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Monday, September 28, 2009

I'll miss the columns of William Safire (the language ones)

Brooklyn Born regrets the passing of William L. Safire. Pulitzer Prize winner, Writer, linguist, Conservative, Pundit and Native New Yorker. I rarely agreed with his politics (his never rescinded support for the Iraq invasion, for example) however I dug his way with words.

The obit in the NY Times, for whom he wrote from 1973 until earlier this month included this:
There were columns on blogosphere blargon, tarnation-heck euphemisms, dastardly subjunctives and even Barack and Michelle Obama’s fist bumps. And there were Safire “rules for writers”: Remember to never split an infinitive. Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors. Proofread carefully to see if you words out. Avoid clich├ęs like the plague. And don’t overuse exclamation marks!!

Rest in peace. (Hope I wrote this well)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Show you care, just by being there - Street Co-naming in Crown Heights

GroundSwell Anti-Gun Violence Mural in Crown Heights
The Anti-Gun Violence Mural "Piece Out, Peace In" created by Groundswell Mural Project,
from a photo in July while it was in progress

This past summer I had the opportunity to witness a beautiful combination of artistic effort, civic pride and youth-energized dedication. The effort provided by community leaders and groups and acted on by the Groundswell Mural Project, went into creating an Anti-Gun Violence mural on Brooklyn Avenue between Prospect and Park Places in Crown Heights. I won't go into a lot of stats about crime and gun violence, but I was struck by a comment from a community organizer who works against gun violence at the mural dedication, she remarked it's a wider problem than people think, that despite the efforts of many there are "illegal guns on every block and almost every apartment building in this neighborhood". I can't prove that but imagine if it's true... What is true is that the mural began design and was completed in about seven weeks and during that time there were approximately 2 shootings per week in Crown Heights.

GroundSwell Anti-Gun Violence Mural in Crown Heights
The finished mural designed was dedicated last month in Crown Heights on Brooklyn Ave across from the Children's Museum

Another person who contributed to the mural and works in the community against the tragedy of gun violence is Robin Lyed, who came to this cause after losing her son, Benny who was needlessly murdered in front of his home by an unknown gunman. Benny by all accounts was a self motivated community active 19 year who mentored others, was a proven leader and looked forward to an ambitious future.

Benny A. Lyde victim of an unknown gunman will be honored on Saturday 9/19
when his name is added to Lincoln Place btwn Brooklyn and New York Avenues

Tomorrow, Saturday on Lincoln Place between New York and Brooklyn Avenues at 1:00 PM, the street where Benny lived and was killed will have his name added to it in his honor, and to demonstrate that good remains despite those who try to disrupt and destroy.

There will be a public ceremony and if you're able and you're interested in improving the community, come out and lend your strength and support.

details below (provided by Tish James' office)

Co-Naming of Lincoln Place for Benny A. Lyde, and celebration in his honor this Saturday September 19th at 1 pm

The community will remember and celebrate the life of Benny A. Lyde (known as Mr. Benny to many), by unveiling a new street sign at Lincoln Place between New York and Brooklyn Avenues in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. The street will be co-named Benny A. Lyde Place. The co-naming ceremony is set to begin at 1:00 PM.

Numerous residents and public officials are expected to attend the co-naming event including: Robin Lyde; District Attorney Charles Hynes; Borough President Marty Markowitz; Council Member Letitia James; Council Member Al Vann; Council Member David Yassky; State Senator Eric Adams; Assemblyman Karim Camara; 43rd District Leader Jesse Hamilton; James Caldwell, 77 Precinct Community Council; Fred Monderson, CB 8; and Shalawn Langhorne, Community Counseling and Mediation (CCM).

“Benny Lyde is remembered as a young, bright jewel within the community. During his life, he set an excellent example of discipline and hard work for his contemporaries, as well as was extremely committed to his community and family. Benny touched many lives during his 21 years and is greatly missed,” said Council Member James.

The life of Benny A. Lyde was cut short September 2, 2006 by the hands of gun violence, but his contributions will last forever. Please read the articles at the links below to learn more about this incredible young man.

What: Co-naming of Lincoln Place to Benny A. Lyde Place, in honor of the late Benny Lyde

When: September 19, 2009
Where: Lincoln Place between New York and Brooklyn Avenues in Crown Heights, Brooklyn
Time: 1:00 PM
Please contact Alfred Chiodo at (718) 260-9191 if you would like more information.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Primary Day

It's primary day in NYC! That means all those City Council spots will be decided, and possibly some will be reshuffled. Got a complaint about something in the city, now's the time to act on it. Didja vote?! Well hurry!
West Indian American Day Parade 2009
Here's info!

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Had a surreal moment today as I watched footage of 9/11/01 on 9/11/09 while flying over the east coast. More to it than that but I'll have to write it out another day as now I am about to pass I to slumber

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

End. Game (yet?) Atlantic Yards morphs turdtastic

Gothamist today has the story of the new renderings for the taxpayer funded money pit that is called Atlantic Yards/Barclay Center.

You probably know it is a bloated project, feed by tax dollars enriching private investors and it will drop a massive overcrowding set of buildings and stadium into an area not big enough and already choked with traffic. oh and it's ugly and built by people who've already dropped an ugly barely usable project across the street.

As tiring as it is to keep writing this, it will be worse to live with it, if it's built.

here is one of the new renders after the old baited and switched designers for the project were roundly dissed.

(img credit: ShoP Architects)

and here's what I wrote on gothamist:
The project needs to be scaled into something workable, and the arena can be anywhere along miles of underutilized brooklyn waterfront, or even, if they really want to improve a blighted neighborhood as they calm, the whole project can move about 8 blocks west to where atlantic has almost nothing but auto body shops and vacant lots. there's even an LIRR station that can be used.

like here:

but equally insane are these renderings. the second image shows a crowd of kids about to wander gleefully into Atlantic Avenue, a six lane stretch of people slicer!

Once again, why is it wrong to stop this madness as it currently stands?
As always if you want the detailed story check with Atlantic Yards report which has tirelessly reported on this project. Some day this war's gonna end.

Photo Wed: 09/09/09 : Parade Nuh Stop Edition!

It's photo wednesday! And if you say the previous post, you know I took a ton of photos at the West Indian Day Parade 09.

After much thought this is my favorite narrative shot. check it. (hint) look for the purse.

West Indian American Day Parade 2009 - 37

speaking of the parade, the new york post tried to link an unfortunate and unrelated shooting that happened in Brownsville, to the parade events, they even tossed Colin Powell in for good measure. I'm not linking to the story because it wasn't at all part of the parade. but I will say wrapping dog waste in the new york post is redundant to say the least. i'm sure some good-hearted hard working people put their time and energy into it, and that's a shame. at least they get paid.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Missed it..?: West Indian Day Parade/Carnival Edition

A slide show of photos from yesterday's West Indian American Parade/Carnival 2009.

And now video! These are short clips from (arguably) the largest representatives at the parade: Jamaica, Trinidad and Haiti.




And what would the Pahkweh be without an aerial head check by the NYPD...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Droolers Delight: NYC Cream

Just saw this article in the NY Times wherein an intrepid reporter, friends in tow, traverses the city in search of tasty ice cream treats.

I couldn't get past the third paragraph and photos before drool deluge began. Watch out for Buzz Buzzard and good luck, I'm off to buy some creamy.

Photo Wedns: 09/03/09: Sensing a Parade, the Dragon strayed

Urban Chinese Dragon bones

I'm not familiar with a Chinese cultural parade through Crown Heights, so I assume this mythical creature got lost. Or maybe it's just early for next week when the West Indian Day Parade/Carnival marches down Eastern Parkway, just a block away from where this photo was taken.