Friday, October 29, 2010

Brooklyn Indie Market Steampunk Day III at the Dumbo Lofts

On Sunday, October 24th, the Brooklyn Indie Market held their third annual Steampunk Day at the Dumbo Lofts from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm.  Niffer, of 19Moons, and I were thrilled to be able to participate in the event as vendors for the second year in a row.

The prior two events had been held at their weekly location, under the red and white striped tent at Smith and Union, but growing attendance numbers and inclement weather the past two years caused the need for a larger indoor venue. 

The larger venue allowed space for additional vendors as well as the addition of a Steampunk corner and salon sponsored by Tor Books and  From the opening of the event, at 11:00 am until 4:00 pm, complimentary tea and scones were offered, books were available for sale by Mobile Libris, and readings were offered by a number of interesting personalities and authors.  More information about this portion of the event, including the line up of readers and selections read can be found on

For a small fee, attendees could take home a photographic memento created for them by Tsirkus Fotografika who employ a mobile photo lab, analog film, and old-fashioned camera equipment to create photos with a vintage appeal, much like the travelling photographers of the past.

This year's vendors included:

Ami Nyitray Designs
Barker's Herbs & Heirlooms
Sole Arts
Jenny Sparrow
Ezra's Cousin
Jen Claire
Once Lost Jewelry
I'm Handmade
RockLove Jewelry
Sultana Jewelry
Nemesis Jewelry
Ingkay & Onssay Co.
Sylvia Holden
Andy's House of Design
David Brunell-Brutman

One of the most refreshing aspects of the day was the high number of attendees in street clothes mingling with those in steampunk attire.  I always enjoy seeing a wide variety of interpretations of steampunk style at events, and this was no exception.  However, those not in costume were equally welcome and for some, this may have been their first introduction to Steampunk and hopefully they'll now want to learn more about it.  For this reason, I'm especially thankful that most participants in the steampunk subculture are accepting of anyone with an interest in the genre and don't make those not dressed according to some predefined ideal feel unwelcome. 

The fashion show, presided over by the Master of Ceremonies August Wahnsinger, began at 4:00 pm and featured several designers who'd also exhibited as vendors during the day.  Following an opening performance by Lola Lola Dance Theatre the first portion featured designs by:

Artificial Intrigue
Kristin Costa
Studio Hibernacula

After a brief intermission, the second portion featured designs by:

KVO Designs
Blooms in the Night
Heartless Revival
Berit New York with hats by La China Loca

While all the designs were certainly a tribute to creativity, the spirit of steampunk, and had aspects to be admired, my personal favorites were the styles created by KVO Designs and Berit New York.  This proclamation is based on the Victorian influence clearly present in the designs, their wearability, and frankly, my own personal taste.  I truly admired several items by several of the other designers as well.  This was yet another of the events that exceeded my expectations and I'm eagerly awaiting next year's event.  Kudos to Kathy Malone from the Brooklyn Indie Market, and all those who assisted her, for putting on yet another utterly phenomenal Steampunk Day!

All of the photos I took at the event as well as those taken by others can be viewed on Flickr here.

Several members of the media attended the event this year and some of the coverage , including video of the fashion show, can be seen at the following links:  Steampunk Fashion Show Churns Out Style in Dumbo

Brooklyn Exposed: Photo Gallery of Steampunk Fashion Show: People, Designers, Merchandise

Steampunk Fashion Show Event

NY:  Steampunk Fashion Show

Time Out New York:  Steampunk Day Photos

MetroMix:  Steampunk Fashion Show 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Whirlwind Weekend in NYC

I'm finally recovered enough from my whirlwind trip to New York City to write a quick blog post about the trip.  Whenever I visit, I always come home filled with creative energy and that was especially true this time.

My friend Niffer, of 19Moons, accompanied me as we left my home outside Pittsburgh, PA to head to Nostalgia Guest House in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY on Saturday, the 23rd.  We encountered sunny days, daytime temperatures in the mid-70's, and slightly lower nightime temperatures for our trip.  We checked into our room, unpacked, changed for our evening adventures, then headed to dinner at Dao Palate on Flatbush Avenue.

After dining on delicious asian-inspired vegetarian cuisine made from fresh, local, organic ingredients, we headed to the John Fluevog shoe store.  There we tried on boots we'd been drooling over online to see how they fit, wished there would soon be a sale on the boots we liked, and took a few fun but silly pictures.  From Fluevog's we headed to Times Square to see the Gary Numan concert we had tickets to.  Emilie Autumn was scheduled to open for him and I was really looking forward to seeing her perform so I was quite disappointed when we arrived and I learned that she had cancelled.  My disappointment quickly turned to pleasant surprise, however, when we learned that Rasputina would be performing in her place.  They even played a cover of The Smiths song "How Soon is Now" which we liked even better than the original, which is not easily done.  You may be wondering which Smiths song I'm referring to, so I'll help you out - it's their song in which the predominate lyric from the chorus is "I am human and I need to be loved."  I'll bet you know which song I'm referring to now, don't you?  Following the phenomenal performance by Rasputina, Gary Numan took the stage and performed the entire Pleasure Principle album, or at least most of it.  He also performed a few new numbers, which reminded me a bit of Ministry and which I really enjoyed.

Sunday, the majority of the day was devoted to the reason for our trip - vending at the Brooklyn Indie Market's Steampunk Day on Sunday, October 24th.  My next post will include full details about the event, so please be patient.  After a fabulously successful day of vending and steamy fun, we headed back to the guest house to change our outfits, and especially our shoes (our feet were quite literally screaming their complaints at us),  then went back out in search of dinner.  The place I'd wanted to try was sadly closed, so we headed back to Dao Palate for yet another extremely delicious dinner.

Monday morning we stopped at a gluten Free artisan bakery called "Everybody Eats" and purchased some delicious multi grain artisan baguettes and other gluten free bread products directly from one of the two owners.  We'd hoped to be able to use some of the bread for our breakfast, but it's frozen so you can put it in your freezer at home and then use it at your leisure since it's preservative free.  Fortunately, Tony Bagels was just a few doors away and we were able to get breakfast there before heading to Green-Wood Cemetery.

At Green-Wood Cemetery we were greeted by the most breathtaking Gothic style gates I've ever seen.  Once we parked and got out of the car, we followed the sound of bird song to the bell tower at the gates and discovered several nests made by several lovely little green parrots, known commonly as Monk Parrots or Monk Parakeets.

We stood and watched the parrots for some time before wandering around the front part of the cemetery, enjoying the sculpture gardens, fall foliage, and a calm respite from the city.  After taking numerous photographs, with a contented sigh, and a fond farewell to our new feathered friends, we headed for home.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Zombies Invade Pittsburgh's Market Square for a Good Cause...

On 10/10/10, the It's Alive Show presented the 2010 Zombie Fest as hordes of local zombies came together to celebrate World Zombie Day.  In the past, the event has been held at the Monroeville Mall which was the main location of the original Dawn of the Dead.  Last year there were too many zombies for the mall, so Market Square has become the new home of Zombie Fest and it was wonderful to see it in downtown Pittsburgh!
These zombies used their brains to shop local.
Admission was free but zombies were asked to bring non-perishable food items for The Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank and they brought them in droves.

The day's activities included performances from live bands - The Motorpsychos, The Cheats, Icarus Witch, Del Rios, The Flying Dutchmen, and Deathmobile.  In between bands, contests such as the Zombie Olympics, a (jello) brain eating contest, an ugly pageant, and the best scream contest were held.  Throughout the day, local artists and a few small local businesses vended making the event truly a festival atmosphere.  I was fortunate to be one of these vendors and truly appreciate all those in attendance that supported me, and all the local vendors, by buying from us.  This event was a wonderful example of consumers shopping local and coming together for a good cause while having good, clean, creative, (even if it was somewhat bloody) fun. 
John Russo writer of Night of the Living Dead & George Kosana the Sheriff in Night of the Living Dead were celebrity guests in attendance and there was even a chance auction held to benefit The Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

At the end of the day, the official count was 4,590 zombies in attendance for The Walk of the Dead. This year, Pittsburgh will attempt to reclaim the Guinness world record for "Largest Gathering of Zombies" and this number should have secured the title.

10/14/10 Update:  3,489 pounds of food was collected for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank at Zombie Fest 2010.


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