The concept is kind of irresistible: a free dinner followed by a slideshow of local artwork. The Slideluck Potshow [the former Slideluck Potshow has rebranded as just Slideluck] began in photographer Casey Kelbaugh’s backyard in Seattle in 2000, expanded to Amsterdam, Nairobi, Bogota and beyond, and it’s coming to Bushwick this Thursday. This year, it’ll feature the work of 25 Bushwick and East Williamsburg-based artists (their names are below), one of which will be selected for a solo show at the Living Gallery in October. Bring a homemade potluck dish and you’ll get two raffle tickets for goodies from local businesses.
Kelbaugh has lived in the East Village for a decade, and just started commuting to Slideluck’s offices at Sandbox Studio in Bushwick last week. His producer Jen Plaskowitz does did the opposite (she lives in Bushwick and commutes commuted to the East Village until last week), so we asked them to trade notes about why Williamsburg is “hipster Capitol Hill,” why the East Village hasn’t changed that much, and why Bushwick is both post-apocalyptic and a new frontier.
Casey: We did the first one in my living room in the EV in 2004 to gauge if there would be any interest. This is our second show in Bushwick (the first was in early 2011 at 3rd Ward) and is part of our hyperlocalized neighborhood series, which also includes shows we’ve done in Red Hook and Northside.
Jen: Thursday’s Bushwick event, in addition to being an old-fashioned Slideluck, is also our housewarming party. For the last few weeks we’ve been transitioning to our brand new office within Sandbox Studio, and Slideluck Bushwick II will be our chance to throw open the doors and let everyone around.
Casey: When I moved to New York ten years ago from Seattle, my expectation was that I would live in Williamsburg. Upon arrival, I immediately changed my mind because it felt exactly like hipster Capitol Hill, my neighborhood in Seattle. I was looking for something denser and more diverse – which I found in the East Village.
Jen: Bushwick is the only neighborhood I’ve lived in; I love how the artistic community out here is very tight knit and self-perpetuating, and how there is still physical space to build and expand your projects.
Jen: When I’m in the East Village I definitely feel the hum of the city: people are busy and rushing about. Out in Bushwick, depending on where you actually are, it feels a lot more neighborhoody: people know one another and hang out in their concrete front yards; I’ve watched few kids grow up, and there’s always salsa music playing. In other places in Bushwick it feels like a post-industrial post-apocalyptic wasteland: you might be the only person on the street for blocks in any direction. I feel like the East Village had a similar feel to what Bushwick is like now a few decades ago.
Casey: East Village:
Art gallery: I assume this would include the LES and Bowery, because that’s where all the action is these days. I like Charles Bank, The Hole, Foley Gallery, On Stellar Rays, Invisible Exports, Salon 94, Y Gallery, and White Box.
Restaurant: I tend to cook most of my meals, but some of my favorites in the neighborhood are: Lil’ Frankies, Supper, In Vino, Momofuku Ko, Yoshi Sushi, Esperanto and Caracas.
Bar: 2A, Cabin, St. Dymphna’s, Elsa, Drop-Off Service, Ten Bells
Hangout Spot: My roof, my fire escape, East River Park, Tompkins Square Park
Art gallery: I haven’t had enough repeat visits to any to have an opinion, but I think Bushwick Open Studios is really the best way to see art in Bushwick.
Restaurant: Right now I’m enjoying Rosie’s Food Truck, right outside our office! She’s been in the exact same spot, doing her thing, for 26 years. She says the world has come to her.
Bar: Our last afterparty at Brooklyn Fireproof [after the first Bushwick Slideluck, in 2011 at 3rd Ward] was fun! And Alaska.
Hangout Spot: Sandbox Studio BK!
Jen: East Village:
Art gallery: Garis and Hahn
Restaurant: Punjabi Grocery and Deli
Bar: McSorley’s Old Ale House
Hangout spot: Tompkins Square
Bushwick: So hard to choose!
Art gallery: The Parlour or the Living Gallery
Bar: Happyfun Hideaway or Goodbye Blue Mondays
Hangout spot: My backyard! Or maybe Secret Project Robot if I had to choose a place outside my house.
Casey: I feel a certain pressure to want to live in Brooklyn, but I really don’t. Many of my friends have fled to Kings County and they just can’t believe I still live in the East Village. In the decade that I’ve been here, I actually don’t think it’s changed all that much. Sure, it’s a bit more collegiate and douchey on the weekends, but is that really new? That weekly infusion of capital is key for local businesses. I think the real change happened in the decade before I arrived.
The East Village, and Alphabet City in particular, is one of the rare neighborhoods in America where it’s almost difficult to find the big corporate chains that define most of our landscape. This may be true for Bushwick as well. Almost all the businesses that I visit in a three-block radius are small and independently-owned. And the diversity of consumer options, accessibility and level of convenience is mind-blowing. There was a point when we had restaurants from four different parts of Italy on my little street.
I love that my neighborhood looks and feels like a neighborhood. It’s built on a human scale and it is filled with humans. What I find so intriguing about Bushwick is that it’s exactly the opposite! There’s something romantic about frontier-land feeling in Bushwick and I know the spaces are incredible, but I think when I think of home, I think of the East Village.
Jen: I like the feeling of the world swirling around you in the East Village, but I do think that I prefer Bushwick. The future seems to be in your hands when you are there.
Slideluck Bushwick II at Sandbox Studio, 54 Morgan Avenue, Bushwick; 7 p.m. potluck and music, 9 p.m. slideshow and raffle; free with RSVP; featured artists Agaton Strom, Amy & Hannah Buckley, Brandon Schulman, Carly Planker, Chelsea Welsh, Daryl-Ann Saunders, Danny Ghitis, David Neff, Duane Hosein, Erin Lee, Henry Hargreaves, Jean Rim, Jennie Penny, Jen Plaskowitz, Katarina Rdultovskaia, Kim Jun Pyo, Megan Costello, Meryl Meisler, Michael Falco, Phoenix Lindsay-Hall, Rebecca Davis, Tiffany Walling McGarity & John McGarity, Todd Seelie, Samantha Casolari