This time last year marked birth of Ars Poetica, the experiential entertainment company that “brings words to life” as Founder Lisa Markuson, who was also born on this day describes. Within one year, Ars Poetica has grown to 35 artists, over 200k followers on Instagram, and has been booked by reputable institutions like the New York Times. And while their services span across the U.S. and beyond to places as far as the U.K., they’re Greenpoint-based at their core. You may have noticed Lisa and other Ars Poetica writers with their vintage typewriters doling out free custom poems and tarot at one of the 2019 Greenpointers markets. Or you may have seen Lisa pop up around the neighborhood under the umbrella of the Haiku Guys + Girls, which she co-founded and previously ran for several years.
My own story with Lisa goes back to the end of 2014, just three days before I officially closed on the purchase of Greenpointers, and I was looking for some respite from a tense personally challenging few months. The only other person inside Milk & Roses was Lisa and while I can’t remember the entirety of our conversation back then, I do remember that I received a handwritten haiku and a small glimpse into my future for the next few years. Lisa was the first of many complete strangers who would enter my life through Greenpointers. Almost five years later, we circled back to the place where we first met and talked about what transpired during that time period. Back then, Lisa was working in a bike tour company and doing haikus on the side. Now, she is a solo entrepreneur having surpassed her projected revenue within the first year and has been featured by outlets as large as CNN and Bustle for her work.
Ars Poetica is inspired by but not limited to poems. “We are going to provide a completely one of kind element to your event that’s going to make it unforgettable, make it notable, make it something that is going to help people connect better according to Lisa:
“The kind of need that we fill is twofold. One is that something to do at the party that’s not just eating and drinking. It’s also a completely custom memento or souvenir from the night. As I’ve grown the company, diversify what we do, represent other artists, it really comes down to bringing words to life.”
Being consistent with exercise has never come easy to me. Even though I like the exhilarating feeling of a good post-workout sweat, it’s getting up and actually going that is my challenge. My mind would make up all kinds of excuses to avoid going to the gym, everything from the bad weather to just not feeling like it, but mostly I would tell myself that I don’t have time.
The fact that for several years, I’ve managed to go to [email protected] (31 Nassau Ave) at least once per week is a telltale sign of its appeal. I find [email protected] to be a warm, welcoming environment that distinguishes itself from your run-of-the-mill commercial gyms, and their signature Introversion Training whips me into shape in 30 minutes.
Self-proclaimed as a”Zen Chill Zone,” I can say from personal experience that [email protected] feels like a wellness sanctuary, rooted in the neighborhood but with elements reminiscent of exotic parts of the world. After a long week of work, I come here, push my muscles into exhaustion in the most meditative way. Continue reading →
I hardly noticed when NYC’s gritty vibe, with graffiti ubiquitously peppering the subways, started fading away. I notice it more now, now that it has devolved into the realm of nostalgia, of how things used to be, and reemerged into a respected art form – enough to have mass-market appeal and allow a rebellious kid who went around tagging up to grow up and make a career out of these once seemingly aimless interests.
“Beyond The Streets,” an exhibition celebrating “street art, graffiti, and beyond” is the brainchild of Roger Gastman, born from his affinity for counter-culture. Underlying the grandiose scale at which the works of 150 artists show in over 100,000 sq ft of space at Williamsburg’s Twenty Five Kent, is a personal homage to the excitement and allure of those formative years that buttressed the evolution of his passions into a sold-out show in L.A. In its NYC debut, the array of art including new works from widely recognizable names like Shepard Fairey, show alongside ephemera for context and memorabilia from Roger’s personal collection.
The juxtaposition of underground and mainstream, of play and profound, sets a unique experience of discovery that appeals to visitors of all ages. One minute you stumble upon a collection of graffiti-ridden model trains by Tim Conlon and the next minute you will find yourself immersed in a beautiful installment of flowers by DabsMyla. The majority of artwork has been made exclusively for the show, and for those of us who are locals you might see some familiar names – FAILE, whose mural dons the brick wall in Transmitter Park, is one of the participating artists.
This past November, we announced that Northern Territory would be hibernating for the winter and planned to reopen this Spring (as in now) for their final year at the corner of Franklin and Meserole Avenue before the building is razed for new development. Sadly, Nothern Territory will remain officially closed.
For longtime Greenpointers, Ovenly (31 Greenpoint Ave.) needs no introduction. It’s the natural pit stop on your way over to Transmitter Park, where you can enjoy a quiet moment, and take in the scents of freshly baked sweets and treats. The bakery has a cozy neighborhood vibe that everyone loves and everything there never disappoints. When you receive their signature decadent Brooklyn Blackout cake for your birthday or special occasion, you know someone really loves you. So we were so excited to learn that their much-anticipated Studio ONE54 space was launching with a debut class teaching how to decorate an Ovenly Brooklyn Blackout cake.
I’m more of a cake eater than a cake decorator so I wasn’t sure what to expect but here are some key takeaways from this experience: Continue reading →
Have you walked by Ovenly’s second space at 154 Franklin St. yet and wondered what’s going on? Well, here’s the scoop: They just announced the launch of Studio ONE54 and is now offering baking classes and an event space.
With a full kitchen in the front and a private backyard patio, you can gain some baking skills taught by one of their in-house instructors or guest chefs. Their debut class will feature none other than their signature Brooklyn Blackout cake, where you will learn how to frost and pipe your own 6-inch, two layer cake in just about two hours. And the icing on the cake? Getting to go home with some scrumptious well-earned treats. Continue reading →
In 1996, when his family emigrated from Poland with hopes of a better life, 7 year old Adam Kownacki started life in America in a house on Russell Street and enrolled in P.S. 34. “We came in, didn’t speak the English language, we had a hard time adapting to the culture,” said younger brother Lukasz. And Greenpoint wasn’t like how it is now back then, according to Adam’s other brother Pawel. “It was rough. If you walked into the wrong part of the neighborhood, you got beat up.”
Adam was not only the new kid in town but also “heavyset” and became a target for bullying. Why would anyone pick on a big guy, I wondered. “I know a lot of big kids, they’re soft. They don’t want to hurt anybody so many people, as they do with adults, mistake kindness for weakness,” said Adam’s trainer Keith Trimble. Indeed, Adam Kownacki, nicknamed “Babyface” is soft-spoken and has a cherubic demeanor that belies his fierce fighting skills in the boxing ring – With two Golden Gloves, an undefeated record, and a string of knock-out wins, Adam is on his way towards being the first Polish-American heavyweight champion of the world. Continue reading →
If you like raw fish, salads, and the kind of sweetgreen experience that let’s you pick and choose your ingredients, we have some good news for you: We have our first poke bowl joint in the hood.
Greenpoint is a little late in the fad, and sure it’s probably your run-of-the-mill trendy version of the traditional Hawaiian dish but a new set of friendly faces braving the risks of brick and mortar food small business ownership is welcome over another empty storefront.
Give Poké Zest (629 Manhattan Ave) a shot and tell us what you think.
If you didn’t get a chance to check out the local art here in the historic Leviton building during last year’s Greenpoint Open Studios, here’s a good reason to venture out to 276 Greenpoint Ave before the next one on June 2-3 (Mark your calendars!): Greenpoint-based artist, CJ Hendry’s MONOCHROME is an immersive art installation where you can wander through seven rooms, designed in high saturation Pantone colors. Our favorite color, is of course the green kitchen.
Follow the yellow dots into a dark industrial hallway to the freight elevator, which will eventually open up into an expansive raw warehouse space that hosts the makeshift rooms. Continue reading →
Today is a sad day for Greenpoint as one of its best cultural icons will be closing down for good – but not before one last hurrah tonight (January 8, 2018). After 15 years of being in business in 544 Manhattan Ave, Bar Matchless is unceremoniously shutting its doors after receiving a letter in the mail that the Sheriff is coming this Thursday, January 11th to enforce their eviction.
Free drinks tonight for volunteers who can help move Bar Matchless out. If you are available Tuesday, January 9th and/or Wednesday, January 10th, fill out the form and come say your goodbyes!
There was an outpouring of support for Bar Matchless after we reported that its future was precarious last week. Greenpointers’ responses ranged from anger & frustration to heartbreak & sadness about this loss. Here are a few from over 140 comments on our Instagram post about it: Continue reading →