dumbo 1st thursday gallery walk

On the first Thursday of every month, DUMBO hosts their FREE gallery walk.  Print out their listing and the map of the galleries / events and take a stroll through DUMBO Brooklyn.  http://dumbo.is/itineraries/1121

Here are a few snapshots from my walk last month

art archway drinks and music just say yes digital reader

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the evolving new york(er)

This week, I “became” a New Yorker, as defined by some people.  10 years ago, I began my journey to the big city to live out my dreams set for myself at 4 years old.

12 years ago or so, on my one of my weekend “visits” to the city, my friend brought me down to the most northern pier of BPC as it was sort of new to her as well and she wanted to share her exploration.  At the time, I didn’t get it, it felt like we were in the middle of nowhere, so far South and so far West (despite her living on the East side at the time).

I thought the new SeaGlass Carousel in The Battery is a perfect depiction for this time in my life and my 10 year newyorkiversary.   The idea that a carousel goes around and around depicts the continued evolving of NYC and just like in life, it has its cycles of ups and downs.  Fish are symbols of fertility, representing the growth of downtown and myself.

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Like The Battery, I am fairly new to the city and I have evolved over the years.  Not only did I live there for 3 years, I got engaged there, my wedding home base was there and just like The Battery and BPC, I lost myself there.  Unless you work on Wall Street or are visiting the Statue of Liberty, that area isn’t thought of very often and its a mystery to some people as to exactly where it is (one response when I told someone that I lived in BPC was “where is that? Queens?”) and don’t know to get there.  Because of my time spent at this somewhat historic tip of Manhattan, I know of and value the treasures that it offers us.  I hope you can enjoy them as well.

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5 course beer tasting

A friend of mine at Gastronomista, the award winning website on all things cocktails, told me about this Anchor Brewing tasting event at Chelsea’s location of Cooper’s Craft & Kitchen.  Anchor Brewmaster Mark Carpenter was in town  to celebrate Anchor’s 50th anniversary of the American Craft Brewing Revolution.

anchor beer

Anchor Brewing Company being from San Francisco, and this being a NYC blog, my focus is not on the beer, per se, rather on the on the chef of this 5 course tasting.  The brewmaster admitted that that he really didn’t have too much input regarding what was served that evening. He merely gave approval based on how the menu sounded.

Although this was a beer tasting, in my opinion Chef Brendan Neville, formerly of Café Luxembourg and The Smith was the far and away the highlight of the night.  Chef Brandon pulled together a 5 course meal all of which had the beer taste associated with it infused into something on the plate. The dishes consisted of of 2 cheese dishes, pork belly, scallops and his own creations  of bacon corn fritters, English pea smash and even sunflower sprouts that I had never had.  The pea smash is pictured below…

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At one point, I had asked the PR group where they found the chef.  I was surprised to hear that he came with the bar! I guess you never judge a book by its cover, as I thought it was just a bar – meanwhile it’s a destination for craft beer and good food.

Thanks to the great collaboration between Mark and Brandon for putting together a delicious night.

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queens film history

Before heading out to a museum, always read the fine print under the visitors section regarding the hours and entrance fees.  I’m finding that many of the museums either of certain days and times have free admission and or the entrance fees really are “pay what you wish” and that the full price admission ticket is only “suggested”.  

mad men

Friday nights, the Museum of Moving Image in Queens has free admission.  I made my way out there to see the “Matthew Weiner’s Mad Men” exhibit which is on view through December 6th.   This exhibit takes you through the historic events and other influences and the idea generation behind the brilliant minds of the writers and directors.  It gives you a look into wardrobe throughout the decades and some props used in the show.  You can also see inside the room that the writers spent many hours, Betty Draper’s kitchen and other views inside the real Mad Men era of NYC.  The museum (or Weiner) restricted all photos – which leaves me with nothing else to say except that its definitely worth a look.   

kaufmanFinding myself in a neighborhood I rarely visit, of course, I had to find a local place to have dinner.  My partiality for movie studios and NYC history, led me to a restaurant outside the 90 year old Kaufman Astoria Studios which has been the production house of some more recent shows such as Nurse Jackie and Orange is the New Black.  Read up on its history and legacy here  http://www.kaufmanastoria.com/our-legacy/

The restaurant I ate at is located just outside the studio’s doors and is called The Astor Room.  It was back in the 1920’s when the movie studio opened to use as the commissary for the actors and crew who at work in the studios.

commisary

You can see in the above picture, the remnants of what reminds me of a cafeteria from when I was in grade school. Today its a cozy spot with a menu far from the likes of a cafeteria menu.  The restaurant has live music and happy hour specials.

The museum, studios and restaurant together make Astoria a destination for good old fashion fun and another view into a snapshot in time from long ago.

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green-wood cemetery

this is how I spent my memorial day – in a cemetery – in BK – at my own leisure.  A family friend was telling me how much she enjoyed her visit there, and although it sounded odd, I knew I had to check it out.

Green-Wood Cemetery is a 478 acre national historic landmark dating back to 1838 when the first person was buried there and is a Revolutionary War site.  It is huge, so much that we needed a map to make our way through.

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Memorial Day being the day to remember those that died fighting for our country, this cemetery was a good place to do so.  It houses significant and beautiful architecture, specifically one below – a chapel which holds weddings and houses a little museum telling stories of those fallen during the Civil War.  One in particular about 2 brothers, one fighting for the North and one fighting for the South, buried next to each other in the cemetery behind the chapel. The chapel also tells the story of a 12 year old drummer boy who was the first death from Kings County.

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The cemetery isn’t home to only soldiers but to New Yorkers and other Americans, some of them famous like Basquiat which you can see is well visited.

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Although it’s a cemetery where I’m sure many tears were and will continue to be shed, I couldn’t help but feel like it was a cultural learning experience and adventure of something new.   Seeing these catacombs, from the top, the bottom and the inside was example of that.

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And along the same lines of adventure, the cemetery holds events.  Memorial day they had a concert there where people brought lawn chairs and blankets to sit on.  I just heard about this walking night-time performance during the month of June based on Alice in Wonderland.  THIS sounds perfect for a cemetery – just make sure you don’t go peering into any of the mausoleums.

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Most of all, what we all need in our lives before we pass on, is peace.  Ironic as it sounds, this was the place to get it.  With the acres of grass and hills and century old trees, I totally forgot that I was in the middle of Brooklyn; and couldn’t help but want to snuggle up in the shade and take a nap.

The next time you discuss what to do, mention that you want to go to a cemetery, you might receive an odd look but your experience will be worth it.

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that tagged up, abandoned building – or not

you know it, on the corner of Bowery and Spring, or maybe you don’t recall the exact address and only know that its downtown… or maybe you only know it if you saw…. let me jog your memory …

front 190 bowery

you know it now right? but it wasn’t until very recently that the public outside of the real estate business knew it as “190 Bowery”

This building has quite a history and appears to be adding to it in the past week.  It was constructed in 1898 to be a German bank, had a few other owners until photographer Jay Maisel bought it in 1966 to use as his art studio on the first floor and eventually as a home for himself, his wife and daughter on the upper floors of this 6 story building.

Ironically, a few months ago, my husband and I were pondering what the inside of this building must look like, wonder who owned it and who would actually buy it because it must be rat infested and possible house a squatter or 2.

Maisel decided to sell his residence and to the benefit of the public, new owner and developer Aby Rosen has worked with curator Vito Schnabel to open the doors to 190 to display some works of art on the first floor of this bank turned residence.

I had the opportunity to go in, however, we are only privy to the first floor, the studio section of this mansion and was slightly disappointed that we were sanctioned off from seeing Maisel’s multi-room mansion.  You can, however, see the living quarters in this video.  http://www.6sqft.com/new-video-of-190-bowery-gives-us-a-peek-at-how-photographer-jay-maisel-lived/

In the meantime, check out some of the photos I took in the attempt to capture the beauty that was maintained all of these years

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updated 6/16/16

Curbed is reporting that all but one of the infamous graffiti artist Sean Griffin’s tags will be removed from 190 Bowery – his original – his name

http://ny.curbed.com/2016/6/16/11955792/190-bowery-germania-bank-graffiti-removal-nekst

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target first saturdays

It’s an age old lesson in life, you can know something however, its easier to speak to it when you are wise to it. Although I’ve mentioned Target First Saturdays twice before, this month, I became wise to it.

jazz band in lobby

Target First Saturdays takes place at the Brooklyn Museum the first Saturday of every month.  Not only is the museum entrance fee $0 and free to roam and explore all exhibits, they have created a schedule of events around one of their main exhibits with curator talks, films, hands on art activities and pop up gallery talks.  With the sponsorship from Target, the museum hosts a schedule of events curated around one of the exhibits in the museum.

The night begins at 5p with a live band or orchestra in the lobby, while patrons roll in to take in the sounds and to map out their plan for the evening.

BasquiatThe first Saturday of April coincided with the opening of its Basquiat exhibit, which the museum also curated its events around it.  One of the events that evening was a film that offered an intimate look at his career from he started out tagging in the 1970s to his early death in 1988.

Note, this film, although still free, was ticked and they only gave out a certain number of tickets for it.  I recommend you getting there slightly before 5 to get on line should you want to attend something that is ticked.

Looking back, we were smart to check out the exhibit after getting our tickets and before the film started as the exhibit was still fairly manageable and you were able to maneuver around.  After the film we attempted to go back to look closer at a few things and there was a line on the 3rd floor waiting to get in!

Instead we checked out the Kehinde Wiley exhibit, who is known for his “portraits of everyday men and women riff on specific paintings by Old Masters, replacing the European aristocrats depicted in those paintings with contemporary black subjects, drawing attention to the absence of African Americans from historical and cultural narratives”

Kihinde Wiley

Heading back downstairs, now around 9 or so we walked into a scene and a half – the DJ was pumping, drinks were flowing and kids were dancing!

It was a wondering way to spend a FREE Saturday night in Brooklyn.

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