Culture

Rebecca Tree for President: A Political Thriller for the Times by Greenpoint’s Michael Abramson

© Design by Nick Roseboro, Courtesy of the author. Cover of Rebecca Tree by Greenpoint author Michael Abramson.
© Design by Nick Roseboro. Cover of Rebecca Tree by Greenpoint author Michael Abramson. Courtesy of the author.

“This novel will help you survive this election season,” Greenpoint resident Michael Abramson, author of the political thriller, Rebecca Tree, writes. Set in the not-so-distant future, “The American political system is trapped in a death spiral. In an increasingly polarized country, rapidly rising seawater separates ‘wet’ states from ‘dry’ states. Parts of South Florida surrender to the sea as carcasses of once-chic beachfront hotels poke out from the ocean floor. ‘Guest’ agricultural workers from Mexico hand-pollinate fruit trees and vegetable crops in a desperate effort to maintain the country’s food supply. California’s once plentiful fruits are now as rare as caviar in post-Tsarist Russia.”

Out of this chaos emerges Rebecca Tree, the rebellious granddaughter of America’s most powerful politician, Merewether Tree. A successful inventor and businesswoman, Rebecca’s life is marked by a string of tragedies. Her parents died in a plane crash when she was two, and her twin sister Allison passed before her fourth birthday. Determined to honor the memories of the ones she lost, Rebecca’s personal pain propels her into a life of accomplishment.”

Released in March, the book has already garnered 4.5 stars on Amazon. I spoke with Abramson about what motivated the novel, the places in which it takes place (including our very own Greenpoint), and how he shaped his characters.

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Live Fast and Dye Hard: Spotlight on Shibori Haus

Brooklyn has no shortage of its creative talents. From dedicated writers and enthusiastic musicians to dynamic artisans and engineers, we’ve got it all. Shibori Haus is another tool that should be in any Greenpointer’s arsenal when you want to get down and crafty. Shibori Haus, founded by Jes Vuong, offers workshops in the art of shibori dyeing.

I sat down with Jes to chat about our favorite place (Brooklyn) and to learn more about this slammin’ and mindful art form.

A photo posted by SHIBORI HAUS (@shibori.haus) on

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Funky Plot and Savory Performances for Shakespeare in the Theater’s “Cymbeline”

Curt James (foreground) and Josh Krebs in "Cymbeline" at The Brick
Curt James (foreground) and Josh Krebs in “Cymbeline” at The Brick

Cymbeline is tonally ambiguous, dramaturgically elusive. This is no weakness of Shakespeare’s so-called tragedy, but it stands out in being one that ends in reunions and discoveries instead of wars and death while featuring beheaded characters and disguised lovers. It’s no wonder, then, that critics have long debated whether Cymbeline is drama, romance, comedy, or something in between. Perhaps Shakespeare was pushing genres out and contemporary storytelling, with its mix of laughter and catharsis, forward. Regardless of category, Stay Awake! Theatre’s production of Cymbeline at The Brick (575 Metropolitan Ave.) in Williamsburg is firm in its footing thanks to its minimalist approach and rather strong performances. Continue reading

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Thursday, 7/21: Up Late on The High Line

Up Late on The High Line
Up Late on The High Line

Roam the High Line after-hours and be transported as dancers, musicians, and visual artists illuminate the park with participatory performances, installations, and a world of hidden surprises.

This event is free, and admission is based upon capacity, first-come first-served with RSVP

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100 Years Ago: Greenpoint’s Greatest Art Exhibit Ever?

John Mulvany - Custer's Last Rally - 11'x20'
John Mulvany – Custer’s Last Rally – 11’x20′

A fascinating story in the December 12, 1917 Brooklyn Daily Eagle explained that almost a century ago our local library hosted a blockbuster art show of Greenpoint artists. It is too bad that the article did not go into more depth about the show, but it did mention the three stars of the show: Ralph Blakelock, George Inness and John Mulvany. If you are not familiar with the artists in the show you should be, because they were not only locals, but they were also greats. Continue reading

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Volunteers: Cleanup at the Newtown Creek Living Dock This Sunday

The Newtown Creek Living Dock
The Newtown Creek Living Dock

Please join the Newtown Creek Alliance in helping to clean up and improve the North Henry Street shoreline site this Sunday. Volunteers can assist with tasks like garbage pickup, weed removal, planting and path making. Gloves will be provided, and please dress accordingly. No RSVP required.

Sunday July 17th
North Henry Street – NCA Living Dock
1 to 5pm
540 Kingsland Avenue Greenpoint, Brooklyn

The North Henry Street site is host to the NCA Living Dock. With money from the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund, NCA created the Living Dock; a 200-sq foot floating habitat structure for marine organisms. Despite poor environmental conditions, wildlife is returning to the Creek. The Living Dock is a way to encourage and document this trend. Come see the site, visit the Living Dock and lend a hand!

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Weekend Art Roundup: July 15 – 17

End of Days or Beginning of Summer? Photo: @femmmbot
End of Days or NYC Summer? Photo: @femmmbot

Well, we’ve made it. To where? I’m not quite sure but it’s hot and sticky and ain’t nobody wearing any clothes. Welcome to Summer in Brooklyn!

This weekend the moon will pass both Saturn and Mars, which means you absolutely should ride yr bike, say hi and smile to strangers, accept an invitation to dinner, and enjoy a frozen beverage, but only one. (BRAIN FREEZE, Y’ALL).

Oh, and check out some arts!

See you in the streets.

 

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A Decalogue of Tenebrous Luminaries
Friday, July 15, 6-9pm
at 289 Meserole St.

Curated by norton, this group exhibition includes works by Joshua Rosenblatt, Chris Rucker, Levi Haske, Eleanna Anaganos, Jenyu Wang, Patrick Neal, Richard Schwamb, norton, Hazel Lee Santino, Chris Ketchie and includes a live performance by Dirty Churches at 8pm.

These ten artists express the landscape journeys they traverse in the ways their unique individual natures and intelligences take them. They spread across the floor and walls, using traditional as well as variant materials with distinctive results. Representational, abstracted, conceptual, in the end seeing light in the darkness, defying the negation of the black hole. They share their singularities, defying you to leave the strong grasp of their singularities.

RSVP here.

 

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The Summer Party: An Issue Launch for BOMB 136
Friday, July 15, 9pm
at Be Electric Studios
1298 Willoughby Avenue

BOMB partners with HIP Lit for the launch of our summer issue. Join us for a night of art, drinks, and dancing. Lots of dancing.

The night will include a rare installation of Ben Vida and Jeff DeGolier’s “Metal Fatigue Music”—the greatest sound piece ever to incorporate a Toyota Priva minivan—as well as projections from Jason Simon and Moyra Daveys legendary One Minute Film Festival.

All-vinyl DJ sets by Damian & Tallboy (PICNyC)
Additional music by Simone White.

More Details and RSVP here.

 

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MoonBurn: Lauren YS solo exhibition
Friday, July 15, 7pm
at SuperChief Gallery in Tender Trap
66 Greenpoint Ave

MoonBurn is a solo exhibition of paintings and works on paper from Bay Area illustrator and street artist Lauren YS. The product of half ­dreams and a nomadic lifestyle, MoonBurn is an exploration of the artist’s own fierce imagination as personified through supernatural characters and personal symbols of iconography collected throughout her travels and flights of nocturne.

Utilizing a palette of creams and her signature muted neons, Lauren’s works from MoonBurn approach an updated ukiyo­e woodblock aesthetic. Lauren combines melodic application of linework with washes of mint greens and coral pinks to imbue Eastern sensibilities with an astral bent.

 

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RSVP here
Studiomates
Friday, July 15, 7-9pm
at Calico
67 West St, suite 203

The Calico exhibition space is located within the larger “Calico Studio” space, which also currently provides working studio space to five artists. For Calico’s Summer show, we present recent work by this group of studiomates: Mark Mann, Michael Hambouz, Kate Nielsen, Thomas Henry, and Calico’s Director, Scott Chasse.
RSVP here

 

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Bushwick Art Book and Zine Fair 2016
Saturday, July 16 – Sunday, July 17, 1pm-7pm
at SIGNAL
260 Johnson Ave.

The fourth annual BLONDE ART BOOKS – BABZ FAIR will feature new and recent publications by independent publishers, and individual artists and writers.

Since 2012, Blonde Art Books has been dedicated to promoting independent publishing & self-published art books through exhibitions, book fairs, talks, and online exposure.

This year, for the first time, we have invited exhibitors from outside the New York City region.

Book launches, readings, and other diverse programming will take place throughout the weekend. Full Program here.

 

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Outdoors: The Hollows Eastyard
Saturday, July 16, 2-8pm
at The Hollows
151 Bedford Avenue

In its new premises in Williamsburg, The Hollows is pleased to inaugurate The Hollows Eastyard, an outdoors summer programming series taking place in the garden of The Hollows townhouse, housing installations by three artists, kinetic disco ball pieces, Inverse and Tear by Kiichiro Adachi, Shaddows in Faacad, a vertical city mapping mural by Halaburda

With a $10 suggested donation, you’re welcome to hang out all day. For more information on this event and the Summer series, visit http://www.hollows.info/sound/

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Summer Festival Update (7/15 – 7/17), and Northside Memories

Thinking of heading up to the mountains this summer?

kerrville

Some music festivals take a journey to see. For this weekend, here’s a suggestion for the Catskills but also a nice outdoor band line-up in Bushwick for those who prefer to stay close to the L train.

Plus, a reminiscence about Northside Festival. Continue reading

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Thursday Spotlight: Trey Ditto, PR based in Brooklyn

Trey Ditto, Ditto PR
Trey Ditto, Ditto PR

Hailing originally from Texas, Trey Ditto cut his teeth working for the Associated Press in Dallas and quickly moved into the political sphere, advising legislators and elected officials on their communications strategies. Ultimately this lead him to Washington D.C. where he worked for various political leaders and landed with a position as the deputy press secretary for U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, handling local and national media and external relations on K-12 and higher education issues. Continue reading

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