Ed Koch, mayor of New York City from 1978-1989, died this morning of heart failure. He was the mayor of the New York City of my youth and young adulthood.
What an era that was—in City Hall and in the city itself. It was the period that took us from the desperate and debt-ridden late seventies through the go-go, Yuppie eighties. It was the period that saw the rise of graffiti, homelessness, crack, hip hop, Wall Street, punk rock, the AIDs crisis and much more.
Feisty, funny and full of chutzpah, he seemed, in a sense, to personify the city. He lived across the street from my grandmother on Fifth Avenue and 8th Street in Manhattan and seemed accessible and real. For me, he was the mayor across the street, when he wasn’t in Gracie Mansion. How’m I doing? was his iconic question and it exemplified his in-your-face way of being the mayor.
His approach to race relations was highly problematic and his refusal to admit his own homosexuality was certainly a betrayal to the city’s gay community.
His term spanned my out-of-town college years and the years when I set out on my own in the city of my birth. I lived in Harlem, Brooklyn Heights, the Upper West Side and Lower East Side (during the Tompkins Square Park riots) during that time. I remember the building of the Twin Towers and the nearby Art on the Beach area that was the landfill that is now Battery Park City and the 35 cent token. Soho was still an art center, Tribeca was just coming into being, the East Village had a boom and then a bust, CBGBs, Max’s Kansas City and Area were the places to be.
It was a different city. A grittier more dangerous place to live but also a vital and amazingly creative environment in which to come of age.
Indeed, Ed Koch will remembered by those of us who grew up during that time as a mayor as funny, flawed and complex and the city itself.
I just learned that Bronx-born Koch, lived in Brooklyn for a time. Here from a statement by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz: “Mayor Koch lived with his family in Brooklyn as a young man, and I have no doubt it’s where he got the Brooklyn attitude, swagger and “chutzpah” that made him such a character and helped him navigate New York City through some of its most challenging times. The Brooklyn flag over Borough Hall will be lowered in remembrance of this one-of-a-kind New York icon, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and colleagues.”
12 Bytes, an event that combines wonderful food and computer art, is conceived as a computer musicale with a four course meal or “interconnected network of small bites, and in between enlightenment and entertainment computer generated sights, sounds and ideas.
This interesting and unique event is brought to you by Communal Table, Ame Gilbert’s culnary endeavor which brings art, ideas, activism and food right to the table. ” We sit down with writers, performers, artists, scientists, chefs and friends to talk and listen and to share wonderful meals,” she writes on Communal Table’s website.
This event happens on FEB 9, at 7PM in a Beautiful Downtown Brooklyn. Tickets $70 (includes beverage pairings)
(address and directions will be provided ticket when you purchase your ticket!)
Here are the artists and thinkers who will headline this event:
Mihir Desai is the chief gastronomer of foodTEXT, a roving supper club which seeks to contextualise our food system through communal adventures in modernist cuisine.
Jesse Diener-Bennett is a writer and composer writing and composing in Brooklyn, New York. Madly in love with linguistics, he often works in the space between lyrics and poetry, music and words, meaningfulness and meaninglessness.
Scott Draves is a pioneering software artist best known for creating the Electric Sheep, a collective intelligence consisting of 450,000 computers and people that uses mathematics and genetic algorithmsto create an infinite abstractanimation.
Alice Lee is a Research Chef at GNT USA, maker of all-natural colors from fruits and vegetables, and a culinary graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education in Manhattan.
HOST: Vince Bruns is a 30 plus year fishmonger to a central Jersey community, foodie and theater addict who just happens to own a lovely condo capable of hosting 25 or 30 food fans for dinner.
If you are wondering why there are helicopters hovering over the neighborhood here’s the reason: There’s a wounded dolphin swimming stranded in the Gowanus. Rescuers are frantically trying to save him. According to the Daily News, the dolphin may be bleeding from its dorsal fin and is trapped in the dirty, frigid waters of the Gowanus of the Union St. bridge.
Read more at the New York Daily News: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/dolphin-stranded-brooklyn-article-1.1247776#ixzz2J14akjRg
For starters, Park Slope’s Senator Chuck Schumer was the emcee of the 2013 Inauguration. Then, the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir sang a glorious “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
And Beyonce: her virtuosic rendition of the exceedingly difficult to sing National Anthem was stunning. And Jay-Z, of course, he was in attendance.
Oh and Obama. Obama. Perhaps the greatest speech of his career. Progressive, pragmatic, visionary. Beautiful words, beautiful man. Yes, his hair is grayer, but he is wiser.
We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.
Turns out the new Miss American (Miss New York State) lives in Park Slope. She moved to New York in 2008 from Alabama.
She introduced herself with “Sandy may have swept away our shores, but never our spirit. I’m Miss New York, Mallory Hagan.”
On Saturday night, this Park Sloper’s dream became a high definition reality when she beat out all the Miss America wannabes and nailed the title.
The bathing suit contest may be heinous and the show itself a feminist heresy but ya gotta love the fact that Miss America is from the South Slope.
Hagen attends the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and plans to become a marketing executive for a cosmetics or fragrance company. During her reign as Miss New York focused on child sexual abuse and prevention and was an advocate for the Children’s Miracle Network.
Go to Park Slope.
Madelyn Kent and Peggy Stafford will be leading a weekend writing workshop on January 12 and 13 from 10:30 AM until 1:30 PM at The Old Stone House.
In fact, they’re starting a season of Sense Writing in Brooklyn. They write: “The focus of the approach is on what is felt and “tangible” rather than abstract ideas of ‘good writing.’ Writers hone their craft by fully inhabiting their writing landscape.
Sense Writing is an innovative approach designed to enhance and deepen your personal development as a writer. Re-imagining writing as both a sensual and intellectual process, Sense Writing gives you the tools to discover and harness the artistry inherent in your writing.” Below is a description of the workshop:
The Fundamentals of Sense Writing: Memoir: January 12-13, 2013
Using your own life stories, this memoir workshop explores the vital connections between your senses, emotions, and imagination. Because the focus of this workshop is on what is felt and “tangible” rather than abstract ideas of “good writing,” and because we encourage critique based on skilled awareness rather than analysis, writers of all levels and genres learn to bypass judgment, inhabit their writing, and find pleasure in the craft, including revision. Immerse yourself in this endlessly dynamic method that will take you through all the stages of writing – from beginning to end – in just one weekend!
“I have learned more about writing rich, complete, and detailed stories than in any of my previous writing courses.” – A. Cargill
“A revelation” – A. Gerber
“I experienced the miraculous sensation of creativity.” -T. Omer
Participants will leave with two to three complete pieces. Open to writers of all levels and genres.
Wishing you all a happy and healthy new year. After the exertion of doing the Park Slope 100 I took a little break from posting. But I’m back.
I’m back now.
This is the sixth 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.
We started this in 2006 but missed 2011.
This year we received many tips from readers of OTBKB. Quite a few of these blurbs were written by these kind people. Thanks to all! Please send your typos, your fact checks and your comments to us.
Heck, we know you will.
Wow, six years of the Park Slope 100. If you combine them, there are 600 people, places and things. Click on this to see the Park Slope 100s from 2005-2009, a mini-history of Park Slope since 2005.
There are no repeats from past years. although it’s possible that there are a few.
PASTOR TOM AHERN because you are a man of great intelligence and uncommon humility who gives the most exquisite weekday morning homilies (sermons) at St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church on Sixth Avenue in Park Slope. You are a real peacemaker and a lover of the Slope.
LESLIE ALBRECHT for your great shoe-leather reporting in Park Slope for DNA Local. Thanks for the stories.
AMAZING NEW PLAYGROUND IN JJ BRYNE PARK because you brought new life and vitality to a well-located public space plus interactive panels by Brooklyn sculptor Julie Peppito, state-of-the-art play equipment, swings, new game tables and gorgeous gardens. Props to the Parks Department, the Old Stone House, Kim Maier and all the designers, planners and politicians who made it happen.
artObama because we thank you again for this artists for Obama event. You raised $60,000. Not bad at all.
ART IN BROOKLYN because we admire Mike Sorgatz’s one-man crusade to spread the word about art and artists in this borough of kings and artists.
PAUL AUSTER because we just want to say thanks for the memoir, Winter Journal.
MARY JEAN BABIC because you, my dear, pulled it off: the first ever block party on Third Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues. Or at least the first one in a very, very, very long time. A big day of fun for neighbors and friends.
BAD WIFE GROCERY because it’s a great name for a South Slope deli. And the name is meant in the most flattering way.
BARACKLYN because we loved the Brooklyn Bowl, Cory Booker and Steve Earle. And you raised a boatload of cash for Barack.
MIKE BIRBIGLIA because you won our hearts with your film Sleepwalk with Me, which you filmed in Park Slope.
CHANTALL BRACHMAN because you are a WARRIOR and your teaching of Pilates and IntenSati changes lives.
BREAKING BAD AT THE GATE because you gave all those obsessed with Breaking Bad without cable a place to go on Sunday nights at 10PM.
CANTOR JOSH BREITZER because you have revived liturgical music at Congregation Beth Elohim, but have also turned the synagogue into a musical center for the whole community. All in one year!
CASA VENTURA because you took over when Barrio went down. We watched as you painstakingly made that space your own with tasty Latin American cuisine, tasteful decor, delicious sangria, music and hospitality. It’s the hospitality and the colorful Christmas lights on the Seventh Avenue trees that clinched it. Viva La Casa Ventura.
BROOKLYN BY THE BOOK because you’re a great new literary series in the heart of Park Slope. Paul Auster and Don Delillo. On one night? Ya.
CANAILLE because your little wine bar and bistro on Fifth Avenue, Phillipe and Marie, feeels like Paris in Park Slope. Because you two work really hard to make the magic.
CEILING OF OLD FIRST DUTCH REFORMED CHURCH because you need our help restoring you to your former splendor.
JIMMY CLIFF because you rocked Celebrate Brooklyn and reminded us why we love you and The Harder They Come.
CYCLE BAR because you’ve created a great and safe alternative to cycling the streets of Brooklyn with your storefront on Fifth Avenue.
MICHAEL DAVES because you are leading Park Slope’s emergence as a Bluegrass center for New York and the whole Northeast. Teaching hundreds of students, performing solo and with Chris Thile, gathering musicians and audiences, teaching Sunday School, inspiring us all.
SARAH DEMING because we proudly watched as you were selected by NBC to research and report on women’s boxing at the London Olympics. We await your book about donating a kidney to your mom. Your essay “Against Mixology” is well worth a read in the anthology Make Mine a Double.
D.NURSKE because your latest poetry book A Night in Brooklyn (Knoph) is a beautiful elegy to the borough that inspires us all.
THE FIFTH ESTATE BAR because you tried to secede from Park Slope and we love you anyway.
FILMWAX FILM SERIES because you are a Park Slope-based documentary film series curated by Slope resident Adam Schartoff.
FLASH MOB AT PS 10 because it was a goofy, fun thing for parents to do.
FLEISHER’S GRASS FED AND ORGANIC MEATS because you are just the kind of butcher we needed around here.
FORTH ON FOURTH because you are a new committee of the Park Slope Civic Council dedicated to beautifying and exploring the potential of Fourth Avenue. Go forth.
FORTY WEIGHT COFFEE because you are a wonderful morning spot with excellent coffee and friendly baristas.
FREDDY’S BAR because I had such fun that night listening to that band from Poughkeepsie. I think they were called The Seventh Squeeze.
G-TRAIN EXTENSION because from Seventh Avenue in Park Slope the F train takes us to BAM, groovy Williamsburg, Greenpoint AND Long Island City. Way to go MTA.
LESLIE GALLAGER because you are a librarian extraordinaire at the Brooklyn Public Library (central branch). You are the go-to gal for children’s, juvenile and young adult literature
AME GILBERT because your love of cooking inspires you to teach, to write, to help, to illuminate, to curate, to create, to feed and to blog at Food Poetics.
GEAR-TO-GO OUTFITTERS because you went from street vendor to a brick and mortar shop dedicated to the outdoors from a week on the Appalachian Trail to a nature walk in Prospect Park.
SISTER ELLEN GLAVEY because as the Religious Education Director at St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church in Park Slope, you’ve prepared lots of kids for the sacraments.
GO BROOKLYN because the Brooklyn Museum plus a crew of great local organizers put together an epic open studio weekend in every neighborhood in Brooklyn.
GREENBEANS NOT WALGREENS because it was a good slogan for a good cause.
CAT GREENLEAF because you’re the host of Talk Stoop.
BEN GREENMAN because you are our man at the New Yorker, an excellent writer of short stories, novels and funny tweets. Yes, tweets.
CAROLYN GREER because your stewardship of the Brooklyn Book Festival is extraordinary.
PETE HAMILL because you write about life in Park Slope back in the day with eloquence and poignancy.
HONEY & WAX BOOKSELLERS because you started a classy rare book business in Park Slope out of your dining room and founded the First Annual Holiday Book Fair, which included just about all the indie rare booksellers in Brooklyn. Way to go.
ONE HUNDRED STORY HOUSE because you are a charming miniature lending library and installation that was designed for Cobble Hill Park bu also spent time in Washington Park pre-Sandy.
HURRICANE SANDY RELIEF KITCHEN because you’re a community-based, grassroots relief effort based in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. What began as an immediate, around-the-clock effort cooking out of the back of Two Boots of Brooklyn, has now transformed into an operation comprising local business, community groups and friends. Now operating out of Old First Reformed Church, they have, to date, served tens of thousands of those affected by Hurricane Sandy in coastal neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Staten Island. Yes.
RACE IMBODEN because you’re our hometown Olympics boy. A fencer. We proud.
JODI KANTOR because we read you in the New York Times and your book, The Obamas takes us deep inside the Obama White House and sheds light on what it means to be the first black President and First Lady. You’re great on Twitter, too. Especially during the debates.
JEZRA KAYE because not only did you turn out to be my cousin on my mother’s side (word) you are many other things at once, including the author of The Tatooed Heart and the founder of Speak up for Success, helping CEOS, scientists, artists and entrepreneurs build their natural speaking skill and style.
BRAD LANDER because you provide outstanding public leadership, taking your City Council seat to a new high water mark.
LEARN ME PROJECT because you’re a homeschooling dad who started an interesting blog shedding light on the experience from your perspective and your son’s.
LION IN THE SUN because you’re the go-to paperie for everything from a sympathy card to a Bar Mitzvah invitation
LOUIS CK because you filmed Louis all over Park Slope and we’re so PROUD.
LYLE LOVETT because you rocked it with some country swing at Celebrate Brooklyn
FERNANDO MANECA because you are the publicity king at the Brooklyn Arts Exchange, a master Tweetster and a social media maven.
DANIELLE MAZZEO because you are a smart, creative, friendly, and generous gal, and half the team behind Two Moon Art House and Café.
MILE END DELI on Bond Street for bringing updated Jewish comfort food to the level of Brooklyn foodie fabulousness.
MILLENIUM BROOKLYN HIGH SCHOOL because you are a selective college-prep high school in the John Jay complex enjoying its second year of success with Principal Lisa Gioe at the helm.
REGINA MYER because your stewardship of Brooklyn Bridge Park is extraordinary.
DAN MYERS because Here’s Park Slope is simply the best for what’s in and what’s out in Park Slope retail and restaurants.
MARK NAISON because your blog With A Brooklyn Accent is erudite and illuminating.
LORI NELSON because you love the human stories that you incorporate into your art projects like Recession Stories and Coverage.
NEW AWNING, NEW LOGO for the Community Bookstore. A.C. designed the logo which is quite stunning. Classy.
ONE TEEN STORY because you publish (from Park Slope) spectacular short stories for teens on up.
OLD STONE HOUSE/PARK SLOPE PARENTS HURRICANE RELIEF EFFORT because with a whole lot of energy and great community outreach the Old Stone House and Park Slope Parents raised $40,00 for victims of Hurricane Sandy in, like, a week.
PARK SLOPE NEIGHBORS because you kept us informed throughout the Hurricane with your frequent updates.
PARK SLOPE STOOP because you bring hyperlocal reporting to Park Slope with warmth and style.
THE PINK HOUSE because we will miss your Pepto-Bismol shade of pink. Thanks for a touch of eccentricity on a street of uniform brownstones.
PINKBERRY because you brought world class frozen yogurt with fabulous toppings and super friendly servers to Park Slope. Full disclosure: you advertise on OTBKB.
THE PLOUGHMAN because you painted the walls purple and brought great gourmet grocery and beer to the South Slope.
PORK SLOPE because you nailed the southern roadhouse vibe plus the pulled pork sandwich and onion strings are delish. And well-priced.
POWERHOUSE BOOKS ON 8TH AVENUE because we love the new outpost of your Dumbo store, publishing empire and venue on Eighth Avenue in Park Slope. You heard me: on Eighth Avenue in Park Slope.
PROSPECT PARK CAROUSEL because you celebrated your 100th birthday this year.
PROSPECT PARK WEST BIKE LANE because you are part of a new bike-centric vision of NYC
JOYCE PISARELLO because you are one smart, creative, friendly, and generous gal and half the team behind Two Moon Art House and Café on Fourth Avenue.
RELIEF EFFORT AT CONGREGATION BETH ELOHIM because you raised a ton of money and made an insane number of sandwiches for those in need in the Rockaways and elsewhere.
REOPENING OF THE PARK SLOPE BRANCH LIBRARY because we missed you and you look FABULOUS!
RETAIL CASUALTIES OF PARK SLOPE: 4 and a Tail. Sette. Ozzie’s. California Taqueria. Video Forum, Barrio, Yogomonster. Many more…
SPENCE RITENOUR because we liked your show at Culture and you are one of the photographers behind Park Slope Lens.
ROBOTIC RAPTOR FILMS because you’re young, energetic and very good at what you do.
LAUREN RUFF because we love your quirky and fun Big City web series about two roommates and their silly shenanigans in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Written by Lauren Ruff, starring herself and the multi talented, Zane Carney.
ANNA SHEINMAN because you are dedicated to good, healthy yoga liv ing and love to write about it on Stream of Life Yoga.
A SHOE GROWS IN BROOKLYN because we love creative new businesses that quote great literature. ;)
PATRICK SMITH because your dedication to being a poet, a presenter of poetry, and poetry blogger—Not in the News Today—is inspiring.
THE STAFF AT SNICE because you make Snice such a sniiiiiiice, friendly eatery.
CARLA STAGENBERG because we love the Jaya Yoga Center.
SUSAN STEINBROCK because with Karen Orlando you started Brooklyn Grown, a flower business planting in vacant lots, in backyards and just about anywhere you could find unused soil. Lovely.
PATRICK STEWART because you are our very own Captain Jean-Luc Piccard. Swoon.
ALEXANDRA STYRON because you wrote the elegantly crafted memoir, Reading My Father, which explored life with your dad William (Sophie’s Choice) Styron.
SWEET WOLF’S because you are a divine little bistro on Sixth Avenue in Park Slope. Yes, Sixth Avenue, providing food for all your neighbors, including steak, burgers, fresh fish, several gluten free options, duck fat cooked belgium fries, almost half of your menu designed to be vegan friendly, vegetarian food even carnivores would eat.
TALDE because we salute our very own top chef and your newish and very HOT restaurant
THRIFT SHOPS OF FIFTH AVENUE because we need to rid our homes of the clutter. And then we need to get more. Housing Works, Beacon’s Closet, Guvnor’s Vintage and Thrift and more…
TO THOSE WHO MOVED AWAY because we forgive you even as we miss you.
SEFER TORAH PROJECT AT CBE because you are rewriting the Torah one line at a time.
UPRIGHT PIANO IN THE PARK SLOPE TRASH because someone threw you out and someone else made beautiful music (and a video) with you before the Department of Sanitation hauled you away. Have a listen.
STEPHANIE VALDEZ because you are the lovely female half of the new ownership team at the Community Bookstore.
JACOB VOGELMAN (1990-2012) because, to paraphrase The Daily Beast, you were a kind of unofficial Park Slope first responder known for helping your neighbors on First Street. We will not forget you. RIP.
ANDY AND PIPER WANDZILAK, OWNERS OF TWO BOOTS because of all your work post-Hurricane Sandy. Passionate and impressive.
WESLEY WEISSBERG because you’re devoted to social justice and community organizing at CBE and you’re all about making a difference.
DAN WILBUR because you bring friendly banter, charm, humor and a bisl of self promotion to the front desk at the Community Bookstore. Hey, are you the Dan Wilbur who wrote: How Not to Read: Harnessing the Power of a Literature-Free Life? Just wondering.
WONDERFUL PARK SLOPE LINDEN TREES because we loved your frangrance last spring. How to describe it? Honeysuckle, strong magnolia, delicate and floral, a bit musky.
WILL YANKOWICZ because you are one heck of a reporter and we thank you for your devotion to Park Slope.
December 16, 2012
Here is a letter that went out today to parents and guardians at PS 321 from Principal Liz Phillips:
“Dear P.S. 321 Parents and Guardians:
“I know that we are all so deeply saddened and disturbed by the recent events in Connecticut. Our hearts go out to the families and the school staff in Sandy Hook, as we also think about how our own children/students will be affected by this. I wanted to let you know our plans for how will we handle the news of the school shooting and to share with you some thoughts on how to talk to children about this tragedy.
“Families will, of course, handle this in the way that makes the most sense for them, and we certainly respect that. For all of us though, it is very important to take our cues from the children. If children are asking about what happened, we need to be somewhat honest without going into gruesome detail. It’s good to give a little information at a time and see if that is all children want. If they ask more questions, you can then give more information. Maintaining a calm demeanor yourself is very helpful. It is almost never useful to share extreme anguish over an event like this with children. Some children will be deeply affected by this event; others will not. We need to make sure that we validate whatever children are feeling and that children who don’t seem affected by it are not made to feel guilty. Whenever tragedy occurs, we say to children, “however you are feeling is okay…it’s normal if you are upset; it’s also normal if you are not.”
“Although I do believe we need to take cues from children, I also think it is inevitable that most children, particularly those in grades 2 and up, will hear about this horrible event. If even one child in a class knows, it is likely that at recess or lunch children will be talking about it. It is better that your child hear about this from you than from other children or even from the teacher. I would therefore urge you to find a calm and safe way to bring this up with your child in these grades. I am attaching a sheet of advice from the Center for School Mental Health. Even though as adults we know that we cannot ever give a 100% guarantee of safety, we do need to tell our children that they are safe and that many people are looking out for them.
“If children in grades 2-5 do bring up the shooting on Monday in public ways, the teachers will be prepared to talk about it. I will be meeting with them on Monday morning to share ideas about this. In our Prekindergarten, Kindergarten, and first grade classes, the teachers will make decisions based on what they are hearing from children. Most likely there will not be whole class discussions in these grades unless groups of children bring up the event in a very public manner. All of our teachers will be on the lookout for children who are acting unusual, who appear to be deeply affected, and we will provide individualized support through our guidance counselors, school social workers, and school psychologist. If you feel your child needs this support please let me or the classroom teacher know.
I am sitting here numb thinking about the 27 people, including 20 children, who were killed in a Connecticut elementary school today.
Children, god damn it, children.
Sad. Pained. Disgusted. Outraged. We have to do something about gun control. We have to do something about guns. Otherwise, when will this stop?
Last night at a special event at The Clay Pot, I met one of my heroes, jewelry designer Lisa Jenks. What a thrill to attend a “trunk show” of recent work by the distinctive designer of contemporary sterling silver jewelry, who’s been at it for 25 years. Known for the matte sterling look of her jewelry, her aesthetic evokes mid-century modern, tribal, Art Deco, American Indian and Nordic patterns.
Memories abound when I think of my Lisa Jenks jewelry: it truly is the jewelry of my life.
I think of the charm bracelet-like necklaces my twin sister and I gave each other on our 40th birthday in 1998.
The jeweled bracelet my cousins chipped in to buy my mother for her 70th birthday.
The simple ring I gave a friend for her milestone birthday years ago.
The pearl and silver bracelet I take out only for very special occasions.
The square ring Hugh bought on sale at The Clay Pot—and he didn’t even know it was a Lisa Jenks.
The bulls eye ring (pictured above) that my mother bought for me from Barney’s when it was on 17th Street in Chelsea.
When Lisa expanded from jewelry to small leather goods, home accessories and tableware, my sister registered for Lisa Jenks table settings for wedding gifts. My mother has Lisa Jenks candle holders on her dining room table
Recently, I was happy to hear that Lisa has “re-focused” on what inspires her most: jewelry. Judging by the crowd of women gathered last night in the back room of The Clay Pot, Park Slope’s go-to jewelry store, she made an excellent choice. We oohed and aaahed about new and old designs. We reminised about the pieces we own. There was wine, delicious cheese, figs and crackers. Some brought old pieces to be signed. Some, like myself, just came to see her, the designer of these objects that mean so much. Indeed, there’s a tangible and special connection between Lisa and her collectors..
Lisa says on her website: “Many of our clients tend to collect pieces that reflect their own personal style; and they often grow attached and say it is their personal amulet or lucky charm. My intent is to create jewelry that is inventive, wearable and treasured.”
Meeting Lisa Jenks was festive and fun. And I learned something I didn’t know. She resides right here in Brooklyn with her husband Chris, an award winning photographer and their two children.
Here we are in December a month since Hurricane Sandy and there is still so much to do to repair the profound damage caused by its surging tides, fires, and winds.
Food prep kitchens, collection sites, and benefits are now a fact of daily life for Brooklynites. All in the name of those affected by Sandy.
Sandy truly was a life changing event for our city: for those who experienced losses first hand and for those who didn’t. Here in Park Slope the very fact that there was little damage created an altruistic (maybe even guilt induced) reaction of amazing proportions.
But guilt is good if it brings results.
The Old Stone House and Park Slope Parents raised $40,000 and collected supplies and clothing in record time. Congregation Beth Elohim raised $100,000 and continues to run a food kitchen. Old First Church and Two Boots have partnered to form the Hurricane Relief Kitchen. Occupy Sandy runs a distribution center now at The Church of St. Luke an St. Matthew in Clinton Hill to distribute goods like bottled water, non-perishable food, contractor garbage bags, cleaning supplies, worksuits, rubber work gloves, respirator masks, diapers, and toilet paper to those in need.
If and when the Sandy recovery urgency passes, these groups and others must reflect on what they’ve learned and what they’ve seen. In the process of reaching out to the Rockaways, Coney Island, Red Hook and Gowanus, volunteers have seen first hand the economic obstacles that face many in this borough. Help is needed even in the best of times with jobs, housing, education, healthcare and more. Coney Island, which was devastated by the storm, has the lowest median income in all of New York City. There are people there who survive on public assistance of $800 per month.
So what happens when this crisis passes? Will these community groups disappear? Will the energy dissipate? I hope that this enlightened sense of generosity continues into 2013 and beyond. Sandy or no Sandy, there are many who struggle. We must continue to develop community kitchens, supply chains, volunteer lists and other altruistic innovations developed during Sandy so that as we move forward, we’re ready to do what needs to be done about new and old difficulties.
In 1932, a school in Ames, Iowa, The Louise Crawford School, was named in her honor. She was a prominent teacher in that town.
The school did things like the Pet and Hobby Show, which sounds pretty cool. I’m guessing the school is still there unless it was torn down. I can’t tell.
Brooklyn Reading Works at The Old Stone House presents Feast! Eat, Write, Love on Thursday, December 5th at 8PM, an annual evening of writing about food as subject matter, food as metaphor, food as memory, food and sex; food and death; food as trigger for sensorial and delicious writing.
Feast is always a treat AND a benefit for a local food pantry. This year’s FEAST is on Thursday, December 6th at 8PM at The Old Stone House in Park Slope (336 Third Street between 4th and 5th Avenues, F to Fourth Avenue, R to Union Street).
Ame Gilbert, a wonderful chef and a luminous writer of poetry and non-fiction, is now taking over as curator.
This year’s participants include:
Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan is a food writer in New York City. She is the founding editor of Apartment Therapy’s The Kitchn (www.thekitchn.com) and the author of two cookbooks, The Greyston Bakery Cookbook: More Than 80 Recipes to Inspire the Way You Cook and Live (Rodale, 2007) and Good Food To Share: Recipes for Entertaining with Family and Friends. (Weldon-Owen, 2011)/ Sara Kate has written nationally syndicated food articles for Tribune Media and done writing and recipe development work for Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, House Beautiful, O, the Oprah Magazine, Muscle & Fitness, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Saveur, and Ladies Home Journal. She has appeared on several television shows including the Martha Stewart Show and Live with Regis & Kelly. Once upon a time she wished to be a poet and now finds that poetry in food.
Zarela Martinez was born in the Sonoran border town of Agua Prieta. She is a renowned cultural interpreter between Mexico and the United States through the medium of food. Since 1987 her eponymous “Zarela” has set standards of authenticity among New York Mexican restaurants. A sought-after speaker and consultant for major corporations, she also wrote the pioneering cookbooks Food from My Heart, The Food and Life of Oaxaca, and Zarela’s Veracruz, the last published in conjunction with her public television series ¡Zarela! La Cocina Veracruzana. It was there that Zarela became familiar with Afro- Mexican cooking where peanuts as a major ingredient Her website www.zarela.com is an invaluable resource for lovers of Mexican food and culture and her how-to videos on basic Mexican cooking techniques and flavor principles featured on www.youtube.comare fun and informative.
Molly O’Neill is the author of the memoir Mostly True: Family, Food and Baseball and four cookbooks including The New York Cookbook and One Big Table. A longtime columnist with the New York Times Magazine, she was the host of the PBS series Great Food and edited the Library of America’s American Food Writing. O’Neill founded the first web-based multimedia company dedicated to food in 1999 and founded Cook N Scribble, the online classroom, resource and community for food writers last year.
Rossi writes for many publications including The New York Daily News and McSweeneys. Since 1988, she has written the “Eat Me” column for Bust Magazine and hosts her own hit radio show on WOMR and WFMR in Cape Cod called Bite Me. Rossi has been featured on The Food Network and NPR and just completed her first edible memoir “The Devil and Mrs. Goldstein!” She is also the owner and executive chef of “The Raging Skillet” a cutting-edge catering company in New York City known for breaking any and all rules.
Sarah Safford is a teacher, dancer and lyricist who has recently been writing songs for musical theater. For the past two years she was a member of the BMI Musical Theater Workshop and in her spare time she plays ukulele with the Angel Band Jam. She has cheerfully performed thematic songs at many communaltable events.
Ame Gilbert (curator) ping pongs between art and food and every now and then stops to writes about it. She is the author of the unpublished cookbook cake, meat, soup and has had stories published in Gastronomica and in Food, Culture & Society. Ame curates for the Umami Food and Art Festival- a biennial performance festival in NYC. She is co-founder of communaltable, putting together theme based salon-style meals in the city and upstate NY. Ame has taught Food is Art, a studio art class at Parson’s School of Design, as well as ‘literacy by way of cooking’ in an afterschool program in the Bronx. Currently, deeply underemployed, she has been volunteering, cooking for people who lost their homes during hurricane Sandy.
Feast: Writers on Food @ The Old Stone House
336 Third Street between Fifth and Fourth Avenues in Park Slope, Bklyn 11215
718-768-9135 or 718-288-4290
$10 donation includes refreshments
Brooklyn Magazine has compiled something called “A History of Disputes at the Park Slope Food Co-Op.”
Well, it’s always fun to poke fun at the seemingly sanctimonious Park Slope Food Co-Op and its long list of debacles or decisions deemed laughable by the media.
The most recent mini-debacle: the Co-Op informed members that if they missed a shift during Hurricane Sandy, the members would be put on alert if they didn’t make it up within the next ten days.
I guess the Co-Op decided not to play nicey nice with all those people who missed shifts. I almost missed my shift the Wednesday after the hurricane because I was completely discombobulated by the whole experience and the fact that I had a Co-Op shift TOTALLY slipped my mind.
Luckily my supervisor called and we got over there lickity split. She sounded really miffed on the phone.
“I can’t believe you did this on today of all days,” she said. I’m gathering that there were many absences that day.
Check out the story at Brooklyn Magazine. For a laugh. For some indignation if you’re a loyal member and you’re sick and tired of being made fun of. For some social history and light entertainment.
Here are a few random quotes from Pete Hamill, interviewed on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show this morning. He has a new book out, The Christmas Kid, a collection of his stories about growing up in Brooklyn. At 4:30, he will read excerpts from that book at the Brooklyn Holiday Book Fair on Saturday, Dec. 1 at The Old Stone House. He will also read the story, The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry, from a 1906 first edition.
“If we recognzie the humanity of other people we’ll sit down somewhere with a pen and try to tell those stories. I hope that’s still going on.”
“So many writers are residing in Brooklyn. I think it’s because of the human scale of the architecture, you’re not overwhelmed by the buildings. That helps attract writers that I hope will write about the people who pass them on the street.”
“To me where I lived in the so-called South Slope, everything has basically survived. The buildings didn’t burn down like they did in Brownsville where they were erased. I can go around and remember people…There’s a grid that underlies what’s there, a kind of palimpsest. I am hoping that the young who live there now understand that there were people there before. Living there is a richness. Pay attention. Lives of immense density were lived by people even though they didn’t put statues of them in the park.”
“When the world changed, the commerce of the wharf ended ( the trade of the waterfront), there was still a human element going on. We have to recognize the humanity of each other otherwise it’s a very lonely existence.”
This morning a big fire burned through 200 Seventh Avenue, a four-story brick building between Second and Third Streets in Park Slope, that is owned by artist Mark Ravitz, who famously put sculptural paint-drip cows on the facade. The fire broke out around 9AM this morning. There were no fatalities or injuries and from a distance the paint-drips seemed to be unharmed.
Not a kid in Park Slope hasn’t remarked on those paint drips. They’re really quite magical and unexpected.
First responders from Squad 1, 122 and 105 were on the scene. The top two floors, where the artist and his family lived and worked, are totally burned out. Talk about irreplaceable damage.
A large crowd gathered as firefighters put the fire out and lingered afterwards remarking on the drip sculptures loved by so many. The sculptures have changed color numerous times over the years most recently in April of 2012. Originally painted like black and white cow hide are now turquoise and gold and reminsiscent of unicorns.
The fire comes just a few months after another fire on the very same block. The building that houses Good Footing had a serious roof fire during the summer which burned out two floors of apartments and caused substantial damage to Good Footing, an athletic shoe store.
The Brooklyn Holiday Book Fair on December 1, 2012 from noon until 6PM at The Old Stone House will be a wonderful holiday shopping odyssey for book lovers and those who love beautiful things.
Best of all, acclaimed author and Brooklyn legend PETE HAMILL will read from an early edition of “The Gift of the Magi” by O.Henry at 4:30 PM. Pete will also be SIGNING copies of his new book of stories about Brooklyn THE CHRISTMAS KID.
To open the holiday season, a group of independent Brooklyn booksellers with a shared interest in print history will fill the Old Stone House with some of their favorite rare, vintage, and out-of-print books. Get to know your local booksellers, and be surprised and inspired by books you didn’t even know you wanted!
Book Thug Nation, Williamsburg, est. 2009
Freebird Books, Cobble Hill, est. 2004
Honey & Wax Booksellers, Park Slope, est. 2012
Human Relations, Bushwick, est. 2012
Open Air Modern, Williamsburg, est. 2009,
P.S. Bookshop, DUMBO, est. 2006
Singularity & Co., DUMBO, est. 2012
Unnameable Books, Prospect Heights, est. 2006
Also for sale: antiquarian maps and prints of Brooklyn, offered by Prints Charming.
When: Saturday, December 1, 2012 from Noon until 6 p.m.
Where: The Old Stone House in Park Slope, 336 Third Street between 4th and 5th Avenues. Subway: The F train to 4th Avenue, the R train to Union Street.
Admission is free. Drinks and refreshments will be available.
Last spring, Mayor Bloomberg announced the launch of the Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP), an applied science research institute that is being created by New York University and NYU-Poly that will include a consortium of universities and tech companies.
Known by the acronym CUSP (good acronym), this program is an effort “to create an applied science institute in New York that will make the city a world capital of science and technology, and lead to new jobs, and the grand technical, intellectual, engineering, academic, and human challenges posed by a rapidly urbanizing world.”
And guess where CUSP is located. You guessed it. Brooklyn. Downtown Brooklyn, that is. Today CUSP announced that it will launch its inaugural programs and host its first class of 50 students at MetroTech in Downtown Brooklyn next fall. Construction is set to begin on 26,000 square feet of space in 1 MetroTech Center.
Today in downtown Brooklyn, the nation’s only state-of-the-art primary care practice for freelancers opened its doors. This facility will serve the city’s growing independent workforce, which includes freelancers, entrepreneurs, part-timers, independent contractors, and the self-employed.
We, and I can truly say we, account for 1 out of 3 U.S. workers.
Just so you know, my family’s insurance plan happens to be from Freelancers Insurance Company (FIC). We pay approximately $1,200 per month for coverage. It sounds like things just got even better if this facility is as good as it sounds.
For quite some time, I have been following the progress of this new medical practice developed by Freelancers Union founder Sara Horowitz, a recipient of a MacArthur Genius Award. Thanks to Horowitz’s vision, Freelancers Medical is open to FIC enrollees, offering primary care as well as preventative and personal wellness programs (guided meditation, yoga, mental health services, and nutrition counseling).
Very smart to have preventative health and wellness programs.
“I’m thrilled to launch Freelancers Medical, our new cutting-edge healthcare program with a dedicated primary care practice in the heart of Brooklyn,” said Horowitz and quoted in a recent press release.
“Forty-two million of the nation’s most innovative, entrepreneurial workers struggle to cover their basic healthcare needs because they’re freelancers, and don’t have the luxury of work-sponsored health insurance. That’s why we’re harnessing the growing market power of the independent workforce and re-imagining what healthcare can and should be for new economy workers.”
At Freelancers Medical’s primary care practice, patients can expect:
–Access to doctors and health coaches by phone, text, email, and Skype
–Free workshops onsite focused on health, wellness, and prevention, including healthy cooking classes, smoking cessation programs, meditation, yoga, acupuncture, and ergonomics.
I am excited to visit the facility soon.
Here’s to Andy Wandilak, the owner of Two Boots Pizza in Park Slope Brooklyn. On the day Hurricane Sandy decimated entire neighborhoods of New York, he offered to feed and shelter the family of a musician who plays at his restaurant. The guy’s descriptions of the storm’s aftermath were tragic. So Andy started cooking. He used Facebook and Twitter to ask the restaurant’s patrons for support. By the weekend, he was serving up roughly 1,500 cups of soup daily.
Send your nominations in now for the annual Park Slope 100. Deadline is December 1, 2012. I haven’t done The Park Slope 100 since 2010. How is that possible? I think it’s time to do it again. I have ideas, sure. But I need nominations from YOU, you who know people I’ve never even heard of. Please send them in. All nominations will be considered. Promise.
What is the Park Slope 100 you ask?
The Park Slope 10o is a highly opinionated, subjective list of the most talented, energetic, ambitious, creative and generous individuals in the Greater Park Slope area who reach outward toward the larger community and the world to lead, to help, to teach, to create, to improve, to inform, to network, to change…
The people who have been on the Park Slope 100 are community activists, entrepreneurs, volunteers, spiritual leaders, publishers, bloggers, arts administrators, social workers, therapists, artists, writers, educators, politicians, chefs and restaurant owners and more…
The Park Slope 100 is in alphabetical order. Whenever possible, links to web sites, blogs, and/or more information is included so that you can learn more about these remarkable individuals.
The Park Slope 100 is sure to cause some controversy. There are many, many more people who deserve to be here. So please send your nominations in.
The Park Slope 100 was created by Louise Crawford and she takes full responsibility for it. I want to hear from you who YOU think should be on this list.
And that’s a good thing.
At 10PM, Brad Lander, the respected City Council member for the district that includes Red Hook, Gowanus and Park Slope, took to the stage to introduce the legend who had arrived from Manhattan to pitch in for a Red Hook devastated by Hurricane Sandy.
Rosanne brought incandescent star power to the stage. But her cred doesn’t just come from the fact that her dad is Johnny Cash, who made her a list when she was 18 of 100 essential country songs. She is also a smart songwriter with a flair for the well-chosen word. She’s got a very generous and inclusive stage presence and a husband, producer John Leventhal, who is one hell of a guitar player.
Last night she did a few songs from The List, her album of contemporary interpretations of her dad’s list, including to-die-for versions of Long Black Veil, Heartaches by the Number by Elvis Costello and Motherless Children. She also did Etta’s Song and Modern Blue, two new songs from a forthcoming album about the South.
She opened with the rocking Radio Operator from her 2006 album Black Cadillac, which she made after her father, her mother Vivian Cash Distin, and her stepmother June Cash all died within a span of two years. Later she treated the audience to her big radio hit, Seven Year Ache. The arrangements of all the songs by John Leventhal betrayed a delicious roots, country and twangy blues sensibility.
The audience screamed “one more song” when the band left stage and she obliged with one more. Her depth of spirit was clearly on display as she thanked the audience in return and urged the crowd to give generously to aid the restoration of Red Hook.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun performing in New York City.”
Photo by Tom Martinez
Tags: Brad Lander, Gowanus, Hurricane Sandy, john Leventhal, Park Slope, Red Hook, rosanne cash, the bell house, The List, The Musical Extravaganza to Restore Red Hook
“Due to the changing nature of the neighborhood and the fact that we are beginning to take offense when potential customers come into the bar, look around them with disdain, and leave, immediately, we the people of Jackie’s 5th Amendment at 404 5th Avenue request the permission of the United States Government to peacefully secede from Park Slope and become our own neighborhood, to be tentatively known as ‘Brooklyn.”
As Thanksgiving approaches, I think we are all a little bit more aware of how stratified our city is. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, it was painful to watch as recovery to certain areas was painfully slow. A friend wrote yesterday on Facebook that he was still without phone and electricity in Red Hook. Hugh was in Coney Island this morning and saw long lines of people waiting for food.
Here our City Councilmember Brad Lander addresses the disparity in the recovery effort and reaches out to New Yorkers to demand more for all the citizens of our city.
The past few weeks have been deeply trying ones for New Yorkers, with many lives and thousands of homes lost. The storm exposed not only our vulnerability as a city, but widespread inequality as well. Wall Street reopened one day after the storm, but many in public housing waited three weeks for heat, and many others remain without adequate shelter. I’ve heard many of you call it a tale of two cities.
But we’ve also seen extraordinary acts of generosity and courage, as people have come together to provide food, blankets, money, helping hands, comfort, and hope on an incredible scale.
As we turn from relief to recovery, we face a stark choice.
Will we simply rebuild what was there before—a city divided by inequality and poverty, vulnerable to climate change, with government decisions too often driven by corporate interests rather than the public interest?
Or will we build on the remarkable spirit of organized compassion we’ve seen—and try to create a city where everyone is protected, and no one is homeless? Will we rebuild two cities, or one?
Let’s rebuild by creating forward-thinking infrastructure and good jobs, while including residents in the decisions about the future of their communities.
Please sign our SignOn.org petition calling on Mayor Bloomberg to make this a recovery that genuinely works for everyone.
After Hurricane Katrina, rebuilding policies focused on corporate tax breaks rather than public housing. Here in New York, the 9/11 recovery ensured a resurgent Wall Street, but created a Lower Manhattan that was even less affordable for most New Yorkers.
We must invest significant public resources to rebuild our city and create the sustainable infrastructure we need. While we do that, we must also insure genuine economic opportunities, affordable housing, and a healthier and safer city for everyone.
Let’s reject a trickle-down recovery. Call on Mayor Bloomberg to invest in all New Yorkers and our neighborhoods, so New York City’s recovery creates a more sustainable, equal, and democratic New York.
A more sustainable recovery will invest in infrastructure we needed long before Sandy—like neighborhoods and environmental systems that are sustainable in the long term and help protect New York from extreme weather. We need to focus on counteracting climate change by expanding our mass transit system, promoting energy efficiency and green buildings, and accelerating regional alternative energy projects like solar, tidal power and wind farms.
Brooklyn Reading Works at The Old Stone House has quite a few annual events that delight audiences and writers alike. There’s Edgy Moms; Writing War; In the Year of the ____: Celebration of Asian-American Writers; New Plays by Brooklyn Playwrights; and Young Writers Night.
And then there’s Feast, which is always a treat AND a benefit for a local food pantry. It’s usually in early December and this year it will be December 6th at 8PM at the Old Stone House (336 Third Street between 4th and 5th Avenues, F to Fourth Avenue, R to Union Street).
This event, an evening of writing about food, was the brainchild of poet Michele Madigan Somerville. For quite a few years, she gathered poets, fiction writers, bloggers and memoirists to read about food as memory, food as metaphor, food as subject matter, food and sex; food and death, food as trigger for sensorial and juicy writing.
Ame Gilbert, a wonderful chef and a luminous writer of poetry and non-fiction, was included in all of Michelle’s FEAST evenings is now taking over. This years participants include:
Molly O’Neill, renowned writer, teacher and founder of the online Cook ‘n Scribble community
Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan, renowned author, blogger and editor of The Kitchn. She is also a poet at heart.
Aarela Martinez, renowned cultural emissary and restauranteur.
Sarah Safford, renowned lyricist and ukulele mama
Ame Gilbert, who is somehow renowned and pleasantly round!
Feast: Writers on Food @ The Old Stone House
336 Third Street between Fifth and Fourth Avenues in Park Slope, Bklyn 11215
718-768-9135 or 718-288-4290
$5 donation includes refreshments
December 6th, 2012 @ 8:00 PM
Writing is definitely a form of therapy. But this reading is devoted to writers who WRITE about the talking cure and other forms of therapy. Join us for a 50-minute reading that will be in equal measures serious and hilarious with Leora Skolkin-Smith, Marian Fontana, Karen Ritter, Ira Goldstein and Louise Crawford.
Paging Dr. Freud.
Only the Blog at Two Moon is a monthly reading series produced by Louise Crawford (Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn, Brooklyn Reading Works and Brooklyn Social Media) at Two Moon Art House and Cafe (315 Fourth Avenue between 3rd and 2nd Streets in Park Slope).
Join us for a relaxed, social evening/performance at the Slope’s newest cultural spot with wine, coffee, delicious soups, sandwiches, salads and desserts.
Occupy Sandy needs to collect 2000 turkeys to be donated to residents of Coney Island. Fresh turkeys can be dropped off or shipped to on Tuesday, November 20 – 12 noon to 2PM.
2904 Neptune Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11224
If dropping off turkeys, please do so on Tuesday at the address above.