Williamsburg

From Rags to Rigatoni: Savino’s Quality Pasta

Photo © Kevin Irby
Photo © Kevin Irby

No frills. Old school. Neighborhood staple. Hole in the wall. That’s how devotees of this remnant of the old Williamsburg refer to Savino’s Quality Pasta (111 Conselyea St). If you’ve been there you go back. Fresh pasta, super cheap.

You won’t find any reclaimed wood or floor to ceiling subway tile in Savino’s storefront, no Edison bulbs or communal tables. Just earnest, camera shy Cono Savino, his mom and dad: Josephine and Frank, a half dozen varieties of freshly made pasta and ravioli, a few cheeses, some homemade sauces, and an assortment of Italian pantry items.

Josephine Savino and a young ravioli enthusiast. Photo © Kevin Irby
Josephine Savino and a young ravioli enthusiast. Photo © Kevin Irby

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Some Williamsburg Residents May Be Seeing Brown Tap Water, And Here’s Why

rust brown water greenpoint

Hopefully your tap water doesn’t look like the above photo. Gross! According to NYC Water, some local residents currently have a water system maintenance advisory due to a situation at the Domino Sugar Factory:

Water system maintenance advisory for residents in Williamsburg, Brooklyn: There is a broken pipe within Old Domino Sugar Factory in Williamsburg. The property owner is making repairs now. This work could cause some residents to see discolored water at the tap. While it is not harmful, residents should not drink obviously discolored water.  

Please report discolored water to 311 (you can call 311 or fill in this form online) to help our engineers pinpoint any problems. Crews will be on standby to open hydrants and flush water mains, if necessary. Go here to learn more about the causes of discolored water.

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New Pizza Joint Sizzle Pie Opens Today On Graham Avenue!

Sizzle PieMost Brooklynites would probably consider themselves qualified to judge a slice of pizza—it’s a skill we’ve all honed over years of hard New York living. When we take that first bite of cheezy ‘za, we’re able to make a detailed analysis in a matter of seconds: we subconsciously measure the thickness of the the slice, the crust’s crispiness, the ratio of the sauce to grease to cheese. And whenever we travel outside of the city, we generally snub our noses at pizza from other places; it can’t possibly be as good as a legit New York slice.

Photo: Julia Moak

Now, pizza lovers will have another option to choose from on Graham Avenue that’s going to challenge fans of Carmine’s and Tony’s. And if you can get over the fact that this pizza comes to us via Portland, Oregon, then Sizzle Pie (457 Graham Ave.) might become your new favorite neighborhood slice joint. Sizzle’s got a variety of interesting pies (among others, The Gold Ring: white truffle, oil, goat cheese and green onion, and The Stolen Firebird: hatch green chiles, eggs, bacon and hashbrowns) as well as a wide range of vegan and gluten free options. And as far as we know, they’re the only place where you’re able to get a half slice—perfect for when you’ve already had two slices and want just a taste of another slice but don’t want to feel over-the-top full. They’re also serving beer and wine, and by summertime the back patio will be fully open and bumpin’. Check ’em out and decide for yourself who’s got the best cheese slice—Carmine’s, Tony’s or the Portland wild card that is Sizzle.

Sizzle Pie | 457 Graham Avenue
11am-3am Sunday thru Thursday, 11am-4am Friday & Saturday
718-RAD-PIES

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HOTTEA And Afternoon Tea Service At The Williamsburg Hotel

The bar at The Williamsburg Hotel, photo by Annie Schlechter
The light-filled bar at The Williamsburg Hotel, with a rainbow string installation by artist HOTTEA, photo by Annie Schlechter

The neighborhood’s latest spot for swanky travelers to rest their head, The Williamsburg Hotel (96 Wythe Ave.), has partially opened over the past few weeks. Two of the eight floors of the hotel are currently open for booking, and the downstairs bar (with rainbow string art by the hottest guy in installations, HOTTEA) is open for drinks and pastries. We got to check out their tea service menu (available Friday through Sunday from 12-5pm), with baked goods by Bushwick’s Brooklyn Bread Lab.

The Lobby and front desk at The Williamsburg Hotel. Photo: Julia Moak
The Lobby and front desk at The Williamsburg Hotel. Photo: Julia Moak

You can enter the lobby bar by going down the concrete stairs in front of the hotel, or from the street level by heading down a spiral staircase once inside. The designers deserve kudos for the large windows at the front of the bar—there’s actually a lot of light that comes in despite it being subterranean. The vibe is cozy, with velvet banquettes, a soft wood floor, and vintage gold picture frames making a chevron pattern around the bar. The hotel was designed by Michaelis Boyd, who also designed the Soho House Berlin, which I’ve been inside and it makes sense; both The Williamsburg Hotel and Soho House Berlin are filled with teal tones, wood, and exude an upscale yet warm, rustic feel. And this jives with the character of the neighborhood, if Williamsburg’s identity can even be defined by anything these days. Continue reading

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Nachos Return To Post-Fire Commodore, Illegal Gas Hookups, Homeland — The Hook-Up 1/20

Construction on West St. between India and Java
Bless this mess—Construction on West St. between India and Java

Today—Inauguration Day 2017—you’re either donning a red baseball cap and poppin’ some champagne or silently crying at your desk and mustering up the guts to join a march tomorrow. Yesterday we published a list of politically-charged events in our area this weekend that embrace diversity. We should mention that we didn’t receive any details about pro-Trump celebrations; if we had, we would have published those too. Whatever your views on the incoming administration may be, here are some local news events from this week that had nothing whatsoever to do with PEOTUS—–>POTUS.

A sham utility company was found to be illegally installing gas meters so building owners could get the buildings finished and certificates of occupancy faster. Some of the buildings were reportedly in North Brooklyn.

The Commodore‘s kitchen is closed for a few weeks after a fire about a week and a half ago. But they just started serving nachos yesterday!

The Nasty Women art exhibit and Stay Nasty festivities last weekend at Knockdown Center raised more than $50k for Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, Girls for Gender Equity, the New York Immigration Coalition, SisterSong, and Planned Parenthood.

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It’s Always Sunday in Brooklyn

Sunday in Brooklyn’s Grain Bowl $12, Charred Avocado Toast $9, Spicy Roast beef Sandwich $12 Photo by Graham E. Burns

Sundays normally bring brunch to mind for any New Yorker. Sunday in Brooklyn (348 Wythe Ave.) is much more than that. Open daily for brunch, lunch and dinner this tri-level restaurant is like a fashion house of food. At “Sunday” there is creative use of fresh ingredients—even the scraps are utilized in new dishes, drinks and marketplace items. The restaurant opened for dinner in November, rolled out brunch shortly after and opened the marketplace in December. So yes, something good did happen in 2016. The marketplace features a takeout menu and pantry items to make any home chef take their game up a notch. Chef Jaime Young is passionate about sustainability at Sunday: “The marketplace gives us the opportunity to utilize everything that we’re buying…it kind goes with our whole ethos of trying to utilize as much as we can in this restaurant.”

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‘What A Joke’ Comedy Festival to Raise Money for ACLU

OK. Tomorrow is the inauguration. We have all kinds of feels. And if this past election has showed us anything, it’s that we can and will strategically come together to support, defend, edify, forgive one another, and even laugh out loud in the midst of heartbreaking confusion.

Brooklyn comedians Emily Winter and Jenn Welch are doing just that with What A Joke – a national comedy festival which spans across 34 US cities, includes 86 shows, and gives all the ticket sales proceeds to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Like the hat? 10% of the sales proceeds go to ACLU No joke.

The NYC shows are happening right down the street at the Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Ave.) and Rough Trade (64 N. 9th St.) on Friday and Saturday. And the festival kicks off in Manhattan tonight at The Stand, and includes a happy hour and silent auction. The lineups are full of a number of headliners like Nikki Glaser, Dave Hill, and ‘Comedy Central’s Comics to Watch’ sketch team, the Astronomy Club, among a whole lot more. (Side note: Rough Trade is having another benefit for the ACLU and Planned Parenthood tonight with a nice little music lineup).

We got the chance to ask Emily Winter (co-founder), a few questions about the festival and discuss why good comedy is no joke. Continue reading

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North Brooklyn History: Creating McCarren Park

McCarren Park site images, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle - May 5, 1901
McCarren Park site images, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle – May 5, 1901

We take the green space that today is McCarren Park for granted, but it was not always a park. Once the ground that the park now occupies had its own streets and factories. A May 5, 1901 article in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle showed the buildings that were to be condemned to create the park, but it was not just buildings that needed to be condemned. The whole street pattern of the neighborhood had to be changed. Some streets like Jane Street were forever wiped off the map. Others like North 12th, N.13th, N. 14th and Dobbin and Guernsey were cut. Continue reading

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Today’s Friday The 13th Tattoo Shop Specials!

Evil & Love Tattoo Friday The 13th Jan 2017

If you’re tatted up at all, you probably know about the Friday the 13th tradition shops have for offering relatively cheap flash (pre-designed) artwork. I’ve met a few people who only have tattoos from Friday the 13th flash sales—it’s a look that either says “I’m too cheap for a sleeve,” or “I don’t give a fuck what you think.” Honestly, though I appreciate a beautifully-designed back piece, I’m a fan of the miniature bodyart form that is flash. Here’s some local shops who are offering deals today. Be prepared to wait in line.

Evil and Love | 211 Franklin St.
$30-$100 tattoos from 1-9pm. Come by for cheap tattoos, $200 raffle and good company. Re post and tag us to enter the raffle. We’ll be taking walk-ins all day and have tons of flash to choose from!

Adam J. Machin's flash specials at Three Kings Tattoo
Adam J. Machin’s flash specials at Three Kings Tattoo

Three Kings Tattoo | 572 Manhattan Ave.
@dave_ball will be tattooing special designs from his Black Book, as a “Black Friday the 13th” special! Stop by our Brooklyn shop and check out what Dave’s got in his spooky Black Book! Also @adamjmachin will be offering some special flash designs from 1pm til 10pm! Each piece is $130 and are sized as is. Tattoos will be done on a first come, first served basis, so be sure to get here early! Continue reading

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Bad Boys of the Past: The Notorious Gangs of North Brooklyn History

A 1924 mugshot from Australia. Credit NPR, NSW Police Forensic Photography Archive, Justice & Police Museum, Historic Houses Trust of NSW

Think that North Brooklyn was a safer place back in the good old days? Think again! In the second half of the 19th century, North Brooklyn had many notorious gangs and hard-core hoods. Here are some of the most infamous local gangs of yesteryear.

The Battle Row Gang – This gang, which had an almost two-decade-long life starting in 1870, was in the words of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle “composed of the scum of the Fourteenth Ward (Williamsburg).” known as “fighters and rowdies,” they lurked at “Crow” McGoldrick’s saloon on Union Avenue and North First Street. They became notorious in July of 1871 when gang member Henry Rogers killed Brooklyn Police officer Donoghue and was hanged for the murder. In June of that year, two factions of the gang fought with “pistols, knives, fists and slingshots. The battle raged,” furiously and unrestrained” for thirty minutes. One dying member, Patrick Cash, asked to name his assailants, replied “I’d die with the name of the fellow in my throat, before I’d give him away.” You can read more about these scumbags in the Daily Eagle archives here and here. Continue reading

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