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New York’s Finest: Midwood’s Di Fara Pizza

Apr 13, 17 New York’s Finest: Midwood’s Di Fara Pizza

Posted by in All, Entertainment

You can’t be from Brooklyn and not love pizza. So it is only logical that a local pizzeria is in the running for Best Pizza in America. According to the Daily Meal, a food blog that has already published “The 101 Best Pizzas in America,” New York’s best pizza place is Di Fara Pizza in Midwood, Brooklyn, run by restaurateur Dominco DeMarco. “Domenico DeMarco is a local celebrity, having owned and operated Di Fara since 1964,” the Daily Meal writes. “Dom cooks both New York- and Sicilian-style pizza for hungry New Yorkers and tourists willing to wait in long lines and brave the free-for-all that is the Di Fara counter experience.” “Yes, it’s a trek, and sure, Dom goes through periods when the underside of the pizza can tend toward overdone, but when he’s on, Di Fara can make a very strong case for being America’s best pizza,” the site says. Di Fara is named on the blog’s latest list: “The Best Pizza in Every State.” The intro to the list explains that the American pizza scene is becoming more competitive and of higher overall quality. “There are plenty of states with pizzerias that have never found their way into the ranking, including Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, New Hampshire, South Dakota, and Wyoming,” the site says. “Today, those states are finally getting the credit they deserve.” Want to try a slice of “The Best Pizza in New York?” Trek down to Avenue J and East 15th Street and get yourself a part of the...

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New York City: Center for Cancer Research, Diagnosis and Treatment

Apr 04, 17 New York City: Center for Cancer Research, Diagnosis and Treatment

Posted by in All, Health

New York City is one of the chief centers for cancer care, not only in the United States, but all over the world. With world-renown research hospitals specializing in cancer research and care, such as Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Research Center, New York Presbyterian, and New York University’s Langone Medical Center, it is not surprising that some of the country’s top doctors, and most advanced treatments are found here. Cancer specialists, such as hematologist Kenneth D. Nahum, ophthalmic oncologist David H. Abramson, and dermatologist David Polsky, are experts in their fields, and up-to-date on the latest research, medications and technologies available for treatment of a large variety of cancers and related ailments. For instance, at New York Presbyterian, new treatments are constantly being developed for blood-related cancers, which, as a hematologist, would be of great interest to Dr. Kenneth Nahum. There are new treatments being developed now which could treat any of the three main types of hematologic cancers: Leukemia, which is a cancer of the bone marrow cells; Lymphoma, which effects lymphocytes which help to fight infections; and Myeloma, which is a cancer of the plasma cells which are also part of the immune system. At Memorial Sloan Kettering, where Dr. David Abramson practices, there are several studies now underway to assess a new technique called photodynamic therapy for patients with prostate, esophageal, breast and bladder cancers. The therapy involves a compound derived from chlorophyll, which is found in plants and bacteria, and its activation with light. So far, the trials have shown much promise, with little side effects and relatively fast results. At the Langone Medical Center, where Dr. David Polsky specializes in melanoma, mole and skin cancer, new gene-based blood tests to identify skin cancers are being developed. In a report from the Center, two new blood tests have proven to be reliable in the detection of hitherto unidentifiable forms of skin cancer. The tests take only 48 hours, and were developed in partnership with Rio-Rad Laboratories in Hercules, California. Currently, the...

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Operation Prom Giveaway Distributes Dresses for Free

Apr 03, 17 Operation Prom Giveaway Distributes Dresses for Free

Posted by in All, Lifestyle

Some of Brooklyn’s high school girls are already getting set for prom night, which usually occurs sometime in June, as the school year comes to a close. For many girls in the city, prom is not a happy occasion, but one fraught instead with alienation and disappointment, simply because they cant afford the hundreds of dollars needed to dress and otherwise prepare for the momentous event. There is an organization that has taken much of the sting out of paying for prom night, “Operation Prom Giveaway.” This generous and innovative program has over 3,000 dresses available for the 230 girls who pre-registered for the event at UAI Math & Science for Young Women in Brooklyn Heights. With such a large number of dresses available, no wonder each girl can find her perfect dress. “My dress represents me,” said one of the girls, a senior at the Young Women’s Leadership School of Brooklyn. “It’s a nice shade of peach, and it’s long and it has sequins and gold. I was skeptical of prom, but I’m super-excited now.” Not only do the girls get to take home some gorgeous dresses, but make-up, shoes and other accessories are also given away. Boys are also outfitted with suits or tuxes, to make prom night special for them as well. “Unfortunately, too many of our students cannot afford all the costs associated with such an event, forcing them to sit on the sidelines and miss out on an important life event,” Public Advocate Letitia James said. Two students of the FDNY High School received a dress and a suit for their special night. “Just to see everybody get a prom dress, feel beautiful, the smiles on everybody’s faces, is amazing,” one of them said. “It feels so good to help and see everyone so...

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Arizona: Tech Hub Central?

Mar 29, 17 Arizona:  Tech Hub Central?

Posted by in Technology

There are many locations across America where technology start-ups and centers have been thriving. Locations that come to mind include San Francisco, Los Angeles, DC and Boston. One that doesn’t readily come to mind…but might soon…is Arizona. When ZocDoc executives wanted to find another location in America due to employee growth, it made sense to scout out a location on the West Coast to operate during local hours. Entrepreneur Cyrus Massoumi once said in an interview about ZocDoc operations that when they were looking to expand out West from their early New York offices, they “did an assessment of all the various markets that [they] could expand into that were Mountain and Pacific time zones and the Phoenix-Scottsdale area came out head-over-heels above everything else.” Since Massoumi had already spent time in Arizona and was impressed with its “vibrant and high-tech talent pool,” the move made sense.  He explained that “Arizona has a lot of great universities, it’s got great weather, and a lot of people want to be there. The people were happy and I could see that it was a growing community.” That was three years ago. Today, ZocDoc is thriving in Scottsdale. Others have seen the benefits of Arizona as well. The following observation was made in an article written by Conor Cawley in Tech Co. “Phoenix, Arizona is not messing around when it comes to their tech ecosystem. The numbers are undeniable and the weather isn’t too bad either. If you’re wondering why this desert city is able to compete with the big dogs when it comes to tech, it should be fairly obvious.” Chris Camacho, CEO and President of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council to Tech.Co., echoed this sentiment when he said “The Greater Phoenix market is not only attracting leading tech companies from the bay area, but is home to a new generation of tech with Arizona-based companies. There is a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region, and companies are able to access in-demand talent, thanks to the numerous area community colleges and universities.” This buzz around Arizona as a tech...

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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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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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