Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Last Day of National Poetry Month

In recognition of this last day of NPM, I'm posting a poem that I interpret to be about what poetry can be and should be. I suppose it could apply to all art, to a diety, to love, or even to beauty in general. It's by Jane Kenyon, and it's called "Briefly It Enters, and Briefly Speaks."

Briefly It Enters, and Briefly Speaks
by Jane Kenyon

I am the blossom pressed in a book,

found again after two hundred years. . . .

I am the maker, the lover, and the keeper. . . .

When the young girl who starves

sits down to a table

she will sit beside me. . . .

I am food on the prisoner's plate. . . .

I am water rushing to the wellhead,

filling the pitcher until it spills. . . .

I am the patient gardener

of the dry and weedy garden. . . .

I am the stone step,

the latch, and the working hinge. . . .

I am the heart contracted by joy. . .

the longest hair, white

before the rest. . . .

I am there in the basket of fruit

presented to the widow. . . .

I am the musk rose opening

unattended, the fern on the boggy summit. . . .

I am the one whose love

overcomes you, already with you

when you think to call my name. . . .

From The Boat of Quiet Hours by Jane Kenyon, published by Graywolf Press. © 1986 by Jane Kenyon. All rights reserved.

Owl's Head Park to host Grand Prix

Well, a kiddie version of the Grand Prix anyway.

From 11 - 3 on Sunday, May 4th, an arts camp in New Hampshire is sponsoring a free event (with pizza, while it lasts!) for kids ages 7 - 16. Reserve a spot by writing to or by calling (718) 569-0332. Car building supplies will be limited to the first 70 racers to RSVP.Here's the basic description:

On Sunday, May 4, Art and Speed collide (safely) at the First Annual Gerbo’s Gravity Racer Grand Prix. Beam Camp and Mechanical Sculptor Steve “Gerbo” Gerberich invite creative-minded racer-builders aged 7 - 16 and their families to Owl’s Head Park in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn for an afternoon of sculptural collage and mini-car racing. Guided by Gerbo and Beam Camp staff, each young racer will build a basic chassis from provided wooden components. The Racer/Sculptors will then customize their vehicles using elements from Gerbo’s own vast collection of
objects of under-recognized beauty and utility.

I'm guessing it's a recruiting tool for the camp, and it sure sounds like a better recruiting style than what I see on the street corners! Check out their website for more details.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Still Smoking? That's SO 2007. I mean, 1997.

The NYC Health Department is ending its free nicotine patch and gum program on May 1st! Quick! Call 311 to enroll in the program at NO COST! There are fewer than 48 hours to call!

Second Anniversary with a Newborn

Second anniversaries often get glossed over and brushed off. That's especially true when the loving couple has an almost four week old to care for and snuggle and love. My sister and her husband are in that exact position. Hopefully they will enjoy the day and night as a couple and not just as parents. Foot rubs are worth more than any bought gift, I say. So, in honor of their second anniversary, I offer a lovely little poem about couplehood. Granted, it's really about couplehood more tested than two or four years' worth. But the imagery is intimate with a touch of new-found joy. That's what I wanted to share. So, here you go. Molly Peacock's "Couple Sharing a Peach."

It's not the first time

we've bitten into a peach.

But now at the same time

it splits--half for each.

Our "then" is inside its "now,"

its halved pit unfleshed--

what was refreshed.

Two happinesses unfold

from one joy, folioed.

In a hotel room

our moment lies

with its ode inside,

a red tinge,

with a hinge.

From Cornucopia by Molly Peacock. Copyright © 2002 by Molly Peacock. Used by permission of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.

Tabla Rasa to Celebrate the 125th Anniversary of Brooklyn Bridge Opening

Did you know that Sunset Park is the humble host to an art gallery? I mean a real, high-ceilinged, shows lots of pieces art gallery. The Tabla Rasa Gallery is located at 224 48th Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenues), and it's affiliated with SPArC, or the Sunset Park Arts Community. Not a long walk, no matter what part of SP you call home.

Starting on May 22nd and running through June 26th, the exhibition "Bridge as Icon" will be the focus at Table Rasa. There is an extensive list of artists contributing to this show. The website has the full list.

Here's my favorite thing about the gallery (well, other than that they display darn good art): it's free and open to the public. No cost, and no invites needed. That means that nerdy, out-of-touch, don't get special notices and invitations to artsy stuff people like me can just stop in! Oh yeah.

The gallery is open Thursday through Sunday from noon to 5 PM. The phone number is 718-833-9100. And according to the website there might be a special summer schedule.

Does anyone want to check it out one of these Thursdays?

Check out the Tabla Rasa website for a look at the gallery and what they've shown in the past. The photo above is taken from the website, as is all the information herein.

Cherry Blossoms Bloom in Minutes

Since I know that several people (perhaps the only people?) who visit here love the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, here's a chance to see the blossoms on the cherry trees bloom in a time lapse video. Perhaps it will suffice until the next visit!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Zum Geburtstag Viel Gluck, Papi!

My dad is 75 today. Amazing. Partly amazing because I don't think of myself as someone old enough to have a parent who is 75, but there you go. One of my favorite stories/memories about my dad is that he melted his wedding ring in the chemistry lab. Looking at the weirdly shaped ring and hearing the story was always a treat for us. I also loved hearing about how the only time he really felt like punching someone was after my middle sister was born. My dad was asked if they were planning on giving me back (I'm adopted). He's a great dad, and a super-duper grandfather. His deep voice puts both of his grandchildren into a relaxed stupor.

That's partly how I chose the poem for today. Goethe's "Erlkönig" is a popular poem for school children to memorize in Germany. Or it was. I remember my father reciting this poem to us, and I think we had a recording of it as well. It was very eerie. Being my righteous self, I was always angry that the father seemed to ignore his son's pleas to save him from the Erlking. Now, being a parent, I see that the father just wants to calm his son and keep him safe (while quelling his own worries) while they ride to the doctor's abode. This translation is not nearly as beautiful and haunting as the German, but it tells the story well enough. The link to the poem (see "Erlkönig" above) has some interesting ideas as to the origins of the poem, and it also guides an interested reader to other stories and connected literature. The illustration is by J. H. Ramberg.

For the few locals that know German, I'll post in both German and English. (It's much more beautiful in German.) Happy Birthday, Papi!

Erlkönig Erlking
von J.W. Goethe Translation by Hyde Flippo

Wer reitet so spät durch Nacht und Wind? Who rides so late through the night and wind?
Es ist der Vater mit seinem Kind; It's the father with his child;
Er hat den Knaben wohl in dem Arm, He has the boy safe in his arm,
Er faßt ihn sicher, er hält ihn warm. He holds him secure, he holds him warm.

«Mein Sohn, was birgst du so bang dein Gesicht?» – “My son, what makes you hide your face in fear?” –
Siehst, Vater, du den Erlkönig nicht? Father, don't you see the Erlking?
Den Erlenkönig mit Kron und Schweif? – The Erlking with crown and flowing robe? –
«Mein Sohn, es ist ein Nebelstreif.» – “My son, it's a wisp of fog.” –

«Du liebes Kind, komm, geh mit mir! “You dear child, come along with me!
Gar schöne Spiele spiel' ich mit dir; Such lovely games I'll play with you;
Manch bunte Blumen sind an dem Strand, Many colorful flowers are at the shore,
Meine Mutter hat manch gülden Gewand.» My mother has many a golden garment.”

Mein Vater, mein Vater, und hörest du nicht, My father, my father, and do you not hear
Was Erlenkönig mir leise verspricht? – What the Erlking promises me so softly? –
«Sei ruhig, bleibe ruhig, mein Kind; “Be quiet, stay quiet, my child;
In dürren Blättern säuselt der Wind.» – In the dry leaves the wind is rustling.” –

«Willst, feiner Knabe, du mit mir gehn? “Won't you come along with me, my fine boy?
Meine Töchter sollen dich warten schön; My daughters shall attend to you so nicely.
Meine Töchter führen den nächtlichen Reihn, My daughters do their nightly dance,
Und wiegen und tanzen und singen dich ein.» And they'll rock you and dance you and sing you to sleep.”

Mein Vater, mein Vater, und siehst du nicht dort My father, my father, and do you not see over there
Erlkönigs Töchter am düstern Ort? – Erlking's daughters in that dark place? –
«Mein Sohn, mein Sohn, ich seh es genau: “My son, my son, I see it most definitely:
Es scheinen die alten Weiden so grau.» It's the willow trees looking so grey.”

«Ich liebe dich, mich reizt deine schöne Gestalt; “I love you; I'm charmed by your beautiful form;
Und bist du nicht willig, so brauch ich Gewalt.» And if you're not willing, then I'll use force.”
Mein Vater, mein Vater, jetzt faßt er mich an! My father, my father, now he's grabbing hold of me!
Erlkönig hat mir ein Leids getan! – Erlking has done me harm! –

Dem Vater grausets, er reitet geschwind, The father shudders, he rides swiftly,
Er hält in Armen das ächzende Kind, He holds in (his) arms the moaning child.
Erreicht den Hof mit Mühe und Not; He reaches the farmhouse with effort and urgency.
In seinen Armen das Kind war tot. In his arms the child was dead.

Stay Out of the Street (especially the multi-lane kind)

Another sad story about a young person from Sunset Park killed in a traffic accident. This one did not occur in SP, and it seems that she and her friends made some poor decisions about crossing the street prior to being hit.

Thankfully, no one else was hurt, including the driver who swerved to avoid the 17 year old's friends. Here's the link to the Daily News story.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Mommy Poppins encourages us to eat locally

With farmer's market season coming (the Sunset Park FM starts in July!), a lot of us start to think more about vegetables that don't come frozen or in a can. And we look forward to fruit with FLAVOR!

The closest CSA (community supported agriculture) to Sunset Park is the Greenwood Heights CSA. Unlike Urban Organics, you pick up your food every week for part of the year. I believe half-shares are also available if every other week is enough for you. The fruits and veggies come from Hearty Roots Community Farm in Tivoli, NY. The main couple behind the farm was featured in the NYT Style section not too long ago. They are Brooklyn transplants who now provide Brooklyn with fresh veggies. Gotta love that.

Here's a quickie guide to what to buy organic or not, and how to try to reduce your impact on the environment. The Mommy Poppins site did a great job of breaking down the main areas. It's also got some handy resources. Not everything must be organic to be acceptable (and it will certainly help your money holder of choice to stay a little bulky). Mmmmmmm. Enjoy!

Rain changes plans, sometimes for the better.

I like rain. In earlier, nuttier days a summer downpour was an opportunity to run around and get muddy and get soaked with friends. Sliding down grassy, goopy hills was truly life's greatest joy...until the adrenalin wore off and the clean-up began.

It cleans up the neighborhood. It seems to freshen the air. (Did you know that all of Kings County has an F in particle pollution? It's mainly due to cars. Go congestion pricing!) It makes the grass practically glow.

I don't really mind walking in the rain. I hate using an umbrella. Especially when it's warmer weather, I just don't see much reason to use one. (Don't worry. I still make sure to cover the child!) I don't usually wear white tops, and I guess I just picture myself in a film with the rain pouring down. You know something incredibly romantic or dramatic will happen when someone is walking and smiling in the rain. The reality is more drowned rat than romantic lead, but I don't have to see what I look like, you do!

So, here is a poetic offering that deals with rain, although it's not about enjoying it, really. It's by Agha Shahid Ali. He also has a poem from the wolf's point-of-view in Little Red Riding Hood. I always like those types of poems. This rain focussed poem is called "Even the Rain."

from "Even the Rain"

Drought was over. Where was I? Drinks were on the house.

For mixers, my love, you'd poured--what?--even the rain.

Of this pear-shaped orange's perfumed twist, I will say:

Extract Vermouth from the bergamot, even the rain.

How did the Enemy love you--with earth? air? and fire?

He held just one thing back till he got even: the rain.

This is God's site for a new house of executions?

You swear by the Bible, Despot, even the rain?

After the bones--those flowers--this was found in the urn:

The lost river, ashes from the ghat, even the rain.

What was I to prophesy if not the end of the world?

A salt pillar for the lonely lot, even the rain.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Adaptation and a Poem by Auden

Of late, I was less than kindly reminded (unintentionally, I'm sure) that I am not a native New Yorker. That privilege can only be claimed by those who were born in a local hospital, lived through the "rough years when NYC was real," went to public schools (or now pretend they did to add to their authenticity), and if they went to college outside of NYC they came back every weekend because there's "nothing to do out there." Personally, I'd argue that I know a lot more than some natives about NYC, or Brooklyn at least, from teaching in the public school system for 12 years, but I don't think that's a discussion I care to have.

So that mini-rant got me thinking about how I've adapted to things in Brooklyn. Some good, some not so good. Now that the weather is better, for example, going to the park is a whole new adventure. Local drunks (twice this week police and ambulances were called to pick up men who could not be woken up) and the organic material they leave behind, lots and lots of glass that toddlers enjoy picking up and tasting, inconsideration of others brought on by anonymity all make up part of the experience that is visiting the park.

I don't usually share those details with friends and family outside of Brooklyn because the reactions force me to acknowledge that I really have adjusted what is acceptable. And the fact is, I enjoy utilizing the park. I like that there are kids and parents who share their balls and tricycles despite language barriers. I like that there is lots of grass and equipment and space to explore. I like that it's an easy place to meet up with others who also enjoy the park despite some of the drawbacks. I especially like that there are several parks/playgrounds within easy walking distance. That's not something many towns can claim.

So anyway, this poem by W. H. Auden references the ability to adapt and accept sometimes shockingly severe changes. Adaptation can mean survival, but it can also mean complacency. Perhaps what annoys some native New Yorkers about New Comers is that the short-comings of our (yes, I used the possessive! mine!) City are not as ignored by those of us who grew up with different circumstances. It's not a bad thing to want the glass cleaned up from around the trees. It's not a bad thing to want the passed out and perhaps severely damaged drunk man to be assisted and made to answer for his choices. It's not a bad thing to want broken playground equipment to be repaired. It's just not.

However, there are plenty of things that should be smoothly accepted. For example, sometimes you need to use sign-language to tell the stylist what kind of cut you want. Sometimes you need to walk around the never-ending stoop sales on your block and on the way to the train. Sometimes you need to learn a few phrases (or more) in different languages so that you can say "thank you" and "excuse me" to others who live in the neighborhood. Okay, and sometimes you might need to learn a phrase that's a little more specific to tell someone to keep his opinions to himself. I've found that, "Como? Que quieres decirme?" works really well to get some silence on the corner.

But back to Auden. Here are a couple of stanzas from his poem that I interpret to be about adaptation.

from "The More Loving One"

Admirer as I think I am

Of stars that do not give a damn,

I cannot, now I see them, say

I missed one terribly all day.

Were all stars to disappear or die,

I should learn to look at an empty sky

And feel its total dark sublime,

Though this might take me a little time.

A Playground Option for the Smaller Set

As this last week of school vacation has shown, the Sunset Park playground can be decidedly unfriendly to those kiddies who are still unsteady on their feet...or for those who are smaller than the tweens and teens (and we think NYC makes kids grow up too fast!) who barrel around the playground as advertising for Red Bull.

A fellow Sunset Park parent recently discovered an option for the smaller kids. The playground on the 44th Street and 7th Avenue side of the elementary school is sometimes available to the public.

Here's what she said:

On a separate note, today we were able to use the playground of the school on the corner of 44th and 7th avenue. The playground was literally empty and we had a great time. The security people were there and said that it will be open on and off since last Monday they had an incident of someone breaking a window and some kids doing graffiti. They told us we could use the playground when it's open (it's really toddler friendly!), they even told us that if we see that the gates are closed, we can ring the bell to the school (on 7th ave side) and they'll open the playground for us (this is as long as you see some car parked in that back playground - a blue van or a white mercedes).

This will be great during the summer too, when the playground gets super crazy. The security people are also there during the weekend. Again, as long as you see some car parked inside the school's playground, that means that the security people are inside, which would mean you can use the playground.

They also asked us that if we ever see someone making damage to the playground to call 311 or 911. This will help keep that playground open and safer.

It's a very cute playground, and it's a better size for toddlers than the SP playground equipment. See you there!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

File Under: I don't get it (or I won't get it)

Perhaps it's more of "She's just so out of touch." But the recent news about Sunset Park being #3 in sales for Brooklyn pretty much stunned me. I know numbers can be played with, but it interested me enough to take a look around the neighborhood (via The New York Times Real Estate Section). Here's some of what I found:

For $1.15 million, you get a one-family between 5th and 6th Avenues.
For the same price, you get a two-family that COULD BE a one-family.
That makes this Brownstone on 45th between 4th and 5th Avenues look like a steal.
If you don't want to break the one million mark, how about this limestone on 45th for $979,000? There's an open house this weekend!
Taking a plunge past several homes in the $900 thousand range, what about this three-family on 39th Street for just $789,000?

Of course, Sunset is the land of the Coop. And there are plenty of 1 bedroom Coops available, some for around $170,000. Also, there are plenty of commercial buildings for sale...the priciest was $10 million, and on 41st and 8th, there's a building that was just lowered to just over $4 million! The ad says it could be a hotel or a daycare center. Anyone want to go in on it with me? I'll do either one.

Watch Your Rice at CostCo

Rice purchases are at big box stores like CostCo and Sam's Club. And the price for a 20 pound bag of rice has risen from $9 to $16 in New York. Check it out here.

A-Changin' Times

I love Bob Dylan. I don't listen to him nearly enough. When he was 21 years old, he wrote "The Times They Are A-Changin' " in response to building turmoil regarding the Civil Rights movement and the US and its growing role in Vietnam.

The media is supposedly much more open and savvy and critical than it was back in 1962. However, really the mainstream media is simply fulfilling its role of keeping everyone calm during a growing economic crisis (what's rising gas prices compared to the food riots in Haiti and around the world?) and keeping us thinking about cosas muy importante like the Latest News from CNN.COM:
So anyway, I offer up a couple of stanzas from Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin' " even though it may actually just be business as usual.

from "The Times They Are A-Changin' "

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Brownstones Being Beaten Down

I'm sure we've all noticed the large amount of construction around our way...from the weird motel-like building on 39th Street (in addition to the confirmed hotel on 39th between 8th and 9th Avenues), to the "We're right next to the green space of Green-Wood!" condos on 36th and 4th, to the new apartment building that grew out of the parking lot of a funeral home on 43rd and 4th. Then, of course, there are the dozens of smaller brick and "Fedders" buildings that are built on various occupied and unoccupied lots. Cititour has a highlight on Sunset Park today. It shows horror at someone's choice to tear down a brownstone building and replace it with...well, we just don't know yet. The image below is from

Loosely Inspired by a Trip to the Aquarium

It was crowded at the New York Aquarium today. School vacation week and all. Lots of kids, lots of parents, lots of teens, lots of "camp" groups eating bag lunches. (You can tell a lot about the parents based on what they give their kids for lunch.)

Despite my minor case of misanthropy exacerbated by crowds, I managed to enjoy the New York Aquarium. My kid loved being able to stand up next to the tanks and watch the fish and walruses (and lick the glass). It was a beautiful day, and we got to see the baby walrus swim around. I even got a bee down my shirt! Woohoo! So anyway, today's selection will be with a mention of a walrus. It's from Lewis Carroll's "The Walrus and the Carpenter." A bit silly, I know, but then that's me. I particularly like it because it puts cabbages and kings on the same level.

from "The Walrus and the Carpenter"

"The time has come," the Walrus said, 

"To talk of many things:

Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--

Of cabbages--and kings--

And why the sea is boiling hot--

And whether pigs have wings."

Health Fair coming to Sunset Park in June

I guess it's always good to plan (way) ahead. This is from, a very useful site for events and food in the area.

On June 14th, from 11 AM - 3PM, the Sunset Park Rec Center will be hosting a free health fair
sponsored by
the Community HealthCorps VISTA program of New York City. Check out the above blog for more information; he has the flyer posted.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

And, of course, a poem for the trees

I considered referring everyone to Dr. Seuss' _The Lorax_, in fact, I think I'll still do that. Here's the basic information, and I suggest you buy a used copy at your local independent bookstore, or from Amazon, to save some trees.

Here's a Tree Poem offering in honor of Earth Day. It's "The Presence of Trees" by Michael S. Glaser.

I have always felt the living presence
of trees

the forest that calls to me as deeply
as I breathe,

as though the woods were marrow of my bone
as though

I myself were a tree, a breathing, reaching
arc of the larger canopy

beside a brook bubbling to foam
like the one

deep in these woods,
that calls

that whispers home

Million Trees NYC

Here are some reasons why the Borough Park residents should try to hug their trees and not dig them up. Some of the environmental benefits include lower temps in the summer, improved air quality, and slowing climate change. Economic benefits highlighted on the site are increased property values and community appeal. Personally, I just think it looks better to have trees on a block.

Borough Park is ANTI-Trees on Earth Day

The Gowanus Lounge has this little tidbit about people who think there are too many trees in their neighborhood.

The Gowanus Lounge: Bklink: Earth Day "All These Damn Trees" <i>Special</i>

Sunset Park Gets the Bronze Medal

I'm not sure how I feel about this. To be honest, I'd rather Sunset Park hadn't placed at all. However, considering the mainstream benefits of the neighborhood (two express stops, the park, lots of restaurants, family-oriented, brownstones), my very unscientific suspicion is that a lot of would be Park Slope buyers are coming here to look and buy. And compared to PS, SP is an incredible deal. Of course, for a lot of SP residents, buying is a pipe dream that remains in the plumbing. (Play some lonely sounding violin music for me!)

Anyway, Sunset is just behind Park Slope and Fort Greene in sales for the first quarter of 2008. $43 million in sales! Insane! Here's the link to the article from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

You may have also heard about Sunset Park being one of the neighborhoods in all of NYC with the highest increase in sales. We're up there with Central Harlem, East Harlem, and Astoria. I guess Astoria kind of surprised me. I'm also a little surprised because some of those condos that Corcoran et al are trying to sell for ridiculous sums of cash (like on 6th Avenue) are still just sitting there after many months. Now my interest is piqued. I'll have to look into what's really for sale at ridiculous prices. Don't hold your breath, but do check back.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Gorgeous Tree on My Block

I just had to share. It makes me smile whenever I pass it.

Monday is for Limericks

Have no fear, I'll keep it clean. I'm feeling a tad saucy today, so I think a few goofy limericks are in order.

This one is from a very funny website called Mad Kane's Political Madness. It's run by Madeleine Begun Kane, and she writes the limericks as well!

Ode to John "You Little Jerk" McCain

Among John McCain's irksome quirks
Is his habit of calling guys jerks
For presenting a query
Of which John is leery --
Still less galling than George Dubya's smirks.

Here's one that shows her political leanings regarding the Democrats...

An Ode to Lefty Bloggers Who Hate Hillary Clinton

Obama supporters proclaim
That Clinton must quit, hurling blame,
Shrieking "Stop this damn fray!"
Dems love fighters, they say.
But not if the fighter's a dame.

I couldn't find anything half-way decent for Obama (which says more about Clinton supporters, I suppose). However, there is a video on YouTube that has been kind of popular. It gets cut-off at the end, but you get the idea.

There once was a man named Obama
Who said,"We have had enough drama."
The time is at hand
To vote for this man.
Please do it for me and your Momma.

Well, that did it for me. Finding just these few exposed me to far more silliness than I can handle on any given Monday.

Short Films at Light Industry

Ready for an evening out on a Tuesday? Has the film crew working hard in Sunset Park inspired you? Want to relive some funny clips that include Dubya (El Presidente)? Tomorrow night, Light Industry, a new place in Sunset Park to see film and art, is showing the following films:

Blue Christmas, David White, 16mm, 197?, 15 mins
My Love, Michel Auder, video, 1978, 6 mins
Trouble in Baghdad, 16mm, 1963, 7 mins
Ex, Jacques Monory, 16mm, 1968, 4 mins
Litany of Happy People, Karpo Godina, video, 1972, 15 mins
+ assorted television clips.

Tickets are $6, and Light Industry is located at 55 33rd Street - in Brooklyn, of course! Check out their website:

Friday, April 18, 2008

Passover Poem

Thanks to our friends Mical and Tim (and Dora the super-dog), we'll be going to a Seder tomorrow evening. I've always loved going to Seders. Perhaps it's my love of horseradish? Perhaps my strange attraction to gefilte fish? Or perhaps it's being allowed to have some naughty, illegal wine. Either way, it's a good thing. In honor of the upcoming holiday, my poetic offering for the day is "Why do I remain in Exile?" by Nicholas Gordon, a self-published e-author. Especially with the 60th anniversary of Israel's current incarnation coming up, it seems especially apropos to the part of the Seder where one says "Next Year in Jerusalem."

Why Do I Remain in Exile?

Why do I remain in exile?
I say, "Next year in Jerusalem!"
Seders come and Seders go.
I feel the pull but not the pain.

I say, "Next year in Jerusalem!"
I do not mean it, not for real.
I feel the pull but not the pain.
My anguish must be self-imposed.

I do not mean it, not for real.
I mean it in my Jewish bones.
My anguish must be self-imposed.
I lie becalmed, and wait, and wonder.

I mean it in my Jewish bones.
Seders come and Seders go.
I lie becalmed, and wait, and wonder:
Why do I remain in exile?

Stop the Foolishness!

I know it's not the hip thing to admit, but I was a Clinton supporter when the primaries rolled into New York State. I didn't get to vote because I'm registered as an Independent. I have yet to fix that. But I would have voted for Clinton if I could have.

Since the primary, I've been more and more disappointed with the Clinton campaign tactics. I still like Hillary, and I will vote for her if she gets the nomination. Watching (most of) the debate two nights ago was disturbing all over again. Clinton (and the moderators - one a former B. Clinton staffer!) would not let some points go. I longed to hear her say, "You know, this doesn't have any direct bearing on the real issues for the people of the USA. Let's move on to something else." I longed to hear that when the whole "nasty-talking-minister" stuff came up again, and I longed to hear it when a Hannity-inspired question came up about some hippie-turned-professor in Obama's hometown came up. But no. Disappointment reigns.

Another moment of foolishness appeared about wearing a flag pin. Uh, hello? Anyone can stick a pin in a label. It doesn't change what you believe. It doesn't change who you are. For a trend that started after 9-11, it's become something of a ridiculous measure of patriotism. As Obama pointed out, "That became a substitute for, I think, true patriotism which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security." What good is wearing a pin if your actions don't support it? (Nixon wore one during his assertion that he had nothing to do with Watergate.) Clinton wasn't wearing a flag pin during this last debate. Was she feeling less patriotic that night? I guess I really am out of touch with the American public if THAT is the measure of a good president. Golly gee.

I've never received an anti-Obama or anti-Clinton email, but I've seen a few snippets from each. How ugly. How full of lies and misstatements. Enough with the Hussein comments. Enough with the Clinton shot Vince Foster herself. I guess I am just as naive as Obama. I expect people to recognize the smell of yellow journalism and propaganda and piles of stinking lies. Silly me. Obama has said several times that he trusts the American public to sift through misinformation and read and listen to more than sound bites. Silly Obama.

My high school history teacher had this much repeated quote from Henry Mencken painted on the classroom wall: "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people." I remember being at once impressed with how "radical" this teacher was and offended because I was one of the American people.

Maybe we should tell Obama that no one ever got elected president overestimating the willingness to sift through manure of the American people either.

Not a good time to be underestimating or overestimating.

Brooklyn is the Biggest Loser with Gifted and Talented

There's always controversy where the G&T programs are concerned. Admissions standards, connections, where you live, what language you speak at home, parent education, and many more issues determine whether parents want or don't want G&T in their zoned schools. I'm not going to comment on whether or not I like the idea of tracking that early on, but here's some interesting news about recent developments.

According to a "Google Alerts" (thanks for doing the work for me!) I received, the eduwonkette site has a comprehensive run-down of Joel Klein's G&T plan. Check out the site for the calculated results; it's really very well done. But the graph (also from the site) shows the basic problems with deciding if it's "fair" or not.

I want to try and look into how it directly affects Sunset Park, but I haven't yet. It seems like the less affluent areas LOST seats, which probably means the admissions standards became more strict. As eduwonkette points out, less affluent areas don't have as many resources to "prep" their kids for the testing. And make no mistake, there's a lot of prepping that the kids who get tested go through. So Gifted and Talented often, alright - sometimes, really means "I spent a lot of time practicing for this and my parents spent a lot of dough to get me ready!"

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Happy Poem in Your Pocket Day!

The Brownies have a little saying about things in their pockets.

"I've got something in my pocket that belongs across my face.
I keep it very close to me in a most convenient place.
I bet you'd never guess it if you guessed a long, long time.
So I'll take it out and put it on. It's a great big Brownie smile."

A tad disturbing, no? You can imagine the jokes that the 5th grade boys would tell about it.

The Girl Scout motto is less disturbing, but I remember it just as well, I'm just not going to share it right now. I do, however, wish I had some Girl Scout Cookies in my pocket.

Here's one of my favorite poems by Marge Piercy, "A Work of Artifice." I use it in classes after reading Ibsen's A Doll's House. It's a perfect fit, really.

from "A Work of Artifice"

Every day as he
whittles back the branches
the gardener croons,
It is your nature
to be small and cozy,
domestic and weak;
how lucky, little tree,
to have a pot to grow in.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

You Could Be in Pictures - or at least this one

Light Industry, according to their website, "is a new venue for film and electronic art in Brooklyn, New York." More specifically, it's on 33rd Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. Maybe we don't have to travel all the way to LIC and PS1 to see funky art by local artists. From what I've seen so far, they have shown mainly short, obscure (at least to me) films. Maybe the summer months will see different installments.

Anyway, Light Industry is the site for a "shoot and show" film project in which anyone can show up and be a Star. Yes, capital S. I have to wonder, however, if I took my decidedly uncool self down there, would I get the camera without the battery? Or is uncool the new cool?

A pair of local artists who call themselves MTAA are the organizers. I'm reprinting the basic run-down, but check out the website here. Definitely check them out. They seem very fun. And one of them is from Iowa. Can't be all bad.

From their website:

Here’s how it works:

Two directors/camera operators will set up at Light Industry deep in the heart of Brooklyn. The space will have some cheap/random props and costumes. If you want some acting direction, we’ll have scripts and improv notes ready. If acting isn’t your thing, just come in and be your fabulous self. The shooting will be continuous and casual with both films projected live for your viewing pleasure. Join us for the entire shoot or just walk in for your close-up.

Topsy Turvy Falling in Love

Tomorrow is "Poem in Your Pocket Day." And yes, schools all over the country will be strongly encouraging their students to share poems...I've taken part in this pseudo-torture many times. But really, everyone is better for the experience. In honor of PiYPD, I'm going to share poems I like because they are fun and easy to get and modern and relatable.

Because I've always been a fan of dead white guy poetry, before I started teaching I rarely bought books of poetry by one person. I stuck to collections surrounding a theme or anthologies from my undergrad and grad years. Now, mainly thanks to gifts from my husband, I have loads of slim collections from various modern poets. It's pretty cool.

One of the first books of poetry I bought for myself was Nikki Giovanni's Love Poems. It is a wonderful collection of love poems broken up into various types of love. She has a poem to Tupac, poems to people who helped her in childhood, and of course lots of physical and emotional poems to lovers.

I've always thought "I Wrote a Good Omelet" was a fun and silly and simple poem that effectively illustrates what it's like to fall in love. You know, the kind of falling in love during which your friends, your job or school work, your family, eating, checking email all fall to the side because you just want to spend time with THAT person. Most of us have been there, no?

Here's a taste, and check out the poem with the link above. Love Poems would also make a great Mother's Day gift, so perhaps running out to your nearest independent bookstore to pick it up will solve some problems with what to buy.

from "I Wrote a Good Omelet"

I wrote a good omelet...and ate a hot poem...
after loving you

Buttoned my car...and drove my coat the
after loving you

I goed on red...and stopped on green...floating
somewhere in between...
being here and being there...
after loving you

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Hooray for Tax Day!

Really, it's Tax Deadline Day. You can either have them filed by today or file an extension by today. Either way, the way April 15th is portrayed on television lately, it seems like it might become another Hallmark Holiday...I can see it now: "Heard about your Refund! Congratulations, and when is the party?" Or, in more somber colors: "Sorry for your loss. Time heals all gouged wallets." The observance, as I'm sure we'll see on the local stations during the news, consists of waiting patiently in line at the main post office in Manhattan and submitting your carefully completed and copied forms to a slit in the wall. Then you have to slink away quietly, making no eye-contact with other revelers.

Personally, I've never waited until April 15th. When I was single, I always got a refund, and I wanted my cash back! Now, I just let me husband handle it. I just point to the drawer where my papers SHOULD be, and hope all goes well. It works for me.

In honor of this most important American Holiday, I thought perhaps "Money, Money" from Cabaret would work well. Then again, T.S. Eliot has such a lovely opening to "The Waste Land" about April. But no, I love Cabaret, and "Money, Money" it shall be. I believe Fred Ebb wrote the lyrics for Cabaret, so I'll give him the credit for now.

from "Money, Money"

If you happen to be rich, and you feel like a night's entertainment,
You can pay for a gay escapade.
If you happen to be rich, and alone and you need a companion,
You can ring ting-a-ling for the maid.
If you happen to be rich and you find you are left by your lover,
Tho you moan and you groan quite a lot,
You can take it on the chin,
Call a cab and begin to recover on your fourteen carat yacht.

Money makes the world go around,
The world go around, the world go around,
Money makes the world go around,
Of that we both are sure.
Phhhthhhht! on being poor.

When you haven't any coal in the stove and you freeze in the winter
And you curse to the wind at your fate
When you haven't any shoes on your feet and your coat's thin as paper
And you look thirty pounds underweight,
When you go to get a word of advice from the fat little pastor,
He will tell you to love evermore.
But when hunger comes to rap, rat-a-tat, rat-a-tat, at the window
See how love flies out the door!

For money makes the world go around, the world go around,
The world go around.

Monday, April 14, 2008

A Poem for a Monday

I was thinking about all the ways we sometimes attempt to save others from harsh realities. Little things, like fibs regarding how you are feeling or your child is behaving at night. Little things, like telling someone how great someone looks today or nodding in understanding when you have no idea what she or he is trying to say. Little things, like saying "No, thank you" to the dozens of hand-outs about (fill-in-your-cause) instead of sharing more productive options for time well spent. Anyway, this poem has a tinge of that. When someone's physical self is less than perfect (loss of hair, too much hair, loss of eye-sight, loss of digits, extra digits, too much weight, not enough weight, and so on and on and on), a popular choice is either to hide away the imperfection or to hide away the entire person. Another choice, of course, is to aggressively and violently flaunt the imperfection. But that's an entirely different issue.

This poem is about just going on with what you're doing. Not protecting others from the imperfection; not daring others to comment by shaking it in their faces. Living, and hoping others will do the same. I like that.

It's called "The Brooklyn Bus Driver," and it's by Daniela Gioseffi.

from "The Brooklyn Bus Driver"

Takes my ticket with the stub of a missing thumb
held against his right hand-just enough of a crease
to rest the small card in where his thumb should press his
His missing finger shows like a wound in his eyes
--but he goes on smiling and taking tickets and driving
for a living. Why should he take tickets with his good left
when the entrance to the bus is on his right?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Two Very Different Op-Eds in today's NYT

Both want action from New Yorkers. The first one bestows the right to anger upon New Yorkers. Since I'm so self-absorbed, I always think of New Yorkers as those who reside within the confines of New York City. However, my guess is that the editorial board meant all of us who reside in NYS. Either way, we should be angry! Misuse of sex, money, and influence is rampant in our State Government!

It sounds like we need to call the efficient ladies at Sunset Park's Si Se Puede Women's Cooperative to give Albany a good scrub down. The editorial suggests finding decent candidates and supporting them. Read it in their words here. Pretty idealistic for the NYT pages; I guess the good weather lately has softened up the editors.

The second editorial that asks for your action is less seemingly insurmountable, but also demands dedication, either from your wallet or your vacation. It's about the Fresh Air Fund, which helps low-income urban kids experience rural or just out-of-city life for a couple of weeks during the summer. I've known a couple of kids who went through the program, and they RAVE about it. All this posturing about how "cool" and "tough" NYC kids really are falls apart when they are faced with jumping into a freezing lake or camping without a car or bathroom in sight. Especially for the kids that can experience this many years in a row, it's a life-altering experience. Universally (at least from my minor sample), the kids still want to live in the City, but they learn that "the country" is not all about hayseeds and manure (although that can factor in). Here's the site directly to the Fresh Air Fund.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Since Rain is Forecast Tomorrow

It hasn't rained yet today - at least not during the daylight hours. The air is thick with soggy air, so I'm sure it will come soon. In anticipation of the expected arrival, I chose a Daisy Zamora poem celebrating the joys of lots and lots of water splashing down from the heavens. Aptly enough, it's called "Downpour." (To find the entire text of the poem, skip down a bit.)

from "Downpour"

A fish in a fishbowl
I recall with envy the young girl who was
drenched and happy, jumping
mud puddles and ignoring calls
because later
my go-between great aunt
hidden from my grandfather
would dry my hair,
change my clothes,
clean the mud off my shoes.
And wrapped up in a bedspread
warm as love
I slept.

Cinderella Samba at the Sunset Park Rec Center

Today was the final performance of "Cinderella Samba" at the SP Recreation Center. It's presented by the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre usually located in Central Park. Since I am the queen (or maybe duchess) of free programs, as soon as I found out about it, I called to reserve my spaces. We arrived almost 45 minutes early for the 10:30 AM performance, and we ended up in the front row with a few other Moms, care-takers, and kids. Around 10 AM the school groups started to arrive. Let me tell you, I'm used to high school kids, and these kids were WELL-BEHAVED. In fact, the little boy directly in front of several moms with babies and toddlers from eight to eighteen months was patient to the point of being angelic.

Once the show began, I think the adults were more rapt than the children, but it held their attention for the entire almost 60 minutes. Only the ballads were a tad trying on the babes' and elementary schoolers attention spans. It's a great program for the communities it visits. I was really surprised how relatively few parents and caretakers took advantage of the show. Perhaps it was an advertising issue, perhaps, especially in this area, it was a language issue.

Well, I had fun. I love marionettes, and I love free stuff. And my pseudo-angelic child was pretty cooperative with the assistance of some Oatios.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Just Be Glad She Didn't Hurt Anyone Else

That's what I was thinking (and half wished I had yelled out my window) after the mini-drama I heard and then saw on the downward slope towards 5th Avenue. A girl, about eight or nine, was racing down the hill on a collision course with 5th Avenue. She was screaming bloody murder, which is what brought me to the window. I got to the window in time to see a man with Key Food bags step in her way to stop her.

I don't know if he put his 12-pack of paper towels between them, but considering her speed, he could have been seriously hurt. She tumbled to the ground, he stumbled back and then fell, and then it looked like he was asking her if she was alright. She just sat on the ground, perhaps stunned. Another woman started towards them, but never made it. No one else approached them.

A minute or so later (it's always hard to gauge in situations like this one), someone who may have been her mother or an older sister approached them. It didn't look like the very helpful he-just-kept-her-out-of-traffic-man was even acknowledged, let alone thanked. He started saying something, and I would tell you what I would have been saying, but it would need censoring. Why wasn't this child wearing a helmet? Why was she riding a dirt bike without manual brakes? What was she doing riding down the hill in the first place?

I know, kids do silly, naughty, crazy, dangerous things. And I'm sure I'll eat my words when my son gets to be old enough to ride a bike down a hill towards traffic. But I'll tell you right now, I might have thrown my 12-pack of paper towels in her way to stop her or at least guide her into a parked car in stead of a moving one, but I would not have jumped in her way. Uh-uh. Am I evil? Perhaps. I won't be getting a free ride to Disneyland anytime soon, that's for sure. All I was thinking (after I saw she was okay and walking her bike back up the hill, perhaps for another go) was what if my kid had been toddling up the hill and she ran into him? What if she had run into someone head-on and permanently maimed the person? What if? What if?

The supposedly responsible adult should have been giving the girl a stern talking-to instead of laughing all the way up the hill. At the very least, the guy who risked injury deserved more than the brush off he got. He'll probably be feeling it tomorrow.

Alrighty. The soapbox is returning to the hallway closet.

Woody Guthrie Lived in Coney Island for a While

Bet you never thought Mr. Dust-Bowl-Folk-Singer lived in Brooklyn, right? Well, he did. And it's where Arlo was born. For those of us who have explored more of Coney Island than the Wonder Wheel, the boardwalk, and Totonno's, the lyrics to "Mermaid's Avenue" will seem just a tad outdated. I don't know how much lox you'll find meeting up with bagels right around there. You might have some luck in one of the nursing homes located down past the Brooklyn Cyclones' stadium.

Some things he mentions are definitely still similar. Sea Gate is still, well, gated. And if you're lucky, you'll find evidence (imprint of physical) of activities under the boardwalk. Either way, it's great to re-live how Coney Island was seen through Guthrie's eyes, especially now that it's changing so radically once again. After reading the lyrics over, I have a craving for halvah.

Hey! Did you also know that Joyva, the largest US manufacturer of halvah is also in Brooklyn? Yes! I think I heard that first on a Food Network show. I get mine at Sahadi's, but I'm sure it's around much closer.

Sorry, I digress. Here are the lyrics, which I'm counting as my April 10th contribution to National Poetry Month.

from "Mermaid's Avenue"

Mermaid Avenue that’s the street
Where the lox and bagels meet,
Where the hot dog meets the mustard
Where the sour meets the sweet;
Where the beer flows to the ocean
(Where the halvah meets the pickle)
Where the wine runs to the sea;
Why they call it Mermaid Avenue
That’s more than I can see.

Mermaid Avenue that’s the street
Where the saint and sinners meet;
Where the grey hair meets the wave curls
Where the cops don’t ever sleep;
Where they pay some cops to stop you
When you hit that Sea Gate gate;
Where them bulls along that wire fence
Scare the mermaids all away

Mermaid Avenue that’s the street
Where the sun and storm clouds meet;
Where the ocean meets that rockwall
Where the boardwalk meets the beach;
Where the prettiest of the maidulas
Leave their legprints in that sand
Just beneath our lovesoaked boardwalk
With the bravest of our lads.

Sunset Park Library to Receive Commerce Bank Grant

Here's a reason to stop hating on banks for a day or two - or maybe for all of National Library Week (that's April 13th - 19th, in case you didn't know). Commerce Bank is celebrating National Library Week with gifts to 50 neighborhood libraries across the USA. It seems that the Sunset Park branch is the ONLY branch in the area to receive the $4,000 grant. I hope the library uses it well. It can be used for books, technology, or programs the library already has set-up. The total grants awarded equal $200,000. Seems like a drop in the bucket to a bank like Commerce, but it's a nice gesture. Here's the press release, if you're into that sort of thing.

Misty Sunset Park in the AM

Now that we have some humidity in the air, the mornings give us a beautiful treat in the park. The mist was gone by eight o'clock in the morning, and I hope it returns tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Detritus is the fancy word. Crap is the reality.

Today, my poetic inspiration comes from my morning walk down 5th Avenue along Green-Wood Cemetery. I guess the construction has brought out the litter-hooligans. The walkway has always been a slalom course of broken bottles and various leftovers from a passionate night. However, now there is a whole world of new trash to explore. Poo bags in clusters, pee bottles in pairs, lots of unidentifiable paper products and personal items. If I looked closely, I'm sure I could figure them out, but I'll leave that to someone with a stronger stomach.

So I chose this poem because it talks about trash. Country trash. We have different trash here. We might not get bears who tear up our garbage bags, but we have feral cats, the occasional raccoon, and yes, even the elusive homo sapiens sometimes opens up bags in an artistic attempt to share what we feel is worthy to be thrown away. From watching Law & Order, I've learned that once you toss garbage out - onto the street for pick-up - it's fair game. So, there you go. Since this is all about trash, just be warned...there is a naughty word in this excerpt!

So here is an excerpt from William Matthews' "The Bear at the Dump."

from "The Bear at the Dump"

Amidst the too much that we buy and throw
away and the far too much we wrap it in,

the bear found a few items of special

interest--a honeydew rind, a used tampon,

the bone from a leg of lamb. He'd rock back

lightly onto his rear paws and slash

open a plastic bag, and then his nose--

jammed almost with a surfeit of rank

and likely information, for he would pause--

and then his whole dowsing snout would

insinuate itself a little way


...The guardian of the dump was used

to this and not amused. "He'll drag that shit

every which damn way," he grumbled

who'd dozed and scraped a pit to keep that shit

where the town paid to contain it.

The others of us looked and looked. "City

folks like you don't get to see this often,"

one year-round resident accused me.

Some winter I'll bring him down to learn

to love a rat working a length of subway


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Fun Coffee Table Book about Brooklyn - Out in Paperback

Brooklyn storefronts sometimes provide lots of laughs. Other times they can be confusing. The majority of the time they just tell you what's going on inside the store. The title of this book falls into the last category of telling you what's inside. Brooklyn Storefronts is a collection of 75 color photographs of storefronts around Brooklyn. We're not talking about Connecticut Muffin or Anne Taylor LOFT, here. Nope. Not even Brooklyn Industries. This book highlights the kinds of storefronts that make us (well, me anyway) sometimes wonder if the owner's talented and "paint inside the lines most of the time" uncle offered to do the signage.

From the photos here, it looks pretty cool. I know I'm getting a copy.

"Sunset Marketplace" Renderings Revealed

I love imaginary pictures of future developments. They are so cute and sunny and clean. No one ever litters or stumbles around drunk. Everyone is thin and there is just the "right" amount of diversity. Brownstoner has the renderings here. I had no idea this was in the works, and I am not at all sure what to think about it - yet. Would Banana Republic REALLY move in to 3rd Ave and 31st Street? Will there be Mall Walking Clubs? Does this mean the end of 24 hour Video and Accessories stores? Say it isn't so!

A Poem that Mentions Brooklyn by an Author Previously Unknown to Me

It's fun when your child naps for longer than you expect so there is time to tool around on the electronic highway in search of something new (to you). That's how I came across Tina Chang and "Duality."

I like this poem because the narrator displays such a brashness and vulnerability within the scenes portrayed. The person she wants to be, and is to some, and the person she is are truly separated. We all have a little of that in ourselves, don't we? We imagine ourselves to be much more brave and outspoken and magnificent and romantic (in the true sense of the word) than we turn out to be when confronted with real life situations. Maybe it's just me. The imagined conversations I have pre- and post-event always come across much more eloquent and dauntless than they turn out to be. Anyway, I am glad to have found the poem.

Tina Chang has her own website. Very hip. Here's the link to her brief bio.

from "Duality"

In daylight, I'll tip my sunglasses forward,
buy a cup of tea and think of the good
I've done for the world, how satisfying
it feels to give a man something to contemplate.
The heart is a whittled twig. No, that is not
the right image, so I drop the heart in a pile
of wood and light that massive test on fire.

I walk the streets of Brooklyn looking
at this storefront and that, buy a pair of shoes
I can't afford, pumps from London, pointed
at the tip and heartbreakingly high, hera
my new heels clicking, crushing the legs
of my shadow. The woman who wears
these shoes will be a warrior, will not think
about how wrong she is, how her calculations
look like the face of a clock with hands
ticking with each terrorizing minute.

Sunset Library in the News

Here's some positive news about Sunset Park. It highlights a parent/child reading program at our library branch. Check it out.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Edna St. Vincent Millay - more than that Naughty Flapper

She's probably best known for "First Fig" and "Second Fig." Who can resist delighting in burning a candle at both ends? Or taunting the careful architects of builders on on rock when your castle is much more thrilling - though short-lived? She became much more varied in her subject matter later in life. She wrote about the Sacco-Vanzetti case and later wrote anti-fascist propaganda poetry that is often left out of collections. Here's a fantastic 1992 review/biography from the New York Times by one of SUNY Binghamton's professors, Liz Rosenberg . (Sorry, it's Binghamton University now. Tough to get used to.)

I chose an excerpt from "New England Spring, 1942" in honor of today's weather. It's from her posthumous collection Mine the Harvest. Read the entire poem here.

from "New England Spring, 1942"

But Spring is wise. Pale and with gentle eyes, one day some-
what she advances;
The next, with a flurry of snow into flake-filled skies retreats
before the heat in our eyes, and the thing designed
By the sick and longing mind in its lonely fancies---
The sally which would force her and take her.
And Spring is kind.
Should she come running headlong in a wind-whipped acre
Of daffodil skirts down the mountain into this dark valley we
would go blind.

Power Plant Proposal Info

In case you aren't up on the neighborhood action regarding powering up the City, here's an update courtesy of The Brooklyn Eagle. It deals with an upgrade proposed for the 29th Street Pier Gowanus Generating Plant. According to the article, the plant is owned by the same company that owns the Narrows Generating Plant on 53rd Street and 1st Avenue. Considering the changes proposed, it's a good bet they are also planning upgrades to that plant in the future. The upgrades are described as "greener" clean energy. However, the use of "greener" and not just "green" makes me a little suspicious. If the output is going to increase, so will the side effects - or particle emissions. Yep, we breathe it in! Anyway, just an update in case you hadn't heard about it.