The air is crisp, the leaves are colorful, and we found a whole new crop of items and activities to peek our interests.
THE STREETS ARE ALIVE
Sunday, October 2, 2011 12:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Atlantic Avenue: Hicks Street to Fourth Avenue
This year marks the 37th annual Atlantic Antic. On October 2nd, Atlantic Avenue is closed to traffic from Hicks Street to Fourth Avenue. Instead, the streets are filled with food vendors and live music. Spanning over one mile, it is the largest festival in New York City. As the weather gets cooler, it provides the perfect chance to sample some new foods from around the world and indulge in traditional favorites while you take in the neighborhood and meet your neighbors. How often are you presented with the opportunity to stroll Atlantic Avenue, the ever-changing thoroughfare that unites various Brooklyn neighborhoods?
This year, in addition to food from local and international vendors, the festival includes an entire block devoted to children’s activities.
The Atlantic Antic is presented by the Atlantic Avenue Local Development Corporation, a not-for-profit agency committed to the economic development of the Atlantic Avenue area from Fourth Avenue to the Brooklyn water font. It’s a true Brooklyn tradition. The Beastie Boys even give the festival a shout-out in their song “Shadrach;” and if that isn’t a Brooklyn endorsement, I don’t know what is. You can learn more about the festival by visiting www.atlanticave.org.
THE SCHOOL YEAR AT A GLANCE
NYC School Calendar iPhone App
I’m still getting used to the multi-functionality of my phone. And although a round of Angry Birds and wacky ring tones are fun, I’m more interested in the applications that make life easier. The NYC School Calendar App for the iPhone does just that. Merging the school calendar with your own, it’s fantastic for planning vacations, play dates and appointments. The app adds the NYC School calendar to any other calendars you have on your iPhone, allowing you to view everything at once. The schedule downloaded by the app is complete with school holidays, vacations and half-days. The calendar is comprehensive, but you can delete and add dates as you like. Instead of inputting these dates manually, it does the work for you. If you prefer to keep your calendars separate, you can just use the app on its own to keep track of the school schedule. Get the NYC School Calendar app.
Puppetry Arts’ Haunted Halloween Carnival
Saturday, October 29th 11am-4pm
1st Street Recreation Center of PS 372 between 3rd and 4th Ave
Don your spooky apparel and join Puppetry Arts for their Sixth Annual Haunted Halloween Carnival. Modeled after the community Halloween events Tim Young experienced as child in South Carolina, this event includes a wide array of activities. You will find all everything a carnival could offer: raffles, giveaways, a bounce house, and kid-friendly haunted house. What makes the event unique are the creative activities offered. They include fishing for healthy teeth with the House of Orthodontia monster shadow puppet game, and making “pizza monster puppets” and crafty masks. The carnival focuses on artistic and imaginative aspects that make Halloween so much fun. In addition to the activities, Brooklyn Cyclones mascot Sandy the Seagull will be in attendance as well as every one’s favorite Star Wars droid, R2-D2. Be sure to allow enough time to explore before the costume contest commences at 3:30pm.
FEELING GRAVITY’S PULL
Modern design has finally met the call of your pet’s needs. The logic is pretty simple: allow your cat the privacy to do his or her business while reducing the amount of litter that gets tracked into your home. A great amount of thought has gone into every aspect of the design of this high-concept litter box. First of all, the entry point is on the top. On the lid is a hole that your cat can climb through; the texture is grated so that any stray litter falls back into the box below. Standing 15 inches tall, the “rooftop” is easily accessible. The design also acts to keep kids and other pets out. It’s sleek and colorful and can actually blend into the décor the rest of your home. Or it might just make your cat feel very stylish. The goal is to bring together form and function. It is also environmentally friendly as the liner is reusbale.
ModKat is available in pet stores throughout Manhattan and can be found locally at Loving Pet Food at 145 Smith Street, as well as online. You can learn more by visiting their website www.modkat.com
THE PATH OF THE GENTLE WARRIOR
Vishnu: Hinduism’s Blue Skinned Warrior
200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn
Now through Oct. 2nd
It’s always a pleasure to take in a beautifully curated art exhibit. Somehow the enjoyment gets enhanced when the art involved possesses a religious context. The blending of artistic energy with spiritual devotion creates an element of action in the story-telling. Characters come to life with feeling and complexity. Not that this isn’t true with secular art, but religious art has the benefit of the back-story, of heroic deeds, life-changing decisions and the conflict between good and evil.
The exhibit Vishnu: Hinduism’s Blue Skinned Warrior focuses on one single deity, compiling art from around the world, to create a comprehensive collection of Hindu art. The exhibit is divided into three sections, the first dealing with Vishnu, the gentle god. The second part examines his avatars, representations of him on Earth, as well interactions with his cohorts Rama and Krishna. The third section focuses on Vaishnava (Vishnu worship), with images of temples and ritual objects. It is the first exhibit of its kind, including over 170 images, sculptures and icons. It’s an eye-opening, spiritual exhibit in which you not only take in art, but learn about a culture.
The exhibit is on display through October 2nd. For more information visit www.brooklynmuseum.org.
BECOME A CULINARY MASTER
Purple Kale Kitchenworks
Autumn offers an incredible bounty when it comes to food. With all of the colorful produce available and the cooler weather, it seems that Mother Nature is reminding us that it’s time to eat up for the winter months ahead. It’s the perfect weather to spend strolling farmer’s markets and orchards, bringing home the seasonal bounty. The dilemma I always encounter is what to do with all of the good food. Coming up with creative treatments for the ingredients isn’t my strong suit. Luckily, Purple Kale Kitchenworks provides the solution. The mission of this culinary school is to assist “the home cook who loves food but wants to put better, less scripted meals on the table, and do so efficiently and with little waste.” Their workshops teach the basic skills used by professional chefs; techniques that make cooking less arduous and more enjoyable. They also offer more specialized classes in vegetarian cooking and a “parent only” workshop that invited participants to share solutions for feeding a family. Each workshop is intimate and improvisational, allowing participants to get involved and work with new ingredients. Continuing the food conversation is their 2 Minutes to Dinner blog, which shares recipes and includes behind the scenes photos from previous workshops. You can learn more about Purple Kale Kitchenworks by visiting their web site, www.purplekale.com
THE EVOLUTION OF A NEIGHBORHOOD
The Invention of Brownstone Brooklyn:
Gentrification and the Search for Authenticity in Postwar New York
by Suleiman Osman [Oxford Press]
The act of buying a brownstone to fix up and convert to a single-family dwelling is not a new one. In his book, The Invention of Brownstone Brooklyn, Suleiman provides a detailed history of “brownstoning” in Brooklyn starting with Brooklyn Heights in the 1940s and moving through Boreum Hill, Fort Green, Carroll Gardens and Park Slope, he chronicles how these neighborhoods were transformed.
There were growing pains and community clashes, but the book proves that Brooklyn is not only dynamic, but filled with people who want to maintain a character different from the suburbs and New York City.
The book is interesting as it provides history of the rebirth of neighborhoods through gentrification. Vivid descriptions of Park Slope in the 1950s detail a neighborhood in turmoil, which is hard to imagine now. Neighborhoods have changed dramatically over the years, but it’s also interesting to find that some things remain the same.