Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Stories from Union Pool

Aileen had to go home to edit tape from the Pen World Voices Festival, while Jess was thrilled that her random date with Jess had gone well. Brian and Corrina said they were moving once Brian returned from Thailand. In the yard, Daniel stood in a circle with his friends, but it didn't stop Katie from trying to hawk CDs by the talented Rebecca Schiffman. ("She looks like Natalie Portman," Tiffany said to someone, just as Gowri said to Tiffany, "She looks like Natalie Portman.") Back inside, Gregor and the storyteller (sad about the lack of cherry in the whiskey sour) listened to Keith introduce the North Brooklyn Story Project and then watched the crowd go nuts for The Blue Album Group, playing songs from Weezer's The Blue Album. Outside again, Tammy defended eating burritos and ramen for breakfast, while Shannon recounted rinsing the rotten milk from her cereal, and Garrett said that cultural Christians might indeed exist. Janos and gang were going strong in a back corner, making friends with an adjacent table through Maia's urban games. Someone was getting sick on the street. Someone was buying an avocado. Elsewhere in the city, people were going to sleep, waking up, and thinking of each other.

Monday, April 27, 2009


A local artist, Brandon Fonville, recently sent me a series of photographs he took of a car/tractor-trailer accident Under the BQE, near Broadway and South 9th.

"She had never imagined that curiosity is one of the many masks of love." - Gabriel García Márquez

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Story on Story Project

Read all about it! And come out for the North Brooklyn Story Project Benefit Concert, this coming Tuesday, 4/28, 8 p.m., Union Pool.

Monday, April 20, 2009

C is for Cookie (and Brooklyn is for Cookies!)

Gersh Kuntzman needs Settepani. As a matter of fact, I think that all Brooklynites should submit their favorite cookie to The Brooklyn Paper, which could show its borough love by hosting a contest!

Williamsburg Faces

"Not that it was beautiful,
but that, in the end, there was
a certain sense of order there."
- Anne Sexton

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Seeing Yesterday

It was a perfect spring day. Bikes rode, trees reclined, skies looked, and strolls ambled, in Williamsburg and later in Chinatown. The BQE is in love with the lovers.

(Out Daniel and Terence's window.)

(Under the BQE, literally.)

(Manhattan and Meeker.)

(Graham Avenue.)

(McGorlick Park.)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Cyberspace

Under the BQE turned 1 on Tuesday; to celebrate, I fed a Settepani pignoli tart to my computer.

Great Seed-Balls of Flowers

NAG's open space committee was recently featured on NPR.

In other neighborhood news, come out for these dates:

Saturday April 25th: Affordable Housing Forum at Boricua College (6th Street between Bedford and Driggs), 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Long-time Italian, Hispanic, and Polish residents will tell their stories, and organizers will share information on housing rights.

Monday April 27th: Williamsburg Walks informational meeting at 211 Ainslie and Manhattan, 7 p.m. A car-free Bedford is a wonderful thing to many (but not to all). (Photo courtesy NAG.)

Tuesday April 28th: North Brooklyn Story Project Benefit Concert at Union Pool, 8 p.m. We're raising money for interviewing and archiving equipment!

And (hip hip!), East River State Park will host Pool Parties (River Parties?) this summer! Great news for everyone who loves music, summer, and hipsters.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Poem and Music Interlude (for the end, delayed, of winter)

At Verb Café

Too soon to tell, I am missing
a person best described
as a warm room on a cold day.
To miss: to crave present someone
absent, to feel luckier in solitude,
to be excused for talking to oneself
and poetry. The horizon is lit
for snow, while somewhere else
is California. To travel: to slow time
by dropping a valise into
routine’s metal works, to forget
where you are for a moment
in the morning. At the next
table, a man and woman spark
conversation like a casual
cigarette. To meet: to skate, to laugh
out loud in church. Out the window
a man stops the pedals
of a bicycle and stands straddling
it in gloves printed with skeleton
hands. Across the street a funeral
home has set up shop beneath
clean rooms with plants
in the windows. To live above
a funeral home:
to live.
White flakes begin to float,
to descend, to pair and part
and charm the momentary air.


Jolie Holland..."Goodbye California":


And The National, who are touring with Colin Stetson, one of the first people I ever met in Williamsburg (Christmas Eve 2005)..."Green Gloves" (in Central Park, last year):

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Saying Yeah Yeah

Spring? Not yet. Spring? Not yet. Spring? Not frigging yet. But at least the sun is out today. I've been sick, and will shortly be making my way into the outdoors, wearing a scarf and sunglasses, pretending that the BQE is the seashore and I a chic convalescent.

The two events that brought me to this state of feverish delirium are no doubt:

1. My family's recent visit, which, though wonderful, involved walking through every neighborhood south of 59th Street, spending a day on a boat to and around Ellis Island, drinking every night, and eating things I usually do not eat (e.g., pizza):


2. The Brian Jonestown Massacre concert at Terminal 5 on Wednesday, the day after the fam departed. Being a part of this show involved getting lost underground (where a friendly caipora and I made each other's reacquaintance), making amends as a train roared into the station, sprinting through the rain from 59th Street/Broadway to 56th Street/12th Avenue, and standing for four hours while ravers gyrated around us and the people continuously tripped over our bags. But it was worth it. Why? One word: Joel.

Finally, someone recently pinned up a deer cut out of grass on North 10th (and, related to BQE-related photographs, Eye Level BQE is now accepting BQE-related submissions):

Convalescence aside, it doesn't get much better than this.