03/27/15 12:15pm

cider

If you’re in need of a gastronomic escape, consider attending the Spanish Basque Cider House Dinner at Txikito this Sunday, March 29th—no passport required. Organized by chefs Eder Montero and Alex Raij (also of Cobble Hill’s La Vara), as well as filmmaker Sarah Lobsenz, the immersive meal will celebrate Spanish culture, community, and of course, cider, by mimicking Basque sagardotegis, old farmhouses where locals purchase cider and congregate over small meals. (more…)

03/27/15 12:11pm

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When my friend Ezra moved from Harlem to Brooklyn a couple years ago, he set out to be a regular. For the first few months he lived in Crown Heights, he frequented the bars around his block, keeping a handful in the rotation, going with friends or just by himself to read a book and sip a drink. After a couple months feeling out the bar landscape, he settled on one or two he frequented enough that the bartenders would welcome him when they saw him come in.

It seemed to me an unusual mission at the time. But soon after, whenever we went out for a drink, at say, the Bearded Lady, the excellent cocktail spot on Washington Avenue that became one of his go-tos, the bartender would stop for a moment and chat with us between shaking martinis, offer a bit of neighborhood gossip or maybe a taste of a new concoction. But more than that, they knew his name, and soon, they knew mine too. “There’s an old line that goes something like, you go to the bar for the bartender, not the drinks,” Ezra explained to me. “And it’s sort of true.” That is the first real step in becoming a regular: You introduce yourself. You turn what’s usually a perfunctory interaction—money exchanged for drinks delivered—into a relationship of sorts. You breach the line that we all toe in New York, the one that separates you from the millions of strangers swirling around you.  ”You can go to the same place every day for years, but if no one knows you, are you really a regular?” Ezra asked.

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03/27/15 11:38am
Photo by Jane Bruce

Photo by Jane Bruce

It’s hard to believe that Covenhoven, Prospect Heights’ beloved little bottle shop and taproom, has been around for an entire year already. It feels like just yesterday that I received a curious email from fellow beer writer (and my former neighbor) Josh Bernstein, alerting me to Covenhoven’s inception. “Think: Bierkraft for Crown Heights,” he wrote. “But, with a few fun wrinkles.” (more…)

03/27/15 10:28am
East Village stalwart B&H Dairy Photo via Instagram

East Village stalwart B&H Dairy
Photo via Instagram

An explosion blew the front off a tenement building on Second Avenue in the East Village yesterday, leading to a raging fire, which caused the complete collapse of two buildings, and devastated several others in the immediate area. Nineteen people are injured—several of them critically—and at least one person has been reported missing. The explosion and subsequent fire are believed to be caused by a gas leak, and the New York Times reports that Mayor “de Blasio said workers from the utility Consolidated Edison had been on the site about an hour before the explosion and had found the work being done there to be deficient. But he said there were no calls reporting gas leaks before the explosion.” A gas leak was also the cause of a building explosion which killed eight people in East Harlem in March of last year. (more…)

03/27/15 9:37am

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Usually when you think of an animal hanging out in a fire station, it’s a Dalmatian or some other floppy, lovable dog. But it turns out that cats are just as often the residents of FDNY fire houses, and two of them are racking up followers on Instagram. Carlow, a cat who lives at Ladder 24 near the empire state building, and Boogie, who hangs out at Ladder 13 in the Upper East Side have recently become social media stars. And like, OK, we’ll give it to them: They’re pretty cute.

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03/27/15 9:07am
(Photo: Flickr Creative Commons, Jon Lee Clark)

(Photo: Flickr Creative Commons, Jon Lee Clark)

Scientists are finding the Hudson River has an alarmingly high number of tiny plastic baubles floating around and they’re making their way not just to the ocean, but also up the food chain. WNYC spoke with Sherri Mason, a scientist at SUNY whose research finds the river has 62,000 particles of plastic per square kilometer which is significantly more than the notoriously filthy Lake Erie which caught fire in 1969 (yes, I recently confirmed this actually happened and wasn’t another one of my Dad’s acid befuddled “memories”).

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03/26/15 3:34pm

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Get ready for summer, punks, because this time in a couple months you could be completing a sweet couple of rounds of mini golf in our very own borough. Red Hook is getting a sprawling 18-hold miniature golf course this summer called “Shipwrecked.” The themes: pirates and adventure. “Let’s just say it feel like a little mini adventure,” co-founder and prop supervisor Chris Schneider told DNA Info. “Think Indiana Jones meets miniature golf.” Sold.

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