Archive for the tag 'activities'

10270593_692840046117_146290864652160760_n

by Diana Bruk

White Island, Marine Park inlet (Source: Google Maps)

White Island (Source: Google Maps)

A group of New Yorkers hailing from all five boroughs gathered early Saturday morning at the Marine Park salt marsh for a rare canoeing adventure to White Island. The three-hour, complimentary guided tour was the second and last trip of the season, and the island (which is wrapping up construction), is only accessible by water and currently closed to those unaccompanied by an Urban Park Ranger.

Our visit was one of the first opportunities to see the island in the final phases of a $15 million restoration that began in 2011. After years of erosion and naturally shifting wetland topography, White Island – also known as Mau Mau Island – was re-shored, cleaned up, purged of invasive phragmites, and replanted with native grasses to serve as a habitat for migratory birds.

Read about our trip to the wilds of White Island, and see the pretty photos.

Jeremy Davis & The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra

Jeremy Davis & The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra

John Beasley. Click to enlarge

John Beasley. Click to enlarge

On Stage at Kingsborough once again presents its “Hot Summer Nights” concert series, taking place every Saturday night in July. The concerts, which start at 8:00 p.m., are held at Kingsborough’s outdoor bandshell, in the shadow of the lighthouse, and steps from the sea wall (offering a delightful breeze in the face of generally blazing July temps). And good news, music lovers: No reservations are necessary. The concert schedule will be as follows:

July 5: Jeremy Davis & The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra, The Great American Swagger. Celebrate Independence Day with this Big Band tribute to America and great American music.

July 12: Grammy-Nominee John Beasley’s MONK’estra. Catch MONK’estra, a 16-piece big modern jazz band that captures the spirit of Thelonious Monk’s unique quirkiness and offbeat accents.

Swingadelic

Swingadelic

July 19: Carole J. Bufford In Speak Easy Featuring Grammy Award-Winners Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks. This nightlife award-winning show features critically-acclaimed cabaret singer Carole J. Bufford and the Grammy Award-winning Jazz Age band from “Boardwalk Empire.” Come on back to a time when love was for sale but liquor was not.

July 26: Swingadelic, With Guest Vocalist Gina Fox. Known as New York City’s greatest “little big band,” Swingadelic delivers the traditional Big Band and Great American Songbook music of Duke Ellington and Frank Sinatra’s Rat Pack in swingin’ style!

Kingsborough Community College is located at 2001 Oriental Boulevard. You can find On Stage at Kingsborough on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter (@OnStageAtKCC). To learn more, call (718) 368-5596 (Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) or check out www.OnStageAtKingsborough.org.

Photo by Jean Henrique Wichinoski / Flickr

Photo by Jean Henrique Wichinoski / Flickr

State Senator Martin J. Golden is partnering with yoga instructor Cathy Shroder to host two health and fitness events in Marine Park near the Carmine Carro Community Center, 3000 Fillmore Avenue.

The beginners’ yoga class, with opportunities for more advanced practice and featuring short yoga-nidra, will be held at 7:00 p.m., tomorrow, May 22 and Thursday, June 5. The events are free and open to the public. Participants are asked to bring their own yoga mat or towel.

“I look forward to joining residents of my district in embracing the warmer weather and hosting these events to provide an opportunity for exercise and relaxation,” said Golden. “It is important that in the midst of our busy lives that we never neglect our personal health, and so I encourage the community to join us.”

For more information, contact Golden’s office at (718) 238-6044 or via email at golden@nysenate.gov.

balkan

Source: BPL

The second annual Bike the Branches kicks off tomorrow, and our local Sheepshead Bay library is planning a special party to welcome the hundreds of cyclists from around the borough.

The event invites cyclists to tour Brooklyn with pitstops at the 60 neighborhood branches, many of which have scheduled their own programming between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. to keep the energy going.

The Sheepshead Bay branch at 2636 East 14th Street will party Balkan-style with Matt Moran’s Slavic Soul Party, a well-known Balkan party band that puts a new twist on traditional Balkan music. The group mashes up gospel, techno, funk, dub, jazz and Latin beats with Balkan brass music, including Romanian, Bulgarian and Macedonian favorites. Here’s a sample:

The band kicks off at 3 p.m.

In the spirit of cycling, the library is also planning a fitness workshop with a personal fitness coach at 1 p.m., and there will be an amusing Bike the Branches book display based around a painting of branch manager Svetlana Negrimovskaya with a bike, inviting everyone to explore the library system.

svetlana

If you’re interested in the Bike the Branches event, check out the link above. Aside from the standard route, they’ve also curated a selection of customized routes for history buffs, booze hounds and more.

State Senator Marty Golden will be hosting two annual Easter egg hunts for the children and families of his district. Each Easter Egg Hunt event, in Marine Park and Bay Ridge, includes games, music, and activities for the whole family, as well as prizes for the children.

The first one will be held April 6 at 2:00 p.m. in Marine Park, at Fillmore Avenue and Madison Place, followed by the second one, which will be held April 12 at 2:00 p.m. in Shore Road Park, at Shore Road and 79th Street.

To learn more, call Golden’s District Office at (718) 238-6044.

I owe half of what I am today to print products. The other half, I owe to their demise. Mwahahah. (Source: Wikimedia)

Libraries across the United States and the United States’ hat (a.k.a. Canada) will celebrate “Take Your Child to the Library Day” on Saturday, February 1, with family-friendly events that encourage reading and education.

The Brooklyn Public Library actually upped the ante on the national initiative and declared it “Take Your Child to the Library Week,” with events throughout the system from this past Monday until tomorrow (most of the events were at branches outside of our coverage area, which is why we didn’t write about it until now).

If you for some reason have not introduced your kid to the library (and, if that’s the case, wtf?), the event is meant to be an introduction to the wild, wondrous world of knowledge.

“Now is the perfect time to introduce your child to the incredible range of programs, materials and services available—all for free—at the library,” said Linda Johnson, BPL’s president and CEO, in a press release. “From afterschool homework help and computer access, to crafts, storytimes and concerts, our branches have everything children need to succeed in school, have fun and explore their interests. And with 60 locations throughout the borough, no matter where you and your family live, there is a library close by.”

To celebrate the culmination of the event, the following Southern Brooklyn libraries will hold family “storytimes” and other events at the time indicated:

  • Bay Ridge (7223 Ridge Boulevard) – 11:00 a.m.
  • Highlawn (1664 West 13th Street)  - 1:00 p.m.
  • Kings Bay (3650 Nostrand Avenue) – 1:00 p.m.
  • Kings Highway (2115 Ocean Avenue) – 11:00 a.m.
  • Mill Basin (2385 Ralph Avenue) – 11:00 a.m.
  • Ulmer Park (2602 Bath Avenue) – 11:00 a.m.
Photo from a previous BBT performance of Nutcracker.

Photo from a previous BBT performance of The Nutcracker.

by Jennifer Szulman

The 27-year-old Brighton Ballet Theater/School of Russian American Ballet (BBT) will be one of only three schools in Brooklyn this winter to perform a version of the classic ballet The Nutcracker, and theirs will offer a distinct telling featuring inspiration from the neighborhood’s various cultures.

Since 1995, BBT has remained the only dance school in Brooklyn to perform The Nutcracker. This year, however, they will be one of three local schools to perform the ballet, and will feature more than 40 young dancers alongside seasoned professionals. Cheographed by Edouard Kouchnarev, the 55-minute-long production draws nuanced inspiration from a Russian Nutcracker-inspired cartoon, and a heartwarming tale of diversity aimed at a young audience.

In this particular version, a young girl similar to Disney’s Cinderella becomes a princess. It is good to simplify an otherwise intricate plot for little children, BBT’s owner said, because they can understand what is happening. Most of the parts are danced by kids and instead of ending in The Land of Sweets, this version finishes in the Land of Cultures, where all the cultures flourish together – not unlike their adopted Southern Brooklyn community.

Founded in 1987, creating the prestigious school took perseverance, drive and the childhood dream of a young dancer.

As an immigrant from the Soviet Union, Irina Roizin aspired to open her own dance school. These dreams came to life when she saw a newspaper advertisement about a small ballet school open on Avenue M. Lessons were held in a quaint living room where three students were trained by a former student of Russian ballet teacher Agrippina Vaganova. At the time, the school had no owner and was funded by the parents of the three students. The teacher and Roizin eventually worked together to create a program for young children. In time, Roizin moved the school to Brighton Beach.

Roizin taught for nearly three decades, growing it to accommodate approximately 400 children per year.

“Our goal is to serve the community,” Roizin said. “Over 27 years, about 15 of our students became professional dancers. We do achieve our goal by bringing up professional dancers but the main thing is to give all children an opportunity to dance professional scale ballet. Even if they’re not going to become dancers, they will take something from this that they can bring to a different profession.”

For those who wish to become masters of the craft, ballet helps dancers develop a skill set used to shape not only themselves physically, but also emotionally and socially.

“This is disciplined, something that gives children an opportunity to be closer to arts, to change their personality, ideas, what music they’ll listen to,” Roizin said. “It’s not too many kids that understand classical music, can be disciplined about themselves, about what they eat. We realize that most of the kids that take ballet for a lot of years do better in school. It’s better attention, social skills and self-esteem. It helps them in a lot of ways.”

Professional dancers are invited to the school for young students to learn from, allowing the children to see what can come from their dedication and hard work.

The non-profit BBT continues to grow its services, recently opening up a pilot program for children with autism, and offers scholarships to students with need.

“We never turn a child away,” Roizon said.

For parents thinking this is just a place to drop their kids off for a play date, though, Roizon points out that she aims to train the best of the best.

“When kids come and parents tell the child, ‘Okay, go have fun!’ I always say, no, you can have fun at the park,” Roizin said. “You don’t have to pay money to have fun. They come here to work and learn something. Maybe this is a little bit of a different approach. The parents who understand stay with us and understand that whatever we do, we do to help parents raise intelligent, educated children. The kids need to understand that it’s fun when they dance and wear costumes and perform, but it’s also hard work.”

BBT will perform The Nutcracker on Saturday, December 21 at 6:30 p.m. The performance will be held at the Leon M. Goldstein Performing Arts Center at Kingsborough Community College, 2001 Oriental Boulevard. For tickets, call (718) 769-9161.

Source: Wikipedia

State Senator Marty Golden will be hosting his Annual Easter Egg Hunt for the children and families of his district, March 23 at 12:00 p.m. in Marine Park, Fillmore Avenue and Madison Place. The Easter Egg Hunt events include games, music, and activities for the whole family, as well as prizes for the children.

“I encourage all children and families to join in this fun event. The challenge is on to find the eggs hidden in the parks for a chance to win prizes. These special events in our parks are what makes our community a great place to live, work and raise a family,” Golden stated.

Golden, who sponsors the event every year, will be hosting another Easter Egg Hunt next week in the Bay Ridge section of his district.

To learn more, call Golden’s District Office at (718) 238-6044.

It’s with a heavy heart and empty stomach that we’re forced to announce that Grillin’ On The Bay and the Brooklyn Chili Smackdown have been canceled for 2013.

The event, New York City’s only sanctioned barbecue contest, is another unfortunate victim of the ravages of Hurricane Sandy. While we worked hard – specifically, event organizer and Sheepshead Bites business manager Robert Fernandez worked hard – to get the event off the ground with a much shorter planning period than usual, a number of last minute challenges could not be overcome.

Initially, we were very optimistic, and Robert even began planning a number of extra features for the public to enjoy at the event. But the core – the grilling competition itself – confronted unexpected hurdles.

Many teams who have participated in the past were badly affected by the storm and unable to compete this year. In previous years we’ve seen approximately 20 teams coming from as far as Maine and Ohio – but many of these teams lived in areas swallowed up by the waters, winds and ferocity of Hurricane Sandy. We were able to secure less than half of the usual suspects – not enough to justify moving forward.

Furthermore, businesses in the area that supported us in past years are financially unable to do so as they struggle to rebuild. My thoughts and prayers are with them, the teams and our neighbors as we all try to get back to the new normal.

Without the teams, the event was a nonstarter, and the problem was compounded when our host informed us earlier this week of a paperwork problem that stood in the way of obtaining a necessary permit.

We do plan on bringing Grillin’ On The Bay and the Brooklyn Chili Smackdown back next year. We also plan on launching some exciting new features to the event that we had hoped to see this year – including a VIP tasting event and bourbon pairing, cooking demonstrations and more.

Our thanks go to all those in the neighborhood who showed support this year and in previous years, those of you who gave us tremendous feedback and spread the word to friends.

Our thanks also go to Bill Fletcher and Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue for offering to sponsor the event, and for going above and beyond to make the contest happen. Fletcher and his head chef Matt Fisher are producing the best barbecue in New York right now. Please be sure to visit the new restaurant at 433 Third Avenue in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn. It’s worth a trip from anywhere.

Thanks also to the Brooklyn Brewery for their sponsorship of beer, both for the team and the public; and to Breuckelen Distilling for the sponsorship of whiskeys for the event.

Thanks to Michelle, Sandy, Terry, Andy and all the folks at the New England Barbecue Society for all their work supporting Grillin’ On The Bay.

We’ll see you there in 2014, and if there’s anything you’d like to see happen at next year’s contest, please let us know!

In 2009, some riders dressed up to ride the nostalgia train. Hubba-hubba. (Photo by Allan Rosen)

THE COMMUTE: It’s time to take a break from cleaning Superstorm Sandy’s remains out of your basement. It’s time to forget your problems and take a brief, cheap vacation into the times of yesteryear by riding the Nostalgia Train.

Yes, the MTA has brought back this popular feature of the holiday season every Sunday from Thanksgiving to Christmas. You can board at the Second Avenue Station in Manhattan, where the train has a 20-minute layover making it easy to conveniently walk between cars to see the different cars in operation, and read and photograph all the old time advertisements.

You can also board at Queens Plaza or any station in between on the M line, where it operates. The train, however, does not linger at Queens Plaza. You have to get off and go to the Manhattan-bound platform for the trip back unless you are on the final trip of the day. In that case, you would have to take the E or the R back to Manhattan and transfer to a Brooklyn-bound train there.

In past years, there have been jazz bands and riders dressed in period costumes. This is a great family event and a fun time is had by all, those who remember riding these trains with the wicker seats and incandescent light bulbs and those for whom this is a new experience. Whatever you do, do not wait until the last minute. Since these trains only operate once a year and are maintained by volunteers, they are not in the best operating condition and can break down with some trips being canceled. So allow yourself plenty of time to enjoy this yearly event for the price of a subway fare. Next year it will cost more, and if you want to ride these old trains during other times of the year on other routes, other than from Grand Central to Yankee Stadium, you can expect to pay at least $40 per person for trips arranged by the New York Transit Museum.

So take advantage of this bargain while you can. You will find everyone in a festive holiday mood speaking to each other, unlike your typical morning commute. Here is the schedule and more details about the train.

The Commute is a weekly feature highlighting news and information about the city’s mass transit system and transportation infrastructure. It is written by Allan Rosen, a Manhattan Beach resident and former Director of MTA/NYC Transit Bus Planning (1981).

Disclaimer: The above is an opinion column and may not represent the thoughts or position of Sheepshead Bites. Based upon their expertise in their respective fields, our columnists are responsible for fact-checking their own work, and their submissions are edited only for length, grammar and clarity. If you would like to submit an opinion piece or become a regularly featured contributor, please e-mail nberke [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

Next »