If you’ve only heard of the Christmas lights of Dyker Heights, it’s pretty easy to be dismissive. Home Christmas displays are sort of like the scars conversation from Jaws: everyone thinks they’ve got the one that tops them all. Dyker Heights’ Christmas lights has a reputation: a Yelp page, a Facebook page, a whole tour devoted to it. And despite my initial skepticism, once I got to 12th Avenue by 84th Street, I understood that moment when weary pilgrims finally reach Mecca.
These are not ordinary Christmas light displays, not even close. Houses with strings of lights and deer statues wrapped in string lights as if they were involved in bondage-torture Christmas porn, another house with a host of angels forming a corridor along the entrance to the house, along with an animatronic Santa, with whom people can take pictures. Even locals were getting in on the act, with a man in an Elmo suit stopping cars to ask for donations to the local church
288 Third Ave (Carroll & President)
What is it: New England comes to Brooklyn in the form of this clam shack. Littleneck brings oysters and clams from far and wide (except, thankfully, the neighboring Gowanus Canal) for you to suck down by the half dozen. Oh, and they have a pretty nice selection of select drafts and New England favorites in bottles and cans.
Why we love it: We mentioned that it has a raw bar, right? Nothing’s better during a day of drinking than a few dozen raw clams and oysters and a few beers. Of course, if you’re more into the cooked thing, they have plenty of other seafood and land-lubber options. And with the clean, atmospheric décor, this might be the perfect place for that OKCupid drinks-and-snacks date you’re trying to set up for next week. (more…)
The chance to use your deals sailed away, so don’t let the refund do the same. via Flickr user TheCreativePenn
If you’re anything like us, the Groupon/Saveology/New York Deals bubble may have burst for you. You’re at the point where every deal you see convenes a board meeting in your head to discuss the opportunity cost of potentially saving money on that sailing course you’ve always (read: never) thought about taking vs. the agitation of remembering to redeem the coupon before it vanishes into the realm of dreams and forsaken discounted massages. Google Offers, however, has instituted a new policy that might give it the edge over all of the other deal sites, by simply giving you less to worry about by just giving you your money back on unspent deals. (more…)
545 Fifth Ave. (between 14th and 15th Streets)
What is it: This classy new arrival to South Slope boasts reclaimed wood and the kind of atmosphere where you’d want to sit around and make a little love to your drink. When the weather’s nice out, check out the bi-level backyard.
Why we love it: The ambience and rotating roster of craft beers are enough of a selling point, but that backyard space is going to be in high demand once spring drinking arrives. This spacious Fifth Avenue watering hole lets you hunker down with a drink without landing in your neighbor’s lap. (more…)
What is it: Another in the freshman class of South Slope bars opening within the past year or so, Sea Witch stands alone in its unique seafaring décor and a maritime-tinged food menu that specializes in fried clams.
Why we love it: Sea Witch gains major points for its mythical name alone. But the bar manages to pull off a theme without buckling under its own kitsch. Highlights include a behind-the-bar saltwater aquarium and a large backyard featuring other sea souvenirs. Add to that a thoughtful menu and a kitchen with its own dedicated window, and you’ve got the kind of place that we could imagine Captain Ahab taking a comely wench for, like, the third or fourth date. (more…)
Concrete jungle where something something. All photos by Mary Dorn.
You know you’re in Manhattan when the check arrives.
Living in the coolest place on earth, you find you get swallowed up in the hype, getting high on your own home-grown kombucha, as it were. But just across a river lies an island dubbed “The City that Never Sleeps.” The center of the world and home of pizza places named after a series of men named Ray; the place so important to the imagination of the world that Las Vegas has a casino themed after it. Even Egypt doesn’t get to claim the Luxor, and THAT’S A COUNTRY. What had I been taking for granted, living in my homemade duplex in a former warehouse, when famous dead guys like Jack Kerouac, O.Henry, and Lou Reed (he’s dead, right?) had been living less than 5 miles away, making the art that we’ve been stocking our cement block bookshelves with over here?(more…)
What is it: A new edition to Park Slope, this bar/restaurant comes from the owners of Talde and Thistle Hill Tavern with a down-home classic barbecue menu that does not shy away from its titular protein.
Why we love it: What’s not to love? Aside from the fantastic take on bar food, Pork Slope embraces the feel of the Double Deuce from Road House, without the throat-ripping and barbaric brawls. With TVs scattered around the bar and a pool table, Pork Slope is a great place for any game day, or to work on a plate of “redneck nachos” with a friend and some beers. (more…)
What is it: A Brooklyn staple and one of the major casualties of the Atlantic Yards, Freddy’s has found a new home in South Slope, and is already back to its fame without missing a beat.
Why we love it: Whether you’re there for the acid-tavern experience (TVs run bizarre video art collages on a loop) or to see a music, comedy, or storytelling show in the backroom, Freddy’s always has something to fix a stale night. (more…)
Sunday TV’s longest-running sitcom, The Simpsons, logged another stop in its 2012 Desiccation Tour with an episode dedicated to the “cool-ification” of Springfield by Portland natives, voiced by Portlandia’s Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein. Though the show dodged the use of the term “hipster” thank god (they rely on the simple word “cool” and Fred’s character refers to his demographic as “us-types”), it’s pretty clear that The Simpsons were looking to take on that new fad (of the last 8 years) known as hipsterism. (more…)
The couple that Snuggies together…breaks up when it gets nice out. via Facebook
As the days grow shorter and we begin to enter our own Fortresses of Solitude, there’s a primal drive awakening among us single folk. Just as squirrels furiously scramble to store their nuts for winter, many singles are furiously scrambling to…uh, get their nuts taken care of, too. And the best way is with a winter girlfriend (or boyfriend!).
This someone to hunker down with for hours upon hours of cooking at home, an entire season of Walking Dead, and never-get-out-of-bed sex during snowstorms. A winter relationship is probably the only relationship that doesn’t cost more when you’re in it, because you literally do nothing. And what happens after winter? Well, that’s up to you, but generally, once spring and skimpy clothing come back around, one or both parties will realize how little they have in common beyond a mutual understanding of Peggy Olson’s character arc.