No Words Daily Pix: Photograph by Hugh Crawford

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2CBW9693

What I’m Going To Try To See at BBF

September 13, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Civics and Urban Life 

I love to look at the book tables at the Brooklyn Book Festival and I'm going to stick with the non-ticketed events (since I don't have any tickets). This list may be a tad ambitious but I will definitely try to catch some of these. I know I won't want to miss the Poetry Society of America, Africa in the Age of Obama, Only the Dead and Lenore Skenazy in a panel called The Truth About Parenting (that's in one hour I better get showered and RUN).

Main Stage (Borough Hall Plaza)

11:00 a.m. Poetry Society of America Presents. A reading organized by PSA, the nation’s oldest poetry organization, featuring the country’s best bards: Anne Carson, Sonia Sanchez, Philip Schultz and Arthur Sze. Introduced by Alice Quinn.

1:00 p.m. Only the Dead. Readings of Brooklyn’s revered authors, from Walt Whitman to Frank McCourt, are performed by actors from Troupe.

2:00 p.m. Close to the Street. Three
writers on urban life—its housing, its mass transit, its vibe—discuss
how we make cities and how cities make us. Featuring Nelson George (City Kid), Alyssa Katz (Our Lot) and Tom Vanderbilt (Traffic). Moderated by Theodore Hamm, editor of The Brooklyn Rail.

International Stage (Borough Hall Plaza)

12:00 p.m. Mahmoud Darwish: A Conversation. Five distinguished authors, Russell Banks, Michael Palmer, Breyten Breytenbach, Sinan Antoon and Fady Joudah, remember and respond to the life and work of the celebrated Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish (1941-2008). Moderated by Breyten Breytenbach.
 
2:00 p.m. The Naked City: Urban Realism and the Global City in Fiction & Non-Fiction.
A discussion exploring the gritty urban realism of the contemporary
global city as seen through recent works of fiction and non-fiction
about Delhi, New York and Mexico City. Featuring David Lida (First Stop in the New World), Meera Nair (Video) and Hirsh Sawhney (editor, Delhi Noir). Moderated by Cheryl Harris Sharman (Nightshift NYC).

4:00 p.m. Africa in the Age of Obama. A conversation about the current spotlight on African writing and culture, with Binyavanga Wainaina (Kenyan author and Director of the Chinua Achebe Center), Mohammed Naseehu Ali (Ghanaian musician and author of The Prophet of Zongo Street) and Breyten Breytenbach (South African poet, painter, author). Moderated by Rob Spillman, editor of Gods and Soldiers: The Penguin Anthology of Contemporary African Writing.

North Stage (Borough Hall Plaza)

11:00 a.m. The Truth About Parenting. Featuring Yvonne Bynoe (Who’s Your Mama), Ben George (The Book of Dads) and Lenore Skenazy (Free-Range Kids). Moderated by Laura Sinagra.

1:00 p.m. Feeding Love in NYC. Giulia Melucci (I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti), Michelle Maisto (The Gastronomy of Marriage) and Annie Hauck-Lawson/Jonathan Deutsch (Gastropolis, Food & New York City) share culinary and romantic experiences.

2:00 p.m. Eye of the Book. Cynthia Maris Dantzic (100 New York Painters) and Jane Weissman (On the Wall: Four Decades of Community Murals in New York City) share their art books about NYC artists and murals.
 

1 pm on the Main Stage at the BBF: Reading Wolfe’s Only the Dead Know Brooklyn

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1:00 p.m. Only the Dead. Readings of Brooklyn’s revered authors, from Walt Whitman to Frank McCourt, are performed by actors from Troupe. Note: I am assuming they will read from Thomas Wolfe's "Only the Dead Know Brooklyn" a virtuosic short story written completely in thick Brooklynese.

At the main stage of the Brooklyn Book Festival

All About Books and Writers: Brooklyn Book Festival in Brooklyn Heights

September 13, 2009 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Civics and Urban Life 

EOS_6187e Today starting at 10 am: The Brooklyn Book Festival is
a huge, free public event presenting an array of literary stars and
emerging authors.

The
festival, which is this Sunday in and around Brooklyn Borough Hall, is
organized around themed readings and devoted to timely and
lively panel discussions. The inclusion of top national and
international authors and new partners has expanded the festival’s
reach while continuing to celebrate and enhance Brooklyn’s contemporary
and historic literary reputation.

There's much to do at the fest: panels, speakers, readings, tables full of books. And this, which I thought sounded interesting:

I wanted to let you know about my panel at 2pm on the International Stage
outside. Would love a shout-out on your blog, to see you there, or help
facilitate interviews with my fellow panelists. More info:
 
The Naked City: Urban Realism and the Global City in Fiction &
Non-Fiction. A discussion exploring the gritty urban realism of the contemporary
global city as seen through recent works of fiction and non-fiction about Delhi,
New York, and Mexico City. Featuring David
Lida
(First Stop in the New World), Meera Nair (Video),
and Hirsh Sawhney (ed., Delhi
Noir
). Moderated by Cheryl Harris Sharman (Nightshift NYC).

Tom Martinez, Witness: Last Year’s Coney Mustache Winner

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IMG_3143 Last year's Coney Island Mustache first-prize winner Rabbi Abraham
Abraham shows off his big guns.  "I keep fit," he said proudly.

Photo: Tom Martinez

Tom Martinez, Witness: Girl With Tiny Mustache in Coney

September 13, 2009 by · 1 Comment
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IMG_3151 A contestant shows off her stache at the Annual Coney Island Mustache
Competition, a raucous event that highlighted Freak Show artists and
performers.

Photo: Tom Martinez

Tom Martinez, Witness: Coney Mustache Man

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IMG_3152

With Just Days To Go: Final Thoughts From Gary Reilly (39th)

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Filed under: Civics and Urban Life 

I spoke to Gary Reilly, who's running for City Council in the 39th district, on the phone Friday night.

So what are the lessons learned?

What I've learned in the past year and a half could fill a book. I guess I learned that certain relationships take years to cultivate. With unions, for instance. All of your policies could be in line with their objectives but if someone has a pre-existing relationship with them that has to be weighed in as well. I guess I was naive. I'd say: I care about the same things you care about; our ideals line up precisely. Be that as it may: that's not the deciding factor. It's often the pre-existing relationships.

The highpoints?

The same week we met the matching funds deadline I got my name on to the ballot. That was very exciting. Up to then I was running a scrappy campaign with little recognition outside of Carroll Gardens.

I'm relatively new to the area having been here for five years. But I was able to build a real base of support.

What's your biggest regret:

I wished I'd hired a professional fund raising person early on. This was my first time running for office and I'm not a political person by nature. I tried to take on too much myself. It really makes such a difference to delegate.

Another regret: I had to keep working as a lawyer, making money while I was running campaign.

There were things about campaigning that were hard for me. I am uncomfortable sending pictures of myself to people. I am more comfortable saying who I am and what I stand for. But I loved going out and talking to people. Each time you can have a conversation about things I care about and the voters care about is valuable.

What do you now know about the 39th district that you didn't know before:

There are different parts of the district, the demographics, the scale of buildings, the use of transit. In different parts of the district there are distinct differences. Each area has a vibe. There are even rivalries between one neighborhood and another. I know Carroll Gardens very well and had spent a decent amount of time in Park Slope but limited time in Kensington and Borough Park .

Are you glad you did it?

 I am more proud of the work I put into this campaign than anything I've ever done in my life. I got to know good people and I am involved with the community in ways I wasn't before.

If you lose what next?

On Wednesday win or lose, I am going back to being an active neighborhood organizer working on the things that I care about. I will support the winner of the primary. I made a real point of trying to make the campaign about the issues. I never wanted to make it personal. Whoever wins has a lot of work to do for this district.

Your takeaway?

This experience will make me a stronger activist and advocate. This campaign has been an amazing collection of learning experiences and relationships. I hope to be more effective as an advocate. I hope that more people will pick up the phone now. They won't say "Who is Gary Reilly?" They'll know this is a person who is serious about what he's doing.

With Just Days To Go: Final Thoughts From Josh Skaller (39th)

September 13, 2009 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Civics and Urban Life 

I was going to speak to Josh Skaller on the telephone but he decided to come by instead.

"I didn't think I could handle one more cell phone conversation," he said as we walked up the stairs to my third floor apartment. 

I cleared space at my dining room table, pushed away the laundry and the breakfast dishes, and asked Skaller what were the highlights of his campaign for City Council in the 39th district.

"The volunteers keep showing up. They believed enough in what we were doing to work very hard. That was inspiring. I made many great new friends.

What did you learn?

The realization that you don't control the story. There's the stuff you want to talk about and the stuff the media wants to talk about. Sometime it becomes about their concerns.

Were you able to communicate your message?

I worked really hard to get my reform message out. It can be difficult to make reform matter to the voters. It's not emotional. It's a little removed. People have lives. They don't spend their time following Clarence Norman around.

I think we were loud and clear about development. We really shifted the dialogue to the need for real change in the way that developers do their planning in our communities. There has to be community participation. The community needs a strong, loud role.

What is the difference between you and Brad Lander?

I have a lot of respect for Brad. But we are different. I come from an activist mold. I am capable of standing up directly for issues and articulating them in a forthright way. I did that with the Superfund issue and the DiBrienza slush fund at the beginning of the campaign.

I was outspoken about the Atlantic Yards early on. And so were many
people. But good luck finding a politician back then who was.

I think it's important to represent the community in the way that  most accurately represents the views of the community. And there's wide spread consensus about things like Superfund, Atlantic yards.

Regrets?

I regret that there were those cribbed sentences
in that press release It was very embarrassing. And I abhor that sort of
thing on so many levels. Intellectual property and all that.

What about your so-called lack of experience?

I don't buy the lack of experience argument. I have a lot of experience running democratic races, political clubs. I have different experience in the private sector, delivering projects on time.

I gave myself  a lot structures going into this. This race was not delivered to me. There were no large donors. I don't owe any political favors to anyone. I have a lot of independence.

That said, I am very proud of those who support me: Chris Owens, Assemblyman Jim Brennan, a great reformer, the reform clubs, CORD, Park Slope Neighbors, Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn.

I did not solicit support from places I was not comfortable. Not from developers and I didn't solicit support from Dov Hiskind in Borough Park. He can deliver votes but we don't see eye to eye.

Your takeaway?

I have a lot more respect for people who do this.

Polticians?

Yes. It can be easy as an activist to villify politicians. But it's hard to do this. When you speak your piece, people try to drag you down. It takes guts to stand up and say it. I want to continue to stand up for the things that I believe in.

With Just Days To Go: Final Thoughts From Bob Zuckerman (39th)

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I asked Bob Zuckerman, who is running for City Council in the 39th district, some questions in an email about what he considered highlights and low points of the campaign. I asked him about lessons learned. This was his free flowing response.

You're right about it being a little too soon to reflect on the
campaign.  I haven't had adequate time to
catch up on sleep yet – much less, reflect on what I regret, or what I'd do
differently; right now, I'm focused on the finish line.  I'll be happy to sit down with you and reflect
on the race after September 15th.   I will say that I’ve
been impressed and humbled by the people I’ve spoken with all over this district
– from Columbia Street to Fort Hamilton –and by how much they love and care
about their neighborhoods and their communities.

As far as a high point in the campaign, one small, yet sweet moment stands
out.  While calling voters in Windsor Terrace last week, I spoke to a man
whose door I had knocked on months before.  He told me his 8 year-old son
Zack had met me at the subway station and that I was a "minor celebrity"
in their household.  Zack and I chatted briefly on the phone, and bonded
about having names that start with the letter Z.

The accomplishment I'm most proud of is having received the endorsement of
Congressman Anthony Weiner, someone I have respected and admired for years as a
champion for the progressive values I hold close to my heart.  Congressman Weiner is a tireless fighter for
middle-class families, affordable health insurance and small businesses.  To
have him come to Park Slope, the neighborhood he grew up in, to support my
candidacy was a real honor. 

What makes me stand out from the rest of the pack is that I'm offering bold
ideas for Brooklyn and a new vision for how we govern in City Hall.  I
have innovative ideas for solving problems in our communities and improving our
quality of life. 

I'm the only candidate in this race focusing on
how to bring jobs back to Brooklyn and how to re-open our closing storefronts. 
I’m running to help the mom and pop shops on Fifth Avenue in Park Slope, not
the big corporations on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.  I have a plan to help small business owners
purchase their storefronts so they aren’t subject to escalating rents. 

 In the next few years, we have the chance to
improve our environment and our economy at the same time.  I want to create New York’s first Green
District around the Gowanus canal – bringing in thousands of new green jobs in
alternative energies, and serving as a model for sustainable development and
design.

Speaking of the environment, I will fix the
parking mess and the congestion that’s choking our streets by creating a
borough-wide residential parking permit plan that will allow residents to find
parking near their homes.  The money from
the permits would be reinvested into new transportation alternatives, including
free shuttle buses for our neighborhoods. 

 You hear a lot of talk about reform these days,
but I'm the only candidate in this race with the ideas, passion, and know-how for
bringing real reform to City Hall.  I was the first candidate in the race
to organize against the extension of term limits – calling a press conference
for all City Council candidates at City Hall — the first candidate in the race to call
for making City Council a full-time position, and the only candidate with who
will bring the City Council to you with a mobile office that will visit a
different neighborhood one night a week. 

 

With Just Days To Go: Final Thoughts from Brad Lander (39th)

September 13, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Civics and Urban Life 

I asked Brad Lander, who
is running for City Council in the 39th district, some questions in an
email about what he considered highlights and low points of the
campaign. I asked him about lessons learned. I also asked Lander: For many readers who are trying to decide between you and Josh: can you articulate the true difference between the two of you?

I promise a reflective email on Wednesday about the highs, lows,
and lessons.  Sorry I can't do it now, but I'm afraid I still have many
things to do tonight, and am not yet ready to start looking back.
As for the differences between Josh and me:  I think it really boils down to what we've each been doing the past 15 years.  
I've
spent that entire time working every day to make a difference in our
community and around the city.  When you walk down Fifth Avenue, or
President Street, or Union Street, or 13th Street, or Smith Street, or
4th Place, you're often walking past once-abandoned buildings that I
helped renovate into mixed-income housing and locally-owned businesses.
 Through my decade as director of the Fifth Avenue Committee, we helped
literally thousands of people find and keep affordable housing and good
jobs.  In my six years at the Pratt Center, we won significant changes
to zoning, tax, and transportation policies to preserve livable
neighborhoods and create a more sustainable city.  Through my volunteer
work as a member of Community Board 6, and with BrooklynPTA.org, I've helped move forward responsible contractor policies and raised money for our neighborhood public schools.  
Josh is a nice guy, with some good ideas.  We've
got the same basic position on almost every issue.  We both oppose
Atlantic Yards and corruption in government; support the Superfund, the
downzoning of Carroll Gardens, marriage equality, congestion pricing
and better transit; and want to see less testing and smaller class
size.  
But only one of us has a track record of bringing
people together to get real things done.  Josh has been active with a
political club, has worked on some electoral campaigns, and is a
composer and IT director.  I've got a nearly two-decade-long record of
results on issues that matter in our community — preserving
neighborhood quality-of-life, renovating abandoned buildings, creating
and saving affordable housing, helping people find good jobs, and
supporting small businesses.  
Of course, its not the past that matters, its the
future.  I promise to work even harder in the City Council than I did
at Fifth Avenue Committee or the Pratt Center, so you can count on even
better results.

No Words Daily Pix: Photograph by Hugh Crawford

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DSC05834

Saturday Night: Loom at Sycamore

September 12, 2009 by · Comments Off
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John of Loom emailed to remind me about their gig tonight at Sycamore:

I just wanted to let you know that we're very excited to be
playing at Sycamore (http://sycamorebrooklyn.com/2009/04/12/the-loom-w-sydney-price-saturday-september-12th-doors-830pm/ )
this Saturday night, 9.12.
 
Also playing will be our very own Sydney Price (http://www.myspace.com/sydneyprice) as well as
Norwegian singer Hanne Hukkelberg (http://www.myspace.com/hannehukkelberg) so it promises
to be a very special night.
 
Doors are at 8, Sydney plays at 830, we'll play at 10 and if you
are able to post anything about the show or would be interested
in coming that would be awesome!
 

An Endorsement in the 39th?

September 12, 2009 by · Comments Off
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Not yet. This one is hard for me. I know I have to make a decision. But like many voters I like all the candidates for one reason or another…

Stay tuned. 

OTBKB Endorsement for City Council in the 33rd: Doug Biviano

September 12, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Civics and Urban Life 

I always get tongue-tied when people ask me who I am supporting for City Council in the 33rd district. I have been following that race closely since May and I even interviewed all the candidates (except Issac Abraham) in my Breakfast-of-Candidates series. 

The reason I got tongue tied is that I just didn't feel that personal pull toward any of the candidates. I was impressed with quite a few of them but there was so much baggage attached to this particular race. My response always felt lackluster. There was so much qualifying and hesitation in my attempt at an answer. 

I tried to be practical. I knew that a couple of the candidates had devoted practically a lifetime to politics and public service (Diamondstone and Simon). I knew that one of them had an influential—and reviled—mentor but was basically a good guy who was too young and too beholden to said mentor to do the job (Stephen Levin) I liked Evan Thies for all the right reasons but could never summon any passion for him. While Ken Behr has all the right progressive views he's awful at articulating them and he strikes me as a tad prickly. That leaves Issac Abraham, who I didn't get to know at all. He was an outspoken and humorous presence at the forums.  

But there was only one candidate who always intrigued me: Doug Biviano. I must admit that while I did feel very positively towards him, his views, his outlook and his energy, I had pigeon-holed him as an outsider candidate who didn't have a chance.  

Often I might say, "I'm crazy about Doug Biviano but…" For some reason it didn't feel realistic. I didn't allow myself to go with my gut. 

But I did  have a gut reaction to Biviano very early on. At the very first forum/debate of the 33s at St. Francis College, I was impressed with Biviano. He was like a breath of fresh air: articulate, smart, progressive, upbeat and interesting. 

He was the true outsider. A public school parent with an engineering background who was throwing his hat into the race. 

At that point I had no idea where he was coming from. But when I sat down with him at Theressa's on Montague Street to do his Breakfast-of-Candidates interview, Doug really filled me in on the details of his life. I gained an interesting connect-the-dots sense of his trajectory from a Brooklyn boyhood, to BS and MS degrees  from Cornell University in engineering to a job as a superintendent in a Brooklyn Heights apartment building to his candidacy for David Yassky's seat in the 39th. 

I knew that he had worked for Dennis Kucinich's presidential campaign and was often a surrogate for the candidate at rallies in NYC. 

Today was a true turning point for me. Somehow I came to the conclusion that Biviano was the only candidate I didn't feel tongue-tied about. He has run an energetic and impressive campaign. He never stopped speaking out on local and national issues. He has really worked hard to make himself known to the voters in the 33rd. 

So when I heard Representative Denis Kucinch's endorsement of Biviano everything came together. "I don't get involved in too many campaigns. I don't go out of my way to endorse city council candidates. But what we have here is an exceptional candidate with the ability to be an outstanding member of the NYC CIty Council," said Representative Kucinich, who was at one time a City Councilman in Cleveland.  
Inside Biviano's Montague Street headquarters, Kucinich told me: "In him there is energy, drive, honesty, integrity and fearlessness. All the qualities you need in the City Council…Biviano has a willingness and a passion for public service. He's independent. When people ask me why I would come all the way from Cleveland to endorse a NYC candidate that's why…I want all my supporters in Brooklyn to know that Doug Biviano deserves their support. I urge them to go to the polls on Tuesday and vote for him." 

So there you have it. A double endorsement. From Denis Kucinich and OTBKB. What a coup!

Coming Later Today: Final Thoughts From the Candidates

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So far three of the five busy candidates for city council in the 39th have taken time out of their busy campaigning schedules to weigh in on some final questions from OTBKB.

Josh Skaller sat at my messy dining room table and waxed reflective and thoughtful. Hugh even got pictures.

Gary Reilly and I spoke via cell phone while he was resting at home for the first time in days. It's been a long campaign and Reilly has learned a lot in his uphill fight to win the seat.

Brad Lander responded insightfully to my questions via email.

I  am still waiting to hear from Zuckerman and Heyer.

All this and more later today on OTBKB.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich Endorses Doug Biviano for City Council in the 33rd

September 12, 2009 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Civics and Urban Life 

Who knew that national poltical figures would be weighing in on our local city council races? First we had Howard Dean endorsing both Josh Skaller and Brad Lander in the 39th.

Yup,  both of them.

Then Senator Chuck Schumer endorsed candidate Stephen Levin in the 33rd. That was on the steps of Brooklyn Borough Hall.

Even Carly Simon decided to put in her two cents and endorsed the very likable Bob Zuckerman in the 39th!

Now, a former Presidential candidate and U.S. representative, Dennis Kucinich, will be endorsing Doug Biviano in the highly contested race
for the 33rd City Council district.

The Congressman and his wife will be arriving for a
formal endorsement that will take place at 11:00 AM on the steps of
Biviano’s campaign office at 89 Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights.

Biviano worked for Kucinich's campaign in 2008. He had this to say:

 “Working for
Dennis’ campaign last year was an awesome experience for me because
I’ve always admired his willingness to take a stand against special
interests and lead on so many important issues,” said Biviano. “Now to
have his support in my fight for reform is just a tremendous honor. I
invite everybody to come down to our office and meet this great
champion of the progressive movement.”

Read my  Breakfast-of-Candidates with Biviano where he talks about the influence of Denis Kucinich. Here's an excerpt:

"I love Kucinich's politics. Peace as an organizing principle of society,"
Biviano said. In 2004 Biviano made a monetary contribution to
Kucinich's presidential campaign but in 2008, he donated his time and
energy becoming Kucinich's New York State coordinator. From Kucinich he
learned "the possibilities of politics" and traveled to many forums
where he spoke as Kucinich's surrogate. In this capacity he discovered
an ability to connect with an audience and communicate political ideas
in a humanistic way.

"I learned from Kucinich to put a human
face on politics. Iranians are beautiful people. They love their
children. If you start from there, put a human face on it, it's
different."

No Words Daily Pix: Photograph by Hugh Crawford

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2CBW9716

Moms Need a Cocktail: A Momasphere Event

September 11, 2009 by · Comments Off
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4This Sunday there's a MOMASPHERE  Event: Cocktails and comedy at Melt, a restaurant on Park Slope's Fifth Avenue. Look at the cocktails those models are pretending to drink. The Momasphere cocktails will probably be even prettier. And you're going to have even more fun: 

MOMASPHERE is excited to launch the bi-monthly "Mommy Needs A Cocktail" night event at the upscale Melt Restaurant in Park Slope, Brooklyn! 

It's finally time to mother yourself! Dad/Babysitter/Partner can take care of the kid(s) for one night.  Come and enjoy a free cocktail (or mocktail), win raffle prizes, get a professional photo taken, enjoy a free massage and network/mingle with other local moms.

Melt will offer one free signature cocktail (or mocktail) and hors d'oeuvres throughout the evening.

Time :  4:30 to 7pm
Date :  Sunday, September 13th
Cost :  Tickets are $10 online & $15 at the door
Place : Melt Restaurant, 440 Bergen St (bet 5th ave. & 6th ave.) Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Space is limited so please RSVP by purchasing tickets online HERE. Tickets are available for sale at the door for $15.00 on a first-come-first-served basis.

 

  • Event will be moderated by Carolyn Castiglia, a mom comedian who has been seen and heard nationally on VH1, MTV2, NBC's Last Comic Standing, Nick-at-Nite's Funniest Mom in America 3, The Maury Show, ABC World News with Charles Gibson and Sirius/XM Radio. She performs stand-up all over New York, in both alternative venues and mainstream clubs.
  • Our SponsorBabeland, will be there to lead a fun and informative mini-workshop ~Sex Toys 101 for Moms~ and they'll give away free gifts!
  • Christy Marie, a talented Brooklyn portrait photographer will be taking beautiful, individual, professional portrait shots of each mom.
  • Free 5 Minute Roller Massages offered to each mom at the event (Sponsored by Nikken)
  • Free Goodie Bags for all moms attending (Including a free Fall 2009 issue of Hybrid Mom magazine, and more free giveaways)
  • Raffle Prizes! Each Attendee is eligible to win one of the following:
  1. Free Individual or Family Portrait Session with talented photographer, Christie Marie
  2. Consultation with Clutter/Organization Specialist Eleanor Traubman
  3. Babeland Gift Basket
  4. A one of a kind, hand-crafted necklace by Ellen Bari
  5. Free Manicure/Pedicure
  6. A Dinner for two at Melt
  7. A momAgenda Planner
  8. Plus more great gifts

Working moms: bring your business cards so you can make some great business contacts. 
Stay at home moms: come to meet other local moms and de-stress. This will be a fun event for moms of ALL ages!

NOTE: No one under 21 years old will be admitted.

OTBKB Music: A Weekend in the Country

September 11, 2009 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Music 

Park Slope Jamboree If you like country/bluegrass/rockabilly this is a weekend for you to
stick close to home.  Tonight James Reams & The Barnstormers, a
Brooklyn-based bluegrass band, kicks off the 12th Annual Park
Slope Bluegrass & Old-Time Jamboree
over at the Brooklyn Society
for Ethical Culture
.  The Jamboree continues tomorrow with workshops,
jamming, clogging and concerts, with food available during the
afternoon from Dizzy's.

On The Moon Then on Sunday, OTBKB Music fave Li'l Mo and The Monicats will be
opening up a triple bill of country at Williamsburg's Union Pool.  Also
on the show will be Brooklyn's The Dixons and Ruby Dee and The
Snakehandlers
from Austin.

12th Annual Park Slope Bluegrass & Old-Time Jamboree, September
11-12, The Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture, 53 Prospect Park West
at 2nd Street; Friday 8pm, adults $10, kids $6; Saturday 12:30 – 10:30
pm, $4

Li'l Mo and The Monicats, The Dixons and Ruby Dee and The
Snakehandlers
, Union Pool, 484 Union Avenue (G Train to Metropolitan
Avenue; exit at Union Avenue and walk on Union Avenue toward the BQE),
9pm, $10

 –Eliot Wagner

Sept: National Preparedness Month

September 11, 2009 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Civics and Urban Life 
Stacy Cohen, a freelancer with Home Front Communications for the Ad Council, sent word that September is National Preparedness Month.

In order to encourage New Yorkers to prepare for disasters, the New York City Office of
Emergency Management, the American Red Cross in Greater New York and the Ad
Council have launched a new public service advertising campaign called Ready
New York. 

The campaign asks individuals
to get prepared by taking three simple steps:

1) Get an emergency supply kit.

2) Make a family emergency plan.

3) Be information about the different types of emergencies
that could occur and the best responses to them.

It is important to engage your readers and all New Yorkers
in becoming better prepared for emergencies in their homes, business and
schools. Toward that end, we encourage you to write about Ready New York on
your site and share the following easy-to-use social media tools in your post:

* Ready New York City campaign website: www.readynyc.org /
www.listonyc.org

* Ready New York City widget that you can embed on your site
and share: http://seed.sproutbuilder.com/8gBY8e6WFwrKex14

The widget includes video messages from Commissioner Joseph
Bruno of the New York City Office of Emergency Management and American Red
Cross in Greater New York CEO Terry Bischoff as well as links to news and
information about the campaign.

Crimes, Misdemeanors, Street Fairs & A Memorial Run in the 76th Precinct

September 11, 2009 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Civics and Urban Life 

I got this from Craig Hammerman, District Manager of Community Board 6. It's a detailed note from Captain Kenneth E. Corey, Commanding Officer, 76th Precinct.

This past
Tuesday, September 1, we held our first Precinct Community Council
Meeting after the summer hiatus.  We thank all those who attended for
sharing your concerns and allowing us to better serve the community.
 
For the month of August 2009, crime declined by 9.8% over August
2008.  There were no Homicides or Rapes reported, Grand Larceny
declined by 40%, and Auto Theft also declined 40%, Robbery remained
unchanged, with 3 Robberies reported, the same as last year, and
Robbery is down nearly 16.8% year to date.  Felony Assault increased
nominally, with 1 additional Felony Assault reported, and Felony
Assault remains down 18% year to date.
 
We did, however, experience a significant increase (31%) in
Burglary, with 17 incidents reported vs. 13 in August 2008.  These
Burglaries were a primarily of commercial premises and commercial
vehicles, with a small percentage involving residential premises. 
As we intensify our efforts to apprehend the persons responsible, we
ask your help in alerting us to suspicious activity.  No one knows your
community better than you, if something seems suspicious, let us know
so we can investigate it.  Working together, we can continue to reduce
crime in the community.
 
If you have any information relative to crimes and persons committing crimes, you can report it anonymously by either calling 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), texting "TIP577" plus your message to "CRIMES" (274637), or via the internet at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com
.  You will receive an anonymous code number for reference and may be
eligible for up to a $2,000.00 reward if your information leads to the
arrest and conviction of a wanted perpetrator.
 
As the Labor Day
weekend fast approaches, we begin to enter the busy post-summer season,
filled with neighborhood community events.  From September 8 through
13th, 10 ships from the Royal Netherlands Navy and NATO will be berthed
at piers 7 and 8, near Columbia Street and Atlantic Avenue, as part of
the "NY400 Celebration", commemorating the 400th Anniversary of Henry
Hudson's exploration.  The ships will be open for public tours on
Saturday September 12 and Sunday September 13. More information on
NY400 related events can be found at  www.ny400.org
 
On Saturday September 12th, the Carroll Gardens Association will
have their annual street fair on Columbia Street between Degraw and
Union Streets, and Union Street between Columbia and Hicks Streets. The
76th Precinct will have our Crime Prevention booth set up at the
fair.   Stop by and visit.  We will be registering portable electronics
(i-Pods, laptops, cell phones, etc) in our Operation Identification
Program at the booth.  We "etch" the device with invisible, indelible
ink, which makes it easier for us to return the property to the owner
in the event it is lost or stolen.  We will also be registering
bicycles, and providing information on our other crime prevention
programs, all of which are free of charge.
 
Also on the 12th, the Red Hook Lions Club will have their Multi-Cultural Concert in Coffey Park.
 
On Sunday, September 13th, Sacred Heart & St. Stephens Church
will hold their annual "Our Lady of Sorrows Procession", the procession
serpentines through the streets of Carroll Gardens.
 
Sunday, September 27th is the annual "Firefighter Steven Siller Tunnel to Towers" run.
 
We will send out an email for each of these events as they draw near to inform you of any event – related street closings.
 
Finally, the 76th Precinct Community Council meets on the first
Tuesday evening of every month except July and August.  Our next
meeting is on Tuesday October 6th at 7:30 p.m. at the Red Hook Justice
Center, located at 88 Visitation Place.  The meeting is open to
everyone and we hope to see many of you there. We will provide
transportation to and from the meeting from the 76th Precinct station
house for anyone interested.
 
School's open soon, please drive carefully and watch for children!

 

Billy Collins: The Names

September 11, 2009 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Civics and Urban Life 

The Names 

Yesterday, I lay awake in the palm of the night.

A soft rain stole in, unhelped by any breeze,
And when I saw the silver
glaze on the windows,
I started with A, with Ackerman, as it happened,

Then Baxter and Calabro,
Davis and Eberling, names falling into place

As droplets fell through the dark.
Names printed on the ceiling of the
night.
Names slipping around a watery bend.
Twenty-six willows on the
banks of a stream.
In the morning, I walked out barefoot
Among thousands
of flowers
Heavy with dew like the eyes of tears,
And each had a name –

Fiori inscribed on a yellow petal
Then Gonzalez and Han, Ishikawa and
Jenkins.
Names written in the air
And stitched into the cloth of the
day.
A name under a photograph taped to a mailbox.
Monogram on a torn
shirt,
I see you spelled out on storefront windows
And on the bright
unfurled awnings of this city.
I say the syllables as I turn a corner –

Kelly and Lee,
Medina, Nardella, and O'Connor.
When I peer into the
woods,
I see a thick tangle where letters are hidden
As in a puzzle
concocted for children.
Parker and Quigley in the twigs of an ash,

Rizzo, Schubert, Torres, and Upton,
Secrets in the boughs of an ancient
maple.
Names written in the pale sky.
Names rising in the updraft amid
buildings.
Names silent in stone
Or cried out behind a door.
Names
blown over the earth and out to sea.
In the evening — weakening light, the
last swallows.
A boy on a lake lifts his oars.
A woman by a window puts
a match to a candle,
And the names are outlined on the rose clouds –

Vanacore and Wallace,
(let X stand, if it can, for the ones unfound)

Then Young and Ziminsky, the final jolt of Z.
Names etched on the head
of a pin.
One name spanning a bridge, another undergoing a tunnel.
A
blue name needled into the skin.
Names of citizens, workers, mothers and
fathers,
The bright-eyed daughter, the quick son.
Alphabet of names in a
green field.
Names in the small tracks of birds.
Names lifted from a hat

Or balanced on the tip of the tongue.
Names wheeled into the dim
warehouse of memory.
So many names, there is barely room on the walls of the
heart.

Sun: Brooklyn Celebrates Its Bookishness at Festival

September 11, 2009 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Breakfast of candidates 

EOS_6187e The Brooklyn Book Festival is a huge, free public event presenting an array of literary stars and
emerging authors. The
festival, which is this Sunday in and around Brooklyn Borough Hall, is organized around themed readings and devoted to timely and
lively panel discussions. The inclusion of top national and
international authors and new partners has expanded the festival’s
reach while continuing to celebrate and enhance Brooklyn’s contemporary
and historic literary reputation.

There's much to do at the fest: panels, speakers, readings, tables full of books. And this, which I thought sounded interesting:

I wanted to let you know about my panel at 2pm on the International Stage
outside. Would love a shout-out on your blog, to see you there, or help
facilitate interviews with my fellow panelists. More info:
 
The Naked City: Urban Realism and the Global City in Fiction &
Non-Fiction. A discussion exploring the gritty urban realism of the contemporary
global city as seen through recent works of fiction and non-fiction about Delhi,
New York, and Mexico City. Featuring David
Lida
(First Stop in the New World), Meera Nair (Video),
and Hirsh Sawhney (ed., Delhi
Noir
). Moderated by Cheryl Harris Sharman (Nightshift NYC).

No Words Daily Pix: Photograph by Hugh Crawford

September 10, 2009 by · Comments Off
Filed under: No Words_Daily Pix by Hugh Crawford 

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No Words Daily Pix: Photograph by Hugh Crawford

September 10, 2009 by · Comments Off
Filed under: No Words_Daily Pix by Hugh Crawford 

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Leon Freilich, Verse Responder: The Ratner Arena

September 10, 2009 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Civics and Urban Life 


 Atlantic600 The Ratner Arena

A whale that swallows

With avid ease

Tax-free bonds

And subsidies.

NY Times: At Home with Amy Sohn

September 10, 2009 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Civics and Urban Life 

10sohn650.3 From the Home section of the New York Times:

"ONE recent afternoon, the writer Amy Sohn sat at the Third Street
Playground in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, a few blocks from her apartment,
and explained the central paradox of her neighborhood. “Every mother
knows what a Park Slope Mother is, but no one thinks she is one,” she
said.

"Ms. Sohn was referring to the
stereotype of the overprotective, militantly organic, so-called
helicopter mom. Looking around the playground, there appeared to be a
few in attendance.

“If you went to Pierrepont Playground in the
’70s, when I was there,” Ms. Sohn, 35, said, referring to the Brooklyn
Heights neighborhood where she grew up, “the mothers sat on the
benches, and let kids work things out. If you come here, you see
parents on the structures. There’s a quickness to intervene. Shouldn’t
we allow some degree of ‘Lord of the Flies’?”"

A Streetcar Named Desire Directed by Liv Ullmann with Cate Blanchett

September 10, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Civics and Urban Life 

Streetcar570x380 Need I say more? And how come I just heard about this production at BAM.

Nov 27—Dec 20*
By Tennessee Williams
Sydney Theatre Company
Directed By Liv Ullmann

"…how often do you get to watch an actress of such virtuosity pulling out every stop of her instrument and then some?" —The New York Times on Cate Blanchett

Tennessee
Williams has a way with his women. Both sympathetic and merciless, he
cuts to their core, revealing their longing, vulnerability, and pride.
His most poignant creation—and the dream role of every leading
actress—may be the narcissistic and deeply troubled Blanche DuBois of A Streetcar Named Desire.

An
aging Southern beauty, Blanche is all artifice, pomposity, and need,
traits that Cate Blanchett, a transcendent performer (who made her New
York stage debut at BAM in 2006 as an unforgettable Hedda Gabler),
conveys with the most delicate balance of hysteria and pathos. Playing
off of Joel Edgerton as the remorseless monster Stanley, and Robin
McLeavy, as her conflicted sister Stella, Blanchett and the outstanding
ensemble cast of the Sydney Theatre Company bring new life to this
celebrated work.

Liv Ullmann—whose own soul-baring performances
in the films of Ingmar Bergman defined an era—directs, granting
Williams' fraught characters a full spectrum of emotions while
witnessing the old South's losing battle against a coarse modern world.

BAM Harvey Theater
145min with intermission
Tickets: Tue—Thu: $30, 65, 95; Fri—Sun: $40, 80, 120

*Nov 27 & 28, Dec 1, 2, 4, 5, 8—12, 15—19 at 7:30pm
Nov 28, Dec 2, 5, 9, 12, 16, & 19 at 2pm
Nov 29, Dec 6, 13, 20 at 3pm
Dec 3 at 8pm (Belle Rêve Gala)

Tom Martinez, Witness: Solo Swan, Empire State

September 10, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Tom Martinez, Witness 

SoloSwanEmpireSt_2(2)

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