Angel St Thrift Shop Benefit, Preview Tonight

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The nice people at the Angel Street Thrift Shop will be throwing a Garden Party this weekend to benefit individuals and families affected by substance abuse, HIV/AIDS and Mental Illness. While the fundraiser, which features a 10% discount for individuals who print out the flyer (after the jump), isn’t set to begin until tomorrow at 1pm, the thrift store will hold a special preview event this evening, from 5-8pm.  More > >

The BAG, for NAG

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Weezer fans and NAG supporters packed the back room of Union Pool last night to hear The Blue Album Group cover the band’s eponymous classic. The BAG was note-for-note on ’90s alt anthems “My Name is Jonas” and “No One Else,” while “The World Has Turned,” a personal favorite, sounded a little fast. There were some other snags for the BAG, but that didn’t stop people from singing and dancing  More > >

Public Art Coalition to Beautify India St

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The North Brooklyn Public Art Coalition was organized by council member David Yassky as a means to collaborate with community artists to beautify North Brooklyn through public art. The India Street Mural Project is the first of a number of upcoming projects working with Open Space Alliance and other organizations to commission five artists to create a mural on the side of a building on India between West Street and the East River. The deadline for artist proposals was this past Friday and the jury panel, which includes Marisa Sage of Like the Spice and artists Karin Tehve and Linnaea Tillett, will announce the  winning artists on May 1st. The artists will receive a stipend of $700 each to build the mural during the month of June which will then be on view until the end of the year. A general   More > >

The Morning Photo + Links

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The Williamsburg Bridge from Hope St. Photo: Eric Ryan Anderson

 

Tom Potter, co-founder of The Brooklyn Brewery, plans to open NYC’s first post-prohibition distillery, possibly in Williamsburg. [Daily News]

 

Scottish post-rockers Mogwai wrap up a sold-out three night run at Music Hall of Williamsburg tonight. Are you going? [BrooklynVegan]

 

The Word presents a reading and signing with authors Zack Mexico (China Underground) and Pasha Malla (The Withdrawl Method) tonight at 7:30 PM in Greenpoint. [Brooklyn Paper]

Extra Oomph! Interview with Artist Linda Zacks

By Jeanne Fury

Our latest cover artist is Linda Zacks, a Williamsburg resident for many years. An illustrious career to her credit, she rode the web boom, first at a Soho start-up and then as the Design Director for VH1’s website. Since going solo in 2004, she’s been hunkered down in her laboratory in Brooklyn, called “Extra Oomph,” concocting pieces that throb with creative energy.

Zacks was chosen as a “fresh” artist in the 2007 Communication Arts Advertising Annual. Her work has been featured internationally in art and design magazines such as HOW, Step Inside Design, Hong Kong’s IdN, and CMYK. Her recent exhibited works include a mural project in the Paris subway; a “crazy A” for an Adobe campaign; and colorful characters for Nickelodeon’s teen network The N.

Since venturing out on her own in 2004, she’s been involved in a variety of projects including websites, ad campaigns, editorial illustrations, t-shirt designs, character designs, and CD packaging, all the while keeping a steady stream of personal projects churning including paintings and one-of-a-kind books.
Her signature is a mix of grit and grace, loaded with “Noo Yawk” attitude.

WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THIS PART OF BROOKLYN?
I wanted new scenery. If you saw my old apartment on 67th Street in Manhattan, you’d know why I moved. It was a six-floor walk up, low ceilings, and as big as a hamster cage. Here I get to enjoy life in a converted industrial space with high ceilings and a giant roof deck where I have a full view of the skyline. Also, after the Upper East Side, Brooklyn seemed a place filled with more creative souls…a place where lots of artistic types were migrating from the city.

WHAT DO YOU SEEK OUT IN YOUR COMMUNITY?
Williamsburg is such a meld of nationality, religion, and pride. It’s a hipster-Italian-Polish-Hasidic-Puerto Rican milkshake. Walking with my dog, Zebedee, a Boston terrier (who calls himself a Brooklyn terrier), we stop outside the old-folks home and chat with the old men who are filled with crazy stories… people who have lived here their entire life and have seen the profound changes over the last decades. It sometimes feels like I’m on multiple planets at once—an unmatched experience in most places…and the fact that homies and Hasids run on the treadmill at the local gym, side-by-side, Timberlands and yarmulkes. It’s definitely unique.

HOW HAS LIVING HERE INFLUENCED YOUR ART?
Brooklyn has given me a profound new perspective on Manhattan; an oasis among the madness. On my building’s rooftop (which I call my living room), the city becomes more abstract. Instead of being IN IT looking up, I look AT IT snaking around in front of me, a stack of living shapes/moody boxes of light and dark. It’s so big and so small all at once, both intimidating and small-town-like. I’ve made several cityscape-inspired images and also snapped many photos of the manic-depressive moods of the skyline: daytime/sunsets/gray rain/ snow days/summer stew. My window has also been a biggie for inspiration—teenage riots outside McDonalds, maniacal screaming at 4am, jack-hammering at dawn, raging fires and screaming fire trucks. The psycho circus never ceases to amaze me.

WHAT HAS THE REACTION BEEN TO YOUR WORK?
One of my biggest rewards is being contacted by people who have been touched by my work. For example, there is a teacher who works with special-needs high school kids. She says that my work is inspiring and encourages them to see things differently. I’ve sent posters and self-published books to her to use in the classroom. I even got a letter in the mail from one of the students. I enjoy the conversations with the hordes of students from around the world who are inspired by my voice and what I do and how I do it.

You can get some EXTRA-OOMPH by emailing at lindA@extra-oomph.com or visiting extra-oomph.com.

North Brooklyn Story Fundraiser Tonight

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Arguably one of the most effervescent neighborhoods in New York, residents of Greenpoint and Williamsburg have some great stories to tell. Whether it’s flying a kite in McCarren with a homeless poet or learning the history of the USS Monitor, these stories need to be archived. Enter the North Brooklyn Story Project. The goal of the project, organized by NAG, is “to get residents talking and listening  More > >

Odara, You Will Be Missed

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I saw the metal shroud hanging over Odara last week, and was hoping they were just keeping odd hours. Sadly, it looks like it’s permanent. The Mediterranean restaurant was one of the cozier, friendlier places on that stretch of Graham Avenue (which happens to be on my walk home), and I could never figure out why it wasn’t more crowded.  Was it the location, the prices, or is East Williamsburg just anti-hummus?  More > >

The Morning Photo + Links

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A man watches the aftermath of a fatal accident on Manhattan Avenue. Photo:Sheryl Imperati

 

The Greenpoint Gazette has an eyewitness account of the arrest and photos of the accident. New York Sh*tty has some eyewitnesses in the comments as well.

 

On a less somber note, the guys who run the Bedford Avenue taco truck Endless Summer are opening a barbecue joint and record store in L.A. [RackedLA]

 

City Hall News has a long, insider-y look at the comptroller’s race, featuring your local City Councilman, David Yassky, who apparently would like to divert some of the city’s pension investments to green technology. [City Hall]

 

…if you want a more readable look at Yassky (including details on his prior political missteps), check out this profile — wonderfully titled “Revenge of the Nerd?” — from the Observer a couple weeks ago. [Observer]