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Made In Red Hook

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The Red Hook Star-Revue February 2011

The Hook’s Local Newspaper

$1.00 at newstands

The Star-Revue Interview with our Community Board’s Star Quarterback

Keeping it Real with Craig Hammerman


hen Mayor Lindsay decided in the 1960s to experiment with dividing Manhattan into geographical districts, each with their own police precincts, firehouses and other service agencies, he envisioned community boards that would function as mini-City Halls for the residents and businesses in each district. In 1975, the experiment became policy and was expanded to cover the entire city. 59 districts were drawn up in order to more effectively deliver services to citizens and act as an interface between central city government and the public. Red Hook’s Community Board 6 is located on 250 Baltic Street, between Court and Clinton, and has a reputation as one of the most effective community boards in the city - this is largely due to its use of communication technology like Facebook and Twitter, both to inform citizens about the public policies that affect them, and to relay messages from the man on the street to the man in City Hall. Craig Hammerman has been District Manager of Community Board 6 since 1993. CB6 represents the 104,054 people (according to the 2000 census) living in Park Slope, Gowanus, Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill, and Red Hook/Columbia Waterfront District. When Hammerman first took on the job of Assistant District Manager in 1990, much of Columbia Street was still a place where people came from other areas of Brooklyn to dump broke-down washer/dryers. Last month I had the chance to sit down with Hammerman to hear about the role that he and CB6 played in the positive changes that have come to this community in the last 20 years, and to learn more about the history of the community board and the evolution of its role as a mini-City Hall since its inception in the 1970’s. Our interview follows: RHSR: What are your memories of Red Hook and Columbia Waterfront District during the time that you started at CB6? CH:It wasn’t exactly the most appealing part of our district. We had a squatters village at 169 Columbia Street, which was a disincentive for people to come to

that area. Lots of problems with street life, people congregating, trafficking drugs, or just hanging out and drinking publicly. It was really a very gritty and unsettling place to be. But at the same time, Columbia Street was in the middle of a resurgence. I think that there was a combination of

things going on. Columbia Street was sort of in the middle of its urban renewal plan which took back large sections of the community and rebuilt them as housing and commercial store fronts, which helped redefine the waterfront down there. And we also saw, with each new phase of housing that was developed and each new wave of people who were either moving to the area or investing in the area, more signs that they wanted to take back the destiny of their community. What types of signs? Well, one of the first things I saw was this whole rise in community gardening down there, and Columbia Street hap-

Craig along with some new police officers at a recent ceremony at the 76th.

pens to have some of our most impressive community gardens in the entire (continued on page 3)

We Get a Cool Letter!

To the editor of the Red Hook Star-Revue - I took these photos last week, after one of our significant snow falls.....On January 27th, Tony, of LA Cleaners at 130 Union Street, created these two wonderful creatures, to the delight of all of us in the neighborhood! All the best, Joan MacIntosh

Reigning Sound, Alex Battles and more in Music, page 17

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

Presorted Standard Rate US Postage PAID Brooklyn, NY Permit 84

Growing Up Red Hook

Wonderful Wonderful Cherries

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by Danette Vigilante

Growing up, my grandparents and most of my cousins lived in the same apartment building ‘Down the Back.’ It’s the area of Red Hook that’s closer to the water. Back then, it was nowhere near what it is today. As far as restaurants went, Van Brunt Street consisted of one pizzeria and one diner. There were no grocery stores, just corner stores and the only way you’d get a view of the Statue of Liberty was by standing on a burnt-out pier. Oh, what we would’ve done to have a safe place by the water to picnic or to just chill-out and relax. But, I digress. What I really want to share with you has nothing to do with fine dining, the awesomeness that is Fairway or even the beautiful Valentino Park. Just three small words have the ability to rush me back in time to my cousin’s apartment building on Dikeman Street where we’d sit for hours on the stoop laughing like maniacs at my Cousin Raymond’s antics. Those three words? The Cherry Factory. There were many factories Down the Back but none like this. Right next door to where my cousins lived was what we plainly and lovingly called, “The Cherry Factory.” If the weather was warm enough, the Cherry Factory workers took their lunch breaks outside. I remember thinking that their dyed red hands looked like they had been up to something more heinous than preparing cherries for shipment all morning long. Inside most of the refrigerators of that apartment building on Dikeman Street sat huge jars of sweet, succulent, Maraschino cherries. Such a sight was enough to send a kid into hysterics. Imagine having available to your child-self, an innumerable amount of cherries such as these. Like most other kids, we weren’t limited to a single cherry sitting on top of an ice-cream Sundae or the pathetic cherry haphazardly tossed into a glass of soda which quickly sank to the bottom of your glass. No, that is not what we had. What we had was better than that, better than gold even. Though the building my cousins lived in burned down in a fire (thankfully, no loss of life), The Cherry Factory is still in existence on our beloved Dikeman Street. I’ve since learned that it is a family business which started at that location in 1960. It would be quite a few more years before I would come to know the deliciousness of what The Cherry Factory produced. I’m guessing now that I’m a grown-up, I’ll have to start referring to the factory by its proper name; Dell’s Maraschino Cherries Company. See how that would’ve been difficult for a child to say with a mouth full of cherries?

The Red Hook Star-Revue The News of the Hook

Volume 2 No. 2, February 2011

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 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........ Gene Callahan, Danette Vigilante, Stephen Slaybaugh, A.J. Herald 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:

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

718 624-5568 - news tip line 917-652-9128 or emailed to

TALK TO US online- We are on Facebook just search for Red Hook Star-Revue

If you have story ideas or ideas in general of interest, please contact us by all means and methods outlined above or stop by our office. Next issue will be out the first week of March , 2010 - Advertising and Editorial Deadline is Friday, February 25, 2011. Page 2 Red Hook Star-Revue

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, is in local bookstores and available for purchase online at Amazon and other booksellers.

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Star-Revue Ads Work February 2011

Interview with Craig Hammerman continues from page 1

District Manager Strives to Keep Community Board “Timely and Relevant,” as well as Independent district. I guess it’s sort of a side effect of having undeveloped property; when you start to attract creative and energetic people, they use that property as an outlet for that creativity and nowhere else in our district can you see that better than on Columbia Street. So how did CB6 assist people in making these types of improvements? Were you involved in getting the right zoning and land use permits from the city? You know, when people first land in an area, they may not have the background to know the right terms to use. They may not ask about “zoning” per se. So it’s important that the district manager and the community board as a whole take in the message that people within the community have and try to translate that into some kind of an action plan. So when people move in and say “we’re tired of dealing with all these undeveloped properties, we’re tired of dealing with this level of street life, we need to focus on something constructive for the community” -- it’s our job to help them set an agenda, and from that agenda an action plan, something that is executable. So that might translate into the city directing some kind of incentive program so that we can see something actually get built on these properties. Or it could mean developing some kind of Block Watch program to attract police attention into the area in ways that we weren’t able to before. In other words, we need to make those kinds of connections between the communities and the agencies that serve them. How did community boards come about? How were things different in the city without them? The community district boundaries were drawn up in 1975. At the time the city didn’t have any common sets of boundaries, so if I was on Columbia Street, I probably would have had one police representative, one sanitation rep. and one fire rep. If you were to go ten blocks in any direction you would have a different set of representatives. What the city did back in 1975 was it created this principle of coterminality, and then realigned its service boundaries by the different agencies. So now the police boundaries actually match the community board boundaries. Sanitation district 6 is a comparable district to CB6. So this principle of coterminality gave the city a much more rational and effective and efficient way of delivering services by having common local service chiefs that could work together. The district manager chairs a district service cabinet, which is the group of all of the local service chiefs that provide services within that common geographic area. So we all get together to talk about how services are delivered in the district. This is an example of how the community board makes an impact on the daily life in the district. Since we are in such a diverse city with so many diverse needs, the way services are delivered vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. Priorities are different, and needs

February 2011

are different. So it’s our job to make sure that services are delivered in a way that is responsive to what our community’s needs are. So before community boards everything was just a lot more disorganized. Right. And if you wanted to get anything done, it became about who you knew. It was all about old-school politics. You would go to an elected official or an agency representative, and it all came down to developing those kinds of relationships that were largely driven by politics. So this democratized it. That’s right. Grass roots democracy. Are you satisfied with the level of performance? Are community boards living up to their original expected roles as mini-City Halls? I think the basic function is working, but it’s not working as well as it could. I am not a protector of the status quo by any means. The community boards were created in 1975, and in 1989 a charter revision expanded the roles of community boards. It gave them some say in establishing capital and expense budget priorities for the community, and it also added on a more proactive element for land use and zoning. It gave community boards the opportunity to put forward proactive land use plans for their communities. And these were two really good important steps in taking this community board concept that was really just a local service coordinator before, and adding more elements in it to make it look more like a mini-City Hall. However, since 1989, 22 years later, there hasn’t been any other further consideration of what the role of the community board is and how it should be changed to make it more of a 21st century community board. And think about what the changes have been like in the last 22 years. In terms of society, in terms of technology. None of that has been factored into the community board in considering what its mission is. How has CB6 tried to adapt to the changes that have taken place in our society since the last charter revision? We are one of the few community boards that has a robust website, that uses Twitter and Facebook, that has appropriated these social media tools into the work that we do. Most community boards don’t do that. We do it because we believe that we need to continue to reinvent ourselves to be timely and relevant, and when community boards stop doing that, I think the public has a legitimate question as to whether or not they should remain as they currently are. So we see a lot of tension between community boards that defend their position based on what the charter says they’re supposed to do, and the public that needs a more meaningful form of local representative government. There’s a lot of tension around this. And we haven’t come up with a way of resolving that tension. I’m hoping that a charter revision commission might

Leading a group of 6th graders from M.S. 447 at the Public Place brownfield in a talk on planning, remediation and sustainability back in 2009

consider some of these larger questions and help make community boards more relevant and more meaningful in a 21st century city government. And beyond having a really informative web site and social media tools, what kind of new infrastructure could such a revision create to make community boards more “timely and relevant,” as you say? l think one of Mayor Bloomberg’s legacies will be the 311 system. Right now 311 captures a lot of information and data that we used to get when we handled the complaints for the district that we’re no longer privy to. So I can’t tell you what potholes are being filled in my district that people are calling into 311. So it makes it a little more difficult for us to figure out what improvements are necessary that maybe should be part of a capital budget request. It’s harder for us to do our jobs because a lot of the information that we used to gather is now being gathered by the mayor centrally. So looking at 311, and giving community boards more access to the 311 data has been something I’ve personally been working on since the inception of 311. We bring something to the table, a certain amount of analytical skill that no central agency can match because nobody knows our communities like we do. It all represents a communication challenge. The community board’s unique role in city government is to disseminate information to its community. No other agency or elected official has that responsibility the way we do. So when we come by information, it’s our job to get it out into the community. And a lot of community boards continue to do things in the traditional way - they might mail it out to a few hundred people a month, or announce it at a couple of meetings, and maybe they might even get a newspaper story. But that notion of how we take that mandate of disseminating information and how we make it timely and relevant, we have to constantly improve upon. So community boards have to be more

active in passing information to and from the community? Correct. Because I see a district manager’s job as being a manager, not a district clerk. Too many district managers see their jobs as being like clerks -- “Okay so you gave me the information and I’m going to file it away and if anybody asks me about it I’ll make it available.” That’s not good enough. You have to be more proactive with it, you have to put it out there, and make the connection for a lot of people and show them how that information affects their daily life. What else has CB6 done recently to improve its performance? In 2004 we formed our own non-profit, called Friends of CB6, and now we’re working with other community boards around the city and helping them to do the same thing. The point is to bypass the limitations and trappings of city budget and become more independent, seeking resources from elsewhere. Our annual budget is $200,000 a year, which pays for staff salary, office space, with hardly enough left for stamps and copy paper. We needed to be creative and work beyond the limitations, so a nonprofit as “funding arm” for the community board was our path to that. Obviously if your funding comes from one sole source, you are completely dependant on that source, and if part of your job is to monitor how that source is performing, then you are doing it with one arm tied behind your back. How can you be critical of the mayor when he’s the only one funding you? It’s not a good place to be in. Community Board 6 has several committees (ranging from Transportation to Housing to Youth Services to Parks and Recreation) and these committees are constantly holding public meetings, where anyone can go to listen to - and participate in - conversations that directly affect their everyday lives and communities. For more information on these public meetings and on Community Board 6 in general, visit www.

Red Hook Star-Revue Page 3

News From the Streets written and collected by the Star-Revue writing staff targeting people committing hazardous infractions on their bikes,” he said.

PS 27 Celebration

Precinct Report Technical Burglary A white Ford van with commercial plates was robbed while parked on the 200 block of Columbia Street between Feb 3rd 9 pm and Feb 4th 12 noon. Complainant states that the vehicle was parked overnight. Unknown perp broke the passenger side window, entered the vehicle, removed a Tom Tom brand GPS, valued at $250 from the metal console area, and removed a portable seat cushion from the seat. Renovator Fight Robbery occurred on the 300 block of Degraw Street on Feb. 1st at 12 noon. It started out as an argument between a contractor and resident. Resident started filming during the argument and the perp grabbed a camera and ran away with it. Arrested was a male aged 47. $2 Heist On Hicks and Baltic Street, occurred on Feb 5th, 12 noon, victim was a male age 65. Age unknown male black forcibly removed $2 US currency. While struggling, perp did punch complainant in the face and fled in an unknown direction. Attempted Court Street Robbery Three males attempted to rob a Court Street clothing store the first week of February. While one male stood outside as a lookout, two others came in the store, grabbed the complainant as one of them said I’ve got a gun, give me your money. The complainant screamed and released herself and chased the young men as they ran down the street.

Page 4 Red Hook Star-Revue

Bait and Tackle Hosts Benefit

The owners of Red Hook Bait and Tackle threw a special event on January 22nd to raise funds for Yahya Daghmoumi, after finding out that Yahya and his family had lost their house in Brewer, Maine, burned to the ground in a fire on Christmas day. According to the Bangor Daily News, a Maine newspaper, the fire started early that Christmas morning. Investigators determined that the fire originated in the bedroom of a tenant who had been staying in the house. The tenant, a 64-year-old man, died in the blaze. When the owners of Bait and Tackle found out about this incident - Yahya, 38, grew up in Red Hook and was a regular at the bar - they decided to put the event together to help him out. “We are friends with him on Facebook,” says Barry O’Meara, co-owner. “He had posted something about the fire - so we thought, why not do something for him?”

The Agnes Y. Humphrey School for Leadership (PS/MS 27) hosted its 150th Anniversary Celebration earlier this month in the school auditorium. The event featured music and dance performances by PS 27 students, inspirational speeches by former principal Gwendolyn Gardner and Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, and a history lesson by the matriarch herself, Agnes Y. Humphrey, portrayed by teacher Cynthia Cage. Much of Ms. Cage’s presentation focused on the history of the PS 27 building itself, which is located on 27 Huntington Street, and the many stages of development and additions installed to the building as student-levels increased. When the Red Hook Houses were opened in 1939, enrollment at PS 27 increased by 100 percent.

Spring Fair

A block party/street fair is tentatively planned for April 24th by the Columbia Waterfront District Merchants Association under the aegis of the Carroll Gardens Association. The fair, planned for the first two blocks of Union Street, will feature local merchants and artists and will include food, fun and music. The morning activities will be geared towards children and the afternoon towards adults. For more information contact Ash Pajoohi at 718 243-9301.

Several local businesses donated prizes Union Street for the event,The during which Bait and Tackle held raffles and put 10 percent of its earnings that night toward the “home of the legendary Thursday Night Jam” “Yahya Fund.” More than $1,000 was raised. Some of the businesses that contributed were Butter By Nadia, The Good Fork, Fort Defiance, Sonny’s, Ice Direct Marketing Services since 1988 The Hook’s Local Newspaper House, among others. Unfortunately, df df df df df Yahya couldn’t make it to the benefit due to lack of funds. We hope to get in Fiala contact with him and have anGeorge update on his718 situation for our next issue. 624-5568

Star Theater

The Red Hook Star-Revue

101 Union Mugging down Street in the cold, car thefts up

Captain Jack Lewis of the 76th Precinct decided not to give out a Cop of the Month award for January, saying that there just wasn’t enough crime. “It’s been a slow month,” he said. “So we’re not giving it out this month. We don’t want to diminish the award.” Standing behind the podium at the Community Council meeting on February 1st, the captain gave a quick run-down of criminal activity in the district so far this year. “There have been very few robberies, with the exception of some trouble in and around the Gowanus projects.” As other local papers have reported, there were four car thefts in Cobble Hill during the last week of January. Most were late-model Toyotas, which are notoriously easy to break into, and the parts are easy to sell. Another problem that came up during that week was that someone was breaking into cars on Clinton Street and stealing the airbags. The captain also took the opportunity to reinforce the NYPD’s new tough policy toward bike violations. “We’re



101 Union Street Brooklyn, NY 11231 Brooklyn, NY 11231 718 624-5568

Visioning Meeting

On Wednesday evening, February 2nd, a community workshop planning for the Columbia Street Waterfront Park was held at the Union Street Star Theater. The purpose of the meeting, which was well attended, was to gather community input as plans are put together for a park on city owned land adjacent to the west side of Columbia Street that is currently being used by the Department of Transportation as work takes place on Columbia Street between Degraw and Kane. The group was divided into 8 tables as participants from the community put together their ideas for the possible park. Among the many suggestions were that the park be themed for adults, that a grassy hill be part of it so that people could see over the containers to get a view of the waterfront, that the area for the bicycle path (the meeting was headed by the group Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway which is working on creating a 14 mile bicycle path alongside the water from the Navy Yard south to Sunset Park) be either on the street or the container side of the park, having shady areas to eat food and relax in, and to support the merchants across the street by having seating alongside Columbia Street to bring over meals. This is the first of at least three public meetings to help create the plan. For more on the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway check their website

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February 2011


Grass Roots Democracy and Parks along the way for the cyclists to rest in, of which the Columbia Street Waterfront Park is one.

On February 2nd, the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway held a community planning session at our Union Street office regarding a future park alongside Columbia Street between Degraw and Kane streets, on land that once housed some thriving stores. The buildings were torn down years ago and the land is currently used by the Department of Transportation to store their large machinery while reconstructing Columbia Street. About 70 people from the neighborhood showed up and were divided into eight groups - each at a separate table and asked to provide their input as to what kind of park they would be interested in having.

Getting ready for the Greenway meeting inside the 101 Union Street Star Theater

This is similar to the process used by the Fix-The-Ditch meetings in which the first meeting is used to put together different scenarios desired by neighborhood residents, and in succeeding meetings the ideas are refined down to create a consensus program that is then presented to the governmental powers for funding and execution. In a way this is like lobbyists who work for big corporations or institutions who prepare legislation that is then voted on and adopted into law by the legislature. It is a fact that much law is never actually written by the legislators themselves, but by lobbiest organizations. It’s easier to vote on something then it is to create some-

thing. I’m not saying here whether that is right or wrong. What I am saying is that these sorts of community activities serve much the same purpose. The legislature is presented with a plan which they are told represents the wishes of the community which then gets voted on for funding. We kind of like the idea of grassroots lobbying, with the proviso that enough people from the community show up at these meetings to provide a true cross-section of views. We kind of wish that we were told of this in time to publicize in our January issue - an ad in all three papers that circulate around here might have been even more appropriate. A nice crowd did in fact show up

as the Greenway has an active email list, although I would say that the turnout was a bit skewed towards relative newcomers to our community. We look forward to the next meeting in which a more refined plan is presented which will be that synthesis of the views expressed on that Wednesday night. This newspaper is pleased that there is a group that is interested in working on a new park in our neighborhood. The Waterfront Greenway is an organization dedicated to building a 14 mile waterfront path for bicyclists to use, stretching from the Navy Yard to Sunset Park. Part of their plan is to build small parks

This newspaper would be even more pleased were a group formed from people from around here that would be interested in starting a similar planning venture for our waterfront. This park is a sliver of land that is owned by NYC alongside Columbia Street. Alongside that sliver is significantly larger tract, acres and acres, that is now being leased to the Containerport by the Port Authority. In about 7 years that lease will be up for renewal, and if in that time there is some sort of sensible alternate use plan in existence that reflects the desires of the Columbia Waterfront District, whatever that may end up being - there’s at least a chance the the Columbia Waterfront District might at least have an actual waterfront to go to. Without such a plan, there is no chance. And who knows if some huge real estate operators aren’t at this very moment working on their own secret plan, which will reflect their interests only. The Red Hook Star-Revue will open it’s pages to publicize any group that might form for this purpose. We also offer pro bono our large community space for meetings, and our laser printers for flyers and mailing service for direct mail.

Reader Contribution:

Remembering My Dad Skinny


f ever there were a diamond in the rough, it was my father’s store in Red Hook. Many people knew of my father back then, but I have to wonder how much people really knew about the man behind the counter. Andrew S. Massaro was born in 1929 during the Great Depression. His parents were poor Italian immigrants. It was common back then for immigrant men to find work on the piers and docks, and so Skinny lot both his father and brother while working on the hole in a ship. So Skinny set off at an early age on a mission to go out and do whatever he had to do without ever having to face the demon known as the hole in the ship. Skinny took to the streets of Brooklyn at an early age dropping our of school in the 6th grade. He began pitching pennies and playing craps. When he saved enough money he opened a small pet shop and sold pigeons. From this he went on to his first store which opened on Van Brunt Street, near where Fairway is today. Though Skinny was known for dabbling in electronics, toys and clothing, he was most famous for his Christmas lights and decorations. I can remember Christmases past where people

February 2011

by Mary Ann Massaro

would line up just to get inside. And there were always sales, bargains and oh yes credit! Skinny kept his old composition notebook under the counter with the names of the people from the nabe who just couldn’t manage to pay right now, but somehow I don’t believe everyone’s name really made it onto the ink. And Skinny was also known for giving to the

“Skinny survived in Red Hook for 30 years, watching the neighborhood change from its best to its worst.” needy. Every year he had Santa Claus outside his store and gave candy to the neighborhood kids. I can remember for a few years we would take a trip to P.S. 30 and give toys to the needy kids. Skinny made the NY Times for his generosity each year at Christmas. Skinny was generous other times of the year also. Each year Skinny would light up the street for the 4th of July until 1968, when he almost died when a box of fireworks exploded in his face. Halloween was another time when

Skinny would show the neighborhood kids a great time. Our house became something our of a horror movie and Skinny was always the famous Dracula. Skinny survived in Red Hook for 30 years, watching the neighborhood change from its best to worst. Skinny was noted again in the NY Times for his opinion on the war on drugs. Not only was he a great business man, but he was a great family man as well. My mother Theresa, brothers Andyben, Tommyboy and Jimmyboy never had the finest things in life, but we always had. Skinny managed to support not only himself, but his family without ever having to face that demon on any ship. Skinny could sell just about anything, whether it was delivered by truck, or just happened to fall off in front of his store. Did he become rich and famous in the end? I do not think you should judge people by how many houses they didn’t have in the end but by the countless number of people that you left an impression on while you were here. Even today there are people like me who can’t hang an old ornament from Skinny’s store without cracking a smile or shedding a tear. Skinny had the gift of turning 50 cents into a dollar, but the heart to give away $1.50.

Skinny and one of his sons who is dressed up as Santa Claus

can’t remember my name. But on those rare occasions when I run into someone who knew my fatherk, and I hear “Hey aren’t you Skinny’s daughter?”, well, that’s all the fame I will ever need! Mary Ann Massaro lives in Bay Ridge and works downtown, and still stops by the old neighborhood from time to time.

And as for me, well I am not a famous writer, I have never made the NY Times myself. Many people from my childhood

Red Hook Star-Revue Page 5

Made In Red Hook by Josie Rubio When bees in Red Hook and Governor’s Island began producing odd-tasting, bright red honey, it was discovered that the bees were getting into the sweetener and Red Dye No. 40 at Dell’s Maraschino Cherries Company Inc. on Dikeman Street. For some, the existence of the Red Hook cherry factory—in business since 1948—also was news.

Cacao Prieto Appropriately enough, with Valentine’s Day around the corner, the tale of Red Hook’s new chocolate factory begins with a love story. In 1898, Estaban Santos Prieto Casas sailed from his native Spain to Puerto Rico en route to the United States. There he met and married Carmen Buenaventura Peña in 1900. The couple moved to the Dominican Republic, where they distilled rum and ran a sugar cane plantation. Fast-forward more than a century, and their descendent Daniel Preston, whose father Anglicized the Prieto name after moving to the United States, has decided to use Dominican Republic cacao to produce chocolates and liqueurs in Red Hook for his business, called Cacao Prieto. The distillery and chocolate factory are under construction in a large space on Conover Street, says Michael J. Cirino, Cacao Prieto’s VP of Marketing. But within the next month or two, he expects the factory to be fully operational. As of late January, bon bons were being produced on a smaller scale in the adjacent space that housed Prieto’s bar, Botanica, this past summer. (The bar is expected to re-open its doors in April.) Through April, Cacao Prieto is operating a pop-up chocolate shop at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory at the Fulton Ferry Landing Pier, serving Pop Rocks chocolate bars, as well as bon bons, including honey caramel, orange-bergamot ganache, hazelnut/cassia and spiced rum caramel. For Valentine’s Day, Cacao Prieto is offering a special gift box that includes a caramel bon bon, a chocolate liqueur confection and a bon bon filled with raspberry ganache and jam, with a touch of geranium. The gift box also is available at the Museum of Sex, 233 Fifth Avenue. When the pop-up shop closes, a Cacao Prieto store is tentatively slated to open in DUMBO. A midtown Manhattan shop is expected to open in the fall. Preston, a former aerospace engineer, came up with the idea for Cacao Prieto in January 2010. He then started to assemble a team of people in the food business, such as Cirino, who runs a supper club called A Razor, A Shiny Knife, and chocolatier Damion Badalamenti, who crafted bon bons from the Dominican Republic chocolate. Currently, the chocolate is made using cacao from Preston’s family plantation and from friends’ plantations in the Dominican Republic. As a side project, Preston also is helping farmers form a co-op. The beans will then be shipped to the Red Hook factory to make the chocolates and liqueurs and rums. The Don Antonio and Don Juan Salvador rums and liqueurs (Classic, Don Esteban, Don Daniel and Don Rafael) will be distilled from cacao and organic

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Though many know about Steve’s Key Lime Pie and Sixpoint Brewery, countless businesses—from large plants to one-person operations—are tucked away in various corners of the neighborhood. Below are just a few interesting things made in Red Hook, including chocolates, bent glass and silhouette portraits. One thing that won’t be made in the area anymore, however, is red honey. Dell’s owner Arthur Mondella and the New York City Beekeepers Association came up with a solution to keep the bees out of the cherry syrup. The red honey flavor has been likened to cough medicine, but the curious can taste for themselves at Brooklyn Kitchen, 100 Frost St., in Williamsburg, which is offering tastes of the red honey on February 12 from noon to 1 pm. Samples of the novelty will be for sale to benefit the local beekeepers and Brooklyn Kitchen. sugar cane and are named for Preston’s ancestors. The liqueur and chocolate factory will be ready to open for public tours and classes by this summer or fall. “My goal is to make it into a really fun experience for adults and for children,” Cirino says. A street-level shop also is planned for Conover Street in September, says Cirino, from inside the factory, as he points out what will eventually be the store. The upper-level of the factory will allow tour groups to look out over the chocolate and liqueur production, he says over the whir of a winnower separating the cacao nibs from the shells. Those who attend the red honey extraction at Brooklyn Kitchen on February 12 can stick around for the Luv Lab from 2 to 6 pm, for more sweet Red Hook products—bon bons from Cacao Prieto. Vine Wine will offer wine and bubbly, and there also will be an oyster shucking lesson.

Bittermens When Avery Glasser is asked how he and his wife, Janet, got into the craft cocktail bitters business, he jokes, “We’re professional drinkers.” “We’re barflies, I guess,” interjects Janet, laughing. The couple recently relocated their Bittermens Very Small Batch Cocktail Bitters from Boston to New York, leasing a small space in the Cacao Prieto factory. The Glassers make bitters, which are highly concentrated cocktail flavorings, in Xocolatl Mole, Hopped Grapefruit, ’Elemakule Tiki, Boston Bittahs and Burlesque Bitters. The products are handmade by the Glassers, “from start to finish,” says Janet. Though the beginnings sound humble,

the bitters make their way to some of the finest craft cocktail establishments in town, including Death + Company and Mayahuel on the Lower East Side. Locally, Jakewalk, 282 Smith Street, and Prime Meats, 465 Court Street, soon will have the cocktail bitters, as well as Dram, 177 South 4th Street, in Williamsburg. Court Street Grocers, 485 Court Street, will be the first area retailer to sell Bittermens. The Glassers were living in San Francisco several years ago when they happened to learn to make bitters by chance. No. 209 Gin was inviting local bartenders to learn about making gin and providing access to botanicals to make bitters. The couple’s local bar didn’t have any ideas, so the Glassers were invited to try their hand at it. The bartender, a native of Oaxaca, Mexico, wanted bitters that worked well with tequila, so the Xocolatl Mole was born. (In November 2010, it was named by Bon Appétit as one of seven bitters every bar needs.) Next came the Hopped Grapefruit at the request of bartender Phil Ward, formerly of Death + Company, and currently of Mayahuel. “That was probably the most challenging for us,” says Avery, adding that grapefruit itself doesn’t have as strong of a flavor as one would think. The couple eventually used hops in the formula to bring out the grapefruit taste. The ’Elemakule Tiki flavor was named after NYC bartender Brian Miller, who jokes that he’s the “old man of the cocktail world,” Avery says. (The name means “old man.”) “When you’re working with tiki drinks, you’ve got lots of fruit flavors and sweet, heavy syrups,” he says. “You need to have a bitter that’s assertive enough that it can work its way through all those heavy flavors without being dominant, without taking over the drink.” The citrusy and aromatic Boston Bittahs was inspired by the couple’s move to Boston. The first batch of the latest flavor, Burlesque Bitters, is expected to be out in time for Valentine’s Day. That flavor

started with a conversation about associations with the word, “burlesque.” Avery says. “We started thinking of all these attributes. If you could figure out a way to put that in a bottle, I bet it would taste pretty good.” The result is slightly spicy, and is sour and tart as well. Once they have a new concept, the Glassers start experimenting with the flavors. To make the bitters themselves, they start with a high-proof neutral-grain spirit, then add the ingredients, as well as a little bit of water. “We use a very classic method,” Avery says. After attending to the mixture and letting it rest, they then filter, dilute and bottle the bitters. The whole process takes under two weeks, he says. Bittermens also is one-half of the Craft Bitters Alliance, along with Scotlandbased Adam Elmegirab’s Boker’s Bitters; the alliance helps small bitters manufacturers through the process of making their products legal. Though making bitters for personal use is legal, some don’t realize that once bitters are bottled and sold, they are regulated by the government. Though the process takes a little time, it’s free, Avery says. Currently, Bittermens still is a part-time gig for the couple; Avery also does government security consulting, and Janet is an administrative assistant/office manager. But the success of Bittermens has been all word-of-mouth. “We just went and created a good product and made it available for people to taste,” Avery says.


Glassworks Just around the corner from Flickinger Glassworks on Pier 41, there’s a view of the Statue of Liberty, holding her torch aloft, looking out over Red Hook with a view to France, her country of origin. Since founder Charles Flickinger’s interest in working with bent glass was sparked when he worked on the restoration of her torch in the ‘80s, it seems appropriate that Lady Liberty keeps watch over his business. After working with several New York glass studios, Flickinger started working on the torch while at Rambusch Decorating, and pursued his interest in bent glass by working with such craftsmen as Maurice Heaton, Sydney Cash, Hans Deutsch and John Morgan. Flickinger opened his own bent glass business in Williamsburg in 1985 and moved to the current Red Hook space in 1990. Flickinger’s work is subtly present throughout the city—the restoration of the glass face of the famed Grand Central Station clock, sash window replacement at the Museum of Natural History, glasswork for Robert de Niro’s Greenwich Hotel in TriBeCa, and glass cases for Saks Fifth

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Made In Red Hook Avenue and Coach. The showroom at the entry of the space displays some of the late Heaton’s work, as well as jewelry pieces by Cash. Shop cat Paco sometimes sits atop the jewelry display case, while the other cat, Jasper, prowls the showroom. Also on display are Flickinger’s own colored enamel tableware pieces depicting fish, birds, vegeta-

bles, spoons and forks and other designs. Prices can range from $15 to more than $100 for larger works. This area is softly illuminated by Shinolas and Cell-A-Brites from the lighting collection, most displayed as wall sconces, though some can also be flush-mount ceiling pendants. Flickinger’s enameled glass studio is enclosed within the space. Also a fly fisherman, he adorned the studio’s glass windows with types of endangered trout. The designs are made by placing enameled powders on the glass, then firing the glass and bending it with molds, says Charles’ son, Nate Flickinger, who is helping with the business until mid-February, when Charles returns from a trip abroad. During this time, Nate and wife Candra Cantrell also are setting up an shop for Flickinger Glassworks so that Charles’ Practical Plates collection can be sold online. Around the showroom and in the office, you’ll see Flickinger’s artwork made with found objects and a sumi-e brush painting by Koho Yamamoto. The main part of the business is restoration of bent glass for cabinetry and display cases and architectural restorations: storefront replacements, window sashes, revolving-door glass, curio cabinets and wall sconces. Currently, the company is making some replacement bent glass tiles for the Bleecker Street and Columbus Circle subway stations. Though much of the work is repair and restoration, new pieces are created—such as 50-inch twisted pieces of glass that were painted with a powdery silver paint to stain the surface, then coated with colored film, to hang from a casino ceiling in Pennsylvania. Shelves hold thousands of steel molds for the glass; upon closer inspection, one can make out the outline to see a shape for a wall sconce, for example, or a ceiling light. Pointing to a bent glass mold, Nate Flickinger notes that the glass starts off as flat, then is placed on a steel mold and fired to 1,000 to 1,400 degrees in one of the ovens. Flickinger Glassworks started with a lone small oven, and now has a medium and a large oven to accommodate bigger pieces. Aside from Charles Flickinger and Joe Bailey, four people work at the space, doing everything from cutting glass and laminating glass to take off the sharp

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edges to packing and shipping. Cantrell notes that before meeting Nate and learning about Flickinger Glassworks, she never really noticed bent glass. But now, she says, “I notice it everywhere.”

DYAD Making furniture started as a hobby for architect Douglas Fanning, owner of DYAD, Fanning’s architecture business, as well as his studio and workshop for creating installations, furniture and lighting. He started to make furnishings as an outlet for more personal designs, as well as for more pragmatic reasons. “There were things that I’ve wanted to have, but couldn’t have, because they didn’t exist.,” he says. After graduating from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, he pursued what he calls “a standard architecture career” for six years before striking out on his own. After showing his ideas and pieces at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in 2001, his work was selected to be part of the furniture showroom at TROY in Soho,

and he went “full-steam ahead” with the furnishings. DYAD began in the Gowanus area before moving to Van Brunt about three years ago. Fanning has now moved the business to Centre Street in Red Hook for more space, with his design business upstairs and the DYAD workshop downstairs. Fanning’s clean, simple and modern designs have drawn comparisons to midcentury modern designers such as Eero Saarinen. Some have noted a minimalistic, Japanese aesthetic that Fanning attributes to his artist’s residency in Japan. The first piece was a Clasp Table, with steel clasps that holds the glass top. “It’s one of the most classic pieces in the collection,” he says. The Cross Table draws its inspiration from a spider—pieces of metal are welded together to create the table’s legs, while a clear box suspended from the middle is meant to hold a favorite book. “The book is a floating object,” he says, adding that his own Cross Table holds Dan Flavin’s monograph, Series and Progressions. The Ori Table is meant for people to sit on the floor, somewhat encased by the table. A sofa that Fanning has designed also sits in the new studio space. Under-

neath the sofa’s seat is a shelf for storage—a practical use of space, especially for small living quarters. The prices for the furnishings vary widely—from about $1,500 to $15,000, and most can be customized. Fanning’s commercial work can be seen at Concrete, a restaurant and bar in Hell’s Kitchen, and Millesime, a new seafood brasserie from Chef Laurent Manrique at the Carlton Hotel on 19th and Madison. He also installed the metal sliding door and metal bar at National, a Thai restaurant in Fort Greene, and has created pivot shelves for the Diesel Jeans headquarters’ showroom on 19th Street in Manhattan. One of Fanning’s most recent residential works was the transformation of a 200-square-foot terrace in Chelsea. Working with garden designer Damion Lawyer, Fanning undertook the challenge of enclosing the terrace without a roof. The result was a “Pastoral Porch,” an open-air steel-and-wood structure, topped by boxes that hold plants. The porch has warm cedar flooring, built-in seating and is equipped with a special hose and ladder for watering the plants. Currently, Fanning is designing a beach house for the same clients, and is working on a sculptural piece for Saks Fifth Avenue NY. He also teaches at Parsons School of Design and is working with City College CUNY students on the Solar Decathlon Project to design an offthe-grid house. Fanning’s office has cardboard models for other projects, including a small model of a table that wraps around a support beam in a home. When he designs something, he creates a cardboard model and “lives with them for awhile,” he says, before deciding to make a finished product. In the corner of DYAD’s downstairs workshop is a cardboard model of the Saddle Chair, something that Fanning created for a woman to give her husband as a birthday gift. Also in the corner are light staffs, lighting pieces that Fanning created initially while a set designer for Wally Cardona Quartet’s “Morphmania,” premiere at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Massachusetts in 2001. He created the poles to define and illuminate the set, and eventually started to offer them as lighting for homes, as hanging, wall or ceiling lights. Though several people work at the DYAD space, Fanning often works and welds the metal for his pieces himself, though he collaborates with woodworkers and glass artists for some pieces. One thing that is not currently at the new space is the DYAD Mobile Conference Room, which Fanning and an intern created one summer from a crosssection of an airplane. Outfitted with a serpentine bench, daybed and a fold-out table and grill, Fanning says, “We used to roll it out on the street for people to see.” Fanning says he is in talks with a developer in Denver to use the concept to create dozens of these as outdoor rooms and sunshades. As for the conference room, a friend is storing it. Fanning says with a smile, “It’s still floating around Red Hook.”

Carter Kustera Carter Kustera has been a working artist for more than 20 years, with work shown in two Venice Bienale Art Exhibitions and in national and international exhibitions. But it’s his simple profile silhouettes with clever captions that have captivated the attention of celebrities, as well as the masses, and they have landed his work in Barney’s CO-OP stores and U2’s PopMart Tour. The inspiration for his silhouettes came from an unlikely source: daytime talk shows. In the early ’90s, “I was fascinated by them, because of the personal information people were willing to share in order to be on TV, no matter how

personal it was,” he says. “But the single ‘aha’ moment was seeing the kyron graphics (text) that appeared on the TV visually showing that information.” Kustera had been working on large-scale sculptures and installations, and looking for more compact and inexpensive mediums. He decided on pencils and paper and began sketching profiles of the talk show guests, including their explanatory captions. After leaving his former Chinatown studio space, Kustera has made Red Hook home to his studio for the past three years. There he creates pencil and gouache silhouettes on paper, and in other mediums as well. People interested in portraits usually contact Kustera directly or through Jonathan Adler design, which offers Kustera’s custom silhouettes. The subjects are then asked to send a profile photo of the subject, and to select a color. Some prefer to write their own captions, but for those who don’t know what to say, Kustera will write a caption after asking some questions about the subject. “When you paint someone’s face, you find description in the character in their mouth and their eyes and their expression,” Kustera says of the necessity of the captions. “You can’t do that with a silhouette. My solution was to add descriptive information.” Kustera also recently did a deal with Groupon in New York and L.A., which offers members discounts for local goods and services, if enough people agree to purchase the deal. He’s also done portraits at big corporate events. “I’ll go out and I’ll do 200 portraits in a night at an event,” he says. “It’s kind of crazy.” He’s also done personal celebrity portraits, though Kustera notes he often does those in person, since celebs often (continued on next page)

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Made In Red Hook don’t like to give out photos because of privacy issues. You can see his portrait of Michelle Obama in Mrs. O: The Face of Fashion Democracy, a book by Mary Tomer about the first lady as a style icon. Kustera is currently seeking a publisher for his coffee table book and is developing an iPhone app with a major media company. “We’re doing a custom caller ID app based on my silhouettes, so if you have an iPhone or an Android, you take a picture of your contact or your contact emails it to you. That picture is converted into a black silhouette then there’s an option to add color, and in my handwriting, name that person and write something fun or nasty about them, just like my portraits.” Kustera also has been contacted by a Japanese fashion brand to provide his portrait service through its most successful retail outlet. Kustera has some of his own products, including shower curtains, pet products and clothing items, available online through Oré ( or for purchase directly from Kustera. The chain of events that led to Kustera’s success was improbable, beginning more than 15 years ago with a five-car-pileup. The driver at fault happened to have Progressive insurance. Impressed by the way Progressive handled the case, Kustera wrote the president of the company a letter, mentioning that he was an artist and things were already difficult, but he’d been impressed with the way Progressive handled the case. The president of Progressive called him back to ask about his art, and eventually asked Kustera to do the illustrations for the company’s annual report. “We ended up winning all these awards and that’s how I started getting recognition,” he says. That led to designing a bathroom at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Wisconsin and an artist-in-residency program. It was while Kustera was at Kohler that someone suggested he send his work to Simon Doonan, Barney’s current creative director at large and the long-time mastermind behind the store’s popular window displays. Kustera ended up doing the Barney’s windows, and when Barney’s developed the CO-OP brand, they tapped Kustera for visual branding. “They wanted to have a consistent look in all their CO-OP stores—including the one on Atlantic Avenue—that sort of went along with their outrageous, courageous kind of theme,” he says. “And they found that the silhouettes were cheeky and funny, and sometimes they’re provocative.” As part of the visual branding, Kustera’s touch can be found throughout the store, from rugs to curtains to wall applications. And it was through Doonan that Kustera met Adler, known for his unique home furnishings and accessories. As for U2’s PopMart Tour in 1997 and 1998, Kustera’s work, along with that of such artists as Keith Herring and Roy Lichtenstein, was selected to be animated for the backdrop to the band’s concerts. Though Kustera was fighting the flu the day he saw the show at Giants Stadium, he says it was cool for so many thousands of people to simultaneously see his work. After a career of conceptual work, Kustera seems somewhat surprised that his silhouettes have had the biggest and most lasting impact. “It’s just the simple things that people recognize you for,” he says.

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Saxelby Cheesemongers By the end of February, Saxelby Cheesemongers, which has a 120-foot-square space in Essex Street Market on the Lower East Side, will have a small storage space in Red Hook. Though no retail space is planned, cheese from Saxelby can be found at nearby Carroll Gardens restaurants, such as Prime Meats and Buttermilk Channel, 524 Court Street, says Benoit Breal, who owns the business with Anne Saxelby. For the past four years, the popular cheese purveyors have been offering American farmstead cheeses from small, sustainable farms in the Northeast. The 900-square-foot Red Hook space will allow for a larger cheese selection at the shop and expansion of the wholesale business. Though the cheese is technically made at the farms that supply Saxelby Cheesemongers, the small “cheese closet” will be used for affinage, or aging and maturing of cheeses.

“After a career of conceptual work, Kustera seems somewhat surprised that his silhouettes have had the biggest and most lasting impact. “It’s just the simple things that people recognize you for,” he says.”

Cardinal Tank Red Hook has been through a lot of changes since Cardinal Engine and Boiler Works opened its doors in 1934. The company, founded by Joe Cardinal Sr., originally repaired ships in the 1930s and 1940s, when the area was home to bustling shipyards. Once World War II broke out, business boomed because of the demand for shipwork, says William Weidmann, current owner of Cardinal Tank. Once the war ended, however, ships were repaired abroad at a lower cost. In 1970, Weidmann’s father purchased Cardinal Tank. When Weidmann graduated from college and started working with his father in 1972, the neighborhood was “a depressed, wild, wild west area,” he says, recounting robberies and desolate streets. Some of his employees who grew up in the Red Hook Houses say their parents wouldn’t let them play outside, for fear of gunfire. Since then, Weidmann says he has seen the neighborhood change tremendously and become revitalized. Cardinal Tank now specializes in repairing and making fiberglass heating tanks and boilers for residential and commercial clients, including businesses like Con Edison, hospitals and public schools. Much of the work Cardinal Tank does is custom fiberglass tanks, as well as steel tanks, notes Wiedmann. Cardinal Tank also does environmental spill cleanup as well. Like Red Hook, Cardinal Tank also has evolved over time.

The Hook Studio


ucked away in an unassuming corner of Red Hook is a world music studio that’s recently recorded big names—Jamaican roots reggae star Horace Andy, Grammynominated hip-hop/R&B duo Les Nubians and Blitz the Ambassador, a Ghana musician known for his fusion of hip-hop and highlife called hip-life. The Hook Studio, however, rarely records rock ’n’ roll, notes Tony Schloss, who started the studio with Peter Fand in 2005. “What we tried to do as a studio to put ourselves apart is we do West African and world music and a little bit of jazz.” The Hook Studio is somewhere between the modern and old-fashioned recording studios. “Some studios are as futuristic as possible and some are the other way— we’re sort of in the middle,” he says. While straight-to-computer recordings sound “icy and cold” to Schloss, the studio uses old gear to “sort of warm up the sound before it goes to the computer.”

The studio’s console is from the ’70s, Schloss says, “And its provenance is a little bit confused.” According to Carl, the guy who sold the console to the Schloss and Fand, it was used to record Blondie’s 1980 version of “The Tide is High.” The board is the same type of model used by Bruce Swedien to mix Michael Jackson’s Bad. Musicians also can use microphones from the collection that Schloss and Fand have put together over the years. Some date back to the 1930 and 1940s. “They lend a really nice sound to horns,” Schloss notes. Amon, a musician who goes by only one name and also runs the studio, notes, “Our equipment lends itself to nice, rich, warm sounds.” The studio is comprised of various rooms, including a drum room and vocal booth, an amp room and a keyboard room with a C3 church organ, a Wurlitzer and a Rhodes. “Musicians have the ability to maintain eye contact while still having their instruments isolated from each other, which enables the mix engineer to manipulate the sound of each instrument individually,” Schloss says. “We also have a large ‘live room,’ where musicians can all play together in the same room, and we record them in that older fashion, capturing the sound of the whole band playing in a room together.”

The studio began when Schloss had returned to New York City from Los Angeles and asked the owners of the Hook, the now-closed music venue, about the possibility of opening a recording studio. They put him in touch with Fand, a world music producer who also inquired about studio space. “We got along really well,” says Schloss, and the two recorded their own sessions in the venue’s basement, as well as live music at the Hook. Schloss had moved to L.A. in the ’90s to pursue a recording career. He worked with the Dust Brothers and had done recording work with the Foo Fighters, Cat Power, Beck, Sparta and Velvet Revolver. “The first album I helped make was Tenacious D, and I was like, ‘Wow recording is the most hilarious time ever,’” Schloss recalls with a laugh. “And it turned out it wasn’t.” In 2008, the studio moved to another location in Red Hook. Though Schloss and Fand started the studio, Amon, trained as a West African percussionist, and Ethan White, a member of Tortured Soul, will soon take over most of the studio duties. Fand recently joined the Cirque du Soleil as a bass player, percussionist and kora player, and he is currently rehearsing a new show in Montreal. Schloss plans to focus more on his background in education, and he recently studied educational technology in a Stanford University program called Learning, Design and Technology in the School of Education. Currently, Schloss runs the RHI Radio program, a youth-produced radio station with Red Hook Initiative. Fand also helped run a nonprofit called Create!, which places artists in the schools. “All of us, including Amon have been a part of this program and others and have taught and music production to kids,” Schloss says. Amon has toured with circus composer Sxip Shire, Then he says, he “fell into this very small niche of playing dance music,” and he often plays percussion with DJs, with regular gigs at Turntables on the Hudson and Afrokinetic. Amon, who also is known as Amon Drum, has played with Subatomic Sound System, a collective known for dub, dubstep and reggae. “We’re very lucky having these different people coming through and just keeping it alive,” Schloss says. “I think the people that come through, they say what they enjoy most is the vibe of the place. It’s very comfortable.

February 2011

Letters to the Editor: Visitation Church Petition The following Ten locations in Red Hook will have Visitation Landmark petitions for signatures starting this weekend. As soon as they are filled, they will be replaced. Distribution will continue on Columbia Street and Lorraine Streets according to Ms. Annette Amendola who is heading up the signature collection committee. Locations so far;

Red Hook Cafe-228 Van Brunt; Waterfront Laundry-282 Van Brunt; Bait & Tackle-320 Van Brunt; The Ice House 318 Van Brunt; Justin’s-254 Van Brunt, Pioneer Market-322 Van Brunt; Nates Pharmacy -376 Van Brunt; Dry Dock Wines-442 Van Brunt; Sonny’s Bar-253 Conover Street; VFW Post 5195- 325 Van Brunt. John Burkard, Red Hook

Another View of the VFW Dear Editor: I need to comment on the article about the VFW Post in the Star Revue for January’s 2011 edition. Matt Graber’s piece on the VFW Post 5195 was nice, but just a bit short on the purpose and reason for existence of this organization. I wish he would have spoke one of the elected Officers of the post, he would have came away with a much better perspective, than the Stars headline implied. “ Serving Beers after serving our Country is what goes on at the Red Hook VFW”? This is really sending a poor message to our readers about a fine VFW organization. True, it is a place to relax and enjoy a beer

February 2011

or two for many of our veterans. But VFW 5195 is involved in a much more entailed way when it comes to living up to the purposes of the VFW National by-laws and regulations. While Matt did mention the national Org. in his story, he did not mention the post on a grass roots level does vibrantly support and contribute financially to all the National Org. veterans programs. They supply the incentive and the manpower for these programs, and readily involve the membership in these activities. Some of which are as follows: Annual Memorial Services each May and November to perpetuate the memories of the countless veterans who gave their lives in service to our nation. While memorializing those members of our own post who made the supreme sacrifice are also included; visits to the local Veterans hospital to bring cheer and good wishes and comfort to those who are disabled or temporarily hospitalized. These visits are made in conjunction with the wonderful Ladies Auxiliary members who also run fund raising drives to donate money to the USO, Red Cross, and other worthwhile veterans care organizations; tending to a vets family in need when requested, to be certain they do not fall into the abyss of neglect and poverty as so often happens to the orphans and widows of the heroic soldiers in our armed forces who made the supreme sacrifice. In addition to making contributions to many worthwhile charities. Annual Buddy Poppy Drive to help the Disabled veterans across the country. Contributing to the support of our National Home for orphans of soldiers killed in action. There are many hidden deeds that go unseen every day. Like responding to a call for help from a Red Hook neighbor who needs emergency medical assistance, or is in dire need of emergency transportation somewhere, officiating at funerals of member veterans or their

family members, and rendering aid and comfort when needed, involvement in local events and perpetuating neighborhood history by dedicating historic locations and joining in celebrations, parades, and other important festivities for the benefit of our neighborhood. I’m a Life Member of VFW 5195 since 1968. As a neighborhood Historian, I can attest to the wonderful help and assistance always available to me in my historic endeavors just for the asking. VFW 5195 and their Ladies Auxillary has always responded to my reqests in the spirit of community service and comradeship. I just thought the headline was not reflective of the true nature or purpose of the Red Hook Memorial Post 5195 VFW. I know Matt Graber is a talented reporter, and anything I’ve said should not be construed to mean otherwise. nevertheless, I’m sure other members besides myself will object to being classified as nothing more than beer drinkers. Red Hook memorial Post 5195 VFW has been around for a long, long, time. It is a neighborhood fixture and is repected by all of its neighbors. This respect was earned by hard work and setting example for all. The soldier statue referred to in the article is a 1914 Doughboy WW 1 vintage. It was in Coffey Park. It had become hopelessly vandalized over the years and Parks Dept was unable to prevent these acts of desecration. Red Hook Memorial 5195 VFW paid for the relocation of this Statue moved to outside the post. They also had to pay for the redoing of the Coffey Park Plaza and removal of all the marble benches and stone where the Doughboy Statue had been since first installed. In addition to preparing the new site alongside the VFW Post. The expense was enormous, But the Statue is now on view and preserved for all to witness and reflect on, and graffiti free. Everyone who

passes the Doughboy Statue is reminded of the sacrifices our brave men and woman have made. God Bless all American Armed Forces everywhere in the world. Please bring them home safely to us, These are just a few of the happenings Red Hook Memorial Post 5195VFW’s Member’s involve themselves in day after day, in between the beers..... Regards, John J. Burkard, Life Member 42 yrs Red Hook Memorial Post 5195 VFW Brooklyn, N. Y. Editors Note: The reporters don’t write the headlines, the editor does.

More Made in Red Hook Hi Josie I wanted to get in touch because as a Red Hook resident and new business owner I would love to be featured in your paper! After losing our jobs after our employer’s company closed, after funding unexpectedly lapsed, my co worker and I set up Kempton & Darrow, a range of handbags which conceal laptops/ipads. The bags also work great as diaper bags and even have camera inserts for the pro photographer. I originally conceived the idea 6 years ago when traveling the world as a fashion designer. I was tired of carrying multiple bags on planes, and worse yet, an ugly nylon laptop bag. The original bag worked out so well they were soon in demand from all of my coworkers. Now it make all the TSA hoops a little more bearable and fashionable! I would sincerely love for you to check them out at There’ a little more info of our backgrounds there too. Fiona Kempton Let us hear from you! Send letters to the Red Hook Star-Revue, 101 Union Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231 or email to editor@

Red Hook Star-Revue Page 9

Red Hook History by JJ Burkard


The Hook’ that’s Not Red Hook

f the title seems a little confusing, it’s because some Red Hookers are also confused. I just thought I would help de-confuse the poor souls (and just possibly some of our readers also) with a little explanation. A few days ago I was watching a visiting couple, possibly tourists, examining a map of the area and discussing the Hooks location while sitting on the bench outside “Baked” by the bus stop on Van Brunt. One was telling the other, “See, there’s Red Hook “I glanced at what the young lady was pointing to on her tourist map. It was the hook shaped Erie Basin Breakwater which notoriously stands out on any map of Brooklyn. So much so that anyone unfamiliar with our neighborhood can easily mistake the breakwater hook on the map as the reason for Red Hook’s name. You and I know of course (don’t you?) that the name Red Hook as it applies to our great little town, has nothing to do with the Breakwater Hook and originated long before this breakwater was ever constructed, and long before the settlers ever set foot on our shores. The Breakwater itself however is an en-

tirely different story. It is part of what made New York State excel in moving goods across the state, and across America. It was instrumental in bringing the shipping industry to a place called Erie Basin which was the terminus for all goods shipped through the famous Erie Canal. The Erie Canal was a marvelous engineering feat whose construction began at Syracuse New York in 1850. It made its way across the State. After connecting with the Hudson River, paddle wheelers and barges began to carry cargo due south ending in New York City and terminating in the Erie Basin right here in Red Hook. Though the Erie Canal construction began around 1850, long before that date, enterprising businessmen were planning for the onslaught of massive shipping converging on Brooklyn, especially Red Hook. Which was to be the terminal in New York City? A Colonel Daniel Richards who owned a site on Cypress Tree Island fronting the Buttermilk Channel was preparing the beginning of his venture, construction of the Atlantic Basin.

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The Island, also called Red Hook Island at the time was a fifty acre island separated from the mainland by a series of creeks and marshlands, and completely surrounded by water. This project started by Colonel Richards was destined to change the face of Red Hook forever, and establish the street grids as they presently exist. The first major operation of the construction began around 1839-1840 and was to cut down the fifty acre mountain, fill in as much of the surrounding marshlands as possible with the removed earth (so much for preserving the historic Fort Defiance which once stood upon this very same hill). The rest of the highlands, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens were completed with soil from these highlands in a similar fashion until all the marshland existed no more. The native Indians had some very rich fertile hunting and fishing grounds taken away from them. The Atlantic Basin was a little different. Built on very shallow shoal water, it had to be dredged to accommodate the vessels it would be encountering. This phase of it was completed in 1842. It was a 40 acre protective basin for ships, and the dredging soil was used to continue filling in the surrounding marshland of Red Hook. Mr. William Beard and his partner Mr. Jeremiah Williams, the movers behind this engineering marvel, were also shrewd businessmen. Needing massive rocks for the breakwater, William Beard and Company would charge the shipping companies a fee to unload their ballast at the site of the breakwater under construction, and even had them do all the work. It was necessary to clear the ships holds of this ballast so they could take on more cargo for the return trip home. So both the Atlantic basin, Col Daniel Richards, the Breakwater (our hook that’s not Red Hook) and Mssrs. Beard and Williams played a large part in shaping our waterfront as well as being responsible for creating the strong vibrant shipping industry which lasted for well over a hundred years in Red Hook while thrusting New York State into the leadership of this maritime phenomena

for years to come. Did you take notice of the names? Col Richards (Richards St.) William Beard (Beard St.) Jeremiah Williams (Pioneer St. was formerly Williams St.). There’s a downside to this story however, and certainly a lesson to be learned. Both of these great companies and others that followed, while they did create jobs for many people from all over the city as well as Red Hook, failed to think about the community they operated out of. And Red Hook was left on its own with no help from these conglomerates, in fact at their mercy, to continue spiraling downward, never able to reverse the trend. It was also learned that these jobs were not permanent; they depended on the frequency of the shipping or the need for the boats to be repaired. Just as soon as the work was no longer in the ship repair yard, the jobs went away likewise. The increased shipping industry brought on by WW 2 did create jobs aplenty for all until it was thankfully ended. But soon all of this activity was depleted, never to return again. The lesson I speak of is the necessity of commercial interests in Red Hook to think outside the box. Think community and neighborhood. There’s more to your business success than just the inside of your plant. Business and residential can exist side by side. But only if we recognize and respect each other’s right to exist by taking an interest in improving the neighborhood where you have the privilege of operating your successful business. Fortunately this is starting to happen, we can only hope and pray the positive trend will grow to continue. Meanwhile, remember, that hook on the map, is not Red Hook….

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espite some of the weighty topics approached in this issue, altogether the journal does not come off heavy-handed. The humorous text-collages by Todd Colby, and other zippy bits of prose and poetry (which I have neglected here, writing about them is another undertaking altogether) keep this winter issue from becoming a collective dispatch from the tower of solitude. Grouped together, the works seem to buoy each other. Before we close the journal, the last image we see is by Colby with these words in large adhesive letters:

Krista Dragomer



Cover art by Michael Fusco, designer of Cousin Corinne’s Reminder]

The space is open. Fill in the rest. Zip back up and snowshoe your way into spring (and don’t make friends with bears). The sun will be here once again, as will the next issue of Cousin Corinne’s Reminder, thank goodness.

Alexander Binder, from his series “Between World


erve-numbed by cold, stepping over the occasional rat carcass frozen into a brown and grey sludge pile covering never-to-bereclaimed recyclables and repeating the mantra to myself I will not drop my cellphone into the Fall Cafe toilet while negotiating gloves, scarf, a burka-like down coat, and too many layers of sweaty wool, thermal, and heat-tech away from the squat zone makes for a near-ecstatic appreciation of arts that transport me to other worlds. The second issue of Cousin Corinne’s Reminder, the Brooklynbased arts and literary biannual journal edited by Zack Zook and published in partnership with BookCourt, does just that. The journal covers a range of genres, including poetry, fiction, non-fiction, a Comix Block curated by Dean Haspiel, photography, and an interview with painter Amelie Mancini. Contributors include poets Priscilla Becker and Nick Flynn, jazz critic, essayist, and fiction writer Stanley Crouch, photographer Matthew Pillsbury, and graphic novelist Tim Hamilton, to name a few. I began with time travel, a (re) making of the world in David Hollander’s short fiction work “The Limits of Bioinformatics and the Problematic of Meaninglessness: A Case Study.” The narrative is a darkly humorous Cat’s Cradle-like zoom through six days (more or less) of pain, pleasure, and pills that begin it all, or at least life in the western world, with a few monks ohmmmming for good measure. Cooling the centrifugal skid marks of interstellar research with a quieter non-fiction piece by Catherine Lacey, excerpts from “We Don’t Talk About Things Like That” are articulated like an undertow. Opening with an account of her evacuation from New Orleans before Katrina, Lacey details, with an eerie, churning stillness, the ever-present forces that can move buildings, erode language, or can “come into your house and tell you where to sit.” Nathaniel Bellows, in “Plus and Minus” moves us between figure and ground, evoking marks that become negative space giving shape to the question: how do we fill the spaces that others leave behind? And Sophie Rosenblum’s “Conscientious,” a witty 6 line story about a parent leaving a child in the park to find her own way home, sparkles and bounces like a prize from a quarter machine. The immediacy of the comics, drawing the reader efficiently into a scene and moving them along panel to panel, is an effective means of snapping back from the layered chambers of the longer fiction works. No less efficacious in their emotional impact, however—Joan Reilly’s journey into geographic and creative dislocation in “Red Hook Blues,” played out by a quirkily-drawn sloth-tagonist and her manimal friends, takes the reader through the challenges of freelance formlessness and the wear and tear of occupational uncertainty on relationships.


ritten works in this issue do not pulse with romance or wanderlust, the horizons are cinched in tighter, the struggles internal. While there are certainly relationships explored, sex and love and travel, as a whole, there is a sense of solitary questioning and an estrangement from the kind of life that could easily be recognized by others as accomplished or productive (or am I projecting?). In one way or another, many of the voices in the varied texts seem to wonder, as Adam Wilson’s protagonist does in “Foreign Bodies” what it might be like being real people with real names, a person “with fresh milk in the fridge.” The visual art in the journal tends to occupy themes and positions more relational than solitary. A mother giving her child a haircut in Tierney Gearon’s photographic documents of her family, classical Greek sculpture surrounded by blurs of ghostly spectators in Matthew Pillsbury’s “2010” – these works are anchored in the complexities of social relations.

Joan Reilly, from her comic “Red Hook Blues

Anthony Barboza’s photographs in sepia-toned black and white titled “Black Dreams/White Sheets” are compositionally minimal, each focused on a solitary figure on a bed in a small room. The arial vantage point and photographic mise-en-scène, including chains, a tuba, robes, white powder, and other objects render the figures on the beds, at times elaborately costumed, as symbols rather than subjects. Working with images of people this way brings up questions. It seems Barboza is critiquing systems of oppression, systems which operate on just this kind of erasure of a person’s specific, unique person-ness, which leaves the viewer hovering in all-too-familiar territory. Without another element to offset the tropes he has staged (the intimate texts that accompany Lorna Simpson’s photographs come to mind), I fear the images will too easily please the exploitative eye. Alexander Binder’s photographs offer a prism-tinted escape from the known world. Utilizing self-built lenses made from toys and other plastic materials, Binder’s images are part shadow figure, part myth. Atmospheric and mysterious, perhaps the figure is an entryway into another place (aren’t they all?), a portal to a psychedelic fantasy land.

Page 12 Red Hook Star-Revue

February 2011

Krista Dragomer February 2011

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It’s Not Too Early to Start Working on Your Taxes


espite the recession, business has been steady, notes Nick Rizzi, founder and CEO of Smart Tax, at his office at 588 Clinton Street. “Death and taxes,” he explains. However, the business he founded in 2006 is meant to make at least one of life’s certainties a bit easier. Since Rizzi opened the very first Smart Tax location in a smaller Red Hook space, the business has become a franchise with 27 current locations nationwide. Rizzi says he decided to open the first Smart Tax in Red Hook, because he felt the community was underserved, and he plans to stay in the area as his business continues to expand. Overall, Rizzi says, the basis for Smart Tax is simple; he tries to give people better service for lower cost. Smart Tax is open year-round to ensure that customers always are able to get their tax questions answered, in a comfortable office environment, he says. Smart Tax also takes care of business services, such as bookkeeping and payroll. According to Rizzi, the cost for a typical tax return preparation can be $75 to $150 less than competitors. Plus, every year, Smart Tax gives out a free gift. This year, customers receive a big, sturdy umbrella with the Smart Tax logo. Below are some tips to navigating this tax season. When to do your own taxes. “Some people can do it themselves, especially if it’s a simple return,” Rizzi says. The Smart Tax site ( has ways to e-file, as well as calculators and tips. Benefits to having taxes prepared. It’s easy to miss something, notes Rizzi, especially if you’re not sure about the answer to one of the questions on the form. If a tax question does come up, from an audit to a simple question, Smart Tax is

By Josie Rubio open year-round, says Rizzi. “It’s no additional fee to help you, if you’ve done your taxes here. We’re ready to answer any tax question you might have come up. Sometimes people will have another child, switch jobs or collect unemployment and if it’s going to affect them taxwise, we’re always here to counsel them if they want it.” What to bring. Bring in the proper paperwork, such as year-end bank statements, 1098s, 1099s, W2 forms, proper IDs and any receipts or bookkeeping logs if you own your own business. If you’re not sure what to bring, call Nick Rizzi, outside his store at the corner of Clinton and Hamilton Avenue ahead. If you don’t have all the proper paperwork, says Rizzi, “We would give Deduction will not be able to file until the door with a nice little packet, ready to take on the next year,” he says. them a checklist of what to bring back February 14 this year, Rizzi says. and make an appointment to see them Keep good records year-round. It’s never Smart Tax is open from 9 am to 8 pm Monat a later date.” too early to keep track of your records for day through Saturday and from 10 am to 4 The time factor. If you have a fairly sim- next year, so you don’t forget that charity pm on Sunday. New customers to Smart ple tax return, you can be done in about donation or business expense. Smart Tax Tax who bring a copy of the Red Hook 20 minutes. Once you e-file a return, has organizers for everything form charity Star-Revue will get $25 off. 588 Clinton you can have a direct deposit of your full to gambling losses, “We send them out Street, (718) 222-0006 tax refund in less than two weeks. April 18. The good news for those who wait until the last minute to do their taxes is that the deadline is extended to April 18 this year. “We’ll be here waiting for any stragglers,” Rizzi says. “If you have a stamp on the envelope and it’s Spoil yourself in a fresh and modin the mailbox and postmarked on the ern salon. Expert 18th, you’re good to go.” in color, chemical No need to procrastinate, even if you service and owe. People who owe money tend to organic products procrastinate, reasoning they won’t for all types of hair. Customized cuts for have to pay until the last minute, says your lifestyle and Rizzi. But even if you get your taxes personality. done now, you don’t have to pay until Walk-ins welcome. April 18. “And you would know how much you owe so you would have those two, three months to kind of get yourOpen Tuesday - Friday 11 - 8, self together,” he says. Saturday 10:30 - 6. 2011 Changes. People filing a Sched352 Van Brunt Street 718 935-0596 ule A, Educator’s Deduction or Tuition

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February 2011

Books: S

ome Red Hook residents know Nahisha McCoy as the PTA secretary at P.S. 15 Patrick F. Daly middle school, where one of her three sons currently is a student. Others know her as the Middle School Program Coordinator at Red Hook Initiative, a community-based, not-for-profit that offers support in education, employment, health and community development. And some might know her from other community work in the area, such as the Double Dutch program she runs for junior high school students. And when young men in the neighborhood see McCoy, they respectfully pull up their baggy pants, after she shared her feelings about the droopy pants on her blog ( “I tell them I have no problem punching you in your butt if I’ve got to see your drawers,” she says with a goodnatured smile. “At one point, it was just a joke to the kids that I knew. But it caught on like wildfire, so now when everybody sees me, they pull up their pants.” But McCoy also recently added the distinction of being a published author to her list of accomplishments, with the September 2010 release of You Showed Me by Melodrama Publishing. Incidentally, much of the story takes place in Red Hook, with references to the B61, the Red Hook Houses and Columbia Street. The book chronicles the story of Naheema and her relationship with Mike, who charms her off her feet. When a few red flags about Naheema’s Prince Charming unravel into full-on disaster, Naheema stays with him, despite the physical and emotional toll it takes on the once-vibrant, self-assured woman. McCoy says that women often have the tendency to see the good in people—especially when it comes to relationships. “Sometimes that stops us from really seeing the person, and we put on blinders to everything else,” she says. “And that was Naheema’s problem. She put her blinders on. When it was time for her to go, she didn’t because she kept seeing the good that she saw in him. But nobody else saw it.” The reader, however, sometimes sees the point of view of drug-dealing Mike, the tragedy that led him to his path, as well as his intentions to make a better life for himself— and the fear that keeps him from changing. “I watch a lot of things go on in this community, and what I see is a lot of guys want to get out, but they don’t know how to get out, because that’s all they know,” McCoy says. From the first page of the novel, however, readers are aware of impending calamity. At the start of the book, Naheema is in jail. McCoy says she started the book this way so Naheema could reflect upon her past and

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learn from the choices she made. “When you look at your life, you look at your past, and you look at all you want to change for your future,” McCoy says. “You learn from your past. Every mistake that you’ve been through, every bad relationship that you’ve been through, every hurt or pain that you’ve been through makes you stronger. You’re able to look back and see what was wrong then and learn how to go forward without making those same mistakes.” McCoy says that she started writing the book in 2005, when she was in a bad relationship and needed a sounding board. “You have your girlfriends and they all want to tell you what to do, and you know it’s from the heart, but sometimes that’s not what you want,” she says. “You just want people to hear you. You want to hear yourself to see how it sounds so you know what to do.”

“I tell them I have no problem punching you in your butt if I’ve got to see your drawers,” she says with a good-natured smile. After writing the first 80 pages of the book, however, McCoy experienced writer’s block and put the project aside. She then met author Al-Saadiq Banks, after e-mailing him about a cliffhanger at the end of one of his novels. “From there, we developed a friendship, and he helped me start off the book,” she says, adding that he kept pushing her to write. “But I had to keep stopping, because I would go blank,” she says. “Nothing. I would always hit this wall when I got to a certain part.” Finally, in 2007, she rewrote the entire novel, submitting it to Melodrama Publishing at the end of 2008. On February 18, 2009, she was laid off from her job as a special officer with the department of health, and the next day, the contract for the book arrived in the mail. When the finished book arrived this past summer, however, McCoy says she was nervous. “I’m more of a background person,” she says. McCoy currently is writing a book called Family Secrets, also for Melodrama Publishing, about a young woman who is spending her last Christmas at home before setting off for college. But family secrets start to unravel, perhaps giving the main character, Camille, the answers to the source of her recurring nightmares and the cold treatment she’s always received from her grandmother.

There’s also a sequel planned, called The Monster Within. McCoy says the new book explores the consequences of family secrets— something she says is particularly common in the black community. She says there’s the attitude: “What goes on in my house stays in my house, and that’s how it goes.” McCoy, who is involved in Falconworks Theater’s adult acting workshops, also is developing You Showed Me into a play. “My passion is theater, writing plays,” she says. After being hired by the Red Hook Public Safety Corps, shortly after moving to Red Hook Houses West in 1995, she says, “I fell in love with working with the community. And from there, I put my hand in every aspect of the community.” McCoy worked with Americorps and her team had a hand in bringing the Red Hook Community Justice Center to the area. For more than a year, she has been running the middle school after school program at Red Hook Initiative. For about eight weeks, however, she will be there only in the evenings, as she completes her training as a 911 operator. She’s preparing to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in business administration through Everest University’s online program. “ I’ve got a lot of goals, and it opened up my eyes when I realized my oldest son is about to go to college,” she says. “I want my degree on the wall too, so he can’t tell me he can’t do it.” Writing You Showed Me, often at night, after her boys went to bed, proved to be therapeutic for McCoy. “Once I got that book off my chest, I released a part of me that I held on

to,” she says. “I held onto the baggage of it, always looking for the next person to hurt me. So when I wrote the book, all of that just melted away. And so I was able to see myself for who I was, accept myself and continue to love again.” McCoy’s own story has a happy ending. In February, she married a man she met while working at the New York City Housing Authority. She also hopes that the book conveys the pride she feels in the community. “Red Hook has changed completely from the time I moved here to now, and I’m thankful because I had a part in it,” she says. “I have so much pride and joy in Red Hook. …Who wouldn’t be proud to live here?”

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Page 16 Red Hook Star-Revue

February 2011

Music: W

hen Alex Battles left his hometown of Chesterland, Ohio (a small burg with less than 3,000 people just east of Cleveland) for New York in 1995, amongst the belongings he brought with him on the train was his grandfather’s banjo, which he had been learning to play. While he’d entertain his new friends here playing the instrument, it wasn’t until 2000 that he decided to give performing in public a go. “I was at a show at Surf Reality and I had one of those ‘Hey, I can do that!’ moments,” he tells me via email. Presumably, it was a night of old-timey country and not one of the performance art pieces or burlesque shows for which the shuttered Lower East Side venue was also known. Battles soon began covering songs by Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Jerry Reed and other country venerables at open mics and the occasional gig, but finding playing on his own lonely, he assembled a conglomerate of like-minded musicians to back him as the Whisky Rebellion. Battles and the band made their debut the next year at Lillie’s, the popular Red Hook watering hole that once occupied the corner of Beard and Dwight Streets. (Alex Battles and the Whisky Rebellion was the last band to perform at the venue before Lillie’s permanently shut its doors in 2006.)

Banjo Picker Alex Battles Cultivates Country in Brooklyn By Stephen Slaybaugh

Battles subsequently began writing songs of his own. “It was an exciting challenge to try to connect with audiences through original material,” Alex recalls. “I think it was Willie Nelson who said something like, ‘You write these little stories, and if you do it right, you help people get through something.’ I guess that’s my goal with music: to try to write stories that will connect with people.”

“Alex Battles and the Whisky Rebellion was the last band to perform at the venue before Lillie’s permanently shut its doors in 2006.” Battles and the Whisky Rebellion released an EP in 2007. “I pulled it from distribution half because I’m crazy and half because I like it when things go out of print,” he says. But in the intervening years the singer has been connecting people through country music in another capacity. In 2004, he started the Brooklyn Country Music Festival, a multi-day event held in September that brings country musicians from all over

Kings County together. “I was lonely and bored and wanted to make new friends,” Battles says. “So I reached out to all the bands that I thought sounded cool and asked if they wanted to play together.” Though the festival has been held at Southpaw in Park Slope the last few years, he hopes to expand to include smaller venues for solo performances in 2011. While country music hasn’t usually been associated with Brooklyn, Battles has seen the genre’s popularity with local musicians continue to rise in the years since he first moved here. “There are a lot more bands with banjo than there were in 1995—a lot. There’s definitely a scene, but I’d need one of those charts the attorney general uses to describe organized crime to get into it with you,” he says. In addition to the Brooklyn Country Music Festival, Battles also runs an annual Johnny Cash Birthday Bash, which is in its seventh year and will be held this year at The Bell House. (In case you don’t have it marked on your calendar, Cash’s birthday is February 26.) The night will consist of Battles, the Whisky Rebellion and a host of guests playing two sets of songs from the Cash songbook, with videos of the Man in Black shown in between. Battles and the Whisky Rebellion, which

Alex Battles will be performing at Jalopy, 315 Columbia Street, Sat 2/12 has morphed into a loose rotation of friends, are also working on their first full-length album, which they hope to get out this year. But Alex still finds the time to play out, often in Red Hook at places like Jalopy, which he calls a second home even though it’s a couple miles from his residence along the Prospect Expressway. He’ll be there with Aoife O’Donovan on February 12.

Music Bits: Union, Reigning Sound, 78 RPM Disks Union and The Other Side at the Star Theater, February 12

Starting last summer, the new stage at 101 Union Street, home of both a newspaper and a mailing company, has hosted a weekly Thursday night jam faithfully each week. Out of these jams at least two bands have already formed. The Other Side is a modern incarnation of the well known 1970’s Carroll Gardens band CHAZZ, who was talented enough to record at the famous Record Plant, but later broke up as modern life caught up with some of their musical lives. They reunited last August at Carroll Park for a memorable show, and have continued playing together at the Union Street location. Their repertoire is heavily influenced by the Beatles and the blue-eyed soul of bands such as the Rascals. Their blues side shines when they perform Muddy Water’s classic ‘Got My Mojo Working.’ Another hot cover they perform is Mustang Sally. Union is a new band formed from two Port Authority employees who met the other musicians at the same jam. Stan Kosakowski and Tommy Ramirez, who both play guitar, had been seeking out open houses through the years performing their original material, but they found a permanent weekly home at the local Thursday Night Jam at 101 Union Street. Together with singer Greg D’Avola and a rhythm section, Union has been playing local venues such as Rocky Sullivan’s and since last summer, performing Stan’s songs exclusively. Crowd favorites include his songs ‘Ginger’ and ‘Tell Her No.’ They maintain a page on Facebook where some other songs can be heard.

February 2011

Reigning Sound at The Bell House, February 18

While this past year Greg Cartwright received loads of attention for the reunion of the Oblivians, the legendary-like garage punk trio he was in from 1993 to 1998, the band that’s been his primary outlet for the last decade, the Reigning Sound, is not to be overlooked. Indeed, the first time I saw the band play live, it was blowing the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion to bits as the opening act, and subsequent performances over the years haven’t been too shabby either. Like that of the Oblivians but with a poppier bent, the sound of the Reigning Sound is pure Memphis (even though Asheville, North Carolina is now home). Country, soul, blues and good ol’ rock ‘n’ roll are forged together into a godly ruckus highlighted by Cartwright’s gritty croon and jangly riffs that would make Sam Phillips squeal. Their last album, 2009’s Love and Curses, put the emphasis on noir cantillations of amore gone awry, but expect a rougher and tougher showing when they hit the Bell House stage. Rounding out the bill are New Orleans’ Guitar Lightnin’ and The Sights, a Detroit mainstay with a new album out on the venerable Bomp! subsidiary label Alive.

the evening will be sharing some of the rarest records on earth. Records played at 78rpm were first made in 1901, and were the favored format until the 1950s when they were largely replaced by the 33 1/3rpm album that Columbia Records introduced in 1948 and the 45rpm single that RCA introduced a year later. Heneghan, whose collection focuses on records dating between 1925 and 1933, will be joined by Pat Conte and Sherwin Dunner. Conte is considered an expert on ethnic records and put together The Secret Museum of Mankind series for Yazoo Records, a label that specializes in releasing compilations of music taken from 78s on LP and CD. Dunner, who is an employee at Yazoo, is said to have one of the greatest jazz record collections in the world and was responsible for Yazoo’s Jazz the World Forgot compen-

diums. They’ll take turns trying to outdo each other while debating the rarity and attributes of each record played, records that have for the most part never it to the digital realm.

Weekly Music Jam Every Thursday Night from 7:30 pm - 11 pm. All genres Free Admission, bring your instruments or at least your ears. 101 Union Street Star Theater

78rpm Record Showdown at Jalopy Theatre, February 20

Although billed like some cage match between record collectors, this, the first 78rpm Record Showdown, is an extension of the friendly get-togethers John Heneghan used to host at his apartment. While there will be a degree of oneupsmanship involved in the proceedings and they may play Stump the Chump (a game where whoever can guess the record gets to keep it), the thrust of

Red Hook Star-Revue Page 17

Bites in the Hook Valentine’s Day Edition by Josie Rubio

Whether you’re looking forward to an evening out with a special someone or plan to curl up with a good book and some sweet treats, there’s something in the neighborhood for you this Valentine’s Day. Baked Hearts

As of February 1, Baked will be offering an array of tempting Valentine’s Day treats, including heartshaped sugar cookies with fondant decorations ($4), Linzer cookies filled with raspberry jam ($4 each), spicy brownies with cinnamon and ancho chile ($2.75 each), red velvet Whoopie pies with cream cheese filling ($2.75 each) and devil’s food cupcakes with chocolate glaze and Swiss buttercream filling ($2 each, $24 per dozen). Mini 4-inch cakes ($14) also are available; there’s Lil’ Angel (white cake with white chocolate buttercream and raspberry filling), Lil’ Devil (chocolate cake and frosting with raspberry filling) and Lil’ Red Velvet with cream cheese frosting. These cakes also are available in larger sizes as well, by order only. It’s also wise to order the mini-cakes 48 hours in advance, though Baked will have some extra mini cakes on hand on Valentine’s Day for lastminute shoppers. If you want to share Baked goods with someone far away, try sending the new Baked Brownie Mixes ($16 each), available at Baked and Williams-Sonoma locations, as well as online at The three choices include Deep and Dark Brownie, Blondie and Peanut Butter Brownie. Baked is located at 359 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn - (718) 222-0345

Edible Flowers at Saipua

Local floral shop Saipua and home/ made have teamed to offer a chocolate truffles and flower arrangement special. Call (718) 624-2929 or e-mail for more information. Saipua is currently taking orders for Valentine’s Day and will be accepting walk-in orders throughout the weekend before the holiday and on February 14. “We

Page 18 Red Hook Star-Revue

are steering away from traditional arrangements and are highlighting unique made-to-order arrangements that take a twist—so icey-blue/peach palettes and jewel tone palettes,” says Saipua’s Deanna Nairns.

wrapped in bacon, chicken cigars, kibbe, sautéed garlic shrimp and bacon-wrapped scallops. Main courses include filet mignon, honey-glazed cod baked with pomegranate and served with mashed potatoes, grilled

salmon, grilled bronzini and shrimp and scallops over linguine. Desserts include chocolate cake, crème brûlée and homemade baklava. Call for reservations.

Great Plate at Good Fork

Though Valentine’s Day falls on a Monday this year, when many restaurants tend to be closed, some are keeping their doors open and offering special menus. The Good Fork is serving a special four-course tasting menu for $75 per person. Reservations are required, and a la carte selections will not be offered. For details of the tasting menu, posted closer to February 14, as well as a look at previous Valentine menus, check the “special events” section of Good Fork’s website (

Romancing Lilla

At Lilla, the Valentine’s Day menu, which is subject to change, is slated to include an amuse bouche of Blue Point oysters, choice of salad (kale, blood orange or roasted cardoons in a baked gratin of kalamata olives, confit garlic, breadcrumbs and feta) and beet and ricotta ravioli. Entrée choices are skate meunière, panroasted with rice pilaf capers and roasted carrots; braised beef short ribs with roasted Brussel sprouts and mashed Yukons, and Cornish hen with cornbread and andouille stuffing with braised kale. Warm bread pudding, ricotta cheesecake and Queen of Sheba (frozen chocolate mousse cake with toasted pecans) are the dessert selections. Lilla is accepting reservations for 6:30 and 8:30 seatings, and the cost is $45 per person.

Candlelit Mazzat

THE BROOKLYN COLLECTIVE VALENTINE’S EVENT! Please join us for a special Valentine’s celebration! Shop for unique gifts for your sweetie Over 20 collections by local artists and designers Complimentary cocktails will be served throughout the evening along with a special musical performance by Blanche Blanche Blanche Friday, February 11th 212 Columbia Street (between Union and Sackett) 7pm-11pm

... we hear our Manicotti is an Aphrodisiac... Now Taking Reservations

Mazzat is offering a Valentine’s Candlelight Dinner: an appetizer, main course, dessert and complimentary glass of champagne and a chocolate truffle for $40 per person. Appetizer choices include Brie-stuffed dates

February 2011

February 2011

Red Hook Star-Revue Page 19

Miknic Takes Over Old Lido’s Space By Eric Davidson

Bartender of the Month by A.J. Herold


ocal Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens barflies have long lamented the demise of Lido’s, the humble haunt on the corner of Sackett and Columbia that closed nearly four years ago. Considering the intriguing location near a number of fine restaurants and other barhop-able watering holes, many speculated when something might move into that spot. Then, in late December, a clunky, mysterious sign went up above the door: Miknic. And so the hopes of local dry-mouths have been answered with the soft opening of the area’s latest corner gathering spot. The quirky moniker comes from the combination of co-partners in the biz, Miki Mosman and Nicki Humphrey. On the coldest Friday yet this winter, Humphrey stood behind the bar, sharing a backstory that promises to bring endless tale-telling to regulars who want to pony-up to the spiffed up bar—one of the few remnants of the old Lido’s. Born in New Zealand, Humphrey has spent time bartending around London and New York, and working on a private yacht that made trips up the Caribbean through Nova Scotia and into the Great Lakes. On one trip, she decided she missed the Big Apple too much, and told the captain to drop her off here. Since landing in New York, she has made Manhattan her home for 17 years. She currently still tends bar at Milano’s, 51 E. Houston St. in Nolita, where she befriended patron Mosman. The two decided two years ago to start their own place. Both are motorcycle enthusiasts, and on a location-hunting trip, quickly fell for the dusty, long-dormant Lido space. “We looked all over the city,” says Humphrey. “We read up on this area a lot, really liked all the shops that were opening around here. And then when we came upon this place, we just loved it right away. Though it needed some work.” They dusted out the cobwebs, got rid of the gnarly beer taps, and spent many days ripping off the old photo-stuffed window box and other wall detritus, and scrubbing down the uniquely red/brown bricks underneath. New taps will be installed soon, and Humphrey says they’ll probably increase the wine selection, in addition to the usual array of libations. “We just want to make Miknic a cool, cozy, inviting vibe,” she says. But though Lido’s had built its rep on a hipster-fueled karaoke night, Miknic won’t continue that tradition. “We know Lido had a good little group of supporters around here, and of course we welcome everyone! We just want to separate ourselves. And I’d like to think our personalities should bring in people too!” Humphrey says with a laugh. They’ve also added a foosball game, with a few folks already planning a league. There are plans to clear out the quaint backyard and perhaps project films there in the summer. They also have soundproofed the ceiling and are lining up a P.A. system in order to book bands and deejays. Like most of the other new spots around the area, Humphrey is looking forward to the Brooklyn Greenway project to really get going, and pump up the slowly increasing foot traffic. “But we know it’ll take a little while to get our name out there, for people to find us,” Humphrey says. “I had a friend who wanted to come check the place out. He didn’t know this area at all, and he’d had a few cocktails in him. He called me from Court and 2nd Place—‘Where are you guys?’”

Someone pretending to be Roaul Duke one day walks down Woodhull Street, hangs a hard left and finds himself sitting at the bar of Moonshine. Low and behold a fine young lady with raven hair, and a smile for miles says, “ Hi I am Anney” Duke Pretender says, “Hi I am... well here to drink” he proceeds to engulf 7 to 10 cups of wild turkey and then the Q&A begins: RD: What does the term Goonshine mean to you? Anney: When I am here by myself, and I have no guzzling goons in front of me... RD: Who will win best picture? Anney: Best Picture of what? RD: Who will win the superbowl? Anney: Bud Light RD:Do you sparkle in the sunlight? Anney: not any more, I use to all the time, disco glitter is so yesterday RD: What Misfits song reminds you most of your patrons? Anney: Where Eagles Dare, but well duh RD: Are all men that patronize this bar leg humping dogs? Anney: “my sister, my daughter, my sister, my daughter...” RD: How many times have I asked you to marry me? Anney: At least a thousand and the answer is still the same RD: What time do you wake up in the morning? Anney: I don’t RD: How long have you been spilling drinks at Moonshine? Anney: since the summer of 2009 RD: Physical Ejection of an out of order patron? Anney: Buckets, Bottles, & Baseball bats seem to work best RD: Who is your bartending idol? Anney: Gerry Scott RD: Have you ever been shot? Anney: not like Gerry Scott The Red Hook Star-Revue Serving the Brooklyn Communities of Red Hook, Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill

June 2010

The Red Hook Star-Revue

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.

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.

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The Red Hook Star-Revue 104 Union Street Brooklyn, NY 11231

June 2010

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

Long Walk Home BY J.W. zEH


Ikea Spillover Effect? Red Hook Not Yet a Retail Boomtown 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 major compoof Ikea’s employ-

over from Ikea custom-

nent 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.

July 2010

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? 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 the average Brooklynite’s lifetime, the with the business for almost twenty by Kevin O’Hanlon ice cream truck holds somewhat of a years and bought out the previous f one is to walk down Sackett special place in many locals’ hearts. owner just six months ago. Today, the Street between Van Brunt and Surely, seeing a lot filled with these lot holds up to twenty-five trucks, half Columbia Streets, one of the first trucks is bound to inspire curiosity of which have private owners who things that will catch their eye is in many people, as it is a rare event rent parking space for them while the a giant lot filled with ice cream trucks. to witness more than one ice cream One of the most familiar things from continued on page 3 truck on the same block.


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: “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

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

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”

12 pagEs OF aRTs cOvERagE iNsidE!!!

please turn to page 5

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

continued on the back page

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Drinks and Food to Go With It section,

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February 2011

Star-Revue Restaurant Guide 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.

The dining room at Mazzat


BAKED 359 Van Brunt St., (718) 2220345. Bakery serving cupcakes, cakes, coffee, pastries, lunch items. Free wi-fi. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. AE, DS, MC, V. Grade: A. THE BROOKLYN ICE HOUSE 318 Van Brunt St., (718) 222-1865. Burgers, barbecue and pulled pork sandwiches. Open for lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. DEFONTE’S SANDWICH SHOP 379 Columbia St., (718) 855-6982. Variety of large sandwiches, including roast beef and potato and egg. Open for breakfast and lunch Mon-Sat. Cash only. DIEGO’S RESTAURANT 116 Sullivan St., (718) 625-1616. Mexican and Latin American cuisine. Open for lunch and dinner Mon-Sat. AE, DS, MC, V. Grade: A. F&M BAGELS 383 Van Brunt St., (718) 855-2623. Bagels, sandwiches, wraps, chicken salad, breakfast plates, burgers, hot entrees and more. Open for breakfast and lunch daily 5 am-5 pm. AE, DS, MC, V. Delivery available.

THE GOOD FORK 391 Van Brunt St., (718) 643-6636. Excellent food from Chef Sohui Kim in an unpretentious atmosphere; menu varies seasonally and can include pork dumplings, roast chicken, homemade gnocchi and steak and eggs Korean style. Open for dinner Tue-Sun. AE, MC, V. HOME/MADE 293 Van Brunt St., (347) 223-4135. Seasonal, local and rustic/ elegant cuisine, with an extensive wine list of 40 selections by the glass, and local brew and Kombucha on tap. Coffee and pastry Mon-Fri 7 am-2 pm, dinner Wed-Fri 5 pm to 11 pm, brunch Sat & Sun 10 am4pm, dinner 4-11 pm. 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) 246-4532. Swedish meatballs, pasta, wraps and sandwiches; breakfast items include eggs and cinnamon buns. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. AE, DS, MV, V. KEVIN’S 277 Van Brunt St., (718) 5968335. Seafood, seasonal and local fare. Open for dinner Thu-Sat, brunch Sat-Sun. AE, MC, V. MARK’S PIZZA 326 Van Brunt St., (718) 624-0690. Open for lunch and dinner daily. AE, MC, V. Delivery available. RED HOOK CAFÉ & GRILL 228 Van Brunt St. (718) 643-0166 or (718) 6430199. Bagels, pancakes, omelettes, wraps, salads, hot sandwiches, burgers and daily specials. Open for breakfast and lunch daily, Mon-Fri 5 am-5 pm, Sat-Sun 6 am-4 pm. Cash only. Delivery available. RED HOOK LOBSTER POUND 284 Van Brunt St., (646) 326-7650. Maine lobster rolls, Connecticut rolls and whoopie pies. Open for lunch and dinner Fri-Sun. MC; V. ROCKY SULLIVAN’S 34 Van Dyke St., (718) 246-8050. Irish pub with brick-oven pizza, sandwiches and Red Hook Lobster Pound feasts Fri 6-9 pm, Sat 5-8 pm. Open for lunch and dinner daily. AE, DS, MC, V.

February 2011


5 BURRO CAFE 127 Columbia St., (718) 875-5515. Mexican. Open for lunch and dinner Tue-Fri, brunch and dinner SatSun. AE, DS, MC, V. ALMA 187 Columbia St., (718) 643-5400. Modern Mexican fare. Open for dinner Mon-Fri, brunch and dinner Sat-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. Delivery available. Grade: B. CASELNOVA 214 Columbia St., (718) 522-7500. Traditional Northern and Southern Italian dishes, pizza, pasta, lunch panini. Open for lunch and dinner Tue-Sun. Delivery available. AE, DS, MC, V.

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. Delivery available. 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 and Middle Eastern fare, including falafel sandwiches, kibbe, bronzini, lamb shank, baklava and small plates. Open for lunch and dinner daily. AE, MC, V. Delivery available. Grade: A

PETITE CREVETTE 144 Union St., (718) 855-2632. Seafood, including corn-andcrab chowder, salmon burgers and cioppino, from Chef Neil Ganic. BYOB. Open FERNANDO’S FOCACCERIA for lunch and dinner Tue-Sat. Cash only. RESTAURANT 151 Union St., (718) TEEDA THAI CUISINE 218 Columbia 855-1545. Southern Italian fare, including St., (718) 643-2737. Thai dishes include pasta and panelle. Open for lunch and din- papaya salad, dumplings and massamun ner Mon-Sat. Cash only. Grade: A. curry. Open for lunch and dinner Mon-Sat, 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. Delivery available. HOUSE OF PIZZA & CALZONES 132 Union St., (718) 624-9107. Pizza, calzones and sandwiches. Open for lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. Delivery available. Grade: A. IRO 115 Columbia St., (718) 254-8040. Japanese cuisine, including sushi and noodle dishes. Open for lunch and dinner daily. AE, MC, V. Delivery available. Grade: A. JAKE’S BARBECUE RESTAURANT 189 Columbia St., (718) 522-4531. Kansas City-style barbecue, including baby back ribs. Open for lunch and dinner daily. AE, MC, V. Delivery available.

dinner Sun. MC, V. Delivery available. Grade: A. Credit Card Guide AE—American Express DS—Discover MC—MasterCard V—Visa Grades listed are from the New York City Department of Health. Those that do not have a grade listed either have a grade pending or have not yet been graded. For more information, visit

Red Hook Star-Revue Page 21

Music & Arts Calendar CHILDREN

Bait & Tackle—320 Van Brunt St., (718) 797-4892, Rolie Polie Guacamole, 2/26 at 2 pm. FREE. The Bell House—149 7th St., (718) 6436510. The Okee Dokee Brothers and Rolie Polie Guacamole, 2/13 at 11 am. Walking people $10, babies FREE. Jalopy Theatre and School of Music—315 Columbia St., (718) 395-3214. Karen K. and the Jitterbugs, family-style concert for ages 3 months to 5 years,, 2/13 at 4 pm. Adm $5 kids, $10 adults, $20 family.


102 Commerce—102 Commerce St., (718) 710-1773, Introduction to Forrest Yoga, for both beginners and experienced yogis, 2/6; Rockin’ Yoga, sweat with a playlist, 2/20; Upside Down!, core strength and flexibility, handstands and arm balance for all levels, 2/27; all from 2-3:30 pm. Workshops $20 in advance, $25 at door. Brooklyn General—128 Union St., (718) 237-7753. Beginner Knitting Session H, 2/22, 3/1 & 8 from 7-9 pm, $120; Project Knitting Session H (beginning intermediate-advanced), 2/22, 3/1 & 8 from 7-9 pm, $120; Magic Loop Knitting Session A (beginning, intermediate and advanced), 2/13 20 & 27 from 5-7 pm, $120; Sewing Pajama Bottom & Zippered Pouch, 2/10, 17 & 24, 3/3 from 7-9 pm, $160; Sewing All Day Tote Bag Session C, 2/5, 12, 19 & 26 from 9:30-11:30 am, $160; Patternmaking Workshop Session C, Skirt, 2/27 from 10 am-noon, $50; Quilting Workshop Session C, 2/28, 3/7, 14 & 21 from 7-9 pm, $160; Spinning (beginning level), 2/1, 8 & 15 from 7-9 pm, $120; Sewing Fall Coat (advanced), 2/9, 16 & 23, 3/2, 9 & 16 from 6:30-8:30 pm, $220. Registration for class must be completed 24 hours in advance. Cora Dance Studio—201 Richards St. Buzzer #5, (718) 858-2520. Cora Adult Wellness Weekend, nutrition, massage, and stress-reducing classes to cure your winter blues; 2/5: Nutrition for Optimum Immunity Workshop with Felicia Desrosiers at noon, Alexander Technique Workshop with Christine Doempke at 1:30 pm, Yoga Workshop with Jennifer Schmermund at 3 pm; 2/6: Massage Workshop with Brandt Wagner at noon, Swing Workshop with Jennifer Wilbanks at 1:30 pm; Zumba Workshop with Sarah Folland at 3 pm. Workshops $25 each, $60 for one day of classes or $100 for both days; register online at Everbrite Merchantile Co.—351 Van Brunt St., (718) 522-6121. Open-level yoga with Felecia Maria, bring your own mat, 2/2, 9, 16 & 23 from 7:30-8:30 pm. Donations accepted. Jalopy Theatre and School of Music—315 Columbia St., (718) 395-3214. Joe Brent Presents a Monthly Advanced Mandolin Workshop, 2/12 at noon, $25; Lap Style Bluegrass Dobro Workshop with Todd Livingston, all levels welcome, 2/13 at 1 pm, $25; Vocal Harmony Basics, with Emily Eagan, 1/20 at 1 pm, $20 ($40 or Vocal Harmony Basics and Duos and Trios); Vocal Harmony Duos and Trios, 2/20 at 3 pm, $25.

zoo Moseni, 2/4 through 3/27. Open ThuSun noon-5 pm. Opening reception: 2/4 from 6-8 pm. Artists’ Talk: 3/12 at 4 pm. Look North Inuit Art Gallery—275 Conover Street, Suite 4E, (347) 721-3995, New Artwork from Northwest Alaska, art from Shishmaref and St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea, on view through 2/28. Call for hours. The Waterfront Museum & Showboat Barge—290 Conover St. at Pier 44, (718) 624-4719. On the Waterfront: Visions of Red Hook by Melora Griffis and Tad Wiley, 2/1 through 3/26. For directions to the museum, visit waterfrontmuseum. org. Open Thursdays 4-8 pm, Saturdays 1-5 pm. (Also see Museum.) Opening artists’ reception: 2/11 from 6-8 pm. WORK Gallery—65 Union St., Decidedly Ambivalent, 2/5 through 3/12. Fri 3-7 pm, Sat & Sun noon-6 pm and by appointment. Opening reception: 2/5 from 6-10 pm.


Bait & Tackle—320 Van Brunt St., (718) 797-4892, Groundhog Day, 2/2 at 8 pm; Movie Night: Red Hook-themed films or movies shot in the neighborhood, 2/9, 16 & 23 at 8 pm. Fundraising for Red Hook Summer Movies.


Botta di Vino—357 Van Brunt St., (347) 689-3664. Green Blackout Blind Tasting, candlelit tasting of wrapped bottles, with acoustic jazz guitar, 2/4, 11, 18 & 25 from 8:30-10 pm, must purchase one bottle; Express Brunch Saturday Seminar, 2/6, 13, 20 & 27 from 2-6 pm, limited seating every 30 minutes, $10, members free; Food & Wine Pairing School, with sommelier and private chef, 2/14 & 28 from 7-9 pm, $60 per person, members $30. Dry Dock—424 Van Brunt St., (718) 8523625. Tant-mieux Time!, sparkling wine from the Jura region of France made by Philippe Bornard, plus Chateau Cambon Beaujolais and the Latitude 50 Pinot Noir, Fri 2/4 from 5:30-8:30 pm; Berkshire Mountain Distillery, gin and rum samples, Sat 2/5 from 4-7 pm; Ferreira Port and Broadbent Madeira with fig pinwheel cookies from Baked, Thu 2/10 from 6-8:30 pm; Valentine Champagne, Fri 2/11 from 5:30-8:30 pm; Campari Bitters Aperitif, Sat 2/12 from 4-7 pm. FREE


Bait & Tackle—320 Van Brunt St., (718) 797-4892, Rugby, 2/5, call for time; Superbowl and Chili Cookoff, 2/6 at 6 pm; Crafternoon, knitting and crafts, 2/13 & 20 from 2-4 pm; Valentine’s Day Quiz: Trivia for Lovers, 2/14 at 8:30 pm; Quiz Night, 2/28 at 8:30 pm. FREE. The Bell House—149 7th St., (718) 6436510. Night Out, stage show, 2/9 at 7 pm, $10; TV Party: Best of ’90s Valentine’s Episodes, 2/9 at 8 pm, free; Ooey Gooey Valentine’s Comedy Party, 2/11 at 7:30 pm, $8; Underground Rebel Bingo, 2/12 from 9 pm-2 am, $5-$15; Pre VDay Dance Party, 2/13 at 7 pm, $10, $20 with speed-dating; Rejection Show Valentine’s Day Heartbreak Haven, 2/14 at 7 pm, $10 adv, $12 door; Bingo is for Lovers, 2/16 & 23 at 7 pm, $5 packs; Texas State Fair, with draft beer fest, queso cook-off, belt buckle contest and more, 2/20 from 3-7 pm, FREE; Amateur Ping Pong Tournament, 2/22 at 7 pm, FREE to watch, $5 to play; Party Like It’s 1999, ’90s dance party in the front lounge, 2/24 at 9 pm, FREE; Wedding Crashers 2011, Brooklyn Based wedding fair, 2/27 from noon-5 pm, $30 per person, $50 per couple. Brooklyn Collective—212 Columbia St. (718) 596-6231, Valentine’s Day Event, more than 20 collections from local artists and designers, shop for your sweetie with complimentary cocktails and live music, 2/11 from 7-11 pm. FREE. Rocky Sullivan’s—34 Van Dyke St., (718) 246-8050. O’Donovan Rossa Society meeting, 2/2 at 7:30 pm; Rocky Sullivan’s World Famous Pub Quiz with quizmaster Sean Crowley, 2/3, 10, 17 & 24 at 8 pm. Sugar Lounge—147 Columbia St., (718) 643-2880. Comedy with Yannis Pappas, 2/10 at 9 pm. FREE. Union Street Star Theater—101 Union St. (between Columbia & Van Brunt), (718) 624-5568. Columbia Waterfront Park Visioning Meeting, with the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative, 2/2 from 6:30-8:30 pm. RSVP to with Columbia Waterfront Park in subject line for background information. Visitation Church—St. Mary’s Hall, 98 Richards St., (805) 300-6913. Fundraising Event with Celebrity Hairstylists Francesco Carta and Mimmo Rossi, 2/7 from 9 am-9 pm. Hair cut, wash and blow-dry $30 & up; hair cut and dye $60 & up, hair cut and highlights $60 & up.


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 audio-kinetic ball machine sculpture by artist George Rhodes that continuously whirls, goes loop-the-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 Open Thursdays 4-8 pm, Saturdays 1-5 pm. FREE. (Also see Exhibitions.)


Bait & Tackle—320 Van Brunt St., (718) 797-4892, Tin Roof Trio, 2/4 at 9 pm; Smitty, 2/7 at 8 pm; Andrea Amoro, 2/10 at 9:30 pm; Mason Porter, 2/18 at 9:30 pm; The Proud Flesh, 2/19 at 9:30 pm; Boom Chick, 2/25 at 9:30 pm; Rob Reddy Groupe, 2/27 from 3-6 pm. FREE. The Bell House—149 7th St., (718) 6436510. Does It Offend You, Yeah?, Deluka and Infernal Devices, 2/3 at 7:30 pm, $15; My So-Called Prom, ’90s-style prom with the Bayside Tigers all-grunge cover sets, 2/5 at 9 pm, $12 advance, $15 door, price includes one drink, with $3 of each ticket benefiting the Coalition for the Homeless; Neko Case, with Lost in the Trees, 2/6 at 8 pm, $35 (sold out); Cottonmouth, April White and Subatomic Sound System, plus dance performance from Stand Up Hungry Dance Company, 2/10 at 8 pm, $10; Reigning Sound, Guitar Lightnin’ and the Sights, 2/18 at 8 pm, $13 adv, $15 door; Crooked Fingers, 2/19 at 7 pm, $15; Los Straightjackets Rock ’n’ Roll Burlesque Spectacular with the world-famous Pontani Sisters, with special guests Miss Saturn and Ruby Valentine and Jenny Dee & the Deelinquents, 2/25 at 8 pm, $15; The Johnny Cash Birthday


Gallery Small New York et Petit Paris—416 Van Brunt St., (347) 782-3729, French Industrial Design, textiles and wallpapers from 1830-1930, original painted gouache designs with the stamp of Design House from the Rue St. Honore on the Right Bank, rare apprentice books from 1840, Parisian art nouveau curtains, American children’s sheet remnants from the 1920s and vintage wallpaper rolls from The House of Boussac by Pierre Frey (Paris), through 2/26. Open Thu-Sun 11 am-5 pm, Wed by appointment. Kentler International Drawing Space—353 Van Brunt St., (718) 875-2098, Beverly Ress and Are-

Page 22 Red Hook Star-Revue

February 2011

Bash, featuring Alex Battles & the Whisky Rebellion, plus Cash films from archivist Clinton McClung, 2/26 at 8 pm, $15 adv, $20 door. 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. Hooklyn Holler!, Colonial Radio and the Whiskey Spitters, 2/1 at 8:30 pm, $5; Roots & Ruckus, 2/2, 9, 16 & 23 at 9 pm; Miss Tess and the Bon Ton Parade and Ameranouche, 2/3 at 9 pm, $10; Greg Garing & His All-Stars and Doug and Telisha Williams, 2/4 at 9 pm, $10; The Golden Specifics, 2/5 at 10:30 pm, $10; The Little Brothers, Mr. Omuck and the Academy of Ancient Blues and Mamie Minch, 2/6 at 8 pm, $10; Tony Scherr Trio, 2/8 at 9 pm, $5; The Michael Winograd, Klezmer Trio and Veveritse Brass Band, 2/10 at 9 pm; Kings County Opry, featuring: Dick Oscar & the Ambassadors of Love String Band, Celebrated Song Circle (with Fran Leadon, Ken Ficara and Kerri Lowe) and Roosevelt Dime, 2/11 at 8:30 pm, $10,; Alex Battles and the Dang-It Bobbys, 2/12 at 9 pm, $10; Gene D. Plumber and the Dixie Bee Liners, 2/13 at 8 pm, $10; Rooftops, Ali Marcus and Astrograss, 2/17 at 9 pm, $10; The Roulette Sisters and the Toughcats, 2/19 at 9 pm, $10; 78 rpm Record Listening Party, hosted by John Heneghan, 2/20 at 7 pm, FREE; Jessy Carolina & the Hot Mess, 2/22 at 10:30 pm, $7; Xylophone People, 2/24 at 10:30 pm, $10; The Pines and Andy Friedman and David Goodrich, 2/26 at 8 pm, call for cover info; Steam Powered Hour, bluegrass and comedy, hosted by New Yorker cartoonist Matthew Diffee, 2/27 at 7 pm, $10; Pearly Snaps and Old Sledge, 2/28 at 8 pm, $10. Rocky Sullivan’s—34 Van Dyke St., (718) 246-8050. Seanchaí and the Unity Squad, 2/5, 12, 19 & 26 at 9:30 pm; Monday Night Trad Seisiun, 2/7, 14, 24 & 28 at 8 pm, FREE; Tuesday Night Trad Seisiun, 2/1, 8, 15 & 22 at 8 pm, FREE. Call for adm info not listed. Sugar Lounge, 147 Columbia St., (718) 643-2880. Karaoke Wednesdays, 2/2, 9, 16 & 23 at 8:30 pm; A Rainbow Rendezvous with Raymond, 2/3 & 17 at 9 pm; Free Music Fridays: Elisa Flynn with Jose Delhart, 2/4; Corina Hernandez, 2/11; El Diablo Robotico, 2/18; George Gilmore, 2/25. Check the Sugar Lounge Facebook page for updates. FREE. Sunny’s Bar, 253 Conover St., (718) 6258211. Smokey’s Round-up, 2/2, 9, 16 & 23 at 9:30 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, 2/3, 10, 17 & 24 from 7-10 pm. FREE; Concert featuring Union and The Other Side, Saturday 2/12 at 8 pm. Free admission.


The Bell House—149 7th St., (718) 6436510. Pretty Good Friends, an evening of comedy, music and reading to celebrate Michael Showalter’s new book, Mr. Funny Pants, with Showalter, Eugene Mirman, Reggie Watts and Kumail Nanjiani, 2/27 at 8 pm. Adm $10. Freebird Books & Goods—123 Columbia St., (718) 643-8484. Punxsutawney Phil Retirement Party, with Mississippi author Mike Kardos, 2/5 at 3 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, 2/23 at 7 pm. Sunny’s Bar, 253 Conover St., (718) 6258211. Sundays at Sunny’s, with Myla Goldberg, Brooklyn Brewery Brewmaster Garrett Oliver (reading from The Brewmaster’s Table) and Alden Bell (reading from his Southern Gothic novel, The Reapers Are the Angels), curated by Gabriel Cohen and co-sponsored by BookCourt, with coffee and

February 2011

Star-Revue Classifieds Real Estate APTS FOR RENT: RED HOOK

2 BR New Reno. with yard + washer/ dryer hookup + dishwasher + parking avail $2000. PARK SLOPE

1 BR With hardwood floors. Great Light, by the R train $1300. 2 BR Great light. Dim: BR 19x9, BR 15x8, LR 15.5x10, Kitchen 12x11$1475. 2 BR With a yard $1800. 3 BR Brownstone, original detail, highceiling, eat-in kitchen $2400.

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


1 BR Tin ceilings, eat-in kitchen, hardwood floors. Close to Degraw/Bergen Stop $1750. 3 BR Conv. to a 4BR duplex $3400. 4 BR Duplex 2.5 baths. Good light, new renovation $4000. GOWANUS

1 BR plus den, shared yard with garden, eat-in kitchen $1500. BROOKLYN HEIGHTS

Doorman building units each w/ washer+dryer, fitness center, indoor pool, landscaped roof deck:Studio $1700; 1 BR $2650; 3 BR $4165. PIZZERIA FOR SALE:

By Luna Park, Coney Island. Fully equip turnkey operation. All utilities inc 1113 sq ft $165k. COMMERCIAL PROP FOR RENT: CARROLL GARDENS

900 sq ft $2300; 4,120 sq ft $5500; 2,250 sq ft $8900. BOERUM HILL

925 sq ft $2600. PARK SLOPE

1,600 sq ft $2000; 1,000 sq ft $3000; 3,000 sq ft $7900.


(718) 930-7999 Houses for Sale

Situation Wanted

Columbia Waterfront District - 3 story mixed use, excellent condition, brick, 5 years old, 2 family plus store + 2 apts. 900 sq ft ea. 2000 sf storefront. PS 29. R6-addl FAR avail. Galeano RE 718 596-9545 / 917 453-3651

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:

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

Barbershop For Sale Fully-equipped. Everything incl. + furniture + basement access. Call for price 917-701-9902

Help Wanted

Freelance Writers: The Red Hook Star-Revue is looking for freelance writers for both the arts and feature sections. We want to buttress our special sections as well as local theater and music coverage. Call George at 718 624-5568 or email 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

Neighborhood Services

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 carpet installation. Eric 917 600-4281 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.

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

Red Hook Star-Revue Page 23

Cornell paper 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!

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

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Blue, Brown, Green, Red

$16.40 roll

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small 1.5 x 2.5.....$1.50 medium 3 x 5........$4.50 large 5 x 8........$7.50

wrapping paper sheets available!

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480 sheets........................... $54.60 10 sheets............................... $2.00

Tape! in Colors!


clear only $1.40

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.

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Cornell paper 162-168 Van Dyke Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231 Office Entrance: 222 Conover Street: Green Door

718 875-3202

Page 24 Red Hook Star-Revue

February 2011

Profile for Red Hook Star-Revue

February 2011  

Craig Hammerman interview, "Made in Red Hook" special section, Remembering "Skinny", Alex Battles

February 2011  

Craig Hammerman interview, "Made in Red Hook" special section, Remembering "Skinny", Alex Battles

Profile for gbrook