This past weekend, attendees of Bushwick Open Studios had their pick of more than 400 participating art spaces around the Bushwick-Ridgewood area. The weather for the new October iteration of BOS– after years of holding the arts festival during the first weekend in June– was rather dreary, and we heard many attendees say that without the sunshine, the annual art celebration just wasn’t the same. Jan Van Damne, one of the many visitors wandering the private studios at 17-17 Troutman on Sunday, observed that things were “less chaotic” this year, but admitted to us that “springtime was an appropriate date” for the crawl. What was it, the weather? “No, no– it was just bigger before. New York City was waking up, so it was a great time for a creative festival.”
If ever you’ve found yourself getting off the train at Myrtle-Broadway and walking in the direction of Palisades (RIP?), or maybe the Silent Barn, or wherever– anywhere but the nearest K2 dealer– you’ve definitely caught a glimpse of Enrique’s unisex salon. There’s no other place like it, probably on the planet, but certainly in Bushwick.
In 2011, Bushwick-based prop master Jan-Luc Van Damme began crafting the Bushwick Board Game, a Game of Life-meets-Cards Against Humanity “silly underground legend” that was never launched per se, but did land in a select few loft spaces and bars like The Levee, Brooklyn Fireproof (RIP), and Boobie Trap. Because “the hood changes so quickly,” Van Damme has updated the handmade games with new materials every year. And now, for the first time, he has introduced Bushwick Board Game 1.0 to the Apple App Store.
As I stepped into a Bushwick martial arts studio and walked down a tunnel laden with flowers made from egg cartons, I was approached by a stranger and asked, “How would you like to be greeted?”
I was confused. One of the evening’s performers pointed to sheets of paper taped to the tunnel’s wall, where beneath drawings for each of the five senses there were a few options: secret song, gentle breath on the back of your neck, incense.
Philip Kafka, owner of Soho-based advertising firm Prince Media, has put up a second Detroit banner in place of the one we spotted at the beginning of March. Before we could make fun of his latest problematic plea to Bushwickians, the performance artist Matthew Silver and a pal stripped down to their underpants (gross) and freaked out some brunching Millennials (ew).
I like to think of myself as a very flexible person. Over-imbibing isn’t exactly on my list of “don’ts.” I’ve learned over the years not to be an ageist, I proudly keep friends nearly twice my age, realizing if I’m lucky I might make it to middle age too. Admittedly partying is a pretty frivolous pursuit, a bourgeois distraction. But if you don’t party at least once in a while what does that make you? A party pooper? All of these things were running through my head when I met Chang Han last week, the restaurateur behind Amancay’s Diner in Bushwick. I had decided to keep an open mind, a general rule but one that was unusually difficult to follow in light of the juicy chatter surrounding this middle-aged party boy with a taste for young ladies. So I wasn’t exactly surprised when Chang asked me a very presumptuous question: “How do you party?”
A local cartoonist whose comics and illustrations appear regularly on Bushwick Daily has created a limited edition crayon to coincide with the release of his new book, Stranger Than Bushwick. Jeremy Nguyen says the delicately named “Gentrification White” was inspired by a punchline from one of his first comic strips.
So a screen-printed canvas banner isn’t exactly in the tradition of Diego Rivera’s proletarian frescos, but the message this building-sized advert is sending to Bushwick residents is loud and clear. Detroit: the land of opportunity, Bushwick: nearing saturation.
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A new feature film based loosely on Bizarre, the splendidly raunchy Bushwick performance space and bar, doesn’t exaggerate for the sake of shock value. If anything, it’s a little watered down from reality, according to its owner.
“[The filmmaker] couldn’t put the craziest stuff in the film because I think he didn’t want to maybe shock too much,” owner Jean-Stephane Sauvaire explained. “But I like that many of the regular performers are in the film– it really gives a picture of the different sensibilities and different performers, and at the same time you feel they are all the same spirit.”
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It’s time again for our favorite advice column. The ladies of North Brooklyn got their career advice earlier today; now Tigre and Cricket dole out some wisdom to guys who are going on job interviews: just be Ryan Gosling!
Yesterday we noticed that a Bushwick resident posted this to Craigslist’s lost and found: “i lost my sense of self on july 18, 2013 – please send me an email if you or anyone you know may have information regarding this — important.” We figured Bushwick Elucidations might be able to help, but the lost soul hasn’t gotten back to us with any specifics. So this week, Tigre and Cricket tackle slightly less cosmic matters. Like how to care for Ikea furniture (hint: throw it away).