Subscribe to Clean HippieGet an email once a week when I write something new! (I love you too.) Thanks!
Clean Hippie’s Pinterest
Archives by Month
- Around the Web
- Bring it to NYC
- Cool sites
- Failure of the Day
- Going Too Far
- Green Angst
- Moments of Hilarity
- New York
- Places to go
Category Archives: Brooklyn
I wrote this piece for the amazingly entertaining website Narratively, which tells the most interesting stories in New York City. If you enjoy it, do me the favor of “liking” it via the wee Facebook button on Narratively’s page and/or sharing it with your friends. Grazie!
I emerge from the L at the Montrose stop along with several other people. The sidewalk is busy, plenty of cars pass. But as soon as I take a right down a side street, I’m alone. Squatting on either side of my route are warehouses, their windows dark and their brick walls tagged with graffiti.
I scan the locked doors as I hurry down the lonely street, looking for a certain address that was emailed to me in the middle of the week. I wonder what the chances are that the party got cancelled and if I’m here for nothing. Then I spot the man ahead of me, standing by himself. He’s big, and he looks bored. Bingo.
As I get closer, I hear the bass thudding. “You here for the party?” he asks me. “I’ll need to see your I.D., but we can check it inside.” He opens the door, checks my I.D. and directs me up the concrete-and-metal staircase with lime green walls, toward the deep bass and down-tempo of minimal house music.
Read the rest on Narrative.ly.
Eat a Seasonal 5-Course Meal Prepared by a Native NY Chef
Sunday, January 6th, 5 – 8 p.m.
Join Joe Fusco, a third-generation chef born and raised in New York City for a casual five-course dinner with beer in Long Island City (that’s that hip neighborhood in Queens, right across from Midtown East). You’ll start off with a little background on his culinary history before watching him work magic in the kitchen. As you sit to eat, mingle with other guests while Joe brings out dish after dish of fall favorites.
Why? Beer-steamed baby clams, smoked beef brisket, creamy soft polenta and meeting new people while you eat all of it.
$75, book at SideTour
Our Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture
Until Sunday, August 11, 2013
The American Museum of Natural History investigates human nutrition and food history in ways both cultural, artistic, scientific and activist. Displays look at early diet staples and the history of agriculture, as well as current environmental, health and safety concerns relating to the food industry. Visitors can sample seasonal noms, view images and food artifacts of sustenance through the ages, and discover how to grow food year-round–even if you live in a tiny apartment.
Why: It’s fascinating no matter what your food persuasion–omnivore, locavore, paleo-vore, whatever-vore.
American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West, (at 79th St), Manhattan
$25, seniors and students $19, children 2–12 $14.50, children under 2 free.
Gowanus Nite Market
Like other Brooklyn markets, you can find artist-made goods from up to 25 vendors, nosh on local specialties from food trucks and drink beer from Brooklyn Brewery. But this one is in a warehouse, starts when other markets are closing and goes until midnight, and the vendors all have specially-made stands crafted from movie props. Yes, there’s a DJ.
Why? You’re totally bored by day markets, think Williamsburg is overdone and want to try something a little different.
Film Biz Recycling, 540 President St. between 3rd and 4th Aves, Brooklyn. Continues the second Saturday of each month through April 2013. More info at the website.
Create Your Own Handmade Soda at Brooklyn Soda Works
Thursday, January 24th, 7-9 p.m.
You can find unique flavors from Brooklyn Soda Works like Cucumber, Lime & Sea Salt or Concord Grape & Fennel Seed soda served on-tap at restaurants like Blue Hill Stone Barns, Bourgeois Pig, and Beer Table, plus markets all over the city. Let’s say it’s a bit more refined than Pepsi.
At their test kitchen in Brooklyn, the founders will show you how they use only fresh pressed juice instead of sugary syrup in their carbonated sodas and explain why they only serve their brews on tap, not in bottles. Then dive into a brief science lesson on carbonation and pairing flavors before hand-crafting your own seasonal soda.
Why: You’ve quit Coca-Cola but miss the bubbles. Make the oxymoron of artisinal soda become a reality.
$45, book at SideTour
NYChiliFest 2013 at The Chelsea Market
Sunday, January 27, 7-9 p.m.
The ultimate celebration of chili, beer, and all things spicy, each ticket to NYChiliFest gives you access to a 500-foot concourse of chili, served by dozens of NYC’s best restaurants and cutting-edge chefs. Samuel Adams is matching four of their favorite chili-eating beers and will be pouring from several locations in the concourse.
Why? Because if it’s a Food Systems Network benefit, you know the beef is locally raised and delicious, supplied by Dickson’s Farmstand Meats and the Cleaver Co. Plus, Chelsea Market is the loveliest indoor mall you will ever visit.
Locavore Cooking Class
Saturday, February 16, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Join chef instructor and cookbook author Peter Berley for a true market-to-table culinary adventure. You’ll start this class by preparing dough for focaccia. Then, while it’s rising, Peter will lead the way to the Union Square Greenmarket where you’ll learn to shop the way market-driven chefs do–by choosing what’s local and seasonal. The ingredients you select will determine the menu.
Market purchases might include freshly-caught fish, farm-fresh eggs, dairy, wine and a bounty of locally-grown produce. When you return to the classroom, you’ll focus on technique as you help Jay prepare a seasonal meal, bake off the bread, and sit down to savor everything, feeling content with the knowledge that you have just supported your local farmers. (Vegetarian-friendly; wine will be served.)
Why? Instead of picking a recipe and getting half the ingredients at Whole Foods, you’ll learn to build a recipe from the farmstand up.
Natural Gourmet Institute, 48 W. 21st St., 2nd floor
Price: $150, register at NaturalGourmetInstitute.com
Forget the necklace made out of rolled-up paper and the purse crafted from discarded soda pop tabs.
All the best designers and artists are going the eco-friendly route. Behold: a gift for everyone on your list. Each is so cool and stylish, you can keep the fact that it’s fair trade/sustainable/eco-friendly/guilt-free to yourself.
They don’t have to know.
This peach and cream number is so classy and pretty that it could work for almost any woman’s style. Handwoven from 100% linen, it supports Indian artisans seeking economic quality. The designer, Global Goods, is a non-profit that does good work all over the world.
$45 at LivLuna.
You’ll never get the right record for your music-connoisseur bf. (He would never tell you that, you’ll just figure it out when he never plays it.) But he can’t argue with this reclaimed record iPhone skin from Brooklyn-based Wrecords by Monkey. Best of all, it comes in both the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 size. (Score extra points by pairing it with the new book Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon, full of insider references to the soul and funk greats and sporting a record cover.)
$14 at Wrecords by Monkey.
For Your Preggers Friend
Just because she’s carrying around an
alien adorable little baby inside her doesn’t mean she can live without some pampering. Stuff her stocking full of toxin-free nail polish (which Well+Good helpfully lists), and slip in a gift certificate to Sweet Lily Nail Spa in SoHo.
She won’t care that the flannel of this robe is 100% organic cotton, just that it’s super soft, in ladylike color and flattering shape.
Aw, she’s growing up so fast! Help her keep time with a surprisingly affordable sustainably-made watch made from corn resin, organic cotton, and bamboo, outfitted with a mercury-free battery.
$30 at Sprout
She lives in Brooklyn, her fridge is filled with artisanal cheese and jam, and her Spotify list is a treasure trove of indie bands. Give a necklace that will get her compliments all night long at the warehouse party and make her feel like a badass. It’s made of cruelty-free porcupine quills, turquoise howlite, bullet casing and a vintage brass chain. BONUS: Get 10% off with the code SHOPHEARTS10! (Expires 1/1/13)
$148 at Hearts
He’s a class act with impeccable taste. And with any luck, he’ll pour you a glass of this Brooklyn-made bourbon for a toast to your awesomeness as a daughter.
Find a list of liquor stores that carry it at the Kings County Distillery website.
Even if she hates cooking, she’ll still want to display these Portland-made measuring spoons in her kitchen.
$30 at Alder & Co.
Ohhh, fall is here. That means cider, pumpkins, fall foliage, mulled wine, fall fashion and my favorite kind of weather. And this weekend is going to be awesome. Seriously, good luck choosing:
Saturday, October 13th
Sweaty Saturday is supposed to be kind of like Fashion’s Night Out, but instead of blowing your whole paycheck on some random stuff, you’re whittling your waist and helping charity.
Kickboxing, bootcamps, cardio chair (??), free passes to fancy-pants David Barton gym, yoga and a lot more for reduced prices, plus free cleanses and snacks, and raffles of workout gear.
Why: Because burning calories by trying to dance to a shitty 21-year-old socialite “dj” at Fashion’s Night Out is so passé.
All over the city. See participating studios and gyms here.
Take a Fall Hike!
Saturday and Sunday, October 13th and 14th
This is the perfect time of year to get outdoors, leaf-watch, exercise, and feel refreshed by the nip in the air. You could take Metro North up to Breakneck ridge. Or there are several hiking expeditions run by Discover Outdoors that look appealing: take a casual hike on the Appalachian trail, explore a wolf sanctuary, hike then wine taste, go rock climbing (no experience required), go apple and pumpkin picking, hike the Catskills, or stay in the city and take an all-day bike tour around the island.
Why? If the rainy week has got you depressed, exercise in a natural setting has been scientifically proven to perk up your mood.
Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show
Friday, October 12th, 1 – 8pm; Saturday, October 13th: 11am – 6pm
You won’t find another shopping experience like this one! Everything from over-the-top cocktail dresses to fisherman sweaters, bespoke fur vests and fabulous costume jewelry is here. Last time I even ran into two different celebrities while perusing.
Why? It’s more sustainable to buy used. Might as well do it right!
$15 online, $20 at the door. Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th St (Between 6th & 7th Aves), Manhattan. ManhattanVintage.com
Mr. Saturday and Sunday
Saturday, October 13th 10pm – the end; Sunday, October 14th, 3 – 9pm
The fun has been extended beyond the summer–obviously because the party should never stop! Pick your poison: an all-night Saturday bash at House of Yes, or a day thing at the Gowanus Grove location, complete with mulled wine.
Check out this old track from Sunday Best in 2008, the precursor to Mr. Sunday.
Why? Good music shouldn’t be confined to the warm weather months.
RSVP to Mr Saturday for reduced admission. RSVP does not guarantee admission (I’ve learned the hard way!) so buy tickets at Resident Advisor. Saturday is at House of Yes, 342 Maujer St between Morgan and Waterbury. Sunday is at Gowanus Grove, 400 Carroll St between Bond and Nevins, Brooklyn. MisterSaturdayNight.com
Hard Cider at the New Amsterdam Market
Sunday, October 14th, 12 – 4pm
Kick off Glynwood’s Cider Week with Second Annual Hard Cider Revival at New Amsterdam Market! By buying tasting tickets (they tend to sell out fast) that can be redeemed for both fall-icious cider or seasonal hors d’oeuvres–served tapas-style by Andrew Tarlow, Chef Sean Rembold, John Connolly and the Marlow & Sons team–you’ll be supporting New York State apple orchards and the revival of farmstead and craft ciders.
The apps include Hen of the Woods Mushrooms on baguette with egg yolk aligote, Grilled Yukon Gold Potatoes with onions and beef fat, Rabbit Sausage with curried onions, Grilled Prawns with romesco, Grilled Oysters and spicy apple slaw, Pheasant and chorizo chili, with toasted almonds and sheep’s milk cheese.
If that doesn’t fill you up, the rest of the New Amsterdam Market will be going on as usual, with other apple-centric treats like apple butter, hard cider spelt bread, apple turnovers and “Craquelin” brioche with hudson valley applejack (that’s a liquor, in case you’re wondering), apple pie, chili spiked with hard cider and apple cider caramels.
Why? Believe it or not, apples besides honeycrisp and gala are a dying breed. The least you can do is eat some and support the cause.
Buy Tickets Now: Slow Food NYC’s Annual Party
Thursday, November 11th, 7 – 9pm
Eat pig and oysters, and taste cocktails made by the steady hands of Clover Club and Death & Company–two favorite bars of mine. Supporting a good cause never tasted so decadent.
Why? The Snail does a great job of encouraging restaurants that actually care where their produce and meat comes from. Thank them for helping spread the good word.
We’re solidly into fall, so this post could have come a bit earlier. But honestly, I need to space out the self-aggrandizing street style posts, which is why I waited so long to put this up. I hope you enjoy it regardless. There are some eco-friendly goodies in this one:
Fair trade striped top by LemLem, skirt by Topshop (one of the less egregious fast fashion stores); leather necklace by Brooklyn artisan, vegan purse by Cornelia Guest, available at Compassion Couture; Fendi shoes; Aid Through Trade bracelets.
This week I wanted something fun for this fun outfit. This song isn’t by any means new, but there’s a good chance you haven’t heard it. Enjoy!
Summer is definitely over. The dreary gray skies, ho-hum rain and chilly air leave no doubt.
But Friday and Saturday we were granted one last golden-hued reprieve from the inevitable, as all over the city New Yorkers snuck out of their offices to dubiously sniff the fresh air, crowded onto rooftops to dance and drink, and wandered through food festivals.
Well, at least, that was my weekend. As I took in the New York skyline from a Williamsburg rooftop, tasted Brooklyn-made food and bounced to a DJ while chatting with an architect/designer/art therapist from Porto Rico/Russia/France that I thought, “If I ever leave New York, I will be truly depressed.” The confluence of cultures, ideas and truly unique (I mean that in the literal sense–like there is nothing else to rival it) ways to have fun makes for glittering nights and sensory-rich days, where there’s always something new and fresh right around the corner, if only you have the energy and curiosity to keep going.
A big component of the weekend was the Smorgasburg food festival. It’s been around for since last summer, but I had never made it out there before. Odd, right? Fortunately for me and my roommate E, it’s not just a summer thing. It continues every Saturday, rain or shine, until November 18.
Friends of mine are obsessed with this song, combination of infectious beat and great lyrics that everyone can sing along to. It’s all cocktail party chatter until this hits, and everyone sprints to the dance floor. Give it a minute to drop into the good part.
Smorgasburg is quintessential New York: a smash of cultures, crawling with people from all over the world in every type of dress, good music laid over top, with interpretations and reinventions of classic food, the Williamsburg bridge and Empire State building within eyeshot.
Try arepas that look nothing like an arepas you would find in South America: quinoa flour flat bread piled with organic italian chorizo. Or chili lime mini cupcakes. Vegan salted corn ice cream. (That was a bust. But I tried it.) Jasmine green kombucha tea. Gourmet grilled cheese. Seriously, whatever you want, jazzed up and remixed into something interesting and–most of the time–better than you’ve ever had.
I suggest making room for it in your busy weekend schedule at least twice. Because, with more than 75 vendors, there are way too many good food options and not enough space in your stomach, even if you fasted all morning in preparation like I did. It also makes for fabulous people watching.
You like food and cute animal photos? Good. Here’s some for you:
Smorgasbar is a special area set up just for drinking local beers, Brooklyn wine and cocktails from Brooklyn-distilled liquor.
Cute dogs were everywhere.
Don’t ask me why you would put a dog in a stroller …
Or why you would bring your cat. “Kitty just loves artisinal pickles!”
This salted corn vegan ice cream topped with spiced popcorn was as disgusting as it sounds. Good thing Smorgasburg has composting bins. I felt not quite as guilty when I tossed it. In retrospect, I should have gone with the dark chocolate chai flavor.
Good beats are a must for any Williamsburg event.
If you really want to try as many different things as possible, share everything amongst friends.
Oysters served with ish horseradish–the best horseradish I’ve EVER tasted.
I just loved this guy’s look. “Casual dapper” plus “Totally dateable.”
There’s plenty of organic, vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options for the healthy/picky set Brooklyn is known for.
Chili lime cupcakes to the left, and caramel chai flavor in the center.
While some places–like Anarchy in a Jar–accept credit cards, you should definitely bring cash.
That may look like beer, but it’s actually mint kombucha tea.
Would you eat beef jerky if you knew it was made in Brooklyn? If so, there was (count ‘em) two jerkey purveyors there.
Columbian refreshments at the arepas shack.
You don’t normally see someone dressed so nicely in Brooklyn, but she’s rocking that red blazer.
Wooden utensils, paper plates and compostable cups made it even greener.
As vendors started to disassemble their tents and the temperature dropped, we wandered to east Williamsburg and stopped by a friend’s roof, where I took this sunset picture featuring the Freedom Tower.
Lately I’ve been speculatively wondering, as hopeful New Yorkers are wont to do: If I were to buy a place, where would I buy it?
West Village? Way too expensive, even for my fantasy life. Union Square? Too many crazy homeless people, though the Greenmarket is right there. Park Slope? Too many babies. Greenpoint? Ugh, the G train, save me.
But Bushwick? Don’t look horrified yet. The thing is, Bushwick is on its way. The artists are there, and if the history of SoHo is any indication, Burberry is only forty years behind. The parties are also there, and apparently, now, a sustainable fitness studio?
Green Fitness Studio, at 323 Varet Street, is the kind of gym where I would love to spend my time watching sustainable guys flex their muscles. It’s got bamboo floors; recycled rubber flooring in the workout area; remanufactured and self-powered gym equipment (a.k.a. no plugs/electricity required); CFL bulbs; heat-mirrored glass for better energy use; towels laundered with eco-friendly detergent; a local, organic, sustainable juice bar; and a living roof and infrared sauna in the works, according to its website. And it’s been there since at least 2010! How is that possible? I probably haven’t heard about it because it’s in Bushwick.
Loving this track right now. It evokes a sort of dancing-on-a-rooftop-club luxury. Don’t mind the big busty girl–I have no control over her.
So when I saw a mention in New York Mag’s Approval Matrix (oh, you wily, un-clickable, old-school matrix) saying a green fitness studio in Bushwick wants a liquor license, I was like, “Hey, these people sound cool.” So I did some Googling, and saw this:
… the venue has already begun renting it roof to promoters, such as Black Market NYC, that possess their own liquor permit.
I looked a little closer and realized, hey, I think I’ve been there! For a party anyway.
Somebody, please check this place out for the actual healthful living part, and tell me how it is. I might soon buy up one of those bombed-out townhomes in Bushwick and make it my own if this trend of Bushwick awesomeness continues.
Hahahahah. No seriously, maybe.
P.S. I brought my good friend C out to Bushwick for a party to celebrate her last Saturday night in NYC, and all she and her friend could talk about was the “Crackcident” episode of “Girls”, and even though one of them wanted to bum a smoke from a guy in front of us, she refused to out of fear that it was actually crack. “There is no crack here,” I told her. To which she replied. “That was based on a TRUE STORY!” This made me realize that my poor mother, who watches “Girls”, probably thinks I might accidentally smoke crack. I would like to point out that there is no crack at these Bushwick parties, OK? Very interesting characters who will back you into a corner talking about who-knows-what? Yes. Weed? Of course. Hipsters? Duh. But crack? No. At least, I really hope not …
There’s really no better way to kick off living in a new apartment than by hiding behind a French mask.
As you might remember, I decided to move out of my precious little studio–because of the crazy-face below–into a two bedroom with a new roommate. Well, the very first weekend after I moved in, our mutual friend J threw a going away party for her friend R, who is moving to Paris. (Apparently, moving to Paris is a thing now.) The only requirement? That you wear a mask.
Gorgeousness and intrigue ensue.
My new roommate E, our friend The Good Hostess and I rang the buzzer on the Williamsburg apartment and donned our masks while we waited. The owner of this beautiful apartment appeared and let us down the entrance hall, through the apartment and to the backyard, where we came upon this scene:
The hosts provided a table full of wine, champagne, St. Germaine, bitters, soda and anything else you would need to concoct something delicious.
Yup, that is champagne in a can. Or “Champs in a can” if you prefer.
The guest of honor greets an old friend.
A, on the right, took the cake for most beautiful dress.
And J shoes took the honors for her shoes. Anything sparkly, really, wins.
The first time you spend a summer holiday weekend in the city, you might greet its approach with disappointment and some malaise. After all, it seems like everyone has scattered to their respective beach houses, parents’ homes with backyard pools, and lake houses, while you’re stuck wandering across the concrete and asphalt jungle, fragrant with the kind of smells only 95 degree weather can provide.
But actually, holidays in the city can be an absolute joy. In fact, they are a gift. How? Let me explain:
This time last year, the Fourth of July conveniently created a three-day weekend. But I had no plans to flee. It was then I discovered the awesome fact about summer holidays in New York: Almost anyone with money and good taste has fled, leaving people like us a playground of half empty trendy restaurants, beer gardens with open benches, mini golf courses without lines and cocktail speakeasies that are all too happy to open the door and give you a seat.
So, if you’re staying in town this Fourth, I can’t guarantee it will be super empty. This is only one day off, after all, so not quite as many can get out of town. But if you are in town, I want to share with you a list of great places to go that might be more feasible than on a typical summer Saturday. (And make sure to keep your Labor Day weekend free!)
1. Any Trendy Restaurant That Doesn’t Take Reservations
You know the kind. The food (you’ve heard) is delicious. Not like you would know, since every time someone suggests going there, your group shows up and it’s an hour and a half wait. Places like The Breslin, The Meatball Shop, Frankies 457 and Diner in Brooklyn, and The Spotted Pig are infuriating for just this reason. But on summer holidays, you can show up and snag a seat for you and three friends, no problem–I’ve done it.
2. Novelty Summer Activities
It might have been easy to find a mini golf course in suburbia where you grew up. But not in NYC. That’s why when a half decent one opened–along with beach volleyball–on Pier 25, it became way too popular. Instead of waiting interminably for the group in front of you to move on to the next hole, show up early on a summer holiday and enjoy a measure of lazy solitude.
3. The Best Parks
While you’re at it, rent, borrow or bring out your own bike and take it all the places that are usually too crowded to enjoy. Central Park is a good place to start. Or try the bike path by the West Side Highway, ending with a cold beer at The Frying Pan on the water. If you want to get away from the air pollution and cars altogether, take the ferry out to Governors Island and take the bike path around the island, stopping for ice cream or a nap in a hammock. Or snag a deck chair on the High Line across from the water feature, where you can dip your toes when you get too hot and finish with a beer at either The Standard or the High Line’s own beer garden.
4. Rooftop Bars
During the summer everyone wants to get off the frying pan pavement and up high, where you can enjoy a breeze, a view and a fancy cocktail. Make it happen during a summer holiday. I’m partial to The Standard’s roof with its Astroturf and crepe shack, but the list of good rooftop bars is endless, like The Press Lounge at Ink 48 on the West Side, 230 Fifth, Top of the Strand, and The Delancey, just to get you started.