A Crafty Weekend ~ Brooklyn, NYC

In Brooklyn for the 8th year, Renegade Craft Fair (RCF) set up tent by the foodie stalls of Smorgasburg and the trash ‘n treasure finds of Brooklyn Flea this weekend.

Instead of scrolling through beautiful artisan wares on one of my forever favourite websites, etsy.com, I strolled by dozens of stallfronts selling innovative handmade products… live.

Usually held at McCarren Park, this was the first time the RCF was held by the East River. With a front row water facing view of the Manhattan skyline, this *new* location is genius. Over both sun drenched days, the event attracted many summer lovin’ DIY inspired New Yorkers. Such is the appeal of Williamsburg; a dose of collaborative craftiness injects the ‘hood with excellent added-value.

An event I highly recommend, even if it’s simply for inspiration and ‘stallfront shopping,’ RCF weaves its way around the US and UK throughout the summer, and into fall.

The Renegade Craft Fair differs from traditional arts and craft fairs by focusing on DIY and indie-craft culture. Each individual fair is juried by our Chicago-based staff from hundreds of applications to purposefully feature a curated, eclectic array of young and emergent designers producing original and handmade goods in a wide variety of media.

 We feature artists creating innovative work using traditional craft methods, but not based on preexisting patterns or products.*

Take note: At the end of this post are some dates for residents, or for fortunate travel hoppers, of LAX, SFO, ORD, and LON – the fair is coming to a location near you.

Until then, enjoy these images in, and around, the fair.

Across at Smorgasburg ~ ice shaving at People’s Pops. Handmade equals hard work.

Meanwhile, along the East River waterfront…

Los Angeles and San Francisco, US

LA’s 4th Annual event will take place Saturday + Sunday, July 28 + 29 at Los Angeles State Historic Park.

SF’s 5th Annual event will take place Saturday and Sunday, July 21 + 22 at Fort Mason Center Festival Pavilion, from where you can see the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz.

Chicago, US

Chicago’s 10th Annual RCF will take place Saturday + Sunday, September 8+9, 2012. Vendors will stretch down Division St. between Damen + Paulina, in the Wicker Park neighborhood.

London, UK

The 2nd Annual Renegade Craft Fair London will be held Saturday + Sunday, September 15 + 16 at The Old Truman Brewery in Shoreditch, London’s East End.

For more info, see their site: renegadecraft.com*


The Weekend ~ Brooklyn, NY

This weekend New York City was graced with overcast skies, the rumbling of thunderstorms, humid temperatures, a little bit of a downpour, welcome breezes, and the intermittent bright rays of the sun.

Being Memorial weekend and pretty good weather for it, the crowds descended on Williamsburg to enjoy its wide open spaces, good food, and vintage shopping. I’m not sure what happened to the stalls when the rain came down at 4 on Saturday – I was indoors by then – though I’m sure the ‘burgers had a good time under it.

It’s a nice feeling, being outdoors so much during these warmer months… though I could do without the sticky humidity.

Happy day everyone!


Loaves resting in the New Warsaw Bakery.

Plush pink roses.

Brunch at Lokal on Nassau Avenue.

A red balloon.

A dreamcatcher?

Beautiful butterfly ~ a symbol of long life.

Williamsburg and neighbouring Greenpoint are a hub for industrial activity.

Remember Vans, the sneakers?

A painted reality.

Manhattan through chain link fencing.

The Cuban sandwiches and yuca fries from Cubana Social are excellent as is the coffee to go.

The neighbourhood charmer.

Lazy days.

Ice cream at Smorgasburg – the season-long Saturday food event in Williamsburg.

A hungry little dog leading the way.

Cool new architecture along the way – was this a former garage, with new apartments on top?

Plant art.

Mushroom art.

Innovative wall art at Barcade…

A close up.

Any excuse for a street party.

Any excuse for another coffee, especially at Sweetleaf Espresso Bar.

Bikes of all sizes and heights.

What can I say? It’s a rosy kinda ‘hood.

Birds on a wire.

A nod to Memorial Day.

A Letter to New York

Dear New York,

Despite a weather forecast promising sun, I still love you, even with your overcast skies and a skyline shrouded in fog.

Seen from the site of Smorgasburg in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

I love you for those ‘blink and you’ll miss him’ celeb-chef photo opportunities.

An orange croc -toting Mario Batali against the Williamsburg Bridge, at Smorgasburg in Brooklyn.

For inspiring street art and producing talent like FAILE.

Custom made FAILE tiles adorn the exterior of a studio on 7th Street in Williamsburg.

I love you for your random photo opportunities.

A restaurant in the Meatpacking District, Manhattan

I love you for the grit and glam.

The Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking District

I love you for your spirit; your ability to rejuvenate, regenerate, and breathe life into the ‘old’ to make it new again.

Along the rehabilitated High Line; a public park on a former elevated railway line.

I visited the High Line last year; I wrote about it and photographed it during the Fall with my little Sony Cybershot. You can view more about this project here: Above it all: Manhattan’s High Line | Marina Chetner.

The railroad tracks of the High Line.

I love how well you wear the colour green.

At every turn, you give the community an excuse to caffeinate.

Drip coffee and ceramic cones

I love that you make yellow cabs look cool.

You make traffic stop; you halt passersby in their tracks…

… and give others a reason to pause and reflect.

I love how you decorate scaffolding to make it interesting enough to photograph.

A paste-up for the Tate Modern

You never cease to amaze with quirky installations.

I love you for your iconic landmarks.

Most of all, I just love you for being you.

Thank you, New York. You’ve got a fan, for life.

Much love, xoxo

High Line, seen from ground level

Saturdays in Williamsburg

Fall is definitely upon us in New York, and I am enjoying it a lot more than I had thought. (Remember, this is coming from an Aussie, who grew up in two types of weather – hot and cold. Now faced with four distinct seasons, I welcome the beauty of the changing landscape, but cannot get used to the snow!) The trees are so beautiful at this time of year, with their leaves turning from green to gold to red, then orangey yellow. The chilly weather is cut with a dash of sun. The current trend on Williamsburg’s streets calls for: hats, boots (of course), army jackets, and skinny jeans.

The leaves have changed colour, and in between the branches – a bird’s nest.

Fall in North Williamsburg is really pleasant. Taxis hardly honk, crowds subside, and cool boutiques display fuzzy fashions. Also, the lines for lunch are shorter. Falls also means that there are only a few Saturdays left to enjoy Smorgasburg, an open air market made up of about 100 stalls selling food and homemade goods. Today the market was set up and bustling, serving everything from oysters to smoked short ribs. (Ok, the latter had a long line but it is comfort food after all). If you miss Smorgasburg, which ends November 19, don’t worry because the Manhattan view is always here to enjoy. Tables are available for picnics in the East River Park. Location: Kent Ave and N.6th Street. Easily accessible by the L subway (Bedford Avenue stop) or the East River Ferry from 34th Street.

Smorgasburg against Manhattan’s skyline

Bedford Avenue is usually pretty busy. Today, plenty of people were enjoying the afternoon sun with a cup of coffee or glass of wine on outdoor terraces. The sidewalk stalls are still set up too, selling their used books and vintage vinyl.

Brooklyn Industries on Bedford Avenue. This was the site of their first store ever.

Sunflowers from the local deli

Bikes, bikes, bikes

Find whatever cheese your heart desires at The Bedford Cheese Shop

And of course, I photographed more street art. Just scroll/arrow through if you stumble upon any of the other images already seen in this post. Happy Saturday! x

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