Sunday, December 30, 2018

The Lefferts Historic House at Prospect Park

The Lefferts Historic House is a wonderful place to visit this winter. This hands-on educational experience is suitable for all family members.

Located within nearby Prospect Park, the Lefferts Historic House is a NYC designated landmark. Built in 1783 by Pieter Lefferts, the house remained in the family for four generations. It was later relocated from Flatbush Avenue to Prospect Park and opened as a museum.

The Lefferts Historic House operates an interactive children’s museum that includes a working garden, historic artifacts, and exhibits. Visitors can play with traditional games and engage in a range of historic activities such as candle-making and butter churning.

This destination offers an interesting and enriching educational experience.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

History of the Kensington Public Library

The Kensington Public Library opened in January 1908 with a collection of only 400 books. In 1912, the library expanded and moved to 771 McDonald Avenue, where it remained for the next 48 years.
 By 1960, the Kensington Library, having outgrown its previous location, moved to Ditmas Avenue. Its renovation garnered national interest because Kensington was the first branch to have air-conditioning and children’s furniture in the children’ section.
In November 2012, the Kensington Library re-opened after additional renovations. The library was designed to be environmentally-friendly and was praised by the Art Commission of New York for its successful integration of green design.

Located in a residential area, the Kensington Library is based on the concept of daylight, and most of the library is bathed with natural light, creating a pleasant environment for readers.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Events at the Kensington Library

As the weather gets colder in New York, visiting your local public library can provide a wonderful indoor activity.

The Kensington Library offers several programs, in addition to books. For children and babies, there is Toddler Time; Teen Tech Time for teenagers; and Homework Help for school-age children.

Unique lectures and educational activities are also offered weekly.

On Wednesday, December 12th, a class on American Sign Language will be featured. On the same day, a musical Hanukah celebration will take place at the library. That evening, a knitting and crocheting class will be offered.

Stop by the library to see for yourself...books are only the beginning!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Thank you to the Kensington Stewards

The Kensington Stewards are a neighborhood group that recently organized a popular event.

The event, which was organized for the third year in a row, celebrated the Day of the Dead which honors deceased ancestors. The event was held at PS 179 on Avenue C and included activities, performances, and music.

Traditional Mexican dancers and musicians from the band Mariachi Fiesta performed, and free food was served during this five-hour fiesta. Child-friendly activities including face painting and dancing were part of the fun.

The menu included traditional Mexican dishes such as tacos, tamales, Mexican sweet bread, and arroz con leche.

The event was appreciated, thanks to the Kensington Stewards.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Horseback Riding in Kensington, Brooklyn

When Prospect Park was first designed in the 1860s, it had bridle paths for carriage drives. Horses were part of everyday life, and Prospect Park was designed to accommodate them.

More than a century later, horses are no longer part of everyday life. There's only one stable in the Prospect Park area-- Kensington Stables-- but luckily, it offers many family-friendly activities, including pony rides and parties for young children, a teen horsemanship program, trail rides and horseback riding lessons.

Visiting Kensington Stables is a great way to combine outdoor fun and exercise!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Enjoy a Visit to Green-wood

Before the weather turns frigid, stop and visit Green-Wood, a beautiful and historic destination.

Now a National Historic Landmark, Green-wood was one of the first rural cemeteries in America. Home to 478 acres of hills, valleys, paths and ponds, Green-wood is so beautiful that it inspired the creation of NYC’s Central Park!

For history buffs, Green-wood’s 560,000 permanent residents include well-known people, among them Leonard Bernstein, Boss Tweed, Charles Ebbets, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Louis Comfort Tiffany and Horace Greeley.

Green-wood is also a Revolutionary War Historic site—the Battle of Long Island was fought on its grounds in 1776. Green-wood is also a site on the Civil War Discovery Trail and a member of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary System.

Free parking is available, and several dining options are available nearby.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Brooklyn Fundraisers

Brooklyn wine lovers take note: today and tomorrow for a one time fee of $65 you can enjoy Delta Amex Perks’ Wine Riot. With this access pass, you will be privy to wine tasting where you will be able to drink and learn about all different types of wine from around the world.

Wine lovers can now benefit from “a temporary tattoo booth, photo booth, Wine Riot's famous Bubbly Bar and a few thousand fellow winos.”

Brands like Hennessy “will be showing the rich world of cognac and the art of cocktails….[and] guide rioters through the most revered blends including Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège and Hennessy X.O Cognac, where they'll become experts in making classic cocktails with the world's finest ingredients.”

There will be classes on basic wine understanding, taking a look at differences in wines and a presentation of Wine Riot’s Bubbly Bar will offer: including Cava, Prosecco, Sparkling, Rosé, Champagne, Crémant and Sekt.

And even for those new to the wine scene, the actual event is fun and engaging for everyone!

Friday, November 2, 2018

Wine Riot: Education-Revolution

Brooklyn wine lovers take note: today and tomorrow for a one time fee of $65 you can enjoy Delta Amex Perks’ Wine Riot. With this access pass, you will be privy to wine tasting where you will be able to drink and learn about all different types of wine from around the world.

Wine lovers can now benefit from “a temporary tattoo booth, photo booth, Wine Riot's famous Bubbly Bar and a few thousand fellow winos.”

Brands like Hennessy “will be showing the rich world of cognac and the art of cocktails….[and] guide rioters through the most revered blends including Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège and Hennessy X.O Cognac, where they'll become experts in making classic cocktails with the world's finest ingredients.”

There will be classes on basic wine understanding, taking a look at differences in wines and a presentation of Wine Riot’s Bubbly Bar will offer: including Cava, Prosecco, Sparkling, Rosé, Champagne, Crémant and Sekt.

And even for those new to the wine scene, the actual event is fun and engaging for everyone!

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Gear Up for Fun Local Events

As we prepare for Halloween, let’s take a look at what’s happening locally for all ages.

This morning is the Halloween Pumpkin Patch Costume Contest. Hosted by Dodge YMCA, this is a family-friendly event which takes place at Dodge YMCA headquarters at 225 Atlantic Avenue and starts at 10am to 1pm. Free for adults, it is just $10 per kid who will enjoy costume contest, face painting and more.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Prospect Park Documentary

This video is a trailer for the fundraiser for Brooklyn’s Prospect Park – somewhat of a poor cousin next to New York’s Central Park. But it shouldn’t be since its 526 acre coverage makes it Brooklyn’s second largest park. For residents though it’s quite different; they love it. It is often filled with walkers, runners, cyclists, ball players, rollerblading, family picnics, boating and a whole lot more.


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Biking in Brooklyn

If you’re in Brooklyn and you want to get around, cycling is a great option. America’s first bike path was created there (Ocean Parkway, back in 1894) and the region didn’t stop there. The Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway (still under construction) is one of the nation’s most popular cycling areas.

So if you’re into cycling and you’re looking for something to do, start by Kensington’s Ocean Parkway and continue on the path to Coney Island’s Surf Avenue. As you cycle through the beautiful tree lined path, you’ll be privy to a wonderful tour of “local Brooklyn brownstones” before getting to the area’s much loved boardwalk that you can walk under at Ruby’s Bar & Grill and enjoy true American fare. From cheeseburgers to corn dogs, potato knishes and hot/sweet sausage, wash it all down with one of Ruby’s Famous Ices. Don’t be put off if you don’t have a bike; just go down to Brooklyn Bridge Bike Rent.

For the less energetic/adventurous Brooklyn’s Waterfront Greenway is a perfect window into the area. While walking between Piers 1 and 6, you cannot fail to pause for the Manhattan skyline or ferries. Get back to basics with Jane’s Carousel which is so reminiscent of summers gone by or cool off at Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Upcoming Local Events

You don’t need to wait for a long time to get a local laugh. In fact, you can do so every Wednesday at the Jupiter Comedy at Oak Tree Tavern is a great evening activity. For a mere $5 per person, bring a friend, family member or even a date from 8pm-midnight.

If laughing isn’t your thing, consider the Alberta Food Tours via Craving Kensington. Every Thursday from 6-10pm you start the tour at Brasserie Kensington with cheese curds and beer, make your way for some tea tastings at The Naked Leaf, check out The Crave’s behind the scenes, get ready for more cheese samples at Peasant Cheese Shop, move on to Kensington Wine Market and then complete your meal at Pulcinella.

For those looking for a bit of an edge, from October 3 to 31, the spooky pop-up Nightmare Machine,will get locals in the mood for Halloween. Featuring freaky clown rooms to hallways full of rainbows, this will sure keep you on your toes!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Support Local Brooklyn Women

There are various minorities in Brooklyn, New York but the group that seems to get the most focus is the African Americans. Here, we look at how women in business are faring in the area – and how great it is these days to be part of the women of Brooklyn.

So first we’ll take a look at Radical Women. Located on Tompkins Avenue, these 4 women opened their boutique store to give women the opportunity to stay on trend, in fashion and empowered. The four female entrepreneurs are self-described “daughters, artists, mothers, sisters, lovers, bosses, anthropologists, givers, liberators, designers, warriors, care givers, peace makers, hell raisers, heart breakers,” which they believe is “radical.” They purport that they were “destined to build this community,” as they work on creating a safe and comfortable space for women to thrive. Currently their featured collections include items made by: Anat Fritz, NOK, Ashaka Givens and Lamine Kouyaté’s XULY.Bët brand.

For amazing resources, make sure to check out the Brooklyn Women’s Exchange, which has been working for centuries to “support independent craftspeople from Brooklyn and beyond.” There, you will find amazing handmade crafts, clothes for kids, toys, gifts and so much more all carefully created by local artisans. This not-for-profit organization gives 70 cents of every dollar spent directly to the crafter.

The organization started in 1854 as a need to support struggling women, many of whom “found themselves in need of income but with no means of support. Following the lead of church ministers who were training indigent women in the craft of needlework, a group of concerned local women began the Brooklyn Female Employment Society providing a discreet enterprise, or “exchange,” through which women could sell their needlework and handcrafts. As the organization evolved into the Brooklyn Women’s Exchange, a small sewing school and storefront enabled women to care for their families and earn income without having to work in a factory or other dangerous environment.” 

And then there are the  Black Women Meetups. Recent events have been: NYC Restaurant Week: Gourmet “Fashionista” Italian Dinner; Exhibit and Brunch: Footwear from Stuart Weitzman – Historic Shoes; and the most recent one which took place just three days ago: Daniel: Fine Dining “Foodie” Extravaganza.

 So these days women are faring pretty well in Brooklyn. Long may that continue.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Carroll Gardens Greenmarket

Located between Smith and Court Streets across from Carroll Park on Sundays between 8am and 2pm throughout the year, this makes a great brunch meeting place for locals and tourists. Buy beautiful fresh cut flowers and locally grown produce as well as grass-fed beef and a whole lot more. Vendors include: Jersey Farm, Fishkill Farms, Haywoods Fresh, DiPaola Turkeys, Hot Bread Chicken, etc.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Free Yoga for Kensingtoners!

Thanks to the generosity of a grant from the Citizens Committee For New York City – together with support from Bend & Bloom Yoga and Arts & Democracy – free outdoor yoga classes were offered at Avenue C Plaza, Kensington.  The brainchild of The Kensington Stewards, the six week series – led by a certified yoga instructor – took place every Monday night for an hour.

The goal of The Kensington Stewards in this endeavor was to bring more neighbors in to Avenue C Plaza to take advantage of what is being offered.  White tents were set up for the yoga classes. 

The classes were a huge success and a whole cross-section of Kensington demographic turned up.  It was also a demonstration of unification of Kensington, Brooklyn.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Last of the Summer Whine….

The longest running British sitcom was called Last of the Summer Wine.  I guess parents of little kids may think of that (whine) when it comes to the end of the seemingly way too long summer break from school.  For those, it’s more like summer vacation and the livin’ ‘aint easy….when you’ve got small kids.

Well, the good news is you can amuse your kids at neighborhood parks thanks to City Parks Foundation’s PuppetMobile.  Performances of The Big Good Wolf are being shown today, tomorrow and Friday at the following locations:

Marion Hopkinson Park, Bed-Stuy – Wednesday, August 22 at 11am
Owl’s Head Park, Bay Ridge – Thursday, August 23 at 11am
South Oxford Park, Fort Greene – Friday, August 24 at 11am

This project and others like it is park of the goal of City Parks Foundation to “transform NYC parks into vibrant centers of urban life through sports, arts, community building and education programs.”
Look out for details of similar events as well as puppet-making workshops throughout NYC. Before you know it, the kids will be back in school!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Building and Infrastructure News

The City Planning Commission was (unanimously) approved the proposed 80 Flatbush Avenue’s mixed use project. Earlier this year the Brooklyn Community Board actually rejected the proposal put forward by Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President who requested a significant height reduction on one of the towers. Should the project be approved by the City Council it will then go ahead.

Plans include the creation of 900 apartments (within what would be Brooklyn’s second largest tower measuring at 986 feet!). There will also be two schools, retail and cultural space. Meanwhile over at 571 Ocean Parkway, permits were filed for an eight story residential building in Kensington. Should this be approved the property is great for public transportation, as it is located a mere six blocks from the 18th Avenue subway station and ten blocks from Hewkirk Plaza subway station. It won’t be as tall as the one on Flatbush Avenue measuring in at a mere 80 feet and offering 31 residential units.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

JRAD Throwing Stones

Last month the JRAD Throwing Stones played in Prospect Park Bandshell, in Brooklyn. See them here:

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Short Films

Spike Lee and Uber are working on a joint venture to “fight the power.”  A series of short films will be shown focusing on the people behind the scenes in Lee’s favorite borough of New York – Brooklyn.  Entitled ‘Uber Presents Da Republic of Brooklyn,’ any Uber drivers choosing to take part in the movies are being compensated for their time and project participation.

Lee said:

“I was attracted to this project because I know a lot of people who drive on the Uber platform and it gives them the flexibility they need to pursue their dreams. That’s how we do it in Brooklyn – that’s the Brooklyn hustle.”

The series features   “Malka,” “Sunny,” “Domingo,” “Keith,” and “Rodney” and can be viewed on Uber Presents.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn!

BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! is coming back for its 40th year!!!! This performing arts festival – an annual occurrence – is again offering locals an incredible array of music, film, dance and other cultural festivities from international artists.  Food and crafts will be on sale from local artisans too.

This year, some of the highlights include: free Prospect Park Bandshell concerts (with Aimee Mann, The Breeders, Common, Fischerspooner among others) which began at the beginner of summer on June 5 but continue through August 11 (25 of which are free with a suggested $5 donation at the gate). The others are to raise money for the future free events at the festival.

Leslie Griesbch Shultz, BRIC President explained:

 “For four decades—since the summer of 1979—the Festival has represented the best of what Brooklyn and America can be: a welcoming supercollider of ideas and cultures, informing and enriching each other. We are grateful for all the support BRIC receives to keep the festival free and accessible to all New Yorkers.”

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Come Join the Smorgasburg!!!

You know that summer is here when…

For Brooklyners it’s when the
Smorgasburg starts (which is April actually!).  If you’ve not been yet be sure to hop on down to East River State Park (90 Kent Avenue) on a Sunday. And if you have been, you probably know what we’re talking about.  It truly is a wonderful, fun, summer-kinda-feeling open air food market.  So fun indeed that around 20-30,000 people come every single weekend!
Featuring more than 100 local vendors (coz we do like to keep it local if we can), it was dubbed “The Woodstock of Eating,” by The New York Times.  The event is organized by Brooklyn Flea in conjunction with Prospect Park Alliance.

And if you ever have a craving for “deep fried cookie dough, cheese pies and lobster nachos,” then that really is the place that has it all!

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Summer Happenings in Brooklyn

Summer is well underway and as we all know, it can get extremely pricey when the kids (and adults) want to go to events that cost money.  So we try on this blog to provide options of things to do that are either cheap or free.

For the upcoming week, starting tomorrow, this is on offer:

1.      If you’re looking to go out Friday night and don’t to break the bank, why not switch your entertainment fun to Friday morning and enjoy a free concert in Central Park?  On 13th July the Backstreet Boys are playing at 7am.  Get up early and have your fun before the sun gets too hot!
2.      Saturday July 14th you can enjoy the FAD Market: Summer Pop Up – another free event – from 11am to 6pm. You’ll be able to view art, jewelry, clothing and other stuff from independent makers.
3.      And then on Sunday July 15th there is NYC’s Summer Ice Cream Blizzard at the Grand Bazaar NYC where you can take a pick of the city’s greatest “artisanal ice cream makers,” all in one spot.

Just remember: you don’t have to break the bank to have fun in Brooklyn in the summertime.  You just need to keep your eyes peeled for the latest on great events.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Brooklyn Black Revival

A revival of black pride is happening in the Brooklyn, NY region.  Some recent examples of the festivals increasing awareness in this genre include: the Afropunk festival; Juneteenth festival; Black and Latino Gay Pride and more.  Organizations are working toward this too, such as Harlem Capital Partners and All-Star Code.

According to an NYU Sociologist, Jacob William Faber:

“We’re in a sociopolitical moment where there’s greater acceptance of black people having pride in themselves. It sounds silly — or sad, really. It should be normal. But we live in a world where saying ‘black lives matter’ is controversial. It’s a rebuttal to the idea — the false choice — that if you want investment you have to accept displacement.”

And it seems to be working.  The US Census Bureau’s recent survey of business owners found a huge nationwide escalation of black-owned businesses between 2007 and 2012 from 1.9 to 2.6 million, mainly from black women.  Indeed, there have been 24 (out of 35) female black entrepreneurs profiled by Black-Owned Brooklyn.

In addition, according to the Mayor’s Office of Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises in 2017 Brooklyn had 319 black owned contractors (a large jump from 2015’s 295 stat).  Sean Combs (who is currently developing an app to help locate local black-owned businesses) said:

 “I want to be an authentic, unapologetic warrior for black culture. This is not about taking away from any other community. We’ll still go to Chinatown. We’ll still buy Gucci! But the application will make it possible for us to have an economic community. It’s about blacks gaining economic power.”

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Summer Fun for Kids

The summer can be a treacherous time for parents, trying to find numerous activities to keep the little ones entertained. It’s long, it’s hot and it seems ever-so-expensive all the time as well. So what is going on in the Kensington, Brooklyn neighborhood that is good for kids?  What are the best hangout places offering airconditioning and a cup of coffee for parents to ease the summer vacation pain?  Here we take a brief look at some options.

Metro Parents offers a Daily Events listing of great things to do with kids that are cheap or completely free.  You can join events like the free info session on the upcoming African Diaspora’s summer camp in July.  For those wanting to send their kids there, between July 9 to 20th, your children will be traveling through the wonders of Africa and its cultures, through movement, song and crafts.  The Hakuna Matata: Kings, Lions and Other African Wonders is a fantastic opportunity for kids aged between 3 and 7.

Later on in the summer is the Singing Frogs and Talking Fish: Diving Through the Caribbean Sea.  Between July 23 to August 3, kids will enjoy frolicking through the Caribbean Sea through music, movement, drum-making and so much more!

Tomorrow you can check out the weekly Drop-In Art, Poems and Stories for kids aged 6 to 9 at Park Slope.  The participants get to read a book and then make a craft out of it.  Fun for all, no need for advanced booking and $15 fee.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Pop-up Pool

The Pop-up Pool at Brooklyn Bridge Park is set to become a more  permanent feature of the area.  Since 2012 it has gained such popularity in the summer months that locals will be able to enjoy it for two more seasons in its current location.  While there are plans for demolishing the site after this summer session for the Pier 2 uplands, a permanent pool is to be brought to the neighborhood at Squibb Park (that is attached to the waterfront via the Squibb Park Bridge).

Thanks to the huge efforts of locals via the Love Our Pool campaign, this has been – and will continue to be – a community endeavor.  The BBPC will hold meetings with the community to get their advice on what they think would make the pool great. Once information has been gathered, a designer will be chosen and the pool will thereafter be built.  It’s a process but it will be worth it when it reaches its culmination. 

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Kensington Mixed-Use Structure Permits

A three-story mixed-use structure located in Kensington’s 1121 36th Street has received permits.  A mere eight blocks from the Church Avenue subway station, the applications were approved from the Mina Group LLC to build the 39-feet tall structure.  It will provide six apartments, each spanning approximately 1,086 square feet.

The structure should be completed by January 2019 through Asher Hershkowitz Architect PLLC.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Columbia Street Waterfront District

A new exhibition is arriving at Columbia Street Waterfront District from a local.  Elliot Arkin – an artist hailing from Brooklyn – just returned to his roots to feature “The Spanish Gardener.” This 10-foot sculpture of Pablo Picasso mowing the lawn. The exhibition was opened on June 1st and will continue until July 15th.

Arkin does not just do art though.  He is actually a real estate salesperson at Brooklyn Heights Real Estate on Montague Street. Of this position he explained:

“I’ve been in Brooklyn since 1983, when I graduated from Amherst College. Originally, I lived above the Queen restaurant [on Court Street in Downtown Brooklyn]. Now, I own a little building at Hicks and Union streets, the one that has La Petite Crevette on the ground floor.”

For other artistic appreciations, a non-local – Erwin Wurm – is putting out his Hot Dog Bus for the summer.  Free hot dogs will be available in Brooklyn Bridge Park between June 9th and August 26th in an effort to get people to view “the human body as a piece of art, specifically as a sculpture.  The venture is in conjunction with the Public Art Fund.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Love Kensington? Become a Patch Mayor!

Patch seeks to bring local news stories to its locals in Kensington and Windsor Terrace.  What better way to bring news to the locals than from the locals?  Now there is an opportunity to do just that.

If you live in the Kensington Brooklyn area and love it there, would you like the opportunity to share what you know and how you feel about it with others? Tell people in the area about local upcoming events?  Now you can.  Residents are being called upon to be more involved in their neighborhood and be, well, “neighborly.”  Patch has found that it is actually the locals who really do know the most about local happenings!  And that’s why it wants to create Patch Mayors who will tell others about the local fundraising event, a new kids happening, or where there are  new buildings that could disrupt everyday life happening.

What will you get from it?  You will finally have a platform through which you can share and inform with other members of your community.  You can choose to write about anything you want related to the neighborhood.  And most of all, you can use it as a sounding board to try your hand at journalism!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Free Kayaking!

Brooklyn Bridge Park has done it again.  This 85-acre park founded 8 years ago and designed stunningly by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates really changed the entire feel of the neighborhood and when it first opened 6 acres back in March 2010, it was a true winner for the entire area. One really can spend hours there.

And now that the summer is upon us there is more to enjoy.  Being outdoors is the best and with the parks spray areas, roller rinks, sports fields and more, what better activity than to get out your paddles and enjoy some free kayaking right here at Pier 2.

This offer begins at the end of this month.  On May 31, 2018, Thursdays from 5:30–6:45pm, Saturdays from 10am–3pm and Sundays for Kayak Polo from 11am–3pm (kids 11 and over from 12:30–1:30pm), there is no excuse not to say adios to your screens and come on out and enjoy the wonderful waters.

As long as you follow the boathouse rules there’s absolutely nothing to stop you having fun in America’s great outdoors!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Smorgasburg Market

Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg market has returned!  Every Saturday on the Williamsburg watefront and every Sunday in Prospect Park from April until October, the “largest weekly open-air food market  in America” brings food from 100+ local vendors to the 20-30,000 visitors.
This will be the 8th year of the market. Established by Jonathan Butler and Eric Demby as a spinoff of the Brooklyn Flea Market, it has been described as “The Woodstock of Eating” by The New York Times.
This year the newest additions include kakigori (Japanese shaved ice treat) and grilled lobsters. The classics that have been loved for years are returning too such as: the Bolivian Llam Party, Good Batch and Ramen Burger.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Brooklyn’s “Other Art Fair”

The Other Art Fair  began on 3 May (and is ending today) at Brooklyn Expo Center.   It is quite different from other such art events as, according to fair founder Ryan Stanier, they “offer up artists on their own, rather than through dealers.” 

Debuting in New York in 2017, it is hosted by the Saatchi Art enterprise of London and has 130 artists from around the world displaying their wares ranging in price from $250 to $10,000. The idea behind it is to provide a “springboard for talented emerging artists” since it increases their visibility toward collectors.

The other stand out part of the fair is the entertainment provided by local D.J.s along with Scott Campbell, a Brooklyn tattoo artist. Amber Vittoria was on hand to sketch visitors’ portraits at no cost.
The Other Art Fair is being held later on in the year in Bristol, UK, Melbourne, Australia, Chicago, USA, London, UK, and LA, USA.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

10th Annual Brooklyn Folk Festival!

Earlier this month Brooklyners and other locals were able to enjoy Brooklyn’s 10th annual folk festival.  For a long weekend of April 6th to 8th, there were concerts, jams, square dancing,  and even – for the first time – a Brooklyn Fiddle Contest. Beer was donated to Brooklyn folk by the Lagunitas Brewing Co., and the kids enjoyed a puppet show presented by the Boxcutter Collective.

Contributors to this amazing festival this year included: the Steel City Jug Slammers, Jackson & the Jacks, King Isto’s Tropical Spring Band, The HickHoppers, Feral Foster, Wyndam Baird, The Horse Eyed Men, Poorboy Krill and many, many more.

With thanks to all the sponsors including: The Folk Music Society of New York, Inc.,  the Howard Gilman Foundation, Rose Brand, Down Home Radio Show and Snowman Fabricators.

For those who missed it, not to worry, next month sees the Swamp in the City: A Cajun Music Festival on May 18-20th.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Earth Day!

Today is Earth Day and this year’s theme is End Plastic Pollution.  Brooklyn has a lot of events to mark the occasion and to help find ways to change attitudes to how we deal with plastics.  Ultimately the hope is to find ways to substantially reduce plastic pollution.

One event – the TNOS Earth Day Fashion Show – is happening today in East Williamsburg at the Legendary Republic between 3 and 7pm.  Here, both local and independent designers and models will be able to show their clothing through the platform on the importance of the preservation of Mother Earth.

Tomorrow, one can join in the Bike to Work event.  Meeting at 8.30 in the morning at Prospect Park (441 Flatbush Avenue, Willink Entrance), this year the annual event is being started by borough President Adams. The idea behind it is the same as it always is – how to promote greener ways to move around Brooklyn and outer areas. 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Celebrating Bengali New Year

Yesterday Brooklyners were privy to celebrating Pahela Baishakh, the Bengali New Year right at home.  The Avenue C Plaza was open for revelers who came dressed in red, wearing masks to get their faces painted and enjoy Bangladeshi music, along with an all-female Samba drumline performance.  The event ended with a parade to Church Avenue and back.

The event was organized by the Bangladesh Institute of Performing Arts (which was actually founded exactly 25 years ago in New York).  Jill Reiner helped to organize the event and made some of the dance masks that were used.  She said she really loved it this year and remarked on how “wonderful” it was to “see such a diverse group.”  She added: “People are beginning to introduce themselves to elements of a culture they don’t know about.”

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Brooklyn Restaurant Group Gets New Head Chefs

The Brooklyn restaurants owned by Andrew Tarlow are generally regarded as some of the biggest shapers of Brooklyn's local dining climate. They are also responsible for the exposed brick and mortar trend that has since become international. Over recent months, Tarlow's empire has been through some changes, with new chefs entering the kitchens of all of his restaurants, which include Diner, Marlow & Sons, Reynard, Roman's and Achilles Heel.

Aside from the new chefs, whom we'll address soon, former Diner chef Caroline Fidanza is returning to the scene as culinary director for the restaurant group after closing her popular sandwich shop Saltie.

Achilles Heel has appointed former pastry sous chef Desire Tuttle, while Reynard's kitchen will now be run by Christina Lecki. Patch Troffer from San Francisco will manage Marlow & Sons, and Roman's former sous chef Frank Reed was promoted earlier this year. Adam Baumgart will take over Diner.

Tarlow said: "These people have a distinct voice, and we more or less have been in the process of changing menurs every day. I think you can see everybody's own touch- I would hope so. I don't want Patch to be making Ken's food. But, I think there's a stylistic approach that they fit into for those restaurants."

"If I would say where the future should go, the story should be about them (the chefs), because they're doing the hard work. I walk around and get complimented for their hard work. They're not in the dining room, so it's hard for them to get the compliments, but it's interesting," Tarlow added. "It's just not me."

Monday, March 5, 2018

Sake Arrives in Brooklyn

If you're into sake, your day has arrived. Brooklyn now has a sake brewery that has opened in the Industry City called Brooklyn Kura. They are being made with all American ingredients and will even have a taproom soon.
There are about 15 sake breweries in the States right now, most of which are in California. Brooklyn Kura, at 68 34th Street near Fourth Avenue, will be the first one in New York. Founders Brian Polen and Brandon Doughan are certainly hoping it will take off!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Shower Bus for Homeless Underway in Brooklyn

Last week, Brooklyn President Eric Adams announced a new project aimed at restoring dignity and respect to local homeless people. His administration, Brooklyn Community Services, or BCS, is joining forces with Turning Point Brooklyn to build a mobile dual-shower bus for the homeless. 

The project will cost $385,000, $308,000 of which will be funded by Adams’ capital budget for Fiscal Year 2018, and another $77,000 will be donated by the City Council. The converted bus will take a year to complete, and will join Turning Point Brooklyn’s “We Care About You” campaign which provides showers, clean towels, shampoo and soap, shaving kits, socks and underwear, laundry services and other amenities in Sunset Park. 

The shower bus will aim to help those in other locations. 

“We are going to target those locations where homeless are located. We’re going to go to food pantries, hospitals, different locations where we find homeless going to try to find some type of basic shelter,” Adam explained. “You cannot get a job if you can’t walk into a space to deal with your basic hygiene needs. You can’t sit in a classroom, you can’t get on the train, a bus, if you can’t deal with your basic hygiene needs.

“This bus is going to become a symbol where our homeless men and woman will be able to identify a safe space not only to clean themselves, but to also start the process of holding on to their dignity,” he added.