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Love the Brooklyn Way

I am a hopeless romantic but have never been a huge advocate of Valentine’s Day. Well, that is not entirely true. When I was in third grade we hung envelopes on the side of the desks and then the class went around putting their Valentines in. Afterwards we counted our love notes and I faired all right. It was tradition in those early days. Choosing a box from the Valentine’s aisle in the local pharmacy. Spending an evening addressing them to classmates and then the love fest came and went.

 

The origin of Valentine’s Day was initially to honor Saint Valentine of Rome and Saint Valentine of Temi. No romantic ties whatsoever. It was not until the 14th century that it became a love fetish tradition within the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer:

Under a tree, beside a welle, I say

Cupyde our lord his arwes forge ad fyle;

And at his fete his bowe al redy lay

Um… huh? Basically something about Cupid with some arrows and stuff ready at his feet. So from there Valentine’s Day evolved into the holiday of lovers. Thus ends our brief history lesson…

            Present day – inundated with heart shaped boxes full of mediocre chocolates and a greeting card Lollapalooza. But all cynicism aside, maybe at the end of the day it’s about making Valentine’s Day your own and ignoring the entire consumer riddled nonsense. After all, there is nothing wrong with showing a little love and what better way than the Brooklyn way.

            Make it a date night – how bout’ the classic dinner and a movie with the right amount of hipster? Syndicated in Bushwick hits three birds with one stone – movie theater, bar, and restaurant. I have it on good authority that it will be showing Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo & Juliet and Steven Shainberg’s Secretary.  Di Caprio, Danes, Spader, Gyllenhaal – the definitive dark romance odyssey. Start with a cocktail. I recommend Kiss of Death, followed by a Hanger steak, or the Bitter Greens Apple salad if you go green, and end with some canoodling in low light, sipping another cocktail, how bout’ Cinema Paradiso to set the mood and you have yourself the most efficient Valentine’s Day night out!

            If that is too much multi-tasking for one night, keep it sincere with aphrodisiacs and snogging. A little on the pricey side but well worth it, Maison Premiere in Williamsburg is for the romantic at heart. With oysters and drink mixology at it’s finest – you can’t go wrong. If it is not too chill of an evening, the waterfront is a short jaunt away. Taking in the city skyline will put anyone in the mood.

Or maybe a just deserts kind of V-Day. Mediocre chocolates will not do. Not the usual ambiance with a fusion of European and Japanese inspiration, Patisserie Tomoko is cozy and orchestrates a saccharine pairing of wine and desserts.

Whatever your mood on Valentine’s Day, make it your own. If that fails, love the Brooklyn way; there is always something right around the corner.

           

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Brooklyn Love

To say there is a lot going on in the world is an understatement. I have spent more time reading the New York Times in the last two weeks than I am used to. Every morning I feel like Captain Picard asking – “Damage report?” More than anything I feel a sense of hopelessness. It is like watching a terrible car accident happening and not being able to do anything to stop it. These are uncertain times. 

Brooklyn Love

            Community has become more important in this country’s current state of unrest than it has been in a long time. There is a thirst for action, solidarity, and expression for tolerance and inclusivity among a vast majority. As Dylan Thomas still reminds us, “do not go gentle into that good night.”

The prime minster of Canada, Justin Trudeau, gave an eloquent address in the wake of the recent shooting in a Quebec Mosque. I was in tears as he ended with, “Canadians will not be intimidated, we will not meet violence with more violence. We will meet fear and hatred with love and compassion. Always.” So as we enter February, a month for the hopeless romantics, I hope as a country we move forward with love as well.

            On a Friday I decided to spend an hour outside the Prospect Park Q subway station in Brooklyn doing just that, answering the fear and hatred we have been inundated by, with love. With a shabbily scribbled sign that read, Hugs For All, I offered hugs for an hour to strangers entering and exiting the subway station. A little apprehensive, there was no telling how this would be received. And then I remembered – Brooklyn is all about the love.  And with it being the most densely populated borough in New York City, it equates to a lotta love.

Bear Hugs      

 

Sweet hugsCool guy hugs     

Brooklyn is home and happens to be a cosmopolitan of diversity in regards to race, nationality, and religion. We simply… cohabitate. And like any family, there are disagreements – but at the end of the day it is still home. In its diversity it is unequivocally human. It doesn’t get any more natural than this.

            While there were those that were a hesitant about my intentions, there were many that welcomed me with open arms. And what a feeling… I encountered tenderness and a true sense of community in such a short amount of time. Men, women, young, old, from a plethora of backgrounds – dogs too and one tiny little boy named Steven who turned around before leaving so he could ask me my name.

            There was no agenda, no ultimatums, and no divisiveness. Many had expressions of candid surprise that ended with a sincere moment that took the ordinary out of the day for both of us. Each moment was intimate and it was real. A gentleman asked me how much it would cost him. “Free!” I stated and he replied, “Well in that case, “ and we hugged it out. Another asked me why I was doing it. “Just to spread some love.” And he too, let me. What would happen if we answered every trespass with an act of random kindness? And as Trudeau reminded the world, “We must come together in order to move forward, we will not close our minds, we will open our hearts.”

Group hug 

Group hugs

 

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WHAT'S SANTACON & WHY IT'S AMAZING!

SantaCon aka Santarchy, Santa Rampage, Santapalooza and The Red Menace started in December 2014 when the cover of the Village Voice wrote about how this event had evolved from "performance art that's full of joy and fun"which originated in San Francisco, to a "drink & crawl to every pub" with your peeps. 

SantaCon Outfits

RULES OF SANTACON

You need to dress in Santa Claus costumes or other Christmas characters from Rudolf, Frosty, Elf, Mrs. Clause (Sexy or not) and Frosty. 

You spend the day with friends going from one pub or bar to another. This year, SantaCon is on Saturday, December 10th and just in time for the festive occasion, we've got our Holiday Jammy Joggers both in ELF and SANTA options. Be the COOL SANTA during Santacon and rock ours! And what's great is that you can use it all season long! 

Elf and Santa Jammy Joggers

HO HO HO.. HAPPY HOLIDAYS from your Peeps at Brooklyn Cloth! 

Cool Santa Outfit

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A DAY IN MY JOGGERS

For those of you that are not familiar with me, I am a men's blogger from Chicago. I am partnered with Brooklyn Cloth who was generous enough to equip me with fall products. One of the products sent to me were Joggers.  I must admit that Joggers are essential in my wardrobe, as many of you may feel. You can wear them when having a casual weekday or a Sunday “bum day” because there are many ways to style them.

 Twill Joggers

The sweatpants look is treading and I’ve seen it worn by collage men to professional athletes. Joggers are at their most natural when worn with a T-shirt, but to ensure that GQ look, reach for a solid or striped tee over your washed out band T-shirts. I have paired the Marl French Terry joggers with a jean jacket, perfect for running errands, and as you can see I have a striped shirt on.

 The Jogger

Other ways to wear Joggers

  • Wear them with a leather jacket
  • Grab a nice cotton blazer
  • Hoodie or sweater
  • Overcoat jacket

  Last but not least, it is important that the joggers fit properly. They shouldn’t look baggy or oversized. The correct term is fitted. Rocking this combination of tan twill joggers is great. They are very versatile with pretty much anything I listed above. I have a hooded shirt that is a great piece to own. Light weight and has a hood..Genius!! Thanks for reading! Be sure to check out these looks by clicking on the links attached!

Also follow me on IG: Straightfunction or for more content check out my page Straightfunction.com

Thanks!

 Steven

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HOW TO THROW A FRIENDSGIVING PARTY

During the holiday season, many of us are transplants from other cities and states and find ourselves an orphan on Thanksgiving. But this doesn't have to be the case! 

Friendsgiving has become a new tradition where friends come together with their "chosen families" and celebrate the holiday season. But how do you throw a dope "Friendsgiving" 

1. THE MORE THE MERRIER

This is a great time to reach out to friends, acquaintances and co-workers and ask them what they're doing. Make sure that before you set your guest list, that you know what a comfortable amount of people can chill in your place. You don't want it to feel like your at a club with no where to sit. 

Friendsgiving Party

2. THE MENU (BYOB & BYOD) 

Bring your own Booze and Bring Your Own Dish- this is the point of a Friendsgiving. It's also called a POTLUCK! If you'r computer savvy, use Google Docs to ask people what they want to bring. Ask them for more than one option, you don't want to end up with hummus and veggies and nothing else. Make sure that some are bringing appetizers, 2 or 3 side dishes and desert. As the host, you should cover the turkey or chicken or whatever main dish you want. Also, make sure you survey the crowd on allergies or food aversions, this is a "good to know" vs. calling an ambulance on the day! 

POTLUCK FRIENDSGIVING

3. DECORATE

You don't need to be Martha Stewart to decorate. Go to your local Bodega that has a flower shop and pick up some festive flowers or small pumpkins. Go to the Dollar Store and get some candles and cheap plates (Paper or Plastic is just fine), forks, knives and silverware. I don't know about you but most apartments I've lived in don't have enough silverware and serving dishes, so Dollar Store we go! 

TABLE TOP for THANKSGIVING

4. THE MOOD 

It's not meant to be a stressful time for anyone so have fun. Make sure you got your playlist ready for the dinner or lunch. Have some games (in case you need to liven things up) and if all else fails, make sure you have the address of the nearest pub or bar to go out after! 

DRINKS and COCKTAILS

Hope these recommendations can help in your planning. 

HAPPY FRIENDSGIVING from Your Brooklyn Cloth Peeps!! 

 

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