Graf writer “PC” demonstrates a quick bomb on a wall in an abandoned lot in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
• Cue up that “film guy” voice. Jenn and I met up with Will and Kristina Hall to eat some mediocre thai over at Isle (282 Bleeker in the West Village) before checking out Helvetica, this past Friday on it’s opening night. The line to get into each showing was a minimum of a block long, and definitely filled with thick-rimmed-glasses-wearing young designers. The documentary follows the ubiquitous typeface, Helvetica, around, tracing it back to its roots, and then talking about its many uses in the present day. Since it’s a “talking head” style, back-to-back presentation of big name graphic designers with the occasional low-budget-feeling cuts to shots of New York City streets, the constant post-DJ Shadow, non-vocal electronica soundtrack is essential in keeping even the most serious of designers awake during a pretty late showing. (Well, I’m not sure people would call Caribou “post-DJ Shadow,” but let’s face it, it’s just enjoyable to say “post-DJ Shadow” casually in conversation). We skipped out after making a super-brief stop at the afterparty, and instead went over to Niagara Bar in the East Village for more drinks. (Verdict on Niagara: a little too collegy, and the photobooth is far too nu-school).
A man sleeps outside of my apartment, here in the Lower. The drainage? Lets not talk about that.
We hung out on The Opera Singer’s rooftop the other night, in Bushwick. But it was cold.
• Saturday evening I met up with Big Joseph, Kathleen, Merry “the artist”, Jeff, Adam, Jenn, and The Opera Singer for some rooftop drinks and then a trip over to Fette Sau for some amazing barbecue in what turned out to be the coldest evening since March or so. Solid food and atmosphere, A++++ an asset to the ebay community (wait, what?). Not as great across the street at Spuyten Duyvil (though it is owned by the same people). Nothing too special there. After a few people in the group dropped out, we headed down the street to Metropolitan, a rather straight-feeling gay bar, and met up with the fashion designer, Jonathan, who I think is still living in Brooklyn these days.
• As the “Try the Barbecue in all NYC Restaurants that Offer Barbecue” quest continues (well, we can just call it TTBIANYCRTOB for short), I checked out that Biscuit Barbecue place over on Fifth Ave in Park Slope last night. The brisket’s decent, but not massive portions. The smashed potatoes are fair game as a side, but steer clear of candied yams, they’re a bit too Thanksgiving. $4 mojito specials.
• Red Hook. So yes, I may have slept on this place for a little too long. They’re pretty close to finishing that IKEA, perhaps within 6 months or so… which, of course, every Brooklyn blogger out there has already mentioned: it’s changing the Red Hook skyline, and it’s a massive altar to gentrification. But, on the bright side: it’s a Swedish company, even if it is the Swedish Walmart. Ya know? Anyway, when Jenn and I were biking through the area, we met some graf writers and were wowed by all of the scenic views when you’re surrounded by a few different inlets and rivers (alright, maybe it is the Gowanus and the East River, two of the most polluted bodies of water on this side of the Mason-Dixon line… still though).
• This is pretty old news, but here’s a short article on that kid who was painting insect-like creatures in an almost Brazilian-style: here. I saw a few pieces around the Lower before some started getting crossed out, very lame. I’ll have to see if the old woman on the side of the trailer attached to the school over on something like Ridge is still there. A lot of talent.
A pretty clean tall bike with bullhorns rests in Union Square the other afternoon.
• On the subject, David Moses took a few shots of a man attempting to ride a 40-foot tall bike the other week here. Oh yeah, Moses, I did finally get some handlebar tape for my naked bars, we gotta ride sometime.
• I know I’ve been on this whole thing for a few weeks now about hip hop not actually being dead, but I’d just like to add into the mix the solid release by Aesop Rock recently: None Shall Pass. I know, you’re all thinking, “you know he spits some junk about Helvetic on that ’39 Thieves’ track,” and I’d have to say, “yes, he does,” but that’s not exactly relevant to what we’re talking about here. The album is quality, from his homage to Slick Rick in “Catacomb Kids” to the standard drummy and twangy combination in “Bring Back Pluto,” and even the inclusion of the lead singer of The Mountain Goats in “Coffee.” Clearly he’s coming from the same camp as his boy Blockhead when it comes to naming his tracks though, it sounds as if they were decided upon within five minutes before the album was pressed, and while nobody in the room was sober.
Kuma shows a friendlier, flowery side in Red Hook.