Archive for the ‘Brooklyn Favorites’ Category

Brooklyn Brewery x Brooklyn Industries: 2 Brooklyn Institutions Come Together for a Night of Dancing

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Mark your calendars – on Tuesday, October 23rd, Brooklyn Brewery and Brooklyn Industries are teaming up to throw a good ol’ fashion Williamsburg DANCE Party at the Brewery’s beautiful brick warehouse. We’ve always been partial to their beer (our recycling bin can personally attest to that), so we were especially excited when they gave us a call and asked us to design a new shirt for them – we one upped them and made two!

The first design, Neighborhood Pint is inspired by the many flavors of the different Brooklyn neighborhoods, that when put together create this great borough of ours. The design also includes the now iconic Milton Glaser Brooklyn Brewery logo.

For the second shirt Beer Tower, our Graphic Designer channeled her father’s old beer stein collection. They say our parents shape who we are, and for Meagan, it’s definitely true, as she brought back six of them from her trip to Belgium last month. “When I first saw a watertower, I thought, ‘how good would it be if it were filled with beer?’ ” Perhaps one day, our two companies can make Meagan’s dream come true.

On Tap – Brooklyn Brewery x Brooklyn Industries

Tuesday, October 23rd from 7:30pm to 10:30pm

Brooklyn Brewery

79 N.11th St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn

RSVP at:

Building A Studio One Table at a Time

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

The Lawrence Plaid Shirt

At 32 years old, Matthew Fairbank did not expect to be a boss. After working for a number of furniture design companies for six years, he had no capital, startup money, or game plan, just five pieces of furniture he had designed and constructed. Fairbank hauled those to the now defunct BKLYN DESIGNS show at St. Ann’s Warehouse in DUMBO, where small, local craftsmen could get their work in front of an audience. At the show, Fairbank was able to land a client, which led to another, then another, spending each project commission on a new piece of machinery. “I was making no money, basically borrowing from Peter to pay Paul,” Fairbank reminisced. Eventually, Fairbank’s long hours, hard work, and scrappiness afforded him the ability move out of his shared Williamsburg studio (similar to 3rd Ward in Bushwick), and graduate to his own studio in Greenpoint just four months ago.

Inside the designer’s studio

“When I was working for design firms, I missed the touching, making, and working in the wood shop like I had been doing at RISD (Rhode Island School of Design).  To be honest, I don’t want all this responsibility, but I’m very grateful to have it. My friends think it’s cool to be your own boss, but there have been times where I’ve had to wait weeks to pay myself because I’ve had to pay vendors or my employees,” Fairbanks hard work and sacrifice has most recently led him to signing on to a showroom at the New York Design Center in Manhattan, where potential clients can touch, see, and examine the surfaces and tight gaps of his handmade, custom furniture rather than trying to scrutinize them online.

As for his creative process, Fairbank’s describes it as amalgam of influence and inspiration. “There are a lot of artists who are sure of what they do and make, but I feel like the vast majority of artists don’t really know what they want to say when they are in the process of making something. I try and have an idea of things that I like, like Mid-Century Modern, Art Deco, super minimalist sculpture and architecture, but how all that stuff filters through my hands – I don’t know how it’s going to come out. Or maybe it’s something that influences me that isn’t in my field. Maybe it’s a different art form. Maybe it’s a material – something in nature. I’m a big fan of untampered with materials, and I also really love contrasts – shiny things next to rough materials. I hate decoration, but I love finding an old historical detail and making that detail the main feature of the piece. For example, for the Moellar Table that I built, I used the distinct shape of the Queen Anne leg and exaggerated the silhouette of the shape, but everything else about the table is sparse – it’s just about the leg.

left: Matthew’s favorite – the joinery cutting machine, right: The Moeller Table


To see more of Matthew Fairbank’s work, visit his

Rooftop Farms – Gardening From Above in Brooklyn

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

In New York City, where almost every inch of real estate is staked out, a huge swath of landscape remains unutilized and undeveloped – the iconic rooftops in Brooklyn. Enter Eagle Street Rooftop Farm, located on the far northwest corner of Greenpoint. Three stories on the top of Broadway Stages is a 6,000 square feet community garden overlooking the Greenpoint industrial and maritime trade below, and framed by an amazing 180 view of the Manhattan skyline.

Since 2009, Rooftop Farms has sold everything from cucumbers, tomatoes, swiss chard, and arugula, to a variety of herbs, and much more to a number of local restaurants including Marlow & Sons, Eastern District, Anella, Spritzenhaus, and Champion Coffee. Not a restaurant? Your’re in luck – on Sundays, the farm opens its doors to the public from 1-4pm. Lately, the farm has been growing hot peppers to start its own Brooklyn salsa line, and a couple of hives churn out local honey – the best kind of honey you can get!  Adorable rabbits and roosters round out the ecosystem, producing fertilizer for the lush garden.


Besides producing delicious, organic veggies for the community, the rooftop garden also helps catch rainwater, reducing storm runoff that directly affects our drinking water. The garden also helps cool the building in the summertime, and warm it up during cold New York winters. Rooftop Farm also offers a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, workshops for kids and adults, and provides composting opportunities for the neighborhood.

For more information, check out Eagle Street’s website and factsheet.

Neighborhood Spotlight – Greenpoint

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

It’s no secret that Greenpoint is one of our favorite neighborhoods to head to after work, so having a new Brooklyn Industries open up there is just another excuse for us to venture up the G. Our staff let’s you in on some of our most frequented Greenpoint spots:

Van Leeuwen 632 Manhattan Avenue

After crazy success with their cute, yellow, retro-fitted ice cream trucks which still roam around the city, Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream opened their first real store on Greenpoint’s Manhattan Ave in 2010 – and what a beautiful place to be. If there ever was a guilt free ice cream, this is it.

Van Leeuwen uses fresh, hormone free milk and cream, free range eggs and strictly no preservatives or additives. Committed to minimizing their impact on the environment, all of their disposable goods (napkins, spoons, cups) are made from sugar cane and corn husks. VL has given each one of their specialty flavors extreme attention to detail to create their signature creamy, homemade taste. Their vanilla uses vanilla beans sourced from Papua New Guinea, which are soaked in vodka and aged in barrels. Their smoky pistachios are sourced from a little village by Mt. Etna in Sicily. They also serve great coffee and pastries and have special daily flavors – if you’re lucky enough to catch them before they run out. – Nikki

No.7 Sub 931 Manhattan Avenue 

Located on Manhattan Ave. between Java and Kent, No. 7 Sub offers an ever-changing menu, but the constant is the fresh daily baked bread from Caputo Bakery of Carroll Gardens and the crazy/tasty concoctions these guys come up with. Speaking as someone with severe food ADD, this place really hits the spot with combos like its currently available liverwurst number which consists of braised veggies, curry mayo, fresh garnishes and of course a highly desirable piece of liverwurst from Schaller & Weber.  Unlike its other outpost, the No.7 Sub in Greenpoint offers a full dining experience, i.e. seats and full bar. So if you’re into a hot sub with a cocktail, you’ll love this place. – Helena

Insound’s Warehouse 61 Greenpoint Ave Ste 225 

Kids these days have no idea how lucky they have it. Growing up in the suburbs in the late 80′s and early 90′s, if you got tired of listening to The Eagles Life in the Fast Lane for the 5000th time, the only access you had to good underground music was from the occasional mail order catalogue – or you had to stay up late on a school night on Sundays to catch MTV’s 120 Minutes. These days with just a click of the mouse, you can access well-curated online music stores like Insound, whose warehouse is located in the old Faber Pencil Factory on Greenpoint. Ave. Much like the building where BKI’s headquarters is located in, the Pencil Factory houses a bunch of great creative studios, including Design Sponge, and the studios of Alex Meyer, and Jessica Hische. Why spend your money on anonymous warehouses like Amazon’s, when you can support a company that has contributed to the great music community here in Brooklyn, helping out bands like The Rapture, Bright Eyes, and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah become the big bands they are today. -Teddy

Upright Coffee 860 Manhattan Avenue

I’m a former Greenpoint resident and I can tell you I was pretty excited when Upright Coffee opened. As a confessed coffee snob, life is tough. Sure there are lots of “coffee shops” but once you’ve tasted heaven, it’s hard to pay the same price for just OK. Also Greenpoint doesn’t really have any straight up espresso bars unless you count Starbucks – which doesn’t count!!

So why do I like Upright? Well first they use Brooklyn Roasting coffee, which is located and roasted across the street from our office. I smell it all day… yum! Oh yeah and it’s really good. Second they make a really pro Americano. This is always my test. If you can make a delicious, creamy, smooth, not over extracted shot of espresso and mix it with water, heaven can occur. You mess it up and I will get a stomach ache and probably pour most of it out. It’s tricky! If you notice that they time their shots and reset their machines, you’re probably in the right spot.

I know I might sound a little neurotic but coffee is expensive these days and it makes you feel like a sucker when it tastes bad. I have never had this experience at Upright HOORAY! Also they have great pastries if you are into that kind of thing – and who isn’t? -Dale

Dandelion Wine 153 Franklin Street

In my neighborhood of Greenpoint, the crucial quest for wine or spirits does not require much scouting. No need for an internet search or a fancy phone app, just a little steam in the legs to take a walk around the corner and there is a visible place to buy booze. Even the local babusia enjoy a potent drink – I have seen them buying vodka in bulk (and in travel size!).

But if you are like me and have a guilty pleasure for a bottle of French Muscadet, California chardonnay, and the occasional glass of sparkling rosé the search can require a little extra legwork.  And thank Bacchus to have been guided to Dandelion Wines located on Franklin Ave, a short walk (or stumble) from my apartment on India St. No more awkward or cumbersome train rides with my shoulders bruised and weighed down by my bag filled with clinking bottles of wine.

Dandelion has shelves of awesome and exotic wines perched along its walls ready to be enjoyed! Most bottles are labeled with a lovingly hand written note highlighting it’s unique individual personality. The staff is very helpful, curious to hear about your needs and tastes to best guide you through their delectable libations. And… they host weekly tastings every Thursday eve with nibbles from neighboring food merchants, a great way to explore your palette and improve your social graces through the divine communion of wine. -Aaron

Anella 222 Franklin Street

Anella is a great go-to for low-key brunch or dinner with friends. On warm days you can enjoy the outdoors in their lovely shaded garden, or stay inside and enjoy the mellow ambience. No matter where you’re sitting you’ll enjoy the view, which is largely due to the great food, thoughtful décor and attentive staff. Their soft biscuit sandwiches and egg frittatas are particularly delicious, especially when accompanied by a frothy Iced Latte.  -Nancy

Visit BKI’s newest store at 658 Manhattan Ave.

In celebration of BKI Greenpoint, we are giving one lucky winner a limited edition BKI bag filled with gifts from these Greenpoint favorites. The winner will receive goodies worth an approximate value of $450 from:


Brooklyn Bowl

Brooklyn Industries

Dandelion Wine


No. 7 Subs

Upright Coffee

Van Lleeuwen Ice Cream

“Like Us” on Facebook and automatically enter to win! Click here to enter.


Terrarium Building Event at BKI WIlliamsburg

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Let’s face it, miniature gardens are cool. Who didn’t fall in love with Mr. Miyagi’s mini horticultural wonderland in The Karate Kid?  Well, now’s your chance to build your own at our Terrarium Building Event at our store in Williamsburg. Floral design studio, Red Rose & Lavender will be on hand to guide you through the terrarium building process, and even supply soil, moss, and other accessories necessary to start a garden – you just bring your favorite glass bowl, jar, or vase. Complimentary drinks proved by Sixpoint and Runa Tea. Limited seating is available. Please rsvp to

Brooklyn Roasting Company and Brooklyn Industries Brew Up the Java Tote

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

This week, we’re proud to launch the newest item in our Made In Brooklyn series, the Java Tote.  The idea sprung from a coffee bag that our Creative Director, Vahap Avsar found while on a recent visit to Turkey. During a midday coffee break across the street at our favorite coffee spot, Brooklyn Roasting Company, we noticed a bunch of coffee bags spread all over the floor with amazing graphics on them, and before we knew it, one of the owners was kindly offering us a few to take with us to experiment with. It was a great moment of supply and demand harmoniously synchronizing.

Brooklyn Roasting Company

We took the bags back to our studio and began cutting and sampling, immediately noticing that each graphic looked different based on how we cut the bag. The graphics themselves were a mystery to us – where did they come from, who designed them, or what thought went into the designs? For a company that normally labors over graphics for long periods of time, we were happy to embrace the mystery of the designs’ origins, and were loving the different designs each cut produced.

The limited edition bag comes with either a pink, American manufactured handle that provides an appealing contrast between organic and industrial, or an Italian, black leather handle. A 100% cotton lining and a recycled Jute outer shell finish each upcycled, unisex bag.

Each bag’s distinct design was created from a variety of coffee sacks coming from Bali, Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Papua New Guinea or Peru. With the launch of this bag, Brooklyn Industries partnered with an organization that supports farmers within those very areas. The brand joined forces with the Kiva organization due to their mission to bring about change within the farming industry by directing the economic cycle back to farmers. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the Java Tote will go to Kiva.

Learn more about the each bag’s country of origin here, or shop the Java Tote here.

Guest Bloggers Frontier Psychiatrist Guide Us Through the SXSW Mayhem

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Taco truck in Austin

My first full day of music at South by Southwest began in a bike shop and ended in a church. From noon until three in the morning, three friends and I saw nearly 20 bands: indie rock and punk, blues and folk, glam and R&B, and a bit of hip-hop courtesy of A$AP Rocky. As I learned during my first time at the festival, SXSW is organized chaos, with thousands of people thronged in the streets all day and all night, lined up outside and packed inside bars and clubs to see some 2,000 bands play countless “official” and “unofficial” shows, categories that are somewhat fluid since most bands play both kinds of shows. It’s hard to imagine a place with more music per square inch or square mile, all within walking distance or a short bike ride. For any music maniac – especially one who loves tacos — SXSW is paradise.

The day began at  Mellow Johnny’s, a.k.a. Lance Armstrong’s massive warehouse of a bike shop, where we caught the last four songs of a set by Howler, part of a live broadcast by stellar Seattle station KEXP. Beneath a tricked out Bianchi Pista that hung over the stage, the skinny boys from Minneapolis plays good rowdy retro power-pop in the vein of The Strokes, Tokyo Police Club, and Surfer Blood.

Next we migrated to Waterloo Records, Austin’s iconic indie record shop slash tourist destination, where we caught a couple of bands and had free energy drinks which according to the can were a mixture of iced tea, lemonade, and bad ass. We were underwhelmed by the generic rock of London four-piece Tribes, then energized by the satirical glam rock and raucous energy of Foxy Shazam , who sound and act like a hybrid of Queen, The Darkness, and Spinal Tap, insofar as those three are different. Stage antics included keyboard surfing and smoking five cigarettes at once.

Energized by the neo-Freddy Mercury, we crossed town to the Red River District, one of the main drags of SXSW, where thousands of people were roaming the streets and enjoying free shows. The spacy R&B of Polica (pronounced POH-LISA) was the first and perhaps best show of the afternoon, led by the hypnotic voice and stage presence of Channy Moon Cassell, formely of Roma di Luna and now the lead female singer in Gayngs. Backed by bass, and two drummers who inexplicably often played the same beat simultaneously. Afterward, as walked around Red River we heard what we thought was a band covering Titus Andronicus. It turned out to be Titus Andronicus, though we caught only their last song (“No Future Part 3”).

At a Paste Magazine showcase, we  caught a pair of female-fronted bands who performed beneath a gigantic mural of the country music pantheon: Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Reba McInytre, Kenny Rogers, etc. Led by vocalist Amber Papin, Brooklyn indie pop trio Hospitality brought some pleasant jangly songs from their debut album Friends of Friends, which came out in January. We were more impressed with husband and wife duo Tennis, whose first album Cape Dory was inspired by their seven month adventure on a sailboat, and last month released their second record, Young and Old, inspired by a W.B. Yeats poem. The live show–especially Alaina Moore’s vocals–makes their records seem tame by comparison.


After a brief break to bathe and refuel, we returned and made our first mistake of the night. We thought we were going to see Javelin. Instead, we went into the club next door by mistake, where we caught Fidlar who sounded like Warped Tour refugees, as confirmed later by their song “Wake Bake Skate.” We then entertained the delusion that we could get into the Fiona Apple, Sharon Van Etten and Andrew Bird showcase at Stubbs, Austin’s legendary BBQ joint. Then we saw the line. (Fortunately we have already seen Sharon Van Etten in Chicago and twice in New York).

For the rest of the night, we split into two groups. Assistant Editor Pete Lillis caught Zola Jesus, a.k.a Nika Rosa Danilova, the slow burn of Psychic Ills, and The Men about whom he will have much more to say later this week on Frontier Psychiatrist. The rest of us took a more mellow turn and headed to St. David’s Episcopal Church for three more mellow acts, each with a somewhat spiritual, if not exactly religious dimension. The star was Anais Mitchell, whose haunting baby voice of a drawl bounced through the pews as she sang songs from her new album Young Man in America and her 2010 breakout record Hadestown, a folk rock opera about the myth of Orpheus and Euridice. While Hadestown guest vocalist Justin Vernon did not make the show, Mitchell has more than enough talent on her own and her backing band – electric piano, bass, and a drummer who doubled on banjo—was perhaps the best musicianship of the day. Finally, we caught the bluesy set of alt-country singer songwriter Todd Snider. Perhaps only in Austin does a guy whose last album was called Agnostic Hymns & Stoner Fables play a gig in a church.

Amen. Bring on Day 2.

Frontier Psychiatrist is a Brooklyn-based blog about music, books, film, and food. For more coverage, check out their blog. Photos courtesy of Peter Lillis.

Nothing is Better than a Dough-nut

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Last week, we stopped by Dough in Bed Stuy to meet pastry chef Fany Gerson and watch her create her amazing, colossal donuts that have become the standard bearer for sweets in the city, and particularly in our office. Gerson started her journey with popsicles, and used her experience with Mexican sweets to add doughnuts to her repertoire, which are all crafted with all natural ingredients… and have we mentioned that they are huge? The standards are there – like chocolate and cinnamon, but you’ll also find nods to traditional Mexican flavors, like café con leche and chipotle chocolate. The success of Dough rests on Gerson’s passion for sweets and her penchant for constant experimentation with new ingredients. Currently, she is working on a popcorn donut in the transparent, open kitchen that is visible to all visitors to the shop.  While moving into a corner that few were interested in provided some challenges, the neighborhood has opened up to this delectable outpost, drawing a steady stream of neighbors, nearby Pratt students, faraway foodies, and of course, policemen. “When you have heart and passion,” Gerson added, “people will appreciate it.” The best thing that could be said about the donuts however occurred on our subway ride back, when a stranger upon noticing our Dough boxes commented, “Nothing… is better than a donut.”

Check out some of Fany Gerson’s recipes from her James Beard award winning cookbook, My Sweet Mexico, and try her delicious donuts at our Crash Into Spring Event on Friday, February 10th.

Neighborhood Spotlight: DUMBO

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Since relocating our headquarters to the old waterfront neighborhood of DUMBO – home to a large number of design studios and creative businesses, we’ve discovered numerous gems hidden in this often overlooked part of Brooklyn. Our team shares some of our favorite finds.

Jane’s Carousel , Brooklyn Bridge Park

Along the East River where the DUMBO and the Manhattan skyline almost kiss is the Brooklyn Bridge Park and Jane’s Carousel, a glass encased, refurbished carousel. This riverside stretch is a great spot for me and my fellow BK Industrialists to have impromptu open-air lunches and afternoon strolls. The scenic vista of the city seems within arm’s reach, framed by both the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. Having a ride on this historic landmark gives me a feeling of naïve whimsy, a feeling important to my personal creative process. A perfect day should ideally come to end with a spin around this magical merry-go-round. –Aaron

Zacca, 155 Plymouth Street

Be forewarned design nerds, this place will eat you up alive, and leave you with empty pockets. This Japanese-based boutique carries a wonderfully curated collection of graphic design, fashion, illustration, and architecture books and magazines, and an eclectic array of Japanese toys and art. The shop also doubles as an events space for art exhibitions and experimental showcases. It’s always a great space for me to visit when I need some added design inspiration. – Teddy

Modern Anthology, 68 Jay Street

Modern Anthology is a cleverly curated “man cave” that the owner describes as “less beer keg, more scotch”. Male or female, this is a great little shop catering to those with a creative sensibility. You can find everything from vintage Chesterfield couches, to taxidermy jackalopes, to old school umbrellas with wooden duck handles. It’s a perfect place for presents or a gift for yourself – or you might just want to move into this nicely decorated shop! – Nikki

Brooklyn Roasting Company, 25 Jay Street

Live, Work, Create is impossible for me without the fuel of coffee. It used to be hard to find a non Starbucks cup in the neighborhood, until Brooklyn Roasting Company moved across the street. HOORAY! They roast small batches from around the world, in house. The smell of roasting has greatly enhanced the neighborhood and my mood. If you’re on a budget just buy a ten dollar a pound bag and make it in the office. –Dale

St. Ann’s Warehouse, 38 Water Street

St Ann’s Warehouse is one of the most innovative venues in existence for live performance art and international theater, and their home has been right here in DUMBO for the past 30 years. My first St Ann’s experience was in 2006, when I saw Lou Reed perform his Berlin album on a set designed by Julian Schabel. The stunning visuals, combined with the nearly once in a lifetime opportunity to hear Berlin performed live, left a remarkable on me. I’ve since had many more memorable experiences, from a Polish production of Macbeth with crazy special effects in the open-air setting of the ruins of the DUMBO tobacco warehouse, to Karen O’s psycho opera Stop the Virgens, where each element, from costumes, to set design, to music, could have stood alone as its own individual and stunning work of art.  Up next is Daniel Kitson. Can’t wait! -Nancy

68 Jay Street Bar, 68 Jay Street

What’s work without after work happy hour! 68 Jay Street is our favorite end of the workday spot, where you can pull up a stool (or table to sit on when it’s busy during happy hour) and enjoy good conversation with coworkers, locals, or the friendly bartenders. Spend some dollars on the rotating art, or just three dollars for a happy hour Brooklyn Lager.

While you’re in the neighborhood, stop by our DUMBO store and say hello.

Check-in to the New Hotel Williamsburg and Check-out their BKI Attire

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Did you expect a Days Inn to open in Williamsburg?

Befitting the hip neighborhood it resides in, the newly opened Hotel Williamsburg exudes style and cool, from Crosley record players in each room accompanied by a complimentary record library, to artfully displayed black and white videos above the check-in counter. If the staffs’ uniforms look familiar, that’s because Brooklyn Industries collaborated with the hotel to outfit everyone, from doormen, to bellhops, to waitresses in assorted, limited edition pieces, including blazers, shirts, pea coats and dresses. Opening soon is a rooftop bar, but if you can’t wait that long, have a drink at the reception desk – yes, the check-in is actually a bar, and they serve the best Manhattan this side of Brooklyn. “Brooklyn Industries’ first store location is in Williamsburg on North 8th and Bedford, and we remain committed to the Williamsburg community. Hotel Williamsburg is working with the local community as well, making this collaboration a natural fit,” said Brooklyn Industries CEO, Lexy Funk.

photo courtesy of Hotel Williamsburg