‘Search Party’ Pop-Up Shop Appears in Williamsburg, Featuring Cast and Creator

Through this weekend in Williamsburg, our new favorite indie comedy Search Party (premiering November 21 on TBS) will host a pop-up shop featuring local wares and bites and even a visit from the show’s cast and creator!

The shop is located at 241 Bedford Ave in Williamsburg, and will remain open through the show’s premiere date.

Search Party, which we’ve previously raved about, follows the story of four millennials in Brooklyn, led by Dory (Alia Shawkat), a lost twenty-something who finds purpose in the search for an acquaintance who’s gone missing. It’s Nancy Drew meets Broad City meets something dark and sadly funny.

The pop-up will feature a stacked roster of cool events, including a visit from the cast and show creators this afternoon.

Here’s a full list of events and specials happening at the pop-up:

Daily Offerings: Made-to-order drink by Toby’s Estate (12-3pm and exclusive item giveaways hand-curated by New York Magazine

Today, November 17: Cast & Creator Visit (2-3pm); Egg Happy Hour, featuring specialty alcoholic drinks (5:30-6:30pm); Timothy Goodman unveils special art installation

Friday, November 18:  Cast and Creators join WNYC’s 2 Dope Queens for a live podcast taping

Saturday, November 19: New York Mag and The Cut provide custom professional head shots from Atisha Paulson, nail art from Paintbox and grooming by Fellow Barber (12-4pm); Widowspeak performs a music set (6:30pm)

Sunday, November 20: Egg provides Biscuit Bar & Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice and Mimosas brunch (12-3pm); Citi Bike members can watch a VIP screening of the show’s first two episodes (3:30-4:30pm)

Monday, November 21: Premiere Day – binge the entire show and win exclusive prizes (12-7pm)

J.Crew Goes to Brooklyn

New Yorkers depending on the oft-malfunctioning L train will no longer have to commute to get the latest from the brilliant mind of Jenna Lyons. And why would they want to, thanks to all the unique design features at the new location.

J.Crew’s newest storefront opened today Williamsburg, a neighborhood becoming more of a shopping/eating/etc. destination by the second. J.Crew went full artistic-collaboration to make the store uniquely Brooklyn. The details are high-brow and in abundance: the women’s entry is a digital mural by Brooklyn artist Naomi Reis while the men’s is a custom “living wall” of plants and greens. Even the fitting room curtains are elevated–customized from moving blankets.

Live in the area? Run, don’t walk to 234 Wythe–food carts and special offers like a limited edition Greg LeMarche for J.Crew tote bag are up for grabs all weekend long.​

jcrewweb

Images courtesy of J.Crew

All the Other Kids with the Pumped Up Rents

IMAGINE YOU’RE AT A BIRTHDAY PARTY IN THE LES and approximately six negronis deep. Beforehand, you may have also had maybe like three hits of the joint left back home as you were getting dressed and listening to Robbie Williams. Someone mentions Greenpoint, Brooklyn and you suddenly perk your ears out of sheer curiosity wondering what new restaurants manifest the area. Let’s face the music. Brooklyn is just as popular as Manhattan, if not more. (Is Baby’s All Right having another sold out show?)

I asked my Brooklynite acquaintance whom I had met only once previously at an art gallery show, “What restaurants are in Greenpoint?” I suppose it may have been a quick transition from discussing buying “purple drank” on Instagram but the question itched me. Bushwick’s Blanca is still on my list but I have to wait two months just to eat there. I haven’t made my reservation yet. (Does that make me pretentious?)

My friend pulled me aside and suggested that I had too many negronis. I sounded “pretentious”, he said. By all means, I didn’t intend to sound like a naive millennial who just shops at Opening Ceremony and bitches about Uber drivers being too late.

Carry on, Taylor…

So, I apologetically stated that I didn’t want to come off as pretentious and/or demeaning in any shameless notion suggesting that Manhattan is better than Brooklyn or that I’m mocking Brooklyn’s prevalent culinary world.

In response, my fellow Brooklynite replied, “There’s a new creperie that opened around the corner.”

“Well, we should go sometime,” I suggested, as if we were really close friends. That just made me feel even more unsettled.

Dinner was over. I walked away with a bitter taste in my mouth asking myself if I really did come off as pretentious. I know that people, especially my age, are on the fence about the move to Williamsburg, thinking it’s significantly cheaper than Manhattan’s downtown living. In some way, I suppose it’s possible to find a cheaper living arrangement but I chose to live in Manhattan because I’m closer to my friends. It’s not that I chose to live in Manhattan so I could live this fantasy world where I go out dancing every weekend at The Box or eat at Koi. Within this last year, I’ve sort of become this post-collegiate stoner cat person who writes, assists, and manages his own work at my desktop. I’ll go to Angelika Center and see the recent Woody Allen with a friend but I won’t buy a table at some club that has bottle service. Honestly, I really do enjoy the simple things and the convenience of where I live.

Do we Manhattanites or Brooklynites really pride ourselves on our living situations? It may sound silly but really…What does it mean to live in the time of living arrangement stereotypes? It’s not like everyone in Williamsburg listens to MGMT and everyone in Manhattan is bourgeoise and takes Uber. How does that affect the social landscapes and interactions in which we place ourselves?

I asked myself these questions and I couldn’t really pinpoint the frustration that seemed to be erupting within me. Much like the LA vs. New York debate that most of my NYU peers discussed when I had attended the university last year, this debate seemed to be surrounding me in real world settings such as the hair salon, bodegas, and coffee shops. It’s probably stemming from the constant exposure of such an argument that I’ve become that person who rolls his eyes. And here I am asking myself, “Does that make me pretentious?” Eventually, living costs will skyrocket (as they already have) and the debate will end. Right? Brooklyn and Manhattan will both be just as expensive. Where will that leave the millennials that pride themselves on living in New York, NY? Or Manhattan? Or Brooklyn? Whatever we settle for…

If Brooklyn does indeed become the equivalent of Manhattan in real estate price then I just hope that for all of us rent-stabilization is still a thing because we have financial challenges up ahead.

Fast Cars, Booze, & Good Music This Weekend at Re:Mix Lab’s Four-Day Party

I wasn’t going to write this week. I’m moving, and with the packing and a couple of DJ gigs I’m doing, it was too much, but here I am with my fifth article in so many days. When I don’t write I miss talking to you, and some of you say you miss me too.

I’m moving just a couple blocks from where I am now, into a better space for the same rent. I dwell in Williamsburg which is, to me, a little slice of heaven on earth. The Williamsburg/Greenpoint renaissance at first captured my imagination, and then my body, just like my second wife. New places to eat, drink, or play pop up faster than you can say "Bushwick.” A Manhattan snob friend was shocked that I wasn’t returning to Little Italy faster than you can no longer say Ray’s Pizza said to me, " Yo, I’ve been to that Williamsburg main drag two times, whatta ya call it, Bedford …didn’t see what all the fuss was about, yo Stevie, ya gots to come back to your peeps.” I told him that would be like judging Manhattan by the strip
of Broadway between Houston and Canal.  Bburg is built for me and mine. The delis, the restaurants, the boutiques, the furniture stores are geared to people with tastes like me. Most of the places in Manhattan these days cater to the old bridge-and-tunnel crowd which came in to occupy all those tall dormitories built in the last decade or so. So be it. Bburg certainly is becoming yuppified, and the baby carriages are becoming more common, but for now it’s my happy home.

Last night I missed the opening reception for the Re:Mix Lab. It was the kick-off of four days of fun, fun, fun till her daddy takes the Hyundai away. Hyundai has their cars on display and invites people to check them out while providing talent and a great party. Fast cars and booze are combined without danger since the cars can’t be driven . Yesterday I was DJing at Hotel Chantelle but am told there were live performances by Blonds, Skaters, and Opossum, as well as "Action Bronson, RL Grime, Sound Remedy, Hyperbits, Huge Euge, Nick Thayer, Sazon Booya, along with product demos from emerging technology companies such as Songza, Mixify,Beamz, Scratch Academy.” The events continue at Chelsea Market, 410 W.16th Street.

Here’s the programming for today through Sunday.

Friday, September 28
12:00PM – 6:00PM: The Future of Music Is Now (open house format)
                  – Vehicle displays, exhibits in collaboration, interactive art display, social media photo sharing, technology start-up village
8:00 PM: Music & Technology Keynote and panel discussion
   10:00 PM: Live performances
                  – RL Grime & Action Bronson: Solo performances, plus live on-stage collaboration to create a song for Hyundai Remix Lab. Recorded and remixed moments later by Sound Remedy to demonstrate how songs evolve into remixes.

Saturday, September 29
12:00PM – 6:00PM: Scratch Academy hosted by DJ Dasmatic (open house format)
                  – Vehicle displays, exhibits in collaboration, interactive art display, social media photo sharing, DJ mixing sessions, Learn to DJ demos
7:00PM: Closed to reset venue
9:00PM – 2:00AM: Live Performances (presented by ELEKTRO Magazine)
                   – Hyperbits: Electronic dance music duo based out of NYC, known for energetically fusing together big room progressive house, electro and trance
                   – Huge Euge: Resident mashup DJ at Pacha NYC
                   – Sazon Booya
                   – Nick Thayer

Sunday, September 30
12:00PM – 5:00PM: Scratch Academy, vehicle displays

I caught up with Zev Norotsky, president of H360 Group who told me all about it.

I caught the last five minutes of this last year and didn’t understand much of what was going on. The idea is to mix music with fast cars to build a consumer base.
At its core, the Re:Mix Lab represents the fusion of music and technology. The cars themselves are the focal point and give a reference for the entire event. The exhibit is the perfect backdrop to showcase these amazing one-of-a-kind vehicles and celebrate the spirit of collaboration, which is ubiquitous in today’s pop cultural lexicon. The car and gallery experience creates an amazing environment to bring together all these influences and create an amazing dialogue with consumers.

This is happening in a number of locations with different musical pairings. Tell me about the event.
Re:Mix Lab is a four-month, seven-city tour with events in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami (during Art Basel), Vegas, Austin, and Seattle. Each event features different musical programming curated for that specific market, with the goal to include all genres. Using New York as a guide, tonight is indie, tomorrow has more of a hip-hop/DJ mixing flavor, and Saturday is electronica.  In some markets we pair artists from different genres together who, in addition to doing their own sets, create original music live on stage, staying true to the notion of a remix.

Is there a bucket list-type mentality pitch with some of the patrons who are young and possibly unable to afford but are (excuse the pun) upwardly mobile?
If anything, the reason Hyundai has been so successful is that they are affordable and represent the best value proposition for young adults. A Veloster Base starts at $17,000 est.

Is this a think-outside-of-the-car show/tv commercial box marketing?
The marketing is steeped in our understanding that our core consumer lives at the intersection of all these cultural influences. By creating the Re:Mix Lab, Hyundai has embraced their ideologies and given them an amazing experience with high-badge value (read: bragging rights) that fuses live events with social media and beyond.

I’m Back: New Year’s Nightlife Rumors, Openings, and Transformations

So I’m back. Frankly, I was too pooped to write after that marathon of Halloween, Sandy, Christmas, and New Year’s. New Year’s was spent at the Dream Hotel Downtown. I DJ’d the Marble Lane restaurant and had the most fun. My DJ style is a bit pure. I mostly offer rock and roll some old soul as, after all, I am an old soul. I was smart enough to bring along a ringer, DJ Louis XIV, who is used to and embraces the commercial sounds necessary for a NYE good time. He and we rocked it…  by adding in hip-hop and R&B and other non- rock stuff. Before the crowds arrived, the staff was line-dancing to the Temptations and Bootsy Collins offerings I served up. Someone told me there were 300 people servicing the event. It was marvelous to see Strategic Group types like Jonathan Schwartz and Matt Stauss service the good time had by all. DJ MOS relieved us, and we scooted into the night.

New Year’s Eve is not as chaotic as I remember it. In Times Square, humans are herded into pens to watch the ball drop as opposed to the massive and sometimes violent chaos of decades ago. Even the clubs are adjusted. With transportation problematic, and most places farming out the night to promo groups with high ticket prices and open bars, there is less movement. People go to a place and stay there and then go home. New Year’s has become controlled and sanitized, leaving only Halloween for the madness.

I have lots of rumors and movement to talk about but am heading off to my day job. I’m designing a restaurant out in Huntington Long Island and a coffee shop uptown. Hotel Chantelle is getting a face lift, and I’ll be there tonight for the 2013 launch of BINGO with Linda Simpson and Murray Hill. Yes, I am spending a lot of time up at XL Nightclub. Contrary to many whispers, I am not involved in the spot, other than consulting on a renovation of one of the rooms. I love XL; it’s big and fun and the staff is sexy and familiar.

One other thing that pleases me to report is Frankie Sharp of Westgay at Westway Tuesdays is doing another night. He will launch Fridays (isn’t that clever) at Santos Party House come February. Santos is settling in as that one reliable club you can send your downtown types to without knowing what’s going on. There is something always going on. I took a mini tour at the new train-themed, Williamsburg bar called Passenger. It is wonderful, chic and stylish, and staffed well. I was just booked there for Sailor Jerry’s Birthday Bash next Monday. I love DJing Tattoo events. There’s so much more but I’m going to just get my feet wet today. Tomorrow, we will plunge back in.

Anchored Away At Sailor Jerry’s 102nd Birthday At Passenger Bar

Passenger Bar burst onto the Williamsburg scene a minute ago, and last night it was packed to its fabulous wood rafters with hipsters and tattoo aficionados. The occasion was Sailor Jerry’s 102nd birthday. Good ol’ Jerry has of course shuffled off this mortal coil, but he’s left a legacy of tattoo flash art which adorns a huge segment of our population. I’ve got about 10 tattoos inspired by the old seaman. And last night I got #11 after DJing a very eclectic rock set for the attendees. The incredible folks from Three Kings Tattoo did 102 anchors for the crowd. Photographer Nate "Igor" Smith captured the affair.

In between tracks, I glad-handed friends who came to say hey. A passionate lass said that she has so much fun in Brooklyn that she has to force herself to go to something in Manhattan. It’s not quite like that for me yet but  it’s getting close. Word is that all quarters of Manhattan-based marketing/hospitality groups are getting ready to jump on the BK bandwagon. It’s better out here on so many levels that I don’t even think an influx of Johnny or Jenny come late-ies will spoil the fun.

Last night was perfect. I loved playing to the great crowd, and the event and space were amazing. The only blemish was some truly annoying girl who decided she wanted to hear something that she wanted to hear. I politely told her no when she insisted on GaGa. She seemed unable to understand that it wasn’t going to mix well with the Danzig I was playing. Then she decided that she needed to hear the Violent Femmes, a perfectly reasonable request since I often include them in my set. I told her I would play them later as I was in a Melvins tip at that time. She insisted. I politely said no. She wouldn’t accept no. Strange, since from the looks of her, she probably rarely gets anyone to say yes.

DJs are not jukeboxes. I sometimes take requests, but more often than not I don’t. Most people don’t even think about doing it. To play a particular track at a particular time that would satisfy just one or a few persons is often bad for all. Rarely does a request fit in. When it does, I play it when I can fit it in. This little dweeb wanted her song now and called me an asshole and things like that. It was amusing. She said she was on some “tattoo reality TV show.” So with that and this, she has already had her 15 minutes of fame. Now she gets to spend the rest of her life just being lame.

For my part, I’m going to build a better mouse trap. When designing new DJ booths, I will strive to make them ugly-little-disgusting-annoying-patron proof. I will figure out a way to pull the curtain or close the door or lower the shades or have a cattle prod pop out. Usually people are understanding, but occasionally you get a won’t-take-no-for-an-answer nobody. 

A Little Bit of Rum & Hope

For me, this summer of love has been well…lovely. I decided to file only three days a week until Labor Day reignites my passion for writing this labor-of-love column. Yet here I am again. I’ll keep it short and as sweet as that apple rosemary puree they put on my porkchop over at Hope Garage, which had its friends and family opening last night. Yep, it was a garage and yep, it’s on Hope Street, number 163, right off of Union. When they officially open, they’ll be open until 4am. The staff and food and ambiance will have me walking over as soon as that happens. The thing about this friends and family gathering was that it was full of friends who I never see on this side of the river. Most are still shocked that I live nearby as I am shocked that they still live over there. I play and work in Manhattan, but I walk my dog and thrive in Brooklyn. I might not have attended, but Noelle Bailey, who many of you know from the doors of NYC clubs, told me I had better go. She’s out in Colorado now, finishing up her PHD. She’s the type that will reach right through my computer screen and yank me if I disregard. She won’t have to command me to attend again. Hope Garage is a welcome addition to the hood.

Tonight I will attend the 2FEET 12INCHES opening reception for C.ZAR a screening at White Rabbit, 145 East Houston Street. That starts at 7pm. Robert Aloia, who is curating this and a series of other events under the 2FEET12INCHES brand, always has a hot, eclectic turnout.

This Saturday I’ll pop out for the day to The Montauk Beach House, my home away from home. My pal Paul Sevigny will be DJing and celebrating the birthday of DJ Peter Makebish. They’re also launching a "New Revolving Showcase for Local Artists" under the title “Downtown Art.” I’m gonna leave early Saturday morning to beat the traffic and take a 10-hour energy thing to get me home to my own bed. Yep, I still roll like that.

Tomorrow is National Rum Day…yep. Those good people over at Sailor Jerry Rum are taking over Mother’s Ruin, 18 Spring Street (Mott and Elizabeth), and are offering up $2 Sailor Jerry Slushies all night. I did some research because, yep, I roll like that, and National Irish Coffee Day is January 25th, World Whiskey Day is March 27th, National Bourbon Day is June 14, and National Tequila Day is July 24 – which is way too close to National Scotch Day on July 27. National Vodka Day is October 4th and, of course, National Hangover Day is January 1st.

Spring Begins, Nightlife Booms, Chaka Khan Eats Her Birthday Cake

TGIGF (Thank God it’s Good Friday). For many, this is Good Friday. For the folks over at EVR, it figures to be a Great Friday. They will resume their late-night programming, which had been curtailed by wording on their liquor license which I have been told has been reworded. The restaurant/lounge on 39th St. between 5th and 6th is removed from residential buildings on a block where they fold up the sidewalks on weekends since the retail/business establishments aren’t usually open. The very pretty EVR (pronounced ever) has had a pretty good week so far.

Tuesday, EVR hosted Chaka Khan’s 60th birthday bash. The "I’m Every Woman" and "Ain’t Nobody" legend attracted a lot of non-every-woman types… a slew of somebodies including Aretha Franklin, Whoopi Goldberg, Star Jones, Cissy Houston, Taraji P. Henson, Soledad O’Brien, Juanita Jordan, and many more. A three-course dinner was served for her 150 guests.

On Wednesday at EVR, I DJd at Nick Andreottola and Nicole Rose Stillings’ Champagning event. The packed, adult crowd enjoys the sharp atmosphere, great food, and early hours (event starts at 6pm) – and maybe my music. For working folks who can’t get to my 11pm-till-4am DJ gig at The DL, pop by EVR to visit Mr. Lewis. 

Spring is in the air. I’ve seen crocuses and daffodils and migrating birds and an ice cream truck by the school by my Brooklyn abode. I have pep in my step, although my increasingly serious relationship with Amanda has stopped me from looking for love in all the wrong places. 

The next few weeks will bring a big boom to nightlife as the frost will finally leave and Al Gore’s global warming shtick finally comes to fruition. As always: party responsibly. Never try to fit a year’s worth of mayhem into a single evening. 

Photo: Uptown Mag.

Frog Legs, Pigeon, & $1 Oysters: Maison Premiere’s Chef Lisa Giffen Leads The Way

On the south end of Bedford Ave., a line is forming. Every weekday at 3:30pm, crowds are making their quiet shuffle to the Grand St. corner, where they await their aphrodisiac fix at a price that can’t be cheaper: $1 oysters from Maison Premiere.

"There’s a line outside right now," says Lisa Giffen, Maison’s executive chef. "We begin each week with towers of oysters, and it’s shocking how quickly it’s all eaten."

At Maison, seafood is the star of the show – and at the happy hour alone – from 4pm to 7pm every weekday – 20 kinds of oysters are for the slurping at a price that’s less than a box of paper clips. The oysters are so highly regarded (and respected), they require their own car ride when they’re picked up from the airport five times a week. 

But bivalves aren’t the only ones attracting attention at the old-world New Orleans and hotel lobby-inspired spot. Ever since Lisa joined the team a year ago, she’s transformed Maison – which has its own brass absinthe fountain –  from a seafood and absinthe den, to a full-on restaurant with a large-plate menu, packed with pigeon, frog legs, black cod, and rabbit.

"We found that people really wanted to eat here after they drank at the bar, so we made sure to meet that demand," Lisa says. "Our Tasting Menu is our biggest hit."

The Tasting Menu – a five-course, $95 meal – begins with a tower of raw oysters, and ends with a sprawling, dessert finale of spiced rhubarb shortcake bites, cheesecake, rum baba, and madelines.

"Fifty percent of the people who get the Tasting Menu come back for it a second time," Lisa says. "I swear, it’s the dessert array."

But of greater surprise is Lisa’s own path to leading the kitchen of Maison. Her first job after college was doing sales for Sharpie markers.

"I started moonlighting in kitchens on the side and did a program at ICE," she says. "Finally, I realized I spent more time cooking than I did doing the work I was paid to do, so I made the move. But learning to manage a team of people – from the porter who washes the dishes that the food goes on, to the guy who peels onions all day long – have followed me since."

And while Lisa wrangles the kitchen staff downstairs, the waiters and bartenders tend to the guests upstairs who, on occasion, get engaged, celebrate anniversaries, and break-up at the bar and in the outside garden.

But at a place serving mostly oysters, expect mostly romance.

"Oysters are an aphrodiasc," says Lisa. "But alcohol is, too."

Lisa Giffen

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