Bunna Cafe has become a staple in Brooklyn’s pop-up food shop trend, bringing their mouth-watering Ethiopian food to bars and fairs in Bushwick and beyond. You may have seen them dolling out the Injera (Ethipian spongy sourdough bread) at the Bushwick Block Party last summer, rocking it at the BK Night Bazaar this winter, or as the busiest booth at Pine Box’s Vegan Pop Up shops every second Saturday of the month. If you haven’t been able to catch up with this ambitious on-the-go restaurant yet, your opportunities are becoming more numerous. Bunna now does monthly dinner parties and cooking classes and are throwing very special event this Saturday! Read on to learn about how their business embraces Ethiopian culture and how they are spreading the love here in Brooklyn.
Nestled on the corner of Myrtle Avenue and Charles Place (a small, no-outlet road about a block down from Bushwick Avenue mostly known for the cafe Little Skips), a new vegetarian pizza place has just opened up.
By Maria Gotay
The Body Actualized Center on Troutman Street has tranformed since you may or may not have visited pre-March-2012. At the time, the Yoga Studio/Events space had a undercooked DIY feel that was memorable and funky feeling, but overall felt kind of cold. The space certainly felt hip, but wasn’t the cozy nook it tried to be with half-hearted plants and decoration due to the cement walls and floor and dark interior with no natural light. But, oh, how the times have changed!
The Body Actualized center re-opened last Saturday with a trippy rager sampling everything Bushwick needs and wants on a regular basis, in a permanent space. The festivities featured body painting, cosmic yoga demonstrations, live bands and DJs, a bonfire, and some super special chocolate treats (wink, wink). The space has also tranformed- beautiful wooden floors and a tiki-hut style entryway were hand built by volunteers, founders, and friends of the space. A storefront with huge windows now overlooks the street, and if you came between 8 and 10, you probably saw the intensely-painted man chunky black-and-white swirls enveloping his flesh.
Brian Sweeney, one of the founders of the space, gave a short and sweet speech in the middle of the evening, encouraging everyone to let loose and “let down their egos”- an invitation to really just let it all hang out and an opportunity to thoroughly connect with fellow partygoers. Most of this connecting happened on the dance floor that surrounds the center’s new performance elevated stage, illuminated by churning NXT LVL visuals. Ample seating- wooden benches, leather couches, and floor cushions- provided space for the party’s prevalent people-watching scene (costumes, drag, facepaint, clip on ears and a sea of denim jackets.)
The best part of The Body Actualized Center’s makeover is a complete overhaul of the outdoor space, centered on a close-knit firepit and log-seating for about twenty people. There’s also a double decker roof overlooking the backyard on one end and Troutman street on the other. Oh, it was a beautiful feeling to peer down onto the bonfire, dangling my legs from the low-hanging roof, the softly-misting rain slowly sinking onto the wood around me. The music, the conversation, the firey aroma and the BYOB beer- Body Actualized Center provides the BEST vibes ever.
Now that the center has gained some recognition- the party was POPPIN’ and a New York Times reporter was present- their presence is sure to expand in Bushwick. Yoga classes begin on April 2nd and the space will continue to host (at least!) monthly parties and other events celebrating their wackiness. For more information, check out their website and like ‘em on facebook.
By Maria Gotay
One of the Bushwick’s newest mysteries The Body Actualized Center is nestled into what looks like a converted garage on Troutman street. The space houses all sorts of activities, acting as a yoga center, art space, performance venue, community kitchen, and more. All activities are aimed at bettering the self and learning while doing so. Basically, it’s one of the most open-ended DIY spaces in Brooklyn. They host yoga twice daily throughout the week and also have an excellent Cosmic Yoga session every Sunday evening. I joined them for their last cosmic yoga session before they closed to undergo some renovations.
Our class was lead by Amy, whom you may have seen somewhere around Bushwick with her huge smile and carefree attitude. She’s teaches a mellow Vinyasa yoga class with Kundalini breathing elements. It’s a very personal experience to do yoga in the quiet, dark, and chilly studio, where no one cares or even notices how long you can hold a shoulder stand. During cosmic yoga the experience is even more special- the session features live music! Last week a cellist played slow, beautiful, theraputic songs that really made the practice more sensory and enveloping. The cathartic class lasted about an hour and a half, featured very personal direction, and cost a mere ten dollars.
After the class finished a crowed of others arrived to enjoy the raw vegan meal that followed. A few cooks crowded the small kitchen and served thai-themed goods they had prepared for the occassion. The meal was beautiful! Big thanks to Nick, one of the chefs who prepared the feast, who sent me over a list of ingredients and items! The meal featured a smorgasborg of vegan dishes, including:
- Raw Thai Patties. With sprouted black garbanzo beans, basil, ground sesame seeds, flax seeds and pumpkin seeds. Served on sliced radish
- Thai Curry. With Kobucha squash, burdock root and red peppers. Topped with a raw green curry sauce.
- Cabbage salad. Purple cabbage, Siberian kale, basil, and sprouted mung beans. Served with a sesame ginger dressing
- Raw Thai spicy apple pie and Strawberry maufrois
It was delicious, healthy, and local!
Keep your eyes and ears out for future events, comic and daily yoga at the BAC, which will re-open in a few weeks with a fresh new shene. Like them on facebook to get all the details.