Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Barges Under Water; Zombies Attack Williamsburg; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Carroll Gardeners honored the lost at War Memorial in Carroll Park on Monday. PMFA

- A sonar scan of the Gowanus Canal turned up a couple of intact barges and a World War II rescue vessel with a “checkered history.” Carroll Gardens Patch

- Zombies attack Williamsburg! Gothamist

- So that's what all those padlocks are doing on the Brooklyn Bridge. Brooklyn Eagle

- A Brooklyn handyman was shot in the head riding his bike a block from his home.  NY Daily News

- A former Brooklyn Botanic Garden employee claims age and race discrimination. Gothamist 

- A tree was planted near Brooklyn Supreme Court in memory of Hope Reichbach, a "comet" who died at the age of 22. Brooklyn Eagle

- When driving with drugs, don't overdo it with the air fresheners! Gothamist

- Lunatics: A Japanese company wants to turn the moon into a giant, solar panel-covered disco ball. Gawker

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Civil War Dead Remembered at Green-Wood Cemetery

A candlelight march to remember the thousands of Civil War dead buried at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn took place Saturday as part of a special commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War.

Roughly 4,600 Civil War veterans are buried at Greenwood, enlisted men and generals alike. Before the march, re-enacters drilled, told stories of the war to visitors, and mourned their dead.

After it grew dark, hundreds of visitors walked behind the cavalry along the winding roads. Candles in small white bags were placed in front of all 4,600 Civil War veteran graves. At numerous stops along the way, musicians played or choirs sang songs from Civil War days.

Candles before the graves of the Civil War dead.

Green-Wood did an amazing job with this event. Strangers spoke to each other on the subway ride home about how moving the walk was, and how the Civil War doesn't seem like so long ago any more.

If you visit Green-Wood, stop by the exhibition that accompanied the Memorial Day weekend events -- “Honoring Their Sacrifice” --  in the Historic Chapel, running through June 12. 

Photos by MK Metz

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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Brooklyn Bridge Jumper: Daring Rescue Sunday

NYPD and FDNY officers rushed to the Brooklyn Bridge at roughly 4:30 this afternoon to rescue an emotionally disturbed young man who had climbed over the railing. He was dangling over Old Fulton Street near the intersection of Henry Street. In the photo above, you can see that nothing but hard pavement was below the man, who was hanging onto a pipe with one leg dangling into space.

As the Fire Department set up ladders and a mattress below, police spoke calmly to the young man.

An officer with a rope in his hand, right, climbed onto the ledge but didn't make a move towards the guy. Judging by their manner, the officers were engaged in friendly, almost casual talk. After who seemed like ten minutes of this, another officer, left, climbed onto the ledge. A little conversation ensued.

Then suddenly, the rescuers lunged towards the man, who tried desperately to throw himself off the ledge. The officers struggled mightily, grabbing him under his arms. The officer on the right wedged his leg behind the pipe and held on for dear life. The officer on the left grimaced with effort. Other officers leaned over the railing and grabbed the man, helping to pull him up, up and finally over the bridge railing.

After the officers upended the man over the railing, the crowd that had gathered below broke into loud and spontaneous applause. The rescuers showed great bravery in saving the suicidal young man's life. The man was put in an ambulance. We hope that he recovers from his unhappiness.

Photos by MK Metz, copyright 2011

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Memorial Day Events in Brooklyn, 2011

 Yesterday we rode the Sea Streak to Sandy Hook for a day at the beach. We recommend it as a very easy way to get to the Jersey Shore. But you don't have to leave Brooklyn to have a good time this weekend. The photo above, taken from the boat, shows folks relaxing at Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 1, where the great food vendors have returned for the summer. (See below for more about the new Pier 6 opening as well.)

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

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

- Brooklyn Bridge Park has opened Pier 6 in time for the Memorial Day weekend. The new section includes three sand-volleyball courts, an outdoor food court and two swaths of lawn with native plants and trees. Pier 1 is delightful as always, with the same delicious food vendors as last year. More here.

- Take the ferry to Governors Island: Giant sculptures, art workshops, the Burble Bup pavilion, a huge picnic with many vendors (tickets), historic fashion, electronic arts festival, Big Apple Circus circus skills workshops, and more. This Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 10 - 7. Brooklyn ferry leaves from Pier 6. Schedule here.

- Historic Green-Wood Cemetery is commemorating the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War with events all weekend. Here is the list of events:
Led by cavalry and musicians, the procession winds past thousands of candlelit graves of Civil War veterans. 7:00 p.m., $10 per person or $25 for families before Friday. At the door: $15/$30. 

Walk with descendants of Civil War veterans to the graves of men who died at Shiloh, Antietam and Gettysburg. Ceremonies include artillery rifle salutes and musical tributes. 11:00 a.m. Free.

Bring a blanket and enjoy melodies of the Civil War in addition to the works of Green-Wood’s permanent residents Leonard Bernstein, Fred Ebb, Louis Moreau Gottschalk, and others.3:00 p.m. Free.

This exhibition features fascinating artifacts from the Civil War, much of it never before displayed in public. Open from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM weekdays, 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM weekends. Free.

- Dance Africa at BAM: Dance, special dance classes, artist talk and film, plus the bazaar. Takes place all weekend in Fort Greene.

- After you're done riding upside own or getting flung into space in a giant slingshot, visit the Coney Island History Project's exhibition center at Deno's Wonder Wheel Park, free.

- The beautiful Brooklyn Botanic Garden is usually closed Mondays, but it's open for Memorial Day. Have you noticed it's always cooler at the Garden? 

- Don't forget the Brooklyn Flea -- on Sundays in Williamsburg.

- Cave of Forgotten Dreams, a "breathtaking new 3D documentary" from the Werner Herzog (Encounters at the End of the World, Grizzly Man) follows an expedition into the nearly inaccessible Chauvet Cave in France, home to the most ancient visual art known to have been created by man. At BAM Rose Cinemas Friday through Tuesday and also Thursday.

Photo by MK Metz

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Brooklyn Heights Rallies to Keep Engine Company 205 Open

Brooklyn Heights residents and their representatives gathered together yesterday afternoon to rally in support of Engine Company 205, which is one of the 20 fire companies that Mayor Bloomberg, in a weird and inexplicable fit, is trying to close.

Though the population of Brooklyn has been growing by leaps and bounds, the Mayor is trying to shut 8 fire companies in our borough. The amount of fire protection that was once considered necessary when there were actually fewer residents is now deemed unnecessary and unaffordable.

Engine Company 205 not only covers Brooklyn Heights but also DUMBO, a new neighborhood suddenly teeming with residents where once there were only factories and warehouses.

Republicans (and Mayor Bloomberg, whatever he is) say the wealthy will leave if they have to pay higher taxes. But studies show that's not true.

First graders from overcrowded P.S. 8 down the street joined the rally as well. They said that if the school caught fire, the firefighters at Engine 205 would save their lives. They're right.

By the way, the Mayor will be firing several teachers from P.S. 8 next year as part of the city's weird and inexplicable 6,000 teacher layoffs and position eliminations. This while the city is in the middle of losing billions of dollars through waste, corruption and scandals.

Borough president Marty Markowitz said that the first purpose of government is to provide basic services like fire and police protection. He also said that Brooklyn isn't going to take it on the chin.

Councilman Steve Levin remembered the eight firefighters from the Ladder 118/ Engine Co. 205who gave their lives on September 11, 2001:

Captain Martin Egan

Lt. Joseph Agnello

Firefighter Vernon Cherry

Firefighter Scott Davidson

Lt. Robert Regan

Firefighter Leon Smith Jr.

Firefighter Peter Vega

Lt. Robert Wallace

Funny, when the Mayor visited the firehouse after September 11th he said New York would never forget what these brave men did for us.

There were many other speakers, including Assemblywoman Joan Millman and actor Steve Buscemi. Read more about the rally at the Brooklyn Eagle

On Wednesday Park Slope residents and representatives held a rally in front of Engine 220. More about that here.

- Eight Pins Coming Off This Brooklyn Fire Company Map

Photos by MK Metz

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

BQE Future; Red Hook Trolley as Entertainment? And More Brooklyn Briefs

- Charlie Hamm, ex-head of Independence Community Bank (now Sovereign Bank), gave a million dollars to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. WSJ

- Vineapple to open on Pineapple.  BHB

- All about the past, present and future of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. Brooklyn Eagle 

- Busted: Brooklyn-based identity theft ring stole personal information of bank customers. nbcNY

- The Dean Street playground was closed Wednesday because of "possible gang activity." Brooklynian

- Cobble Hill cafe Ted & Honey will be opening two new restaurants at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Carroll Gardens Patch 

- The Red Hook trolleys should have been marketed as amusement and entertainment, not merely as transportation.  Brooklyn Eagle 
- Green Fig Cafe in Sunset Park is open and the pastries are yummy! Brooklynian

- The borough poster wars continue.  Laughing Squid

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Save Your Firehouse Rallies in Brooklyn Today (Wednesday) and Thursday

Today, Wednesday, May 25, folks in Park Slope are rallying to save their fire company -- Engine Co. 220 -- from Mayor Bloomberg's budget ax.

On Thursday Brooklyn Heights neighbors will be rallying to save Engine Co. 205 on Middagh Street.

In spite of being the fastest growing borough -- with new neighborhoods like DUMBO springing up from industrial areas nearly overnight --  Brooklyn has the largest number of proposed cuts: 8 out of 20 companies.

The Park Slope Engine 220 rally takes place at 530 11th Street at 11 a.m. NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and actor Steve Buscemi (Steve canceled due to a filming conflict) will be in attendance.

In Brooklyn Heights at Engine Co. 205, 74 Middagh Street near Henry, the rally takes place at 1 p.m. You can help by joining the rally and showing your support in an email to Council Member Steve Levin at slevin@council.nyc.gov.

Engine 206 at 1201 Grand St. will also be holding a rally in early June, date not yet announced.

- Eight Pins Coming Off This Brooklyn Fire Company Map

Photo by MK Metz

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Brooklyn: Get Home Before the Storm - Updated

The National Weather Service has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook for Brooklyn and the other boroughs of New York City, along with nearby areas. There's a strong chance of a thunderstorm and a slight chance of strong winds and hail:


For updates see NOAA.

UPDATE: Cancel that alert: While Philadelphia seems to be getting hit, the storm was a total dud in Brooklyn. 

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Unfinished Buildings; Chicken Guts; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- There are 668 unfinished buildings which have stalled since the recession hit -- 306 of them in Brooklyn. NY Daily News

- You decide: Is Slopefoodie, who posted a suspiciously press-releasy-sounding comment about a new restaurant on Brooklynian, a Shill or a Helpful Citizen? Brooklynian

- Brooklyn Technical High School has been hit with a wave of fake e-mails, again. The Local

- Salmar Properties has been selected by the city to develop the humongous Federal Building #2, a 1.1 million-square-foot warehouse in Sunset Park.  Brooklyn Eagle

- Chicken slaughterhouse next door drives Greenpoint condo owners crazy. P.S. The chickens were there first. NYShitty 

- The old police precinct at 72 Poplar St. in Brooklyn Heights has been re-sold.  Brownstoner and Brooklyn Eagle 

- Are New York City's new non-wheelchair-accessible taxicabs illegal? NY Times

- Brooklyn couple takes turns behind bars.  Brooklyn Eagle

- Google knows what you'll be doing at 3 p.m. tomorrow. Huff Post

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Brooklyn Woman Throws Baby Down Eighth-Floor Trash Chute

An 18-year-old woman threw her newborn baby away -- stuffing it in a plastic bag and shoving it down a hallway trash chute -- from the eighth floor of the Walt Whitman housing project (on Cumberland Walk and Myrtle Ave.) in Fort Greene.

The building's super heard cries coming from a plastic bag and called 9-1-1. The baby is reported in stable condition at Brooklyn Hospital. According to the New York Times, police arrested Laquasia Wright Sunday night.

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Tonight: Cobble Hill Association's Big BQE Meeting - May 23

COBBLE HILL ASSOCIATION - Spring, 2011 General Meeting
A fascinating look at the construction of the BQE “ditch”
that runs through our communities by historian Francis Morrone
Update on plans to reconstruct Triple Cantilevered Roadway
 and Future
How to “Fix the Ditch” – a presentation of the NYCEDC/
Starr Whitehouse “BQE Enhancement Study”
Monday, May 23, 2011 @ 7:30 P.M.
Long Island College Hospital
Conference Room A,  
Enter at main entrance 339 Hicks (at Atlantic)

 More at Cobble Hill Association

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What Did You Do On Rapture Day?

We can state with all honesty that no Brooklynites were saved on Saturday, though it's possible a couple of tourists were taken on the Promenade. (See BHB below.)

On the other hand, Brooklynites did many interesting things on the last day of the world. Here's a sample:

Mike, the Brooklyn Trolly Blogger, watched the man in the photo above dangle off the Williamsburg Bridge, with the NYPD in pursuit. See BrooklyTrollyBlogger for a series of photos of the event. (Update: Gothamist has the followup.)

- Ink Lake helped out at the Gowanus Canal cleanup. Good way to achieve a bit of Rapture. Ink Lake 

- WYDNKBYANM watched the sheep get sheared at the Prospect Park Zoo. WYDNKBYANM

- Folks at Brooklynian posted some hilarious videos at "Goodbye Everybody. See You in Hell."  Brooklynian

- Two souls got raptured right off a bench on the Promenade in Brooklyn Heights. BHB

- Miss Heather took the Working Harbor Tour of Newtown Creek.  NYSHitty  

- Gawker discovered a Rapture Day Anthem. Gawker

Finally, Eclectic Method created this excellent Apocamix video: "Realizing end times were approaching fast we decided to create the Apocamix all the best disaster end times scenes remixed."New York City, as usual, gets screwed.
Watch full size for full effect:

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Eight Pins Coming Off This Brooklyn Fire Company Map

 Here is an official map of Brooklyn's firehouses, as seen on nycfire. (Thanks to whynot_31 who posted this link on Brooklynian.)

Wednesday it was announced that eight fire companies in Brooklyn may close, including Engine 205 at Brooklyn Heights’ Middagh Street. The others on the chopping block are:
E206 1201 Grand St. Brooklyn
E218 650 Hart St. Brooklyn
E220 530 11th St. Brooklyn
E233 25 Rockaway Ave. Brooklyn
E284 1157 79th St. Brooklyn
L104 161 South 2nd St. Brooklyn
L161 2929 W 8th St. Brooklyn

Check out these locations on the map and see if you think there's enough coverage without them.

A report released Saturday by Public Advocate Bill de Blasio shows the cuts to 20 fire companies across the city in Mayor Bloomberg's Executive Budget will seriously imperil emergency response times. According to the report, 18 of these companies will exceed a national 4-minute standard after cuts are implemented—-some by over a full minute. The National Fire Protection Association urges a 4-minute response to prevent fires from spreading beyond a single room, after which the risk of civilian death triples and property damage increases more than eight-fold.

"The neighborhoods targeted by these cuts will see their safety go up in smoke," said de Blasio. "If the Mayor succeeds in cutting these companies, some communities won't meet the response times needed in places like Fargo, North Dakota, let alone a city where we need to fight fires on the upper floors of big apartment buildings."

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Loud Cell Phone Talker Thrown Off Train

Amtrak riders everywhere cheered to see this video of Justice being done.

A woman spoke loudly on her cell phone for 16 hours in the "quiet car" on Amtrak, ignoring the pleas of other passengers. After Lakeysha Beard got into "an altercation," police were called, the train was stopped, and police escorted her off the train.

In a hilarious turn about, she now says she was "disrespected."

Get the full story at KATU.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Men In Black 3; Boerum Hill Rezoning; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Boerum Hill rezoning moves through approval process. Brooklyn Eagle 

- Looks like two people were shot on Dean St. and Nostrand Ave. yesterday. Brooklynian

- Men In Black 3 will be shooting in Brooklyn Heights through Saturday. BHB

- 99-year-old journalist honored by Brooklyn D.A.  Brooklyn Eagle 

- Bloomberg in Brooklyn, announced new BigAppleRx card. Bed-Stuy Patch

- CDC warns public to prepare for Zombie Apocalypse. Fox

- Fake brokers rent distressed homes. TRD

- Guess what is America's favorite TV show? Answer here

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Dorje Ling Buddhist Center, Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn

You may have seen a bright yellow building at 98 Gold Street in Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn, and wondered what it was.It is a Tibetian Buddhism center. It's called the Dorje Ling Buddhist Center, and they teach the Jonang version of Buddhism.

They fly a profusion of prayer flags.

From their website:
"In Tibetan Buddhism the viewpoint of emptiness is divided into two: self-emptiness and other-emptiness. Most Tibetan Buddhist scholars follow the viewpoint of self-emptiness.
However, from Master Dolpopa to Taranatha to the very present day, the followers of Jonang hold the philosophical viewpoint of other-emptiness."

Photo by MK Metz

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Eight Fire Companies In Brooklyn May Close

 Engine 205 at Brooklyn Heights’ Middagh Street firehouse, one of the fire companies that suffered so heavily on 9/11, is one of eight companies in Brooklyn slated for closure. Across the city 20 companies are on the closing list.

Other companies on the list -- which is not yet set in stone -- are:

E206 1201 Grand St. Brooklyn
E218 650 Hart St. Brooklyn
E220 530 11th St. Brooklyn
E233 25 Rockaway Ave. Brooklyn
E284 1157 79th St. Brooklyn
L104 161 South 2nd St. Brooklyn
L161 2929 W 8th St. Brooklyn

See the full story at ABC, NY1 and the Brooklyn Eagle

Photo by Dave Hogg, Creative Commons license.

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P.S. 29 Playground-Burning Teens Go Before Grand Jury

Two of the four teens who set the new playground at P.S. 29 on fire last week went before the grand jury today, according to the Brooklyn Eagle.

Max Layton and Bairn Sweeny, both 16, were charged as adults.Two girls, both 13, were charged as juveniles.

The four Jackass-rejects set fire to the school playground in Cobble Hill while attempting to film a video showing one of them sliding through a ring of fire, according to Eagle.

Full story here.

- Saint Ann's Students Among Those Who Torched P.S. 29 Playground - UPDATE
- Teens Admit Burning Down P.S. 29 Playground

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Hipsters in Houseboats; Dorky Guys On the Prowl; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- New hipster trend: living in houseboats in toxic Gowanus Canal. Hypervocal 

- "Embarrassing" Bay Ridge bike lane blocked yet again. Gothamist

- That's a lot of facials: P.S. 29's spa-owning, embezzling PTA treasurer needs to raise $41,000 by June 27. Brooklyn Eagle

- Best places for dorky guys to meet women in Brooklyn. Brooklynian

- Think twice before you use your smart phone at Starbucks. Gawker

- Mural at a Brooklyn school keeps growing. And growing. NY Times

-Brooklyn Congressman Jerrold Nadler is trying to keep the government from poking through your library and bookstore records. Brooklyn Eagle

- Children in high-asthma neighborhoods have been more exposed to cockroaches. NY Times

- A complete guide to all the TV and movie downloading services. Gizmodo

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Graffiti, DUMBO

Cast metal graffiti in DUMBO near Foragers Market (corner of Front and Adams Streets).

Photo by MK Metz

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Guggenheim Museum Pop-Up Sanatorium Coming to Downtown Brooklyn

The Brooklyn Eagle has learned that the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is bringing a temporary exhibit to the former home of Sid’s Hardware at 345 Jay St., also known as 1 MetroTech, in Downtown Brooklyn.

The exhibit, titled “Stillspotting NYC,”  explores “stillness and quiet within the urban environment of New York City over a two-year period.”

Artist Pedro Reyes’ "Sanatorium" will convert the storefront location into a sanatorium, offering visitors repose and a range of far-out urban therapy sessions.

According to Wikipedia, a sanatorium is "a medical facility for long-term illness, most typically associated with treatment of tuberculosis."

Photo from Lung.ca

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Saint Ann's Students Among Those Who Torched P.S. 29 Playground - UPDATE

(This article was first reported Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. and updated at midnight.)

Further UPDATED here.

At least one Saint Ann's School student has been arrested in connection with the torching of the new playground at P.S. 29 in Cobble Hill, according to the Daily News and Carroll Gardens Patch.

Max Laytan, 16, son of film distributor/ producer Charles Layton, turned himself in to cops Tuesday. Sources told the News that four of nine teens involved in the incident attend St. Ann's, but an article in Carroll Gardens Patch reports that only four teens were involved: Max Layton and Bairn Sweeney, both 16, along with two other neighborhood teens. CGP says they surrendered to fire marshals at the 76th Precinct station house.

The Brooklyn Eagle reported last week that the teen perps told their parents the fire was "an accident."

According to CGP, the kids were trying to create a YouTube video of one of them sliding through a trail of fire. Oops!

“The parents feel awful,” Brooklyn attorney Sam Gregory told the Brooklyn Eagle. “They contacted me and said they want to facilitate a way to get the playground replaced. Fifty-thousand dollars was wired into my account today. The kids will be working a long time to pay their parents back. They’re terribly sorry.”

- Teens Admit Burning Down P.S. 29 Playground

Photo by MK Metz

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hospital Worker Charged; New Pavilion Owner; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- A hospital worker has been charged with falsifying records in the case of a patient who died on a hospital waiting room floor. NY Times 

- The PTA treasurer who embezzled $100,000 from P.S. 29 in Cobble Hill may cut a deal.  CG Patch

- Helicopter flights escalate in Brooklyn.  Brooklyn Eagle

- Pavilion movie theater's new owners may get rid of the bedbugs. Gothamist

- Manic shoe-licker is the latest NYC subway menace.  Gawker 

- We knew it: Hipsters to blame for billions of dollars in census losses. Metro

- Descendants of the Vikings still live in Bay Ridge. Last weekend they had a party. Brooklyn Eagle

- The only economic information you need. Gawker 

- Scientists cast doubt on TSA tests of full body scanners. Propublica

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Body Found Floating Under Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, Brooklyn

The Brooklyn Eagle has published a photo of a body floating in the water on the Brooklyn side of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge overpass.

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Cabbie Viciously Rapes Passenger in Brooklyn -- Still On the Loose

 The belief that putting a drunken friend into a taxi so that she will get home safely has been shattered over the past few weeks, according to the Brooklyn Eagle.

In the latest outrage (the trial of two cops accused of raping a taxi passenger as they escorted her to her apartment is still in progress), a 26-year-old woman who had just celebrated Cinco de Mayo at the Public Assembly in Williamsburg stumbled into a cab in the wee hours, glad to be heading safely home. But the man driving the yellow cab was a monster who -- seeing she was tipsy -- viciously raped her and cut her up with a knife.

According to the Eagle, "It is unclear why the NYPD and city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) are unable to track down the driver, or at least the vehicle, using the GPS-locator device that is installed in each yellow-cab."

The TLC's response to the Eagle is inadequate and infuriating. See the whole story and the perpetrator's sketch here.

And be very careful getting into taxis.

Photo by May Michaely, Creative Commons license

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Nathan's Handwerker Dies; Heights Helicopter Ban; Blogfest and More

- Murray Handwerker, visionary entrepreneur of Nathan's Hot Dogs, dies at 89. NY Daily News

- Locals call for ban on helicopters over Brooklyn Heights. BHB 

- Brooklyn bloggers gather in annual rite at Blogfest, where a professor at CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism was possibly unaware of the Brooklyn Eagle's existence. Brooklyn Eagle

- Hold off on the frozen food at NSA on Washington Avenue. Brooklynian 

- Ground broken on Brooklyn College's new Performing Arts Center.  Brooklyn Eagle 

- Massive ticket-fixing probe, cops hooking up with hookers, etc. Gothamist

- Court upholds order barring Riverside Garage construction. BHB 

- One out of four adult New Yorkers -- including one out of three below the age of 30 -- plans to flee the state in the next five years. NY Daily News

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

New York Photo Festival 2011 in DUMBO

Sunday was the final day for the 2011 New York Photo Festival in DUMBO, and it was well worth the visit even in the rain (almost everything was indoors or under the tent in the Tobacco Warehouse, shown above).

The main exhibitions, curated by Elizabeth Biondi and Enrico Bossan, were must-sees. Biondi's Subjective/Objective  (shown above) and Bossan’s show, Hope: between dream and reality showed at the Gair6 building/ 81 Front Street.

Photojournalism was a theme but the thousands of photographs displayed across DUMBO ran the gamut. Winners were displayed at powerHouse Arena.

Lectures took place at St. Ann's Warehouse -- Sunday's PHOTOGRAPHY NOW presentation included Elisabeth Biondi and Enrico Bossan in conversation with Peter van Agtmel, Olivia Arthur, Alejandro Chaskielberg, Martine Fougeron, Jessica Hines, Joao Kehl, Ethan Levitas, Ben Lowy, and Richard Mosse. (Schedule here.)

The Multimedia Room at 30 Washington featured an Afghanistan Living Room Multi-Media Installation, accompanied by the works of Benjamin Lowy, iAfghanilandistan: Afghanistan by iPhone. Visitors were invited to take off their shoes, put on flip flops, sit on cushions and enjoy snacks and tea as they watched the images on the stacked TV sets.

Photos filled the familiar arches of the Empire Stores.

You could have your photo taken with various accouterments at the FotoVisura Pavilion's live installation, 111 Front Street / Gallery Row.

Also interesting was “LIVE ON-SET” where you could watch various WIN photographers engage in live large-scale photo productions on a complete set, at 1 Main Street.

 See the website for more.

Photos copyright MK Metz

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Schools Chancellor Walcott Agrees to Re-Do Botched Parent Ed Council Election

 Looks like Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott is stuck repairing the damage that took place when nobody was minding the store during the brief but memorable tenure of ex-Chancellor Cathie Black.

On Thursday he agreed to redo this year’s Community Education Council (CEC) elections.CECs are the parent bodies that replaced the old local school boards, and they are virtually the only way that parents can make a difference in school policy.

The first round of voting -- the parent "straw poll" -- was "unfair, provided inaccurate candidate information and excluded a number of parents who wanted to run," according to the Brooklyn Eagle. After pressure from parent groups, Walcott agreed the thing was botched and approved a do-over.

See the full story here.

Parents can vote online here.

- Cathie Black Was Not the Problem
- What Is It With School 'Co-locations' in New York City?
- Bloomberg Has His Way with Cathie Black
- Cathie Black's Appointment as NYC Schools Chancellor Gives Hope to Mid-Life Career Changers Everywhere

Photo by Elbert Garcia at RepRangel, Creative Commons license

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Teens Admit Burning Down P.S. 29 Playground

 A bunch of teens told their parents that they are the ones responsible for torching the brand new playground at P.S. 29 in Cobble Hill last weekend.

"It was an accident!" they told the Brooklyn Eagle. The "accident" broke the heart of the neighborhood, which had been waiting for this playground for three years.

Here's the kicker:

The teen's parents wired $50,000 into an account set up by a local attorney to make good on the damage. Full story here.

Photo by MK Metz

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Sorry, Blogger Has Been Down

We're sorry that the last two day's posts have been obliterated. Blogger not only went down after a planned maintenance two days ago --it wiped out several days of posts.

We'll try to resurrect the stories that we've lost!


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BREAKING: Teens Admit to P.S. 29 Playground Fire, Parents Pay $$$

 The Brooklyn Eagle has reported that a group of neighborhood teens broke down and told their parents that they "accidentally" set the playground at P.S. 29 on fire last weekend. In an amazing turn of events, the parents have banded together and wired $50,000 into a account set up by Brooklyn attorney Sam Gregory to pay for a new playground.

The arson broke the hearts of kids and upset the entire neighborhood.

More Here.

(This post was lost by Blogger for several days. It reappeared mysteriously May 15.)

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Thursday, May 12, 2011

More Stupidity: TSA Pats Down Infant at Kansas City Airport

The Transportation Security Administration is again under fire after a passenger posted a photo of airport screeners patting down an infant at Kansas City International Airport, the NY Daily News reports.

The photo, snapped by a minister, is now going viral.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Brooklyn: Strangulation Capitol of New York State

Here's an unsettling statistic, just unveiled by the Brooklyn Eagle: Statistics show that nearly a quarter of the strangulation arrests across the state happen in Brooklyn.

Of 2,000 people have been charged with strangulation since last fall, 467 of them have been in Brooklyn, which far exceeds the number of arrests in any other county.

Gorey details here

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Superfine, CECs and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Superfine still has it in DUMBO.  DumboNYC

- Former Brooklyn Union Gas building declared landmark. Brooklyn Eagle

- Get ready for Brooklyn Studio Tour in Red Hook and Carroll Gardens. PMFA

- What NYC's public bike program needs to thrive. Fast Company 

- New bill on same-sex marriage introduced in Albany. NY Times

- Botched Community Education Council (CEC) elections halted. (CECs replaced school boards.)  Brooklyn Eagle

- Apartment too messy to rob. Brooklyn Paper

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A Million Acts of Kindness, In DUMBO a Few More Days

 On May 14 the Kindness Bus Tour will kick off, departing DUMBO for the Upper East Side as the first leg of a 7,400 mile bicycle/bus trip to offer inspiration to those wanting to spread kindness to others.

Bob  Votruba, a father of three college age kids concerned for the world in which kids will live, is biking and his dog Bogart will be taking the 1990 Chevy bus painted with kindness mottoes by family and friends.

Until then, check out the bus, talk to Bob or stick a dollar in the box and pick up a sticker.

More at One Million Acts of Kindness.

Photo by MK Metz

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Brooklyn Eagle Smacks Down NY Times About Absence of Walentas in DUMBO Story

Dennis Holt of the Brooklyn Eagle lashes out at the "the very large and prominent" story on "Bringing Up DUMBO" in last Sunday’s New York Times, which makes "no mention whatsoever of anyone named Walentas — David, Jane or Jed."

Within the story were seven colored pictures, and 22 different people or organizations were identified, Holt says.

"But the real failure of the story was the absolute lack of history and perspective," Holt writes. "How Walentas came onto the scene, the disappointments in major clients bowing out, his gutsy decision to go to housing, his subsidizing retailers to set up shop so that newcomers had somewhere to shop, and his major focus on supporting the artist and performance industries."

Holt goes on to pen a "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" takeoff. Read the whole story here

(Also see comments about the Times story at Brownstoner.)

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Newtown Creek Hidden Harbor Tour

Who isn't interested in Newtown Creek? For a cool and esoteric trip check out The Hidden Harbor tour on May 21st.

There are limited tickets available at workingharbor.org for a very rare tour of the length of the Newtown Creek. New York’s forgotten history will be revealed — as well as bright plans for the future of the creek. Guest narrators will cover points of historical interest as well as environmental and conservation issues during the three-hour exploration.

MV American Princess is a large, comfortable vessel with indoor and outdoor seating. A complementary soft drink and souvenir tour brochure is included. Cruise runs rain or shine.

Visit workingharbor.org for tickets

Hosted by Hidden Harbor Tours in association with River Keeper and the Newtown Creek Alliance.

Images courtesy of Working Harbor. 

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P.S. 29 Playground Will Be Rebuilt; Census Count Off; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Principal at P.S. 29 in Cobble Hill says burned playground equipment will be replaced.  Brooklyn Eagle

- Brooklyn Heights financial guru James Grant calls for return of the gold standard.  BHB 

- The rise and fall of Coney Island has been documented, and it's airing on PBS starting this week. Gothamist

- NYC population count may have been wrong, says census bureau.  Gothamist and Crain's NY

-The library is looking at layoffs, too: the mayor’s budget contains a 30 percent cut in funds to the city’s three library systems.  Brooklyn Eagle

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'Secret Garden Party' at Dumbo Art Center

"Secret Garden Party II," a silent auction and party to benefit Dumbo Arts Center, with open bar, music, and an indoor garden will take place on Thursday, June 16, 6-10PM

Tickets go on sale May 16. $50 advance, $55 at the door.

Keep checking here for more details to come. 

Photo courtesy of DAC

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Rooftop Films Season Opener This Weekend

The 15th Annual Rooftop Films Summer Series opens this Friday, May 13th, in the Lower East Side. Rooftop Films tells us they're opening with “This is What We Mean by Short Films,” a collection of short epic stories "that could save your life." Then on Saturday, May 14th, they’re presenting the World Premiere of New York Filmmaker Zachary Raines new black comedy Freeloader.

The first film shown in Brooklyn will be the NY Premiere of The City Dark, shown on June 5 at The Old American Can Factory in Gowanus/Slope.

On June 9, Rooftop Films presents Battle For Brooklyn, which tells the tale of a group of people in Brooklyn who come together to fight the Atlantic Yards Project. Shown in Fort Greene Park; Free.

See the full schedule here

Photo courtesy of Rooftop Films

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Monday, May 9, 2011

New P.S. 29 Playground Burned; Mosque Protest; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- New playground at P.S. 29 in Cobble Hill  burned in late night fire.  Carroll Gardens Patch

- 6th Annual Brooklyn Blogfest May 12! Reality Collective

- The latest video by Saturday Night Live’s Lonely Island was partially shot in Squibb Park. BHB

- Sheepshead Bay people protest building of "supersized" mosque. Favstocks 

- MTA cards may soon be replaced with chip-embedded E-ZPass. NY Daily News

- A man was able to walk the entire way through the Path tunnel to New Jersey. NY Magazine 

- Dick Cheney said a nice thing about President Obama. NY Magazine

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Empire State Park Walkway Blacktopped

 As part of the ongoing work at Empire State Park / Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO, the waterfront walkway has been blacktopped. In the past, this walkway consisted of grass and gravel, with the occasion naval-themed bollard, as seen from the photo taken in 2008, below.

In our opinion, the removal of the grass and gravel and the stark appearance of the blacktop takes away from the beauty and natural feel of the park.

Photos copyright MK Metz

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Friday, May 6, 2011

Rowdy Students, Selling Crepes from a Shack, and More Brooklyn Briefs

 Alongside Brooklyn Bridge off-ramp onto Cadman Plaza West

- Rowdy students cause headache for Brooklyn Heights dorm owner. TRD

- There are still unanswered questions about the choice of the Nissan as New York's Taxi of Tomorrow. Brooklyn Eagle 

- Indie bookstore in Cobble Hill Brooklyn Heights going out of business, but Marty may help out. Gothamist 

- Brooklyn restaurant had hidden history. Lost City

- If ices don't work on Court Street, try selling crepes -- from a shack. PMFA

- Man tackled as Obama motorcade passed. May or may not have had a gun. NY Magazine

- Circumcision gone wrong leaves Queens toddler dead. Gothamist

- Super-secret war dogs are basically bionic. NY Magazine

Photo by MK Metz

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Brooklyn Friends School Opening Child Care Center at Be@Schermerhorn

The Brooklyn Eagle reports that Be@Schermerhorn has a new tenant — Brooklyn Friends School — in its ground floor commercial space. The lease is signed and work has begun to transform the ground floor of 189 Schermerhorn St. into the "Family Center at Brooklyn Friends.”

Founded in 1867, the school is expanding its educational footprint in Downtown Brooklyn with the signing of this 15-year lease.

See the full story here

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Asser Levy Concerts to Move; Complaints About Williamsburg Concerts; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- BP Markowitz’ summer concerts at Asser Levy-Seaside Park, an institution for 20 years, will have to move because of residents' complaints. Brooklyn Eagle 

- "Real Brooklynites" demand fewer waterfront concerts in Williamsburg. Gothamist

- Judges will stand on the courthouse steps at noon today to celebrate the "integrity and independence of the judiciary" -- and to call for a raise. Brooklyn Eagle

- Local politicians ask consideration of Watchtower properties for Brooklyn Bridge Park funding. BHB

- Want to build a secret passageway, maybe a Batcave, in your home? Curbed

- Someone tears down stoop sale signs. And someone else wants to kick his ass. Or maybe not. Brooklynian

- Apple's new software update stops phone from tracking them for up to a year. NY Magazine 

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Coney Brewing Co. to Recreate George Washington's Beer

 Did you know that George Washington created a recipe for beer?

Those heady days are on their way back: New York Public Library, which owns the recipe, announced Wednesday that it was partnering with Coney Island Brewing Company to recreate the brew. The batch will be small but the public will be able to sample the beer on May 18.

Full details at the Brooklyn Eagle.

Photo by bruce_bruce948, Creative Commons license

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Taxi Choice Fixed? Second-Class Condo Residents; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Markowitz slams Mayor's choice of Nissan taxi, says the fix was in.  Brooklyn Eagle

- Apartment fire on Pacific Street yesterday. CGPatch

- To get big tax breaks, two big condos in Williamsburg built "affordable" rental units for low-income residents -- but require them to use a separate, shoddier entrance and bans them from the pool and other amenities. Gothamist

- Dance the Night Away -- an adult-only prom -- in Brooklyn. Brooklynian

- AOL hires Brooklyn hyperlocal blogger to increase community engagement for Patch.com. NYConvergence

George W. Bush declines Obama's Ground Zero invite. NY Magazine

- Hipster Threat Level was High at the Brooklyn Bridge last night, when Matt and Kim did a musical video shoot involving bike bells. Gothamist

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Bad Nanny Sighting at Chase Bank in Park Slope

 Do you have a nanny with a West Indian accent who takes care of your two boys in Park Slope? If she is the nanny described at I Saw Your Nanny -- she yanks the the kids' arms, pinches them and just plain doesn't like them -- you might want to think about getting a different caregiver.

Photo by Basheertome, Creative Commons license

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Lousy 5 Boro Bike Tour Experience; Gowanus Grind and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Lousy 5 Boro Bike Tour experience. Brooklynian and Gothamist

- The proposed rezoning of Boerum Hill and the revised Squibb Bridge design for Brooklyn Bridge Park will be considered at the next general meeting of Community Board 2. Brooklyn Eagle 

- The Brooklyn Heights Hillbillies. Lost City

- Why we need raised pedestrian islands in crosswalks. WYDNKBYANM

- Video of the Gowanus Grind III at Carroll Gardens Patch.

- Paul Krugman is America's most correct columnist. NY Magazine 

- A new kissing device lets you make out over the Internet. Fast Company 

Osama bin Laden Related:

- Death of Bin Laden has special meaning for Brooklyn. Brooklyn Eagle

- Bin Laden may be dead, but U.S. officials expect at least one new bin Laden tape to surface soon. Huff Post

- Photos from inside the Osama bin Laden kill zone. ABC

- Look for Al Qaeda retaliation in the "next three to six months." NY Magazine
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5 Boro Bike Fest, Brooklyn Bridge Park

Bike riders may have been pissed off about the traffic jams at Sunday's 5 Boro Bike Tour (see  Brooklynian and Gothamist), but a good time was had by all at Saturday's 5 Boro Bike fest at Brooklyn Bridge Park.

The Meetles sounded exactly like the Beetles!

Mini-class about how to buy or fix your bike.

Photo by MK Metz

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Monday, May 2, 2011

Sakuri Matsuri -- Cherry Blossoms -- at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Tens of thousands visited the Brooklyn Botanic Garden this past weekend for the annual Sakura Matsuri festival (Japanese cherry blossom festival), one of the most popular public events of the year in Brooklyn. There were fascinating activities all over the garden -- from anime standup comedy to classical Japanese dance to karate demonstrations to Samurai drama to flower exhibitions to tea ceremonies. Above is a manga demonstration at the "J-Lounge" with cute inflatable armchairs.

In spite of the crowds, the beauty of the cherry blossoms was breathtaking.

Cosplay was so big this year! There was a cosplay fashion show and groups were posing all over the garden.

The weather was perfect for sitting on the lawn under the cherry trees.

You could play all games like Sodoku and logic puzzles. Here are folks playing the ancient game of Go in the Puzzle Plaza.

In spite of usually aiming to visit the garden when we can have it all to ourselves, we really has a great time. Highly recommend.

Photos by MK Metz

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