05/25/16 11:00am
Ikea is fine but ugh who has the time or energy.  Via Khalid Ahmed/Flickr

Ikea is fine but ugh who has the time or energy. Via Khalid Ahmed/Flickr

The problem with shopping at Ikea — besides the couples counseling you’ll need and the literal stereotype of yuppie adulthood you’ll be snapping together like so much Grundtal pieces — is that your apartment ends up looking exactly the same as everyone else’s in Brooklyn. This is an understandable trade off for low-cost, accessible, one-stop shopping that comes with a side of cheap meatballs. The same could be said of shopping at Target or any other assemble-at-home furniture seller, the ones you find scattered around the city or huddled in gangs at the opposite ends of vast oceans of parking lots in the suburbs. The one-stop shopping angle is enticing: you buy a piece of furniture, that matches other furniture, and goes with that accent wall, and, after a few frustrating grunts and screaming at the instruction manual, you screw together a bedroom set that looks like a lot of other bedroom sets, bing bang boom.

To avoid this trap of sameness, maybe instead you can turn to the internet to try to order things, but then there’s the searching, and the pretending not to search when your boss walks by your desk, and the waiting, and the hoping to be home at the exact right moment to catch the UPS guy, who makes his rounds with ninja assassin levels of sneakiness. You can try Craigslist, but then there’s the fear of bed bugs or being sex murdered over a futon, which seems like a hassle. (more…)

02/09/16 2:35pm
All this Costco cheese, whenever you please. Via Yelp.

All this Costco cheese, whenever you please. Via Yelp.

Hello and welcome to weekly lifehacks, a recurring series where we share a simple tip on how to make your life just a little bit easier (and we promise not to overuse the word “hack”). 

For city kids, Costco exists only in rumors. Tales of its bounty make it sound like the warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, except instead of priceless treasures it’s filled floor to ceiling with bulk paper towels and cheap family sized jugs of peanut butter, discounted beer and jars of olive oil big enough to fry the world’s largest latke. It’s a discount fortress only accessible by car (the Brooklyn store is located in Sunset Park, under the BQE) and the admission fee is steep: You have to be a member to get in, and memberships alone costs $55 a year. But there is one trick that lets you get Costco items without a membership, and without having to find a ride there either. (more…)

02/04/16 11:07am
And it sure beats buying a card at Duane Reade. via Facebook

And it sure beats buying a card for bae at the Duane Reade. via Facebook

Well hey, would you look at that? It’s February, and we’re not crying! Well, maybe you are. But thanks to unseasonably warm weather, an entertaining carnival of politicians and the recent blizzard hijinks, the shortest month of the year is feeling breezy and breezing by.

In that brightened spirit, we’re happy to share that it’s time for Greenpointers’ annual Valentine’s Day Market, home to all things love-themed and feel-good! This Sunday, head over to Greenpoint Loft for a budget-friendly day of free activities, delicious treats from local food vendors, and maybe even pick up a special something for a special someone. (more…)

01/27/16 3:00pm
Winter warmers that you don't even have to put on a coat to find. Via Shaker & Spoon Instagram

Because otherwise, would you be buying each of these mixers individually? via Shaker & Spoon Instagram

With a personalized feel and the convenience of door-to-door delivery, subscription boxes are new wave CSAs: simply sign up for goodies tailored to your interests, and forget all about it until a box filled with said goodies lands at your doorstep. But with the prevalence of discounted produce, cheap liquor and big box department stores, do these curated subscriptions actually provide a valuable consumer experience? Or are they just another sorry side-effect of the Seamless generation?

We’ve rounded up five niche New York and Brooklyn-based subscription boxes, and summed up whether they were actually worth the price, big or small. From cocktail boxes to cosmetics boxes to boxes for people who just want to live out their Instagram fantasies, read on to find out whether one of these subscriptions is a sensible addition to your monthly budget. (more…)

12/24/15 9:00am
This way, it's always bagel time.

This way, it’s always bagel time

We’ve come to the gloaming of holiday shopping opportunities. If you haven’t bought all your gifts yet, you’ll probably have to settle for some belated Christmas day giving. And that isn’t the worst thing, so long as you make sure that whatever you do get is well worth the wait.

Enter Bagel-O-Clock, a nifty customizable novelty gift conceived by two 25-year-old Canadian artists, Charlotte Ficek and Max Silverbrook. It’s a clock that’s made-to-order, just like your morning bagel: you pick your favorite dough flavor, have it open-faced or closed, top it with lox and schmear or what-have-you, and voilà! Within a week or two, you’ll be the proud owner (or giver) of a truly artisanal bagel that tells the time.


12/21/15 9:56am
A hat that says "movies" on it will help your cinephile friend show the world she loves movies

A hat with “movies” written on it will help your cinephile friend show the world she loves movies

Chances are, you have at least one movie obsessive on your gift list. You know the type. Whenever you plan a movie outing, she’ll only go if it’s showing at Nitehawk. His cat’s name is Roger (after Ebert). When everyone on your Facebook feed was rooting for the Mets he declared “I’m #teambunzo.” (What does that even mean?) Don’t bother asking the cinephile on your list for clarification on The Gift they’d like the best. They’ll just think you’re asking them to choose between the Sam Raimi and the Joel Edgerton films by that name. Instead, simply rely on the recommendations from these local experts we have rounded up for you. And if you can’t find them on the 25th to give them their gift? Don’t worry, we know where they’ll be. Seeing the new Tarantino film at the closest theater showing it in 70mm. (more…)

12/18/15 1:30pm

gift guide for outdoorsy people

This post is brought to you by Sorta Outdoorsy, a weekly newsletter full of ideas for outdoor adventures around New York City. Like what you see? Subscribe to Sorta Outdoorsy.

We’ve been spending our weekends outside and are now way behind on holiday shopping. If you’ve also been taking too much advantage of this warm December weather, fear not! Our (easy) last minute gift guide for your trail buddies and belay partners is below. Amazon Prime not required. (more…)

12/16/15 1:31pm

Run them yules fast/Run them run them yules fast

Oh to shop for the music nerd in your life. There’s so much music and music-related stuff out there, and if you choose the wrong thing for your friend, she’ll smile and thank you, but you’ll see the pain in her eyes for having to say that thanks for a boring mainstream thing. Avoid that problem by grabbing any one of these awesome gifts from the people who know music and call themselves your neighbors. You might not be able to thank them personally, but they don’t do this for the glory.

Free money! Although you have to leave the house

Free money! Although you have to leave the house

Holiday shopping is stressful, what with your family members asking for bad gifts and the crowded stores and the people waiting to steal your credit card information from online shopping sites. We do what we can to help with our gift guides, but we can’t do it alone. So, the DUMBO Business Improvement District is stepping in to just hand out free DUMBO cash to that’s legal currency at participating businesses in the area. All you have to do to get it is exist in DUMBO while they’re giving it out. (more…)

12/14/15 12:11pm
A Roy Lichtenstein scarf will keep your fashionable friend both warm and popping with color all year

A Roy Lichtenstein scarf will keep your fashionable friend both warm and popping with color all year

Everyone’s got that friend who seems like she’d be more at home strutting down a runway than trudging to a 9 to 5. Without having a direct line to Anna Wintour’s brain, it might be hard for you to figure out what to buy this smarter Zoolander for the holidays. Fortunately for you, we reached out to some of the most stylish people in Brooklyn what they think you should get your pretty friend to keep him looking great next year.