Sunday, February 27, 2011

Main Street Ephemera to Close

Detail from the book jacket of Hoodlums New York, a 1959 collection of hard boiled true crime tales from a police reporter "on friendly terms with governors, mayors, cops, politicians, Broadway celebrities, crooks and racketeers."

I was upset to hear that one of our neighbors, Main Street Ephemera, will be closing its storefront in the next month. Since he moved here from Smith several years ago, owner Dave has been a source of many great finds for us, particularly related to New York history. Postcards, stereograms, trade magazines, burlesque programs, old menus, canceled checks, Esso maps, Tin Pan Alley sheet music, B-movie lobby cards, and publicity shots of forgotten crooners were Dave's stock-in-trade. And manna for this collector.

Last week we stopped by the shop, which will remain open sporadically through March, and found more proof (seen here) why Dave's eye for the queer and arcane lived up to Main Street's motto "Where the Historical Meets the Hysterical." Make sure to visit before he abandons the place forever, though he will remain a visible presence at one of the many city flea markets in the spring and summer.
--Peter Miller, Freebird Books
The cover of a guidebook to New York, with illustrations and photographs of notable Manhattan and Brooklyn landmarks, offered as complements from Harris Bank in 1909.

An undated stereogram of a Brooklyn ferry boat.

A 1928 menu from the Cortile restaurant in midtown, which offered a $1.50 dinner with cream of mushroom soup, baked ham, mashed turnips, shredded cabbage salad, and snow pudding, pineapple and kumquat sauce among their options. A pint of claret was available for an additional 75 cents.

An advertisement and direct order form for a 1935 collection of tales about a young messenger boy on the streets of the Lower East Side. Originally written by Abraham Burstein in the New York Jewish Daily News, its protagonist Abie "is involved in many matrimonial difficulties, in synagogue politics, in business and racial dilemmas, and in all of them he solves difficult problems with the help of his own humor and cleverness and the always available telegraph office." Story titles included "The Various Uses of Feet" and "Father Kelly Uses Yiddish."

The program from an annual luncheon commemorating the great New York blizzard of 1888. The three-day snowstorm marked a critical point in New Yorkers' collective memory a century ago, an event that dumped over three feet of snow, stranded thousands of commuters, and led to the deaths of 200 people across the five boroughs. In the years following, nostalgic survivors met to swap stories and award guests for the best essay on the subject. This gathering featured Dr. Vilhjalmur Stefansson as guest speaker and stereopticon views from John T. Washbourn.

Fiorello LaGuardia at a "crime conference" (according to the back of the photo), hosted possibly by the Herald-Tribune newspaper. It is dated April 1936. It would be a gutsy year for LaGuardia in his efforts to crack down on organized crime, giving Special Prosecutor Thomas Dewey the go-ahead to bring down Lucky Luciano and his massive prostitution ring.

A direct order form from Bloch Publishing Company ("The Jewish Book Concern"), the same press behind The Ghetto Messenger. Founded in 1854, Bloch remains a family-run business, an outgrowth of the Reform Judaism movement centered in Cincinnati (they would move to New York in 1901). Ask the Rabbi was a one of a kind quiz book from 1927 that contained 2,000 questions (and answers) about Jewish ritual, holidays, customs, literature, history, values and beliefs.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Big Movies for Little Kids is calling for students film entries.


Call for Student Film Festival Entries

You’ve seen our films. Now let us see yours!

Big Movies for Little Kids, the celebrated classic film series for children, announces its first-ever student film festival. Short films by New York City students are now being accepted for consideration. Selected films will be screened on the BIG screen at the Big Movies for Little Kids season finale on June 6th, 2011 at 4pm, at Cobble Hill Cinemas (265 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231).

Last year, a group of fourth-graders from Packer Collegiate Institute made a short film to screen alongside our Tom & Jerry show. A live-action romp, the film was such a hit with our young audience that we’ve added an entire short film festival to our lineup!

Students 18 years old and younger who attend school in New York City (public, private, home school, we don’t care) are eligible to participate.

Films must be submitted in DVD format by May 1st, 2011. There are no entry fees but there is a limit of one film per student or group. Finalists will be screened and introduced by a well-known film director (TBA) at the June 6th festival. Children attending the festival will select one grand-prize winner, which will be shown at the BigMovies/Rooftop Films Drive-In Outdoor Movie Night on June 17th.

Big Movies for Little Kids, which has introduced over 200 classic films to NYC children and their adults celebrates its sixth anniversary this year. We screen films every other Monday, following the school calendar, at the independently-owned Cobble Hill Cinemas. Our outreach program, Short Cuts, allows us to offer free admission to Brooklyn children and families who cannot afford the ticket price. Big Movies for Little Kids is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council for the Arts, administered by the Brooklyn Arts Council. We are honored to be named "Best Film Series" in New York Magazine's "Best of New York 2009".

For more in formation click here.

Meet the Brooklyn Bridge Park Board of Directors

On Tuesday, February 22, at 1:00pm, there will be a meeting open to the public with Brooklyn Bridge Park Board of Directors.

Cadman Plaza Public Library, 1st floor
280 Cadman Plaza West (at Tillary Street)
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Scrabble day at Freebird Books on Sunday

Sunday, February 20, 4:00pm - 8:00pm

Freebird sponsors a special dictionary book drive for Books Through Bars.

For the cover charge of one used paperback dictionary, compete for prizes in a Scrabble smackdown. Six Point Brownstone beer and refreshments will be on hand for those intimidated by the checkered boards.

Prisoners send thousands of requests to Books Through Bars each year, and number one on their list is the humble pocket dictionary. Books Through Bars NYC can barely keep up with those requests and is in constant need of more copies to fill their shelves. To hammer that point home we sponsor a unique single subject book drive to highlight why literacy is so important to the incarcerated.

Two Scrabble games will be going concurrently for anyone comfortable enough to exercise their verbal acuity without those reference guides safely at hand. We will have refreshments and Books Through Bars volunteers will be on hand to answer questions and show off the library and workspace in Freebird's basement.


* Beginners board & expert board

* Beer & snacks on hand


President's Week events at Mini Max

Thursday, February 17, 2011

LICH's "Biggest Loser" campaign

LICH has discovered that about 50% of their staff is overweight, and have started a program to support healthier eating. Naidre Miller, local mom and nutritionist extraordinaire, will be teaching coking classes open to the public.

A Cooking Class with Naidre Miller
Cook Smarter For Healthy Weight Loss

Thursday, March 3, 2011
5:15 – 7:15 pm
339 Hicks Street, Brooklyn, NY
Avram Conference Center, Room C
$10 per person

Find out more about Naidre here and check out her blog here.

2nd Annual Bingo Night for Brooklyn Women's Rugby - Feb 26

Get ready for the second annual BINGO NIGHT with the Brooklyn Women's Rugby Team!
You do not have to play rugby to join the team for a night of amazing fun, prizes and BINGO!

Saturday, February 26th at 7pm at PJ Hanley's located in Carroll Gardens, to win some amazing prizes from great venues like Chelsea Piers, Pacific Standard, MoMa and Brooklyn Bowl!

RSVP on Facebook today!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ali Marcus at The Fabulous Jalopy Theatre - Feb 17

Ali is a Seattle-based songwriter who tours the country singing songs for people. She has sang at festivals around America, including CMJ, Northwest Folklife Festival, and Noise for the Needy. She has sang in lots of awesome joints, like the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, IOTA Cafe in Virginia, the Evening Muse in Charlotte, the Starry Plough in Berkeley, the Experience Music Project in Seattle.
WOCS: From what album will you be playing?
Ali Marcus: I'll likely play songs from the Great Migration, my newest release ('09), and songs that have been written since then, which hopefully will end up on the next record, when it arrives!

What is the Great Migration about?

It started in my imagination as the sweeping westward movement of myself and many people around me. Having grown up in Virginia, and gone to college there, suddenly it seemed as though we were all finding ways to make it all the way to the other end of the country. When the time came to name the record, it occurred to me that the memories and other inspirations for many, if not all of the songs we recorded for it sprung from the journeys we had been taking in those years. There is an exploration of America that runs through the images and the songs.

How do you like Brooklyn?

I've been touring in Brooklyn for some years now, and I always have a blast. It reminds me of Seattle in a way, except with real bagels.

Do you have a favorite spot you go to every time you come back?
I always seem to be hunting down the coffee shops, which is no big surprise, being from the Pacific Northwest! However, I am still a born-and-raised east coast Jew - the only true haunt I have is La Bagel Delight in Fort Greene.

You mention how you find Brooklyn similar to Seattle. I've never been there, but it's also the feeling I get from the the stuff I read (food, gardens, urban farming, multicultural families...). Do you have any other thoughts on the subject?

Well, I think that similar kinds of people are attracted to the Pacific Northwest as to Brooklyn - creative class types. Parts of Brooklyn have the "neighborhoody" feeling that is common in parts of Seattle and Portland, where there is a large residential area and a commercial strip, with some locally-roasted coffee somewhere nearby, of course. It's also cheaper and easier to live in Seattle and Brooklyn than, say, Manhattan and San Francisco, and us creative-types are taking risks with our careers that require us to have a lower cost-of-living. We are opening butcher shops, inventing social networking applications, running micro-local farmers market networks, or fostering sustainable careers for musicians. Seattle's had a hang-up about being "the first" or "the best" ever since the grunge days, but i can honestly say that I've seen the Pacific Northwest culture in Brooklyn go from about zero to 8 in the last 7 years that I've lived out here.

Do you have a favorite Brooklyn-based band?
The Rooftops, of course, whom I've invited to share the Jalopy show with me! Also, early Langhorne Slim (When the Sun's Gone Down, '05 I think) was a big influence for me - is he still Brooklyn-based? I might have heard he moved to PDX actually - it's all part of the Great Migration, see?

Ali Marcus will be playing at The Fabulous Jalopy tomorrow night, Thursday February 17, at 10:30pm ($10 cover), read more and listen to Ali here.

Make it an evening of music, and start at 9:30pm to enjoy the Rooftops ($10 cover).

To buy your ticket call 718.395.3214

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Big Movies for Little Kids -Valentine's Day Special


at Cobble Hill Cinemas

Valentine’s Day Special!

Monday, February 14th at 4pm


We love Lucy so we're bringing three more episodes to Big Movies for Little Kids as a Valentine's Day treat. Join us for some of Lucy's most hilarious antics: stomping grapes in Italy; making a commercial for Vitameatavegamin, and appearing on a game show to pay for a trip to Hawaii. (USA; 1951-1956; not rated; black and white; 66 minutes)

BONUS: I Love Lucy giveaways for the kids!


At Cobble Hill Cinemas

Time: 4pm (every other Monday, following the public school calendar)

Ages: 2 and up (all ages welcome)

Location: Cobble Hill Cinemas, 265 Court Street @ Butler Street, Brooklyn

Cost: $7.00 per person (as per theater policy, all walkers need a ticket)

To secure seats at Cobble Hill Cinemas, tickets may be purchased on-line here.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Valentine's Day special at Element Natural Healing

Valentine's Day Special
Friday 2/11 - Monday 2/14 Only

Bring your valentine to Element Natural Healing Arts for a pampering experience you'll both enjoy. Indulge in a relaxing couples massage, reflexology or both. Enjoy Champagne, chocolate from The Chocolate Room and cookies by One Girl Cookie while sitting by our cozy fireplace.

Package I- 1 hour Couples Massage and 30 minute Couples Reflexology- $385
Package II- 1 hour Couples Massage- $265
Package III- 30 minute Couples Reflexology or Massage- $128

All packages include Champagne, chocolate, cookies, and an 18% gratuity for therapists.

Advance booking is recommended.


Valentine's Champagnes at Dry Dock - Feb 11

5:30 – 8:30pm, free

We drink Champagne to celebrate love in all its manifestations, including our love of Champagne!

We’re going to sample a biodynamic blanc de blancs from Larmandier-Bernier, as well as a lovely rosé champagne from Montaudon.


... and bring home a bottle to celebrate one on one.

Valentine's at The Brooklyn Collective - Feb 11

The Brooklyn Collective Valentine's Event

Please join us for a special Valentine's celebration!

Shop for unique gifts for your sweetie

Over 20 collections by local artists and designers

Complimentary cocktails will be served throughout the evening

along with a special musical performance by Blanche Blanche Blanche

Friday, February 11th

212 Columbia Street

(between Union and Sackett)


Featured Artists

Niccole Ugay, Michael Murray, Thimali Kodikara, Beautiful Brooklyn Birds, Edelweiss by Sarah, GIRLFAUXPAS, Lightexture, Plane Jane Project, Skye Fraser, Abbie Zuidema, In The Seam, Alexandra Batsford, Design and Labor, Lewis Henry Nicholas, Twig Terrariums, Sunghee Bang, Rachel Goldberg, Stephen Merola, Catherine Hnatov, elle s'appelle, AshiDashi, Near Modern Disaster, Nancy Waller Handbags, Jess Yam, Sovereign Beck, Courtney P. Hewitt

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Crazy romantic Valentine's by DanceTheatreEtc

Valentine's day is next Monday, and DTE wants to help you make an unforgettable impression. Show them some love- with a donation of $10 or more before Friday at noon- and get a chance for a unique Valentine's Day Gift:

Two artists will come to a place that you choose to serenade your special someone with a love song. Give the gift of art, and help support community culture while you do!

Learn more about DTE here

Valentine's Day at Lilla!


Blue Point Oysters

on the ½ shell w/ mignonette


Kale Salad

w/ marsala raisins, toasted pecans, & pecorino in a warm balsamic vinaigrette

Blood Orange Salad w/ fennel, olives, & arugula

Roasted Cardoons
in baked gratin w/ kalamata olives, confit garlic, breadcrumbs, & feta


Beet & Ricotta Ravioli

handmade pasta filled w/ roasted beets, ricotta cheese, & pine nut pesto


Skate Meuniere pan roasted w/ rice pilaf capers, & roasted carrots

Braised Beef Short Ribs w/ roasted brussel sprouts & mashed yukons

Cornish Hen w/cornbread & andouille stuffing w/ braised kale


Queen of Sheba frozen chocolate mousse cake with toasted pecans

Warm Bread Pudding w/ crème anglaise

Ricotta Cheesecake w/ hot caramel

Taking reservations for two seatings at 6:30 & 8:30

****Menu is subject to change****

45.00 per person

Lilla is located at 126 Union street

Call 718.855.5700 for reservation

So many things happening for Valentine's Day!

Dear readers,

Many of you might have noticed that we have been a little off the radar these past couple of months. We apologize for that, and our only excuse is that real life tends to get in the way. It's all about priorities, right?

Anyhoo, let's catch up on lost time with several posts about how to celebrate Valentine's Day in the neighborhood.

Karen K and the Jitterbugs Winter Concert - Feb 13 @ the Jalopy

Karen K and the Jitterbugs Winter Concert

Sunday, February 13 at 4:00pm

at the Jalopy Theatre (315 Columbia street)

Join Karen K and her band, the Jitterbugs, for a family-style concert. They will need all the hand-clapping, toe-tapping afternoon of songs from class and her new album, Pancakes for Dinner, and favorites from her Jitterbugs classes

To buy tickets, call Jalopy (718) 395-3214

$5/child, $10/adults, $20/family

The show is expected to sell out, so please order your tickets soon.

One way to celebrate Valentine's Day as a family!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Artist Robin Hoffman opening at the Jalopy - Feb 11

Local mom, ex-ballerina, ukulele player and artist, Robin Hoffman has been sketching musicians and bands on the stage of the Fabulous Jalopy Theatre since 2009 (you can read about her first exhibit here).
Please join Robin on Friday, Feb. 11 from 6-8pm for the opening reception of her second solo exhibit at Jalopy. The show will run through March 26. It's all new work since October 2010, all drawn live on location at Jalopy.
The East River String Band
John Henighan, Eden Brower, and special guest Robert Crumb
November 2, 2010

The Fabulous Jalopy Theatre is located at 315 Columbia street.

Check out Robin's latest news here.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Punxsutawney Phil Apologizes for Lousy Weather, Retires at Freebird This Saturday

On Saturday, February 5 at 3 pm, Freebird Books (123 Columbia Street) sponsors a one of a kind book party / retirement party that includes beer, refreshments, a farewell from a legend, and a literary debut. Punxsutawney Phil introduces to the world Michael Kardos, author of a new collection of stories, One Last Good Time, and Phil's successor to the burrow.

Check out Michael's groundhog post on today's New York Times City Room blog. And here's the official press release from Phil himself:

Saturday, February 5, 3 pm

Punxsutawney Phil Retirement Party

America’s most famous land-beaver passes the mantle to author Mississippi Mike Kardos

Book launch / reading

Join us for refreshments as Phil introduces his young successor, an accomplished short story writer native to New Jersey who currently directs the creative writing program at Mississippi State University. Kardos came to the attention of Phil for his recent collection, One Last Good Time, which the groundhog read over the hibernation from his winter bungalow in Punxsutawney, PA. “I was so taken by Mike’s imagination and turn of phrase that I thought he would be an excellent representative for the cause,” Phil commented. “The pressure to articulate the weather for the public has just become too great for me. A new generation needs to take it forward and Mike Kardos is the man-squirrel to do so in these unpredictable times of global warming and Fox TV. His ability to convey character while balancing pathos and comedy is miraculous—my God there were moments I was laughing so hard, I plotzed. And then he would just swing you around and knock you over with a sentiment that humanized the scene and put it all in existential perspective. We are only so lucky to have such a bard emerge from our collective burrow.”

Michael Kardos will read selections from One Last Good Time and answer questions about his new duties.