Dru Barnes outside Greenpoint’s People of 2morrow (Photo: Phil Provencio)
Right now, Dru Barnes might be better known for what happened to him than for what he’s given to the world. In 2013, the Grammy-nominated musician (formerly of reggae duo JOGYO) was attacked by a stranger wielding a hammer. Walking home to Fort Greene from a long-night hang in Bed-Stuy, Dru took a wrong turn. He was followed, assaulted on the streets of Brooklyn, and caught the claw end of a hammer to his eye – which caused him to lose that eye. What was even more surprising to me was to learn that Dru forgave his attacker (who was caught later).
What is “pole fitness”? Isn’t it an exercise fad for bored midwest housewives? “Hopefully it will be one day,” says Karimah Gottschalk, an advertising resource manager by day and pole dancer by evening. “That’ll be the trickle-down effect of it becoming non-stigmatized.” With a thriving competition circuit, the mainstreaming of pole fitness may already be on its way.
For more than eight years, Emi Kariya has lived in Bushwick. Nowadays, she finds the neighborhood to be “hip to the max.” Says the 42-year-old drummer and designer, “I don’t have to go to Williamsburg anymore. I used to bike all the way there for every show, every hang. Friends would only hang in Williamsburg. They wouldn’t come here. Now they all travel here. And it’s great.” Now they travel here to spots like The Narrows, the cocktail bar where Emi is a regular.
Having lived in East Williamsburg for more than a decade, painter Jean-Pierre Roy has also been priced out or kicked out of multiple artist studio spaces in Williamsburg, Bushwick, and Greenpoint – where he currently toils daily from noon to eight. Fortunately, this most recent shift in studios helped introduce him to the Michelin Guide “recommended restaurant” Le Fond. His bike route between his apartment and studio sees him passing the young, French bistro daily.
Molly Neuman, former drummer for legendary lady-punk outfits like Bratmobile, has been connected to the heavenly bakery Ovenly since before it even began. A decade ago, she was in a supper club with future Ovenly co-owner Agatha Kulaga. Back then, Agatha talked of plans to create baked goods shop that would artfully blend sweet with savory. Eventually, she and her partner Erin Patinkin opened a place that was “inspired by the Eastern European flavors of their youths,” and Ovenly cookies and scones began appearing in cafes like Little Zelda, where Molly lives in Crown Heights.
“I’m not a person who wakes up happy,” says writer Camille Perri. She usually starts her morning with “loads of anxiety and dread for my day,” she says. And so Camille plays a “trick” on herself and heads directly to The Blue Stove bakery. It’s easy to smell why: “When I leave here,” she says, “I smell like butter.” That’s both a good and comforting thing. It’s also an insanely tempting thing.
“I’m not a person who wakes up happy,” says writer Camille Perri. She usually starts her morning with “loads of anxiety and dread for my day,” she says. And so Camille plays a “trick” on herself and heads directly to The Blue Stove bakery. It’s easy to smell why: “When I leave here,” she says, “I smell like butter.” That’s both a good and comforting thing. It’s also an insanely tempting thing. More →
Trevor Noah outside of Bar Matchless. (Photo: Phil Provencio)
For the last couple months, the free Monday night show Broken Comedy – in the dark and dingy back room at Bar Matchless in Greenpoint – has really been hitting its stride. Lately in particular, Broken has drawn solid crowds with consistently strong talent. That’s impressive as the show (which was created in 2011) has been re-upping with the absence of favored host Michael Che.
Taking a break from writing the Meet the Regulars book (slated to be published by Skyhorse in May 2016), I was visiting a friend in Stockholm, Sweden. As soon as I learned about Bar Brooklyn, a restaurant and bar inspired by Williamsburg’s Brooklyn Brewery, I had to check it out.
It’s one thing to see “Saturday Night Live” being filmed in the neighborhood and quite another to end up being filmed for “Saturday Night Live.” Live from New York, here’s Joshua D. Fischer, who does The Regulars for Bedford + Bowery, on how a coffee at Blind Barber in Williamsburg ended up being his SNL debut. More →