Come and stay in our beautifully converted warehouse, in a vibrant neighborhood in Brooklyn. Enjoy our expansive kitchen, bathroom, darkroom, junkyard, rooftop and more, and enjoy the company of artists and good people. That said I myself am very passionate about my work aka busy and often the space is quite. Still a unique and awesome place from which to experience NYC......
This room is awesome! Not in the main space you are out in the yard in a little annex we call the avion. With a heater and A/C this room is great for a place to relax, entertain and get away from it all. The bed is small just an antique cast iron twin bed. With plenty of room on the floor it can conveniently house an extra bed. While here you will need to come into the main space about 50 ft away through the outside area. The entire area is gated and very private.
" Move quickly through the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, down the main thoroughfare Eastern Parkway, past a conflicting intermingling of beautiful terraced homes and marred vacant buildings, and you could easily miss a modern cultural landmark. Hidden in plain sight, packed inside a shuffle of industrial architecture, is the wondrous workshop loft space. Some half dozen other artists and makers who call his whimsical live-in, work-in reliquary, home. "
Vice Magazine, 2011
Well I couldn't have been asked to write that myself for want of conceit, but if Dean St is not a modern cultural landmark it is certainly an interesting place to be. Starting with the simple logistics. The cute little cabin like home upstairs with all the private rooms was originally built in the 1880's. In 1915 a larger industrial brick building that makes up the living space was built and the original small home simply put on top. Then, in the 1940's the 1,000 or so square feet that make up the current work studio was built. So, there is a lot of history in these odd walls. That certainly lends charm to the insensate and almost pathological renovations I have made here. At first I was broke and no better off than a homeless person. I froze through winters and sweated out summers transforming this space into a place to gather. Right now I am the only one actually living here……
There are currently five other rooms also available.
My thoughts upon arrival here in 1999 were that to start taking my work seriously I would need a space, a studio that allowed for no excuses, nothing less than perfection out of my work (we are all still waiting for that). There was a major problem with this plan and that is my wanderlust. I have it... or I had it bad, I can't tell anymore... to old, with too many ambitions and too many responsibilities to say right now. I always envisioned my place as permanent for me and transient for others. In this way I get to travel as well. I love movement and change, and I consider myself a skilled host.
The space was built for four people to live but as it turns out I have enough interesting stuff and projects for about eight people. So with four full-time residents there is simply too much stuff. Our hope is to keep the energy of Dean St going while also keeping it tidier and well staged for entertaining and beautiful living.
WHO ARE YOU
How should you expect to be treated? Well, you would be like a quest of a roommate. Meaning from our prospective probably someone who is interesting to know but probably also have your own agenda. We are not looking for friends but we are friendly. That said, I seem incapable of cooking for less then eight people, I got it from my mother. To be sure we are busy and just because we are in the kitchen drinking coffee staring into space it does not mean we care to discuss the weather or engage in time consuming polite rituals. We are interested in matters of consequence, actual current projects. Otherwise a simple " Good morning, is the coffee fresh or should make another pot? " , will do. Also perhaps it is important to mention that if the two available rooms are taken for 20 days out of each month we cover the rent on them. So, we are not expecting to make money off of you nor in that sense are we expecting to service you. I will make sure the towels and sheets are clean as well as the room, give you a brief tour (manual in the making) make sure you are feeling set and leave you be. You will be a quest in this odd and transformative space and we like our guests to feel at ease.
The neighborhood is rapidly transforming. Where once there were crack whores now there are baby strollers and reusable Eco-friendly shopping bags. Were once I would drink the night away with Sparkles over a couple of Night Flights (malt liquor marketed to children with Atari-esque graphics of fighter planes on it's 16oz. can) rapping about her inevitable demise, now I am asked to keep the noise down by well meaning sleepy eyed yuppies. No worries I have laid down the law here as far as that goes. We get to not worry about being loud; that said, I am not a dick nor do I rage late into the night, but if it just so happened to be on the menu for whatever reason, to be loud… it's quite alright.
You will find the area very safe and the community extremely friendly. As a new comer you should make eye contact and say hello to the people you pass sitting on stoops and gathered on corners. Again, you are the guest. If you make friends with the old men on the corner they might just invite you for a drink in the members only social club or pour you a Cranberry and Vodka out of the minivan that never moves.
As for women (because I know it’s different), you should know that more women over the years have lived here than men by far. Also oddly enough Europeans always, be they women or men, feel very comfortable here. AKA, Americans just can't seem to shake that white black divide. I am as guilty as anyone else.
TRANSIT AND ATTRACTIONS
We are close to the A and C train which I find quite handy. Basically in all of New York regardless of the details you need an hour to get anywhere. Sometimes less, but if you can't be late that's the rule, 1 hour. Others in the area will tell you it takes 25 minutes to midtown. We are also near the 2,3 and 4,5. I have a car and sadly have not been on the subway in months, ... years. Parking is readily available and for film crews or bands coming through we have a huge 2,500 square foot junk yard that an 18-wheel truck could park in (fees may apply). The space is a half hour by train from JFK, a 20 min car ride to La Guardia and I know nothing about New Jersey. Another odd and inappropriate prejudice you will appreciate as an itinerant New Yorker, … we get to hate on New Jersey. The LIRR is just four blocks away which connects you to America's largest remaining train system, running a far north as you can imagine and I know you can get to Washington, DC beyond that I am not sure.
So aside from hating on New Jersey what else is there to do in the area? We are a nice walk to the Brooklyn Museum, Prospect Park, The Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, The Farmer's Market. As I mentioned before gentrification has brought in a sea of Bars, sushi restaurants, authentic Oaxacan joints, extremely small and expensive Italian and French places. A few of the old dives are still around as well. In short you will not starve for want of good interesting places to pass the time close to home.
WHAT IS SPECIAL ABOUT THIS SPACE
Firstly, It is a functioning multi media art studio. With a woodshop, a metal shop, a ceramic studio, a large format darkroom, a foundry, a forge. Your chances of waking up to the filming of a Beyonce video are as good as coming home in the evening to live music around a fire in the junkyard. It is alive and vital to an ever growing community of artist and creators who over the years have seen it as and seek it out as a refuge for open mindedness, experimentation, and more than anything else, space! A rare commodity in this city.
If you are a person that needs a base of operations when you travel this is the space for you. Aside from the usual washer dryer, wifi, printer, scanner,… etcetera. You also have access to a great environment for entertaining and in general feeling like you are a part of a community. With that comes the standards of sharing a space like doing your dishes but we are all adults here so that's no big deal. There is almost always something going on here, a photo shoot, a movie, a party. If you don’t want to be a part of it, hang out it any one of the empty and private spaces scattered around this large compound This is a very active space to live and a special way to see one of the best cities in the world.
If you are a light sleeper chances are you will have no issues but parties can happen randomly through out the week, sometimes the shop is in use late and I can't ensure you will have a silent night, … I travel with earplugs as a rule.
I loved the Avion. It's sort of exactly how it's advertised -- a fun stay in an airstream. Really nice international community of artists that live there and everyone I met there was super welcoming. Close by a bunch of great train lines in Brooklyn so super accessible.
Staying in The Avion was a fun experience. The whole place is perfect and everyone that was there was friendly and gave us space. The Avion was cold at first because of the low temperatures but the heaters inside heat it up well. The house was full of surprises and I can't wait to go back and try another room. I would suggest staying here for anyone looking for a fun stay.
We had a great stay at the Brooklyn Arts Studio! They were super helpful and understanding, even when 'travel issues' led to us arriving a day late. They even moved us to an inside room due to the cold.
The space is probably the most interesting, immersive and interactive place I have had the pleasure to stay- a vintage steampunk's hipster hoarder wet dream. Needless to say, as admitted junk collectors, amateur home renovators and wannabee artists, my partner Chris and I loved the surroundings here.
Unfortunately we only had 4 nights here and were pretty sick for most of the stay, but we still enjoyed it.
Overall an inspiring experience. The bathroom is shared, as well as all common areas. The space offers many things to explore and the ability to meet interesting people as artists and friends are always coming and going along with other guests. Be open and prepared for some surprises..
We arrived late but our host was very welcoming and were shown to our room (caravan).
I had previously checked that there were two beds, one bed was found and the second was a 2inch piece of form and a bunch of old blankets. Ok, I was tired so slept ok but woke feeling very cold.
We're both open minded guys, but the cleanliness, or lack thereof was an issue for us both. I was also subject to some nasty insect bites (bed bugs or fleas perhaps) around my neck and back, I assume from the make shift bed.
The other guests / artists were extremely friendly but after two nights we decided to go stay with friends in Brooklyn (warmer and cleaner).
Please think carefully before booking, a very friendly place, host etc but just not for me.
The Avion is definitely a unique and interesting experience with friendly hosts who immediately make you feel at home :). They were flexible with my check-in time despite flight delays, and the common area is delightful to explore and inspire. The one caveat is that the Avion may be a little chilly during the wintertime -- while there is a heater there, make sure to bring some extra layers! Other than that, I had a pleasant stay and hope to come back. Thank you!
If you would like to meet some interesting artists living in Brooklyn, this is your place. Creative minds abound. Kellam was a very open and friendly host. Definitely an experience worth having.
The Avion is a wonderland for creators, thinkers and jokers. The rooms are filled with a million curious things to examine and play with. I spent the evening hanging in the main room, chatting with guests and absorbing the inspiration that seemed to permeate throughout. Hosts were gracious and took good care of us. The shower was an added bonus, I loved it. You'll see.
A unique experience in a great atmosphere. Friendly people. So give it a chance.
What a wonderful experience. Thanks Kellam & Co. for your greatness!