Perhaps the only word more fun to say than Archestratus, the cookbook store that creates community and serves Sicilian sweets, is Salchipapas.
Not just the name of street food common to Latin America, Salchipapas is a free event series curated at 160 Huron Street’s increasingly bustling Archestratus on the last Friday of every month. The bookstore-cafe hosts local artists who show off various mediums while patrons peruse the store, buy a drink, or listen to the performers at hand. Sidelined bookshelves make room for ample seating (as they do for Archestratus’ Thursday evening blue plate dinners, another successful program the versatile space allows).
Last Friday’s Salchipapas, the fifth in its series, featured two poets, a guitarist, multiple videographers, a performance piece that both parodied and sympathized with girls on The Bachelor who walk away rose-less, and, of course, food.
“The whole point is to give my friends and people I meet a chance to show their work,” said Salchipapas’ coordinator and Archestratus employee Roy Hunter. “I enjoy getting everybody together, and I just hope people are happy at the end of it.”
The event’s ever-evolving setlist means patrons are in for a grab bag but, with such an array of art to enjoy, will likely not be disappointed. Videos ranged from the surreal—instructions for a child on how to make a sandcastle separated by trippy, monochromatic images of adult tools—to something more relatable, such as a montage of dogs filmed on a handheld. The poets (Nina Mashurova and Nora MacLeod) took different approaches to tackle similar themes: love in a lonely city, and the encroachment on self-discovery after ordeals gone sour. And the guitarist, a feisty and folksy singer who goes by Little Strike, bilingually beguiled the crowd with her tuneful and poignant hymns.
As for the food, it goes without saying you’ll always be satisfied at Archestratus. In addition to owner Paige Lipari’s decadent rainbow cookies and other seasonal treats, Hunter cooked up some cheesy corn cakes topped with cilantro and pickled onions while baker Lori Stern sold celebrity-inspired cookies featuring Dolly Parton, Prince, and a bat-wielding Beyoncé.
The event normally runs for three hours, with performances interspersed throughout and some guests staying after to enjoy a drink. For future events, follow Archestratus on Facebook or Instagram. Be warned: their photos of food are more tempting than cheap rent.
Archestratus is located at 160 Huron St. in Greenpoint.