Friday, December 30, 2011

New Years Eve Places to Be.

There are a lot of wonderful bars, restaurants, and venues in our neighborhood where one can celebrate New Years Eve without the hassle of fighting the crowds in Manhattan. We're sure all the delicious restaurants, such as Prime Meats, Good Fork, and Char 4 will be doing something special. The question is whether or not they are booked yet. If you haven't tried already, don't wait any longer, make some phone calls now. Seersucker is doing a six-course southern feast for $120. The Grocery is also doing a special tasting menu for the evening. Clover Club is always a favorite. They'll have a four hour open bar from 9pm -1am, passed Hors d’oeuvres, Champagne Toast and the usual festivities for $100 per person. If a venue is more your style, $45 tickets are still available for New Years Eve Soul at The Bell House featuring Lee Fields & The Expressions and Sugar Pie Desanto. Wherever your night takes you, have a happy new year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Bennington Writers at The Invisible Dog

We passed this flyer the other day about an event happening at The Invisible Dog (51 Bergen Street near Smith) on January 17th from 7:30-9:30 pm. They call it a "Literary Feast" and it features essayist Phillip Lopate as well Fiction, Non-Fiction and Poetry by MFA Grads Willa Carroll, Ken Harvey, Jennifer Acker, V. Hansmann, Lisa Alexander, Anne Decker, Julia Lichtblau, Alex Dawson, and Liz Arnold. There will be wine and book sales. If your New Years Eve resolution is to get involved more in the literary world than this is your event. Events at this venue are always great and usually pull in a crowd. We didn't notice any RSVP notice on the flyer but it wouldn't hurt to contact them to see about that. Check out their website if you're interested.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Moscot coming soon.

An uber hip eyewear shop is coming to the neighborhood. 159 Court Street to be specific.Add Image The company, Moscot, has been around for almost 100 years and specializes in vintage eyewear, particularly the 1930's-1970's eras. They have two stores in Manhattan, one on Orchard Street and one on West 14th. The new place on Court looks like it might be opening pretty soon. Although we can't see inside because of the brown paper covering the windows, the sign is up and ready. You can check out and even shop on their website here. Their eyewear looks pretty cool. Simple but stylish. Although we're always sad to see an old business go, 159 Court used to be a Floral and Photo shop, we think this new business is going to be a great addition to the neighborhood. What do you think?

Friday, December 23, 2011

3 things to do before the weekend.

We've got a few suggestions to prepare for the busy Christmas weekend. Aside from the usual preparations, like cleaning and shopping, we have few things to add to your list for today.

Pamper yourself- Go get a last minute facial, manicure, shave, or massage. Persons of Interest on Smith street is a good place for men and Dashing Diva gives great manis and pedis.

Get in the Spirit- Get a zipcar (they have several locations in the area) and go visit the Dyker Heights Christmas Lights. This Brooklyn neighborhood is filled with residents who compete with their neighbors to have to most extravagant light displays and the public reaps the benefits. It's sure to fill you with all the warm and fuzzy feelings to get you ready for the weekend.

Take a minute to warm up- While doing your last minute shopping in the neighborhood, stocking stuffers, gifts, or food for your feast, sit down and have yourself a hot chocolate break. The Chocolate room has, hands down the best in the hood. Thick dark chocolatey and not too sweet. Add a home made marshmallow and you're ready for Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Rock' Cool

While we're on the subject of very unique classes for children (yesterday's blog was about interesting art classes, such as fantasy art and abstract, at Muriel Guepin Gallery) we thought we'd let you know about another school we heard of in the area. This school, or rather scool, is called Rock's Cool. We're assuming this is a play on words to say rock school. We don't have too much information because the website doesn't seem to be up yet but you can get more info by emailing or calling 718-596-4962. The classes are at 177 Smith Street, which is that new music store that specializes in piano repairs and restoration. They offer private classes as well as ensemble and teach all the instruments you'd need to form an awesome rock band, such as guitar, bass, drums, horns. They also have voice lessons. So, if this interests you, call email, or pop into the music store to find out about enrollment.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Children's Art Classes

We were very excited to learn that Muriel Guepin Gallery has art classes for children. We love this gallery and after picking up a brochure and browsing it we found that the classes they are offering are just as unique as the gallery itself. These sessions, which include learning different ways to create animals in their animal kingdom class, fantasy art, animation, and a class called "having fun with abstraction" are specialized for certain ages groups. In all, they have classes for 2 year olds to teens. Winter session starts on Jan 9th so enrollment is going on now. You can check out their website here for more classes and info on enrollment.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Old Time Jams at Farmacy

No, we aren't talking about homemade fruit jams, although they have that at Farmacy (513 Henry Street) also and they are delicious. We're talking about you bringing your acoustic guitar, or fiddle or washboard, and hitting some jams with some folks at this old-time jam session. They started back up in November and happen every other Tuesday between 7:30 and 9:30pm. You missed the last one last week which makes the next one December 27th. It's a pretty laid back atmosphere over at Farmacy so you can just show up and play, there's no cover. You can RSVP to if you wish. The only thing they ask is that you bring acoustic only. They had no amps in the olden days.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Pub Quiz

With all the eating we've been doing and will continue to do this season, exercise is a good idea. But what about exercising our brains? If you feel like you need to wake your mind up after all that monotonous shopping while listening to "Jingle Bell Rock" for the hundredth time, then head down to Last Exit Bar tonight for their trivia night. With 50 questions, this one is like boot camp for your brain. Plus they have some quirky categories. According to Brooklyn Exposed, you may get categories like " “Last Exit Theater” (hosts perform scenes from movies) “Canadian or Not Canadian?” (decide if celebs like Michael Cera hail from our friend to the north), & Bodega Price is Right (does toilet paper really cost that much?)". Sounds fun right? Well, if you want to go but can't go tonight then you have every 1st and 3rd Monday to make it over there. Last Exit is located at 136 Atlantic and trivia starts at 9pm. $5 bucks to play.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Santa At MikNic!

Hey everyone, Santa going to be at MikNic's tomorrow from 1-4pm! Bring your kids and your cameras!

Holiday Shopping this Weekend!

For those of you who have procrastinated a bit or just haven't been able to find that perfect gift, you are in luck. This weekend, December 17th and 18th between 12 and 6pm, do your last minute shopping at the Brooklyn Craft Central Holiday Market. With 65 designers total, although they will have different vendors each day, you'll be sure to find unique gifts for everyone on your list or even a little something for yourself. Littlefield at 633 Degraw Street in Gowanus will be hosting and it's sure to get crowded, especially since there is no cover, so we'd recommend going early. To quench your thirst or appetite mid-way through all this shopping, or in our case usually as soon as we start, they'll have plenty of drink specials and food truck will be hanging outside as well. So come out, both days if you don't check off all those names the first time around, and support Brooklyn's local artisans!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Potter Fans Party!

Saw this little tidbit on GeekChicNYC this week. On December 17th our favorite spot in Gowanus, The Bell House, will be hosting a Harry Potter Yule Ball. That's right. Harry Potter fans can celebrate the holidays in wizardly style. Nice attire is recommended...wizard robes are optional. It's a whopping 18 bucks to get in but along with all the music you'll be enjoying for those bucks, including Harry and the Potters (photo above) as well as Draco and the Malfoys, there will also be drink specials. Plus, it's the holidays. Tis the season to... spend money on fun themed parties! It starts at 5pm so don't get there too late. Click here to buy tickets in advance.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Steve Wong, DDS PC

Many moons ago, almost a year to be exact, we wrote a blog about a dentist moving to 158 Court street (pictured above). Well, a spring, summer and fall season later it has finally arrived. We walked by recently and noticed the place was set up for business and informative pamphlets were placed outside to introduce Steve Wong, DDS PC. Apparently, although he is new to Court Street, he is not new to the neighborhood as he's practiced at 316 Henry Street for 8 years previous. All in all he's been a practicing dentist for 14 year, 10 of which were spent as an instructor at NYU College of Dentistry. In the pamphlet Wong promises thoroughness with complete oral examinations (including cancer screenings) and short wait times, saying "you'll rarely have to wait more than 5 to 10 minutes". That sounds like good criteria to us. If you need a dentist, check him out 718-625-2828.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

GOH Productions Presents...

We've blogged about the puppet theater at 196 Columbia Street before but here's a show At the Clock Works that incorporates every holiday of the season in one spectacular marionette performance. It's called A Christmas Carol, Oy Hanukkah, Merry Kwanzaa, Happy Ramadan and it's being staged by The Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre. Tickets are $20 for adults and $12 for children and you can find them on They say the event is suitable for ages 5-105. Sorry 106 year olds, you didn't make the cut. Show dates, which begin this Thursday, and times are listed below.

Dec 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 27, 27, 28, 29, 30 - 7pm
Dec 17, 18, 24, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31, Jan 1st- 4pm

Monday, December 12, 2011

T.A. progress in 2011

We just received an email from T.A., or Transportation Alternatives, which as Wikipedia may put it best is a "non-profit organization in New York City which seeks to change New York City's transportation priorities to encourage and increase non-polluting, quiet, city-friendly travel and decrease private car use". There is a campaign now that promises to match all donations given from now until the end of this year. They also gave us a round-up of everything they have accomplished in 2011. We thought we'd share it with you (below) since it was a great way to highlight some improvements in Brooklyn over the last year that will bring more inspiration for the new year. If you'd like to donate to T.A. you can click here.

In 2011, T.A.'s advocacy in Brooklyn had direct results:
  • In the courts and in the streets, the Prospect Park West protected bike lane was challenged by an on-slaught of well-funded NIMBYs -- and we won!
  • New bike lanes and pedestrian safety improvements in Cobble Hill, Prospect Heights and at Grand Army Plaza.
  • Pedestrian plazas -- in Clinton Hill, Fulton Ferry and East New York -- transformed streets into social space.
  • New Play Streets everywhere -- safe spaces for children to play in Bedford-Stuyvesant, East New York, Coney Island and Broadway Triangle.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Holiday Play.

The Heights Players will be performing a holiday treat for children and adults alike on December 10th and 17th. Wenceslas, written by Lindsay Price and directed by Ted Thompson, is a tale about the true meaning of Christmas. Check out more details in the synopsis below. There are two showtimes per day, one at 11AM and one at 1PM, and admission tickets are only $6. The Heights Players is an all volunteer not-for-profit organization and their theater is located at 26 Willow Place in Brooklyn Heights.

Christmas is all about getting … isn’t it? If that is so, then what could Christmas bring someone who has everything? Why Would A King Need Christmas? A tale and some carols to remind all of the meaning of Christmas! Travel back to a simpler time and meet a king who is moping while his queen is coping with holiday preparations. Will a servant struggling to nurse his sick wife help the king to discover a new meaning to Christmas. Told simply and beautifully with liberal dashes of humor!! A tale that will move generous hearts of any age!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Pet Smart on Atlantic

We walked by the new PetSmart at 238 Atlantic the other day. The place is really huge and was very busy when we passed by. It's good to see a bustling business on this corner as the building had been under development for quite some time. The official opening was on November 7th and none other than Brooklyn Borough President, Marty Markowitz, was there to cut the ribbon. The store at this location is more than just a store. They also have a pet hospital and have pet grooming, training and adoption facilities. On top of pet food and other needs you can purchase s pet there as well. Fish, birds, hamsters, and reptiles to name a few. As we know from other PetSmarts you can take your pet into the store with you as long as they are leashed. So that they can pick out there own dinner, of course. But call to make sure (718) 852-2519. Hours are from 9am-9pm.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

"Layer Current" Exhibit

Like the Spice Gallery will be presenting "Layer Current" starting tomorrow as part of Curate NYC and everyone should head over to Williamsburg to check it out. For those of you who haven't heard of Curate NYC it is a juried exhibition that sorts through more than 1500 visual artists living in New York and selects only a talented hand full to show off their work, thus giving them exposure which creates opportunity. It's a pretty big deal. The show is from December 8th- 18th and the gallery is located at 224 Roebling Street. The opening tomorrow is from 6-9pm. A complete list of the featured artists is below.

Christina Massey
Ian Addison Hall
Erik Sommer
Jay Paavonpera
Vadis Turner
MaryKate Maher
Nicholas Horman
Joe Banish
lael marshall
Wayne Adams
Tamiko Kawata
Hannah Mishin
Dana McClure
Mira Alibek
Keira Kotler
Rachel Kohn
Rosemary Taylor

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Lars Pasta on Smith Street

Does anyone know anything about this new addition to Atomic Wings called Lars Pasta To go? At 134 Smith Street, Atomic wings has some new signage. As you can see from the photo above it covers half of the original sign so it must be a big part of the business now and not just an addition to the menu. It's a whole different company attached, in fact. We looked them up online and couldn't find much, just that they were incorporated this past September. It does seem like a strange combo wings and pasta, especially pasta that being advertised as "healthy". Mac-n-cheese and wings is understandable. I guess it's like a Pizza Hut/Taco Bell combo. We'll wait and see how it does. If anyone has heard any more news about this place or tried it let us know. We're curious.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Holiday Party in Red Hook

The non-profit community of Red Hook, which includes Falconworks Artists Group, Dance Theatre Etcetera, PortSide New York, The Waterfront Museum, and Red Hook Rise, are all coming together to host one wonderful holiday event. On December 9th between 5 and 8pm join the party and enjoy food, drinks and special performances at Dance Theatre Etcetera (480 Van Brunt St Suite 203, above the Fairway). Admission is free, the only thing you could bring is a toy for the toy drive if possible. It should be a good time. The Realty Collective crew will be there and we hope to see you there too! Click here to RSVP.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Hmmm Thai

So wandering around the neighborhood we noticed this new sign (above) at 278 Smith Street and thought "really, another Thai restaurant?". I mean seriously, do we need another Thai restaurant in the hood? After doing a little research we realized that it's actually the location of Em' Thai and according to menupages have only changed their name to Vip @ Thai. Now, we do support our local businesses and want them very badly to succeed. Does the name change suggest they weren't doing so well? Not sure about the new name though. Although Em' Thai wasn't a great name, Vip @ Thai just seems a little confused. What's up with the special characters? Whatever the name, though, the place gets good reviews and we hear they have really good happy hour specials. Plus the new sign is very cute, much better than the old awning that was just burgundy with a bright yellow E and M'. Let us know if you've been to the new and improved spot!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Story Time at Sweet Melissa's

A restaurant/bakery seems like an unlikely place for a story time but also sounds like a good idea. Today at 3pm (and every Thursday in case this is too short notice) is story time with Anne at Sweet Melissa's on Court Street. It's not only a good idea for them to get customers into the shop but also sounds really nice for the patrons to sit down with tea and cake and listen to some storytelling. The best part is they encourage you to bring your own books so it's a story time that takes requests. They also mention that you can and should bring toys so it's just like a playgroup as well. For moms, dads, and caregivers looking for daytime activities that will get you out of the cold, this is perfect. It's right when school gets out so it might be a madhouse. If anyone has been we'd love to hear how it is. Please share your comments with us!