Anyone who has seen indie-rock band Hurrah! A Bolt of Light! knows their capacity to rouse a crowd. Their performance last month at the Living Room was no exception. Frontman and multi-instrumentalist Wil Farr’s voice can bite, twang, scream and, above all, enthrall us. Kinetic, visceral, possessed by the energy of what he’s doing, he sings eyes closed, neck veins bulging, whole body moving, and hips swinging in circles as he hits a groove. Farr is sweating—and it’s only the end of the first song.
“What does it feel like to be you, up there, performing your music?” I ask. “It is to be somewhere else,” he answers.
There’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 →
From the outside, it looked like just another two-story brick building, hunkered between a hardware store and a deli on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg. People were drinking at Allswell or Mugs down the street, unaware that behind the grey metal door of this building, Ursula, daughter of Poseidon, had descended, bringing with her sultry sirens, belly dancing mermaids, bioluminescent poi creatures, and all sorts of singing sailors and seafarers.
As some people continued to drink at Allswell, others entered into Ursula’s kingdom inside the unassuming building—where merman hoop artists and aerialists in glowing fishnets performed within feet of the crowd, where musicians played on a stage just a step away from the audience, where the currency was seashells and the air almost smelled salty if you used your imagination.
Ursula was in fact the nightlife queen Sophia Urista, and the two-day kingdom inside the aerial loft known as The Brooklyn AirSpace was the brainchild of Dakota Kim, a Brooklyn-based events producer, and Shalva Wise, one of the AirSpace’s three co-founders. Recently, Greenpointers caught up with Dakota to ask the important questions. Continue reading →
There are 23 selections in the documentary shorts category this year. The six documentary shorts reviewed below are worth the watch tonight in their encore presentation (runtime total of 77 minutes altogether). They play at 10:30pm at Windmill Studios. Tickets are $13. Continue reading →
Remember the block parties with the BBQ and the inflatable pools? The band that would play until the sun went down and your parents dragged you home? And eating cotton candy in the street and then “washing” your hands in said inflatable pool? Just kidding about that last one…
Luckily, the summertime Brooklyn tradition of throwing a block party comes to Williamsburg in two weeks—June 13 and 14—when Bedford Avenue gets completely shut down from Metropolitan Avenue to North 12th for the Northside Art @ Williamsburg Walks. There will be fun times, local artists creating art live, hanging with friends, tons of food, and bands playing until the sun goes down. I hope that there’s an inflatable pool…
Find out how you can volunteer (which gets you hooked up a Northside Festival Badge)!Continue reading →
Have you had cool ideas percolating in your mind since before Richard Prince unleashed his Instagram “paintings” series at the Gagosian Gallery last fall? Did you end up kicking yourself since that was your idea, too (and he beat you to it)? And, thus did Prince’s updates to said series at the Frieze Art Fair this month really have you wishing for a place to explore your most experimental ideas?
Great, because here’s your chance: REVERSE Gallery has an open call going on right now for curators to submit proposals for an exhibition of contemporary art. Find out the details. Continue reading →
If the landslide victory in Ireland is any indication the movement for gay rights is finally getting the respect it deserves, North Brooklyn will continue to carry that torch this June by hosting a gay pride festival in Williamsburg. While a gay pride event is nothing new for Chelsea or Jackson Heights, hosts of some of the most fabulicious gay pride celebrations in the city, North Brooklyn business owners and the LGBT community felt it was high time the area had its own celebration.
And anyone who knows Williamsburg, knows this is going to be one affair to remember.
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 →
Until February, Triskelion Arts shared a space deep inside a three-story, brick warehouse on 118 North 11th Street in Williamsburg, across from Mable’s Smokehouse and, more famously, on the same block as the ever-expanding Brooklyn Brewery.
“We were in a landmarked building, surprisingly, even though the building was falling apart,” explains artistic and executive director Abby Bender. One of the original co-founders, Abby is wearing navy coveralls and has a loop of keys at her waist that jangle as we walk around the new Triskelion building, recently opened for business on 106 Calyer Street in Greenpoint.
For the past fifteen years, Triskelion has been a place where anyone could go see performances by emerging artists, rent affordable rehearsal space, take fun classes (hoop dance, Poi, martial arts), and get involved with theater. In 2014 alone, over 15,000 hours of rehearsal time were used in the studios, and 128 different companies were part of the programming, which included three open-submission festivals. Continue reading →