A Guide to Crown Heights, Brooklyn ft. Alex Harvilla
Alex is a marketing strategist living in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, in a space filled with storied histories of punk, new wave, and Brooklyn's local flavor. Responsible for guiding the direction of iconic beauty brands in consumer media, Alex shared the various ways his perspective is shaped by powerful artists of decades past and the vintage character that makes its way into the corners of this historic neighborhood. His notes below tell a few stories of things that matter most in his life and what makes Crown Heights his home. 🔮🙏
My favorite piece of art titled ‘King Nothing.’ I love the high-energy colors and morbid subject matter. One of my best friends, Laura Haas, painted it. I love that when people are creeped out by it, they say “that’s interesting” OR “It’s not MY taste, but I’m glad you like it.” Side note: WTF is that supposed to mean? #Seriously. All in all, if you have a piece of art that creeps as many people out as it impresses – it’s safe to say you’ve found a good piece.
I’m a big fan of 80s new wave, dark wave, and synth music - so I made a table. I know each person/artist included and they’ve impacted my taste in one way or another. Why all of the 80s things? I love the experimentation and depth of sound, the contrast of depressing lyrics with a happy tune, and all the pretty people.
No that’s not New Jersey, It’s a piece of a red balloon. For my 31st birthday, I had the chance to see Nena preform 99 Luftballoons with one of my best friends, and they dropped 99 red balloons on us (yes, they let us know it was exactly 99). It was the first time they had performed in the US in 30 years! New Order made me crazy about New Wave, but Nena made me crazy about the 80s. I still get pissed when I request this song and receive the English version.
From the jerk seitan and alcoholic slushies to the always summer attire, this place is has become a life-staple for me. I bring every out of towner here to help paint the illusion of having my life together. I hate snow, and I love coming here during the first snowstorm and drinking away the ickiness (no shade snow lovers). I also like that the staff never judges me for coming in hungover AF after a dance-centric Saturday night.
For risk of sounding like that hipster everyone hates, I live out my mid-century modern dreams here. I’m a sucker for excellent lighting and strong drinks. This used to be my first date spot (because the lighting is so good) but then I started running into ex-dates, and that’s an awkward story for another time.
It’s awesome to live in a neighborhood that can support multiple vintage/antique shops. You can always find that one piece that you didn’t know you needed until you saw it.
BKW has some of the best local wines I’ve ever had and the dips of my dreams. It’s on the corner of my street so safe to say I always find an excuse to dive in there. The intimate setting and family-like staff make knowing everyone super easy. It’s one of those places that makes you feel like you’re that popular character in a movie.