We’re back (it’s been a while) with The People in Your Neighborhood, our ongoing feature where we talk with notable local figures about their favorite people and places in the neighborhood they call home, the idea being that it just might be the same neighborhood you call home, and you might realize that you’ve both been using the same laundromat this whole time.
Bushwick-by-way-of-Louisville, KY transplants VHS or Beta are also back, returning to the dance-disco-rock scene with Diamonds and Death on September 27, their first album in four years. Catch a sneak peek this Friday at Cameo for a show with Megafortress; until then, let’s find out where bassist Mark Palgy buys groceries and drinks sangria.
Best place to people watch?
Maria Hernandez Park
Best place to drink?
Pearl’s Social & Billy Club
Best place to attend a show/view a piece of art/see a movie?
Bushwick is known for its great loft spaces. The Mister Saturday Night guys were doing a loft party on Scholes that was amazing. They bring in a lot of European DJs and do a nice job of promoting and throwing great parties.
Best coffee shop?
Wyckoff Starr. Sometimes snooty service, but they make a killer red-eye.
I’ve been loving Guacuco lately — awesome arepas and sangria — but I can’t leave out the Tortilla Factory.
Best bookstore or record store?
What’s a record store?
Best grocery store or farmers’ market?
Brand-new humongous Hana Deli.
I think it’s just called “24 hour.” They wash and fold everything for $9.
Best outdoor spot?
Roberta’s backyard for the Tiki Disco party every other Sunday. It’s the best party in NYC. I once saw someone crowd surfing to “You Can Call Me Al.”
Best subway line?
I live on the same block as the Jefferson L. It kinda rules… EXCEPT when it never ever, ever, ever runs properly.
Best date spot?
My apartment has a great rooftop with a beautiful view of Manhattan.
According to neighborhood folklore, are there any celebrities living in the area?
I think Bill Murray was coming out here for loft parties at some point. Otherwise, Bushwick is not the place to spot celebrities.
Which are there more of: dogs, bodega cats, strollers, American Apparel ads or old men on stoops?
There are lots of children running around like crazy here. And pit bulls. Maybe they’ve been popularized by the artist “Pitbull.”
What’s missing from your neighborhood?
We need more restaurants.
What has been the biggest change since you’ve moved in?
The Hana Deli: game changer. 24-hour deli with amazing sandwiches. Great for a post-bar face stuffing.
It’s a Saturday night in July or August. You don’t feel like traveling very far but are antsy for a night out. Where do you go?
I mentioned Pearl’s earlier. It’s my good friend Betsy’s bar. Just opened. Perfect in almost every way. Great music, awesome bartenders, very friendly neighborhood vibe. Cheap beers. Has an open-air feel to it as well. It’s my new favorite spot.