06/15/15 11:00am


Sponsored By Blue Apron.

Blue Apron offers fresh ingredients and great recipes delivered weekly to your home.

Created By BlankSlate

Admit it. Sometimes you find yourself in a fancy grocery store, staring at a fruit you can’t name or a sauce you can’t pronounce. You think to yourself, What would I even do with this? Will I ever be the kind of person that knows how to use star anise in a recipe?

Blue Apron makes learning about new (and delicious) ingredients fun. Their weekly recipes are designed to introduce you to new flavors while gently showing you your way around the kitchen. Best of all, these fresh ingredients from small farms and specialty vendors are shipped to you without a grocery store mark-up. That means the ingredients are more affordable, you don’t buy more than you need, and you won’t spend an hour trying to find them in your local gourmet supermarkets. And if you sign up now, you’ll receive two free meals on your first order.

Following are six of the more fun ingredients to be featured in recent Blue Apron recipes. There are a lot more where they came from!

Done with kale? Let us introduce epazote. Traditionally used in a range of Mexican dishes, epazote has a pungent fragrance often compared to citrus, savory herbs, or mint.


12/02/14 11:30am


Sponsored By car2go.

car2go will get you to where you need to be: just take it, drive it, park it. It's fun, saves money and helps the environment.

Created By BlankSlate

Traveling over the winter holidays makes for a nice change of pace, especially if you’re going somewhere warm. But it can be hard to leave the comforts of home behind. Fortunately, for those of you who may have become addicted to the convenience of carsharing, your car2go account is one thing you can take with you.

There are over a dozen other North American cities served by car2go — Austin, Denver, San Diego, Los Angeles, Miami, Washington, D.C., Seattle, Portland, Eugene, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Columbus, Calgary, Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal — and your account allows you to use cars in any of those cities, just as you would in Brooklyn. Exploring new cities just got a whole lot easier.

Be a prepared traveler, though. Just as every city has its own character, it also has its own car2go parking rules, rates, and home area. You can familiarize yourself with these rules before you travel by going to or clicking on any of the individual city links above.

This is all assuming that you already have a car2go account, of course. If you don’t, what are you waiting for? You’ve got a lot of urban exploration to do, and you’ll want to do it from behind the wheel of a car2go.

11/20/14 11:30am


Sponsored By car2go.

car2go will get you to where you need to be: just take it, drive it, park it. It's fun, saves money and helps the environment.

Created By BlankSlate

By now, those of you who live or work in Brooklyn have probably seen a car2go in the wild. They’re hard to miss, those tiny little cars perfect for city driving and parking. You may even have heard about how easy it is for members to find one nearby, get in, drive wherever they want to go, park it, and go on with their day.

But what about the trunk space? Could a car that small have enough space to make it practical for errands? See for yourself: following is a look at what you can expect to fit in the back of a car2go. (more…)

07/02/14 1:30pm

Sponsored By BRIC.

BRIC is a nonprofit arts and media cultural organization. BRIC’s brand-new 40,000-square-foot cultural complex opened October 3.

Created By BlankSlate

Bushwick resident Chris Federico is an actor, writer, and producer who was looking to expand his horizons. He found what he was looking for when he started taking classes at BRIC last year to become a Certified Community Producer. After studying editing, field production, studio production, and digital motion graphics, Federico has added a few more hyphenates to his name: video editor, sound crew, and production assistant.

As a Certified Community Producer, Federico now has access to BRIC’s equipment and cutting-edge production facilities, plus the opportunity to produce specials for Brooklyn Free Speech TV — all for free. We sat down with the self-professed coffee addict at BRIC House’s on-site café, Hungry Ghost, to hear about his experiences. 

TV studio production at BRIC | via Jessica Hills photography

How did you first get involved with BRIC?
I really needed to learn to edit, and I was looking at classes at other schools — continuing education, colleges — and it’s, you know, a $1,000 class. I used to work for a catering company, and we catered the opening party for BRIC. I was bartending, and someone handed me a program of BRIC’s offerings. I came to orientation, and on top of them having everything I needed, everybody was really nice. BRIC is such an incredible resource. They give you access to equipment, teach you how to use it, teach you post-production… And then they’ll air your work for you! That’s huge.

Video production in the field | via Jessica Hills photography

What’s your main focus as a video producer?
I’m an actor who comes from a theater background, and I wanted to learn more about film and television. If you have a play — whether it’s Broadway or Off Broadway or Off Off Off Broadway — and you don’t have a video clip of that on your website, you’re kind of dead in the water. But a lot of theater companies don’t have the funds to do that. And now, if my friends are in a play and they want me to shoot something, I can come to BRIC and take out a camera for the day, and then spend a week or two editing it. I literally give their play a movie trailer. I really enjoy bridging that gap. And it’s not costing them thousands of dollars, because I get the equipment for free and I can edit it for free.

You’ve also been working as a production assistant on B-Side, a new in-studio music series on BRIC’s Brooklyn Independent Media channel. What has that experience been like?
It’s been great. My second or my third show, they were like, “We’re actually not doing it in the studio today. We’re going down to Brooklyn Bridge Park and we’re gonna shoot a live Balkan Beat Box concert.” I was right at the foot of the stage. They brought in a camera crane, and it was amazing. We got these sweeping shots with the city in the background. All I did was lay audio cable and prep the cameras, but you watch this amazing concert, and I was a part of that. I got to walk past the cops and be like, “I’m with BRIC.” It was really neat.

Audio editing with audition | Media House via Jessica Hills photography

What would you say to someone who’s considering taking classes with BRIC?
If you have a story that you want to tell on video or film, this is the place. And not just video. You wanna come learn stop-motion animation? You can come learn stop-motion here for free! That’s incredible. If you have an idea and you’re willing to put in the work, they will give you everything you need, from the equipment to the knowledge. And it’s a real community. You help other people with their ideas, and you help them with theirs.

Interested in becoming a Certified Community Producer yourself? It’s easy to get started: Attend a Media Education Orientation, then sign up for one of four certification courses— Video Production in the Field, Video Editing with Premiere, Television Studio Production or Mini Studio Production — any of which will set you back only $10 to $95.

BRIC is also offering certification classes, equipment checkout, and a variety of free two-hour media courses at Brooklyn Public Library locations throughout the borough. Learn everything from the basics of digital cameras to digital storytelling.

12/04/13 12:00pm

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAImage via Flickr by cumi&ciki

This post is sponsored by Gotham Brokerage Co.

Gotham is a family run business that specializes in apartment and homeowners insurance coverage for co-ops, apartment, rentals and all types of homes in New York City.

Created By BlankSlate


1. At $5 The Cronut Costs 12x More Than A Day Of Renter’s Insurance

I got a cronut postcardImage via Flickr by roboppy

2. At $8 The Ramen Burger Costs 3x More Than A Week Of Renter’s Insurance

Ramen Burger-SmorgasburgImage via Flickr by ManEatManila 

3. At $53 Tuthilltown Baby Bourbon Whiskey Costs 4x More Than A Month Of Renter’s Insurance


4. At $150 Omakase At Nakazawa Costs 5x More Than Three Months Of Renter’s Insurance

Nakazawa SushiPhoto by Han C. on Yelp

5. At $635 A Dinner At Per Se Costs Up To 5x More Than A Year Of Renter’s Insurance

Per SeImage via Flickr by by roboppy


While your building itself is protected by the landlord’s insurance, your belongings aren’t. Renter’s insurance can protect against loss from fire, theft, certain types of storm damage, and other unexpected events.

You can request a free insurance quote from Gotham Insurance. Renter’s insurance rates start at around $125 per year, and condo and co-op insurance start at around $260. Get in contact with Gotham by emailing or calling (212) 406-7300.



11/12/13 12:47pm

Jefferson St subway station Bushwick

This post is sponsored by CSI Rentals.

We focus on your shoot. Please stop by CSI Rentals for all your photo and video equipment rental needs.

Created By BlankSlate

We’ve shown you some great places to take photos in Williamsburg and Greenpoint, and now we’re heading east to explore Bushwick. When you get off the L train, the first things you’ll notice are the industrial warehouses and lofts. However, Bushwick has a rapidly growing artist community and with it come the design-conscious bars, restaurants and cafés. If you’re looking for a sleek and shiny backdrop for a photoshoot, you’ll be hard pressed to find it here, but we think Bushwick’s gritty charm is better anyway.


Troutman Street murals Bushwick

Head straight to Troutman Street to photograph colorful murals by artists that make up the Bushwick Collective. The murals go on for several blocks and range in style, subject matter and size from small figures on doors to huge designs that take up the sides of the buildings. They work as a great backdrop for an artistic shoot.

Maria Hernandez Park Bushwick

Though much of Bushwick has a distinctly industrial feel, you can find a little green enclave at Maria Hernandez Park. With trees lining the paths that meander around basketball courts and playgrounds, the park is a neighborhood spot where residents go to hang out and enjoy the scenery. It makes for an especially nice place to take photos in the fall, when the leaves match the colors of the surrounding buildings.

Mellow Pages library Bushwick Brooklyn NYC

Mellow Pages library and reading room is a haven for book lovers. Located in the Bogart Studio building, Mellow Pages’ mission is to bring limited-print fiction and poetry to Bushwick and the surrounding area. They have a collection of over 3,000 books and zines and host readings and other events almost nightly. This is the place to go for a literary-themed photo shoot.

The Sampler beers Bushwick

Maybe you need a place with shelves and shelves of craft beer for your next photo shoot. If so, The Sampler on Starr Street is the place. They’ve got over 100 different beer bottles plus craft brews on tap.

The Rookery Bushwick Brooklyn NYC

Recently opened, The Rookery looks like a sophisticated English pub that took over an industrial space. You can tell that the interior design was carefully crafted, right down to the floral wallpaper above the booths and the little ships perched on shelves. Come early if you want the place all to yourself. After 8:00 the crowds start coming.

AP Cafe Bushwick Brooklyn

Just across from The Rookery, you’ll find AP Café with its stark, minimal interior. This place is definitely making Bushwick feel more grown up and sophisticated. The café has a calm vibe with a waterfall inside and fresh flowers. As if the design wasn’t enough of a reason to photograph here, they serve delicious coffee and donuts by Dough.

L Train Vintage Bushwick Brooklyn NYC

Not only can you take cool photos inside L Train Vintage, but you can also find enough cheap vintage clothes to style an awesome shoot. This place has everything from $5 skirts and dresses to $30 fur coats and cute shoes to match. You can get whatever you need for that Wild West or Mad Men themed photo shoot you’ve been planning.

CSI Rentals Bushwick Brooklyn NYC

Finally, stop by CSI Rentals on Flushing Avenue for all the photographic equipment you need. They’ve got DSLR cameras, Pro Video cameras, lighting and production gear. Then get out there and make it happen!

11/07/13 3:26pm

#BRIC_Party_375 BRIC Community Media staff record visitors as they celebrate the opening of BRIC House in October 2013

This post is sponsored by BRIC.

BRIC is a non-profit arts and media cultural organization. BRIC’s brand-new 40,000-sq-ft cultural complex opened October 3, 2013.

Created By BlankSlate

BRIC House, Brooklyn’s new cultural town square, opened just over a month ago in the former Mark Strand Theater located at 647 Fulton Street, and inside it’s already buzzing with creative energy. In addition to offering visual arts exhibitions and performances, BRIC offers a range of community media classes to Brooklyn residents. Media classes are also being taught by BRIC at Brooklyn Public Library’s Central, New Lots and Kings Highway branches. With 3rd Ward’s abrupt closure, the course offerings at BRIC become that much more unique, and which, thanks to substantial funding from the City, won’t be going anywhere any time soon.

Today we’re taking you inside the Community Media Center at BRIC House with Video Production in the Field instructor Dontré Conerly


BRIC TV Studio

BRIC students get trained in all aspects of TV production, from planning a story to shooting to editing. According to Conerly, students usually come with an idea—from interviewing the owner of a new restaurant in the neighborhood to addressing issues like safe biking in Brooklyn. On day one of the class instructors focus students on making their ideas more compelling, whether they’re shooting a full length TV segment or a three minute YouTube video. Conerly and BRIC’s other instructors help students bridge the gap between having an idea and making it happen.

BRIC House TV studio Brooklyn NYC

Conerly says one of his goals is to prepare students who work in the field to create broadcasts as a one-man band, acting as both reporter and cameraman simultaneously. Having spent a month on Staten Island as a one-man band covering Hurricane Sandy, he knows the challenges TV news journalists face when working alone in the field. In the field, students encounter a lot of pressure—they must control the camera, adjust audio and white balance, frame the shot, and conduct interviews—without the help of a studio crew. BRIC’s Video in the Field Production classes aim to train students on the technical aspects of broadcasting, so working a camera will be second nature, enabling them to focus on the interview at hand.

BRIC TV studio control room Brooklyn NYC

At the end of a four week course, students get certified as community producers, and they are welcome to use BRIC’s video equipment free of charge. BRIC encourages students to keep using their skills, and they will produce students’ shows and air them on the Brooklyn Public Network and online. Conerly notes that one of the thrilling things about teaching these classes right here in Brooklyn is that as soon as students acquire the skills, they can access career opportunities at any of the TV production studios in the city.

You can visit the BRIC website to learn more about community media classes, which in addition to TV production, also include digital photography, graphic design, audio editing, and marketing

10/10/13 2:21pm

Sunset over East River Greenpoint Brooklyn

This post is sponsored by CSI Rentals.

We focus on your shoot. Please stop by CSI Rentals for all your photo and video equipment rental needs.

Created By BlankSlate

Previously, we took you on a tour of Williamsburg’s Best Photographic Locations, from the East River State Park to Juliette’s restaurant on N6th. Today, we’re heading north to Greenpoint, which the L Mag named the number one neighborhood in Brooklyn. Like Williamsburg, Greenpoint has an industrial past, much of which still remains even as more young restaurateurs and artisans move in and set up shop. This mixing creates some striking juxtapositions that make for stunning photos. So check out a few of these spots for your next photo shoot.


Greenpoint East River Empire State Building Brooklyn

The India Street Pier is one of the most striking examples of Greenpoint’s gritty charm. The pier itself is clean and modern (though the cleanliness of the water is another question). The East River Ferry stops at the end of the dock, as as you walk inland, you’ll begin to notice the crumbling cement and stray bits of fencing. The Chrysler and Empire State Building just across the river make for a unique shot.

Eagle Trading Co Greenpoint Brooklyn

Heading north from the pier, stop at Eagle Trading Co. on the corner of Eagle and Franklin Streets. This picturesque café has a decidedly vintage feel with details like old glass coke bottles, distressed tables and a big stopwatch-style clock. It’s a great place to set a 1940s, ’50s or ’60s era fashion shoot.

Box House Hotel Greenpoint Brooklyn

Another great spot for vintage shoots is the Box House Hotel on Box Street. This part of Greenpoint, on the northern tip near Newtown Creek, doesn’t get nearly as much foot traffic as the southern and western parts of the ‘hood. But stroll up to the Box House Hotel and you’ll feel like you just walked into an Edward Hopper painting. Inside, the hotel is more contemporary in design, but beautiful as well, with lots of vibrant colors and attention to detail.

Milk and Roses Greenpoint Brooklyn

There’s no lack of attention to detail at Milk & Roses, a neighborhood favorite. This coffee shop by day slash wine bar by night has the cozy feel of a Paris café with book-lined walls, votive candles illuminating the marble tables, and a baby grand piano. Milk & Roses hosts poetry readings and occasional concerts, so it’s perfect for a literary shoot or as the backdrop for an author portrait. Don’t miss the enchanting garden in the back.

From the Source showroom Greenpoint Brooklyn

For a photo shoot meant to highlight the best of made-in-Brooklyn design, head over to From the Source by the waterfront on West Street. If the furniture looks familiar, that’s because it has appeared everywhere from Birreria at Eataly and the Gansevoort Park Hotel to Crate & Barrel. Much of the wood is reclaimed or sourced from Indonesia, which gives it that distinctive rustic feel. Walk through the huge warehouse and you’ll find plenty of spacious rooms great for shoots with an industrial edge.

Glasserie glass factory Greenpoint Brooklyn

On the same note, we would be remiss not to mention Glasserie on Commercial Street. Housed in a former glass factory, the brasserie-style restaurant serves Mediterranean-inspired seasonal fare. The dining room and bar are very atmospheric, but there’s something amazing about the interior courtyard, which has a little John Deere tractor parked inside. We wouldn’t be surprised to see fashion spreads shot in here.

Elementary School Lorimer Street Greenpoint Brooklyn

It may seem a bit odd to include an elementary school on a list of photographic locations, but PS 31 on Meserole Avenue is such a gorgeous example of Beaux-Arts architecture that we just had to mention it. It’s also pretty amazing that en elementary school full of kids can maintain such a perfect white exterior. Anyway, you won’t find many elementary schools like it, making it a great place to photograph.

Dandelion Wine Greenpoint Brooklyn

Finally, we just had to throw Dandelion Wine into the mix because it’s such a charming little shop. If you want to show you know your way around your Cabernets and Pinots, set up a little shoot in Dandy. Recommended bottles have handwritten tags with notes by the staff, who are truly dedicated to curating the best selection possible. They also host weekly wine and cheese tastings on Thursdays.

Stop by CSI Rentals for all your photo and video equipment rental needs. And stay tuned for CSI’s guide to Bushwick’s best photographic locations!