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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Brooklyn, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 104
1. LEE & LOW at Brooklyn Book Festival on Sunday, 9/22

Lee & Low Books will be at the Brooklyn Book Festival next Sunday, September 22, and we’d love to see you! Stop by booth #129 (next to Bank Street Books) and say hello.

BBF image2

artwork from Hiromi’s Hands, written and illustrated by Lynne Barasch

Brooklyn Book Festival will be at Brooklyn Borough Hall and Plaza, 209 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn NY 11201.

SIGNINGS

Shadra Strickland 11:00am-12:00pm, 2:00-3:00p

Lulu Delacre, illustrator of How Far Do You Love Me? and Arrorro, mi niño: Latino Lullabies and Gentle Games

George Ford 3:15pm-4:00pm

George Ford, illustrator of Paul Robeson and Ray Charles

George Ford3:15pm-4:00pm

Javaka Steptoe, illustrator of In Daddy’s Arms I Am Tall and author/illustrator of The Jones Family Express


Filed under: Fairs/Conventions Tagged: author readings, author signings, book fair, books, Brooklyn, Brooklyn Book Festival, children's books, diversity, Multicultural Interest

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2. M.Wartella Launches His Dream Factory in Brooklyn

In Williamsburg, Brooklyn, there’s no shortage of businesses offering unique artisanal goods, which makes it an ideal location for Dream Factory Animation, the new full-service boutique animation studio fronted by alt-cartoonist M.Wartella.

While Wartella formed his company on 12/12/12, the doors to his new studio on Humboldt Street officially opened in May of this year. An underground illustrator who has dominated the pages of alternative publications for the last two decades and animated on various music videos and television shows, he has spent the last three years animating nearly 300 shorts for Cartoon Network’s animated sketch comedy program MAD.

While discussing with Cartoon Brew the transference of his print aesthetic to the studio’s signature style, Wartella cannot help but extol the quality of animation talent that has found their way to his studio. “All the animators here are great artists in their own right; we only hire people who can draw exceptionally well.” Wartella is so concerned about only attracting top-flight talent that he has chosen to eschew the industry standard of utilizing unpaid interns in his productions, as stated in a recent press release: “Everyone gets paid for their contributions. In fact, we operate a unique profit-sharing system whereby our animators share in part of the studio’s profits at the end of the year.”

However, his talented crew and high-profile, lowbrow background are not the only qualities that make his studio special. Wartella enthusiastically touts the development of a personalized production system for creating his animated shorts. A proprietary blend, of sorts, that enables his crew to produce “anything” in the studio’s signature style, quickly and efficiently. “Using my secret formula, we can produce super-high-quality cartoons in a time frame that would be virtually impossible for any other animation studio to rival,” he says. “We can turn out a fully animated 30-second spot from top to bottom in one business day if we have to. This brings traditional animation within reach for almost any commercial business that wants to get noticed.”

And while Wartella hints at a few yet-to-be-announced projects, (one involving Punk Magazine cartoonist/writer John Holmstrom and another that will revive “a classic cartoon character” for Warner Bros.) the only one he speaks openly about is a new webseries being made alongside @Radical.Media for Conde Nast Entertainment called WIRED: Mr. Know-It-All.

A series of ongoing shorts, WIRED: Mr. Know-It-All, based on the WIRED magazine articles of the same name, is a digital age advice column providing answers to a wide assortment of modern questions from Facebook etiquette to child rearing in the information age. It is produced in the style of illustrator Christoph Niemann and conceived, developed and animated by Wartella’s team. “I don’t think there is any other studio in New York or the world that can crank out animation as efficiently as we can,” he says. “We have a solid formula and a great team!”

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3. P.S. Be Eleven, by Rita Williams-Garcia

Delphine, Vonetta and Fern are on their way back to Brooklyn from Oakland where they have spent the last little while getting to know their mother, Cecile.  Delivered unceremoniously back into the arms and admonishments of Big Ma, and back to Herkimer Street and Pa, Delphine knows that she has changed, but she surely didn't expect things in Brooklyn to have changed as well.

First off, Pa has lost his long face.  He's whistling Tempations songs, instead of Old Man River.  Right off, he wants to have a conversation with the girls, but Big Ma beats him to it. "Your Pa is keeping company with a woman in Brownsville." (p. 36)  Marva Hendrix is her name, and while Vonetta and Fern think this is fine and silly, Delphine is not so sure.

Next, Uncle Darnell is back from Vietnam.  But he isn't the same either.  The old Uncle D would be smiling and singing and laughing, but now, he seems distant and sick.  He wakes up shouting and isn't so interested in his nieces. 

Readers follow Delphine's journey into sixth grade as she navigates a changing family, grows her friendships, and figures out how to have a relationship with her distant mother.  P.S. Be Eleven is simply a joy to read.  Each character is here for a reason and adds to the story.  Delphine's voice is so perfect as are the voices of those around her.  Williams-Garcia paints a picture of Bed-Stuy in the 1960s, and she weaves the historical details in seamlessly.  This book seems timeless and should be on everyone's must read list!

1 Comments on P.S. Be Eleven, by Rita Williams-Garcia, last added: 7/9/2013
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4. On the Scene: NIGHT JOB Salon Gets Personal

NJ01 291x300 On the Scene: NIGHT JOB Salon Gets Personal

On March 21st 2013 at the Union Hall bar, restaurant, and music venue in Park Slope, Brooklyn, comics creator and TRIP CITY co-curator Dean Haspiel and comedian/actress Katharine Heller launched what may be the first of several salon events featuring comics, comedy, prose, and musical performances entitled “NIGHT JOB”. Though it was a new venture, neither Haspiel nor Heller are strangers to the stage. They were joined by stand-up comedian and writer Molly Knefel of the internet radio show RADIO DISPATCH, indie cartoonist Meghan Turbitt, author Reverend Jen of the long-running “Rev Jen’s Anti-Slam” performance event. Also performing were political satirist and stand-up comedian Angry Bob, and the music group Two Beards One Heart, including  Jeffrey Burandt (aka Jef UK of Americans UK), and Peter Boiko, supported by John Mathias and John Thomas Robinette III.

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[Haspiel and Heller host the salon]

Though the salon opened to a full basement venue, audience members probably didn’t know quite what to expect from NIGHT JOB, however they might have known some of the performers by reputation. The term “salon” often implies multiple genres in the mix, and NIGHT JOB presented quite a range. Though each of these types of performance have the potential to be very entertaining on their own, it’s a challenge to combine them and create a sense of a cohesive event that, collectively, develops its own personality. NIGHT JOB found its way by emphasizing the raw power of very personal content from its salon members.

IMG 4730 300x225 On the Scene: NIGHT JOB Salon Gets Personal

[Molly Knefel]

Knefel opened with a stand-up routine spoofing the “war on women” in congress last autumn, pointing out that a “war on anuses” would have had even the most conservative public official scrambling to sign up in protest. Her rapid-fire delivery and observational humor had the audience engaged from the outset, but her sense of personal commitment to the subject matter as a thinking person translating impressions of a bizarre world set the tone for the evening.

IMG 4735 225x300 On the Scene: NIGHT JOB Salon Gets Personal

[Katharine Heller]

Heller read a selection from her recent project featuring “erotica” geared toward Republican sensibilities, “Tickle the Elephant”, and ingenious attempt to get inside the minds of what appeals to conservative women particularly. Turning the lingo of the senate floor and government catchphrases into turn-ons relentlessly, Heller narrated from the perspective of a conservative seduced by liberalism into a sexual common ground. Heller revealed a rather in-depth knowledge of politics on both sides of the party schism in her artistry, and in her mix of satire and humor, suggested dialogue is possible even in the most heated debates.

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[A Turbitt comic panel]

Turbitt presented and performed a wide range of indie comix that appear online, increasingly irreverent to social taboos, particular in expressing women’s lives. From bathroom scenes of an intimate nature to things that most people find adorable but only annoy her, she pushed the envelope on expression and used the comic-panel reveal for shock-value. Her autobio approach struck many of the same chords as Knefel and Heller’s performances, bringing out the sense that discussing deeply personal subjects is still one of the most direct ways to reach an audience, who may be surprised to find out how much they have in common with the stories they hear and see.

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[Meghan Turbitt]

Haspiel’s comix performance of “Awful George” from his series STREET CODE took the audience deep inside the strangeness, and the horror of urban stories, reflecting his own autobiographical reaction to witnessing a make-shift attempt to save a hoard of cats that had been wilfully neglected in an apartment, only to be topped by the discovery of a mummified corpse, begging the question, “How do you deal with these kind of realities?”

IMG 4745 300x225 On the Scene: NIGHT JOB Salon Gets Personal

["Awful George" panel by Haspiel]

The answer from Haspiel is clearly “by expressing them and reaching out to readers”. His debut performance of a newly created Tommy Rocket comic, a spin-off from his BILLY DOGMA web comix, spoke to the twisted aspects of love, and the realities of failure and regret. Haspiel never pulls any punches in his comics, autobio or not, and these hammered home the role of authenticity in performance; getting up in front of a crowd to read your comics demands a kind of soul-baring stance that hits home for the audience.

IMG 4743 300x225 On the Scene: NIGHT JOB Salon Gets Personal

[Dean Haspiel]

Reverend Jen took soul baring to a whole new level by reading from her unpublished novel, memoirs of her life as a prostitute attempting to support her artistic endeavors as a painter. She’s known for her extreme honesty during readings, and her narrative plumbed the depths of tragedy and suffering possible in what seems like an everyday world. Her description of images, as well as emotions, made for a stellar performance of prose. Rev Jen’s motivation in performing, to “get stuff out” of oneself actually also served the function of engaging the audience emotionally and reminding them, perhaps, of human resilience along the way.

IMG 4749 225x300 On the Scene: NIGHT JOB Salon Gets Personal

[Rev Jen]

Angry Bob, true to his moniker, took on the role of voicing, like Knefel, Heller, and Turbitt, many of the things that people think, but don’t say out loud for fear of being ostracized as freakish. The truth, of course, is that they are not alone and everyone is wonder what’s considered “acceptable” to think or say in social settings. He described himself as someone “rooting through the garbage for shiny objects” like a racoon or other scavenger, and the objects he held up for inspection at NIGHT JOB were the ludicrous aspects of Reality TV, the curse of failed opportunities, and the general rage-inducing capabilities of young children, particularly in public. Angry Bob’s signature delivery, a high-octane rant that frequently addresses audience members directly, had their equally signature outcome: inspiring absolute hilarity at NIGHT JOB.

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[Angry Bob]

The evening’s performances closed with the strikingly independent tones of Two Beards One Heart which also managed to match the ambiance of the previous salon members’ presentations. Not just in musical composition, whose sounds were so original as to suggest that the “personal” can be evoked as equally in sound as in words and images, but also in lyrics, Two Beards managed to create their own singular message.

IMG 4756 300x225 On the Scene: NIGHT JOB Salon Gets Personal

[Two Beards One Heart]

Their first song illustrated rising angst through lyrics despite its melodic construction, while the second contrasted the poetic, upbeat aspects of love with bigger realities and banal conflicts. Burandt’s vocals, far from predictable, were particularly engaging, and contributed to a sense of individualistic expression of life’s perplexing highs and lows.

IMG 4758 300x225 On the Scene: NIGHT JOB Salon Gets Personal

 

[Jeffrey Burandt]

One of the most winning aspects of NIGHT JOB, aside from his cohesion as a salon of the personal made public, was the fact that Haspiel asked, repeatedly, if anyone else would like to perform their work, friend or stranger alike. It suggested an open-door to artists of any genre who also had something to share. The tone of the evening, celebrating unique perspectives with communal implications, was as well suited to comics as music and comedy.

IMG 4732 225x300 On the Scene: NIGHT JOB Salon Gets Personal

[Haspiel delivers an open invitation]

Setting comics alongside other genres in performance is not a new practice, but it’s becoming increasingly popular, perhaps because of the rise of self-publishing and internet sharing of creative work.  As comics find their footing among other artistic modes, it’s appropriate to start asking what comics have in common with other formats of expression, and what makes them particularly powerful for self-expression. NIGHT JOB did an excellent job of illustrating the point. Performance art forms are about a meeting of minds between the performer and the audience, and many genres already push the boundaries of inter-personal communication, comics included.

IMG 4728 225x300 On the Scene: NIGHT JOB Salon Gets Personal

 

Hannah Means-Shannon writes and blogs about comics for TRIP CITY and Sequart.org and is currently working on books about Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore for Sequart. She is @hannahmenzies on Twitter and hannahmenziesblog on WordPress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Comments on On the Scene: NIGHT JOB Salon Gets Personal, last added: 3/28/2013
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5. Call for Entries: Animation Block Party

Celebrating its tenth edition this summer, Animation Block Party will take place between July 25-28 in Brooklyn. The festival, which is the largest series of animation screenings in New York City, has announced a call for entries. The regular submission period ends on April 29.

Animation Block submission bumper by Zach Williams.

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6. Life in a brewery

What kind of crazy things happen at a brewery bar? What is some of the interesting stuff you can do with beer? What’s proper beer etiquette? If you don’t like beer, what beer should you try? How do you become a brewer? How do you break into the brewing industry?

Interviews with the Eric Peck, Brooklyn Brewery Tour Guide and Bartender, and Tom Price, Brooklyn Brewery Brewer and Lab Manager, reveal life inside a brewery. Editor-in-Chief of The Oxford Companion to Beer, Garrett Oliver is brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery and is the foremost authority on beer in the United States.

Interview with the Brooklyn Brewery Bartender

Click here to view the embedded video.

Interview with a Beer Brewer and Lab Manager

Click here to view the embedded video.

Garrett Oliver, editor of The Oxford Companion to Beer, is the Brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery and author of The Brewmaster’s Table: Discovering the Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food. He has won many awards for his beers, is a frequent judge for international beer competitions, and has made numerous radio and television appearances as a spokesperson for craft brewing.

The Oxford Companion to Beer is the first major reference work to investigate the history and vast scope of beer, featuring more than 1,100 A-Z entries written by 166 of the world’s most prominent beer experts. It is first place winner of the 2012 Gourmand Award for Best in the World in the Beer category, winner of the 2011 André Simon Book Award in the Drinks Category, and shortlisted in Food and Travel for Book of the Year in the Drinks Category. View previous Oxford Companion to Beer blog posts and videos.

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The post Life in a brewery appeared first on OUPblog.

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7. powerHouse Arena to Open Park Slope Bookstore

Brooklyn’s powerHouse Arena and bookstore will launch a second brick-and-mortar store in Park Slope. According to The Brooklyn Paper, the Eighth Avenue shop will open in October, filling a space that used to hold a video rental shop.

To help differentiate between the two stores, powerHouse plans to load the shelves at the Park Slope location with more YA, living, style, cooking, and decorating books. However, Park Slope will mimic the original DUMBO location with a children’s section and kid-friendly events.

Here’s more from the article: “The arrival of powerHouse won’t be quite as significant as the discovery of the printing press, however any new bookstore is a big deal for lit-lovers in the neighborhood, which once boasted four booksellers on Seventh Avenue alone, but now has just two. Barnes and Noble’s debut, coupled with rising rents and the advent of the e-book, forced many of the community’s book peddlers out of the neighborhood or out of business — leading some to claim that Park Slope had lost its crown as Brooklyn’s marquee literary neighborhood.” (via Publishers Weekly)

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8. Barclays Delivers Books to Brooklyn

Last week, Barclays volunteers visited PAVE Academy in Brooklyn, NY to read with students and hand-deliver brand new books from First Book.

 Volunteers visited the Howard and Syracuse kindergarten classrooms to read four different books to 50 excited students, including the Barclays special branded edition of Berenstain Bears’ Dollars and Sensea great title focused on financial literacy for young readersAt the end of the reading party, the kindergartners were excited to discover that they were each taking home copies of the four brand new books in a Barclays backpack.

The reading party marked the third consecutive year that Barclays volunteers have visited PAVE Academy. Volunteers will continue to visit K-2 students in the New York metropolitan area throughout 2012, bringing new books to every school.

Since 2009, Barclays and First Book have distributed more than 75,000 new books to children in need across the country. In addition to hosting reading parties, Barclays is also working with First Book to develop the financial literacy and college readiness sections on the First Book Marketplace, launch a new program with Teach for America’s New York region, and provide college readiness grants to 10 middle and high schools. Each element of our partnership with Barclays is helping First Book to reach more students with more valuable educational resources.

 

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9. The (Almost) Weekly WORD

The holiday season must be here — otherwise, we are listening to Run-D.M.C.’s Christmas in Hollis for no good reason. (Other than the hell of it.)

Last night’s event with Skippy Dies author Paul Murray was, in a word, epic. Murray is impressively entertaining and well-spoken, and kept the crowd nodding and laughing throughout his reading and interview with Ed Champion. We’ve got a limited number of signed copies of both editions, so get ‘em while the getting’s good.

And then, of course, there’s this coming weekend’s Annual Holiday Open House to look forward to. The list of participating authors just keeps on growing, and we’re planning some fun goodies and surprises, so definitely stop by sometime Saturday and/or Sunday between noon and 4 p.m. (If you’re on the Facebook, you can RSVP!)

Let’s see, let’s see — oh, right, the gift guide! Let us make your shopping easier: just buy these books. And! We are now the exclusive source for signed and personalized books from local romance author and WORD favorite Sarah MacLean. You just try getting Stephanie and Jenn to shut up about her, go ahead. We dare ya.

As always, feel free to stop in and let us know your own gifty favorites, be it here in the comments, on Twitter, Facebook, or (GASP) in person. Happy holidays!


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10. Familial City: What Happens on Wednesdays

What Happens on WednesdaysMom says:
One of my all-time favorite urban picture books! What Happens on Wednesdays is a charming book about the daily routine of a girl living in brownstone Brooklyn.

What I love: both mom and dad have equal parenting roles, the lovely illustrations demonstrate how outdoor routines can still take place even in the dead of winter (a good reminder for those of us in apartments), mom works at home when she is not running about "straightening things", the narrative voice of the child is honest and direct. Phrases which particularly resonate and made me laugh out loud include: "we wake up Daddy, which can take a long time,"  "Mommy reads stories while Daddy empties the dishwasher," and throughout the day, the child reminds her parents that "today is not a kissing day." Of course the day inevitably ends with lots of good night kisses. The depiction of Daddy with his hip/grunge hairstyle and stubble clearly establishes his identity as one of the ubiquitous freelance arty-types which populate our Brooklyn borough.

Delightful.

Big Kid says: No kisses! [Because of course I kissed him while reading!]
Little Kid says: Hugs and kisses! [He still loves kisses.]

6 Comments on Familial City: What Happens on Wednesdays, last added: 1/15/2011
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11. Peaceful City: At Night

At NightMom says:
A physically small book with a big-hearted story, At Night by Jonathan Bean is about a girl who can't sleep. Instead, she takes her pillows and goes up to her rooftop garden to enjoy the cool night air where she can imagine herself in the wide world and relax. It is a bit of an urban camping trip. What I love: the lovely watercolor artwork starts local, focusing up close on the girl and her journey up to the rooftop, then expands out to the wider landscape of the city and the water and bridges and lights. It is a lovely representation of the rooftop world of the city, which can be a refreshing, green haven in the summer for those who live in apartments. I also love the way the girl's mom follows her up to the top to watch over her without the girl ever knowing.

On the cover you can see the iconic Brooklyn water tower; the city is New York, but the experience could happen anywhere.

A peaceful bedtime book.

Big Kid says: Why can't we go onto our roof?
Little Kid says: Night sky!

3 Comments on Peaceful City: At Night, last added: 1/21/2011
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12. Snowy City: Flying Over Brooklyn

Flying over BrooklynMom says:
Here in NY we have had one of the snowiest Januaries ever. Some folks are tired of the snow. I adore it.  It was on December 26, 1947 that Brooklyn received nearly 26 inches of snow in twelve hours, the heaviest snowfall in that borough's history.  Myron Uhlberg's Flying Over Brooklyn was inspired by his memories of this white winter wonderland as a boy. Even though I still love snow as an adult I have to admit that no one finds more joy in a new snowfall than a child.

When the narrator is picked up by a gust of wind he goes on a fantastical journey over Brooklyn, taking in the landmarks and experiencing the snow with all of his senses. Brooklyn natives will revel in the home-town references, but a knowledge of the borough is not necessary to enjoy the journey, just a love of snow.

The blue-white glow of snow is marvelously captured in the oil paint illustrations by Gerald Fitzgerald (who lives, of all places, on the Isle of Arran!) and the joy on the face of the boy (and the Steeplechase Man) is enough to make anyone smile.

Well, me at least.

Big Kid says: I love snow.

Well said.

5 Comments on Snowy City: Flying Over Brooklyn, last added: 1/31/2011
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13. Blake Butler to Host Marathon Readings of His Entire Novel

On four different nights, novelist Blake Butler will host a marathon reading of his new book, There Is No Year. Held in four different locations, a team of New York writers will help read the complete novel.

Click on the image embedded above for the dates and exact locations. Participants include: “Ben Greenman, Emma Straub, John Dermot Woods, Justin Taylor, Jo Weldon, Rachel Shukert, Melissa Broder, Jonny Diamond, Adam Robinson, Dorethea Lasky, Shya Scanlon, Lincoln Michel, Butler and his own editor [at] Harper Perennial, Cal Morgan.”

Butler edits the literary blog HTML Giant and two journals, Lamination Colony and No Colony. In 2009, he published a novella called Ever.

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14. “The Duke” by Jonathan Campo

Jonathan Campo

I love the illustrative-collage animation style of Brooklyn-based painter Jonathan Campo and hope he continues to explore this quirky approach to filmmaking. Especially if he applies it to something more substantial than tired “Adult Swim”-esque non sequiturs and awkward pauses.

(via Meathaus)


Cartoon Brew: Leading the Animation Conversation | Permalink | No comment | Post tags: ,

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15. The Couches of NYC: Pavithra, Bob & Zach

It's been hella days since I blogged. So long that I'm already back in the bay area. But here's some catch up!

So, I spent day 4 at Bob's in Chelsea. This is the view:
Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaang, right??

Then day 5 & 6 at Pavithra's in East Village.
Her place is so charming and sweet. On my last night at her place, we watched game 4 of the playoffs over hard cider, levain cookies, high fives & high pitched screams. One of my favorite moments of the trip! Then it was back to Bob's for two nights and then to Park Slope for one night at Zach's. I'd like to give a special shout to every kind gentleman who carried my giant suitcase of craft fair supplies up the subway station stairs :)
We went to see Andrew Bird for free to kick off the summer concert series at Prospect Park and had some delicious pizza. The folks went out drinking while I was a good, responsible lady and went to bed by 1am to prep for my second round of Brooklyn Flea.

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16. BK Flea!!

I promised I'd post more pictures. A little late but better late than never! :)
(all photos by my little sister bina)
My new mini radio flyer. It's so cute!Mr. & Mrs. Biggers. Hands-down the sweetest couple I know.
He's soo cuuute. He looked at each plush & handled them so gingerly.
He found a friend!!
Breakfast: blood orange & hibiscus flower doughnuts. YUM! But wayyy sweet after a while.
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17. Dark City: Blackout

BlackoutThis is another book that is getting moved to the front of my review queue, partly because it is so fabulous, and partly because someone else has put it on hold from the library so I have to return it. John Rocco's Blackout is brand-new to the shelves and you may have seen it making it's rounds in internetland. In fact, it has been written about so much that there is hardly any point in my writing about it... and yet here I am.

The recent hot weather and my inability to run the a/c due to my 2 year old's opinion that planning with it buttons is a hilarious activity has reminded me of my first city blackout experience. It is also the one on which this book is based. In 2003, the huge Northeast power failure that shut down places from Ohio to New York. I remember walking home and feeling so incredibly fortunate that I was not on the subway at the time! I have an irrational fear of being trapped underground, and being stuck on the subway at such a moment would not have been good for my sanity.

While the overall "message" of the book is that families have more fun together rather than sitting separately in front of various electronic machines, the city scenes are a joy to look at. At the start of the book, the city is "loud and hot." But during the blackout, it's clear that while the city is still loud and hot, the noises are voices rather than machines, and the heat is mitigated with ice cream and fire hydrants rather than air conditioners.  One of the city details that appealed to me most was when the family went up to the rooftops to see the stars and the neighbors had a "block party in the sky." I wonder if non-city dwellers realize how much of a role the rooftops of buildings play in urban culture. I certainly didn't know before I moved to NYC.

In any case, there's no need to wait for a blackout to enjoy this book.

Want More?
Read a more thorough review at NY Times.
Read an interview and see more lovely artwork at Seven Impossible Things or E. Dulemba's blog.
Watch the (very cute) trailer on you tube.
Enjoy another rooftops-at-night book, At Night.

Big Kid says: Let's turn off the lights.
Little Kid says: Night sky! Where's the moon?

18. Gavin Potenza — New Work!

Gavin Potenza

Great friend of Grain Edit and infinitely talented designer Gavin Potenza has just updated his online portfolio with a number of strong editorial pieces. You may know of Gavin’s grainy work through these solo projects, or as one half of creative duo Script & Seal with our very own Liz Meyer.

Gavin Potenza

Gavin Potenza

Gavin Potenza

Gavin Potenza

Also Worth Viewing:
Script and Seal Posters
Gavin Potenza - Homage to the Stamp
Introducing Liz Meyer

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19. Animation Block Party Starts Today in Brooklyn

Animation Block Party

Animation Block Party, the most significant US animation festival on the East Coast, returns tonight for its eighth year in a row. The festival will take place over the next three days in Brooklyn with six programs of animated shorts and three after-parties. The festival is also exploring some new directions this year, in the form of a trade show and gallery exhibition:

On Saturday, July 30, 2011 – ABP will hold its first ever animation trade show and art gallery exhibition at BAMcinématek from 12pm-8pm. Trade show attendees will include Animation Mentor, NY Bike Jumble, L-Magazine, DaVinci Artist Supply, Green Mountain Energy, The Community Bookstore and many more.

The ABP gallery exhibition will feature content from animation talents such as Doug Crane, Howard Beckerman, Deborah Ross, Maori Stanton, Jeff Scher, Mike Lapinski, Caroline Foley, Michael Langan and London Squared alongside festival photos from Jazzmine Beaulieu. The Saturday ABP trade show and art gallery is free and open to the public.

For a list of all the films in competition, screening times and ticket info, visit the Animation Block website.


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20. AUG. 14: Festival of Drawn Animation in Brooklyn

The craft of hand-drawn animation, virtually absent from American bigscreens (Winnie the Pooh and The Illusionist being the notable exceptions), has a far stronger presence in TV series work, advertising, and especially amongst independent filmmakers. This Sunday in Brooklyn, animators Bill Plympton and Pat Smith catalog some of the recent hand-drawn achievements in the latter area with their first-ever Scribble Junkies Festival of Drawn Animation, which they aim to turn into an annual event. Depending on the reaction to this premier edition, Pat tells me that they want to expand to multiple screenings next year, as well as accept submissions.

The screening, which takes place at the Nitehawk Cinema (136 Metropolitan Ave., Williamsburg, Brooklyn), will present recent independent work by filmmakers Ryan Woodward, David Chai, Caleb Wood, Colleen Cox, Rebecca Sugar, Don Hertzfeldt, Brothers McLeod, and Fran Krause, as well as the two festival organizers. There’s a reception at 7:30pm, screening at 8:30pm, and an after-party and awards ceremony. Tickets are $11. Regular event updates can be found on Bill and Pat’s blog Scribble Junkies.


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21. Suspension City: Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing

Twenty-One Elephants and Still StandingWalking over the Brooklyn Bridge is a classic New York City experience. A truly iconic structure, it is first suspension bridge built in the United States. It's hard to imagine a time when the only way to get from Brooklyn to Manhattan was by boat!

April Jones Prince's Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing takes us back in time to when the Brooklyn Bridge was built and people worried about its safety. Prince bases her story on an actual event: in 1884 P. T. Barnum decided to demonstrate his confidence in the bridge by marching his precious circus elephants across it. Prince's story is more informative than creative, but the light-handed text written in a free-style poetic form is still likely to hold children's attention during read-alouds.

Francois Roca's illustrations felt grand, but I was left wanting more from them. However, there are some interesting views of the bridge. I like the spread of the to-be-completed bridge spanning across the river above steamboats and sailboats. An author's note gives a bit of information about the real story.

If you like bridges and circuses this book is worth a look, but get it from the library.

Want More?
Read another picture book on the same subject: Twenty-One Elephants (my review coming soon!)
Visit the author's website.

Big Kid says: Do the elephants ever go across the bridge now? [Nope, now they go through the Midtown Tunnel!]

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22. Buzzing City: The Honeybee Man

The Honeybee ManLast year New York City finally made beekeeping legal, although there were already many "secret" hives on roofs scattered across the landscape. This may freak some people out, including my 6 year old, to whom I am constantly issuing the reminder, "the bees are interested in the flowers, not you." I, however, think rooftop beekeeping sounds wonderful. But, then again, I'm not allergic to bees.

Lela Nargi's The Honeybee Man celebrates the tradition of urban beekeeping. Fred, our Honeybee Man, is a balding older gentleman who wears blue house slippers and drinks tea on the rooftop. With his cat and dog, he reminds me a bit of Mr. Putter. On the roof of his Brooklyn brownstone he houses three beehives, for Queens Mab, Nefertiti and Boadicea. From his perch high above the city, he watches his bees work and imagines the places them might go. One day it is time to carefully harvest the honey, which he puts into jars and generously shares with his neighbors. The end pages give some additional and interesting information about bees.

I have a super soft spot for well-done collage illustrations and Kyrsten Brooker's shine. The color scheme, which makes the sky rather teal and the buildings a palette of browns, blues and purples is unexpected, but worked for me.

The city is a key player in The Honeybee Man and Brooker gives us multiple perspectives of the rooftop hives and the bees' journey around to the neighboring yards and plants. Nagi reminds us that the city offers a rich experience for our senses. The smells of maple leaves and gasoline, rivers and dust mingle together. Natural worlds come in large and small sizes and growling machine noises contrast with the gentle buzzing of bees. Nagi describes the intimate, tiny detailed world of the bees in the context of a larger city scape which buzzes with people. Brooker's cross section of Fred's home, divided into rectangle-shaped rooms reminds us later of the bees' homes of wood panels filled with tiny hexagonal wax rooms.

A sweet way to learn about beekeeping.

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23. Writer's City: How to Get Famous in Brooklyn

How to Get Famous in BrooklynI always have stacks of books to review for this blog, but sometimes one or the other gets bumped to the top because someone else has requested it from the library, putting a stop to my endless online renewal activity.  Such is the case with Amy Hest's How to Get Famous in Brooklyn. That's okay, though. It comes at a good time as one of my favorite book bloggers, Even in Australia just wrote a post about Brooklyn books.

Amy Hest's books have appeared here at Storied Cities before, and in How to Get Famous in Brooklyn, the author continues her love affair with the city. Janie, our narrator, takes us on a tour of the famous borough, where "everybody knows everybody else's business, and that's all there is to it." She points out the various colorful characters, the best places to get black-and-white cookies and describes her daily activities at school and around the neighborhood. Janie writes down all of her observations in what she calls "her spy notebook". So how does she get famous? Well, that's a secret you'll have to read the book to find out. (Or you can just cheat and take a peek at other online reviews.)

Linda Dalal Sawaya's illustrations are as colorful as Janie's observations and many places in Brooklyn are depicted, from the neighborhood streets to the docks on the waterfront. Brownstones are teals, purples and orange and streets, shops and subways are filled with animated people.

This is a longer than average picture book. The concept of spying on and writing about one's neighbors is a theme in many other children's books so the specificity of Janie's Brooklyn neighborhood should not be a barrier to one's enjoyment of the book.

Want More?
I've also reviewed these Amy Hest books: When You Meet a Bear on Broadway, The Purple Coat, Jamaica Louise James.
Visit the illustrator's website.
Read another book about writing in the city (Manhattan, this time): N

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24. Lending Library Public Sculpture on Kickstarter

Documentary filmmaker Julia Marchesi and public artist Leon Reid IV hope to raise $13,000 on Kickstarter to install a library-themed public sculpture called “The Hundred Story House.” Above, we’ve embedded a video about the project–what do you think?

The interactive art piece will be made in the shape of a brownstone row house and located in Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill Park. It will contain approximately 100 books for people to borrow based on the honor system. The funds will be used to cover materials, fabrication, transportation, installation, maintenance, removal, documentation, insurance, permit fees and awards for Kickstarter supporters.

Here’s more about the project: “The Hundred Story House is a piece of interactive public art.  It is a miniature Brooklyn brownstone whose windows open upon shelves of books (about 100 of them) which can be borrowed by the community. Situated in the Cobble Hill Park on Clinton Street, the House is a tiny lending library open to all and operating on the honor system — take-a-book, leave-a-book. This is an effort to celebrate the BOOK as a physical object, and the pleasure of holding one in your hand.  Or better yet, placing one in someone else’s.”

continued…

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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25. The Weekly WORD

Highlights from the past week:

  • The fabulous ladies of Passion (Rachel Kramer Bussel, Monica Day, Emerald, and George Storey) along with historical romance author Sarah MacLean, kept the crowd laughing (and rapt) during their reading this past Thursday. I also had the best cupcake of my life, in celebration of Rachel’s birthday, thanks to the Kumquat Cupcakery.
  • Local illustrator Lucy Ruth Cummins and author Shrill Travesty (The Taking Tree) proved to both be entertaining and talented. Mr. Travesty regaled us with some (unrepeatable) stories from the underbelly of the children’s book industry (NO SERIOUSLY), and Lucy did a speed drawing from crowd suggestions that is now proudly hanging on the wall of our basement.
  • Last night, Greenpoint rooftop farmer Annie Novak interviewed author Katherine Leiner (Growing Roots) on the new faces of food activism. It was a great discussion about where our food comes from, who grows it, what we should be thinking about when we buy it, what we can do to keep our food supply sustainable and healthy, and so on. We highly recommend stopping by Eagle Street Rooftop Farm to get great food (and/or get your hands dirty); if you see Annie, tell her we say hi!

We’ve got more event awesome coming up; check out our event calendar for the full details. See you there!


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