Friday, September 28, 2012

Giant Fish Heads Are Popping Up On DUMBO Street Corners

We always knew this would happen one day: Giant fish heads are popping up on Washington Street in DUMBO.

It either has something to do with the bizarre weather we've been experiencing lately, or with this weekend's 2012 DUMBO Arts Festival, which starts tonight.

Roughly a quarter million people are expected to visit the all-encompassing festival, which features over 500 artists, 100 studios, and 50 galleries and stages.

The festival always includes memorable experiences -- in "Superhero,” for example, participants are able to “fly” over the Empire Stores while enjoying a number of superpowers (like throwing light balls or becoming gigantic). See more projects described here.

(The fish are indeed an art project of Ben Snead. They include a lane snapper, a yellow tail snapper and a rock hind.)

- Check out 2011.
- More 2011.
- DUMBO Arts Festival 2010.
- DUMBO Art Under the Bridge Festival 2009 
- DUMBO Art Under the Bridge Festival 2008
- DUMBO Art Under the Bridge Festival 2007 

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Occupy 'Guitarmy' Marches Over Brooklyn Bridge, Occupies Barclays

Occupy Wall Street's "Guitarmy" (a subset of the OWS Music Working group) marched over the Brooklyn Bridge about 5:30 p.m. Thursday en route to Barclays Center, where they and other groups planned a candlelight vigil and overnighter leading to a Jay-Z teach-in tonight.

Millionaire rapper Jay-Z -- part-owner of the Nets -- will be putting on a show at the arena tonight, the first official performance at Barclays. (Expect massive traffic jams, warns "Gridlock Sam.")

Today at 11 a.m., local residents will speak about the impact (presumably negative) of Barclays on their lives. Performances take place from noon to 4, including the Reverend Billy and the Tax Dodgers. At 8 p.m., there will be a free outdoor screening of the Battle for Brooklyn. More events take place throughout the weekend. (Brownstoner has the schedule; Atlantic Yards Report has links to more schedule.)

On their website, The Occupy Guitarmy offers a response to Jay-Z, who said in the NY Times that OWS’s actions are “un-American.”

They say:
"Jay-Z 'supported' Occupy earlier in its first, highly media-friendly moments through his entrepreneurial selling of 'Occupy All Streets' t-shirts, although he refused to donate any of the profits of his sales to support the activists and received wide-spread negative publicity for his crass appropriation of the movement’s language.

"Now Jay is rolling with even more powerful and popular friends, namely the LIBOR-scandal leading bankers at Barclays, who put their name on the controversial Brooklyn arena where Jay’s basketball team will play and where he will play eight nights to inaugurate the venue."

More here.

Photos by MK Metz

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Gridlock Alert for Downtown Brooklyn this Weekend

What with the Atlantic Antic and the Barclays Center concerts, "Gridlock Sam" (Sam Schwartz) has declared a Gridlock Alert for Downtown Brooklyn, along Flatbush and Atlantic avenues all weekend.

Sam warns that the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges along with the BQE will also be affected.

Read Sam's mass transit suggestions here. 

Barclays Center has partnered with Roadify to provide a real-time feed of subway and LIRR transit conditions to display screens throughout the arena. (Or you can download the free Roadify iPhone app at:

Photo by Lingaraj GJ, Creative Commons license

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Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst

Did you have trouble contacting your bank online over the past couple of days?

It turns out that "a shadowy but well organized hacker group in the Middle East has disrupted the electronic banking operations of America's largest financial institutions. . . underscoring U.S. vulnerability to online terrorism." (LA Times)

That's one more item to add to our sack of new and exciting things to worry about! Taking a random walk through Google News last night, we found even more:

* The energy firm whose systems are used to control more than half of all oil and gas pipelines in North America and Latin America confirmed yesterday it is under a serious cyber-security attack. (ComputerWorld)

* One of the worst droughts in a half century is raising prices for some of the world's most important foodstuffs. (CSMonitor)

* Catalonia may vote to secede from Spain, bringing down Spanish banks and cracking the Eurozone. Credit Writedowns

- Climate change could cause "killer hurricanes" in New York City. A simulation model by Princeton researchers warns of storms "the likes of which have not been seen." (US News)

* Earth has about a one-in-eight chance of being hit with an "extreme" solar flare in the next decade that could potentially cause billions of dollars in damage and cripple electronic communication systems. (US News)

* An asteroid big enough to vaporize New York City and most of New England strikes Earth roughly once every 300,000 years, and it's about due. See Sandia National Labs' model of the event here

* An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack on the United States would change the “very fabric of U.S. society,” and millions could potentially lose their lives in the aftermath. A US commission suggests we get ready.

Now don't you feel better about those hackers draining your bank account? It could be so much worse!

Illustration by Don Davis, courtesy of NASA.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Brooklyn Congressman Grimm Masquerades as Waiter, Fumes As Vast Conspiracy Falls Apart

The always-entertaining U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm (R-Bay Ridge-Staten Island) was spotted in waiter's garb, taking orders at Gino’s Restaurant in Bay Ridge last night.

This is not the first time the congressman has worked undercover, according to the Brooklyn Eagle.

Grimm has donned the uniforms of a U.P.S. delivery man, mailman, firefighter, and school principal.

Grimm definitely had less egg on his face as a waiter than he has as a congressman: it came out yesterday that Grimm's charges of a political conspiracy aimed against his campaign didn't hold water.

On Sept. 23 Grimm said that his re-election office had been vandalized and burglarized. Not only had someone thrown rocks through the window, Grimm said, but "vandals also entered the office and corrupted the computer files, erasing the hard-drive of the campaign computer server, which contained confidential campaign files and polling data."

"I do believe this is a politically motivated crime, and will continue to work closely with the NYPD in identifying and prosecuting those responsible,” Grimm said at that time.

Now it turns out that the crime was a tad overstated.

In reality a 13-year-old and his friend broke the window on a lark, and as for the "corrupted" files and "erased" hard drive, a law enforcement source told the NY Daily News "it appears that a campaign staffer wiped the hard drives accidentally after mistakenly inserting a Linux system disc into a Windows machine."

Politicker reports that Congressman Michael Grimm’s Democratic opponent, Mark Murphy, is "apparently enjoying" the ongoing saga: “The wild accusations and apparently totally false conspiracy theories of the last 48 hours have made this bizarre situation a sad spectacle,” Murphy's spokesman said.

Wonder what was on those trashed computer drives? Probably nothing to do with the federal investigation into the congressman’s 2010 fundraising operations, "where media reports allege he extorted hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the congregation of an influential rabbi."

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

The Streets of Brooklyn Run Red with Chicken Blood

SMcGarnigle, Creative Commons
Once again, activists protested the Yom Kippur slaughter of thousands of chickens in the streets of Crown Heights by some Orthodox Jews, but to no avail.

Gothamist has video showing the heated exchanges between ritual Kaporos (also spelled Kapparot) practitioners and animal rights groups.

The Brooklyn Eagle explains the meaning of the ritual, in which the chicken is held over a person's head and swung in a circle three times while reciting a prayer.  Many Orthodox rabbis have spoken out against the practice as cruel and not in keeping with Jewish belief. 

The protests were organized by The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos.

It's important to note that millions of Jews do not slaughter chickens on the street for Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year in the Jewish calendar. Among the highlights of the Yom Kippur ceremony are the “Kol Nidrei” prayer, which dates back at least to the first millennium C.E., and the blowing of the shofar, or ram’s horn. (More about that here.) 

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Businessweek Creams Brooklyn Crab

Looks like someone's pretty crabby after eating the "sandy, undercooked scallops" and "over-fried crab cake" at Brooklyn Crab in Red Hook.

Bloomberg Businesweek's Ryan Sutton won't be back to the popular seafood shack after an evening of food indignities: lousy marinara, over-salted pollock, and lobster that tasted of iodine and liver.

The turf half of the surf and turf wasn't any better, Sutton said: "The included turf was an inedible gristle-packed strip steak."

To make matters even worse, the bartender confronted them and accused them of not paying their bar bill.Sutton had to produce the receipt to prove he wasn't trying to eat and run.

More reviews at Yelp.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Natural Evolution of Baby Strollers in Brooklyn

A Brooklyn inventor is retrofitting baby strollers with fancy features such as iPod docks, global positioning devices, and flashing lights.

“It entertains the child and uses lights to prevent drivers from injuring mothers,” Fraizer told the Brooklyn Paper.

That's one way to look at it.

Our vision is a little different. How about an armored stroller retrofitted with portable artillery?

Suitable for Brooklyn's mean streets, we could call it "Le Stroller de Park Slope."

Or how about this stroller at left, the Star Wars-themed "AT-AT Stroller" created by Rick Russo. (AT-AT = All Terrain Armored Transport.) According to Wikipedia, The AT-AT -- designed to favor "fear over function" -- is manned by two men to drive the vehicle and can carry up to five speeder bikes and 40 Imperial stormtroopers.

Now you're talking Stroller Wars. (Instructions for building here.) 

Photo by Rick Russo, Creative Commons License

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Man Stuck Between Subway and Platform; Syringe Attack; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Firefighters rescue a man who was struck between a subway train and the platform in Brooklyn. Brooklyn Eagle 

- Where to eat near Barclays Center. Brooklyn.About

- Nightmare: Brooklyn bus driver stabbed with syringe while driving bus in Windsor Terrace. NY1

- Brooklyn Nets cheerleaders dress "street" -- “This isn’t palm trees and sunshine. It’s New York City, and it’s Brooklyn. It’s a different sensibility. We go hard." Examiner 

- Some of the interesting speakers you missed at the Brooklyn Book Festival. Brooklyn Eagle 

- Gothamist has a video of five people robbing a Brooklyn sneaker store.

- Steiner regrets not "buying up all of Williamsburg." TRD

- Romney issues a white paper saying he is going to end the housing crisis but doesn't reveal how he is going to do it. TRD

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Hearing on Changes to Gowanus Project this Thursday

Pardon Me For Asking points out there is an important public hearing coming up:

Brooklyn CB6 Landmarks/Land Use Committee will be reviewing The Lightstone Group's application for "minor modifications" (which actually sound kind of major) to the previously approved land use at 363-365 Bond Street -- two full blocks along the Gowanus Canal.

The meeting will be held at 6:45pm on Thursday, September 27th and it will take place at P.S. 32 Auditorium, 317 Hoyt Street (between Union/President Streets), Brooklyn.

Lightstone is reviving the former Toll Brothers project. Get the full story along with renderings and maps at PMFA.

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Lucas Peterka's Fundraiser in Brooklyn Sold Out

A fundraising event this Thursday at Old Stone House for 11-year-old Lucas Peterka is SOLD OUT. Which is great news.

If you would like to have your name placed on the waiting list, send an email to with the number of tickets you need. Someone will get back to you on the evening of Wednesday the 26th. (Raffle tickets and great prizes are still available.)

At the beginning of the summer, Lucas suffered a massive heart attack due to a previously undiagnosed congenital heart defect. He has been in the hospital ever since: through bypass machines, breathing tubes, open heart surgeries, numerous operations and procedures, a medically induced coma and much more. Now his heart is finally beating on its own, but a heart transplant is still a possibility.

The fundraiser will help Lucas' family pay the mountain of bills.

Read more about Lucas here.

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Monday, September 24, 2012

2012 Brooklyn Book Festival the Biggest So Far

It was a great day for readers and writers, young and old. Thousands came to the seventh annual Brooklyn Book Festival in Downtown Brooklyn yesterday to listen to intriguing authors, get books signed, and open their minds to new ideas.

There were tables full of books to browse, and more than 100 panels this year.

Hundreds of famous authors -- from Paul Auster, Carol Higgins Clark, Tony Danza, Jimmie Walker, Edwidge Danticat, Pete Hamill to Joyce Carol Oates -- sat on the panels, gave readings and signed books. (Pete Hamill was voted this year's Bobi Honoree.)

UPDATE: Some people said the panels were so full they couldn't get into some of them. We didn't have this trouble, but we didn't try to get into the crowd-magnets this year. How many people were shut out?

The Melville House booth.

The event grows bigger every year. Poets, philosophers, journalists, foreign correspondents, authors and writers of all stripes spoke on the panels, and all the events were absolutely free.

Above: "Altered States" -- panel featuring books with themes of drugs and their effects on relationships. Steven Wishnia (When the Drumming Stops), Alex Shakar (Luminarium) and Bronwen Hruska (Accelerated). Hirsh Sawhney moderated.

Photos by MK Metz

- 2011 Book Festival here.
- 2010 festival;
- 2009; 2008; 2007

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Brooklyn Booms; Bill and Hill in Bushwick; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Brooklyn booms as record rents drive construction. Bloomberg 

- Atlantic Yards Report deconstructs the NY Times' look at "Hurricane Barclays."

- A senior Orthodox rabbi proclaims: "Burn the iPhones!"  Failed Messiah

- Bill and Hillary shut down one of Bushwick's hotspots on Friday to throw a private birthday party. Daily Mail

- Another protest planned today against the Jewish ritual involving swinging chickens and butchering them on the streets of Brooklyn. Brooklyn Eagle

- Chicken broth, matzo balls, Canadian-style smoked meat and poached egg: Is this really ramen? NY1

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Not Just the Brooklyn Book Festival: Montague Street Summer Space, Smorgasburg

Come to Brooklyn Heights and make a day of it: Great weather is forecast for today's Brooklyn Book Festival as well as other nearby events including the Montague Street Summer Space and Smorgasburg.

The Brooklyn Book Festival: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Brooklyn Borough Hall and Plaza, Brooklyn Heights and Downtown Brooklyn is a not to be missed Mecca for lovers of the printed word. The festival attracts thousands of book lovers to enjoy authors, speakers, readings, a kids tent and a book marketplace. Authors include: Paul Auster, Carol Higgins Clark, Tony Danza, Jimmie Walker, Edwidge Danticat, Pete Hamill, Joyce Carol Oates, Terry McMillan, Judith Viorst, Libba Bray and many, many more.

Two blocks away from the book festival is the Montague Street Summer Space: 12 to 5 p.m. Montague Street, Brooklyn Heights, between Clinton and Hicks streets. Free outdoor events include the Brooklyn Heights Dog Show (1 p.m.), live music and dance performances, fitness classes, life-size chess, crafts with Etsy, and more.

You can eat on Montague Street, or you can walk north on Cadman Plaza West and follow it as it curves towards the river to Brooklyn Bridge Park and Smorgasburg in the Tobacco Warehouse, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Roughly 75 food vendors -- from Teriyaki balls to Mexican sandwiches -- set up inside the roofless warehouse. Buy what you like then find a shady knoll in the park and make a picnic.

Photos by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Trader Joe's Peanut Butter Recall: Salmonella Outbreak -- UPDATED

The New York City Health Department advises New Yorkers to discard Trader Joe’s Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter (sku 97111) following a national outbreak of Salmonella infections linked to the peanut butter.

Trader Joe’s is removing this type of peanut butter from its stores. Nevertheless, the product may still be available for purchase at some New York City locations or on the internet.

UPDATE: The recall has been widened to include Valencia Peanut Butter with Roasted Flaxseeds (sku 98927) and Almond Butter with Roasted Flaxseeds (sku 94079).

The Health Department has detected at least one case in New York City, bringing the total to 29 cases in 18 states. The Department is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in this ongoing investigation.

Salmonella is a bacterium that can commonly contaminate foods. Symptoms of illness usually begin 12 to 72 hours after infection and include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. In most people, illness will resolve in a few days and does not require antibiotic treatment. If you experience symptoms of stomach illness, contact your health care provider and ask him or her to test you for Salmonella bacteria.

DOH Recommendations

New Yorkers who ate Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter made with sea salt and have symptoms described above should see their doctor and ask to be tested for Salmonella.

New Yorkers should not eat and should discard all Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Peanut Butter with sea salt in their home.

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Friday, September 21, 2012

Where to Buy an iPhone 5 in Brooklyn -- Update

iPhone 5 by Apple
iPhone 5 fans have been camped out in front of the 5th Avenue Apple Store in Manhattan for days now hoping to be among the first to get their new phones, but if you want to buy an iPhone 5 in Brooklyn it may be possible to snag one by getting up early Friday morning and popping off to AT&T, Sprint or Verizon stores, many of which will be carrying the prized device.

Some Best Buy, RadioShack and Target stores say they will also carry the new iPhone.  But if you want to buy an iPhone in Brooklyn on Friday, forget about Best Buy. According to the Best Buy website, NO Brooklyn stores will have them Friday.

Many people pre-ordered their phones at the carriers and Radio Shack, so stores may run out early. (Radio Shack actually offers a discount if you trade in your old iPhone 4! Plus AppleCare+ and a free 24/7 mobile support line.)

The AT&T store at 453 86th Street in Bay Ride told us via email that they open officially at 8 a.m. but the line will form before that.They said they expect a "frenzy." Other Brooklyn AT&T stores carrying the iPhone include the one at 160 Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights, 476 Fulton Street in Downtown Brooklyn, 21 Graham Avenue, and 99 7th Avenue. (They all open at 8 a.m.)  Locate.

Verizon stores carrying the iPhone 5 include the store at 146 Montague Street, 139 Flatbush Ave. (at the Atlantic Mall), 8524 5th Ave. in Bay Ridge, 2141 86th St., 1623 Kings Hwy., at BJs at 900 Remsen Ave. and more. (They all open at 8 a.m.)  Locate.

If you're patient, you can always try buying online at Apple.

Cult of Mac has more how-to-buy tips.

Just don't use Apple's new map app to try to find your way back home. Apple's map puts Brooklyn in Manhattan.

UPDATE: Brooklynites snag their iPhone 5s. Brooklyn Eagle

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Ten Brooklyn Book Festival Events for People Who Don't Like Books

It's the literary event of the season: The Brooklyn Book Festival is taking place around Borough Hall this Sunday, September 23, and everyone will be there.

But what if the aching excitement of your ultra-literary Brooklyn friends eludes you? What if you can't name a single author you'd like to meet? Or a single book you'd like to buy?

Don't fear. You don't actually have to read books to enjoy the Book Festival. Here are ten events featuring witty conversations between devilishly clever people, talented artists showcasing their work and even a musical concert -- no reading required.

1: The Nation Presents: Election 2012
10 a.m., Brooklyn Historical Society Library
It's almost election time -- want to learn what's at stake? Sit in on a conversation featuring three experts who are passionate about politics: Katrina vanden Heuvel, Tom Frank and Eric Alterman. Moderated by Touré.

2: Bon Appetite
10 a.m. North Satge, Borough Hall Plaza/ Columbus Park
Like the French Chef? Bob Spitz, expert on Julia Child, celebrates the centennial of the beloved chef in a conversation with author Luke Barr, who also knows a lot about Child.

3: Artisanal Everything
11 a.m. on the Main Stage in Borough Hall Plaza
David Rees, the world's only artisanal pencil sharpener, has a conversation with Sam Anderson, New York Times Magazine critic. You would think putting these two people close together would cause an explosion, but it seems they have a lot to talk about: Rees' pencil business (he hand-sharpens pencils for mail order customers) and the artisanalization of everything in Brooklyn, from mayonnaise to soda.

4: Brooklyn Book Festival presents Pete Hamill
12 p.m. St. Francis Auditorium
Brooklyn's remarkable man-of-the-world journalist Pete Hamill, in what will be a thoroughly interesting conversation with Bill Goldstein of WNBC-TV.

5: I’d Like To Apologize To Every Teacher I Ever Had
1 p.m. in Borough Hall Plaza
Actor Tony Danza was inspired by a documentary made by Teach for America to take time out to teach high school. Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz talks with him about how that all worked out.

6: The Nation Presents the Twilight of the Elites
1 p.m. St. Francis McArdle
Over the past decade, Americans watched in bafflement as one institution after another — from Wall Street to Congress, from the Catholic Church to Major League Baseball — fell apart from corruption. How did we get here? A conversation with MSNBC host Chris Hayes and author Michelle Goldberg, moderated by Richard Kim.

7: Make Believe: Genre Comics for the Next Generation
1 p.m., St. Francis Screening Room
Cartoonists Derek Kirk Kim (Tune: Vanishing Point), Becky Cloonan (Dracula) and Mark Siegel (Sailor Twain) project their new work on the screen and talk about what makes "genre" comics so fun to write, draw, and read. Moderated by Ellen Kushner.

8: (Adults Only) The Sex Panel: Taboo in Pictures
3 p.m. at St. Francis Auditorium
Gilbert Hernandez, Leela Corman, Molly Crabapple and Bob Fingerman talk about sex and taboo in comics. From obscenity to art, and "the delicious in-between." Featuring screen projection, with viewer discretion advised! Moderated by Heidi MacDonald.

9: (Adults Only) Marriage and Monogamy
5 p.m. St. Francis McArdle
Why marriage? Why monogamy? Syndicated sex columnist Dan Savage has advocated “monogam-ish” relationships; anthropologist Christopher Ryan, Ph.D. argues that monogamy isn't inherent to humans; Kristin Davis aka “The Manhattan Madam” will provide her insights into the tangled web of sex and commitment; and Eric Klinenberg looks at how society is changing. Moderated by Kate Bolick.

10: Phillip Lopate: Living in Brooklyn
6 - 7:30 p.m., Granite Prospect on Pier 1 of Brooklyn Bridge Park
Author Phillip Lopate joins Brooklyn Philharmonic Concertmaster Deborah Buck and pianist Molly Morkoski for a concert exploring Brooklyn’s development over the past 200 years. Music by great Brooklyn composers like Gershwin and Copland, as well as contemporary composers.

- 2011 Book Festival here.
- 2010 festival;
- 2009; 2008; 2007

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Billionaires and Millionaires to Cut the Ribbon at Barclays Center on Friday

Barclays Bank
Two multi-billionaires and two multi-millionaires (plus some politicians) will be cutting the ribbon at the Barclays Center arena this Friday.

Presiding over the ceremony will be Mayor Michael Bloomberg (worth $22 billion); Brooklyn Nets owner and Russian Mikhail Prokhorov ($18 billion), Forest City Ratner CEO Bruce Ratner ($400 million), part-owner Jay-Z ($480 million) and Borough President Marty Markowitz (priceless).

That's about $41 billion dollars worth of humanity on stage Friday morning, not counting the little people.

More on the ribbon-cutting at the Brooklyn Eagle.

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New York City Expanding All-Seeing Cameras to Outer Boroughs

Photo: Zigazou76, Creative Commons

In August New York City announced it had approximately 3,000 closed-circuit TV cameras connected to the  new $30 million “Domain Awareness System,” technology that combines and analyzes numerous data streams.

The majority of these cameras are in Lower and Midtown Manhattan, but the outer boroughs are next, according to Government Security News.

Cameras have already been installed on bridges and over an unknown number of mosques in Brooklyn, like this one on Fulton Street in Bedford Stuyvesant.

With the system, made by Microsoft, investigators have access to live video feeds, suspect arrest records, 911 calls, license plate readers, microphones, and 2,000 radiation detectors.

As part of the agreement, New York City will receive 30 percent of revenues on Microsoft’s future sales of the system.

According to Municipal Insider, civil rights advocates are expressing their concerns with the system, which they argue could impede the privacy of the millions who live in New York City. The city says it will operate the system in a professional manner.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Thousands Lose Power in Westchester County, the Bronx and Queens

According to Con Edison's storm center roughly 15,000 Westchester residents have lost power as Tuesday night's thunderstorms and high winds sweep through New York.

The outages extend into the Bronx and Queens in New York City. Almost 800 Bronx residents have lost power and about two hundred in Queens. To the north, the blackouts stretch up to Peekskill, near the northern boundary of Con Ed's territory. (UPDATE: Queens power returned in many neighborhoods by 1 a.m.)

Just a handful of residents are in the dark in Brooklyn and Staten Island.

If you see downed electrical wires, do not go near them. Be mindful that downed wires can be hidden from view by tree limbs, leaves or water.

Con Ed customers can report downed power lines, outages and check service restoration status online by computer, cell phone, or smart phone at can also call 1-800-75CONED (1-800-752-6633).

Depending on the severity of storm damage, crews will give priority to restoring service lines that will provide power to the most customers as quickly as possible, then move on to restore smaller groups and individual customers who are without power.

Report all downed wires to Con Edison and your local police department immediately. If a power line falls on your car while you're in it, stay inside the vehicle and wait for emergency personnel.

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Tornado Watch in Effect in New York City Until 9 p.m. Tonight (Tuesday)

Tonight's tornado watch has been extended until 9 p.m. throughout Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island, according to NY-Alert.

Even after 9 p.m. expect drenching thunderstorms, flooding and high winds all night, according to the National Weather Service.

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You Will Probably Get Yelled at If You report a Subway Pervert to the NYPD

A reader sent Gothamist photographs of a man masturbating on a M train -- after being yelled at by the police for trying to report the crime at a Precinct house.

The reader was told by NYPD she "should have known" where to report the crime. When she complained to the female cop that she was being insensitive, she was told she had "attitude." (She later tried Transit Police and got a better response.)

If you want to be on the lookout for the perv, click here to see his NOT SAFE FOR WORK photos.

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Hazardous Weather Warning Issued for Brooklyn and NYC

The National Weather Service has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook for Brooklyn and the surrounding New York City area for Tuesday afternoon through late Tuesday night. The agency warns of high winds, heavy rains and rip currents.

Winds will likely run from 15 - 25 mph with gusts between 50 - 60 mph possible.

Be very cautious of downed tree limbs and power lines along with power outages.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Monday, September 17, 2012

It Was a Great Irish Fair in Brooklyn

Our ears are still ringing with the sound of Irish reels, folk songs and Irish ballads after spending Sunday at the 31st Annual Great Irish Fair of New York, held in Coney Island at MCU Park.

Among the entertainment was the rousing bagpipe and drum performance of the Richmond County Pipes and Drums Band.

It was a beautiful weekend to listen to music, eat Irish food and drink Irish beer.

Andy Cooney, accompanied by the Band of Rogues, sang traditional and sentimental favorites.

Cooney meeting and greeting the audience.

Dancers from the O'Malley Academy Irish Dancers really knew their stuff.

Some of these child dancers move on to professional careers. (One stepdancer, Linda Murphy, has been chosen to dance with a Riverdance company.)

Other performers included Derek Warfield and The Young Wolfe Tones, who got everyone all fired up about the days of rebellion in Ireland. The full performer list is here.

There was fresh-baked Irish soda bread.

Obviously there was plenty of beer for all.

And vendors galore. We bought waaay too much green stuff.

We recommend the Irish Fair even if you're not officially Irish. (You will be by the time you're through.) It's a great end-of-summer weekend of fun, and all of the money raised goes to fund Catholic schools.
Photos by MK Metz

Horrible Smell From Bay Ridge Hole to Hell; Commenters Blame Obama, Immigrants

Remember that giant sinkhole at 92 Street in Bay Ridge? The one that could take another month to fix?

It’s gone from bad to worse, reports CBS. It seems that at the bottom of that 70-foot hole is a 110-year-old sewer -- which has unleashed a non-stop sickening smell into the neighborhood.

Residents have to keep their windows shut and AC on, and they say the smell is making them sick.

So who's to blame? 

According to the CBS commenters (and this is no joke) these are the culprits:
Muslims, Bloomberg (various spellings, including Gloomberg), liberals, Al Sharpton, Hillary Clinton, progressives, President Obama, Occupy Wallstreet, the media, the unions, Democrats (various spellings, including DemocRats), and finally, immigrants.

- 50-Foot Sink Hole in Bay Ridge Swallows Tree Whole

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'Sexy Shofar Man' Plays 'Street Shofar' in DUMBO

The wailing cry of the shofar was heard over the DUMBO shoreline last week. Someone was celebrating the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah with the traditional ram's horn instrument.

According to the Brooklyn Eagle, it was "Sexy Shofar Man," and it was for a video.

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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Jumper In the Water Off Brooklyn

This just from the scanner: Rescuers are rushing to the waterfront off Flatbush Ave. near Kings Plaza, Brooklyn to try to save a "jumper in the water." The jumper is said to be near the Home Depot. That's all we have right now. (About 11:07 p.m. Sunday)

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Saturday, September 15, 2012

This Sign for 'Found Cat' Was Hanging in Brooklyn

Happiness! Until the sharp eyes at Reddit exposed it for a lame hipster Dbag trick. Boo!

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Brooklyn Primary Results Are In

Results for Thursday's primary election have been tallied. Here are the winners of some of the closely watched races in Brooklyn:

Simcha Felder (D) running for state Senate in the 17th District against Abraham Tischler won handily with 83 percent of the vote.

Democratic Assemblyman William Boyland, Jr. won with 37 percent of the vote over six opponents in the primary in the 55th District.

First-timer Thomas McCarthy (R), running against Lucretia Regina-Potter in the 46th Assembly District won with 70 percent of the vote.

In a tight race for Brooklyn Civil Court - District 1 (D) - Richard Montelione edged past Lara Genovese (recommended by the New York Times but tarred with an endorsement from disgraced boss Vito Lopez) with 53 percent.

Walter Mosley (D) won the race to take over Hakeem Jeffries's Assembly seat in the 57th District. Mosley had 63 percent of the vote; Olanike Alabi had 30 percent; and Martine Guerrier had 7 percent.

Full primary results can be found at WNYC.

Previous Posts On This Topic:
- It's Primary Election Day in New York City
- Montelione vs. Genovesi: Pollsters Are Driving Us Nuts About the Brooklyn Judicial Race

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

It's Primary Election Day in New York City

Today, Thursday, September 13 primary elections are being held citywide. The polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

There are several hot primary races in Brooklyn. Simcha Felder is running as a Democrat for state Senate in the 17th District against Abraham Tischler. Republican Lucretia Regina-Potter is running against Thomas McCarthy in the 46th Assembly District.

In addition, four Assembly members are trying to hold onto their seats. (Read more about these at the Brooklyn Eagle.)

A civil court judge race has suddenly gotten very hot: Lara Genovese vs Richard Montelione, which we wrote about here yesterday.

Finally three candidates are running in the 5th municipal court district. More at the Eagle on this race.

Here's the website of the NYC Board of Elections if you need help finding a polling spot.

Photo by HJL, Creative Commons license

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Brooklyn Restaurant News; Deadly Beauty; and More Briefs

DUMBO headstand. Photo: MKMetz
- New York Times restaurant critic reviews Governor, explains to readers that DUMBO is "a lot like TriBeCa." NY Times 

- What neighborhoods to avoid if you want to have any fun at all. Brooklyn Magazine

- A beautiful -- and deadly -- plant grows on Court Street. PMFA 

- The South Brooklyn Post recommends Izakaya on Smith Street and we definitely agree. Go! Now! Ramen!

- Not so Great: DOH closes Great Wall restaurant, again. BHB

- Okay, guess we have to jump in on this thing, too: Kickstart the People's Firehouse. Brokelyn

- Romney can't even make up his own website. Buzzfeed

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

'No More Lies' Walmart Town Forum

When we were traveling this summer we got our hair cut at a Walmart in North Carolina. Haircuts were $8 apiece.

We told our mild-mannered hair-cutter that Walmart was trying to move into Brooklyn and she burst out, "Don't let them! They'll ruin your town like they did ours. They put everybody out of business." She went on to say that everybody in town wished the Walmart had never come in.

We were reminded of this today when we read on the Brooklyn Bureau that a "No More Lies" Town Forum is being held on September 20 from 6 - 7:30 p.m. to "expose Walmart’s broken promises: from poverty wages and workplace discrimination, to the devastation of local economies."

Workers, religious leaders and activists from across the country will be coming in to tell what happened to their towns.

The event takes place at the Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South (near West 4th Street) in Manhattan. More here.

- Report: NYC Could Become Walmart City
- Walmart : We Don't Need No Stinkin' Hearing in New York City

(Note: Before 2008, Walmart was spelled Wal-Mart.)

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Montelione vs. Genovesi: Pollsters Are Driving Us Nuts About the Brooklyn Judicial Race

No one ever calls us -- not only because we are such total losers, but who actually talks on telephones anymore? They're for texting! But our lives changed Sunday and now we're getting calls from our new friends every hour or so.

It started with a pollster who asked us to choose between Richard Montelione and Lara Genovesi for Brooklyn Civil Court Judge in Thursday's election.

If Genovesi is a strangely familiar name, that's because Lara Genovesi is the daughter of long-time Brooklyn political power-broker Anthony Genovesi. (Genovesi died in 1998.) Genovesi is the principal law clerk to Brooklyn’s supervising judge for matrimonial matters.

Richard Montelione, less familiar, is said to be an "experienced litigator," and has the backing of reform clubs like CBID, IND, LID and the New Kings Democrats.

- We told the pollster we didn't have an opinion yet.

Soon afterward Assemblywoman Joan Millman robocalled. Hi, Joan! (Joan gives out reading awards at our schools and takes care of the seniors in our neighborhood.) She  recommended Richard Montelione for Brooklyn Civil Court Judge.

+ Okay, then. If Joan likes Montelione, then we like Montelione.

But soon after that we read the New York Times. The Times said, "Both candidates are qualified, but Ms. Genovesi’s steady professional manner and reputation for fairness stand out." We will never forget the way the Times slobbered all over the Atlantic Yards Frank Gehry mess. Idiots! But still . . .

- Another pollster called, a live human. "George," we said, "Millman likes Montelione, but the Times likes Genovesi. We don't know who we're going to vote for yet." George (not his real name, probably) graciously replied that he was glad we were thinking about it.

Not 20 minutes later another pollster called. I told him just what I told George. Still thinking.

Then yesterday a co-worker said Genovesi spoke at his synagogue and convinced him to vote for her. "How can you vote for that other guy? Nydia Velázquez backs him," my coworker said.

+ We like Velazquez. We were back with Montelione.

As soon as we got in from work yesterday the phone rang. Didn't want to give away our hand yet, so we told them we had no opinion.

Then we read in Crain's that State Sen. Daniel Squadron endorsed Lara Genovesi.We read in Capitol NY that Chuck Schumer endorsed her.

+ We're okay with Squadron but his motives can be inscrutable, and Schumer's old mentor was her dad. What'd ya gonna do?  Still with Montelione.

Right in the middle of dinner another pollster called, this time a woman. "Do you know four other pollsters already called?" we explained (not counting robo-Joan). "We haven't made up our minds yet!"

Then we read in the NY Daily News that Vito Lopez' boy Frank Seddio is alleged to have given Genovesi, whom he has known since she was a child, an unfair advantage in getting her campaign material out by using insider information. Seddio denies this.

And, most importantly, Vito Lopez has endorsed Genovesi as well.

+++ BINGO! Now we know who to vote for!

Now that we have made a decision, nobody has called. Where is a pollster when you need one?

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Rat Wars in Brooklyn Continue

Photo: MK Metz
People, people, don't fight amongst yourselves! It's the rats who are our enemies!

According to the Brooklyn Eagle, rats are on the march again in Brooklyn and nothing short of putting your damn garbage into bullet-proof containers with airtight lids will stop them.

They're so prevalent even the Brooklyn Heights Association has entered the fray with a Rat Fact Sheet. (The rat above was frolicking near Brooklyn Borough Hall.)

The Eagle also provides a list of Brooklyn Zip codes with the highest and lowest rat counts . . .And it's not pretty.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Smorgasburg a Hit in DUMBO

The popular food festival Smorgasburg opened in DUMBO on Sunday and with the perfect weather and the brilliant Tobacco Warehouse setting, the crowd poured in.  (Smorgasburg still takes place in Williamsburg on Saturdays.)

Many of our favorite Williamsburg vendors -- like MiMi and CoCo's Teriyaki Balls, above -- set up their food tents in the DUMBO venue as well.

There was plenty to drink, from fancy lemonade to kombucha.

And plenty of food for carnivores . . .

Or vegetarians, like this "arepa" from Palenque.

Both locations are open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. More details at Brooklyn Flea

Past posts:
- Smorgasburg Opens in DUMBO Today
- Smorgasburg Coming to DUMBO On Sundays = 'Smorgumbo?'
- Good Eatin' at Smorgasburg in Williamsburg
- MiMi and CoCo's Teriyaki Balls Crazy Hit at Smorgasburg

Photos by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Forest City's Modular Tower; BBP Ped Walkway; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Forest City will construct a prototype modular tower this month and decide by Christmas on whether to build modular towers or conventional ones. Crain's NY (with revisions by Atlantic Yards Report)

- The perv who allegedly "placed his exposed penis" on a woman's hand on A train at Nostrand Avenue turned himself in. Gothamist 

- Latest photos of the pedestrian walkway, under construction, from Brooklyn Heights to Brooklyn Bridge Park. Brooklyn Eagle

- Five pythons, a boa constrictor, two alligators, two bearded dragons, a gecko, a scorpion, and a tarantula walked into an apartment in Brooklyn . . . NY Magazine

- A view of Barclays Center's interior that is not a rendering or a Photoshop image. NetsDaily

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Beautiful Day for Summer Space on Montague Street, Brooklyn Heights

Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights was closed to traffic Sunday and residents enjoyed music, activities, food samples and other fun stuff provided by local businesses for the first Summer Space of the season.

It was a lovely day to play the game of kings: Chess tables and demonstrations were provided by New York Chess & Games, courtesy of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

Other treats included fantastic opera performances by The Martha Cardona Theater (above), yoga and Zumba, and games for kids.

Etsy set up a craft table and put on several demonstrations.

The second Summer Space takes place September 23, and will include many of the above activities plus the Brooklyn Heights Dog Show.

Summer Space is presented by the Montague BID, with sponsors the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, the Brooklyn Bugle, and the Brooklyn Heights Association. More information here

Photos by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.