Thursday, May 31, 2012

Talk Show at LaunchPad All Weekend Long

There's never a dull moment at LaunchPad, but this weekend there's an extra-special reason to stop by, as Ellen Reeves brings her award-winning Talk Show to Crown Heights for three straight nights of shows. Complete info from the Talk Show blog below the video:

TALK SHOW at LaunchPad
721 Franklin Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11238
2/3, 4/5 to Franklin Avenue

June 1, 2 and 3, 2012
Show 8-9:30 pm. Doors open at 7:30. Reception 9:30-10:30 pm. Admission is free; no reservations; seating is first-come, first-served. BYOB.

Forget Conan and Colbert. Forget Reality TV. TALK SHOW is the new reality, only better.  
Because it’s real. 

In addition to featured guests, interactive segments vary nightly and may include:
Man Off the Street. Who’s in the Audience? What’s Your Problem? The Name Game. Everything You Need is in this Room. I Am My Own Stupid Pet Trick. 

Friday, June 1
Why Are You Acting Like That?
Featured guests include Ron and Lynn Cohen (Sex and The City; Munich); Marzipan-Maker/Writer/Photographer Sue Stevenson BorowitzCharla Lauriston, Improvisor and Stand-up Comedienne.

Saturday, June 2  
Everything But the Kitchen Sink
Featured guests include Food and Wine host Heather Johnston of So.Good TV’s Cooking with HJ; Tip Top Organizing CEO Jaclyn Gross on decluttering your life; Harvard Cheerleader Michael Bachmann (Making ‘Em Cheer).

Sunday, June 3
Who Knows What Will Happen Next?
Featured guests include Phil Wolff on Improv; Psychic Roxanne Usleman; Astrologer Elisabeth GraceGreg Pierotti(ApologyThe Laramie Project).

TALK SHOW. Because everyone has a story.

TALK SHOW debuted at Grand Opening on the Lower East Side in 2010.
Creator, producer and host Ellen Reeves is the author of Can I Wear My Nose Ring to the Interview? The Crash Course in Finding, Landing, and Keeping Your First Real Job

Gavin Browning, Digital Media Director; Stephanie Genkin, Executive Producer; Emma Janger, House and Stage Manager; Michael Kunitzky, LaunchPad; John Murphy-Teixidor, Technical Director;  Ben Smyth, Logo Design.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Help Keep Five Myles Open on June 14

Here's an event to put on your calendar in advance: Five Myles on St. John's is hosting a benefit on Thursday, June 14, from 6-9pm. The local gallery, which has served as a community hub for emerging and established artists since 1999, is suffering the effects of the recession (which continues to hit arts funding particularly hard), and is using this event to raise funds to stay open. For more about Five Myles and their longtime commitment to young artists and the arts of the African Diaspora, check out this great Daily News piece from last week. If you're looking for some outstanding artwork for your home or business, this event is a great way to acquire some while supporting an awesome local nonprofit at the same time. 

In other local arts news, check out Jean Seestadt, ILFA's "lady," on the cover of Quiet Lunch Magazine.

Monday, May 28, 2012

New Coffee Spot for Bergen

Those who ride west on Bergen's bike lane will have already seen this space under construction just east of Classon (more new development for Four Corners). The lady and I rolled by yesterday on our way to the park and chatted briefly with the folks outside, who hope to open in two weeks. The space isn't huge, but the wall of glass and high ceiling gives it an airy feel. In the haste of drive-by blogging, ILFA doesn't quite remember their name, though I know it begins with a "C." Colby Coffee Company? Colgate? Colrain? Something to that effect, anyway - if you know more, post it here.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Introducing TasteBuds

Kevin Philip has done it again. In the time that it takes most business owners to get one single license approved by a city agency, he's converted About Time Boutique into a beautifully-appointed new sandwich shop, TasteBuds, which will start training staff next week in preparation for a soft opening on June 15. ILFA snuck in today as Kevin was working to hear about all the ways in which this sandwich shop will stand out.

The Food: Why else would you go in, right? Classic sandwiches and some new twists, hot and cold, made with fresh local ingredients (including bread from a beloved NYC bakery) and some choice imported meats and cheeses. This is not your basic deli - this is a serious sandwich shop. There'll be some tasty items around the edges, too, for those who don't always want their meal between two slices of bread, including some award-winning chili. ILFA plans to eat my way through the menu one sandwich at a time - here's hoping they have some of those "buy 9 and get the 10th free" cards.

The Look: Someone who's built out big-budget bars as an electrician and designed t-shirts for years knows how to make a place beautiful. There are more photos below, but touches include a great mural on one wall, homemade tables, cozy soft lighting up front for summer evenings, and an original Redbird subway strap (pun intended). Oh, and did we mention the sign?

The Sign (and what it stands for): Nearly 15 years ago, when Kevin was first getting started in the screen printing business, he found an experienced local signmaker who was willing to sell him some basic equipment to get off the ground. Every time Kevin's needed a sign for a business since, he's gone to the same guy, but a decade and a half later, it was the signmaker's son, now in the family business, who made the stencil for the TasteBuds sign (from Kevin's own design). A little local reciprocity to keep business close to home: that's how Kevin and Garnett (the Franklin Avenue Merchants founder) do things, whether they're hiring locally or putting on the Kids Day. Shop local - see you at TasteBuds.

You knew they'd have great-looking t-shirts.

Even the iPad-register-dock is homemade.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Poetry at Five Myles Tonight

Lots going on tonight, including this event at Five Myles Gallery in partnership with the Haiti Cultural Exchange:

Melissa Beauvery is a spoken word artist, writer and cultural activist currently living in Philadelphia, PA. Her work is heavily influenced by traditional Haitian spirituality, storytelling and songs. Melissa writes in English and Haitian Creole. Though a born Brooklynite, her strong interest in Haitian culture was a result of constant trips to Haiti throughout her adolescence. Her work is also reflective of the journey of the Haitian diaspora in America and elsewhere. Her poems have been published in a Haitian writers anthology titled Voices of the Sun (2009) and in a powerful reactive chap book “For the crowns on your head” (2010) released shortly after the 2010 earthquake. Her most recent project, “My Grandmother’s Tongue” was released this year. This is her first spoken word album.
The poems on “My Grandmother’s Tongue” tell stories in both English and Haitian Creole. Using stories and the styles of spoken word, Beauvery illustrates different circumstances in America and Haiti. The CD is also animated by various instruments ranging from Haitian drums to an accordion.
Join Haiti Cultural Exchange for discussion about her present and past writings and personal inspiration. Then, stick around for a special performance with Melissa including special guest performances by Obed Jean Louis, Reginald Jacques, Val Jeanty, and Buyu Ambroise!
DATE / TIME: Thursday, May 24th, 2012/ 6-8pm. Refreshments will be served.
LOCATION: Five Myles Gallery, 558 St. John’s Place, Brooklyn, New York Google MapTake the  2, 3, 4 or 5 to Franklin St or the S to Botanical Garden.
ADMISSION: Free. $10 suggested donation. Seating is limited, please RSVP to

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Arts to End Violence TONIGHT and Thursday Night

More great events from SOS Crown Heights:

Live music! Free wine and food! Inspired and inspiring art!

Please join us TONIGHT for our Arts to End Violence gallery opening... 

**6:30-9pm at Ron Taylor's Gallery, 1160 St. John's Place, and the Greater Restoration Baptist Church, 1156 St. John's Place.**

See the art and meet your neighbors; enjoy live music and free wine and snacks. This is an indoor/outdoor event but will take place rain or shine.

We hope to see you there!
 - the S.O.S. team

And don't forget tomorrow night's movies at LaunchPad, co-sponsored by the Kings County Cinema Society (check out the trailer above):

Friends! Thursday night, as part of the 2nd Annual Arts to End Violence Festival created by Save Our Streets Crown Heights, KCCS will present a special screening of director Maggie Hadleigh-West’s recent doc PLAYER HATING: A LOVE STORY (2010, 95min)
Player Hating follows rapper Half-a-Mill and his Brooklyn crew, The Godfia Criminals, as they struggle to launch Milion, in an effort to attain money, success and recognition through music. Player Hating delves intimately into the lives of young “thugs”, and takes the viewer into an underground world of poverty, alienation, gangs, violence and music that most audience members have an inkling of, but few rarely see—unless they’ve lived it. Filmed in the Albany Projects in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Trailer at our site - film’s site here
Player Hating is one of the more intimate and revealing looks at American projects ever made… Hadleigh-West clearly has the guts, not to mention the wiliness, of a potentially major filmmaker: She went to an everyday kind of purgatory and came out with a picture of cleansing humanity.” – Chuck Bowen, Slant Magazine

The 8pm screening will be preceded by a selection of locally-produced music videos, docs and youth media, curated by the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center, beginning at 7pm... with a Q&A with local artists and activists.
Thursday May 24th 2012. 7pm youth media, 8pm feature film
At Brooklyn LaunchPad, 721 Franklin Ave btw/ Park & Sterling. 2/3/4/5 to Franklin
Free, free popcorn, BYOB

Soccer for Harmony Looking for Sponsors and Volunteers


From Seeds in the Middle, who've held two successful tournaments of this kind already:

Do you play soccer? Do you support healthy kids? We're calling all players - of all ages - and SPONSORS on June 3rd for our 3rd Soccer for Harmony tournament - this time in conjunction with the 71st Precinct's Family Day, featuring rides, food, festivities, a parade for kids and more. 

The friendly competition will feature three different rounds - male adult teams, youth teams and women/co-ed games, with players spanning the globe. You can sign up individually or put up a team. You can also join a 6 pm co-ed pickup game.

In our first Soccer for Harmony, the Orthodox Jewish community team trounced the Caribbean crew. Second round, the Caribbean crew rallied, and beat the Jewish contigent. Now - round three, they face off again. We invite you to expand the challenge! We're looking for 16 teams of 7 vs 7.

Not only play ball, but you also help kids get fit, play soccer for low-cost or free & support our Crown Heights Farmers Market. Parents - sign up your child for youth soccer now.  
Stay tuned for our next Seeds in the Middle newsletter to tell you about all our activities: gardens, chefs, Hip2B Healthy Market, running, zumba, ballroom dancing, arts and more.

SPONSORS: We provide great publicity for any sponsoring business! Look at the press coverage! Check sponsor opportunities here. See our letter and sponsor form.

Check the Crown Heights Farmers Market on NY1.

Click on the link below to register now!
Get more information
Register Now!
I can't make it

Questions? Contact or call 917-756-4202.
We look forward to seeing you in Crown Heights - on the field - on Sunday, June 3rd. 

Don't forget! Send the kids to march in the parade at 11:30 am!

Seeds in the Middle
crown Heights Farmers Market c/o

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Growth and Gardens on Franklin

(the Art Not Arrests installation at the Crow Hill Community Garden, on the move, and in its new home at the Walt L. Shamel - Dean North Community Garden on Dean between Franklin and Bedford)

ILFA just had a blog post published for HuffPo's New York page, which features opinion and analysis from local journalists, bloggers, activists, and the like. It's a fairly straightforward, if typically long-winded, look at some recent changes in the area, using the abrupt end of the Crow Hill Community Garden as a jumping-off point to think about where neighborhood change goes from here. I confess there's nothing too original about it - DNAInfo's Sonja Sharp posed similar questions far more succinctly in two pieces last week (here and here) - but after recent conversations with friends and neighbors, these questions were on my mind.

So what are the questions? The usual ones, of course: How have local residents organized to direct the pace and direction of neighborhood changes, to what degree have these efforts made an impact on the community, and will such efforts continue (and continue to be effective) in the future? Some variation of these queries were on the minds of a lot of people up and down Franklin over the past week or so. Maybe it's just summer and people are feeling chatty. Maybe it's the five big projects coming down the pipe (the Brownstoner-Goldman Sachs one on Dean Street, the hole at Eastern and Franklin, the one across from the  hospital, the Nassau Brewery, and the one on Bedford and St. Johns) and concerns about what the imperatives of big capital mean for little neighborhoods. Maybe it was something about the garden being replaced by condos, in particular - so visible and sudden a manifestation of the ways that best-laid plans can sow the seeds of their own destruction - that seemed to bring these out. 

So what were people saying? They were ambivalent (I keep coming back to this word in the HuffPo piece, which is an admittedly terrible position to take in an opinion piece, but that's the vibe lately). One the one hand, it's not hard to point to all sorts of ways in which local residents, newly-arrived and forty-year-veterans, are working together now more than ever. Art Not Arrests. SOS Crown Heights & the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center (and the internship program that the Brooklynians are working very hard to promote). Seeds in the Middle. The CHCA. The Franklin Avenue Merchants and their truly spectacular Kids Day (now in its 5th year). Tish James (a rare politician with wide appeal who doesn't skimp on knowing her district inside and out). The Seen from this angle, there's an ever-growing group of people  and organizations who are committed to making change work for the largest possible group of residents in Crown Heights. These folks sit on Community Board 8, go to 77th Precinct Council Meetings, and work closely with some local politicians, making every effort to implement this vision. It's not perfect, of course, but it's worth acknowledging, and it's something to build on.

What's the other hand? All sorts of things (maybe the "hands" phrasing isn't a good one). It's tweeting a post about a new upscale restaurant coming to Crown Heights, and tweeting about a shooting response from SOS Crown Heights a few hours later. It's reports from the Daily News about how Northern Crown Heights lost 10,000 black residents in the most recent census, coupled with an OWS-led protest outside of a local real estate office after accusations that said local realtor has been pounding on doors at midnight in an effort to displace low-income tenants. It's seeing others nod grimly at such reports, and yet hearing them express deep misgivings about the motives and potential of the Occupiers who showed up to make a scene about it, primarily because they, too, feel like alien invaders. It's stop-and-frisk. It's murmurs that new residents don't patronize local establishments if they don't see someone who looks like them behind the counter. It's facing draconian budget cuts that will hit the neediest communities the hardest. It's the creeping concern that the best efforts of local folks to improve a neighborhood have a way of displacing people, sometimes those very same people. 

None of this is meant as an indictment, nor an exercise in finger-pointing, nor even as fatalism. It's primarily an attempt to provoke conversation, because to me, and to a lot of others I've been talking with, "change" (gentrification/revitalization/whateveryouwanttocallit) seems to be changing, or shifting gears, or turning a corner (pick your metaphor). With apologies to the late William F. Buckley, Jr., we can't stand athwart history yelling "stop," but we can think critically and creatively about how these new changes might affect the community and what avenues are available to impact them. 

A Look Inside Mayfield

Back in March, local residents and NYC culinary-scene veterans Jacques Belanger and Lev Gewirtzman made news with the announcement that they were taking over the former Franklin Roadhouse Space. Yesterday, they gave ILFA a tour of their new restaurant, which they've dubbed "Mayfield" "in honor of Curtis," according to Lev. 

The interior already looks completely different than it once did, with exposed brick walls with weathered-steel inlays, an open-plan kitchen, and a long bar running most of the length of the very deep space. Unlike at the Roadhouse, you'll be able to sit at the bar, which will serve a full lineup of beer, wine, and liquor, and will include, between the kitchen and the booze, a raw bar. Tables (high- and low-top) and chairs are being salvaged from bowling alleys and church pews, and the garden out back will remain, with some new plantings.

There's plenty of work to be done (they hope to open "by the end of the year"), so the menu is far from settled, but they still plan to serve seasonal American fare in what Lev called an "everyday, casual" setting, focused around the raw bar and whatever fresh produce comes their way. Whenever they open, I think it's a safe bet that they'll be hotly-anticipated, even in a budding foodie scene that includes Thirstbaravin (recently reviewed in the New Yorker, which couldn't keep from calling the area an "anti-destination destination"), Barboncino (which earned high marks from the Voice, who also shouted out Fatima), Peet Zaaz (the Times loved them), Rosco's (working away right across the street in the former Slice of Brooklyn space - we appear to be becoming a pizza destination), Chavela's, and many others.

Chairs salvaged from a Kentucky church

Future home of the raw bar

Monday, May 21, 2012

Wednesday: Tenants Rights and Affordable Housing

Check out this event on Wednesday from the Pratt Area Community Council, addressing some major issues in Central Brooklyn, including Crown Heights. The text of the flyer is copied below:

Are you tired of soaring rents?

Is your community facing the pressures of gentrification?
Do you believe tenants need stronger protections NOW?

Come to our Town Hall Meeting on Tenants' Rights and Housing Affordability!

Wednesday, May 23 at 6:00 PM
Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn
85 South Oxford St. between Fulton St. and Lafayette Ave
Dinner will be provided
The Town Hall Meeting is being sponsored by Pratt Area Community Council (PACC), the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development (ANHD),
Make the Road New York, and Tenants & Neighbors.

Two for Tonight: I'm Not Me at Franklin Park and Storytelling at Bar Sepia

It's a rainy Monday, but don't let that keep you at home this evening. At Franklin Park, Filmwax is launching a monthly film screening with "It's Not Me" at 8pm (seating starting at 7:30). Complete info from their FB page is below. Meanwhile, over at Bar Sepia, the Brooklynians are telling stories from 8-10pm.

More from Filmwax:

Seating at 7:30. Screening at 8:00. Q&A follows.
On MAY 21, Franklin Park will be launching a MONTHLY MOVIE NIGHT, programmed by the cinephiles at the acclaimed Filmwax Film Series. We'll be screening new indie films, followed by a discussion and Q&A with the filmmakers.

In May we'll be hosting the Brooklyn premiere of the film festival favorite "I'M NOT ME," and its writer-directors, ZAK MULLIGAN and RODGRIGO LOPRESTI, will be on hand to offer insight and answer questions.

SYNOPSIS OF "I"M NOT ME": As Josh struggles with the death of his wife Sam, his grief begins to manifest itself in haunting and strange ways. When Josh comes face to face with his dead wife -- who is somehow alive and well -- he slowly realizes that his world consists of two divergent realities. As he journeys between the two realms, hopeful of recreating the life he shared with Sam, tragedy ensues.



Coming up: SONS OF PERDITION (June 18), SOME GUY WHO KILLS PEOPLE (July 16), and REDLEGS (August 20).

Friday, May 18, 2012

Weekend Links: Block Parties, Music, Handstands, and More

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ILFA should be resting up for the Brooklyn Half-Marathon tomorrow morning, but before I do, some weekend links (if you're not already racing the half and/or heading down the Great Googa Mooga).

- The CHCA Garden met a bittersweet end this Tuesday, with nice article cataloging the work of Stacey Sheffey and the CHCA on DNAInfo. If you're still aching to work out your green thumb, check out the Roger That Garden over on Rogers and Park, who have a big building day planned for Saturday. 

- The SOS Crown Heights Arts to End Violence Festival kicks of on Saturday with a block party on Kingston Avenue from 1-6pm

- Local band People vs. Larsen plays 739 Franklin (after finding out about the venue on ILFA) Saturday night at 9:30.

- On Sunday, the LAVA Studio in Prospect Heights hosts their annual Handstand-a-thon (complete info on this one below) from 2-5pm.

- On Monday night, Filmwax launches a new monthly film series at Franklin Park, with seating starting at 7:30 and the film at 8pm.  

When: Sunday, May 20th, 2012 from 2-5pm
Where: The LAVA Studio, located at 524 Bergen Street, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
Who: Open to both kids and adults

Handstand experts as well as first-timers, young and old, are invited to come to Prospect Heights, Brooklyn to log seconds and minutes with their hands on the ground and their feet in the air! Haven’t done a handstand before?  No problem! Handstanders can use the wall, a spotter, or several spotters. The total time spent upside down will be tallied and added to a collective handstand pool. The goal for the total time of people with their feet raised is 1 second for every dollar raised, with a goal of $20,000.

Handstanders are encouraged to create their personalized fund-raising pages Each person who registers for will receive an "I <3 Handstanding" wristband. As fundraisers meet different incentive tiers they will receive different gifts while helping to keep LAVA accessible to all.

Handstand-a-Thon raises funds to support LAVA’s free activities: Community Class (a weekly class for kids ages 5 to 12), Night of Renegades (a seasonal open mic performance night in the LAVA Studio with music, dance, acrobatics, etc), Magma Mix (a seasonal performance event for kids, hosted by MAGMA, LAVA’s junior company), and the P.S. 9 Pick-Up Program(a weekly partnership with P.S. 9 in which 6 kids from P.S. 9 get picked up at school and brought to the LAVA studio for a class).  It also goes to support tuition subsidies and scholarships for our kids and adult classes which comprises nearly 25% of our student body.

We raise money so that some of our work can exist outside of the pressures of the market economy and provide wider access to the LAVA Studio for the people of Brooklyn and NYC.

Where Handstand-a-Thon donations go:
$125 – 1 day of LAVA’s P.S. 9 Pick-Up Program for kids 
$235 – 1 full scholarship for a session of LAVA Classes for kids
$250 – 1 day of Community Class at the LAVA Studio 
$500 – 1 day of Magma Mix performances in the LAVA Studio
$3000 – 12 weeks of Community Class at the LAVA Studio

LAVA is a performance troupe based in Brooklyn dedicated to creating original, empowering, boundary-breaking performances based in dance and acrobatics.  At the LAVA Studio, ensemble and community members train and teach LAVA’s rigorous, creative and inclusive movement language to kids and adults, and host several community programs.  For more info including photos and video footage of the company as well as last year’s Handstand-a-Thon, go to

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Prospect Heights Democrats for Reform Meeting Tonight at 7pm

From one of our local political clubs that's working to make local government more open, accountable, and responsive to community needs:


Live in Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, or Bed-Stuy? Interested in getting involved in the democratic process? Interested in running for office yourself? Interested in making politics more open, transparent, and free from corruption?

Then you should come to the next meeting of Prospect Heights Area Democrats for Reform:

Thursday, May 17

Duryea Presbyterian Church, Basement Level
362 Sterling Place (corner of Underhill Avenue)Prospect Heights

We will hear a presentation from North Flatbush Neighbors. Faryce Moore, candidate for Female District Leader, 57th AD, will also address the club. 

And we will be holding a training about how to run for office in your own neighborhood!

Email us at, or call 917-725-1517

We hope to see you!

The SOS Crown Heights Arts to End Violence Festival Kicks Off This Weekend

If you don't know about the fantastic work of Save Our Streets Crown Heights (profiled in USA Today this week), make some time to check out their Arts to End Violence Festival in the next week. The fun kicks off on Saturday with a block party on Kingston Avenue all afternoon, and continues with pop up displays, gallery openings, and film screenings all throughout next week. All of the events are free and open to the public, and offer an opportunity to learn more about how SOS Crown Heights has reduced violent crime in our community by employing the CeaseFire model (made famous in the film "The Interrupters," which SOS and the CHCA screened last weekend). If you do get a chance to meet any of SOS's violence interrupters, thank them: they brave some of the most volatile situations on NYC's streets in an effort not just to respond to violence, but to break the cycle that perpetuates it. 

Also, as mentioned at yesterday's CHCA meeting, SOS Crown Heights and their parent organization, the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center, are putting together an internship program for local youth this summer, and they are looking for internship opportunities at a wide range of companies and institutions. If your employer could use a talented, pre-screened, pre-interviewed, and enthusiastic youth intern this summer, get in touch with them ASAP. Funding requests have gone out, so these positions need not be paid, but they would hopefully involved regular duties and responsibilities, and not just the odds-and-ends busy work that some internships can become. 

The complete release for this coming week from SOS Crown Heights:

An initiative of Save Our Streets Crown Heights (S.O.S.), Arts to End Violence is a festival and contest that brings together some of the many artistic expressions of peace in our neighborhood and beyond in order to spread the message of nonviolence. Over 40 pieces of art, submitted by young and old, professional and novice, explore topics including the cyclical nature of violence, media and stereotyping, gang culture, and ultimately a shared vision and hope for peace in our streets. The result is a collection of art that works to unravel the dangerous web that produces and perpetuates gun violence in our neighborhood.  During the Arts to End Violence festival week, and throughout the summer, this art will be displayed publicly in Crown Heights in order to stimulate conversations about nonviolence and community building and to demonstrate the creativity and the beauty that thrives in the Crown Heights neighborhoods.

Save Our Streets Crown Heights' (S.O.S.) mission is to reduce gun violence in Crown Heights. The S.O.S. outreach team de-escalates confrontations on the spot in the streets and mediates disputes among groups and individuals before they erupt in violence. When a shooting incident occurs, S.O.S. outreach workers respond immediately to reduce the likelihood of retaliatory violence and, within 72 hours, organize a street response by neighborhood residents to demonstrate their rejection of violence. Outreach workers also counsel and mentor a caseload of young men and women who are assessed to be at high risk for involvement in gun violence. S.O.S. organizes community events that bring residents, merchants, clergy, and institutional leaders together to strengthen the sense of community in Crown Heights. At the end of 2011, shootings were down 38% from the previous year in our target area. 

For more info on S.O.S. and Arts to End Violence, please call our office at 718-773-6886 or see our websites at or

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

CHCA Meeting Tonight (and Garden Removal Today)

CHCA logo

The Crow Hill Community Association holds their monthly meeting tonight at 7:30pm in the Gospel Tabernacle Church at 725 Franklin Avenue. They also received word that they must have their community garden - right across the street from where the meeting is being held - all packed up by the close of business tomorrow. If you're around earlier in the day, please come by and lend a hand, as they could really use the help.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Franklin Park Reading Series Tonight @ 8pm

It's literary journal and small press night tonight at the Franklin Park Reading Series, and as usual, the readings will be fantastic and the beers will be $4. What more could you ask for?

Bookstores are bursting with new issues of lit journals and small presses are gaining shelf space -- that's cause for celebration! Join us this month for readings by influential lit journal editors and indie stars.



ELISSA SCHAPPELL (Blueprints for Building Better Girls, Tin House)
ROBERT LOPEZ (Asunder, Kamby Bolongo Mean River)
MILES KLEE (Ivyland)
JAC JEMC (My Only Wife)
DANIEL LONG (The Fiddleback)


PRIZES!!! We'll be raffling off magazine subscriptions and books by hot debut novelists MILES KLEE (Ivyland) and JAC JEMC (My Only Wife) and one of contemporary lit's most innovative authors, ROBERT LOPEZ (Asunder, Kamby Bolongo Mean River, Part of the World).


618 St. Johns Place, between Franklin and Classon Avenues
Crown Heights, Brooklyn
Subway: 2/3/4/5 trains to Franklin Avenue

ELISSA SCHAPPELL is the author of the story collections Blueprints for Building Better Girls, named one of the best books of 2011 by The San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe, Newsweek, and The Wall Street Journal, and Use Me, which was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway award, a New York Times Notable Book, and a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. She is a contributing editor and the Hot Type book columnist at Vanity Fair, a former senior editor of The Paris Review, and co-founder and now editor-at-large of Tin House magazine. She lives in Brooklyn with her family.

ROBERT LOPEZ is the author of two novels, Part of the World (Calamari Press) and Kamby Bolongo Mean River (Dzanc Books), and a collection of short fiction, Asunder (Dzanc Books). He has taught at The New School, Pratt Institute, Columbia University, and Pine Manor College's Solstice Low-Res MFA Program and was a 2010 Fellow in Fiction from the New York Foundation for the Arts.

MILES KLEE is the author of the novel Ivyland (OR Books). He studied at Williams College under writers Jim Shepard, Andrea Barrett, and Paul Park. His writing has appeared in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, The Awl, The Huffington Post, The New York Observer, Salon, The Millions, and many other publications, online and off. He was born in Brooklyn and now lives in Manhattan.

JAC JEMC is the author of the novel My Only Wife (Dzanc Books). Her work has appeared in The Denver Quarterly, Caketrain, Handsome, Sleepingfish, and other places. She is also the author of a chapbook of stories, These Strangers She'd Invited In (Greying Ghost Press), and the poetry editor for decomP Magazine. Jac blogs her rejections at

DANIEL LONG is an Oklahoman living in New York. His work has appeared, most recently, in New York Tyrant, elimae, and The Carolina Quarterly. He is managing editor of The Fiddleback and was recently named an Emerging Writers Fellow by the Center for Fiction.