by Andrew Rosenberg, 01/28/2014
Film Biz Recycling. Photo: Ed O'Neill
Gowanus is framed by two stalwarts espousing the "reduce, reuse, recycle" mantra. Up on President Street, Film Biz Recycling is the kind of place you could get lost examining old phones, plastic fruit, forgotten bowling trophies and other useful props for home or, taking the name to heart, any cinematographic projects you might want to enter into (that's where most of their stuff comes from). Similarly rambling, Build It Green NYC, not far from the Smith/9th subway station, recirculates all sorts of furnishings and fittings in as-is condition—there's a giant room almost totally given over to old doors—and fits some (barely) used books and albums on its premises too. Looking for something a bit more specialized and on a smaller scale? No problem. Brooklyn Brine is your community pickle emporium, offering whiskey-soaked pickle chips, spicy deli spears, fennel-infused brined beets and other potent combinations. (The man behind it, Shamus Jones, has also opened a down-home vegetarian restaurant around the corner, the Pickle Shack, that features an excellent beer list and, of course, plenty o' pickles.) Specializing in the kind of handiwork that neatly updates Gowanus' scrap-metal past, Cut Brooklyn spotlights hand-forged steel knives by Joel Bukiewicz. Walk in on a Saturday (or Wednesday; the place is open only two days a week), greet the house cat, skirt the two motorcycles parked inside and you might spot just one or two pieces for sale; this kind of craftsmanship sells itself, and doesn't come quick (a chef's knife takes 11–14 hours to make) or cheap (prices run $350–$650)—though it does come with lifetime service.