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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Brooklyn Public Library Branch Moving to Brooklyn Children’s Museum

Feb 20, 17 Brooklyn Public Library Branch Moving to Brooklyn Children’s Museum

Posted by in All, Museums

Officials of the Brooklyn Public Library described more details about the planned move out of the Crown Heights library branch to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. The cost of keeping the branch where it is will cost $8 million, officials say, but only $3 million to make the move. The new library in the museum will take up about 6000-6500 of administrative space in the museum, according to Executive Vice President of External Affairs at Brooklyn Public Library, David Woloch. It is comparable to the space now at the Brower Park branch now at 725 St. Marks Avenue. The BPL will pay the museum $230,000 in yearly rent for the space. Creating a library from the space there now will cost about $3 million. Staying put will cost about $5 million in repairs and an additional $3 million to buy the building. The city built the library branch in 1963, but never purchased the land that it is on, said Woloch. It is located only 1.5 blocks from the museum, and about a 1.4 mile walk for the Central branch of the BPL, which also has a youth wing. Although located within the museum building, the library will have its own hours and a separate entrance. Officials are looking forward to building a state-of-the-art family-centered library with child-focused programing and other resources. Woloch empahasized that the proposed move is just that, and not a ‘done-deal.’ Funding has not yet come through, and the details of the new branch’s layout and programming are not yet “set in stone.” “We’re in the process of speaking to as many people as we can,” he...

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Great Skiing Does Not Always Mean Flying

Jan 01, 17 Great Skiing Does Not Always Mean Flying

Posted by in All, Entertainment

People in Brooklyn, don’t despair! In only four hours of less of driving you can be swooshing down some wonderful ski runs, without having to break the bank on airfare, or spending any more of your limited, precious time on the extreme hassle of flying. Check out these five great destinations and get your powder-white fix this winter, with minimum bother. •    Only one hour and 45 minutes away, Mount Peter Ski Area is one of the few family-owned ski resorts left in New York State, and the oldest extant ski area, too. At 400 feet-high, the peak is covered with five ski lifts and 14 runs equally divided between advanced, intermediate and beginner. The resort, just north of the New Jersey-New York border, offers free beginner ski and snowboarding school. •    Thunder Ridge Ski Area is even closer to Brooklyn than Mount Peter- only one hour and 30 minutes away, in Patterson. The 22 trails, accessible by 6 lifts, are geared to intermediate and beginner skiers. The resort has the capability of covering 95 percent of the mountain with artificial snow, so even if the snowfall was minimal, there is still great skiing to be had. •    Catamount Ski Area is found on the border between New York and Massachusetts in the Taconic Mountains. With seven lifts and 36 trails in 119 acres, it is one of the largest ski areas in New York or New England. It is only two hours and 45 minutes-drive from Brooklyn. •    If night-skiing is your thing, you will love Windham Mountain Resort. With a 1,600-foot-high incline and 52 ski trails with 12 lifts, this resort is well worth the trip. To top it off, there is an on-site spa, five terrain parks for freestylers, and artificial snow. Located in Windham, New York, it takes only 3 hours to get there from Brooklyn. •    Looking for a ski area a little further away? Give the Royal Mountain Ski Area a try. It is a three-hour and 45-minute...

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Great Brooklyn Eating Along the J-Train Line

Dec 18, 16 Great Brooklyn Eating Along the J-Train Line

Posted by in All, Entertainment

Looking for something new and wonderful to try in the world of gastronomic adventures? Get off at the Crescent Street stop where the J-train passes through Cypress Hills in Brooklyn and explore a great new world of tastes. Aztec Soul: Named after the great civilization which occupied the area now known as Mexico, the food available is traditional Mexican snack food, like tacos and hand-made quesadillas. Son of the owner, Hector Vasquez, says try the burrito. Hector says his dad, Facundo, makes a burrito you will not forget. Chef Quang: Just a short walk away this restaurant offers the tastes of Guyanese-style Chinese food. Customers have come from as far away as Philadelphia, says manager Bibi Bakridi, who runs the eatery with her husband Quang Choo-Kang. What is drawing in the customers? Either the Lo Mein or the Fried Rice, which Chef Quang dresses in sugar, soy sauce, and a bit of hot chili pepper, topped with shredded cabbage and carrots. Antojitos Ecuatorianos: If you arrive in the morning you will find yourself in what feels like an authentic South American café. But the restaurant also offers some great main courses, such as Ecuadorian empanada with beef, chicken or cheese; pork, chicken or steak with lots of rice and beans; and of course Ecuadorian-style tamales like humitas, which are made with fresh, sweet corn kernels. When you are in Brooklyn there is no need to travel to satisfy your wander-lust. It is all found right nearby, along the J-train line on Fulton Street or Atlantic Avenue in Cypress...

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Brooklyn, Queens Adding Restaurants of a Different Variety

Oct 31, 16 Brooklyn, Queens Adding Restaurants of a Different Variety

Posted by in All, Entertainment

Foodies have what to smile about this month with several new eateries opening in Brooklyn. Residents of Bushwick and Bay Ridge are in for a treat when Artichoke Basille’s Pizza opens not one, but two new locations. Home-grown in New York, this mini-chain offers some unique pizza offerings, like crab pizza, burnt anchovy pies and of course artichokes. Now Astoria denizens can have a wonderful Middle-Eastern experience at Café Istanbul, complete with belly dancing. Sonny Shaikh is the owner, hailing, not from Turkey, but from Mumbai. India. Shaikh has been in New York for 23 years and decided to walk on the wild side and give up his career in high tech and try his hand at serving Mediterranean, Egyptian and Turkish delights. In addition to gastronomic offerings such as baba ghanoush, hummus, rack of lamb and shrimp tagine, diners can whet their appetites with 30 flavors of Hookah available all day, and belly dancing shows on weekends at 11pm. The Hall is a permanent new restaurant housed in the spacious Union Fare food emporium at 6 East 18th Street. The food is inspired by state fair fare and proves to be quite creative. Comfort foods abound, of course, such as steak kebabs and a falafel dog with feta, tahini and tzatziki. If messy is more your style, then dip into the nachos, sweet chili wings and a BBQ pull pork sandwich adorned with waffle...

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