08/28/15 2:52pm
Photos via arronian

Photos via arronian

As the subway system snakes its way throughout the five boroughs and rumbles beneath our feet, most of us think we know exactly where the trains go. We’ve got the city-wide train system permanently etched into our heads, at least in the context of the ubiquitous MTA maps scattered throughout various subway stops. We’ve likely never thought of what it looks like to see a train careen through the urban landscape above ground though, but thanks to some visualizations made by Tumblr user Arnorian, these thoughts have been actualized in a really bright, colorful way.


08/28/15 2:38pm
Louise and Michael Toscano, mother and father of Brooklyn Public Library patron Vera Toscano, on their wedding day in Williamsburg, 1926. The photo is now part of the Culture in Transit online collection.

Louise and Michael Toscano, mother and father of Brooklyn Public Library patron Vera Toscano, on their wedding day in Williamsburg, 1926. The photo is now part of the Culture in Transit online collection.

In the digital age, photo albums from generations past, decaying VHS tapes, and other analog artifacts of personal and cultural heritage are at risk of getting lost to time. Somehow, invisible bits of data have come to seem the more reliable option for preserving history, leaving those without access to digitizing platforms at risk for a kind of erasure.

Culture in Transit, a new program run by the Metropolitan New York Library Council in partnership with Brooklyn Public Library and Queens Library, seeks to preserve the memories of New Yorkers past and present. (more…)

08/28/15 1:15pm
Photo: Andy/Flickr Creative Commons

Photo: Andy/Flickr Creative Commons

Do the Right Thing, Spike Lee’s drama about the racial tensions that rose to a head in Bed-Stuy during a stifling summer day in 1989, deserved to win an Oscar. The movie was famously snubbed an Academy Award for best original screenplay in 1989, which was clearly a failure on behalf of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize its widespread and polarizing effect on American race relations. Now however, as per an announcement made by the Academy, Lee is set to receive an “Honorary Oscar,” for the film, just over 25 years after it was first released.  (more…)

08/28/15 12:30pm


Beer dinners, those ever-so-popular coursed out tasting and learning experiences–think small plates of finger foods or heavier, saucy numbers passed around family style, each dish painstakingly paired with the host brewery’s latest IPA or Porter and set to a running commentary–are kind of having A Moment right now. Generally speaking, however, the food, usually of the Belgian, German or New American persuasion, is never the true star of the show at these events–it’s all about showcasing the brewer’s hard-won efforts, elevating beer to the pairing level of wine or whiskey and toasting to the time-honored, community building act of sharing a pint.

This is definitely not the case at Joshua M. Bernstein’s upcoming “Meat Your Match” beer dinner, where home-cooked Malaysian grub from Flatbush’s Auria’s Malaysian Kitchen takes center stage, duly supported by an array of delicious fermented beverages. This is the Brooklyn-based writer and craft beer expert’s second beer dinner in the space, a speakeasy-style garden stashed deep in the heart of Brooklyn and run by a Malaysian Chef who practically oozes authenticity. “Chef Auria Abraham has started her own line of killer sambals, fiery and flavorful in equal measure,” explains Bernstein. “Her food has deep family roots, as legit as anything cooked in a Malaysian grandma’s kitchen.” (more…)

08/28/15 11:30am
Helen Phillips photo by Jane Bruce

Helen Phillips
photo by Jane Bruce

A windowless office. Pinkish walls covered in faint, dirty handprints. A pomegranate surrounded by shattered porcelain. Helen Phillips’s third book and first novel, The Beautiful Bureaucrat, found its origins in these images: a 100-page list of them. “The plot was the very last thing to fall into place,” she said at Greenlight Books on Monday, August 17. She and fellow Henry Holt author, Gabriel Urza, were in conversation with their shared editor, Sarah Bowlin. Phillips laughed. “Pretty backwards.”

It’s a short book—180 pages—but those pages are compact and dreamy and terrifying. A couple, Josephine and Joseph, have moved from “the hinterland,” a suburban no-place, to a grim and uncanny city. As they move from one damp, bug-infested sublet to another, they struggle to make sense of their new status as urbanites and new jobs as—yes—bureaucrats. Who is the waitress with the snake tattoo who gives all her customers an identical fortune? What is the database Josephine must update but never consider the nature of? Whose handprints are those on the walls? (more…)

08/28/15 10:45am

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 4.32.28 PM

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 4.31.41 PMHistory nerds, rejoice: This Sunday, Revolutionary War re-enactors will descend upon Green-Wood Cemetery to commemorate the Battle of Brooklyn, fought on August 27th, 1776. It was the first battle of the American Revolution fought after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and the largest battle in the war in terms of troop size.

“Good God!” General George Washington cried as he watched his soldiers perish by the hundreds, from a spot now occupied by Trader Joe’s. “What brave fellows I must this day lose!” Though the British won this first battle (the Americans were outnumbered 5 to 1), the tides turned when the British failed to storm the American lines, enabling George Washington to evacuate his troops across the East River. An intricately illustrated map, owned by one British Lt. Gen. Hugh Percy, the second duke of Northumberland, reveals the Redcoats’ failed plan to crush the American rebellion.  (more…)