It's a Southside institution's birthday this week and its just a mere 80 years old!! Serving the Southside Community since 1931 (when the above photo was taken) the Brooklyn Cafe has long been the haunt for generations looking for a big Sunday breakfast and a tub of their famous ice-cream (listed in the Herald as one of the 100 things to do in Scotland before you die). It's funny that we've not written a post about these guys before but I guess there are certain places which we've not covered due to them being so well known that we all take them for granted.
We are big fans of family run local businesses, especially places that have been established for a long time. They embed themselves into the history of the local area and give that area an identity and connection to its past. Brooklyn Cafe is one of these places.
We've heard stories of people going there for breakfast before they went ice skating at the old ice-rink at Crossmyloof or memories of ice-cream and walks round the park when they were Children. Today if you go to the cafe you'll see a host of images on the walls showing the cafe through the ages and its fun to spot the different time periods and changes it goes through in the 60s, 70s and 80s. Some of the really old ones, as per the one above look great, with tall thin glazing panels and delicate and intricate lettering. Would love for more shops to go back to that old style, the modern way of large flat plastic fascia boards lose the skill and design flair of the traditional sign writer and a lot of the character is lost.
Another lovely nostalgic touch about the interior of the Brooklyn Cafe are the stairs, where the risers have all been formed in glass with the various different owners etched into the frosting. Its a subtle link to the past and shows a place proud of its history.
As it says on their menu "Domenico Pelosi arrived in Glasgow in the early 1900s after a brief spell in Wales. On the 15th October 1931 he opened the Brooklyn Café. From the 1960’s it was run by his youngest son Adolfo (Dolfi) and Michael they were helped by members of their own families most notably Dolfi’s wife Domenica (Jean). Tragically Dolfi then Michael died suddenly within 10 months of each other in 1979 and 1980. Jean was therefore thrust into running all aspects of the business as well as bringing up and caring for her family. She threw herself into these tasks and was helped in the café by her daughter Caroline and soon after by her son David. Jean followed her instincts by slowly introducing more home cooking to the menu, to add to the ever popular family ice cream from the Pelosi Ice Cream company. In 1986 Jean and David invested in the café and completely overhauled the layout and concept of the café bringing in better, wholesome home cooking as she had provided for her family all these years. It was an instant success with queues for tables almost everyday. As David recalls “It was a far bigger hit than we ever expected, we had never encountered any thing like it… we had to learn on our feet. We both went 9 months without a day off!” "
The food in Brooklyn Cafe is good quality, it's not a fancy place but you will get good value for money and its all pretty tasty. They have a pretty big menu with all the family favourites, they do a mean Cheese Steak, tasty pastas and the very successful All Day Breakfast which I must admit to having eaten one or two of over the years. If you are after a quick relaxed bits on the way home from work, you'll not do to badly popping in here and afterwards you can treat yourself with the rather famous homemade ice-cream which is still made on the premises. They make it freshly throughout the day with the peak of summer seeing them mixing up new batches every thirty minutes!
One thing we have always wondered was where did the "Brooklyn" in Brooklyn Cafe come from. The manager Johnny advises that sadly the story behind the name is lost to the history books. People seem to have their own theories, that it was named Brooklyn as it was across the way from Queens (The two famous districts of New York) others that it was linked to Mount Florida, to a family connection in New York or that it just sounded good. Anyone got any good suggestions for a reason why it might have got the name? Stick them in the comments below.
Following on from Yvonne's interview we have managed to track down her favourite Southside Artist Lola Dupre as this weeks interviewee. Lola is a very well travelled artist having lived all over the place but having spent the last ten years calling Govanhill home. She is pretty busy with shows at the moment of her mind bending work (note: no computers were involved in any of here work) and is sadly leaving us soon for a different southside - the southside of France!!
SSH: What is it that you make?
Lola: I take existing images and i cut them to shreds using my trusty pink scissors. I then heap them onto wood panels and pour glue over the top. The result is something similar to the original image, a warped view on an existing visual. I work with old illustrations and photographs, photos i take myself, found images, collaborative projects with photographers / visual artists and various other stimulating images. I enjoy producing illustration projects, commissions and personal projects. I am basically a human photoshop filter. You can see me in Govanhill walking around collecting scrap paper from the streets to satisfy my hunger for photo montage.
SSH: You mentioned you were well travelled where have you been?
Lola: I was born in Algeria, grew up in France and London. And for the last ten years or so Glasgow has been my home. I also briefly lived in Switzerland and Spain. I briefly studied Architecture but it was not for me.
I spent my youth bumming around Europe doing various short lived jobs. It was great fun, i always had sketchbooks with me and i think this time has been a great influence on me. I have worked with several mediums, but for the last several years collage has been the most important to me.
SSH: What is your favourite piece?
This is generally always the last piece i made, but i do quite like 'Mata Hari', 18 x 12.5 inches. (image below)
SSH: What's next?
I have two upcoming group shows in California, one at Fecal Face Dot Gallery, (full details on the other to be announced) And i have several upcoming projects i have made in collaboration with photographers.
SSH: Where do you go for inspiration?
Probably fecalface.com, but inspiration comes from everything.
SSH: Any advice for budding collage makers?It takes time, just stick at it and you will get better and better and better.
SSH: Whats your Southside Haven?
Vicky Road, and Goslow cafe, great places to see Glasgow go by.
SSH: If money was no option what would you change about the Southside?
Tolerance would be mandatory, and the streets would be paved with grass (nod to seth schwaiger).
SSH: Tell us one other interesting fact about you?
I have part custodianship of the cutest most lovable dog in the whole world!.
Leaves are dropping from the trees, the nights are getting dark and there is a chill in the air. Must mean we are right in the heart of autumn and that Halloween is not too far away. I had a "discussion" with an American friend the other day over the origin of Halloween. They insisted that it was started by her US ancestors and that we had all copied them. Even pulling out a Wikipedia page failed to fully convince her and when I started to explain that in the old days we'd spend hours trying to carve faces in turnips rather than pumpkins I lost her completely.
Anyway as you will all know Halloween is a traditional Scottish event from the phrase All Hallows Eve to mark the end of the summer as celebrated as the night he ghouls and ghosts walk the earth and terrify us all.
So what does this scary time have in store for us to enjoy in the run up to the witching hour? Please add anything we've missed in the comments below.
Scottish Opera are hitting the Southside with highlights of Rossini's "The Barber of Seville" at Cookie (7-8pm Tuesday 18 October ) and the return of Chef Wars on the last Sunday of the month with 3 amateur chefs battling out for your culinary votes. (30 October time tbc)
Listen in - Lights out at the GoSlow Cafe, Victoria Road in association with South Seed. Tickets are £5 with costume and £7 without. Food is available but its BYOB with a little £1 corkage. (29 October 7-10:30pm)
Two interesting art exhibitions, one at GoSlow by one of our recent Southside Happenings Creative Thursday interviewees Yvonne McClement with her show "Ottocats", some brilliant collage work of animal heads and portrait paintings. The other show is by local architects/ artists Hole in my Pocket with an exhibition entitled HIMPTOLOGY which was first shown at The Arches in Glasgow in 2010 and which reflects on ideas of belief and belonging through prints, drawings and film. Both shows on all month.
The Old Barn in Pollok Park needs help, they have been collecting books to send to disadvantaged schools in South Africa and need help to classify them. If you can lend a spare bit of time then drop in and check out the cool space. (Sunday 16 October 10-5pm) There is also a Charity Books sale the next week to raise funds (23 October 11-3pm)
For the kids there is the annual Halloween Spectacular at the Glasgow Science Centre which always gets rave reviews (28 October 6:30pm) and the Halloween themed Family Day at the Tramway with Monsters in the City, a tunnel of ghosts and ghouls and mexican sugar skulls. (30 October).
Southside Six is a new annual race through six of the Southside Parks starting from the flagpole in Queens park before heading through King's, Linn, Rouken Glen, Pollok, Bellahouston and then back to Queens Park, about 26km in total. Unfortunately for budding runners all spaces are now full but I'm sure they'd welcome people cheering them on their way as they pass through the parks. (Sunday 30 October 11am start in Queens Park)
Our favourite upcoming event of the month though is the return of the brilliant Southside Film Festival with two spooky Halloween offerings The Cabinet of Dr Caligari with Live Wurlitzer cinema organ at Pollokshaws Burgh Hall (Sunday 16 October 7pm) and Night of the Living Dead at the Shed preceded by a Zombie walk. (Sunday 30 October 8pm) Tickets on sale at Young's Interesting Books.
The Southside Film Festival are back in the beautiful surroundings of Pollokshaws Burgh Hall for another silent film screening with musical accompaniment from the magnificent Wurltizer Cinema Organ, for a screening of the film where horror began-The Cabinet of Dr Caligari/Das Kabinet des Dr Caligari (1920, 71 mins, U) on Sunday 16th October at 8pm. Licensed bar and ice cream available. These are always very popular so book your tickets soon.
Then on Sunday 30 October at 8pm in The Shed, they are screening cult horror classic Night of the Living Dead (1968, 96 mins, 15) which will be preceded by Southside's first ever zombie walk in Shawlands. There will be prizes for the best zombie so do go along dressed up!
Tickets are available for only £5 in advance or £6 on the door and you can buy tickets online at Ticket Scotland for both screenings or from Barry's Interesting Book Shop on Skirving St, Shawlands
Another regular favourite of ours is the Tramway's Pecha Kucha nights. Next one is in Tramway 4 on Thurs 13 October. The following will be presenting talks with 20slides (20seconds per slide).
Neil McGuire & Tom Warren
Suzy Glass & Ryan Thompson
Tickets (£4.50/£3.50) now on sale...Limited capacity!
Next week the Poetry and the Ivory is gearing up for a celebration of black history month. Featuring Headliners KOKUMO ROCKS and TAWONA SITHOLE with music and poetry from Erick Mauricia & Dennis Oliver.
There are slots available for other poets who will include a poem from a poet of African origin to read alongside their own work. Get in touch with Jacqueline if you are interested.
Kokumo was raised in the Fife village of Cowdenbeath, and hers was the only black family in the area. In the mid 1990's she was diagnosed as dyslexic and soon after she fulfilled her ambition to become a performance poet. She describes herself as an African/ Asian/Scottish writer and performance poet, and has performed in the UK, USA, India and Africa. Her collections include Bad Ass Raindrop and Stolen from Africa.
Tawona is from Zimbabwe, born to a large family with strong traditional roots. In 2005 he co-founded ‘Seeds of Thought’ group that aims to promote sharing of cultures through poetry, music, visual art. Tawona’s work explores less commonly known perspectives in an attempt to balance the sometimes negative associations made with Africa, past and present. His poetry has appeared in publications, exhibitions and postcards in Glasgow and England.
Jacqueline will be stopping organising and presenting Poetry@The Ivory after our 9th November event with Headliner Liz Niven to focus on completion of the Creative Writing-MLitt. at Glasgow Uni and to work with the Scottish Writers’ Centre since recently being elected Chair. So, if there is anyone out there who is keen to take on the Ivory from December send her an email.
Once upon a time I organised for the wonderful Eilidh MacAskill to put on a little performance to a packed planetarium crowd as part of her year long project Eilidh's Ukuele Ceilidh and it sound amazing. The planetarium is a great place, its got big comfy laid back seats, its nice and cosy and they put the lights off and let you see the stars drifting by. THe acoustics in the dome are also brilliant so I'm imagining the two gig's will be great.
Tickets are only £6 per person (+ £1 booking fee) Call 0141 420 5000 to book or drop in and speak to one of their sales staff. Doors open at 7.45pm, event starts at 8pm.
WARNING "Due to the starry nature of the gig we are unable to allow latecomers in after 8.00pm (they will be allowed access to the planetarium during the break at approx 8.45pm). "
And if the two gigs were not enough there are also more lectures in "The Insight Series" where experts in Science give talks about interesting aspects of space and astronomy.
The lectures this weekend are:
Saturday 8th October - 11am
Supermassive Black Holes: Einstein's Cosmic Monsters
Prof Martin Hendry
Black holes are probably the weirdest things in the Universe: regions of spacetime where gravity is so strong that time appears to stand still and even light itself cannot escape from their clutches. Astronomers believe that a supermassive black hole - many millions of times more massive than a normal star - can be found in the centre of galaxies. Studying them can tell us a great deal about the evolution of the Universe and even about gravity itself. Come along and hear the latest about the cosmic monsters lurking at the heart of every galaxy.
FREE with Science Mall entry- collect your ticket at the sales desk!
Saturday 8th October - 3pm-5pm
Stem Cells: A Vision of the Future
Free Film screening + Q&A film director Amy Hardie and stem cell scientist Dr Clare Blackburn
Bring along your questions about ANYthing to do with space, astronomy, the universe. From how do stars work to whether astronomy is worth the money - and Professor John Brown, Astronomer Royal for Scotland, will try to answer them and to encourage participation in the discussion.
FREE with Science Mall entry- collect your ticket at the sales desk!
This weeks Creative Thursday is with Govanhill based collage artist, decorative painter and sculpture conservator Yvonne McClement. It is also very well timed coming the day before her work goes on display in a show at the Go Slow Cafe titled "Ottocats" opens 8pm 7 October. Look out for her shuffling around Govanhill and rescuing amphibians from fallen foliage.
SSH: What do you do?
My practice is based on finding the right images that can be blended together to create a seamless new character, often using animal heads and attaching them to portrait paintings from artists such as Otto Dix and Ingres. The precision of the cutting of the figures is really important in my work, and the more detail to cut out the better! I'm also starting to play with gold leaf water gilding, using the shadow created by the gold on the glass to create a three dimensional effect. http://yvonnechiffon.tumblr.com/
I studied sculpture at Glasgow School of art, where I often found myself using collage elements, most importantly I enjoyed detailed work, and for this reason, I went on the study an MA in Conservation of Historic Objects. For the last two years, I have been working with Graciela Ainsworth Sculpture Conservation, working on various sculptures in Glasgow, including the Bengal tigress in Kelvingrove, and the Elder sculptures in Govan. This last year was spent working on the restoration of Stirling Castle royal apartments, which involved decorative painting, gilding and heraldry for six rooms. I'm now focusing on my own work again, and feel that I have been very lucky to experience so many different practices.
SSH: What is your favourite piece of work?One of my favourite pieces of work at the moment is a collage using portrait of Philbert Riviere by Ingres, with hand-painted wallpaper. I love the composition and the cat head works perfectly.
SSH: Apart from your exhibition at Go Slow what are you up to?I'm planning to spend more time experimenting with glass gilding. Perfecting my technique and getting the recipe right for the water size, I hear a touch of Gin works a treat!
SSH: Name another Southside Creative who you think we should ll check out?
Lola Dupre is definitely top of my list, her work is truly inspiring, and her dedication is something to be admired.
SSH: Favourite space in the southside?
Go Slow for coffee and late breakfast with friends, Rose is the perfect host! I also love walking in the park, I have a dog, so we're out in all weather, and when your there everyday you witness the changing seasons and wildlife. We were at the small pond last year when the frogs arrived for spawning, amazing, loud croaks, frogs jumping all around us, coming from all directions. My favourite was one with a leaf attached to its back, heading the wrong way. (I of course, removed said leaf).
SSH: If money was no option what would you change in the Southside?
I would install public sculpture in the park, I absolutely love to walk in and around sculpture, and would love to see Queen's park with a few of its own. Lots of Bronze, I love a weathered bronze patina.
I would definitely have a fountain in the large pond, with charging horses spurting jets of water (this of course would be clear and blue), you could dip your feet in on a hot day.
SSH: Tell us one unusual fact about yourself?
All my shoes are too big for me as I have really small feet. Look out for me shuffling around Govanhill.
Another little reminder about the brilliant sounding inaugural Bungofest organised by The Strathbungo Society and The Arches. In and around various Strathbungo locations there will be a host of free spoken word, poetry, theatre, kids workshop and music events. The full list is below and you'll see quite a few are roving the area. The idea is for you to drop into one of the local bars/ cafes and get some free entertainment at the same time.
Lots of great people are involved with local author (and recent Creative Thursday interviewee) Alan Bissett reading scenes from his novels, the amazing Eilidh MacAskill leading her Arches choir in full song and the evening topped off with performances from comedian Bratchy and performer Kieran Hurley. There is even an art exhibition by one half of Southside Happenings on display in Cookie.
As we've said before Bungo in the back Lanes is one of our favourite events in the Southside calender so we've got high hopes that this becomes a regular sister event. There are a lot of great little venues in the area and from our creative Thursday interviews we know the area has its fair share of artists and musicians. Get along and check it out and let us know what you thought.
THE LINE UP
11am-7pm Hole in My Pocket Exhibition
Cookie "Bringing their thoughts on faith, belief and belonging to Cookie, Hole in my Pocket form their own religion and ask you to become a true believer."
Award-winning writer and performer Alan Bissett (Death of a Ladies’ Man, Moira Monologues, Pack Men) reads Scenes From My Novels, and performer and theatre maker Martin O’Connor presents a selection of his Glasgow-themed words and sounds.
“On 27th June 2008 , I hitched a lift from Glasgow, alone, to be at the G8 summit in Italy”.
An intimate theatre performance telling the real experience of this journey, exploring the meaning and purpose of political protest, the limits of personal power and the possibility of change. “powerful and poignant” **** Scotsman
Welcome to the Southside Happenings site, documenting our adventures, things to do, places to see, and other information on the Southside of Glasgow.
documenting our adventures,
I am not sure how you would categorise this site, it’s not a ‘what’s on guide’ …it’s just some interesting stories about what we’re doing, or planning to do, in the Southside of Glasgow. [Now and again we might stray across the river, don’t hold it against us].
documenting our adventures,
Hopefully you’ll enjoy reading this, it may give you an idea of what to do on your next day off, night out, or maybe just something to read during your tea break.
documenting our adventures, things to do
Please feel free to add your comments, suggestions or tell us we’re completely wrong. If you know of an interesting event or a place worth a visit, feel free to get in touch with us.