I never thought I'd shake Questlove’s hand.
It was at the book release party for Bradley Spinelli’s novel Killing Williamsburg at Trash, a bar in Williamsburg, where Questlove was DJing. Spinelli had simply walked up to Brooklyn’s most famous alternative hip-hop star at his own book signing and asked; Spinelli mentioned that his novel was launching on World Suicide Prevention Day, and as Questlove scribbled his thousandth autograph of the day, Spinelli listed some of the great pop musicians who had committed suicide. Questlove rattled off some more as the people standing in line shifted uncomfortably from foot to foot and rolled their eyes. Half an hour [...]
Last week, I went with a friend to see A Subtlety: or the Marvelous Sugar Baby: an Homage to the unpaid and overworked Artisans who have refined our Sweet tastes from the cane fields to the Kitchens of the New World on the Occasion of the demolition of the Domino Sugar Refining Plant, the installation by Kara Walker that will close after this weekend, following an eight-week run. When we left, I asked my friend what he thought. “Well, it’s all over Instagram,” he said. “So it’s pretty much what I expected.”
Reviews of Walker’s installation have tended to focus on a few themes: Gender and sexuality is [...]
The influx of the young and rich into Brooklyn is, according to the New York Post, "gentrifying" jury pools, making them more trustful of the police and less trustful of plaintiffs in civil suits. “People who can afford to live in Brooklyn now don’t have the experience of police officers throwing them against cars and searching them. A person who just moves here from Wisconsin or Wyoming, they can’t relate to [that]. It doesn’t sound credible to them.”
"Bu-bu-but," the young white man protests, "I've seen The Wire. Twice. Except for the second season which I don't like all that much though I can't quite put my [...]
“I would not consider it fair if someone in Williamsburg were complaining that we weren’t portraying Williamsburg in an accurate light, considering that person probably just moved here from Ohio,” said Nick Carr, another location scout. “Did they come here for the same reason they’re filming here” — in search of a gritty-yet-glamorous fantasy of Williamsburg?
The New York Times generously saved this piece—"To Hollywood, All Things Hip Lie in Brooklyn"—for your return to work today, since you'll likely need all the fury you can muster to get through it. I mean have you seen the weather forecast, oof.
"My theory is that we are primed for the pendulum to swing back to Manhattan—we are approximately 2 years away from a rash of trend stories declaring that 'Manhattan Is the New Brooklyn,' as people begin to realize that it's actually cheaper now to live in the East Village or Washington Heights or the Upper East Side than it is to live in fucking Williamsburg or Fort Greene or even fucking Bed-Stuy or Crown Heights, at this point, fuck everything."
One of the most obscene things I learned as a barista was how eager people are to be liked. NYU sophomores, the ones with Jansport backpacks in full makeup at 9 a.m., stuttered their orders and shyly complimented me on my nose ring. I semi-patiently listened to innumerable Wikipedia-style monologues about the music I was playing from men in their twenties trying to render their business attire invisible with cultural know-how. I was given zines, mixtape-party fliers, home-recorded chillwave demos.
I said things like "How’s the app going?" and "Welcome to the neighborhood." I answered questions for new Greenpoint residents—of which there were more each year—about the best place [...]
Nearby, Nick Krevatas, one of the workers who were to hoist the new 12-by-18-foot red, white and blue flags that arrived in a Transportation Department truck by early afternoon, pulled on an elaborate harness.
"I feel we’ve been tampered with on our soil," he said, a fat cigar clamped in the corner of his mouth. (He was still smoking it as he walked up the suspension cable to the towers.)
“Something political, I guess," he mused. "It’s got to mean something."
The supposed mystery of the white flag over the Brooklyn Bridge is itself deeply mystifying: While bleaching the stars-and-stripes to produce an all white [...]
Today's great story on New York City as real estate investment and money laundering capital of the world has lots to recommend it, but in particular it confirms one of those things you already know but don't have the numbers on: The Census Bureau estimates that 30 percent of all apartments in the quadrant from 49th to 70th Streets between Fifth and Park are vacant at least ten months a year.
Amazing. Such validation! The rest of us, well… we work here, so we should probably have some place to sleep.
The Spire Lofts in Williamsburg have been going on the market in waves, with an open house held [...]
Ever since the streetcar system that connected Brooklyn and Queens was effectively dismantled by the automobile industry, there has been virtually no way to travel between the two boroughs without a car, except by bike, boat, bus, foot or fowl. But today, the Metropolitan Transit Authority has announced the opening of a new subway line that will run essentially north-south, exclusively serving the two rapidly growing outer boroughs.
Called the G line, it will run between Church Avenue in Brooklyn and Court Square in Queens. While the trains only features four cars, they will run every eight minutes between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. on weekdays. P.A. [...]
Follow the slope downward, to the east, toward the meadow, to where the earth levels off and there are crocuses coming up through a damp layer of wood chips. This is where the tree is. Behind the tree, the ground rises into a sort of berm between the Botanic Garden and Flatbush Avenue that breaks the siren howl and traffic rumble. A wide asphalt pathway meanders in front of it. On a typical spring day visitors usually pause here to admire the tree, and read the placard with its name and chuckle, because it’s a caucasian wingnut.
The tree’s branches are thick and deeply ridged, twisting out from a [...]
Due to a brush fire in the Wharton State Park in New Jersey, residents in Staten Island & Brooklyn may smell smoke.
— NYC OEM – Notify NYC (@NotifyNYC) April 7, 2014
"The smell of smoke wafted over New York City early Monday after a brush fire broke out in a state forest in central New Jersey, authorities say. The city’s Office of Emergency Management tweeted that people in Staten Island and Brooklyn might smell smoke from a forest fire burning along 30 acres of land in Wharton State Forest, a large preserve northwest of Atlantic City. The forest is about 90 miles south [...]
"A trio of 'style-conscious germaphobes' have designed a scarf made from special germ-filtering cloth, in a high-tech bid to keep nasty bugs at bay — particularly on the subway. The Scough — a mashup of the words 'scarf' and 'cough' — was the brainchild of Alexa Nigro, Ari Klaristenfeld and Andrew Kessler, who couldn't stand another winter riding the subway next to people who don't cover their mouths when they cough. The scarf that retails for $39 to $59 on the company's website and on Etsy, can be drawn around the face to act as a fashionable mask, its creators said."
A couple of years ago, I went to get my jeans mended at a store in my neighborhood called Kill Devil Hill. It mostly sold New-Old Brooklyn tchotchkes—nice soaps, pharmaceutical brown bottles, fancy combs—but in the back of the shop was a tiny denim repair business. When I mentioned being embarrassed about the crater-sized holes in the crotch, the person behind the counter told me that, actually, crotches on jeans fail all the time; most jeans, if they fail, fail in the crotch. Since the repairs are cheap—twenty dollars or so—there’s a small army of people walking around with mended, reinforced, double-strength, nearly indestructible crotches.
So last week, [...]
Charming and unique large one bedroom in landmarked brownstone – extremely bright, 10 high sloped ceilings, SKYLIGHT in each room – no side windows, original hardwood floors*, renovated kitchen and bathroom, no side windows. Located on a prime block in Brooklyn Heights, no side windows, Blocks from all major MTA subway lines, no side windows.
Short distance to the Promenade and the Brooklyn Bridge, Restaurant Row on Smith Street, shopping on Court Street, no side windows, Atlantic Street and Montague Street, no side windows. Minutes to Manhattan, Wall Street and Midtown, ＮＯ ＳＩＤＥ ＷＩＮＤＯＷＳ.
*no side windows
Two weeks ago, at the Eastern District Court of New York, federal prosecutors played a video of the rapper and alleged drug kingpin Ronald Herron, better known as Ra Diggs, driving around Boerum Hill, monologuing about his life and his environment. "This is not my 'hood like I'm from here. This is My Hood," Herron says, looking out the window as he drives. Herron throws his whole weight behind the last two words as the tall, brick buildings of the Gowanus Houses flash by in the background. "I am surveying my terrain."
The video was filmed in the fall of 2008 by a man named Vincent Winfield. Also known [...]
No one can afford to live anywhere, at least not in New York City or San Francisco, unless, of course, you can afford to buy a whole place to live, but then you have other problems, like all of the other people who can afford to buy a place to live, because there aren't that many places to live, even if you are capable of purchasing one outright: And just 1,163 new condos are expected this year in prime Brooklyn neighborhoods, according to Corcoran Sunshine, a new development marketing company. Fewer than 800 will come online next year. That’s nothing compared to the 10,000 new condominium units slated [...]
"Brownstone Brooklyn is being overtaken by affluent out-of-towners," while Greenpoint is "the country’s most awesome place for young people" to live. I hope you're all proud of yourselves.