Culture

Food for Thought (and Humor) in The Bushwick Starr’s “[porto]”

“[porto]” at The Bushwick Starr. Photo by Marina McClure.

It serves pickled pomegranate, fried chickpea, and grilled sage.

No, it’s not the organic/gluten-free/farm-to-table market down the street; it’s the rustic gastropub in The Bushwick Starr’s (207 Starr St.) new play [porto] though based on Brooklyn’s artisanal food scene trends, these bites might soon appear on your go-to bar’s menu. And like those snacks, the play is a concoction of the satirical, savory, and flat-out strange.

[porto] is part of this year’s (and the second annual) Exponential Festival, a theatrical series promoting works created in New York and performed in Brooklyn. Kate Benson’s funny, meandering, and world-premiere play centers on Porto, a young woman for whom the hipness of Brooklyn’s cultural and foodie offerings has perhaps grown dull.

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How To Survive Inauguration Weekend In North Brooklyn

Broken Land Planned Parenthood Benefit

Fact: the 45th President of the United States will be sworn in tomorrow, January 20th. Here are some events happening locally to dull the pain and help you cope.

Trump, Keep Out: A Planned Parenthood Benefit | Thurs. Jan. 19 | 7pm
Broken Land | 105 Franklin St
Celebrate the last day of Obama’s presidency with an Inauguration Eve party! All proceeds from the bar and raffle sales during the event will be donated to Planned Parenthood. FREE. RSVP
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‘What A Joke’ Comedy Festival to Raise Money for ACLU

OK. Tomorrow is the inauguration. We have all kinds of feels. And if this past election has showed us anything, it’s that we can and will strategically come together to support, defend, edify, forgive one another, and even laugh out loud in the midst of heartbreaking confusion.

Brooklyn comedians Emily Winter and Jenn Welch are doing just that with What A Joke – a national comedy festival which spans across 34 US cities, includes 86 shows, and gives all the ticket sales proceeds to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Like the hat? 10% of the sales proceeds go to ACLU No joke.

The NYC shows are happening right down the street at the Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Ave.) and Rough Trade (64 N. 9th St.) on Friday and Saturday. And the festival kicks off in Manhattan tonight at The Stand, and includes a happy hour and silent auction. The lineups are full of a number of headliners like Nikki Glaser, Dave Hill, and ‘Comedy Central’s Comics to Watch’ sketch team, the Astronomy Club, among a whole lot more. (Side note: Rough Trade is having another benefit for the ACLU and Planned Parenthood tonight with a nice little music lineup).

We got the chance to ask Emily Winter (co-founder), a few questions about the festival and discuss why good comedy is no joke. Continue reading

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Thursday Spotlight: Heather Garland

HeatherGarland_Greenpoint_Greenpointers_cmesarina.jpg
Heather Garland at her studio, wearing Starhawk Designs

Heather Garland has been making art in Greenpoint since 2005, and as an artist she’s evolved alongside the neighborhood’s own transformation. Garland, a graduate of Pratt Institute, is a skilled and talented painter who blends her classic art background with the world of found objects.

Garland is fascinated by the functionality of objects and how their value changes when you consider their worth solely as art pieces. She mentioned an example: the bowl you place your cereal in literally feeds you, while an artistic bowl you might hang on a wall will feed your soul. Initially she started exploring painting on plates as a way to give herself a break from doing larger scale paintings.

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Abortion, photo by Maggie Shannon, courtesy of Honey Ramka

Garland’s first plates were done quite fast, as a way to get a quick hit of satisfaction as she pursued pleasure through making artwork. Now her plates tend to be more intricate. Following this pursuit of pleasure coupled with her intellect, Garland assigns these plates a deeper value than their inherent functional one.

The titles of her works add a layer of meaning to the plates—like Abortion, a flower-like, fringe-infused plate artwork that is a part of the Nasty Woman exhibition at Knockdown Center (52-19 Flushing Ave.), curated by Garland’s friend, Roxanne Jackson. 

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A Greenpointer who Survived Pearl Harbor

screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-10-36-47-amLast year on December 7th marked the seventy-fifth anniversary of one of the most momentous days in American history—the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, in which more than two thousand four hundred American military personnel were killed and which led the United States into World War II.

screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-11-05-45-amGreenpointer and United States Navy Botswain John Hogan was there that fateful Sunday morning. The twenty-one year old had enlisted in 1939 and was below deck on his ship, the submarine Sumner, which was moored at Pearl’s submarine base. Appropriately enough for a local boy, Hogan was reading the local newspaper, the Greenpoint Star, when he heard commotion on the deck and the alarm ring to report to general quarters. The Sumner was about to go down in history and Hogan would witness it. Hogan saw a group of Japanese torpedo planes flying low preparing to attack battleship row. The gun crew from the Sumner opened fire and took down a Japanese torpedo bomber, the first Japanese plane shot down by the surprised American forces in the war. Continue reading

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North Brooklyn History: Creating McCarren Park

McCarren Park site images, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle - May 5, 1901
McCarren Park site images, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle – May 5, 1901

We take the green space that today is McCarren Park for granted, but it was not always a park. Once the ground that the park now occupies had its own streets and factories. A May 5, 1901 article in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle showed the buildings that were to be condemned to create the park, but it was not just buildings that needed to be condemned. The whole street pattern of the neighborhood had to be changed. Some streets like Jane Street were forever wiped off the map. Others like North 12th, N.13th, N. 14th and Dobbin and Guernsey were cut. Continue reading

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Today’s Friday The 13th Tattoo Shop Specials!

Evil & Love Tattoo Friday The 13th Jan 2017

If you’re tatted up at all, you probably know about the Friday the 13th tradition shops have for offering relatively cheap flash (pre-designed) artwork. I’ve met a few people who only have tattoos from Friday the 13th flash sales—it’s a look that either says “I’m too cheap for a sleeve,” or “I don’t give a fuck what you think.” Honestly, though I appreciate a beautifully-designed back piece, I’m a fan of the miniature bodyart form that is flash. Here’s some local shops who are offering deals today. Be prepared to wait in line.

Evil and Love | 211 Franklin St.
$30-$100 tattoos from 1-9pm. Come by for cheap tattoos, $200 raffle and good company. Re post and tag us to enter the raffle. We’ll be taking walk-ins all day and have tons of flash to choose from!

Adam J. Machin's flash specials at Three Kings Tattoo
Adam J. Machin’s flash specials at Three Kings Tattoo

Three Kings Tattoo | 572 Manhattan Ave.
@dave_ball will be tattooing special designs from his Black Book, as a “Black Friday the 13th” special! Stop by our Brooklyn shop and check out what Dave’s got in his spooky Black Book! Also @adamjmachin will be offering some special flash designs from 1pm til 10pm! Each piece is $130 and are sized as is. Tattoos will be done on a first come, first served basis, so be sure to get here early! Continue reading

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Thursday Spotlight: Illustrator Jen Keenan

Jen Keenan - Greenpoint print
Jen Keenan – Greenpoint print

Greenpoint illustrator Jen Keenan’s work is both cheerful and comforting in its handcrafted imperfection. Inspired by vintage children’s books, animals, our awesome neighborhood, and more recently our country’s political climate, her work brings you into a world that radiates strength and positivity. Proceeds from prints on her site will be donated to help fund the NYC chapter of the post-inaugural Women’s March on Washington next weekend January 21st.

GP: What do you love most about Greenpoint?

Jen: “I really love the little historic blocks in Greenpoint. A lot of the neighbors sit out on their stoops in the summer, and we all stop and chat while the dogs briefly play. Every August there is a Calyer Street block party organized by some of the neighbors who grew up along Calyer. Everyone sets out tents and food and pitches in money for a food truck and waterslide /bouncy gym for the kids. It’s nice to have a bit of that quaint charm and friendly neighbor vibe. It makes you forget you live in such a big city.” Continue reading

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Calling All Crafters: Brooklyn Craft Co. Is Hiring Teachers!

Brooklyn Craft Co. Photo: Patty Scull
Inside Brooklyn Craft Co.’s space – Photo by Patty Scull

It’s a new year, which means it’s a good time to reset with new career goals and aspirations. If you’re handy with a needle and thread or a paintbrush, you may be in luck—Brooklyn Craft Co. (165 Greenpoint Ave.) is seeking some new instructors.

Per Brooklyn Craft Co: “If you teach crafts / DIY and you’re based in the NYC area, we want to hear from you. We are seeking paid instructors in the following subjects:

  • Garment Sewing
  • Crochet
  • Quilting
  • Painting & Art
  • Macrame
  • Loom Weaving
  • Cross Stitch
  • Embroidery
  • Drop Spindle Yarn Spinning
  • Dyeing

Brooklyn Craft Co looking for teachersTO APPLY: Please email hello [at] brooklyncraftcompany.com with the following:

  • Tell us about yourself, including your background in the area you want to teach, and online links to your current work (such as your blog, Etsy shop, Instagram, etc).
  • A brief description of 1-3 workshops you would like to teach with us, including a description of what you would cover in class and the finished project students would make.”

Brooklyn Craft Co. is located at 165 Greenpoint Ave. Follow them on Instagram.

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Bad Boys of the Past: The Notorious Gangs of North Brooklyn History

A 1924 mugshot from Australia. Credit NPR, NSW Police Forensic Photography Archive, Justice & Police Museum, Historic Houses Trust of NSW

Think that North Brooklyn was a safer place back in the good old days? Think again! In the second half of the 19th century, North Brooklyn had many notorious gangs and hard-core hoods. Here are some of the most infamous local gangs of yesteryear.

The Battle Row Gang – This gang, which had an almost two-decade-long life starting in 1870, was in the words of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle “composed of the scum of the Fourteenth Ward (Williamsburg).” known as “fighters and rowdies,” they lurked at “Crow” McGoldrick’s saloon on Union Avenue and North First Street. They became notorious in July of 1871 when gang member Henry Rogers killed Brooklyn Police officer Donoghue and was hanged for the murder. In June of that year, two factions of the gang fought with “pistols, knives, fists and slingshots. The battle raged,” furiously and unrestrained” for thirty minutes. One dying member, Patrick Cash, asked to name his assailants, replied “I’d die with the name of the fellow in my throat, before I’d give him away.” You can read more about these scumbags in the Daily Eagle archives here and here. Continue reading

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