(718) 260–2500 Brooklyn Paper’s essential guide to the Borough of Kings December 13–19, 2019
It’s Stockholm for the holidays!
A country known for its affordable, build-ityourself
furniture and excessive ümläüts will
showcase its creative side this week, when a
dream team of Swedish music stars descend
on a Williamsburg night club.
The Sweden Makes Music showcase at Baby’s
All Right on Dec. 17 will feature some
of the most exciting names in Sweden’s burgeoning
pop music scene, including Elias, Mapei,
Le Sinner (pictured), DJ Clea and Morabeza
The annual festival, now in its seventh year, is
hosted by Export Music Sweden and the Swedish
Consulate General, and is designed to create
a North American audience for the Scandinavian
country’s creative community, said
the event’s organizer.
“We wanted to find a way to basically showcase
Swedish music but also in a more general
sense, Swedish creativity,” said Niklas Arnegran,
head of Cultural Affairs at the Consulate
General of Sweden.
The Swedish pop music scene is one of the
most prolific in Europe, said Arnegran, thanks
in part to the country’s welcoming and techsavvy
“The scene is very progressive and very
creative,” he said. “I think a lot of the Swedish
music scene mirrors Swedish society in a
Brooklynites wary of embracing tunes sung
in a foreign tongue need not worry, he said
— all the musicians sing in English, which is
widely spoken in Sweden. About 80 percent
of people in the Northern European country
speak excellent English, he said.
The musicians take many cues from American
artists as well. Elias, the top-billed artist,
makes soulful pop with hints of Bon Iver,
while Maipei’s club-friendly tracks have been
remixed by both Frankie Knuckles and Chance
On the afternoon of the concert, the consulate
and Swedish festival Tekla will also host a
series of music production classes for middle
school girls in Brooklyn, where Maipei and
other artists will teach the students to make
their own beats.
Sweden Makes Music at Baby’s All Right 146
Broadway between Driggs and Bedford, Williamsburg,
(718) 599–5800, sweden-makes-music.
confetti.events Dec. 17 at 7 pm. Free with
RSVP. — Ben Verde
Philosophical talk will fi nally prove the existence of Saint Nick!
By Rose Adams
for Brooklyn Paper
Yes, Brooklyn, there is a Santa Claus!
A one-man theatrical presentation
will use philosophical arguments and
historical analysis to convince skeptical children
that Santa Claus is coming to town.
“Beyond Belief: A Philosophical Proof of
Santa Claus” will drop down the chimney
into Greenpoint’s Park Church Co-op on
Dec. 23 and dive into the history and ideology
behind Christmas. The lecture aims
to restore holiday cheer to Brooklyn’s nonbelievers,
and to show children that belief
is an integral part of the human experience,
said its creator.
“The first 20 minutes of the show is a
deconstruction of all the elements that go
into Santa Claus,” explained Jamie Hook,
a Greenpoint filmmaker and theater producer.
“It helps us understand why we believe
The 90-minute SLED Talk includes a
slideshow outlining the holiday’s history,
an extravagant light display, and a discussion
with young audience members that
brings the beloved Christmas icon to life,
“We establish a unitarian version of
Santa Claus that works for everyone,” he
said, noting most children leave the presentation
convinced that some version of
Hook has led the show five times now,
first writing it after seeing how dejected
his friend’s son became after a classmate,
and later his father, told him that Santa
“That kid spiraled into a holiday season
depression,” Hook said.
The boy’s dispirited Christmas season
inspired Hook to devise an explanation
of Santa’s existence that hinges on a few
basic philosophical proofs often used to
prove the existence of God. Hook argues,
for example, that while people never see
Santa planting his gifts, they can see his
charitable and jolly traits reflected around
the world, and that the age-old Christmas
story is rooted in true historical events and
“Because all this stuff exists, it has to
point to something more profound than
your parents buying you presents and putting
them under the tree,” he said.
More convincing, though, are the children’s
discussions about Santa during
the show, which help fill in each others’
Photo by Steve Solomonson
Run, run, engine: Jamie Hook will defend the existence of Santa Claus, seen here visiting Marine Park on a day with no snow,
at his lecture on Dec. 23.
doubts about the jolly old elf. According
to Hook, the youngest attendees often reconvince
their older siblings that Santa
Claus is real.
“I’ve often had it that older siblings hear
their younger brothers and sisters profess
this deep belief … A majority tend to be
persuaded back into believing,” he said.
Hook is offering his simple phrases to
kids from 7 to 92. Tiny tots may not be willing
to sit still, but the whole family might
find their eyes all a-glow, he said.
“It’s actually really fun for parents because
it brings us back to this space where
we ask ourselves, ‘Why do we do this?’ ”
Community Bookstore’s pick: “Moby
Dick: Illustrated,” by Gilbert Wilson
This lovely, full-color, illustrated edition
arrives just in time
for the 200th anniversary
It draws on decades
of sketches and paintings
done over the course
of a career that saw
him study with Diego
Rivera, cross paths with the likes of John Huston
and Eleanor Roosevelt, and always return,
Ahab-like to his obsession with Moby Dick. The
perfect gift for the Ishmael in your life.
— Samuel Partal, Community Bookstore 43
Seventh Ave. between Carroll Street and Garfield
Place in Park Slope, (718) 783–3075, www.
commu nityb ookst ore.net .
“Essays One,” by
Collecting over four
decades of essays and lectures,
this volume shows
short fiction author Davis
intimately parsing out her
experience as a writer and
lover of writing. Full of
and criticism, the real
treat is watching her unpack her own revising
and editing process, from structural evolutions
to the minutiae of working and reworking a single
sentence (on page 169).
— Niko Tsocanos, Greenlight Bookstore 686
Fulton St. between S. Elliott Place and S. Portland
Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 246–0200,
Word’s picks: “How
to Be An Antiracist,”
by Ibram Kendi
This book is a great
mix between personal anecdotes
and data displaying
evidence that it is not
only naive but incorrect
to describe our current
society or anyone in it as
“colorblind” or “post-racial.”
Kendi advises us
all to avoid the temptation
of not thinking about racism and instead
actively try to be antiracist in ways that do not
vilify people, but continually challenge our own
ideas of power, self-interest, and race.
— Amanda Rivera, Word 126 Franklin St. at
Milton Street in Greenpoint, (718) 383–0096,
By Bill Roundy
Are you feeling the holiday
Three Kings County watering
holes are serving up a special dose of
Christmas cheer this season! These
holiday pop-up bars have created Yuletide
themed menus, covered the walls
in tinsel, and adopted seasonal nom
de sugar-plums that will last until
Trees of Greenpoint
In Greenpoint, bar The Springs has
become the Ho Ho Holiday Lounge.
The bar has decked the walls with
wrapping paper, tuned each TV to a
burning fireplace, and hung streams
of garlands and Christmas lights overhead.
The bar’s owner said that she
couldn’t resist turning her tavern into
a glowing Christmas carol jukebox
for the third year in a row.
“I don’t get tired of Christmas music
— it puts you in a good mood,
and everyone loves it,” said Irene
The Holiday Lounge has also
teamed up with Christmas tree vendor
Greg’s Trees, which sells its evergreens
on the sidewalk outside, to
turn its extensive backyard into its
own holiday extravaganza.
“They put up a little winter wonderland
out there,” said Reyes.
The patio holds a decked out tree,
a Santa-style sleigh that can fit six,
a 12-foot-tall reindeer, and a giant
figure of Frosty the Snowman with
holiday cartoons projected on his
stomach. The man behind the decor
said that he wanted to make Instragrammable
moments for holiday
“We want to make it a fun place
for people — a place to take pictures,”
said Greg Yalsh.
Ho Ho Holiday Lounge (224
Franklin St. at Green Street in Greenpoint,
Open daily, noon–2 am.
Snow big deal
Restaurant and beloved Williamsburg
brunch spot Sunday in Brooklyn
has turned its bar area into “Snowday
in Brooklyn,” an Alpine skiing
lodge with wreaths on the windows,
Photo by Eric Medsker
holly jolly ceramic figures on the bar,
a snow globe on every table, and ornaments
dangling from the ceiling.
But it’s not the decor that calls for the
Instagram — it’s the drinks!
Open your Christmas card menu to
discover more than a dozen delectable
winter cocktails (mostly $14–$16)
with elaborate presentations. Highlights
include the tropical, tequilabased
Partridge in a Pear Tree, served
in a bird-shaped glass with a bouquet
for a cock-tailfeather, a frozen pina
colada-like Polar Bear Club served
in a bear-shaped former honey container,
and the knock-you-over strong
and spicy Bad Krampus, served with
a tiny stocking filled with coal.
The cozy spot fills up quick, so
either make a reservation or plan to
stop by late in the evening.
Snowday in Brooklyn 68 S. Second
St. at Wythe Avenue in Williamsburg,
(718) 360-9875, www.snowdayinbrooklyn.
com. Sun–Thu, 5–11 pm;
Fri–Sat, 5 pm–midnight.
The holiday pop-up craze started on
the distant island of Manhattan with
“Miracle on Ninth Street,” which has
expanded into an annual franchise with
branches across the country — and in
Brooklyn! Hoyt Street bar Livingston
Manor has become Miracle at Livingston
Manor for the Yuletide season
, adopting the drink recipes, fanciful
glassware, and decor suggestions
from the Miracle mothership.
The Downtown bar has adopted
a kind of “Bad Santa” attitude along
with its decorations, with festive letters
announcing “Happy F------ Holidays,”
pictures of a boozy Santa in the
back, and bartenders wearing irreverent
Christmas sweaters. So you should
feel comfortable ordering the “Die
Hard”–referencing rum drink Yippie
Ki Yay Mother F------, or downing
a Naughty Shot of bourbon and
Miracle at Livingston Manor 42
Hoyt St. between Livingston and
Schermerhorn streets Downtown,
(347) 987–3292, www.livingstonmanorbk.
com. Mon–Thu, 4 pm–2 am;
Fri–Sat, 1 pm–4 am; Sun, 1 pm–2
“Beyond Belief: A Philosophical Proof
of Santa Claus” at The Park Church Coop
129 Russell St. between Nassau and
Driggs avenues in Greenpoint, (917) 426–
1596, www.parkchurchcoop.org. Dec. 23
at 7:30 pm. $15 suggested donation.
Spirits of Christmas
Holiday bars popping up across Brooklyn
Photo by Bill Roundy
They go a-wassailing: (Left)
Visitors get a festive round of
drinks at the Ho Ho Holiday
Lounge in Greenpoint. (Above)
Sip the Polar Bear Plunge at
Snowday in Brooklyn.
Consulate General of Sweden