Culture

Thursday Spotlight: Meet Kweighbaye Kotee, Founder and CEO of Bushwick Film Festival

At her core, Kweighbaye Kotee is a community builder: she triumphantly brings together artists and audiences, neighborhood long-timers and newbies alike. Her talents coalesce most notably in the Bushwick Film Festival, her passion project that is celebrating its 11th anniversary October 11–14.  Greenpointers caught up with the local curator and filmmaker to discuss the morphing landscape of film, the partnerships she builds, and the side projects that continue to keep her busy.

Greenpointers: Do you live in Brooklyn, and if so where and for how long?
Kweighbaye Kotee: I have lived in Brooklyn for 14 years. Williamsburg for two and now Bushwick for 12.

GP: Can you talk a little about the genesis of the Bushwick Film Festival? And how many participating volunteers and films are there in the coming festival?
KK: I started the Bushwick Film Festival in 2007, while I was still in school at NYU. Initially, I really just wanted to share my love for indie film with other people in the neighborhood and celebrate filmmakers. Later on, I realized my position in the industry (female, immigrant, a woman of color) and wanted to do more. I began to use the festival as a place to bring people of all backgrounds together to connect through film. I also wanted to use our platform to help diversify the industry. This year, we plan to select about 100 films out of the 1,200+ films that submitted to the festival. Typically we have around 50 volunteers and interns who make it all happen. Continue reading

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AngelOnce and GoopMassta Come to Bushwick This Friday for a 3D Art Experience

AngelOnce and GoopMassta’s signature characters (see more on their Instagrams — @AngelOnce and @GoopMasta)

This Friday, 3rd Ethos Gallery presents “Pink and Green 2, The Hype Series,” a duo show featuring West Coast artists AngelOnce and GoopMassta who are collaborating in New York together for the first time. Leading to the opening reception on Friday  from 7 to 11 PM, the artists will be transforming the gallery space into a 3D experience of eye popping colors, retro themes, and animal prints.

“Pink and Green 2, The Hype Series” presents the artistic output of two critically acclaimed street-artists bringing a colorful second installment of their Pink and Green party in 3D. Along with a new collection of works, limited edition prints, patches, stickers, and pins will be available for purchase at the show and via the 3rd Ethos website.  Swing by the free event! RSVP (and find more info) below:

Pink and Green 2, The Hype Series in 3D by AngelOnce & GoopMassta
Presented by 3rd Ethos Gallery
Show runs from June 29 to July 29
154 Knickerbocker Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11237
Attendees can RSVP via the Eventbrite link here. No cost to register.
Gallery Hours: Tuesday–Sunday noon to 8 PM

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Greenpoint Goes Bang: Filming Explosions Scheduled For This Afternoon in Greenpoint (6/26)

MacGruber fireball, ©2010 Rogue Pictures
MacGruber, ©2010 Rogue Pictures

In case you hear some loud bangs or explosion noises going off in Greenpoint this afternoon, it’s due to scenes being filmed for Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. The planned explosions will be happening on Freeman Street between Franklin and West. It’s poppin’.

Acording to the Greenpoint Post, “The event will consist of air cannons breaking candy glass windows, and rubber debris dropping from roof level, police say. NYPD and FDNY will also be on site.”

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Food, Fashion, Art + Music Collide at Colony Incubator Popup (Sat. June 30)

Colony Popup

Colony Studios (67 West Street #515) is hosting a popup market with music, art, fashion and food this Saturday June 30th. The market will happen from 12-5pm, and the live performance segment will take place afterward. Expect vendors like: naturally dyed textiles from Tintoreria, Japanese fashion imports from Ambassador, ceramics from Alana Lauren, artwork by Shantastic, macarons from Woops!, Luisiana Luke’s Cajun food, Polish food from Polka Dot and music and performance art by Terry Lorvette.

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McCarren Pool Opens Tomorrow 6/27 + Here’s What it Looked Like in 2006

McCarren Pool Party, 2006. Photo: Megan Penmann
New condo construction looms in the background at this McCarren Pool Party, 2006. Photo: Megan Penmann

Splish splash, folks: McCarren Pool opens for the season tomorrow, Wednesday June 27th! Check this previous post for the pool rules and things you should know before you go.

If you are old enough and have lived in the ‘nabe long enough you might remember when McCarren Pool was a graffiti-ridden shell of its fully restored and aqueous splendor. From the 1980s through 2012 the pool sat vacant, unused with paint peeling. Those who lived in the neighborhood in the late 90s during the proto-hipster era might remember breaking into the pool to hang out and drink beers, light bottle rockets or do low-budget photo shoots. Then came the McCarren Pool Parties in the mid 2000s, presented by the now defunct party promotions company JellyNYC. The pool parties opened up the empty pool as a summertime venue, a low-budget outdoor hipster playground—complete with a slip n’ slide, ice cream man, dodgeball and a stage for bands to play. Continue reading

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The Karcher Hosts Pride-Themed Storytelling Event (with Dandelion Wine!)

June may be waning, but the Pride events keep a-comin’. On Friday, June 28, intimate hair salon The Karcher (760 Manhattan Avenue) is hosting a queer storytelling event with drinks and socializing to follow. Come to the second story hair boutique from at 8 PM this Friday for “What Happens to Boys In Chelsea, A Queer Story Told by Foster Lawrence.”

The Karcher has increasingly become a community events space, and this Friday will further bolster their efforts. The storytelling portion will last about 30 minutes, and then the guests will mingle and enjoy wine donated from the nearby Dandelion. The event will also provide attendees with information for how community members to get involved with SAGE, the country’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of older LGBTQ+ adults.

Stop by on Friday for good stories, good neighbors, and good wine!

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Salt+Charcoal on Bedford To Offer Nine-Course Tasting Menu on Tuesday

Guest Chef Hiroki Odo from the Michelin-starred Kajitsu with Salt+Charcoal’s Chef Tadaaki Ishizaki

Al fresco dining, light but filling fare, and a quieter pocket of Williamsburg: Salt+Charcoal offers it all with flare and flavors aplenty. Located on the corner of Bedford and Grand, this Japanese steakhouse is mercifully out of the weeds of the hectic Bedford Ave L Train buzz. (But at a healthy six-blocks distance, you can still feel part of the action.) And don’t let the steakhouse classification deter you: the vibe is smart-casual even as the attentive service uplifts it.

Salt+Charcoal serves Asian “temple” or “monk’s” food, which has recently been gaining notoriety— see the Chef’s Table episode on it — but in actuality, this shojin style is the foundation of all Japanese cuisine, and the purest form of Kaiseki-style dining.

Come Tuesday June 26, the restaurant is offering a one-of-a-kind experience that paradoxically bridges the world of shojin with that of Japanese dry-aged beef in a harmonious nine-course tasting event. 


Continue reading

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Thursday Spotlight: Tony Falcone Captures Portraits of L Train Commuters in the Face of Change

Photo by Tony Falcone

The L Train is closing, this we know. Brooklynites will relocate, biking will increase, businesses may shut down. It’s a great deal of change in an ever-changing borough, and no medium captures this evolution as well as photography.

Enter local artist Tony Falcone, whose portraits of neighbors and commuters will soon be relics of an L Train past. His simple and stirring photos depict people going about their lives — lives that soon will face fierce readjustment and perhaps unwelcome change. We caught up with Tony — a celebrated street photographer — to discuss his experiences and method in capturing his subjects, and a changing neighborhood.

Greenpointers: What inspired you to capture these portraits on the L?

Tony Falcone: It is a current issue that affects lots of people and businesses who had moved to neighborhoods near the L line because of the quick and easy commute to Manhattan. The L Train is a big reason why neighborhoods like Williamsburg grew to what they are now. Continue reading

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Brooklyn Based’s Williamsburg Immersion Includes 5 FREE Beers and More for $15 (Sat 6/23)

For the past eight summers Brooklyn Based and Brooklyn Brewery have produced a series of Saturday afternoon crawls that hit up the best bars, restaurants and shops in neighborhoods across Brooklyn. Incredibly, they’ve never held one of these Immersions in the Brewery’s own neighborhood, until now. Their first-ever Total Williamsburg Immersion is Saturday, June 23.

Not only will Immersion goers get free Brooklyn Brewery beers at four great local bars and cash in on food and retail deals, attendees will also be among the first to see the Brewery’s brand-new tasting room, where they’ll be serving complimentary brews there, too.

Your $15 tickets include 5 FREE Brooklyn Brewery Beers plus specials and discounts throughout the day. Buy tickets here! Continue reading

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Greenpoint Scavenger Hunt This Saturday! (6/23)

This Saturday, June 23rd  you can compete in a scavenger hunt all over Greenpoint! At 2pm, you can pick up a challenge list from BklynQuest in Father Jerzy Popielsko Square (the little triangle park in between Nassau Ave & Bedford Ave, across from McCarren), and assemble your team of 5-10 people. Expect the challenges to involve eating, drinking and “general tomfoolery”. You can check out the #bklynquest IG tag to see examples of challenges from past events. It costs $20 to compete (only one ticket needed per team to compete), and you can come alone or with a friend and they’ll put you on a team. There’ll be prizes and drinks for the winners and a closing ceremony at a TBD venue in the ‘hood.

RSVP on Facebook Continue reading

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