Although the former Domino Sugar refinery on Kent Avenue does not lie in Greenpoint, the building and the firm that ran it, Havemeyer and Elder, cast a long shadow over local history. Having spent the summer researching the plant for my upcoming book The Rise and Fall of the Sugar King, it is hard to express how much suffering is associated with the refinery.
The plant, which was opened in 1858, employed thousands of Greenpointers over its almost a century-and-a-half of existence. Much of the reason that we have a Polish population today is because the refinery had a policy of hiring Slavic men, principally Polish, who could not recount to outsiders the misery that working in the plant entailed. They worked in horrendous conditions that we can scarcely imagine today. Continue reading →
The Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn is hosting a Town Hall meeting this Thursday November 2nd from 6:30pm-8pm, where folks can pow-wow about ideas for improving our parks, as well as discussing park programming like health and wellness events, movie nights, music and art events, historical and nature walks and food events. Here’s a recap from the 2016 Town Hall meeting. This Thursday’s meeting will be held at the McCarren Play Center (776 Lorimer Street), and includes a light buffet dinner and drinks.
When: Thursday, November 2, 6:30pm – 8pm Where: McCarren Play Center, 776 Lorimer (between Driggs and Bayard) Who: Neighbors who love their parks and want to see more parks and better-kept, safer parks with more programming Food and Drinks? Yes! A complimentary light buffet dinner and drinks will be served *Childcare will be provided RSVP:[email protected] (for headcount for food)
The French dance-pop group Yelle played sold-out shows this past weekend, packing the house at Rough Trade (64 N 9th St) on the Brooklyn stop of their Yelle Dance Party Tour. They filled the space with electric synth sounds topped with sweet-sounding vocals and over-the-top energy. The band was supported by the alt-pop Brooklyn-based duo Glassio for all three nights.
The très chic vocalist Julie Budet had the audience bouncing around, dancing and singing along in an obscure mix of French and something resembling French. One of their newly released singles ‘Interpassion‘, touches on their international appeal with lyrics, “Hey, I speak a little bit, you don’t understand, but I speak a little bit, and I’m sure you are my friend.” Crowd favorites, “Que veux-tu” and album namesakes “Safari Disco Club” and “Complètement fou”along with spurts of choreography got everyone pumped up. Continue reading →
The Park Church Co-Op was dimly lit, the stage awash with red and blue light. Meditative electronic new-age music played as the image of Jesus on the crucifix centered on the back wall looked over the scene. It may not seem like the most likely venue for a night of experimental jazz, but Pastor Amy Kienzle remarked that this event was part of the church’s larger event series that supports community art. And with Wawrzyniak being such an enthusiastic member of the church she felt it was important to support. She added that the church “believes in art and it being spiritually beneficial.” Continue reading →
West coast band Oh Sees (recently/formerly/still pretty much known as Thee Oh Sees) are bringing their special blend of crunchy noisy dirty dancy garage rock to Warsaw(261 Driggs Ave) on Saturday September 9th and Sunday September 10th. ($24 tickets here) If you’ve never seen them live, you are in for a bonkersrock out to ultra-legit rock n’ roll. Their jams are sweaty, powerful, and will most likely knock your socks off. They’re currently touring to support their latest album, Orc, which was released at the end of August. It’s total psychedelic garage trash, and that’s a good thing.
Lucky for you, we’re giving away two pairs of tickets to the Warsaw shows, one pair for each night. Fill out this form by 5pm on September 8th for a chance to win. Winners will be selected at random.
Modern ceramics are having a moment. North Brooklyn boutiques are fully stocked with cheeky (Group Partner‘s kitschy butt planters at Homecoming), spiritual (ivyivyivy‘s incense burners at M Carter) and primitive-chic (Matthew Ward‘s vessels at Home of the Brave) hand-crafted local ceramics. But there’s something truly timeless about the craft. Earth, fire, air and water: these elements are our world’s most ancient foundations, and ceramics is the only art form that makes use of all them. The Brooklyn Clay Tour is three days of exhibitions and events shining a spotlight on Brooklyn’s diverse and growing ceramics community. More than 200 clay artists are participating across Brooklyn in exhibits, demonstrations, artist talks, workshops, art sales, and culinary events. They’re also hosting a Finders Keepers ceramic treasure huntof 100 ceramic objects hidden across Brooklyn for the finder to keep.
Some of the North Brooklyn events happening over the weekend include:
Kids…gear up for fall! A new, exciting afterschool activity is coming to Brooklyn. SING BKLYN children’s choir is inspiring young musicians, grades k-4, to blend their voices and talents to create something beautiful together. “Kids need more opportunities to perform. Kids need more music. Kids need to sing. Kids need a chance to build relationships that require them to work, support and encourage each other,” says founder Mary Duncan Stein.
Mary’s well-established SING LIC choirs in nearby Long Island City have been so well-received that she wanted to share this special experience with kids in Greenpoint and Williamsburg. Continue reading →
Frankie Rose, an original member of Crystal Stilts, Dum Dum Girls and Vivian Girls, introduced her fourth album Cage Tropical at Baby’s All Right (146 Broadway) before she heads out on her US and European tour. Frankie’s performance was a shimmery 80s daydream: ultra-confident and unapologetic, yet she exuded a mellow energy. Her vocals were glimmery and ethereal. And, psychedelic projections that changed for each song—from an atomic bomb to flashing disco palm trees—set a powerful backdrop to her intoxicating voice. Continue reading →
Kate McQuillen greets me from the driveway of her charming and noteworthy Greenpoint house, directing me into the garage where her fluorescent printmaking studio is set up. Her companion Kassie, a sterling herding dog, is attentively surveying the area and happy to have another to look after. The inherent New York City ankle weights have already slipped away, leaving us to speak candidly in Kate’s kaleidoscopic space. While we talk, the garage door remains open and Kate periodically greets her neighbors passing by. I feel as if I have crossed a portal into an alternate dimension, or at least am no longer in the city.
Greenpointers: When were you first exposed to art as a child?
Kate McQuillen: My dad studied painting in graduate school, and during my childhood worked as a graphic designer in Boston. We always had an art studio in the house, which allowed me the opportunity to experiment with literal cut and paste tools like transfer paper. I’d imagine this is what initially pushed me into printmaking. I think of printmaking processes as the perfect place between design tools and fine art tools. I always had a lot of interest in drawing, but was never super into oil paint. I think my new work is taking on a form reminiscent of paintings, but I can still use the printmaking tools I’ve grown to know and love.Continue reading →