Saturday, February 28, 2009

Elmo at Light Industry

Not really, but I couldn't resist. Here's the information about this Tuesday's show:

Theater of Code
Curated by Christiane Paul
Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 7:30pm
220 36th Street, 5th Floor
Brooklyn, New York
Theater of Code will present three performance/interventions that explore how computer code, scripting language, and software applications relate to the movement of bodies and the staging and choreography of our lives.

Adrianne Wortzel's A Re-enactment of The Battle of the Pyramids is a performance installation of reconfigured robotic toys performing military maneuvers in rigid choreographed formations. Clusters of these toys snap to synchronization in response to a call to arms, their movements emulating the rigid and postured fighting strategies of Napoleonic warfare. These strategies, employed in Napoleon's Egyptian campaign, were particularly idiosyncratic in Egypt where they were persistently performed without consideration of either the desert environment or the fighting strategies of the enemy. The work is intended as a testimony to the tragic consequences of imperialism and the dangers, follies and sadness of a rationale for blind obedience that makes victims out of warriors.

Ursula Endlicher's Website Impersonations: The Ten Most Visited is a ten-part live performance series, which utilizes Web code as choreography. In the performance of facebook on March 3, 2009, at Light Industry, three dancers, the audience, and the artist will shape the course of the performance. The source of the website—its HTML tags—is interpreted live on stage into new dance movements, which are immediately translated into text-based descriptions and then stored online in the html-movement-library. This information is reused on stage as new instruction material. As the data performance progresses, more html-movements are developed, stored and altered by the participants. The user (=the audience) takes an active role in the performance of facebook.com. The inclusion of the html-movement-library on stage enables a simultaneous exchange of instruction and performance, data and movement input and output, and a continuous transfer between Web and body.

MTAA returns to Light Industry with two new performances of code-based art. In the first work—titled $"##'—MTAA re-stages John Cage's 4'33" within a framework of a new media lecture. The second project is a demonstration of Autotrace, a software-generated appropriation and shape creation system. As part of the Autotrace performance, MTAA will use one of the newly generated "Autotraced shapes" to create a ridiculously large, two-dimensional, site-specific work right in front of the audience's eyes.

Together, the three projects comment on the various levels in which our movements—from military maneuvers to social interaction and the presentation of a lecture—are encoded by technologies.

Bloomberg in Sunset on Sunday

Mayor Bloomberg will be attending services at St. Michael's on 4th Avenue and 42nd at 10 AM. What would bring him out to Sunset Park for a Catholic service? Education, of course! (And perhaps an impending election.)

Following the service, Bloomberg will work his way (walking or taking the bus?) to the site of the new Sunset Park High School at 4th Avenue and 34th Street for a press conference about the new schools opening in September 2009.

Host a Child this Summer


Do you go out of the City during the summer? Do you have a mansion in the Hamptons or a cabin in the Berkshires? Do you rent a house at the Cape or in the Catskills for a week or two? Do you rent a motel on the Jersey Shore?

Forget that last one, perhaps. But if you do leave the City for a summer getaway, consider opening your vacation home's door just a little wider to let a child enjoy your vacation with you. The Fresh Air Fund is looking for host families all up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

Host families can request age and gender of a Fresh Air Fund child to match your own children. I've known several kids who went through the program, both the camps and the host families, and they RAVE about the experience. It is really something that stays with them and makes a huge impression on how they see the world. Check out more information here.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Sex, Parole, and Development - Oh my!

Three stories with Sunset Park interests:
(For those who have written in wondering: Set up a Google Alert for "Sunset Park" or any other key word. Then you too can receive these handy-dandy story links!)

1 - The Brooklyn Eagle
has an update on the sex shop lawsuit that will directly affect Sunset Park's Third Avenue strip. I like it because it spells out why the lawsuit is occurring and how the shops have gotten around the "don't be near a school or house of worship" law.

from the article:

By using a loophole in zoning law, “shops masquerading as non-adult businesses … are allowed to operate near residences, schools and houses of worship, and are a blight upon their neighborhoods,” stated city attorney Robin Binder, who is handling the litigation.

Old zoning laws define adult establishments as businesses with a substantial portion — defined as 40 percent — of their stock or floor space devoted to adult entertainment.

According to city attorneys, some adult bookstores obeyed the letter of the law by importing large quantities of unmarketable videos (cartoons, multiple copies of a single old movie, kung fu films) and leaving them in basement or second-floor areas not frequented by customers.

2 - SI Live.com has an explanation of why Joseph Gray, the ex-cop who killed a family with his car, didn't get paroled.

from the article:

Despite a clean disciplinary record, Joseph Gray's release from prison "is incompatible with the welfare and safety of the community," the board determined after interviewing Gray yesterday.

Gray, 48, expressed "little or no remorse" and a "lack of insight" for the four deaths during the interview, wrote Commissioner Sally A. Thompson.

3 - The Real Deal has an abandonment story about Bush Terminal. Sunset Park will see one less set of rehabilitated buildings for the waterfront than expected.

from the article:

"Given current market conditions, Time Equities was unable to create an economically viable business plan with the Economic Development Corporation for the acquisition and redevelopment of Bush Terminal buildings B and C and Federal Building No. 2," Francis Greenburger, chairman and CEO of Time Equities, said in a statement.

The two sites, the city-owned Bush Terminal buildings B and C to the south and the Federal Building site to the north, were part of an effort to rehabilitate industrial buildings on the Brooklyn waterfront.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

One More Reason to Move Your Car on Time

Sure, a ticket and a neon sticker are painful and annoying, but here's another reason to move your car: the safety of your pedestrian neighbors. Why are these cars traveling on the sidewalk during rush hour? See below.

This person happened to be parked in the one space that blocked access when the oil truck came. Granted, these photos were taken at 8:31, and the two cars that had previously been honking and gesturing wildly from their windows were the first two to choose sidewalk travel. But at 8:50 this car is still sitting there (and it just got a ticket), and about 15 more cars chose to follow the sidewalk driving idea. The problem is that when someone sees another person do something, they don't always think it out. They sometimes will just jump in and imitate. One obnoxious driver even honked at a pedestrian on the sidewalk to get out of the way. Another looked like he hadn't even thought that people would be walking on the sidewalk and zoomed up only to have to stop short to avoid hitting a parent and child. Nice.

So, because some drivers are dangerously full of themselves and don't have time to wait (I know, it's stressful. I've been there many times behind trash trucks.), please move your car on time.

PS: In case anyone thinks that all these guys who deliver oil enjoy holding people in a line while they do their jobs, this guy had a few deliveries next door and he actually moved his truck up to let people pass, then moved it back. Good man.

18 Wheelers, Front Loaders, and Broken Glass on 43rd

Want to buy a former SRO on 7th and 43rd? It's right on the park. The For Rent signs were quickly changed out for For Sale signs once the mistake was noticed. Makes a lot more sense, and the wind storm last week tore up one of the For Rent signs anyway.

Something is definitely up. There was a man (whose face was covered with a bandana) inside the side door sweeping up the nastiness that builds up in a semi-abandoned building that's left on its own for months and months. See below for what has collected outside the 43rd Street door so far. Mmmmm. Lots of broken glass! And right across from PS 169, too!


Next door, the activity was heavier and louder.

There was a lot of excavation going on at 713 43rd Street yesterday. One 18-wheeler was pulling away with a full load of dirt and detritus while another waited to take its place. This CAT front loader was busy filling up the trucks, and all the workers at the site actually looked busy. All of them!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Three Ways to Say NO Parking

The first sign says: "NO PARKING! 24 hr. Active Driveway - If you block MY garage, You will get a summons." The second one is a typical No Parking sign. And the third space has No Parkin scrawled across it.

Which do you think is most effective?

Sunset Park Chatter

Over the last few days and weeks, there have been several items that I just didn't bother to post since they'd either received a lot of attention in other forums or because I thought they weren't worth the attention. In some cases, those criteria overlapped. However, having the links sent to me by others tells me that there is interest. So here you go!

Rapid Realty filmed this all over Sunset Park, including the actual park. Topics include the great deals on rent, express trains to Manhattan, 24-hour establishments (although only two are mentioned), and other attractions - and did I mention the express trains to Manhattan?

Rapid Realty's Selling of Sunset Park

Most people around here have probably already heard about Sunset Park's number one status in receiving the most citations for dog poop. While I've seen my share around here, I find it hard to believe we have the most poop. I think it probably has more to do with having a park and perhaps a blitz of ticket writing for the piles dog owners sometimes leave behind. Anyway, we're in the news:

New York Post's take on NYC's Crappiest

The Brooklyn Ink, a student publication from Columbia (the University, not the country) has a couple of Sunset oriented offerings as well.

The item "Snapshots from Sunset Park" seems contrived (someone who sells first communion clothing for a living doesn't know what it's for?), but it contains some cute vignettes.

The other Sunset item, about the "bargain" hotel boom in the area, has some interesting commentary about the hopes and fears regarding having so many potentially empty hotel/motel rooms in the area. Read Sunset Park's Hotels Face Uncertain Future here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Another Sunset ROTD for Brownstoner

Not an original choice, since Matamoros gets all the taco attention (poor Xochimilco across the street!), but Brownstoner posting two Sunset Restaurant of the Day items in February (Ba Xuyen was the 'stoner ROTD on February 2nd.) means we've arrived. Doesn't it? Or does it mean we're leaving?

Green-Wood Security Tales

The Brooklyn Paper has a cool interview with Bobby Paolillo, chief of security at Green-Wood Cemetery.

Keep Our Block Clean

"Lets keep "our" block CLEAN throw "all" garbage in garbage can on corner"

Despite the bizarre punctuation (or lack thereof), I have to "heartily" agree with the sentiments on this sign on 4th Avenue and 44th Street.

Bleed for a Cause

The Sunset Park Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow (OBT) location will be hosting a blood drive on March 10th from 10 AM to 2 PM. The blood will go to Lutheran Medical Center, for which I have a soft spot due to both of my children being born there. For more information or to RSVP for this event call 718-369-0303 ext. 22 or contact the Blood Donor Center, Station 2-39 at 718-630-8900, or e-mail blooddonor@lmcmc.com.

If you can't make it to 4th Avenue and 27th Street for this event, you can always donate by appointment or walk-in at the Lutheran Medical Center Blood Donation Center. The hours for blood donations are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Call today for an appointment, 718-630-8900 or e-mail blooddonor@lmcmc.com.

* Blood donations made directly to hospitals means they don't have to buy the blood from a supplier.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Happy Parking Problems Monday!

You have to get your car off the wrong side quick. Sometimes you get lucky; other times, you're just seven minutes late and it's a done deal.

This guy looked genuinely stunned that she stuck the ticket on the windshield despite his presence. She had already scanned the information and written it up, so he really was just two minutes too late here. They had a very civilized conversation about the situation. Nice to see. I think he was still in shock, though. It was past 8:30. And it's not like she had been waiting there at 8:25. Afterwards, she walked leisurely to the van and the other car up the street. No staking out today.

The following photos show the worst in un-neighborly behavior.

Now, you might ask, "How the heck did he get his car like that?" Well, HE didn't. The car in front of him did it. Or at least that's what it seems happened, judging from the young man's reaction when he saw the car. The owner of the middle car LOVES his car. He takes really good care of it and he even shows respect when parking. His bumper is clean - without a bumper cover. No squeezing into spaces for him. Then this happens.

I mean, come on people. I know parking is key, but the next block up usually has spaces available. Or doing a round or two will show a parking spot in easy walking distance. Do you really need to crush the signal light and MOVE the car behind you to get a parking spot? (Actually, some people seem to think it is necessary.) If it's that important to you, you should have planned better.

Even though he was pretty upset, the owner didn't go ballistic or take out a key or even leave a nasty note. Those would have been un-neighborly responses. Especially without definite proof. He also couldn't move his car without causing further damage. Hopefully it will all turnout well - little or no damage, little or no negative interactions, and future courtesy on all sides. Perhaps there needs to be an official Etiquette of Parking in general. Double-parking has some unspoken rules.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

This Week's Restaurant Inspection Winners

Not as bad as some past weeks, but there are still some disturbingly high numbers.

Grand prize goes to:

Munchy Coffee Shop on 5th Avenue and 53rd. It earned 53 violation points for a few things, including mice. Mmmmmm. The violation about the wiping cloths or inadequate lighting must add lots of points because there were only five violations. The runner-up (see below) had ten violations (including the mice) and fewer points.

Just a few points behind is Lucky Zhang's Family on 8th Avenue between 56th and 57th. It earned 50 violation points for many more items, included roaches AND mice. Yeah!

Rounding out the top three is Zhen Yuan Inc. at 7th Avenue between 61st and 62nd. It earned a measly 37 violation points. No mice here, but the wiping cloths were improperly stored to add a bunch of bonus points. Ick.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Comfort Food

My students would often pick up Cheese Fries or Chili Cheese Fries at the place across the street from the school. These gooey-soon-to-solidify tins of fries and Velveeta weighed about three pounds and looked like it would disintegrate stomach lining in about 90 seconds. The photo of the Salchipapas at La Cuarta (at 4th Avenue and 28th Street) featured in Fork in the Road from the Village Voice looks a lot more attractive. Before reading the article, I thought the hot dogs were roasted red peppers. That's what I get for being a vegetarian.

Robert Sietsema's description of the dish calls it a "Strange Snack of the World." Are mini-hot dogs, fries, and a hard-boiled egg really that strange? I suppose it's the combination that is odd, but even then, it's not too strange. Here's a sampling of Sietsema's commentary:

And therein lies some of salchipapas' specialness -- the flavors swap off between the two foodstuffs, as the frank fat renders, seeps into the deep fat, and is thereby transmitted to the very core of the admittedly inferior-on-their-own french fries.

He also uses the word "proteinaceously" - which is the first time I've seen it as an adverb. Check out the article at the link above.



Friday, February 20, 2009

"Deceptive" Burglary in Neighboring Areas

While Sunset Park is not named, our friendly neighbors to the south and south-east are. The Brooklyn Eagle (and thanks to Brownstoner for doing the linking) reports that there have been at least four home burglaries involving thieves posing as Con-Ed or Water Department employees.

Always ask to see ID prior to letting someone in to check meters. It's also a good idea to take a look for an official vehicle. When in doubt, call the company to check on the employee. If they say they can't wait, take a name and ask them to come back another time. That's what would have happened had you not been home, right?

Read the article from this link.

Vandalism Via Wind?


There were two vases sitting on this stoop yesterday. I guessed that they were there waiting for garbage day. They were filled with dried out, kind of sad looking, decorative "flowers." This morning, a relatively neat collection of vase shards and decoration is fanned out on the stoop. Was it last night's crazy wind or a more precise vandal?

Summer Camp at El Pequeno Artista

Winter still has another month left, but parents will need to start thinking about summer camps very soon. Hard to believe! El Pequeno Artista, on 20th Street and 5th Avenue, just sent out its bi-lingual summer camp information. The program runs a full eight weeks, but single weeks are also an option. Check it out below, or visit their website. (Their Friday kids' movies are still going on...5:15 PM, every Friday.)

the information from EPA follows:

Saludos!

Registrations are open for El Pequeno Artista's Bilingual Summer Program 2009, for children aged 4 to 7. Our carefully designed immersion environment will allow your child - those fluent Spanish language speakers and those are just beginning to learn - to practice every discipline included in our year-round curriculum. Let them be immersed in the Arts en Espanol!

Our curriculum will include Soccer (new this year!), Swimming (with a licensed swimming instructor!), Dance, Arts, Cooking, Percussion and Excursions - the ideal artistic environment to immerse your children in a second language! All our indoor activities are in our air-conditioned studio. Our staff is fully bilingual, professional and experienced in creating the safest, and most fun and educational environment for children in this age range. Our space is temporarily partitioned to accommodate the different activities that take place during camp days.

Registration will be open until April 20th, and payment for the camp is due upon registration. If you are interested in our Program, please reply to this email. We'll send you a registration form, which you can mail or hand-deliver along with your payment by the above-mentioned date. Registration for single weeks is available. Priority for enrollment will be given through April 1st to students currently registered in any workshop at El pequeno artista. After April 1st, students will be admitted to the Summer Program on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Bear in mind that our unique Summer Program has not raised prices this year!

It also operates through the end of the season, when most other programs will be finished!

Camp ages 4 - 7

July 6th through August 28th (8 weeks) 9 am to 3 pm $3840

Each separate week is $500

Registration fee $25

Camp includes morning snack. Lunch and extra snacks must be provided by parents. After-camp extended day care is available for a separate fee, for 2 students minimum. Also, if enough students request it, we'll arrange for pick up and drop off services at 2 locations in Brooklyn, for an extra nominal fee.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Will Stay As Is

The name is appropriate, at least for now. OLPH has been given a pass to remain a parochial school, still supervised by the diocese. Not everyone was so lucky. Read the Brooklyn Eagle article here.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

42nd Street Trying to Keep it Clean

The 42nd Street block between 4th and 5th is doing its best to keep trash where it belongs. That's the block with the new-ish condo building (you know, the ones that caused 43rd Street backyards to sink during its construction?).

Well, the block has several signs in Spanish and English adorning trees (must you staple into them?) that politely request that you keep your trash in the containers meant for trash. They even remind you that there are trash receptacles on every street corner!

Personally, I think the owner of the pooch below gets the point across much more succinctly. It's also on 42nd Street.

Champagne, Frosting, and Thou

Angel's Bakery has done it again. I'm not sure if this is a Valentine's leftover or a clever marriage proposal. Either way, it's a treat to window shop at Angel's on 5th at 40th. While the shark cakes were special, this one is glorious in its own way.

Thanks to Will for reminding me to check this out.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Car Hit on 5th and 34th - Was it Yours?

Was your car parked on 5th Avenue and 34th - right by the construction? A neighbor and I happened to be walking nearby when a two-level car transport truck (with a bunch of dented and sad-looking cars) barreled past the traffic agent who was directing traffic down 34th.

The driver soon realized he was going the wrong way down a one-way street and stopped, and then began to back up. As he was backing up, he smashed into a small, blue car. The crunching took off the gas cap and created a horizontal crater along the back end of the car.

He started down 34th, but then parked and stopped and headed over to the traffic agents. They seemed a little perturbed by the situation, but hopefully they handled it correctly.

If this was your car, feel free to contact me at bestviewinbrooklyn@yahoo.com. At least two of us saw it happen, and the two traffic agents at the corner also saw it.

(Another) New Hotel on 39th

As if the new Kings Hotel and the now-established Days Inn weren't enough, it seems another hotel is in the works for 39th Street. It seems that its six floors will have 46 units. It will have 12 parking spaces, and it's asking for two curb cuts to accommodate easy arrival and departure.

From the looks of things, it won't be opening for a long while. In fact, considering the current state of the work, it will be quite a wait to reserve your room. Poor 39th Street. It's being torn apart like crazy.

What You See in Sunset Park: Sexy, Sad Sastreria


The first time I passed these 4th Avenue ladies in the window, I figured they were in transition. Perhaps some items long left behind would adorn their curves and bring in some cash for the owner. The next time I passed them, they were still bare. And the next. And the next. One of them even looks like she's given up hope of either being clothed or escaping. She's leaning against the window in dejection.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Save the Date: Blood Drive at OBT

OBT, not OTB.

"For Rent" but Not Really on 43rd and 7th

It's a mistake. The signs (one of which seems to have blown away in the last windstorm) that say this "former SRO, current canvas for taggers" is For Rent are wrong. According to the friendly agent at Century 21 Block and Lot, there will be a "very nice building there," but the signs are a mistake. Does that mean someone new has purchased it? Nothing's on file yet. Does it mean that the friendly B&L agent didn't want to share more? Could be. It would be great to see SOMEthing happen at this location. It's been a magnet for graffiti and vandalism and broken windows for far too long.

Plans for over a year ago were to convert this SRO to a six-family. We shall see. Considering the slow progress next door, I have my doubts.

What You See in Sunset Park: Free Moving Boxes

Head on down to 3rd Avenue in the 40's. They might still be there.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Joseph Gray is Up for Parole

The ex-72nd Precinct Police Officer who killed four people (including a pre-term baby who died several hours after being delivered by emergency c-section) is up for parole after seven years behind bars. The Staten Island Advance has the article.

from the article:

His [Gray's] kin maintain he has paid his debt.

"Joseph's family needs him home again to once again become a productive member of society, support his three children and wife, and be reunited with all of his family who miss him and love him," Gray's relatives said in an e-mail to the Advance. "He is extremely remorseful and takes full accountability of his crime."

But a relative of the victims contends Gray should stay exactly where he is.

"I'm not a vindictive man, but forgiveness is hard to find when someone has taken your entire family," said Victor Herrera, who issued a statement through his lawyer, Mark Manus of the Manhattan firm of Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman.

"I hate to think of this man behind the wheel of a car again," said Herrera, who lost his wife and two sons.

CB 7 Public Hearing: 2010 Preliminary Budget

Wednesday's CB 7 Public Hearing about money in 2010 will begin at 5 PM on Wednesday the 18th. The offices are at 4201 4th Avenue (entrance on 43rd Street). If you have fun there, stay for the CB 7 meeting at 6:30 PM.

Locals With Talent: Jofolio Designs

Artistic talents make me envious. It comes second only to my envy of people who really sing well. In an effort to attempt to connect myself more closely to talented people, I offer up a neighbor with talent in excess.

Sunset resident Jose Ortiz, of Jofolio, has a fantastic website that shows his wide variety of design styles. Really, it's fun to just click around and see the various logos, sketches, and illustrations. There are about three dozen "subway sketches," maybe you'll recognize yourself in one of them.

If you click around enough, you'll find the link to have a holiday card (printed right here in Sunset Park at Peter Kruty Editions) sent to you...as the website says, it's never too late for a holiday card! In the meantime, enjoy the examples borrowed from the website.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Ecuadorian Orphanage Needs Help

Sunset Park neighbor Rachel volunteered with OSSO in Ecuador.

Okay, so I know this is a totally unrelated to Sunset Park item...except that we have a decent sized Ecuadorian community here, a current SP resident volunteered for this organization, and the NY Ecuadorian community has recently had a rough, rough time in the news.

So, if you want to start working on 2009 tax deductions, if you're looking for a way to get out of NYC for a while and do some good, or if you just want to contribute to a great cause, read on. If not, turn the page.

from a friend's post:

It is called OSSO and supports children who live in orphanages in Ecuador. With the recent turbulent times they have seen their rates of volunteer applicants cut in half which means hundreds of babies and children with less much needed affection, love and care. Their monetary donations are also running so low that they will soon have to make cuts in providing the children they serve with food, education and medicine.

They have asked their past volunteers (which I am so grateful to be one) to spread the word that they are in great need. Please send anyone you know who could be a potential volunteer spending a few months in Ecuador loving babies to their website http://www.orphanagesupport.org/, and if you can afford to help monatarily, please click here to donate. They are also asking anyone who is willing to fast with them this Sunday in an effort to find a way to continue providing these children with the love and physical necessities they deserve.

Sexual Assault in Greenwood Heights (23rd and 6th Ave)

photo courtesy of GowanusLounge.com

According to postings on Brooklynian and Gowanus Lounge, there was a sexual assault yesterday AM on 6th Avenue between 23rd and 24th Streets. The posters in the neighborhood state:

Perpetrator was last seen fleeing down 24th Street on a mountain bike wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt. If you have any information, please contact police (72nd Precinct) at (718) 965 6311.

The suspect in the early AM rape in Bay Ridge has been caught. I haven't heard about the early AM rapist in Fort Greene, I think he has not yet been apprehended. Hopefully more details about this situation will come out - like a more specific description of the suspect - so that anyone who saw this person before or after the crime can give details.

Community Board 7 and the folks at Concerned Citizens of Greenwood Heights would like to know what you know AFTER calling the 72nd Precinct. You can e-mail them at communityboard7@yahoo.com and info@ccgreenwoodhts.com respectively.

Beware of Bob on 5th Avenue

Flickr-er Saucy Salad has photos of various posters up and down 5th Avenue that depict a frighteningly familiar man - Bob. The posters ask that you contact Twin Peaks' Sheriff Harry S. Truman if you see Bob.

Black Lab Puppies Need a Home

I'm blushing due to the egg on my face. The information in the post below is not a hoax, but it's an outdated plea for help. The person who posted it on the list-serve didn't know that, and her heart was in the right place, as was my post. Still, it's embarrassing to not check out information fully before making it public. Sorry! Thankfully, we have more diligent members of list-serves and snopes.com to help us correct our faux pas.

On the other hand, they were rescued and now they are sprayed, bathed, de-wormed, and ready for adoption. The plea from the family who is housing them is below. Contact me with your name and information at bestviewinbrooklyn (at) yahoo (dot) com and I will forward it to the people who have the puppies.

from the email:

Scott (my friend) rescued 6 Black Lab (mix) puppies out of the middle of the road on Saturday. PLEASE help me find them homes - otherwise it's Animal Control - which means they only have 5 days.

We're bathed them, sprayed them for fleas and wormed them...but we can't keep them. They are currently in a kennel in my basement since I don't have a fence.

I've lost count of the number of rescue groups that I've contacted, only to be turned down due to no room.

Please check with every dog person you know to see if they want a puppy.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sunset Park CSA Informational Pot Luck

Sunset Park CSA Pot Luck Brunch

Saturday, February 28, 2009 - 10 am to 12 Noon on 41st Street between 6th and 7th (RSVP for the specific address).

We invite you to come to hear about and sign up for the Sunset Park Community Supported Agriculture. Community Supported Agriculture is a partnership between the CSA members and a farmer, in our case MimoMex Farms in Goshen, New York. The farmer is supplied with a predictable income, and members are supplied with freshly harvested vegetables on a weekly or every-other-week basis throughout the summer and into the autumn.

In addition to the vegetables that you may be familiar with -onions, squash, carrots, greens, beets, lettuce, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplants, cabbage, parsley, herbs, etc., MimoMex Farms also grows an array of pesticide-free, traditional Mexican and Central American vegetables and herbs as well as a large selection of peppers.

Details on the share price and structure, vegetable pick up location and volunteer commitment will be provided at the meeting. Signing up for a share requires a deposit, which can be made by personal check or cash.

In addition, this will be a pot-luck brunch, so please bring a small dish/pastries/bagels/drink to share with others. Coffee and tea will be provided.

Please RSVP to SunsetParkCSA@yahoo.com.

If you cannot attend the meeting but would like more information about the CSA, please send us an email.

We look forward to seeing you on the 28th!

The Core Committee - Abby, Jane, Joelle, Kate, Kenzie, Leah and Liz

Recreation Center's Lunar New Year Party

This took place last Saturday, and as seems to be the norm for me lately, I made it to the Lunar New Year celebration late. Walking into the gym area, I thought firecrackers had gone off due to the smoky look to the air. I was wrong; it came from the cotton candy machine...it was kind of like a fog of sugary goodness surrounding you. From my days of working the cotton candy machine as a school fundraiser, I know that it's a thankless, sticky, messy job. The fluffy stuff does taste good fresh, though.

There were a lot of people still hanging around. Most were in line to spin the prize wheel. What you see below were the prizes. Apparently, most of the people waiting wanted the fruity chunks-at-the-bottom drinks. What most walked off with were juice boxes. No one was too unhappy though. It's free, after all.

Karen Gripper, the Recreation Center manager, was on hand to give away treats. She has been doing a great job with the events and upkeep of the Center. Between the craft groups, Tai Chi, after-school programs, playgroups, library, ping-pong players, holiday celebrations, census tests, and the regular Center activities, she and her staff stay plenty busy. Most are incredibly friendly as well.

There was a magic show while I was there. This young man was connecting and detaching the rings in various forms. The audience was almost reverential...eerily so.

The Tea Society of America was represented by a very friendly man. He had a beautiful table set out, but since he was back in the corner with the cotton candy (hence the foggy look) and the bathroom, few came by to check out the display.

The Sunset Park Relay for Life group was represented as well. The kick off party is on March 7th at OLPH. You can sign up a team or read more about it here. The relay is at IS 220 at 9th Avenue and 48th Street. It will take place on May 30th.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Get Fit with Family Wednesdays and Saturdays

The Sunset Park Recreation Center hosts a Family Fitness Class twice a week. Wednesdays come by at 5 PM for the 45 minute class. On Saturdays the class starts at 11 AM.

The flyer doesn't list ages; it just says "Children and Adults Welcome!"

The Sunset Park Rec Center is at the 7th Avenue and 41st corner of the park.

But Where's the Existing Structure?

The building pictured below used to be this, but now it's not. And while I'm the first to admit I know next to nothing about construction, I have to wonder, does this comply with its permit? The displayed permit is for "proposed masonry walls and new concrete foundation to reinforce existing structure." But where is the existing structure? Or rather, where is the previously existing structure?


This space also has two open violations, and at least one unpaid fine of $12,000.

According to records, this building will be a four-story mixed-use building. Up, up, and away!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

More SP High School Updates

This recent article updates the progress (and there is progress!) concerning the new Sunset Park High School that's set to open in the fall.

Despite a pretty grievous typo (The school is on 35th, NOT 53rd!), the article is solid. It gives a lot of credit to the community that has tried, for decades, to get this high school going.

According to the article, registration has already been a huge success. Check out the article for more detail.

Raise the Red Lantern

If only this were Sunset's Red Light District. This is a gorgeous photo from jen (pluie latéralement)'s photo stream on Flickr. It actually makes those silver gates look really good. Thanks to Jen for letting me use the photo!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Temporarily Out of Service = Long Wait at the Post Office

Just how long can temporary last?

The self service stamp machine at the 7th Avenue and 55th Street post office have been "temporarily out of order" (their words, not mine) for a long time now. Since the line is often practically out the door for mailing packages, the idea of standing in the hour long line can be too much if all you need is a stamp or two.

Is this the norm at all the post offices, or are we just super lucky? I know the few times that I've gone to the Bay Ridge PO on 5th Avenue and 89th, the mailing machine has worked just fine. The stamp machine is always well stocked.

At least we have some friendly post office employees. And, as the photo shows, at least the "out of order" machine keeps some of the kids who accompany their parents amused for a moment or two.

Other things that can keep you amused are watching people try to be slick and cut in front of you when they think you've dozed off, listen to your fellow line-waiters' ring-tones and conversations (You can't have a conversation yourself because of the very loud phone conversations around you.), glare at the guy behind you and make the "cover your mouth" sign when he coughs onto the child strapped to you, try to make eye contact with the postal employees behind the plastic wall, learn some Chinese, realize that none of the forms that are supposed to be available at the tables are actually available which means EVERYONE needs to get into line, or you can always just doze off. Be aware: Someone may try to cut in front of you.

Ellis Bar Wants Parents to Get Out More

Ellis Bar, home of rattlesnake and apparently amazing cocktails, encourages parents to drink on a weeknight. I suppose you could use Thursday as a night out for Valentine's Day. It's a little late for me, but I know there are plenty of Sunset parents who hold later hours than I do. See below for the details from the email:

Parents of Brooklyn
Enjoy a night out because you deserve it!
The 2nd Thursday of every month at Ellis is Parent's Night Out
February 12th 9pm
1st. Get a sitter
2nd. Grab a picture of your little ones (or big ones)
3rd. Come to Ellis for $1 off Drafts

Just show the bartender a picture of your offspring and we'll take $1
off every draft beer you drink, all night long

Ellis Bar
627 5th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11215
between 17th & 18th st
www.ellisbar.com

*Event Sponsored in part by Boing Boing of Brooklyn

Saturday, February 7, 2009

World Yoga Day is Tomorrow

Feeling stressed about the economy? Feel like you can't afford a really great yoga class? Willing to go to Bay Ridge? Tomorrow is your chance to relieve some stress for less than most yoga classes - and your $10 donation (you're welcome to give more!) goes to help the people of Zimbabwe. Win. Win. Win.

Michelle, of Shanti Baby Yoga, is hosting a World Yoga Day class at 7905 7th Avenue. The one hour class begins at 9:30 AM. See below for specifics and to reserve a space. Please bring your own yoga mat.

It's open to all levels of experience, and even children ages 8 and up. You can register here, and pay by PayPal or bring your donation to the class.

Light Industry Graces a New Space


They've outgrown their space. This Tuesday will be the first presentation in the new Light Industry space at 220 36th Street - now on the 5th Floor. Movin' on up.

from the email:

This week, Light Industry is relocating to a new, larger space at 220 36th Street in Building 2 of Industry City, just around the corner from our current 33rd Street location in Building 9. As we expand our programming substantially in 2009, this move marks an exciting new phase in Light Industry’s still brief history, and is a testament to Industry City’s continued generosity and support of the project.


Tuesday's show is $7 at the door, and it begins at 7:30 PM. Here's what you'll see:

Only in Darkness Is Your Shadow Clear
A projection performance by Bruce McClure

“Strobing can be defined as an illusion, or impression, created by a regular relationship between the speed of the subject matter being photographed and the interval between exposures. Wheels that appear to be turning backward, despite the obvious forward motion of the vehicle, offer an excellent example of this kind of illusory effect. Strobing is generally regarded by a cameraman as undesirable and is often minimized by changing the number of spokes on the wheel. Meanwhile, in the repose of the movie house, with photography behind us, it is the phasing of light and sound and its cessation, all according to the constancy of the projector’s action that provides us with an occasion for a desirable mental wandering...

“This said, I will conclude my descriptive treatment of ‘Only in Darkness Is Your Shadow Clear’ by saying that the audience will witness another resurrection of the incandescent machine age. I will use three modified 16 millimeter projectors, three film foliums, two of which that will be bi-packed with loops, guitar effects pedals and two loudspeakers. I would also like to note that the title for this show comes from a poem by Hart Crane and is a correlate of lyrics taken from Monster Magnet’s ‘Dopes to Infinity’ – I can see by the hole in your head that you want to be friends you’re the right one baby.” - BM

Followed by a conversation between McClure and Glen Fogel.




Keep Construction Sites Ad Free

Since we must look at construction fences anyway, which would you prefer: 1) Plain, reasonable well maintained plywood fencing or 2) Plastered in ads of all stripes that peel off and look nasty on plywood fencing. If you would rather see the first option, keep reading.

Considering the amount of construction that has slowed or halted around Sunset Park lately, the issue detailed below could affect us greatly and for a long time. The link below leads you to pre-written letters (but you can add some personal details as well) that encourage the City Council to vote against allowing billboards on construction fencing.

Forwarded by CB 7:

From the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation:

Last week the City Council held a hearing on Intro. 623, a bill which would for the first time ever legalize billboards on sidewalk sheds (scaffolds) in parts of the city, including our neighborhoods. GVSHP was there to oppose the bill, which would increase advertising signage in our neighborhoods and likely result in sidewalk sheds unnecessarily remaining up longer than ever before, as they generate big bucks for advertisers. GVSHP has long fought the proliferation of inappropriate billboards in our neighborhoods, and recognizes that sidewalk sheds, while sometimes performing a necessary public safety function, can also be a blight and a danger in our neighborhoods.

HOW TO HELP

Send a letter opposing Intro. 623 and the impact it would have on our neighborhoods:
http://www.gvshp.org/_gvshp/preservation/billboards/sidewalk-sheds-ltr.htm

************

Folks, just think of what our area would look like if developers are allowed to sell ad space on their sidewalk sheds on current and upcoming construction projects? Our community's streets would go from battle zones (i.e. think of 16th St. in the South Slope) to battle zones + 42nd St/Times Square.

Yikes!

They have already pre-written sample letters for us. Took me 2 minutes to send the two letters to CM Katz and CM Dilan. I encourage our local CM DeBlasio and CM Gonzalez to oppose the bill if it comes up for vote.

Take the time to write these letters today.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Sound Installations at Diapason Gallery

Diapason Gallery is only open Saturdays from 2 PM - 8 PM. And starting this Saturday, and continuing through the 28th, it will have Seth Nehil's Swarm/Knives as a sound installation. It's free!

Here's what the website says about the installation's goals:

"To create a space between events that is charged. To call, connecting across space and invigorating an atmosphere. To confuse space as time for making a music. To utilize an erotics of distance."

See the upcoming events section of the website for more information.

Diapason Gallery is located at 882 Third Avenue, between 32nd and 33rd Streets. It's on the 10th floor. Call 718-499-5070 for more information.

Ireland's Bloody Sunday Remembered in Sunset Park

This Sunday, February 8th, The Bay Ridge Irish American Action Association will hold a memorial for Bloody Sunday. The tragic incident in Derry, Ireland in which 13 (or perhaps 14) demonstrators were killed. This memorial event has been going on since 1972. The article, with a link below, calls our area Bay Ridge, but all the events definitely take place in Sunset Park.

according to The Irish Echo:

The march steps off promptly at 12:30 p.m. from 58th Street and 4th Avenue in Sunset Park, Brooklyn and proceeds to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica, 60th Street and 5th Avenue for a 1 p.m. Mass. A reception will be held later at the Irish Haven, 5721 4th Avenue.

Tabla Rasa: Final Chance to See Nobis Solo

Tom Bennett, Sleepwalking 19, 2008, monotype, 12 x 12

Saturday is the last day that Nobis Solo will be on view at Tabla Rasa. If you haven't seen it yet, go check it out! Tabla Rasa Gallery is on 224 48 Street, and you can call at 718 833-9100 them to check on Gallery hours. They will be celebrating the exhibit on Saturday.

Culver Garden Group Wants You (to do some homework)

The possibility of a garden near the 9th Avenue train station is beginning to take a pretty definite shape. However, what often happens with well-meaning projects, a small group of dedicated people (who have everyday lives to lead on top of the project) are doing a mountain of work.

Want to lend a hand? From the group posting, here are some of the tasks that need attention:

* location/historical research
-go to transit museum, topographic map office of the borough
president, ask at the MTA station, etc...

*contact other garden groups
NYC restoration project
Green Guerillas
and anyone in the community that we think would be useful to write a letter of support

If you're interesting in finding out more, clarifying the tasks, joining the group, or volunteering your time, enthusiasm, and expertise, go to the Yahoo group side for Culver Garden.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Reserve Now: Green-Wood Book Talk and Trolley Tour

These fill up fast, so don't delay. Thanks for LostinGreenwoodHts on Brooklynian for always posting these!

THE HISTORIC CHAPEL @ GREEN-WOOD: BOOK TALK AND TROLLEY TOUR
Sunday, March 8, 2009-1:00pm

NEW YORK 1863: A GREAT AMERICAN CITY IN CRISIS

Peter Quinn, acclaimed novelist and essayist, is a chronicler of Irish-America. A third-generation New Yorker whose grandparents were born in Ireland, Quinn is the author of Banished Children of Eve, which won the 1995 American Book Award. An historical novel set amid the 1863 New York City draft riots, the book combines Quinn's lifelong interests in New York City, Irish history and immigration, and the Civil War, weaving together the lives of an Irish-American hustler, a Yankee stockbroker, a mulatto actress and her minstrel lover, and leading historical figures of the time.

Many of the characters in Quinn's book are interred at Green-Wood Cemetery. A trolley tour with Green-Wood's historian Jeff Richman to the gravesites of William "Bill the Butcher" Poole, Horace Greeley, General Thomas Meagher and others will follow the book talk, reading and signing.

The event is FREE (suggested donation $5). The trolley tour is $20 / $10 for Historic Fund members. Space is limited. Please call 718.768.7300 or e-mail info(at)greenwoodcemetery.org for reservations.

SPECIAL OFFER: Join the Historic Fund at the Friend & Family $50 level and receive one trolley tour ticket FREE(a $20 value) in addition to standard membership benefits.

Not a Historic Fund member? Your support helps us to preserve the past to serve the future. Enroll today and enjoy membership benefits and discounts on all walking/trolley tours, books and more. Enroll by calling 718.768.7300 or e-mail info(at)greenwoodcemetery.org

A National Historic Landmark-Est. 1838-Our main entrance is located at 500 25th Street (on 5th Avenue) in Brooklyn. Via subway, take the R to the 25th Street station. For more info, call 718.768.7300 or visit us on-line at http://www.greenwoodcemetery.org/

Sunset Park Chocolate Connection


I'm sure I'm not alone in pining for a place like The Chocolate Room or like the new Nunu Chocolate and Blue Marble ice cream locations. Yes, it's a luxury. Yes, it would be encouraging a bad habit. But just walking by would be a pleasure, no?

Well, Sunset Park may not have these places (don't worry Gran Via, I do love you still!), but we do have a small corner of the chocolate market. Sort of. According to yesterday's NY Daily News, the owner of Brooklyn Fudge lives in Sunset Park. Bring it home, lady!

Also, and this is very cool, Tumbador Chocolate, headed by pastry chef Jean-Francois Bonnet (he used to be at super-high-end Daniel), makes delectable-looking chocolates right here, in Sunset Park. They don't have a store-front down on 34th Street, but they make everything by hand and it's all-natural goodness. Ordering on-line is how to get your hands on their goodies. Hurry up; V-Day is coming. (Hear that, honey?)

Tumbador has Asian inspired, African inspired, Old and New World style chocolates, and Pareve chocolates. Salted caramel sounds pretty darn good. As does the Ginger, Moroccan Mint Tea, and Rose Water. The photo is of the Pumpkin Caramel - fresh pumpkin, graham cracker crust blended in the caramel, lightly seasoned with a blend of spices. Fresh pumpkin. Yum.

So who needs a storefront of some expensive place that will taste oh-so-good but enable addiction? Better to have it made in Sunset, and get a pan de zanahoria at Gran Via while I wait for chocolate in the mail. Right?

Last Lunar New Year Celebration


The Sunset Park Rec Center will have its own Welcome to the Year of the Ox celebration on Saturday, February 7th. From Noon to 4 PM there will be lion dances, giveaways, dancing demonstrations, activities for the kids, and general revelry.

If you missed the 8th Avenue fireworks and demonstrations, here's your chance to give the Ox a proper welcome.

The Recreation Center is in the park at 7th Avenue between 41st and 44th Streets.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Another "Looking for a Room-Mate" Opportunity

It's a sign of the times, I suppose.
If you want to live in Sunset Park, or you want to downsize, here's your chance:

Apartment share offered by single mom of 12 yr old
Rent two rooms for $600 (includes utilities and cable)
rooms are side-by-side
single female or mom preferred
move in by mid-March
email Bridgette: Pinkcandy143@aol.com

Fresh Air Fund Looking for Summer '09 Counselors


The Fresh Air Fund is great for young children, but it can also be an opportunity for college students and other older city dwellers to not only get out of the City for the summer, but to have a fantastic time and build a resume. See below for the information to apply for summer 2009.


You love working with children, and that's probably what we like most about you. Running across the ball field, washing off the glitter glue, or swimming in the lake - with your cabin group laughing around you - you'll be in your element.

Are you going to be the counselor the children learn to paint with? The one they play soccer with? The one they want to hang out with? Or perhaps the one they read a bed-time story with? Whatever your role becomes, you'll thrive on the challenge and commit yourself to the cause.

You've got to be 18 or over by June 20th to apply, and you'll usually have completed at least one year of college by the summer. Any previous work with children should always be included on your application.

The experience you're about to apply for will be like no other, and it's going to take patience, flexibility, creativity, and a whole lot of self-motivation. But the rewards will be great... overcoming challenges, meeting new friends, playing games in the sun, jumping into the cool lake, painting face masks, hitting a home run, telling stories around a camp fire...

...and then seeing that smile brighten a child's face.

We're looking for counselors and program staff for all five of our summer camps - but places fill fast, so get your application in today.


We are now accepting applications for the 2009 season.

What You See in Sunset Park: Chilly Mother and Child

Considering the amount of people who feel it's necessary to comment on how cold my baby must be (despite a puffy snowsuit and being strapped to my body), I'm surprised no one bothered to cover up this little guy.

Re-Zoning 8th Avenue and a Possible Sunset Waterfront Container Port

Gonzalez and rezoning both sides of 8th Avenue.
from the Brooklyn Eagle article:

Both sides of Eighth Avenue from 39th to 60th streets will undergo a zoning study immediately following completion of the rezoning of Sunset Park currently taking place. Commissioner Burden informed Councilwoman Gonz√°lez that the Sunset Park Rezoning Plan is expected to be certified in March.

Columbia Street activity may move to Sunset Park.

from the Brooklyn Eagle editorial:

The emotional desire for some to hold on to the Columbia Street piers to keep the old days around is charming but impractical. A working Brooklyn waterfront does not mean the work has to be unloading cargo.

That kind of working waterfront should be located where the work makes sense as well as money. And when you’re talking about a an honest-to-God container port in Sunset Park, you have to also talk about an honest-to-God rail freight tunnel from New Jersey or Staten Island.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

On(e) Sunset Park is Selling Some Units

Brownstoner sure loves Sunset Park lately. Porn, Bahn Mi, and now a return to the rent-controlled turned luxury condo building on 44th and 7th. Phew! They really DO love us! ;)

The "checking in" they do is really an update on the sales going on in the building. Apparently, five units have sold; I only saw three contracts signed on the site, but maybe they have inside information. The comment thread on Brownstoner is full of misunderstandings. Last week's Buy of the Week in the New York Times was in Sunset. It was in one of the coop buildings that hasn't yet gone to mortgages; its price (and low maintenance) is a lot less because of that. Some of the 'Stoners mixed up that building with One Sunset Park (which allows 10% or 20% financing). They are very different animals.

Lost Brownstone is Rolling in its Grave

**Update below**
Here's what's left of the fencing around the new building that replaced a brownstone on 6th Avenue and 54th. I guess since the work is only going on INSIDE the building, they figure the fencing isn't necessary anymore. That may be, but take the whole darn thing down; it's becoming a trash heap and it looks pretty dangerous. There is a complaint in about this. The 9th one for this site.

This building will have three 3-bedroom apartments, one on each floor. It will also have some type of commercial fun on the ground floor.

**Not 24 hours later, the fencing and trash have been removed. 311 works! Or maybe it was that when I took the photo (probably with a scowl on my face), a woman who works in the laundry next door rushed out looking very worried. Either way, the trashy stuff is gone and now we can admire the facade in all its glory.