Williamsburg

Artists And Art Friends Unite: Loft Law Rally Tomorrow Night!

Rally for a Better Loft Law | Thursday May 25 | 7-9pm
@ San Damiano Mission | 85 N 15th St

If you know any North Brooklyn artists in live/work spaces, you probably know someone who is affected by the Loft Law. Artists and creatives are being pushed out of many NYC neighborhoods, including our own Greenpoint and Williamsburg, and luckily you can support the local art community to help artists stay put. On Thursday evening, all are welcome to join tenants, artists, elected officials and housing advocates to show support for the 2017 Loft Law “Clean-Up” Bill. Speakers will include state and local elected officials, loft lawyers, artists and tenant advocates.

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Thursday Spotlight: Ken Butler—One Man’s Trash Is An Artist’s Musical Legacy

Ken Butler jamming on a shovel guitar in his studio. Photo: Megan Penmann
Ken Butler jamming on a shovel guitar in his studio. Photo: Megan Penmann

Ken Butler’s artwork is playful. Often, literally. He designs, builds and plays unconventional musical instruments, crafting them out of everyday household objects or discarded junk on Brooklyn sidewalks. Through his eyes, an old printer cartridge plus a zip tie is a drum. A golf club is a guitar/sitar combo. His art is sculptural yet not purely sculpture; it’s captivating, conceptual and just pure fun. We were able to tour his studio, hang out and have a jam session with him this past Sunday, on a New York Adventure Club excursion. And you can do the same in a few weeks when he opens his doors again for Greenpoint Open Studios (on June 3rd and 4th, from 12-6pm each day).

Instruments in Ken Butler's studio. Photo: Megan Penmann
Instruments/sculptures in Ken Butler’s studio. Photo: Megan Penmann

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Bad Film Fest: Scumbags From Outer Space, Zombies, and Ass-Bleeding

Bad Film Fest

The 5th annual Bad Film Fest, happening at art space Cloud City (85 N 1st St) on May 19-21, celebrates the dark horses of cinema and gives aspiring filmmakers of all ages and skill levels a chance to share their most absurd and experimental films, whether in the form of a “Cops”-inspired mockumentary, absurdist sci-fi or a heartfelt drama. Films to be screened include “My Ass Is Bleeding 2,” “Scumbags From Outer Space,” “Meatloaf Zombies,” and “Still Shaving After All These Beers.”

Tickets are $8, and a full schedule, with different films screening each night, can be seen here. Continue reading

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Tomorrow: Grand Opening Party at plus BKLYN

plus Bklyn
via Facebook

There’s a hot new store in town – say hello to plus BKLYN (455 Graham Ave). This fab plus-sized boutique sells edgy trends and cool styles for ladies in sizes 14-26. And, this Saturday (5/13) is plus BKLYN’s grand opening party (open to those of all sizes) from 7-10pm with a DJ, snacks, tarot readings and great deals on cute clothes. After the jump, check out some of their most rockin’ pieces. Continue reading

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How We Roll: Summer Bike Events!

Photo: Erik Keithley
A biker busts out some tricks on Freeman Street. Photo: Erik Keithley

This past weekend the Five Boro Bike Tour kicked off the summer cycling season (even though our weather hasn’t fully turned warm yet, dangit). If you love nothing more than pounding the pavement on two wheels when the weather’s at its finest, here’s a roundup of other local bike events happening over the next few months. Take a seat and pop a wheelie through North Brooklyn!
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Balkan Beat Box Bring Serious Global Flavor To Brooklyn Steel

Have you ever gone to see a band, super pumped, and witnessed a crowd of people standing around sipping craft beer and stubbornly refusing to do little more than nod their heads in time to the music? Yeah, we’ve all been there—it’s awkward for everyone. Refreshingly, when Israeli trio Balkan Beat Box took the stage at Brooklyn Steel (319 Frost St) in late April, this was definitely not one of those moments. In fact, inside Bowery Presents’ newest place to party—specifically designed for large crowds and good visibility of the stage from virtually any vantage point—I experienced a moment of live music euphoria: a few seconds of music video-worthy bliss where literally everyone in the massive venue was off their feet, jumping in the air.

Long story short? When vocalist Tomer Yosef tells you to jump, you jump… splashing craft beer and all.
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Mezcal and Insects at MOFAD!

Taste mezcal, dip an orange slice into salt made with worms, and enjoy.

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.
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Get Your Hands Dirty With These Environmental Activities This Weekend!

Saturday, May 6th is the sixth annual Riverkeeper Sweep, which is Riverkeeper’s annual day of service for the Hudson River, with more than 90 cleanup events across NYC and the Hudson. At last year’s sweep, more than two thousand volunteers worked along hundreds of miles of shoreline to remove over 48 tons of debris, and plant or maintain 836 trees and native grasses. This year, North Brooklyn plays host to five of the sweeps. If you participate, you’re entitled to a free beer at Greenpoint Beer and Ale (7 N. 15th St) from 12pm till 2am. And also this weekend we have a few different environmental guided tours in the neighborhood, so there are lots of ways you can get your green on!

2017_SweepPoster-e1491004254193RIVERKEEPER EVENTS:

Transmitter Park Cleanup | Meet @ Transmitter Park radio building
Saturday, May 6 | 10am-1pm | free, or $8.50 with t-shirt
What: Help clean up Transmitter Park!
More info

Newtown Creek Vista Point Cleanup | @ 1000 Meeker Ave.
Saturday, May 6 | 11am-3pm | free, or $8.50 with t-shirt
What: Debris removal, planting native flora and path making.
More info | Facebook event

Newtown Creek Shoreline Cleanup By Canoe | @ HarborLAB at 53-21 Vernon Blvd
Saturday, May 6 | 11am-6pm | free, or $8.50 with t-shirt
What: Clean up Newtown Creek by boat! And help with a seed ball and planting project. The boat cleanup will stretch from the meeting point through 58th Road in Maspeth.
More inf0

Bushwick Inlet Park Cleanup + Planting | @ Bushwick Inlet Park Dept of Parks building, 86 Kent Ave. @ N 9th St.
Saturday, May 6 | 10am-1pm | free, or $8.50 with t-shirt
What: Cleanup, gardening, and planting.
More info

East River State Park Cleanup | Meet in front of the park @ 90 Kent Ave.
Saturday, May 6 | 12pm-4pm | free, or $8.50 with t-shirt
What: Cleanup and park maintenance
More Info

ENVIRONMENTAL GUIDED WALKS:
monitor st statue greenpoint mcgolrick parkMcGolrick Park: A Guided Tree Walk
| Meet under the monument in McGolrick/Winthrop Park
Saturday, May 6 | 1pm-2:30pm
What: This walk will be led by a certified arborist. “McGolrick park is known for its dense canopy of mature, shady trees. Together we’ll look at these trees, learn the various species growing in the park, and share some tips for identifying trees in NYC. From towering London Plane trees to small, flowering Eastern Red Buds, we’ll take time to look at each leaf, flower, fruit and bud.” Dogs welcome!
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This Thursday (5/4): Mezcal and the Taste of Oaxaca

photo via Graeme Churchard, Flickr
photo via Graeme Churchard, Flickr

Since rosé has (somewhat proudly) ventured into basic terrority, you might be looking to spice things up this summer drinking season. Perhaps you could learn more about smoky mezcal and…insects!  This Thursday May 4th, just in time for Cinco de Mayo, the Museum of Food and Drink (62 Bayard St.) has partnered up with the Mexican Cultural Institute for its first Spring Spirits series that features Oxacan food and drink. During this event you will learn about the production of mezcal and its variety of flavor profiles as well as the vital part that insects play in Mexican cuisine. The event will include tastes of mezcal and little bites —that may or may not feature insects. Part of the proceeds will go to support the educational initatives of the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York so your newfound education on a delicious type of alcohol and creepy crawlers will benefit others.

Tickets ($60) can be bought here and each ticketholder will also get $1 off drinks at Petes Candy Store (709 Lorimer St).
Find out more here!
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