via Facebook

via Facebook

Royal Palms
514 Union Street, (Third Avenue and Nevins Street), Gowanus,
(347) 223-4410

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What it is: All-things-Florida-themed shuffleboard court with a full bar and rotating food trucks.

Why we love it: For those of us who spent grueling family “vacations” with our grandparents in retirement homes across Florida, the prospect of going to the Royal Palms Shuffleboard Court might sound like a major trigger. Fear not! Going to the spacious Royal Palms is like the real kind of Florida vacation, heretofore depicted in daydreams and vintage postcards: aqua colored everything, flamingo wall paper in the bathrooms, shuffleboard puns and cabanas. This venue is best enjoyed in small groups so you can take advantage of your hour of court time and still have a couple people on your team’s side to chill with. Note that the courts are long and you play next to an opposing team member. It’s a great way to have some flirty competition with a work crush, while literally being on the same team as your conveniently far away boss. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to play, as a staff member will give you a complementary tutorial. Weekly activities range from drag queen bingo to a new monthly Funk & Soul Dance Party (finally, South Brooklyn)! Check their Facebook and Twitter periodically for one-off parties that are usually free. Even if you don’t shuffle, it’s still a great place to bring a pal and escape the cramped and pretentious bars of NYC.

What to order: As you would expect, Royal Palms specializes in fun, fruity cocktails. However, they have several craft beers on tap for your Beer Book pleasure. One of the most unusual and delightful features of this space is that the nosh is provided by a different food truck every day. A member of their delightful waitstaff will serve you drinks, so you’ll never miss a second of the game.

Regular tip: League nights are Monday and Tuesday, so don’t expect to reserve a court! Also, the guy on the scooter is a co-owner, so no snickering.

08/10/15 3:10pm
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This is an actual view you can see on a boat tour of the Gowanus. Photos by Sam Corbin

The Gowanus canal has a longstanding reputation as Brooklyn’s premier dumping site (both literally and figuratively speaking). Before it was a toxic wasteland, though, the canal was a thoroughfare for burgeoning industry in Brooklyn. It’s a body of biological warfare, sure, but it also used to have a utilitarian function for the city. It’s only in recent years that the agenda has had to shift, from shuttling things across the water to staying the heck out of the water.

Last Thursday, Brokelyn went on a boat tour of the Gowanus Canal hosted by Open House New York and led by Gowanus by Design’s David Briggs and the Gowanus Canal Conservancy’s Andrea Parker. Besides learning a little more about the history of the canal itself, we got to hear plenty of dirty talk—that is, plenty of tidbits about what’s really going on with the canal water. What’s up with the toxin levels? Will eating the fish kill you? Can you power your car with the canal’s oil-sweat? These questions and more were addressed by Briggs and Parker on the tour. We’ve got some choice quotes for you here below, accompanied by a slideshow of snapshots. #NoFilter; again, literally and figuratively speaking.
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07/31/15 2:54pm
These people are all happy because they learned death is nothing to fear. via Morbid Anatomy Museum

These people are all happy because they learned death is nothing to fear. via Morbid Anatomy Museum

As we went over on Monday, death permeates everything surrounds us, and will eventually befall you and everything you love. In that sense, it’s nothing to fear, but it’s also such an abstract concept full of unknowns that rote acceptance is hard. So, the Morbid Anatomy Museum is here to help with Death Cafe, an event where British funeral planner Louise de Winter, a kind of Mary Poppins of death, will chat with you about any topic on death you’d like to talk about. (more…)

07/27/15 4:25pm
Naomi Ekperigin and friends want you harness your laughter for a cause. via Facebook

Naomi Ekperigin and friends want you harness your laughter for a cause. via Facebook

After the tragic, racist attack on churchgoers at Mother Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, you maybe have been left wondering how you could help the church and its parishioners. This week at least, you’ll be able to do something beyond getting into Facebook fights with those couple of friends who don’t think there’s anything wrong with the Confederate flag. This Wednesday, July 29, some great comedians are getting together at The Bell House for Stand Up For Charleston, a show that benefits Mother Emmanuel AME Church. (more…)

07/15/15 9:54am
gowanus rabbits

At least they have grass this time. Photo by Margaret Bortner

Last December, the world met the Gowanus rabbits, adorable bunnies being kept in a dirt lot on 3rd Avenue between 9th and 10th Streets. By January, the tale was a lot less cute, as police and workers from the ASPCA rescued the rabbits after a blizzard and found the adorable bunnies had adorable rabbit syphilis due to a whole lot of unprotected rabbit sex. So the rabbits were seized from their owner Dorota Trec and that was the end of that. Except now the same lot has adorable bunnies in it, again. Syphilis status: unknown. (more…)

Miles Deli-Boerum Hill-Brokelyn-Brooklyn-Canada Day-Jean Baptiste Day

Days before celebrating all thing America! How about you celebrate Canada eh? Image via Mile End Deli

We owe a lot to our brothers up north. If it wasn’t for Canada we wouldn’t have basketball, the alkaline battery (people still use those?) or Trivial Pursuit, destroyer of intellectual confidence. Canada has given us James Cameron, Ryan Gosling and Hayden Christensen (can’t all be winners). And, Canada has given us one very special person: Noah Bernamoff, Montreal transplant and founder of Mile End Deli, home to some of the best smoked brisket in Brooklyn. For the next two Wednesdays, June 24 and July 1, the Canadian-Jewish deli wants to celebrate two important national holidays with us Yankees and they are doing so in a way that even us Americans can appreciate; with food and drink specials happening on both days.  (more…)

Threes Brewing

Threes Brewing

Threes Brewing,
333 Douglass Street, Gowanus
(718) 522-2110

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What it is: A new brewery, bar and event space with an eclectic entertainment lineup of music, poetry, food and beer talks and a Grateful Dead DJ night.

Why we love it: This joint is a looker — it has all of the good parts of what passes for Brooklyn design these days without succumbing to the clichés. If there’s an industrial vibe about the place, it’s because there’s an actual functioning brewery behind the scenes. Threes Brewing serves 10 house-made beers on tap, along with a bunch of favorites from “friends and heroes.” Four wine taps feature hard-to-find varietals.

What to order: You can’t go wrong with any of the house beers, but their newest Imperial Pale Ale, called Superf*ckingyawn, is probably the most fun to order. Threes features a rotating crew of food partners including Rucola, the Meat Hook and Dover / Battersby.

Regular tip: Ninth Street Espresso’s first Brooklyn location at Threes Brewing serves craft coffee every morning.

05/28/15 1:12pm
It's going to look something like this. Photo by Alex Piorun

It’s going to look something like this. Photo by Alix Piorun

Brooklyn’s a big place, but oftentimes it only gets a mild treatment. You’ll read about the same places over and over, and you won’t realize there are new ones popping up left and right. Enter Oriana Leckert, a Brooklynite with a special love of the borough (and our fantastic new events editor) who’s been celebrating off-the-beaten-path cultural hubs as they appear for the last five years. And now you can own the inside scoop in hard-copy, because Brooklyn Spaces just became a book!

This in-print guide comes flush with 50 introductions to places you’ve probably never heard of. It tells you about underground music venuestiny terrariumsindie co-working spaces, and so much more. This Saturday, Brooklyn Spaces is throwing its book launch party, and you should definitely show face if you want to call yourself a true Brooklynite. (more…)

From left to right, signature cocktails "The Duneagle Castle" and "Handsome Hound" look pretty smokin' together! via Hunter's on Instagram

From left to right, signature cocktails “The Duneagle Castle” and “Handsome Hound” look pretty smokin’ together! via Hunter’s on Instagram

Hunter’s Bar
213 Smith St. (Baltic and Butler)
Boerum Hill

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What it is: Classic cocktail bar and New American restaurant on Smith Street.

Why we love it: The cocktails are all named after famous hunters—Katniss Everdeen, Handsome Hound, Boba Fett—which shows that Hunter’s is a laid-back establishment with a tongue-in cheek bent. But that doesn’t mean they don’t take the quality of their food and libations very seriously. You can get a really excellent meal here of locally and sustainably sourced dishes inspired by Chef/owner Angelo Schifilliti’s Italian heritage.

What to order: Can’t wait for episode VII? Geek out with the “Boba Fett” made with Brooklyn Republic Vodka, pear nectar, Grand Marnier and star anise. Enjoy 2-for-1 cocktails from 4- 7 daily, or anytime with our Cocktail Book, and half-price wine bottles on Sundays. To eat, go for a house made pasta and one of their fresh, inventive salads, such as the farro and bacon. The mushroom pot pie and rolled stuffed pork chop are among the wholesome, delectable entrees. Sit at the bar and share the mussels and a cheese plate made up of selections from Stinky’s just down the street.

Regular tip: Host a private party or event at Hunter’s—pick from their pre-fixe packages “Arrival at the Lodge” “A Hunter’s Feast” or “Avant-Chasse Brunch.”

Enjoy 2-for-1 drinks at Hunter’s Bar with our Cocktail Book, on sale now!

05/11/15 2:40pm
Ridgewood has great views

Ridgewood has some lovely views

Last year, we all freaked out when Starbucks sprouted in Disneywo Williamsburg. A lot of cafes and circuses and Trash Bars have making the dusty, Steinbeckian, journey to Bushwick, where they’re at least safe from the corporate coffee sharks taking over Williamsburg. Bushwick is where our locally roasted Americanos are safe. Or so we thought. Starbucks has announced they’re opening a spot in Ridgewood, which means Bushwick may be facing a two-front corporate brand battle. (more…)