BangOn! NYC Brings ‘Elements’ Party to Massive Abandoned Red Hook Grain Terminal

I largely ignore the fall equinox. It conjures up images of nymphs and fairies dancing mindlessly around a fire pit. But super spectacular event producers BangOn! NYC are jumping on it with a closing-out-the-summer soiree on Saturday from 3-11pm. They’re calling it "Elements" and everyone is going. There will be earth, wind and fire installations—and an "eco-conscious approach to partying."

Nolita hotspot Lil’ Charlie’s is sponsoring, a stamp of approval for folks who rarely cross a bridge or tunnel. (That’s kind of funny as people who used to take bridges and tunnels were always thought to be the worst crowd but now Kings County is king.) "Elements" will take place at the abandoned South Red Hook Grain Terminal (699 Columbia Street, Brooklyn). It’s a ginormous space and BangOn! intends to fill it with thousands.

There will be a water stage sitting on top of a floating concrete pier replete with aquatic effects and DJs offering deep house and techno. Wind will be represented by a roving silent disco stage coming out of a 100-foot-tall grain silo. Fire will be the eclectic bass and glitch-hop and a jungle-themed decor. A pixel wall provides the background.

The space encompasses a massive 275,000 square feet and will include a giant dual-lane slide and 3D bubble room. The green scene features a recycling area, solar-powered cell phone charger stations, alternative energy sources and biodegradable cups. There will be a half-dozen buses running round trips from the Smith/9th Street F/G train and the NY Water Taxi will take you to nearby IKEA.

BangOn! NYC is an event production company which keeps producing bigger events. The last one drew 5,000 people. They hope this one will be much bigger. I caught up with one of the organizers, my pal Emily Bachman, and asked her to tell us all about it.

Here’s Emily:

"We have our biggest endeavor yet coming up this Saturday, Elements. Elements is an outdoor music and art festival taking place in downtown Brooklyn on Brooklyn’s industrial waterfront and this will be our inaugural festival and our first daytime party (3pm-11pm). We have four stages set up of electronic music, one for each element as well as art installations and performances throughout the night. We also have two Burning Man Art Cars that will be onsite with a full DJ lineup taking people out to the "Deep Basin" for special dance parties and treats.

"Our main stage is the Earth Stage where we will be having Mr. Oizo headline along with Azari & III doing a DJ set and Harvard Bass. Supporting DJs include The Golden Pony, Sean Glass and Alex English. We’ve partnered with the guys behind Babel New York to curate our Water Stage where Alexi Delano is headlining. The fire stage will be headlined by Emalkay, L-vis 1990 and Funkystepz and then our Wind Stage which is the Silent Disco will have DJs going head to head all night long. We also partnered with TRIBES to curate the Art Cars and music on there includes Momus, Tinseltown and Strongbros.

"Other highlights include a dance pier/water stage, aerial and 3D video mapped performance by Anya of Lady Circus, fire performances by Future and Victor Psybotic, team Kitty Koalition doing special dance performances and art installations throughout. Ride Brooklyn has provided us with bikes as well which will be decorated and provide another fun attraction zipping around the festival grounds."

"I’m going prowling for nymphs and maybe even fairies.

"Most of our parties are in the Williamsburg area but this one will be the first event ever to be thrown at this space and we’re super excited about it. The site is an old grain mill elevator and includes a 100-foot grain elevator that we will have aerialist rappelling down and full 3D video mapping. It’s located at 699 Columbia Street, right across from Ikea down in Red Hook. We’ll be providing shuttle buses to and from the Smith St F/G train or people can take the NY Water Taxi to Ikea and it’s a short walk. We’ve also partnered with Uber to provide free rides for attendees from the festival to the after party, which will be in Williamsburg/Bushwick area… details coming soon for that."

For tickets and more information, click here.

image via

Where To Eat Post-Hurricane Sandy

Now that the city is trying to get back in the swing of things after Frankenstorm, restaurants too are reopening their shuttered doors to diners sick of chowing on canned beans and tortilla chips. But not every eatery is in on the game, for some, Sandy was one guest they could have done without.

First up, the scenic River Café, which, while the view is lovely from its waterside vantage, proved devastating during the storm. The estimated damage is in the millions, and owner Buzzy O’Keeffe said it would be weeks, even months, until they are able to open again. The Huffington Post has a detailed slide show of the spoils.

Speaking of spoils, the food that went bad when the power outage in Manhattan was another causality. Joe Bastianich and Mario Batali’s six restaurants were all shut down, including Del Posto, Eataly, and Babbo. The food loss on that hit—around $50,000. Secretly, I was glad the Waterfront Ale House in Kips Bay lost power, since, in my selfish brain, that meant my boyfriend who is the sous chef there couldn’t work. But, since owner Sam Barbieri has a Brooklyn Heights location to schlep the food to, the boy will be cooking up a nicer, more people-friendly storm there today, which means you can go eat there, too.

Don’t expect to be hitting up Red Hook’s Fort Defiance, Red Hook Lobster Pound, or Brooklyn Ice House. Unfortunately, that area was beat pretty hard. DUMBO also received damage as long-standing Bubby’s is hurting today, as well as newcomer Governor, which won’t be opening any time soon and a rep reported they estimate there is $200,000 in damages.

Now, the good news. While there were plenty of Sandy casualties, and power remains out in some neighborhoods, many places are up and running. Both New York Magazine’s Grub Street and Eater NY have maps and updated lists of open restaurants. Also, I know for a fact bars and eateries in Fort Greene, Bed-Stuy, and Prospect Heights are all fine and serving. If you are in Queens, or can get to Queens, Studio Square is open and advertising its available space for any post-apocalyptic parties you might need/want to have.  

And while we are on the subject of parties, it is Halloween (even if the authorities say they postponed it), so work off some of that cabin fever and celebrate. Personally, since I am stuck in Brooklyn, I plan on making the trek to Williamsburg for a little spooky skeeball and canned beer at Full Circle Bar, after that, wherever the non-threatening wind will take me. 

Tour de Brooklyn: A Borough Grub Crawl

Last weekend Bon Appetit magazine teamed up with Belvedere Vodka and Chase Sapphire to take a tour of the ever-expanding Brooklyn Food scene. Focusing on three key neighborhoods, Cobble Hill, Williamsburg, and Red Hook, the tours worked to really highlight some of the areas’ best food options, while making it walker-friendly.

I was lucky enough to join Friday’s Cobble Hill grub crawl and started out at Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli’s Italian inspired restaurant Frankies 457 Spuntino. The joint was packed inside, but luckily we ducked out into the garden to sip a berry-ripe lambrusco and nibble on seasonal crostini. The way the tour worked was that they had four groups of people intermittently going to one of the four spots where we stayed for about 45 minutes. Frankies proved a good place to start, but our next stop felt a little awkward.

Dessert before dinner, anyone? Not that I am actually complaining. Given our tour took us to Kim Ima’s brick-and-mortar location of Treats Truck and to a pile of luscious peanut butter and chocolate sandwich cookies, it was a win-win situation. We followed that up with Clover Club and had a lovely punch by cocktail goddess Julie Reiner, who was actually there explaining her drink, giving us a recipe, and then pouring up their house drink comprised of raspberries and Dorothy Parker gin. We ended the night at Seersucker and sampled chef Robert Newton’s sinful fried chicken, fluffy biscuits, pimento cheese, and the Thirsty Owl Riesling that they have on tap. All together, the tour did highlight some of the hottest spots in the neighborhood right now.

On Saturday they covered Williamsburg and smartly chose Rye for cocktails, Maison Premiere for oysters, and Brooklyn Winery for a tour and wine tasting. The other two places I was less impressed with and would have skipped, one of which was Allswell because, frankly, it’s not anything special. Same for the jaunt to the Meatball Shop; while it’s delicious, there’s nothing Brooklyn about it given its two other locations in Manhattan. Sunday’s food crawl took place in Red Hook and did the neighborhood well by hitting up Stumptown Coffee Roasters, trying St. John Frizell’s southern-style Fort Defiance, eating Korean breakfast at The Good Fork, filling up on smoked meat at Mile End, and dancing at the historical bar Sunny’s.

Overall, the folks behind the tour did well to give a broad sampling of the neighborhoods that you can easily walk around in. The only other location I would have included is Prospect Heights where you can easily indulge in seasonal nibbles from The Vanderbilt, cocktails at Weather Up, ramen at Chuko, and oysters at Cornelius—but I guess that’s a good excuse to do that one on my own. 

New York City Will Be One Long Food Festival This Summer

It’s no secret: food events are all the rage. This couldn’t be truer than in New York, where dining alfresco has taken on a whole new meaning with the rise of food trucks, markets, and whole days dedicated to eating from little stands, festival or not.

Already this summer the New York Times has dedicated two articles to these events. In last week’s Sunday paper, they talked about the artisanal side of eating, small businesses, and the hunt to try foods first at these gatherings. The other one hit on the trend of music festivals turned in to food extravaganzas, the most recent example being the failed GoogaMooga a couple weeks ago (though props to them for refunding the VIP tickets). The complaint surrounding that event, and with a many food-centric gatherings, is waiting in line.

This problem isn’t so bad at weekly gatherings like Saturday’s Brooklyn Flea Market in Fort Greene or the all-food bazaar Smorgasburg in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. At the Flea, they have nibbles like vegan Faux Gras by The Regal Vegan, Sam Mason’s Empire Mayonnaise, and tiny cupcakes from Kumquat Cupcakery. The year-old Smorgasburg has more vendors than we want to list here, but some of my favorites include First Prize Pies, Rick’s Picks, and Kings County Jerky. You can also get your grub on at Hester Street Fair, which features lobster rolls from Luke’s Lobster, artisan ice pops from La Newyorkina, coffee from Café Grumpy, and a whole slew of other bites.  

If you just want to hit up a bunch of seasonal food trucks, try the Red Hook ballpark in Brooklyn, an area famous for its taco and papusa stands. In Manhattan, the Highline has spattering of snacks you can buy as you walk along its lovely, urban-meets-organic path. Also, for you beach goers, nothing is finer for a beach body than stuffing your face with Rockaway Taco and DiCosmo’s Italian Ice at the famous Rockaway Beach in Queens.

As for up coming food, music, and fun festivals that you will probably have to wait in line for, June 9 and 10 brings the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party in Madison Square Park. For a decade they have been hosting this meat and music fest. This year they have Jon Langford, JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound, and Southern Culture on the Skids to strike a cord as people chow on barbecue from the hottest spots around the country including Scott’s Bar-B-Que, Ed Mitchell’s whole hog roast, and Pappy’s Smokehouse.

Another event coming up is popular party host Dances of Vice’s Rockabilly Night Market at the DeKalb Market in Downtown Brooklyn on June 22, which will have music by Eddie Clendening and the Blue Ribbon Boys, plus tons of food from the vendors there. Governors Island also hosts food-happy events like their Cook Out NYC on July 7 and 8, which features a burger cook off, a kimchi eating contest, and lots of local craft beer.

So, go forth you hungry people and enjoy this popular way to eat outdoors, listening to music, and walking around our fair city. Is there something on your list this summer that we forgot? Please share and may the lines ever be in your favor.