The Mysteries of Brooklyn
If Bedford Avenue is the main street of modern day Williamsburg, North Sixth Street is the hipster haven’s Broadway. Home to the first proper grocery store (Tops), concert venue (Northsix), swap meet (Artists and Fleas) and grotesque theme restaurant (Sea), North Sixth Street has long been the grand stage of Williamsburg.
Now performing on North Sixth Street (even if Northsix is long gone, replaced by a Manhattan concert conglomerate) is the Original Music Workshop.
Conceived by Kevin Dolan, a former tax attorney who also happens to be an organ virtuoso, the Original Music Workshop seeks to provide a venue bridging new and old Williamsburg, sustaining music of all types for all ages. As the rest of the neighborhood continues its inexorable gentrification, Mr. Dolan hopes to preserve a tiny corner of Williamsburg cultural past, as well as one of its historic industrial buildings.
“It’s amazing you can knock down anything and build whatever you want,” Mr. Dolan said in an interview. “I’m hopeful that at least the south side of this block will still maintain its feel into the future.”
New York architect Alex Pincus was, like most architects, daydreaming about a mundane problem—unattractive wall sockets—when he had a touch of divine inspiration.
“It’s an architectural problem that bothers me, because it’s ugly, there’s no good solutions, and even the ones that are out there aren’t very compelling,” Mr. Pincus told The Observer earlier this week. “And I was thinking about different patterns of sockets that were interesting to me, and I tried to change it up. And I had this vision of a cruciform grid of plugs, on the floor or on the wall. At some point, I remember looking at this standard, 1990s, sorta cream-colored power strip, thinking of how ugly it was, and that’s when the idea came to me.”
What came from this design daydream was Higher Power, a cross-shaped power strip that is both arch and attractive, not to mention functional. By adding two armatures to a standard-looking power strip, those bulky plugs for the laptop and the alarm clock now all fit without blocking any of the other sockets. Mr. Pincus described it as the dumb idea that he simply could not shake, so he created a rendering and posted it to his website last year. Someone at Boing Boing noticed it, and from there it got picked up by Wired and bounced around the Internet for weeks. “When it shut down my website, that’s when I realized this could be real.”