Friday, September 30, 2011

Scissura Steps Down; Seniors 'Penned' Inside Center; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Carlo Scissura, chief of staff to Borough President Marty Markowitz, has stepped down from his post -- in order to run for his boss's job. Brooklyn Eagle

- Brooklyn (parts of it, anyway) becomes the City of Light Saturday. Brokelyn

The Brooklyn Night Bazaar will be taking over the DeKalb Market for an evening of independent food vendors, art, music and a beer and wine garden on Sunday, October 9th. Gothamist

- Boerum Hill residents criticize the iron gate built to keep seniors penned inside the Hopkins Center (it used to be called Bishop Mugavero Center), and say it's indicative of a declining quality of care. Brooklyn Eagle

- Swoon hits Gowanus. South Brooklyn Post

- New York photographer unsure what diamond-shaped object is. In related news, New York is a current UFO ALERT 3 rating. Examiner via Gothamist

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fireworks Near NYC and Brooklyn, Sept. 29, 2011

Once again Brooklynites were treated to an unexpected fireworks display, this time a bit further out.

According to NewYorkology, tonight's fireworks, set off from a barge near Ellis Island, were sponsored by Briggs Inc. for Citgo and/or Bridgestone.

Nothing can beat Tuesday's spectacular fireworks, however. Folks in Brooklyn Heights are still talking about them.

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McDonalds Rubbout Video; Pan Am in Brooklyn Heights; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Chilling surveillance video, released by police Wednesday night, shows the rubout attempt that nearly ended the life of Tyquan Sewall, 18, at a Brooklyn McDonalds. NY Daily News

- Willoughby Square Park in Downtown Brooklyn gets $8 million in funding -- some from local developers -- after the city eliminated its funding. TRD

- Downtown Brooklyn to get some of those talking traffic signals. Brooklyn Eagle

- The 2011 Tour del Taco -- a bike ride through the finest taco establishments in Brooklyn -- takes place next weekend. Gothamist

- Pan Am films in Brooklyn Heights today -- but one reader says since the signs just went up yesterday, residents DO NOT have to move their cars! BHB

- In Brooklyn: protests against people swinging live chickens over their heads for the Jewish holidays. Brooklyn Eagle

- Cantaloupe will kill you. For real. Gawker

- It's probably time to stop visiting the Wall Street Journal's website. NY Magazine

- It's probably time to disconnect from Facebook, or at least eliminate aps like Spotify. Gizmodo

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Watana Siam Restaurant On 7th Ave., Park Slope, Shut by Health Department

Watana Siam Restaurant at 420 7th Avenue and 14th Street in Park Slope was shut down by the New York City Health Department at its reopening inspection on September 23.

A sign on the restaurant claims they are closed due to a "broken boiler."

If you follow the chain of Health department inspections, it seems pretty clear that Watana was given numerous chances to clean up its dirty act.

On the inspection of September 23, there were "live roaches present in facility's food and/or non-food areas." In addition, the restaurant was "not vermin proof," harboring "conditions conducive to attracting vermin to the premises and/or allowing vermin to exist." The restaurant received 33 violation points. (29 is enough to be shut down.)

On an inspection the day before (Sept. 22), the restaurant received a whopping 68 violations points; one highlight was "evidence of rats or live rats."

Live rats and roaches were also on the menu during an inspection on September 7; and also back in May and in April.

Yelp rates the restaurant three and a half stars (out of five). This might explain that "strange" shrimp shumai, poster number two!

Photo courtesy of Google Maps.

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Brooklyn Bridge, Jane's Carousel

One rainy night last week.

Photo by MK Metz

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Brooklyn's Mike Petri, Rugby World Cup Star

Mike Petri (above, left) from Brooklyn's Petri Plumbing (with headquarters in Bay Ridge but trucks everywhere in Brooklyn) "juggled jobs at UBS AG and his family’s plumbing business" to help seal a spot on the U.S. Rugby World Cup squad, reports Bloomberg News.

The Eagles’ vice-captain proved his mettle at the global championship, which started Sept. 9 in New Zealand.

Petri, who attended Xavier High School and graduated from Penn State University (where he was selected to the Collegiate All-American Team four years in a row), scored the only "try" of the game in the 13-6 win over Russia on Sept. 15 to help give the U.S. its third win in World Cup history.

According to Wikipedia, a try is analogous to a touchdown in American and Canadian football, with the major difference being that a try requires the ball be simultaneously touching the ground in the in-goal area and an attacking player who is in the field of play or in-goal.

From USA Rugby:
"An intense first half saw the Eagles' defense hold strong and late in the first, the Suniula brothersm, Roland and Andrew, manipulated the Russian defense on an attacking move and vice-captain Mike Petri ran a great support line to score straight under the posts."

A highlights video is available at USA Rugby.

Petri played in yesterday’s 27-10 loss to Italy, which ends the U.S. participation in the tournament.

Petri Plumbing has been in business in Brooklyn for more than 100 years, and are also the first Green Plumbers in NYC (they get great reviews, too). Mike's great-grandfather started to company.

Photo courtesy of USA Rugby

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Walt Whitman, a Mite Yellow, Looks Out Over DUMBO

This sculpture of Walt Whitman by Mark Gagnon was on display on Washington Street and prospect for the DUMBO Art Festival.

From the catalog:
‘Walt Whitman’ is a life size sculpture in papier-mâché and florescent paint, commemorating this local icon of American culture whose voice celebrates modern American identity and paved the way for today’s artists. Whitman was editor of the Brooklyn Eagle from 1846 to 1848 and the first edition of Leaves of Grass was published on Old Fulton Street by brothers James and Andrew Rome.

Wonder what Walt would think of the bright colors?

Photo by MK Metz

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hell of a Fireworks Display Over New York City / Brooklyn Tonight (September 27)

Glorious fireworks echoed over the canyons of New York City and Brooklyn tonight about 9:30. They were set off from a barge in the East River near River Café and Pier 16.

According to NewYorkology, the sponsor is Somnis De Alberto Cipolla/Feste @ Water Cafe

UPDATE: Still going off at 9:40. The cats have disappeared! Car alarms are going off.

UPDATE 2: Ended with a bang at 9:45. Beautiful display! Better than the 4th of July for Brooklynites.

We don't know who Alberto Cipolla is, but thanks for the fireworks, man.

UPDATE 3: The River Cafe knows nothing about these fireworks.

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DUMBO Clocktower To be Transformed to 'Ultimate Bachelor Pad'

Esquire confirms it has plans to create its annual Ultimate Bachelor Pad in the $23.5 million penthouse of DUMBO's Clocktower Building.

Naturally, any self-respecting Ultimate Bachelor Pad (pad!) has to include a sexy life-size female digital hologram named Charlotte. According to Curbed, Charlotte "will appear at various locations inside the apartment to flirt with guests, provide information on various aspects of the space and otherwise engage a crowd that may think they have seen everything."

Pad! Bachelor Pad!

Full release at Curbed.

Photo courtesy of 

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Prospect Park Pervert; Thrift Shop Scam; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- The city is selling lots for $1 in East New York. (Developers only need apply.) TRD 

- Results for the 2013 Mayor's race poll, by the borough. The Brooklyn Politics Blog

- Ladies, have you been bothered by a strange, small, masturbating man on a bike in Prospect Park? Brooklynian

- These thrift shops say they share their proceeds with Fellowship Baptist Church in Coney Island, but the whole thing's a scam. NY Post

- Truman Capote's Brooklyn Heights home gets another price chop. Curbed

- More strange signs pop up in Brooklyn, this time in Greenpoint. Gothamist

- Cops say they nabbed the Fort Greene Park gunman on Saturday. Brooklyn Paper

- 17 best lines from epic New Yorker IKEA story. Curbed

- Well, at least they won't be called the Brooklyn Bridges, the Brooklyn ’Tudes, the Brooklyn New Yorkers or the Brooklyn Ballers. Though Brooklyn Ballers would have been OK. Brooklyn Eagle

- The MTA says it will not run ads from right-wing demagogue Pamela Geller, who calls those who oppose Israel "savages." Gothamist

- Biking to work is making your lungs black. As a matter of fact, you're "all going to die like a bunch of West Virginia coal miners hawking up soot loogies." Gawker and Gothamist

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Finally -- MTA Eyesore in Downtown Brooklyn To Be Sold or Leased

The MTA said Monday that it finally intends to sell or lease their deteriorating former headquarters building at 370 Jay Street, which has been blighting Downtown Brooklyn for 10 years.

According to the Brooklyn Eagle, the MTA also plans to dispose of eight other parcels of real estate. “The move is part of an ongoing effort by the authority to reduce costs and maximize the revenues it receives from real estate holdings,” MTA said. The agency had been throwing away rent on the empty building for years.

The huge 370 Jay Street (also the entrance to the Jay Street-MetroTech station) had been chipping paint and scaring tourists for a decade, to the consternation of Downtown businesses, schools and BP Marty Markowitz.

Last year, in an attempt to appease Brooklyn powers that be, MTA repainted the peeling ceiling (photo above). Also last year, MTA completed the $160 million renovation of one of Brooklyn’s busiest transit hubs under the building. (More on that here.)

The MTA’s 2010–2014 Capital Program included $184 million to rehabilitate 370 Jay St., which they said would house a new Business Service Center (BSC). Monday, however, MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan told the Eagle that those plans are no longer on the table.

In March, The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership told the Eagle they wanted the city to consider the building as a possible site for the future Applied Sciences and Engineering Research Center.
MTA Puts 370 Jay Street Up for Sale -- At Last  Brooklyn Eagle 

Photo by MK Metz

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Monday, September 26, 2011

2011 DUMBO Arts Festival -- Amazing Spectacle

Livewire by J. Carpenter
The 2011 DUMBO Arts Festival, held this weekend, was an amazing mix of art, music, performance and spectacle. Thousands (roughly 200,000) came to see art displayed in the streets, lobbies, stages and studios of DUMBO, along with the waterfront and park spaces.

Coppercussion/Papercussion – Nick Yulman and Hope Dector
There were so many different art venues that each of the thousands of visitors had a different experience of the festival.
"Follow the Moon" and "Silhouette" by Ayumitanaka
There were a number of repurposed containers being used as galleries, like the one above.

"Follow the Moon" and "Silhouette" by Ayumitanaka

Some art was hanging from trees in the park.

"Love You Forever" by Erin Hudak
"Inside Out" by JR
"24 Stones I'd Like to Know" by Pillow Culture/Elizabeth Demary
Actual married couple
A most amazing spectacle took place on Saturday in the Pearl Street Triangle, which had been transformed into a professional wrestling ring. Several matches -- like this one between two women wrestlers -- took place before the main event.

The crowd was huge and bloodthirsty. Many appeared to be cheering on certain fighters. It was like we had left the DUMBO art scene and descended into some illegal Mexican fighting den. After the lady wrestlers finished and some punks got their asses whipped by a couple of Amish boys, the crowd was ready for the Big One.

The Battle Royal, starring Shaun El C. Leonardo, featured 15 professional wrestlers. The scheme was to fight blindfolded until only one man was left. Here they are before the match. El C. is on the left. (El C. stands for El Conquistador.)

El C.
After being blindfolded by the ref, these guys battled for more than an hour. People screamed out warnings to their favorite fighters. One by one they were eliminated.

It was performance art in the same way that professional wrestling is performance art. Sweat and blood made the mat slippery.

El C. flying through the air.

The match was supposed to have been  inspired by Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man.

Here are the overall DUMBO Arts Festival 2011 award-winners:
AT&T Audience Award: Coppercussion/Papercussion – Nick Yulman & Hope Dector
Best Open Studio: Stefan Papco
Best Exhibition: Immersive Surfaces - The Leo Kuelbs Collection
Best Exhibition: Minus Space Gallery – Ted Stamm Exhibition
Best Project: Soundstage – Brett Paine Murphy
2011 Grand Prize: Stefan Papco

Photos by MK Metz

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Friday Night Walk at the DUMBO Arts Festival 2011

The DUMBO Arts Festival -- one of our favorite events in Brooklyn -- opened last night with exhibitions, projections and outdoor projects all over DUMBO. (Studios don't open till Saturday.) We took a walk in the rain to see what was happening and ran across this great piece painted on a wall on Water Street. Here are a few other interesting things we saw:

A video installation -- "Oil and Water" -- by Eric Ayotte and Richard Oliver Wilson is set up inside the Tobacco Warehouse. It is comprised of an MP4, a projector, a giant bubble making machine and soap.

Root Boots by Michelle Mayer at 81 Front Street. (Note the boots, center.) If the wearer attempts to move, sensors in the soles of the boots trigger sounds of twisting and cracking wood. If they stay still and "planted," a sub-bass vibration is felt under their feet, signaling their connection.

This was popular: People texted love notes which were projected on the north wall of the Empire Stores. Called Sweet Stream Love's River, the work is by Carl Skelton and Luke DuBois.

81 Front Street
The Friday night events offered a tantalizing glimpse of the fascinating things to come. Here are a few exhibits coming up Saturday and Sunday that might interest you:

Foop: In "Foop," the  lobby of 55 Washington Street becomes the site for a possible science fiction plot. Playing off the motif of the elevator door as a porthole to other realms, the installation proposes that this office elevator could take you further than the fourth floor.

"Kafkaesque Hammock," a collection of hanging hammocks, interconnected by a pulley system. This piece involves the audience’s participation since they become each other’s counterweight while inside the hanging hammocks.

"Swarm": A series of paintings made with propolis, a resin, designed and fabricated by honeybees.

"Video DUMBO": a festival for contemporary video art.

The Sculptors Guild exhibition at 55 Washington.

"Coppercussion/Papercussion" by sound artist Nick Yulman and printmaker Hope Dector, who use the materials of printmaking, electronics and sound to create a network of automated musical devices.

The Center for Photography at Woodstock's auction preview of contemporary and classic photographs.

"Trailer Park": A self-contained portable eco-system and public park housed inside a reclaimed portable travel trailer.

At "Barter Town" participants are invited to bring their ideas, services, songs, stories, unwanted goods, canned goods, handmade art, appliances and anything they think may hold value and haggle for something that they want.

The "Waterbombs!" show.

The "Asphalt Orchestra" show.

The Sculptors Guild will be hosting a molten iron demonstration where they will cast forty souvenir medallions before the eyes of festival goers.

Bubby's Pie Social!

On Saturday the festival runs noon to 8 p.m., and on Sunday noon to 6 p.m. Outdoor projections run from 6 p.m. to midnight.

- DUMBO Arts Festival 2010: Art Breaks Out All Over
- DUMBO Art Under the Bridge Festival 2009 
- DUMBO Art Under the Bridge Festival 2008
- DUMBO Art Under the Bridge Festival 2007

Photos copyright MK Metz

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Brooklyn Mama's Voodoo Magic; Protest at Trader Joe's; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- A third of Brooklyn's hospitals are sick, and another third are on life-support. Crain's NY

- Brooklyn mama's voodoo magic can't save drug-dealing son from getting busted at JFK. Gothamist

- There's going to be an unusual protest at Trader Joe's this Saturday. Brooklyn Eagle 

- Writing's on the wall at Empire stores in DUMBO. Brownstoner

- Boycott: Schweddy Balls. Problem: It's selling like crazy. Gawker

- Community Board 10 "has declared war" on sidewalk food vendors in Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights. Brooklyn Eagle  

- Nicholas Contogianis, a resident of Boerum Hill, is missing. Carroll Gardens Patch

- The Ragamuffin Parade takes place this weekend, for the 46th year. Bay Ridge Eagle

- Glenn "violent revolt" Beck wants you to boycott Levi's jeans because their ad campaign "glorifies revolution." NY Magazine

- Not verified yet . . . but neutrinos may be time travelers. Huff Post

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Anybody See BeeBop?

Now here's a distinctive animal -- he looks like he's got half a mustache. BeeBop went missing on June 28. He was last seen over July 4th weekend in Brooklyn Heights on Columbia Place/State Street/Willow Place. The owners say he got scared by delivery men and broke out of a back screen 3rd floor window.

After that, BeeBop was in the basement of the Heights Players on Willow Place where he was being kept over a long weekend. But the doors were left open and he got out. His trail has gone cold after that weekend.

The owners say on Brooklynian that they have posted and searched for him everywhere. "We believe he may be in somebody's house and they may not realize how dearly he is missed. We are offering reward for his return. No questions asked. 917-837-6899"

Here is a Facebook page called Where Is BeeBob? the owners have set up.

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Report: NYC Could Become Walmart City

New York City could become Walmart City if a study released Wednesday by the Alliance for a Greater New York is right. And the numbers projected for Brooklyn are enough to give even a free-market evangelist pause.

Walmart's strategy calls for "controlling a significant portion of the retail market in New York City, the largest consumer market in the U.S., and then replicating this strategy in other urban areas," in order to juice its bottom line, AFGNY says.

Sinking its claws into New York City is pretty much a necessity for the retail behemoth. "Walmart has saturated rural and suburban markets to such a degree that it has begun to cannibalize its own stores," says AFGNY.

In order to achieve its average 21percent market share, Walmart would need to open 159 stores throughout all 5 boroughs, "creating devastating effects for local small businesses, communities and workers."

Brooklyn: Walmart's Ground Zero

One scenario projects 114 small format shops, 34 medium format (grocery store style), and 11 supercenters primarily located in the outer boroughs, with more in Brooklyn -- 48 -- than any other borough.

Walmart already has plans to build a store as-of-right in East New York, Brooklyn.

The report suggests that Walmart’s likely plans for expansion in NYC "would dramatically shift the city’s entire retail landscape for the worse."

159 Walmarts in New York City would mean:
  • A net loss of nearly 4,000 jobs
  • Over $350 million in lost wages
  • Over 4,000 Walmart associates in need of public assistance, costing $4 million in taxpayer dollars for health benefits alone
  • The shuttering of 105 retail businesses due to one Brooklyn Supercenter alone.
In Brooklyn, the projection is:
48 Walmarts:
     • 3 Supercenters
     • 10 Walmart Markets
     • 35 Walmart Express stores
• Net job loss of 1,160 retail workers
• Almost $72 million per year lost in total retail wages due to the Supercenters alone
• 1,247 Brooklyn Walmart workers eligible for state subsidized health care
• $1.2 million cost to taxpayers

One side effect not mentioned in the report would be the loss of tourist shopping dollars. Out-of-towners love shopping at the city's quirky, special-snowflake retailers. If NYC becomes Walmart City, the jazz, zing, pop and wow-factor of New York City retail would be greatly diminished. Tourists can shop at Walmart at home. Not having to shop at Walmart is one good reason to come to New York City.

See the full report here

(Before 2008, Walmart was spelled Wal-Mart.)
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    Sculptor Tom Otterness Installation On Hold While SF Mulls Old Dog-Shooting Incident

    Sculptor Tom Otterness, center, in DUMBO in 2008. By MK Metz
    The past continues to haunt Brooklyn sculptor Tom Otterness.

    After learning about Otterness shooting an adopted dog to death 33 years ago as part of an art piece, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee on Monday called for his planned $750,000 public art installation in the Central Subway to be put on hold, according to SFgate.

    Otterness contracted to create "a series of humorous sculptural vignettes featuring his signature bronze characters as transit riders," according to the San Francisco Arts Commission, which now says it will look into the incident.

    In 2008 Otterness responded to the requests of many McBrooklyn readers who commented about the deed. His apology is here.

    - Artist Otterness Apologizes for Decades-Old Dog-Killing Incident Brooklyn Eagle
    - Otterness 'Large Covered Wagon' Feted in Dumbo
    - Otterness Large Covered Wagon Installed in Dumbo
    - Dog-Killing Past Still Haunts Otterness as Sculpture Comes to Dumbo

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    Wednesday, September 21, 2011

    Muni-Meters Spreading Out Over Brooklyn. Just One Problem.

    It's the end of an era:

    Orange cones have been observed on sidewalks in Downtown Brooklyn and on Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights. These, according to the Brooklyn Eagle, mark the spots where the old parking meters will be removed and new Muni-Meters will be installed.

    All well and good, but there's just one problem, according to Brooklyn Assemblyman William Colton: the city is ripping people off.

    According to DOT, drivers can buy time from a meter on any street and use up the remaining time on another street as long as they keep the receipt. But officers are issuing tickets to people for doing just this, says Colton, and judges are enforcing a non-existent law. See the Brooklyn Eagle for the full story.

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    El Tio Pio Gutted; Hipster Mayo; Depeche Mode in DUMBO; and More Brooklyn Briefs

    - Brooklyn bike patrol to escort women home in Park Slope and Prospect Heights. Village Voice

    - El Tio Pio restaurant and a beauty parlor appeared to be gutted in Tuesday's fire on Willoughby Street in Downtown Brooklyn, where a man was rescued through a third-story window. Carroll Gardens Patch

    - This week alone, Brooklyn Heights has been home to film crews shooting three TV shows and two feature films. Is the disruption worth it? Brooklyn Eagle

    - Name that novelist who was mugged in Fort Greene Park. Gothamist

    - So it's come to this: hipsters are opening an artisanal mayo shop in Prospect Heights. Village Voice

    - Depeche Mode founder Vince Clarke buys $2.8 million DUMBO loft. NY Magazine

    - Someday soon, Grand Army Plaza will be safer for pedestrians and bikers. Streetsblog

    - In case you were wondering what the inside of Mayor Bloomberg's house looks like, not that you'll ever be invited there. Gothamist

    - The deadliest volcano on the planet is ready to explode again, which could be big trouble for the world. Gizmodo  

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    Scenes From Brooklyn's 2011 Great Irish Fair

    It really was a Great Irish Fair this weekend at MCU Park in Coney Island. Between the step dancing, the excellent traditional Irish live bands and the beer, all was good. (And not an artisanal mayo stand in sight!)

    No one thought this was not an appropriate way for a man to dress.

    The crowd was enthusiastic.

    Before you knew it people got up and started to dance.

    Everyone wanted to hug the Saint Saviour High School panda bear.

    Did we mention the beer?

    Traditional Irish saying.

    Photos by MK Metz

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    United American Land Buys Brooklyn Law School Building, Finally

    United American Land paid Brooklyn Law School $10.7 million for a 12-story dormitory building at 184 Joralemon in Brooklyn Heights which was caught up in a nasty contract dispute, according to The Real Deal.

    The buyer plans to renovate the 23-unit building, "and introduce modern, luxury residential rentals, which are in great demand in this Brooklyn Heights submarket."

    More details here.

    Photo courtesy of Google

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    Tuesday, September 20, 2011

    Wild Scene on Atlantic Ave. in Brooklyn -- Car Smashes Truck, Cop Fires Gun

    Cops chased a stolen car from Downtown Brooklyn to Atlantic Avenue this afternoon, where a situation developed when the thief smashed the car into a trailer used on ABC's "Pan-Am" TV set. While trying to get the crook out of the car the driver apparently zoomed backward and a cop accidentally discharged a bullet -- which went through an apartment window over Urban Outfitters.

    In the commotion the stolen car zoomed away, never to be seen again. One police officer was slightly injured but thank goodness no one was standing near the window upstairs. More details at Carroll Gardens Patch

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    Summer Space on Montague Street

    The Brooklyn Book Festival wasn't the only event happening in Brooklyn Heights on Sunday.  Summer Space on Montague Street brought a car(e)-free attitude to the street. Two blocks were closed to make room for folks to relax at the tables and chairs scattered around the area. The Martha Cardona Theater (above) offered opera and musical theater selections, and the Brooklyn Ballet performed as well.

    The Brooklyn Eagle sponsored chess games and brought chess master/ game-caller Christian Whitted (with the megaphone, above) and his “Big Chess” game board to the street.

    Kids could draw with chalk or visit Play Land, supplied with a bubble machine, hula hoops, jump ropes and beach balls.

    Or, you could do some outdoor yoga with Yoga People. (We missed the Brooklyn Heights Dog Contest, sponsored by the Brooklyn Heights Association. We're looking forward to seeing photos of the event.)

    Summer Space was sponsored by the Montague Street BID.

    - Summer Space 2010.
    - Summer Space in 2009. And here.
    - Summer Space 2008 (when it was called "Piazza Day"). And here.

    Photos by MK Metz

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    Monday, September 19, 2011

    Brooklyn Book Festival 2011

    The Book Gods smiled on Brooklyn Sunday and bestowed perfect weather for the 2011 Brooklyn Book Festival. Tens of thousands of book lovers got a chance to meet their favorite authors, browse tables full of books and hear interesting viewpoints. The festival is getting bigger every year and draws huge names in literature.

    Jhumpa Lahiri was honored with the “Best of Brooklyn” Award (BoBi). Other authors and luminaries included Larry McMurtry, Terry McMillan, Jennifer Egan, Eoin Colfer, John Sayles, Joyce Carol Oates, Craig Thompson, Walter Mosley, Adrian Tomine,Amitav Ghosh, Jean Valentine, Jules Feiffer, Senator Joseph Lieberman, Rachel Hawkins, Sam McBratney, Jacqueline Woodson, Mo Willems and Pete Hamill.

    Author talks and panels included Laura Flanders (founder of GRITtv), Jeremy Scahill (Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army) and Alia Malek (A Country Called Amreeka) shown above on the Main Stage in Borough Hall Plaza. They spoke about what has changed for the worse since 9/11/2001.

    At the Borough Hall Courtroom, above, Mary Karr (Lit: A Memoir) and Nelson George (The Plot Against Hip Hop) discussed their books and the role that music and other media plays in their work.Karr said that she writes TV shows to sell her books -- "What a nerd I am." George said that The Wire  is "one of the greatest narratives of our century." Tim McLaughlin moderated.

    Some pretty surprising things took place in the tented Target Children’s Area. For example, while the incredibly popular Mo Willems was reading a book about pigs, a giant sized pig and elephant walked into the tent, setting off a frenzy of pig hugging. We learned on Wikipedia that Willems earned six Emmy Awards as a writer for Sesame Street.

    At the Youth Stoop, comic artists drew on command. Shown above: audience members give suggestions about what to draw.

    Or you could just browse the books, take them home and read them.

    Photos by MK Metz

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