Outer-borough hackles have been raised in the past several weeks over a familiar player in the ongoing War on Gentrification—Starbucks. Much has been made of two new Brooklyn locations: one in Williamsburg, which opened this week, and one in Crown Heights, set to open this fall in the first floor of a brand-new apartment building. In Brooklyn, Starbucks is the Angel of Death of the Hip, casting its long shadow across neighborhoods of Authentic Cool, corporatizing everything it touches. In reality, Starbucks may be a buzzard at worst, arriving long after the fight.
While some parts of Bushwick are set to be wholly destroyed (read: former site of the Rheingold Brewery), it’s nice to know some things may be around forever. Such is the case with the neighborhood’s Ridgewood Masonic Temple, which recently received landmark status from the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
It can be difficult to distinguish one bearded, fixie-riding Williamsburgian from another, but Best Pizza’s deliveryman Bill Meier is a different story. No Weather Productions made a short documentary about the 52-year-old, gray-bearded and wizened with age and years on the street, and his life as a bike messenger. (more…)
This is a story you might have heard before: hard-working person’s weekend passion project unexpectedly sparks the imagination of thousands, evolves quickly into a full-time, world-changing gig. OK, so perhaps “world-changing” is a bit of a stretch, but the all natural, craft bitters company Hella Bittersis changing something important — the taste of your favorite cocktail. With a small batch approach that favors thoughtful ingredients for a concentrated, mouth-puckering punch of flavor, these bitters can balance out even the biggest of bourbon whiskeys. Yum.
Hella Bitters is currently available in two flavors — the original “Citrus” and “Aromatic” — but a recent visit to the company’s workspace reveals a veritable chemistry lab of potential future tastes, including “Oaxan Chili” and “Sriracha.” The company may only be (officially) a few years old, but they’ve already got a lot for us to look forward to.
What happens when cops go looking for perpetrators where they know they’re going to find them? Probably trouble. According to Brooklyn Brief, on Monday night, cops in Crown Heights created a checkpoint on Franklin Avenue a few blocks south of Eastern Parkway and asked drivers to roll up their windows in order to check the legality of their tints. Window checkpoints have been done before, and will almost definitely happen again, but this instance also reads like profiling.
Everyone in New York knows that the Brooklyn Academy of Music is a treasure. Now the United States government has officially recognized BAM’s cultural significance, awarding it with a 2013 National Medal of Arts—the highest honor specifically given for achievement in the arts in the country, given annually to those who are “deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support and availability of the arts in the United States.” The award comes with a sizable endowment.
Book awards season is still months away, but today offered the first glimpse of the accolades to come. The Man Booker Prize announced the longlist for their prestigious fiction award on Wednesday. It was first time that the competition was open to all books published in the UK and written in English—meaning Americans are now eligible—instead of limited to citizens from the Commonwealth, Ireland, or Zimbabwe. And indeed, the committee selected four books written by Americans for the list. But there’s one notable snub: Where is The Goldfinch?