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November 9, 2011

Self-Promotion: ScoutMob and the New York City Marathon

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When I started talking to the fine folks at Scout Mob about being a local scout for them, I think we all assumed that I'd be pitching stories about food. I certainly didn't expect it to be about a sporting event. Then I remembered the annual tradition Tammi and I have had for eight years now and it just sort of made sense.

Check out Today's Culture Hunter and see my photos from the 2011 New York City Marathon and a bit on how it turned into the ritual it has for us.

November 8, 2010

Moe's Closing?

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Word on the internets is that Fort Greene's neighborhood bar, Moe's may be closing due to an astronomical rent increase. A lot of things can happen between now and February, so I'm not giving up hope just yet.

NY Marathon 2010

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Yesterday was a great day for a marathon. The weather was chilly, but with the sun out, it was gorgeous. Tammi even came out after being inspired watching it on TV. We watched and cheered from our usual perch in Fort Greene.

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As always the race brings out a great crowd with music and fun. Check out more photos from the race after the jump.

Continue reading "NY Marathon 2010" »

November 7, 2010

Marathon Day

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It's marathon day in New York again. I'm about to head to our usual spot in Fort Greene on Lafayette in front of Moe's to watch the runners.

Tammi doesn't feel like being out in the cold, so I'm going solo. It's funny to think that I had never paid any attention to the marathon before Tammi and I started dating. She got me hooked though, now I can't imagine not being in the middle of all of it, even without her.

October 16, 2010

Analog Flea: Kat Flower

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Ever since Kat Flower started selling at the Brooklyn Flea, I've made a point of stopping by, shooting some of the gorgeous flowers and asking Kathleen, the owner to put together something nice for me to take home to Tammi. I've never been a flower person, but I love the interesting shapes and colors of the selection here.

See more of my favorites under Analog Flea on my film photo blog, Analog UltraClay.

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September 29, 2010

Analog Flea: Red Windows

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Analog Flea: Film photos from The Brooklyn Flea, Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

September 20, 2010

Analog Flea: Owls

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Analog Flea: Film photos from The Brooklyn Flea, Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

September 14, 2010

Analog Flea: Chess Pieces

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Analog Flea: Film photos from The Brooklyn Flea, Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

September 10, 2010

Analog Flea: Flags

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Analog Flea: Film photos from The Brooklyn Flea, Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

September 9, 2010

Analog Flea: Keys

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Analog Flea: Film photos from The Brooklyn Flea, Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

September 8, 2010

The Brooklyn Flea brings back memories

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I'm behind the times in wholeheartedly embracing the Brooklyn Flea. I've been a fan since its inception, but somehow never quite made it over there very often. Lately though, I've found myself there weekly and loving the experience for all the new and old sensations they evoke.

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First, the history. Back before the development boom put giant condos on every block, the strip of 6th Avenue between 23rd Street and, say, 30th Street was home to what seemed like a dozen parking lots that all turned into big open air markets on the weekends. Vendors hawked old comic books, toys, antiques, camera, radio and electronic equipment and all sorts of other hidden gems just waiting to be discovered.

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Second, there's all the food. The food vendors of the flea have banded together and besides being a destination on the weekends at the two Flea locations, they also sold food at Central Park Summerstage shows all summer. More on that to come.

I was going to try to do one post about the Flea and I realized that I couldn't really do it. Since I've been shooting analog on the weekends, I have accrued quite a few photos of the Flea on film. Over the next month or so, I'll post Analog Flea pics every couple days as part of my Ektar 300 series. some will include commentary, so will speak for themselves.

Stay tuned.

July 28, 2010

Quick Bite: No. 7 Tacos

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Pork shoulder tacos at No. 7, Fort Greene, Brooklyn. 2010.

June 3, 2010

City Seen: Now on display

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It's been a busy, busy couple of weeks and it's just keeps coming. Last night, several dozen of my friends came out to celebrate the opening of City Seen at Habana Outpost and my impending birthday. With momentum like this, I don't know how 33 couldn't be my best year yet.

Thanks to all the family and friends who came out and special thanks to Jon Oliver, who provided some chill beats for us to enjoy. Most of all, I owe more than I can begin to describe to my wonderful wife, Tammi for helping me through the entire process. There's no way the show could have come off as well as it did without her eye for precision.

The photos will be up through June 14th, if you've enjoyed all the photos on this blog and my other sites through the years, please come out and take a look. If you can't make it out, all the photos in the show are online and available for purchase at Clay Williams Photo, my photo site. All purchases are printed new by Adorama, where I got the prints done for the show.

May 18, 2010

Self Promotion: City Seen at Habana Outpost

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I'm very excited to announce that Habana Outpost has invited me to put up a show of my photography next month. It will run for the first half of June, with photos up on Tuesday, June 1st through Monday, June, 14th.

The show, which I'm calling "City Seen" will center on my street photography, with some photos that should be familiar to those who have followed the blog for a while including a couple of my all-time favorites.

For updates and further details, rsvp to the City Seen event page on Facebook.

May 9, 2010

Recently on Examiner: Drinking in Brooklyn and the Freedom Party

A new Hot Bird rises from the ashes

If there was much of a theme at all in my last couple weeks of posts it was Brooklyn Bars. Besides the regular Brokelyn 25 series that I've gotten moving again, I've also posted about a few new choice spots to imbibe that have opened up recently. Above is Hot Bird, which I lucked into on its second night open. I basically got the first shots of the space and thus ended up on Brownstoner and Eater. The place looks pretty amazing, so I expect to spend quite a bit of time there this summer.

See what else I've been posting about after the jump...

Continue reading "Recently on Examiner: Drinking in Brooklyn and the Freedom Party" »

November 10, 2009

Shameless Self-Promotion: The Local

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A moment of self-promotion: A couple of weeks ago, The Local, the Fort Greene/Clinton Hill Blog by The New York Times use one of my photos of Bar Olivino.

Maybe one day I'll get in the print edition.
::c::

November 2, 2009

A Busy Weekend of Revelry

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It's a good thing that we had an extra hour thrown in this weekend, because there was so much going on this weekend, we needed it. I certainly did. With Halloween and the New York City Marathon both happening in the same weekend, there was plenty of celebrating to do.

Friday night, Tammi and I walked DUMBO as a part of the ArtCrawl, which included many of the neighborhood's galleries. Saturday evening, we hit the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade Saturday evening with our friend Saun. I hadn't gone out to see that spectacle since I was a kid, so it was a lot of fun to be in the middle of it again.

After that, it was an evening of party-hopping from Boerum Hill out to Fort Greene until late into the night.

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The next day we were up bright and early to get out to our usual Marathon viewing spot in Fort Greene. We got a group together to cheer on the runners and watched from the elites through to the back of the pack.

Of course, Halloween and Marathon photos are posted on Flickr. Read about all that and more on my Examiner column.

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August 25, 2009

Der Schwarz Kolner Opens!

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Fort Greene's brand new Beer Hall, Der Schwarz Kolner opened a couple weeks ago after much anticipation. Tammi and I ended up getting there 15 minutes after they opened. The menu was still in flux and there was much frantic bouncing around by the staff, but the energy in the room was great.

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As the name implies, they specialize in the cuisine of Koln (or Cologne to you francophiles). What that means in practical matters is that you get plenty of wonderful Kolsch beer. As I've mentioned before, Kölsch is "light and sweet, but with a bite of hops that provides a zen-like balance." And thus a perfect summer beer.

We hung out there for a couple hours, sampling the compact (three item) menu. The bratwurst was juicy and well spiced. The pretzels were tasty, but lacked salt for some reason. The last dish, which had an odd (read: German) name was nothing more complicated than a slab of gouda cheese and a roll. Tammi's rather fond of gouda, so she gobbled that up and loved it.

Before we headed out, we saw an off the menu special coming out of the the kitchen: some tantalizing red kielbasa sausages showed up at the table next to us.

It's a testament to both the draw of a beer hall and the neighborhood that within an hour of our arrival, the place was already crowded. I know I'll be back.

(Many thanks to Eater for linking to my opening day photos)

July 28, 2009

Will Der Shwarze Kolner Ever Open?

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I first heard rumor of a beer garden opening in Fort Greene, way back in March. Obviously, I was very happy. Beer. Schnitzel. Outdoor space. What's not to love?

And being positioned a block away from Habana Outpost means it'll have an interesting crowd and hopefully will have a moderating effect on the drives that overwhelm the place on the weekends.

But, I was apprehensive. There was no word of when they would be opening. So, I sat tight and didn't think about it.

That is until Brownstoner reported that they would be open by the end of last month. With hopes of tippling over brats and shnitzel for 4th of July Weekend, I stopped by to find it shuttered.

Last week, I passed by again and the gates were half open. I stuck my head in and asked about an opening date, but didn't get anything more than "Soon come."

So, there you go: Soon come.

June 30, 2009

"This is history right here!"

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I don't know who these dudes were, I passed them on the street the other day while I was walking through Fort Greene with the camera.

One of them yelled out, "Yo! Take our picture! This is history right here!"

Having no connection to them or their story, I could feel their excitement about the big things they're looking forward to.

I never found out who they were or what that history was going to be. It was like walking into the end of a movie, without knowing the characters or their hopes and aspirations, but just brushing against their story. Maybe one day someone will look through my old photos or find this post in the archives and tell me that one or all of them are the the greatest... of all time.

Until then, it'll be a mystery.

June 24, 2009

Butchery With Bryan


_MG_1962 - Version 2, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Yesterday, I had the privilege of going behind the counter of Provisions in Fort Greene to photograph some butchery in action. Bryan has shown up here before in his experiments, curing lamb and trying to bring kid goat to the masses. I stop in from time to time just to see what he's been working on.

The other day, I asked if I could come in one day when he was taking something apart and he was awesome enough to allow me to watching dismantle a whole beef leg. It was quite impressive to see.

I'm generally working on a photo project about people working with food, particularly meat. I have no idea where I'm going with it, but this shoot should help me develop it further.

To see the photos, in all their gory details, see the set on Flickr.

June 2, 2009

BAM's Dance Africa Festival

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Memorial Day was busy. After hanging out at Habana Outpost, Tammi and I went to the Dance Africa festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

In the last few years, the festival has effectively taken the place of the African Street Festival, which had been a summer milestone every year since my childhood. After moving from Boys & Girls High School to Commodore Barry park under the BQE, it has faltered into obscurity.

Thankfully, Dance Africa is a lot of fun in its own right, though much smaller.

We didn't catch any of the dance performances that are usually hosted in front of BAM this year, but we did wade into the market area and peruse the wares on offer. Carvings, fabric, and all sorts of food could be found as African, American and West Indian music blasted from one booth after another.

And what could mark the beginning of summer more than running into friends I haven't seen in years? In the sea of people, we just happened to see Olivia and Taya, who I don't think I've seen since High School, many moons ago.

Hopefully the weather will begin to cooperate and there will be more such outings throughout the season.

May 28, 2009

Habana Outpost: Summer Time is Here

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I've posted about The Outpost's re-opening every year since I've been blogging. This year, I'm behind the times. They opened up with a street festival as usual that included a performance by KRS-One (that I missed by minutes).

On Memorial Day, Tammi and I had our first Cuban sandwiches of the year and spent a couple hours relaxing over food, drink, and beats provided by DJ Juice E.

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This year there were a few subtle decor changes here and there, but other than that, it was still the Habana Outpost we've come to know and love. The place is a lot more crowded these days than it was those many years ago when they first opened but it's still a good time.

May 16, 2009

Candied Bacon = Glorious

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Last weekend Tammi and I took my mom out for brunch at The General Greene. I have nothing new to say since our last visit except this: Candied Bacon is Glorious.

I don't know what they 'candy' it with, but it's not a hard glaze, as I imagined when I encouraged my sister to order it. Instead it is just like regular, thick, juicy, meaty, thick-sliced, wonderful bacon, but it's got a honey-like coating across it.

May 15, 2009

Finally! Provisions' Lamb Bacon

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After many failed attempts, I finally got my hands on this slab of lamb bacon from Provisions. Even better, they are now curing more on a regular basis so getting another batch won't take nearly so long.

First observation: As you can see here, it's very fatty. There's more meat in there that the sliver visible in this picture, but the fat is prominent.

My first experiment was to cut strips and wrap them in dates. I love bacon wrapped dates and I figured the combination of North African/Middle Eastern ingredients would go together well.

This wasn't as successful as I'd have liked. As my first try cooking the bacon, I realized afterward that I had no idea how crispy the bacon cooked on its own. When I cooked it more lightly, it was a little too gummy and was difficult to cut through with your teeth. When I left it to cook longer, it crisped up too much and had a burnt, gamy flavor that wasn't so great.

There is probably a perfect medium in there somewhere, but I didn't want to waste my entire slab trying this out, so I shelved that idea.


My second, more successful idea after the jump...

Continue reading "Finally! Provisions' Lamb Bacon" »

May 2, 2009

Brunch: The General Greene

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Tammi and I finally went to The General Greene last weekend, a few months after the opening hoopla died down. Sunday the temperature broke 90 degrees, which suited me just fine after a soggy and cold April. Our friend Abbey met up with us there and we lingered for a good couple hours over drinks and brunch in the shade.

I had the Chicken Confit Skillet, above, which was excellent. Served in the cute cast iron skillet that it's cooked in, it was brunchy due to the three eggs dropped on top and cooked into a sort of casserole along with some spinach. It's an awesome variation on the cocotte concept that I've been fascinated by for some time.

The chicken was moist and tender and may have inspired me to start up a couple confit projects at home. The eggs were cooked through and enveloped the other components of the dish. I'm partial to softer yolks, so if I were to try this, I might leave it in the oven/broiler for a minute or two less. And the sprinkling of a few crystals of sea salt brought it all together.

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In an interesting bit of turnabout, Tammi chose the less breakfasty dish of a grilled sandwich, which would usually have been my choice. It looked very good, but it was late in the day and I hadn't eaten a bite of anything all day. I needed something more substantial.

The food and service were wonderful and now that the crowd seems more reasonable than early reports suggested, I am all about going back. Interestingly, I find myself unsure of which meal I want to return for first, dinner or brunch. The brunch menu stocked a number of other tasty looking skillets and sandwiches that looks truly inspired.

The General Greene
229 Dekalb Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11205
(718) 222-1510‎

March 12, 2009

The MTA's March Madness

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I don't think I'm going to lose any friends by calling the MTA a bunch of bastards. I'm not the first and I won't be the last to speak ill of the folks running Transit, so I'll minimize my invective.

For the entire month of March, the A Train is being replaced by shuttle service for over 3 miles of its route in Brooklyn. From Jay Street to Utica Avenue. Practically, this means that trying to get anywhere downtown or into Manhattan is going to be a clusterfuck for another 4 weekends. They've done this before and it has been profoundly unpleasant.

The upshot of this for me is that these are 'Williamsburg' weekends, as heading in that direction by bus or bike is a far better experience than even attempting to navigate the foolishness on Fulton Street.

February 27, 2009

Butchery: Provisions

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I've mentioned Provisions a few times lately. It's the place I bought that wonderful ground lamb for the Meatball project and the kid goat for the cabrito, Jalisco style. It's the grocery outpost of the Greene Grape wine shop that has been in the neighborhood for a few years now. I'm a big fan of the wine shop but haven't shopped at Provisions so much. They have a number of great items available, but their price point is often more than I can get the same items elsewhere. If I need something in a pinch or when I'm in the neighborhood, I'll go, but otherwise, I never had a reason to make it a destination.

In the last couple of weeks, I've found my reason: The Meat.

The key here is the creativity. Bryan, the head butcher at Provisions is seeking out interesting meats and doing cool stuff with it. If there's anything to the theory of the Butcher as Foodie Rockstar, it's what he's doing here.

When I went in to pick up meat for Meatball Madness, I ended up having a great conversation about the Lamb Bacon with him. A couple days later, it was on Bittman's Blog, which will hopefully encourage a demand to make some more. I really want to try it. He says it's got an innate sweetness to it that sounds really interesting.

Last Friday they brought in a whole kid goat from D'artagnan just to see what it was like and how it would sell. Provisions was my first stop Saturday morning to make sure I got some. I talked to Berlin, the butcher behind the counter that day, and his excitement was palpable. He told me about the cuts they came up with and the parts, like the head, that they're still thinking of what to do with. I was excited just hearing about it. This is what is making butchering interesting these days.

The price point is still an issue. The goat was $15.99 a pound, which is a hefty sum, but where else am I going to find it? The same with the Lamb Bacon. And I'll happily shell out extra for something new and experimental. That's the way I cook and having a butcher around who thinks the same way is awesome. I won't be stopping in here to get ingredients for a 30 minute meal, but I'll be coming through once a week or so to see what's new.

August 15, 2008

Photo of the Day: Beer Ticket


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Happy Hour at Moe's, Fort Greene, Brooklyn. 2008.

August 9, 2008

Photo of the Day: Smoking in the Rain


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Moe's, Fort Greene, Brooklyn. 2008.

The rain was coming down in torrents, lightning was flashing and thunder rumbled... yet these guys had to have a smoke.

Smokes actually. A couple of them went out 5 times to light up while I sat there. It was amazing. One of them spent most of his time between smokes rolling his next one.

July 28, 2008

Photo of the Day: Twilight on Atlantic Ave


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Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. 2008

July 27, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: Faded Plasma Board in BK


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Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. 2008.

July 25, 2008

Photo of the Day: Candy & Cigars


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July 7, 2008

BAM AfroPunk Festival


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This weekend BAM opened up the AfroPunk Festival with an outdoor concert and a skatepark in the parking lot.

From the BAM site:

Say it loud! The Afro-Punk Festival is back at BAM for the fourth year running. We're delivering six days of films about black rebellion and change, as well as a celebration filled with music, a skate park, a special DIY marketplace, and much more. Spend your fourth of July by celebrating a real revolution.

Punk isn't really my thing, but Black folks doing the unexpected appeals to me. I stopped in for a little while, until the music got to be too much for me.

It was cool seeing all these kids trying out tricks on the ramps, maybe one of these days I'll catch one of them at the X Games.

Photo of the Day: Blue Sunset


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Fort Greene, Brooklyn. 2006.

May 30, 2008

The Birthday Girl


The Birthday Girl, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Today is Tammi's birthday. We're out at Stonehome, a long time favorite, enjoying ourselves. More later.

Happy Friday!

::c::

May 28, 2008

What's Old is New Again on the A Train


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For the uninitiated, please excuse the subway geekery, for the subway geeks, please excuse the lack of precision. I'm into subways enough to notice when the MTA changes hardware, but not enough to memorize model numbers.

In the last few weeks, I've been seeing this relic circulating around the A line, my local train. The first time ,I thought it was a part of a movie shoot at Hoyt & Schermerhorn, where I believe they have been shooting parts of the Taking of Pelham 123. But then I started seeing it again and again to the point that I'm seeing them almost everyday now.

i mei on Flickr posted some shots of one and we've discussed this sudden mystery, but neither of us has any clue to it's reappearance.

It's an odd thing, because I haven't really seen this model around in years, yet suddenly it's back in rotation. I have to wonder if this is a money-saving attempt on the MTA's part. I'm all for it if it means more trains in the schedule, but somehow I expect the answer to be less in the interest of the riders than that.

May 27, 2008

Photo of the Day: Who Watches the Watcher?


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A minute or two after I took this picture, the kid came up to me and showed me a picture of myself that he took while I was shooting. Street Photography starts early. Nurture it.

May 4, 2008

The Spicy Lamb Burger at Chez Oskar


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I've been going to Chez Oskar for years. The service is lacking more often than not, but I keep going back for 2 reasons: the fact that they don't care if you linger for hours and the Spicy Lamb Burger.

It's always great. juicy, picant and perfectly complemented by a thick pat of goat cheese.
::c::

April 28, 2008

My First Brooklyn Bike Ride

Yesterday, after buying my new bike out in Red Hook, Tammi and I rode around Brooklyn and then back home. Tammi was my 'wingman,' following behind me on her rollerblades. I was really nervous at first, but managed to get home without incident. I wasn't sure that I'd be riding much when I first decided to get the bike, now I'm planning my next ride for later this week.

I'm heavily resisting joining the bike cult. I will be locking up my bike outside occasionally, I won't be going to any critical mass rallies any time soon.
::c::

April 24, 2008

Photo of the Day: Hot Stuff!


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Habana Outpost, Fort Greene, Brooklyn. 2008. Yeh, it's been a while... ::c::

February 24, 2008

Photo of the Day: Sunflowers


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Stonehome Wine Bar, Fort Greene, Brooklyn. 2007.
::c::

November 21, 2007

Photo of the Day: The Light


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Moe's, Fort Greene, Brooklyn. 2007.
::c::

November 5, 2007

The NYC Marathon 2007


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Tammi and I headed down to Fort Greene this morning to see the spectacle of nearly 40,000 runners make their way through the city.
I posted the photos in a Flickr Set.

In Two weeks it'll be Tammi's turn to run Philadelphia.
::c::

November 4, 2007

Photo of the Day: Clown


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Habana Outpost Reopening, Fort Greene, Brooklyn. 2007.
::c::

June 3, 2007

Photo of the Day: Precious


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Habana Outpost, Fort Greene, Brooklyn
::c::

May 28, 2007

Photo of the Day: Listen


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Habana Outpost, Fort Greene, Brooklyn

May 24, 2007

Brooklyn Uncorked


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Last week I went to Brooklyn Uncorked, a wine tasting at the BAM Cafe. The event brought in more than 20 different wineries from Long Island to show off their products. It was sponsored by Edible Brooklyn, the free food magazine. I heard about it a month or so ago from my editor at the Brooklyn Record, they had given us press passes. I was pretty psyched to check it out.

I'm still getting a handle on the wine thing. I know a decent amount about what I like, but there are huge swaths of grapes and styles and regions that I'm entirely unfamiliar with. The idea of exploring a region so close to home really appealed to me.

When I got there and saw so many people pouring Merlot, I was also pleasantly surprised. I don't know much about Merlot either. It would be a good way to kill two birds with one stone. Or so I thought.

Unfortunately, it seems that Merlot is nearly the only thing they grow out in Long Island. Pretty much every table I visited had the same selection. I had the same conversation about a dozen times:

Me: What are you pouring?
Them: Well, we've got our Merlot, here. And this is our blend with X% Merlot, X% Cab Franc and X% Cabernet Sauvignon. We've also got this, which is Y% Merlot, Y% Cab Franc and Y% Cab Sauv.

I like variety and I didn't find any there. I'm probably somewhat biased because I'm just not fond of Cabernet Sauvignon. In fact, with few exceptions, I can't stand it. So, most of the blends were ruined for me, because even with 30%, it overpowers the other grapes. A few of them mixed some other grapes into their blends, which was interesting. But 5% Syrah or 10% Malbec was barely noticeable to me.

In the end, I was just bored. When I asked about the fact that everyone brought essentially the same selection, I was told that they all made many more, but chose to bring the most popular. That sort of depresses me. I'd think that an event like this would have been a perfect opportunity to show off wine that's different from everyone else's. Instead they went with the same old same old.

May 14, 2007

Fort Greene Street Party

(Originally Posted on The Brooklyn Record):

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The fine folks at Habana Outpost pulled out all the stops this weekend. Their re-opening party spilled out onto South Portland Street, the festivities took over the block as local artisans sold their wares, clowns and other performers wandered about and bands played on for the crowd. Hundreds came out for the first cuban sandwiches and mexican corn of the year to be served out of the big red truck at the heart of it all.

We were there for much of the afternoon listening to the DJ alternate with Conjunto Guantanamo, a Cuban band based in DUMBO. The stilt-walkers danced above us as we sat out in the sun. We missed it, but the circus atmosphere took a more mature turn in the evening with a fashion show followed later by a burlesque performance.

Habana Outpost, 757 Fulton Street (at So. Portland); (718) 858-9500.

-clay williams

Photo by ultraclay!

May 13, 2007

A Full Day

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Wow, yesterday was great.

When I got out to Habana Outpost, they were still setting up, so I wandered over to The Brazen Head. Lo and behold, they were having another Cask Ale Festival! I had a few rounds there before it started to fill up.

When I got back to Fort Greene, Habana Outpost was packed. Their opening party spilled out on the street, filling the whole block of South Portland. Local artisans and vendors sold their wares, clowns and stilt-walkers wandered about, there was even a fire-eater. Tammi, Laura and Guy met up and we split a couple sandwiches and some corn while we watched bands perform on the stage set up in the middle of the outdoor space. After the crowd overtook us, we went to Stonehome and had a bottle of sparkling rosé.

Then, Tammi and I headed to Boerum Hill for a barbecue. Dale, who I haven't seen in close to 2 years was in town. It was great to see him.

After all that, a bunch of us headed out to Wonder-Full, the Stevie Wonder tribute party out in Williamsburg. I still don;t know enough Stevie Wonder music, so a litle of it was lost on me. I still enjoyed it. I took off a little early though.

I was wiped out.

May 11, 2007

Habana Outpost Re-Opening Party


LEE, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

If you're looking for me, tomorrow, look no further than Habana Outpost. I plan to spend as much of the afternoon as I can there. I can't wait to sit out and relax over several beers, a cubano and mexican corn.

::c::

Bars: Moe's

I don't go to Moe's anymore. It's not that it's changed at all - at least not that I know of. In part it's just that I lost my patience for crowded bars a couple years ago. And Moe's can get pretty crowded.

On the weekends they have DJs spinning some great tunes. Jon DJed there from time to time. I don't remember how many times I've sat there just getting amped over the music. Even the jukebox is great. It's got old school hip-hop, soul and funk with an eclectic mix of everything else swirled in.

Unfortunately, the vibe at Moe's changes on the weekends too. It almost becomes more of a club than a bar and it has all the hazards that includes: Way too many over-dressed people crammed into a tight place. Maybe I've just gotten old, but that doesn't appeal to me so much these days.

During the week it's more of a neighborhood bar. Relaxed regulars hang out with the bartender or lounge on the couches in the back. Writing about it, I'm starting to miss it. I'll have to swing by for a round soon. Maybe this weekend before it gets too crowded.

Moe's is definitely a cool place to relax, but you have to hit it at the right time.
::c::

80 Lafayette Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(718) 797-9536

April 24, 2007

Habana Outpost to Re-Open


Fort Greene's "eco-eatery," artisan marketplace, and summer hangout spot, Habana Outpost has announced that it will open for its third season on Saturday, May 12th. Since the spacious restaurant first launched two years ago, summer in Brooklyn has come to mean lounging with friends over grilled corn, Cuban sandwiches, and smoothies from a bike-powered blender, all while listening to the DJ spin jams all afternoon.

The Outpost is an extension of the popular Cafe Habana in NoLita. It sets itself apart from the original by embracing the virtues of Brooklyn: Unlike the tight quarters of the cafe, Habana Outpost sprawls across an open outdoor space. Even the kitchen is outside, housed in a big red truck in the corner. Throughout the summer they use the space for movies, parties and even fashion shows. Expect more of the same this summer, starting with an opening day blowout.

Habana Outpost 757 Fulton St. at So. Portland. 718-858-9500.

- clay williams

Photo by ultraclay!

April 13, 2007

Habana Outpost to Re-open


The Kitchen, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

OOOOH! Habana Outpost announced it's re-opening for the season. I love this place. It is my defacto hangout spot for summer weekends. I love the music, the food, the vibe, the people. It's just about perfect. I can't wait.

Look out for a write up about Habana Outpost on The Brooklyn Record

April 11, 2007

Stonehome's Spring Wine Tasting Dinner

(Originally posted on The Brooklyn Record):

Seasonal temperatures are (finally) in the forecast, which may mean that Spring is finally here. To celebrate, Stonehome Wine Bar in Fort Greene is hosting a wine tasting dinner on Wednesday, April 18th. The four-course feast will run you $70 but is a relative bargain when you consider what you get: Built around a set of primarily french wines, the menu includes wild salmon, lamb chops and Maine crab ravioli. Each item is paired with a particular wine from Burgundy, Bourdeax or the Loire Valley. Bring it on!

If you can't make it next week, another tasting dinner with a different menu is scheduled for early May, or come by another night and sample in-house chef John Gibson's new spring repertoire. The new menu replaces heavier winter faves like venison and brisket with skate wings, hanger steaks and lamb shanks. Rezzies are required for the tasting dinner but walk-ins are welcomed any other time.

Stonehome Wine Bar is located at 87 Lafayette Avenue, 718-624-9443.

- clay williams

Stonehome's Autumn Wine Picks [Brooklyn Record]

April 6, 2007

Restaurant Review: A Bistro


A Bistro lies stealthily just off Myrtle Avenue's strip of discount furniture and 99 cent stores. On a recent visit, I almost walked right by it. If not for the small chalkboard offering Crispy Frog's Leg, I would have missed it entirely.

The small restaurant, whose hard-to-google name is short for Abdoul's Bistro, is the domain of Senegalese chef Abdoul Gueye. His food is the inevitable fusion of West African flavors with colonial European influences, and dishes like plantain gnocchi balance out both sides very well: The texture is unmistakably gnocchi, but with the sweet flavor of ripe plantain.
After the jump: frogs' legs and wine pairings

Continue reading "Restaurant Review: A Bistro" »

October 4, 2006

Stonehome's Autumn Wine Picks

(Originally posted on The Brooklyn Record):

Down the bar

No more standing in line to sit in a 'garden' smaller than your kitchen with 3 dozen of your closest neighbors. It's time to go in. Stonehome Winebar in Fort Greene has exactly the right vibe to recover from the bustle of summer festivities. Stonehome is relaxed but not sleepy, the perfect place for a laidback night out with friends or a romantic evening for two.

Proprietors Bill Stenehjem and Rose Hermann have lived in the neighborhood for 25 years. They opened Stonehome in 2003 and found a local following right away. Neighbors meet at the long curvy cherry wood bar and discuss the day, local issues and, of course, the wine. The staff knows regulars by name and wine preference. When new bottles come in, they’ll let you know which are up your alley...

Earlier this year Bill and Rose hired John Gibson to head up the kitchen. The menu was transformed. Stonehome offers new specials daily, using seasonal ingredients in some pretty exciting ways. This time of year, John is using walnuts, maple syrup, beets and acorn squash. The menu is full of comforting fall savories like Braised Beef Short Ribs and Glazed Pork.

Rose and Bill are matching these dishes with some new wine offerings by the glass. Here are a few of their favorite new additions:

Chateaunnuef du Pape '03, Domaine Des Senechaux — "Rich, supple, with notes of baked plums."

Coteaux du Languedoc, '00, Chateau Peuch-Haut, Saint Drezery — "Savory and spicy, with notes of black cherry and sandlewood."

Ribera del Duero, Spain, Guelbenzu, Evor '03 — "Ripe lingering flavors of black cherry, raspberry, chocolate and licorice."

Rioja, Spain, Marquez De Vargas Reserva, '00 — "Lush, smoky, rich dark fruits, blackberries with brown sugar."

Stonehome Wine Bar is located at 87 Lafayette Avenue at So. Portland. Open everyday from 5pm.

— photo and story by clay williams

July 7, 2006

Viva Italia

(Originally posted on The Brooklyn Record):

Scopello
Cheer on Italia this weekend at Scopello in Fort Greene. The Sicilian restaurant acquired a gigantic television weeks ago for the sole purpose of showing World Cup games. It precariously straddles the bar and and makes Scopello one of the most unlikely sports bars in Brooklyn. Clearly, World Cup fever knows no bounds. In fact, Scopello has been opening early every game day just to show each match. To greet World Cup spectators, the restaurant, which doesn't usually serve lunch, offers a menu of panini and pasta specifically for game time.

The World Cup comes to a close this weekend with Germany and Portugal battling for the third place Saturday afternoon at 3pm. The grand finale is on Sunday — France vs. Italy at 2pm. Be sure to get there early, as the front bar area is small. Last week, the crowd of onlookers overflowed out onto the sidewalk as customers and passersby clustered together to watch the action.

Scopello is at 63 Lafayette Avenue, just off of Fulton Street. (718) 852-1100.
— clay williams
[Photo by ultraclay!]


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