Brooklyn

Alex Cook Paints Two Exquisite Murals For Greenpoint

All images courtesy of Alex Cook
1077 Manhattan Avenue © All images courtesy of Alex Cook

You may have noticed that Greenpoint now has two new murals—at 1043 and 1077 Manhattan Avenue—thanks to Boston native and muralist Alex Cook, who recently painted both out of love for the neighborhood (and crowd-sourced the funding himself to do it). “While I was working on both of them, I got tons of feedback from the neighbors,” Cook said. “It was universally pretty good.”

At 1043, Cook’s mural depicts a surreal, three dimensional space with a young tree and balancing and floating boulders. Down the block at 1077,  a series of heads with broad foreheads and strong jaws seem to be floating in front of the wall, looking passers-by in the eye. “The thing that was compelling to me about these images was the three dimensionality of it and being able to make an image that feels real,” said Cook. “One of the things I love the most as an artist is being able to create a sense of wonder or something mysterious that stops you in your tracks and makes you have a moment of ‘I don’t know everything.'”

Greenpointers recently caught up with Cook to talk about his eighteen year career as a muralist, his creative process, and his love of north Brooklyn.

Continue reading

Category: Art/Music | Tags: , , , , | 0 Comments

Celebrity Chef Michael Psilakis Opens Event Space and Mega-Restaurant on Driggs Avenue

Piggies_The_Hall_Greenpoint_Rosie_de_BelgeonneThere’s something about the segment of Driggs Avenue between N 10th and N 11th streets that attracts a different type of business from other blocks in the area.

First came Fushimi, a super-sized, super-shiny sushi joint that boasts the lingering spirit of a 90s lounge bar. Now, on the opposite side of the street there has sprung up a new mega-restaurant called MP Taverna, the fourth in a string of Greek establishments of the same name, spear-headed by celebrity chef Michael Psilakis.

Psilakis has become known for his appearances on a host of  cooking shows such as Iron Chef America and Ultimate Recipe Showdown, but his real kudos came about in 2008 when a Michelin star was awarded to Anthos, an upmarket restaurant he started in midtown Manhattan.

Seven years on and Psilakis is bringing his celebrated Greek food to Brooklyn. Less high-end than Anthos, MP Taverna aims to provide a contemporary take on the traditional Greek tavern, with a focus on mezze dishes that can be shared family style.

Next door to MP Taverna is Psilakis’ next venture called ‘The Hall Brooklyn‘, a giant events venue whose recent opening heralded a flashy party, complete with cordoned-off entrance line and bouncers with earpieces. Continue reading

Category: Eat & Drink, Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Run the Jewels, Sleigh Bells, Vince Staple close out Northside ’15

runthejewels_50kent_Greenpointers_dlappin1

Last weekend, the Northside Festival at 50 Kent finished off with an all-star show featuring Run the Jewels, Sleigh Bells, and Vince Staples. Right as the doors opened, the crowd found its way into the venue and Vince Staples kicked it off with great energy, playing some unreleased tracks off his debut album, expected to hit June 30th.

Then Brooklyn based Sleigh Bells, took the stage amplifying the crowds energy from where Vince left off. Not only did they come out to rock, but they came out to have a good time. This is one band you can clearly see enjoy playing the music they create.  Continue reading

Category: Art/Music, Events | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 0 Comments

The Gunfighter Meets His Match: Abby Payne’s Wild West Concept Album Release Show May 28 at 9pm

© Manish Gosalia Photopgraphy. Abby Payne crowd surfing during the release show for "Vampire Song" at Pianos.
© Manish Gosalia Photopgraphy. Abby Payne crowd surfing during single release show for “Vampire Song” at Pianos.

“I’m going to town today to buy me a reputation,” the lean and lovely indie-rocker and Greenpoint resident Abby Payne lilts in the opening of the song “The Gunfighter Meets His Match.” She wrote that unapologetic line in 2011 when she was struggling with the idea of retaining a publicist to promote her name.

“The music business had changed so much, and it seemed like a lawless and kind of wild place where nobody knew what was going on. This Wild West story of good versus evil, of complicated pasts and emotions and dreams, was really a way for me to work through what it means to me to be a musician and an artist.” Continue reading

Category: Art/Music, Culture | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 0 Comments

New, Old Photographs of the Neighborhood: Catalán @Picture Farm & Salamone @GCA Salon

‘From Ash To Apollo’ by Sara Maria Salamone c/o GCA Salon via Instagram

One more side effect of North Brooklyn’s rapidly mutating scene is the ramping up of  “I was here when…” memories, which are arriving in shorter and tighter cycles. This means that the new, old neighborhoods are now garnering nostalgia with stories from recent history. And, photographs are a trusted way to collect these stories—”Take a picture. It will last longer.”

Two photography exhibitions on view now, Mara Catalán’s “A Place I Once Called Home: Williamsburg” at Picture Farm Productions & Sara Maria Salamone’s “From Ash To Apollo” at GCA Salon, appropriately locate and illustrate newer recollections of these moments. Continue reading

Category: Art/Music, Culture | Tags: , , , , , , | 0 Comments

Not the Silent Barn: 603 Debuts a 24-Hour Show

Graffitied cassette tapes line the wall on the way up the stairway to 603 ©Gustavo Ponce

“Oooh, what’s 603?”, you ask. Well, it’s absolutely not The Silent Barn; let’s just get that straight right now. 603 Bushwick Avenue is the fun house that is the collective of apartments directly above The Silent Barn. And, from noon on May 2nd to noon the next day, 603 served as the venue for a 24-hour endurance live music/reading/fundraising/karaoke/yoga/baptism/food and book drive event. I’m sure I’m missing a few forward slashes, too. Funds were raised for The Justice Committee and the Maryland Food Bank.

Overall, it was one of the most friendly, creative, optimistic, life-embracing, and least pretentious events that I’ve attended in a city that far too often leans toward the cynical or jaded. No corner of the residence was left a blank canvas. To be honest, it was so warm and fuzzy that I didn’t quite know how to handle it. Anyway, I’ll let the pictures paint the rest of the picture. Continue reading

Category: Art/Music, Culture | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 0 Comments

Hipster Shaman: Bill Hayden at Real Fine Arts

hejiheadshot
©Heji Shin/Bill Hayden

Greenpoint sits fine with no longer being Brooklyn’s “it” spot, and Bill Hayden’s show at Real Fine Arts seems okay with this, too—perhaps even celebrating the area’s confounding mix of shop and gallery. This particular installation is as comfortable with its sense of fleeting zeitgeist as Greenpoint is with watching  the torch pass from Williamsburg to Bushwick as the hip mecca of the moment. Continue reading

Category: Art/Music | Tags: , , , , | 0 Comments

Greenpoint of View: The Secret Origin of Midtown Comics

GPOV3 Cover WebHow long have you been here? And, how has the neighborhood changed since then? We all have our stories about the undulating Greenpoint streetscape—people moving in, people moving out, condos and developments covering up the sky, and coffee shops springing up faster than organic dry cleaners. Is it good? Is it bad? Tony Wolf chimes into the discussion with his autobio-comic: Greenpoint of View: The Secret Origin of Midtown Comics.

Continue reading

Category: Art/Music | Tags: , , , , , , | 0 Comments

The NRIs at the Pine Box Rock Shop

The NRIs at the Pine Box Rock Shop.Seven out of eight rockers agree: “kids are the new rock,” said Collin Cogan, drummer of Washington, DC-based band, The NRIs, as we ate spinach dumplings and jalapeño poppers at Koda in Bushwick. The NRIs were on a mini-tour promoting their album “Playground/The Charm,” a folk-rock record exploring themes of permanence. Their show at the Pine Box Rock Shop on Saturday night was their first set outside of the DC metro area – ever – and they left behind a brood. Between the eight members of the band, they have seven kids and two of the band members are expecting. Cogan’s wife is pregnant with a girl. Continue reading

Category: Art/Music, Culture | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 0 Comments

Edenworks Pioneers Commercial Aquaponics in Bushwick

IMG_20150317_193518On a cold day in March, the snow is already coming down thick when I emerge from the subway at the Montrose L stop in Bushwick. Somewhere near here, there is a rooftop greenhouse named Edenworks, and its three co-founders—Jason Green, Ben Silverman, and Matt La Rosa—have it up and running as a modular aquaponics laboratory-farm.

By the time I find the metal doorway of 234 Johnson Avenue, my shoes are soaked. A sign directs me a few feet down to another door that is abutted by a high gate on one side. I ring the doorbell and wait a few seconds before Jason arrives with a coffee mug in hand. He is wearing glasses, a thick sweater, and a big smile. We are standing in the middle of a snowstorm. “Aren’t you cold?” I ask. “I’m okay,” Jason says. “I have layers.”
Continue reading

Category: Community, Eat & Drink | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment