Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Admiral's Row Stores Approved; 24,400 Bowls of Oatmeal; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- The City Council voted to approve plans for a supermarket, additional retail and industrial space at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Brooklyn Eagle

- Project Oatmeal delivered 24,400 oatmeal meals to hungry Brooklynites; line wraps around block. Huff Post

- Volunteers tracked traffic violations on one block of Jay Street and found that police are major offenders. Streetsblog

- Brooklyn Assemblyman William Boyland arrested again by the FBI on new bribery and extortion charges. Brooklyn Politics Blog

- Follow this flowchart for an easy, cheap dinner. Brokelyn

- Creeping underwater ice tornado kills everything it touches. (Video) Gizmodo

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

$177 Bagel; Prospect Park Pervert Payback; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Brooklyn's economic story doesn’t lend itself to a simple happy ending. City-Journal 

- Random dude from Brooklyn could end ATM fees forever, maybe. BusinessInsider

- One piece of evidence at the corruption trial of Councilman Larry Seabrook: a receipt for a Snapple and a bagel sandwich that totals $177.64. Brooklyn Eagle

- The Brooklyn DA's Office has charged 89 men in the borough's ultra-Orthodox communities with child sex abuse -- a threefold increase over a two-year span. JTA

- The park ranger who captured a gun-slinging pervert in Prospect Park was reprimanded by the city for the deed. Brooklyn Paper

- Food trucks may get graded, too. Carroll Gardens Patch

- Brooklyn mourns Olga Bloom of Bargemusic. Brooklyn Heights Press

- Orthodox Jews can now get a deal on evil eye removal. Do you think the machashayfa next door is hexing you? You're a phone call away from removing her curse. FailedMessiah

- A Brooklyn man suing the city for $10 million for being shot by police "for no reason" has been previously arrested 26 times. Brooklyn Eagle 

- Teen rehab center slated for Boerum Hill. Brownstoner

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Brooklyn's Cheery Map of Traffic-Related Deaths

This cheery and colorful map (as seen on Brownstoner) shows many of the traffic-related deaths that occurred in Brooklyn over an eight-year period.

The original can be found on ITO World, which says, "Use this site to view information about virtually every fatality that occurred on roads in the United States as a result of a collision involving a motor vehicle between between 1 January 2001 and 31 December 2009. For each incident you will be able to see the person's age, sex and the year in which the crash took place."

Commenters on Brownstoner, however, have discovered that several fatal accidents they are familiar with are not on the map: "Recall the two young boys who were killed in '04 at the intersection of 9th St and 3rd Ave? Not on there." and "The ones at Eastern Parkway and Washington are missing, too."

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Grand Opening: Gallery of MODULEA.R.T. Pops Up On Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn Heights

Module R, the new popup gallery of modular art and design will be throwing a grand opening event at their new space at 141 Atlantic Avenue (between Henry and Clinton Streets) on Thursday, December 1 from 6 - 8 p.m. For one night only all purchases will be 10 percent off.

The store features selections from designers like Alessi, Kartell, Capellini and Areaware, as well as up and coming Brooklyn-based creatives like David Weeks, byAMT and Erza Bookstein.

According to the presser, Modula R is dedicated to modular, reconfigurable and customizable modern design.

They'll be carrying smaller items that might make good gifts, like home goods, watches, books, children’s toys and jewelry, along with big ticket items like furniture, floor coverings and wall dividers.

Module R is owned by architect Donald Rattner.

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Senators Voting Today On Locking Up Americans Without Charges or Trials

Armageddon Alert:

The Senate is going to vote today (or tomorrow) on whether Congress will give the president the power to order the military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians anywhere in the world.

Under several provisions* of the NDAA bill, citizens on American, Canadian or British streets (or streets anywhere) could be sent to military prisons indefinitely without even being charged with a crime. Republican sponsors say the bill is needed because America is now a battlefield.

Even Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) raised his concerns about the NDAA detention provisions during the recent Republican debate.

According to the ACLU and other sources, "The worldwide indefinite detention without charge or trial provision is in S. 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act bill, which will be on the Senate floor on Monday. The bill was drafted in secret by Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) and passed in a closed-door committee meeting, without even a single hearing."

Senator the Udall has written an amendment (called the Udall Amendment) that deletes the provisions and sets up an orderly review of detention power. The ACLU suggests you call or write your senator and urge them to vote for the Udall Amendment.

* * *

*If enacted, sections 1031 and 1032 of the NDAA would:

1) Explicitly authorize the federal government to indefinitely imprison without charge or trial American citizens and others picked up inside and outside the United States;

(2) Mandate military detention of some civilians who would otherwise be outside of military control, including civilians picked up within the United States itself; and

(3) Transfer to the Department of Defense core prosecutorial, investigative, law enforcement, penal, and custodial authority and responsibility now held by the Department of Justice.

Photo by The _kid_cl, Creative Commons license

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Santa Parade and Pancake Brunch in Greenpoint

Greenpoint / Williamsburg community organization Town Square sent us word that they're hosting a Santa Parade in Greenpoint on Saturday, December 10th. Here's their message:

We’re calling all “Santas” and Santa helpers (Mrs. Clauses, elves, reindeer and good little girls & boys) to gather at 11:30 a.m. in front of the Greenpoint Y at 99 Meserole Ave (between Manhattan Ave and Lorimer St). We’ll march down Manhattan Avenue and back again.

To make things extra fun, we’ve partnered up with the Greenpoint Y for a Holiday Extravaganza afterwards: a yummy pancake brunch by Boy Scouts Troop 26, photos with Santa, arts/crafts for kids, a holiday concert by P.S. 34’s Chorus, our December Greencycle Swap, and more!

Parade: 11:30 a.m.
Pancake Brunch: 12 - 2 p.m.
P.S. 34 Chorus: 2 p.m.
Greencycle Swap: 1 - 4 p.m.

P.S. The next Town Square meeting takes place at 7 p.m. on Monday, December 5th. Come meet other Town Square volunteers and get involved -- everyone’s invited.

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Holiday Ceramic Show on Columbia

More than 20 local neighborhood ceramic artists are participating in the Holiday Ceramic Show at Clayworks on Columbia. The show is part of the Citywide NYC Clayfest studio tour.

Clayworks is hosting receptions reception on December 3 and December 19, 1pm-5pm. The event features handmade ceramic gifts, functional pottery, sculpture, jewelry and home decor, plus refreshments and conversation.

Clayworks on Columbia
195 Columbia Street (Sackett and Degraw), Brooklyn

Participating artists: Ruth Arberman, Olivia Barry, Jill Bell, Freddy Borges, Douglas Brooks, Elizabeth Casuccio, Demetria Chappo, Peggy Clarke, Adrienne Hecker, Karen Holt, Leslie Huang, Laura Kastin, Bonnie Levine, Lisa Lincoln, Sabina Magnus, Susan Meltzer, Deb McDermott, Tanya Olszewski and more.

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More Screenings of Battle for Brooklyn -- Documentary In Oscar Running

Team Tish (Council Member Letitia James) sent us this notice regarding Battle for Brooklyn, the documentary about Atlantic Yards and corporate power that is catching attention across the country:

If you have not yet seen the much. talked. about. Battle for Brooklyn, now is the time to do so. The documentary, co-directed by Suki Hawley and Michael Galinsky and produced by David Beilinson, chronicles the seven-year long fight between the Prospect Heights community and one of the largest real estate developers in the country. It features Council Member Letitia James as well as activist Daniel Goldstein and Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn.

Upcoming Screenings:
Maysles Center, 343 Lenox Avenue (between 127 & 128 Streets), New York, NY
Dec 1, 7:30pm: Q&A with filmmakers
Dec 6, 7:30pm: Q&A with Mindy Fullilove and local community
Dec 9, 7:30pm: Q&A with Dan Goldstien

Brooklyn Heights, 70 Henry Street, Brooklyn, NY
Nov 23, 6:00pm
Nov 30, 6:00pm

The Academy recently announced that Battle for Brooklyn is one of 15 films listed for an Oscar in the Documentary Feature category. The five final nominees will be announced in January 2012.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Seven Different Proposals To Build Huge Hotel and Residential Complex In Brooklyn Bridge Park

Seven developers have submitted proposals to build a hotel and residential complex next to Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, according to the Brooklyn Eagle, Wall Street Journal and others.

The seven proposals came from Dermot, Extell, RAL, SDS, Starwood Capital Group, Toll Brothers and Two Trees.

Above is an overhead view of Dermot's proposal. (Click to see it larger.) Below is the same project, as seen from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.

While we like aspects of several of the proposals, they all seem shockingly massive compared to the park itself. For example, the proposal by SDS, below, looks like a terminal building from JFK airport.

Below is the proposal from Two Trees. The grass growing up the wall seems like a nice touch.

The deadline for public comment is December 22. Construction completion is estimated to be 2015.

You can see all of the proposals here.

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Lighted Boat Parade Sails Past Brooklyn Bridge Park This Saturday Night

Brooklyn Bridge Park (represented by the lower red line in the maritime map above) offers prime viewing for the annual New York Harbor Lighted Boat Parade this Saturday setting out at 7 p.m. from the Battery.

And just like the Macy’s Day Parade, you can spot old Saint Nick on the last “float” of the parade. (Mr. Claus will be sailing on the Eastern Star yacht.)

New York Harbor tour boats, work boats, private boaters and charter yachts gather to participate in this harbor-town tradition. This year Schooner Adirondack will lead the parade. (There were a few seats left on the Adirondack as of last night if you want to ride in the parade.) Each vessel will be decorated with twinkling lights and holiday décor.

Vessels will be gathering at Pier A, and will travel to Brooklyn Bridge Park, traveling north along the Brooklyn Waterfront, passing under the Brooklyn Bridge and doing a tight pass along Manhattan's waterfront at South Street Seaport.

More information at Sail NYC.

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Putting Out Fires On Cadman Plaza East

A series of small fires were set on Cadman Plaza East near the Office of Emergency Management in Downtown Brooklyn last night, but it wasn't arson. NYC CERT volunteers were being trained by the FDNY to put out minor fires.

According to OEM, CERT members undergo "an intensive 10-week training program that raises awareness about emergencies and disasters and provides basic response skills needed for fire safety, light search and rescue, disaster medical operations, and traffic control."  

Photo by MK Metz

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

'The Longest Week' Filming in Brooklyn Heights: Olivia Wilde, Jason Bateman, Billy Crudup

Olivia Wilde ("House," "Cowboys and Aliens"), Jason Bateman ("Horrible Bosses," "Arrested Development"), and Billy Crudup "Watchmen," "Big Fish") are on location in Brooklyn Heights filming "The Longest Week." Above: the scene on Orange Street last night, where Bateman was filmed running down the sidewalk after talking to someone at the corner.

Above, Olivia Wilde, second from left, and Jason Bateman, right.

According to IMDb, 'The Longest Week," directed by Peter Glanz, is about:
 "Affluent and aimless, Conrad Valmont lives a life of leisure in his parent's prestigious Manhattan Hotel. In the span of one week, he finds himself evicted, disinherited, and... in love."

Kudos to the production company for being polite to locals and keeping the scene relaxed.

More action caught on video by Karl Junkersfeld at the Brooklyn Heights Blog.

Photos by MK Metz

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Oscar Short List: 'Battle for Brooklyn' -- and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Atlantic Yards documentary "Battle for Brooklyn" is in the running for an Oscar. Brownstoner and American Superstar

- Occupy Brooklyn activists discus movement's future. Brooklyn Eagle

- New York's 'best' pizza joint Di Fara shut for 67 health violations. NY Daily News

- Christie's patty restaurant on Flatbush closing after 45 years. Brooklyn Paper

- Four creeps indicted for allegedly pimping out 12 and 13-year-old girls in Brooklyn. Brooklyn Eagle

- NYPD’s "unconvincing terror suspect" tried to circumcise himself.  Gawker
- Amazon is selling fancy smartphones for a penny. No joke. Brokelyn

- Here's a beautiful and terrifying photo of a white shark. Gizmodo

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Tall, Beautiful Danes Flood Brooklyn Heights for Annual Danish Seamen's Church Christmas Fair

If you were feeling a bit short and squat this weekend it's probably because you were in Brooklyn Heights, where hundreds of willowy Danes gathered at The Danish Seamen's Church (Den Danske Sømandskirke) for their annual Christmas Fair.

Treats were in store at the backyard cafe (above), including Danish hotdogs, dough fritters and the delicious hot alcoholic drink, gløgg.

The overflow crowd walked from Willow Street to nearby Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims on Orange Street for more delicious fare, like these open-face sandwiches, famous in Denmark as "smørrebrød."

Danish people from all over the city -- and locals who look forward to this event every year -- came to buy Christmas ornaments, ceramic plates, hand-made clothing, dolls and more. Entertainment was provided by Johnny Reimar, said to have been a "fixture on the Danish scene for the last 50 years with songs like 'Little Freckled Louise,' 'What a Party,' 'You Ought to Buy Yourself a Tyrolerhat' and more."

- Danish Seamen's Church Christmas Fair Starts the Holidays Rolling - 2010

Photos by MK Metz

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City Tries to Slow Down Prospect Park Cyclists; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- After tragic bike-pedestrian collisions in Prospect Park, including two that left women with severe brain injuries, the city is trying to slow down cyclists. NY Times

- More than 350 people made history in Prospect Park Sunday by taking part in the first-ever Brooklyn-only marathon. NY1

- Married father of three shot inside Bushwick tire shop Sunday. NY Daily News

- New York police arrested Jose Pimentel, 27, on suspicion of building a pipe bomb to blow up Post Officers and US soldiers. Reuters  Odd: The FBI declined to take this case several times, a commenter tells Gawker.

- Not super: The 12-member congressional budget "super committee" has failed to reach a deal. Expect economic chaos. Reuters

- Nearly all new mobile malware is targeted at Android phones. Popular: Trojans that collect personal information, steal money and record phone conversations and forwards them to the attacker. TechCrunch

- Egypt justifies its brutal crackdown on protesters by saying they are just following America's example. Gawker

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IKEA Heights: The Melodrama

Hilarious concept: Ikea Heights is a melodrama shot entirely in the Burbank California Ikea Store without the store knowing. Once in a while they get caught filming, which is even funnier.

Here's the IKEA Heights YouTube channel if you want to watch more episodes. (There are seven all together.)

Thanks to Reddit for the link. According to one of the principals, "Everything was shot on DSLR and a couple point-and-shoots under the guise of 'taking pictures of the furniture to see if it'll look good in our place.'

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Brooklyn Eagle's HQ in Brooklyn Heights Sold to Developers

The Brooklyn Eagle newspaper reports on a breaking real estate story: the sale of their own headquarters to a developer who wants to knock it down and put up a new a six-story, 65-foot-tall residential building on the site, at 30 Henry St., corner of Middagh Street in the North Heights -- across the street from the Peaks Mason Mints Candy Factory buildings.

The new owners and their architect have yet to obtain the necessary approvals to do this from the Landmarks Preservation Commission. 

According to the Eagle’s publisher, Dozier Hasty, the building was sold to the Fortis Group, which has notified him that the newspaper must vacate the building by the end of January. Read the full details at the Eagle.

Photo courtesy Massey Knakal

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Brooklyn Crab; Lot Parks Cars On the Street; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- A parking lot at JFK called "U-Save" is parking customers' cars on the street, where they are racking up hundreds in tickets. Queens Crap

- Brooklyn Crab is coming to Red Hook. Brownstoner

- Ratner unveils his design for prefab modular tower at Atlantic Yards. NY Times 

- Watch the Occupy Alliance fight the Galactic Empire. NY Magazine

- The  LRAD sound cannon the police used to blast loud, painful sound at Occupy Wall Street protesters yesterday can cause permanent hearing loss. Gizmodo

- Get paid to shop this holiday season -- no, really. Brokelyn

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Occupy Wall Street's 99% March Over Brooklyn Bridge into Brooklyn Heights

Tens of thousands of citizens exercising their rights marched over the Brooklyn Bridge and flooded Cadman Plaza Park and other areas of Downtown Brooklyn and Brooklyn Heights tonight as part of today's Occupy Wall Street National Day Of Action events. As of this post they are still coming.We read that police estimate more than 32,000 marchers.

Police helicopters are flying below the roofs of the Cadman Towers buildings that surround the park and police buses and vans line Cadman Plaza West. Cars honk in support and people wave flashlights from balconies.

A giant Statue of Liberty ( built by the Occupy Wall Street Puppet Guild) and brass band greets the marchers as they arrived in Cadman Plaza Park and cheerful chanting -- "We are the 99 percent" - is echoing up and down the streets.

When a huge stream of participants headed towards the A train High Street station police briefly taped the entrance closed for no discernible reason, adding to the possibility of chaos.

But apparently this was reconsidered and police are again letting people back into the station. CNN has  reported that 80 people were arrested at the Brooklyn Bridge. Among them was SEIU President Mary Kay Henry and Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams. Many union people are holding signs supporting the Occupy Wall Street movement.

The sound of drums fills the air and the synchronized chants of the People's Microphone can be heard from Henry Street.

More photos and posts to come.

UPDATE 10 p.m.: Events at Cadman Park winding down, but helicopters still hover over park.

CNN video of protester arrests at Brooklyn Bridge here.

UPDATE 10:33 p.m.: Police work the first actual crime of the evening in the area. A perp attempted to rob someone at the High Street A train station, pictured above, on Cadman Plaza West. He escaped without the loot into Cadman Plaza Park. Police haven't caught up with him at this time.

UPDATE: The Brooklyn Heights Blog's Karl Junkersfeld caught the windup in Cadman Park on video here. Carroll Gardens Patch has a good writeup of the events here.

Photos by MK Metz

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Today Is Occupy Wall Street's Day of Mass Action. Here Are Some Details

Occupy Wall Street groups, unions, students and others are joining together to engage in a national day of action today, referred to as #N17 (November 17), for the two-month anniversary of the Occupy movement. Events are planned across the five boroughs.

UPDATE: Tens of thousands of protesters marched over the Brooklyn Bridge as part of today's events. Photos and story here.

Brooklynites will gather at several locations, including Brooklyn Borough Hall, Grove Street, St. Jose Patron Church and the Broadway Junction subway hubs.

Day's Schedule

* Occupiers will gather at Foley Square at 7 a.m., then march to confront Wall Street with stories of people on the frontlines of economic injustice. "Exchange stories rather than stocks" on Wall Street. (While Occupiers plan to be non-violent, they should expect to get cracked on the head by men in riot gear, some being private security forces paid for by the 1 percent.)

* 3 p.m.: Occupy the Subways. Folks will gather at seven central subway hubs:
  • Bronx
    • Fordham Rd
    • 3rd Ave, 138th Street
    • 163rd and Southern Blvd
    • 161st and River - Yankee Stadium
  • Brooklyn
    • Broadway Junction
    • Borough Hall
    • 301 Grove Street
    • St Jose Patron Church,185 Suydam St, Bushwick
  • Queens
    • Jackson Heights/Roosevelt Ave.
    • Jamaica Center/Parsons/Archer
    • 92-10 Roosevelt Avenue, Jackson Heights
  • Manhattan
    • 125th St. A,B,C,D
    • Union Sq. (Mass student strike)
    • 23rd St and 8th Ave
  • Staten Island
    • St. George, Staten Island Ferry Terminal
    • 479 Port Richmond Avenue, Port Richmond
People will take their stories to the trains, using the “People’s Mic."

* Student Strike: Gather at Union Square, 2 p.m.

* 5 p.m. 'Take the Square, Recreate Our Economy.' March from Foley Square to the Brooklyn Bridge. The celebration will culminate in a festival of light.

According to the NY Daily News, "The day will end up with an evening march to the Brooklyn Bridge, where mass acts of civil disobedience are planned, including a sit-in by 99 faith leaders representing 'the 99%.'"

This schedule will probably change so check Occupy Wall Street for updates. We're told that the events will be live-streamed here as well.

Poster by R. Black

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Danish Christmas Fair; Sad Little House; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- The terribly sad story of the little red brick house on Third Street. PMFA

- Danish Christmas Fair this weekend. BHB

- Cops carry out "truck sting" on Atlantic Avenue. Brooklyn Eagle

- Fidler calls on NYPD to move some forces from Occupy Wall Street to Jewish communities. Brooklyn Politics Blog

- Brooklyn DA: Ex-stock broker conned four people out of $200,000. CBS

- Anyone feel like paying $345 million for three properties on McKibbin and Graham streets? Curbed

- Neighbors say Greenpoint art foundry stinks, literally. Brooklyn Paper

- A Winter Festival fundraiser for the Gowanus Canal. Brownstoner

- Latest anti-Semitic slur: "Avenue Jew." NY Magazine

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Occupy Wall Streeters Without Sleeping Bags or Tents? It's Time For Creative Solutions

Yesterday the 1% burst into Zuccotti Park in Manhattan and arrested Occupy Wall Street demonstrators, confiscating sleeping bags, tents and cook stoves. Apparently Mayor Bloomberg thinks that this will make the unhappy and unwashed 99% just go home.

But creative solutions may be applied to the problem! Take the happy camper above, wearing the Selk’Bag -- a "Wearable Sleeping Bag which is Ideal for Camping in Extreme Cold," according to Gizmag. Breaking no rules, Mr. Mayor, because the Selk’Bag is clothing!

What other creativity can be applied to spending a winter in a park with no cooking, tents or sanitation? All these items can be shoved into your backpack:

Sanitation first! Under that Selk'Bag you'll be wearing your astronaut diaper, at least until you can get to McDonalds. Technically it's called a Maximum Absorbency Garment (MAG). A MAG is the diaper astronauts use during long operations. See Wikipedia.

You'll need warm hands to draw up protest signs and hand out flyers. Get these HeatMax Hot Hands at Amazon.

Next, you'll need some hot meals. How about HeaterMeals, "The Original Self-Heating Meal." With tasty 12 ounce entrees, "HeaterMeals® are the #1 mobile hot meal choice for emergency response or as part of an emergency kit, outdoor recreation activities, or just whenever you're hungry!"

No electricity or generators? Light up the night with K Light Solar Lanterns. Approximately the size and weight of a can of soda, thesolar-charging battery and bright, energy-efficient light-emitting diodes (LEDs) makes the K-Light a protest-ready piece of equipment.

Most important of all: travel-size 8-inch Djembe drums for those all-important, non-stop, migraine-producing drum circles.

There are probably many other solutions to the problem -- short of taking over Gracie Mansion while the Mayor is in Bermuda this weekend ... ho ho ho, just joking, Mayor!

Any serious creativity out there?

- Occupy Brooklyn Marches to Atlantic Yards and Other Sites of Corporate Greed
- Occupy Brooklyn this Weekend, If You Don't Get Run Over

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Another Ratner Lawsuit; 'Satanic' Teen Convicted; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- The Nets held a rally yesterday -- complete with dancers in leather Spider-Man outfits -- outside Borough Hall. Meanwhile, another lawsuit was filed against developer Ratner. NY Times

- "Satanic" teenager convicted of killing Carroll Gardens radio host. Brooklyn Eagle

- Walentas, NYU-Poly and city revive startup incubator project at 20 Jay Street in DUMBO. Brooklyn Heights Press    

- A woman was stabbed to death in Sheepshead Bay, a block from her home. NY Daily News

- Downtown Brooklyn church seeks development partner. TRD

- Hackers convene in Downtown Brooklyn and figure out who "killed" Snooki. Brooklyn Eagle

- Little Lego treehouse spotted in DUMBO. Gothamist

- All about that "Pirate Wi-Fi" on the L train this week. Fast Company

- Europe bans the X-Ray scans used at US airports “in order not to risk jeopardizing citizens’ health and safety.” Propublica

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San Francisco Rethinks $1.4 Million Tom Otterness Art Contracts

"Large Covered Wagon," by Tom Otterness. Photo by MK Metz
San Francisco may terminate $1.4 million in art contracts with Brooklyn artist Tom Otterness after learning that years ago he shot and killed a dog and called it art.

But if the city does, it might lose $365,750 in payments it has already made to Otterness, according to the San Francisco Examiner. According to the paper, the San Francisco Animal Control and Welfare Commission has already spoken against the contracts.

Otterness contracted to create "a series of humorous sculptural vignettes featuring his signature bronze characters as transit riders," according to the San Francisco Arts Commission.

In 2008 Otterness responded to the requests of many McBrooklyn readers who were appalled with his actions. His apology is here.

- Sculptor Tom Otterness Installation On Hold While SF Mulls Old Dog-Shooting Incident
- Artist Otterness Apologizes for Decades-Old Dog-Killing Incident Brooklyn Eagle
- Otterness 'Large Covered Wagon' Feted in Dumbo
- Otterness Large Covered Wagon Installed in Dumbo
- Dog-Killing Past Still Haunts Otterness as Sculpture Comes to Dumbo

Photo by MK Metz

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thanks for the Toilet, Occupy Brooklyn!

It's nice when people give you nice things.

Shot in Cadman Plaza Park by MK Metz

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Satanic Teen Back Before Jury; Occupy Brooklyn; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Satanic teen who killed Henry Street radio host by stabbing him 50 times is winding up his second appearance before a Brooklyn jury. Brooklyn Eagle 

- This Thursday Occupy Brooklyn will join other Occupy groups in a National Day of Action. Brooklynites will gather at several locations, including the Borough Hall and Broadway Junction subway hubs at 3 p.m. More here.

- Bus controversy continues: Hasidic bus company uses Yiddish to illegally order passengers to segregate by gender. Failed Messiah

- Is it time to start stockpiling peanut butter? Brokelyn 

- White out at Jane's Carousel. Brownstoner

- Longt-time Brooklyn Heights' vet Dr. Bernie Wasserman dies. Brooklyn Eagle

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Brooklyn Bike Patrol Expands to Cover 25 Subway Stops

The Brooklyn Bike Patrol, which escorts women home from subway stations in the late evening hours, now cover 25 subways stops in Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington, Sunset Park, Carroll Gardens, Prospect Heights and Clinton Hill.

They operate seven days a week; hours of operation are Sunday-Thursday 8 pm-12 midnight and Friday-Saturday 8 pm -3 am. If you need an escort outside of these hours call them ahead of time and they will try to accommodate you.

All of their volunteers have been background-checked by the 72nd precinct. Volunteers carry ID cards with them and wear "Brooklyn Bike Patrol" T-shirts with a special patch on the sleeve.

Learn more here and here.

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March On Ocean Parkway to Protest Anti-Semetic Vandalism

After vandals torched cars and scribbled Nazi swastikas in an Orthodox Jewish part of Midwood on Friday, residents  and representatives from all over the city marched to protest bias and hate.

Members of Occupy Wall Street also showed up to march after being weirdly accused of somehow being involved in the bigotry.

On Ocean Parkway, three cars had been set on fire. The letters "KKK" were spray-painted on a van and anti-Semitic messages were written on a sidewalk.

"I'm here today because hate doesn't have neat boundaries. If they come for one person today they'll come for somebody else tomorrow," said Council Member Jumaane Williams.

Other marchers included Council Members Brad Lander, Tish James and Steve Levin, Assemblymen Dov Hikind and Bill Colton, State Senator Eric Adams, mayoral candidates Scott Stringer and Bill Thompson, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, civil rights lawyer Norman Siegel and other community leaders. Mayor Bloomberg was a no-show.

Commenters at the Daily News were outraged themselves -- that the marchers carried only the Israeli flag: "This is not Israeli, it's the US and when you fly any foreign flag it is to be along with the US flag with our flag held higher," commenters pointed out.

Weirdness in Williamsburg

Also in Brooklyn on Sunday, politicians held a press conference to condemn the mugging of a Jewish man on Friday in Williamsburg. According to the NY Daily News, during the press conference, a Jewish vigilante group joined the crowd and started screaming, “Get lost!"

“They are not going to help us. They are only out here for the votes,” said Rabbi Nauchem Rosenberg, before other Hasidic men threatened to hit him if he didn’t stop shouting.

This video of the march was uploaded by Gifterphotos yesterday.

Thanks to the Brooklyn Politics Blog for the link to this video.

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Occupy Brooklyn Marches to Atlantic Yards and Other Sites of Corporate Greed

A multi-generational crowd showed up at Korean War Veterans Plaza in Downtown Brooklyn yesterday for the Occupy Brooklyn community event. The Green Party, FUREE and Common Cause joined the Occupy Brooklyn group.

The day included teach-ins about community organizing and the impact of big money on our politics, a hot lunch, performances and a march to sites of corporate greed in Brooklyn, including Atlantic Yards. Speakers said the 1 percent spend their political money to game the system against the 99 percent.

Occupy Brooklyn obtained a permit to exercise their constitutional right to walk on the sidewalk. An amazingly large number of police accompanied them.

Kudos to the cooks!

The march -- powered by a cheerful brass band -- made stops at various sites including Chase Bank, Citipoint, Joy Chatel's house and several Forest City Ratner properties, including Barclay's Center at Atlantic Yards. Speakers said that Atlantic Yards promised thousand of housing units, 8 acres of public spaces, 10,000 jobs, a public school and more in return for their $300 million in subsidies. While about 100 people are employed at Barclay's Center, they said, none of the other promises have been kept.

Noticing New York points out that Ratner's holdings "sit astride a confluence of Brooklyn’s key subway lines and most important subway stations."

More Occupy Brooklyn events are happening today. Here's the schedule.

- Occupy Brooklyn this Weekend, If You Don't Get Run Over

Photos by MK Metz

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Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day On 11/11/11 -- Watch Out for Electronic Devices, Eat Ravioli

Today is Veteran's Day but many people are focusing on the fact that it is also 11/11/11, a date that won't roll around again for another hundred years.

Here is what the numerologically-inclined say: All kinds of odd things will happen today. Just like in the movie 11-11-11, the number 11 will weird you out all day. Something, for example, will happen at 11:11 a.m. and also 11:11 p.m., if you make it that long. You will notice the number 11 on dollar bills, on your receipts and online.

Some say that people all over the globe are noticing the numbers 11:11 today because "1,111 fun-loving Spirit Guardians" are playing tricks on us to let us know that they are here. "They will use almost any electrically controlled device to get your attention," like turning off lights when you pass by or making your electronic clock blink 11:11.

On the other hand, some people plan to get married at 11:00 today or buy 11 Lottery tickets today. Why not!

Alternately, a Nordic god of destruction may come in the form of a colossal dragon and devour the world -- if you follow the plot of the virtual world of Skyrim, which has just released the latest in a series of popular video games called the Elder Scrolls series.

The last time we had an 11/11/11 was in 1911. Weird things happened then, too. One of them was "The Great Blue Norther of 11/11/11." According to Paradigmsearch,

"The day started fine; there were even record highs for that time of year. Then it all changed; temperatures began to drop. Within the space of ten minute the temperature dropped 40 to 50 degrees; by midnight a 66 degree temperature drop was recorded. There were dust storms, thunderstorms, tornados, and blizzards. Over 300 deaths were reported."

But most important, today is Veterans Day. Veterans Day started with the World War I armistice that took effect at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918. According to Wikipedia, "Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice." Each year on November 11th at Arlington National Cemetery, a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns at exactly 11 a.m.

We also learned on Wikipedia that the holiday is often celebrated by having a ravioli meal, because after the war President Woodrow Wilson invited 2,000 soldiers to the White House and fed them all ravioli.

Image: Make a Wish postcard by Zazzle

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A Heck of a Treehouse; a Comics Festival; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Everybody loves treehouses. Here's one designed by a Pratt student in Bed-Stuy with rugs, electricity, furniture and lots of windows. NY Times

- Mayor Bloomberg announced yesterday the start of construction on Steeplechase Plaza, a 2.2-acre, $30 million entryway to the revitalized amusement district. Brooklyn Eagle

- Assemblyman William F. Boyland Jr. was acquitted on Thursday of conspiring to take $175,000 in bribes. NY Times

- More details about the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival. ComicsBeat

- Coming soon: miniature, radio-controlled boats -- equipped with underwater cameras and lights -- you can sail around Newtown Creek. Brownstoner

- A car crash, a foot pursuit, a gunfight and two arrests, all in seven minutes in Crown Heights. NY Times

- FUREE (Families United for Racial and Economic Equality )and several elected officials are demanding that the community have input in the hiring process for the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership’s new president. Brooklyn Eagle

- Protesters at Occupy Wall Street are getting progressively sicker. A doctor told the NY Times that conditions could leave park-dwellers susceptible to respiratory viruses; norovirus (the winter vomiting virus), and tuberculosis. And they are shaking hands with thousands of tourists . . .

- It's been a while . . . But yesterday another actor in "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" has been injured during a performance. Huff Post

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Nannies In Brooklyn Do Pretty Well, Considering

A recent survey by Park Slope Parents found that nannies in Brooklyn earn almost $15 an hour – twice the minimum wage – and receive an average of 11 paid days off a year plus paid holidays.

The Brooklyn Eagle conducted an informal survey in Brooklyn Heights: eight out of 10 respondents thought $15 an hour sounded about right.

More at the Brooklyn Eagle.

Photo by MK Metz

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Prospect Park Volunteer Hit By Racing Biker Remains In Coma

Linda Cohen, a park volunteer out for a walk was struck by a racing bicyclist and seriously hurt in Prospect Park. She was brought to Kings County Hospital where she was put into a medically induced coma, A Walk In the Park reports. She has remained in the coma for a week.

Gothamist adds that another pedestrian was struck by a cyclist in the park and suffered a brain injury this summer. In both cases the bikers stayed at the scene.

Gothamist commenters express a wide range of opinion as to who was at fault and why.

Photo by Olgierd Pstrykotworca, Creative Commons license

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Rickshaws in DUMBO

It was only a matter of time before rickshaws (also known as pedicabs) came to DUMBO.

The drivers see here on Saturday were bundled up under thick quilts, probably waiting for their customers to return after a cup of hot chocolate at Jacques Torres. 

The pedicabs were making the rounds of Brooklyn as part of Revolution Rickshaw's pedicab tours, which includes DUMBO, Fulton Ferry Landing, Brooklyn Heights, Atlantic Avenue, Park Slope, Fort Greene and the Fulton Mall.

Photo by MK Metz

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Time to Visit Brooklyn Navy Yard; GAP Bike Lane Nixed; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- After 200 years, Brooklyn Navy Yard opens gates to the public. (Interesting description of the new museum.)  Brooklyn Eagle

- Brooklyn school  tries to get back to normal after 15-year-old boy dies while trying out for JV basketball. NY Daily News

- DOT axes Grand Army Plaza bike lane -- for now. Gothamist

- A presentation of the responses to the city’s requests for proposals to build a hotel and residential development on the edge of Pier 1 will take place November 22. Brooklyn Heights Press

- Think Brooklyn is tough? Brooklyn court officers tell their tales of the Iraq desert. Brooklyn Eagle

- Residents in East New York struggle with lengthy hot water shortage. NY1

- Remembering when the lights went out in 1965. CBS

- Reaction to Rick Perry's disastrous debate faux pas: "Goodnight Rick Perry. OMG!" Concord, NH Patch

- New report says only five years before climate change is irreversible. Gothamist

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Occupy Brooklyn This Weekend, If You Don't Get Run Over

Occupy Brooklyn is challenging Brooklynites to "join them during this weekend of action to help evict corporate greed from the borough."

According to Occupy Brooklyn, Occupy Wall Street is holding "Brooklyn Occupy Your Block Weekend of Action." People will be gathering near Brooklyn Borough Hall on Saturday Nov. 12 and Sunday Nov. 13, 10am - 9pm. (Note the address given is not Brooklyn Borough Hall, it's Korean War Veteran's Plaza, top circle.)

See full schedule of events here.

At 2:30 p.m. on Saturday everybody is going to March to Evict Corporate Greed. Here is a map of the march route. Sorry to be a wet blanket but it may as well be called "March To the Most Dangerous Traffic Intersections in Brooklyn."

Everyone is leaving from Korean War veteran's Plaza (Point A), walking to Atlantic Yards and then ending up back at Metrotech in Downtown Brooklyn (Point B).

How to Do It Without Getting Killed: Walk up Tillary Street to Jay Street. Watch out crossing Adams -- Tillary at Adams Street is the scene of numerous deadly and near-deadly accidents. If your survive, the map calls for a stroll through MetroTech. You will not be killed walking through MetroTech.You can get some coffee at Starbucks there.

If you make it to Flatbush Avenue Extension we can only advise you to stay on the sidewalks, folks! Obey all traffic rules. (You won't pass much Corporate Greed on Flatbush but you will pass Junior's!)

And if you make it to Atlantic Terminal, congratulations. You have actually arrived at Brooklyn's most flagrant site of true Corporate Greed. As you circle around it from Fort Greene Place to Atlantic Avenue, watch out for speeding trucks. There's not enough time to cross the street at that light.

The Way Back

On the way back along Flatbush, be very careful when you get near 4th Avenue. This is one of the most dangerous intersections in Brooklyn. (Officially it's the third most dangerous.) We have actually observed cars literally flying upside-down through the air at this crossing. DOT has increased crossing time there, however, so instead of having to run screaming through the intersection, you just have to run.

If you are careful crossing streets as you make your way back along Flatbush you will make it to Fulton Street. Aside from crowding this busy shopping street on a Saturday afternoon and annoying the hell out of people, you should be OK.

For some reason you'll be turning onto Duffield Street (Corporate Greed at the Sheraton?). Then you'll be hanging a left onto Willoughby. (Those are closed storefronts you'll be passing. There's art in the windows to liven then up a bit, but it's really kind of sad.) Then you'll pass along various Downtown streets until you get back to MetroTech.

Looks like you'll be taking over Metrotech! With arts, performances and food!
Do you know that NYU-Poly students will be celebrating their Homecoming there on Saturday? (MetroTech is NYU-Poly's campus.) They'll probably really like all the commotion . . .

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Low-Flying Navy Airship Will Be Hovering Over New York City Today

The U.S. Navy and the FAA will be conducting "capabilities flights" using a U.S. Navy MZ-3A Airship (a modified blimp, shown in photo above) in and around New York City today, 11/09/11, from 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

According to NotifyNYC, the flights will be based out of Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, and will operate at altitudes of 1,000 feet and below. (The Empire State Building, Bank of America Tower, New York Times  building and Chrysler Building are all over 1,000 feet tall.)

According to Wikipedia, the manned 178-foot LTA craft can remain aloft and nearly stationary for more than twelve-hours, performing various missions in support of technology development for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR).

According to its manufacturer American Blimp, the SPECTOR series of airships answers "the increasing demand for airborne surveillance by military, police and civil aid agencies."

And in case you forgot, today at 2 p.m. the country is conducting a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System. Totally a coincidence. Really.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

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New NYC Homeless Shelter Rules Will Send Homeless Pouring Into Zuccotti Park

As the Occupy Wall Street crowd in Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan tries to deal humanely with increasing numbers of homeless individuals, New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg tightens the rules for getting into homeless shelters.


Photo by MK Metz

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Building Collapse in Brighton Beach; Strip Club Riles Red Hook; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- A huge pile of rubble is all that is left of a five-story building under construction in Brighton Beach after it suddenly collapsed around 2:30 p.m. as local residents and passers-by watched in horror. Firefighters are still searching through the rubble for victims. Brooklyn Eagle

- Hookers seeing red over strip club. Brownstoner

- Muslims in New York feel powerless over NYPD secret reports. NY Daily News

- Party boat makes emergency stop because three "intoxicated teens" needed medical attention. Gothamist

- The FAA has launched a manhunt for laser-wielding criminals after several attacks against pilots at LaGuardia Airport over the weekend. Gothamist

- Even stranger: "Child's foot" found on lawn in Queens was actually bear paw. Quote: "It's more common than you think." Gothamist

- Obamacare scores big legal victory. NY Magazine

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Record Numbers of Visitors at Brooklyn Bridge Park

More than 60,000 visitors came to Brooklyn Bridge Park on an average summer weekend this year and weekday attendance was approximately 11,500 per day, according to the Brooklyn Heights Press.

A terrific slate of programming was one of the draws -- including Syfy Movies With A View, fitness classes, chess lessons, opera, volleyball workshops, theater, children’s events and more.

Not to mention beautiful, wind-swept views, greenery and interesting snacks.

More here.

Photo by MK Metz

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Have You Voted Yet? Brooklyn Judicial Elections Tuesday

Did you know that you have the opportunity to vote for the judge you may appear before? Today is voting day in New York City and according the Gotham Gazette, voters in Brooklyn actually have a bit of a choice.

Two Democrats running for Civil Court in Brooklyn — Sharen Hudson, a court attorney at the Red Hook Community Justice Center who has the support of Vito Lopez, and Supervising Civil Court Judge Peter Sweeney — are running against two Republican/Conservatives — attorney Joseph Elhilow and lawyer Vincent Martusciello — for two seats.

Here's a reason you may want to vote outside of party lines.

Here's the Voter's Guide if you want to look up the candidates.

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Bearded Lady at OWS; PetSmart to Have Pet Hospital; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Brooklyn cafe owner missing over a week. Ditmas Park Blog via Gothamist

- Wine store opening at 1 Brooklyn Bridge Park. Brownstoner

- Jennifer Miller, the Coney Island bearded lady, performed at the Occupy Wall Street protests in Zuccotti Park on Sunday. Brooklyn Eagle 

- Brooklyn Navy Yard Museum to open this Friday. Brooklyn Before Now

- A number of renowned comic artists will be featured at this December's Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival. ComicsBeat

- The new PetSmart in Boerum Hill will provide adoptions and a pet hospital. Brooklyn Eagle

- Job opportunity: emergency snow removal. The Local

- A sad reminder that even if you have it bad someone somewhere probably had it worse. WYDNKBYANM 

- Zuccotti Park protesters setting up 16' x 16' military tents for the winter. Huff Post

- The world's oldest working stockbroker. NY Magazine

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Monday, November 7, 2011

KiwiSweat Popped Up in DUMBO, Briefly

We were surprised to find a gym with cycling equipment at 81 Front Street (Gair Building No. 6) over the weekend. It turns out that KiwiSweat pop-up gym was only there from Thursday till Sunday (yesterday) for an exercise "experience."

KiwiSweat says they use the “pop-up” model to keep their fitness content amazing. "Because we focus on short-term individual events, we’re constantly reinventing ourselves. This allows us to integrate the latest fitness trends, feature the best instructors, and respond immediately to customer feedback."

Details regarding pop-up locations and schedule are kept secret until they are released online a few weeks before the event begins. KiwiSweat says they get the hottest instructors, and people pay per class with no membership fees. (More at DumboNYC.)

Next stop: Invisible Dog, from November 17th - November 20th.

Photo by MK Metz

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'Occupy Brownsville' Marches Over Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall

Marchers brought coffins to Cadman Plaza Park in Downtown Brooklyn and marched over the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday to bring attention to the unacceptable level of gun violence in the city. The "Ride. March. Rally." started out in Brownsville where Zurana Horton, a mother of 12, was recently shot and killed as she shielded children from a hail of bullets.

City Councilman Charles Barron headed up the march over the bridge to City Hall. Many of the participants carried signs bearing photos of children killed in gang violence.

Marchers said that poverty, unemployment and the lack of centers for youth create a climate of violence. The event was organized by the National Action Network (headed by Rev. Al Sharpton), with the groups Man Up, King of Kings Foundation, and I Love My Life.

Photos by MK Metz

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