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WHAT’S NEW
This week we’re sharing our coolstuff.nyc playlist, highlighting a new NYC-based furniture collaboration, and introducing you to a cool new friend: Christina Crawford of Tart Vinegar. 

CULTURE CORNER 

COOL NEW THING
Our ear is always to the pavement when it comes to *hot* *new* *design* – and the coolest *hot* *new* *design* thing to float our way this week is Band Projects: a furniture design collaboration between Niccolò Debole & Bronsin Aboln. This week they announced BAND 01, a modular slatted seating and table system design and fabricated in Brooklyn. 

LISTEN
OK, it’s here, the first coolstuff.nyc playlist of the year. We’re getting to that point where you can’t stand any of “your” music, so if you are too here are a bunch of upbeat & chill tunes to cleanse your musical palate.

LOOK
Here are three ceramic pieces that made us GASP this week…they are that good.

EAT
We’ve said it before, but we can’t help it - we are partial to Park Slope and all of its small businesses. In the last couple of weeks, two new cafes have opened that we think you should know about...

  • Julien Bloulangerie - for French baguettes and one of the best chocolate croissants you’ll find in Brooklyn. 

  • Casita - for coffee alongside a unique combo of Greek & Latin pastries.

COOL FRIENDS: Christina Crawford

Meet Christina, founder of Tart Vinegar: a Brooklyn-based small-batch organic vinegar producer. Tart doesn’t make your run of the mill apple cider or red wine vinegar; instead, flavors like celery and lavender make their way from Tart’s Red Hook factory to the shelves of the lucky few who can get a bottle before it sells out. We managed to snag a limited run of Peach Rose vinegar from Cervo’s that we love to drink with seltzer. 

How did Tart Vinegar begin?
When I was a line cook in San Francisco I lived with a wine rep, and she had all these half-empty bottles of beautiful wine around the house. I was always into all things fermentation and would try different ways to make red wine vinegar using the last dregs that were just going to be tossed out. My favorite was the most simple, just adding raisins, which feeds sugar to the alcohol in wine and transforms it into acetic acid.  

For the ten-plus years since, I always had different fermentations I was playing with, experimenting with ingredients and methods. I called it my most expensive hobby, and finally in 2019, I started Tart as its own business. I was producing in my apartment and printing a few shipping labels at the library while my son had his weekly chess club.  The big shift for me is when I really started to focus on the product not just tasting good, but also working within small-scale agriculture – buying celery and other ingredients that are nutrient and mineral rich.

To grow I had to move the operation out of my home. I signed a lease to move into a factory space in March 2020, with no idea that only a few weeks later the city would be in lockdown and I’d lose my steady cooking jobs that were paying for my ability to do Tart. Fortunately, it’s been working as a one-woman show, I even bought a printer. 

What's your favorite part about the New York creative community? 
I am blown away all the time by the folks here. This city went into lockdown and I saw friends like Ad Dunn invent a non profit Service Workers Coalition to get cash to undocumented workers. Even before this year Natasha Pickowics was doing groundbreaking work raising money for Planned Parenthood and then transitioning into In Good Taste, and raising money and helping immigrant communities locally. Also everyone should know about Breaking Bread and the work of chefs and food industry people working together to feed and educate food insecure areas of NYC. I also work closely with Phoenix Community Garden and their program that focuses on feeding the local elder community with fresh produce boxes delivered by volunteers and can be purchased online as donations. My community has shown up for me personally over and over again and it has made it possible to survive what is the hardest time in this industry.

What's inspiring you right now?
My kid always. I don't know if that’s a lazy answer but it's the truth. He’s in second grade and has been as bendable as Gumby when it comes to his schedule, lack of interaction with his friends, doing early farmers market runs before school, and staying late at the factory to wait for UPS to do pickups. He keeps me feeling like the world could be better and we are not all doomed. 

Follow along:
www.tartvinegar.com
@tartvinear on Instagram

PALETTE
Construction on 7th Ave in Brooklyn, NY

Read more Best Of articles, Cool Freinds interviews, past Newsletter editions on our website: www.coolstuff.nyc 


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