Try to take in too much at the Northside Festival and you’ll lose your mind; just putting together this guide was a harrowing experience! However, if you wander out into the wilds of the Brooklyn music circuit with no itinerary, you’ll find yourself in just as much of a state.
In addition to four days of music and five days of film, this year’s festival includes a tech conference called NExT (Northside Entrepreneurship + Technology). Although it’s nice to see that Northside–now in its fourth year–is expanding and going strong, this guide will focus on the music side of things.
Swans, Chelsea Wolfe at Warsaw, 7pm ($32): If Iceage and A Place to Bury Strangers aren’t going to be loud enough for you, go to this. Come early for Chelsea Wolfe’s spooky folk.
Kisses, Selebrities, Rush Midnight, Chad Valley, The Ice Choir at Cameo Gallery, 7:30pm ($15): If you like your “Ice” bands a little dreamier, then this is the show for you. The hotly-tipped ‘80’s throwbackers Selebrities and the pleasing electro vibe of Chad Valley should steer the night away from being too overly-twee. Continue reading →
Miracles of Modern Science aren’t the sort of band who can be easily shelved alongside most of the oh-so-hip acts that populate your average indie bar or club in Greenpoint on any given night. Consisting of an upright bassist, a mandolinist, a violinist, a cellist, and a drummer, Miracles of Modern Science focus their string-heavy pop music on subjects as diverse as technology’s effect on our brains and outer space, and act as a nerdy antidote to the sometimes shabby and sloppy bands of Brooklyn. Joshua Hirshfeld, MoMS’ mandolinist, was happy to answer a few questions about how both the band and Greenpoint stand out from the norm.
Dead Stars have been gaining popularity in the four years they’ve been rockin’ and rollin’ around the neighborhood, thanks to energetic live shows and a refreshingly unpretentious approach to making music. Their songs are quick, to the point, and poppy without feeling flimsy. If you check them out live be prepared to get their shout-along choruses stuck in your head for days; the amount of crowd members mouthing the lyrics at any given gig is testimony enough to Dead Stars’ catchiness factor. The trio is made up of bassist John Watterberg, drummer Jaye Moore and lead singer and guitarist, Jeff Moore, who took a break from finishing up the band’s upcoming EP, High Gain, to answer a few questions.
Dead Stars play tonight, Thursday March 28 @ Saint Vitus (1120 Manhattan Ave) 8pm, $10 – with Dichroics & Circle of Buzzards
Do you avoid dairy even when your fingers are going numb? Never fear because some of the tastiest hot chocolates are vegan! With the last freezing day of February dragging on, there’s no better time to shiver through McGolrick Park to Cafe Royal (195 Nassau Ave) where an array of delicious hot chocolate waits for you.
Maybe it was the excitement over finding a local cafe that sold not only vegan hot chocolate but Mexican vegan hot chocolate! Maybe we were just really craving hot chocolate. Whatever it was, the vegan hot chocolate my boyfriend and I ordered on that first visit to Cafe Royal was more than enough to make us repeat customers. Ordering one to stay is a must, as you get more hot chocolate for your $4.00 and maybe even some cacao or chocolate shavings as a topper.
Although the straight vegan hot chocolate is a velvety and not too rich treat, the vegan Mexican hot chocolate gets a slight upper hand for having just the right blend of spiciness and creamy sweetness.
The even spicier and non-vegan Mayan hot chocolate is also usually on offer, and other non-vegan options, like peppermint hot chocolate, occasionally make appearances as well. Still, Cafe Royal’s generally vegan-friendly menu is a definite draw on an avenue populated by Polish bakeries. Sometimes gentrification is OK – when it’s vegan that is!
Another great thing about Cafe Royal is that it’s a large space by Greenpoint standards, so even on a busy Sunday afternoon there is usually always a spot where you can warm up, savor, and people watch to your heart’s content.
Best Margarita Pizza (172 Norman Ave) has decent competition (Vinnie’s and Carmine’s Original Pizza are nearby), but sets itself apart by close supervision – the proprietor, Karim Ahmed, oversees the parlor and does so with love.
Although four pizzas are consistently on offer, Margarita, Sicilian, Artichoke, and Crab, Ahmed touted the restaurant’s namesake above all others, hinting that he named it as such for a very good reason. For a New York slice, Ahmed’s effort is well above average.
Dog Habitat stands out from other rescues for an array of reasons, the least not being its position as the only rescue in Greenpoint. Sharing a space with two other welcome additions to the neighborhood–the pet boutique District Dog and green boarding facility and doggie daycare Unleashed–Dog Habitat also acts as a local reminder of co-owner Rob Maher’s overarching mission.
Maher, along with wife Bea, rescue coordinator Emily Tanen and chief operating editor Jeff Latzer, co-runs Adopt NY, an online gathering for a collective of charities and rescues supporting one cause: to make New York a no-kill state. Maher was kind enough to answer a few questions on what goes into running a pet charity.