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.
Smoking outside Birdy’s, a new corner bar across the way from Little Skips in Bushwick, a passerby looked up at the bar, then looked at my friend, “Another bar?!” Yep, that’s right ladies and gentlemen, it appears yet another booze trough has opened its doors to help Bushwickians (and the graffiti tourists who love them) gargle it back.
Summer just wasn’t the same without the barge bar we were promised. Everything else seemed so dull in comparison to a life of boozing at sea, afloat the ultimate dream boat (or barge, anyway). We may be nearly a week into fall already but nothing, not even the rotation of the earth, will stop the Brooklyn Barge Bar’s slow, purposeful path to a good time. If you’ve stuck with ’em, rejoice because the Barge Bar has finally sliced through all that red tape and opened up the gangplank.
“This gallery is my baby,” explained Christopher Stout, founder of the Bushwick Art Crit Group. This fall, Stout will host his inaugural exhibition as a gallery owner at his new space, the first of several anticipated art institutions inside an East Williamsburg warehouse space. BACG is “a not-for-profit community resource for everybody,” Stout explained. “But it felt like it was increasingly challenging– in a negative way– to make programming that was about everyone.” In order to host exhibitions that relate to specific subjects that Stout is more personally invested in, without having to worry about “alienating everyone else,” he said, “it really needed to be separate and become its own thing.”
That was our first thought upon hearing of Hell Phone. But before we sharpened our pitchforks, it seemed worth paying a benefit-of-the-doubt-visit to the recently opened extension of the Ange Noir Café in Bushwick. Admittedly, they also had us at their offer of crepes.
The first thing to catch our eye was a chalkboard outside Ange Noir encouraging its customers to “go through the phone booth” inside. While in its modern conception the speakeasy has lost its critical need to be inconspicuous, this seemed gratuitous. But, as co-owner Anguy Pacini explained it, before you can have anonymity, you need customers.
Bierleichen opened its doors in Ridgewood two weeks ago and is definitely turning heads on an otherwise chill block filled with barber shops and bodegas. Heavy metal blasted out onto the sidewalk as I approached the bar. The namesake literally translates to “beer corpses,” a reference to the people who pass out in public during Oktoberfest, which is well-worth a Google Image search.
Alt Citizen has been doing their thing since 2012– the music blog’s bread-and-butter is album reviews (past and present), essays, show recommendations (mostly local Brooklyn stuff), and interviews with bands from all over. Last year, they expanded to a pocket-sized zine, of which three issues have dropped. “When you do a blog for years you start to go crazy not having a tangible thing to show people in terms of what you’re working on, so the zine naturally came out of that,” editor-in-chief and founder Nasa Hadizadeh admitted. The same impetus was behind Alt Space, a brand new storefront and gallery Alt Citizen is opening in Bushwick next week.