Joy’s Best of Brooklyn for February 15, 16, 17

Just call it fun and make something! Like Lego Gadgets. At the Makery Pop Up, students explore STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) competencies using traditional design tools in addition to advanced digital fabrication tools. See Saturday for details.

Just call it fun and make something—like these Lego Gadgets!
At the Makery Pop Up (see Saturday, below), all ages have a chance to make cool things using
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) competencies that make use of
traditional design tools and advanced digital fabrication methods.

On this Maritime Sunday, witness the struggles of the Thomas D. Witte tug as it manages a barge into place on the lamentable Newtown Creek. That’s the City’s “Newtown Creek Dock”, tenanted by the mill of the titanic SimsMetal operation.http://newtownpentacle.com/

Could this be the most polluted body of water in the United States?

About that border between Brooklyn and Queens…

Friday Obscura Society: “Up the Creek” a talk with historian Mitch Waxman. Is Newtown Creek, running along the border between Brooklyn and Queens, the most polluted body of water in the United States? Mitch Waxman will lead you through an evening of discussion featuring his research and photographs of this 3.8 mile-long waterway that was named to the Superfund list by the Federal EPA. The NYTimes recently named Mitch as “Your Guide to a Tour of Decay” in part for his passion of documenting the obscure and forgotten area that was once one of the nation’s great manufacturing centers. Part of the Atlas Obscura Speakers series at Observatory, Gowanus. 7pm-9pm.

The Makery's instructors are part of HTINK.*

The Makery’s instructors are part of HTINK.*

Great parent/child activity

Saturday The Makery Pop Up on Bergen Street. Call it a portable digital playground, a 21st century shop class, or Dad’s garage workshop (if dad was an MIT grad). The Makery aims to be a venue where all ages can become Makers using cool, new technologies. Today’s event will have Makers building a Drawing Robot using simple circuits, soldering, 3D design and printing. Through April 30 this pop up space will have weekend and some weeknight sessions offering topics such as DIY Cell Phone Projector and Intro to Soldering, all led by instructors with engineering backgrounds. *Instructors and The Makery team are part of HTINK (pronouced tink) an educational services cooperative focused on spreading technical learning and creative problem solving skills to as many people as possible. BOCOCA.

tedXStream this entire event live

Saturday TEDxManhattan “Changing the Way We Eat.” This year’s conference has a theme that rings loud and clear to us: to explore and bolster sustainable ways of eating and producing food. An interesting mix of speakers include Gary Hirshberg, chairman, Stonyfield Farm, Anna Lappé, founding principal, Small Planet Institute and Small Planet Fund, Bill Yosses, Executive Pastry Chef, The White House, along with film clips and music performances. The disappointing news is that tickets sold out awhile ago, but the entire event is available for livestreaming from 10:30am-6:00pm.

Base Design’s branding for NYCxDesign.

Base Design’s branding for NYCxDesign.

Citywide design event just announced
40,000

NYCxDESIGN, a 12-day citywide event to showcase and promote design of all disciplines, chaired by City Council speaker Christine C. Quinn. “We have more designers in New York City than any other U.S. city, but we do a terrible job promoting them in their totality,” she told the NYTimes. The idea behind NYCxDESIGN, planned by Fashion Week founder Fern Mallis, is to make design visible to people who don’t normally think about it. Many types of programs are planned, including exhibitions, installations, trade shows, talks, launches and open studios. All will be culled from design disciplines of graphic, product, architecture, fashion, digital, urban, furniture, plus design thinkers and educators. The BKLYN Designs 2013 exhibition of contemporary furnishings and home accessories at St. Ann’s Warehouse, DUMBO will be an official event of NYCxDESIGN. Check the website to see how you can participate as well as attend events. May 10 thorough May 21.

Portlandia is just Brooklyn spelled differently.

They like their artisanal stuff as much as we do.

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

My Tasty – Though Hasty – Valentine Comes with a Love Poem (and a Dash of Chagrin)

Chocolove Belgian Chocolate Bars (Oops, Not Made in Brooklyn)SOME YEARS I JUST CAN’T BE THE VALENTINE GIVER I’D LIKE TO BE. Flu, deadlines, house guests, or no excuses, it just happens. So this year, on the way home from the Q train, I’m skidding into Natural Land on Flatbush Avenue to pick up some chocolate I’ve been eyeing from time to time. The flavors sound good and there’s a little notice on the outside of each package: “love poem inside,” it says, and sports an embossed heart-shaped seal as well as a cute little ersatz postmark and flavor-naming stamp. Definitely an effort has been made here, though not as classy as Mast Brothers’ paper wrapping. Still, I think how the oversized, artisanal-style Chocolove bar will look on Sweet Lover’s pillow tonight, Valentine’s Eve. Um mmm, good. Very intentional looking, getting a slight jump on The Day.

Mae West’s husky voice comes to my mind’s ear: “Too much of a good thing is…wonderful.” Full of devotion and other emotion, I buy three. I wonder if each flavor has its own love poem or are they all the same.

Only as I am setting out the chocolate bars on Sweetie Pie’s pillow right under the reading light do I discover the shocking truth! These chocolates were not made in Brooklyn. Boulder, Colorado–whoa, that’s Wa-a-ay Outer Brooklyn. How can a founding team blogger of Brooklyn Artisan have made such a mistake? It may not even be fair-trade cocoa!

If the love poetry is to be read aloud, best to peel open rather than tearing it.

If the love poem is to be shared aloud, best peel rather than rip it open.

Desperately, I turn over each bar: It is the same story.  “Belgian chocolate made from Javanese and African beans,” the Hazelnuts in Milk Chocolate bar confesses. Dark Chocolate bar murmurs, “African cocoa beans.” Coffee Crunch in Dark Chocolate hisses, “Dark semisweet chocolate with roasted coffee bean bits”– no hint of country of origin from this one, no naming of the transport (sailboat or otherwise), no high-minded bearded brothers.

My Sugar Love discovers me thus, with a lapful of rogue chocolate. He is happy! He tears open Coffee Crunch in Dark Chocolate and the outside wrapper falls aside. He offers me a row of squares. I find it is delicious, and he agrees. Crunching this guilty pleasure, I rescue the torn wrapper. It is a little hard to read “Sonet VI” [sic] by Robert Louis Stevenson, but we manage.

“O strange chance more sorrowful than sweet,” the poet wrote, but my minor misadventure has turned out just the opposite: There are worse things than crunchy chocolate crumbs in the bed.

(Photographs by Brooklyn Artisan Photo Pool)

Chalk-o-late Time! Meet the Beers Family!

A timely reminder might save some embarrassment.

A timely reminder might save some embarrassment.

The general invitation is good, very friendly. (Photographs by Brooklyn ARtisan Photo Pool)

The general invitation is good, very friendly. (Photographs: Brooklyn Artisan Photo Pool)

EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUDDIT!!  There’s a newsboy aspect to the chalkboard easels calling out info and reminders as we make our way home from the workday, and a smile-worthy sign strikes an especially welcoming note.

Sweets for Your Sweetie

HOW DO I LOVE THEE? LET ME COUNT THE CHOCOLATE-Y WAYS.

Brooklyn bakers and chocolate makers are busy dreaming up all sorts of delights for Valentine’s Day. Here’s just a sampling.

Nunu-chocolates-salt-caramels

Nunu-heart-lollipopNunu Chocolates will package its salt caramels (above) in a heart-shaped box (6 pieces/$14, 12/$24). They are  hand-dipped in dark chocolate with a dusting of fleur de sel on top—I personally find them irresistible any time of year. Or how about giving all your beloveds a heart-shaped dark chocolate lollipop for just $2 a pop?
529 Atlantic Ave., Boerum Hill
917-776-7102

Mast Brothers Chocolate will have Valentine’s truffles and bon bons in its case.

Mast-Bros-Counter

250-MastBrothersValentinesCakeAnd they’re baking an over-the-top Valentine’s Day treat: a chocolate caramel layered cake with King’s County Distillery bourbon, buttercream filling and shaved chocolate on top. Call to reserve your cake; it is available for store pick-up only.
111 North 3rd Street, Williamsburg
718-388-2644

val-heart-cookiesBetty Bakery has hearts galore to choose from: a floral-embossed Victorian Heart—an orange-coffee cookie dipped in white chocolate, a Linzer Heart— sandwiched with raspberry jam, of course, and an Iced Sable Heart—hand-decorated in shades of pink, red and white ($3.95). But wait, there are small heart cookies by the pound ($32) and heart cakes, as well: the Romantic Quilled Heart Cake is an iced chocolate cake with raspberry buttercream, the Giddy Heart Cake is a yellow butter cake with fudgy chocolate ganache, iced in red rolled fondant …All this is making me feel a bit giddy myself. How about a chocolate dipped strawberry ($1.95) as a palate cleanser?
448 Atlantic Avenue, Boerum Hill
718-246-2402

FanyBrownieRobicellisRobicelli’s is offering a special dozen cupcakes in Valentine’s Day flavors—Strawberry Champagne, The Eve (walnut cake with pomegranate cheesecake buttercream), The Ebinger (chocolate, chocolate, chocolate), Creme Brulée—with a personalized card, ribbon wrapping and delivery ($50).Or how about a 4-pack or 12-pack of Robicelli’s Fany Brownies—named after Fany Gerson, aka La Newyorkina, whose kitchen and expensive equipment to make her Mexican ice pops were destroyed by Sandy. Robicelli’s dark chocolate brownie base is “spiked with Mexican cinnamon, swirled with sweet sexy cajeta.” A portion of the profits will go to La Newyorkina. Order cupcakes and brownies by 2 pm Tuesday, February 12, for hand delivery.
Bay Ridge, 917-509-6048
info@robicellis.com

The Owl’s Head / Wine Bar in Bay Ridge is hosting a pop-up dessert event with Robicelli’s on Valentine’s Day. You’ll need to make reservations— call 718-680-2436—for one of two limited reserved seatings: 7 pm  and 9:45 pm. An advance reservation for two people includes three shared Robicelli’s dessert courses and 4 oz drink pairings for each person for $75 (not including tax and tip). Just look at this menu…

First Course: Pear MascarponeTheOwlsHeadWineBar
Mascarpone panna cotta, roasted pear compote, spiced pear chip
Served with: German Gilabert Zero Dosage Cava Brut Nature 2011

Second Course: The Noah
Apple galette, goat cheese mousse, roasted candied bacon, bourbon brown sugar sauce
Served with: Niepoort 2001 Colheita Port

Third Course: Car Bomb
Jameson whiskey, Bailey’s Irish Cream & Guinness stout opera cake, Guinness beer nut praline
Served with: Sixpoint 3beans über-porter

No reservations, no problem. Walk-ins are always welcome for drinks and bites. There should even be some desserts available à la carte. Lovers and lonelyhearts, go have some fun!

The Owl’s Head / Wine Bar
479 74th Street, Bay Ridge
718-680-2436

A Fish Narrative — from Rhode Island Boat to BrooklynTable

The Boat: ""Captain James Haitz caught your fish on the F/V James and Matthew, an otter trawler docked out of the Port of Galilee, Rhode Island. Captain Haitz has collaborated with scientists at Cornell’s Cooperative Extension Marine Program to modifiy his trawling gear to reduce his bycatch," Mermaid's Garden's email to members explains. "In his area, the yellowtail stock was recently declared rebuilt."

Step One, The Boat: “Captain James Haitz caught your fish on the F/V James & Matthew, an otter trawler docked out of the Port of Galilee, Rhode Island,” Mermaid’s Garden advised Brooklyn members. “Captain Haitz has collaborated with scientists at Cornell’s Cooperative Extension Marine Program to modify his trawling gear to reduce his bycatch.” (Photo via Mermaid’s Garden)

POOLING OUR FISH, we call it, when Mediterraneanista heads over to Brooklyn, picks up her fish from the Mermaid’s Garden drop at the Palo Santo restaurant on Union Street, and brings it along to Brooklyn Artisan HQ in the North Slope. This week the Mermaid’s Garden Community Supported Fishery offering was yellowtail flounder.

From Bianca Piccillo, marine biologist and CSF co-founder, we’d learned about yellowtail: “Like many of our local species, the story of Limanda ferruginea was until recently a grim one. Yellowtail are managed in three geographic sectors: Cape Cod/Gulf of Maine, Georges Bank, and Southern New England/Mid- Atlantic. Starting in the 1930’s fishing pressure on yellowtail picked up (as winter flounder stocks declined).

Step Two: The Recipe: The print-out from the FB page is beautifully formatted, easy to follow.

Step Two: The Recipe: The print-out from the FB page is carefully formatted, easy to follow.

“By the 1990’s all three yellowtail stocks had collapsed,” Mermaid’s Garden’s report said. “Rebuilding plans for the three stocks of yellowtail were implemented in 2004 and 2006. The Southern New England/ Mid-Atlantic stock was recently declared rebuilt!”

So our fish are strictly legit. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

And these particular flounder have personality: “Like summer flounder, yellowtail are fast growing and mature early,” we learned. “Unlike summer flounder, yellowtail are right-eyed flounders: As they mature their left eye migrates to the right side of its body. After this migration yellowtail settle near the sea floor.”

Step Three: Salt and pepper, then into the dip and bread-and-flour mix, and right into the saute pan.

Step Three: Season it, then into the dip and bread-and-flour mix, and right into the saute pan.

Okay, next question: How to cook it? Bianca had warned us, “Yellowtail is relatively delicate, so cook it carefully lest you end up with mush.” Uh-oh. Then the good news: “Mark has added two new recipes for flounder to our repertoire – a braised recipe and a crispy pan-fried preparation.” Mark Usewicz is Mermaid’s Garden’s co-founder, and a Paris-trained chef. His recipes are in the Notes section of Mermaid’s Garden’s Facebook page.

The Final Step: Onto the table for all to enjoy!

The Final Step: Ready to serve!

Time to meet the fish. Since they are cleaned, fileted, ready to cook, we don’t have that worrisome look-you-in-the-eye moment. Our family chef quickly blesses the fish with salt and pepper. The egg-and-milk dip is ready, flour and fine bread crumbs mixed.

Small-batch production: Sautéed two by two with a little oil and butter and then transferred to a warmed tray until all are done. Arranged on the platter, garnished with parsley and lemon wedges, and –ta da! –ready to serve! A treat worth sharing.

(Photographs from Brooklyn Artisan Photo Pool.)

 

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

Cuzin’s Duzin Mini Donuts Aiming to Raise the Dough

Cuzins Duzins Mini DonutsBROOKLYNITE TODD JONES CALLS HIMSELF A “DONUTOLOGIST.” You know, just as archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann studied archaeology, namely the archaeology of ancient Troy, donutologist Jones studies donuts, namely sweet, sticky, delicious mini donuts, each a deep-fried doughy circle. Not Dunkin’ Donut donuts, or Starbucks donuts, but hot, fresh mini donuts. “Glaze will come out of my skin if you cut me,” he says.

He’s not only mini-donuts, either, but popcorn, cookies, custom drinks, etc., etc., etc. While you’re munching on one of his highly addictive donuts, then a second and then a third, you’ll have time to see that he’s one of the most upbeat characters you’ll ever meet. “That’s the only way to be—upbeat,” he tells me. Not too long ago he catered his first million-dollar wedding, put together by famed wedding planner Mindy Weiss at the Hotel Hershey in Hershey, Pennsylvania. She loved his donuts so much that she tweeted her 46,000 followers, he says. From that tweet he has two more affairs to cater, and he’s approaching Puffy. And maybe Oprah. Why not?

But at times his luck has bordered on hellish. He had a 12-year stint going in Brooklyn’s Albee Square Mall until a developer sold the mall for $125 million. The developer took home $100 million and Jones was evicted immediately. He did some street festivals and catered a few weddings and bar mitzvahs until he was offered a place at Dekalb Market. He signed a contract for five years—“I knew it was temporary,” he says—and invested $30,000 in his shop. More developers arrived, and he was evicted again only a year and a half later —not long enough to recoup his investment. So he started working out of his bakery van again, and soon he was offered yet another location. But before he could move in, Superstorm Sandy hit, and the following Monday his van was stolen, along with $60,000 worth of equipment. Oh yeah: He had no insurance.

Sigh.

But now with his recent catering success, Jones is searching for another shop and he also wants to start franchises across the country. He’s started meeting with investors. “That’s what’s on the table. If I can get $250,000 I can put a Cuzin’s Duzin in every Walmart across the country,” he says. “It’s a billion-dollar industry, and we can carve out a niche.

“Once you eat a donut you’re a Cuzin for life.”

Executive Editor Phil Scott is the author of seven books and numerous magazine articles.

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

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