Thursday, April 30, 2009

Stop Work Order Served to Bigger, Uglier Building


And so it goes. This SWO was duct-taped to the fence due to a lack of approved plans for hoisting materials with pulleys (they should have seen the crane there two days ago), not having guardrails/handrails, and not providing protection to the adjacent roof.

Dia de los Ninos at the Sunset Library Today

Thanks to Rachel, my library connection, for the information. Today the Sunset Park library (51st and 4th) will be having a Dia de los Ninos program at 4 PM. If you need an afternoon activity for the kiddos, stop by and check it out.

YOU WHOOO, Keep off the grass!

A timely reminder to attempt to respect our newly green shoots around the neighborhood. Granted, soccer, picnicking, and running children and dogs don't help. Would we trade those activities for pretty, empty grass? I doubt it.

Thanks to Vanessa from veesvision for uploading this photo.

5th Avenue is Bargainville for your Feet

Forget the $5 foot long at Subway. Check out the stretch of 5th Avenue from 46th to 53rd for $5 pairs of shoes (ladies, for the most part). Not all had $5 shoes, some advertised 20% off, or various other bargain-sounding prices. I peeked into a couple of the places, and while they were very well patronized, the shoes aren't quite my style - even if they are my price. Seriously, one place had NO flat shoes. None. But if you need a pair of high heels in silver, white, or leopard print, get over to 5th Avenue NOW.


Another place (see photo above), in the mid-40's, did have flats, and I was tempted, but I don't need silver shoes right now.

Anyway, if you are more fashionable than I (and who isn't?), and if your balance is good (the heels were high), stroll along 5th for an hour. I'll bet you find something.

Jump-Start Your Relationship in Sunset Park

According to Time Out New York, the place to put a little pizazz into your long-term relationship is Sunset Park. If you start out here and work your way south, you'll dispel all worry about the solidity of your love. Start out with Ba Xuyen (the article points out that the veggie only option is yummy. Didn't I tell you?), throw in some bludgeoned bass, buy squid on a stick, and you're set. Isn't that true for any romantic relationship?

Check out their suggestions. I'd make a few adjustments, but it's a good walking tour with bountiful pit stops and views. Good effort, TONY.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Deborah Matlack Checks Out Green-Wood's Cherry Trees

With beautiful results, Deborah Matlack, a local photographer and creator of the new blog Brooklyn Rocks, took a walk around Green-Wood with her camera.

After the promised rains of the next few days, the blooms might not be as brilliant. Check it out.

NY1: Swine Flu Affects Sunset - Mildly

I suppose it's natural for a largely Mexican community to be extra concerned with something that seems to be radiating from Mexico. So far, however, it doesn't seem to be affecting too many businesses or too much activity on 4th and 5th Avenue. According to the NY1 story, Mexican airlines are giving people the opportunity to reschedule flights without penalties. Hopefully this flu will prove to be less serious than anticipated wherever it strikes. Considering the massive allergy attacks I've seen and experienced, combined with the heat of recent days, I'm surprised more people haven't run to doctors or emergency rooms to get checked for the porcine virus. Here's what NY1 has to say.

And if you're feeling the need for some adolescent humor (isn't any humor that uses bodily fluids considered fairly adolescent?) regarding swine flu, check out Beehive Hairdresser's take on how it's contracted. It gave me a chuckle.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mini-Ballerinas and Dancers Wanted for Dance Deal

Got a kid that's between three and a half and six? Want something to do before or after lunch on a Saturday? Here's your chance for a discounted class.



from El Pequeno Artista's email:

ATTENTION!
CALLING ALL BALLERINAS AND DANCERS OUT THERE!

El Pequeno Artista has a super sale this spring - first time for this class! Our ballet workshop started late for our star ballerina was on rehearsals. We have 9 classes left in the workshop and we would like to invite other dancers to come have fun with us. The price for the remaining of the workshop is now $150!

A saving of $70 from the original price!!

Ballet Workshop
Saturdays 12:30 p.m.
Age 3 1/2 to 6 yrs.
A fun introduction to ballet using imaginative techniques! Children learn the primary elements of classical ballet, including floor, bar & center work, and get a true sense of accomplishment with this dance.

TO REGISTER:
First send us an email with your child's name and age and your contact information. After that, you can send a check for $150 to El Pequeno Artista: 372 15th St. #1A Brooklyn NY 11215. Or call 646.207.0626 to have your payment processed by credit card. You'll receive a confirmation email when we have received your payment.


REGISTER NOW!
--
EL PEQUENO ARTISTA
249 20th St. @ 5th Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11215
www.elpequenoartista.com
T: 718.965.1406

What You See in Sunset Park: Peach Flowers

And that's why I'm bleary-eyed and sneezing.* It's lovely though.

* Okay, I don't know if these are allergy inducing flowers, and I'm sorry if I'm defaming a flowering tree by suggesting that. If you must correct my claim that my itchy, watery eyes are caused by trees like this, please do so without using expletives and insulting my parentage. I realize that the comments of a blog are tempting places to bolster up one's ego, especially under the "anonymous" title, but it's a tad boring to read through foolishness when I have a finite amount of time before my daughter wakes up. Thanks!

Going Up? Choosing Uglier and Bigger.

The story of 772 44th Street is one we've seen all too often around here. Let's not pretty up the fact that the building that was here had very little appeal, but the new owners chose to create the new building, and it's much more building than we had before.

The building you see above was a two-family; the building that's shaping up below will be nothing less than a four-family. They are working on the fifth floor now, but it looks like it's only supposed to be four floors. Please do correct me if I'm wrong about that.

Aesthetic concerns are one thing, but something that rankles even more is that changing a two family into a four (or five) family does more than offend the visual senses. Adding people to an infrastructure (water, sewage, sanitation, schools, and so on) that is not making much progress where improvements are concerned is troubling in many more ways. It's something we're seeing a lot of throughout our fair borough. Consider learning more about the proposed re-zoning of Sunset Park.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Green-Wood Cemetery is Showing Off


IMG_2039, originally uploaded by lostinbrooklyn.

Green-Wood is (even more) gorgeous right now, and it will be for a while thanks to blooming trees. So, if you aren't cursed with horrific allergies to beautiful, flowering arboles - check it out. Here's an excerpt from a posting by lostingreenwoodheights on Brooklynian.com:

"So take my friendly BLOOM ALERT and spend a morning, afternoon, early evening (open till 6pm till Memorial day, then 7pm) in the grounds and see some awesome blooms!"

Thanks to lostinbrooklyn for making several lovely photos of early blooms available on flickr.

What You Eat in Sunset Park: Snails with Black Bean Sauce

This was taken (and eaten) at Lucky Eight Restaurant on 52nd and 8th. Thanks to wEnDaLicious for adding it to the BViB photo pool on flickr.com. Check out her photostream for an amazing array of food around the City. She eats well!

Free Reading of New Play That's Not for the Kids

The playwright found space in Sunset Park because, as he said, the play follows an immigrant Latina, and he thought it would be an appropriate setting. Play readings are usually casual, bare bones affairs that let you listen in during the early stages of a play's development. Think of it as an opportunity to have a dinner and a show on the cheap. Don't forget to frequent one of our local establishments (and then write in to let us know how you liked it!).


Admission is free, but space is limited. Come early for guaranteed seats. This reading is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by the Brooklyn Arts Council, Inc. (BAC)

Fulana: A play reading by Felipe Ossa
When: 8 PM, Thursday May 14 and Friday May 15
Where: 220 36th Street, #506
How: D, M, N, R to 36th St.
No need to RSVP, just come early for guaranteed seats.

Cast: Marisel Polanco*
Vanessa BenĂ­tez
Sharlene Hartman*
Marika Daciuk*
Julio Neira*
Anthony Cruz

Stage Manager: Teresa Violet Cajigas
Music consultant: Gabriel DeSanctis

*Member of Actors’ Equity

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Reminder: Youth Baseball Sign-Ups are NOW!

If you have a baseball-loving child between 5 and 12 years old, check out the flyer below and call the Rec Center at 718 965 6533 to find out how you can sign up. It's free, it's outside, it's fun. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Links for a Sunset Sunday

Counterfeit Operation Bust

Rezoning of Sunset Park up for Public Comment

New Charter School Recruiting

Brooklyn Food Conference
from the Brooklyn Eagle article:

Worrisome indicators about the state of the borough’s health highlight serious systemic shortcomings. Conference literature sites a “Supermarket Need Index” created by the Department of City Planning, which determined that three million New Yorkers live in neighborhoods with a high need for grocery stores. In Brooklyn, those neighborhoods are Bushwick, Bed-Stuy, East New York and Sunset Park.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

What You See in Sunset Park: Two Wheel Romeo


Two Wheel Romeo, originally uploaded by galvarez51.

I'm not a fan of cut flowers, but this photo in the Best View in Brooklyn pool on flickr seems perfect for the next few days. Enjoy!

Friday, April 24, 2009

What You See in Sunset Park: Wigs and Serious Expressions


Thanks to Venus_in_Furs for uploading this to the Best View in Brooklyn photo pool on flickr.com. These ladies look proud and pensive at the same time.

New Peruvian Steakhouse Opens on 5th Avenue

It's open after many months of activity and occasional signs of life. The tables inside are cozy and decked in red tablecloths. The people who greeted me when I went in to get a menu were incredibly friendly (and those in the kitchen wore hairnets).

I was told that Thursday, Friday, and Saturday will be special seafood nights. And that's good because the menu doesn't seem too Peruvian. I'm no expert, especially because I'm a (mostly) vegetarian, but there is no ceviche on the menu, nor is there a potato dish - other than french fries. Granted, the awning says Peruvian and American. Take a look below and judge for yourself.

They JUST opened, so it could be that purchasing the fish for ceviche was a monetary issue, but potatoes? That's my go-to dish! Anyway, there is plenty that looks like it would please meat-eaters. Here's a sampling:

Fajitas for $12. Beef, chicken, shrimp.
Soups from $3.50 - $7.50. Chicken, beef, beef feet, ministrone.
Steaks for $9 - $19. 16 oz. Porter House, 12 oz. T-bone, Steak with onions, Pepper steak, Breaded Beef.
Pork Chops for $9 or $10. Pernil for $8.
Broiled chicken for $6 or $8.
Plaintains, yucca, papas fritas for $3.

I hope they do well; they seem really sweet and eager to make a go of it. They have a $6.50 lunch special from 11 AM to 3 PM on weekdays. That may be the way to go to try them out.

Three and a Half Ginger
5th Avenue between 41st and 42nd
718 853 0400

Thursday, April 23, 2009

What is This?


An exterminator's pump? Something ditched by Casbar due to its closing? A portable shower? A giant lemon juice applicator?

Any other suggestions as to what it might be?

I called 311 at Noon; let's see what happens.

Update: I got a call from the DEP at 1 PM, but I guess it didn't sound too ominous to them because it's still there at 3 PM. I hope it's not actual extermination stuff because several groups of kids coming home from PS 169 have been checking it out.
2nd Update: The DEP people (two very young and diligent people) came at some point after 3 PM. They left without the giant lemon, but they did leave their mark. See below.

I'm glad we averted THAT hazardous disaster.

What You See in Sunset Park: Blue Busted Stoop

She keeps watch on 47th Street.

Center for Family Life Has a Blog

It's called Spark, and it is full of information about the many amazing programs at the CFL, including the child-care and cleaning coops. Check it out.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sunset Park Rezoning Meeting on Saturday

Be aware that the following email contains some claims that are un-proven. However, the efforts of the organizers are positive for the community, and anything that encourages people to get involved and educate themselves about their chosen neighborhood is a really good thing.

Update: Brownstoner has a great map and information about the re-zoning in Sunset Park. PLEASE check it out! The 60 day public comment has begun, so comment if you care.

from the Sunset Park Alliance of Neighbors listserve:

How are City policies threatening to displace

residents and small businesses in the Sunset Park community?

Come and participate in a presentation and discussion at:

Saturday, April 25th @ 1pm

Trinity Church- 411 46th Street at corner of 4th Avenue

(Food and beverages provided)


Sunset Park has become increasingly unaffordable for low-income residents and families. With the increase in condominiums being built, high rents that make it difficult for low income families and small businesses to survive, and increasing costs for food and transportation, just to name a few changes, you may be wondering what is happening and what can I do about it?


There is a rezoning plan under consideration by the City of New York and Community Board 7 that will have serious implications for our community if passed. The proposed rezoning plan will up-zone the avenues in Sunset Park, which will encourage developers to demolish existing buildings to build luxury high rises. As a result, property values will be raised along with rent.


Ultimately, the proposed plan will not provide a single unit of low-income housing and will continue to push out working people and small businesses in the neighborhood. Meanwhile the City of New York under the Bloomberg administration passed plans to downzone and protect properties in the predominantly wealthier white community of Park Slope and Bay Ridge.


From Harlem to Willets Point in Queens, and to the Lower East Side and Chinatown, billionaire Mayor Bloomberg has pushed similar rezoning plans that have devastated communities. He has slashed the budget, while increasing costs, such as for MTA fares, for working people, robbing the working poor to feed the filthy rich. Essentially, Mayor Bloomberg is shifting the economic crisis on to the backs of working people.


Find out what you can do about your community and how to protect it !


For more information, please contact: Committee to Protect Sunset Park at (347) 661-2665


Sincerely,

Wendy Cheung Johnny Trellis

Committee to Protect Sunset Park

Gleaned Sunset Links

Here are a few links of Sunset interest lifted from sites much more diligent than this one:

via Brownstoner Savings in Sunset Park [NY Daily News]
- The most interesting thing about this list of places is the information about Tony Garofalo, the owner of Tony's Barber Shop. He's such a nice guy. The weirdest thing is the "savings" at the 5th Avenue C-Town. Sounds pretty standard to me.

from Gothamist: Brooklyn Sex Club Shut Down By Judge!
- Lots of good links to get the background in case you missed the hullabaloo when the NYT got kinky with the club.

And because you can't get enough about sex clubs on a Wednesday:

via Curbed · Sunset Park sex club closed six weeks after NYT profiled it [NY Law Journal]
- I thought this place was considered Greenwood Heights, but maybe I'm getting my swinger/sex clubs mixed up. Or maybe it's just another case of the really good stuff being considered Sunset Park.

What You See in Sunset Park: No Joke

Both suemejack and I snapped photos of this guy who stands guard in front of a house in the low 40's. Not much has changed in the months that passed between her photo and mine, and we both named the photo "No Joke" thanks to the graffiti. Seems appropriate considering the caricature it frames.

This one is suemejack's photo.

And this one is mine, taken just over a week ago. Now he has a tracking sticker on his hat, and a bottle of Yellowtail behind him. He hasn't touched his root beer.

Both photos are a part of the Best View in Brooklyn photo pool.

Celebrate Earth Day - Order a Tree


And then make sure to care for it. The little tree planted in front of my apartment doesn't seem to be looking too good. Is a lack of any buds or leaves a really bad sign? I blame whoever did this.

Anyway, many of you - well, those who are homeowners - can do something about the air we breathe, the blocks we walk, and the heat we feel in the summer. The coops up my block look like they are getting some trees. At least someone has been cutting into the sidewalk in the shape of tree pits. If a coop board can get together to agree on getting trees, anyone can.

Here's how, according to the Million Trees NYC website (this link has a $20 coupon towards a tree):

There are many ways to get involved in MillionTreesNYC:

Whatever activity you choose, this website contains all the information you need to get involved in MillionTreesNYC. Every tree planted and cared for is a bountiful gift to current and future New Yorkers.

Contact us for more information on how to get involved

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Reminder: Free Mammograms in May

I love the freebies, and here's one that's good for you, too.

The American Italian Cancer Foundation and Assemblyman Felix Ortiz are coordinating a Mammogram event to offer no-cost or low-cost mammograms to women who fulfill these criteria: She hasn't had a mammogram in the past year; she is at least 40 years old. I fit into one of these categories, but I'm not saying which.

The event will be held at PS 24 (427 38th Street), and it is on May 16th, 2009. Appointments are necessary. Call 1-718-492-6334.

As per a commenter, you can see the full schedule here:
http://americanitaliancancer.org/.docs/pg/10791

If you have a loved one who fits into these categories, encourage her to call (or call for her and surprise her for Mother's Day! Fun day out!)

What You See in Sunset Park: Gorilla Coffee


Gorilla Coffee, originally uploaded by buendiaproductions.

Not to worry anti-gentrifiers, and sorry to break it to you coffee-shop-desirers, it's where they roast the coffee. Where you drink the Gorilla coffee is far to the north.

Thanks for Buendiaproductions for uploading this photo to the Best View in Brooklyn photo pool on flickr.com. Check out his website for some fantastic posts and photos about Sunset Park.

New Play About Generational Tensions and Coops in Sunset Park

Looking for a good read? Or just looking for a read about Sunset Park? Here's a suggestion:

Sunset Park(Paperback)
by Sims, Marley , Shoenman, Elliot
Sunset Park

Our Price: Please call or email us for a price

Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days



Description
Dramatic Comedy / 3m, 4f Sunset Park is a contemporary comedy/drama that takes place in Brooklyn, New York. The main character is Evelyn Horowitz, a widow in her seventies who lives by herself and is a part-time teacher. Her apartment building is going co-op, but she can't afford to buy in and cannot, by law, be asked to leave. When, her middle-aged children, Carol and Roger, hear about it, they realize that there's money to be made in the long run: a long-term tenant has to be offered the apartment at a below market-value price and, eventually, the place can be "flipped" for a sizable profit. And that's when the problems start - when money enters the picture, conflicts arise and old secrets come out.

Product Details
Publisher : Samuel French Trade
Published : 03/01/2009
Format : Paperback , pages 72
ISBN-10 : 0573696039
ISBN-13 : 9780573696039

Monday, April 20, 2009

IDT is Still Trying to Get Your Business

A Harlem resident sent out an email about IDT agents trespassing in a coop building. The agents are all over the City, including Sunset Park. I haven't seen any nearby lately, nor have I heard of people knocking on doors recently. It seems that they tend to move very deliberately in one direction. Just a week or so after showing up in South Slope and Greenwood Heights, they turned up in the 40s. Keep an eye out!

What you see below is the text from a letter sent to IDT by this Harlem resident. It includes the link to a youtube video of the adorable agents. No really, they are cute. Too bad they're also obnoxious and taking advantage of fellow human beings during tough times.

On Wednesday, 4/15/09, after being asked to leave, your IDT Agents refused to leave my building, located at [West Harlem address here]. They remained in the building after over 25 minutes of being asked to leave, even though I clarified I was an owner. They also refused to stop bothering my elderly neighbors, after being asked to do so. Additionally they refused to give me a phone number or phone numbers to allow me to call a supervisor to assist in asking them to leave. Then I took out my video camera.

There were two female agents, once wore a pink shirt under her coat and the other a gray beret. The agent in the pink shirt said her brother was her boss and he wouldn't like it if she gave out his phone number, nor could I use her phone and use her minutes. (I offered her $5 to use her phone, but that offer was refused.) Your agents stated I could not make them leave even if I was an owner in the building because someone on the 4th floor buzzed them in. I said if they are guests of that person, they are now out of their apartment, so they need to leave my building. The girl in the beret said something like: Oh it’s your building, yeah right. And I clarified again, that I am an owner in the building and I want them to leave immediately. They said that the last building they were just in someone also called the police and that the police came and said they were allowed to be there. That of course is not true.

After asking the agents to leave for over 10 minutes, I called my super at 1:29pm hoping a man's presence would convince the agents to leave but he was not available. I then called IDT at 1:37pm @877-887-6866 and they said they could not call off their agents, and that I'd have to call the police. At 1:41pm I called 311 who transferred me to 911 because your agents were trespassing.

They continued door-to-door and I told each neighbor I saw that I have asked these agents to leave and that I called the police. One agent had already convinced my elderly neighbor to bring them their Con Ed bill and I also told that neighbor I had called the police.

Your agents pretended they called the police to report me and then they began knocking on doors on my first floor, and that is when I went to get my video camera. When officers from the 30th Precinct arrived they said they had received my call but had not received a call from your agents.

Here is the video that I put on youtube, as you will see, per request of your agent [name removed as requested] #6706306. - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cp1zhXVh_FQ

So far I've submitted it to Channel 7("7 on Your Side"), Fox ("Shame, Shame, Shame"), The Consumerist, The Gothamist, Curbed, NYC bloggers/websites (if they have articles about problems with your agents), and the NYS Public Service Commission.

Under § 140.05 of the New York Penal Law, "[a] person is guilty of trespass when he knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in or upon premises.."

If indeed these are legitimate agents from your company, they have not represented you well. This is the third time in a few weeks your agents have entered my building and have gone to door-to-door. Please stop sending your agents to Harlem.

Photos from Saturday's Celebrating Diversity Through Dance

Saturday's Diversity Celebration, sponsored by Young Dancers in Repertory, Friends of Sunset Park, and the Sunset Park Recreation Center, was a success despite the exceptional weather that kept many families from attending. The various dances represented many of the cultures found today in Sunset Park.

In addition to the dancing, informational booths were set-up to assist residents with dental health (Methodist Hospital's Pediatric Dental Clinic), HIV-AIDS education (Brooklyn AIDS task force), Fire Safety information, Immigration and New Arrival issues (New American Welcome Center/NYC Immigration Coalition), and other representatives from elected officials. There was also a strong showing from United Senior Citizens of Sunset Park.

Below, please excuse the poor quality of the photos. I know not to face the windows, but it was that or stand on top of the dozens of children watching from the side. I think they are just about in order of performance. I didn't get photos from the Polish Folklore Dance Troupe or the Quetzalcoatl group, so if anyone has them, please share!


From the Redhawk Native American Arts Council, we had some hula. She was lovely, and tried to teach a very shy-of-the-spotlight group a few moves. She performed a traditional Hula as well as a more Hollywood "sophisticated" Hula.
In the first of her many dances, Alexandra Bayeva performed a Russian dance which delighted the on-lookers with its fast beats.

The Chinese Planning Council had several dances with children and young adults. This was the first, and all the parents took out video recorders to get their kids on tape. It was very sweet.

Chrisafo Madimenos performed a couple of dances from the Mediterranean. The first was Spartan, I believe. And there was a traditional Greek dance that the children were taught. (No adults volunteered to learn.)
Again, Alexandra Bayeva performed. This second dance was a Ukrainian dance with lots of spinning and twirling.

A second dance by the Chinese Children's troup. They managed to synchronize, even with the littlest ones.
This was from a traditional Indian dance performed by a very energetic (and persistent) woman who really tried to get some adults to dance. She performed two different styles of Indian dances. She also taught a few moves to the participants.


The third performance by Alexandra Bayeva was a Gypsy dance. It was interesting to me because it was so different from the Gypsy dancing in Spain - none of the stomping and Flamenco style arm movements. It was more fluid and joyful rather than angry and sexual.

This is when I had to leave for a while. I missed the Polish and Mexican dances. I may have missed something else as well, so if anyone else attended and took photos, please add them to the Best View in Brooklyn photo pool!

The final group was BombaYo, a Puerto Rican BOMBA group that brought its own drums and instruments. I met these guys on their way up the hill to the Rec Center; they were incredibly friendly and warm. Their music and dancing reflected that attitude. You can see a youtube video at the link above.
This woman danced to the audience and the drummers with her scarf.
She was incredibly energetic and serious as a dancer.
This young lady also used a red scarf as a prop. All three dancers were lots of fun, and the audience loved it. A couple of people joined in to the performance as well.

Hopefully next year's celebration will have overcast, cool, damp weather so that more people can enjoy the dancers and getting to know their neighbors a bit more. Thank you to the people who worked so hard to put the event together!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

What You See in Sunset Park: Metal Detector

I've seen this man all over the park using his metal detector for hours. When I finally got a chance to talk to him, he said that he does it for the fresh air, beautiful view, and the occasional interesting object that shows up. Usually, he said, it's bottle caps and small change.

Free Workshops for Livable Neighborhoods

If you are interested in being able to better assist Sunset Park (or your corner of NYC) to be even better, consider registering for this day-long workshop offered by the Municipal Arts Society. See below for details, or visit the website for registration and information. It's free, and anyone can participate. Preference is given to CB members and civic organizations.

from the website:

Livable Neighborhoods Program Training 2009

On Saturday, May 16th the Municipal Art Society Planning Center will launch the third annual Livable Neighborhoods Program training at Hunter College. Join over one hundred New Yorkers from neighborhoods across the city to learn more about how to make positive transformations in your neighborhood. Past facilitators have included Tom Angotti of the Hunter College Center for Community Planning and Development, Anthony Borelli of the Manhattan Borough President’s Office and Vicki Weiner of the Pratt Center for Community Development.

Important Information:

Date and Time: Saturday May 16, 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Registration Deadline: Friday, May 1, 2009
Who Can Attend? Registration is open the public, however priority is given to members of grassroots organizations and community boards.
What Is The Cost? Participation in the program is free.
Where Is The Training? The training will take place at Hunter College with special assistance from Hunter College’s Center for Community Planning and Development (CCPD). Hunter College is located at 695 Park Ave (Manhattan). Corner of 68th Street and Lexington Ave.
Will Food Be Served? Yes. We will provide breakfast and lunch.
Can I Bring My Child? Yes. The LNP is designed to be as convenient for participants as possible. We will have a supervised children’s activity room available on both days of training for children school age and up.

Donations are most welcome, and will help us to maintain the annual program.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Good News on the Streets

Well, 311 works, apparently. Recently, I posted about some truly awful street situations on 46th, 6th Avenue, and 41st Street. As of earlier in the week, 46th Street has been fixed, 41st Street has been worked on and is waiting to be re-paved, and 6th Avenue is, as you can see in the photos above and below, neatened up and dubbed with an updated posting. Now the work is supposed to be completed by April 30th, 2009.



Don't forget, if there are situations like damaged signs, huge craters in your street, unsafe construction sites, or other issues around your neighborhood, calling 311 is always an option. The last few times I've called have been short, effective, and pleasant calls.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Lost Ferret

I saw a sign last week, but it already looked so beat up that I figured it was old news. Then today I saw this new sign, with a lot more information. Someone really wants this ferret back! Aren't they still banned in NYC?

This sign was on 7th Avenue and 52nd Street. Click on the photo for a better look at the contact information.

Reminder: Opening Reception at Under Minerva

Off the Grid opened on Wednesday, but tonight is the true opening reception. Stop by to take in some art and sip on some of the complimentary champagne.

When: Friday the 17th, from 7 PM to 9 PM
Where: Under Minerva at 656 5th Avenue, between 19th and 20th.
www.underminerva.com

What You See in Sunset Park: Street Art

from veesvision in the BViB photo pool on flickr.

Sunset Park doesn't have a lot of graffiti compared to many surrounding areas. And we are happily less than plastered in stickers that come from the need to get a message across while blocking someone else's message. However, we do have a few areas that have some street art that's worth seeking out.

LoisinWonderland added the three photos below to the Best View in Brooklyn photo pool on flickr. A little of everything in varying degrees. They are great shots, and she has tons more from around the City on her photostream and her blog.

First, you have an example of the paid for murals. They are usually in memoriam, but sometimes commissioned, or at least allowed, by a bank or a store. This one is on 46th and 5th. There is a large memorial portrait next to it.

Then you have your more typical graffiti, although, compared to most of what's around Sunset Park, this is stellar. I am not quite sure if it's an evil Pluto the dog, a rat, or an angry rabbit. Anyone know?

And then we've got a few stencilled works. This one is Mexican, judging from the DF reference. Was Mario Mexican? I never played the game, but I thought he was Italian. Maybe it's his look-alike cousin.

I know opinions vary widely on graffiti, but I think there's a great difference between scrawling your mark across someone else's property and creating something that is at least marginally amusing or attractive.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Dietary Suggestion: Avocado Milkshake


Avocado Milkshake, originally uploaded by mysteryship.

Since the next few days are going to be divine, I suggest stopping by 8th Avenue for a bubble tea, milkshake, or lemon ice. My favorite places are Ba Xuyen (you can request less sugar in the milkshake if you want), TenRen, and Tbaar.

What are some other great places for a cool drink?

Oh, and please DO NOT buy ice cream from the guy who idles at the top of the hill by the park. Frequent the ice cream sellers with the carts. They work a lot harder, they are more friendly, and they don't pollute our lungs and ears. Alternatively, stop by Fabio's Coco de Helado on 4th Avenue. The coco is great, but the morir de sonando lives up to its name.

Tabla Rasa: Pioneer Women

The newest show at Tabla Rasa will open on Saturday, April 18th. The opening reception is from 3 PM to 6 PM. Check out the exhibition site for images of the works. A full list of artists is available at the gallery's link below.

Tabla Rasa Gallery is FREE and open to the public.
General gallery hours: 1:00 - 5:00 pm, THURSDAY, FRIDAY & SATURDAY.
Call 718.833.9100 for events and schedule updates

224 48th Street, between 2nd and 3rd Avenues in Brooklyn.

from the press release:

Amherst, MA, 16 March, 2009--More than 20 women who have settled upon the fertile ground of the Pioneer Valley (Connecticut River Valley) have created new artworks that will premiere in New York City at Tabla Rasa Gallery from April 18 – May 30.

Green-Wood is Blooming

from a Brooklynian post from LostinGreenwoodHeights:

The Green-Wood Historic Fund Presents:

May 3, 2009

SPRING IN BLOOM Trolley Tour
Join Green-Wood's Art Presson, superintendent of grounds operations, and Jeff Richman, Cemetery historian, for a unique springtime trolley tour through Green-Wood’s most spectacular gardens, blooms and landscapes.

The trolley tour is $20 / $10 for Historic Fund members.
Space is limited. Please call 718.768.7300 or e-mail info@greenwoodcemetery.org for reservations. Meet inside the main entrance at 25th Street at 5th Avenue.

SPECIAL OFFER:
Join The Green-Wood Historic Fund at the Friend and Family $50 level and get one trolley tour ticket for free (a $20 value).

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/

**********

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, visit http://www.greenwoodcemetery.org/ or e-mail info@greenwoodcemetery.org
_________________

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What You See in Sunset Park: Crabs


Crab Cart, originally uploaded by veesvision.

This was uploaded to the Best View in Brooklyn photo pool by veesvision. It's from 8th Avenue in Chinatown. The stalls out in front of the shops will often have some crabs cracked open to show off the eggs inside as well. Somehow, these crawly critters don't look too well. Leg up is rarely a good sign, right?

Community Board 7 Meeting Tonight

If you are interested in finding out what's happening within the confines of CB 7, come to tonight's meeting. It begins at 6:30 PM, and there is plenty of seating in the CB room. The address is 4201 4th Avenue, but the entrance is on 43rd Street. Don't let a slightly late entry deter you, the entrance is far enough to the back of the room that you can make a quiet entrance.

The Brooklyn Paper has some information about a CB 7 issue for Windsor Terrace. (thanks to Curbed for being on top of that.)

Wednesday Links: Opinionated Food Blogs in a Sunset Park State of Mind

These two links will save you a lot of trial and error. If you enjoy trial and error, let us know about what you found was excellent, mediocre, or truly awful.

The Search for a Good Noodle Soup - Fine Furious Life

The Search for a Good Taco - Writing with My Mouth Full

The Meat Market and What to do With What They've Got - Fein Dining

Center for Family Life Counselors-in-Training Attack Environmental Racism and Dog Doo

As I crossed 4th Avenue to head to the library, I noticed this flyer stapled to a tree directly outside the library. Since the poster below it is much flashier, I am pretty sure I'm one of the few people who actually read this typed missive. (You can enlarge the photo by clicking on it if you want to read it in its entirety.)

Brought to us by the Counselors-in-Training at the Center for Family Life, it invites news agencies to "experience our community projects about Environmental Racism in Sunset Park." It could be a response to the recent news about Astoria PowerGen's South Pier Improvement Project, but I doubt it. Supposedly, the project is to lessen the impact on Sunset Park. We'll see.

While there are a lot of issues under the umbrella of Environmental Racism, this flyer focuses on "litter and dog poop on our streets!" The flyer goes on to say that the people organizing this project believe that other neighborhoods receive more funding and more attention to a clean and safe environment, presumable from our elected officials. But this is no "We're victims and we want someone else to change it" group. These folks have created a project that will hopefully show the community residents AND their elected officials that we deserve just as much clean air, poop-free sidewalks, and litter-free everything as our northern and southern neighbors.

from the flyer:

As of April 13th, 2009, you are invited to notice our community projects around Sunset Park:
* We have hung signs to invite dog owners to use the provided plastic bags to pick up after their dogs. Please help us continue to fill the containers with plastic bags.
* We have decorated garbage cans so people can happily throw away their garbage!
* We have hung up art projects in the subway stations that show differences between our beloved neighborhood, Sunset Park, and our neighbor Park Slope.

It continues with a call to action that includes picking up trash, putting aside differences, and working together. Below you can see one of their projects. Indeed, there are plastic bags to be had in the container. It doesn't specify that it's dog poop that they are after, but maybe that's just as well considering what I've seen in the park. (Don't click on that link unless you want to see what you're probably thinking is there.)



Also, I think they may have been referring to campylobacteriosis, and not camplobacteriosis. It does cause fever, but I haven't seen the threat of meningitis...just the threat of other very unpleasant effects. But even without the threat of long days on the potty, poop - or doo doo - is gross and should be picked up whether it's human, canine, or fowl.

If anyone sees other projects by this group, take a photo if you get a chance and send it to bestviewinbrooklyn@yahoo.com.

Thanks!