• How Gowanus Got Its Name

    Before you get all snarky with us, yes, of course Gowanus (the neighborhood) takes its name from the smelly and putrid Gowanus (the canal).

    But where did the canal get its name? There’s a fascinating article on MentalFloss.com that details not only how the Gowanus moniker came to be, but how dozens of other Brooklyn neighborhoods came to be named as well. Carroll Gardens comes from Charles Carroll, a signer of the Declaration of Independence who led a failed assault on a British encampment near the Gowanus Canal in 1776 and lost about 300 of his 400 troops. Bay Ridge was just a re-branding marketing ploy (sound familiar?) after the neighborhood’s previous name — Yellow Hook, named for the yellow sand near the water — fell out of favor in the 1850s because of an outbreak of yellow fever. As for Gowanus, well:

    Read more ›

  • Black Holes Suck So Hard

    Fraser Cain, publisher over at Universe Today, explains how black holes are formed.
    Universe Today publisher Fraser Cain

  • Eco-Expo & Mixer

    Film Biz Recycling is having one of those ‘industry’ type events with a green twist. On May 19th, Film Biz will be holding its first Eco-Expo & Mixer for those who are on the production side of the entertainment industry. The event will have a whole host of green presenters that include:

    Canal Creatures

    A sustainable production services company with the resources and connections, earned through 15 years of hands-on experience, to create the most time-efficient, cost-effective and polished films, web promos, and broadcast commercials.

    Green Product Placement

    Green Product Placement is a media product placement company that places and promotes green, sustainable, socially enterprising and/or local entrepreneurial brands in mainstream media, concentrating on television shows, feature films and web media.

    Sip N’ Go

    Make the transition away from bottled water easier on your crew.  Introducing the Sip N’ Go – reusable foldable water bottle for life on the go. Reduces landfill, BPA free, snaps shut and is pocket size when not in use. Smart hydration!


    Vokashi is a simple, easy and odorless way to ensure your food scraps stay out of landfills and get to the place they’re needed most – local farms and gardens.  Vokashi does all the dirty work by delivering the supplies you need and picking up your food waste and delivering back to the earth. Easy. Clean. Sustainable.

    Eco Set

    EcoSet implements environmentally responsible practices into commercial productions, minimizing the impact and recirculating reusable materials back into the local community.  We strive for Zero Waste and are partnering with our clients to set new standards for advertising productions.

    Soda Stream

    Save lots of money, reduce waste and recycing needs, and trips to the beverage wholesale outlet and get the fun and delicious alternative – make your own selzter and soda!  It’s a great savings in all regards and everyone will have a great time with bubbly, morale-boosting deliciousness.  

    Rock and Wrap it Up!

    Productions always have lots of food left over.  Make sure it goes to feed the hungry instead of the garbage to create pollution!  ROCK AND WRAP IT UP! is an antipoverty think tank. Founded in 1991, it was the first charity to address waste in entertainment sectors across North America: music/sports/film. Food prepared but not served was kept out of land-fill and re purposed to feed the hungry.

    Abby Kaish is the North American Director for Sports and Film recovery efforts.

    Plus, a who lot more!

    The event is meant to cultivate the re-use of materials and recycling of materials used in the entertainment industry.


    Get more details and RSVP for the event here.



  • GSS Printmaking Residency Program

    Gowanus Studio Space is now offering Printmaking Residency Program. 6 artists will face off in a death match…no wait, not death match…6 artist will have unlimited access to the Gowanus Studio Printmaking Studio! That includes access to stuff that doesn’t fit in your tiny studio apartment! Think you want that residency or know someone that might, check the details below:

    The 2012 Gowanus Studio Space Printmaking Residency Program is now accepting applications. Due May 15th, 2012.

    The Gowanus Studio Space (GSS) Printmaking Residency Program will offer to up to six artists three months of unlimited access to the GSS printmaking studio.  Awarded residents will find the GSS printmaking studio equipped with intaglio, lithography, relief and silkscreen facilities, including all related photo-based processes and large format digital printing.  These residencies will culminate in an exhibition co-curated by Print Residents and GSS Directors. The exhibition will show a selection of the Residents’ works produced at the GSS in conjunction with recent work from the greater network of GSS printmakers.
    In keeping with the GSS mission to facilitate production and encourage cross-disciplinary exchange, the GSS Printmaking Residency aims to bring accomplished artists and dedicated printmakers into the community with fellow GSS members fostering experimental collaboration within our community. Applications are due BY MIDNIGHT MAY 15th, 2012.
    • The Printmaking Residency runs between June 15, 2012 and December 15, 2012.
    • Print Residents are granted 24-hour access for three months to the GSS print shop within these six months.
    • Print Residents are awarded discounted rates to all GSS printmaking workshops during their residency.
    • In addition to use of the studio’s materials and supplies, each Print Resident is granted a materials stipend of $100.
    • Print Residents should expect to spend at least 10 hours per week at the studio for the duration of their residency.
    • Print Residents cannot be in another residency program or enrolled in school between June 15 and December 15, 2012.
    • Each Print Resident will be asked to donate one (1) or more print(s) to the GSS Collection.
    • Upon completing the GSS Residency Program, Print Residents will be offered membership to The Gowanus Studio Space with waived initial membership fee.
    • Print Residents and GSS Directors will collectively curate the November print exhibition at GSS.
    There is no application fee. Applications may only be submitted online, and must include the following:
    • Completed Online Application Form
    • Resume
    • Statement of Purpose: Outline why the GSS printshop is your desired working environment, and describe the work you plan to make during this residency. (250 words or less).
    • 8 Images of print-related work completed within the past 3 years.
    • Image List
    • Images should be in .jpg format, 72dpi and approximately 1280px in the longer dimension.
    • Image filenames must contain the last name of the applicant (smith1.jpg)
    • Images must be submitted separately from the Online Application Form as email attachments.
    • RESUME should be emailed along with images as a .pdf
    • Image list should be submitted via the Online Application Form (see form instructions).
    • Be sure to choose the semester of the Residency you prefer for your project on the Online Application Form: June 15 – September 15 OR September 15 to December 15. Or you can choose: Either.
    • Applications sent in the mail will not be accepted or returned.
    • All applicants will be notified by email the week of May 20, 2012.
    • Yunmee Kyong, 2011
    • Michelle Levy, 2011
    • Jomar Statkun, 2011
    • Johee Kim, 2010
    • Rachele Ostrow, 2010
    • Maggie Wright, 2010
  • Twig’s Terrariums – now in book form

    Creators of easily contained, easily maintained, life Twig Terrariums are having a party to celebrate their new book Tiny World Terrariums. The book author by the owners of Twig, Michelle Inciarrano and Katy Maslow, offers a step-by-step guide on how to make your very own terrarium and how to add ”a whimsical, personal touch” to the world you create under glass.

    The book comes out on May 1,2012 and you can pre-order here!

    As for the party… it’s this Friday the 13th at 7pm. Details are:

    drinks, food, party stuff, and we’ll also be holding an auction for one of our large creations to raise money for the Rotary Club’s distribution of LifeStraws to those who need. Dress as you like, bring who you want

    More info here.


  • A Lecture on a crazy Dr. Seuss Movie called: “The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T”

    Sure we all knew Dr. Seuss had to be a little weird. What type of person thinks of “Thing One” and “Things Two” anyways?

    A surrealist brained person, that’s who!

    We’ve all read the Dr. Seuss books and have seen hollywood try to make these books into movies, but did you know the Dr. himself wrote a movie? Oh yes… yes he did! And it wasn’t from one of his known books either. Dr. Seuss aka Theodor Seuss Geisel penned a full length feature film called: The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T.

    What’s the film about?

    Actually we are not sure even after watching the preview, but that’s partially cause we thought the Lorax or the Cat In The Hat was going to pop out and somehow make the chaos make sense! Seriously what’s going on here….

    Don’t think too hard about what you just saw, you’ll get what only can be described as an ‘ice cream’ headache. To make sense of this film we are going to attend a illustrated lecture at the Observatory.

    On March 8, 2012 Ted Enik, illustrator and author, will be doing multimedia examination of The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T to help us get to the bottom of this crazy movie and maybe also help us to get inside the creator of all things silly, Dr. Seuss.

    Here’s the Details:

    drt-big-sculpted-faceDr. SeussLove. No wait—Dr. StrangeSeuss

    Or, How I Made a Misguided Kids-Flick and Poked Fun at the Fear of the BOMB
    A multimedia examination of The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T.—the only live-action film Dr. Seuss had a firsthand hand-in—with kid’s book artist/author Ted Enik

    Date: Thursday, March 8
    Time: 8:00 PM
    Admission: $5
    Presented by the Hollow Earth Society

    More Details: Here

  • Fit to Fight – The Right to Kickass!

    It’s dusk and you step out of the subway entrance after a really long day at work. You take your usual route home, weaver through the industrial Brooklyn streets without a care in the world. Your ipod plays some pop song that you kinda bee-bop to as you walk along. Suddenly the music seems to fade into the background and you feel like the street you just turned onto is darker than usual. You continue on route to your home with the hairs on the back of your neck starting to stand up. Soon enough your intuition becomes clear, a figures steps out from behind a large trash container at the end of the block. You approach the figure with caution as he or she is in the direction of where you need to go. You consider turning around to take another route, but your too far down the block to turn back. You proceed, but the figure clearly starts approaching you. You then decide to turn around, only to discover that someone’s already approaching you from behind. The street seems very dark now and although the track that plays on your ipod skips to a happy song, you’re not in a happy place. What do you do?

    Last month we popped into theTriomph Fitness, Health, Wellness for ”Fit to Fight” an event meant to educate the public in self-defense in this city that never sleeps. About 35 eager individuals showed up to learn how to be fit to fight.

    Lateef Oseni, co-owner of Triomph, opened the event with two dramatic videos of animal predators hunting their prey, which illustrated that criminals are hunters looking for the right person to attack.

    Lateef then explained that self-defense is not about violence, it’s about being prepared and that “protecting yourself is a right, not a privilege.” ie… you have the right to learn what to due when a situation gets a little sketchy. Next he laid out  some startling crime data from the local Police Precincts:

    • The 78th Precinct that covers Park Slope/Gowanus says robberies are up 32% during 2010-2011
    • The 76th Precinct that covers Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill/Red Hook indicated that crime is up 11% during 2010-2011
    • Plus the crime in New York’s Subway system is up 17%

    *data available on NYC.gov 

    So, when Lateef, who is also a ISSA certified personal trainer, says “you should be fit to fight” there’s good reason to be because things aren’t exactly perfect in the streets.

    But one doesn’t have to live in fear…. one can learn to be aware!

    Lateef went on to cover 5 factors that are likely to increase your risk of becoming a target for criminals (aka – being the prey).

    • 5. Lack of physical fitness/readiness
    • 4. Advertising your valuable
    • 3. Portraying a lack of physical confidence
    • 2. Failure to trust your instincts.
    • 1. Not being aware of your physical surroundings

    Nigel, who is Sensei for Triomph’s karate classes, jumped in towards the end of Lateef’s presentation to explain a very important aspect of self-defense. He said:

    If you have to run, run! If you have to fight, fight!”

    Next came the physical part of the days training. Those attending the were splint into smaller groups and practiced what we call a “Zombie Attack”, but probably is better described as an individual being descended upon by a number of people from all directions. The person in the middle would try to escape from a circle of doom by finding the weakest of the individuals surrounding them and pushing through them as a means of escape. This was harder for people than expected. During this exercise some individuals even froze at first, which made the window for escape even less. For them the exercise was most beneficial, but it was also good for everyone in general. It’s not like any of us practice getting away from a large group of people.

    The event then went over using items that you have as weapons. ie your bag or stuff inside your bag. The event suggested anything and everything can be used to hurt or confuse someone trying to attack you. If you throw a book in someones face, they are going to take a minute to try and deflect it… at which time you can try to run away. If you are in fear for your life then you have every right to use something to bash an attacker in the temples or in the neck. You also have the right yo punch, kick, bite, and yell to get away from someone.

    Triomph is planning on having another one of these ‘Fit to Fight’ events in the near future, which we will post the second a date a chosen.

    Triomph also offers plenty of classes and has a facility that can get you fit in case you need to fight.



  • Robots Taking Over Gowanus

    Breaking News: Gowanus is to be overrun by cutesy robots!

    Maybe not overrun, but at least partially re-zoned for Robots…

    The Brooklyn Robot Foundry signed a lease February 1st for 303 3rd Avenue in the Home Ec space. (no word on what happened to Home Ec, which only seemed to have been closed only for the winter.) Who are the Brooklyn Robot Foundry and are they the makers of our future mechanical overlords? well, not exactly. The Brooklyn Robot Foundry is:

    dedicated to providing children with opportunities to learn through hands-on, project-based learning activities. Typically, these activities center around building robots – because robots are awesome, and kids know that instinctively.”

    We agree robots are awesome and kids love robots. We love Robots! (we love them so much we already had the image above created for fun!) The Brooklyn Foundry has classes that teach kids about engineering and electronic principles. Classes are for ages 4-11 and involve designing, building, and playing with robots. Sounds pretty darn sweet if you ask us! This weekend they will be having their first class in their new space and are planning on having an opening party very soon.

    Check out there website for more details: BrooklynRobotFoundry.com



  • Your Wood Doesn’t Cut It, But There Is Hope

    Every night of the week in our kitchen we whip out our sad small piece of wood to the unapproving eyes of our significant other. Our wood is bowed and completely misshapen. Our significant other tries in vain to use it, only to be frustrated and disappointed by our woods irregular shape. When our relationship began our significant other seemed understanding, but now they are clearly unhappen. For last night they said: “I need something more…something nicer and stronger than your ridiculous old cutting board!” Sadly we took our cutting board and tossed it out, realizing that this was it… this was the end; no longer could we ignore that our cooking tool would not satisfy our kitchen desires.

    But there is hope for our culinary conundrum!

    Gowanus Furniture is now offering a two-day class where you can make your own cutting board! The first class will discuss types of cutting boards, maintenance, and the techniques of making cutting boards. It will also go over shop safety. Plus, in this class you will arrange and glue together your board. The next class will be all about sanding, adding hand holds, and applying the oil and beeswax finishing to your board. Both classes will provide a little bit of wine and some local snackage.

    This two-day class will allow you to make a personally item that you can use everyday. When you show off your new amazing wood (cutting board) people will be impressed, including your significant other.

    Cutting Board Class

    Dates: Feb 17 & 24
    Time: 7:00-10:00pm
    Place: Makeville Studio - 119 8th Street (btw 2nd & 3rd Aves), Unit 208 Price: $160 (reg $175)

    Register for the class and learn more here: Make your own custom cutting board



Gowanus, Brooklyn

The crack between two hipster neighborhoods, home to the now superfunded Canal, the flash point for the new 'Buy Local' and textile revolutions, & filled with brilliant bohemians. . . this is Gowanus & it’ll awesome your face off.

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