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…]

Joy’s Best of Brooklyn, November 9, 10, 11

A chance to recharge, support and giveback: theater discounts, house and history tours and it’s Meat Week NYC with events to benefit Sandy recovery

Best of is glad to be back with more eclectic things to do in Brooklyn and Outer Brooklyn.
BE SURE TO CONFIRM with each event or venue as schedules and availability continue to change for many things.

Miguel Cervantes in the classic Giant, performed at the Public Theater. (photo by Karen Almond.)

Through Sunday: Off Broadway post-Sandy Discounts. Playhouses big and small were dark last week and as an enticement to get audiences to return, many are offering $20 tickets. Among the offerings: “A Summer Day” featuring Karen Allen, at the Cherry Lane Theatre, and $15 tickets at The Public Theater for three shows. NYTimes lists participating theaters.

Through Sunday: Meat Week NYC, celebrating the farmers, markets and chefs who bring sustainable meat to our tables. Tastings, parties, butchering and cooking demos, market tours, talks. Updates to scheduled events will benefit Sandy relief efforts. Brooklyn and Outer Brooklyn locations, check the website for specifics.

Friday: The Shooting Gallery, part of Brooklyn Academy of Music’s 30th Next Wave Festival. An interactive installation in which the audience will trigger short video and audio clips with lasers while circulating through the theater. “Creating something like a group gestalt,” according to director Bill Morrison. BAM Fisher Fishman Space, Fort Greene. 7:30pm and 9pm.

Friday: Broads for a Cause—An art benefit for Planned Parenthood. Opening reception and silent auction of artwork from over 45 female artists and tattooers. Sponsored by Coney Island Beer and Cupcakeland. At Eight of Swords Tattoo, Williamsburg. 7pm-11pm.

Saturday & Sunday: International Passive House Days. Four Brooklyn residences will be open for tours: two landmarked homes, two new construction. All use construction methods that meet Passive House standards: comfortable temperatures year round, affordable to build, energy savings, renewable. Various locations, check the website for information.

Saturday & Sunday: 21st Annual Quilt Show “Cool Quilts”. This annual exhibit showcases some of the most interesting quilts made in the area. This year’s show takes inspiration from the word cool. Lefferts Historic House, Prospect Park. 12pm-4pm.

Bldg92 at Brooklyn Navy Yard is on the tour on Saturday.

Saturday: Brooklyn Navy Yard by Bus: the Past, Present & Future of the Yard. Voted 2012 best tour by New York, this tour packs almost 400 years of city history in a little over two hours. At its peak, the Navy Yard employed tens of thousands of workers, but then stood idle for almost 30 years. In its current resurrection as a haven for artists and entrepreneurs, the Yard is becoming a model for sustainable urban industrial parks. Included in the tour is a closer look at the dry dock that’s been in use since before the Civil War, a hospital frozen in time, and the nation’s first multi-story LEED Gold-certified industrial building. Advanced ticket purchase is advised. Vinegar Hill. 2pm.

Saturday: The Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival. A one-day series of events featuring artists and publishers displaying and selling publications; lectures and conversations on comics; exhibits.
Free public exhibition. Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, Williamsburg. 12pm-7pm.
Events and talks throughout the day, such as a Q&A with Roz Chast at 2:30pm. The Knitting Factory, Williamsburg. 11am-4:30pm.
Screening of two documentaries about cartoonists Joann Sfar and Ben Katchor. Followed with a discussion by filmmaker Sam Ball and subject Ben Katchor moderated by WFMU’s Benjamen Walker. At Union Docs, Williamsburg. 7:30pm.

Saturday: Farmy Folks Soiree Markets Fundraiser and Volunteer Appreciation Ceremony sponsored by the Hattie Carthan Community Farmers Market. You are invited to join in on a home-grown family-style feast, live eco and folk performances, locally grown/produced wines, local bread, more. Tickets required. Bedford Stuyvesant. 6pm-10pm.

Puppetmaking workshop at BAM, Sunday.

Sunday: Great for families The Sweatshirt Sheep Puppetmaking Workshop, Brooklyn Academy of Music. Part of BAMcinématek series Puppets on Film. Make your own puppets and then perform your creations in front of a camera. Be sure to check out other puppet programing throughout the weekend at BAM, Fort Greene. 11am, 2:30pm.

Sunday: Open Studio and Gift Sale by watercolor and ceramic artist Sally Mara Sturman. Paintings, illustrations, drawings, prints and pottery, old (really cheap!) and new (not so cheap).

Illustrated Ceramic Bowl by Sally Mara Sturman, Open Studio and Sale, Sunday

Sally’s Etsy site All Things Painted is also on sale [use coupon code: HOLIDAY1 for 20% off]. To visit her Lefferts Garden Open Studio, contact Sally for exact address. Please mention Brooklyn Artisan. 2pm-7pm.

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

A Guys’ Guy’s First Step Down the Slippery Slope to …

…CANNING CLASS.

Author Phil Scott in disguide as survivalist

“New York Magazine may think artisanal pickles are ‘twee,’ but I don’t. Not one little bit.”
(Photo: Mollie Ann Smith)

I’m a five-foot-eleven-inch, 175-pound manly male, comfortable climbing Kilimanjaro or sleeping on the cold metal floor of a transport headed to or from Afghanistan, comfortable surviving on MREs. I once tried to have The Food Channel removed from my cable package and replaced with The Manly Adventure Channel. Last time I stepped foot in a kitchen was to nuke a couple of hot dogs. Otherwise it’s the room I have to cross through to get from my bedroom to the bathroom. And now because I’m always looking to cut costs, I’m signed up for what could be one of the most complex operations known to cooking kind—canning. And I’m the only guy in the class.

Catherine, who’s teaching the canning class at the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture, explains that it’s been a part of her life for her whole life. Her grandmother’s last words were, “Well girls, I guess we won’t be canning this year.” At the beginning of the two-hour class she says that anything can be pickled, from green beans to eggs. Yeah, eggs. They taste gross, but they’re still pickleable. That’s probably why they’re usually only found in bars.

Us novices, we’re going to start with green beans. Not a big fan of green beans.

Catherine really emphasizes exactitude. This whole canning business isn’t so much an art as a precise chemistry problem. “Follow directions,” she says. “It’s really easy to get botulism.” For those who haven’t had botulism, or botulitis, or whatever it’s called, the stuff’s pretty toxic. [Read more…]

In Appreciation

Taking advantage of this beautiful day to put some of the Brooklyn Backyard garden to sleep for the winter. Spent two hours gently digging up and separating and cleaning small oxalis bulbs. A very labor-intensive, though (for me) satisfying task that I do every fall. Repetitive, solitary, quiet with birds and rustling leaves.

And later on I intend to sit quietly and knit for an hour or two before Yom Kippur arrives this evening.

I think of those who use their hands and lovingly create amazing things for all to admire, use, taste, share.

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