April 11, 2014

No Words Daily Pix by Hugh Crawford

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March 30, 2014

Rabbi Andy Bachman’s Decision to Leave Park Slope Pulpit

 

On Wednesday my sister called to say that Rabbi Andy Bachman would be resigning his post at Congregation Beth Elohim in 2015. As a member of the synagogue, she’d received an email from the President of the congregation. I told her to send me the email. Then I realized that in this day and age, the information would be on Facebook.

And there it was. Rabbi Bachman posted his letter to the congregation on Facebook and comments were coming in fast. I also checked Rabbi Bachman’s blog Water Over Rocks and saw that his letter was posted there, too.

Which brings me to how I first became aware of Rabbi Bachman: I discovered his blog. I loved the idea that a rabbi had a blog. This was back in 2005 when I was an insanely enthusiastic hyper-local blogger and he was the leader of a group called Brooklyn Jews. Blogging was not the ubiquitous activity it is today so I felt he was a kindred spirit in the art and soul of the blog. In fact, I was so impressed with his thoughtful meditations on religion and community,  I invited him to be one of the speakers at the Second Annual Brooklyn Blogfest in 2006 (along with author Steven Berlin Johnson, the late Robert Guskind of Gowanus Lounge, and Brownstoner’s Jonathan Butler).

That night, a huge crowd gathered at the Old Stone House. We had to turn many away. I waited for Rabbi Bachman to show up because he was listed as the first speaker. Unfortunately, he had to attend to a rabbinical emergency, a hospital visit I think. The Reverend Daniel Meeter of Park Slope’s Old First Dutch Reformed Church, also an early blogger, graciously spoke to the audience and said a prayer. In Dutch.

A year later, I reported on Reverend Meeter’s passionate and soul-baring post on his blog about three homeless men who slept on the steps of his church and his frustration with them. Reverend Meeter had tried help these men, tried to get them jobs, apartments and health services. But they continued to live on the church’s steps. When the men urinated on the steps, Meeter lost it. He grappled with what to do about it on his blog:

“Their names are Robert Royster, Will Franklin, and Frank. They cause me a great deal of trouble, and lots of anger from our neighbors, and I do wish they would go away, but, whatever else, they remain human beings, images of God, and they need to be treated with respect.”

Soon after, the Reverend and the Rabbi united to form the Park Slope Coalition for the Homeless. This group was created after a meeting with the city’s Department of Homeless Services. Bachman posted the group’s goals on his blog: “Acknowledge with dignity those who are homeless. … Work for their dignity and safety. Connect them to the variety of homeless services in the city. Support the provision of services to these people.”

That was not the last time that the Reverend and the Rabbi united to do service for their community. Together they added an ecumenical note to Park Slope, when they borrowed each other’s sanctuaries, when building troubles prevented them from using their own. Spending Yom Kippur with Rabbi Bachman in Old First Church is a memory I will forever cherish.

As to his community work, Congregation Beth Elohim seemed the perfect platform from which to address that which is broken in the world. I figured he’d be a rabbi forever.

Apparently, he saw it differently. After turning 50 and after seeing the devastation of Sandy and what it revealed about underserved and impoverished comminities like Red Hook and Coney Island not far from Park Slope, Rabbi Bachman decided to focus on homelessness, hunger, violence and poverty in New York City—not just Jewish service.

 ”Last year, the combination of watching our community’s response to Hurricane Sandy as well as the fortuitous and inevitable rite of passage of turning 50, I began to explore the idea of moving beyond strictly Jewish service and contemplate seriously the idea of serving disadvantaged communities broadly throughout New York City.  The issues of poverty, hunger, homelessness, education, and violence remain central to my own concerns as a citizen of New York.”

I will admit that my initial reaction was sadness.

Sadness for the Jewish ritual that lies ahead that won’t involve Rabbi Andy Bachman. He presided over my father’s funeral service in 2008. And he did so beautifully. Later he wrote about the service on his blog:

“A beloved man died at age 79 and the structure of mourning and remembrace that was so carefully set in place by his daughters was so perfectly attuned to his wishes and to his abiding influence on them as a parent so that even as they were choosing on their accord how to remember and honor him, his touch and voice could still be heard.”

In February, he led the funeral service of Edith Jacobson, my sister’s mother-in-law. Again, we witnessed Bachman’s special way of meeting death and helping a family through it with Jewish ritual and carefully chosen words and prayers. My sister especially appreciated his presence at the cemetery and how he instructed the mourners to stop seven times on their way to the grave as he recited a Psalm.

It is always bold and inspiring when someone makes a huge change in their lives. It can also be unsettling, not unlike what happens when people decide to divorce. We accept the labels that people adhere to themselves. When changes like this are announced it can feel like a landmark is falling or an institution is crumbling (to paraphrase the song Will You Still Be Mine).  It also forces us to rethink what we are doing. And maybe that is the spiritual “take-a-way.” Rabbi Bachman is not only changing his life, but in the process forcing others to rethink their own.

 

NOTE: The photograph of of Andy Bachman was taken just days before the first anniversary of the Newtown school shooting, when a group of clergy including Rabbi Bachman and Minister Donna Schaper of Judson Memorial Church, took part in a solemn vigil outside Cerberus, an investment firm that profits from the sale of military style assault weapons including the one used in the Newtown shootings. Photo by Tom Martinez.

The photo of Reverend Meeter and Rabbi Bachman is from the Brooklyn Paper.

 

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December 31, 2013

The 2013 Park Slope 100

Here it is: The 2013 Park Slope 100, the  seventh annual alphabetical list of 100 people, places and things that make Park Slope a special place to live. 100 Stories, 100 ways of looking at the world.

This year we had help from OTBKB readers, Facebook friends, and our colleagues at Park Slope Stoop, who will be running this list simultaneously. Much gratitude to Liena Zegare and Mary Bakija. 

For me, it’s about the people around here who contribute in some way large or small or even teeny tiny to the greater good. Who made you feel good this year? Who did something kind, something smart, something creative, something interesting?

Something inspiring?

A few things on this list divert from that but for the most part that’s what it’s about.

Please send your comments, your typo and bad link discoveries, your fact checks and your comments to louisecrawford@gmail.com.

Wow, seven years of the Park Slope 100. If you combine them, that’s 700 people, places and things to know about, think about, be inspired by.

Here goes…

His Honor the Mayor of NYC Bill De Blasio: Park Slope’s mayor. Now and forever.

 Lawrence Abdullah, the good Samaritan who helped police catch an alleged groper; as Council Member Brad Laner said, “he’s a “model citizen hleping to ensure the safety of his neighbors here in Park Slope.

Swati Argade for bringing ethical, yet still fashionable, clothing, jewelry, and more to her new shop, Bhoomki.

Jennifer Jones Austin, named co-chair of Bill de Blasio’s transition team, she has an impressive resume filled with public service, but that’s not all. A few years back, she had leukemia and needed a bone marrow transplant. It was difficult to find a donor but she did it. Her energy amazes…

Barclays Center. Love it or hate it: it’s here with Jay Z, Beyonce, Streisand, Bieber, Rihanna, Miley, McCartney, Billy Joel, Bruno Mars, Cold Play, Depeche Mode, Bob Dylan, Dave Matthews, Leonard Cohen, Alicia Keys, and the Video Music Awards. Oh yeah, and the Nets!

The BEAT Festival with its immersive art all over Brooklyn, including Dispatches from Sandy, reflections from relief volunteers at the front lines of Hurricane Sandy.

The Benches that have appeared throughout Park Slope, courtesy of the Department of Transportation as requested by diligent members of the Park Slope Civic Council.

Bklynr, Props to Raphael Pope-Sussman and Thomas Rhiel who produce journalism about all of Brooklyn. Twice a month, BKLYNR publishes stories that cover the political, economic, and cultural life of the borough. Each issue contains three pieces, which is designed to look beautiful on your computer, tablet, or phone. Subscribe.

Sarah Brasky, who runs Foster Dogs NYC — she lives in the neighborhood, and has not just placed a lot of dogs not just with foster families (many in the Slope), but has found lots of them forever homes. Plus she organized a great scavenger hunt over the summer!

Bogata Latin Bistro for the food, the service and the atmosphere. I always feel welcome, well taken care of and well-fed there. Gracias.

Brave New World Repertory because of their site-specific performance of “Street Scene,” a 1929 Elmer Rice play, using real residential buildings as an interactive set on a Park Slope Street.

Breaking Bad at the Gate. Again. Another summer with Walt, Jesse and the BB gang plus great bartenders, and a hushed crowd at Fifth Avenue’s best dive bar.

Brownstone Dreams, Kevin McPartland’s gripping novel about growing up on the mean streets of Park Slope in the early 1960s. It took five years to write, ten years to publish and a lifetime to live it.

Ann Cantrell of Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store, for bringing a sense of fun for both kids and grown-ups to 5th Avenue. We could stop in every day for a piece of candy, alone.

Dr. Cao at South Slope Pediatrics for creating such a warm and loving practice. They totally succeed in making their patients feel more like extended family members than names on a chart.

Ken Carlton for his self-published novel Food for Marriage. The Big Chill meets delicious food and juicy secrets and lies.

John Ciferni longtime owner of Tarzian Hardware, where we go when we need anything.

Citibike because biking is an awesome way to get around this city.

Sammy Cohen-Epstein: “Sammy was a remarkable kid. We heard heart-wrenching, beautiful stories at the funeral, and from kids and adults all around the neighborhood, about his young wisdom (some in his class called him “the philosopher”), his compassion and his smile, his skills as a soccer and trumpet player, and the rock-solid support he gave as a sibling and friend. His bar mitzvah was going to be November 16th,” wrote City Councilman Brad Lander in remembrance of this son of Park Slope who died. RIP.

Jill Cornell because she used her corporate and theater background, street smarts and network of friends to help victims of Hurricane Sandy.”

Dante!

The Dolphin that found its way into the Gowanus. The borough watched as this seven foot long mammal turned up in the filthy headwaters of the Superfund canal, more than a mile from the harbor, and struggled for a day before he died. RIP.

Chiara De Blasio because she bravely shared her story about depression and substance abuse. It can’t be easy to be in the spotlight. Bravo.

EidolonPark Slope’s original indie design boutique since 1999 is closing. A fifth Avenue treasure for 14 years, Eidolon  was a cooperative venture with Andrea’s clothing designs, Yukie’s handbags, Mimi’s jewelry and Amara Felice’s own variety of clothing and accessories plus all of the designers who have consigned their goods to the store. Big closing sale in January.

Lucy Farrow, the South Slope 3-year-old who is showing cystic fibrosis who’s boss.

Marc Russ Federman, author of the marvelously entertaining and appetite inducing book “Russ and Daughters”.

The 5th Brooklyn Scouts at the Brooklyn Pride Parade. The group is committed to providing an appropriate alternative and community-oriented Scouting experience. They welcome everyone and provide a positive learning environment within the context of democratic participation, social justice, mutual respect and cooperation. Photo by  Tom Martinez. 

Forever Brooklyn, a short film by Francesco Paciocco 

Martha Foley, archivist at Congregation Beth Elohim, who is uncovering and preserving CBE’s rich history and the history of the people and families, many of them Park Slope residents, who have been part of that vital community

Fourth Avenue. Block by block. Rising to it’s potential.

Friends of Park Slope Library, a wonderful community of neighbors created to support the Ninth Street and Sixth Avenue branch of the Brooklyn Public Library.

Gail Ghezzi for her blog and exhibition at Jalopy  Birth, Death, Repeat, an art/writing project featuring the shadow boxes of the Brooklyn designer Gail Ghezzi. Ghezzi’s shadow boxes are meditations on mortality that use antique artifacts and found objects she acquires at antique fairs, online and on her sidewalk. Each box imagines the final moments of a fictional character, and then surrounds that character with the detritus of a life.

Good Byes: Mindy Goldstein and Charlie Libin, longtime Park Slopers who are leaving for greener pastures in Greenpoint; Sweet Melissa decided to call it a day. And what a loss to  someone who loves fine baking and Saturday morning coffees with her sister (who could that be?). Two Boots: Where do we begin?

Katie Goodman for Sh*t Park Slope Parents Say (and continuing to be funny after that).

Martha and Gary Goff for their work on climate issues and with Brooklyn for Peace.

The Greed and Avarice that exists among commercial building owners and landlords on 7th Ave…leaving storefronts vacant for years at a time. Shame.

Chris Hennessy has Multiple Sclerosis but that doesn’t stop him from being a serious athlete and fundraiser for the disease.

Jennifer Kahrs, who co-founded Project Amelia to help friend and neighbor Ameilia Coffaro after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Reverend Cheri Kroon for her work organizing fast food workers and her ministry at Flatbush Dutch Reformed Church.

Caroline Hitshew and Tali Biale, of the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket and Barclays Center Greenmarket, respectively, for organizing great food events and finding creative ways to get us to taste new fruits and veggies every week.

Pam Katz because as co-screenwriter of Hannah Arendt (directed by Margarethe Von Trotta), she was nominated for a Lola, the German Academy Award. The film was selected as one of the top ten movies of 2013 by AO Scott in the New York Times: “Those who complain that movies can’t think don’t really know how to think about movies. This one, focusing on the controversy surrounding its subject’s 1963 book “Eichmann in Jerusalem,” brilliantly dramatizes the imperative at the center of her life as a writer and philosopher, which was to compel the world to yield to the force of the mind.” 

Madelyn Kent and Peggy Stafford for their Sense Writing Workshops that enables those who wish to write to let go of their inhibitions and writer’s block and write.

The LeFrak Center at Lakeside, Prospect Park’s new skating center!

Dr. Larissa Litinova, compassionate, kind MD with a holistic approach.

The Mayoral Forums in Park Slope. Lively.

The Maurice Sendak School (PS 118) at 4th Ave and 8th Street). Love the name. Love the school.

Chirlane McCraine, because she will always be OUR first lady. 

Kimberly McCreight for her excellent debut novel Reconstructing Amelia. 

Steve McGill for documenting the city in photographs — especially the birds in Prospect Park.

Kevin McPartland, author of Brownstone Dreams, a gripping coming of age tale about growing up on the mean and violent streets of Park Slope in the 1960s. It took 5 years to write, ten years to publish and a lifetime to live.

Josh Miele, as reported by the New York Times. forty years after an acid attack by a neighbor in Park Slope, he is productive, forgiving and inspiring.

Miss America is a Park Sloper. Mallory Hytes: You go girl!

Naidre’s for creating the best breakfast taco known to man.

Nemo Hits Brooklyn: Snowy Backyards in Park Slope (Photo by Sophia Romero).

New BBQ restaurants (Dinosaur, Morgans. YUM.)

Connie Nogren, long time incredible teacher at P.S. 321, volunteer at P.S. 10 and peace activist. Pictured above right. Photo supplied by Renee Dinnerstein (pictured above left).

Major Owens (RIP) Member of US House of Representatives from 1983-2007, representing Park Slope

 The continued expansion of the Park Slope Historic District, the largest historic district in New York City, containing the most significant contiguous swath of protected buildings in the entire city.

Park Slope Street Safety Partnership for getting neighbors started with actions to help make our streets safer for everyone.

Park Slope Veterinary Center for working so hard to find families for the neighborhood’s homeless dogs and cats.

Prospect Park, the book about Olmstead & Vaux’s Brooklyn masterpiece by David P. Colley with photographs by Elizabeth Keegin Colley out from Princeton Architecture Press. Available at the Community Bookstore. 

Lou Reed (RIP) born in Brooklyn…

Frank Renda at Superior Auto Care for keeping local cars running (and dogs fed with treats) for more than 20 years.

Sale of a certain building on Seventh Avenue (and the potential for it’s renovation). Mazel Tov!

Krista Saunders and Jill Benson for opening Ground Floor Gallery, bringing so much great art, fun events, and opportunities for local artists already in its first year.

Chris Schneider and Ryan Powers for putting on such a badass holiday light show every year.

Dree Schultz, the talented local drummer who spearedheaded Back to Class, a collaborative album to benfit the music programs of the Detroit Public Schools.

Shavuot Across Brooklyn: A consortium of Brooklyn’s minyanim and synagogues, who  came together for an all-night celebration for the holiday of Shavuot commemorating the giving of the Ten Commandments. It started at 8PM with services and cheesecake and ended with a sunrise service at 5AM. They are surely gonna do it again and you can come for all or part of the night and enjoy a program of learning, singing, and dancing as some of Brooklyn’s finest teachers gather.

Bruce Shearhouse of American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) because not only he is one of the soccer guys but he collects equipment and school supplies for poor kids

Josh Shneider Love Speaks Orchestra. New LP, lots of airplay. A 19-piece big band for god’s sakes. And the music makes you feel glorious.

Sock Monkey Press, started by Scott Adkins and Erin Courtney, publishes strong literary works that have a visual focus, using e-platforms for distribution in addition to printed books.  Recent publications include Terence Degnan’s The Small Plot Beside the Ventriloquist’s Grave, Martin Kleinman’s Home Front, and  My Apocalypse, an anthology. Coming soon: Nicole Callihan’s debut book of poetry SUPERLOOP, Hardcover with fabric case binding.

South Slope Flea, finding a new home after losing their home of 27-years at PS 321. One might say they were kicked out to make room for the Brooklyn Flea. Check it out on 20th Street between Fourth and Fifth Avenues.

Patrick Stewart and… 

The Patrick Stewart Tumblr.

Paula Tarzian just because.

Matthew Taub,  lawyer, OTBKB contributor and now Local Write Up, his new venture. 

Teddy Bears on Prospect Park West put up by 13-year-old Alison Collard de Beaufort after she found out that Sammy Cohen-Eckstein, one of her classmates at MS 51,  had been hit by a car and killed in October.

Terrace Books for taking over Babbo Books and keeping a bookish presence in Windsor Terrace.

Two Boots: Goodbye with love.

After 24 years, Two Boots Brooklyn is coming to a close; our last day will be November 10.

It’s been our very great pleasure to have been a part of your lives, and to have had you in ours.

Piper & Andy Wandzilak, the current operators, will be continuing on in this space as their partner, John Touhey, Two Boots co-founder, retires.

Piper & Andy will be renovating and making big changes over the next two months and are hoping to re-open sometime mid-winter.

They plan on having the same warm welcome and relaxed party atmosphere, with much of our same happy staff and management.

We all thank you for your loyalty and support all these years.

For us, this place has been like a second family and a home away from home, and we know it’s been the same for many of you.

We’re heartbroken to be saying goodbye, but we hope to see you again for our re-birth!

Most sincerely and gratefully,

Piper & Andy & John

Jeanne Theoharis for her book The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks published this year and just nominated for an NAACP Image Award in Biography/Autobiography.

Ugly Duckling Presse located in the American Can Factory building on Third Street for its support and publication of POETRY, experimental and otherwise.

Unparallel Way, Emily Weiskopf’s bright yellow median scupture on 4th Avenue between 3rd and 5th Streets.

Andrew Violette, former PS 321 teacher, Hillard-trained composer and pianist, organist and music director at St. Augustien Church.

Ned Vizzini, a precocious son of Park Slope, he was writing for the New York Press and New York Times while still a teenager. He is the author of four books for young adults including It’s Kind of a Funny Story, which NPR named #56 of the “100 Best-Ever Teen Novels” of all time. It was made into a film. RIP.

War/Photography Exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum. Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath” continues through Feb. 2, 2014. Image by Ron Haviv.

Marlene Weisman for her feminist/surrealist collage series, While I Was Stuck in the Supermarket displayed at Powerhouse on 8th in Park Slope. A graphic designer, Marlene created graphics, sketch titles, visuals, and props at Saturday Night Live from 1988-1995.

 

What My Daughter Wore, a blog you’ve just got to see for its artistry and casual hipness.And I love that blogger Jenny Williams uses Blogspot, my beloved first blogging platform.

Whole Foods! Yes.

Miles Wickam, graffiti artist, teacher and person who inspires.  From an interview with Creative Times: “First, I believe we all have creative abilities, and we need to discover and refine them. Some of us grew up without the proper support to know this about ourselves. Remember that graffiti, like all other skills, take LOTS of experience, lots of hours of practice, to refine to a level to where you know you are good. There can and probably will be LOTS of frustration and disappointment on the path. Don’t give up on yourself.”

William Butler School, PS 133, brand new school at corner of 4th and Baltic. Beautiful school.

Avra Wing, author of a wonderful young adult novel called After Isaac

The Wooden House Project, where Elizabeth Finkelstein provides some much-deserved attention for the neighborhood’s wooden houses.

Candace Woodward, promoter and advocate of all good things in Park Slope.

 

 

December 30, 2013

Accepting Park Slope 100 Nominations: NOW

I am now compiling the seventh 2013 Park Slope  100, 100 people, places and things that make Park Slope a special place to live. 100 Stories, 100 ways of looking at the world.

Have a look at the 2012 Park Slope 100 for an idea of what we’re looking for. Think of people you love in Park Slope who contribute in some way large or small or even teeny tiny to the greater good. Who made you feel good this year? Who did something kind, something smart, something creative, something interesting.

Help me make this a great and inclusive list. Email me: louisecrawford@gmail.com and THANKS. The deadline is TODAY. I know that’s no notice at all…

December 9, 2013

Local Clergy Demand that Cerberus Divest from Gun Manufacturer

Just days before the first anniversary of the Newtown school shooting on December 14th, a group of clergy including  Rabbi Andy Bachman of Congregation Beth Elohim (pictured above) and Minister Donna Schaper of Judson Memorial Church, took part in a solemn vigil outside Cerberus, an investment firm that profits from the sale of military style assault weapons including the one used in the Newtown shootings.

Organized by The Campaign to Unload and New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, the group entered the Lexington Avenue office building where Cerberus is located, and delivered a letter demanding that the CEO live up to an earlier promise he made just after the Newtown shooting, that he would divest from the arms manufacturing companies they were profiting from.

The company, which owns the Freedom Group, the gun manufacturer whose Bushmaster rifle was used by Adam Lanza to kill 20 first graders, six adults and then himself on Dec. 14, 2012, owns $900 million worth of gun manufacturers in the United States.

All photos by Tom Martinez

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November 25, 2013

Feast: Writers on Food on December 12 at 8PM

BRING SOMETHING TO READ, BRING AN APPETITE TO FEAST

On December 12, 2013 at 8PM, Brooklyn Reading Works at The Old Stone House in Park Slope presents Feast: Writers on Food (as subject matter, as metaphor) presented by Ame GIlbert, founder of The Poetry Soup Salon, a monthly reading and dinner series.

Soup will be served.

Feast’s curator Ame Gilbert invites anyone who wants to read a poem, a short story or a non-fiction piece about food to read at the FEAST open-mic (8-minute time limit).

Ken Carlton, author of The Hunger (included in Best Food Writing of 2009) will open the event with a short reading from his new novel Food for Marriage.

Feast is a fundraiser for a local food pantry. Give generously ($10 is suggested donation). Soup, bread and dessert will be served. Plus wine. Readings are limited to 8-minutes.

When: December 12, 2013 at 8PM
What: Feast: Writers on Food Open Mic
Where: The Old Stone House, 336 Third Street between 4th and 5th Avenues. F train to Fourth Avenue. R train to Union Street. For info: 718-288-4290
What else: $10 donation includes wine, soup, bread and dessert

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November 12, 2013

Help Purple Yam Help the Victims of the Typhoon

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November 12, 2013

Help Dalaga Help the Phillipines

I received this note from the owners of Dalaga, a lovely shop in Greenpoint owned by two Filipino sisters. There is an event at Jeepny tonight. But Dalaga will be accepting donations in the coming days. Dalaga: 150 Franklin St, Brooklyn, NY 11222, (718) 389-4049

Dearest Dalagas,

As some of you know, my sister and I are Filipino and this weekend a devastating typhoon hit the country. Typhoon Haiyan resembled a tsunami, leveling houses and drowning hundreds of people in one of the worst disasters to hit Southeast Asia. Thankfully our family’s area was not badly hit, but 480,000 others are displaced and 4 million more are affected by the typhoon across 36 provinces. They are expecting another storm to hit them tomorrow morning. Relief agencies are immediately calling for canned food, water, medicines and tents for the homeless.

For anyone who lives in the New York metro area, Jeepny is hosting a Typhon Haiyan Fundraiser TONIGHT, 6pm to 9pm. They are accepting canned food and monetary donations for the Philippine Red Cross. If you cannot make it to the Jeepny event tonight and wish to donate, we will accept donations starting today. We will be making regular drops to The Philippine Red Cross. Please see the list of donations we will be accepting.

Canned/ packaged ready to eat food (sardines, instant noodles, shelf stable milk, rice, etc.)

Water purifier tablets

Water containers

Tents and other temporary shelters

Freshly laundered and clean blankets, pillows, sheets, towels, etc

Flashlights and batteries

Hygiene kits with personal care items-soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, sanitary napkins

Baby diapers, wipes, bottles, baby formula

Cooking apparatus-pots and utensils

General medical supplies and over the counter medications at least one year from expiration

Mosquito repellant

At this time, we cannot accept clothing. We appreciate any support you can give and hope you’ll help to spread the word.

Thank you.

Michelle & Mary Mangiliman

Owners

DALAGA

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November 12, 2013

Thursday at 8PM: Writing War: Fiction and Memoir by Vets

This Thursday (November 14) at 8PM: Brooklyn Reading Works presents: WRITING WAR: Fiction and Memoir by Veterans curated by Peter Catapano with Phil Klay, Kevin R. McPartland, Maurice Emerson Decaul, and Lynn Hill.The Old Stone House in Park Slope 336 Third Street between Fifth and Fourth Avenues. R train to Union Street or F train to Fourth Avenue. A $5 donation includes wine and snacks.

Lynn Hill is a United States Air Force veteran, performer and poet. She is a graduate of Columbia University and served as an intelligence analyst and worked with bomber, Red Flag simulated war games and Predator drones. In 2012 and 2013 she appeared in the multimedia show “Holding It Down” with Vijay Iyer and Mike Ladd. Her next project, “Lioness,” with Maurice Decaul, will debut at the Atlas INTERSECTIONS Festival in 2014.

Maurice Emerson Decaul served in the United States Marine Corps in the Iraq War. He is an essayist and librettist whose work has been featured in the New York Times, The Daily Beast, Sierra Magazine, Barely South Review, Epiphany and others. He is a graduate of Columbia University and is working towards his M.F.A. at New York University. In 2012 and 2013 he appeared in the multimedia show “Holding It Down” with Vijay Iyer and Mike Ladd. His next project, “Lioness,” with Lynn Hill, will debut at the Atlas INTERSECTIONS Festival in 2014.

Kevin R. McPartland is the author of “Brownstone Dreams” (Boann Books and Media), a tale of love and death in 1960s Brooklyn. A native Brooklynite, novelist and short story writer, his work has appeared in AIM Magazine, Grit Mag and in “Adventures in Hell,” an anthology of short stories by Vietnam veterans. Follow Kevin on Facebook.

Phil Klay served in the United States Marine Corps from 2005 to 2009, and was deployed to Iraq in 2007-8. He is the author of the forthcoming short story collection, “Redeployment,” and is a contributor to the collection “Fire and Forget: Short Stories From the Long War.” His work has appeared in The New York Times, Granta, Tin House and elsewhere.

Matthew Mellina served in the US Army from 2002-2007, deploying to Iraq in 2006 with the 4th ID. He is working on his first novel and has had pieces featured in The New York Times, Newsweek, and Slate.

Peter Catapano (curator) is the editor of Happy Days, Home Fires, and other opinion sections at the New York Times Web site. He lives in Brooklyn.

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November 7, 2013

Dear Investors Bank: Turn Down the Lights!

 

Dear Investors Bank,

When you move into a new neighborhood it’s nice to be respectful of the people who’ve been there for a long time. We hope that you will look around you and notice that a big, bright, inappropriate lighting scheme doesn’t really fit into a historic neighborhood like Carroll Gardens.

For goodness sake, your bright lights are keeping people awake.

We know you don’t want to make bad with the neighbors. You’re new and probably want to make a nice first impression. That said, you really don’t need to show off with all your big, bright light. Trust me, we’ll notice you without it.

Truth is, we’d like to bring the welcome wagon by but its hard to do that when we feel like you’re not respecting what we’re about—visually, culturally, community-wise and even historically.

Take a look around and TURN DOWN THE LIGHTS.

Sincerely,

Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

Below is the petition. To sign it get in touch with lkentgen(at)gmail(dot)com

Carroll Gardens residents are concerned by the amount of light pollution coming from the new store front, Investors Bank, on Court Street between 3rd and 4th Place. There is also opposition to the bright awning that extends into the street. The new business has not used nearby financial businesses and banks as a model for its design. The other businesses do not disrupt the residential atmosphere that is highly valued here.

We, the signed residents of Carroll Gardens and its Brooklyn neighbors, are requesting that Investors Bank:

1) remove its awning

2) Dim its lights.

We are requesting this in the spirit of Investors Bank’s willingness to become a part of the neighborhood instead of standing out in a way that is unattractive and disruptive to the neighbors.

Obviously, Investors Bank, a New Jersey-based financial institution, has little sensibility for our brownstone neighborhood. Let’s hope that they wise up quickly and realize that this sign and the bright lights are not appropriate for Brownstone Brooklyn.

Sincerely,

Your Neighbor

 

 

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November 7, 2013

No Words, Daily Pix by Hugh Crawford: Two Boots Panorama

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November 5, 2013

Matthew Mellina Added to “Writing War” Program at The Old Stone House

Brooklyn Reading Works is pleased to announce that Matthew Mellina, who served in the US Army from 2002-2007, deploying to Iraq in 2006 with the 4th ID, will be joining a terrific roster of writers at Writing War: Fiction and Memoir by Veterans on November 14th at 8PM at The Old Stone House in Park Slope (336 Third Street between Fourth and Fifth Avenues).

The reading is curated by Peter Catapano and will feature writers Phil Klay, Kevin R. McPartland, Mauric Decaul, and Lynn Hill. Mellina is working on his first novel and has had pieces featured in The New York TimesNewsweek, and Slate.

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November 5, 2013

The City Votes

Today I will vote for Bill de Blasio for mayor of the city of my birth. He resides with his family just a few blocks from where I live, and we share many of the same values. I know this is a tough city to govern but I have high hopes that he will hold fast to his vision, and do the right thing.

Can he manage this city? Can he stay on track and not succumb to its political forces with the same discipline he brought to the campaign? That will be the true test of his character and his leadership abilities. We have learned that it takes a tough and determined mayor to get things done. Bloomberg was a mixed bag but he achieved much of his agenda and much was brilliant: 311, bike lanes, smoking bans, restaurant grading, traffic slowing, waterfront development, a long-term plan to protect against effects of climate change, Brooklyn Bridge Park, green infrastructure plans and more.

I am fascinated and delighted by De Blasio’s rise from underdog in the mayor’s race to number one. He ran a brilliant campaign, while the other candidates floundered and in some cases flailed. He found his message and stuck to it. A tale of  two cities, end stop and frisk, affordable housing for all, universal pre-K by taxing the wealthiest, education. He was disciplined, focused and smart.

And it seems that some of what he had to say struck a chord, as he is set to win by a landslide. His tale of two cities resonated on many levels. It is felt in every neighborhood, by many different kinds of people. New York has become a city of the rich and it has become harder and harder to rise up in it.

I think this city needs a humane mayor who understands that if the most in need are  provided for, the rest of this city will flourish. He understands that New York City must not just be a city of the wealthy  because all of its character will be siphoned away. He understands that New York City gathers  its strength and distinction from its artists, its activists, its outsiders and its subway population, not just from those who ride in limousines.

Today I vote for Bill de Blasio, who at one time represented my neighborhood in the New York City Council. I have seen him more times than I can count at local civic gatherings, school events. I believe he has the capacity to be a great mayor if he can guarantee that the under-served, the undervalued, the underachieving and the underemployed will have an advocate at City Hall. That is my hope anyway.

Back in July, De Blasio answered questions for OTBKB. Here’s his answer to one:

The idea that every kind of person can make a life for themselves and their family is supposed to define New York. But over the past 12 years of Bloomberg, we have seen New York become a tale of two cities. We’re living in a reality where the focus of the city’s resources and development has turned disproportionally to lower Manhattan. My experiences in Brooklyn as a resident, a City Council Member and Public Advocate have shaped my vision for what kind of mayor this city needs. As mayor, I’ll spend every waking moment fighting to bring opportunity to every New Yorker, whether that be through expanded affordable housing, police reform, or an economic strategy that brings jobs to all five boroughs.

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November 4, 2013

Outrageously Bright Investors Bank Sign Must Go: Sign the Petition

A friend writes that an outrageous and inappropriately bright sign and awning for the Investors Bank that took over the old Italian grocery store space at 81 Court Street is causing consternation among Carroll Gardens residents.

As you can see from the picture, the wattage coming out of their signage is like something that belongs in Times Square. My friend is hoping to gather 100 signatures requesting that the bank show regard for the other signage of the neighborhood, take down the awning, and turn down the lights in the evening.

You in? Email lkentgen(at)gmail(dot)com to sign the petition and for more information.

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November 4, 2013

Two Boots Brooklyn is Closing Only to be Re-Born

I’ve had this story, in rumor form, since Saturday. But I couldn’t bear to share it until I’d confirmed it. I guess I felt sad, disappointed, and angry that a true Park Slope institution was moving on.

And I dragged my feet confirming it, I hoped to get to it today. To ask my friend Pastor Daniel Meeter of Old First Dutch Reformed Church, what he knew. I knew he’d know something. But I didn’t get around to it.

And now it is confirmed. Effed in Park Slope has word that it is true. Indeed, Two Boots is closing. One of the original owners, John Touhey is moving on. So Andy and Piper Wandzilak will stay in the space and try something new: a new concept, different food, a wholly different approach? We shall see.

It’s actually a much better story than I imagined. The space will be renovated and they plan to keep much of the staff on. Will it still be child friendly? Well, that’s a very good question. I’m guessing it will still have the same great bar up front.

Here’s the note on Andy’s Facebook page.

After 24 years, Two Boots Brooklyn is coming to a close; our last day will be November 10.
It’s been our very great pleasure to have been a part of your lives, and to have had you in ours.

Piper & Andy Wandzilak, the current operators, will be continuing on in this space as their partner, John Touhey, Two Boots co-founder, retires.

Piper & Andy will be renovating and making big changes over the next two months and are hoping to re-open sometime mid-winter.

They plan on having the same warm welcome and relaxed party atmosphere, with much of our same happy staff and management.

We all thank you for your loyalty and support all these years.

For us, this place has been like a second family and a home away from home, and we know it’s been the same for many of you.

We’re heartbroken to be saying goodbye, but we hope to see you again for our re-birth!

Most sincerely and gratefully,
Piper & Andy & John

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November 2, 2013

Nicole Krauss, Author of Great House and The End of Love, Moving from Park Slope

Nicole Krauss, the author of Great House and The End of Love, two novels that I adore, is moving away from Park Slope She and her husband Jonathan Safran Foer are selling their great Park Slope house and heading to points unknown.

I remember seeing her read and discuss Great House at Congregation Beth Elohim quite a few years back. I admired her intelligence, her quiet strength and her grace. She said that a desk that came with their Second Street house inspired the novel.

That house must be very inspiring because it inspired a brilliant tale about (and I quote from her website here because the book, something of a long shaggy dog tale, isn’t that easy to describe, “a reclusive American novelist, who has been writing at the desk she inherited from a young Chilean poet who disappeared at the hands of Pinochet’s secret police; one day a girl claiming to be the poet’s daughter arrives to take it away, sending the writer’s life reeling.”

This is indeed a loss to Park Slope as it was wonderful to have two such fine writers among the many writers in this neighborhood. They made us proud, they illuminated us (pardon the pun), they were among our literary stars. I wish them the very best and much great writing in the future.

Here’s a quote from Great House, which is well worth a read.

Ten days together in this house, and the most we’ve done is stake out our territories and inaugurate a set of rituals. To give us a foothold. To give us direction, like the illuminated strips in the aisles of emergency-stricken planes. Every night I turn in before you, and every morning, no matter how early I rise, you are awake before me. I see your long gray form bent over the newspaper. I cough before entering the kitchen, so as not to surprise you. You boil the water, setting out two cups. We read, grunt, belch. I ask if you want toast. You refuse me. You are above even food now. Or is it the blackened crusts you object to? Toasting was always your mother’s job. With my mouth full, I talk about the news. Silently, you wipe the sputtered crumbs and continue to read. My words, to you, are atmospheric at most: they come through vaguely, like the twitter of birds and the creak of the old trees, and, as far as I can tell, like these things they require no response from you.

 

November 1, 2013

The Cohen Eckstein Family at City Council Hearing

I am so moved by the fact that the parents and sister of Sammy Cohen Eckstein, the 12-year old boy killed by a van on Prospect Park West, testified at a City Council hearing yesterday in support of a bill reducing speed limits in residential areas to 20 mph. From all reports there was not a dry eye in the house. Here is a quote from Sammy’s mother Amy Cohen Eckstein:

“Our family has suffered an unspeakable loss. Every day is filled with pain so deep we are not sure we can bear it. But the world too has suffered a great loss, for Sammy could have really made a difference. He would even have been an excellent Council member had he had the chance.”

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November 1, 2013

Happy Day After Halloween

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October 21, 2013

Oct 30 at 9:30: Zipper at Nitehawk (Buy Tickets Now)

One night only. On October 30th at 9:30 catch Zipper at Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg.

Zipper, directed by Amy Nicholson,  is a tale of Coney Island told through the story of a small-time ride operator Eddie Miranda who operates a  carnival contraption called the Zipper in the heart of Coney Island’s gritty amusement district.

When his rented lot is snatched up by a real estate mogul, Eddie and his ride become casualties of a power struggle between the developer and the City of New York over the future of the world-famous destination.

Be it an affront to history or simply the path of progress, the spirit of Coney Island is at stake. In an increasingly corporate landscape, where authenticity is often sacrificed for economic growth, the Zipper may be just the beginning of what is lost.

See more at: http://www.nitehawkcinema.com/movie/zipper/#sthash.W3sG2nn7.dpuf

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October 20, 2013

Red Bows for the Teddy Bears on Prospect Park West

I  didn’t know where they came from: the identical teddy bears that appeared on lamp posts on Prospect Park West after the death of Sammy Cohen-Eckstein, the 12-year old boy who was run over by a van a few weeks ago.

I’d seen the make-shift memorial for Sammy. Flowers, notes, stuffed animals at the entrance to Prospect Park on Third Street. Heartbreaking.

Then I heard that it was a student at Park Slope’s MS 51, an eighth grader like Sammy, who put up the bears. Alison Collard de Beaufort bought forty of them to put up as a way to remind drivers to slow down. She also wanted to remind people about the senseless loss of her friend and fellow classmate.

On Saturday, a friend of mine decided that the teddy bears needed bows. Red bows. She asked my sister and her 9-year-old daughter to help her place handmade ribbon bows on twenty of the bears on Prospect Park West. I thought it was a beautiful gesture, one that perfectly compliments the initial gesture by Alison, as it honors Sammy with love, beauty and a message to us all to slow down.

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October 14, 2013

Oct 17 at 7PM: What Do Women Want? at Babeland

On October 17 at 7PM, Edgy Moms and Babeland Present: What Do Women Want?  Author Daniel Bergner in conversation with Babeland founder Claire Cavanah (462 Bergen Street in Park Slope, Brooklyn)

When it comes to SEX, common wisdom holds that men roam while women crave closeness and commitment. But in his provocative new book, Daniel Bergner turns everything we thought we knew about women’s arousal and desire inside out.

Drawing on extensive research and interviews with renowned behavioral scientists, sexologists, psychologists, and everyday women, Bergner forces us to reconsider long-held notions about female sexuality

Claire Cavanah co-founder of Babeland and the co-author of Moregasm, will interview Bergner about his journey into the world of female desire and ask him thought-provoking questions such as: Are women perhaps the less monogamous sex? What effect do intimacy and emotional connection really have on lust? What is the role of narcissism-the desire to be desired-in female sexuality? And is the hunt for a “female Viagra” anything but a search for the cure for monogamy?

DANIEL BERGNER is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and the author of four books of nonfiction: What Do Women Want?, The Other Side of Desire, In the Land of Magic Soldiers, and God of the Rodeo. In the Land of Magic Soldiers received an Overseas Press Club Award for international reporting and a Lettre-Ulysses Award for the Art of Reportage and was named a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. God of the Rodeo was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

CLAIRE CAVANAH and Rachel Venning opened the first Babeland store in 1993 in response to the lack of women-friendly sex shops in Seattle. The store offered top quality products, a pleasant place to shop, and most of all information and encouragement to women who wanted to explore their sexuality. The store’s popularity with both women and men has led to three more stores in New York, plus a thriving and educational website.

EDGY MOMS is the brainchild of Louise Crawford, artistic director of Brooklyn Reading Works, a monthly thematic reading series at The Old Stone House in Park Slope. Edgy Moms presents smart, powerful, funny, whiny, non-sanctimonious writing about mothers and motherhood. She runs Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn, a popular Brooklyn blog and Brooklyn Social Media, smart social media, publicity and special events for authors and entrepreneurs.

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October 9, 2013

Sad

Very sad news.

A 12-year-old boy in Park Slope was hit and killed by a van on Third Street and Prospect Park West when he ran out into the street chasing a soccer ball in front of his apartment building. His name is Samuel Cohen-Eckstein.

Note from City Council Member Brad Lander:

“Like many of you, I am heartbroken over the death of our neighbor, Sammy Cohen-Eckstein, a 12-year-old boy who was hit and killed by a van last night on Prospect Park West. Sammy could have been any of our kids. There are no words for a senseless loss like this, but I know our whole community is praying for his friends and family.

Condolences to his family and friends.

 

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October 8, 2013

Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Washington Square Park

Friend and fellow blogger Cathryn Swan has a book coming out, an event which always calls for a celebration. Especially a book about an important New York City space.

This Thursday October 10th, Bluestockings Books hosts the official release party for Tales of Washington Square Park (and a few other places), a book/zine written by Swan, the editor of the Washington Square Park Blog.

The book includes some of her favorite stories from the blog. At the event, there will be a reading by Swan, conversation about the famous Greenwich Village park and more, and discussion of New York City’s privatization of public space.

In the book, Swan touches on the following interesting factoids and more:

Why was the fountain moved 23 feet east to line up with the Arch at Fifth Avenue after 137 years in its previous location?

Did cars really run through the Arch?

What is the story behind the “Hangman’s” elm at the park?

Why did Henry James hate the Arch?

From Eleanor Roosevelt, Jane Jacobs, Bob Dylan, Dave Chappelle to today, the park remains the heart of Greenwich Village. It is a constant reminder of the magical commons in the midst of the privatized city

WHEN: Thursday, October 10th @ 7 pm

WHAT: Reading+Discussion: Cathryn Swan’s Tales of Washington Square Park (and a few other places)

WHERE: Bluestockings Books, 172 Allen Street between Stanton and Rivington (which is 1 block south of Houston and 1st Avenue).

By Train/Bus: Take the F train to 2nd Ave, come above ground at 1st Ave, and walk one block south along Allen Street. The Delancey-Essex JMZ stop is also nearby, and the M15 bus has a stop on Allen at Stanton.

The event page is here: http://washingtonsquareparkblog.com/official-release-event-for-tales-of-washington-square-park-at-bluestockings-books-thursday-october-10th-reading-discussion-with-cathryn/

Photo by Ron Saari

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October 4, 2013

Park Slope’s Chris Hennessy: I Ride with MS

Here’s a big shout out to Park Slope’s Chris Hennessy, who has Multiple Sclerosis. This weekend he will be riding his bike along with nearly 5,000 people from the tri-state area, up to 100 miles to raise money for support programs, services and research sponsored by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

This year for the first time ever, riders with MS, such as Chris, will be provided extra support during the event through a program called “I Ride with MS,” a bike series designed specifically to empower cyclists with MS by providing visibility and support tailored to their needs.

You can donate to “Team Hennessy” and help those with MS

Many people with MS experience a temporary worsening of their symptoms when the weather is very hot or humid, or they get overheated from exercise, the program will provide body-cooling neck wraps for these riders to use throughout their journeys, as well as special jerseys that identify them as “I Ride with MS” participants.

Good luck, Chris. Park Slope is rooting for you.

 

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September 24, 2013

Brownstone Dreams: Love and Death in 1960s Park Slope

What was Park Slope like before it became the affluent Brooklyn neighborhood it is today? In the Park Slope of Brownstone Dreams, a new novel by Kevin R. McPartland, there are no cappuccino cafes, Bugaboo strollers or real estate offices selling million dollar apartments. Author McPartland spins a tragic tale about the mean streets of 1960’s Brooklyn, evoking the sights and sounds of tenements, bars, and schoolyards that comprise the battleground of warring teenage gangs.

The year is 1962. It’s early summer and it’s already a hot one. 19-year-old Bobby Dutton, street tough and gang member, is in a state of turmoil, after stealing the gun of local wiseguy Vincent Casseo. Still high on glue and beer, Bobby has to figure out how to get the gun back to crazy Vincent, without getting himself killed.

“The next morning Bobby sat leaning on one elbow on a cluttered kitchen table. He sat watching his grandfather go about his morning ritual of drinking tea by the fire-escape window while he shaved and complained. ‘Someday you’ll know what this is all about, Bobby-boy. It’s not fuckin easy makin’ a buck in the world. Look at me, other men work on ships that go to sea. I work on a stinking barge in a filthy goddamn canal called Gowanus.”

But Bobby isn’t interested in how hard it is to make a buck in the world He is much more concerned about Vincent Casseo and his missing gun.

Brownstone Dreams is a gripping thriller about fear, anger and revenge. It is also the story of a Brooklyn neighborhood where drugs and alcohol take control of people’s lives; where working-class immigrant families fill tenement buildings; where hardworking men drown their disappointments in seedy pubs, while their sons fight each other with sticks and bats in Prospect Park.

Bobby, forever the dreamer, believes he can get the gun back to Vincent without incident. But that is just the first of many miscalculations that makes Brownstone Dreams such a compelling—and heartbreaking read.

Born and bred in Park Slope, McPartland writes about the world he grew up in with the eloquence and grit of Pete Hamill and Malachy McCourt. “McPartland’s is as authentic a voice from New York City’s streets as you’re ever likely to hear.” write Peter McDermott, Deputy Editor of the Irish Echo.

Bobby’s story comes to a head with the savage beating of one of his best friends by Vincent. That’s when Bobby’s game plan changes and he goes on the offensive, unafraid of Vincent’s reputation or his threats, determined to avenge his friend’s beating.

So begins a downward spiral from which Bobby will never return. Even the love of Cathy, a good neighborhood girl, can’t save Bobby from his inevitable trajectory. “Before Park Slope became the trendy family neighborhood of New York’s wealthy elite, it was the home of Bobby Dutton, an Irish-American teenager growing up in the cockroach infested flats of McPartland’s Brownstone Dreams,” writes Marian Fontana, award-winning author of A Widow’s Walk: A Memoir of 9/11. “The book captures a bygone era with a voice as fresh as it is engrossing,”

Brownstone Dreams will engross fans of Pete Hamill, Joe Flaherty and Frank McCourt, who will discover in McPartland a brave and bold writer with an urban story worth telling.

About the author: Kevin R. McPartland is a native Brooklynite, novelist and short story writer. His work has appeared in AIM Magazine, Grit Mag and in Adventures in Hell, an anthology of short stories by Vietnam Veterans.

September 24, 2013

Forever Brooklyn: A Short Film by Francesco Paciocco

Forever Brooklyn from Francesco Paciocco on Vimeo.

September 19, 2013

Bklynr: Stories about LICH, Crown Heights and Marine Park

As you know, Brooklyn is one heck of a BIG and complex place.  And while there’s ample media coverage of selected aspects of Brooklyn life, news about certain issues and certain neighborhoods is limited.

 Hello BKLYNR, a  bi-weekly that is now releasing its 12th issue This journalistic endeavor tells in-depth stories about all of Brooklyn, and it tells them in innovative and interesting ways. Best of all, if you subscribe, it will magically appear in your inbox every two weeks for only $20 per year. Good deal I say.

In Bklynr Issue 12:

Fighting for Life: A doctor at Long Island College Hospital on the battle to keep the lights on. by Douglas Sepkowitz.

One Block in Crown Heights: Stories behind the buildings we walk past, an interactive panorama by Albert Sun, Zachary Friedman, and David Lei

In the Weeds: The derelict majesty of Brooklyn’s Marine Park, photo series by Will Ellis

You can also get a limited edition print of the map pictured above of every block in Brooklyn for $39.

 

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September 16, 2013

Sept 21: New York Writers Coalition Write-A-Thon

Get your pencils, pens or computers ready. The 8th Annual New York Writers Coalition’s Write-A-Thon is this Saturday, September 21, a great writing event and a fundraiser for the New York Writers Coalition.

Please join me at the NYWC Write-A-Thon. I’m going to spend the day writing and you can too. Even if you don’t consider yourself a writer, spending the day thinking, taking a writing workshop, tinkering around in a computer or notebook, meeting other interesting people, or doing whatever you want is incredibly fun!

It happens to be the week of the Brooklyn Book Festival so it makes perfect sense to do some writing AND at the same time contribute to this great organization which sponsors writing workshops for the incarcerated, recovering drug addicts, at-risk teenagers, the disabled, the elderly and more…

For more information click here. 

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September 9, 2013

Vote on Tuesday!

In November, New Yorkers will select a new mayor for the first time in more than a decade. The primary is on Tuesday and approximately  750,000 people (it is estimated) will make a decision for a city of 8 million people.

This is an important election that will define the direction of this great city for many years to come. I have one word for you: VOTE.

 

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September 4, 2013

Who Are You Voting For?

Who are you voting for? I know it’s rude to ask but this mayoral election is a big deal. Plus, I’m super interested in which way you’re leaning.

I’m surprised how many of my friends and family are undecided. They seem to be teasing out the differences between Bill De  Blasio, Christine Quinn and William Thompson.

I’m more than likely going to vote for Di Blasio. It’s kind of a no brainer. He used to be my City Councilman and he’s a recognizable tall person around the Slope. While I like his progressive and thoughtful views on education, housing and the middle class, I worry that he has no managerial experience and running the city is like running a really huge and  complex company. It really does require a managerial genius like Bloomberg even if you don’t agree with his agenda.

Quinn sounds great on paper. She’d be the first woman and the first gay mayor of New York City. Who can walk away from that. Yet, she also represents the status quo and a continuation of Bloomberg policies and I think we need a change.

Thompson is also very qualified. He’s a career politician who has been the head of the Board of Education for 5 terms and City Comptroller. Sadly, he doesn’t seem to have much vision or pizazz.

What do you think?

 

 

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