Thursday, July 23, 2009

Calling all artists!!! Proposals being requested for Community Garden Art Event

The 5 gardens in the Columbia St. Waterfront District have joined forces to organize a walking tour event featuring art installations by local artists. All we need now is now art! Artists interested in being featured in this event should review the RFP below and submit the required documents by 8/14/09.

The event will most likely be held during the weekend of the Waterfront Festival (9/12/09) - which means there will be a lot of people walking around the neighborhood, maximizing your exposure!

Columbia Waterfront Gardens RFP

The Red Hook Summer Film Festival

Every Thursday evening through August 20, a different movie will be screened in one of Red Hook's parks. It's free and starts at 8 p.m.

This week, we missed: FRESH, the Movie.

This is a documentary, but it's perfect for all of us foodies, locavores, gardeners and anyone generally interested in providing the best they can for their families.
Plus, the filmmaker, Ana Jones, is a local gal who lives in Carroll Gardens. And, the impetus for the movie was bred right here in Red Hook. This is a truly local affair that's gone international.

Here's a quick description:

New thinking about what we're eating

FRESH celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Each has witnessed the rapid transformation of our agriculture into an industrial model, and confronted the consequences: food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources, and morbid obesity. Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet.

Among several main characters, FRESH features urban farmer and activist, Will Allen, the recipient of MacArthur’s 2008 Genius Award; sustainable farmer and entrepreneur, Joel Salatin, made famous by Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma; and supermarket owner, David Ball, challenging our Wal-Mart dominated economy.


Here's the rest of the summer schedule:

July 30: Tootsie @ Valentino Pier

August 6: Coraline @ Coffey Park

August 13: Bee Movie @ the Farm (expect more details about honey tastings and bee-keeping lectures to accompany this)

August 20: School of Rock @ PS 15


Thursday, July 16, 2009

July 11 to August 16: BWAC's Summer Pier Show

Art in Changing Perspectives: BWAC's Summer Pier Show
July 11 - August 16
Weekends 1-6 PM - Free Admission

Photograph by Joergen Geerds

BWAC opens the 19th century iron gates of its historic Red Hook waterfront gallery on July 11th to exhibit 800+ new works in every medium, many that interpret and reveal the world in novel and experimental ways.

Among the 220+ artists represented, four very talented artists are featured. Known for her bold use of materials, masterful brushwork, and broad range of style and subject, Audrey Anastasi's paintings capture the soul and essence of their subjects. In keeping with the show's theme, Joseph Anastasi (Audrey's husband) debuts his dramatic, grand scale presentation of photographic images, which definitely offer an altered perspective. David DiPasquale will be exhibiting his seven painting series titled, The Octave Cycle, based on the concept of the celestial octave or the "music of the spheres". And though you have seen a thousand photographs of the Brooklyn Bridge, Arden Suydam's photographs and perspective are truly unique.

Saturday at WORK: Drive-in III




WORK presents DRIVE-IN III, an evening of film, music, art, BBQ and spirits on the Red Hook waterfront.

Featuring an installation in the red tin shack and new stop-motion video projected onto parked semi-trailers by GABRIELA VAINSENCHER and SARAH WALKO with VICTOR RUANO. Live music by RYAN BRENNEN, ERIC SCHLAPPI, MEG REICHARDT, KURT HOFFMAN and MATT WHYTE.

Gabriela Vainsencher
makes language infused drawings, video and installation. She is currently the Williams College Arthur Levitt Jr. artist-in-residence, Williamstown, MA. She has previously been artist-in-residence at Musee des Beaux Arts, Quebec City, Canada and Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, NY. She has had solo shows internationally in Quebec City, Canada and Skien, Norway and in the United States at WORK in Brooklyn, NY in November 2008.

Sarah Walko
is a New York-based multi-disciplinary artist. In the artist's own words, she "examines context, connections, patterns, and the web of inter connectivity between self, group and environment." She creates sculptural assemblages which "examine our mortality and a back and forth between decay and preservation and work that contains/collects/preserves while simultaneously giving and disintegrating and is not a precious collection due to the poverty of the materials."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Big changes for the B61 route!

Word has come through Craig Hammerman, through one of our readers:

"After much consideration, NYC Transit has finally agreed to split the
B61 into 2 routes -- one from Red Hook to Downtown Brooklyn, and one
from Downtown Brooklyn into Long Island City, Queens (which would become

a new B62 route). This move is intended to improve the reliability and
timeliness of the B61 route, particularly as it serves our district.

The change would go into effect in January 2010, assuming it receives
approval of the MTA Board which it is scheduled to come before later
this month. We should be receiving our formal letter from NYC Transit
within the next week."


Monday, July 13, 2009

Summer cleanup at our local dog park

Dear Brooklyn Dog Friends,

Join the Carroll Garden's Dog Owners Group at our local dog park Miro's Run for the Summer Cleanup on Sunday, July 19 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.

We'll be doing a lot of weeding and sweeping the surface. Cleanup supplies will be provided by Partnership for Parks.

Come meet your neighbors and help make the dog park a prettier place for us all. Dogs welcome!

Miro's Run is located in DiMattina Park, on Hicks Street between Hamilton Avenue and Rapelye Street.

See you at the dog park!

Andrea, Jackie, Shelly, Susie, Kim, and Scott
Coordinators, Carroll Gardens Dog Owners Group

Be a fan of the dog run on Facebook.

Summer camps on Columbia street

For those who haven't made plans (like me), there is still a solution for those long summer afternoons. After spending the morning at the playground and lunch, what is there to do?

Well, I have just signed up my son to Everyday Athlete Kids afternoon camp. Between 1:30pm and 5pm, he will be having choice time, tumbling class, an organic snack, arts and craft, and free play... And I get to do the stuff I can't do when he's around!

It's just right!

Everyday Athlete Kids is located at 273 Columbia St (between Carrol and Summit).
For more details on their summer camps and other classes check out their website.

Yoga in the Urban Meadow, summer '09

Tuesdays, 7pm Restorative Stretching with Jolene
She will lead an open, stretch and restorative class just right for after a busy day in the warm sun. Open to all, even expecting moms.

Thursdays, 7pm Vinyasa Yoga with Katrina
This form of yoga connects movement and breath in a slow continuous flow. Relaxing as well as challenging, it is the perfect workout at the end of a summer day.

Special event: Down Dog Workshop in the Park with Lauren
SATURDAY JULY 25 10:30AM - 11:30AM (3YRS AND UP)
Join Bija for a morning of outdoor yoga fun at the Urban Meadow. Connect with nature, play yoga games, relax during story time, explore animal and nature based poses. Activities will also include parachute activities, singing and bubbles. Adults are encouraged to participate. No yoga experience necessary.

All donations will go to the teachers.
The urban Meadow is located on President, at the corner of Van Brunt st.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Summert Youth Art program at Human Compass Garden

Over the next 7 Saturdays, Human Compass Community Garden is offering art classes for youth, made possible through generous funding from the Citizen's Committee for New York City. Sounds like a great way to spend Saturday mornings!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bastille Day block party this Sunday 7/12!!!!!!!!

Image from our coverage last year

Between living in a half-American, half-French household, and having a birthday that falls in between the 2 national holidays - the 10 days from July 4th to July 14th can get pretty crazy.

Luckily, part of that craziness is a huge street party each year to celebrate Bastille Day! This year is no exception, as sand and Petanque will once again take over Smith st., along with great drinks, music, and food for the non-petanque playing bystanders.

Check out Brooklyn Paper's coverage of the event here for more information, or take a look at our coverage from last year to get an idea of what to expect.

Fort Defiance gets its liquor license!

Earlier this week, we posted about the recently opened Fort Defiance and the owner's desire to have it become the place you go to for coffee on your way to work, and for a drink on your back.

Well that desire has become a reality rather quickly, with Time Out NY reporting that the restaurant has its liquor license and will be extending its hours to serve drinks starting on Friday, 7/17!

PUBLIC HEARING on Carroll Gardens/Columbia Street Contextual Rezoning Plan

Councilmember Bill de Blasio's office sent out an email this week announcing a public hearing about our local rezoning initiative. The email is below. You can read up more on this issue here or over at the COWNA site.

UPDATE: I found a map of the proposed zoning from the Dept. of City planning, via Pardon Me for Asking:

Dear Neighbors,

The next public hearing on the down-zoning of Carroll Gardens is coming up. The process of down-zoning of Carroll Gardens has been a long one, but will hopefully soon come to fruition. The next step in that process is a public hearing by the Brooklyn Borough President's Office:

July 14 Borough President's Office Meeting 4:30pm

PUBLIC HEARING on Carroll Gardens/Columbia Street Contextual Rezoning Plan

In the matter of applications submitted by the Department of City Planning, pursuant to Sections 197-c and 201 of the New York City Charter seeking an amendment of the zoning map to facilitate the rezoning of 86 blocks in the Carroll Gardens/Columbia Street areas of Community District 6. A copy of the full description is available for review at the Borough President's Office. Contact (718) 802-3856 for further information.

Court Room, Second Floor

Brooklyn Borough Hall

209 Joralemon Street

Brooklyn, New York 11201

I hope you will all turn out to support the down-zoning plan. If you cannot attend, you can still email your comments to Tom Gray at tagray1 ((( at ))) If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact my office at 917-854-9791.


Bill de Blasio

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Update on EDC's plans for the waterfront / Brookln Bridge Park

We weren't able to make it COWNA's meeting last week, which featured presentations by the EDC on the updated plans for Piers 7 and 11, as well as presentation by a representative from Daniel Squadron's office about his plans for Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Luckily, another blogger in the neighborhood was able to make it and wrote an extensive report on what went down. Check out the post on "A View From the Hook" here.

We've written about these issues several times in the past, and so has Mr. Armstrong of " A View From the Hook," but we'd like to hear what readers have to say as well. Feel free to leave your comments - especially if you were at the meeting!

Red Hook featured on NBC

Red Hook favorites Sunny's, Defonte's, Botanica, Home/Made, Red Hook Yacht Club, Red Hook Lobster Pound, Steve's Key Lime Pie, and local bloggers Brooklyn Based, were all featured in a video that appeared on NBC over this past 4th of July Weekend.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Free Yoga returns at the Meadow

We are very proud to announce the return of our Yoga in the Meadow series:

It starts this Thursday, July 9th, at 7pm,
with Katrina (last year's teacher) leading a Vinyasa Yoga class
and will be a weekly event throughout the summer.

And continues with Jolene (trained in Ishta and Hatha Yoga),
next Tuesday, July 14, at 7pm,
who will lead an open, stretch and restorative class right after a busy day in the warm sun. Great for all levels, even expecting moms!
It will also be a weekly event starting July 28th.

So bring your mat and bug repellent, and enjoy the peace of a sunset over the cranes!

Spread the word!

The Urban Meadow is located on President, at the corner of Van Brunt street. For info about becoming a member email at, and keep checking the blog for events!

Follow Trevor Babb's Disaster Kit


"A Wagonful of Provisions for the Post-Apocalypse Homestead."


Disaster Kit is a conceptual project of California-based artist Trevor Babb, who builds custom crates, carts, boxes and complex luggage out of salvaged wood, metal, leather and rope to hold his ever-growing collection of useful old-world objects. Babb's casework, curios and sculptures tell a story about provisioning for basic needs like water, food, heat, light, shelter, defense, transport and communication in the event of disaster. Taking materials, objects and cues from the 19th and early-20th century, Babb conjures a past life with the tools for starting a new one. First presented in June 2009 as an installation at WORK, an experimental art gallery adjacent to the Red Hook shipyards in Brooklyn, Disaster Kit will be re-imagined at Space 414, an old storefront turned gallery further down Van Brunt Street, Red Hook's main artery. An open-house reception, with demonstrations by the artist, refreshments and kits for sale, begins at 7:00 pm on Friday 10 July.

Trevor Babb was raised in Manila during the political upheavals of 1980s Philippines. As a teen, he acquired survival skills traveling through the Amazon, Indochina, the Andes and the backwoods of California. During the 1999 Serbian invasion of Kosovo, he helped build a refugee camp for ethnic-Albanians in Macedonia. His contributions were to map the camp's site and plan expansions, contract fresh food deliveries, drive the ambulance and outfit a tent for expecting and nursing mothers. During the Bush years, he did strategy and communications for political campaigns in San Francisco and helped start a biotechnology company that is developing new science for fighting disease. He now works in a 100 year-old barn at a guest ranch above the vineyards of northern Sonoma County.

To RSVP for opening or for more information email:

Fort Defiance in Red Hook

My three-year old and I recently had the chance to stop by Fort Defiance for breakfast at 365 Van Brunt street. Already the place was busy with locals getting their morning Counter Culture coffee fix. Brewed in a somewhat unusual way, the coffee is poured into an individual filter above and drips to the cup below:

The place has a definite South American feel to it, with a little something extra. We enjoyed a chocolate croissant from Park Slope's Colson Patisserie, while chatting with owner St John Frizell. A Red Hook resident himself, St John has traveled extensively and clearly knows the business.

Still waiting for a liquor license, St John told us he hoped Fort Defiance would become the place you go to for coffee on your way to work, and for a drink on your back.

The menu is still being worked out, but already a staple will be the Muffuleta sandwich, just the way they make it in New Orleans, from the lesser known Sicilian influence of the city.

Fort Defiance, named in honor of the Red Hook fort built for the Battle of Long Island in 1776, during which Washington defended New York City from the British, is already off to a good start and can only get better. We hope it will be as steadfast as it's historical namesake.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Brooklyn Town Hall Meeting Regarding Ferry Service

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) have begun a six-month Comprehensive Citywide Ferry Study. This study aims to further expand ferry service around New York City and identify areas in each borough that are suitable for new ferry landing sites.

Some of the identified sites are within walking distance of our neighborhood, so this could be a great alternative mode of transportation. Check out the meeting and provide your input!

When: Wednesday, July 22nd at 7 p.m.
Where: Kingsborough Community College, Room U219/220, 2001 Oriental Blvd.
Host: Council Member Michael Nelson
About: New Ferry Service in Brooklyn

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Battle for the Gowanus Canal - The Video!

A new documentary has been released about the battle over the Gowanus Canal's superfund nomination. Check it out below and then go leave your personal comments at the website

If you have trouble with the embedded video, the Youtube link is here