Brooklyn Spaces Bike Tours, founded by Oriana Leckert and Jonah Levy, had a test run of sorts this past few months, Oct 22, wherein they attempted to add a more local flavor to the standard trope of a bicycle tour in the city with the hope to return in the warmer weather. I had the privilege of joining this initial run as a photographer, recording the various art locales shown us while trying my hardest not to crash into everything.
Navigating sparse city traffic early in the morning brought us to the first stop of the tour, Twig's Terrariums; a art boutique shop run by Michelle Inciarrano and Katy Maslow where the creation of 'terrariums', miniature enclosed floral landscapes are grown and molded for folks wanting something more visual worthy than some cacti to adorn their home. The organic art pieces have been so successful that several have found homes in high-profile actor's residences, like Kevin Bacon and Jack Nicholson, (though his maid apparently let his die).
Immediately afterwards , just a few blocks away was Brooklyn Superhero Supply, a store geared 100% towards the comic nerd inside us all. The shelves stay stocked with every hi-tech gadget and shady chemical you can imagine, even a cape-posing station for practicing your heroic stance.
Of course no proper superhero locale is complete without a secret bookcase, behind which is offered writing classes for youth along with a yearly publishing of their work for sale in the store.
The the whimsical way of superheros is balanced by the Morbid Anantomy Museum, the next stop of the tour, focusing on anatomical displays of corpses, diseases and other grotesque imagery and sculptures.
And the humor was not lost me wherein the museum was the only stop on the tour that had a full food/coffee counter, which I suppose is more a testament to people's iron stomachs then convenience. Regardless, if the squeamish nature of seeing detailed stages of birth and the death masks of old sparks intrigue then its somewhere I would definitely write down on your to-do list.
Then quickly off to Serett Ironworks, one of the most infamous iron art facility of New York and also home to Gowanus Ballroom.
A custom metal fabrication studio dealing with clientele around NYC and beyond, it operates both commercially as well a long standing residential area for numerous sculpture artists with a fully-equipped warehouse.
After we dodged molten lead and home-made submarines, it was off to the golden coastline of Brooklyn to catch the seaside spectacle of Hot Wood Studios.
Hot Wood is a arts collective that offers one-year residency leases to artists, with the intent for work to constantly to be created and show-cased to visitors throughout the year.
Then it was time for a sunset picnic by the water with vegan pumpkin bread and tea. Which I was surprised by their quality, my fears of tasteless health food and bland vegetarian diets are slowly being washed away in delicious exceptions to the rule.
And then was the main event, our final stop between dodging cars and angry pigeons was Pioneer Works, one of the premiere art event sites for the last whenever it existed in time till now.
Half exhiibition area, half concert venue, half research site and half radio station, Pioneer has multiple segments built into it as its own artist's grotto in industrial Brooklyn.
The biggest surprise I found happily, was the vested research into technological artwork. Format No.1 is a real-time program able to translate black and white shapes into audio tones by Louise Foo, changing the pitch, octave and sound based on the density and shape of black value in the world, even accounting for their 3D spatial location, affected by how close or above/below you are the black object.
To see more information on these places, you can follow the links here below;
Twig Terrariums: twigterrariums.com
Morbid Anatomy Museum: morbidanatomymuseum.org
Hot Wood Arts: hotwoodarts.com
Pioneer Works: pioneerworks.org
And the provider of our delicious snacks: Trough Catering troughcatering.com
And Brooklyn Spaces, for more on tours and other events; http://brooklyn-spaces.com/