Sponsored By Lakeside Brooklyn.

The LeFrak Center Lakeside offers seasonal activities including roller skating, boat and bike rentals, splash pad and winter ice skating as well as year-round dining at Bluestone Café.

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Looking for some fun outdoor activities for the Memorial Day weekend staycation? Look no further than the Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Center at Lakeside in Prospect Park. This weekend kicks off the season of boat and bike rentals — along with a host of other activities going down this weekend at Lakeside.

After several years, boat rentals are back at Prospect Park Lake, and you’ll want to take advantage of this unique Brooklyn experience. With a pedal boat or kayak, you can peacefully paddle among the diverse wildlife while your friends on shore watch in envy. You can rent pedal boats by the hour ($20/hr for singles and $30/hr for doubles), and kayaks by the hour, half day, or day ($15/$30/$40 for single kayaks, $25/$35/$45 for doubles).  (more…)

In the first half of the 19th century, a growing urban middle class was looking for something more distinguished than the usual brick facades. Marble, granite, and limestone were too expensive to ship to Brooklyn. Brownstone, a type of sandstone found in nearby New Jersey, was easy to transport and more affordable.

excellent-contracting-llc-142-underhill-ave-brooklyn-brownstone142 Underhill Avenue

Sponsored By Excellent Contracting LLC.

Excellent Contracting LLC restores historical brownstones to their original beauty.

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The brownstone was cut by expert stonecutters into blocks less than a foot thick, which were added to the front of brick buildings. Masons could then carve intricate ornamental designs into the stone. This type of home became so iconic that New Yorkers tend to use the word “brownstone” to refer to any townhouse or row house. The relative softness that makes brownstone easy to work with, however, leaves it prone to erosion and decay, and the facades of these buildings are often in need of restoration. So how do you restore a brownstone? We asked the specialists at Excellent Contracting LLC how they go about returning a crumbling classic to its former beauty. (more…)


Sponsored By Paintzen.

Paintzen revolutionizes the way to transform your home with an online solution for all your needs, from inspiration to transformation.

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You live in the city that never sleeps, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be getting some quality shuteye. Making your bedroom into a calm and relaxing space can be simple as adjusting the colors: choosing a calming blue, the greens of nature, the warm yellows of sunshine or the silvers of moonlight.

Paintzen is partnering with their favorite design companies to offer you the chance to win a $2,500 bedroom makeover. The winner’s bedroom will be transformed by Paintzen’s certified paint crew, and will also receive Chasing Paper wallpaper, a new Casper mattress, custom framing from Framebridge, and a one-hour design consultation from Décor Aid to pull it all together. Even your closet will get a makeover, by filling it with clothes from Zady.

Enter here for your chance to win this huge makeover package, and get ready for the best night’s sleep you’ve ever had.


This article is part of a series of real estate tips from Brooklyn broker Gabriele Sewtz of Compass, a specialist in the Brooklyn family market.

If you’re shopping for a new home in Brooklyn, spring can be a feeding frenzy. Sellers wait until good weather to list their apartments and townhouses, and buyers come out in force to snap them up. According to a recent post on DNAinfo, the average time a NYC home spends on the market goes from 107 days in January to 66 in May. The increased inventory and fast-paced environment means that you may suddenly find yourself putting a bid on a home in the spring despite the fact that the timing of the move might not be ideal for you.

Let’s face it:  When you’ve got kids, there is never going be an easy time to move. Sellers with children are always keen to finish out the school year, but this leaves buyers with kids with a quandary. With spring inventories listed in April not closing until July, figuring out what to do with your kids at an address you don’t yet have is an added headache you just don’t need.



Sponsored By Compass.

It's all about Brooklyn for Gabriele Sewtz, mother and top-producing Real Estate Broker with Compass specializing in the family market.

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As a mother, homeowner and landlord who moved to Park Slope in 1999, real estate broker Gabriele Sewtz has a lot of experience helping New York families navigate the tricky process of finding the right Brooklyn home for their situation. Following are some of her tips for finding last-minute Brooklyn summer camps and other kid-friendly activities while you’re dealing with securing your new home.

Photo courtesy of Flickr. (more…)

If you’re just looking for an ordinary shed for your backyard, Kyle Burke of Urban Outbuilders might not be right for you.

For starters, Burke is not what you might expect in a designer and builder. He has a degree in Sanskrit from Bard College, and speaks four languages. He spends his winter months as a guide in the Himalayas, working with preservation NGOs and laying the groundwork for future building projects there. His first major building project was a villa in Bali, which he built with local builders at the age of 18.


Sponsored By Urban Outbuilders.

Urban Outbuilders is a full service design+build firm, specializing in outdoor structures for gardens, rooftops, and public spaces.

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Accordingly, his buildings are far from ordinary. Urban Outbuilders specializes in what Burke calls “functional sculpture,” projects that are as aesthetically powerful as they are functional. He’s built everything from a rhombus-shaped chicken coop, to a yoga deck, to 6000-square-foot modular buildings that required 25-ton cranes to put together. The company is committed to “personal and global health,” reusing locally salvaged materials as much as possible, and avoiding toxic and unsustainable materials.

Burke loves working on these personal projects, but his vision for Urban Outbuilders is to do more large-scale, commercial designs — shared spaces, rooftops for condo towers, restaurant and bar interiors, or outdoor spaces for businesses.

“The goal would be to create an eden of gorgeous woodwork, plants, and spaces that are functional yet beautiful, all sustainably designed and engineered,” says Burke. “A 21st century urban agrarian paradise is the idea here.”

A worthy goal, to be sure — and no doubt we’ll be seeing some of those large-scale projects in the near future. In the meantime, click through to see a “greatest hits” of Urban Outbuilders’ backyard masterpieces, with Kyle Burke’s own notes about each piece.


In a small woodsy hamlet called Kerhonkson (population around 1,600) nestled in New York’s Hudson Valley, there is a collection of new houses being put together by the architect Drew Lang.

A graduate of the prestigious Yale School of Architecture — like Eero Saarinen, Norman Foster, and Maya Lin — Mr. Lang is clearly focused on design. His goal: “to create authentic, meaningful experiences at every turn.”



Sponsored By Hudson Woods.

Encompassing 131 acres, Hudson Woods features 26 architect-designed dwellings meticulously crafted from locally sourced, sustainable materials with premium finishes and services.

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Set on 131 acres, each of the twenty-six houses at Hudson Woods is built to fit the individual topography of its site, and they are designed with a strong connection to nature in mind. The 3-bed, 2-bath, 2,800-square-foot standard floor plan comes with details such as hand-crafted mahogany windows, concrete countertops, and white-oak floors, doors, paneling, and cabinets. But homes can also be customized with a salt water pool, for example, or a fruit orchard, or even that tree house you dreamed of as a kid. (more…)

This one-bedroom condo, plus den and two full baths is located in an AIA Architectural Award–winning building by Baxt Ingui Architects. This building in the Cobble Hill Historic District started its life as the Strong Place Baptist Church, built by influential American architect Minard Lafever in 1852. The church had been closed up for seven years when developers proposed restoring the building and converting them into condominiums.

The 23 unique condominiums at The Landmark at Strong Place feature original details of the church.


Sponsored By Brooklyn Bridge Realty.

We have been serving this historic community for almost 30 years. We are your neighborhood resource... for everything!

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At a spacious 1,155 square feet, the living space is replete with designer’s touches, including a combined living and dining room with high ceilings and mahogany-framed windows. The open cook’s kitchen with granite countertops is inviting, as is the spacious den which can convert to a guest room thanks to shoji sliding doors and a cunningly designed Murphy bed.

The property features ample closets, solid oak flooring, an upgraded in-unit Miele washer and dryer, and a Sonos sound system. Amenities include a package room for deliveries, an exercise/yoga room, a bike room and a 24/7 virtual doorman security system with intercom protection. Asking $1,395,000 with common charges of $565.49. Click through for more pictures.

58 Strong Place, #1G [Brooklyn Bridge Realty] GMAP (more…)

“Saving Place: 50 Years of New York City Landmarks” just opened at the Museum of the City of New York. We talked with curator Donald Albrecht about the exhibition, a celebration of the 1965 Landmarks Preservation Law and its impact on the city.

“New York has always been a city of great change,” says Albrecht, “and part of our architectural legacy has been figuring out how to manage that perpetual change.”


Street Scenes, 1895, Seventh Ave. E. Side from Above 57th St.  CCarnegie Hall, 1895 | Byron Company Collection

Sponsored By Museum of the City of New York.

The Museum of the City of New York celebrates and interprets the city, educating the public about its distinctive character.

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“Everyone thinks it started with the destruction of Penn Station in the 60s and then the law was passed,” Albrecht says, “but it actually goes back to the 19th century. 1965 is when city government got involved, but there’s civic groups, individuals, historians, photographers, the press… all involved in different ways, and we wanted to show how the different forces come together.” (more…)

Being a freelancer is tough enough. If something happens to your laptop — basically your whole office in one delicate package — it can be a catastrophe for someone with a dozen deadlines, living paycheck to paycheck.

So what happens if a pipe bursts in your walls? Or someone breaks into your apartment? Or a small electrical fire two floors down results in firefighters breaking in your windows so they can hose down your bedroom? With your laptop damaged or stolen, are you going to run your business from a 15-year-old desktop computer at the public library?

gotham-brokerage-insurace-home-officeKeep your home office insured | daveynin via Flickr

Sponsored By Gotham Brokerage Co., Inc.

Let Gotham show you how getting NYC home insurance is fast, friendly, affordable, and easy.

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Simply put, renters insurance is worth the cost. For as little as $125 a year — what’s that? a pair of shoes? — you could be making sure that your laptop is covered against fire, theft, and water damage. Most policies will cover up to $2,500 (just ask about restrictions on business related property).

Gotham Brokerage Co., Inc. can help find the policy that’s right for you. They know how New Yorkers live, and they’ll get you the best rate for your individual insurance needs. Best of all, the whole process takes maybe about 20 minutes, probably less time than anything else on your to-do list.

Don’t wait until something bad happens. Contact Gotham Brokerage today to find out what the right coverage is for you.

A recent post here on Brownstoner offered an inside look at 60 Water — the new rental building in the heart of Dumbo — including photographs of the views from the apartments’ floor-to-ceiling windows and new renderings of its stunning rooftop garden.

One of the main selling points of living in 60 Water, however, is its prime Dumbo location. Visitors and residents alike will find treasures in all directions, and among the most notable of these is Brooklyn Bridge Park, an expansive 85-acre waterfront oasis that offers an incredible array of activities, entertainment, and green spaces that is practically in 60 Water’s back yard.


brooklyn-bridge-parkBrooklyn Bridge Park | Chang via Foursquare

Sponsored By 60 Water.

60 Water, in the heart of Dumbo, offers NYC's best views from its studio, 1-bedroom, and 2-bedroom apartments.

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Brooklyn Bridge Park covers the 1.3 mile stretch from Atlantic Avenue in the south to Jay Street in the north. Back in the 17th century, the area served as the base for the ferries that provided access and trade to the community, and warehouses and stores quickly sprang up in the industrial boom that followed. Since the 1950s, however, freight traffic to the Brooklyn waterfront dwindled, and the piers and warehouses were abandoned for years.

In 1985, the idea for the park was born, and with a lot of nurturing and fundraising and support its construction started in 2008. Today it is a thriving and vibrant destination filled with lawns and sports fields, playgrounds and music venues, concessionaires and events, and new plans and projects in the works all the time.

With so much to offer and explore, the park is a world unto itself. Here are some of its not-to-miss highlights. (more…)

Fillmore Real Estate presents #BKOriginal, a series about businesses and personalities that capture the true spirit of Brooklyn. Showcase your #BKOriginal photos for a chance to win prizes at

Walking through Bedford-Stuyvesant with Rotimi Akinnuoye is like spending time on the campaign trail with a cheerful politician. It seems like he knows everyone, and everyone knows him. We stopped in to say hello at a recently opened farm-to-table restaurant, and he picked up a pastry at Common Grounds coffee shop. He showed us where to get the best ribs, and if we had come across a baby, we’re pretty sure he would have kissed it.


Sponsored By Fillmore Real Estate.

Fillmore Real Estate has grown to become New York City's largest privately owned and operated real estate company.

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Akinnuoye is one of four partners who opened Bed-Vyne Wine in 2011, Bed-Vyne Brew in 2013, and Bed-Vyne Cocktail last month. He and his brother Ayo, another partner, have been in the neighborhood since 2000 renting commercial spaces, and the weariness of dealing with renters led them to start their own business. (more…)

Do you know NYC like the back of your hand? Does every chef know you on a first-name basis? Well then, it’s about time someone rewarded you for your expertise.

Zagat is looking for local experts to review New York City restaurants. Simply share your recent dining experiences and receive eight weeks of free New York Times access. Your comments may also be quoted as part of the next Zagat signature review.


Sponsored By Zagat.

Zagat helps users find the world's most exceptional places by curating the opinions of avid consumers with real experiences.

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Plus Zagat will send you your 2016 NYC Restaurants guide for free as a thanks for participating, perfect for planning your next night out on the town.

Now when someone asks why you stay out so late every night, you can say, “I’M WORKING.”