Filling a need for a local space where artists share vision as well as physical area, Brooklyn Art Space houses much of the foundational equipment artists need to create their work without being forced to rent private studios. The loft offers many work-area options to its members such as a 4,000-square-foot shared studio space, semiprivate spaces, a gallery, and a writers’ room. Each member is granted open access to equipment such as tables, easels, drying racks, and slop sinks, and can come and go as they wish 24 hours a day.
Alongside the working studio, artists teach workshops including a diverse lineup of classes that range from traditional 2-D painting and drawing courses to sewing and mixed-media projects. Reflecting the space’s commitment to fostering a community of artists, the staff also holds frequent figure-drawing sessions, gallery shows, feedback forums, and an art-talk series.
The culinary experts at Lioni Italian Heroes assemble more than 150 menu offerings, including more than 70 heroes. The shop’s sandwiches, each named after or previously spoken to by a famous Italian figure, combine Monteleone and Cammareri breads with a slew of fresh ingredients. House-made mozzarella augments heroes, and platters of sandwiches or breakfast items feed groups of up to 25 people.
Under the twinkle of a dramatic chandelier, alcohol alchemists blend top-shelf liquors into cocktails that chase bites of authentic Caribbean cuisine. Groups flirt unabashedly with their own reflections in the mirror-like sheen of the solid-oak bar while bartenders pour potables such as the whiskey-drenched three wise men, a generous blend of Jack Daniels, Jim Beam, and Old Grand-Dad. A shaken french martini with vodka, Chambord, and pineapple juice sways within its elegant stemware, whereas the mint from a classic mojito leaves mouths with a cool sensation reminiscent of reciting beat poetry. Sink into oven-roasted chicken wings dressed in spicy-jerk outerwear as they flip and dive through cool ponds of coconut-and-herb-cream sauce. The chef may also grace tables with a generous portion of jerked or fried jumbo marinated shrimp alongside bell peppers and onion with fried plantain fritters. Al fresco sippers gaze at the stars or draw new constellations that resemble beloved pet scorpions from the brick-enclosed patio dotted with contemporary metallic dining tables. Call ahead to reserve a table.
Rather than impose a fixed aesthetic on every assignment, Christopher Wells adapts to whatever look best suits his subject. A more candid, photojournalistic approach befits shots of musicians at work in the studio, and meticulous posing and compositions distinguish his images of fashion models. That dexterity has made Christopher a hot ticket in the photography world, landing him gigs covering Fashion Week and spots in numerous galleries.
He brings the same flexibility and passion to his work with private clients at Kaleidoscope Pictures Inc. Subjects range from newborns and high-school seniors to business people seeking professional headshots. Besides photography, Christopher lends clients his videography skills, creating promotional films for everything from sushi restaurants to tattoo conventions.
The big people inside The Painted Cloud are painters, woodcarvers, jewelry artists, and photographers, each with fine-arts degrees and a slew of exhibition credits to their names. They?re also consummate play-dough sculptors, ice-cube painters, pipe-cleaner twisters, and paper-mask makers. In a sunny Williamsburg studio embraced by dark-wood floors and a pressed-tin ceiling high enough for even the most expansive thought bubbles, they welcome children as young as 18 months for explorations of paint, cloth, clay, and plenty of other imagination-stoking materials. Art sessions always leave room for students to work at their own paces and choose subjects that appeal to them, helping build confidence that carries over to every aspect of a child?s life.
Since its creation in 1965, Buzz-A-Rama has hummed with the zooming melody of miniature slot cars, 1/24-scale replicas that race around turns and down straightaways at speeds ranging from 20 to 100 miles per hour. Eight at a time, these mini-racers whip around five different tracks that range from 80 to 100 feet in length, some featuring steep banks and sharp turns for an extra challenge. Owner Buzz Perri likes to say that his fast-paced racing menagerie—open on the weekends for general racing, weekdays for parties—is recommended for ages 5–95. Nothing proves his point better than the fact that past generations of racers now bring in their children and grandchildren to teach them a thing or two about leaving their blinkers on.