Life Cafe Blog

Posts Tagged ‘pastel’


May 20, 2011

It’s time, well, past time, to shake the tree of Life. And so we have, as you’ll notice.

We’ve lived with scaffolding surrounding the building that houses Life Café for too many months. Our landlords continue to work out their issues over renovations to the buildings leaving us stuck in the middle of their wrangling.

So to give our old tree a shake, I’ve brought in my good friend Darin Rubell, founder of Mercadito and owner of Gallery Bar and Ella in the Lower East Side. Darin’s brief is to re-vitalize Life Café. He loves the East Village and Life Cafe and sees the Cafe’s 30-year history as an essential part of the fabric of the area. His mission is to bring new life to the old girl! And he’s passionate to see this happen. To that end he’s brought in Chef Consultant Paul Yellin to breathe new life and taste into our menu, creating new twists on old favorites and introducing some exciting new ones. The new menu with its fresh graphic styling makes it easier to choose a menu item and it’s much more easy to handle.

First Readers of Redesigned Life Cafe Menu

It’s still the old Life, but when you come in you’ll feel the buzz and excitement from the staff and the customers alike over what’s going on. You’ll notice the improvements right away when you step through the door. This week saw a fresh coat of paint and a new look: a soft creamy white ceiling with soft grey accents brighten up the room. Out have gone our vintage TV’s and in have come flowers and a more open feel. Our cozy corner is still cozy but without the one-eyed monster looking down on you. A second black chalkboard wall helps announce our new specials. John Sunderland’s off-the-wall artwork of his menu-based picture riddles remain in house to continue our policy of connection with the arts and to spur lively conversation among customers.

Fresh Look for Life Cafe for Spring 2011

Outside in back our freshly planted secret garden became a lush tropical jungle this week with all the rain, whilst out front our new bistro style sidewalk café brings a surprisingly European flavor to the corner of 10th and B.

Spring Bursts open in Life Cafe's Garden

We hope you will enjoy the new life we are breathing into the old, just in time for the next thirty years! Tune in tomorrow for “Who’s that Yellin’ in the Kitchen?” where we’ll give you a look into the exciting flavors Chef Paul Yellin has created for us.

Chalk Talk – Menu Picture Riddle

I thought this was as surreal as you can get, an Abacus with eggs?

Easy does it with the sums!


An exhibition of 12 of the best Life Cafe Menu Picture Riddles from the past year by John Sunderland, Artist and Mental Tease, who promises:
“All will be stripped away to reveal the answers and the ideas behind the images.”

July 1 through July 31, 2010

Life Cafe 983, Bushwick Brooklyn

Opening Party Tuesday, July 6,  7 pm -10pm

(*all original works and prints to order for sale)

Life Cafe East Village – Riddle Raffle June 21

riddle raffle


Life Cafe 983 Riddle Raffle June 18- June 25


Life Cafe 983 Riddle Raffle June 11 – June 18

Answer : Berry Pie


East Village Riddle Raffle JUNE 4 – JUNE 11

Answer: Beef it up!

Artists’ comment by John Sunderland.
There’s something about the way that cattle seem to look at the world, with complete complacency and acceptance. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see
a cow drifting by, chewing the cud, suspended irrationally in the sky, as though it was the most normal way for a cow to get about.
The thing about surreal illustrations is that they have to be well executed, this image is not quite there. I would like to try it again as a painting and take more time over it. I have alway had trouble with cows!

983 Riddle Raffle JUNE 4- JUNE 11


Gammon is an English name for thick cut bacon- bacon is the flesh of a pig- and this is the back of a pig! Hence Backgammon. I’ve been told that Americans don’t know or use the word ‘Gammon’ apart from in the sense
of BackGammon the game. Well you learn something new everyday folks!
However for that fact, on the Obscurity chart, this ranks a 7, that doesn’t count if you are European in which case the obscurity level would be a  one or two.
Cheers, John, the Old Yorkshireman in New York.

983 Riddle Raffle MAY 29- JUNE 4

‘LEMON CHEESECAKE’ artists’ note, by John Sunderland.

Cheeky huh! I Iooked in our fridge the other day and there was this lonely lemon sat on a shelf, and coincidentally, at Life Cafe Bushwick we had Lemon Cheesecake on the menu…so.
Clues wise, ‘Cheesecake’ was the generic term used for the kind of glamour illustrations and calendar photos that my dad would used to have in his office. So here is my
image of a sexy lemon inspired by the blonde and lovely, ‘Miss April’ from 1961. ( I am currently being investigated by the anti-sexism organization for exploitation of citrus fruit. Obscurity level, I give it a 3 on a scale of 10.

983 Riddle Raffle: MAY 21- MAY 28

‘FRENCH KISS’ The picture riddle from the East Village, first week in June, 2010  artists’ note by John Sunderland

The inspiration for ‘French Kiss’ came from my memories of my first French Greeting- being kissed on both sides of  the face by a french person, (rather than the french kiss, full on back of the throat job).
In this illustration, the clues are; the embarrassed look on the young man’s face, (I remember what that felt like coming from a shy English background). The chap is intentionally wimpish, the french rail ticket in his pocket tells you where he is, the red-white and blue cravat, could be English, could be French. However on the obscurity level I think it ranks a 7 from a possible 10 and if you got it, you must be a genius, congratulations!

'french kiss'

'french kiss'