I Love My Kitchen Because: Gary Olson
A native Brooklynite and lead singer of the band The Ladybug Transistor, Gary Olson has lived in the same big old Victorian house in Ditmas Park for more than 10 years now, where he operates the recording studio Marlborough Farms (which is also the nickname of the house) and plays host to a rotating cast of musicians and artists. If you listen carefully to Ladybug's most current album, Clutching Stems, you can hear a few pots and pans rattling aroun
The kitchen is in the dead center of the house, so that you have to walk through it to get anywhere else. It gets a lot of traffic, and whenever I have a party everyone always gathers there. A lot of people have met for the first time here; I even know some married couples who came across each other for the first time in my kitchen.
One of my housemates made the kitchen table from an old wooden workbench—it’s a bit narrow but you can squeeze 5 people around it. The chairs come from a church sale that my dad went to in the ’70s. I think he paid a dollar a piece for them. The backs of the chairs have slots for hymnals and communion glasses.
The stained glass window hanging over the sink was salvaged from a renovation of my family’s summer house in the Poconos—it was a perfect fit. My favorite glasses, which keep on the windowsill above the sink, are these vintage flowered sour cream jars from the ’70s that I often find sifting around the Poconos. I keep my eyes out for them every time I’m there, and if I’m lucky I find ones with lids that can be used for storage too.
I recently dug out my old tape player and set it up in the kitchen, and am really loving listening to music on cassettes while I cook. There’s been a lot of New Order playing these days.
Marlborough Farms was once the set for a Darren Hanlon music video starring Eli Wallach, directed by a former long-term resident, Kevin Barker. The kitchen looks great in it! The cabinets have changed since then though—I miss the old ones shown in the video.
Interview conducted and condensed by Anna Stockwell