A while ago, while strolling around Bogota, I stumbled on a double decker bus that doubled as a café, and I thought to myself, “They don’t have anything like this in New York.” Happily, I now stand corrected: The Lot Radio has parked a vintage bus inside of its tiny triangular lot near the Williamsburg-Greenpoint border, and soon you’ll be able to sip a beer inside of it while listening to one of the city’s best internet radio stations.
Francois Vaxelaire, who started The Lot out of a shipping container back in February, noticed the old Gillig school bus parked around the neighborhood and finally struck up a conversation with its owner, who had been using it for event rentals. It turned out he was looking for winter parking, and the two agreed that The Lot was just the place. Right now, starting at 8am, you can buy a coffee and hop aboard the customized bus to read one of the copies of the New York Times that are always floating around.
Once The Lot’s new liquor license is put into play in a week or two, your entire crew will be able to take over the back booth, cozy up to a space heater, and sip beer or wine till midnight.
Just don’t treat this thing like a chivo bus. “It’s not a party bus,” Francois clarified. “It’s really a place to hang out, be chill, and be protected from the weather.”
Not to mention, hear some good tunes. During its nine months on air, The Lot has become a powerhouse radio station, featuring DJs like Lloyd Harris (Lloydski from Tiki Disco), actor/gallerist/DJ Leo Fitzpatrick, Yeah Yeah Yeahs drummer Brian Chase, East Village Radio vets Chances With Wolves, and so on.
Of course, The Lot also has a reputation for spinning electronic music (it’s no shocker that they sell White Label, the mate soda made by John Barclay of Bossa Nova Civic Club), but Francois says the station has been evolving its playlists to incorporate “a more diverse scene— more rock, more hip-hop, more jazz to represent more what’s happening in the city.”
The station has also been throwing concerts in the Holy Family Roman Catholic Church, across the street. Next up, tonight, it’ll be celebrating the “Best Online Radio in North America” honors recently bestowed by Mixcloud, with a live show that will begin around the lot’s firepit and then move into the church (proceeds go toward the renovation of the church’s pipe organ). Francois is also thinking about hosting guest-chef dinners in the church, or maybe even on the bus.
The best part about all this: Unlike The Standard’s yurts, you don’t have to drop a pretty penny to come in from the cold here. Hopefully this place doesn’t become too popular, or we’ll never be able to finish this book:
The Lot Radio, 17 Nassau Ave, bet. Banker and N. 15th St., Greenpoint.