East Villagers have a new place to score rainbow-sprinkle cream cheese for when they just can’t with the lines at Tompkins Square Bagels. Newcomer Bagel Belly opened Saturday and serves what are touted as “freshly baked, hand rolled, kettle boiled organic bagels and handcrafted cream cheese” alongside a variety of soups, salads, sandwiches, panini, and wraps. The menu (below) claims the bakers get up at 4 a.m. every morning to do their thing.
You couldn’t avoid bumping into falafel in downtown Manhattan even if you tried. Mamoun’s, Mimi’s, and Hummus & Pita Co. are just some of the hummus slingers that have recently expanded their footprints to satisfy your chickpea-centric cravings. Joining this cadre is Moemen, a new Middle Eastern/Mediterranean shop on Allen Street, which opened last Thursday and is serving up all the usual suspects: falafel, shawarma, koefte, hummus, chicken kebab, baba ganoush, and more.
Enter the basement of 294 Broome Street and you’re faced with a row of lockers and “mug shots” under bright lights. Jail cell bars open into a sparse studio with a graffiti mural of two figures escaping through a barbed wire fence. It almost feels like the police are about to take you in for questioning. Instead, this is where ConBody trainees “do the time” with prison-style bootcamp workouts.
The decorations are more than a gimmick. It was in solitary confinement that Coss Marte first dreamed up ConBody. He saw it as a chance to transition from busted drug dealer to a legitimate entrepreneur, helping provide jobs to other former inmates in the process.
Metrograph officially joined the ranks of New York’s great independent cinemas when it opened its doors to a line of eager filmgoers today. With a decor that coyly mixes throwbacks to glamorous Old Hollywood with the industrial chic favored by today’s L-train types, the theater’s small team and highly curated programming will likely please both the cinephile who feels that French New Wave just isn’t getting enough attention these days, and those who simply want a chance to finally watch The Blob in 35mm.
Bar Omar, a new addition to Williamsburg’s bubbling culinary landscape, is a French-Algerian restaurant that forgoes the stereotypical Moroccan-style lamps and ornamental plates in favor of what co-owner Yasmina Guerda says is a “Brooklyn aesthetic”: natural wood paneling, a well-stocked, speakeasy-type bar, and a window-paneled front looking out onto Grand Street.
It was one of the last vestiges of a bygone Williamsburg– a grungy, cavernous little coffee shop with worn-down wood floors and a lifetime of coffee grounds seemingly plastered onto every surface. Verb Cafe, which opened in 1999, was nothing fancy– no one went there to get a pour-over or fawn over bespoke beans with tasting notes. But when the place closed in June 2014, there was more than a bit of sadness (which was compounded when life imitated every joke ever told about Brooklyn hipsters and the coffee shop was replaced by an artisanal soap boutique with handmade, organic cupcake soap).
You’re going to have to suck in and ruffle a few feathers to squeeze into this tiny new wine bar-resto — Ruffian‘s space is snug. But if you manage to snag a seat at the bar without elbowing someone, you can breathe a sigh of relief– and, while you’re at it, breathe in the garlic sizzling on the stove in front of you.
It’s not like we need more pizza in North Brooklyn, we’ll admit that. We’ve got a healthy mix (well, at least we like to tell ourselves that pizza is healthy), what with an incredible slice crew that counts Best Pizza, Motorino, and Roberta’s amongst its ranks. But the Greenpoint / North Williamsburg area is a different story– go much farther north than McCarren Park, and you’ll find yourself in something of a Neapolitan pizza desert.
It couldn’t have been a more perfect night for stopping into The Bad Old Days, or maybe there’s no better bar for a rainy night. Either way, immediately after walking into this brand new bar in Ridgewood I felt like I was in some kind of geothermal beer womb. Warmth radiates up from the wooden floorboards and out of the living room lamps, and half-curtains hug the tall windows, shielding boozers from the depressing weather outside. If you need a new winter bar, here’s a stellar contender.
Agathe Snow, whose work often blends performance with immersive multimedia installations, is opening a new show, Continuum, tonight. This is the Corsican-born artist’s first solo exhibition at Journal Gallery in Williamsburg. Snow is the ex-wife of the late Dash Snow (they married when he was just 18 years old) whose pal Ryan McGinley has some new photos up, incidentally, in a show called Winter at Team Gallery.
Last night the mask-wielding artists of the Bruce High Quality Foundation opened up the doors of their epic new studio space in Sunset Park. The excuses were a party and an exhibition featuring work inspired by French Baroque painter Nicholas Poussin’s landscapes, while the reason was fundraising for the Bruce High Quality Foundation University (BHFQU), an experimental, non-profit art school that offers free classes and an alternative to the MFA by separating art from careerism. Come January, BHQFU, which has had a home base in the East Village since 2013, will move its operations here to Sunset Park.
In many ways, Williamsburg’s newest venue couldn’t be more different from the (mostly) defunct DIY show spaces (bar/art-galleries and dingy old warehouses) that once lined the waterfront area. (Cameo, at least, is still here — for another month and a half, anyway). That’s because National Sawdust is a refined concert hall, a serious non-profit institution with powerful and moneyed supporters plus a leadership of established talent tapped directly from the music and art worlds.