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Design Line: Strawser & Smith, Inc.

17 Feb
This is one of my favorite off-the-subway detours in Brooklyn.
Inevitably, when you step inside this showroom, you immediately start envisioning a dream house fitted with strong, sturdy, and beautiful things. Strawser and Smith present an impressive collection of handcrafted pieces reminiscent of  industrial factories  It’s like a mid-century museum, featuring a motley of perfectly proportioned tables and benches constructed of reclaimed wood and steel, 1960s pecan-hued leather armchairs, and delicious collectibles, such as old subway marker signs. The giant industrial relics are re-purposed old factory and machine parts re-fashioned into functional design for home, office, and loft. Cleveland Art, masters of the trade, are worth checking out, especially for you L.A. folk.  Check their website here.

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As you walk into the store, there’s an almost macabre sensation, maybe it’s just anatomical drawings or the vibe of  mid-century medical lamps or the cast aluminum U.S. Navy-commissioned barber chair. There’s also an old school bleacher bench recalling football games in the Midwest

The 1920s wall-sized world and survey maps accent the earthy and steel tones of the furniture.

Note: Between February 9-18, Strawser & Smith will only be open by appointment only!

Don’t forget to look around at the house itself! High ceilings are stationed on earth by roughhewn wooden pillars, and what seems like exposed brick for miles. I love going in when it’s afternoon, beautifully-lit, west-facing, receiving gorgeous afternoon sun.

Tarnished elegance nailed on its head!

All photos courtesy of the Strawser & Smith website. For more information, check their FACEBOOK.



Brooklyn Freestyle Sessions @ Rose Live Music

3 Mar

Mobius Collective, every Thursday at Rose Live Music in Williamsburg, BK

Mobius Collective celebrates their 3rd anniversary at Rose Live Music this Thursday.

Saxophonist/director Troy Simms, along with staple cipher Omar Little (trumpet), Borahm Lee (keys), and David Bailis (guitar), the Collective features guest DJ’s and musicians each session. Last week amidst the snow storm, the house was packed full of folks ready to go on a trip. Guest DJ–brilliant selector–Deejay Obah–filled in the blanks between sets, seamlessly taking us from a recording of Fela’s “Yellow Fever” into the band’s supersonic rendition of it. Keyboardist Borahm Lee brings it full force, slapping at his keyboard, mapping out intricate solos,  infusing the tune with an echo here, a reverb there–he’s a vision to witness in action. Jazz to warm you up in the beginning, dub to settle the whiskey in your bones (it’s cold outside, y’all), flowing into Afrobeat and Hiphop to get the people dancing.

There’s something to the venue too. The abuela wallpaper and jazz club stage has an old-timers vibe, a subtly complementary addition to the listening experience.

Mobius Collective, courtesy of the band's Myspace

Note about their name, “Mobius Collective,” it’s a reference to the Mobius Strip, a one-sided, single edged surface that has no beginning or end. This metaphor comes alive during their performance–the musicians contribute to the soundscape by carefully listening, evoking the continuity between them, between the genres they journey across in a few hours’ time.

Check it @ Rose Live Music, every Thursday!

What: 3rd Anniversary Party of Mobius Collective’s “Brooklyn Freestyle Sessions

Where: Rose Live Music, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on 345 Grand St. @ Marcy

When: 10 PM to 3AM

Energy 2 Burn: Hip Hop, Weekend Edition

28 Jan

Alexis Mabille Spring 2010 Couture. Metaphor for Saturday Night.

A note from the party: (they’re pretty giddy, no?)

“Two vinyl-addicted dj’s are going to bring a bunch of true skool hip hop party records and breaks circa “88-’92 to Trophy bar and play them..and YOU are gonna come out and dance, sing along, “Jump Around” “Pass the Mic” move “Back and Forth” get the Pic!!”


Trophy Bar, 351 Broadway (btwn Keap & Rodney), Saturday January 30, 2010

11 PM to 4 AM

Apartment Show & the art of Andy Barrett

25 Jan

Gallerists are turning homes into art space–whether it’s for reasons economic, aesthetic, and non-market oriented–creating intimacy, dialog, and accessibility for guests.

The Hooper Apartment Show’s opening reception is this Saturday, January 30, at The Lenora on Hooper St. in Williamsburg. Curated by Eric Laine, of bipolart, an eclectic group of artists are participating, including my friend Andy Barrett.

His “carton marquetry” work is composed of  intricately collaged found-on-the-street cardboard. Everyday cartons are deftly translated into stories, colorful, absurd and fantastical.

Check out his portfolio at:

images courtesy of artists’ website

Some of his work is at sale, including cardboard lamps, at Mc & Co @  57 North 6th St. (btwn. Wythe & Kent)

Grinning and Bearing It.

9 Jan
death bear!

Often, my Daily Candy mail makes me smile. Even if I can’t afford the countless clothing or travel and culinary destinations they tote on their website.

But this here, this is just pure furry genius. For all of you melancholics and pessimistic souls:

The Painkiller Below, Courtesy of

“Summoned via text message, Death Bear will visit your Brooklyn apartment to remove painful reminders of your past (direct him toward empty cigarette packs, pictures of the ex, dropped-crotch pants) and give you the chance to start fresh in 2010.

Aside from practicing the dark art of absorbing negative memories, the man inside the suit also leads Chinatown garbage taxidermy tours, offers free bouncy rides on subway platforms while wearing a fish costume, and has a candy crack delivery service on weekends ($1 per bag).

But the resolution service is free this Saturday and Sunday.

So grin and bear it.”

To make an appointment, text 347-742-2293. For more information, go to To find out more about the man inside the bear, go to

Photo: Kevin Walsh

Also available are “Bunny Butterfly Kisses”–courtesy of “Blizzard” the honey inside the bunny (head).


Johanna Heldebro @ 3rd Ward, 12/18

18 Dec

Since we’re already on this Swedish tip…

Tomorrow’s the opening reception for Brooklyn artist Johanna Heldebro‘s “To Come Within Reach of You”

After  following him to Stockholm, Sweden, she presents images and video documenting her father’s daily life (who pulled a disappearing act a couple years before).

RIP DJ Reverend Soul

14 Dec

A moment of hushed sadness and reflection… Brooklyn DJ Solange Reverend Soul’s tragic death in a bike accident this Sunday reminds us of the ephemeral and bright lives we live. 

I share with you this poem, a beautiful commemoration, written by Lia Yaranon Hall:

posted Monday, December 14, 2009

Ether R.I.P. Solange

Sunday I spent in the observance of silence
Recognizing how space manifests in absence
I subtracted many words and movement
from a daily arrangement – a rest

What can take place in an expanse is boundless
What I can feel on a Brooklyn rooftop lacking moonlight 
is the shock of oxygen after life in a womb.

I can see how small we play 
how inferior we convince ourselves to be
When we mimic the morphing of clouds
How great and divine is our capacity

I ask the urban ceiling to blind me tonight 
to wash my eyes with the broad reflection of tempered street lights
muffling the hum of dramas and masquerades
An endless charade of conversation exacting how to do
and what to interact with whom we injure 
and where to coerce a choked reality

What can we murder under the sky? What can we sculpt without textures and angles and dimensions of sight?
How complex a body is built to move and be moved 
yet simple to witness majestic truth – time as space

I will let the lull of nothing kidnap me
I surrender to the extent of no extent
the parabolic points of infinity—a gong 
an echo and perpetual flight into the depth 
of absolute arrival to the tune of om
and I vibrate with perfect resonance when all is gone

Tonight at 10 PM @ Rose Live Music, in Williamsburg, a fundraiser for her family, and celebration w/ the funky grooves she spun.

On the road…

29 Nov

Costumes & Candy Clouds = Toothaches

27 Oct

So for Halloween, I’m gonna be:

Sweet and LowOK, I’ve been switched to Splenda & when they’ve got it, agave nectar, but I thought this would be a fun costume idea, when eating biscuits & gravy at The Lodge. I was sort of surprised that they still have the pink packets there. But then I got to thinkin’ about a costume, a joint costume with my friend (he will be “Coffee”) some bubble-gum pink slutty number treble clef painted on ma’ body, all the way down, sweet & low…

As a former acolyte of Clinton Hill/Fort Greene, I still haven’t gotten that creative for brunch spots, though I do like La Superior (Mexi-philes) & Simple Café (Francophiliacs)

I found a onesie at my fave thrift store, in the ‘Burg, Doggy’s Clothing/10ft. Single by Stella Dallas, near the corner of N. 6th and Meeker, off the L/G train, Lorimer/Metropolitan & Grand:

Stella Dallas

Now, I can’t say enough fabulous things about this store–silk scarves, hats, shoes, vintage & consignment galore, but on the onesie, there were, um, questionable stains in the crotch area. Yikes!

Can I get a discount? Rather than ask, I’m gonna head over to the northside tomorrow and check the goods out.

More inspiration from my new ‘hood:

Cotton Candy Cloud

Daily Rotation: Neon Indian

27 Oct

Love this project of 21-year old Mexico-born, Texas-bred Alan Palomo, AKA Neon Indian.

I’m feelin’ his smooth boy vocals layered with lo-fi pop & video game soundtracks. He’s fly too:

Neon Indian

In homage to a beautiful summer gone by, from his debut EP, Psychic Chasms:

Deadbeat Summer, by Neon Indian