FOR NEARLY A DECADE, we've grown a community around Mister Saturday Night, Mister Sunday and Nowadays in temporary and seasonal spaces.
After achieving our goal to build a permanent indoor space at Nowadays, we now have the opportunity to build a mind-blowing sound system.
The indoors of Nowadays is already warm and inviting, thanks to a massive set of wraparound windows that bathe the space in northern and western sunlight. We've also laid a large wood floor for maximum coziness, and we've secured enough to install a nice hi-fi system for listening music. We've now teamed up with SBS Designs to bring incredible sound for dancing.
SBS Designs is run by Craig "Shorty" Bernabeu. Inheriting a love of sound from his audiophile father, his passion led him to become a tech at Zanzibar, where Tony Humphries would call him mid-set to come tweak the Richard Long-designed system. (Long was also the inventor of the Bertha and the designer of the Paradise Garage's sound system.) This experience led Steve Dash to tap Shorty as the lead sound engineer at Twilo through the late 90s.
With all this knowledge, Shorty stepped out to design his own systems, most notably at Stereo in Montreal – a system that Francois K was rumored to have said was the best he'd played on since his days at the Garage – and most recently at Analog, which he opened in Brooklyn.
Now Shorty is designing the system at Nowadays. No matter what, the sound will be great, but with your help, we'll be able to come out of the gates with something that will blow you away.
WHAT YOUR FUNDS WILL DO
Our current goal is $100,000. After reaching our initial goal of $50,000 to secure the safety, licensing and permitting of Nowadays indoors, we are now stretching to build an incredible sound system. We are working with Craig "Shorty" Bernabeu at SBS Designs to install a custom SBS Slammer system. Early in the days of Mister Saturday Night, we were blessed to have one of Shorty's systems at our party. It was the best system we've ever played on, and it immediately reminded us of the systems we'd heard in New York in the late 90s and early 2000s.
Most sound these days orients subwoofers on one side of a room to provide the cleanest bass. But old school New York systems have the bass set up in four corners, which, when done correctly, creates an immersive feeling that submerges you in sound no matter where you are on the dance floor – all while running at a volume that allows you to have a conversation on the dance floor.
We want the sound at Nowadays to be spoken about in the same breath as Zanzibar, the Paradise Garage, Vinyl and Twilo. With your help, we can make that happen.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF MISTER SATURDAY NIGHT AND NOWADAYS
Almost a decade ago, we started a party. The
idea was simple, to create the best possible environment for
people to connect to each other and to themselves through music.
We started in a club, but it became clear that the ingredients weren't right, so we moved into live/work, DIY spaces in Brooklyn, places where the ethos was about community instead of cash, where there was freedom to set up in a manner that was conducive to dancing, meeting people and actually enjoying music.
Along the way, we saw our dream coming true. People were becoming friends through the party; romances bloomed, and marriages happened; early attendees had kids and started bringing them out for their first dances. As this unfolded before our eyes, we realized we needed a permanent home for the community that had grown up around the parties.
The precariousness of relying on spaces rented on an ad hoc basis, with no guarantee for the future, jeopardized the sustainability of something that had become important in the lives of many people. So we went on a hunt for a needle in a haystack – a big piece of undeveloped land in or around Brooklyn with a sizable indoor space, not too far away from a train, but not too close to neighbors.
After a couple years of searching, we found an old cabinet factory with a big back yard on the border of Brooklyn and Queens in Ridgewood. We started by turning the back yard into a seasonal, summertime bar, restaurant and venue where we could host Mister Sunday as well as some other cool programming. This is what the yard looked like when we found it:
And this is what we turned it into:
We have achieved our first goal of $50,000 which will allow us to open a year-round, permanent indoor space for hanging, eating, drinking, listening, learning and dancing. Now we've set our sites on our next goal – $100,000 to help us build the most special sound system in New York. We hope that you'll help us.
We've set a number of rewards in return for helping us reach our goals. Beyond contributing, we need your help to spread the word. Don't worry if you're not in a position to give: a post on your Facebook page, or an email to your friends is priceless.
Whatever you do, we appreciate it from the bottom of our hearts.
Eamon Harkin and Justin Carter
Nowadays is a unique indoor and outdoor space for experiencing exceptional music, food, drinks and other cultural programming, situated on the Brooklyn-Queens border. With the late spring 2017 opening of our five-thousand-square-foot, sun drenched, acoustically treated indoor bar, communal dining room and dance floor, Nowadays will be open year-round.
Nowadays will be the home of the long standing Mister Saturday Night and Mister Sunday dance parties, and in 2017 will feature new dance parties with local and international DJ friends playing on a world class sound system on a beautiful dance floor.
This year Nowadays will also host an outdoor weekly live music series in partnership with Le Poisson Rouge, and it will be the new home for Planetarium, the hi-fi listening and live music event series started by owners Justin Carter and Eamon Harkin. In fact listening will be a theme at Nowadays, and to that end, we're installing a second hi-fidelity listening system for when it's time to sit back and let the sound wash over you.
Music comes first
at Nowadays, but it's also a chill place to relax with any number of
friends. We'll have lots of space inside and outside. There's a full bar and a food program overseen by Henry Rich of Rucola, June and
Fitzcaraldo. We'll take bookings for large groups on our website.
We'll also host a weekly film series in partnership with Maysles Cinema and host classes on a range of really edifying and interesting topics with our friends at Think Olio.
We're looking forward to seeing you at a table, in the back yard, at a class, a film screening or concert, or on the dance floor soon. The good old days are Nowadays.
Risks and challenges
RUNNING A SPACE AIN'T EASY
Bad weather, a maze of NYC regulations, a notoriously tough business: running a space for food, drinks and events is not a walk in the park. The good news is that we've been doing it for years. Gowanus Grove, Industry City and the Nowadays back yard had to go through most of the same permitting processes as the indoors at Nowadays, so we've already got plenty of experience navigating these waters. And we've learned how the business functions seven days a week by doing two summers of Nowadays.
Beyond that, we recently added Henry Rich to our team. Henry has run Rucola (our favorite post-Mister Sunday restaurant), Fitzcarraldo, the Commissary at Metrograph, June Wine Bar and a host of other restaurants. He's a real pro.
EXPANDING TO YEAR-ROUND BUSINESS IS NEW
We know what it's like to run a seasonal outdoor venue, but we've never run a year-round space. Luckily Henry has the aforementioned experience; Eamon's former life saw him project managing big budgets and hundreds of employees in the tech world; and Justin spent a couple years as the Music Director at APT, which hosted seven nights a week of programming. This is a new experience for all of us, but collectively, we've got some years behind us, and we've always been good with new challenges.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)