Attendees of the Greenpoint-based Himapan lotus leaf painting class depart with two things: a wall-ready piece of art and an almost alarming sense of zen. I don’t normally associate prolonged repetition with relaxation, and yet there it was—two and half hours of lightly painting, sponging and dabbing at leaf skin felt more therapeutic than therapy itself.
Lotus leaves symbolize purity of heart and mind. When stretched over a canvas to dry, they also create a unique texture for painting. It’s like paint by number, except beautifully serene and understated.
Even if you don’t like secondhand shops, if you’ve lived in Greenpoint long enough, you probably know about The Thing. The Thing is Greenpoint’s premier purveyor of castoff clothing, dated dishware and random tchotchkes. Oh yeah, and a million records, give or take.
The records are housed primarily in the store’s dank basement, where they live crammed into shelves and milk crates in no certain order. Universally priced at $2 a pop, dedicated diggers may find a gem or two worth much more than that.
I don’t collect records, but I do collect craft projects, so I headed to the Thing this weekend in search of one. Seeing all those records collecting dust inspired me to try my hand at the DIY record bowls I’d seen on Pinterest for ages now.