brooklyn glass (in gowanus)

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.

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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.

Brooklyn Glass
brooklynglass.com
142 13th Street
Gowanus, Brooklyn, NY

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gin and tonic and a square glass

I’m a fan of gin and tonics. That I will freely admit. I’m not sure when the good ol’ g&t became my go-to drink, but by the time I got to New York and met roomie J who always had a ready stock of Hendrick’s, I had pretty much completely transitioned from beer (back in my Texas undergrad days) to wine or gin and tonics. This is to say that I have experience with gin and tonics.

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I don’t mind if you play with it a bit, like Logan Punch’s pretty darn amazing rosemary gin and tonic (servied in a mason jar mug!), but what really gets my goat is when someone takes a perfectly good drink and does something super weird to it … like putting it in an annoying square glass. This was at a local bar somewhere in the French Concession and the drink was mediocre but the glass made me sad. I know it seems persnickety and square galsses do look cool, but they aren’t easy to drink out of! Who wants to drink from a corner? Awkward. Please people, stop it.

limca, how i miss thee

I don’t drink much soda. Well, that’s sort of a lie. I drink my fair share of Mountain Dew (but only when it’s necessary! … and it’s been necessary a lot lately). But I don’t drink dark-colored sodas like Coke or Pepsi at all and rarely drink clearish sodas like Sprite or 7-up. However, I really miss Limca. It’s only sold in India and it’s crisp and refreshing, kind of like Sprite or 7-up … but better. Maybe because it’s in India? I first had it in Delhi when I was there in 2011 (everyone in my tour group fell in love with Limca), and then I had it again this January when I was in Mumbai … and it’s just good stuff.

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artist: david hammons

Do you know who David Hammons is? The contemporary African-American artist? The one whose sculpture is in the Hirshhorn’s permanent collection? Well, I didn’t. That is, not until I went to the Hirshhorn, saw this sculpture, and looked him up.

The sculpture is an untitled piece from 1989, made out of glass bottles and silicone glue. I thought it was pretty amazing. What could be more simple, more perfect than a circle? But then there are the components – the individual glass bottles – that are connected in a way that seems so natural and unforced given the shape of the bottles and the invisibility of the adhesive.

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A lot of his work deals with the civil rights movement from his heyday during the 1970s and 1980s. And though this particular sculpture has a distant, minimalist feel, it’s not. It’s not pure form, pure materiality, or pure object. It’s not a circle formed by the repetition of that particular angle; it’s actually a flattened spiral with slight irregularities. The glass is not clean and sterile; they are bottles of Night Train, a brand of bum/street wine. The sculpture is more than an object; it is a commentary on racial stereotypes, creating a sense of high art out of low trash.

glass jar + paint = jar-o’-lantern

A while ago I had seen this Martha Stewart project for Jar-o’-Lanterns and I thought, I got jars and I could easily get paint. So voila.

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I decided to make my little jar-o’-lantern be a happy little guy, so I just freehand drew his face on with a permanent marker and let it sit so the marker would dry. Then I headed down to Michael’s to buy orange paint. I probably should’ve gone with the recommended oil-based enamel paint … but the orange acrylic was cheaper. And whatever, it looks fine. Oh, and the wire was just some normal silver 16-guage I picked up at the local hardware store. Simple and cheap – why does Martha have to make it seem so much more complicated?

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Right now I’ve got him on our table in the living room, hanging out with our plastic pumpkin (filled with chocolate) and our real pumpkin (which is waiting anxiously to get carved). Now if only I can find some green ribbon to tie onto the silver wire, I’d be completely satisfied with it. In total, I only spent about $4 for the project since I only had to buy paint and wire. Yay!

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is reposted here for my own sake.]

getting back into the swing

So … I’m pretty much settled in by now. I moved in about one month ago and my room is pretty much set up, but I might buy a few more things in the upcoming weeks. Graduate school is really quite time consuming, not with busy work assignments like in undergraduate, but there are so many readings to do for each class that it takes a lot of effort to keep on top of them all. Two weeks in and I’m already not doing too well at that.

I’m not too fond of how my room looks decoration-wise, but it’ll slowly get there. I like to keep myself busy with little crafts and tasks to give myself something to do when I need a break from all the reading. I’m currently working on a short story for a challenge swap, and the other day I bought two canvases (really cheaply from Michaels) and I want to do some kind of ink drawing on them. We’ll see. I need to get some photos printed out … which I’ve been saying for the last month.

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Back in Austin I had a shelf that was devoted to clear glass bottles, and I’ve started doing the same to my windowsill here. I hate throwing away bottles, and I like the look of them when they’re all different sizes and the light hits them. When there get to be too many I’ll recycle them, but for now they’re creating a little family on the sill.

Ugh … alrighty then, I guess I should get back to reading now. From now on, if you see a post from me, you can go ahead and assume I’m procrastinating, so feel free to chide me back into being a responsible student.

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is reposted here for my own sake.]

giftness: m&ms in glass

Have I mentioned that I’m a poor college student? Well, I am. I’m also incredibly fond of holidays, gift-giving, and collecting things. I especially like glass, so I hate throwing away glass bottles. Since the nearest recycling center is a decent drive away I figured I’d reuse them like the good eco-friendly person I am (well, I try).

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I thoroughly cleaned some clear bottles, filled them with M&Ms, topped them off with some pink fabric, white ribbon, and red knotted cord … and voila. Cheap, easy, and universal – because who can say no to chocolate? I wanted to find the red, white, and pink M&Ms, but the store I went to didn’t have any. It was probably for the best since a few of my friends are being decidedly anti-Valentine’s Day this year.

I don’t see why people gripe so much about it. Is it a commercial holiday? Yes. Do I care? No. Why? Because whenever there’s a chance for people to show how much they appreciate each other (and consume chocolate), it’s all good in my book.

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is reposted here for my own sake.]

birthday gifts

My last three posts involved food. Kind of ironic considering that I’m mighty low on food right now. I still have a lot of bread, but not much substantial food. Anyway, it was my birthday a bit ago so I got some of the most fantastic gifts that I feel compelled to tell the world about (well, if the world read this blog, that is). People know me so well. For example, they know:

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I like pretty things. From the sister: necklace with metal leaf and beads. She sent it to me in the mail, so I got it before my birthday. When I told her I had already opened it, she yelled at me. True love. Anyway, I wore it on my birthday and it’s the perfect length!

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I like crafty things. From friend X: merino blend wool yarn and glass beads. She also included red ribbon and yellow flowers because she knows that I hate the colors red and yellow. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that is true friendship.

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I like glass things.From friend A: blown glass container/orb/beautiful-thing-that’s-going-on-the-coffee-table. She said it’s made from recycled glass from some specific brand of soda that I forget. Anyway, it’s fabulous and she got it from Austin Art Glass, which has some really nice pieces. I need to visit that place sometime.

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I like nostalgic things. From roommate S: DVD of “The Breakfast Club”. Sweet. This is one of my favorite movies, but for some reason I never owned it. Now I can watch it again, and again, and again! Yes.

Fantastic. I had a great birthday and the gifts, while fabulous, could not compare to the dinner I had at Kerbey Lane with my friends. I love this town.

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is reposted here for my own sake.]