Born and raised in the Philippines, Yana spent her first 7 years in the US living in LA. Now, a transplant to New York, she considers herself one of those people who fell in love with Greenpoint at first sight. For this little gypsy, the Big Apple is another great
adventure. A bicycle-riding, art-loving, design junkie, she enjoys making new friends and discovering the brooklyn way of life: backyards, bikes and beers.
Imagine you’re on a rooftop in Brooklyn in Spring overlooking the East River with the Manhattan skyline as a backdrop. To add icing to the cake, one of your favorite artists is playing a stone’s throw away. That is how I spent last Tuesday with BalconyTV Brooklyn, a magical experience is filmed at The End Studios in Greenpoint.
Tonight – Tuesday, April 30th, 2013 – catch another session of BalconyTV Brooklyn at Brooklyn Bowl. RSVP here.
I sat down with the two masterminds behind BalconyTV Brooklyn after the Olafur Arnalds session. Hello, Chris O’Konski and Joe Kelley aka the “Two Lion Cubs of the Savannah.”
GP: Who gave birth to BalconyTV Brooklyn? And how?
Chris: BalconyTV is an online music video show that features established and emerging artists in over 40 cities across the world. The original Balcony was founded in Dublin by Stephen O’Regan and Thomas Millet in 2006, but the show has since spread like wildfire and now has locations in every continent except Antarctica. I originally started filming for BalconyTV NYC in 2010, and Joe jumped on as host/booking agent shortly after in Spring 2011. We produced dozens of shows together at that location, but ultimately decided that — in order for the show to reach its full potential — we’d have to take it to Greenpoint and form BalconyTV Brooklyn.
Joe: BalconyTV as a whole was formed back in Dublin in 2006 by Stephen O’Regan. As for the Brooklyn show, Chris and I started out shooting on a very “sketchy” balcony/rooftop in Manhattan right outside Times Square. It was fun and we loved it but our resources were very limited. No electricity for one, and with so much of great music unable to be performed acoustically we had to check out new locations. Brooklyn is a mecca for culture and art and we wanted to be a part of it. Chris had begun shooting the Times Square show a little before I had moved in to begin booking and take over as host back in Spring 2011.
GP: How did you end up partnering with The End?
Chris: Upon deciding to take the show to Brooklyn, we were introduced to Brian Crowe & Matt Flynn at The End Studios in Greenpoint by a mutual friend in music. The End has top notch staff and recording facilities — not to mention a pretty killer view of the Manhattan skyline — so establishing it as the new home for BalconyTV Brooklyn was a no-brainer. We officially launched January 17th, 2012, and our first performance was championed by The Ugly Club on the 18th in a foot of snow and subfreezing temperatures. Over a year and a half later, I think I speak for the whole BTVBK crew when I say our summer shoots are easily the best.
Joe: Actually, I had been contacted by a fairly well known Brooklyn bases band’s manager to have them on the show. They of course could not perform as acoustic and stripped down as we needed them to on our Manhattan balcony. She then referred me to The End Studios in Greenpoint and put me in touch with Matt Flynn. I was living in Greenpoint at the time and was excited to check out the space. Once we did it was all over. The crew, the view, and the resources have made our show 10 billions times better. Continue reading →
Jellio, a fun, quirky and amazingly whimsical design/build firm focuses on bringing your childhood favorite toys to life: life-size, that is. Mario Marsicano, the main man of Jellio (which was actually his nickname growing up), is an (m)ad-man-turned-furniture-designer. He’s the total embodiment of “do what makes you happy and everything will follow”. His partners Chris Lenox and Kevin Champeny, a designer and an artist, respectively, makes Jellio what it is now.
Mario and Eric Winston (owner of SFDS) were able to give me a private tour of the space before it officially opens on May 20th.
I was also able to sit down with Mario and get more in-depth about Jellio:
GP: Why “Jellio”? What’s the concept and background?
Mario: The concept for Jellio came to me in 2004. I’ve been an antique toy collector for many years. And after collecting them for so long, I wanted to do something beside just placing them on shelves, or burying them in a closet. So I began to make glass cases and tables for the toys to be displayed in. Rockem Sockem Robots, Evel Kneivel Stunt Cycles and Hot Wheels Tracks became one-of-a-kind tables, bookcases and other home furnishings. Soon, my friends and business associates began telling me these pieces were like nothing they had ever seen before, and they asked if I could make something for them, to remind them of their childhood, and bring a sense of fun to their home.
As for the name “Jellio”, that’s my college nickname.
GP: Who and what was the mastermind of this company? What are the founders’ backgrounds?
Mario: In 2005, I approached Chris Lenox, my friend and longtime ad agency associate, with the idea of combining interior design with childhood fun. Chris began to sketch out a number of pieces, and Jellio was born. Chris and I ran the new company as a side venture until 2006, when we met artist and master fabricator, Kevin Champeny. Kevin brought his production expertise to Jellio, and the company started to take off.
GP: Why Greenpoint? Are you all Locals?
Mario: We began in Brooklyn. Our first studio was in Red Hook, and moved to a few other locations as we began to offer more products for sale. We’ve wanted to come back to Brooklyn for a while, and moving into the space of our production partner, SFDS was the perfect opportunity. And Greenpoint is such a unique and exciting neighborhood, we think it will be a great fit.
sidenote: Mario moved to Greenpoint recently to be closer to work and Chris has been living in Greenpoint for 8 years.
GP: Who are your design inspirations/ heroes?
Mario: Our design inspirations are really the toys and other childhood items that our products are based on. The loop in a Hot Wheels track, the reel from a ViewMaster, a Lite Brite or even a simple Gummy Bear…these are the timeless, iconic images from our childhoods that inspire us. These items put a smile on our faces, so why not surround ourselves with home furnishings based on these items, that we can look at all day.
GP: What are your fave pieces from your collection?
Mario: We love all of our products, but if we had to pick one we’d probably say our gummy bear items. Our GummiKing, GummiToys and Gummy Bear Chandelier are fan favorites. And our GummiLight is our best selling item.
Come check them out! They’re officially opening on Monday May 20th!
Freeman and Manhattan feels like the boondocks, especially for me who happens to live in the “other” Greenpoint. However, the trek was worth it.
Tucked in a nondescript building on Freeman St, lies Artifact. : Cozy from the outside, cozier on the inside. Exposed brick walls, reclaimed shelves and hand-made copper pipe racks are reminiscent of the lost art of workmanship of years past.
The ever-so-mysterious logo of an hourglass encircled by an Ouroboros, fully encapsulates the goodies that Artifact. has: timeless vintage. The store houses works of local artists and designers, novelty items and found objects, as well as hard-to-find zines and books. The owner Josephine Trzaska and her partner Timothy Aaron Huston, both designers in their respective fields, have been roomies and friends for years.
Artifact. is the product of their meticulous eye for design and fused aesthetics. It was such a pleasure to sit down with them and pick their brains over beers in their wonderful store.
GP: What was the history behind artifact? What was the concept behind it?
TAH: The history is that Jodie and I both had cool collections of weird interesting objects, books, housewares, etc. and when I moved in with her a couple years ago, we always had fun showing stuff to each other, then we started talking about creating a brand of found objects turned into furniture and functional art called Hüska (Huston+Trzaska), which is still a future idea … but then we also talked about how cool it would be to actually be able to sell vintage/new stuff that we like, sort of turning our hoarding tendencies into something productive! Fast forward a year or so, she found this space and then we sort of melded the ideas, and 155 Freeman is just Phase One of our Big Plan.
GP: I know you guys have been open for a while, but when is the official opening?
A: We are having the Grand Opening on Feb 28th. RSVP! Special thanks to Dandelion Wines for sponsoring the refreshments!
GP: What sets Artifact. apart from the other vintage stores in Greenpoint/ Williamsburg area? What’s the main focus/ outstanding feature of the store?
TAH: I think Artifact has a distinct personality and we are both VERY particular and idiosyncratic. Oh, and of course the other designers we’ve collected bring their own flavor into the mix as well. The media has picked up on the PBR lip balm as a focus, but that was actually an afterthought. Jodie had them, and I threw them in a little box and marked $5 each on it. I mean there’s not a real focus per se, it’s an amalgamation—we aren’t trying to be the “vintage” store or the “place where you get ………” Things may change with time, things come and go, but you should always get a certain feeling when you visit Artifact. We want to be a destination for the unexpected, and push the boundaries a bit. We aren’t here for “sellable” and “safe” — if we both like it, and it sends out the right vibes, we’ll jump on it. Jodie is psychic and I have a visceral reaction towards clothing & objects I like, so we have a sort of second sense that says “yes” or “no” — not sure if that answers the question. Continue reading →
Only two things could make me wake up and trek to the Upper East Side: Art and Central Park. This Sunday, I was well rewarded with both.
George Terry, a local Greenpoint artist, has masterfully orchestrated an art exhibit, salon style in a pre-war Manhattan dwelling, aptly named Classic Six, which was steps away from Central Park. “New York I Love You Sometimes” features a unique pool of converging circles of friends in the art sphere. This interesting co-mingling of seemingly disparate worlds: Brooklyn Artists/ Upper East Side Exhibit, was made possible by the generosity of Alison Chace, the owner of the space.
Background on Walls L-R: Lumin Wakoa Paintings, Max Reinhardt and Janelle Iglesias (Constellation) and Carolyn Salas (Untitled). Foreground L-R: Andy Ness (all dressed up and nowhere to go) and Brett Day Windham (Floating Harlequin)
As I walked into 1 East 62nd St., I was formally greeted by the doorman, escorted up and was ushered into this amazing apartment. Large picture windows and pristine white walls were the perfect canvas for housing the beautiful art pieces. George Terry gave me an in-depth tour of the exhibit and sat down with me for an interview. Continue reading →
Who said Tuesdays were boring?! November 6th is going to be monumental, either in a political or philanthropic way.
• Black Rabbit (91 Greenpoint Ave) Screened all night. Cheer. Cry. Drink.
• Diamond (43 Franklin St) 7pm, “We’ll post the numbers on the black board and get all riled up. Drink for victory or defeat…So, help us kill the Sly Fox Chester County Bitter cask. 100% of cask sales will go to the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund for the Redhook Initiative.” Can’t go? Donate here.
• No Lights/No Lycra @ Messiah Church (129 Russell St) 8:15-9:30pm, $5, “Come Dance and Donate in the dark,” all proceeds donated to Hurricane Sandy Relief
• Sindicato (57A Nassau Ave) 5-11pm, the new kid on the block on Nassau Avenue, boasts of fine mexican cuisine and superb tequila and mezcal selections, is hosting a hurricane relief fundraiser, plus they have $1 fish taco happy hour from 5-7 pm, RSVP
• Beloved (674 Manhattan Ave. ) ”$8 cocktails & $5 beers all evening with all proceeds going to the American Red Cross. All proceeds will be donated via the Salesforce.com donation matching program which means that every dollar we get will become two dollars for the Red Cross! Also accepting donations of food, water, batteries, flashlights, diapers, etc…Oh and Ben Goldwasser of MGMT and Alan Palomo of Neon Indian will be DJ’ing the event!”
• Greenpoint Heights (278 Nassau) “Airing the coverage, with sound.”
When I arrived for sunset drinks on a private rooftop in Greenpoint, I was greeted with a whiskey absinthe cocktail, followed by a smattering of shishito peppers and oysters. Haunting guitar notes were filling the air with a comforting warmth, despite the sudden chill in September. This was the just the start of the Summer Harvest Dinner.
Cook to bang Author and Chef, Spencer Walker and food blogger of rooftopbrooklyn.com, Will Holloway, have combined their passions into one super idea: Rooftop Supper Club.
The sunset left a golden glow that complemented the beautiful rooftop setting. The tables were impeccably set: fresh cut flowers, mini gourds and candles; hanging lights added to the spirit of festivity. The guitar continued to set the ambiance for the rest of the evening provided by Australian-turned-Greenpointer, Rupert Boyd. Continue reading →
As we all know, October = Archtober. Brooklyn has been the hub of emerging designers and forward-thinkers mainly because of the influx of cultures colliding and a healthy mix of locals and migrants. Greenpoint is no stranger to that phenomenon.It is a neighborhood where histories of migration, real estate pricing and burgeoning gentrification bring pierogis industrial arts spaces and the scent of impending property development within a few steps of each other.
In conjunction with Archtober, this Saturday, October 6, 2012, The Street Plans Collaborative and CNU New York will be hosting a guided street tour. A crew of experienced urban tacticians will educate and inform you about using the streets to advocate for positive urban change, as well as finding new ways to think about and live in neighborhoods. With Greenpoint as our laboratory, we’ll walk and talk our way through tactical logistics, practices, histories and possibilities, ending in one of Greenpoint’s finest refreshment establishments to debrief and plan the next steps for making actual change.
Tactical Urbanism Walking and Talking Tour
Meet: 5pm sharp meet @ Pencil Factory Bar (142 Franklin St)
5.30-6.30pm walking tour
6.30-7.30pm merry debriefing at the Pencil Factory Bar. What to bring: An umbrella, comfortable shoes, an open mind and plenty of ideas
If it’s raining:
We’ll meet inside the Pencil Factory Bar equipped with plenty of materials for discussion Cost: Free
Please RSVP your name to natalia (AT) astudioforallthings.comor leemor.chandally (AT) gmail.com by Friday, October 5, 2012.
Funny how synchronicity works — I was just thinking if there was Fashion Night Out for the fashionistas, there has to be one for the design-junkies, like me. Lo and behold, ARCHTOBER is here, my friends! It’s a month-long festival of architecture and design all over the city. They’re hosting design-centric events, workshops and home tours. Check out their city-wide festivities here.
To properly kick-off Archtober, City Modern, sponsored by Dwell & New York Mag, will be hosting talks, studio and home tours from October 1-7.
Talks feature the leaders and trendmakers in the ever-evolving face of architecture and design. See full schedule here.