Last Saturday was pretty crazy - I had the Crohn's disease fundraiser/Arts Party, then the Gowanus Nite Market on the same night! And after working a day job too! If I thought about it all at once, I got freaked out, so I had to just take it one step at a time. Luckily my energy held up pretty well throughout the night and it was successful overall.
Sky Room, where the fundraiser was at, is a pretty fancy place! We were on the 34th floor I think, and the views were great. I set up my table as usual, but this event didn't have much traffic flow like comic conventions or GNM - it was about 35 people standing around talking to each other, and I only did 2 sketches. But hey, the table was free. I got to see some friends and a few people I hadn't seen in awhile - some I had met at the East Village Arts Party last summer!
The event raised over $2,000! That's a big jump for my friend Michelle's goal of $6,900 for her marathon. Only $3K left to go. I was glad I could contribute in a small way to this great cause.
I had to leave a bit early (around 9:30pm) and take a cab to the Gowanus Nite Market, already in progress.
GNM was hopping! I had just gotten there and was setting up when already someone asked me for a sketch. Off to a good start.
No time to set up my whole table, just had the comics I drew last week, my sign, and The Daily Misfortune books.
New to March's market was 2 bands. I had missed the first, Adveta, but heard Oceanographer who was awesome! I noticed that more single guys showed up just because of the bands. Previously it seemed that most guys at any kind of flea/art market are dragged there by their girlfriends.
I get the most random creative requests at GNM! A guy wanted a drawing of a school kid with a jar for a head, who was sad all the time because everyone could see inside his head and steal his ideas.
The friends on the left said I drew the right guy too good-looking. They suggested adding chest hair. I added a shaver as well. BEST SKETCH OF THE NIGHT.
Was it worth it to do 2 events in one night? Well, I hoped I'd make twice the amount of money, but made less than I would have in one event because I had to miss the prime traffic time of both events. Next time, I'll just pick the event I think will be most successful, but sometimes you have to try lots of different things because you never know. Such problems are good to have though - it means I'm getting myself "out there" more. I wonder what other good problems I'll have in the future.
Shout out to my friend Walter for going to BOTH events!
Vax Moto is a unique space for motor cyclists to work on their bikes indoors without worrying about packing up from the sidewalk by sundown. For 2 years, Justin at Vax has been building a great community of enthusiastic cyclists who help each other with projects from replacing motor parts to building vintage motorcycles from scratch. The name "Vax" is a combination of Justin's sons' names: Van & Jax. At 523 3rd Avenue, Vax Moto is just minutes away from GNM, happening tonight! Come party with us! Take the F, R, or G trains to the 4th Ave./9th St. stop, or ride your motorcycle to 61 9th St. See you there!
Walking by 718 Cyclery, you may think it's just a bike repair shop, but it's so much more. It's a place where you can buy bikes built from scratch and learn the skills to build ones yourself. The founder of 718 is very passionate about sharing his knowledge of DIY to empower bikers everywhere to become "masters" of their bikes. There's a great sense of community too - you can work with 718s team of mechanics to collaborate on your project and get as dirty as you want. Bike on over to GNM this Saturday - it's almost here!
Brooklyn Boulders is the place to get your adventure fix without ever leaving Brooklyn. They have an enormous space on 575 Degraw St. that's jam packed with action. Ever wanted to climb the Brooklyn Bridge? Now's your chance - Brooklyn Boulders has a wall shaped just like it. Love the atmosphere too - many walls are filled with beautiful colorful murals.
Today's characters are staying at the Union Hotel on 611 Degraw St. in Gowanus. The hotel's exterior pays tribute to old school factories and warehouses, while its interior boasts chic design. GNM has had many national and international visitors (as well as our awesome local crowd of course). What better way to experience the true Brooklyn scene than at Gowanus Nite Market - a place like nowhere else.
Skaters may know the main Homage Brooklyn on Bergen Street - a real skater owned and operated skate/snowboard shop. But there's another Homage in Gowanus that has an actual indoor skate park inside! Go to Homage Indoor on 615 Degraw Street for hours of skating fun. If you've never skated, no problem - they have lessons for all ages. Skate your way to Gowanus Nite Market this Saturday! And yes, we did call it a party - with awesome bands added to the mix of all GNM has to offer, you're sure to party the night away.
The Gowanus Nite Market is BACK this Saturday March 16th! For this weeks theme, I'm drawing my specialty - comics! The comics will feature different "hidden gems" of Gowanus that bring vitality to the neighborhood and make Gowanus a destination spot. Today's comic characters are at Triple Diamond Tattoo at 257 3rd Ave. When you step in, you're surrounded by a myriad of curious taxidermied animals, skulls, horns, and peacock feathers. Definitely a quirky, hip, and inspirational environment for getting an awesome tattoo. The owners, Jon Jon and Shannon, are super friendly too! They opened shop in Gowanus about 7 months ago to bring an exciting new energy to the area.
If you aren't familiar with tattoos, the comic is referencing that you shouldn't drink alcohol before getting a tattoo because it thins your blood. Be prepared: get your tattoos this week before going to Gowanus Nite Market and enjoy tons of Brooklyn Brewery beer!
Gowanus Nite Market has released the official flyer for their next event on Saturday March 16th. I'll be arriving at 10pm because I'm coming from another event (the Crohn's disease fundraiser at Sky Lounge). This time, GNM will be held at Gowanus Loft 61 9th Street, Loft C8, Brooklyn. There will also be live bands as well as DJ Chela. Also new is beer! As always, GNM is FREE. RSVP here. Hope to see you at one or both events! Oh and GNM hours are extended until 2am!
Btw I didn't design this flyer, I did another version which they'll use for the next one. But look, my name is up there!
Last week I posted about the arts event to raise funds for crohn's disease research on March 16th. I found out the next Gowanus Nite Market is ALSO the same night! Luckily there are only a few hours overlap, and GNM has been extended til 2AM. I was frazzled about this at first, because why do the only 2 events I have in March have to be the same night. But it's good that I have lots of things going on, and the more involved I get with new things, that's going to happen.
Things are coming together for the next Gowanus Nite Market in March - stay tuned. In the meantime, get your Gowanus fix at Black Mountain Wine House. The next in my Gowanus Love series, this has to be the most romantic setting yet. The best feature of Black Mountain is the fireplace - I love the coziness and campfire smell. It's a very welcome environment from the harsh windy coldness of winter. The lights are dim and walls are lined with bottles of wine. Michael, the manager, said his favorite wine is tempranillo. He also gave a little history of the venue - the building started as a pharmacy, then a bakery, an artist's gallery, and now the Wine House. Black Mountain also has a kitchen that's open until midnight, serving tapas and a variety of cheeses. Come on a Tuesday for "Fondue Tuesdays." Come on New Year's and drink out of a gigantic wine glass that's about 2 feet tall!
Black Mountain Wine House 415 Union St (between Smith St & Hoyt St), Brooklyn, NY 11231
Also, don't forget to come to this event TONIGHT where I'll be sketching:
THE NEW COLLAGE EVENT LIVE ART SHOW! Tuesday, February 19th! 7:00pm until 12:00am ***FREE ADMISSION***
At "The DL" 95 DELANCEY ST SOUTH WEST CORNER OF DELANCEY AND LUDLOW
In my quest to find nice romantic spots in Gowanus, I found Bar Tano on 3rd Ave. I was struck by the gorgeous tin walls and roof of the place (no, the tiles didn't literally fall and hit my head, but you know what I mean!). I've always loved seeing elegant tin roofs in NY - a sign the building must be about a century old. Of special note: the decorations on the top of my drawing look like little upside-down hearts! Fits the Gowanus Love theme in so many ways.
I talked with Gaston, Bar Tano's general manager, who said 4 years ago Bar Tano was one of only a few venues in Gowanus (a real trail blazer for the area). "Tano" is the nickname of the owner's uncle. The bar has Sicilian-inspired food that's affordable. Take your Valentine there for Salmone Tartare, Bucatini al Pesto, or Zuppa di Pesce. The kitchen is open late, which is awesome. Looks like the bar has a great selection of Italian wines and other spirits. Overall, Bar Tano has an old-world, classy, romantic atmosphere.
Bar Tano: 457 3rd Ave. @ 9th St. Brooklyn NY 11215
Unfortunately, this predicament just happened to my apartment.
February's Gowanus Nite Market has been cancelled due to problems with the venue (I'm learning just how hard it is to get events running smoothly in NYC!) but will resume in March. In the meantime, I'm still going to post drawings to keep the buzz going for the month of February with the theme of "Gowanus Love." Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and I went around Gowanus interviewing places that would be perfect for a romantic date. First up: Runner & Stone!
Runner & Stone is a chic cafe by day and a classy wine bar when the lights dim (although you could have wine anytime I guess!). It recently opened last December and is a very welcome addition to Gowanus. Service is great - everyone was so friendly to me! I went in the afternoon and had a delicious poppy seed cake with Earl Grey tea - yum! Be quick though, the pastries are gone by like 3 or 4pm. The layout of the space is divided into cozy little pockets of a few tables near the window, main room, downstairs, and in the hall - great for privacy on a date. They have really fancy food too, like Moroccan braised lamb breast, short rib tortolloni with lobster, and duck pastrami.
The name "Runner & Stone" refers to stones used in a traditional mill - the runner stone and base stone used to grind grain. The restaurant is a few blocks away from the site of the first tide water grist mill in NYC. The mill (as symbolized in their logo - you can see it imprinted on the bread at the bottom of my drawing) is a symbol of when food was produced locally and continues today in Runner & Stones hand-crafted food.
Runner & Stone 285 3rd Ave, Brooklyn NY 11215
Open M-Th 7:30A-10P, F 7A-11P, Sat 8A-11P, Sun 9A-4P
We had a CRAZY AMAZING turnout at last Saturday's Gowanus Nite Market - 2,000 people! That's up like a zillion % from last time, which was 400 (I estimate with math, ok?). Everyone was saying there was a line out the door that stretched to the end of the block! I'm so grateful to be a part of such a cool growing scene in Brooklyn.
As always, I loved meeting lots of people, seeing friends, and drawing for others. Thanks to everyone who came out and stopped by to talk, sign up for my mailing list, and/or get a sketch :)
I loved how all the Gowanus letters looked together! It's like a rainbow. It was funny how the church in the S looked practically upside-down :P I'm going to work with the market organizer to sell the project as a set to a local Gowanus non-profit or organization - fingers crossed.
My first commission was from an Australian girl that was traveling. She wanted me to draw anything that I felt was truly "New Yorkian." I thought of the Statue of Liberty, dancing, the Empire State Building, and the Chrysler Building.
She was really happy with it! I'm glad I could contribute in a unique way to her New York adventure.
One girl wanted me to draw from a picture she had of her and her pugs. Super cute! She also had a pic on her phone of them dressed for Easter :)
That drawing took a bit longer than usual, but I'm glad that more people want the larger sketches. I think this one takes the prize of best sketch of the night. She was super happy with the result too :) Although, I've never had a person that didn't like their sketch (knock on wood...)
Did portraits! Cranked this one out pretty quickly.
This dad wanted a drawing of his son. One of the cutest kids in the world!
People really love drawings of their dogs! As a dog lover myself, dogs are always fun to draw. One time this girl (Daria) fit her 2 HUGE dogs (Newfoundlands) into her tiny car by pushing the back seat down. Daria was actually one of the vendors sitting next to me! She's a graphic designer for The Vanity Project, which makes cool clothes for non-profits and donates 51% of net profits back to each featured organization.
I had such a fun time at this month's GNM, even though it was intense and I had very little sleep (but that's how I do most of my shows!). I was slightly more successful this time around too :) I feel like this market will blow up soon (as in, become really popular, not the other kind of blow up). This is a very exciting time for mindy indy!
TADAA! All of the letters this week form to spell GOWANUS! I want to make postcards of these :) Come out to the Gowanus Nite Market tonight, where I'll sell my comics and create custom sketches for people.
This month, GNM goes FREESTYLE. In addition to the usual rotating film industry props changing the look of the Film Biz Recycling warehouse each month, creatively designed vendor stations utilizing furnishings from the prop shop, super cool vendors and DJ Chela on the 1 and 2’s, get ready for an amazing urban art exhibit and live art show. With classic grooves spinning in the backdrop, NYC artist Marthalicia Martarita brings the stage to life as she transforms blank canvases into incredible works of art. Artists Shanieka Marson, George Stratakis, Emmanuel Toribio, and others will also be showcasing their paintings.
Admission is FREE
At Film Biz Recycling: 540 President Street, Brooklyn, New York 11215
Take any train to Atlantic Ave in Brooklyn and switch to the R one stop to Union St.
See you there!
Did you know this beautiful historic church is right here in Gowanus? I stumbled upon it while exploring - it's on the corner of Sackett and Hoyt Streets (at 433 Sackett St.) and takes up the whole block on Hoyt. Saint Agnes is more than a century old! First built in 1901, it was destroyed by a fire caused by a lightening bolt. Here's a surprisingly detailed account of the fire from the New York Times. It was rebuilt 3 years later in 1904, which is the church you still see today. According to Lost City, "it's the sole surviving creation of Thomas F. Houghton, the son-in-law of Brooklyn's most prolific church builder, Patrick Charles Keely." Saint Agnes is a Roman Catholic church, but all are welcome if you'd like to check out the inside. Take a break from that New York hustle and bustle to meditate and/or pray if you like. Sundays it's open for mass at 9AM (English) and 11:30AM (Spanish). Wednesday and Thursday daily mass is at 8:30AM in English. Saturday's mass is also English and is at 5PM (for those of us who like to sleep in :) That's the one I'll check out.
Hopefully this won't happen to you at St. Agnes, but if it does, it seems like you'll have plenty of room to move around. The church combined parishes (people who go to the churches regularly) with St. Paul nearby in 2011, due to low attendance.
When I was thinking of doing the letter U, Union Street was obvious. I took some pictures of the street signs, and there were some restaurants/cafes that had Union in their names, but then I walked across the Union Street Bridge and knew I had to draw it! This bridge is the northern most of 5 bridges that cross the Gowanus Canal. It's a "double leaf Scherzer rolling lift bascule" bridge, which means that both sides can lift up in order for boats to pass through. Look at this cute Wikipedia animation to see how the bridge works. The Union Street Bridge opened to traffic in 1905. According to NYC Dot, it cost over $85,000 to build!
PS: DO NOT jump off any bridge over the Gowanus Canal: even though those bridges are low and close to the water, the canal is very polluted, as you'd be able to tell from the smell.
Of course! I based this drawing on a picture I took from the last Gowanus Nite Market. The Market launched last month and will continue on every second Saturday in the winter months. New to the vendor list this month is Nomad (another N!), which is a soon to be launched mobile retail boutique to be based in the Tri-State area. Nomad will be a carefully curated fashion truck offering handcrafted goods and showcasing local designers. Also new is Carnelia (it has N in the middle!), who makes jewelry from recycled materials and found objects. Danamade is new too, specializing in cool & cute rings made from recycled objects too (I want ALL of them!!).
Check out these and more amazing vendors, a DJ, and live painting: NYC artist Marthalicia Martarita brings the stage to life as she transforms blank canvases into incredible works of art. Artists Shanieka Marson, George Stratakis, Emmanuel Toribio, and others will also be showcasing their paintings.
Hope to see you this Saturday January 12, 7p - midnight at GNM, located at Film Biz Recycling: 540 President Street, Brooklyn, New York 11215
This time I did a collage of lots of different businesses in Gowanus that begin with A. We have Anthony's On 4th Pizzeria, Alba Auto Repair, A&A Brake, and ABC Collision. All except A&A are on 4th Ave and are all independently owned services. Anthony's is a pretty new place that opened just last year. The owners (one of whom is named Anthony, as you guessed) wanted to share with everyone the Italian food they were raised on.
I also realized that all the other places in my picture are car repair shops. If you have a car in Brooklyn and need work done, check these out. A&A has been family owned for 4 generations - since 1944! Alba has been kicking for more than 35 years, and ABC for more than 20. Way to go, local Brooklyn businesses!
And check out this awesome article that the Park Slope Stoop wrote about my letters project!
W is for Water Tower(s)! I thought it would be easy to find water towers, because they're supposedly EVERYWHERE in Brooklyn, right? Usually towns and cities have one huge water tower for drinking water and/or fire protection in case of a power outage, but Brooklyn has smaller individual water towers on top of many buildings. Even the Gowanus Nite Market's last postcard had an image of a water tower. Sometimes when I'm walking down the street in Brooklyn I just come across them and don't think anything of it. But when I went on a hunt to take pictures of water towers, I had a heck of a time finding any! Maybe because it was night? But I eventually found this one that can be seen when you're on the Union Street Bridge in Gowanus, looking south.