Daily Archives: April 30, 2013

The Ultimate Sketchers Destination & A Fabulous Cantina

The walls are bursting with sketchbooks!  That you can touch!  And no one scolds you, they just give you more!

Friday (4/26) we made it to the Brooklyn Art Library, aka the Sketchbook Project, and it was literally worth the price of this entire trip to New York state just to see that place.  It’s not big, it’s all about being on a human scale.  It’s a little store front tucked in to the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn, which apparently is the current hipster hotspot of New York City.  A staffer welcomes you and explains a bit, then hands you some sketchbooks… and off you go, down into the Rabbit Hole.  You make yourself at home at a big table and get lost in other people’s worlds.  Each book is small but mighty.  It’s like a Tapas feast for the mind.  Beautiful, intriguing, weird – and then some.  As we say in our family to indicate the ultimate Thumbs Up review, “I laughed.  I cried.  It moved me, Bob.”  (a quote from a talking cucumber about a favorite episode of Veggie Tales.)  So if you can get to New York, go.  If you can’t get to New York, click on the link and join the project that way, or watch for their “bookmobile” to come to a city near you – they tour!  I signed up for the 2014 tour, can’t wait to get started on my little sketchbook!


"The Sketchbook Project", mixed media but mostly ink by Kerry McFall

“The Sketchbook Project”, mixed media but mostly ink by Kerry McFall

This sketch includes their business card in the middle of the page, and the smiles of the other folks sharing our table!

And speaking of Tapas – after our visit at the sketch project, we strolled around the waterfront for a bit, then went back up the street to Cantina Royale – perfection on a plate!  The wine was very good, the food was divine, the wait staff were fun.  When I ordered the Camarones Something-I’ve-Forgotten but sort of like Lubinsky, the handsome waiter said, in his gorgeous Mallorcan (sp) accent, “That will make a good small plate, but not enough for a meal.”  Wrong.  He brought a not-so-small plate of three rich plump shrimp, stuffed with some kind of cheese that is now my favorite if I only knew the name, wrapped in bacon, and broiled… displayed on a bed of carefully-sliced crisp greens, with a hint of some rosy-colored sauce.  Pretty sure I had died and gone to Heaven…  completelely made up for the abysmal dining experience of a few days before in Midwood.  Griff ordered what he thought would be a bowl of soup, which turned out to be a huge cauldron of the best chicken tortilla soup ever.  The Cantina was uniquely decorated also, lots of wine reds and rich browns, funky touches like the old red phone and a chandelier worthy of a Phantom of the Opera stage, although my sketch didn’t capture the glass-encased electrical meters and pipes and ducting that made up both of the side walls.  If you’re ever in the Williamsburg area, don’t miss these two treats!

sketch of interior of Cantina

“Cantina Royale”, mixed media by Kerry McFall