Monday, October 11, 2010

Parade Photos, Reading Series Tonight

The weather couldn't have been better for the Panamanian Day Parade, which was in full drum-and-bugle glory on Franklin Avenue this past Saturday. To the best of my knowledge, it's the only celebration of its kind in the nation.

The weekend also brought a pair of interesting Crown Heights reads to my attention, one much-discussed, one flying under the radar, much like its tragic topic. The former is the NYTimes story on Basil, which follows on the Wall Street Journal's coverage of the kosher pizza joint and wine bar earlier this year (the Brooklynians are unimpressed - they just wanted to know how good the food was). The latter is a heartfelt look at an unsolved Brooklyn shooting death by Becky Bratu on The Brooklyn Ink.

Tonight, get your kicks at the Franklin Park Reading Series, where the theme is "Identity Crises." The event starts at 8pm in the big bar at Franklin Park, with $4 pints for attendees. From salonista Penina Roth, here's the inside take on the featured readers:

This month's characters are experiencing extreme identity crises: a young black Christian struggling with his sexuality; a red-headed, freckle-faced Puerto Rican girl shunned by whites and Latinos; a Jewish teen recasting herself as a WASP princess; and Israelis caught between cultures and continents.

The hero of JAMES HANNAHAM'S debut novel (God Says No) is a gay black Christian torn between his sexuality and prevalent social norms. It's a very timely story, considering recent suicides and this tragic case of homophobia that references the book. Last month's headliner Jennifer Egan called him "A groundbreaking new American voice...topical and ambitious, disturbing and hilarious."
Acclaimed writer and performer MICHELLE CARLO is a true New Yorker and utter original. Here's her book trailer.
SHELLY ORIA (she won the Indian Review Fiction Prize for her story New York 1, Tel Aviv, which is also the title of her upcoming story collection) is a short fiction writer who divides her time between Israel and LA. Her funny, absurd and poignant work focuses on the cross-cultural conflicts of Israelis caught between the American diaspora and their homeland. She also runs the reading series Sweet! Actors Reading Writers (FP alumnus David Goodwillie has been featured there).
ALYSON GERBER has explored WASP envy in essays and a young adult novel, Gracie Garber Loves Goys. Here's a compelling piece she wrote for NY Press.

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