Tag Archive for 'Brooklyn'

Camera Obscura & DJ Victoria Bergsman, at the Bell House

Victoria Bergsman
Victoria Bergsman, DJing at The Bell House in Brooklyn.

Ned­ward: Vic­to­ria Bergs­man (for­mer­ly of The Con­cretes) is DJing at The Bell House, much to my delight. Wait­ing for Cam­era Obscu­ra!

As big a fan of Cam­era Obscu­ra as I am, the more inter­est­ing bit Tues­day night was a spe­cial guest DJ, Vic­to­ria Bergs­man. A lot of peo­ple know her voice as the female coun­ter­point in Young Folks, the Peter Bjorn and John sing-along hit from a cou­ple of years ago. But she was also the singer in one of my favorite bands, The Con­cretes. (Cam­era Obscu­ra fans should check out their epony­mous debut album.) She has since left the band, and formed a solo project under the name Tak­en By Trees, (also a great debut).

Any­how, I might have been the only per­son in the crowd that had any idea who she was – or cared – so Lisa encour­aged me to say hel­lo. But, I’m just not one of those peo­ple who walks up to a famous per­son, and just gush­es in their face. Call it shy­ness, call it fear of dis­ap­point­ment… the bot­tom line is that I chick­ened out.

To make mat­ters worse, Lisa went over to the DJ booth with­out me, and told Ms. Bergs­man that “her friend was a big fan,” but that he “didn’t want to both­er her.” Nice. So now I’m shy, and embar­rassed.

I don’t real­ly regret it that much, but I would’ve liked to show off some dance moves from The Con­cretes’ On The Radio video. I’d like to think that she would’ve laughed.

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The Times on Brooklyn Food, Frank Bruni on Buttermilk Channel

Today’s Times Din­ing sec­tion has some great cov­er­age of Brook­lyn food. First, there is a great arti­cle on food pro­duc­ers through­out the bor­ough:

These Brook­lynites, most in their 20s and 30s, are hand-mak­ing pick­les, cheeses and choco­lates the way oth­ers form bands and artists’ col­lec­tives. They have a sense of com­mu­ni­ty and an appre­ci­a­tion for tra­di­tion­al meth­ods and fla­vors. They also share an aes­thet­ic that’s equal parts 19th and 21st cen­tu­ry, with a taste for bold graph­ics, sal­vaged wood and, for the men, scruffy beards.

Make sure to check out the inter­ac­tive map, too.

Also, Frank Bruni reviews one of my favorite new restau­rants near our home in Brook­lyn, But­ter­milk Chan­nel, along with an audio slideshow:

But­ter­milk Chan­nel [is] a restau­rant of real stan­dards, note­wor­thy ambi­tion and uncom­mon slav­ish­ness to trends. It’s laud­able and pre­dictable in equal mea­sures. And it was packed every time I went…

The look of the restau­rant, whose cor­ner loca­tion affords it pret­ty win­dows on two sides, is on the pol­ished side of homey. There’s nice­ly buffed wood, a spi­dery brass light­ing fix­ture and a hon­eyed glow from it and hand­some sconces along the walls.

There’s also ample space between tables: the own­er, Doug Crow­ell, isn’t try­ing just to jam in as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble. But he does ask you to trade some com­fort and con­ve­nience for the refresh­ing­ly low prices.

These few blocks on Court Street are start­ing to fill with inter­est­ing and tasty culi­nary oper­a­tions: But­ter­milk Chan­nel, Frankie’s Spunti­no, and the new­ly opened and not-yet-vis­it­ed soon to open Prime Meats.

UPDATE: The Times post­ed a Q & A between read­ers and sub­jects of the Brook­lynite food pro­duc­ers piece.

Memorial, 7 years


Twin beams of the Tribute in Light in lower Manhattan, as seen from the Promenade in Brooklyn Heights.

Neighborhood Envy, Gossip Girl in Carroll Gardens

I’m no stranger to neigh­bor­hood-envy, but it’s nice to hear some direct­ed our way:

Gos­sip Girl Invades Car­roll Gar­dens, Olds Are Befud­dled, Enraged »

I’m going to refer to my neigh­bors as “Smith Street whip­sters (wealthy hip­sters)”, uniron­i­cal­ly and with zero self-aware­ness, from now on.

Carroll Will Never Be The Same

Carroll will never be the same

Barriers erected outside the Carroll Street MTA entrance at 2nd Place and Smith Street, in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.

Looks like the 360 Smith lux­u­ry con­do devel­op­ment is going to shut down my sub­way entrance, and severe­ly mess up the nice plaza in front:

Because the safe­ty of our cus­tomers is of utmost con­cern, this clo­sure will be in effect on a 24-hour, 7 days per week basis for 6–8 months (sub­ject to the progress of the con­struc­tion project)…

See outside.in for more his­to­ry of this con­tro­ver­sial devel­op­ment.

Love is All @ Market Hotel


Josephine Olausson, singer and keyboardist for the Swedish Indie band Love Is All, performing in Bushwick last Saturday.

Despite the heavy rains, thun­der and light­en­ing last sat­ur­day night, I ven­tured out to Bush­wick on the J train to catch one of my favorite bands, Love Is All. They’ve acquired some­thing of a good live rep­u­ta­tion over the past cou­ple of years, and though it was a short set, they didn’t dis­ap­point.

One glance at these pho­tos and video, and it should be clear that this was a very hot and sweaty show. And giv­en that I found myself in the “pit” for the first time since my grunge days in high school, I’m pret­ty sure that I left the Mar­ket Hotel that night with a lot of oth­er peo­ples’ sweat on me.

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Roast & Toast NYE

We spent New Year’s Eve this year co-host­ing a potluck din­ner at Jason and Liz’s place in Park Slope. Here is a lit­tle video that I put togeth­er:

We served roast beef to twen­ty peo­ple, drank cham­pale, and made some res­o­lu­tions that we prob­a­bly won’t keep. More below the fold, includ­ing some of my and Lisa’s pho­tos.

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Brooklyn Neighborhood Poster, by Ork Posters

Brooklyn Neighborhood Poster, by Ork PostersI love this typo­graph­i­cal poster of Brook­lyn neigh­bor­hoods, by Ork Posters of Chica­go.

It won’t help me fig­ure out the “offi­cial” bound­aries of Car­roll Gar­dens, but it sure is pret­ty.

[via swiss­miss]

Crashing an Open House


A new Robert Scarano “luxury” condo building at 326 State Street, in Boerum Hill.

A week or two ago, I walked past a new Robert Scara­no “lux­u­ry” con­do build­ing at 326 State Street, in the north­ern reach­es of Boerum Hill. This past Sat­ur­day, Tyler and Sarah were down from Boston for a vis­it, and we walked by again – and they were hav­ing an Open House. Why not have a look? [from iPhone]

More below the fold.

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Halloween 2007

In 3D!

We cel­e­brat­ed Hal­loween a lit­tle dif­fer­ent this year – by watch­ing Tim Burton’s The Night­mare Before Christ­mas in 3D. Thanks to Bec­ca for the idea, and for get­ting the tick­ets.

I haven’t seen this movie since it came out almost 15 years ago, but it real­ly is an ani­ma­tion clas­sic. The stop motion method looks just as cut­ting-edge and inspir­ing as any­thing done by Pixar in the past few years, and I love the many homages to Beetle­juice and oth­er Bur­ton films, (details here). [from iPhone]

We saw it at the Pavil­ion Park Slope, but I think that it is up in oth­er the­aters around the city this week. More pho­tos below the fold.

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Carroll Gardens Featured on Gridskipper

Grid­skip­per put togeth­er a nice fea­ture on our neigh­bor­hood in Brook­lyn, includ­ing a snarky com­par­i­son:

Car­roll Gar­dens fea­tured on Grid­skip­per
Car­roll Gar­dens is quaint, and for those in love with the West Vil­lage but who sim­ply can’t afford to live there, it will do.

I’m not sure that I agree with this – we chose to live in Brook­lyn over Man­hat­tan, and I would argue that the neigh­bor­hoods to the north (Cob­ble Hill and Boerum Hill) are prob­a­bly more fit­ting equiv­a­lents. Also, with few excep­tions, Car­roll Gar­dens is still very much a fam­i­ly neigh­bor­hood. Sure, it might be chang­ing, but take a walk down our street dur­ing the day, and you’re going to see a lot of old men who’ve lived there for 50 years, as well as kids play­ing on the side­walk. Err, maybe that is what the West Vil­lage is like.

Still, can’t deny that Car­roll Gar­dens is awe­some, and rel­a­tive­ly afford­able, con­sid­er­ing the restau­rant and bar options – we rarely make it into the city on week­ends.


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Lower Manhattan

Lower Manhattan

Had a love­ly walk along the Brook­lyn Heights Prom­e­nade, on a fall day. [from iPhone]

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Saturday Scoot


We unchained the scoot­ers this after­noon, and mean­dered around Brook­lyn in the sun. Not too many days like this left. [from iPhone]

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A sleepy Sun­day after­noon on Atlantic Ave. [from iPhone]

First Week in Carroll Gardens

We arrived last Wednes­day, and unpack­ing is an ongo­ing project. We sold, gave away, or threw out most of our “big stuff”, so this move is not only about a new space, but also a lot of new pur­chas­es. A lot of the stuff we got rid of was from our col­lege days, and had also already made it through our fire.

Room & Board sofaI’m most excit­ed about our new sofa, which Lisa bought from Room & Board in SoHo. Thanks to Jason and Liz for tip­ping us off to this place – we loved every­thing we saw there. Their fur­ni­ture man­ages to be very mod­ern with­out look­ing uncom­fort­able or annoy­ing. (Of course, we real­ized lat­er that we chose the same sofa as the Yovanoff-De Mase home… but hey, good taste is good taste, right?

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