Our news reporters have given you a list of the 90 people, places and things that will be generating headlines in ’09, so now it’s time for GO Brooklyn to weigh in on the nine entertainment trends that will be occupying your time over the next 12 months.
9. Small venues go big time: This year, small spaces will loom large. Gowanus’ new Bell House has already emerged as a place to see top acts, including Gordon Gano of the Violent Femmes on Jan. 29. Meanwhile, the new Jalopy Theater on Columbia Street, has already gotten on the jazz map thanks to its “delightful old-time folk feel,” said bluesman Danny Kalb, who packed the place last Saturday. And don’t forget Southpaw — which will host Harlem Shakes on Feb. 14 — Union Hall, Barbes and the Brooklyn Lyceum.
The Bell House [149 Seventh St. at Third Avenue in Gowanus, (718) 643-6510]. Jalopy [315 Columbia Street, at Woodhull Street in the Columbia Street Waterfront District, (718) 395-3214]. Southpaw [125 Fifth Ave. between Sterling and St. Johns places in Park Slope, (718) 230-0236]. Union Hall [702 Union St. at Fifth Avenue in Park Slope, (718) 638-4400]. Barbes [376 Ninth St. at Sixth Avenue in Park Slope, (718) 965-9177]. Brooklyn Lyceum [227 Fourth Ave. at President Street in Park Slope, (718) 857-4816].
8. ‘Strip’ malls: Last summer, pedestrians ruled the streets after several business districts got roadways blocked off to car traffic. This year, organizers of street parties on Montague Street and Bedford Avenue hope to be even bigger — and local businesses are arranging for a Seventh Avenue “promenade” in Park Slope, too.
7. Self-ertainment: Who can afford to pay artists and actors to entertain them in these tough times? These days, it’s all about do-it-yourself fun, like at Williamsburg’s 3rd Ward, where would-be Picassos can guzzle PBR in front of a real-life naked person at Drink ’n’ Draw every other Wednesday. Around the corner, at underground art space House of Yes, everything is DIY, from sewing lessons to acrobatics. And don’t miss Etsy Lab’s crafts night.
3rd Ward [195 Morgan Avenue, at Stagg Street in Bushwick, (718) 715-4961]. House of Yes [342 Maujer Street, between Morgan Avenue and Waterbury Street in Bushwick, no phone]. For info:www.nonsensenyc.com. Etsy Labs [325 Gold St. at Johnson Street in Downtown, (718) 855-8874].
6. Art attack: The Brooklyn Museum is quietly and consistently applauded, but the institution still needs a breakthrough year to reach the upper echelon of New York art institutions. Upcoming exhibits might be significant, but are they sensational and provocative enough to draw the crowds? In March, there’s a retrospective of Gustave Caillebotte. Who? See, that’s the problem. “He’s the third most important French impressionist behind Monet and Renoir,” said museum spokeswoman Sally Williams. In other words, he’s that forgotten crooner who rounded out the Three Tenors after Plácido Domingo and a crooner named Luciano Pavarotti.
Brooklyn Museum [200 Eastern Pkwy. at Washington Avenue in Prospect Heights, (718) 638-5000]. For a full sked, visitwww.brooklynmuseum.org.
5. The death of fun: Once, it all seemed so easy: Go to Coney Island to ride the bumper cars at Astroland, hop the free shuttle to go to the floating pool where Brooklyn Bridge Park may someday sit, or head to a concert at the McCarren Park Pool. Sadly, none of those things exist: Astroland is already gone, and the rest of Coney Island appears to be going with it; construction of most of the active recreation space at Brooklyn Bridge Park is off the table and the McCarren Park Pool is slated to become … a pool someday. Given the state of the economy, even cheap thrills will be tough to find.
4. Manhattan goes Brooklyn: Music lovers are staying tuned to the planned relocation of the Knitting Factory, a Manhattan mainstay that will open later this year on Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg. In 2009, the brains behind the Lower East Side’s Cake Shop are planning to open a branch of their tastemaking indie rock club on an otherwise rockless stretch of Prospect Park West in Windsor Terrace. And in 2009, developer Al Laboz might bring a long-awaited H&M to the Fulton Mall in Downtown.
3. Old is the new new: A handful of retro-minded entrepreneurs are bringing old-school entertainment back to Brooklyn this year. This month, Peter Shapiro and Charlie Ryan are planning to open Brooklyn Bowl — a music venue and 16-lane bowling alley that promises to merge the classic game of 10 pin with some ’09 amenities. In the Slope, reveler’s looking for old-fashioned fun are already flocking to Ocean’s 8 Sports Bar for ping pong, air hockey, and, of course, billiards.
Ocean’s 8 Sports Bar and Grill [308 Flatbush Ave. between Park and Sterling places in Park Slope, (718) 857-5555].
2. The next “it” neighborhoods: The conception of Gowanus as a rank industrial area famed only for its fetid canal will finally fade in 2009, when the neighborhood transitions into a nightlife destination. European bar and bistro Bar Tano will continue serving top-notch fare, the new Draft Barn beer hall will start drawing big crowds, the Bell House will get bigger national acts, and the new I-Beam rehearsal and performance space will give artists another reason to flock to the canal zone. And nothing says, “hip neighborhood,” like being able to claim the borough’s first Mac support store.
Bar Tano [357 Third Ave. at Ninth Street, (718) 499-3400]. Draft Barn [530 Third Ave. between 12th and 13th streets, (718) 768-0515]. I-Beam [168 Seventh St., between Second and Third avenues, no phone]. For info:www.ibeambrooklyn.com. Mac Support Store [168 Seventh St., between Second and Third avenues, (718) 312-8341].
And the number one trend in Brooklyn entertainment is:
1. Hello, value meals: There are happy hours — and then there are happy days at Brooklyn bars and restaurants this winter. Rachel’s Taqueria now offers a buy-one-get-one-free $10 dinner for diners who order combination platters on Monday nights, tacos on Tuesdays or enchiladas on Wednesdays.
Or there’s Cafe Steinhof, where the $6 goulash on Monday nights (coupled with the $3 happy hour beers from 4-7 pm) are still more popular than the NFL game of the week.
And don’t forget Cafe on Clinton. The Cobble Hill hotspot is now offering an $18, three-course meal and a $19 a bottle wine list, and a second happy hour from 9-11 pm.
This recession is sounding delicious.
Rachel’s Taqueria [408 Fifth Ave. at Seventh Street, in Park Slope (718) 788-1137]. Cafe Steinhof [422 Seventh Ave. at 14th Street in Park Slope, (718) 369-7776]. Cafe on Clinton [268 Clinton St., between Verandah Place and Warren Street, (718) 625-5908].