Brooklyn Heights Blog » Brooklyn Heights Dispatches from America's first suburb Tue, 27 Jun 2017 03:56:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 At Brooklyn Historical Society This Week Tue, 27 Jun 2017 03:51:46 +0000

On Wednesday evening, June 28 at 6:30, the Brooklyn Historical Society will present a panel discussion on the timely topic, “Who is Muslim.” It will be led by Imam Khalid Latif, chaplain at NYU, and will feature a distinguished panel of Muslims living in America who will “challenge stereotypes, highlight alternative narratives, and share their hopes for America’s evolution.” Admission is $5, or free for BHS members. Tere’s more information, and you may buy or reserve tickets here.

On Thursday evening, June 29 at 6:30 Kay S. Hymowitz, contributing editor of City Journal and author of The New Brooklyn: What It Takes to Bring a City Back, will discuss the

seeming Renaissance of Brooklyn’s ever-changing landscape through seven neighborhoods: Park Slope, Williamsburg, Bed-Stuy, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Brownsville, Sunset Park, and Canarsie. In this exploration, Hymowitz looks at the successes of black and white middle classes, local policies, and small businesses, while assessing the challenges left for recent immigrants and other diverse communities trying to thrive.

Admission is $5, or free for BHS members. There’s more information and you may buy or reserve tickets here.

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The World at Your Service at the Hotel St. George Tue, 27 Jun 2017 02:20:39 +0000

Immigrants: They get the job done. Nowhere more so than at the St. George. Is there anything you can’t get done at the St. George? You can get your breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And get your hair cut, your shoes shined, your pants cuffed, and yours nails did. And who does all that work for you? Here are some of those people, who immigrated from three different continents, and work to make our lives better, all in one building.

Henry (Han-Suk) Cho Henry Custom Tailor & Dry Cleaners

Henry (Han-Suk) Cho
Henry Custom Tailor & Dry Cleaners

Meet Henry (Han-Suk) Cho, the always nattily-dressed tailor, who turns out immaculately hemmed and altered garments in his tiny, friendly shop.

Q.  Where were you born?
A.  Seoul, South Korea.
Q.  When did you come to New York?
A.  15 years ago.
Q.  What is your native language?
A.  Korean.
Q.  How did you get started in this business?
A.  I was a tailor in Korea for 40 years.
Q.  How long have you owned this business?
A.  Since 2007.
Q.  Tell us about your family?
A.  My wife, Hee-Ja, works with me and I have two daughters, one son, and one grand-son.
Q.  Where do you commute from?
A.  Flushing, Queens.
Q.  What is your favorite thing about this neighborhood?
A.  The delicious sushi and nice owners at Sushi Gallery.

Katya Mirzokandov Studio Diva Nail Salon

Katya Mirzokandov
Studio Diva Nail Salon

Meet Katya Mirzokandov, nail technician extraordinaire. One look at her perfectly-maintained brows and sweet smile, and you know she’ll ace your mani-pedi.

Q.  Where were you born?
A.  Tel Aviv, Israel
Q.  When did you come to New York?
A.  4 years ago.
Q.  What is your native language?
A.  Russian and Hebrew.
Q.  How did you get started in this business?
A.  I came to the U.S. and went to school for a nail technician license, and have been working since.
Q.  How long have you worked at this salon?
A.  For 3 1/2 years.
Q.  Tell us about your family?
A.  I have a husband named Patr, and a 7 year old son.
Q.  Where do you commute from?
A.  Forest Hills, Queens.
Q.  What is your favorite thing about this neighborhood?
A.  The beautiful river views.

Fernando Castano Brooklyn Heights Shoe Master

Fernando Castano
Brooklyn Heights Shoe Master

Meet Fernando Castano – Brooklyn Heights Shoe Master (the shop’s name, but could also be his moniker). Has the concrete jungle destroyed your soles? Bring them to Fernando for quick and reasonably-priced, expert repair.

Q.  Where were you born?
A.  Cali, Colombia.
Q.  When did you come to New York?
A.  In 1982.
Q.  What is your native language?
A.  Spanish.
Q.  How did you get started in this business?
A.  My cousin taught me shoe repair.
Q.  How long have you worked at this shop?
A.  For 17 years.
Q.  Tell us about your family?
A.  My wife is Paola, and I have 3 kids – a 32 year old son, a 9 year old daughter, and a 5 year old son.
Q.  Where do you commute from?
A.  Jackson Heights, Queens.
Q.  What is your favorite thing about this neighborhood?
A.  The promenade, it’s beautiful.

Rocco (Rocky) Scali The Cutting Den

Rocco (Rocky) Scali
The Cutting Den

And last, but not least. The man. The legend. Rocco Scali, better known to his customers as Rocky. What is there to say about Rocky that the New York Times hasn’t already covered? How about that nothing can hold this man down. Triple bypass in his 70’s? Back to work in 2 months. Working on his feet 40+ hours a week for 57 years? Nessun problema! And no one, and we mean no one, knows this neighborhood better than Rocky. He’s seen St. George in all its iterations since 1958. He’s had thousands of locals sit in his chair and spill the beans. He knows exactly where all the bodies are buried, but he’s not telling anyone.

Q.  Where were you born?
A.  Calabria, Italy.
Q.  When did you come to New York?
A.  In 1958.
Q.  What is your native language?
A.  Italian.
Q.  How did you get started in this business?
A.  I was a barber apprentice since age 12 in Italy.
Q.  How long have you worked at the Cutting Den?
A.  For 59 years.
Q.  Tell us about your family?
A.  My father was in the Italian Navy for many years and my mother was a housewife. My wife Mary was born in Palermo, and we met in Brooklyn. We have two daughters and six grand-children.
Q.  Where do you commute from?
A.  Staten Island.
Q.  What is your favorite thing about this neighborhood?
A.  Everything, this is a great place!
Q.  Well, you could write a whole book about this place, right?
A.  Yeah, but you want me to get in big trouble?

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Will Fourth of July Fireworks be Visible from Brooklyn Heights? Mon, 26 Jun 2017 03:04:49 +0000

The Eagle reports that this year’s Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks will be launched from barges on the East River beteween 24th and 41st streets in Manhattan. Unlike the past two years, there will be no fireworks launched from barges anchored below Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO. The Eagle story quotes Macy’s as saying Brooklyn Bridge Park “is not a suggested location to watch the display due to its obstructed views.” It’s possible that a somewhat less obstructed view could be had from the Promenade because of its elevation above the level of the park. Those lucky enough to have access to rooftops on tall buildings might have a better, but still not perfect, view.

The answer to the question in the headline, though, is “Yes.” As the Eagle story concludes:

But fear not, Brooklynites. The Fourth Annual Jersey City Freedom and Fireworks Festival at Liberty State Park in N.J. will be visible from the Promenade and BBP.

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Pop-Up Pool in Brooklyn Bridge Park to Open Thursday, June 29 Mon, 26 Jun 2017 01:30:35 +0000

The Pop-Up-Pool in Brooklyn Bridge Park will re-open this Thursday, June 29. The opening will be at 11:00 a.m., and the group Love Our Pool plans a “little reception” at opening time.

The pool was slated to be removed after last year’s season, but got a one year lease on life thanks to the efforts of local residents and State Senator Daniel Squadron. At the time, Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation officials said they would allow a one year extension while they considered other ways to provide a swimming venue. At present we have no indication of any such plans, so Love Our Pool has posted a petition on line to keep the pool open beyond the 2017 season. You may read, and if you wish sign it here.

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Night Milling Of Furman Street Scheduled For Friday, June 30 Sat, 24 Jun 2017 15:56:09 +0000

We have word from Community Board 2 that Furman Street between Old Fulton Street and Joralemon Street will be milled this coming Friday, June 30. According to CB 2:

Due to daytime traffic volume, this work is planned to take place OVERNIGHT. Yes, this is an annoyance but one that is deemed necessary. Thank you for your forbearance.

Furman Street lies below Brooklyn Heights and the cantilevered portion of the BQE, which it parallels for much of its length. Noise from the milling is likely to be audible in the Heights, especially between Hicks Street and the Promenade.

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Cuomo Makes Brooklyn Heights Resident Joseph Lhota MTA Chair Fri, 23 Jun 2017 19:50:23 +0000

The Eagle reports that Governor Cuomo has named Heights resident Joseph Lhota to serve as chair of the MTA. Lhota previously served as the MTA’s chief executive, and is credited with leading the agency’s quick response to the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. He later ran unsuccessfully as the GOP candidate for for Mayor, losing to Bill De Blasio.

In his new role, Lhota will serve as a non-executive chair, with a one dollar a year salary. He will retain his position as senior vice president, vice dean and chief of staff at NYU Langone Medical Center. Lhota will be engaged in the search for a new CEO for the MTA, and will be active in planning strategy for dealing with the system’s extensive problems.

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Know a Spot, or Two, That Needs a Litter Can? Tell Council Member Steve Levin Tue, 20 Jun 2017 03:12:03 +0000

In his “Word on the 33rd” e-blast today, City Council Member Stephen Levin has this message for constituents:

We all need to do our part to keep our community clean. Everyone one of us should be able to take pride in the streets and sidewalks that are extensions of our homes and workplaces. To this end, I’m asking the community for suggestions on areas of the community that could use some extra attention.

If you know a spot, or up to three spots, that could use extra litter baskets, please submit them here.

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Developer Finally Closes on Library Site Tue, 20 Jun 2017 02:44:43 +0000

We have it from City Realty that developer Hudson Companies, Inc. has finally closed on the sale from the City of the site, at Cadman Plaza West and Clinton Street, formerly occupied by the Brooklyn Heights Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, which now occupies temporary space on Remsen Street between Henry and Clinton. Demolition of the old library building is now near complete. The new building Hudson will erect on the site will include a new library at three levels, along with STEM lab operated by the NYC Department of Education at its base, as well as other commercial tenants at street level and 32 stories of apartments.

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Brooklyn’s Waterfront as Artistic Inspiration Subject of Wednesday Discussion at BHS Mon, 19 Jun 2017 04:13:30 +0000

This Wednesday evening, June 21 at 6:30, the Brooklyn Historical Society will present novelist Jennifer Egan (photo, at Brooklyn Book Festival, 2010), author of The Keep and A Visit From the Goon Squad and the soon to be published Manhattan Beach, leading a discussion “about Brooklyn’s waterfronts, industrial and liminal, as an inspiration to artists.” Others on the panel will be Nicki Pombier Berger, c0-founder of Underwater New York, Elizabeth Albert, author of Silent Beaches, Untold Stories: New York City’s Forgotten Waterfront, and Marilyn Symmes, curator of the exhibit Shifting Perspectives: Photographs of Brooklyn’s Waterfront at BHS’s new site in the Empire Stores in DUMBO. Admission is $5, or free for BHS members; more information and buy or reserve tickets here.

Photo: David Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons.

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Subway Service Alerts: Brooklyn Heights and Vicinity Fri, 16 Jun 2017 03:55:33 +0000

There’s good news and there’s bad news this weekend (Friday, June 16 at 11:45 PM to Monday, June 19 at 5:00 AM). The good news is that there will be 4/5 service in both directions at Borough Hall, so those traveling to or from Manhattan’s East Side no longer need to take circuitous routes. The bad news is that there will be no 2 or 3 service to or from Brooklyn, so no service on the 2/3 platforms at Borough Hall and no service at all at Clark Street. To partially make up for this, 5 trains, which normally don’t serve Brooklyn on weekends, will be coming to and going from here. For those traveling to or from the interior of Brooklyn, 4 and 5 trains will be making the 2 and 3 stops. To complicate matters further, there will be no R or late night N train service from Manhattan to Court Street, as the Brooklyn bound R and N will be diverted to the Manhattan Bridge between Canal Street and DeKalb Avenue. The MTA suggests taking the R or N to DeKalb and catching a Manhattan bound R or N back to Court from there. You might do just as well taking a 4, 5, A, or C, all of which should (barring unforeseen events) be running more or less normally.

The following work week (Monday, June 19 to Friday, June 23) the only planned difficulty is that the Brooklyn bound N train, which replaces the R train late at night, will be diverted to the Manhattan Bridge between Canal Street and DeKalb Avenue, so there will be no service from Manhattan to Court Street each night Monday to Friday, 11:45 PM to 5:00 AM. N trains running to Manhattan should be providing service as usual. R trains will be running normally each day, so there will be service in both directions at Court Street except during the late night hours.

For planned service changes that may affect travel on other parts of the system, either during the weekend or the following week, see MTA Info or The Weekender.

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Author of Novel About Vanishing New York at Brooklyn Heights Branch Library Thursday Wed, 14 Jun 2017 03:02:48 +0000

This Thursday evening at 6:15 the Friends of the Brooklyn Heights Branch Library will present John Freeman Gill, author of The Gargoyle Hunters, “one of Booklist’s picks for Best New Adult Fiction of 2017,” to discuss and sign his novel at the Brooklyn Heights Branch Library’s temporary quarters, 109 Remsen Street.

The novel is based on a true but bizarre occurrence in 1974: the theft of an entire historic cast iron structure in lower Manhattan, the Bogardus Building, which had been disassebled and was lying in pieces on its lot waiting to be rebuilt. According to the novel’s publisher, Penguin Random House, the book “intimately portray[s] New York’s elbow-jostling relationship with time.”

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Brooklyn Heights Man Dies in Bike/Bus Crash in Manhattan Tue, 13 Jun 2017 03:25:36 +0000 The New York Post reports that Columbia Heights resident Dan Hanegby, 36, died this morning when he lost balance and fell while riding a bike, then was struck by a bus. Mr. Hanegby, who was married with two children, was a director in the investment banking division of Credit Suisse Group. A native of Tel Aviv, he had been the top ranked tennis player in Israel at 18, before his service in the Israeli Defense Forces. He later came to the U.S. and was captain of the tennis team at Brown University.

At the time of the incident Mr. Hanegby was riding a Citi Bike. His was the first fatality of a Citi Bike rider since the program began in 2013.

We at BHB extend our deepest sympathy to Mr. Hanegby’s family and friends.

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BHS Events Examine NYC Fiscal and World Beer Histories Mon, 12 Jun 2017 12:47:20 +0000

Tomorrow (Tuesday, June 13) evening at 6:30 the Brooklyn Historical Society will be host to NYU historian Kim Phillips-Fein, author of Fear City: New York City’s Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics. Professor Phillips-Fein will discuss “the fiscal policies that led the city to the brink of bankruptcy, the scare tactics used by the powerful to enforce austerity, and the lasting effects on the city and nation at large.” Admission is $5, or free for BHS members. There’s more information and you may reserve or buy tickets here.

On Wednesday evening, June 14, at 7:00, Patrick E. McGovern, author of Ancient Brews: Rediscovered and Re-Created, will be joined by gastronomic historian Sarah Lohman, mixologist Eamon Rockey, and beer scribe Chris Cuzme to discuss McGovern’s book “and the exploding interest in resurrecting methods and tastes from a bygone era.” Admission is $10, or $5 for BHS members. There’s more information and you may buy tickets here.

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Women’s Exchange End of Season Sale Fri, 09 Jun 2017 20:04:53 +0000

After tomorrow (Saturday, June 10) the Brooklyn Women’s Exchange, 55 Pierrepont Street (between Hicks and Henry) will close for the summer, re-opening on September 9. For the rest of today, until closing at 6:00 PM, and tomorrow from 11:00 AM until 5:00 PM, they are having their end-of-season sale. This is an opportunity to get bargains on knits, greeting cards, children’s clothes, toys, christening gowns, books, candies, condiments, and other gifts. The Exchange is a not-for-profit organization that provides a marketplace for goods handcrafted by local artisans.

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Open Thread Wednesday Wed, 07 Jun 2017 03:37:47 +0000

What’s on your mind? Comment away!

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Brooklyn Historical Society This Week Sun, 04 Jun 2017 22:15:45 +0000

This Tuesday evening, June 6 at 6:30 (all programs begin at 6:30 PM unless otherwise noted) the Brooklyn Historical Society will present, from its “Tales from the Vault” series, “Adopting Brooklyn as a Home,” featuring accounts by Puerto Rican, West Indian, European, and African immigrants to Brooklyn. “BHS archivist Brett Dion brings Brooklyn history to life through these immigrant stories, some even going back as far as a century.” Admission is $5, or free for BHS members. There’s more information and you may buy or reserve tickets here.

On Wednesday evening, June 7, there will be a panel discussion, “KEEP OUT: Immigration, Discrimination, and National Security.” Panelists will include Lee Gelernt, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union; Libby Garland, historian and author of After They Closed the Gates: Jewish Illegal Immigration to the United States, 1921-1965; and moderted by Lizzy Ratner, senior editor of The Nation. Admission is $10, or $5 for BHS members. There’s more information and you may buy tickets here.

“From the 1800s until post-WWII’s industrial decline, Brooklyn’s waterfront was a refuge for working class queer people.” On Thursday evening, June 7, Hugh Ryan, founder of the Pop-Up Museum of Queer History, will tell a history extending from the docks below Brooklyn Heights, through the factories of the Red Hook and Sunset Park, “to the transgender presence at Coney Island freak shows.” Admission is $5, or free for BHS members. There’s more information and you may buy or reserve tickets here.

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Silver Alert For Local Woman Fri, 02 Jun 2017 12:42:57 +0000

Earlier this morning a Silver Alert was issued for Almeater Harrison, an 84-year-old black female from Pierrepont Street and Hicks Street in Brooklyn. The missing has dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and may be in need of medical attention.

Description: 5’6″ tall, 160lbs, with gray hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing blue sneakers, dark jeans, white jacket and has a walker.

Last Seen: Court Street and Joralemon Street in Brooklyn at approximately 5:00 PM on 6/1.

If you see Ms. Harrison, please call 9-1-1.

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Macbeth in the South Pacific? Theater 2020 Makes it Work Thu, 01 Jun 2017 02:43:40 +0000

These days, it seems, almost everyone who does Shakespeare wants to do it in a non-traditional setting; something that makes it more relevant to our contemporary world than to sixteenth century England. Many of these are successful. Among them were Theater 2020’s 2011 production of Romeo and Juliet, and their The Real Merry House Wives of Windsor Connecticut. Now, under the able direction of Brooklyn Heights resident David Fuller, they’ve done it again.

I’ll confess, I was initially skeptical about taking Macbeth from cold, foggy Scotland, a place whose spirit seems to permeate the play, and re-setting it on a tropical island in the Pacific. It did involve some changes to the usual costuming, as the photo shows (left to right: Melody Lam as Lady Macbeth, Justin Bennett as Ross, and Hunter MacNair as Macbeth). The script is straight from the Bard, except for a few place name changes. The three witches — Kotikoti (Nettie Chickering, Mehua (Otter Lee), and Kaiwhatu (Jeneen Terrana) — have Maori names that translate as the Three Fates in Greek mythology. They embody the spirit world of the island’s indigenous people. They and the rest of the cast are all superb. Mr. MacNair’s Macbeth convincingly portrays the character’s journey from doubt to vaulting ambition to guilt-ridden anguish to trapped fury. Ms. Lam’s Lady Macbeth is a cunning enabler of her husband’s murderous usurpation, but descends into dream-haunted madness. Malcolm, portrayed by Jennifer Reddish, proves the maxim that revenge is a dish best served cold; letting Macduff (Jordan Laroya) finish off Macbeth in a sword fight expertly directed by Rod Kinter. Strong performances are also given by Trevor Liu as Banquo and Michael Twaine as Duncan, and as their respective ghosts. The small venue of the McKinney Chapel puts you close to the action wherever you are sitting.

There are five remaining performances at the McKinney Chapel of the First Unitarian Congregational Society, 116 Pierrepont Street (between Monroe Place and Clinton). They are: tomorrow (Thursday, June 1); Friday, June 2; and Saturday, June 3; all at 8:00 PM; Sunday, June 4, at 4:00 PM; Thursday, June 8 and Friday, June 9, both at 8:00 PM. There’s more information and a complete schedule here; you may buy tickets here.

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Have You Seen Rosie? [Update: Found!] Wed, 31 May 2017 16:15:03 +0000

“Rosie,” a grey tabby with a pinkish blaze on her nose (photo) escaped while being taken in to the Brooklyn Heights Veterinary Hospital, at the corner of Hicks and Cranberry streets. If you find her, please call the hospital at 718-624-1200.

From Brooklyn Heights Vet Hospital this morning:

“Someone found her last night at 1am and called us. Dr Thomson helped catch her and she was returned home this morning :) Thanks so much for posting.”

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Gardening Party Saturday, June 3 Tue, 30 May 2017 01:46:08 +0000

The Poplar Street Community Garden (photo by C. Scales), located at the northwest corner of Poplar and Hicks streets, will hold a “gardening party”, to which all–adults and children–are invited, this coming Saturday, June 3 from noon to 3:00 p.m. There will be refreshments, show-&-tells, some light get-your-hands-dirty gardening fun, not to mention the beauty of the Garden. It’s all free.

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Subway Service Alerts: Brooklyn Heights and Vicinity Fri, 26 May 2017 02:16:07 +0000

The apparently never-ending post-Sandy repair work continues in the 4/5 tunnels connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan all this long Memorial Day weekend, so there will be no service in either direction on the 4/5 platforms at Borough Hall from 11:45 PM Friday, May 26 to 5:00 AM Tuesday, May 30. Fortunately, barring unforeseen circumstances, A and C service should be back to normal at High Street this weekend, as should service on all other lines serving stations in and around Brooklyn Heights.

There are no planned cancellations, route diversions, or station skips directly affecting service at stations in or near Brooklyn Heights the following work week, Tuesday, May 30 to Friday, June 2. For planned service changes that may affect travel on other parts of the system, either during the weekend or the following week, see MTA Info or The Weekender.

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Coming at Brooklyn Historical Society Mon, 22 May 2017 02:16:05 +0000

It’s a busy week at the Brooklyn Historical Society, with three evening events. All begin at 6:30, and admission for each is $10, or $5 for BHS members. Links to buy tickets are below.

For all the talk of a “paperless society” — this blog’s beloved founder had as a slogan “On the web because paper is expensive” — we still use lots of the stuff. Mark Kurlansky, who has written histories of Cod, Salt, and Oysters, will be at BHS on Tuesday evening, May 23, along with Atlas Obscura editor Ella Morton, to discuss his Paper: Paging Through History. More information and buy tickets here

On Wednesday evening, May 24, Daniel Sharfstein, professor of law and history at Vanderbilt University, will be joined by New York Times editorial writer and author Brent Staples, to discuss Sharfstein’s book Thunder in the Mountains: Chief Joseph, Oliver Otis Howard, and the Nez Perce War. The book deals with an historic irony: how Howard, an abolitionist and Union Army Civil War hero, persecuted “a brutal military campaign against the Nez Perce tribe and their leader, Chief Joseph, an outspoken opponent of forced relocation.” More information and buy tickets here.

Are we on the cusp of tyranny? On Thursday evening, May 25, Masha Gessen, author of The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Retook Russia and Timothy Snyder, Yale history professor and author of On Tyranny: Twenty Leesons from the Twentieth Century, discuss “A Republic, if You Can Keep It,” concerning “the global rise of nationalism and America’s political future.” More information and buy tickets here

When you get a chance, go down to Empire Stores in DUMBO and visit BHS’s new exhibition site. On display there now are many striking photographs of the Brooklyn waterfront. One that particularly caught my eye was of the Harbor View Lawn on Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 1, before a summer “Movies With a View” screening, taken from an open helicopter door directly above and showing the lawn almost covered with blankets arranged in a neat array and people sitting on them or walking around.

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“Fourth Window Concert” Sunday Afternoon Thu, 18 May 2017 17:23:24 +0000

The annual “Fourth Window Concert,” always a Brooklyn Heights delight, will take place this Sunday afternoon, May 21, starting at 4:00, at the corner of Henry and State streets. It will feature original arrangements of music made famous by the Eagles, the Grateful Dead, Queen, the Who, the Allman Brothers, Billy Joel, the Cars, the Beatles, Cole Porter, and more, performed by piano students whose ages range from seven to seventeen.

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Local Houses of Worship Open for “Sacred Sites” Tours This Weekend Thu, 18 May 2017 03:15:50 +0000

This coming weekend — Saturday, May 20 and Sunday, May 21 — many houses of worship in Brooklyn Heights and nearby will be participating in the “Sacred Sites” open house program sponsored locally by the New York Landmarks Conservancy. Two that are offering special, pre-booked tours are the First Unitarian Congregational Society at 116 Pierrepont Street (between Monroe Place and Clinton) — tours on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. — and Grace Church (photo), 254 Hicks Street (between Joralemon and Remsen) — tours on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. and 3:00p.m. The tours are free; there’s more information and reserve tickets here (scroll down).

Others that are inviting visitors to view (no reservations required) are: the Brooklyn Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), 110 Schermerhorn Street, Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.; St. Charles Borromeo Church, 19 Sidney Place, Sunday 12:30 – 4:30 p.m.; Our Lady of Lebanon Catholic Maronite Cathedral, 113 Remsen Street, Saturday 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.; and St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church, 157 Montague Street, Saturday 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. and Sunday, 12:00 to 3:00 p,m. More information here.

Grace Church photo: EverGreene Architectural Arts.

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Willowtown Fair This Saturday, May 20 Wed, 17 May 2017 03:40:40 +0000

This year’s Willowtown Fair will be this coming Saturday, May 20, from noon until 5:00 PM, on Willow Place (between Joralemon and State streets). It will feature food from Iris Cafe, live music by the Willowtown Bluegrass Band, face painters and a bouncy castle for the kids, a raffle, baked goods, plants, and boutique items for sale, and information about historic houses. If like past events, it will provide an opportunity to meet and talk with local elected officials. Admission is free.

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Repast Baroque Ensemble Presents Latin American Baroque at First Unitarian Friday Evening Tue, 16 May 2017 02:45:11 +0000

This Friday evening, May 19 at 8:00, at the McKinney Chapel at First Unitarian Congregational Church, 116 Pierrepont Street (between Monroe Place and Clinton Street; concert venue fully accessible), the Repast Baroque Ensemble (photo) will present “Latin American Baroque.” The concert will include music from Bolivia, Peru, Guatemala, and Spain. The musicians of Repast will be joined by soprano Nell Snaidas, violinist Theresa Salomon, and classical guitarist Charles Weaver.

Tickets are $30; $20 for seniors or $10 for students with valid ID. Reserve tickets here (a small service fee is added), or by calling 1-800-838-3006. You may also buy tickets at the door.

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D13 CEC Hosts Electeds and Journalists for Forum on School Desgregation Mon, 15 May 2017 05:37:20 +0000

Studies show that for all its diversity, NYC has one of the most segregated public school systems in the country.  Almost two academic years after the re-zoning of P.S. 8 and P.S. 307, the District 13 Community Education Council will hold an important forum on Tuesday evening (May 16th) as part of its scheduled calendar meeting.

Desegregation: Where We Are Now & Envisioning a Path to the Future will feature panelists Councilmembers Laurie Cumbo and Steve Levin,  New York Times reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones and WNYC reporter Yasmeen Khan. The event takes place 6:30 – 8:30 pm at P.S. 307, Daniel Hale Williams, 209 York Street in Brooklyh.


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Theater 2020 Presents Macbeth – in the South Pacific! – Starting May 25 Sun, 14 May 2017 22:02:22 +0000

Theater 2020, Brooklyn Heights’ own award winning, critically acclaimed professional stage company, whose Sweeney Todd delighted us in February and March, will be back on stage with an adaptation of Shakespeare’s most notorious play, Macbeth, set not in Scotland but on a Pacific island.

In the 1960’s, on a tropical island in the South Pacific, where witchcraft abounds, passions play against ambition in a deadly game for tribal control. In our mythical setting, a group of AWOL soldiers have insinuated themselves into the local populace. After a time, the natives seek to wrest back their homeland, with the aid of their spirit world. This fast-paced 80 minute adaptation features a multi-cultural cast, indigenous choreography and exciting stage combat.

The venue, once again, is the McKinney Chapel, First Unitarian Congregational Church, 116 Pierrepont Street (between Monroe Place and Clinton Street). The play’s run begins on Thursday evening, May 25, and continues through the following weekend. There will then be six more performances over the following two weeks. There’s more information and a complete schedule here; you may buy tickets here.

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R.I.P. Marty Arno Sat, 13 May 2017 19:38:19 +0000

Karl Junkersfeld sends the following sad news:

As you may know, I have lived in the North Heights for 37 years. During that period of time, I would say other than John, Marty Arno was the most popular and beloved individual in this immediate area. He had the best video stores in the city with one of the best foreign film collections I have ever seen. Many of us in the locality of the store used to hang out and talk film and neighborhood happenings.

Marty was truly a tremendous guy beloved by anyone who had contact. It is with a heavy heart that I have to inform others that Marty
passed away this week. I have included a film I took of him when he came back to the neighborhood to visit and rekindle old friendships. Marty was a pillar and contributed greatly in making Brooklyn Heights the wonderful place we all love to call home.

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Shadows From My Past Screening at Cong. Mount Sinai Wednesday Afternoon Sat, 13 May 2017 03:07:32 +0000

This Wednesday afternoon, May 17, starting at 3:30, Congregation Mount Sinai, 250 Cadman Plaza West (at Clark Street) will present a screening of Shadows From My Past, a documentary film by Curt Kaufman and Gita Weinrauch Kaufman that, based on letters from 1939 through 1941, tells the story of a Jewish family in Vienna struggling to save themselves and their children. It also includes interviews with many contemporary and recently deceased Austrians, including Simon Wiesenthal, Kurt Waldheim, President Heinz Fischer, Theodore Bikel, Jorg Haider, and Holocaust survivors, reflecting on Austria’s role in the persecution and deportation of Jews during the time of Nazi rule. Co-writer and co-director Gita Kaufman will be there to discuss the film after it plays. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted.

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