Monday, July 30, 2012

Movies and Art on Dean

The great slate of summer events at the Walt L. Shamel Community Garden (on Dean btw Franklin and Bedford) continues this week with their final movie night on Wednesday at 8pm. They're showing Kirikou and the Sorceress, an animated film based on a West African folktale, and the garden will provide some free and healthy food to accompany the movie.

The garden is now also accepting submissions for their annual art fair, Art on Dean, which takes place on August 18 from 1-7pm. Contact for more details.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Adult Soccer for Harmony from Seeds in the Middle

From the Seeds in the Middle folks - games start tomorrow!

The Seeds in the Middle Men's Summer Soccer league has extended the time to register! There are still spots left and we would love to have you for our 7-week summer league in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. 

The league costs $1000 per team and $100 if you want to join as a free agent. All teams must have a minimum of 10 players and a max of 15. All teams should have a goalkeeper on your roster. The league will be held on Sunday afternoons. The format will be a table plus playoffs and a final. Each team will play a minimum of 7 games during the regular season followed by playoffs. The top 4 teams will play each other in the semifinals. The winning teams from the semifinals will play in the finals.

All proceeds from this league will go towards funding the Seeds in the Middle community development organization. Forward this e-mail to anyone or group of people who you think might be interested. We designed the league to be very affordable (one of the cheapest you will find in the city). There's already interest by some very good teams which should improve the quality of the games. 

For more info, call 917-756-4202 or email us
By the way, just so you know, you registration fees will support Seeds in the MIddle's efforts to empower underprivileged kids to get access to fresh food and fitness, especially soccer!

Thanks. Look forward to seeing you on the field!

Soccer for Harmony - Brooklyn Team
Seeds in the Middle

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Brooklyn Yoga Collective Open in New Space (+ Links)

This is old news at this point, but I wanted to post it since I'm a big fan of the folks who started this. The Brooklyn Yoga Collective, formerly based out of LaunchPad, have moved into a new space at 795 Franklin (between Lincoln and St. John's) and are hosting a complete slate of classes as of this week. Their cooperative model makes yoga affordable and accessible - check ' em out. 

- In sad news, one man was killed and another injured in a shooting at Schenectady and St. Johns. Thanks to SOS Crown Heights for organizing this evening's response, and for ensuring that no shooting goes unnoticed or passed off as "business as usual."

- Our Councilwoman, Letitia James, was at a hearing earlier this week to state her opposition to the proposed Bloomberg "soda ban," largely on the grounds that it will be ineffective and also because very few of the people it is intended to target (low-income New Yorkers, largely of color) were involved in developing this policy as a response health issues in their communities. 

- Ms. James was also quoted in a Brooklyn Paper article noting that the 77th Precinct didn't give a single ticket to a speeding motorist last month. Anyone who's ever tried to cross Atlantic, Eastern, or even Franklin at rush hour knows just how aggressively drivers speed and burn lights, but the NYPD seem to think this problem isn't one worthy of their efforts. Pedestrians are killed with alarming frequency on NYC streets, so hopefully someone will raise this issue at the next Precinct Council Meeting.

- Finally, the date is official - the Nets play their first game at the Barclays Center, against the Knicks, on November 1, 2012. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Kids Day a Smashing Success (PHOTOS)

The 5th Annual Kids Day on Saturday was a huge success, drawing hundreds of kids from around the neighborhood to Franklin to laugh and play on waterslides and enjoy face-painting, popcorn, cotton candy, and prizes. The entire event was completely free, thanks to the efforts of local merchants led by Kevin and Garnett Phillip of TasteBuds and The Candy Rush. ILFA went by to volunteer and managed to take a few photos in the process. Lots more great images are available here.

 Thanks to the local firefighters for providing the water!
 This very same block of Franklin is a semi-finalist in the "Greenest Block in Brooklyn" contest!
 Local documentarian Jan Weber was out to capture the fun.

 SOS Crown Heights came by to paint some faces and raise awareness about their work to prevent gun violence in our community.
 Mr. Frank shows 'em how it's done.

 Our heroes.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Last-Minute Sunday Funday: Flutronix at Five Myles, Lost Chicken, Warehouse Sale, and New Retail Spaces on the Market

Some things for a beautiful Sunday afternoon:

- Meant to post this yesterday, but local musicians Flutronix have an awesome-sounding show at Five Myles Gallery today from 4-8pm (see above for the flyer). 

- There's a massive warehouse sale going on at 1104 Pacific Street (just west of Franklin) from 12-5pm today, with a huge and cheap selection of furniture, housewares, props, lamps, antiques, memorabilia, and pretty much everything else you could think of. If you're in need of anything, check it out. The lady and I picked up a pair of floor lamps (inadvertently pictured in the photo of the retail spaces, above).

- Have you lost a chicken? Does it look like the one above? If so, inquire at TasteBuds, and they'll tell you where it ended up (near Park Place and Franklin). 

- Finally, as we made our way home with the lamps, we noticed that the long-vacant storefronts on Franklin at Pacific are now being offered for lease. No surprises there - with 1000 Dean Street opening soon and retail spaces rapidly filling up further down the Avenue (the hot block between Sterling and Park now has exactly ONE vacant storefront, and others are going nearly as fast), it makes sense that these places would be attracting attention. For the readers - what would you like to see in these two storefronts?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Crown Heights Kids Day TOMORROW!

The fantastic fifth annual Crown Heights - Franklin Avenue Kids Day is tomorrow (Saturday), and if you haven't signed up already, there's still plenty of time to get involved as a volunteer if you won't be bringing children yourself. Swing by The Candy Rush at 733 Franklin or head to their Kickstarter page to get involved in this fantastic event for the kids of Crown Heights.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wondering Around Wandering Fully Funded

Another great local arts project gets fully funded on Kickstarter - good stuff all around.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Walk Around 1000 Dean Street

 (click on the photos above for a larger image)

Last Friday, ILFA took a walk around 1000 Dean Street, the former Studebaker Service Station site that was bought back in April by a group of investors led by Brownstoner's Jonathan Butler and including the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group. They paid $11 million for the three-building, 155,000 square foot complex, and when all is said and done they'll have invested about $30 million in the project, which is slated to be completed sometime in the summer of 2013. Work on the facade (compare the first photo above to the one here) and preliminary demolition started almost immediately, but the floors inside remain much as they did in the days when the building served as a garage and service station: wide open, with those elegant mushroom columns and big windows (skylights, too, on the top floor, some of which will be extended through to lower floors during the renovation). The roof - which won't quite be large enough for a full-scale garden (might honey production fit?) - offers the impressive views you'd expect looking west and north to the skyline.

As for the plans for the space, they're proceeding in general accordance with those that Mr. Butler laid out in his post on Brownstoner back in April. The building will be a mix of commercial and creative spaces, sized from large (they're looking into a big tenant or two at the moment, so watch Brownstoner for any announcements of that ilk) to small (a place for a business built in a home to find its first 500 square foot office). On the Bergen Street side, in a low, one-story building (pictured looking down from the roof, above), the plan calls for a 9,000 square foot food and beer hall that will seat hundreds and feature food, coffee/tea, and beer vendors from the Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg (of which Mr. Butler is also the co-creator, with Eric Demby). The goal is to give these vendors a space to practice restaurateur-ing, as well as to add seats and space to a neighborhood nightlife scene that seems stuffed to the gills on a Friday or Saturday night.

The developers hope the buildings will house upwards of 200 new jobs in the area (hiring will be up to the businesses themselves, of which some will hopefully both be locally-run and hire locally). The development is unique as a non-residential project in what has been a residential boomtown (the blocks between Bergen and Atlantic from Franklin to Grand are zoned M-1, which allows for this), and it will be interesting to see what sort of impact it has on the surrounding blocks, both the existing commercial strips (might Franklin and Washington see more of a lunch crowd?) and the "Four Corners" zone in which it is located (and where many warehouses like it remain vacant or as-yet-undeveloped). The project benefits from community development funding in the form of New Market Investment Tax Credits from the US Treasury Department, which incentivizes development in low-income areas. If you're a local business owner or entrepreneur in need of a new place, they're currently accepting statements of interest

Monday, July 16, 2012

Filmwax Movie Night at Franklin Park Tonight

From the folks at Filmwax, who have a series at Franklin Park this summer:

Some Guy Who Kills People screening & DVD release party

Enjoy the exceptional food and drink specials ($4 pints) while watching our latest installment of MOVIE NIGHT AT FRANKLIN PARK! This month, please join actor Kevin Corrigan, Filmwax & your friends at Franklin Park for the dark comedy, SOME GUY WHO KILLS PEOPLE. This memorable "dark" comedy is about Ken Boyd, a lonely man fresh out of the loony bin, who sets out to kill those he deems responsible for his miserable life.

You'll get to meet Kevin Corrigan and get your signed copy of the DVD, newly released by Anchor Bay. Don't miss the party!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Saturday's Events: Farmers Market, America Without Borders, and Bikinis in Bed-Stuy

Fun stuff today - the Farmers Market at the Walt L. Shamel Community Garden is up and running on Dean between Franklin and Bedford until 2pm, and a little later, you can check out America Without Borders at Five Myles Gallery, and then cap off the night with the Bed-Stuy Bikini Beach BBQ Blowout up the Avenue at One Last Shag

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday: Wondering Around Wandering, Crown Journal Launch

Mike Perry, local artist, teacher, and designer of the CHCA logo, is hosting a live 24-hour drawing session on youtube as we speak (until 6pm Friday) to raise money for his community-based art and teaching project, Wondering Around Wandering. Check out this great project below and on Kickstarter.

WAW will be a 3 month free community exhibition and event space where I will be conducting workshops, screenings, gatherings, open discussions, and much more. The space will be a living / evolving environment where visitors will be able to freely explore and create their own unique experience.
Free Workshops:
Zine Workshop:
Spend a day making a zine with me and some friends. Each participant will walk away with a group zine and a zine of their own.
Drawing Workshop:
Want to sit a giant table and spend the day drawing? Now is your chance. Play exquisite corpse and other drawing games. Sketch a crazy still life and do some figure drawing all in the exhibition space.
Type Workshop:
Let’s build alphabets. Spend the day thinking and talking about typography. Explore the power of the word and letterform.
Creativity Workshop:
Get in touch with your true creative self. Discuss how to let go of the restrictions and creative baggage that help facilitate the ominous creative block.
Free Gatherings / discussions:
A few times a week the space will remain open during the evenings so we can sit and discuss art, design, and life. There will special guest appearances - you never know who will show up! The space will also host a number of parties that coincide with the Brooklyn Museum’s Target First Saturdays. We will dance and enjoy free drinks sponsored by Duvel.
I need your support:
Space in New York is a precious commodity. In order to host an event of this scale, I will require significant financial backing. Once the money is raised, the space will be available for everyone to enjoy the fruits of our collective fund raising.
What your pledges will go towards: 
1. Renting the physical space.

2. Covering day-to-day expenses, artist appearances, art supplies, refreshments, etc.

3. Ensuring that all workshops, discussions, and artist talks are provided for free.
What if we exceed our goal? 
Then the exhibition and event schedule would be further enhanced. I say we go down in Brooklyn history and do this big time! 
Thank you! 
Seriously. Everything I have done thus far in my career has been with the help of all of you. Let’s continue making this happen.

- Also, don't forget about the Crown Journal Launch tonight at 739 Franklin

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Thursday: Crown Heights Farmers Market, Renegade Reading Series (+ links)

- From Seeds in the Middle: Come Support the Crown Heights Farmers Market:


Ever since opening on Sept. 15, the Crown Heights Farmers Market has been a festive, vibrant oasis of tantalizing produce and warm-hearted farmers.

Farmer Roy brings magnificent fruits and veggies, and Jamerican Farmer Brown delights the Caribbean folks with his callaloo.

But this summer - barely anyone is coming - and we will have to let our farmers go if folks don't come buy their delicious bounty!
So! Let's have some fun and eat fresh, too!

This Thursday, July 12,  there's soccer, football, baseball, art, cooking, painting trashcans for kids and adult pickup games at 6 pm; even toddler soccer at 4 pm. And a new tween to teen Writer's Workshop!
ALL FREE - IF YOU BUY FROM OUR MARKET!!!! Support our farmers!
This is the obesity epidemic, folks! This fresh produce is affordable and healthy.

We accept EBT/SNAP, Health Bucks and more! The market runs every Thursday, noon to 7 pm, at the corner of Lefferts and Albany Avenues, Brooklyn, on Hamilton Metz Park.

See our slideshow of the fantastic bounty here!
Farmer Roy will have:
Bunch Beets Cucumbers (Kirbys) English Peas (the ones you shell).
Lettuces - a variety
Spring Onions
Herbs - Cilantro, parsley
And maybe even broccoli and cabbage and more...

Farmer Roderick will have:
Beets, Mint
Our Hip2B Healthy Student Ambassadors will be making fresh lemon/limeade with fresh mint, and selling healthy snacks for less than you can get chips or soda at the bodega. Did you see our photo of one of our Hip2B Healthy classrooms on your left?

FIND OUT ABOUT A NEW SOCCER FOR HARMONY ADULT SOCCER LEAGUE STARTING JULY 22 to support our kids' programs!  SIGN UP! Soccer for Harmony 3 snapshots here.

- Don't forget the Renegade Reading Series, tonight at 8pm at LaunchPad.

- A pair of recent articles in the NYTimes discussing potential judicial curbs on NYC's stop-and-frisk (it would appear the 4th Amendment is still on the books!) and discussing the way in which oversight has been applied in Philadelphia. Meanwhile, Ray Kelly is railing against the lack of community responses to shootings in an attempt to change the subject. Methinks he should come out to Brooklyn and take a walk with SOS Crown Heights, who respond to EVERY SINGLE SHOOTING in their catchment area.

Monday, July 09, 2012

UPDATED - Literary Crown Heights: Franklin Park Reading Series Tonight, Renegade Reading Series Thursday, Crown Journal Launch on Friday

Crown Heights literati have a big week ahead of them. Tonight, the event that put the neighborhood on the city's literary map, the Franklin Park Reading Series, returns with "Travels and Journeys" at 8pm (complete info copied from their FB page below). At the other end of the week, the Renegade Reading Series returns on Thursday at LaunchPad, and the Crown Journal, a new journal of literature, launches on Friday with a party and reading at 739 Franklin

More on tonight's event:

It's summer vacation season and time for our annual "Travels and Journeys" reading. We're very excited to host comic novelist MARK LEYNER (The Tetherballs of Bougainville, My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist), who has just released his long-anticipated new novel, The Sugar Frosted Nutsack.

The other amazing writers on the bill are short fiction star ERIC SASSON (Margins of Tolerance), humor writer and memoirist RUPINDER GILL (On the Outside Looking Indian), multitalent MATTHUE ROTH (Yom Kippur a Go-Go), and innovator POLLY BRESNICK (Old Gus Eats)

In their comic and poignant work, our authors embark on inner and outward journeys, including road trips uncovering truths about sexual identity, the reclaiming of lost adolescence with a stop in Disney World, and the sordid activities of a pantheon of gods who emerge from a bus blaring the Mister Softee jingle.



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

PLUS: Starting this month, our friends at BOMB Magazine will be making podcasts of our readings.

And thanks to July's special co-sponsor-- the website Small Demons -- we'll have EXTRA drink discounts and great GIVEAWAYS like coasters and literary maps. They're bringing their own mix tape, too -- drawn from Mark Leyner's novels!

Can't wait to see you!

More on our authors:

MARK LEYNER is the author of the novels Et Tu, Babe, The Tetherballs of Bougainville, and, most recently, The Sugar Frosted Nutsack. He has also written several short story collections, including My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist. His nonfiction includes the #1 New York Times bestseller Why Do Men Have Nipples? He cowrote the movie War, Inc. and lives in Hoboken, New Jersey.

ERIC SASSON is the author of the story collection Margins of Tolerance, which won the 2011 Tartt Fiction Award. An MFA graduate of NYU, he has taught fiction writing at the Sackett Street Writers Workshop. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Nashville Review, The Puritan, Connotation Press, Liquid Imagination, Alligator Juniper, Trans, The Ledge, and other places.

RUPINDER GILL is the author of the memoir On The Outside Looking Indian. She has written for The Rumpus, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, The National Post, CBC Radio, and the Canadian television comedy This Hour Has 22 Minutes.

MATTHUE ROTH is the author of the memoir Yom Kippur a Go-Go and the novels Losers, winner of an ALA Rainbow Award, Never Mind the Goldbergs, named an. NYPL Best Book for the Teen Age, and Candy in Action. His picture book, My First Kafka, is forthcoming from One Peace Books. He also wrote the screenplay for the upcoming film 1/20. He is publishing his novel Enemies one chapter at a time in a scavenger hunt, and he will be starting graduate school at Brooklyn College in the fall. Also a video game designer, he lives in Brooklyn.

POLLY BRESNICK's work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Brooklyn Rail, The Fiddleback, elimae, LIT, MonkeyBicycle, decomp, The Six Sentence Review, and others. She received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and is visually mistranslating Homer's The Odyssey, a section of which has been published as a chapbook by Publishing Genius. Curator and host of the monthly reading series "Writers Reading to Writers Listening to Writers Reading to Writers," she teaches creative writing to all sorts of people and is searching for a home for her novel.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Crown Heights Weekend: Farmers Market, Built in Brooklyn, First Saturday at Brooklyn Museum

Lots of good stuff happening locally tomorrow. Early birds can check out the Farmers Market at the Walt L. Shamel Community Garden on Dean, which runs from 8am-2pm every Saturday. Afternoon flaneurs should wander by the Built in Brooklyn Craft Fair at LaunchPad, which runs from 12-6pm, and night owls will want to check out the Brooklyn Museum's First Saturday and the various local dance parties that pop up at bars like Franklin Park and 739 Franklin afterward.

Two other quick notes:

- ILFA stopped in for a pie at newly-opened Rosco's (in the old Slice of Brooklyn space) and it was delicious. I can also now resume my favorite fusion-cuisine meal on Franklin, which is to order some tacos at Gueros, go grab a slice while I wait for them, and then take the tacos home and eat them, too. Mmm.

- ILFA starts a gig as a tour guide with Big Onion Walking Tours this Saturday, taking folks over the Brooklyn Bridge and through Brooklyn Heights from 11-1pm. If you're into learning more about the history of NYC and Brooklyn, come check out one of our tours sometime.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

4th of July Special: Help Save a Farmers Market, Catch Some Outdoor Movies, and Have a Slice at Rosco's

First things first - local youth org Seeds in the Middle has been putting together great community-based programming for health and nutrition for the past couple of years, including their popular "Soccer for Harmony" tournaments and a farmers market every Thursday at Hamilton-Metz Park on Albany and Lefferts Avenues (accepting WIC, EBT/SNAP, FMNP, and other public assistance). Yesterday, however, they sent around a notice that unless they can scare up more support for their market, they'll have to let the farmers take their wares elsewhere. This would be a shame both for the youth who've participated in organizing the market and the locals who benefit from it (not enough, currently, but still quite a few people), particularly as they've scheduled an event for next Thursday, the 12th, at which the farmers had planned to donate flowers for the creation of a "children's garden" in the park itself.

So, if you live in the area, swing by and check them out tomorrow (and hopefully on future Thursdays) at Hamilton-Metz Park from 12-7pm. 

Next up, the Walt L. Shamel Community Garden (which has a farmers market of its own on Saturdays from 8-2pm) has just announced their summer lineup of outdoor film. See the flyer below for more details.

Finally, Rosco's, the new pizza place at Franklin and Prospect, is open as of today. An auspicious birthday, to be sure - many happy returns. 

Monday, July 02, 2012

Crown Heights Film Festival Now Accepting Submissions

This just in from the Crown Heights Film Festival (see below for complete details). Also, Artist Registration for Brooklyn GO from the Brooklyn Museum has been extended to July 10. 


Brooklyn, NY (July 2, 2012)-The Crown Heights Film Festival (CHFF)is pleased to announce the
Third Annual CHFF call for submissions of feature length films, shorts, animations, documentaries,
cross-disciplinary and children’s films.  The festival will run from Tuesday, October 30, 2012
through Friday, November 4, 2012, at FiveMyles Gallery in Brooklyn, NY.

The submission deadlines for the 2012 Crown Heights Film Festival are as follows:
July 7, 2012 - Regular deadline for entries
July 27, 2012 - Late deadline for entries
August 10, 2012-Extended deadline for entries

Details for all submission information can be found at:  All additional
inquiries may be directed to:  

About The Crown Heights Film Festival:  Founded in 2009, the Crown Heights Film Festival
(CHFF) brings a distinctive selection of local and international films, talks, and performances to a
wide audience in the heart of Brooklyn, NY.  CHFF believes the community at large, through the
medium of film, benefits from a curated festival that reflects the diversity Crown Heights embodies.

CHFF will present a “Best of Festival” award selected from all of the films showcased, as well as
“Festival Favorite” awards for each category.  Every year, a different artist is invited to design and
create the awards.  Paul Kaiser is the selected award creating artist CHFF 2012.

CHFF is an IMDb associated festival.