Category Archives: Brooklyn

Take The N Train

Last night I left work and took the 6 train down to Union Square, where I changed for the N train to Brooklyn. It was the first time I’d crossed the East River since December, and I’m slightly ashamed to admit my motive this time was discount shopping mecca Target, but I needed cheap fairy lights for the garden. Anyway, as the train crossed the Manhattan Bridge I was treated to the awesome views looking south towards lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge. The subway car was pretty crowded and I was pressed up against the door, and I even managed to record a short filmino. After I’d bought my lights (and stocked up on cereal), I got back on the train already excited at the prospect of enjoying the view a second time. It was almost 8 o’clock, the sky was darkening, and twinkly lights (not unlike those I’d just purchased) were dotted along the Brooklyn Bridge’s steel wires. I immediately recalled the scene in Ghostbusters when Ray and Winston are driving back across the Manhattan bridge in ECTO-1:

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Party Like It’s 1977

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On Saturday night I was invited to a roller disco on Staten Island by my friends Annie and Andy who were in town from the UK. I hadn’t ever been much of a roller-skater (I prefer ice), but what the hell — I’d never been to Staten Island. But when I arrived in Dumbo it seemed the original plan had already been ditched in favour of a 70s-themed party at the large open-plan former industrial space apartment where my friends were staying.

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Andy had gone to great efforts with his costume, even paying a special visit to American Apparel, to create a somewhat garish outfit which seemed to owe more to the 80s aerobic craze than anything else, but which he pulled off with a certain panache. So we spent the evening seeing how many different foods can be dipped into fondue while classic Brooklyn movie Saturday Night Fever was projected onto the wall. On the subway back home I wondered if people will one day host 2007-themed parties, and if so what would they involve? Somehow I can’t quite imagine it. Maybe it takes a while for a decade to define its identity, but in this post-everything age, is there anything about the present popular culture (besides reality shows and the internet) that will have any relevance thirty years from now?

Sunday Afternoon In Brooklyn

On Sunday I took the L train for a birthday brunch at Diner, an imaginatively-named eatery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, carved into an old restaurant car. Great apple pancakes, which I walked off wandering through the deserted streets off Bedford Avenue. Later in the afternoon, I paid my first visit to the now MoMA-affiliated contemporary art museum, P.S.1. OK, so there was (overpriced) beer and a (amateur) live band, but the overall experience was highly disappointing. Most of the work on display is what I would consider the worst of contemporary art, the kind of self-indulgent nonsense that unfairly gives Modern Art a bad name, and puts millions of people off visiting museums and galleries. I sometimes wonder if it’s just me, if I’m missing something huge, but as I watched a group of self-important Brooklyn hipsterati stare with painfully earnest contemplation at a video installation of shuffling feet I decided that whatever I was missing I didn’t really care, and I suddenly couldn’t wait to get back to Manhattan, where at least pretentious crap doesn’t pretend to be anything else.