Ambulance Chasing Brooklyn Teen Needs Refocus

May 24, 12 Ambulance Chasing Brooklyn Teen Needs Refocus

Posted by in Opinion

Sometimes we just have to own up to our own problems – rather than running around seeing who we can sue next. It’s a disgrace when someone attempts to cash in on an accident that clearly wasn’t anyone’s doing. Perhaps Dion Richardson will listen up, as he is suing the city of Brooklyn for millions of dollars. Why? Because he broke his knee after landing wrong playing basketball at Middle School 51 in Park Slope in 2010. As he explained, “I wanted to go to the pros.” While there is a small, inch-deep, two-by-two inch wide gap in the wooden basketball court at the school, the city says that the mishap didn’t happen close to it. Richardson is claiming, of course, that all of his dreams have now been dashed since he’s had surgery, months in a cast and a second procedure but thinks his leg is still “messed up.” While arguing that his professional dreams have been dashed, he then admitted that he played in less than a dozen organized games…in his whole life. And he was in eighth grade when the accident occurred during a first-period pickup game. Is it a shame that the boy was injured? Of course. Should the school be liable for his medical expenses should it be proven that he fell in the whole that they’ve failed to fix? Perhaps. But should they be liable for breaking his dreams of going pro? Definitely not. Move on Dion – make Brooklyn proud by staying in school and finding a profession, rather than ambulance...

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Blake Eskin Starting Petition to Bring Chinese Food to Prospect Heights

Apr 19, 12 Blake Eskin Starting Petition to Bring Chinese Food to Prospect Heights

Posted by in Opinion

There are a lot of causes out there worth fighting for, and there is certainly no shortage of on-line petitions for or against many valuable ideas and policies. But let’s get real for a minute; most of these issues are really someone else’s problems, and don’t usually have all that much to do with how your life is lived every day, right? Well here’s an on-line petition that most people can get truly excited about: Prospect Heights deserves better Chinese food! Hard to argue with that one. So if you agree, like I believe most people do, then join former web editor for the New Yorker magazine Blake Eskin, the creator of said on-line petition, and demand that a few, or at least one, good Chinese restaurant locate to Prospect Heights. Eskin explained on his blog how he came to feel so passionate about getting good Chinese food in his community. (Eskin does not just want Chinese food; apparently there are already a few places that serve chicken wings. The Chinese food has to be good.) In 2003, Eskin explains, he moved to Eastern Parkway, where “Tom’s” was basically the best restaurant around, but whose service was actually better than the food. Other restaurants opened through the years, but the Chinese at Colala, which has a Yelp rating of only 2 and a half stars, just doesn’t do it for him. In other words, poor Eskin has been suffering for the better part of 9 years without really good Chinese food right down the street. OMG! I encourage whoever believes it is everyone’s right to a great Chinese restaurant in their community to sign Eskin’s petition. Perhaps we can start a global movement to get Chinese restaurants in all sorts of places around the world, like in some countries where there is barely enough food to go around?  Thank goodness China seems to be doing OK these days food-wise. Maybe they would like to send to some poor souls in Prospect Heights a few...

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Pop-Up Museum Challenges Misconceptions in Gowanus

Mar 19, 12 Pop-Up Museum Challenges Misconceptions in Gowanus

Posted by in Entertainment, Opinion

If you live in the New York area, you simply must get to the Pop-Up Museum of the Gowanus Canal. We all hear about how polluted the canal is and what a blight on our existence it is; rather than complaining, some talented people are doing something about this image. The museum opened on March 3 at the Observatory and will be opened to the public until April 22.  Curated by Ethan Gould and Wythe Marschall, founders of the arts movement Hollow Earth Society, and by Rob Peterson and Lindsay Reynolds, the museum challenges viewers to see Gowanus as a place where art blossoms. As Marschall said, “We’re interested in the process of junk space becoming un-junk space again. [Gowanus] becoming an individuated, new neighborhood is really cool. And maybe that’s already here.” While challenging how we see art, the museum also challenges how we see artistic space. It is both user-friendly and wildly accessible.  All of the pieces are in one large room and all are easily accessible to the viewer without any glass enclosed boxes or ropes. There are paintings, sculptures, murals and more here. As CAS senior Zo-Ee Chee said, “You know, artists who make it into museums like the Met, it means that you’ve achieved something, that you’re culturally important. So this is kind of breaking down that aspect, that idea of hierarchy or this privilege you have to earn.” Get your hands on real art made by real people at the Observatory and stretch your horizons about Gowanus...

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Kmart & Sears Closings…Perhaps Because of Kardashian Kollection?

Mar 15, 12 Kmart & Sears Closings…Perhaps Because of Kardashian Kollection?

Posted by in Opinion

For Kardashian bashers, it offers some perverse pleasure to hear that Sears and Kmart are closing some stores, only because the Kardashian Kollection is part of this story.  Sears and their sister franchise Kmart have announced that, due to very slow sales during the Christmas season, they are closing up to 120 of their stores.  It’s possible that these stores will come from the New York area, as there are four Sears stores in New York, including those in Brooklyn and Staten Island; there are also four Kmart stores in the area. Sales Declining Sears has reported a 6% decline in sales in the eight weeks leading up to Christmas Day. Perhaps people were avoiding the outlandishly obnoxious images of those Kardashian sisters at the Kmart and Sears stores? Perhaps they have had enough of the Kardashian Kollection that has made its way into the racks this year? Perhaps not.  Interestingly, online shopping with mobile devices saw quite an upsurge this year, with a 16.4% boost in last-minute online sales on Christmas Day from iPads, iPhones and Android devices, according to IBM Benchmark. Other Stores Coming Out Ahead According to the National Retail Federation, sales at Target and Kohls (where the Kardashians do not have collections), were expected to rise at least 3% from last year. Even though they’ve taken quite a hit, Sears Holdings insists that they are not on the brink of bankruptcy.  We’ll have to see if the New York stores are some of the ones that are closing. Unfortunately, it’s safe to say that the Kardashians are not crying, or hurting economically, from this blip.  Oh well…it’s fun to...

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Punish the Bullies, Not the Bullied

Mar 05, 12 Punish the Bullies, Not the Bullied

Posted by in Opinion

Something is definitely wrong when two children who are being bullied so badly at their school refuse to attend, and the bullies appear to roam unpunished.  This is the experience that two teens at a Bensonhurst high school are having at the moment – and no one appears to be hearing their cries for help. Nicolle and Viktoria have begged to leave John Dewey High School and to transfer to another location. Their request has, according to the New York Daily News, been denied by the city Education Department since there isn’t enough evidence of physical abuse. The real question here, however, isn’t about why the girls can’t transfer; but about why no one seems to be able to guarantee their physical or emotional safety in their current location.  Why should these girls be left to worry for their safety and to fend for themselves at their school? The girls were told that the Dewey officials would take care of the problem – but they haven’t.  As Nicolle said, “I’m scared. No one is helping us. We tried to change schools and they just put us down.” The girls have been spit on and cursed on their way to class, targeted after school by the three bullies and had nasty messages posted on their Facebook pages.  One note on the Facebook page said, “It’s f*cking termination on sight for you p*ta. It’s over for you and that’s not a threat it’s a promise.” The school did suspend the students for a week in January – but their behavior simply started again when they can back to school. At the moment, after filling out paperwork to transfer schools and being told that there isn’t enough evidence to do so, the girls are waiting for the Education Department to review the matter. The situation is untenable, and the girls should not be left with the burden on their shoulders.  It’s understandable that they should want to transfer schools to get away from their tormentors – but...

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Neo-Nazis in Our Neighborhood

Mar 01, 12 Neo-Nazis in Our Neighborhood

Posted by in Opinion

Some may not realize that there is a terrifying movement growing in our midst.  In Greenpoint, Brooklyn, there is a group of Polish neo-Nazis who are flourishing and proudly displaying their racist and disgusting beliefs. Their presence has come to the attention of residents, slowly, first through the sold-out sale of swaztika stud earrings at The Bejewelled shop on Manhattan Avenue and then with the findings of recent photographs by Brooklyn-based photographer Adam Krause.   Krause recently noticed a man at a Greenpoint gym wearing a T-shirt with racist symbols. Intrigued, he approached the man and expressed his interest in photographing him and his friends. As he told the Daily Mail Online, ‘It took a lot of coordination (to photograph them), but I introduced myself to them and showed them my work and obviously there was some sort of interest for them as well.’ The startling photographs show five men posing for Mr. Krause in Greenpoint, some with swastika flags in the background. In 2009, the Greenpoint Gazette pointed out an upsurge in anti-Semitic and homophobic graffeti on mailboxes and on some walls.  A Facebook group called Greenpoint Antifa has also been working to serve as watchdogs against the “fascist, violent” conditions they see growing in the neighborhood. It appears to be time to pay attention, and to figure out a way to take action, if necessary.  These pictures are certain unsettling – and don’t bode well for what appears to be a growing undercurrent in our area. See all of the photos by Adam Krause on the Daily Mail...

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