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November 20th, 2007

PARK SLOPE 100 TO BE ROLLED OUT ON DECEMBER 6

Ps100_med
The Park Slope 100 will be rolled out on December 6th. So if you have any nominees, send them in now. This year’s list has a different feel from last year’s.

Last year’s was foundational. It had all the "obvious" choices—ZuZu’s Petals, David Yassky, the Dinnersteins, Paul Auster, Chris Altman, Debbie Almontasser, Al Di La, Pastor Meeter, Rabbi Bachman, Susan Fox, Kim Maier, Daniel McEnney, Daniel Goldstein, etc. —with some interesting "unknowns" thrown in for good measure.

Last year, I called the list a highly opinionated, inherently flawed, subjective, obviously controversial list of talented, energetic, ambitious, creative
individuals with vision in the Greater Park Slope area who reach
outward toward the larger community and the world to lead, to help, to create, to teach, to
improve, to enhance, to inform, to network, to make change.

The people chosen for last year’s list were community
activists, entrepreneurs, volunteers, spiritual leaders, publishers,
bloggers, leaders of organizations, social workers, therapists,
artists, writers,
educators, politicians, chefs and restaurant owners and whatever else
I’ve left out.

This year’s list is just as far reaching and just as interesting. To me, it feels more topical—many of the people on the list have been mentioned on OTBKB.

Last year’s list may have included a disproportionate number of people connected with education and/or parenting. Last year, there were a lot of bloggers, activists, and politicians.

When all is said and done, I don’t know how it will play out but I know it’s going to be a great list with great people and great stories.  If you have nominees please send them in ASAP.

Best of all, the Park Slope 100 now has a spiffy logo designed by Elizabeth Reagh of Good Form Design.

Posted in Civics and Urban Life | 1 Comment »

October 5th, 2007

PARK SLOPE 100: SEND IN YOUR CHOICES

Send in your choices for the 2007 Park Slope 100, the highly opinionated, subjective, obviously controversial list of talented, energetic, ambitious, creative
individuals with vision in the Greater Park Slope area who reach
outward toward the larger community and the world to lead, to help, to create, to teach, to
improve, to enhance, to inform, to network, to make change.

Those chosen for THE LIST are community
activists, good neighbors, entrepreneurs, volunteers, spiritual leaders, publishers,
bloggers, leaders of organizations, social workers, therapists,
artists, writers,
educators, politicians, retailers, thinkers, chefs and restaurant owners and whatever else
I’ve left out.

In other words: we cast a wide net. No one who appeared on last year’s list can be on the new list. You can leave a comment or send me an email: louise_crawford(at)yahoo(dotcom).

The list will be rolled out on December 6, 2007

Posted in Civics and Urban Life | 8 Comments »

January 28th, 2007

LISA POLANSKY FINDS OUT THAT SHE’S ON THE PARK SLOPE 100

Teen Spirit and I went into Lisa Polansky, a shop on Seventh Avenue near Carroll Street, while waiting for his passport picture to printed at Photofaction next door. TS had never been in Polansky’s self-named store, which is chock full of shoes and clothing from floor to the ceiling. She carries an impressive selection of Converse, Doc Martins, and cut-rate Giraudon, and every imaginable clothing item for women. TS found the store interesting although he had to stoop so as not to bump into hanging gloves, scarves, and sweaters,

I asked Lisa Polansky is she’d seen her citing in the Park Slope 100. She didn’t know a thing about it. "But I have heard about these Brooklyn blogs, tell me how to go there,"

As I wrote down the URL of OTBKB, I told her that she’d been chosen because she’s an important member of the community; her store is a longtime institution.

"You made my day," she said with a big smile.

Once out on the street, I asked Teen Spirit  if he wanted to go into Loom. "Not if you’re going to mention the blog," he said. "You’re such a shameless self-promoter."

But Loom isn’t even on the list. Yet.

Posted in Civics and Urban Life | 2 Comments »

December 6th, 2006

HERE IT IS: THE PARK SLOPE 100

Have a look at the 2006 Greater Park Slope 100. Just click on the Park Slope 100 icon on the right hand column of this blog. Or click here.

Posted in Civics and Urban Life | Comments Off on HERE IT IS: THE PARK SLOPE 100

December 4th, 2006

THE PARK SLOPE 100: ROLL OUT ON DEC. 6TH

THE PARK SLOPE 100 will be rolled out on Wednesday December 6, 2006.

It is a highly  opinionated,
subjective list of talented, energetic, ambitious, creative
individuals with vision in the Greater Park Slope area who reach
outward toward the larger community and the world to lead, to help, to teach, to
improve, to inform, to network, to create change.

The people who made THE LIST are community activists,
entrepreneurs, volunteers, spiritual leaders, publishers, bloggers,
arts administrators, social workers, therapists, artists, writers,
educators, politicians, chefs and restaurant owners…(you get the idea).

There are many, many talented and famous people in Greater Park
Slope. Obviously, many more people should be on this list, which
focuses on those who do something that enhances the quality of life and
community.

THE LIST is for the famous and not famous alike.

THE LIST 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 LIST is sure to cause some controversy. it is sure to make people mad. It is just a drop in the bucket when it comes to who’s who in Park Slope. And that will certainly mean different things to different people. But this is the first list and
there will be another one next year. Please send your nominations in.

THE LIST was created by Louise Crawford and she takes full
responsibility for it. On her blog, Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn, she
solicited nominations from readers. Many of those nominations are
included here.

Congratulations to those who are on this list and thanks to those who nominated them.

Posted in park slope 100 | Comments Off on THE PARK SLOPE 100: ROLL OUT ON DEC. 6TH

November 27th, 2006

SEND IN NAMES FOR PARK SLOPE 100

The names are coming in. The list is growing and growing. The list will be rolled out during the first week of December.

The Park Slope 100
is a highly opinionated,
subjective list of the most talented, energetic, ambitious, creative
individuals with vision in the Greater Park Slope area who reach
outward toward the larger community to lead, to teach, to help, to
improve, to inform, to network, to create change. 

Send your nominations to louise_crawford@yahoo.com and include a
short bio and your reason for selecting this person for the Park Slope
100.

Posted in park slope 100 | Comments Off on SEND IN NAMES FOR PARK SLOPE 100

November 24th, 2006

NAMES ARE COMING IN: THE PARK SLOPE 100

The names are coming in for the Park Slope 100. Send your nominations in NOW. Here are the guidelines.

The Park Slope 100 is a highly opinionated, subjective list of the most talented, energetic, ambitious, creative individuals with vision in the Greater Park Slope area who reach outward toward the larger community to lead, to teach, to help, to improve, to inform, to network, to create change. 

Send your nominations to louise_crawford@yahoo.com and include a short bio and your reason for selecting this person for the Park Slope 100.

Posted in park slope 100 | Comments Off on NAMES ARE COMING IN: THE PARK SLOPE 100

November 21st, 2006

THE PARK SLOPE 100: SEND YOUR CANDIDATES

Atlantic Monthly is running a list of the 100 most influential Americans. Scanning it quickly, I was PISSED OFF to see only 10 women mentioned.

But the list did get me to thinking about the influential people in our midst. What defines an influential person?

So I’ve decided to create a year end list of the PARK SLOPE 100.

THE PARK SLOPE 100 will be a list of 100 interesting, creative, and dynamic people who are leaders in arts, politics, the environment, healing arts, medicine, education, commerce and other fields in the Greater Park Slope community.

WHO DO YOU THINK are the most influential people in the Greater Park Slope area? I have some  ideas but I want a fairly broad spectrum of people in a wide range of fields. They don’t have to live in Greater Park Slope, but they need to have an impact here.

PLEASE SEND NAMES (and short bios) to  louise_crawford@yahoo.com. This list will be published on OTBKB in December.

Here’s what New York Magazine on-line had to say about OTBKB’s List: The Atlantic listed the 100 most influential Americans, and not one of them represented the Greater Park Slope Community. Outrageous. [Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn]

Posted in Postcard from the Slope | 3 Comments »

May 14th, 2013

Bklynr: Quality Journalism about Brooklyn

Have you seen Bklynr? It’s a brand new web magazine offering quality journalism about Brooklyn. Founded by Raphael Pope-Sussman, who you may remember from the Park Slope 100 for his blog The Audacity of Pope, and Thomas Rhiel, it is  gorgeously designed and it features stories, smart and deep, about immigration reform, barber shops, the Gowanus Canal, and happens when the biggest Jewish cemetery in Brooklyn runs out of room and much more. Plus photojournalism, graphic stories and illustration.

The illustration is from “What You See Is What You Get,” a semi-autobio comic by Dean Haspiel featured in this month’s Bklnr.

Here’s the pitch from Bklynr, which costs $2 a month or $20 a year.

It’s harder than it should be to find quality journalism about Brooklyn. Certain aspects and areas of the borough are covered to death (you know which ones), while the rest of Brooklyn gets limited attention. We want to help change that. BKLYNR strives to produce thoughtful, compelling journalism that explores new narratives rather than retreading tired tropes.

Twice a month, we publish in-depth stories about the political, economic, and cultural life of Brooklyn. Each issue contains three pieces.

To read BKLYNR, subscribe. You can choose either a recurring monthly subscription, which is $2, or a one-time annual subscription, which is $20.

Posted in Civics and Urban Life | Comments Off on Bklynr: Quality Journalism about Brooklyn

January 4th, 2013

Happy New Year Friends

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.

Posted in Civics and Urban Life | Comments Off on Happy New Year Friends

June 8th, 2012

Goodbye to a Cool Fifth Avenue Institution

Bob and Judi’s Coolectibles is closing?

What?

That antique store with its funky furniture, old photographs, salt and pepper shakers and  vintage odds and ends, has been on Fifth Avenue since before it was Fifth Avenue.

I mean, they’ve been on the street for, like, 15 years. That’s before Al Di La, Eidolan, Scaredy Kat and Blue Ribbon. It’s been there since before the gentrification of Fifth Avenue.

They were also on the first Park Slope 100:

BOB AND JUDI, owners of Bob and Judi’s Coolectibles, because of their unswerving dedication to Fifth Avenue.

Judi was the founder of the Fifth Avenue Merchants Association and is, with Irene LoRe, the co-president of the Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District. Because of her efforts, the Avenue is the thriving metropolis it is today.

She told Park Slope Patch: “I’d have to say, the Barclays Center has changed the neighborhood. It’s a lot of development and it’s now not the Brooklyn that we came here for.”

She and her hubby are off to California. After fifteen years on Fifth Avenue they are ready for something new. Seems to me there should be a plaque in their honor because they are two people who made a difference to this community.

They’re closing up shop on July 31. We at OTBKB wish them well.

Posted in Civics and Urban Life | 1 Comment »

February 26th, 2011

Sat & Sun: Amazing Book Sale at Park Slope Church

This book sale is so good they charge admission to get there early!

This book sale is so good it made the Park Slope 100.

This book sale, the 18th annual book sale at Park Slope United Methodist Church, is this weekend (6th Avenue and 8th Street). The tables are ready and waiting and loaded with thousands of books (many brand new) in every category imaginable.  Also hundreds of CDs, DVDs, videos & records and an entire room devoted to children’s books & videos.

Here are the schedule details:

Saturday, Feb. 26
8:00am – 9:00am   $10 early admission  new this year
9:00am – 4:30pm   free

Sunday, Feb. 27    afternoon only
12:30pm – 4:30pm  free

Note: Saturday morning tends to be very crowded.  For a more relaxing experience, consider coming later in the day or on Sunday.   They have such an overflow of books this year that they’ll be putting out fresh books (in every category) throughout the day and possibly still on Sunday.

Most books are $1 or $2.  Videos and records are $1.  CDs are $3.  DVDs are $4.  A small number of items will be specially priced.

Posted in arts and culture, Civics and Urban Life | Comments Off on Sat & Sun: Amazing Book Sale at Park Slope Church

September 22nd, 2010

Jazz Passengers at Lincoln Center and Jazz Standard

Jazz musician, composer and poet Roy Nathanson, an OTBKB fave and one of the 2009 Park Slope 100, will perform on Sept 28  and 29th at The Jazz Standard with the original Jazz Passengers (Curtis Fowlkes, Marc Ribot, EJ Rodriguez, Bill Ware, Brad Jones, Sam Bardfeld and Roy). at 116 East 27th Street -(212) 576-2232. Shows are 7:30 and 9:30. At the Sept 29th show Debbie Harry (of Blondie fame) will sing instead of Ribot on guitar.

October 7th is your chance to hear “Subway Moon,” Nathanson’s beautiful spoken word jazz cycle performed by Sotte Voce at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center. Show begins at 8:30PM and it’s free.

The Jazz Passengers were founded in l987 by Nathanson and Trombonist Curtis Fowlkes. The two musicians met in the band of the Big Apple Circus and toured extensively together in John Lurie’s The Lounge Lizards. The two musicians connected over their Brooklyn roots, their affection for hard bop, comedy and eccentric currents in modern American music.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in arts and culture | Comments Off on Jazz Passengers at Lincoln Center and Jazz Standard

September 16th, 2010

Just Announced: The Chow 13

You know I love lists (Park Slope 100 and all that) and here’s a fun one that was just announced over at CHOW.com, who announced their second annual CHOW 13, a baker’s dozen of the hottest, most interesting foodies, including NYC butcher Tom Mylan, of The Brooklyn Kitchen.

Each year, CHOW editors examine the most exciting developments to take place in food over past months and identify the individuals who inspired these trends. These people represent the culinary climate of  2010-the creative people who are making the trends happen. Some of them are well-known, others are up and coming.

This year’s winners represent a wide range of this year’s food trends, including school lunch reformer Ann Cooper; Dennis Crowley, co-founder and CEO of Foursquare, the app that’s turned going out to eat into a game; and
New Orleans chef Susan Spicer, an advocate for Gulf-area businesses affected by the oil spill.

Posted in Food and Drink | Comments Off on Just Announced: The Chow 13

April 14th, 2010

April 19: Immigrant Writers of NY Writers Coalition at Greenlight Bookstore

Join NY Writers Coalition (NYWC), one of the Park Slope 100, as they celebrate New York Immigrant Heritage Week with a reading series at Greenlight Bookstore in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

The talented children and adult readers this month come from all over the world from Yemen to Mexico, Guyana to Japan. Iraqi poet and novelist Sinan Antoon (author of Baghdad Blues, Harbor Mountain Press, and I’jam: An Iraqi Rhapsody, City Light Books) will also be featured.

According to the most recent U.S. census, about three million of the city’s eight million residents are foreign-born. NYWC has created niche writing workshops which cater to this significant population in New York City. Abdel Baidhani, a member of the Arab American Family Support Center workshop, and Luz Aguirre, a member of “Mano a Mano” (a Latin-American-focused workshop) will share their work at the event. NYWC has also provided a variety of groups where people with similar interests (whether they are foreign or U.S.-born) can write together—one of the readers, Jacqueline Carter-Cutting, is part of the of the Brooklyn Veterans Center workshop. Yasuko Nasasawa, another presenter, attends the 14th Street Y workshop (which caters to seniors). Aidan Amog, who will also read, is a regular at the kids workshop at Fort Greene Park.

The Writing Aloud Reading Series showcases the creative voices of at-risk youth, the homeless and formerly homeless, the formerly incarcerated, LGBT homeless youth, seniors, residents of supportive housing, and countless others who aren’t heard from often enough in our society.

READERS:    Sinan Antoon, Aidan Amog, Abdel Baidhani, Jacqueline Carter-Cutting, and Yasuko Nasasawa

WHEN:          Monday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE:        Greenlight Bookstore
686 Fulton St.
Fort Greene, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Cost:        Free!

ABOUT NY WRITERS COALITION INC.
Founded in 2001, NYWC is one of the largest community writing organizations in the country. NYWC creates opportunities for formerly voiceless members of society to be heard through the art of writing. We provide free, unique and powerful creative writing workshops throughout New York City for people from groups that have been historically deprived of voice in our society, including at-risk and disconnected youth, the homeless and formerly homeless, the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated, war veterans, people with disabilities, cancer and major illness, immigrants, seniors and others.  Since emerging in 2002, NYWC has won awards from the Union Square Awards and Petra Foundation, and received program grants from local and national funders including Time Warner, the Pinkerton Foundation, Independence Community Foundation, Hot Topic Foundation, the Kalliopeia Foundation, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, the NY State Council on the Arts and others. Our workshop participants have been featured on The New York Times Blog, WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show and The Huffington Post, in stories about NYWC.

Posted in Civics and Urban Life | Comments Off on April 19: Immigrant Writers of NY Writers Coalition at Greenlight Bookstore

November 12th, 2009

Tonight: Benefit at Bar Reis To Send Law Students To New Orleans

Remember Moira Meltzer Cohen? Last year she was one of the Park Slope 100, and a long-time bartender at Bar Reis? Now she's in law school and is already trying to reverse the injustice in the world. She's inviting all OTBKB readers to Bar Reis tonight for a benefit she's hosting to raise money for a great cause.

 I wanted to let you know about a project I'm
participating in through law school, where 14 students are going to New
Orleans to work with the Innocence Project, to try to exonnerate
prisoners who have been wrongly convicted.  I am having a fundraiser at
Bar Reis tomorrow, Thursday, November 12, starting at 8, and with music
at 10. 

I will be raffling off custom knit-wear, and the cover is only
$5 and there will be drink specials. I wondered if you would put it on the blog to
reach a wider social justice audience.  And I hope to see you soon!  I
work only Fridays now.

Posted in Civics and Urban Life | Comments Off on Tonight: Benefit at Bar Reis To Send Law Students To New Orleans

July 31st, 2009

New Shop for Scaredy Kat: Free Moon Pies Until August 16th

One of the Park Slope 100 and an OTBKB fave shop, Scaredy Kat , is celebrating its 10th Anniversary with a new location for their store.

Their new, bigger digs is located at 232 5th Avenue in Brooklyn right across the street from their previous location. The new store has almost twice the square footage, which means they have even
more fun cards and gifts. Plus that
new roominess comes with the added bonus of more space to move around
in –

How fab is that?

Best of all they are giving away FREE Moon Pies to all who come in to celebrate the opening until August 16th:

Here's the note from the owners Damond and Nora:

We are over the moon with happiness, so from now until August 16th we
are having our annual SUPER SUMMER CARD SALE with 100's of cards and
boxed cards at reduced prices. And, in honor of the new space, we are
offering a free Moon Pie with any purchase!

So come on down to Scaredy Kat on 5Th Avenue in Brooklyn to check out the new digs, grab yourself a free Moon Pie and celebrate with us.

www.scaredykatstore.com
www.kattreats.blogspot.com

Posted in Civics and Urban Life | Comments Off on New Shop for Scaredy Kat: Free Moon Pies Until August 16th

July 3rd, 2009

The Dinnersteins of Park Slope

The Dinnersteins of Park Slope were cited in 2006 in the very first Park Slope 100:

SIMON, RENEE, AND SIMONE DINNERSTEIN, artist, educator, acclaimed pianist, because they are the first family of Park Slope creativity.

NOw that Simone is making her New York
Philharmonic debut on July 7th and 8th the New York newspapers are
gaga, too.
Yesterday I ran into Renee on Seventh Avenue and she graciously thanked me for putting something about the Avery Fisher Hall concerts on the blog. She also told me about a nice piece in the New York Post about Simone and her family and their distinctly Park Slope story.
In fact, hers is such a Cinderella tale — the whole Billboard-topping, Oprah magazine-raving, globe-hopping trip — that playing with the Phil could seem almost anticlimactic.

Yeah — as if.

"I never thought I'd play with them!" says Simone (sah-MOAN-ah), who'll play Liszt, not Bach, at Avery Fisher Hall on Tuesday and Wednesday.

"I went there last week to try out the piano on the stage, and I
could barely get out the words to the guard to tell him where I was
going. This is what I saw, growing up, as completely unattainable."

She grew up where she lives now — in Park Slope, the daughter and
niece, respectively, of painters Simon and Harvey Dinnerstein. (There's
a jewelry designer in the family, too.) She fell in love with the piano
when she heard Chopin at dance class, but she wasn't given lessons till
she was 7, which in these prodigy-ridden times is practically elderly.

Simone's father, Simon Dinnerstein, is wonderful painter, who likes to sketch distinctive Park Slope locals like Thomas Park, a barista at Connecticutt Muffin and Wajih Salem, one of the owners of D'Vine Taste. He was featured in a Brooklyn Paper article by me.

Renee's award-winning talents as a teacher are well known. In fact, when my son was first at PS 321 all the parents prayed that their children would get "the great Renee Dinnerstein" as a kindergarten teacher. I believe that she developed PS 321's Reading Buddies" program, which matches an
older and younger student to spend a library period together throughout a school year.

That program is one of the many best things about PS 321. And the Dinnersteins are lovely neighbors to have.

Posted in Postcard from the Slope | 4 Comments »

June 16th, 2009

Scaredy Kat Moving to a New Location Across the Street

232_papered Yup. Scaredy Kat, one of the early settlers on the new Fifth Avenue is moving to larger digs right across the street at 232 Fifth Avenue, right next store to Playa

A neighborhood card & gift shop, Scaredy Kat has been the go-to card and gift shop for me since they opened in July 1999. It's definitely an OTBKB favorite and they've been on the Park Slope 100 for sure.

They have a unique aesthetic that's hard to describe: vintage meets great design. Letter press meets cool illustration. Old photos with zany captions. That sort of thing. Suffice it to say I love the place and their sense of style (and humor).

And they've got a blog called Kat's Treats, too.

Here's what owners Nora and Damond say about the beginnings of the shop:

"Scaredy Kat began as a way to combine our aesthetics, experience, and creative
energies into one project (and to try and make a living as well!). At
the same time, we started a line of greeting cards to satisfy our creative side
as well as keep us busy."

I'm not sure if they're still doing their line of cards but they do produce  custom
products such as invitations, announcements, and note cards and they love to do weddings, baby
announcements, birthday parties, holiday cards – you name the event, and they'll work with
you to create a set of cards as individual as you are.
Posted in Postcard from the Slope | Comments Off on Scaredy Kat Moving to a New Location Across the Street

June 16th, 2009

It’s June 16: Have You Thought About Park Explorers?

Program_pics It's June 16th: Do you know where your children are spending the summer? Think about Park Explorers if you're looking for an experience that includes lots of time outside in the summer sunshine (and rain) and healthy fun all summer long (this camp really does run ALL SUMMER LONG). Different activities daily; no two days alike!

Park Explorers (PE) has been  bringing children to Prospect Park with trips in and around
the Park Slope Brooklyn area for twenty-five years! I can attest to the fact that children love the
many activities; swimming, sports, arts and crafts, hiking, singing,
dancing, chess, karate, gymnastics, exploring, running, climbing with
plenty of time left for imaginative play because my son was a camper in this program for 6 or 7 years. He loved it and made many good friends there. 

Hey, at Park Explorers he learned all his Guy Walks into a Bar jokes from an incredibly funny and smart counselor whose name escapes me at the moment. But he was a great guy.

And the camp really is fun and it's run by Chris Altman, one of the Park Slope 100, a talented woman who understands kids and has YEARS of experience running this camp.

And now the camp has even more activities than ever:

–Actors enjoy PE's intensive Exploring Theater camp.

–Athletes
can join PE's total sports program and new this year is a program that
combines dance, tumbling and circus arts, Rhythmic Gymnastics.

It is certainly true that parents enjoy Park Explorers flexible weekly schedules and extended day options. And the price is right.  Call 718-788-3620 if you're looking for something for your child this summer.

Location:        Park Slope Brooklyn

                        611 8th Avenue (corner of 6th street)

                        Basement of Saint Saviors Church

Season:          June 29 to September 4.

                        Choose the weeks that you want;

                        the weeks need not be consecutive.

Posted in Postcard from the Slope | Comments Off on It’s June 16: Have You Thought About Park Explorers?

April 24th, 2009

Cordula Volkening: Painting Until the End

12artist01-600 Painter Cordula Volkening died on Wednesday of brain cancer. A memorial is being planned. She is survived by two children ages 13 and 17. 

There was an article about Cordula Volkening in the New York Times a few months ago alongside this photograph by J.B. Reed and a video called "A Paintbrush and Nothing to Lose."

More
than a year ago, I got an email from a friend, who was Cordula's neighbor. She told me that Cordula, a visual artist, had been diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer.

Doctors told her she had three months to live.

What
sounded like a terrible tragedy was actually a life affirming story of
art triumphing over adversity. Despite the cancer, Cordula devoted herself to her wild, expressionistic paintings; she seemed to have an
incredibly passionate attitude about the end of her life and what she wanted to accomplish. 

For obvious reasons, I included her on the Park Slope 100 for being an inspiring artist and person.

Here's her Park Slope 100 blurb:

Cordula Volkening because with a diagnosis of stage 4 brain
cancer you decided to quit your job and devote yourself to your
painting. "Hey, I got advanced brain cancer – my system kicks me in the
butt and screams: Be your authentic self or you are going to die sooner
not later. Any questions?"

I wrote about her again in June 2008 because she was having a show
called Would You Like an Invitation to My Destination? at the Brooklyn Artists Gym.

At the time I wrote:

Cordula is real hero in my
book, a wild, brave heart, for not letting her disease get in the way
of her desire to make paintings. Sadly, the tumor makes it impossible
for her to speak.

Cordula underwent  two rounds of brain surgery and was in an 
experimental clinical trial. The tumor impaired her ability to
speak, but it did not keep her from making great art.The following is from the Times:

Ms. Volkening even tried a special experimental study at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell
hospital, which involved spending her days with electrodes attached to
her head. But by last March, the tumor was back and doctors operated
again, which damaged her speech capacity, and last September, doctors
found a second, inoperable tumor and said that heavy chemotherapy could
give her a few more months but probably would leave her without the
energy to paint.

Reading the article,  I was heartened by the fact that she was still alive—and that she was still painting. After all, doctors told her she only had three months to live. Cordula had other ideas.

Posted in Civics and Urban Life | Comments Off on Cordula Volkening: Painting Until the End

April 23rd, 2009

How a Bunch of Park Slopers Brought an Opera to Park Slope

 Suor Angelica_poster Here's a nice story about Williamsburg's OperaoggiNY and its upcoming performance of Puccini's Suor Angelica in the auditorium at St. Francis Xavier in Park Slope on May 1, at 7:30 p.m.

So how did this all come about? 

Like I said, it's a good story. And I learned about it when I got an email from a woman named Phyllis Wrynn who plays an important role in this story.

In fact, she's one of the "free impressarios" who decided to bring OperaloggiNY to the neighborhood after she was blown away by a performance in Williamsburg. Here it is in her own words:

"This is a very LONG story, but Mitch and I and two great friends
saw a sublime performance in Williamsburg by a local opera company, OperaoggiNY. 

"After
the performance, we met with the director/conductor to express our
amazement at the superb quality of the performance. We were so moved!

"The
company is peripatetic in its conception and my friend Haydée
von Sternberg suggested St. Francis Xavier's auditorium as a venue and interfaced with the church to
arrange the props and is doing ever so much more. 

"One
thing led to another and we all sprang into action as the "Free
Impresarios", figuring out the venue issues, poster, flyer and program
design (by Julio Vega), the printing, and the myriad of other details in
order to bring an opera company to Park Slope for a performance.

"It
has been a wild ride and everything is coming together beautifully.
 The 1907 school auditorium of St. Francis Xavier on President Street
is the venue, with its glorious stained glass ceiling, beautifully
decorated walls and historic murals. I've lived in Park Slope since
1967 and I never knew what was inside that building!

"There is only one performance, the very reasonable tickets benefit the opera company and help the school via the rental.

"It is a wonderful and short opera by the glorious Puccini, Suor Angelica."

So that's Phyllis' story. And it sounds like an evening you won't want to miss AND a great way to support a very worthy opera company and enjoy a spring evening.

To me, it sounds like a story for the Park Slope 100. Okay, so you've heard it before: a small group of people with an idea can make a difference….

And we get to enjoy the music!

The Where and When

OperaloggiNY
Friday May 1 at 7:30
St. Francis Xavier School Auditorium
763 President Street
Tickets are $20 available ONLY at the door.

Posted in Postcard from the Slope | Comments Off on How a Bunch of Park Slopers Brought an Opera to Park Slope

March 20th, 2009

David Pechefsky is the Green Party’s Candidate for City Council District 39

A big field of good candidates (all white guys) to fill Bill de Blasio's City Council seat in the 39th District just got bigger.

David Pechefsky, the Green Party Candidate for City
Council District 39 (and one of the Park Slope 100) just invited me, you and anybody to a kick-off
party for his campaign with suggested donation prices of $25-$175 at
Barbes on Friday, March 27th from 6 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. That's 376
Ninth Street near Sixth Avenue.

In today's email blast, he opens with: "Interested in a greener, more equitable, more democratic city?"

I'm not sure if you have to make a donation to take a look-see at the candidate. Donation is suggested not mandatory. If you want to RSVP for the event, email Jonathan@pechefskyforcitycouncil.com

Posted in Election | 3 Comments »

March 18th, 2009

Today at 11 am: Ace Your Next Job Interview or Pitch with Jezra

You've heard me mention Jezra Kaye. She's a public speaking coach, speech writer and marketing and communications specialist.

She's on the Park Slope 100 and she is awesome.

I know her forever. Well, since 1996 I think. We used to work together.

But I also took one of her public speaking seminars and it was a very valuable 3 hours. Very. As she says: "I help good speakers become great, and excellent speakers become extraordinary."

Now she's doing these seminars by phone. They're called teleseminars. Register for today's here.

It will cost you $15 and it might include information that could get you that job or project you're pitching.

As she says here: "In today's competitive market, your communications skills make all the
difference.   Whether you're interviewing for a staff position or pitching your products or services, you must be able to
convince your listeners that THEY NEED WHAT YOU OFFER! This high-energy teleseminar will show you how

  • Answer the most important question
  • Get the interviewer on your side
  • Handle objections and curve balls
  • Come from a position of authentic strength; Hard times call for clear messages! 
 
For more information, contact Jezra
 

  

Posted in Civics and Urban Life | Comments Off on Today at 11 am: Ace Your Next Job Interview or Pitch with Jezra

March 1st, 2009

Vote for A Big Yes and a Small No at Deli Magazine

Byes
Moira Meltzer-Cohen, a friend of OTBKB (and a bartender at OTBKB fave, Bar Reis) and a member of The Park Slope 100 is in a band called A
Big Yes and a small no.

The band was nominated for The Deli Magazine's Artist of
the Month Poll.
They really need this, so please go to
www.thedelimagazine.com and vote.

They say it takes THREE seconds, seriously. No
registration or anything to vote.

Full disclosure: I couldn't figure out how to do it. Am working on it. More later.

Posted in Civics and Urban Life | Comments Off on Vote for A Big Yes and a Small No at Deli Magazine

February 12th, 2009

Cordula Volkening: Still Painting with Nothing to Lose

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There's an article about Cordula Volkening in the New York Times today, alongside this photograph by J.B. Reed and a video called "A Paintbrush and Nothing to Lose."

More than a year ago, I got an email from a friend about her Park Slope neighbor and friend, who had been diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer.

Doctors told her she had three months to live.

What sounded like a terrible tragedy was actually a life affirming story of art triumphing over adversity. Despite the cancer, Cordula was devoting herself to her wild, expressionistic painting; she seemed to have an incredibly passionate attitude about the end of her life.

For obvious reasons, I included her on the Park Slope 100 for being the inspiring artist—and person—that she is.

Here's her Park Slope 100 blurb:

Cordula Volkening because with a diagnosis of stage 4 brain
cancer you decided to quit your job and devote yourself to your
painting. "Hey, I got advanced brain cancer – my system kicks me in the
butt and screams: Be your authentic self or you are going to die sooner
not later. Any questions?"

I wrote about her again in June 2008 because she was having a show called Would You Like an Invitation to My Destination? at the Brooklyn Artists Gym.

At the time I wrote:

Cordula is real hero in my
book, a wild, brave heart, for not letting her disease get in the way
of her desire to make paintings. Sadly, the tumor makes it impossible
for her to speak.

According to the article in the Times today she has undergone two rounds of brain surgery and is currently in an
experimental clinical trial. The tumor has impaired her ability to
speak, but it has not kept her from making great art.

Ms. Volkening even tried a special experimental study at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell
hospital, which involved spending her days with electrodes attached to
her head. But by last March, the tumor was back and doctors operated
again, which damaged her speech capacity, and last September, doctors
found a second, inoperable tumor and said that heavy chemotherapy could
give her a few more months but probably would leave her without the
energy to paint.

Reading the article in the Times today I was heartened by the fact that she's still alive—and that she's still painting.

After all, doctors told her she only had three months to live. Cordula had other ideas.

Posted in Postcard from the Slope | 6 Comments »

February 9th, 2009

Feb 10-12: Silent Films With Live Music at the World Financial Center

Manwith
Three nights this week. Three silent films at the World Financial Center. Sponsored by WNYC's New Sounds Live with John Schaefer He was on 2008's Park Slope 100.

Sounds of the Surreal –
Tuesday, February 10th at 7PM
The Golem -Wednesday,
February 11th at 7PM
Man With A Movie Camera
– Thursday, February 12th at 7PM

World Financial Center
220 Vesey Street
Battery Park City Directions
Admission FREE

» New Sounds Live
2008-2009 Concert Season

The
long-awaited annual winter film series returns to the World Financial
Center featuring classic silent films set to innovative and energetic
scores by Gary
Lucas, the BQE Ensemble, and The Cinematic Orchestra.

Each
night, starting at 7PM, experience a different film and its inventive new music
score.

On
Tuesday night, Feb. 10, Gary Lucas performs ghostly improvisational solo guitar
for three surrealist films: "Entr’acte", "Ballet
Mecanique", and "The Cameraman’s Revenge."

Wednesday
evening, Feb. 11, the BQE Project’s palette of exotic instruments from
Middle Eastern drums to mandolin accompanies “The Golem.”

And on
Thursday night, Feb. 12, the Cinematic Orchestra’s moody,
electronica-tinged jazz-funk follows "Man with a Movie Camera." And
it's all FREE!

All performances will be taped for later
broadcast on New Sounds, airs 11pm-midnight every night on WNYC 93.9 FM (these
will probably air March or April).

Posted in Film | Comments Off on Feb 10-12: Silent Films With Live Music at the World Financial Center

February 2nd, 2009

Feb 7: Ethanol Coop Meeting

Here's a note from Michael Winks, one of the 2008 Park Slope 100, about the upcoming ethanol coop meeting:

On Saturday, February 7, at 7:30 p.m. we will be having our next recruitment
presentation.  It will be in the upstairs room at the Park Slope Food Coop and please
invite as many friends as you can.  You do not have to be a frequent
driver to benefit from coop membership.  We are looking to get as many
people off gasoline as possible.

In fact, it has come up that you don't even have to be a driver to be interested!  Most fuel oil heaters can be converted to ethanol for about $40.  Natural gas… well, I'll have to get back to you on that one!

So
it should be a great evening, highlighted by David Blume's DVD talk
about the benefits of sustainable ethanol fuel.  We will have handouts,
talk for a few minutes and get right to the DVD.

It's at the Food Coop on Union Street between 6th and 7th Avenues.

Posted in Civics and Urban Life | Comments Off on Feb 7: Ethanol Coop Meeting

January 27th, 2009

Greenjeans: The Shop is Closed but the Webshop and Blog Continues…

Greenjeans
Remember Greenjeans, the sustainable craft and home design shop on Seventh Avenue near 16th Street? That lovely shop, which featured wooden toys, ceramics, furniture, jewelry and sculpture has been closed for a while now but owners Amy and Jae, who were on the 2007 Park Slope 100,  (pictured left) continue to keep their webshop and blog going.

Due to the economic climate, they've decided not to open a new location. And, they're both looking for day jobs. If you can help let them know:

With
the holidays long over, here we are, deep in the home-and-hibernation
phase of winter. The days ARE getting a little longer, you might have
noticed, which means we're on the downhill side of winter, but it's still mighty cold out. That clammy feeling cast by the recession of course isn't helping things either.

So how nice was it, at least for 53% of us Americans, to bask in last week's toasty Inaugural glow? Warmed me right up, and maybe it did you, too.

As our country enters a new chapter, and tries to embrace change, we too are changing:
We have decided not to open a new location this year, but instead to
rekindle old professional interests and find outside employment. We
will weather the recession, and then find a space for our shop and
gallery, but it's too much of a gamble to reopen in the current
economic climate.

Some things won't change: We will continue Greenjeans Blog. We will keep the Webshop open, and have plans to expand it (more on that in the coming months). And we continue to plan our new location, which will have more space and a fabulous selection of locally made furniture.

In the meantime, we are job hunting.
I'm looking for something in development, communications, marketing, or
public relations with a non-profit organization supporting the arts
(visual or performing), the environment, or social justice. (I haven't
always been a shop owner…) And Jae is looking for something in
graphic design or art handling and gallery management. Please feel free
to ask us questions or send us leads!

It
is an extraordinary time in American history. Obama is President. The
economy has gone down Titanic style. We are in the midst of enormous
change. These times are both exciting and anxious, optimisitc and wary,
wonderful and terrifying. We wish you well as you navigate these rapid,
rocky waters. And we'll be in touch again next month.

Posted in Civics and Urban Life | 1 Comment »

January 23rd, 2009

Slope Sports: Looking Forward to the Next Five Years

Slope Sports has been in business for 5 years this month! It's hard to believe it was 5 years ago that I walked into that shop and started chatting with Kirsten and we've been chatting ever since.

We chat about running and running shoes, jackets and pants. She knows all about my feet and which brand of shoes work best for them. I even told her about the way my right toe hurts if my socks are too tight.


We chatted when her web site was in the process of being designed. We chat about OTBKB. Kirsten was an early reader—and advertiser—and still keeps up with it.


We chat about various races in Prospect Park and around town. We chatted recently about the fact that I put her on the Park Slope 100. I'm not sure she's looked at that yet as she finds the whole thing embarrassing.


We chatted when she was pregnant with her little boy who is almost…


I've lost track. But I'm guessing 3 because she was without children when the store first opened and for quite a while after.

She told me that they're going to be having a great 5 year anniversary sale. From January 24 to February 1st, they will be marking down all winter apparel 25% off.

Sale items include:

·         All down jackets

·         Winter running jackets & tights

·         Thermal midlayers

·         Baselayers

·         All hats & gloves!

 

In a nice email from Kirsten today she wrote: We appreciate your continued business thus far and are looking forward to the next 5 years!

Posted in Postcard from the Slope | Comments Off on Slope Sports: Looking Forward to the Next Five Years