Makeshift Brooklyn Weeks 008-011

I never thought that heating and cooling equipment could be so exciting but this week marked the beginning of construction at Makeshift BK, and seeing the equipment being installed was a significant milestone for us. This is part of the landlord’s work, which includes the boring-but-necessary details like air conditioning. The images will get more enticing when we take over and begin building out the new kitchen, conferences rooms, and everything else.



To make all of that possible, we need architectural plans (done) and a general contractor. Last week we concluded the bidding process and selected a contractor. Another milestone passed. We’ll begin working with them next week to calibrate the budget and timeline for the construction work.

Among the weaknesses that our team suffer from, furniture is somewhere high on the list, so it has been a struggle to stay focused and on budget. Since returning from Japan (which was awesome) I have been spending a lot of time on furniture: hunting for it, pricing it out, talking to potential sponsors, and filling up spreadsheets detailing all of the above.

FLOR is the first relationship that we can talk about. They’ve contributed a couple rugs which we’ll be making creative use of. Their modular system is great for us because it means we can remix and adapt as desired.


A couple of my meetings with other potential collaborators were on-site and it’s still fun to watch peoples’ eyes go wide when they enter our ground floor space. Hopefully some of the conversations mature and in a couple weeks we can share more about the groups who will be joining FLOR as a sponsor and collaborator of Makeshift Society.

Other ongoing activities include Kickstarter reward production fulfillment, a refresh of the website, and assorted non-construction needs in Brooklyn such as bandwidth, phone lines, and access control. This involves meetings with coffee and a lot of paper, including a couple weeks ago with Hardhat:


Today we learned an important lesson: do not try to research and shop for security systems on the day after Thanksgiving. No one is answering their phones. Luckily there’s no shortage of things to look after.

Member Mentions

For this week’s Member Mention, we are featuring a photographer, quarterly magazine, and online courses for crafting this holiday season!

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Janette Crawford, Genevieve Brazelton, Tiffanie Turner and Lisa Solomon were featured in studio for creativeLIVE for courses on Holiday Crafts and Cocktails. Oh, and let’s not forget, Rena made an appearance on set, too! The classes featured were High-Fashion HeaddressesHomemade Liquor Infusions and Cocktail BittersWoodland Egg Holiday Ornaments, and Crocheted & Embroidered Snowflakes. Although they have already taught their classes, creativeLIVE offers the courses digitally to be viewed on your own time and the ability to rewind to see just how much vodka you were SUPPOSED to use for the limoncello!  All four classes are perfectly packaged together for ease of not having to choose just one!

Emily Nathan of  Tiny Atlas has a Kickstarter to fund the next edition (both online and digitally.) Tiny Atlas Quarterly, a magazine that “features travel in a fresh, immersive and personal way,” There are just 5 days left to help TAQ to reach their goal (we know just how exciting and nerve racking these last few days can be!) Emily was selected as a contestant for Resource Magazine’s photographer of the week last week and won! Congratulations Emily and Tiny Atalas.

Robert Birnbach has been a photographer for over 20 years. He has passed on some of his insider knowledge with photography classes at the clubhouse. Most recently, he was able to capture a very special once-in-a-life-time night at Foreign Cinema. Rather than serving their normal fantastic fare, Foreign Cinema turned over the cooking reins for the evening to the chefs of Stars for a tribute diner to honor chef Jeremiah Tower. For one night, the whole restaurant turned into the long time favorite Stars that has been closed for over a decade. Robert was lucky enough to be one of the few photographers to capture this special evening (and to sample the dishes!)

We love to see all of our Makeshifter’s accomplishments as they make with their heads and think with their hands. If you are a member, be sure to let us know of your note-worthy news, new products, and exciting adventures and you maybe mentioned in the next Member Mentions!
Images by creativeLIVE/Fiona Conrad for Tiny Atlas Quarterly/Robert Birnbach

final week of November pop up shop

it’s the final week of our November pop up shop! this month we were lucky  to have 2 MSS members share their amazing wares with us.

if you’ve had your eye on the vintage mesh jewelry by Maral Rapp, beauty products by Fox&Doll, jewelry and vintage barware by Shana Astrachan, this is your last chance to snag something for yourself or for gift giving.

we’re open this week 9-6 Monday- Wednesday.



Class Preview: DSLR Video Workshop

from Sara Washington…

One of the most important rules about filmmaking, and especially documentary filmmaking, is “Show, don’t tell.”

Ok, say there is a rogue science experiment that got loose from it’s lab. Let’s say this experiment was half elephant and half tabby cat, and on this past Thursday it was walking through Golden Gate Park like it owned the joint. Which is the experience that you feel would make the biggest impact on your life: me telling you about it, or actually seeing it with your own eyes?

When you make the choice to stand behind the camera and direct its gaze you realize that the rule “show, don’t tell,” is one that sounds deceptively simple. Kind of like “Do the right thing.” There are situations in which we feel the “right thing” is clear and straightforward, and there are other times when it is really, really not. Showing that, when it rains, there is a hole in a parking lot that fills with water? That’s pretty straightforward. Showing things like despair? Hope? Love? Anxiety? That’s a different story entirely.

I was trained in documentary film. I studied at UC Santa Cruz, spent six months working at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, and went on to The New School in New York City where I continued to study documentary film on a graduate level. I’ve racked up a considerable amount of student loans, watched many, many films, and written many papers on the subject. I know from experience what it is to be a novice, barely acquainted with how my camera works, while watching works of the masters of filmmaking and think “How the hell am I ever going to get to a place where I can do that?”

I can tell you that the single most important thing you need to do to begin filmmaking is to pick up the camera. And if you aren’t ready to immediately start exposing intricate webs of corporate conspiracies? Start small.

In the couple of years that I have been teaching various kinds of storytelling classes, my favorite way to get people shooting and thinking like real storytellers is the “how-to” assignment. Creating a how-to film is the perfect exercise for beginning storytellers, and especially beginning filmmakers and immediately throw them into working in the mindset of “show, don’t tell.”

And it’s not just an exercise for filmmaking virgins. Over the summer I tackled two new projects. One was a short film series about makers in San Francisco, that I am still currently working on. The first maker I featured was Sean Young, who founded Stovall & Young denim. I wanted to explore the question of why he made jeans. The simple answer is: he likes jeans and was passionate enough about them to start his own denim company. But why does he love jeans so much? What happened in in life that sparked this affinity for jeans? How did it develop? And how is that affinity reflected in what he does and how he does it?


The second project was one that was a bit more straightforward. I collaborated with my friend, Crystal Sykes, on a series we call “On the Rocks.” The aim of that series was a bit simpler. My one question: how do you make various kinds of cocktails?


Two very different kinds of projects, and the approach to each one is a little different, but the same basic principles are applied to each one. And if you want more information on how to apply those basic principles, you’re going to have to take my class.

Member Mentions

Our members are always up to the most fantastic and creative endeavors, it’s so hard to keep track sometimes! We have decided to catalog their accomplishments here with Member Mentions. Here are some current and noteworthy things we spied:
Member Mentions 11-12-13


Member George Zisiadis is an interactive artist that some say may just be the happiest guy in San Francisco. He has been creating art pieces all over the country like and The Pulse of the City in Boston or The Bubbleverse here in San Francisco. The self proclaimed Chief Happiness Scientist, George is constantly thinking up knew ways to bring joy to others. If you have a fun-tabulous idea that you’d like to execute, send your thoughts his way. They may just be funded via his side project The Awesome Foundation!

Christy Natsumi released a new jewelry collection Matters Of The Heart. Christy crafts all of her jewelry locally here in San Francisco and produced with eco-practices in mind. The collection is  meant to chronicle the journey of a our hearts traveling through this world — hence cue hearts with spikes, hearts tangled, magic wands, and more.

Whisk, member Maggie Spicer’s company, celebrated its first birthday on September 6th, 2013. With a year behind them, here are some of their favorite memories from this first year as a company!

“We’ve gotten engineers to leave their screens and get down Gangnam style…taken a globally-core-valued company on a 5-week culinary adventure around the world, experiencing a different country each day through their palate…brought city-slickers out to the country on retreats showcasing an exciting new generation of farmers in the Bay Area…gotten teams off their asanas and on to the yoga mat…. produced panels on building culture from the ground up and analyzed the effects of beverages as stimulants on the brain and mood….and finally, ensured the most important meal of the day (breakfast!) was a great one, partnering up with some of the cityʼs best and brightest food producers and crafters! Cheers – to many more deeply engaged people, communities, and years ahead!”

Images via 1/2/3