A Brooklyn Life: May 2006 Archives

Have you ever taken a photo and then when you uploaded it to your computer (ah for the days when I would have said “gotten it back from the lab”), you think, “Now why did I take this picture? What is going on here?” Such it is with this photo. To the casual observer, it looks like a group of people sitting down on a little stone park space. What you are missing is the incessant drum beat that was reverberating throughout the town. What you are missing is the center of the town of Woodstock, which for all of its rather normal looking stores and restaurants is still–at its heart–a town for hippies. Of course, what’s painfully obvious to everyone but the people in the drum circle is that the very thing that made Woodstock special (I know, I know the concert wasn’t actually in the town) has done a remarkable job of turning the area into a tourist destination, albeit a very  nice one with recycling bins almost everywhere.
But I digress, Woodstock is a quaint, charming town. Our first stop was into the Center for Photography at Woodstock. It’s free (minus the very non-threatening donation box), and showcasing some great work for such a small space. The most moving was an installation of Ruth Adam’s Polaroid pictures that she took of herself daily as she went through treatment for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
In our afternoon about town, we hit up a homey bookstore, scoured a flea market, bought a few cute T-shirts, explored the Kenneth L. Wilson campground and, most importantly, had fabulous pizza at the Catskill Mountain Pizza Company. Perhaps it was a reaction to the lingering sting of  L&B, but from the first crunch to the last crumbs, I was digging this pizza, man 😉
Bonus recommendation: If you go to Woodstock over Memorial Day or Labor Day, look for the signs for the huge vinyl and CD sale, and then check it out. The guy running the sale has thousands of CDs and records and isn’t afraid to make a deal.
Next up, Harry’s Water Taxi Beach!
Yeah, so tickets to the Fall at Southpaw are sold out already — I always thought they were overrated anyway — which leaves this weekend to the battle of the “wave” bands. What is the deal with the dueling pop culture phenom? Everything seems to come in pairs at the same time:  two Hollywood movies about Earth-crushing asteroids or zoo-busting animals, two blond bimbo pop singers, and now, two popular rootsy bands with “wave” as part of their name.  Playing Friday at Northsix is Longwave, who at least live up to their name as the band that’s been around longer, even if their sensitive-guy rock might play better in a stadium. On the other hand, Rogue Wave (pictured), playing Thursday at Southpaw, deliver sensitive-guys-and-gals folk that would sound out of place anywhere else. Think Iron and Wine with better meds.
It’s really kind of shameless of me to open with this photo taken on City Island Saturday afternoon. But it’s such a great visual of the quirkiness of the town, and it shows the beautiful backdrop of water that surrounds the island. If only Jimmy Hoffa’s grave were so well-marked.
How to describe City Island? In some ways its a quaint town that still shows its fishing village roots, while catering to a certain casual visitor who likes antiques. This would be the side of the island that one sees before 5 p.m. Near dinner time, the island turns into a traffic funnel to and from the fish shacks on the water’s edge, packing in Bronxites in unbelievable numbers.
Our favorite find was a record store, Mooncurser, that lost its lease and was closing after the weekend. Despite the shutdown, the owner wouldn’t cut a deal on any of the records, and says he plans to move to Ebay. It’s too bad because I would definitely come back to browse through the collection, heavy on Latin and with a well-represented classical music shelves. We also got a ton of classic disco records and didn’t even make it halfway through those bins. (FYI: The guy starting to pack away the hundreds of thousands of records in the store was not the dude in this article.)
Our least favorite discovery was that the fish shacks at the end of the island are overpriced, overcrowded and kind of nasty. An order of crab cakes ($11), which contained no crab, was a stupid mistake. Fried shrimp were better ($12), but that’s a hard order to mess up. We saw lots of people walking out with king crab legs (fried), but at more than $20, we decided to pass.  What are the good City Island restaurants?
Next up: Our adventures at Woodstock!
We rented a car for the weekend with the intention of going places we wouldn’t normally go. Friday night that meant a trip to Bensonhurst’s L&B Spumoni Gardens, which holds a special place in many people’s hearts for its square Sicilian-style pies (even Slice liked it).
I can, without reservation, say it’s not very good and is definitely not worth the trip unless you are taking that trip soley for nostalgia purposes only. It’s certainly quaint, has  a large outdoor patio, and the servers and pizza makers are full of charm, but the food didn’t cut it. We  had the most uninspiring fried zucchini strips I’ve ever put in my mouth, and the pizza was unbelievably bland.
I always like to judge a pizzeria by how they cook a whole pie. A slice could have been sitting there for a while, or it could have been not warmed through, but when you order a whole fresh pizza,  you’re really expecting something great. We ordered ours with sausage and mushrooms; the mushrooms were canned. And while the bottom and sides of the crust were burnt, the middle of the rather thick square pie was uncooked dough. I have had better pizza at Sbarro. I think what burned us was spending more than $20 bucks on a poor pie. If you were to spend a couple dollars on a slice, the quality would not be so bothersome. We were so disappointed, in fact, that we skipped the spumoni.
Next up, our adventures at City Island!
We debut a new DJ to the ABrooklynLife family today, Carrie White. Miss White, as you’ll kindly refer to her, has been playing around with music, and electronic music, for a long time. I met her many years ago in Atlanta when she was a fresh-faced, just-out-of-college PR girl. Many years later for both of us, she’s moved on from her event promotion business in the Dirty South and taken up residence in the great borough that is Brooklyn. We forgive her for living in Williamsburg and promise to make it out to Savalas one of these Sunday nights when she holds her weekly DJ court from 10 p.m. onward. She describes this mix as taking a “techno-dance-pop meets rock approach,” which will all make sense once you put those headphones on. You’ll find Miss White dancin’ her ass off at minimal techno shows (apparently this is possible ;), making faithful appearances at electro nights around town and looking appropriately ponderful when contemplating the newest indie rock phenomena. Her mix is the perfect music gumbo for the fabulously long weekend ahead. Enjoy!
Laid Back Up Tight – Mixed by Carrie Whitenoise
Download (mp3)
Three things about JellyNYC: 1) they throw parties that incorporate rock bands, DJs and visual artists, 2) I have yet to check out one of their shindigs, and 3) their event this Friday’s at Southpaw seems like a good remedy for #3. Before heading off to the beach, a BBQ with friends, or Fleet Week sailor ogling, kick the long weekend off with some true Brooklyn-style diversity. Bands include Radio Mundial, a rock/funk outfit with multi-culti representation from Puerto Rico to Sweden, and a group with a name so good, who cares what they sound like: Superman’s Guest List (pictured). DJs Kirill and Rafi hail from Miami and St. Louis, respectively, and video and performance art will be provided by a handful of artists including Ellis Gallagher, who’s best known around here as the guy who chalks shadows of street signs and store grates on the sidewalk. His work manages to be both beautiful and disorienting at the same time. In fact, the first time I stumbled upon it, I did a double take looking for the sun, even though it was well-past dusk.
This mix is much like the Swedish proverb, “Noble deeds are done in silence.” Yes, ’tis true, you non-subscribers wouldn’t even know about this extra-special mix unless we posted something about it. You might not be so lucky next time–so get a subscription and play it safe: It’s FREE, FAST and FUN! And then sit back and enjoy  DJ Adam’s Svek bonus mix.
SVEK Complement – Mixed By Adam Smith (Bonus Mix)
Download (mp3)
As the press release, cover copy, and introduction all insist on telling me, it’s pulp fiction. And it’s Important pulp fiction. Now, when someone takes great pains to explain to me that there is a genre called pulp and then goes on to explain what pulp fiction created and what it stood for and why it’s Important in the grand scheme of Literature and that this, in fact, is a work of pulp that is not just pulp but is also an Important literary work conceived under the guise of “pulp” and written by a self-proclaimed pulp fiend, well, I have to catch my breath and wonder what all the apologizing is about.
I would consider this complete lack of faith in the reader as a discerning individual who can justifiably enjoy any great novel no matter the genre — high or low —  as a death knell for any work. And then I consider that I spent much of this evening watching reruns of C.O.P.S., and well, at page fourteen, I’m already hooked.
Forgive Paul Malmont (a Brooklynite!) and his really quite nice publicist (Hi Julia!) and go support this fantastic storyteller at BookCourt. He reads at 8 p.m. Wednesday from The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril. Go, buy a book, and leave happy.
So, sometimes things just fall in your lap. One moment, you’re thinking about all of brownstone Brooklyn being painted Dunkin’ Donuts orange and pink, the next moment, you’re considering the merits of a “rockuccino” over the “rockiato.” Has it been done before? Probably. But has it been done before by the band members of KISS? Not until June 27 when the band opens its first-ever KISS Coffeehouse in Myrtle Beach (do peek at the menu).
Question for the neighborhood, which would you prefer, a new Dunkin’ Donuts or your very own KISS Coffeehouse (because of course they want to franchise …)?
Press release quotes after the jump.
According to an unamed neighborhoodite and reader, there’s a very Dunkin’ Donuts looking building going in on the SW corner of Smith Street near Bergen Street. It’s right across from what appears to be a new organic market and natural foods store (and near the new bahn mi sandwich place Hanco’s). I’ve enlarged the photo to show what appears to be the Dunkin’ Donuts steaming coffee cup logo inside. Is Boerum Hill copying its Carroll Gardens neighbors with a DD? As the tipster opines, “A Domino’s and a Dunkin Donuts on the same corner. Just great. Keeping it local, the Ratner way.”
Dear Patois,
    The first time I had dinner with you, I was impressed. Your waitstaff were personable yet professional, the timing spot-on, the food the perfect example of what Americans want in their French bistros, and a warmth flowed from the dining room that I equate with restaurants to which I would like to return.
    The second time I passed through your doors, it was for brunch. You left me feeling like I had done something wrong and you were punishing me by leaving my water glass unfilled, my bread basket empty, my order untaken. But it was weekend; it was brunch; we all have those moments.
    The third time, I am sad to tell you, was not the charm. Your oysters were overpriced and not that tasty. Your mussels had sand in them (and not just a few, almost every one that I ate was grainy, and I heard that tell-tell crunch ring round the table). My three scallops, which I had previously been OK spending $20ish dollars on, did not live up to expectations. Lacking flavor, lacking zing, they sat upon a lukewarm bed of orzo and tomato that too was lacking. The steak was not cooked-too-order and was tough; the fries weren’t hot. I have never been so happy to say no to dessert.
    So, Patois, what I want to know is, Are you slipping, or have I just been unfortunate enough to dine twice now when the better chef had the night off? You’re making Bouillabaisse 126’s cramped seating feel downright neighborly.
In search of the Brooklyn parrots, we set off for Greenwood Cemetery. I was imagining some expedition of gigantic bird-watching proportions. Nope, turns out if you go to the park’s main entrance off the 25th Street “R” train and look up into the spires of the building that serves as the gate, you can see them quite easily (click on the photo at left for an enlarged view). The small green birds have built lofty, sprawling nests in the spires, and, being rather active animals, they swoop in and out of the nests often enough to make catching a glimpse easy work. The earlier you go, the more vocal they seem to be, as we were treated to a cacophonous squawking when we arrived around 10:45 a.m. (Our plans to attract them to our backyard were reconsidered in light of the birds’ amazing ability to project vocally.)
Tropical birds who have invaded our area’s ecosystem aside, the cemetery is well worth a trip. We spent almost two hours wandering the northwest side of the park, admiring gravestones, marveling at fancy tombs and spotting famous and locally famous names (we never did find Leonard Bernstein)–and we barely scratched the surface. For every big road we walked down there were tiny paths passed by. For every hundred-year-old grave topped with a strange carving or inscription we studied, there were another 100 left unseen.
Regular tours and bird-watching tours are offered on the weekends and listed on the website. Big Onion  also sponsors tours that start at the entrance. Also see many more engaging photos on Flickr.
The other day a coworker ordered a Blackberry Green Tea Frappuccino® Blended Crème from Starbucks. I had a coffee. When said coworker received his glowing green concoction, ribboned with lines of dark berry syrup and topped with a very healthy dose of whipped cream, my interest was piqued; I asked for a sip. It’s certainly possible that I’ve sucked up a more sugar-filled beverage in my day, but I can’t remember doing so. On top of that, it was not a tasty beverage. And so I set out to compare the nutitional value of the BGTF ® BC to a Big Mac. The info comes directly from the Starbucks’ nutitional value portion of its website and from McDonald’s. I’m using the Grande size Frap ® with whipped cream.
Purple=about the same as a Big Mac
Blue=less than Big Mac if that makes it more healthy
Red=the same as, more than Big Mac, or less than if that makes it less healthy (see fiber* and protein* categories)
With deference given to the pollen that has overtaken New York and glued many an eyeball shut, this week’s Subway Reads will stay brief and to the point. More posts may come later in the week, if and when my optic nerves decide to reattach themselves to my retinas.
The Kite Runner
by Khaled Hosseini
The Winds of Change: Climate, Weather, and the Destruction of Civilizations
by Eugene Linden
The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs
by Madeleine Albright
The Lifted Veil: Brother Jacob
by George Eliot
Alaska
by James A. Michener
This mix marks Jon’s first as a Brooklyn resident. He’s taken a little inspiration from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and created a mix that creeps into the dark crevices of sound and then explodes to fill the room. It’s a hard, fast ride where tech house meets French house: glitchy, tempermental, fashionable, paranoid, a bit daring.
The Mean Reds – Mixed by Jon G
Download (mp3)
Often ABL commenter and artist Lois Ruben Aronow is debuting her new studio space with an open invite and a sale. Check out her colorful, functional porcelain dinnerware on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The new space is in the Old American Can Factory at 232 3rd Street between 3rd and 4th avenues; it’s in building B, suite 202A. Support Brooklyn art!
It’s another quiet weekend event-wise in the hood, not sure why. Maybe bookers think everyone will be lining up to see the Da Vinci Code (currently at 19% squished tomato). But rather than paying your hard-earned cash to watch Gump and Opie get all Sister Wendy on the bible,  it might be more fun to unravel the mystery of the picture on the left. It’s from Galapagos’ Friday night show I Want to Live: An Interactive Cabaret. The description: “Two lovely professors, one panda and a live audience of the hopeful and depressed explore the Lifeforce of the human animal in an interactive multi-media melee.” Stick that in your censer and smoke it.
As mentioned, from time to time I’ll be posting some especially nice sightings culled from my inbox. This week’s nod goes to ABL herself who, prior to jetting off down South, happened upon a serendipitous grouping:
“An animal-themed trilogy on the F this morning–”
So, I’m in Atlanta listening to the radio (something I never do in New York) and I hear this song playing on the radio: “I’ma get, get, get, get you drunk/ get you love drunk off my hump/ My hump, my hump, my hump, my hump, my hump, my hump, my hump, my lovely little lumps.” Which of course, makes me laugh out loud. Who the HELL would listen to this song? I mean it’s funny, it makes me giggle, but puleeez. And then I discover it’s by the Black Eyed Peas and everybody and their mother knows this song. How I have missed it, I don’t know. But I can’t say I’m sad. These are the things you learn with a car and a radio.
In honor of the love-drunk-hump day, I remind you that ABL DJ Adam Smith will be rockin’ out at Abilene Wednesday night from 9ish onward. And if he plays the Black Eyed Peas song, free drinks for everyone at the bar!
Posting might be a little light this week, but I promise to bring you more flava from ye old Dirty South!
Bibliohistorians place the death of the blow-out book party sometime before I was old enough to get invited to one. Since coming of age, I have had the fortune to attend a few truly great book parties; however, their numbers have been much diminished by budget poaching and freeloaders.  Long gone are the days when liquor flowed like water and books were wantonly distributed at the door. Now, unloved and unnurtured, most book parties limp along with a poster or two, some promotional postcards, and the author’s monetary investment. (There is nothing worse than being faced by an “open bar” that you know is being subsidized by a half-starved author who will never sell enough copies of said book to receive royalties. It is a moral quandary like no other.)
There are some bookparties that rise above the standard, however, and Thursday night’s event for Tease: Inspired T-Shirt Transformations by Superstars of Art, Craft, and Design was one of them. Flaunting the book’s d.i.y. roots, all proceeds from the party went to 826nyc, a non-profit tutoring center in Park Slope that helps kids one-on-one with writing skills through after-school and drop-in tutoring, field trips, and lots of other great stuff.
The party centered around a generous open bar (donations to the center, of course) and featured a silent auction for the book’s T-shirt craft projects and a raffle that included items designed by Todd Oldham (a contributor). To finish everything off, pretty pink gift bags started multiplying across the room. Amazingly, instead of peeking in to find the requisite postcards and brochures, I discovered CDs, lipgloss, mints, notecards, iron-on transfers, magazines, buttons, and badges–apparently, when you back a great cause people come out of the woodwork to support you. Perhaps this heralds a new era in book parties, one in which we do not just celebrate one person’s achievement but also support our community. If only for the schwag, I certainly hope so.
This week’s Subway Reads:
Put on those platforms you’ve been saving for a special occasion and reapply your glitter lip gloss. DJ Bethany Benzur, who also runs ATLectro, has unearthed some disco and italo goodies that’ll help you dance your way to a fabulous Friday even if the gloomy weather says otherwise. If you’re a fan of Bethany’s mixes, you’ll enjoy what I’d like to call that “classic Bethany sound.”
A horoscope for all those Taurus birthdays:
Change is on the horizon. After a week of your lover’s passive-aggressive moaning, you’re starting to see things in a different light. Does that mean the relationship is fixed? No, but it does mean that you’re going to have a lot of fun tonight. As for all those work worries, like how will you get through the day after having been out until 4 a.m., may we suggest a little stereophonic pick-me-up.
Macho Machine – Mixed by Bethany
Download (mp3)
I went to Sundance once, and it was a pretty surreal experience. Just months after 9/11, it felt very strange to be sitting in heated tent trying to concentrate on a movie about the Hollywood-fairytale life of Robert Evans (actually a pretty good flick, worth Netflixing). And the parties, forget it. After a few laughable attempts at talking my way into Christina Ricci-attended shindigs, I decided just to hunker down in my nondescript hotel room and focus on getting my assignments done. Starting today, in what hopefully will become an annual event, New Yorkers can get a taste of the festival without all the glitz, glamour and $15 cheeseburgers. Through May 21st, BAM is hosting a series of screening, panels, and musical performances focusing on the best of Sundance. Promising offerings include a documentary about the first U.S. soldier killed in Iraq, a panel about the making of “The Usual Suspects,” the suicide comedy Wristcutters: A Love Story (pictured), an erotic anthology with contributions by master squirm-inducers Gasper Noe, Larry Clark and Matthew Barney, and screenings accompanied by Q&As with John Waters, David O. Russell, Allison Anders and Hal Hartley.
I just got my last subscription issue of Dwell in the mail (yes, I’m renewing), and it reminded me that there’s a fun activity for Brooklynites this weekend: BKLYN Designs 2006, May 12-14. It’s free for registered members of the trade and $12 for us regular folk who just like the pleasing shape of well-designed things. Tickets are available at all of the city’s Brooklyn Industries (but wouldn’t it be wrong to buy one at a Manhattan location?) and most of the show happens in DUMBO. There’s more than 50 firms participating, with everything from decorative pieces like the Perch Designs bird feeder in the photo, to furniture, rugs, lighting, etc. on display
Some of you may know that I used to write obituaries. I don’t think about it too much anymore, but every once and a while, I’ll read an obit and think about how much I would like to have written that obituary. People assume that obituary writing is sad and depressing, and sometimes it is. But more often, it’s uplifting. People will die whether you write an obit or not, but to be able to use words to memorialize their life is something special. If you’re looking for one such life-affirming obituary, you might check out  Sunday’s New York Times obituary of Burt Todd.
The Dagons play a show at Magnetic Field Tuesday night at 8pm, and even if they weren’t buddies of mine, I’d  have no problem plugging them.  Mixing Velvety drone, stick-in-your-craw melodies, and razor-sharp lyrics (“You’re the drugs your parent used to take”), Karie Jacobson and Drew Kowalski make a pretty mighty racket with just drums and guitar. Tickets are six bucks, and also on the bill are the spooky-sounding Von Ghouls. (Wonder if they’re fans of my favorite BCAT show?) Updated: Nice review from Time Out here.
I’ve been to many an open bar in New York City, but for whatever reason these are usually held on a weekday, and so the drinking is kept in check for the early-morning rise the next day. Brooklyn Collective’s Saturday night party, however, had no such check. It was free beer from 7pm to 8pm; we got there at 7:30. By 7:59, I was holding my third full beer in hand. (For the record, three beers in half an hour is about two too many.) In the course of being drunk, I had three thoughts, “Wow DJ Duckcomb is good, live too,” “Who is that guy playing live acid house?” (turns out he works at the Perfect Corner framing store on Court Street) and “Was that really Harry Hawk from Schnack who took those   photos of half-naked women hanging in the Brooklyn Collective store?” Just wanted to share.
Spurred by Stockholm’s creativity and a reader who asked me if Brooklyn can do better than BoCoCa, I thought I’d put the question to the readers. Is there anyway to combine Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens for a pleasing acronymn? What if we throw Gowanus into the mix? Be creative and may the best word win! If we get enough submissions (use the lovely comment button), perhaps we’ll put it to a vote.
In the end, the N.Y.W.O.P.s made it all worthwhile. That’s “nice young women of publishing” to the uninitiated. Easily differentiated from the crowd by “slightly intellectual hair, often involving bobby pins,” and frequently accompanied by G.Y.M.O.P.s (gay young men of publishing), the Nywop has “a sexual allure” and spends most of her time “being bookish,” which mostly seems to mean reading proposals in her living room with a glass of red wine in hand. At least, that’s according to my new friend Andrew, whose pithy observations were both preceded and followed by unequivocal remonstrations of book love.
That’s what we’d all gathered for, anyway. The rather ambitiously-named Brooklyn Literary Reception and Mingle  brought out publishing and library types, do-gooders, and writers — all for the open bar and a promise of big things to come. We gathered (some might say a bit prematurely) to herald the Brooklyn Book Festival, a one-day event to be held of September 16, 2006, with the unfortunate motto “smart, hip, and diverse,” a motto I’m willing to forgive if, indeed, I’m granted but a glimpse of committee member Maurice Sendak. There are some big names backing all this up, after all. And, if it goes according to plan, three outdoor stages, reading rooms, children’s entertainment, musicians, and more than 100 vendors will round out the day. To think: Borough Hall Plaza filled with books, Nywops, Gymops, and of course their more common cousins, the S.Y.M.O.L.T.s* (straight young men of literary tendencies), who can typically be spotted in abundance preening their unshaven cheeks and adjusting their horned-rim eyeglasses.
A festival centered around books is a great thing (not to mention the eye candy), and while some have questioned whether there is room for yet another book festival in this city, my thoughts lie elsewhere. Through the cacophony of Borough Hall’s marbled dome, among the throngs of young and old and middle-aged, under the beating of a September sun, will enough pause, enough silence exist to give words their proper due? If the writers come, will anybody listen? Can we promote ourselves and our loves without selling them out?  Does it even really matter?
We’ll be there in celebration of words written and of words to come. The famous and common alike will mingle and push and shove and get all sticky with cotton candy. For the sake of all of it, this wanna-be Nywop crosses her fingers and gives thanks. [The Written Nerd’s two cents on the affair.]
In honor of borough president Marty Markowitz, who started this whole thing in motion, this weeks’s Subway Reads:
In the course of trying to figure out just what Vasastan means in Swedish (see this comment to the Svek mix posted Friday), I came across Stefan Geens’ blog detailing the rise of the so-called SoFo neighborhood in Stockholm. He  suggested (rather tongue-in-cheek, I think, hard to read those Swedes) several additional neighborhoods for his city. It’s a little dated–from February 2004–but still pretty funny. Among the new neighborhoods he coins are MoFo,  More of Folkungagatan; NoLoGo, North of Lower Gotlandsgatan; BoRing, Bridges off Ringvgen; and LoBoToMe, Lower Bondegatan To Medborgarplatsen. Imagine how much fun New York could have if our neighborhoods had that many letters in them. Reminded me a bit of SoBro and WoBro. Oh, and I never did figure out what Vasastan means, except that it seems to be the name of a district in Stockholm. Does anyone know?
FreeNYC.net is listing a naked pillow fight at Lulu’s on 113 Franklin Street in Greenpoint. Bring your least-favorite pillow this  Saturday from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. to get in on the action. Oh, and if anybody goes, do take some photos and send them our way. I’d love to see just how “naked” this pillow fight really is.
As ABrooklynLife Podcast regular, hopefully you’re starting to get to know our regular DJs. For this week’s incarnation, Adam Smith, who you may remember from Wednesday night’s Half A$$ Rock Star DJ, has been inspired to  make an all-Svek mix. The record label is no more, but the influence of the Swedish label (Jasper Dahlbäck, Carl Lekebusch and Stephan Grieder all had a hand in its success) is still being felt across minimal, tech-house dancefloors nationwide (Can Svek fans take a joke?). There’s not a lot of info about the label online, but you can start with this Montreal Mirror article. If you wanna hear more, try scoring one of their CDs via Discogs or Tigersushi.
SVEK! SVEK! SVEK! – Mixed by Adam Smith
Download (mp3)
From the Craig… and might I say this is the best use of “hipster” I’ve seen yet–apparently being “hipster” is a pre-existing condition. No matter what you open in this storefront, you are guaranteed hipness. Absolutely fabulous–it’s why I love Brooklyn. Manhattan is sooo last year in the hip parade 😉
Prime location on hipster Smith St. Bklyn store lease for sale.
3 years left on the last of the low rent leases. $2,100/850ft.
Key$$, lowered to $45,000. (Landlord,most likely, will not go crazy with rent increase when lease is up as they are very laid back.)
No Food. No Bar
Move-in condition. Near all the best restaurants and trendy boutiques (American apparel next door.) totally renovated *2large front windows and large front awning,new wood floor, new air, sound system, track lighting, fridge, electric gate. Finished back room with removeable wall.(dressing rooms,expensive mirrored doors and lights on ceiling) Dirty basement but storage facility near by. (redo the entire space at your expense if you are already an established chain.)
email – Hipstuffat718@aol.com or e-mail below.
Smith St. at douglas/Butler
I can’t say for sure if that’s DJ Duckcomb of ABL Podcast fame posing for the poster (we’ve never met!), but I do know that you’ll get to see him live and in person when he DJs at Brooklyn Collective’s cool little gig on Saturday, May 6, starting at 7 p.m. [198 Columbia Street between Sackett and Degraw streets]. Duckcomb is joined by ShakeWell and special guests, the Innovaders. What’s all the fuss about? The gallery/shop just wants to throw a party for spring–and it’s free drinks and refreshments at Lido bar next door from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. with an R.S.V.P. You’ll also get to check out some cool art and design (photos, paintings, sculpture, fashion, jewelry, accessories) from what I can only assume is the work of Brooklyn craftspeople.
ABL’s friend has put up a small Flikr photoset with some good shots. I’ve been smelling burning plastic below 14th Street for two nights now.
If you’re in a band that plays slow, intellectual mood music, heavy on the cello, with song titles like “An Animated Description of Mr. Maps,” why would you want to go and call yourself The Books? Isn’t that something like wearing a pocket protector that also shows your name spelled out in a Dynamo label your mother made? Lucky for The Books, their output is like the, um, Dungeon Master of nerd music, unbelievably pretty and pretty weird to boot, and probably worth checking out at Northsix on Friday. At Southpaw that same night is Evan Dando, who used to be in a band with a nerdy name, the Lemonheads, but really was just another pretty boy waiting to go solo. On Saturday, keeping with the theme, any geek worth his or her ten-sided die shouln’t miss Saturday’s Monster Project at Galapagos, which features live renditions of music from monster movies like “Godzilla,” TV shows like “Land of the Lost,” and a special medley devoted to slasher flicks. Slide whistles and theremins are promsied, and maybe they can borrow the cellist from The Books to do Jason Voorhees’ theme. Finally on Sunday at Southpaw is Prefuse 73–fun, glitchy, hip-hop influenced electronic stuff. “Prefuse” isn’t even a real word, smartypants.
First, I must apologize for the lack of photos on the site. I’ve misplaced (lost?) my camera battery charger, and the battery is dead. It makes me very sad. I keep hoping I’ll find it in the apartment, but I just might have to bite the bullet and buy another one.
Now, on to Pathmark. With the loss of the world’s most poorly run Key Food on Court Street, which still hasn’t turned into the promised drug store, the neighborhood had to find a new place to shop for groceries. Of course, we still patronize Sue and her natural foods mini-grocery, and on occasion we’ve stopped into that little grocery next door, which is only good for the very basics of basics (hmmm …. I think I need a can of tomato paste). But we’ve also started making the trek to Pathmark, known on the company’s own website as Gowanus Pathmark. On our side of the neighborhood, it’s not so far away.
You’d never know it was there, even if you’re a frequent shopper at Lowe’s, which shares a parking lot with the behemoth (Pathmark faces Hamilton). And it is a large grocery store. It’s like stepping into the suburban grocery store of one’s youth. Wide aisle, so many aisles that you could lose a child in there if you really wanted to. It still puts the veggies on Styrofoam trays, but at least the veggies are fresh. It also has an impressive selection of Latin food products–Latin cheeses, crema Mexicana, arepas-making stuff, wide selection of items from Goya.  And it’s a good place to stock up on staples.
Of course, the vast majority of people there are stuffing their carts with extra-large bags of frozen chicken wings, so if you find bulk purchases of frozen meat products disturbing, you might want to stick with the Met Food on Henry.
Here’s betting that Half A$$ Rock Star DJ night at Abilene on Wednesday will be just as charming as its first two incarnations.
Our friend  and ipod DJ Adam will be mixing up the new and old, rock and funk, maybe even slip in a few electronic-leaning tunes, from 9 p.m. to about midnight. Come show some love for ABL.
If you haven’t been, Abilene’s a cool little bar. If you have, you already know this, and you should come for a cool little night.
I have a strong, instantaneous aversion to being looked at. When I was younger, my schoolmates would organize group stare-downs in the lunch room. And I would look up, feeling their eyes burn into my pale skin. It would start slowly, flushing my cheeks, then building up speed on the creep down my neck, until the blush nuzzled deep into the flesh stretched across my collarbones. I became the Platonic “Tomato-Red;” “Lobster.” It wouldn’t be until hours later, in my chemistry class, that my face would finally return to its pre-stare, deathly pallor.
But now these many years later, New York has given me the anonymity my veins so desperately craved. In this city of millions, I am just another blank face, another blur of features. And so it was with some suprise that on this week’s Subway Reads prowl, I eagerly slid my greedy gaze across laps and over shoulders, in search of five elusive titles for this week’s post. Predatory, I stalked those unfortunate souls who bent their covers back, who left their hardcover jackets home. It is not impossible to escape detection. However, to the woman on the F train late Thursday night, to the man buried deep in his comic book on Tuesday morning, I must apologize. There is no comfort to be found on the opposite end of the scope — I know this. I ask that your deep flush of recognition, brought on by my prying eyes, may be forgiven.
Below, this week’ s top five subway reads:
Marine Sniper
by Charles W. Henderson
A Time of Angels
by Karen Hesse
Father Joe: The Man Who Saved My Soul
by Tony Hendra
The Last True Story I’ll Ever Tell: An Accidental Soldier’s Account of the War in Iraq
by John Crawford
Origin in Death
by J. D. Robb
[As always, these images from Amazon.com. Neither the writer nor abrooklynlife supports the sole use of online retailers. Be a good neighbor and buy your books local.]
On your lap: Join the hunt. Stuff my inbox with your best book-moments of the week here.