Sailing the chocolate seas

Article: Sailing the chocolate seas

Ever think about giving up chocolate for the good of the planet? Nah, me neither – some sacrifices are too great! Despite having such a captive market, though, chocolate makers from the corporate giants to small-scale artisan operations have looked for ways to reduce their environmental and social impact. Organic cocoa beans and Fair Trade farming operations have become standard on this front, but two chocolatiers, one American, one British, have gone to an extreme to cut their footprints: they’re having either supplies or product delivered by sailing ships.

Em & Lo on "The Interview Show" in Brooklyn this Thursday

Article: Em & Lo on "The Interview Show" in Brooklyn this Thursday

Yes, we just referred to ourselves in the 3rd person (sorry). But just wanted to let you know that we’re going to be at Union Hall in Park Slope this Thrusday at 8pm (doors at 7:30) for “The Interview Show” hosted by syndicated humor columnist (and Lo’s old friend) Mark Bazer. The Interview Show is usually held monthly at the Hideout in Chicago and features musicians, authors, comedians, athletes, community activists, chefs, etc. shooting the shit. Past guests have included Brian Denehey, Mark Maron, Wilco and Peter Sagal (of “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” fame, pictured above).

Occupy Brooklyn's rooftops! with gardens

Article: Occupy Brooklyn's rooftops! with gardens

While the Occupy movement has made a lasting impression on American (and even global) political discourse, its had a pretty limited impact on the permanent physical environments in which it operates: activists have focused more on building community in the abstract sense vs. the built, physical sense. That could change somewhat this Spring as Occupy Wall Street’s Sustainability Working Group moves from the business of providing energy for encampments to addressing food poverty in New York City. The group, in partnership with EcoStation:NY, has launched a fundraising campaign for a rooftop farm project in Brooklyn.

Williamsburg's Corner Library: The smallest library in the world

Article: Williamsburg's Corner Library: The smallest library in the world

There may be some other contenders for the smallest library title, such as Jozsef Tari’s collection of over 4,500 miniature books, but nonetheless, this mini library in Brooklyn would rival even the “book booth.”

Located on the corner of Leonard and Withers in Williamsburg, the Corner Library project is the brainchild of artist Colin McMullan, who first installed the functional, utilitarian art project in downtown New Haven before transplanting it here in New York. It’s a mini replica of what a library in a good ol,’ all-American small town would look like, and a timely commentary in an era where the traditional role of a library is changing rapidly with the growth of iPads and Kindles on one end and the aggressive (and shameful IMHO) defunding of town and city libraries on the other…

Best of the Web: Williamsburg is always ready for Halloween & Spike Jonze tries stop-motion

Article: Best of the Web: Williamsburg is always ready for Halloween & Spike Jonze tries stop-motion

Halloween or Williamsburg: Anyone that’s ever set foot in Williamsburg, Brooklyn can attest that outfits seen on the sidewalk can be startlingly strange. One minute, you’re looking at a modern Jimi Hendrix and the next, an NYU student’s take on Annie Hall. If you didn’t live here, you might think these people were en route to a costume party or similarly themed event. A brilliant new blog, “Halloween or Williamsburg,” documents some of the neighborhood’s goofiest get-ups…

Live human birth: You never saw this at the county fair

Article: Live human birth: You never saw this at the county fair

A few weeks back we found ourselves at a county fair witnessing the live birth of a calf (as one does). It was equal parts fascinating, horrifying and beautiful and reminded us of exactly how animalistic the human birth experience can be. But where humans get forceps or perhaps a c-section when things get tricky, this poor calf was pulled out with a heavy metal chain tugged on by three burly farmers. The crowd at the fair oohed and aahed with each contraction as if they were at a fireworks display, while a moderator encouraged us all to be as quiet as possible because, you know, the cow didn’t exactly give her permission for us all to be there and we were probably a tad distracting…

Dance Party with Brooklyn's Bass Sweetheart

Article: Dance Party with Brooklyn's Bass Sweetheart

Jubilee. Photo Credit: Jubilee’s Official Site.

How was the dance party you had with the sounds from last week’s mix tape? Awesome? Yeah, we know. And we also know you’re a fiend for more delicious beats.

The second installment for all you ladies, gents and gender benders is here — The Gossamer Swatch Session Mix Tape Series. Coming to you once a week as tribute to couture fashion designer Garo Sparo, all thanks to our lovely friends over at Garo’s workshop.

Watch as Garo, part-time psychiatrist and full-time dream weaver, helps his clients battle their inhibitions and unleash their true selves in our all new original series UNLEASHED BY GARO, Fridays at 9p!

Check out this week’s mix tape below, brought to you by Jubilee.

Brooklyn's Dekalb Market: a flexible business district built from shipping containers

Article: Brooklyn's Dekalb Market: a flexible business district built from shipping containers

Builders and architects have fallen in love with shipping containers and are using them to design and build everything from office buildings to prison space. It makes sense: they come in standard sizes (a bit like Legos), they’re sturdy, mobile, and readily available. This also makes shipping containers ideal for temporary developments, and a new open-air market in Brooklyn is putting that notion to the test.

Manhattan versus Brooklyn

Article: Manhattan versus Brooklyn

For those unfamiliar, there’s always a bit of friendly banter and rivalry among New York City boroughs. Things however had been calm until one Etsy’r launched a shot across the bow-klyn bridge at Manhattan with his artisan hand screen printed poster above. Well, Manhattanite James Campbell Taylor returned the fire with his own poster that was “designed using an international software giant’s latest creative suite,” “mass-produced by the overworked, underpaid slaves of a Manhattan-based corporate behemoth,” and most decidedly “not available on Etsy.”

Norman Mailer's "jungle gym" apartment

Article: Norman Mailer's "jungle gym" apartment

The New York Times has a great photo gallery of Norman Mailer’s stunning and highly personal Brooklyn Heights apartment on its website. Norman Mailer, who passed away in 2007, tackled his fear of heights (stemming from his vertigo problem) when he drastically remodeled his apartment over forty years ago “by designing a space that resembled…

Brooklyn recreated with LEGO

Article: Brooklyn recreated with LEGO

Boerum Hill resident Jonathan Lopes has spent the last four years putting together and recreating a mini-Brooklyn made out of LEGO blocks in his 400-square-foot living room. The result is rather impressive. A four-foot model of the Williamsburg Savings Bank is also on display at his local cleaners (Boerum Hill Dry Cleaners at 391 Pacific…

iPod Touch finger painting of Prospect Park

Article: iPod Touch finger painting of Prospect Park

As a former Park Slope resident of three years, I really like the mood captured in this finger-painted picture of Grand Army Plaza at Prospect Park which was drawn by Tae Won Yu on his iPod Touch. Browse his website for more digital finger-paintings. [Via]

Manhattan was Brooklyn

Article: Manhattan was Brooklyn

Through December 19th Live With Animals is showcasing the artwork of one of my faves, Clinton Van Gemert. Clinton is the creative genius behind the hoodie line HeadHoods, who I recently interviewed. He also makes killer T-shirts too, like this one, “I Can’t Afford to Love New York.” His work is sick, smart, and often…

Vintage photo of Jay-Z during his hard knock life days

Article: Vintage photo of Jay-Z during his hard knock life days

I’m really digging this pre-Reasonable Doubt photo by Jayson James Zeigfeld of Jay-Z snapped before he became JAY-Z and back when it looked the rapper still had 99 problems.

Chalkboard street art

Article: Chalkboard street art

Brooklyn real estate-centric blog Brownstoner posted this chalkboard cleverly placed at a construction site on Bond and Degraw. I predict that a genius construction worker will anonymously write the solution to a previously never solved math problem on this chalkboard. How do you like them apples?

Polaroid: Instant Joy

Article: Polaroid: Instant Joy

With the convenience of digital media it’s only the rare purist or enthusiast who would bother with something as archaic as actual film or the time-consuming process of developing it, but there is one relic that has maintained its popularity since its commercial boom in the 60s: the Polaroid. This has everything to do with the fact that a Polaroid fulfills our need for both nostalgia and instant gratification in an experience that engages the consumer with the product in a way that a regular 35mm camera just doesn’t. From pulling the print from the negative sheet, shaking it and eagerly awaiting the results, the Polaroid became an interactive user experience.

Altered NYC street signs

Article: Altered NYC street signs

A mysterious (well, aren’t they all?) street artist named TrustoCorp recently culture jammed the street signs of Manhattan and Brooklyn with some awesomely hilarious and topical replacement signs. [Via]

Kings of moonshine

Article: Kings of moonshine

Since the time of its founding in the 1700s Brooklyn was home to thousands of distilleries, but not a single one remained after the prohibition era of the 1920s. Putting an end to that streak are Colin Spoelman and David Haskell of Williamsburg-based Kings County Distillery, purveyors of small, hand-crafted batches of bourbon and whiskey. Neither Colin nor David have any distillery experience – unless you count growing up in Kentucky or having a great-grandfather who made whiskey during prohibition – but that didn’t stop them from turning what began as a hobby into a business of their own.

The Gentrification of Brooklyn

Article: The Gentrification of Brooklyn

Taking cues from familiar movie poster themes, I love these promotional posters created by street artist Gabriel Reese aka Specter on behalf of the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) for an upcoming exhibit on the gentrification of Brooklyn. This exhibition, guest curated by Dexter Wimberly, will examine how urban planning, eminent domain, and…

Green graffiti

Article: Green graffiti

As someone who loves and appreciates street art I have to say it is rare these days when graffiti moves me. Maybe it is just living in a city like New York. We’re inundated daily with it on building sides and subway platforms. It’s become part of the city’s landscape. With that said I could…

The Clock Tower

Article: The Clock Tower

I don’t write too much about my love of architecture and interiors here, but this slideshow The New York Times recently posted has me sitting here feeling inadequate and unsuccessful. I mean really, who would not want to live in this space? If only I’d married for money. At 25 million, the asking price is…

Loft cabin

Article: Loft cabin

Blogger Guboogi’s friend Terri recently moved to Brooklyn and found herself that coveted New York City apartment, “a sweet loft with high ceilings and a ton of open space.” In fact, she has so much extra space, she’s decided to bring the backwoods experience into her apartment by building two life size cabins inside the…

Post your rent window display

Article: Post your rent window display

Candy Chang’s slightly voyeuristic interactive installation “I’ve Lived: Post-it Notes for Neighbors” featured fill-in-the-blank Post-It notes which covered the storefront window of Brooklyn vintage furniture shop,Yesterday’s News, and focused on one of the most obsessed topics in New York City: How much are my neighbors paying for their apartments? Locals were encouraged to participate by sharing this information and at the end of the project, she compiled the results into neat graphs and charts.

ETERNAL SUNSHINE house for sale

Article: ETERNAL SUNSHINE house for sale

Although maybe not evoking quite the nostalgia as Cameron’s house from FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF, which briefly ignited the blogosphere after news of its sale, another movie house located on 59 Orient Avenue in Brooklyn, New York is on the market. Kate Winslet’s character Clementine’s apartment from ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND is currently…

Suckers they are not

Article: Suckers they are not

The half-filled room at Brooklyn’s Bell House Tuesday night was good testing ground for Suckers (no The, just Suckers) who will soon go from playing to a handful of their friend’s friends to hundreds of people this summer. With their pop/rock/electronic sound and a propinquity for the keyboard (they play with four), Suckers are an appropriate pairing for MGMT who they’ll open for at an already sold out show at the Prospect Park Bandshell July 1st, followed by a month long residency at Piano’s where you can see them every Thursday night.