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Fact: Nine out every ten dishes ordered in Bushwick will come in a tortilla. We love Mexican, but how much corn can one person take? Bushwick Dream gives you the rundown on your other options for unpretentious ethnic cuisine.

If you thought that the Athom Café was the only Broadway joint catering to francophiles, you’re wrong. Close to the Kosciuszko J stop you’ll find Abidjan, a restaurant whose whose colorful and patriotic awning promises “Bon Manger le Bon Gout” or, Good Food, Good Taste. (Doesn’t everything sound better in French?)
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by:Jeniece  posted by:Jeniece  filed:Neighborhood  08-31-11


So there you are in the only bodega on your block, and they don't speak a lick of English.  What's a hipster to do?  HOW AM I GOING TO ASK IF THEY CAN MAKE THE CUBANO SANDWICH VEGAN???  Well, here at The Bushwick Dream we have taken the time to tackle such burning questions.



1)  Which delivery service do you use?

¿Qual servicio de distribución se utiliza?


2)  I don't believe in Jesus...... but I believe in Kafka.

No creo en Dios...... pero creo en Kafka.


3)  Do you know where I can get a room with lots of natural light and high ceilings for $600?

¿Sabes donde puedo consigir un cuarto con mucho luz natural y con un techo alta para $600?


4)  Is there a yoga studio around here somewhere?

¿Ay un estudio de yoga por aqui?


5)  It's vintage.

Es antiguo.



by:angry dan  posted by:angry dan  filed:Insights  08-29-11


Because you can't read 'em all, we bring you the best

In third place:


The people who live in the apt. above me are screaming and throwing things and I think it's all over who gets to use the microwave #bushwick


In second place:


Ok this is the third time I sat on the M and smelled weed,.  Oh Bushwick, you're silly.


And in first place and the winnah of the best tweet of the week is....


Co-worker:  I used to live in Brooklyn,

Me:  What part??

Co-worker:  East Williamsburg.

Me:  Bitch you mean Bushwick.

by:emily  posted by:angry dan  filed:Insights  08-29-11


This morning the residents of Jefferson St. between Irving and Knickerbocker woke up to a monumental surprise. Crowning the tops of four buildings (spanning 100 ft) bold black letters proclaim "You'r in my hood now!" Take note.

by:real dan  posted by:real dan  filed:Art & Culture  08-25-11


by Becki Fuller


Recently, we at the Bushwick Dream were gathered on our usual rooftop talking about upcoming posts, and one of the Dans asked, “Did you see that new mural on Vandervoort?” (the city block that is becoming the Bushwick Art Park, next to art gallery Factory Fresh). Artist Veng of Robots Will Kill had painted the wall with characters for Bushwick Open Studios in June. 

“Now it says, In The Dream, and it’s huge,” Dan said. I passed by on my way home to check it out, and my first thought was, how had I not seen it? The mural comprises 25-foot-high letters that spell out In The Dream spanning the length of the block, 200 or more feet. And that key word dream is obviously close to our Bushwick Dream hearts. Painted inside the letters are scenes of urban life--people, street signs, graffiti--that are a natural fit for Bushwick. After the words there is an icon resembling a sunburst, a URL (inthedream.org), and three names: Voke. Stain. Mode. I contacted Chris Stain and asked him if he’d tell me the story behind the mural.  
He lives close to Bushwick, so we met for tacos at El Fogon on Flushing Avenue--a location that reminded me to ask him about another mural--on the side of the restaurant. That mural, about two years old but only recently tagged over, was a collaboration between Chris Stain and Billy Mode. The two have been friends for more than 20 years; both grew up in Baltimore. Stain had proposed the mural, which features kids and the word esperanza (Spanish for hope) to the owner of El Fogon, who gave his consent. 
Unfortunately, however, access to the wall was blocked by a locked gate that was in place to keep people out of the empty lot next door. As Stain and Mode started painting, a man spotted them from his window and began to harass the pair, threatening to call the lot’s owner, and the police. So even with consent, sometimes there are problems, Stain lamented. “Some people hate public art. But then, some of it is downright ugly.” 
Chris Stain, father of two, speaks with the maturity of someone who was once that young graff junkie who just wanted to make a name for himself, but then did so, and got the chance to make some decisions about what to do next. And what he does, a lot, is paint walls. “And if I can do it legally, I will,” he says. A few days after our meeting I went to a party in Williamsburg, and that roof featured yet another big outdoor Stain-Mode collaboration, “Cries of the Ghetto,” with characters rendered in the style of social realism and also unmistakably Stain’s. He depicts blue-collar subjects and urban environments in a way that reveals reverence for his working-class characters as well as for the past. 
Chris Stain lives in New York and collaborates with Baltimore-based Mode sometimes, but more than a decade had passed since either had seen former third musketeer Pat (Voke), who’d moved west. In fact, the three friends, who’d painted together as long ago as 1989, had lost track of each other until this March. When chance put them in touch again, Stain arranged a reunion and got permission for the Bushwick wall; Voke’s NY visit became part of “In The Dream’s Summer Tour.” So far, the trio has painted the Vandevoort mural and another project in Albany.
When I asked what In The Dream means, Stain explained that the three are resurrecting a name they used to paint under, in the ‘90s. Back then, In The Dream was shorthand to describe the painting experience itself. “Working outside, at night, painting, expressing your creativity, that is the dream,” he said. There’s something surreal about painting outside at night, “so while you’re doing it, you’re in the dream.” 
On the site set up to document In The Dream’s projects (current, past and future), Stain calls creating the mural using a projector and paint sprayers “cheating.” But if they hadn’t, those 5,000 square feet might still be unfinished. The three men spent five long nights at work on the wall. 
I found myself imagining how mystical and meaningful it must have felt to them, to work together again in their bliss, their collective dream, after so much time apart. Stain says the experience was powerful for him, and that all three are reenergized and looking forward to future projects together. The mural seems to be a reflection of and monument to their friendship, to friendship. And yet, soon it will be gone forever. 
Through his artwork, whether it’s for gallery shows or prints or commissions or outdoor space, Stain says he’s “just trying to tell a story with pictures.” But this story, in particular, was a very personal one. You can’t give your heart and soul and a week of your life to a project that probably won’t even exist a month from now. Can you? 
I find myself wishing the mural would live out a long, happy life with us here in Bushwick. But on practicing non-attachment, Chris Stain is way ahead of me, already thinking about the commission he will be finishing over the next few days. 
“Everything is temporary, and everybody wants it not to be that way. Even the emotion that goes into the art is temporary.” Behind these words, I think, lies the reason why creating feels so dreamlike. 
More Chris Stain: His work is included in Brooklyn Street Art’s Los Angeles show, “Street Art Saved My Life.” He’s participating in Living Walls in Albany in September 2011. The Living Walls project started in Atlanta last year. Its mission is to promote art and culture by creating murals on wall space donated by business owners and other community stakeholders. Chris Stain is also the author of a book coming soon from Drago Publishing, Long Story Short, that offers a zine-style look at his life and art. 
Images: Courtesy of and copyright Becki Fuller/The Street Spot, and The Bushwick Dream. Becki posted additional photos and coverage of this mural project here



by:robin  posted by:robin  filed:People  08-25-11



How close do you dare to get to strangers? Can you create a new persona at a moment’s notice? Are you comfortable confronting people that you don’t really know? These and other such probing questions are at the heart of Ellen Letcher and Kevin Regan’s latest experiment: a revival the 1970s phenomenon known as the encounter group.

The duo behind the Famous Accountants gallery are hosting encounter groups from August 18th to August 22nd at NURTUREArt on Grand Street. Anyone can sign up to participate in a two-hour slot. 

They call their experiment More Joy, referring to a book written by Will Schutz in 1967. Schutz was a strong proponent of the encounter group during his time at Esalen, the famous human potential institute in California. In developing his techniques, Schutz modified and built on methods that were actually developed by the U.S. Navy in 1947 for the purpose of molding its members into cohesive teams.

As Kevin explained before taking me through an intensive preview, encounter groups are “...a weird, freaky little artifact from the 1970s. People don’t do stuff like this now, do they?” 

They certainly don’t. The two-hour session combined a lot of thought-provoking exercises with a good dose of the physical. While it was tiring at times, it also seemed to make a space for new personal insights into myself and my co-participants. At the end there was the unmistakable feel of new bonds being built. More Joy, indeed.


by:Jeniece  posted by:Jeniece  filed:Art & Culture  08-18-11


A stranger is just a friend that you haven’t met yet. Bushwick Dream puts random people on the spot. This time: Jack H., and found at Goodbye Blue Mondays, hailing originally from Brooklyn, NY



Why are you here?

I'm playing a show, actually, my band......Proxima Control


What are the borders of Bushwick, in your opinion?

What are the borders of Bushwick?  Does Williamsburg count as a border? 


What's your weapon of choice?

Oh man..... spiked brass knuckles!


by:angry dan  posted by:angry dan  filed:People  08-18-11



    Once in a while you walk into an art gallery in Bushwick and see something you really like.  Then there are those times when you walk into a room and see a well-hung piece and say to yourself, "Jesus-Mother-Loving-Christ...... That's fucking awesome." 

    Recently I had the pleasure of this reaction courtesy of a gentleman going by Criminy Johnson (also "QRST") during Bushwick Open Studios as part of Curbs and Stoops' Stay Gold exhibition.  His artwork usually teeters on the edge somewhere between creepy and lovable, or, surreal and familiar.  I felt it was my duty to gain some access to his psyche and post what I learned for all to read here at The Bushwick Dream.




The Bushwick Dream:  How did you come up with "QRST" and how the hell am I supposed to pronounce it?

QRST:  It's a secret. it's pronounced either "QRST" or "qrst," both are acceptable. (ha)


TBD:  I love the way you illustrate peoples' faces...... I especially like the giant eyes and deep glares that come from your characters.  What is your inspiration for such massive eyes and expressiveness?

QRST:  Eyes and eye contact and direction of gaze are obviously really expressive parts of faces, and so it feels natural to exaggerate or intensify those aspects of figures. Also I've always just enjoyed rendering eyes and they usually just feel like they should be big... it sometimes seems like making large intense eyes makes an entire piece so strong that it's almost like cheating. When I was painting more animals than people, the eyes ended up really large and dark, and I think some of that carried over to the people that I've been making recently. I could ramble on about eye contact and animal behavior and art history but i think that it would be a boring read.


TBD:  How long do you nomally spend on any particular piece?  What's the longest and shortest?

QRST:  For outside pieces the big ones generally take around 30 or 40 hours. The really little guys i can usually make in an hour or two. The most time-consuming outside piece was probably the two guys with the trains and I think that ran into 60+ hours.


TBD:  They just covered up the "Man with Glasses - Rat Feet - With a Kitty" piece you did.  How do you feel when someone covers your artwork?  Does it piss you off more when it's covered with a flat color as opposed to another artist tagging over it? 

QRST:  Ugh!  I try not to be overly disappointed when something gets destroyed or painted over, but if they have a really short run and something was up in a good spot where it was going to last, it's a little tougher to take. Really, though, I'm glueing them to a wall, outside, they're not going to last forever. I don't know which is worse, tagged or buffed, neither is worth getting angry about, though. I also had the advantage of beginning my wheat-pasting life in San Francisco, where a really solid run was two or three weeks, so on a certain level I'm always just glad to see it still there the next day when I show up to take more pictures.


TBD:  Have you ever covered someone's work over on purpose or out of spite, you know, just because you hate that fucker?

QRST:  No, I usually try to be pretty polite. Besides, my guys take too long to make to get into a contest with someone, because I won't win.



TBD:    If you weren't doing street art and paintings and such what would you be doing?

QRST:  Uhmmm.... watching cartoons.... astrophysics.... I don't know. Probably something strange.


TBD:  Why did you choose Bushwick?  Are you gonna stick around for a while or you looking to grab your bindle and hit the tracks?

QRST:  My friend and I were just looking for lofty live/work kind of places when we arrived in New York, and Morgan/Jefferson seemed to be relatively affordable and not overly dangerous, so it just kind of happened that way. I like my newest landlord and I don't have any plans to leave so...



TBD:  What's next on your immediate agenda?  Any exciting new plans we should be looking forward to?

QRST:  I'm going to put something up in the LES when I get back into town with some other folks (General Howe, Quel Beast, Bishop203, Laura Meyers, some others I'm forgetting). Joe [Franquinha],  the guy who puts together Crest Fest every year, has this backyard timeshare project going on... I guess someone's turning a vacant lot on Ludlow into a rentable yard, and he's getting a bunch of people to put up work. Unfortunately both my piece and I are going to miss the opening. Nothing concrete beyond that. Painting as much as I can.


TBD:  If you could meet one artist living or dead who would it be and why?

QRST:  I can't think of a good answer for this question. Anyone worth using a magic interview wish to meet would end up being a disappointment, right? I'm going to wish for cookies, or for next winter to be less terrible.



TBD:  Did you have fun with us at Pearl's the other night?  I can't remember a lot of it.

QRST:  Yes, I hadn't been there before...... and me neither.


Photos courtesy Criminy Johnson.
by:angry dan  posted by:angry dan  filed:People  08-16-11


Our newest installment!!!  Beacause you can't read 'em all, I've decided to bring you the best Bushwick tweets of the week....


In third place.....


Bushwick smells like fish


In second place.....


Watching #mysocalledlife for fasion tips.  I'm going to be the coolest kid in Bushwick.


And in first place and the winnah of the best tweet of the week is.....


#overheard in my local grocery store in #bushwick "Dad, this grocery store sucks!  They don't even have vegan cheese!"#bkgirlproblems


by:angry dan  posted by:emily  filed:Insights  08-14-11


The quiet streets surrounding the Halsey Street L can sometimes seem a bit too quiet. Once you pass the gigantic supermarket on Wyckoff and Putnam the shops start to thin out, the passersby seem to disappear and you might find yourself on the sidewalk alone.

Disoriented by the sudden drop in noise pollution and foot traffic, you might seek refuge under the trees of lovely Weirfield Street. Walking along you might come upon a little brick building set against a giant, darkened lot, full of small mountains and machinery that looks like it dates from the Gold Rush. You’ll have one of those all strange, “Wait, a minute, am I still in New York?”-moments as you come face-to-face with the home base of Bushwick’s own Coal King.
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by:Jeniece  posted by:real dan  filed:Neighborhood  08-11-11



So there you are in the only bodega on your block, and they don't speak a lick of English.  What's a hipster to do?  HOW AM I GOING TO ASK IF THEY CAN MAKE THE CUBANO SANDWICH VEGAN???  Well, here at The Bushwick Dream we have taken the time to tackle such burning questions.


1)  I desgined it myself. 

Lo diseñé yo mismo


2)  Is this vegan?

¿Esto es vegano?


3)  I'm looking for a roommate.

Estoy buscando un nuevo compañero


4)  Do you have loosies?

Tiene usted un frajo?


5)  Can I get my beard trimmed?

Puedo recortar mi barba?

by:angry dan  posted by:angry dan  filed:Insights  08-08-11



A curious little shop opened just three days ago at 300 Knickerbocker Avenue. It’s called Second Time Around, and it’s a geek-tweaked mash-up of old and new. Old comic books share the space with jars of “addictive” artisanal salsa, a Cabbage Patch Kid smiles nervously behind a G.I. Joe thermos, and a carefully curated rack of secondhand T-shirts looms over neatly arranged piles of baby clothes. And all over the green and red walls are the riotous, graffiti-like paintings of Bizzid, the camera-shy proprietor.

Bizzid is a long-time Ridgewood resident who opened the shop as a way to supplement his artist’s income. He sells his own work at accessible prices and eventually hopes to carry affordable pieces by other artists. While the shop also carries some general housewares, its collection best reflects Bizzid’s love of cartoons, toys, comics and other things that are “quirky, weird or interesting” and always unique. “It’s almost like this shit seems to find me. People are always giving me strange things.”

The shop’s eclectic mix seems to me ill-served by its pedestrian name. That is, until Bizzid explains that ‘Second Time Around’ was also the name of the antiques shop owned by April O’Neil, the loyal friend of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Ah, now I get it.   

by:Jeniece  posted by:Jeniece  filed:Neighborhood  08-03-11


all content is property of The Bushwick Dream unless otherwise stated
Glen Friedel: Artist, Bushwick resident, one hell of a guy.

Chris Stain: In the Dream

Bushwick Artist Feature: QRST

Shepard Fairey: It's not street art in a museum, you fucking moron!.

Matt Silver Wants to Open Your Love Portal

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