Joy’s Best of Brooklyn for March 7 through March 10

Events sell out fast…sign up, buy tickets, reserve…don’t miss out.
Brooklyn Arts Council, Larry Racioppo, Silver Mermaid, 2002 C-print, 20" x 24")

Larry Racioppo, Silver Mermaid, 2002 C-print. Thursday evening opening reception for Sea Drift, a new show at Brooklyn Arts Council. Part of Armory Arts Week, see below.

Local and Beyond: food, gardens, environment
windflower farm caption

An early-season scene from Windflower Farm.

Thursday Park Slope CSA membership orientation for the 2013 season. Learn about the benefits of membership in a Community Supported Agriculture partnership. The Park Slope CSA’s deadline for the 2013 season is April 19, and you can sign up for full or part shares of deliveries by Farmer Ted from Windflower Farm, along with eggs and meat from Lewis Waite Farm and Hot Bread Kitchen. Distribution is at the Garden of Union, a community garden on Union Street between Fourth and Fifth Avenues in Park Slope. Learn more this evening, along with a cooking demonstration and refreshments at the Old Stone House, Park Slope. 6pm-8pm.

TheFuture_hc_nospineFriday Former Vice President Al Gore will discuss his latest book, The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change. This new book is billed as a frank, visionary, and ultimately hopeful investigation of six critical drivers of global change in the decades to come, written by a man who has looked ahead before and been proven all too right. Ticket purchase guarantees an autographed copy of the book. At powerHouse Arena, DUMBO. 6pm-8pm.

makingBklynBloomSaturday 32nd Annual Making Brooklyn Bloom sponsored by Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Slow Food NYC’s Urban Harvest program. This is a free day-long event at BBG featuring hands-on workshops, exhibits and speakers taught by community gardeners, BBG staff and greening experts. Gardening for a Resilient City is this year’s topic: to explore our local resources to rebuild a more verdant, sustainable Brooklyn in response to recovery efforts after Hurricane Sandy. Workshops include: Upcycled Treasure: Tree Guards to Greenhouses; Using Stormwater in the Garden; The Global Gardener: Growing Food from Around the World; Brooklyn Urban Gardener Volunteer Program. Exhibits and Activities include: Therapeutic Horticulture; School Gardening; exhibits from local greening organizations. Dr. Vandana Shiva, global environmental activist, author and founder of Navdanya will present the keynote address Cultivating Resilience: Diversity, Democracy, Community. Advanced registration is requested for many events. 10am-4pm.

snailofApproval

iCi caption

Fort Greene’s iCi received Snail recognition in 2012.

Related: Slow Food NYC Snail of Approval, a website/directory of restaurants, bars, food and beverage artisans that have been awarded the SFNYC Snail of Approval. To be considered for this distinction, establishments must meet standards that contribute to the quality, authenticity and sustainability of the food we eat and drink in New York City. 2013 recent awardees from Brooklyn include Red Hook-based Waterfront Wines & Spirits and Uncouth Vermouth. Previous-year awardees include Ted & Honey, One Girl Cookies, Lot2 and many more.

Saturday Bread & Brew: A Celebration of Dutch Foodways in Breukelen at Wyckoff House Museum. Tour NYC’s oldest house and learn about brood and bier, important foods in the Dutch-colonial diet. Brooklyn Brewery’s beers will be available to sip; taste bread (including beer bread) that has been baked using traditional colonial methods on an outdoor fire pit. Reservations requested. East Flatbush. 4pm-6:30pm.

Bunnycutlet Gallery exhibit Printmouse. Alexandria Kwan, KVDZV, silkscreen

Alexandria Kwan, KVDZV, silkscreen. Printmouse exhibit at Bunnycutlet Gallery, part of Williamsburg After Hours.

Armory Arts Week in Brooklyn

The Armory Show is an international contemporary and modern art fair held every March, not in an armory, but on Piers 92 & 94 in Outer Brooklyn. The Show has expanded to include arts events and exhibitions throughout all of NYC during Armory Arts Week, where neighborhood arts scenes are highlighted. Below, here’s a small selection of what’s happening in Brooklyn. Check the website for the complete list of events.

Thursday First Thursday Gallery Walk, DUMBO.
This newly-retooled website (check out the DUMBO Decoder) has tons of gallery events as well as other info for the area:

A.I.R. Gallery, the first all female cooperative gallery in the U.S., opens this evening with 40/40: A Double Vision. Celebrating 40 years of advocating for women in the visual arts, this exhibition celebrates the past, present and future of A.I.R. Gallery. 6pm-9pm.

Brooklyn Arts Council, Sea Drift, a group exhibition featuring the work of seven Brooklyn-based artists, presents a meeting of mythic ideas and realities regarding the waters surrounding Brooklyn. Opening reception, 6pm-8pm.

Related: Happy hour in DUMBO drink deals from ReBar, Superfine, Gran Electrica, more…

willAfterHours

Intentionally conspicuous Williamsburg, really?

Saturday Armory Arts Week—Brooklyn Night
Full listing for all Brooklyn Night events is on the website.

Williamsburg After Hours. 23 galleries will intentionally make themselves conspicuous with light, music and video installations that will be visible in doorways, sidewalks and adjacent buildings, along with performance art in the streets. 7pm-10pm.

Brooklyn Metal Works spoon-making workshop class caption here

Brooklyn Metal Works holds  spoon-making workshops in their studios. On Saturday, they are a part of Brooklyn Creates.

Brooklyn Creates is one part of this day devoted to Design and Glass. Begin with a visit to the Museum of Art & Design, one of Brooklyn Artisan’s favorite spots, for a screening of Toledo Workshop Revisited. Follow with an opening reception at Heller Gallery of glass artist Amber Cowan’s Reconstructions. End the day back in Brooklyn with Brooklyn Creates, an evening showcase of farm-to-table food and homemade brews, served in hand-crafted glass and metal tableware. Sponsored by Landhaus, Bitter & Esters, Brooklyn Glass and Brooklyn Metal Works.

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 the beginning of March

Biodynamic wine…and cheese…and beer, always beer • food shopping renewals • talks about dinners and sports books • the original New Orleans Jazz Band
Themed merch at Brooklyn Museum's store. (Photograph by Brooklyn Artisan Photo Pool.)

Themed merch display at Brooklyn Museum’s store. (Photograph by Brooklyn Artisan Photo Pool.)

Supermarket News

fairwayFriday, March 1 Fairway Red Hook re-opening! “We love this neighborhood,” says Fairway’s website. The feeling is quite mutual…and we can all celebrate starting at 8am as this foundation of the Red Hook community opens for business after four months of renovations and restoration after Sandy. Of course Marty is going to show up, along with performances by Brooklyn Dodger Symphony Band and an appearance by Brooklyn-based Miss America, Mallory Hytes Hagan. Fairway has partnered with Restore Red Hook to continue supporting those hit by Sandy—the small businesses, residents, employees—and will match donations up to $20,000. PLUS: Red Hook Lobster Pound and Red Hook Winery will reopen on Friday too.

We Were Heard Windsor Terrace Green Beans. Back in June 2012, Key Food, the only viable, non-bodega supermarket in Windsor Terrace, suddenly closed, leaving residents without a full-service place to shop for food. Worse, the landlord then leased the space to pharmacy-giant Walgreens creating a dearth of local food shopping choices, along with potentially jeopardizing business at two well-liked local pharmacies. Both the landlord and Walgreens representatives refused to discuss the neighborhood’s desire to include a grocery store in any of the plans.

Summer, 2012 protest. (Photograph, DNAinfo/Leslie Albrecht)

Summer, 2012 protest. (Photograph, DNAinfo/Leslie Albrecht)

This story is being tagged co-working, grassroots, citizen advocacy, sustainable markets, neighborhood-supported small business.

While the Windsor Terrace Key Food was bona fide awful to many, it was still important to this community of 12,000—enough, so that neighbors banded together to form Green Beans Not Walgreens, a grassroots resistance organization with the message that any Walgreens would be boycotted unless a sustainable fresh food market was worked into the plans. Citizen advocates, community leaders and local elected officials were initially rebuffed by corporate Walgreens, but pressure intensified to get the message heard. On February 21, the community received more positive news from Walgreen officials and Key Food corporate representatives that a hybrid space would be developed to include a “state-of-the-art” Key Food as part of the Prospect Avenue space. Next up: many residents have the means to shop at more upscale food businesses (Fairway, Union Market, Park Slope Food Coop, Fresh Direct, Trader Joe’s, an impending Whole Foods, even Costco) so Key Food will need to earn its reputation to be taken seriously. In this neighborhood that values shopping locally, especially the Prospect Park West shopping strip, there is still a lot of concern that small-town friendly Ballard Pharmacy and Oak Park Pharmacy will be priced out of business by the Walgreens pharmacy. The fight continues on.

globes

What a difference it makes to the neighborhood when a shop owner cares about their place!

Elsewhere…

< Friday, March 1 Open House/Cocktail Party at Windsor Place Antiques & Ephemera. Owner Rebecca Rubel is a Brooklyn Flea regular and has had an Etsy store since 2009. Her first brick-and-mortar shop is located on a corner site that was for decades an eyesore of a legal office, but now showcases her love of maps, especially large school maps, globes, and all other sorts of well-loved stuff, displayed in eye-catching, clever groupings. Windsor Terrace. 6pm-8pm.

preservationJazz

Rolling Stone calls Brooklyn Bowl “…one of the most incredible places on Earth.”

Friday, March 1 Preservation Hall Jazz Band performs at Brooklyn Bowl. Don’t miss the one-and-only from New Orleans. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, dating to 1961, has a mission to nurture and perpetuate the art form of New Orleans Jazz. PHJB Creative director Ben Jaffe is the son of the original founders, Allan and Sandra Jaffe, and has spearheaded programs such as the New Orleans Musicians Hurricane Relief Fund. Sound familiar? At Brooklyn Bowl’s performance space, in the former Hecla Iron Works (circa 1882), you’ll hear great music, enjoy food from Blue Ribbon, and can even get in a round of bowling at one of the 16 LEED-certified lanes. Advanced tickets for PHJB are sold out, but limited admission for $20 will be available at the box office at 6pm for the 8pm show. Williamsburg.

DinnerLoveStorySaturday, March 2 Dinner, A Love Story, a cookbook tasting event at powerHouse in Park Slope. Melissa Vaughan (The New Brooklyn Cookbook) moderates this sampling of dishes from Jenny Rosenstrach’s Dinner, A Love Story. Jenny notes that she’s kept a diary of every single thing she’s eaten for dinner since 1998; Dinner A Love Story is her website devoted to helping parents figure out how to get family dinner on the table. Park Slope. 4pm-5pm.

Pouring at Littlefield.

Pouring at Littlefield on Saturday.

Saturday, March 2 Urban Brew Fest and Craft Beer Festival at Littlefield. More than 50 craft and specialty brewers will be pouring at Littlefield’s sustainably-renovated warehouse. Food and music will keep you on your toes. Advanced ticket purchase recommended. Gowanus. 12pm-9pm.
Suggested reading: New York’s Ale Awakening: How a Cocktail City Learned to Love Beer

Saturday, March 2 Intro to Cheese Making at 3rd Ward. This class will demystify the steps of cheese making from milk to cream to curd and will teach you how to make creme fraiche, cultured butter, mascarpone and cream cheese. You’ll also take home a cheese-draining basket, and recipes using the freshly-made products and other creamery ideas. Williamsburg. 1:30pm-4:30pm.

catSunday, March 3 Community Bookstore and PS 321 host Writers Series #2: Influential contemporary books about sports. A discussion by sports journalists (and PS 321 parents): Steve Busfield, sports editor of Guardian US; Howie Rumberg, sportswriter at The Associated Press; Ralph Russo, national college football writer at The Associated Press. Moderated by Ezra Goldstein, co-owner of Community Bookstore (and originator of the unofficial Brooklyn Artisan mascot cat chalkboard). This event is geared toward adults, although children are welcome. At Community Bookstore, Park Slope. 2pm.

(Photograph from Jenny & François Selections.)

Domaine Binner Winery, Alsace. (Photographs from Jenny & François Selections.)

Natural Winemakers’ Week,
February 28-March 6

Organic, natural and biodynamic winemakers from France, Italy and Oregon will be in NYC for a week of wine dinners, classes and tastings. Here’s what’s featured in Brooklyn:
Saturday, March 2 Natural Wine 101 at Brooklyn Wine Exchange. Louis/Dressner Selections will introduce some of their favorite producers of small, family-owned wineries. Cobble Hill. 4pm.
Tuesday, March 5 Ides Bar at Wythe Hotel will throw a party featuring all the winemakers, 20 wines by the glass, a DJ, and a great view of Outer Brooklyn’s skyline. If you need an excuse to visit this cool hotel, this could be it. Williamsburg. 8pm-12am.

Loup Blanc Winery, Bize-Minervois.

Loup Blanc Winery, Bize-Minervois.

Wednesday, March 6 stop by Fermented Grapes for a free wine tasting with winemaker Loup Blanc. Prospect Heights.
Wednesday, March 6 winemaker dinner at The Farm on Adderley. Four course dinner paired with wines from Les Chemins de Bassac from Languedoc, France, and Pogiosecco from Tuscany, Italy. Reservations essential—the wine dinners hosted in the back room at The Farm are rumored to be delicious and a lot of fun. Ditmas Park. 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 for February 19—25

The American Revolution through gardening, get close to stinky cheese, monumental artwork at Brooklyn Museum and it’s NYC Beer Week in Kings County.
caption will go here

The Old Stone House, portrayed in this historic rendering, is the perfect backdrop for a talk by
Andrea Wulf, author of The Founding Gardeners. See first item, below.

Thursday The Founding Gardeners, a talk and reception with design historian Andrea Wulf. Celebrate President’s Day with a fundraiser talk and wine reception for The Old Stone House. Our founding fathers (Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Bartram, Madison) were as passionate about gardening, agriculture and botany, as in their belief in liberty for the nation they were creating. Author Andrea Wulf will reveal their unique ideologies as the gardeners, plantsmen and farmers of the American Revolution. The Old Stone House, with its colonial heritage and habitat gardens, is the ideal setting and beneficiary for this evening. Advanced ticket purchase is recommended. Park Slope. 7pm-9pm.

caption here

“It’s a pungent job but
someone has to do it,” says
Stinky Bklyn. (Photograph
by Morgan Ione Yeager.)

Thursday Affinage: the Sophisticated Art of Aging Cheese, a workshop with Christopher Killoran, shown left, of Stinky Bklyn, in conjunction with The Horticultural Society of NY (“The Hort”). Affinage is the process of washing, innoculating and injecting young cheeses with the molds, bacterias, cultures and enzymes that will allow the cheese to reach maturity and become delicious. This evening’s event will discuss the whole process, all while learning how to use, serve and enjoy cheese. The Hort is dedicated to urban gardeners, with the aim to grow a green community that values horticulture and the benefits gained to the environment, neighborhoods and lives. Advanced registration advised. Outer Brooklyn. 6:30pm.

caption here

El Anatsui, Conspirators, 1997. Composed of individual strips of wood, this piece can be
arranged differently each time it is installed, reflecting the artist’s desire for his work
to remain dynamic. At Brooklyn Museum, see below. (Photograph by Andrew McAllister,
courtesy of the Akron Art Museum.)

Thursday Curator Tour, Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui, Brooklyn Museum. Curator Kevin Dumouchelle will lead a free tour of this fascinating exhibit of wall and floor sculptures and installations. Ghanaian artist Anatsui converts found materials, often bottle caps, into colorful, textured hangings and site-specific sculptures. Prospect Heights. 6pm.

nycbg-centerimageFriday Opening Night Bash, New York City Beer Week. Rare and exotic beers from over 30 breweries will be poured at Galapagos Art Space. Sponsored by New York City Brewers Guild. DUMBO. 7pm-10pm. Through March 3, NYC Beer Week will bring together 12 NYC craft breweries, nationally and internationally renowned breweries, over 250 NYC beer destinations, celebrity chefs, and restaurants for the “beer spectacle” of the year. All Beer Week events in BKLYN and Outer BKLYN are listed on the site. Here’s a few other events that caught our attention for this weekend:

caption Robert Buchan

Beer Week tap takeover at Banter.
(Photograph by Robert Buchan.)

 Friday Banter, Williamsburg. New York tap takeover, with 24 craft beers on tap featuring rarities from New York’s finest brewers.

Saturday Fermented NY Craft Beer Crawl of Williamsburg, tour by Urban Oyster Tours.

Sunday The Owl Farm, Park Slope. Celebrating wheat beers: Berlinerweisses, Wheatwines, Weizenbocks, Goses and more.

montague street caption

A Montague Street view from The
Brooklyn Historical Society archives.

Saturday Big Onion Walking Tour of Historic Brooklyn Heights. Sponsored along with Brooklyn Historical Society, this two-hour tour will explore NYC’s first Landmark District. The walk starts at Borough Hall by Cadman Plaza, and ends with a behind-the-scenes tour of the Brooklyn Historical Society building. Along the way are sites associated with Gypsy Rose Lee, WEB DuBois, and others. Brooklyn Heights. 1pm.

61LocalSaturday 2 Year Anniversary Bash at 61 Local, a public house featuring locally crafted food, drink and the people who make it. Celebrate with special soda shandies from Brooklyn Soda Works, a raffle for a knife crafted by Joel Bukiewicz, Cut Brooklyn, with all proceeds of the evening to benefit BK Farmyards. At 8pm there will be a documentary screening that highlights the collaboration with these producers. Cobble Hill. Begins at 5pm.

Coney Island new: the shake was messy but great at newly-opened Tom's back in October 2012, pre-Sandy, but there's all that darn whipped cream! Read what my colleague Bruce Campbell had to say about Tom's Prospect Heights Egg Cream. (photograph, Brooklyn Artisan photo pool)

Coney Island new: the shake was messy but great at newly-opened Tom’s back in pre-Sandy October, but there’s all that darn whipped cream! Read what my colleague Bruce Campbell had to say about Tom’s Prospect Heights Egg Cream. (Photograph, Brooklyn Artisan photo pool.)

Saturday and Sunday Ice Skating in BKLYN: If you’re missing the Kate Wollman Rink in Prospect Park, closed due to construction, try an afternoon of ice skating en plein air at Coney Island at the Abe Stark Rink. Until March 24, the rink is open weekends from 12:30pm-3:30pm. Skate rental is available. Hydrate and refuel at Tom’s, a branch of the venerable Prospect Heights eatery.

Sunday Oscar Party at Pine Box Rock Shop, a bartender/musician-owned vegan bar and performance space. Cast your ballot and enjoy champagne specials and free popcorn during the awards show. Pine Box promises awesome prizes to those whose ballots match the actual winners. Bushwick. 7pm.

9781118062975_cover.inddMonday Sandy Benefit Concert with jazz guitarist, singer, raconteur John Pizzarelli. Tonight’s fundraiser at powerHouse Arena will feature music and talk from one of the connoisseurs of The Great American Songbook. Pizzarelli will sign copies of his new memoir, World on A String. As the son of jazz-legend Bucky Pizzarelli, as the opening act for Frank Sinatra’s last tour, to performing with Paul McCartney in 2012—Pizzarelli has a lot of material to work with. DUMBO. 7pm-9pm.

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, 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.

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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

The Comforts of Tea

Day Nine 12 Sips of Brooklyn
Michael Shannon of Bellocq Tea Atelier

Michael Shannon of Bellocq Tea Atelier brewing tea so visitors can taste.

dec14TAXONOMY, CLADISTICS, SYSTEMATICS, PHYLOGENETICS—so many ways to group and divide living things. Darwin famously sundered the world into “lumpers and splitters”: those who are happy with the general gist, and those who are obsessed with specifics.

The tea trade is one where splitters can run riot: green or black, white or yellow, oolong or pu-erh—all the varieties of Camellia sinensis that have descended through 3,000 years of recorded history. But even within those broad categories, there are nuances piled on subtleties, geography and climate, blends and additives, methods and styles of preparation. Japan and China have elaborate and precise rituals of preparing and serving tea that can last for hours. Even the pragmatic English have woven the drink into their culture and mythology.

bellocq-christmas-1422

Bellocq Christmas blend in its silver plate caddy

Visit Bellocq in Greenpoint during their limited shop hours and you immediately recognize that here be tea splitters. The neat rows of silver containers with the bold yellow and white labels signal that tea is taken very seriously in these precincts. Yes, you think, this is what a tea shop should be. It is a transport to a quiet and calm that seems centuries and leagues away from the busy streets of North Brooklyn 2012.

It can be a bit daunting. I admit I remain a bit of a lumper and my knowledge of tea is an inch deep and an inch wide, but I stand in awe of the level of awareness and sophistication about the product that is evident at an emporium like Bellocq.

On the day we visited, co-owner Michael Shannon presided in an unhurried manner that was helpful and deeply informative. He brewed tea and explored the intricacies of sourcing teas to avoid the hucksters and scams that abound in that market. He methodically poured samples while revealing a refined sense of the aesthetics of his product. He cracked open canisters to appreciate the aromas while speaking in the same calm fashion about the frenzy the business endured when it was recently cited in O, The Oprah Magazine as one of Oprah’s favorite things. An hour at Bellocq is as warming and refreshing to the spirit as the product they sell.

P-and-S-Teas-1197PS Coffee Tea N Spices in Park Slope is a different cup of tea. This store might appeal more to the lumpers among us. Stacks of boxes, cans and jars filled with teas and tisanes and infusions jostle for attention with spices and coffees. Here you feel awed less by the depth of tea esoterica and more by the breadth of stock in a little space. When asked how many teas the store carries, the manager responds, “Two hundred”, which I suspect is a conservative guesstimate. This is a diverse collection, with the old-fashioned packaging of Ty-phoo hard by the elegant boxes of Republic of Tea.tea-pot-p-and-s-1201 I am certain you can find your heart’s desire, a tea for every condition of the spirit. But I like it because most of the time I remain a lumper: “Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.”

Bellocq Tea Atelier
104 West Street, Greenpoint

800-495-5416

PS Coffee Tea N Spices
368 5th Avenue, Park Slope
718-768-5561

Photographs by Basia Hellwig. Date stamp typographic design by Joy Makon Design. The font is Rockwell, by Morris Fuller Benton and Frank Pierpont, Monotype, 1934.

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