3 Bikini

Musings on Art and Commerce in Brooklyn.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Cloud for Today

Last week I read an article about the Cloud Appreciation Society. Read their manifesto at the link. Its something like- "we pledge to fight blue sky thinking". Think on that, and ponder the creepy finger cloud photo by Jorn C. Olson.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

99cent Store to 67cents

The 99c store at the corner of 5th Avenue and Warren is going the way of gentrification. Get your major steals! Up to 80%- That's 20 cents!

Click here for a map of 99c stores throughout Brooklyn.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Comment Moderation is Poop

To all who commented and did not see your comments posted, I have just learned to turn comment moderation off.

Go me.

I do so appreciate comments! Keep them coming.

Hooray for local Farm Fare and Seasonal Ingredients

We had every intention of checking out Flatbush Farm, formerly Bistro St. Marks, last night. We pass this place regularly and always say we should try it. The menu is still a bit limited as the main restaurant hasn't yet opened for business, and while the farm fresh fare sounded delicious, I wanted something heartier. So we ambled into the Slope to the longer established Rose Water on Union. It was my first time and it was memorable.

It's a cozy little space with hand painted tiles as the only adornment on beige walls. The banquets were covered in a cool mid century blue fabric. One small corner has a sliver of bookshelves running up it. While it was a wee bit chilly for a girl in a summery top, the number of bodies probably warranted the serious A/C.

I soon forgot my chill once the olive bread and focaccia basket came along. Instead of your standard olive oil dipping sauce, Rose Water offers up a roasted garlic spread surrounded by oil. Heaven.

Next we ordered the Meza plate, an appetizer of 3 dips, olives, and feta cheese. This was my introduction to the complex flavors the chef plays with. Last night's dips were a Romesco (Spanish red pepper and almond blend), corn and caraway puree, and finally a minted pea puree. While the minted pea was not our favorite I was wholly impressed that it tasted as verdant as its color. The corn and caraway was lovely as was the Romesco. The texture of the feta was creamy and perfect for mixing with the dips.

For the mains- Tal ordered the pork loin, which I tasted and can say that it was tender and delicious, if only a touch salty. It was accompanied by cranberry beans, mesquite chorizo and bok choy.

I chose the fried clam appetizer as my main and was not disappointed. The dipping sauce was a garlic infused creme fraiche, and decadent. The clams themselves were battered in what I can only describe as something similar to curly fries! Yum!

For dessert- A tangy goat cheese cake with a raspberry sauce that was perfect for me, but Tal wanted sweeter.

We walked home full and tipsy... Perfect.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Time Out NY Looks at Brooklyn

Photo from Newington on Flickr

The War For Brooklyn

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Coney Island Redux

A whole bunch of wee little jellies

Insert Jaws theme here

I prefer them in a roll with a bit of avocado and cucumber

Color coordinated Love

This man is awesome. He was salsa dancing with anyone who would have him on the boardwalk accompanied by a band and his hair.

Old Skool

Park Slope Indie Design Market

We were rained out of the Design Market, however the above link is to Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn who has a nice round-up.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Ken has fallen on some rough times

Raw Chicken and Fishes

We spent Sunday at the NY Aquarium ogling various underwater species at length. My favorites were the jellyfish. If I were ever to be in the water with one I would certainly swallow my tongue, but at a safe distance they are the most amazingly enticing and sensuous creatures. We watched the smaller ones for some time as what seemed like saran wrap inflated with water and hundreds of tiny cilia like legs propelled it up and up to the top of the tank and back down. The aquarium had this creepy blue light and ambient alien music playing in the hall of jellies, and I was lulled into a stupor before baby screams and OPC (other people's children) bumping into our knees sent us packing.

Pictured above is the West Coast Sea Nettle, or the Chrysaora Fuscescens. The caption read, "It's sting hurts, but Sea Turtles and Ocean Sun Fish eat them."

Once we left the Aquarium we walked the boardwalk for a time to discover a plethora of raw chicken breasts in their telltale yellow packaging littering the boardwalk. What are people using raw chicken for? Turns out that crabbers (those who aim to catch crabs for dinner) use this as bait in a wire mesh baskets tossed out into the Atlantic. That's wild. What would draw crabs to an animal that has feathers?

Here's what one crabber claims works for him, "raw chicken necks or raw fish heads. Most local grocery stores carry chicken parts you can use for crabbing. Some crabbers swear by bull lips. Others use salted eel. Bait shops and dockside fish markets will also sell you leftover fish heads."

MMMMMMmmmmmmm.......fish heads.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Ice Cream Run and Bocce Ball

As the rains had us locked indoors most of the day watching movies, we decided to head out for a walk to Uncle Louie G's in the slope to get our chocolate fix on around 10pm. The husband got a thick chocolate shake, and I got my favorite ice with the chocolate bits in it.

On our approach to Union from 6th we noticed a crowd of 20-30 somethings clustered outside of Union Hall Bar. I had read a bit on the various blogs about this newcomer that opened July 9th, but was astounded by the number of people filling the insides and spilling out to the outdoor garden area. According to Brooklyn Vegan, the place is over 6000 square feet with two bocce ball courts, food, and a downstairs 100-capacity music/entertainment room set up by the folks from Magnetic Field.The owners like them some Bocce Ball, as they are also co-owners of Floyd Bar on Atlantic Avenue, home to a year round Bocce Tournament.

Perhaps we'll stop by on a weeknight for a quiet drink to snap some indoor pics and more reporting on the scene. It had a real gentlemans/cigar club look through the window with floor to ceiling stocked bookshelves,jewel toned couches, and portraiture. I wonder if the decor will affect ale choices, or if the reigning beer will be PBR.

Image via Brooklyn Vegan

2006 UNION HALL SCHEDULE SO FAR (ripped from BVegan)
august 4 - PAGE FRANCE + guests
august 6 - EUGENE MIRMAN + friends (every Sunday!)
august 18 - THE MUGS
september 14 - FINIAN McKEAN + MOORE N SONS

Friday, July 21, 2006

Spiked Political Punch with Zefrank

The Show with Zefrank

Thursday, July 20, 2006

To Do This Weekend

Animation Block Party

The Party will kick off this weekend at three locations, click the links for times and directions: Automotive High School, BAM, and Galapagos artspace. This year features indie shorts, professional studio works, exclusive world premieres, and the best international student films. Galapagos features a panel of animators talking about the genesis of the NYC animation experience.

Via Violenta Free Concert & Video Shoot w/ free beer

A fun fellow who founded an underground performance art troupe called Deep Dish Cabaret, sent along an email about a free concert he is sponsoring in a Brooklyn backyard. Saturday July 22nd. RSVP to info@ghentmag.com for directions and time.

The band Via Violenta cites Tom Waits, Blonde Redhead, ATDI, Charles Mingus, Notorious BIG, British Sea Power, Ricky Gervais, Funk Brothers, Dylan, Fugazi, Skip James, Sparklehorse, Minus the Bear, we're not the Beach Boys, Libertines (The), TV on the Radio, Talking Heads, Lennon, Arcade Fire, Gang of Four, The Fall, Django, Sly Stone, Dostoevsky, Blur, Police and Thieves, Interpol, Can, (enter obligatory Pixies reference here), Nick Cave, Nick Drake as influences...

Food for...A Feast for the Eyes

The Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition (BWAC) will hold its 28th annual Summer Art Show this year at a Civil War-era warehouse in Red Hook from July 22 to August 20. The year's theme is Food in honor of the new Fairway. Opening day festivities include a Meet the Artists Reception and a jazz performance by the Broken Reed Saxophone Quartet.

Park Slope's First Indie Designer Market

Designcollective will be showcasing Brooklyn's design stars with a sale at The Old Stone House Saturday the 22nd from 10-6. The indoor, air-conditioned, market offers the public the first glimpse of the forerunners of fashion in apparel, handbags, jewelry, children's clothing, accessories, and paper and lifestyle goods.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Frank Gehry can do Small

We on the footprint of the Atlantic Yards know that Gehry can do gargantuan wonky matchstick buildings:

But did you know Gehry does small?
Frank Gehry Designs His Smallest Project Daily Olive

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

110 Livingston Street Unveiled

We, who are counted among a select (read large) group of Very Important Persons (read one of many to sign up online), made our way to 110 Livingston for the Grand presentation by a man who's system was clearly trying to metabolize an extraordinary amount of caffeine. He apologized if he sounded robotic, claiming that he has been putting in 17 hour days and running on loopy.

Our first stop in the model was a moment to ponder the hinges on the door to the closet. Per our salesman hinges are important- and he noted they were not fake brass- for he would walk right out the door if he were looking at a place that had fake brass hinges because they indicate shoddy construction on the rest of the building.

While the above mentioned man babbled Bosch, Viking, Washer Dryer... I eyeballed the space Superman style building floorplans and specs in my head.
Everything seemed shiny and new with West Elm, and DWR furnishings. Here are pics of some of the interior furnishings in the model apartment. For the full experience, picture sitting on the couch across from a flat panel TV. Ambient electronic music plays as images of the building and lifestyle flash onscreen.

The bathroom seemed a bit small, they separated the shower and bath which ate up some sq footage. Our friendly salesmen did have many floorplans to show us (from a very large prospectus book) ranging from small living rooms and larger bedrooms, to large 2 bedroom 2 bath spaces with nice sized living rooms for around 800K depending on the floor. For an 1100 sq ft space this seems mighty reasonable for the Brooklyn Heights area.

One catch, the tax abatement doesn't kick in until year 2, which has you looking at a $1500 monthly nut on top of your mortgage. There's the clincher friends. And so its not for us. But for some the NY Times"Playing the Sex Card" article has me wondering about if those sexy hinges will move anyone...

Fun Fact: The entry to the current sales office will be the entrance for a theatre (plays) attached to the building. How's that for panache? Two Trees Management has recently completed the wireless project in Brooklyn Bridge Park, and now they are dabbling in thespian interests....

Sunday, July 16, 2006

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Scene: Pacific Avenue N/R train- Coney Island Bound

2 wilted women and 4 children crowd the stairs as we are about step onto the platform. One of the women asks with a deeply southern inflected voice:

"Do y'all know how to get to Whitehall Street or the Statue of Liberty?"

"I'm afraid you missed it."

"But it should be around here, they said it was the last stop in Manhattan on the R."

"Well, actually this is Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn."

"Oh Hell's Bells. We're in Brooklyn?"

"Yes Ma'am. Welcome to Brooklyn!"

Saturday, July 15, 2006

In a Clinch

Image from Tom Fletcher

Each day I check my 3bikini mail and reply to anyone who says hey. Much to my surprise, after my post on the Atlantic Yards Affordable Housing coverage, I found two emails written by representatives from FCRC and DDDB. They looked so innocent nested one atop the next-seemingly satisfied to live as neighbors in my inbox.

A very likeable and enthusiastic Mr. Francis Morrone, NYU professor, author, and member of DDDB made a bid for my support for DDDB in an email.

Francis writes: "I was one of those DDDB presenters who failed to persuade you, or I guess to get our point across as clearly as we had hoped. By that I mean that no one among us opposes dense development of the Vanderbilt Yards. It is something we have been praying for for years for just the reasons you cite. Unfortunately, the yards themselves represent only a small fraction of the proposed Atlantic Yards site.... It's not a choice between Atlantic Yards and the status quo. It's a choice between responsible and irresponsible development."

Francis we are on the same page. I do not agree with the scale of the project as it stands, but hope to see some good come from development.

The next email in my box was from Jim Stuckey, Executive Vice President and President of Atlantic Yards Development Group. Wow. An EVP from the big baddie is contacting Moi?

Jim Writes: "I read your write up on our affordable housing information center the other night, and appreciate your open-mindedness. I would be happy to tell you and your neighbors more about our development, the potential impacts and benefits, and answer questions that you may have. If this is of interest, please let me know. Thanks."

I do appreciate Mr. Stuckey reaching out as it seems he's willing to answer questions and of course he commended my open-mindedness which makes my liberal art college educated bleeding heart swell.

My goal is to try to remain neutral and make decisions based on information from both sides to determine what is in the best interest of my building, family, and the community.

So let's keep the lines open Jim and Francis! Make the big baddie less big and bad.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Runway's Back

My heart leapt out of my chest when the rain turned Project Runway into scattered DirecTV pixels just as the judges were deciding who would be sent home. The first challenge was to use everything in their Atlas apartment to express who they were as designers. Running with scissors!! The contestants scrambled from the roof where they were sipping champagne with Heidi to their rooms where they tore the walls, floors beds, and bathrooms to shreds as fodder for their designs.

There are three NY designers in the bunch, one of whom is from our very own Brooklyn. Allison, a one woman show who designs, styles, and models the clothes for her shoots created a pixie capped sleeve rouched number from curtains.

Malan is representing for LIC Queens, but he is quite the cosmopolitan sophisticate born in Taiwan with an accent from..well...I'm not sure really.

Laura is a coiffed red-headed upper east side lookin' architect and mother of five. She kind of reminds me of Cruella Deville and she created a jacket from a fur rug that I can definitely see Cruella wearing. Except the rug would be puppies.

The finals came down to Robert or Keith, both used Duvet covers to swathe their models in cute modern preppy chic. (although Keith credits a Carole Burnett episode and Robert Westside story as inspirations)

Robert's garment

Keith's garment

This was made from coffee filters. I am absolutely impressed.

Bring on the Wed night fix.

Art and Commerce

Ratnerville affordable housing Roundup

A co-worker attended the Ratner affordable housing meeting yesterday and came away with some good information. First: she will not qualify on her income, which means they are actually making an effort to hold the properties for families in need. Second, the project will not begin until 2008, giving us a breather here on Dean Street for at least a little while. And third, there will be both rentals and units for sale in the plan, which I hadn't realized.

We had a meeting in our building the other day with speakers from DDDB going on about how the scope and depth of the project is outrageous and there have not been any accommodations made for traffic on subways or roads, schools, waste and electricity management etc....

I am on the fence about the project. While I think that my area will become congested and don't agree with the displacement of hundreds under the auspices of eminent domain, I do think some good may come of developing the railyards into something for the community. No matter what the opponents say, Pacific Street is sketchy, and not in a good old fashioned "character" kinda way that the daily heights crew longs for, but in a harassing women at night drug addled garbage filled shady loiterers kinda way.

Atlantic Yards Report and No Land Grab have some good coverage of the affordable Housing meeting:

Stuckey, Lewis face restive, skeptical crowd at AY housing session

AY Affordable Housing Session Coverage

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Spotlight: Dumbo Development

I thought I'd pop over to check in on the progress of the projects in Dumbo and Vinegar hill this weekend. Everything seems to be moving, with new spots cleared for next big thing. Despite the changing face of the neighborhood, the park was full of people enjoying the sun, especially the guy banging away at his bongos wearing the leopard print fez. Despite the impending doom of skyscrapers multiplying like rabbits, the creative spirit is still alive and well. Neighborhood artists covered the construction sites with paint and installation art.

99 Gold

Are we back in Miami again? Nope, this is 99 Gold, a Developer's Group project that the husband thinks looks like a luxury cruise ship docked in cement. The greeny bluey windows and angled balconies make it a bit much for our taste. But its sure come a long way.

The Vista

What's this? Another Corcoran number in Vinegar Hill/Dumbo area? Yes.
No pictures yet as they have not broken ground, but I'd love to see it as the 640/sq ft sounds suprisingly affordable for the area. Methinks it may have to do with location. They seem to be in phase 1 of the releases as there are only 7 apartments listed, perhaps prices will rise?


JCondo is old news. But look how she rises! A sign of the times to come in my neighborhood, JCondo and the Beacon are supa tall. It gives us a real sense of what will happen once Brooklyn goes Manhattan.

85 Adams/The Beacon

The Beacon should be cool, but its not. It looks like it was lifted out of a 3-d rendering program. The windows are little slivers and the cement block above the entry make it look like a cubist jail.

Fulton Landing Condos

Fulton Ferry Condos are my favorites of the bunch. Not that I could afford them. The location isn't perfect overlooking the trash area of the River Cafe-but the proximity to Brooklyn's best pizza and ice cream sell me. It looks like the Developers are really trying to maintain the character of the building, even with the silly shutters. I bet they are fantastic inside.

Related Links:
Postcard from Dumbo: Three Developments
Brooklyn's New "Gold Coast" Condo Conversion Launch Party
Dumbo adding pachyderm-sized projects
A Trip to the J Condo

Walkabout: Dumbo/Heights