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October 10, 2012

OHNY: Walking The High Line, Section 3

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It's Open House New York time in NYC again. You may remember my trip last year to the old TWA Terminal at JFK. I mostly shot that with film for my analog series.

This year, Tammi got us on the OHNY list for a walk through the undeveloped section of The High Line. The area from 30th to 34th Street wraps around the Hudson Yards, which will also be developed in the next few years.

See more photos after the jump and the whole set on flickr.

Continue reading "OHNY: Walking The High Line, Section 3" »

October 3, 2012

Faces of Atlantic Antic 2012

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Labor Day and the Equinox may ring in Fall for most, but summer doesn't end for me until Atlantic Antic. I've gushed about the mile-long street festival before. I've been going since I was a kid and it always seems like the entirety of Brooklyn is out based both on the crowds and the numer of friends and acquaintances we end up running into along the way.

I take my camera with me every year, but this time I chose to focus on the people who were out and about on Sunday. See the faces of Brooklyn's biggest street fair after the jump.

Continue reading "Faces of Atlantic Antic 2012" »

July 25, 2012

Montreal: Plateau Mont Royal

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I've been a fan of Montreal since my first trip there a decade ago. That time, I made the mistake of going in November - which is really winter there. I got there just in time for a two day snowstorm that left a couple feet of accumulation on the ground. Lesson learned, I made a point of going earlier in the year on subsequent trips, but I never made it there during the summer.

Going in June this time, I got the brand new experience of being immersed in crowds of Montrealers walking through the street festivals and block parties that make up for all the forced indoor time from November to April.

Continue reading "Montreal: Plateau Mont Royal" »

May 21, 2012

The Narrative Process - My Tech Munch Presentation

Last Friday, I took part in a panel for the TechMunch Conference, a food blogger gathering, to discuss the narrative process. In it, Tricia Okin led a discussion with me, Liza de Guia of Food. Curated. And Kasey Hickey of Evernote Food about how each of us comes to the stories we publish.

Time limitations (and nerves) prevented me from hitting all my points, so I thought I'd post my whole planned talk here, after the jump.

Continue reading "The Narrative Process - My Tech Munch Presentation" »

April 17, 2012

Bed-Stuy Crawl, Round 2 Recap

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Last weekend's Bed-Stuy Crawl was an amazing success. Alisha, Nicole and I led a crowd of nearly 50 people to sip and snack at three spots in the Franklin/Bedford corner of the neighborhood. I told you all about the plan last week, so check out how it all went with photos after the jump.

Continue reading "Bed-Stuy Crawl, Round 2 Recap" »

April 11, 2012

This weekend, Bed-Stuy Crawl returns!

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This Saturday, April 14th, Nicole Taylor, Alisha Miranda and I will be hosting our second installment of our Bed-Stuy Crawl series.

Having lived in Bed-Stuy since I was a kid, I have to say there hasn't been a more exciting time to live in the neighborhood. As recently as five years ago, the idea of being able to spend a Saturday evening out with friends without leaving the bounds of Bed-Stuy was pretty unlikely. Your options were to hang out at an old man bar or to spend the whole time at one of a handful of scattered restaurants around the area. That's all changed. And it's pretty great.

If you missed the first Bed-Stuy Crawl back in February, here's your chance to make it up to yourself. Last time, led a group of 40 from Fulton Grand on the Clinton Hill border to Breucklen Cellars, Vodou Lounge and finally Black Swan. It was an amazing time and we're doing it all over again this weekend. Check out the plan for this weekend's festivities after the jump.

Continue reading "This weekend, Bed-Stuy Crawl returns!" »

April 2, 2012

Self-Promotion: How To Knead, Top and Toss it

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The How to... series presented by Edible Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Brewery has returned this year and I've been out shooting it. Back in February, "How to Slice it" brought meat mavens together to learn the best way to make sausage, truss a roast and debone a chicken. More recently, the theme was pizza and it packed the house. Check out a couple highlights after the jump and see a slideshow and details on the speakers on the Edible Brooklyn recap.

Continue reading "Self-Promotion: How To Knead, Top and Toss it" »

March 14, 2012

Kitchensurfing: Chefs & Photogs Meet

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A couple weeks ago, David Siegel, who I met while he worked at Peaches and later photographed as he made cookies for Fats and Flour, told me about a site called Kitchensurfing. The site plans to be a gathering point for chefs to share resources and compare notes. Earlier this month, they hosted an event which invited chefs and photographers to connect. Each chef brought a dish or two and the photographers styled, arranged and shot the food.

Of course, as much as I enjoy shooting food, it was the spectacle of all the people interacting with the food and each other that caught my eye. The result is more Food/Work than food porn. Get a look at what I saw after the jump.

Continue reading "Kitchensurfing: Chefs & Photogs Meet" »

February 29, 2012

The Final Something I Ate NY

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The fourth and final edition of the food and art series, Something I Ate took place last weekend in Williamsburg. As with the previous two editions, I was on hand to document the evening's festivities. It's sad to see the event come to an end, but I'm very excited for its next act, which takes the show to London next month. Wish I could go!

See some of the food, the people and the art after the jump.

Continue reading "The Final Something I Ate NY" »

February 1, 2012

This Weekend: Bed-Stuy Crawl

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There's so much going on in Bed-Stuy these days. It seems like a month doesn't go by that a new bar or restaurant isn't opening up to much interest and curiosity of its neighbors.

My friends Alisha and Nicole and I are hosting a crawl of some of the neighborhood's new(ish) watering holes this weekend and I'd love for you to join us. For $25 you get discounts, deals and tastings as we make our way around the neighborhood.

Find out more information and buy tickets at the Bed-Stuy Crawl eventbrite page and keep up on the news on twitter by following #bedstuycrawl.

January 23, 2012

New York Tech Meetup's SOPA Protest

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Unless you were stuck in a cave, you almost certainly heard about the proposed SOPA and PIPA bills and last Wednesday's day of protest all over the internet that it resulted in. If somehow you missed what the whole bill was about, see The Oatmeal's hilarious SOPA explanation. While websites all over the world were blacking out their pages in a new form of activism, the folks at New York Tech Meetup decided to take an old school approach and led a rally in front of the office building of New York's two Senators.

As with last year's Meetup with Mayor Bloomberg, NYTM brought me in to document the event. See some of the photos after the jump.

Continue reading "New York Tech Meetup's SOPA Protest" »

November 18, 2011

Self-Promotion: Something I Ate - Tonight!

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Over the summer, I had the pleasure of photographing Something I Ate, an art and food event hosted by On Plate Still Hungry and Skimkim Foods. The dishes served included multilayered savory push pops, a set of brass knuckles made from watermelon and hanging hor d'oeuvres that were torched before serving. It was a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to shooting the latest in the series tonight. Check out the Skimkim blog for more details on tonight's event and check out some of the photos from the summer party after the jump.

Something I Ate, November 18, 7-10pm. Acme Studios, 63 N 3rd Street, Williamsburg.

Continue reading "Self-Promotion: Something I Ate - Tonight!" »

November 16, 2011

Self-Promotion: An Edible Events recap

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I've kept busy since returning from South America in part by running around photographing events. Among the events that I've been shooting like Midnight Brunch, New York Tech Meetup and the Fleisher's Opening, I've also been brought on a number of times to shoot events for Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan.

Check out some of the highlights after the jump.

Continue reading "Self-Promotion: An Edible Events recap" »

November 9, 2011

Self-Promotion: ScoutMob and the New York City Marathon

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When I started talking to the fine folks at Scout Mob about being a local scout for them, I think we all assumed that I'd be pitching stories about food. I certainly didn't expect it to be about a sporting event. Then I remembered the annual tradition Tammi and I have had for eight years now and it just sort of made sense.

Check out Today's Culture Hunter and see my photos from the 2011 New York City Marathon and a bit on how it turned into the ritual it has for us.

October 26, 2011

Butchery: Fleisher's Brooklyn is open for business

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Fleisher's, the butchering mecca that inspired so much of the whole animal cooking that we've seen in the last few years has come to Brooklyn. The new shop is located in Park Slope on 5th Avenue off Sackett. I've been a big fan of theirs since I photographed their Pig to Pork event last year.

The grand opening of the new shop was last week and co-owner Jessica Applestone asked me to photograph the big day. Borough President and Brooklyn cheerleader Marty Markowitz was on hand to celebrate the big day.

October 19, 2011

Self-Promotion: Photographing Mayor Bloomberg at NYTM

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Last week, I got called on to photograph the October edition of New York Tech Meetup, a monthly event wherein tech startups present their projects and ideas to other tech types, entrepreneurs and potential investors. Wearing my geek hat for a moment, it was an event that I'd been hoping to check out one of these days regardless, so I was really excited when my friend Jessica Lawrence, who works for NYTM asked if I'd be available to shoot it. Things got even more interesting when I heard that their special guest this month was going to be the mayor.

See the full set of photos from the event including more of the Mayor and all the presenters at ClayWilliamsPhoto.com.

October 7, 2011

Self-Promotion: Shooting Dan Kluger at Bon Appetit's Feast or Fashion

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It's been a busy month since I got back from South America. In addition to shooting Midnight Brunch, I shot The Vendys for Midtown Lunch and the Feast or Fashion dinner for Bon Appetit.

The event, hosted at the TriBeCa home of fashion designer Lela Rose, was catered by Dan Kluger of ABC Kitchen. Unlike so many of the other events I've photographed lately, almost all of my shooting this time had me in the kitchen following Chef Kluger and his team.

I've posted an extended gallery from the event on claywilliamsphoto.com.

September 21, 2011

Self-Promotion: Midnight Brunch II

Photo Recap: Midnight Brunch Edition Two with Google Places

After a month in South America, I got back to New York a couple weeks ago and have been keeping busy, that includes shooting Midnight Brunch last weekend. The event, hosted by Emily Cavalier of Mouth of the Border and sponsored by Google NYC, was the second in a series for the ethnically inspired supper club.

Thirty winners of a contest on Google Places were invited to an undisclosed location in the Lower East Side- the apartment-like space above Casa Mezcal on Orchard Street. The gathering was full of familiar faces, which made the whole thing a lot more fun. Folks I've met in my photo adventures and twittering over the last year or so were there along with plenty of interesting new people. It was a great time. For more details on the evening, including a full menu, see Emily's recap.


Now that I've returned, expect more Peru posts in the next few days...

August 1, 2011

Nom Wah Parlor with Chinatown Chowdown

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Last week, Tammi and I took to Chinatown's historic dim sum parlor, Nom Wah, to help celebrate the release of Chinatown Chowdown. As I mentioned before, the app is a savior for folks like me that have a hard time figuring out which of the hundreds of restaurants, carts and eateries in the neighborhood to try. I plan to spend some quality time exploring the options and thus far have it to thank for a few good meals.

Follow the jump for photos from the festivities.

Continue reading "Nom Wah Parlor with Chinatown Chowdown" »

July 22, 2011

This Weekend: Makossa Brooklyn Cookout

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If you weren't sure from the heatwave, it's summertime and thus barbecue season. My friends from rare form (the folks who bring it with the annual Donuts Are Forever party) have a monthly party in the backyard at Fresthetics, a clothing store in Williamsburg. After missing out on them for one reason or another last summer, I was sure to make the first of the season last month.

Tomorrow, they're doing it all over again, this time with guest DJs from Los Angeles and San Francisco and Filipino snacks from Mahalo Foods.

Check out more photos from June's party after the jump.

Makossa, Saturday July 23rd, 4-10pm.
552 Grand Street, Williamsburg

Continue reading "This Weekend: Makossa Brooklyn Cookout" »

July 12, 2011

The Storming of Smith Street

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Every year, in honor of Bastille day, Smith Street brasserie, Bar Tabac leads the charge for Brooklyn's francophiles by taking over a couple blocks of the strip and dedicating it to the very French pastimes of drinking outdoors and playing petanque. I've been meaning to go for years and finally, Tammi and I checked it out. See photos from the day after the jump...

Continue reading "The Storming of Smith Street" »

March 29, 2011

Recently on Examiner: Pharoahe Monch at SOBs

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I've decided that it's about time for me to get back out and shooting for Examiner.com again. Thursday night, I shot Pharoahe Monch perform at the release party for his new album, WAR. One of my earliest shoots for Examiner was a show of his celebrating the 10th anniversary of his first solo at Sputnik. I'm thinking of it as sort of a new beginning.

Examiner doesn't pay particularly well, but the practice of shooting events regularly is really useful. It's been a couple of months since shooting a show and I was surprised at how many little mistakes I made in my preparation that I had down when I was shooting regularly. None of it was insurmountable, but it was all stuff I should have known better. It was a good reminder of why the best thing you can do in photography is to just keep shooting.

January 27, 2011

The Philippines: Cebu-style Pig

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It wasn't until after the ceremony that I found out that Julia and Toby held their wedding in Cebu for one reason: The food. They both have family in The Philippines, but mostly in Manila and hour's flight away. Instead of gathering friends and family there, they chose Cebu City, the home of a particular type of lechon or suckling pig.

Continue reading "The Philippines: Cebu-style Pig" »

January 22, 2011

Analog: Party Polaroids at Brooklyn Bowl

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Yesterday afternoon, I got a last minute request to shoot Roots DJ Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson's 40th Birthday party at Brooklyn Bowl. Even now, I'm desperately trying to play it cool as though this is the sort of thing that happens to me all the time, but I admit that I was pretty ecstatic at the opportunity. As a long time fan of The Roots in general, Questlove in particular and Brooklyn Bowl as a venue, I have to say the whole experience was gratifying.

Photographically, the most interesting part of the night was that the request specified that they wanted Polaroids (or at least "Polaroids," most instant film cameras are Fujis). I used a Fuji Instax 270,I believe. It was the 'wide' version, which shoots the traditional size prints as opposed to the more common 'mini' models that print narrow, business card-sized photos.

I've never played with Polaroids in the past and, though generally understanding the appeal of instant analog prints, always worried that it would just lead to obsession and a million individual prints would accumulate, unscanned because I hate scanning and thus not particularly useful in the digital world. All of that is pretty accurate and I'm resisting the urge to blow my payment for the gig on one of these cameras for myself and a ton of film.

Shooting with it was interesting. The learning curve was fairly shallow, it is made to be very simple to use after all. My biggest problem is that the film packs only hold 10 exposures at a time. Shooting an event and having to stop every 10 shots can be cumbersome. The other issue is that the prints take longer to 'develop' that I ever expected. It takes nearly 5 minutes for an image to completely materialize. That can be a lot of time to lose the spontaneity of a moment. Even so, the photos I saw - I turned in the whole batch at the end of the night - were inspiring. I might have to risk obsession and add another toy to my collection one of these days.

January 20, 2011

Weddings: Julia & Toby

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Tammi and I have Julia and Toby to thank for inspiring our trip to Asia last year. We had been racking our brains trying to figure out where we wanted to go for our annual trip until we got the invitation to their wedding in The Philippines. It served as the perfect excuse to go further than we might otherwise have.

The ceremony was a full mass at Sacred Heart Parish Church in Cebu City after which we all headed back to the Shangri La Mactan for the cocktail party and reception. See more photos from the wedding after the jump. The whole set is posted at claywilliamsphoto.com

Continue reading "Weddings: Julia & Toby" »

January 11, 2011

Cambodia: Half-Marathon Through Angkor Wat

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Coincidentally, the day we ended up visiting Angkor Wat the same day as the Angkor Wat Half Marathon. We arrived as the race was wrapping up, but we got to see the familiar sight of the finishers stretching and walking off the long run.

November 23, 2010

Philly: Marathon Recap

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As I mentioned, Tammi and I spent the weekend down in Philly to cheer on my friend Guy as e ran his first marathon. Any weekend in Philadelphia is an excuse to eat, drink and be merry, so expect a few posts about that over the next couple days.

In the meantime, see the photos from the race after the jump.

Continue reading "Philly: Marathon Recap" »

November 20, 2010

Philly: It's Marathon Time Again

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We're back in Philly this weekend to cheer on my friend Guy in his first marathon. Up early and screaming my lungs out is for tomorrow. Tonight, it's catching up with my sister and trying out some new bars and restaurants in the city of brotherly love. Cheers.

November 11, 2010

Daytona Beach: Wings & Waves 2 - The Audience

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When we headed down to Daytona Beach for Kelly & Seagram's wedding, I didn't think I'd need a crazy strong telephoto zoom lens with me. It hadn't occurred to me that there might be an air show and with it the opportunity to photograph airplanes large and small booming by overhead and I might want to get a close up of them.

I'm happy with many of the photos that I got of the show, but knowing that I was never going to get particularly close up images without doing some major cropping, I changed my focus from the aircraft to the audience. I decided to do a little street photography by trying to capture the mood and the moments on the ground while the planes were flying up above us.

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Today's post highlights the audience, see more after the jump.

Continue reading "Daytona Beach: Wings & Waves 2 - The Audience" »

November 10, 2010

Daytona Beach: Three

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Kelly & Seagram's wedding last month was in Daytona Beach, Florida, famous for a car race that some of us only know from a Ghostface Killah song. The rehearsal dinner, the night we got there was at the Daytona 500 Experience, up above the track. Standing above the entryway is a statue of Number 3 himself, Dale Earnhardt, seen here. When I saw it the night we arrived, I thought it would be the most unusual thing I was going to see all weekend. Then I found out about the airshow.

November 9, 2010

Daytona Beach: Wings and Waves Air Show

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More surreal than dinner at a NASCAR track was the air show that took place right behind our hotel the weekend we were in Daytona Beach for Kelly & Seagram's wedding.

I had never been to such a thing before, so I had no idea what to expect. The sound of the F-16's afterburner overhead nearly killed me. I don't think I had ever heard anything so loud in my life.

Continue reading "Daytona Beach: Wings and Waves Air Show" »

November 8, 2010

NY Marathon 2010

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Yesterday was a great day for a marathon. The weather was chilly, but with the sun out, it was gorgeous. Tammi even came out after being inspired watching it on TV. We watched and cheered from our usual perch in Fort Greene.

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As always the race brings out a great crowd with music and fun. Check out more photos from the race after the jump.

Continue reading "NY Marathon 2010" »

November 7, 2010

Marathon Day

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It's marathon day in New York again. I'm about to head to our usual spot in Fort Greene on Lafayette in front of Moe's to watch the runners.

Tammi doesn't feel like being out in the cold, so I'm going solo. It's funny to think that I had never paid any attention to the marathon before Tammi and I started dating. She got me hooked though, now I can't imagine not being in the middle of all of it, even without her.

November 1, 2010

Arms Drawn Recap

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Last week Wednesday night at Madame X, the Arms Drawn party went off without a hitch. A great crowd came out to support and enjoy the art and have fun. Mademoiselle Lena, above came in and posed for artists and audience alike in the drink & draw. In the end, the party-goers voted decisively for the team of photographers to win the prize of the evening. See the whole set of photos from the show, including some that may be NSFW.

The show will be up at Madame X for for another week, so stop through and check out my work there. And of course, my Seasonal Brooklyn show is still up at Peaches in Bed-Stuy. See all the pieces in the show at claywilliamsphoto.com.

Madame X, 94 W. Houston Street, Greenwich Village, NYC.

October 20, 2010

Weddings: Kelly & Seagram Part III - The Dances

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Finishing up with the wedding posts for Kelly and Seagram today. They threw such a great party that I wanted to set aside a post just for all the dancing that went on. The reception went on into the night, getting extended an extra hour because everyone was having such a good time.

See the 'specialty dances' to the conga line (seriously) after the jump.

Continue reading "Weddings: Kelly & Seagram Part III - The Dances" »

October 19, 2010

Weddings: Kelly & Seagram Part II

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After Kelly and Seagram's ceremony, we all went to the Sunset Harbor Yacht Club for the reception.

Despite some unfortunate circumstances, they threw a great party and everyone really enjoyed it. I know I was very happy to be a part of it.


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After the jump see more reception photos from the cake cutting to the speeches and prayer.

Come back tomorrow, when I'll wrap up with some old fashioned party pics from the dance floor.

Continue reading "Weddings: Kelly & Seagram Part II" »

October 18, 2010

Weddings: Kelly & Seagram

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Last weekend, Tammi and I flew down to Daytona Beach for Kelly & Seagram's wedding. You may recognize him as the best man at Kim and Chris' wedding last winter. Seagram has been a close friend since we were freshmen in college together 15 years ago and it's really satisfying to see him and Kelly so happy together. She's a great person and they make a wonderful couple.

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See more photos in and around the ceremony after the jump. Check back tomorrow for photos from the reception.

Continue reading "Weddings: Kelly & Seagram" »

October 15, 2010

Self-Promotion: Seasonal Brooklyn

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So, one of the various things that's been keeping me busy and not blogging is that I've been working on a new show. I'm happy to announce that Seasonal Brooklyn is now up at Peaches here in Bed-Stuy.

The work on display is all Brooklyn, mostly within a couple blocks of the restaurant and highlights the area through the seasons. Over the course of next week, I'll be posting the film photos from the show on Analog UltraClay along with a few others that didn't make it up.

The prints this time around are much bigger than at the Habana Outpost show and I'm loving how they look. If you are in the neighborhood this weekend, stop in at Peaches, grab a snack and take a look.

All photos are for sale. Contact me directly at photog at ultraclay dotcom or via my portfolio site.

October 5, 2010

Weddings: Lais & Abe

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As I prepare for another friend's wedding this weekend, I realize I never posted about the Wedding of Lais & Abe's wedding in August.

It was particularly special to me for a couple reasons, fret and foremost because the two of them met at a party Tammi and I threw a couple years ago. What better way to bring people together than over a roasted pig carcass? Tammi and I got a shout out in the program, which was pretty excellent.

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Another reason I was particularly excited about their wedding was the location. I went to school across from the Brooklyn Historical Society for nearly a decade and had never once step foot in that gorgeous old building.

The light there was dim, but I think I pulled off some good shots. Check them out after the jump.

Continue reading "Weddings: Lais & Abe" »

August 13, 2010

Weddings: Betty & Tom

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Since falling down the rabbit hole of being a semi-professional photographer, I've held wedding photography as a goal to aspire to. Over the last year as my work has improved and I have gotten much more practice covering events, so now all I need is to build a portfolio. Thankfully, my friends have, seemingly, all decided to get hitched. Earlier this year, I photographed Chris and Kim's Wedding in Nassau and we've got two, perhaps three more before the end of the year. I ought to have have plenty of material to build a portfolio with before too long.

These are photos from Betty and Tom's wedding last weekend in New Jersey. It was a wonderful time, we caught up with friends we hadn't seen in ages and enjoyed a great Chinese banquet. I've never seen Betty so happy and I hope I was able to capture even a fraction of that in my photos.

See a sampling after the jump.

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Continue reading "Weddings: Betty & Tom" »

May 18, 2010

Self Promotion: City Seen at Habana Outpost

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I'm very excited to announce that Habana Outpost has invited me to put up a show of my photography next month. It will run for the first half of June, with photos up on Tuesday, June 1st through Monday, June, 14th.

The show, which I'm calling "City Seen" will center on my street photography, with some photos that should be familiar to those who have followed the blog for a while including a couple of my all-time favorites.

For updates and further details, rsvp to the City Seen event page on Facebook.

May 9, 2010

Recently on Examiner: Drinking in Brooklyn and the Freedom Party

A new Hot Bird rises from the ashes

If there was much of a theme at all in my last couple weeks of posts it was Brooklyn Bars. Besides the regular Brokelyn 25 series that I've gotten moving again, I've also posted about a few new choice spots to imbibe that have opened up recently. Above is Hot Bird, which I lucked into on its second night open. I basically got the first shots of the space and thus ended up on Brownstoner and Eater. The place looks pretty amazing, so I expect to spend quite a bit of time there this summer.

See what else I've been posting about after the jump...

Continue reading "Recently on Examiner: Drinking in Brooklyn and the Freedom Party" »

April 23, 2010

Butchery Weekend: Going to the source

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After much scheduling difficulties, I'm finally taking the trip up to Fleisher's in Kingston, NY this weekend. Sunday, they are hosting a full day butchery class that I'm going to photograph. The event will go from slaughter to sausage and everything in between.

It should be an interesting experience and will give me whole lot more material to shoot.

April 21, 2010

Recently on Examiner: Snoop Dogg and Brooklyn Bowl Love

Snoop Dogg performing at Brooklyn Bowl

Yes, that is Snoop Dogg. Yes, he's wearing a Yankees jersey. And yes, I I got to shoot him performing at Brooklyn Bowl Monday night.

Yes. Snoop Dogg performed at Brooklyn Bowl. And I was there to shoot it. Crazy.

It was a pretty fantastic show, he performed old and new songs, going through all the classics along with some of his newer hits.

It was surreal standing in Brooklyn and hearing the voice of the west doing Hypnotize in tribute to BIG. More surreal was the fact that he was playing a space like Brooklyn Bowl instead of the Garden. The concert space fits 600 people, which can be huge or intimate depending on the show. The venue has become one of my favorites to cover, not just because of the amazing acts they book, but also the food and a choice beer selection. Without turning into a shill for the place, let me just say that I'd be coming here regularly even if I wasn't shooting for Examiner.

I Love Vinyl Party at Brooklyn Bowl

I've been there a lot lately, covering I Love Vinyl's first Brooklyn party and the night before I shot the Air Guitar Regional Championships, which was a whole lot of ridiculous.

Air Guitar World Championships at Brooklyn Bowl

Like I said, ridiculous.

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I didn't spend all my venue love on Brooklyn Bowl. I did find myself at The Bell House a few times this month. Last week, I went to a blogger meet up hosted by Brooklyn Based, FIPS and Brokelyn. That was a lot of fun just for finally being able to put faces to names.

Good Spirits at The Bell House

A week earlier, I was also at Bell House grazing through the snacks and cocktails on hand at Good Spirits, Edible Brooklyn's tribute to food and booze in the better borough. The spicy red sangritas that this lady was pouring as chasers was probably my favorite drinks of the night, which probably goes to show that liquor is wasted on me.

That's all just a bit of what I've been posting about this month. Habana Outpost reopened for the season and I'm starting up the Brokelyn 25 bar survey again this week after a bit of a hiatus. So, stay tuned.

March 30, 2010

Self-Promotion: NYU SCPS Show

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Last fall, I took at class at NYU on Night Photography. Last week, I was invited by the school to show some of my work as a part of the 75th Anniversary celebration of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS).

This weekend, as part of the Literary and Visual Arts Festival, my photos will be on display along with visual art pieces from many other current and former students at the Silver Center at NYU.

I'm honored to have my work shown here and look forward to seeing it.

March 28, 2010

Recently on Examiner: Jam Bands, Food Fests and Hip-Hop

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Woo! It's been a busy week. I've jumped back into the Examiner gig with both feet. Last Sunday night, after Cochon 555, I headed to Brooklyn to shoot The Disco Biscuits play Brooklyn Bowl. The night before, I covered the opening for Make It Fit at Brooklynite Gallery and the next night, I was at Choice Eats for Midtown Lunch. In one of my better attempts at synergy (without recycling, thank you), I managed to squeeze a Food Fest post together about Cochon 555 and Choice Eats, as well.

K-OS at Le Poisson Rouge

Besides all that, my Examiner column over the last couple weeks had recaps of a K-OS show in The Village, the third anniversary Mixer at Cakeshop and recommended Mé Bar for outdoor drinks on a Friday night when the weather was nice.

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This weekend, I've taken some much needed downtime at home with Tammi, but as the weather warms up, the activities in the city tend to multiply, so I expect to stay busy.

Recently on Midtown Lunch: Lines and Lent

Village Voice Choice Eats 2010

This week, I covered Monday's Village Voice Choice Eats, a food festival featuring over 60 restaurants. The good news is that there was plenty of good food and even though I had to stand in a line for an hour, which is totally something I don't do, I managed to stuff myself quite well before the crowd became so ridiculous that I had to bail.

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The Friday before that, I got a chance to meet up with my ML colleagues for a Lenten Lunch of all the seafood dishes under $10 at the Grand Central Oyster Bar. That was pretty fantastic, even for a heathen like me who has no idea when Easter is and tends not to eat a lot of fish. Brownie, of Blondie and Brownie posted a recap of the meal the other day.

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I'm so going back up to GCT for one of those Po Boys. Like, this week. The Rock Shrimp sandwich, above, was pretty fantastic too. I'd love to get a cup of the shrimp and eat them like popcorn. It was great to meet and trade notes with B&B, Jason of Me So Hungry, Amy of Amy Blogs Chow and Jenn.

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Most of my Midtown Lunch coverage this month has been stalking Kyochon, the new Korean Fried Chicken joint that opened, closed briefly to bad reviews and opened up again. That's all still in progress, so I'll have to get back to you on that in a week or so.

March 23, 2010

Butchery: Ryan Farr at Cochon 555

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Friday night I got an email from FoodBuzz telling me that I'd won a pair of tickets to Cochon 555, two days away. I was elated. At the event, chefs from some of the best restaurants in town had their way with five 125 pound pigs and handed out the results to attendees.

Yet, I only ate a couple small plates. Why? Because I'm a meat nerd and butchery awaited. Instead of grazing all evening, I spent a couple hours in the corner watching Ryan Farr, San Francisco's butcher king take apart a whole pig of his own.

Farr went muscle by muscle to show us cuts and techniques that I can't wait to try at home.

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He frenched a loin rack like one would a lamb roast. I think I'd have to see that several more times to even contemplate doing something like that.

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Really though, the coolest part was what Farr did with the head. He deboned it, removing the skull, then he stuffed the face with shoulder meat. After that, he sewed it all up with butchers' twine and a needle. See the slideshow after the jump for a blow by blow.

Ryan Farr at Cochon 555 NYC

I think I've found my next butchering challenge. Seriously, I've been all about cheeks and such for ages, it's time to graduate up to a whole head.

Talking to Farr about the classes he teaches back in San Francisco, I found out that unlike the classes here in New York, his classes are completely hands-on.

Before the session, I introduced myself and told him about my Butchery project. He was into the idea and told me I'd be welcome to come in to photograph a class the next time I'm in San Francisco. I'm hoping to be there over the summer at some point, so keep your fingers crossed.

Ryan Farr at Cochon 555 NYC

Continue reading "Butchery: Ryan Farr at Cochon 555" »

March 22, 2010

Food and Fashion meet for a laugh at The Astor Center (NSFW)

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I'm still catching up on the various shoots and events I've been juggling over the last month, so apologies for the delay. Just before our delay-laden trip last month, I shot a Gastronomica-sponsored Food and Fashion event at The Astor Center. The event began the Umami Art Festival and included a performance art piece called Robert Kushner and Friends Eat their Clothes. The distinctly odd show was brief and featured a fashion show made up of men and women (barely) dressed in foodstuff. Think an eggplant codpiece, a nori skirt and asparagus headwear.

I didn't end up posting it on my Nightlife column as I didn't want to test the posting guidelines, but if you'd like to see half naked artists dressed in vegetables and such, follow the jump and check out the extended Food Fashion set on Flickr.

Continue reading "Food and Fashion meet for a laugh at The Astor Center (NSFW)" »

February 18, 2010

Snapshots from Vancouver

Vancouver

I haven't really been following the Winter Olympics. I rarely do. But reports and discussion tend to be inescapable.

The other day, I saw Brian Williams reporting from Vancouver with the bay behind him and I was brought back to the few days I spent there last year. One of the best things about travel is how it resonates with you long after you've returned. I heard another report on NPR where the correspondent was drowned out momentarily by a landing seaplane. Before he said anything, I knew what that sound and remembered the city-boy awe at airplanes that land on the water!

Over the next couple of days, I'm going to try to catch up on some of the posts I never got around to writing from my trip to Vancouver. Enjoy!

February 11, 2010

This Week on Examiner: Beats, Books and Beer in Brooklyn

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It's been a busy Brooklyn week on my Examiner column. Monday started out with a recap of the weekend's Donuts are Forever, hosted at the Bell House by RareForm and the J Dilla Foundation. The event was a celebration of the life and music of the man many consider to have been the best producer in hip-hop. Aficionados jammed into the space to hear a slew of DJs, headlined by Questlove of The Roots take on Dilla's body of work.

I was pretty excited to have the extended access that I did, allowing me to be on stage and behind the scenes. I'm also pretty proud of myself for not swooning about being right up next to Questlove and instead getting what I think are some pretty good shots of him on stage.

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Monday night, I went in an entirely different direction and covered the Franklin Park Reading Series in Crown Heights. I really enjoyed the Mixer Series reading I went to last month and was glad to go to another similar event. I never seem to have time to read books and I really regret that. Hopefully, going to more of these readings will motivate me to focus on something longer than a blog post or a recipe.

The readers included a familiar face, Melissa Febos, who I met last month hosting the Mixer, was reading from her own new book, Whip Smart, to be released next month. Masha Hamilton, above, split her time between reading from her book 31 Hours and stories written by her students at the Afghan Women's Writing Project. John Wray rounded out the evening with an except from Low Boy, which took me back to my days as a teenager wandering the streets of New York.

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This week, I also posted about the Brokelyn Beer Book, a collection of drink tickets for one beer each at 25 of the better beer establishments around the better borough. I ordered mine right away and plan to make a regular feature of reporting from each of them as I go from place to place.

Check out more photos from the reading and the Donuts are Forever 4 after the jump:

Continue reading "This Week on Examiner: Beats, Books and Beer in Brooklyn" »

January 31, 2010

Aspen: Monster Energy Drink's X Games Party

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Last night, I got a pass to go up to the top of Aspen Mountain for the Monster Energy Drink Party. In all my years coming out to X Games Events, this was my first sponsor party. It was a good time, if not my usual scene.

On stage, Mix Master Mike of the Beastie Boys warmed the crowd up and Del The Funky Homosapien performed old and new songs from his current album all the way back to his 1990 debut. Up front a crowd of hyped up fans bounced to the sounds of Mister Dobalina and Doctor Bombay.

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It was fun to get into a crowd again and keep my music photography going after a little while away. The snowboarder kids are an interesting bunch. Their typical dress is often already pretty outlandish, so when they go all out, it's quite the spectacle. I just wish I had an excuse to post it on Examiner.

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More photos after the jump.

Continue reading "Aspen: Monster Energy Drink's X Games Party" »

Aspen: That X Games Glow

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You can see the glow coming from the Winter X Games from the middle of town, two and a half miles away.

January 30, 2010

Aspen: Winter X Games in Analog

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My recent obsession with film photography means that I've been seeing things I've shot before with new eyes. This includes the action of the X Games. I've only gone out photographing the events a bit, but not a lot. After picking up a couple rolls I took of practice earlier in the week, I'm psyched to spend more time this weekend.


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The way colors are brought out in the highly saturated films I prefer works really well with the bright outfits and equipment that the athletes wear. And the grit in the lower definition that film brings, particularly in the shadows makes for a very cool contrast to me.

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I've even been shooting with the Diana Mini around Buttermilk and in Aspen. I like the vignetting around the edges of this photo where whites seem to battle with grays and people and objects just seem to float in the void.

More after the jump.

Continue reading "Aspen: Winter X Games in Analog" »

January 23, 2010

This Week on Examiner: Adding some culture

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This week I went a little outside my usual area of coverage on Examiner. Jazz and Poetry are both art forms that I respect, yet know little about. So, I jumped in and covered a bit of both.

Nearly every venue in town this week has been hosting benefits for charities providing aid and service to Haiti's Earthquake victims. With so much else going on this week, I only got to cover one of them, L'Union Fait Force at Le Poisson Rouge.

The coolest part of the show was watching the Doctor Lonnie Smith Trio perform with Trumpeter Roy Hargrove. Smith (top) is a great showman whose flair added excitement to the show. Hargrove on the horn was wonderful.

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There was plenty more going on: Dance, Haitian drums, a pair of guitarists and the Vijay Iyer Trio, which is actually what drew me to the event. That morning, WNYC announced the event and played some of the Trio's take on Mystic Brew - better known to those of a 'certain age' as the basis of the classic "Electric Relaxation" by A Tribe Called Quest.

The show was fun and eclectic and went late into the night. I was so wiped out, I had to take off before the last set even started, missing hosts Groove Collective perform with Bernie Worrell of Funkadelic.

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On Wednesday, I changed things up a bit with by covering the Mixer Series at Cake Shop in the Lower East Side. It's a monthly series that hosts poets and authors reading their recent work. And first up was Tess Taylor, above, a classmate in college. We hadn't seen each other in at least the 10 years since graduation, but it was good to catch up, however briefly.

I don't know the first thing about poetry and I don't read books nearly as much as I should, but it was a great experience being surrounded by smart people enjoying intelligent things. I really hope to keep going to future Mixers.

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Among the other readers was Steve Geng, who read scenes from his new book, Bop City about Paris during the Algerian war. Just in the 15 minutes he was up there, he touched on themes of terrorism, sex, race, and French culture that fascinated me.

After the jump, more photos from both events...

Continue reading "This Week on Examiner: Adding some culture" »

January 18, 2010

Philly: Restaurant Week

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Just a quick note that this week and next week are Restaurant Week in Philadelphia. Last night we had a huge Middle Eastern meal at Zahev in Old City and this afternoon we nearly hurt ourselves going through the courses at Butcher & Singer, pictured.

The meals are $20 for lunch and $35 for dinner both were incredible values.

More on Philly and the great meals we had to come.

January 1, 2010

WinterMarket 09: Heartland's Winter Wassail

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It's easy to hate on Heartland Brewery. I've certainly done it. It's touristy and, Brooklyn-brewed or not, the beer isn't fantastic. But they do put an effort in and I give them credit for that.

They participated in the WinterMarket this year, just a block away from their Seaport location. To help battle the frigid temperatures, the folks here were pouring steaming hot mugs of a concoction blending beer, cider, rum, and a host of mulling spices. After nearly freezing my hand off taking photos and stuffing my face glove-less, this drink may have saved me a couple digits.

The heat, unfortunately, was really all it had going for it. The flavor was bitter, bringing out all the wrong parts of the ingredients. The orange peel and mulling spices and presumably the beer buried the innate sweetness of the cider instead of balancing it out. That said, the cold was hard enough that I kept on drinking it anyway.

A few minutes later, I came across a booth selling hot cider and I regretted not seeing it first.

December 31, 2009

WinterMarket 09: Oysters

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I typically love oysters, whether first thing in the morning or late into the evening. Sadly, the morning of the WinterMarket, I couldn't muster up the will to slurp down any of the ice cold bivalves on display. They do look gorgeous though, don't they?

December 30, 2009

WinterMarket 09: Fleisher's

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This bucket of guts and goodies brought to you by Fleisher's, the upstate butcher shop that has served as the training ground for many of the butchers that have been proselytizing the gospel of butchery in recent years.

Bryan apprenticed there through the fall and has continued to work there over the last several months and was working the booth with them at the WinterMarket. He introduced me to Jessica Applestone, who owns Fleisher's with her husband, Josh, the self-titled "MooRu". I'm hoping that next year some time I'll be able to visit the shop up in Kingston and photograph them and their apprentices in action.

For now though, I took advantage of the wonderfully priced offal and bought a pile of organ meats including a beef tongue, sweetbreads and a mix of beef and lamb hearts. The sweetbreads gave me some difficulty and didn't come out as well as I'd hoped, the hearts were awesome, more on that in a bit. I also bought a small pork roast that I cooked that night using Sara Jenkins' Porchetta salt that I also picked up that day.

December 28, 2009

WinterMarket 09: Hot Pockets!

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The most amazing thing I ate at the WinterMarket was the "Hot Pockets" being sold by Quality Meats. Discard all thoughts of the vile microwave pastries made infamous by Jim Gaffigan.

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No, these incredible creations are filled with a mix of shredded Duck Confit and cheese and then pressed in a sandwich maker. So. Good.

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December 17, 2009

New York SantaCon 2009

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I'm sure this weekend's New York's SantaCon was one of the more blogged about events recently, so I'll save you the recap.

I unintentionally came across a horde of drunken Santas in Washington Square Park and kept shooting until I lost my light. Here and after the jump, find some of my photos of Saturday's festivities. For more, see my Examiner slideshow.

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Continue reading "New York SantaCon 2009" »

November 22, 2009

One Year Married!

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Tammi and I got married a year ago today. It's a little jarring to think about it. Sometimes it seems like it was just the other day, sometimes it seems like we've been together forever. Today, we celebrate in Kauai.

Happy Anniversary, baby!

November 15, 2009

Recently on the Examiner: Shooting Music

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It's funny how things work out. Months ago, at the beginning of the summer, I hoped to spend the summer taking photos of street musicians around the city. But between all the rain and a hectic schedule, I didn't get much opportunity for all that.

Now, over the last couple months I've found myself in the front row of show after show shooting musical performances for The Examiner. From hip hop acts I've known since I was a kid to indie bands I've never heard of. It's pretty amazing and I'm just getting started.

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It's not so recent anymore, but the week before leaving for Hawaii, I saw the Dirty Dozen Brass Band play Brooklyn Bowl in a fun, festive show opened by the band Turkauz, which I'm going to keep my eye out for in the future.

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Then, that weekend, the Brooklyn Museum celebrated it's new rock photography exhibit with performances by some Indie Bands, which I got to photograph.

The photo show itself is amazing and inspiring. As a developing (heh) photographer, seeing how both the musicians and the photographers started out before creating the iconic works that have shaped our understanding of an intrinsic part of our culture.

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On a technical level, shooting in the dynamic and frenetic environment is educational every time. Different lights, different personalities, different settings add to the challenge of capturing the moment as I want it.

I hope to spend more time shooting concerts and performances going forward.

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November 2, 2009

A Busy Weekend of Revelry

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It's a good thing that we had an extra hour thrown in this weekend, because there was so much going on this weekend, we needed it. I certainly did. With Halloween and the New York City Marathon both happening in the same weekend, there was plenty of celebrating to do.

Friday night, Tammi and I walked DUMBO as a part of the ArtCrawl, which included many of the neighborhood's galleries. Saturday evening, we hit the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade Saturday evening with our friend Saun. I hadn't gone out to see that spectacle since I was a kid, so it was a lot of fun to be in the middle of it again.

After that, it was an evening of party-hopping from Boerum Hill out to Fort Greene until late into the night.

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The next day we were up bright and early to get out to our usual Marathon viewing spot in Fort Greene. We got a group together to cheer on the runners and watched from the elites through to the back of the pack.

Of course, Halloween and Marathon photos are posted on Flickr. Read about all that and more on my Examiner column.

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October 4, 2009

Examiner: The Roots play Brooklyn Bowl

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Thursday night, I covered The Ten Dollar Coolhunter Jam hosted by the Roots at Brooklyn Bowl for Examiner.com. It was a great show and all the more exciting to me because, even though I've been a fan of The Roots for 13 years, I haven't seen them live since 2001.

I was right up front and got a bunch of up close shots of the band, the other groups performing and Talib Kweli, who was a surprise guest.

It was also pretty awesome because I hadn't heard of nearly any of the other groups performing and they were all really interesting, playing music that I'd definitely like to hear more of. Personally, I was really blown away by Bajah + the Dry Eye Crew from Sierra Leone. The music brought in influences from all over the place and they just had so much energy on stage that it was palpable.

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Check out the post on the Examiner for links, a slideshow and more details. Even more photos posted on Flickr.

September 28, 2009

Self-Promotion: I'm an Examiner

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One of the many factors impinging on my blog update time lately has been my new gig on Examiner.com, a website made up of locals reviewing and reporting on various beats in their area. I'm now their New York nightlife photographer and have been posting on events for the week or so.

So far, I've covered an art opening at Madame X, the anniversary party at Sweet Revenge, and last weekend's I Love Vinyl Party.

If you've got a party, opening or anything else generally nightlife-y going on, let me know and I'll try to come through to cover it.

Stop by the site early and often, as I'm trying to put together posts several times a week. If you want to get it in your feed reader, you can also subscribe.

That said, I do hope to get posting here as well over the next couple days. I've got photos and stories from Seattle, Vancouver and a few leftover from Philly and Los Angeles.

August 24, 2009

Sweet Revenge BBQ Rib-Off

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Sweet Revenge, on the border of Bed-Stuy and Clinton Hill, hosted a Barbecue Rib competition yesterday. Sadly, I only got one rib because I had to head out early, but I did have a good time hanging out for an hour or two before that.

I don't get out to Sweet Revenge a lot, because it's on the exact opposite end of Bed-Stuy from where we are, but it's a fun place with a good beer selection and a spiffy backyard with a 'sandbox' beach area.

Sweet Revenge
348 Franklin Ave
Brooklyn, NY‎
718.398.2472‎

June 23, 2009

Boston, Briefly

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Last week I spent about 12 hours traveling in order to have a 2.5 hour meeting in Boston.
Oh, the corporate world.

This is how I saw most of the town that day: through a car or train window. Going there, though, reminded me of how long it had been since I've been up there. Had I a bit more time, it would have been fun to wander around a bit by the Commons or Newbury Street or to check out the Shepard Fairey exhibit at the ICA.

Tammi and I have talked about trying ot make the trip up there, but with so much happening this summer, I'm not sure if I'll make it. The idea of seeing a 'street artist,' even one as mainstream as Fairey migrate from paste-ups and stickers to a full-scale museum show is intriguing. I really hope to have the opportunity to make it up there, before it closes in August.

June 20, 2009

Summer streets: Vanderbuilt

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As an extension of last year's Summer Street's program, the city is shutting down traffic on Vanderbuilt every Sunday in June. I went last weekend and got to see Prospect Heights out and about enjoying music and playing games.

There are only 2 Sundays left, so be sure to check it out soon if you're in the area.

June 4, 2009

i2Y '09

Here's a quick heads up that DJ Juice E is going to be DJing the "I'm Too Young for This" un-gala again this year. Last year I reposted Emily's email about the event. Here's her message for this year's event:


Hi Everyone!!

About a year ago, I sent out a special request to YOU to come out and celebrate my 1-year out of chemo anniversary at I'm Too Young For This's Stupid Cancer Gala. I must say that I was floored by the response I got. I was amazed by how many of you bought tickets or donated funds. It made me prouder than ever and thankful to know such great people. That's why I was so glad to get a call from my friend Matthew Zachary who runs I'm Too Young For This asking me if I'd wanna spin at this year's Stupid Cancer (un)Gala on Wednesday, June 10. My answer: OF COURSE I WOULD! I CAN'T WAIT!! And now I'm hoping that once again, YOU'll help support this wonderful event for a very special cause.

For those of you who are new in my life, here's the recap: I am a Cancer survivor. And darn proud of it! This past March marked 2 years free from Cervical Cancer (knock on wood PLEASE!). I was initially diagnosed back in '05 at the age of waaytooyoung and subsequently underwent 2 years of on and off poking, prodding, having parts removed, tubes put in, blood drawn, chemicals administered, AND- somewhere deep in my records at Sloan Kettering I believe there are some compromising Polaroids of me that even Playboy would find indecent! (They said it was for radiation, but who really knows?! Look at Farrah!) Basically, I went thru the works. And for the past 2 years I am back at Sloan Kettering every 3 months like clockwork to make sure that those evil little squamous cells don't come back.



This has been an ongoing journey for me and my loved ones and I admit that I'm a much better person for it. I'm lucky. I have tons of family and friends who have supported me thru it all- and since. However I have met many young survivors who have no support system. Which of course brings me to that part where I've gotta ask YOU to cough up some MONEY!! I'm Too Young For This is a wonderful organization dedicated to supporting young adults, 18-40 with cancer. This reason that this is sooo important is that we are the fastest growing group of cancer patients. This is mostly due to that fact that doctors don't expect us to get sick. Therefore we go undiagnosed, or misdiagnosed- which is exactly what happened to yours truly. The other important aspect of this organization is that it has a strong emphasis on the arts. I guess YOU can all figure out why that's important to someone like me!!


I realize that everyone and their mother is fundraising for something or other these days (and I'm pretty sure that my mother'll back me on this one too!) (HI MOM!!) But seriously, please help us out and buy a ticket. Even if you can't make it out. The minimum is $25 but we'll take any small donation that YOU can manage. The event runs from 7-10pm- so plenty of time for YOU to come out, get seriously drunk and still make it to work the next day!! I'll be DJing along with my great friend- and the most amazing DJ I know- DP1. There'll be raffles, food, drinks, giveaways and a lot of very cool people. And just in case ya missed it- I'll be there!!

So there you have it. Feel free to check out their website: http://www.ImTooYoungForThis.Org
http://ungala.i2y.com/
Wednesday, June 10 @ the Taj Lounge
48 W 21st St, NYC
$25 = sponsor a survivor
$25 = admission
$45 = admission + free drink + 5 raffle tix
$65 = open bar! (beer, wine and soda)
Plus you might go to heaven. Who knows, right?

Finally- to all my friends at MSK- Thanks for all your hard work and for takin such good care of me!!
Now buy sum tickets!!!

Hope to see ya there!!!

Emily "Juice E" Rubin- Friend, DJ and very proud Cancer Survivor.

Amherst: 10th Reunion

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Somehow, ten years have passed since I graduated from college. Last weekend I returned to Amherst College for my class reunion. It was my first time on campus since the last reunion, five years ago.

For all my travels, I've only ever lived in two areas in my thirty-odd years. As such, I find myself very tightly bonded to this small town that is so contrary to everywhere else I'm ever drawn to. Returning was comforting, yet jarring.

As a New Yorker, I should be more than a little familiar with the change and progress that transforms the world around us all the time. But seeing it in Amherst fwas slightly traumatic. Dorms were gutted and renovated and the old, decaying bits we thought of as character were replaced with more practical features.

Regardless of the other differences around campus, it was reassuring to take in the same view from the top of Memorial Hill that blew me away as a prospective student 15 years ago.

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June 2, 2009

BAM's Dance Africa Festival

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Memorial Day was busy. After hanging out at Habana Outpost, Tammi and I went to the Dance Africa festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

In the last few years, the festival has effectively taken the place of the African Street Festival, which had been a summer milestone every year since my childhood. After moving from Boys & Girls High School to Commodore Barry park under the BQE, it has faltered into obscurity.

Thankfully, Dance Africa is a lot of fun in its own right, though much smaller.

We didn't catch any of the dance performances that are usually hosted in front of BAM this year, but we did wade into the market area and peruse the wares on offer. Carvings, fabric, and all sorts of food could be found as African, American and West Indian music blasted from one booth after another.

And what could mark the beginning of summer more than running into friends I haven't seen in years? In the sea of people, we just happened to see Olivia and Taya, who I don't think I've seen since High School, many moons ago.

Hopefully the weather will begin to cooperate and there will be more such outings throughout the season.

May 29, 2009

Taking Back The Streets of Midtown

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Starting Monday, May 25th, the Department of Traffic blocked off traffic on two stretches of Broadway in Midtown. It's part of a pilot program that creates a pedestrian mall for five blocks in Times Square and two blocks at Herald Square.

As someone who worked in Times Square for four years, I can't begin to tell you how much that extra room is needed. Just being able to bypass the tourists will be a vast quality of life improvement. Beyond that, having more outdoor space to sit in the sun and eat lunch in is greatly appreciated.

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On Sunday I was in the area and got to see the DOT workers repainting the road. It's exciting to see where the city is going with these pedestrian and bike-friendly programs. It started with more bike lanes popping up all over town, which has been very helpful to me as a nascent bike-rider. Then last year, the Summer Streets programs opened up miles of
road to bicyclists and runners and strolling pedestrians every Saturday in August.

Apparently, this is all the work of Janette Sadik-Khan, the Transportation Commissioner. I won't bother to paraphrase the more extensive New York Magazine article, which goes more in-depth into the commissioners plans as well as her opponents around the city.

I, for one, support the idea that since pedestrians vastly outnumber drivers, we should probably get more space. But that probably makes me as much a 'radical' as she is.

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Depending on how the pilot program fares, the spaces will be made permanent and the areas will be redesigned to cater to the new use. For now, orange barriers like these will keep the streets safe for pedestrians.

The unfortunate part of the entire arrangement is that most New Yorkers, myself included will still rush through these areas due to the complete saturation of tourists. But at least we'll be able to get by faster.

May 27, 2009

I Love Vinyl Party

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Saturday night saw the debut of the I Love Vinyl party at Le Poisson Rouge in The Village. Friends DJs Jon Oliver and Scribelove among others went retro and ditched their laptops for an evening of old-fashioned record spinning.

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We weren't there very late, but Tammi and I had a great time listening to the beats and feeling the crowd.

The word is that the party was such a success that they're already planning a follow up for next month:

June 26, 2009
10pm-4am

The Gallery Bar @ Le Poisson Rouge
158 Bleecker St, NYC.

May 15, 2009

Bike Month

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I haven't been on my bike in a few months but May is Bike Month and has dozens of events around New York for those on two wheels to take advantage of. Those of us too chicken to go out in the crap weather will have to keep wishing for a drier end of the month.

And for those wondering, the Tour de Brooklyn is on Sunday, June 7th.

May 14, 2009

Butchery: Appleman Takes Rising Star Award At The Beards

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This is a tenuous link to the butchery thread, but I wanted an excuse to use this photo. Nate Appleman, one of the faces of the Butchery trend on the west coast received the Rising Star Chef at last week's 2009 James Beard Awards. I've been a fan of Appleman ever since taking his class at Astor and trying his food at A16.

May 10, 2009

The Great Outdoors

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Last weekend, the Artbreak Gallery opened "The Great Outdoors," a show of work by area graffiti artists using doors as a canvas. The show was curated by Flickr friends Luna Park and Billi Kid.

I had a great time at the opening and hope to make a trip back before the show closes. Photos are posted on Flickr, like usual.

The Great Outdoors, May 2 - 29 2009:
ArtBreak Gallery
195 Grand Street, 2nd Floor
Williamsburg, Brooklyn

April 5, 2009

Work To Do: Posted Pics

IMG_6520 - Version 2

Last week, I finally made it to the Work To Do show at The Combine in SoHo. The experience was overwhelming. Every corner, nook and crevice of the space was used to display some kind of art.

The show is open until April 17th, so I'm definitely going to try to check it out again. I'm sure I'll see a million pieces I missed the first time around.

Photos posted here.

April 4, 2009

Tonight: Joe Black and Miss Bugs at Brooklynite Gallery

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Tonight the Brooklynite Gallery opens 2 Many Artists, displaying work by British artists Joe Black and Miss Bugs.

As usual, the abandoned storefronts around the corner from my house have become the palette for the visiting artists. Above is a paste up collage portrait of Salvador Dali by Joe Black. And this is Miss Bugs...

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The opening is tonight at 7pm until 9pm and Prince Paul will be DJing.

Brooklynite Gallery
334 Malcolm X Blvd. off Bainbridge St.
A to Utica Ave.
B46 to Decatur St.

March 31, 2009

NC: Tar Heels Country

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While we were in town, The Tar Heels won twice, moving up to the Final Four. We didn't spend any time watching the NCAA tournament this weekend, but there was no escaping the March Madness.

More than usual, Carolina Blue was on display all over town and even the local wine bar, West End, was jammed with fans watching the team beat the (ahem) tar out of Oklahoma.

March 30, 2009

Still Have Work To Do

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When planning to attend last week's opening for Work To Do, the Royce Bannon-curated show at The Combine, I didn't anticipate the major difference between at Brooklyn show and a SoHo show.

Sadly this was as close as I got to the opening. I've only been to bk shows and just a few at that, so I had no idea there would be a guestlists with a large man keeping the riffraff out. On a rainy day, I hadn't the patience to wait outside to try to get in.

The show is up for a couple weeks, so I'll head down one day to check
it out soon.

Update: In the meantime, check out the pics in the Work To Do Pool on Flickr.

February 14, 2009

Holiday Weekend

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I'll be taking a little break this weekend to spend a happy Valentine's day at home with Tammi (and do some more cooking). I'll be back on Tuesday with more posts.

Enjoy the weekend everyone.

February 10, 2009

Chinese New Year in Brooklyn

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Last weekend, Tammi and I celebrated the Chinese New Year with friends in Brooklyn Chinatown. It was our first excursion out there, but given the prices I found at the markets, it won't be my last.

We had Dim Sum at Pacificana, which was not as good as I had hoped, and then we walked down 8th Avenue and watched some of the festivities.

February 8, 2009

New York Comic Con

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Yesterday I attended my first Comicbook Convention in about 15 years. I've been a regular reader of comics since I was 7, but the whole con thing died out for a while in New York and I never picked it up again after they started showing up again.

I totally forgot how crazy they can get. I led an expedition into the madness with Tammi and our niece and nephew in tow. We met up with Jason, who has kept up with the scene and waded through the hordes of costumed geekery for a few hours.

At this point, I'm not up for standing in line to get autographs or to check out creator panels and such, so we mostly wandered from one end of the show floor to the other, shopped a little and peeped some previews od video games that our nephew was very excited to see.

The costumed folks provided great photo subjects, and I took quite a few shots, although many of the good ones were obscured by the many many people there. The (mostly) good stuff is posted on Flickr, as usual.

January 21, 2009

Toasting President Obama

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Last night I celebrated the inauguration quietly with this small bottle of Champagne I had at The Wine Spot, a slightly out of the way little hotel bar that I visited last year. More on that to come. For now, cheers!

October 8, 2008

Antics 08: Mai's Chicken Curry


IMG_9549, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Mai is a Southeast Asian place that we've gotten snacks from in past Antics, but never actually gone to for a meal.

I headed for their stand just to get a skewer of Chicken Satay but then I saw the Chicken Curry and went for that. The curry was really interesting here. The sauce was more of a thick, spicy peanut sauce than a typical curry. I enjoyed it, especially with a cold Singha to wash it down.

I really enjoyed it and hope to make it there for a meal in the near future.

Antics 08: Last Exit Burlesque


IMG_9938, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Last Exit had burlesque dancers on stage during the music performances and, unlike previous years, I'm pretty sure the dancers were all women.

Antics 08: Bus Festival


IMG_9676, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

A few years ago the Transit Museum, decided to take advantage of the crowds of Atlantic Antic by hosting their annual Bus Festival on the same day.

Just like the thrill of wandering through the museum itself, seeing the train cars of my youth and earlier, the bus fest is always exciting for the change to walk through the old 'fishbowl' buses that were in use when I was a kid.

There are other buses there, but invariably, these are the ones that make me want to wade through the crowds of children running from bus to bus.

Below are the old blue benches that run along the perimeter of the buses:

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August 7, 2008

Photo of the Day: Next


IMG_9036 - Version 2, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Summer X Games 2008. Los Angeles. 2008

August 3, 2008

Summer X Games 2008


IMG_9294, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Another year, another X Games. I've posted many photos in a Summer X Games 2008 set. Keep checking for updates.

July 30, 2008

Photo of the Day: Atocha


Atocha Station, Madrid, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Madrid, Spain. 2003.

Atocha station has an interesting significance in my memory. My sister and I stayed a couple blocks away from Atocha station when we were in Madrid on our Euro-Trip. It's a big beautiful station and strikingly, it houses a climate controlled rain forest in the remnants of the original station.

It was one of the landmarks that we both remembered very clearly. A little over a year later, it was at the center of the March 11th bombings. It was jarring. One of the great benefits of traveling, as far as I'm concerned, is that it tangibly connects us to places we might otherwise only see or hear about abstractly on television or in movies. The flip side of that is that when someone happens to try to blow it up, it hits closer to home.

July 29, 2008

LA: On Shaky Ground

This morning in Chino Hills, a place I'd never heard of before today, there was an earthquake of 5.4 magnitude. 37 miles away, where I was, the ground wobbled for a good 15 seconds.

Sadly, I have no great story about my first earthquake. I didn't really noticed it until one of my co-workers pointed out that the ground wasn't actually supposed to be shaking.

It was sort of cool.

I don't need anything more severe than that, but I thought it was a pretty cool thing to experience. I've always wondered what it would be like. The answer: wobbly.

July 12, 2008

Peaches is Open!


IMG_6803, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Tonight was opening night at Peaches Market, the new restaurant by the pair that run the successful Smoke Joint Barbecue spot in Fort Greene. I've been excited about Peaches since I first heard about it a month or two ago. I've been silent on it only because I didn't want to jinx it and no firm launch date had been announced until a week or so ago.

Apparently they did publicize it enough, I swear the whole neighborhood was there tonight. I suspect they were a bit too successful, given that there were crazy delays getting the food out. Even so, I'll cut them plenty of slack for doing as well as they did on their first night.

I have a ton of questions about how the place is going to work. Tonight the 'Barbecue Counter' was open, serving a menu pretty similar to what I remember of my visit to Smoke Joint in the same counter setting. The initial reports I read said that Peaches wasn't going to focus on the barbecue so much as be a general southern dining restaurant. My presumption had been that it was going to have table service as well.

Both of these things may be 'day two features' that will come after the kinks have been worked out. We'll have to see. Right now they are only going to be open on the weekends, Friday - Sunday, allowing them time during the week to continue with the work.

Another important note is that they don't yet have a liquor license. I had assumed that getting one would be impossible given our byzantine liquor authority rules and the school and the churches just down the block, but it sounds like that is something they expect to have soon.

I'll be visiting several more times in the coming weeks, so expect more details along the way. I can't begin to convey how excited I am to have a place like this just down the block from home. Already I've met a neighbors that I've only ever said 'hi' to on the street. I felt a sense of community I haven't truly felt in the 20-odd years I've been living in Bed-Stuy. I'll definitely be there to support them as much and as often as I can.

July 7, 2008

BAM AfroPunk Festival


IMG_6439, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

This weekend BAM opened up the AfroPunk Festival with an outdoor concert and a skatepark in the parking lot.

From the BAM site:

Say it loud! The Afro-Punk Festival is back at BAM for the fourth year running. We're delivering six days of films about black rebellion and change, as well as a celebration filled with music, a skate park, a special DIY marketplace, and much more. Spend your fourth of July by celebrating a real revolution.

Punk isn't really my thing, but Black folks doing the unexpected appeals to me. I stopped in for a little while, until the music got to be too much for me.

It was cool seeing all these kids trying out tricks on the ramps, maybe one of these days I'll catch one of them at the X Games.

July 5, 2008

New Amsterdam Market: Amy's Bread


IMG_5657, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

One last word on the New Amsterdam Market. Tammi picked up a loaf of bread from Amy's Bread and loved it. As described by her, when she asked about what was in the bread, they listed all things whole wheat and organic, topped with sea salt. I'm wholly unfamiliar with such things, so all I can say is that it was delicious.

The entire loaf was gone before the end of the night.

July 3, 2008

New Amsterdam Market: Mini Ham Sandwiches


IMG_5674, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Marlowe & Son sold these fantastic little sandwiches with ham, pickles and butter. Really, its all you need. I still haven't made it to their restaurant yet. I've got to get out there soon, because these were awesome.

The Unfancy Food Show


IMG_5776, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

After the New Amsterdam Market, Tammi and I rode up to Delancy and over the Williamsburg Bridge. The ride kicked my ass, but it was worth it to get to the Unfancy Food Show.

The show was organized by Tom Mylan, the butcher who taught the Pig Butchery class at The Brooklyn Kitchen. In fact Gothamist used one of the shots I took of Mylan at the class for their pre-show interview.

The event itself was not nearly as big as the New Amsterdam Market , but it wasn't meant to be. There were about 20 vendors selling and displaying artisanal wares from coffee to books to knives. And of course Pork. From the folks above, I bought "Pork Sticks" tasty skewers as well as some fantastic uncured smoked bacon that I cooked up and served that evening. Just next to them, people were selling porky beans and rillettes. I didn't get a chance to try that out.

Sixpoint from Red Hook was there as well, selling their new batch of Hop Obama, a strongly hopped amber ale that received many accolades in the spring.

I could have stuck around all afternoon, drinking beer and sampling everything but I had a bag full of food to cook.

New Amsterdam Market: Hen Sandwich


IMG_5636, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

At the recommendation of some friends we ran into just as we got to New Amsterdam Market, Tammi had this open-faced Hen sandwich with walnuts and radishes from Bridge Urban Winery, the Williamsburg outpost of a Long Island vineyard. I had a bite and enjoyed it, but I have to say that I'm not so clear on the various distinctions between birds.

One booth that I didn't get a chance to peruse as well as I'd have like is Bo Bo Poultry, which had quite a variety of birds on display. I'm hoping to make it to their retail outlet before it closes up at the end of the month.

June 9, 2008

DJ Juice E Spins i2Y


IMG_9241, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

A couple weeks ago at Habana Outpost Jon introduced me to Emily a.k.a. DJ Juice E, whose spiffy record case is pictured above. She spins for the Sucia party at Madame X on Wednesday nights, which I've been meaning to check out for a while just based on the flyer.

Last week I got an email blast from her about an event she'll be working thrown by a group called i2Y or "I'm too young for this" that offers support and resources for cancer patients under 40 years old. It turns out Emily is a recently recovered cancer survivor herself and has seen many of the benefits a group like this offers.

I can't begin to condense her message out to everyone so I'll post it after the jump, but first, here are the details of the party:

Stupid Cancer Gala NYC '08
Thursday June 19th, 7pm-11pm
Taj Lounge 48 West 21st Street
Tickets: $25 on the Web & $40 at the Door.

Continue reading "DJ Juice E Spins i2Y" »

June 6, 2008

Big Apple BBQ Block Party 2008


IMG_0983, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

This weekend marks another year that I must miss the BBQ Block Party because I'm out of town. Tomorrow and Sunday, Pitmasters from all over will be feeding the hordes some of the best barbecue to be had.

Given that I'm here in Atlanta having some awesome and authentic Southern food, including as much fried chicken as I can manage, I'm not complaining.
::c::

May 30, 2008

The Birthday Girl


The Birthday Girl, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Today is Tammi's birthday. We're out at Stonehome, a long time favorite, enjoying ourselves. More later.

Happy Friday!

::c::

Factory Fresh


IMG_9349.JPG, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

This year I've been trying to make it to more Graffiti Art Gallery shows with moderate success. Mostly, I've missed them or passed through late, well after the opening. Here's one I know I'm going to miss, but wanted to let everyone know about.

Skewville has a 2 day show called Factory Fresh and it's to take place in an old bodega, which sounds really cool.

Check it out.

Factory Fresh
1053 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn.
June 6th, 6-10pm
June 7th, 1-9pm.

May 27, 2008

The Tour: Bushwick Tacos


IMG00883.jpg, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

The break at the halfway point of the Tour de Brooklyn was at Maria Fernandez Park in Bushwick. It's was zoo. Thousands of bikers converged there for snacks and water and ended up bottlenecked in the entryway. The tour itself stopped for the duration of the break, meaning that those who wanted to just keep going, couldn't and had nothing else to do but take up space in the cluster.

A bunch of us opted out of trying to get into the park and just went to the taco spot across the street. It took a while as well, I'm sure no one warned them that they'd be getting all that business on a Sunday morning, but it was worth it.

I was hyper aware of the idiocy that leads me to discover restaurants a mile or two from home through a tour like this. Bushwick is right next door to my corner of Bed-Stuy, but I never go there for more than groceries. I have gone from Mexico City to San Juan to Red Hook to Buenos Aires to get authentic latin food, but I haven't once sampled the chuletas on Broadway just down the road.

That should be rectified. More ot Come

May 26, 2008

The Tour: The Navy Yard


IMG_9365, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

As mentioned, the Tour de Brooklyn took us through the 'exclusive' Navy Yard. TransAlt managed to get us in to ride through the facility, which is generally closed to the public.

Loving giant dilapidated monstrosities, I was pretty psyched, but shortly after taking this shot, was told that photography wasn't allowed, so I couldn't get into the good stuff.

::c::

The Tour de Brooklyn 2008


IMG_9304, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Yesterday, Tammi, her nephew Glenn and I rode in the Tour de Brooklyn, a 18 mile ride starting in DUMBO and running through Brooklyn Heights, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, Bushwick, Williamsburg, down the waterfront through the Navy Yards (more on that in a bit) and back to DUMBO, ending in Walt Whitman Park near the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge.

Between the ride to and from the event and the tour itself, we rode nearly 30 miles. Shockingly, I'm not too sore from the whole thing. The ride was great for the most part. I got to see neighborhoods I'd never really been to before and make geographical connections between areas, which is one of my favorite things about riding.

Continue reading "The Tour de Brooklyn 2008" »

May 2, 2008

This Weekend: The Brooklyn Half


IMG_5949, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

This weekend Tammi's running the Brooklyn Half-Marathon. My family and some friends are meeting up at Prospect Park to cheer her on.

I'm looking forward to shooting the start in Coney Island with the SLR - also having hot dogs for breakfast...

::c::

April 30, 2008

MXWC


IMG_2521 - Version 2, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

As a part of my 'Action Sports' beat, I was sent out to the first annual Moto-X World Championships. The event wasn't particularly well promoted, so there weren't that many people there. All the same, the tricks seemed pretty good to my entirely untrained eye. I got to see someone else finally manage to pull off a double back flip, which hadn't successfully been done in the States since Travis Pastrana did it at the Summer X Games in 2005.

Much more importantly, I stuffed myself with Fish Tacos and local(ish) beer. More on that to come.

February 6, 2008

Photo of the Day: Go-Go


IMG_7190, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Last Exit
Atlantic Antic, Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn. 2007.
::c::

February 5, 2008

Super Fat Tuesday


Streetcars, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Let's not forget that tonight is also Mardi Gras. I will be going out to celebrate after I do my citizenly duty, when I get back to Brooklyn.

Sadly, this image is the most 'New Orleans' photo I could track down today. Clearly, I need to make a trip back there. I've been wanting to visit again for some time. We'll see when I manage to fit it into the schedule - and the budget.
::c::

Super Tuesday


IMG_5183, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

The big day is here. In just a few hours, nearly half the country will begin voting in the biggest primary in history.

We'll see how decisive the results are.

I, for one, will have to haul ass back to Brooklyn from up here in CT. I'm definitely going to do it though. I mean, who knows when I'll have the opportunity to participate in an election like this again?

::c::

January 31, 2008

The Wedding: Venue Booked


IMG_0771, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

This morning we signed the contract and booked Gary's Loft for the Wedding in November. This is where it all starts...

See shots of the venue in my Flickr Set.
::c::

January 27, 2008

Photo of the Day: Into the Void

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IMG_4509, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Big Air Competition, Winter X Games 12, Aspen, CO. 2008.
::c::

December 27, 2007

Christmas with the Family


IMG_5105, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

On Tuesday, Tammi and I went out to Long Island to my Aunt's place, a long time tradition.

As you can see a good time was had by all. Many gadgets were given and received, including the Bose Soundock that provided the soundtrack to the day's festivities (see above).

My uncle Errol once again cooked up a wonderful spread of Jamaican food. There was Ackee and Saltfish and Callalloo for breakfast. For dinner there was Curry Goat and my mom's Escovitch Fish.

The day has become much more low key in the last few years, the traffic has died down from the previous hundred or so people who pass through to the relative handful of a couple dozen. I've been resisting the call of the fam for the last few years, only begrudgingly attending this year because everyone insisted that Tammi had to come experience Christmas. I did enjoy it despite myself, and Tammi had a great time.

Now on to New Year's!

December 16, 2007

The Winter Market


IMG_1568.JPG, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

At more or less the last moment this afternoon, I came across a blog post about the WinterMarket put on today at the old Fulton Fish Market by New Amsterdam Public.

I'm not so familiar with the group, but I believe their goal is set up a standing sustainable food market in that building. It sounds like a great idea to me. Why should we forsake the Seaport to the tourists, when we can actually use it for something worth visiting?

Despite the crappy weather, I had to leave the house anyway to work tonight, so I figured I'd head out a little early and catch the tail end of the event.

I got there about an hour before it ended. Half the booths were either gone or wrapping up, but I managed to pick up some cool stuff:

1 Jar of Rick's Picks Pickled Beets. I've been curious about them before but never wanted to commit to a whole jar until I had tasted them. The sweetness of the beets are balanced out by the tang of the vinegar and kick of spice that I can't quite place. These will clearly be passed around the next time I have people over.

1 Bottle of Sparkling Cider from the Sly Boro CiderHouse upstate.

And, 1 Pint Honey Nougat Ice Cream that was recommended to me by Robert, Mary and Blake, who I ran into on the way. I was suspicious of the thought of eating ice cream on such an awful day, but one sample spoon was all the convincing I needed.

The shot above is from the Wild Edibles table. They were selling scallops in the shell and Sweet Maine Shrimp. I would have bought some, but I figured my co-workers wouldn't appreciate the smell of raw shrimp permeating the office fridge.

This is said to be the first of many such events, so I look forward getting a better haul next time.
::c::

November 19, 2007

Tammi Runs Philly!


IMG_1863, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Apologies for the delay, yesterday the love of my life ran 26.2 miles through cold, rainy Philadelphia and fulfilled a dream she's been pursuing for nearly 2 years.

I was so happy to be there cheering her on and again, I'm exceedingly proud of her. Her final time was 4hours 36 minutes and 58 seconds, almost exactly the goal time she was aiming for.

The photos of Tammi are posted in the Tammi Runs Philly set, other pics of the event are posted in the Philadelphia Marathon 2007 set. Tammi's also posted a report from the course.


Now it's on to R&R in Mexico in just a few days.

::c::

November 18, 2007

Photo of the Day: Top of the World


Rooftop Panorama, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Today Tammi run the Philadelphia Marathon.
Good luck Babe!
::c::

November 6, 2007

The Brazen Head Packed 'Em in for Cask Ale


IMG_9552, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Saturday night I managed to squeeze through the cask-happy crowds at The Brazen Head to try out a couple of the 'real ales' offered up this weekend.

I've written about the festival a few times before, so I'll refrain from repeating my extended introduction.

The short version is that cask conditioned beer is not as cold or bubbly as Americans typically expect. The change remarkably alters the drinking experience, often bringing out subtleties in flavor and texture of even strongly flavored beers. At least that's the way it's supposed to work. The festival, which takes place 3 times a year, brings up to two dozen casks to Brooklyn.



Cask conditioned beer in this quantity is rarely available anywhere, so every beer geek worth his hops was there. Like the last few fests, BH's small triangular space was jammed with people. I typically avoid any place with that many people in that small a place, but the festival only comes a couple times a year, so I made a point of trying again after a failed attempt on Friday. I lucked into a seat by the bar and sampled a few rounds.


Continue reading "The Brazen Head Packed 'Em in for Cask Ale" »

November 5, 2007

The NYC Marathon 2007


IMG_0233, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Tammi and I headed down to Fort Greene this morning to see the spectacle of nearly 40,000 runners make their way through the city.
I posted the photos in a Flickr Set.

In Two weeks it'll be Tammi's turn to run Philadelphia.
::c::

November 3, 2007

Photo of the Day: Behind Bars


IMG_3986, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

West Indian Day Parade, Crown Heights, Brooklyn. 2007.
::c::

October 31, 2007

Photo of the Day: Trick Or Treat!


IMG_8597, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Greenpoint, Brooklyn. 2007.
::c::

October 2, 2007

Cask Ale Time at The Brazen Head


IMG_7036, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Just a quick note that while at the Antic, I found that the next cask ale festival at the Brazen Head will be the weekend of November 2-4th. Clearly, I'm planning on attending.

Atlantic Antic 2007


IMG_6988, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Sunday was a great Brooklyn day. Tammi and I waded through the crowds at Atlantic Antic and enjoyed good food and great company all day.

We met up with with various friends and randomly bumped into others. I had a thick, juicy sirloin slider from Donna Da Vine a newish wine bar that Tammi and I have started going to.

We also had some fantastic pork sandwiches made from the two whole pigs Jolie roasted. They were served on long narrow rolls and served with a mildly tangy horseradish mayonnaise.

And at a friend's urging we tried out fried oreos, which were a little weird. I was expecting something along the lines of the deep friend twinkie or chocolate bar often found at brit style chip shops. Instead, owing to the vendor selling them - an Italian Sausage truck - it was more like a zeppole, thick and doughy and covered in powdered sugar.

The one thing I didn't get that I miss is the shwarma usually served by a middle eastern food supply shop near clinton. They don't sell food at all most of the year and, invariably, it's the best I've had. By the time we ended up on that end of the Antic, I couldn't really contemplate eating much more.

When we were done, we hung out at an after party hosted by Robert and Mary, who live nearby.

All in all a really great day. See the rest of the Antic photos here.

And here for my extended description of the festival from last year.

August 30, 2007

It's Carnival Time in Brooklyn


IMG_3323, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Labor Day approaches and along with it the annual Carnival festivities. I haven't decided if I'm going to be out flag-waving this year, I'm not sure if I can deal with the crowds. Wouldn't mind getting some Roti and Jerk chicken though, so we'll see.

Having moved away from Nostrand Avenue, one of the major West Indian thoroughfares in BK, the events had almost entirely slipped my mind until Shelley from Bloggers@Brooklyn Museum asked to post one of my photos from last year's parade.

If you want to catch the spirit, check out my West Indian Day Parade 2006 set on Flickr.
::c::

July 31, 2007

The City of Angels

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I'm on the road again, back in LA for Summer X Games.
I'm not sure how much of the city I'll be able to get to without a car, but I have my hopes. If nothing else, I should have some photos from the events, once everything starts up.

Stay tuned...

July 19, 2007

We're Getting Married!


We're Getting Married!, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

On Tuesday, July 17, five years after we met, I took Tammi to Gramercy Tavern for an incredible meal. Then I asked her to marry me.

She said yes!

We have few details so far, the tentative plan is to do it next year, early in the summer, preferably in Brooklyn. No idea where or more importantly, what food and what music we'll have there.

Clearly, this will be an adventure. More to come...

June 12, 2007

Japanese Baseball

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Tammi and I went to see the Tokyo's Yamuiri (sp?) Giants play last night (Monday).

The baseball ritual in Japan is fascinating. The stadium is split between the two sides and each side has songs and chants and rituals for each player.

The entire experience was fun and culturally very interesting, but the best part has to have been the beer girls. Unlike stadiums in the US where pisswater beer is poured and then carried around until when you finally get it, it's warm and flat, this beer is always fresh. That's because they pour it in front of you... from a keg... on their back! Yeah, really.

I love this place.

May 30, 2007

Photo of the Day: Happy Birthday Tammi!


Rockstar, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Happy Birthday Tammi!

May 27, 2007

Photo of the Day: Watching and Waiting


IMG_8994, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Wall Street Run, New York City.
::c::

May 24, 2007

Wall Street Run


IMG_9379, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

On Tuesday,
Tammi ran the 3 mile Wall Stret Run in 25:51. That's a 8:37 minute mile!
Congrats babe!
::c::

Brooklyn Uncorked


IMG_8788.JPG, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Last week I went to Brooklyn Uncorked, a wine tasting at the BAM Cafe. The event brought in more than 20 different wineries from Long Island to show off their products. It was sponsored by Edible Brooklyn, the free food magazine. I heard about it a month or so ago from my editor at the Brooklyn Record, they had given us press passes. I was pretty psyched to check it out.

I'm still getting a handle on the wine thing. I know a decent amount about what I like, but there are huge swaths of grapes and styles and regions that I'm entirely unfamiliar with. The idea of exploring a region so close to home really appealed to me.

When I got there and saw so many people pouring Merlot, I was also pleasantly surprised. I don't know much about Merlot either. It would be a good way to kill two birds with one stone. Or so I thought.

Unfortunately, it seems that Merlot is nearly the only thing they grow out in Long Island. Pretty much every table I visited had the same selection. I had the same conversation about a dozen times:

Me: What are you pouring?
Them: Well, we've got our Merlot, here. And this is our blend with X% Merlot, X% Cab Franc and X% Cabernet Sauvignon. We've also got this, which is Y% Merlot, Y% Cab Franc and Y% Cab Sauv.

I like variety and I didn't find any there. I'm probably somewhat biased because I'm just not fond of Cabernet Sauvignon. In fact, with few exceptions, I can't stand it. So, most of the blends were ruined for me, because even with 30%, it overpowers the other grapes. A few of them mixed some other grapes into their blends, which was interesting. But 5% Syrah or 10% Malbec was barely noticeable to me.

In the end, I was just bored. When I asked about the fact that everyone brought essentially the same selection, I was told that they all made many more, but chose to bring the most popular. That sort of depresses me. I'd think that an event like this would have been a perfect opportunity to show off wine that's different from everyone else's. Instead they went with the same old same old.

May 15, 2007

Wonder-Full Party

(Originally Posted on The Brooklyn Record):

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Saturday night in Willamsburg, hundreds came out to for "WONDER-Full IX - An annual tribute to the genius Stevie Wonder" at the Sugar Factory. World famous DJs Bobbito and DJ Spinna came together once again to play any and every song that the legendary Stevie had a hand in. Any songs written and ghost-written by the artist were fair game, as were songs that sampled his works. Now hosted by Keistar Productions, Wonder-Full started out nine years ago as a way to celebrate the Stevie Wonder's birthday, May 13th. Back then, the crowd was small enough to fit in a venue with a 75-person capacity. This weekend there were easily over 1000 party-goers in attendance in the 14,000 square foot, multi-level venue.

While glad for the success, some worry that the party may have lost something. DJ Jon Oliver has been attending these parties for years and plugged it on his website weeks ago. After it was all over though, he worried that all the hype may have backfired.

This year's Wonder-Full party did not feel as intimate as in previous years. Their success is well-deserved but as is always the case, when an event becomes "the place to be" you get less people coming for (in this case) love of Stevie Wonder and more people who just want to be up on what's hot.

-clay williams

Photo of DJ Bobbito by Ultraclay!

May 14, 2007

Fort Greene Street Party

(Originally Posted on The Brooklyn Record):

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The fine folks at Habana Outpost pulled out all the stops this weekend. Their re-opening party spilled out onto South Portland Street, the festivities took over the block as local artisans sold their wares, clowns and other performers wandered about and bands played on for the crowd. Hundreds came out for the first cuban sandwiches and mexican corn of the year to be served out of the big red truck at the heart of it all.

We were there for much of the afternoon listening to the DJ alternate with Conjunto Guantanamo, a Cuban band based in DUMBO. The stilt-walkers danced above us as we sat out in the sun. We missed it, but the circus atmosphere took a more mature turn in the evening with a fashion show followed later by a burlesque performance.

Habana Outpost, 757 Fulton Street (at So. Portland); (718) 858-9500.

-clay williams

Photo by ultraclay!

May 13, 2007

A Full Day

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Wow, yesterday was great.

When I got out to Habana Outpost, they were still setting up, so I wandered over to The Brazen Head. Lo and behold, they were having another Cask Ale Festival! I had a few rounds there before it started to fill up.

When I got back to Fort Greene, Habana Outpost was packed. Their opening party spilled out on the street, filling the whole block of South Portland. Local artisans and vendors sold their wares, clowns and stilt-walkers wandered about, there was even a fire-eater. Tammi, Laura and Guy met up and we split a couple sandwiches and some corn while we watched bands perform on the stage set up in the middle of the outdoor space. After the crowd overtook us, we went to Stonehome and had a bottle of sparkling rosé.

Then, Tammi and I headed to Boerum Hill for a barbecue. Dale, who I haven't seen in close to 2 years was in town. It was great to see him.

After all that, a bunch of us headed out to Wonder-Full, the Stevie Wonder tribute party out in Williamsburg. I still don;t know enough Stevie Wonder music, so a litle of it was lost on me. I still enjoyed it. I took off a little early though.

I was wiped out.

May 8, 2007

This Little Piggy Went to DUMBO

(Originally posted on The Brooklyn Record):

This Saturday in DUMBO, the intoxicating aroma of pork will be in the air. The Brooklyn Brewery is hosting its 7th annual Brooklyn Pigfest in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Like last year, the proceeds go to the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy. Manning the pit will be Sam Barbieri of Waterfront Ale House along with Jeff Reilly of The Smokin Grill, Rob Richter of Hill Country Barbecue and Matt Fischer of Atoms Ribs. They'll cook up three whole hogs (each slow-cooked for 20 hours), plus ribs, chicken, and sausage. All for the hefty price of $85 at the door (or $75 presale). Thankfully admission includes as much barbecue you can eat, plus beer from the Brooklyn Brewery to wash it down. Anyone care to share any memories from last year's event?

Brooklyn Pigfest, Saturday, May 12th from 1pm - 6pm at the Tobacco Warehouse, Brooklyn Bridge Park (corner of Water and Dock Streets).

April 16, 2007

A Beautiful Day for the Half Marathon

(Originally posted on The Brooklyn Record):


This weekend the weather held out long enough for 4847 participants to run 13.1 miles from Coney Island to Prospect Park. Runners all gathered first thing Saturday morning to run the biggest race in the borough. There was a chill in the air at the beginning, but by the time they arrived in the park, everything had warmed up and crowds were out to cheer on the runners.

The photo above was taken on the boardwalk as runners finished mile 3. Those of us standing out there cheering them on bounced with the vibration of nearly 10,000 feet pounding on the wooden planks. See the rest of the photos of the race here

-clay williams

April 15, 2007

Go Tammi Go!


IMG_6126, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Tammi ran one of her best races to date yesterday. She beat her time in last year's NY Half Marathon by nearly 45 minutes!!

Great job babe!
::c::


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April 13, 2007

Cheer them on!


Cheer them on!, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

The Broolyn Half-Marathon is tomorrow morning. It starts in Coney Island and goes to Prospect Park. Tammi will be out there running, I'll be there to shoot and cheer.
::c::

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April 10, 2007

Brooklyn On The Run

(Originally posted on The Brooklyn Record):

At 8 in the morning this coming Saturday, as many as 5000 runners—Brooklynites and otherwise—will gather on the boardwalk in Coney Island, braving the early morning chill off the water to run 13.1 miles through the borough of Kings. This is the Brooklyn Half Marathon, the third this year in the New York Road Runners Club's Grand Prix series of half marathons throughout the five boroughs.

The race begins with a lap to the end of the boardwalk and back. From there, runners will head down Ocean Parkway, passing through Sheepshead Bay, Bensonhurt, Midwood and Borough Park on the way to Prospect Park. In the park they run the last 4 miles to the finish line.

As of last week, 4857 people had signed up for the race. If you think you can handle it, the Road Runners club is accepting registration until Wednesday at 5pm. If you know you can't, come out and cheer on the runners. They need all the support they can get.

NYRR Half-Marathon Grand Prix: Brooklyn [New York Road Runners]

-clay williams

Photo by ultraclay!

February 25, 2007

The Al Gordon Snowflake 4 Mile

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IMG_3304 cropped, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Tammi braved the cold and beat her personal record today. Her sister and niece joined me by the sidelines to cheer her on. My camera is really a lot harder to operate when I can't feel my fingers...
::c::

Continue reading "The Al Gordon Snowflake 4 Mile" »

February 20, 2007

Happy Mardi Gras


Roll 14 - 44, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

I'm in Philly, not New Orleans, so the good times will be much less rowdy, but rolling nonetheless.

Enjoy Everyone!
::c::

Continue reading "Happy Mardi Gras" »

November 3, 2006

"Real Ale" Arrives at the Brazen Head

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(Originally posted at The Brooklyn Record):

It's festival time yet again at the Brazen Head. The tri-annual Cask Ale Festival begins tonight. This time there will be more cask ales than ever. They will be offering 22 hand-drawn beers from foreign and domestic producers, including local brews from Heartland, Six Points and Brooklyn. Stop in and sample one or several ales hand-drawn to perfection and served in pint or half-pint glasses at a civilized temperature -- much more appropriate to the chilly fall weather. For those unfamiliar, cask conditioned ale or "Real Ale" as proponents call it, is described by Wikipedia as "the term given to unfiltered and unpasteurised beer which is conditioned and served from a cask without additional pressure."

The experience of drinking a cask ale can be jarring at first. If you are used to cold, fizzy beer your first impression may be that the beer is warm and flat. If you take a moment to get past that, you will be rewarded with a depth of flavor you have never experienced before in beer. Strong, hoppy IPAs become more approachable, while the texture and malts take center stage in the stouts.

Garrett Oliver, brewmaster at the Brooklyn Brewery has written that his first taste of cask ale was the beginning of his life in beer. He describes his this experience in his book, The Brewmaster's Table:

The first sip was odd. This beer hardly had a head, just a loose lace of bubbles around the rim of the glass. As I started to drink it, I wondered, 'What is this stuff?' The bitterness ran across my tongue, assisted by only the faintest prickle of carbonation. Then it exploded in layers of flavor ­-- hay, earth, newly mowed grass, orange marmalade and baking bread. It wasn't even cold -- in fact, it was barely cool. Each sip seemed to reveal something new --­ a whiff of sea air, a different flower or fruit. Did I like it? I wasn't sure. But it was so interesting that I couldn't stop drinking it. Then my glass was empty. The beer was all gone and I missed it already.

Don't miss your chance to experience "real ale" as it was intended.
-- clay williams

The Brazen Head is located at 228 Atlantic Avenue between Court Street and Boerum Place.

October 13, 2006

Keep On Shucking

Tomorrow evening, Saturday, October 14, Brazen Head looks east to the shores of Long Island with a good old-fashioned clam shuck. There will be Little Neck Clams and Blue Point Oysters for your slurping pleasure and two varieties of savory clam chowder. Here's a tip: try them both. Set aside your soup convictions for a night — both are great. After trying them, you may find yourself questioning your belief in One True Chowder...

Wash all that briny goodness down with any of the four beers from the Bluepoint Brewery, including their Toasted Lager and the Oatmeal Stout. One of the beers will be offered as a cask ale, hand drawn through one of Brazen Head's two beer engines. — clay williams

Brooklyn Clam Shuck: Saturday, October 14th – 5pm to 10pm.
Brazen Head: 228 Atlantic Avenue between Court Street and Boerum Place

September 12, 2006

Getting Amped for the Atlantic Antic

(Originally Posted on The Brooklyn Record):

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On Sunday, September 17th, car traffic will vanish on one of Brooklyn's busiest stretches of road. Downtown Brooklyn neighborhoods will ring out the summer with a huge celebration — it's time for Atlantic Antic. The street festival, which will be celebrating its 33rd year, runs for a mile and a half along Atlantic Avenue between 4th Avenue and Hicks Street. This stretch of Atlantic is a nexus of Downtown Brooklyn neighborhoods. It brushes against Fort Greene, Park Slope, Boerum Hill, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, and Brooklyn Heights. A sea of Brooklynites pour out onto the streets to eat, drink, and revel at the party...

Unlike every other street festival in the city, this one is made up of actual neighbors. Local shops open out onto the street selling their wares, and churches draw in passers-by with song as they sell food made by the congregation. There are stages on every block and bands, drums circles, and soloists perform for their neighbors. At Clinton Street, the local Middle Eastern community hosts traditional music and belly dance performances sponsored by Sahadi's.

It wouldn't be a party without booze and the bars along Atlantic graciously oblige. The Brazen Head, Last Exit, and a few others set up cordoned-off "beer gardens" for party-goers to relax and sip a pint. New York's open container laws, tightened under Giuliani to include festivals, are technically still in effect, but enforcement is lax. Grab a Brooklyn Lager or a Six Points and celebrate the borough the right way.

Atlantic Avenue's diverse range of cuisines offers food from the world over. Have a po' boy or a shwarma or some fried chicken as you enjoy the Brooklynest crowd you're likely to find. Finish off with some zeppoles, deep fried and doused in powdered sugar, or sample some key lime pie straight out of Red Hook. At Hank's Saloon, you can throw a burger on the grill and cook it up on your own.

With so many Brooklynites in one place, politicians are never far behind. Past years have seen Freddy Ferrer, Chuck Schumer and of course "Mister Brooklyn," Marty Markowitz, kissing hands and shaking babies — or something like that. Grassroots groups also take the opportunity to recruit. So, if you've been hoping to sign petitions against the Ratner development, Ikea in Red Hook, or the re-opening of Brooklyn House of Detention but didn't know where to go, this is your chance.

For the kids, there are huge inflatable playgrounds on both ends and face painting stations every dozen feet. There are also plenty of vendors selling balloons, cotton candy, toys, and comic books, so come with child-size blinders if you want to hold on to your money. — clay williams

July 7, 2006

Viva Italia

(Originally posted on The Brooklyn Record):

Scopello
Cheer on Italia this weekend at Scopello in Fort Greene. The Sicilian restaurant acquired a gigantic television weeks ago for the sole purpose of showing World Cup games. It precariously straddles the bar and and makes Scopello one of the most unlikely sports bars in Brooklyn. Clearly, World Cup fever knows no bounds. In fact, Scopello has been opening early every game day just to show each match. To greet World Cup spectators, the restaurant, which doesn't usually serve lunch, offers a menu of panini and pasta specifically for game time.

The World Cup comes to a close this weekend with Germany and Portugal battling for the third place Saturday afternoon at 3pm. The grand finale is on Sunday — France vs. Italy at 2pm. Be sure to get there early, as the front bar area is small. Last week, the crowd of onlookers overflowed out onto the sidewalk as customers and passersby clustered together to watch the action.

Scopello is at 63 Lafayette Avenue, just off of Fulton Street. (718) 852-1100.
— clay williams
[Photo by ultraclay!]


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