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1/1/09 With The Polar Bears

1/1/09 With The Polar Bears published on 7 Comments on 1/1/09 With The Polar Bears


The dogs got their paws wet. As did I.

Happy 2009! I’m thankful I didn’t poop out of the annual New Year’s Day Polar Bear swim in Coney Island. I didn’t get there last year and 2008 was pretty sucky. The event gets more crowded every year and it’s becoming a bit of a hipster happening, spilling over from the Mermaid Parade. But I’m just an old kvetch. What do I know?

Anyway, lots of photos on Flickr. Here are my favorites.










New Year. New York. Free Events.

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1. Times Square. The obvious event. In all of my 43 years growing up in NYC, I’ve never once gone to Times Square for New Year’s Eve. It just seems so crowded and touristy. But hey, don’t let me stop you! It’s free and I’m sure it’s a high energy, fun event.

2. Midnight Run. NY Road Runners does a 4 mile course through Central Park. Party, fireworks and costume contest. Haven’t participated in this one either, but I’ve been in the park on New Year’s Eve. Just not running. Actually, you pay to run. But it IS free to watch. Or to run on your own.

3. Time’s Up Bike Ride. Meet up in Brooklyn or Queens and head to Central Park on your bike or skates. Potluck/party/fireworks.

4. Fireworks in Prospect Park. Been there, done that. There’s a party at Grand Army Plaza as well. So you can do the free Brooklyn thing.

5. Concert for Peace at Saint John the Divine. Reserved seating is 55 bucks, but general admission is free. Concert begins at 7pm.

6. Bridge Walks. Guided Brooklyn Bridge tour is $60 with NY Talks and Walks but nobody is stopping you from crossing any bridge for free. Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg all have walking paths. And the Brooklyn Heights Promenade ain’t too shabby for viewing fireworks.

7. Polar and Ice Bears. Ok, so this is New Year’s Day, not Eve. Coney Island. Go. Bring a camera and a bathing suit or change of clothes. Just do it. You won’t be sorry. See you there!

Weekend Events: NYC & Beyond

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Yeah, I know it’s only Thursday. I’m giving you time to plan ahead!


Transcending Boundaries Art Show. An exhibition of mosaic murals by Jessica Dias

With Renaissance Woman Anne Pope mixing global-eclectic beats

Portion of proceeds to go to Sustainable Flatbush
I see the invitation on Facebook but not on Sustainable Flatbush so I just cut and pasted.

Visions Restaurant & Bar
752 Coney Island Avenue, Brooklyn NY
(Coney Island Avenue and Cortelyou Road)
Subway: Q to Cortelyou Rd

Saturday, December 13, 2008, 6 pm

20% discount on food and drinks courtesy of Visions Restaurant & Bar


Mega hipster craft show at The Metropolitan Pavillion, 125 W. 18th St.

But don’t go to that…come visit me at Gifted! Or do both.


The 13th is Second Saturday in Beacon, which means loads of galleries and shops will have openings. On Friday the 12th, Fovea photography gallery will hold a benefit auction. Behind Bars (see photo above) is currently on exhibit.

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Out

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Written yesterday when I was trying to do a fast/cleanse. Bad move. The fast lasted 1/2 day.

Candle Cafe and Candle 79 are both offering Thanksgiving menus. 79’s entree choices include Sage-Walnut Crusted Seitan and Porcini Crusted Tofu. So-hungry. Four courses are $52 at Cafe and $68 at 79.

Blossom is doing 4 course seatings for $68, but the menu is not up on their website yet. Check out the regular dinner menu if you want to drool.

Red Bamboo in Brooklyn had a Thanksgiving prix fixe last year for just $19.95. That’s the only one posted on their website. I don’t see why they wouldn’t do it again for 2008.

The drink menu at Counter is more impressive than the food, but you can go for their wine pairing for an additional $30 over the $45 food menu. For $15 more, there’s a house infused vodka tasting. So basically, this is the Thanksgiving for lushes.

P*ong is a good choice for vegetarians and carnivores. They serve up the flesh, but do have veg choices on their $63 Thanksgiving menu.

I don’t see a Thanksgiving menu, but 4 Course Vegan is holding an event this Saturday called “Fine Dining in Williamsburg”. $40 for 4 courses.

Open Houses and Art For A Cause

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 guidecover2008.jpgThe big event taking place around the city this weekend is Open House NY. OHNY celebrates the city’s architecture and design during the annual big weekend, but programs run throughout the year.OHNY kicks off with a launch party tonight which is $40 in advance or $50 at the door. The Saturday and Sunday events are free to the public unless you don’t feel like standing in line with the plebs, in which case you can purchase a “passport” for $150.There are tours of historic and architectural sites, concerts and dance performances, sustainability workshops and events for children. See the website for more info.And speaking of open houses, don’t forget that Crown Heights North tour I told you about!zen_logo.pngArt Obama is a silent auction taking place tonight in the South Slope. Space is limited and pre-registration is suggested, so I may be posting too late. You can still try to get in at the door for $25.Works by over 100 artists will be auctioned off to support the Obama campaign and other Democrats. This all goes down between 7pm-10pm. Links to artists on the website.

Events:Brooklyn, Birds & Barack

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I’m a cuttin’ and a pastin’ these emails I received. Hey, at least I’m a postin’!


“On Thursday, September 18th, the Center for the Urban Environment will host Green Brooklyn…Green City-drawing over 3000 residents from all five boroughs to a full day symposium event at Brooklyn’s Borough Hall.  “Green Brooklyn…Green City is unique in its sheer size and breadth,” says Aisha Glover, Director of Public Affairs and organizer of the event, “its New York City’s largest showcase of green and sustainability issues, programs, and products.” 

At the 4th Annual Green Brooklyn event, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies come from across the five boroughs to share ideas with the public about how to live greener in their everyday lives. This year’s partnership with Greenmarket expands the event exponentially and couples the great work of the Council on the Environment of NYC with the Center’s own innovative programming. “Relationships like these,” says Sandi Franklin, Executive Director of the Center, “confirm the city’s status as a place of partnership and innovation. This great city is in the forefront of sustainability issues nation-wide.”

It is not surprising, then, that the event features some of the city’s preeminent leaders-from Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz to
businesses like Icestone and Green Depot.

With over 75 exhibitors on site, attendees can learn first-hand from local experts about socially conscious investing, how to solar your building, choosing non-toxic home products (and of course where to buy them!) how real urbanites compost, shopping eco-chic, and what New York City is doing to create a more sustainable future.   Some are ‘events within events’ like the film showing of King Corn, a documentary that tells the seed-to-plate story of a crop that drives our nation-and a sustainability panel for nonprofits that features a number of community leaders, including pioneering nonprofits such as Sustainable South Bronx, Fifth Avenue Committee and Solar One. 

“Green Brooklyn… Green City is in its fourth incarnation-and is reaching more and more New Yorkers every year,” agreed Franklin. “Its momentum is in close step with the city’s commitment to developing more sustainable communities. We are excited by the energy of this event and are eager to expand our role as a critical resource for discussions about the issues that most affect the future of our city.”

For full details visit


Birdwatching: Saturday, September 20
9 a.m. – Noon

Tour Guide: Randy Schutz
“We’ll meet on the southeast corner of 81st Streetand Central Park West on the park side entering the Park directly and taking in what wildlife may be in evidence along the way. Dependent on what we find we’ll visit Tanner Spring, the Shakespeare Garden, pass by Belvedere Castle and head into the Ramble. Much will depend on what we find and where we find it.
Almost 200 different species of birds can be found in Central Park during the year. Most birds are more active in the early morning and late afternoon, although there will be some activity throughout the day.
Please dress comfortably, and if possible bring binoculars. If you are new to birding, you will be given a few pointers about using binoculars and doing birding.”

$5 guest fee.

New York Bird Club


Obamatrips to PA from Dutchess County: September 20th & more

“Wilkes-Barre PA needs help canvassing. Stay the day or stay the weekend. We have accommodation options for overnight. Signing-up well in advance helps us with this. We are hoping to make a presence every weekend between now and the election. PLEASE INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IN YOUR REPLY: 1) * Phone Number * and *email  address* and *town you will be leaving from* 2) Are you willing to drive or do you need a ride? 3) Day trip or overnight? Expect to receive specific details of location and arrival time from direct contact by Our efforts will pay off on November 4th. Thank You!”

Local Obamavents

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A search of Barack’s website brought up a gazillion local events. By local, I mean the Tri-State area. Just punch in your zip code. Here are some of the ones that looked interesting to me. Don’t hold your breath for my McCainevents post.

Sept. 5th @ Broadway Comedy Club
Obamedy 2008
“Reasonable” suggested donation

Sept. 7th @ Akwaaba Mansion in Bed Stuy
Book signing and art auction with Bryan Collier.
$50 donation.
Interesting to me because I can walk there. Too bad I’m working that day.

Sept. 14th: Road Trip to Philly
Personally, I think he’ll breeze by in NY and it’s important to serve up the Kool Aid in those swing states. There are plenty of PA bus trips. Some trips to DC and even CO.

Sept. 15th @ The Metropolitan Room
Broadway for Barack.

Sept. 15th @ Comix
The Audacity of Jokes II
$45 Regular Admission/$100 VIP

Sept. 27th in Cobble Hill
Rummage Sale.
Small items now being accepted and may be purchased online.

Free Concerts This Weekend

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Coney Island Seaside Concerts
Smokey Robinson

* Aug 7th: Liza!


River to River Festival
Ollabelle pays tribute to Johnny Cash
12:30pm, World Financial Center


Celebrate Brooklyn, Prospect Park Bandshell
Ghostland Observatory, The Jealous Girlfriends, Bear Hands


Central Park Summer Stage, 3-7 p.m.
Taj Majal, Skatalites, Los Pinguos

Solar Power Forum This Wednesday

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Sustainable Flatbush is sponsoring a solar forum this Wednesday. If you were wondering if you can convert your house to solar, now is the chance to find out! Peter Landy will speak about his experience converting his house to solar power. Chris Neidl of Solar One will speak about current legislation and initiatives to make residential solar power affordable.

This forum will focus on single family homes. The next one will have information on multi family.

July 16th @ 8pm
Ditmas Workspace
535 East 17th Street (corner of Ditmas)
RSVP requested (but not required) to

Oops, I Tried To Get You Killed!

Oops, I Tried To Get You Killed! published on 3 Comments on Oops, I Tried To Get You Killed!


So, one of my “things to do July 4th weekend” was to go to Jones Beach for the fireworks. Well, I hope nobody listened to me. The beach was evacuated on Saturday after unexploded fireworks washed ashore. About 2000 visitors were asked to leave when the shells started turning up around midday. The beach remained closed until Sunday morning. This would not have affected you if you did go on the 4th like I suggested, so don’t blame me.

Just last month Jones Beach was evacuated during an REM concert when lightening struck the stage. Concert goers thought it was the end of the world as they knew it, but after a 2 hour wait, the shiny, happy people were let back in and the concert resumed.


Things To Do This July 4th Weekend

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I’ll be taking the day off tomorrow just like the rest of y’all. Here are some things you can be doing this weekend instead of sitting around drinking beer and eating cooked flesh.


Historic Paints and Faux Finishing Workshop

Go away for the weekend and learn something while you’re at it. Howard Hall Farm up in Athens, NY is giving a workshop this Saturday and Sunday. It’s a hands-on introduction to various paints and techniques. One of these days, I’m gonna get up there myself (I keep saying that).


Bike Around the Boros!

Check out these rides you could take via Brooklyn Based.


Hot Dawg!

Watch or sign up to compete in Nathan’s hot dog eating contest at Coney Island. Do they have tofu dogs?


Staten Island’s Historic Richmondtown

11-5: Old-timey celebration: Pinwheel making and pinwheel parade, Victorian paper fireworks, ice cream churning demonstration and tasting.


Summertime Classics

Musical Fireworks from the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall.


Jones Beach Fireworks

Why fight crowds in the city? Take the LIRR. Spend the day at the beach. Bring a picnic. Watch the fireworks at night. How romantic!

Saturday in Beacon

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I usually miss all the fun in Beacon because I’m down in Brooklyn on weekends. But I’ll be around this Saturday and it’s a good weekend to be here. There’s actually some pretty good stuff going down. Dare I say it’s worth a trip visiting Beacon this Saturday?

Here’s an itinerary for you:

City Wide Yard Sale 9-4

Pick up maps to over 40 sales at the Beacon Municipal Center

Beacon Hat Parade 11:30-6

People make their own hats then march up Main Street. Think Mermaid Parade, not. Hat judging contest at 12:30. Live music in three different venues and a possibly lame or possibly ok street festival (never been).

Van Brunt Gallery Opening 6-9pm?

Shameless plug for 2 buddies of mine! James Westwater will be there with his Plywood Chateaux and Pete Iannarelli has an installation in the back room. Here’s my previous post on James and here’s what The Times had to say about him yesterday.

2008 Brooklyn Blogfest

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Mark your calendar! This Thursday marks the third annual Brooklyn Blogfest. Last year people were turned away because the space wasn’t big enough. This year’s event is being held at the Brooklyn Lyceum on 4th Avenue, so it should be plenty big.

You don’t have to be a blogger to attend. This is a public event and everyone is welcome!

Louise from OTBKB is the big macha behind the event. She was the one who organized that Blue Barn Pictures video I took part in. The taped interviews will be shown at Blogfest, as well as speeches, shout outs and food and drink. At least I hope food and drink. It doesn’t say, so I just made that up.

More info at OTBKB

Brooklyn Blogfest
May 8, 8pm
Brooklyn Lyceum , 227 4th Ave @ President

Reclaimed Forum

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Ever notice how nothing ever happens on the forum? No? That’s because you never visit. Because nothing ever happens. But I’m still trying to make it work, goddammit. I just posted a couple of new listings for people, but feel free to post your own. Categories: Salvage, Events/Sales, Pets, Sustainable Living, Real Estate and General. What are you waiting for?


1930’s Dining Room Set: $500




New York City College of Technology Division of Continuing Education

Home Design and Green Design Courses: Spring 2008

An ongoing series devoted to city people who live in and love their urban homes

Anatomy of a Brownstone: Green Roofs, Green Homes

A seminar devoted to the art and science of sustainable homes, NYC style

Saturday, April 26 Atrium Amphitheatre 300 Jay Street

2 sessions, (morning and afternoon) $40

10 am to 12 pm 300 Jay Street, Downtown Brooklyn

2pm to 4pm

Forum post/course schedule

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