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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Photo Wednesday 08/31/11: Summer Frames

As we head into Labor Day weekend I'm already nostalgic for Summer and the scenes that are slowly going to transition. Like this one:

Summer in the Subway

Sunday, August 28, 2011

After Hurricane Irene

This song seems so appropriate right now:
Hurricane Irene had a good run. Like an unwanted crackhead calling to say she's on her way, we feared the worse, but thankfully she tripped up on the doorstep and was too much of a mess to be a focused disruption.

There is flooding in low-lying areas, which includes MTA trainyards in Coney Island and North-East Harlem, each near the water. For that and other reasons the subways are still down, I hope the city isn't punting on Monday and they at least put the buses back in service.

For those who think the flooding fears were unwarranted check out this photo from Chelsea near 11th ave by Scott Witt:

Irene - West Chelsea
Still the dreaded storm surge of water, pushed in by the hurricane, aimed at the low seawalls of the waterfront, The Battery and the financial district didnt come as high as feared. There was flooding along the water's edge on the west side highway and other sea-leveled areas like Gowanus. Areas of Brooklyn and Queens that generally flood in big storms did again. And trees across the city are being uprighted or collected after being uprooted.

Overall we've weathered the storm and can get back to our personal calamities.

Be safe and have great day!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

AfroPunk Festival Rain or Shine in BKlyn this WkEnd


For evacuation zone info go to

As you should know by now this year's Afro Punk Festival has been indefinitely postponed due to Hurricane Irene, which is slated to hit late Saturday and all day Sunday.

With the mandatory evacuations of coastal NYC and the scheduled shut down of mass transit at 12 noon today, no to mentioned the forecasts of 60+ MPH winds, its not wonder the shot won't be going on any time too soon.

The line up included Santigold, Janelle Monae, Cee-Lo and FISHBONE during a rare NYC concert appearance! Plus skaters, Bmxers, vendors of food, gear and culture in all directions, what could be bigger than that? Possibly a hurricane.


Current forecasts continue to show a possibility of a direct hit with NYC this saturday and sunday which of course are were the days of the festival. I've been looking forward to this for weeks since the announcement dropped back in July and now the elements seem to conspire against it.

Well the forecast held does hold open the possibility of a miss inland, or even better out to sea.

But after the stage collapse recently in Indiana that killed 7 due impart to a bad storm, you can bet people will err on the side of caution.

I hope the festival and especially the concert go off without a hitch, and as of now the promoters promise the festival will happen rain or shine. One thing is certain with that line up like that there's an incredible amount of talent and energy ready to be released so a storm is coming to Brooklyn's Commodore Barry Park (near the Navy Yard) whether it's made of a maelstrom or music we'll have to wait and see.

For more details check the Afro Punk Website

Afro Punk Festival scheduled for Saturday Aug 27 and Sunday Aug 28 @ Commodore Barry Park

Free to Enter

View Larger Map

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Nostrand Av Comm Clean Up Day - This Sat 8/20th at 10am

Have you ever been bothered by trash on your Crown Heights street, now's your chance to be part of the solution!

Details Below:

Nostrand Avenue Community Clean Up Day
This Saturday August 20th at 10am: 
sponsored by Council Member Letitia James; NYC Community Cleanup; the Crown Heights Mediation Center; The Prospect Heights Street Tree Task Force; and the Executive Director of IKOKO

Join us at the corner of Sterling Place and Nostrand Avenue Saturday to “Beautify and Unify” Crown Heights North

(Brooklyn, NY) In order to encourage and assist with ongoing Crown Heights North revitalization, Council Member James is sponsoring a “clean-up day” for Nostrand Avenue on Saturday, August 20th. The “clean-up day” will include graffiti removal, store front cleaning, garbage removal and street tree care. NYC Community Clean Up, a not-for-profit organization, will provide these services, except for street tree care, at no cost to the merchants and residents. Prospect Heights Street Tree Task Force will be responsible for the tree care which will include soil aeration, mulching and pruning. The Crown Heights Mediation Center conceived of the “clean-up day” as a way to support new & existing businesses on Nostrand Avenue.

This will be the first partnership of New York City Community Clean-Up, Prospect Heights Street Tree Task Force, and the Executive Director of IKOKO, Inc. (IKOKO is providing outreach and meeting space on Saturday), in which store-fronts will be encouraged to work together and revitalize an already vital merchant’s block. Council Member James encourages store owners to contact the Brooklyn Solution Center Branch of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce at (718) 875-3400, which provide alternate sources of capital and business solutions. Also, new store owners are encouraged to access the services of NBAT, a new business acceleration team through the Office of the Mayor in partnership with the City Council.

The point of the day is to bring together store owners and residents along the Avenue - merchants will receive services, free of charge, through the Center for Court Innovation. NYC Community Clean Up is a not-for-profit that uses community service credits for formerly incarcerated to remove graffiti, wipe down store fronts, and change garbage in litter baskets. This project, through the Crown Heights Mediation Center, from funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, encourages new and existing businesses in the district to grow, and through community entrepreneurs, it will help developments meet the burgeoning district.

“As a result of this clean-up day, we will support development of an already thriving community in Crown Heights, free of graffiti, and I am hopeful to continue working together to beautify the blocks. Crown Heights has so many wonderful stores that will now form an alliance from today’s event onward. This area, with its multicultural population, and thriving culture, has a prosperous future ahead of it,” said Council Member James.

WHO: Council Member Letitia James, New York City Community Clean-Up, Prospect Heights Street Tree Task Force, and the Executive Director of IKOKO, Inc.
WHAT: Nostrand Avenue Community Clean Up Day
WHEN: Saturday, August 20 beginning at 10 a.m.
WHY: Corner of Sterling Place and Nostrand Avenue in Crown Heights North

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Photo Wednesday 08/17/11: Ft. Greene Park Summer 2011 Edition

I don't want to alarm you, but summer is more than half over.
Like so many summers before this, too much is going on, all the time, even with rain-delays, for my one man operation to live it, record it and present it. The idea of doing a summer review in September came to mind, and then I realized the problem with that; nothing worse than looking back on a summer you can be part of, especially with the Fall chill creeping in. SO my suggestion to you and all is to take note of the days we have left, think of the sun and fun to come, and go get some (or some more) before it runs out.

One particularly summery place this year in Brooklyn has been Fort Greene Park, often over shadowed by it's bigger cousin Prospect, Ft. Greene Park has been a constant source of music, community and more a few times, really good eats. Below are pics from the Soul Summit and a few from the Fort Greene Fest held back in July.

The Soul Summit, a non-denominational church revival-slash- family reunion disguised as a House Music dance party (aren't they all though?) was a major event every Sunday from July to August for one brief Summer back round 2003 or so. But neighborhood grumblings pruned it down year after year until now it's nearly as easy to miss as Haley's Comet or some other fast moving celestial phenomenon. That being the case I went out and what essentially looks very much the same and different every year. In a word, it's "Family".

Ft. Greene Park Summer 2011 DSC_0316, originally uploaded by b'klynborn.
this photo came from the dance circle and the young brotha in the photo had been moving through the circle punctuated by drums and some rhythms only felt. The moment captured in the shot was that last step at the end of his motions.

Here is one of those cool brothas, a house head and dancer extraordinaire. I've seen him at various spots across the city and across the years, always accompanied by house music and i dont even know his name. Good shot though, lotta twisting and turning frozen in time.

to the beat of the drum(djimbe)

Soaking it in at the Soul Summit

Drummers and percussionists all.

I missed the better shot when dad came down to meet him, but still happy i caught part of the moment.

rhythm and hues

DJ Ian Friday working the decks

Church by any other name...

And for good measure I've added a few more photos that help describe the Fort Greene Fest held in mid-July

Mos Def rocking the crowd in Fort Greene Park, originally uploaded by b'klynborn.

Mos Def rocking the crowd in Fort Greene Park

Crowd shot looking back from the stage (Food tents cooking in the background, there were over 15 tents from local eateries selling food at the event)

From way back up on the hill watching the stage at the 3rd Annual Fort Greene Fest in Bklyn (of course)

Get up, get out and get sum summer.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Brooklyn Baseball

I found this is sort of throwback Brooklyn story in the NY Times, I couldn't understand the headline so I had to read the article, which I guess is the hallmark of a good headline.

The article is an obituary of Nat Allbright, who was a baseball announcer, of games he never saw.

Intriguing right? Here's the article:

Speaking of baseball (but in the present) for the second year I've attended a Brooklyn Cyclones game out at Coney Island. The minor league Cyclones (affiliates of the National League NY Mets, of course) pounded the Aberdeen Iron Birds (Baltimore Orioles farm club) pretty good.
Coney Island's own, Brooklyn Cyclones

In my more than humble opinion a game with the Cyclones is a good time to be had. The stadium is small but feels full and expansive. There are great sight-lines throughout the park and the background dressing of the Parachute Jump on one side, and the Cyclone rollercoast in the distance add to the easy summer atmosphere. Games also manage a lovably corny air with enjoyably hokey family friendly entertainment between innings and lots of local characters. Best enjoyed with a group, sitting behind home plate. Oh and if you sit along the foul lines, be ready to catch or duck.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Photo Wednesday 08/03/11 : KIDLAND

Kid Play In Ft Greene Park, originally uploaded by b'klynborn.

This is a photo I caught during last month'sFort Greene Festival titled "Kid Play In Ft Greene Park".The title doesnt expresswhat I thought was cool about the moment. I looked back to the food vendors (blue tents) and for a second because of how far off all the adults were it looked like the park had been taken over by mini-people, and to an extent, for the moment, it had. All of them busy with their own imagined industry. Good times.

July is done, enjoy what summer remains.