Brooklyn

Brooklyn's Bed-Stuy Neighborhood Fights Against ‘Ethnic Cleansing’

Amadi Ajamu

The battle against “ethnic cleansing” is intensifying on the sidewalks of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. For several months community members have organized and protested in front of 410 Nostrand Ave., a newly constructed building slated for high-end condominiums in the middle of a predominantly Black working-class neighborhood. Under the banner of “We Ain’t Going Nowhere!” neighborhood residents are demanding affordable housing. The ethnic cleansing and increasing rents have been pushing out people who have lived in the area for years, but the resistance is escalating every day.

Deadpan Humor, Acerbic Wit Are Main Themes of Quirky Rom-Com ‘Appropriate Behavior’

Angelo Franco

In her screenwriting and directorial debut, Desiree Akhavan’s Appropriate Behavior is engrossing, provocative, and entirely inappropriate. Laced with Akhavan’s unquestionable flare for frames and motion (or lack thereof), the film explores the depths of sexuality within a cultural context, posing realities that are heartbreakingly honest and widely unexplored, often at the same time.  

How New York City Embraced the Chocolate Revolution

Angelo Franco

In more recent times, however, chocolate buyers have been inundated with new terms and compound words printed on the labels of this much sought-after sweet.   Artisan, single origin, blend, percentage, fair trade, are a few relatively new designations given to chocolate bars found everywhere from supermarket chains to small gourmet shops.  One of the newest of these nomenclatures is bean-to-bar.

Wherefore Art Thou, Bohemia?

John McGovern

If living the bohemian lifestyle is about creating, than it would be reductive to dismiss the crusty guy selling newspaper clip art outside of Prospect Park on principle. Dismiss him for making crappy art, sure. True, Hemingway and Baldwin probably benefited from the community of artists that they interacted with, but Emily Dickinson never left her room. Where you are might not hurt, but it might not help much either. What you do matters more. 

Williamsburg, Brooklyn and the New New York

Sandra Canosa

Once a sea of working factories, then a deserted and crime-ridden no-man’s land, Williamsburg at the turn of the 21st century became a budding haven for New York City’s proverbial struggling-artist types for its cheap rents and quick access to the creative haven of lower Manhattan. A rapid decade and change of gentrification, though, has turned the neighborhood into a coveted – and expensive – place to live, as well as a checkbox on any New York tourist’s bucket list.

How Brooklyn Evolved into a Burgeoning Film Scene

Beth Kaiserman

In Brooklyn, there is a large support system for independent film. Marco Ursino started the Brooklyn Film Festival (BFF) 16 years ago, and has owned and operated indieScreen in Williamsburg with his wife, Susan Mackell, since 2009. He remembers the first BFF’s slogan: ‘An Invitation to Cross the Bridge.’ “Now it’s the most normal thing,” he said. “Williamsburg has been the flag of progress. All that is alternative comes from here.”

Meet Brooklyn’s Own Ambassadors of Music

Sam Chapin

Indie and Soul are two words that don’t often meet, much like Gospel and Electronica. But all of these genres, and a host of others, feel right at home in the spectrum of Ambassadors’ influences. Hailing from Brooklyn, the four-man band has been making music together for more than five years. Comprised of lead singer, bassist, and sometimes drummer, Sam Harris, keyboardist and brother of Sam, Casey Harris (who is legally blind and has been since birth), guitarist Noah Feldshuh, and drummer Adam Levin, Ambassadors are quickly gaining traction and becoming a prominent presence in the New York music scene as well as the country at large. Sam Harris recently spoke with Highbrow Magazine.

 

Brooklyn Artist Keith Pavia Breaks Through the Boundaries of ‘Outsider Art’

Kristin Sancken

As the art market grows and in turn splinters into a plurality of labels, styles, and movements, artists are faced with a decision – is it better to adhere to definition and face certain limitations in the public reception of their work, or shirk association and push forward into new and possibly little understood territory? Brooklyn-based artist, Keith Pavia has wrestled with this dilemma of late, as he attempts to break through the boundaries of Outsider Art, a label that has undoubtedly helped foster his career.

Artist Nicholas Forker Pays Homage to the Era of Space Exploration

Eric Russ

Brooklyn-based artist Nicholas Forker has a rare talent, and it is one that is quickly earning him recognition in a city that is virtually filled to the brim with aspiring young artists.  In today’s art landscape, traditional skills like figurative drawing are not always as visible as they once were.  Benefiting as he does from undeniable technical ability, and a reverence for the way things used to be done, Forker creates masterful works in ballpoint, in some cases pouring hundreds of hours into a single work. What has caught his attention lately is the way that adventurers, and in his most recent work, astronauts in particular, can be used as a stand-in for American culture.  

Is New York City Really Safer Today?

Eugene Durante

New York City in modern times disheartens me. The sanitized, more orderly civic state causes trepidation. Maybe because my most memorable times were during New York’s criminal heyday, or maybe it’s the juxtaposition of working with cops today and witnessing first-hand the diluted focus of what modern policing in New York has become. Either way, there is an ever-present reminder that the bad ‘ole days weren’t really that bad. Much like the dramatic reductions in crime, I have no explanation for the change, except to say that there is a demonstrable difference.

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