Sunday, November 17, 2019

New York Festival for Motherless Brooklyn


At the recent 2019 New York Film Festival premiere of Motherless Brooklyn, Ed Norton spoke to Emerson Unger about the movie.  It tells the story of lonely private detective Lionel Essrog (whom Norton plays) and his life with Tourette Syndrome and how he tries to solve the murder of his mentor and one friend, Frank Minna (played by Bruce Willis).




Friday, November 1, 2019

Kensington: One of NY’s “Best Kept Secrets?”


Why do people choose to live in Kensington, Brooklyn?  According to 264Webster.com, the area is Brooklyn’s “best kept secret [providing] a balanced setting fit for all, nestled in New York City’s most beloved borough.”  Here we take a look at some of the reasons why this might be true.

First, in recent news it was found that at 264 Webster Avenue (just off of Ocean Parkway), an apartment complex has been described as one of the “hottest” buildings in New York. A report from Property Shark found it to have been one of 2019’s top 15 best selling buildings between January and June.  In sales it came in at number 8, securing the sale of 37 deals in six months at a $614,000 median unit price.  the building has recently added some attractive amenities including a gym, spa for pets and rooftop terrace with outdoor showers.

With a population of just under 58,000, Kings County Kensington features many eateries, green space and an above average education system.   A couple of years ago local resident Mimi O’Connor decided to buy in Kensington too. Of her search to find a place to live she explained:

“We ended up in Kensington, just south of Park Slope and Windsor Terrace, in a compact three-bedroom attached house with a porch and a small concrete-paved space in back. I had passed through, but did not know the area well. Now that I’m here, there are many reasons why I love my new home base, but that’s different from why I chose to live here in the first place.”

Her reasons became: the schools in District 15; the house prices (a listing of $497 from Streeteasy per square foot – less than half of Gowanus and Park Slope); the many public transportation options in particular, the subway; an ability to own some outdoor space; and ultimately the fact that they loved Brooklyn for its familiarity, architecture and that all the basics are on their doorstep.


Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Local Business Events


The MREA Business Planning Clinic is taking place in just a few days’ time (October 21st at Leonard’s Palazzo on Northern Boulevard).  This event (from 9am to 1pm) is free for anyone interested in starting their own real estate company or want to develop an existing one.

Team Leader Michael Brown is the host. Click here for more information.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Bringing Muslim Culture to Brooklyn


Muslim artist Brooklyner Nsenga Knight has found that historically, Brooklyn has lacked any real Muslim culture. Some years ago – equipped with her research grant – she went to the Brooklyn Historical Society looking for available information on Muslims in Brooklyn. She found hardly anything. The East Flatbush-raised Knight explained:



“They’re missing a lot of stuff. There were hardly any images of Muslims in their archives. They didn’t have that many images of black people. The archive of Brooklyn isn’t necessarily representing Brooklyn.”

Thankfully since then there have been some major developments in the expression of Muslim information and culture in Brooklyn.   Much of this can be attributed to the work the Brooklyn Historical Society’s oral historians did. They went around the area and conducted interviews with dozens of Muslims in an effort to “fill the gaping cultural hole in [the museum’s] archives.”

This resulted in the assemblage of 54 oral histories, totaling 100+ hours of audio – all which was published for the public. Along with immigrants from Pakistan, Morocco, Trinidad and Tobago (among other places), many of the interviewees were born and raised in Brooklyn and hail from various religious sects such as the Nation of Islam, Shiite and Sunni.  They have now substantially filled the gap

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

IFP Week 2019


Two days ago saw the beginning of the 41st annual IFP Festival. The Independent Filmmaker Project seeks to “foster the development, production and promotion of hundreds of feature and documentary films a year.”  It is the “largest and longest running not-for-profit dedicated to independent film,” and is dedicated to the indie filmmaker.

Taking place in Brooklyn, some of the events that are taking place until 19th September include:

1.       Screening: The Report (CIA agents’ interrogation following 9/11 attacks)
2.       New Voices! Reading Series Sponsored by Sagindie
3.       Screening: Knock Down the House (four women taking on the establishment)
4.       Screening: American Factory

This week long event has been lauded as being the “premiere place to meet bold talent and learn about exciting projects through curated meetings with 150 new feature, documentary, series and VR projects from over 22 countries.”

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Citizens For A Better Community


2019 Children’s Entertainment. The Artistic Talents Show with Producer Melvin Isaac, blessings from: Rev Doctor Brenda Lyken, Father Gopaul and many others.  Featuring the following vendors: FDNY, East Flatbush Villages Inc., Brooklyn Voter Alliance (Census 2020), Candice Reid of the Dept. of Health, Sharon Pence of Healthy Homes Program, Astascend Latoya Jones of the East Flatbush Community Partnership Program Public School Charter among many others.


There were also many generous donors for this event and elected officials in attendance.




Sunday, August 18, 2019

“You’re Hungry Again?” Kids and Summer!


how many times have your kids just sensed you were nearby and said “mommy I’m hungry” during the seemingly endless summer vacation?  Thankfully, Brooklyn Public Library has that covered.  Well, at least some of it. Children and teenagers can get a free lunch meal Monday through Friday.  So that’s a start!

Other free stuff to do locally is happening at The Plaza, primarily on Mondays.  Located at 300 Ashland, on the first Monday of each month you can join a high intensity interval training workout.  The Chelsea Piers BK Burn  is a core-tightening workout utilizing strength exercises and cardio.  On the second Monday of each month, try out the Bollywood star dance.  BollyX is a great way to unleash the star in you! On the third Mondays there is a great way to sweat and have fun with the Beyonc√© Dance Workshop. So if you want to get moving and in shape this summer, The Plaza is the place to do it.

For other fun stuff that don’t include strutting your stuff take your families to Albee Square for movie showings. And next Sunday go have fun at the BK Block Party.

You don’t have to spend a fortune in the summer.  You just have to plan well.


Sunday, August 4, 2019

Local Culture


Each year on the last weekend of July, Governors Island is home to the New York City Poetry Festival.  For two days, 14,000 people enjoy the poetry of 250 poets.  Only July 27th and 28th, starting at 11am (and ending the first day at 7pm and the second at 5pm), this spectacular event is free and open to the public. 

Some of the big names this year include:
1.      Chen Chen (currently a Jacob Ziskind Poet-in-Residence at Brandeis University);
2.      Dorothea Lasky (currently an Assistant Professor of Poetry at Columbia University’s School of the Arts)
3.      Lynn Melnick (currently teaches poetry at Columbia University and the 92Y, and works with saferLIT)

Mark your calendars for September 6 – 8 for a cultural connection closer to home.  Launched by Marsha Massiah of The Idea Room Corp., this unprecedented festival seeks to “deliver a product that truly reflects the dynamic relationship between the borough of Brooklyn and its Caribbean inhabitants and the unique personality.”

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Brooklyn’s Books


Books have not necessarily been synonymous with Brooklyn historically. But things can change and with the summer upon us, why not use this opportunity to encourage our kids to get off their devices and open a book?

Brooklyn’s Public Library has a wonderful summer reading program.  Developed in an effort to encourage young readers to take advantage of the library and not stop their reading once school is out, this year’s theme is “Universe of Stories.”  According to CEO and President of Brooklyn Public Library, Linda Johnson said:

“Being away from school over those months really can result in children losing some of the skills they’ve gained over the school (year), so we are here with our librarians and our staff helping children read all summer long and giving the incentives to read all summer long.”

Brooklyn’s Public Library is doing more than just encouraging kids to read over the summer.  It recently revealed design plans of its smallest (and newest) addition: the Adams Street Library in DUMBO.  This will be the first new branch of the library in 36 years.  Featuring a meeting room, multipurpose space and different sections for adults, teens and children, as well as suggestions put out by community members.


Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Brooklynites at BK9


Love food?  Love Brooklyn?  Then the next step has to be BK9.  Check out this video in which BK9 owners give a little tour of this hidden gem located at 62 5th Avenue, Brooklyn.



Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Basking in Brooklyn’s Scenic Summer

Summertime in Brooklyn is spectacular.  There is even a song about it (by Aloe Blacc) describing it simply as “the subtleties that only you’ve ever seen.” Photographer  Mozes Victor Konig is hoping to learn more about exactly that. This year he is gearing up to leave his Tel Aviv studio to take in some of the wonderful sights in the area.  He explained:
“For so many years I’ve heard about Brooklyn in the summer.  This year I decided to pack up my camera, rent out my apartment and check it out for myself.  I’m very excited about my upcoming trip.”
Konig has many reasons to be excited about this trip.  It is a well known fact that New York is full of a whole slew of fun activities, but what about those highlights which are slightly off-the-beaten track that hopefully will not be quite as crowded?  What kind of advice could we give to an individual like Konig seeking out Brooklyn’s true “subtleties”?
Attending a Brooklyn Cyclones baseball game on the boardwalk is a very traditionally-Brooklyn thing to do. Known as “a single A affiliate of the New York Mets,” the minor league baseball team is about as Brooklyn as you can get.  While there, if Mozes Victor Konig is not afraid of heights, he should check out where the team got its namesake from – the Coney Island Cyclone Roller Coaster.
For nature lovers (and photographers who love to capture animals), Kensington Stables should make the list as well. Watch kids take pony rides, teens enjoy horseback riding lessons and more.  Simply take in the views of this spectacular diversion from all that’s buzzing in New York at 51 Caton Place, Kensington.
Konig is right to be excited for his trip.  Kensington truly is a wonderful, scenic and delightful place in the summer and he’ll be sure to hone in on all its “subtleties.”

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

New York City Market


Time Out Market – a cultural dining experience that was set up in Europe four years ago already – has just arrived in the big city.  Today what visitors get in Lisbon’s Mercado da Ribeira is an amalgamation of 12 stores, 8 bars, 24 restaurants and a high end music venue. It’s become the place to see and be seen.

Now, New York is following suit spreading 21 eateries, 3 bars, demo cooking area and video-installation wall over 21,000 square feet. What is the thinking behind Time Out Market New York and its predecessors in Portugal and Miami?  Simple: if it’s all the rage and people are talking about it and it’s really a great place, then it’s there.  You actual get the opportunity to enjoy the best dishes NYC has to offer, prepared by the city’s most exceptional chefs, all under one roof.  According to Didier Souillat, CEO of Time Out Market:

“We couldn’t be more excited to open Time Out Market New York and introduce a new and unique food and cultural destination to this incredible city. Imagine a place where you get a true taste of the city: you can choose from culinary masterpieces, Tonkotsu ramen, pizza, Middle Eastern cuisine, vegan fare, juicy burgers, Kosher deli, tacos, chocolate babka and more. The variety is amazing and there will be something for everyone, from morning through night. When Time Out Market New York opens, the hottest tables in town will be communal.”

Friday, May 31, 2019

Celebrate Brooklyn! 2019


Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival – an annual event put on by BRIC– begins on June 4 this year.  Kicking off this year’s event is a ticketed fundraiser (prices ranging from $750 to $40,000 sponsorship) paying tribute to Hilary Ackerman, Chair of the BRIC Board. Attendees will fittingly be subject to the dulcet tones of humanitarian entertainer Patti LaBelle who has over the years supported a slew of worthy organizations including Bells for Peace, the HollyRod Foundation and Clothes off our Back. This part of the event is free and open to the public.  Since a party really is not a party without an after party, this opening event has that too from 9.30-11.30 featuring DJ Natasha Diggs and is free for fundraiser attendees as well as Friends members.

And that is just the beginning.  For more information on all the featured events at the festival, click here.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Brooklyn Designs Event


From May 10 to May 12, the 16th annual Brooklyn Designs Expo was held at Brooklyn Navy Yard.  For local designers and business proprietors in the region, this provided a great opportunity to display their work, network and get recognition.

This year over 60 representatives from various industries in Brooklyn ended up displaying their wares, in architecture, art and more, offering something for everyone.  It was also a family event since there were activities for children, workshops, demonstrations and more. 

The event – founded in 2003 by the Brooklyn Chamber – has now become the main design event for local and up-and-coming designers.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Traveling Around Brooklyn


In this video (sponsored by Cyber Ghost VPN), The Traveling Clatt takes us on a tour of one of the five NYC boroughs – Brooklyn which he describes as “incredible.”  Here, he details everything you need to know having lived in the Williamsburg neighborhood for four months following his transfer from Miami.



Saturday, April 27, 2019

Out and About in Brooklyn


Five days ago on Earth Day 2019, Eric L. Adams, President of Brooklyn Borough, held a Bike-to-Work ride.  Now in its fifth year, the annual event was the first of the celebrations for Earth Day for Brooklyn. 

The Tour de Brooklyn cyclists were accompanied by Alicia Ampry-Samuel (a member of the Council) Latrice Walker (a member of the Assembly) and Zellnor Myrie (a Senator). Community groups that participated included: The Brown Bike Girl; Ptkin Avenue Business Improvement District; Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Corporation and Transportation Alternatives.

As Adams noted:

“Earth Day is a reminder of the steps we can all take every single day to reduce our impact on the flora and fauna around us. That includes increasing our use of pedal power. Not only is biking a great way to commute and a therapeutic exercise, it also provides a chance to really see the crevices of our communities.”

For those interested in finding a great outdoors area to bike, they will be happy to know that NYC’s largest state park is going to be getting a $20 million investment from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.  The money will be used to build community gardens, recreational centers and a green space – perfect for local cyclists.



Thursday, April 18, 2019

Local Events – with a Difference


There is a lot to do in Kensington, Brooklyn and new activities  coming up all the time.  Here we look at a couple of events that are slightly outside the box that locals can enjoy.

The first one is a plant class. In a recent article by Rebecca Fishbein on ‘The 10 best spots for plant classes in NYC,’ Kensington’s “Twig Terrariums” was ranked in second place.  Set up by good friends Michelle Inciarrano and Katy Maslow, the open studio and store offers a whole range of terrariums, DIY kits, pots and plants and unusual gifts. While there you can also learn how to set up your own plant and terrarium collection.  All materials are provided for the workshops and one can also choose a romantic date night option there. 

The second is a venture set up back in 2014 by Eleanor Rodgers who, at the time hosted informal LEGO classes for her son and some friends at home.  But after a while it developed into one of New York City’s really cool after-school programs.  The program since then has joined up with the Wingspan Afterschool Program at PS130 and is now called the Rodgers’ Kensington LEGO Class.  Featuring a STEM experience for little LEGO builders from Kindergarten to third grade.  From third to fifth grade, kids can make their own LEGO movie through this venture too.

Given that Kensington boasted the highest birth rate in New York City (in 2017) at 12 percent, this really is becoming a great place to set up kid-friendly businesses.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Kensington Entertainment


Two days ago BK Style and Partners hosted a fundraising event for Projext Culture – Save the Muse Brooklyn.  In celebration of Stevie’s BOI 100th Anniversary, the featured artist was C Boogie and the event took place at 350 Moffat Street. 

The creative community that comprises the Muse Brooklyn provides a common space for international artists, celebrating all forms of circus.  circus can be used in a therapeutic background; for fitness; play and high quality entertainment. 

On 11th April, Fashion Week Brooklyn showcased five brands at 630 Flushing Avenue “regaling fashion enthusiasts with their diverse and inclusive display [in order to present] the diversity of talent, spaces, art and fashion.”  one particularly outstanding show was Catherine Schuller’s Runway the Real Way (RTRW) and the entire event was an opportunity for the public at large to connect to a variety of fashions and brands.


Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Is this Brooklyn’s Most Legendary Pizza?


Check it out for yourself on thisvideo.  Lucali - located at 575 Henry Street – is “arguably the most famous pizza in Brooklyn.”  Here, INSIDER’s Herrine Ro takes a look at Marc Lacano’s eatery.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

The Sketchbook Project


The Sketchbook Project, located in The Brooklyn Art Library, houses a unique collection of art: a collaborative library of sketches.
Open to visitors, each sketchbook is cataloged and has a unique barcode that makes browsing easy. The Sketchbook Project is home to over 30,000 sketchbooks from over 70,000 contributors from 135 countries.
People who are interested in contributing to the project can sign up on the library’s website.

For those who can’t visit the physical library, digital copies of many sketchbooks are available online. The Brooklyn Art Library also offers a traveling version of their library collection.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

The Toy Museum of New York

The Toy Museum of New York is based in downtown Brooklyn, and offers workshops, performances and webinars.

The Toy Museum, which opened in 1999, has entertained and educated over 100,000 students. The museum is an educational institute chartered by The University of the State of NY Education Department, a NYC Department of Education Vendor and a registered charity.

The museum offers a traveling educational outreach program that visits schools and provides workshops for children, adults and seniors.

After 20 years of educating about the history of toys, The Toy Museum of NY is producing a new children’s television show. The pilot episode launched in February and features classic toys, new toys and their inventors.


Sunday, March 3, 2019

The Brooklyn Bird Club


The Brooklyn Bird Club has been active for more than 100 years! Originally founded in 1906 by Dr. Edward Vietor, the club aims to “promote conservation and birdwatching in Brooklyn and beyond.”

The Brooklyn Bird Club hosts spring and fall early morning bird walks and organizes birding trips within the tri-state area. They present lectures on a variety of topics including bird song, nature photography and warbler identification.

A focus on conservation—how to maintain a natural environment within an urban setting—is a priority for The Brooklyn Bird Club.


Upcoming events include “Gulls Galore.” Together with Prospect Park Alliance, this is an opportunity to explore the park’s nature trails and discover the different species of gulls in the park.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Exercising at the Brooklyn Bridge Park


For all of you who want to exercise but don’t want to join a gym, here’s an easy solution:

You can join the New York Road Runners on their free Tuesday night Open Runs! Participants meet on the path south of Fornino at Pier 6 at 6:45pm. The run, which is a 5K, begins at 7:00 pm.

The runs are open to all ages and running levels. Strollers and dogs on leashes are also welcome. The flexibility of these runs means that you can exercise in a fun, free and low-pressure environment.


Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Jane's Carousel


Visit Jane’s Carousel-- a beautiful, antique carousel in the Brooklyn Bridge Park.


Jane’s Carousel is a true antique. Originally built in 1922 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company, the carousel features 48 carved horses. The carousel was originally part of the Idora Park amusement park in Ohio. When the park closed in 1948, the carousel was purchased by Jane and David Walentas.


After 27 years of renovations, the carousel was donated by Jane Walentas as a gift to the Brooklyn Bridge Park. The carousel is housed in a glass pavilion that was designed by the Pritzker-winning architect Jean Nouvel.


The carousel costs $2 a ride and is free for children under the age of 3 who are accompanied by a paying adult.


The carousel is also a great place to host a birthday party, a photo shoot or even a wedding.

Monday, February 4, 2019

The Ed Center at the Brooklyn Bridge Park


The Brooklyn Bridge Park is an 85-acre waterfront park that stretches 1.3 miles along Brooklyn’s East River shoreline.

The park features a variety of activities, both indoors and outdoors. The Ed Center, part of the Brooklyn Bridge Park, is a wonderful place to visit with young children. Open four afternoons a week, the Ed Center is free to visit. 

Hours are Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 5pm, and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 to 5pm.

The Brooklyn Bridge Park has a 250-gallon aquarium filled with critters from the East River, a model of the Brooklyn Bridge Park and a reading corner. Special activities include crafts and themes related to the environment and nature.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Visiting The NY Transit Museum

Have you visited the New York Transit Museum in downtown Brooklyn?

It’s a wonderful museum for visitors of all ages. Current exhibits include:

17th Annual Holiday Train Show—This train show includes a miniature model of Grand Central Station and miniature subway train sets.

Ticket to Ride is an exhibit that showcases the different tickets, tokens, and passes that were used to pay travel expenses.

Underground Heroes: NY Transit in Comics, an exhibit that explores how NY’s transit system has been featured in comic books.

Special activities are often available, including vintage holiday rides on the Nostalgia Train.

For younger children, there are a variety of hands-on activities in the Discovery Room, making the New York Transit Museum a wonderful place to visit, learn, and explore! 

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Brooklyn Children's Museum

Looking for an educational, indoor activity?

Visiting the Brooklyn Children's Museum will help you keep your kids entertained with a variety of hands-on activities.

The children's museum offers a sensory room, a color lab and a large variety of interactive exhibits. Fun and learning are combined in this wonderful museum.

Keep in mind that the Brooklyn Children's Museum is closed on Mondays and offers free admission ("pay what you wish") every Thursday from 2 to 6 pm, and on Sundays from 4 to 7 pm.

Enjoy the museum this winter!

Monday, January 7, 2019

The Polar Bear Plunge

The Polar Bear Plunge took place on New Year’s Day and was a chance for adventurous swimmers to raise money for a good cause.
The 115th annual Polar Bear Plunge invited swimmers to jump into the frigid waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Swimmers raised over $55,000 for the Coney Island community. Money was earmarked towards creating a cleaner and environment and improved quality of life for Coney Island Residents. The Coney Island community is a neighborhood with a high poverty rate that is still recovering from Superstorm Sandy.

Founded in 1903, the Coney Island Polar Bear Club is the oldest winter bathing organization in the United States. They swim every Sunday from November through April.