Archive for May, 2012

BKI’s 2012 Summer Concert Picks

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

After sending emails to each other almost every day around the office that read “Let’s go to this!” or “Check this out”, we’ve decided to compile a list of our favorite concerts coming up this summer in the city. For music lovers, there are few better places to be than NYC in the summer – the amount of great music, much of which is free is utter insanity. Now if only winter never comes…

Azealia Banks

June 3rd, Bowery Ballroom - $25

Jimmy Cliff

June 5th, Prospect Park Bandshell (Celebrate Brooklyn) – Free

GZA performing Liquid Swords w/Grupo Fantasma

June 14th, Music Hall of Williamsburg (Northside Festival) – $33.50

Jens Lekman, of Montreal, The Thermals, Beach Fossils

June 15th,Williamsburg Park (Northside Festival)- $33.50

Asobi Seksu, Exitmusic, Ape School, Field Mouse

June 16th, Brooklyn Bowl (Northside Festival) – $10

Das Racist

June 19th, Red Hook Park – Free

Deer Tick, Johnny Corndawg

June 21st, Red Hook Park – Free

Small Black, Lemonade

June 21st, Brooklyn Museum – Free w/ admission

Alabama Shakes, Diamond Rugs, Robert Ellis

June 24th, Central Park Summerstage – Free

Childish Gambino, Danny Brown, Schoolboy Q

June 26th, Prospect Park Bandshell (Celebrate Brooklyn) – $35

Guided by Voices, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Cloud Nothings

July 7th, Central Park Summerstage – Free

Dan Deacon, John Maus

July 12th, Hudson River Park’s RiverRocks – Free

Archers of Loaf, The Drums, Crocodiles, Hospitality, Bleached, Nick Waterhouse, more…

July 14th, South Street Seaport – Free

Chromatics, Blondes

July 22nd, Fulton Street Market – Free

Sigur Ros

July 31st, Prospect Park Bandshell (Celebrate Brooklyn) -Sold out


August 8th, Summerstage – Sold out

Wild Nothing, Grimes, DIIV

August 9th, Hudson River Park’s River Rocks – Free

Janes Addiction, Die Antwoord

August 17th, Williamsburg Waterfront – $49.50


September 8th, 285 Kent Avenue


September 19th, Music Hall of Williamsburg – $15


A Seed Dress Grows in Brooklyn

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Earlier this year, our design team hatched up the idea for a dress made entirely from organic material and seeds that would eventually sprout beautiful flora, a design that would embody the Live, Work, Create motto of BKI. After displaying the dress in store windows in April, we took it down and gathered in a patch of greenery and soil to give the dress a good ol’ fashion May burial.

Helena grabbed a shovel and dug a shallow hole, and Aaron sacrificed a bit of his cocktail, pouring some out in honor of all the trees that had fallen before us.  We even tried to sing a song, but couldn’t agree on a tune.

After putting the topsoil on, we celebrated with a great summer cocktail recipe that Nikki, our Assistant Men’s Designer and former mixologist had brought over from her days as a barmaid in Australia. Hopefully by next year, we’ll be able to post the progress of the new plant.

The Seed Dress Cocktail: Breukelen Gin, mint, cucumber, simple syrup, and fresh squeezed lime.

Nick Waterhouse’s Retro Storms NYC

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

Nick Waterhouse’s sold out show at the Mercury Lounge last Saturday night was a preview of what we hope the impending summer will be like: a carefree romp full of bopping, shaking and pure fun. Waterhouse demonstrated a perfect combination of vocal emotion and guitar-strumming control, all while leading a nine-piece band consisting of two saxophonists, two backup singers, a drummer, a bass player and a keyboardist, each one talented enough to envy in their own right.  The eclectic crowd was a testament to his appeal, from the Brooklyn nerds reveling in the chance to pay sartorial homage to ’50s retro fashion to too cool for school college kids to a large group of older German tourists who seemed to travel to New York just to see Waterhouse play. The best part of the show was standing in a room full of HAPPINESS and witnessing the palpable giddiness of the performers’ realization of playing their first New York show to a crowd of fans who shimmied and cheered the whole way through.

Nick Waterhouse’s debut album, Times All Gone, has come out just in time for the summer, perfect for rooftop parties, clambakes and other summer activities in which having fun is the main objective.  You can listen to his live bootleg Berlin show here.  

And for more music in the same vein, here’s a fun R&B artists mix he made available for download.

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.


Get Graphical with New BKI Designed Tees

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

BKI Takes Part in AIDS Walk NYC

Monday, May 21st, 2012


While it’s pretty rare for for us to set our alarms for 7 a.m. on a Sunday morning, it was definitely worth meeting up with the BKI team on a beautiful day in Central Park to take part in our first AIDS Walk NYC. Here are a few pics from the beautiful day of the team in BKI’s Pride shirts, designed by our graphic designer, Meagan Buis. 45,000 people showed up to the event, raising over 6 million dollars combined. We’ll definitely be back next year!

A Brief History of Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

A young, nervous, and tongue-tied Henry Miller used to walk over to 181 Devoe Street to visit Cora Seward, his first love. Forty-two years later, Love Is a Battlefield singer Patricia Andrzejewski, better known as Pat Benatar was born there. This summer, McCarren Park Pool is set to open after opening originally – in 1936. A number of words could be used to describe the history of Greenpoint – unconventional, overlooked, or contentious, but one thing it has always been is unique.

These days, it’s easy to grab a pierogi, then a PBR next door, but Greenpoint was originally a lush and verdent landscape inhabited by the Keskachauge tribe, then sold to the Dutch West India Company, which turned it into farmland. For many decades, the same five families inhabited the entire neighborhood. The working class identity associated with Greenpoint began in the mid 19th century, when a large number of Germans and Irish began establishing a shipbuilding and merchant trade, followed by the Polish in the late century, which has made it the second largest Polish community in the U.S. after Chicago.

With the heavy concentration of industry in Greenpoint’s past, the area has also been known – infamously, for its pollutants. In the last century alone, about 17 million gallons of petroleum has seeped into the ground, much of it from a 1950 explosion that was the largest oil spill in the country at the time. In 2006, officials have pronounced that half of it has been cleaned up.

Greenpoint’s unique identity has always been inextricably linked to transportation. For most of the 19th century, boats were the primary form of transportation to the area. Though the neighborhood is serviced by the G train, there is no direct subway route to Manhattan, which has brought relative stability to the area and kept migration in and out to a minimum. More recently however, as neighboring Williamsburg gained overflowing popularity, and improvements have been made to public transportation and pollutant levels, the neighborhood’s look and feel has begun to change, bringing with it boutiques, higher end restaurants, hip bars, and of course, higher rents. These days, Greenpoint is beginning to resemble many of New York’s neighborhoods, where multiple cultures coexist, with a variety of recreational options from restaurants and bars like Five Leaves, The Manhattan Inn, and Enid’s, to great Thai and Mexican restaurants like Ott Thai and Calexico, to summer concerts and movies in McCarren park. The neighborhood’s unique aesthetic of industrial warehouses and small, charming streets has made it the backdrop for movies like The Departed, Donnie Brasco, and in the recent T.V. series Boardwalk Empire and one of our favorites, Lena Dunham’s  Girls. Additionally, from the rooftop of Brooklyn Industries’ first warehouse on the border of Greenpoint and Williamsburg, the Greenpoint skyline served as a visual inspiration for BKI’s logo. With the new store opening on Manhattan Avenue this week, we’re excited to come back to the neighborhood that gave us our start.

Spotted: An Original BKI Bag from 1998!

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Yesterday, a customer named Daniel came into one of our stores with a Crypto bag, the original name and label for Brooklyn Industries. It turned out that Daniel was actually the bag model for the first Crypto catalog, and was unaware that the line morphed into Brooklyn Industries.

We showed the bag to our Creative Director and original cofounder, Vahap Avsar, who verified the bag’s origin. His partner, Lexy Funk named the bag “Twiggy”, after the model. “I remember the fabric, the labels, I love it,” said Avsar. “We normally made this style with billboard material, but Lexy and I sewed a small batch ourselves I think for either Air Market or Antique Boutique. Anyone remember those stores in NYC?”

Meet the Photographer – Courtney Chavanell

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

For our 2012 summer campaign, BKI reached out to Austin, Texas for photographer Courtney Chavanell. Living in the “Live Music Capital of the World” has afforded Chavanell the opportunity to capture intimate portraits of some of our favorite musicians, including Sonic Youth, Spoon, the Flaming Lips, and the Black Angels. As there’s a tangible musical and lyrical quality to the streets of Brooklyn and the colorful people that inhabit them, Chavanell’s music background was a perfect fit.

How did you originally get involved with photography?

My dad was a photographer and I grew up assisting him without even realizing it at the time! I didn’t even know I was interested in becoming a photographer until I picked up a camera of my own around age 15 and began photographing myself, my friends and pretty much everything around me. When I moved to Austin for college, I became immersed in the music scene, bringing my camera to shows and finding inspiration in the musicians in the city and the ones passing through.

You seem to have shot a lot of great bands in the past. What’s your draw to music photography?

I am drawn to music photography simply because I love music. When I hear a song that resonates with me, I become curious about the songwriter or the performer, then I do my research and often times, become motivated to capture that personality visually. To me, it’s the same thing that anyone experiences when they hear a song they love. They want to tell their friends, their family or anyone that will listen. I do the same thing – I just prefer to do tell the world visually. My aim as a photographer is to document musicians in a creative and respectful perspective, as unique and profound as their music.

What do you love about shooting in Brooklyn?

Brooklyn is amazing because of its history and the eclectic mix of people. So many different cultures together creates some of the most interesting faces. I’d love to spend more time photographing those faces… beautiful, hardworking folks I encounter on the street, from the youth to the elderly.

To view more of Courtney’s work, visit her website.

Thurston Moore

Only in Brooklyn

Friday, May 11th, 2012

It’s no secret – we are thrilled to live in such an incredible borough with fantastic food, parks, cafes, bars, and people, so we asked Brooklynites what you can do in Brooklyn that you can only do in Brooklyn. Here are a few of the responses:

Go get a hot dog at Nathan’s in Coney Island — Jeanette

Ride the Cyclone and the Wonder Wheel – Lauren

Go to Dun Well doughnuts – Jeannine

Soon watch the BK nets – Tania

Wait for the G train – Teddy