Page 1

Happy Holidays from the Star-Revue! 8 Page Gift Guide inside Inside this issue:

A Conversation with the superb Bar Maestro Jamie Mandel, page 25

PS 15 Showcases Special Caring for children page 3

The Red Hook Star-Revue December 2010

The Hook’s Local Newspaper

Will Our Columbia Waterfront District Finally Be Reconnected to the Mainland?


alk to the average citizen or local businessperson on Columbia Street, Union Street, Van Brunt Street, and what you will likely hear is a mix of hope and scepticism about the prospect of community members and elected officials coming together in a joint effort to finally “fix the ditch.” This is because many locals that live west of Robert Moses’ notorious trench, which carries BQE traffic up and down Hicks Street between Atlantic Avenue and the Battery Tunnel, have been hearing about plans to improve it for decades. Their hope rests on the belief that were the Columbia Waterfront District re-linked to Cobble Hill - and by extension, the rest of the world - by pedestrian bridges crossing the trench, the economic benefits would be enormous. People from other neighborhoods in South Brooklyn, from Cobble Hill to Carroll Gardens to Park Slope, would be more inclined to come down to Columbia Street to shop, eat, enjoy the waterfront and the unique character the neighborhood has developed as a result of generations of isolation. And with the greater access to public transit, more families would decide to move here, raise families here, and property values would rise. No one is disputing any of this. But the scepticism is a product of years

by Matt Graber of false starts. article on People have last months been talking BQE Enabout fixing hancement the ditch Wo r k s h o p , long before the third and Cobble Hill final session resident Joe held by the McCarthy NYCEDC coined the (New York phrase in City Eco2003, but nomic Dewith little velopment to no indiCorporacation that tion) - which most people secured a can see of grant for a such a proj- Michael Sokol is hopeful but not optimistic. study led by ect actually the landscapbeing delivered. ing and architecture consulting firm, On a slow business day after Thanksgiv- Starr Whitehouse - at which three “Reing, Michael Sokal of Sokal Furniture fined Concepts” for fixing the ditch were and Carpet, which has served Columbia presented. The elephant in the room of Street for 60 years, sat at a table in back course was the question of how any of of the empty store leafing through a copy these projects would be funded, both for of the Carroll Gardens-Cobble Hill construction and - what has historically Courier. The issue featured a front page been overlooked by public servants that

“People have been talking about fixing the ditch long before Cobble Hill resident Joe McCarthy coined the phrase in 2003, but with little to no indication that most people can see, of such a project actually being delivered.”

love cutting ribbons but are less keen on filling potholes - maintenance costs. Asked whether he thought the latest talk about fixing the ditch would lead to decisive action, Sokal’s sentiment was not surprising: he was hopeful, but not optimistic. “It would make it that much easier for people to get here,” he said. “But we’ve been reading about these plans for the last 30 years, and they never come to fruition.” Down into the heart of Red Hook - on Van Brunt Street - you will hear the same scepticism from long-time residents. Enjoying a beer at the Red Hook Memorial Post for Veterans of Foreign Wars, Eddie Acosta, a former truck driver who has lived in the neighborhood for 48 years, sung a familiar tune of frustration. “It took only one year to rebuild the highway in San Francisco after the earthquake in 1989,” Eddie pointed out. “Now why does it take 25 years to improve the expressway!” “I had to be eleven or twelve when they were digging out that ditch,” offered Sal Beglio from the other side of the bar. Sal was born on Van Brunt Street, and remembers when the highway was being constructed. “It really separated the neighborhoods, made a buffer zone,” he said. “They’ve been talking about fixing it for 25 years and it’s still the same.” The testimonies of these long-time please turn to page 7

A Note to Our Faithful Readers We apologize to those whose November issue of the Star-Revue did not arrive in their mailboxes until more than half the month was over. We bring our newspapers directly to the post office on Clinton Street at the beginning of each month. Using bulk rate, the paper is sometimes delivered within days, but when the post office is too busy it can take weeks, as is perfectly allowed using the bulk rate category. In past years the post office has been able to hire temps and give overtime when their volume spikes, but due to economic circumstances, that has been cut back. We were told by the post office that if we mailed using the periodical rate category, the papers would be given top priority and delivered in a day or two. Periodical rate is only given to newspapers with a paid circulation and thus we are beginning a subscription drive. Having this permit would also make it feasible to change from a monthly to every other week publication, which we feel is necessary if we are to expand the news coverage of our community. So if you are so disposed, we encourage you to become a paid reader by following the instructions in our subscription form on page 18. Thanks and Happy December!

The Red Hook Star-Revue 101 Union Street Brooklyn, NY 11231

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Growing Up Red Hook

The Trek to Suicide Hill

by Danette Vigilante


t’s coming and there’s nothing I can do about it. Snow. I know its evil routine. How it’ll taunt me with its ice and cold and ugly slush. How it’ll make daily routines everywhere come to a staggering halt. Sure, it can be beautiful at times. I’ll give it that, but I could just as well appreciate its beauty on a postcard or calendar. In other words, from a distance. I’ll admit it wasn’t always this way. As a kid, my father would pull out our sleds from underneath our beds where they slept all summer. Then bundle us up in every piece of winter clothing we owned and head out of the projects to begin the trek up 9th street. Our destination? Suicide Hill, Prospect Park. Think about that for a second. Any type of recreation happening near or on a place with such a name should be avoided at all costs, no? Nah, didn’t think so. At least not when you’re a kid and apparently, not for my father either. We were lucky like that. My father was the only adult brave enough to take us. Ride after ride, we’d own that hill. On our backs, bellies or with a buddy. Frozen faces and wet feet did not faze us in the least. By late afternoon, when my father’s mustache had frozen over and the sun no longer added sparkle to the snow, we knew it was time to haul ourselves over to a coffee shop on the corner of 9th street and Prospect Park West. There, a warm blast of air would welcome us. Whatever snow clung to our coats and boots slowly melted onto the floor one drip after another. We’d drink steaming cups of hot chocolate reveling in the feeling of our fingers coming back to life. One night after a heavy snowfall, my best friend and I went out to enjoy the unusual quiet that always seems to settle after a storm. With thoughts of creating snow angels, we made our way to Centre Mall where the snow was untouched. It was a perfect night. The air was crisp, the sky clear and the stars bright. After we had our fill, we rested and in a while, the buildings which loomed all around us disappeared. We did not feel the cold or the wind. Or that we were only two small kids from apartment 3E and 2B. To us, we were part of it all. Of the stars, of the silence, of the peace and of each other. Danette Vigilante is a children’s author living in New York City with one husband, two daughters, Mr. Noodle, her love hog Yorkshire terrier and Daisy, a cat with a seriously bad attitude. Her newest book, The Trouble with Half a Moon, will be published on January 6, 2011.

The Red Hook Star-Revue Serving the Brooklyn Communities of Red Hook, Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill No. 7, December 2010

Publisher......................................................................................Frank Galeano Co-Publisher & Editor......................................................................George Fiala Feature/Arts Editor............................................................................Josie Rubio Visual Arts Editor...................................................................... Krista Dragomer Reporter......................................................................................... Matt Graber Advertising Manager...........................................................................Matt Silna Home Repair Columnist..................................................................Charles White History Specialist........................................................................... John Burkard Gonzo Columnist and Night Owl................................................... John McLaughlin Graphic Art Supervisor.....................................................................Greg D’Avola Cartoons..............................................J.W. Zeh, Vince Musacchia, Harold Shapiro Contributors......................................... Eliza Ronalds-Hannon, Stephen Slaybaugh The Red Hook Star-Revue is published monthly by Frank Galeano and George Fiala. It circulates by mail and on newstands throughout the downtown Brooklyn area. Our mission is to be the tie that binds our dynamic communities together, by providing one place for local achievements, art and history to be celebrated, local problems to be identified and solutions discussed, and also by providing an affordable advertising medium for local shops and institutions. Our offices are at 101 Union Street, where you can take an ad, buy a coffee mug, make copies or simply tell us what’s on your mind in-person, and we can be reached by phone at 718 624-5568 and by email at or We welcome letters to the editor as well as press advisories which can be mailed to:

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P.S. 15 Showcases An Inclusive Method Of Teaching As Well As Many Partnerships by Matt Graber


ast month the Patrick F. Daly School - P.S. 15 - hosted a special event to attract local elected officials, community leaders, business owners, and parents. It was designed to showcase recent achievements and to provide guests with a sense of where the elementary school is headed in the future.

Peggy Wyns-Madison, the school’s principal, kicked off the event, which featured guided tours, a look at plans for the construction of a new library, followed by food and drinks in the National Wildlife-certified bird habitat. Upon assuming the role of principal in 2007, Wyns-Madison went to work on expanding programs and partnerships with various local organizations designed to get children out into the world, participating in activities “that expand the experiences of what children are exposed to during a regular school day.” P.S. 15’s partnership with Good Shepard Services, which is an agency that provides support for struggling families, is one example. Another partnership is with the widely renowned Brooklyn Youth Chorus Academy. Coming soon will be a partnership with Metropolitan Opera Guild, in which a composer will help children compose a libretto. These types of partnerships and programs have helped make P.S. 15 more attractive to parents that are relatively new to the neighborhood, and that have traditionally sent their kids to more prestigious schools in other districts. Caitlin Cassaro and her husband considered other options before deciding to start their daughter in kindergarten at P.S. 15. The Brooklyn New School had accepted her, but upon visiting P.S. 15, Cassaro was impressed by how welcome the school community made her feel.“Not just my child,” she says. “As a parent as well.” This was one of the factors that swayed the family to stay local. Another important factor was the new accelerated program at P.S. 15. “A lot of what is happening at the New School is happening here,” says Cassaro. “It was a really tough decision, but I strongly believe in a community school - this is the neighborhood we live in.” John Battis, a 10-year Red Hook resident who’s son is also in the accelerated class, echoed Cassaro’s sentiment when he referred to a feeling of camaraderie among the staff that he and his wife observed when they visited the school. “At some schools that we went to, there’s this in-

credible tension between the teachers and the principal, and between parents and the principal. Teachers at P.S. 15 talk about the principal with incredible respect. And you can see how the teachers support each other.” Battis is confident that more families will see P.S. 15 as their first choice going forward. “I think a lot of things have come together for the school recently the new library plans, the playground, the new principal - all these things are building momentum.”

Principal Wyns-Madison speaks with parents at the event.

Perhaps the most significant factor keeping parents from sending their kids to other districts is the accelerated program. After applying for a Gifted and Talented program and being denied, Principal Wyns-Madison worked with other administrators within the school to create their own program. What they created is called the Riser program, which started this year with kindergarten, but will move up a grade each year until it covers all grades. “The accelerated class has smaller groups,” says WynsMadison. “It offers more project-based learning, more depth into subjects, and more initiative on the part of the child.”

“We have a thriving community of entrepreneurs and artists and innovative people - why shouldn’t we have a public school that reflects all of that?” inclusive atmosphere at the school. Special needs kids are blended into the classes with non-special needs kids. While they receive one-on-one physical, speech, and occupational therapy sessions, there is no “special ed” class where they are lumped together and isolated from everyone else. Working with families is a practice that Bellehcene says is unique to P.S. 15. “We extend ourselves to the parents and the families. If a child comes in with a special need, their families need help also. To de-stress, to educate themselves on the needs of the child, to teach the child. So we create workshops that are designed to help with dyslexia, emotional development, all kinds of topics that empower parents to be able to deal with the children better.” Mentoring between higher and lower grades also contributes to a sense of ev-

eryone being in it together - a valuable sentiment in these shaky times for public education. And, reflecting P.S. 15’s use of the Renzulli Model - an Italian model of education that relies heavily on art and project-based learning - children from different grades have worked together in the last few years on some impressive projects. Both playgrounds were designed by the children of P.S. 15 with architects from the Trust for Public Land. Plans were determined just before Wyns-Madison became principal, and the construction phase had started when she arrived in 2007. “They visited other Trust for Public Land playgrounds to get ideas,” says Wyns-Madison. “They presented three plans to the community. A vote was taken on which design was most desirable. And then they saw their work come to life.” P.S. 15 presents itself as a rising force, as an educational community that has struggled but that looks forward to a much brighter future. And this reflects a feeling that can be found throughout Red Hook, beyond education. “Red Hook should have a vibrant and excellent elementary school,” says Battis. “The population is there, the energy is there. We have a thriving community of entrepreneurs and artists and innovative people - why shouldn’t we have a public school that reflects all of that?”

But this new emphasis on advanced learning has not compromised P.S. 15’s longstanding mission to assist children with special needs and their families, according to Lydia Bellahcene, who serves as PTA President and who has two children currently attending P.S. 15, one of whom requires an Individual Education Plan (IEP) because of a medical disability. If anything, she says, city policies such as mayoral control are impeding P.S. 15’s capacity to serve the 128 IEP students currently enrolled. Although a popular reform designed to consolidate power within the mayor’s office in order to fix a broken education system, mayoral control, says Bellehcene, has forced the school to cut special services and has “kept parents out of any kind of discussion that effects our children’s education.” Community Advocates for Public Education (CAPE) is a parent-teacher advocacy group that came about as a result of schools like P.S. 15 being forced to cut services for IEP students under the new reform.

John Battis takes in the presentation.

December 2010

With physical therapy sessions held in the gym locker room, the staff, parents and children at P.S. 15 are doing their best to adjust. It helps that there is an

Red Hook Star-Revue Page 3


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December 2010

News From the Streets written and collected by the Star-Revue writing staff

Brooklyn Activist Honored

Dr. Charlotte Phillips, Chairperson of Brooklyn For Peace and resident of Cobble Hill, was honored by American Public Health Association last month at its 138th Annual Meeting and Exposition in Denver, Colorado, for her “outstanding contributions to preventing war and promoting international peace.” Dr. Phillips co-founded Brooklyn For Peace in 1984 to address war as a public health issue. Members of her organization - among many other things - work on developing educational programs focused on Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Israel and Palestine, Darfur and Africa, Latin America, UNICEF, and the issue of nuclear disarmament, as well as emphasizing the impact that military spending has on domestic programs including public health.

plans for building residential high rises in Brooklyn Bridge Park - is holding its first meetings this month and late last month to come up with a plan of action for keeping the park from signing into a public-private partnership, which could set a dangerous precedent for the rest of waterfront Brooklyn. The high rises have been proposed by the city as a necessary funding source for the park.

Trolley Study in Progress

The Department of Transportation with the help of the internationally known streetcar experts at URS - has begun its five month, $295,000 feasibility study to determine the physical and financial viability of a streetcar

(trolley) system in Red Hook and surrounding neighborhoods. The study is funded through a Federal Transit Administration grant secured by Nydia Velázquez. While the study area incorporates several neighborhoods, they will be considered in terms of their potential connections to Red Hook. The next Community Advisory Committee meeting, at which the DOT will update a select group of community advocates, neighborhood associations, business owners, elected officials, and city agencies, on the progress of the study. A public meeting is expected to be held in early 2011.

Greenway Update

A project manager from the Department of Transportation spoke at last months Community Board 6 meeting, held in a school gymnasium, about the future of bike lanes in Red Hook and greater Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway would be a 14-mile bike route running along the waterfront from Greenpoint to Sunset Park. To date, $20 million in federal, state, and city funds have been secured for the project. To view the plans and find out more about the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative, a non-profit that has played a key role in moving the project forward, visit

Group Opposes Park Condos

The Committee on Alternatives to Housing - a group formed to oppose

There's something being filmed at that old gas station on Van Brunt between Commerce and Delavan. Emilio of Emilio's Auto said he thought it might be an HBO thing. Fact is that Van Brunt with its telephone poles and wires is a favorite and often used street for movies and television shoots.

Precinct Report First they took the keys A burglary took place at 261 Clinton Street on Nov. 19th. An unknown perp climbed a 15 foot fence and took a front door key that was on the window sill, and then entered the apartment at around 6:30 am and made off with $1000 cash, 2 Gucci watches worth $4000 and a $4000 platinum ring. She hit him good On Nov. 25th at 94 Centre Mall a 27 yr. old male was scratched, hit and cut on his pinky by a 20 year old female. Officer Pedro Timinian made the arrest of the alleged man-beater. Said in anger On Nov. 28th at 82 Dwight St. a woman aged 19 was assaulted by a 20 year old black male with brown eyes and blond hair. His parting words to her were “I’ll f*** you up!”

Six Packed Panels by Vince Musacchia

December 2010

Red Hook Star-Revue Page 5

Page 6 Red Hook Star-Revue

December 2010


Glimmers of Progress The two issues that we have been editorially focusing on since the beginning of this infant newspaper has been parkland on the Columbia Waterfront and better transportation through Red Hook, from Hamilton Avenue south to Beard Street. While we are not very interested in changing much of the character of this great neighborhood, we are interested in its economic development. To be clear, it is not that we want to bring thousands of new people to live here, but we think that more people coming through our neighborhoods, doing business here, and then returning home elsewhere will make a better life for those of us living and working here. We recently took a trip the Northside of Williamsburg. This editor, who lived for a while in the Southside back in the early 1990’s, was literally shocked at the changes he saw. A sleepy half industrial, half residential neighborhood, somewhat like

Obtaining Funding is the Next Big Step in the BQE Enhancement Project that would fix what Robert Moses broke (continued from front page)

residents and business-owners are accurate, and their scepticism legitimate. There has been 25 years of talk without results. But recent events are making the project look a lot more realistic, and more imminent, than many realize. Elected officials have taken an interest: Congresswoman Nydia Velasquez, Councilman Brad Lander, State Senator Daniel Squadron, and Mayor Bloomberg. Agencies have gotten involved: namely the NYCEDC and the NYCDOT. Grants have been secured: including the one mentioned above for the BQE Enhancement Study. And well-attended public sessions have been held, with strong turn-outs from politicos and community members alike. After more than 25 years of talk, the stars appear to be aligned for action. When Roy Sloane became President of the Cobble Hill Association in 1982 where he is currently serving his sixth two-year term - he inherited the debate within his small community about how to improve the living conditions in the areas immediately surrounding the expressway. At the time, the main participants in this debate were residents of Cobble Hill, and the main issues were curbing air and noise pollution, making Hicks Street safer for pedestrians, and beautifying the neighborhood. The original plan was to deck the ditch over and essentially turn it into a tunnel. But the problem with that idea, says Sloane, was that it would have made the ditch “one of the longest un-vented tunnels in the city.” The result would have been

December 2010

Red Hook today, has been completely transformed by the building of huge blocklike apartment buildings, anchored by giant drug stores and other chain-like establishments. That part of Williamsburg is today pretty much indistinguishable from the west side of Manhattan or probably even Topeka, Kansas, for that matter. For sure, the many businesses that have moved into Williamsburg are thriving from the business of these new arrivals, but in the process the neighborhood, at least that part of it, is irrevocably changed. We will fight to bring people to Red Hook to buy our goods and eat our food. But we will also fight to give them an easy way to get out of here. There are currently two studies going on that give us new hope. The first, which is the subject of our cover story, seems to be making the best attempt yet at undoing the wrong that was the BQE trench that cut the Columbia

Waterfront District off from the rest of downtown Brooklyn. There may have been some reasons that this was allowed to happen back in the 1950’s, but things are different now, and we deserve to have all our street crossings restored. It seems that perhaps this time something will come of this work. The second is the trolley car study that is underway. While we believe in a different sort of solution to the transportation issue, at least the subject is being addressed now privately, and soon in public forum, and after this study is completed alternatives will be studied as well. Readers will remember our pushing for a dedicated monorail system chugging up Richards Street, and we will continue to do our own study on that. Back to parks, the city in their Vision 2020 report on the waterfronts of NY, seem to be set on keeping the Columbia Waterfront away from the residents of the Columbia Waterfront District.

what is known as the “piston effect.” As cars traveled through the tunnel, moving air around, the fumes would naturally be driven to the portals at each end and emitted into the air. “The residents in the areas where these fumes would be emitted were mortified by the idea,” recalls Sloane.With no consensus, the idea was dropped. When Sloane reintroduced the idea of fixing the ditch Roy Sloane makes a point at the stakeholders meeting six or seven years ago, it was a project that “attracted the imaginations of a lot der the Mayor’s radar. When the board of people in the neighborhood.” People began talking to EDC, an underlying from the surrounding neighborhoods, condition was that they agree to keep including Columbia Waterfront Dis- residential high rises off the table. trict, got more involved. On a pleasant Earlier this year, with grant money sesummer afternoon, Sloane held a kick- cured by Nydia Velasquez, EDC orgaoff meeting in which he walked along nized the BQE Enhancement Study, Hicks Street with a mix of local elected which held its third and final collaboraofficials and community members, and tive workshop in November to develop a discussed possibilities not just for mak- vision that reflected the priorities of the ing the area safer and more pleasant for community and - importantly - could be near-by residents, but for re-connecting achieved in the next 5 to 10 years. All the neighborhoods that were separated three “vision concepts” include varying so many years back. Planning sessions levels of greening, traffic-calming, and started being held in a small room in noise attenuation. But two of them, the Community Board 6 building at “Connections” and “Green Canopy,” 250 Baltic Street. “We attracted 40-50 include new pedestrian and bike bridges people at each of the two meetings that at various points of the ditch. summer,” Sloane recalls. “Everyone was The workshops were aimed at collaboimpressed with the turn-out at these rating and gaining consensus on demeetings, including Mayor Bloomberg signs. Based on that, the workshops and and Nydia Velasquez, who went to work the study were a success. The turn-outs on a federal grant.” were impressive, and the vision conBut Bloomberg’s penchant for large- cepts were successfully narrowed down scale real estate development projects and revised through participation and made his interest in the project some- feedback from the community. what ominous to community members. Implementation is the next step. The prospect of a wall of high rises, At last months meeting, Dan Wiley, blocking off air and light and views of a Community Coordinator for Nydia the waterfront, was highly disagree- Velasquez, emphasized the importance able to Cobble Hill residents. “The last of community leadership - especially thing we wanted was a mini-Atlantic with a newly Republican majority in Yards,” Sloane says. And so the commu- Washington that might make it harder nity board continued to move the proj- to secure federal grants - and the need ect forward, but staying cautiously un- to get the project implemented sooner

It is claimed that an enormous amount of economic activity is still generated by the maritime activity here. In future issues we will try to put a number to those claims. Our intuition tells us that the time is right for the Columbia Waterfront District to have a waterfront open to the public - especially if all the streets leading to Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill are re-connected to us. We are sure that our neighbors, and the rest of Brooklyn and the world would be users of the many activities that might be provided in such a park. This would add enormously to the economic developement of Columbia Street businesses. Finally, we are beginning an experiment to see if our readers are interested enough in our newspaper to become paid subscribers, which would enable us to provide more news and features on a timely basis. Please turn to our ad on page 18 and consider. Oh - and Happy Holidays from all of us at the Red Hook Star-Revue! rather than later. “This isn’t a project that we should have to wait an entire generation for,” he said. Roy Sloane agrees that community leadership is essential. That is what makes him optimistic - not merely hopeful - that the project will go forward. “It’s an example of cooperation between Columbia Waterfront District, Carroll Gardens, and Cobble Hill,” Sloane says. “There is unanimous agreement on ground rules - no deck, no high rises. Most civic improvements in the area have been citizen-generated, and I think we’ve had a really good start.” And there are many reasons for his optimism. Compared to other civic improvement projects, like Brooklyn Bridge Park ($300 million and counting) and the Gowanus Superfund (expected to exceed $1 billion), the ditch project is relatively cheap. And there has been very little investment in the BQE (which is one of the largest expressways in the world, visible from space!) since the late 70s - early 80s. It is true that people have been talking about this for decades. But when Starr Whitehouse releases their final report in January, the project will go into sales mode. Grants of all kinds - city, state, and federal - will be requested. Elected officials will lobby. A coalition of neighborhood organizations is expected to be formed. The people of Columbia and Van Brunt Streets can expect to hear more talk in the months to come and - hopefully - they’ll see some action to go with it. For the full Final Community Presentation from November, outlining each of the three “Vision Concepts,” visit and click on “Current Projects,” then click on “Brooklyn.”

Red Hook Star-Revue Page 7

Red Hook History by JJ Burkard

December - A Time To Wish “Everyone Has A Secret Wish Waiting To Come True” It’s nearly Christmas, that time for bringing our wishes out in the open, and hope someone out there, a fairy godmother, or little elf, or perhaps even Santa may hear us and respond in kind. Have you ever wished for or dreamed for something? A dream deep in your heart that was just bursting at the seams aching to come alive? Well, I certainly know how you feel. And you will know how I feel, after you read this story. Now, my dream does not come across with the power of say, Martin Luther King’s dream, his was a fabulous dream. But my dream, and now that Christmas is upon us, my wish, is really very similar. If you travel around a lot, you’ll notice the emphasis placed on any location that may have been associated with George Washington, also known as The Father of our country. Signs will greet you such as; Washington slept here, or Washington dined here, crossed the

Delaware at this spot, and maybe even rode his horse in whatever location you happen to be visiting yourself.

George Washington slept here As far as our neighborhood is concerned, the facts are, General George Washington slept in Red Hook, dined in Red Hook, rode his horse through Red Hook, and literally lived in Red Hook during the Battle of Brooklyn, recognized, as the most important battle of America’s struggle for independence. Yet, not a sign or plaque can be found as testimony to these important happenings. Most of you should be aware of Red Hooks Revolutionary War history. If you’re not, then I better shut down my computer and admit I’m a dismal failure at getting out the message. Working on this history for more than 18 years since my retirement, I have tried hard to make each and every Red Hooker aware of our great historic heritage

that we can be proud of as residents of this neighborhood. Special attention is neccessary to reach the children in our local schools. Teaching children our local history is a big part of my dream. I have been able to achieve this with much kind help from Ms. Peggy WynsMadison, and Ms. Sarah Barnes, school Principal’s PS 15 and PS 27 and all their wonderful students. You see I and my wife Lucille attended school in Red Hook, as my father did, and also my own children. But none of this history was ever taught to us.

Red Hook Lane Red Hook Lane was an Indian trail used by the native Indians to access Cypress Tree Island, a 50 to 75 foot hill completely surrounded by water and covered with cypress, sassafras, and cottonwood trees. In 1776 during the Battle of Brooklyn, it became a vital transportation route both for the Colonial army, under George Washington, and the pursuing British. This island occupied an area extending to the north as far as Wolcott Street and east to Dwight Street, though it narrowed down sharply before it reached that area. It extended southwards to Beard Street and west to the water and Buttermilk Channel. Atop this hill is where General Washington had his men construct Fort Defiance. The men stationed at this fort on August 27, 1776 successfully held back elements of the British Fleet, in particular the gunship HMS Roebuck, during the Battle of Brooklyn. This action was instrumental in the ingenious safe withdrawal of 10,000 Colonial troops. Many were wounded, all were hungry and tired, and this strategic withdrawal saved them from certain annihilation so they were able later on to defeat the British and win the Revolution. Had this strategy failed, experts admit the war for American independence was over, and today we probably would have all been drinking tea as our favorite beverage. Simply ironic isn’t it? Back in 1776 we fought so hard to keep the British ships out of the Buttermilk, now, over 234 years later The United States hosts the largest of their luxury cruise ships, the Queen Mary 2 in the very same location! Red Hook Lane, began at what is now

Shapiro’s Corner:

downtown Brooklyn, a street still carries the name, and it is designated as the start of the lane, though it really began further north closer to Williamsburg. The end of the lane was nearby a path that led to the top of Cypress Tree Island and Fort Defiance, somewhere near Beard St. which was the water’s edge in those days. My goal has been to create a Red Hook Heritage Trail using the approximate location of this Lane as found on old maps of that period. It would be similar to the Heritage Trail that currently exists in Boston. With the full backing of Craig Hammerman, District Manager of Local Planning Board #6 and their LandUse Committee Members amd our City Council Member Sara Gonzalez, legislation was enacted by the Council, and signed into public law by Mayor Bloomberg over 4 years ago. It was supposed “to create and install a total of 10 signs” designating what would become the only “Heritage Trail” in New York City. Simple right? Not so fast….. It seems though the New York City Council approved this legislation, and our duly elected Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed it into public law, the D.O.T. decided it’s not their policy? But, as a favor to me, they said, because I had planned the celebration with both public schools, PS 15, and PS 27, they would depart from their policy and put up three signs. Hmmm………At DOT’s request, I then advised them where the three signs should be placed at three locations. As follows: 1-at the beginning of the trail as it enters Red Hook. Corner of Delevan and Dwight Streets. 2-the approximate half-way point at Richards and Wolcott Streets, and 3-the mapped location of Fort Defiance

at Ferris and Coffey Streets. A small ceremony was beautifully performed by the school children at each location. The public law enacted by NYC Council, and signed by our Mayor, properly stipulated a total of ten Heritage Trail signs, with the specific location of each. But according to DOT, they informed me later when I requested the remaining seven signs, a new law must be enacted for each and every sign. So any of you out there who thought our Mayor, and our City Council are running this great city, think again. Now, this is where Red Hook’s “Heritage Trail” is today. Somewhere between New York City Hall, The Department of Transportation, and a place called Red Hook in Brooklyn. Can anyone guess what my dream is? Well, I’ll reveal my secret now, and maybe, just maybe some Good Samaritan will read this and take up my cause. Or should I say Our Cause?

John’s Red Hook Wish Dear Santa, My wish is; 1) That these important events relating to the history of Americas struggle for independence, and the fact they occurred right here in Red Hook be no longer ignored by recorded history, but instead be taught as a regular subject in our schools. At the very least it should be taught as a history subject in Public School 27 and Public School 15. In order to perpetuate this heritage and the memories of the brave men who were involved and who must never be forgotten. By the way Santa, My first kindergarten class was in the original and only building then, of PS 27’s in 1935. And I cried as soon as my Mother left me there alone(LOL) 2) That the remaining seven Heritage Trail Signs be installed by the Department of Transportation. Thereby making Our section of Red Hook Lane the first and only Heritage Trail in New York City. 3) That it will be possible as a result, for every boy and every girl attending these schools in Red Hook, to reply if someone should inquire, “ Hey Kid! Where do you come from?” And they will shout proudly, together in unison with all of our residents, “We come from Red Hook, this is where “AMERICA GOT A SECOND CHANCE AT FREEDOM…..” -Merry Christmas and God BlessMay Your Fondest Wish and All Your Hopes be Realized this Holiday Season

“I hate kids!” Page 8 Red Hook Star-Revue

December 2010

Way Back When A Free Holiday Concert will take place at the Union Street Star Theater, 101 Union Street, on Saturday December 18th beginning at 7 pm. Local bands will be performing original rock and roll, blues, and other favorites. Bands at press time include Union and the Voles. Others to be announced.

The Star Theater reintroduces a tradition of staged events on the first block of Union Street. Old timers in the neighborhood still remember when 101 Union housed a traditional Italian Marionette Theater. Best of Sicily Magazine writes:

Red Hook rallies for the war effort circa 1943. The vibrancy of Red Hook is clearly evident in these days before the double disasters of the BQE and the mismanaged Columbia Street sewer project. The Columbia Street Bar and Grill, which is seen at the intersection is now the Big Apple Chinese restaurant, and looking up Union Street one can see the integration with Carroll Gardens. The large building on the left with the men standing on the roof was eventually demolished, to be replaced this century by a lower-rise apartment and store complex housing Botanica, Creative Arts, BopKat Vintage and Elite Fitness Studio. The photo looks like it was taken from an upper window of 104 Union Street, now home of Galeano Real Estate. In addition to the bar one can see a few of the many shoe stores in the neighborhood, as this was the time that Columbia Street was as commercially active is Court Street is today. Photo courtesy of Sal Beglio.

Long Walk Home BY J.W. zEH

“They became popular in Sicily late in the Middle Ages, during the fifteenth century, and marionettes are still considered an important part of Sicilian folk culture. Sicilian puppet theatre (opera dei pupi) or, more properly, “marionette theatre,” developed into its present form in the eighteenth century. (Strictly speaking, “puppets” fit over the hand, while marionettes are figures controlled by strings, but in common parlance the terms are often used interchangeably; what we’re describing are actually marionettes.) Typically, the marionettes and their theatre depict medieval characters and legendary events based loosely on history. There’s Orlando (Roland), one of Charlemagne’s knights, and the Norman knights of King Roger of Sicily. And Saracens (Moors). Baroque paladins, really, since their costumes are often more reminiscient of sixteenth century decoration than medieval armor and clothes. More recently, the puppeteers adapted stories of the Sicilian aristocracy (such as “The Baroness of Carini”) to their tiny stages. As folk art, the productions are typically expressions of the popular perception of personages and events rather than faithful chronicles of history and literature. That was always the idea of this kind of entertainment. It wasn’t meant to be informative so much as inspirational. Inspirational? Inspirational in the sense that spectators might in some way compare the stories or characters to their own lives. Puppet theatre sometimes provided an innocent alternative to the passion plays of the Church. It could even be mildly revolutionary, though most themes served to idealize the nobility which controlled Sicily, reinforcing the strictures of a feudal society that existed in the countryside. While it eventually became a popular entertainment for children, it appealed to adults, too.

All are invited refreshments will be available.

Hair Boutique 10% off Haircuts 20% off all chemical services ONLY WITH THIS AD Get your last minute Holiday Hair Styles. December 2010

Open Tuesday - Friday 11-8 Saturday 10:30-6, and Now Open Sundays Through January! 352 Van Brunt Street 718 935-0596

Red Hook Star-Revue Page 9


Krista Dragomer

Close Quarter Combat Since my first visit to the CUBA: My Revolution exhibition at the Kentler, I have been in a bit of a conundrum as to how to approach this show. One could easily jump straight to the graphic novel, or even further, to the life of Inverna Lockpez herself, as there certainly is plenty to talk about there. But to do so skips over the experience of the drawings in the gallery, and as these works have been curated by Marielle Bison to be experienced in this way, on the wall, it seems misguided to regard the drawings in the show simply as signposts pointing us towards the book. Plus, I must confess a disinclination towards the notion that art behaves linguistically and prefer not to “read” a visual work in terms of its relation to a larger body but try to experience it in the space and moment that it affords, that is, on its own terms. Yet, the terms of this work, the intended context, is with color and text in a graphic novel. The format of the show is a curatorial decision, not the decision of the artists. See? I confuse myself. Fortunately, I have smart friends to whom I can turn to when I’ve thought myself too far from the art and into an ontological ouroboros. Let me introduce painter and educator Matt Murphy: Krista: Ok, I’m still trying to figure out how to think about this CUBA: My Revolution show. The drawings and sketches in the show do afford an opportunity to appreciate illustrator Dean Haspiel’s considerable technical ability and labor. But, formally, that is to say the way in which the lines and composition come together on a page to create an image, I find the drawings are lacking a quality that would distinguish them from other works of this style. Matt: Well, I haven’t seen the work in the gallery but we can assume that these drawings in the graphic novel are designed and organized for maximum effectiveness as a narrative image. Are they interesting to look at? Do they charge the imagination? Krista: Knowing that this is a collaboration between an illustrator and a painter, I want more; a revolution, not just told to me in the text but happening in the marks on the page. When Fidel Castro holds up his bayonet, an iconic image of revolution, I want the gun barrel force and propagandistic power glinting off the sharpened knife edge to dominate the page. What is missing in these drawings is interpretation. In a talk with Dean Haspiel and Inverna Lockpez at Book Court, Haspiel said that of the many challenges he faced working collaboratively with Lockpez on this work, among the most difficult was trying to render the tone and texture of a story so removed from himself, in a place he’d never been. Looking at the drawings, I appreciate his fidelity to Lockpez’s memories, but his drawings seems too subservient to the story, and don’t offer another way to think of what is being represented. Matt: What is at issue, it seems to me, is the question: what is the responsibility of the illustrator? For brevity’s sake let’s polarize: is the illustrator’s job simply to render and make visual the work of the author? Or is it to compound the imagination of the author? Krista: Perhaps it would help to look at another graphic novel, also by an artist telling her story of

Page 10 Red Hook Star-Revue

living through the turbulence of revolution. In Marjane Satropi’s Persepolis, the drawings are quite simplistic, but in their simplicity they effectively communicate a great deal about the social and political climate of revolutionary Iran. For example, rather than render individuals in crowds realistically, she often used repetition which indicates a whole commentary on mass mentality, governmental Dean Haspiel and Inverna Lockpez at the opening of CUBA: My Revolution control and relooking off into the distance set against the image sponses to it depending on who she is rendering in of the hands holding the jail cell bars, you get a what way. It is a simple strategy but it really works, sense of the tension between youthful idealism due largely to the fact that she doesn’t always renand political oppression that she struggles with der the same groups of people the same way (i.e. throughout. More of this kind of dynamic interpoanyone, any belief system, can turn into a faceless lation would strengthen some of the other images mob), sometimes including herself in crowds of in the book. repeated images. Armed with a more enumerated scope to view the Matt: I would like to assert that expression and images in the show, I went back to the Kentler realism are not mutually exclusive. With that for one more look. My goal, this time, was to find thought take the work of Caravaggio or Titian for something in the preliminary sketches, some rough example, are they not realistic and at the same quality that vibrated with a vitality that may have time are they not expressive and artful?  been lost in the polish of the final product. LookKrista: Agreed, I don’t mean to suggest that realing again at the sketch for the 26th of July speech, ism and expression are oppositional, nor that exwhere the protagonist decides to put art aside and pression requires abstraction. In fact, I often find serve the revolution as a physician, there is somethe opposite to be true. What I’m trying to get at thing in the active lines and the shifting scale that is something more subtle about the many availexpresses a present-tense energy in the telling of able shades of reality available for an artist to draw that historical moment. In the sketch, the bayoupon and show us. What I love about graphic net, held above the heads of the crowd, is a lightnovels is that they can be so much more than ning rod of power dominating the people who have words and images, creating ways to experience and gathered to listen to Castro speak of principles, think about the event being described through the foreshadowing the bloodshed that would come interplay between image and text. This is where to taint those words. Here we get a sense of the the storytelling happens, the artistry. I get the energy of that moment as well as the powerful role sense that in the back and forth between Haspiel that art has always played on all sides of social and and Lockpez, the emphasis landed on accuracy to political movements, a power that governments the detriment of the art. the world over have sought to regulate, control, or repress, as Lockpez’s own life story demonstrates. Matt: Another thing to consider is the strategic use of realism either on behalf of the author or the Yet the final product lacked the ability to pierce through the thick skin of narrative convention. illustrator or both.  Historically, Social Realism The story is true, horrifying, and moving, but the has been heavily used by Communist movements. telling of it dulled by the clear safe distance it Figuration, and an accessible system of symbols, grants us. are central to this kind of work and comic books, traditionally, have borrowed heavily from the Cuba: My Revolution is on view at the Kentler Interpropaganda flier-aesthetic associated with these national Drawing Space at 353 Van Brunt through movements. December 12, Matt MurKrista: Yes, and the cover of CUBA: My Revolu- phy has recently shown work at Camel Art Space in Williamsburg and images of his work can be seen at tion graphic novel draws on these thematic and stylistic influences quite successfully. Jose Villarrubia’s color plays up newsreel nostalgia as well, and with the portrait of the the young protagonist

December 2010

The Red Hook Star-Revue Special Holiday Advertising Insert

Liberty Sunset Gardens Center Red Hook’s Lush Oasis Even in the Winter! Entering Liberty Sunset Garden Center, located at the very end of Van Dyke Street in Red Hook, is like entering a lush oasis. This is true especially in the winter months, when blustery winds batter the edge of the neighborhood, with its picturesque views of the Statue of Liberty. The garden center, which opened in 2007, is the result of owner Sandor Gubis’ lifelong passion for gardening. “I like green stuff,” he says, for form as well as function, from the orchids and decorative plants to the oranges, lemons, papayas and peppers that populate his shop. A waterfall that Gubis has constructed provides a tropical soundtrack—all that’s missing is the sound of monkeys and birds. Of course, the type of tree found in most homes this time of year isn’t from the tropics at all. For the holiday season, Gubis will be selling Christmas trees—blue pines—for only $20 each. The shop also will offer 50 percent off of most of the store’s inventory. Plus, anyone who makes a purchase in December automatically is entered into a raffle, for a grand prize, first prize and 10 smaller prizes. Other holiday gift ideas include small plants and figurines from Columbia, the home country of Gubis’ wife. Hungarian-born Gubis not only has an enviable green thumb and a vast knowledge of plants, but a talent for making planters out of almost anything. The shop has planters of all sizes and window boxes crafted from wood, as well as a variety of household items. Several bathtubs now hold cold-weather vegetables, such as lettuce, on the garden’s deck, which is a profusion of color in the spring and summer. Gubis snaps off the edge of a leaf from his winter harvest, explaining it’s perfect with a bit of cheese. Indoors, he’s cut spaces in the top of a plastic storage bin to suspend pots, creating a mini sub-irrigation system. He’s also done something similar with a two-liter bottle, which sits inside a workshop area in the shop. Eventually, he says he would like to host learning workshops, including one for teachers, who are becoming involved in green school initiatives, so that they can teach kids about gardening. Liberty Sunset Garden Center works with P.S. 15, donating plants to the science room and helping with vegetable gardens in the spring. The shop is open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 6 pm, Saturday 9 am to 8 pm and Sunday 10 am to 6 pm. The nursery is open by appointment only; please call (718) 858-3400.

December 2010

Red Hook Star-Revue Page 11

The Red Hook Star-Revue Paid Advertising Section

Holiday Shopping


Serendipitous Shen

ere it not for a jar of shattered face cream and Jay-Z, Shen, a new beauty and cosmetics boutique, might never have opened its doors at 315 Court Street. When Jessica Richards decided to replace a jar of face cream that was dropped and broken, the Carroll Gardens resident realized the area was devoid of a cosmetic shop. She decided at that moment to open one, but wasn’t sure how to go about it—until she met Jules Stringer at a Jay-Z concert. “Little did I know I was talking to the beauty guru,” says Richards, adding that their husbands, both of whom work in the music industry, introduced the pair. Stringer is the “Green Queen” beauty columnist for The Daily Mail, while Richards was a freelance stylist for such publications as Vogue and Glamour. The pair had lunch three times before deciding to look for spaces, and opened the shop within four months, on October 2. Shen carries a variety of beauty products, from Becca, a large Australiabased cosmetics line, to Grapeseed Peeling, a natural face and body sea salt and grapeseed scrub made locally in Red Hook. Arranged on a display table are what appear to be delectable cupcakes, but are actually Feeling Smitten cupcake bath bombs ($10). Richards recommends the smaller $5 version for children’s baths, since kids who visit the shop are drawn to the colorful faux-treats. The shop has a wide price range, from fun items at $5 to the Alexa Rudolfo candles for $79 and Immunocologie organic sea algae skincare line in the $175 to $225 price range. “It doesn’t matter what the price is, it just matters if it works,” Richards says. “There’s something in here for every customer.” There’s also a focus on organic and natural products. “Everything in here, my partner and I use,” Stringer says. “We both have to like the product to carry it in the shop.” As Richards strolls through the store, she easily rattles off information about the products, from their origins to ingredients. She puts the longlasting Jemma Kidd eyeliner on her hand, demonstrating that once it’s ap-

plied, you have 30 seconds to smudge it, before becoming smudge-proof. Medieval from Lipstick Queen is a red everyone can wear, she explains, while Saints & Sinners offers both matte and sheer lines of the same shades of lipcolor for completely different looks. Shen also is the exclusive carrier of several lines, including Lubatti. The skin, bath and body line was created by Tracey Malone—sister of fragrance guru Jo Malone—based on the book of recipes by Madame Lubatti, a London skincare expert in the early 20th century, who worked with such clients as Vivian Leigh and Princess Marina. The shop also is the only place Stateside to find Amanda Lacey products, such as eau de cologne and pomade, used by today’s celebs, such as Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow and Emily Blunt. Richards notes the power of word-of-mouth in the neighborhood, recalling one woman who tried Mrs. White’s Classic Cold Cream, available in the U.S. only at Shen. Within days, about six of her friends—lifelong Ponds users—came in to buy the cream. Other products include Anastasia, from Hollywood brow guru Anastasia Soare; Miss Marisa, a perfume favored by Vogue staffers, and Lafco House and Home Collection candles, named one of Oprah’s favorite things of 2010. For men, there’s the Anthony Logistics line. Shen also carries Babo Botanicals organic baby shampoos—something close to Richards’ heart, since she has a 19-month-old son. The kids’ corner will draw children of all ages, with colorful bath salts that can be packaged in sand art-type bottles. This area also offers rubber duckies that sing underwater, bath mitts, fun shower caps and Piggy Paint, non-toxic nail polish. Children also often ask to ride the decorative carousel horse in the window—something Richards discovered discarded on the street. Shen also carries Babo Botanicals organic baby shampoos - something close to both the owner’s hearts, since they both have young children. An e-commerce site also is in the works for the shop, and the pair welcomes input about the products. “We’re making an effort to acclimate to the neighborhood,” says Stringer.

315 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231 Tel: 718-576-2679

Email: For mail order enquiries please call on (718) 576-2679

Page 12 Red Hook Star-Revue

December 2010

315 Van Brunt St


Just Plain Fun and More!

Loggy, one of the creations of Bryan X at Everbrite Mercantile Co., 351 Van Brunt St., isn’t a Yule log. He’s simply a log with eyes and a mouth that’s become one of the shop’s mascots, along with Thompkins, a bright yellow Pac Man-like creature. But if you’re looking for unique gifts—often with a sense of humor—then a shop with an anthropomorphized log in the window should really be your first choice. Everbrite sells a variety of accessories, clothing, home objects, personal care items and just plain fun products. Mollie Dash, who owns the shop, specializes in creating jewelry from items found at thrift stores, antique shops and flea markets. The eco-friendly line ensures items that otherwise might be discarded, such as chains or even hunting license tags, find new purpose. Other conversation-starting jewelry: Andrew Clark wire rings in brass, copper and steel ($30) and ingenious rings created by Kiel Mead, from a penny impression ($75-$100) to a Chevrolet car key ring ($100) that wraps around your finger. New to the shop are the Emily Rothschild designs—modern takes on Victorian mourning lockets ($240). Instead of a dour photo or a lock of hair, the lockets contain a 2 gig USB drive, so you can store more than one image of loved ones. A Rothschild whirligig necklace ($70) mimics an old animation flip book—spin the pendant to make the image come to life. Or surprise someone—and yourself—with a Black Box Key necklace ($40). The black box holds a necklace shaped like a key, but you find out the color only when the box’s wax seal is broken to reveal what’s inside. New items include Jao Ltd. OutScent ($50), which, as the name implies, not only has a woodsy, citrusy aroma of fir needle, patchouli and grapefruit, but also doubles as a non-synthetic insect repellent. Also new to the shop’s personal care section is Grapeseed Peeling jar ($20), a natural beauty product made in Red Hook with sea salt and Long Island grapeseeds. Popular home items include the donutsu mug ($14), as well as cast pewter and black glass rabbit and moose Goody Grams shot glasses, a menagerie joined recently by a deer and white rhino (all $28 each). Nobuhiro Sato designs household items, such as planters and incense burners, to look like little homes. He fashions his creations out of mortar, glass and steel; incense burners with colored widows ($59) have been added to their offerings. Pop Chart Lab, a collaboration between a book editor and graphic designer, has several charts available at the shop, including those exploring “The Very Many Varieties of Beer” and “Grand Taxonomy of Rap Names”

($25 each). “No Sleep Til Breuckelen ($22) men’s and women’s T-shirts display a map of Dutch Brooklyn that includes our own “Roode Hoek.” There’s also a poster for “The Evolution of Video Game Controllers” ($30). Speaking of video games, the shop not only has a vintage arcade bowling game, but there is now an ATARI Flashback, as well as an Odyssey console. Visitors are welcome to curl up on the inviting throw rug and play Centipede, Pong and Pitfall, among other choices. Toys and fun items for sale include Playforever streamlined vehicles ($60 each), such as a racecar, motorbike and aeroplane, now in additional colors. You’ll also find giant eraser rings ($5) and “cheat-proof” playing cards ($16) that, at first glance, appear to be plain black or white. Upon closer inspection, you can see that the design of the playing card is imprinted in glossy finish on the matte card. Everbrite is now hosting events. On Wednesdays from 7:30 to 8:30 pm, Felecia Maria holds an open-level yoga class. Those attending the class just need to bring a mat and donation—though if you forget yoga pants, some made by Felecia (immeindustries. com) are for sale at the shop. The space also will host art shows—the first is Origamitron, interactive, light- and sound-activated paper installations by Jenna Kole. The artist not only creates the sculptures, but makes the paper, using cotton rag. Though there’s no set exhibition schedule, Dash says the works will be on display, and for sale, through December. The opening reception is December 10 from 5 to 9:30 pm.

December 2010

Red Hook Star-Revue Page 13

The Red Hook Star-Revue

2010 Holiday Gift Guide

Rising MTA fares and crowded malls are enough to dampen holiday spirits. Let this gift guide navigate you to local treasures at area shops this holiday season.

Brooklyn Collective 212 Columbia St., (718) 596-6231, Founded by Rachel Goldberg and Tessa Phillips, Brooklyn Collective is a space shared by artists and designers, who share the rent and keep any profits made. GIRLFAUXPAS headbands ($25) hold a mini-beret atop your head. Also unique are the Twig Terrariums, each depicting a tiny vignette, such as “Smooch” ($55) which shows two figurines engaged in a Hollywood kiss and “Equine Love” ($60), encapsulating two diminutive horses. Stocking stuffers: Ashi Dashi socks ($14) have fun designs from pencil to meat—perfect if you’re wearing a Lady Gaga-inspired meat dress but are worried about cold toes.

Is a meat dress just too much? Ease into the Lady Gaga look with these meat socks, available at Brooklyn Collective.

Red Lipstick, run by knitwear designer Staceyjoy Elkin, has a wide array of knit items—from scarves ($42-$250) to popular earwarmers ($42)—all made with luxury yarns, for keeping loved ones warm this winter. The sock monkey blanket ($64), made from leftover textile scraps of 75 percent cotton and 25 percent acrylic, has been a surprise hit with shoppers, Elkin says. The shop also has accessories and non-knitwear, such as the classic and modern Jane Diaz jewelry and wrinkleproof dresses ($148$158) made in Brooklyn. For him: Reyn Spooner shirts ($90-$100) put a new twist on Hawaiian shirts—Red Hook is after, all on the waterfront. Hunter hats ($42) by Bemidji Woolen Mills also are guaranteed to keep heads warm, even if the most hunting he does is looking for a weekend parking spot at Fairway. Stocking stuffers: Nodder figurines ($9 each) from Germany include an owl, sheep and festive Santa. Red Lipstick also sells Priti nontoxic, vegan nail polish ($12.50) in an array of colors, and Elkin promises that the soy remover ($11.25) works more effectively than standard remover.


Before Mad Men made retro chic and before waxed mustaches, arm suspenders and secret entrances were de rigueur at trendy Brooklyn bars, these three establishments specialized in vintage items in the Columbia Waterfront District.

Bopkat Vintage 117 Union St., (718) 222-1820 The festive window of Bopkat Vintage has an annual ’50s and ’60s holiday display, where you’ll find adorable pixie figurines and glasses that Grandma would dust off for annual Christmas Eve eggnog consumption. Owner Laura Buscaglia, who opened the shop 7 years ago, describes it as “a trip down memory lane.” For items that hearken back to simpler times, there are ornaments ($3 each), cards, figurines ($5-$30) and Hanukkah items. After years of collecting, the shop’s items—from aprons to plates depicting state landmarks—have been fine-tuned. “I’m very picky,” Buscaglia says.

Union Max 110 Union St., (718) 222-1785 Union Max, which has been on the corner of Union and Columbia for about a decade, is like walking into someone’s really cool attic—if it were a storefront. The space has knickknacks, glasswear, kids’ clothes, books, vintage clothes—plus fun toy finds, from Barbie and Tammy doll cases to the not-so-distant Mr. T and 90210 figures. What sets the store apart, however, is the extensive selection of beads. Owner Susan Goldberg says she’s bought out shops and collections to amass the store’s selection.

Main Street Ephemera 205 Columbia St., (718) 858-6541, Main Street Ephemera has been a destination spot for movie buffs, thanks to the selection of movie posters—with prices as low as $5—plus the fun items such as B-movie T-shirts for Attack of the 50-Ft Woman and Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla. There’s also a large selection of Brooklyn photos, historic newspapers and vintage post cards, as well as old photos in a box labeled “Instant Ancestors.” Owner Consuelo Grushin displays vintage necklaces, bracelets and other accessories (about $25-$100), and owner Dave Whitlock makes Brooklyn T-shirts ($10 each) for various neighborhoods, including Coney Island, Park Slope and DUMBO, as well as designs that read “Gowanus Canal Yacht Club” and “Red Hook Crew.”

Metal and Thread

Red Lipstick 390 Van Brunt St., (347) 599-1550,

Brooklyn General

128 Union St., (718) 237-7753,

Brooklyn General is the go-to shop for area crafters and knitters. But the ready-made reclaimed wool sheep ornaments ($23) and handcrafted, plant-dyed bird ornaments ($12) are perfect for alighting on your holiday tree this year.


392a Van Brunt St., (718) 913-4484,

Calling itself a Red Hook souvenir shop, Tiburon has a selection of gifts that allow a display of neighborhood pride, such as the shot glasses ($5 each or five for $20) adorned with a red hook, made by area bartender “Whiskey” Dave Hill. If you’re shopping for someone who wants to wear his or her love of Brooklyn, check out the totes ($30), tank tops ($30) and T-shirts ($28) made by Pete Hildebrand that depict the Kentile Floors sign in Gowanus or the Red Hook “R,” a remnant of the old E.J. Trum sign on the corner of Richards and Verona streets. For her: Beckasoup jewelry and toiletry roll-up organizers ($20-$70) in fun fabrics are a good choice for someone who’s always on the go. Stocking stuffers: A robot pendant ($45-$60), made by local luthier Matt Rubendall, makes for an adorable companion. Other accessories include earrings handmade by Amy Simula (about $15) and headbands created by Jena Cumbo ($20).

398 Van Brunt St., (718) 414-9651,

Everbrite Mercantile Co. 351 Van Brunt St., (718) 522-6121, At this recently-opened shop, you’ll find plenty of original gifts, such as owner Mollie Dash’s jewelry creations, and the World Links Design Glut necklace ($60) that depicts the continents. The space-saving, wall-mounted “ring ring” magazine rack ($22) can be expanded simply by buying and adding more rings as needed. For kids of all ages: As the name implies, Playforever toys are designed for both children and adults, with streamlined vehicles that look fast and fun, such as the Bruno racing car, Mimo aeroplane and the Enzo motorbike, complete with sidecar and passenger (all $60 each). Stocking stuffers: The classic yo-yo ($12) is available in black, red and silver, and an oversized eraser ring by Ahead Creative of Taiwan ($5) comes in pink, green, yellow and blue. The shop also has cheat-proof playing cards—opponents won’t be able to peer over your shoulder and easily see your hand, thanks to the matte cards with glossy printing that appear to be almost solid black or white. The reflective quality of the glossy print allows you to read your own cards.

For the past two and a half years, Metal and Thread has been home to the metal works of Derek Dominy and the quilted pieces of Denise Carbonell—hence the shop’s name. Carbonell’s art quilt pieces ($250$2,500) adorn the walls, as do her signature sculpted wire hands ($195-$250). Dominy fashions the shelves that display the metal and textile works, including jewelry pieces and the occasional antique curio. The two collaborate on a line of mesh jewelry and accessories, which includes a purse ($265), as well as rings, bracelets, chokers and other accessories. The shop also carries the work of a handful of other Brooklyn artisans. Something old, something new: Though the anchor necklaces ($75-$145) are made in Washington State, their nautical theme fits in with Red Hook. The anchor is carved from the fossilized wooly mammoth tusk, estimated to be 150,000 to 200,000 years old. Stocking stuffer: The mesh rings created by Dominy and Carbonell are $45 each and can be custom-sized.

Foxy & Winston

392 Van Brunt St. (718) 928-4855,

Foxy & Winston owner Jane Buck individually hand-screens and prints her stationery, card and cloth items at her cozy Red Hook shop and studio. Hope, a rescue beagle, often can be seen waiting for visitors in the window, framed with holiday lights. A variety of original holiday cards are available, including a nautical-themed card ($4) that announces “Holiday Greetings from Red Hook.” Other cards options include a tree made of adorable hedgehogs ($4), two English robins announcing “Season’s Greetings” ($4.50), a cashmere goat offering “Warm Holiday Wishes” ($3.50) and a squirrel menorah Hanukkah card ($4). Purchase six of the same card design for $12, any six for $15, and a dozen for $25. For little ones: Onesies for babies 18-25 months are adorned with a variety of animals, including an elephant, a sheep and a ladybug ($26). T-shirts ($26) for children 2 to 6 years old also are available. Stocking stuffers: Check out the hand-knit sock monkeys ($20).

by Josie Rubio

top images courtesy of Everbrite Mercantile

Page 4 Red Hook Star-Revue

December 2010

December 2010

Red Hook Star-Revue Page 5


The Red Hook Star-Revue Paid Advertising Section

Michael & Ping’s will add to your Holiday Dining Pleasure


hat started as a casual discussion of how to improve typical Chinese take-out resulted in the opening of Michael and Ping’s, 437 Third Avenue. The Gowanus-area restaurant, which delivers to Red Hook, Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, and the Columbia Waterfront District, bills itself as “Modern Chinese Take-Out,” meaning a pared-down menu, healthful preparations, quality ingredients and eco-friendly packaging and amenities. Since opening in August, the restaurant has been named one of the top 10 new green restaurants in the United States by and received four out of five Ls from The L Magazine, which also named the establishment “Best New Chinese Take-Out” in the publication’s Restaurant Awards. Owner Michael Bruno says that one of the first steps to modernizing the concept was simplifying the menu from the hundreds of choices to about 70 items. Appetizer choices include scallion pancakes filled with mu-shu chicken, spring and egg rolls and steamed or fried dumplings, available with pork or vegetables and tofu. You’ll find familiar favorites, such as wonton and egg drop soup, jumbo shrimp lo mein, beef with broccoli, kung pao chicken and moo goo gai pan. Many of the dishes have subtle, modern twists; General Tso’s chicken, for example, is lightly fried and sautéed instead of heavily-breaded and deep-fried, and all chicken used in the dishes is natural, hormone-free chicken. Also noteworthy, the meat is ordered from the Zagat-rated Pino’s Meat Market. “The idea was to have high-quality ingredients and high-quality food at a reasonable price,” Bruno says. Appetizers run from $1.50 to $7.50, and entrees are $8.50 to $11.75. Michael & Ping’s also offers a lunch special from noon to 3 pm: your choice of one of nine designated entrees with vegetable fried rice for $7.

The menu also includes a few surprises from other parts of Asia, such as the curried chicken samosa, bahn mi (a Vietnamese sandwich of pork char sui, pickled vegetables, cilantro and spicy mayo) and tamarind glazed pork

spare ribs, which are slow-cooked in a cooker specifically designed for the ribs. All menu items are made-toorder, which means orders might take a little bit longer to prepare. (An order to Red Hook, for example, might take about 30 to 40 minutes.) Instead of the typical Styrofoam, take-out from Michael and Ping’s, which is certified by the Green Restaurant Association, is packaged in boxes made of recycled paper and compostable cups and containers. The restaurant is outfitted with Energy Star power-efficient equipment and the restaurant partakes in a compost pick-up program. The bathrooms also have hand dryers instead of paper towels. Those who opt to dine-in at the modern, industrial space are served on reusable plates and silverware. “We’re cutting down tremendously on waste,” Bruno says. Even the building materials have a green aspect, using recycled concrete for the floors and recycled bricks for the walls. Bruno says that he plans to rent out the space for corporate and private parties and banquets and offer optional catering; call for details.

December 2010

Red Hook Star-Revue Page 17

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The Red Hook Star-Revue June 2010

The Red Hook Star-Revue

The Red Hook Star-Revue

Ikea Spillover Effect? Red Hook Not Yet a Retail Boomtown

Editorial: Red Hooks Future Can Be Bright if We Start Thinking About the Possibilities Now

Serving the Brooklyn Communities of Red Hook, Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill


No. 2, July 2010

by Kevin O’Hanlon

Hook, it would be most likely be on a few businesses in the immediate neighboring area, particularly along Van Brunt street.

Introducing a New Community Voice Thank you for taking the time to pick up this, your new monthly community newspaper. One of our goals is to serve as a vehicle to bind together the many disparate voices that make up our cherished Brooklyn neighborhoods. With an eye to the future grounded in the rich history of our past, we are open to contributions from those who make up our reading audience. If there is a neighborhood concern you wish us to explore, or if you are interested in making a direct contribution as a writer or photographer, please feel free to contact co-publisher George Fiala at 101 Union Street, or better yet email Our other goal is to provide an inexpensive way for our local merchants to spread the word about their offerings to the interested public. Co-publisher Frank Galeano will help plan an effective campaign and can be reached at 917-365-8295, or in-person at 104 Union Street.

First Block of Union Street Host to Music & Fun Last month saw two events that unexpectedly brought the sounds of music to Union Street between Van Brunt and Columbia. First, the corner gallery WORK hosted an opening replete with the requisite white wine as well as a young rock and roll band who set up on the corner and filled the air with raucus, enjoyable sounds. A few weeks later, their neighbor Scooter Bottega held an end-of-block party for their neighbors and scooter friends. Refreshments, including delicious pork sandwiches were served and two bands performed. If there is but one good byproduct of the unfortunate closing of the Union Street bus stops, it is that a larger block festival may be possible in the future, perhaps joined by new neighbor Select Mail, who at 101 Union is resurrecting the old Star puppet theater in a modest way with a performing arts area planned as part of it’s ground floor.

It is no secret that the Red Hook area of Brooklyn has been experiencing a major upswing for the better part of the last decade. Many young people have moved to Red Hook as the rent prices are significantly lower than in other neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Manhattan. With that, there are more opportunities for successful businesses to open as there is more money in the neighborhood, as well as a brand new market to sell to. This creates a community in Red Hook where a motorcycle repair shop that has been servicing people for twenty-five years is just as successful as the vintage clothing store just a couple of blocks away. One major result of this shift is the project that brought an Ikea to Red Hook. When the idea was first announced in 2005, it was met with heavy criticism from many local people. The most common complaint was that it would bring a whole new mess of traffic to the area. Many people also believed that there would be no spillover to other businesses in the neighborhood and that Ikea could potentially take business away from smaller stores. After numerous protests and lawsuits led by local activists, Ikea opened up in June 2008. The impact that Ikea has had on Red Hook can be hard for the average person to see, mostly because there is not much of one on the average person. If Ikea were to have an effect on anything in Red

Judging from the anecdotal results of a recent informal Star-Revue survey, businesses within the vicinity of Ikea seem largely unaffected. Lee Reiter of the Millbern Travel Waterfront, which is located a few short blocks from Ikea, explained that she moved her business to Red Hook five years ago because of a new opportunity and an up-andcoming neighborhood. Although Reiter admits that Ikea has not had any identifiable impact on business, nothing negative has come from it. “A lot of people blame the traffic only on Ikea, but I believe Fairway is equally to blame.” Reiter identifies Ikea as a major component of the economic upswing in Red Hook as it does bring more people to the area, but it is not the sole source. If anything, Ikea raises awareness of the neighborhood itself and some of the stores or attractions it has to offer. Other businesses have seen positives in the past couple years which they credit to the Swedish furniture giant. F&M Bagels is located just a few blocks from Ikea on Van Brunt street. Owner/Manager Frankie opened up his own business eight years ago and has since seen a stron-

The following is a description of the gallery space at the end of Union Street taken from their web site: WORK is a former mechanic’s garage turned gallery and project space on the Red Hook waterfront specializing in the exhibition of emerging artists working across all mediums.

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Work is at 65 Union Street, Scooter Bottega is right next door.

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Since January 2007, WORK and our artists have exchanged and imparted ideas democratically, seeking to utilize the space in the dissolution of barriers. In a time and place where many are searching for more, bigger and more expansive, WORK is committed to bringing important matters of culture into close circles, for critical discussion and reflection.

ger community, which he credits to Lateshia, who specializes in local em“an increase in positive commercial ployment at the Southwest Brooklyn activity in the Industrial develneighborhood.” “Frankie explained that opment CorporaFrankie believes it is not due to spilltion, explained that Ikea is a that since many over from Ikea custommajor compoof Ikea’s employnent to the cur- ers, but rather the emees are local, more rent upswing ployees who need to money is brought and has seen buy breakfast or lunch. into and kept in an increase in Frankie believes that the neighborhood. business since it Lateshia grew up there would be more opened. Frankie in Red Hook her explained that customer spillover to entire life and sees it is not due to other local businesses if the neighborhood spillover from there were more stores as a dramatically Ikea custom- to go to. “ changed place, ers, but rather which she credits the employees to an increase in who need to buy breakfast or lunch. commercial activity. With Ikea conFrankie believes that there would be tributing to local commerce, the upmore customer spillover to other local swing that the neighborhood is expebusinesses if there were more stores to riencing is further pushed in a positive go to. With the economic opportunity direction and away from the violence in the neighborhood expanding, this and crime that Lateshia recalls seeing is perhaps a likely scenario somewhere growing up. “Although there has defidown the line in the future. nitely been an increase in automobile traffic, people seem happier now”.

One of the somewhat unexpected spillovers from Ikea has been at Waterfront Laundry on Van Brunt street. The laundromat opened at the beginning of 2010 and has seen good business since. This is because aside from the many local residents who do their laundry there, Ikea employees go there as well. Frances, an employee at the laundromat, has lived in Red Hook her entire life. She believes that Ikea has helped the neighborhood by attracting people from all over the New York metropolitan area and continues to push Red Hook in a direction away from its crime-ridden reputation of past decades. “Ikea has had a large positive impact on the area, I don’t understand why anyone would say otherwise” One explanation for the Ikea employees using the same laundromat is that Ikea has prioritized employing residents from the neighborhood.

However, others will tell you that there is hardly an increase in traffic. Ikea has shuttles that take people from other neighborhoods to and from the store in an effort to help with the predicted traffic jams that people worried about before the grand opening. If one is to pass by Ikea on foot, they are likely to see more trucks on the streets than cars, only some of which are actually going to the store. Although the traffic jams never quite materialized, there is definitely an increase in traffic in the sense that more people are now coming to the neighborhood. Perhaps this kind of traffic, which would seem like an average amount in many other areas of Brooklyn, is more of a blessing than anything else. Anyone who is involved with the community will tell you that Red Hook is one of Brooklyn’s oldest and bestkept secrets. With more and more people coming to the neighborhood, hopefully the secret can be let out, which can really only benefit the community. Although Ikea was heavily protested and disputed over before it opened up, none of the negatives predicted by the local activists have materialized. Only time will tell what happens, but the future is looking bright.

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When Red Hook and the Columbia Street Waterfront District were ripped apart from the rest of Brooklyn by the construction of the highways and tunnels that were built to provide better access to faraway places, we have struggled to keep up with our neighboring communities. For a long time it was a losing battle, as buildings crumbled, property values and commerce tumbled, leaving us a hollow shell of the vibrant communities we once were. However, much like Darwin’s finches who evolved separately from their mainland cousins on the Galapagos

islands, our communities have slowly adapted and grown, and what once was considered a disaster can now be considered a strength. Our communities are distinct from our Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill neighbors, a little tougher, a little more down to earth, perhaps a bit more practical, as we have learned to make do with what was given to us. It seems to us that a confluence of events, one of them being the resurgance of Brooklyn in general, another the positive effects of public policy that have made our streets safer and our communities more desirable, and

finally a dawning realization that the waterfront is a precious resource and a public good to be used by all, not to mention the hard work and vision of people like Greg O’Connell, that now is the time to really think about the future possibilities of a Red Hook that enjoys the benefits of waterfront parkland and an environmentally sustainable public transportation system coursing through, not over our neighborhood. Much has been made of the neighboring Brooklyn Bridge Park, a project that has taken basically 25 years to get to the point it is today. While some

point to it as a tremendous boon to Brooklyn, it is worth a deeper examination as it can serve as a model for what we might do, as well as what we should avoid. continued on page 6

It’s Been 22 Years sInce LIfe MagazIne reported on the death of our neIghBorhood Some of us remember the dark days of the crack epidemic of the 1980’s. While parts of New York City were on an upset following its near bankruptcy of 1976, many areas in Brooklyn suffered from the scourge of crack cocaine, especially our housing projects. Its extreme addictiveness and easy availability destroyed the lives of both addicts and the unfortunate victims of the criminality that accompanied it. Life magazine, once a pre-eminent weekly magazine but at this point a monthly publication, chose to feature the Red Hook Housing in a nine page story illustrating this devastation. Reporter Edward Barnes told the stories of nine sad cases, beginning thusly: “The Red Hook housing project in South Brooklyn has faced its share

of problems common to inner cities - crime, unemployment, teenage pregnancy - but the community always pulled together to battle the difficulties. Then three years ago crack hit the Hook, and today every one of the project’s 10,000 residents is either a dealer, a user or a hostage to the drug trade. Violent crimes have more than doubled in the past three years, and police attribute the entire increase to crack a potent form of cocaine. At the local clinic, 75 percent of the cases are crack related. But the true exttent of the epidemic cannot be measured in numbers. Crack has permeated every corner of the Hook’s 33 acres and 31 apartment buildings. Each day maintenance men raise and lower an American flag over a swarm of

The July 1988 edition of Life Magazine featured Mike Tyson and Robin Givens on the cover in their happier days, the paintings of Sylvester Stallone, the musings of Loudon Wainwright (Rufus’ grandfather) who muses on the possible causes of a recent rise in the world’s waves as well as 9 dismal pages of the devastating effect of crack on the Red Hook projects.

continued on page 6

We Investigate Rocky Sullivan’s Red Hook Pizza in our Food and Drink Section, page 14

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The Red Hook Star-Revue

July 2010

Inside the Star-Revue...

The Red Hook Star-Revue August 2010 FREE The Hook’s Local Newspaper

The Red Hook Star-Revue October 2010 FREE The Hook’s Local Newspaper

What Are All Those Ice Cream Trucks Doing on Sackett Street?


by Kevin O’Hanlon

f one is to walk down Sackett Street between Van Brunt and Columbia Streets, one of the first things that will catch their eye is a giant lot filled with ice cream trucks. One of the most familiar things from

the average Brooklynite’s lifetime, the ice cream truck holds somewhat of a special place in many locals’ hearts. Surely, seeing a lot filled with these trucks is bound to inspire curiosity in many people, as it is a rare event to witness more than one ice cream truck on the same block.

In fact, the ice cream truck lot has been at that location for over 60 years, housing many different types of food vendor trucks all year round. The lot was founded around the time that ice cream trucks were becoming very popular on the streets of Brooklyn, and were notoriously ran by organized crime. A great deal has changed since those times as ownership and control of the lot and its trucks has changed numerous times. Today, the lot is operated as John Red Inc. after taking the name of its manager and head mechanic. John Red has been involved with the business for almost twenty years and bought out the previous owner just six months ago. Today, the lot holds up to twenty-five trucks, half of which have private owners who rent parking space for them while the continued on page 3

Red Hook Court a Model for the Rest of the World


ust beyond the BQE and half a block west of Coffey Park, the Red Hook Center For Community Justice announces itself with a friendly wave of the banner bearing its name. The Center represents what is shaping up to be the most effective form of justice around: deep community involvement on the part of the long arm of the law.

Local Art Show Reviewed Pages 6-7

Christened on Conover Street in 1891, deathrap for 1021 German Immigrants 13 years later

NYC’s 2Nd Biggest disaster ever Had roots Near FairwaY doCk


he last time that the tragic demise of the General Slocum steamship was in the news was around the time of 9/11. Up until then, the Slocum disaster was the single biggest tragedy in NYC’s history. What brings the General Slocum to the attention of this newspaper is the fact that the ship was built right here in Red Hook and it’s christening took place right at the foot of Conover Street with much celebration and merriment. This epic event was described glowingly on page 2 of the April 19th editiion of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle from which we excerpt:

The General Slocum Caught Fire and burned to the waterline on June 15, 1904 - defective lifejackets were a factor in huge death toll.

“Red Hook Point in the neighborhood of Burtis’ shipyard, at the foot of Conover street, wore a holiday air yesterday afternoon and pretty much all of its denizens were overflowing with enthusiasm, for it was a red letter day for that section. There were flags flying everywhere in the balmy breeze and warm sunshine, and crowds of Red Hookers jammed their way into the shipyard and spread themselves all over the neighboring docks. The

event that occasioned all the excitement was the launch of the fine new steamer built for the Knickerbocker steamboat company as a companion to the well known Grand Republic and to assist her in carrying passengers to and from Rockaway Beach in the summer time. The new craft was begun only a little over two months ago, but with a large force of men was pushed thus early to the state of com-

As Alex Calabrese, the sole judge presiding over this one-room courthouse, explained it, “a community justice kind of approach decides to look at what brought that person to the back door - lets identify that, lets solve that, so that they don’t keep recycling through the system.” He added that such an approach creates, “a better result for the defendant, but most importantly for the community, and for the court system.”

by Eliza Ronalds-Hannon

The opportunity to break that cycle has proven compelling to courts all over the world - and their representatives have visited the Red Hook Center looking to imitate its model - because to do so would not only improve the quality of life for residents, but also save an enormous amount of money currently spent on criminal justice procedure. In a time of tighter and tighter budget cuts, that element is increasingly appealing. At the Red Hook community court, the judge doesn’t hand down sentences of jail time or probation. Instead, this court seeks to marry criminal justice with community need. “Conditions of release” often consist of job readiness training, addiction and/or trauma counseling, and community service. With this mission, RHCJC arrives at a genuinely productive form of “criminal justice,” rather than an essentially

retributive one. For instance: Instead of sending a man caught using cocaine to jail, which may very well push his family into poverty, desperation, and even crime, Judge Calabrese at the September 76th Precinct Judge Cala- Community Council meeting brese will send that man to drug treatment, and monitor his progress. Even in an age when diversion programs and drug treatment are somewhat available in traditional district courts, several factors distinguish the Red Hook Center. First, it processes please turn to page 3

Transportation Study for Red Hook Begins...

Can a Monorail be the Answer?


ed Hook’s past, present, and future is inextricably bound to transportation. As politicians and transport experts consider the best ways to link our neighborhood with the rest of the city, it is important that as residents we inform ourselves of the various options so that we can actively participate in the decision process. This article looks at one particular mode of transportation: the monorail. Monorail systems are commonly associated with amusement parks and airports – the Walt Disney World

This Month we expand our Arts Coverage...

Food! Music! Film! Painting! Sculpture! Books! Thought! Hanging Out!

by Matt Graber Liberty International Airport. But the use of monorail systems as urban “people movers” has been increasing in the United States and in countries around the world, most notably in Japan.

Monorail has the highest ridership of any monorail in the country, and just across the Hudson is AirTrain Newark, linking sections of Newark

35,000 people ride the Yui Rail every day in Okinawa, 12,000 ride the Moscow Monorail, and the Seattle Monorail, which was built in 1962 to connect Seattle Center and Westlake Center Mall, boasts a ridership of 1.5 million per year. The vast majority of “people mover”



Burlesque on Columbia Street

Stumptown Opens a Tasting Room

November 2010


funding - are struggling to get by on an ever-shortening supply of resources.

by Matt Graber If the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) - which serves all 654,657 New Yorkers currently living in Public Housing or Section 8 Programs - was a city in itself, it would be the 20th most highly populated city in the country. And the largest development in Brooklyn, with 2,878 apartments, is Red Hook Houses. Of course a city needs money to operate, maintain its infrastructure, renovate aging buildings, and build new ones. And, big surprise, the public housing metropolis is way behind. As a result, residents of Red Hook Houses - and of every other development within the five boroughs and throughout the country that rely on government

Last month at Red Hook Initiative the community organization located just outside Red Hook Houses on the corner of Hicks and West 9th Street a spacious, newly painted conference room was filled by a few dozen concerned citizens who had come to learn about a controversial new housing bill that, if passed through Congress, would overhaul the system by which public housing authorities acquire funding from the government. The bill is called PETRA - or the Preservation, Enhancement and Transformation of Rental Assistance Act - and (continued on page 6)

Baked Bakers Reinvent Classic Desserts in Their New Recipe Book By Josie Rubio

12 pagEs OF aRTs cOvERagE iNsidE!!!

please turn to page 5

It’s been five years since Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito left the advertising industry and opened their bakery and coffee shop, Baked, in Red Hook. Since then, the duo has earned praise from Martha Stewart and Oprah Winfrey, has been featured on the Today Show and the Food Network and has opened a second location in Charleston, South Carolina. Most recently, they’ve found time to write

The Roaring 20’s are in style with the Red Hook Ramblers p. 14

a follow-up to 2008’s Baked: New Frontiers in Baking, with Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented. ($29.95, Stewart, Tabori & Chang). The 75 recipes are culled from American classic desserts from around the country, as the pair conducted travel-related research, sorting through regional favorites and abandoned former dessert mainstays.

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Krista Dragomer on Joes Boat p. 10

The Red Hook Star-Revue 101 Union Street Brooklyn, NY 11231

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page 10

The Hook’s Local Newspaper

Will Private Funding Undermine Red Hook Housing?

You Can’t Get Ham on Fridays... turn to our new

Smokey’s Round-up at Sunnys

The Red Hook Star-Revue

continued on the back page

Drinks and Food to Go With It section,

Rock & Roll!

In the book’s intro, Lewis notes, ”In some instance, we left recipes virtually unchanged from the version we were given. In other cases, we performed a Baked makeover.” The book, with color photographs by Tina Rupp, includes a guide to kitchen tools and equipment, as well as recipes for breakfast items, tarts, pies, cookies, cakes and pastries. Each recipe has a short introduction about its origin, as well as a note about the preparation or ingredients. You’ll find homestyle classics, such as the ubiquitous JelloO Salad—here given as its Eastern incarnation of strawberry, cream cheese frosting with a pretzel crust. Even some of the recipe names, such as Sunday Night Cake, bring to mind index cards in grandmothers’ handwriting. Lewis and Poliafito share the recipe for their Aunt Sassy Cake, which contains pistachios and

Photo credit: Tina Rupp

is frosted with honey vanilla buttercream. Twists on familiar classics include Bananas Foster fritters and Grasshopper Bars, a take on the cocktail and pie that in this incarnation has a brownie base, light mint filling and a chocolate ganache top. Two dessert favorites, one from the (continued on page 13)

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December 2010

Krista Dragomer


DON’T HATE, CURATE! Yoohoo Uhuru I have a crush on a Plamp. I know what you regular ArtView readers are thinking: here we go again. But with fall waning I have a wandering eye. Warn warm wood antique planner with a crisp bulb fastened smartly into the base, this little light is just the thing to brighten dark winter nights.

Maria Cristina Rueda, “Chandelier”, mixed glass, wood, metal. FOUND highlights the talents of the Uhuru team in their newly acquired mixed-use space. Upcycling is sexy in Brooklyn and Uhuru, a sustainable design and build studio working with reclaimed and repurposed materials located at 160 Van Brunt Street, has succeeded in creating collections of thoughtful and elegant pieces that attractively combine the time and grime worn aesthetic with clean, contemporary design. Since Uhuru was founded by Jason Horvath in 2004, it has created strong works, recognized for their innovative use of materials, that can be seen in the Brooklyn Museum’s permanent collection and enjoyed in the lobby of New Museum.

Matt Cacippo, “Plamp”, antique wood plane, low-watt bulb.

The works in the FOUND show combine unusual materials in designs playful, clever and elegant. Other bright stars of the show (it is a herculean effort resisting a flood of light puns here, that, um, turn me on) include the chandelier of delicate branches and glass jars by Maria Cristina Rueda. The interplay of fragile and strong elements give the chandelier a fairy tale quality, as though it was kept aloft not by cables but by an incantation.

And less luminescent but lighthearted and weirdly alluring are the ‘felted’ cat pieces, Miles + Attila, by Bill Hilgendorf–who doesn’t love a good hairball?

Bill Hilgendorf, “Miles + Attila”, felted cat hair, liquid latex.

As for the new gallery space, Uhuru is leaving the possibilities open, with an intention to alternate between showroom and exhibition space. With the location, space, smart direction and a talented staff, the future of this company looks (wait for it) bright.

December 2010

Red Hook Star-Revue Page 19

Books: W

hen Torrey Maldonado, author of young adult novel Secret Saturdays (Putnam Juvenile, 2010), was growing up in the Red Hook Houses, from the 1970s to 2000, he was discouraged from writing. “I was pressured by some relatives and people in the neighborhood to put the pen down,” recalls Maldonado, who has been a sixth grade teacher at Middle School 88 in Park Slope for nearly 10 years. “I was called ‘soft.’ I was told that if I kept writing, I wouldn’t be a real man.” Secret Saturdays is the story of Justin and Sean, two half-black, half-Puerto Rican sixth-graders who are best friends growing up in the Red Hook Houses. Justin admires Sean for fighting with his words, not his fists. But when Sean starts taking Saturday trips with his mom, he won’t tell Justin where he’s going, and he begins to change, picking fights and hanging out with a different crowd. It’s up to Justin to figure out where Sean disappears to on Saturdays and if he can stop his friend from spinning out of control. The inspiration for the book was not only from Maldonado’s own experiences with his peers and family growing up in Red Hook, but also his years as a conflict resolution trainer and middle school teacher. He also drew from the experiences of the children and families he’s worked with the last 13 years. “It’s emotionally autobiographical for me,” he says of the novel. Maldonado obviously didn’t listen to those who tried to steer him away from his love of writing, and he credits his mom, Carmen, for creating a supportive network for him while growing up. Although he admits as a young man, he didn’t always appreciate the five vocabulary words she assigned him every day to earn his allowance. “At the time, I just felt like, ‘Why are you giving me more work, mom? This is so unnecessary,’” he says, laughing and feigning exasperation. But Maldonado became one of the only people in his family to finish high school, and he went on to graduate from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie and earn a master’s degree in educational administration. “I realize that my mom was laying the necessary foundation for everything I’m doing right now,” he says. His mom had

New Book set in Red Hook Houses, a Timeless Tale of Growing Up By Josie Rubio

him transferred from P.S. 27 to P.S. 15, which was run by Principal Patrick F. Daly at the time. “Patrick Daly had a vision for young Red Hook youth,” he says. Maldonado says his mother and some of his teachers made him realize “that that world was so much bigger than the Red Hook projects,” he says. “But the issues that exist in the Red Hook projects also exist outside of Red Hook’s boundaries.” Looking back, Maldando says, “I survived what I feel is a boy crisis.” And this is at the heart of Secret Saturdays. “There’s this pressure for boys to be hard, to run with the pack, and to turn away from doing things that are outside of a narrow definition of manhood.” That definition is a threat not only to the book’s characters, but to kids in Red Hook and beyond. “First, you have to act tough,” Maldonado says. “Two, you have to

“He told me he and another boy who had targeted me were serving time for the murder of my school principal, Patrick Daly.” avoid opening up about your feelings, your challenges. Third, you have to disassociate from school, from relationships and anything that doesn’t make you seem strong.” The last part of the equation: “If you’re punked or someone challenges you or tries to deface you, you have to step up and protect that false bravado.” As a middle school teacher, however, Maldonado says this isn’t just an issue with boys, especially in light of the recent attention bullying has received nationwide. “It’s not just the boys who at earlier ages are acting harder,” he says. “Girls in a lot of places are acting harder at younger ages too.” Maldonado was no stranger to bullying growing up, recalling being jumped in junior high school. “Fast

forward,” he says. “I’m at Vassar College and I’m tutoring in a nearby prison. While I was in the prison, I ran into one of those boys. He told me he and another boy who had targeted me were serving time for the murder of my school principal, Patrick Daly.” Daly was killed Author Torrey Maldonado in 1992, caught in drug-related crossfire, and P.S. 15 now bears Daly’s name. “I wish that I could have somehow stepped into a time machine and gone back and put the same network that got me to where I am today around the boys that were charged with Patrick Daly’s murder,” Maldonado says. “It would have avoided senseless tragedies.” Instead, Maldonado wrote Secret Saturdays, he says, “to help young people really awaken to the spectrum of bullying and where bullying behavior and where wrong choices can lead you.” The book grew from an essay he had been writing three years ago. “I was writing an article for a national magazine about my manhood and about how my masculinity was shaped by the men who were absent in my life in Red Hook, and also how my masculinity was sometimes shaped by negative role modeling and negative advice.” When a student he was working with came into his office and broke down into tears, revealing that his father had recently abandoned his family, it struck a chord with Maldonado. He also noticed how the boy wouldn’t let anyone else see him cry, and decided to write the book to reach out to more kids, who are ashamed to ad-

(continued on next page)

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Page 20 Red Hook Star-Revue

Owner Elizabeth Marte has been serving up some of Brooklyn Heights’ finest Latin from since 1997. Specialties include Mofungo, and Rotisserie Chicken. Latin homecooking to warm your soul!

December 2010


Bittersweet, Haunting Show Opens at Gallery Small New York, a New Red Hook Art Space By Josie Rubio


he current exhibition at new Red Hook art space Small New York Gallery, 416 Van Brunt Street, is bittersweet for owner Alexandra Corbin. “Haunted New York,” on display through December 26, is a collection of drawings and paintings by Corbin’s mother, Madeleine Kraeler Corbin, who died at age 88, shortly before the November 28 opening of her first gallery show. Alexandra Corbin, a resident of Carroll Gardens, says she had asked her mother to show her work for more than 20 years, but finally succeeded earlier this year, shortly before Madeleine was diagnosed with the cancer that claimed her life this fall. To show her mother’s work was one of the main reasons she had been inspired to open her own gallery, which opened its doors on October 31, Corbin says. Never had an interest in showing her art The elder Corbin was trained at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and Carnegie Tech in the fine arts program. “Her work as an illustrator was a natural development of her intense formal training,” Alexandra Corbin says. But her mother, who worked in her later years as an architect and interior designer, was never interested in showing her work, content instead with creating a “private collection of images,” says Corbin. “She didn’t want to be scrutinized.” Half of the “Haunted New York” show features Madeleine Corbin’s oil paintings, while the other half is comprised of black and white paintings and drawings created after the suicide of photographer Diane Arbus, with whom Madeleine attended The Fieldston School. When contacted after Arbus’ death, “My mother was shocked that her beautiful friend had taken her own life.” After this point, Madeleine Corbin dealt with themes of isolation and explored a dark, melancholy side in her works. Alexandra Corbin says her mother was very supportive of her career in art and as a painter. She has been the director of research at the New York Historical Society, the associate film documentarian at The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C, and also was the president of Kraeler Art Research, working with the leading American galleries that dealt in 19th and 20th century American Art. She also has created interactive, online coloring sites for children, and most recently showed her work at Chelsea’s Noho Gallery, one of the oldest artists’ cooperatives in New York City.

Also fueling Corbin’s desire to open her own gallery was her frustration with many established artists and galleries, who “were unwilling to support new artists,” she says. “Some artists delight in new talent, while others feel threatened,” she says. Gallery will have a New York focus Gallery Small New York will show a mixture of emerging and established artists. The January show will be late 19th and early 20th century depictions of New York. As the gallery’s name implies, there will be a New York focus to many of the pieces shown—but don’t expect paintings of the Manhattan skyline. “That’s why it’s called Gallery Small New York,” Corbin says. “It’s about the less obvious views of New York.” Corbin says she would also like to do a show with graffiti artists. “I think they’re phenomenal draftsmen.” An upcoming show of works from Washington D.C. autistic artists, she says, “Flies in the face of the common belief that autistic artists don’t have a point of view.” Many believe that autistic people are gatherers and collectors of images and information, rather than decipherers and interpreters. However, it is the altering and interpretation of images that sets human beings—and art—apart, Corbin says. “Our species, rather than finding and collecting, we altered to create a new image,” she says. Currently, Corbin is at Harvard University in the department of neuropsychology and neuroscience and is exploring this subject in a book she is in the process of writing, called Tracks of My Fears, which “explores the origins of our imaging impulse.” Drawing ability is important When speaking to Corbin, the ability to draft and draw comes up quite frequently. “I’m not interested in people who don’t know how to draw,” she says. “That cuts out anybody who thinks art is anything you slap on the wall.” This means the gallery won’t show conceptual art that is simply “found, isolated and presented.” For example, she says she would not consider a nail simply presented art—the nail would have to be used to create something different. It becomes art, she says, “if objects are used as a medium to create something that’s different.” Corbin also wants the gallery to be an unintimidating space where anyone can feel free to drop by and enjoy the artwork, something that’s becoming rare in art hot-

Secret Saturdays (continued from previous page) mit to any problems at home. “As kid growing up in Red Hook, I hated that my friends and I had to pretend that there was nothing wrong with us or that nothing was wrong with our families,” he says. “I see that habit being practiced by the young people who I teach and it’s really crippling. Learning to keep secrets at an early age snowballs into an adult habit of keeping secrets and trying to appear perfect.” Maldonado wants to show kids that no one is perfect. “What it’s really about is how you work with your life and make it the best life possible for you.” The approach to bullying in Secret Saturdays garnered the attention of the Red Hook Community Justice Center, which asked Maldonado to help train its AmeriCorps workers. He credits the Justice Center, which opened in 2000, with raising quality of life in Red Hook. (Maldonado says of the infamous 1988 LIFE magazine story that dubbed Red Hook “the crack capital of America, “90 percent of the people photographed were either close with my family or I knew them.”) Maldonado, who lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two-year-old daughter, says he visits Red Hook nearly every week. “Either I’m visiting family living there or collaborating with agencies that help youth to make best choices like I was encouraged to do.” Among the other positive influences he sees in the community are the Red Hook Initiative, P.S. 15, Brother ’Melo Basketball, Added Value’s Red Hook Community Farm and Falconworks Artists Group. “Red Hook right now is teeming with programs that are transforming youth and it makes me proud,” he says. “As a schoolteacher, this is what I want. Also, that kid in me who had narrowly escaped some of the deadly Red Hook traps is happy that our youth there have more supports and networks to catch them from falling through the cracks.” Maldonado says people of all backgrounds and ages tell him that they can relate to the timeless tale about growing up presented in his book. “While Secret Saturdays is set in the urban environment of the Red Hook housing projects, e-mails have been coming in to me from people of all backgrounds, from preteens all the way to adults, and they say the book resonates with them,” he says. “So, yes, it’s an urban fiction about two guy friends and how youth can spin out of control, yet the book is really about bullying, tough choices, friendship challenges and the struggle to be the true you. That’s a story that everybody can relate to.” To learn more about Secret Saturdays and read an excerpt, visit

December 2010

The work of Madeleine Kraeler Corbin has been compared with the work of Edward Hopper spots. “You have a couple of things hung up on a white wall and who comes in?” she says of spaces that exude austere, elitist surroundings. “Somebody in a fur coat or some collector in search of a status symbol.” She also would like the gallery to become an art resource, and she says she is interested in inviting public schools to the gallery. A shelf at the back of the gallery will be home to art books for visitors to peruse, and eventually, she plans to offer complimentary coffee and snacks from 3 to 4 pm, on days the gallery is open. On Friday and Saturday evenings, Small Gallery New York will eventually showcase emerging musicians, who will play in the space for donations. Small changes are still being made to the gallery. A red wall, for example, will be painted a putty color, and several chairs that now populate the space will be replaced with benches. “This is not the traditional stark white gallery,” Corbin says. “It follows the tradition of softer-colored walls that actually highlight color far more effectively.” For now, Corbin is surrounded by her mother’s artworks that she has been trying to bring to the public for decades. “It’s a chance to come full circle, that’s the touching thing about this show,” she says. Gallery Small New York is open Thursday through Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm.

Dry Dock’s December Tasting Events Sure to Put You in the Holiday Spirits by Josie Rubio

Dry Dock Wine + Spirits has teamed up with several local businesses to add a unique twist to two free December tasting events. On December 4 from 4 to 7 pm, the tasting of Laird’s Applejack will be accompanied by a taste of Apple Upside-Down Cake from Baked, 359 Van Brunt Street. And following the local distillery tasting from 4 to 7 pm on December 11, featuring tastes from Breuckelen Distilling Company and Kings County Distillers, Red Hook restaurant Fort Defiance, 365 Van Brunt St., will feature cocktails using the spirits sampled. “The local partnerships come about because Dry Dock is a Red Hook neighborhood store,” says Elana Effrat, buyer for Dry Dock. “We know our neighbors and like to support the local businesses.” At the Applejack tasting, featuring the liquor straight-up and in a cocktail, people can enter a raffle to win an entire Baked Apple Upside-Down Cake, which is made with the liquor. Plus, there’s a 10 percent discount on Laird’s products. Those who stop by the shop on December 11 will get a chance to taste Breuckelen Distilling Company’s gin, made in Sunset Park using New York grains, as well as juniper, ginger and rosemary botanicals. Shoppers can also taste Kings County Distillery “moonshine”—unaged corn whiskey from the first legal whiskey distillery in Brooklyn since Prohibition. The Williamsburg-based operations are more sophisticated than a bathtub; small batches are made using organic New York corn and barley from Scotland. The day of the tasting Fort Defiance will have specialty cocktails featuring the spririts. For a preview, check out the restaurant’s current drink featuring Breuckelen Gin, called the Corpse Reviver. For a full list of Dry Dock’s tasting events, see the Food & Drink section of the Calendar.

Red Hook Star-Revue Page 21

Riddle Me This: A Look at Three Local Trivia Nights


rivia is from the Latin word ‘Trivium,” which translates to “a place where three ways meet” and was used to describe grammar, rhetoric and logic—considered thousands of years ago to be the basics of education. Today, we consider trivia useless facts that can make you appear more knowledgeable, start an interesting conversation, or win you a bar tab. I visited three local watering holes to find out where you can finally put your knowledge of Star Wars movies or underwater basket weaving to good use.

Before heading out to a trivia night, I suggest building a team of people specialized in different realms of knowledge—for example, a sports enthusiast, a music expert and current events authority. As for basic etiquette, cell phones are a no-no at all of these games — no cheating! Also, never yell out an answer. It may seem like a good idea at the time, but it works against you. Happy gaming!

by Todd Satterfield

Rocky Sullivan’s

Host: Sean Crowley Thursdays at 8:30 pm FREE

In addition to delicious pizza and a decent tap selection, Rocky’s trivia night provides you and your team with the opportunity to put those big brains to use for drinks. Seven rounds included a picture round, Name That Tune and history questions. Although Sean, the usual host, was absent the night I attended, his replacement for the night, David, did a fine job. A free round of drinks for the winning team of four is the grand prize and there are bonus questions between each round that give your team a chance at free shots of the bartender’s choice. This game was challenging and fun, but I would suggest a bigger grand prize.

Sugar Lounge

Hosts: Maeve and Robin Thursdays at 8:30 pm, biweekly FREE

This fledgling trivia night just started in November; however, that’s not to say

it wasn’t well thought-out or fun. The game is comprised of three rounds of 10 questions hosted by the friendly hosts. Rounds are played for shots and included current events, general knowledge and other surprises. I found the categories of this game a bit on the nerdy side—and this comes from a trivia buff (or maybe it’s just that I’ve never watched Buffy The Vampire Slayer). As an alternate prize to shots, there was a DVD box of prizes that included some interesting choices, such as an ’80s teen movie and a TV compilation of—what else?—Buffy. I think this game has lots of potential, still some consideration to variation in topics and bringing the difficulty bar down a notch or two would make it a big hit.

Bait & Tackle

Host: Craig Lacourt Mondays (bi-weekly) at 8:30 pm FREE This seven-round game was my favorite of the three. Even though usual host Craig was out of town, his replacements for the night, Denise Oswald and Jorge Astoria, put a refreshing spin on the game while including some of the usual topics which included Red Hook history, rock and roll stage names and a physical challenge that boiled down to transfer-

Todd when he’s not cooking or guessing ring 10 M&M’s from one shot glass to another via drinking straw. I lost this challenge, which only proves what I already knew; I don’t suck. Prizes include a generous $50 bar tab for grand-prize winners and a “booby” prize of a free round of Bud Light Lime for the lowest scores of the night. Everybody wins! The crowd was lively and fun and the event was well-attended. Todd Satterfield is creator of Smartass Rock & Roll trivia and is an official host for the National Trivia Association. He can also be found in the kitchen at Brooklyn Ice House.

Off the Hook: Six Young Playwrights Get Their Chance in Falconworks Project


t’s a rare 12- or 13-year-old who can say that he or she has written a play—and has seen it brought to the stage by theater professionals. But six young playwrights will have that opportunity this month, when their plays will be presented at P.S. 15 Patrick F. Daly School, 71 Sullivan Street, as part of the Off the Hook program through Falconworks Artists Group. The free shows, December 3 at 7 pm and December 4 at 3 pm, will showcase six plays that are about 10 minutes long, covering an array of topics that deal with current issues, says Reg Flowers, founder and artistic director of Falconworks Artists Group, a Red Hook-based nonprofit with a mission of social change through theater. “The playwrights are allowed to write whatever they choose. This year we have plays dealing with high school romance, parental neglect, bullying, stereotyping, getting into college and getting involved with drugs,” he says. “I believe our audiences will find the plays surprisingly complex considering our playwrights are 12 and 13 years old.” The performances are the culmination of an eight-week program. Participants meet Tuesdays, from 5:30 to 7 pm, with two Falconworks staff members, an intern and six volunteer adults, who are theater professionals, artists, youth advocates and educators. Since the program started in 2004, the list of volunteers has grown and has included Tony Award nominee Saidah Arrika Ekulona and Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon. “What makes our volunteers special is that they are coming to support not only the youth, but the community of Red Hook—to be a part of this amazing community,” Flowers says. Towards the end of the workshop phase, participants are given more challenging assignments. “During the workshop the playwrights are asked how their play might support a personal goal, as well as support their community in some way,” Flowers says.

Page 22 Red Hook Star-Revue

by Josie Rubio

Then the group is taken on an all-day writing retreat, where the bulk of the plays are written. “This year we took the group to Vassar College where the plays were written and then given a staged reading by Vassar theater students,” Flowers says. All this leads up to the performances, directed by experienced theater directors and cast with a combination of professional actors, members of Falconworks’ adult acting company and youth volunteers, who generally take on smaller roles and act as the stage crew. “There is also something powerful in having your communication supported by a team of 70 adults, working to make your play into a production,” Flowers says. It’s something Flowers knows about firsthand, which explains his commitment to the Off the Hook program, for ages 11 to 14, as well as Riot Act, Falconworks’ comedy program for people in the community ages 14 to 20. When Flowers was in the third grade, he wrote a play and wanted it produced by his school. While his school allowed him to produce the play, the rest was up to him. “I was given full responsibility for casting, directing, getting folks to rehearsal, making costumes which I sewed by hand—and I even played a role,” he says. “I was eight years old, mind you. In 30 years it stands out as the experience that shaped me as an artist, activist and educator.”

Program began six years ago

The Off the Hook program was created six years ago, when Flowers was working with a group of teen peer educators who were looking for a way to address HIV and drug abuse prevention. “We decided theater would be a powerful tool to educate about these issues,” he says. “Those teens became the first Off the Hook participants.” For the past five years, Off the Hook programs have been held every spring and fall. Currently, Falconworks is accepting applications for the spring program. Though the group primarily focuses on

Red Hook and South Brooklyn, any participant who is willing to attend all sessions and commit to the work would be considered, says Flowers. Participants are interviewed, and need to commit to the responsibility of attending the workshops, writing the play, and spending full Saturdays rehearsing and performing in their work. “The program also requires commitment from the families and a real clarity from parent/guardians about the importance of signing on from start to finish, getting their children there ontime and sticking it out even when the work seem very hard,” he says. However, hard work pays off. “Each participant has a different experience and takeaway,” Flowers says. “We’re offering them an opportunity to have their voices heard in the community and to help

create a positive change in Red Hook by bringing together diverse neighbors on a regular basis. We try to select a diverse group for each round so that people who wouldn’t normally get to spend time together are getting to know each other and, hopefully, develop respect for their differences.” Previous Off the Hook participants have continued creative pursuits—one participant is the host of a show for Brooklyn Independent Television, another went on to study fashion design, and a third has his own dance company. “We can’t say doing Off the Hook gave them the inspiration to do those things, but we hope they picked up some skill doing the program that will help them succeed,” Flowers says.

Wed., Dec. 8 9 pm PM



December 2010

Dance: B

eing a choreographer new to New York City can be lonely, says Shannon Hummel, artistic instructor for CORA Dance, based in Red Hook. “You’re in the studio and you’re with your dancers or you’re by yourself,” she says. “And you are just kind of wondering what’s going on out there in the world.” Knowing what to do and finding resources can be intimidating. Out of Hummel’s residency at Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX) grew the idea of a festival where choreographers would have a chance to meet and interact before a performance showcase. Hummel says she and fellow choreographer Monica Bill Barnes, “wanted to see if there was a way that artists could access one another, rather than feeling like they were walking into a room with a bunch of strangers and performers.” And so the Upstart Festival, now its third year, came into existence. Curated by Hummel and BAX Executive Director, Marya Warshaw, the festival is holding an open call for modern dance choreographers on December 3 from 11 am to 2 pm at BAX, 421 Fifth Avenue in Park Slope. Applicants must have no more than three years of experience showing their own work in New York City. Audition slots will be given on a first come/first serve basis. The choreographers then show 10 minutes of work to Hummel and Warshaw and explain his or her process at live auditions, held December 18 from 4:30 to 7 pm and December 19 from 2 to 8 pm.

Upstart Festival Enter’s its Third Year By Josie Rubio

Hummel says that live auditions are becoming rare in days of video and digital auditions. “Everyone relies on videotape, and I think that kind of does a disservice to people who do more intimate work or subtle work that is really riveting live, but may not necessarily read on video,” Hummel says. Hummel and Warshaw, who typically audition about 30 to 50 choreographers will then select 12 to 14 choreographers to present their work in a March BAX showcase. The mission of the festival, says Hummel, is to find “artists who seem to have a really strong choreographic vision and who are interested in really seeking out choreography as a career.”

Rehearse at Richards Street

From the time artists are selected to the presentation of their work at BAX, they receive the CORA dancer and staff rate of $3 per hour at CORA’s Red Hook rehearsal space at 201 Richards Street. “I try to make myself as accessible as possible if they need feedback, or if they want to meet with me and use me as a resource,” Hummel says. All choreographers must attend a round table at BAX on January 25, 2011, from 7 to 9 pm, to meet and for orientation with the BAX Theater. Katie Dean, a dancer with CORA, was a participant in last year’s Upstart Festival. “I was new to the city,” she says. “It’s a great opportunity to meet other choreographers in the field who are in the same—or a similar—place in their careers. The roundtable discussions were a great opportunity to touch

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good meeting place for those starting out in the field. “Getting to know other artists helps you feel like you have a support system,” she says. The Upstart Festival performances will be held at BAX on Friday, March 4 at 8 pm; Saturday, March 5 at 8 pm, and Sunday, March 6 at 6 pm. Each choreographer’s work is shown once during the course of the festival. Advance tickets are $12 and $7 for low income; door prices are $15 and $8 for low income.

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December 2010

base and share stories with similarlyminded people.” Meeting and sharing ideas and getting feedback is necessary for choreographers, and “builds up their tenacity for enduring a lot of rejection,” Hummel says. “I’ve been choreographing in New York for 15 years, and it is the other choreographers who are in that same community—who are in the studio every day and doing this thing that we feel compelled to do—that keep you going.” The round table is a

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Caselnova 215 Columbia St Brooklyn, NY 11231 (718) 522-7500 Red Hook Star-Revue Page 23

Loaded Questions: A conversation with Red Hook bartender Jamie Mandel Nine years ago, before the bar B61 existed, Jamie was sitting in the vacant lot at the corner of Degraw and Columbia Street, mixing drinks for passers-by. A year later, the bar was established, along with the popular neighborhood restaurant Alma, and Jamie’s been behind the bar slinging drinks and off-color comments ever since. Jon Tyler and Gene Callahan sat down with Jamie at B61.

Jamie Mandel is ready for business

Star-Revue Restaurant Guide RED HOOK

BAKED 359 Van Brunt St., (718) 222-0345. Bakery serving cupcakes, cakes, coffee, pastries, lunch items. Free wi-fi. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. AE, DS, MC, V.

RED HOOK LOBSTER POUND 284 Van Brunt St., (646) 326-7650. Maine lobster rolls, Connecticut rolls and whoopie pies. Open for lunch and dinner Wed-Sun. MC; V.

ROCKY SULLIVAN’S 34 Van Dyke St., (718) 246-8050. Irish pub with brick-oven pizza, sandwiches and Red THE BROOKLYN ICE HOUSE Hook Lobster Pound feasts Fri 6-9 pm, 318 Van Brunt St., (718) 222-1865. Sat 5-8 pm. Open for lunch and dinner Burgers, barbecue and pulled pork daily. AE, DS, MC, V. sandwiches. Cash only. Open for lunch and dinner daily.


DEFONTE’S SANDWICH SHOP 379 Columbia St., (718) 855-6982. Variety of large sandwiches, including roast beef and 5 BURRO CAFE 127 Columbia St., potato and egg. Open for breakfast (718) 875-5515. Mexican. Open for and lunch Mon-Sat. Cash only. lunch and dinner Tue-Fri, brunch and DIEGO’S RESTAURANT 116 dinner Sat-Sun. AE, DS, MC, V. Sullivan St., (718) 625-1616. Mexican and Latin American cuisine. Open for lunch and dinner MonSat. AE, DS, MC, V.

ALMA 187 Columbia St., (718) 6435400. Modern Mexican fare. Open for dinner Mon-Fri, brunch and dinner Sat-Sun. AE, DS, MC, V.

FORT DEFIANCE 365 Van Brunt St., (347) 453-6672. Brunch, sandwiches and small plates. Open for breakfast Tue; breakfast, lunch and dinner Mon, Wed-Sun. AE, DS, MC, V.

CALEXICO CARNE ASADA 122 Union St., (718) 488-8226. Tex-Mex burritos, tacos, quesadillas and more. Open for lunch and dinner daily. Cash only.

THE GOOD FORK 391 Van Brunt St., (718) 643-6636. Menu varies; dishes often include pork dumplings, roast chicken, parpadelle with boar ragù and steak and eggs Korean style. Open for dinner Tue-Sun. AE, MC, V. HOME/MADE 293 Van Brunt St., (347) 223-4135. Salads, sandwiches, cheese, charcuterie and brunch. Open for dinner Wed-Fri, brunch and dinner Sat-Sun. AE, DS, MC, V. HOPE & ANCHOR 347 Van Brunt St., (718) 237-0276. Large menu that includes burgers, entrees and all-day breakfast. Open for lunch and dinner Mon-Fri; breakfast, lunch and dinner Sat-Sun. AE, DS, MC, V. IKEA, One Beard St., (718) 2464532. Swedish meatballs, pasta, wraps and sandwiches; breakfast items include eggs and cinnamon buns. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. AE, DS, MV, V.

CASELNOVA 214 Columbia St., (718) 522-7500. Traditional Northern and Southern Italian dishes. Open for lunch and dinner Tue-Sun. AE, DS, MC, V. THE COFFEE DEN 144 Union St, (718) 875-8720. Sandwiches, pastries and coffee. Free wi-fi. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. FERNANDO’S FOCACCERIA RESTAURANT 151 Union St., (718) 855-1545. Southern Italian fare, including pasta and panelle. Open for lunch and dinner Mon-Sat. Cash only. FULTUMMY’S 221 Columbia St., (347) 725-3129. Coffee shop with sandwiches. Free wi-fi. Open for lunch and dinner Tue-Sat, lunch Sun. Cash only. HOUSE OF PIZZA & CALZONES 132 Union St., (718) 6249107. Pizza, calzones and sandwiches. Open for lunch and dinner daily. Cash only.

IRO 115 Columbia St., (718) 2548040. Japanese cuisine, including suKEVIN’S 277 Van Brunt St., (718) shi and noodle dishes. Open for lunch 596-8335. Seafood, seasonal and and dinner daily. AE, MC, V. local fare. Open for dinner ThuJAKE’S BARBECUE RESTAUSat, brunch Sat-Sun. AE, MC, V. RANT 189 Columbia St., (718) MARK’S PIZZA 326 Van Brunt 522-4531. Kansas City-style barbecue, including baby back ribs. Open for St., (718) 624-0690. Open for lunch and dinner daily. AE, MC, V. lunch and dinner daily. AE, MC, V.

Page 24 Red Hook Star-Revue

Star Revue: What’s in that blue drink you just made for Gene? Jamie Mandel: Mostly Windex. SR: Is that to keep Gene from streaking? JM: At all costs. SR: What’s the best drink you make? JM: Bourbon. Neat. SR: What’s special about your bourbon neat? JM: I make sure to put in my tender love and care. And I know my bourbon. SR: What’s in your pocket right now? JM: A U-Lock, a ball gag, and a Popeye’s receipt. SR: So you’re coming from a date? JM: Ha, yes I am actually. SR: How did it go? JM: The date went great, she gave me a kiss and a glass of sangria. SR: How drunk are you right now? JM: .5 SR: Not sure what that means. Who’s your bartending idol? JM: Jerry Scott. SR: If you were to open your own bar, what would you call it? JM: My mom owned a health food store called The Way Back, which I always liked. SR: Who’s your favorite customer? JM: Women. SR: What’s the most amazing thing you’ve seen while working behind a bar? JM: One of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen was when one of my friends came in, with five of his friends, and they all did the Bu Challenge. SR: What’s the Bu challenge? JM: Five shots of coconut rum for each person, as a race. SR: That sounds terrible. JM: No, it’s great. It’s like drinking a bottle of sunscreen. SR: And who could resist that? You’re very spiritual, is that what keeps you grounded? JM: Um, I’m not very spiritual. Going to school full time keeps me grounded. Keeps me humble, drives me crazy. I started going to school to get out of the party lifestyle. SR: So you’re out of the party lifestyle? JM: I would say I’m out of the party lifestyle. I like to have a drink, but it’s not my whole lifestyle. I like to go to shows. I like to have fun. SR: What would you say to someone else who wants to become a pervert? JM: And if you have any questions, come talk to me. SR: Where does one buy an exceedingly explicit t-shirt? JM: I don’t buy them, they just come to me. SR: Like manna from heaven? JM: From girlfriends. Actually, this one I bought at Freebird. SR: How do you like working for the owner of Tony’s Roof Top Taco Shack? JM: I love it. I love tacos. I could eat tacos for days. SR: How long does it take you to floss? JM: You’re cut off. Jon Tyler and Gene Callahan have never won a Bu Challenge, but they’ve been, like, that close.

KOTOBUKI BISTRO 192 Columbia St., (718) 246-7980. Japanese and Thai cuisine, including sushi, teriyaki, pad Thai and special maki named after area streets. Open for lunch Mon-Sat, dinner 7 days. AE, MC, V. LILLA CAFE 126 Union St., (718) 8555700. Seasonal fare, hormone and antibiotic-free meats, bread baked on premises and homemade pasta from Chef Erling Berner. BYOB. Open for dinner Tue-Sun, lunch Thu-Fri, brunch Sat-Sun. MC, V. MAZZAT 208 Columbia St., (718) 8521652. Mediterranean. Open for lunch and dinner daily. AE, MC, V.

SUGAR LOUNGE 147 Columbia St., (718) 6432880. Coffee bar, cocktails and breakfast (scones, croissants, muffins). Free wi-fi. Open for breakfast Mon-Fri, bar open nightly. AE. TEEDA THAI CUISINE 218 Columbia St., (718) 855-1700. Thai dishes include papaya salad, dumplings and massamun curry. Open for lunch and dinner Mon-Sat, dinner Sun. MC, V.

Credit Card Guide AE—American Express DS—Discover MC—MasterCard V—Visa

PETITE CREVETTE 144 Union St., (718) 855-2632. Seafood, including corn-andcrab chowder, salmon burgers and cioppino, from Chef Neil Ganic. BYOB. Open for lunch and dinner Tue-Sat. Cash only.

December 2010

Announcing The Fourth Annual Columbia Waterfront District Tree Lighting Ceremony Friday December 10 6pm - 8 pm

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Red Hook Star-Revue Page 25

Music & Arts Calendar CHILDREN

Bait & Tackle—320 Van Brunt St., (718) 7974892. Children’s Event, 12/4. Call or go to for more info.


Brooklyn General—128 Union St., (718) 2377753. Beginning Knitting Session E, 12/20, 27 & 1/3 from 7-9 pm, $120; Project Knitting Session E (intermediate-advanced), 12/20, 27 & 1/3 from 7-9 pm, $120; Finishing Tricks and Tips, 12/21 & 28 from 6-8 pm, $80; Sewing for the Holidays, 12/18 from 9:30-11:30 am, $40; Sewing Pajama Bottom and Zippered Pouch, 12/2, 9, 16 & 23 from 7-9 pm, $160; Sewing Dress Session B (intermediate to advanced), 12/1, 8, 15, 22 & 29 from 6:30-8:30 pm, $200; Patternmaking Workshop Session A Stylizing Your Patterns, 12/12 from 10 am-noon, $50; Introduction to Embroidery Session A, 12/19 from 11 am-1 pm, $50. Registration for class must be completed 24 hours in advance. Everbrite Merchantile Co.—351 Van Brunt St., (718) 522-6121. Open-level yoga with Felecia Maria, bring your own mat, 12/1, 8, 15, 22 & 29 from 7:30-8:30 pm. Donations accepted. Jalopy Theatre and School of Music—315 Columbia St., (718) 395-3214. Monthly Advanced Mandolin Workshop, with Joe Brent, 12/18 at noon, $25; Vocal Harmony Basics, 12/19 at 1 pm, $20; Vocal Harmonies Duo and Trio, 12/19 at 3 pm, $25.


Red Burlesque—A Holiday Spooktacular, 12/11, music at 11 pm, show at midnight, Sugar Lounge, 147 Columbia St., (718) 6432880. FREE. Sugar Shack Burlesque—featuring RunAroundSue, Legs Malone, Fern Appeal and Airin Siren of the Skies, with The Peculiar Gentlemen, 12/18 at 9 pm, Jalopy Theatre and School of Music, 315 Columbia St., (718) 395-3214. Cover $10.


Art Lot—206 Columbia Street, at Sackett St., Media Mix x 4, works by Cynthia Lawson Jaramillo, Babs Reingold, John Roach and Mary Schiliro, through 1/9. On view 24/7. Brooklyn Collective—212 Columbia St. (718) 596-6231, Niccole Ugay, Akiko Kato, Sara Krugman, Corvus Noir, Amperstance, GIRLFAUXPAS, Lightexture, Plane Jane Project, Skye Fraser, Abbie Zuidema, In The Seam, Jenny Belin, Alexandra Batsford, Design and Labor, Lewis Henry Nicholas, Ink and Joy, Twig Terrariums, Sunghee Bang, LanVy, Rachel Goldberg, Jasmine Golestaneh, Stephen Merola, Oh Clementine, Mina Georgescu, Catherine Hnatov, elle s’appelle, AshiDashi, Near Modern Disaster, Nancy Waller Handbags, Patrice Yourdon, Jess Yam and Courtney P. Hewitt, 12/3 through 31. Thu-Sun 1-8 pm. Opening Holiday Event: 12/3 from 7-11 pm. Everbrite Merchantile Co.—351 Van Brunt St., (718) 522-6121, Origamitron, Jenna Kole interactive paper sculpture installation, 12/10 through 31. Wed-Sun 11 am-7 pm. Opening reception for Origamitron: 12/10 from 5-9:30 pm. Gallery Small New York—416 Van Brunt St., (347) 782-3729, Haunted New York, by Madeleine K. Corbin, through 12/26. Open Thu-Sun 11 am-5 pm, Wed by appointment. Kentler International Drawing Space—353 Van Brunt St., (718) 875-2098, kentlergallery. org. Cuba: My Revolution, The Making of the Graphic Novel and Related Drawings by Inverna Lockpez and Dean Haspiel, through 12/12. Open Thu-Sun noon-5 pm. Kidd Yellin—133 Imlay St., (917) 860-1147, Half-Life Masks, works by Charlotte Kidd and Hunter Barnes, through 12/3;

Page 26 Red Hook Star-Revue

An Inequality of Experience, works by Joey Frank, 12/10 through 31. Open Tue-Fri from noon-6 pm and by appointment. Opening reception for An Inequality of Experience: 12/10 from 7-10 pm. Look North Inuit Art Gallery—275 Conover Street, Suite 4E, (347) 721-3995, looknorthny. com. 
Polar Light: Greenland, photography by Rena Bass Forman and drawings by Zaria Forman, a climate change awareness exhibition held in conjunction with Al Gore’s “The Climate Project,” through 12/31. Call for hours. WORK Gallery—65 Union St., redtinshack. com. Error, Fate, Chance, works by Leah Beeferman, Jon Meyer and Yusuke Nishimura, through 12/19. Fri-Sun noon-6 pm and by appointment.


Botta di Vino—357 Van Brunt St., (347) 6893664. Green Blackout Blind Tasting, candlelit tasting of wrapped bottles, with acoustic jazz guitar, 12/3, 10 & 17 from 8:30-10 pm; Vino Scuola Italian, advance sign-up recommended, 12/2 & 9 from 6:30-8:30 pm. FREE. Dry Dock—424 Van Brunt St., (718) 8523625. Spanish portfolio tasting, 12/3 from 5:30-8:30 pm; Laird’s Applejack tasting, with apple-upside-down cake from Baked, 12/4 from 4-7 pm; Compass Box, Robin Robinson and artisanal whiskey from Scotland, 12/10 from 5:30-8:30 pm; Breuckelen Distilling Co. and King’s County Distillers, 12/11 from 4-7 pm; John L. Sullivan Irish Whiskey, 11/17 from 5:30-8:30 pm; Laphroaig & Ardmore Scotch Tasting, 11/18 from 4-7 pm. FREE.


Fourth Annual Columbia Waterfront District Tree Lighting Ceremony—with free refreshments from area restaurants, 12/10 from 6-8 pm, Human Compass Garden, Columbia & Sackett sts.


Bait & Tackle—320 Van Brunt St., (718) 7974892. Crafternoon, cocktail craft group, 12/5, times TBA; Quiz Nite, 12/13 at 8:30 pm. FREE. Rocky Sullivan’s—34 Van Dyke St., (718) 246-8050. O’Donovan Rossa Society meeting, 12/1 at 7:30 pm; Rocky Sullivan’s World Famous Pub Quiz with quizmaster Sean Crowley, 12/2, 9, 16, 23 & 30 at 8 pm. Sugar Lounge—147 Columbia St., (718) 6432880. Trivia Night,12/2 & 16 at 8:30 pm. FREE. Visitation Church—98 Richards St., (718) 624-1572. Parish Bake Sale, 12/5 from 10 am-3 pm.


The Waterfront Museum & Showboat Barge—290 Conover St. at Pier 44, (718) 624-4719. The last covered wooden barge of its kind, the Lehigh Valley Railroad Barge #79 is now a floating museum. The museum’s permanent display tells the history of the Tug and Barge “Lighterage Era” (1860-1960) and how food and commercial goods were transported prior to today’s bridges and tunnels. Experience the exciting story of the rescue of Barge #79 by a clown and juggler and enjoy the captain’s “Serious Foolishness.” Displays also include bells, barge models and the audiokinetic ball machine sculpture by artist George Rhodes that continuously whirls, goes loopthe-loop, plays musical boxes and bounces in mid-air. Stroll in the waterfront garden with views of the Statue of Liberty and the many workboats and recreational vessels of the NY Harbor. Group reservations for schools, camps & seniors available by appointment. For directions to the museum, visit waterfrontmuseum. org. Open Thursdays 4-8 pm, Saturdays 1-5 pm. FREE.


Eaton, 12/3 at 9 pm; Brown Bird, 12/4; Smitty, 12/6, The Alphabets, 12/10; Jazz with Rob Reddy and CRAFT, 12/12. Call for times not listed and admission info. Hope & Anchor—347 Van Brunt St., (718) 237-0276. Karaoke, Thursdays through Saturdays from 9 pm-1 am. Jalopy Theatre and School of Music—315 Columbia St., (718) 395-3214. Roots & Ruckus, 12/1, 8, 15, 22 & 29 at 9 pm; Dustto-Digital Showcase, 12/2 at 9 pm, $15; King County Opry, 12/3 at 8:30 pm, $10; The Ukaladies CD Release Party, 11/4 at 9 pm, $10; The Sweetback Sisters Christmas Showdown, 11/5 at 8 pm, $12; Hooklyn Holler, featuring the Colonial Radio CD Release Party and the Whiskey Spitters, 12/7 at 9 pm, $5; Veveritse Brass Band CD Release Party, 12/9 at 9 pm, $10; 4th Annual Baby, Its Cold Outside Benefit for NYC Coalition for the Homeless, 12/10 at 9 pm, $10; The Cangelosi Cards, 12/11 at 9 pm, $10; Clink for a Cause: Notes from Brooklyn Holiday Benefit Concert, featuring Christine Ohlman, Deni Bonet and Johnny Pisano, 12/12 at 7 pm, $20; Tony Scherr Trio, 12/14 at 9 pm, $5; Brooklyn Country Christmas, with American String Conspiracy,
Alex Battles, Dock Oscar,
JD Duarte and more, 12/16 at 8 pm, suggested $5 donation; Filthy Song Night, 12/17 at 9 pm, $10; Steam Powered Hour, New Yorker cartoonist Matthew Diffee hosts, with music by Billy Rogan and Elizabeth Claire Burke and The Victory Gardens comedy by Liam McEneaney and Tom Shillue, 12/19 at 7 pm, $10; Craig Chesler, Delta Dreambox and J. Walter Hawkes, 12/21 at 9 pm, $5; Sean Walsh & the National Reserve and Jessy Carolina and the Hot Mess,12/28 at 8:30 pm, $7. Rocky Sullivan’s—34 Van Dyke St., (718) 246-8050. Seanchaí and the Unity Squad, 12/3, 10 & 17 at 9:30 pm; Monday Night Trad Seisiun, 12/6, 13, 20 & 27 at 8 pm, FREE; Tuesday Night Trad Seisiun, 12/7, 14, 21 & 28 at 8 pm, FREE. Wed Dec. 8th Union, 9 pm FREE Sugar Lounge, 147 Columbia St., (718) 6432880. Karaoke Wednesdays, 12/1, 8, 15, 22 & 29 at 8:30 pm; Free Music Fridays, (including, Joe Wilson, Rhea Makiaris and George Gilmore), 12/3, 10, 17 & 24 at 10 pm; Live Music Post-Christmas Party, 12/26, call for time; New Year’s Open Mic Jam, 12/31, call for time. Check the Sugar Lounge Facebook page for updates. FREE.

Sunny’s Bar, 253 Conover St., (718) 6258211. Smokey’s Round-up, 12/15, 22 & 29 at 10 pm; acoustic jam every Saturday. FREE. Union Street Star Theater—101 Union St. (between Columbia & Van Brunt), (718) 624-5568. Thursday Night Music Jam, open to musicians and listeners; stage, PA, bass amp, drums, mic and refreshments provided, 12/2, 9, 16, 23 & 30 from 7-10 pm. FREE. Special Free Holiday Concert featuring Union, the Voles and others to be announced, 12/18 7 pm.


Rocky Sullivan’s—34 Van Dyke St., (718) 246-8050. Last Wednesday Reading Series and Open Mic, a showcase for published writers and a peer review event for new and upcoming writers, with Lisa McLaughlin, 12/29 at 7 pm.


Falconworks Artists Group—Off the Hook: Original Plays by Red Hook Youth, six young playwrights, with the support of professional writers, actors, and directors, present their own plays for an evening of original theater, 12/3 at 7 pm, 12/4 at 3 pm, P.S. 15 Patrick F. Daly School, 71 Sullivan St between Van Brunt & Richards sts, call (718) 395-3218, or FREE.

The Brew Guide What follows is a guide to what local establishments have on tap. Since taps are changed frequently, beer selections are subject to change. Cheers! B61, 187 Columbia St., (718) 643-5400 (reaches upstairs restaurant, Alma). On tap: Yuengling, Brooklyn Lager, Franziskaner, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Sixpoint Bengali Tiger IPA, Geary’s London Porter, Stella Artois, Anchor Steam Liberty Ale, Radeberger, Blue Point Toasted Lager, Smuttynose Old Brown Dog, Guinness. Open daily 4 pm-4 am. Bait & Tackle, 320 Van Brunt St., (718) 797-4892. Six beers on tap that change frequently. Mon-Fri 4 pm-4 am, Sat-Sun 2 pm-4 am.

Moonshine, 317 Columbia St., (718) 858-8088. Twenty craft beers on tap that change every two weeks. As of late November, selections include: Harp, Yuengling, Brooklyn Lager, Southampton Imperial Porter and Double White, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Rastafarian Rye, Anchor Steam Christmas Ale, Southern Tier Creme Brulee, Kelso Chocolate Lager. Mon-Fri 4 pm-4 am, Sat 3 pm-4 am, Sun 3 pm-2 am.

The Brooklyn Ice House, 318 Van Brunt St., (718) 222-1865. On tap: Sixpoint Sweet Action, Radeberger, Nectar IPA, Prohibition Ale, Guinness. Open SunThu from noon-2 am, Fri & Sat till 4 am.

Fort Defiance, 365 Van Brunt St., (347) 453-6672. On tap: Reissdorf Kölsch, Abita Restoration Pale Ale, Sixpoint Bengali Tiger IPA, Ommmegang Hennepin. Open Mon, Wed, Thu & Sun from 8 am-midnight, Tue till 3 pm, Fri & Sat till 2 am. *

The Good Fork, 391 Van Brunt St., (718) 643-6636. Sixpoint Righteous Rye, Captain Lawrence Kolsch, Brooklyn Brewmasters Reserve. Open TueSat 5:30-10:30 pm, Sun till 10 pm. *

Rocky Sullivan’s, 34 Van Dyke St., (718) 246-8050. On tap: Bud Light, Stella, Guniness, Sixpoint Brownstone, Sixpoint Sweet Action. Open Sun-Wed 11 am-2 am, Thu-Sat till 4 am.*

Bait & Tackle—320 Van Brunt St., (718) 7974892. Luciano Sabba, 12/2 at 8 pm; Miss Tess and the Bon Ton Parade, with Thomas Bryan

December 2010

Star-Revue Classifieds Real Estate Apts for Rent $2,800 3 B/R, 2BA Upper Duplex for Rent 1,250 sf. cherry floors, moldings, private washer/dryer, closets in every bedroom, stainless steel dishwasher and microwave. Call D’Andrea Craig Realty 718-855-5800. Special Deal for rent. 1 Bedroom + Den. Carroll St + 3rd Ave. 3 Family House / Patio. Near Trains $1500.00 Joan Natale Real Estate 718-797-4661 Heart of Brooklyn Heights. Newly Renovated / Steps to Subway. Charming Deck. 1 Bedroom + Computer Room. $2400.00. Joan Natale Real Estate 718-797-4661

Houses for Sale 3Story 3Family asking $999,000. Lovely, renovated less than 2 years ago. Units have own heating systems, new kitchens, great closets, and high ceilings granite counters. Call D’Andrea Craig Realty 718-855-5800. Huge Commercial Warehouse Space! Available for sale 306 Van Brunt Street 2.1M offered through Prudential Douglas Elliman. Call for details! Rose Anne at 718-710-1844 or Imma at 917-569-9881 Carroll Gardens: Beautifully Renovated 4-Story, 4Family on Carroll Street offers high income or flexibility to convert to 2-3 Family. $2,295,000. Call Broker: Rod Murray 631786-2562 3 Story with English Basement. Owner duplex with 2 rental units, also boasts full cellar. Lots of backyard. Asks $1,200,000. AVITA REALTY – 718-222-1187

Commercial Property 282 Van Brunt St. For Sale exclusively through Prudential Douglas Elliman. Mixed use 2-family plus commercial space offered at 1.550M. Call Rose Anne at 718-710-1844 or Imma at 917-569-9881 Red Hook: Van Brunt corner for sale. Includes high exposure store and 2-3BR residential

units. Bonus: Garage. $1,300,000. Call Broker: Rod Murray 631-786-2562

Help Wanted

Great opportunity! Must have Real Estate License. Flexible hours, part time, or full time. For more info please call Carol Ann Natale @ 646-210-0103 Looking for an experienced barber with License or an Apprentice. If interested please inquire at: The Red Hook Barber Shop 594A, Clinton Street, Brooklyn NY 11231 or call Leroy: 917-701-9902 / 718-923-1027. Carroll Gardens area real estate agency is looking for an experienced & licensed real estate sales person. This person will work on the sales and rentals for houses, co-ops and condos.We are a well-known and established agency and can provide lots of listings in the Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill and other Brownstone neighborhoods. Must have 2 years sales experience,. Reply to:

carpet installation and cleaing. 917 600-5053 Real Estate Classified ads are $8 per listing per month. Neighborhood Services are $10 per month or $100 the year. Display classifieds are also available. Call Matt for details, 718 624-5568. You may email your ads to us, or drop them in the mail. Credit Cards accepted.; 101 Union Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231 All other line ads are $5 per listing per month (up to 5 lines).

10% off Every Purchase with this coupon! (valid through December 31, 2010)

David Accardi, President

718 875-9856 157 Columbia Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Seasons Greetings from these fine Red Hook Businesses!

Situation Wanted Need your dog walked? Or your cat fed if you’re out of town? Need a babysitter days or evenings? Wish someone else could bake the cookies you said you’d bring to that pot luck this weekend because you just don’t have time? Would you love to have all your photographs scanned and organized on a drive? Do you have hours of home movies on VHS that you’d like to have converted to digital files/DVDs? Wouldn’t it be great if someone could actually go through those hours of footage and edit it all down for you? I’m a stay-at-home mom with pet/babysitting/baking and editing experience hoping to serve some of the needs of the Red Hook vicinity! Please email me if interested in any of the above:


“Our mission is to provide the best service possible to our customers and clients and to be ever mindful of your needs”

Neighborhood Services Ironwork Storefronts, Carpentry, Stairways, Escape Hatches, Iron Rolling Gates, and much more. Call Giovanni at 718-314-2031. Giovanni Iron Work.

Movers COOL HAND MOVERS Friendly local guys that can relocate your life, or just shlep your new couch from Ikea. We’ll show up on time, in a truck or van if necessary, and basically kick ass -- you might even have a good time! Call for a free estimate at (917) 584-0334 or email at Customer reviews on YELP.COM

Flooring/Carpets Union Street Carpet & Linoleum - sales and service, commercial and residential. Expert

Immacolata Giocoli Lic. Real Estate Salesperson 917 569-9881

Roseanne Degliuomini Lic. Real Estate Salesperson 718 710-1844

Douglas Elliman Real Estate

189 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201 Office: 718 935-6152 Cell. 718 710-1844

718 834-4811

December 2010

Red Hook Star-Revue Page 27

Cornell Robbins We are a proud Red Hook institution, doing business on Van Dyke Street since 1940!

We are Packaging Specialists, Selling Wholesale and Retail You’ve Seen Our Trucks - Now see what’s in them!

View Our Complete Catalog on the Web, featuring an easy-to-use shopping cart!

We do not use thousands of new trees to make our cartons: we look for opportunities to reduce paper use. We have thousands of packaging-related items available and in stock. Over 1700 box sizes in stock and on the floor waiting to be shipped to you. A tremendous selection of tissue paper in various colors. Bubble protection, tapes, newsprint, cable ties and so much more. Our organization has continued to expand its product line which now includes white die-cut mailers, brown kraft rsc shipping boxes, bubble, tapes, envelopes, newsprint, tissue, dispensers, packaging supplies and much more.

We Want Your Business!

Cornell Robbins 162-168 Van Dyke Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231

718 875-3202 Page 28 Red Hook Star-Revue

December 2010

December 2010  
December 2010  

BQE Study, Holiday Gift Guide, PS 15 Showcase, Conversation with B51 bartender, Dean Haspiel's "Cuba, My Revolution"