Main

October 3, 2012

Faces of Atlantic Antic 2012

_MG_6668

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" »

June 20, 2012

Food/Work: Edible Brooklyn Feature

_MG_9551

As part of my Food/Work project, I found myself exploring the halls of a couple commercial kitchens around Brooklyn. This month, many of the photos from these excursions have made it into a feature in the pages of Edible Brooklyn.

The article, written by Amy Cortese, discusses how the rise of small batch, artisanal foods has created a new niche market for the specialized cooking space required to produce all those cupcakes, cookies, granola and saltwater taffy.

After the jump, check out some photos from the kitchens at Hana Pastries in Sunset Park.

Continue reading "Food/Work: Edible Brooklyn Feature" »

May 2, 2012

Your First Look at The Bar at Peaches

_MG_5143

Last night, Bed-Stuy got its newest bar. The folks at Peaches have renovated the space where Bread-Stuy used to be and turned it into a bar for folks in the neighborhood to hang out, chat and enjoy each other's company. It's a much needed addition to the neighborhood and I'm looking forward to spending long evenings bending elbows at the bar or holed up in a window seat on a summer's day.

Before they opened, owners Craig & Ben let me in to get a first look at the place. They're also our first confirmed stop on the next Bed-Stuy Crawl, which will tour Lewis Avenue on Saturday, June 2nd.

See more photos of the space after the jump...

Continue reading "Your First Look at The Bar at Peaches" »

April 17, 2012

Bed-Stuy Crawl, Round 2 Recap

_MG_0966

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!

_MG_2027 - Version 2

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

_MG_6324 - Version 2

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 20, 2012

Self-Promotion: The BrunchCritic Tour

_MG_4001 - Version 2

Last month, Andrea of BrunchCritic hired me to shoot some places for her site. I spent the afternoon bouncing around half a dozen New York neighborhoods shooting some pretty cool looking brunch spots.

The adventure started with The Cupping Room in SoHo, above. After the jump, see where else I ended up - and check out brunchcritic.com for reviews and a spiffy brunch search tool.

Continue reading "Self-Promotion: The BrunchCritic Tour" »

February 29, 2012

The Final Something I Ate NY

_MG_9321


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 2, 2012

Longest Night

_MG_4200
In December in Gowanus, an event called Longest Night transformed an industrial space into a performance venue. My friend Brian worked on video-mapping used there and invited me to the party. It's been a while since I've been to an all out, middle of nowhere, art event and I have to say it was a lot of fun. I hadn't planned on taking photos at all, but after seeing the aerialist flying above us all, I couldn't just leave my camera in the bag.

See more photos after the jump - I never caught her name, but if you know who she is, let me know in the comments. I'd love to see another performance like this.

Continue reading "Longest Night" »

February 1, 2012

An evening with the Robicelli's

_MG_1613 - Version 2

Last night, I helped Brian of Eat This NY film his upcoming Valentine's Day webisode. You may remember when I filmed his Halloween episode last year. This time around, the stars of the show were Matt & Allison of Robicelli's who give Brian advice on love.

Check back on Eat This NY for the full video to go up next week. In the meantime, check out Matt's new tattoo, which was a part of the Ink Master series on Spike TV. See if up close after the jump.

Continue reading "An evening with the Robicelli's" »

This Weekend: Bed-Stuy Crawl

_MG_2932 - Version 2

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 2, 2012

Introducing Food/Work


Food/Work - Images by clay williams

Happy New Year, folks. 2011 was packed with experiences and opportunities that I hope to build on for years to come. To begin, I'm launching a new photo project that I'm very excited about, called Food/Work.

Expanding on the Butchery project of the last few years and the kitchen shoots I've done in the last several months, Food/Work explores the real effort that gets food on our tables. Following the examples of Michael Harlan Turkell's Back of House series and my friend Donny's Foodaisance project, I want to call attention to the work that goes into cooking, preparing, cutting, cultivating and even killing the food that so many of us enjoy and obsess over.

Although the project will not be limited to Brooklyn, starting Wednesday, I'll be posting some photos on Nona Brooklyn every other week. The first post went up last month with photos of Emily Cavalier cooking dishes for November's Midnight Brunch supper club.

So, stay tuned. The slideshow above is just a preview of what's to come.

November 18, 2011

Self-Promotion: Something I Ate - Tonight!

_MG_2730 - Version 2

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

_MG_5769 - Version 2

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

_MG_7147 - Version 2

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

_MG_5181

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.

August 12, 2011

Self-Promotion: My SLR Food Photography Guide on Foodspotting

Foodspotting Guide

I'm using my transit time to finally catch up on various posts and self-promotion that I have been too tied up to keep up to date on the blog. First up is this guide I put together last month for Foodspotting.

It's all about SLR food photography and offers a number of tips and tricks for capturing interesting images of food in restaurants.

The guide is an overview, but I do plan to follow it up here with a few more in-depth posts. First up, will be about white balance - it's one of those things that seems to throw everyone off. If you've got any particular photography questions you'd like me to cover, let me know in the comments or write me on twitter @ultraclay.

July 27, 2011

Dekalb Market Open for Business

_MG_9176

Last weekend saw the launch of Dekalb Market, a new open air marketplace on the edge of Downtown Brooklyn. I had planned on writing an elaborate post about it, but it seems that's not going to happen soon, so I'll have to settle for a quick series of photos with a bit of commentary after the jump...

Continue reading "Dekalb Market Open for Business" »

July 22, 2011

This Weekend: Makossa Brooklyn Cookout

12A_0735

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 20, 2011

Bed-Stuy: Do or Dine brings an adventurous menu to the hood

_MG_8300 - Version 2

Even though they've only been open for a month or so, I feel late to the game with Do or Dine. The internets have been abuzz with talk of all the crazy and interesting food they're churning out for weeks. And that was all before some goofy vegans gave them the best PR gift you could ask for by starting a petition against the foie gras doughnuts they serve.

The restaurant, which is really more like a clubhouse, describes itself as an 'American Izakaya,' only because everyone's tired of the word 'gastropub.' Really though, that's what it is, an awesome gastropub where they cook whatever they feel like trying. I don't care what you call it, it's good and I plan to return soon. After the jump, check out the meal and a very cool surprise at the end.

Continue reading "Bed-Stuy: Do or Dine brings an adventurous menu to the hood" »

July 14, 2011

Bars: The Way Station, Prospect Heights' Doctor Who-themed bar

A Doctor Who themed bar in Prospect Heights. It's #geektastic #Brooklyn #bars

This spring, Tammi and I fell down the rabbit hole that is Doctor Who. We spent about a month consuming episode after episode of five seasons of the British Sci-fi series and have been coming back for more ever since. So, when a friend mentioned that there was a bar in Prospect Heights with a Doctor Who theme, we showed up at their doorstep within days.

It's called the Way Station and as you see here, they've got a Tardis, the big blue box at the center of the series, in the middle of the bar. It serves as the restroom - and yes, it is bigger on the inside.

I randomly posted this on my digital Tumblr a week ago and was subsequently hit with a barrage of 'where is it?!' messages and reblogs. I answered there, but since there is clearly a following, I figured I'd post it here as well.

The Way Station, 683 Washington Avenue, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.

July 13, 2011

Kitchens: The Chef's Counter at La Lunetta

_MG_6115 - Version 2

After the Bastille Day fun on Sunday, Tammi and I had dinner at Lunetta, the wonderful Italian restaurant that happens to sit on the site of our first date, those many years ago. By chance, we managed to get a seat at the Chef's counter in the back. Whether it's at the counter at Osteria in Philly or at Cal Pep in Barcelona or I'm just watching demos at The Astor Center, I love seeing - and photographing professionals working in a kitchen. I've been doing more of it lately for some projects I don't think I can talk about just yet, but I take every opportunity to shoot in kitchens and this was no different. Check out the photos, including a rather dramatic flare-up and some delicious food after the jump.

Continue reading "Kitchens: The Chef's Counter at La Lunetta" »

July 12, 2011

The Storming of Smith Street

_MG_5380 - Version 2

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" »

May 26, 2011

Instagram and other Digital Dalliances

#subway #musician at Canal Street Station

This week, through the grace of my lovely wife, I've upgraded my phone from a marginally functional iPhone 3G to an iPhone 4. So far, the best part of having it is that i can finally use the camera again. My previous phone ran so slowly that the camera was more or less useless.

The return to cameraphone photography has introduced me to the wonders of instagram. Many of the photographer friends I respect have been on it for ages, but i wasn't able to play along.

If you follow my twitter feed at all, you'll know that this has changed. In the day or so since i started playing with the app, I've posted dozens of pics. I've been using it so much that it seems like a good way to use my other Tumblr page. Now called Digital Dalliances, it'll mostly focus on the random photos I take with the phone along with some other digital images I find interesting at any given minute.

This may include some of the themes that have been such a hit on Analog UltraClay, like the food series and the current Black and White Bars set. Stay tuned!

May 23, 2011

A first look at Smorgasburg

_MG_2686

While the entire world was making rapture jokes, the food obsessed among us were making what could have been our last eating pilgrimage to the Williamsburg waterfront. If you haven't heard about it, the folks behind the Brooklyn Flea have expanded their food offerings into a new weekly event focused entirely on food called Smorgasburg.

Over the years, the Flea has become a destination as much for its food options than any of the actual market items, so it's no surprise to see a spin off like this. I know I was excited about it.See what was on hand after the jump.

Continue reading "A first look at Smorgasburg" »

May 10, 2011

Analog: Expired Plenachrome

---_0890 - Version 2

Last month, with the return of the outdoor Brooklyn Flea, I checked in at Dan's Parent's House, the booth where I picked up the roll of 50+ year old Royal-X Pan film last year. Dan doesn't trade much in film, but had a few old rolls for sale, so I snapped them up.

The photos posted above and after the jump are from a 120mm roll of Plenachrome, made by a company called Ansco. The other day, Tammi and I rode down to Red Hook to enjoy the spring weather and I figured it was as good a time as any to give this old film a try.

Continue reading "Analog: Expired Plenachrome" »

May 4, 2011

Analog: Black & White Bars

---_0338

In all my analog experiments, I don't often shoot black & white. I just love color too much to act like it isn't there. Yet, occasionally, I come across results like this shot I took at Hanson Dry in Clinton Hill and a couple others (after the jump).

Continue reading "Analog: Black & White Bars" »

April 26, 2011

Analog Spring

_35_0406

It's that time of year. Spring in New York brings us all out into the streets. We're so happy for a day or two of decent weather that we're out and about as much as possible. Never mind that half the days are chilly and rainy, we're still making plans to go out to the Brooklyn Flea or Habana Outpost or wherever else.

This week on Analog UltraClay, I'm posting spring photos from around town including new Analog Flea photos and a series on Washington Square Park, one of my favorite places to spend time since I was a kid.

April 19, 2011

Analog Subways

_19_0290

After a bit of a hiatus, I've started posts up on Analog UltraClay again. This week's theme is the subway, featuring film photos from New York's transit system.

Just going through the photos to select which I want to post got me thinking of other stations and compositions I want to try. I picked up a couple rolls of faster film than my go-to Ektar last week, so expect a sequel, possibly as soon as next month. Enjoy!

March 31, 2011

Bed-Stuy Tour: Dough

_MG_5413

After catching doughnut fever in Chelsea last month, I found myself particularly intrigued when I got word about Dough, a new doughnut shop in Bed-Stuy on the corner of Franklin and Lafayette. Tammi and I peeked in after leaving Bedford Hill last weekend, but sadly found ourselves too stuffed from breakfast to partake. I did take some photos, including a few of some freshly glazed doughnuts going out. Check them out after the jump.

Continue reading "Bed-Stuy Tour: Dough" »

March 30, 2011

Bed-Stuy Tour: Bedford Hill

_MG_5375

I've been hearing about Bedford Hill since it opened last year, but hadn't made it out until Tammi and I took our Bed-Stuy tour last weekend. It's on Franklin Avenue, on the same block as Sweet Revenge (where we ended the day about 12 hours later) and just blocks away from the border with Clinton Hill.

The initial shock of being the only black folks in the room in the heart of what used to be seriously "'hood" Bed-Stuy faded relatively quickly. The politics of the "Pratt Area" and the wave of gentrification are an nearly a force of nature in New York and I'm not about to blame a place like Bedford Hill for serving the new residents in the area.

If anything, my only complaint about Bedford Hill is how tight the space is. I'm a big guy and walking in in the middle of a rush, I was bumped and jostled every which way, even after I found a seat.

Still, once we had our food and the crowd died down, it was extraordinarily pleasant and my initial urge to flee relaxed. See the food after the jump.

Continue reading "Bed-Stuy Tour: Bedford Hill" »

March 29, 2011

Brooklyn: The Bed-Stuy Tour Part One

_MG_5418

The weather may not quite feel like spring, but despite the cold, the longer days are inspiring me to get outside and do some exploring. Tammi's been taking some classes at the YMCA on Bedford Ave and it's given us an excuse to spend some time wandering that end of Bed-Stuy a bit more.

That's meant brunches at Peaches HotHouse and Black Swan, but also the discovery of a few new places that have been popping up on the radar of late. Last weekend, Tammi and I spent our Saturday over in the corner of the neighborhood that borders Clinton Hill and Williamsburg that's become known as the "Pratt Area" or even, irritatingly "West Bed."

We stopped in some cafes and bars and generally wandered about, meeting up with friends and seeing what's new and noteworthy. See the beginning of our tour after the jump.

Continue reading "Brooklyn: The Bed-Stuy Tour Part One" »

March 20, 2011

Brooklyn: Hanson Dry opens in Clinton Hill

_MG_3433 - Version 2

Before I can begin to enjoy Hanson Dry, I have to forgive it first. The new bar on Fulton Street in Clinton Hill occupies the formerly blocked up storefront that hosted one of my favorite graffiti pieces in Brooklyn. The silver ESPO work with the Stevie Wonder quote, "Did you know that true love asks for nothing" was a landmark for me for ages. Months ago, it disappeared behind wooden construction boards. When it was all over, windows had returned and a new bar, Hanson Dry was open for business.

I'd love to trash it for being gentrifying nonsense with annoying clientele, but I actually quite enjoyed it. Last week, Tammi and I went and stuck around several rounds longer than intended listening to the bartender's iPod selections and relaxing. The music could have been titled 'the best of Clay's college years' and led to my assertion that 1996 was the best year for hip-hop and R&B potentially in the entire decade.

The strip of Fulton between Vanderbuilt and Franklin has been on the verge for some time. With Bar Olivino, Hot Bird around the corner and new bars like Hanson Dry popping up, this might be the moment.

February 18, 2011

In The Kitchen: Valentine's Day Dinner

_MG_7067 - Version 2

Monday night, Tammi and I skipped the amateur night crowds of Valentine's Day and had a nice meal at home together. I took a page from Amanda Hesser's recent New York Times Magazine piece on the standing rib roast and decided I wanted to try it at home. the final product came out wonderfully, but that was after having to make some last minute changes.

See more about how it went after the jump.

Continue reading "In The Kitchen: Valentine's Day Dinner" »

January 25, 2011

In The Kitchen: Broiled Whole Branzino

_MG_1864 - Version 2

In pursuit of my goal of eating and cooking more fish, I decided to order some in a recent FreshDirect order. Part of my difficulty with fish is that I have a hard time keeping track of what fish have which textures. Some are firm, some or soft and mushy, some are oily and strongly flavored. I still don't have a lot in the way of a point of reference. So, I decided to go with the less imaginative option and just try to recreate the dish I had at Eataly the other day.

I ordered a whole branzino, just like I had there, butterflied and deboned. See how it went after the jump...

Continue reading "In The Kitchen: Broiled Whole Branzino" »

January 22, 2011

Analog: Party Polaroids at Brooklyn Bowl

_MG_3597 - Version 2

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 18, 2011

In The Kitchen: Improvised Lamb Ribs, Fatty Cue style

_MG_2823 - Version 2

Back in those far-flung days or warmth and happiness that I like to call 'summertime,' I came across Sam Sifton's 'The Cheat' column featuring Fatty Cue's delicious rib recipe. Given how much I enjoyed the meals I've had there, I was very excited about trying it out. But then I never managed to get out and do much barbecuing last summer and my window passed. Now it's ridiculously cold and I can't even get my back door open through all the snow.

Instead, I improvised my own take on the recipe using lamb ribs and letting my slow cooker do most of the work. The result doesn't have any of the smokiness that insinuates itself into every tender scrap of meat at the restaurant, but it's something I can make now without having to wait for the thaw. Check out the step by step after the jump.

Continue reading "In The Kitchen: Improvised Lamb Ribs, Fatty Cue style" »

December 29, 2010

In the Kitchen: The best way to render lard at home

_MG_1180 - Version 2

The star of my Christmas haul this year has to be the meat grinder Tammi bought for me. After I read about the Alfa MC5 on Michael Ruhlman's holiday gift guide, it immediately made it to the top of my wishlist.

Once I opened it up, my first task was clear: grinding up some fatback to render lard. See the hows and wherefores after the jump.

Continue reading "In the Kitchen: The best way to render lard at home" »

November 18, 2010

Analog: Long Expired Kodak Royal-X Pan

_MG_0101 - Version 2

In all my analog experimenting, I've only played with expired film once or twice. The only notable results I found were with a roll I shot in Hawai'i that I posted about last year.

Last weekend at "Dan's Parent's House" at the Brooklyn Flea, I came across this single roll of 120mm Royal-X Pan film. The box was still sealed and the stamp on the side said 'develop before December 1959.'

The vendor, Dan told me he had no idea if it was any good, so gave it to me for $3.

Check out the results after the jump.

Continue reading "Analog: Long Expired Kodak Royal-X Pan " »

November 15, 2010

In The Kitchen: Lamb Chili

_MG_8273

If you follow my Twitter feed, you've already heard a bit about this. Last weekend, I decided to take my cooking urges to new, improvised places. I was struck with the idea of making lamb chili with very little idea of how it would come out, but thinking that lamby flavors would make for a great meal in this chilly weather.

See the hows and wherefores after the jump.

Continue reading "In The Kitchen: Lamb Chili" »

November 10, 2010

Analog: Shooting with the Kiev 88

__5_0686

In my exploration in shooting analog, medium format has fascinated me. That's most likely because it's sort of arcane and the frames are big and square. Unfortunately, I've had a pretty unfortunate track record shooting 120mm film - thus far at least. That's finally starting to change thanks to the the Kiev 88.

Read more about the Kiev after the jump and see photos I've taken with it on Analog UltraClay all week.

Continue reading "Analog: Shooting with the Kiev 88" »

November 8, 2010

Moe's Closing?

_36_1318

Word on the internets is that Fort Greene's neighborhood bar, Moe's may be closing due to an astronomical rent increase. A lot of things can happen between now and February, so I'm not giving up hope just yet.

NY Marathon 2010

_MG_7837 - Version 2

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.

_MG_8055 - Version 2

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

Analog: Gowanus

_28_0206

Continuing with the Street Photography theme on Analog UltraClay, the last couple of days has been all about Gowanus. Around the end of the summer, I found myself in the border areas of the Gowanus on the subway, on foot and on the bike quite a bit. I took the opportunity to explore a bit.

Check it out.

Marathon Day

_MG_5593 - Version 2

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 5, 2010

Bed-Stuy: Therapy Wine Bar seeking full liquor license

_MG_1426 - Version 2

According to Citizen Who, Therapy Wine Bar just got community board approval for a full liquor license. That's pretty big news in my part of Bed-Stuy, an area where the only real bar for maybe half a mile is Casablanca Lounge, the old man bar down the block from me.

Open for over a year now, I was pretty excited when I first heard about Therapy opening on Lewis Avenue. Tammi and I have been there a few times and I've gone in by myself for a glass of wine and to get a little work done.

See a bit more of what's inside after the jump.

Continue reading "Bed-Stuy: Therapy Wine Bar seeking full liquor license" »

November 4, 2010

It's Cooking Weather

_MG_9555 - Version 2

With apologies to Ruhlman for blatantly ripping off his old logo, I was inspired to take this photo as I've been spending a lot more time in the kitchen lately. The cooling weather has my nesting instincts. As I've been in the house more working on portfolios and plotting my entry into the photography business, I've also been cooking more. There's been braising, roasting, making stocks and I even made my first risotto. (Lesson learned, cook hotter, stir more, but definitely use the cheese rind stock again.)

57_21

When in North Carolina last month, I cooked for a dozen or so people, the biggest audience I've had maybe all year. The big challenge was that I had to feed vegetarians and people with gluten allergies, hence the veggie stock prep above. It was a ton of fun and has only encouraged me to want to cook more. Hopefully one day I'm figure out how to cook and shoot at the same time and I could then actually blog about that from time to time. Here's hoping.

October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

_MG_3639 - Version 2

I'm not one to dress up for Halloween, but as a photographer, I've certainly enjoyed watching everyone else do their thing. In fact, I had big plans to run around this weekend shooting all the costumes and parties and drunken festivities. Yet, Friday night, I was at the office and last night we spent the evening at home watching movies and drinking wine.

Tonight, I do hope to make it out to the Halloween parade in the village and maybe to a couple parties as well as catching my awesome godchild Asher dressed up as a giraffe.

These days I'm trying to balance my hustle with thinking ahead and putting in groundwork. There's no use going out every night shooting if I'm not taking the time to get the business side of things right.

I spent the last couple days going to the Photo Plus Expo looking through printing houses and equipment suppliers and many, many wedding-related vendors that I hope to offer to clients in the next year.

Analog: Street Photography

_31_0446

One of the interesting side effects of shooting film has been a return to some of the subjects I used to shoot a lot more of when I was just playing around rather than shooting for assignments or blog posts.

I've been especially into returning to street photography in the last few months. Candid street shots can capture so much in a moment.

_0A_0455

After spending the last week posting nature photos from North Carolina on Analog UltraClay, I'm switching my focus to more urban environs.

If you're on Tumblr, I'd love to hear feedback on my work in comments or faves.

October 22, 2010

Bed-Stuy: Liquid Oz Opens

_MG_3262 - Version 2

After much anticipation, Liquid Oz, the cafe and wine bar from the guys who run Oz Home and Hardware opened up last weekend. Tammi and I are particularly excited since it's literally around the corner from our place. Tammi claims she may never make coffee at home again.

Get a closer look at the place after the jump.


Continue reading "Bed-Stuy: Liquid Oz Opens" »

October 16, 2010

Analog Flea: Kat Flower

_28_0129

Ever since Kat Flower started selling at the Brooklyn Flea, I've made a point of stopping by, shooting some of the gorgeous flowers and asking Kathleen, the owner to put together something nice for me to take home to Tammi. I've never been a flower person, but I love the interesting shapes and colors of the selection here.

See more of my favorites under Analog Flea on my film photo blog, Analog UltraClay.

_32_0133

October 15, 2010

Self-Promotion: Seasonal Brooklyn

Seasonal Brooklyn 3

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 8, 2010

The Queen of Williamsburg

_MG_7657

Last year, I was walking down Bedford Ave in Williamsburg playing with a rented lens when I heard from behind me, "You wanna take my picture?"

I was a little surprised, but I turned around and took a couple photos of her. I'm glad she called out to me, she's got so much personality in her appearance. I don't do a lot of portraits - at least not when the subject knows I'm shooting, so I'm happy that this shot came out as well as it did.

Recently, I found out that this lady's name is Leonora Russo and she's quite the celebrity in the neighborhood. In the last month or so, she's been profiled in both The L Magazine and Time Out New York. It turns out there's even a movie about her called The Queen of Williamsburg.

In an area that's so notorious for pushing out the natives, it's awesome that someone like her not just holds out there, but seems to thrive on the new population.

October 5, 2010

Weddings: Lais & Abe

_MG_4521 - Version 2

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.

_MG_5036 - Version 2

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" »

September 29, 2010

Analog Flea: Red Windows

_11_1177

Analog Flea: Film photos from The Brooklyn Flea, Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

September 21, 2010

More Night Photography with the Canon 5D Mark II

_MG_6162 - Version 2

The taxi ride home from a late night at the office or on the town often inspires me to take out the camera and try to capture some of the world whizzing by me. This fails more often than it succeeds, but with the 5D Mark II, my odds have definitely been better. Here are a couple more. See the first set here.

_MG_6128 - Version 2


_MG_6160 - Version 2

September 20, 2010

Analog Flea: Owls

_10_1134


Analog Flea: Film photos from The Brooklyn Flea, Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

September 14, 2010

Analog Flea: Chess Pieces

22A_0516

Analog Flea: Film photos from The Brooklyn Flea, Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

September 13, 2010

Self-Promotion: Lonely Planet NYC

_MG_3823

I'm very excited to announce that the photo above from Harefield Road in Williamsburg was used in the new edition of the New York City Guide from Lonely Planet.

This will go up on my bookshelf alongside Everyman's Joyce, Off The Chain, New York: A Photographic Album, Untitled: Street Art in the Counter Culture, and last year's Queens International 4.

Onward.

September 10, 2010

Analog Flea: Flags

25A_0519

Analog Flea: Film photos from The Brooklyn Flea, Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

Quick Bite: Sausage at The Vanderbuilt

_MG_6757 - Version 2

It's been a little while since I posted any food porn, so here's a quick bite of a couple sausages we had at Prospect Heights' The Vanderbuilt. Above is smokey kielbasa with chickpeas, below, merguez, served on a bed of couscous. Delicious.

_MG_6751 - Version 2

The Vanderbuilt, 570 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn. 718.623.0570

September 9, 2010

Analog Flea: Keys

__4_1128

Analog Flea: Film photos from The Brooklyn Flea, Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

September 8, 2010

The Brooklyn Flea brings back memories

24A_0558

I'm behind the times in wholeheartedly embracing the Brooklyn Flea. I've been a fan since its inception, but somehow never quite made it over there very often. Lately though, I've found myself there weekly and loving the experience for all the new and old sensations they evoke.

_21_1187

First, the history. Back before the development boom put giant condos on every block, the strip of 6th Avenue between 23rd Street and, say, 30th Street was home to what seemed like a dozen parking lots that all turned into big open air markets on the weekends. Vendors hawked old comic books, toys, antiques, camera, radio and electronic equipment and all sorts of other hidden gems just waiting to be discovered.

_10_1176

Second, there's all the food. The food vendors of the flea have banded together and besides being a destination on the weekends at the two Flea locations, they also sold food at Central Park Summerstage shows all summer. More on that to come.

I was going to try to do one post about the Flea and I realized that I couldn't really do it. Since I've been shooting analog on the weekends, I have accrued quite a few photos of the Flea on film. Over the next month or so, I'll post Analog Flea pics every couple days as part of my Ektar 300 series. some will include commentary, so will speak for themselves.

Stay tuned.

August 17, 2010

Analog Bed-Stuy: Saraghina

17A_1014 - Version 2

I've been excited about Saraghina since their opening a year ago. Yet, for some reason, I haven't managed to post about it despite thoroughly enjoying many a meal there. I seem to have a block on it.

Today, I'm hoping to circumvent that block by just posting some visuals as part of my Analog and Bed-Stuy projects. Really though, the place photographs amazingly well. It's an eclectic space decorated with strange and interesting signs and objects on the walls and dangling from the ceilings.

_0A_0997

The food is also quite nice to look at, if you can spare the moment to shoot before tearing into it. See some of the food and more of the space after the jump. Most of these were taken with Ektar film, except for the final, which was shot months ago with Fuji Velvia.

Continue reading "Analog Bed-Stuy: Saraghina" »

August 11, 2010

Quick Bite: Hot House Fried Chicken

Nashville-style fried chicken at Peaches Hothouse in Bed-Stuy

Dinner the other night at Peaches Hothouse over in our old section of Bed-Stuy.

The chicken is still magnificent, with a kick that left me sweating. On the side was bacon cream corn, which helped cool me down a little.

While we were there, the Cooking Channel was there filming for one of their shows. Given that (evil) Cablevision doesn't carry the Cooking Channel, I expect no one in the neighborhood will see it.

_MG_1575 - Version 2

One note about the chicken. Those spices are killer and will get on your hands. Be sure to wash them before changing contacts or touching any sensitive bits. I'll just leave it at that.

August 10, 2010

Analog Bed-Stuy: Brooklynite Gallery

_30_1361

Eurotrash opening party, Brooklynite Gallery, Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. June 2010.

These are a few analog scenes from the June opening at Brooklynite Gallery. The gallery has been open for a couple years now and has not, as many initially feared, transformed the neighborhood into Williamsburg.

_32_1363 - Version 2

Owners Rae and Hope McGrath, who live in Bed-Stuy, keep the neighborhood involved in their shows and parties. Nearly every event features musical performances out on Malcolm X Boulevard, drawing the attention of neighbors and passersby. The parties also often bring some legends in Hip-hop to DJ, which I certainly appreciate.

I've seen Prince Paul, Hank Shocklee and most recently DJ Rehka, whose Basement Bhangra party SOBs had forever been on my New York 'to-do' list. At the gallery they took it a step further and had a group of traditional dancers - along with local kids dancing to the mix of hip-hop, reggae and Bhangra rhythms.

_16_1427

I also appreciate the fact that it's close to home - being a block away means that even when I'm exhausted, it's no trouble to go out to check out the show and shoot the party.

The next show, opening on September 4th features artists Eelus and C215, an amazing stencil artist that I've been a big fan of for years.

Brooklynite Gallery, 334 Malcolm X Boulevard, Brooklyn, NY 11233. 347.405.5976

August 9, 2010

Recently on Examiner: Shows Shows Shows

Nneka at Highline Ballroom

The last few weeks have involved a lot of burning the candle at both ends, shooting late night shows and getting up bright and early to get to the office. Sooner or later I'm going to crash, but for now, enjoy the photos.

Monday night, I was in the meatpacking district shooting Afro-German singer, Nneka and Sierra Leone rap group Bajah + Dry Eye Crew, who I saw on one of my earliest shoots last year.

_MG_9998 - Version 2

The next day, I was at Brooklyn Bowl covering the monthly Talib Kweli and Friends show. Despite a late start that had some in ill spirits and me wondering how I was going to wake up in the morning, the show was worth the wait. Having grown up with 90's Hip-hop, I was blown away by the guests he brought through that night. The whole Boot Camp Click was on stage rocking Who Got The Props, Bucktown and more. Mister Man, of the much slept-on Bush Babees came through performing his verse from Fortified Live with Kweli. I definitely want to go next month just to see who else he'll manage to bring out.

After the jump, MJ Impersonators, elaborately fake rockstars, mermaids playing with fire and more.

Continue reading "Recently on Examiner: Shows Shows Shows" »

August 7, 2010

Analog Bed-Stuy: Flora

_6A_1496

Forgive me if I end up sounding like a shill for Kodak, but with 300 rolls of Ektar to go through, it's pretty much the only film I expect to shoot with for some time.

That said, the fine grain of Ektar is particularly good for plants. If brings out the tones and character of leaves and flowers that are just not as interesting (to me) taken digitally.

31A_1521 - Version 2

Here and after the jump are some of the flora and still life photos I've been taking around Bed-Stuy of late. Still life isn't my strong suit, but I like what i came up with here.

Continue reading "Analog Bed-Stuy: Flora" »

August 2, 2010

Analog Bed-Stuy

35A_1525 - Version 2

As I try to phase analog photography back into my life, I'm hoping to strike a better balance that I did last year. My Ektar 300 windfall is great, but carrying around two, three, four cameras all the time and shooting dozens of film rolls a week isn't feasible or economical.

So, I'm trying to limit my film shooting to leisure time when I'm not planning on shooting anything for Examiner or Midtown Lunch. Lately, that's mostly just been when I've been around the neighborhood in Bed-Stuy.

_34_1484

It's been interesting looking through the photos I've taken so far. I've lived in Bed-Stuy for almost 25 years and I really don't photograph the area very much. That's unfortunate since there's so much to shoot in the neighborhood. I'm hoping to take the opportunity to appreciate more of the visuals around me by shooting more in the area.

The top was shot with my EOS 1-N, the bottom with my Diana Mini. Over the next couple of weeks, I'll post more here and there from around the neighborhood, so will just include one or two, others will have several.

See a couple more after the jump.

Continue reading "Analog Bed-Stuy" »

July 28, 2010

Quick Bite: No. 7 Tacos

_MG_3204 - Version 2

Pork shoulder tacos at No. 7, Fort Greene, Brooklyn. 2010.

July 23, 2010

Photo-Geekery: Night Photography with the Canon 5D Mark II

_MG_8306 - Version 2

One of the spiffy features of the Canon 5D Mark II is that it has can shoot at an astronomically high ISO with much less noise interference in the image than one would expect.

Recently I decided to test it out a little bit and see how effective it can be by doing some night shooting out the window of a taxi on the way home after a late shift at the office.

The photo above is dark and silhouetted, sure, but at 5000 ISO, it's remarkably crisp and noise-less. All of the photos have been tweaked to some degree in Aperture, but none beyond recognition.

After the jump see a couple photos where I pushed the camera up to 25600, the maximum setting.

Continue reading "Photo-Geekery: Night Photography with the Canon 5D Mark II" »

July 19, 2010

Quick Bite: Mile End's Smoked Meat

_MG_8470 - Version 2

I finally made it to Mile End in Boerum Hill the other day. I've been enamored with Montreal-style Smoked Meat since my first trip to the Great Up North in 2002.

Viande fumee as they call it in the French part of town, is easily as tender as the best pastrami in New York, but has a stronger smokiness to it and lacks the pepper crusting of a traditional pastrami.

Check out the sandwich after the jump...

Continue reading "Quick Bite: Mile End's Smoked Meat" »

July 16, 2010

Malcolm X Blvd Farmers Market Open for the Season

0081835_0081835-R1-041-19 - Version 2

Last weekend, the Malcolm X Blvd Farmers Market reopened in our corner of Bed-Stuy. I only had a moment to pass through, but I was pleased to see that it's gotten bigger than last year.

The market will be on the corner of Marion and Malcolm X Blvd from 8am to 2pm every Saturday through October. It's awesome to have fresh, local fruits and veggies in the neighborhood, so please come out and show some support.

July 14, 2010

Boerum Hill's da vine provisions Opens Today

_MG_8595 - Version 2
Today, Boerum Hill wine shop, donna da vine expands into the beer and cheese market with a new shop called da vine provisions right next door. Tammi and I have been friends with Alyssa Becker, the owner, from back when she owned donna da vine wine bar across the street.

At the wine shop, Alyssa's focus has always been obscure wines from the pacific northwest that don't often make it to the New York market, so, I'm sure she's already on the case to get us beer from some of the small breweries in the west. Similarly, she's sourcing breads, cheeses and other items from small batch producers all over the place.

The shop did a soft opening over the weekend, but I wasn't able to stop in to check it out. I did get a chance to take a few photos of the space while they were still setting up. Check them out after the jump.
Expect a big opening party tonight with tastings of many of the beers, breads and cheeses.

da vine provisions, 355 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn - 718.643.2250

Continue reading "Boerum Hill's da vine provisions Opens Today" »

July 13, 2010

Dinner at Fatty Cue

_MG_8956 - Version 2

Fatty Cue in Williamsburg is the long awaited barbecue branch of Zak Pelaccio's Fatty Crab restaurants. It takes Asian flavors, fish sauce, peanuts, and so on and adds a rich, thick smokiness to just about everything.

_MG_8981 - Version 2

Manning the smoker is Robbie Richter, who launched Texas barbecue joint Hill County in the Flatiron District. Eric, Tammi and I had dinner there recently and feasted on duck, ribs, more ribs. It was an amazing meal that I could probably document a bit more extensively given some time.

Lacking that, I think I'll let the pictures speak for me this time. Check out the luscious, meaty wonderfulness after the jump.

Continue reading "Dinner at Fatty Cue" »

June 4, 2010

On Examiner: Summer Concert Season Begins

_MG_8359 - Version 2

With City Seen up, I've finally got some time and attention to get shooting for my nightlife column on Examiner.

And just in time for summer concert season to begun. The same day I put up the show, I headed out to Red Hook Park to catch Jay Electronica open up The Summerstage series.

The summer looks like it will be a good one for shows. Big Daddy Kane is playing at Von King (Marcy) Park in Bed-Stuy, Antibalas, the band behind Fela! is playing as part of the River to River festival and all sorts of acts will be in Williamsburg as part of the Northside Festival.

I'm hoping to get out to as many as I can over the course of the summer to put my new camera through its paces. I also want to take another crack at shooting street musicians in the parks around the city.

June 3, 2010

City Seen: Now on display

_MG_8458 - Version 2

It's been a busy, busy couple of weeks and it's just keeps coming. Last night, several dozen of my friends came out to celebrate the opening of City Seen at Habana Outpost and my impending birthday. With momentum like this, I don't know how 33 couldn't be my best year yet.

Thanks to all the family and friends who came out and special thanks to Jon Oliver, who provided some chill beats for us to enjoy. Most of all, I owe more than I can begin to describe to my wonderful wife, Tammi for helping me through the entire process. There's no way the show could have come off as well as it did without her eye for precision.

The photos will be up through June 14th, if you've enjoyed all the photos on this blog and my other sites through the years, please come out and take a look. If you can't make it out, all the photos in the show are online and available for purchase at Clay Williams Photo, my photo site. All purchases are printed new by Adorama, where I got the prints done for the show.

May 28, 2010

Bed-Stuy: Boardwalk Empire

_MG_5410 - Version 2

Another example of Bed-Stuy 'coming up' in the world is that we're getting things like film production in the neighborhood. Over the last couple months, HBO has been filming an upcoming show called Boardwalk Empire. It's set in Atlantic City in the 20's, I believe, but they took advantage of the gorgeous old houses in this area.

_MG_5378 - Version 2

Mostly they've been filming out of a shuttered old folks home on the corner of Stuyvesant and Decatur. The building is old and beautiful, I've always wondered what it looks like inside. Not, I guess I'll see it on TV one day.


_MG_5329 - Version 2

Walking past the film crews, extras and props has certainly been interesting. Some days there's fake snow piled up, others there's a row of antique cars. It's been fun, to me.

Not so much for the car owners that have had another wrinkle in their alternate side parking dance with dozens of trucks and vans taking up spots up and down the blocks. Being a non-driver, that's no big deal to me.

May 18, 2010

Self Promotion: City Seen at Habana Outpost

_MG_3136

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 11, 2010

Bed-Stuy's Blowin' up

IMG_1408

I moved to Bed-Stuy in 1986. Over the nearly 25 years since then, my relationship with the neighborhood has had its ups and downs. As a kid commuting to Brookln Heights every day, It bugged me that we didn't have bookstore and ice cream shops like on Montague Street. When I was a teenager, I was deeply embarrassed when hosting a visiting exchange student to have to walk him through a bloody crime scene on his first morning with us.

After college, my perspective changed, I still wished for amenities found elsewhere in New York, but I certainly appreciated living in Brownstone and paying the same price as friends in Fort Greene for twice the space - with a backyard, no less. Bars, restaurants, ice cream shops were all things I'd have to commute for, but the alternative was gentrification.

That subject, especially in Brooklyn can lead to some heated debates. While I'm certainly enjoying many of the perks gentrification provides in other neighborhoods, i understand that it can also leave an area unrecognizable and worse, unaffordable. That said, everything changes over time and there's no predicting how things will go.

New places are popping up all over the neighborhood and a few concerns aside, I'm very much enjoying it. There are restaurants, a book store, a wine bar and an art gallery. There are places for community to come together besides churches and places to imbibe besides the street corner. I'm pretty excited about it, truth be told.

This is all my wordy way of introducing a series I'll be doing over the next couple weeks highlighting places, new and old around Bed-Stuy that I haven't given a lot of attention to on the blog.

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" »

May 3, 2010

Peaches Hothouse

_MG_0610 - Version 2

I finally made it back to Peaches Hothouse after my First Look last month. Tammi and I met up there after work the other day and decided to see how the restaurant is coming along and finally find out what this Nashville-style fried chicken is all about.

The dining area is smaller and thus a bit more tight than Peaches or Smoke Joint. In my conversations with owner, Craig Samuels, that seems to be more of the point of Hothouse, a small southern bistro with a varying menu of interesting foods.

The space, a work in progress during the soft opening, seems to have gotten many of the finishing touches taken care of.

_MG_0510 - Version 2

Sadly, one of the touches that hasn't been completed is the liquor license. Despite the tantalizing bar, the SLA still hasn't come through with the goods, so it's byob for the moment.

In our regular visits to Peaches, I've talked to Craig a lot about the business, the industry and the neighborhood. He's told me a bit about what's going on in the kitchen, it all sounds pretty interesting. They've got a smoker in there and are starting to work on their own sausages and doing prep for the other restaurants. I'm hoping to get a chance to go in and photograph them at some point.

In the meantime, he gave us a few samples of the menu while we waited for the chicken to come out. See the food after the jump.

Continue reading "Peaches Hothouse" »

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.

_MG_0175 - Version 2

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.

April 16, 2010

Gratuitous Bacon Shot

_MG_0035 - Version 2

April 12, 2010

Self-Promotion: Everyman's Joyce

IMG_3207

More belated self-promotion:
About a month ago, I received my copy of Everyman's Joyce in the mail. One of my photos was included in the book. I'm starting to accumulate a nice little library of my published works.

April 8, 2010

Food Finds: Bird's Custard

IMG_3786

Foodtown, Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. 2010.

April 7, 2010

Cooking: Easter Bunny

_MG_0052 - Version 2

This weekend, I took my own twisted turn at Easter dinner. Heathen that I am, I wouldn't have known when Easter even was if not for the Lenten lunch I had a couple weeks ago.

A recent article in The Times about rabbit as an upcoming food trend inspired me to finally seek out a rabbit to play with in the kitchen.

I've only cooked rabbit once, years ago, on a trip to Paris with Tammi. I found a whole rabbit shrink-wrapped in a market near our apartment in the Marais. I've wanted to do it again ever since, but prices and availability make rabbit more difficult to cook often.

I'm fond of rabbit, but the price point isn't really a good one for experimentation. This D'artagnan rabbit, purchased at The Meat Hook, cost about $30 at $10 a pound. Not cheap for something about the size of a chicken.

Follow the jump for the before pic and a blow by blow on how I cooked it.

Continue reading "Cooking: Easter Bunny" »

April 6, 2010

Graffiti: Specter's Portraits

IMG_4267 - Version 2

It's been a while since I've been able to go out shooting graffiti, but I was happy to come across this Specter piece off Classon near Lafayette. His work is among the pieces up in Make It Fit at Brooklynite Gallery.

There's a similar mixed media piece up in the gallery that has startled a few passersby late at night in the neighborhood. The show is up through next week.

_MG_5498 - Version 2

April 5, 2010

Bar Sputnik Closed Down

_MG_0102 - Version 2

I was disappointed this weekend to find Sputnik, on the Bed-Stuy/Clinton Hill border shuttered with an 'out of business' sign on the door.

After years of wanting to go, I only ended up there twice. Last fall, I was there two weeks in a row, shooting Pharoahe Monch and Brand Nubian for some of my first Examiner columns. With Evil D on the turntables and legends literally inches away, it was Hip-hop at its finest.

I wasn't anywhere near a regular, but I'm sad to see it go.

_MG_0450 - Version 2

_MG_6955

March 28, 2010

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

_MG_7225 - Version 2

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.

_MG_5485 - Version 2

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.

March 22, 2010

The Spoils of Gentrification: Beer!

IMG_4252

The upside to demographic change in Brooklyn? Better beer.

March 15, 2010

First Look: Peaches Hothouse open tonight

_MG_6824 - Version 2

This evening, the folks from Peaches and Smoke Joint opened up a new branch of their burgeoning Brooklyn empire. On the corner of Hancock and Tompkins, Peaches Hothouse expands on the southern offerings that Peaches specializes in.

I stopped in to get a sneak peek.

Tonight, and for the next two weeks, they will be serving a limited menu as a part of Brooklyn Dine-In, but co-owner Craig Samuel stresses that everything is a work in progress.

The menu, described as 'new southern,' goes a bit more adventurous than the relatively staid menu found at Peaches. Think beef cheeks braised for six hours and fried green tomatoes with bacon aioli.

IMG_6933 - Version 2

The star of the menu is going to be Nashville-style spicy fried chicken, which will make it's first appearance in a couple weeks. In the meantime, Laura's Fried Chicken, above, looks like an amazing substitute. I didn't get to eat anything when I stopped in tonight, but I was certainly tempted to stick around for a few courses.

There were plenty of familiar faces tonight, including a pair of regulars I see at the bar at Peaches nearly every day and Lloyd, the owner of Bread-Stuy, who had the distinction of getting the first serving of food out the kitchen. I was glad to see the neighborhood support, I know I'll be back soon.

Follow the jump for the current offerings and more photos of the space.

Peaches Hothouse, 415 Tompkins Ave. Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, NY 11216

Continue reading "First Look: Peaches Hothouse open tonight" »

March 9, 2010

Recently on Examiner: Bowlive!

33A_1288

Apologies for the hiatus, some things have been going on in the real world that have taken me away from electronic life. I'll be back up by the end of the week with posts and photos and all that good stuff.

In the meantime, here's what was going on last week on Examiner. Brooklyn Bowl, which has become one of my favorite venues in town is in the middle of hosting a two week residency with Soulive. It's called, cleverly, Bowlive.

I'd heard of the group before, but never really knew their music. They are an instrumental band that blurs the boundaries between funk, soul, rock and jazz and they throw a great party.

For five nights last week and another five nights this week, they are performing with some great guest acts, starting last week with Vernon Reid and continuing this week with guests including Questlove and Rahzel on Thursday and Charlie Hunter tonight.

It was a hugely fun show and I wish I could stop in again before it's all done to see them perform again.

When things settle down a bit, I plan to get back to some of the regular posting I had been doing for my column. Expect a return to the Brokelyn 25 and maybe even an attempt to start up my Late Night Snacks feature again.

February 20, 2010

This Week in Examiner: Beer and Bands in Brooklyn

_MG_3347 - Version 2

I know, the alliteration is awesome, right? Wait, it's not? Oh well. There's more coming. I've launched a series on Examiner based on Brokelyn's Beer Book that I mentioned in last week's Examiner round up. I'm calling it The Brokelyn 25 and the plan is to go through all 25 of the bars included in the Beer Book and post about them.

It's a pretty great excuse to explore some of the cool bars that I've always meant to check out and more than a few that I'd never heard of before. So far, I've posted about my Williamsburg crawl.

I've mixed the new with the old favorites and enjoyed some time at each place taking in the atmosphere and color of each place. There was Thrash Metal, pizza and a shot of Jim Beam at The Charleston. That place completely took me back to my days hanging out at dives in the East Village ten years ago.

The Brooklyn Brewery is still the same as ever, picnic tables, beer tokens and folks hanging out with friends. It was my first destination in Williamsburg and is still a good time.

_MG_3367 - Version 2

I finished up with Brooklyn Bowl, which I get out to often for shows, but rarely get to just sit at the bar. While there I had my most entertaining moment thus far, when this guy decided to take his share of a pitcher with a straw. Who needs a glass?

_MG_2732 - Version 2

The only music photography I've done recently has been last week when I covered the Brooklyn Tea Party. No, it's not a political group. It's a lot more interesting than that. BTP is a loft apartment that has been transformed into a music studio and performance space by the guys who live there. All three are in music in some way or another and they use their expertise and network of friends to put together a regular party where friends and fans come together and share music with one another.

When I first heard about it through a friend who was performing, I rolled my eyes and thought it was elitist hipster bullshit. But after experiencing it, I'm really impressed by the love and effort that goes into it. The music was interesting and eclectic and the performances all balanced one another very well.

_MG_2011 - Version 2

Continue reading "This Week in Examiner: Beer and Bands in Brooklyn" »

February 11, 2010

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

_MG_9835 - Version 2

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.

_MG_0303 - Version 2

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.

_6A_0033

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" »

Food Finds: Oriental Lychees

IMG_3783

Foodtown, Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. 2010.

February 1, 2010

This Week on Examiner: Bar Guides!

_MG_2091 - Version 2

Being in Aspen, I haven't had the opportunity to cover all the cool events going on this week. It's been killing me to read about everything going on on Gothamist and Brooklyn Based and the food sites, but alas.

Instead, I went with slightly less timely reports, posting about particular bars around New York that I'm pretty fond of. Head to Examiner to find descriptions and slideshows of Another Room in Tribeca, Bar Henry on Houston and an old favorite of mine, Deity.

I hope to get a couple more out there before I head back home. Then I'll have some reports coming in of all the stuff going on back in the Bright Center of the Universe.

On Saturday, I'll be covering Donuts are Forever 4 at The Bell House, hosted by Rare Form in annual tribute to the late, legendary producer J Dilla. The show will be featuring a number of great DJs including my friend DJ Tara and ?uestlove of the Roots.

So, check back on Examiner often to see what's up and where to go back in the Big City.

January 27, 2010

Analog: Diana Mini's half frames

dia_0336

An interesting feature of the Diana Mini is the ability to shoot half frames. In addition to the square frames, which match the number of exposures typically on a roll, it can be adjusted with the flick of a switch to shoot twice as many rectangular exposures. All of these are from the same roll. I was surprised at how long it took to take 72 shots.


dia_0325

My biggest issue with the Diana is what I've had with the Holga, which is figuring out exposure. I seem to only have luck shooting in daylight, regardless of the speed of the film. If I try to adjust the exposure time by using the bulb feature, it ends up being overwhelmed by camera shake. I'll keep at it at see what I manage to get up here in the mountains.

Check out more shots after the jump. More to come.

Continue reading "Analog: Diana Mini's half frames" »

January 21, 2010

Food Finds: Twin Elephants

IMG_3784


Foodtown, Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. 2010.

January 11, 2010

Cooking: Hearts Afire

_MG_1324 - Version 2

We got one last beautiful day for the year the Sunday after Christmas. Just before the current deep freeze, the temperature reach up into the 50s and I took the opportunity to fire up the grill.

Eric came over and we grilled the lamb and beef hearts that I got from Fleisher's at the WinterMarket.

I was attracted to heart initially for the spectacle of the thing. It just seems to odd and primal, how could I not try it after all my 'whole beast' talk? But after trying it, it's the flavor an texture that will have me going back for more.

The preparation was limited to cutting off the fatty and tough bits and seasoning it with salt and pepper.

We grilled them to about medium rare and cut them into strips with kitchen shears.

_MG_1348 - Version 2

The meat was dense and a bit chewy without being tough. The flavors were intense. They tasted like beef and lamb, just more so. The beef did have a slightly 'liver-y' flavor, but not overpoweringly so.

At this point it is far too cold for going back out to grill again, but expect hearts to be a staple come grilling season.

January 5, 2010

Quick Bite: Dumont

_MG_1438 - Version 2

This sexy beast is the legendary Dumont Mac n Cheese. I stopped in last week after stopping in at The Meat Hook for some holiday weekend goodies. It's been ages since I've made it to Dumont, I'd in fact almost forgotten that I blogged about it a couple years ago. My infrequent visits mean that I invariably go for one of their classics when I'm there, the burger or the mac n cheese.

The MTA has seen fit to mangle my weekend transit again, so I plan to reinstate Williamsburg Weekends this month so as to avoid the shuttle service. Maybe I'll get a chance to stop in again and see what else they've got.

For now, enjoy the gooey goodness.

_MG_1459

December 29, 2009

Train Locator Console

_MG_8489

There are (rightly) many complaints about the MTA these days, particularly with draconian cuts in service looming. My neighborhood in particular is about to be totally screwed by some of the cuts in bus routes.

That said, this is pretty awesome : The Train Locator Console lets you know where all the trains are along the entire line. No more peering into the abyss of train tunnel, squinting for a glimmer of light reflecting off the tracks. Of course, this is just on the L Train and the price its riders paid for these spiffy new features was several years of service interruptions and weekend shuttle buses.

Hopefully one day the MTA will be managed and funded properly enough to have these kinds of features throughout the system. As of right now, that sort of wide-scale infrastructure investment seems unlikely to happen any time soon.

Quick Bite: Irish Bacon Burger at Spike Hill

_MG_1219 - Version 2

Lunch in the deluge Saturday afternoon at Spike Hill. I'd never noticed that Irish Bacon was an option on their burger. I feel like I'm seeing more Irish/English Bacon around on menus these days. That's a good thing.

The funky blur around the edges here is from my spiffy new Lensbaby Composer I got for Christmas from Tammi. I'm hoping not to overuse it, but it's a lot of fun.

December 21, 2009

Snowfall

_MG_9616 - Version 2

So, yeah, there was a snow storm. I guess winter's definitely here. Insert "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas" joke here.

December 15, 2009

Analog: Back to Butchery

12A_1319

It's been a little while since I've been able to devote any time to my Butchery project. Over the last couple months I've had to pass up opportunities to see and maybe shoot some interesting butchering demos due to other commitments or sometimes just sheer exhaustion.

This week I broke out of that rut and did two butchering shoots. Both were subjects I've shot before cutting more or less the same meat, but this time I got to shoot with film, which was really pretty exciting.

29A_1297

First, on Wednesday, I finally got a chance to visit The Meat Hook, the new Butcher shop run by Tom and Brent formerly of Marlowe and Daughters in conjunction with The Brooklyn Kitchen. The space also doubles as a teaching space and I sat in on a Pig butchering session. A year and a half ago, it was one of Tom's classes that got me interested in this whole Butchery thing in the first place. I enjoyed watching it all over again with a stronger knowledge of the subject.

To see more from that shoot, check out the Flickr set Pig Butchery at The Meat Hook.

30A_0033

Then on Friday, I stopped in at Greene Grape Provisions to shoot Bryan for a while as he took apart half a steer. Beef is a little foreign to me, I don't cook it much, so picking up the anatomy and the scale is really interesting. It's should be obvious, but cows are really, really big and so are their disassembled parts -- the bones, the muscles and the layers upon layers of flesh.

dia_0126

Those photos are posted on Flickr as well.

It was also particularly interesting to see what the textures and colors of film do to such a visceral subject matter. Without geeking out too much on my analog experiments, these shoots have been an interesting way for me to see how the hues and tones of one roll differs from another. Some bring out the pale greens of the fluorescent lights, others pop with the bloody redness of the meat -- and then there's Black and White. It's fascinating, all of it.

---_1239

---_0111

I'm currently looking at more photography classes at ICP for next year, particularly classes that are about building portfolios and working on long term projects. I hope to use it as an opportunity to pursue this Butchery project more consistently and to have a body of work that I can present for a show or publication.

I hope to spend some time reaching out to other butchers and delving deeper into the subject. The neighborhoods of New York offer all sorts of ethnic markets that prepare meat based on cultural and religious practices. Given the time and initiative, that could be a profoundly interesting path to go down. I'd also like to round out the meats represented by photographing some lamb and maybe game meats.

There are a million ways to go with this project, so stay tuned.

December 8, 2009

On the Examiner: Late Night Eats

_MG_7116 - Version 2

Tomorrow, I start up a feature on Examiner all about late night food. I know, where do I come up with these things! Really though, even the least food-savvy people crave _something_ after a night of imbibing. What's yours?

Chime in here or on the Examiner post or with the Midtown Lunchers I polled on this questions last week.

I even fixed up the comment section, which I gave up on some time ago. You can log in and post with many different logins, so give it a go and let me know what I should be checking out.

December 7, 2009

The Tree Starts the Season

_MG_7121 - Version 2

The end of the year is sort of a whirlwind. Starting with the build-up to Thanksgiving, the meme-storm of holidays and music and events is enough to sweep you up or knock you down.

I find it a bit disorienting this year. I love the season, but I haven't -felt- it yet. The weather has certainly cooled down appropriately and the holiday music is being blared in more places than I'd like. But the season doesn't quite feel there yet for me.

I think tomorrow is when it'll happen. Tammi and I are getting our Christmas Tree after work tomorrow night. We'll follow the long time holiday tradition and decorate it while listening to the sounds of Nat, Ella and A Charlie Brown Christmas.

November 26, 2009

Homeward Bound

F1000022

By the time this goes up, Tammi and I will be in the air again, heading for a quick stopover at O'Hare, then on back to the Better Borough. We're giving ourselves a little more time at home this time around to relax and re-acclimate to being at home, catch up on things and maybe to get some cooking done after a couple of weeks out of the kitchen.

Expect some posts in the next week or so about Hawai'i, followed up by various catch up posts from the last few months.

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 15, 2009

Recently on the Examiner: Shooting Music

_MG_9061 - Version 2

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.

_MG_7789 - Version 2

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.

_MG_8694 - Version 2

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.

_MG_9281 - Version 2

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.

_MG_7953 - Version 2

November 10, 2009

Shameless Self-Promotion: The Local

_MG_7339

A moment of self-promotion: A couple of weeks ago, The Local, the Fort Greene/Clinton Hill Blog by The New York Times use one of my photos of Bar Olivino.

Maybe one day I'll get in the print edition.
::c::

November 2, 2009

A Busy Weekend of Revelry

_MG_3312 - Version 2

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.

_MG_5022

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.

_MG_5391 - Version 2

October 30, 2009

Feeling Autumnal

0000974-R01-018A

I can't say I've ever been fond of Fall. The days are shorter, the weather is colder and historically, it was the time to go back to school and spend less time playing. These days, there isn't a ton of time for play one way or the other, but work (day job and otherwise) does seem to intensify around this time or year. Everything seems busier and busier by the day, with very little time to figure out what's been done.

I'm trying to stop to take a breath from time to time to appreciate the beauty that the season has to offer and remember that all this work is an investment in future payoffs.

October 29, 2009

Recently on The Examiner

_MG_0679 - Version 2

Apologies for the sporadic posts of late. I'm still trying to figure out how to balance my posting here with my Examiner column. I have some things in the works that hope will help me keep the blog going and maybe tie my various online exploits together better.

In the meantime, I'm going to start a weekly post here recapping some of what I've been up to elsewhere, particularly on Examiner.

There's a lot to catch up on, so this will be longer than most will be.

To start, last week I went to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, above, to shoot an Oktoberfest event at co-sponsored by Brooklyn Based. That was a lot of fun and I got to play with some of the techniques I'm learning in my night photography class.

0000977-R01-021 - Version 2

Beyond that, I've spent some quality time at Sputnik in recent weeks. First I went to shoot Brand Nubian and in the process got a pass to go back the next week to see Pharoahe Monch.

_MG_8963 - Version 2

Finally, there was also the Big Apple Comic Con, which has grown tremendously from the days I remember in the basement of the Roosevelt Hotel 20 years ago. And with it, the costumed crowd has exploded. The costumes were wonderful and I spent my whole time there getting as many shots of them as I could. A bunch of them ended up featured on Gothamist.

That's the last few weeks in a nutshell. For more details o what I've covered, check out the column on examiner.com, or even better, subscribe!

I hope to have a weekend wrap post up early next week about all the Halloween festivities and the New York City Marathon. Expect sweat and costumes on both counts.

October 4, 2009

Examiner: The Roots play Brooklyn Bowl

_MG_0959 - Version 2

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.

_MG_1339 - Version 2

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

_MG_2504 - Version 2

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 25, 2009

Der Schwarz Kolner Opens!

_MG_7408 - Version 2


Fort Greene's brand new Beer Hall, Der Schwarz Kolner opened a couple weeks ago after much anticipation. Tammi and I ended up getting there 15 minutes after they opened. The menu was still in flux and there was much frantic bouncing around by the staff, but the energy in the room was great.

_MG_7413 - Version 2

As the name implies, they specialize in the cuisine of Koln (or Cologne to you francophiles). What that means in practical matters is that you get plenty of wonderful Kolsch beer. As I've mentioned before, Kölsch is "light and sweet, but with a bite of hops that provides a zen-like balance." And thus a perfect summer beer.

We hung out there for a couple hours, sampling the compact (three item) menu. The bratwurst was juicy and well spiced. The pretzels were tasty, but lacked salt for some reason. The last dish, which had an odd (read: German) name was nothing more complicated than a slab of gouda cheese and a roll. Tammi's rather fond of gouda, so she gobbled that up and loved it.

Before we headed out, we saw an off the menu special coming out of the the kitchen: some tantalizing red kielbasa sausages showed up at the table next to us.

It's a testament to both the draw of a beer hall and the neighborhood that within an hour of our arrival, the place was already crowded. I know I'll be back.

(Many thanks to Eater for linking to my opening day photos)

August 24, 2009

Sweet Revenge BBQ Rib-Off

_MG_1506 - Version 2

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

August 21, 2009

Farmers Market Update

IMG_3110 - Version 2

It's been a few weeks since I sent out an update about the Malcolm X Blvd Community Farmers Market, here in Bed-Stuy. After the big push following the threat of Migliorelli pulling out, traffic has risen to a consistent level of about 150 customers a week. Many thanks to Brownstoner, Bed-Stuy Blog and all the other sites that spread the word.

We're still working on publicizing the market, so more of our neighbors know it's going on. This afternoon I spent an hour putting flyers in doors around the area.

On Wednesday, Tammi and I, along with some other volunteers and the Reverends Jackson. We discussed the plans to continue pushing the market forward and to host a fundraising event at the Brooklyn Rescue Mission next month.

Tara put together notes from the meeting and sent out a message with the highlights:

IMG_3091 - Version 2

For those who were unable to attend, here are some highlights:   1. The first fundraising event is scheduled for September 27th. This will be a "garden" party to be held at the Bed Stuy farm with cooking demos, music, and friends! This is definitely more of a community mixer: entry to this event will be low cost. We are currently working on reaching out to local businesses who would be interested in donating product for a raffle that will allow us to supplement money raised with the entry donations.   2. Market Expansion: Now that we've got Migliorelli staying and traffic to the market is increasing, the BRM wants to add more! If you haven't been in a few weeks, we now have a fresh bread vendor in addition to a baked goods vendor. There are still additional vendor slots available (of all kinds-though food is preferred) so if you know anyone who would like to become a vendor at the market, please contact brooklynrescue@msn.com. We're also looking for chefs and amateur gourmets interested in doing food demonstrations using Farmer's Market items. We're also looking for musicians interested in performing at the market! Come perform and sell your CDs!   3. Increase market attraction: Despite increased traffic to the market, we know not enough people in the community know about it. 150,000 residents and only a handful of volunteers makes it difficult. We're continuing with efforts to get the word out. We still have flyer cards that you can pick up at the BRM or at the market on Saturdays. Distribute on your block! We're also looking for contact information for the block associations in the area so if you are active on your block association, please email me! We will also be moving forward with an effort to put up flyers and posters on every corner in the neighborhood!   We want to keep momentum going, especially in light of the event on 9/27. We will be holding another meeting this coming Wednesday at 7pm. Please attend if you can! Meetings will not be as frequent but we definitely would like to meet and do as much planning and action as we can now. As you all know, the Brooklyn Rescue Mission has been getting quite a bit of press on the internet as well as in print (Daily News) and on TV (News 12 and CW 11), and its important to seize any and all opportunities to get the word out about the market and the Bed Stuy Farm! If you can spare an hour next week, please come and learn how you can help!

Volunteer's Meeting-Wednesday 8/26-7pm
255 Bainbridge btwen Malcolm X and Patchen
 
See you there!

Tara

August 13, 2009

Markets: Food Dimensions

IMG_1946

I discovered Food Dimensions entirely by accident. Shortly after Tammi and I moved into our place, I was following a lead on a Western Beef Outlet, which turned out to be nothing special.

But on the way, I passed Food Dimensions, which just seemed like any other supermarket. The difference became clear when I got to the back of the store. The meat market takes up maybe a quarter of the store and there's often a crew of butchers working behind the counter.

Being right on the edge of Bushwick, the meat available is much more diverse than the standard fare at other similar supermarkets around the city. Besides the sausages in styles representing Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Mexico, there are cuts of meat that represented the concept of whole animal eating long before it became trendy. There are tongues and feet and tripe; skin and fatty bits are labeled as chicharrones. This is where I bought my first Lechon, the suckling pig I prepared Cuban style for our holiday party in '07.

They've also got a respectable fish market offering prices and selection not quite as good as Chinatown, but better than anywhere else I know. Last visit, Lobsters were available for $9 a pound, which is quite the bargain.

There are two reasons I don't include this in the Butchery series. The first is that the majority of the meat is packaged ahead of time, meaning there isn't necessarily always the same opportunity to work closely with the butchers to get what you want.

The other reason is that they've got a vast selection of Latin ingredients. Cactus leaves, espazote, chipotle peppers of both the canned and dried varieties, cheeses of many textures and flavors and so much more. Walking through the aisles is an adventure for me. I invariably end up picking up something I've never heard of just to see what I can do with it.

August 3, 2009

Butchery At Home: The Fourth of July

_MG_3836

That's right, I cut up another pig. It's late for me to post this, but, hey, I actually have a little time for once.

All my talk of butchery got me interested in doing a bit of my own. For our July 4th shindig, I bought a 37 pound pig and cut it up myself. This was the biggest pig I've tackled to date, but after a 16 and a 20 pounder, I had the anatomy down.

Like my first porchetta attempt last year, I deboned the mid-section and seasoned it with fennel pollen, rosemary, garlic and this time, lemon juice instead of full slices.

I rubbed the ribs with a cajun seasoning, which would have been great if there had been any meat to speak of there.

The shoulders and front legs were marinated in a Cuban citrus mixture, what's been a fixture of mine for years. Orange, Lime and Grapefruit juice mixed with vinegar, cumin, onions and garlic.

One back leg was rubbed in an achiote paste and slow roasted on the grill. The other, I have frozen and plan to cure as a ham. I may wait until the humidity goes down so I can avoid the trouble I ran into last time...

And of course, there's the head. Appleman made the wonderful suggestion of braising and then roasting it. It sounded like a great idea, but then I was perplexed by what to braise it in.

I found inspiration looking in the freezer. There were a number of containers full of porchetta stock from the bones of the Christmas party porchetta that I had no idea what I was going to do with. This was the answer.

I slow cooked the head half-covered in the stock and a mixture of the leftover seasonings from the new batch of porchetta, then I put the head on a cast iron and threw it on the grill for a bit to get some smoke and to crisp up.

It worked out really well. I shredded the meat from the cheeks and the ears and snout and chopped it up. it became an unctuous, mass of pulled pork that everyone who tasted it loved. The flavors of fennel and rosemary permeated every bite without dominating and the texture was transcendental in its tenderness.

The pig was definitely a win all around (except for the ribs, which had no meat on them). I don't know the next time I'll be able to do something like this again, but I've certainly eager to braise/roast another head and make wonderful things out of it.

Continue reading "Butchery At Home: The Fourth of July" »

July 29, 2009

MXB Market: How to Help

IMG_2196 - Version 2
First of all, I'd like to thank Brownstoner for helping let folks know the situation by posting this afternoon about the potential loss of Migliorelli from the market.

Secondly, Tara followed up the email I posted Tuesday with another message letting anyone interested in volunteering know how they can help support the Farmers Market, Brooklyn Rescue Mission and fresh, healthy food in Bed-Stuy. If you would like to contact her to assist in one way or another, please email her at teefiveten (at) gmail.com.

All of you are receiving this email because you expressed interest in volunteering for the Malcolm X Community Farmer's Market. Thank You!

I too am a volunteer and it has been a very enjoyable experience. There are a lot of parts to this market and a lot of different opportunities available to help and donate your time and talents! Here's a bit of an overview of the areas where volunteers are needed.

1. Flyering-Right now, we're in the middle of a HUGE push because we are facing the possibility of Migliorelli Farms, the primary vendor, pulling out after this week due to lower than expected sales. While there are backup farms lined up, obviously we want to keep what we've got because they do bring quality produce and are well known (they sell in markets across the city, including Union Square). The market attendance has been growing steadily the past few weeks but we still need to reach a lot more people. We have colorful flyer cards prepared. There will be some very early morning flyering around the area of the market (Bainbridge, Decatur, Macon, Macdonough between Stuyvesant Av and Malcolm X) this Thursday and Friday morning at 6:30am. If you are available and would like to help, please email me back. If you'd like to do some flyering on your own, let me know and we can coordinate a time for you to pickup flyers from either myself or from the mission directly. Please be sure to let me know what areas you would like to cover so that we do not repeat. I will say right now we need some flyer coverage between Throop and Patchen on Hancock and Halsey Streets.

2. Market Setup and Breakdown-The market runs from 8am-1pm. Volunteers are needed between 7-9am to assist with setup and between 1-3pm for breakdown. Setup involves bringing tables and tents from the Brooklyn Rescue Mission (whichis up the street from the market at 255 Bainbridge) to the market, sweeping the market area, and setting up the tables and tents and signs. Any items that will be sold by the mission on the vendor's behalf will also be setup on the tables. All vendors who sell their items directly are usually responsible for their own setup and breakdown and volunteers do not participate. However, one of the baked goods vendors usually needs some assistance in packaging her freshly baked cookies. Breakdown involves bringing back all tents, tables,and unsold items back to the mission. A car is not necessary but would be helpful during setup and breakdown to minimize the number of trips that need to be made back and forth to the mission.

3.Market Duties-during market hours, volunteers are needed to take customer counts, do some additional marketing/flyering nearby, sell any items that farmers/vendors "drop off", as well as administer customer surveys and obtain signatures for an ongoing petition. There are no specific shift times-whatever times you are available between 8 and 1 will work.

4.Petitioning-Some of you are aware that the mission also has a farm, located on Decatur between Malcolm X and Patchen. This farm is currently on city-owned land, so there is the real possibility that it may be sold. The mission is gathering 1200 signatures in support of protecting the property from a land sale. We are obtaining hand signatures during the market but there is also an online petition if you'd like to send it to your contacts.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/3/save-bed-stuy-farm

5.Fundraising/Event Planning-this area is in desperate need of more people,as I'm currently the only volunteer on this front :). The market does have some overhead as far as materials and printing and other aspects of its operation. We'd like to hold some fundraising events as well as some other events to involve the community to raise awareness about the market, the Bed Stuy Farm, and the Brooklyn Rescue Mission in general. Some ideas thrown around include a Farm Tour/Open House, a Locavore Fundraiser Dinner, as well as a cookoff where contestants would use foods sold at the market. These events are all in the early planning stage so help is needed to move these further along.

6.Harvesting-If you have a bit of a green thumb or just like to get dirty, there are opportunities to volunteer on the farm and harvest all the ripened items grown on the farm.

For those of you most interested in direct market duties, please take a look at our calendar link below. Email me with what market duties you are most interested in as well as dates and times you will be available and we will pencil you into the volunteer calendar. The market runs until November so if you could give us your availability just for August, we will send follow up emails for the other months. We just ask that if you cannot make your assigned 'shift' that you let us know 3 days in advance so that we may make sure we are covered for the week. If you haven't already come to the market, please come by this weekend  and introduce yourself and learn more if you can!  The Reverends are there all day. Don't be shy-you can ask anyone for Robert or DeVanie Jackson.

http://www.google.com/calendar/embed?src=ppdad6lr5ai4c4mft92e078p7k%40group.calendar.google.com&ctz=America/New_York

Thanks again for volunteering. I hope to see you at the market soon!


Thanks,
Tara


July 28, 2009

Will Der Shwarze Kolner Ever Open?

IMG_1847 - Version 2

I first heard rumor of a beer garden opening in Fort Greene, way back in March. Obviously, I was very happy. Beer. Schnitzel. Outdoor space. What's not to love?

And being positioned a block away from Habana Outpost means it'll have an interesting crowd and hopefully will have a moderating effect on the drives that overwhelm the place on the weekends.

But, I was apprehensive. There was no word of when they would be opening. So, I sat tight and didn't think about it.

That is until Brownstoner reported that they would be open by the end of last month. With hopes of tippling over brats and shnitzel for 4th of July Weekend, I stopped by to find it shuttered.

Last week, I passed by again and the gates were half open. I stuck my head in and asked about an opening date, but didn't get anything more than "Soon come."

So, there you go: Soon come.

An Updated Update: MXB Farmers Market in Danger

IMG_7455 - Version 2

No sooner had I posted about some of the goodies at the market last weekend than I get word that it might not be there when I get back from LA. The short version is that the farmer who has been bringing the majority of the great quality produce to the market plans to pull out because they aren't getting enough business.

Below is the message from Tara, who has been involved with the organizing for the market. It includes some solid steps that each of us can take to help save the market. Please read through, but the key thing to do would be to come out to support the market and to tell as many people as you can about it.

Here's Tara's message:

I know at this point some of you are probably sick of my Farmer's Market emails, but I ask that you please bear with me yet again because this is really important.

On Saturday while I was at the market, we got word that Migliorelli Farms, the sole farmer's vendor at the market at this time, will not be back after this coming Saturday, as the sales at the market have not been enough to cover their expenses (labor and gas) in coming out to the market. While the number of people visiting and purchasing at the market has been increasing (we do customer counts), it has not yet been sufficient. The market has only been open three weeks this season so this is definitely not good for momentum.

While the Brooklyn Rescue Mission will not be deterred and there will always be a market on Saturday, this is definitely a setback, as it took many calls and emails on their behalf to get a farm such as Migliorelli to sell at the market and will take even more effort to find a replacement vendor. The BRM is only interested in bringing quality food to the neighborhood so to have a farm like Migliorelli, that also sells in Union Square, was definitely a big step towards having more food equity in the area.  Unfortunately, there just hasn't been enough of a presence by local residents. Bedford Stuyvesant is a large neighborhood and despite the ads in the local papers, blog postings, emails, the several thousand flyers distributed throughout the area, there are definitely still some people we haven't yet reached, but there are also a lot of people who do know about the market and have chosen to not visit it, for whatever reason. This is unfortunate as those who have visited have been very pleased with the selection, quality, and price of the produce. We've also added a fresh bread vendor and the Brooklyn Rescue Mission is still working on bringing more vendors on, such as a honey vendor.

This email isn't to shame Migliorelli as it is understandable that they need to meet their margin and cannot operate at a loss. This is more of a "community call", as it seems we are proving the case many have been saying about Bed Stuy: that we cannot maintan and sustain a farmer's market in this community. I don't believe this, the Brooklyn Rescue Mission doesn't believe this, and they are working hard to prove these people wrong. You can help by coming out this Saturday, August 1st and visiting the market and doing your produce shopping for the week at the market. I also ask that you keep coming as often as you can after this Saturday but I truly believe that after you come on Saturday and see what the market has to offer, you'll come regularly on your own because it truly is growing into something the community can be proud to support. I know we all have our likes and dislikes about the community and access to quality food is definitely one of them. It isn't enough knowing that there's a market in the area-we have to support it as well to make it sustainable!

Malcolm X Community Farmer's Market
Malcolm X Blvd between Marion and Chauncey Streets-in front of Jackie Robinson Park
8am-1pm (Migliorelli often stays past 1pm)
A/C train to Utica Avenue (the market is right around the corner!)
B46 or B25  to Malcolm X and Fulton (market is right across the street!)

If you want to "see" what the market has to offer, check some of the photos taken by some bloggers who have come by the market:

Off To Market (DigitalTammi)

A Farmers Market Grows in Brooklyn(UltraClay)

Saturday is Farmers Market Day
(Bed-Stuy Blog)

Please tell everyone you know! If they live in or near Bed Stuy or love local produce or is just down to support something that helps build community-tell them to come out this Saturday. I hope to see you there. If you cannot make it out on Saturday, you can help us this week by picking up some flyers at the Brooklyn Rescue Mission to distribute-contact me for more information. I have to plug yet again that there are other volunteer opportunities relating to the market so you can contact me about that as well.

Thanks,
Tara

July 27, 2009

MXB Farmers Market Update

IMG_2195 - Version 2

On Saturday, before heading to JFK, I went to the Farmer's Market with Tammi. I grabbed some apricots and sweet plums (above) for the flight.

Tammi stuck to help out. She wrote a post on her blog about what they were selling this weekend, including a new seller that sounds like it attracted a crowd:

Fresh bread made with all natural ingredients, provided by Rick of R&R Distributors. This bread comes from Silver Bell Bakery in Corona, Queens. The bakery has been around for 100 years. Rick had crowds around him for a good part of the morning. People just couldn't get enough of the bread. He also sells whole wheat pasta and gluten free items...

It'll be another couple weeks before I can get back to the market, but it sounds like it's going well. As always, if you live in the neighborhood, I urge you to go out and support it.

July 17, 2009

Reminder: MXB Farmers Market Week 2

IMG_7432 - Version 2

Just a reminder here for all those in the neighborhood that tomorrow is week 2 of the Malcolm X Blvd Farmers Market, brought to us by Brooklyn Rescue Mission.

Yesterday, Brownstoner featured my post about last week's market.

Tammi also posted about it on her blog and Erica, a neighbor we met last weekend put together a slideshow on her blog, Erica Eats.

We're all trying to publicize this as much as we can. Hopefully when I'm next in town for the market, that it will have quite the following.

---
Malcolm X Blvd Farmers Market
Jackie Robinson Park
Malcolm X Blvd and Marion Street, 1 block from Fulton Street

For more information about the market or Brooklyn Rescue Mission go to:

http://brooklynrescuemission.org/farmstand.aspx

To volunteer, call 718 363-3085

July 12, 2009

A Farmers Market Grows in Bed-Stuy

Malcolm X Blvd. Community Farmers Market

IMG_7456 - Version 2

Yesterday morning, Tammi and I put our time where our mouths are and volunteered at the first market of the season of the Malcolm X Blvd. Community Farmers Market here in Bed-Stuy.

My initial fears of just about anything done in the neighborhood is that it'll be half-assed. I've seen it over and over, people have big ideas but nothing to back it up. But my worries were unfounded. While a little disorganized, the market brought a great turnout of volunteers and what I hope is just the beginning of neighborhood denizens taking advantage of the only farm fresh fruits and vegetables on offer for miles.

The Reverends Jackson, who run this farmers market as a part of the Brooklyn Rescue Mission (more on that later) have managed to bring in some farmers from the Greenmarket circuit this year. Yesterday, folks from Migliorelli Farm offered some great vegetables, including baby fennel, bok choy, various braising greens, Japanese turnips and good selection of fresh fruits.

IMG_7495 - Version 2

Later in the morning, there was a cooking demo where this woman, who I didn't get to meet showed folks how to prepare many of the ingredients on hand.

Another farmer supplied 100 lbs of organic beans to the mission to repackage and sell per pound. Tammi, along with some other volunteers and summer youth workers divvied them out into one pound packs. When I saw the rich, deep colors of the black and the dark red beans, I had to buy some for myself.

In fact, I had to run back home to get a bag to haul back all the veggies that I bought.

Next week more farmers tables will be up as well as someone selling fresh baked bread and artisanal honey, among other things.

IMG_7425 - Version 2

If I'm gushing here, it's because I'm very excited to have something like this in the neighborhood. I've lived in Bed-Stuy for a long time and there has been a dearth of markets offering anything fresh for the last decade. It's about half a mile from my house to any place offering any vegetables that aren't shriveled and moldy. Having this mere blocks away will alter the quality of life in this area for tons of us who have been trekking to Fort Greene or Park Slope or Union Square to get food that has been well cared for.

I'm going to be out of town for a fair portion of the rest of the summer weekends, so I want to do my part to make the market a success by spreading the word as much as I can. I hope to post regularly about which sellers will be coming in and what food will be available.

Stay tuned.

Malcolm X Blvd. Community Farmers Market
Jackie Robinson Park, Malcolm X Blvd and Marion Street
Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn
Saturdays, 8am - 1pm through the summer.

July 9, 2009

Butchery: The Times Catches On The Rock Star Trend

_MG_1607 - Version 2

I have to say it was pretty gratifying to see The Paper of Record chime in on the Butchery theme I've been going on about.

Most of the New York scene mentioned in the story were things I've been following and planning on posting about, but it was interesting to read about what's going on in San Francisco in particular. I'll have to make a point of seeking out such things the next time I'm in the area.

I'm also interested in reading Julie Powell's upcoming book about her time at Fleisher's, the Meat Mecca of the east. And I may finally have to finish reading Heat just so I can read more about Dario Cecchini, who I've mentioned here before.

In any case, if you have any interest in all this meat talk, the story is worth the read just for tips on others doing this butchery thing. Enjoy!

July 1, 2009

Music In The Streets

_MG_0179 - Version 2

In those few, precious moments of dry, warm weather, I've found myself appreciating the street musicians I otherwise pass by without a second thought.

Above is one of the many groups I saw one weekend in Washington Square Park. I didn't get a name for their group, but their sound was old fashioned, with the washboard playing and the twenties-style singing. The comeback of this warbling, rustic sound complements the 'speakeasy' trend in the bars and restaurants that have been popping up everywhere.

Below is a similarly old-school group called the Scandinavian Half-breeds, in front of the bike shop on Vanderbuilt during Summer Streets.

_MG_1472 - Version 2

The emotions and gestures on display by performers offer ranges much more difficult to find in everyday life. As I spend more time trying to improve my photography, I hope to get the opportunity to capture more of these artists expressions and moments.

If I manage to get enough together, I may put together a series of photos here on the blog along with information about the performers.

June 30, 2009

"This is history right here!"

_MG_1513 - Version 2

I don't know who these dudes were, I passed them on the street the other day while I was walking through Fort Greene with the camera.

One of them yelled out, "Yo! Take our picture! This is history right here!"

Having no connection to them or their story, I could feel their excitement about the big things they're looking forward to.

I never found out who they were or what that history was going to be. It was like walking into the end of a movie, without knowing the characters or their hopes and aspirations, but just brushing against their story. Maybe one day someone will look through my old photos or find this post in the archives and tell me that one or all of them are the the greatest... of all time.

Until then, it'll be a mystery.

June 28, 2009

Curing: FAIL

IMG_0281

If I'm going to really discuss my curing experiments, I have to acknowledge my failures along with the successes. My first attempt at a country-style ham was, sadly, quite the catastrophe.

I've cured a ham before. It was wonderful. I put a pork leg in a brine of Apple juice and hard cider and left it to brine over our honeymoon. When we got back, I let it hang in the basement for a couple weeks. It worked out really well and I served it up at our holiday party in December.

After that, I decided to go a step further. Ruhlman has a recipe for a cure that aged a lot longer and ended up as rich and dry as a Spanish jamon serrano or a southern Country ham. It called for a minimum of 4 months aging after weeks buried in salt.

I think it was the salting where I messed up. I engulfed a 20 pound leg in kosher salt for the nearly entire month of January. Unfortunately, I was out of town for most of the month, so I wasn't able to keep it under observation for that whole time. When I got back from the X Games, a good deal of the top layer of meat was exposed. I'm presuming this is where it all went wrong. I dumped more salt on top, but perhaps the damage was done.

Regardless, it obviously didn't work out. Back to the drawing board.

June 26, 2009

The Prospect Heights Ninja

_MG_1380 - Version 2

While walking down the Vanderbuilt Summer Streets I encountered my friend Ethan being stretched out by folks from Prudent Fitness. I hung around to talk to Ethan for bit and ended up seeing Phil here do a martial arts demonstration with a sword. Not something you see every day.

June 25, 2009

Wine Therapy

_MG_1140 - Version 2

We tried and failed to get a table at Saraghina the other day, but in the process came across another upcoming gem in the neighborhood (I hope).

Therapy Wine Bar is set to open up on Lewis between Macon and Halseynext month some time.

I'll be keeping an eye out for it, so stay tuned for details...

June 24, 2009

Butchery With Bryan


_MG_1962 - Version 2, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Yesterday, I had the privilege of going behind the counter of Provisions in Fort Greene to photograph some butchery in action. Bryan has shown up here before in his experiments, curing lamb and trying to bring kid goat to the masses. I stop in from time to time just to see what he's been working on.

The other day, I asked if I could come in one day when he was taking something apart and he was awesome enough to allow me to watching dismantle a whole beef leg. It was quite impressive to see.

I'm generally working on a photo project about people working with food, particularly meat. I have no idea where I'm going with it, but this shoot should help me develop it further.

To see the photos, in all their gory details, see the set on Flickr.

Markets: Garlic Scapes

_MG_0121 - Version 2

I discovered garlic scapes a few weeks ago at the farmers market. I had read the name before but had no idea what they were or what to do with them. That's generally enough to inspire me to try something out, but I was particularly interested because of its intriguing shape.

I've heard that a great way to prepare them is to grill or broil them, but so far I've only sauteed them. To date, I've tossed them in with noodles and sausage and Tammi stir-fried them the other night.

We have a few more in the house from our CSA haul, so I might find something else interesting to do with them tonight...

June 9, 2009

Opening: Saraghina

_MG_0356 - Version 2

Saraghina, a new artisanal pizzeria opened up tonight in Bed-Stuy.

We had heard the rumors for months. I didn't know when. I didn't know where. But some sort of sit-down pizza restaurant was opening in Bed-Stuy eventually. Sadly, in this neighborhood, eventually can stretch into years.

I was pretty excited when I finally found details on Grub Street about Saraghina. Most important among them was that they would be slinging pies in the 'hood within a week.

Yesterday, we stopped in to talk a look. What we found was the beginning of a friends and family opening party and a chef ecstatic to show off his new place.

We didn't make the opening but hope to get out there this weekend.

_MG_0350 - Version 2

June 2, 2009

BAM's Dance Africa Festival

_MG_8454

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 28, 2009

Habana Outpost: Summer Time is Here

_MG_8113

I've posted about The Outpost's re-opening every year since I've been blogging. This year, I'm behind the times. They opened up with a street festival as usual that included a performance by KRS-One (that I missed by minutes).

On Memorial Day, Tammi and I had our first Cuban sandwiches of the year and spent a couple hours relaxing over food, drink, and beats provided by DJ Juice E.

_MG_8147

This year there were a few subtle decor changes here and there, but other than that, it was still the Habana Outpost we've come to know and love. The place is a lot more crowded these days than it was those many years ago when they first opened but it's still a good time.

May 20, 2009

Food Finds: Ackee

IMG_0508 - Version 2

Ackee is the national fruit of Jamaica.
The flesh of the fruit is thick and reminds me of a firmer scrambled egg. It's typically served sauteed with cod, called saltfish in the 'old country,' along with onions and peppers.

I never had a lot of it when I was growing up, but these days I associate it with visits to see the family over the holidays.

One of these days, I'll spend some time cooking my ancestral foods and maybe I'll give this a try.

May 18, 2009

Butchery: The Halal Market

IMG_0541 - Version 2

When I want to buy a leg of lamb for a party, I typically go to one of the halal markets down on Atlantic Avenue. I prefer it mostly for the ephemeral reason that it just seems a little more authentic. But I also like it because it's not nearly as expensive as the shrink-wrapped New Zealand lamb that I find in my local Foodtown. And it's fresher too.

It doesn't hurt that the place I usually go to is right next to The Brazen Head. Coincidentally, of course.

It's also just down the block from Sahadi's, which is one of the best spice markets in the city. That's a good thing too, as this market is always a little barren. There's a row of legs on display like this and shoulders and other cuts in the walk-in in the back. Besides that, there are boxes of grains and seasonings, but otherwise it's an empty space.

Halal Meat Market
232 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn,
(718) 625-2781

May 16, 2009

Candied Bacon = Glorious

_MG_2815

Last weekend Tammi and I took my mom out for brunch at The General Greene. I have nothing new to say since our last visit except this: Candied Bacon is Glorious.

I don't know what they 'candy' it with, but it's not a hard glaze, as I imagined when I encouraged my sister to order it. Instead it is just like regular, thick, juicy, meaty, thick-sliced, wonderful bacon, but it's got a honey-like coating across it.

May 15, 2009

Finally! Provisions' Lamb Bacon

_MG_0878

After many failed attempts, I finally got my hands on this slab of lamb bacon from Provisions. Even better, they are now curing more on a regular basis so getting another batch won't take nearly so long.

First observation: As you can see here, it's very fatty. There's more meat in there that the sliver visible in this picture, but the fat is prominent.

My first experiment was to cut strips and wrap them in dates. I love bacon wrapped dates and I figured the combination of North African/Middle Eastern ingredients would go together well.

This wasn't as successful as I'd have liked. As my first try cooking the bacon, I realized afterward that I had no idea how crispy the bacon cooked on its own. When I cooked it more lightly, it was a little too gummy and was difficult to cut through with your teeth. When I left it to cook longer, it crisped up too much and had a burnt, gamy flavor that wasn't so great.

There is probably a perfect medium in there somewhere, but I didn't want to waste my entire slab trying this out, so I shelved that idea.


My second, more successful idea after the jump...

Continue reading "Finally! Provisions' Lamb Bacon" »

Bike Month

_MG_0236 - Version 2

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 12, 2009

Gardening Time

_MG_2697

With the spring weather finally becoming bearable, Tammi and I have finally taken on taming our backyard. She's got various flowers that she wants to plant and I've been eying veggies and herbs, like this basil plant I caught at the farmers market last weekend. So far, I've planted oregano, lemon thyme, rosemary and a selection of various hot peppers.

In years past, I gardened heavily. My old apartment had full sun and my was garden full of tomatoes, peppers, squash, and herbs galore. I've got some feeling around to do to figure out what will work out in this yard, which is much more heavily shaded.

May 10, 2009

The Great Outdoors

_MG_0349 - Version 2

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

Soggy Spring

_MG_1363 - Version 2

Contrary to the rhyme, this year's April Showers made way for May downpours. According to Gothamist, we got within an inch of the monthly average rainfall for May in the first 7 days of the month. Since then, our rain has kept coming, but has conveniently shifted to an after hours schedule, holding out until late night before initiating torrential rains and earthshaking thunderstorms.

The weather has wrought havoc on the traditional pastime of surveying the various outdoor gardens around the city, but rest assured, it's coming. In the meantime, stay dry.

May 2, 2009

Brunch: The General Greene

_MG_0140 - Version 2

Tammi and I finally went to The General Greene last weekend, a few months after the opening hoopla died down. Sunday the temperature broke 90 degrees, which suited me just fine after a soggy and cold April. Our friend Abbey met up with us there and we lingered for a good couple hours over drinks and brunch in the shade.

I had the Chicken Confit Skillet, above, which was excellent. Served in the cute cast iron skillet that it's cooked in, it was brunchy due to the three eggs dropped on top and cooked into a sort of casserole along with some spinach. It's an awesome variation on the cocotte concept that I've been fascinated by for some time.

The chicken was moist and tender and may have inspired me to start up a couple confit projects at home. The eggs were cooked through and enveloped the other components of the dish. I'm partial to softer yolks, so if I were to try this, I might leave it in the oven/broiler for a minute or two less. And the sprinkling of a few crystals of sea salt brought it all together.

_MG_0142 - Version 2

In an interesting bit of turnabout, Tammi chose the less breakfasty dish of a grilled sandwich, which would usually have been my choice. It looked very good, but it was late in the day and I hadn't eaten a bite of anything all day. I needed something more substantial.

The food and service were wonderful and now that the crowd seems more reasonable than early reports suggested, I am all about going back. Interestingly, I find myself unsure of which meal I want to return for first, dinner or brunch. The brunch menu stocked a number of other tasty looking skillets and sandwiches that looks truly inspired.

The General Greene
229 Dekalb Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11205
(718) 222-1510‎

April 26, 2009

That New Train Smell

IMG_0286

Good signs from the MTA are few and far between, so I'm going to hope that this is one of them. A couple weeks ago, while standing on the platform at Jay Street, this brand-spanking new train parked at the Manhattan-bound A/C track for a few minutes.

It was pristine. The bench seats were still covered in plastic and the cars looked unsullied by the hazings of rush hour.

Now, this was the only sign I've seen of such a thing on my line, but here's hoping...

April 6, 2009

Butchery: Sagal Meat Market

IMG_2557

I first noticed Sagal on Broadway in Bushwick while driving through the area heading to Williamsburg. One of my friends saw it first: The giant sign in Spanish that read, "Order Your Lechon for the Holidays!" This was in November, a few weeks before the wedding, but it prompted him to ask if I was roasting another pig for the holiday party. A month later, I was in the store picking up my piglet, the lovely specimen you see here.

Sagal is not like the other butcher shops that have been highlighted of late. It's old school. It's not hipsterfied, and not looking to do interesting shit. There's no intellectual curiosity involved in making the cuts. There's no playing with food.

I love playing with food, but I really appreciate the straight ahead approach of an old-style shop that's got all the "old country" cuts. I'm a bit of an oddity there. In my visits, I'm usually the youngest customer in the shop, standing in line behind a row of older women, picking up meat to cook the way they've been cooking it for generations. When I ordered the suckling pig on my first visit, one of the butchers dubbed me "Señor Lechon" presuming I wouldn't understand him. I laughed and another butcher nudged him.

One major advantage over the hip butcher shops is that Sagal has some real bargains, including a dozen varieties of family packs, starting at $30 going up to $100, which can get you a collection of chickens, chops, steaks and guts totaling over 40 pounds.

I recently discovered that a new Sagal is in Bed-Stuy, on Fulton, near Nostrand Avenue. I checked it out this past weekend and will be posting about that pretty soon.

April 5, 2009

2 Many Artists: Photos Posted

IMG_7220

Last night, Tammi and I checked out the opening for 2 Many Artists, which I mentioned yesterday. The show is a really interesting collection of collage work, piecing together the oddest assortment of images to make larger constructions.

There are a lot of Superhero constructions, which are particularly familiar to me. I found it interesting to see so many American icons being reconstructed by a pair of British artists.

As exciting as the art to me was the DJ of the night, Prince Paul. I was completely starstruck standing mere feet away from the mind responsible for 3 Feet High and Rising among many many other classics. After walking through the space a few times and examining every piece, I hung around just so I could keep listening to the tunes he was spinning. I was especially excited to hear "The Originators," by Jay-Z and Jaz from way before Reasonable Doubt. Jay-Z used the fast flow of the early 90's sounding more like the Fu-Shnickens that the rhymer we know today. I'd heard of the song, but never actual;ly heard it myself. I could have stayed there for another several hours just hearing him spin.

The show is on until May 2nd. Photos are posted on Flickr.

April 4, 2009

Tonight: Joe Black and Miss Bugs at Brooklynite Gallery

IMG_6837

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...

IMG_6818 - Version 2

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.

April 1, 2009

Motorino

IMG_1173

Motorino is not like the myriad brick oven pizza spots around New York. Instead of the crisp, thin-crusted delights I've known and loved for years, they serve up what I've since heard described as West Coast-style Pizza. The voluptuous crust bulges with a body that is light and fluffy. The texture is more like Indian Naan than any Pizza crust to be found in New York.

My first Motorino pizza was the Sopressata Picante. It was amazing. Besides the wonderful crust, the chili-tomato sauce was a shock, more like a moderately spicy salsa than any typical pizza sauce. The meat was cut into small, chewy wedges instead of the usual thin slices. With each bite, I felt as well as tasted the pieces of spiced charcuterie.

_MG_0214

If I had any complaint, it was the structural integrity of the slice. With such a soft crust, it tended to flop down beneath the meat and sauce, spilling its contents before making it to my mouth. I'd advise folding the slice to get around this.

On my second visit, I went with a less meaty option, the Brussels Sprouts & Speck:

IMG_1226

The leaves of the sprouts blistered and charred along with patches of crust and the thin edges of the speck. Prominent in the layers of flavors was the pungent grated parmesan that laid in the crevices throughout the pizza.

The biggest issue with Motorino is that they still lack a liquor license, so you'll have to wash down your meal with a tangy Italian orange soda. Up until a week or two ago, they were BYOB, but the idiots at the State Liquor Authority have begun cracking down, despite the fact that it's their needless bureaucracy that's stopping them from selling their own booze.

Either way, I'll be back, but one day I hope to have a nice glass of wine with it.

March 26, 2009

Bar Olivino

_MG_2854

This wine bar on Fulton Street in Clinton Hill initially seems redundant so close to Stonehome, not 10 blocks away. But with all its success, Stonehome is much more of a restaurant these days than a bar and can be hard to get into sometimes. It also doesn't keep late night bar hours, frustrating the urge for that last glass or two before calling it a night.

Conversely, Bar Olivino, the small drinking outlet of the Olivino wine shop is all bar.

I love the concept, which is basically a Comptoir: A small space, a convivial atmosphere, a couple meat and cheese snacks and most importantly wine. It's certainly small, the place could just barely fit two dozen customers. The snacks are minimal and the atmosphere is fun, whether mellow and quiet on a Sunday evening or festive and hopping as it was on a recent visit with Tammi. When the party is going, the windows fog up and wine flows like water.

At one end of the bar or another, you'll usually find Katrine, the proprietress bending elbows with friends or just quietly enjoying the revelry.

My biggest difficulty at the bar is often with the wine selection. Having shopped at both Olivino branches for some time, I always expect to see more familiar wine available on the menu, but it's never there.

In particular, I'm often lured into the Cotes du Rhone, which is a remarkably cheap, at $5 a glass. It's not a great wine, but Rhones are the familiar region for me, so I'll often order it and be disappointed.

I talked to Katrine about it one night, finally asking her why she doesn't have more of the selection she stocks in the shop. Her response was pretty interesting. She purposely excluded what she calls 'the big 10' grapes, sticking with more obscure wines and a few blends. It told me a bit about myself. I always think of myself as a wanting to try new things, but my difficulties with the wine list at Bar Olivino resulted from a tendency to stick with the familiar varietals instead of exploring the breadth of the wines available.

It's an interesting challenge and one that I readily accept. On that same visit, I discovered that they stock a Pineau de Charentes, a dessert wine that I've been curious about for some time. Last year, our neighbor gave us a bottle of it that remained unopened until recently. It's quite rare in The States, so I was surprised to see it here. This is the benefit of having a wine list that explores new and interesting flavors. Thinking about it this way, I'm pretty excited to go back with a new perspective on their list.

March 25, 2009

Curing: Pancetta

_MG_5825

Two weeks ago, I picked up a pack of Pork Belly from HMart without knowing what I was going to do with it. I had planned on cooking it, but then realized that my schedule was suddenly packed. Instead of throwing it in the freezer and forgetting about it, I decided it was time for another cure. After the success of the guanciale, I wanted something sort of similar. Like the guanciale, pancetta has some of the same seasonings, cures for about a week and hangs and ages for another week.

To see how I turned that into this:
_MG_0229
follow the jump...

Continue reading "Curing: Pancetta" »

March 24, 2009

Lunch in the Hood: Peaches

_MG_9349

Last week, I had lunch at Peaches for the first time. I was inspired after a post I saw on TONY's Feed Blog that mentioned a couple sandwich specials on the lunch menu that they called some of the best in the city. This one is among them: A Black Angus Meatloaf sandwich. Served on a roll with a pile of goopy melted cheese and caramelized onions, it's fantastic.

I hope that this stays on the menu. They usually stock a Turkey Meatloaf sandwich, that my eyes gloss over just out of principle. This sandwich was good enough to motivate me to keep coming back. Hopefully when I do, it'll still be there.

March 23, 2009

Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Tour

_MG_5244

I climbed down the manhole fighting many anxieties and my better judgment. Thankfully, I didn't have a lot of time to consider it as there were dozens of others behind me waiting to get down there too.

This was the Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Tour, which has recently begun again after a long hiatus. Despite my fears of falling into the depths below, I've really wanted to take this tour for a long time.

The tunnel itself is the oldest known subway tunnel. 45 feet below street level, it served the Long Island Railroad in it's first incarnation as a way to ferry goods to and from New York Harbor to the Long Island Sound. The Sound was the gateway to New England and, more importantly, the shipping lanes to Europe that started in Boston.

_MG_4918

Along with Eric & Marni, Tammi and I took the 2 hour tour led by Bob Diamond. Diamond discovered the tunnel in the early 80's after it had been hidden for nearly a century. He tells a juicy story of history, politics and corruption, Brooklyn-stlye about how the tunnel was built, hidden and became the source of lore for decades afterward.

There have been many unsubstantiated plans through the years for the tunnel, so it's unclear what, if anything is going to be done with this historic landmark, but until something actually develops, it's great to be able to walk deep into Brooklyn's history.

The tours book up quickly, so check the Brooklyn Historic Railway Association's website for dates and make a reservation in advance. The next available tour is on April 19th.

March 20, 2009

DUMBO: Night Photography Workshop

_MG_7196 - Version 2

Sunday I attended a workshop sponsored by Adorama on Night Photography. After a couple hours of discussing techniques and settings demonstrated in a gallery show, we went into Brooklyn Bridge Park and shot for a few hours.

I love shooting in DUMBO for the graffiti and the glimpses of old Brooklyn: cobblestones and trolley tracks peeking through cracked pavement. Sadly, most of the rest of the folks in the class were fascinated by the view of the skyline, the river traffic and the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. The bridges are great, but entirely overdone, so I sought out other subjects, like this couple that was sat taking in the view while surrounded by a mob of tripodded camera-slingers.

It was a good experience and I learned a fair amount about shooting in the dark, both technically and stylistically. My photos from the shoot are posted on Flickr.

March 15, 2009

Guanciale

_MG_5568

I read a blog post the other day claiming that Cheek may be the new Belly. I could see that. It's fatty and streaked with lovely, tender meat. And it cures wonderfully.

This lovely piece of porky goodness is pork cheek I picked up at Marlowe & Daughters. Following Ruhlman's recipe, I cured it for a few days and then let it hang in the basement wrapped in cheese cloth for a few weeks. When it came out, it looked like this:

IMG_5564

Sliced thin and sauteed like bacon, it's a little fattier than I want. So I thought about using it as a bacon substitute for recipes that call for slab bacon or pancetta.

While chatting with Eric the other day he suggested using it in a pasta sauce. After the jump, my notes on putting it together.

Continue reading "Guanciale" »

March 12, 2009

Finding the Cure

IMG_5562

This is a pork jowl, cured and aged to become guanciale. It's one of the many meats I've cured in the last several months. I keep mentioning all the curing and aging of meat I've been up to lately in passing without going into nearly enough detail. My apologies.

A little over a year ago, Eric bought me what may be my most interesting cookbook ever: Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman. I have to admit that at first I was a little put off by the necessity of special ingredients to avoid botulism, but ultimately the arcana required appeals to my particular strain of geek. Even before I was willing or able to make anything in the book, the theory of the concepts behind it had me reading it like a novel.

Once I finally got past my initial uneasiness, I made the following:

Guanciale
Pork Belly Confit
Pork Rillettes
Lardo
Bacon
Fatback
Pancetta

...and I've got a ham hanging until summer. We'll have to see how that one works out.

_MG_0419

This is a piece of cured belly just before I smoked it. Bacon and variations thereof have been the most common items I've made from Charcuterie. Of the bacons I've made, some were home smoked over hickory sawdust and lump charcoal, while others were soaked in a molasses mixture resulting in a sweet meat to accompany breakfast.

Others, like pancetta, salt pork and guanciale follow more of less the same directions, with adjustments in the cut of meat or the salts and spices used. They also tend to age longer, whether in the cure or not.

As I'm writing up more about the meat markets I've been going to, I've been neglecting where all that meat is going. I'll be putting a bit more effort into documenting this further, including an upcoming post on what I did with the guanciale that should be up in a couple days.

The MTA's March Madness

IMG_0570

I don't think I'm going to lose any friends by calling the MTA a bunch of bastards. I'm not the first and I won't be the last to speak ill of the folks running Transit, so I'll minimize my invective.

For the entire month of March, the A Train is being replaced by shuttle service for over 3 miles of its route in Brooklyn. From Jay Street to Utica Avenue. Practically, this means that trying to get anywhere downtown or into Manhattan is going to be a clusterfuck for another 4 weekends. They've done this before and it has been profoundly unpleasant.

The upshot of this for me is that these are 'Williamsburg' weekends, as heading in that direction by bus or bike is a far better experience than even attempting to navigate the foolishness on Fulton Street.

Butchery: Marlow & Daughter

_MG_3872

If any one person has brought Butchery the attention it deserves, it's Tom Mylan. He's certainly who got me interested in it. About a year ago, it was his class at Brooklyn Kitchen that fascinated me with the subject.

Since his classes began, he's been the face of local DIY butchery scene. Between his blogs and elsewhere his story is all over the internet and elsewhere, so I'm not going to tell it again. Suffice it to say that he knows his damn meat. I was psyched when I heard he was finally going to be selling his bloody wares to the public at Marlow & Daughters. If for no other reason than to be able to show up from time to time and talk meat and cool things to do with weird cuts.

_MG_3857

The shop is glorious. Where else are you going to find a cow's heart placed front and center on display and labeled, "Captain Beefheart?" I've never actually tried to cook or eat heart, but if I did - and wanted to feed a dozen people with it - I'd probably get it from here.

The first time I went, I got into a long discussion with Brett, another Marlowe butcher, about a confit I wanted to make. He was so excited about it that he tossed in a a pork tongue and tail to add to the pot.

Last month, I bought a deeply smoky link of andouille sausage that I used in chicken and rice. I'm told by Scott of the Shameless Carnivore that Tom uses the smokers at Char #4 on Smith Street to make these. Last I heard, Char's business has been so good that they haven't been able to spare the smoker space, so Tom's looking for an alternative.

I also bought a slab of fatback and a pork cheek that are hanging in my basement transforming into Lardo and Guanciale, respectively. More on that to come.

Going back to what I love about Provisions, the exploratory spirit of Marlowe & Daughters is as much at attraction as the meat itself.

As I mentioned before, the prices here can be prohibitive. The pork belly I cured to make bacon cost $12 a pound. There's no way I could afford to buy several pounds of this. But it's quality meat and totally worth it to splurge from time to time, depending on what you're doing. Hell, the conversation you can have with Tom or Brett can be worth the extra overhead.

Marlow & Daughters‎
95 Broadway
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 388-5700

March 10, 2009

Butcher: Coney Closure

IMG_7718

I try not to write posts that are just links to other things on the internet, but I'd be remiss in my Butchery-reporting duties if I didn't make note of the closure of Major Prime Meat Market out in Coney Island a week or so ago. I've never been, but reading about it, this is the sort of place that we need more of. Hopefully, the recent revival of the butchering arts will bring back more of these back to the neighborhoods of our cities.

Before they closed up, Gothamist interviewed Jimmy Prince about hanging up his cleavers.

March 6, 2009

Murder Burgers

IMG_0158

Tammi and I share the guiltiest of guilty pleasures: White Castle burgers. These usually end up as our late night gorge after an evening of imbibing. Much like the Taco Truck I exalted recently, a sack of 10 cheeseburgers between the two of us profoundly hits the spot at 1am on a Friday night.

We usually end up at the White Castle on Atlantic Avenue, on the border of Prospect Heights and Clinton Hill as we're heading home from the night's festivities. Usually we walk, but at least once we've had a cab stop there on the way home.

March 3, 2009

Meatball Madness: Batali's Neopolitan

_MG_1385

I've put these meatballs off for last because it was my least favorite. I totally flubbed these.

In this recipe, from Mario Batali's Molto Italiano he calls for a filler of bread chunks soaked in water. The chunks I used were apparently too big and/or soaked for too little time, because they became much too prominent a part of each meatball.

In contrast to the breadcrumbs and semolina, which disintegrated under the meat juices, the pieces of bread never really came apart.

_MG_1328

These soggy bits of bread did not shred apart as much as I would have hoped, which meant that I ended up with giant chunks of bread in each meatball.

Eric tells me that a traditional recipe for veal meatballs similarly calls for chunks of bread, but has them soaked in milk and uses ricotta cheese to keep it all together. That sounds remarkably creamy and unctuous given the high collagen found in veal. I just wonder about it being flavorful enough. I suppose this is where you are sure to use the best quality ingredients and proper seasoning.

Another reason I think these meatballs weren't successful was that I stuck to beef and veal and left out pork due to the dietary restrictions of my diners that night. I suspect that the right amount of fatty pork would have improved this greatly. But then I think that about a lot of things...

March 2, 2009

In Like a Lion...

_MG_3291 - Version 2

Postal Haul, Part 1

_MG_1851

In addition to a load of stickers that I bought at last weekend's Going Postal show in Williamsburg, I also bought this four-part piece by Under Water Pirates. As mentioned before, I've seen his work up in Philly on my visits down there and loved the color coming from this one.

When I finally take some shot of the stickers, I hope to post them as well. More to come.

March 1, 2009

Brooklynite Gallery Opening: Remed & Zbiok

_MG_3089

Last night I got out to an opening at the Brooklynite Gallery, a new art space just around the corner from our place.

The event was a nice gathering of the arts folks and some folks from the neighborhood I've seen through the years but never known. I also ran into Luna Park, for the second weekend in a row.

I've passed the gallery over nd over since it opened last year, but hadn't been in. From the outside, the space looks to be all of 10 feet deep, but I discovered that there is much more room, including a full backyard full of art on display.

I'm not certain how that space is used during inclement weather like today's snow, but I hope to get another look at it one way or the other when there is less of a crowd there.

I was initially concerned about the idea of a gallery opening p in the neighborhood - and to be sure, the vast majority of people at the opening were clearly not from the neighborhood - but having actually seen the space and learned a little more about it, I'm happy to have a real art space so close to home.

If nothing else, I appreciate that the artists have started using some of the abandoned storefronts in the area as a canvas, leaving one less eyesore to pass on the way to work.

_MG_2859

February 27, 2009

Butchery: Provisions

_MG_2148

I've mentioned Provisions a few times lately. It's the place I bought that wonderful ground lamb for the Meatball project and the kid goat for the cabrito, Jalisco style. It's the grocery outpost of the Greene Grape wine shop that has been in the neighborhood for a few years now. I'm a big fan of the wine shop but haven't shopped at Provisions so much. They have a number of great items available, but their price point is often more than I can get the same items elsewhere. If I need something in a pinch or when I'm in the neighborhood, I'll go, but otherwise, I never had a reason to make it a destination.

In the last couple of weeks, I've found my reason: The Meat.

The key here is the creativity. Bryan, the head butcher at Provisions is seeking out interesting meats and doing cool stuff with it. If there's anything to the theory of the Butcher as Foodie Rockstar, it's what he's doing here.

When I went in to pick up meat for Meatball Madness, I ended up having a great conversation about the Lamb Bacon with him. A couple days later, it was on Bittman's Blog, which will hopefully encourage a demand to make some more. I really want to try it. He says it's got an innate sweetness to it that sounds really interesting.

Last Friday they brought in a whole kid goat from D'artagnan just to see what it was like and how it would sell. Provisions was my first stop Saturday morning to make sure I got some. I talked to Berlin, the butcher behind the counter that day, and his excitement was palpable. He told me about the cuts they came up with and the parts, like the head, that they're still thinking of what to do with. I was excited just hearing about it. This is what is making butchering interesting these days.

The price point is still an issue. The goat was $15.99 a pound, which is a hefty sum, but where else am I going to find it? The same with the Lamb Bacon. And I'll happily shell out extra for something new and experimental. That's the way I cook and having a butcher around who thinks the same way is awesome. I won't be stopping in here to get ingredients for a 30 minute meal, but I'll be coming through once a week or so to see what's new.

February 26, 2009

dba Brooklyn

_MG_1467

As a fan of both original branches of dba, I've been pretty excited about dba Brooklyn since I first heard about it last year. Now that it's open, I have to say, it's all I hoped for and more.

The theme here seems 'the best of both worlds.' The vast, open space is reminiscent of the New Orleans branch, while the garden space in the back is an active attraction of Manhattan bar.

The decor of wood and chalkboards and the ridiculous selection of quality beer and whisk(e)ys of all types is as strongly present as at the others.

As with the Manhattan branch, I find it's a pretty good place to sit down with the laptop and hang out for hours. In fact, that's what Tammi and I spent last Monday doing, reading and pecking at our laptops over beer and bourbon.

My misanthropic impulses are fed by the fact that it's still relatively unknown and on a quiet block off the main strip. I'm sitting here right now writing this post on a Friday night with a reasonably small crowd and room to breathe. That's something I've never known of either other outpost, and I suspect won't last here for long.

Something new to the dba franchise is food. They offer a menu of one item for those who want to snack with their booze. Right now, it's a Muffaletta, a clear nod to it's Crescent City roots:

_MG_2108

Wisely, the sandwich is not nearly the mass of the original. It's also, predictably, not nearly as good. But then nothing is. I only know one place in the world that makes a great Muffaletta and it's 1200 miles from Brooklyn. I'll take what I can get. It's 7 meats and two cheeses on a locally baked roll - sounds like drunk food to me.

February 25, 2009

Meatball Madness: Lamb Meatballs

_MG_1393

I decided to do this version of lamb meatballs at the last minute. The morning of the meatball gathering, I saw Nigella cook it and it intrigued me.

The recipe is more notable for what it doesn't have than what it does. Lamb in general and ground lamb in particular is almost always matched with garlic, mint, rosemary or some combination there of. That's certainly what was going to be in the kefta I initially planned on making.

Instead, Nigella uses semolina flour and scallions. There were some familiar flavors, with the additions of cumin, and interestingly cinnamon and allspice for a touch of North African flavor.

_MG_1368

The only thing I can say about the semolina is that I didn't really notice it in eating the meatballs. That's good because while making them, I was concerned that the gritty texture of the flour might carry over into the finished product.

These were only pan fried meatballs, which I think helped out a lot. It made the exterior wonderfully crisp in a way none of the oven-cooked ones quite managed.

In the end, these were very successful. Given the intense flavor of this batch of lamb, the more subtle flavors of the spices here were an aside to the main attraction.

That said, the strong flavor makes my think it could probably have stood up well to the garlic and herbs of a traditional style as well.

February 24, 2009

Cabrito, Jalisco Style

_MG_2362

When I heard that Provisions was going to be getting an entire baby goat, I knew I had to have some. Goat has been on my list of meats I would like to learn how to cook for a little while now. I first tried this recipe last year with an adult goat, but found it way too gamy. Using kid, it was perfect.

The meat was moist and flavorful, but with no gaminess. Tammi, who was entirely apprehensive about eating goat, loved it.

No step-by step this time around, but here's the broad strokes of the recipe, which is adapted from Rick Bayless' Mexican Everyday after the jump...

Continue reading "Cabrito, Jalisco Style" »

February 23, 2009

Endless Summer

_MG_2129

Hipsters get a bad rap. Seriously. I mean, fine. They're clothes are hideous, they do dumb things, like join flash mobs and they have absolutely no perspective on the world outside of their little bubble. Also, they've ruined irony for the rest of us. And they run up rents, because their parents are paying for them to live here, unlike the rest of us. But, you know what? It's ok. Really. Well, mostly. Because they love food, booze, music and art. And I can't be mad at that. Even if the music is rarely my thing. It's the principle.

What brought on this sudden surge of hipster love? Two words: Taco Truck.

The other night, I wandered through Williamsburg, after spending the evening at a crowded gallery and an empty new beer bar (more on that to come) and there was the Endless Summer Taco Truck serving up exactly what I needed: A Chorizo Taco. I stood there on Bedford, salivating, while they hooked me up with some spicy, meaty, wonderful goodness. And all was right with the world.

Meatball Madness: Chipotle Pork

_MG_1388

The chipotle pork meatballs were the one familiar recipe of the Meatball Madness batch. I made these over and over again after coming home from Mexico City in 2007. I love this dish. The sauce and the meat are flavored with bacon and chipotles. Wood smoke of one sort or another is integrated into every single bite, some time doubly or triply.

The bacon I used was home-cured and smoked with hickory sawdust over the last warm weekend. I experimented with one thing that I wouldn't do again here. I cut the rind into slivers and mixed it in with the meat. I felt it in every meatball I ate. That skin is just a little too chewy for something like that. Next time I'll toss it in a stew.

Otherwise, this was my great success of the evening. It was a little too spicy for some folks, but I thought it was perfect.

The recipe is from Rick Bayless' Mexican Everyday. The other variation I made was adding dried, ground chipotle pepper to the seasoning of the meat. This built up the heat and smoke from within instead of it just coming from the sauce. Again, I like spicy foods, so your mileage may vary.

After the jump, the step by step:

Continue reading "Meatball Madness: Chipotle Pork" »

Butchery Begins

IMG_6712

I've heard i said that butchers are replacing chefs as the rockstars of the foodie world . I don't know if I believe that, but the idea comes from the reception that folks like Tom Mylan have been getting by taking meat back from the shrinkwrap and styrofoam world.

As people start to consider where our food comes from, our attention has moved up the supply chain. Ten years from now, there will, no doubt, be a reality show about farmers. For now, though, it's the moment for the meat mongers.

Obviously, this is an area that I'm interested in. Last year, I took Mylan's pig class at Brooklyn Kitchen and Nate Appleman's class on Porchetta and I tried my hand at deboning a suckling pig myself. I've also been doing various curing projects that have thus far gone undocumented.

With butchery on the cusp, as it were, I figure it's time we knew where to find them. So, for a little while at least, I'm going to do some write ups about the meat markets around town. Call it a guide. I'll cover the high-end, blogged about, destination spots but also some of the community spots that cut meat everyday without fanfare or hipster sex appeal. Given my recent curing interests, I'll probably stray a bit into the area of charcuterie, so forgive me if each place doesn't technically fall under the official designation of butcher shop.

I intend this to be a space where we grant some glory to those who transform beasts of the field into something that can fit in a pan. Hopefully this will also be a helpful spot to find a better place to get your meat than the local supermarket.

More to come...

February 21, 2009

Going Postal Book Launch

Celso

Last night the Ad-Hoc Art Gallery in East Williamsburg hosted a book launch party for Going Postal, a new book by Martha Cooper on Postal Label Graffiti. When I read about it on Wooster Collective last week, it struck my interest. On Flickr, I started the "Postal Label Graffiti" group a couple years ago. The use of these labels as a medium always seemed particularly cool to me in a DIY, alternate-use sort of way.

As a tie-in with the book, Ad-Hoc is hosting a gallery show of many of the artists whose work appears in the book. There was work by artists I've been following for some time as well as a few I've just been finding out about.

While many of the pieces were made up entirely or partially of the postal labels, others riffed on the aesthetic of the labels and went bigger and more creative. Right in the door, these three giant overlapping Celso pieces mimicked the labels. Faust, Rednose, Robots Will Kill and Get 2 had some excellent pieces up that similarly build on the standard label design. Others, like C. Damage switched it up by playing with the Postal Service's blue stripe:

_MG_1728

And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the contingency from Philadelphia. UnderWater Pirate and Malic, whose work I see posted nearly everywhere I go when in Philly had some great work up as well.

All can all be seen in my Going Postal Set on Flickr.

In the back of the gallery, hundreds of stickers were on sale for $5 each. I picked up a few that I'll post in a bit.

If you're interesting in seeing the show, check it out soon. It closes tomorrow, Sunday the 22nd.

Ad Hoc Art
49 Bogart Street, East Williamsburg.

February 20, 2009

Bodega Toys: Benign Girl

Benign?

You find the most random toys for sale over the counter at the neighborhood bodega...

February 19, 2009

Meatball Madness: Tsukune

_MG_1275

Full disclosure: the idea of ground chicken, whether in a sausage, a patty or a meatball is not one I'm completely behind. I've had good chicken sausage once or twice and the Japanese meatballs I've had at izakaya in the past have been very good. But the fact is that I have a strong bias against the idea of ground chicken. So maybe my heart just wasn't in this one.

That said, I have other issues with the way these grilled chicken meatballs turned out. First, this was meat I had planned to grind myself. I already had it on hand and had to improvise with the food processor. As mentioned, I just don't feel a food processor does this particular job well. The meat mixture, below, was far more pasty than I think good ground meat ought to be.

_MG_1261

Besides that, I discovered at the last minute that I had recently finished my Mirin, essential to both the tare sauce suggested for the Tsukune and the teriyaki sauce I hoped to use in its stead. I substituted Chinese rice wine, which just isn't the same thing. I had to add a lot more sugar to compensate for the flavor and consequently ended up charring in the broiler more than it would otherwise have.

The final product was ok, and I used the leftovers in a noodle soup that turned out pretty well, but I'm pretty sure I won't be making this again, more out of my own tastes than anything intrinsically wrong with the dish. I'll leave this one to the grillmasters at the Izakaya.

Meatball Madness: Leftovers

IMG_1686

So, after you've already made 4 different types of meatballs, but you still have ground meat on hand, what do you do? Clearly, making more meatballs was not a part of the plan. For the next week Tammi and I will be eating them in soups, on pastas and just on their own.

Much of the raw meat went in the freezer where I'll go back to get it once I'm ready for more meatballs or burgers or some other such thing. But the lamb, I knew what to do with right away: Shepherd's Pie!

I love Shepherd's Pie. I mean how can you not? It's sauteed ground meat, in this case the traditional lamb, topped with veggies (including the baby carrots we had for a snack before the meatballs were ready), which soften in the meat's fat, then topped with rich, creamy mashed potatoes and then baked until an awesome crust forms over the top. So good.

The lamb I used here was some of the pricier meat I picked up at Provisions in Fort Greene. The lamb flavor is forward and unapologetic. It's not excessively gamy, but it'll never be mistaken for beef. It was perfect here and I'm glad I decided to hold on to some of it for this.

The specks on top are bits of potato skin. I have never been one to peel potatoes, I just don't see the point. The skin is always so yummy, why would I toss it??

For those looking to see below the surface, here's a close up of the profile shot:

IMG_1682 - Version 2

February 17, 2009

Meatball Madness

_MG_1379

After a month and a half of thinking about it, I finally had the time (and the mouths to feed) to actually have my meatball fest. On Sunday, I tried my hand at 4 different meatball recipes and had a few people over to sample them.

My first major challenge was that my Kitchenaid, which supplies the motor for my meat grinder is on the fritz, so grinding the meat myself didn't work out. This really bummed me out, because I think fresh ground meat is vastly superior, particularly when I get to season the meat while grinding. I almost always mix salt, pepper and minced garlic (when called for) in with the meat as it goes through. That way there's less handling necessary when prepping the meat. In my experience, whether it's meatballs or burgers or meatloaf, I find that minimal handling makes for a juicier, firmer final product.

This led to two compromises (1) I had to just buy pre-ground meat in cases where I hadn't already purchased pieces to grind already and (2) I had to use the food processor for the rest. In the end, neither of these compromises ruined the final product. In fact, the veal and lamb I bought was ground fresh by request not an hour before at Greene Grape Provisions. The compromise there is more the cost, where ground meat tends to cost $9/lb. Given that the genius of the meatball is to make something good out of cheap and leftover meat, this does go against the spirit of the dish, but sometimes you just have to have an expensive meatball.

Given all of that, I found a lot of areas I would improve on what came out. Some were really good, some weren't quite what I'd hoped for. Over the next few days, I'll go over them critically and take a look at what I can do to make them better next time. In the meantime, here's what was on the menu:

*Mario Batali's Polpette Napolitano

*Rick Bayless' Chipotle Pork Meatballs

*Nigella Lawson's Lamb Meatballs

*Japanese Tskune Chicken Meatball skewers

More to come...

February 14, 2009

Holiday Weekend

IMG_2948

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

_MG_9197

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

Porchetta at Home, Take 2

_MG_9700

With my January travels complete, I finally have some time to spend in the kitchen. In the last week, I've cooked 4-5 meals and begun aging a ham and curing bacon, lardo and guanciale. More on that later.

The point is, that I've finally gotten a chance to take another whack and porchetta, that fragrantly herby rolled pork I tried out with a suckling pig back in December.

Back then, I was happy with the final product, but not entirely satisfied. In particular, the two trouble spots were the lemons, which mostly got in the way and the herbs, which I was too light-handed with.

My initial thoughts were to use a pork belly, which would tie most easily and provide the crispy skin as well as a remarkably tender layer of meat automatically basted by the outer layer of fat, all the while soaking in the spice rub.

Eric had also been considering ways to improve the porchetta since my first attempt. He thought that a belly on it's own would not yield enough meat for all the trouble and advised using a pork loin in the middle to balance that out. The idea being that the inherent dryness of the loin would be be countered by the salty rub of fennel pollen and minced rosemary. He also suggested continuing to use lemons, but limiting it to the zest and the juice. Finally, he mentioned that Porchetta the shop in the East Village scores their porchetta in a diamond pattern to maximize the crispy skin.

After the jump, the blow by blow...

Continue reading "Porchetta at Home, Take 2" »

February 4, 2009

Photo of the Day: Bump

_MG_9599

Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. 2009.

January 28, 2009

Photo of the Day: Brownstone Blizzard

Brownstone Blizzard
Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. 2003

I've returned to the Better Borough from Aspen just to find snow, sleet and freezing rain in the forecast, just hours away.

I'm so sick of Winter.

January 27, 2009

Graffiti of the Day: Brooklyn -Bound

IMG_7737
Greenpoint, Brooklyn. 2006.

By the time this post goes up, I will be on my back to the better borough. I can't wait to get home.

January 14, 2009

Porchetta at Home

IMG_2555

Just after Christmas, Tammi and I hosted our annual holiday party and here you see the guest of honor. This was my attempt at the Porchetta I watched Nate Appleman prepare at the Astor Center early last month.

While it was generally a success, I feel there was some room for improvement and I hope to try to do better in some future (smaller) attempts.

Regarding the finished product, it was very tasty. Honestly, I barely had any of the actual porchetta, which is the abdominal section of the pig. Once it cooled, I cut that part up and served it for our guests. Nothing came back, so it definitely went over well.

That said, I'm writing this as a critique so I know what I want to do differently in the future, so most of the rest of this post is going to be the challenges I had or the things I want to fix the next time around.

First thing, the lemons. this was ann idea I picked up from Appleman's class. He mentioned that he learned this some time ago and found that the citrus added another layer that he enjoyed. I didn't like it at all. Immediately after cutting into the pig, the strongest scent was hot citrus, which wasn't what I wanted. I scraped out the lemons before serving the pork because I thought it was just too strong. I wouldn't use them again in the future.

All of that also points to an issue that was entirely my fault: not enough seasoning. I sought out fennel pollen, which I manage to get a friend to source for me from his wholesaler. It's an unusual ingredient and on the pricey side, but when used well, as they do at Porchetta in the East Village, it's transcendental. I guessed at the amount, using a gentler hand with it because I had heard it described as being as strong as saffron. Between its strength and the 3 day seasoning time, I thought it best to be cautious with the amount I used. I should have used more. Again, it was very good, but the fennel flavor, which I wanted to be primary was more subtle than I would have liked. I think I could have used more rosemary as well, but generally I was ok with the way that flavor turned out.

Finally, the skin is always awesome, and it was great here, but it wasn't as crisp s I would have liked, even though I finished it off at 500 for an hour. I think it would have benefitted from a rubdown with fat of some sort when I turned the heat up. I had confit on hand, so I could have used some of the fat from that, or even olive oil, I suppose.

After the jump, some photos from the prep and my notes on my first major attempt at butchery.

Continue reading "Porchetta at Home" »

January 6, 2009

Brooklyn: Aakash Nihalani

IMG_6421.JPG

Last weekend, I randomly discovered this installation, in the middle of a strip of vacant storefronts, on Atlantic Avenue in Boerum Hill. The artist, Aakash Nihalani, may be familiar to those paying attention. A similar piece I found on the sidewalk in Williamsburg was the GOTD over the summer,

This particular installation was commissioned by the Atlantic Assets Group, presumably to beautify some of the empty space popping up on the strip.

October 13, 2008

Deity Art Show


IMG_1936, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

In another display of serendipity this weekend, I planned to meet up with Tammi and our friend Mandy Saturday evening having no idea that there was going to be an art show starting right when I got there.

It turned out that a group named fokus was hosting a gallery show of John Wright, whose work I don't really know and AV One, who I've seen all over town for ages. I got to meet AV One and talk briefly, which was great after all these years of shooting his stuff and seeing his art on Flickr.

I somehow always manage to miss these art openings, so I was really happy to finally have one fall in my lap. It was a good time, I hope to finally start going to more.

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:

IMG_9684

September 20, 2008

Photo of the Day: Barber Shop


IMG_3726 - Version 2, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. 2008.

September 13, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: Memorials of the Past, Design for the Future


IMG_1159, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg Bridge, Brooklyn, NYC. 2008.

September 10, 2008

Bars: Hurricane Party at Soda


IMG_3778, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Who doesn't love bacon? No one I want to meet, that's for sure (Jon, we've already met, so it doesn't count). The bacon here is part of a chicken BLT Tammi had at Soda. I had an incredible kielbasa sandwich that I ate far too quickly to get around to photographing.

Saturday afternoon, while Hurricane Hanna swept down on New York, dumping a month's rainfall in a couple hours, Tammi and I spent the afternoon hanging out in Prospect Heights.

I had been to Soda once or twice before after years of meaning to go. Both Jon and Mike performed there regularly a couple years ago, but I never made it until recently.

While there, ostensibly looking for Parisian vacation rentals, we ended up running into Ethan and Anna. We sat there for hours hanging out and chatting completely oblivious to the general productivity we all planned out when heading there. It was great.

Meanwhile, outside,
IMG_3820

New York Primary Day 08


IMG00010.jpg, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Yesterday New York held local primary elections that was largely below everyone's radar given all the national politics in the news lately.

The most notable aspect in this election was that a number of entrenched incumbents were challenged, some for the first time in over 20 years.

The results are in and though some newcomers succeeded, much of the local political landscape is just about the same. At least part of the reason has got to be the rather low turnout, which seems ridiculous in such a politically charged year. But then no one cares about local politics until some obscure pol who has been in office for decades starts flexing his power to shoot down sensible projects.

In any case, tirade aside, I also wanted to note that the voting machine for my district, an ancient behemoth, was broken and I had to fill out a paper ballot.

August 18, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: Elemental


IMG_1105, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg Bridge, Brooklyn, NYC. 2008.

August 15, 2008

Photo of the Day: Beer Ticket


IMG_5572, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Happy Hour at Moe's, Fort Greene, Brooklyn. 2008.

August 13, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: Bast Stalin


IMG_8550, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

DuUMBO, Brooklyn. 2008.

August 12, 2008

Peaches Update


IMG_6771, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Here's a brief update on Peaches, the new Southern restaurant in the neighborhood.

Saturday, Tammi and I took our niece, nephew and my sister out to dinner at Peaches. It was our first time trying the full table service menu.

I had a great Red Beans and Rice, with Andouille Sausage, topped with a dollop of Pulled Pork. It was smoky and wonderful.

Everyone else loved their meals as well. I'm hoping to head over there on a regular basis, so more updates will come over time.

One thing to note is that they still don't have a license for beer and wine. When asked, our waitress supported the local wine shop, plugging Olivino, a block away.

That's all great, but I think the next time I go, it'll be a six-pack I bring to accompany some of the gigantic Beef Ribs that I spied passing by.

Yum!

Photo of the Day: Brownstone Brooklyn


IMG_7065, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. 2008.

August 11, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: Zeph


IMG_8869, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2008.

Photo of the Day: Seventy One


IMG_6915, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. 2008.

August 9, 2008

Photo of the Day: Smoking in the Rain


IMG_5598, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Moe's, Fort Greene, Brooklyn. 2008.

The rain was coming down in torrents, lightning was flashing and thunder rumbled... yet these guys had to have a smoke.

Smokes actually. A couple of them went out 5 times to light up while I sat there. It was amazing. One of them spent most of his time between smokes rolling his next one.

August 8, 2008

dba Brooklyn coming to Williamsburg

This just in. . .

dba Brooklyn
@ N. 7the St.
(Between Berry + Wythe)
More Good Stuff

::c::

August 7, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: Deeker


IMG_6559, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2008.

August 6, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: Interdimensional


IMG00888.jpg, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Under the BQE, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2008.

Artist: Aakash Nihalani.


July 30, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: SomeTimes


IMG_6475, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2008.

July 29, 2008

Photo of the Day: Woolworth's


IMG_6170, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Bed Stuy, Brooklyn. 2006.

July 28, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: Judith Supine


IMG_8567, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

DUMBO, Brooklyn. 2008.

Artist: Judith Supine

Photo of the Day: Twilight on Atlantic Ave


IMG_6949, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. 2008

July 27, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: Faded Plasma Board in BK


IMG_6946, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. 2008.

July 26, 2008

Photo of the Day: Gloom


IMG_7406, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Floyd NY, Brooklyn, NY.

July 25, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: I Dream


IMG_1917.JPG, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2007.

Photo of the Day: Candy & Cigars


IMG_5797 - Version 2, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

July 23, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: Gaia


IMG_7372, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2008.

Artist: Gaia

July 22, 2008

Bed-Stuy Block Party


IMG_7203, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Last weekend, Tammi and I participated in our annual block party. It was a first for both of us. Every year, I've discovered the festivities the day of the party, as I'm leaving the house to do one thing or another.

This time we had a little advanced warning and I fired up the grill. Tammi and I took the grill and a couple of chairs out onto the street in front of the house and sat with our neighbors for hours, talking and getting to know each other.

It was a great time.

Update: Photos now posted on Flickr.

Graffiti of the Day: Vandal


IMG_7348, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2008.

July 21, 2008

Jakewalk

Not that I have any appreciable number of readers, but I try to stick to a few principles in keeping this blog. One of them is that I want to avoid ever trashing the places I write about. I feel like there's plenty of negativity on the internet as it is, there's no reason to add to it.

I also know enough people in the hospitality industry that I understand that off-nights happen. I've put off writing anything at all about my experience at Jakewalk, because I don't want to be one of those irritating netizens who gets their jollies writing tirades tearing down someone else's hard work.

So, I post about my visit in as much of a matter-of-fact manner as possible, hopefully keeping my editorializing to a minimum...

When my party of 4 got to Jakewalk, half the tables were empty. We ended up sitting in the back, across from end of the bar with the waitstaff station and the kitchen. Even so, it took 15 minutes for our order to be taken. After another 15 minutes, one of my friends walked the 5 feet to the bar to ask for our drinks again. During that time our waitress passed by us going to the other tables without checking in on us once or even letting us know that our drinks were coming. One of the proprietors I believe, took over and tried to sooth us, but we were already irritated.

It was another 45 minutes before our food showed up. The guy we had been dealing with spoke to us a few times apologizing for the delay and letting us know that it was nearly ready. It wasn't until we got our food that the waitress came back. Instead of being apologetic that our food took so long to show up or that she never once followed up to see how we were going, she advised us that we should try to enjoy ourselves even though it took a long time.

The most frustrating part was that none of the food actually needed to be cooked, just cut up and dropped on a plate. We had an order of Rillettes and a plate of cookies both of which require no preparation at all. The fondue was the most complicated to prepare because it had bread, apples and sausages that had to be sliced up along with the cheese that had to melt in the bowl. This should not have taken an hour.

Really though, the worst part is that the food and wine were all good, but the overall experience was awful. On principle, I would never go back to a place that treated me so poorly. So, I won't be back either way.

Photo of the Day: Gutted Streetcar


IMG_5540, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Red Hook, Brooklyn. 2006.

July 20, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: Wolf Headed Ana Peru


IMG_6500, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2008

Artist: Ana Peru

July 19, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: ElbowTile


IMG_6485, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2008.

Photo of the Day: Water on the Brain


Water on the Brain, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. 2006.

July 16, 2008

Photo of the Day: Eagle Clothes


IMG_6019, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Gowanus, Brooklyn. 2006.

July 15, 2008

Rustik Tavern

IMG01017.jpg

One of the best benefits of bike-riding for me has been the exposure to areas I would otherwise never see. This has inspired me to explore beyond my standard MTA-mandated locales and find places that aren't so convenient to the train travelers among us. Which is how I came across Rustik Tavern.

I had gone to the Home Depot on Nostrand to pick up a few things and planned on riding down to Fort Greene to get some food. After a few blocks of riding with half a ton of stuff on my back, I saw Rustik and decided that closer was going to be the better bet.

I like Rustik. It's very rough and I have to say the food I had the first time was not so great. The waitress later told me that no one from the kitchen showed up that day and the rest of them were improvising. This explained the shriveled, overcooked chicken that came with my waffles.

They opened up last year and are still experimenting on their format. Posters hang advertising comedy shows and jazz performances, on a recent brunch visit a band played Mediterranean music for fewer than a dozen customers.

But going there reminds me of being at Moe's in 1999/2000. The crowd there is communal and fun and the neighborhood, just on the Bed-Stuy side of the Pratt area, reminds me of Fort Greene when I just got out of school. Before the crowds overran places like Habana Outpost and Stonehome, there was no trouble finding place to chill over a beer and meet your neighbors.

I look forward to spending more time at Rustik. At some point I'll need to figure out a convenient way to get there without the benefit of my bicycle one day so I can see what it's like in the evening. I'll be sure to report in when I do.

Photo of the Day: Glow


IMG_4835, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Barcade, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2006.

July 13, 2008

Photo of the Day: Fishbowl Bus


Maps, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

1975 Brooklyn Bus Map.

July 12, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: Dismembered


IMG_2060, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

DUMBO, Brooklyn. 2006.

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 10, 2008

Photo of the Day: The Walls Have Eyes


IMG_5544, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Murakami Exhibit, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn. 2008.

July 9, 2008

Photo of the Day: Just Another Angel on the IRT


Just another angel on the IRT, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Grand Army Plaza, Park Slope, Brooklyn. 2006.

July 8, 2008

Bed-Stuy: The Petition

IMG_8068

Last weekend, I sacrificed one political belief for another. Out of the blue one Saturday morning, the door rang. It was a petitioner collecting signatures to get some democratic candidates on the ballot. I was tempted to just tell him to buzz off. Door to door anything tends to get on my nerves. Worse, the petition was for a couple politicians I'm not so fond of.

Ed Towns and Velmanette Montgomery have been 'representing' me for the entirety of my 22 years in Brooklyn. They have managed to stay in office, as far as I can tell without ever sticking their necks out or taking a stand on anything. It's been a point of annoyance of mine for a long time. People have fought for ages to get Black folks into positions of influence. Yet these people have broken no ground. They've done nothing but continue the long tradition of ethnic patronage politics. Those politicians of the 'movement' generation took positions in groundswells of support and have done nothing appreciable but grown roots. Worse, those like Major Owens and Una Clarke have tried to pass their positions down to their children like a family heirloom. And we've continued to put them in office, in part because we've got no better options, but also in part because we can't be bothered to demand better.

I could have gone on and on about why these two candidates do not have my support. But the petitioner caught my attention. He was in his teens or early, early twenties, dressed 'as the kids do these days' with a T-shirt that went down to his knees and a baseball cap turned just so over his Do-rag.

I couldn't reject someone like that who was actually playing some appreciable part in the process. Hell, he's playing more of a part than I am. I've never volunteered. Not once have I gone out and done anything besides vote for my candidate of choice. So, given the fact that this kid was here at my door on a Saturday morning, I couldn't bring myself to turn him away. I signed it.

Photo of the Day: Farmers Market Truck


Farmer's Market Truck, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Prospect Park Farmers Market, Brooklyn. 2006.

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.

Photo of the Day: Blue Sunset


IMG_6696, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Fort Greene, Brooklyn. 2006.

July 5, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: Watching


IMG_1894.JPG, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2007.

July 3, 2008

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 29, 2008

Bars: Spuytin Duyvil


IMG_4629, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Spuytin Duyvil sits in an unlikely storefront, away from the neighborhood's main strips. Behind the hole-in-the-wall façade lays a gourmet soul. Snacks include ever-changing offerings of meats, cheeses and pâtés. The beer selection is impressive, with representatives from Sri Lanka to Switzerland and a rather large delegation of Belgians, which are broken down into Flemish and Wallonian.

It's a small space and looks very much like it was decorated by ... me. There are maps and subway memorabilia everywhere. The furniture looks like it was all picked up from the Salvation Army shop on Bedford. It's all old and interesting and usually comfortable. I'm really a big fan of this place, but I have a few problems with it that have made it hard for me to ever end up there. It's been ages since I've been there.

My biggest issue with Spuytin Duyvil is the hours. They don't open until 4 or 5pm even on the weekends and they tend to fill up by 6 or 7pm. I end up in Williamsburg either in the afternoon or at night, so when I want to hang out there for an afternoon and try out some of the crazy obscure stuff they have, they're closed. When I stop in later, the place is packed.

To be honest, I haven't really tried to get in there since Fette Sau opened, so maybe things have cleared up a bit, but given how long the lines end up for barbecue, it may just end up collecting overflow crowds.

I tell you, success ruins everything.

359 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn
718-963-4140

Photo of the Day: The Bike Man


IMG_9261, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Tammi's friend Clarence is a bike activist who shoots online videos about bicycling in the city. He's the one who did the video on bicycle security I mentioned a while back.

As far as I know, he's also the only person I know with a wikipedia entry. Street Films the organization he works for, promotes safer streets for bicyclists and pedestrians. A couple weeks ago, they filmed the Transportation Alternatives' Commuter Challenge, a race between a driver, a bicyclist and a straphanger. to Union Square.

June 25, 2008

Bars: Deity


IMG_5149, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Before we headed out of town, Tammi and I ha a joint birthday party at Deity, a bar set up in an old Synagogue. We've been stopping in here semi-regularly for the last few months. The space is stealthily concealed behind an obscured entryway. I'm pretty fond of it because it's nearly always empty, which I suppose isn't particularly good for business, but makes for a great lounge as far as I'm concerned. Especially since they also stock a number of great beers and bourbons that Tammi loves.

The hours are pretty limited during the week, although they aren't about to kick folks out if there's a crowd. They stayed open an hour after the usual closing time of 9pm for our group, which pretty much filled up the space.

On the weekend, the real show is downstairs, which opens up as a club. I haven't been, since clubs aren't really my thing, but I'll have to check it out one of these days.

June 19, 2008

Photo of the Day: Incoming!


IMG_5210 - Version 2, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Red Hook Ball Fields, Brooklyn. 2007.

June 18, 2008

Photo of the Day: Paper Lanterns


IMG_5076, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Superfine, DUMBO. 2007.

June 10, 2008

Photo of the Day: BYOB


IMG00884.jpg, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2008.

June 7, 2008

Photo of the Day: "No, I'm not doing anything important. I can talk..."


IMG_1427, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Fulton Landing, Brooklyn. 2006.

Today's photo is wedding themed, as Tammi and I are down here in Atlanta for my cousin Demetria's wedding this afternoon. It's our first wedding since getting engaged, which I'm sure will change our perspective considerably.


June 4, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: Historic


IMG_6524, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2008.

Supermarket Finds: Beer Cans


IMG00082.jpg, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

FoodTown, Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. 2007.

June 2, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: Turbulence


IMG_8801, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2008.

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 28, 2008

Supermarket Finds: Lean, Juicy Pork?


IMG_9370, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Brooklyn, 2008.

What's Old is New Again on the A Train


IMG_8754, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

For the uninitiated, please excuse the subway geekery, for the subway geeks, please excuse the lack of precision. I'm into subways enough to notice when the MTA changes hardware, but not enough to memorize model numbers.

In the last few weeks, I've been seeing this relic circulating around the A line, my local train. The first time ,I thought it was a part of a movie shoot at Hoyt & Schermerhorn, where I believe they have been shooting parts of the Taking of Pelham 123. But then I started seeing it again and again to the point that I'm seeing them almost everyday now.

i mei on Flickr posted some shots of one and we've discussed this sudden mystery, but neither of us has any clue to it's reappearance.

It's an odd thing, because I haven't really seen this model around in years, yet suddenly it's back in rotation. I have to wonder if this is a money-saving attempt on the MTA's part. I'm all for it if it means more trains in the schedule, but somehow I expect the answer to be less in the interest of the riders than that.

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

Photo of the Day: Who Watches the Watcher?


IMG_9232, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

A minute or two after I took this picture, the kid came up to me and showed me a picture of myself that he took while I was shooting. Street Photography starts early. Nurture it.

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" »

Photo of the Day: In the Yard


IMG_8347, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

East New York Train yard, Brooklyn. 2007.

May 25, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: Taco Fever


IMG_2808, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

More an advertisement than graffiti, but I'll cut it some slack because it's about tacos. mmm....tacos.

Broadway, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2007.

May 24, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: PerOne


IMG_8391, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2007.

May 23, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: Billie


IMG_6545, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2008.

May 21, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: Drunk Punk


IMG_6529, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2008.

May 19, 2008

Photo of the Day: I know Kung Fu


IMG_8602, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Greenpoint, Brooklyn. 2007.

Graffiti of the Day: Never Forget


IMG_5185, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2008.

May 17, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: Prey


IMG_6493, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2008.

Shuttered: My Kielbasa Connection

It's with great sadness that I write this recession update. The Polish meat market on Bedford in Williamsburg looks like it has gone out of business.

According to the bartender at Spike Hill, they lost their lease like all the old-timers in the area. The gentrification train rolls on...

Now I need to find somewhere else to get Kielbasa. Damn it.

::c::

May 14, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: Ana Peru


IMG_6500, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2008

Artist: Ana Peru

May 13, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: Untitled


IMG00671.jpg, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2008. ::c::

May 9, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: JFK


IMG_5194, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2008.

Pig Parts: Leaf


IMG_4582, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

I'm not a baker. As soon as I hear dough is involved, I lose interest. It just always seems like too much trouble and way too messy. I'm sure Tammi will laugh at that - she's typically pretty horrified by the mess left in my aftermath after a day of cooking. In any case, the most complicated thing I'm likely to bake is a batch of cookies baked from the recipe on the bag of chips.

So, I can only attribute my fascination with leaf lard to my love of the arcane and the porcine. I suppose I just like being reassured of my fundamental belief that everything is improved with the addition of pork.

The leaf, seen above, is a fatty cushioning around the kidneys and loin. When actually inside the animal, it's compressed around the organs, removed and unfolded, it has this odd, leaf-like shape from which it gets its name.

Bakers I've talked to describe the richness this particular lard adds to pie crusts as transcendental. When the pork parts were being split up, I briefly considered going for the leaf, but I decided it's benefits would be lost on me. Pearls before swine, you might say.

May 8, 2008

Radegast


IMG_6468, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

mmmm....sausage....mmmm...beer. That's pretty much the best way to sum up Radegast. It's a huge Beer Hall in Williamsburg that opened up a few months ago. I'm told it's similar to the Bohemia Beer Garden out in Astoria, but the number of times I go to Queens for leisure you can count on one hand. I've been meaning ot go forever, but never really motivated myself to go. Now I don't have to. heh.

One bit of advice, the good stuff is in the back room. I wish someone had mentioned that to me the first 3 times I went there. The kitchen menu is wildly mediocre. It all sounds pretty good, but never quite hits the spot, particularly since the whole place is filled with the smoky aroma of grilling meat in the next room.

The grill, on the other hand, offers only goodness. The list is short: Kielbasa, Bratwurst, Weisswurst and Incredibly juicy Pork Chops, along with fries and burgers that I've never bothered with because, really, they have kielbasa and pork chops.

The kielbasa, pictured here, is all that it should be. The guy at the grill keeps it on the fire for a while - longer than you think he should when you're standing there dying to bite into it. But, trust the man. He knows what he's doing. When you finally get the sausage, it has exactly the right amount of crisp char to complement its smoky sweet insides. The casing has just the right amount of resistance to make each bite satisfying.

Radegast's bratwurst is a revelation. I've always found brat's to be a little on the bland side, not nearly worth all the fuss tat people make over them. I mean, it's meat stuffed into a casing, I'l eat it and like it, but it's never appealed to me the way a smoky kielbasa or a spicy italian would. Not so at Radegast. The brat's stand up as an equal in the pantheon of juicy, flavorful sausages.

Even the sauerkraut is amazing. It's unlike any I've ever had. It's softly crunchy and tangy and nothing like the crap I've had on my hot dogs from the papaya stand.

I'd go on and on about the pork chops, but they're pork chops. You know they're good.

As for the reason I kept coming back those first few times, before I knew about the grill, that would be the beer. They have a rather large selection of German, Polish and Austrian beers, many of styles you aren't likely to find in too many places. I'm fond of the schwarzbier, a malty black lager and usually go with one of those. Last time though, I had a nice, light kolsh, which was perfect for a sunny spring afternoon.

As with all great things in New York, the word has spread and it can get stupid crowded there, but persistence pays off in the end.

May 6, 2008

The Brooklyn Half 2008


IMG_6317, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Saturday Morning Tammi ran the Brooklyn Half Marathon. She didn't beat her personal best this time, but did far better than I could do. I wouldn't have made it off the boardwalk. Especially not after eating the chili dog, I have to have whenever at Coney.

Typical for NY in the 'Outdoor Months,' I ran into a bunch of people at the race. Guyvera ran it with Guyvera Sr. and Mami Guyvera. I'm not really sure how Guy's parents managed to get Guy out there. I never saw any barbecued pork suspended in front of him, but that's the only thing I could imagine would motivate him to run that far or that fast.

I also saw the man in the photo above. I've seen him at a few races now. According to Tammi, he's 70 years old and still at it. His time was 2:21, which impresses the hell out of me.

::c::

May 5, 2008

Murakami @ The Brooklyn Museum


IMG_5551 - Version 2, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

I finally got a chance to see the Murakami exhibit the other day. It pretty much epitomized everything I expect from Japanese pop culture: weird, cutesy creatures, giant, scary creatures (sometimes, the same creatures) and periodic burst of wildly inappropriate sexuality. There were also a fair number of poop and fart references. What more do you need?

Art criticism isn't my strong suit, so I'll just say I enjoyed the show a lot and hope to check it out again before it wraps up.
::c::

Graffiti of the Day: The WB


IMG_1095, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg Bridge, NYC. 2008.

May 4, 2008

The Spicy Lamb Burger at Chez Oskar


IMG_4070, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

I've been going to Chez Oskar for years. The service is lacking more often than not, but I keep going back for 2 reasons: the fact that they don't care if you linger for hours and the Spicy Lamb Burger.

It's always great. juicy, picant and perfectly complemented by a thick pat of goat cheese.
::c::

Photo of the Day: Coney Island Demon


IMG_2206, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Coney Island, Brooklyn. 2007.

May 2, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: Luna


IMG_8514, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

DUMBO, Brooklyn. 2008.

Artist: ElbowToe.
Subject: Luna Park.

Yet another behind the times post:

Luna Park, whose photos I've been following since I started on Flickr, years ago, was 'immortalized' in a paste up by ElbowToe. I found this one in DUMBO, back in January.

::c::

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::

May 1, 2008

Photo of the Day: A Culture of Violence


IMG_6899 - Version 2, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Atlantic Antic, Brooklyn. 2007. ::c::

April 30, 2008

Bicycle Security


Bicycles, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Having just dropped a couple hundred bucks on a brand new bike, I'm obviously hoping to avoid it looking like this any time soon.

The more enthusiastic members of the bike cult tell you never ever to lock up your bike. This is ridiculous to me, since that effectively means you can only ride to places where you've got your bike at all times. This my make perfect sense to some folks, that's not why I got my bike.

So, I'm trying to learn about locks and such. Coincidentally, Clarence Eckerson, a friend of Tammi's and a bike rights advocate filmed a piece for StreetFilms about properly securing your bike. Tammi posted it on her blog, here.

It's pretty useful, but I'm a bit put off by the attitude that anyone who doesn't know what they're telling you is an idiot. It's common in a lot of areas, especially computers. I'm sure I've done it many times, but it's still obnoxious.

Also, for anyone annoyed by my use of the term 'Bike Cult,' please note that one of the people in this film is from something called thebikechurch.org.

April 29, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: Herbert Hoover


IMG_0013, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2008.

Artist: US Senator.

A month or so ago, I came across a few US Senator pieces out in Williamsburg. Until then, I had only seen his stuff in San Francisco, under the freeway in SoMa. Despite the name, the paste ups are invariably portraits of US Presidents, usually accompanied by the number president they are.

I'm not sure how many are around. So far, I've just seen this one and one of Nixon (with no number, that I could see).

April 28, 2008

My First Brooklyn Bike Ride

Yesterday, after buying my new bike out in Red Hook, Tammi and I rode around Brooklyn and then back home. Tammi was my 'wingman,' following behind me on her rollerblades. I was really nervous at first, but managed to get home without incident. I wasn't sure that I'd be riding much when I first decided to get the bike, now I'm planning my next ride for later this week.

I'm heavily resisting joining the bike cult. I will be locking up my bike outside occasionally, I won't be going to any critical mass rallies any time soon.
::c::

April 24, 2008

Photo of the Day: Hot Stuff!


IMG_3963, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Habana Outpost, Fort Greene, Brooklyn. 2008. Yeh, it's been a while... ::c::

Pig Butchery!


IMG_4482, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Tuesday night I attended a class in Pig Butchery at The Brooklyn Kitchen in Williamsburg. It was led by Tom Mylan, the butcher for Diner, Marlowe & Sons and Bonita.

A dozen of us watched as Tom dissected a 105 pound half pig into it's various tasty cuts.

It was glorious.

When it was all done, we took turns picking out cuts to take home. The only piece left was the kidney, which was cooked right there and passed around on toothpicks.

Tom mentioned a proposed similar class butchering a lamb. I hope that happens, I'd definitely check that out.

Among us in the class was Scott Gold, author of The Shameless Carnivore, who also shot many photos of the event. I hope to see them on his site at some point. Mine are posted on Flickr, here.

February 29, 2008

Photo of the Day: The F train


The F train, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Coney Island, Brooklyn. 2006.
::c::

February 27, 2008

Supreme Thursdays


IMG00672.jpg, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

I just found this flyer on Bedford. It sounds good. I'm hoping to check it out this tomorrow. ::c::

February 26, 2008

Photo of the Day: Credit


IMG_4861, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Downtown Brooklyn. 2007.
::c::

February 24, 2008

Photo of the Day: Sunflowers


IMG_3883, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Stonehome Wine Bar, Fort Greene, Brooklyn. 2007.
::c::

February 14, 2008

Photo of the Day: My Valentine


IMG_6485, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

I dedicate today's photo to my future wife, the beautiful Tammi. I love you, Baby. ::c::

February 11, 2008

Photo of the Day: Anticipation


IMG_1761 - Version 2, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Coney Island, Brooklyn. 2007.
::c::

February 10, 2008

Photo of the Day: Unlit


IMG_0779 - Version 2, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

DUMBO, Brooklyn. 2007.
::c::

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

Saturday at the Brewery


IMG_5160, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Saturday I decided to celebrate my return to Brooklyn by heading out to Williamsburg and having some beer. Hardly an unusual event, but I just wanted to d something familiar and relaxing.

It has been years since I took the Brewery tour, so I headed over there to try out some new brews out. The place was packed, so I skipped the tour but I did try these two Brewmaster's Reserves:

The Bright Golding Ale was light in color and body, but with an unexpected kick of hops and effervescence. It would make a great session beer, I think. I could certainly drink it all day.

One taste of The Extra Brune reminded me that it's been a while since I've tasted an Abbey Ale. The powerful fruit flavor takes me back a few years to the time when I first started drinking this style of beer. The caramel shade belies a deeply fruity body.

::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::

February 4, 2008

Photo of the Day: Bourbon


IMG_5223, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Cheers.

Spike Hill, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2008.
::c::

February 3, 2008

Photo of the Day: Kick


IMG_5355, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Red Hook Ballfields, Red Hook, Brooklyn. 2007.
::c::

December 19, 2007

Photo of the Day: Holiday Lights


IMG_2089.JPG, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Spike Hill, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2007.
::c::

December 18, 2007

Ornaments: Argentinian Nativity


IMG_1781.JPG, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Purchased in Buenos Aires, November 2006.
::c::

Photo of the Day: In Too Deep


IMG_4466.JPG, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Just a reminder that this terrible weather could be worse.
::c::

December 17, 2007

Ornaments: Maui Sea Turtle


IMG_1399.JPG, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Purchased in Maui, Hawaii. November 2005.

December 16, 2007

Trimming the Tree

IMG_1485.JPG
IMG_1485.JPG, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Yesterday afternoon Tammi and I bought our first tree for our home together. Instead of trudging out to Fort Greene and going to Gardel's, we discovered that Bread Stuy is selling trees just down the block.

This afternoon, we decorated in our traditional way, to the sounds of Ella, The Jackson 5 and Charlie Brown among others. We dug up the ornaments we've collected from our various travels and a new set of lights and got to it.

I think I'll post a few of these souvenir ornaments, to remember along the line. Every year at least one shatters, and I would love to have a record of them before they go.
::c::

November 21, 2007

Photo of the Day: The Light


IMG_2697, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Moe's, Fort Greene, Brooklyn. 2007.
::c::

November 20, 2007

Photo of the Day: Caged


caged, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

The Wonder Wheel.
Coney Island, Brooklyn. 2007.
::c::

November 18, 2007

Graffiti fo the Day: Gore board


IMG_0475, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

DUMBO, Brooklyn.

Artist: Gore b

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 17, 2007

Photo of the Day: Stools


IMG_0468, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

DUMBO, Brooklyn. 2007.

November 15, 2007

Graffiti of the Day: Royce


IMG_0451, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Royce Bannon.
DUMBO, Brooklyn. 2007.
::c::

November 13, 2007

Graffiti of the Day: Borf?!


IMG_6995, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2007.

Artist: Borf
::c::

November 10, 2007

Graffiti of the Day: Dr. Sex


IMG_7373, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Broadway, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2007.
::c::

November 9, 2007

Graffiti of the Day: UFO Returns


IMG_7709, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Last time I was in Williamsburg, I noticed new UFO stuff marked '07. Does anyone know if he's back or just visiting?
::c::

November 8, 2007

Graffiti of the Day: Storm Trooper


IMG_5913, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2007.

Artist: RAB 1501

::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

Graffiti of the Day: NSiTe


IMG_7454, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn.
::c::

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 4, 2007

Graffiti of the Day: Stay Up


IMG_5902, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
::c::

Photo of the Day: Clown


IMG_7903, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Habana Outpost Reopening, Fort Greene, Brooklyn. 2007.
::c::

November 3, 2007

Graffiti of the Day: Hipster Bullshit


Hipster Bullshit, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2007.
::c::

Photo of the Day: Behind Bars


IMG_3986, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

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

November 2, 2007

Graffiti of the Day: Walk The Line


IMG_7375, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2007.
::c::

Photo of the Day: Out for a Smoke, back in 5 minutes

Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. 2007.
::c::

October 31, 2007

Photo of the Day: Trick Or Treat!


IMG_8597, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Greenpoint, Brooklyn. 2007.
::c::

October 29, 2007

What is This?


IMG_8389, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Ok, someone please answer this for me. I have no idea what this is but I've noticed them out on the top of poles on the street. I was talking to some folks the other day and we were trying to figure out what it was. Someone suggested asking the internet, so here we are...

Anyone? Anyone?
::c::

Wells Ales & Lagers

I stumbled upon a post on Time Out New York about a change in management at Wells Ales & Lagers in Williamsburg. I had never heard of this place even though I must have past it a hundred times.

Apparently they have a huge selection. I'll have to check it out soon. Sounds like it'll make a nice addition to the Williamsburg Beer Crawl....
::c::

October 28, 2007

Graffiti of the Day: Green Haired Celso


IMG_7686, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2008. Artist: Celso.

October 27, 2007

How to Lose a Pound and a Half in 10 Minutes


IMG_9434, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

After I got home from Nashville, I did something I hadn't done in 8 years:

I cut my hair.

I've been getting sick of the long hair for a while. It was just getting in the way. I could have trimmed it, but I went a slightly more drastic route. It still needs work. I'm not sure how I feel about it yet, but here it is...
::c::

Graffiti of the Day: RIP ODB


IMG_7632, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2007.
::c::

October 26, 2007

Graffiti of the Day: Spanko


IMG_7669, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2007.
::c::

October 25, 2007

Graffiti of the Day: The Chase


IMG_8419, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2007.
::c::

October 24, 2007

Photo of the Day: Repent


IMG_8006.JPG, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

The Gate, Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn. 2004.
::c::