Brooklyn

Recently Shuttered Champion Coffee will Reopen at Two New Locations

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Image c/o Yelp

Champion Coffee may have recently shuttered at 1108 Manhattan Avenue (due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’), but caffeine addicts have no reason to be be sad. Two new Champions are soon to spring up elsewhere in Greenpoint to replace it.

First up will be a new cafe at 142 Nassau Avenue, on the site of Sweet Fox, which has now closed down. Champion’s Talitha Whidbee tells us that “Sweet Fox owner Jean Marc was ready to get back to his catering life and away from the constant demands of a cafe so we bought Sweet Fox from him which we will remodel over the next month and re-open as Champion Coffee.” This location will be almost exactly the same as the original Champion (with a slightly pared down food menu), and will be opening around September 22nd.

There is also a second, larger space in the pipeline, at 1107 Manhattan Avenue, directly across the road from the original. “Due to its size it will be a little longer in coming to fruition, but we are shooting for end of November”, Talitha tells us. This location will have the standard Champion food and drink menu, with the addition of kombucha on tap from Mombucha and a few other exclusive beverages.

In the meantime North Greenpointers craving a coffee fix could do worse than to try out the newly opened Sweetleaf Coffee (or Propeller, or Early, or Bakeri…).

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TICKET GIVEAWAY! Attend The Brooklyn Books, Art, Photos and Design Expo!! (9/19-20)

Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures Under Ground.
Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures Under Ground.

This year marks a major anniversary since Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland was published. To celebrate, the Brooklyn Books, Art, Photos and Design Expo (BrooklynBAPD) will return to Greenpoint on September 19-20 with many Alice in Wonderland objects among the more than 15,000 items shown by 145 dealers from all over the country. There will also be live readings of the Mad Tea Party and rare copies of antique publications will be shown.

Did you know that Alice in Wonderland was first published as “Alice’s Adventures Under Ground”? Let us know what year it was published for a chance to win free admission because we have 5 pairs of tickets to give away!

How to enter: In the comments, answer the question (correctly or incorrectly) “In what year was Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures Under Ground” published?”

Deadline: Friday, September 11, 2015, 11:59PM. Continue reading

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‘Greenpoint: The Transition’ Is Your Little Slice of Polish Culture

All images c/o Cultureshock.pl
All images c/o Cultureshock.pl

Sure, you may have been a regular at Lomzynianka before they closed inexplicably “for renovations” a few months ago. And, sure, you’re always at Cafe Riviera in the mornings for a coffee and a pączek. But, did you know that there’s a way to dive deeper into Polish culture right here in Greenpoint?

For the past year a half, Greenpoint: The Transition has been bringing a little slice of Polish culture to our neighborhood by way of workshops, food tastings, musical performances, fun activities, and street fairs. Recently, we caught up with Marta Pawlaczek, who helms The Transition, to talk about the ‘hood, the food, and, of course, the changes. Continue reading

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Open Call at ROOT Studios for #WORKinPROGRESS

c/o ROOT Studio
c/o ROOT Studio

**August 5, 2015 deadline**

“Because it’s summer and everyone is thinking about vacation,” writes Mickey Boardman, editorial director of Paper Magazine, what better time than the present to guest curate a travel-themed show at ROOT Studios in Williamsburg?

“Almost anyone with a decent eye can take a great travel photo, whether it’s at the beach in Montauk or the ruins of Machu Picchu,” Boardman explains. “So a travel theme seems like something everyone can feel good about.”

Are you a New York City-based photographer? Find out how you can submit photos to ROOT’s open call for the #WORKinPROGRESS show.

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Eight Greenpoint Artists Working Their Magic with Ceramics

"Tufted Containers" c/o Michiko Shimada
“Tufted Containers” c/o Michiko Shimada

Humans have been making pottery objects for at least 27,000 thousand yearslet that sink in for a moment—and the earliest ceramics were either made simply from clay or from a mixture of clay and other materials, like silica. They were then hardened and heated at relatively low temperatures in a fire. Now, flash forward an astounding number of millennia, and we can produce a variety of ceramic products, from bricks to tableware to nuclear fuel uranium oxide pellets.

Recently, we tracked down eight artists based right in our neighborhood who have been making some ceramic magic in their studios.

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Alex Cook Paints Two Exquisite Murals For Greenpoint

All images courtesy of Alex Cook
1077 Manhattan Avenue © All images courtesy of Alex Cook

You may have noticed that Greenpoint now has two new murals—at 1043 and 1077 Manhattan Avenue—thanks to Boston native and muralist Alex Cook, who recently painted both out of love for the neighborhood (and crowd-sourced the funding himself to do it). “While I was working on both of them, I got tons of feedback from the neighbors,” Cook said. “It was universally pretty good.”

At 1043, Cook’s mural depicts a surreal, three dimensional space with a young tree and balancing and floating boulders. Down the block at 1077,  a series of heads with broad foreheads and strong jaws seem to be floating in front of the wall, looking passers-by in the eye. “The thing that was compelling to me about these images was the three dimensionality of it and being able to make an image that feels real,” said Cook. “One of the things I love the most as an artist is being able to create a sense of wonder or something mysterious that stops you in your tracks and makes you have a moment of ‘I don’t know everything.'”

Greenpointers recently caught up with Cook to talk about his eighteen year career as a muralist, his creative process, and his love of north Brooklyn.

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Celebrity Chef Michael Psilakis Opens Event Space and Mega-Restaurant on Driggs Avenue

Piggies_The_Hall_Greenpoint_Rosie_de_BelgeonneThere’s something about the segment of Driggs Avenue between N 10th and N 11th streets that attracts a different type of business from other blocks in the area.

First came Fushimi, a super-sized, super-shiny sushi joint that boasts the lingering spirit of a 90s lounge bar. Now, on the opposite side of the street there has sprung up a new mega-restaurant called MP Taverna, the fourth in a string of Greek establishments of the same name, spear-headed by celebrity chef Michael Psilakis.

Psilakis has become known for his appearances on a host of  cooking shows such as Iron Chef America and Ultimate Recipe Showdown, but his real kudos came about in 2008 when a Michelin star was awarded to Anthos, an upmarket restaurant he started in midtown Manhattan.

Seven years on and Psilakis is bringing his celebrated Greek food to Brooklyn. Less high-end than Anthos, MP Taverna aims to provide a contemporary take on the traditional Greek tavern, with a focus on mezze dishes that can be shared family style.

Next door to MP Taverna is Psilakis’ next venture called ‘The Hall Brooklyn‘, a giant events venue whose recent opening heralded a flashy party, complete with cordoned-off entrance line and bouncers with earpieces. Continue reading

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Run the Jewels, Sleigh Bells, Vince Staple close out Northside ’15

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Last weekend, the Northside Festival at 50 Kent finished off with an all-star show featuring Run the Jewels, Sleigh Bells, and Vince Staples. Right as the doors opened, the crowd found its way into the venue and Vince Staples kicked it off with great energy, playing some unreleased tracks off his debut album, expected to hit June 30th.

Then Brooklyn based Sleigh Bells, took the stage amplifying the crowds energy from where Vince left off. Not only did they come out to rock, but they came out to have a good time. This is one band you can clearly see enjoy playing the music they create.  Continue reading

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The Gunfighter Meets His Match: Abby Payne’s Wild West Concept Album Release Show May 28 at 9pm

© Manish Gosalia Photopgraphy. Abby Payne crowd surfing during the release show for "Vampire Song" at Pianos.
© Manish Gosalia Photopgraphy. Abby Payne crowd surfing during single release show for “Vampire Song” at Pianos.

“I’m going to town today to buy me a reputation,” the lean and lovely indie-rocker and Greenpoint resident Abby Payne lilts in the opening of the song “The Gunfighter Meets His Match.” She wrote that unapologetic line in 2011 when she was struggling with the idea of retaining a publicist to promote her name.

“The music business had changed so much, and it seemed like a lawless and kind of wild place where nobody knew what was going on. This Wild West story of good versus evil, of complicated pasts and emotions and dreams, was really a way for me to work through what it means to me to be a musician and an artist.” Continue reading

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New, Old Photographs of the Neighborhood: Catalán @Picture Farm & Salamone @GCA Salon

‘From Ash To Apollo’ by Sara Maria Salamone c/o GCA Salon via Instagram

One more side effect of North Brooklyn’s rapidly mutating scene is the ramping up of  “I was here when…” memories, which are arriving in shorter and tighter cycles. This means that the new, old neighborhoods are now garnering nostalgia with stories from recent history. And, photographs are a trusted way to collect these stories—”Take a picture. It will last longer.”

Two photography exhibitions on view now, Mara Catalán’s “A Place I Once Called Home: Williamsburg” at Picture Farm Productions & Sara Maria Salamone’s “From Ash To Apollo” at GCA Salon, appropriately locate and illustrate newer recollections of these moments. Continue reading

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