Wednesday, November 25, 2020

The David Prize Recipients

 Two Brooklyners received the  David Prize.  Established in 2000, this prize – awarding $200,000 to each winner – is a “celebration of individuals and ideas to create a better, brighter New York City.”

It was Dr. Suzette Brown – a pediatrician and COO at Strong Children Wellness and Domingo Morales who learned about composting from his work at Green City Force – both hailing from Brooklyn who received the grants.  Brown has been working on ways to bolster the healthcare system and Morales on sustainable composting in disadvantaged communities.

Brown’s organization has been implementing her healthcare system approach of “reverse integration” which has resulted in the provision of a “one stop shop for kids and families where not only can they get their physical needs met and their primary health care needs met, but they can also benefit from a range of social services.” She was inspired to do this when she worked with a single homeless mom trying to escape her domestic violent situation without any support. Trying to navigate the social services system during such a challenging time is close to impossible and with the additional coronavirus situation, things became even worse.

Morales has been through the system himself, having grown up in foster care.  He is seeking to increase sustainability in Brooklyn and at the same time, help less advantaged communities. The grant he receives will be put toward the establishment of composting sites, and the creation of educational opportunities.  He explained:

“For the communities that don’t have the resources to pay, the idea is to just build them the best compost system that they can have and then figure out how we can work other forms of sustainability into that site.” 

Monday, November 2, 2020

Escaping at Home

While the coronavirus continues to ravage our lives, we take a look at one educational and relaxing way you can escape the craziness in the comfort (and safety) of your own home…reading!

Thanks to funding from the Greenpoint Community Environment Fund, a new local library has opened.  The Greenpoint Library and Environmental Education Center is offering a socially-distanced service for all locals. The Brooklyn Public Library leadership has engaged in the renovation of all of the libraries.  Over the next five years, it is hoped that at least a third of them will be redeveloped.

But meanwhile, thanks to the fantastic architectural work of SCAPE as well as the design from Marble Fairbanks, what is on offer is phenomenal.  Double in size of its predecessor, the 15,000 sq. ft library has both an indoor and an outdoor space along with a grab-and-go service to limit the spread of the coronavirus.  According to CEO and President of the Brooklyn Public Library Linda E. Johnson:

"The new Greenpoint Library models the enormous potential of public libraries in the 21st century. With the help of our partners, from the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund to Marble Fairbanks, we created a space for everyone in the community that is as inspiring as it is versatile. In 2020, in Brooklyn and beyond, we need more libraries like this one: that make vital knowledge and beautiful design accessible to all, that empower people from all walks of life to come together and build a more sustainable, more just world."

Monday, October 12, 2020

When Life Gives You Lemons…

Pre-pandemic you had normalcy in the restaurant business. Pablo Rojas and his partner Roxanna Mejia were both working in their fields; one roasting chickens and the other baking breads in local eateries. Then COVID-19 came and everything went sour. They were determined that they would not follow suit and started going back to their Mexican roots vis-à-vis a culinary tour.

Fast forward (not too many months) to the creation of  Gastronomy Underground.  Featuring Condesa Brunch Sunday, Taco Tuesday, Date Night Friday and so much more the establishment offers free delivery to Central Brooklyn, Downtown, West Brooklyn and South of Prospect Park, with aims to expand in the near future.

And what makes the duo such culinary experts?  They come from different regions in Mexico, broadening the scope and taste of the Mexican cuisine they create.  They want their clients to be able to truly experience the food culture’s diversity which often operate underground and are not known widespread.  There is such a scape between “the newly established fine dining scene [and] the unregulated street stalls.”  And in terms of the actual food the due believe that:

The dichotomy found in Central Mexican Cuisine and the Mexican Northern Kitchen is best embodied in our creative team and delivered right to your home.”

They will also try to combine their Mexican cuisine with other food cultures, fusing the influence of one with the other in an attempt to “redefine the cuisine of a conquered nation and explore its conflicts while also honoring our Pre-hispanic roots and traditions.”

Friday, September 25, 2020

Like Music to their Ears…


A new school has been setup that will begin student enrollment in the fall of 2021. The school – entirely focused on entertainment and sports – is called Roc Nation School of Music, Sports & Entertainment.  It is a conglomeration of Long Island University-Brooklyn and Jay-Z’s Roc Nation.

Students who wish to participate in this unprecedented venture will be able to choose from undergraduate degrees in music; music technology, entrepreneurship and production; and sports management.  According to Roc Nation CEO, Desiree Perez:

“Pursuing higher education is an investment in one’s future. This partnership, envisioned alongside [LIU President Kimberly] Cline, is a true investment in our community and young people in Brooklyn, in New York City and beyond. We’re excited that the Roc Nation School of Music, Sports & Entertainment will provide unique insight, knowledge, and experiences for students and introduce the world to the next generation of unmatched talent.”

Twenty-five percent of students will be eligible for a Roc Nation Hope Scholarship.


Tuesday, September 1, 2020

What to Do in Brooklyn this Summer?

Because of the coronavirus outbreak many plans and events have been canceled. There is so much that we are unable to do in an effort to stop the spread of the virus.  But summer is still here, kids still need entertaining and adults still need a break. Here, we take a look at some of the options for those living in Brooklyn during the pandemic this summer.

How about taking a stroll to a Farmers Market?  This way you will get the kids out of the house, be able to purchase some wonderful fresh produce and support the local economy which will be particularly welcome during this tough time. Many local Farmers Markets are following the government guidelines with their opening, offering hand sanitizers on entrance, encouraging customers to social distance and wear a mask. Check out: Kensington Farmstand, Prospect Park’s Greenmarket and the Hattie Cathan Community Market.

Talking of fresh produce, why not take this to the next level and take the family fruit picking?  Church Fruit Farm has a great reputation for a wonderful variety of not just the traditional fruits found at fruit picking places but also ones less readily available, like yams…and lots of them!  In addition there are many organic options and Kombucha on tap!

And if you really want to keep up the outdoor, produce and nature theme, take a visit to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The 52 acre space re-opened just a week and a half ago and is ready for your enjoyment!

Yes it’s a hard time.  Yes things are unprecedented. And yes it’s summer and the kids are home and everyone wants to go out and do something.  But there really are many ways around it all as we have described above.

Monday, August 10, 2020

New Local Dog Park


There has been such a huge change in our everyday lives due to COVID-19 and all the restrictions that have come with it in the fight to flatten the curve. All of this can feel not only overwhelming but quite depressing due to the effect this has had on important social behavior.

So when there are new developments, they are even more welcome than normal.  One recent local example of this is the opening of the Kensington Dog Run. Located at Brooklyn’s Backyard at the Parade Grounds, local dog owners are very happy with the new area that opened in July.  It is particularly good now since there are so many dog owners in quarantine in the Kensington area (along with Ditmas Park, Flatbush and Windsor Terrace). 

It’s very nice too.  There is water on tap and built-in bowls for the canines a well as dog-friend astroturf – the first of its kind in an NYC dog park.  It is a project that has been several years in the making and is very good for community bolstering.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Walking Through Brooklyn

Follow ActionKid as he “walks through” Greenpoint from WNYC Transmitter Park to McCarren Park with comedian Tom Delgado who is also a tour guide.