Immerse yourself in Art!
The term immersion is all of a sudden omnipresent, but often misapplied. I think immersion is about being an active participant and being deeply involved; it is not for the passive at heart. It is increasingly important in this digital age to check in and connect person to person, eye to eye. To be a part of an artist’s art for a select number of patrons is worth your complete immersion — this is the opposite of a Justin Bieber concert! This week’s Find will show you how to have incredible and incredibly immersive experiences!
Immersive Culinary Art
261 Moore St, Brooklyn, NY 11206 (Bushwick)
Have you ever watched the magic of a chef preparing a masterpiece? Try to get a reservation at Blancaimmediately. It is an offshoot of critically acclaimed pizza purveyor Roberta’s in Bushwick. Chef/owner Carlo Mirarchi (pictured above) has been preparing a tasting menu for a select few at the bar at Roberta’s for some time and has expanded the operation into a large, airy and comfortable kitchen in the adjacent space. 12 lucky eaters get to observe the performance from the open kitchen as the chefs toss, sear, chop, and prepare the 20 course tasting menu. The food is amazing, I also suggest the beverage pairing, but you will need an Uber. Tasting menus can often be pretentious and make me feel trapped, but this one is just right. You feel like you are in a friend’s kitchen. Clearly, those in the know enjoyed the experience as much as me, as it earned 2 Michelin stars. Immersion achieved!
Immersive Theater Arts:
195 Maujer St, Brooklyn, NY 11206 (East Williamsburg)
Did you ever wonder who Lewis Carroll was and what Alice in Wonderland was really about? This production is an opportunity for 15 audience members to immerse themselves into a dreamscape inspired by the writings of Lewis Carroll. Audience members are ushered into elaborately decorated rooms, often by yourself, to observe critical scenes that informed his writings. Guests are encouraged to explore further and expand their understanding by opening drawers, playing games, and looking at documents, all of which fills in your understanding of the events that were the groundwork for Alice. While audience members explore the nuanced rooms, most notable is how personal and individualized each guest’s experience is — for no two are the same. At first I was cautious, but once I embraced it, thought about it, and got over my claustrophobia (really), I thoroughly enjoyed the immersion.
Immersive Musical Arts:
Concerts in Madison Square Garden can be amazing, but are hardly immersive. The Beacon Theater is closer, but still not there. Now imagine going to the third story of a walkup apartment and listening to a new band with a like minded musical enthusiast. This is Sofar (which stands for “Songs from a Room”) and I want to thank fellow Finder Brett W. for introducing me to this Find!
Sofar is in 240 cities and brings together musicians and music enthusiasts for an intimate, immersive experience. Musicians apply to perform. Listeners either reserve space or apply for space when the reserved seats are sold out. In NYC there are events almost every night and are happening in every corner of the city. The feel is drinking beer and enjoying music in a friend’s apartment of a band that is excellent, sometimes great. There are typically three performances and the music varies, but is always interesting.