Monday, June 7, 2010

Touring Bushwick

By Tony Adams

We took the L out to Bushwick for "Open Studio" weekend.

Most of the art was terrifically bad although a bit of it was refreshingly curious. You'll see that after the break.

Bushwick was more or less sacked during the 1977 Blackout rioting. No one has bothered to repair it, although a bit of it is lively. Given its scale and affordability, I think it should become a gay ghetto. Unfortunately, because we are now assimilated, gay gentrifiers have little of the old zeal for pioneering and renovating neighborhoods, and so Bushwick languishes.

We had a fine brunch at a restaurant called Roberta's that we never would have entered had not some locals recommended it. Photos of its delectibles and decor after the break.

Some of the art to follow is NSFW but it is counterbalanced by front yard shrines to Mary.

Before looking at the atrocious and juvenile art, we had a fine brunch at Roberta's.

They have an industrially large bowl of flour on the counter of the open kitchen and they are serious about their breads, pizzas and biscuits. I didn't like the fact that my biscuit arrived with a minute dash of the promised honey butter. Enough for only the first bite. Perhaps the rampant virus causing bee hive collapse is to blame but I suspect someone didn't make a large enough batch for the weekend and therefore the servings were Oliver Twist Workhouse stingy. The biscuit itself was perfect.

The Baad Lamb and I designed pizzas, his with olives, speck, gorgonzola and red pepper. Mine with taleggio, speck and red peppers. The basic pizza rosso comes with ample garlic and some extremely aromatic oregano. The Baad's pizza was the better creation but they were both excellently prepared.

We also tried Roberta's house Bloody Mary, the Hari Kiri, which is made with sake. Not bad. I like a little more zing in my Marys. Bushwick is full of Marys.

Fortified, we saw some art. A fellow named Sam Simon with bedazzled glasses is obsessed with stylized cupcakes and peanuts. He pointed out to me his identical way of painting skunk dodo and the swirled frosting on the cupcakes. We allowed ourselves to be Simonized.

We also entered a truck parked in front of one of the old factories converted to artist studios. Here we inspected Brent Owens' Ghost Smut series. These were enjoyable. I feel that Mr. Owens and Mr. Simon could become lovers.

On Bushwick's main street, Knickerbocker Avenue, we came across a pay phone used for divine dialing by at least two parties who left commentary in black and white. I used it to speak briefly with Mary who bemoaned the death of the Renaissance and stated her preference for shrine weatherization using real glass rather than scratchy and cloudy plexiglass. Her clarity of vision is more important than prudent riot deflection

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