Williamsburg

Chill Out At Himapan’s Lotus Leaf Painting Class

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Himapan lotus leaf painting art class ( © Himapan US)

Attendees of the Greenpoint-based Himapan lotus leaf painting class depart with two things: a wall-ready piece of art and an almost alarming sense of zen. I don’t normally associate prolonged repetition with relaxation, and yet there it was—two and half hours of lightly painting, sponging and dabbing at leaf skin felt more therapeutic than therapy itself.

Lotus leaves symbolize purity of heart and mind. When stretched over a canvas to dry, they also create a unique texture for painting. It’s like paint by number, except beautifully serene and understated.

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Brooklyn Comedy Festival: North Brooklyn Roundup

via Brooklyn Comedy Festival
via Brooklyn Comedy Festival

This Sunday the Brooklyn Comedy Festival kicks off for the third year in a row, this year with plenty of hilarious stand-up, sketch, improv, panel discussions, short films, and an evening with Reggie Watts. For $99 you can get a VIP pass to hit up all the shows all week, tickets to special parties including food and booze, entry into the pool at the new William Vale Hotel, and more. If rollin’ that fancy isn’t your style, many of the shows are free or less than $10 if you buy in advance. After the jump, check out our roundup of everything happening for the fest in North Brooklyn!

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When Desperation Hits: FREE Food & Drinks In North Brooklyn

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giphy

You got a job in Manhattan and live in Brooklyn baby, you ballin’! And then, after a couple birthday dinners you blew all your cash MC Hammer style. When it’s the end of your pay cycle and you’re hard up for skrill but still want to go out, free bar food might be your best option for “dinner”.

After the jump, check out our list of nearby joints serving FREE food, and free or nearly free drinks:
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Ice Cream Meets Design at Davey’s Ice Cream

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Always get the sprinkles. Image: Author’s personal collection of Davey’s Ice Cream photographs

Going into ice cream actually started as a joke for David Yoo. After beginning a career in fashion and advertising, he decided in 2012 that it was time for a change. A few jokes later, he came to the realization that “ice cream is like blank canvas” ready for creative interpretations, and getting into the ice cream business might allow for the real hands-on creative hijinks he was searching for. So he enrolled in the Penn State Ice Cream Short Course, Class of 2013; gave his job a six-month notice; and by Friday, September 13th, Davey’s Ice Cream was open in the East Village. Late last summer, Davey’s brought their ice cream across the river to Bedford Avenue. Continue reading

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Beat the Heat with Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream!

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Van Leeuwen owner Laura O’Neill scooping some ice cream! All images © Sidney Bensimon

About eight years ago, Greenpointers began seeing the butter-yellow Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream trucks popping up on our streets, often with one of the owners, Laura O’Neill and brothers Pete & Ben Van Leeuwen, inside. It didn’t take long—they were approached by a Whole Foods rep literally on their first day of business back in June 2008—for the Greenpoint locals to become the next big thing in ice cream. But of course, every “next big thing” in food needs a brick-and-mortar shop, and with their hearts already in the neighborhood, the team opened up their very first ice cream shop on Manhattan & Bedford in early spring 2010.
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Cocktails and Cajun Comfort at Bourbon Springs

Bourbon Springs is serving up some of the best bourbon cocktails in New York
Bourbon Springs is serving some of the best bourbon cocktails in New York

If you haven’t been to vibrant Graham Avenue on the border of Williamsburg and Greenpoint yet, I present to you the perfect reason to explore this part of town. Named after a communal trout fishing lodge that her grandfather founded in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Emily Casey’s Bourbon Springs somehow captures the familiarity of a little restaurant in the south, but with the all the culinary chops necessary to survive New York’s competitive restaurant scene. The Cajun-inspired menu is sure to satisfy and the bar happens to make some of the best craft cocktails in the city.  The interior is pleasant and charming; small enough to feel welcoming yet with table spacing optimized for conversation. Bourbon Springs also enjoys a quaint backyard complete with picnic tables surrounded by planters overflowing with herbs, tomatoes, and blueberries.  On Sunday evenings, they offer seasonal all-you-can-eat seafood boils, currently featuring crab and shrimp.

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OddFellows Ice Cream Co. Has it All: Strange, Savory, and Sweet

OddFellows Ice Cream Co. in Williamsburg
OddFellows Ice Cream Co. in Williamsburg. All images via oddfellowsnyc.com

As co-founder Mohan Kumar tells it, OddFellows in Williamsburg has an origin as sweet as its ice cream.

“When Holiday was pregnant Sam [Mason] brought over ice cream, and she loved it. At the time I was looking to get out of what I was doing in real estate finance and do something more entrepreneurial, more creative,” Kumar shared. “A couple days later, she said, ‘Why don’t you talk to Sam about opening an ice cream shop?’ I said, ‘That’s a great idea.’ I approached Sam about that over a beer, I had half a business plan already written out, and that’s how it started.” Continue reading

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Funky Plot and Savory Performances for Shakespeare in the Theater’s “Cymbeline”

Curt James (foreground) and Josh Krebs in "Cymbeline" at The Brick
Curt James (foreground) and Josh Krebs in “Cymbeline” at The Brick

Cymbeline is tonally ambiguous, dramaturgically elusive. This is no weakness of Shakespeare’s so-called tragedy, but it stands out in being one that ends in reunions and discoveries instead of wars and death while featuring beheaded characters and disguised lovers. It’s no wonder, then, that critics have long debated whether Cymbeline is drama, romance, comedy, or something in between. Perhaps Shakespeare was pushing genres out and contemporary storytelling, with its mix of laughter and catharsis, forward. Regardless of category, Stay Awake! Theatre’s production of Cymbeline at The Brick (575 Metropolitan Ave.) in Williamsburg is firm in its footing thanks to its minimalist approach and rather strong performances. Continue reading

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Cool Nights & Hot Tacos at Black Flamingo

Cocktail 01It’s a swampass summer Saturday in the city, and everyone else got out of bed at the crack of dawn to make it to Rockaway or the Hamptons, but you ain’t got nowhere to go. You might need to recharge with an exotic staycation at Black Flamingo. If you’ve never cruised by its off-the-main-drag corner in Williamsburg (168 Borinquen Pl.), Black Flamingo is one drink, dinner and disco destination that’s not yet been overexposed via Instagram. The cocktails satiate tropical tastebuds without being too sweet, the Mexican-slanted vegetarian offerings are tasty and hearty, and the Friday and Saturday night basement parties have become something of a dance lover’s dirty underground legend.

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Thursday Spotlight: Trey Ditto, PR based in Brooklyn

Trey Ditto, Ditto PR
Trey Ditto, Ditto PR

Hailing originally from Texas, Trey Ditto cut his teeth working for the Associated Press in Dallas and quickly moved into the political sphere, advising legislators and elected officials on their communications strategies. Ultimately this lead him to Washington D.C. where he worked for various political leaders and landed with a position as the deputy press secretary for U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, handling local and national media and external relations on K-12 and higher education issues. Continue reading

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