Friday, January 30, 2009

Bring Streetcars Back to Brooklyn

Brooklyn's last streetcar made its run on On October 31, 1956. Having spent many years in San Francisco, I've seen streetcars painted in Brooklyn schemes connecting West Coast attractions. It would be hard to contend they haven't done great good for that city. (In fact sometimes the clueless tourists think they're the famed cable cars). Streetcars go beyond just bolstering a tourist economy. Many cities today are rediscovering the benefits of streetcars, and a group here wants to see them come back to the streets of Brooklyn. Brooklyn City Streetcar Company (BCSC), a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit, public minded corporation, has been created to embark on the mission to return the trolleys to their former home in Brooklyn where they are sorely needed today. With the recognition of light rail as the urban transit of the future, BCSC plans to bring our history into the present and beyond with trolleys that run on clean, non-polluting electricity and use less than 20% of the energy while running more quietly than a diesel bus. Visit Brooklyn Streetcar. read about Streetcars returning to Philadelphia. Read about the Market Street Railway in San Francisco.

What's Black Got To Do with It?

This Brooklyn Museum panel discussion, moderated by Elvis Mitchell, interviewer for The Black List Project, continues the exhibition’s consideration of how race, history, and each individual's striving shape and enrich their stories of success. The discussion will center on what the next four years might hold for Black women now that First Lady Obama and her daughters have moved into the White House. Panelists will include Studio Museum in Harlem Director and Chief Curator Thelma Golden, acclaimed artist Lorna Simpson , and CNN Entertainment Correspondent Lola Ogunnaike.

Saturday, January 31
Panel Discussion: "What's Black Got To Do with It?"
2:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare at Brooklyn Museum

The Brooklyn Museum will present the first major survey of the
work of the British-based, Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare MBE, whose art explores the relationship of contemporary African identity to European colonialism. On view June 26 through September 20, 2009, Yinka Shonibare MBE will include more than twenty works, among them sculptures, paintings, large-scale installations,
and films. MORE

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Brooklyn on Ebay: Hotel Gravy Boat

How can you own a piece of Brooklyn even if you can't afford the real estate? One think I enjoy collecting is hotel ware. This Rogers Silverplate Gravy Boat being offered on ebay is from the Hotel Saint George in Brooklyn Heights. Once the largest hotel in New York City, it no longer operates as a hotel. Today, it is a landmarked building in the first historically landmarked neighborhood in New York. It's offered through auction, or you can buy it now for $29.99. Link to ebay

Celebrate Black History Month with Brooklyn Public Library

All programs are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. LINK

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Living in Glass Houses

Some people write personal blogs, some link a web cam to their apartments and still others move into glass houses. Each, in their own way, puts their lives on display.

I’ve overheard more than one comment by a pedestrian noting that they “wouldn’t want to live in a fishbowl.”

Read more at Urban Art and Antiques

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Lunar New Year Celebrations in Brooklyn

Come join the celebrations of 己丑 , the Ji Chou Lunar New Year 4707, Year of the Ox, at the Brooklyn Public Library. President Barack Obama was born in 1961, an Ox year.

Also don't miss Chinese New Year Splendor at BAM...

The Brooklyn Chinatown New Year's parade will run from 51st Street to 60th Street and begins at 11am. Sponsored by the Brooklyn Chinese-American Association

Friday, January 23, 2009

Brooklyn Botanic Garden Counts Down To Third Annual Lunar New Year Celebration and Flower Market

Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) is counting down to its third annual Lunar New Year Celebration and Flower Market on Sunday, January 25, 2009 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. With plants such an essential element of the vibrant traditional Lunar New Year celebration, there is no better setting than the Garden to herald the year 4706 of the lunar calendar! This year's exciting family-fun Lunar New Year Celebration marks the first time Vietnamese cultural entertainment will be featured, alongside returning favorite showstoppers from China. It is also the first year BBG will offer visitors to the Lunar New Year Celebration a chance to learn through stories–both written and spoken–featuring engaging readings and signings by an author-illustrator whose stunning picture books help teach children the art of Chinese character writing, as well as a separate live storytelling program.

Plants native to China, Korea, and Vietnam in Brooklyn Botanic Garden's extraordinary collections will be featured on Chinese- and English-language guided tours for adults and children throughout the Steinhardt Conservatory. Many of these plants–including blossoming peaches, citrus trees, flowering quince, and other seasonal bloomers–will be available for purchase at a traditional flower market, allowing visitors to bring some of the luck and good fortune associated with the Lunar New Year Celebration into their own home! READ MORE

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Registration for Spring Art Classes at the Brooklyn Museum Ends on February 28

In the Brooklyn Museum’s Gallery/Studio Program, students ages six to adult develop art skills through studying the Museum’s collections and exhibitions and experimenting with materials and creative techniques in hands-on classes. Spring classes include instruction in painting, printmaking, drawing, sculpture, and mixed media, with themes such as “Waterworks,” “Masters of Form,” “Mixed-Media Puppetry,” “Chaos Factory: Contemporary Printmaking”, and “Painting Studio.” Each class has ten two-hour sessions. Spring classes are offered on Saturdays and Sundays and begin March 7 and 8. No experience is required.

Registration forms and payment in full must be received (by mail, fax, or drop off) by February 28. Since classes fill up quickly, early registration is encouraged. To obtain class schedules, registration forms, or scholarship
and work-study applications, call (718) 501-6230, visit

The Artists of Green Wood Cemetary

Like artist William Merritt Chase during his life, I have often enjoyed the beauty of Prospect Park in Brooklyn. In the days before the park was developed, city dwellers (living ones) might have found retreat in nearby Green-Wood Cemetery. Founded in 1838, this “park” for the dead was often enjoyed by the living.

I had known Chase painted scenes in Prospect Park. What I didn’t know on my first trip to the cemetery was that Chase was buried there. In fact, he is one of a number of artists for whom Green-Wood is a final resting place.

The map you can pick up in the gatehouse lists several of these artists including Louis Comfort Tiffany and John LaFarge, both known for their stained-glass, as well as Jean-Michael Basquiat. I had also known cabinet-maker Duncan Phyfe was buried there and made a point to find that spot (I wondered if he might be laid on a lyre sofa inside). READ MORE AT URBAN ART AND ANTIQUES

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