Articles by

Chrysanthe Tenentes

Chrysanthe is a second generation Brooklynite, originally from Vermont, residing in Williamsburg. She has worked at foursquare, and co-organizes the North Brooklyn Breakfast Club for startup and entrepreneurial types. Otherwise, she can be found baking, biking, or in three places at once.

03/25/15 10:08am

cathy author headshot black and white-8459 by pete leeYou might be familiar with Taiwan’s most popular food export, bubble tea. To get better acquainted with the East Asian island’s foodways, Cathy Erway’s new cookbook, The Food of Taiwan: Recipes from the Beautiful Island, presents a more in-depth look at the cuisine and culture of her mother’s home country. The Food of Taiwan covers both homestyle and popular street foods like stinky tofu and tea eggs, and gives special attention to the sweet and tangy sauces and condiments that add to the cuisine’s depth. Erway weaves essays about the people, history, agriculture, tea, and even her experience studying abroad during the political protests of 2004 throughout the cookbook, one of the first to exclusively feature Taiwanese cuisine. Alongside the 100-plus recipes, Pete Lee’s photography of the countryside, bustling night markets, food carts, and the dishes themselves gives the book a documentary quality.

In advance of two parties celebrating her cookbook’s launch this week, we asked Cathy some questions about the book and the process of writing it.

BB: Your first book, The Art of Eating In, was a chronicle of the two years you spent not eating out in restaurants while living in Brooklyn as a young 20-something. How was the shift from memoir writing to cookbook authorship?  

CE: It was really different! The production of so many photos and recipes meant that I felt like a producer of some project with many moving parts in addition to a writer. But I love the narrative aspects of this project, too and put a lot of emphasis on it. (more…)

03/11/15 11:45am
Photo: Artifacts

Photo: Artifacts

I’ve always left Artifacts events thoroughly entertained, inspired, and delighted, and the quarterly event series–which explores ideas with a range of experts–returns tomorrow night from 7 to 10:30 at 501 Union with their first food-themed production. The night is part educational and part experiential, opening with an hour of quick visual presentations from food and drinks professionals and closing with an hour of demonstrations. Chef Eric Bolyard will prepare four root vegetables one of four ways on demand, and Brian Quinn will be leading a Wine Sensory Experience as a means to discover personal taste through olfactory experiments, such as smelling herbs and other fragrant ingredients to help you talk about wine. The lineup also includes Kitchensurfing CEO Jon Tien, Michael Cirino of A Razor, A Shiny Knife, author of the upcoming cookbook The Food of Taiwan, Cathy Erway, and Pratt’s Food Design Studio founder Emilie Baltz.  Tickets include one hour of beer and wine, plus food by Rucola.

03/11/15 11:12am

termsWhile reading Jacob Silverman’s Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection and writing this very piece, my phone was constantly interrupting me with notifications for the app Meerkat, which started taking off in my circles last week. The service is something straight out of Super Sad True Love Story–it allows users to broadcast live video, with comments and broadcast notifications posting directly to Twitter–so it seemed apt to observe while reading a tome about the perils of social media. I watched a friend chat about the weather during his taxi ride and saw the founder of another social media platform show off his afternoon snack of Skittles and seltzer. Of course, I was as complicit in these interruptions as the perceived audience of Terms of Service, possible Internet addicts who are likely no longer capable of feeling boredom. (If this sounds like you, try New Tech City’s Bored and Brilliant project).

I found the book to be earnest but captivating at times, full of tidbits about Facebook performing covert behavioral and emotional experiments on us, the psychology of Likes, and how our own sharing is being monetized in a form of digital serfdom. Social media companies have trained us to share constantly, and to believe we are improving ourselves and the world while we’re allowing said companies and their oftentimes cyber libertarian, paternalistic execs to profit from our efforts. Our perpetual sharing has also put us in a place of constant surveillance by three watchers: the companies allowing us to share, the government, and ourselves. In Terms of Service, Silverman details an ecosystem that feeds off of itself in this call-and-response cycle of sharing and the feedback loop of likes.  (more…)

03/05/15 9:00am
We’re always keeping an eye out for new films, albums, performances and openings we think are worth knowing about in advance. From Sufjan Stevens finally dropping a new album to a Brooklyn murder mystery movie you’ll seriously want to stream and the Björk retrospective everybody is talking about, here is our Culture Top 10 for the month.

Terms of Service by Jacob Silverman10. Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection
Jacob Silverman gives a thorough investigation into the world of social data that we are creating and giving away to the tech world. His launch party at powerHouse Arena is on March 17–save the date and leave your phones at home.
Published by Harper (3/17/15)








House of Cards season 3 photo courtesy of Netflix

9. The Third Season of House of Cards
Frank and Claire Underwood exchange their house of cards for the White House only to find themselves in uncharted waters for the third season of this wildly popular Netflix Original Series, all 13 episodes of which became available for streaming on Feb. 27.
Photo: Netflix

Carrie & Lowell by Sufjan Stevens8. Carrie & Lowell
It’s been almost five years since Sufjan Stevens released an album. We get that he’s been busy with other creative endeavors—he most recently scored and shot a cinematic ode to the rodeo for BAM—but personally, we can’t wait to put his airy, instrumental new offering on repeat when Carrie & Lowell (named after his mother and stepfather) drops later this month on March 31. You can listen to the trailer here.
Photo: Asthmatic Kitty





12/23/14 8:20am

Trends are driven by outside forces, normally the fast fashion industry, whose survival depends on it. Style is a matter of your taste. If you stick with style and what you feel looks great on you, you’ll always make the right decision. 
–Maxine Bédat and Soraya Darabi, Zady

This quote, from the founders of Zady, an online shop dedicated to sustainably made clothing, housewares and accessories, pretty much sums up the current movement away from mass market fast fashion. Here are four local companies whose mission goes beyond just selling you clothes–yes, they cost more than the J. Crew sale rack, or H&M, but you’ll be casting a vote for small businesses and fair labor practices with your closet, and you’ll be much less likely to spot someone wearing the same outfit on your way to work in the morning.

The Herringbone shirt from .Bk. Photo: .Bk

The Hemingway Herringbone shirt is still available from .Bk. Photo: .Bk

Designer: .Bk is at its core an anti-mass market company. Each week they release a new limited edition, 100-shirt run of men’s button-ups at the very reasonable price of $68. .Bk designs and sews their shirts locally, hand-numbering each garment. For each collection they launch they create a pop-up shop in Brooklyn, but in order to keep costs down they’re a mostly online business. Their next collection is due out soon, and titled “Old Souls.”

Where to start: The Hemingway Herringbone, for a bit more texture than a chambray button-up. Read Dossier, an email digest of stories they publish weekly, with each new collection of shirts they produce, for more inspiration. (more…)

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10/28/14 9:00am

Screen Shot 2014-10-25 at 3.30.13 PM

When a friend sent me a calendar invite for a spin date recently it hit me just how over-scheduled we all are these days. Between scheduling work commitments, dates with friends and larger group gatherings, the email and text threads are enough to make you wish for a personal assistant. There are more than a few calendar apps that can help you sort the whole mess, for free (or for a fraction of the cost of an assistant). So if you’re looking for ways to be more organized and spend less time thinking about scheduling, here are a few favorites.

When is Good
Best for: Scheduling multi-person outings, and avoiding dozens of emails just to coordinate a time

This is a simple and straightforward web app that, as the name implies, allows you to find a good time for something, like a dinner party or a meeting. You send a link to the group trying to schedule and each person highlights the times that work best and you’ll see what the overlap is. It’s free, and the design looks like something out of the mid-90s (probably in an authentically normcore way rather than a 90s nostalgia way). For a $20 annual fee you can eliminate ads and get more granular options–i.e. “This time would be possible but not ideal.” (more…)

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08/28/08 4:11am, that amazing Brooklyn-based online store with endless handmade options, can be daunting. Even their own “How to Shop on Etsy” video doesn’t detail all the features they’ve added since their June 2005 launch. Some, like Time Machine, are just eye candy, while others are great ways to discover covetable crafts. Here’s a guide to the best entry points to Dumbo’s handmade megasource.

If You Dream it, it Will Come by Mail
nanocozy.jpgThis winter I lost my beloved initial tag necklace somewhere between my apartment and the subway, and had it not been from an ex, I would have had it remade through Etsy’s Alchemy — a great way to replace lost items, to replicate old favorites, or to come up with a personalized gift or wedding favor (a friend recently had her wedding headpiece custom made through Alchemy.)

You upload a photo or give a specific description of any item you’d like, and an Etsy seller will contact you and agree on a price. (Note: Many Etsy sellers will customize an item if you, say, love their knitted Nano cozies but would like a different color. Alchemy is strictly for one-of-a-kind requests that you dream up.)

bulbshakers.jpgExpert Advice
If you aren’t quite sure what you’re in the market for, Treasury can be a good jumping off point. Users post lists of their 12 favorite items for sale around a theme (think “fuzzy” or “yellow”). Even better are the Gift Guides curated by Etsy’s staff, divided into categories as precise as gourmets (where you can find these salt and pepper shakers) and as vague as spring.

Buy Local
To support area crafters and reduce the environmental impact of shipping, Shop Local is a great tool. A quick search for “Brooklyn” revealed the 100 most recently updated shops (like Cubist Literature). Another way to use Shop Local is to enter your hometown or an area known for the item you’re searching for — like affordable prints from the artist enclave of Portland, OR.

dress4.jpgNot Just Handmade
Despite its credo, Etsyians have always been able to sell commercially made supplies and vintage goods on the site. But in May they added the filters “Vintage” and “Supplies” to make it that much easier to find glass beads, old typewriters, and 70s dress patterns.

Etsy Labs
, Etsy’s Dumbo HQ at 325 Gold St., holds a craft night every Monday (site>>) and offers ongoing, quirky classes (like make your own underwear made out of old t-shirts). See the Etsy Labs shop (site>>) for upcoming class info or visit the blog for virtual how-tos>>.

Sent by Chrysanthe.
Nano cozy via Eternal Sunshine. Shakers via hownowdesign. Summer dress pattern via rosevintageswing.

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