Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Will Brooklyn Public Library's Self-Checkout Machines Work Better Than CVS's?

New self-checkout machine at Brooklyn Heights branch library.  Photo by MK Metz
Self-checkout machines are spreading to more Brooklyn libraries, according to the Brooklyn Eagle, and we wonder if they will work better than the self-checkout machines at CVS in Brooklyn Heights, which are mocked far and wide as representations of a dysfunctional future dystopia.

The library is touting self-checkout "as part of a new model of public service," and says no clerks or librarians will be laid off. They will instead spread the joy of literature and learning amongst the patrons.

Just like the MTA said no token clerks would be laid off when they installed MetroCard machines. (The MTA laid off of 600 clerks and closed 184 booths in 2009 and 2010.)

It's gotten so bad that a City Councilman told his wife to duck under the turnstiles when a subway station's MetroCard machines were broken. The city, of course, said his wife should have walked -- or maybe taken a taxi? -- to the next station rather than "steal" from the MTA.

Back at the Brooklyn Heights branch library, one library patron mused about the new machines. "I wonder if they will break eventually? If one goes down it’s a one-shot deal.”

And an old-time librarian told the Brooklyn Eagle what nobody else would say: “They’re not hiring any new librarians."

- Self-checkout machines spread to more Brooklyn libraries Brooklyn Eagle

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Brooklyn Man Attacks Tourist; The F Train-Tech Connection; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- A Brooklyn man smashed a tourist's head with a hammer in City Hall Park. NY Daily News

- The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival runs Aug. 4-12 at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights. NY Times

- Tech industry continues aligning along the F train. TRD

- Massive beer hall turns Greenwood Heights into a giant urinal. Brooklyn Paper

- Brooklyn Bridge Park's hotel and condos to be 'Something More.' Curbed

- How to survive a fire when you're trapped in a highrise hotel and the air is filled with toxic smoke. Patent US4320756 via Reddit

- Startup claims 80% of its Facebook ad clicks are coming from bots. TechCrunch

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Our New Favorite Music Video Comes From South Korea

South Korean underground hip hop artist Park Jae Sang, better known in his homeland as PSY, has just released "Gangnam Style."

Words cannot do justice to this inexplicable find (thanks to Gawker who found it on Reddit).

Commenter AvenueWho on Reddit provides a translation.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Park Slope Readers' Heads Explode at Amy Sohn's Depiction of Married Life in Brooklyn

Brooklyn commenters reacted with shock and revulsion to writer Amy Sohn's frightening depiction in The Awl of married life in Park Slope and environs, where moms are drunken sluts, dads are stoned and "Ninety percent of the sex being had in brownstone Brooklyn is by French ex-pats."

In The 40-Year-Old Reversion, Sohn says the characters in her new novel, Motherland, "are inspired by my neighbors, who seek liberation not through consciousness-raising and EST the way their mothers did, but through Fifty Shades of Grey and body shots."

Apparently, Park Slope parents do blow and flash each other. They feel old and think about divorce. Taking care of their children bores them, but they get smashed and forget to use contraception and that's why New York has a baby boom right now.

"It’s the moment when a mom dresses as a Harajuku girl for Halloween, or there’s a full bar at a four-year-old's birthday party, or two ladies step out of book group to smoke on the stoop. It’s blowjob gestures at cocktail parties followed by a-little-too hysterical laughter. It’s the mother who says, 'Mommy needs an Advil because she stayed up too late last night.' It’s fortieth birthday parties at karaoke bars."

There are more than 400 reader comments. Typical is, "All your friends are assholes." This piece apparently convinced at least one reader to move to the suburbs and another to turn gay. One said she felt like picking up a blade and stabbing herself multiple times.

It also inspired creatively bizarre responses such as, "Imagining the people in this post doing it reminds me of Liquid Sky, where the aliens hover around in their tiny flying saucer sucking the life out of anybody who has an orgasm, and this one totally anhedonic but slutty person thinks she's killing all her sex partners by doing sex with them. If they remade that with zombies, that would be this."

More at The 40-Year-Old Reversion

Photo by Charles Miller

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

More On Church Lightening Strike; 6 Shot in Brownsville; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Six people -- including two children -- were shot Sunday night in Brownsville. NY Daily News

- Many more details about the church in Cobble Hill hit by lightening, the man who died, and the continuing investigation of structural damage. Brooklyn Eagle

- Brooklyn's Lia Neal, 17, took home a bronze medal in the women's 4x100 meter freestyle relay in London. NY1

- A Brooklyn high school lost a bunch of Regents exams, dashing the hopes of some students to graduate in June. NY Daily News

- Coney Island's Zigun wants Shore Theater taken away from owner through eminent domain. Brooklyn Daily

- A "killer fern" that can double in size every four or five days is eating Prospect Park Lake. Brooklyn Eagle

- A Brooklyn politician drove upstate to buy an assault rifle equipped with a high-capacity magazine — then drove to The Bronx border yesterday to show how easy it would be to sneak it in. NY Post

- Glenn Markman on Dellarocco’s, the Beach Shack, the Nets, and Brooklyn’s future. (Video) BHB

- Some Williamsburg locals hope Friday's shooting scares all the hipsters back to Manhattan. NY Times

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Vote On Best G Train Song for BROOKLYN, SWEDEN Music Festival Contest

Songwriter Matthew Meyer alerted us to the Brooklyn Brewery's 'BROOKLYN, SWEDEN' Song Contest, where New York songsters were asked to write about Brooklyn’s storied G train for a chance to win a trip to Sweden to enjoy the BROOKLYN, SWEDEN music festival.

BROOKLYN, SWEDEN är en ny musikfest som tar det bästa från Brooklyn, New York till Stockholm och Malmö i sommar. (Translate)

Check out Matthew's song and vote for your favorite here.

At the end of August the Brooklyn Brewery will be exporting over a dozen of Brooklyn’s top bands to Sweden for the festival, as well as the lucky winner, who’ll be flown to Stockholm and put up at the Story Hotel.

The winning songwriter will also perform alongside a few of the bands on the festival roster at the BROOKLYN, SWEDEN Send Off party at the Rock Shop on August 28.

Photo of G train by Halseike, Creative Commons license

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

'Girl Walk//All Day' Tonight at Rooftop Films, Coney Island

'Girl Walk//All Day' is tonight's free film on the beach at Coney Island (hosted by Rooftop Films, NYC & Company, and the Coney Island Development Corp).

Here's the description:
"'Girl Walk//All Day' is a feature-length dance music video and tale of urban exploration that follows three dancers across New York City. They turn the city's sidewalks, parks, and architecture into an evolving stage as they spread their joy of movement."

Music and dancing start at 7 p.m. and the film begins at 8:30 p.m. In the event of rain, film will be rescheduled. More here.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Brooklyn Tea Party President Running for Assembly as Opponent of Same-Sex Marriage

The Brooklyn Young Republican Club wants members to help put Brooklyn Tea Party President Joseph Hayon on the ballot for the "School Choice Party." He is running for New York State Assembly in the 41st Assembly District (Sheesphead Bay, Gravesend, Manhattan Beach, Midwood and Brighton Beach) on the Republican, Conservative, and Independence Party lines.

Hayon's opponent is Helene Weinstein, who has served in the Assembly for more then 30 years.

Hayon, an Orthodox Jew, is a vehement opponent of same-sex marriage and a strong proponent of giving public funds to religious schools.

He charges that Weinstein "voted to force public schools to teach gay marriage to children even though most parents oppose such instruction." [NOTE: This is a mischaracterization of the bill, which aims to prevent harassment of students. Sheepshead Bites points out that Hayon has misconstrued this bill in a previous campaign.]

"This is not just an issue for the religious community," Hayon said. "This is an issue of our free speech rights. Teachers will be fired, students will be expelled, and parents will lose their ability to raise their children the way they see fit, just for expressing their support for traditional marriage. If we cannot express our support for marriage today, we may not be able to express our support for democracy in the future."

So there you go.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

McBrooklyn.com Server Iffy, Use McBrooklyn.blogspot.com

Hi Folks,
The McBrooklyn.com server is back up for many browsers, but if you're having trouble reaching us, please use mcbrooklyn.blogspot.com

Thanks for your patience.

MK at McBrooklyn

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

NY1 Reporter Vivian Lee Attacked in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn

Theresa Casivant's twitter pix
A 24-year-old woman draped in a sheet climbed into an NY1 news van and allegedly attacked reporter Vivian Lee as she covered a story in Cobble Hill on Friday morning, DNAinfo reports.

Lee was reporting on the death of Richard Schwartz, 61, who was killed after lightning hit a church steeple and sent scaffolding tumbling to the street.

Theresa Casivant hopped into the news truck and began using Lee's makeup and snacking on food. After being removed from the van, Casivant punched Lee in the neck.

She was arrested and Lee was checked out at the hospital. See more details at DNAinfo.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Friday, July 27, 2012

McBrooklyn.com Server Still Iffy, Use McBrooklyn.blogspot.com

Hi Folks,
The McBrooklyn.com server is back up for many browsers, but if you're having trouble reaching us, please use mcbrooklyn.blogspot.com

Thanks for your patience.

MK at McBrooklyn

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Lightening Causes Death in Cobble Hill; $100 Rat Dinner; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Lightening hits Cobble Hill church steeple, resulting in the death of a man. NY Daily News

- Brooklyn artist serves $100 rat dinner. NY Eater

- Video of dramatic Verrazano Bridge suicide rescue surfaces. Bensonhurst Bean

- Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir has been invited to perform at the presidential inaugural ceremonies next January. Brooklyn Eagle

- MTA proposes $1 "green fee" for new MetroCards. NY Magazine

- Here's the Nets' season schedule. NBA

- Attention, Brooklyn: Stop blingin' out your babies! Village Voice

- New trolley tours offer an insider's view of Brooklyn. Brooklyn Eagle

- Video: NYPD cop bodyslams Brooklyn teen in subway station. NY Daily News

- A Brooklyn Hasidic newspaper Der Yid says Orthodox Jews will fight the government's attempt to regulate mouth-to-baby-penis sucking done by mohels. Failed Messiah

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

To Do: Brooklyn Animation Weekend Starts Tonight

Barbara Benas "green" PSA - Greetings from the Year 3000
The ninth annual Brooklyn Animation Block Party starts tonight, July 27, and runs through July 29 at Rooftop Films and BAMcinématek.

Animation Block Party calls itself the "largest animation festival on the East Coast, dedicated to screening the world's best professional, student and independent work of all genres."

Tonight's opener -- with 20 cartoons and shorts -- takes place at Rooftop Films, located at the Automotive High School - 50 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg. The event opens at 8pm for live-music and the screenings will start around 9pm. There will be an intermission after The People Who Never Stop.

After party at Matchless, located at 557 Manhattan Avenue in Brooklyn, featuring free beer courtesy of Radeberger.

More here.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Before the Storm

Clouds billowing over the East River before the storm hit Brooklyn about 8 p.m.

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tornado Tonight in Brooklyn? Even Brooklyn Bridge Park's Movies Sound Ominous

The National Weather Service has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook for Brooklyn and the nearby areas including southern Queens that warns of severe thunderstorms, damaging winds and large hail. NOAA adds, "An isolated tornado cannot be ruled out."

The hazardous weather will happen roughly between 9 - 11 p.m. tonight (Thursday).

Those hoping to attend Brooklyn Bridge Park's Syfy Movies with a View may be able to squeeze it in before all hell breaks loose, but bring foul weather gear.

On the other hand, you may want to take the hint: tonight's films include Clueless and Once It Started It Could Not End Otherwise.

Do you understand?

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Brooklyn Bridge Park Fieldhouse: Is Velodrome Racing a 'Quaint, Obscure, Bizarre' Sport?

Site of future Fieldhouse on Furman Street  Photo: BBPC
Many Brooklyn residents have attended the information forums about the $40 million, 2,499-seat Fieldhouse/ Velodrome proposed for Brooklyn Bridge Park. The Fieldhouse has been described as a community recreation center, with an indoor bike riding track as its centerpiece.

But it's not as simple as that, skeptics say. Peter Flemming, co-chair of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Community Council and a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee of the Park Corporation told the Brooklyn Eagle that the Fieldhouse is actually a "specialized velodrome masquerading as a community recreation center — and it doesn’t belong in Brooklyn Bridge Park."

It seems that competitive track racing is not what most people think of as bicycle racing. Competitors ride special fixed-gear bikes without brakes, and must travel at least 16 miles an hour to avoid tipping over on curves that bank 45 degrees or more.

"Why help the city build a huge stadium — one of only two in the country — in a tiny waterfront park for this quaint, obscure, bizarre sport?” Flemming asks.

Greg Brooks, executive director of New York City Fieldhouse Inc., argues that the entire community will make use of the facility, and says it will save Brooklyn Bridge Park a ton of money. Read what he has to say here.


- Did You Miss the Fieldhouse Forum?
- Who IS This Guy Who Donated $40 Million To Brooklyn Bridge Park?
- Willowtowners Fear Traffic Nightmares From Fieldhouse Crowds BHB

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Food Swap in Brooklyn Tonight (Thursday, July 26)

BK Swappers, Local Roots NYC and Krrb are hosting a food swap event tonight: bring a homemade edible treat or non-edible kitchen item to trade with other food-loving Brooklynites.

Brokelyn says the event comes with free beer, and it’s also a potluck, so bring a dish to share — prizes go to the best swap item and best potluck dish. You can buy a ticket for $5, but Brokelyn is giving away a pair of tickets.

Photo courtesy of Krrb

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Brooklyn BP Markowitz Makes Sense About Soda Ban

BP Markowitz (right) with owners of the Meatball Shop in Williamsburg

Brooklyn Borough president Marty Markowitz is not known for being fashion-model svelte, but he gave some common sense testimony at this week's hearing on the Mayor's soda ban.

"The way to approach the obesity epidemic is through education, advocacy, counseling, group support, and I believe most importantly, efforts to raise self-esteem, not a punitive policy that forcibly limits consumer choices," the BP said, according to the Brooklyn Eagle.

He adds, "Let me be clear: I’m overweight not because I drink Big Gulp sodas, but frankly because I eat too much pasta, pastrami sandwiches, pizza, bagels with cream cheese and lox, red velvet cake and cheesecake, don’t exercise as much as I should, and my genes are working against me. I was an overweight kid and I’m an overweight adult."

Markowitz urged the return of daily PE in schools and exercise classes across overweight neighborhoods.

"In addition, we should be ensuring that all New Yorkers have access to fresh fruits and vegetables by providing incentives to developers to rent to full-service supermarkets rather than another bank or drug chain," Markowitz said, "and open up our schools so that they can educate not only children, but parents on how to cook healthier and smarter meals with an emphasis on smaller portions."

More at Brooklyn Eagle.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Brooklyn Pedophile Andrew Goodman Charged Again by Feds

Convicted pedophile Andrew Goodman, 27, molested two boys in Flatbush but was sentenced to a mere two years on July 12.

Today, a complaint was unsealed in federal court in Brooklyn charging him with transporting a minor in interstate commerce to engage in sexual activity, according to a statement by the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Goodman was set to appear today before United States Magistrate Judge Cheryl L. Pollak, at the U.S. Courthouse.

According to the complaint, in February 2010, Goodman traveled with the then 15-year-old victim to Atlantic City, New Jersey. While there, he allegedly sexually abused the victim in a hotel room.

"The prevention of sexual exploitation of children is a priority of this office," stated United States Attorney Loretta E. Lynch. "Those who would take advantage of children are on notice that they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law." District Attorney Charles J. Hynes and the Kings County District Attorney’s Office assisted in the case.

If convicted, Goodman faces 10 to life.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Some People Are Excited About Knicks /Nets Season Opener in Brooklyn

Photo credit MK Metz.  Joe Johnson, number 7,  and the recently re-signed Deron Williams at Brooklyn Borough Hall on July 15.

A number of people are working themselves up into a state at the thought of the Nets opening the season in Brooklyn against the Nicks.

According to Newsday, the Knicks will be the Brooklyn Nets' first regular-season opponent in their new home, the Barclays Center, on Nov. 1.

It's all part of a calculated program to build the hysteria. The Brooklyn Eagle describes Nets owner Prokhorov's billboard outside Madison Square Garden, proclaiming the Nets' 'Blueprint for Greatness,' featuring a photo of himself and minority owner Jay-Z. The Knicks responded with a TV promo claiming, "Hey Nets. You can walk like us, you can talk like us, but you ain't never gonna be like us."

Commenters at SlamOnline express their opinions as to who is the better team.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

'Ugly' Atlantic Terminal Barriers Coming Down; Unemployment; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- MTA begins removing 'ugly' barricade around LIRR Atlantic Terminal. NY Daily News

- If you used the ATM at Ridgewood Savings Bank at 7124 18th Avenue in Bensonhurst, a skimmer may have ripped off your card information and stolen your money. Bensonhurst Bean

- Brooklyn Assemblyman Steve Cymbrowitz has hired disgraced ex-Brooklyn State Sen. Carl Kruger’s chief-of-staff as a campaign consultant. City and State

- Officers talk to would-be-jumper for more than four hours before getting him off bridge. Brooklyn Daily Eagle

- Did you lose a chicken near Franklin Avenue? I Love Franklin Avenue

- There's a competition that asks participants to envision the future of the contaminated Gowanus Canal. Park Slope Patch

- The Bronx and Brooklyn continued to post the highest rates of unemployment in the city in June. WSJ

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Ever Wonder What's In Marty Markowitz's Desk?

Brooklyn Borough president Marty Markowitz has an idiosyncratic collection of nick-knacks and memorabilia saved from his years in office, including shovels from ground-breakings, the Ebbets Field home plate, and a guitar from Hippiefest. Plus a bird that can say 100 words, including "fuhgeddaboudit." (Presumably that counts as one word.)

See photos of part of his collection at City & State.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Another Jehovah's Witnesses Property for Sale in Brooklyn Heights

Another Brooklyn Heights Jehovah’s Witnesses property has hit the market, according to The Real Deal.

The 10-unit, five-story residential building at 67 Remsen Street is for sale for $3.4 million.

Photo by Google Maps

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Oops! Amazing iPad Cat Toy Let Cats Charge Your Credit Card

It turns out that an adorable iPad app game for cats, called (oddly enough) "Game For Cats," allowed felines to "accidentally" download premium content with their busy little paws, and charge it to your credit card.

App development firm Hiccup told Fast Company, “We got in a lot of trouble [...] people were accusing us of tricking cats into making purchases. We got a ton of comments on our iTunes page, people accusing us of trying to rip of them off.”

The company is now making it harder for the little spendthrifts to get ahold of your plastic.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Fire In Cypress Hills; Navy Yard Tour; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Firefighters were continuing to fight a four-alarm blaze in a vacant factory building in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn on Monday night. NBC

- Air Force Staff Sgt. Luis Walker from Brooklyn was sentenced to 20 years in prison Saturday for crimes that included rape and sexual assault. Brooklyn Eagle

- Free yoga classes at Dekalb Market. Brokelyn

- Brooklyn filmmaker has novel idea for what should be done with Joe Paterno statue. NY Daily News

- Tenants at one of Downtown’s last rent-stabilized buildings say they’re getting kicked out of Brooklyn. Brooklyn Paper

- The Brooklyn Navy Yard kicks off a new tour this Friday, July 27th. Brownstoner

- A 38-year-old software engineer says says a popular baldness treatment turned him female -- and hundreds of other guys have filed a lawsuit in Brooklyn. Gawker

- Heavily armed potential Aurora shooting copycat arrested in Maine. NY Magazine

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Awesome Pinkalicious Website: MindyMeyer4Senate.com

We solemnly swear that mindymeyer4senate.com (Tagline: "I'm Senator and I Know It") is a real website.

Mindy Meyer is a 22-year-old Flatbush law school student, running for NY State Senate in Brooklyn’s 21st District in the most awesomely pinkalicious way imaginable.

She calls herself, "The first young woman in the history of New York to run for New York State Senate." She's running unopposed as a Republican and Conservative against Kevin Parker, and says she is against stop and frisk, for school choice, intends to "crack down on crime," and wants to restore the summer youth job program.

As Katniss in 'The Hunger Games'
She calls herself: "Diva Of the District." That's her above holding a small bow and arrow (with the arrow pointing in the wrong direction).

For those who say she has no experience, Mindy says "I can tell you one thing, I have no experience in corruption."

"We endorsed her," said Jerry Kassar, chairman of Brooklyn's Conservative party. So there you go!

- More comments on Gothamist, the Maddow blog and  Vos Iz Neias.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Nets Want to Trademark Phrase 'Brooklyn's Backcourt'

The Nets are seeking trademark protection for the term "Brooklyn's Backcourt," referring to their touted backcourt duo Deron Williams and Joe Johnson.

Another merchandise goldmine? Or, as one commenter on Nets Daily said, the merchandise equivalent of a straight-to-DVD movie?

- Brooklyn Nets Party at Borough Hall Quite a Scene

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

New York Post Forgets It Once Endorsed 'Scandal-Scarred' Judge Noach Dear

The NY Post reports that Judge Noach Dear has been "booted" from Brooklyn Criminal Court "after his bizarre ruling barred police from ticketing public drinkers unless cops lab-tested their booze." 

The Post calls Dear, 59, "a scandal-scarred ex-city councilman ... who got his gavel in a backroom deal orchestrated by Brooklyn Democratic boss Vito Lopez."

But who endorsed Dear when the "scandal-scarred" councilman ran for Congress? Only the New York Post.

My how times change. Daniel Feldman, who ran against Dear in the campaign, talks about the Post's endorsement of Dear in Tales from the Sausage Factory.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Colorado Batman Movie Shooter Totally Batshit

Police reported finding a Batman mask in the Colorado Batman shooter's apartment, according to NY Magazine.

Along the same lines, James Holmes, 24, whose shooting rampage left 12 dead and 59 wounded, dyed his hair red and told authorities after the shooting that he was "The Joker."

Even weirder, Holmes remained in character as the Joker after arriving at a detention center. A source told the NY Post that Holmes is “totally crazy, he’s walking around talking like a Joker” in prison.

Unlike the actual Joker, the other inmates in the prison can't wait to get their hands on him.

- 'Dark Knight' Packs Them In at Downtown Brooklyn Theater

- Photo: Colorado 'Batman' Shooting Victim from Brooklyn

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Chinese-Americans Rouse Brooklyn Heights on Sunday With a Dragon Dance

Did you hear cheering, music and drums Sunday morning? Thousands of Asian-Americans and supporters marched over the Brooklyn Bridge to Cadman Plaza Park in Brooklyn Heights / Downtown Brooklyn for the Chinese-American Planning Council's (CPC) annual Walk-A-Thon and Family Day celebration.

The dragon dance team made quite the dramatic entrance into the park and entertained the crowd.

The CPC provides community services to Chinese kids, seniors and recent immigrants. Borough President Marty Markowitz and Councilwoman Leticia James spoke about the great work CPC does and the importance of Sunset Park's growing Chinese-American community.

People of all ages marched together. After the celebration in Cadman Park, participants headed back to Columbus Park in Manhattan for more festivities.

Dragon-grandmas were out in force!

Photos by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

'Dark Knight' Packs Them In at Downtown Brooklyn Theater

The Court Street United Artist Theater in Downtown Brooklyn held about 20 showing a day of the 'Dark Knight' on the weekend after the shootings in Colorado.

Most of the showings were packed, if not totally sold out, according to Fandango. (The showing we attended Saturday was sold out.)

Unofficially, the film had the best 2D weekend opening ever.

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Photo: Colorado 'Batman' Shooting Victim from Brooklyn -- UPDATED

Christopher Rapoza posted this from his hospital bed.
One of the more than 70 people shot in the Colorado movie theater tragedy is a Brooklynite. "Christopher Rapoza of Prospect Heights/ Crown Heights says he just happened to be in Denver and was inside the theater when gunfire erupted and he was grazed by a bullet to his back. "Fortunately, he is expected to recover," BP Markowitz said today.

Rapoza himself posted photos of his back wound from his hospital bed. You can see them here.

Here is Markowitz' statement:

"The massacre in Aurora highlights once again the terrible consequences of our country’s love affair with guns, and why we must continue to follow the lead of Mayor Bloomberg and others in pushing Congress and state governments to enact tough gun laws.

"The Colorado shooting hits very close to home in Brooklyn, because reportedly one of the more than 70 people shot is a Brooklynite. Christopher Rapoza of Prospect Heights/Crown Heights says he just happened to be in Denver and was inside the theater when gunfire erupted and he was grazed by a bullet to his back. Fortunately, he is expected to recover but twelve other theatergoers weren’t as fortunate.

"All of Brooklyn joins the nation and the world in mourning the innocent lives lost, and we pray for the full recovery of the dozens of wounded victims in this senseless national tragedy."

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Weekend Fun: NYC Poetry Festival on Governors Island Saturday & Sunday, July 21 & 22

The weather forecast is perfect for the 2nd Annual New York City Poetry Festival this Saturday & Sunday, July 21st & 22nd on Governors Island.

Hop the free ferry from Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park and enjoy enjoy "more series, more poets, more headliners, more vendors, an additional arts and crafts village, and healthy and delicious food options" this year.

For the first time, the event includes a children's festival: a village of teepees and a forest of balloons prompting kids to write poems about what it would be like to be a fish, or what the sky looks like at night. The children's area will include poem helpers, readings, movement and performances.

All comers will have a chance to read their own poetry at the open mic. For a schedule of events click here.

Tickets are $5 per day. Hours: from 11am-5pm. A ferry also leaves from Manhattan's Battery Maritime Building.

Photo courtesy of Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Coming: 'Tech Triangle' Bus to Connect Brooklyn Navy Yard, Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO

B25 bus in DUMBO. By MK Metz
The MTA announced Thursday new bus routes and service restorations, including a "Tech Triangle" route which will connect Downtown Brooklyn to DUMBO, Vinegar Hill and the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

"Brooklyn's tech industry is changing the face of New York—and now, we'll have a bus route that will allow the booming Tech Triangle to continue to grow and innovate," Squadron, D-Brooklyn, said in a statement.

The exact details of the new route haven't been decided yet, but it may involve re-routing the B25 bus, which presently terminates on Main Street in DUMBO.

A new waterfront route will link Williamsburg to Greenpoint, and another route is planned to connect East New York to Spring Creek, according to the Brooklyn Eagle.

The MTA has also agreed to make the G train 5-stop extension to Church Avenue permanent.

Nine Brooklyn bus lines will be either restored or extended; list of changes here.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The 'Milk Not Jails' Truck Delivers in Brooklyn

The cheerful Milk Not Jails truck making a delivery on Clinton Street in Brooklyn Heights.
We saw the Milk Not Jails truck in Brooklyn Heights yesterday and wondered what it was all about. It turns out that Milk Not Jails is an alliance working to build an economic alternative to the prison industry in New York State.

Milk Not Jails says New York should promote dairy farming, not incarceration, for rural jobs. Over 90% of New York’s prisons are located in rural areas, but prison towns have not seen the jobs or improvements they were promised. Today, dairy farmers are selling their herds or shutting down.

Milk Not Jails sells fresh, organic, free range, minimally pasteurized dairy products from Ronnybrook Farms and Hawthorne Valley Farm at eight CSAs or buying clubs in Brooklyn and in other boroughs as well. Here's a list of products.

They are also working to bring more local farm foods into schools, break a monopoly that is putting dairy farmers out of business, and decriminalize minor crimes like possessing small amounts of marijuana that put thousands of people in jail unnecessarily.

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

'Train to Always' in Downtown Brooklyn

'Train to Always' by graffiti-turned-mural artist Steve Powers aka ESPO, on the wall of the Hero Shop in Downtown Brooklyn (where Boerum Place intersects with Red Hook Lane).

It's like a subway map where, depending on the train, you could end up at Nope, Eh, or Always. Or even the Hero Shop.

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Pavilion Theater's Seats Are Where? And More Brooklyn Briefs

- The Park Slope Pavilion may have gotten rid of their infamous, stained, bed-bug infested purple seating, but some of their other seats have resurfaced in the Cobble Hill Cinema. Gothamist

- Brooklyn brownstones are commanding higher prices. TRD

- Matisyahu, Brooklyn's Hasidic reggae superstar who performs with a black beard and wearing tzitzit (fringes), has done a 180. Brooklyn Eagle

- Brooklyn Nets street art: graffiti or slick marketing campaign? AnimalNY

- Secret plan would move the controversial Civic Virtue statue from Queens to Brooklyn. NY Daily News

- Mother of girl who fell off the air conditioner had her kids taken away in March. Gothamist

- Why the weather catastrophe happening in Brooklyn, Iowa, affects us in Brooklyn, New York. Brooklyn Eagle

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

In Aftermath of Wednesday's Wild Storm, Con Ed Cuts Power in Brooklyn

Tree limbs down on Clark Street in Brooklyn Heights. By MK Metz
Extreme heat, downed trees, torrential rains, hail and flooding caused thousands of power outages across Con Edison's service area Wednesday. Nearly 12,500 of 14,300 affected customers had their electricity back as of 9:30 p.m., Con Ed reported. About 1,800 remain to be restored (at about 1 a.m.).

According to MSNBC, temperatures hit 103 degrees in Newark, 100 in Central Park, 101 at LaGuardia and 96 at JFK International yesterday.

Con Ed reduced voltage by 5 percent in some Brooklyn neighborhoods, though the company said it was OK to use air conditioning and other appliances. (Turn them off if you don't need them, however.)

The voltage-reduction areas include Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Gravesend, Bensonhurst, and Bath Beach.

In many areas the storm felt like a tornado. If you haven't seen it already,  check out this amazing photo former NFL player Dhani Jones took from a plane taking off from Laguardia, posted on Instagram.

According to the NY Daily News, a bolt of lightening apparently hit a woman in Kew Gardens Hills, Queens. Also in Queens, a tree fell on a woman's car and seriously injured her.

By 6 or 6:30 p.m., the storm was gone, leaving us with cooler temperatures and a mess to clean up.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Torrential Rains Sweep Over Brooklyn

Torrential rains, lightening and thunder swept over Brooklyn minutes ago as the National Weather Service issued hazardous weather warnings including flooding and hail. Above: Cadman Plaza Park surrounded by the court houses and tall buildings of Downtown Brooklyn, obscured in the storm.

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Weather in Brooklyn Going to Get Hazardous Real Soon -- UPDATED

The Nation Weather Service has issued all kinds of hazardous weather warnings for Brooklyn and the nearby metropolitan area for crazy, hazardous weather including lightening, thunder, winds in excess of 60 mph, flooding and hail.

Get inside!



UPDATE: The National Weather Service has added a Flash Flood Warning to all the other warnings. Don't drive through areas where water covers the roadway.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Outdoor Movies in Brooklyn; Racoon Invaders; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- It turns out you can see a movie outdoors somewhere in Brooklyn almost every night, and in most cases for free. Brooklyn Eagle

- Aw, shucks: Bus driver who caught plunging Brooklyn child brushes off 'hero' talk. CNN

- Pier 1 Imports coming to Atlantic Avenue. BHB

- Racoons taking over the streets of Brooklyn. WLBZ2

- A scary-looking 60-year-old sex offender was arrested Monday for the 169th time for engaging in criminal sexual contact with two women on PATH trains. NJ.com

- First crop of New Jersey medicinal marijuana growing at huge 'undisclosed location.' WSJ via NY Magazine

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Should Brooklynites Send Macy's a Fireworks Message?

It's been four years since Macy's turned their corporate back on Brooklyn by moving the July 4th fireworks to the Hudson River.

Should Brooklynite's turn their back on Macy' s until the fireworks return to the East River?

There are probably other shops where we can buy all those clothes, shoes, sheets and Christmas presents.

Returning the Fourth of July fireworks to the East River would benefit all of New York City: The East River is central, with clear sight lines from Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.

The whole fireworks thing, once a nice PR campaign, is turning into a black eye for Macy's -- and an unnecessary one.

In the meantime, thousands have signed a petition set up by Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio and State Senator Daniel Squadron demanding that Macy's return the July 4th fireworks to the place where most of New York City can see them -- the East River.

Gothamist displays a map showing where these thousands live.

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wild Melee, Pepper Spray, Arrests at McCarren Pool in Brooklyn Tuesday Night

Photo above by NickyBalls on Twitter

Pepper spray filled the air as the NYPD arrested three youths at McCarren Pool Tuesday night in a wild melee, writes A Walk in the Park.

"During the melee police called for an 85 - additional units needed. An additional 20 officers arrived at the wild scene."

Witnesses told the NY Daily News the trouble started around 6:15 p.m. "when a group of boisterous teenagers began jeering and chanting at the deep end of the pool, which was packed to its 1,500-strong capacity on one of the year’s hottest days."

“You could tell something was going to happen. It was obvious. You just had that feeling in the air,” the witness told the Daily News.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Experts Sound Alarm On Olympics Security

Experts told MSNBC that the Summer Olympics in England are "a perfect stage for a terror attack if that's your agenda."

According to CNN, the Home Office said  that G4S -- the company handling security -- is supposed to supply 10,400 guards but only has about 4,000 trained and ready. G4S is also suffering from a software problem, which means the contractor cannot guarantee who will turn up where and whether guards have the right training.

Even America's lackluster and sometimes terrifying TSA being called in to supplement inadequate security in England. In responce, a reader on Reddit commented: "UK: now bending over for Americans more literally."

On the other hand, sounds like a good time to fly in the U.S.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

J. Crew in Williamsburg? Amazing Catch; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- J. Crew considering Williamsburg shop on Bedford Avenue (alongside Whole Foods, slated to open in 2014). TRD

- Tributes poured in for the late Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Gustin Reichbach -- from a member of the radical SDS to a Kings County Judge of the Year, to war-crimes judge for the U.N. Brooklyn Eagle

- MTA driver catches girl in fall from third-floor window. NY Magazine

- Islanders mulling Barclays Arena again. Sporting News

- House in in Bay Ridge that neighbors have been complaining about for years finally collapsed. ABC

- Brooklyn man with world's largest penis stopped by TSA, frisked, accused of having a growth. Gothamist

- LinkedIn is rolling out a "simpler" home page. TechCrunch

- You may want to unplug your electronics during summer voltage reductions. Gizmodo  

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Merveilleux! Good Times at Brooklyn's Bastille Day 2012

In spite of occasional rain, the 2012 Bastille Day celebration on Smith Street in Brooklyn was un grand succès once again. Smith Street was covered with sand by John Quadrozzi's cement company for the famous petanque tournament and thousands flocked to Boerum Hill for games, little glasses of Lillet, music and French food.

In petanque, competitors throw metal balls (boules), trying to get close to a little ball called a "pig" (cochonnet).

Deciding which ball is closest often takes a big discussion.

Milton and his band entertained outside Bar Tabac till 6, followed by François Weiss and his trio.

The event -- the biggest Bastille Day celebration in the U.S. -- took place this year one day after July 14, the date that marks the actual anniversary of the storming of the Bastille in 1789.

In the past decade, about 3,000 French families have moved into the Carroll Gardens, Gowanus and Park Slope neighborhoods, according to information gathered by Fabrice Jaumont, education attaché for the French Embassy. (More about this at Carroll Gardens Patch.)

John Quadrozzi told the Brooklyn Eagle that his workers spread 12 cubic yards of sand on Smith Street. “We deliver it with our historic 1961 Mack Truck concrete mixer it’s the first truck we had when we started the business, and it’s fully restored.”

Brooklyn's Bastille Day event was founded 10 years ago by Bette Stoltz along with restaurants Bar Tabac and Robin des Bois (now shuttered), and is sponsored by French apéritif company Ricard.

More photos at Brooklyn Eagle

Past stories on this topic:
- 2012 Bastille Day Coming Up
- Bastille Day 2011
- 2011 Bastille Day Coming Up
- Brooklyn's Bastille Day, 2010
- Brooklyn's 2010 Bastille Day Celebration Looking Big 
- Brooklyn Bastille Day 2009 -- Great Day, Big Crowds
- Bastille Day 2009 in Brooklyn  
- Bastille Day in Brooklyn: The French Conquer Smith Street
- Brooklyn's Bastille Day: Smith Street, Sunday 
- Bastille Day in Brooklyn -- La Rue de Smith Sautait!

Photos by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Busta Rhymes and Friends Put On a Show at Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival

As crowds packed Pier 3 at Brooklyn Bridge Park (and lined the Promenade as well) Busta Rhymes worked it with his old friends at the 8th Annual Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival’s final day on Saturday (July 14).

Among those appearing with Busta were Lil Fame of M.O.P., Buckshot, Tek and Steele of Smif-N-Wessun, Slick Rick, Reek Da Villian, J. Doe, Phife Dawg, Raekwon, Rakim and Q-Tip, in a Leaders of the New School reunion.

Rapper Kosha Dillz and DJ Rawbeatz. Photo: L. Metz

Big crowd, blasting loudspeakers. Photo: L. Metz
The Brooklyn Nets Experience Bus was there with its basket and scoreboard, and people were shooting hoops. Borough President Marty Markowitz proclaimed Brooklyn the borough of Hip Hop.

Video by AllHipHop.com

More about it at XXL
Photos by L. Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Brooklyn Nets Party at Borough Hall Quite a Scene

The Brooklyn Nets threw a party on Friday at Brooklyn Borough Hall in Downtown Brooklyn to welcome new player Joe Johnson, number 7,  and the recently re-signed Deron Williams, number 8. Nets General Manager Billy King (above right) told the crowd that now the Nets have “the best backcourt in the NBA."

Nets Head Coach Avery Johnson (left) talked about how relieved he was that the team had signed the two players.

Outside Borough Hall maybe a thousand people gathered, including excited kids from three summer camps, basketball fans and lunchtime gawkers. A crowd of folks came over from Metrotech.

The Nets "Experience" Mobile Unit (that big black truck in the background) where you can buy T-shirts and tickets played hip-hop music. Attached to the side is a regulation basketball hoop with a real working scoreboard and flat-screen televisions.

Brooklyn Nets announcer David Diamante practiced his radio voice while the Brooklynettes dancers presented an oversized cheesecake from Juniors. They were very smooth and showbiz.

BP Marty Markowitz, quite excited, talked trash about the Nicks. He said that the "Manhattan" Nicks fans sipped Dom Perignon but Nets fans liked Brooklyn beer. He added that Brooklynites who remained fans of the Nicks would be committing "treason."

People yelled players' names and applauded. Then came a crack that sounded like a gun, and white and black streamers shot out of a device and unfurled over the crowd.

All in all it was quite a scene and professionally staged.

For more about the sports angle, see the Brooklyn Eagle.

Photos copyright MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Rowboat Rescue on East River Near DUMBO

Three rowboats and one kayak from the water education program Rocking the Boat, based in the Bronx, were rescued after running into trouble in the East River off Brooklyn this afternoon.

A motorized vessel belonging to the program roped the boats together and towed them south, escorted by NYPD Harbor unit 'Patrolman Walburger.' The current appeared to be quite strong in a northerly direction.

In the yellow rowboat, above, a man who appeared to be injured was stretched out in the back. He remained in this position the entire time the boats were in view.

Normally these boats operate up in Hunts Point Riverside Park. However, today is City of Water Day, a harbor wide event that fills the waters around Governors Island with hundreds of small vessels. 

Photos by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Swastikas at Gerritsen Beach; Too Much Sex; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Possibly rabid, one-eyed raccoon captured in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Gothamist

- Someone peppered a Gerritsen Beach corner with swastikas — but no one in the community seems to care. Brooklyn Daily

- Brooklyn tenants tell tales about neglectful landlords and apartments full of rats. NY Daily News

- Does this mean that everybody who took the scrap lumber from the Coney Island Boardwalk has to bring it back now? NY Times

- One of the coolest aerial views of Brooklyn we've seen. Brooklyn Eagle

- Why we are so damn tired: New Yorkers have sex five times more than the national average. NY Daily News

- Hidden government scanners will instantly know everything about you from 164 feet away. Gizmodo

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

You Can See the Rings of Saturn from Brooklyn Bridge Park

Up until now we had assumed that Saturn was a pretty but totally fanciful illustration made up for the cover of magazines.

Hot damn! It's awe-inspiring to see it with your own eyes, rings and all, up in the sky over Brooklyn.

If you want to see Saturn, Mars, the moon and whatever else happens to be floating overhead at night, the Amateur Astronomers Association sets up telescopes every Thursday night from 8:30-10:30pm at Brooklyn Bridge Park at the Pier 1 Promenade.

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Vacant for more than 35 years, a lot at Woodhull and Columbia streets was lovingly turned into a park by Brooklyn neighbors. HPD's reaction? "Get out." Carroll Gardens Patch

- Those ambulettes that pick up sick people may not be real. Sheepshead Bites

- A 26-year-old woman went missing after heading to volunteer at a Brooklyn shelter on July 8. Her family received a chilling text from her phone: “The owner of this phone is dead, but she was smiling." CBS local

- DOT recommends no residential parking permits for Barclay's area, but some Brooklyn residents question their methodology. Atlantic Yards Report

- The Cyclones are mired in first slump of the summer. Brooklyn Eagle

- Pedophile Andrew Goodman declared his undying love for the boy he molested for years, but was sentenced to a mere two years. NY Post

- Having a stoop sale? Post a notice here: Brokelyn

- What's going on at 340 Court Street. Brownstoner

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.