04/01/15 4:21pm
lightindustry

Photo by Nicole Disser

I challenge you to find something you’ve heard of screening at Light Industry, the Greenpoint-based non-profit film program dreamed up by Thomas Beard and Ed Halter. Starting out back in 2008 inside former light industry space in Industry City (hence the organization’s name), Light Industry has since moved up to Greenpoint, but their commitment to the obscure, the rare, the weird has remained. Absolutely every film screened through their reel booth (something that looks more like a tree house than anything you’d find in a movie theater) seems to have either been dug up from the nether regions of cinema, buried deep in some forgotten archive, or is so new and now that cinephiles might not even be wise enough to pretend they’ve heard of it. Rest assured that Light Industry’s weekly programming schedule will always be full of surprises.

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04/01/15 3:24pm

800px-Sheepshead_Bay_end_jeh

Over the last fifteen years or so, Sheepshead Bay has unexpectedly become a hot party destination. Not the neighborhood—the actual bay itself, a narrow stab of water separating the Brooklyn mainland from the eastern end of Coney Island, and whose docks have become a popular stopping point for booze cruises and party boats.

In February, Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn), claiming that the offshore drunken revelry has become a nuisance for neighborhood residents, introduced a bill that would ban party boats from docking in the bay, or operating within 750 feet of the shoreline. “People drink and get rowdy even before they board the party boats,” he said. “They urinate and defecate on people’s property when they disembark.”

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04/01/15 2:44pm
Brooklyn Heights

 

It’s no big secret that New York City’s public school system—the largest in the world, comprising over one million students—has its problems: It’s the most segregated public school system in the country, there’s mind-boggling inequality among different schools based on the wealth and fund-raising capabilities of the respective PTAs, and city schools are poorer and more crowded than ever before. All of these systemic issues are increasingly troubling on their own, but there’s yet another, relatively more recent problem that’s threatening the already problem-filled school system: the Brooklyn real estate boom. (more…)

04/01/15 2:28pm
Photos by Jane Bruce

Photos by Jane Bruce

Granola fanatics, rejoice: Now there’s a granola you can have for lunch and dinner. Bad Seed’s Chili Granola combines typical granola suspects—almonds, rolled oats, hemp seeds, and puffed rice—with some ingredients that are not part of your usual breakfast. We’re talking about sesame oil, ginger, garlic, tamari, and gochujang, the fermented Korean chile paste in bibimbap. This is, in fact, what we call “opening a can of whoop ass” … in your mouth. (more…)

04/01/15 12:33pm
Photos by Jane Bruce

Matzoh ball soup from Mile End Deli
Photos by Jane Bruce

Faced with eight days and nights of religiously prescribed meals, it can be tempting to take the easy way out, and simply raid Key Food’s Passover aisle for jars of gummy, Manischewitz brand gefilte fish and packets of powdered matzoh ball soup. But believe it or not, prolonged abstinence from leavened bread products can almost be kind of pleasurable, provided you outsource your Seder needs to notable mom-and-pop shops throughout Brooklyn. (more…)

04/01/15 12:04pm
Photos by Jane Bruce

Photos by Jane Bruce

In a music scene like Brooklyn’s, it can feel overwhelming to zoom out and see the inner workings of the whole machine. It feels like every day, a new artist is born out of Brooklyn’s music community, beginning a quick rise to notoriety. While the sheer caliber of incredible musicians who foster their talents in our borough is impressive, there are integral people working diligently on the sidelines, making sure those talents aren’t squandered.

The first person on that list is an artist’s manager, the person who sticks by a musician’s side every step of the way, always there to represent his or her best interests. A name that has repeatedly come up in conversations I’ve had about some of the most promising up-and-coming musicians is Salty Management, a local team of managers who work with the likes of Mitski, Skylar Spence, and Mutual Benefit. Curious to know how one team managed to attach themselves to some of the best new artists around, I reached out to Chris Crowley, co-founder of the bicoastal team, and Jeanette Wall, part of that team, about the ins and outs of artist management. (more…)

04/01/15 10:41am

The Slap

“The slap seemed to echo. It cracked the twilight. The little boy looked up at the man in shock.” —Christos Tsiolkas, The Slap

When a grown man smacks a kid that doesn’t belong to him at Sally Draper’s birthday party in the first season of Mad Men, none of the cocktail-laden adults so much as blink an eye. In The Slap, NBC’s star-studded miniseries set in present-day Brooklyn, that very same action has seismic implications for every guest—and launches a lawsuit to boot. My, how far the bourgeoisie has come. Written by playwright and Brothers & Sisters creator, Jon Robin Baitz, the show preserves the structure of Christos Tsiolkas’ 2008 Australian novel of the same name; each of The Slap’s eight episodes favors the flawed perspective of a different character bringing into sharp focus the extent to which parenting is one giant grey zone. (more…)

03/31/15 2:00pm

Stuyvesant High School via Wikipedia

Forget the subtle changes in the weather at this time of year, there’s really only one guaranteed way to know that spring is finally here: Reports are released about the students accepted at New York’s elite, test-based high schools, and it’s revealed that, once again, only a small percentage of the city’s black and Latino students will be attending. The New York City public school system has 405 public high schools, but like much else in this city, taken as a whole, these schools are indicative of the type of inequality that runs rampant here. Some of the lower performing high schools have 4-year graduation rates that hover at around 40% with only a tiny fraction of the students going on to attend college or technical school, while others have 100% graduation rates and with many students going on to attend Harvard, Stanford, and MIT.

And because perhaps no other public high school in this city is as celebrated as Manhattan’s Stuyvesant High School, the scrutiny it (along with the seven other test-based specialized high schools) face with regards to its lack of racial diversity is intense. This year, the specialized high school’s incoming freshman class will contain 5% black students and 7% Latino students, despite the fact that blacks and Latinos make up approximately 70% of the public school student population as a whole. As a comparison, 52% of the class will be Asian and 28% will be white, even though both groups together comprise just under 30% of the public school population. On the surface of things, at least, this seems to be a huge problem, one that Mayor de Blasio and School Chancellor Fariña are trying to change by changing the criteria for admission to these schools, with de Blasio saying last year, “We cannot have a dynamic where some of our greatest educational options are only available to people from certain backgrounds.” (more…)