Tag Archives: Brooklyn

Seven Brides, a Carousel, and a Protest: My Saturday in Brooklyn

I am interrupting my regularly scheduled Paris series to write about something timelier, what I did yesterday.  My original plan for Saturday was to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge and check out the recently opened Jane’s Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park.  As I passed One Police Plaza, I knew something big was going on when I saw a group of police officers on horses, surrounded by more officers on foot.  Based on the cardboard signs in the distance, I correctly guessed that the Occupy Wall Street protesters had mobilized and were crossing the bridge.  I was determined to walk over the bridge, so I decided to follow them and document the event.

Police on horses are not an everyday sight

The protest was very visually interesting.  The crowd was energetic and there was a lot of chanting (“This is what democracy looks like,”  “Goldman Sachs get off our backs,” “We are the 99%”), with the chants constantly changed by whoever could shout the loudest.  Many tourists and photographers gathered on the sides of the bridge to watch and photograph the crowd.  I thought it was nice that cars on the lower level of the bridge honked in solidarity and drivers held out their fingers, making peace symbols.

Occupy Wall Street protesters on the Brooklyn Bridge

More interesting signs at the Occupy Wall Street protest

A wedding party on the bridge…note the groomsman is carrying the “Occupy Wall Street Journal”

There were also A TON of police officers, most of who looked miserable and not pleased to be there.  Things went awry when the police started arresting people on the lower level of the bridge.  I should explain that I was on the pedestrian walking level, but there are traffic lanes on the lower level of the bridge.  Apparently protesters on that level had blocked traffic and the police arrested over seven hundred people.  I do not support people blocking traffic, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the police led the mass there, as has been suggested by several media sources.  When the arrests started the group stopped moving and people shouted at the police below.  I took photos and then tried to make my way through the crowd.  Eventually the group started moving again.  I got off the bridge at the DUMBO exit, as originally planned.  I don’t know how long I spent on the bridge, but it was definitely the longest crossing ever.

Who knew there are so many varieties of police wear?

One of more than 700 arrests on the lower level of the Brooklyn Bridge

As I walked through DUMBO, I could still hear the protesters chanting for several blocks.  I stopped on Water Street at Jacques Torres’ Ice Cream Parlor, where I got a single scoop of the special “wicked” flavor.  For $3.30, it was quite the NYC bargain!  “Wicked” is chocolate ice cream with chili peppers (I once tried the famous “wicked” hot chocolate and it was too spicy, but the ice cream was slightly less intense).

The adorable Jacques Torres Ice Cream Parlor…I loved the chandelier!

Jacque Torres’ famous chocolate chip cookies (and my ice cream on the ledge)

I walked a block and finally arrived at Jane’s Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park.  I have been excited about the carousel opening since I first passed it in DUMBO, back when it sat immobile in a storefront window.

View of the Manhattan Bridge from Brooklyn Bridge Park

Jane’s Carousel is a restored historic carousel from 1922, which now sits in a Jean Nouvel designed glass pavilion overlooking the East River, between the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges.  The carousel and the pavilion were a gift from the Walentas family (real estate moguls) to the city of New York.  The pavilion didn’t strike me as anything special, but the carousel was stunning and the setting was equally spectacular.  Rides are $2. a piece and while the ride felt short, it may have been because I was having so much fun (note though that the horses on the exterior of the carousel are immobile, but more bejeweled than the rest).

Jane’s Carousel inside Jean Nouvel’s glass pavilion

Jane’s Carousel…look at the newly weds in the chariot

I was excited to see lots of wedding parties in Brooklyn Bridge Park, and particularly at the carousel.  I titled this post “Seven Brides” because of the movie “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” and also because I lost count at seven brides, but there were probably closer to ten wedding parties in the park.  Eventually I walked back to the bridge, but the entrance was blocked by three police officers who told me that the bridge was closed due to the protest.  I was annoyed and headed towards the subway, but it was just as well because it started pouring as I entered the station.

One of many wedding parties at Jane’s Carousel

Another wedding party on the carousel

View of the Brooklyn Bridge from Brooklyn Bridge Park

Since it was the weekend, the closest subway line to my house was closed for construction, so I took another line and transferred at 14th street and 8th avenue.  Despite my strong dislike of the subway, I love the 14th and 8th avenue station because of the Tom Otterness “Life Underground” installation that is scattered throughout.  Seeing the installation was rather timely, since many of the adorable little sculptures actually have political undertones criticizing capitalism.  Observing the sculptures was a very appropriate way to end the day.  I wish every subway station had art installations like W. 14th street!

A police officer and a homeless person

A police officer catching a businessman skipping the toll

Cute little people

A businessman giving charity?

A bloated looking businessman

Lots of little people!

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Tango in the Park (and other fun stuff)

Trying my first and last mint julip at the Pink House, Savannah (I was not a fan...bourbon is nasty!)

Trying my first and last mint julip at the Pink House, Savannah (I was not a fan…bourbon is nasty!)

Hi!  Sorry I haven’t updated in awhile.  I’ve been busy, but not doing a lot that I consider truly blog worthy.  After school ended I went on a trip with my mother to Savannah, GE and Charleston, NC.  Both cities were beautiful, but I couldn’t see myself living in either place (not that it was ever being considered…haha).  When we were in Savannah I read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt out loud to my mother in the car b/c that is what we do when we travel.  We both loved it!  We visited a lot of the places mentioned in the book (sounds touristy, but it was fun). I am not going to blog any more about the trip b/c it was a while ago and I’m trying to focus on NYC activities, but I recommend visiting both cities if you have the chance.  On a somewhat related note, I am currently reading The City of Falling Angels (also by John Berendt) and I like it, but not as much as Midnight.  It is also making me want to be in Venice right now (actually I want to be in Venice all the time, but it’s making me want to be there more than usual).

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Back to NYC – One of my classmates is a hardcore tango aficionado and she invited me to Saturday night tango in Central Park.  Every summer Saturday from 6-9 there is a huge free milanga (tango dance party) by the Shakespeare statue in the Literary Row (I think this is in the center of the Park and somewhere in the 60’s…it was a short walk from where I entered at 59th and 5th ave).  Even if you don’t dance it can be fun to watch the milanga.  However, at 7:30 there is a FREE beginner tango lesson, so there is no excuse not to try!

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I attended the free lesson with another classmate.  He is very tall and I am very short so it was a little awkward, but we were instructed to switch partners after a few songs.  I was very impressed with the lesson, since I took beginner’s classes at Manhattan Dance a few years ago and the instructor was just as good (if not better) than the classes I paid for there.  My only complaint is that she didn’t get around to correcting my form.  This could be because I’m just sooo good (hah), but more likely because there were a lot of people.  However, free is free so I can’t complain and you can check out her website here.

Queuing up for the guilletine?

Queuing up for the guillotine?

I was going to blog about the Bastille Day celebration I attended on Smith Street in Brooklyn last week, but now I feel like outdated so I will just leave you with some photos instead.  For the past several years I have gone to the Alliance Francaise’s Bastille Day festival in Manhattan, but I am always disappointed b/c it’s the same food vendors for four blocks straight (like all street fairs in NYC).  The Smith St. party was so much better!  I went late on Sunday night and it seemed to be mostly people in their 20’s and 30’s and they were dancing in the streets.  There were also large lots of sand brought in for pétanque.  The dance party continued or flowed out of Bar Tabac, which is one of my favorite restaurants in BK for it’s atmosphere and live entertainment.

I was having issues w/ my flash, but as you can see the streets were packed...you get the idea

I was having issues w/ my flash, but as you can see the streets were packed…you get the idea

Pétanque!

Pétanque!

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Bar Tabac was selling t-shirts.  They only had one size left and was too big, but I bought it anyway because I liked the design.  It’s my new favorite workout shirt.  It also makes me feel like a softball player 🙂

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the back

the back

That’s about it for all of the fun in NYC.  I am enjoying my internship and only wishing the summer was longer!  I am also looking forward to visits from some of my favorite people in the coming weeks, so maybe I’ll post if I do anything interesting with them.  Hope you’re having a great summer!

p.s. I started a tumblr! (http://roseofbohemia.tumblr.com).  I just repost articles/songs/photos that I like, but you should check it out if you are bored or want to know more about my interests…haha.

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Target First Saturday

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Saturday night I attended Target’s First Saturday at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, which is probably my favorite free event.  The first Saturday of every month the museum is open until 11 and has free music, movies, lectures, and other programing (sponsored by Target).  Although everything except the bar and cafe are free, you have to go early (activities begin at 5) to get tickets for the movies and lectures.  You can still enjoy the music/dance party, and art without tickets, which is what I did with my friends.

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The current main exhibit is The Black List Project by photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders.  Greenfield-Sanders photographed twenty-five prominent African Americans and filmed them in an accompanying documentary.  Greenfield-Sanders uses a 20X24 Polaroid camera to create his signature large format portraits.  There are only six 20X24 cameras in the world and you can rent them for the day at three international Polaroid studios (my mother rented the camera at the NY studio when I was in middle school and did portraits of our friends and family).

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I asked my mother why the majority of Greenfield-Sander’s subjects look unhappy because he took her portrait when she participated in a workshop with him.  She said he tells subjects not to smile because it isn’t natural.  He instructs you to “smile with the eyes.”  He also asks subjects to wear a piece of jewelry to make the portraits more personal.

DJ Sabine

DJ Sabine

Target First Saturday always has a theme and this month it was “Celebrate Women’s Power.”  The dance party featured afro-tech music spun by DJ Sabine.  There was also a live female jazz singer in the lobby, but we missed most of her performance when we were seeing the exhibits.

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The Dance Party

Dippin dots reminded me of theme park day at camp

Dippin’ dots reminded me of theme park day at camp

The BMA is known for their Egyptian wing.

The colors in the main room look Disney-esque to me.

The colors in the main room look Disney-esque to me.

Some works I like from the BMA’s contemporary art collection:

Mickalene Thomas, A Little Taste Outside of Love, 2007

Mickalene Thomas, A Little Taste Outside of Love, 2007

enamel and rhinestones on wood

enamel and rhinestones on painted wood

There is no artist statement with this.  I love the textures!

Hew Locke

Hew Locke, Koh-i-noor, 2005

Do you see the doll's head?

Can you spot the doll’s head?

This mixed-media sculpture of Queen Elizabeth explores the relationship between contemporary Britain and its colonial past.

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Near the museum I passed Cafe Shane, which is now serving chicken and waffles.  That combo sounds nasty to moi, but I’m partial to the name (I mentioned earlier my real name isn’t Rose…hint hint).

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Welcome to DUMBO!

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DUMBO is an acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge and it is a former industrial turned yuppish neighborhood.  I am not particularly qualified to give a tour of DUMBO because everything I know about the neighborhood I’ve discovered from walking around myself.  Then again, I don’t think there’s a lot there, so I’ve tried to capture it all below for those of you who don’t live nearby (please let me know in the comments if I’m leaving out any quintessential DUMBO spots).

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I initially found DUMBO disappointing.  I first heard of the neighborhood when a family friend’s son, who is an artist was renting a studio there, so I was expecting it to have lots of boutiques and galleries.  Instead, it is the most gentrified neighborhood I’ve ever seen, but it’s growing on me.  It’s also the closest neighborhood within walking distance from my apartment so I go there whenever I need a change of scenery.

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DUMBO begins at the end of the Brooklyn Heights promenade.  To enter from Brooklyn Heights, you walk beneath an under path that is part of the Watchtower (the Jehovah’s Witness headquarters).

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The Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory

The Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory and the River Cafe overlook the water.  I think the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory is cute, but it could be better if they had more inventive flavors.  I also wish they offered smaller portions for smaller prices (a single scoop is $3.50, but it’s more like 2+ scoops).

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The River Cafe and water taxi stand

I’ve never been to the River Cafe, but it’s supposed to be one of the most romantic restaurants in New York.  Dinner is prix fix only for $98. per person, so I don’t anticipate going there anytime soon.

the South Street Seaport

View of the South Street Seaport, Manhattan

Although I complained that DUMBO isn’t artsy, there are some good entertainment venues.  I haven’t been to the St. Ann’s Warehouse (a theater), but it looks nice.

I have another version of this photo sans people, but I used this one because they look like Brooklynites

I have another version of this photo sans people, but I’m using this one because they are probably Brooklynites

The Galapagos Art Space is a performance space and bar.  I’ve been a few parties there and I liked it.  I also saw an entertaining burlesque show at their old location in Williamsburg.  I am going to go to another one and blog about it in the future.

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I LOVE carousels!  Once I went on the carousel at B’more’s Inner Harbor six time consecutively (possibly more…I was with a child and she wanted to keep going, so I couldn’t say no).  Jane’s Carousel (c. 1922) in DUMBO was the first carousel on the National Registrar of Historic Places, but it’s currently nonfunctional.  It is owned by a couple who are in negotiations to move it to a soon to be built pavilion in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

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Jacques Torres Chocolate store and factory reminds me of a sophisticated version of Willy Wonka’s.  I tried the famous Wicket Hot Chocolate (with chili peppers!) at the West Village location and I thought it was GROSS, but I don’t like very spicy food, so I shouldn’t fault the product.

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I’ve never been to Almondine (a French bakery across the street), but it’s written up a lot in articles about DUMBO.

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The waterfront parks around Dumbo are empty and they have spectacular views of Manhattan.

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This is a condo in Dumbo.  On the ground floor there an outpost of the Tribeca restaurant Bubby’s.  I’ve never been there, but I would like to try the Manhattan location because it’s popular with celebrities (and famous for pie and brunch).

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There are a lot of former warehouses and factories.

ugly industrial buildings

Ugly industrial buildings

The Eagle Warehouse and Storage Co. is another condo/loft building.

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Gossip Girl filming location

Grimaldi’s is the most famous pizza parlor in Brooklyn.  Although I don’t like pizza much, I would be interested in trying it because its supposedly one of the best pizza places in New York and the world and I like to try everything once.  Notice the velvet rope…it’s THAT popular.

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I might do another post about the Brooklyn Flea, but it's not that exciting...just a big flea market that's moved to DUMBO for the winter

I might do another post about the Brooklyn Flea, but it’s not that exciting…just a big flea market that moved from Fort Greene to DUMBO for the winter

I didn’t photograph Starbucks, West Elm, or Bo Concept, but they’re there too.  While I like all those stores, you certainly don’t need to go out to Brooklyn to visit them.  That pretty much sums up DUMBO.

more typical buildings...peas and pickles is a funny name for a grocery

More condos buildings…Peas and Pickles is a funny name for a grocery

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Beirut in Williamsburg

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This past week I had the pleasure of seeing my favorite Balkan-inspired indie rock band Beirut perform at the Music Hall of Williamsburg (thanks M.A. for the ticket!).  I attended with two friends from college, one of whom came all the way from B’more for the concert.  We arrived several hours early, so we had choice standing spots directly in front of the stage.

Tune Yards had tape across the front of her face (possibly for sound effects?).  The rest of her band also wore tape when they joined her later.  Has anyone seen this before?/know what the tape is for?

An incredibly talented musician named Merril Garbus, who performs under the name Tune Yards, opened the show.  She sang, played the ukulele, and made interesting noises and even more interesting facial expressions.  She was also sweet and seemed honored to be opening for Beirut.  After Tune Yards, the band Inlet played, which my friend aptly described as “Sufjan Stevens on codeine.”  Their music was pleasant, but they seemed spaced out and not particularly enthused to be there.

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Beirut went on at 11:06 (my friends made a bet) and Zach Condon and Co. did not disappoint.  They played a good mix of old and new music (although no Carousels:() and performed not one, but two encores!  I am happy to report that Zack also seemed nice.  He apologized to the audience when the band ran out of rehearsed songs from the set list and then scattered it over the crowd.  A more extensive review of the concert can be found here.

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Getting into it

Getting into it

Taking a break

Taking a break

Zach has identical French horn tattoos on both wrists.  They're a little large for my taste, but they looked good/appropriate on him.

Zach has identical French horn tattoos on both wrists. They’re a little large for my taste, but they looked good/appropriate on him.

My favorite Beirut songs:

* Elephant Gun

* Mount Wroclai (Idle Days)

*  Carousels

* Scenic World

* The Long Island Sound

* My Family’s Role in the Revolution

* Nantes

* Knives and Forks (La Fête)

* My Night with the Prostitute from Marseille

* A Sunday Smile

* Guyamas Sonora

* Santa Fe

* A Candle’s Fire

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Adventures in Williamsburg

Rose Live Music

Rose Live Music

Last night I attended a poetry reading at the Rose Live Music bar in Williamsburg.  The reading was part of the Ear Shot Reading series, which selects MFA poetry students from different graduate programs to share their work.  The bar was nice and the $5. cover charge included a free drink, which I thought was a good deal.  I didn’t find the talent levels to be equal, but one of the poets was great, and I’m impressed by anyone who gets up and shares such personal work.  After the reading a jazz band performed, which was excellent.

After the bar we went to Foodswings, which is a vegan fast food restaurant.  I had already had dinner, but I tried some of my friend’s fries and a cookies and cream milkshake.  The chalk signs listed the names of many variations of fries (ex. mariachi fries), but the counter person was not too enthusiastic about describing the differences.  My friend ordered the “cheese” fries.  I thought they tasted weird, but I’m not a huge fan of cheese in general so vegan cheese is even less appealing.  Everyone else liked them.  The milkshake was awesome though!  I am curious to know what the base was because it didn’t taste anything like soy milk (maybe it was another nondairy replacement or the cookies just masked the taste?).  The cheese fries were $3.50 and the milkshake was $4.25.  Fast food is not one of my preferred cuisines, but I could definitely see how Foodswings has a certain appeal for the vegan crowd, and the atmosphere was fun.

http://www.earshotnyc.com/
www.foodswings.net
295 Grand St
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 388-1919

Foodswings

Foodswings

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Monica and the milkshake

I am a huge Smith's fan, so I had to take a photo with their poster

I love the Smiths!

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