Brooklyn

Lena Dunham Emails Zadie Smith About Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj, Plus Other Revelations from the ‘Not That Kind of Girl’ Tour

Last night, Lena Dunham brought her 12-city book tour behind Not That Kind of Girl back home with a variety show of quirk, feminism, and friendship for Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Unbound series. The 90-minute event moved quickly, starting with cat-driven stand-up from Mike Birbiglia and a three-song set from Jack Antonoff of fun. and Bleachers (familiar to Not That Kind of Girl readers in the role of good-guy boyfriend). Dunham read two pieces from her nonfiction collection — an essay about her younger sister, Grace, and one of the book’s humorous lists of gaffes — to the intimate crowd, which included her mother Laurie Simmons and actor Jon Glaser (Parks and Recreation) sitting in the front row. Then the show really began. … Read More

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Stunning Photos of the World’s Oldest Living Organisms

If you’ve done any kind of traveling outside the United States, it will quickly dawn on you just how young America really is. Brooklyn-based artist, 2014 Guggenheim Fellow, and TED speaker Rachel Sussman has photographic evidence. Her The Oldest Living Things in the World series, which we first spotted on Photojojo, documents the artist’s research and travels across continents in search of the world’s oldest inhabitants—continuously living things that have weathered 2,000 years or more. … Read More

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Hitler in Brooklyn: On Martin Amis’ ‘The Zone of Interest’

Martin Amis’ new Holocaust novel, The Zone of Interest, is not about Adolf Hitler. Until, weirdly, it is. But for the first 295 pages, it is a difficult yet captivating book set in Auschwitz, one that reflects the atrocity of the Final Solution through the lusts and petty jealousies of Nazi officials. What begins as a romance between Angelus “Golo” Thomsen, fictional nephew of Hitler’s secretary, and Hannah Doll, wife of the pathetic and monstrous Kommandant, ends as a complicated moral tale that reveals the full spectrum of complicity in the Nazi horror. And it does all of this without once uttering the name “Hitler.” Or at least not until an afterword, fronted by a grainy image of the Führer, where Amis explains everything about the book that he doesn’t need to explain. … Read More

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Don’t Believe Everything You Hear About New York City in Songs

The next time you’re tempted to write a song about the “concrete jungle where dreams are made of,” do New Yorkers a favor: don’t. The latest pop homage to New York comes via virtual unknown Catey Shaw and “Brooklyn Girls,” an anthem for young female transplants riding the L train from their apartments in Bushwick to Williamsburg, asserting their edginess by wearing combat boots in the summer. It’s suddenly started to go viral, three days after its release — yesterday afternoon, “Brooklyn Girls” had 7,000 views on YouTube. As of press time, it has 105,000. A great deal of its rise to prominence is attributable to the instant backlash from Brooklynites intimately familiar with the world Shaw describes (i.e., many music bloggers). … Read More

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The Brooklyn Cyclones’ Delightfully Geeky Salute to ‘Seinfeld': It’s Real and It’s Spectacular

A grown man asked me to take a picture of him with a minor league baseball team’s mascot this weekend, but before I did, he needed to put on his puffy shirt. You see, he was just trying to match Sandy the Seagull. … Read More

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Northside Festival 2014 Highlights: CHVRCHES, Swearin’, Pharmakon

Five years ago, the folks behind Brooklyn Magazine and The L Magazine created what seemed at the time to be a CMJ Music Marathon exclusive to Williamsburg venues, dubbed Northside Festival. Over time, CMJ has deteriorated into a shell of itself: Lower East Side venues brimming with brand parties that wouldn’t even make the radar at SXSW and bills rounded out by major labels’ baby bands. With all due respect to what CMJ once was, the music portion of Northside — which now, in a SXSW-esque twist, includes innovation and film panels — has grown to be a much clearer representation of indie rock (at a time when the genre term has come to communicate very little) — and a cleaner go at music discovery. … Read More

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Adelle Waldman’s Scarily Accurate Brooklyn Returns in ‘The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.’ Ebook Prequel

Adelle Waldman’s The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., new to paperback this week, was one of the pleasures of last year, a book with such a witty 19th-century voice, so creepily accurate about life in Brooklyn as a freelance writer and a self-made literary type, that after reading it, it was hard to not see things through its lens — or to imagine Waldman in the back of the room at any party, taking copious notes. A recent Observer article on how Nathaniel P. connected with readers begins with a 23-year-old woman in finance (who hadn’t read the book), calling a potential paramour “Nathaniel P.” Admittedly, I may have even written an email last year that included a sentence like, “Don’t waste your time on someone living that Nathaniel P. life, my friend.” (And yes, that waste of time does work for a New York-based media company.) … Read More

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Spike Lee’s Posturing About Gentrification Helps No One

It’s been a whole month since Spike Lee spoke out about gentrification in Brooklyn, but never fear, he’s back on his soapbox about his favorite topic — specifically, he’s taken issue with A.O. Scott’s recent piece in the New York Times, which addressed the matter of gentrification in Brooklyn. Lee has of course been vocal about this subject in the past, and he posted a lengthy response to Scott’s article on his Facebook. … Read More

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A Whiskey Distillery Grows in Brooklyn: Talking Moonshine With Kings County Distillery’s Colin Spoelman

The thing about walking into the Navy Yard building that houses small-batch whiskey producer Kings County Distillery is that it looks exactly like what you’d imagine: old brick walls and a marker over the front door that commemorates the date when the building was completed, set amid a cluster of other ancient, nondescript brick buildings. It didn’t hurt that I walked to this little corner of Brooklyn on an overcast day that seemed to mark the true beginning of autumn, a full month late. … Read More

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