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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" »

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?

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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" »

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.

April 6, 2009

Butchery: Sagal Meat Market

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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 "SeƱor 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.

March 2, 2009

Postal Haul, Part 1

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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.

May 30, 2008

Factory Fresh


IMG_9349.JPG, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

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

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

Check it out.

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

May 27, 2008

The Tour: Bushwick Tacos


IMG00883.jpg, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

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

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

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

That should be rectified. More ot Come

May 26, 2008

The Tour 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.

April 4, 2007

No New Commute


IMG_3257.JPG, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Taking the L into Manhattan turns out not to be as speedy as I had hoped. It took me just over an hour to get to work today. That's no good.

On the plus side, I did see these guys performing on the train.
::c::


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