It was a lucky day when our paths crossed with the legendary Red Hook photographer, Craig LaCourt, and luckier still was the fact he signed on to shoot every guest we’ve had on our podcast, Radio On the Real. But if you’ve ever taken a look at any of Craig’s work, then you know that luck has nothing to do with the incredible portraits Craig creates. The man is a truly amazing talent. And luck was also in short supply recently on a snowy evening in Detroit when thieves broke into his car and stole over $20,000 of Craig’s precious cameras, lenses and lights. All the equipment that he uses to take his incredible photos…gone. If there’s a silver lining, they didn’t get their scummy mitts on any of the drives containing his life’s work.
Red Hook, a community that takes care of its own, has rallied around Craig LaCourt and his family and have put together an evening of music, food, and photography Thursday, February 27th from 7PM until the lights go down at one of Brooklyn’s hottest new restaurants, Hometown Bar-B-Que. Let’s all rally together to help this amazing family get back on their feet and Craig continue his work. “THIS TOWN: Portraits of Red Hook” will showcase a selection of Craig’s work for sale chronicling the changing face of his neighborhood and the residents—both long term and newly arrived—who make up the fabric of this tiny village within our incredible city.The event will also feature a live performance by Josh Flagg, DJ Spencer Bewley will be spinning, and there will be a raffle with chances to win numerous prizes, including original photography and portrait services by Craig. Every print in the show is available for $50 or you can custom order prints in any size for a price that fits your budget all the way up to massive larger-than-life prints for $750. If every picture tells a story, then Craig LaCourt is one of the very best storytellers around. Come join us and show your support. It’s going to be a great night!
In our first ever completely naked and mostly tattooed Radio on the Real, music and ramen impresario Jordy Trachtenberg spends a chuckle-filled hour with us covering everything from growing up in a small town in rural Pennsylvania to making it his mission to stop The Poo Bandit of St. Mark’s Place from crapping on his stoop to the future of the music business. When Jordy walked in to the studio, we were frankly wondering if he was going to kick our asses. He’s a big dude with a Paul Bunyan beard and a web of tats covering most of his body. He looks like he belongs in the Hell’s Angel’s headquarters on East 3rd Street rather than a recording studio on Spring Street chatting with a couple of dads. But as we got into it, Jordy proved to be a complete sweetheart with a deep knowledge and passion for our town’s music scene, the digital revolution, street art and where to get the best underground ramen. Since the interview and photo shoot, we have stayed in touch with Jordy and his friendship has added a welcome addition to the fabric of our lives. Have a listen to this one, folks. It’s a good one!
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And we have to give a special shout out to our amazingly talented Craig LaCourt for creating these two very different and utterly fantastic portraits of Sir Trachtenberg in his Red Hook photo studio. The rats made Jordy so nervous that he downed an entire skull of Kah Tequila….with a little help, of course!
It’s cold. It’s snowy. The troops are antsy. The ages old question arises, “What do you want to do today?” Well, you could go… bowling? Sure, bowling, why not? But trouble is, Brooklyn Bowl is a shitshow. So is Bowlmor on University and those lanes near the West Side Highway. Time to dig a little deeper. Consider Sunset Park. Only 28 minutes from Union Square on the N train. There’s a fantastic bowling alley there called Melody Lanes and its retro as hell, but not by design.More like one of those ancient mosquitos trapped in amber, in the best sense of prehistory. It reminded me of the suburban birthday party bowling alleys of my youth, just without the square pizza. If you’re a stickler for details, I suppose you could BYOSP. And apparently there’s a legendary bar scene at night there, although we went at 11am with the kids so sadly the bar wasn’t open. But I’d go back at night, sure, why not? Because bowling is one of those games that is wholesome with the family, but also favors the drunk athlete of the evening. $9 per person, per game. Not bad. So next time you’re down for bowling but prefer a hipster free experience, make it Melody Lanes. Tell them On the Real sent you.
Portrait of Amy Sohn at al di la Trattoria in Park Slope by the incomparable Craig LaCourt.
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When we booked Amy Sohn to come on Radio On The Real, we had no idea what to expect. Here is a writer who has spent the last 20 years giving us a weekly (sometimes less) blow-by-blow of her mating, dating and breeding life. She’s got four novels published with Simon & Schuster and another one called The Actress set to come out next summer. Two movies. A TV show. Some pilots. She’s written for Playboy, The New York Times, Men’s Journal, The Nation, The New York Post and Harper’s Bazaar to name a few. And she royally pissed of half of her borough (that would be Brooklyn) with a satirical piece she wrote for The Awl called The 40-Year-Old Reversion. In it, she details the monthly antics of a group of Park Slope and Carroll Gardens moms who dub themselves Hookers, Sluts and Drug Addicts. It’s a romp of a read, but maybe hit too close to home for one too many. What we found in Amy was a quick, brutally honest and candid woman who isn’t afraid to talk about mean girls, relationships, the blur between life and art and why marriage is hard work. She managed to flip the script on us a couple of times and we all managed to laugh our asses off over a fantastic bottle of Rioja. So, download this one and let it act as your Xanax for your Thanksgiving traffic jam or flight delay. Ladies and Gentlemen, we give you Amy Sohn…unedited.
For today’s edition of the Street Name Game, we’re going to zero in on Delancey Street. Delancey Street was named after the patrician Loyalist and acting colonial governor of New York in the 1750s, James DeLancey. DeLancey was born into a rich landowning family who had the good fortune to own a sprawling farm downtown which stretched all the way from the East River to the Hudson. The pride and joy of the DeLancey farm was a spectacular cherry orchard, which was located on the site of present day Orchard Street.Suffice it to say, old DeLancey chose sides poorly (spoiler alert: the British lose the War for American Independence) and so after the redcoats were sent packing the farm was forcibly confiscated and divided up among smaller (and decidedly not British sympathizing) landowners. Presumably his prize cherry trees were plowed under, seeing as how the last time I was on Orchard Street there were none to be found. Today all that remains of the legendary DeLancey cherries can be found on the uptown side of the F train subway platform in the form of several beautiful mosaics.
A sexy little machine has been catching my eye on East 6th Street for the past few mornings on my way to work. She’s black and sassy with incredibly spicy and petite curves. Her top’s on now, but comes off easily when it’s warm. And as fast as she looks, she’s kind of slow by today’s standards. That’s okay because she’s almost a half a century old. She’s a 1969 Triumph Spitfire. A bad-ass little snake of a drop-top built two generations ago in Coventry, England. And bad-ass she was…for the late ‘60’s. Made for swingers, she got to 60 in 13 ½ seconds and topped out at 95 mph. Her voluptuous rack-and-pinion steering let her turn a tight 24 foot circle and her deep cushiony cockpit made her the easiest and most comfortable little dame to drive around town as hard as you could. And at $2,199, a Triumph Spitfire could be purring lustily in your driveway for the about the same price as a MacBook Pro and an internet connection today. Suck it, Craigslist! You’ve got nothin’ on this bird. Dig?