Smile! Its the party of the year! Photos by Madelyn Owens
The West Indian American Day Parade is like no other in NYC. It’s family friendly, as evidenced by the troupes of adorable little kids with impressive drumming skills, or babies on fathers’ shoulders sporting their country’s flag with pride. This is not a 5th Avenue, Manhattan-style parade. The festivities pour outside of the police barriers onto the sidewalks crammed with vendors hawking jerk chicken, Shark & Bake, sorrel punch and roti. It climbs up the fronts of the stately buildings of Eastern Parkway; from old ladies waving Jamaican flags from the 3rd floor window, to shirtless bros dancing with proud beer bellies from the fire escape.
The centerpiece, of course, are the elaborate costumes that parade participants spend all year creating. Glitter, feathers, bold colors, the energy is matched only by the music (every float worth its salt has at least a drummer or three and a wall of amps). (more…)
With that said, we’ll get right to it with a latter-day saint of Crown Heights, Shannon Mustipher. With the help of her beverage savvy, Glady’s (788 Franklin Avenue) has become a neighborhood staple, nailing a combination of tiki kitsch and Caribbean authenticity. Mustipher’s business is booming, but for her, Crown Heights has always been about the people and the scenery. “Folks from the islands, new transplants from all walks of life – we all peacefully coexist. Then there’s the architecture, the greenery…I just love walking around and taking it all in.” (more…)
What it is: Retro drinkerie and neighborhood hangout on the border of Crown Heights and PLG, from the folks behind Hanson Dry.
Why we love it: It’s a locals bar that combines throwback decor—the owner and his wife’s WWII era family photos on the wall, an antique cash register behind the bar—with playful diversions such as pinball, a photo booth and a gigantic backyard that is just begging to be filled with drinkers. A place where you can be a sophisticated adult and a rowdy teen at the same time: cocktail in one hand, the other pulling the pinball plunger.
What to order: The mantra that guides their cocktail menu is classic simplicity, with drinks that boast no more than three main ingredients each. Order the signature “Branch Ofc” of Jameson, lime and bitters. Beer in frosted mugs—choose from IPA, Pilsner or Stout—also sound pretty damn good to us. They serve pressed sandwiches with Utz chips and Tate’s cookies, the perfect done-up bag lunch.
Regular tip: $4 cans of Schaefer are in stock as a nod to the Brooklyn Dodgers—and the nearby site of the old Ebbets Field—because Schaefer was the official beer sponsor of the team while they were still in BK.
Last month, we talked about Rusty Zimmerman’s Free Portrait Project, which involves him painting up to 200 oil portraits of his Crown Heights neighbors over one year. It’s a cool idea, because hey, who doesn’t want a fancy oil portrait of themselves done for free buy a noted professional painter? Whether you’re hoping to get a fancy picture or you just want to help people get theirs, you can give the project a boost on Friday at an art auction that benefits the effort. (more…)
There a number of advantages to living in Crown Heights: proximity to Covenhoven, Chavela’s, Glenda’s Restaurant and the Eastern Parkway pedestrian path. A smaller number of ugly condo projects than other hot Brooklyn neighborhoods. And now, a new perk: you might be able to get a free giant fancy portrait of yourself, painted by an actual skilled painter. It’ll look great in your living room for the next few months, before the rest of the people with money who think of Crown Heights as “the place with the riots” stop being afraid of it and start moving in. (more…)
Wow, it was like, 60 degrees yesterday. Perfect weather for a bike ride, huh? What’s that? You don’t have a bike? And you missed out on Ride Brooklyn’s sale last week? You guys! Well, that’s okay, because you’ve got another chance to pick up a cheap bike, because Crown Heights’ Bicycle Roots is selling bikes (and helmets) at steep discounts on Saturday and Sunday. (more…)
Why we love it: It’s a great spot to stop in on any day or night of the week, but theykeep it fresh and fun with weekly activities, like trivia on Tuesdays, the new cocktail series “Wednesdays” and BYOV Thursdays. A projector screen comes in handy for the occasional movie night.
What to order: Pick from 8 rotating craft draft lines and a food menu of snacks and sandwiches, like a Dogfish Head pickle plate with mustard, or their take on the BLT, the “SALT” (speck, avocado, lettuce and tomato). Stay late and take the “Last Train Home,” their signature cocktail made with bourbon, bitters, Aperol and Baska snaps (Swedish bitters made from botanicals).
Regular tip: Grab a seat by the window for some prime Crown Heights people watching.
Coming soon: This, but in Crown Heights. via Facebook
Winos of Crown Heights, unite. At least if you can afford a $10 to $16 glass of wine, unite, because you’re getting yourselves a fancy new wine bar, with Williamsburg’s Brooklyn Winery getting the go-ahead to expand to the neighborhood according to DNA Info. Then again, if you’re paying those prices for wine, you’re probably not a wino in the traditional sense of the word, are you? Something to think about when you’ve had a few. (more…)
This could be you: camo, plaid, & all. (via Flickr user AugustaRiders)
You know that old phrase, “Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll never go hungry again”? Well it also apparently applies to fixing your bike. Starting tonight, Bicycle Roots is offering a series of bike repair classes for just $10 a pop. Instead of dropping your bike off and letting a professional handle it, you can now swear up a storm while you try to remember which metal thing connects to the other metal thing. At least that’ll be cheaper ultimately. (more…)
Do you guys remember the halcyon days of the 2012 election? We do, in part because it was so goddamn expensive. Still, if you have any fond memories of those days or you just want to make a quick buck off a political junkie in ten years, you should reach out to this person on Craigslist offering up some eventually vintage election 2012 swag, including a large BIDEN poster. And we know how you love Joe Biden. (more…)