Please leave your felt-lettered activity board at the door — this is a different church basement.
Yesterday, at the Church of the Messiah in Brooklyn, the church basement became the Greenpoint Food Market.
It was opening day of the weekly event, founded by Joann Kim, to provide a space for local cooks to sell their packaged goods. In evidence of the enthusiasm for local and artisanal food, over 30 vendors sold items from chicken paté to Korean pancakes to deviled eggs, with many more people hovering around the tables to sample and talk with the chefs.
Amelia Coulter of the cookie company, Sugarbuilt, was one such vendor who is both a chef and an artist in equal measure. A native of New Mexico, her cookies have delicate taste influences from the Southwest — chocolate red chili, for example. Visually, the baked creations are intricate replicas of favorite sights: sugar skulls from the Mexican Day of the Dead, rod ironwork in Greenpoint, and playful hipster mustaches, among other things.
“I’m inspired by my passions – here it’s architecture,” Amelia said, holding up a square cookie. “All of these ironwork pieces are from my favorite actual ironwork in the neighborhood. All of these designs have a history.”
As I walked around the church basement, I remembered something I saw years ago: A man on very, very tall stilts walking through the fields of Bread & Puppet in Vermont. As he took slow, long strides, he called down below: “Art is food! You can’t eat it, but it feeds YOU!”
Yesterday, in the down below, the neighborhood feasted on art in all ways.