HauteGREEN will take place in Williamsburg, Brooklyn May 20-22, 2006, during the International Contemporary Furniture Fair. HauteGREEN 2006 will be curated by design writer Aric Chen, design entrepreneur and Treehugger founder Graham Hill, and design publicist/marketing consultant Kimberly Oliver. Designers living and working anywhere in the world are invited to submit their work for consideration.
This is quite cool as it's nice to see a design even in the 'burg!
For info on the fair itself go to:
No matter the day job, in New York an artist's occupation often is staying one step ahead of the real estate market. This was true for Joe Amrhein, an artist who, in 1994, found himself dissatisfied with "just going to openings and parties and sending out slides." He decided to open a gallery in what was then an inexpensive neighborhood, North Williamsburg. Today his enterprise, Pierogi, is the area's unofficial cultural hub, where artists, curators and collectors regularly drop in. "He embodies the D.I.Y. neighborhood spirit," said Becky Smith, a contemporary-art dealer who moved her gallery to Chelsea from Williamsburg.
If so, the neighborhood, or at least Mr. Amrhein's business, is definitely on the move. He's not adding an outpost in Chelsea, as eight of his neighbors have done, or moving there outright, as Ms. Smith did. Instead, in what may be the boldest coup yet for the expanding hipster nation, next month he's adding a branch in Leipzig, Germany. The location is the Spinnerei, a former cotton-spinning mill that is now home to artists' studios and galleries associated with the Leipzig school of painting. Speaking by phone from the new premises, Mr. Amrhein called the city "the Williamsburg of Germany."
It's funny because this is the second time I've heard about how cheap real estate is in Germany. This all reminds me of that film Liquid Sky, where the girlfriend of the main character keeps telling "We're going to go to Berlin baby!"
On the serious side they're also doing a team for the AIDS Walk New York on May 21st which is a very good cause (so please think of donating):
The proposal to build an underground steam and electrical power plant on the Brooklyn waterfront suffered a major setback Wednesday in an Albany ruling that is raising questions among industry experts about whether it is even possible to build a new independent power plant in New York City. Two state judges ruled that TransGas Energy's most recent application should be dismissed, and reaffirmed an earlier recommendation that the state sitting board deny its earlier application to build a large, 1,100-megawatt facility on the Bayside Fuel Oil Depot site in Greenpoint. The state sitting board, made up of panelists of several state agencies, must now decide on the application.
The Bloomberg administration has aggressively opposed the power plant, saying it conflicts with the city's plans for a revitalized Brooklyn waterfront that would complement a recently rezoned swath of Greenpoint/Williamsburg, where the city envisions denser commercial and residential development. Mr. Bloomberg has dedicated funds and begun the land acquisition process to transform the heavily contaminated East River site into a 28-acre park.
However just because you don't have a power plant that still doesn't mean that we won't see forty story buildings rise up on the waterfront. But perhaps this does show that a community can have a say in what's going on. In any case I have to question the wisdom of TransGas in picking the location, when it comes to New York City even an energy company doesn't stand a chance against real estate interests.
Here is a summary of the TransGas plan for reference:
How Big Is Too Big?
It is not hard to spot the buildings that Robert M. Scarano Jr., an architect, has designed in New York City: they tend to be a lot bigger than the other buildings around them. In Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Mr. Scarano's building at 78 Ten Eyck Street is about twice as tall as the modest three-story houses on either side of it.
But the sheer bulk of many of Mr. Scarano's projects has prompted some residents to complain that he ignores the zoning code and puts up buildings that are simply too big, blocking the light and views of their neighbors. And too often, they say, the city has stood by and done nothing.
Stephanie A. Thayer lives in Williamsburg and has been active in protests over a tall building designed by Mr. Scarano that is going up at 144 North Eighth Street. She was also involved in years of community debate that led to a major rezoning in Williamsburg last year, including lower bulk and density restrictions for much of the neighborhood.
...to this I'll add: Not only are the buildings tall, poorly put together - but they're also ugly. Not that Robert M. Scarano Jr. should be singled out for putting up ugly looking buildings to cash in on a real estate boom, but many of these buildings have that Soviet feeling to them. I don't know if it's a lack of detail or the overall boxy look, but these buildings have no character. I think what makes this stand out is that the old buildings surrounding these rush jobs have that seasoned quality and craftsmanship to them.
New York's preeminence as a creative capital could soon be in jeopardy, as emerging artists—an essential component of the city’s cultural sector—are being priced out of the city.
According to a recent Freelancer's Union report, the city's creative sector—comprised of artists, photographers, designers, composers and writers—is facing increasing economic uncertainty related to a lack of stable employment. Over 40 percent report making less than $35,000 last year, half have little to no personal savings, and over a third lack proper health insurance. Ninety percent cited "unstable income" as the major disadvantage of their chosen profession.
All these factors, the study suggests, means that the city’s creative class—including its emerging artists—may leave New York in favor of cities with a "lower cost of living and developing creative centers."
From time to time I see lights inside so I assume that someone is doing something with it. I'd love to see it restored to being a real movie theater again, or better yet some kind of theatrical performance or music space. The only down point to this would be the noise from the J line.
Last night I took the L line train home and I was struck by how much different it was in terms of the demographic than the J line, which is my usual ride.
* The age range on the L train is very young, say 18 to 30 for he most part. On average I may spot about one family with a kid on the L line, as where on the J line you could see three to four families on a train. On the J line about 30% of the train would be 18 to 30, but you'll also see people who are much older - and more high school aged kids as well.
* The J line is much more blue collar. It's not to say that the entire train is working class, but the L line is very white collar and much more upscale. You can even see this in the technology that people have - both trains are crammed with cell phone users (although you'll see people using their phones more on the J line as it goes over the Williamsburg bridge), but on the L line you'll see many more people with iPods while on the J line some people have CD players.
* This isn't to say that there aren't hipsters on the J line about a 25% of the people I see fall into this group. However they are much more hard core than the L line hipsters. On the L line I see quite a few "tourist hipsters", people in from Europe or Japan who while dressing on the fun side, tend to dress a bit more cute. The J line hipsters have more of a punk look to them - it seems more real and less of an act.
* On the L line I have to get off on the 2nd stop (Lorimer), so I've always noticed how much you can see the demographics of the train changes once the first wave of people get off at Bedford. The Bedford folks are even much more upscale and cute trendy than the people who stay on for the next few stops.
* The L line is much more crammed than the J line. I took a train at 11pm and it was packed wall to wall with people standing - if that was the J line the main thing might be if you could get a seat or not. It's only a matter of time until they need to start running express trains between Bedford and Union Square.
NYC Blogs on the J Line:
NYC Blogs on the L Line:
The Sellout Festival
June 2 to July 2; Brick Theater, 575 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
What The producers of last year's Moral Values Festival compromise and cash in. As Robert Honeywell, a co-artistic director, put it, "We're saying what the hell is art anyway?"
Sounds Promising Because . . . There's a mix of satire and silliness. Anyone with an e-mail address should appreciate "The Nigerian Spam Scam," and "Greed: A Musical £ove Story," about the Anna Nicole Smith case, offers the prospect of some truly tasteless humor and even a striptease set on the subway.
...sounds like a real winner to me!
For ticket and event info go to:
575 Metroplitan Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(between Union and Lorimer Street)
For reservations call 718 907-3461
I have to admit that I'm very partial to the look of hand lettering, even though I don't use it that much in my own graphic design work. I guess because I know what looks good I tend to be a harsh critic of my own work. Of course part of the charm of hand lettering is that it is imperfect. This was a lesson that Ellen Shapiro taught me back in the day.
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish leader Teitelbaum dies
'Gentle soul who carried himself with poise and distinction'
Rabbi Moses Teitelbaum, the spiritual leader of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect with tens of thousands of followers worldwide, died Monday. He was 91. Teitelbaum -- the rebbe, or grand rabbi, of the Satmar Hassidim -- died at Mount Sinai Hospital, said community leader Isaac Abraham. He entered the hospital March 30 for treatment of spinal cancer and other ailments.
The Satmars have 120,000 followers worldwide, according to sociologist Samuel Heilman, with large congregations in Brooklyn and the village of Kiryas Joel, 45 miles northwest of New York City. Thousands of mourners crammed into Teitelbaum's Brooklyn synagogue Monday night waiting for his body to be brought into the main sanctuary. Thousands more congregated outside, and police sent hundreds of officers to control the crowds.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg called Teitelbaum "a gentle soul who carried himself with poise and distinction. From the fires of the Holocaust, the grand rebbe and his uncle performed a miracle here in New York by rebuilding their community to match its glory days in Europe," Bloomberg said in a statement.
Rabbi Teitelbaum came to US fleeing the Nazi holocaust in 1946, where he lost his wife and children. A short but sweet bio of his life can be found on Wikipedia:
This picture was taken on the Manhattan side of the bridge where the two walkways come together. Photo taken on February 6, 2005 with my handy Treo cell phone camera (and retouched in Photoshop).
Daily News: The song also seems to discuss life as a struggling musician.
JUSTIN: Sometimes it's frustrating to know the life you've chosen makes it so you don’t really get to experience anything breathtaking. You can work on songs, you can write them and you can live in these vistas of your imagination. But you can think about that thing, but there are definitely moments where you’re like "I’m dirty and cold and looking at the same little room."
Ah yes the vistas of the imagination - it's been over a year and I'm still getting music catalogs and their unpaid Blockbuster Video bills stuffed in my mailbox. But I did manage to use the fan that they left behind...
By the way if you want to see Bishop Allen, here is their website...
Here's another tourist shot of the Empire State Building: