Yikes– it’s been a rough few months for weird spaces in Brooklyn. As of last week DBA is officially DOA, Glasslands is wrapping up the year with its final shows, Rod & Gun in Williamsburg will also shutter in 2015 after seven years, even Goodbye Blue Monday (though not exactly a DIY operation but weird nonetheless) said goodbye forever last weekend, and now Bushwick’s Body Actualized Center is done-zo.
On Saturday, the onetime garage turned DIY yoga center, event space, and temple of “healthy hedonism” held its last dance party in the cleared out space. Owner Brian Sweeny announced last week that the center, which has functioned not just as a central hub for a uniquely Bushwick scene since 2011 but also a home for core community members, would be closing officially on December 1st. Bushwick Daily pointed to rumors that the building’s “rent went up astronomically this year and the involved parties could no longer afford to stay.”
We wouldn’t be completely shocked if rent hikes are to blame and a piece by active member Lindsey Leonard alludes to the changing shape of the neighborhood as the cause for closure. Since 2011, when Body Actualized first opened, the area immediately surrounding the center has transformed rapidly, though a blueprint for change had already been laid out long before.
Just across the street from Body Actualized stands Bushwick’s most hilarious monstrosity, Castlebraid (Curbed dubbed it the “home of Brooklyn’s least self-aware gentrifiers since 2010”), a steam punk-esque apartment buildings marketed toward young artistic types preferably with blood lines tracing to Scrooge McDuck, where two bedrooms go for almost $3,000 a month and tenants have access to a recording studio, digital media lab, graffiti wall, and, uh, yard games. Sources tell us Castlebraid provides infinite pampering and an inflated sense of self-worth.
It’s telling that while Castlebraid has a waiting list, Body Actualized has been pushed out. Though members remain optimistic and Sweeny promised in his letter to continue the Body Actualized project, plans for an ambitious new space are set far away from Bushwick, in upstate New York.