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

PART TWO
The Team at Brooklyn Artisan is thankful for:

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

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

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

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

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

Bergen Bagel for what they do best: bagels.

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

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

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

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

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

NYE_ProspectPark_PaulMartinka

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*

*

*

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

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

A Creative Cocktail

Day Twelve 12 Sips of Brooklyn
maurice-pundit-fort-defiance1865

Cocktails at Fort Defiance in Red Hook: Maurice (left) and Pundit

dec17WHEN LIFE HANDS YOU LEMONS, the saying should go, make a twist and a cocktail. When Superstorm Sandy rampaged through Red Hook in October, Fort Defiance proved worthy of its namesake. The iconic bar in Red Hook was swamped, with ocean filling the basement and two feet of the dining room. But now Fort Defiance is back, thanks to staff and neighbors who heaved to and helped clear the debris and resurrect the café.

The chalkboard at Fort Defiance provides a historical gloss to gritty Red Hook

The chalkboard at Fort Defiance provides a historical gloss to gritty Red Hook.

To celebrate the conclusion of the 12 Sips and 12 Tastes of Brooklyn, the squad repaired to the cozy bar on Van Brunt to reflect on the variety of foods and drinks being created in this varied city. We found the dead simple: seltzer and milk and syrup for an egg cream, hummus made from chickpeas, lemon, tahini and garlic. And we found elaborate creations requiring investments of time, equipment, capital and processes: bean-to-bar chocolate, or North Fork Blend red wine. But there is seemingly no environmental niche where an enterprising Brooklynite can’t enter and make a contribution. A remarkable time, as Brooklyn rediscovers its industrial past and adds new takes on old-fashioned products.

We also found delightful surprises like the Sorel made by Jack From Brooklyn, a liqueur made with Brazilian clove, Indonesian cassia and nutmeg, Nigerian ginger and Moroccan hibiscus. Jack is Jack Summers, who has created the aromatic Sorel in honor of his Barbados grandparents. Jack’s distillery in Red Hook was also heavily damaged in Sandy and he has been working to rebuild with the help of neighbors and the Red Hook Initiative.

For our toast to Brooklyn at Fort Defiance, we ordered two signature cocktails created by owner St. John Frizell, a mixologist known for using small-batch bitters and liquors: the Maurice, a version of the Manhattan that he created for Avery Glasser of Bittermens Spirits (incorporating Bittermens bitters), and the Pundit, made from coffee-infused Scotch, Cocchi Torino vermouth and Amaro dell’Erborista. Both bracing and complex.

Many think of our neighbor island Manhattan when they imagine cocktails, and there is some truth to that in the old glamour of the city across the East River. But Brooklyn today is the creative cocktail: ingredients from around the world, creative mixtures of different spirit and ideas, some simple and some elaborate, blended and crafted to form an exciting brew. To Brooklyn makers of tastes and sips, keep them coming. Cheers!

Maurice (by St. John Frizell of Fort Defiance)

1 1/2 oz Rittenhouse Bonded 100 proof Rye
3/4 oz Cocchi Americano
1/2 oz Bittermens Amère Sauvage Gentiane
1/4 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth

Stir, strain and serve in a coupe.

Bittermens Spirits
18 Bridge Street, DUMBO
646-810-9564

Fort Defiance
365 Van Brunt Street, Red Hook
347-453-6672

Jack From Brooklyn
Red Hook

Photographs by Basia Hellwig. Date stamp typographic design by Joy Makon Design.The font is Mason, by Jonathan Barnbrook, Emigre, 1992.

%d bloggers like this: