09/23/16 11:34pm

Nestled squarely between Park Slope and Carroll Gardens, The Bell House is a state of the art 8,000 square foot facility with separate performance space and lounge.

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Crafted out of a 1920’s printing factory and featuring an 88 foot long, 25 foot high magnificent wooden barrel vault ceiling, The Bell House has quickly become a major hub for arts and performance in Brownstone Brooklyn.

Located directly in the front of the building, the Front Lounge of The Bell House retains a warm and intimate character while still comfortably accommodating up to 150 people. This space features a gorgeous 26 foot oak bar serving handcrafted and local beers and a full wine and liquor selection. Groups large and small can lounge on vintage furniture and mingle in soft lighting showcased through large windows allowing sunlight in the day and starry views at night.

The Main Room at The Bell House boasts 25 foot wooden arched ceilings, a 450 square foot stage, and unobstructed views of the stage from any part of the room, making it an ideal space for weddings and celebrations of all kinds. This space easily accommodates 400 standing.

The Bell House is located in what has long been a quiet stronghold for artists and musicians. The Gowanus neighborhood, with its early twentieth century red brick warehouses, has been a haven for artists seeking space for creative endeavors. The Bell House is thrilled to be a part of 7th Street, a block made up of numerous artist work spaces, galleries and businesses including Gowanus Studio Space and the Pace Paper Studio. Three quick blocks from the F, R and G trains and within walking distance of Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, and Boerum Hill. 200-250 seated theater style, or 100-140 seated at round banquet tables. Guests can also enjoy birds-eye views from the raised platform of the beautiful 30’ wooden bar along the West wall. This space can be combined with use of the Front Lounge to accommodate up to 550 guests for standing events.

Follow them on:

Facebook: The Bell House
Instagram: @bellhouseny
Twitter: @BellHouseNY
Website: thebellhouseny.com

09/23/16 9:09am
This Do or Dive bar hound may or may not be at the Immersion tomorrow, but one can hope. Photo: Do or Dive

This Do or Dive bar hound may or may not be at the Immersion tomorrow, but one can hope. Photo: Do or Dive

 

This Saturday is our last Immersion of the season with Brooklyn Brewery, and our neighborhood bar and food crawl will be taking us to a lot of great, new(ish) bars in Bed-Stuy. For $15, you can get a Brooklyn beer each at the new Do or Dive, in the old Do or Dive space; Beast of Bourbon, whose BBQ is to die for; Black Swan, one of our favorite Brooklyn pubs; and Chilo’s, another great local bar that serves stellar tacos from its food truck parked out back. You can also add lunch to the deal for a total of $25, and whichever package you choose—the express or lunch option—you’ll get a wad of walking around money to cash in on neighborhood deals like a $4 Brooklyn lager tallboy from Swell Dive, another great new bar along Bedford with surfer vibes and Filipino / Tex-Mex fare. Saturday is going to be a blissful 74 degrees—perfect Brooklyn Oktoberfest drinking weather—so get a ticket here and join us!

09/22/16 10:42am
Alex Cameron (Cara Robbins)

From left to right: Alex Cameron and Roy Molloy  Photo: Cara Robbins

You have to admire an artist with a cutting sense of humor, who doesn’t take himself too seriously. The first indication that Australian musician Alex Cameron might fall into this category is his website, which looks like it was made in 2000 on Geocities. On the site, Cameron states his policy about press interviews. His rules include: 1) that the interview has to be conducted inside a bowling alley in Randwick, Australia; 2) that it must done during two rounds of bowling, and that the reporter cannot bowl while doing the interview 3) that there should be no questions about Cameron’s teeth, which is a sensitive issue with him; and 4) the interviewer should avoid eye contact with Cameron.

Unfortunately I didn’t have the luxury of traveling to Australia to interview Cameron surrounded by the sound of rolling bowling balls and falling pins, but he still talked to me. If Cameron’s interview policy sounds pointed (along with some other thoughts he shares on his site), so are the lyrics on his most recent album, Jumping the Shark.  The album draws from his experiences in show business, an industry that’s not nearly as glamorous as it might seem, and, if his track “The Comeback” is to be believed, can be quite cold and cruel.

Cameron’s sharp observations are the basis for his unique style of storytelling, and he has crafted a very arresting, minimalist electro-pop record that recalls elements of Suicide, early Depeche Mode, and the Cars. His deep and charismatic vocals at times recall Suicide’s Alan Vega, the Cars’ Ric Ocasek, and Nick Cave.

In advance of his gig at AVIV this Friday, Cameron spoke with me about his latest album and his career up to this point.

When and how did you meet Roy Molloy, your musical and business partner?

I met Roy when he moved in two doors down from me in 1994. He was stuffing lemons in a drain. A whole sack of lemons, one by one. We became enemies and then a decade later we became friends. He played me some Lou Reed in 2004 and that changed things for me. Then another decade later I was short on cash and Roy got me work in a pizza joint pounding dough. We talked about the music industry and decided to go into business together. (more…)

09/22/16 9:46am
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Claire Fontaine, JETON (PLEASE GOD), 2016 Photo: Regina Mogilevskaya

Take Me (I’m Yours), an exhibit that opened last weekend at The Jewish Museum, allows visitors to touch, inspect, eat and take home works of art by 42 international artists, many of whom created specifically commissioned pieces for the show. It subverts the usual look-but-don’t-touch museum experience, and watching how visitors interact with the exhibits is as fascinating as the show itself. 

Take Me (I’m Yours) was originally exhibited in 1995 at the Serpentine Gallery in London, curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist (who co-curated the new exhibit with Jens Hoffman nearly 20 years later) and artist Christian Boltanski. Though the scale of the exhibit was smaller then–only 12 artists were featured–the principal set of questions were the same: How do we remove the ever-present wall between art and the viewer? What can a form of ownership add to the viewer experience? What happens if the viewer walks out of an exhibit not just with a fleeting feeling or thought, but with a physical object in their hand? (more…)

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09/21/16 11:38am
Join us on Saturday for the last Immersion of the season, in Bed-Stuy.

Join us on Saturday for the last Immersion of the season, in Bed-Stuy.

Friday, September 23
WILLIAMSBURG LoftOpera presents Cosi fan Tutte 7pm, tickets $30↠

Saturday, September 24 BED-STUY The Total Bed-Stuy Immersion, noon, tickets $15-$25↠ • WILLIAMSBURG The Grat Big Bacon Picnic, events all day, tickets start at $79↠

Sunday, September 25 WILLIAMSBURG The Great Big Bacon Picnic, events all day, tickets start at $79↠

Monday, September 26 GOWANUS debate party at The Bell House, 8pm, free ↠ • BUSHWICK debate party at Pine Box Rock Shop, 8pm, free ↠

Tuesday, September 27 COBBLE HILL The BackFatlorette, 8pm, free↠

Wednesday, September 28 PROSPECT HEIGHTS From Field to Table: A celebration of local grains, 7pm, tickets $125↠

The end of summer always feels a little bit like an alarm clock rudely interrupting a listless, kinda sweaty dream. HEY, YOU, time to go back to school, time to buckle down for the end of Q3, time to find your missing socks and buy some absurdly priced “it” boots because those flip-flop days are waning, time to remember deadlines because your editor/boss/client is back from the Hamptons for real now, time to do that cleanse you’ve been saying you’ll start, time to weigh in on the fall TV lineup! Do you think that Halloween costume is going to make itself? Oh and, by the way, what are your plans for Thanksgiving?

Ahhhhh! What happened? It feels like five minutes ago you were barefoot in the park with nothing going on all weekend and a crappy beach read in hand and now there’s so much to plan and organize and obsess about that your subway commute feels like a fugue state. Add to this the anxiety produced after an act of terror earlier this week, the increasingly disturbing level of violence in routine traffic stops, and the fear that we might NOT be able to escape disaster come November, and it’s enough stress to make you want to cash in your chips and check out.

Here’s where it’s important to keep in mind all the fun that fall in NYC promises. Take this weekend alone: We’ve got the Brooklyn Flea Record Fair, the Great Big Bacon Picnic, the Brooklyn Americana Music Festival, the Red Hook Regatta, the Brooklyn Pour Craft Beer Festival, the 42nd annual Atlantic Antic, and our very own Brooklyn Based Bed-Stuy Immersion going on, and that’s just an overview of Saturday and Sunday’s events. Read on for other ways to fill up your Ideal Week planner, because we all need a break from the grind right now. (more…)

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09/20/16 9:28am
A picture is worth a thousand words. Artist Hansky's mural can be found on the LES. Photo: Meredith Craig de Pietro

As Artist Hansky’s LES mural proves, a picture is worth a thousand words. This election year, showcase your favorite causes in creative ways–use consumerism as a canvas.  Photo: Meredith Craig de Pietro

This may be a supremely weird and exhausting election, but it does have one thing going for it–amazing political gear.

We don’t get to vote until November (if you haven’t yet registered you can do so here–Oct. 14 is the deadline), but the first debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is scheduled for next Monday, Sept. 26. Judging from their swag, the Clinton team is raring to go, with a debate watch party pack that comes with “Chillary” beer coozies. It’s still anyone’s guess whether Trump will actually participate, but either way, you have time to outfit yourself. Take a stand with slogan t-shirts, show your passion for the cause with a baseball cap, or let your guests remember to dump Trump every time they use your bathroom. 

[Editorial note: In a normal election we would give you gear supporting both candidates. This is not a normal election and we won’t pretend that Trump is a normal candidate, or that readers of Brooklyn Based are interested in buying a Make America Great Again cap. If you are, well, Google it.]

Slogan: I’m With Her!

Photo: HillaryClinton.com

Photo: HillaryClinton.com

You don’t have to go look hard for stylish swag supporting Hillary Clinton. She’s got a web store that rivals Barneys, with big name designers like Marc Jacobs and Jason Wu making limited edition t-shirts to support the candidate. Nothing beats this unisex Everyday Pantsuit tee ($30), a fun shirt to support a serious candidate. [Ed. note: Why this doesn’t come in blue baffles us.]


(more…)

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09/19/16 11:14am

lellasign

There is no shortage of red sauce Italian cuisine in the Graham Avenue section of Williamsburg. Lella Alimentari though, may be the only Italian spot in the neighborhood that makes you forget you’re in Brooklyn. The bustling grocery-café-piadineria is run by the delightfully, aggressively Italian husband-and-wife team of Massimiliano Nanni and Paola Citterio, who treat it as second home.

Italian staples like dried pasta, olive oil and canned tomatoes line the walls, while customers shout their orders over the sound of the espresso machine and a tall counter filled with baked goods and deli staples. Lella Alimentari is busiest in the mornings, when locals come in for strong coffee and maybe a sit-down breakfast of granola with fruit and yogurt or a frittata of the day (a bargain at $5 for a hefty slice). Lella is open all day to serve their specialty–piadine, an Italian flatbread, thin but dense with a doughy center and crisp outer layer. (more…)

09/16/16 12:47pm

ithoughtyouhatedme

If you are already a MariNaomi fan, a student of comics and graphic novels, or a devotee of Retrofit Comics, a publisher and comics store in Washington D.C., skip ahead because you don’t need convincing.

But if your main association with comics is bloated superhero franchises I’m here to tell you that there’s a whole world of emotionally complex, deeply personal and delightfully weird comic art out there. Give it a chance. And maybe start with I Thought YOU Hated ME, the new comic from MariNaomi, an award-winning author and illustrator, who is a panelist at the Brooklyn Book Festival on Sept. 18.

I Thought YOU Hated ME traces the fraught friendship between shy, cautious Mari and rambunctious tomboy, Mirabai. Women of all ages will recognize Mirabai from grade school, whether you were her, or you were victimized by her. She’s the girl who says, “Isn’t that an ugly color?” and then when you agree, says, “Actually, I was kidding. I think it’s pretty” just to see if you’ll switch your opinion.

Over the years, though, Mari and Mirabai mature and their friendship deepens. While inseparable as teenagers, they’re also both fixated on their own adolescent tunnel vision–each thinks the other is way cooler than she is, and at the same time intimidated by and a little in love with her best friend. (more…)

09/16/16 11:18am

la-ca-jc-int-helen-phillips-20160523-snap

This weekend the Brooklyn Book Festival will pack the borough with some of the world’s best wordsmiths and the readers who love them. One of the local talents–and sure, it’s cliché that Brooklyn is full of writers, but it also happens to be true–that we’re most excited to see highlighted in this year’s festival is Helen Phillips. She’s a professor of creative writing at Brooklyn College and has published two books in two years, a dystopian fairy tale of a novel called The Beautiful Bureaucrat, and an incredibly engaging book of short stories titled Some Possible Solutions. 

Phillips’ work is full of sharp observations about modern work, life and marriage; unsettlingly familiar alternate realities; and a deep anxiety about the future. She’s speaking on a panel titled, Something Strange in the Neighborhood with writers J. Robert Lennon and Kaitlyn Greenidge at 3pm on Sunday. We chatted with her on the phone about New York, science fiction and motherhood.

They way you write about New York, or maybe it’s just the urban environment in general, reminds me of Paul Auster. The city is recognizable, but somehow like you’re looking through a special filter. The shapes are right, but there’s another, sort of foreign, distancing element, too. 

I feel like walking around the city it’s not hard to feel like moments of the futuristic, the dystopian, the surreal are always near at hand. To get there in fiction it doesn’t feel like I have to push that far to find those elements, like the dazzling sunset over the skyline of Manhattan where you realize that the colors are so vivid because of the pollution.

At the same time, I’m from Colorado and one of the great journeys of my adult life has been to live in an urban environment, and it’s a magical experience for me, so some moments in my work are dystopian versions of the city, while others are love songs.

Can you point to some of the love songs for me–I got more dystopia in Some Possible Solutions
(more…)

09/14/16 12:32pm
Monday is not such a drag when there's Buttermilk Channel fried chicken at the end of the day. Photo: Buttermilk Channel

Monday is not such a drag when there’s Buttermilk Channel fried chicken at the end of the day. Photo: Buttermilk Channel

This week’s weather is just killing it, right? Blue skies, no clouds, and for the first time in a long while I don’t feel like I’m trapped inside the mascot suit at a pre-season football game in Alabama, so it’s already an Ideal Week in my book. But now what to DO with yourselves in these glorious conditions? Never fear–we got you.

Assuming next weekend is as pleasant as this one is meant to be, you’ll want to sign up now for our last Immersion of the season, which is happening on Saturday the 24th. This time we’re bringing our traveling pub crawl to Bed-Stuy, and your $25 ticket includes four beers plus lunch at hotspots like Do or Dive, Chilo’s, and Beast of Bourbon (or $15 for the beers only).

Other things to keep on your radar this week: the always great Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival returns to the Bell House and Union Hall with a few shows featuring top alt-comic talents that still aren’t sold out; the Brooklyn Book Festival is back; and Ample Hills Creamery and the Brooklyn Public Library have teamed up with other businesses around the country to celebrate Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday with special treats, super stories, and phizz-whizzing parties as part of Wondercrump Weekend.

There’s tons more to keep you busy too, and we’ve rounded up our best bets for each of the next seven days that comprise the Ideal Week ahead. (more…)

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