Tag Archives: Classes

Brooklyn Collective Gets Big New Digs:General Nightmare Shutters

There’s movement on Columbia Street again.  Brooklyn Collective  is moving to its own digs and expanding to include artists’ studio space and classes in cool stuff like sewing and silk screening.

The Collective had been in a space at the back of vintage furniture store General Nightmare , which is shuttering once and for all.

While demand for pricey antiques may be waning enough to send the General packing, the cry for local handmade goods continues to thrive on the increasingly popular Columbia Street Waterfront, prompting the Collective to shift into a 1,500sq ft space that will open August 1.

The Brooklyn Collective was founded in 2004 by locals Rachel Goldberg and Tessa Phillips, jewelry and fashion designers respectively, as a way to give other artists a place to display and sell their work. Member artists share the rent, hence the idea of it being a “collective”, and get to keep 100% of all profits from any of their creations sold.

The Collective is closed through July and will reopen next month at 212 Columbia Street, next to Mazzat restaurant. As part of the expansion, the Collective will be offering studio space to local artists and classes, including sewing, photography, drawing, metal smithing and silk screening. Look out for a schedule in September.

Brooklyn Collective parties are always fun, so stay tuned too for info about an opening event.

Meantime, mainstay General Nightmare  at 196 Columbia is calling it quits, with just a scrappy note in the window advertising a closing down sale to get rid of the last of the furniture before turning out the lights.

The store, once cluttered with antiques and mid-century treasures, had long been a favored hunting ground for locals and visitors alike in search of something obscure or specific.

My husband and I have scoured the basement on occasion in search of Eames chairs and ottomans. It was like slipping down the rabbit hole into a crazy garage sale.

General Nightmare survived and grew even after the death in 2005 of its well-known owner and Columbia Street pioneer Barry Jetter, with partners taking over and sprucing the place up a bit.

But even as the Columbia Street Waterfront is “discovered” almost weekly by one publication or another, and new spots move into the neighborhood, ailing demand for antiques and rental drama apparently encouraged the closure.

Enough About The Kids, Let’s Get Coffee!

So it’s the last day of school, the children stream out all hot and sticky and relieved to have long, lazing weeks ahead. We, their mothers, dig deep in their backpacks for the report card with that crucial number scrawled at the bottom: the number of the class our children will enter the following school year.

And then it begins: “What class did you get? Who else is in there? Who is teaching it?  Are they good, bad? What’s the scoop?.”  This goes on out front of the school and carries on through the stroll to the after-school hangout, the park, and then via email in the hours long after backpacks have been emptied and schedules put aside for a few months.

If you’re lucky, a crafty parent will gather all the class info and post it in a spreadsheet for everyone to peruse and add to. It’s in our natures I guess to want to know it all, right away. Who wants to walk into class in September and be surprised?

Do the kids care too? Not so much.

But we the parents, from the over-hyped-up helicopters to chilled out, work it out yourself parenters do care who our children proceed with, and who will lead them. We care for them, and for ourselves.

What adults will be tossed into the class boat with us for 180 days; who will we work alongside to fund-raise and feed and entertain our kids? Never mind all those hours spent sitting on a park bench watching little ones play, or killing time when they are dropped at a birthday party, or grabbing a quick meal before a school function.

At the end of the day, what really matters is that our children have great teachers and at least one buddy to help them adjust to the next year. But for the parents, it’s social too. I am as guilty as anyone of wanting to hang with my posse of fun mamas and dads; sipping wine at birthday party picnics, and chatting about life beyond our children, because we like each other – not because we have nothing else to say.

Having had some really terrific classes the past few years, I can vouch for how much it helps when the parents gel. It probably helps the teachers too when there is a cohesive parent group, and if the parents and teachers are happy, shouldn’t it follow that the children will benefit?

Afterall, it’s all about the children. Isn’t it? And if anyone’s wondering:  WE are in 2-3 and K2 next year!