Any beer geek is living in heaven right now. New York City is home to over 50 breweries, while the state has over 150 microbreweries and over 130 farm breweries. The vast majority of these breweries came into existence during the last decade. There’s now a LOT of beer being brewed pretty close to home, and many are widely available throughout the city. The year is filled with events to celebrate such bounty and one of the best festivals starts today with New York City Beer Week.
The nonprofit NYC Brewers Guild is behind the annual New York City Beer Week. The NYC Brewers Guild works as an advocate for its members, helps grow the craft beer industry, and throws events like this. They help with everything from needing niche ingredients or brewing help to getting involved with local, state, and federal policies. New York City Beer Week is their “8-day celebration of good beer” and more than a few events will be taking place in North Brooklyn and LIC, including NYC’s first Fermentation Festival ($20) tomorrow at the Brooklyn Expo Center on Noble St @ Franklin St. Here’s a rundown of everything going on close to home, and apparently, we can expect more than a few tipsy souls belting out ABBA. Continue reading →
Lost Valley is named after a place in the mountains of Maine that Williamsburg musician Nick Crane used to go skiing as a kid; he liked the phrase’s sense of mystery and that it also conjures up a feeling of magic. And it just effortlessly sounds like a band name, the same way his first record effortlessly sounds like it goes deeper than a debut. Lost Valley’s self-titled 7-song EP is totally dreamy and mellow electro pop intertwined with sexy arrangements and a high production value. Behind the scenes it’s a one-man operation, with Nick having written and recorded everything solo—save for a friend who recorded a few live drum loops and another friend who mastered the record. But on stage, Lost Valley is a five-piece band made up of guitars, bass, percussion and vocals, with tight sonic choreography syncing up with projected visuals. The band has only performed live once so far, last month at Legion (790 Metropolitan Ave.), to a sold out crowd.
This weekend, local gallery concept/artist organization SHIM (289 Meserole St.) is hosting the second edition of Permission Slip, an experimental open call festival of live art performances, interactions, exhibitions, and collaborations.
48 CONSECUTIVE HOURS // Friday Feb 24th @6pm – Sunday Feb 26th @6pm @ SHIM | 289 Meserole Street
Curators Wilson Duggan and Jackie Cantwell will administer the gallery 24 hours per day, accepting proposals from the public to participate in the weekend’s schedule of activities.
TO PARTICIPATE: Simply fill out a permission slip (email [email protected]) with your proposal for an art performance, activity, micro-exhibition, etc, and bring it to the gallery on Friday evening (2/24) to receive our permission.
Your proposal can literally be anything within the limits of reason, legality, and the safety of the space and participants. Once granted permission, we will schedule a time for you on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday and provide you with whatever additional support we can to help you realize your project.
“With this finger, I tasted the world.” Massimiliano Nanni raises his right pointer finger while recounting his childhood in Rimini, Italy, where his mother, Lella Alimentari’s namesake, ran a popular restaurant. “I would sit at the counter of the kitchen and I taste the papaya, I taste the kiwi—nobody have a kiwi in Italy, I come from a place with the truffle—I eat the frog, I eat the eel, I eat the snake. We want to try everything. This was my childhood.”
Nanni, known to friends as Chicco, met his wife, Paola Cittero while working on an Italian aquatic TV show. He was a diving assistant, she was the production designer. This is a funny detail given the strong Life Aquatic vibe in the café they’ve created. Between Nanni’s normally red cap (today it is pink) and quirky demeanor, Cittero’s blue jumpsuit and the vintage toys and uneven hand stamped signage, I can practically hear Seau Jorge strumming Bowie tunes.
Nanni’s been in the restaurant biz since 1995 when he opened Piadina in the West Village. In the intervening years, he’s opened many other restaurants, including the popular wood-fired pizza superstar Saraghina in Bed-Stuy, which Cittero designed and which feels like a big brother to the more intimate Lella (325 Manhattan Avenue). Nanni left Saraghina in 2011 and opened a now-shuttered seafood restaurant before hopping over to Williamsburg. The location was intentional, just across the street from PS 132 where Nanni and Cittero’s children go to school. After school, the kids hang out among the locals, many of whom are on laptops. “We don’t like to say we are chefs,” says Cittero, “we just cook. We’re cooking. We are both food lovers. I’m a production designer, an artist, we consider this our cafeteria. We are making food we usually make at home, that we give out to our kids.”
Lella’s specialty is the piadina, a sort of Italian quesadilla that’s popular in Nanni’s hometown. Every day he makes the piadina bread, then stuffs it with ingredients like roasted seasonal veggies and stracchino, a luscious unripened Italian cheese. Nothing is fussy, just fresh ingredients prepared beautifully; a poached egg over cauliflower, bacon, and chickpeas. Potato leek soup with speck. Burrata with roasted beets and carrots. They also have homemade pastries, quiche, and salads, most often topped with a poached egg.
Lella’s vibe is laid back cool and playful. It is European-feeling and whimsical without a hint of pretension. Toy trucks huddle near a vase of yellow tulips. A battered metal crock overflows with potatoes. The tin ceilings are whitewashed, walls are lined with Italian goods, books, an old scale. Art magazines and vintage action figures are scattered about. Lella is warm and chummy, just four sun-drenched booths and a communal table.
One of my favorite design elements is the handy takeaway window. “We sell the coffee by the window and we get all the people with dogs,” says Cittero. “Bike. Stroller. For me, it was like decoration, but we get the dog community.”
Nanni is already dreaming of his next venture: to host a program training former convicts as pizzaiolos. He’s eyeing a location in Brooklyn’s Navy Yard. “The Pizzaiolo was teaching to the penitentiary in my town. These men, what they went through, most of the time it’s really traumatic. They need to be working, working, working. They will learn fast. It will help them.”
“Art, food and a lot of love,” Cittero says as she glances at Nanni who is in the kitchen dancing to The Human League. “We keep busy.” She smiles and looks out the window. “And just look at this beautiful light.”
Williamsburg Art & Historical Center | 135 Broadway 18th Annual WAH Salon Show This exhibit featuring dozens of artists is closing this weekend, so go check it out! The WAH Center offers an artist membership program called the “WAH Salon Art Club”. Every January, the members can participate in the Annual WAH Salon Show, which gives exposure to artists of a wide range and spectrum – from emerging, to mid-career, and established artists in all media. In concept, the Salon is all the colors of the artist’s palette. Exhibit closing this weekend, gallery open Friday-Sunday 12pm-6pm
Greenpoint Gallery | 390 McGuinness Blvd. “Salon De Eros”
This show proposes to be an “erotic showcase of love and its carnal delights, aiming to blush, excite and provoke viewers”, showing a range of local artists. Opening event Friday, February 17th, 8pm-1amContinue reading →
It seems like all we’re doing these days is saying goodbye to our favorite barsand restaurants. Throw this one onto the pile and pour one out while drinking it all in at The Drink (228 Manhattan Ave.) this Saturday night from 5pm onward.
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the very last party (and days) at The Drink.
For six-and-a-half years this bar has been a place where we celebrated, mourned, gathered in activism, and made friends and chosen family that will last a lifetime. But as the neighborhood changes, so do we, and so Saturday we’re having one last blowout to make (and forget) memories with our chosen community of very special weirdos ❤️
What’s the plan for the 2019 L Train shutdown? Do we have alternative transportation options? Tonight’s the night to voice your opinion and talk with community members about the upcoming L Train closure. The DOT and the MTA are hosting a series of community workshops, and NOW is the time to get involved before it’s too late!
If you’re in need of dinner or lunch plans, here’s some news you can use. Grand Street Restaurant Week, a project of the Grand Street Business Improvement District, is happening now until Sunday the 12th. This year, twelve Grand Street restaurants are offering two-course lunch specials for $15 or less, and three-course dinner specials for $30 or less. Notable participants include The Sandwich Shop, The Starlight, and Ryujin Ramen (that’ll be really good during the snowstorm). Menus can be found here.
Another one to check out is Pie Smith, a build-your-own pie and panini shop started by a long-time Brooklyn family. Also, if you Instagram your restaurant week prix-fixe meal with #DineOnGrand and @GrandStreetBID, there’s a chance to win a $25 gift card to your favorite Grand Street spot!