Excuse me, but winter is here and baby, it’s cold outside. November’s weather brought everything from flurries and snow and frigid gusts of winds that made me want to warm up inside our one of our local coffee shops. Inside, I heard sounds that captured an ominous winter spirit. Looks like we’ll be inside for a while with something hot between our hands.
From the Specials to The Budos Band, these songs were curated over the last month from the spaces of Upright, Charlotte Patisserie, Variety, Propeller , Spina.
What does fall feel like? Even more, what does it sound like? As the fall season has eased into our Greenpoint days, so has its musical aesthetic and the charm of falling for something. Whether it’s respite from a long 9-5 day, a midday meet-up, or a weekend window seat overlooking street benches while watching cars pass along Nassau Avenue, these are the songs that inspired a falling for being inside a coffee shop. The songs were curated over the last month from the spaces of: Café Edna, Café Grumpy,Spina, Propeller and Tar Pit.
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An entrance inside Café Edna in Greenpoint feels like you might as well have floated in. In addition to being greeted by the smell of brewed coffee, baked goodness, there’s art at your right peripheral. Currently, some of it originates from the mind and the love of artist Danielle Calibrid. Greenpointers inquired about her pieces – black, white and full of color – and the conversation with her was a trip we welcomed.
Taste Talks, a two-day conference on Brooklyn Food and Drink, announced its curatorial voice with April Bloomfield (of the Spotted Pig) at its helm. The event, which took place on September 14th & 15th, brought notable food, chefs and taste makers together in a bevy of curated panels, discussions, workshops, and cookouts.
Among the roster of activities, I signed up for three panels and Cook it Raw, a collaborative outdoor event where chefs worked together to create a meal using locally-sourced ingredients and as little electricity as possible – all in under 6 hours. Below are highlights from each, including quotes to add to the Brooklyn culinary repertoire.
Propeller Coffee (984 Manhattan Ave) is among the wonderful coffee shop lineage on Manhattan avenue. Its progenitor, Clare Spikerman gave birth to it with specific intention, an homage to the places she’s been and the people she’s known. The places that patrons of Propeller will go aren’t left to just be talk across the counter, but talk of the cafe’s wall. Greenpointers spoke with Spikerman about the budding collection of postcards behind the counter – which she’ll admit, mostly come from her mother – but that’s starting to change.
GP: What does a postcard mean to you?
Clare: I guess it’s like someone thinking about you. It’s a token of a person, a place and a time, like a placeholder.
On Labor Day, the sun shone, the clouds showed, and then the showers – showered. None of which hindered the style of coffee shop goers. On a stroll along Manhattan Avenue, a vibe of ease and labor-less street style was easily identifiable. From sitting solo in a rock easy chair alfresco or huddle for an up-close-and-personal – this was coffee street style on a labor-less Monday.
Somewhere between clouds and sun, the end of summer in Greenpoint brought on a longing. A longing for more sun when thunderstorms seem to rain on and on.
While the nature of summer played its role, Greenpointers were seen inhabiting coffee shops seeking shelter from storms at window seats (Champion Coffee); watching the streets darken as clouds amassed, hearing vinyl play as something nostalgic in the presence of affogato [Toby’s Estate Coffee via Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream]; in an intimate cubby-hole while the midday sun warmed an interior (Variety Coffee), stopping to smell flowers blooming near coffee brewing [Spina], and catching sunlight shining through the front door of [Achilles Heel.]
Through it all, Greenpointers had music, a beautiful diaspora of music I might say shining a bright cultural light of its own. Curated from the above spaces, ‘Looks like The Sun” is a playlist for your listening and coffee drinking pleasure. And now, play.
Achilles Heel (180 West St) is near everything and nothing all at once. Anchored by the East River and bolstered by Manhattan Avenue, this coffee shop and bar plays with the duality of identities at the intersection of West St and Green St. The fair-weathered hanging sign outside makes you feel like you’ve entered a 19th century saloon where a good time is about to be had. But you soon realize that you’ve walked into a part of Brooklyn so off the development map, that there isn’t a condo or high-rise in sight – for now. You’re in the unmapped territory of cool and undiscovered.
Sadly, the uncharted location is one of the reasons the cafe will no longer be serving coffee as of Monday, August 19th.
On my impromptu visit, I was charmed by the option to take a window seat on a low lying stool, grab an L-shaped wooden bench at a centered table, or hideaway in a recessed nook and revel in pleasant solitude.Continue reading →