03/03/15 11:08am
nyc porn film festival

There was a lot to learn. All photos by Kelly Murphy

“I hope this isn’t too academic,” is how Rutgers Director of Women’s and Gender Studies, Whitney Strub, opened his presentation Sunday afternoon at the first NYC Porn Film Festival. No one objected.

The mission of this Pornhub-backed festival reads, “We aim to give credit to adult film as a significant and socially/culturally relevant art form.” Before the event, I rolled my eyes at this, assuming it was yet another Brooklyn-y attempt to add a layer of pretension to an otherwise bawdy topic. I was wrong. Of the dozens of attendees I talked to at Secret Project Robot this weekend, the resounding answer to why they paid $69 for a ticket was, “I like porn!,” followed by a reasoned argument for why they think it’s of societal importance:

“In general, there’s becoming less of a boundary of what constitutes art and what constitutes porn. I support anything that expedites that transition.”

“Sex positivity! But seriously. Fuck negativity, this is a part of every human experience.”

“I’m here to see Barbara Hammer because there wouldn’t be a way to talk about lesbian sex without her.”

“I think it’s beautiful.”

“It’s not even about sex. It’s about how we interact with each other on a grander scale.”

“There’s so much to learn [giggles].”

And indeed there was, through a series of talks curated by artist Richard John Jones, screenings of archived period pieces, and contemporary amateur films that told a story of where we were and where we are now. Read on for our five takeaways from what will hopefully become an annual event. (more…)

02/24/15 9:16am
nyc porn film festival

There’s gonna be something for everyone.

It’s been half a century since Justice Potter Stewart said of pornography and obscenity, “I know it when I see it,” but this weekend, New Yorkers will see it up close and (potentially very) personal at the first annual NYC Porn Film Festival. Bushwick, the freshly crowned bastion of high art, will play host to the open submission festival that aims to “give credit to adult film as a significant and socially/culturally relevant art form.” Though submissions for content are now closed, $69 all-weekend passes and $5-$20 tickets to individual movies are still available. (more…)

02/03/15 10:09am
Fly 45

Pretend that you’re a rich Upper West Side mom with a great post-baby bod with a Flywheel session through ClassPass.

New Yorkers love the new and the next, from restaurants to bands to workouts. So when I heard about ClassPass last spring, I was intrigued. The NYC-based offers a $79-$99/month passport to the fitness classes around the city. The membership gains you unlimited access to hundreds of gyms and studios in the New York area (even Hoboken!), with activities ranging from boxing and boot camps to spinning and pilates. The only catch is that you’re limited to three classes at an individual studio per month, so no matter how much you love the dance-like-Beyonce class, you’ll have to get your fix elsewhere until your next cycle. It seemed like an antidote to every gym excuse out there: proximity to work and my apartment, not having the right equipment, not open early or late enough, and the drag of falling into a workout rut. After my first week of classes, I’ve never looked back.

While ClassPass truly lets you become a fitness junkie, with some members taking more than one class on a daily basis, I try to set more personally attainable goals. A four-class weekly routine makes me feel like Sporty Spice while getting a balanced diet of kickboxing, spinning and yoga. As a mini-adventure, I always reserve a weekly slot to try something I’m afraid of, like tango or traveling above 42nd Street. Not only does it keep things interesting–it inspires my mind while teaching my body about muscles I never knew I had. Take a peek behind the scenes of some of my favorite classes, and discover just how many ways there are to sweat in this city, besides chugging a marg mid-July at Habana Outpost. (more…)

01/14/14 8:00am
notorious b.i.g.

Big Poppa is only one of Brooklyn’s hottest historical figures

To coincide with the book release of Historical Heartthrobs, by our own Kelly Murphy, she rounded up a few of Brooklyn’s own darlings who made a name for themselves in the 20th century and beyond. In the book, heartthrobs are chosen based on a broad range of attractive features—wit, charisma, hourglass figures, even just sheer power. But much like these Brooklyn babes, they all used that allure to shape history in some way, from the ciphers of hip-hop to the back rooms of the mob. Take a trip down memory lane with these (sexy) BK natives and learn a little bit about the figures who helped make our borough the cultural stomping ground it is today. (more…)

11/07/13 1:28pm
pussy to the sky

Think YOU can you be Bey? via Facebook

Let’s say you spent most of 2012 watching and re-watching Beyonce’s “Countdown” video, trying to pick up tips on how you, too, could show him how you ride it. Super Bowl time rolled around–infatuation peaked. Then there was Life Is But a Dream, and it all came tumbling down. Come on, Bey, at least tell us who your lyrics are based on. But whether you’re a card-carrying member of the Bey Hive or want to sucker punch her in her poreless face, Josh Sharp of UCB and Punderdome mastermind Jo Firestone have created an event just for you: an audience-cast original Beyonce jukebox musical at Glasslands called Pussy to the Sky. (more…)

05/30/13 2:53pm
So long, cheap friend. Photo by Kelly Murphy

So long, cheap friend. Photo by Kelly Murphy

The Minor Arcana, Prospect Heights’ eclectically-decorated neighborhood bar that prompted Yelp endorsements like, “The next time you want to black out, do it here,” and “A woman, a hot woman, came right up to Bill and started making out with him,” will close its doors this Saturday to make way for a desperately needed neighborhood sports bar. As the only establishment I feel comfortable wearing my $5 Urban Outfitters leopard-print Daisy Dukes to, my sense of loss cuts deep. (more…)

03/29/13 1:00pm

Branded Saloon

Branded Saloon
603 Vanderbilt Avenue
Prospect Heights
(718) 484-8704

What is it: Straight out of a spaghetti Western, this modern day saloon – complete with lassos, a player piano, and a mounted moose head on the wall – offers up a nearly endless array of beer and spirits, a rotating roster of live local bands, and basement air hockey and pool.

Why we love it: From carbaret to White Trash Bingo to seriously soulful open mic nights, there’s never a dull moment in the three rooms that make up this neighborhood bar. Literally — there are a range of events almost every night. Not quite a dive but certainly no stroll through the park, Branded manages to throw together a corn dog, a PBR and a Mountain Dew slushie and call it a special. (more…)

11/27/12 7:00am

If you’re like me, you spent a good portion of 2012 rolling your eyes every time you heard someone say, “The Barclays Center will improve the local economy!” or “Finally, real sports in Brooklyn!” In September, we watched as Jay-Z ushered in a new era of peaceful coexistence between Hoboken bros with floor seats and Boerum Hill natives with eternal allegiance to their borough. A friend wearing Nets gear to Union Hall on a Saturday night returned from the bathroom saying she’d been stopped by two floppy-haired interested parties beguiled by her team spirit. I say if you can’t beat the BrooklyKnight, join him, especially since the Nets beat the Knicks last night. Give the gift of Brooklyn pride this season with a universally flattering black and white snapback flat brim. $23.99, available here.

11/02/12 4:25pm

via iVolunteer

While many of us in Brooklyn emerged from Sandy safe and sound, countless others are injured in the midst of depleted resources. The New York Blood Center is seeking able bodies to donate blood at one of their emergency drives this weekend. If you can make it to Bay Ridge by 6:30 or downtown Brooklyn by 7:30 this evening, facilities will be set up to take your blood and platelet donations. (more…)

11/02/12 2:15pm

We need you drivers, ASAP. via Yeshiva University

Do you have a car and want to help out? Are you heading to areas like Sheepshead Bay or Coney Island this weekend for hurricane relief efforts? Volunteers need you! If you’re willing to pile in the Bloomberg-mandated three passengers (or four) and bring a few extra helping hands, post your e-mail address and what neighborhood you’re coming from in the comments. With any luck, you’ll get some volunteers that want to hitch a ride to sites with limited and nonexistent subway access. If you know of any organized ride shares, please post those as well. (To prevent spam harvesters from running wild on the page and on you, post your emails as like this, for example: johnqpublic at gmail dot com)