Brooklyn Heights Blog » Visual Arts Dispatches from America's first suburb Fri, 25 May 2018 03:07:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 PS8 Student Art Premiers at Guggenheim Museum Thu, 10 May 2018 20:58:34 +0000

From the “It’s never too late to report good news” files…

On the evening of April 26th the Guggenheim held an opening reception for A Year of Children 2018, an annual exhibition featuring student work from the museum’s teaching artist’s residency program, Learning Through Art.  Per the Guggenheim website, “the program sends experienced teaching artists into New York City public schools, where they collaborate with classroom teachers to develop and facilitate art projects integrated into the school curriculum.” Brooklyn Heights’ own, P.S. 8 has enriched their third and fourth grade art curriculum with this 20-week program for many years. And, as previously reported by Bklyner, two blossoming artists from the school are featured in the show, 4th Grader, Zoe and 3rd grader, Fionn.


Third grade students worked along the theme of “Finding Their Way” and fabricated soft sculptures of their “wayfinders” or landmarks that represented things they either saw, heard, felt or smelled on their travels back and forth to school.  Text accompanying the work explained the Fourth graders “learned about the concept of avatars as a representation of an alter ego or character and created their own based on aspects of their identity but with added imaginative or exaggerated elements.” Students then created relief self portraits using monoprints, stamps, foam etching prints and other methods.

IMG_5563The museum also invites at least one student per grade to act as docents. Those chosen attended training sessions, wrote a speech, practiced delivery, and spoke at the adults only opening about their work and their experience with the residency.  Fourth grader, Zoe shared, “It made me feel excited about continuing to make art, knowing that I’ve had the privilege of being a student docent at the Guggenheim.”

Congratulations to Zoe and Fionn! The exhibition is on view through June 13th.


Guggenheim Photo Credit: Creative Commons/Jean-Christophe BENOIST
Gallery Photo Credit: Caren Gandelman


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Brooklyn Historical Society Opens “Waterfront” Exhibition, Presents Three Programs This Week Sun, 21 Jan 2018 05:41:17 +0000

The Brooklyn Historical Society has opened a new exhibition, “Waterfront”, at its second location in the Empire Stores, Brooklyn Bridge Park (55 Water Street in DUMBO). The exhibition contains many fascinating photos, prints, preserved objects, videos and other materials concerning the Brooklyn waterfront over the years. Your correspondent took this photo of some youngsters enjoying the “Magnet Wall” on which “kids and adults can create their own whimsical waterfront on a ten-foot magnetized landscape.”

There will be three evening programs at BHS’s headquarters, 128 Pierrepont at Clinton Street, this coming week. On Monday evening, January 22, Daniel L. Doctoroff, Deputy Mayor during the Bloomberg Administration, will read from and discuss his book, Greater Than Ever: New York’s Big Comeback. Admission is $10, or $5 for BHS members; buy tickets and more information here.

On Tuesday evening, January 23, BHS, in conjunction with Underwater New York, will present “Current / Bodies: Art and Action on the Waterfront,” in which “six New York artists and writers whose works address the history and future of our waterways…consider New York’s waterfront as a site of continuity and a threshold for political, social, and environmental change.” Admission is $5, or free for BHS members; buy or reserve tickets and more information here.

On Thursday evening, January 25, New York Times writer John Leland will discuss his book Happiness Is a Choice You Make: Lessons from a Year Among the Oldest Old with fellow journalist Julie Scelfo. Admission is $5, or free for BHS members; buy or reserve tickets and more information here.

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Silhouette Artist At Brooklyn Women’s Exchange This Weekend Tue, 28 Nov 2017 17:00:52 +0000

Silhouette artist Deborah O’Connor will be at the Brooklyn Women’s Exchange, 55 Pierrepont Street (between Henry and Hicks) Friday, December 1 from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Saturday, December 2 and Sunday, December 3 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Her last appointment on Sunday will begin at 4:00 p.m.

Silhouette portraitist Deborah O’Connor cuts profiles while her subject sits for only five minutes. The results are an heirloom-quality custom keepsake. Frames are available at the time of purchase and make a perfect holiday gift. Pets are welcome!

For more information, or to make an appointment, call 718-624-3435 or e-mail

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Heights Resident Puts Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 2 on New Yorker Cover Wed, 24 May 2017 03:32:00 +0000

The cover of this week’s New Yorker magazine is a sketch of a lively basketball game being played on the Pier Two courts in Brooklyn Bridge Park, with the lower Manhattan skyline in the background. As Françoise Mouly reports, it was made by Brooklyn Heights resident Jorge Colombo, using his iPad. Colombo is quoted as calling the park “one of my favorite places to hang out.”

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Silhouette Artist Deborah O’Connor Returning to Brooklyn Women’s Exchange April 21-23 Thu, 13 Apr 2017 02:52:49 +0000

Silhouette artist Deborah O’Connor will be at the Brooklyn Women’s Exchange, 55 Pierrepont Street (between Henry and Hicks) Friday, April 21; Saturday, April 22; and Sunday, April 23, during regular store hours.

Her silhouette portraits of children or pets are priced at $35 each, with duplicates available for $15 each. The silhouettes are cut freehand and mounted on a 5 x 7 buff mat suitable for framing. They make ideal Mother’s Day or Father’s Day presents. More information here.

To make an appointment, please call 718-624-3435 or e-mail

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Brooklyn Bridge Park Presents Artist Priscila De Carvahlo at 99 Plymouth Street Saturday Afternoon Fri, 17 Mar 2017 03:35:10 +0000

This Saturday afternoon, March 18, from 1:00 to 2:00, the Brazilian born artist Priscila De Carvalho (photo; from Maria Brito) will give an artist talk in conjunction with her exhibition Before Now, at 99 Plymouth Street, in DUMBO. Admission is free, but spots are limited and available on a first-come, first served basis.

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“Descension” by Anish Kapoor Coming to Brooklyn Bridge Park Sun, 19 Feb 2017 01:53:29 +0000

Under the auspices of the Public Art Fund, Indian born, London resident artist Anish Kapoor is bringing one of his typically large creations to Brooklyn Bridge Park, as Artnet News reports. “Descension” (photo: is twenty six feet in diameter and is described in the Artnet News piece as being “made by pairing an all-natural black dye with a continuously spiraling funnel of water to produce the illusion of an ever-churning black hole.” It will be on display from May 3 through September 10.

The Public Art Fund’s press release, published on the Brooklyn Bridge Park website, gives Descension’s location as “Pier 1″ but nothing more specific. My guess is that it will be at the north end of the Bridge View Lawn, near the foot of Old Fulton Street, the same location that sported Jeppe Hein’s “Appearing Rooms” (scroll to bottom of linked post) two years ago.

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Coming at Brooklyn Historical Society Mon, 06 Feb 2017 04:29:54 +0000

This Tuesday evening, February 7, from 7:00 to 9:00, the Brooklyn Historical Society will present Black Voices, Black Art: Upending Convention with Kellie Jones and Kimberly Drew. Admission is $10, or $5 fOr BHS members. More information and buy tickets here.

Journalist and cultural commentator John Strasbaugh will be at BHS Thursday evening, February 9 at 6:30 to discuss his new book, City of Sedition: The History of New York during the Civil War. Admission is $10, or $5 for BHS members. More information and buy tickets here.

Friday, February 10 brings another of BHS’s “Free Fridays”; this one on the pre-Valentine’s theme “Mad, Dangerous Love”. Admission is free, and the fun goes from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. The event features “Brooklyn Brewery beer, vintage cartoons, a lecture on poisons, and more!” There’s more information here.

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Author Bonnie Mackay at Brooklyn Women’s Exchange Thursday; Silhouette Artist in Early December Tue, 15 Nov 2016 04:51:15 +0000

Brooklyn Heights resident author Bonnie Mackay will be at the Brooklyn Women’s Exchange, 55 Pierrepont Street, this Thursday evening, November 17, from 6:00 to 8:00, for a reception, reading, and signing of her book, Tree of Treasures.

On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, December 2-4, renowned silhouette artist Deborah O’Connor will be at the Exchange to work her scissors magic. To make an appointment for a portrait of yourself, a child, or a pet, call 718-624-3435 or e-mail

There’s more information here about these events.

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Coming Events at Brooklyn Bridge Park Tue, 27 Sep 2016 15:43:27 +0000

On Wednesday evening from 5:30 to 6:30, Marie Viljoen, an expert on Brooklyn’s wild plants, will lead a “Fall Foraging Tour” to discover the “indigenous edible plants of Brooklyn Bridge Park.” She will also instruct on how to prepare them for the table, and how to grow them in gardens. Tickets are $10, or $5 for Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy members. There’s More information and buy tickets here.

There are several events scheduled aboard Swale (photo), “a collaborative floating food project” and artwork that is docked on the north side of Pier 6, near the Nantucket lightship (Nantucket will be open for free public tours from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 2 and subsequent Sundays in October). The Swale events are: on Saturday afternoon, October 1 from 3:00 to 5:00, a drawing workshop with the artist Kim Darling; on Saturday evening from 8:00 to 10:00 a concert, “Verdant, a Sound Tasting on Swale with Biome Arts”; on Sunday afternoon, October 2 from 3:00 to 4:30, a “Beneficial Microorganisms Workshop with MoS Collective”; and on Monday evening, October 4 from 6:00 to 8:00, “Public Food: a Science of the Living City Event Aboard Swale. Admission to the drawing and microorganisms workshops is a suggested donation of $10; tickets may be purchased through the web pages linked above. Admission to the concert and the Public Food event are free, but you are asked (again through the linked web page) to RSVP for the concert, for which space is limited.

Swale photo by C. Scales for BHB.

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Photoville Opens Wednesday; Other Events at Brooklyn Bridge Park This Week Sun, 18 Sep 2016 19:36:40 +0000

Photoville returns to Brooklyn Bridge Park this week, in a new location, under the Brooklyn Bridge. The exhibit opens on Wednesday, September 21 at 4:00 p.m., closing at 10:00 p.m. It will be open from noon to 10:00 p.m. Thursday, September 22 through Saturday, September 24, and from noon to 5:00 p.m. Sunday, September 25. More information here.

Tomorrow evening (Monday, September 19) at 6:00 there will be a free lecture on “Passenger Ships of the Past” by Conrad Milster, Chief Engineer at the Pratt Institute, aboard the Nantucket Lightship. More information here.

On Tuesday evening, September 20 at Pier 6 the artist Rachel Frank will discuss her practice of “rewilding”. The event is free, and there’s more information here.

Also on Tuesday evening at 7:00, and again on Wednesday evening at 7:00, on the Harbor View Lawn, Pier 1, the Independent Filmmaker Project will present two parts of its IFP Film Week Showcase. The screenings are free; more information here.

On Wednesday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. BBP’s Horticultural Supervisor Rashid Poulson will lead a tour of the Park’s “green roofs”. Admission is free fro BBP Conservancy members; for others it’s $10. There’s more information, and you can purchase tickets, here.

On Saturday, September 24 and Sunday, September 25 from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m both days there will be a free Brooklyn Americana Music Festival at the Pier 6 lawns, featuring local musicians doing “original and traditional country, folk, roots, blues, old time, and bluegrass”, all on acoustic instruments. More information here.

For gardening enthusiasts, on Saturday afternoon from 3:00 to 5:00 Claudia Joseph, Director of the NY Permaculture Exchange will present a free workshop on permaculture techniques aboard Swale, which will be docked at the north side of Pier 6. More information here.

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Nantucket Lightship Hosts Marine Art Program Tomorrow Wed, 14 Sep 2016 00:54:26 +0000

Tomorrow (Wednesday, September 14) evening at 6:00, the lightship Nantucket, docked at the north side of Pier 6 at Brooklyn Bridge Park, will be host to artist Christina Sun, New York Harbor Artist in Residence, Art Instructor at the New York City Harbor School, and author of the blog Bowsprite. Ms. Sun will speak about “The Historic Ships of New York Harbor: An Artist’s Perspective”. The event is free; there’s more information here.

There will be more events on Nantucket later this month, all free. The schedule is here.

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Glass Artist Tags Brooklyn Heights (and Beyond) With Colorful Pigeons Tue, 23 Aug 2016 14:30:10 +0000

About two weeks ago, I made the most delightful discovery at the intersection of Henry and Orange Streets: A glass mosaic pigeon affixed to the base of a street lamp. It instantly made me smile and reminisce about how, as a teen, I would frequently spot similar treasures in downtown Manhattan; the jubilant dancing babies of Keith Haring, golden crowns of Jean-Michel Basquiat and prophetic wheat paste “Truisms” of Jenny Holzer. I would later go on to study these artists, now all of them icons, in college.

Dumbo Pigeon

Corner of Water and Main, Dumbo. Photo courtesy of gb_pigeon_nyc.

This plucky bird before me tapped into the rich history of NYC street art, one that now includes the work of Swoon and Shepard Fairey. And, here it was, at my literal doorstep and serendipitously across the street from the former and beloved Brooklyn Heights Cinema where I once enjoyed the Banksy documentary, “Exit Through the Gift Shop.” (Last year, the notorious British stencil artist visited NYC and tagged the Promenade.  Alas, it was promptly scrubbed by the Parks department.) “Giftshop” introduced me to the work of Space Invader (whose 8-bit tile mosaics I have had the pleasure to spot in Paris-and the approach to the Holland Tunnel of all places) and his eccentric cousin, shop keeper and amateur videographer turned street artist, Mr. Brainwash.

So WHO left this little gem at my feet? I leaned in for a closer look and spied an edition number (the Henry Street bird is 26 out of 200) and an Instagram handle, @gb_pigeon_nyc. I thought, “200? Now THAT’s dedication!” It spoke volumes to me about the tenacity of human creativity and the art-making process itself. A private Instagram message and one week later, I found myself sitting across from the artist at the Starbucks in Dumbo.


Pigeon #1. Photo courtesy of gb_pigeon_nyc.

The artist, whom I’ll refer to as GB, agreed to be interviewed under the condition of anonymity.  First, because the birds are a personal side project.  Second because, you know, gluing glass pigeons to street lamps is technically vandalism.  GB is a native New Yorker, has a “day job” as a teacher but also creates commissioned stained glass works.   When asked how the pigeon project came about he explained, “I was preparing for the Artist and Fleas market in Williamsburg.” In speaking to other vendors, GB was advised to “definitely make New York stuff.”  However, making art for tourists ultimately fell flat.  “Everything I was making had nothing to do with the artistic process…it was making me almost annoyed…I became caught up in selling it.”

The birds are hand-cut from remnants left over from commissioned pieces. Each one takes about 20 minutes to assemble.  So far 65 out of the 200 have been fabricated and 54 have been mounted throughout parts of Brooklyn, Manhattan and even in Costa Rica. There’s no master plan for the pigeon placement. But, to me as a life-long New Yorker, almost every location chosen holds some significance.


Washington Square Park. Photo courtesy of gb_pigeon_nyc.

Henry Street was selected for its proximity to Sociale. Francesco, the owner is a close friend and he picked the mosaic he liked best.  GB is also a long-time regular of Gleason’s gym, so Dumbo is near and dear as well.  (Alas, the Dumbo birds have since been removed but can be seen on Instagram). A special red, white and blue pigeon commemorating Independence Day is being held in reserve for just the right spot (“perhaps near the Empire State Building or the World Trade Center”) so it photographs well, and will likely be installed over Labor Day.  But the best part for GB is that many friends are clamoring to go on pigeon posting missions.  They join GB for dinner, walk the neighborhoods and select a location together.

The goal is to mount all of the birds by September 21st, the official end of summer.  GB will see what happens after 200 are done. Perhaps they will change the design. Perhaps not. In the meantime GB reflects on the project, “It’s turned into the best summer I can remember in a long time.”

Call me a luddite, but who needs Pokemon Go when you can embark on a quest for pigeons? Follow on Instagram and create your own scavenger hunt.


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Coming Up at Brooklyn Bridge Park Thu, 23 Jun 2016 03:25:47 +0000

There’s a wealth of free events at Brooklyn Bridge Park starting tomorrow (Thursday) evening and extending through the weekend. On Thursday evening, June 23, starting at 8:00, park partner BAMcinemaFest presents a screening of Sara Jordenö’s film Kiki on the Harbor View Lawn, Pier 1. Admission is free; there will be “curated food” for sale. More information here

The Harbor View Lawn is once again the venue on Friday evening, June 24, starting at 7:00, as park partner The Metropolitan Opera begins its Summer Recital Series, this performance featuring the dynamic young soprano Angel Blue (photo) along with several young Met stars. More information here.

On Saturday, June 25, starting at 11:00 a.m. at Fornino, on Pier 6, BBP Gardener Jessica Slade will lead a Pollinators Tour through the flower fields on Pier 6, during which you’ll see the work of various pollinating insects and learn about their habits and roles. More information here.

On Saturday afternoon, on Pier 2, the NY Red Bulls Street Team will show off their skills, lead soccer activities for kids and adults, and conduct a 5v5 tournament, the winners of which will get “a VIP experience at Red Bull Arena”. Registration starts at 1:00 at the site, and the tournament goes from 2:00 to 7:00. More information here.

Also on Saturday at 1:00 p.m., at 99 Plymouth Street in DUMBO, the park and the Brooklyn Arts Council will present “a curatorial talk with Larissa Simpson” concerning artwork on exhibit there for the NYC Oyster Project. More information here.

Sunday morning, June 26, at 11:00 is a most lively time in the park, as all of the following events begin then. You can take the young ‘uns to the Pier 6 lawns for the “Pier Kids” event “Wildlife Theater presents Butterfly Boogie”. Young or old, if playing good chess is your ambition, also on Pier 6 you can attend Checkmate 101 with Zeebedee Collins. Up for some water sport? Go to Pier 2 for Kayak Polo. Be there by 11:00 sharp to reserve your space. Want to learn about the origins of the park and the history of the waterfront that preceded it? Be at the Pier 1 entrance at 11:00 for a docent guided tour.

All of these activities are subject to cancellation in the event of severe weather.

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Scenes and Music From Willowtown Fair Tue, 17 May 2016 03:37:06 +0000

The weather forecast for Saturday afternoon was threatening, but the rain held off for the duration of this year’s Willowtown Fair. Artists were busy painting young faces and arms. Iris Cafe sold tacos and roasted corn on the cob, and kids frolicked on a bouncy castle. Video and more photos after the jump.

Under overcast skies. the Willowtown Bluegrass Band, with Elio Schiavo on vocal and mandolin, did “Rain Please Go Away”. It worked. The band performed three lively sets of music during the Fair.

IMG_5187Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez chatted with local residents Charles and Elinor Wilder. State Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon was also present.

IMG_5198City Council Member Steve Levin was an enthusiastic participant in the tug-of-war. All in all, a most delightful Saturday afternoon.

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Silhouette Artist at Brooklyn Women’s Exchange Next Weekend Thu, 07 Apr 2016 18:59:28 +0000

Silhouette artist Deborah O’Connor will be at the Brooklyn Women’s Exchange, 55 Pierrepont Street (between Henry and Hicks) this coming Friday, April 15; Saturday, April 16; and Sunday, April 17, during regular store hours.

Her silhouette portraits of children or pets are priced at $35 each, with duplicates available for $15 each. The silhouettes are cut freehand and mounted on a 5 x 7 buff mat suitable for framing. They make ideal Mother’s Day or Father’s Day presents.

To make an appointment, please call 718-624-3435.

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Vigil For Brooklyn Heights Resident Victoria Nicodemus On Tuesday Evening, December 22 Sat, 19 Dec 2015 04:53:09 +0000

We have word from Community Board 2 that there will be a memorial vigil for Brooklyn Heights resident and art curator Victoria Nicodemus, who died on December 6 when an SUV jumped a curb and struck her on the sidewalk. The vigil will begin at 6:30 p.m. this coming Tuesday, December 22, at the site of the accident, Fulton Street and Portland Avenue, near the Habana Outpost, in Fort Greene. There will be an art installation in her memory. The event is presented by City Council Member Laurie Cumbo along with Indiewalls (Ms. Nicodemus’ employer), artist Mark Samsonovich, and Transportation Alternatives. There’s more information here.

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“OY/YO” Sculpture to be Unveiled at Brooklyn Bridge Park Tuesday, November 10 Tue, 10 Nov 2015 03:36:24 +0000

Tomorrow afternoon (Tuesday, November 10) at 3:00, at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s newly re-opened Main Street Lawn in DUMBO (foot of Main Street, between the bridges), artist Deborah Kass will unveil her monumental sculpture (photo) which, seen from the west and south (as in photo) says “YO” but from the east and north says “OY”, thereby embodying two characteristic Brooklyn expressions.

Image courtesy Hyperallergic/Two Trees

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Brooklyn Women’s Exchange Holiday Open House Thursday; Silhouettes Friday through Sunday Sun, 01 Nov 2015 02:03:52 +0000

This Thursday evening, November 5, the Brooklyn Women’s Exchange, 55 Pierrepont Street (between Henry and Hicks) will have its annual Holiday Open House from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Come in to shop, socialize, and enjoy refreshments. Friday, November 6 through Sunday, November 8, silhouette artist Deborah O’Connor will be at the Exchange to preform her scissors magic. You can make an appointment by calling (718) 624-3435. There’s more information here.

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Last Minute Weekend Suggestions: Brooklyn Heights and Nearby Fri, 02 Oct 2015 03:55:24 +0000

Want to have your pet blessed? This Sunday, October 4 is St. Francis of Assisi Sunday, and both Grace Church (photo) and St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church will have Blessing of the Animals services. St. Ann’s begins at 1:30 p.m., and Grace’s at 5:00 p.m. Pets must be leashed or caged. The service at Grace has had its interesting moments, including a hen dropping an egg on the floor while being blessed, and, according to the Rector, “an escaped tarantula.”

Tomorrow (Friday, October 2) evening at 8:00 Bargemusic will present works by Stravinsky, Ravel, Debussy, and Bartók performed by Rolf Schulte on violin and Christopher Oldfather on piano. On Saturday evening, September 3 at 8:00 and Sunday afternoon, September 4 at 4:00 Mark Peskanov on violin and Nina Kogan on piano will play the first of two concerts presenting the complete Beethoven sonatas for violin and piano. Saturday afternoon at 4:00 there will be a free, family oriented “Music in Motion” concert, co-sponsored by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy. Doors open at 3:45; first come, first seated. There’s more information and buy tickets here.

You may take a free guided Brooklyn Bridge Park tour by going to the Pier 1 entrance near the foot of Old Fulton Street at 11:00 a.m. Sunday. Looking ahead to Wednesday, October 7, there will be a class for shutterbugs, “Composition and Lighting in Brooklyn Bridge Park–Fall,” taught by BBP’s photographer Alexa Hoyer. The class begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Park’s headquarters, 334 Furman Street, then proceeds out into the Park for practical work. Tickets are $10, or $5 for Conservancy members. There’s more information and buy tickets here.


This is your last weekend to enjoy Jeppe Hein’s “Appearing Rooms” (photo above). Given the chilly weather, you may prefer to admire it from outside rather than going in to be drenched. The remainder of Hein’s Please Touch the Art exhibition, including the “Mirror Labyrith New York” and the many Modified Social Benches, will remain until next April 17. For other Park activities this weekend and after, see their calendar.

If you know of any other events in or near Brooklyn Heights this weekend that should be mentioned, please let us know in a comment.

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Last Minute Weekend Suggestions, and Some Stuff the Week After: Brooklyn Heights and Nearby Thu, 27 Aug 2015 02:33:44 +0000

On Saturday evening, August 29 at 8:00 and Sunday afternoon, August 30 at 4:00 Bargemusic will present works by Haydn, Mozart, and Dvořák performed by Mark Peskanov on violin, Vladimir Mendelssohn on viola, Edward Arron on cello, and Jeewon Park on piano. Looking ahead to the following week, on Wednesday, September 2 there will be the first concert in Bargemusic’s “Here and Now Labor Day Festival,” featuring works by contemporary composers, including John Zorn (photo), played by a distinguished collection of musicians. This Saturday afternoon, August 29 at 4:00 there will be a free, family oriented “Music in Motion” concert, co-sponsored by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy. Doors open at 3:45; first come, first seated. There’s more information and buy tickets here.

You may take a free guided Brooklyn Bridge Park tour by going to the Pier 1 entrance near the foot of Old Fulton Street at 11:00 a.m. Sunday. Looking ahead to Wednesday, September 2, there is the next Wednesday Night Tour, which begins at 6:30 p.m. at the entrance to Pier 1 near the foot of Old Fulton Street. The subject of this week’s tour will be “Fall Landscape Drawing”; it will be led by Artist and Teacher at Brooklyn Brainery and CUNY, Elysa Lozano. Tickets are $10, or $5 for Conservancy members. There’s more information and buy tickets here.

For other park activities this weekend and after, see their calendar.

If you know of any other events in or near Brooklyn Heights this weekend that should be mentioned, please let us know in a comment.

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Events at Brooklyn Historical Society This Week Sun, 09 Aug 2015 22:57:23 +0000

If you’re a map freak like me, the Brooklyn Historical Society is a good place to be on Tuesday evening, August 11, starting at 6:30. A panel of artists will discuss their work on the exhibit “Mapping Brooklyn,” which will be on display until September 6. There will be time to view the exhibit, which includes the artists’ works along with original historic maps. Admission is free, but you must reserve tickets here.

There’s more information here about these and other future events at BHS.

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Events at Brooklyn Historical Society Next Week Thu, 30 Jul 2015 16:07:48 +0000

On Monday evening, August 3, starting at 6:30, the Brooklyn Historical Society, as part of its “Movie Mondays” (first Monday of each month) series, will present a screening of two films in which “[t]he line between reality and fantasy is blurred”: Marina Fernández Ferri’s short film Temblor and Spanish director Victor Erice’s 1973 classic The Spirit of the Beehive. Admission is free, but you must reserve tickets here.

On Tuesday evening, August 4, starting at 6:30 there will be a tour of the Greenpoint studio of stone carver Chris Pellettieri. Admission is $15, or $10 for BHS or Green-Wood members. Directions to the event will be included with the confirmation you will receive when you purchase tickets here; no tickets will be sold at the door.

Thursday evening, August 6 at 6:30 brings “What’s the Scoop?”, an event that should be most welcome in the sultry weather we’ve been having. Laura O’Neill, Benjamin Van Leeuwen and Peter Van Leeuwen of Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream will

share some of the secrets behind their unique recipes and read from their new book Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream. Samples will be provided!

Admission is $5; free for BHS and Green-Wood members. Purchase or reserve tickets here.

There’s more information here about these and other future events at BHS.

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Your Correspondent Learns About Waterfront History at Brooklyn Bridge Park; More Tours to Come Tue, 07 Jul 2015 04:42:40 +0000

Last Wednesday evening your correspondent went on a tour through Brooklyn Bridge Park of “Brooklyn’s Waterfront History” led by Julie Golia (photo), a Columbia history PhD and Director of Public History for the Brooklyn Historical Society. Julie described the transformation of the Brooklyn waterfront over the years, from natural shoreline up until the early nineteenth century, when it began to be developed for commercial use. By the mid nineteenth century, Brooklyn became known as “the walled city” (it was a separate city then) because of the phalanx of tall warehouses and industrial buildings that lined the waterfront from Williamsburg down to Red Hook. The warehouses below Brooklyn Heights that extended up to just below the level of today’s Promenade were gone by the time the BQE and Promenade were built, though new warehouses were built on larger piers that continued to be active until 1983.

IMG_1434_1One survivor of the nineteenth century is the Empire Stores building, in the Fulton Ferry Historic District, the southern part (photo) of which was completed in 1885; a northern portion was added in 1889. Empire Stores is now being developed for adaptive re-use as stores, restaurants, and offices. Julie told us that the Brooklyn Historical Society will have an annex there, providing additional space for historic exhibits.

IMG_1437_1Someone asked about the metal stars on the wall of the Empire Stores. Julie said these were used on the ends of metal cross-beams in nineteenth century buildings to secure them to the walls.

IMG_1449_1Julie said that new construction displacing established communities was not a new thing. The building of the Brooklyn Bridge’s Brooklyn abutment in the 1880s destroyed what had, since at least the early nineteenth century and perhaps earlier, been a thriving African American community. There are several of these historical signs throughout the park, provide jointly by the Park and by BHS.

IMG_1450_1The Brooklyn Bridge did not kill ferry service. The Bridge was completed in 1883, but steam ferry service continued from lower Manhattan to Fulton Ferry Landing until the early 1900s. What stopped it then was the subway. Now ferry service is back, mostly serving different routes and carrying more tourists than commuters (though your correspondent has found it handy on occasion).

IMG_1446_1Our tour ended near the foot of Atlantic Avenue, on the landward side of Pier Six. Julie pointed to this sign, which commemorates Atlantic Avenue’s role as a “crossroads for immigrants.”

There are more Wednesday Night Tours coming up in Brooklyn Bridge Park, starting with “Natives and Newcomers” (about the early Dutch settlers and the Native Americans) this Wednesday, July 8. There’s a schedule here.

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Last Minute Weekend Suggestions: Brooklyn Heights and Nearby Fri, 26 Jun 2015 03:15:36 +0000

It’s a busy weekend at Brooklyn Bridge Park with lots of free activities. The Swedish circus performers Magmanus (photo) will give shows on the Harbor View Lawn, Pier 1 at 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 27 and on Sunday, June 28. On Saturday there will be two activities appealing to kids and their parents: a Pier 6 Family Field Day starting at 10:00 a.m.; and a Youth Volleyball Clinic, also on Pier 6 from 10:00 a.m. to noon. There’s also kayaking at Pier 2 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

On Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Pier 6 lawn the Pier Kids series presents Wildlife Theater: Polar Opposites followed by art activities. Early Sunday evening from 5:00 to 7:00 Brooklyn Beanstalk will offer kids training in simple circus activities on the Pier 1 Harbor View Lawn. At 11:00 a.m. Sunday meet at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 1 entrance near the foot of Old Fulton Street for a free guided park tour.

At Bargemusic on Friday evening, June 26 at 8:00, pianist Ursula Oppens will play works by Frederic Rzewski, Schubert, Beethoven, John Corigliano, and Scriabin. On Saturday evening at 8:00 violinist Mark Peskanov, cellist Adrian Daurov, and pianist Olga Vinokur will play works by Brahms, Beethoven, and Mendelssohn. On Sunday afternoon at 4:00 Marcus Thompson on viola and Doris Stevenson on piano will perform works by Vivaldi, Schubert, Shostakovich, and Weber. There’s more information and buy tickets here. Saturday afternoon at 4:00 there will be a free, family oriented “Music in Motion” concert, co-sponsored by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy. Doors open at 3:45; first come, first seated.

At the Brooklyn Historical Society on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. you can tag your own Brooklyn water tower, with guidance from artist Rob Plater. Model water towers in two sizes will be available for sale at the Society’s gift shop. Admission is $15; $10 for BHS and Green-Wood members (water towers not included); reserve tickets here.

Photo: Black Rock Center for the Arts.

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Last Minute Weekend Suggestions: Brooklyn Heights and Nearby Fri, 19 Jun 2015 05:08:28 +0000

On Saturday, June 20, starting at 10:00 a.m., as part of its “Hidden Brooklyn” series of tours, the Brooklyn Historical Society presents a tour of

Good Eggs [photo], Brooklyn’s beloved home delivery grocery service, is redefining how local foods travel from the farm to your kitchen. Come tour their Bushwick foodhub, enjoy a local snack, and maybe discover a new favorite New York producer.

The cost of the tour is $15, or $10 for BHS or Green-Wood members. You must purchase tickets in advance here. Once you have purchased your ticket, you will be notified where to meet for the tour.

This will be a busy Sunday, June 21 at Brooklyn Bridge Park. All of these events are free. This summer’s Pier Kids program starts at 11:00 a.m. at the Pier 6 lawns (near the Atlantic Avenue entrance) with “multilingual world music for kids” by Robbi K featuring Bakithi Kumalo, followed by art activities from Private Picassos at noon and an outdoor pop-up reading room from the Uni Project. The event ends at 1:00 p.m. More information here. As part of Make Music New York’s citywide festival, the Pangean Orchestra will perform in front of the Granite Prospect on Pier 1 from noon until 1:00 p.m. More information here. At 11:00 a.m. meet at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 1 entrance near the foot of Old Fulton Street for a free guided park tour. A Sing For Hope Piano will be on the Pier 1 esplanade through June 21; this weekend is your last chance to tickle the ivories. Alas, it appears there is no more Smorgasburg at Brooklyn Bridge Park this summer or fall.

On Friday evening, June 20, starting at 8:00, Bargemusic presents a “Here and Now” concert of recent and contemporary music composed by Daniel Ott, Alex Freeman, and Mathew Fuerst, performed by violinist Jasper Wood and pianists David Riley, Salla Karakorpi, and Brian Lee. On Saturday evening at 8:00, and aaain on Sunday afternoon at 4:00, the Horszowski Trio will play works by Beethoven, Shostakovich, and Schumann. There’s more information and buy tickets here. Saturday afternoon at 4:00 there will be a free, family oriented “Music in Motion” concert, co-sponsored by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy. Doors open at 3:45; first come, first seated.

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Jeppe Hein’s “Please Touch The Art” at Brooklyn Bridge Park Mon, 01 Jun 2015 19:49:56 +0000

If you haven’t been down to Brooklyn Bridge Park in the last two weeks, you should go and experience Danish artist Jeppe Hein’s “Please Touch the Art”; an exhibit that will remain in place at locations throughout the Park until next April. There are many variations of his “modified social benches,” which invite sitting in different ways than to which we are accustomed, or in some instances, as in the photo, climbing.

IMG_0730_1His “Mirror Labyrinth NYC” has a “now you see it, now you don’t” quality when approached from the lawn.

IMG_0929_1Inside, it invites the taking of simultaneous multiple selfies.

IMG_0982Hein’s “Appearing Rooms,” a platform from which jets of water form the “walls” of rectangular rooms that change location in apparently random fashion, is especially popular on hot days.

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Streetside Call Boxes Functional Again, and “Captain Cleanup” Caught in the Act Sun, 31 May 2015 20:03:59 +0000

We have word from a reader that Verizon has installed new fiber optic communications cable, and that consequently the streetside fire and police call boxes at various locations around Brooklyn Heights (The one in the photo, an obvious recipient of the loving attention of “Captain Cleanup,” a “BHB Ten” honoree for 2013, is located on Remsen Street near the Montague Terrace intersection) are once again functional.

On the subject of “Captain Cleanup”: Some weeks ago, I was on one of my almost daily strolls when I noticed a couple of workers repainting the drinking fountain (or “bubbler” for you Red Sox and Pats fans, or you Packers and Brewers fans) near the Promenade’s north end. The next time I walked by, the fountain was a shiny solid black.

IMG_0466_1A few days later, I saw a man, evidently “Captain Cleanup” himself, painstakingly applying detailing to the previously all black fountain.

IMG_0512_1Here’s the finished job. Nicely done, in my opinion.

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“Whimsical” Artworks of Jeppe Hein to Adorn Brooklyn Bridge Park Sun, 29 Mar 2015 21:10:44 +0000

The New York Times reports that works of Danish artist Jeppe Hein will soon “run the 1.3-mile length of” Brooklyn Bridge Park. The Times story describes his works as including:

Fire-engine-red benches that spike, arch and undulate. A room with walls of rising water [photo]. A labyrinth of mirrored panels.

The exhibition, titled “Please Touch the Art” and presented by the Public Art Fund, will begin on May 17, and will remain in place until April 17, 2016.

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Coming Up at Brooklyn Historical Society This Week Mon, 16 Mar 2015 02:27:04 +0000

Those, like me, who are concerned about the effect the ever-rising real estate market has on the ability of artists and other creative people who have yet to achieve great monetary success to survive in Brooklyn should attend a panel discussion Tuesday evening, starting at 6:30, at the Brooklyn Historical Society. The discussion, “‘The Gentrification of Brooklyn’…5 Years Later,” will be moderated by Dexter Wimberly, who was curator of the 2010 MoCADA exhibition, The Gentrification of Brooklyn: The Pink Elephant Speaks. Participating in the discussion will be artists whose works were included in that exhibition, who will tell “how they’ve survived (or thrived) in the years since the exhibition, and share how their art has been influenced by the rapid changes in the borough.” The event is free, but you must reserve tickets here.

Wednesday evening’s (March 18) program, again at 6:30, “Literary Debuts from the Deep South (of Brooklyn)” features two first time novelists: Mark Chiusano, author of Marine Park, and Yelena Akhtiorskaya, author of Panic in a Suitcase, who”will read from their recently published books and discuss their literary and geographic influences.” Admission is $5, but free for BHS and Green-Wood Cemetery members. Reserve tickets here.

On Thursday evening, March 19, also at 6:30, there will be a screening of She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry and a talk by producer and director Mary Dore. The film

resurrects the buried history of the outrageous, often brilliant women who founded the modern women’s movement from 1966 to 1971, and takes us from the founding of NOW, with ladies in hats and gloves, to the emergence of more radical factions of women’s liberation. [Photo]

The event is free, but you must reserve tickets here.

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