Once upon a time, the Jefferson stop on the L train in Brooklyn, New York was a no man’s land. But judging from the familiar buildings freshly dressed in full body murals, shop signs and neon lights – time’s have changed.
Arguably one of the most controversially gentrified districts of Brooklyn, Bushwick has become a beehive of bustling, art-centric crowds in eccentric clothes. Some detest the changes occurring in this once predominantly Hasidic Jewish neighborhood. Some delight in the surreal addition of food trucks where there were only school buses and warehouse music venues, where there were only factories that manufactured glue.
Leveraging this burgeoning location in stride, Elsewhere is a unique venue providing performance space for an artist roster so cleverly diverse that it includes classic icons like Roy Ayers and futuristic pioneers like Tokimonsta, playing just one week apart.
Designed under the influence of a bizarrely alluring blend, steeped in the neon drenched aesthetics of Bladerunner and the eery beauty Alfred Hitchcock, The Loft at Elsewhere hosts smaller DJ based crowds, projected visuals, a posh variety of liquor, iced teas, slushies and fluorescent bathrooms with painted toilet seats. Ascending a metal staircase laced with disco balls and fake flowers, you’ll find The Rooftop – a vast open space echoing an American incarnation of the artsy/industrial energy found at Nairobi, Kenya’s notorious venue “The Alchemist” (Westlands). With impressive city views, fresh coconuts and mixed gender bathrooms, The Rooftop at Elsewhere hosts a variety of what they’ve termed “Experimental Programming” – everything from live music to film screenings, food and art events.
“Elsewhere lives by an ethos of creative risk-taking, progressive music programming, respect for all people and art, and a desire to support and grow the communities that make it all possible. Elsewhere has multiple performance spaces, a large rooftop, a gallery, a loft café, and an outdoor courtyard, and operates a seasonal art program called Landscape.”
Whether or not this space is treading symbolically upon the forgotten tenements that once stood in its place, the creative social space offered by Elsewhere seems to be an inarguably important contribution to the culture of contemporary Brooklyn.
(Event/DJs depicted above at Elsewhere: Sistapin Residency May 16)