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Daniel Jack Lyons (Akhavan). James Miille (Dough). Courtesy of locations.
Desiree Akhavan has proved she’s as enchanting in front of the camera as she is behind it. The writer, director, and actress, who recently had a guest role on Lena Dunham’s Girls (as one of Hannah’s sneering fiction workshop classmates), bravely explores the murky gray landscape of bisexuality in her feature film debut, Appropriate Behavior. The dramedy — which follows a 20-something Iranian-American woman as she struggles to recover from a breakup and open up to her parents about her sexual orientation — has an authentic, Annie Hall-esque New York feel that only a local like Akhavan could conceive. Here, the Brooklynite gives us a tour of her favorite neighborhood spots.
“I’m not a doughnut person, but these are the most delicious, moist, oversized fuckers you’ll ever have the luxury of sinking your teeth into. I’m talking laughably large Homer Simpson-style doughnuts with pretentious flavors like hibiscus, and chocolate with Earl Grey.” 448 Lafayette Ave.; DoughBrooklyn.com
2. Brooklyn Flea in Fort Greene
“It’s more than a hundred vendors selling all kinds of things you don’t really need and can’t really afford but feel entitled to anyway.” 176 Lafayette Ave.; BrooklynFlea.com
“This place used to be next door to my first apartment on Classon Avenue and was a hole-in-the-wall the size of my armpit. It’s moved to a much larger location and had a major facelift, but what matters has stayed the same: the best, most reasonably priced chicken mole I’ve ever had. They also make an incredible Manhattan.” 736 Franklin Ave.; ChavelasNYC.com
4. Bearded Lady
“I once spilled a drink all over myself while on a first date here and the staff was not judgmental at all.” 686A Washington Ave.
5. Greenlight Bookstore
“This place is just so welcoming. Everyone is very knowledgeable, and they also host fantastic readings.” 686 Fulton St.; GreenlightBookstore.com
6. Franklin Park
“It’s four different bar experiences in one: crowded dancing in one section; arcade games and a photo booth in back; a small cave in the way back; and in the summer an outdoor beer garden. My favorite thing is the eclectic mix of people it attracts.” 618 St. Johns Pl.; FranklinParkBrooklyn.com
7. Bedford Hill Coffee Bar
“I’ve spent hours writing here. I like to work in public spaces so I can avoid the temptation to watch episodes of Project Runway, but I’m the Goldilocks of coffee shops. This place is not too big, not too cramped, with just the right amount of ambient noise and natural light.” 343 Franklin Ave.; BedfordHillBrooklyn.com
8. Alice’s Arbor
“A fantastic place to take a date any time of the day. I have a deep love for the food and the vibe.” 549 Classon Ave.; AlicesArbor.com
“You can find copies of any Nick Hornby novel, DVDs of most of the films you loved in college, and all five seasons of Ally McBeal. One magical December day, I found all the Christmas decorations I’d ever need