Murals, Murals Everywhere, Making New York Beautiful

Mar 20, 17 Murals, Murals Everywhere, Making New York Beautiful

Posted by in All, Art

In general, “Art imitates life,” but sometimes it is the other way around. That is the case when it comes to Brooklyn mural “Not One More Death.” Painted in the summer of 2007 by artist Christopher Cardinale at Third Avenue and Butler Street in Downtown Brooklyn, the mural was dedicated to the memory of children who had been killed in road accidents. The deaths were especially prominent at or near crosswalks. The mural was painted in partnership with a mural-supporting non-profit group called Groundswell, and an advocacy group which works to reduce fatal car accidents, called Transportation Alternatives. At the ceremony that took place on the day the mural was dedicated the Department of Transportation announced it was going to put into place new traffic measures along Third and Fourth Avenues to slow things down a bit. They added curb extensions and other devices, and now, ten years later, there are speed bumps, 20mph signs, and cameras watching for speeding cars. The mural has the distinction of being one of the first times street art worked to persuade government to respond immediately and tangibly to a serious neighborhood issue. “When we focus on children who were lost in needless preventable traffic crashes, it galvanizes everyone’s advocates, cities and the public to understand how important it is to re-envision our streets where families are,” Kim Wiley-Schwartz, assistant commissioner for education and outreach at the DOT, said. “It’s very fair to say that [the mural] was a catalyst for the conversation and has kept the dialogue going with the community.” Not many people know what Brooklyn looks like to a bird, but one muralist wanted to bring that special, elevated viewpoint to the pedestrians standing on the ground. Artist Vince Ballentine began designing a mural featuring the Brooklyn Bridge in December, 2016. Now the mural is finished and is available for viewing for anyone visiting at or living in Flatbush Gardens, an apartment complex at 1402 Brooklyn Avenue. Ballentine says he wanted to paint a scene...

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Reducing Waste Leads to Some Surprising Eats in One Brooklyn Restaurant

Mar 16, 17 Reducing Waste Leads to Some Surprising Eats in One Brooklyn Restaurant

Posted by in All, Entertainment

In an effort to reduce waste, which runs rampant in restaurants, one Brooklyn eatery is using its leftovers to create some mighty fine meals. At 21 Greenpoint, Sunday dinner will run you $21 per person, and you can bet on some delicious surprises coming your way, all made from the ingredients that did not get used the previous week. Some of the five to eight courses you could be treated to could include: mushroom pesto flatbread pizza or seafood stew. Sunday’s menu is there not only to please its customers, but to also combat the waste of food, says owner Homer Murray, Bill Murray’s son. Across the country an incredible 50 percent of all produce is thrown away. That means about 60 million tons, or $160 billion worth of food just goes to waste every single year. “We’re concerned with the idea of food waste — all the stuff that gets thrown away,” Murray says. “It seems like a crime against humanity, to see this food being tossed...

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Scavenger Hunt in Bay Ridge Rocks!

Mar 06, 17 Scavenger Hunt in Bay Ridge Rocks!

Posted by in All, Lifestyle

A few enterprising women decided the people of Bay Ridge needed a bit of a “pick-me-up,” and proceeded to create a game the entire community can play together: Bay Ridge Rocks! Amie Pappas, age 35, and friend Rana Abu-Sbaih, 42, decided to take the mental health of their neighborhood into their own hands and launched the project in January. “In these tumultuous times, we wanted to add a little joy to people’s lives,” said Amie. “We felt like the community needed that extra little pick-me-up.” She organized the moms of the PTA at PS 102 Bayview School and they set out to Home Depot and purchased 60 smooth brown river rocks and gray Mexican beach rocks. Their kids, and the women, too, painted the rocks in lively, bright colors and in many cases wrote pithy sayings on them, such as: “U Rock,” “Dream Big,” “Take the Next Step” and “Love With Your Whole Heart.” The painting of the rocks was just as important to the project as the hunt for them later. The women then circulated throughout the neighborhood and placed the rocks in a variety of hot spots, like on top of parking meters, flower pots, tree knots, and inside phone booths. Most of the rocks are found on the busier streets like Third, Fourth and Fifth Avenues. When summer arrives the rocks will be found in Owl’s Head Park and Shorse Park. “Any little cranny we can find we’ll put a rock there,” said Amie, mom to a 6-year-son and an 11-year resident of Bay Ridge. When someone finds a rock, first they take a picture of it before they hide it again. The picture is then posted to the group’s Facebook page, “Bay Ridge Rocks.” The group now has 300 members, and the touching stories are starting to come in. “One of the sweetest stories we got was from a woman who found a rock and has kept it next to her husband’s hospital bed for good luck,” said Rana Abu-Sbaih,...

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Castle Harlan Victorious in Recent Case

Mar 06, 17 Castle Harlan Victorious in Recent Case

Posted by in Business

  Castle Harlan Inc. was victorious recently in a win against Russian-owned companies Norcast S.ár.l and Pala Investments Ltd. The two companies claimed that Castle Harlan had done something wrong by purchasing Norcast Wear Solutions from them in 2011 for $190 million in a private sale and then selling it for more money a few hours later. The New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division ruled that the seven-count complaint had failed to show any actionable wrongdoing. They further explained that, since there was not a no-flip clause in the share purchase agreement, there were no grounds for accusing Castle Harlan of any...

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Ellen Gifts Brooklyn Grads with SUNY Scholarships

Feb 27, 17 Ellen Gifts Brooklyn Grads with SUNY Scholarships

Posted by in All, Lifestyle

  In an unusually generous gesture by a woman known for extraordinarily generous gestures, Ellen DeGeneres, in partnership with Walmart, surprised the entire graduating class of Summit Academy Charter School with four-year scholarships to the State University of New York school of their choice. The gift was a surprise, and surpassed the high bar Ellen’s heart-warming gifts have always reached through the years. The scholarship money is worth $1.6 million and will be given to the 41 seniors scheduled to graduate this coming spring. The students were completely shocked by the gift, saying it was “stunning” and “a once in a lifetime opportunity.” The story of the scholarship money began when the founder of the Summit Academy Charter School, Natasha Campbell, got in touch with DeGeneres about the inspirational story of the school. Campbell described to Ellen the extreme poverty of the neighborhood where the children in the school come from, where only 4 percent of the people there have college educations. DeGeneres invited Campbell, and the school’s principal, Cheryl Lundy Swift, to come to the show and share their story. In return Ellen gave them a $25,000 check from Walmart to continue the goals of the school. The school’s mission is to have their students “attend, excel and graduate from college.” Now, with not only a 100 percent college acceptance rate on track and, thanks to Ellen and Walmart, the money to actually attend, the school’s, and the student’s dreams, can be...

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