while streb is officially a dance troupe, their work seems to focus on what some call “aggressive physicality” where the dancers — or maybe really they should be called acrobats — take on a lot of risks to perform actions that maybe the normal human just wouldn’t tackle. although i have not yet seen them (they are on my list), based on the reviews i’ve read, the choreographer behind streb, elizabeth streb focuses on pushing everyone beyond their limits in a way that can be discomfiting for the audience but is also inspiring. their most recent show, catapult, which is being performed at a large space in williamsburg referred to as the “slab” or the streb lab for action mechanics (slab), has plenty of these incredible feats as part of the action.
this latest performance is definitely kid friendly, and i am guessing that k would be fascinated to see the group try to defy gravity by seeming to use a vertical wall as a horizontal dance floor and see dancers try to stay on a 20 foot circle platform spinning vigorously (k will probably want to try it herself — the scarier the better). and while certainly the kids will love it, i’m thinking the adults won’t be too unhappy either and it’s always great to have an excuse to hang out in williamsburg. streb at slam catapult, 51 n. 1st street between wythe and kent avenues, brooklyn, new york, 718.384.6491. through may 17, 2009.
mini guide new york: williamsburg: there are so many places to eat great food and shop affordably for great stuff that my only trouble is narrowing down the list. so my goal here is just to provide some options super close to streb so that you don’t have to trek too far out of your way. williamsburg is defined fairly broadly sometimes so this area is what i believe the natives call south williamsburg.
la superior: i finally made it to this amazing mexican street food spot. not much to look at and lacking some of the usual amenities (all cash, no alchohol) the food was outstanding. i’ll be posting about it next week. 295 berry street near s. 2nd street, brooklyn, new york, 718.388.5988.
fette sau: i have been wanting and wanting to try out this and this weekend we might get lucky. supposed to have excellent barbecue in an industrial setting. 354 metropolitan avenue at havemeyer street, brooklyn, new york, 718.963.3404.
dressler: for something a bit fancier, this spot which is a few years old is supposed to have excellent contemporary american food. some suggest it might be a little boring and maybe even have passed its heyday but it’s still on my list to check out. 149 broadway between bedford and driggs avenues, brooklyn, new york, 718.384.6343.
marlow & sons: another beloved spot that has been around for a few years, marlow & sons operates as a cafe with pastries and coffee during the day and a casual meditteranean restaurant serving oysters and other basics at night. i have also not yet been here and also have not visited its sister butcher shop located nearby marlow & daughters but they seem worth a visit. 81 broadway near berry street, brooklyn, new york, 718.384.1441.
streb seems to be located right near some of the best shopping (especially furniture, home design and women’s clothes) clusters along n. 6th street from kent avenue towards havemeyer, and along bedford avenue. some shops i wouldn’t miss include the following:
the future perfect: this shop has become ground zero for some for cutting edge modern design, and although most of their items are expensive they always seem to have a few affordable entertaining gifts. 115 n. 6th street near berry street, brooklyn, new york, 718.599.6278.
a & g merch: another more accessible furniture store for urbanites with usually something irrestible like an owl umbrella stand, a to don’t pad and a westernwear cowboy pitcher. 111 n. 6th street, between berry street and wythe avenue, brooklyn, new york, 718.388.1779.
jumelle, a relatively expensive women’s clothing store with well known (a.p.c., phillip lim and a detacher) as well as smaller designers with stylish bags by the likes of tilamarch and alexander wang. 148 bedford avenue between n. 8th and n. 9th streets, brooklyn, new york, 718.388.9525.
the shoe market, i keep seeing this place mentioned, though some say it is too pricey, i’m always curious to check out more independent shoe shops with interesting collections. 160 n. 6th street at bedford avenue, brooklyn, new york, 718.388.8495.