Vinyl Dreams: Drop By the Brooklyn Flea Record Fair this Saturday

Good news for all of you who missed Coachella, have an iPhone, and love artisanal carbs – tomorrow (Saturday, May 4) the Red Bull Music Academy presents the Spring 2013 edition of the Brooklyn Flea Record Fair at East River State Park in Williamsburg. Get ready for music in all its forms—vinyl, CD’s, DJ’s, drunk people singing to themselves—plus the the tasty benefits of Smorgasburg.

The event is designed to raise awareness of smaller New York-based artists and record companies, according to DFA Records’ label assistant Kerry Santullo. “I’m excited to spend some time with the people from What’s Your Rupture? Records [DFA’s office-neighbors], and check out the special edition music artists have for sale,” Santullo says.

Entry to the fair is free, and the DJ lineup includes Dean Bein (True Panther Sounds), East Village Radio co-founder Veronica Vasicka, and Stones Throw recording artist James Pants. Record labels are coming prepared to sell you t-shirts, CDs, DVDs, pins, and all sorts of lifestyle accoutrements, so be cool and buy something already.

See you tomorrow between 11-6, Beats on your ears, Blue Bottle coffee in hand. (Cheers to iced-coffee season.)

[More by Nicole Pinhas]

Hipster Brunch Grows Up: Q&A With George Weld, Owner of Egg

This year has been a busy time for proprietor George Weld, who has run the superbly good (but insanely packed) Egg in Williamsburg for over five years. Now, just a few blocks away, he has what he refers to as his “grown up” restaurant Parish Hall. Aside from churning out successful eateries, Weld is known for focusing on seasonal and local ingredients and some, in fact, come from his six-acre Goatfell Farm upstate. Despite the following Egg has for brunch—lines at peak times on the weekend can take over an hour—don’t call Weld the “brunch king,” even if he deserves it.

I noticed on Facebook that you aren’t fond of the new title you’ve been crowned with.
It’s fine. I knew it was coming and I was trying to get a heads up on people trying to make fun of me.

You have to admit, you do brunch well. How did you get started?
Egg started as a breakfast only restaurant. Some friends of mine had a hot dog stand and they weren’t using it in the mornings. They asked if I was interested in opening a breakfast place and I had wanted to open a restaurant. Plus I love breakfast so it seemed like a good arrangement. I didn’t expect, I didn’t even think there would enough people up in the morning in Williamsburg to make it work. It was a bit of an experiment. We had to close at noon before the hot dog place opened. And we were there for like two years before we took over the whole place.

What is it about brunch?
I feel like brunch, of all meals, is the one you want to ease people into, and it’s a nice role to play in people’s lives. I love it. We have a broad range of customers from those bringing their parents in, those hungover, those who haven’t gone to bed yet—it’s a fun way to see different people.

What inspired you to open your new joint Parish Hall?
Parish hall has been in the works for two years. There are a lot o f reasons behind us doing that. One of them was we wanted to have a place for our cooks and servers to grow into. Give them another place to express their creativity. Also, it seemed like the kind of place the neighborhood was ready for, like it had grown up a bit. A lot of my friends don’t come to Egg anymore because it’s too crowded and rambunctious. It’s nice to have a place that’s a little more relaxing.

How much does your farm play into the restaurants and what you serve?
It varies from month to month. Last year we had a full time manager, but this year we are so busy with Parish Hall it’s a little less ambitious. We are focused on getting a structure in place so it will be more productive next year. But, we already get great produce and eggs from great farms that do it exclusively, and I want to keep doing it with them. It was never really my goal to provide everything, but more to give people who work here a chance to grow food and to maybe get some varieties of produce others don’t have.

You also opened up Hash Bar at Smorgasburg this year. What sparked that idea?
We joked about doing it for a long time. We had one spastic cook for a while who loved working the flattop and had too much energy to really work around. So we joked about setting him up with his own place and flattop to make hash. Last year we committed to serving hamburgers and stuff to concertgoers [on the Williamsburg waterfront during shows]. Smorgasburg started at the same time and we kept looking at it and wanted to be there and around people excited about food. So, this year, we decided to try out the Hash Bar idea. It’s the dream audience for food, people are willing to try anything and are excited about it.

Where do you like to eat brunch?
I haven’t been out to brunch in a long time, thought I have had great brunches at Prune. But, aside from Egg and Parish Hall, I don’t go to brunch save for a place I go to upstate called Jake Moon, about a half an hour outside of Albany.

Any other restaurant ideas going on in your head?
We will see how Parish Hall and Hash Bar goes. Besides, it’s fun to see them find their way.

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.