pencil factory

Where to Drink Outdoors During This Two Day Heat Wave

Lobster Joint Backyard
Lobster Joint’s beer garden (courtesy their Facebook page)

Greenpoint (and pretty much all of NYC) will be experiencing record breaking temps of almost 70 degrees over the next two days. It’s March, people. Are you ready to strip off those coats? Here are some of our favorite outdoor spots in Greenpoint where you can soak up some of that good ol’ Vitamin E.

Lobster Joint – 1073 Manhattan Ave.
Open from noon every day, they’ve got a lovely New Englandy open air beer garden in the back of their seafood restaurant. Grub on a lobster roll and chill out with a beer.

More hotspots after the jump… Continue reading

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Thursday Spotlight: Josh Cochran

Photo source @joshcochran
Photo source @joshcochran

When he’s not working from his studio in Greenpoint, teaching at the School of Visual Arts, or filling in as art director for the New York Times Op-Ed page, Josh Cochran holds his annual Get Nude. Get Drawn exhibitions with fellow artist and friend Mike Perry. This year will be their fifth. The project consists of getting together some of Brooklyn’s most talented illustrators and dedicated day sessions of drawing nude models in their respective styles. The exhibition will show drawings made by the two originators themselves, along with artists Chrissy Angliker, Jon Burgerman, Mario Hugo, Julia Rothman, Edward Ubiera, and Joo Hee Yoon. Anticipating tonight’s show I asked Josh to share a few words about the playful collaboration and what it’s like to delve into the world of nude art.

Exhibition:
Thursday, January 28th
Tictail Market
90 Orchard St
7 – 11 pm

Photo source @joshcochran
Photo source @joshcochran

GP: Can you introduce yourself?
I’m an illustrator for magazines, newspapers and advertising. Sometimes I make murals as well.

GP: I hear you have a studio here at the Pencil Factory. What is your history with the space and what is a typical day in the studio like for you?
I’ve been here off and on for about seven years. It’s this big building with a bunch of other creative people working in various studios. Sort of feels like school, in a good way! Sometimes if I’m working on a project, it’s really nice to lean over and get an opinion of one of my studio mates. I come in around 10am and leave around dinnertime. I try to get my commissioned work out of the way so I have some time to work on personal projects. I try to work during daylight hours but of course if I have a deadline, this gets shifted around a little.

GP: How did the idea for this exhibition come along? How did you and Mike meet?
Mike and I met at the ADC Young Guns awards party. We were both getting an award, and just started talking. The idea for the project came about when we were both talking about how we wished we could draw nudes again but maybe approach it from a different perspective. In art school, drawing the nude was really academic and I wanted to find a fresh, spontaneous way to work. Drawing from normal, non-professional people really changes how you approach drawing. There is a certain amount of awkwardness and honesty that I hope to capture.

GP: Have you worked with any of tonight’s artists before?
I’ve worked with a couple of them before. Edward Ubiera and I did a mural project together last summer. Also I’ve done a few projects with Julia Rothman. This Brooklyn art world is pretty small actually.

Photo source @joshcochran
Photo source @joshcochran

GP: What other kinds of shows do you plan on putting
together in the future?

No immediate plans just yet. Though this is the 5th year of doing nudes and definitely planning on keeping this project going until we’re both very old. It’s been really interesting seeing how the project and work has evolved through the years.

GP: With these drawing sessions, what is the procedure like in order to get people the most comfortable?
We try to keep it as professional as possible. There is a changing area and we usually set up a bunch of props and lights that the models can interact with. Usually we try to chat a little bit with each model to see what kind of poses they want to do or what will make them feel more comfortable. I think one person this year drank half a can of beer, which seemed like it helped!

GP: What are you looking forward to the most with this exhibition?
I’m really looking forward to meeting some of the models. It’s been fascinating hearing the stories from people that have modeled for us. We’ve gotten people who’ve wanted to pose in order to get over a phobia of being naked in public, women who are about to have a baby, my studio mate who wants to embarrass me, etc. It’s always been sort of a crazy experience.

Photo source @joshcochran
Photo source @joshcochran

You can find more on Josh here.

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Another one bites the dust. 30 yr old Woodworking co-op priced out of Greenpoint

Photo credit: Jason Speakman via Brooklyn Paper
Photo credit: Jason Speakman via Brooklyn Paper

In the fast-paced shell game of who is making money off of Greenpoint’s real estate scene, carpenters are getting no love these days. The Brooklyn Woodworkers Co-op–a Greenpoint carpenter collective– who has been sawing, slicing and molding wood for the last 30 years inside the Pencil Factory is now on the chopping block after being presented with, you guessed it, an insane rent increase.

Philippe Prelati, owner of Atelier Prelati who makes custom doors and member of the Brooklyn Woodworker’s Co-op, says the landlord is jacking up the rent from $20,000 to $55,000 a month—practically 3x’s what they are paying these days.

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Greenpoint Chamber of Commerce Kicks off First Annual Meeting at Kickstarter HQ

Lexy Funk delivering her speech.
Lexy Funk (Brooklyn Industries) delivering her speech.
 
Tuesday night, the newly revitalized Greenpoint Chamber of Commerce held its first annual meeting inside the Kickstarter Headquarters, Greenpoint’s pencil factory for the digital age.

More than 200 of the neighborhood’s foremost capitalists, investors, workers, and a smattering of politicians attended the event, which honored Kickstarter as the Community Anchor of the year, and which featured a terrific speech by the supremely well-named Brooklyn Industries co-founder, Lexy Funk.
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Studio visit & interview with artist Michael Hambouz

Michael Hambouz in his element, the studio ©Markus Weaver

(A version of this interview appeared for boygirl Magazine)

Late in his life, Henri Matisse would turn to creating cutouts, which eventually covered the walls of his lofty studios from floor to ceiling inside the Hotel Excelsior Regina Palace at Cimiez in France. Matisse would direct his numerous assistants and his Russian mistress, Lydia Delektorskaya, with a 12-foot long bamboo cane from his bed, and they would all rush to adjust his colored paper compositions. Echoing Matisse in his own way, and paying homage to the beauty of industrial America, multimedia artist Michael Hambouz has created a series of 18 large-scale, cut-paper collage works called Factory Made using paper stock from the mill located in his hometown of Niles, Michigan. We met in front of The Richardson, and walked to his studio a few doors down, where his cat, Pickles, was waiting. Continue reading

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Monuments Interview and Brigadune Album Review and Cameo Show Tonight 5/9

If you aren’t familiar with Greenpoint band Monuments, now is a perfect time to get to know them. They have a new album out called Brigadune, they play tonight at Cameo Gallery, and they did an interview with us. Check it out. Continue reading

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Mega-Records, Future Hotel? Local Relief, Pee Wee, Drinking Agists — The Hook-Up (11/25)

 

Artwork by Tamara Garvey

 

Vinyl is alive and well. Besides a smorgasbord of little and medium-sized record stores throughout north Brooklyn, today marks the opening of Rough Trade, a 10,000 square foot monster of a music store with all the bells & whistles.  (NY Times)

Speaking of big buildings, the Pencil factory building next door to where Kickstarter has opened for business on Greenpoint Avenue is for sale.  “The three-story structure includes 17,485 square feet of space and is zoned for hotel, retail or office use” As long as it doesn’t become a Duane Reade I’m good.  (DNA Info)

The push to help those affected by Typhoon Haiyan continues locally with the help of the owners of Dalaga who are asking for much needed supplies, including: energy bars, tents clean blankets, towels, batteries, soap and medications. They will also be donating 100 percent of the proceeds from the store’s own line of jewelry, greeting cards and tote bags to the cause. Awesome.  (Greenpoint Gazette)

Our friends at Brokelyn let us know that somebody in Greenpoint was selling their Pee Wee Herman Chairy Chair on Craigslist and that’s news because Pee Wee Herman rules.

And finally, a rowdy bar in Red Hook hiked their drinking age to 25 because it was too noisy late at night. It’s a controversial move, but I’ll admit it, it sounds kind of nice.  (Time.com)

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Hey, Handsome: Owen & Fred

© Lacour Studios

For all of you gentlemen and gentlewomen, there’s a hot-to-trot new face in Greenpoint and it’s called Owen & Fred. The clean-cut, utilitarian men’s brand stocks minimal but cheeky shaving kits, understated but classic duffel bags, and a no fuss carry-on. Not to mention, Owen & Fred also sells cheeky wares (coffee mugs, stationary, toiletries) with subtle 1960s influences while maintaining a contemporary attitude.

With many Brooklyn made products, Owen & Fred launched a Kickstarter campaign to solidify their products and commitment with customers. The brand recently relocated to the Pencil Factory and I sat down with the founder, Michael Arnot, to talk about the brand, being a Greenpoint start up, and more.

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“We All Need More Craftiness!” Chat with Brett Bara of Brooklyn Craft Company

When I met with Brooklyn Crafting Queen Brett Bara in her newly occupied sub-level HQ in Greenpoint Ave’s Pencil Factory studios, the space was empty and Brett was diligently working on her laptop, planning away, at a folding table near the space’s generous wall of windows. Despite its lack of stuff, the large venue was filled with Brett’s enthusiastic energy in anticipation of her soon to debut Brooklyn Craft Company. Continue reading

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Kickstarter HQ – What’s On Deck

Progress on Kickstarter’s forthcoming Greenpoint HQ at the old Pencil Factory on Kent Street has been ongoing, but perceptible improvements have been hard to report for the last few months.

Well that and my lack of snooping around…

Architect Ole Sondresen has released a portfolio for the Kickstarter project. Visit the link to see an illustrated rendering of what their vision for the roof deck/courtyard seen above will morph into.

This isn’t the only urban design project Kickstarter is getting behind. Check out these 6 recent Kickstarter projects for cities from This Big City.

Follow (intermittent) progress reports on Kickstarter’s new Greenpoint based HQ at buildingkickstart.

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