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June 30th, 2009

No Words Daily Pix: Photograph by Hugh Crawford


Posted in Civics and Urban Life | Comments Off on No Words Daily Pix: Photograph by Hugh Crawford

June 30th, 2009

Marty Endorses Bill deBlasio for Public Advocate

I read it on my Facebook page. But then I saw it on the Brooklyn Paper. Here's an excerpt:

Borough President Markowitz heartily endorsed Councilman Bill
DeBlasio for public advocate on Monday — the second time in as many
weeks that the borough’s highest elected official has backed a
Brooklynite for a citywide office.

Last week, Markowitz journeyed to City Hall to endorse Councilman David Yassky (D-Brooklyn Heights) in his run for comptroller.

A cynic would say — not this cynic, of course, but another cynic who
looks like him — that Markowitz, the ultimate Brooklyn booster, didn’t
look at resumes, but a map when he selected Yassky over his three
Queens rivals John Liu, Melinda Katz and David Weprin; and then
DeBlasio over his adversaries, Councilman Eric Gioia (D-Queens), and
Mark Green and Norman Siegel, both of Manhattan.

“I must say that I know all the candidates [in both races] and
they’re very good candidates,” Markowitz said at Borough Hall on
Monday. “But I just think that David and Bill will do a better job.

“And the fact that they’re both from Brooklyn is just the strawberries on top of Junior’s cheesecake,” he added.
Posted in Civics and Urban Life | 1 Comment »

June 30th, 2009

Gotham Gazette: Understanding the Ballot Petitions

The Gotham Gazette (GG) is a good, wonky read especially if you're trying to make sense out of NYC politics. The article excerpted below might even help you understand what all those volunteer petitioners are doing out on the streets of NYC.

Reading GG, I learned a thing or two.

The election laws we now live by were developed in the 19th century to make the process more democratic. Previously the system was controlled by party
leaders who had complete control over which names appeared on the ballot.

Now thanks to those laws, there are petitioning requirements. According to GG, the purpose of these requirement is "to ensure that only those candidates with
huge campaign war chests or party backing have the wherewithal to get
on to the ballot — and stay there. Here's an excerpt from a piece called Understanding the Labyrinth: New York's Ballot Access Laws by DeNora Getachew and Andrea Senteno:

In order to get on the New York City primary election ballot this
year, candidates could begin collecting signatures for their
designating petitions on June 9 — 37 days[DMG3] before the last day to
turn in designating petitions for the primary election

The law is very specific about how many signatures candidates must
collect. They have to get 5 percent of the enrolled voters of the
political party in the political unit covered by the office — council
district, borough or the entire city — or the specific numbers
enumerated in the state's Election Law,
whichever is less. For a candidate for City Council, that number is 900
signatures, but as a cushion against petition challenges, the rule of
thumb is to obtain at least three times the legal minimum.

The candidates also must figure out is who is eligible to sign the
petitions and who can collect the signatures. While only registered
voters who are members of the candidate's political party and reside in
the district in question can sign the petition, any registered voter
who is a member of the candidate's political party and lives in New
York City can collect signatures. Voters are allowed to sign just one
petition per office.

The candidate has approximately five weeks to collect all of the
requisite signatures and file his or her designating petitions with the
main city Board of Elections
office between July 13 and 16, which complies with the state law
requirement that designating petitions be filed between the tenth
Monday and the ninth Thursday preceding the primary election.

That done, the challenge portion of the petitioning process begins.
According to the board's rules, it conducts a prima facie "review [of]
each cover sheet and petition to ensure compliance with the New York
State Election Law." This marks the first round of challenges to the
candidate's petition — but definitely not the last. The law allows any
voter registered who can vote for the candidate to file written
objections with the Board of Elections challenging that candidate's
designating petitions. Those challenges must be made within three days
of the filing of the petitions. [DMG4]

Once challenges are filed, the board holds hearings to assess the
validity of the challenges and issues a determination. In order to
appeal the board's decision a person must commence an action in state
Supreme Court – the lowest level court in New York's court system
"within 14 [DMG5]days after the last day to file a petition or within
three business days after the board makes a determination regarding the
invalidity of such petitions, whichever is later."

If the appeal involves a determination about whether a candidate's
name will appear on the ballot or a voting machine, the Supreme Court,
if possible, is supposed to issue a final order at least five weeks
before the day of the election. Candidates can appeal such decisions.

Posted in Civics and Urban Life | Comments Off on Gotham Gazette: Understanding the Ballot Petitions

June 30th, 2009

Tidbits: City Council Candidates: Discretionary Funds, Green Party Petitions, Sponge Parks, Stroll Polls

So far, it's a quiet week on the campaign trail. Not like the last weeks and months which were chock full of fun: petitioning, street fairs, LGBT parades, Howard Dean showing up in Park Slope and endorsing two candiates in the same race, forums, Superfund discussions, and more.

But the petitioning continues and for David Pechefsky, Green Party candidate in the 39th, it is just beginning. He has to wait until July 1 to petition for names to insure his name on the November ballot. If you want to see a Green Party candidate on the ballot, be on the lookout for one of his volunteers. They'll be wearing green t-shirt with a funny caricature of Pechefsky on the front.

Interesting piece in the Gotham Gazette about discretionary funding—who gets it and who doesn't. It cites Brooklyn City Council member Lewis Fidler as "The King of Discretionary Funding." Bill deBlasio is in the top 10.

Bob Zuckerman, a 39er, is very happy about the $300,000 in federal funding that was approved by the House of Representatives for the Sponge Park, which will use greenery to absorb and manage excess surface runoff and help improve the water quality of the Gownaus Canal. As currently planned, the design will include usable public space.  “I am so pleased that the House has approved funding for this innovative project, which simultaneously reduces contamination of the greater Canal area and creates public outdoor recreational space at the same time,” Zuckerman said.

Did I mention that he's been endorsed by the Stonewall Democratic Club of New York (SDCNY) and the Lambda
Independent Democrats of Brooklyn (LID)?

And check out Doug Biviano, one of the 33's, who did a "stroll poll" asking pedestrians to write ona chalk board outside of his campaign office on Montague Street. Here's what he found:

  1. 37% — Healthcare   (57 votes)
  2. 22% — Education   (33 votes)
  3. 18% — Affordable Housing   (27 votes)
  4. 15% — Parks & Playgrounds   (23 votes)
  5.   8% — Corruption & Campaign Reform   (12 votes)

Posted in Civics and Urban Life | 2 Comments »

June 30th, 2009

Park Slope’s Simone Dinnerstein to Make Philharmonic Debut on July 7th

Dinnerstein_simone_0809 Park Slope's Simone Dinnerstein, who has won numerous awards and honors for her piano playing, will be making her New York Philharmonic debut on July 7th and 8th at 7:30 p.m. as part of the Summertime Classics series.

Be there for the music and to take pride in this native Park Sloper who now lives here with her husband and son. She recently started a music series at PS 321 and next year, I hear, there are going to be four concerts with very top
musicians; their performances are donated and all proceeds to P.S. 321.)

Posted in Postcard from the Slope | Comments Off on Park Slope’s Simone Dinnerstein to Make Philharmonic Debut on July 7th

June 30th, 2009

Found: Injured Baby Sparrow, Help Needed

I get a lot of emails from the New York Bird Club. But yesterday's moved me to post:

Yesterday,we brought home a baby sparrow that had fallen out of its
nest.It was unconscious and barely breathing so we took it home to give
it a safe place to pass on.

Surprisingly, it made it through the night
and seems to be doing well today. We fed it a few drops of a RX
nutritional supplement called Emeraid that we had fed to our cockatiels
when they were sick.

Does anyone know what to feed a baby sparrow? How
much? How often? We also have some Rx Benebac which is similar to the
acidophilus in yogurt. We gave it to one of our birds after a course of
antibiotics threw her own healthy bacteria out of whack. Thanks for any
information anyone can provide.

To view the thread go to:

Posted in Civics and Urban Life | 1 Comment »

June 29th, 2009

No Words Daily Pix: Photograph by Hugh Crawford


Posted in No Words_Daily Pix by Hugh Crawford | 2 Comments »

June 29th, 2009

Prospects Heights Landmarking Approved: See The Video

Last week, the Landmarks Preservation Commission
approved the 850-building Prospect Heights Historic District, the largest
district designated in two decades.

Wow. That is big news.

The Municipal Art Society made a video about
the process of creating the historic district. The act of engaging residents in
the designation process brought the community together and provided a new sense
of neighborhood identity.

The video features the following
Councilmember Tish James
Chair of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, Bob
Gib Veconi, Prospect Heights Neighborhood
Development Council 
And many local residents
Posted in real estate | Comments Off on Prospects Heights Landmarking Approved: See The Video

June 29th, 2009

Leon Freilich, Verse Responder: Madoff


Bernie, you're immortal now,
At least for 150 years,
Joining swindler Charlie Ponzi
On the trail–and trial–of tears.

Shall we call you Bernard Hood,
A modern Sherwood Forest elf,
Stealing from the rich (et al.)
And giving all of it to–yourself?

Or shall we make your well-known name
Synonymous with investment trade-off
And call the cur who transmutes others'
Fortunes into his a Madoff?

Posted in VERSE RESPONDER: LEON FREILICH | Comments Off on Leon Freilich, Verse Responder: Madoff

June 29th, 2009

Bernard Madoff: 150 Years of Solitude

The story is in the headlines:

NY Daily News: Ponzi King Gets the Max

NY Post: Bernie Madoff to Rot in Jail

NY Times: Madoff Gets Maximum Sentence for Huge Ponzi Scheme

Gothamist: Finally: Bernard Madoff Sentenced to 150 Years for Ponzi Scheme

Posted in Civics and Urban Life | Comments Off on Bernard Madoff: 150 Years of Solitude

June 29th, 2009

Tuesday: Spike Lee Day in Brooklyn


51QxSDzwKiL._SL500_AA240_ Marty Markowitz just announced it. My sister heard it on the radio.

Posted in Civics and Urban Life | Comments Off on Tuesday: Spike Lee Day in Brooklyn

June 29th, 2009

Tuesday Night: Michael Jackson Memorial Loop of the Park

Michael-jackson-concert-2 I got this yesterday in the old inbox:

Please join us this Tuesday, June 30 at 7:30 p.m., for a loop
around Prospect Park to celebrate the music of Michael Jackson.
Glittery costumes and/or wigs and makeup are encouraged (some of
us will be going with the simple white t-shirt/black pants/black fedora
combo), boomboxes playing the greatest hits will be carried, and when
we reach the end of the loop we will organize a mass Thriller
dance. Let's do right by MJ and make a spectacle!
Don't worry if you're not a runner; we'll take it slow.
We'll go for drinks afterward, of course, where we'll dance… on the floor… in the round.
The group will meet at Prospect Park West & 9th Street, the same entrance used for access to the band shell.,-73.976184&zoom=15&bid=bandshell#map

Posted in Civics and Urban Life | Comments Off on Tuesday Night: Michael Jackson Memorial Loop of the Park

June 29th, 2009

Adorable and Adoptable Coney Island Kittens

3668859095_683ba78220 In a lovely homage to Gowanus Lounge's Adoptable Cuties of the Week,  the new Coney Island blog, Amusing the Zillion, will be showing pictures of adoptable cats. The kittens she's got there really are amazingly adorable:

Please help!

if you know anyone who is cat lonely and loves
Coney Island:
Posted in Civics and Urban Life | 1 Comment »

June 29th, 2009

$2.25 for a Ride on NYC Subways and Buses

Single-ride bus and subway fares went up from $2 to $2.25 on Sunday. One-day MetroCards are now $8.25 (up from $7.50), 7-day cards are $27 (from $25) and monthly cards are now $89 (up from $81).

According to the NY Daily News, if you average it out, an average fare, with the pay-per-ride bonus, is up from $1.74 to $1.96.

Posted in Postcard from the Slope | Comments Off on $2.25 for a Ride on NYC Subways and Buses

June 29th, 2009

OTBKB Music Video: Leslie Mendelson – Easy Love

For some reason, June 30th this year has been divined as the date when potentially big CDs should be released. So although Leslie Mendelson's debut album, Swan Feathers, was originally scheduled to be released earlier in the year, it was held back for that magic date. Well, June 30th is tomorrow, so I'll celebrate by posting this video.
This is Leslie as I've seen her for the past two and a half years: in her native habitat, The Rockwood Music Hall, and joined by Steve McEwan on the lower right and James Maddock, who takes the guitar solo out of the frame.

–Eliot Wagner

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June 29th, 2009

Michele Madigan Somerville In the New York Times

Michele Madigan Somerville, poet, friend, OTBKB contrutbutor and Brooklyn Reading Works Regular, has written a post for the New York Times blog, Happy Days. 

As described on the blog, " Happy Days is a discussion about the search for
contentment in its many forms — economic, emotional, physical,
spiritual — and the stories of those striving to come to terms with the
lives they lead."  Here's an excerpt from Somerville's piece called, Born Again in Brooklyn:

About a decade ago, moved by a convergence of my longstanding
fascination with religion and a time of great personal loss, I embarked
on a search for a church and wound up a born-again Catholic. It was not
a straight or untroubled path, guided as it was by both my attraction
to and enmity for the Roman Catholic Church into which I was born and

Growing up Irish Catholic in New York City put me in a good position
to experience the best and worst of the Church. Most of the Sisters of
Charity who taught at my grade school were tyrants. In 1971 I knocked
on the door of my parish rectory to inquire about becoming an altar
server; I was advised that only boys could serve. Brides, said the
priest, were the only females allowed on the altar. When my mother
became critically ill at age 30, a Catholic priest administering last
rites, refused to offer absolution when she, who had given birth to
four children by age 25, refused to express contrition for taking birth
control pills. People for whom I care deeply have been molested by


Posted in Religion | Comments Off on Michele Madigan Somerville In the New York Times

June 28th, 2009

No Words Daily Pix: Photograph by Hugh Crawford


Posted in No Words_Daily Pix by Hugh Crawford | 1 Comment »

June 28th, 2009

Another Cyclist Killed on Fifth Avenue

An elderly bicyclist was struck and killed by a van in Brooklyn, police and witnesses said.

72-year-old man was riding south on Fifth Ave. in Park Slope Saturday
morning when the maroon passenger van crashed into him, cops said.

the last moment I caught sight of him," said the 61-year-old van
driver, a Vietnam veteran who was visibly shaken. "I tried to stop the

It was too late.

The impact left the bicyclist,
who witnesses said was not wearing a helmet, critically injured.
Paramedics rushed him to Lutheran Medical Center, but he succumbed to
his injuries.

Police did not identify the man because they were
trying to locate his relatives. The driver of the van was not charged,
cops said.

"The van had the green light," said Munique Lee, of
the Bronx, who was getting her hair done on Dean St.

"The guy on the
bike really wasn't paying attention."

Posted in Civics and Urban Life | 3 Comments »

June 28th, 2009

Does Everyone Know About the MTA Fare Hike?

A word from Leon Freilich, OTBKB's Verse Responder:

Is this news to you?  Subway and bus fares rose today, Sunday, for rides both single and multiple.

you've read today's Times–and only the Sunday Times–it's news to you
because NYT is carrying not a word about the increase.  In fact,
there's not a single news story about anything in New York City.

yes, in the new Metropolitan section. These are stories that could have
been written a year ago and could run a year from now. But today, last
Sunday and the two or three Sundays before that, not a NYT word
anywhere about what actually happened in the city the day before. 
Isn't that classically what a paper–especially a Paper of Record–does?

Come Sundays, should the newspaper be calling itself a NEWSpaper? Should it be calling itself the NEW YORK Times and not the National Times?

When a print newspaper
reader has to go to the Post or the Daily News to find out what went on Saturday, isn't that a story that should run in the Times?  Never, however, on Sunday.

Posted in Civics and Urban Life | 1 Comment »

June 28th, 2009

July 7: Katha Pollitt at Brooklyn’s Bookcourt in Cobble Hill

417WEDwyngL._SL500_AA240_ The great Katha Pollitt will be reading from her new collection of poetry, The Mind-Body Problem, on July 7th. 7-10 p.m. at Bookcourt (163 Court Street).

Katha Pollitt is coming to Brooklyn. Woo hoo.

Pollitt is perhaps best known for her column "Subject to Debate" in The Nation magazine. She has also published work in The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, Ms. magazine and The New York Times.

Her essays have been published in collections including, Learning to Drive; And Other Life Stories,  Virginity or Death!: And Other Social and Political Issues of Our Time and Reasonable Creatures: Essays on Women and Feminism, nineteen essays that first appeared in The Nation and other journals. Here is the title poem from her new poetry collection

Mind-Body Problem

Katha Pollitt

When I think of myself I feel sorry not for myself

but for my body.  It was not so direct

and simple, so rational in its desires,

wanting to be touched the way an otter

loves water, the way a giraffe

wants to amble the edge of the forest, nuzzling

the tender leaves at the tops of the trees.  It seems
unfair, somehow, that my body had to suffer

because I, by which I mean my mind, was saddled

with certain unfortunate high-minded romantic notions

that made me tyrannize and patronize it

like a cruel medieval baron, or an ambitious

English-professor husband ashamed of his wife—

her love of sad movies, her budget casseroles

and regional vowels.  Perhaps

my body would have liked to make some of our dates,

to come home at four in the morning and answer my scowl

with "None of your business!"  Perhaps

it would have liked more presents: silks, mascaras.

If we had had a more democratic arrangement

we might even have come, despite our different backgrounds,

to a grudging respect for each other, like Tony Curtis

and Sidney Poitier fleeing handcuffed together,

instead of the current curious shift of power

in which I find I am being reluctantly

dragged along by my body as though by some

swift and powerful dog.  How eagerly

it plunges ahead, not stopping for anything,

as though it knows exactly where we are going.

                                                  (first published in The Atlantic and the Oak Bend Review)

Posted in Civics and Urban Life | Comments Off on July 7: Katha Pollitt at Brooklyn’s Bookcourt in Cobble Hill

June 28th, 2009

Maureen Dowd at her Best: Genius in the Bottle

Here is the NYT's Maureen Dowd at her smart/nasty/cutting/funny best;

Posted in New York Times | 1 Comment »

June 28th, 2009

Tom Martinez, Witness: “We Want Our Liberty Back”

Statues of Liberty 2009  Vox Pop Manager Debi Ryan (on the right)  and a young patron called attention to the loss of the coffee shop's Statue of Liberty by
dressing the part and proclaiming, "We want our liberty back!" 

Customers took turns dawning the crown and holding various
kinds of lights (including light beers). 

Rumors abound as to the statue's whereabouts with July 4th rapidly approaching.

Photo by Tom Martinez.

Posted in Tom Martinez, Witness | 1 Comment »

June 28th, 2009

Smartmom: Teen Spirit’s Surprise Party

Smartmom_big8 Here's this week's Smartmom from the Brooklyn Paper:

Teen Spirit turned 18 last week, but Smartmom and Hepcat couldn’t figure out how to celebrate the big milestone.

They suggested a birthday dinner at Daisy’s Diner, his favorite
local restaurant, but Teen Spirit already had plans to party with his

They suggested a birthday breakfast at Donuts Coffee Shop on Seventh
Avenue, his favorite breakfast spot, but Teen Spirit had a gig with the
Mighty Handful that day.

The birthday and the day after passed by, and Smartmom and Hepcat
barely saw their son, who was now eligible to vote and serve in the

On Saturday night, Smartmom got an e-mail from one of Teen Spirit’s
good friends. “Teen Spirit’s Surprise Party” was on the subject line.
That got Smartmom’s attention.

“[Teen Spirit] requested that someone throw him a surprise party for
his birthday and I said absolutely not. Naturally, this means that I am
throwing one! I have an idea for a plan, but I have to run it by you

Smartmom knew what was coming, but she was glad that her son’s friend was “running it by her first.”

“I am going to come over tomorrow in the late morning/noon and take
him out of the house. Around 1:30, people will start showing up at the
house. Then, at 2 pm, I will bring him back. Surprise! Then we will go
to Prospect Park to have a picnic and play music for each other. Is
this plan all right?”

Smartmom had a mixed reaction. Her heart was warmed because Teen
Spirit told his friend that he wanted a surprise party. But then she
wondered guiltily whether she and Hepcat should have planned one. But
she knew deep down that he didn’t want his parents (gross, cooties) to
throw him a surprise party.

Still, it surprised her that he wanted a surprise since he’d been playing his birthday down. Smartmom didn’t know that he cared.

Smartmom was also touched that his friend was going out of her way to give Teen Spirit his wish.

The only thing that made Smartmom nervous was that an unspecified number of kids were coming over to the tiny apartment.

Sure, Teen Spirit has a great group of friends. But the idea of 10
or 20 of them in her dining room was unnerving. What would they eat,
what would they drink? Would they drink?

Smartmom got right back to the friend, telling her that she was on
board with the surprise party, but needing more information —
primarily, how many kids should she expect.

“Right now on Facebook, it says that 13 people are coming, but
that’s just Facebook,” the friend wrote back. “It is safe to say
somewhere between 13 and 20.”

Facebook? The invite was already on Facebook? And 13 people had
already RSVP’d. Yikes. Now Smartmom was panicked. She immediately went
out to Seventh Avenue to buy all of Teen Spirit’s favorite party foods:
tortilla chips, spicy salsa and Mug Root Beer. Since he doesn’t like
birthday cake, Smartmom bought two pounds of rainbow cookies at D’Vine

The next day, Smartmom had an early appointment and left Hepcat in charge.

“I’ll watch over this surprise party thing,” he told Smartmom
bravely. The Oh So Feisty One was determined NOT to be home during Teen
Spirit’s surprise party, and she scurried out of the house bright and
early to be with friends.

Unfortunately, Smartmom wasn’t home at the moment of the surprise,
but Hepcat said that Teen Spirit’s friend called from the street and
the party of about 12 kids squeezed into Teen Spirit’s tiny bedroom
with balloons and yelled, “Surprise!” when he came in.

When Smartmom got to the apartment, the kids were eating chips in
the living room and packing up things like juice boxes (how retro) for
their picnic in the park. Teen Spirit looked happy.

“This restored my faith in my friends,” Smartmom heard Teen Spirit say.

Smartmom was pleased. How lucky he is to have a great group of
friends and one friend in particular willing to go the distance to make
his birthday wish come true.

The party was over, but so was a lot more. Teen Spirit’s childhood was over, too.


Posted in Smartmom | Comments Off on Smartmom: Teen Spirit’s Surprise Party

June 27th, 2009

No Words Daily Pix: Photograph by Hugh Crawford


Posted in No Words_Daily Pix by Hugh Crawford | Comments Off on No Words Daily Pix: Photograph by Hugh Crawford

June 27th, 2009

Sat: Gowanus/Love Canal Day of Spectacle at BKLYN Yard

The-love-canal-2-01-500x386 The BKLYN Yard on Saturday June 27th should be quite a spectacle. Winkel and Balktick,
the two masterminds behind the city's most outlandish underground parties, are
bringing their crazy antics to the baks of the Gowanus Canal.

In a tongue-and-cheek
celebration of the canal’s toxicity,
they are inviting their vast
community to descend upon BKLYN Yard… dressed up like the mutants that
must surely live in the nearby waterway.

Expect a aquatic symphony of music, dancing, art, performance,
friends, picnicking, imbibing, and all shades of hedonism.
Live mutant ragtime music from The Xylopholks
Heart-throbbing house, rare groove, disco and techno from DJs Joro Boro, DJ $mallchangeDhundee.
Atomic fire spinning and breathing by The PYROphorUS PiXXies
Performances and antics from Groovehoops

Please attend dressed as an undersea love mutant, or ambassador of
humanity’s remaining freak population.  Or wear nothing and get
bodypainted by friendly mutants.

ALL AGES!  Kids with parents are free!
Full cash bar.  Please, no outside booze.

3pm – 9pm
FREE before 4pm, $7 after!
FREE afterparty in secret location!

Posted in Postcard from the Slope | 1 Comment »

June 27th, 2009

Brooklyn Blogade This Sunday at Kush Hosted by Reclaimed Home

It’s Reclaimed Home’s turn to host the rolling Brooklyn Blogade.  It's at Kush in Clinton Hill and it should be fun and interesting. A blogade is like a mini-Blogfest. A chance to meet other bloggers, talk, and get inspired. It's open to anyone interested in blogging. See the details below:

Since this is not a neighborhood blog and since I’ve lived in just
about every part of Brooklyn, I could’ve chosen any location.

I chose Kush in Clinton Hill
because one, I can walk there from my Bed Stuy home and two, it’s one
of my favorite restaurants in Brooklyn. Like, on the top three.

So anyway, what’s a blogade all about? Well, it’s a monthly
gathering of bloggers who get together to exchange ideas, encourage one
another and eat. There’s usually a theme. I wanted to talk about the
technical aspects of blogging, so I’m getting my web designer to fill
us in on blogging from different angles.

Vanessa of Noseround Productions
will look at breaking away from your average post and making your blog
more interactive. She’ll bring in examples of plug-ins, add-ons and
open source platforms, such as web carts and forums. She’ll try to
explain ways to make your blog both user friendly and also owner

Sounds good, no? So far there are about 20 of us gathering on the
28th. If you haven’t RSVP’ed yet just give me a holla to let me know
you’re coming. I’m still working out the menu, but it’s a brunch thing
with a vegetarian and a vegan option. Cost will be less than $15.

Hope to see you there!

Posted in Brooklyn Blogfest | Comments Off on Brooklyn Blogade This Sunday at Kush Hosted by Reclaimed Home

June 26th, 2009

No Words Daily Pix: Photograph by Hugh Crawford


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June 26th, 2009

Sat: All Night Movie Marathon at BAM

This sounds so fun: Stay up all night and watch movies at BAM. And the price is right: $15 bucks, includes an all-night dance party and access to all screens.The marathons have really funny names and themes. Little did they know they'd be doing a memorial screening of The Wiz with Michael Jackson at 12 am on Saturday night.

 Four movie marathons that are sure to
satisfy the popcorn flick lover in everyone (don't worry, there's one
screen for arthouse lovers, too!). And if you need help keeping your
energy up between film screenings, we'll also be running an all-night
dance party in BAMcafé. Tickets are $15 and include access to all
screens and dance party.

Marathon 1: Diana Ross Coming Out

Music, glamour,
and 70s schmaltz collide in this pair of films featuring superstar
Diana Ross. This double feature will have you in rapture from the
moment the words "gowns designed by Diana Ross" hit the screen.

The Wiz
(1978) 134 min
Director: Sidney Lumet.
With Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Richard Pryor.
We're definitely nowhere near Kansas in this urban re-telling of the classic tale.

(1975) 109 min
Director: Berry Gordy.
With Diana Ross, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Perkins.
in glamorous 70s couture, is paired with Williams—the paramour to her
rising fashion model—while Perkins is the disturbed photographer who
tries to split them up.

Marathon 2: Before They Were Scientologists

presents three of your favorite stars as you'd like to remember
them…before the couch jumping, Jenny Craig commercials, and, er, Battlefield Earth.

Top Gun
(1986) 110 min
Director: Tony Scott.
With Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer.
Cruise stars as Lt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, a hot-shot young aviator
with a "need for speed" in this VHS classic featuring a killer 80s

Look Who's Talking Too
(1990) 81 min
Director: Amy Heckerling.
With John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, Bruce Willis, Roseanne Barr.
This sequel to Look Who's Talking finds toddler Mikey learning he's got to "fight for his right to potty."

Staying Alive
(1983) 93 min
Director: Sylvester Stallone.
With John Travolta.
Travolta's crotch practically co-stars in this awesomely cheesy follow-up to Saturday Night Fever. Don't miss the climactic, psychedelic S&M-themed dance sequence.

Marathon 3: All Night Bong

you're in the mood to see really good, funny movies, or feeling
unusually relaxed, hungry, and/or paranoid, this screen is for you.

Smiley Face
(2007) 88 min
Director: Gregg Araki.
With Anna Faris, John Krasinski.
Jane eats her roommate's pot-filled cupcakes, she stumbles through LA
to find replacements. With subtle social commentary throughout, some of
this is actually kind of deep, dude.

Pineapple Express
(2008) 111 min
Director: David Gordon Green.
With Seth Rogen, James Franco.
Green revitalizes the classic pot plot in this 80s-action-flick-inspired comedy. "The Casablanca of pot comedies" (Cinematical).

(1995) 91 min
Director: F. Gary Gray.
With Ice Cube, Chris Tucker.
and Smokey share a joint and chillax in South Central when Smokey's
dealer threatens to kill them if they don't pay their debt by the end
of the night. Boyz in the Hood with bongs.

Marathon 4: BAMcinématek Favorites

Among the many films BAMcinématek has shown over the past ten years, these three hold a special place in our hearts.

In the Mood for Love
(2000) 98 min
Director: Wong Kar-wai.
With Tony Leung, Maggie Cheung.
Leung and Cheung star in this lushly photographed tale of unconsummated love.

Millennium Mambo
(2001) 119 min
Director: Hou Hsiao-hsien.
With Shu Qi, Jack Kao.
A young girl drifts through endless parties and hookups in neon-soaked Taipei.

(2002) 115 min
Director: Olivier Assayas.
With Gina Gershon, Chloë Sevigny, Charles Berling.
A thriller about corporate greed, porn, and video games, set to a score by Sonic Youth.

Posted in Civics and Urban Life | Comments Off on Sat: All Night Movie Marathon at BAM

June 26th, 2009

Today on Breakfast of Candidates (33rd Edition): Ken Baer

Breakfast-of-Candidates: Ken Baer.  He majored in psychology and sociology at Kent State University during the turbulent 1960's and was actually attending the school when four students were killed by National Guard during an anti-war demonstration in 1970. At the time, he lived with "a
bunch of vegetarians" and tried to stay out of the Vietnam War as a
conscientious objector (CO). It was during college, that Baer became
aware of food and environmental issues: "answering questions on the CO
form got me to thinking about killing humans and animals…so I became a vegetarian," he told me. A longtime member of the Park Slope Food Coop, Baer is also a member of the Sierra Club and has held various key positions at the city and state level. He was an early opponent of the Atlantic Yards Project and is a strong believer in community based development.

And in case you missed these from the 33rd (they're all here except for Issac Abraham):

Breakfast-of-Candidates: Stephen Levin.  A classics major at Brown University,  Levin has wonky good looks and a boyish, disarming
manner. His father's cousins are Michigan's Senator Carl Levin and
Congressman Sander Levin and he currently works as Vito Lopez's chief of staff. Lopez,
who is often portrayed as a Darth Vader figure in Brooklyn politics
taught the 29-year-old Levin about "knocking on doors, talking to as
many people as possible, the
importance of having a command of the issues, and having empathy for
the people," Levin told me. A pragmatist, Levin believes "that for for
every problem there is a solution that is not readily apparent."

Breakfast-of-Candidates: Doug Biviano. Expect the
unexpected from Biviano, who is a civil engineer with BS and MS degrees from Cornell
University. Biviano works as a superintendent in a Brooklyn Heights
apartment building and in 2008 was a New York State Coordinator for
presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich , whose politics of peace are a
strong influence. Biviano has lived the skier's life in Colorado and
sailed the Inter-Coastal Highway with his wife installing solar panels
on a boat he barely knew how to sail.

Breakfast of Candidates: Jo Anne Simon.  Her career trajectory from teacher of the deaf to disability rights attorney can make you feel like a slacker  and
wonder how she had time to become such a strong voice in community politics, the female Democratic District Leader and State Committeewoman for
the 52nd Assembly District. A proponent of the art of listening, she
believes that there's a place for all viewpoints at the table and that
"someone who is elected to office can work with everyone."

Breakfast-of Candidates; Evan Thies.
A former aide to City Council Member David Yassky, Thies also worked in
Hillary Clinton's upstate senate office and for Andrew Cuomo. Raised in
New Hampshire, public service was the family business and his
grandmother was appointed by NH governor John
Sununu to be the state's Commissioner of Health and Human
Services. Struck as a child with Fibromatosis, a chronic disease, he
home-schooled during the worst of his illness. When he was 11, he and
his mother wrote and passed a bill about his disease.

Breakfast-of-Candidates: Ken Diamondstone: A lover of diner food, Diamondstone runs an affordable
housing business with an emphasis on "nice spaces for low prices." He
could have made a killing in the real estate biz but instead stuck to
his principles. Affordable housing is clearly Diamondstone's passion
and through his
business he has been able to translate ideals into action. He is
also a member of three local Democratic clubs and was an early opponent of
Bruce Ratner's Atlantic Yards project. For Diamondstone, who is
openly gay and lives with his longtime partner, Joe, the rights of the
LGBT community is high on his list of
priorities. But so is the environment. As chair of the Brooklyn Solid
Waste Council he was involved with the Zero Waste Coalition and passage
of NYPIRG's Bigger, Better, Bottle Bill.

And here are the 39ers:

Breakfast-of-Candidates: Gary Reilly. At 34 he's not quite the youngest of the 39th candidates (John Heyer beats
him on that score) but this intelligent and likable man is plenty wet behind the ears and full of
enthusiasm about public transportation and other issues that affect voters.

Breakfast-of-Candidates: Bob Zuckerman. A long-time politico, Zuckerman is currently
executive director of the Gowanus Canal Community Development
Corporation and the Gowanus Canal Conservancy.  He remembers the night
Richard Nixon was elected in 1968 (he was 7-years-old) and one of his
heroes is Harvey Milk.

Breakfast-of-Candidates: Brad Lander, Lander has two master's degrees and
a BA from the University of Chicago. He made his mark running
community organizations like the Fifth Avenue Committee and Pratt
Center for Community Development, advocating for affordable housing and community sustainablility.

Breakfast-of-Candidates: Josh  Skaller. A former computer music composer at
Harvard, it was Howard Dean's presidential campaign that jumpstarted
his interest in electoral politics. As president of the Central
Brooklyn Independent Democrats, he learned to facilitiate dialogue  and
manage strong personalities. Running on a community empowerment
platform with a strong interest in the environment and smart
development, Josh is proud to be refusing donations from  real estate

Breakfast of Candidates: John Heyer: An assistant to Borough President Marty Markowitz, Heyer is the only candidate for City Council born in the 39th district. A
fifth-generation Carroll Gardener, his twin passions are politics and
theology. He works as a funeral director at Scotto's Funeral Home and
his knowledge of the history of the neighborhood runs deep though he is
only 27-years-old.

Breakfast-of-Candidates: David Pechefsky. The Green Candidate, Pechefsky worked for 10 years in the central staff of
the New York City Council. With a master's degree in public policy and
experience advising local governments in Africa, Pechefsky knows how the
City Council works from the inside out and has ideas about how it could
better serve the people of New York City.

Posted in Breakfast of candidates | Comments Off on Today on Breakfast of Candidates (33rd Edition): Ken Baer

June 26th, 2009

OTBKB Music: The Medicine Show Arrives Saturday Night

Medicine show This Saturday night, the best rock band out there, Steve
Wynn and The Miracle 3
will be right here in Brooklyn at The Bell
over at 2nd Avenue and 7th Street, walking distance from wherever you are in The Slope.

Steve and the band will commemorate the 25th Anniversary
of the release of “Medicine Show” by playing that classic album from
start to finish for
the first time. The Miracle 3—Steve’s long-time band of Jason Victor,
Dave Decastro and Linda Pitmon—did similar shows for
“The Days of Wine and Roses” in 2001.

“’Medicine Show’ is the weirdest, most idiosyncratic, nastiest,
funniest and most revealing record the Dream Syndicate ever made,” said
Wynn in the liner notes from the record’s 1991 reissue. “It’s also my

you're not familar with The Medicine Show, it has songs about life in
the small town of Merrittville (if you lived there you'd probably want
to leave), what thrills might await you at that traveling Medicine
Show, about arson and the loss of faith and that's just the tip of the

Steve Wynn and The Miracle 3 at The Bell House, Saturday June 27,
7:30pm. $12.

–Eliot Wagner

Posted in Music | Comments Off on OTBKB Music: The Medicine Show Arrives Saturday Night