Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Williamsburg Cafés/Bars!

I have to say, even though sometimes I wish I lived in the city for the convenience of it, there are certain things that re-affirm for me the desirability of living in Brooklyn. And honestly, I think Brooklyn is the NYC borough most suited to me...

Besides it being generally more affordable (yes, even Williamsburg, still!), it is quite lovely to live in a neighborhood with independent cafes (many of which also double up as bars in the evening), without even a Starbuck's to be found (knock on wood...). Also, it is quite a perk that they all offer free wi-fi, without having to sign up or pay for T-Mobil or any other internet subscription/fee.

So here I am now at South 4th Bar and Café (located at S. 4th and Berry St.), and I am a little embarrassed and frankly disappointed that I have never been here before! While I enjoy Atlas Café (located at Grand St. and Havermeyer), it tends to pack a full house of hipsters at their laptops: great for people-watching, but not always for working in the most comfortable or focused environement. South 4th Bar and Café is refreshingly spacious, with only a handful of people here; and it promises to be a fun evening spot, with its full bar and bookshelf of games. So now, here I am procrastinating my teaching work to rave about it!

But while I am on the subject, I also enjoy Phoebe's Cafe, a very cute, cozy café by the Graham Ave. L stop (at 323 Graham Ave, between Ainslie and Devoe Streets). It is yet another free venue offering free wi-fi and affordable bites! Now, on to my work, to utilize this free wi-fi ...

Monday, February 23, 2009

In Honor of the Recession: "Brother Can You Spare Some Rent?" Party Friday

It's too good not to pass on -- I had to share this. Press Release from the City Reliquary, a tiny Williamsburg non-profit museum that is hosting a spectacle of a party this Friday, February 27th!


A Modern Day Depression-Era Fundraiser!

Friday February 27th 7-11pm

Times are tough all around – rollercoaster stock markets, job losses by the hundreds of thousands, bipartisan bickering with no relief in sight. It’s even tougher for 501 (c) (3) non-profit Community Museums. So the City Reliquary is hosting a fundraiser to raise some of (last month’s!) rent. BROTHER CAN YOU SPARE SOME RENT? is a Modern Day Depression-Era Fundraiser held in our backroom and backyard. For a minimum $10 tax-deductible donation at the door, you can come and participate in scores of historical diversions and entertainments circa 1935. The City Reliquary is proud to present:

  • Pie the Landlord! That’s right – the City Reliquary will have our very own cigar-chomping, unshaven, smelly Landlord demanding our rent! Tell him where to shove it with a whipped cream pie in his face!

  • Madame LuLu LoLo, Fortune Teller Extraordinaire: She Sees All and Knows All and Your Fortune Might Help Pay Our Rent!

  • Hobo Photos a Go-Go: Take your picture in our hand painted carnival sign. Remember the Recession of ’09 with a photographic keepsake!

  • Depression-era movies: shown on the projector in the backyard. Laugh it up with Mae West, the Marx Brothers and James Cagney.

  • Oil drum fires: (and more modern propane heaters) to keep you warm while you chill in the cold. All fires will be regulated carefully by official FDNY supervision!

  • DIY Fingerless Gloves Table! Because nothing says Depression-chic than rockin’ a pair of fingerless gloves!

  • Prohibition-era Beer provided by the Brooklyn Brewery and Depression-era “Rum” Punch provided by the City Reliquary at contemporary-recession era prices.

  • DJ Stacher playing hits from the economically challenged 1930s (Harlem Jazz) and 1970s (early Rap); as well as Big Money tracks from the 1980s (disco) and 2000s (electro). Get down!

All entertainments and diversions will be priced at the Depression-friendly rates of $2-5 a pop. All proceeds go to help the City Reliquary pay (last month’s, and this one’s) rent.


Located at 370 Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburgh, Brooklyn, The City Reliquary Museum & Civic Organization provides a wide array of services to the community. As a certified 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, we are committed to serving the people of New York City – natives, newcomers, and passersby. Originally established as a window-front display only museum in 2002 at the corner of Grand and Havemeyer Sts, it moved into its present location in 2006 and is committed to plan and host public events, which provide neighbors and visitors with a place to meet, exchange ideas, and celebrate the diversity of our community.

The City Reliquary’s hours are: Saturday and Sunday: 12pm – 6pm. Admission to the museum is by suggested donation. For general information, please visit the Museum’s website www.cityreliquary.org or call 718. R U CIVIC.

Bedford Ave Shopping Mall?!

I just thought it kind of amusing that now Bedford Ave. is closed of to cars on Saturdays to become a pedestrian shopping mall. How quasi-European for a neighborhood once so down-and-out!

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Who knew? Once again I've found myself on Lastnightsparty.com: dancing with my friend!

The picture is part of photographer Bronques's album Downtown 81, a conglomeration of NYC scenes. The scene with my friend and myself is from Beauty Bar on a Thursday night, at a weekly dance party titled Boogaloo Shampoo. I even got a manicure there that night. I recommend it: only $1o for a manicure and a drink, and the manicurist is a lovely lady who is a pleasure to talk to and offers great nail color recommendations!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Re-Cap of Little Boots and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

In brief: Little Boots' show last Friday (February 6) at Studio B was fabulous; Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's show last night at BAM was not. The former show was over before I knew it and left me wanting more, while I actually walked out on last night's show before it was over.

Victoria Hesketh, the leading woman for Little Boots, is a phenomenal electro-pop singer who charms the audience with her melodic, clever vocals and engaging, magnetic presence. I couldn't say the same about Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.

As reviewer August Brown of said of a past performance of hers in L.A., "The two-piece drums-and-electronics setup provided more than enough thwack and mood, and Boots is even better in front of adoring throngs than she is before her home webcam -- goofy, commanding and just as in love with her songs as we were." (from http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/music_blog/2009/02/live-review-lit.html)

Here are some pictures and videos from Little Boots' performance:

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Little Boots and More

I am not tiring of my blog; rather, I am tiring of winter in NYC... ah, the doldrums.

Well, this weekend will hopefully clear some of the cobwebs, as I am heading up to Studio B (up in the wilds of Greenpoint) to see Little Boots, a quirky electro-pop outfit from the UK that I discovered through the CMJ festival this fall.

Check out the Studio B calendar for event and ticket info. Show is Friday, February 6; doors are at 10 pm! Also, check out Little Boots' Myspace page. Yay Little Boots!

For other weekend fun, I am thinking of checking out the "Sounds Like Brooklyn" music festival sponspored by BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music).The festival goes on from February 6-14th; and the headliners are Beirut (sold out) and Clap your Hands Say Yeah (I am buying a ticket!).