Are there noises in your apartment that go bump in the night? Perhaps a shadow darting out of the corner of your eye? A phantom touch? Or, perhaps it felt like someone, or something else, was with you…but West Street was oh-so-empty.
Enter the Brooklyn Paranormal Society, a collective of spooky enthusiasts that seek out Brooklyn’s most haunted spots. I joined the group on August 9th to see what might be lurking in the dark in our neighborhood. Would I encounter other-worldly apparitions? Lost souls? Fragmented shapes and dark shadows? Or maybe a disembodied voice or two…
It was certainly a frightful night with all things spooky. In a word, it was totally-me and I was ready to go ghost busting. Continue reading →
Thursday night, the Museum of Food and Drink (62 Bayard St), a Greenpoint-based non-profit dedicated to examining culinary culture, was alive with the sound of crickets. Except by “sound of crickets” we actually mean the sound of insect delicacies being sampled by guests. MOFAD recently launched a learning series named Spring Spirits, which takes a deep look into special spirits, the process of creating them, and the food that goes along with them. Their first event gave the spotlight to a spirit that is becoming quite poplar: tequila’s smokier, more artisanal oriented cousin, mezcal. Before the tasting portion of the event began, Danny Mena, a top-rated Mexican chef at Hecho En Dumbo, spoke bout mezcal’s fascinating history, which dates back 200 years. He spoke about the process of making mezcal, the life of an agave plant (it’s nocturnal, like many North Brooklynites) and the different regions of Oaxaca that produce mezcal. Mena also discussed ancient traditions of Mexican food, which include learning to love eating insects and the many uses of corn.
The second half of the event involved tastings from three different mezcal makers and munching on crunchy bug-topped bites. The insects that were left in tact to eat as-is were a little hard to swallow, but most of the tasters could get behind the insect salsa as well as sal de gusano, which is a salt made with worms that you are encouraged to dip an orange slice in—definitely a few steps up from an ordinary chaser. Continue reading →
Made Real Vodka proclaims that it’s for the “the makers, the moonlighters, and the hustlers.” If their events are any barometer, Made Real gets that life — the life of the freelancer, the wanderluster, the foodie, the free-spirited fashionista.
The vodka company’s recent events include a superfun cheesemaking class with the chef of Humboldt & Jackson, a cocktail-making class with talented mixologist Rachel Kim of the NoMad, and an upcoming Thursday, March 24th Made Real Connections open bar, shopping event and fashion panel with Hannah Dilworth, the owner of Williamsburg store Concrete + Water.
We got to attend a Made Real event and taste-test the vodka, which is warm, spicy and a touch sweet from its honey distillation, rather than cool and aloof like some vodkas (we’re not naming any names here). It was smooth and didn’t bite when consumed neat, and fun and easy to mix with. After the event, we got to chat with Nicole Williams, Made Real’s Head of Brand (and formerly a marketing girlboss at big names like Nastygal and NYLON), to get the scoop on what’s behind this beautiful bottle.
City of Daughters offers specialty cocktail goods handcrafted by cocktail experts from Elsa in New York City. And these same folks will be opening a bar in Greenpoint this month called Ramona (113 Franklin St).
Their product – Elsa’s Rose Hip Grenadine – will instantly enhance and refine your cocktail experience – making it the perfect gift for cocktail lovers and budding mixologists on your gift list this year.
Don’t settle for just any grenadine. Using the highest quality, natural and organic ingredients, City of Daughters has infused homemade pomegranate syrup with a delicate blend of rose hips and petals to create the perfect addition to any home bar and kitchen.
I’ll admit that I walked into Beloved a little ready to hate on it. When I passed by the newly opened space a few nights earlier, I peered in through the gray doors painted with the name of this new place that inhabits the recessed cave that used to belong to the denizens of Stones Tavern thinking that this was just a bar hurriedly wedged into an odd middle space in Greenpoint. A bar like a street-fair goldfish: short-lived. Best not to get too attached.
Entering, I passed a sign out front promising ‘gangster times’ to be had within. If the times of a gangster include:
Amazingly delicious original cocktails,
Friendly, laid back times, and
staying 2+ drinks longer than you meant to just because,
then yes, Beloved delivered on the promise of ‘Gangster Times.’ While I can’t say there will always be donuts waiting there for you, talking to René, designer of the cocktail list, and Vivek, one of the owners, suggested that what you will reliably find is a bar that honestly cares about what they’re serving you. They believe that they’re not settling by focusing on just being a solid place to drink, and while there were certainly hints about parties in the future – a DJ booth may one day soon occupy a back corner, and the yard has serious potential – Vivek suggested that Beloved has no intention of becoming an ‘event space.’ The focus is on a killer cocktail list, a well-designed interior sporting luxe wallpaper and custom lighting, and bartenders who actually seem to want you to enjoy your time there. I love being wrong sometimes.
On “this side” of McGuinness, Grapepoint Wines opened. At the grand opening, I chatted with Joanna, a young entrepreneur and wine shop owner.
The party was packed with family and friends, who were giving Joanna a warm welcome, but not to the neighborhood. Joanna, grew up all the way over in Williamsburg, where her family has owned a laundromat for over 30 years. Since she is of Polish descent, Joanna explained that she spent a lot of time over here in Greenpoint. After an inspiring trip to Spain, and with the entrepreneur gene in her blood, she knew she wanted to become a wine shop owner, and cheers to Joanna because she is doing it, right around the corner!
The shop has a well priced variety of wines that are sensibly displayed, plus local wines, like Brooklyn Oeneology. Joanna was generous enough to donate a surprise gift to the Love Bird’s Valentine’s Market this Saturday. (I wonder what it will be?) Look forward to regular wine tasting and I hope a rotating display of artwork.