Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Brooklyn Bridge Park Revenue Meeting Tonight (Tuesday, Nov. 30)

All members of the public are encouraged to attend and testify on alternative sources of revenue that could finance the operations of Brooklyn Bridge Park in lieu of revenues from the Pier 6 and John Street development sites:

Tuesday, November 30, 6pm - 8pm
Long Island College Hospital, 339 Hicks Street
Avram Conference Center, 1st floor

Thursday, December 9, 6pm - 8pm
St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street,
Founders Hall Auditorium, 1st floor

According to the Cobble Hill Association, a recent proposal offered by community members to negotiate a deal with the Jehovah Witnesses to develop their soon-to-be-abandoned buildings close to the park, for the benefit of park financing is gaining traction. Other park funding models, including Senator Squadron's park increment recapture proposal (named the PIRC plan) also offer relief from the condos plan.

Draft courtesy of Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy 

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Gowanus Whole Foods Going Even Greener, Building Half-Acre Greenhouse

Now that Whole Foods Market is moving ahead with their first Brooklyn store at 3rd Avenue and 3rd Street, they've decided to go even greener and have made some dramatic changes to the original design.

According to the Brooklyn Eagle, these changes include:

- The number of onsite parking spaces has been reduced from 430 to 248.

- Parking for energy-efficient vehicles as well as specially designated recharging stations for electric powered vehicles will be provided.

- Bike parking in front of the store and along the 40-foot pedestrian promenade will be installed.

- The store will create a 20,000-square-foot rooftop greenhouse that will grow fresh, organic produce onsite.

20,000 square feet is almost half an acre -- pretty darn decent for a Brooklyn garden. If it is operated like the Whole Foods garden in Richmond, Virginia,the plot will supply fresh produce for prepared dishes and salad-bar options.

The enterprising man in the Google Street View image above is ready to roll. He's placed a shopping cart in the middle of the street and has another one ready to go on the sidewalk. Good fellow!

The striking building on the corner is the landmarked Coignet Stone Company Building, which isn't going anywhere. It is one of the earliest known concrete buildings in New York City, and possibly the country. More about it here.

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Bloomberg Has His Way with Cathie Black

Not much surprise here -- in spite of a "No" vote by his eight-member advisory board, state Education Commissioner David M. Steiner caved, giving Mayor Michael Bloomberg what he has been demanding: a waiver that would allow the tragically inexperienced Cathie Black to become chancellor of the nation's largest school system.

The legal out Steiner employed (which may not actually be legal) was Bloomberg's agreement to have an actual qualified educator serving with under Black, apparently whispering in her ear about all things educational. This qualified educator is Deputy Chancellor Shael Polakow-Suransky, who has experience running schools and has actual degrees and stuff.

Isn't that always the way? The guy with the real talent and experience ends up working as "assistant" to the boss's favorite.

Bloomberg says that Black, chairperson at Hearst Magazines (by the way, she seems like a nice person who somehow just got mixed up with the wrong people) doesn't need any experience in education because she's a talented manager.

Today a group of talented retired teachers are hoofing it over to Hearst Magazines in the hopes of snagging Black's job. Sounds fair.

Hey -- money saving idea! Why not cut out Black and just appoint Polakow-Suransky? We hear he's really qualified.

Stories about this: NY Times, NY1

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Brooklyn Speaks Files for Stay of Construction at Atlantic Yards

Brooklyn Speaks sent us this email, which reads in part:

On Wednesday, November 24, several BrooklynSpeaks sponsor organizations filed a motion with New York State Supreme Court seeking to halt construction activities at Forest City Ratner Company's Atlantic Yards site.

The motion comes after a November 9 decision from Justice Marcy Friedman finding that the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) lacked a rational basis for assuming that Atlantic Yards project would be completed in ten years when the agency approved the project’s 2009 Modified General Project Plan (MGPP).

“If nothing happens, FCRC will soon begin to raze buildings, grade and pave an entire city block in Prospect Heights to create 1,100 parking spaces for arena events,” said Gib Veconi of the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council. “Although they say it’s an ‘interim’ parking lot, under the MGPP, it could stay that way for up to 25 years. The State needs to disclose the noise, traffic, and air quality impacts of that likely scenario before moving forward.”

“The difference between 10 and 25 years is a long time to wait for affordable housing,” added Deb Howard, Executive Director of the Pratt Area Community Council.

“The Governor and the Governor-elect can no longer ignore the fact that a State authority, appointed by the executive, has misrepresented a major development project to the Court and to the people of New York State. The ESDC has abdicated its obligations to the public purse and the public interest. Now it’s time for the Governor to put the interests of the people above those of a powerful real estate developer and commit to reform of Atlantic Yards governance.”

More at Brooklyn Speaks.

Photo by Steve Soblick, Creative Commons license 

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Monday, November 29, 2010

LICH Property Back on the Market; Ellis G Sues the City; and More Brooklyn Briefs

Four former Long Island College Hospital (LICH) parcels in Cobble Hill are back on the market. Brooklyn Eagle 

- A Brooklyn girl with an affinity for working with meat. The L Magazine

- Brooklyn downtown preservation is overreach, foes say.  Crain's NY

- Brooklyn director's nonfiction film nominated for "Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You" at tonight's IFP Gotham Independent Film Awards. WSJ

- Artist Ellis Gallagher, who has been arrested three times by the NYPD for drawing on the sidewalk with chalk, is now suing the city for $1 million. Brooklyn Paper

- Make this while apples are piled a mile high at farmers markets: Beecher Apple Pie, from the Plymouth Fair Cook Book by Mrs. Henry Ward Beecher. Brooklynology

- Compromise, schmompromise: Many still oppose the appointment of Cathie Black as Schools Chancellor, even with her little helper. Brooklyn Eagle

- NYC guide to getting rid of your old crap.  Brokelyn 

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Sale at New Aeropostale in Downtown Brooklyn

Here's a fine how-de-do:  Everything is 50-70% off at Aeropostale. If you can't make it to the new store on Fulton Street in Downtown Brooklyn, you can get special bargains online today for Cyber Monday.

Photo by MK Metz

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Art in DUMBO: 'Other People's Lives' Opens Dec. 2

Christy Powers: Other People's Lives
Opening Reception
Thursday, December 2, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m .
Artist talk: Saturday, December 18, 3:00pm

At the Giacobetti Paul Gallery in Dumbo: 111 Front Street (on the second floor in Gallery #220) 
December 2, 2010 - January 2, 2011

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Shopping Deals and Discounts in Brooklyn Today

UPDATE: For 2012 deals and discounts, click here.

Snag yourself some post-Thanksgiving deals in Brooklyn this weekend. Let's start with Shop Brooklyn, a borough-wide "shop local" campaign highlighting Brooklyn's neighborhoods and stores and offering a variety of discounts.

Look for the "Shop Brooklyn" decal on participating store windows through Christmas and ask for your "Brooklyn Bonus" or check out ishopbrooklyn.com for more details on participating stores and savings.

For example, if you walk into Models on Fulton Street in Downtown Brooklyn, just ask for your Brooklyn Bonus and you'll get 10 percent off. 

On top of this, there are a few special Downtown Brooklyn deals for holiday shoppers this weekend. Note, some discounts are only given Saturday):

Head to the new AĆ©ropostale on Fulton Street and receive $10 off you purchase of $50 or more. Click on the image to download and print your coupon. Coupon is valid through 12/03/10 and redeemable only at Fulton Street. (AĆ©ropostale, 472-474 Fulton Street)

 Now through November 28, purchase almost any item and get a second item of equal or lesser value free at Lane Bryant. 380 Fulton Street, Downtown Brooklyn. (718) 855-8300

Macy's is having a big sale this weekend. The top coupon for ten dollars is only good through Saturday, November 27 so use it or lose it. The 15 percent off coupon below it is good till November 30.

In Brooklyn Heights (and elsewhere), Banana Republic is offering 25 percent off everything through Sunday.

Here's a Barnes & Noble coupon only good through Sunday.

Here's a page full of Barnes & Noble coupons for oddball books, only good this weekend.

In addition, Saturday, November 27 is Small Business Saturday. American Express is giving registered Cardmembers a $25 statement credit when they shop at small businesses today only. See here.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Public Meetings on Alternatives to Housing in Brooklyn Bridge Park

Community Board 6 sent us this reminder:
All members of the public are encouraged to attend and testify on alternative sources of revenue that could finance the operations of Brooklyn Bridge Park in lieu of revenues from the Pier 6 and John Street development sites:

Tuesday, November 30, 2010, 6pm - 8pm
Long Island College Hospital, 339 Hicks Street
Avram Conference Center, 1st floor

Thursday, December 9, 2010, 6pm - 8pm
St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street,
Founders Hall Auditorium, 1st floor

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Brooklyn Councilman Greenfield Launching TSA Abuse Web Site; Working to Ban Airport Scanners

Will Forward Reports of Sexual Abuse to Prosecutors' Offices

Brooklyn Councilman David G. Greenfield has scheduled a City Hall press conference for this afternoon (November 24th) to announce the launch of a web site where travelers can report inappropriate conduct by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents.

The website will also offer information to travelers about their rights, including the right to opt-out of full body scanning machines that produce a nude image of the traveler. (We've received a report that TSA agents at Kennedy were wrongly telling travelers yesterday that they do not have the right to opt out. This is blatantly false.)

Many security experts insist that these invasive scanners do not stop terrorists from bringing explosives onto planes. Last week, Councilman Greenfield announced legislation that would ban the use of full body scanners, more commonly known as "naked body scanners," in all of New York City – including John F. Kennedy International and LaGuardia.

“Unfortunately, travel delays won’t be the only headache for millions of Americans in the coming weeks," said Councilman Greenfield. "This holiday season, travelers will have to contend with egregious violations of their rights and a complete disregard for their dignity as they fly to visit with friends and family for the holidays. While I work with over a dozen of my colleagues in the City Council who are supporting my proposed ban of these naked body scanners in New York City, I hope that this website can serve as a resource for travelers and a warning for TSA agents that they will be held accountable for any misconduct.”

Any information collected on the website regarding allegations of sexual battery at New York’s airports will be forwarded to the local prosecuting office.

- TSA Harassment Video 
- Opt Out of Airport Scanners, TSA Groping  

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Pub Crawl to Benefit Brooklyn Women's Rugby Football

We got this notice from Brooklyn's very own women's rugby team, Brooklyn Women's Rugby Football Club:

In the mood to quench your thirst with some delicious beer?!

Of course you are, and who better to do that with than Brooklyn Women's Rugby!! We are holding our 1st Annual Winter Holiday "it's f*cking cold out so let's drink" Pub Crawl with stops at some fantastic bars along Smith Street, including The Brazen Head, Ceol, and more! We will start the crawl @ 3:30 p.m. December 4th at The Brazen Head (228 Atlantic Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11201).

Official Pub Crawl t-shirts will be sold for $12, which will entitle you to all of the drink specials offered at each bar. In going with the theme of the pub crawl, don't hesitate to wear some awesome Christmas/Hanukkah/Holiday attire. We will also be selling 50/50 raffle tickets so you can have a chance at actually TAKING AWAY some money at the end of the day! As this is our first effort at a pub crawl, your support is more appreciated than ever before.

Bring your A-game, your friends, and your hollow legs! 

**If you know you will be purchasing a pub crawl t-shirt and would like to secure a specific size in advance, please do not hesitate to contact Talia Fromm (President) directly at president@brooklynwomensrugby.org

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Squirrels Are Getting Ready for Winter Now

This squirrel (you can see it on the branch to the lower right) was running up and down to the nest (that big pile of leaves on top) with little pieces of soft tissue in its mouth.

On squirrels.org we read: "An adult squirrel normally lives alone. But will, in severe cold, share its nest with other squirrels to conserve body heat. Once the temperature rises, the guests will be on their way."

In HWW we read that squirrels have a litter in summer and also in late winter. "Although the squirrel prefers to build its nest in a cavity inside a tree, it is often forced to resort to a leaf nest because of the scarcity of suitable tree dens and the unhealthy conditions of these dens after they have been lived in for several months."

The newborn young are naked and blind and weigh about 15 g.

 Here's a photo of a baby squirrel from Wikipedia, uploaded by Babbage. Awww!

Top photo by MK Metz

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Monday, November 22, 2010

TSA Harassment Video Shows Lack of Real Security

Obviously most TSA agents are just trying to do their low-paid jobs to the best of their ability. Since the new scanning/ groping directives were put into place, TSA agents are stressed like never before.

But this video shows a terrifying lack of understanding on the part of Homeland Security about who may be a terrorist. Why are TSA agents making four-year-old crippled children take off their leg braces and crawl through the metal detector? Why are TSA agents abusing elderly couples flying to Florida for their 50th wedding anniversary.

The TSA apparently lacks any method of deciding who might be risky and who is not.

Meanwhile, according to The Mobility Matters Bulletin, Nov. 4, 2010, the US government "lacks a process to obtain data and analyze risks with respect to air cargo."  After we are all screened and finally seated, who knows what kind of cargo is being loaded into the belly of the plane?

- Opt Out of Airport Scanners, TSA Groping   

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A Visit to 'Unique Thrift Store' -- Three-Story Second-Hand Emporium on Fulton Street, Downtown Brooklyn

It looks small on the outside, but inside the Unique Thrift Store at 408 Fulton Street in Downtown Brooklyn lies a large expanse of used clothing, books, gifts, knick-knacks and jewelry. While the stuff may be second hand, the feel is more like a department store than a thrift shop. It's bright and well organized.

Some of the merchandise is kind of worn, but other stuff looks like the boxes were never opened. There are several jewelry counters with quite reasonable prices, like in the $3 - $10 range.There are about three sets of  fine china that look like an unbelievable steal, if you need fine china.

There are shelves full of Christmas decorations, 1990s-era electronics, pots and pans.

Men's and children's clothes are on one floor, women's on another. We saw dressing rooms, too.  Here and there are racks of obviously never worn uniform shirts, all one size. We found the rows of used shoes kind of scary. (The shoes in good shape are priced around $16, but others are worn out, about $3.50.) There are also used wedding dresses.

According to the Brooklyn Eagle, there are VIP member discount days if you want to sign up.

Photos by MK Metz

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Norris Mailer Dies; Panda Man Gets Punched; D Line Bedbugs; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Norris Church Mailer has died at home in Brooklyn Heights at the age of 61. NY Times 

- Have you seen a man in a panda costume getting punched and kicked in Brooklyn? Village Voice 

- Atlantic Avenue Tunnel doubles as a movie theater.  BHB

- Bikers wearing old tweed English cycling attire, bowler hats and pipes rode around Brooklyn en mass Saturday. Gothamist 

- The MTA had to fumigate a subway booth on the D line in Brooklyn after bedbugs were spotted. NY Post 

- John Dewey High School supporters fight to keep school open.  Brooklyn Eagle 

- Walmart's wooing the Reverend Sharpton.  Huff Post

- Cross Harbor Tunnel: Here we go again.  Queens Crap

All the Black Friday ads here now. Gizmodo

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Potter Party at Galapagos, Naked Body Scanners and More Brooklyn Briefs

- City Counsel members say: Ban naked body scanners. Gothamist 

- At Galapagos: Harry Potter pre-screening party, for grownups, sort of. DumboNYC

- The Times visits G. Esposito & Sons Jersey Pork Store in Carroll Gardens. NY Times

- A Malaysian citizen has been indicted in Brooklyn for hacking into U.S. Federal Reserve computers. ABC News

- Brooklyn's longest kindergarten waitlist.  The Brooklyn Ink 

-New York Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch warned that the entire Northeast is threatened by rapidly deteriorating New York City bridges and infrastructure.  Yahoo 

- Fox News commentators caught on camera mocking Sarah Palin's show. Huff Post

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Prospect Park Geese: 'Chasing Them Off with Border Collies Patrolling in Boats'

The New York Times reports that officials at Prospect Park are mulling ways to reduce the number of Canada geese without actually killing them.

Solutions so far range from coating goose eggs with oil, to forbidding the feeding of geese, or -- instant winner! -- "chasing them off with border collies patrolling from boats."

Where do we vote?
We would love to see intrepid and ever-vigilant border collies patrolling Prospect Park in boats.

We can picture it so many different ways.

This one is after the latest round of budget cuts. In this scenario, we can't afford to feed the dogs, but they get to eat the geese. Sorry.

But when they're all gone, we'll miss them.

Top photo courtesy of winslow-homer.com
Photo two courtesy of Used Sailboats for Sale
Photo three by grahamc99, Creative Commons license
Photo four by pheanix, Creative Commons license

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

'Treme' in Carroll Gardens, Top Condo Sales, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation gave its support for St. Ann's to develop the Tobacco Warehouse.  Brooklyn Eagle

- HBO's "Treme" filming in Carroll Gardens on Sunday.  PMFA

- Complicated chart shows who owns a mortgage.  Huff Post

- Tree branch falls, critically injuring woman in Midwood.  Gothamist

- Four developments in Brooklyn have top condo sales in the city. Brooklyn Eagle

- Henry Kissinger's bird is dead.  Brooklyn Paper  

- It's now legal to tour the city's prettiest subway station. Jalopnik via  Observer 

- SEC settles lawsuits  with Rattner (NOTE: Not Atlantic Yards Ratner) in connection with the New York state pension fund. Rattner will pay $6.2 million and accept a two-year ban.  Bloomberg

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Cathie Black's Appointment as NYC Schools Chancellor Gives Hope to Mid-Life Career Changers Everywhere

So three years ago this guy who works in Brooklyn, Sam (not his real name), decided that he wanted to change careers at the age of 50. He's worked in publishing for years, but thought he could better serve as a New York City teacher. So he enrolled in a night time Masters degree program and after many tests,  papers and hours of classroom observation, earned the necessary credentials -- right in time for the city's teacher hiring freeze.

After persistently trying and failing to get into a classroom this past September -- the freeze continues -- Sam gave up and kept his publishing job, pretty bummed out by the whole thing (and still paying for his degree).

But now, he has new hope. It seems that another mid-life career changer with years of experience in publishing is about to be hired at the New York City Department of Education. Cathie Black, 66, chairwoman of Hearst Magazines, was named by Mayor Bloomberg as the successor to Schools Chancellor Joel Klein last week.

Unlike Sam, Black has no Masters degree. She doesn't have the least bit of public school experience, either.

The appointment of Black should give mid-career changers everywhere hope:
Dream your dreams, and to hell with those pesky degrees. You can achieve anything -- it helps, however, if you know the Mayor.

*  *  *  *  *

Here are several places where you can read more about Ms. Black's appointment:  New York Times --  Huff Post -- Online Petition -- Brooklyn Eagle

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Squibb Footbridge; Tobacco Warehouse; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Squibb Playground / Brooklyn Bridge Park footbridge has been funded.  BHB

- Tobacco Warehouse plan to be chosen soon: it's down to two groups.  Brooklyn Eagle 

- Men in Black in Brooklyn! Brownstoner

- Video of bedbug taking a ride on the R train.  Gothamist

- The city will widen a pilot program that allows “pop-up” cafes in the parking lanes of streets. Brooklyn Paper

- A high school senior from Queens put together kits so iPhone fans could transform their phones to the color white -- and made more than $130,000 in the process. Fast Company

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Have Fun Crashing Asteroids Into The Earth

We used Purdue University's "Impact: Earth!" program to run various asteroid crash scenarios, to see what would happen if an object crashed into the Earth near Brooklyn.

This fun simulation lets you vary your inputs: size of asteroid, density of asteroid, degree of impact, speed of flight, distance (you are) from impact and what the asteroid crashes into.

We soon learned that a small asteroid -- say, 2 feet across -- wouldn't be especially exciting unless it hit you on the head. As it gets bigger, denser and faster, the effects become correspondlingly more dramatic.

We wanted to produce a tsunami, so we did a bit of research and found that there are trench-like depressions about a hundred miles from Sandy Hook, N.J., south of Brooklyn, where the water obtains the depth of 2,700 feet. This is very roughly 115 miles from Downtown Brooklyn. (Area circled below shows the trench in the ocean floor, courtesy of Google Maps. You can click on it to see it better.)

What Would Happen
 We decided to simulate what would happen if the Earth were hit by the Apophis Asteroid, which is supposed to pass close to the Earth sometime this century.

When we plugged in a dense rock the size of Apophis -- 270 meters (885 feet) across -- hitting the water at the trench at a 45 degree angle, traveling 72 km/sec., the program computed the effects we would feel in Downtown Brooklyn:

First: We would see a fireball that would appear to be almost 7 times as big as the sun. The projectile would break up while in flight.and hit the surface with an impact energy of 1.62 x 10^4 MegaTons. A water crater would temporarily form of almost 7 miles in diameter. In the seafloor, a crater of roughly 2 miles in diameter would form.

Then: The major seismic shaking would arrive approximately 37 seconds after impact. Its magnitude on the Richter Scale: 6.3. Dishes, windows, doors would be disturbed; walls would make cracking sounds. Sensation: it would feel like a heavy truck striking the building. Standing cars would rock noticeably.

In 3 1/2 minutes, fine dust and a few bits would shower down in Brooklyn.

The air blast would arrive approximately 9.35 minutes after impact. Max wind velocity: 70.4 mph. Sound intensity: 83 dB (Loud as heavy traffic) Glass windows would shatter.

The impact-generated tsunami wave would arrive approximately 34.7 minutes after impact. Tsunami wave amplitude could be anywhere between 2 and 152 feet. This is a big difference -- but can't be predicted with accuracy because the program doesn't know the actual conditions (the slope of the shore line, the presence of sand bars, etc.).

If we make the asteroid denser (made out of iron) the effects are worse. The airblast will damage roofs, windows will shatter. The tsunami will be deeper.

Have Fun
Have fun playing Impact: Earth! yourself. You can make asteroids of all sizes and densities, traveling different speeds and hitting at different angles. (If we have the Apopsis Asteroid hit at 0 degrees, for example, there's no tsunami at all.)

Top illustration courtesy of Impact: Earth!

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

LENNONYC -- P.S. 29 Benefit Preview Tonight (Tuesday, Nov. 16) at Cobble Hill Cinemas

 This special P.S. 29 benefit should be a blowout: LENNONYC, featuring a talkback with film director/writer/producer Michael Epstein. Followed by a reception and all kinds of good stuff.

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Opt Out of Airport Scanners, TSA Groping

Which will you chose when you travel this holiday season -- a virtual strip search where your privates will be flashed on a screen in some back room (maybe getting a dose of radiation from backscatter-type x-ray machines), or an "enhanced pat down," where a low-paid, unscreened TSA agent grabs your junk?

While you're getting felt up, other TSA employees might be stealing your unattended cell phone or expensive watch, off in a tray out of your sight.

We understand the need for security while traveling and will submit to all reasonable requests, bomb-sniffing dogs, suitcase searches, delays. We don't want to be on a plane with someone who has a bomb.

But now, we don't want to be on a plane at all. Our dignity is being shredded, our privacy lost -- and our damn phone was stolen by TSA agents.

The same ones who will be feeling you up next time you fly.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010, is National Opt Out Day.

As explained by optoutday.com: It's the day ordinary citizens stand up for their rights, stand up for liberty, and protest the federal government's desire to virtually strip us naked or submit to an "enhanced pat down" that touches people's breasts and genitals in an aggressive manner. You should never have to explain to your children, "Remember that no stranger can touch or see your private area, unless it's a government employee, then it's OK."

For more information, here's an excellent article by the non-profit Rutherford Institute.

 Photo from dontscan.us/John Wild/johnwild.info 

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Monday, November 15, 2010

P.S. 8 Night to Celebrate Reading Tonight (Monday, Nov. 15) at Galapagos, DUMBO

P.S. 8 in Brooklyn Heights presents its second annual Night to Celebrate Reading tonight --  Monday, November 15, from 7-10 p.m. It promises to be a special evening of champagne and treats, (cash bar after) with a great line-up of New York’s literary luminaries.

The event takes place at Galapagos Art Space, 16 Main Street in DUMBO. (Cash or checks only for donation and book purchases.)

Participating authors include: Stacy Morrison, Falling Apart in One Piece; former editor-in-chief of Redbook, Lynn Harris, Death by Chick Lit; Miss Media; Matthew Sharpe, You Were Wrong; Jamestown; Paul ZeLinsky, Dust Devil, Rapunzel (Caldecott Winner); Phoebe Potts, Good Eggs and many more.

See Brooklyn Eagle for more details.

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Erasmus Heart Attack Broadcast on PA; Subway Artists Arrested; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Shocked spectators at the Erasmus Hall High School football game Saturday heard -- over the PA system -- the athletic director brought back to life after a heart attack. NY Post

- You ever wonder what happened to those little pumpkins you put on your stoop?  WYDNKBYANM

- 200 Smith Street -- now you see it, now you don't.  PMFA

- Police arrest 20 for entering abandoned Brooklyn subway tunnel with intent to commit art. TheBrooklynInk

- A Brooklyn slumlord who owes the city thousands of dollars is collecting millions by leasing space to the government. NY Daily News

- Jewish attack on lady trying to help out chickens?  Gothamist 

- The maker of the caffeinated alcoholic drink Four Loco has agreed to stop shipments to New York state. Huff Post

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Sleepy's Montague Street Addition 'Boring' Because of Crane -- Brooklyn Heights

 The three additional floors being built on top of Sleepy's at 116 Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights (Brownstoner has a rendering) are going to be "boring" because of the need for a crane -- a great, big crane, not the puny tinker toy seen in the photo above.

The architect told the Brooklyn Eagle in June that originally the added floors were going to be comprised of "jazzy" steel and concrete prefabricated modules. What is being constructed instead is a “more typical and boring” three-story addition because of the need to "bring a crane to Montague Street to install the modules coinciding with last year’s problems with cranes and crane operators citywide."

“What killed it was the insurance for the crane,” he said.  More at the Eagle.

Photo by MK Metz

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Henry Street, Brooklyn Heights

 Scene of enduring sadness: a memorial to a student who fell from an eight-story dorm window last week at the St. George Hotel in Brooklyn Heights.

Story here and here.
Photo by MK Metz

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Has Brooklyn Lost Its Bling?

 The price of gold is pretty high lately-- about $1,367 an ounce as of close on Friday. So you would think that jewelers and pawn shops in Downtown Brooklyn would be buying used jewelry like crazy.

According to TheBrooklynInk, however, the local market for bling is frozen. Up and down Fulton Street the “Cash 4 Gold” guys are getting desperate.

“There’s nothing left to buy,” Albert Mandaby at Contessa Jewelers told TBI. He says that anyone who needed to pawn jewelry has already done so. “They’ve sold everything,” he says.

More here

Photo by Covilha, Creative Commons license

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

'Theater of the Absurd,' at Saint Ann's School, Brooklyn Heights

Ever walk by the window gallery at Saint Ann's School on Pierrepont Street in Brooklyn Heights? This month you'll see dozens of colorful 3D depictions representing "Theatre of the Absurd" and "The Five Senses."

The works consist of eyeballs, noses, etc. on sticks in front of colorful backdrops. They were created by 4th and 5th graders and M. Gingras, teacher.

The art in the window gallery is always kind of cool. Here are some more pieces created by Gingas' students.

Photos by MK Metz

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Getting Naked at Brooklyn Law School; Veterans Pissed; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Friday's fire at 17th Street and 5th Ave. in Brooklyn: details from commenters.  Brownstoner

- Half-naked Diesel models in Brooklyn Law School library "shocks" BLS.  Brooklyn Eagle

- Veterans pissed at condition of Brooklyn's WWII War Memorial.  Brooklyn Paper

- NYU adjunct professors are about to go on strike. What about Polytechnic adjunct professors, whose salaries remain shrouded in mystery?  NYUNews and  Poverty in America

- Who knew that electing cretins as governors in other states might be a boon to NY's rail infrastructure? Brooklyn Streets, Carroll Gardens

- For real? McCarren Park wins "Best Park in America" contest.  Brooklyn Eagle

- Why Facebook probably isn't launching an email service.  Fast Company 

- Why Facebook probably IS launching an email service.  Gizmoto 

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Catching Up with Love Lane Mews, Brooklyn Heights

Love Lane Mews is still behind schedule but workers can be seen scurrying about the residential development at Love Lane and College Place in Brooklyn Heights, shown above. The five adjoining buildings on the west side of College Place used to be the the Love Lane Parking Garage. (Photo here.)

In addition, the condo information center, shown here, has opened on Montague Street. Commentors on the Brownstoner blog say that two bedrooms at the block-long project will be going for $1.4 million, with parking spaces for $250,000.

According to the Brooklyn Eagle, one reason complications arose was because the five adjoining buildings have different levels. All the levels have to match at the cellar level that will be common to all the buildings. In addition, they are all made from different materials.

We saw workmen inside the  roofless structure on the east side of College Place as well.

Here's what Love Lane Mews is supposed to look like when it's finished, from their web site.

Top two photos by MK Metz

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There Will Be a Few Subway Changes This Weekend

It took six posters (at the St. George subway station in Brooklyn Heights) to list all the subway changes happening this week and coming this weekend.

If you need to take the subway somewhere, go to the MTA's Service Advisory page and plug in the line you want to take to get the latest information.

Photo by MK Metz

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Almost Holiday Craft Fair Time in Brooklyn: Brooklyn Friends School Winter Festival

Here's one of our favorites, a huge all-school event, and great fun for kids:
 Brooklyn Friends School will be having their Winter Festival on Saturday, December 4.

Get a jump on holiday shopping and have a blast with your children at this Downtown Brooklyn school's 31st annual holiday extravaganza. Festivities include an "all by hand" craft fair with 45 local artisans; holiday plant and wreath sale; book fair, children's carnival with bouncy rides, mazes, and games; a children's craft activity center; and readings by local children's book authors, headlined by Tad Hills of "Duck and Goose" fame.

Spend the day: Saturday, December 4, 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Brooklyn Friends School is located at 375 Pearl Street, Brooklyn (one block from Borough Hall and the Marriott Hotel).718-852-1029 www.brooklynfriends.org/winterfestival

Free admission, although tickets at a nominal cost will be sold to the Children's Carnival and Craft Center. Proceeds benefit the Horizons at Brooklyn Friends School summer enrichment program for public school children in Downtown Brooklyn.

Photo by Taylor (Zach) Klein, Creative Commons license

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'Too Big to Park' in Brooklyn Heights, Downtown Brooklyn: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday

It's a BIG film with a BIG cast and it's gonna cause BIG parking problems in Brooklyn Heights around Borough Hall from today through Sunday.

Trucks and production equipment for HBO's "Too Big to Fail" will be taking over Court and Remsen Streets near Borough Hall today and Friday; Court, Montague and Joralemon Streets near Borough Hall Saturday; and Joralemon Street from Adams to Court on Sunday.

Expect lots of stars: William Hurt, James Woods, Billy Crudup (playing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithne), Paul Giamatti (playing Fed chairman Ben Bernanke), Cynthia Nixon, Tony Shalhoub, and many more. (Ed Asner's playing Warren Buffet!) Curtis Hanson is directing.

The film is an adaptation of New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin’s “Too Big To Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System – and Themselves.”

 Click on photo to read the parking details.

Want to be in the film? TBTF is looking for extras. They are seeking: "men and women business types with upscale navy, gray or brown conservative business suits; men, early 20s to late 30s, who can play squash."  

Photos by MK Metz

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Atlantic Yards Review Ordered, Brooklyn's 'Scariest Bar,' and More Brooklyn Briefs

- A state judge ordered the Empire State Development Corp. to revisit its environmental review for Brooklyn’s Atlantic Yards project. NY Post

- The Willowtown Association to present the "Alfred" Awards.  BHB

- Did you know you shouldn't try to rinse mace out of your eyes with water? Especially in a Duane Reade?  Brooklyn Eagle

- People don't want to eat in C-grade restaurants.  Gothamist 

- Brooklyn's "Scariest Bar" is no more.  Grub Street

- Growing Threat: Healthy woman takes antibiotics for minor dental problem, dies days later from super bug.  Brooklyn Eagle 

- The woman who fell through a crack in the sidewalk. NY Magazine 

- One of our favorite old buildings, the historic Jay Street firehouse, is finally going to be renovated.  Brownstoner

- The art of the Facebook Super Log-Off. NY Magazine

- Have you seen this missing Brooklyn teen? He was last seen on Adams Street near Tillary.  Village Voice

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tragic St. George Fall, Marathon Time Lapse Video, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- More about the tragic fall of a Brooklyn College student from the St. George dormitories in Brooklyn Heights. Brooklyn Eagle

- Fort Greene people only want to sleep. The Local

- The brick facade of 200 7th Avenue will soon be getting some new "drips," the hanging artwork that building owner has been affixing to the facade for the past 20 years. Here's Park Slope

- Inexpensive ways to learn office technology 101. Brokelyn

- The MTA has posted a cool time-lapse video of the Marathon.  Gothamist

- Hard-working Brooklyn woman runs her 25th consecutive NYC Marathon, emailing her boss during the race.  Brooklyn Eagle 

- Here's how to spot a BPA-free store receipt.  Fast Company

- Pistols and Popcorn is stepping out to have her twins today.  P&P 

- Free home buyer financial night tonight in Bed-Stuy.  Bed-Stuy Blog  

- The L Magazine has posted a slide show of Ruby's Last Hurrah, about the Coney Island eatery's last day.

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4,500 Chasidic Men Dance on Brooklyn's Pier 12

A warehouse at Brooklyn’s Pier 12 (at the Cruise Terminal) erupted in dance Sunday night as approximately 4,500 men got on their feet, locked arms, and circled around the giant room to the rhythmic chords of traditional Chasidic melodies, according to Chabad.org

See a cool 360 degree view of the banquet at Crown Heights Info.

Also on Sunday, 4,000 rabbis assembled for group photos. Here

Here's a video of the photo session.

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Tonight: Galapagos Futurist (and Kite Flying!) Society Presents Dr. Despommier

Galapagos Art Space announces that Galapagos Art Space Futurist (and Kite Flying!) Society has landed the esteemed Futurist Dr. Dickson Despommier to talk about the future of urban Vertical Farming. Galapagos tentatively believes it is possible that Dr. Despommier is also an avid constructor of kites.

There will also be a Trapeze Artist.

This is the first meeting of the Society.


Galapagos Art Space, 16 Main Street, Brooklyn

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Monday, November 8, 2010

CB6 Comments On New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan

Brooklyn Community Board 6 has just uploaded comments prepared in response to the Department of City Planning's Vision 2020: New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan Draft Recommendations issued on September 7, 2010.

The document is available as a download on CB6's Economic/Waterfront/Community Development & Housing committee's homepage, at the following link: http://bit.ly/Vision2020comments

Anyone is free to comment on the City's draft recommendations before November 12, 2010. More information is available on the City's website at: http://www.nyc.gov/waterfront

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'Blue Bloods' in DUMBO, Sex Extortion Plot, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Filming in Dumbo today: "Blue Bloods," a drama about a “multigenerational family dedicated to the NYC law enforcement.” Starring Tom Selleck and others.  Dumbo NYC

- You don't have to be in the marathon to walk the route and take pictures of the spectators.  PMFA

- Report claims that a student at the Hotel St. George dorm died after falling from a window, possible after using "magic mushrooms." BHB

- A sex extortion plot was foiled -- by a pederast's son.  Brooklyn Eagle 

- Mayor Bloomberg's daughter falls from a horse, suffers concussion and cracked spine. NY Magazine 

- Woman solves "Wheel of Fortune" puzzle with just one letter.  Huff Post

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Plymouth Church Yankee Fair, 2010

It didn't rain after all this past Saturday, so lots of kids and their grownups headed to the Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims' Yankee Fair in Brooklyn Heights.

Much of the action took place on Orange Street, right outside the church. Pony rides!

The inflatable castles were quite popular.

Kids took off their shoes before jumping in.

Wish they had one of these for the grownups.

Inside the church buildings there were all kinds of things for sale -- clothing, antiques, jewelry and books -- and chili, sandwiches and lots of baked goods for lunch. The kids enjoyed entertainers like Liam the Magician and Gina Sing, and the adults heard Will Erat belting out Broadway tunes and soprano Alexis Lum and mezzo Caitlin Burke sing beautiful opera together.

A Viking was selling raffle tickets.

Photos by MK Metz

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Some Trader Joe's Salad Dressings Contaminated with Salmonella

Make sure you don't eat Trader Joe's Cilantro Dressing with a sell-by date of Feb. 9, 2011, or Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette with a sell-by date of Jan. 9, 2011.

The cilantro ingredient is contaminated with salmonella.

Other products sold in different states are also contaminated.  More information here.

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Fire at 191 Sands Street, Brooklyn

A fire broke out in the 4th floor compactor room of 191 Sands Street near Gold Street (near the Brooklyn Navy Yard) about 20 minutes ago, sending thick black smoke out over Downtown Brooklyn. Multiple Fire Department engines showed up within minutes; they got the fire under control by 11:38 p.m.

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Friday, November 5, 2010

Now We Can Use Any 'Cooks Source' Recipes for Free?

What fun! After plagiarizing a blogger's work without telling her and without compensation, Cooks Source editor Judith Griggs sent an absolutely ignorant and degrading letter to the blogger, Monica Gaudio, after she complained about be ripped off. Griggs told her that the entire web is "public domain," that her draft of the story sucked and she should be thankful to have an edited clip, and that Gaudio should pay her for all the editing work she did. (See NY Magazine.)

When Gaudio explained her dilemma online, a mighty Internet firestorm broke out, with people writing their thoughtful expressions of disagreement on Cooks Source Facebook page.

But something good comes of this. Now it occurs to us that we can finally start that cooking section we've always thought about but never had time to put together. Yay! Public domain recipes! Free for life! We thank Cooks Source for educating us about the entire web being public domain, and intend to make good use of this new source of cooking facts and recipes.


UPDATE: Cooks Source throws in the towel. They apologized to Ms. Gaudio --  but they also blame nameless "hackers" out there for their troubles.

UPDATE: More trouble for Cooks Source: it appears they have illegally plagiarized hundreds of articles. And here.
Photo by clevercupcake, Creative Commons license.

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We Got Us a Verizon Powertrusion Right Here in Brooklyn Heights

It's a Verizon Powertrusion, all right. A Class 5, 25-foot model.

It showed up on Cranberry Street the other day, all 229 pounds of it.

 They cemented the dang thing into the sidewalk right next to the playground.

Yes sir, a real Verizon Powertrusion. Who knows what the heck is coming to Brooklyn Heights next?

UPDATE: See what happened to it two years later!

Photos by MK Metz

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