Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What You See in Sunset Park: Stormy Sunset

Most people look west for a view. This is east, along the 44th side of the park. My dinky camera didn't capture the depth of color, but you get the general idea. I love autumn.

Opportunity to Sing in a Christmas Celebration at St. Jacobi

St. Jacobi hosts free, public concerts every second Sunday of each month. The December concert will feature members of the community as part of the Messiah Community Sing-In. If you want to audition for the chorus, contact Marion Palm, the Music Healing Ministry Coordinator, at 718.439.8978.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bay Ridge's 3rd Avenue Festival is TODAY!

If you're up for a short walk or bus ride or subway ride, check out the 35th Annual 3rd Avenue Festival in Bay Ridge. It spans from 69th Street to 94th Street, and it features the typical attractions...plus a chicken wing eating contest. It might be worth it just to see what Leske's has for sale. Do they allow 5th Avenue businesses to participate in the 3rd Avenue festival?? Apparently, belly dancers will also be performing.

Bloomberg to Deposit Money in Sunset Park's Amalgamated

Want to meet the mayor? Want to see a bank receive a deposit instead of a bail-out? Will you be around on Monday?

The new Amalgamated on 5th Avenue and 45th Street will receive a $10 million deposit on Monday as part of the City's Banking Development District program. Mayor Bloomberg will arrive on Monday the 29th of September to deposit the money in the hopes that Amalgamated will help Sunset Park provide full banking services to its residents.

It's true that the CitiBank in the 50's is often overrun with people at the ATM and in line for services. And while 8th Avenue has no shortage of banks, and 4th Avenue has a Commerce and Chase 12 blocks apart, 5th Avenue hasn't had a lot of bank attention. However, at least two more banks are set to open up along 5th Avenue at some point in the near future...but who knows what near future means these days where banking is concerned.

Could be a good photo opportunity for the mayor. Check it out.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Autumn Arrives to the Sunset Farmers Market

from Stacey, the liaison for the Sunset Park Farmers Market:

Just a quick note to say that fall is in full swing at the Sunset Park Farmers Market! Butternut squash, broccoli, apples, celery, honey, and the most intoxicating Asian pears! Plus, the summer vegetables - like CORN, peppers, eggplants and more are still available! Lots of variety! We're there every Saturday, 8 AM to 3 PM, until the Saturday before Thanksgiving!

The corn has been extraordinary, and some butternut squash sounds really good with this rainy weather. I'll bet the honey would be delicious on some baked squash. Sweet tooth, anyone?

The Farmers Market is on 4th Avenue between 59th and 60th Streets.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Ellis Opens in South(est) Slope - or is it Greenwood Heights?

Or maybe it's Sunset Park? Well, it's within a pleasant enough walk or a quick bus ride from Sunset, so it counts. Besides, they invited us to a sampling of food and drink. You KNOW that deserves a looksee - and tasting.

Although Ellis just opened officially, it has had its doors open to the community for a month or so. It already has several reviews on Yelp.com. It seems like Ellis wants to become a true hangout in the neighborhood. Its calendar features Sunday's "Cheap Wings and Football" and Tuesdays advertise "Canned Beer and Pub Quiz Night." Can't beat that with a stick. Their Mondays sound especially enticing to a cheapskate like me: "Recession Special" - $8 buys you chili & bread with a Rolling Rock on the side. If the chili is any good, it rivals Steinhof's $6 Goulasch.

So the night they had various "press" over for dinner, they served a variety of their Southwestern fare. A highlight was the Rattlesnake skewer in a citrus and garlic marinade. Vanessa, the BViB correspondent who went to the dinner, said it was "surprisingly tasty" and it reminded her of a cut of excellent steak. It was bony, however, and the chef explained that this rattlesnake was from Florida, not Texas, so it was smaller and therefore not de-boned. Ellis usually serves Texas rattlesnake, which is de-boned, but the hurricane had affected the rattlesnake farms. The white bean soup with bacon was also good, and the catfish was tasty as well. The one dinner disappointment for Vanessa was the chicken (a sampling of chipotle, cilantro lime pesto, and red pepper). She described it as mediocre. However, the Sopapilla (Navajo fry bread) with honey and powdered sugar was "phenomenal." Worth a trip in itself!

Drink-wise, Vanessa tried the jalapeno caipirinha and a berry margarita. She warns that they pack a punch - which is exactly where most people want their cocktails to be. Vanessa also gushed that the service was excellent, and the staff was friendly and attentive. Southwest artwork decorates the walls, and together with the dark wood, it makes for a traditional, comfortable eating bar venue.

Vanessa and her husband had a fantastic time and truly enjoyed the food and drinks. She also said that she would definitely return and recommend Ellis to people she likes. Always a good sign.

Brunch has been postponed for a month or so, and high chairs have been promised in about the same amount of time. These are things I love. Is there anything better than a Southwestern brunch with a high-chair?
This is the rattlesnake, and the photo at the top of the post is the sweet and salty fry bread. Both were favorites the night Vanessa went. Photos courtesy of Ellis.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Waterfront Festival Postponed until Next Week

The 10th Annual CB 7 Waterfront Festival scheduled for this Saturday has been postponed until next week due to anticipated inclement weather. Now, on October 4th, 2008, the Waterfront Festival will spread joy and fun from Noon until 6 PM. I think it's the 10th Annual Festival. Here is the website for the Waterfront Festival. Last year's location was the 58th Street Pier, and I'm guessing this year's will be at the same location.

Sunset Park Educational Forum a Success

Read a wonderful summary of the news disseminated to Sunset Park Parents here on the educational blog MySidewalkChalk. The post comes complete with informational run-downs and how-to instructions for applying to the new high school. Check it out.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tiny, Tasty Tostadas at Matamoros

Thanks to Dave Cook from the blog Eating in Translation for this photo of tostadas de ceviche at Tatos Matamoros on 5th Avenue and 45th Street.

You don't get these kind of tostadas from the vendors in Sunset Park. Usually, Tacos Matamoros is lauded for its Tacos, but these are probably a popular dish as well.

First Annual Benefit for the Green-Wood Historic Fund

Want a fancy night out and do good for the neighborhood? Have $150 that's (probably) tax deductible? Or even $250 to be a VIP? Check this out:

First Annual Benefit for the Green-Wood Historic Fund
Friday, October 3, 2008
6 PM - 9:30 PM
At Green-Wood's Historic Chapel

RSVP today by calling Isabella Vlacci at 718-768-7300 or email info@greenwoodcemetery.org

The evening will honor Pulitzer Prize winning author Debby Applegate for her 2006 biography on Henry Ward Beecher, The Most Famous Man in America.

$150 Benefit Tickets include reception, performance, and ceremony.

$250 VIP Tickets include reception, performance, ceremony, plus a signed copy of Applegate's Pulitzer Prize winning book and a special pre-event VIP trolley tour. VIP tickets are limited.

Official Benefit Sponsors: Brooklyn Brewery, David Shannon Florist & Nursery, and Red, White & Bubbly.

Proceeds from this Benefit will directly fund The Green-Wood Historic Fund's mandate for preservation projects such as the Louis Moreau Gottschalk monument restoration (part of the Historic Fund's Saved in Time Program), educational programs in conjunction with our local
public schools on topics ranging from the Civil War to art and architecture and community outreach events such as our author lecture series in Green-Wood's Historic Chapel, concerts, dance performances and seasonal special events.

What You See in Sunset Park: Large, Painted Canvas

My husband wanted to pick up this canvas to paint over it. I am so glad he didn't. Where the heck would we store it? Where has it been and who has been shedding molecules all over it? Ever since I witnessed a dog peeing all over a piece of art left curbside, I just can't get comfortable with shopping on the street. Not to mention bedbug potential (Yeah, I know, painted canvas probably doesn't carry too many bedbugs, but still.). It might still be there if you want to take your chances. Take a walk up or down 45th between 5th and 6th Avenues for a mini-art-show.

39th and 5th Subway Under New Management

When the Subway here closed down (quite a while now), we wondered who would be leasing the space. Well, now we know. A few weeks ago the Subway opened up again. Perhaps the new $5 Footlong advertising blitz spurred confidence in a strong customer base. Who knows. It's good to have one less empty storefront there, but the lunch deal at Maria's, just a few doors down, gives the sandwich deal a run for its money. It's a couple of dollars more, but it's a lot of food (and the pozole is excellent).

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Reminder: Educational Town Hall on Wednesday Evening

The meeting is especially important for parents and 8th grade students who want to find out how to apply to the new high school.

Sunset Park Town Hall Meeting
Join us for this important Town Hall meeting, to address educational opportunities for all ages in Sunset Park.
Learn about:
- Sunset Park High School, opening Fall 2009
- Plans for a new 6th to 12th grade school
- Plans for a new Pre-K to 2nd grade "green" school
Wednesday, September 24th at 6:00 pm
at MS 136/MS 821
4004 4th Avenue, Brooklyn NY
Please bring family and friends!
For more information, please call (718) 788-3500. See you there!

What You See in Sunset Park: Modern, Traditional Dance

This is the same spot that had a group dancing a choreographed set of steps to Madonna's "Like a Prayer" just 15 minutes before. They had a banner, a mini-sound system, and lots of enthusiasm. Whenever they snapped their fans open, one of the dancers was a second behind. It made for a pretty cool echo-effect.

On the benches in front of the dancers sat three of the local drunkards taking in the scene. They seemed to be genuinely enjoying the show.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Dirt Pile Becomes Kids' Joy

It's been sitting there, in the center of the last few feet of the promenade, for over a week. What began as a fairly loose pile of dirt has morphed into a kiddie biker's dream. What this dirt pile has lost in height, it has gained in width. It also has several adrenalin inducing humps that send bikes sailing.

It looks like the young people who have centered the trail managed to center it between two of the poles that keep motorized vehicles from racing through the promenade area. There's quite a rut there in the center, although it's difficult to see from this photo.

I've seen kids biking, attempting to skateboard, climbing, and even some digging in this pile. What I'd like to know, however, is where is it supposed to go? And why was it dropped off more than a full week before anyone had solid plans for it? I mean, I'm a fan of dirt as much as the next mom, but didn't "they" figure it would immediately become a bike ramp? That was the first thing I thought of last weekend!

First Day of Autumn in Sunset Park

This chalk drawing in front of the Rec Center pretty much sums up moving from summer to autumn. Since the leaves aren't changing yet, and the brown, crunchy leaves don't make for very good photos (at least not with my cheap-o camera), this is my first day of autumn offering.

Send in photos of autumn in the park, if you have 'em!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Circus Amok Stopped By in Sunset Park

On Friday, at about 5:30 PM, Circus Amok landed in Sunset Park to delight and amaze children and adults alike. The entertainers presented "Sub-Prime Sublime" - which tells you what some of the topics were. One circus-goer wrote: "The performance, while geared towards children, provided laughs for adults as it was very politically inspired and based. For example, they talked about today's topics, such as the mortgage crisis, the economy, and elections. This was done by injecting these topics in a satirical manner during their performances. While these are extremely sensitive topics, they were deftly handled." She went on to say that her daughter was also entertained the entire time thanks to the bright colors, make-up, and constant activity on stage. Other parents also said that they and their kids really had fun at the performance. The "bearded lady" and tight-rope walker were especially popular, as was the band and juggling.

Thanks to Vanessa Velez of www.afreshphotograph.com for the photos!

Light Industry Does Bootleg Beckett

For reasons many of you know, I have an affinity for Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot. This Light Industry presentation looks like a fantastic opportunity to check out a rare video of New York's Classical Theatre of Harlem doing WfG in New Orleans in November of 2007. The video of the performance(s) will be presented by Paul Chan. Some information about him is below, and more is at Light Industry's website, at the above link.

from LI's email:

Because Godot was never meant to be seen outside its original context and form, and because of legal issues, there was hardly any video documentation of the performances themselves. But there are some. And tonight, he’ll show them for the first time in New York.

For more info on Waiting for Godot in New Orleans: here, here, or here.

In 2002, Chan was part of the American aid group Voices in the Wilderness that broke US sanctions and federal law by working in Baghdad before the US invasion and occupation. In 2004 he collaborated with the group Friends of William Blake to create The People's Guide to the Republican National Convention, a free map distributed throughout New York to help protesters to get in or out of the way of the RNC. In 2007. Chan worked with the Classical Theatre of Harlem and Creative Time to produce a site-specific outdoor presentation of Samuel Beckett's play Waiting for Godot in New Orleans.

Light Industry's shows are on Tuesdays at 8 PM. Tickets are $6 at the door.

55 33rd Street, 3rd Floor
Brooklyn, New York

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Lost Black Cat from 43rd Street

Apparently, the cat was seen just yesterday (Friday) in the neighborhood, so there is still hope that he's just fine.

From the owners:


A large, all black, long haired cat with yellow eyes named Black Jack disappeared from our home on 43rd between 8th and 9th Avenues in Sunset Park, Brooklyn on or around Wednesday, September 17th. He was last seen on the block on Thursday AM. He is friendly and scared. There is a generous reward if you help us find him. We really miss him terribly, so please be on the lookout.

Un grande gato negro, con pelo largo y ojos amarillos que se llama Black Jack desapareció de nuestra casa en la Calle 43 entre Avenidas 8 y 9 en Sunset Park, Brooklyn el miércoles 16 de setiembre. Fue visto cerca la casa por la mañana del 18. El es muy manso y sustado. Hay un recompensa generosa si nos ayuda encontrarlo. Lo extrañamos mucho así que por favor que lo busque.

Call/Llama: 917-822-3003 or 732-768-3253

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Industry City Creative Work Spaces Highlights a Different Group of "Food Finds"

Industry City has space for rent, and the Industry City Creative Work Spaces folks have you covered with their newly-booted website. You can check out the rest of their website/blog for information about work spaces in Industry City (rents go from $1100 to $3300 -with water views) here.

However, I'm much more interested in the simple things. The kind of simple things I found in their latest entry: Food Finds. What I like about this version of Sunset Park's food is that it gets off of 5th and 8th Avenue and checks out places that wouldn't otherwise get attention. From the sound of it, these places deserve the highlight. Cakes, lasagna, breakfasts, calzones, and even wraps are mentioned. All good things.

The prices mentioned are pretty enticing as well. With the economy tanking, it's worth a look.

Last Chance for Bridge as Icon at Tabla Rasa

Tabla Rasa has extended the Bridge as Icon exhibition through September 20, 2008. The gallery will be open this Saturday afternoon. Make sure to check it out!

You can preview "The Crossing" - a light installation at the gallery - here.

Table Rasa Gallery
224 48th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11220


Sunset Park Town Hall Meeting About Education on September 24th

This September 24th at 6 PM MS 136 will host a Town Hall meeting for Sunset Park residents who are interested in educational opportunities for their children. It's a time to learn about the new Sunset Park High School that's set to open in Fall 2009, the plans for a new 6th through 12th grade school, and the plans for a new Pre-K through 2nd grade school.

The Town Hall meeting is sponsored by Community Board 7 and the Center for Family Life. For more information, call 718-788-3500.

MS 136 is at 4004 4th Avenue.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Community Board 7 Meeting Tomorrow Night

This month's CB 7 meeting will begin the new season of getting involved in your community. The meeting begins at 6:30 PM and it is held at 43rd and 4th; the entrance is on 43rd Street.

I don't know any details about the agenda, but I'm sure there's a lot of business from over the summer that will come up.

What You See in Sunset Park: Jesus and a Dove

I missed a great shot because my battery pack needed to be changed. A moment before this was taken, the entire slab (covered in bird seed) was full of sparrows and doves. This one mourning dove was left by the time I was ready. This particular block of 55th Street has several front gardens dedicated to religious icons. It makes for an interesting stroll.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Light Industry Hosts Peter Goldman's "Echoes of Silence" introduced by Jonas Mekas

This Tuesday, at 8 PM, Light Industry will screen a rarely shown film: Peter Emmanuel Goldman's Echoes of Silence.

from the Light Industry description:

Peter Emmanuel Goldman's rarely screened debut, an underappreciated landmark of the New American Cinema, chronicles the lives of twenty-somethings adrift in New York City, finding tremendous pathos in the smallest moments: a furtive glance across a museum gallery, girls putting on makeup, a stroll beneath the Times Square Marquees. Composed with a lo-fi purity and bereft of diegetic sound, its shadowy images of youthful flaneurs are paired with evocatively hand-painted title cards and a dynamic soundtrack drawn from the artist's LPs that, when combines, conjure up a ballad of sexual dependency like none other.

Light Industry is at 55 33rd Street, on the 3rd Floor. Admission is $6 at the door.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Did You Try to Crack the Safe?

And did you succeed? The new Amalgamated on the corner of 45th and 5th held its traditional "Crack the Bank Vault" on Saturday. Here's the information about it from The Daily News...had I known about it earlier I would have advertised it, but I'm a bit slower on the uptake lately.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Bizarre and Disturbing Tales from Sunset Park

Domestic disputes are among the least favorite for police officers (and neighbors) because after the firestorm of adrenalin and aggression, they sometimes end up with denials from all concerned that anything serious was happening. Here's a story from this Friday morning that could have ended very badly. Let's hope that the end result is peace and a lesson learned for those involved.

At approximately 5:45 AM on Friday morning, a woman's screaming was heard coming from Sunset Park by residents who live on the 44th Street side of the park. A second woman's voice soon joined in screaming, "Leave her alone! Leave her alone! Somebody help!" 911 was called by several residents, and about a half a dozen people left their homes armed with bats (and one cane) to confront whoever the attacker was.

Thanks to the vandalized lamps along the walkways, very little could be seen by the responsible neighbors who arrived to the park at about the same time. From what they could gather, the dispute was between a woman and her ex-boyfriend (both seemed to be middle-aged); both were dressed professionally, and the other woman screamed at the approaching good Samaritans that he wasn't hurting the other woman, they were just arguing. It turns out that the screaming was about getting keys back from an ex-boyfriend.

The group of residents told the threesome off, and they pointed out that the man could have been seriously hurt (or worse!) because people thought that someone was being attacked and/or raped. That could have been one very bad ending to the situation. Another could have occured if the police had shown up (which they did, soon after) and seen a group of bat-wielding men surrounding a professional-looking group of three.

Thankfully, no-one was hurt, and hopefully the screaming women learned not to cry wolf. It would be especially depressing if a serious situation were not addressed due to cynicism from residents who have heard too many "play fights" from teens or screams from middle-aged women about keys.

Next time, change your locks and let him keep the keys.

Run-Down of Last Week's Community Council Meeting

Many grateful thanks to John for visiting the 72nd Precinct's Community Council meeting last Tuesday and then sending along the main issues and discussion items.

He reports that there was standing room only, which means that well over 100 people attended. There were also representatives from the 72nd Precinct and Community Affairs, Sanitation, the Parks Department, and the DA's Office. State Senator Eric Adams spoke briefly before making a getaway (probably to another community meeting).

The meeting was chaired by the new Precinct Captain, Captain Pintos. According to John, Captain Pintos listened to all the questions and complaints, addressed them professionally, and he even took notes!

From John's email:

Most complaints were quality of life issues and how the police intended to address them, such as:
- prostitution on 3rd avenue
- loud noise from clubs on 4th/5th ave
- traffic issues - parking/tickets on 5th between 18th & 36th St
- crime/vandalism (car break-ins)

Issues focused on Sunset Park itself:
- gambling by the checker/chess board tables
- public urination
- drugs
- someone proposed a curfew for the kiddie park, from 10pm - 8am, as they have found used condoms and little plastic bags in the morning.

(As an aside, City playgrounds are supposed to be closed from dusk onward. The question that hasn't been resolved in Sunset Park is who is responsible for locking the gates?)

Capt Pinto cited a statistic that over 390 arrests have been made to date in the 72nd Precinct. Apparently, this is the highest number in the entire City. (No statistics or charts were cited, however.) He promised to continue having police presence in the park.

Another concern brought up during the meeting was insufficient response when residents called the precinct about quality of life issues like passed out drunks, prostitutes, or urination in or around buildings. Residents complained that common responses were that the Precinct had no available cars or that the situation was not an emergency. In most cases, residents said, no officers would show up. If they did, they sometimes gave the original caller "attitude" and ask why the police were called for a non-emergency issue. Naturally, this response goes directly against what the Mayor and the Captain himself have told residents to do about Quality of Life issues.

Captain Pintos promised to address the issue of perceived police unprofessionalism in particular. He asked that when anyone calls the precinct, request the name of the person with whom they are speaking. Therefore, if an incident happens, there is a reference
point. He pointed out that he would not tolerate unprofessional behavior from his officers.

It sounds like the meeting at least allowed residents to vent a bit, and it introduced the new Precinct Captain to the community. Hopefully, Captain Pintos' assertions of wanting to work with the community are more than just words for a first impression. I'm looking forward to seeing if the new Captain will bring new energy to the Precinct.

Friday, September 12, 2008

What You See in Sunset Park: Kids Running

This interesting view of Sunset Park comes from Vanessa Velez of A Fresh Photograph; she's a Sunset Park resident who has supplied photos of events and scenes in the past as well. I think it's wicked cool.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sunset Park Woman is Missing; Help Sought

Sunset Park Woman Missing

Police are asking for the public’s help in locating a Brooklyn woman who was last seen leaving her Sunset Park home on August 30. Elena Evertsz left her home at 4906 5th Avenue at approximately 6 p.m. and hasn’t been seen since. She is 5’6” tall and weighs 155 pounds. She has brown hair with blonde highlights, green eyes, and a tattoo of the name “Kaitlyn” on her back. When she was last seen, she was wearing an orange shirt wit blue jeans and silver sneakers. Anyone with information on her whereabouts is urged to call Crimestoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Video of Citizens Arresting an Alleged Would-Be Thief

This showed up on both GowanusLounge.com and Gothamist today. I'm pretty sure it's 4th Avenue between 60th and 61st, but none of the signs look clear...however, the construction fencing looks like what's on the 4th Ave and 61st corner. Check it out if you're willing to be harangued with shaky camera work and salty language.

The summary is that a man whom bystanders believe has just robbed and then cut someone with a razor blade is apprehended by those bystanders. He's on the ground, surrounded by men (and one very angry woman) scolding him and protecting him from people who want to beat him up. They are waiting for the police to show up. The police finally get there (after one man gets a kick in at the kidney) and cuff and search him.

A caveat anytime something like this is shown: It is dangerous, albeit commendable, to chase and catch a thief (vandal, mugger, generally naughty person) because you never know what they might have up their sleeve. Also, situations like this can quickly become even more ugly if those involved end up taking not just the capture but also the punishment into their own hands. The men involved here did a good job of keeping physical retribution to an absolute minimum (from what we see on the video), although the epithets dashed at the man on the street (literally) are pretty ugly.

Here's the link from GowanusLounge.

Public Hearing Wednesday Night about Land Use and Cabaret

CB 7 will hold a Public Hearing on Wednesday, September 10th at 6:30 PM about two Land Use applications on 20th Street. (BSA Application #182-85-BZ and BSA Application #183-85-BZ)

Also, the Public Hearing will include a Cabaret and Catering Application for Art Plaza Corporation at 620 62nd Street.

The Public Hearings will be at 4th Avenue and 43rd Street; the entrance is on 43rd Street.

Sunset Park Festival is Back!

Get ready for our local street fair! From 11 AM through 6 PM on Sunday, September 14th 5th Avenue will be full of food, music, rides, crafts, and lots of stuff to buy. It stretches from 44th Street to 59th Street, so take a pleasant (if crowded and loud) walk some time during the day.

Two stages (44th and 54th Streets) will have music and dancing. Also, the blow-up rides will be on 45th Street to entertain the kiddies. The Children's Museum will bring reptiles, the Library will bring books, and the FDNY will bring the fire and smoke house that was in the Park over the summer. Children can get ID kits, everyone can check out the Transit Authority's vintage bus, and lots of local community services will share information and sign up volunteers/members. If you get there early, you can even score a hula hoop in honor of the 60th Anniversary of the circular toy.

My personal leaning is to support the really local businesses for food and fun rather than the vendors who come to every street fair and sell the same stuff. But hey, it's your cash.

The Sunset Park Business Improvement District sponsors the festival, and you can see photos of last year's Festival here.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Brooklyn's Babywearing Meeting Returns to Sunset Park

Brooklyn's Babywearing Meeting for September will be in Sunset Park on September 10th from 2 PM - 4 PM. They'll be meeting in the grassy area in front of the flagpole, facing the East River.

Sunset Park can be reached by the R train to the 45th Street stop or the N or D trains at the 36th Street stop, and by the B63 bus on 5th Avenue. The meeting is free and open to all interested in babywearing.

Visit www.slingsinthecity.com for more babywearing info.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Light Industry: Live Saxophone with a mix of whiskey, crooked grins, and Kinky Sex (kind of)

This Tuesday at 8 PM Light Industry will be home to the kidnapped sounds of the saxophone. The artists' goal is to "make it sing...divert its song from the eternal fonts of dime-store muzak...[get it] stripped down, naked and raw" to take a different look at the saxophone's "ecstatic squeal." Phew! I guess the promised whiskey shots are a good idea.

The saxophone will be played (and stripped) by Briggan Krauss, and Rebecca Cleman, a writer, curated the show. See Light Industry's site for more detail.

Light Industry hosts film, music, art, and more every Tuesday. Tickets are $6 at the door. The door is at 55 33rd Street, on the 3rd floor.

Tomorrow Night is the 72nd Community Council Meeting

On Tuesday, September 9th at 7:30 PM you'll get your chance to meet the new 72nd Precinct Captain and air any concerns you have in the neighborhood. The meeting is at 4520 4th Avenue at the Marien Heim Senior Home.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sunset Resident Leads Murals With a Message

The Brooklyn Eagle is the latest media outlet to highlight some recent murals that are in the works or recently completed. The Sunset Park connection, besides that the latest mural is just south of what most people feel comfortable calling Sunset Park, is that Katie Yamasaki is a Sunset resident. She is the artist in charge of getting the provocative mural about city
students (focusing on girls), recruitment, and the military up on the walls around the City.

The project is run through Groundswell's Voices Her'd program, and it allows young artists to take an active and positive role in their communities.

The official mural dedication was to take place yesterday at 1 PM on 3rd Avenue at 23rd Street. I'm not sure if the weather interfered with the dedication.

It's a huge, beautiful piece of art. Check it out if you're in the neighborhood.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Then and Now: Looking at St. Michael's from 40th Street

St. Michael's tower is probably the most immediately recognizable part of Sunset Park, at least from afar. However, the story behind these photos is the change in 4th Avenue. The medians look lovely, don't they? Much nicer than the skinny, concrete "waiting areas" we have now. There were also gas lamps along the side of the street, and buildings didn't crowd the street with just the sidewalk to separate them from the street. Much healthier for whatever air gets in your window from our modern day traffic, I'd say.

The BPL photo doesn't have a year listed in the description, but judging from the other photos that do have dates attached to them, and the telephone lines seen on the street, it's probably from the early 1900's - 1910-ish? Anyone want to chime in with a more accurate guess?

Friday, September 5, 2008

St. Jacobi Hosts Concerts on the 2nd Sunday of Each Month

I wish I'd known about this a long time ago. Every second Sunday of the month St. Jacobi hosts free concerts for the community. The concerts are with professional musicians from around New York City. The September 14th concert is with The Sepia Ensemble. I haven't been able to find much information about The Sepia Ensemble, so if anyone knows what type(s) of music they perform or some background, please let me know! Concerts are at 4 PM, and they are free and open to the public.

St. Jacobi is on 4th Avenue at 54th Street. It was the first "Then and Now" that I featured here.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Half a Block Car Chase and Mash-Up

The New York Post has Sunset featured in its police blotter today. The gist of it is that an officer asked a double-parked driver to move, the driver ignored it, the cop went to write a summons, the driver took off, the cops chased, the driver stopped short, the cops ran into him and eventually took him in. Read the details here.

What's surprising is that a double-parked car on 5th Avenue was actually dealt with. What's frightening is that the mini-chase and crash occurred on 5th and 44th at about 4:30 PM, a very busy corner at a very busy time. Thankfully, no pedestrians or by-standers were hurt, according to the blotter.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sunset's New Amalgamated Received $10 Million

We have several banks popping up on 5th Avenue, and 8th has been inundated for a while. To me, it is better to have a bank than an empty storefront, but ideally I'd like to see more productive "neighborhood" type of establishments. Either way, it's great that the empty corner on 5th and 45th is no longer desolate.

From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle:

New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. and Finance Commissioner Martha Stark this week announced that the city’s Banking Development District (BDD) program has reached $200 million in deposits to support bank branches in underserved neighborhoods, including those in Brooklyn. In fact, Thompson and Stark made the announcement after Amalgamated Bank received a $10 million deposit through the BDD program following the opening of its branch in Sunset Park.

Read the rest of the article here.

Be An Active Citizen

Thanks to a fellow Sunset Park parent for reminding me of options in addition to 311 when I see disturbing items (she suggests "be it trash, vomit, or a broken swing at the playground") in Sunset Park. I would also include plastic foolishness vendors inside the playground and my epic favorite: broken, mangled fencing around the park.

Here's the useful list:

Community Board 7:
phone: 718.854.0003
email: communityboard7@yahoo.com

Sara Gonzalez, District 38 Council member:
phone: 718.439.9012
email: gonzalez@council.nyc.ny.us

Marty Markowitz, Brooklyn B. President:
phone: 718.802.3700
email: askmarty@brooklynbp.nyc.gov

Local 72nd Precinct:
phone: 718.965.6311

Julius Speigel, Brooklyn Parks Commissioner:
phone: 718.965.8920

Geoffery Croft, NYC Parks Advocate:
phone: 212.987.0565
email: croft@nycparkadvocates.org

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Here's Why it's Called Sunset Park

Sunset Park, Brooklyn, originally uploaded by Barry Yanowitz.

This gorgeous photo is from flickr, and it is attributed to Barry Yanowitz. Check out flickr for more of his photos.

72nd Precinct Community Council Meeting

Summer's over, at least according to the meeting schedules for community groups. The first local group to get back to meetings is the 72nd Precinct Community Council; the first meeting will be September 9th (next Tuesday) at 7:30 PM. Meetings are held at the Marien Heim Senior Citizens Home, located at 4520 4th Avenue. Meetings are held in the cafeteria on the first floor.

One of the major changes at this meeting will be the presence of the new 72nd Precinct leader, Captain Jesus Raul Pintos. He comes to Sunset Park and Windsor Terrace from the Central Park district, and he began in the 72nd Precinct on June 30th of this year. He's been with the NYPD for almost two decades. Another change at the Community Council meeting will be the addition of Officer Janet Zhang; with her fluency in both Mandarin and Cantonese, she will hopefully help the Chinese community to feel more connected to the precinct. Of course, Officer Frank Siclari will continue to attend as Community Affairs liaison.

So, if you have concerns, complaints, compliments, or questions that you want addressed in person, come to the 72nd Precinct Community Affairs meeting on September 9th. Captain Pintos strongly encourages you too, and he expects lots of loud radio complaints - I'm sure we can bring him some more interesting issues.

72nd Precinct Community Council meetings are the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 7:30 PM.

For more information, pick up a copy of the Sunset Park edition of the Spectator - that's the one you find at the front of many businesses on 5th Avenue for free. It has a more detailed article about Captain Jesus Raul Pintos.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Then and Now: PS 94

PS 94 was once called the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow School, but in 2007 its name was changed to the more utilitarian School of Diverse Languages and Cultures. Appropriate enough, since it is the only school in Brooklyn with a dual-language Chinese program (it also has a dual-language Spanish program). Check out more current information about the school here. Somehow, however, it's a bit depressing to think about names changing; I guess history is lost to many cultures when progress attacks.

The above photograph is from January of 1908. It has weathered its centennial well, and despite losing some decorative elements under the fifth floor windows, it looks shockingly similar. The trees in front of the school are new, obviously, and the window gates on the first floor protect the children and equipment from escape.

I'm looking forward to casting my vote for the next United States President in this building.

Light Industry Presents Video and Film by K8 Hardy

This Tuesday's show will be films and videos by K8 Hardy - some are recent and some are from as far back as the Nineties!

Themes include the objectification of female bodies, the plundered aesthetics of 70s lesbian imagery (for a music video), corporate architecture's effect on one person's movements, and a Super-8 piece called Ants in her Pants - an experimental piece about the energy and style of a "young and queer generation."

The video/film pieces will be followed by a post-show discussion between K8 Hardy and Ulrike Müller. For more detail, see Light Industry's description.

As always, tickets are $6 at the door. And the door, which is at 55 33rd Street - on the 3rd floor - opens for the 8 PM show.