Pioneer Works’ new bookstore in Red Hook, which had its grand opening on Tuesday night, is a remarkably small shop. Maybe the size of a very bitty studio apartment. “Wait, is this is? Or do you have back-stock somewhere?” we asked Zach White, the shop clerk. He laughed. “Nope, this is pretty much it.” But that’s kind of the point. “It’s almost like an installation, in a sense, because it’s so small and ever changing,” Zach explained. “I don’t feel like it will ever be a place for ‘I’m looking for this book, maybe Pioneer Books has it’ — instead you’ll come here and know that a book is gonna find you.”
Fashion + Shopping
We’re still holding. Cat Hair Pills, that is. After answering a mysterious flyer posted in Bed-Stuy last week and being directed to One Last Shag, where we acquired pills stuffed with cat hair, we couldn’t decide what to do with them. Throw them in the garbage? Toss them in the East River? Feed them to ourselves or our roommate or some cat lady we know? We had more questions for the Cat Hair Pill sorcerer. Admittedly, our journalism only “scratches the surface” and we’re no closer to discovering the Cat Hair Pillducer(s)’s identity, but we at least have a slightly better understanding of their designs on this world as well as some up-close-and-personal photos of the contributing cats.
If you’re looking to round out a lazy Saturday at the Brooklyn Flea, grab a morning coffee on the way to the L Train, or snag some unique pieces to invigorate your summer wardrobe, The Vale Collective is ready to deliver. The ambitious cafe/boutique/gallery soft-opened this week inside of the old d.b.a. space at 113 North 7th St., and owner Stephanie McDermott and project manager Kim Lenoir (who are also Williamsburg roomies) are perfecting the store for its first weekend in business.
The sound of skateboards wooshing by triggers some stressful memory nerve in me, tripping me back to high school when I attempted to teach myself to skate, before I fully understood the depths of my unathleticism and hopelessness when it comes to foot-eye coordination. (Speaking of tripping, that’s all I ever did on a skateboard.) But when I walked into Greenpoint’s new skate shop, I was quickly put at ease by owner Rich Oates, a chill guy who talks about skating in a way that makes it seem easy, approachable even.
Queer fashionistas crowded into the basement of the Ace Hotel this past Sunday, hoping to get their shot at a runway spot for a gender nonconforming fashion show called VERGE that will be presented at the Brooklyn Museum during New York Fashion Week 2015. VERGE will be produced by four organizations—dapperQ, bklyn boihood, Die Young Die Happy (DYDH) Productions, and Posture Magazine—each of which chose two independent designers to showcase at the fall event. Sunday’s open casting call aimed to offer a diverse selection of models for the designers to choose from and to give an opportunity for those in the New York queer community who are interested in fashion but not necessarily professional models to be a part of the show.
There’s a lot, a lot on the horizon in the New York City art world. Bushwick Open Studios is coming up and it’s apparently art festival season – seems like the last sigh of culture before everyone hits the beaches and stops giving flying Fs about anything that doesn’t start with “froz” and end with “ita.” Or maybe that’s just us? But we play. Really, because this week we’re back with a list of film happenings that are either artsy in their appeal, packed with must-know facts, or must-see classics you gotta have in your impressive tool box of things you talk about with an air of knowing. Because sure, everyone loves a bikini but unless that bikini is chock full of good stuff to talk about, you’re no better than a virgin margarita – all style, no substance. And who needs that?
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If you totally blew Mother’s Day and are scrambling for a belated gift, you may want to hit up The Standard, East Village this weekend — especially if your máthair is Irish. Makers & Brothers — a pair of Irish brothers who’ve done pop-ups in London, Dublin, and Berlin — have installed a shed in the hotel’s garden where they’re selling their own home goods as well as objects by likeminded makers. At a preview party last night, we spotted glasses by Irish crystal cutter J. Hill’s Standard, a stool by Irish woodworker James Carroll, napkins from Ferguson Irish Linen, scented candles inspired by Norse-Gaels, and some items designed by M & B: everything from cocktail muddlers to these cute stuffed animals.
Leo Fitzpatrick, the Lower East Side actor who played a street kid in Kids and, hilariously, a street adult in the Broad City finale, just created a pin that’ll strike a chord with anyone who saw the terrifying documentary Among the Believers at Tribeca Film Festival this week (or, for that matter, anyone who’s read the news lately). The “NO GODS, NO WARS” pin, a collaboration with Sin Amor, is one in a series of five that are now going for $20 each at The Gift Shop. The art-object store was launched last month by Alldayeveryday (who did The Newsstand at the Lorimer stop) in conjunction with Red Bull Studios, where it’s located.
Shaking hands with Chris Williams and Jeff Schroeder immediately made me feel not only very un-tan but also very un-rad. The two friends recently moved from California and have opened up Union Surfboards in their new neighborhood, Greenpoint. We met inside their studio that’s just big enough to sand off a board and drink a few beers in the process. The place is dusty, but in a clean beachy sort of way and is by no means a faddy showroom– it’s a real workshop. As we spoke, Williams, despite having a broken hand, would compulsively polish one of the boards propped up on a saw horse.
Everyone knows the quickest way to turn your lame tech-bro pad from drab to authentic cool is to fill it with a bunch of vinyl. Just, please, if you’re going to do that at least take the records outside of their plastic casing and rough them up a bit so it looks like you actually listen to them. Oh, and hot tip: make sure you actually have a record player, too — extra points for knowing how to turn it on.
Alter, the mid-scale, vaguely alt Brooklyn fashion boutique, has expanded its lineup to include a vintage store located directly across from its Franklin Avenue flagship location in Greenpoint. “They started out as vintage, but are now getting back into it,” a polished but bubbly shop guy named Lawrence told us. The new storefront offers men’s, women’s, and kid’s vintage clothing.
So many good things are coming back in April: tonight there’s Louie, Sunday there’s Silicon Valley and – oh yeah, IRL – there’s the Hester Street Fair. The outdoor food-and-fashion bonanza returns to the corner of Hester and Essex Streets on April 25 and they’ve given us the early word on new vendors. This year the fair will be Saturdays only, but to make up for the loss of Sundays they’re promising “a rotation of almost all new food vendors with more spots added to create a Hester Food Court.” Oh, and there’ll be TBA nighttime events, too.