Somehow I keep ending up in Gowanus, which is a somewhat icky/industrial area of Brooklyn that is super cool these days. But still … it’s Brooklyn. And I’m a Manhattanite. I had lived in Astoria and Flushing for a bit, but I far prefer Manhattan. To me, Brooklyn is a faraway land, although it is pretty cool.
Case in point, Brooklyn Glass. Went there with some friends last night, and 25 dollars got you a handmade glass and free-flow wine or beer, which is a pretty decent price. It wasn’t so much an “event” as a fun time to drink, chat with friends, and watch people making things out of glass. It was super cool to see them pull and warp the hot glass, while trying to guess what they were making. Apparently it was supposed to be a high-heeled shoe, but it didn’t turn out all that great. And weirdly there were quite a few people wearing tie-dye (see the tie-dye shirt/toga in the above picture) … definitely a sign you’re no longer in Manhattan!
The place also holds classes, which sounds pretty neat, but probably not something I’d actually do. There are just too many other fun things to do in this city! That aren’t all the way out in Brooklyn! The only downsides of the evening were that the trains routes were weird (as they are often on the weekend), which meant a super long trek to get there, and there was some smoking, which (combined with the heat and alcohol) caused me to feel faint and we left a bit early. But yeah, still very fun.
Two days ago, July 18, was Nelson Mandela International Day, otherwise known as Mandela Day. My friends and I went to Madiba Restaurant for dinner in Fort Greene (an area of Brooklyn) and since Madiba is a notable South African restaurant and Nelson Mandela is a famous South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, president, humanitarian, et cetera … it was pretty crowded. At one point there were eight of us crowded around a 2′ x 2′ table, which was a bit awkward outside in the stifling heat. However, the drinks were yummy (Obama Mama) and the food was fine (salmon burger), although the prices were a bit pricey. The highlight of the night was when darkness fell and lanterns were lit in honor of Mandela.
It was really quite a magical experience seeing all these paper lanterns float off into the sky. That being said, there was some minor concern voiced as the lanterns went over the building that perhaps floating fire in a fairly dense area wasn’t the best idea ever … but no harm, no foul. After all the lanterns were lit and traveled beyond view, there was some traditional South African singing and dancing.
Considering that this was my first time in Fort Greene, it was a lovely experience. Sure it was a bit miserable because it’s been unbearably hot lately and I really didn’t intend to spend so much on dinner, but that’s just how it is. Ah, I’m going to miss all the cultural diversity of New York!
I’m back in the good ol’ US of A! My trip to China was very eventful, so I have a bevy of images to get through, but I’m still jetlagged as hell. Got back into New York Wednesday night, waited FOREVER for the M60 (over 40 minutes of waiting … there was a mob of people trying to climb on when the bus finally arrived), got two rough-looking donuts from Dunkin’ Donuts for breakfast/dessert, and crashed for approximately 18 hours. Then I woke up and headed to a 4th of July party! In Brooklyn! On a rooftop! How hipster of me, no? So quintessentially New York.
I just wanted to extend a hearty congratulations to all those graduating over at Pratt! Pratt was my first real taste of New York, so even though I haven’t been back to Clinton Hill since that summer way back when, I will forever have a soft spot for Pratt.
Two of my fellow interns are graduating from Pratt’s interior design program, so I stopped by the Pratt Show on Monday to check out their work. They graduate next week, but basically they’re done. This show is the big hurrah with all their thesis projects, and their thesis books are due aftergraduation … crazy, eh?
The Pratt Show 2013 is currently being held at the Manhattan Center (311 West 34th Street at 8th Avenue). The show opened May 6 (when I stopped by) and it’ll run until Thursday, May 9. It’s open to the public! You should go! And if you do, head to the very back where the master’s interior design work is exhibited!
I crossed the Brooklyn Bridge – again! Last year I crossed it during the Occupy madness, but that was more of a night march. This time I did it on a Sunday morning and it was quite relaxing, only about a half-hour walk. And the weather was nice too! Only downside was that it was somewhat crowded, but since it’s New York, it’s a tourist attraction, and it was a weekend … being crowded was a given.
And unlike last year, when I landed in Brooklyn, I didn’t immediately hop onto the subway and head back to Manhattan. Instead, I stuck around and explored the Brooklyn Bridge Park and walked around the Dumbo area for a bit. I love that name, don’t you? DUMBO – Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass … it’s such an obviously contrived acronym, but it’s fitting for the artsy area.
Oh, and in the Brooklyn Bridge Park there was a carousel! Acks! I NEED to return to ride that carousel. It’s called Jane’s Carousel, is open year-round, and only costs two bucks. Plus, the pavilion was designed by Jean Nouvel – so there’s an architecture connection for ya. Ever since I had surgery on my back (and was prohibited from riding roller coasters), I have developed a fondness for carousels.
Last year I rarely ventured into Brooklyn, because *gasp* it was somewhere not Manhattan. This year I’ve taken to exploring beyond this little island, although Brooklyn is still quite the trek for me and inner Brooklyn is still foreign territory. Next time I’ll cross the Manhattan Bridge (seen in the background of the carousel photo) for a change of pace and spend some more time wandering around Dumbo. Hopefully ‘next time’ won’t mean ‘next year,’ but we shall see!