumber, and all of it’s other friends, it’s a delicacy not to be missed.
I recommend Sedef, which is located at Bilal Eroglu Cad., in Goreme.
A real Turkish breakfast, anywhere.
Turkish breakfast is like a choose-your-own-adventure novel. A mixture of breads, cheeses, meats, yogurt, tomato, cucumber, olives, honey, jam, and pretty much anything else they can think of arrives on an array of plates and allows you to combine flavors on your fork to get your day started with a fresh variety of local fare. Don’t be shy either- you’ll need some energy.
we live in a city that is defined by impenetrably endless nights, relentlessly creative residents, limitless dance parties, and as an explorative urban biking paradise, but we are also lucky enough to live about an hour from some damnfantasticbeaches. so you know what? fuck you LA. we aight here.
and to prove it, i’m bringing you an epic weekend guide that encompasses all of the magic and wonder that these streets can handle, from a full moon party of bali-esque reverence, a nakedtribute through the dreamscapes of salvador dali, an immersive theater-dance-party experience in a 72 year old mansion where you’re guaranteed to get lucky, and a chance to travel back in time to sin and dance at studio 54.
it’s summertime baby. let’s make bad decisions in all the best ways.
DIamond Pop-Up Dinner with Barba, 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 bk (a new little love child from the folks behind roscos pizza) 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, so get there, have a ball, then #meetmeinthegondola. info here. 43 franklin st.
No Honeymoon and friends play at Cape House in Bushwick.
summertime was made for places like cape house… equal parts new england style clam shack, open-air outdoor bar, underground concert venue and debacherous disco den, you should be spending about 69% of your nights here. get started tonight as they host best behavior, today junior, no honeymoon, and the royal they to rock out from 8-11pm, before a late-night dance party. get there early for the food, stay for the show, dance your ass off all night and forget about friday, ok? just fucking forget about it. $10 tickets and info here, 2 knickerbocker ave.
LoftOpera presents Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, at the Muse in Bushwick.
nothing compares to the magic of seeing loftopera, an event that brings the grandiosity of opera and makes it approachable. to have performers giving such passionate and captivating performances so close is an experience that is truly unmatched. the series is a baroque piece and surrounds the complicated intimacy of two people as their love and lives fall apart on stage and our hearts break right along with them. I went last Friday and still can’t get it out of my head or off my heart. come see Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, performed in brooklyn’s premier circus school (naturally) and featuring the costume designs of christian joy, whose portfolio boasts the adornments of karen O and childish gambino, just to name a few. be a part of it at the muse in bushwick for an intimate affair of truly heartbreaking and earth-shattering proportions in the only way an opera this intimate can be. tickets $30, available here. this is the last weekend, so GO. 350 moffat st. bet you’ll like it better than pirates of penzance.
oh, and do yourself a favor and grab tacos and margaritas at the deep end before the show. these guys are getting it oh-so-right by providing cheap and delicious tacos in a dynamic event space, plus the bartenders aren’t bashful with the tequila shots. 1080 wyckoff ave.
You Are So Lucky, an Immersive Experience from House of Yes, The Box and The Danger at a Secret Mansion.
what happens when house of yes, the box, and the danger join forces with over 125 performers, fire spinners, acrobats, djs, and global musicians, along with bob moses and queen of the night, and they all inhabit a 72-year-old mansion on the edge of the city? an event that you absolutely must not miss. you are so lucky, an extravagant soiree that meets an underground art party, is an immersive experience unlike anything you’ve been a part of in the city. you will be transported into a magical land and a story of fire, of granite and gorgeous nights, born from generations of artists, of seekers, of fearless creators, consummated in the darkness, on dance floors, and uponn the lips of strangers. tickets for the dinner performance friday, all-day experience saturday, and brunch exhibit on sunday are all available here. prices vary reasonably, if in doubt, please re-read above reverence and know that you are so lucky.
Enchantment Under the Sea Dance at Littlefield in Gowanus.
littlefield now counts themselves among the fantastic neighborhood institutions that courageously combatted gentrification and raised funds to keep their dream and space alive in our constantly-evolving ‘hood, and that means more events in a bigger space with a new, huge outdoor area. keep supporting them and have a hell of a time doing it, starting with tonight’s event. A Drinking Game NYC is recreating the Enchantment Under the Sea dance from back to the future, so all you nerds can come dressed as your favorite back to the future character or in that 50s prom get-up you’ve been dying for a chance to wear. 3 live bands (one of which is a buddy holly tribute band) will keep you grooving all night. tickets, $25 available here. a portion of proceeds go to benefit the michael j. fox foundation for parkinson’s research, so it’s a chance to #revelwithacause and feel good while being a little bad. 635 sacket st. #sackettomesackettomesackettomesackettome
Full Moon Festival on Governor’s Island.
full moon festival, a day of worldly cultural sensibility with a new york swagger, brings all of the magic of up-and-coming artists and the pinnacle phase of the lunar calendar to governor’s island for one full day and night of music and revelry, under the bright beautiful full moon. so let’s all pretend we’re in bali and dance barefoot and make love to each other. which is obviously how it all happens in bali. prove me wrong, go ahead. (you don’t want to). come see 13 established and emerging artists all playing on a huge open field with plenty of other attractions and activities, plus, $1 of each ticket’s sale goes to reduce your carbon footprint so #revelwithacause and dance on carbon-light feet under the moonlight, all night. all right? noon-midnight. tickets are selling fast so get yours now here. it all happens on governor’s island.
The Persistence of Nudity: A Tribute to Salvador Dali Burlesque, in Coney Island.
because we live in brooklyn, our perception of attraction and seduction are peppered with an edge. we like our sex to be accompanied by strangers and costumes, our art to be immersive and interpretive, and our nighttime activities to be clandestine, persistent, and memorable. just like fucking salvadore dali (you choose if that fucking was used an an active verb or adjective…) his paintings are interpretive, addictive, sensual and subversive. and burlesque at the beach brings you a multi-sensory experiential tribute to his work that will open up all the corporal drawers of your subconscious to leave you breathless and misplaced, for the first time, again. it all happens saturday night, 1208 surf ave, tickets $15 right here. “Take me, I am the drug. Take me, I am hallucinogenic.” – the man. (you don’t have to ask me twice)
Bring Your Own Photo Show at the Bushwick Community Darkroom.
are we all photographers these days, in the age of such incessant media influx? well, no. no we are not. but for those that have an impenetrable eye at capturing beauty and life from behind the lens, they deserve a larger gallery than 4×4 pixelated squares and a better reception than hearts and thumbs-up. the bring your own photo show at the lovely Bushwick Community Darkroom lets photographers display their work among contemporaries, from novice to professional, and see how their work brings life to the eyes of observers. plus learn all the great ways the BCD is benefitting a community of creators by being among them, in their inspiring space. all info here, 7-9pm, 110 troutman st.
Studio 54 premier at Brooklyn Bazaar, Greenpoint.
disco ain’t dead baby, it’s alive and well and on the move, just like your hips will be saturday night. it’s the premier of Studio 54 at the brooklyn bazaar, which means three floors of disco, dancing, vogue-ing and secret back rooms, plus 8 djs bringin’ the funk all night. 10% of all door and bar sales go to benefit the gay men’s health crisis so #revelwithacause all night, and into the morning. 8pm-4am, tickets, $25 available here. 150 greenpoint ave.
Tiki Disco at The Well, Bushwick.
a summertime Brooklyn institution. tiki disco, the keeper of our summertime souls and all of the funk we’ve ever brought and the memories we’ve strategically forgotten and the ones we’ll keep forever… this day party is not for the weak at heart. this is for you, brave heart. the tiki gods and lords of disco would like to come down to the well and extend their hand to shake yours and then never ever let go. dig? tickets are $10 right here, $15 at the door before 6pm, $20 after. sunday, 2-11pm, 272 meserole. tiki disco hits you like sneaky crisco™ (man that’s gross) (i don’t care.)
Pizza, Wine and Movie Night at Rooftop Reds in the Navy Yard.
summertime in the city means all the the goodness that’s kept indoors during the year hemorrhages out onto the sidewalk, into the streets, upon rooftops and across beaches, especially our cinemas. and if this week’s outdoor film finds itself set among the city’s only urban winery, and added pizza? well, that would make for the perfect way to end a beautiful brooklyn weekend. rooftop reds will be showing bridesmaids on its enchanting rooftop, and your ticket includes 2 slices of pizza from local favorite il porto pizzeria, one glass of wine (more available for purchase!) and a lot of laughs under a just-full moon. tickets $30 available here. rooftop reds is in the navy yard at 299 sands st, building 275. film starts at 7pm, arrive early to get in some hammock sitting and corn hole at sunset.
Harpoon Sriracha Blonde at Barcade in Williamsburg.
back by very popular demand after a 3 year hiatus, harpoon brewery has brewed another batch of harpoon sriracha blonde ale, and you can try one (or five!) at barcade starting sunday. this beer is in limited supply, so don’t miss your chance to sink your mouth upon this spicy blonde. which is what summer is made for. all info here, beers start at noon and go all day and all night. 388 union ave.
getting off the 7th avenue stop in south park slope, i followed the directions to 7th and15th street. before entering camperdown elm, i looked around the block. this looks super familiar , i realized immediately. i saw the cross streets and texted my friend, “didn’t you used to live on this block?” i asked, sending her a picture of the new resturant, with the cross street signs in the background. “i think?” she said. “i mean that’s definitely it!” we both tried to figure out briefly what was there before, what the block had looked like, how the neighborhood had been. I had brief visions of us dancing in some bar, maybe across the street? and my farewell party on her rooftop, it was just there i think? she’d moved away 4 years ago, which of course in rapidly-gentrifying brooklyn neighborhoods is basically a lifetime. this is the reality of life in our borough. change is the only constant (that and the rats), and we’re left standing in front of a new juice stand/artisan butchery/bao bar/tapas spot wondering what the hell was there before.
camperdown elm, however, has slipped into the neighborhood seamlessly. staying true to the integrity of the space, both the interior and exterior of reinvented space has maintained the historic architecture of what must be a 200-year old building; original tiled floor and ceiling in nearly perfect condition, the evening sun alight and alive through stained glass above the door, a raw, a tangible and exposed brick wall behind the bar, and perceptively compelling minimalist decor… even its name pays homage to its neighborhood roots, named after the infamous and seemingly endless elm tree in neighboring prospect park.
the experience already felt nostalgic, a bit like somewhere that had been there all along…
until, that is, the food came.
camperdown elm is providing an explosion of flavors, textures, spices, and bold new dishes that create an experience that is anything but familiar. it’s intriguing, it’s ambitious, it’s bold and oh-so-good for the soul. like both your first and last lover.
head chef Brad Willits hails from indian river, florida and thus inevitably concentrates on a seafood-centric menu, and my distinctively-curated virginia palate recognized and celebrated so many below-the-mason-dixon-line flavors. my favorite among a standout crowd of appetizers was the country ham on corn gunny cakes with a blueberry jam adhesive. its taste was gave me the feeling of the one kid from a small town who goes to college and comes back for christmas break for the first time. recognizable, familiar, but in a different package and one that every one in town wants a piece of.
the mood and atmosphere felt celebratory and charged. “we open tomorrow,” the bartender told me, eyes alight as she poured me another glass of sparkling.
the next course were fresh, briney oysters with a muffled-tropical minionette of pickled kiwi; the seasonal and subdued sweetness perfectly washed down the salty bivalves. next, a crisp squid ink rice cracker floated by, topped with a light mackeral pate, neither of which was overbearing; suspiciously un-fishy. then, small grilled cucumber slices wearing fancy ikura hats came along… and top of the evening to you dear sir! i said, eating it before any response was to be heard. finally a bold ending to the appetizer parade, a bundle of fried muffins with house made butter that reminded me of hush puppies in the loudest of ways.
the wine list, curated by nacho monclus from Spain is spanish-centric which is oh so perfect for this little hispanophile. my glass stayed full of dry, expressive cava for the appetizers and switched to an endless, filterless, raw, biodynamic red from Andalusia, which was pasisonate and alive for the stellar main courses.
the grandmasters of the parade consisted of a seasonally festive interpretation paella that more than stood up to its spanish ancestor.. which is something i wouldn’t say lightly. the next course, a hearty d’artagnan rib eye steak served nearly rare with a secret signature camperdown sauce that was almost more of an aus jous (god i hate that word. ugh.) and was perfectly paired with broccoli rabe atop a light cauliflower mash, just to make momma proud.
at this point in the evening I was pleasantly full and admittedly tipsy, buzzing with energy and networking like a busy little blogger bee. I was joking lightly with the team from Bklyner when I saw dessert coming out… oh no, I thought. there was no way i had room for dessert, especially because i admittedly had seconds, thirds, fourths of any appetizer that came around as many times. come on! i’m a poor starving blogger. i was simply proud i didn’t slip any of it into my bag. (though i thought about it, trust me.)
i had no room for dessert, but I remembered that when i entered into this event, a bit nervous and slightly late, i introduced myself to Karly at the door and she told me to get some wine and then, earnestly, grabbed my arm and said, “save room for dessert.”
i hadn’t done it, karly. i had no more room. but i had promises to keep and so when the delicate little squares of (what else from a floridian!) key lime pie came around, i took one. i forced my mouth open. i slipped it in.
sweet jesus almighty.
what was this? made not from key limes but from sea buckthorn, which was some sort fo magical, imported berry. all of the tangy tartness expected from key lime pie was silenced into a beautiful symphony of sweet and sour and slightly salty, bold and seductive flavor.
i had 3 more.
i ate three more of these magical delicacies because a taste like that, you take as much as you can without hesitation. because you just don’t know when or if it will come to you again, just as the sweetest and most seductive of lovers so often tease and elude us.
and after another glass of wine or two, i found myself interviewing the talented and remarkably approachable chef brad willits and taking a few pseudo-portrait photos of him in the best light i could find, conversing about the magic that goes into every menu, every night, every plate.
i walked out into the beautifully moonlight night aloft and fulfilled, and to be honest, i was left rather dumbfounded, wondering how exactly i got here. obviously, i arrived by the finnicky little G train, but how did i start getting invited to restaurant openings, discussing flavour (<— yeah look at me, i’m using the fancy spelling of things now.) palates with food critics and influencers. did they know that i couldn’t exactly afford dinner tonight? but i knew, honestly, that this was exactly what i’d been working toward for the past 2.5 years since i started my blog. working, writing, networking, writing, planning, writing, outreaching, writing writing writing.
this. my perplexed elation matched that of every taste that i put into my mouth. ambitious and nostalgic, unexpected yet deeply appreciated. a food and life experience that felt elevated yet rooted, and one that no doubt will continue to grow.
oh camperdown elm, i have no doubt that these roots run deep and that you will bloom with every season, on every night, upon every plate with no hesitation. chance favors the bold and there’s no chance that these flavours won’t emerge into the stunning, metamorphic institution that the neighborhood has been seeking yet didn’t know it deserved.
what not to miss
oysters with seasonal mignonette, country ham and gunny cakes, grilled octopus, d’artagnan rib eye, and that damn pie.