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April 2, 2012

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

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

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

March 20, 2012

Self-Promotion: The BrunchCritic Tour

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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

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

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

Continue reading "The Final Something I Ate NY" »

November 18, 2011

Self-Promotion: Something I Ate - Tonight!

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

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

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

November 16, 2011

Self-Promotion: An Edible Events recap

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

Check out some of the highlights after the jump.

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

July 22, 2011

This Weekend: Makossa Brooklyn Cookout

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

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

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

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

Continue reading "This Weekend: Makossa Brooklyn Cookout" »

May 23, 2011

A first look at Smorgasburg

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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" »

April 26, 2011

Analog Spring

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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.

January 22, 2011

Analog: Party Polaroids at Brooklyn Bowl

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

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

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

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

October 8, 2010

The Queen of Williamsburg

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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.

September 21, 2010

More Night Photography with the Canon 5D Mark II

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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.

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September 13, 2010

Self-Promotion: Lonely Planet NYC

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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.

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.

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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" »

July 23, 2010

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

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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 13, 2010

Dinner at Fatty Cue

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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.

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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

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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.

April 21, 2010

Recently on Examiner: Snoop Dogg and Brooklyn Bowl Love

Snoop Dogg performing at Brooklyn Bowl

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

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

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

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

I Love Vinyl Party at Brooklyn Bowl

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

Air Guitar World Championships at Brooklyn Bowl

Like I said, ridiculous.

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

Good Spirits at The Bell House

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

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

March 28, 2010

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

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

K-OS at Le Poisson Rouge

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

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

March 9, 2010

Recently on Examiner: Bowlive!

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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

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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.

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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.

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

January 5, 2010

Quick Bite: Dumont

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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.

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December 29, 2009

Train Locator Console

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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

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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 15, 2009

Analog: Back to Butchery

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

November 15, 2009

Recently on the Examiner: Shooting Music

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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October 4, 2009

Examiner: The Roots play Brooklyn Bowl

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

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

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

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

May 10, 2009

The Great Outdoors

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

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

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

April 1, 2009

Motorino

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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.

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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:

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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 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.

Butchery: Marlow & Daughter

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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.

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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 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.

February 26, 2009

dba Brooklyn

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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 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.

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.

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.

August 18, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: Elemental


IMG_1105, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg Bridge, Brooklyn, NYC. 2008.

August 11, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: Zeph


IMG_8869, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2008.

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 25, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: I Dream


IMG_1917.JPG, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2007.

July 23, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: Gaia


IMG_7372, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2008.

Artist: Gaia

July 22, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: Vandal


IMG_7348, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2008.

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.

July 15, 2008

Photo of the Day: Glow


IMG_4835, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Barcade, Williamsburg, 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

June 10, 2008

Photo of the Day: BYOB


IMG00884.jpg, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2008.

June 4, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: Historic


IMG_6524, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2008.

June 2, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: Turbulence


IMG_8801, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2008.

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 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

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

Graffiti of the Day: Post No Bills


IMG_8143, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

C215, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2008.

C215 is another newcomer to NYC. Early this year these have popped up around the city. I've only come across a couple, but Luna Park has a whole set, complete with a bunch of links.

May 5, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: The WB


IMG_1095, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg Bridge, NYC. 2008.

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 24, 2008

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 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 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::

December 23, 2007

Photo of the Day: Twilight on the Williamsburg Bridge


IMG_5751, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Delancy Street, LES, NYC. 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

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::

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 4, 2007

Graffiti of the Day: Stay Up


IMG_5902, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
::c::

November 3, 2007

Graffiti of the Day: Hipster Bullshit


Hipster Bullshit, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2007.
::c::

November 2, 2007

Graffiti of the Day: Walk The Line


IMG_7375, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, 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

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 22, 2007

Graffiti of the Day: Cereal Killers


IMG_8394 - Version 2, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2007.
::c::

October 15, 2007

The Castro Grilled Cheese Sandwich


IMG_8352, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

This sandwich was the special this afternoon at Spike Hill. When the bartender told me that the sandwich was filled with tomatoes, onions and pickles, I hesitated. It seemed a little weird, but it was well worth the risk.

The tomato is always welcome in a grilled cheese as far as I'm concerned. It's a given, really. The onions are a little unusual, but caramelized, adding sweetness and moisture to the gooey cheese, it fit in perfectly. What really concerned me was the pickles. I grew up with a distaste for them and got over them in the last couple years. It turns out I couldn't have been more off-base. The tang of vinegar cut through the other flavors exceptionally well.

I just hope they don't mess with the mix like they did with the Hot Wings. The last time I ordered them, there were none of the little tasty touches that made me rave about them. They were generic and not nearly as interesting.

October 8, 2007

84 Degrees in October


IMG_7649, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

There are Halloween decorations out and it's 84 degrees. I've never been a fan of fall, so I'm not complaining, but it is a bit surreal.
::c::

June 5, 2007

Graffiti of the Day: Brooklyn Law


IMG_0031, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn

June 4, 2007

Graffiti of the Day: UFO Van


IMG_0004, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn

June 1, 2007

Graffiti of the Day: Nothing Lasts Forever


IMG_7116, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2007.

Artist: Faile.

Faile's response to the splasher.

::c::

May 31, 2007

Graffiti of the Day: Fresh Talent


Fresh Talent, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY.

May 25, 2007

Photo of the Day: Strong as an Ox


IMG_7006, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn

May 24, 2007

Graffiti of the Day: Mona


IMG_0023, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY

May 23, 2007

Dressler


IMG_6985, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

"I'm trying to think of more excuses to come back here." Tammi said while we were having brunch at Dressler Sunday morning - not 12 hours after having had dinner there.

That's a little overboard, but I really wanted some more doughnut holes. This week's flavor was cinnamon sugar.

Dinner on Saturday was great. I had beef and beef, ribeye steak and braised short ribs on top of mashed potatoes and spinach. I loved the contrast between the firm steak and the meltingly tender short rib.
For Brunch I had a tasty burger that I couldn't finish because I was full of doughnut holes.

This is definitely going to be our go-to place for a while.

May 20, 2007

Graffiti of the Day: Swoon Self-Portrait


IMG_0228, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Doorway, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Artist: Swoon.

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May 18, 2007

Bars: Barcade


IMG_4830, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

I can't think of much better to say about Barcade than what I wrote in my Brooklyn Record piece:

"Barcade has everything adulthood should have: great beer and video games. Knock back one of the two dozen beers on tap while playing Frogger or Zaxxon or Moon Patrol or any of the other '80s video games. A pool table is in the back for those seeking a more traditional bar game. Gothamist recently ran an interview with Paul Kermizian, filmmaker and owner of Barcade."

Going to Barcade for the first time was a revelation. All the games of my childhood were there and still only cost a quarter per game. Add to the that some of the best craft brews around and it's a wonder I ever leave.

Barcade
388 Union Ave. Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
L to Metropolitan, G to Lorimer St.

May 17, 2007

Spike Hill's Hot Wings


IMG_8653.JPG, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

I spent the afternoon at Spike hill on my day off the other day.

One of their daily specials was Hot Wings, which I can rarely pass up. These burnt the hell out of my mouth, but were so good. Instead of the standard 'Frank's' style hot sauce, they used a Vietnamese chili sauce, speckled with red pepper flakes. It was sweet and hot and left my mouth nearly numb. I'm hoping that they have these there again.

(Update: Over a year later, I still haven't seen these offered again. I think I'll have to try making this myself next time I make hot wings.)

May 15, 2007

Wonder-Full Party

(Originally Posted on The Brooklyn Record):

IMG_8418
Saturday night in Willamsburg, hundreds came out to for "WONDER-Full IX - An annual tribute to the genius Stevie Wonder" at the Sugar Factory. World famous DJs Bobbito and DJ Spinna came together once again to play any and every song that the legendary Stevie had a hand in. Any songs written and ghost-written by the artist were fair game, as were songs that sampled his works. Now hosted by Keistar Productions, Wonder-Full started out nine years ago as a way to celebrate the Stevie Wonder's birthday, May 13th. Back then, the crowd was small enough to fit in a venue with a 75-person capacity. This weekend there were easily over 1000 party-goers in attendance in the 14,000 square foot, multi-level venue.

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

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

-clay williams

Photo of DJ Bobbito by Ultraclay!

Bars: Spike Hill

Spike Hill

I'm a big fan of Spike Hill. It's got a great versatility to it. Regardless of your mood, Spike Hill is almost always the right place. A couple weeks ago, I ended up going there two days in a row. Once in the evening when I went out drinking with Eric, then the next day with Tammi after brunch, we spent a couple hours lounging in the back.

In case you missed it, here's what I wrote for the williamsburg beer tour in the brooklyn record:

Spike Hill is not your typical beer bar. There are 12 taps and nearly 50 bottles, serving up beer of all styles and nationalities — yet it has none of the geekery you might expect. There's no need to impress anyone with your vast beer knowledge here. You can sit in the front window and watch Bedford Avenue pass by, chat with fellow patrons at the long dark wood bar, and/or pack into the deep booths in the back with friends or a laptop. The menu takes unassuming dishes like grilled cheese and makes them interesting as well as comforting by changing up the breads and cheeses.

Spike Hill is probably one of my favorite bars around. I'm finding myself there more and more lately.
::c::

Spike Hill
184 Bedford Avenue at North 7th Street
718.218.9737

May 13, 2007

A Full Day

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Wow, yesterday was great.

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

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

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

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

I was wiped out.

May 11, 2007

Brunch At Dressler

(Originally posted on The Brooklyn Record):

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Dressler is the high-end branch of the Dumont Empire. Situated on the same quiet stretch of Broadway as Peter Luger, it has already managed to make itself a destination. A recent attempt at same-day dinner reservations for a party of three yielded one opening at 9:30. Given its popularity for dinner, I was happily surprised when there was no wait for brunch.

The key to a good brunch is having a balance between breakfast and lunch fare. Some places throw a mediocre pasta dish on a menu full of eggs and pancakes—sorry, that's not brunch. Dressler does the meal right, offering a harmonious blend of omelets, french toast, burgers, and fried chicken. It was, in fact, the fried chicken that brought us there. A friend had recommended it, swearing it was the best he'd ever tasted.

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May 10, 2007

Graffiti of the Day: Love Billy, 2005


IMG_9834, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2006.

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April 29, 2007

A Lazy Sunday Afternoon

A Lazy Sunday Afternoon, the first in a series

After wandering through Williamsburg for a bit, we (I) decided to sit and chill at Spike Hill even though I was here last night with Eric. Tammi's drinking wine and reading the paper, I'm clacking away at the laptop and drinking beer.

I had a rather large bottle of the Hitachino Red Rice accidentally. It's not any sort of red you'd expect to have. There's a sweetness to it that reminds me most of the robutussin I took when I was a kid. That's not to say it's bad, just that the flavor takes some getting used to.

Next up is Moorehouse's Black Cat, "A refreshing black ale brewed with the finest English malt and hops." The color is black right through. You can barely see through it. The malts are much more prominent than the hops, with a flavor like a Newcastle, but stronger.

What could improve an afternoon like this? Oysters. Apparently Spike Hill has a raw bar now. Word. Or not. The Oysters were remarkably bland. Even a bunch of toppings couldn't help these oysters out. sad sad...

Duck Eggs

I bought Duck Eggs. Tee hee! I'm psyched. I got half a dozen from Bedford Cheese Shop after Brunch at Dressler.

The idea of cooking Duck Eggs has been in my head for the last couple of weeks. I saw a recipe in Olive, a British cooking magazine. The recipe just called for soft-boiling the egg and sticking long sticks of toast in. It's a variation on a British breakfast staple. It gave me the idea of making a regular breakfast with Duck Eggs. I'm really curious about how scrambled duck eggs are going to taste, or maybe fried over easy. The only time I've eaten them has been at Casa Mono. They're rich and wonderful.

I'll be sure to report on them next weekend.
::c::

Brunch at Dressler

Brunch at Dressler:

Tammi and I had Brunch at Dressler in South Williamsburg this afternoon. Dressler is the high-end branch of the Dumont Empire. A co-worker of hers had recommended it and swore that the Fried Chicken was the best he'd ever tasted. I don't know about that, but we had a great meal.

Honestly, the part of the meal that was the most memorable was the two homemade doughnut holes that were about of their baked goods special. They were incredible. Like the doghnuts at Bob's Donuts in San Francisco, they were real doughnuts, which you just don't find in too many places anymore. It actually made me a little angry that you can't get real doughnuts that aren't mass produced anymore. They're just so good. Almost immediately afterwards, I was a little relieved. I'd weigh 500 pounds if I had real doughnuts like these readily available.

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April 12, 2007

Graffiti of the Day: REVS Williamsburg


REVS, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

REVS metalwork, across from the Williamsburg Bridge, Brooklyn, NY.


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March 8, 2007

Graffiti of the Day: Celso Nudes


IMG_1377, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Nudes by Celso, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY.

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February 14, 2007

A Couple Rounds at Spuyten Duyvil

Last night I had a few rounds at Spuyten Duyvil in Williamsburg with some folks. It was great as usual. They've got such a great list of crazy obscure beer that you'll never find anywhere else. I always end up drinking well there. These two in particular stick out:

The Old Prize Ale on hand-drawn was really interesting. If that's not a resounding endorsement, it's because I still don't know if I liked it. The beer was remarkable in texture and flavor. It had this crazy sweetness to it that wasn't altogether pleasant. It had none of the bubbles one would expect from either a fizzy or a creamy beer, there was little or no effervescence at all. The color was dark molasses brown and the texture was thick, but not syrupy. It reminded me more of jagermeister than any beer I've ever had.

The other that stood out was the Kulmbacher Eisbock. One of my drinking companions ordered it and offered a taste. It had an powerful maltiness that immediately reminded me of Milo, a powdered chocolate mix from the West Indies that I grew up drinking. I ordered one for myself right away. Once you get past that intense malt flavor, there's a very richness to match.

Continue reading "A Couple Rounds at Spuyten Duyvil" »

July 11, 2006

Wiliamsburg: Brooklyn's Beer Capital

(Originally Posted at The Brooklyn Record):
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The Better Borough Beer Guide, Volume 1

It's no surprise that Brooklyn's former brewing center is now home to some of the best beer drinking in town. For a proper beer tour, start out on a Friday evening or Saturday afternoon at the Brooklyn Brewery for its Friday night happy hour or Saturday tours.

Mugs Ale House is the place to go when you want to geek out with other beer connoisseurs. The Malted Barley Appreciation Society meets here monthly. The crowd is older than at many of the other bars in the area, and there is a strong contingent of regulars who may seem aloof to a first-time visitor, but they warm up pretty quickly to beer talk. The food is standard pub grub — no better, no worse. (125 Bedford Ave.; L to Bedford Ave.)

Spike Hill, Spuytin Duvil, and Barcade after the jump...

Spike Hill is not your typical beer bar. There are 12 taps and nearly 50 bottles, serving up beer of all styles and nationalities — yet it has none of the geekery you might expect. There's no need to impress anyone with your vast beer knowledge here. You can sit in the front window and watch Bedford Avenue pass by, chat with fellow patrons at the long dark wood bar, and/or pack into the deep booths in the back with friends or a laptop. The menu takes unassuming dishes like grilled cheese and makes them interesting as well as comforting by changing up the breads and cheeses. (184 Bedford Avenue, L to Bedford Ave.)

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. (359 Metropolitan Avenue, L to Metropolitan, G to Lorimer St.)

Barcade has everything adulthood should have: great beer and video games. Knock back one of the two dozen beers on tap while playing Frogger or Zaxxon or Moon Patrol or any of the other '80s video games. A pool table is in the back for those seeking a more traditional bar game. Gothamist recently ran an interview with Paul Kermizian, filmmaker and owner of Barcade. (388 Union Ave. L to Metropolitan, G to Lorimer St.)

—clay williams
Stay tuned for more installments of the Better Borough Beer Guide from Clay, our in-house beer expert.
[Photo by ultraclay!]


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