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07/15/15 9:46am

stedman

In 2001, we were walking down Bedford Avenue when we had the idea to get our ten favorite writers to move into a loft together.

We’d throw a weekly debate party over a feast and then write up that debate in a local magazine about Brooklyn and the East Village. We’d call it The L Magazine.

“It’s foolproof!”

It was idiotic. But Brooklyn was patient; it nurtured us, and nearly 15 years later we’ve had the exceptional luck to have created a company built to celebrate a magical place during a magical time. Obviously there was a vibrant Brooklyn before The L Magazine launched, and there will be a vibrant Brooklyn now, as we stop publishing this magazine in print and continue online. But something new and special happened in Brooklyn between 2003 and 2015, and it changed the world.

There are memories that stand out, like going to Stinger Club on Metropolitan after a birthday party on S. 2nd with Kyp, a barista from the Verb Café, who was just another dude in a band… but the band was TV on the Radio. Or throwing our first real event, a little outdoor film series in the blasted-out old McCarren Park Pool and feeling really psyched when 800 people showed up for The Night of the Hunter, and then being floored later that summer when 6,000 cheering Brooklynites came to Wet Hot American Summer, including Michael Showalter, Joe Lo Truglio, and Paul Rudd, who stood in front of the crowd and introduced the film—an event that was only matched years later by Prince Humperdinck himself introducing The Princess Bride. And more intimate moments like sitting at Verb and talking to a local guy named Mikey about the businesses plans we were working on, ours for a magazine (proudly committed to launching without a website… oops), his for a shop run out of a closet next to the cafe to be called Mikey’s Hookup. It was easy to make these little connections back then; we’d all come to Brooklyn to create something.

It’s fun and nostalgic to look back at the early days. They were much easier to own than today, with all the attention being paid to Brooklyn on a national and international level, by the fashion world, the music industry, the countless brands everyone’s always complaining about. And that’s what they’re really saying: This place is too difficult for me to own. But the truth is that the spirit driving those early moments is as strong as ever—there are just far more people participating. As always, some people are bad at creating things, and some people are good at it. Both are important, and we owe them all a debtof gratitude.

Meanwhile, we continue to have the insane privilege of celebrating this place both online and by ramping up the L’s sister publication Brooklyn Magazine into a monthly magazine. That said, there’s something about ending the L’s print run that feels significant. For many years, we started each L Magazine with a quote and a little thought about the public space of Brooklyn that we were all sharing. So let’s look at this as our last waltz, and end with a quote that sums up our feelings about what this means for Brooklyn better than anything else:

“The beginning of the beginning, of the end of the beginning.” -Robbie Robertson, The Last Waltz

Scott and Danny Stedman
Founders

07/15/15 6:39am

Timeline_special

 

Weird news you may have heard already: As of today, July 15th, The L Magazine will no longer be published as a print magazine. This is neither tragic nor particularly sad nor further proof that everything is fucked. It is rather–and we realize this may seem like a line of bullshit–a decision we’ve made so that we can focus on and grow our sister publication, Brooklyn Magazine, which, starting in September, will go from being a quarterly publication to a monthly one. This is very exciting.

It’s become common to sentimentalize the Brooklyn of the very recent past; it doesn’t take much encouragement before people begin to wax nostalgic about the way things used to be before the condos went up, or this bar closed, or that chain store opened, or these people moved out, or these other people moved in. It’s an understandable tendency, this need to reflect upon a now-broken past; we do it in order to better understand our present, and to make sense of the decisions we’ll need to make to build our future.

Understandable as it is, though, we’ve always rejected this type of precious remembrance at The L—even when this magazine turned 10 a couple of years ago, we spent no time celebrating our own history, but rather took the opportunity to highlight a host of other Brooklyn businesses which had taken root and thrived in this borough long before anyone had ever heard of a ramen burger.

And so now, in this last print issue of The L, we can’t really just break character completely, can we? We can’t just reject everything we’ve ever stood for and rhapsodize about our place in Brooklyn’s recent history, can we? No, we can’t. And really, we don’t want to. Because in looking back over the things that have happened in this borough over the last 12 years, since the very first orange L box appeared on a street corner near you (or maybe not near you? we never quite perfected that part of our distribution), we realize how transient all of this stuff that makes up this borough, these neighborhoods, these streets—our lives—really is.

But don’t just take our word for it. We thought we’d take you back through the last 12 years of Brooklyn history so you could see for yourself how fleeting everything really is, yes, but also how some things might die a real death, whereas others become transformed, reborn. Ok, fine: Maybe we’re getting a little nostalgic. It happens.

Timeline_special2

March 27
The Smoking Ban
It’s hard to remember a time when going out for the night meant you were guaranteed to come home reeking of cigarette smoke—about as hard to remember as a time when a pack of Camel Lights cost $2.50. Well, this was the year everything changed; in March, Bloomberg enacted his pet public safety act—a smoking ban in all bars and restaurants—and New York instantly got healthier. And, you know, much less cool.

April 3
The L Magazine Is Born
Founded by brothers Scott and Daniel Stedman and based on the French weekly Pariscope, this designed-to-fit-in-your-pocket magazine was given what would prove to be an endlessly confounding name (is it like Elle? the L train? The L Word? uh, no) and distributed in orange boxes around lower Manhattan.

Apr 30
The Rezoning of Park Slope
While not as talked about now as the massive rezoning of the Williamsburg waterfront, the rezoning of Park Slope is to thank for all those condos lining 4th Avenue. You know, the ones that stand tall among the squat profiles of the taxi garages and auto repair shops. So, thanks?

June 21
Albany Extends Landlord Powers:
Lest you think that the high rent insanity of 2015 is a recent development, rest assured that the groundwork for all this was laid in Albany more than a decade ago, when Senate Republicans pushed through a measure allowing landlords to get rid of rent regulations on thousands of apartments. One State Senate Democrat called it a “declaration of nuclear war on rent-regulated tenants in New York.”

Murder of City Councilman James Davis by political rival Othniel Askew:
It was a dark day for Brooklyn politics when Councilman Davis was gunned down by Askew inside City Hall. Askew was at City Hall as a guest of Davis’s that day, which is why both men were allowed to skirt the metal detectors. Askew was shot and killed on the scene.

July 27
The New York Times asks “Has Billburg Lost Its Cool?”
Is there something we love more than when the Paper of Record visits Brooklyn? Not that we can think of! Crazy to think that the Times had apparently given up on Williamsburg years before it even discovered the existence of man-buns.

August 14
The City Goes Dark:
Definitely the most notable thing that happened in 2003 (sorry founding-of-The-L: You’re number two!) the Great Blackout of 2003 affected not only Brooklyn, but all of New York City. (And, you know, much of the Northeast corridor. So, like, “upstate.”) This blackout was notable not only because, you know, TOTAL DARKNESS, but also because there was very little looting or crime associated with it, and there was an overall feeling of citywide harmony and togetherness. This stood in stark contrast to the fire- and looting-filled hellscape that was the Blackout of 1977, but seemed instead to carry on the spirit of a city that had, in recent years, weathered so much worse than just a temporary lack of refrigeration.

December 10
Jay-Z and Mayor Mike Bloomberg Head Out to Brooklyn to Support the Announcement of Bruce Ratner’s New Arena:
Capping off the year came the official announcement that Brooklyn would be the home of its very own arena. Brooklyn’s own Jay-Z and Boston’s own Mike Bloomberg came out in support of the Underworld’s own Bruce Ratner as he made the announcement about the impending arrival of the as-yet-to-be-named Barclays Center.

The City Starts Counting Days Between Homicides:
While the crime rate had been steadily dropping for years at this point, this was the first time that the city was able to say, Hey! We can actually go whole days without a murder! We should record that. And so they did.


Openings
• The Mark Bar, Greenpoint
• Videology, Williamsburg
• Gimme! Coffee, Williamsburg

Albums
• Fiery Furnaces Gallowsbird’s Bark
• TV on the Radio Young Liars EP
• Jay-Z The Black Album

Books
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
Lucky Girls by Nell Freudenberger
Oracle Night by Paul Auster
What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt
The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
The Hipster Handbook is published by the people behind great local blog Free Williamsburg.

Real Estate Notes
Average sale price for a home/condo
• Williamsburg, $331K
• Park Slope, $471K
• Brooklyn Heights, $279K
• DUMBO, $908K


07/14/15 1:41pm

Q&A_2_hed

Brooklyn would not be what it is today without the contributions of the untold numbers of people who came here to create art, write novels, publish magazines, promote businesses, and build their lives. These are the people who have helped construct the Brooklyn we know today, the architects of our present and our future. Here they tell us what this crazy place we all call home means to them. First, we’ll hear from our own founders, Scott and Daniel Stedman.

Q&A_scott_dan

 

Scott and Daniel Stedman, Founders of The L Magazine and Northside Media Group

What did Brooklyn mean to you, when you first came here to NYC?

We were basically kids, just out of college when we came to Brooklyn. It was the magnet that was calling creative types from all over the world.  Manhattan was the former epicenter, and all at once, everyone with a dream moved to Brooklyn, and it become the incubator for all of the great artists and makers that have made it the cultural epicenter that it is today.  Now people all over the world dream of making it in Brooklyn.

What does it mean now?

The intensity is a bit diffused with all the attention, and the cost of living, but it’s still there. There’s more talent in Brooklyn today than there has ever been. It’s still a great place for young dreamers and a great place for people who have succeeded. It’s a little tougher for people in between.

What’s one place (bar, park, restaurant, grocery store, anything) that really represented Brooklyn back when you first came to town? 

The L Magazine was first conceived on a walk from Yabby’s on Bedford Ave back to the loft above a chicken processing plant where Scott was living.   Other old haunts were Bar Between the Bridges in Dumbo, where many early L Mag meetings were held.  Also Lillie’s in Red Hook is a good old one, near where Danny first lived.  You couldn’t get in or out without a sweet kiss right on the smacker from Lillie.

What’s one place now?

The spirit of Brooklyn is as alive now as it ever was, and in fact, it’s even stronger, but it’s harder and harder to find the good old haunts where longshoremen sit mid-day to drink boilermakers.  We moved our offices from Dumbo to Downtown Brooklyn, and the current favorite is Dining Room (famous for the peanut butter burger) and Harry O’s.  They are a really good place to crack an egg into a glass of whiskey.   And now every neighborhood has its own hot spot – they change almost every day.

 

 

Gavin McInnes, Co-Founder of Vice Media

What’s one place that really represented Brooklyn back when you first came to town?

Kokies, duh. What’s more “Old New York” than a bar that sells cocaine? You’d drink these tiny Budweisers and navigate past Puerto Ricans dancing the plena to get to the secret “bump room” in the back. It was like being at the bar in Star Wars.

What’s one place now?

I love Nitehawk. The fries are perfect, the movies are great, and Joe the bartender is always playing some amazing song I’ve never heard before.

What has Brooklyn meant to you since in your time living here?

The Williamsburg metamorphosis from junkie to Disney has been fascinating to watch. The purists may hate it but I’m lucky in that it’s perfectly mirrored my own life. Brooklyn is the American dream.

Q&A_2_arnoldlehman

 

Arnold Lehman

What did Brooklyn mean to you, when you first came here to NYC?

It was 1997. Brooklyn to me was extraordinary, a melting pot of cultures and languages and ages and what I saw as the beginning of a very vibrant community.

What’s one place that really represented Brooklyn back when you first came to town?

I may be bias but I think the Brooklyn Museum Community has been and always will be. It’s always been so special to me.

Brooklyn has meant a very special and very rewarding home for me and my family. Brooklyn has gotten even more diverse. It has become younger and more collaborative. Its become an ever more exciting place to live and work.

 

Chelsea Leyland

What did Brooklyn mean to you, when you first came here?

Brooklyn felt like a place that I could actually breath in, an escape from the crazyness. A realistic place to live….a place that felt a little more like somewhere I would want to call home it had an energy that felt a lot more similar to where I grew up in in London.

What does it mean now?

Now it means home…somewhere that I feel safe to walk around in my pajamas in. Somewhere where everyone cares if the cow they are eating was fed grass or not. And its still my escape from Manhattan. A place that lowers my heart rate rather then rase it haha.

What’s one place (bar, park, restaurant, grocery store, anything) that really represented Brooklyn back when you first came to town?

Hotel Delmano

What’s one place now?

The canal in Greenpoint/the running track in Macaran Park

What has Brooklyn meant to you?

Brooklyn has allowed me to live a healthier life, that sounds dramatic but i feel that it has a totally different energy to Manhattan and once i moved here it changed the way I felt physically and mentally. Its a place where everyone is making their own chocolate and body scrubs and that itself stands for everything yummy that I love in the world.

Q&A_2_sky_parrott

 

Skye Parrott, Photographer

What did Brooklyn mean to you, when you first came here to NYC?

I came to Brooklyn to go to high school, so at that time it represented growing up, taking the subway by myself, breaking away from who I was as a kid and getting to pick who I wanted to be. So much of my identity started to take form here – since then it’s always felt like home.

What does it mean now?

Brooklyn still feels like New York to me. There are places here where you still can experience the friction caused by many different kinds of people living in close proximity, which gives off that energy that’s always made New York such a exciting and creative place.

What’s one place that really represented Brooklyn back when you first came to town?

UTB – what used to be called Under the Bridge, which was just a kind of empty concrete landscape where kids would go to hang out and get up to no good. Now it’s called Dumbo.

What’s one place now?
I don’t know what could be more the apex of Brooklyn these days than the Brooklyn Flea in Ft Greene on a Saturday afternoon.

 

John Biggs, TechCrunch

What did Brooklyn mean to you, when you first moved here?

I rented my first apartment in Brooklyn in the summer of 1998 in Prospect Heights, and at the time it was the culmination of a 6 year exodus to get out of Baton Rouge and back to my parents’ home town and a place where I could finally be at home.Now, 17 years after sharing my first two bedroom apartment with an old college friend (and sharing several subsequent two bedroom apartments with a motley cast of characters) it’s hard to imagine living anywhere else.What does it mean now?So many people talk and write about Brooklyn as an aesthetic, or a state of mind. And maybe that’s one face of what “Brooklyn” is — but to me, Brooklyn just means community. It’s the community of strivers, strugglers and entrepreneurs in the arts, business, and civic life (homegrown or hailing from anytown else), who are looking to make themselves, and their home, something incredible.

What’s one place (bar, park, restaurant, grocery store, anything) that really represented Brooklyn back when you first came to town?

When I lost my first job as a reporter, after 9/11, I used to spend too much money and too much time sitting in Dumont (now, tragically, closed), failing to write the great American novel, and unsuccessfully flirting with a series of waitresses who were cooler than me. And when I got my next job — working overnight for a cable news channel — I’d spend my off hours in Union Pool, drinking at what was, perhaps, the greatest bar I’d ever had the pleasure of spending too much money in.

What’s one place now?

Herbert Von King Park on any weekend in the summer.

 

Jack O’Connor, Stylist

What did Brooklyn mean to you when you first moved here?

My wife and I moved to Hicks and Love Lane in Brooklyn Heights in late 2007. We had been living near Union Square before that. Living in Brooklyn meant we actually got to know the people around us. In the city, everything felt anonymous.
What does it mean now?

Now we have a five-year-old son and an eight-month-old daughter. So we’re pretty different people than we were eight years ago. Though that same idea of living in a neighborhood where people are familiar still means a lot.
What’s one place that really represented Brooklyn back when you first came to town?  

Jack the Horse Tavern was on our street. We were in there all the time.

What’s one place that really represents Brooklyn now?

After Adam Yauch passed away a few years ago, they renamed the Palmetto Park in Willowtown after him. He was always someone I looked up to and admired. The dedication ceremony was small and quite moving. That place will always mean something special.

 

Q&A_special_2

 

Marty Markowitz, Former Brooklyn Borough President

What did Brooklyn mean to you when you first moved here?

I was born here. Brooklyn was always the world to me as a child as well as as an adult. When I grew up it was Brooklyn and the rest of the country and it still is. When we grew up, everything was Brooklyn. The only thing we didn’t have was Broadway. But we had the Brooklyn Dodgers, which Manhattan didn’t have.

What does it mean to you now?
After serving BK for 35 years, Brooklyn is experiencing a full renaissance. In its time, similar to the 1950s, Brooklyn reached the zenith and now we’re back to people celebrating all things Brooklyn. People all over the world are fantasizing what life is like in Brooklyn.

What’s one place that really represented Brooklyn back when you first came to town?

The great kosher delicatessens. Unfortunately, now we’re down to two, but back in the day, that’s how it was defined. And Brooklyn pizza. And Junior’s. Juniors was then and Junior’s is now.

What’s one place that represents Brooklyn now?

I like that Brooklyn is far more diverse. Not that it wasn’t then, but it’s far more diverse now. We represent many countries. Places reflect that international tone. And the Brooklyn Nets. Hopefully the Islanders too.

I grew up in total poverty, and it gave me the opportunity to become a little something and to make a contribution. It gave me a decent life and I think that experience is reflected with many others in the borough. It gave me a chance and a chance with flare and personality. You can live your life in Brooklyn and live it the way you want to live it. Almost anything goes here. We don’t make judgements.

 

Alan Fishman, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, BAM

What did Brooklyn mean to you when you first moved here?

I was born here so it meant everything!

What does it mean to you now?

Now it means a wonderful set of communities where people of all sorts are coming together.

What’s one place that really represented Brooklyn back when you first came to town?
I grew up across from the Botanic Gardens. It was my magic place when I was a little boy.

What’s one place that represents Brooklyn now?

Today, given my role at  BAM, I would have to say the BAMcampus.

 

Shane Smith, CEO and Founder of Vice Media

What did Brooklyn mean to you when you first moved here?

When we first moved in 2000, it was the wild west. We had just gone bankrupt (nearly) and 555 Soul gave us free warehouse space in their office on North 4th Street. It was just as Williamsburg was beginning to blow up and the vibe was astonishingly good. It was the center of the universe in those days. The best art, music and people were coming out of here.

What does it mean now?

Now I think it’s evolving. What was once so rough and tumble is becoming the best neighborhood for the creative class in New York City. What once was an outpost now has not only the best music and cultural spots but the best restaurants, hotels and even architecture. Hell, there are even parks!

What’s one place that really represented Brooklyn back when you first came to town?

Two places: Checks Cashed, which was a bar in an old check cashing kiosk. These teenage kids would play punk music and sell $1 beers right on the river. I remember thinking, “This is what the world aspires to. Berlin, London, Tokyo–they all want this, and it can only happen here.” So, Checks Cashed and Kokies. Because a place that sells coke called Kokies… I mean….

What’s one place that represents Brooklyn now?

Hotel Delmano. Best bar in NYC.

Q&A_special5

 

Ben Greenman, Writer 

What did Brooklyn mean to you when you first moved here?

It was a place to live. It was twenty years ago. That sounds like the beginning of a fairytale, and maybe it is. My younger brother was just graduating college, and I was living on the Upper West Side, renting a weird studio with a Murphy bed and excessively fancy appliances. The toaster spoke five languages. My brother had heard that Park Slope was a good neighborhood to move to, so we shared a fourth-floor apartment on 7th Avenue between 1st and 2nd Streets. I was actually a kind of place-holder, keeping the room for a friend of his who was working in Russia. We had rooms that seemed spacious then. We had a pizza place and a newsstand within steps of our downstairs door. That first year, the guy who owned the newsstand was killed by some thieves driving in from East New York. Later that first year, my brother’s friend came back from Russia and I moved up to 8th Avenue and 4th Street. And then to President, and then to 5th Street, and then to Berkeley. Now all you hear is people talking about real estate. Then, the addresses were mostly only just words and numbers on a map. It was a place to live.

What does it mean now?

Now it’s roughly half my life, and more than half of many things in my life: my friendships with other authors, my friendships with other people who aren’t authors, my entire existence as a married man, my kids’ friends, my kids—maybe I should switch that order—every storefront that has changed and every one that hasn’t, moving from the phase where you feel new and unmoored to the phase where you anchor yourself in your own neighborhood to the phase where you feel confident about walking any petal on the borough’s compass rose, whether west (through Gowanus, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, and Red Hook) or southwest (through Sunset Park, Bay Ridge, and Fort Hamilton) or south (through Windsor Terrace, Kensington, Midwood, Sheepshead Bay, and Brighton Beach) or southeast (from Prospect Park to Marine Park, with stops at Lefferts Gardens and East Flatbush and Flatlands). I guess along the way Brooklyn’s acquired some sort of reputation for hipster cool. I try not to pay that much mind.

What’s one place that really represented Brooklyn back when you first came to town?

When I first arrived, I was a little discombobulated. Right near my apartment, there was a place called Ben’s Pizza. That was (is?) my name. Foolishly, that made me feel comfortable.

What’s one place that represents Brooklyn now?

I’d have to say the Barclay’s Center, if for no other reason that we all saw it go up. There was political debate. There was apprehension. But one day, there it was. I go by it almost every day, and it’s nice to feel that there’s a playoff team (infrequently) or a pop star or a circus in the vicinity.

What has Brooklyn meant to you in your time living here?

It would be easier to say what it hasn’t meant. Which is this: ”

 

Tucker Reed, President of Downtown Brooklyn Partnership

What did Brooklyn mean to you when you first moved here?

To me, Brooklyn was the perfect combination of the kinetic energy of the capital of the world with the relaxed pace of neighborhoods and community. That balance is difficult to find, but I looked for it and found it here. History also played a big role. The ghosts of the greatness that came before us, both at a societal level for all the innovation birthed in this borough over the centuries, and for my family personally as my grandparents were either born here or established a toehold here upon which they built a life.

What does it mean now?

HOME.

What’s one place that really represented Brooklyn back when you first came to town?

I lived above the Brooklyn Social Club on Smith Street for 5 years in the mid-naughties. Place was my living room and often my last stop before bed, either alone or with the company a young man in his 20s keeps.

What’s one place that represents now?

Now I’m obsessed with the Brooklyn Cultural District. From Barclays Center to the Theater For a New Audience to that age old stalwart BAM. There is no better place, no more Brooklyn a place, to spend a free night.

What has Brooklyn meant to you in your time living here?

I believe F. Scott Fitzgerald once described NYC as having “all the effervescence of the birth of the sun.” In Brooklyn, I came to know this truth.

Q&A_special_5

 

Jonathan Butler, Co-Founder of Brooklyn Flea, Smorgasburg, Brownstoner.

What did Brooklyn mean to you when you first moved here?

Adventure! I was a life-long Manhattanite when I moved to the South 4th Street in 2003. As you might imagine, the South Side of Williamsburg was quite a bit different 12 years ago!

What does it mean now?

Everything! My entire personal and professional lives are rooted in Brooklyn. Living here now doesn’t feel quite as adventurous as it did back then, but it never gets boring.

What’s one place that really represented Brooklyn back when you first came to town?

Diner, no question. We rented our first apartment from the owners of Diner and it became our home away from home for those first couple of years.

What’s one place that represents Brooklyn now?

Telling me to choose between the Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg is like asking a parent to pick a favorite child but, if I have to pick one, I would say my heart still lies with the original Brooklyn Flea location in Fort Greene, the place where it all began.

What has Brooklyn meant to you in your time living here?

Brooklyn’s been the place where I have been able to be involved in building communities, whether that’s been online with Brownstoner, in public spaces with The Flea and Smorg or the built environment with 1000 Dean and Berg’n.

 

Eric Demby, Co-Founder of Smorgasburg and Brooklyn Flea

What did Brooklyn mean to you when you first moved here?

The first time, in 1995, I was getting away from Avenue C, where the charm of junkie parks and rats had faded for me after graduating college, and Court Street across from Cobble Hill Cinema felt like Shangri-La: mellow, old-fashioned, even sweet-smelling now and then. The second time, after 9/11 in 2001, it was to escape the crazy-making feeling of Manhattan at that time, and a brownstone in Fort Greene helped level me, provide some sense of calm.
What does it mean now?

Now it’s just life itself. Family (kids and siblings), school, work, friends, food, shopping, everything. But it’s also still that feeling of respite, and a reward after 25 years of making the biggest city feel manageable, even intimate.

What’s one place that really represented Brooklyn back when you first came to town?

I used to take the 2/3 from my NYU dorm to the Botanic Garden when I was in school in the early ‘90s and smoke pot and write tortured journal entries (sorry BBG—busted!) near that little brook in the back. So Brooklyn was bright yellow sun and bright green grass, believe it or not.

What’s one place that represents Brooklyn now?

I really do love the Fort Greene Flea, but since Jonathan covered that I’ll say Prospect Park. It’s changed so much and is such an asset to so many—barbecues in every nook, soccer, cricket, the awesome new Natural Playground, Drummer’s Grove, the Lakeside sprinkler scene, Celebrate Brooklyn, and on and on. Every time we go as a family we end up in some random fun social situation that reminds me, weirdly, of why I moved to New York in the first place in 1990.

What has Brooklyn meant to you in your time living here?

Aside from the given of my wonderful family starting and living here, it’s been this feeling of constant, almost magical replenishment of people and places that inspire and motivate. That’s my New York addiction, and looking back, I feel like working for Marty Markowitz and then starting the Flea and Smorgasburg, it’s so fulfilling to feel like you can have an impact in such a gigantic chaotic place. Seeing the community of makers and entrepreneurs that’s sprung from the markets is also a daily warm fuzzy.

 

Brian Tate, Marketing Strategist and Co-Founder of Brooklyn New Music Festival

What did Brooklyn mean to you when you first moved here?

When I first considered relocating from DC to New York City, I visited Harlem over and over and it felt good. Then, just as I was about to make my move, a friend asked if I wanted to drive up to NYC and stay a few days at her girlfriend’s place in Brooklyn. I did and boom, that was it. I still remember my first stroll up Flatbush Ave, all the shops and vitality, and then into Prospect Park, walking beside so many diverse people beneath all those gorgeous trees. Brooklyn spelled paradise to me. Love at first sight and I never looked back.

What does it mean now?

The future and the past in one incredible package. I’m a marketing strategist, and marketing Brooklyn became a big part of my work. But more than anything it means home.

What’s one place that really represented Brooklyn back when you first came to town?

Prospect Park was pretty irresistible.

What’s one place that represents Brooklyn now?

Green-Wood Cemetery is phenomenal. So much history and storytelling, fully alive in a completely Brooklyn way.

What has Brooklyn meant to you in your time living here?

Family, music, arts, friends, work, life. Brooklyn is where the cycle began again, and it keeps spiraling up.

 

Rebecca Minkoff, Fashion Designer

What did Brooklyn mean to you when you first moved here?

Brooklyn meant more space and the ability to raise my family in a homier setting. I was tired of my son’s playground being a sidewalk.

What does it mean now?

Brooklyn is home. It’s where I’m raising my family and creating memories.

What’s one place that really represented Brooklyn back when you first came to town?

The Brooklyn Bridge.
What’s one place now?

The view of the Brooklyn bridge from my apartment window, especially at night—absolutely stunning!
What has Brooklyn meant to you in your time living here?

Brooklyn is my escape—I love going home and spending time with my family. I’m definitely a homebody.
Q&A_special

 

Todd P, Concert Promoter

What did Brooklyn mean to you when you first moved here?

When I moved here (’00–’01), I didn’t know Brooklyn outside of the Honeymooners and Spike Lee movies and the Beastie Boys. My ignorant vision of the borough was a combination of a sense that it was sleepy and boring in that it was where people’s grandmas lived, plus terrifying in a monumental urban decay, post-apocalyptic wasteland stereotype. I was surprised when, first night in town, I walked down Kent and Milton Streets in Greenpoint with all the pristine red brick churches and classy stoops, and stumbled upon places like The Garden and Enid’s. It wasn’t at all what I expected.

That said, I’ve always lived in Queens.

What does it mean now?

Brooklyn now is the reigning cultural capital of the Western world, as well as ground zero for heartbreaking inequity, real estate disenfranchisement, the squeezing of the middle, working, and lower classes, a showcase of hyperextended mutated self-centered leisure class artisanal horseshit. And at the same time, it remains a place where, more than anywhere else in the world, you can meet, communicate with, and collaborate with brilliant hustlers in all walks of art and culture and business — people making things happen and exploiting whatever Achille’s heels they can find to subvert or make a mark on the monoculture.

What’s one place that really represented Brooklyn back when you first came to town?

Sweetwater on North 6th St, back when it was a piss-soaked punk dive frequented by lifer alcoholics/Crass roadcrew veterans/Unsane bandmembers/CBGB door workers, etc. was my first introduction to “scene” in Brooklyn, followed soon afterwards by the very different, super “psych”-oriented crowd on the rooftop at the original Mighty Robot space on Wythe. On display in both spots were very specific communities of music obsessives, and the particular sensibilities of neither spot corresponded exactly to any subcultures I’d experienced outside of New York.

What’s one place that represents Brooklyn now?

There’s a hole in the ground on Bedford Ave where they’re finally putting in that Whole Foods and the Apple Store. Also every $400/night boutique hotel lobby.

On a more uplifting angle, spaces are opening that intend to be more than playgrounds for privileged people, mixing in smart tastes across more diverse backgrounds, and devoting real time and energy to hosting programming with immediate community value beyond entertainment.

What has Brooklyn meant to you in your time living here?

There’s nowhere else I could stand to work or spend most of my time than New York City. I’d be bored anywhere else, and Brooklyn is the nexus of what’s happening in New York right now.

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Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President

What did Brooklyn mean to you when you first moved here?

I was born in Brownsville and moved back here after growing up in southeast Queens. Because of that, Brooklyn has always meant home.
What does it mean now?

Brooklyn has changed a great deal since my youth, or even since my days wearing a bulletproof vest and standing on street corners to protect our borough’s children and families. We are a worldwide brand that symbolizes cool and chic, and that is no accident. Our brand is our people, their resilience and can-do spirit.
What’s one place that really represented Brooklyn back when you first came to town?

In my days serving in the NYPD, my old haunt was Two Steps Down in Fort Greene.

What’s one place that represents Brooklyn now?

Prospect Park is the melting pot of the melting pot that is Brooklyn. Every kind of Brooklynite finds their own little space for some recreation or relaxation on a nice summer day. It represents so many aspects of what it means to be a Brooklynite, to enjoy a safe place for young people to learn and grow.
What has Brooklyn meant to you since in your time living here?

Diversity. We are a diver-city. 47 percent of Brooklynites speak a language other than English at home. That is an incredible statistic that translates into an incredible wealth of experiences and perspectives packed into America’s fourth-largest city.

Ric Leichtung, Founder of AdHocFM

What did Brooklyn mean to you when you first moved here?

Before coming here from San Francisco, my high school History teacher who’d lived in New York in the ’70s gave me a couple words of advice: “Don’t make eye contact with anyone on the train and don’t go into Brooklyn. It’s just not worth it.” And that was the attitude I had for a long time until I actually came to New York and realized I couldn’t get into any Manhattan music venues since I was under 21.

What does it mean now?

The borough’s seen a lot of change in the past 10 years I’ve been here, but despite that, I’d say Brooklyn is the place that feels like home. I love it here.

What’s one place that really represented Brooklyn back when you first came to town?

I used to work the door at this place called Uncle Paulie’s, located at the end of a sewage treatment plant. It was a plot of land owned by the mob, but I guess you could say it was a restaurant, even though they didn’t really have anything on the menu. It felt like a tent since the structure consisted of a few 2x4s and blue canvas for walls. You could smell the sewage coming in from the outside but we were having so much fun that we didn’t even notice.

Here’s a picture of reference: http://www.flickr.com/photos/atestofwill/375307555/

What’s one place that represents Brooklyn now?

The Silent Barn. There’s an overwhelming sense of community and goodwill there, and you can feel it right when you enter the room. You’re surrounded by all these incredibly creative people all working towards a common goal and achieving it together– it’s an incredibly encouraging place to be, and that’s hard to find.

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Sean Rembold, Chef at Reynard

What did Brooklyn mean to you when you first moved here?

I moved to Brooklyn in the mid 90s and initially it was because it was more affordable and friendly. The fact that folks actually said hello to each other on the street made me feel a little less homesick having moved up here from Louisville.
What does it mean now?

At this point I’ve lived in Brooklyn for 20 years.  I met my wife at Marlow & Sons one New Year’s Eve. We’re now raising our daughter here and despite the higher rents, we consider ourselves lucky to rub elbows with the creative, hardworking, and hilarious extended family we have here.

What’s one place that really represented Brooklyn back when you first came here?

While this may sound like a shill, Diner was (and is) the package deal.  It wrote the script in terms of hiring a staff that were not just some subservient pack of individuals who acted nice to your face while secretly despising you.  Instead, they made you want to be them or at least get to know them as they turned you on to killer (loud) music and humble, yet delicious food.

What’s one place that represents Brooklyn now?

I worked with John Clement, the owner of Clem’s at a bar in lower Manhattan when I was nineteen years old.  I kind of couldn’t believe it when this bar opened up with his name and he was actually the owner.  Though not as vintage as spots like the L Cafe, Verb or Turkey’s Nest, Clem’s  has managed to still allow you a no-bullshit experience in Williamsburg for which I’m extremely grateful.

What has Brooklyn meant to you in your time living here?

Being able to walk, bike or jog to work is a luxury in life.  Getting to cook for the customers we get to cook for with the staff I get to work with at the restaurants has been icing on the cake.
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Danny Simmons, Artist, Chairman of Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation

What did Brooklyn mean to you when you first moved here?

Moving to Brooklyn from Queens in many ways was like growing up. Brooklyn had a sense of adventure and freshness. The multitudes of cultures I was exposed to on a daily basis was heady. It was a learning curve about arts and culture that I wouldn’t have experienced in the more residential communities I frequented in Queens. While Queens was familiar and safe, Brooklyn was chock full of gritty adventures. Brooklyn was my door to greater and more varied horizons.

What does it mean to you now?
Over the years Brooklyn has changed greatly. While the arts that seemed so integral to the rhythm of life in the the borough flourished, so did the amount of people who moved here to be tangential to that creativity. Instead of artists, we have arts institutions finding a home here. The borough has lost much of its authentic and grassroots appeal. As with many communities that artists once called home, gentrification wasn’t far behind. What was natural and organic creativity becomes contrived and considered. Like Manhattan, Brooklyn has become a great place to take in cultural activities, but not so great anymore for cultural creators. Artists and other lower income residents, for the most part, are struggling to maintain affordable living space. Brooklyn has become a series of communities for the well-heeled.

What’s one place that really represented Brooklyn back when you first came to town?

The most exciting thing back in the day was the Sunday drummer’s circle in Prospect Park. The West Indian Day Parade before it was cleaned up was a whole week of revelry that blew my mind. And there was an underground dance club in a basement of a warehouse in Fort Greene called Browns Guest House. You got there at 4am and left at 2pm. Lastly, Brooklyn’s grittier version of the legendary Paradise Garage.

What’s one place that represents Brooklyn now?

There is really no one place in Brooklyn for me now that defines what the borough means to me. If I had to choose a few, I’d say BAM, the Brooklyn Museum, the 40+ year-old Dorsey Gallery in Flatbush, Skylight Gallery at Bed-Stuy Restoration, and, of course, my 20-year-old Corridor Gallery. Brooklyn is now more defined by its long-standing institutions.
What has Brooklyn meant to you in your time living here?

Brooklyn has meant a place to explore great friendships great culture and finding my artistic self.

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Steve Hindy, Co-Founder of Brooklyn Brewery

What did Brooklyn mean to you when you first moved here?

My first trip to New York City was in 1957.  I was eight years old and came with my mother and grandmother for the Billy Graham Crusades (a Christian Evangelist event) at Madison Square Garden.  Mom and Grandma got saved seven nights in a row. I fell asleep each night. We went to the last Brooklyn Dodgers game at Ebbett’s Field. New York, and Brooklyn in particular, fascinated me, and I vowed to get to the great city someday. I was impressed by the shady brownstone neighborhoods around Ebbett’s Field. I later encountered Brooklyn people during college. They seemed more worldly than most of us. Street smart. In 1984, I returned from a six-year stint in the Middle East for The Associated Press, and bought a two-bedroom co-op apartment on 8th Street in Park Slope. When I started Brooklyn Brewery two years later, I knew the beer brand had to have a Brooklyn identity. Some people, even life-long Brooklynites, questioned naming the beer Brooklyn.  “Brooklyn doesn’t have such a great image,” they said.  It was true that crime was out of control in Brooklyn and the borough was sometimes the butt of jokes. But I believed in Brooklyn–the Brooklyn that brought Jackie Robinson to Major League Baseball, inspired filmmakers like Spike Lee, and gave birth to thousands of incredible people like Mae West, Neil Diamond, Barbra Streisand, and, well, Mike Tyson.

What’s one place that really represented Brooklyn when you first moved here?

The brewery’s first site was in Bushwick, where crime was rampant and truck drivers refused to deliver after dark. We moved to a rundown industrial neighborhood of Williamsburg in 1990.  Rent was cheap and there was a burgeoning art community. Artists hung out at Teddy’s Bar, one of the first to feature Brooklyn Lager. We opened the brewery doors on Friday nights. We were lucky to get a couple dozen people, and most were relatives of brewery workers. A few years later, the L Magazine appeared in the shops on Bedford Avenue. Wow. Williamsburg had its own magazine. Eventually, more bars and restaurants opened. Music clubs moved to the area as young residents occupied the old industrial loft spaces. Eventually, the developers came and built new apartment towers. Today, Williamsburg is one of the hottest culinary and nightlife destinations in New York City. The Brooklyn Brewery draws 3,000-4,000 visitors every year–all we can handle. And our Brooklyn Lager is now sold in 25 states and more than 25 countries around the world.  I think we proved the Brooklyn-doubters wrong.

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Ben Pundole, Hotelier

What did Brooklyn mean to you when you first came here?

I first moved to Brooklyn in 2000. To Smith Street before it was strollerville, but only for a year, and then again to Williamsburg, in 2008, which is where I am now. It meant space and community, creativity and a more relaxed attitude.
What does it mean now?

Now it means home, real home. This is where I live, where my friends are, where my family is. It means creativity, experimentation, comfort and hedonism all rolled into one. I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else in the world.

What’s one place that really represented Brooklyn back when you first came to visit?

Prospect Park! As you run or cycle around the track in the summer, each community and culture is represented depending on location: The drum circle, the preppy boys playing frisbee or hacky sack, the Jamaicans playing football, the Indians playing cricket, the Euros and South Americans playing soccer, the BBQs. I love it. It’s still my favorite place in New York.

What’s one place that represents Brooklyn now?

The performance theater, street fairs and raves in Bushwick.

 

Andrew Tarlow, Restaurateur

What did Brooklyn mean to you when you first moved here?
Brooklyn originally meant a sense of freedom and expanse for me. It was like the Wild West, and a bit deserted on South Side.

What does it mean now?

Now, it means family and community.
What’s one place that really represented Brooklyn back when you first came to town?

The L Café.

What’s one place now?

Hopefully my restaurants, especially Diner!

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Jake Dobkin, Publisher of Gothamist

What did Brooklyn mean to you when you first moved here?

I arrived here a few days after being born at Albert Einstein Hospital in the Bronx back in 1976.  Our apartment was on Pacific Street, and I remember thinking that the block really seemed primed for some good gentrification, what with the beautiful brownstones and Jonathan Lethem living across the street.

What does it mean now?

Brooklyn is my whole world, with my family and friends and work all here.  I feel lucky to get to share it with my kids, and I hope my descendents stay here until the borough disappears under the waves.

What’s one place that really represented Brooklyn back when you first came to town?

I liked the lemon ices and tri-color cookies at Monteleone Bakery on Court Street then, and I like them now.

What’s one place that represents Brooklyn now?

I also get ices at Uncle Louie G’s many fine locations in Park Slope.

What has Brooklyn meant to you in your time living here?

You know how Dracula has to travel with Transylvanian soil in his coffin otherwise he dries up and dies?  Kind of like that — I take Brooklyn with me everywhere I go.

 

Wes Jackson, Founder of Brooklyn Bodega and Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival

What did Brooklyn mean to you, when you first moved here?

It was the center of cultural energy when I came back to New York after college.
Biggie, Jay, Yasiin Bey, Kweli were bubbling up or running the game. It was the place to be.

What does it mean now?

As strong as ever.  More energy. More people. We just need to make sure we maintain its diversity because that is where the energy comes from.

What’s one place  (bar, park, restaurant, grocery store, anything) that really represented Brooklyn back when you first came to town?

Southpaw on 5th Ave. It was the only venue dedicated to bringing quality Hip-Hop.

What’s one place now?

Habana Outpost on Fulton. Mix of hipsters, familes and the HBCU crowd. Real Brooklyn. Good food. Good beats.

What has Brooklyn meant to you since in your time living here?

It’s where I have laid roots. Hot married. Had kids and are raising my kids. Built my business.
It’s The Planet like Guru said.

 

 

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Pete Shapiro, Owner of Brooklyn Bowl

What did Brooklyn mean to you, when you first moved here?

We started work on Bklyn Bowl in 2007 and back then the Wythe Hotel looked like Herman Munster’s home.  I miss that.

What does it mean now?

Brooklyn means creativity.

What’s one place  (bar, park, restaurant, grocery store, anything) that really represented Brooklyn back when you first came to town?

North Six (which later became Music Hall of Williamsburg)

What’s one place now?

Wythe Hotel

What has Brooklyn meant to you since in your time living here?

Brooklyn (Bowl) has changed my life so it will always be with me, and I feel lucky to bring “”Brooklyn”” to places like Las Vegas and London (where Brooklyn Bowl venues exist).  Its a lot of responsibility to carry that name into far off geographic locations….but we’re doing our best to represent strong!!!

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Adrian Grenier, Actor

What did Brooklyn mean to you, when you first came here?

It meant a place that I could afford in order to be a creative person. But this was 20 years ago, I’m afraid it’s not as affordable today. I think it’s partly my fault.

What does it mean now?

It’s still my home, my heart and as far as I’m concerned, the envy of manhattan.

What’s one place  (bar, park, restaurant, grocery store, anything) that really represented Brooklyn back when you first came to town?

It would be Main Drag music. We were in there every other day, getting amps fixed, trading in guitars, cultivating the rock scene in Brooklyn.

What’s one place now?

It’s hard to say with the onslaught of gentrification; there’s so many great restaurants and cool scenes. But now that I’m in Clinton hill, I’ll have to give a shout out to Speedy Romeo, one of my neighborhood favorite restaurants.

What has Brooklyn meant to you?

Brooklyn has been a source of pride and has given me an escape and respite from the constant intensity of the city.

 

Kurt Andersen, Writer, Radio Host

What did Brooklyn mean to you, when you first moved here?

Not much. 25 years ago, it was not a “”brand,”” not remotely groovy. I had visited from Manhattan exactly twice. But it was a pleasant, low-rise, greenish place in the city, not the suburbs, where my wife and I could afford enough space for the two daughters we suddenly had. (We both grew up in the midwest, so we were also after what our friend and fellow midwesterner Bud Trillin always said about bringing up his two daughters in New York: he wanted them to feel, “”despite all the evidence to the contrary, that they were being being raised in Kansas City.””)

What does it mean now?

The place I’ve spent most of my adult life, which became bourgeois right along with me. And where my children have decided to live. Therefore: home.

What’s one place  (bar, park, restaurant, grocery store, anything) that really represented Brooklyn back when you first came to town?

The Van Westerhout Cittadini social club on Court Street in Carroll Gardens, whose membership was limited to immigrants from Pozzallo, a town on the southern coast of Sicily.

What’s one place now?

Brooklyn Social on Smith Street in Carroll Gardens, a pleasant bar meant to evoke Italian social clubs, whose clientele consists of newcomers more or less like me.

 

Adam Green, Musician

What did Brooklyn mean to you, when you first moved here?

My idea of Brooklyn growing up was that it was a bunch of old brownstones and cigar shops.  I’d been hanging out in the East Village since I was pretty young.  I was happy in the East Village.  Then one day my friend told me that Williamsburg was the new East Village, so I moved there!

What does it mean now?

That’s an interesting question.  Brooklyn in one sense is a moon of Manhattan.  Some people have more of a settler mentality and they want to populate the moon.   I think there is an otherness to what goes on in Brooklyn, people are allowed to develop sort of experimental communities because they live inside “”small towns.”” Look at what’s going on in Red Hook, it’s crazy!  Also people go out to some parts of Brooklyn cuz it’s cheaper.  Still there are the bridges connecting everywhere and people are aware that from the bridge they can see the Statue of Liberty, they can see the Empire State building, etc… So I guess there’s a sense that we’re all in New York City together.

What’s one place  (bar, park, restaurant, grocery store, anything) that really represented Brooklyn back when you first came to town?

I guess Kellogg’s Diner was where I met some of my first Brooklyn friends.  I was always eating breakfast there and I’d notice the same people eating there day after day.  We started talking, it was like Kindergarten when you just walk up to a kid playing with blocks and you become friends.  The food was pretty shitty though, but I enjoyed it.

What’s one place now?

The Artist and Craftsman store on Graham Avenue and Metropolitan.  I love that place!  If they go out of business I will be seriously depressed cuz then there will be no art store in Williamsburg.

What has Brooklyn meant to you since in your time living here?

When I first moved here there were these great parties at a place called Rubulad and a strange coke-bar called Kokies – I guess it made the neighborhood seem sort of wild.   But although I lived in Williamsburg during this 2001 time that people romanticize, I think I honestly didn’t realize that there was so much going on.   I had a few friends who lived along Metropolitan Avenue and we would hang out at each other’s houses and play music and go to Kellogg’s diner.  I guess everyone had their own little world in Brooklyn, but that was mine.

 

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Oh Land  (Nanna Fabricius), Musician

What did Brooklyn mean to you, when you first moved here?

To me, coming from Copenhagen, it meant a more affordable place to stay and big loft like spaces we could use for art and music.

What does it mean now?

The same except a lot more expensive and a lot more coffee shops (-:

What’s one place  (bar, park, restaurant, grocery store, anything) that really represented Brooklyn back when you first came to town?

When I first came it must have been the silver diner on north3rd! And Brooklyn bowl.

What’s one place now?

Nitehawk cinema. Is probably the one place I love the most in my neighborhood.

What has Brooklyn meant to you since in your time living here?

A village in the middle of New York! So close to the hustle and bustle of Manhattan and still quite sleepy and a lot easier to concentrate creatively.

 

 

 

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Jen Mankins, Owner of Bird

What did Brooklyn mean to you, when you first came here?

When I moved to Brooklyn from Texas in 1999 (I had already sworn off Manhattan after a summer internship and a tiny shared 1BR furnished apartment went wrong) I was looking for a place to call home that had an edge and felt new and exciting, but still had big sky and trees and a bit of quiet. I wanted the bright lights of the big city, but also needed to be able to slow down and hear birds sing.

What does it mean now?

I still love the slower pace and community feel of Brooklyn. I have lived and worked in many Brooklyn neighborhoods and the diversity of people and the sense of wonder and possibility never ceases to amaze me. And I still start every morning hearing the birds chirping.

What’s one place  (bar, park, restaurant, grocery store, anything) that really represented Brooklyn back when you first came to town?

I have always adored Prospect Park and I really feel it is the heart of Brooklyn. The park is used by so many different people for so many different activities (from morning runs to evening concerts in the summer) and to me represents all the things I love about Brooklyn in general: a respite of trees and sky in the middle of a crazy big city.

What’s one place now?

I currently live a dual Brooklyn life split between work in the never resting, always changing Williamsburg and home in slow, sleepy residential Ditmas Park. I love the duality and thrive on having both in my daily life. One of my favorite places that remains unchanged and has been the center of my Brooklyn for over a decade is Diner in Williamsburg. It is always filled with interesting people enjoying amazing food and sums up so much of what I know and love about this city.

What has Brooklyn meant to you?

Brooklyn has been my education, my home, my family and my friends for over 16 years. It has shaped and informed me in every conceivable manner and I can’t imagine living anywhere else in the world.

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Tom Fruin, Artist

What did Brooklyn mean to you, when you first came here to NYC?

When I moved here in ’96, Dumbo seemed like a no mans land where anything was possible. It was crazier, it was desolate, it was untamed. Of course there have always been families and communities, but industrial parts seemed more raw; the perfect setting for all night raves, people on horses, impromptu DJs on waterfronts, people burning the plastic off copper wires to recycle them. It was crazy.

What does it mean now?

It’s a safe clean alternative to manhattan just a couple of subway stops away.

What’s one place  (bar, park, restaurant, grocery store, anything) that really represented Brooklyn back when you first came to town?

In Dumbo, the Superfine girls ran a grilled cheese joint out of the back of a bridge workers bar called Between the Bridges. Now they’ve got a full on restaurant in a neighboring building, called Superfine.

What’s one place now?

Brooklyn Bridge Park represents the new Brooklyn. It’s another former industrial off limits zone converted to a park, marina, sports and arts destination.

What has Brooklyn meant to you?

Brooklyn has been a creative workspace, both inside it’s buildings and in the streets themselves.

 

Athena Calderone, Interior Designer

What did Brooklyn mean to you, when you first came here?

I moved to DUMBO in my early 20’s – everyone thought I was crazy to move to bk in 98’ but we felt proud to discover something new and be on the forefront of an undiscovered neighborhood. It was equal parts magical and desolate. The now brooklyn bridge park was a dirt parking lot that housed massive mack trucks – to us there was an obvious sense that DUMBO would explode with the dramatic bridges and cobblestone streets.  Was the best move we ever made.

What does it mean now?

I still fall in love with Brooklyn every day.  When the light turns to that swoony midnight blue and the lights of NYC twinkle beyond, you could feel the old world charm and beauty – still gets me.  I also feel like Brooklyn has been the catalyst that inspired my culinary journey.  The boom of Brooklyn cuisine cracked open this idea of new flavors and textures and more than anything local, seasonal eating.  I feel proud to have been there from the beginning to have experienced how food defined Brooklyn and ultimately guided my path and consciousness surrounding food. And i still think there is more room to grow – particularly in DUMBO where we still struggle to find the restaurants that essentially every other Brooklyn neighborhood had found.

What’s one place  (bar, park, restaurant, grocery store, anything) that really represented Brooklyn back when you first came to town?

hummmm – well the Dumbo Arts Festival was incredible when we first moved here – all of the now condo buildings were still true artist studios back then and the creativity and art was just palpable.  For restaurants? – we went to the original Superfine and frequented Grimaldi’s for pizza quite often.

What’s one place now?

Now we go to places like Frannys and Roberta’s who have obviously majorly upped the pizza game!  And I suppose the Brooklyn Smorgasburg has defined Brooklyn.

What has Brooklyn meant to you?

Everything.  Every major milestone in my life. The first home I ever owned, getting married, having a child, discovering my love of design and architecture and establishing my interior design business (I have owned and renovated over 7 apartments over the 17 years i have lived here) and finally developing eye-swoon.com – and my discovery and experimentation with food, cooking and entertaining.  Brooklyn has very much shaped every aspect of my life.

 

Mikhail Prokhorov, Owner of the Brooklyn Nets

What did Brooklyn mean to you, when you first came here?

It was at the beginning of the 1990’s and I went to Brighton Beach, a pilgrimage every Russian must make!   The way people spoke, the shops, the smell of home cooking – reminded me of the Russia of my childhood.  It felt very familiar.

What does it mean now?

It’s the capital of cool.  There’s a hipster vibe, but also something electric and gritty, fueled by the mix of people from all over the world.   Also, for me, of course, it’s the home of the Brooklyn Nets.

What’s one place  (bar, park, restaurant, grocery store, anything) that really represented Brooklyn back when you first came to visit?

I remember being taken to the Rasputin Club.  It was super kitschy – just like something out of a movie, totally stereotypical.  But I have to admit I had a great time!

What’s one place now?

Barclays Center for sure.

What has Brooklyn meant to you since in your time knowing and loving Brooklyn?

For me, it’s a symbol of great adventure and opportunity.  I will be forever grateful to Brooklynites for the way they have welcomed me and my team into their fold.

 

David Macklovitch, Chromeo

What did Brooklyn mean to you, when you first came here?

I moved to NY in 2002 and I hadn’t spent much time in Brooklyn yet. So the main things I associate with it were what I could gather from the music I listened to growing up in Montreal: Biggie, Jay, Bootcamp Click, M.O.P… Spike Lee movies too, obviously. Marcy, Flatbush, Crown Heights…I knew these names by heart but they represented something totally abstract to me.

What does it mean now?

There’s no place I’d rather live.

What’s one place  (bar, park, restaurant, grocery store, anything) that really represented Brooklyn back when you first came to town?  

In the late 90s I would spend time in the summer at my friend (the rapper Ill Bill)’s apartment in Staritt City. You’d have to take the L all the way to Rockaway Parkway and then a 5 dollar gypsy cab. Bill and his crew really took me under their wing and when I moved to NY a few years later, their Brooklyn—Staritt and all the Canarsie spots they’d take me to—is what represented the borough to me.

What’s one place now?

I now live in Williamsburg, a long way from the Canarsie projects. But when I first started exploring the area in the early 2000s, someone took me to Diner on Broadway and Berry. That restaurant was the first of its kind in the neighborhood and, I would say, in the city as a whole. A real trailblazing spot. Still one of my fave places to eat to this day, so it deserves a shout!

Favorite Brooklyn story? 

I don’t know if I have a favorite Brooklyn story but I have a BK story that I’m the most proud of: that of Fool’s Gold Records, the company I own with my brother A-Trak and two other friends. A-Trak moved to NY in 2006 and a year later, he decided to found an indie record label. A couple of years after that came the storefront on Grand and then the events, the biggest of which the Day Off festival on Labor Day. I’m so grateful that we were able to make our mark in a borough, a community, a neighborhood that we only knew at first through song lyrics…and that we can now call home.

07/08/15 7:28am

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Prince of Broadway (2008)
Directed by Sean Baker
Many of the most acclaimed micro-budget directors working in America today—Joel Potrykus, Alex Ross Perry, Rick Alverson—create films centered on hostile narcissists. Not Baker. His films look at marginalized communities with a sympathetic eye, aided by the casting of non-professional actors. Here, that eye is turned toward an illegal Ghanaian immigrant who sells counterfeit merchandise and suddenly finds himself forced to care for an 18-month-old. Baker’s shooting places you alongside the characters while his cross-cutting forces examination of how seemingly disparate experiences are shaped by the same system, generating insight through observation and epiphany through experience. Forrest Cardamenis (July 9, 5:30pm at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Baker series preceding the theatrical release of Tangerine)

07/01/15 8:00am

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The Man Who Stole the Sun (1979)
Directed by Kazuhiko Hasegawa
The phrase “the great whatsit” may originate from Robert Aldrich’s Kiss Me Deadly to refer to a case of deadly radioactive material, but it could also apply to the crazily ambitious narrative of Hasegawa’s similarly nuclear-bomb-related The Man Who Stole the Sun. What is this movie? On one level, it’s a deadpan comedy of terrorism, in which its main character, Makoto (Kenji Sawada), preys on his country’s Hiroshima- and Nagasaki-inspired fears of nuclear annihilation to force the government to fulfill the most trivial of tasks—including allowing the Rolling Stones to play in Japan. But the film is also a Taxi Driver-like character study of a disturbed individual: much of its first hour is devoted to simply observing Makoto painstakingly creating the homemade nuclear bombs that will be his leverage against the government. (Intriguingly, Hasegawa’s film was co-written by Leonard Schrader, brother of Taxi Driver scribe Paul. Artistic sibling rivalry?) And there’s even a thread of Network-style media satire evidenced in the character of radio host Zero Sawai (Kimiko Ikegami), who seems to have no qualms about exploiting Makoto for the sake of higher ratings. Hovering above it all is a police procedural, as detective Yamashita (that legendary icon of gruff machismo Bunta Sugawara) tries to catch this mad maybe-bomber—a man he has, in fact, met before, in the midst of a bus hijacking early on in the film. Whatever The Man Who Stole the Sun is, it’s completely, deliriously unpredictable moment-by-moment—a truly singular work ripe for rediscovery. Kenji Fujishima (July 1, 6pm at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, as part of the New York Asian Film Festival‘s sidebar tribute to the late Bunta Sugawara)

06/24/15 8:15am

Orson Welles in Carol Reed’s THE THIRD MAN (1949). Courtesy Rialto Pictures / Studiocanal. Playing June 26-July 9.

The Third Man (1949)
Directed by Carol Reed
Holly Martins (Joseph Cotton), author of pulpy, second-rate Western novellas, is lured into the foreboding danger of postwar Vienna by his estranged lifelong friend Harry Lime (Orson Welles). Typically down-on-his-luck and over a barrel, Martins succumbs to the offer—only to find when he arrives that Harry is dead, impelling Martins into a chiaroscuro chase of ambiguous morality. This Vienna is threadbare and rain-slick; skepticism abounds and there’s nary a native Austrian in sight. Reed’s direction and Graham Greene’s screenplay reach a summit of perfection: a balloon man, a sewer chase, and an inimitable Ferris wheel confrontation—all to the sounds of the unrelenting zither. Samantha Vacca (June 26-July 9 at Film Forum in new 4K restoration; showtimes daily)

06/17/15 10:00am

xThe-Catalogue-2004

The Catalogue (2004)
Directed by Chris Oakley
The Magic Lantern Cinema series program “Masses and Swarms” contains eleven short, crowd-themed film and video works. Oakley’s video piece is set in a shopping mall where surveillance systems scan and classify visitors according to color-coded consumer profiles. “I wanted the piece to operate as a mild science fiction, a screen recording of an as-yet-unrealized system,” Oakley writes by e-mail. “I’d been interested in surveillance for more than a decade before RFID (radio-frequency identification) tagging became a reality. I initially hoped to use real CCTV images from malls, but after finding them impossible to obtain I decided to shoot my own at the Bull Ring development in Birmingham, which was then Britain’s newest and largest urban shopping center. The screen overlays, suggesting a system in which tracking of individuals has converged with a database, were created and composited over a subsequent three-month period. I had always seen the relationship between retailers and customers as essentially hunter/prey, and at that time felt it had gained an even more sinister edge. Interest in The Catalogue never seems to have waned, even as our relationship with privacy has changed immensely.” Aaron Cutler (June 19, 7:30pm at UnionDocs as part of the program “Magic Lantern Presents: Masses and Swarms”)

06/10/15 5:00am

Romy Schneider and Michel Piccoli in Claude Sautet’s LES CHOSES DE LA VIE (1970). Courtesy: Rialto Pictures / Studiocanal; Photo by Claude Mathieu

Les choses de la vie (1970)
Directed by Claude Sautet
Sautet made quietly masterful melodramas about lives lived in contemporary France. He paid exquisite attention to the reverberations that came from choices his characters made to live apart or together, in one place or another, and in conflict between their public roles and private wants. Les choses de la vie (“The things of life”), Sautet’s fourth feature and first commercial success, is among five of his films whose new digital restorations will receive their US premieres this month. It is also among his collaborations (five each) with the actors Michel Piccoli and Romy Schneider, who star as the middle-aged engineer Pierre and his younger mistress Hélène, for whom Pierre once might have left his wife Catherine (Léa Massari). The film unfolds largely inside Pierre’s mind following a car accident, as he transmutes his physical pain into reflections on and regrets about his relationships with both women. Its story takes place within a distended version of time that allows us to flash back and move forward in observation of all three people as they decide how to reveal their feelings, and as they break their own hearts over lies. Aaron Cutler (June 12-18, showtimes daily, as part of a program of Rialto Pictures Sautet restorations at Lincoln Plaza Cinemas)

06/04/15 1:25pm

Intro2

The true beginning of summer is a matter of debate: Some people feel that summer kicks off on Memorial Day weekend, some don’t feel like the season really gets going till 4th of July. Others dismiss all this talk of when it “feels” like summer by pointing out that it actually begins on the solstice, June 21. And while all of these summer-sentiments are valid enough (especially the solstice-contingent, because that’s just logic), here at the L, we feel like summer only really begins with the launch of our parent company’s Northside Festival, now entering its 7th year.

Sure, maybe (definitely) we’re biased here, but think about it: Is there anything more summery than spending warm days and nights wandering around as if all of north Brooklyn was one big block party? What is summer, after all, if not a celebration? And that’s what Northside does best, it celebrates the worlds of music, film, and tech, and invites all of Brooklyn (and beyond) to the party. And what a party it is! There’s over 400 bands, 150 speakers, and 50 films spread out over seven days. But how will you see it all? Well, you won’t. But maybe with the help of our guide to Northside, you’ll manage to make your own method for dealing with the madness, and get the most out of all Northside has to offer. See ya there. (more…)

06/04/15 10:20am

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Northside Festival might now have multiple components to it, but music is how it all started, and music is still the center around which the whole festival orbits. What we’re trying to say is: Massive public concerts in the bustling heart of Williamsburg have quite the gravitational pull. And with three outdoor stages, featuring more shows and artists than any previous year, Northside 2015 is bigger and more spectacular than ever before. Here’s a rundown of the 2015 schedule’s marquee events:



The Inlet @ 50 Kent

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Friday, June 12th
Neko Case, Rhye, Majical Cloudz

Neko Case got her start playing drums in Vancouver punk bands in the mid-80s, then discovered she could sing. In the decades since, she’s secured a place in the singer-songwriter firmament with her magical realist lyrics and brassy vocals, which she often lends to Canadian indie rock mainstays The New Pornographers. Her sixth studio album, 2013’s Grammy-nominated The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You, is both her strangest and most autobiographical, laying bare her struggles with depression. Case is joined by LA’s R&B crooners Rhye, whose vocals are so sultry and Sade-like most critics mistook them for women upon their debut (they’re actually two men), and Montreal electronic indie-pop duo Majical Cloudz.

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Saturday, June 13th
Best Coast, Built to Spill, Alvvays, Bully

Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno secure their status as the Golden State’s surf-pop-punk mascots with their new album, California Nights. It’s a little less sun-drenched than previous jangle-pop releases like “Crazy for You”—there’s thicker fuzz on Cosentino’s distinct vocals. 90s indie giants Built to Spill will play Untethered Moon, their first album in six years and the most universally praised since 1999’s classic Keep it Like a Secret. They’re joined by Toronto indie-pop quintet Alvvays, whose eponymous Chad van Gaalen-produced debut topped college charts last year with its goldtoned guitars and frontwoman Molly Rankin’s wry, self-deprecating lyrics, and Nashville grunge-rockers Bully, playing songs off their upcoming debut album Feels Like.

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Sunday, June 14th
Run the Jewels, Sleigh Bells, Vince Staples

Veteran duo El-P and Killer Mike have had a hell of a year. They topped 2014 critics’ lists with their pummeling second record, Run the Jewels 2, and toured the world on an extended victory lap. Amid a flurry of social unrest, Mike became a voice of reason in the national media. They’ve even got their growing audience anxiously awaiting a remix record made out of cat noises. Now, Run The Jewels return to El-P’s home turf, Brooklyn, to burn Northside 2015 down at our closing-night rager! They’ll be joined by party-starting duo Sleigh Bells, who’ll bring their own giddy mash-up of metal riffs and bubblegum hooks, and young rapper Vince Staples, a one-time Odd Future brat who’s matured into one of the most acclaimed young voices in rap.

 


McCarren Park

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Thursday, June 11th
Luna

After the break up of late-80s indie-pop greats Galaxie 500, singer/songwriter Dean Wareham formed Luna. Their decade-long run of graceful rock records proved even more perfect. The assured Luna lineup of the early 00s will be reunited here—Sean Eden, Lee Wall, Wareham, and his wife and longtime artistic collaborator Britta Phillips. This free show in the summer sun will be their first New York City performance in over ten years.

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Friday, June 12th
The Very Best, HEEMS

UK-based beatmaker Johan Karlberg and Malawian-born, London-based vocalist Esau Mwamwaya, whom you likely first heard featured on M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes,” make up eminently danceable Afro-pop duo The Very Best. Their latest album, Makes a King, is less club-ready but more nuanced than previous releases, with guest spots by Malawian choirs and Vampire Weekend’s Chris Baio. Queens-raised rapper HEEMS, formerly of hip-hop wiseass trio Das Racist, performs his recent debut solo album Eat Pray Thug.

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Saturday, June 12th
Against Me!, Special Guests

After 2014’s Transgender Dysphoria Blues, a powerful release following lead singer Laura Jane Grace’s coming out as a trans woman, Florida anarcho-punks Against Me! are as battle-ready as ever. They’re leading the charge in the trans-rights movement with anthems like “True Trans Soul Rebel,” which Grace recently performed with Miley Cyrus for the pop star’s new foundation benefiting homeless LGBTQ youth.


 

UOLive @ Williamsburg Walks

wwalks

Saturday, June 13th and Sunday, June 14th
Bedford Avenue, a main artery of Brooklyn’s cultural pulse, will once again become Northside’s third outdoor stage on both weekend afternoons this year. In collaboration with Williamsburg Walks and thanks to our partners at Urban Outfitters, the neighborhood will delight to free performances from a varied lineup of up-and-coming performers. The street will see sets from stylish electronic duo Light Asylum, local psych-rockers Sunflower Bean, adorably twee-pop group Eskimeaux, otherworldly experimental singer GABI, and a few more too exciting to yet reveal!
 


 
 
Northside Music: A Day-by-Day Guide

With well over 400 bands booked every year, the festival presents too much music for any one person to experience in full. An informed plan is fairly crucial to choosing your own adventure. As a leg-up for both badge-holding venue hoppers and picky single show-goers, we’ve gone through the schedule day by day to underline a few of the line-up’s most notable inclusions.

 

Thursday, June 11th

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Femi Kuti & The Positive Force
The son of world-music icon Fela Kuti was a member of his father’s legendary band from a very young age. His recent collaborations with high-profile hip-hop and rock groups has continued Afrobeat’s crossover into the pop mainstream. He’ll appear with The Positive Force, a seasoned backing ensemble he’s led since the late 1980s.
Brooklyn Bowl, 61 Wythe Avenue

 

Bulletproof Stockings
You should know going in that men are barred from attending shows by these devout Hasidic alt-rockers. Taking an ancient principle from The Torah and embracing it as a method for modern empowerment, this Crown Heights group thrives on the specific energy of women performing music exclusively for women.
Bar Matchless, 557 Manhattan Avenue

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Lower Dens
Baltimore quintet Lower Dens leave behind cerebral, experimental art rock in favor of gauzy retropop with their latest album, Escape from Evil, which showcases lead singer Jana Hunter’s silky, androgynous vocals and stripped-bare emotions.
Music Hall of Williamsburg, 66 N. 6th Street

 

Jacco Gardner
26-year-old Dutch multi-instrumentalist Jacco Gardner’s baroque pop recalls the eccentric storytelling of 60s psychedelia (think Brian Wilson and Syd Barrett): His 2013 debut, Cabinet of Curiosities, is heavy on mellotrons and harpsichords, samples of laughing babies, and song titles like “The One-Eyed King,” like a soundtrack to a dark fairy tale.
Rough Trade NYC, 64 N. 9th Street

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Ed Schrader’s Music Beat
Comedian/writer/musician Ed Schrader’s caveman grunt-shrieks and floor tom pummels plus Devin Rice’s menacing bass guitar make up this Baltimore punk duo, reminiscent of Frank Black and 90s noise rock weirdos Killdozer.
Palisades, 906 Broadway
 
 
 

Friday, June 12th

 
Spider Bags
Chapel Hill road warriors Spider Bags have spent four records expressing their queasy, paranoid feelings with punchy garage rock. Last year’s Frozen Letter took the customary sick riffs and sour wit of earlier work and stretched them out to a psychedelic sprawl.
Music Hall of Williamsburg, 66 N. 6th Street

 

Alden Penner & Michael Cera
The semi-reclusive and kind of angel-voiced Penner, formerly of beloved Canadian indie-pop band The Unicorns, teamed up with Arrested Development star and lo-fi folkie on the down-lo, Michael Cera, to record a concept EP about Canadians living on Mars. Live, the whimsy will be nigh unstoppable.
The Knitting Factory, 361 Metropolitan Avenue

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Ryan Hemsworth
The DJ, remixer, beat-maker, and solo performer from Nova Scotia blurs lines between hazy hip-hop instrumentals, smooth R&B, mellowed-out synth pop hooks, and half-remembered video game themes. Unbound by genre, Hemsworth stays faithful to a daydream of his own design.
Palisades, 906 Broadway

 

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Ex Hex
Led by undersung multi-instrumentalist Mary Timony (Helium, Autoclave, Wild Flag), Washington, D.C.-based trio Ex Hex released their debut album Rips last year, full of fierce and fast garage-pop anthems. Timony’s vocals are melodic and energetic over screaming guitar licks, less sullen and talk-singy than in previous projects.
Music Hall of Williamsburg, 66 N. 6th Street

 

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The Holydrug Couple
Chilean psych-rockers The Holydrug Couple, made up of members Ives Sepúlveda and Manu Parra, are as spaced-out and dreamy as their name suggests. (Actually, they have a song called “Dreamy,” off their last album, Moonlust). They’re also playing Friday and Saturday at Baby’s All Right.
Alphaville, 140 Wilson Avenue

 

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Beach Fossils
Brooklyn’s Beach Fossils are known for energetic live shows that bring their atmospheric lo-fi tracks to a fever pitch, something that sets them apart from other lackadaisical janglers like Wavves and DIIV (a spin-off project of former member Cole Smith).
Rough Trade NYC, 64 N. 9th Street

 

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Frankie Cosmos
Frankie Cosmos is the stage name of 21-year-old Greta Kline (daughter of actors Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates), whose pared-down dream-pop ballads, off last year’s debut Zentropy, fall just short of twee. Kline, who studied poetry and writes wry, clever lyrics, also plays bass in the band Porches.
Rough Trade NYC, 64 N. 9th Street

 

Saturday, June 13th

 
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PINS
Lightly melodic but swaggering tough, this Manchester rock band is a growing force. Ready to apply a few tricks they picked up supporting Sleater-Kinney’s British tour, singer/guitarist Faith Holgate and her locked-in gang will perform material from their brand new record, Wild Nights, for the first time in front of a U.S. audience.
Rough Trade NYC, 64 N. 9th Street

 

DJ Premier (w/ full live band)
As one-half of Gang Starr, and producer for a who’s who of megastars including Jay-Z, Kanye West, D’Angelo, Nas, and the Notorious B.I.G., DJ Premier’s legacy is secure. He’s an artist who helped define the sound of American hip-hop. With live drums, bass, and horn arrangements, that sound will come to life like never before.
Brooklyn Bowl, 61 Wythe Avenue

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Pusha T
As one half of gritty rap duo Clipse and into his formidable career as a solo MC, Pusha T has been one of hip-hop’s most captivating street-level storytellers, bringing real menace to morally gray depictions of life in and around the drug trade. (This date of House of Vans’ free summer show schedule overlaps with Northside. Limited entry is available to badge holders.)
House of Vans, 25 Franklin Street

 

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Viet Cong
The self-titled debut from this Calgary band has been the breakout indie-rock record of 2015 so far. The group (featuring members of the tragically cut-short band Women) is a juggernaut of sharp angles and mordant humor. Their songs are bleak but romantic, facing the uselessness of existence with fists balled and tongues in cheek.
Music Hall of Williamsburg, 66 N. 6th Street (Saturday and Sunday)

 

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Girl Band
These Irish punks, actually made up of all lads despite their chosen name, set absurd lyrics to a relentless almost militaristic beat. Like The Fall and Liars before them, they whip their non-sequiturs into a frenzy, prolonging the second just before the cult members might start speaking in tongues.
Music Hall of Williamsburg, 66 N. 6th Street (Saturday and Sunday)

 

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Blonde Redhead
Now twenty years into a formidable career in experimental rock, and experienced enough to have come from an era when NYC’s best music still existed primarily in downtown Manhattan, Blonde Redhead continue on. They’ve deliberately changed their moves with each release, veering from sparkling dream pop to dissonant noise and back again.
Warsaw, 261 Driggs Avenue

 

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Shigeto
Bits of hip-hop, dub, IDM, techno, and ambient all filter through the work of Brooklyn producer Zachary Saginaw, but gently warped like light coming up through a swimming pool. Each successive album he’s put out through influential Michigan label Ghostly International has been more colorful, expressive, and melodic than
the last.
The Knitting Factory, 361 Metropolitan Avenue

 

Sunday, June 14th

 
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The Sun Ra Arkestra
Taking up the enormous legacy of late jazz genius Sun Ra, his cosmic Arkestra continues on. Now led by maestro Marshall Allen, a 91-year-old living legend of the saxophone in his own right, this free-floating crew of seasoned pros in sequined robes tour the globe aiming for outer space.
Rough Trade NYC, 64 N. 9th Street

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Le1f
With futuristic beats and frank, queer subject matter, this Brooklyn rapper is moving the genre forward on multiple fronts. But to pin Le1f’s appeal on long-overdue representation alone is laughable, given the skill and fire he brings. Last year’s Hey EP was his most polished yet, and he’s poised for an even bigger breakout.
Brooklyn Bowl, 61 Wythe Avenue

 

Girlschool
Performing continuously for the last 35 years, these London-based headbangers are the longest-running all-female band in the world. Beginning their career as close comrades of Motörhead, Girlschool has outlasted every stylistic blip heavy metal’s ever gone through and continued their riffing on the other side.
St. Vitus, 1120 Manhattan Avenue

 


The Northside “Fringe Festival”

This year’s programming stretches further than ever before, both in sound and neighborhood geography. Adventurous listeners should make it a point to seek out these shows, bringing the schedule’s oddest and most exciting artists to some of the borough’s most vital contemporary venues.

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Experimental x Noise
An opening night dive into the strange corners of Brooklyn music at newly active Bushwick focal point, Aviv. Topped by elder psychedelic wanderers Excepter, the show also spotlights White Suns’ screeching drone, the guitar mesmerism of Baby Birds Drink Milk, the shamanic dance fragments of Mezzanine Swimmers, and Lutkie’s blissful clangs and bellows.
6/11 @ Aviv, 496 Morgan Avenue

 

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Pitchfork Presents…
In what’s become a distinguished festival tradition, the dominant taste-making publication will again program both weekend nights at Greenpoint metal club Saint Vitus. Friday night’s bill features raw and personal new work by indie-pop veteran Fred Thomas (ex-Saturday Looks Good to Me), plus dark and romantic L.A. rockers Gun Outfit, songstress-with-heart-on-her-sleeve Mitski, and maker of “QUEER NIHILIST REVOLT MUSIK”, Dreamcrusher. Saturday’s sets veer more sinister still with northwestern doom duo The Bell Witch, punishing Quebequois black metal group Akitsa, brutal noise artist Alberich, and a secret guest who’ll fit right into the void.
6/12-13 @ Saint Vitus, 1120 Manhattan Avenue

 

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Xiu Xiu w/ bottoms & EULA
Jamie Stewart broke new ground in self-destructive goth-pop on Xiu Xiu records that emphasized inner darkness over jet-black outerwear. He’ll perform their songs in his first visit to Bushwick’s DIY scene, joined by abrasive young Brooklyn bands following in his trail—electro-punk drag queens, bottoms, and next wave No Wavers, EULA.
6/13, evening @ Palisades, 906 Broadway

 

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Fathers of Footwork, vol. 1
Freakishly on-point promoters AdHoc bring dance music history to life, uniting pioneers of Chicago’s footwork movement under one Brooklyn roof. “Footwork” is an aggressively sped-up, stacked-beat style that gained popularity in the 1990s as soundtrack to epic underground dance battles. As original innovators of a still-blooming sound, DJ Spinn, RP Boo, Traxman, and more will take some kids to school.
6/13, late night @ Palisades, 906 Broadway

 

Software Recording Co. Label Showcase
Software was founded in 2011 by Oneohtrix Point Never’s Daniel Lopatin as an electronic and experimental offshoot of local indie imprint Mexican Summer. Their first official Northside showcase features some far-out stuff, including the swooning ambient fuzz of Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, the active synth-scapes of Ryan McRyhew’s Thug Entrancer, and GABI’s singular pop vocals.
6/13 @ Aviv, 496 Morgan Avenue

 

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GODMODE TURNS 3
The great local label, as likely to release a baffling noise tape as some slick bit of left-field disco, will showcase the breadth of their roster with a massive all-day anniversary celebration in a tiny Williamsburg room. Roaring punk duo Yvette and minimal techno producer Malory are just two wildly differing highlights.
6/13 @ Muchmore’s, 2 Havemeyer Street

 

Delia Gonzalez performs In Remembrance
The DFA Records mainstay switches from the minimal electronic pulses of her collaborations with Gavin Russom to the stately piano composition of her latest solo record, In Remembrance. Composed to accompany film footage of dancers in motion, the music is simple, melancholy and hypnotic. It’ll be the rare modern classical performance on the cozy Greenpoint piano bar’s opulent backroom baby grand.
6/14 @ Manhattan Inn, 632 Manhattan Avenue

 

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Zola Jesus w/ Blanck Mass & Container
Zola Jesus’ operatic voice and dark, dramatic vision for pop music has made her a rising star. She’ll headline this Northside event with opening acts that nod to her experimental roots. Her set will be preceded by a rare U.S. appearance by Fuck Buttons member Benjamin John Power’s shadow rave solo project, Blanck Mass, and the intensely physical industrial dance beats of rising Rhode Island producer, Container.
6/14 @ Warsaw, 261 Driggs Avenue