By Melissa Loseby

About Melissa Loseby

Melissa Loseby is an Australian-born, Greenpoint-based entertainment publicist, writer and high-quality person.

Adventures on the Ramen Railroad—Ramen Popup at Budin

Daniel Birnbaum of Ramen Railroad, serving up ramen at Budin (114 Greenpoint Ave) on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from noon till 10pm. Photo by Melissa Loseby.

The Greenpoint restaurant scene offers a wealth of wonderfully diverse and exciting dining options, but for some reason, finding a soul-warming bowl of ramen has remained elusive. While the American ramen obsession has often been credited to chef David Chang and the bowls he started serving at Momofuku Noodle Bar, Japan has been riding a rollercoaster of emotion over ramen since it was brought to them by Chinese tradesmen in the nineteenth century.  Over the last few decades, Japan has created museums to ramen, ramen-themed video games and has even established ramen dating services to pair you with a partner who shares your passion for the dish.

Greenpoint is long overdue for its ramen moment.

While many would lament this culinary gap and continue to accept their fate of having to venture further afield for their broth, Greenpoint resident Daniel Birnbaum decided to take matters into his own hands. His passion for the hearty warming soup has lead him on a nourishing adventure which ultimately meant changing career paths in order to bring ramen to the neighborhood. Continue reading

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Review: Josh Ritter and The Royal City Band at Brooklyn Steel

Josh Ritter & The Royal City Band. Photo by Melissa Loseby.

Brooklyn-based singer songwriter, Josh Ritter and his Royal City Band, provided safe harbor from the storm at Brooklyn Steel (309 Frost St) during Sunday’s torrential downpour. The weather was a nice touch for a show supporting Ritter’s ninth full-length studio album, Gathering, an album Ritter has described as a “record full of storms”.

This is Ritter’s 20th year of playing and recording music and his latest album, while marking a departure from some of his more traditional folk roots by incorporating aspects of rockabilly and gospel, remains original, fresh and an organic next step. His songs across these nine albums span the full spectrum of the human experience, allowing his listeners to reach for one during a break up, one when experiencing the giddiness of new love, another when at a crossroads, but all with an undercurrent of optimism that leads you to believe that even when your heart is breaking, there’s a silver lining you just haven’t uncovered yet. It is likely that this is the reason that Sunday’s audience clearly felt such a strong connection to each word and poetic turn of phrase he performed on stage. Returning to Ritter’s music often feels like an old friend draping a warm and comforting blanket around your shoulders. Continue reading

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Greenpoint Tattoo Co. Makes its Mark with New Web Series, INK INC.  

Greenpoint Tattoo Co. - photo by Mitch Boyer
The dudes of Greenpoint Tattoo Co. — John Reardon, Dan Bowhers, Matt Bivetto — Photo by Mitch Boyer

John Reardon opened Greenpoint Tattoo Company on Meserole Street in 2011. With almost two decades of experience working in the US and around the world, Reardon has a lot of stories to go along with it. This is why on a sweltering Saturday morning before they open for the day, I sit down in the very New York shop—pressed tin ceilings, wooden floors, tattoo art-lined walls and a bookshelf full of design inspiration from Gray’s Anatomy to Japanese symbolism—to chat with Reardon, fellow Greenpoint Tattoo Co. artist Matt Bivetto and GPT client, writer and director Dan Bowhers, about their new observational workplace comedy web series, Ink Inc., which is premiering in mid-November.

Greenpointers: When did Greenpoint Tattoo Company open and where were you before GPT?

John Reardon: I opened it in 2011. I had had a private studio on North 7th Street and before that I worked at Saved [426 Union Ave]. I’d also opened a shop with my ex-wife in Copenhagen and I’d worked at other places around New York City.

GP: How did you get into tattooing originally?

JR: In 1996, it was still illegal in Massachusetts. I was going to Pratt and I thought it would be a good idea if I tattooed so that I didn’t have to go to Providence or New Hampshire. Continue reading

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Greenpoint’s Tom Tom Magazine Takes on the World

Tom Tom Magazine
Ladies of Tom Tom—Pippa Kelmenson, Mindy Abovitz Monk and Marisa Kurk. All photos by Mitch Boyer

In the seven years since its creation by founder and publisher Mindy Abovitz Monk, Greenpoint-based lady drummer publication Tom Tom magazine has gone from being a simple music blog to a media company consisting of a quarterly print issue, digital issue, website and creative collaborations and events with contributors from around the world. In their sun-drenched office in Greenpoint’s historic Pencil Factory, a metallic drum kit takes center stage, along with an oldschool ghetto blaster, brightly colored, hand-painted drumsticks (created by Mindy’s artist mother) and usually at least one office dog.

At a time when being a female drummer in some parts of the world can still lead to death threats or imprisonment, I sat down with Abovitz, her lead designer Marisa Kurk (featured on the cover of the magazine’s current Nepotism issue) and Pippa Kelmenson who runs the Tom Tom office to chat about music, their magazine serving as a metaphor for anyone wanting to do anything they’re told they can’t do and what being based in Greenpoint brings to their work.

Tom Tom Magazine - photo by Mitch Boyer

Greenpointers: How did Tom Tom start?

Mindy Abovitz Monk: In 2009, I was working at East Village Radio in the city and I had already been a drummer in New York for about seven years. I had volunteered at Rock Camp for Girls and I also experienced Riot grrrl as it was happening as a teenager and that had brought me to music in the first place. Around 2009 Riot grrrl was seeing a resurgence. People my age and people younger than me were becoming inspired by a movement that had already inspired me. It gave me anxiety thinking that possibly nothing had changed since I was a teenager in the effort to encourage girls and women to be the rock stars that we are. Continue reading

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