Joy’s Best of Brooklyn for January 25, 26, 27

Paulette Tavormina: Natura Morta. Lemons and Pomegranates, after J.V.H., 2010. Robert Mann Gallery

Paulette Tavormina Natura Morta. Lemons and Pomegranates, after J.V.H., 2010.
From her solo exhibition at Robert Mann Gallery.

Too beautiful to pass by: Paulette Tavormina Natura Morta, a solo exhibition of photographs at Robert Mann Gallery. In the manner of Irving Penn and Edward Weston, Tavormina’s work depicts intensely personal images that recall old-master still-life paintings depicting edible objects. Her bio notes that she is an avid collector of butterflies and insects, shells, dried flowers and ceramics, and has worked as a food stylist in Hollywood. Outer Brooklyn—Chelsea, Manhattan. through March 9.

The Reuben is one of over ten typical sandwiches offered daily at Court Street Grocers.

Friday dinners and daily Reubens.

Friday: The next in a series of Friday Night Dinner at Court Street Grocers. According to Serious Eats, this larder-cum-sandwich place is run by “three dudes [who] just want to sell all the seriously good stuff they can find across the country.” And present a monthly BYOB dinner in their side dining room. Friday’s menu of five courses features ingredients such as octopus with caesar vinaigrette, crispy chicken skin and maytag blue cheese, bone marrow and bbq sunchokes. Court Street Grocers’s Red Hook annex was severely damaged by Sandy and owners Eric Finkelstein and Matt Ross are depending on crowdsourced fund-raising through Smallknot to help restore. Carroll Gardens. Reserve—two seatings at 7pm and 9:30pm are sure to fill up fast.

BBG will celebrate the full moon tonight.

BBG will celebrate Saturday’s full moon with giant puppets and stilt dancers.

Saturday: Winter Cheese Party at The JakeWalk. Under the auspices of Stinky Bklyn, brush up on your knowledge of cheese pairings with wine, beer and cocktails during the cold days of January. After this week’s bitter temps, The JakeWalk’s comfy neighborhood vibe will keep things upbeat and toasty. Carroll Gardens. 1pm.

great for families Saturday and Sunday: Illuminated at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. A series of winter pop-up events done Swedish-style. Featured on Saturday: a handstand class for adults, where lack of coordination is a plus (sign up begins at 10:30am for noon class). Moonlight Lantern Walk with giant puppets and stilt dancers celebrating the full moon at the Cherry Esplanade (6pm-8pm). On Sunday, the Mitten Lounge becomes a clubhouse for 9- to 15-year-olds complete with human pyramids, crafts, an acrobatic mandala and a flashlight tour. (12pm-5pm)

libraryCommons

Beyond research and reading: the new co-working
facility is structured for multi-media use.

bpl_logoAnother reason to keep your library card active: More exciting than the discussions about branding and the new logo is the opening of the Information Commons space at the Central Library at Grand Army Plaza. The Shelby White and Leon Levy Information Commons, located on the first floor, consists of public meeting rooms, a training lab and an open workspace. The workspace is equipped with ten iMacs and two HP design stations for general public use; each is equipped with Adobe CS6 Creative Suite, Audacity, Pro Tools, Office, Final Cut Pro X, and more creative and production software. One of seven meeting rooms—that can be reserved online—doubles as an amateur recording studio for audio and video projects. The room offers a video DSLR camera, microphones, and an iMac editing workstation. It’s wonderful that the Library is encouraging multi-media creativity, as well as being a local workstation source in case your Mac has a kernel panic or otherwise misbehaves.

elbowroom_facebook

Deceptively small-looking
portions are probably spot-on.

But it’s worth it: I have to thank fellow bloggers at Brooklyn Based for turning me on to a topic that is only slightly less talked about than Michelle’s bangs: Elbow Room’s mac and cheese menu. Located at the Barclays Center, the diet-wrecking selections start with Chef Luis Ulloa’s excellent mac-and-cheese base and add creative toppings. Poutine Mac (short rib gravy, yukon french fries, fresh cheese curds), Brats and Beer (Esposito’s sausage, Bronx Brewery Ale, caramelized onion), Mushroom Mac (crimini mushroom, spinach, Vermont gruyère, crispy shallots) are tempting…even if Lobster Macaroni Salad is more commonplace now. Elbow Room is open during Barclays Center events and to the public during non-event times. To do: bank the points, slip on the Fuel Band, promise to repent and report back. Prospect Heights.

2todoNOTEJoy Makon curates Brooklyn Artisan’s Craft & Design coverage and creates the weekly Best of Brooklyn lists. Send items for listings to brooklynartisan@joymakondesign.com

Joy’s Best of Brooklyn, January 17 through 22

Two tons of sugar, truffled polenta, MLK day of service, borscht belt memories, brainiacs and more
Two tons of sugar make up Aude Moreau's Sugar Carpet, on view at Smack Mellon, part of Brooklyn/Montréal Contemporary Art event in DUMBO.

A carpet made up of sugar—two tons of it—is on view at Smack Mellon,
part of Brooklyn/Montréal Contemporary Art event in DUMBO.

logo_bmOngoing through February 2: Brooklyn/Montréal Contemporary Art. Brooklyn and Montréal, both leading centers of contemporary art, have created events and exhibitions that highlight artistic differences and similarities between the two cities. The first half of this event was held in Montréal in late fall. The second half, happening now throughout DUMBO, has eight art venues and 40 artists participating. At Smack Mellon, Montréal artist Aude Moreau’s Sugar Carpet (detail, shown above) is a large-scale installation comprised of 2 tons of refined white sugar that has been meticulously worked to look like a Persian rug. This is the first exhibition installed at Smack Mellon since Sandy flooded their Artist Studio Program and lower-level spaces. Complete programming information and venues are listed on the event website.

From Mediterranean Slow Cooking

Exquisite ingredients, from Michele Scicolone’s newly-released cookbook The Mediterranean Slow Cooker.

logoJanuary 17 • Thursday: Know Your Books: Free consultation with rare bookseller Honey & Wax. Want to find out if your copy of Nancy Drew: The Password to Larkspur Lane is valuable? The Community Bookstore is hosting a talk about contemporary book collecting, along with an Antiques Roadshow-style opportunity to have your old or not-so-old book appraised by Heather O’Donnell, founder of Honey and Wax Booksellers. Park Slope. 7pm.

January 19 • Saturday: Eat, Shop and Learn with author Michele Scicolone at A.L.C. Italian Grocery and Alimentari (featured in Brooklyn Artisan’s 12 Tastes of Brooklyn). Sample truffled polenta made with Italian black truffle butter, from Michele’s newly-released The Mediterranean Slow Cooker. Michele’s best-selling cookbooks receive high marks from notables such as Mario Batali, Dorie Greenspan and Lidia Bastianich. Bay Ridge. 12:30pm-3:30pm.

January 21 • Monday: Martin Luther King Day of Service. Brooklyn residents can join in with others across the country to honor Dr. King’s legacy by participating in local performances and community service activities. Here’s a few suggestions:

Layout 1Long Island University. Screening of We Shall Not Be Moved: Downstate ’63.” Speakers, discussions, performances, followed by an afternoon of service activities in the community. Downtown Brooklyn. 11am-1pm.

Brooklyn Academy of Music. Tribute kicks off with keynote by musician and humanitarian Harry Belafonte, Jr. Performances by Fort Greene/Clinton Hill’s Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir, and R&B duo Kindred the Family Soul. Included is a live simulcast of the inauguration of President Barack Obama. Fort Greene. First-come, first-seated tickets distributed at 8am for 10:30am start.

Hurricane Sandy Relief Kitchen is still out there needing support.

Hurricane Sandy Relief Kitchen is still out there needing support.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Usually closed on Mondays, the garden is open with free admission. 10am-4:30pm.

Stating the obvious: lots of organizations have an ongoing need for volunteers and dollars. On our list: Hurricane Sandy Relief Kitchen, an outcome of the around-the-clock food prep efforts at Two Boots; Masbia, a Brooklyn-based network of soup kitchens; CHIPS with a desperate need for men’s winter clothing.

When the dining room was closed, Kutsher’s Coffee Shop was always open, just in case you needed a nosh. (Photograph copyright by filmmakers Caroline Laskow and Ian Rosenberg.)

If the dining room was closed, the coffee shop was usually open…just in case you needed a nosh between meals. (Photograph © by filmmakers Caroline Laskow and Ian Rosenberg.)

January 22 • Tuesday: Screening, filmmaker discussion and tasting. Revisit New York’s last standing Catskill resort, Kutsher’s, with a screening and discussion of the 2012 award-winning documentary Welcome to Kutsher’s. It was in Kutsher’s large, communal dining room that traditional Eastern European Jewish food collided with American abundance. As part of the evening, you’ll taste traditional borscht belt specialities like Herring Salad à la Jenny Grossinger and Aunt Lilly’s Vegetarian Chopped Liver. Then sample some reimagined dishes from über-popular Kutsher’s Tribeca (the owner is fourth-generation Kutsher) such as Duck Breast Pastrami and Roasted Beet Salad with Marinated Goat Cheese, Fingerlings, Greens and Artichokes. Ah, this is not the eat-til-you-burst menu choices of my Grandmother’s days. Part of the Culinary Conversations series at the Tenement Museum, Outer Brooklyn, Manhattan. 6:30pm.

secretscienceJanuary 22 • Tuesday: The paradigm-shifting Secret Science Club meets at The Bell House. Attend 2013’s first monthly meeting with a group of self-proclaimed brainiacs. Astrophysicist Jeremiah Ostriker will explore the Dark Duo of dark matter and dark energy. You’re requested to strap on your rocket pack, bring your smart self, and enjoy energizing talk, a deep, dark cocktail of the night, and brain-boggling Q&A. Park Slope. 8pm.

2todoNOTEJoy Makon curates Brooklyn Artisan’s Craft & Design coverage and creates the weekly Best of Brooklyn lists. Send items for listings to brooklynartisan@joymakondesign.com

Joy’s Best of Brooklyn: Need a fix for the winter doldrums?

Get out of your comfort zone with a challenging class that uses new materials, techniques and ideas. Here’s some of our favorite classes, coming up right now:
IMG_0816

What better time than cold, grey January to cocoon with warm, soft
yarn?
I’m thinking that it’s time to take a class to learn a challenging stitch
or two, handle some new wool and see what others are working on.

HANDS ON

Entrelac Knitting at Argyle Yarn Shop
This is one of several classes offered at this new Windsor Terrace yarn shop that make complicated-looking techniques easier to learn. During the two-hour class, up to six students will learn to knit a scarf using Entrelac technique. The final result resembles a basket-weave type of texture, accomplished by using only knit and purl stitches. 10% discount toward yarn and needles is offered on the day of the class. Sunday, January 20. 1pm-3:30pm.

knit

A knitting knobby, aka spool knitter, may appeal to young children learning to knit.

Parent & Child Knitting at Brooklyn General Store
Knitting is a wonderful skill to learn and share and should be started young! My grandmother taught me how to knit when I was seven, and I went crazy knowing that I could save up a few quarters and go to Woolworth’s, buy a huge skein of Coats and Clark knitting worsted in colors that striated all over the color wheel, and knit me up a scarf in a week or so. I later moved on to knitting skirts and vests out of all kinds of acrylic fluff—this was the 60s, you know—and watch out when I learned to make fringe! Grandmother taught me Continental-style knitting, but I found the English style easier, and to this day I knit English style and it has never cramped my technique. When I came across the Parent & Child Knitting class at Brooklyn General Store, I totally approved. This 3-week class is designed to encourage creative interaction between parent and child (age 7 and up). Together you’ll learn basic knitting skills including how to cast on, knit, purl, bind off, and decipher simple instructions. Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill. Sundays, beginning January 13, 5pm-6:30pm.

Ronimainworkshop

Screenprinting, once abandoned by art schools and artists as unhealthy with its use of solvents and oil-based inks, is having a resurgence. Master printer Roni Henning (pictured in green tee) tells all at her open-studio workshops in Bay Ridge.

Screenprinting with master print artisan Roni Henning
Learn to create water-based screenprints and monoprints using non-toxic techniques pioneered by printmaker Roni Henning. Screenprinting has personal, professional and commercial applications that will be explored at open-studio workshops. Using hand and digital methods, Roni will cover basics for those unfamiliar with screen printing, along with demonstrations of more complex techniques. Roni, a reknown artist and author, collaborates with artists to create fine art editions (Romare Bearden, Andy Warhol, Red Grooms, and Alice Neel are on her resume). Bay Ridge. Sessions scheduled twice a month. Contact Roni through her website to sign up.

NYC Resistor teaches students to“Fire the Lazzzzor!”

NYC Resistor teaches students to
“Fire the Lazzzzor!” safely and creatively.

Laser Design and Rapid Prototype at NYC Resistor
Using an Epilog 35 Watt Laser, learn basic rapid prototype techniques, safety and design skills, and make a piece during this three hour class. Class fees include lab time for laser cutting, Q&A, and working with design software like Inkscape, Illustrator or Corel Draw. Scrap materials for experimenting with are provided, and additional materials such as laserable acrylic can be purchased to use. This hands-on class will go step-by-step from initial idea to pressing the “go” button on the laser. NYC Resistor is a hacker collective that meets regularly to share knowledge, hack on projects and build community. Founding member George Shammas’s bio states that he breaks things to fix them. Good to know. Boerum Hill. Sunday, January 20, 2pm-5pm.

joineryPro Picture Frames on the Table Saw at Makeville
Artisanal shop class? Makeville Studio, a hands-on lab for craft, building, art and invention is offering a chance to safely master table saw techniques and learn to make professional quality hardwood picture frames. Learn to make accurate and repeatable miter cuts and keys, set up and use a dado set, apply quick and easy finishes, cut mat boards and mount the finished frame. Gowanus. Three sessions on Mondays, starting January 14, 7pm-10pm.

NEED TO KNOW

Intellectual Property for the Fine Arts at 3rd Ward
Sooner or later, every artisan, business owner, author and maker confronts the need to control ownership of what they have created. The financial implications can be huge, and most of us are ill-prepared to deal with protecting our rights when it comes to our creativity. An evening spent learning about Intellectual Property at 3rd Ward will be a few hours well spent. Entertainment and intellectual property lawyer Kelly Kocinski Trager will discuss when and how to use copyrights, trademarks and patents; how to protect yourself and your creations; and Q&A on pertinent facts. Williamsburg. Thursday, January 17. 7pm-10pm.

Intro to Google Analytics at Gowanus Print Lab
If only someone would tell us about the stuff we need to know so that our blog gets more exposure. 21-year-old Rutgers Graduate Ian Jennings is presenting this three-hour lecture, and sounds ideal. His course will discuss: What’s the difference between a visit and a pageview? • Who’s visiting your site? • Who’s coming back? • What kind of device are they using? • How can I get more traffic from search engines? • What about Facebook, Twitter, and all those other social networks? • How do I sell more stuff? • What other tools exist? Thank you Gowanus Print Lab for recognizing that some of us need clarification in this area. Gowanus. Wednesday, January 23, 7pm-10pm.

5-dollar-lincoln$5 Fridays at Brooklyn Central
Brooklyn Central, a new art and photography education center in DUMBO, offers 90-minute classes for $5 on Fridays. It’s part of BKC’s philosophy to keep things simple with motivated instructors and short sessions that will help you learn something new, build on your creativity, and expand your goals. Seems like a painless way to pick up some photo basics like “Dealing with Low Light Situations,” “Color,” “Capturing Motion,” “The Lowdown on Lenses,” and “Photoshop Basics.” DUMBO. Fridays, check website for times and dates.

BLDG 92's Ted & Honey café.

BLDG 92’s Ted & Honey café.

CAUSE YOU’RE HUNGRY TO LEARN

The Pearl Harbor Sandwich: Cuisine at the Brooklyn Navy Yard
Brooklyn Artisan is often found hanging around the Brooklyn Navy Yard because it’s such a fascinating mix of old and new, with history to discover and history in the making. This talk and tasting, in conjunction with Brooklyn Historical Society, will explore the Yard’s past and present using food as the central theme. Discover the modern grocery store that is soon going to replace Yard mansions, and get access to one of the largest rooftop gardens in the U.S. Where do the Yard’s artists go for snacks today? (Hint: it may be BLDG 92’s Ted & Honey café.) Led by historic gastronomist Sarah Lohman, who is Artist in Residence at BLDG 92. Vinegar Hill. Thursday, February 28, 7pm.

Current soda flavors from Brooklyn Soda Works include spiced plum, hibiscus + cinnamon + ginger,  apple + ginger.

Learn about current flavors produced at Brooklyn Soda Works like apple & ginger.

Create Your Own Handmade Soda at Brooklyn Soda Works
Small batch soda masters Caroline Mak and Antonio Ramos, founders of Brooklyn Soda Works, will be demonstrating their special science-based techniques—Ramos is a chemist—to create home-brewed soda. Tour their test kitchen and get a hands-on demo in pairing interesting flavor combinations, and then hand craft your own soda. Book this class through SideTour, an online marketplace of classes and events. Bushwick/Bed Stuy location. Thursday, January 24. 7pm-9pm.

LEARNING COLLECTIVES & MEETUPS

3rd WardBrooklyn BraineryBrooklyn SkillshareFixers Collective NYCChurch of Craft at the Etsy LabsBrooklyn Tech Meetup
jellyweekWorldwide Jellyweek: A Jelly is a casual working event that takes place in a home, a café, a coworking space or an office to allow people to collaborate on a project for a day. Worldwide #Jellyweek  2013, January 14-20, will offer several opportunities in Brooklyn to collaborate: • Coworking Jelly Day, Friday, January 18 at Brooklyn BraineryJellyweek 2012 days at Bitmap.

2todoNOTEPlease mention Brooklyn Artisan if you decide to sign up for a class.

Joy Makon curates Brooklyn Artisan’s Craft & Design coverage and creates the weekly Best of Brooklyn lists.
Send items for listings to brooklynartisan@joymakondesign.com

A Zen Palace of Materials and Makers in Outer Brooklyn

Museum of Arts and Design's mission is to honor the relationship between materials and maker, with processes ranging from the artisanal to the digital. Exhibitions, such as the current Playing with Fire: 50 Years of Contemporary Glass, blur distinctions between art, design and craft. Shown above, Tastes Like Applebees, 2007, Matt Eskuche. Flameworked glass, twine, steel, clothespins. (Photograph by David Behl). On exhibit through April 7.

Museum of Arts and Design‘s mission is to honor the relationship between materials and maker, with processes ranging from the artisanal to the digital. Exhibitions, such as the current
Playing with Fire: 50 Years of Contemporary Glass, blur distinctions between art, design
and craft. Shown above, Tastes Like Applebees, 2007, Matt Eskuche. Flameworked glass,
twine, steel, clothespins. (Photograph by David Behl.) On exhibit through April 7.

A friend lives in this cool Brooklyn loft. She decorates in a wonderfully minimalist style and I bet she can’t pass Roche Bobois without salespeople waving hello. In contrast, I’m on a first-name basis at the Stickley store. I’m jealous of Ms. Minimalist’s space as it always has a restorative zen-like appeal to me. So when I can’t visit my friend and need to reset my senses from all the dark wood and overstuffed/overpropped places I hang in, I head to The Museum of Arts and Design at Columbus Circle. The clean lines of the building’s architecture, the open and quiet exhibit spaces, and beautifully curated and installed exhibits recharge me creatively and spiritually.

The Art of Scent 1889-2012 is on display through February 24.

The Art of Scent 1889-2012 is on display through February 24.

I was wowed by the design of the current exhibition, The Art of Scent 1889-2012. As shown in the photograph above, this open space is minimal, futuristic, even daunting when you first approach the exhibit. My initial reaction was that I didn’t know what to make of it until I followed others and placed my head into one of twelve carved wall spaces. Fragrance softly wafts up to your nose, and written descriptions of the scents light up next to the space. The museum states that it purposely created a space devoid of all visual indicators, such as logos and marketing materials, so that visitors would concentrate on smell only. That would explain the almost-totally white room one encounters. [Read more…]

Joy’s Best of Brooklyn, December 28, 29, 30

PART TWO
The Team at Brooklyn Artisan is thankful for:

Here’s Part Two of our list. What are you thankful for? We’d love to know. Share with us on Facebook, email, or leave a comment.

Getting to see and play around Natural History, the amazing stick sculpture by Patrick Doherty, at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. By the end of December it will be taken down, because it was not built to last forever. Wear-and-tear and Sandy have done it in. (Photograph, taken in February 2011 is courtesy of One Little Star.)^ Getting to see and play around Natural History, the complex, visually striking stick sculpture by Patrick Doherty, at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Created to be temporary, yet having lasted well over a year, it will be dismantled on December 31 because wear-and-tear and numerous storms have finally broken it down. (Photograph, taken in February 2011 is courtesy of One Little Star.)

Families who’ve donated tons of toddler toys to the Underhill Playground in Prospect Heights

The passing stranger who saw our keys hanging in the lock and kindly put them through the mail slot.

allhandsondeck_coverSeemingly unlimited energy and creativity in fundraising for Sandy restoration efforts.
restoreReStore Red Hook is one such effort, formed to raise at least $5,000 for neighborhood small businesses still reeling from Sandy. Their cookbook, All Hands On Deck, a $15 e-book download, is a collection of well-loved recipes selected from the tightly-knit community. Recipes include home/made’s Flourless Chocolate Torte, Pumpkin Almond Cake from Baked and Lobster Mac & Cheese from Red Hook Lobster Pound. “People put everything they had into their restaurants,” said Monica Byrne, a ReStore Red Hook co-founder whose restaurant home/made and its basement storage was flooded during the storm. This project gives a glimpse into what makes the businesses and the people running them so special. Purchase and download here.

Bergen Bagel for what they do best: bagels.

^ ^ ^ ^ Bagel fight! Terrace Bagels for what they do best: cinnamon-raisin bagels.

Pete Hamill, the former Shabbos goy at Park Slope Jewish Center in the 1940’s, for reading “The Gift of the Magi” at the Brooklyn Holiday Book Fair at Old Stone House.

chemexOur Chemex coffeemaker for its timeless design. No other carafe or coffeemaker matches the elegance of pouring coffee from this glass spout. Ours is circa 1980; the rawhide tie gets replaced every few years.

MTA.info/nyct for keeping us up to date after Sandy flooded the subway tunnels.

Neighbors who’ve turned sidewalks and stoops into free libraries.

NYE_ProspectPark_PaulMartinka

December 31 at 11:59:59pm. (Photograph: Prospect Park Alliance/Paul Martinka.)

New Years celebrations in the nabe:
* Fort Defiance. EVE: an evening with Master of Mixology Charles H. Baker, Jr.  DAY: Southern brunch with Coca-Cola ham, biscuits, lots more. Yes, reserve. Red Hook.
* Fireworks in Prospect Park at Grand Army Plaza. Thank you Marty.
* Run. EVE: Brooklyn Road Runners sponsors a 5K in Prospect Park at 11:15, complete with glow necklaces and fleece hats for registrants. DAY: Prospect Park Track Club’s 20th annual Harry’s Handicap Race at 10am. One loop of Prospect Park, followed by potluck brunch, coffee, bagels with a great group of runners and friends. It’s been awhile, but we’ve run this one at least ten times, and it’s always a hoot.
* Walk over the Brooklyn Bridge with Dr. Phil. Philip E. Schoenberg, Ph.D., that is. His annual walk is a chance to party and play on the Bridge, complete with fireworks viewings, refreshments, prizes, and lots of chances to pick up little-known facts from one of NYC’s best tour guides.

smilingCat_NYFoodTruckAssnrussia-mccurryThis kitty via NYC Food Truck Association
and This > “A home without a cat—and a well-fed, well-petted and properly revered cat—may be a perfect home, perhaps, but how can it prove title?”—Mark Twain. Quote and photograph from Home Again, a series of global photographs defining the idea of home, from the blog of photographer Steve McCurry.

Kings County Hospital ER for taking care of 140,000 of our sick and injured every year.

Saint Augustine Roman Catholic Church for their remembrance of World Aids Day.

Everyone in the surf, on January 1, 2013. (Photograph by the Coney Island Polar Bear Club.)

Everyone in the surf, on January 1, 2013. (Photograph from the Coney Island Polar Bear Club.)

Coney Island for an amazing summer with beach walks, Nathan’s, Grimaldi’s pizza, and Tom’s. We’ll be back next summer no matter what. And come January 1 at 1pm, we will be (only) observing the annual New Year’s Day Swim by the Coney Island Polar Bear Club. Happy Happy Joy Joy—so glad to hear the swim is on!

Sally Gil's work FW1, part of 440 Gallery Small Works show.

Sally Gil’s work FW1, part of 440 Gallery Small Works Show.

Gorilla Coffee for even a stroll-by creates a caffeine high.

Ella Yang for allowing us to showcase her Brooklyn-without-irony paintings: see Day Four from our 12 Days of Brooklyn posts. Ella is a member and exhibitor at the artist collective 440 Gallery where the 8th annual Small Works Show is currently on. Juried artwork is no larger than 12” and represents a strong Brooklyn artistic presence. Great things come in small packages indeed. Park Slope. Through January 6, 2013.

Holidays at Fort Defiance. (Photograph by Basia Hellwig/Brooklyn Artisan Photo Pool.)

Holidays at Fort Defiance. (Photograph by
Basia Hellwig/Brooklyn Artisan Photo Pool.
)

3rd Ward and all the other co-working spaces that help give cred and shelter to the artisanal work being done here.

Mixologist and Fort Defiance owner
St. John Frizell for sticking it out.

*

*

*

2todoNOTE
If you missed Part One, catch up here.

Joy Makon curates Brooklyn Artisan’s Craft & Design coverage and creates the weekly Best of Brooklyn lists.
Send items for listings to brooklynartisan@joymakondesign.com

Joy’s Best of Brooklyn, December 21, 22, 23

PERHAPS WE’RE STARTING A NEW TRADITION FOR BROOKLYN ARTISAN, a review of all that’s been good and interesting in the past few months for our fledgling blog. At the least, this is a Best of Brooklyn listing of what we’ve been thankful for—the people, places and events that have made us stop and think, smile, and go wow, look at that. So for the next two weeks, the team will be sharing their thanks for the things that make small-town Brooklyn, as my neighbor Helen calls it, so great. In the mix, we’ll post some timely end-of-year events. If Outer Brooklyn creeps in, we’ll understand too. What are you thankful for? We’d love to know. Share with us on Facebook, email, or leave a comment.

PART ONE
The Team at Brooklyn Artisan is thankful for:
The lights in Dyker Heights. Say what you will, but the lights stop traffic and stop us in place too. Shorewalkers, a group dedicated to seeing the world at 3 miles per hour, is having a free meetup on Saturday at 5:30 to view the lights. This is a 4 mile walk, and they'll be eating dinner in the neighborhood afterwards. Check website for details.

The lights in Dyker Heights. Say what you will, but the lights stop traffic
and stop us in place too. Shorewalkers, a group dedicated to seeing the world
at 3 miles per hour, is having a free meetup on Saturday at 5:30 to view the lights.
A 4 mile route is planned, but you can always do a shorter distance.
You’ll probably be on sensory overload anyway. Check the website for details.
(photograph: nycgo.com/Marley White)

Sahadi’s for renovating and reopening and turning us on to cumin once again.

Stroller Moms and Dads of Park Slope for their work and donations to help Sandy victims.

Landlines and Rotary Dials. Don’t misunderstand, we ♥ our twee iDevice. Sometimes we enjoy picking up a receiver and hearing the other person.

Saturday: Holiday Artisans Fair at The Monro (Liverpool in Brooklyn). Park Slope. 2pm-7pm.

More Brits in Brooklyn on Saturday: Holiday Artisans Fair at The Monro.
Park Slope. 2pm-7pm.

Fleisher’s Meats for letting us taste real beef.

The G train for coming back so we can get to BAM easily again.

← The footie in Bklyn → The Tottenham Hotspurs have a home in Kings County at Black Horse Pub. Oh when the Spurs go marching in!

Egg creams, panettone, black-and-white cookies for the 5 lb weight gain. NOT. (Better: our thanks to the staff and volunteers at the Park Slope Armory for running the emergency shelter for Sandy evacuees. We’re glad, too, that the Armory YMCA has reopened and we can work off the holiday excess.)

The Double Windsor, a "newish" neighborhood fixture.

In our opinion, we are thankful that The Double Windsor has surpassed Farrell’s as the neighborhood fixture.

The small businesses on our stretch of Prospect Park West that have made our life sane: Argyle Yarn Shop (new, filled with gorgeous yarn, yum!); DUB Pies (where the Paul Auster movie “Smoke” with Harvey Keitel and William Hurt was filmed); The Double Windsor (no Farrell’s competition here); Windsor Shoes (the best little shoe store nobody knows about); United Meat Market (for showing us what a butcher shop is all about and for keeping up with the changing neighborhood demographics); and even the sometimes unpredictable Enzo’s (brickoven pizza and a drink is always fine by us.)

Our generousity. Photographs and ephemera from The Santa Claus Association, circa 1913, is on display at The City Reliquary.For 14 years, this NYC-based philanthropic group answered letters to Santa and distributed gifts to over 28,000 children. Williamsburg. Through February, 2013.

Our generousity. Photographs and ephemera from The Santa Claus Association,
circa 1913, is on display at The City Reliquary. For 14 years, this NYC-based philanthropic
group answered letters to Santa and distributed gifts to over 28,000 children.
Williamsburg. Through February, 2013.

American Express for promoting Small Business Saturday. (Kudos to NYC Dept. of Small Business Services for their campaign too.)

bitter&estersLearning how to brew our own beer. Bitter & Esters will teach all the basics on Saturday at their Brewshop 101: Home Brewing Essentials class. Prospect Heights. 4pm-6pm.

Barclays Center (grudgingly) because the the traffic’s not as bad as we feared.

Brad Lander because he’s such an involved and innovative Councilmember.

Lisa Jenks for designing her coveted jewelry collection in Brooklyn!

THIS: Weigh Your Priorities. Most startups are focused on growing faster. That alone would not make us a great company. We realized we had to focus on three things: love, growth, and foundation. —Brian Chesky, CEO, Airbnb (as quoted in Fast Company)

mileend_xmasAn upgrade to our Jewish Christmas celebration of Chinese food and a movie. Mile End’s menu of DanDan Noodles with Spicy Lamb, Dry Rubbed Chicken Wings, Smoked Bluefish Toast, and more, plus BAM or Cobble Hill Cinema nearby practically makes us giddy. If only Schmulka Bernstein was still around.

Park Slope Gallery for encouraging Eric March’s beautiful artwork of Brooklyn cityscapes.

Gingerbread-FlierAll-natural Gingerbread House Making. No corn syrup for us, only dried fruit and natural candy, as guided by the team from The Farm on Adderley. This Sunday, build your brownstone at Hootenanny Art House in Park Slope. Next Thursday, have lunch and build a manse at The Farm in Ditmas Park.

The return of Patsy Grimaldi. The king of coal-fired, NY-sired pizza is back with Juliana’s Pizza and is better than ever. We went opening day, and will go again!

Brooklyn is practically a brand name. We were well-represented at the Grand Central Holiday Fair in Outer Brooklyn.

The fact that Brooklyn is practically a brand name. We are well-represented at the
Grand Central Holiday Fair
in Outer Brooklyn.

Stay tuned for Part Two next week.

Joy Makon curates Brooklyn Artisan’s Craft & Design coverage and creates the weekly Best of Brooklyn lists.
Send items for listings to brooklynartisan@joymakondesign.com

Joy’s Best of Brooklyn, December 14, 15, 16

caption goes here

The bakers at famed breakfast haunt Norma’s, of Le Parker Meridien in
Outer Brooklyn, created the Hurri-Crane for the Gingerbread Extragavanza.
See Play With Your Food, below. (photograph by the Brooklyn Artisan photo pool.)

Shopping Opps Play With Your Food The Gift of Classes

bizmapSIX SHOPPING OPPS
1. Shop at a business struggling since Sandy. With the launch of the Support NYC Small Business campaign, New Yorkers and visitors can easily find ways to support places impacted by Sandy. At the campaign’s website, businesses that have reopened are indicated on the interactive map and include restaurants and bars, food and drink purveyors, shops, companies, as well as services. Just pick a neighborhood and go.

Two weekends worth of goods at Brooklyn Craft Central include Noble Goods wood and resin housewares, MissWit ironic tees, Sour Puss Pickles, and SweaterToys animals.

Two weekends worth of goods at Brooklyn Craft Central include Noble Goods wood and
resin housewares, MissWit ironic tees, Sour Puss Pickles, and SweaterToys animals.

2. Saturday and Sunday (and next weekend too): Brooklyn Craft Central Annual Holiday Market at Littlefield Performance & Art Space. Interesting roster of vendors include: Sour Puss Pickles, a small-batch pickling company; SweaterToys, stuffed animals made from recycled sweaters; MissWit, whimsical, satirical tees; Noble Goods, home objects created from solid wood and cast resin. Beware the drink specials: Woolly Knit (hot cider with bourbon), Hot Glue (coffee and Kahlua), and Shopaholic (gin, lemon, simple syrup, grenadine). Park Slope. 11am-5pm.

Barney3. Saturday: South Slope Holiday Craft Fair, benefiting art, music and science programs at PS10. The PTA fair has come a long way. PS10’s selection of upmarket, original art, jewelry, clothing and more makes this event a worthwhile stop. >>At right, one-of-a-kind sculpture Barney, from exhibitor What the Folk Art. Free workshops for kids from Brooklyn Craft Workshop, a raffle and Kimchi Taco Truck snacks complete the afternoon. Park Slope. 11am-5pm.

4. Saturday and Sunday: The Degenerate Craft Fair, created for artists, by artists, as a sort of anti-art fair. Over 50 artists and designers have work for sale, most costing less than $50. On Sunday, the first 50 guests receive a tote bag of goodies. At The DUMBO Loft, DUMBO. Saturday, 12pm-9pm. Sunday, 11am-6pm.

3W_CRAFTFAIR5. Saturday: 6th annual 3rd Ward Handmade Holiday Craft Fair. Over 100 Bklyn-based vendors will offer handmade gifts to customize one’s iPad, along with kitchenwares, food and other interesting stuff. First 200 visitors will receive a 3rd Ward tote bag filled with goodies. Boerum Hill Northern Italian restaurant Rucola will offer up drinks and snacks. Williamsburg. 12pm-6pm.

robot_shopping26. Sunday: Kids Play, You Shop at Brooklyn Robot Foundry. Register, and drop off your 5 to 10 year old for three hours of open play time. They will be guided by Robot Foundry staffers and will get to design and build robotic projects using educational materials and toys. In return, parents will get a 10% discount on neighboring shops and cafes and a chance to have some grown-up time while the kids are entertained. Gowanus. Two sessions at 11am-2pm and 2:30pm-5:30pm.


PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD

gingerShip_92Saturday: Gingerbread Ships! A very tasty Tools & Talent workshop at BLDG92, Brooklyn Navy Yard. The Brooklyn-built USS Monitor will be recreated in gingerbread by model shipwright Dan Pariser and the bakers from Fort Greene’s Le Petit Bakery. Participants will help assemble, decorate and “commission” in the atrium, and all kids will receive a gingerbread ship cookie to decorate. Bound to be popular, so advanced ticket purchase is advised, via website. Vinegar Hill. 1pm.

nationaltourlogoSunday: 2nd annual Food Experiments National Championship presented by Brooklyn Brewery. Touted on the website as “The World Series, Super Bowl, Stanley Cup of amateur cooking competitions,” this event is the finale of 12 months of national food competitions in search of the ultimate home chef. Judges include Noah Bermanoff, owner Mile End Delicatessen and Coleman Andrews, editorial director, The Daily Meal. Advanced ticket purchase advised; admission includes food samplings and unlimited Brooklyn Brewery beer. At The Brooklyn Brewery, Williamsburg. 1pm-4pm.

On display through January 3, Le Parker Meridien’s Gingerbread Extravaganza in the 56th Street atrium. These are no ordinary gingerbread houses, as the theme of Landmarks Around the World inspired NYC-based bakers to erect monuments to Loch Ness and the Urquhart Castle, Chichen Itza, Toji Tower, The Lincoln Memorial, The Sphinx, and my favorite, Hurri-Crane [Le Parker Meridien is located across the street from the infamous 57th Street Sandy-damaged crane and was closed until the crane could be secured.] Vote for your favorite by purchasing a ballot for $1 with proceeds benefitting City Harvest. Outer Brooklyn, Manhattan.

More from the Gingerbread Extravaganza: Toji Tower, created by Kyotofu, a Hell's KitchenJapanese dessert bar; The Lincoln Memorial, crafted by Baked Ideas, a custom baker.

More from the Gingerbread Extravaganza: Toji Tower, created by Kyotofu, a Hell’s Kitchen
Japanese dessert bar; The Lincoln Memorial, keeping Abe warm with baby-blue mittens,
earmuffs (or Beats?) and bowtie, created by Baked Ideas, a custom baker.

GIVE THE GIFT OF CLASSES
Many businesses share their love of community and technique through classes. A gift certificate for a single or group of sessions would make a unique gift. Act soon, as classes often sell out quickly, and space is limited at most events. Four suggestions to get you thinking:

• Brooklyn Homebrew, Gowanus
A retailer devoted to all things necessary to produce and learn about making beer.
Discovering Yeast, a hands-on 2-hour session on the basics of brewing with yeast. Starting January 8.
Homebrew 101: A Beginner’s Class, will guide students through all the steps to making beer at home. January 10.

174x148xsinger_model_30_sewing_machine_sewalot_alex_askaroff-174x148.jpeg.pagespeed.ic.KzaDkX-6H3• Owl and Thistle General Store, Crown Heights
This urban mercantile specializes in local, sustainable and fair trade items and is run by Keri Cavanaugh, an independent clothing designer and former Peace Corps volunteer.
Meet Your Sewing Machine, a 2-hour introductory class. Starting January 5.
Introduction to Home Sewing, 3 sessions concentrated on working with patterns to create a tote bag, drawstring skirt or pajama pant. Starting January 7.

• Gowanus Furniture, Gowanus
A producer of well-designed, locally-made innovative products.
Custom Cutting Board Class, during 2 evenings, students will make a wood cutting board and enjoy wine and local snacks. Starting January 18.

• SideTour, various locations in Brooklyn and Outer Brooklyn
An online marketplace of classes and events that are hosted by locals experienced in topics ranging from individualized tours, chef techniques, wine tastings, and other unique opportunities—all vetted by the SideTour team. Gift certificates can be used toward any class or event on the site.
DIY Jewelry Making Session, 2-hours, 3 bracelets. DUMBO location. January 20.
Create Your Own Handmade Soda at Brooklyn Soda Works, January 16.

FOR YOUR SPRING LINE?
pantoneEMERALD. Pantone 17-5641 has been designated as the color of the year for 2013, allowing Tangerine Tango, Pantone 17-1463 to retire as 2012’s color. “The most abundant hue in nature, the human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®.

Joy Makon curates Brooklyn Artisan’s Craft & Design coverage and creates the weekly Best of Brooklyn lists.
Send items for listings to brooklynartisan@joymakondesign.com

Joy’s Best of Brooklyn, December 7, 8, 9, 10

Festival of Lights, photography by Brooklyn Artisan.

Festival of Lights, 2012, photography from the Brooklyn Artisan photo pool.

Eclectic edition, shopping roundup included.
PS: When’s Festivus?

200px-Radio_free_albemuthFriday, Saturday, Sunday: The inaugural weekend of the Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival. Hollywood’s love affair with sci-fi author Philip K. Dick is well represented by hits such as Blade Runner, Minority Report, Total Recall. This weekend’s festival of screenings, speakers and panel discussions covers some of the best and newest in science fiction, science and the supernatural. Watch documentaries on A.I., virtual reality, galactic superwaves. Observe scientist Ronald Mallett Ph.D. who is working on a real-life time travel machine. The festival opens Friday with an adaptation of Dick’s last novel, Radio Free Albemuth. At indieScreen, Williamsburg. Check the website for schedule.

picklesSaturday, Sunday: Whiskey, Pickles and Jerky Pairing Weekend at Brooklyn Oenology. Pickles + New York State Whiskey = Picklebacks, the now-classic Brooklyn chaser. Composed of 1oz whiskey chased with 1oz pickle brine with jerky garnish for additional oomph. Williamsburg. Saturday, 3pm-midnight. Sunday, 12pm-10pm.

Etsy crafter Jessica Marquez, author of
Stitched Gifts (Chronicle Books), will share her
techniques this weekend at Textile Arts Center.

Saturday, Sunday: Make your own Fabric Books: Hand Bound, Dyed and Stitched, a two-day class at Textile Arts Center. Taught by Etsy member and maker behind Miniature Rhino, Jessica Marquez, and visual artist Rebecca Kelly. Book binding, sewing, embroidery, dyeing and image transfer techniques will be taught and students will make three simple practice books. Park Slope. 11am-5pm each day.

Saturday: Downtown Brooklyn Holiday Trolley. Relive a bit of Brooklyn history by taking a free ride on the hop-on/hop-off old-fashioned trolley as it makes eight stops along a mile-long circular route covering interesting architecture and local lore. Warm up with hot chocolate as guides share stories about Brooklyn’s past and present history. This would be a novel way to get from Brooklyn Heights to BAM or the Brooklyn Flea. Every Saturday through December 22. Brooklyn Heights, Fort Greene. 1pm-7pm.

Saturday: The Art of the Tequila Cocktail, presented by Sycamore. The Cocktail Weenies Mike Mikos and Wil Petre, who also happen to be the expert barmen at Sycamore, will host an evening devoted to everything about tequila cocktails. Demonstrations, recipe booklets, snacks will be part of improving one’s mixology skills. Advance ticket purchase advised. Ditmas Park. 5pm.

beardAllianceSaturday: 3rd annual NYC Beard & Mustache Competition, produced by Gotham City Beard Alliance, an organization to promote tolerance and acceptance of all facial hair. Proceeds of the evening, being held at Warsaw, will go to the NYC chapter of the MS Society. Judging categories include, but are not limited to: Full Beard Styled Moustache–heavy use of styling aids on your moustache permitted; College–18-22 year old competitors or baby faces; Freestyle–anything goes, styling aids ok; Women’s Most Fantastic–creativity. Greenpoint. Registration starts at 6:30pm, doors open at 7pm.

FiveBucksFinal01Sunday: unwind and have a cozy dinner somewhere in the nabe. Try Fort Defiance: Saxelby Cheesemonger Plate, Pickled Beet Salad, Prescription Julep (circa 1857). Red Hook. Dinner 5pm-11pm. Also check out their Buy Now Drink Later Junk Bonds to help them rebuild post-Sandy.

Sunday: Concert & Comedy for Sandy Animals, a benefit for Sean Casey Animal Rescue. Live music, videos, art, raffle and giftbags. Littlefield, Gowanus. 7pm.

Monday, aka third Hanukkah candle: Fourth Annual Latke Festival, sponsored by Great Performances and Edible Brooklyn. Sample creations by notable Brooklyn chefs from BAMcafe, Blue Ribbon Brooklyn, The Farm on Adderley (Spud Maccabee with pickled fennel jam, butternut squash, and crème fraîche), Stone Park Cafe, Berlyn, The Vanderbilt, The Sussman Brothers (latkes with lots of sauces), along with other Outer Brooklyn chefs. Enter your own recipe ahead of time to be part of the latke cook off. Tickets are limited and must be pre-purchased by Monday via the festival website. At BAM, Fort Greene. 6:30pm.

SHOPPING ROUNDUP:

Saturday, Sunday:

  • Housing Works Buy the Bag. Housing Works provides housing resources for New Yorkers living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Their thrift shops are a staple among savvy NYC hunter-gatherer types. What began as an event is now a free-standing store and works like this: spend $25 and receive a bag to fill up with gently-used menswear, womenswear and accessories. Purchase as many bags to fill as you like. Sunset Park. Saturday 12pm-6pm. Sunday 12pm-5pm.

stuff_masthead2012Saturday:

Festivus is celebrated on December 23. There’s plenty of time to prepare.

Joy Makon curates Brooklyn Artisan’s Craft & Design coverage and creates the weekly Best of Brooklyn lists.
Send items for listings to brooklynartisan@joymakondesign.com

Joy’s Best of Brooklyn, November 29, 30, December 1, 2

The presents come early and often at Prospect Park Zoo on Saturday and Sunday. (photo by Julie Larsen Maher ©WCS)

Twelve reasons to keep it local this weekend.

Thursday: The Brooklyn Cheese CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) begins this Thursday and runs for 6 weeks until January 3, 2013. On Thursdays, Cricket Creek Farm, a small, grass-based dairy from Williamstown, MA, will distribute their cheese at Picada y Vino in Park Slope. Regular shares of 2 lbs and half shares of 1 lb per week are available. Four cheeses made from raw and pasteurized cow’s milk are featured, and described on Cricket Creek Farm’s lovely website.

Thursday through Sunday: Holiday Art Sale at 440 Gallery. This artist-run collective offers affordable, original works of art, as well as reproductions, during their 2nd annual holiday sale. Prices range from $4.40 to $440. Ask about Philomena Marano’s $25 prints to benefit Coney Island relief funds. Park Slope. Thursday and Friday, 4pm-7pm. Saturday and Sunday, 11am-7pm.

Friday: Winter Art Sale at Trestle Gallery. A one-night-only reception of paintings, drawings, photography, mixed media from 46 artists. Proceeds benefit the participating artists as well as Trestle Gallery and Brooklyn Art Space programs for emerging and mid-career artists and curators. Gowanus. 8pm-10pm.

Saturday and Sunday: Presents to the Animals, Prospect Park Zoo. To a meerkat, mealworms are artisanal; otters consider capelin (smelt) and eggs a delicacy. Starting this weekend through December 30, watch Hamadryas baboons, Pallas’s cats, red pandas, mongoose, and other zoo critters have the most delightful and comical time tearing into gift-wrapped bags and boxes of treats. The Zoo provides these presents as a form of enrichment to keep the animals’ minds and bodies healthy and active. All I know is that last year we split our sides laughing. 11am and 3:30pm. [Read more…]

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