Saturday, May 20, 2006

Hamels Show at Princeton + Swanky in Brooklyn

Jennifer and Eric Hamel's Exhibit
Yesterday I took the train down to Princeton to the opening of an art show by a writer and artist whose friendship I've cherished for nearly two decades, Eric Hamel.

He was exhibiting his beautiful watercolor, ink and oil paintings and drawings at the University Medical Center at Princeton University (253 Witherspoon St., Princeton) alongside bright and lively oils by his sister, Jennifer Hamel. The paintings are on display until July 19 (Daily 8 a.m.-7 p.m.; (609) 497-4069). Eric 's works on display here are mostly landscapes, and they range between black-and-white ink washes and multicolored abstractions, but all, in their calligraphic expressivity, subtlety and precision, reflect the poetic sensibility he brings to his literary work.

Below are some photos from the exhibit.

Eric doing some last-minute adjustments to a painting

One of Jennifer Hamel's landscapes

Some of Eric's works on exhibit

One of Jennifer Hamel's symbolist paintings

Eric Hamel

Swanky at the Base in Brooklyn
Friday night C. and I headed over to Brooklyn to catch a party that friends of his are promoting: Swanky, at the Base (229 Empire). MASSIVE Productions and RASfm Productions were behind the evening. Featuring some of the best and most infectiously danceable reggae, soca, dancehall, and hiphop beats (with an almost zero homophobic quotient, thankfully!) I've heard in years, Swanky's doors opened at 10 pm, by 3 am the club was starting to fill with partygoers. The featured artists--Benjai, Juicy, Baba Shanta, Trinity, and surprise guests--may have hit the stage after we left. For those interested in future Swanky events, you can contact them directly at or log onto Some photos from the event are below:

One of the DJs jamming

The bar area and the VIP area in the background

Some of the revelers (friend and promoter Donavan S. is in the background)

Some of the partygoers listening to the music

C., friend Tonya C., one of the Swanky greeters, and I

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