Shortly after the jarring election of Donald J. Trump, you might’ve seen a hilarious sketch from Saturday Night Live called The Bubble where “it’s like the election never happened.” The Bubble is a magical, if not eerily insulated, “place where the unthinkable didn’t happen and life could continue for progressive Americans just as before” because it’s “a planned community of like-minded free thinkers – and no one else.” The punchline is genius: “The Bubble: It’s Brooklyn with a bubble on it.” It’s funny because it’s true – or maybe not.
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Twelve years ago, when he helped turn a garage behind Union Pool into an informal music venue, J.J. Jenkins couldn’t have imagined that it would end up drawing big names like Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, who’ll play there with Body/Head in September.
Jenkins first started going to the Williamsburg bar after moving from Swarthmore, Pennsylvania with his now-defunct country and blues-rock band in ’93. He became such a mainstay that one day he received the ultimate honor: a permanent reserved seat marked by an eponymous brass plaque in the rail of the bar.