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October 3, 2012

Faces of Atlantic Antic 2012

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

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

Continue reading "Faces of Atlantic Antic 2012" »

July 12, 2011

The Storming of Smith Street

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

Continue reading "The Storming of Smith Street" »

July 19, 2010

Quick Bite: Mile End's Smoked Meat

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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 14, 2010

Boerum Hill's da vine provisions Opens Today

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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" »

November 2, 2009

A Busy Weekend of Revelry

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

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

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

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

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

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June 2, 2009

BAM's Dance Africa Festival

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

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

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

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

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

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

March 23, 2009

Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Tour

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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.

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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 12, 2009

The MTA's March Madness

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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.

January 6, 2009

Brooklyn: Aakash Nihalani

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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:

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August 11, 2008

Photo of the Day: Seventy One


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Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. 2008.

July 28, 2008

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.

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.

May 26, 2008

The Tour de Brooklyn 2008


IMG_9304, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

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

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

Continue reading "The Tour de Brooklyn 2008" »

May 1, 2008

Photo of the Day: A Culture of Violence


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

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::

February 6, 2008

Photo of the Day: Go-Go


IMG_7190, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

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

October 23, 2007

Cask Ale on The Pour

The Pour, Eric Asimov's blog on nytimes.com has a post today about cask ales. He mentions Alex Hall, formerly of the Gotham Imbiber.

Check it out.

Also, don't forget the cask ale festival at The Brazen Head next weekend..

In other

October 2, 2007

Atlantic Antic 2007


IMG_6988, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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