A Bit of Brooklyn History in Park Slope Parking Lot

Mar 28, 17 A Bit of Brooklyn History in Park Slope Parking Lot

Posted by in All, Gowanus

The Battle of Brooklyn was a tipping-point during the American War for Independence. Historians believe as many as 256 soldiers from the Maryland 400 died in this pivotal battle in 1776. Their bravery and fortitude, which stopped the British forces from reaching the bulk of General George Washington’s troops, allowed Washington and his soldiers to retreat to a safer place, but unfortunately was bloody battle resulting in many deaths. It is now believed that the fallen of the First Maryland Regiment, under the command of Colonel William Smallwood, could be buried in a mass grave in an empty lot on Ninth Street between Third and Fourth Avenues at the meeting point of Gowanus and Park Slope. Robert Furman, a Brooklyn historian of note and the president of the Brooklyn Preservation Council, says it is a distinct possibility that those heroes are buried in this sometimes-parking lot. “The state of New York has believed for many years that many of the Maryland heroes who died in the Battle of Brooklyn were buried here,” Furman said. The historian explained that the Battle of Brooklyn, which took place on August 27, 1776, saved Washington. Therefore, this burial site should be one of equal importance and veneration as the cemeteries of Gettysburg and Normandy. Furman and other historians believe that if the Maryland 400 had not halted the advancing British soldiers, the war could have ended right there and then, in defeat for Washington, putting an end to independence. “These soldiers saved the revolution,” Furman states. Furman and British-born actor Patrick Stewart of Star Trek fame, who now lives in Park Slope, have been urging for an archeological dig at the site to find out once and for all if this is the elusive mass grave site of the Maryland 400. Since the city is planning to build a new school on the lot, having a dig now is urgent. “We owe it to those who died here,” Furman said. “It would be a horrible travesty to find...

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Park Slope School Losing Funding for Lack of State Test Participation

Jun 08, 16 Park Slope School Losing Funding for Lack of State Test Participation

Posted by in All, News

PS 10 in Park Slope will lose a $75,000 grant because 12 percent of its student body opted out of state testing. This is despite the fact that NYC Public Advocate Letitia James sent a letter to families back in April assuring them that failure to participate in state testing would not result in negative consequences for the school or students. Now that the school, along with 15 others in the district have lost their reward school status, parents are working to reverse that decision. In order to be eligible for reward school status at least 95 percent of the student body must take the state exams. “I am alarmed that my school isn’t getting the rewards because people chose to opt out because of the tests,” parent Theresa Westerdahl said. “It’s a shame and it’s very unsettling,” said Tyndall Arrasmith, co-president of the PTA. “Parents when they opt out, it’s a personal choice,” Letitia James said. “Their schools should not be...

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Upstate New York Comes to Brooklyn with Tacos

May 23, 16 Upstate New York Comes to Brooklyn with Tacos

Posted by in All, Entertainment

A new idea is about to blossom in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn: A Taco stand which also offers products hailing from upstate New York. The shop will be called Josephina, and it is the brainchild of April Valencia, artist and photographer. Located in Gowanus in the backyard of the Pines, a popular eatery on 3rd Avenue, Josephina is hoping to “bridge the gap” between gourmet New York tacos which are beginning to emerge around town, and Mexico City street tacos “that you’re worried might make you sick,” Valencia says. The idea for Josephina was born when Valencia and Pines’ owner Carver Farrel, took a trip from Mexico City to Oaxaca a year ago. Since then they have been creating recipes and testing them on their friends, using ingredients from local merchants. The fluke for the ceviche is caught in Long Island on Wednesday and served on Thursday. All the meat and cheese comes from farms upstate. The tortillas are made fresh every day using hand-ground corn. In addition to tacos patrons can purchase New-Age type goods such as desert stones, tonics, elixirs and indigo-dyed knits. Josephina is scheduled to open this...

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Vandals De-face Brooklyn Police Car

Apr 03, 16 Vandals De-face Brooklyn Police Car

Posted by in All, News

Two policemen of the 84th Precinct were about to go out on patrol when they were confronted with a disturbing sight: two swastikas were painted on the marked car, and one tire was slashed. The incident occurred in Downtown Brooklyn on Gold Street right in front of the police station. The policemen discovered the defaced car at about 6pm last Monday evening. One swastika, which was the pre-eminent symbol of the Nazi party during World War II, was found on the hood of the car, while the other was drawn on the door. Police are investigating and searching the area carefully for the culprit or culprits, hoping that nearby surveillance cameras can lead them to the...

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Get Real Achaar from Brooklyn Delhi

Mar 28, 16 Get Real Achaar from Brooklyn Delhi

Posted by in All, Featured

Until Chitra Agrawal started making her own achaar– strongly flavored Indian pickles- it was impossible to get properly made achaar in New York. Growing up, Agrawal loved eating lots of achaar, made by her aunts and grandmother back in India. When she grew up, she would bring back jars of the delicious treat back with her from India to New York. When Agrawal and her then boyfriend Ben Garthus finished the pickles, they soon realized that it was impossible to get as good tasting achaar in New York. She thought they were made with too much salt, preservatives, and “really bad oils.” Agrawal decided the time had come to simply make them herself. “Achaar is made all over India, but the type of fruits, vegetables, and oils they use vary by location,” Agrawal explained. “In the south, they often use sesame oil and spices like fenugreek. In the north, they might make it from carrot or cauliflower, in a base of mustard oil with nigella seeds.” Agrawal’s achaar is made with small amounts of salt and oil, allowing the freshness of the local ingredients she was using burst through. The first few batches that she made she served at pop-up dinners and cooking classes that she was already hosting. “People responded because they’re really different in flavor and more intense than something like a chutney, which you make and eat when it’s fresh” she said. “With achaar, the flavor gets better over time.” With so much support from the people who tried her achaar, she decided to launch Brooklyn...

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