Archive for the ‘Sanity’ Category

Nostalgia is fully represented in popular culture. Images & products of vintage television, video game and brands are found everywhere, offering a sense of happy recollection with a slight sense of irony.

Barcade is a staple of Williamsburg, letting you wade knee deep in the nostalgia by offering a host of antique arcade games. You can relive playing Ms. Pacman & Galaga with a joystick that for some reason won’t move left, just like back in the day! All the while they offer a wide selection of drinks.

In this same spirit, the owners are opening a new bar this weekend in Greenpoint called The Gutter. They will be offering the same mix of nostalgia, with a new suburban feel, by offering goold ole fashioned, plaid pant wearing bowling.

I know personally I’ve traversed the length of Brooklyn in order to find bowling, and finally to have one so close is like mana from heaven.

So you should definitely relive the joy of communal shoes & tacky bowling shirts while receiving of what I expect to be (similar to Barcade) a wide selection of draft beers. After intense research by the Brooklyn Skeptic staff, I’m sure you will get an in-depth review later.

The Gutter
200 North 14th Street
Monday – Thursday 4pm to 4am
Friday – Sunday 12 noon to 4am



Photo by”highwaygirl67″

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Gridskipper came up with a guide to drunk-making stuff made in Brooklyn and Manhattan! Way to go! Perhaps a reprise of the Brooklyn Skeptic Brooklyn Beer tasting is in order?

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While some fast food restaurants are at least trying to feign an interest in changing their menus and promoting good health, Domino’s Pizza seems to be going in a somewhat different direction.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, the Oreo Pizza. Am I the only one who had never heard of this?

Now I’m not a healthy person by any means. If I even think this sounds fucking disgusting and more unhealthy than eating garlic bread covered in rusty nails and hydrochloric acid, than I think Domino’s has stumbled upon something truly original. What’s Pizza Hut going to do in retaliation? Strike up a deal with Krispy Kreme?


Open the door, it’s your impending doom.

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Brunch is a big New York weekend thing, as far as I can gather. It doesn’t seem to have hit the rest of the country as hard as it has here. You know, except for like Mother’s Day and Easter. I, personally, have been a devotee of the meal since I discovered “drunk brunch” while living in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Now, I’m a little older, a little wiser, and a little less capable of drinking in the morning. Thus, my brunch establishment requirements have shifted from unlimited drinks included in the meal to good food, excellent coffee, and possibly an excellent mimosa.

Park Slope’s Perch Cafe offers just such a brunch. Its small but powerful bird-themed menu (Perch Toast, Bird in a Nest, etc.) delivers a lovely selection of breakfasty things, sandwiches, salads and side dishes. I have not been disappointed with anything I’ve tried. I even got an egg sandwich last time and I liked it even though I hate egg sandwiches. Because Perch is more consistently a coffee shop than anything else, the coffee is what pushes the restaurant past other brunch places in the area. It’s real good. Additionally, the mimosas are quite nice, with a top layer of pulp from fresh squeezed orange juice.


Perch‘s design fits well with the slew of hip eateries on the 5th Avenue strip. The store is sleek, red-themed and clean. The coffee mugs are big and red and have little white birds on them. There is a beautiful patio in the back with tables topped with fire-colored umbrellas. The last time I was there, though, it was literally teeming with infants so I sat at the bar.

Generally, the service is okay. On several occasions, it was just really bad. I think they are terminally understaffed and get surprised by busy times like Labor Day, when no one was at work and everyone wanted breakfast. Nevertheless, given how pleasant the rest of the experience is, a bit of a leisurely breakfast never killed anyone.

Perch Cafe & Bar
365 5th Avenue between 5th & 6th Streets
Park Slope, Brooklyn


  • Great coffee
  • Perch Toast is delicious
  • Egg sandwiches are good even if you don’t like eggs
  • Deeply adorable
  • Nice waitstaff


  • Spotty service
  • Technically, there is no stove or kitchen
  • A little pricey, especially the mimosas ($8)

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Sure, there’s plenty of talk around here about drinking and carousing and causing a ruckus. But really, there’s nothing Brooklyn Skeptic loves more than Brooklyn. And we know for a fact that you love Brooklyn, too. So here is how you can prove your love and give a little back to the borough of your dreams.

Join Team Brooklyn Skeptic on New York Cares Day as we revitalize a public school in Brooklyn!

New York Cares Day
Saturday, October 20, 2007
9:30 AM – 3:30 PM
Location TBD

Volunteer with us by clicking here and then selecting “Join our Team.” We’ll keep you posted about our assigned site and the famous after party as soon as we hear. And did I mention free tee shirts? They’re so hot right now.


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The story is that 4 “thirty-something hipsters…including a well-known illustrator and designer, and a Vogue Australia scribe” bought a building on Bergen between 6th Ave and Carlton that is home to 5 rent-stabilized units. And the people who live there.

The law is that the owners can evict the residents for “personal or family use,” and that’s what they’re trying to do.

The new owners are artists, which has surprised some people:

“You’d think as artists these people would basically have better politics but they’re basically building their dream house on the backs of long-term rent-stabilized tenants,” [Brent] Meltzer [a lawyer for one of the tenants] said. “When they bought the building, they got it for that price [$866,000 in 2006] because it came with five-rent stabilized tenants.”

The comments on this Village Voice article aren’t too surprising – poor people have it easy, poor people have it hard, why would you think artists would have good politics? et cetera.

What seems interesting to me is the value or culpability that gets attached to “coolness”:

Yeah, those damn poor people. They have some nerve paying their rent, with regular rent increases, and living in a neighborhood that no one wanted to live in until Mr & Mrs Yuppie & their partners decided that it was “cool” and bought a building below market rate. And some of those tenants are senior citizens. How dare they not just move out onto the street because a greedy couple doesn’t have enough to satisfy them.

Coolness is a funny thing. Sometimes when something is trendy it is because it is a good thing that can really improve the world (the sustainable food movement?) or sometimes it is trendy because it helps people feel better than other people (remember bling?), and most of the time it’s some of both (um, like both of the above examples).

OK, but what I’m really getting at is the fact that every cultural convention we have started as some kind of cool trend… whether it became cool because it helped people not die as often or as quickly (hygiene, vaccinations, etc.) or because it helped people not be disfigured freaks (not sleeping with your cousin – what’s cooler than that?).

And right now, gentrification is cool. Thirty-somethings are coming of age who were raised by baby boomers. The baby boomers thought the coolest shit was to get rich and move to the suburbs. The thirty-somethings think the opposite is cool. And the baby who is raised wearing Sonic Youth onesies will eventually grow up to be a proper lady.

Gentrification clearly affects peoples lives in a much more serious way than baby fashion. And this type of gentrification is possible because of free-market capitalism and our legal system. The whole way our society is set up means that whoever has the most wealth will get to fuck the most people. And there are way richer people than these artists who have inevitably made these artists feel victimized before… but in this situation the artists are clearly doing the fucking.

And people who’ve grown up poor are obviously the ones who get fucked over and over again by this system. Councilwoman Letitia James was at a block party/rally to protest the attempted evictions. Which is great. Support your electorate.


Pic from Village Voice

But it’s hard to be totally into it when the most recent decision to come out of City Council is a ban on metal bats. Not anything about renters, eminent domain, or evictions. In a situation like this it’s really only a change in law that could keep these tenants in their apartments. Or in the next building that this happens to, to keep the tenants in their apartments. And so on…. And what happens when all those yuppie owners/livers are her electorate? That must be a scary thing about being an elected official in a trendy Brooklyn neighborhood. Huh.

Because it is a trend, and it seems unlikely that case-by-case advocacy could change that. If it could, would we have ever seen another publicly fucked-up celebrity after 12 year-old Drew Barrymore finished rehab?



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Tucker Carlson proclaimed himself the “least anti-gay right winger you’ll ever meet” right after telling a little tale about being hit on in a bathroom in Georgetown. He claimed that after the incident he found a friend of his, returned to the bathroom to find the guy who was interested in him and “hit him against the stall with his head.”

This came up, obviously, during a discussion on Larry Craig where he described the Idaho Senator as being “not in possession of himself” and saying “there’s something wrong with Larry Craig.” “I’m not a shrink,” he goes on to say. Tucker, I’m not a shrink either, but methinks you have some anger issues.

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I didn’t know what they were called, I just knew that every kid I saw the last bunch of months was wearing them. The little kids in my building run up and down the stairs on their toes like little birds and I am so afraid that they will catch their wheel(y) on a stair and fall the fuck down. But I haven’t seen that yet.

The Village Voice fashion blog Threadster just informed me that there are Heelys for adults too! (relatedly – are there LA Lights for adults?)

 So I checked out the Heelys website. Their slogan is “freedom is a wheel in your sole.” Ha! A masterful pun like that could only be intended for a worldly adult audience, not some stupid kids. Some of their shoes go up to Mens size 10. Which means that if you know a dude with average sized feet, he too can experience the freedom of a soul wheelie.


“catching air”

On the website they also have a bunch of video clips of the Heelys pro team (you can join it!) doing tricks. One kid rides a skateboard down and up a ramp and then jumps off the skateboard and slides along a picnic table on his heelys! It was cool in a fucking terrifying way.

Next time you see some kids in your building cruising for a bruising encourage them to go for it and direct them towards a Heelys Recruiter. This could be their ticket to the big time.

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Check out this video taken from Nick Jr.’s Yo Gabba Gabba, and then tell me you’re not going to lock your door tonight.

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Everyone knows that “BBQ”, i.e. the concept of cooking food at a low temperature for an extended period of time over wood, is a trend that is on the rise in NYC. All over the five boroughs, restaurants old and new are competing for cult status and trying to claim the top prize of best BBQ, awarded when the agreement is unanimous amongst New Yorkers. We’re talking here about Harlem’s Dinosaur BBQ, Williamsburg’s Fette Sau, Chelsea’s Hill Country, Midtown’s Daisy Mae’s just to name a few, and the list goes on with the fancy small scale joints striving for authenticity vs. the Times Square tourist traps and the chains.

The truth is, that some of these places really are awesome and replicate what goes on in the South. The problem, as usual, is that it costs an arm and a leg. Shitty puns aside, the cooking brigade over here at BS is going to bring that lovin’ to you.

A Southern-Style Brooklyn BBQ Assortment

Chicken, ribs, bacon, and shoulder… about an hour in…

The Process: BBQ is a simple concept. You get cheap cuts of meat, such as spare ribs, pork shoulder (commonly called “butt”, don’t ask why) or beef brisket, or pork belly (when smoked, its called bacon) and you build a fire using hardwood charcoal and specialty woods such a hickory, mesquite, apple or cherry. The objective is to let the meat slowly cook for hours and hours at a steady temperature of circa 200 degrees F. Here’s the thing, the wood fire can’t be directly under the meat; its got to be away from it, but in a place where the heat and the smoke can get to it. In the setup I have, the meat sits in the main grilling chamber while the fire smolders away in a firebox that is connected to the side of it. In this way, the meat gets the smoke and heat but no flame, and can cook slowly and become tender while retaining its juices over a period of 5-8 hours.

Hickory Smoke Bath

Ribs in the foreground with the shoulder behind and the bacon positioned right above…

“5-8 hours!” you exclaim? Yes. Good BBQ is like many of the good things in life. It takes a damn long time, and a damn lot of patience. But, what’s a better way to spend your Sunday than drinking beer, catching up with friends, enjoying the weather and throwing a huge feast the night before the work week claims your soul ?

If you dont have a backyard, do it in Prospect Park. They have tons of space for you to cook. Don’t have a BBQ? You can buy some for super cheap at the Lowe’s near Smith/9th. You can even rig up a device of your own creation using anything from aluminum roasting pans to digging a hole in the ground . It’s a world of fun.

Rib Heaven

Ribs…finished and slathered in BBQ sauce…

And probably the best thing about BBQ, aside from the look of satisfaction on peoples’ faces, is the fact that your skill improves with every session.

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