FluentBrooklyn Offering Workshops, New Classes, and a Trip to Paris

The popular foreign language courses previously known as Sam Teaches French have taken on a new name, location, and offerings, giving Williamsburg residents no excuse to brush up on or learn another language. FluentBrooklyn is located at the corner of Ainslie St. and Manhattan Ave., and teaches classes in French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic and German.

Business is booming after Sam Maher & co. expanded the studio space, increased the number of languages offered, brought on additional instructors and ran a successful promotion on LivingSocial last month. There’s also a location in Manhattan – appropriately named FluentManhattan.

Starting in May and June, FluentBrooklyn will be hosting language and cultural workshops related to each of the languages offered at the studio. Topics ranging from Italian cuisine, to Spanish slang, French beer and Italian-American immigration here in Williamsburg will be covered in these two-hour sessions, for $35 a person.

A group trip to Paris is also scheduled for July.

For more information, visit FluentBrooklyn on Facebook or Twitter, or click here to enroll.

Thom Yorke Dancing to “Single Ladies”

Happy Friday, everyone!

Wild Nothing at Bowery Ballroom

Wild NothingWhile many music fans were glued to their couches on Sunday night watching the coolest-in-a-long-time Grammy Awards broadcast, a sold-out crowd filled the Bowery Ballroom to see MINKS, Abe Vigoda, and primarily, Wild Nothing.

L.A.’s Abe Vigoda hit the stage around 10pm, playing enthusiastically and graciously. Their live set demonstrated how the band’s sound has developed over the past few years – going from what was more of a noisey punk blend on 2008’s Skeleton to what now includes of a dancey sensibility on their more recent songs.

The appropriate pre-Valentines vibe offered by a Wild Nothing concert was answered by their dreamy set. Jack Tatum & co. played most of last year’s debut album, Gemini, including favorites like “My Angel Lonely” and “Live in Dreams.” Wild Nothing’s live shows are mellow, and Tatum remains shy on stage, but the performances offer new depth to the gentleness of their recordings – something that helped to generate tons of buzz for the band during CMJ 2010. A very rich and developed version of “The Witching Hour,” as well as a Primal Scream cover helped to impress the shoegazey audience, who left satisfied knowing that the band will likely be very indie-famous sooner or later.

PS22 Chorus Covers Ariel Pink

The adorable children’s chorus at PS22 in Staten Island is at it again, this time with an awesome cover of “Round and Round,” from Ariel Pink’s Haunted Grafitti. The only missing element here might be more boys in sequins, dresses and sunglasses… but hey, it still works pretty well. Why weren’t our elementary school music classes this cool?

Alexa Chung's Willy B Insights

Style.com trotted around the neighborhood recently with British model/VJ/personality Alexa Chung, and produced a cutesy video in which she proclaims her love for Brooklyn and her perspective on the differences in culture and style between London, Manhattan and Brooklyn:

Is he in MGMT? Isn’t he in MGMT? That’s the kind of shit that goes down in Brooklyn.

Indeed (?). But hey-lloooo Bird, Amarcord and Goods!

Tame Impala – 'Lucidity'

Watch this video from Australia’s Tame Impala and try to not feel sick – we dare you! The footage was filmed using weather balloons to launch a camera into space, in a single shot.

Tomorrow Night: HallowMeme at The Gutter

Fans of Antoine Dodson and Double Rainbow, prepare yourselves for awesomeness — Urlesque.com and Know Your Meme are throwing the 2nd annual HallowMeme party on Friday night at The Gutter.

Beginning at 8pm, the back room space at the bar will get filled up with drink tickets, party people and internet-themed costumes. What’s an internet-themed costume, you say? Check out Urlesque’s power rankings or last year’s gallery for ideas.

HallowMeme 2 will include a costume contest, giveaways and prizes, a photo booth, live performances and more. (And lots of free drink tickets!)

If you can’t make it to the party, but are still planning on dressing up as your favorite meme-tastic/viral sensation of the year, Urlesque wants to know about it. Submit a photo of your costume before midnight on Monday night (November 1st) for your chance to be included in their reader poll for Best Internet-Themed Halloween Costume of 2010.

The Gutter
200 N. 14th, between Berry and Whythe
*First 200 people to arrive get free drink tickets*

Brooklyn Winery Set to Open This Friday

Brooklyn Winery

(photo c/o Kevin Hayden)

The old Supreme Trading space has taken on a new purpose this year, and Brooklyn Winery will be open on October 22 — so that New Yorkers can learn the winemaking process from grape to bottle.

Brooklyn Winery’s packages range from $300 to participate with a “community barrel” (which comes out to 24 bottles of wine per person) all the way up to $5,700 for a full barrel of wine (which will generate 300 bottles of wine when the process is complete). Owner Brian Levanthal explains that “customers really get to craft their wine at the facility,” with the help of an expert winemaker.

And no, you can’t just sign up to make one or two bottles! “It’s a commitment. The process takes about a year,” says Levanthal. As such, costs at the winery include everything: the grapes, storage, access to the equipment, the sessions, the wine bottles, customized labels and more throughout the year.

[Read more…]