This weekend, Greenpoint played host to the first ever Brooklyn Dirty Book Fair. The event, presented by MATTE Magazine, lasted all day Saturday and Sunday at Point Green Studio (260 Java St), and featured not only titillating books, zines and gifts for sale, but also cheeky performance art (including a cake sitting performance by Lindsay Dye), music and more.
“What happens to all of the pages that people put under the bed?”
That is a question that artists Melissa Hunter Gurney and Chris Carr asked themselves during the months before they birthed GAMBAZine, an international publication rooted in Greenpoint and Bushwick.
From the beginning, Gurney says that GAMBA had an activist slant. The duo wanted to create a literary magazine free of the politics and favoritism rampant in mainstream publications.
“Sometimes it feels like your bio has to look a certain way,” Gurney says. But she explained that she and Carr didn’t want to choose work based on writers’ previous publications, literary accolades, or university degrees.
In the spring of 2014, they founded GAMBAZine. The name came from Gambazini, a mythical island that Gurney had dreamt about months earlier. Continue reading
The Food Book Fair was this past weekend at the newly opened Wythe Hotel. When I think of fair I think of tractor pulls, farm animals, funnel cakes, and a lot of hoopla. I expected the Food Book Fair to be convention style, with tables, shwag, food samples, commotion. Instead there was a tiny and well curated “book store” in a nook in the hotel lobby, and talks and panel discussions were held in a beautiful ballroom. Food was for sale, and looked outstanding. And there were expensive dinners each evening. Hoopla came in the form of a pigeon sneaking into the event and making a raucous and flying up into the projector screen. The beast wrangler in me caught the scared bird and released it.
Over the weekend I attended 6 talks, which were well organized, very informative and hosted by leaders and innovators in the field of food, writing, cooking, publishing and technology. All were followed by book signings. I left with a wealth of knowledge and a brain full of inspiring ideas.
More public access, in the form of free events, and food samples is something I hope they improve upon for the next fair. Important info about the food industry as well as resources for hopeful food writers shouldn’t come at a price. That being said, I am sure a 3-day long event at the Wythe hotel was costly.
What follows is a brief summary of each talk I attended.