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June 04, 2010

Short Documentary on Mast Brothers' Chocolate

You can smell the chocolate from blocks away if the wind is blowing right.

May 28, 2010

Marlow and Sons--Now makes bags!


Our very own Marlow and Sons are finding new uses for their house-butchered cows. 40 to 350 bucks now scores you a simple, sweet looking leather bag. Might fine looking, if I do say so myself.

via NY Mag

April 29, 2010

Of Bill Murray and the Streets of Williamsburg


Another day, another injection of Bill Murray's Awesome Sauce into our lives. This time, it's a party reporter’s guide to having dinner with him. In it, we learn he remembers everyone's names, stands up as ladies take their seat, and he will beat his chest if the meal is roasted duck.

But most importantly, we learn the following bit about Williamsburg:

He might mention the Roebling Tea Room, where his son is a cook, and “they’re very proud of their kale.” He might then discuss how he likes to walk the nearby streets in Williamsburg late at night, and how he shot a movie on the south side when it was just Hasids and hookers, and the Hasids would stand outside late at night telling dirty jokes. (“They weren’t on the street reading the Word, I can tell you that.”)

Dinner With Bill Murray: A Party Reporter’s Guide; Photo: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

April 28, 2010

Misinformation & New Domino: How Your Community Support Sausage Gets Made


If you are the type of person who complains about the neighborhood -- be it the yuppies, a crowded train, condos, whatever -- it's time you familiarized yourself with what's going on at the Domino Sugar factory these days with the New Domino.

Benjamin Lozovsky, in the WG News, has a fantastic piece of reporting called Misinform & Conquer: The Developer, Domino, and the Latino Vote which was pointed out to us by Gothamist, in which we learn of some of the following points:

A local Catholic church, that gets money from the developer, is busing congregants in to community board meetings to "chant and demonstrate their support." That church's Father Beuther was seen handing "scripts or talking points to his bused-in congregants." Meanwhile, the Daily News is lifting direct phrases and quotes from the developer's non-profit money lender's marketing materials, and the "average amount of open space per person" will actually decline with the rise in population.

This is a very short summary, because WG has a very long (but quite interesting) story. So please, read the article and familiarize yourselves with the growing lightning rod that is New Domino.

Key dates in the future:
4/28 - City Planning Commission hearing
July - Final City Council vote

April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day from FREEWilliamsburg and 10 lb Pictures, a Brooklyn based production company. I make a cameo in this cute PSA filmed in Cooper Park. Though if you're thinking about disconnecting for real, don't forget to read the paper version of our blog.

April 18, 2010

Ninja Vandals in Williamsburg?

2888941372_bf0741f5cc.jpgFrom the mailbag:

I wanted to see if you had heard anything about another vigilante attack on N 6th St last night (Sat 4/17) between Bedford and Berry. I live on the block, and my friends and roommate reported seeing a "Ninja looking" crew dressed in all black run down the street from Bedford to Berry along the road and smash the drivers side window of every car on the block. I confirmed when I returned home later that night, drunk and stumbling and saw patches of glass all the way down N 6th. Apparently they scrambled at the intersection of N 6th and Berry as cop cars came from every direction and were even reversing back up N 6th st towards the intersection. With the American Apparell attack on our street a month or two ago, I'm starting to wonder WTF is going on
If you have any information or pictures, let us know in comments. [image via]

UPDATE: Here's another version of events from Williamsburger Stephanie Palumbo:

I heard it from my apt and then my boyfriend called me from outside on the street. He saw it happen.. said the kids were stopping cars and harassing people in them. They turned over all of the garbage cans on the street and then one of the kids grabbed one of the garbage cans and smashed it into the window at the tea house on the corner of N 8th and Bedford. Then they smashed a car window and kept running down the street (toward N 7th). They were screaming, "Take back the night!" which makes no sense - it's an anti-rape slogan but those protests are nonviolent and totally different.

We suspect it has something to do with the Anarchist Book Fair that was going on in the city and also the police raid a few days earlier on an anarchist art collective in Bushwick. My boyfriend said they were all young and white and looked like bored rich kids. They seemed to be just playing dress up or something and had absolutely no coherent message

A couple of pix [thanks Stephanie] after the jump.

Continue reading "Ninja Vandals in Williamsburg?" »

April 13, 2010

Lively Discussion Time

From the electronic mailbox:

Councilmen Steve Levin (your guy if you live in the "waterfront" section of the Southside, in most of the Northside or in Greenpoint) is hosting a town hall meeting tomorrow to discuss the Domino Development.

Meeting info: Wed. April 14, 2010 @ Pierogi Boiler 191 N14th (between Berry & Wythe) from 6-8pm.

Have no idea what i am talking about?
Well, the old Domino Sugar factory (@ Kent & S5th-S2nd) is in the midst of the rezoning process. There is a plan from the developers. There is community push back. In a nutshell, lots of $$, lots of L line drama, lots of towers, lots of local politics, lots of "lively discussion". The project will be coming before city council pretty soon and if you dont like what you see from the developers (or if you do) now is the time to get involved and speak up.....

Need more info. Lots more articles on Brooklyn 11211 about the rezoning process, etc. Also, can get the real estate perspective on Brownstoner.

April 07, 2010

Jumelle Responds: W'burg Walks Quotes "are inaccurate, misrepresented and false."


Candice Waldron, owner of Jumelle (148 Bedford) wrote to set the record straight regarding the Brooklyn Paper story about Williamsburg Walks cutting back.

Her email (emphasis mine):

The comments and quotes from my staff that have appeared in recent articles about the reduced Williamsburg Walks schedule are inaccurate, misrepresented and false. We have contacted the staff writer asking for a correction.

Williamsburg Walks did not have any negative impact on my business revenue; this aspect of the story was never discussed with the reporter. In fact that comment was made by another local shop owner. We remained open every weekend during the walks and welcomed new customers.

Furthermore, the caption, "She got her wish now that the pedestrian mall has been cut to just two days" that appears with a photo of one of my staff is entirely fabricated. We have not actively campaigned to cut Williamsburg Walks.

Jumelle has been an active participant in the community and we simply wish to set the record straight.

Photo via Hazel Kiesewetter c/o NY Mag

April 06, 2010

They Don't Want Your Money

A commenter reacts to the Williamsburg Walks news:

As a person in business it can say that the bitterness of these select business owners is due to the fact that they aren’t creative enough to capitalize on what should become the busiest day of the week for them. I also try to keep 100% or my money spent in Williamsburg, but I too agree that it is clear who doesn’t want our money.

Stop the Corporate Creep: Boycott Duane Reed


I'm enjoying this Williamsburg Observer piece on the aggressive Duane Reed settlement across the street from King's Pharmacy that urges all Williamsburg residents, "Resist the Corporate Hive-Mind, say 'No!' to this invasive takeover attempt. Help us keep Williamsburg free of corporate creep."

They write:

"Last fall, Duane Reade opened one of its mega-mart drugstores on Kent Avenue, in the ground floor of the new Northside Piers. This spring, in the coming weeks, another Duane Reade store is slated to open on Bedford Avenue between North 3rd and 4th Streets, only five blocks from the first store and directly across from King’s Pharmacy, a locally-owned business that has been at this address for most of the last decade. This aggressive and menacing behavior suggests that a virulent infection may be taking hold—in fact, we hear rumors that Starbucks is also now eyeing Bedford Avenue, already home to a Subway outlet. Will McDonald’s and Burger King be next?"

It points to two Facebook groups: Boycott Duane Reade in Williamsburg and I'm Boycotting the Bedford Ave. Duane Reade/Walgreens as pages to start la resistance. Go get 'em, tigers.

April 05, 2010

Scandinavian Grace

I fell in love with Brooklyn boutique Scandinavian Grace long before I ever visited. I can’t quite remember where I first read about Icelandic designer Vík Prjónsdóttir's Twosome Blanket - think Snuggie for two - but I loved the idea of people laying side by side, keeping each other warm. By the time I arrived at the only Stockist I knew of in the US, the store had changed ownership and no longer carried in-store what I had by then deemed the Snuggie Wuggie. Fredrik Wide, the owner and operator of Scandinavian Grace, has put together an exquisite collection of contemporary products from Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and Norway. New York City is no stranger to modern design shops, but it’s likely you’ll come across things here you’ve only ever seen in the odd restaurant or hotel. The Rocking Glasses by Britt Bonnesen are everything I’ve wished I had when hosting a dinner party; similar in design to the classic tumbler, the bottoms are rounded, allowing them to rock without spilling. Fredrik confesses his love for modernism, and cites Arne JacobsenAlvar Alto and Kaj Franck as favorite designers. “Many of the pieces in the store are classics,” he admits, but “we do mix in some new things too, of which some probably will be considered classics tomorrow.” From Marimekko duvet covers to playful Swedish rugs, Scandinavian Grace is a must-stop shop in home outfitting. Yet, with apparel so apropos of it’s location - the 100% Icelandic wool Beard Cap and Stepp Two Ashtray are personal favorites - I can’t help but think this the perfect boutique for gifting. In the spirit of exchanging ideas and recommendations, I’d take a look at the Karl and Mona clogs, traditional hand-made shoes from Sweden. At $105, they’re affordable; perhaps if we all wear these, the starlets will kick off their Chanel’s and that Karl's trend will go the way of the dumpster. Speaking of rubbish, I plan on making a trip back to Scandinavian Grace when I can afford this hand-assembled Vipp trash can from Denmark.  “It is not very difficult to pick the winners,” Fredrik say, “when you have a store that caters to your own type.” How about picking my first purchase?

Scandinavian Grace
167 N 9th St
Brooklyn, NY 11222
(718) 384-7886

April 01, 2010

Williamsburg's MTA Bus Cuts Affect Elderly & Disabled


The MTA is eliminating the B39 Williamsburg Bridge express bus, the B13 north of Wyckoff/Dekalb & weekend service on the B24. Total monies saved is estimated at 2.6 million and only a few thousand elderly and disabled citizens have to find a new way to the hospital.

Also, expect 900 new weekday riders on the L train. Because there's lots of room there.

Brook Farm General Store

Williamsburg is a mecca of well-curated boutiques. Brook Farm General Store, adjacent to a couple of Brooklyn’s best eateries, Diner and Marlow & Sons, is certainly among the best. I had seen the store - on the ground floor of an apartment building, it’s got all the ingredients of a hidden gem - on a post-brunch walk in January, but didn’t make the journey back until I saw it written up in the latest issue of Monocle. Opened by Brooklyn-based couple Christopher Winterbourne and Philippa Content, this store oozes love-worn basics: Egyptian-cotton sheets and bath towels from California-based line Matteo are nestled into cubbies with Savon de Marseille soaps from France, specialty kitchen appliances sit alongside a gorgeous set of plates made in Vietnam, and the desk supplies seem made-to-order. My personal favorite? The Sempé Journal, complete with illustrations by the French artist of the same name, as well as envelopes and pockets to hold your keepsakes. From the price range to the products, there’s something for everyone at Brook Farm. “We spend a lot of time looking for new things,” Philippa says, but adds that their vision started with specifics, like Duralex glasses and “quality, well-made sorts of things like we grew up with.” Espadrille’s made in the South of France will arrive in a month’s time, as will the first items from their new line - no doubt an infusion of his English roots and her Maine upbringing - such as organic wool blankets. In a boutique that feels quite like a lifestyle brand, I wondered what each would take home with them, if they were customers of their own store. Surely, they’d each ask if their dog Nutmeg is for sale as all of us cooing customers do. For Chris, the Anglepoise lamps made in England would top the list, while Philippa fancies the Moroccan Basket Backpack. I’ll take the store.

Brook Farm General Store
75 South 6th Street
New York 11211


Photograph by Karen Mordechai via Sunday Suppers

March 30, 2010

Interactive Williamsburg Art Gallery Google Map


The fine folks at Brooklyn365 have created a nice lil' Google Map with all of the Williamsburg Art Galleries plugged in. It's pretty darn helpful, and lets you keep track of all the spots by location, name, phone, website and hours.

For as long as we can remember we wanted a map which would allow us to stumble from gallery to gallery on a lazy Williamsburg weekend. Since we couldn't find one, we created one. Click on any of the red pins to see the gallery name, hours of operation, and website/twitter/etc (if available).

Williamsburg Art Gallery Map (Send updates to [email protected]).

March 29, 2010

Williamburg Bridge Renamed The "Wi-Fi" Bridge


In a proclamation supporting high-speed internet access for Brooklyn (a nod to the ongoing efforts to bring Google to Brooklyn), Marky Markowitz has renamed the Williamsburg Bridge the “Wi-Fi” Bridge & the Brooklyn Bridge the “Broadband Bridge."

Read the full proclamation after the jump.

Continue reading "Williamburg Bridge Renamed The "Wi-Fi" Bridge" »

Audio: The Very Beginnings of the Williamsburg Art Scene


Sideshow's (S. 2nd St.) curator Richie Temperio spoke with Art Talk's The Greatest Interview Show of All Time about the art scene in the 60's and 70's in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. They had Thai restaurants everywhere back then too!

In The Greatest Interview Show of All Time's ongoing oral history of Williamsburg, Will finds Richie Temperio, curator and gallerist extraordinaire, at home in Sideshow, his gallery on South 2nd Street. Richie talks about being an artist in Williamsburg way back when, and provides some intriguing details about the very beginnings of the art scene there; and we're not talking the early-90s here--we're talking the 60s and 70s, people! He then recounts stories of his offbeat gallery space, from hanging his friends work in a local Thai restaurant for free beer to creating one of the most well-known alternative spaces--a "sideshow" if you will--to the ostensible main event taking place in a concurrent Chelsea gallery exhibit.

Check it out: iTunes // RealPlayer

March 19, 2010

$5 Postcards from Brooklyn

Too busy to say, "Hey Mom & Dad, I miss you..."? No problem! For $5, this fellow will send you a post card from Brooklyn, NY saying anything you want. Act now before it's too late!

March 14, 2010

The Brooklyn Brunch Chronicles: Le Barricou


Brunch in Williamsburg is a battlefield. New restaurants and cafes pop up every week, and by weeks end have lines down the block. Armed with a MacBook, an open mind, and an appetite, here are the stories of one brave girl who braved the tight lines, tight pants, and French Toast to offer her unbiased opinion on those restaurants. Welcome to the Brooklyn Brunch Chronicles.

Le Barricou (Grand Street off the Lorimer stop)
The first thing you’ll notice when sitting down for brunch at le Barricou is the basket of croissants swiftly placed in front of you (one butter and one chocolate, if you are with a group of four you only get three croissants-I’m not sure of the logic here). In an economy where the free basket of bread is slowly becoming extinct, they are a welcome addition to brunch. The coffee is strong, and if you haven’t had enough to drink the night before, the Home-made bloody mary is large, and satisfying. The omelets are tasty, as are the three different types of eggs benedict offered.

But without question the best dish is the unparalleled pancake. Covered in fresh fruit, it borders the line between “cake” and “pancake”. You must try it for yourself. It’s more than enough to share.

Now, if you’re one of those people who likes to order lunch items for brunch (not that there’s anything wrong with those people), burgers, chicken sandwiches, and merguez sandwiches are also on the menu.

Cute décor, friendly waiters, and great food, le Barricou comes highly recommended!

Brunch is served Saturday-Sunday 11 a.m.–4 p.m.

— Fiona Goldstein

[image via Flickr]

March 12, 2010

Google: That's the Wrong Williamsburg


Williamsburg, Virginia, just applied to become the "first permanent Google settlement in America," as part of the search giant's new foray into providing communities with super high-speed broadband internet service (over 1 gigabit per second!).

That, Google, would be the wrong Williamsburg!

Here, in Brooklyn, you have a vibrant community of creative types, assholes, and tech enthusiasts suffering under the maniacally slow service that Time Warner Cable "provides." It's terrible! I know I'm an asshole for writing this, based on all the problems a community like ours has, but I get really pissed when I can't play Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 on Xbox Live while my girlfriend is streaming Netflix and uploading photos. It's ridiculous.

And I know a majority of you out there are with me. I posted a few months back about the slow service affecting Williamsburg and I got a heck of a lot of responses.

I wrote to Time Warner, and was told, "The current issue is something our engineering department is aware of but will take time to resolve. There is nothing our office can do to expedite the situation." It was a problem with the node, they said, meaning there's just too much bandwidth being requested by too many people with computers in such a small area.

(Funny anecdote: my wonderful on-the-phone rep was comfortingly named George Lopez.)

Christy wrote: "the internet here is totally unreliable, it's always going in and out."

Caralyn wrote: "I'm in greenpoint and our time warner has been out for 2 days doing the same thing. Ach! So frustrating! Any news on a fix soon?"

Michael wrote: "My Time Warner service has been terrible for the last couple months since I moved to my new apartment on S.4th. Really, terribly slow for "high speed" and it kind of goes in and out between decent and nearly nonexistent. Lets go straight to Albany with this one and get us some legislation. Or just ask TW to stop ignoring our downloading and streaming video needs."

Allen wrote: "My Time Warner internet is so bad that I have to steal other peoples sometimes to check my email. Last night I had no internet at ALL… Im so pissed. And they say nothing is wrong…"

You get the idea. So I dunno, but maybe it's worth us all nominating our community for Google to at least give it a shot? I'm sure TWC has some dystopian lock-down on all of Brooklyn, but you never know.