Friday, July 29, 2011

Behind the Green Door, In DUMBO

A green door with the words "Unlock Me" and "Find the Green Box" has suddenly recently appeared attached to Saint Ann's Warehouse at Dock and Water streets in DUMBO.

You can open it and learn what is hidden inside.

It has to do with art.

If you really can't wait to look inside you can learn more here.

Photo by MK Metz

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Eeek! Needle-Toothed Snorgal Spotted in Cadman Plaza Park, Brooklyn

It was last seen running towards the bust of William Jay Gaynor. No one was hurt.

Photo by MK Metz

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Don't Swim at Sea Gate Beach Yet; Landlords Busted; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Starting Thursday, Sea Gate Beach in Brooklyn will no longer be closed, but city health officials warn the beach is still probably filthy. NY1

- Flatbush hospital buildings to become affordable housing. TRD

- In the race for Weiner's seat, ex-Mayor Koch endorses Turner as being more pro-Israel than Weprin, who happens to be an Orthodox Jew with family in Israel. Sheepshead Bites

- The awfulness of Brooklyn Trend Stories. Gawker

- Three landlords of two disastrous residential buildings in Flatbush have been arrested. Brooklyn Eagle

- The never-ending Simon and Chana Taub divorce saga took another twist when Soya Radin, a friend of Chana's, was evicted from the Borough Park apartment she rented from the Taubs. TRD

- Something to think about before you rent your apartment to someone using Airbnb. Gawker

- The Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission voted to ban wells for the disposal of natural gas drilling fluids from a region where hundreds of earthquakes have struck, a move officials said was necessary to prevent a potential catastrophe. Huff Post

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Catholic Bishops to House of Representatives: What Would Jesus Do?

The nation's Roman Catholic bishops are urging the GOP-led House to remember how Christian they all said they were back when they were running for office.

"A just framework for future budgets cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor persons," wrote Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton, Calif., and Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany, N.Y., reports Huffington Post.

The "What Would Jesus Do?" approach has been rejected by the overwhelmingly Christian House, including Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Budget Committee Chair Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., both of whom are "devout" Catholics.

In May, dozens of Roman Catholic priests, nuns, theologians, and social justice leaders signed an open letter to Boehner accusing him of supporting budget cuts to the poor that go against Catholic teachings, according to the Christian Post.

“Your record in support of legislation to address the desperate needs of the poor is among the worst in Congress,” the Catholic leaders charged. “The fundamental concern should have great urgency for Catholic policy makers. Yet, even now, you work in opposition to it.”

Actual religious people, as opposed to the politically religious, take issue with the 2012 budget proposal that would cut Maternal and Child Health grants, the Women and Infants and Children Nutrition program, food stamps, Medicaid and Medicare.

Boehner said, “I believe the actions that I’ve taken in my years in Congress uphold the values of my faith.”

Photo by Brainware 3000, Creative Commons license

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Rezoning Brooklyn Navy Yard and 4th Avenue: Public Hearing Wednesday, July 27

Proposed Admiral's Row Plaza project, Brooklyn Navy Yard

The Office of the Brooklyn Borough President sent us a notice of a Uniform Land Use Review Procedure Public Hearing to be held this Wednesday, July 27 at 6 p.m. in the Borough President’s Court Room, Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn, New York 11201.

The first item on the agenda concerns a zoning map amendment to Admiral's Row at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, along with property acquisition there and property disposition. The goal is 153,000 square feet of retail development, including a 74,000 square foot supermarket, and 127,000 square feet of industrial space. (Entire environmental impact statement here.) Brownstoner discusses project details aired at the recent CB2 meeting.

The second item concerns a zoning amendment of the 4th Avenue Enhanced Commercial District. This would facilitate ground floor retail use along Fourth Avenue for new developments. (More details here.)

More information about this hearing can be found on Page 1 of the City Record (pdf)

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More On Closing and Lawsuit at Fortune House Chinese Restaurant

Brooklyn Heights residents are going into serious Chinese food withdrawal as the locally-popular Fortune House Chinese restaurant stays mysteriously closed. McBrooklyn first reported on Fortune House's closing -- and legal troubles -- Monday.

The Brooklyn Eagle has looked into the extended closing and examines whether a pending federal lawsuit is contributing to the delay.

The Eagle reports that three employees -- Manuel Chiqui, Angel Miranda-Alvarado and Eddie Miranda-Vasquez -- are claiming almost $150,000 in damages, allegedly for unpaid minimum wages and unpaid overtime compensation.

But the lawsuit may have nothing to do with the extended closing of the restaurant. A friend of the restaurant's owner told the Eagle, “They trying to remodel and renovate the outside. What’s good is that it opening again soon.”

(We've also learned that Fortune House's actual name is "Golden Nut Restaurant." )

Another UPDATE here.

- Fortune House Sued in Federal Court Brooklyn Eagle

- Legal Troubles at Fortune House Chinese Restaurant in Brooklyn Heights? McBrooklyn

Photo by MK Metz

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Yarrgh! Maritime Bacchanal and Pirates Festival in Red Hook Saturday, July 30

Ahoy, mateys! Dos the word "bacchanal" shiver yer timbers? And have ye always wanted to run away to Pirate Camp?

Then get yerself to IKEA/Erie Basin Park in Red Hook this Saturday from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. for the mother of all Maritime Bacchanal and Pirates Festivals. And bring yer sniveling bilge brats, too.

What be happening: Pirate Theatre for Kids, Pirate Sea Shanteys, Piratory, Pirate reenactments, flintlock demos, Interactive Pirate Camp, Visiting Pirate Ship, Ocean Explorers, Maritime Career Opportunity, Pirates Ecocruise, Live Afro Beat Music on a theme design stage, Pirate Costume Contest, Vendors, Refreshments, Prizes and more. More here.

Presented by UDEC Enviromedia Mobile - the Amazing Traveling Maritime and Nature Museum on wheels at IKEA/Erie Basin Park, in Red Hook Brooklyn.

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Deidra Towns' Mystery Non-Profit; Banned Work at Museum; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- As she runs for the Brooklyn Assembly seat previously held by her brother, Deidra Towns is touting her work as executive director of a mysterious non-profit -- which has never registered or filed an annual statement and which doesn't appear to actually exist. Brooklyn Politics

- A construction worker was in serious condition Monday after he fell into a deep pit at the Gowanus Canal Flushing Tunnel at Columbia and Degraw Streets. NY Times

- The Historic Districts Council is sponsoring a tour of three of Clinton Hill’s most opulent structures on Wednesday. Brownstoner

- Banned work by gay artist among upcoming Brooklyn Museum exhibits. Brooklyn Eagle

- In 2006, New York Civil Liberties Union staffers counted 8,000 surveillance cameras in lower Manhattan. NY Daily News Now the cameras are proliferating in Fort Greene and at Atlantic Yards. WPIX

- Is Bubby's in Tribeca stinking up the neighborhood? Gothamist

- That stupid Capote quote on the signs recently stuck around Downtown Brooklyn and Brooklyn Heights bothers other people, too. Gothamist

- Millions of gallons of sewage spill into New York City's waterways every time it rains a half an inch. NY Magazine

- The weird and creepy side of Facebook's new office. Gawker

- Top U.S. cyber official resigns abruptly. Politico

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'Fake It So Real' with Live Wrestling at Rooftop Films Thursday, July 28, Brooklyn

Thursday, July 28 is the New York Premiere of Robert Greene’s Fake It So Real at Rooftop Films. The movie will be followed by a live "wrestling battle royale" featuring wrestlers from the film.

Fake It So Real follows a ragtag group of pro indie wrestlers in North Carolina, exploring what happens when the over-the-top theatrics of the wrestling ring collide with the realities of the working-class South. Filmmaker Robert Greene and the wrestlers will do a Q&A after the film.

Where: Outdoors in the backyard at Crown Vic, 60 South 2nd St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

7:30 PM Doors Open
8:00 PM Live Music
8:30 PM Film Begins
10:00 PM Q&A with filmmaker Robert Greene and subjects of the film
10:30 PM Live Wrestling Battle Royale, featuring subjects from the film
11:00 PM After-party at the Crown Vic

Also at Rooftop Films this week: Friday is the opening night of the popular Animation Block Party, and Saturday is the Kill Screen Video Game Festival, a night of intellectual and artistic exploration of the question “Why do we play video games?” through short films and live independent video game play.

Subway: Take the L to Bedford, the G to Metropolitan, or the M to Marcy. The venue is located at the corner of South 2nd and Wythe.

Photo courtesy of Rooftop Films

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This Thursday's Film at Brooklyn Bridge Park: 'Basquiat'

Basquiat by Julian Schnabel [rated R] is the featured film at this Thursday's "Syfy Movies With A View" at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Basquiat tells the story of the "meteoric" rise of youthful artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. (More at IMDb.)

Short: Susie's Ghost by Bill Brand, curated by BAMcinématek; DJ David Last from Brooklyn Radio. Bike parking provided by Transportation Alternatives, sponsored by Bike and Roll. After the movie, join the Conservancy Junior Committee for "happy hour" at Superfine.

Presenting sponsor: Syfy

Thursday, July 28, 6 - 11 p.m.. Music at 6, movie at sunset. Pier 1, Harbor View Lawn

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You Can Put Your Own Program On BCAT TV

Interested in getting a time slot on BCAT TV Network? Want free access to professional studio and field production equipment? Or, are you looking for a course to take this summer that will add to your skill set?

Then come to the free orientation on Saturday, August 6 at 11:00 a.m. at BCAT's new interim location at 242 3rd Street. You'll learn about the opportunities available at BCAT's Brooklyn Center for Media Education and review the requirements necessary to air a program on BCAT TV Network.

No reservations necessary. Seats available on a first-come, first-serve basis and it’s free. For more information visit

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Lots of Happy Gay Newlyweds at Brooklyn Borough Hall

There were cheers, tears and double doses of happiness as BP Marty Markowitz opened Brooklyn Borough Hall for Sunday's first day of legal gay marriages -- and even threw in champagne and wedding cake.

Stacey Minondo and Barbara Tremblay were the first to exchange vows in a moving ceremony inside Borough Hall.

A small but enthusiastic crowd cheered every time a couple came from the Municipal Building clutching a marriage license.

Council Speak Christine Quinn arrived to hugs and applause.

Some couples came out holding their marriage certificates triumphantly, others snuck out shyly. Some came by themselves and others brought bands of supporters wearing matching T-shirts. But everyone was smiling and good vibes were in the air.

Photos by MK Metz

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Legal Troubles at Fortune House Chinese Restaurant in Brooklyn Heights?

Fortune House Chinese restaurant at 82 Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights has been closed for several weeks and habitual customers are getting restless.

"There was a sign saying they'd be reopening the 18th," said one woman, a regular. "Here it is the 24th. There's a new sign now," she added. "It says they're renovating."

Legal Troubles?

Can legal troubles be behind the delay? Fortune House's actual name is "Golden Nut Restaurant."

The restaurant is being sued by three employees -- Manuel Chiqui, Angel Miranda-Alvarado and Eddie Miranda-Vasquez -- in a case related to the Fair Labor Standards Act. The Act covers issues like minimum wage ($7.25), overtime pay, record-keeping, and youth employment standards.

The case was filed July 8 in New York Eastern District Court.

See UPDATE here.

Photo by MK Metz

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Thousands Still Without Power; Brooklyn, Queens Hardest Hit; Con Ed Distributing Dry Ice

Con Edison crews pressed on today through the third day of the heat wave, restoring approximately 58,200 customers out of 68,000 who had lost electric service since Thursday. As of 5 p.m. today, crews were working to restore approximately 9,800 customers (each customer = one meter, which could be a house or an entire apartment building) without power.

Roughly 2,500 Brooklyn customers were without power at 7:30 p.m. Saturday; 5,800 Queens customers were out.

The company also posted a new peak electric usage record for a Saturday. Today’s peak reached 11,533 megawatts (MW) at 3 p.m., breaking the previous weekend-high mark 11,209 MW set on Saturday, July 24, 2010 at 5 p.m.

While Con Edison crews work to restore electrical power to those affected by scattered outages during the third day of the heat wave, the company is distributing dry ice to customers from two locations in Brooklyn and Queens.

Bags of ice are being distributed at:

Sheepshead Bay High School, at 3000 Avenue X in Brooklyn and,
Richmond Hill High School, at 89-30 114th Street in Queens.

Customer Service vans will be staffed at these locations tonight until 9 p.m., and tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., unless the emergency is scaled down earlier.

For residents picking up dry ice, instructions for safe handling and disposal are printed on the paper bag containing the ice. Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide and should be used only in well-ventilated areas. Keep children and pets safely away.

Photo by MK Metz

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Blackouts, Brownouts Across Brooklyn UPDATED for Saturday, July 23

Thousands of Brooklynites are in the dark and without air conditioning Friday night/ Saturday morning as power outages spread across Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. In the Con Edison map above from 1 a.m. Saturday, the clustered triangles represent multiple power outages.

On top of the outages, Saturday at noon Con Ed issued an update of the areas in New York City where voltage is being reduced due to problems on electrical equipment.

The following neighborhoods are experiencing brownouts:

In Brooklyn and Queens: Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, Midwood, Flatbush and East Flatbush, Williamsburg, Bedford Stuyvesant, Bushwick. Ocean Hill, Brownsville, Flatbush, and Prospect Heights, Corona, Elmhurst, Fresh Meadows, Jamaica Estates, Oakland Gardens, Hollis Hills, Hillcrest, Broad Channel, Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Richmond Hill, Woodhaven, Kew Gardens, and Kew Gardens Hills.

In Staten Island: New Brighton, St. George, Tompkinsville, Brighton Heights, Ward Hill, Stapleton, Grymes Hill, Clifton, Silver Lake, Rosebank, Ft. Wadsworth, Grasmere, Concord, Arrochar, South Beach, Ocean Breeze, Midland Beach, Grant City, New Dorp, and Dongan Hills.

In Manhattan: Central and East Harlem.

In Westchester County: parts of Yonkers, Dobbs Ferry, Hastings-on-Hudson and Greenburgh. Also Peekskill, Buchanan, Verplank, Croton-on-Hudson, Cortlandt, and parts of Ossining, Yorktown, and Briarcliff Manor. Also Mt. Vernon, parts of Bronxville, New Rochelle, North Pelham, Pelham, and Pelham Manor.

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Electrical Explosion On Henry Street, Brooklyn Heights Thursday Night

An underground high-voltage electrical feeder exploded at roughly 7:15 p.m. last night, in front of 60 Henry Street just off Cranberry Street in Brooklyn Heights. There was a huge blast witnesses said, and smoke shot up through a grate in the street.

FDNY responded immediately (the firehouse is one block away) and blocked the grate off with caution tape.

Bits of black stuff had blown out of the grate, which remained smoking.

Firemen went into the surrounding businesses and asked them about their wiring.

Con Ed showed up after about 20 minutes and took over the situation. A crew worked on the problem through the night.

Scattered power outages took place all night, including a manhole explosion after midnight on Hicks Street in Brooklyn Heights which took out an entire block. More on these outages here.

Photos by MK Metz

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Power Outages Scattered Over Brooklyn, Queens and S.I., July 21 and 22, 2011

Con Ed working on Hicks Street this morning after a manhole explosion took out power for the whole block.

In the middle of this gawd-awful heat wave, scattered power outages have been taking place across Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.

In Brooklyn Heights between on Hicks Street between Clark Love Lane 474 customers lost their power in the middle of the night when a manhole blew. Con Ed hopes to have it fixed by noon.

UPDATE: The Brooklyn Eagle has more details about this outage.

UPDATE 2: Blackouts and brownouts affect thousands in Brooklyn and Queens late Friday night/ early Saturday morning. See here.

Also in the Heights, a high-voltage feeder line blew sky high on Henry Street near Cranberry. Photos here.

In Carroll Gardens, 182 customers on Carroll Street near Hicks lost power Thursday night in what Con Ed calls a partial outage. They estimate they will have their power up and working by 10 a.m. Friday.

Six block south of that, on Nelson Street in Red Hook, Con Ed reports a "manhole problem."

About 150 customers in Bay Ridge/ Dyker Heights were without power Thursday night. Con Ed hopes to have them back up by 6 a.m. Friday. There were also scattered outages throughout Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights and Brownsville last night which should be repaired early Friday.

36 customers in Greenpoint, on Dobbin Street near Meserole Ave. lost their power due to a manhole problem.

In Queens near Eliot Ave., more than 2,500 customers were without power in what Con Ed says is a partial outage. They hope to have the problem cleared up early this morning. In Astoria near Steinway Street 5 customers lost power due to "burning wires."

Besides smaller scattered outages throughout Queens, 57 customers in North Beach lost power in an "area outage," as did 33 customers in the Haberman area. Con-Ed hopes to have these problems fixed by early morning.

Roughly 70 customers were without power in Staten Island last night as well. Con Ed said the problem should be fixed by early morning

Original report 1:30 a.m. Updated throughout the day.

Photo by MK Metz

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Swimming, Kayaking In Parts of Brooklyn and S.I. Cancelled Because of Harlem Sewage Plant Fire

Because of the fire at the North River Wastewater Treatment Plant Wednesday, untreated wastewater (raw sewage) is being directly discharged into the Hudson River -- roughly 100 million gallons a day.

The New York City Health Department has issued beach pollution / no swimming advisories to take effect Friday, July 22 through Monday, July 25:

  • South Beach in Staten Island
  • Midland Beach in Staten Island
  • Cedar Grove Beach in Staten Island
  • Sea Gate in Brooklyn
Click on the map above for an enlarged image. Before you go to any area beach, check the DOH website to see if the beach is clear for swimming.

Additionally, the Hudson River, the East River from the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge to Verrazano Bridge (basically the entire East River), the Harlem River and the Kill Van Kull to the Goethals Bridge will not be fit for recreational activities such as swimming, canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing or any other water activity that would entail possible direct contact now through at least Sunday.

This means that kayaking scheduled at Brooklyn Bridge Park this weekend is cancelled.

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152 Degrees in Cadman Plaza Park Astroturf

Looks pretty, almost like grass, but it will literally burn your skin off.

The Brooklyn Eagle stuck a meat thermometer into the synthetic turf in Cadman Plaza Park in Brooklyn Heights / Downtown Brooklyn yesterday and found it was 152 degrees -- hot enough to broil a steak medium rare.

More at the Eagle.

Above photo by MK Metz

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Here's One Scary Brooklyn Map

You might think that this map shows the location of every ginkgo tree or Starbucks in the city, but sadly, this is in reality a map of registered sex offenders in our area. (The little white boxes with crosses are parks and playgrounds, the colored boxes are sex offenders.)

This map is interactive on the site of Family Watchdog. Clicking on a colored square will give you the name, address and often a photo of your friendly neighborhood sex offender.

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No Money for Promised Williamsburg Park; Busy Barclays; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Oops, there's no money for the Bushwick Inlet Park on the Williamsburg and Greenpoint waterfront that Bloomberg promised the locals to make up for being screwed. Gothamist

- Barclays Center will be the site of 200 sporting and entertainment events a year. That's four a week.

- Police release the name of the drunk driver who ran down a beloved Fort Greene resident. The Local

- That rotten egg smell yesterday (all over Brooklyn), explained. Gothamist

- After city raid, 475 Kent "ain't gonna be condos any time soon." TRD

- He said she said: Brooklyn bike lane case continues on August 3. Transportation Nation and Streetsblog

- Why you need to see Sweet Smell of Success tonight in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Gothamist

- The Center for Science in the Public Interest has released its annual Xtreme Eating Awards. Morton's Steak House gets a mention. CSPI (pdf)

- Apple bids goodbye to the familiar white MacBook. Reuters

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Large Dome of Hell Will Hit Brooklyn at Noon Thursday

Just stay inside tomorrow and Friday! The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Warning and warns that "a large dome of high pressure across the central United States will gradually build east and spread an increasingly hot and humid air mass across the region starting tomorrow afternoon."






More here.

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TrustoCorp Hacks Brooklyn Street Signs and It's a Big Improvement

Zoot Patrol discovered that TrustoCorp has been hard at work on the street signs of Brooklyn. Signs marking "Rapture Zones" mix with the "Things Get Better" message for some uplifting moments.

Signs Here.

Below, ABC News does a feature on TrustCorp"

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Gateway II Flap; Gage & Tollner Goes Glitzy; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Brooklyn Assemblywoman Inez Barron wants to know why Related Companies is paying only $14.5 million for the land for Gateway II, when it had originally agreed to pay $32.5 million. Brooklyn Eagle

- How low can you go? Now the historic Gage & Tollner space is a discount jewelry store. Gothamist

- Every time we go to IKEA we spend $100. This weekend, spend that $100 and eat for free. Brokelyn

- "Bullets were literally whizzing down the street" in Vinegar Hill. (Or was it firecrackers?) Dumbo NYC

- One quarter of all the "Greenest Block in Brooklyn" residential semifinalists are in Bed-Stuy. BBG

- Brooklyn lesbian couple sues resort over gay wedding. Brooklyn Eagle

- Potholes reported to the 3-1-1- website are falling into a black hole. NY Daily News

- He can rot in hell, but we can't get enough of Murdoch's Tiger Wife. Guardian

- We still don't understand how this women's urinal works. Gothamist

- If you see this warning from Google when you're searching, pay attention! Google Online Security

- 12 tips to make your smartphone battery last longer. Huff Post

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East Williamsburg Nerd Hipster 'Anonymous' Hacker?

An East Williamsburg residence was search by the FBI yesterday as part of a nationwide search for suspected members of the hacker group Anonymous, according to the Brooklyn Eagle.

Fourteen people were reportedly arrested yesterday, but none of those arrests were in Brooklyn.

Graphic by OperationPaperStorm, Creative Commons

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Orange Moon Last Night

The moon often appears to be orange when close to the horizon, but last night the moon was bright orange when it was fairly high in the sky.

The Internet tells us that this means there is pollution or high humidity in the air.

On the other hand, it could be an omen.

Photo by MK Metz

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Walmart in 'Advanced ' Negotiations for Brooklyn Location; News Corp gets Pranked; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- The Related Companies is in advanced lease negotiations with Walmart and J.C. Penney about anchoring Gateway II in southeast Brooklyn. TRD

- News Corp gets pranked by Brooklyn sloganeer. PSFK

- A woman’s body was found in the rocks near Bay 20th Street and Shore Parkway, and police say it's homicide. Brooklyn Eagle

- GQ has named both Brooklyn and Manhattan to their list of the 40 worst-dressed cities in America. Racked

- Some details on Edible Brooklyn: The Cookbook, set to be released the first week of October. Grubstreet

- The next terror attack in New York City will likely be on the subway. Brooklyn Eagle

- Did you miss LulzSec's hack of the (London) Times? It's here. Gizmodo

- Sign up now for the sand sculpting contest at Coney Island. Brooklyn Eagle

- Sarah Palin's film "The Undefeated" actually is fairly defeated, at least when it comes to movie ratings. Huff Post

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Monday, July 18, 2011

City of Water Day Festival 2011, Brooklyn to Governors Island

McBrooklyn joined the thousands of New Yorkers who got out on the water Saturday for the City of Water Day to remember our maritime roots. Our first stop was the Waterfront Museum (aboard the 1914 Lehigh Valley Barge No. 79 shown above, left) and the 1907 Tugboat Pegasus, which were docked at Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 6.

The Waterfront Museum and Pegasus will both remain docked at Pier 6 through July 24. You can tour them most days from 3 to 5 p.m., and on several of these days there will be shows and workshops -- more details here and here.

The barge is quirky and there's an art show (Creatures of the Deep), so make sure you go on board and ask lots of questions. A family lives in the museum, down in the hold, and though they don't have windows down there they do have wi-fi.

Check out the kinetic sculpture by George Rhoades in front of the painted stage. You have to stare at it for a couple of minutes to see what happens to the balls after they crank up to the top.

Then jump aboard the Pegasus. You can wander all over this old tug. Look at the beautiful old wood interior and engine room.

We would kill for this stove.

There were projects and activities at Pier 6 Saturday for kids and adults. One of the projects was constructing your own fishing gear from recycled bottles. There was a lady who cut up something fishy which went on your hook, then over the side it went. We were terribly afraid we would catch something.

From there we decided to take the ferry to Governors Island, where the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance and its partners were throwing a giant maritime festival.

There were exhibits and activities all over the island. The Army Corps of Engineers set up tanks filled with living creatures that swim in the ocean right off Brooklyn.

These included rays (left) and horseshoe crabs (right), which you might accidentally step on while swimming at Coney Island.

Among the advocacy groups was the Stop Fracking Now organization. Do you know that New York City's drinking water may soon be polluted with toxic chemicals used to squeeze natural gas out of rocks underground?

Sign an anti-fracking petition now (and view the Colbert Report's interview with ex-Gov. Tom Ridge, a powerful pro- fracking lobbyist).

There were lots of kids activities. Disney gave away toys and books.

There were games for older people too. This one was called "hunter-gatherers."

After a day of wandering around the island we were tired and happy to hop back on the ferry to Pier 6 and home. It was a fun and education day -- and it was all free, including the ferry rides.

City of Water Day Festival was sponsored by the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance. Pier 6 activities provided by Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy.

Photos copyright MK Metz

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People Were Looking Up on Henry Street Yesterday

It only lasted a minute, then it blew away.

Photo by MK Metz

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Maybe Someone Should Look Into These Odd Happenings

Is it just us or are the police being deliberately obtuse in this case involving the bizarre deaths of a CEO's son and girlfriend at his house in California?

"No connection has been made between the two incidents" and "investigators haven't determined whether" the girlfriend's death was a homicide or not.

BTW, the girlfriend "was discovered nude with a rope around her neck, hanging from a balcony off the main house, with her hands and feet bound."

Nothing happening here people, keep walking.

Wall Street Journal

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Kanye West Makes Suprise Appearance at Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival

That loud applause you heard Saturday was the crowd when Kanye West showed up unexpectedly at the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival in DUMBO during Q-Tip’s set.

From HipHopDX: "The crowd erupted when Kanye West took the stage, and assisted Q-Tip in performing "Award Tour," as well as "Dark Fantasy" and "All of the Lights" from My Beautiful Twisted Dark Fantasy."

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Where Missing Socks Really Go

They go to Williamsburg, of course.

Hung on a wall over a sign reading: "It socks to be lonely. In memory of socks that have lost a buddy."

Photo by MK Metz

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Molester In Downtown Brooklyn; Mummy Smuggling; Scarano Loses; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Police search for man accused of molesting 5-year-old-girl in Downtown Brooklyn. CGP

- A Brooklyn man beat his teen stepdaughter to death yesterday, drove away in his Mercedes, flipped the car, and was arrested. NY Daily News

- Construction protest at 20 Henry Street. Brooklyn Eagle

- Mummy smuggling ring busted in Brooklyn. Gothamist

- Court: Architect Scarano is absolutely banned from filing construction plans. TRD

- Man who dismembered 8-year-old boy is pulling the old "hearing voices" excuse. SFGate

- Complaints about speeding dollar vans blowing through the stop signs at Prospect Place and Carlton. Brooklynian

- A Bay Ridge Assemblywoman is fighting to get bus service restored to the community, and it's starting to work. Brooklyn Eagle

- 7 tools to make your bike commute less terrible. Gizmodo

- Scientists find evidence that global warming is eroding the ability of the ocean to soak up CO2, which may lead to even more global warming. TheNews

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Storm Did Not Scare Off Opera Fans at Brooklyn Bridge Park Wednesday Night

Who says opera is dead? The beautiful singing at last night's Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital was appreciated by hundreds (thousands?) at Brooklyn Bridge Park (and also folks who gathered along the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, some with opera glasses). Tenor Dimitri Pittas completed his set before the rain began.

As Angela Meade, soprano, and Jennifer Johnson Cano, mezzo-soprano, began a lovely duet (with Bradley Moore on piano), drops started to fall and umbrellas opened.

The singers finished a number in spite of the wind which was starting to whip their hair, umbrellas and ground coverings.

The skies opened up and some of the audience started to head for the hills. Production crew speaking into their walkie-talkies: "Turn off the power." "No, leave the power on."

But wait! After just a few minutes the rain tapered off -- and a rainbow stretched across the sky, from the Watchtower to the Hotel St. George.

Most of the audience, soaking wet, wrung out their clothes and came back. The performers reassembled and the show went on.

The sopranos' beautiful duet could be heard up on the Promenade, along Columbia Heights, and throughout Brooklyn Heights.

Photos copyright MK Metz

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