11/25/16 12:56pm
Slide something better under your favorite scholar's IKEA furniture this year. Image via Flickr.

Slide something better under your favorite scholar’s IKEA furniture this year. Image via Flickr.

As that one friend in grad school often tells you, the pursuit of knowledge often comes at the expense of self-care. If this year’s secret Santa exchange has got you asking “What do you get for the overachieving friend who has everything (and just enrolled in grad school, so is definitely not sleeping)?” we’ve got you covered. These gifts will be sure to soothe anyone who needs a little R&R, but is too zonked out (or broke) to make it happen.

Winter break is the perfect time to uncurl them from their 16-hour post-finals sleep. Let them wake up to your thoughtful gifts for relaxation and rejuvenation from these unique vendors at Williamsburg’s Artists & Fleas, open Saturdays and Sundays from 10am until 7pm. (more…)

11/23/16 12:06pm
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Park Slope Santa prefers gluten-free cookies and almond milk. Via Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID

Thinking about tree lightings in New York often triggers memories of that one time you intentionally (or unintentionally) got swallowed up by the tourist mosh pit around the Rockefeller Center tree. That’s not something you ever want to do again.

The Park Slope 5th Avenue Business Improvement District (BID) has the Brooklyn-based antidote. At their annual Small Business Saturday event, they will be lighting a (real) 22 ft. tall Christmas tree with yards on yards on yards of lights that you won’t need an electrical engineering degree to appreciate. The ceremony is from 6:30 p.m to 8 p.m. at JJ Byrne Park, at 5th Ave. and 4th Street, smack dab in the middle of events and discounts all up and down the avenue. And unlike a tree you keep in your fifth-floor walk-up, you won’t have to deal with mouse poop “presents” under the tree or thinking too deeply about the decaying object in your living room. (more…)

12/18/15 3:15pm
You may be home alone, but you can still have a great time. via Youtube

You may be home alone, but you can still have a great time. via Youtube

I’ll be home for Christmas. For some of us, that means drinking eggnog, donning goofy sweaters, watching A Christmas Story for the eighteen millionth time, and listening to an eccentric uncle talk about clock mechanisms for three hours (okay, maybe that’s just my family). But what if your “home for Christmas” is your New York apartment, eating Chinese takeout in front of Netflix’s Yule log? For tons of folks who either can’t or choose not to be with family, the “most wonderful time of the year” can kind of suck. But here’s the thing: we live in New York, where tons of people are in the same boat, AND there are options. So, are your Yuletide options limited to watching Ernest Saves Christmas in your underpants? No! Check below for some sweet suggestions on how to beat the Christmas blues and put some jolly in your holiday. (more…)

12/20/11 2:09pm
Brokelyn: Major League Dreidel, Knitting Factory

Major League Dreidel. Photo courtesy of Gabi Porter, Metromix New York.

Hanukah starts tonight and continues until Wednesday, Dec. 28 — which means it’s one of those rare years where it coincides with Christmas. Maybe that’s why there’s so much going on this year, starting with not-so-beardy-dude Matisyahu’s three-night gig for a not-so-Brokelyn $35 a ticket. (Better roll gimmel!) If your only coinage this year is the chocolate kind, you can still party like a Maccabee, from the lighting of Brooklyn’s largest menorah to a couple of indie rock shows to a night of bubbe jokes and free beer. So get out there and save Chinese food and a movie (“Jewish Christmas”) for some other time. (more…)

12/20/10 1:17am

Doomed QueensIf Kris Waldherr runs out of ideas for her next book, here’s one she should write: an artist’s guide to career success. Waldherr has parlayed her considerable illustration talents into a suite of books, iphone apps, card decks, prints and even an art licensing business that she runs out of her bright storefront workspace in Ditmas Park.

Her award-winning 2008 book DOOMED QUEENS: Royal Women Who Met Bad Ends, From Cleopatra to Princess Di (Broadway Books, $16), is a brainy chick gift-closet staple, for teenage Tudors fans on up.

In time for the holidays, Waldherr has just come out with two accompanying card decks. (more…)

12/06/10 10:31am

Back in June, my best friend Laurel and I were talking with a visiting friend about our many goals for 2011. Among them: to move out of the country, one way or another. Our friend, an experienced globe-trotter from France, told us about something that seemed like our ticket out: Working Holiday Visas, visas where young people (usually between 18 and 30) can go live and work in another country for six months to a year. It’s a combo pass of sorts that gives you longer abroad than a tourist visa (which get you three to four months) and is a whole lot easier to get than a work visa. The point of the thing? To travel and experience life, earn a living and hang around long enough to pretend you’re a native. (more…)

12/02/10 10:30pm

bloody mary mixIf you’re a Bloody Mary lover, nothing offends your delicate Sunday morning sensibilities like a bad mix — and oh the myriad ways they err. Too much Worcestershire, too sweet, no heat, to the point that a poorly executed Bloody is more the norm than a good one. The locally-based McClure’s pickle purveyors solve that persistent woe with a Bloody Mary mix that’s as close to spicy-salty-tart tomatoey bliss as we’ve ever tasted. The secret mix: pickle brine and fresh-pressed cucumber juice. Oh. God. It’s. So. Good. $10 or thereabouts at BK Larder, Stinky, Greene Grape, Market, the BK FLea and more.

05/06/10 5:34pm
Wouldn't your mom lover her very own avatar?

Wouldn’t your mom love her very own avatar?

So it’s kind of a Hallmark holiday—you want a card with that perfect “thank you” that puts a tear in your mom’s eye and lets her know you love her, and you didn’t mean to not call her back for a month. Gifts are good too, and the show-your-love clock is ticking, so you need something good, fast. And not too expensive. We’ve all gone the last-minute, impersonal route—the candle, the soaps the Amazon gift card. But just because it’s, like Thursday, doesn’t mean it’s too late to do something more interesting. Here are 10 suggestions: (more…)

12/24/09 5:12pm

parmesanBKLYN Larder isn’t Brokelyn’s usual hang, but believe me, we get it. So what’s the most worthwhile splurge amid the $50 olive oils and $18 cookies at this Park Slope gourmet shop? We’re going with the $22-a-pound G. Cravero Parmigiano Reggiano because 1) there really is a difference between the supermarket kind and the good stuff and 2) the recipient will recall your generosity as he sprinkles and shaves his way through a season’s worth of wintry soups and pastas. Get there quick—the Larder, at 228 Flatbush Ave., is only open today until 6, and it’s closed tomorrow. Go for broke (literally) and buy a pound, or get half that and you’ll have enough left over for a sexy carbon steel picnic knife: (more…)