Search the archives of this Brooklyn Born Blog!


More about this blog

Brooklyn Born Blog Subjects

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Photo Wednesday 11/17/10 New To Market Edition

hah. I just noticed my last few photos all seem to happen in the wee hours of the night. Working 55 hour weeks will do that.
new on Franklin Av
and yet there is no end to the activity on Franklin Ave day or night. And it's good stuff at that as witnessed by today's Wednesday photo featuring the new market opening between Sterling and St. Johns in place if the former "Nairobi's Corner" daycare. (in Crown Heights of course)

Word on the skreet is it's a new market that will feature an eat in area an specialize in Asian items. The skreet also claims this new business is a spin-off of current Quasi-health/fruit market, Nam's.

stay tuned for more.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pawn Shop Alternatives : Tonight

If you haven't heard there's a pawn(shop)war going on in Crown Heights (or if you prefer Crow Hill)
The gist, the owners of a local laundromat at the corner of Park Pl and Franklin Ave have decided to setup a PawnShip in the rear if their building.

This caused much sadness and consternation among many residents (this writer included) because of the way in which Pawn Shops ensnare lower income peoples in a negative cycle while the fast cash offered obscures those negatives.

Residents were so motivated they contacted one another, including and other local businesses including the multifaceted arts space Launch Pad who with councilwoman Letitia James held an impromptu rally.

All of this was and continues to be well covered by the ilovefranklinave" blog

During the rally concerned residents expressed many truths about pawn shops and how instead of provinding economic opportunity to people with low funds they actually help keep people down. This post is intended as a brief but I'll be happy to go into details in the comments section of this post.

Regarding the pawn shop it's placement, questions of zoning and the overall legality of the business were also called into question.

The result seemed to be successfully preventing the pawnshop from opening. But like a bad penny the shop has since turned back up and seems determined go open soon.

Video from the protest rally against the shop brought some interesting aspects of the debate about pawn shops. A small but vocal number of residents came out in support of the planned pawn shop and stated their intent to do make use of it. These residents expressed their frustration that they could not find any other access to credit or loans and that for them the pawnshop was the only option. Some of those in support said they intended to look for work in the pawn shop and that despite several new businesses on Franklin Ave in the last two years, they weren't able to find employment from them.

The video especially impressed me for the thoughtful and civil nature of the public debate despite obvious passions and personal interests.

As the debate continued residents opposed to the Pawn shop suggested other methods of credit and loans to the shop supporters and the result so far is in the photo above.

Tonight at the LaunchPad space at 7:30p there will be a with the purpose of connecting people with few credit options to local bankers who can offer options.

Launch Pad is located at 741 Franklin Ave between Park and Sterling Places. I encourage you to attend even if you don't have a financial need. I expect it'll be a great way to stay aware of how the community doing.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Dude is this your car?

Bad-Off-Bumper 1
I feel like this car that was askew (if not quite parked)on Prospect Pl. last night may have been stolen or at least the recipient of a less than able driver.
But if I am right about the former, anyone looking for a white car with Pennsylvania plates?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Late Photo Wednesday : Voting Too Damn High Edition


I haven't been in a post Repub House takeover stupor but I have been itching to post my photos from the polling place wayyyyy out in scenic Flatlands where most current brooklyn dwellers don't know an whose distance I only recall on election day. Seriously one day I will update my voting address.

In the mean time the new-dangled polling machines - Which as we SHOULD all know by now are just like standardized tests forms, was a little modern, a little archaic (do I really need that voter stand to make my selections?) couldn't I just sit on the floor off to the side and work it out?

but here's photos for the wackasses who don't vote.


and I would be remise if I didn't mention I really woulda voted for Jimmy McMillian as Govenor but by the time I saw his name I'd already voted for the other guy. Jimmy, your name was TOO DAMN HIGH (on the ballot).


don't worry Jimmy, I got you next time.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

3D Restaurant in Crow Hill, status?

3D'S Restaurant
The warm and delicious "3D'S" Restaurant (pictured) at the corner of Franklin and Sterling Place in Crown Heights seems to have been closed for some time, at least every day when I pass it is. A family owned and operator that has been open for decades, they make tasty island fare and especially delicious Chicken and Fish Pattys.

Does anyone have info about the recenting goings on?


Photo Wednesday 10/27/10: A Bridge 2.... Edition

Very big milestone in the life of this Brooklyn Born Boy occurred recently, that an a series of videos I made involving the Manhattan Bridge ten years ago made this the right pic for this Photo Wednesday. Eras being bridged an all...
photo Wednesday contender

Plus the tones and values aren't bad either.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

PhotoWed 10/20/10 : An Unlikely pair Edition

I'm referring in the title to the tube socks of course, well no, not really.

Granted, the gent in the photo, complete as he is in camouflage, beret and that aforementioned pair of white tube socks is an unlikely somebody to be (of all things) holding up the wall on Prospect Place, but as I watched him hold it down, or keep it up (whichever you prefer) he was joined by a woman who seemed not to know him, and also seemed to be very much the prototypical Brooklyn Sunday church lady.

And there they are.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

That New York Spirit (from NYT 10/18/10)

Just read this Dan Barry article in today's NY Times, its the eulogy of a beautiful dynamic vivacious woman, who was more character than words could account. She in my mind is quintessentially the vanished New York City that's celebrated, conjured and missed.

I recommend reading it:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hail of a storm in Brooklyn

yeh.... the insta-hailstorm was a few days ago and lasted for all of 15 minutes but life's been busy for this Brooklyn born boy so finally here's some video showing what happens when the subway is your only refuge from the angry balls of ice hailed down Brooklyn last week.

Check for the guy with the umbrella, to
see the velocity of the hailstones:

unfortunately I'm posting this from my iphone so I'm not able to make it viewable but the link should lead you there.
Finally had time to get the video up, enjoy:

Monday, September 27, 2010

Newtown Creek Clean to Come

Great News

Newtown Creek (the water inlet that leads from the East River to separate Brooklyn and Queens) has been dedicated a Federal Super Fund Site.

This is the second SuperFund site designated in Brooklyn after the Gowanus Canal dedication in March of this year.

If you're unfamiliar the waterway has been polluted for over 150 years and continued to be polluted until the 70s. among other things more crude oil has been spilled in Newtown Creek than at the Exxon Valdez site in Alaska.

Details in the NYTimes:

Let the cleanup begin!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

photo Wednesday: Danger overhead

bklyn tornado devastated this park on Washington and Pacific

(above: a view of Park bordered by Atlantic, Washington, Underhill and Dean Street, nearly destroyed Ny last week's Tornado and lightning storm)

As I took these photos of damaged trees at this small park, two men sat on a bench inside the yellow caution taped off area. The photo below shows a large limb that is severed and laying on other branches but essentially unsecured. two men sat
on a bench nearby.

bklyn tornado devastated this park on Washington and Pacific
dangerous Bklyn trees after the tornado-6
I actually mean to sound like an alarmist when I say I hope no one is killed this week by a tree from last week's storm.

Several large tree limbs are severed or nearly severed and are essentially hang over people's heads. I witnessed and took photos of several trees who's branches seemed far from secure (as of Monday 9/20) and I wonder if anything is being done about the danger posed.

The photo above is from Lafayette and Classon avenues and it shows a large limb dozens of feet above the sidewalk with a frayed twisted connection. Look at the closeup below and ask yourself,"would
I feel comfortable walking under that tree?"

dangerous Bklyn trees after the tornado-8
(note the twisted bare part of the branch that is the only thing preventing it from falling)

I listened to the local news talk about the clean up of the debris from last weeks storm but throuhout Prospect and Crown Heights, Clinton Hill and Bedford-Stuyvesant I still see several trees and heavy limbs dangling like Damocles. Every day since last week I become more concerned about the possibility of inadvertent death resulting from inaction.

dangerous Bklyn trees after the tornado-4
(the hanging branches in this photo are
from a tree on Classon btw Lefferts and Atlantic near the church in the next photo)
dangerous Bklyn trees after the tornado-5

I was shocked so many trees came down, Brooklyn before four years ago never got a tornado in my life and I expect most people were similarly shocked. So it seems reasonably outside most new yorkers are not thinking that under a clear blue sky like today's a hunk of damaged tree might still fall with enough weight to kill. That reality probably sinks deeper into the backs
of most new yorker's minds with each passing day.

Many of the damaged trees are in parks and near schools, it's unlikely that children are going to have enough awareness to consider falling tree limbs a danger. Most trees I saw had little more than some yellow
"caution" tape to keep people out of harm's way.
dangerous Bklyn trees after the tornado-2
(The large branch hanging from that tree is in a small park connecting to the middle school on Sterling Pl. between Washington And Classon Avenues)

dangerous Bklyn trees after the tornado-3
(a wider view of the photo above where a middle school playground is)

So, rather than wait for the city to announce that it has mapped all the precariously hanging trees and that it has a plan to keep passersby away until the damaged trees can be cleared. I'm writing this to urge concerned people to call 311 or local precient or politician and keep further tragedy from happening.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Brooklyn Cyclones

I'm late in mentioning anything about the as yet unconfirmed tornadeos that tore through Park Slope, Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant before heading on into Queens to share the love. (I did tweet prior to the storm at least, hope it helped)

The roofs that were sucked up from their homes in BedStuy is a seriously unbelievable result of the storm that apparently moved at 30 to 50 miles an hour across the area.

I rode the storm out at work hoping I remembered to shut my windows least I find all my belongings exploded out into the Crown Heights streets.
Ididnt find that but I did see on St. Johns a massive amount of tree limbs large enough to have closed the street between Bedford av and Rogers. The tree debris seems to have severally damaged a white car and caused the B45 bus to be rerouted.

Harder to account for are lightning strikes of which I saw many. And in my opinion a tree I took a photo of on Eastern Parkway near the Chase bank on Bedford Ave looks to have a burn mark where a major branch about 24 inches across tore off a tree.

It was a blessing in disguise that the intense rains caused so many to clear the streets prior to the several winds ripping through the streets. That some much damage was cause an so few fatalities resulted (I one confirmed in Queens) is also amazing.

An as I write this an update, the weather service has just confirmed two touchdowns of tornados. One landed in Park Slope as reports indicated yesterday and I then moved northeast through the edge of crown heights and into Bed-Stuy.

Five urban tornados in four years in the fall no less. Can we all start agreeing climate change and global warming is real?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

City Council votes to ignore NYC elegance

This is a mistake.

(Photo source NY Times)

In a vote today that you've probably heard about already, the city council has given permission for a towering building to be constructed almost the same size and less than two blocks away from the Empire State Building (seen in the rendering above).

The building is unremarkable and huge it's like putting a garbage can next to a wedding cake. Sure the garbage can may have a purpose but it doesn't need to be in position to drag down the vibe. Yes, vibe, sensation, emotion the resonance that comes from our collective built environment.

The issue I have isn't that we should forever never again build a giant skyscraper in Manhattan. My issue is that we should build up, not pander down.

Specifics from NYTimes:

(updated post)

I am still saddened by the eventuality of this new building and for anyone who supports the planned new skyscraper I'd like to say this;

My biggest issue with this new building is that presedent is being established as a result of the process that is allowing this plan to go forward and that presedent opens the door to an overwrought unremarkable city.

The presedent and message is there is no sacred space in New York (and you could argue there have been some). And while I agree New York is a constantly evolving city that shouldn't be restrained stricty out of nostalgia, the more worrisome presedent is that there is no standard that city altering construction needs to meet. I'm aware during the construction of the Empire State Building and other landmarks there were people who didnt want it's size and scope, but no one could reasonably argue against it's grandeur and elegance. That's not the case with the planned new skyscraper on the block. It looks like a nondescript object no more distinct than the cap from a magic marker. In fact it's less distinct that the tower in Jersey City which is very similar in design.

And that's my biggest problem, that the city council has given the go ahead to alter the most famous skyline in the world and directly impact te most famous skyscraper in the world to date and they didn't even establish a standard for what it should take to be worth of causing such a reality altering addition.

I also feel and hav felt for a decade that this is an indirect result of the destruction of the Twin Towers. In a pre-9/11 world this would have never flown. 9/11 altered the skyline taking away in a day what had been the last and arguably most significant realignment to Manhattan's skyline in a day. Afterward we yearned to retouch the skyline, initially it was to repair, soon after the conversation turned to revision. Major gestures were planned but like ground zero itself few of those intentions grew ion results. But it didn't matter because the sacrosanct skyline was a thing of the past, the idea had been accepted universally as a result of that day that the skyline would ve different based on choice to counteract the changes made against our will.

Most of the art and aspiration of the months following 9/11 were left to twist in the wind until nothing remained but a public and governmental acceptance of change and then the developers were free to get plans approved that would have been preposterous until that fateful Tuesday morning.

Think to yourself or google regarding changes to the coot post 9/11. There's an entirely new canyon of towers on sixth av just between 23rd and 31st. Williamsburg has towers, downtown Brooklyn has towers Trump builds a mega hotel at Soho's edge. An 80 story tower blocks from the Brooklyn Bridge. I see it as all resulting from that September morning.

Regarding the new skyscraper to rival the Empire state, if you consider the empty lure of jobs the developer offered (most temporary) and the faked necessity (calling it "much needed office space" in a market already over stocked with empty offices and that's before the new Worl Trade Center is built) and the payoff factor as I call it, ($100 million to the MTA to renew surrounding stations the developer Vornado has offered to sweeten the deal, the MTA's acceptance of the $100mil is a clear message to other developers that they need only pay-up to build-up) and I think you have clear reasons why approving this plan was a mistake and an declared disregard for past standards.

The precedent the NYC City Council should have set is that the skyline of New York City aspires to be and often is an elegant space and those attempting to add buildings to the skyline should seek to add elegance not enormous mediocrity.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Photo Wednesday: 08/18/10 You can take the cat out of the jungle...

You can take the cat out of the jungle...

You can take the cat out of the jungle but you can't take the jungle out of the cat.

Franklin Ave, Crown Heights

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Photo Wednesday: Evangelical Street Edition

"God is Good"

"God is Good"(above, written in pink)

A child's chalk musings on a Bedford Av sidewalk this week.
Interestingly there was a tombstone drawn as well (which I didn't capture well) just above this part of the drawing. The tombstone only had one date "1986"

I was going to write "hard to argue against the message", then I started debating with myself about whether the phrase "God is Good" is arguable or not.

Recently I was enjoying an appropriately summer styled bit of lounging on an Eastern Parkway bench near Franklin. I lay out on the three planks of wood like a banana man in his tropical hammock enjoying all aspects of the moment. After a while delibrately strolling down Franklin, hunger grabbed me so I headed for a local longtime food spot. Just as my mind began to taste my soon to be purchased morsels, it became clear I had no wallet. Worse, I had a wallet it simply wasn't with me any longer. Worst than that, I had only minutes earlier used my ATM card to withdraw $80 and I'd placed that cash in my wallet which was no longer with me.

The store proprietor asked, "anything else?" I answered "be right back" and I tore out of the store a man possessed. Seconds and shortness of breathe later I was back at my lounging spot on Eastern Parkway. I saw a mirage. My wallet lay under the bench visible to me from twenty feet away. It was open like a young girl's prom night heart. So surreal was the sceen, if my wallet would have shut itself, or better began to flap it's panels around the center crease, taking flight in the process and fluttering away all elusive butterfly like, I would not have been shocked at all. Either of those outcomes would be no more unbelievable than finding the wallet, ten minutes after dropping it, in broad daylight on a Saturday in July, with a twenty sticking up like a bookmark no less.

Later back at the food shop I answered the proprietor's question by telling my lost&found wallet story, to which she replied "God is Good!" Never knowing how to respond to that phrase personally, I didn't and instead offered a meaningless clump of loosely connected words. She again said "God is Good" and added as punctionation, (with the same cadence) "...all the time".

The provocateur in me chimed in. "well it wasn't a good time when that guy got shot earlier" referring to the verbal exchange that ended in gunfire on these same streets two weeks ago. The proprietor paused, I couldn't tell if she was going to lay into my irreverence or what. Finally she stopped her ponder and resumed her speech completing with, "...well those who ain't good, God gets".

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Soul Summit Today!! Fort Greene Park! (updated)

the last Soul Summit of 2009 in Fort Greene Park - 50So yesterday's news was a deadly downer, but today is a dancing delight! (yeh I'm corny, I grew up reading the Daily News, much luv NYDN!)

(Update: The Soul Summit, which has been getting short-changed by the city for years, shrinking from a summer long event to recent years when there have only been three days of soul glow, was cut further this year. The same edition of the soul summit I referred to in this pos turned out unexpectedly to be the last. It was during the DJ crew's spoken thanks to the crowd of dancers an supporters in general that we heard the MC say "this is the last Soul Summit if the year" Meaning this year's soul summit lasted only two separate days. Local officials tried to express the reduction as a result of compromise with other neighborhood elements, personally I think Fort Greene Park having hosted a separate concert earlier in the summer somehow cut into te number of park events local residents were willing to accept. In any event it's a fine example of the old broken and dangerous park being good enough for locals and the new refined realigned park being too good for us. Yeah that motivates improvement...)

Today is Fort Greene Park is another edition of the hilltop House party known as the Soul Summit and it's wonderful. Families, old friends, dancers, artisans all moving to the steady beat of rare grooves and deep house music.

It's going to be fun, it's free to come, and there will be good memories made.
the last Soul Summit of 2009 in Fort Greene Park - 37Fort Greene Soul Summit

I love coming out here, seeing the beautiful people of all shapes, sizes, colors and cultures. United in rhythm.
the last Soul Summit of 2009 in Fort Greene Park - 53
 It's from 3pm to 8pm so the music won't stop when the sun drops...

Fort Greene Soul Summit

The Soul Summit party has been a tradition since at least 2002 in 2003 it moved to Fort Greene Park where its been ever since For more details:

And if you are into social dance (an umbrella term for many forms of dance including House) theres also the Coney Island Dancers who get down on the Coney Island Boardwalk (natch) weekends all summer along.

the last Soul Summit of 2009 in Fort Greene Park - 51

1 Shot on Franklin Av

Yesterday afternoon in the midst of a beautiful summer's day there was that most unfortunate activity on Franklin Avenue. According to eyewitnesses a verbal altercation between two young (possibly teenaged) males turned lethal as one male pulled a handgun out and began firing at the other. Eyewitness report one shot fired followed rapidly by two more. The intended target was shot once in the leg. He was said to bleed profusely and was taken away by ambulance. Police arrived shortly after, and again according to eyewitnesses a suspect was apprehended within hours.

I was showing my cousin how the neighborhood changed when I ran into people who told me what happened.

In my mind of course this is arguable the worst aspect of crime taken place in the area, my sources indicate the shooter was erratic, which may account for him shooting three times at nearly point blank range and missing twice. Not that I am wanting professional marksmen to be committing gun crimes, but the only thing worse than criminal behavior to me anyway is wild unfocused criminal behavior.

The shooting took place on Franklin between Anyone passing by could have gotten shot. Which brings up my next thought, as much as people want to talk, or imagine, what the "bad ol' days" were like, let me tell you, people did not pull out guns at 2pm in the middle of a crowded street. Granted there were those crack days where anything goes and a drive by would happen, but and understand I am not condoning anything merely stunned by the lack of logic, those idiots doing drive bys had an escape planned. Apparently the shooter had so little awareness of what his actions would lead to that he then ran, down Franklin Av, past dozens of people. More baffling to me is Franklin Av is heavily policed these days. Since the shootings that happened a few months back (this brings the total of shootings on ten block strip of Franklin Ave this year to at least three) and an increase in robberies (which I personally experienced in May) local Police authorities and representatives have saw to an increase in foot patrols that is visible on and around Franklin av, day and night.

Again I'm not really seeking logic from the type of individual who would pull a gun in broad day light as a means of winning a verbal disagreement, but it just increases the concern factor. As I have written my belief is personal vigilance lowers the risk of being caught up in a crime/violence situation. But random ignorance is a lot harder to protect against. Stray bullets even harder.

A friend was attempting to walk down the street when it happened and he had to duck for cover. Thank goodness for his quick reactions but who wants to be dodging bullets in their neighborhood?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Summer, Blowing through the jasmine in my mind

(above) "Summer Breeze" Recorded by: by Seals And Crofts available on Summer
(That's my attempt to show appreciation for my usage of "Summer Breeze"

The days have been breezing by this summer, for me at least. Last year, without going to deep was one of me floating on a raft too small in an ocean too big. This sun season, I'm on a yacht, not mine, but still a comfortable passenger and often going too fast to notice my travels.

All that to say this post will be a digest of what's past and what I've noticed of late in regards to Brooklyn, New York and me this summer (so far):

The tree terrorist is back. Sunday morning I spotted branches ripped from Bedford thru Franklin and down Eastern Parkway. (photos to come) Last week I saw branches ripped off down Eastern Parkway all the way to Grand Army plaza. I presume this is still the reason.


The apartment building that was heavily damaged by fire last year at the corner of Franklin Av and Park which housed many residents and two beloved eateries, seems to be getting renovations after a year without residents. Men were unloading trucks with bricks and other construction materials into the building during the week of July 1st. (photos to come)


In the midst of the heatwave (Which I missed) Con Ed kept trying to keep Brooklynites and Bronxies (what are the Bronx denizens called?) by threatening to cut power if we didn't first. I saw one of those enormous trucks with the feeder-cables sitting on Franklin as ConEd workers went down on Park. But we seemed to have come through it all fine.(photos to come)


Just when New Yorkers though LeBron's going to Miami would suck all the sports news out of the air, it was suddenly time to say goodbye to George Steinbrenner. A man who let's face it handled more money that most of us every will, who affected the news, the people and the city and occassionally the world in away many never have, and who (this is important to my sensibilities) came from advantage like most people who have affect on the world. All that to say he was not the common man. But his life in New York made you, if you were a certain kind of New Yorker, feel he was as reachable as putting your hands on the concrete at the base of the Empire State Building. He was a tangible part of New York for Millions of New Yorkers who would never meet him, and who frankly he gave to, but overall took from. I quantify that last statement by fact that the New Yankee Stadium was built with around $1 Billion in public subsidized money and that the new stadium's revenues go to the Steinbrenner family and not to the city despite building on city land and enjoying city cops as security among other unpaid for city services.

However in terms of passing, I felt a shift in my perceptions with the passing of George Steinbrenner as much for his outsized personality as for my own sense of time and place. officially another aspect of the life I've lived, the place I knew has ceased to be part of the now and is forever more the then. I don't think that's over stating considering my entire life has known the character of the Boss representing a certain NYC archetype, brooding and billowing in the Bronx and now that mountain moves from the earth to the memory.

In a related story the times has this piece written by the son of a woman who as a young woman got to know a young George, it's a sweet series of anecdotes about "the Boss" that show how we're all young, at least once:

Last week was Summer event crazy with The Roots, Talib Kweli, Bajah and the Dry Eye Crew and more at the Prospect Park, Jimmy Cliff (!) at Summer Stage in Central Park, The Soul Summit (Dance Party) back at Fort Greene Park, and non stop line up of events performances and concerts at other parks around the city. I didn't write about any cause I was too busy getting down.

Next up at the MLK Jr Concert series at Wingate Field and Seaside Summer Concert series Asser Levy Park/Seaside Park, are these events

Here a schedule for the Martin Luther King Jr. and Seaside concert series in Brooklyn. All shows start at 7:30 p.m., and are free. Information: (718) 222-0600 or
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. SERIES Wingate Field, Brooklyn Avenue, between Rutland Road and Winthrop Street, Wingate.
Monday: Toni Braxton
July 26: Musiq Soulchild and Chrisette Michele
Aug. 2: Salt-N-Pepa, Naughty by Nature and Slick Rick
Aug. 9: Aretha Franklin
Aug. 16: BeBe and CeCe Winans, and Fred Hammond
Aug. 23: Sean Paul and the Mighty Sparrow
SEASIDE SUMMER CONCERT SERIES Asser Levy Park/Seaside Park, West Fifth Street and Surf Avenue, where Brighton Beach meets Coney Island.
Thursday: The Beach Boys, the Turtles, the Monkees and Mark Lindsay
July 29: George Thorogood and the Destroyers, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes
Aug. 5: John Legend
Aug. 12: Aretha Franklin
Aug. 19: The B-52s and Belinda Carlisle
Aug. 26: Annual Latino Music by the Sea concert

And I want to draw attention to a few blogs I read.
First the Kensington Stories written by Ron Lopez. His perspective comes as a life time resident raised in the neighborhood of Kensington, think Church Avenue on the F (and now G) Train (although he always writes about his place up state). We've exchanged some letters and Ron's a good guy with good stories of the old neighborhood ( I lived there for three years, but a bit after Ron's day).

Next up is back2brooklyn.blogspot written by Nora Campisi. I don't know much about Nora, but her stories are authentic Bensonhurst, Brooklyn and come with some great photos.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Photo/Video Wednesday 07/07/10: Summer Dirty Gritty Edition

Ah summer... hot, outdoors and thanks to less than civil Brooklynites, filty.

I'm reposting from Gothamist, the Brooklyn Paper and the Daily News with stories and video of Prospect Park post 4th of July trash strewn, and the ashtray formerly known as Coney Island beach thanks to careless smokers. Although in fareness Coney Island while dirty is still cleaner than it used to be....

The Daily News writes:

The Daily News was easily able to gather a small mountain of butts from the sand - nearly 1,000 in all - as the holiday crowds thinned on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

"It's disgusting," said Michael Austine, 50, of Middle Village, Queens, as he surveyed the tobacco addicts' litter.

"It's like sitting in a giant ashtray."

Meanwhile from Prospect Park comes this video narrated by Gersh Kuntzman of the Brooklyn Paper:

One thing I notice in the video of the park is some people seemed to try and use the trash bins available, but the parks could clearly use more. Perhaps bringing out large dumpsters for Holiday weekends or having staffers come by at the end of the day and point out to park goers where to dump. Maybe that would help with clean up?

The following statement from the Parks Department's Adrian Benepe, regarding not only Prospect Park but all city parks:

“The July 4 holiday weekend, fireworks display, and the extremely hot weather together made for a triple-whammy as huge crowds flocked to the city’s beaches, pools and parks.

More than 2.4 million went to the city’s 14 miles of beach over the three-day weekend, with more than 1.1 million on Monday alone, watched over by a large municipal lifeguard corps. The 54 outdoor pools were filled to capacity, and tens of thousands more made use of spray showers in over 450 parks. Massive crowds also arrived at all the traditional picnic and barbecue spots.

At Prospect Park, clean-up crews were out working in the park every day of the long, holiday weekend from 5 am until midnight as thousands of park goers enjoyed picnicking and barbecuing from early in the morning to late in the evening. The clean-up continues all day today and throughout the week and the summer ahead, and we ask for New Yorkers to pitch in by carrying trash to the receptacles provided and leaving it neatly placed next to the receptacles if they fill up.

Don’t dump your coals near a tree because it will kill its roots. Recycle your bottles and cans. And remember, every time you re-use a water bottle, that’s one less plastic bottle going to a landfill.”

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Afro Punk is Back! Summer weekends officially start

Afro Punk that recent annual Brooklyn tradition fusing the cultures of rock, punk, skater, bmx, with a dusting of Hip Hop returns to the space across from the Brooklyn Academy of Music today and will be on through. Bad Brains and Mos Def are headlining the performances and the aerial action will be put up by some of the city's most daring skaters and bmxers.

Here's the post from last year's event, which served as my introduction to Janelle Monae:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

PhotoWed 6/23/10 : Capoeira posed Edition

Dance Africa outside BAM IMG_7980 1

I'm a little late with this pic, but that's how my wagon's been draggin'

This is from a group of Capoeira practitioners outside of BAM during this year's Dance Africa festival in Fort Greene Brooklyn of course.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Mermaid Parade Coney Island Brooklyn 2010

I made it out to Coney after all... here's some pics:




I so wanted him to sing "under da sea"
I so wanted him to sing "Under da Sea"



lil ducks


these guys had a very dramafilled guidorific screaming match for ten minutes and two blocks,something about a girl

water bottle

Brooklyn's Famous...



she reminds me of Darryl Hannah in "Splash"

sometimes you have to get away


I always wanted to take one of these pics

Mermaid affection


"Line do not cross"

the end