Walt’s Words: “Election Day, November, 1884”

The Cyclone, Coney IslandAs Ample Hills Creamery oft reminds us, Walt Whitman wrote admiringly about our Kings County homeland. The words below, however, are Whitman speaking of the country as a whole and what makes “America’s choosing day” so quintessentially American: “the swordless conflict” to be resolved at the ballot box. 

If I should need to name, O Western World, your powerfulest scene and show,
‘Twould not be you, Niagara—nor you, ye limitless prairies—nor your huge rifts of canyons, Colorado,
Nor you, Yosemite—nor Yellowstone, with all its spasmic geyser-loops ascending to the skies, appearing and disappearing,
Nor Oregon’s white cones—nor Huron’s belt of mighty lakes—nor Mississippi’s stream:
—This seething hemisphere’s humanity, as now, I’d name—the still small voice vibrating—America’s choosing day,
(The heart of it not in the chosen—the act itself the main, the quadriennial choosing,)
The stretch of North and South arous’d—sea-board and inland—Texas to Maine—the Prairie States—Vermont, Virginia, California,
The final ballot-shower from East to West—the paradox and conflict,
The countless snow-flakes falling—(a swordless conflict,
Yet more than all Rome’s wars of old, or modern Napoleon’s) the peaceful choice of all,
Or good or ill humanity—welcoming the darker odds, the dross:
—Foams and ferments the wine? it serves to purify—while the heart pants, life glows:
These stormy gusts and winds waft precious ships,
Swell’d Washington’s, Jefferson’s, Lincoln’s sails.

 

A small footnote: 1884 is the year that Coney Island started building its roller coasters, a perhaps-too-perfect political symbol. 

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Joy’s Best of Brooklyn for March 21 through March 24

This weekend starts early on Thursday and it’s also the last day for Dine-In Brooklyn.
Winslow Homer, The Unruly Calf, circa 1875. Graphite and white opaque watercolor on blue-gray wove paper. Brooklyn Museum, part of Fine Lines: American Drawings. See below.

Winslow Homer, The Unruly Calf, circa 1875. Graphite and white opaque watercolor on blue-
gray wove paper. Brooklyn Museum, part of Fine Lines: American Drawings. See below.

Three reasons to go out on Thursday, March 21

steamboat1 • Brooklyn Museum stays open until 10pm on Thursdays so that visitors can linger in the galleries and take advantage of special evening programs. Several new exhibits have opened in the past few weeks including Fine Lines: American Drawings and the spectacular Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui. At 7:30, a Drawing Workshop for all ages will explore the drawing process and help budding artists develop professional techniques.

2 • The March edition of Steamboat, the comedy series, at Greenlight Bookstore gets down to funny business with comedian and author Bob Powers hosting some of the city’s best humor writers. Tonight’s roster includes multi-tasking Brooklynite Rosie Schaap, author of Drinking With Men: A Memoir, and Dave Bry, author of Public Apology: In Which a Man Grapples with a Lifetime of Regret, One Incident at a Time. Fort Greene. 7:30pm.

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A different take on a traditional Hagaddah.

3 • Brooklyn by the Book: The Bronfman Hagaddah. In time for Passover, author Edgar M. Bronfman and illustrator Jan Aronson will speak with Rabbi Andy Bachman of Congregation Beth Elohim about this contemporary retelling of the Exodus story. With its underlying message of human rights and freedom, The Bronfman Hagaddah brings together readings from diverse sources such as abolitionist Frederick Douglas to Ralph Waldo Emerson and poet Marge Piercy. At 6:30 there will be a kosher-wine tasting by Slope Cellars, food from Brooklyn-based Gefilteria (read more about them, below) and a book sale by Community Bookstore. Discussion begins at 7:30. Park Slope.

Three things to do involving seams, screams and Bob Ross

storefront21 • Saturday & Sunday Learn to Sew a Vintage-Style Men’s Shirt at Brooklyn General Store. This two-day intensive, for those with intermediate sewing skills, will cover techniques including felled seams, a lined back yoke and sleeve plackets. Instructor Heather Love is a Brooklyn-based mixed-media artist. Her Etsy shop hellomello handspun features her knit-based crafts and materials. North Red Hook is the home of Brooklyn General Store, the former Frank’s Department Store, and is an updated and welcome throwback to the era when Union Street used to be a thriving shopping block for food and goods. 9am-6pm.

lunaPark2 • Sunday Season Opener at Luna Park. Normally I might wait until warmer weather arrives to get excited about Coney Island, but this year’s opener has significance after all the rebuilding and restoration after Hurricane Sandy. The 86-year-old Cyclone is back in full operation, along with the Soaring Eagle and Steeplechase, a spinning disk called the Zenobio, and the Human Slingshot. As is the tradition, Marty Markowitz will christen the Cyclone by smashing a bottle of egg cream on her bow. Coney Island. 12pm-10pm.

PaintingTakedown3 • Sunday 1st annual Painting Takedown, a charity event to benefit Citymeals-on-Wheels. You remember Bob Ross, right? Twenty Brooklyn artists will be asked to throw away all taste and aesthetics by creating a painting à la Bob Ross. Audience members can bid and buy the finished canvases, while the painters will receive prizes for crowd favorites. Expect drinks from SixPoint Brewery, lots of chili, and goofy bad art. At former-feather-factory-now-arts-center The Active Space, Bushwick. 6pm-9pm.

caption and credit for Vermatzah goes here see item below

Eco-Kosher Vermatzah connects modern ecology with Jewish dietary laws and ethical standards.

Three purveyors of note for Passover and beyond

1 • Way Outer Brooklyn Vermatzah, small-batch, wood-fired matzah from Naga Bakehouse, Vermont. Locally-sourced wheat and farro go into the hand-shaped rounds produced by this eco-kosher baker. Albeit not kosher for Passover, this matzah is produced with care. With each order, the company attaches a small bag of wheat seeds to give home growers and cooks a chance to farm in their own homes. Order by Thursday for mail delivery for a seder, or revisit after the holiday.

carpInBathtub2 • Gefilte fish is a Jewish food that does not have any religious symbolism, but is a part of traditional Eastern European cuisine, especially at holidays. My grandmother used to purchase live carp and whitefish and keep them swimming in the bathtub until it was time to cook and grind the fish for the quenelle-shaped pieces. My mother resorted to jars of prepared gefilte fish that contained an unappealing aspic-sort of jelly and a couple of slices of limp carrot. No wonder we resorted to massive amounts of horseradish, jarred of course, to make it palatable. Forward to 2012, and three Brooklyn entrepreneurs open Gefilteria to specialize in artisanal gefilte fish with freshness, sustainability and flavor added to the traditional food. The founders describe themselves as “a trio of New York foodies, reimagining Old World Jewish food by adapting Ashkenazi classics to the values and tastes of a new generation.” Fish as well as several styles of horseradish are kosher for Passover and can be purchased at local retailers and online, but hurry, as supplies are sure to be snapped up.

caption credit goes here

(Photograph, Katie Sokoler/Gothamist)

3 • We can still go stand in line at Zabars or Russ & Daughters on a Sunday morning for a novy fix, but the neighborhood appetizing store, stocked with smoked and cured fish and dairy products, has largely faded away. Enter caterer Peter Shelsky in 2012, and he’s returned appetizing back to Brooklyn with Shelsky’s Smoked Fish in Carroll Gardens. Shelsky’s extensive kosher-style Passover menu offers tempting dishes such as Grandma Yetta’s savory gefilte fish, house-pickled herring in cream sauce, fresh apple horseradish sauce, vegetarian matzah ball soup, strawberry rhubarb matzah crumble, and homemade matzah. Beyond Passover, there’s always the sandwich menu; try the Brooklyn Native: eastern Gaspé salmon, smoked whitefish salad, pickled herring, sour pickle all piled on a bialy.

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 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: 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:
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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

Dreams of Egg Creams

Day Three 12 Sips of Brooklyn
Brooklyn Farmacy, located in a former pharmacy/soda fountain that had been shuttered for decades, is a lovely throwback. It hits the right notes, with attention to detail, and use of authentic materials and techniques. This is not Disney, but a return to something real and evocative of old Brooklyn.

Brooklyn Farmacy, located in a former pharmacy/soda fountain shuttered for decades, is a lovely
throwback. It hits the right notes, with attention to detail and use of authentic materials
and techniques. This is not Disney, but a return to something real and evocative of old Brooklyn.

dec8

THE SCENE: A QUIET NIGHT ON A BATTLEFIELD half a globe away, a harmonica warbles mournfully. The hard-bitten combat veteran turns to the embedded reporter: “What do you miss most from home, Brooklyn?” “Sarge, when I get stateside, I’m gonna grab me a girl and my dog and get the biggest egg cream in town.” Well, maybe it didn’t go quite like that, but Phil Scott’s essay of return from Afghanistan nails that sense of longing for a Brooklyn of dream and legend. The boisterous city of today jostles with an older Brooklyn of memory that breaks through when you least expect.

A fair chunk of my childhood was spent as an urchin roaming the city on 15 cent subway tokens bought with nickels scrounged from pay phones. I often sojourned in Brooklyn, so when I started to work and play here as an adult, eventually came a hunt for the drink of my childhood, the ambrosia, the very essence of Kings County—the chocolate egg cream.

Egg creams, from left: Hinsch's, Brooklyn Farmacy, Tom's Restaurant

Egg creams, from left: Hinsch’s, Brooklyn Farmacy, Tom’s Restaurant

Craft beers and pour-over coffees are fine beverages but are essentially imports and upstarts; for artisanal beverages, the granddaddy has to be the egg cream. Its origin is shrouded in legend and many lay claim to patrimony, but no one doubts its Brooklyn DNA (a straightforward description is found in Fix the Pumps by Darcy O’Neil, a history of the soda fountain). A simple drink which contains neither egg nor cream, it is long on seltzer (cheap) and parsimonious in milk and chocolate syrup (costly), suited to the working class city of the early 20th century. The craft is in the construction, detailed in this post by Jay Keller. Making an egg cream is testimony to a time when soda jerk was a job and required more skill than pushing a button to dispense prepackaged milk shake. The foamy head that is the glory of the egg cream is achieved with application of technique with spigot and spoon.

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Phil heads into Brooklyn Farmacy in Carroll Gardens to try his first egg cream.

So, this fall I took up the hunt to find my dream egg cream. First stop was Brooklyn Farmacy, a gem of an eating place at the corner of Henry and Sackett in Carroll Gardens. The tin ceiling and the wooden cabinetry are straight from the early 20th century. The store, an old pharmacy, was closed and left virtually untouched for decades until reopened in 2010 by Peter Freeman and Gia Giasullo, a brother-sister team that like to wear T-shirts proudly proclaiming themselves as “Jerk.” Such chutzpah!

Brooklyn Farmacy has taken a stand for authenticity, with fine attention to details. They use a carbonator and spigot to dispense the soda water and their chocolate syrup is the quintessential Fox’s U-bet. The store demonstrates a commitment to locally sourced and artisanal foods with a strong showing in Brooklyn products, including serving Brooklyn Cured ham in their grilled ham and cheese sandwich, and stocking many other small-batch products for sale.

My childhood obsession drove me to the chocolate egg cream, while my companions chose vanilla and maple (both were excellent, and the last appealed to my Canadian roots, despite its sacrilegious blend). Gia talked to us knowledgeably about the drink, noting that the egg cream must be made with a carbonator and served quickly, as the foam starts to disappear rapidly when the drink sits on the counter. She also eschews the drinking straw: “The straw pulls up the material at the bottom. It is better to drink it straight down so you taste each layer starting with the foam.” She also touted the obvious health benefits: “An egg cream has the same number of calories as a slice of buttered toast” with far less sugar than a similarly sized cola drink. Of note, the Farmacy charged the least for their egg cream: $2.50. As I remember it, the price of the egg creams I used to drink were about equal in cost to the subway ride to get to them, so the Farmacy’s price appears historically accurate.

555-Toms-window-1163

Tom’s Restaurant is an anchor on Washington Avenue in Prospect Heights.

Next up was Tom’s Restaurant, the friendly anti-slick breakfast palace on Washington Avenue. Tom’s has an authentic feel of continuity with the past. And the egg cream was near-classic (they also use U-bet, for one) in taste and texture. The real problem, Tom… Tom… why the whipped cream on top? It killed the start of the egg cream experience—nose to foam spray. Are you doing it to justify the $3.50 price (nearly 3 times the inflation-adjusted price from 1962)? Tom’s: great for breakfast, ditch the whipped cream.

Hinschs-window

Hinsch’s window sign: These drinks would be history if white knights hadn’t rescued the soda fountain from closure in 2012.

Finally, an R train ride away (what I knew as the RR on the BMT line, children, for historical accuracy) in Bay Ridge, we tested the egg cream at Hinsch’s. I have to say I loved Hinsch’s the place; it really kicked up the nostalgia meter recreating the early ’60s of my first Brooklyn experience. On that, Hinsch’s scored; its egg cream was less than it could have been. The counterman was deft and skilled, but the soda issued from the standard soda gun seen in every bar and lunch counter these days and it felt wrong. I had planned my journey for what I hoped was to be the Mecca of fountains and was underwhelmed. Ah well, I will return to Hinsch’s, but will stick with the milk shakes.

Brooklyn Farmacy, I salute you. May your egg cream reign in the Brooklyn of dream and memory. For now, I gotta go grab Phil—there have to be more memorable Brooklyn egg creams out there and I must find them.555-brooklyn-farmacy-recipe

Brooklyn Farmacy
513 Henry Street, Carroll Gardens
718-522-6260

Tom’s Restaurant
782 Washington Avenue, Prospect Heights
718-636-9738

Hinsch’s
8518 5th Avenue, Bay Ridge
718-748-2854

Photos by Basia Hellwig; Bruce Campbell (Tom’s, window menu, recipe). Date stamp typographic design by Joy Makon Design. The font is Bauhaus, by Ed Benguiat and Victor Caruso, ITC, 1975.

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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