07/22/14 4:00pm

el puente domino 7

Williamsburg art collective El Puente Muralistas are exploring the neighborhood’s culture, religion and links to the Caribbean sugar trade in a new mural painted on the Domino Sugar Factory’s northern construction wall. Local residents, teens and elected officials joined the artists in starting the mural, “Past Present Prediction,” Friday afternoon. (more…)

07/18/14 4:00pm

random access theater company

Dumbo’s Random Access Theatre is performing Shakespeare’s classic Taming of the Shrew every night this weekend in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The free performances will take place tonight, tomorrow and Sunday at 7 pm at Granite Prospect (the stone steps) on Pier 1. You can get more details on BBP’s website and over at Random Access Theatre.

Photo via Random Access Theatre

07/16/14 4:00pm

dumbo public art map

Dumbo developer Two Trees has just released a new map of all 19 public art installations and murals in the waterfront neighborhood, making it easier for tourists and locals to discover the area’s hidden charms. The Google Map includes a photo of each piece, a brief description and a link to the artist’s or project’s website. Highlights include murals along the BQE by MOMO, Craig Anthony Miller and DALeast; Tom Fruin’s iconic water tower on Jay Street; and a Superhero-themed photo installation printed along the fence on Anchorage Place. Head over here to check out the map.

07/09/14 4:00pm

medgar evers college building 1638 bedford crown heights

Starting this Friday, Medgar Evers College will kick off its 16th annual Jazzy Jazz Festival, which will bring weekly jazz concerts to southern Crown Heights. Performers in this year’s lineup include MEC Jazz Ensemble & The Strobert Trio, Dr. Mambo & The Experience Ensemble featuring Neil Clarke and Alex Blake, Stanley Banks & Friends featuring Monte Croft, Jeff King Band, and a Caribbean cultural celebration for the school’s poet-in-residence for the jazz series, Nikki Williams. Performances will take place every Friday this summer from 6 to 9 pm along Crown Street next to the college’s new science center, at 1638 Bedford Avenue (pictured).

Photo by Tchassis via Wikimedia Commons

07/08/14 12:00pm

crown heights mural edit

Artist Mike Perry has painted a new mural on Bergen Street between Franklin and Classon. It says “Crown Heights” and depicts people and buildings among trees and flowers. He lives in Crown Heights, and his studio is located on the block, in the Monti building at 925 Bergen. The colorful wall is the first in an ongoing mural project Perry is curating with Sue Boyle and Benton Brown, the owners of the lot. Thanks to Brooklynian for bringing it to our attention. What do you think of it?

06/30/14 4:00pm

bloody bloody andrew jackson actors

What better way to celebrate July 4th than to see a free performance of “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” outside at the Old Stone House in Park Slope? The comedic rock musical takes a fun look at the life of populist idol and seventh U.S. President Andrew Jackson, beginning with his early years in Tennessee and continuing through his controversial presidency.

Presented by Piper Theatre and directed by Nigel Williams, the show takes “textbook history and kicks in electricity, dirty deeds, punk rock rawness,” according to the press release. Piper will be putting on free shows Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 pm from July 3 to July 19.

Performances will take place outside the Old Stone House in Park Slope’s Washington Park at 336 3rd Street between 4th and 5th avenues. You can find out more info here on the Piper Theater website.

Photo by Peter James Zielinski for Piper Theatre

06/30/14 12:01pm


This weekend we caught the Kara Walker exhibit in the otherwise empty landmarked Domino factory in Williamsburg — already an active construction site, according to the waiver we had to sign to get into the free exhibit. The room smelled of molasses. The show will be up through July 6. Has anyone else checked it out? Click through to the jump for lots of photos. (more…)

06/18/14 4:00pm


The Transit Museum is hosting another night of subway and bus-inspired performances, writing and films in their Brooklyn Heights headquarters, a decommissioned subway station on Court Street. In the latest edition of “Platform,” writer Anne Born will present her collection of stories written while commuting on buses in Manhattan and the Bronx, artist Jon Burgerman will discuss his subway interventions, and artist Ryan Seslow will present animated gifs based on the city’s transit system. There will also be improvised dance, an ambient sound installation, and bicycle-powered cinematography. You can read about the whole program and buy tickets on the Transit Museum’s Tumblr. And Brownstoner readers can get $5 tickets by entering promo code BWCREATE14. It’s all happening next Wednesday, June 25 at 6:30 pm at the museum, which is on the corner of Boerum Place and Schermerhorn Street.

Photo by Marc A. Hermann for the Transit Museum

06/17/14 4:00pm


This Saturday, June 21, the longest day of the year, Make Music New York will take over Brooklyn and the rest of New York City with musical happenings of all types, including participatory sessions any musician or singer is welcome to join.

Some of the events include ambient noise recordings in Coney Island as part of John Cage’s 49 Waltzes, 20 musicians improvising on littleBits synthesizers in Williamsburg, a ukulele sing and play along in Park Slope, and a Silent Barn block party in Bushwick as well as performances of every sort of music all over the borough. For the full schedule and a map, see the Make Music New York website.

06/12/14 4:00pm

fulton art fair

Brooklyn’s oldest Black visual arts event, Fulton Art Fair, returns to Bed Stuy this weekend with work from established and emerging artists, live jazz and dance performances. Sketch artists, printmakers, painters, sculptors, collage makers, quilters and photographers will sell their wares at Fulton Park between Stuyvesant and Lewis avenues.

Jeff King Band, Bereather Ready, Sankofa School, Boys and Girls High School Play and several other groups will perform at the fair, which is celebrating its 56th year. It will begin this weekend and continue through June 29, and the hours are Saturday from 12 to 8 pm and Sunday from 12 to 6 pm.

06/02/14 11:30am

Welcome to the Hot Seat, where we interview people involved in real estate, architecture, development and design. Introducing Jamie Courville and Chris Reynolds, a filmmaking team working on a documentary about the rapid changes in Gowanus. Their film, Gowanus Current, will chronicle the development of the neighborhood over the course of this year and incorporate the voices of people who live and work there. They’ve set up a phone line where anyone can call and record their thoughts about what’s happening in Gowanus. You can listen to some of the calls here.

Brownstoner: Where do you live, and how did you end up there?

Jamie: We live in Gowanus. We’ve lived in different neighborhoods and had some bad luck with apartments. We lived in one place we fixed up a lot, and we had one rental that kept flooding with raw sewage. We lived in another place where the landlord thought he was a master fixer-upper: he wanted to tear a hole in the wall to build a deck, and we decided not to live with an open wall. And now we’ve lived here five years. We’re on 3rd Avenue toward the dead end of the canal. During Sandy, the water was pretty deep on Nevins one block down, but because of the slope we didn’t have any flooding. We’re not in Zone A.

BS: What first drew you to Gowanus, and why did you decide to start filming Gowanus Current?

Jamie: I didn’t know much about this neighborhood before, but I’ve grown to very much love it.

Chris: [We decided to start filming] because it was changing really quickly. A lot of large scale moving in and lots of longtime residents and business moving out. We’re both professional filmmakers and media producers, so it seemed only natural to do that about what we were seeing in our own neighborhood.

After the jump, Jamie and Chris talk about the future of Gowanus, the proposed Historic District, Whole Foods and the demolition of the Burns Brothers coal silos…


05/30/14 4:00pm


A mural is going up on the construction fence at Broken Angel and there will be a public dedication ceremony this Sunday. Developer Barrett Design and Development commissioned it from Groundswell Community Mural Project and The Urban Assembly Unison School.

The 32-foot long mural was designed by artist Misha Tyutyunik and illustrates the history of the site. Sixth grade students at Unison School helped paint it. When construction is finished, the mural will be relocated to a permanent home at the nearby school.

In the words of an email about the mural sent out by Barrett Design and Development:

4 Downing, formerly known as “Broken Angel,” was an artist owned and occupied perpetual design study from approximately 1979 through 2006. The building and block were also the backdrop for Dave Chapelle’s Block Party – a comedy and music festival that took place there in 2004 (and later became a documentary film by the same title).

In the spirit of artistic experimentation and community involvement, BDD plans a series of events in conjunction with our redevelopment of the building. We envision our work as the next chapter in the continued evolution of 4 Downing, spanning from the building’s origins as a 19th century tenement into its future as a residential anchor in the community.

The event will take place from 1 to 3 pm at 4 Downing Street. There will be a DJ and free refreshments from the Milk Truck.

Photo via Barrett Design and Development