01 January, 2010

culture week 2010

for my vacation this year, i didnt choose to go to an island, someplace sunny, or even someplace warm. i chose instead to come to brooklyn for a week and pack in as much music, theater, art, and food as possible.

i have a friend who lives in carrol gardens. she has a fabulous little apartment not far from the F Train, where i've often stayed when i come to town. she's currently in africa, doing amazing political and activist type things, and she offered me her keys in exchange for watering her plants. i think i got the better end of the deal.

my plan is to be here for 8 nights and to pack every day with as much as i can hear, taste, and see. i regularly spend long stretches in brooklyn, but this time i am consciously setting out to overstimulate myself before i have to get back to work.

so, day one, i drove in and started out easy with an evening showing of guy ritchie's sherlock holmes. it's been awhile since i have been to a rock 'em sock 'em blockbusta. what a pleasure to turn off my mind and watch things explode. there was enough of a plot to hang some great fights on and plenty of eye candy (hello jude, and hello production designer) to satisfy me. sequel please. by the way, i dont know why but i am rooting for guy ritchie. was he done wrong by madge?

ok, how about some restaurant recommendations. i need an interesting dinner spot near BAM and a good sunday morning brunch spot (not too pricey) in midtown. also, what art should i see? anything special going on this week? hook me up!

PS: book for the week is zeitoun by dave eggers


  1. The Brooklyn Museum has these First Saturday events ( http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/visit/first_saturdays.php ) on, well, the first Saturday evening of each month. They have lectures, music, free entry to the museum, and cheap parking. Tomorrow, it looks like there'll also be karaoke, a Headwig and the Angry Inch showing, a masquerade ball, a dance party...

    Well, at the least, it looks like I talked myself into finally going this month...

    (I don't really have any restaurant recommendations for the areas you mentioned, but maybe this will at least help with art!)

  2. yes! come to First Saturday at the Brooklyn Museum. It is going to be great fun. Cordero is on the bil, too! As is the wonderful exhibit of rock and roll photography. http://www.villagevoice.com/events/target-first-saturdays-1557667/

  3. Also at the Brooklyn Museum right now, Who Shot Rock & Roll. I love to take the Staten Island Ferry for the views of the city and Statue of Liberty. The Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side is really fascinating. Emily Wells and Jenny Owen Youngs are playing at City Winery tomorrow (Saturday) night.

    Foodwise: Midtown is kind of a wasteland for brunch, IMO, but if you must be in that neighborhood, Marseille on 9th Avenue is my favorite (though I must admit I haven't been there in quite some time). Flatbush Farm in Brooklyn has a killer brunch if you have location flexibility.

  4. Go to Buttermilk Channel! It's in Carrol Gardens and delicious!http://www.buttermilkchannelnyc.com/

  5. Erin, for brunch or lunch in midtown on a weekday go to Dishes either on east 45th btwn Madison and 5th ave Or on Park Ave and 54th st (the woman chef is middle eastern and a genius with eggplant) and if you're there on a weekend when she's closed, go to pain quitidien on 58th street and 7th ave. Their soups are all dairy free and delicious; their oatmeal with berries soothing. Also, you CAN'T leave NYC without hot chocolate with a handmade marshmallow from city bakery on 18th street off 5th ave towards 6th.the pretzel croissant and their buffet are awesome too and it's all local produce. Have fun and happy new year! Alison from rock camp

  6. wow! all amazing suggestions. keep em coming!

  7. The Museum of Art and Design has an amazing show up right now called "Slash: Paper Under the Knife". All sorts of paper sculpture from 30 or 40 different artists. Thursdays from 6-9pm are pay what you wish.

    The Caracas Arepa Bar has a location in Brooklyn, 291 Grand at Roebling, as well as in the East Village. Addictive "sandwiches", each around $7 or so.

  8. HI Erin. i'm actually packing NYC in the last 30 days of my stay here so i've got a nice list of things to do. Firstly, you must go to the MET for the Robert Frank exhibit. it's a wonderful look at Americana. For midtown brunch, Vinyl on 9th Avenue and 52nd is great. BUT i suggest you attend Bluegrass Brunch at Nolita House on Houston. They have the best pancakes and an awesome bluegrass band.
    You should try to go Ice Skating at Wollman Rink in Central Park just because, and check out the lobby of the Chrysler building, a site to be seen.
    Have Fun in NYC!

  9. go drink surly and divine bevs at Dressler (billyburg)

  10. For dinner near BAM, try No. 7.

    If you're feeling more low-key, Smoke Joint right down the street from BAM does some nice BBQ. If you're feeling really, really low-key, 67 Burger is also right there and does a good fast food burger.

    If you're still in Brooklyn on the 9th, that's the date of the next Brooklyn wild parrot safari.

  11. Before or after you check out City Bakery (comments above), go to Chat 'N Chew closeby (maybe 17th St.).. fabulous 50's decor, cozy, great brunch... home cooking... affordable... yum!! Do not miss the Georgia O'Keeffe Abstraction exhibit @ the Whitney.. seriously.. experience of a lifetime... I live in Boston and have already been down for the exhibit twice! Try the free audio thing too.. her voice is recorded on it.. not to mention how unsurpassed and incredible the nude photographs of her are... amazonamazing.
    As for Brooklyn, the Botanic Garden is awesome right next to the Museum... and "the beer table" and "naidre's" are fab... as well as "miranda"... and i'm sure so many others... i'll look forward to hearing more about your adventures!

  12. if it doesn't have to be brooklyn--
    please get over to candle79. awesome pure yummy vegan food that you'd swear isn't! wonderful.

    community cafe on the west sie is near columbia and super busy but super yummy! their rice bowls are delic!

    sip is a tiny little bar in that area also that makes its own alcoholic "infusions"....yummy!!

    have fun!!

  13. Erin: Enjoy your stay in Brooklyn. If you have a chance, get over to L&B Spumoni Gardens, in the Gravesend section, neatly tucked between Bensonhurst and Coney Island. http://www.spumonigardens.com/ It's been there for many years, and there you'll find the best pizza and spumoni ever. Their Italian menu is excellent as well.. It's actually not far from the F Train, "Avenue X" station..even closer to the D Train.

  14. If you're itching to get out of BKLYN, I hear this litle place called Long Island Vinyl Exchange on the island would lovelovelove for you to stop by : )

  15. looks like you've already got a plethora of foodie suggestions, but just to chime in: the good fork in red hook (just a hop skip down from carroll gardens, close to the fairway) is the best food in brooklyn. fresh and local--the kind of food you find yrself talking about to your friends for days on end. can't recommend them enough!

  16. Culture week - I love it!

    IF in Soho, two quick hits:
    • Jen Beckman gallery, showing Mixtape ...some of my favorite artists.
    The Earth Room -- crazy only-in-New-York shit. Check out these comments (Is it a room full of dirt? Yes. Should you still go? Yes.)

    Brunch in Carroll Gardens: Check out Le Petite Cafe (nice affordable spot, unique "secret garden" vibe in back)

    UWS: If you've done the big museums (Met, Gugg, etc) check out the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum -- exhibits closing Jan 4! A great medium size museum. They ARE open Sunday and Monday.

    Another great medium-size museum for photo/video is ICP-- very easy to get to at 43rd St & 6th Ave in Manhattan (F train).

    Yes, Brooklyn Museum -- I need to go. And that paper sculpture exhibit sounds ba'daus.

    Go culture!

  17. i'm sure this is already on your radar, but the kandinsky show at the guggenheim is one of those industrial-strength reviews that really are once in a lifetime. and one of the great things about the gug is the ability to see multiple works on multiple floors at the same time.

    and to coincide, i highly recommend kandinsky's brief but potent "concerning the spiritual in art". i think it would dovetail nicely with the exhibit as well as your focus for the week (especially regarding your last blog post).

    from the introduction:
    "This all-important spark of inner life today is at present only a spark. Our minds which are even now only just awakening after years of materialism, are infected with the despair of unbelief, of lack of purpose and ideal. The nightmare of materialism which has turned the life of the universe into an evil, useless game, is not yet past; it holds the awakening soul still in its grip. Only a feeble light glimmers like a tiny star in a vast gulf of darkness."

    i hope your week is full of tiny stars.


  18. I wish I would have read this earlier. I would have recommended Neko's on near 72nd street. Brunch is divine and cheap.