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Fact: Nine out every ten dishes ordered in Bushwick will come in a tortilla. We love Mexican, but how much corn can one person take? Bushwick Dream gives you the rundown on your other options for unpretentious ethnic cuisine.


If you thought that the Athom Café was the only Broadway joint catering to francophiles, you’re wrong. Close to the Kosciuszko J stop you’ll find Abidjan, a restaurant whose whose colorful and patriotic awning promises “Bon Manger le Bon Gout” or, Good Food, Good Taste. (Doesn’t everything sound better in French?)
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by:Jeniece  posted by:Jeniece  filed:Neighborhood  08-31-11

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How close do you dare to get to strangers? Can you create a new persona at a moment’s notice? Are you comfortable confronting people that you don’t really know? These and other such probing questions are at the heart of Ellen Letcher and Kevin Regan’s latest experiment: a revival the 1970s phenomenon known as the encounter group.

The duo behind the Famous Accountants gallery are hosting encounter groups from August 18th to August 22nd at NURTUREArt on Grand Street. Anyone can sign up to participate in a two-hour slot. 

They call their experiment More Joy, referring to a book written by Will Schutz in 1967. Schutz was a strong proponent of the encounter group during his time at Esalen, the famous human potential institute in California. In developing his techniques, Schutz modified and built on methods that were actually developed by the U.S. Navy in 1947 for the purpose of molding its members into cohesive teams.

As Kevin explained before taking me through an intensive preview, encounter groups are “...a weird, freaky little artifact from the 1970s. People don’t do stuff like this now, do they?” 

They certainly don’t. The two-hour session combined a lot of thought-provoking exercises with a good dose of the physical. While it was tiring at times, it also seemed to make a space for new personal insights into myself and my co-participants. At the end there was the unmistakable feel of new bonds being built. More Joy, indeed.

 

by:Jeniece  posted by:Jeniece  filed:Art & Culture  08-18-11

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The quiet streets surrounding the Halsey Street L can sometimes seem a bit too quiet. Once you pass the gigantic supermarket on Wyckoff and Putnam the shops start to thin out, the passersby seem to disappear and you might find yourself on the sidewalk alone.

Disoriented by the sudden drop in noise pollution and foot traffic, you might seek refuge under the trees of lovely Weirfield Street. Walking along you might come upon a little brick building set against a giant, darkened lot, full of small mountains and machinery that looks like it dates from the Gold Rush. You’ll have one of those all strange, “Wait, a minute, am I still in New York?”-moments as you come face-to-face with the home base of Bushwick’s own Coal King.
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by:Jeniece  posted by:real dan  filed:Neighborhood  08-11-11

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A curious little shop opened just three days ago at 300 Knickerbocker Avenue. It’s called Second Time Around, and it’s a geek-tweaked mash-up of old and new. Old comic books share the space with jars of “addictive” artisanal salsa, a Cabbage Patch Kid smiles nervously behind a G.I. Joe thermos, and a carefully curated rack of secondhand T-shirts looms over neatly arranged piles of baby clothes. And all over the green and red walls are the riotous, graffiti-like paintings of Bizzid, the camera-shy proprietor.

Bizzid is a long-time Ridgewood resident who opened the shop as a way to supplement his artist’s income. He sells his own work at accessible prices and eventually hopes to carry affordable pieces by other artists. While the shop also carries some general housewares, its collection best reflects Bizzid’s love of cartoons, toys, comics and other things that are “quirky, weird or interesting” and always unique. “It’s almost like this shit seems to find me. People are always giving me strange things.”

The shop’s eclectic mix seems to me ill-served by its pedestrian name. That is, until Bizzid explains that ‘Second Time Around’ was also the name of the antiques shop owned by April O’Neil, the loyal friend of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Ah, now I get it.   

by:Jeniece  posted by:Jeniece  filed:Neighborhood  08-03-11

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Fred Valentine's salt-and-pepper hair easily betrays his status as an O.G. of the New York art scene. In the nineties, long before the condos came, he helped to create art and performance happenings in Williamsburg under the names Organism and Mustard. A mix of art, performance, and music mayhem, they were the forebears of the warehouse events now publicized by the likes of Nonsense NYC. Fred’s involvement in this scene climaxed in 1995 when he co-founded Galapagos Art Space in its old guise on N. 6th street. Unfortunately it didn't take very long before he and his cohorts were priced out of the scene that they helped to start. But now Freddy’s back to launch VALENTINE Gallery in Ridgewood--Bushwick's quieter, better-looking cousin. Just don't call him a pioneer.
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by:Jeniece  posted by:real dan  filed:People  07-07-11

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We caught Shepard and his crew in the act of installing a gigantic new Obey poster on Waterbury & Scholes. Although his most recent interview didn't go so well Shepard, man that he is, stepped up to the plate to answer a few questions for the Bushwick Dream.

So why this piece and why here?

Well, I'm friends with Jay Leritz who is one of the owners of Yummus Hummus. He and I knew each other when we lived in San Diego. He told me that this building was an open spot and of course I noticed that there are a lot of musicians in this neighborhood and that there's this metal venue right across the street [Acheron]. And I DJ, and I've been doing this series as a tribute to the record cover format, the square format, so I thought this would make sense. And I also had the measurements and it worked, mathematically. So, yeah. You turn your limitations into assets. I always like to do big stuff outdoors, if I can. I think this is a good spot, I like this neighborhood.

 

What else do you have planned while you're in New York?

I'm in town until the 6th. I've done a little bit here and there, some opportunities have presented themselves and I have some other walls lined up, some in Brooklyn and some in Manhattan. Obviously some of my assistants from L.A. are here helping. I'd rather just have it be a surprise, have people stumble on it than say where it's going to be. Some things fall through and some new things pop up. But we're gonna be in public art mode right now. 

 

What do you think about Brooklyn Museum pulling the plug on the Art in the Streets exhibit that they were planning to have this year? They said it was for financial reasons, but there's some suspicion that that wasn't quite the full story.

 

You know I don't know, I haven't heard anything other than that it was for financial reasons. I am friends with one of the curators there and she was really excited about doing it. And they've done other graffiti shows in the past, so I don't know, I don't see why this one would be more problematic politically than any of the other ones. I do know that it's an expensive show to put together, L.A. MoCA was barely was able to fund it, with sponsorship. So, it could be legit, who knows. 

 

It's disappointing when you think of New York being a real birthplace, in a lot of ways, of the graffiti and street art movement. Even though of course it's expanded to a lot of cities around the globe. You know, it's an important place for the show to be seen and I hope it makes it to a few other cities, but it was a major accomplishment in L.A. and I'm happy for that. 

 

I'm grateful for anything that happens that puts a good group of artists together and shows what they're doing. A lot of the commentary that I hear is, "Well, you know, what do you think about the de-clawing or de-fanging of street art by putting it in a museum?" Well, first of all, it's not street art in a museum, you fucking moron. It's art, it's just art. Street art is on the street. I'm so sick of that shit. You know, I still do street art, everybody that calls themselves a street artist should still do street art. Otherwise you're just an artist, but it's fine to use a lot of different platforms for art. You know, it's totally narrow-minded to say that art's only legitimate in galleries and museums, and it's just as narrow-minded to say it's only legitimate outdoors. Those things, anything that's about unhealthy boxes or categories that people want to put things in because they want to be a gatekeeper in that category--it's about them and their ego, it's not about a thriving dialogue about the power of art, so, fuck that shit! 

by:Jeniece  posted by:angry dan  filed:People  06-28-11

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On summer days Brooklyn turns into Throwback City. The block parties, the front-stoop playgrounds, the gushing fire hydrants--it's like walking through a Helen Levitt picture. Nowadays Bushwick is also looking more like it did in the years B.C. (Before Condos). Never more so than when the gentlemen of the various Puerto Rican bicycle clubs throw open their garage doors. There are at least three different such clubs in Bushwick where middle-aged (mostly male) members congregate over brews and seriously blinged-out vintage bikes. This weekend we encountered the boys of the Pa-La Loma Club on Harman Street. Learn more about the PR bicycle clubs of New York here and here.

by:Jeniece  posted by:Jeniece  filed:Neighborhood  06-20-11

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A stranger is just a friend that you haven’t met yet. Bushwick Dream puts random people on the spot. This time: Justin P., hailing from L.A. and found on Jefferson St. bet. Irving and Wyckoff.

 

Why are you here?

 

I moved here from L.A. to be a fine illustrator.

 

 

 

What’s the border of Bushwick, in your opinion?

 

That’s a hard one, because I just moved here from around the Montrose L. Hmm...I would say between the Morgan and Montrose L stops.

 

 

 

What’s your weapon of choice?

 

I’m a pacifist. I guess I’d say...the pencil!

 

by:Jeniece  posted by:angry dan  filed:People  06-15-11

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A bearded man in his thirties skips across the gum-speckled sidewalks of Myrtle-Broadway. “Batman on Broadway!” he announces at-large, his voice echoing under the elevated subway tracks. 

 

He flails about in a superhero costume and does a leaping kick in the air. His funny noises are interspersed with sweeping statements about love. He runs in place, dances, jumps and crouches ninja-style. He’s light on his feet, but the effect is more Disney than Marvel Comics. Some pedestrians stop and stare, others keep walking. A dozen cellphone cameras are whipped out and by evening his antics will be up on Youtube.

 

Thus ends my encounter with Bushwick-based performance artist Matt Silver. An hour before this we sat in a local café and discussed his work over glasses of strawberry juice. 

 

“When I perform I really want to tap into the heart of it. The heart of it is, I want to make you laugh.” 

 

I wonder about what the members of his regular Broadway audience really think. After all, his “stage” is within walking distance to the mental hospital on Flushing Ave. Don’t you ever feel shy, I ask him? 

 

Sometimes I feel shy. Like right now....” 

 

As he speaks his hazel eyes twinkle and his hands make opera-like gestures, but in between questions he seems as bashful as a four-year old. The thing with Matt is you’re never quite sure whether he’s performing or not. But according to him he’s always performing.

 

“When I was younger I was inspired to stay on, like all the time. I was inspired to be this other character.” He tells me that his parents eventually got used to it.

 

You might be tempted to dismiss Matt as just another New York street performer. To do so would be to miss his most engaging works--the steady stream of mini-epic films that he writes and stars in. Titles like Heartpocalypse and Love Comes Out of Your Butt are shot on location and include a sizeable cast and crew. (Some of his most memorable scenes included actors dressed as giant sheaves of corn stilt-walking under the Broadway el.) The fantastical films have a great cinematic flair. A recurring character is Man in White Dress: Matt as a misanthrope in a thrift-store wedding gown trying to spread a message of love.

 

“Love is a universal theme. It’s a good mythic adventure, like the search for the holy grail. For me it’s called the love portal. It’s the search for the love portal, to open it up. That would be amazing.”

 

He then tells me that his next film will involve  a three-headed monster. His larger goals are just as ambitious.

 

“My project is to become that mythological clown character. I don’t know, over these years, one of the reasons I street-perform is because like I want to become a mythic hero. That would be fun before I’m dead. I mean, it would just be fun, you know? Becoming like a mythic clown. And just use it to make people laugh. I’m gonna do that.”

 

Back on the street Matt dashes across the heavy traffic on Broadway to take up a new post next to Popeye’s Chicken. He struts and crouches, jumps and dances.  Some spectators call out, “Hey Batman!” and dance along with him. “Love is all you need!” he shouts.

by:Jeniece  posted by:real dan  filed:Art & Culture  06-09-11

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The funny thing about BoS--or indeed any sort of open studios event--is that the artists participating can't go around and play visitor at other artists’ studios. So Bushwick Dream did the legwork for you. Here are some pearls of wisdom we observed from your comrades.

Free is good. Julia Colavita makes ethereal, airy sculptures and paintings that combine chance-driven methods with intricate line work. The results are as fragile and as beautiful as the human body. From her comes our final and most practical tip: how to score free acrylic paints, direct from the factory, without breaking the law. 

 

                                            

by:Jeniece  posted by:Jeniece  filed:Art & Culture  06-07-11

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The funny thing about BoS--or indeed any sort of open studios event--is that the artists participating can't go around and play visitor at other artists’ studios. So Bushwick Dream did the legwork for you. Here are some pearls of wisdom we observed from your comrades.

Mine your heritage--or someone else’s. Photographer and mixed-media artist Delphine Diaw Diallo is a Parisian with Senegalese heritage. While she has found inspiration in travels to her ancestral home of Senegal, she’s also been to places as exotic as Montana. Her Great Vision series was made on the Crow Indian Reservation, home every year to the world’s largest family reunion.

 

 

by:Jeniece  posted by:Jeniece  filed:Art & Culture  06-06-11

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The funny thing about BoS--or indeed any sort of open studios event--is that the artists participating can't go around and play visitor at other artists’ studios. So Bushwick Dream did the legwork for you. Here are some pearls of wisdom we observed from your comrades.

Take pieces of the city, but don’t let the city take pieces of you. Nate Anspaugh came to New York six years ago with the intention, like many transplants, to have his own piece of the Apple. He took this literally and found himself tearing off and taking home the posters he found around town. Soon this expanded to the unavoidable advertisements that clog up our mental and physical space. Nate transforms these fragments into masks, commenting on on how our personae--the masks we wear--are being more and more shaped by media and a juggernaut consumer culture.

  

by:Jeniece  posted by:Jeniece  filed:Art & Culture  06-05-11

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The funny thing about BoS--or indeed any sort of open studios event--is that the artists participating can't go around and play visitor at other artists’ studios. So Bushwick Dream did the legwork for you. Here are some pearls of wisdom we observed from your comrades.

Pro Tip: Be organized and make big plans. I took one look at Cojo’s workspace and wanted to invite him to organize my closets. This, my friends, is the mark of a productive mind. Even more impressive is his ambitious project wherein he made a new sketch--in his signature thick outline style--everyday for a whole year. Now he will combine the elements of these drawings into a series of ten 8-foot paintings. A great way to ensure that the art keeps coming.
 

  

 

by:Jeniece  posted by:Jeniece  filed:Art & Culture  06-05-11

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Not even the vagaries of the MTA’s maintenance schedule could stop the 5th annual Bushwick Open Studios from getting off to a cracking start. Did you check out Curbs and Stoops Active Spaces and their 3 curated rooms, including “Stay Gold” by Throwaway Art and our own lovely Robin Grearson? Did you watch CA Conrad get smashed between two giant heels at Brooklyn Fireproof’s YR Friday Nite? Did you find the pot of gold left for you by Hack Interactive? Finally, did you heave with the sweaty masses at the official BoS Launch Party at Pinebox Rock Shop? No? Well, you've two more days to redeem yourself. Get to it!

by:Jeniece  posted by:Jeniece  filed:Art & Culture  06-04-11

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As the days count down to Bushwick Open Studios our neighborhood is buzzing with creative energy. The people are at work. Art is being made.

We live in an age of hyperreality and are constantly being fed the details of other people’s lives. But as photographer Maciek Jasik says, “details can be a red herring to think you know someone.” The portraits in his Bypassing the Rational series take another approach--using swirling, dreamlike colors to transmit a feeling of mystery that envelops the subject and draws in the viewer. Visit him for his BOS debut at 1609 Dekalb Avenue (2F).

by:Jeniece  posted by:Jeniece  filed:Art & Culture  06-03-11

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As the days count down to Bushwick Open Studios our neighborhood is buzzing with creative energy. The people are at work. Art is being made.

Indecision can be a blessing. Jon Lewis loved both painting and photography, and found it difficult to choose either. He now melds the two by using gum bichromate, a painterly photographic technique from the 19th century. Visit Jon during his first BOS to see these timeless yet thoroughly modern portraits (85 Meserole Street).

by:Jeniece  posted by:Jeniece  filed:Art & Culture  06-02-11

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As the days count down to Bushwick Open Studios our neighborhood is buzzing with creative energy. The people are at work. Art is being made.

Adam Distenfield takes only what the earth gives him, sculpting large rocks donated to him by construction sites. His Brooklyn Rockwerks studio on 129 Noll Street is a shelter for the unloved boulders edged out in the name of progress. Go visit him this weekend to see how he's breathing new life into New York’s native granite. (P.S.: Be sure to check out his amazing roof garden!)

 

by:Jeniece  posted by:Jeniece  filed:Art & Culture  06-02-11

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As the days count down to Bushwick Open Studios our neighborhood is buzzing with creative energy. The people are at work. Art is being made.

Gavin Sewell makes mixed media pieces on canvas in studio 409 at 119 Ingraham Street. Sand, plaster, paint, photographs, magazine fragments--these are just some of the materials he uses to create his richly textured pieces. Gavin is “aiming for longevity”--the longer you look, the more surprises you’ll discover in each piece.

by:Jeniece  posted by:Jeniece  filed:Art & Culture  06-01-11

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A stranger is just a friend that you haven’t met yet. Bushwick Dream put random people on the spot. This time: Michael D., found at Little Skips.

 

Why are you here?

I’ve been here for 5 years. I came out to New York for school and I actually graduated from Pratt Institute in architecture a week ago. I actually moved out to Bushwick this year, I was living in Bed-Stuy the past 4 years.

 

What’s the border of Bushwick, in your opinion?

I..think that there is a border that’s formed on Broadway. I guess that’d be the Bed-Stuy border? And then between here and Williamsburg, I don’t really know, like I’ve no idea! 

 

What’s your weapon of choice?

My weapon of choice....what would my weapon of choice be? That’s a funny question...I would probably say my camera actually!

 

 
by:Jeniece  posted by:angry dan  filed:People  06-01-11

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all content is property of The Bushwick Dream unless otherwise stated
Features
Glen Friedel: Artist, Bushwick resident, one hell of a guy.


Chris Stain: In the Dream


Bushwick Artist Feature: QRST


Shepard Fairey: It's not street art in a museum, you fucking moron!.


Matt Silver Wants to Open Your Love Portal


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