Did you know that the BAM Harvey Theater on Fulton Street is now the largest, grandest movie venue in Brooklyn? Indeed, the Harvey is now a movie palace with a gigantic screen. At a time when audiences prefer streaming movies in their living room, BAM has created a compelling reason to turn off the TV and go out to see a movie.
This is big news.
BAM’s state-of-the-art movie palace has a brand new Steinberg Screen. It is now a great place to see newly restored Hollywood flicks like The Godfather 1 and 2, Dr. Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia. They will also be showing films like Blue Jasmine, Woody Allen’s new movie, starting Friday, July 26th.
Good job BAM. You are really securing your reputation as the best movie theater in Brooklyn and maybe NYC. Yay.
The venue known as the “Harvey” first opened in 1904 as the Majestic Theater presenting dramas, light opera, musicals, and vaudeville. In 1942, the Majestic was turned into an elegant, first run movie house. During the 1960s, the Majestic closed and sat abandoned for nearly two decades.
Back in the 1980′s, BAM’s Executive Producer Harvey Lichtenstein wanted to stage Peter Brook’s production of The Mahabharata and decided to restore the old, derelict theater just two blocks from BAM. Funds were raised and the theater was renovated.
The theater will, I assume, continue as a multi-arts venue, as it embarks on its renewed life as a movie palace.
Tags: 11215, BAM, Brooklyn, Ft. Greene, Godather, Movie, movie palace, Steinberg Screen
Fran Leadon of the Y’all Stars and Leigh Anderson are recording every single Carter family song, in chronological order. The two performers have been working on this project for more than a year and they’re very efficient about it. They do each song in one or two takes, invite guest performers and friends to sing along, and sometimes do it in front of a crowd at a place like Jalopy on Columbia Street. They’ll be there this Friday night at 8PM It’s free and it sounds fun.
― Haruki Murakami
On September 18, 2013 at 8PM Brooklyn Reading Works at the Old Stone House will present a Brooklyn Book Festival Bookend Event: SOFT SHADOWS: A CELEBRATION OF THE SHORT STORY with Gregory Spatz, Dawn Raffel and Ron Parsons and Ruchama King Feuerman, who will read and discuss their work and their favorite short stories. Louise Crawford will host.
Audience members will be invited open-mic style to share their favorite published stories and read the first paragraph.
A $5 suggested donation will include wine and snacks. Books will be sold and signed.
The Old Stone House: 336 Third Street between 5th and 4th Avenues. R train to Union Street, F train to Fourth Avenue. 718-768-3195. For interviews and inquiries: 718-288-4290
ABOUT THE FEATURED AUTHORS
Gregory Spatz is the author of novels Inukshuk, Fiddler’s Dream and No One But Us, as well as short story collections, Half as Happy and Wonderful Tricks. His short stories have appeared in literary journals and magazines such as Glimmer Train Stories, New England Review, Kenyon Review, Epoch, Santa Monica Review, The New Yorker, etc., and he has published numerous book and music reviews for The Oxford American. He’s won numerous grants from the Washington State Artist Trust, as well as a Washington State Book Award, and in 2011 he was named Individual Artist of the Year by the Spokane Arts Commission. He is also the recipient of a 2012 National Endowment for the Arts literature fellowship.
Dawn Raffel’s illustrated memoir, The Secret Life of Objects, was published in June and was on Oprah’s Summer Reading List and Best Memoir List for 2012. She is also the author of two story collections— Further Adventures in the Restless Universe and In the Year of Long Division (soon to be reissued)—and a novel, Carrying the Body. Her stories have appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine, BOMB, Conjunctions, Black Book, Fence, Open City, The Mississippi Review Prize Anthology, The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories, Arts & Letters, The Quarterly, NOON, and numerous other periodicals and anthologies. She was a fiction editor for many years, followed by a seven-year stint as Executive Articles Editor at O, The Oprah Magazine and three years as Editor-at-Large at More magazine; she has also taught in the MFA program at Columbia University and at the Summer Literary Seminars in St. Petersburg, Russia; Montreal; and Vilnius, Lithuania. She is now Editor at Large, Books at Readers Digest, and the editor of The Literarian, the magazine for the Center for Fiction in New York. She lives outside New York City with her husband and sons.
Ron Parsons is the author of the new story collection The Sense of Touch from Aqueous Books. He is writer living in Sioux Falls. Born in Michigan and raised in South Dakota, he was inspired to begin writing fiction in Minneapolis while attending the University of Minnesota. His short stories have appeared in such places as The Gettysburg Review, Indiana Review, The Briar Cliff Review, Flyway, and The Onion. This is his debut collection.
ABOUT THE HOST
Louise Crawford runs Brooklyn Readings Works, which has been called “the best place to chase fiction with a little history” by Conde Nast Traveler. She is the founder of the popular blog Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Blogfest, an annual networking event for bloggers. Her company Brooklyn Social Media creates publicity and social media for authors, artists and entrepreneurs.
ABOUT THE BROOKLYN BOOK FESTIVAL:
The Brooklyn Book Festival is the largest free literary event in New York City, presenting an array of national and international literary stars and emerging authors. One of America’s premier book festivals, this hip, smart diverse gathering attracts thousands of book lovers of all ages to enjoy authors and the festival’s lively literary marketplace. This years festival is on September 22, 2013.
The Brooklyn Book Festival Bookend events are literary themed events taking place in clubs, parks, bookstores, theatres and libraries culminating with the festival. The Bookends kick-off a long literary weekend with film screenings, parties, literary games and author appearances.
Finally. A beautiful summer day. Low humidity, blue sky, a little air in the air. I went for a walk in Prospect Park with a dear friend (Best and Oldest) and rejoiced in the passage of a rather long and unpleasant heat wave.
I had lunch with an assortment of people who responded to an invitation from Sprint to meet at the Stone Park Cafe for a little PR about network improvements.
In attendance were representatives from the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, the offices of City Council members, bloggers, and tech writers, who sat at tables covered in white tablecloths in the Stone Park’s event space. I get a lot of press releases and I generally don’t go to anything. But when I saw that they were shelling out for lunch at Stone Park Cafe it was a no-brainer.
Full discolusre on that score.
I learned that Sprint is providing enhanced 3G service in Brooklyn (and the Bronx) and introducing 4G service as of today. Me and mine are stuck with AT&T for the moment, so it was fun to kvetch about the lousy service the iPhone gets in these parts.
I sat next to a special assistant to Tish James, who is leading in the race for New York City Public Advocate. Daniel Squadron and Catherine Guerriero are also in the running. Primary day for this, the mayoral and other races, is September 10th. I’ll take this moment now to endorse TISH JAMES because I’m a fan of her outlook, her integrity and her willingness to fight the powerful on behalf of the less so.
For lunch on Sprint’s dime, I had the absolutely miraculous Ricotta Cavatelli with mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, fennel sausage. OMG it was delicious. As was my glass of cold white wine.
Sprint provided goody bags, a nice touch. In them: a gray baseball cap (with Sprint emblazoned on the front), a can of Crisp from Six Point and a can of Brooklyn Summer Ale from Brooklyn Lager. Also included were garlic and basic Z crackers which look awfully good and are, you guessed it, made in Brooklyn.
Tags: 3G network, 4G network, Brooklyn Lager, cell phone service, Crisp beer, North Six PR, Six Point, sprint, Z Crackers
I love the sound of CUTIE AND THE BOXER by Brooklyn filmmaker Zachary Heinzerling. It is described as a “beautiful and intimate look at the 40-year marriage” of Brooklyn-based artists, Ushio & Noriko Shinohara, who live and work in a DUMBO loft.
You can view the trailer by clicking on the link below. The movie opens on August 16th at the Lincoln Plaza Cinema and Sunshine cinemas.
I just got a nice note from the Community Bookstore about Terrace Books, their new venture. They took over Babbos Books, a used bookstore in Windsor Terrace and are located just a mile south of the Community Bookstore at 242 Prospect Park West near Dub Pies, Farrell’s, the Double Windsor, the Pavilion and Terrace Bagels.
They’ve been open a few weeks and things seem to be going well. I went in last week and the shop looked very nice. I especially liked the back wall which is painted with blackboard paint and chalked with the bookstore’s elaborate logo. Many books caught my eye including an old paperback of Henderson the Rain King by Saul Bellow and a couple of books by Nelson Algren. Here’s the note I received:
It was the softest of soft openings because we were a bit nervous about our novice venture into the used-book business, but things have gone just fine. We have lost count of the number of people who have come in to thank us for keeping a bookstore in Windsor Terrace (we took over the former Babbo’s Books), and who have told us they love the look of the new store. Customers seem delighted that they can order new books and pick them up at either of our stores. And we’ve discovered the particular joys that come with selling used books: covers we remember from our youth; gems that have gone out of print; early incarnations of such staples of our new-book business as the Penguin Classics or New York Review Books.
Just got word about a new book about Brooklyn’s favorite green space. Prospect Park Olmstead & Vaux’s Brooklyn Masterpiece by David P. Colley with photographs by Elizabeth Keegin Colley is coming out from Princeton Architecture Press in September.
Right in the heart of one of the nation’s most densely populated urban areas sits an idyllic realm of graceful meadows, dense woods, placid lakes, and fresh air. Brooklyn’s 585-acre Prospect Park offers a rural refuge to thousands of visitors every day. Created nearly 150 years ago by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert B. Vaux, designers of New York’s Central Park, the duo considered Prospect Park their true masterpiece. Prospect Park, the first monograph on this exquisite public space, makes it easy to see why. Presenting a wealth of archival and newly commissioned photography and insightful text, David P. Colley and Elizabeth Keegin Colley trace the park’s colorful history from its creation in the mid-nineteenth-century to its decline in the 1970s and restoration in the 1980s, up to the park’s new Lakeside Center facility, scheduled to open in 2013.
OTBKB was on hand for the second event in a weekly-recurring series of cultural offerings, taking place every Wednesday at Mister Rogers, a new studio space converted from a storefront in Crown Heights (231 Rogers Ave. between Union and President streets).
Billed as ‘For Locals, By Locals’, the series hosts events featuring talent curated by the Hoover Dam Collective. The mission is to showcase local artists, attractions and acts in and around Crown Heights, at gigs designed specifically for residents as a place to hang out, meet neighbors, drink locally and eat local bites.
The brainchild of the series is local promoter Avi Werde (of Event Connection Source and Franklin Avenue’s Cool Pony).
“We’re offering a rotating array of cultural formats and mediums,” Werde explained. “Everything from photographers, poets, musicians, food from local restaurants, dancers and comedians. You can access it all — and catch new, up-and-coming acts — every Wednesday night.”
The venue itself is an inviting if unassuming place, recently gut renovated (a wheelbarrow tucked away in the corner was literally still stockpiled with the last pile of detritus). An art gallery up front transitioned into a generous performance space towards the back.
Crown Heights is quickly emerging as a new neighborhood for young and talented professionals, but the event took strides to incorporate influences of the local Jewish community as well. Ruvi Lieder and Schneur Menaker’s photography lined the walls, with striking depictions of local Hasidic residents, and many Crown Heights natives wandered into the space, enjoying the performances with newer residents, even inquiring as to how they could showcase their own various talents at future dates in the series.
“Our goal is to keep this community thriving with events,” Werde added. “It’s a communal place — to showcase and support local endeavors of any flavor — while being entertained in good neighborly company.”
To be notified and keep up-to-date on future “For Locals, By Locals” events, simply follow them on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/480744425335304/?directed_target_id=0
After making fresh salsas, chili and crushed peppers from the hot peppers of small gardens in Rhode Island, followed by concocting impromptu recipes while working for various restaurants in the New York area, Brooklyn entrepreneur Timothy Kavarnos decided to follow his passion and start his own sauce-making business.
Last night Backyard Restaurant and Bar in Park Slope (5th Avenue near 6th Street), helped Tim’s company celebrate its sauces and spread the word about its Kickstarter campaign with a launch party. The event included cocktails featuring Salamander Sauces and a special menu designed to be paired with the sauces.
“As an avid heat seeker, I’ve learned to appreciate the variety of flavors offered by different peppers, and the many ways they can blend with other ingredients,” Tim explains on his company’s Facebook page.” I’ve found, however, that in the majority of hot sauces the fire overwhelms the flavor.”
At last night’s shindig, employees and supporters took pictures and shot videos to help us spread the word, and there were chances win a free bottle of sauce or a Salamander t-shirt. Even if you missed the party, support the company, and get your sauce on!The result, Salamander Sauce Company, is dedicated to creating all natural sauces of distinction, and the recipes have a wonderful depth and complexity.
Tags: 11215, backyard restaurant and bar, Brooklyn, Kickstarter, matthew a. taub, Park Slope, salamander salsa, Timothy Kavarnos
Weisman will be showing a selection of collaged homages to many great women of the 20th century. As you can see she has a great sense of humor and a zany and unapologetically surrealist style. The owners of PowerHouse on 8th, have invited her to exhibit the collages from July 10th – Sept 30th.
I’ve loved Weisman’s work since I first met her in the 1990s at the Fifth Avenue Fair where she was selling these wonderful black zippered make-up bags that said: “Greetings from Park Slope.” No one was putting “Park Slope” on bags and other items back then and I bought one which I still treasure today.
She was a frequent exhibitor at the PS 321 Craft Fair where I admired (and often bought) her beautiful boxes collaged with images from old games, magazines, and postcards.
Her new work is wonderful as it highlights Gloria Steinem, Patti Smith, Louise Brooks and others juxtaposed with the signage and shelves of supermarkets. And who can resist the name of the show? Powerhouse 8th is on 8th Avenue between 11th & 12th Streets, in Park Slope. (Subway: F train to the 7th Avenue stop, use 8th Ave exit). And there’s an opening on the evening of July 10th, at 7:00pm – 8:30pm.
“It would mean a lot if you can join me and some of the most celebrated women of the 20th century, writes Weisman. There will be wine & cheese.
Tags: feminist, Gloria Steinem, Louise Brooks, Marlene Weisman, Park Slope, Patti Smith, Powerhouse on 8th, supermarket art, surrealist collage
Bill de Blasio, Democratic candidate for NYC Mayor, sat down with Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn’s Matthew A. Taub for a few questions.
Bill de Blasio is currently New York City Public Advocate. A graduate of NYU, he also studied at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. His first political job was in David Dinkin’s administration. He then moved on to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, working as Regional Director under then-Housing Secretary Andrew Cuomo. In 2000, Di Blasio managed Hillary Clinton’s successful campaign for the U.S. Senate. From 2002-2008, he served as New York City Council member for the 39th district, which includes Park Slope, Sunset Park, Boro Park, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Windsor Terrace, Red Hook, and Kensington. That seat is now held by Brad Lander.
MAT: With Christine Quinn in Chelsea, Anthony Weiner having moved to Gramercy Park and Bill Thompson de-camping to Harlem several years ago, you’re one of the few remaining “outer-borough” democratic mayoral contenders in this race. How does your history and commitment to the borough impact and influence you?
DE BLASIO: The idea that every kind of person can make a life for themselves and their family is supposed to define New York. But over the past 12 years of Bloomberg, we have seen New York become a tale of two cities. We’re living in a reality where the focus of the city’s resources and development has turned disproportionally to lower Manhattan. My experiences in Brooklyn as a resident, a City Council Member and Public Advocate have shaped my vision for what kind of mayor this city needs. As mayor, I’ll spend every waking moment fighting to bring opportunity to every New Yorker, whether that be through expanded affordable housing, police reform, or an economic strategy that brings jobs to all five boroughs.
MAT: How does your position on the City Council’s recent modifications to the stop-and-frisk program differ from your fellow candidates, and how, if at all, has your family, influenced this position?
DE BLASIO: The overuse of stop and frisk is putting our officers, our children, and our neighborhoods at risk.
I am the only candidate who believes we need an independent Inspector General and a strong racial-profiling bill. I encourage the City Council to stand strong against Mayor Bloomberg’s efforts to subvert the democratic process and intimidate people into changing their vote. Weak-kneed reactions to the Mayor’s mistakes will only guarantee the next four years are like the last 12.
As Mayor, what plans do you have to hold developers to a commitment to affordable housing? To what extent are you hampered by actions like this in the legislature in Albany, and in what ways can you (and the city) still prevail?
DE BLASIO: I have a detailed, comprehensive plan to create or preserve nearly 200,000 units of affordable housing over the next decade. We must end giveaways for big developers and enact mandatory inclusionary zoning, so that when neighborhoods are rezoned, which tremendously increases property values, developers are required to build affordable housing for low- and middle-income families in return. These efforts should create 50,000 new affordable housing units over the next decade.
Another example in my plan is to encourage development on vacant properties by eliminating a tax loophole that incentivizes real estate speculators to leave lots vacant. By applying the same tax rate to big, vacant lots that we do to commercial properties, we would spur a wave of affordable housing construction and create more tax revenue to fund the creation of 4,000 new affordable housing units.
As far as Albany is concerned, we need to take control locally of rent stabilization laws, which help keep rent under control for millions of New Yorkers.
MAT: In contrast to the breaks begot by developers, you claim small businesses are feeling the squeeze. How are small businesses targeted, fined, and harassed in ways that make it difficult for them to conduct operations, and what reforms do you propose?
DE BLASIO: As Public Advocate, I issued two reports documenting, for the first time, the incredible burden on small businesses from the rapid rise in fines. After suing the city to obtain never-before seen data, I discovered that, starting in 2010, City Hall implemented an unannounced revenue-driven enforcement campaign, which has led to a dramatic increase in inspections and nuisance fines on small businesses, particularly in the outer boroughs, to plug gaps in the city’s budget.
I’ve proposed a five-point plan for small business fine enforcement, based on public safety and not the need to pad the city’s budget. First, we need to eliminate outdated and abused regulations using a Regulatory Review Panel that includes small business owners. We also need to increase small business owner’s understanding of these rules, so the first time they learn about them, isn’t when they get fined. We also need to create a tiered classification system for fines, so that business owners aren’t punished unnecessarily harshly, and enable business owners to contest violations online, or by phone or mail, so they don’t have to take time off of work. And, finally, to ensure this abuse doesn’t happen again, we need to require each City agency to report the amount of revenue raised through fines, and we need to create a group of Red Tape Cutters, whose responsibility it is to track trends in the City’s enforcement of business regulations and collect input on ways government can help businesses add jobs.
MAT: Rather than hiding or concealing your motives, your campaign is quite candid in asking the wealthiest New Yorkers to pay a bit more in taxes to support certain programs. What are the additional programs you propose, and what is your message to wealthy New Yorkers as to why they should be willing to accept such an increase?
DE BLASIO: The logic is pretty simple actually: as one city, we rise and fall together. While nearly 400,000 millionaires call New York home, almost half of our neighbors live at or near the poverty line. Our middle class isn’t just shrinking; it’s in danger of vanishing altogether. This income inequality affects everyone through rises in incidents of crimes, a decrease in affordable services, and quality public schools. Addressing the crisis of income inequality isn’t a small task. And if we are to thrive as a city, we’re going to need the help of every citizen. That’s why I’ve asked the wealthiest New Yorkers to pay a little more in taxes so we can fund universal pre-kindergarten and after-school for New York’s children. This is essential for our city’s future.
Tags: 11215, Anthony Weiner, Bill de Blasio, Brooklyn, Christine Quinn, mayor, mayoral race, NYC election 2013, Park Slope
The film was made by Morris Engel and Ruth Orkin and was filmed in Coney Island in 1953, It will be introduced by Mary Engel. This is the 60th anniversary of the film, which won the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival. ”Little Fugitive,” is about a little boy who runs away and hides out on Coney Island.
The film is co-sponsored by Rooftop Films and the Coney Island History Project.
Ground Floor Gallery, Park Slope’s newest art gallery opens, its summer show Small Wonder on Friday, July 12th, 6 – 8:30pm. Small Wonder is juried exhibition of small works, all under $200.
“Small Wonder” features artists Adams Puryear, Alyssa Piro, Becky Yazdan, Brendan Newel, Corinne Odermatt, Elissa Swanger, Eliza Stamps, Jacobus Capone, Karen Schoellkopf, Lisa Wicka, Sean Gallagher and Thomas Hammer.
Ground Floor Gallery
343 5th Street (off 5th Avenue)
Brooklyn, NY 11215
F or R train to 4th Avenue – 9th Street
For more information: www.groundfloorbk.com
Brave New World Repertory Theatre enjoyed a smashing success with their recent site-specific performance of “Street Scene,” a 1929 Elmer Rice play, using real residential buildings as an interactive set (OTBKB previewed the performance in an article last week).
Two performances last Saturday, at 1 and 5 p.m., went off without a hitch. Attendees quickly filled the available seating along Fifth Street in Park Slope (between 8th Avenue and Prospect Park West) while an overflow crowd found comfort in the ornate, lavish Brownstone stoops just across the way.
For Shannon Sindelar, having just been named the Brave New World Repertory Theatre’s Producing Artistic Director this past February, nothing could make her happier.
“With a cast of 35 and entire street that needed closing, we were expecting a few hiccups— what we didn’t expect was no hiccups at all,” Sindelar said. “The community really came together to make this happen.”
Indeed, the entire block seemed peacefully enraptured by the performance; any complaints were hard to come by.
Emily Glinick, Secretary of the Repertory Theater’s Board of Directors, was also emboldened by the show’s success.
“We produce our productions throughout the borough, and try to hit under-served areas especially. Red Hook, Bed-Stuy, and Windsor Terrace are just some of the previous neighborhoods we have performed in.”
Though the Brave New World Repertory Theatre’s official “office” is in Ditmas Park, “our ‘venue’ is the outdoors,’” Glinick said.
“We love to do site-specific shows, especially in outdoor locations,” she added. “It’s a return to the way theater was originally performed.”
If you want Brave New World Repertory Theatre to perform “Street Scene” or another performance in your neighborhood, or even use your building, visit them at bravenewworldrep.org, contact them at email@example.com, like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.
I also love to hear the story of how she got here from there to here. From the mid-1980′s to the mid-1990′s, artist Jill Kirschen and I used to work together on videos. She was a master of music for video and I relied on her talents for many years when I was a video producer. It was always a blast to work with her because she knew her stuff and we always had great conversations in the process.
Now she’s a visual artist with a studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Recently she got her BFA from the School of Visual Arts and she’s currently in the midst of completing a masters degree in art education. Talk about reinventing yourself.
Love that, too.
Here she writes about her work on her website: “I’m very interested in visually representing the idea of subtext, layering, lyricism and rhythm. To best do this I work with a variety of media; paint, fabric, photographs, found objects, and most recently, remnants of clothing worn by people close to me.”
Jill started out by making collages with paper, scissors, and glue. But then she got swept up into a love affair with digital manipulation. “However, I started to miss the pure physicality of making work and really getting my hands dirty, and am now happily once more back to my roots,” she writes.
You will have a chance to see Jill’s work at a show that’s opening at the Yashar Gallery (276 Greenpoint Avenue, Building 8 Ground Floor) on Thursday from 6-9PM. The show will run through July 24th.
Friday was day 1 of Hillstock, an annual music festival in Clinton Hill founded by members of the Never Break Down music collective.
After earlier gigs at the Putnam Triangle Plaza, the evening’s events continued at “Free Candy,” an former-warehouse-turned-art-gallery-slash-part-music-venue-part-nightclub
Bands like The Toothaches got things rolling nicely— hovering over keyboards and other instruments with a dilligent sense of purpose, they nonetheless got the crowd pumped.
Next up were Eskalators, a Brooklyn-based steampunk and vegan musical collective, puppeteering ensemble, and experimental street mime troupe. Known for holding elaborate, public performances, fire poi artistry, and subway flash mobs without the formal written consent of the MTA, on this occasion their lead singer added an ability to simulatenously stage-dive while singing to their repertoire, while other members threw down in the mosh pit, unwieldy instruments in hand:
But the night’s events were by turns raucous and soothing, with a plethora of space for attendees to find their preferred environment:
Concluding the evening was Riot of Spring, a “rock band” ensemble consisting of two keyboardists, four guitars, two basses, drums and percussion, playing The Rite of Spring (Le Sacre du printemps) by Igor Stravinsky (who says the kids aren’t cultured these days?)
The conductor, James Landrum, advised that the ensemble was composed of members primarily from two other bands: Turbosleaze and No One and the Somebodies. Not only did the group only rehearse a couple of times, the performance was pretty much the first time Landrum had conducted. And yet, the result was spectacular.
“Riot of Spring is the brainchild of our third guitarist, creative director, and head arranger Steve Yankou (No One and the Somebodies and TURBOSLEAZE) whose dream this has been for years,” write Landrum in a comment to OTBKB. “He put together the ensemble and we collaborated on the arrangement along with help from our second keyboardist Julian Bennett Holmes. He is not only the impetus, but the very spirit of this piece, and I couldn’t be more proud to work with him.”
Robert Dvorkin, a pianist and teacher in Brooklyn, contributed reporting to this article.
Tags: Bed Stuy, Bedford Stuyvesant, Eskalators, Free Candy, Hillstock, Igor Stravinsky, James Landrum, Julian Bennett Holmes, matthew a. taub, Never Break Down music collective, No One and the Somebodies, Riot of Spring, Rite of Spring, Robert Dvorkin, The Toothaches, Turbosleaze
Losing James Gandolfini, star of “The Sopranos,” is like losing a favorite cousin. The sense of shock and grief over his unexpected and sudden death Wednesday has people talking, writing and — yes — grieving. This is more than the ordinary reaction to the death of celebrity. This is not an everyday, “Oh, too bad. He was only about 50, right?” shrug-and-switch-topics water-cooler conversation.
Our reaction to Gandolfini’s death is more along the lines of emails exchanged at midnight with subject lines like “It can’t be true!” and “I can’t believe how depressed this makes me …”
Maybe it’s because I’m Italian American. Or from the New York area. Or because I was enough of a fan of “The Sopranos” to edit a book on the show. Perhaps it was because the character he played, Tony Soprano, changed American television forever.
At this week’s BAMcinemaFest 2013 there’s a fascinating selection of new films you’ve never heard of by Brooklyn filmmakers. Seems like there’s a veritable explosion of filmakers living in Brooklyn and all this creativity, fundraising and production is coming to fruition at BAM, the theater many of the filmmakers say is their favorite movie theater in Brooklyn.
I wholeheartedly agree. See the schedule and film descriptions here.
The films that people seem to be buzzing about are narrative features and docs: After Tiller, It Felt Like Love. These Birds Walk, Computer Chess, Drinking Buddies, Northern Lights Mother of George, Crystal Fair, Newlyweeds. Everyone wants to see Ain’t Them Bodies Saints with Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck directed by David Lowery.
This past weekend, Williamsburg hosted the (still ongoing) Northside Festival, which rounds out the remainder of its events over the next few days. Bands, food, film, art and a tech expo were all on hand at avariety of north Brooklyn venues, but the main attraction was the pavement portion of McCarren Park (North 12th & Bedford), with a bandshell, tech tent, and variety of food retailers.
Billed as a “super teeny mini multi-media SXSW,” or even a possiblealternative to same, Northside was competing for attention withBanaroo (occurring at the same time), and hoping to escape “the graveyard” that is New York music festivals as well as the naysayers who lamented the Great GoogaMooga’s horrific environmental destruction and perennial bad luck, including a canceled final day.
But other than a variety of confusing badges, everything seemed surpisingly well-managed— nothing overloaded, over-promised, or over-priced, making for an exciting yet accessible experience.
Saturday’s billing included Phosphorescent, who drew a nice crowd, followed by The Walken, who lit up the masses to close out the acts for the day, among a host of others.
Meanwhile, a tech tent provided all sorts of whacky activity, with a frenzy of workers furiously apace around obtuse, Rube-Goldberg-likecontraptions, such as drums that played themselves.
Food options were eclectic without being overbearing, including hearty tacos from Cemitas and crab boil from Bon Chovie.
The Northside festival, now in its fifth year, is run by The L Magazine. For further information, visit the festival’s website, “like” the magazine on Facebook, or follow it on Twitter.
Matthew Taub is a writer and lawyer in Brooklyn, NY. He is the author of “Death of the Dying City,” a novel.
Father’s Day seems like a good time to write about Stay at Stove Dad, a cooking blog by John Donohue, who is the author of a wonderful cookbook called Man with Pan: Culinary Adventures of Fathers Who Cook for their Families.
I must say, Stay at Stove Dad is a terrific cooking blog. And you don’t have to be a dad to enjoy it. I hadn’t visited it in quite some time but I just took a look, motivated by Matthew Taub’s story about the Wordsprouts reading, and discovered fantastic recipes and great stories about cooking for one’s children.
I particularly like the way Donohue combines recipes with stories about his family, creating a sort of an on-going cooking memoir in the process.
I discovered a recipe for Bolognese sauce which may inspire me to make Bolognese sauce for Father’s Day dinner tonight. Donohue’s cookbook makes a great gift by the way.
On Friday night at Wordsprouts, the literary reading series at the Park Slope Food Coop run by Paula Bernstein (author of Identical Strangers) and John Donohue (author of Man with a Pan), three writers shared work that touched on love, romance, and personal responsibility.
First up was Barbara Agosin, who began writing as a means of therapy after her husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. An essayist and poet, her work focuses on everyday events as well as life within the circle of love and loss that is Alzheimer’s:
“The man continues to eat, seemingly oblivious to the difference between knife, fork and spoon. Soon morsels of chicken, tiny rectangles of rice and damp cake crumbs mix together on table, floor and the cuffs of his robe.
“The man is my husband. If he were not 77 years old I would put him in a high chair and teach him how to use a knife and fork. He is completely concentrated on the business of eating and unworried about the mess around and beneath him, which less than a year ago would have sent him running for the broom and dustpan.”
Next was Fran Hawthorne, the award-winning author of the new book, ETHICAL CHIC: an investigation of Starbucks, Apple, Trader Joe’s, American Apparel, Timberland, and Tom’s of Maine. Ms. Hawthorne has spent more than 25 years covering healthcare, politics, finance, and the nexus of business and social issues:
“Like people we meet, we fall in love with sexy, charismatic companies that ultimately break out hearts…we think we can have it all, but we close our eyes to faults and project [onto these companies] what we want them to be.”
Ethical Chic has been named one of the best books of 2012 by Library Journal. Hawthorne writes regularly for The New York Times, Newsday,The Scientist, and other publications.
Finishing up the event was Robin Bady an award-winning storyteller. Ms Bady has been called “gutsy, big hearted, and street smart,” and “a force of nature.” She draws from world tales, current events, oral histories, literature, ghostly experiences and her own life to create a repertoire shaped by her commitment to justice:
“At my thirty year high school reunion, because of all the pettitness involved in growing up, I realized that I couldn’t recognize people who came up to me independently— only when they were standing with the cliques that had defined who they were— way back when— could I put piece them together.”
Ms. Bady is the recipient of the 2012 JJ Reneaux Emerging Artist Grant Awary given by the National Story Telling Network.
Like all Wordsprouts readings, a Park Slope Food Co-Op Membership is not required to attend, and admission is free. For more information about upcoming Wordsprouts events, Ms. Bernstein can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Matthew Taub is a writer and lawyer in Brooklyn, NY. He is the author of “Death of the Dying City,” a novel.
Our friend (and OTBKB advertiser) Sheva Fruitman and her business partner, Joe Zenovic, got themselves a nice mention (and a great photo) in the New York Times. The two are diggers for hire in the Hudson Valley. Their company is called Rural Archeology.
Here’s what they do: they will explore your property in search of coins buttons, jewelry and the detritus that people throw away, or more likely lost, that tell the history of that place. They have worked in Colorado, Connecticut and Massachusetts and in the Hudson Valley.
Sheva, who lives in New York City and the Hudson Valley, preserves and photographs the collection of artifacts and creates beautiful displays. She thinks they make a unique housewarming gift for someone’s new-old country home. Antiques for someone who has everything, but doesn’t know it’s buried in their garden.
An artist and fine art photographer, Sheva is known for her jewelry-making; product design; set direction for commercials; and her work as a magazine stylist, photographer and art director.
Tags: Rhinebeck, Rural Archeology, Sheva Fruitman
Who knew there were literary readings Jackie’s Fifth Amendment. That’s the bar, if I’m not mistaken, that tried to secede from Park Slope. Am I right?
On June 20th, a cadre of cool writers will share their literary output with the public. The event falls under the rubric of The Buzzard’s Banquet and it sounds like it’s a monthly affair. The festivities begin at 8PM. The Fifth Amendment is located on Fifth Avenue and 7th Street.
Performers Include: Jesse Katz, Eric Nelson, Phil Nerges, Matthew Frazier, Scott Cheshire and Ed Kearns w/ music from Vic Ruggiero of The Slackers.
This is a must-see and I for one can’t wait. I so enjoyed B rave New World’s production of The Crucible at The Old Stone House. Now Brooklyn’s acclaimed Brave New World Repertory Theatre is taking Elmer Rice’s 1929 Pulitzer Prize-winning play Street Scene to the streets–literally…on the stoop of a Park Slope tenement.
The site-specific production will spill out the front windows and onto the front stoop and sidewalk of a tenement in Park Slope, which will serve as the stage with the audience seated in the street, which will be closed to traffic for the day. Brave New World’s multicultural production of this classic masterpiece reflects the full urban melting pot of New York City.
Park Slope, Brooklyn
5th Street between 8th Avenue and Prospect Park
(Directions: F/G to 7th Ave, D/N/R to 9th St, 2/3/4 to Grand Army Plaza, B/Q to 7th Ave.)
Saturday, June 22nd. Two performances: 1pm and 5pm.
(Rain-date: June 23rd)
ABOUT STREET SCENE:
Director Claire Beckman says, “With 20/20 hindsight, Brave New World’s site-specific production seeks to capture the restless summer of 1929… and the sense of unease that comes-especially for those at the bottom of the pyramid like the working class people in the play-when everyone is living beyond their means. These are the people, who a year or two later, will be jobless and penniless. Now living together in cramped sweltering apartments, they spend their summer days out on the stoops… Gossiping and fretting about any impending trouble, as titillated by, as they are terrified of the big domestic drama unfolding in their own building… An infidelity…and worse.”
Elmer Rice won the 1929 Pulitzer Prize for his Broadway play about a New York City “village” rife with domestic quarrels, racial and ethnic tensions and economic anxiety. Street Scene was made into a movie in 1931, produced by Samuel Goldwyn and directed by King Vidor, and into an opera in 1946 with music by Kurt Weill and lyrics by Langston Hughes.
FREE (no reservation necessary) seating as available; unlimited standing room.
RESERVED FREE seating available in advance for elderly and disabled – limited.
RESERVED seating available: with online donations of $75 or more- limited.
For further info and reservations, visit: http://www.bravenewworldrep.org
Tags: 11215, Brave New World Repertory, Elmer Rice, Park Slope, Pulitzer Prize Winning Play, Street Scene
Seems that Le Pain Quotidien, a cafe chain with 185 branches arond the world, is opening on Fifth Avenue and Carroll Street. Not only that: it’s opening in the space that was formerly Moutarde. And we all remember Moutarde’s claim to fame: it was the location used in Julia and Julia to impersonate a real Parisian cafe.
I for one like Le Pain Quotidien and have frequently frequented the one on Madison Avenue and 83rd Street, the one in Tribeca, and the one in ABC Carpet and Home and Lincoln Center (they really are ALL over the place). The communal table is a nice concept and the atmosphere and decor are very appealing. The curried egg salad sandwich is excellent, as are the quiches, soups and the baked goods, including deliciously authentic French Croissants.
Welcome to the neighborhood: Le Pain Quotidien
The photograph is from a blog called Brooklyn Home Experts.
Tags: brooklyn 11215, Communal table, French cafe, Le Pain Quotidien, Park Slope
I came across some illustrations by Nelson Gelgud on the BAM website. The project is called “The John Turturro Mid-eighties Hat Trick” and it’s about three films Turturro made before he teamed up with Spike Lee and the Coen Brothers.
Nathan Gelgud illustrates tiny collections of things, as if he has released the contents of his pocket and taken pen to paper. While the renderings are small, the subjects are certainly not: Steve Martin, Sal Mineo, and Spuds McKenzie (see above), or Felix Mendelssohn, Frances McDormand and Fred MacMurray—personalities who share the same initials. This is Gelgud’s talent. He miniaturizes and contains so that his figures look like they belong in a curio cabinet, visible and ready for adoration.
Gelgud’s work is featured on a wall in Greenpoint’s In God We Trust, where he depicts the famous noggins of William Faulkner, John Steinbeck and Philip Roth, to name a few.