Friday, July 29, 2011
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
The Other Side
by Baruch Tauber
One early spring afternoon, I sit in Lefferts Park in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. The park is familiar from youth... The children’s playground, where in the dog-days of summer, the squealing and splashing in the sprinkler can still be heard, the towering concrete walls of the handball courts, a sport once more popular in the ‘hood, now lie dormant, covered with debris and leaves from last fall.
The baseball field. A grassy haven in a world of concrete, where on hot summer days you could lie on your back, stare at the clouds, and run your hands through the grass while dreaming of school’s end and sleep-away camp in those exotic Catskill mountains where soft meadows, thick pine trees, and cool lakes were as abundant as the grime a grit of the hot, sweaty city streets. The grass on the field is gone now, replaced by a synthetic green carpet, and soccer seems to be the more popular sport nowadays... Come to think of it, baseball never quite was the ideal sport for this space. Often, multiple games would be going on at the same time, each group with its back to the other on the improvised field. In the outfield, you’d often here an urgent call of warning: “HEADS UP!” but you didn’t know which way to turn!
In addition to being the only large open, “green” space in walking distance, the baseball field served as the only public space that defied the community’s social and racial boundaries. Crown Heights is made up of mostly Caribbeans and Afro-Americans, and a minority of Hassidic Jews and Latinos. During the turbulent 80’s and early 90’s, it was a breeding ground for racial conflict, and since the riots of ’91, and the tense calm that endured, Blacks and Jews tried to keep out of each other’s way. While most of the local kids attended public school, us Jewish kids attended a religious school. This limited our interaction, and we seldom socialized on the street nor saw the interior of each other’s homes. The public shared space of the park forced us to interact. It was here we clashed over who had the field first; it was here we learned how to mediate.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Crown Heights Gold: Examining Race Relations and Healing in Crown Heights Opening Reception
6PM - 8PM
Skylight Gallery Hours: Wednesday to Friday from 11AM to 6PM and on Saturday from 1PM to 6PM.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Friday, July 15, 2011
Monday, July 11, 2011
This year's event has a strong local feel, featuring neighborhood literary celeb JAMES BOICE; Crown Heights's favorite stand-up comic and host of the Comedy Nights show at Abigail's, STEVE CARR; and Prospect Heights resident VICTORIA BROWN, whose autobiographical novel MINDING BEN centers on a young Trinidadian immigrant working as a nanny for privileged NYC families while living in riot-era Crown Heights.
JASON DIAMOND, editor of Jewcy.com and the popular literary blog Vol. 1 Brooklyn, and JULIA JACKSON, an Electric Literature correspondent and recent Brooklyn College MFA grad, round out the lineup.
As always, admission is FREE and we'll have a $4 pint drink special. PLUS, we'll be raffling off books from James Boice and Victoria Brown.
Details -- link to FB event page and pasted below.
FRANKLIN PARK READING SERIES -- "Travels and Journeys Night"
Monday, July 11, 8-10pm
Franklin Park Bar and Beer Garden
618 St. Johns Place, between Franklin and Classon Avenues
Subway: 2/3/4/5 to Franklin Avenue
JAMES BOICE (The Good and the Ghastly, MVP)
VICTORIA BROWN (Minding Ben)
JASON DIAMOND (Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Jewcy.com)
JULIA JACKSON (Electric Literature)
STEVE CARR (Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Comix)
JAMES BOICE was born in 1982 in Salinas, California and grew up in northern Virginia. The Good and the Ghastly is his third novel. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed novels MVP and NoVA, and his work has appeared in Esquire, McSweeney’s, Fiction, Salt Hill, and other publications. He writes about pathological people and lives in Crown Heights.
VICTORIA BROWN was born in Trinidad and at sixteen came alone to New York, where she worked as a full-time nanny for several years. She majored in English at Vassar College before attending the University of Warwick in Coventry, England. Eventually, she returned to New York, where she taught English at LaGuardia Community College. She is now completing her MFA at Hunter College. Victoria lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two young children. She has a part-time babysitter in her employ.
JASON DIAMOND is the founding editor of Vol. 1 Brooklyn, the editor-in-chief of Jewcy.com, and has had work appear at NPR, Vice, The Rumpus, and many more outlets. He is currently at work on his first book. Ask him about it.
JULIA JACKSON was raised in Southern California and currently teaches at Brooklyn College, where she earned her MFA in Fiction Writing in 2011. She is a regular contributor for Electric Literature's blog, The Outlet, and her work is forthcoming in the New Ohio Review.
STEVE MAURICE CARR is a man of many talents. Born in 1985, Steve’s been a poet since the age of 15. He fell in love with stand-up comedy two years ago while working as a busboy at Abigail Cafe and Wine Bar in Crown Heights and now co-hosts the Comedy Heights show at Abigail’s each Tuesday. He has performed on numerous New York stages, including the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Comix, the Tank, and the Laugh Lounge.