09/27/13 3:25am


Unless you cover it up with more ink or pay to have it lasered off, a tattoo will outlast relationships, passing fancies, even life philosophies. That’s not to discourage anyone from going under the needle–in a borough full of creative types, there are plenty of amazing artists who use ink as a medium and skin as a canvas. We spoke to three tattoo artists to find out how to go about getting a tattoo that is timeless and right for you–like wearing an original piece of art.
Four tattoo tips, from the pros. 

Brad Stevens tattoos at  NY Adorned. He’s been drawing since he was very young and went to FIT for graphic design, but only found his true artistic direction when he got serious about tattoos.

I tell my students at SVA, that designing for paper and designing for the body are two different things and I do both, so you have to trust me. –Stephanie Tamez

Like most artists starting off, Stevens mimicked his early tattoo heroes, but as he surrounded himself with tattoos, he began to find his own way. “The more I followed the trends of the time, the more dated the tattoos ended up being,” he says. “That’s when I started to strip down my style and tried to give my tattoos a more timeless look.”

Lettering is one current tattoo trend that Stevens often warns against. “It fights the organic shape of the body, ages terribly, and loses its impact if you have to look at it every day,” he says. “When you take something like lettering and try to piece together a sleeve from it you start seeing how things don’t line up, which makes everything look wrong.” Even with those caveats, Stevens is happy to do lettering and other of-the-moment designs for customers who want them. “I do all the trendy tattoos all the time. I don’t even hate doing them–it’s part of my job and I like seeing people get what they want. ”
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08/06/13 2:00pm
Wed August 7, 2013
New Orleans funk band Galactic kicks off their four-day residency at Brooklyn Bowl this Wednesday. Photo credit: Zach Smith

New Orleans funk band Galactic kicks off its four-day residency at Brooklyn Bowl this Wednesday. Photo credit: Zach Smith

Calling New Orleans jazz-funk band Galactic energetic is like saying Quentin Tarantino films are a tad violent. The band has been performing in Louisiana’s party capital since 1996, and their tunes are as bright and lively as a Mardi Gras float, with sizzling vocals, thunderous drum lines and a rumbling brass section. Their latest album, 2012’s Carnivale Electricos is full of tightly-packed sonic jewels and world-beat infusions, and pays tuneful homage to New Orleans’ Mardi Gras festivals as well as the epic carnivals in Brazil and Trinidad, where one day isn’t a lengthy enough celebration. The same can be said about Galactic’s stint at Brooklyn Bowl: the band begins its four-day stay at the venue this Wednesday, Aug. 7. You can grab tickets for individual shows at $15 each, but get ’em quick–four-day passes are sold out. If you can’t get tickets before they’re all gone, here’s some of the week’s best concerts you can still check out.

08/06/13 12:00pm
Thu August 8, 2013
Smooth-singing 1970s R&B musician Shuggie Otis plays a free show at the Metrotech Commons in Downtown Brooklyn this Thursday.

Smooth-singing 1970s R&B musician Shuggie Otis plays a free show at the Metrotech Commons in Downtown Brooklyn this Thursday.

As we creep slowly through the last breath of summer, we’re all looking for an excuse to play hooky from work. Here’s a really good one: 1970s R&B singer and multi-instrumentalist Shuggie Otis brings his soulful groove to a free show at the Metrotech Commons (the corner of Flatbush and Myrtle avenues) in Downtown Brooklyn this Thursday, Aug. 8. The catch? It’s smack dab in the middle of the work day. Touring in support of his recently re-released cult classic Inspiration Information, Otis is a masterful musician who started gigging with his father, R&B legend Johnny Otis, before he was old enough to get into the music clubs he played at. This event, which starts at noon, is the last in BAM’s free summer R&B Festival at Metrotech, and with Otis on stage, the series isn’t going out quietly. So go ahead and take a long lunch or use one of those sick days you’ve saved up and settle in for some silky smooth afternoon delight.

07/31/13 1:40pm

It’s a happy accident that this week’s show recommendations begin with a mellow evening at one of my favorite more intimate venues and grow in literal and auditory dimensions, culminating with three big, stadium-sized, stiletto-heeled kicks in the pants (if you can swing Beyoncé’s steep ticket prices), with boisterous pop rock, legendary soul swagger and dance-ready arrangements along the way.

BEST 1990s THROWBACK
Beth Orton
Wednesday, July 31
8:30pm
Tickets $30
The Bell House (149 7th St.)

Folk music mingles with electronica in the hands of English singer-songwriter and 1990s mainstay Beth Orton. The often moody electronic elements combined with Orton’s haunting, signature vocal lilt made her tunes ideal for early aughts film and television soundtracks like Vanilla Sky and Roswell. Orton’s recent releases rest more heavily on her folk inclinations, which we hear with rich and poignant precision on her latest album, 2012′s Sugaring Season. Her voice still bears the influences of Joni Mitchell and Nick Drake, but with a maturity and plainspoken honesty earned after almost 20 years in the biz.
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07/29/13 4:00pm
Wed July 31, 2013

beth orton_lo

Catch British songstress Beth Orton at the Bell House this Wednesday.


Folk music mingles with electronica in the hands of English singer-songwriter and 1990s mainstay Beth Orton, who plays The Bell House Wednesday, July 31. The often moody electronic elements combined with Orton’s haunting, signature vocal lilt made her tunes ideal for early aughts film and television soundtracks such as Vanilla Sky and Roswell. Orton’s recent releases rest more heavily on her folk inclinations, which we hear with rich and poignant precision on her latest album, 2012’s Sugaring Season. Her voice still bears the influences of Joni Mitchell and Nick Drake, but with a maturity and plainspoken honesty earned after almost 20 years in the biz. I can only imagine that Orton herself has inspired the next wave of female singer-songwriters, most notably fellow Brit Laura Marling, whose smart, conversational lyrics and emotionally inflective singing seem to borrow more than a little from Orton. Grab tickets for $30 in advance or $35 at the door. Check out this week’s other concert picks here.–GA

07/23/13 4:00pm
Sat July 27, 2013
West Elm Etsy Dumbo

DayGlo paper goods, cutting boards shaped like continents, ceramic planters, accessories, knitting and needlepoint are among the offerings of 13 Brooklyn artists being featured in an Etsy pop-up shop at West Elm in Dumbo this Saturday. Photo: West Elm

Over the past few years, the DUMBO-based designer Tina Roth Eisenberg has launched enough successful side projects–everything from temporary tattoos to an international lecture series for creative types–to exchange her day job for her dream one. She regularly updates her blog, swissmiss, with new objects from other designers she admires, which might explain why it gets a million unique visitors a month. This Saturday, July 27, she’s curated a pop-up shop with West Elm for which she’s selected 13 Brooklyn Etsy artists to sell their wares at both West Elm on Front Street and West Elm Market on Washington. Expect everything from home goods to stationary to jewelry and more, plus a chance to talk to the designers offline and in the flesh. You can find a full list of local artists here.

07/23/13 1:59pm
Mon July 29, 2013
Learn the origins of some of your favorite cocktails at this months Masters of Social Gastronomy lecture at Brooklyn Kitchen Photo: Brendan Spiegel

Learn the origins of some of your favorite cocktails at this month’s Masters of Social Gastronomy lecture at Brooklyn Kitchen Monday, July 29. Photo: Brendan Spiegel

If you’ve ever been curious about cocktails–the history, science and stories behind everything from an Old Fashioned to a Sazerac–consider attending this month’s Masters of Social Gastronomy talk at Brooklyn Kitchen. Sarah Lohman of Four Pounds of Flour and Jonathan Soma of Brooklyn Brainery will be on hand to explain the ins and outs of one of America’s greatest inventions. Understanding the origins of some of your favorite alcoholic drinks isn’t necessary to enjoy them, but the class promises to be a lot of fun–you might even find out once and for all whether martinis are supposed to be shaken or stirred. The lecture is $5 and includes two free beer tickets, plus 10% off BK cookware. You can sign up here.

07/23/13 1:00pm
Thu July 25, 2013
Carton Brewing takes to the taps at 61 Local in Cobble Hill this Thursday for a brewer's beer-tasting event.

Carton Brewing takes to the taps at 61 Local in Cobble Hill this Thursday for a brewer’s beer-tasting event.

Did you think that a backyard seafood cookout, where red and white checkered plastic tablecloths drape over picnic tables laden with lobster crackers and bowls of drawn butter were the only setting for steamed clams? Yeah, me too. On Thursday, July 25, Carton Brewing invades the taps at 61 Local to prove us narrow-minded quaffers wrong (RSVP here). The gentlemen at the helm of this independent, Atlantic Highlands, N.J. brewing company will be on hand with their standby brews and latest creations–including Digger, a summer ale inspired by the local New Jersey fishing industry–along with some seasonal seafood snacks to complement the suds. Digger brings the flavors of salty steamers and tangy lemongrass to your tastebuds; this is a small batch beer that won’t outlive the summer heat, so grab a pint before it’s gone.

07/21/13 12:42pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Nicholas Kallincos’ short film Re-Collection won Best Original Design at last year’s Animation Block Party.

If sitting through Pacific Rim at the neighborhood multiplex sounds as enticing as a $7 bucket of artificially-flavored popcorn, here’s a film festival for anyone whose attention span is in short supply. The 10th annual Animation Block Party kicks off this Thursday, July 25, at Music Hall of Williamsburg, with an opening-night concert featuring Adam Green and Binki Shapiro, as well as exclusive animation from Nickelodeon, Pixar and Cartoon Network. On Friday, July 26, head to the lawn at Greenpoint High School for Engineering and Automotive Technology (50 Bedford Ave.), where a $13 ticket gets you access to more than a dozen animated short films from independent, professional and student filmmakers. With film run-times at 10 minutes or less, moviegoers needn’t doze off mid-film or monitor RunPee (yes, there’s an app for that) for bathroom break-worthy scenes. This year’s films feature cosmonauts and wormholes, circuses and freak shows, as well as a unicorn with an umbrella for a horn. And if the films don’t entertain, then the after-party at Bar Matchless might make up for it.

07/16/13 3:20pm
Fri July 19, 2013
Bay Ridge 2012 - Summer Stroll on 3rd

Brooklynites take to the streets at the second-annual Summer Stroll in Bay Ridge. Photo: Inna Trinidad

Let’s be honest: We all wish our neighborhood streets were less jammed with cars and buses so we could cross the road as calmly as that chicken we’ve all heard of. Well, this Friday, June 19, our wishes have been granted, for at least a few hours. Friday marks the first of four installments of the second-annual Summer Stroll on 3rd Avenue in Bay Ridge, where from 6pm to 10pm pedestrians have free reign of the asphalt (from 80th St. to 90th St.). Featuring performances from singer-songwriter Dani Mari and classic rock cover band Secretly Famous, as well as a Bay Ridge-centric art project through Bay Ridge Arts and Cultural Alliance, Summer Stroll is sure to be a festive family affair. Modeled after the New York City Department of Transportation’s Summer Streets program and presented by the DOT, the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and other city agencies, the best of 3rd Avenue comes out for this event, including Italian pastry experts Monaco’s Bakery, playtime afficionados Kaleidoscope Toy Store and Uncle Louis G‘s ice cream. With more than 100 participants, there’s sure to be something for even the most persnickety Brooklynite.