The Ridgewood Underground
by John Lars Zwerenz
May 22, 2013 | 6472 views | 1 1 comments | 43 43 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Boston singer/songwriter Dan Blakeslee admires a promotional poster for a recent show.
Boston singer/songwriter Dan Blakeslee admires a promotional poster for a recent show.
There is a new group of young artists living and creating in Ridgewood.

They are not just painters and sculptors, but also musicians, songwriters, and performers. They have come not just from the surrounding neighborhoods, such as Brooklyn’s Williamsburg and Greenpoint, but also such faraway places as Boston, Massachusetts, and Newport, Rhode Island.

Over the last three years many of the musical-minded young people, who have landed in Ridgewood primarily because of its comparably low rents, have started sharing their talents and music with the rest of the community.

Kirsten Shores is the founder of Close Encounters, an organization that hosts and promotes rock shows in Greenpoint and Williamsburg. She now has over 1,700 people on her quickly expanding mailing list.

“It is really incredible what is going on here in this part of New York right now,” she said. “A real musical renaissance is taking place.”

At 6112 Madison Street, just one block east of Fresh Pond Road, another rock club called Fresh Pond House Concerts recently opened. It is owned and run by young native Rhode Islander William Bartholomew and his wife Gabriela. Two weeks ago was opening night for this cozy, intimate new performance space.

“People are looking for something new,” Bartholomew said. “The scene is more about artistic inclination than structure, artistically speaking. There is a reinvention happening here in Ridgewood of basic human contact.”

The headlining entertainment for opening evening was a young and talented singer/ songwriter from Boston, Dan Blakeslee, an innovative folk-rock musician.

“Big scenes begin with small steps,” Bartholomew said.
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May 25, 2013
These artists and hipsters need to go back to where they came from and stop destroying New York City. I remember a time not to long ago, where I could go to Williamburg or Greenpoint and experience something different and unique in that area. Now, they are the same. They already captured Bushwick and now eyeing Ridgewood. Before you know it,they'll take over every area in Queens and put a stupid coffee shop on each corner.