hester street fair

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Get Your Licks In at This Weekend’s Super-Chill Ice Cream Festivals

In this age of liquid-nitrogen ice cream, rolled ice cream, and churro cones, you may think that where everyone’s favorite frozen treat is concerned, there’s nothing new under the sun. But don’t cry into your Kanye cone just yet. We’ve got the inside scoop (har) on two ice cream cone-ucopias that promise to be sweet as hell.

National Ice Cream Day Bonanza at Brooklyn Flea
Saturday, July 16, 10am-5pm at 176 Lafayette Ave. in Fort Greene; Sunday, July 17, 10am-5pm, at Manhattan Bridge Archway Plaza in Dumbo.
Seven vendors will be whipping up special flavors for the Flea’s annual two-day ice cream blowout. If you’ve been too lazy to get out to Rockaway to try the P&B donut ice-cream sandwich at Citysticks, then head over to either Fort Greene (Saturday) or Dumbo (Sunday) to try the donut ice-cream sundae that Underwest Donuts has created using a custom flavor from Lower East Side favorite Il Laboratorio del Gelato. Good Batch will be serving up a birthday-cake ice-cream sandwich for lovers of rainbow cuisine, Blue Marble is apparently going cookie-crazy, and a new vendor, Malai, will be offering up Indian ice-cream floats and sundaes. The Flea’s usual array of vendors will be out in full force, so don’t drip anything on that mid-century lounger.

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Celebrate America’s Brexit at One of These 4th of July Ragers

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

You’re no doubt already counting down the hours till Independence Day weekend, with its blessed promise of a booze-soaked Monday (and Friday, and Saturday, and Sunday…). But don’t waste your precious free day standing in a massive, sweaty crowd all afternoon just to have any hope of glimpsing some fireworks thwarted when some NBA reject stand right in front of you at the last minute. Instead, spend it drinking, partying, and stuffing your face with grilled meats (or grilled meat substitutes), at one of these parties– no screaming toddlers included. Fireworks are overrated, anyway.

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Food Fests That Don’t Bite: Taste of Bushwick and Grub Street Beats & Eats

Taste of Bushwick 2015 (Francisco Bravo)

Taste of Bushwick 2015 (Francisco Bravo)

Sure, Smorgasburg used to satiate your eccentric food cravings, but, like everything else in this city, popularity got the best of it and now it’s a crowded, sweaty mess, populated with frat boys, tourists and out-of-town parents scrambling for the last bite of $12 truffled ramen burrito and fighting for a table in the shade. If you’re looking for a chiller place to sample an array of drinks and creative new eats while hanging outside with your besties, maybe one of these summer food fests will do the trick. Just don’t bogart the okinomiyaki on a stick.

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Hester Street Fair Returns With Fried Squid Sticks, Egyptian Sandwiches and More

(Photo courtesy Hester Street Fair)

Fried squid by Kaya NYC. (Photo courtesy Hester Street Fair)

So many good things are coming back in April: tonight there’s Louie, Sunday there’s Silicon Valley and — oh yeah, IRL — there’s the Hester Street Fair. The outdoor food-and-fashion bonanza returns to the corner of Hester and Essex Streets on April 25 and they’ve given us the early word on new vendors. This year the fair will be Saturdays only, but to make up for the loss of Sundays they’re promising “a rotation of almost all new food vendors with more spots added to create a Hester Food Court.” Oh, and there’ll be TBA nighttime events, too.

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Watch: Speed Dating With the ‘Looking For a Girlfriend’ Guy

When we last spoke to Dan Perino about his East Village fliering blitz, he told us he still hadn’t found “the one.” So we decided to help him out* by inviting him down to our Bedford + Bowery Bazaar for a few rounds of speed dating. We gave attendees a chance to get to know the one and only “Looking for a Girlfriend” guy — and lo and behold, some of them jumped on it. In fact, one potential paramour even made plans for a second date (alas, she later canceled). Watch our video to see how it went — and look for the guy from Holland Helado butting into one of Perino’s tête-à-têtes to worship at his altar.

*Orrrr, to put it another way: we tried to ride the coattails of a viral sensation by hiring him to appear at our promotional event. Hey, at least we didn’t have him put up fliers.

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Turn to the Left: Fashion Events!

(Courtesy of LES BID)

(Courtesy of LES BID)

While so many New Yorkers succumb to the insidious “normcore” and “athleisure” trends, others are determined to stay fresh — and not just the drag queens. With Fashion Week coming up, it’s once again time to focus on the fabulous. Luckily, you don’t have to trek up to midtown (or wherever the shows are this year) to do so, since there are plenty of fashionable festivities in our hoods.
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Manhattan Gets More Mini Golf!

The 3-hole course at 55 Water. (Photo courtesy of Downtown Alliance)

The 3-hole course at 55 Water. (Photo courtesy of Downtown Alliance)

Till recently, Manhattanites have had to trek out to the Brooklyn Night Bazaar in Greenpoint to play mini golf while browsing noshes and knick-knacks, but now — just in time for the G-train shutdown! — they can do it right in their backyard. The Hester Street Fair just announced that it’s installing a 9-hole mini golf course in Seward Park. 
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The Choco Taco Cappuccino. It Exists.

IMG_4716While surveying the lineup for Hester Street Fair’s Ice Cream Social, we noticed that one of the vendors, Baldies, is offering a “Chaco” that’s described as “an artisanal take on the beloved ‘Choco Taco’ dessert.” Basically it’s a crepe shell filled with ice cream, with toppings like melted chocolate, almonds, and sea salt.
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Two Ice Cream Extravaganzas: Our Cup (or Cone) Runneth Over!

(Courtesy of Hester Street Fair)

(Courtesy of Hester Street Fair)

This could be the most epic ice cream battle since Mr. Softee vs. Master Softee. The Brooklyn Flea and the Hester Street Fair are each hosting ice cream extravaganzas — on the same days. That’s right: between the 10+ vendors (and 50+ flavors!) at Smorgasburg’s Creme de la Creme and the 14 vendors at Hester Street Fair’s Ice Cream Social, you’re pretty much definitely going up a belt size on the weekend of July 19.
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Hester Street Fair Expands into Seward Park This Weekend

(Courtesy Hester Street Fair)

While Brooklyn Flea’s Smorgasburg expands to Jones Beach, its Lower East Side counterpart, Hester Street Fair, is growing as well. This weekend, about 20 to 30 vendors — including some newbies — will spread out into a promenade in adjacent Seward Park that runs from the fair’s current perch at Hester Street all the way down to Canal Street.
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Handsome Dan’s Has Quietly, Colorfully Opened an East Village Candy Shop

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)(Photo: Daniel Maurer)(Photo: Daniel Maurer)(Photo: Daniel Maurer)(Photo: Daniel Maurer)(Photo: Daniel Maurer)(Photo: Daniel Maurer)(Photo: Daniel Maurer)(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

Imagine our surprise today when we saw a gleaming new outpost of Williamsburg candy shop Handsome Dan’s occupying the storefront that 30-year-old A-1 Music vacated in January.
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