I met artist Richard Humann on a Queens-bound G train in the summer of 2015. He was reading a book about Chinatown and I asked him if it was good. It wasn’t, he noted, but we talked and we stayed in touch, sharing our memories and dreams of Brooklyn. He’s traveled the world for his award-winning art, but since 1985 Greenpoint has always been home. While he can’t recall creating any conscious odes to Greenpoint in his work, the neighborhood and its residents have undoubtedly influenced him in his decades here.
When he moved to Brooklyn from his hometown of Stony Point, New York (“I would say it’s like an hour north of the city but it’s a million miles away”) after college, he shacked up on Meserole Avenue. In the years since, he’s migrated a mere block over. “I never left,” he smiles. When he first moved to Greenpoint, Humann recalls that Williamsburg was considered a hotter area because it was more rough and tumble – south of 7th Street wasn’t considered safe. He had shows in both neighbs though, from the Minor Injury Gallery – one of North Brooklyn’s first as far as he’s aware – to Williamsburg’s Pan Arts gallery, both long closed.
He’s stayed put as the neighborhood changed over the years along with the rest of the borough and city. I spoke with him about his thoughts on gentrification, the bad old days, bygone businesses, and what the future holds for Greenpoint. Continue reading →
Given the constant deluge of disheartening headlines this year, we could all use a laugh, couldn’t we? Tara Jepsen, author of the newly released novel, Like a Dog (City Lights Publishers), plans to provide just that in conversation with Beth Lisick at WORD bookstore (126 Franklin St) today (December 5th) at 7pm.
“Even when we’re not living under a kleptocracy like we are now, my gift and what I always want to do is give people a soul-soothing moment,” Tara said. “I just hope to give people a little relief and make them laugh.”
Tara is an LA-based writer, actor, sketch comedian, and rad feminist skateboarder who has appeared on the Emmy-award winning series Transparent. She and Lisick have been collaborating on comedy projects together since 1999, including their original web series Rods and Cones, released by Jill Solloway on Wifey.tv, and their queer cabaret Sister Spit. Tara also, alongside Miriam Klein-Stahl, illustrator of the Rad Women book series, co-founded queer skateboard brand Pave the Way Skateboards. Despite years of writing short stories and comedy, Like a Dog is Tara’s debut novel.
“I thought since I was a little kid that I would be a novelist. When I was on tour with Sister Spit in the 90s I just started farting around and writing stories,” she said. “I’m a total fucking ham and always have been, so this just seemed like the natural evolution of what I’ve been doing.”
Lady & West is a duo of Greenpointers Jennifer Billiot and Kirk Garrett. It is a beautiful artistic union that has produced a very good debut album called Bright Soul. I enjoy it and I enjoyed even more the chance to hear about the synergy of love and shared creative passion that led Jennifer and Kirk to make the album. Their story is an inspiration on many levels and they are yet another example of the interesting, kind people that call our wonderful neighborhood home. Continue reading →
If you aren’t familiar with Greenpoint band Monuments, now is a perfect time to get to know them. They have a new album out called Brigadune, they play tonight at Cameo Gallery, and they did an interview with us. Check it out. Continue reading →
I am a big fan of writing and music, so anything that combines the two in an interesting way will get my attention. I was excited, then, to learn about a very cool creative endeavor called Singles Club, which mixes music and writing and much more. Continue reading →
We have another awesome Greenpoint woman’s tale to tell today. Sogoal Zolghadri’s talents as an artist and baker came to our attention through her roommate Nina’s glowing nomination:
Sogoal Zolghadri is not only a fantastic Greenpoint-based cookie decorator (and baker), but also an incredible watercolourist. Her cookies have been featured by Vogue, Martha Stewart, Free People, Nasty Gal, and countless blogs. She makes Greenpoint awesome by headquartering her incredible Sogi’s Honey Bakeshop here. Continue reading →
March is just a few days away, and it signals Women’s History Month. We want to honor this nationally recognized time period on a local level by meeting some of the women who make our neighborhood stronger and better. To do that, we need your help! We’ll be accepting nominations all month for the Greenpoint women you think we should know. Continue reading →
When we heard that Film Noir (10 Bedford Ave), our local destination for cult-favorite film rentals, had started handing out monthly flyers that curate a small selection of recommended films, we wasted no time in heading over to talk to owner Will Malitek about this refreshingly anti-technology customer service concept.
With the recent news that the Greenpoint video store Photoplay is closing today, our profile comes at just the right time to remind you that you have another excellent place to take your business. You might just learn something new when you stop by, too. Continue reading →
Since it’s Valentine’s Day, we are featuring two power couple in our series. First up – Flannery Foster and Ray Gonzales of goodyoga, an excellent place to flex some yoga muscle on Greenpoint Avenue. Continue reading →