Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day Events in Brooklyn

Thousands of sailors from Navy and Coast Guard ships are in town for Fleet Week 2010 and the Memorial Day weekend, and hundreds of them are headed for Brooklyn. 

The sailors visiting Brooklyn Borough Hall (shown above) are from the USS Iwo Jima. 

Want to catch some Brooklyn Memorial Day events yourself? Here's a roundup of some of Monday's highlights:

- The country's oldest Memorial Day Parade takes place in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. The parade starts at 11 a.m. on 87th Street and Third Avenue and runs to John Paul Jones Park.  More here.

- Green-Wood’s 12th Annual Memorial Day Concert: A concert by the ISO Symphonic Band, featuring select compositions by Green-Wood Cemetery’s permanent residents Fred Ebb, Leonard Bernstein, Louis Moreau Gottschalk and Paul Jabara. Bring a folding chair, a blanket and a picnic lunch to the Gothic Arch of Green-Wood Cemetery. Cookout food, snacks, drinks and stuff on sale. Free. Monday, May 31, at 2:30 p.m. -- more here.

- BAM's DanceAfrica festival features dance, music, film, art, and events from Africa--plus a popular outdoor bazaar of African crafts, food, and fashion. More here.

- Coney Island's Luna Park – a new 3.1-acre amusement park on the site of the old Astroland, with 19 rides-- opens this weekend. (You have to like crowds for this one.)  More here.

- While you're there, drop by the Coney Island History Project exhibition center for the opening of their 2010 season and the featured exhibit "Luna Park Revisited." More here.

- Just want to relax? The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is open Memoral Day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  More here.

- Feel like getting out of town and taking a hike?  Brokelyn supplies a list  of scenic green walks sure to sooth your soul, both upstate, in New Jersey and even on Staten Island. (We didn't know about this little jewel.)  More here.

- More weekend events can be found at A Child Grows in Brooklyn and at Brooklyn About.com.

Photo by MK Metz

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Zombies Marching (Make that Crawling) On Brooklyn Tonight

The zombies have reached Williamsburg.(Where would the Memorial Day weekend in Williamsburg be without zombies?)

They are are eating pizza and drinking booze. Zombie technicians are on hand to zombify the crowd but many civilians come zombified. There is a sports/varsity theme with undead jocks, cheerleaders and football players.

At 5 p.m., the zombies will mobilize up Bedford Ave and head to McCarren Park – N 12th and Bedford – for a Zombie Football Game – Blood Fights, Human Tug O War with Disgraceland Hook Squad and more madness.

At 6:30 p.m., the zombies will mobilize again and head back down Bedford avenue for grand zombie parade to the final stop: 7 p.m. – Zombie Dance Party A Go-Go with Play Dead, Ryan Brown and the Raspberry Brothers at the Knitting Factory Brooklyn – 361 Metropolitan Ave.

Lots more here.

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Dick Zigun to Give 'State of Coney Island' Address Today (Sunday, May 30)

As the New Luna Park opens and thousands jamming the island, Dick Zigun, the "Officially Unelected Mayor of Coney Island," will give his annual overview of the current state of affairs in America's Playground today at 4:30 p.m.

Zigun is expected to highlight the launch of Luna Park, the excitement of the long-anticipated "rebirth" of the amusement area, and the remaining questions about the future of the important historic structures that remain intact in Coney Island's historic district. The proposal for peace talks and new strategies for amusements will be put forth.

The event takes place at the Coney Island Museum, 1208 Surf Avenue between Stillwell and W. 12th Street.

Photo by Judley, Creative Commons license.

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Help Cobble Hill's P.S. 29 Win an 'Imagination Playground'

Dave 'Paco' Abraham from the Cobble Hill Association sent us the word that P.S. 29 is competing to win an amazing program for the Baltic Street schoolyard called Imagination Playground, that would be both a benefit to the students and the entire Cobble Hill community.

Paco says, "P.S. 29 is one of the top elementary schools in NYC and can get even better with your help. Though there's a May 31st deadline, helping them reach the goal is simple. Just follow a few simple steps on the web and become a 'fan' of their idea, and you'll have helped them inch closer to winning the $20K outdoor play system."

Click HERE to become a fan.
And to find out more of what the playground envisions, check out this video. 



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Friday, May 28, 2010

The End of Monte's Venetian Room, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- The sad end of Monte's Venetian Room: Marshal seizes historic Gowanus eatery.  PMFA

- OK. Which one of you bought the $64 million Mega Millions lottery ticket at that little bodega in Bay Ridge?  NY Daily News

- Kids get cash for recruiting friends to charter schools in Greenpoint. Gothamist 

- Politicians and neighbors join together to demand a landlord repair his building.  Brooklyn Eagle 

- Bob Infantino, "Long Island's Favorite Magician," pleads guilty to 64 counts of child pornography.  NY Magazine 

- The all-income Williamsburg Community Apartments at 135 Kent Avenue and North 6th Street have been completed. The Real Deal

- Hurricane season is only going to cause more problems for BP.  NY Magazine


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What's Happening at the cHURCH OF MONIKA?

The cHURCH OF MONIKA opened back in January at the OPEN SOURCE gallery.

The cHURCH OF MONIKA's mission is to use art as a surrogate for religion. (More at our earlier post here.) Open Source sent us a blurb about the upcoming sermon:

The sermon this Sunday (May 30, 11 a.m.) is by Miho Suzuki and is called "Our Children Today." The short essay "A Look at Children in The U.S.A."* has inspired Suzuki’s ongoing photographic exploration of the glorious diversity of children in New York City.

The artist will be sharing some of her images and ideas, and hopefully inspiring young and old to join her in a discussion of what it means to be a child. Please feel free to bring toys or favorite objects from your childhood.

*“If we were able to in a quick flight over the United States in 1950 to look carefully at our nation’s children- what would we see?” How would the picture be different from what it was fifty or even ten years ago? What can we expect in the future? These are questions that can, at least in part, be answered.”
–Leona Baumgartner, M.D.


Photo by Miho Suzuki

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Gulf Oil Spill Live Feed Leak Calculator



PBS has supplied us with this oil leak widget that allows readers to estimate how many gallons of crude have leaked into the Gulf of Mexico so far.

PBS worked with a team of experts that factored in all kinds of variables.Use the slider to adjust the escape rate -- BP's first estimate was about 210,000 gallons a day. Outside experts, however, put it closer to a million gallons a day, and others put the worst case scenario at about four million gallons a day.

More at PBS.

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Saint Ann's School Book Sale Today: Thursday, May 27, Brooklyn Heights


Make sure to make your way to Pierrepont Street for the last day of the Saint Ann's School book sale, which always features plenty of first-rate literary selections and lots of New York Times Best Sellers. There are three or four tables full of books, and it ends at 3 p.m. today, so hurry up!

Photo by MK Metz

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Brooklyn Teen Drowns, Fossella Says 'No," and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Disgraced Vito Fossella says "no" to GOP nomination for old seat.  Brooklyn Eagle 

- City officials will finally cover two stinky tanks at the Owls Head sewage treatment plant.  Brooklyn Paper

- Quite the transformer explosion and fire on Water Street in DUMBO.  Dumbo NYC

A judge has temporarily blocked Brooklyn College from paving over a community garden.  NY Times

- A Brooklyn teen was wading in waist-high water on Long Beach when he was pulled out to sea and drowned.  NY Daily News

- Feds say Brooklyn man gave $45,000 to Al Qaeda. NBC News

- Debbie Almontaser, ex-principal of Brooklyn Arabic school, decides not to sue the DOE.  Brooklyn Eagle

- Researchers have successfully used nanoparticles to target cancerous cells and attack them. Medill


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Rey Villalobos, Nature Boy and More at Knitting Factory June 16


This sweet video* features "Flight" by Rey Villalobos (of The Coral Sea), who will be performing at the Knitting Factory on June 16 with Marissa Nadler, Natureboy, Monogold and Villagers. Victoria Bergsman of Taken By Trees will be DJ-ing between sets.

Wednesday, June 16, 7:00pm at Knitting Factory | Brooklyn, NY
ALL AGES | Doors 7pm/Show 8pm | $10 Advance/ $12 Door
Tickets here.

*Film created by Joaquin Baldwin at the UCLA Animation Workshop, 2007. http://www.pixelnitrate.com

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Coney On Memorial Day Weekend: Luna Park Revisited

Going to Coney on Memorial Day weekend? Drop by the Coney Island History Project exhibition center for the opening of their 2010 season and the featured exhibit "Luna Park Revisited" curated by historian Charles Denson.

The exhibit details the "Electric Eden's" history, from opening day in 1903 to the dramatic fire that destroyed it forty years later. Rare archival photos, family snapshots, souvenir postcards and ephemera from Luna Park will be on display.

The History Project's free public exhibition center under the Cyclone Roller Coaster will be open from 1-6 p.m. on Saturday, May 29 through Monday, May 31, and subsequent weekends through Labor Day.

Info on the new exhibit is posted at http://www.coneyislandhistory.org/index.php

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Electronic Recycling Day in Brooklyn Heights Saturday, June 5th

Are you plagued with old batteries, remote controls for stuff you don't use anymore, broken cell phones or maybe even an old TV?

On Saturday, June 5th from 10 AM - 4 PM and on Sunday, June 6th from noon to 2 PM, the Brooklyn Heights Association is co-sponsoring a once-a-year E-Waste Recycling Drop Off Event to help you dispose of your unwanted electronic equipment in a responsible, environmentally friendly way.

BHA will be accepting residential waste only at the First Unitarian Church Side Chapel on Pierrepont Street (between Clinton Street and Monroe Place). Click here to find the complete list of accepted items on the BHA website. For more information call 718-858-9193 or the church at 718-624-5466.

Photo courtesy of Schmilblick, Creative Commons license

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Public Pianos, New Brooklyn Bridge Park Pavilion, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Pianos are being set up in public places for two weeks. Ten of them will be in Brooklyn.  Brooklyn Vegan

- Here's a preliminary design of the glass-enclosed Nouvel Pavilion in Brooklyn Bridge Park, slated to house Jane’s Carousel.  Brooklyn Eagle 

- City looks for modest hero who saved woman on subway tracks.  NY Times

- Something weird is going on with those boxer shorts a Brooklyn body-piercer was wearing when he says an NYPD officer sodomized him with a police baton.  Brooklyn Eagle 

- "Top Kill" attempt is planned for gushing oil well in Gulf today.  Huff Post

- Experts propose plugging oil leak with BP executives.  Huff Post


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There Goes Cranberry's Awning

Yep, they picked it up, threw it on a truck and drove away with Cranberry's awning yesterday. (Cranberry's is the cute little deli with home baked goods on Henry Street near Cranberry Street in Brooklyn Heights.)

We noticed that the awning had some faded or erased lettering that said "The New" before "Cranberry's."

At one point some years ago the owner sold the place to someone who didn't do as good a job with the food as the original owner.Eventually Jim took it back (hence, the "new") and it's been steady ever since.

That reminded us that Cranberry's started out on Cranberry Street, want to say in the '70s. We can remember buying cheese there way back then. Now we go for the muffins, home made.

Photos by MK Metz

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

New York Times Salivates Over Brooklyn Prime Meats Restaurant -- But Gives It Two Stars

Woe unto those who don't live in Carroll Gardens!

That's the stance the New York Times takes as it extols that "the very good and very beautiful Germanish restaurant in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn," Prime Meats.

The Times watches as people who made the mistake of living in Chelsea or Park Slope or Montclair stand on Court Street nightly, staring through the plate-glass windows, trying to get into a place that doesn't take reservations or (gasp) credit cards!

It's the food that has the Times swooning. Roasted La Belle Rouge chicken, "the breast brined in pickle juice before cooking and the bird’s fat, luscious thigh meat shredded into a tangle with sautĂ©ed farmstand greens;"  a "thickly torn, apple-wood smoked trout salad;" the Vesper Brett, a "snack board of German cured meats with pickles, mustard and bread."

The review alone makes you hungry! Oddly, the Times gives Prime Meats only two out of four stars -- based entirely on two inconveniences: you have to line your pockets with mucho Ben Franklins if you want to enjoy Prime Meats, and you can't make reservations.

Otherwise, "There are really no other downsides to eating" at Prime Meats, says the Times. In fact, "It is an extremely pleasant place."

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Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 6 Cam is Recording Whole Construction Process

 Check out the live view from the OxBlue construction cam pointed at Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 6. (Thanks to Curbed and NYC the Blog for this link.) Here you can watch the playground going up in this section of the park, scheduled to open on or close to June 1-- or you can dial up a time-lapse player and watch it being built from scratch.

According to the Brooklyn Eagle, the playground will contain the "largest sandbox” in the city. There will also be giant slides that will carry children into the sandbox (and adults who will want to see the view from the tops of the slides).

Photo courtesy of OxBlue cam

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Bag o' Dead Birds, Flying Stoned, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Brooklyn Public Library receives its biggest donation ever.  Crain's NY

- Brooklyn genius arrested with 50 pounds of pot in his suitcase at a California airport. Brooklyn Eagle

- People realize Brooklyn is Paradise compared to Manhattan. Observer 

- New York City is getting more expensive compared to other cities. The Real Deal 

- A bag full of dead birds, fish, food and cash winds up on the beach in DUMBO.  Brooklyn Paper

- Gulf oil spill is bigger than Manhattan (map). Gothamist

- Mark Twain releases book 100 years after his death. Gothamist

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Another Tree Down in Brooklyn Heights

This large tree fell down last week on Monroe Place (near Clark) in Brooklyn Heights. Does anyone know why?

Back on May 10 a huge wind storm knocked down trees across Brooklyn, including one on Clark Street.


Photo by MK Metz

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Brooklyn Bridge: Photo Montage


Brooklyn video documentarian Karl Junkersfeld has put together a stirring tribute to the Brooklyn Bridge for its 127th Anniversary, which takes place today. If you have a few minutes, check out the photos, drawings and paintings of the bridge's construction, opening day and views of the bridge through these many years (including an especially captivating last scene!).

Thanks very much, Karl. (Karl is a frequent contributor to the Brooklyn Heights Blog.)

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Dead Body In Sheepshead Bay, Deadly Mosquitoes Arrive, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Dead body found in Sheepshead Bay.  Sheepshead Bites 

- Here's the Brooklyn Half Marathon recap.  The Runner's Kitchen  

Doug Biviano strikes out at Brooklyn Paper, Joan Millman. BHB

- Residents protest as Walmart considers opening at the Gateway II mall.  Brooklyn Eagle

- The oil spill in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, makes the Gulf of Mexico leak look like a walk in the park. Huff Post

- Who gets to ride on Air Bloomberg?  Gothamist

- Another reason to be terrified of mosquitoes, now in New York.  Crain's NY.


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Friday, May 21, 2010

Nets News, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- The Russian Billionaire claims first Nets blood.  Brooklyn Eagle

- Step 2: The daughter of a Russian diplomat was hired Thursday as president of the company that will oversee the Nets. Crain's NY 

- The scorned woman who covered Brooklyn with posters of her cheatin' lover speaks.  Gawker

- Deranged guy fights off cops, strips, jumps off Brooklyn Bridge, among other things.  NY Magazine  

- The Senate on Thursday approved the most extensive overhaul of financial-sector regulation since the 1930s.  WSJ

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1,000 Bioscience Jobs Could Come to Sunset Park, Brooklyn

Mayor Bloomberg's announcement that a huge bioscience center is coming to the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park means that roughly 1,000 jobs will be coming to this part of Brooklyn. One biotech company, Apath, has announced its intentions to expand and relocate to the site when finished, sometime in 2011.

Apath is a technology licensing company with a focus on hepatitis C virus and other human viral pathogens. Do you have a degree in microbiology? Maybe there's a job for you here.

Photo by Amy Loves Yah, Creative Commons license

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It Came From the Deep, In Brooklyn Heights

 The Brooklyn Heights Blog has been following the fate of a tree pit on Henry Street near Clark that, lacking an actually tree, is getting deeper, muddier and uglier over time.

One BHB correspondent writes, "It is an unsightly mess as it is, and the stagnant water nothing more than a breeding ground for mosquitoes."

But now we find the pit presents a danger far greater than mosquitoes. Just the other day we saw the beginnings of a new life form crawling out of that long-forsaken hole.
 


 What evil comes this way comes?

Primordial horror! It's the Brooklyn Heights equivalent of the Loch Ness Monster. 

Photos by MK Metz

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Saint Ann's School Picks New Headmaster

After a six-month, nationwide search, Saint Ann's School in Brooklyn Heights has chosen a new headmaster.  According to the Brooklyn Eagle, Vincent J. Tompkins, Jr. has been chosen to replace Larry Weiss, who took over when the school’s founding headmaster Stanley Bosworth -- unconventional, to say the least -- retired in 2004.

Tompkins is currently the Deputy Provost at Brown University and has a long list of credentials. Among other perks, his three kids will attend Saint Ann's.

According to the NY Times, an advertisement for the position described the job as “summoning the ineffable balance of creative chaos and subtle, essential order that defines Saint Ann’s.”

Larry Weiss will be moving about six blocks east next September. 

- Annual Brooklyn Heights Pagan Ritual: Saint Ann's Puppet Parade
- Saint Ann's Parents Roar as Brooklyn Probation Office Moves into Pierrepont St. Building
- Saint Ann's School: If You Can't Beat It . . .
 

Photo by MK Metz

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Video: 'Some History About Montague Street' Part 1


From "Four Chimneys" to "Without a Trace" -- with its classic stroll down the Montague Street of 25 years ago -- to the old Wall Street Ferry (and what it looks like today), Brooklyn Heights history fans will enjoy Karl Junkersfeld's video "Some History About Montague Street" Part 1.

Karl says it's about "the street everyone seems to hate.  Not me.  I love walking down Montague and love many of the buildings on that stretch of real estate."

The upcoming Part 2 will look at the Heights Casino, Hotel Montague, Bossert etc.  

Thanks very much Karl. (Karl is a frequent contributor to the Brooklyn Heights Blog.) Here's the YouTube link.

UPDATE: Brooklyn Heights Blog has posted another of Karl's video's depicting his struggles with his illegal  lawn chair in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

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Flowers, Remsen Street, Brooklyn Heights

Seen on the west end of Remsen Street near the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.

Photo by MK Metz

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Monday, May 17, 2010

2010 New York Photo Festival = Nice Weekend in DUMBO

Photographs and those who love them took over DUMBO at the New York Photo Festival this past weekend.

Exhibitions were staged in the various neighborhood galleries, and informally as well on scaffolding and on the streets. Outdoor projections took place at Brooklyn Bridge Plaza and we heard about (but couldn't attend because we had house guests with other plans) what was billed as "the largest potluck on Earth," staged for the Guiness Book of World Records.

 Good-sized crowds from all over packed the exhibits, the workshops, the restaurants. (Can you imagine the cumulative effect of an event like this PLUS a totally functioning Brooklyn Bridge Park?)

 Photo: Part of the Sombra Projects exhibit, by Kathryn Obermaier

From Mike and Doug Starn’s "Big BambĂș."

Photos by MK Metz

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P.S. Bookshop Finally Opens at New Location in DUMBO

P.S. Bookshop opened its doors this weekend at 76 Front Street (at Washington) in DUMBO, just two blocks away from its cozy old location. P.S. is where we bring our gently used books and trade them in for someone else's gently used books. Though the doors are open, workers are still shelving books like crazy.

According to the Brooklyn Eagle, the primary reason for the move is to have a longer lease.

The store was aiming to be open at the start of 2010, but there were several delays, both logistical (work was being done without a permit), and adorable (a newborn son arrived "while in the thick of negotiating the lease."

While we loved the old space, something tells us that more tourists will wander into the shop at this highly visible Washington Street corner.

Photo by MK Metz

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Bird Town, Rachel Ray, and More Brooklyn Briefs

Bird Town goes up in Fort Greene.  Gothamist 

- Rachel Ray comes to Cobble Hill.  Brooklyn Eagle 

- Trouble sleeping? Maybe it's your iPad.  CNN 

- Is the Brooklyn Museum backing off from a plan to sell a collection of terra cotta that had a lot of people really upset?   Brownstoner

- Prom advice for parents.  Huff Post

- The ultimate rice pudding recipe, straight from Nanny.  Mangia Vita

- Toxic Gowanus site finally gets a fence.  PMFA  

- Dog flies five stories and survives in big wind storm last week. NY Magazine

- 55 NY State parks will be closed today because of budget cuts.  Crain's NY

- What does the Vatican know about aliens and why do they have not one but two observatories? Blogging Brownsville's Skies

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Friday, May 14, 2010

McBrooklyn Hit By Malware

Sorry for the lack of posts yesterday folks. McBrooklyn's compter was hit by an especially tenacious malware which had multiplied itself all over the place. We believe we picked it up on one of the many Brooklyn blogs we constantly visit.

We'll be de-malwaring this weekend and we hope that we'll be able to pick up again where we left off if the bugger hadn't totally destroyed our machine.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Get Your Free High-Octane Milk This Morning in Downtown Brooklyn

Hurry and get your free Smart Balance milk -- regular or chocolate --  at Jay Street / Borough Hall this morning. Smart Balance workers are handing out hundreds of free bottles outside three of the subway stops near Joralemon at Court Street.

According to Daily Finance, Smart Balance milk is a high-octane "functional food":
"It's a no-fat milk enhanced with vitamins E and D, high omega-3 content and loaded with up to 30% more calcium and protein than ordinary whole milk." But it is said to taste like regular, full fat milk.

We tried a swig of both the regular and the chocolate. They did taste pretty much like regular milk. The chocolate was nicely chocolaty. 

Photo by MK Metz

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Five Bucks Will Get You a Chance to Spend the Day with Bill Clinton

According to the Huffington Post, former President Bill Clinton is trying to help Hillary retire her left over campaign debt by holding at raffle. A $5 ticket could win you a day in NYC with Bill.

What would you do if you could spend the day with Bill? Attend wonkish policy meetings? Go for a walk in Prospect Park? Dinner and a movie?

Photo by sharedferret, Creative Commons license


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Come Home to Creamy Mac & Cheese (Every Day for Four Days)


Still hungry? Watch how to make a perfectly wonderful macaroni & cheese dish, from Brooklyn chef Allie Schwartz at EconomyBites (filmed by Daniel Schloss). You can eat it four days in a row. Also suitable for an inmate's last meal. Recipe here.

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Fiddlehead Ferns and More Spring Delights at Brooklyn Fare

This morning we ran over to Brooklyn Fare (200 Schermerhorn Street at Hoyt in Downtown Brooklyn) to see if they had any fiddlehead ferns, for which we have many fond springtime memories.

Not only do they have fresh fiddleheads, but they're selling little baby purple and white cauliflower (whole perfect little bitty heads), baby romanesco, and baby orange cauliflower, among other produce. (Click on the photo to see these little sweeties.)

Prices: Fiddleheads are expensive, selling for $19.99/lb; the others are all $7.99/lb.

If you go for the fiddleheads, make sure to cook properly to avoid stomach upset. Here's how the dad (now deceased) at that little Italian produce store on Court Street in Carroll Gardens taught us to make these about 20 years ago: Wash the little dried leafy things off, then boil about 5-10 minutes; dry,  then saute in in oil or butter with maybe a little chopped shallot or garlic. Some people add a bit of bacon.

Photo by MK Metz 

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More NYC Token Booths Will Likely Close -- Here's a Possible Solution.

The MTA will be back in Manhattan Supreme Court Wednesday to try to lay off 487 token booth clerks and close their booths.

The booths involved include the Cadman Plaza West booth on the A and C lines at High Street, and the booth at Willoughby and Jay streets on the A, C and F lines at Jay Street-Borough Hall.

See the Brooklyn Eagle for the list of all the Brooklyn closures.

The MTA says every station will have one booth open somewhere. The problem is, sometimes that booth is far away, at the end of a station that goes on and on. (In the case of the High Street stop, for example, the only manned booth will be at the entrance that opens up onto a somewhat desolate part of Adams Street, an entrance many people won't go near at night.)

Now Here's a Possible Solution

We would be all for these service cutbacks if the MTA would only add one requirement: that every single MTA employee, from the chairman on down, ride the subway or bus every time they had to get somewhere in New York City.

Can you imagine if, say, 15 MTA executives all had to get to a meeting by 8:30 a.m. -- and they all had to take the subway?

Somehow, magically, service would improve, stations would become safer and cleaner, and there would be fewer cutbacks. Money would be found for service restorations.

And why not? To say that the business of the city cannot possibly be conducted while relying on the city's mass transport system is to say that the system does not work. And MTA assures us that the system does work, and will continue to work even after all of these employees are fired.

So let them ride.

Photo of Tom Otterness sculpture at 14th Street by Annie Mole, Creative Commons license

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Monday, May 10, 2010

Sheep Get Fleeced at Prospect Park Zoo


A long-wool sheep named Bonnie was a reluctant participant in the annual sheep shearing -- aka "Fleece Fest" -- at Prospect Park Zoo in Brooklyn this past weekend.

She struggled mightily, but trotted off happily when it was over.

Video by MK Metz

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Hell of a Wind Storm Downs Trees, Garbage Cans in Brooklyn Heights

Saturday's wind storm came howling through Brooklyn Heights like a battering ram, ripping apart trees, blowing heavy metal garbage cans off the sidewalk and shredding leaves.

A huge tree in front of 60 Clark Street  was cracked right down the middle, with one half falling onto another tree. FDNY had to send men up with saws to cut it free.

Afterward, the teams sawed the larger branches into pieces.

According to the Wall Street Journal, another huge tree feel across power lines off of Avenue M and 24th St. in Brooklyn during the storm. New York City Transit bus routes were changed in the city due to debris falling from buildings.

Gothamist says that WABC 7 reported, "The high winds swept one woman out to sea when she was swimming in Brooklyn."  Wild.


More wind photos at Brooklyn Heights Blog.

 Photos by MK Metz

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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Guy Who Caused Wall Street Plunge Recently Fired From Apple for Leaving Next Generation iPhone in Bar

Ever wonder what happened to that unfortunate Apple employee who accidentally left the next-generation iPhone prototype on a bar stool in San Francisco?

Sources say he recently got a job trading stocks and futures for JC McMillan & Co. in Chicago. Thursday afternoon he apparently set off a world-wide stock panic by hitting the "billion" key on the trading console instead of the "million" key while issuing a large $300 million order.

In a market already worried about the debt crisis in Greece, the ensuing lightning-fast chain-reaction brought down markets instantaneously, causing a trillion dollar black hole in the world's financial system.

On Friday, President Obama tried to reassure the public that regulators were working to find another job for the trader, possibly in Afghanistan.

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Friday, May 7, 2010

The 270 Faces of Felix Morelo

This morning at 8 a.m. Felix Morelo picked up a piece of chalk and drew 270 faces in a relatively straight line on the sidewalk along Water Street in DUMBO.


The faces wind up at St. Ann's Warehouse, where BKLYN DESIGNS kicks off this morning.


Photos by MK Metz

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Hiroshima Survivors Come to Tell the Stories and More Brooklyn Briefs

- The Brooklyn pastor who promised hundreds of people non-existent jobs has begun to return applications and other documents. NY Times

- Four Hiroshima survivors will be visiting Downtown Brooklyn this Sunday to tell their stories about that horrific day. Brooklyn Eagle

- Ten unboring Mother’s Day gifts you can still pull off. Brokelyn

- Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 1 concession winners -- elitist or not? Brownstoner commenters weigh in. Brownstoner

- From 1 to 4 percent of the DNA in the genomes of many humans today were inherited from Neanderthals. CS Monitor

- Iceland's volcano has produced a 1,000-mile-wide ash cloud that will force western Irish airports to shut down again Friday. Huff Post

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Mountains of Soil at Brooklyn's Walt Whitman Park

The Park's Department has trucked in tons of new soil for the $4.5 million reconstruction of Walt Whitman Park in Downtown Brooklyn (next to the Office of Emergency Management on Cadman Plaza East).

According to the Brooklyn Eagle, the Department of Parks’ design will include a “great lawn,” and an ornamental fountain that will double as a sprinkler for children. Four Walt Whitman poems will be engraved in granite on the sides of the fountain."

- More Park Action in Downtown Brooklyn
- Walt Whitman Park Finally Loses Its Asphalt
- New Design Calls For 'Great Lawn,' Fountain

Photo by MK Metz

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No Major Facelift for BQE Ditch -- Only 'Botox'

A big crowd turned out for the "Fix the Ditch" meeting held May 4 at LICH, according to the Brooklyn Eagle. But as was expected, major redos -- such as decking over the entire trench (an idea of Mayor Bloomberg, shown above) -- aren't in the works.

Rather, reports Trudy Whitman, "Enhancements will be more on the order of nips, tucks and Botox injections, so to speak."

Fixing the BQE 'Ditch': Cobble Hill Residents Weigh Options Brooklyn Eagle

Other bright suggestions for fixing the ditch -- such as turning it into a canal for boats -- can be seen at Curbed.

- More BQE Enhancement Details

We believe the graphic shown was originally published in the NY Post, though it is no longer posted

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Brooklyn Judges Take In Lunchtime Sun

It was a perfect day to throw on a black robe and stand out in the sun, and that's just what these well-guarded Supreme Court justices did yesterday in Brooklyn Borough Hall Plaza.

The official reason for the gathering, which included sincere speeches about paying judges "adequate compensation," was the celebration of Law Day.

Photo by MK Metz

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Brooklyn Borough Hall Plaza, 9:30 a.m.

What a nice morning to sip coffee and read the paper in the plaza at Brooklyn Borough Hall Wednesday. The forecast calls for scattered showers and thunderstorms Thursday.

Photo by MK Metz

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Google's Dolphin Has Escaped From Its Tank

Google's Fast Flip, which usually appears at the bottom of the Google News page, was broken when we checked the news tonight. This is the rather cute message we got instead:

It reads: "Unfortunately it appears our dolphin has escaped from its tank, causing our server to get confused.
If you come back a little later everything should hopefully be back to normal."

Sure enough, a little later everything was back to normal. Does this mean Google's dolphin is back in its tank?

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